Apr 22

Synchronicity, Part 1: What do we mean by Meaningful Coincidence?

Hey kids, it’s Carl Jung, the man who coined the term “synchronicity!” I hear he did some other stuff as well.

The term “synchronicity” is thrown around quite often these days. I first heard the term a few years back when I was reading Steve Pavlina’s blog. More recently, I learned that the man who first came up with the term was none other than psychologist C. G. Jung.

For those who are unfamiliar with Jung or his work, much of it was focused on his idea of a collective unconscious, and archetypes – common themes that keep popping up within the collective unconscious. One such archetype that Jung recognized is the “shadow“, which is a part of the mind consisting of repressed weakness, shortcomings, and instincts. When you take all of this into consideration, you can see how much influence Jung has had on various new age movements.

However, what I want to focus on today is the concept of synchronicity. What is it, how does it work, and what if anything does it say about the nature of the reality we live in?

What is synchronicity?

In his book “Synchronicity”, Jung defines synchronicity as a “meaningful coincidence.”

I think the best way to approach this is to start with a few famous historical examples of synchronicity to get an idea what I mean.

“A certain M. Deschamps, when a boy in Orleans, was once given a piece of plum-pudding by a M. de Fortgibu. Ten years later he discovered another plum-pudding in a Paris restaurant, and asked if he could have a piece. It turned out, however, that the plum-pudding was already ordered-by M. de Fortigbu. Many years afterwards M Deschamps was invited to partake of a plum-pudding as a special rarity. While he was eating it he remarked that the only thing lacking was M. de Fortigbu. At that moment the door opened and an old, old man in the last stages of disorientation walked in: M. de Fortigbu, who had got hold of the wrong address and burst in on the party by mistake.”

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