Synchronicity – NOTE

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Synchronicity is a term used by the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung to describe the alignment of universal forces with one’s own life experience. Jung believed that some, but not all, coincidences were not mere chance, but instead a literal “co-inciding”, or alignment of forces in the universe to create an event or circumstance. The process of becoming intuitively aware and acting in harmony with these forces is what Jung labelled “individuation.” Jung said that an individuated person would actually shape events around them through the communication of their consciousness with thecollective unconscious.

Jung spoke of synchronicity as being an acausal connecting principle, in other words a pattern of connection that works outside of or in addition to causality.

Jung’s most well-known example of synchronicity involves plum pudding. He tells a tale of a certain Monsieur Deschamps who is treated to some plum pudding by his neighbor Monsieur de Fortgibu. Ten years later, he encounters plum pudding on the menu of a Paris restaurant, and wanted to order some, but the waiter told him the last dish had already been served to another customer, who turned out to me M. de Fortgibu. Many years later, M. Deschamps is at a gathering, and is once again offered plum pudding. He recalls the earlier incident and tells his friends that only M. de Fortgibu is missing to make the setting complete, and in the same instant the now senile M. de Fortgibu enters the room by mistake.

Criticism

The theory of synchronicity is not testable according to any scientific method and is not widely regarded as scientific at all, but rather as pseudoscience. The theory of probability can explain events such as the plum pudding incident in our normal world, without any interference by any universal alignment forces. This is not to say that synchronicity is not a good model for describing a certain kind of human experience, but a refusal of the idea that synchronicity should be a “hard fact”, i.e. an actually existing principle of our universe.

Some may say that synchronicity is a strand of magical thinking.

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