Thursday, May 21, 2015

Synchronicity


Carl Jung coined the term “synchronicity” to express a concept that he observed. A patient’s case brought it to his attention. They were at an impasse in her treatment because she was rationalistic to an exaggerated degree. Rationalists or positivists are people who credit only the facts that can be tested in a laboratory. They scoff at any inner deeper hidden secret meaning behind events, which I’m always looking for. The hidden rationalism of Jung’s patient was holding her back from accepting messages from her unconscious, which often come in dreams.

One night she dreamed about a golden scarab and told Jung about it the next day. During her psychotherapy session with Jung, an insect hit against Jung's cabinet window. He caught it and discovered that it was a golden scarab, very rare for that climate. This surprising event finally broke through her skepticism about the existence of the inner realm. 

A positivist would insist that the rare insect hitting Jung’s window when she was telling about it was just a coincidence. But Jung saw the meaningful connection between the outer appearance of the insect and the inner world represented by the dream. He identified synchronicity, and people have had many “sightings” ever since. I notice them regularly. Most are inconsequential but all provide evidence that the inner realm exists. This alone assures me.

Synchronicity is meaningful coincidence. To quote a reader, it is “a divine (inner realm) thing.” More precisely defined, synchronicity is an acausal connection between two or more psycho-physical phenomena. "Acausal" in the sense that no cause can be found in the material world. Jung and Wolfgang Pauli, who won a Nobel prize in physics, collaborated on a book called Synchronicity, An Acausal Connecting Principle.

Dreams that come true are related to synchronicity. Abraham Lincoln’s dream of his own death, like synchronicity, gives evidence that our consciousness has access to an inner realm not subject to time/space. If you scroll down in this post, you’ll see more examples of inner and outer connections, some related by Larry Dossey.

And here’s another related by Carl Jung in Memories, Dreams, Reflections. During a train journey he was overpowered by the image of someone drowning. When he got home he learned that a grandchild had nearly drowned. An older brother had fished him out of the water in the boathouse at exactly the time when Grandfather Jung had gotten the hint from the unconscious.

Jung follows this account with more stories in Memories, Dreams, Reflections, starting on page 302. He states that the unconscious informs us “of things which by all logic we could not possibly know.” Maybe I’ll dig up more examples for future posts. It’s fun.

After writing this I took a lunch break, but first I got a phone call from Phoenix—another synchronistic occurrence. Marilyn there calls our uncanny connection an “invisible telegraph” because she’s prompted to call at significant moments. I’d just written about synchronicity, which activated an internal bell in her.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Lessons from Hubble


A relationship with a Beloved in the Beyond does not have to be with Jesus but can take many possible forms.
                  God Is Not Three Guys in the Sky

The Hubble telescope was launched on April 24, 1980. As I was listening to NPR 35 years later, I heard an astronaut explain the wonderful importance of Hubble’s launching. It shows stars in the sky that we can’t see because the air we breathe blocks our sight.

Earth is one object traveling around our sun. Our solar system is part of the Milky Way galaxy containing, at last estimate, 400 billion stars in tens of billions of solar systems. Our galaxy is dwarfed by giant elliptical galaxies with 100 trillion stars.
This is just one universe, our universe, and science is finding evidence of multiple universes with dimensions probably different from our space/time, height, width, and depth. Infinity really is infinite. Intoxicating.

Scientific details dizzy me and they’re not my point. My point is not even to say how small we are. It is perspective. Hubble teaches us the advantage of enlarging our perspective. Like the Hubble, we need to clear our vision of blocks immediately surrounding us—go beyond the air we breathe—and obtain the larger perspective.

In 7th grade I heard Sister say the Catholic Church is the one true church. I can still remember where I was sitting and where she was standing because the statement did not seem quite right. I thought about people in the world who had never heard of Jesus or the religious stories we were being taught. They would think their own ways were right just as we thought ours were right. The moment sticks with me sixty years later, as I’m still absorbed by this need to enlarge our perspective. It motivates my writing about the spectrum of ideas regarding religions and spirituality.

Was it yesterday or the day before? …… I heard yet another report giving yet higher figures for the portion of Americans who are leaving Christian churches. Evidently, globalization and new information from science are enlarging perspectives naturally.  

I am of an earlier generation who still value religious relationships, but I respect the "nones,” those who meet their relationship needs, that is, their spiritual needs, without religion. They are moving beyond the dogmas taught in childhood and opening their eyes to the infinity of possibilities in the Inner Realm.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Church not necessary


I write to broaden understanding of spirituality and religions, which are brands of spirituality. This purpose directed my opinion piece in the St. Cloud Times on Sunday—Faith does not require church.

Religious beliefs implanted in childhood cannot adequately guide our adult lives. There is no excuse for letting religion close our minds against new knowledge. Truth staring us in the face—discoveries coming from science and other cultures—can disrupt the landscape of our minds, and that can be uncomfortable. To some it brings fear and anger.

Inexorably, however, change continues to happen.  Faith used to be bound to religion. No longer. Faith in spiritual reality—what we call "God" does not need church. 

 But I continue going to church for the relationships, the heart of spirituality.