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Synchronicity = meaningful coincidences

Carl Jung worked on this concept and said things that are baffling my mind! Two events could be connected and meaningful even though they may not have any causal link between each other. He explains some awesome meaningful coincidences in his own life and his patients' life.

I have a couple of baffling meaningful coincidences in my life too!

Carl Jung in his 'Man and his Symbols' extensively talks about dreams, symbolism and the power of dreams to predict future events, give directions to life etc. He talks about his dreams, marking the important historic events. He is even into astrology.

In summary he thinks there is a psychic universe, where normal rationality and logic breaks down nonetheless a reality existing outside normal time and space.

Carl Jung is tremendously fascinating to me and am on my way to start reading his works. Although I don't have any 'rational' explanations why Jung could be right or wrong, I do 'feel' he is onto something very important but 'feeling' is not same as truth. On the other hand I have some very convincing personal experiences to validate Jung. May be Jung's ideas need some repackaging i.e 'collective unconscious' is nothing but 'evolutionary psychology' but he went little bit too far with his imagination. Freud broke up with Jung for this reason. I do 'feel' Jung is right and Freud never 'got it' !

Please treat this question as partial and open ended. Feel free to add relevant intriguing info which may help further my study on Jung. For instance Jung had 3 repetitive dreams with river of blood just before world war one. I have interpreted world war with lens of political instability, inflation, oppression of freedom, collectivistic ideologies etc. but Jung has totally new story about world wars and it has something todo with collective unconscious and impersonal evil in other psychic realm!

I would like to hear your comments.


asked Jan 26 '14 at 23:18

dragonfish's gravatar image


edited Jan 27 '14 at 22:23

This question depends on familiarity both with Jung's ideas and with Objectivism, which few observers today possess. I can comment on Objectivism's view of psychology in general, but my own comments on Jung are limited to what I have found in Wikipedia articles. I am not aware of any appraisals of Jung in the literature of Objectivism, except for one extremely brief mention in The Ominous Parallels (p. 209), which wasn't aimed at explaining Jung's ideas and doesn't do so.

The most extensive and useful Wikipedia article that I found on Jung is titled, "Carl Jung" (Carl Gustav Jung, 1875-1961). There are numerous other Wikipedia articles explaining Jung's ideas further. They all have links or cross-links to some or all of the other articles in this list:

  • Jungian archetypes
  • Collective unconscious
  • Individuation
  • Synchronicity
  • Archetypal psychology
  • Analytical psychology
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  • Dream analysis
  • Jungian psychology
  • Psychology and Alchemy

I found the following fundamentally illuminating passage in the article on "Jungian archetypes":

Jung rejected the tabula rasa theory of human psychological development, believing instead that evolutionary pressures have individual predestinations manifested in archetypes. Jung first used the term primordial images to refer to what he would later term - archetypes. Jung's idea of archetypes were based on Kant's forms, Plato's Ideas and Schopenhauer's prototypes.[3] For Jung, "the archetype is the introspectively recognizable form of a priori psychic orderedness".[4] These images must be thought of as lacking in solid content, hence as unconscious. They only acquire solidity, influence, and eventual consciousness in the encounter with empirical facts."[5]

The roots in Kant and Plato place Jung squarely in the tradition of mysticism-altruism-collectivism-statism and outside the tradition of reason-egoism-individualism-capitalism, except that Jung apparently favored individualism and individual rights in his political outlook, despite his belief in a "collective unconscious." Objectivism upholds the Aristotelian tradition (with major refinements) and strongly opposes the tradition rooted in Plato's views.

Regarding Freud, the article on "Carl Jung" explains:

Jung agreed with Freud's model of the unconscious, what Jung called the "personal unconscious", but he also proposed the existence of a second, far deeper form of the unconscious underlying the personal one. This was the collective unconscious, where the archetypes themselves resided, represented in mythology by a lake or other body of water, and in some cases a jug or other container. Freud had actually mentioned a collective level of psychic functioning but saw it primarily as an appendix to the rest of the psyche.

... [And regarding religion:]

Jung's work on himself and his patients convinced him that life has a spiritual purpose beyond material goals. Our main task, he believed, is to discover and fulfill our deep innate potential.

Objectivism, in contrast, regards man as born tabula rasa, with reason as his basic means of survival, and reason as a volitional faculty. Objectivism thus seems diametrically opposed to Jung's outlook in every fundamental.

One of the great benefits of concepts is that if one can identify the nature of a concept's referents, and then recognize a specific concrete as an instance of the concept, then one can know a great deal about the concrete without ever having studied all the aspects of the concrete that are subsumed in the concept. All one needs to do is study the concrete in sufficient depth to confirm that it's an instance of the concept. It is only if one finds significant aspects of the concrete that don't fit the concept that one might question whether the concrete truly is an instance of the concept or not.

And so it is with Jung. His ideas lie in the field of psychology, and the Objectivist view of psychology is well summarized in The Ayn Rand Lexicon under the topic of "Psychology," along with a whole section on Psychology in the Lexicon's Conceptual Index. The other Lexicon entries on specific psychological topics include:

  • Automatization
  • Behaviorism
  • Consciousness
  • Emotions
  • Evasion
  • Femininity
  • Focus
  • Free Will
  • Freud
  • Happiness
  • Imagination
  • Introspection
  • Learning
  • Mental Health
  • Motivation
  • Neurosis vs. Psychosis
  • Psycho-Epistemology
  • "Psychologizing"
  • Rationalization
  • Self
  • Self-Esteem
  • Sense of Life
  • Sex
  • Soul-Body Dichotomy
  • Subconscious
  • Subjectivism (Psychological)
  • Tabula Rasa
  • Understanding

This is only a partial list of the Lexicon's numerous topics in psychology.

The question specifically mentions Jung's idea of "synchronicity":

Two events could be connected and meaningful even though they may not have any causal link between each other.

Why would it be strange for two different facts both to have value significance for man? Why would they need to be directly connected causally? For example, how would Jung classify a case where fact 'A' has causal effect on entity 'B', and likewise fact 'C' also has causal effect on entity 'B', but 'A' and 'C' are not directly related to each other except through 'B'? Can't this be especially common when 'B' is a living entity, such as man? Man, in turn, can directly cause other results, such as 'D' and 'E', without those results necessarily being related to each other except by way of 'B'. It is quite common for man to relate many facts together in ways that are relevant to man's life. This does not depend on direct causation between those things, however, apart from man's evaluation of them.

answered Feb 01 '14 at 10:25

Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image

Ideas for Life ♦

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Asked: Jan 26 '14 at 23:18

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Last updated: Feb 01 '14 at 10:25