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Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  3,095 ratings  ·  171 reviews

Jung's only extended work in the field of parapsychology aims, on the one hand, to incorporate the findings of "extrasensory perception" (ESP) research into a general scientific point of view and, on the other, to ascertain the nature of the psychic factor in such phenomena. While he had advanced the "synchronicity" hypothesis as early as the 1920s, Jung gave a full statem

Paperback, First Princeton/Bollingen Paperback Edition, 115 pages
Published December 21st 1973 by Princeton University Press (first published 1952)
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Popular Answered Questions
Luis David Not, it does not. There are no discovery but only a postulation. A hard postulation that tries to refuse the scientistic method.
Emmanuel Ansah Might be a late reply... Yes, although there are new words (created by Jung himself) that sound unknown at first but is really cleared out along the w…moreMight be a late reply... Yes, although there are new words (created by Jung himself) that sound unknown at first but is really cleared out along the way.(less)

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J.G. Keely
May 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
The central theory of 'synchronicity' relies on an unfortunate combination of flawed research and misapplied statistics. Jung hems and haws but is never able to demonstrate that any acausal connection between events exists.

The first problem is his reliance on research by Joseph Rhine, who coined the term 'parapsychology' to describe his studies. Throughout his career, Rhine's work was plagued with errors, and his ESP experiments were so poorly-designed as to be useless.

To produce good results me
Part 1 is engaging but a little dull. Part 2, which is the so-called simple astrological experiment Jung conducted to test his theory, is all statistical math and thus incomprehensible to me. But the Parts 3 and 4 addressing similarities between Synchronicity and certain aspects of the world as explained in Lao-tzu’s Tao Teh Ching, not to mention parallels with Virgil, Agrippa, Synesius, Kepler, Hippocrates and Schopenhauer, is alone worth the price of the book. ...more
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Firstly, I have never written such a long review before, so brace yourself.

Secondly, this book is nothing short of a fascinating read, despite its flaws.

It is important to mention that Jung was apparently fascinated by Einstein's theory of relativity and the idea that time and space are relative and only become factual when observed consciously, Schopenhauer's attempt at illustrating two modes of events, the first being causal chains and the second, and more relevant to Jung's idea of synchron
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jung had noted in his life a tendency for certain meaningful coincidences to cluster together. He gives an account of an experience regarding fish (meaningful as an archetypal symbol), where he either saw an actual fish, is told about a fish, sees a drawing of a fish, etc, all within a short space of time. The likelihood of such a clustering happening is incredibly improbable; and because these incidences couldn't have been attributable to a specific cause, he saw them as acausal, but still poin ...more
Yelda Basar Moers
Sep 25, 2016 rated it liked it
I have always been fascinated by Carl Jung and the concept of synchronicity, or meaningful coincidence. This was the first book I had ever read by him though I had read several books about him. I must say that thought the famous psychiatrist and writer of the soul and this topic are truly compelling, reading Jung himself is difficult in that his language is awkward and not written for a general lay audience. It is a difficult and cumbersome read and I do not recommend it unless you are someone i ...more
Jung's concept of synchronicity (i.e. acausal nonlocal meaningful coincidence) is presented with a beautiful calm and eloquence.

My reading of the book was motivated by a recent strikingly synchronistic experience of my own. And it seems to me that my actual reading of the book is somehow, in turn, entangled with both this earlier synchronistic experience and also with subsequent events and experiences...

I purposefully use the word "entangled" because I'm quite open to the possibility that a co
Apr 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, chaos, shamanism

In the course of the last 9 months I've become very familiar with the concept of Synchronicity from my own experience. Slowly I began noticing it, then there was a phase when I thought it was all just a false impression, then it became too obvious to deny it and after the first quirky phases of acceptance I've made friends with it. Sure, each of those events could easily be attributed to chance or some psychological bias, but when the peculiarity and unlikeliness grows and the frequen
Gregg Wingo
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This work by Jung is a fascinating look at the subjective experience of being a human mind in a physical universe. He begins the book with the following statements:

1) Natural laws are statistical truths, which means that they are completely valid only when we are dealing with macrophysical quantities.

2) The philosophical principle that underlies our conception of natural law is causality.

3) Their [Acausal events] existence - or at least their possibility - follows logically from the premise of s
Scriptor Ignotus
Unbeknownst even to his biographers, C.G. Jung was an obsessive fan of The Police: the popular British rock band active in the 1970s and 80s and known for such hits as “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic”, “Don’t Stand So Close to Me”, and “Message in a Bottle”.

Mesmerized by the hypnotic drumming of Stewart Copeland, the iconic, raspy vocals of Sting, and the captivating guitar riffs of Andy Summers, Jung would use the trio’s music as an aid for his active imagination sessions, whereby he woul
Mar 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Clearly not the strongest work by Jung but maybe one of the bravest ideas in the 20-th century.
Apr 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
The best part: the explanation of why meaningful coincidences are, indeed, meaningful - because all our lines of connection come from the same source. Jung also explains why his theory goes beyond the "primitive" idea of assumed belief in the meaningfulness of events (e.g. believing disease occurred because one is being punished, etc.), as well as the Chinese idea in the Tao and the belief in the whole vs. the detail (which is generally what Jung's idea of synchronicity is): it's simply because ...more
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am always looking for these events in my life. When they come around it is abundantly clear and is always amazing!

This is a book that I refer back to when I believe a synchronistic event is taking place in my life.
Jan 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Probably would have given this a higher rating if I had understood it better. Made my brain tired but opened up new vistas of thinking about things.
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Synchronicity, or the idea that two or more events can be connected meaningfully but acausally (that is, one does not cause the other) is an intriguing concept. We've all had various experiences that seemed almost impossible chance connections. However, I actually found myself less persuaded about the concept after reading Jung's book than before.

The first problem is that the book is not well organized. He kind of slides into the definition and "evidence" rather than presenting it in what I woul
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: phd-studies
Little did I know, starting to read this book on the winter solstice, how synchronicitious my life would become while reading. The most surprising event happened shortly after New Year's Day and covering a teacher's grade seven class: Mesopotamian math, Andy Goldsworthy's nature art, the Fibonacci spiral and fourth state of water all seemed to have an underlying connection that would best be described as acasual but nevertheless made an impression on my consciousness. To top it off, one morning ...more
Nov 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: c-g-jung
It doesn't make for light reading but a must read for those who like myself intuitively know to be there a direct open line of communication between the world of the psyche and the quantum reality that in ways completely invisible and entirely counter-intuitive to Newtonian physics supports our everyday, observable macro-cosmic reality. ...more
Chris Harris
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Rereading this, what struck me more than anything else is how much more sceptical I've become since I last opened the book. The focus on the statistical likelihood of various astrological coincidences no longer holds the power that it did. And maybe it's the translation from the original German at fault, but I have the distinct sense now that Jung wants to have his cake and eat it; if something is "connected" does this not imply causality? I'm still impressed that Jung obtained the opinions of s ...more
Jun 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: spirituality
Jung's writing is dense with references to other work, and it made it difficult to get very immersed in this. I have been fascinated by synchronicity for years now and wanted to go back to the source itself, but wasn't as satisfied by it as I would have liked. ...more
John Stepper
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
A fascinating read. It's so interesting to see such a great mind wrestle with what appears - then and now - to be easily looked down upon as mysticism or just plain chance.

Would have loved to have dinner with Jung. So learned and yet so open to possibilities he didn't fully understand.
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meta
Fun. Science and Spirit merge in Jung’s thorough discussion of various ancient to modern approaches to attempting to understand synchronicity. Mentions of Synesius and Paracelsus, among many other great Knowers. I wish I could say I understood the statistical analysis of his experimental method… I recommend and as great parallel discussions. It is fun to track personal synchronicities while reading these.

On synch
Simão Cortês
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Amazingly bold book. Jung proposes the possibility of an acausal relationship between events. Very well argued and very well written. There are some moments in which he is a little confusing, especially when referring to statistics, to the point the Editors had to add a note explaining what was going on. The Astrology bit was a little annoying especially until I realized that his concept of "tradition" is very different from our own due to historical contingencies. Other than that the examples a ...more
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aug 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-x-files
I had a dream the other night in which I was at a conference with a group of people; the only familiar face was that of my thesis supervisor, but I appeared to know the other people as well. I kept stumbling around, falling from my feet, as if pushed around by something.

At one point in the dream, we leave for the actual conference, and we head down some stairs towards a very dark underground passage. I remember I forgot my things, and head back to get them. I grab my Kindle, and notice that flam
Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating, but unscientific, examination of affective coincidences. In Synchronicity Jung attempts to outline a principle of reality that operates beyond the natural laws of physics. Since the notion of causality cannot explain the occurrence of meaningful, connected experiences, Jung hopes to find a separate principle of explanation -- an "acausal orderedness." Although Jung does respect empirical thinking, he leans on the discontinuities of modern physics and the relativity of time and spa ...more
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is an incredible little book by Jung, and once again I am astounded by the man's erudition and breadth of knowledge. It was only about 100 pages yet I felt like I had read a fat textbook. Synchronicity is not for everyone, and the more rationalistic and "scientific" among its readers will likely fail to see much merit in its arguments. I myself, merely a couple of years ago, would have certainly rejected any such ideas as pseudoscience or occult nonsense. For those who have the open-mindedn ...more
Bryce Maxwell
To begin... This book contains much more in regards to advance mathematics and physics than may be expected. I enjoyed the read all in all, but I believe I should have read Jung's "The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious" thoroughly before beginning, seeing how they are central to his "theory" on Synchronicity. My knowledge of his theoretical framework involving the Archetypes and the Collective Ucs. is intermediate at best, and so understanding them (the archetypes primarilly) on a deeper ...more
Prince Campbell
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Back in the 1980s when I was in High School there was a band called the Police. I was going through a British phase and I purchased all of their albums. One of them was called Synchronicity. I loved the album so much I read the book the album was named after.

Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, yet are experienced as occurring together in a meaningful manner.

For example: You learn someone close to y
Jonathan Hockey
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interesting speculation is the best way I can put it, on how to conceptualise phenomena in the world that don't fit into a strict space-time, causal model. He suggests we add the concept of synchronicity. My only concern is that the way he uses this concept it is just put there as a placeholder for a lack of knowledge of something. As if just by putting a name on the inexplicable, that somehow makes it explained. He does make some efforts to expound the concept a bit, and imbue it with some c ...more
Jan 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This lecture is indeed one of the more curious of Jung's writings. Yet it is an idea that I believe is needed in light of 21st Century Perception of the World as a world that participants with Consciousness and is not separated from it. The experimental chapter I found to be a bit confusing, but since I am not the best at math that might explain why. But the Philosophy and Historical Background to the notions of Synchronistic Events I found to be most interesting, knowing also that our own Emoti ...more
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The works of Jung, I think are highly imaginative. He really delves into our inner minds and sees what other scientists may not consider to be whole truth.
This book was based off Jung's attempt to prove things that are basically unprovable, for example, that our dreams may contain some hidden inner knowing of what is to happen sometime in the near future, and that it can, for the most part, be proved by chance or synchronicity.
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Carl Gustav Jung (/jʊŋ/; German: [ˈkarl ˈɡʊstaf jʊŋ]), often referred to as C. G. Jung, was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. Jung proposed and developed the concepts of extraversion and introversion; archetypes, and the collective unconscious. His work has been influential in psychiatry and in the study of religion, philosophy, archeology, anthropology, l ...more

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