this is a mystical place....exploring, and celebrating the soul
exploring the unconscious world of Dreams through Myth, Symbols & Metaphor
the psychology of dreams....a Jungian perspective....with Joseph Campbell
The Synchronicity of Modern Science Roger Hamilton
How the I Ching, Relativity and Quantum Mechanics came to the West.
Last month in my World Wide Wealth Forum I wrote about how Richard Wilhelm brought the I Ching to the West with the support of Carl Jung, who became the source for all western psychometric testing.
This month, for those with the interest, we take the connection deeper to the birth of non-linear time theory. While Wilhelm was in China translating the I-Ching, two friends, Carl Jung and Albert Einstein, were meeting over a series of dinners in Zurich between 1909-1913. Both were profoundly influenced by their conversations on acausal time (the concept that time exists as a dimension and it is only our conscious minds that perceive it moving). From those dinners Einstein went on to develop his famous theory of relativity and Jung went on to create the concept of Synchronicity (Meaningful coincidences).
The first time that Jung publicly used the term â€˜Synchronicityâ€™ was in 1930 at Richard Wilhelmâ€™s memorial address, when trying to explain the operating principles of the I Ching. Shortly after, Jung met Wolfgang Pauli, a professor of Physics in the same Zurich university where Jung was professor of Psychology. Through a long-term friendship based on their mutual interest on acausal phenomenum in people and nature, Jung went on to develop his theories of synchronicity and the collective unconscious, whilst Pauli went on to be the Nobel Prizeâ€“winning founder of Quantum Mechanics.
How did the I Ching influence the creation of the Yin and Yang pillars of modern science: Relativity and Quantum Mechanics? Why is this directly relevant to your day-to-day life? And is it all just a big coincidence? Or synchronicity?
THE CELESTINE PROPHECY
" Okay," I said. "What is this experience weâ€™re looking for? What is the First Insight?"...
"This is hard to explain," she said. "But the priest put it this way. He said the First Insight occurs when we become conscious of the coincidences in our lives."
She leaned toward me. " Have you ever had a hunch or intuition concerning something you wanted to do? Some course you wanted to take in your life? And wondered how it might happen? And then, after you had half forgotten about it and focused on other things, you suddenly met someone or read something or went somewhere that led to the very opportunity you envisioned?
"Well," she continued, "according to the priest, these coincidences are happening more and more frequently and that, when they do, they strike us as beyond what would be expected by pure chance. They feel destined, as though our lives had been guided by some unexplained force."
The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield pgs. 6-7.
CARL JUNG AND ALBERT EINSTEIN
"The unifying principle behind meaningful coincidences. Psychiatrist Carl G. Jung termed Synchronicity â€˜an acausal connecting principleâ€™ that links seemingly unrelated and unconnected events. The concept is integral to Eastern thought, but in Western thought runs contrary to cause and effect. In the West, â€˜coincidencesâ€™ are popularly discounted as â€˜chance happenings.â€™ The concept of synchronicity was developed largely by Carl G. Jung, who credited Albert Einstein as his inspiration."
Einstein and Jung met for a series of dinners in Zurich while Einstein was refining his special theory of relativity. And, said Jung, " Professor Einstein was my guest on several occasions at dinner... These were very early days when Einstein was developing his first theory of relativity, [and] it was he who first started me off thinking about a possible relativity of time as well as space, and their psychic conditionality. More than thirty years later, this stimulus led to my relation with the physicist Professor W. Pauli and to my thesis of psychic synchronicity."
Einstein had unveiled a theoretical world where cause need not precede effect. However, Jung did not begin to formulate the synchronicity concept until the mid- 1920's, when he, â€œ... was investigating the phenomena of the collective unconscious and kept on coming across connections which [he] simply could not explain as chance groupings or runs.â€
The phenomena which Jung struggled to understand were the â€œmeaningful coincidencesâ€ of certain contents of dreams and fantasies - for example, the dream of a fire, an automobile accident, a visit from a long- absent friend, an encounter with a wild animal, etc. - with a physical event - an actual fire, accident, visit, or appearance of the dream animal. No physical processes can be reasonably held to provide a causal connection between such mental and physical phenomena, but the extraordinary connection through meaning, which invariably has a powerful effect on the individual involved, led Jung to formulate the idea of an acausal connection which he called, â€˜synchronicityâ€™.
Jung's first use of the term â€˜synchronicityâ€™ occurred in 1930 in a memorial address for Richard Wilhelm in which he gave an explanation of the operating principles of an ancient Chinese oracle, the I Ching. He did not formally present a theory of synchronicity until 1951, when he gave a brief lecture, â€œUber Synchronizitat,â€ at the Eranos Conference at Ascona, Switzer land. In the next year he published, â€œSynchronizitat als ein Prinzip akausaler Zusammen hange,â€ which appeared jointly with Pauli's, â€œDer Einfluss archetypischen Vorstellungen auf die Bildung naturwissenschaftlicher Theorien bei Kepler,â€ in the volume, Naturerklarung und Psyche.
Jung reasoned that if time, space and causality are three dimensions that rule the physical world of traditional physics, then there must be a hidden fourth dimension that represents the transcendent psychoid (unconscious-conscious) factor underneath. Time-space represents two arms of the continuum and causality the third; synchronicity must then be the fourth arm forming a quaternio or fourfold symbol of wholeness. This was the psychological factor
THE COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS
In Jungâ€™s biography, â€œMemories, Dreams, Reflectionsâ€, he recounts his life-long obsession with understanding the nature of dreaming and its acausal nature. There was no time in dreams, and the past, present and future somehow merged. It was through this distinction of the conscious and unconscious that he came to the explanation that acausal synchronicity occurred as an emergence of the unconscious (which has no time or place) into the conscious world.
Think of a flat carpet hovering one meter above the ocean. Think of an observer walking along the carpet and call this his conscious world. As the tips of the waves penetrate the carpet, they appear as distinct events. As a wave rolls along, it appears like a chain of events. So far, so good. But when two waves break at the same moment, he thinks it is a coincidence. This is an acausal event. One wave did not appear to cause the other. For the observer to comprehend that the waves were connected, he would have to comprehend an entire ocean that he cannot see.
This is what Jung came to term the super-unconscious, or the Collective Unconscious.
JUNG AND WOLFGANG PAULI
It was as a result of his reputation with dreams that Carl Jung came to meet Wolfgang Pauli shortly after Richard Wilhelm died. Wolfgang Pauli, the well-known physicist and Nobel Prize laureate, taught at the Federal Institute of Technology (Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule, ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland where Jung also was a Professor of Psychology. In 1931 - shortly after his "invention" of the so called antineutrino - Wolfgang Pauli began to have severe mental problems. He himself wrote that the extreme affects and the emotional ups and downs he underwent caused him to have a great deal of trouble with women. He therefore turned to Jung who was now a well-known psychiatrist and psychoanalyst.
After about four years of psychoanalysis, Pauliâ€™s unconscious continued to produce deep archetypal dreams. These dreams had less to do with Pauliâ€™s set of personal problems than with the archetypal basis of the theoretical assumptions of physics and natural science. Some of these dreams have been published in 1992 in the book Wolfgang Pauli und C.G. Jung - Ein Briefwechsel 1932-1958 [Meier, 1992] which is now also published in the U.S. as Atom and Archetype, The Pauli/Jung Letters 1932-1958 [Meier, 2001]. In the years 1993, 1996 and 1999 many more of Pauliâ€™s important letters were published (Letters from 1940 to 1954) [Pauli, 1993], [Pauli, 1996], [Pauli, 1999], that were enhanced in 2001 (Letters from 1955 to 1956) [Pauli, 2001].
When one considers the dreams published in these letters on the basis of Jung's psychology, one comes to the conclusion that it is very likely that they reacted to Pauliâ€™s invention of the antineutrino particle. In Pauliâ€™s correspondence he described how he was urged to tie the so-called Beta radioactivity - in which the antineutrino plays an important role - together with the depthpsychological phenomenon of synchronicity postulated by C.G. Jung. So Pauli in 1949 used the example of Jungâ€™s famous Scarab Synchronicity story to show that his dreams since 1934 insisted on the following scenario: Through the observation of this and similar synchronicities the famous psychoanalyst "succeeded in producing a radioactive substance".
In synchronicity the outer and inner, the physical and psychic, worlds unite for a short time. This is why these dreams indicate that the antineutrino cannot simply be categorized as another physical elementary particle but rather that it can transcend the world of physics and enters the world of depth psychology. If so, a transformation from physical to psychic energy (and vice versa) is possible.
As a confirmation, in the same year, 1934, another dream urged Wolfgang Pauli, to take into consideration that behind quantum physics there could be yet another hidden dimension of reality. In this dream a man who looked like Einstein said to him that quantum physics was but a one-dimensional part of a deeper reality. It was Einstein in fact who always emphasized that quantum physics was not the last word and that beneath it laid yet another dimension.
This was Jung's dimension of 'Collective Unconscious' or what the Chinese called "Wuji" - the 'great void' and 'wellspring of life' out of which the 'Taiji' emerges (The Taiji is the famous symbol of Yin and Yang which symbolises the dynamic balance of opposites that make up the conscious world).
Jung associated synchronicity and acausal orderedness in particular with the phenomena of quantum physics which defy any classical determination of a precise location in space and time with precise values of momentum and energy.
Whereas Chinese Philosophy is based on duality, and the dynamic balance of opposites, the dual discovery of relativity by Albert Einstein and quantum mechanics by Wolfgang Pauli, and their contradictory natures has caused constant stress in the Western World. Quantum Mechanics corresponds to the Yin nature of unpredictability and multiple possibilities, whereas Relativity corresponds to the Yang nature of predictability and order.
The discoveries of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics were in themselves a synchronistic event, occurring in the same time and place. What are the chances of the two conflicting pillars of modern science being developed in the West at the same moment that Hitler started the 2nd World War? And for it to happen between scientists connected by a psychologist, instrumental in bringing across the core of Eastern Wisdom to the West for the first time?
â€œWe live in a world more intricately and holistically organized than we may ever have previously supposed." From A Wink From the Cosmos by Meg Lundstrom