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Out Of Mind » PERCEPTUAL AWARENESS » POWER TOOLS » Synchronicity & The Mystery of Chance

Synchronicity & The Mystery of Chance

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1 Synchronicity & The Mystery of Chance on Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:19 pm


Synchronicity & The Mystery of Chance

Posted by Deus Nexus on June 6, 2013

Reposted from: Waking Times.
By Peter A. Jordan, Strange Mag

At some time or another it’s happened to all of us. There’s that
certain number that pops up wherever you go. Hotel rooms, airline
terminals, street addresses — its haunting presence cannot be escaped.
Or, you’re in your car, absently humming a song. You turn on the radio. A
sudden chill prickles your spine. That same song is now pouring from
the speaker.

Coincidence, you tell yourself. Or is it?

For most mainstream scientists, experiences like this, however
strange and recurrent, are nothing but lawful expressions of chance, a
creation — not of the divine or mystical — but of simply that which is
possible. Ignorance of natural law, they argue, causes us to fall prey
to superstitious thinking, inventing supernatural causes where none
exist. In fact, say these statistical law-abiding rationalists, the
occasional manifestation of the rare and improbable in daily life is not
only permissible, but inevitable.

Consider this: from a well-shuffled deck of fifty-two playing cards,
the mathematical odds of dealing a hand of thirteen specified cards are
about 635,000,000,000 to one. (This means that, in dealing the hand,
there exist as many as 635,000,000,000 different hands that may possibly
appear.) What statisticians tell us, though, is that these billions of
hands are all equally likely to occur, and that one of them is
absolutely certain to occur each time the hand is dealt. Thus, any hand
that is dealt, including the most rare and improbable hand is, in terms
of probability, merely one of a number of equally likely events, one of
which was bound to happen.

Such sobering assurances don’t necessarily satisfy everyone, however:
many see coincidence as embedded in a higher, transcendental force, a
cosmic “glue,” as it were, which binds random events together in a
meaningful and coherent pattern. The question has always been: could
such a harmonizing principle actually exist? Or are skeptics right in
regarding this as a product of wishful thinking, a consoling myth
spawned by the intellectual discomfort and capriciousness of chance?

Mathematician Warren Weaver, in his book, Lady Luck: The Theory of Probability,
recounts a fascinating tale of coincidence that stretches our
traditional notions of chance to their breaking point. The story
originally appeared in Life magazine. Weaver writes:

All fifteen members of a
church choir in Beatrice, Nebraska, due at practice at 7:20, were late
on the evening of March 1, 1950. The minister and his wife and daughter
had one reason (his wife delayed to iron the daughter’s dress) one girl
waited to finish a geometry problem; one couldn’t start her car; two
lingered to hear the end of an especially exciting radio program; one
mother and daughter were late because the mother had to call the
daughter twice to wake her from a nap; and so on. The reasons seemed
rather ordinary. But there were ten separate and quite unconnected
reasons for the lateness of the fifteen persons. It was rather fortunate
that none of the fifteen arrived on time at 7:20, for at 7:25 the
church building was destroyed in an explosion. The members of the
choir, Life reported, wondered if their delay was “an act of God.”

Weaver calculates the staggering odds against chance for this uncanny event as about one chance in a million.

Coincidences such as these, some say, are almost too purposeful, too
orderly, to be a product of random chance, which strains somewhat to
accommodate them. But then how do we explain them?

Psychologist Carl Jung believed
the traditional notions of causality were incapable of explaining some
of the more improbable forms of coincidence. Where it is plain, felt
Jung, that no causal connection can be demonstrated between two events,
but where a meaningful relationship nevertheless exists between them, a
wholly different type of principle is likely to be operating. Jung
called this principle “synchronicity.”

In The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche,
Jung describes how, during his research into the phenomenon of the
collective unconscious, he began to observe coincidences that were
connected in such a meaningful way that their occurrence seemed to defy
the calculations of probability. He provided numerous examples culled
from his own psychiatric case-studies, many now legendary.

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 his 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 outside. I opened the window and caught the creature in
the air as it flew in. It was the nearest analogy to the golden scarab
that one finds in our latitudes, a scarabaeid beetle, the common
rose-chafer (Cetoaia urata) which contrary to its usual habits had
evidently felt an 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, and that the dream of the patient has remained unique in my

Who then, might we say, was responsible for the synchronous arrival
of the beetle — Jung or the patient? While on the surface reasonable,
such a question presupposes a chain of causality Jung claimed was absent
from such experience. As psychoanalyst Nandor Fodor has
observed, the scarab, by Jung’s view, had no determinable cause, but
instead complemented the “impossibility” of the analysis. The
disturbance also (as synchronicities often do) prefigured a profound
transformation. For, as Fodor observes, Jung’s patient had — until the
appearance of the beetle — shown excessive rationality, remaining
psychologically inaccessible. Once presented with the scarab, however,
her demeanor improved and their sessions together grew more profitable.

Because Jung believed the phenomenon of synchronicity was primarily
connected with psychic conditions, he felt that such couplings of inner
(subjective) and outer (objective) reality evolved through the influence
of the archetypes, patterns inherent in the human psyche and shared by
all of mankind. These patterns, or “primordial images,” as Jung
sometimes refers to them, comprise man’s collective unconscious,
representing the dynamic source of all human confrontation with death,
conflict, love, sex, rebirth and mystical experience. When an archetype
is activated by an emotionally charged event (such as a tragedy), says
Jung, other related events tend to draw near. In this way the archetypes
become a doorway that provide us access to the experience of meaningful
(and often insightful) coincidence.

Implicit in Jung’s concept of synchronicity is the belief in the
ultimate “oneness” of the universe. As Jung expressed it, such
phenomenon betrays a “peculiar interdependence of objective elements
among themselves as well as with the subjective (psychic) states of the
observer or observers.” Jung claimed to have found evidence of this
interdependence, not only in his psychiatric studies, but in his
research of esoteric practices as well. Of the I Ching,
a Chinese method of divination which Jung regarded as the clearest
expression of the synchronicity principle, he wrote: “The Chinese mind,
as I see it at work in the I Ching, seems to be exclusively preoccupied
with the chance aspect of events. What we call coincidence seems to be
the chief concern of this peculiar mind, and what we worship as
causality passes almost unnoticed…While the Western mind carefully
sifts, weighs, selects, classifies, isolates, the Chinese picture of the
moment encompasses everything down to the minutest nonsensical detail,
because all of the ingredients make up the observed moment.”

Similarly, Jung discovered the synchronicity within the I Ching also
extended to astrology. In a letter to Freud dated June 12, 1911, he
wrote: “My evenings are taken up largely with astrology. I make
horoscopic calculations in order to find a clue to the core of
psychological truth. Some remarkable things have turned up which will
certainly appear incredible to you…I dare say that we shall one day
discover in astrology a good deal of knowledge that has been intuitively
projected into the heavens.”

Freud was alarmed by Jung’s letter. Jung’s interest in synchronicity
and the paranormal rankled the strict materialist; he condemned Jung for
wallowing in what he called the “black tide of the mud of occultism.”
Just two years earlier, during a visit to Freud in Vienna, Jung had
attempted to defend his beliefs and sparked a heated debate. Freud’s
skepticism remained calcified as ever, causing him to dismiss Jung’s
paranormal leanings, “in terms of so shallow a positivism,” recalls
Jung, “that I had difficulty in checking the sharp retort on the tip of
my tongue.” A shocking synchronistic event followed. Jung writes in his

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.

In formulating his synchronicity principle, Jung was influenced to a
profound degree by the “new” physics of the twentieth century, which had
begun to explore the possible role of consciousness in the physical
world. “Physics,” wrote Jung in 1946, “has demonstrated…that in the
realm of atomic magnitudes objective reality presupposes an observer,
and that only on this condition is a satisfactory scheme of explanation
possible.” “This means,” he added, “that a subjective element attaches
to the physicist’s world picture, and secondly that a connection
necessarily exists between the psyche to be explained and the objective
space-time continuum.” These discoveries not only helped loosen physics
from the iron grip of its materialistic world-view, but confirmed what
Jung recognized intuitively: that matter and consciousness — far from
operating independently of each other — are, in fact, interconnected in
an essential way, functioning as complementary aspects of a unified

The belief — suggested by quantum theory and by reports of
synchronous events — that matter and consciousness interpenetrate is, of
course, far from new. What historian Arthur Koestler refers to as the
capacity of the human psyche to “act as a cosmic resonator” faithfully
echoes the thinking of Kepler and Pico. Leibnitz’s “monad,” a spiritual
microcosm said to mirror the patterns of the universe, was based on the
premise that individual and universe “imprint” each other, acting by
virtue of a “pre-established harmony.” And for Schopenhauer who, like
Jung, questioned the exclusive status of causality, everything was
“interrelated and mutually attuned.”

Common among these various historical sources, as Koestler observes in his book, The Roots of Coincidence,
is the presumption of a “fundamental unity of all things,” which
transcends mechanical causality, and which relates coincidence to the
“universal scheme of things.”

In exploring the parallels between modern science and the mystical
concept of a universal scheme or oneness, Koestler compares the
evolution of science during the past one-hundred-and-fifty years to a
vast river system, in which each tributary is “swallowed up” by the
mainstream, until all unified in a single river-delta. The science of
electricity, he points out, merged, during the nineteenth century, with
the science of magnetism. Electromagnetic waves were then discovered to
be responsible for light, color, radiant heat and Hertzian waves, while
chemistry was embraced by atomic physics. The control of the body by
nerves and glands was linked to electrochemical processes, and atoms
were broken down into the “building blocks” of protons, electrons and
neutrons. Soon, however, even these fundamental parts were reduced by
scientists to mere “parcels of compressed energy, packed and patterned
according to certain mathematical formulae.”

What all this reveals, then, is that there may be what Koestler
refers to as “the universal hanging-together of things, their
embeddedness in a universal matrix.” Many ecologists already subscribe
to this sense of interrelation in the world, what the ancients called
the “sympathy” of life, and the numbers of scientists now converting to
this world-view are beginning to multiply. Nobel Prize winner Ilya Prigione of
the University of Texas at Austin is studying the “spontaneous
formation of coherent structures,” how chemical and other kinds of
structures evolve patterns out of chaos. Karl Pribram, a neuroscientist
at Stanford University, has proposed that the brain may be a type of
“hologram,” a pattern and frequency analyzer which creates “hard”
reality by interpreting frequencies from a dimension beyond space and
time. On the basis of such a model, the physical world “out there,” is,
in Pribram’s words, “isomorphic with” — that, the same as, the processes
of the brain.

So, if the modern alliance evolving between quantum
physicists, neuroscientists, parapsychologists and mystics is not just a
short-fused phase in scientific understanding, a paradigm shift may
well be imminent. We may soon not only embrace a new image of the
universe as non-causal and “sympathetic,” but uncover conclusive
evidence that the universe functions not as some great machine, but as a
great thought — unifying matter, energy, and consciousness. Synchronous
events, perhaps even the broader spectrum of paranormal phenomena, will
be then liberated from the stigma of “occultism,” and no longer seen as
disturbing. At that point, our perceptions, and hence our world, will
be changed forever.

Synchronicity: The Key of Destiny
The Role of Synchronicity in Our Lives

Some pretty amazing examples of Synchronicity can be experienced watching
The Wizard of Oz while playing Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
Read my interpretation here.

Synchronicity, UFOs,
and The Dark Side of the Moon

a metaphysical novel by David Nova

Not your typical fantasy, Season of the Serpent incorporates real life Synchronicity as well as a mix of metaphysical, conspiracy, and New Age subject matter, presenting a modern reinterpretation of the Garden of Eden story. Available on ebook: $0.99

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