Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Synchronicity: From Jung to Sting

I wonder if life happens in acts, like a play. It is all one continuous whole, but you've got set changes, the cast of characters moves through, apparent themes. Each act builds on those previous, but is also distinct.

Some acts are easy to discern--move to a new town or state, go to a new school, get a job, have kids. Things that alter the direction that things were moving in your life. I would say in many cases, one act ending and another beginning is easiest to see in retrospect.

Life's many-acted play is funny though; it seems a whole lot more ad-libbed, impromptu than scripted. Or maybe like Jim Carrey in "The Truman Show," we are the only ones without the script in our lives.

I don't think Carl Jung listened to The Police. But he and Sting might have had some kickass conversations. Maybe they do, both dialed into the collective unconscious. I remember buying the cassette tape of the band's "Synchronicity" album, like everyone else in and around 1983. They had two songs that riffed off of Jung's concept of synchronicity. The first:

A sleep trance, a dream dance,
A shared romance,

A connecting principle,
Linked to the invisible
Almost imperceptible

Something inexpressible.
Science insusceptible
Logic so inflexible
Casually connectible
Yet nothing invincible.

...If you act, as you think,
The missing link,

Jung expounded synchronicity as the notion that two or more events can be meaningfully related, but not causally related. He dug the term "meaningful coincidences."

It can be simple, silly things like two people randomly listening to Men at Work in two different places in 2015. Experiencing similar events on a timeline--like acts in two separate plays carrying out their action and then coming together in unexpected ways. A job you wonder if you should have taken coming back open when you are looking for a job. Events in lives seeming to be randomly, but repeatedly in synch.

I wouldn't mind having a pint with Jung and Sting at the bar of the collective unconscious. For marveling at the ways synchronicity can seem to manifest itself at certain times, like the Universe is driving and you're just along for the ride. Don't touch the radio.

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