Jul 232011
 

The result of our experiment tallies with our experience of mantic procedures. One has the impression that these methods, and others like them, create favourable conditions for the occurrence of meaningful coincidences.

It is quite true that the verification of synchronistic phenomena is a difficult and sometimes impossible task. Rhine’s achievement in demonstrating, with the help of unexceptionable material, the coincidence of a psychic state with a corresponding objective process must therefore be rated all the higher.

Despite the fact that the statistical method is in general highly unsuited to do justice to unusual events, Rhine’s experiments have nevertheless withstood the ruinous influence of statistics. Their results must therefore be taken into account in any assessment of synchronistic phenomena.

In view of the levelling influence which the statistical method has on the quantitative determination of synchronicity, we must ask how it was that Rhine succeeded in obtaining positive results. I maintain that he would never have got the results he did if he had carried out his experiments with a single subject (by which I mean a subject chosen at random, and not one with specific gifts), or only a few.

He needed a constant renewal of interest, an emotion with its characteristic abaissement mental, which tips the scales in favour of the unconscious. Only in this way can space and time be relativized to a certain extent, thereby reducing the chances of a causal process. What then happens is kind of a creatio ex nihilo, an act of creation that is not causally explicable.

The mantic procedures owe their effectiveness to this same connection with emotionality: by touching an unconscious aptitude they stimulate interest, curiosity, expectation, hope and fear, and consequently evoke a corresponding preponderance of the unconscious. The effective (numinous) potencies in the unconscious are the archetypes. By far the greatest number of synchronistic phenomena that I have had occasion to observe and analyse can easily be shown to have a direct connection with an archetype.

This, in itself, is an irrepresentable, psychoid factor of the collective unconscious. The latter cannot be localised, since it is either complete in principle in every individual or is found to be the same everywhere. You can never say with certainty whether what appears to be going on in the collective unconscious of a single individual is not also happening in other individuals or organisms or things or situations.

C J Jung, Synchronicity: An acausal connecting principle