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Synchronicity: Meaningful Coincidence or Chance?


Quantum Theory & Synchronicity

I simply believe that some part of the human Self or Soul is not subject to the laws of space and time. --Carl Jung

The concept of Synchronicity began with the collaboration of the Nobel Prize physicist Wolfgang Pauli and analytical psychologist C.G. Jung. Both these men felt there was 'something else' at work in synchronistic events other than the classical understanding of cause and effect or chance. Uniting the approaches of analytical psychology and quantum physics, Jung and Pauli suggested the understanding of synchronicity necessitated the building a bridge with one foundation derived into the objectivity of hard science and the other into the subjectivity of personal values. (Peat, n.d.)

Synchronicities connect an individual's inner world in space and time with a universal order or Unus Mundus.

While the conventional laws of physics do not heed human desires or the need for meaning--apples fall whether we will them to or not--synchronicities act as mirrors to the inner processes of mind and take the form of outer manifestations of interior transformations. (Peat, n.d.)

Synchronicity has the curious trait of being simultaneously a singular, individual event and the manifestation of universal order. In this sense it is contained within the temporal moment, exhibiting a transcendental and numinous nature. (Peat, n.d.) Transcendental, in quantum physics, refers to quantum objects that are 'waves of possibility' --transcendent potentials that exist outside of space and time yet can effect space and time. (Goswami, n.d. ). It is this relationship between the transcendent and the coincidental arrangement of mental and physical happenings that the synchronicity acquires its numinous meaning. Synchronicities then are a bridge between mind (psyche) and matter. (Peat, n.d.)

psyche & matterPsyche & Matter

Psyche and matter exist in one and the same world, and each partakes of the other, otherwise any reciprocal action would be impossible. If research could only advance far enough, therefore, we would arrive at an ultimate agreement between physical and psychological concepts.--(Jung, 1964)

Synchronicity and quantum phenomena have common ground. There are also important differences. Nonlocality, like synchronicity, involves two quantum events where the observed properties of the quanta have an element of spontaneity in their manifestation, and the correlations between the two quanta are not due to efficient causation between them. (McFarlane, 2000) However, quantum nonlocality phenomena differ from synchronicity, because two quantum events can be both events in the outer physical world. Synchronicity is a connection between an inner psychic event and an outer event, bridging psyche and matter, and thus pointing to the unus mundus. This most important aspect of synchronicity relates to the inner psychological meaning and its connection to matter, or manifest reality. (McFarlane, 2000)

In the quantum phenomenon ...there is no meaning involved. ...In contrast, when an archetype manifests in a synchronicity experience, meaning is the critical point. (Mansfield, 1995)


In quantum theory we find time flows symmetrically forward and back with no distinction between past and future. Synchronicity appears to function in the same way, where future events are perceived in the present. Quantum theory’s non-locality, the seamless connection between objects, links to synchronicity as it connects the awareness of objects or events outside of the classical range of perception by a non-causal means.  Quantum theory’s ‘action at a distance’, where objects communicate instantaneously at faster than light speed, relates to synchronicity in its potential for instant communication between a thought and a corresponding 'outside' event. In the world of quantum theory, our most fundamental notions about reality break down, but the foundations of synchronicity start to make sense.

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