Synchronicity: The Origin Story
Have you experienced any synchronicities, today?
How humbling it is to realize there is a very specific origin of the now-ubiquitous term, ‘synchronicity’ — as per its use in spiritual circles. And, it was coined by Dr. Carl Jung (iconic psychiatrist — he did have a medical degree — of the mystic arts).
He has an entire text devoted to the construct; and, although Jung’s mind tended to be forever unleashed, his fascination with it was not a passing fancy.
Part of the back story as to why Jung manifested the concept was a response to poltergeist-like activity at his mother’s home after the family had been participating in seances with a particular medium. Although he did follow the spiritual path from there, from this he decided it was a manifestation of something wholly separate — the two closely related heavy poltergeist incidents — and not *just* a call to pull him into that lifestyle.
Jung dissects everything to pieces but because of that he has increased our language currency and ability to talk about concepts such as what synchronicity represents.
His original concept of synchronicity abstracts it from everything else going on. From Jung’s view, it sort of just ‘is what it is’… until further notice.
Jung loved to abstract concepts from the whole for the sake of dissecting consciousness. He left us a lot of tools and concepts which most of us don’t realize came from him.
Synchronicity, he defined, simply (and, always a bit controversially) as a “meaningful coincidence”.
While this may seem overly reductionist, it wasn’t to him. His transparent unpacking of experience and intentions here can help reveal why this was probably a good thing and a ‘meaningful observation’.
It’s not good to freak out over every synchronicity. Right? It wastes time and we look stupid.
For one, a lot of people on a more spiritual path tend to experience them (or, notice them?) much, much, more frequently than more strictly logos-attached personalities. And, they’re not always life-changing. We notice it and move on in most cases.
Obsessing over a synchronicity in our life or beyond can keep us from enjoying the basic nature of it being purely “meaningful” and signaling how life is inherently meaningful.
From there, things will unfold as they will but it’s best not to ruminate.
That is not to say, obviously, that such occasions have no meaning nor that the meaning is always mysterious.
It is simply a catch-all phrase — “meaningful coincidence” — so that synchronicity may be discussed as a separate construct — the way we are discussing it at this time.
So, the next time we talk about synchronicities, we can silently or not thank Jung; and, remember to evaluate each one (but not hasily or heavily evaluate) according to our unique life paths and instincts.
Synchronicities are meaningful, and personal and impersonal, at the same time. And, this is another angle of understanding the foundation of Jung’s ‘transpersonal psychology’ — and his early understanding of interconnectivity.
And, we’ll leave it at that for this discussion on Jung.
Let’s talk about his mandala obsession, soon…
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