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Synchronicity, Science, and Soulmaking: Understanding Jungian Syncronicity Through Physics, Buddhism, and Philosphy Paperback – December 31, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Open Court (December 31, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812693043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812693041
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #997,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This book is truly one of my favorites!
Colin M. Burchfield, Ph.D.
And anyone who's had a powerful synchronicity experience knows how radically it can upset our day-to-day notions of physical reality and causality.
Jely@Trinity.edu
We need more multidisciplinarians like Mansfield and Capra these days.
nonamespecified

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Jely@Trinity.edu on September 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is a fascinating excursion through contemporary quantum physics, buddhist emptiness, and Jungian psychology. Much ado has been made in pop-science about the failure of the Cartesian dichotomy and the search for quantum-informed world-views, quantum physics and its possible effects on health, consciousness, the nature of reality, and so on and on. Some of it is rather interesting. But most of those works remain at the level of sympathetic magic, turning on mere analogies. This book was written by a practicing physicist and buddhist, and next to it, the highly influential (but much over-rated) "Tao of Physics" pales by comparison. The author delves deeply into what it might mean to our world-view to take seriously the non-local nature of physical reality and the fundamental connectedness of the universe, as implied by Bell's theorem, buddhist "dependent origination," and synchronicity. If, like me, you remember learning about Kant and the death of metaphysics, you will find the description of Bell's theorem as "experimental metaphysics" (p. 75) simply staggering. And if nonlocality does prevail in our universe, it provides some support for Jung's concept of synchronicity, not just for explaining those eerie coincidences but as an enlarged perspective on linear cause-and-effect. Remember that Jung was not a physicist so in some ways his theory needs to be informed by a physicist. And anyone who's had a powerful synchronicity experience knows how radically it can upset our day-to-day notions of physical reality and causality. Much of the virtue of this book is that it isn't just some philosophical arguments and popular science spiced up with a few graphs and equations.Read more ›
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By nonamespecified on April 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
We need more multidisciplinarians like Mansfield and Capra these days. The story of Pauli and Jung is as fascinating as that of Bohr and Einstein, it seems to me, and deserves a book and a movie all its own! One omission in this book, is the connection between the 'kundalini' experience and synchronicity, as the former is well known to stimulate the latter, giving rise to a common phenomenon known as 'synchronicity storms'. Another omission is discussion of the schizophrenic experience of living in a totally synchronistic universe, which the book 'Madness and Modernism' by Sass describes quite well. As Dr. Peat says, Synchronicity is a key 'anomaly' in the worldview of science these days, and as much as critics like Victor Stegner would like to pooh-pooh it as totally subjective, (which merely begs the question of the locus of 'meaning' after all), it does seem to point to the 'bridge between matter and mind'. Science has far too rigidly adhered to Newton's adamant 'Hypotheses Non Fingo' in banishing all discussion of 'meaning' from physics. i.e. the 'meaningless universe' of Stephen Weinberg et. al. is merely an artifact of an ad-hoc methodology, not an inherent attribute of Nature. 'Meaning' is where it's at, after all! And why *should* it be purely 'objective'?
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By paul.daft@england.com on September 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
I approached this book with initial scepticism due to its subject matter; quantum physics and mentalism. However, this book is so gracefully written that it guides the reader with relative ease through Einstein's special relativity and seriously questions reality as we know. This book is thought provoking in the utmost - well worth it.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By OAKSHAMAN VINE VOICE on June 6, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is perhaps the best thought-out analysis of synchronicity that I've read. The author (a professor of physics and astronomy) interweaves quantum physics, depth psychology, and Buddhism into a most satisfying explanation. All the world about us is a creation of mind- matter is not directly knowable, and space and time are outright creations of our mind. We are cocreators of reality (or at least our higher Self is) which explains how such impossible but meaningful coincidences can occur. He holds that our conventional materialist world view is the cause of our spiritual crisis and bankruptcy in the West- as do I.
This is an extraordinary book- as good or better than the _Tao of Physics_.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
This was a very well written, easy to understand book about subjects that can prove to be difficult. The author does an excellent job of integrating concepts from Jung's synchronicity, quantum theory, and Middle Way Buddhism. It's a great read for anyone who believes there's more to our universe than meets the eye.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Richard G. Petty on April 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are few topics that have generated as much heat - and as little light - as the concept of synchronicity, or meaningful coincidences. The subtitle to Carl Jung's original paper introducing the concept, was "An acausal connecting principle," implying that two or more events may be linked without any kind of force binding them together. Since we live in a world in which we can see causal links every day that can be a hard concept.

On the one hand, many proponents of synchronicity tell us that everything in the universe is meaningful and connected; while opponents say that they have "magical thinking" or do not understand mathematical chance.

Part of the problem has been that many writers have not tried to tackle Jung's work in the original German, and some of what he had to say has been "editorialized."

Victor Mansfield's book is exceptionally good. He is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Colgate University who has had long-standing interests in Buddhist philosophy and in the work of Carl Jung. Here he weaves together these three strands - physics, Jungian psychology and Buddhism - into a superb synthesis in which he proposes that "synchronicity is soul-making in action." There have been a great many books about synchronicity, but this is one of the most critical and creative.

One of the unusual things about the book is the way in which Victor inserts remarkable "synchronistic interludes" into the text. It took me a few pages to "get it." These interludes introduce a remarkable living experience into a book that could otherwise have been a little dry.

The central idea of the book is that there are correlations between our inner psychological states and events in the "external" world.
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