Carl Jung, part 6: Synchronicity

The sixth of my posts on Jung has just gone up at the Guardian’s Cif. A taster:

The literary agent and author Diane Athill describes the genesis of one of her short stories. It occurred about nine one morning, when she was walking her dog. Crossing the road, a car approached and slowed down. She presumed someone needed directions. A man leaned out and brazenly asked her whether she would like to join him for coffee.

That was odd enough, so early in the day. More oddly still, the man powerfully reminded her of someone else. He looked just like a lost friend and, further, the daring approach was just the kind of thing her friend would have done. She couldn’t stop thinking about the coincidence. It left her feeling ” energised and strange”, a flow that kept bubbling up until she channelled it, producing the short story.

It is an example of what Jung called synchronicity, “a coincidence in time of two or more causally unrelated events which have the same or similar meaning” – in Athill’s case, the surprising invitation of the man and his looking like her friend.

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