Carl Jung called meaningful coincidences and parapsychological occurrences by the term “synchronicity,” but noted that some things are merely attributable to “probability of chance.” Writing on Reality Sandwich, Nick Meador wonders: do we know how to tell the difference?
In recent times the term “synchronicity” has become one of the trendiest words in circles that self-identify as conscious or transformative. The Internet contributed to this, no doubt, by exposing so many of us to schools of thought like Jungian psychology (the origin of synchronicity) that had been partially or totally omitted from general education programs. However, common discussion and application of the term doesn’t take into consideration the fact that the Internet and connected technologies are constantly influencing our perception of supposed synchronicities. When we evaluate these phenomena more closely, it becomes unclear whether we’re identifying them correctly or interpreting them in a useful way.
The word “synchronicity” first appeared in the 1950s, when Carl Jung brought it forth in the development of archetypal psychology. Jung defined the term in 1951 as “a meaningful coincidence of two or more events, where something other than the probability of chance is involved.” He applied the term not only to these striking coincidences, but also to parapsychological occurrences like clairvoyance, telepathy, and precognition. Yet it’s important to acknowledge that these phenomena are much older, or even timeless; examples abound in various artforms throughout human history.
Read more at Reality Sandwich.