Synchronicity

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Synchronicity is the phenomenon of experiencing two or more events as meaningfully related, though they are unlikely to be causally related. The are perceived as a "meaningful coincidence", although the events need not be exactly simultaneous in time. A concept of synchronicity was first proposed by Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychologist, in the 1920s. The concept does not question, or compete with, the notion of causality, but rather maintains that just as events may be connected by a causal relationship, they may also be connected by meaning without clear causal relationships — a grouping of events by meaning need not have an explanation in terms of cause and effect.

See also:
Coincidence
Kenosis
Serendipity
Alphabetized by author or source:
A · B · C · D · E · F · G · H · I · J · K · L · M · N · O · P -Q · R · S · T · U · V · W · X · Y · Z · Anon · External links

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According to Vedanta, there are only two symptoms of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you toward a higher consciousness. ~ Deepak Chopra

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  • We could all be mediums, and all have absolute knowledge, if the bright light of our ego consciousness would not dim it. … I have myself observed that in states of extreme fatigue, when I am really dangerously physically exhausted, I suddenly get absolute knowledge; …

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  • It is well known that theoretical physicists cannot handle experimental equipment; it breaks whenever they touch it. Pauli was such a good theoretical physicist that something usually broke in the lab whenever he merely stepped across the threshold. A mysterious event that did not seem at first to be connected with Pauli's presence once occurred in Professor J. Franck's laboratory in Göttingen. Early one afternoon, without apparent cause, a complicated apparatus for the study of atomic phenomena collapsed. Franck wrote humorously about this to Pauli at his Zürich address and, after some delay, received an answer in an envelope with a Danish stamp. Pauli wrote that he had gone to visit Bohr and at the time of the mishap in Franck's laboratory his train was stopped for a few minutes at the Göttingen railroad station. You may believe this anecdote or not, but there are many other observations concerning the reality of the Pauli Effect!
    • George Gamow, in Thirty Years That Shook Physics : The Story of Quantum Theory (1966), p. 64

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  • We've all had the experience of talking about a long-lost friend with someone, and then out of the blue the phone rings and it's that same long-lost friend. Famous psychobabble quack Carl Jung called these occurrences "synchronicity." Skeptics regard these synchronicities events as mere coincidences. Others posit a pie-in-the-sky cosmic connection linking all things. Take a guess on which side of the argument I fall.
    • "Mary Shannon" in In Plain Sight, Season 1, episode 6: High Priced Spread (6 July 2008), written by Matt Ward

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We cannot imagine events that are connected non-causally and are capable of a non-causal explanation. But that does not mean that such events do not exist. ~ Carl Jung
I handed the beetle to my patient with the words "Here is your scarab." ~ Carl Jung
  • We Shall Naturally look round in vain the macrophysical world for acausal events, for the simple reason that we cannot imagine events that are connected non-causally and are capable of a non-causal explanation. But that does not mean that such events do not exist... The so-called "scientific view of the world" based on this can hardly be anything more than a psychologically biased partial view which misses out all those by no means unimportant aspects that cannot be grasped statistically.
  • A young woman I was treating had, at a critical moment, a dream in which she was given a golden scarab. While she was telling me this dream, I sat with my back to the closed window. Suddenly I heard a noise behind me, like a gentle tapping. I turned round and saw a flying insect knocking against the window-pane from the outside. I opened the window and caught the creature in the air as it flew in. It was the nearest analogy to a golden scarab one finds in our latitudes, a scarabaeid beetle, the common rose-chafer (Cetonia aurata), which, contrary to its usual habits had evidently felt the urge to get into a dark room at this particular moment. I must admit that nothing like it ever happened to me before or since.
    • Carl Jung, in Synchronicity : An Acausal Connecting Principle (1960), p. 22
  • Naturally, every age thinks that all ages before it were prejudiced, and today we think this more than ever and are just as wrong as all previous ages that thought so. How often have we not seen the truth condemned! It is sad but unfortunately true that man learns nothing from history.
    • Carl Jung, in Synchronicity : An Acausal Connecting Principle (1960), p. 33
  • This grasping of the whole is obviously the aim of science as well, but it is a goal that necessarily lies very far off because science, whenever possible, proceeds experimentally and in all cases statistically. Experiment, however, consists in asking a definite question which excludes as far as possible anything disturbing and irrelevant. It makes conditions, imposes them on Nature, and in this way forces her to give an answer to a question devised by man. She is prevented from answering out of the fullness of her possibilities since these possibilities are restricted as far as practible. For this purpose there is created in the laboratory a situation which is artificially restricted to the question which compels Nature to give an unequivocal answer. The workings of Nature in her unrestricted wholeness are completely excluded. If we want to know what these workings are, we need a method of inquiry which imposes the fewest possible conditions, or if possible no conditions at all, and then leave Nature to answer out of her fullness.
    • Carl Jung, in Synchronicity : An Acausal Connecting Principle (1960), p. 35
  • My example concerns a young woman patient who, in spite of efforts made on both sides, proved to be psychologically inaccessible. The difficulty lay in the fact that she always knew better about everything. Her excellent education had provided her with a weapon ideally suited to this purpose, namely a highly polished Cartesian rationalism with an impeccably "geometrical" idea of reality. After several fruitless attempts to sweeten her rationalism with a somewhat more human understanding, I had to confine myself to the hope that something unexpected and irrational would turn up, something that burst the intellectual retort into which she had sealed herself. Well, I was sitting opposite of her one day, with my back to the window, listening to her flow of rhetoric. She had an impressive dream the night before, in which someone had given her a golden scarab-a costly piece of jewellery. While she was still telling me this dream, I heard something behind me gently tapping on the window. I turned round and saw that it was a fairly large flying insect that was knocking against the window from outside in the obvious effort to get into the dark room. This seemed to me very strange. I opened the window and immediately and caught the insect in the air as it flew in. It was a scarabaeid beetle, or common rose-chafer, whose gold-green color most nearly resembles that of a golden scarab. I handed the beetle to my patient with the words "Here is your scarab." This broke the ice of her intellectual resistance. The treatment could now be continued with satisfactory results.
    • Carl Jung, in Synchronicity : An Acausal Connecting Principle (1960), p. 109
  • While Freud was going on this way, I had a curious sensation. It was as if my diaphragm were made of iron and were becoming red-hot -- a glowing vault. And at that moment there was such a loud report in the bookcase, which stood right next to us, that we both started up in alarm, fearing the thing was going to topple over on us. I said to Freud: 'There, that is an example of a so-called catalytic exteriorization phenomenon.' 'Oh come,' he exclaimed. 'That is sheer bosh.' 'It is not,' I replied. 'You are mistaken, Herr Professor. And to prove my point I now predict that in a moment there will be another such loud report! 'Sure enough, no sooner had I said the words that the same detonation went off in the bookcase. To this day I do not know what gave me this certainty. But I knew beyond all doubt that the report would come again. Freud only stared aghast at me. I do not know what was in his mind, or what his look meant. In any case, this incident aroused his distrust of me, and I had the feeling that I had done something against him. I never afterward discussed the incident with him.
  • When coincidences pile up in this way, one cannot help being impressed by them – for the greater the number of terms in such a series, or the more unusual its character, the more improbable it becomes.
    • Carl Jung, in Jung on Synchronicity and the Paranormal (1977) edited by Roderick Main, p. 91

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  • Any parapsychological effect that depends upon volition, upon the subject's intent, must differ from synchronicity.
    • Victor Mansfield, in Distinguishing synchronicity from the paranormal in Synchronicity, Science, and Soulmaking: Understanding Jungian Syncronicity Through Physics, Buddhism, and Philosophy (1996) p. 12
  • Synchronicity's lack of an adequate theoretical structure; its uncontrollability; and its reliance on subjectivity, feelings, and scientifically suspect terms such as meaning make it exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to test scientifically.
    • Victor Mansfield, in Distinguishing synchronicity from the paranormal in Synchronicity, Science, and Soulmaking: Understanding Jungian Syncronicity Through Physics, Buddhism, and Philosophy (1996) p. 178

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Synchronized Sacred Music
  • Synchronicity is at work when something occurs that substantiates a belief or philosophy of life.
    • David Richo, in "The Power of Coincidence: How Life Shows Us What We Need to Know", p. 18
  • Synchronicity is [thus] a major tool of soul-making, divulging immortal meanings through personal events so that we can find our way towards integration. We can find his way through practices.
    • David Richo, in "The Power of Coincidence: How Life Shows Us What We Need to Know", p. 18

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A connecting principle
Linked to the invisible
Almost imperceptible
Something inexpressible ~ Sting
It's so deep, it's so wide
You're inside
Synchronicity ~ Sting
  • With one breath, with one flow
    You will know
    Synchronicity

    A sleep trance, a dream dance,
    A shared romance
    Synchronicity

    A connecting principle
    Linked to the invisible
    Almost imperceptible
    Something inexpressible

  • If we share this nightmare
    Then we can dream
    Spiritus mundi
    If you act as you think
    The missing link
    Synchronicity
    • Sting, in "Synchronicity I", on Synchronicity (1983)
  • A star fall, a phone call
    It joins all
    Synchronicity

    It's so deep, it's so wide
    You're inside
    Synchronicity

    Effect without a cause
    Sub-atomic laws, scientific pause
    Synchronicity....

    • Sting, in "Synchronicity I", on Synchronicity (1983)
  • Mother chants her litany of boredom and frustration
    But we know all her suicides are fake
    Daddy only stares into the distance
    There's only so much more that he can take
    Many miles away something crawls from the slime
    At the bottom of a dark Scottish lake
  • Daddy grips the wheel and stares alone into the distance
    He knows that something somewhere has to break
    He sees the family home now, looming in his headlights
    The pain upstairs that makes his eyeballs ache
    Many miles away there's a shadow on the door
    Of a cottage on the shore
    Of a dark Scottish lake
  • Jung believed there was a large pattern to life, that it wasn't just chaos. Our song Synchronicity II is about two parallel events that aren't connected logically or causally, but symbolically.
    • Sting, on the song Synchronicity II, as quoted in "Official Police business" by Jay Cocks, in TIME magazine (15 August 1983), p. 50

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