Energizing Jung’s Ideas About Synchronicity
Scholar Roderick Main describes his passion for Jung's views of synchronicity.
Jungian scholar Roderick Main has committed himself to the careful study of Jung's approach to synchronicity. Professor Main encourages us to use meaningful coincidences to re-connect us to our spiritually alive surroundings. You can listen to his interview on this subject with me here.
Professor Main writes: “I have been researching coincidence for over 25 years, focusing mostly on Carl Jung’s seminal concept of synchronicity. Jung’s approach appeals to me because of his openness to the full range of coincidence phenomena, even those that involve seemingly paranormal elements. I like that Jung, while not disregarding issues of proof and explanation, focuses primarily on what coincidences and other anomalous phenomena mean—and the range of meanings he recognizes can stretch from the mundane to the cosmic. I also like his boldness in allowing his psychological theories, as well as his view of reality, to be shaped by the phenomena he encountered, and not vice versa. “In my book The Rupture of Time: Synchronicity and Jung’s Critique of Modern Western Culture, I explore various ways in which Jung’s concept of synchronicity radically challenges the entrenched assumptions of mainstream modern culture in the West and invites us to revise our understanding of science, religion, and the relationship between the individual and society. In my other book Revelations of Chance: Synchronicity as Spiritual Experience, I focus on the spiritual implications of coincidences and how the ‘thinking in terms of the whole’ that is characteristic of synchronicity has informed traditional practices of divination, such as the I Ching. For Jung and for many since, synchronicity has provided a resource for attempting to re-enchant the increasingly disenchanted modern world. “Jung’s entire psychology has a profoundly holistic character, and his concept of synchronicity has a fundamental role to play in supporting this orientation. Synchronistic events disclose deep interconnections between mind and body, between one person and another, between humans and the natural world; even, it seems to some, between humans and a reality transcending the ordinary empirical world. For the appearance of corresponding patterns of meaning in contexts that, so far as we are able to discern, are causally unconnected can suggest that there is a superordinate level of reality that in some sense is unitary, what Jung referred to by a term borrowed from alchemy: the unus mundus or ‘one world.' Perhaps Jung sometimes overstretches himself and exceeds his data. But if he does, it is always in ways that remain profoundly stimulating.” To listen to this brilliant scholar elaborate on these ideas in his radio interview, please click here.
Carl Jung Photo – Source: Wikimedia Commons