The real and precise nature of the synchronistic connection between the psychic and the physical.


The neat thing about techniques of prediction that rely on signs, of whatever kind, is that no connections seem to exist between the indicators and what they signify. In the mood of planets or the condition of a sheep's liver, in the manner birds fly or tea leaves settle in the cup, in none of those conventional ways of forecast is there a possible connection with war or death, with a fortune in money or love, or together with the outcome of any other future event. These devices, however, are still regarded as useful omens.




Professor C. G. Jung (the Swiss psychotherapist and co-founder, together with Sigmund Freud, of 20th-century psychiatry) has been persuaded that such methods of prediction do produce meaningful outcomes. His job had brought him into repeated contact with the stranger shores of the human psyche, and he had been conscious that the lives of several people are punctuated by the happenings of coincidences and fulfilled prophecies.



Jung became convinced that some linking process, distinct from causality but complementary to it, is currently at work in the world and that its manifestation is in emerging collaboration between the human psyche and the external world. He called this principle "synchronicity" and spent a lot of the latter portion of his life trying to explain its workings.



In doing, so he was keenly conscious of the problem of describing a non-causal procedure for an audience that has been deeply conditioned with a completely causal perspective of earth.

In Jung's view, the agents of synchronicity are to be found in what he called the archetypes of the human psyche. An archetype seems to the conscious brain as a special sort of symbol. It's not imagined by the conscious mind but climbs into it, entirely powerful, from what Jung called the collective unconscious, a repository of archetypes held in common with all mankind. As all people have certain genetic attributes in common, so that they share, Jung found a wealth of psychological material that becomes conscious only in dreams and reveries.




Examples of the archetypal figures that Jung found recurring in his own fantasies, in the fantasies of patients, and in the folk tales and myths of every age and state, are those of their wise old man or woman, the eternal mother, the magical child, the trickster, the shrub, along with the mandala (a graphic pattern symbolizing the world). As genes subtract order (genes have been orderly structures of DNA molecules and are themselves disposed in an orderly way in chromosomes) and create orderly patterns of development, therefore archetypes embody order at a mental level, and in their presence the new order ensues.




At this point Jung's problem was supposed to explain how the archetype, by virtue of its own inherent order, creates order in a non-causal way. A health example may provide an approximate version of this procedure. Penicillin is helpful in cases of bacterial infection because penicillin molecules are a partial match for molecules in the bacterial cell wall. When a bacterium is "deceived" with this near match into integrating a penicillin molecule into its cell wall, the wall is weakened at that point (because of the inexact fit) and ruptures, killing the bacterium.




The penicillin molecule has been instrumental in this process but not actively so: in the existence of the penicillin molecule the bacterium has developed a new fatally flawed molecular pattern. Thus the part of the penicillin is determined although not causal.



In a similar way an archetype serves as a psychic catalyst, in whose presence orderly psychical experiences unfold and in the means that frequently involves the physical universe.




How can this be possible? Another biological example could be helpful. It is established that some migratory birds have been directed by the stars. The stars themselves represent the physical level. When the two levels mesh to put the birds on their proper route at the proper time, we see evidence of the psychic catalyst or archetype. And here, too, the archetypes (the genetic inner clock and mental image) are contingent, not causal.



So, in a similar way, many human beings, responding to the force of inherited psychological patterns, find themselves in various, altering relationships with the external world.



The most important question he left unanswered: the real and precise nature of the synchronistic connection between the psychic and the physical.



For Jung this relationship was the psychological equivalent of the physicist as mathematical equations, and he realized that the lack of an appropriate contribution from mathematical physics rendered his theory incomplete as an attempt to account for "the comparative or partial individuality of mind and physical continuum." While the concept of synchronicity hasn't been proved right, it has also not been demonstrated wrong. And individuals may have genetic (archetypal) subconscious information that is connected to their emerging ability to foretell the future.


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