So many folks are taking up [synchronicity]—and [atemporality]…

From Atom and Archetype: The Pauli/Jung Letters 1932–1958:

Letter from Jung to Pauli, November 1950:

I now wonder whether it is not so that every state of being that has no conceivable cause (and thus no potentially ascertainable one) falls into the category of synchronicity. In other words, I see no reason why synchronicity should always just be a coincidence of two psychic states or a psychic state and a nonpsychic event. There may also possibly be coincidences of this kind between nonpsychic events. /// Insofar as for me synchronicity represents first and foremost a simple state of being, I am inclined to subsume any instance of causally nonconceivable states of being into the category of synchronicity. /// “Causality” is a psychologem (and originally a magic virtus) that formulates the connection between events and illustrates them as cause and effect. Another (incommensurable) approach that does the same thing in a different way is synchronicity. Both are identical in the higher sense of the term “connection” or “attachment.” But on an empirical and practical level (i.e., in the real world), they are incommensurable and antithetical, like space and time. [pp 60–61]

Letter from Pauli to Jung, December 1950:

…I have once again carefully weighed up the pros and cons of the narrower and broader definitions of “synchronicity.” Pure logic gives us a free hand to choose either definition. In such a case, the deciding factor is intuition, pointing the way to the future as it does… [T]he intuitive function has such a strong tendency toward the apprehension of holistic structures that despite all arguments to the contrary, I find myself leaning toward your broader definition. [p65]

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Just reading Jeremy Johnson’s “Seeing Through the World: Jean Gebser and Integral Consciousness,” p. 38++ where he shows us how important synchronicity was in the lives of Petrarch and St. Augustine to usher in perspectival awareness. Looking forward to seeing how synchronicity factors into the ushering in of integral awareness too… Wondering whether Gebser’s writing about these synchronicities had anything to do with his acquaintance with Jung at Eranos.

-Lisa Maroski

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Some Gebser and Jung topics

● Development of consciousness
Gebser—from a phylogenetic perspective (i.e., humanity as a whole)
Jung—from an ontogonic perspective (i.e., of the individual)

● Development toward wholeness

● Centrality of the spiritual/sacred

● Recognition of the influence of the primordial, that-which-is-ancient, that which is ground or source, in present times
Gebser—the archaic, magic, mythic structures of consciousness
Jung—the archetypal

● Recognizing many modes of consciousness, multiple ways we are conscious of the world and of ourselves
Gebser—structures of consciousness (archaic, magic, mythic, mental, integral)
Jung—psychological functions (intuiting, sensing, feeling, thinking types)

How do these notions help us deal concretely with changing environmental, social, political, and emotional realities?

How might a person of individuating integrity participate in our planetary crises?

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“The assumption that the human psyche possesses layers that lie below consciousness is not likely to arouse serious opposition. But… there could just as well be layers lying above consciousness… The conscious mind can only claim a relatively central position and must put up with the fact that the unconscious psyche transcends and as it were surrounds it on all sides. Unconscious contents connect it backward with the physiological states on the one hand and archetypal data on the other. But it is extended forward by intuitions which are conditioned partly by archetypes and partly by subliminal perceptions depending on the relativity of time and space in the unconscious.”

C.G. Jung, Psychology and Alchemy

Photo: Liquid horizons, Asilomar beach, G. Brun

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Planetary emergency

One the central themes of the 2019 Gebser-Jung Conference will be planetary emergency. I thought I would provide a few quotes from Jung that pertain to collective emergencies:

“… the modern ‘cultural’ mind … shows an alarming degree of dissociation and psychological confusion. We believe exclusively in consciousness and free will, and are no longer aware of the powers that control us to an infinite degree, outside the narrow domain where we can be reasonable and exercise a certain amount of free choice and self-control. In our time of general disorientation, it is necessary to know about the true state of human affairs… if we are to see things in their right perspective, we need to understand the past of man as well as his present. That is why a correct understanding of myths and symbols is of essential importance.”
CW 18, par. 559

“… the sickness of dissociation in our world is at the same time a process of recovery, or rather, the climax of a period of pregnancy which heralds the throes of birth.”
CW 10, par. 293

We see from these two quotes that Jung felt we are in a state of collective dissociation that requires an understanding of our mythic and magical past. He also argues that this dissociation often foreshadows the birth of the new. These two quotes provide a bridge between Jung’s views and those of Gebser regarding our current state of emergenc(e/y).

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Most grateful for all the energies converging now and onward unto the moments configuring at Asilomar. This will be unlike any conference I have ever participated in—our intellectual and spiritual retreat. So be it.

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