Saturday, February 25, 2012


Carl Jung coined the term "synchronicity" to describe coincidences of two or more events that he felt could not be due to chance alone. In his 1952 book Synchronicity: an Acausal Connecting Principle, he elaborated on his theory that this kind of "meainngful coincidence of inner and outer experience" was not governed by the principle of causality, but was a case of internal psychic states influencing external events. The concept has been used to explain otherwise unaccountable phenomena like telepathy, astrology and the interpretation of the Tarot. In the case of synchronicity, seemingly unrelated things are found to have a connection becasue, in Jung's view, they share the common ground of the unus mandus, or "one world", the mythical dimension behind all life. Events are thought to carry meaningful symbols across the threshold between the unconscious and the conscious. Jung famously recounted one of his own experiences of synchronicity, in which a patient was telling him about her dream of having been given a golden scarab. Jung, who had his back to the window, in the same moment heard a tapping against the glass and, to his surprise, he saw a scarabaeid beetle, a relative of the scarab, banging on the window. The scarab is an Egyptian symbol of the solar cycle and of rebirth or transformation, and the patient's exclusively rational perspective on her situation was transformed by the episode. Another of Jung's examples concerned the pendulum clock that was said to have stopped at the moment of Frederick the Great of Prussia died in 1786. The stopping of clocks at the moment of their owners' death is thought to be a common phenomenon, and may symbolize the ending of time and the cessation of the heartbeat. Similarly there are many accounts of mirrors or pictures falling to the floor and breaking when there is a death. The concepts of synchronicity presume that all life is fundamentally connected. This is not yet commonly accepted by mainstream science and yet developments in quantum physics and field and process-oriented psychological research are pointing in this direction.

1 comment:

  1. You might be interested in the research of Bernard Beitman, MD, a visiting professor at the University of Virginia, who is formulating a new multi-discipline field called Coincidence Studies. You can read about it here: