Synchronicity and Acausality
This morning I was thinking about my father, and came across a very old book of mine, a paperback given me by my father, C.G. Jung's Synchronicity. Dad never cared much about Jung, so far as I know, but he gave it to me because he knew I was interested in him. I hadn't read it in years.
In the book Jung makes a strong, if ultimately unscientific argument that there is often an acausal relationship between two events, that is, meaningful coincidences. His most vivid example -- which, perhaps in an example today, is the only detail I remember of his argument, and it was to that page the book opened, even though it was not in any way creased to that page -- is that of his work with a woman who he found very difficult to reach. She was telling him of a dream she had involving an golden scarab from Egypt; as she spoke Jung heard a tapping at his window, opened it, and a scarab beetle flew in. He caught it in his hand, and showed it to her -- "Is this what you mean?" Her subsequent astonishment, he said, broke through her intellectual posturing and made it possible for him to treat her.
That's his telling of course, and he was sort of the John Lennon of those days of psychiatry, a creative genius sometimes given to selective memory. But I know I have experienced such things in my life, and as I get older I am more and more willing to give solid credibility to the idea that existence is far more than our apparent world. That's ironic in a way, because in my youth I dabbled in such things as the I Ching, and it seemed to work, but more as posturing I think than as reality; I abandoned it in the face of real-life crisis.
But back to synchronicity. One example for me was when I was sitting outside in the trees beside a building at my university. I was meditating, and as I sat there the name "Balthazar" came into my consciousness I walked back into the building and saw a poster announcing the impending arrival of a yoga master with that name. Not much came of it, I attended a couple classes with him, but never followed through. But still . . . .
You need to be logged in to comment