Red Dirt Review by Andrew W. Griffin January 28, 2016
Following up on his previous book Synchronicity: The Bridge Between Matter and Mind (1987), theoretical physicist F. David Peat, the Italy-based writer and researcher has offered his readers a short (130 pages) book on the very real phenomenon of synchronicity.
And though short, Peat gives the reader a lot to consider and chew on, thankfully.
As Peat notes in the introduction, a synchronicity, as defined by Carl G. Jung, is “an encounter between inner and outer.” Something that appears to be “coincidence” but actually transcends coincidence “because of the profound numinous nature of the experience” it has on the individual.
I can relate to this definition, as someone who experiences synchronicities on what seems to be a fairly regular basis. I write about them at Dust Devil Dreams, a synchronicity section here at Red Dirt Report.
Peat notes the work of physicist Wolfgang Pauli who sought for a way to integrate a connection between psyche and matter and that Pauli believed our age would eventually see the “resurrection of spirit in matter,” as Peat notes.
With synchronicity acting as a “doorway,” Peat says that synchronicities can help a person move forward and enter a new phase of their life, but it is a journey that the one experiencing the synchronicity must make alone.
In these nine chapters (along with a final conclusion section), Peat focuses specifically on the history of synchronicity with Jung and his colleague (and rival, later) Sigmund Freud (they split due to Freud not liking Jung’s exploration of the occult and paranormal).
Of particular interest to me was Peat’s acknowledgement of Jung’s The Red Book (Liber Novus), which Jung wrote during his lifetime, of course, but wasn’t published until 2009, 50 years after his death. He wrote of hallucinatory dreams he had in 1913, that showed Europe covered in blood and embroiled in turmoil. He notes that “my dreams and my visions came to me from the subsoil of the collective unconscious” after realizing that World War I would soon break out the following year. After that, his nightmarish dreams and visions made sense.
Jung would also note that embracing synchronicity was more of an Eastern approach, while “causality” was the more nuts-and-bolts way of looking at it through Western eyes.
“The science of the I Ching, indeed, is not based on the causality principle, but on a principle … which I have tentatively called the synchronistic principle,” Jung said at a lecture. Later, he would embrace the term “synchronicity” while noting how the Tao can be anything but that it is really “synchronicity.”
“World view, civilization, and synchronistic divination were irreducibly linked together in ways that may seem alien to our ‘causal’ and ‘temporal’ approaches” here in the West. Continuing, Peat adds: “It may well be that for us, in the early 21st century, to accommodate ideas of synchronicity in any fundamental way will require a profound transformation of the way in which we view ourselves, nature and society.”
Along with a section on alchemy, one on consciousness and a more on the Chinese I Ching, Peat takes the curious reader on a journey of mind, body and spirit and how they are connected as viewed through the lens of synchronicity.
Peat’s book simply adds, while also confirming, my expanding views on the importance of synchronicity in daily life and how it can make one’s life richer and more full. Since I fully embraced synchronicity in 2013, my sense of wonder and awe regarding my world and the universe has only grown and expanded.
As Peat notes in his conclusion: “Synchronicities open the floodgates of the deeper levels of consciousness and matter, which, for a creative instant, sweep over the mind and heal the division between the internal and external.”
Sounds about right!