Synchronicity is an explanatory principle, according to its creator, Carl Jung.
Synchronicity explains "meaningful coincidences".
Technically put, synchronisity is the "temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events."
According to Michael W. Clark
Jung had outlined three types of synchronicity:
The meaningful acausal coincidence of a psychological event and an external observable event, both taking place at or around the same time.
This first type of synchronicity could be illustrated as follows: You're driving home and about two and a half blocks from your destination, you begin to think of a friend whom you haven't seen in years. Upon entering the front door you find the very same friend had just phoned and left a message on your answering service.
The meaningful acausal coincidence of a psychological event and an external observable event, the latter taking place outside the individual's range of sensory perception.
This second type of synchronicity is illustrated by the well documented vision of the Swedish scientist and mystic Emanuel Swedenborg. Jung notes that Swedenborg inwardly saw a devastating fire which took place approximately 100 miles away in Stockholm, representing what psi researchers now call remote viewing.
The meaningful acausal coincidence of an internal psychological event with an external observable event, the latter taking place in the future.
Also called precognition, examples of this third type of synchronicity are found throughout history. In the Biblical tradition, for instance, Jesus accurately predicts Peter's finding a coin in a fish's mouth, as well as his own betrayal, death and resurrection. ------
Now, according to the Psychological Institute at the University of Freiburg there is currently a controversial debate concerning whether unusual experiences are symptoms of a mental disorder, or if mental disorders are a consequence of such experiences, or if people with mental disorders are especially susceptible to or even looking for these experiences.
The word apophenia
was originally coined by Klaus Conrad who defined it as the "unmotivated seeing of connections" accompanied by a "specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness". Conrad originally described this phenomenon in relation to the distortion of reality present in psychosis but it has become more widely used to describe this tendency in healthy individuals without necessarily implying the presence of neurological or mental illness.
Peter Brugger of the Department of Neurology, University Hospital, Zurich, gives examples of apophenia
from August Strindberg's Occult Diary
, the playwright's own account of his psychotic break:[INDENT]He saw "two insignia of witches, the goat's horn and the besom" in a rock and wondered "what demon it was who had put [them] ... just there and in my way on this particular morning." A building then looked like an oven and he thought of Dante's Inferno.
[/INDENT][INDENT]He sees sticks on the ground and sees them as forming Greek letters which he interprets to be the abbreviation of a man's name and feels he now knows that this man is the one who is persecuting him. He sees sticks on the bottom of a chest and is sure they form a pentagram.
[/INDENT][INDENT]He sees tiny hands in prayer when he looks at a walnut under a microscope and it "filled me with horror."
[/INDENT][INDENT]His crumpled pillow looks "like a marble head in the style of Michaelangelo." Strindberg comments that "these occurrences could not be regarded as accidental, for on some days the pillow presented the appearance of horrible monsters, of gothic gargoyles, of dragons, and one night ... I was greeted by the Evil One himself...."
[/INDENT]According to Brugger, "The propensity to see connections between seemingly unrelated objects or ideas most closely links psychosis to creativity ... apophenia and creativity may even be seen as two sides of the same coin."
My question is: how can we seperate insanity and madness from a real experience of synchronisity?