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Number and Time: Reflections Leading Toward a Unification of Depth Psychology and Physics Paperback – July 1, 1986
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Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The 'unus mundus' is a timeless "acausal orderedness", responsible for synchronistic acausal coincidences as acts of creation in time. Yet, all the "empirical phenomena" are also "inherent" to the unus mundus. Thus, the unus mundus is also the birth ground of causality. It may give rise to causal chains, to boot.
Synchronicity is defined as the coincidence of inner meaning and outer happenings. But this would imply that synchronistic events could never occur earlier in history, when there were no minds capable of experiencing meaning. So how could the unus mundus manifest before there were minds, thus giving rise to the empirical world? The answer is that synchronistic events may also occur wholly independent of the "inner meaning" of the human mind. That's why von Franz cites Jung as saying that the unus mundus contains "absolute knowledge". Although the significance of a synchronistic event can only be experienced subjectively, "the meaning may also have been originally present in the objective event itself; something rational or similar to meaning may inhere in the event itself."
In order for the synchronistic notion to work independently of the human mind, as a world-creating force, Jung must have recourse to "objective meaning". The conclusion is that "objective meaning" is capable of manifesting as synchronistic events wholly independent of a mind predisposed to register meaning. It gainsays the basic definition of synchronicity as "inner" and "outer" facts in meaningful relation.
Jung's metaphysical edifice lands in an out-and-out Neo-Platonic system. Jung conceded to an interviewer that he had had seconds thoughts about it, designating his metaphysical edifice as "awkward". I think we must see Jung's metaphysic against the backdrop of the Neo-Platonic philosophers, such as Proclus. Proclus reckoned with the pagan deities and devoted himself to theurgical practices during the day. According to Jung and von Franz, there are entities capable of quasi intelligence. They abide in a transcendental sphere where they occupy themselves with "the primal ordering of existence". They can be invoked by way of mantic procedures: "[T]he use of a divinatory oracle represents an attempt to induce a spontaneous manifestation of the...autonomous spirit". This is close to the Neo-Platonic notion of pagan deities and their invocation for the purpose of attaining unity with them. It coincides with von Franz's alchemical goal of "union of the total man with the unus mundus".
Synchronicity also bears resemblance to the Neo-Platonic emanative influx model, which speaks of an inflow in the world of the spiritual force. Arguably, Proclus and others make better sense of the Neo-Platonic model. From an intellectual point of view, it would be more honest to take the full step, remove the contradictions in von Franz's account, and develop Jung's metaphysic as a modern version of Neo-Platonism.