Prologue to The Synchronicity Paper
Gibbs A. Williams, Ph.D.
 

Jung, coined the term synchronicity, describing it in a book written by him and Pauli (a noted physicist) (l955) called Interpretation of Nature and the Psyche. He defined a synchronicity {meaningful coincidence} as "an objective event A' conjoined by a parallel subjective event A by means of an apparently a-causal connecting principle."

Following Jung there has been an increasing interest by researchers in such diverse fields such as theoretical physics, spirituality, literature, psychology, and philosophy. This confluence of disparate disciplines is no coincidence, because the study of the nature of meaningful coincidences forces researchers to think in global rather than in partial terms.

These anomalous phenomena challenge the first assumptions of conventional scientific logic appearing to defy traditional laws of time, space and 'scientific' causality. Jung says quite authoritatively: "a causal explanation of these phenomena is not even thinkable in intellectual terms." Eliminating conventional causality as a means of explaining these anomalous phenomena means that we are left with only 'an equivalence of meaning' and 'simultaneity' in describing synchronicities. If taken seriously, Jung's provocative conclusion discourages any present and future attempts to scientifically explore these remarkable occurrences.

In this light, most of the research in this challenging and perplexing field of study has been largely a theme and variation of Jung's mystical theory. In so doing - their conclusions emphasize the Platonic notion of a 'spiritualized reality' out there which assumes that the nature of reality consists of a knowable 'predetermined harmony'.

Perhaps Jung and his followers are right. However, my forty year research on the subject indicates there are additional perspectives which challenge Jung's anti scientific bias in so far as attempting to rationally understand the nature of these occurrences is concerned. In this connection I am hardly alone.

For example note the following statement made during a recent conference discussing the subject of anomalous experiences with patients undergoing psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. The speaker indicated that it is quite fashionable these days to explain these phenomena through the lens of theoretical physics; namely, utilizing the organizing concept of Quantum mechanics. However, in her association with the Princeton Lab studying scientific anomalies, her experience is that a number of physicists are showing great interest in the intricate workings of the unconscious mind especially through the lens of Freudian depth psychology.

Freudian psychodynamics raises questions about Jung's anti intellectual conclusion. For example: (l) a Freudian perspective insists on a deeper exploration of the nature of meaning making than Jung and his followers appear to make; and (2) a Freudian perspective more deeply explores the psychodynamics of time (simultaneity) than does Jung and his followers. These combined explorations of the nature of meaning and of time open up a new perspective in intellectually attempting to understand the nature and uses of synchronistic phenomena.

What is not considered by Jung and most of the researchers in this area is an objective exploration of the possibility of a revision of causality that would lie somewhere between the construct of conventional linear 'scientific' causality and Jung's radical nonscientific principle of indeterminate a-causality.

My research indicates that such a mid level causality is a fruitful organizing construct with important implications for continuing research in the investigation of scientific anomalies, paranormal experiences, and the nature and functions of the personal unconscious and consciousness. Extending the work of Devereaux, G., (1953) Psychoanalysis and the Occult, this proposed new hybrid conception of causality might be referred to as, either tertiary causality, synthetic causality, or psychodynamic causality, obeying laws of experiential logic. {Experience is defined as a combination of thoughts and feelings}

Continue to Part 2