Psychology of Personality
MW 4:30- 5:45
How did Jung define synchronicity, and how did he use this concept in his theory? Describe how synchronicity has played a major role in your life.
Have you ever dreamt or thought of someone and then that person would suddenly appear or call you? While some would call this a coincidence, Carl Jung would relate this to the idea of synchronicity. Synchronicity is a meaningful coincidence. The two events do not have to be related to one another, but the two events must be independent on their own. When put together the experiences are very important for the individual. For example, a person is walking down the street thinking about their financial problems, and while they are walking they find a ten dollar bill on the ground. Synchronicity is the combination of two individual experiences coming together in a meaningful way. Synchronicity, one could say, is one of the most abstract concepts of Jung’s theory.
Carl Jung truly valued the power of human thoughts. The collective unconscious, the most important part of the psyche according to Jung, is the idea that all humans have access to this library of fragmented memories and knowledge of human history. For example, we often times tend to lower our stature and soften our voices when we encounter a child. We were never taught to do so, but Jung would argue that we resolve to this form of behavior because it is part of our human history and that form of behavior was sparked by our collective unconscious. Not only is the collective unconscious constantly being added to, it also seeks out outward manifestations. If the contents of the collective unconscious are being ignored in consciousness, it will manifest itself into dreams or fantasies. We tend to categorize innovator as daydreamers because it is not uncommon for someone to reach a breakthrough with their ideas while dreaming or fantasizing. Jung would argue that their breakthroughs were not a result of their dreams, but it was a result of their creative unconscious manifesting itself through a different outlet.
If the collective unconscious is this mystical, abstract force that connects all beings through thoughts, then couldn’t we use it to communicate with one another through thoughts? Although we cannot use the collective unconscious like we would use a cellphone, it sometimes appears as if we can manipulate the collective unconscious. They say that if you are unable to fall asleep it is because you are present in someone else’s dream. If the collective unconscious is constantly being added to, maybe we are able to sense what direction the new information is coming from when it has to do with ourselves. One could argue that synchronicity is the reaction of being able to manifest the information in the collective unconscious. So when you receive that text message from your ex just as soon as you were done thinking about them, they were manifesting that lack of connection in the collective unconscious and the two experiences (when you stopped thinking about your ex, and the ex sending the message) become a synchronistic experience.
I have never been the type of person who has to work hard to get something they want. For some reason things always seem to work out for me. Earlier this week I had been thinking about how nice it would be if I didn’t have to pay for any of my food. I went pretty in depth with this idea while I was at work. When I finally left to take my lunch, I walked down to the food court and tried to decide what I wanted to eat. Although I do not usually get subway, I did that day. As it turns out, they were not able to charge me for my meal because they were having technical difficulties. The next day, at work, one of my co-workers kindly bought all of us pizza. At that point I was getting a little