Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see.
In Synchronicity Faber offers a critique of Jung’s theory of synchronicity that develops an alternative to demystify synchronistic happenings by explaining them in purely naturalistic terms.
We can understand synchronicity in two basis senses: one soft, one hard
Soft synchronicity is simply making a connection between an event and one’s existence. I am disposed to phone my ex-wife from whom I have been estranged for several years. The estrangement feels increasingly burdensome and unnatural. One evening as I am dwelling intensively on the issue I duck into a movie. It involves an estranged couple who discover their way toward an amicable, forgivig reconciliation and whose lives are deeply enriched by the emotional breakthrough. I ponder the concurrence of my inward.
Hard synchronicity is another matter entirely. It raises the discussion to lofty religious and philosophical heights; and it contends the following: remarkable coincidences are not necessarily fortuitous or accidental. The universe, in fact, may be disposed to engender hard synchronicities because the universe has a formal or integrative bent which corresponds to, or ‘touches,’ the human being’s formal or integrative bent. Not only are psyche and matter in contact, they are in meaningful contact, the kind that produces revelations.
Soft synchronicity is perfectly straightforward
If one is acute, sensitive, intelligent, on the lookout for insights into life and the world, including his own life and his own world, one will be leading with soft synchronicity on a regular basis in keeping with the motto E.M. Forster placed at the inception of his novel Howards End: Only connect.
A primary example of synchronicity that Jung employs in his writings
A patient with a Cartesian, rationalistic outlook, arrives for treatment shortly after having dreamed about an Egyptian scarab, or beetle. As she narrates the dream to Jung, a beetle flies into the office. Jung grabs the thing and shows it to the woman who is, of course, flabbergasted.
According to Jung, this wondrous event has the effect of breaking down his patient’s rationalism and commencing her spiritual rebirth.
In Synchronicity, Faber offers an alternative to Jung’s theory: The ultimate nature of the universe
Synchronicity is not something that can be proved or disproved once and for all in strict, scientific manner. It deals, truth told, with subjective states, and probabilities, and arguments about the ultimate nature of the universe.
He discovered that synchronicity can be explained in whollly realistic, naturalistic terms. It can be accounted for along psychoanalytic lines which do not oblige us to include anything beyond our own expectable, normative, realistic experience.