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Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle. (From Vol. 8. of the Collected Works of C. G. Jung) (Jung Extracts) Kindle Edition
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1) Natural laws are statistical truths, which means that they are completely valid only when we are dealing with macrophysical quantities.
2) The philosophical principle that underlies our conception of natural law is causality.
3) Their [Acausal events] existence - or at least their possibility - follows logically from the premise of statistical truth.
4) But if the causal principle is only relatively valid, then it follows that even though in the vast majority of cases an apparently chance series can be causally explained, there must still remain a number of cases which do not show any causal connection.
5) Chance groupings or series seem, at least to our present way of thinking, to be meaningless, and to fall as a general rule within the limits of probability.
6) Should this proof (of acausal events exceeding the limits of probability) be forthcoming, however, it would prove at the same time that there are genuinely non-causal combinations of events for whose explanation we should have to postulate a factor incommensurable with causality.
7) Because of this quality of simultaneity, I have picked the term "synchronicity" to designate a hypothetical factor equal in rank to causality as a principle of explanation.
8) Meaningful coincidences - which are to be distinguished from meaningless chance groupings - therefore seem to rest on an archetypal foundation.
From this basis Jung explores paraphychology, astrology from an archetypal basis, the I Ching and other forms of divination, near-death experiences, and radioactive decay. From this and in discussion with Wolfgang Pauli he formulated the tetradic schema of our quantum based physical existence: Indestructible Energy-Causality-Synchronicity-Space Time Continuum.
We are all aware of both meaningless and meaningful coincidences in our daily lives. They are the basis for surprises and superstition, and decision making. For instance, in business we deal with staffing issues in the retail environment. Managers determine by experience and analysis the number of employees needed to serve the average number of customers that will enter the store. However, we also know that they come in random clusters or retail statistical fluctuations that necessitate additional personnel to maintain customer service levels and avoid losses in sales during these surges. These represent meaningless coincidences but ones which we must prepare for.
As a reader I often experience what seem like meaningful coincidences like a new vocabulary word suddenly occurring in each new text I read. Or picking up books in my library that I have owned for years that I only now feel are relevant for the zeitgeist. Perhaps these are instances of awareness but I often wonder at their significance.
However, I decided to write this review today because I feel I am in the midst of a synchronous experience. At three in the morning of November 10th of this year, the town of Marlinton (the countyseat of a neighboring county) began to burn and lost a block of its business district due to constant winds that made it impossible for the firefighters to contain the blaze. That morning I awoke to learn of this ongoing event and to also learn it was the anniversary of the wreak of the Edmund Fitzgerald which as the song reminds us occurred "...when the gales of November come early". Unable to sleep in the early morning hours of the 11th of November I picked up "The Skrayling Tree" by Michael Moorcock, a writer who incorporates the archetypes of Dr. Jung as the basis for his fantasy multiverse. As I turned to Chapter Two of the book I was stunned by its title: "On the Shores of Gitche Gumee" - the Chippewa name for Lake Superior where the men of the Edmund Fitzgerald lost their lives. Are these meaningful coincidences, a synchronicity?
If you are interested in science of synchronicity or the role of archetypes in the mystic arts you should read this insightful work by one of the great thinkers of psychology and the nature of the human experience.
I find at least several examples in Science, however that appear to lend some credence to synchronicity. Perhaps the best is the example of quantum entanglement, the idea that two objects whose energies have become entangled remain connected even when widely separated. Einstein rejected the idea from his "realistic" Universe. He dismissed quantum entanglement as "spooky action at a distance." Einstein have been proven wrong in at least three definitive experiments showing that when two entangled electrons as widely separated by distance, actions exerted on one electron will instantaneously affect the behavior of the second electron. Some equate this to the science fiction favorite, teleportation,
Thus, with experimental scientific proof offering evidence for Jung's synchronicty, *drawn from previous religious and philosophical beliefs), we have greater incentive to explore the theory that all things are connected, perhaps to learn its mechanisms.
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