Not the Monthly Post

A Few Notes on Synchronicity

Back in July, when I realized there were five Wednesdays on that page of the calendar and I didn’t have anything lined up for the fifth, I asked my readers what they wanted to hear about. The resulting discussion saw quite a few possibilities bruited about, and so I decided to devote an upcoming post to each topic that (a) was of interest to my readers and (b) I had something to say about. The first two of those—an overview of the Long Descent, the slow ragged process of decline now under way that will end in a postindustrial dark age a few centuries from now, and a discussion of the metaphysics of sexuality—have already appeared.  This week’s post is another, and the subject is Carl Jung’s concept of synchronicity.

Carl Jung

There are various ways we could start making sense of that concept, but the best is to start with Carl Jung himself. Jung was trained as a medical doctor and took up psychology in the late nineteenth century, just as it was crystallizing into an independent science.  He became a student of the famous Viennese psychologist Sigmund Freud and did a great deal of original work in Freudian psychology—among other things, he devised the association test, one of the few sources of experimental evidence supporting Freud’s theory of an unconscious mind. In 1913, however, he and Freud parted ways because Jung could no longer accept Freud’s insistence that the contents of the unconscious mind consisted solely of repressed material relating to sex.

On the basis of his experiments and his work with countless patients, Jung came to believe that the unconscious mind included at least two levels. The personal unconscious was the one Freud had explored, though even there Jung showed that it could contain any number of things the conscious ego didn’t want to think about, not just sex.  Below that level, however, was a set of unconscious patterns that didn’t get there by way of repressions. They were found in all human beings, and they expressed themselves in countless forms—in dreams, myths, visionary experiences, slips of the tongue, works of art and literature, and much more. Jung came to call these deep patterns of human experience the archetypes.

Konrad Lorenz with some of his goslings

Research into animal behavior in the early twentieth century had picked apart the old and rather vague concept of “instinct” and showed that down deep in the brains of animals were templates that certain experiences would activate. When a gosling or a duckling hatches, for example, it has hardwired into its brain the idea that the nearest large moving thing is its mother. Konrad Lorenz, one of the major names in animal behavior research during Jung’s lifetime, used to exploit this by making sure that he was the large moving thing close by when a clutch of goslings hatched; the goslings would then adopt him as their mother, and follow him eagerly from farmyard to pond, begging for food and imitating his behavior.  The mother-template in the gosling’s brain latched onto Lorenz, and the gosling thereafter saw Lorenz through the filter of that template, attaching to Lorenz all those emotions and reactions that natural selection had primed it to apply to its mother.

Following in Mama’s footsteps

That was what Jung found in the human mind as well. The archetypes are the templates in our minds that guide our instinctive reactions. When someone falls in love, for example, what happens is that the lover-template—there are two of these, one for a female lover (Jung called this the anima), one for a male lover (the animus), and your sexual orientation depends on which of them are active in the deep places of your mind—latches onto another person the way the gosling’s mother-template latched onto Lorenz, and assigns to the other person all the emotions and reactions that natural selection has primed us to apply to a mate. (Now you know why the behavior of someone who’s giddy in love is often no more objectively reasonable than the behavior of the line of goslings following Konrad Lorenz down to the pond.)

If everything goes well, each of the archetypes comes into action at the appropriate point in the individual’s life cycle, latches onto an appropriate target, and triggers the appropriate instinctive reactions. Unfortunately, since human beings are what they are, everything does not always go well, and when things get messed up, neurotic behevior is the result. Sometimes two archetypes get muddled up together:  for example, a young man may not separate the lover-archetype from the mother-archetype, in which case you get the pattern of obsessive fixation on the mother that Freud called the Oedipus complex. Sometimes the ego mistakenly identifies itself with one of the archetypes:  for example, another young man may identify himself with the enemy-archetype that Jung called the Shadow, in which case you get the pattern of obsessive fixation on antisocial behavior that modern shrinks call oppositional personality disorder. Each neurosis corresponds to a tangled relationship with archetypes: that’s one of the key concepts of Jungian psychology.

“Here is your scarab.”

So far, so good:  it’s a straightforward theory that has nothing in it that could offend even the most hardcore rationalist. Unfortunately for the rationalists, this is where things got weird. As Jung began to explore the archetypal background to his patients’ neuroses, weird coincidences started happening far too often to attribute to chance. One of many examples was a case where a patient of his dreamed that she had been given a piece of jewelry in the shape of a golden scarab beetle. While she was telling Jung about this, he heard a tapping at the window of his office. He went to the window and found a large beetle bumping against the window as it tried to fly into the room. He opened the window and caught the beetle as it flew in; it was a rose-chafer beetle, as close a relative to the Egyptian scarab beetle as you’ll find in Switzerland, and it’s greenish-gold in color.  He handed it to the patient, saying, “Here is your scarab.”

What makes this all the more fascinating is the clinical dimension of the event.  It’s a common feature of psychoanalysis that patients will do their level best to cling to their neuroses: “get rid of the symptoms without making me change how I think” is the eternal cry of the patient under analysis. Jung’s patient had identified her ego with her animus: that is to say, she was acting out a stereotypical male role in her culture, that of the know-it-all who can never be mistaken, and since she had an excellent education and a fine mind, she was able to protect herself against self-knowledge by convincing herself that she knew better than Jung about everything. The sudden appearance of her dream-scarab in waking reality shattered that defense and gave her the chance to grapple with her problems.  To her credit, with Jung’s help, she did so.

The scarab, furthermore, is itself an expression of an archetype, the most important and most fugitive of the lot:  the Self, in Jung’s terminology. The Self is the archetype of psychological wholeness, the template in which all the other archetype-templates fit in their proper places in perfect balance. You know the archetype of the Self is active when things in the psyche that are separate from the ego pull the ego toward balance with one or more archetypes, and so promote healing. As the incident of the scarab suggested, though, the influence of the Self isn’t limited to internal psychological phenomena. Nor, as it turns out, are the influences of the other archetypes. They also seem to be able to bring about strings of meaningful coincidences, in which the outer world suddenly mirrors the inner world and dream-scarabs suddenly come tapping against the window of your analyst’s office.

That landed Jung in deep waters indeed.  In the Western world from 1650 on, two dogmas have provided the foundations of modern thought. The first can be called the dogma of materialism:  the insistense that everything that exists in the universe is ultimately nothing more than matter in motion. The second can be called the dogma of mechanism: the insistence that everything that happens in the universe is the result of precise and, at least in theory, predictable chains of cause and effect.  Combine these two—and in practice, they are always applied together—and you get a vision of the universe in which everything that happens must by definition be brought about by some material cause.  Consciousness?  From within that standpoint, it’s an illusion generated by lumps of matter behaving in complex but ultimately mechanical ways. Meaning, purpose, and value?  From within that standpoint, these are phantoms belonging to that same illusion.

Neither of these two dogmas were ever proved, or even subjected to experimental testing. They were simply taken on faith by most of the movers and shakers of the scientific revolution, and they have been taken on faith by most people in the Western world ever since. No other human society in recorded history has accepted both these dogmas—a detail that, to the promoters and believers of these dogmas, simply showed that modern Western society is uniquely enlightened and the thinkers of all other cultures somehow never quite noticed that their beliefs about the world were obviously sheer nonsense.

The problem was that Jung, try though he might, could find no way to explain the cascades of meaningful coincidences that surrounded some patients in analysis using material models of cause and effect. There was simply no way, to return to the example already given, that a dream one night could cause the appearance of a beetle at Jung’s window the next day, or that these two could have been caused by some third material factor.  Jung was wrestling with that issue when something rather more interesting than a beetle came bumping at his mental window.

Marie and Pierre Curie

Like most European intellectuals of his time, Jung stayed abreast of the sciences, and so he became aware early on of the astonishing intellectual revolution kickstarted by the discovery of radioactivity.  In the last decade of the nineteenth century, Marie and Pierre Curie demonstrated that some minerals transformed themselves from one element to another—a feat that scientists until then had considered impossible—and that they did so by letting off bursts of unknown, dangerous rays. In the quest to explain these baffling phenomena, physicists plunged into the substructure of matter itself, and discovered a realm of phenomena that could not be explained by the dogmas of materialism and mechanism, no matter how frantically scientists tried to do so. Quantum physics proved, among other things, that the laws of nature are only statistically true—they’re not the rigid mechanistic laws the dogma of mechanism require them to be. Nor were quantum phenomena limited by such pedestrian concerns as mere space and time.  Worse still, those same phenomena also could not be understood without bringing the consciousness of an observer into the picture.

The conventional wisdom of Jung’s time, even after it had more or less absorbed these shocking developments, clung to the belief that the vagaries of the quantum realm were strictly limited to subatomic phenomena and could not extend to the level of phenomena that human beings can experience with their senses. Ah, said Jung, not so fast. Grant for a moment that there can be phenomena in the world of everyday life that have the same properties as the quantum realm—that violate the laws of cause and effect, and show a necessary connection to consciousness. How would we discover such phenomena?  From 1650 on, our cultural prejudices have insisted that such things don’t exist, and a set of defensive mechanisms at least as elaborate as those used by individual neurotics have been deployed to keep such things out of sight if they do happen to be so rude as to come tapping at our windows.

Those defensive mechanisms all unfold from that classic logical fallacy, the argumentum ad ignorantiam or argument from ignorance. An argument from ignorance makes the claim that if we don’t know what caused Y, then X must have caused Y. Silly?  Sure, but no other argument got used anything like so heavily by the soi-disant “skeptics” of the late twentieth century debunking movement. This “must have been” the planet Venus, that “must have been” a hallucination, this other witness “must have been” lying—it’s all the same argument, the specific form of special pleading that insists that a materialist and mechanist explanation must be true unless conclusive evidence can be presented that it’s not true.

What, in turn, defines evidence as conclusive?  The fact that the debunker agrees that it’s conclusive—which, of course, he never does. That’s the logical fallacy underlying the old wheeze “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”  So long as your debunker gets to decide which claims are extraordinary and which evidence is extraordinary enough, it’s another form of special pleading, and one that’s worked double overtime plus Sundays and holidays to defend the dogmas of materialism and mechanism from critique.

Wolfgang Pauli

What Jung realized as he considered those defensive maneuvers and the dogmas they guarded was that the cascades of meaningful coincidences he was studying offered evidence for the existence of quantum-type phenomena in the world of ordinary human life. Those chains of coincidence, as we’ve seen, couldn’t be explained by material cause and effect, and they always connected to archetypes, which are phenomena in consciousness. Jung proceeded to discuss the matter with no less a scientist than the Nobel Prize-winning quantum physicist Wolfgang Pauli, and with his help, developed a theory to make sense of the phenomena he was exploring.

There is, Jung suggested, a connecting principle uniting all things. This principle does not obey the rules of cause and effect, any more than quantum phenomena do.  It is not limited by space and time, any more than quantum phenomena are, and it cannot be understood without bringing consciousness and its contents into the picture, any more than quantum phenomena can. The cascades of meaningful coincidences that led Jung to his theory were simply the most obvious expressions of this principle on the scale of everyday human life, in exactly the same way that radioactivity was the most obvious expression of quantum-level physics on that same scale. To his postulated principle he gave the name “synchronicity.”

It’s important to understand that Jung’s theory doesn’t exclude material cause and effect. Quite the contrary, synchronicity can be seen as a way to refine the concept of material cause and effect, in order to explain things that don’t make sense within a strictly mechanistic world view.  Like the crossing threads in a woven fabric, synchronicity and causality interact constantly, with chains of cause and effect unfolding over time while synchronicity pulls them this way and that in order to gather them into clusters of meaningful coincidence.

J.B. Rhine

One of the tests of a good scientific theory is that it explains experimental results that other theories leave unexplained.  Jung’s theory of synchronicity did exactly that, as it provided an explanation for the odd but robust results garnered by psychologist J.B. Rhine in his research into extrasensory perception (ESP). Rhine found that experimental subjects set to guess which of five Zener cards would be turned up got results that were greater than chance to a statistically significant degree.  Success in these experiments had striking correlations with the emotional state of the subject—thus, for example, scores fell steadily as the experiment was continued and the subjects got bored.

What makes all this impressively odd is that the results, though reliable, were only mildly better than chance—6.5 successes out of 25, on average, when chance would produce 5 out of 25. That proved extremely difficult to explain in terms of cause and effect: if there was in fact a “sixth sense,” why was it providing so slight a trickle of information?  Introduce synchronicity into the picture, though, and the explanation is obvious: the results of the experiments showed the background level, so to speak, of meaningful coincidence in everyday life.

In situations of extreme psychological importance—again, Jung’s patient and her scarab is an example—that level would rise sharply, to produce a stunning coincidence in response to the profound involvement of consciousness in the situation.  In situations characterized by boredom and mechanical repetition, in turn, the rate of meaningful coincidence would drop to zero, which helps explain why the industrial revolution promptly led to the glaring absence of synchronistic experiences that Max Weber characterized so memorably as “the disenchantment of the world.”

Let’s finish by taking a step back from Jung’s theory, so that it can be seen in its wider context. The idea of an “acausal connecting principle,” as Jung termed synchronicity, is nothing new in the history of human ideas—and of course Jung was fully aware of this fact. In his lengthy essay on synchronicity, in fact, he pointed to two cultural artifacts of the still-enchanted world—Western astrology, on the one hand, and the I Ching on the other—and showed that these systems of foreknowledge presupposed the existence of something more or less identical to synchronicity as Jung understood it. He was of course quite correct, and the traditional Chinese lore surrounding the I Ching gives synchronicity an extremely apt name:  Dao, which literally means “way” or “track,” and is best understood as “the way things naturally happen.”

Synchronicity is the Dao, the way that things unfold of themselves.  It could also be described quite adequately in ancient Greek as the Logos—a word that can be translated variously as “word,” “proportion,” or “reason,” and might best be understood as the connection between things that gives them meaning. (My Christian readers are welcome to reflect on whether this has anything to say to the use of the same term in their theology.)  Perhaps the best label for it, though, is from Gregory Bateson: “the pattern that connects.”  That’s what Jung was talking about, and it’s something of profound importance just now in a world in which meaningful connections so often appear to be in short supply.

*********

Two notes on unrelated topics. First, I’m pleased to announce that Founders House Publishing has launched a Kickstarter for the next two volumes of the Vintage Worlds series of retro-SF anthologies: stories set in the solar system our species dreamed into being in the early twentieth century, as distinct from the far duller solar system we actually got. Interested?  Here are the details.

Second, September also has five Wednesdays in it, and so I’m open to suggestions for what the fifth Wednesday post will be about. (A post on the novels of Hermann Hesse is already in the works for the first Wednesday in October, so you don’t have to worry about that.) What would you like to hear about? Inquiring Druids want to know.

377 Comments

  1. I’m a little disappointed there’s no synchronicities here. I was really hoping to have some weird one for the post on synchronicity, but no such luck. But, I wasn’t expecting one: they come according to their own logic, and trying to force them doesn’t work.

    For the fifth Wednesday, my vote is still mental cleanliness, although I’m also really curious what else will come up.

  2. I would like to hear about why true occult philosophy does not go well with the neoliberal pseudo progressive ideology. Almost every occultist I’ve ever met online falls into that ideology and it’s maddening, but I’ve never had the words to explain why.

  3. There’s a weird corollary to the idea that you can’t force a synchronicity: they exist only in the areas which are outside your control. This would then imply that the more control you have over things, the fewer synchronicities you’ll see; and given that our comfortable classes are able to control more about their environment than most people ever could, this is probably also a reason why so many people don’t see them: in the sort of conditions they live in, they’re actually quite rare.

  4. Excellent article! I look forward to reading the comments further elucidating the topic 😀

    I vote for an article describing the various classes of beings which exist on the nonphysical planes.

    Thank you!

    Sincerely,
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  5. My vote for fifth Wednesday: what happens when religion and magic entwine with millenarian revolutionary movements. Like the Anabaptists in Munster.

  6. Are you aware if Jung had read or was influenced by the Bhagavad Gita at all? Some of the concepts he brings up and terms he uses dovetail with the poem nicely.

  7. If I remember my history correctly, the materialism dogmas derive from Descartes’ search for some tidbit of knowledge that could not be doubted: he concludes that the very act of doubting proves the existence of the doubter in a way that cannot be doubted. “Je pense, donc je suis”, as he phrased it, thus became the foundation stone of all modern mainstream scientific thinking. What a pity it is most minds will now go nowhere else!

  8. Dear John Michael Greer,
    Thanks for this fascinating essay, one of the best things I’ve yet read on the subject. As for another essay, my vote goes for whatever you might have to say about the Internet.

  9. A relevant synchronicity (or omen) that I recall vividly: it was last autumn and my wife and I were in an extended period of particular tension in our relationship. I was sitting out by the lake shore on my lunch break at work, meditating as I often do. The wind was strong that day and the churn of Lake Michigan rather suited my emotional state. I recall lamenting to Whomever She May Be and asking “why this relationship had to be so hard.” In the very next moment, an osprey flew past, not twenty feet away from me, low over the shoreline. With sure and steady strokes, it was powering its way through the air *into the wind*. And I instantly understood.

  10. Thank you for this – I’ve always been fascinated by the role synchronicity plays in my own life, and in particular how I’ve tended to go through clusters of synchonicities followed by long droughts. “Synchonicity season” is the best description I could come up with, and I never had a clue as to why until I read your description here.

    Also, a question to help keep the convo humming along – to what degree do you expect synchonicities to be a simple echo of what’s on someone’s mind, vs. offering some kind of guidance?

  11. @JMG

    A few points:

    1) Your discussion about quantum mechanics reminded me of the book ‘The world according to quantum mechanics: why the laws of physics make perfect sense after all’ by Pondicherry based researcher and author Ulrich Mohrhoff. Mohrhoff, who is a practitioner of the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo, has written it from a non-materialist point of view. I mentioned this book because I thought that it would be something that you might find interesting.

    2) Speaking of ESP, I think that even within the domain of ESP, it would be easier to find people who accept human ESP than plant ESP. I’m thinking here about the controversial experiments of Cleve Backster. Also, the experiments of Dorothy Retallack, who played music to plants and studied their reactions are very interesting.

  12. My personal experience with synchronicities has led me to intuit that they work as ripples of significance flowing back through time.

    In the Russia 18 world cup, I was gonna see the Mexico Germany match (the first for our country) with some friends, and I went with one of them to the store for some snacks. Over there we heard a lady call her dog “chucky”, and at the same time a guy walked by with a shirt of Chucky the evil doll from the movies. We noted the coincidence and went back to see the match, expecting at least a 3 point loss. We were going against Germany! Well, imagine our surprise when “Chucky” Lozano scored the decisive goal that had us go forth to eighths of the final.

    I believe the emotional rush that the goal caused rippled back to when we were at the store and propitiated the double coincidence.

  13. Greetings, all – Synchronicity Rules!

    I just gotta share this ongoing synchronicity, which connects John Michael Greer’s blogs to Jung, and to who-knows what. I recorded the first installment in my personal journal of 9/14/2017:

    The factory is slack this season and my job is not keeping me busy, so I am keeping myself occupied by rereading John Michael Greer’s earlier blog posts, along with the readers’ commentary. . . . I have regarded the pastime as a guilty self-indulgence. But a coincidence arose today that make me think there is another dimension to this pastime:

    After checking all the fire extinguishers in the factory, I sat back down to my desk and glanced over the headlines on the NPR news site. There was nothing worth my attention; the story at the top of the queue with the big photo was of two teenage girls with food in their mouths:

    At Bug-Eating Festival, Kids Crunch Down On The Food Of The Future
    https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/09/14/550188017/at-bug-eating-festival-kids-crunch-down-on-the-food-of-the-future
    [There’s a photo I can’t get into this entry]
    [JMG edit — was it this one?]

    Tennesee Nydegger-Sandidge (left) and Holly Hook try chowing down on some crickets. “People should eat them because they’re good for the planet,” says Tennessee.

    “Yuck,” I thought, and returned to reading the comments posted to an article on his Well of Galabes blog of 12/21/2014, “Surfing the Astral Light”. Almost immediately I ran across this introduction to a comment:

    1. jean-vivien December 21, 2014 at 6:55 PM
    Hi JMG, wow ! This was a scary cliffhanger ! You have the art of making people gobble what they would normally not even approach. You should try to open an insect food court!

    Back in September, 2020, again—the Acausal Connecting Principal is not done with this one.

    I spent the past week reading Peter Kingsley’s latest book Catafalque, which is primarily about Carl Jung; and dipped back into Jung’s Red Book, too. This go-round I was struck by Jung’s assertion, in connection with his astral-plane encounter with his mentor, that this was his own passage through an “initiation” that every human must undergo in the full course of individuation: the confrontation with the “mana-personality”, the archetype of The Magician.

    According to Jung, the first option, when confronted with this primordial power of magic, is to identify with it unthinkingly and in effect end up as “the modern bourgeois version of what would once have been called a black magician”. The second option is to be scared silly and run away from it, to become a helpless creature groveling before the frightening, unimaginable powers.

    The third option is to “assimilate all the hidden contents” of this archetype consciously inside oneself. According to Jung, with the “dissolution of the mana-personality through conscious assimilation of its contents” nothing of the power and magic is lost or left behind — it’s simply “transferred intact, from the grip of the ego into the hands of the Higher Self”.

    And I had recently read Peter Kingsley’s elucidation of the teachings of Empedocles, in which he advises his student Pausanias to be diligent in the very basic practice of

    “attending consciously to all perceptions, so as to catch the “pledges from our Muse”

    This, I take it, is what synchronicities really are: “pledges from our Muse.”

    Sweet!

  14. Dear JMG,

    Thank you for this… synchronicity, I have so many strange stories I could tell about synchronicity…

    What I have learned about it is that with focused attention we can create optimum conditions for a synchronicity to occur.

    I also have come to the conclusion that synchronicity is another way of thinking about “invocation.”

    Ursula LeGuin had an interesting idea about synchronicity, and turned it into a bit of sci fi tech: the interstellar simultaneous communication device called the ansible in The Left Hand of Darkness.

  15. Wonderful essay. Quiet a lot of information that I will have to use in my meditations. 😉
    My vote for the next fifth Wednesday essay is everything autism and Asperger’s

    Thanks John Michael

  16. The idea of intertwining synchronicity and material causality is an elegant one.

    But how do archetypes and synchronicity relate to all the other forms of influence described in occult philosophy and lore? Astrological inclinations, deities, spirits, oracles, angels, lesser astral and etherial entitles, planar energies and currents, karma, magical effects (by self or others; intended or otherwise)… there seem to be more forces potentially pulling strings than there are strings to pull. The unseen world becomes either very crowded, or very overlap-py. The latter meaning there are lots of different names and mental models for the same relatively few things.

  17. @JMG,

    Well, I certainly learned some new things about synchronicity today! I’ve been aware, for a long time, of the existence of strange coincidences in both my own life and the broader patterns of human affairs. (If you are a rationalist-materialist who is into American history, then you will get to a big, big elephant in the room on July 4, 1826, when John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died 50 years to the day after they had signed the Declaration of Independence).

    Also, I read a book recently entitled “What Is Real?” by Adam Becker about the attempts of various 20th century physicists to make sense of quantum wave-function collapse within the constraints of a materialistic worldview, and to make a long story short, it spawned some impressive theoretical and mathematical achievements, but nothing that would actually give a materialist-mechanist a good reason to stop banging his head against a wall.

    As for the use of ESP to guess what’s on the other side of a card 6.25 times out of 25 instead of just 5, even though that doesn’t look like much it still might be enough to tilt the odds in blackjack or poker, so that raises the question: Do casinos employ some sort of defense against ESP – i.e. by creating enough inner-plane noise to keep it from being effective?

  18. Greetings.

    Just because human beings have a “cruder” (/underdeveloped?) understanding of what matter is and how causality works – along with a stern refusal to admit the existence of other entities (noticed or unnoticed) which have subtler and more effective ways to understand and, eventually, to use that knowledge – that doesn’t necessarily translate into an irrevocable denying of materialism and mechanism.

    The Yi Jing (John Blofeld translation, the one I use) – which I can define tentatively as a material probe (through the use of whether coins or yarrow stalks or a computer) used to gauge the Dao – seems to rely on those two concepts.

    Best regards.

  19. @JMG,

    As for the topic of the fifth-Wednesday post in September, I would like to hear more of your thoughts about the rising Tamanous culture, if trying to predict its shape this early on doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch.

  20. JMG,

    Thank you for addressing this topic. Synchronicity is the guiding principal of my life, and here’s some of the stuff that I have found and how I have been using it with magic for over 2 decades now that I would like to share with readers. I also have some questions sprinkled about.

    First, doing some sort of magical practice helps bring about more synchronicity. For me, this involves doing Qi Gong (I do Spring Forest Qi Gong).

    Second, taking cold showers and walking outside daily seems to help too. I think this has something to do with cleansing the etheric body, a concept you introduced to me a few blog posts ago.

    Third, you can use magic to call synchronicities into your life to achieve certain things. I use simple affirmations. Before I go to sleep, I get a really strong idea in my mind, and to help clear our other thoughts, I say my wish allowed 5-10 times. JMG, you suggested using a specific type of voice when performing rituals in a previous book. What exactly is that voice? I try to speak in a way that vibrates throughout my throat and head.

    Fourth, I also took advice posted someone on this blog to only try for one wish at a time, as it’s possible to get pulled in different directions.

    Fifth, the most important thing when you notice a synchronicity is to follow where it leads you. The more you follow synchronicities, the more they arise.

    Six, sometimes you will notice synchronicities that you did not wish for but are still obvious and super strong. Follow them always. I believe these are related to overall life paths that are planned out for you by…something. I’m not sure. What does the occult have to say about those?

    Seven, with wishes, they seem to work better the more open they are. For example, I have found that wishing for a certain person to fall in love with you doesn’t work. Wishing for the perfect person for you to come into your life, however, works. That’s how I met my wife.

    Eight, don’t wait around for synchronicities to happen before taking action. As you take action toward your goal, more synchronicities will happen.

    That’s what I’ve learned so far from practicing this. Do the affirmations, which work like magic rituals, operate on the astral level or a higher plane? It feels like the more cleansed your etheric body is, the more synchronicities you will have and the easier they are to notice.

    Last, I will give three examples of synchronicities I’ve had to give people a more exact idea of what’s possible. These are all normal for me.

    I put out a wish to learn Japanese. I applied to the JET Program and was selected as an alternate. My girlfriend of the time took me to New York City for 2 days to look for Medical School for her. I meet a random college student on the subway there who was reading a book in Japanese. I introduced myself to him and found out we were both alternates on the same program. With 2 weeks to go, I had not gotten a placement, and some guy’s wife prevented him from getting on the airplane to go to Japan for the JET program. That’s how I got my last minute placement. When I show up at the small town of 2,000 people in the middle of nowhere, the only other foreigner is the guy I randomly met on the Subway in New York City. After two years of struggling and almost giving up, he teaches me how to learn foreign languages, I become fluent and he becomes one of my best friends.

    I put out a wish to find the perfect woman for me in 2018. A coworker asks me to participate in a Chinese language play and says she has the perfect role for me. I play a character, a white guy named Tony, who leaves his Chinese girlfriend of 8 years to marry a Japanese woman. I go on a Japanese dating site. I meet my wife there, who had just left her ex-fiance. His name was Tony and they were together for 8 years.

    Lastly, a few months ago, I put out a wish to write a book. I have never written one before, but I make a lot of connections on Linkedin. Three weeks ago, I get ‘randomly’ contacted by a well-known technical book website to write an instructional book on artificial intelligence. I get paid for it up front with pretty good royalties. I’m not sure why they contacted me, and I didn’t ask. It’s not the type of book I would have liked to write, but it fulfills the wish, and I hope that experience helps me one day make a more specific wish and follow synchronicities.

    I make all of my major life decisions based on synchronicities. Where I work, who I marry, where I live, which house I bought, following this blog. It is real and I give my life as evidence. I hope sharing my experiences help.

  21. There’s a lot to think about here, “In situations of extreme psychological importance—again, Jung’s patient and her scarab is an example—that level would rise sharply, to produce a stunning coincidence in response to the profound involvement of consciousness in the situation. In situations characterized by boredom and mechanical repetition, in turn, the rate of meaningful coincidence would drop to zero, which helps explain why the industrial revolution promptly led to the glaring absence of synchronistic experiences that Max Weber characterized so memorably as “the disenchantment of the world.””

    Not least, I was drawn to what “situations of extreme psychological importance” implies.

    Also, with “the profound involvement of consciousness in the situation,” I can’t help but wonder whose consciousnesses (plural) are involved in the things we experience as “psychologically important.” Would you say that granting/allowing for multiple consciousnesses (or even just increasing one’s own consciousness of psyche’s needs and domains) encourages synchronicities?

    “In situations characterized by boredom and mechanical repetition, in turn, the rate of meaningful coincidence would drop to zero…”
    Heh, welcome to the modern world that starts its morning in physically repetitive suburbia, works through the day at boring, repetitive, and astrally monotonous work, and comes home to etherically impoverished food to fuel the journey through a spiritually emptied material/mechanical life. yeep!

    This does seem to imply that before the industrial revolution synchronicities were more common (or more commonly noticed). Huh, that’s interesting to think about in relation to your expressed sentiment that we’re suffering a “malign enchantment” – perhaps its one that makes us incapable of noting all the synchronicitous phenomena the patterned-consciousness would give us in our sweep toward psychological wholeness.

    Nifty. I hope I can become more open to such occurrences.

  22. This post touches on some things I’ve thought quite a bit about. Maybe too much.

    As you know, there’s a community of “rationalists” on the web, originally centered around the work of Eliezer Yudkowsky and the site LessWrong but nowadays probably more associated with Scott Alexander and Slate Star Codex. While they’re a subset of rationalists in the more general sense, they showcase many of the virtues and vices of rationalism, turned to 11. (Most infamous was their brief freakout over “Roko’s basilisk,” a perverse Pascal’s-Wager-like implication of their favorite decision theory.)

    One of the foregone assumptions in the community seems to be the so-called Many-Worlds Interpretation of QM (MWI). The intepretation’s misleadingly named; it’s closer to being the “Collapse Doesn’t Happen” interpretation, since it posits that every interaction at the quantum level results in an increasingly-complex superposition state involving all objects in the interaction. The result is not an infinity of parrallel universes so much as one big increasingly-fuzzy blob of possible states, of which each of us perceives only a nearly-infinitesimal slice.

    It’s a beautiful theory, makes fewer assumptions than most other interpretations, and (though I haven’t seen this explicitly spelled out) side-steps some of the thornier problems in materialist cosmology. For example, in an MWI universe, there is no mystery about why life arose, no matter how unlikely: if it was possible to happen, it happened on some subset of the possibility space. And since each of us only exists in that subset (well, and another, vanishingly-small, subset of measure 0 where we’re “freak observers”), of course that’s the subset we observe.

    The problem I see is that MWI is literally unbelievable. To see why, next time you have to decide what you’re going to eat, try to do it while taking seriously that the real answer is “all of the above, and then some.” Some version of you — and they’ll all have some claim to be you — will eat a sandwich, soup, corn flakes, gravel, motor oil, the family pet, etc.

    My point is that it makes hash of the very notion of making decisions, in a way that even the more usual determinism doesn’t. To my mind, you can’t believe it and continue to function without compartmentalizing. And this is the intepretation taken for granted by a community obsessed with decision theory!

    I’d say it’s bizarre, except honestly, it really isn’t at this point.

    P.S. I’ll also vote for a post on Tamanous culture.

  23. As for the insistence that quantum effects don’t matter at everyday scales, I recently ran across a counter-example: color. David Chapman points out that color is a property of molecules and is thus a chemical phenomenon, but it can only be explained with the help of QM. In some cases, like gold, you need relativity, too.

    As I noted there in a comment, another example is the Sun: a giant ball of hydrogen slowly fusing into helium and other heavy elements and releasing the excess binding energy as electro-magnetic radiation. It’s the only reason we’re alive. And yet it shouldn’t work.

    This isn’t some “bees shouldn’t be able to fly” thing, either, where an early model laced with inaccurate assumptions gets repeated ad nauseum. By classical mechanics, the Sun isn’t heavy enough for its gravity to overcome the magnetic repulsion between protons and force them to fuse together. The explanation is the pressure at the Sun’s core dramatically reduces the possible velocities of the protons. By the uncertainty principle, when the space of possible velocities shrinks, the space of possible positions increases. In a sense, the molecules get “fuzzy.” Eventually they start overlapping, and they can bypass their repulive forces altogether. This is known as “quantum tunneling,” and it’s why the Sun shines.

  24. Synchronicity? On our little farmette here, we have quite a bit of rural road frontage that is only sporadically tended by the county. The result is that the roadside serves as a reservoir for noxious weeds and their seeds. Johnson grass is the most annoying of these in our area due to its being sturdy, extremely aggressive, and producing a ton of seeds.

    Finally despairing of the county doing anything to control the rapid spread of this invasive plant, I took myself over to a hardware store about an hour’s drive from here and invested in a pretty pricey Stihl engine and some interchangeable tool heads — power scythe, brush cutter, etc. — with which I plan to keep this nuisance plant under control.

    This morning, this being the first dry day since my purchase, I prepared to go into action. As I was doing this, I heard the sound of machinery working by out at the road. When I got out there with equipment in hand, I found that the county had come by with its mowers and cut the roadside weeds down to the ground.

    Coincidence?

  25. Mr. Greer,

    I’ll bite. The paragraph about logos reminded me of a theology teacher I had in prep school. He was a crusty old Jesuit–everyone called him “Smokestack” Jack because of his horrible cigarette addiction. During a lecture on a miserably cold day in February he cracked a window and lit up a Winston. A student said: “you can’t do that!” Fr. Jack took a long drag, and merely answered: “I live here.” Which was literally true. But I digress.

    I remember one of the big takeaways from that class was the Aquinine proposition that it is not quite right to conceptualize God as simply a persona. Or, worse, a contingent being that happens to be cosmically more powerful than other contingent beings. Rather, it is better to conceptualize Him in terms of something like Logos–as the sine qua non of existence. The best analogy I can think of is imagine a violinist playing music. The moment the violinist stops moving her bow, the music ceases. So, if we imagine existence in similar way, God is actually the foundation upon which the entire universe rests. Or, rather, he produces existence as its first principle cause. Going further, He also is the force that emanates from the first instant of time that imbues the universe with energy and makes it intelligible. For Thomists, this demonstrates, to their mind at any rate, that even if you reject Christianity, there is still reason to suppose that there is a metaphysical character to the universe that grounds existence. Jung himself thought such dogmatic speculations are pointless, but it has always stuck with me.

    As a student of World Belief Systems, Philosophy, and Catholic theology, I confess I often-times wonder where the borders between Jerusalem and Athens really lie. For that matter I am uncertain where the border between Athens, Jerusalem and the Ganges lie for that matter. Ancient sources indicate that Pyrrho, for example, had been to India under Alexander and it seems likely to modern scholars he interacted with Buddhist philosophers there. Not that that is dispositive of anything, but what it does demonstrate is that it is not as if these cultures didn’t interact. Dividing them neatly is more a matter of scholarly convenience than a reflection of reality.

    I especially wonder this with respect to the historical Jesus. Canonical and non-canonical gospels tend to agree there is a missing time frame between the Nazarene’s adolescence and his public ministry. It seems to me at least plausible he spent some of that time in a monastic community. And, it seems plausible that, in addition to his scriptural studies, that he–either through intermediaries or copies of the texts themselves–had at least been influenced by the ideas of Plato, and perhaps Aristotle in addition to the Jewish scriptures. Admittedly, many of his followers were absolutely influenced by Plato and Aristotle so who knows what was injected over the centuries.

    Jung, I imagine, would say that whether any or all of the figures mentioned personally knew of, or read, the other is irrelevant. They acted on each other in many ways, perceptibly and imperceptibly through the Logos which we all share as a species.

  26. Thank you for illuminating this fascinating and complex topic. You’ve clarified and expanded my understanding of synchronicity, especially in noting how it relates to the concepts of the Dao and the Logos. I’ll be exploring this connection more deeply now.

  27. Here’s my Fifth Wednesday suggestion. Write and post the commencement address you’d give to a present-day (or near-present-day, not necessarily 2020/21) U.S. high school graduating class.

    I’m thinking of perhaps a large generic suburban high school, but you could make it the high school you went to, or where you currently live, to make it more plausible. Assume the audience will be only people normally expected to be at such an event (no unusual advance publicity). You’ll be introduced as a successful author of numerous published fiction and nonfiction books, but the introduction won’t specify any titles or subject matter. Change any of the suggested details of the scenario as you see fit. In real life, maybe you wouldn’t agree to do it, but suppose otherwise, or invent circumstances in which you would.

  28. JMG,

    There are far too many instances in my life where things magically and inexplicably “came together” and/or worked out far better than they should have. Does this fall into synchronicity, exceptionally good karma, or something else entirely?

  29. Finally (for now), as for your mention of “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” — exactly. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “That’s outside of the range of things I’m able/willing to consider,” so long as you don’t try to impose your framework on other people. But what rationalists do is to build up a structure of false rigor around their worldview and chastise every other worldview for failing to live up to that standard.

    Returning to David Chapman, he points out a central flaw with pretty much all rationalist theories is that they’re “wrong-way reductions”: they purport to provide a rigorous account of, and solution to, some problem in epistemology, ethics, etc. but do it only by turning a hard problem into an impossible one. For example, utilitarianism turns the hard problem of what to do in a given situation into the impossible problem of deciding which option will be conducive to the greatest utility across all possible futures stemming from that decision.

    Another example Chapman gives is Bayesian epistemology, which turns the hard problem of what to believe into the impossible problem of quantifying prior probabilities.

    This leads to my favorite example: using “minimum description length” to set priors. In short, the idea is that, that given a set of alternative explanations of a phenomenon, turn all of them into computer programs and choose the one that can be written in fewest characters. Applied to the any phenomenon, then, the prior probability for any hypothesis is whatever falls out of the current minimum-length description of the universe.

    There are three problems with this: (a) no one has a clue what the current minimum-length program for anything is, (b) there’s no way to find out (it’s an uncomputable problem), and (c) depending on what programming language you choose, you can get different answers. (This is even leaving aside the assumption that all phenomena are computable — which is an open question.)

    The rationalist response is basically to ignore these problems, but they seem absolutely fatal to me, especially the last. The response there is that this is only true up to some constant, whose value depends on the language.

    But the constant can get arbitrarily large, as the family of Meta-Golfscript programming languages show: in each of the Meta-Golfscript languages, one special program is represented by the empty input (that is, 0 bytes). And since there’s a Meta-Golfscript language for every possible program, you can always choose a language where your favorite explanation wins.

    This is cheating, of course, which is why Meta-Golfscript is banned from programming competitions. But I don’t see how that changes the verdict: the idea is flawed, and fatally so.

    Ultimately the rationalists will admit that they don’t claim anyone can actually apply any of these ideas in the real world — that’s for the future super-AIs to do — but that they’re metaphors for the sort of things we ought to be doing. Fair enough — but then that’s exactly the defense that liberal Christians make for their version of Christianity. What’s sauce for the goose…

  30. NOTE: Please don’t let the previous message through. I just pressed the wrong keys…
    Let’s try again:

    JMG said:
    “Worse still, those same phenomena also could not be understood without bringing the consciousness of an observer into the picture.”

    This does not really affect the rest of your argument (which is really interesting) but I would like to talk about it.
    While this is still considered an interpretation of the quantum mechanics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Neumann%E2%80%93Wigner_interpretation#:~:text=A%20second%20way%20in%20which,supposed%20to%20occur%20upon%20any), it is not necessary and it does not make any sense philosophically. It’s basically just a rehash of the body/mind dualism and the ultimate conclusion of it is that the universe did not exist until people appeared (created by God presumably since consciousness cannot be part of this world in this theory). To me that is the ultimate hubris.

    More recent interpretations use decoherence (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_decoherence#:~:text=Decoherence%20can%20be%20viewed%20as,energetic%20state%20of%20its%20surroundings.) to explain why the wavefunction appears to collapse when it is observed. For example we see a photon in only location ( like a dot on a photosensitive film) because all our atoms are entangled with it and the noise stop the photon from being “everywhere”.

    That being said there are a lot of open questions about quantum mechanics – parallel worlds interpretation, large scale quantum effects like superconductivity etc. Even something as simple as light produced by air bubbles in water (https://physics.aps.org/story/v7/st23) tells us that we have a lot to learn about the world.

    My proposal for the fifth week essay is: how can we use the limited tools that we have (like science) to explore all these phenomena that you mention?
    Thanks

  31. Hi Wesley,

    You asked, “Do casinos employ some sort of defense against ESP – i.e. by creating enough inner-plane noise to keep it from being effective?”

    I’m interested to see what JMG says, but I wanted to mention a novel that popped into my mind when I read your question. It’s Last Call by Tim Powers. Readers of this blog might enjoy it.

    Wikipedia summarizes it like this:

    Last Call features a detailed magic system, here based on divinatory tarot, and draws on mythical or historical events and characters, in this case Bugsy Siegel and the development of Las Vegas casinos as well as the legend of the Fisher King. Powers makes use of T. S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land throughout, which also features the Fisher King legend.”

    I’ve been reading lately about Arthurian legend, the Fisher King mythos, and Eliot’s The Waste Land, so this feels like synchronicity to me.

  32. This is really interesting, and I’ll need to gather some thoughts about it all before I comment. Thank you!

    In the meantime, I’d like to throw in my vote for the 5th Wednesday post: You said elsewhere recently that we’re not living in a disenchanted world, but we’re instead under a ‘malign enchantment’. I’d love to hear more about that.

    OK, now back to happily pondering synchronicity!

  33. @Dennis Sawyers

    I was about to comment about the way synchronicity has guided my life, and then you did a better job of explaining it.

    I have always been befuddled by people who try really hard – who apply to 20 colleges or 20 jobs, in pursuit of a preconceived notion of success. At the same time I’ve also felt strangely blessed that my own synchronicity based approach has worked for me. Since I can’t understand its workings, I can’t recommend it to others, nor can I explain why it clearly doesn’t work for many people.

    I would second the idea that attachment to specific outcomes inhibits synchronicity. Or as I would say, an open invitation invites it, and expectation shuts it down. Beyond that, expectation or excessive focus seems to generate a sort of anti-synchronicity. I can’t count the number of times that a package I was obsessing about receiving was delayed in the mail or delivered to the wrong address, for example.

    I’d also like to share the concept that I call discernment, which is using a combination of energetic/etheric input (what am I excited about?) and synchronistic input (where is life leading me?) to identify my next course of action.

    This often gets misrepresented as “manifestation”, or the idea that the world gives us what we want, but in my experience it is a two way street and is actively impeded by excessive imposition of the will.

  34. @ Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat (September 2; 2:14 pm) – i find Hattori’s hybrid critters rather cute and charming. Now, if they had oversized fangs dripping with with blood and slithering through green slime – that I might find disgusting – but fascinating as well.

    @ JMG – Thank for your essay on synchronicity – you brought to light all kinds of interesting little tidbits of knowledge, seemingly unrelated – Quantum physics? Wowsers. A new topic for my personal research and meditation.

  35. Interesting synchronicities abound…!

    I tend to get some great synchronicities as leads for my research on things I’m writing about…
    …for instance last week I was doing some reading on a project and wanted a book by Henry Rollins called “Get in the Van” about his life touring with Black Flag. The library didn’t have one and copies I looked up were prohibitively expensive. Later that day my wife and I took a walk in the neighborhood. We passed one of those “Free Little Libraries”. The last time I’d looked in it I didn’t see much, but I felt compelled to have a look and so I stopped and found a book by… Henry Rollins. It wasn’t the one I wanted exactly, but perhaps, having not read it yet, it is the one I actually need. Perhaps it will have a gem in there for a future essay that I wouldn’t have found otherwise.

    Today the Henry Rollins synchronicity continues. I am listening to a recording of a radio show he did on Aug. 30 on KCRW (he does great radio! https://www.kcrw.com/music/shows/henry-rollins ) I am filling in for a radio show on Saturday and doing a tribute to a Japanese radio station St. Giga whose transmissions were based around the movement of the tides and lunar phases. I have picked out two hours of the music already. One piece was “Dance of the Moon” by Thereminist Lydia Kavina. Henry Rollin’s just played that somewhat obscure piece! …but he played off a weird version released in Japan that he picked up while on tour there back in the ’90s. The same years St. Giga was on the air. Strange. It was interesting we are both picking the same song for radio within a span of a week and a few days.

    My article on St. Giga can be read here for anyone interested in an interesting Japanese radio experiment:
    http://www.sothismedias.com/home/the-lunar-phases-of-st-giga

    These kind of research related synchronicities happen all the time… I have some more synchronicities happen yesterday for two essays I just finished. They both relate to Hesse and the Glass Bead Game… sometimes you find these little footnotes that connect the pattern together. Footnotes in one back provided the connective tissue to bring things further into focus for my piece:

    Games of Dice and Games of Glass:
    http://www.sothismedias.com/home/games-of-dice-and-games-of-glass

    which in turn drew out more of the inherent narrative for the next piece in the sequence:
    Information Theory: When Data becomes Dada
    http://www.sothismedias.com/home/information-theory-when-data-becomes-dada

    I may bring these last two back up when it comes time to discuss Hesse… as I found it quite interesting that Norbert Wiener, Claude Shannon and Hesse all published significant works around the same years. Works that may have some interesting connections.

    To quote myself, “Hesse wrote his book [The Glass Bead Game] between 1931 and 1943. The interdisciplinary game at the heart of the book prefigures Claude Shannon’s explosive Information Theory which was established in his 1948 paper A Mathematical Theory of Communication. His paper in turn bears a debt to Alan Turing, whom Shannon met in 1942. Norbert Wiener also published his work on Cybernetics the same year as Shannon. All of these ideas were bubbling up together out of the minds of the leading intellectuals of the day. Ideas about computable numbers, the transmission of information, communication, and thinking in systems, all of which would give artists practical tools for connecting one field to another as Hesse showed was possible in the fictional world of Castalia.”

    The connecting footnote was that Hesse may have had more than a passing familiarity with Alan Turing’s 1936 paper On Computable Numbers, which in turn had an impact on Shannon when he and Turing met during WWII.

    The Glass Bead Game could be a way of thinking about synchronicity, and the way research in different / multidisciplinary fields can be connected.

    In any case, thanks to any and all who have read my comment and who happen to read my essays linked here.

  36. NomadicBeer,

    It’s basically just a rehash of the body/mind dualism and the ultimate conclusion of it is that the universe did not exist until people appeared (created by God presumably since consciousness cannot be part of this world in this theory).

    Not necessarily! If you assume panpsychism a la David Chalmers (or as animists always have), then consciousness-causes-collapse doesn’t require persons. If anything, its weakness then is that it might become indistinguishable from other objective-collapse interpretations.

  37. In your book “Learning Ritual Magic”, you mentioned that there are a great many uses for Tarot cards beyond divination and the exercises detailed in that book. Could you expand on this topic? I realize this may be too big a topic for a blog post, but I haven’t found much information on other uses for the Tarot so anything would be appreciated. Thank you!

  38. Kevin, there’s synchronicity all around you — that’s one of Jung’s points. We just have to overcome the prejudices of our culture to see them. (One vote for mental plane hygiene tallied.)

    Yorkshire, anything can be grouped into any set of categories you like. Are the groupings thus created of any use or meaning? That’s quite another matter.

    Robert, one vote tallied for why occult philosophy contradicts social-justice ideology.

    Kevin, yes, exactly. The tighter you clutch your fist, the more rigidly mechanical and boring your life becomes.

    Jessi, one vote tallied for a census of nonphysical critters.

    Yorkshire, one vote tallied for the disastrous fusion of religion, magic, and apocalyptic fantasy.

    Hans, I’m quite sure he read it — nearly all educated Europeans of his generation did. Keep in mind, though, that the core concepts of the Bhagavad-Gita are to be found in mystical literature of all places and times — not surprising, all things considered.

    Steve, oh, granted. The funny thing is that, having started well, Descartes proceeded to make a whole series of embarrassingly sophomoric mistakes; to begin with, as any Buddhist philosopher could have explained to him, the fact that you perceive thinking doesn’t mean that you exist, it just means that something exists that is capable of perceiving thinking, and also that thinking exists. The “something” need not be identical to what you think that word “I” means, and the thinking may or may not be something that the perceiver is doing — you may just be perceiving it…

    Joel, one vote tallied for an essay on meditation.

    Millicently, thank you. One vote tallied for an essay on the Internet.

    Robert, you’re welcome and thank you.

    David BTL, a classic example! Thank you.

    Errata, when you get synchronicities clustering, Jung suggests, that always means that an archetype is awake, and so it’s not just what somebody’s thinking — it always offers guidance of some kind.

    Viduraawakened, (1) thanks for this. One of these days I need to find the spare time to pay close attention to Sri Aurobindo’s ideas. (2) True, but that’s typical human self-centeredness. It’s far more likely that psychism is shared by all living things, and in plants it would be easier to detect, since they don’t have as complex an inner life.

    Your Kittenship, they remind me of that classic D&D monster, the Beholder. Oog.

    Churrundo, since synchronicity ignores space and time, that’s certainly one way it can work.

    KKA, I haven’t yet had the chance to read Catafalque, but you’re the third person to mention it to me in a fairly short time, so I’ll take that as a synchronicity — or, if you like, a pledge from my decidedly idiosyncratic muse…

    Jade Dragon, one definition of magic I’ve considered proposing is “magic is the art and science of creating synchronicities in accordance with will.”

    Will O, one vote tallied for autism and Aspergers syndrome.

    Walt, it’s a standard bit of occult philosophy that each of the inner planes is at least as complex and richly populated as the material plane. How many different kinds of plant and animal are there on this planet, and how many different ecological niches do they fill?

    Wesley, that sounds like a fun book. As for casinos, I figure that’s why there has to be a dealer, so that he or she can tap into synchronicity at roughly the same level as the other players!

    Kullervo, synchronicity doesn’t show that materialism and mechanism don’t exist. It simply shows that they’re not a complete description of the cosmos. Quantum mechanics shows the same thing.

    Wesley, one vote tallied for the Tamanous culture of the future.

    Danaone, you’re most welcome.

    Dennis, many thanks for this; those are classic examples. As for your questions, (1) in ceremonial magic, vibration is traditionally used for divine names only, but your mileage may vary; (2) Jung argued that the Self, the archetype of psychological wholeness, uses synchronicities to try to guide you toward balance and healing; occultists say the same thing about the Higher Self. (3) Affirmations begin work on the astral plane, but their goal is to attune you to a pattern of meaning and value on the mental plane; keeping all the planes as clean as possible makes it easier for things to cascade down into manifestation.

    Temporaryreality, good. There’s a reason I didn’t write “the profound involvement of your consciousness in the situation,” of course.

    James, I’ve always thought that the many-worlds interpretation is one of those clever bits of rhetoric that, while irrefutable, is also meaningless in any practical sense. Whatever may be happening off in the quantum cloud, for you personally, the indeterminacy did in fact collapse: you had a sandwich for lunch instead of motor oil, for example. Thank you for the macroscale quantum effects!

    Helix, that word “coincidence” gets way too much use. All it means is “happening at the same time”…

    Anonymous, thanks for this. It’s been documented that there were Buddhist missionaries in Alexandria in the 2nd century BC, so there’s another channel by which ideas could be shared. Of course there’s another factor, which is that we’re all human, working with very similar nervous systems in a common world, and so the fact that different mystics come up with similar models is about as surprising as the fact that societies in different parts of the world all figured out how to stick seeds in the ground and grow crops.

    Goldenhawk, you’re welcome.

    Walt F, one vote tallied for a commencement address, but with reservations. I know very little about what high school students are thinking and talking about these days, and I’m far from sure I could communicate with them. The several talks I’ve given to college classes, back in my peak oil days, were all resounding flops.

    TJ, or maybe you need to revise your ideas about how things “should have” worked out! 😉

    James, too funny. Exactly — as Spengler pointed out, every culture’s rationalism is simply its religion with the serial numbers filed off and some set of abstractions (or in this case, imaginary AIs) in place of its gods.

    NomadicBeer, the fascinating thing is that all this was hashed out by philosophers in the 18th century. Do you recall the pair of limericks discussing Berkeley’s philosophy?

    There once was a man who said “God
    Must find it exceedingly odd,
    When he finds that this tree
    Never ceases to be
    When there’s no one about in the Quad.”

    Dear sir, it is you who is odd.
    I am always about in the Quad.
    And that’s why the tree
    Never ceases to be
    As observed by, yours faithfully, God.”

    In slightly less amusing language, the consciousness-centered interpretation is only hubristic if it incorporates a tacit assumption that human beings are the only conscious beings in the cosmos. That’s also the hidden flaw in the Schrödinger’s cat thought-experiment — the cat, after all, is a conscious being perfectly capable of perceiving whether it is alive or dying.

    Jbucks, one vote tallied for an essay on the malign enchantment we’re under.

    PatriciaT, you’re most welcome.

    Justin, good. Are you at all familiar with Paolo Rossi’s Logic and the Art of Memory? If not, that’ll point you to another cascade of coincidence connecting Hesse with his younger contemporary Frances Yates…

    Metznaz, I’ll consider doing a post on the subject. The Tarot is the Swiss army knife of the occultist, with 78 blades…

  39. @churrundo
    Thank you so much for your story about Chucky. I have a friend who is much learned about the occult and Jungian psychology. Recently, she told me how amazed she is at the synchronicities of my life in my new home town. She said that it was as though I saw the “present” situation and was able to somehow “go back” and create eddy currents that brought forth the changes I needed for my desired outcome. (These outcomes were just for personal career goals and relationships, not big earth changing events. ) Anyway, I didn’t really get what she meant until reading your examples of Chucky. Pretty cool.

  40. @James M. Jensen II,

    “Many worlds” doesn’t imply “every conceivable world.” (Except in SF where the “quantum leaper” can end up in a world where humans are enslaved by sentient pottery or some such.) What it actually encompass is every world that could arise from the present and past evolution of the quantum wave function. I strongly doubt that a particle decay event could cause me to eat gravel for breakfast, though a split between a soup “world” and a sandwich “world” caused by a gamma ray zapping one of my neurons at the right moment (or failing to because the radioactive decay that emitted the gamma ray didn’t happen) is plausible enough. Apart from that, it’s highly speculative in any world view that quantum events have much to do with human decision making. My problem with the MWI is more along the lines of “Just where are all those other worlds? What separates soup-me from sandwich-me?”

    As you said, the MWI is ruthlessly deterministic. The state and continued evolution of the wave function is the entirely of change and causality in the MWI uni(multi)verse. If you’re accepting that paradigm, actual free will is absent; there’s only the question of why some subjective experiences seem to involve free will. “Because I feel as if I could freely decide to eat gravel, a world where I did decide to eat gravel must come into existence” comes from juxtaposing two incompatible world views.

    Even in more mainstream philosophies, when someone does do something like eat gravel, we don’t usually say, “wow, what an impressive exhibition of free will!” Our reaction tends to be just the opposite, downplaying free will in the matter and speaking instead of disorders or compulsions that have taken away the person’s choice or self-control.

    So, in the end I agree with you that MWI isn’t a useful model for understanding (let alone improving) decision making. Even if I accept at face value that human decisions are quantum events that always split worlds all possible ways based on the decision made (which doesn’t follow from QM itself), “do I want soup or a sandwich?” and “do I want to be in the world where I have soup or the one where I have a sandwich?” seem like exactly the same question anyhow.

  41. JMG, my head is spinning! Sometimes on this post I feel like a kid in school who accidentally stumbled into one of the advanced classes. I am not complaining though as I am grateful for the mind stretch I get from these fascinating disseminations.

    My vote is for a commencement speech. Thank you Walt F. for the intriguing suggestion.
    Cheers,
    Courtney

  42. @JMG, no I’m not familiar with Paolo Rossi…yet. Reading a description of the book, I know I have to read this. Thank you! I’d been a big fan of Umberto Eco in my twenties, especially his essays in the book The Search for the Perfect Language among many others, as well as his fiction.

    Somehow I’ve been finding lately that a lot of my early interests and readings/listenings are coming back around. (Perhaps it’s a synchronicity 😉 Stuff like situationism, semiotics, Hesse and cybernetics, etc. and a number of other subjects. I feel like I’ll be in a better position to use what I’ve studied so far.

    Thanks for another bit of thread through the maze! I’ll be following it up, for sure. The connection with logic & cryptography is especially interesting in terms of what I’m currently working on. & The art of memory is an endlessly fascinating subject in itself. Various about the cascade to Yates.

  43. I have a topic suggestion for the 5th Wednesday, which I find hard to articulate. Here goes:

    I have a life-long problem with a dysfunctional Will. It manifests as procrastination, proneness to to distraction and diversion, unfocused if not scattered activity, and failure to act consistently with respect to my conscious priorities and values.

    It has proven resistant to efforts at self-mastery (though I am working on it, and improving, but certainly not at the rate I’d like).

    I have the feeling that this dysfunctional Will is a common problem in our time, especially in our American culture. Could you consider a post on this phenomenon, where it comes from, what it reflects, and what to do about it? I hope my suggestion proves synchronistic!

    If this idea doesn’t get traction, I’d redirect my vote to Everything Asperger’s Syndrome mentioned by someone above.

  44. John Michael, meaningful connections do appear to be in short supply amongst our aging ranks of leaders and vision generators, but I am sensing quite a lot of their sworn followers escaping from their decrepit clutches to suddenly recognize meaningful connections unfolding all about them. The media’s incessant lying has certainly contributed to people paying closer attention to the unacknowledged patterns so blatantly hinted at by the media’s assiduously avoiding them. Like Pravda before them, their ham-fisted reporting seems to be very well designed to train the less brain-dead members of the populace to wake up and look for clues and patterns within what’s not being said. The lock-step shrieking by so many talking heads appears to be providing a free initiation into the Mysteries for many. Undoubtedly the frightening losses from riots and lock-downs have added a new urgency to people learning how to think their own thoughts and uncover “the pattern that connects” without the media’s filters.

    I am not suggesting that the old guard would ever admit to wanting to empower its servants to wake up — they are obviously in sheer panic over commoners thinking for themselves. That thought-muddling panic combined with the dumbing down of our leadership through inheritance and privilege have left them too bumblingly incompetent to successfully maintain significant influence over any but the most willing victims. But, at some level, I believe the old guard is desperate to have the reigns of power taken away, so they can stop pretending competencies they simply don’t possess — like kindergarteners acting out in the hope that some adult will stop them and reestablish clear, safe boundaries. Trapped inside their own echo-filled minds, our leaders know exactly how corrupt, power hungry, and inept they actually are. How awful to know their own inadequacies but to find no higher authority to look up to than their own rickety god-king status.

    The kindest thing we can do for these rambling idiots is to strip them of their status and let them recover from playing God. In some cases that will involve recovery rooms with bars on the windows and doors or padding on every surface. Meanwhile, as more people become more aware of “the pattern that connects,” some will choose to train themselves to become pattern guides — bodhisattvas for synchronicity (I can already think of one!) Some of these will become leaders and visionaries, hopefully guiding us out of the cul-de-sac we are so lost in at present. When their descendants are eventually left with such a short supply of meaningful connections that they need to be stripped of their status in turn, I hope things won’t have to get as absurdly distanced from “the way things naturally happen” as they have this time round. But, I wouldn’t bet on it — absurd disconnection seems to be a puzzling trait of one of the archetypes within “the pattern that connects.”

  45. Great discussion JMG. I sometimes think that Murphy’s Law is proof that C. G. Jung was correct about synchronicity.

  46. Hello JMG,

    I think the use of randomness/probability concepts in both synchronicity and Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics is largely due to the limitations of our knowledge, at our current stage of biological, social and spiritual development. Behind these phenomena, there might be some as-yet-undiscovered subtle causal factors that we can not sense, measure or explain with our limited bodies, tools, and theoretical paradigms at this current stage. If some day an adequate deterministic theory is developed to explain these phenomena, that may not necessarily exclude the effect of consciousness. Since the living organisms with more complex and efficient bodies have a greater chance to influence their material surroundings, then, by analogy, creatures whose subtle bodies are more complex and efficient may be able to manipulate those as-yet-undiscovered subtle factors with greater impact.

    With that said, my vote is for David Bohm’s theory on implicate and explicate orders.

  47. I vote for the malign enchantment since it seems to be the biggest, most immediate problem we all face.

  48. Thanks much for the post – I’ve always found Jung and his concepts of archetypes and synchronicity interesting. Do you have any recommendations for further reading on these topics?

    I too have also experienced plenty of synchronicity in my own life that’s hard to chalk up to random coincidence, but talking about my own personal and significant synchronicities would be rather involved, so I’ll just add to the chorus of me too.

    One type of less-personal synchronicity that I will mention, because I’m curious if anyone else has see it, is the tendency for people who live or work together to coordinate mundane behaviors without any conscious communication. This is the most common – albeit least important – type of synchronicity that I notice on a regular basis.

    Has anybody else noticed how people in the same workplace, or attending the same meeting, will often almost all show up wearing the same color or pattern, or how the same thing can happen with partners or family members even if you don’t see each other getting dressed? (And no, it’s not just everyone in green on March 17 or orange on October 31; it happens all year long with colors that have no logical connection to the same day.) I’ve also noticed the same thing with food – I can’t tell you how many times a friend or co-worker and I have discovered after the fact that we cooked the same, seemingly random, meal for dinner last night, or noticed that half the people at work seem to have all brought the same leftovers for lunch (and again, I don’t just mean holiday leftovers). I’ve also often walked in on my husband listening to the same music in the house as I had on in the car, or discovered that a friend has been reading the same random mystery novel that I’d just been reading. So on and so forth. It feels like when people live, work, and/or socialize together, they frequently find themselves making similar mundane choices without any direct reference to each other.

    Is it just me and the people I associate with, or do others see this type of mundane coordination too? Insignificant though it may be, it’s one of the things that convinced me years ago about there existing “something in the air” beyond anything science is willing to acknowledge.

    Also, I would like to put in a vote for malign enchantment.

  49. Fascinating stuff, well worth several readings.

    About the fifth Wedesday post, I have a request. As you’ve mentioned on prior occasions, our institutions of higher learning in the United States are liable to collapse in the not-too-distant future. Furthermore, they’ve become thoroughly corrupted by an ideology that I consider inimical to the values of our civilization that I wish to see conserved. You’ve suggested in the past that you might post some ideas on what we could do about this situation. Would you consider doing so now, or some time soon?

  50. I’m wondering how synchronicity and our cultural rejection of it relate to straight-out miracles and our cultural rejection of them.

    My youngest child is 19 now, but when he was one he walked on the open door of our dishwasher, which wasn’t anchored to the wall. It toppled and fell towards his tiny body and would have crushed him to death, without a doubt, but at that moment a broom stored next to the dishwasher defied all the laws of physics and leapt out, leapt up parallel to the floor and wedged itself so hard between the washing machine next to the dishwasher and the wall that the broom supported the whole weight of the dishwasher and I was able to grab my toddler out from a tiny wedge-shaped cave under the dishwasher (with cutlery raining down on him).

    I watched it happen, but whenever I tell that story people just say, “no, that didn’t happen”. One person, once, said, “you were incredibly lucky”.

    I watched it happen, I know it happened. I stilI have the broom. I have a living child because of that moment. To my mind there’s no explanation beyond saying it was a miracle, or he was meant to live. So instead people just say I’m lying.

  51. Tally another one up in support of Robert’s suggestion of Occult Philosophy Vs. Social Justice philosophy. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on that!

  52. Dear JMG, thanks for such a great article, have any recommendations with regards to Jun and archetypes?

    I will share a small syncronicty very recent story relating to a previous post you replied to at dreamwidth. I wrote a post on the Magical Monday, describing my background and my interest for the occult in the 5 years. I specifically as asking how to arrive to a pantheon, given that I had several interests given my background as a Latin-catholic, who lived/worked with nature and felt the Greek take on many things interesting.
    To this post you replied that there was no way around this work, and that I had the time to explore and the gods were indeed patient.

    That day I had just settled into my new home, which I moved into on Sunday, and I gave myself a break from cleaning and unpacking to not lose the opportunity of asking you this. I read the reply and went on my duties thinking about what you said, and how I was to approach this. I was cleaning under a cupboard with my partner, and a small wooden certified copy of an old Byzantine Icon appeared… its a virgin Mary carrying a child, on a golden background. He asked, what should we do with this? and it became obvious, that this seemed too much of a coincidence or is it 🙂

    The golden image now rests on top of my tarot deck, but I have yet to approach either by prayer or meditation. Any recommendations?

    Thanks

    Fuchsia Radiant Raccoon

  53. Anonymous, don’t forget that Heraclitus was writing some pretty cryptic, verily esoteric, stuff about Logos well before those Buddhist missionaries showed up in Alexandria. Heraclitus himself lived slightly before the Buddha’s time, and for anyone who’s studied Buddha-dharma, Heraclitus’ fragments ring familiar… Is not Heraclitus the primordial first of the Stoics, themselves likened to “Buddhists with an attitude”?… (any comments from JMG would be most welcome)

  54. This is a most fascinating idea that I have not run across, that the acausal principle, synchronicity, and psi can wax and wane in accordance with the psychological condition of the subject. And yet, as these are about consciousness, it makes sense, doesn’t it?

    I can easily see that I Ching taps into that principle, but astrology not so much.

  55. What’s up JMG and friends. I was going to ask what the purpose of synchronicity is and then I saw your response to Dennis, “the Self, the archetype of psychological wholeness, uses synchronicities to try to guide you toward balance and healing; occultists say the same thing about the Higher Self.” So! It sounds like they are meant to capture your attention and make you aware of something that you’re maybe needing to focus on in some way?

    And is there a difference between synchronicity and just above average likelihood of something happening more than once? For example, in my tarot cards when I ask questions about similar things I have tended to get the same card over and over — three times I’ve gotten the Wheel when asking about my work/living situation and I shuffle pretty well! (I want to say that doing this is a huge accomplishment for me due to my anxiety so yeah, I’m trying to stay positive about this!) Also, when my husband was being abusive and I was looking into the tarot, I kept getting the same cards pulled then too. (My first reaction, by the way, is “the tarot is totally messing with me, the wheel is the earth, you’re going to live somewhere on the earth.”) Anyway, is that synchronicity, or something else?

  56. Hi JMG,

    This post touched on something I’ve been wondering about recently as it’s occurred to me that, as a wider culture, we are still trapped in the dogmas of materialism and mechanism to a degree much more than I realised (obviously I’ve been hanging out in this forum too long and not paying enough attention to the real world).

    It seems to me that we have enough material coming from within western science now to break or at least question those dogmas and that has been around now for more than a hundred years but these haven’t seeped into the broader culture. I’m not sure why that would be. My best guess is that it’s political. That is, if we allowed the numinous back into the world, everybody would realise how boring their life was and people might demand more interesting jobs or give up consumerism etc. Any other ideas?

    Cheers,
    Simon

  57. @Walt F

    Granted, I’m not a physicist, but I’m not sure I understand how my eating gravel for breakfast tomorrow isn’t a possible future: one decay event wouldn’t make enough of a difference, but it seems like a series of decay events could, however unlikely that series would be. Is there some threshold of probability at which the timelines fail to split any further?

  58. JMG, I’ll agree with Kevin that this post requires several readings just to begin to sink in. For some reason the Heisenberg Principle comes to mind. The reductionist materialist runs deep in me, and my mind is closed. But logically, I say, all these definitions around this topic don’t provide any more clarity – they seem to just be differing ways to express the same confusing ideas.

    BTW – did any of the card readers exhibit a negative sixth sense, and average 3.75 out of 25? I have some friends like that at the racetrack.

  59. Dear JMG:
    Yes, you found the photo, that’s it!
    Thanks–It’s a priceless indication of the muse’s sense of humor.
    FYI, the material about the Magician Archetype is in Catafalque, the material about the pledges from the Muse are in Reality.
    Happy synchronicities to all . . .

  60. Wesley wrote, “As for the use of ESP to guess what’s on the other side of a card 6.25 times out of 25 instead of just 5, even though that doesn’t look like much it still might be enough to tilt the odds in blackjack or poker, so that raises the question: Do casinos employ some sort of defense against ESP – i.e. by creating enough inner-plane noise to keep it from being effective?”

    What a timely, no to say synchronous, question. Just this past Sunday I accompanied my new Belarusian ward to the local casino to watch a hockey game — my first time there. He placed lots of bets and surprisingly ended up winning $350 that night. A casino is one of the most horrific man-made environments I can imagine, making the common shopping mall seem positively empowering by comparison. A socially distanced and masked casino just makes it that much more depressing to watch the hopeless squander any hope they have left on games rigged for them to lose, in isolation.

    Between periods in the hockey match we went to watch an active roulette table, which was actually fascinating to me. The three players (max that can still pretend to socially distance) had stacks and stacks of chips in front of them which they frantically placed about to put a bet on about half the available numbers, some with only half a chip and others with a little tower of chips. Clearly the “fun” was in the gambling itself, as all three players were eventually wiped out, and that seemed like business as usual for them.

    At one point my friend Alexi predicted that the ball would land on black and asked me what I thought. I looked inside for any instinct and answered, “I think it will land on 12.” The chips were flying. The croupier launched the ball on the wheel. Then the number 14 came rushing in on my awareness quite strongly. I told Alexi, “14, I think it will land on 14.” Then the ball bounced around a bit and settled on 14. That certainly got my attention! And, by holding my attention hostage, I was unable to sense any more clues about what the next numbers would be. It went from the natural interest of playing a new game to the stressful dullness of can I do it again. Ha, ha, ha — as though “I” had done it the first time!

    As for creating inner-plane noise, that’s a two way street. All the mirrors, lights, bells, alarms and screens are designed to induce a mild trance state that makes the mark more susceptible to over-confidence. However, that sensory overload is also used in religious ritual, usually alternating with sensory deprivation, to induce full trance (ideally a cathartic and empowering experience.) That is to say, anyone with sufficient training in crossing the boundary to yield to the larger self could use all the casino’s stimulus to get more in touch with their instincts, heightening their attuning to syncronicity or ESP. I wouldn’t recommend this, as a casino is one of the least safe ritual environments to surrender to and make manifest the higher self. Also, yoking your higher self to the playing of parlor games is a surefire way to build blockages to your access — that’s if you are lucky. The unlucky maintain access, but only to an abused, manipulated, and resentful higher self that proceeds to abuse and manipulate them in return until they damn well learn how to respect their selves.

    For me, subjecting my Self to a casino in the first place is rather disrespectful. Fortunately, I went for a three hour swim and a four hour hike through a forest the next day to rebuild a connection to my Self. Speaking of the Self, what have we done to our North American scarab, the June bug? As children, there used to be so many clinging to our screens in June that we played all sorts of games with them. Now, I’m lucky if I see three or four June bugs in a year. If scarabs are the archetype for the Self, here in North America we appear to have pretty well killed our selves off. Yikes!

  61. Dear JMG,

    I’ll be going back to read the swarm of earlier comments, as I’m sure they will add much of interest to your excellent review of some important reality-examination.

    But I felt I should first contribute my own relevant datum that much recent experience has also made me very interested in coincidence. Which has resulted in the fact that I’m just halfway through reading “Hide! Hide! Witch!” by Mark Clifton, as the last of his stories that I’ve grabbed in early 1950s Astounding sci-fi. Not the last to be published, but the one I hadn’t reread yet, and the one most relevant to some of my current life surprises, including your post. And which seems to be an early example of the importance of systems thinking.(Which I’m tending to call “network thinking” to take it beyond its industry-related and oversimple beginnings) Which seems to me yet another coincidence of serious significance, at least for this mental investigator.

  62. It may be too political, and I completely understand your desire to skirt that subject, but I would like to hear your thoughts on Qanon. I read an article (perhaps in The Atlantic) in which somebody suggested that we are actually seeing the birth of a new religion. Another writer observed that the experience for believers follows almost exactly the principles of “Game Theory” (which I know nothing about) and speculates that either a nefarious operative behind the cult is purposely using game theory to hook followers and keep them enthralled, or perhaps a more innocent Q is so immersed in gaming culture that the structure of game theory is simply part of the structure of their world view/reality and they are barely aware of it. I also read that, in cracking down on Qanon groups, Facebook shut down one group with 2 million followers. That was almost incomprehensible although there is no reason to doubt the statistic. I’ve met several FB friends-of-friends who have lost relationships with close friends and even family members over this. At any rate, this phenomenon seems to have meaning and significance far beyond the outcome of this year’s election. Although, if Trump were to lose, which seems highly possible, that would certainly throw a curve ball to a group that considers him a demigod. Is it likely to destroy it or, like any number of millennial cults, will they simply reorient and keep going? I think it is, by turns, totally fascinating and very frightening.

    As always, thank you for everything you do! Ecosophia comes close to making Wed. my favorite day of the week!

  63. Hello JMG

    Thanks for this post! It certainly makes me rethink my desire for being in control.

    My vote for the 5th Wednesday goes to lunarapprentice’s dysfunctional Will.

    SMJ

  64. So the “Disenchantment of the World” is really just the disenchantment of humans, of our perceptions. Consequently we should re-enchant ourselves, not the world.

    My vote is for the mental plane hygiene topic. I was just thinking about what you said on the Magic Monday about mental plane banishing and how we can’t do it directly.

  65. JMG – A person I know slightly, tells me she’s just found out her real father is a famous popular music star. I blurt out a name. She’s surprised that I “guessed” correctly.

    A co-worker is pregnant. I tell her she’s going to have twins. She says there’s only one heart beat. I tell her they’re beating in unison. Not until delivery does she realize she has twins.

    Are those instances synchronicity, or, something else? Thanks! Lew

  66. Courtinthenorth, I’m glad to hear it. It’s a good experience to have now and then. One vote tallied for the commencement speech.

    Justin, have fun. Hesse drops some hints in The Glass Bead Game about the way he derived the Game from the early modern traditions Rossi discusses.

    Lunarapprentice, one vote tallied for dysfunctions of the will.

    Christophe, I’ve noticed this. The latest example — Nancy Pelosi’s blithe disregard for the regulations she wants us peons to abide by, followed by an equally blithe insistence that the hair salon was to blame for her actions — seems to have been too much for a great many people. Now’s the time to focus all the more strongly on making and maintaining connections with the spiritual realm, because that’s the source of the creative power that can transform the situation for the better.

    Raymond, that’s the Trickster archetype at work. Murphy is one of the Trickster’s names…

    Kyle, a vote tallied for the essay on the malign enchantment.

    Minervaphilos, that’s the argument from ignorance I was talking about. “We don’t know of any causal laws that could bring this about, but they have to be there somewhere.” No, they don’t — the laws of nature really could be statistical rather than deterministic, and Jung offers us reasons to think that this may in fact be the case. That said, one vote tallied for David Bohm.

    Your Kittenship, one vote tallied for the essay on malign enchantment.

    El, well, have you read any of Jung’s writings? His long essay “Synchronicity” is a good place to start. Yes, those are also synchronicities, part of the background pattern of meaningful coincidences. One vote tallied for the essay on malign enchantment.

    Kevin, one vote tallied for what we can put in place once the academic industry finishes crashing and burning.

    Leonie, miracles happen. I’m delighted to hear that one happened to you and your son. The fact that so many people insist that such things are impossible simply shows how embarrassingly limited their grasp of reality is.

    Dudley, one vote tallied for occult philosophy vs. wokester ideology!

    Raccoon, sure. Man and his Symbols, which was compiled by Jung’s students under his guideance, is a good place to start making sense of his ideas. As for your synchronicity, in your place I’d treat that as an invitation; Mary has indicated that she’d be delighted to work with you. If you choose to take her up on that, you might consider praying the rosary once a day — either the Catholic version or the Eastern Orthodox version. That’s the standard anchor practice for working with her, and as you develop a connection with her, you’ll be guided to other practices.

    Onething, astrology comes at synchronicity from a different angle. It tells you which way the patterns are moving at any given time; the I Ching (and other “randomness”-based oracles such as tarot) tell you how the patterns are affecting you right now.

    Jess, the Tarot and similar oracles work by giving synchronicity plenty of room to work, and listening to the results. When I get the same card over and over again I study it very carefully, because it very often has an important message for me.

    Simon, the dogmas of materialism and mechanism weren’t adopted because anybody did experiments proving them true, and they won’t be discarded just because people have done experiments that prove that they’re false. They are the foundations of the modern religion of progress; only if the world is mechanistic and materialistic can we pretend that human beings are destiny’s darlings, the only important beings in the cosmos, marching invincibly from the caves to the stars, et cetera, ad nauseam. Let go of that and people would have to face just how dull and pointless their lives have become. The religion of progress, after all, is a replacement for having a life; no matter how dismal your own existence, you can console yourself with Star Trek fantasies of a supposedly wonderful future…

    Drhooves, logic suffers from the GIGO law; if your basic assumptions don’t correspond to reality, your conclusions will be flawed. Yes, there were specific people who reliably got lower scores than chance!

    Packshaud, one vote tallied for mental plane hygiene.

    KKA, thanks for this. It’s a funny picture — though deep-fried crickets really are tasty.

    Tom, fascinating. I’ll keep an eye out for the story.

    Btidwell, I’m fairly sure that the QAnon phenomenon is a product of US military intelligence. It uses all the gimmicks that I encountered over and over again when I was researching the UFO phenomenon for my book The UFO Chronicles — gimmicks that were originally worked up to conceal the location of the D-Day landing sites from the Nazis, and have been used systematically from 1947 to the present to conceal US balloon tests, spyplanes, early spy satellites, stealth aircraft, and other classified technology from foreign agents and, not incidentally, from civilian oversight in the US as well. Exactly why such a project would make sense to military intelligence is an intriguing question, though it’s not without possible answers — in particular, the longstanding quarrel between the Pentagon and the State Dept./CIA nexus is important in contemporary politics, as the Pentagon has been backing Trump while State and the CIA are backing his opponents. It’s definitely worth watching!

    SMJ, one vote tallied for the will and its dysfunctions.

    Ecosophia, re-enchant? No, we need to start by breaking the malign enchantment we’re under, and waking up to the fact that the world is still full of magic. One vote tallied for mental plane hygiene.

    Lew, my guess is that you’ve got an unusually sensitive etheric body.

  67. This was a very interesting article. It reminds me of a book I read sometime ago by intelligent design advocate William Dembski called “Being as Communion: A Metaphysics of Information”. The author argues that the final reality is not matter, but rather at the elementary level matter reduces to information, and we could even dispense with the concept of matter and still give a viable explanation of reality as long as we had information. And of course, if everything is ultimately information it is much easier to imagine these synchronicity connections. So I am curious, what are your thoughts on the intelligent design movement? By that I do not mean a defense of literal interpretations of Genesis, a.k.a. creationism, but rather the sustained argument coming out of a lot of Discovery Institute scientists in recent years that cognition is necessary to explain a number of scientific phenomenon, especially those found in biology. As far as I can tell they are one of the only groups in the hard sciences right now arguing for non reductionist, non materialistic conceptions of science.

    Also, for whatever its worth I would really like to see you use the last Wednesday in September to talk about politics and the upcoming election. Normally I would prefer something more academic and along the lines of this article, but late September will be close enough to the election so that it seems appropriate to address Trump, MLM, lock downs, riots and all the other fun stuff dominating politics right now.

  68. Apologies for what I left out of my earlier comment, as if others might be familiar with ancient sci-fi. The exact place I returned to after writing referred to the programming of Bossy, a computer being designed by a team unknowingly being inspired by a telepath, read thus:

    “Comparison of new data with old data, a feedback process of numerous indexed impulses and these to the external sense receptors and their stream of new impulses – really it was quite trivial.”

    “It was only coincidence that it seemed, here and there, to duplicate the responses of an infant mind. Only coincidence that as new experience and new data were being constantly applied, new areas of experience exposed to Bossy, that she should seem to follow the process of the learning child.”

    “Strictly coincidence, and one must not be fooled by coincidence.”

    Indeed not!

    Still less must one be fooled by the culturally imposed tribalism that insists on believing the absurd and logically contradictory, simply because the alpha male insists.

  69. I am adopted and only at age 33 did I discover one of my birthparent’s names. I still don’t know my birthfather’s name and probably will not ever know. My imaginary friend as a child went by my birthmother’s first name and a song I wrote about an imaginary woman named Yoshi at age 20 turned out to be the name of one of my Japanese great-grandfathers. There were too many syncronicities around being adopted to mention.

    One more vote for how to remove the evil enchantment from the human race that has them thinking the world isn’t enchanted.

  70. Hi John!

    I would be interested to hear more about past lives. In particular, what evidence leads you to believe in their existence? What about past life memories convinced you of their validity, and if those memories are valid, why past lives instead of, for example, ancestral memory?

    In addition, I was wondering about the connection between souls throughout lives as you see it. Do we tend to run with the same people over lives? Do you get a sense when you are connected to someone in that way?

  71. @James M. Jensen II, that’s a really good question.

    What I was getting at was that there might be extraordinarily improbable quantum events that could end up with gravel in your stomach, but you wouldn’t describe such events as deciding to eat gravel instead of soup; the narrative would be something more like, “I had a seizure during a violent earthquake.”

    But the question of whether there’s some probability threshold in the MWI is one I’ll have to look into further. In theory there’s always a possibility of every air molecule on earth spontaneously tunneling to outer space. The probability of that is one of those unimaginably small numbers, where metaphors like a monkey just happening to type a perfect copy of the 1996 Encyclopedia Britannica by chance don’t even begin to approach the real magnitude.* But it’s still a finite number, so must the many worlds cosmos include vast numbers of post-atmosphere-catastrophe Earths springing from every moment of every history?

    The answer may lie in the idea of timelines “splitting” at specific moments being an imperfect understanding of what the always-unfolding never-collapsing wave function would actually be doing, as you’re already aware. The portion of the “one increasingly-fuzzy blob of possible states” representing extremely improbable evolutions might be, in some way, metaphorically too “small” or too “distant” to matter.

    *For the “1 in x chance” of the monkey typing the encyclopedia, x is a number with about twice as many base-10 digits as there are characters in the encyclopedia itself; that is, if printed in bound volumes in a small font, it would fit into about the same size as a copy of the encyclopedia. The x of the “1 in x chance” of the atmosphere tunneling into space, if similarly printed in bound volumes, wouldn’t fit into this universe, or into a number of universes equal to the number of printed digits that could fit into this universe.

  72. As an Orthodox Christian, I firmly believe that God “speaks” to me via synchronicities. I have had many such experiences, and those are what I pay attention to. No “voices in my head” or anything like that.

  73. This is a really interesting post. Although I had read about the incident with Jung and the beetle, I still have a strong tendency to think of synchronicity as the unconscious mind making the conscious mind notice things as a means of communication – still a causal phenomenon but not a phenomenon we control, so an acausal phenomenon from the human perspective.

  74. In philosophical terms, the Jung-Pauli collaboration can be seen to be a form of neutral monism, in which mind and matter are just different aspects of the same thing. Daoism is undoubtedly just a much older more established way of trying to describe the same thing. Scientists are now saying as much as 97% of the universe is ‘dark matter’ or the quantum non-local domain. In modern colleges, Acausality, Non-locality complementarity and entanglement are all lumped under the one size fits all trash portal “qualia”. Qualia is the ‘problem’ that dare not speak its name. Non reductive physicalism known as “functionalism” is the main game being pushed incredibly hard at college these days, it measures itself only against physicalism and dualism. It is a utilitarian thesis that characterises mind as an abstract set of causally interrelated functional states that may include non human agents and objects. It extends out into tool using Pan-Psychism and vitalistic Pan-ProtoPsychism. Interesting how they always have to smuggle ‘Universe-B’ (Spirit) back in somewhere. It strikes me that encouraging people to think of themselves as moving parts in larger interconnected causal bubbles is a sort of corporate style fascism.
    Qualia dogs it relentlessly.
    I think Kants philosophy does a pretty good job of accomodating Quantum Qualia, considering he didnt know it existed at the time , but he is derided as yesterdays pale male stale hero these days, not someone who should be studied and taken seriously.
    Of course dear JMG, the western lineage of the Quantum wave form, ‘The Way’, or dual aspect monism , should anyone be interested, is Plato, Spinoza, Schopenhauer, with Kant a noble mention.

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-consciousness/

  75. Add another vote for social justice idiocy, er, ideology.

    I saw the story about Pelosi and her hair salon visit. She’s still blaming the salon and insisting it was a setup. Not a good move for her or the Democrats. Speaking of blowback, did anyone here see the story about Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and how Antifa rioters ‘celebrated’ his birthday the other day by torching his apartment? Sounds like karma to me…

    https://thepostmillennial.com/antifa-torches-portland-mayors-apartment-on-his-birthday

  76. My vote is for a post on UFOs! Interestingly, Trump had a faux pas where he talked about invisible aircraft. Many witnesses in Beirut reported hearing a military jet aircraft immediately before and after the explosion, but there is no video of the aircraft. Perhaps there is a (secret) technology for visual-spectrum stealth aircraft we don’t know about yet?

  77. Hi JMG,

    I’d like to toss in another vote, on the fifth Wednesday of September post, for a discussion about the emerging Tamanous culture of the future. What emerging social trends are currently observable that give a hint to this new culture’s sensibilities and founding principles? Do you expect all of North America to be characterized by this Tamanous culture–or do you have specific regions (perhaps the Ohio River Valley) in mind as its hearth?

    Thanks!

  78. JMG – How come whenever I do those psychic cards, I never ever get a single one of them right. Like it’s statistically significant how many of them I miss. Like I can go through a deck of cards and get nearly ever one of them wrong in a 50:50 probability thing. I’m not trying to be a wise-ass when the lab-coat guy is holding them up –

    I’m just missing them every time, to the point it’s like I’m getting them all right from a statistical standpoint.

    Oddly enough sometimes when I get my head into this weird place where I don’t feel like someone whacked an axe into the front of my forehead, I can get most of them right. The hard part is seems to be separating my expectation of what is there from what is really there. And there is a temporal component to it. Like if I’m going to get them right I have to move down the line of cards in a rhythmical way….. That could be important to.

    But most of the time, I just miss them all. This makes me think I’d be the wold champion at Russian Roulette. lol

  79. Thank you JMG!

    Your final comment on “Logos” brought to mind a beloved piece of writing by Brother Guy, the Vatican astronomer– When Reason Itself Becomes Flesh.

    For background–in the traditional form of the Catholic Mass, the first bit of the gospel of John is read after the dismissal. Everyone stands, and then genuflects at “et verbum caro factum est”–so it is deeply part of you fairly quickly.

    https://www.vofoundation.org/blog/across-the-universe-when-reason-itself-becomes-flesh

    On another topic, I’d value your thoughts on the malign enchantment/disenchantment of the world.

    SamChevre

  80. Archdruid,

    Ouch, I was hoping for a light read during my lunch break. This one is a doozy.

    I’m a little confused about the archtypes and the relationship to synchronicity. Are “archtypes” the same as “concepts” in greek philosophy? The idea that all things are related to perfect concepts in the spiritual plane, and just imperfect representations on the material?

    I’m thinking here specifically of the concept of things like victory and loss. Several readers reported strange phenomenon regarding the number 538 and the elections. If the concept/archetype of victory is a non-material phenomenon, then it would trigger various forms of synchronicity that would allow people in the present to read the future. Correct?

    Regards.

    Syfen

  81. As someone who has struggled with the Rebel archetype, I am glad that you cracked this subject open with your usual surgical precision. It’s no fun encountering situation after situation where a second set of values continuously undermines opportunities and relationships, especially when having no insight into what is really going on.

    Which ties into my recent research into the Qliphoth, which is like the ultimate forbidden fruit for the Rebel.
    The angle I was approaching was how to ground out the energy so that it does not take over, which is apparently something that must be learned before attempting advanced practices. Of course one does not have to look very far to find people who claim to be fully committed to the left hand path, some have made careers out of it.

    Given my nature I can understand their attraction to the cosmic bug zapper, but at the same time my first reaction was “Who the heck wants to live in the sewer?”

    So another vote for malign enchantment.

  82. JMG,

    I’ve experienced plenty of synchronicity, my comment wasn’t a complaint of a lack of synchronicity, it was more, “It would be amazing if I had a synchronicity related to the post on synchronicity”, which didn’t happen, until I accepted it wouldn’t happen, but my scarab did in fact arrive! I really wonder how it got in my apartment though: I left the windows closed when went out, but when came back there he was….

    All,

    The many universes hypothesis has some weird implications unfolding from the idea that somewhere out there, as long as it’s possible, everything has happened. Which means there are universes where right as someone provides the example of all the air in the room moving to a corner as something so wildly improbable it will never happen, people in that room suffocate because all the air in the room did just that. Personally, I think anything which requires such absurdity to exist is probably flawed. There are other reasons as well (the hash it makes out of free will, for example), but that on its own was enough to convince me it’s probably wrong.

  83. When I read the story about the dream scarab and the beetle, I thought of an experience I had when I was teaching English in Japan. I was only 20 and it was my first foray to a foreign country and, being there for the summer, the longest time I had ever been away from home. One night I dreamed of chocolate cake, an obvious dream of something comforting from home. The next morning the family I lived with had a visitor for breakfast. At the end of breakfast, the mother pulled out a box she had gotten from the bakery for breakfast dessert. Everyone said I should have first choice of the contents. It turned out to be several pieces of cake, and there sat my slice of chocolate cake.

    While I’ve had many more profound experiences of synchronicity, it is nice to know that sometimes your deep self realizes you just need chocolate cake.

  84. Hi John,

    I’ve been working my way through “The Life Divine” by Sri Aurobindo, so I would love to see a discussion of him and his ideas. It does make a very interesting complement to Dion Fortune’s CosDoc. I also have a copy of “The Synthesis of Yoga”, which is next on my list of Aurobindo’s works to study.

    As for QAnon, I always figured it was an “info op” by Trump supporters in the military intelligence community. Like you said, it has all the hallmarks of earlier info ops and disinformation campaigns by US military intelligence.

  85. One vote for the malign enchantement. A related topic could be Chaos Magic and its relation to the present situation in the US. Also, the occult aspects if any of corona or rather the corona crisis. But perhaps I’m merely repeating myself…

  86. “We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. But is it not sufficient concerning your Lord that He is, over all things, a Witness?” Quran 41:53.

    I discussed with a friend just yesterday how Jung’s synchronicities were likely some of the ‘Signs’ mentioned in the scriptures of Monotheistic religions. And then today, saw this meaningfully coincident post.

    JMG; you had mentioned in an answer through one of your comments over the last few weeks, and I paraphrase here: how for a new religion to be founded, one would have to connect with the Divine plane and visit with God (or gods). Could it not be that the founders of Monotheistic religions did in fact make (or were made to make) that connection; and the scriptures (Bible, Quran etc) thus ‘Revealed’ have Truth to them?

    I very much appreciate your posts as well as your wisdom. Thank you.

  87. So synchronicity is really a kind of pantheistic world-soul, but an active rather than passive one? That makes some sense, actually…

  88. El,
    I have certainly and frequently noticed the dressing sort of the same experience. Maybe the same style of skirt in a different colour or same colour scheme but different styles. This has happened with both friends and family often enough for me to notice.
    Votes for malign enchantment and dysfunctions of the will if I am allowed to be greedy.

  89. I recall when I was a young boy, I was quite good at rolling dice while playing board games. And in more recent years I had a knack for flipping a coin to heads several times in a row.
    Just this summer I was trimming back weeds on the curb in front of my house and making quite a mess. I had been thinking how it would save me a lot of work if a street sweeper were to show up. Not an hour later one was passing by and turned around to do a pass just to help.
    A couple years ago I was stopped at a red light. When it turned green I paused for a couple seconds, I don’t know why. But as I started to move a cement truck ran the red light at full speed.
    Is this skill, luck, or guardian angels? Now I have to research Synchronicity.

  90. First synchronicity– Early on you discussed the role of archetypes in the process of falling in love. Yesterday my meditation was on the discussion of falling in love in the Phaedrus, and I noted that Plato’s description sounds quiite a bit like Jung’s notion of anima/animus projection. “Even as if the beloved himself were a god he fashions for himself as it were an image, and adorns it to be the object of his veneration and worship.”

    Second synchronicity– I’ve been alternating day by day between Plato and Iamblichus, and this morning’s meditation was on Iamblichus’s description of divination…. which is basically a process of learning to read synchronicity. “The Gods, employing many instruments [from the movements of the stars to the viscera of sacrificial victims to dreams] as media, send indications to men; and that they also use the ministrant aid of daemons and souls, and the whole of nature, and of every thing in the world which is willingly obedient to them, they being the primordial leaders of all these, and transmitting the motion which descends from them wherever they please.” If you swap out the word “Gods” with “archetypes,” it sounds very much like the same thing Jung was saying.

    Regarding synchronicity itself, I’ve always used it as a guide, assuming that when synchronicities start piling up, I’m heading in the right direction, while when my life seems devoid of them, something is wrong. The connection with parapsychological data is new to me though, and it makes perfect sense.

  91. I realized another synchronicity with this post and the picture of the beetle. I have been battling Japanese beetles on my rose bush (mostly by shaking them off, then stepping on them). The Japanese beetles are also gold and green, and I thought they looked similar to the picture in this post. Looking it up, I discovered the Japanese beetle is a type of scarab beetle, and it reminded me I needed to look for natural ways to humanely get rid of the beetle and found all kinds of good advice online.

  92. For anyone looking for a scientific take on the intersection between consciousness and reality, I recommend the book “Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness,” a book written by physics professors about the subject that is meant for a lay audience. Very interesting.

  93. I am going to cast my vote for dysfunctions of the will. It is definitely something I struggle with and would love to get a better understanding of.

  94. If we end up with the commencement speech suggestion for the 5th monthly post, given how forgettable most commencement speeches are (working in education, I could not name one speaker or theme of any one of the innumerable graduation speeches I have been privy to), I’d vote instead for the commencement speech given by one of the Weird of Hali characters to the graduates of the Starry Wisdom school where Owen teaches when they are ready to move onto other things. I imagine it would be much more enjoyable and more edifying than the usual run of graduation speech fodder.

  95. I’ll vote for an essay on malign enchantment.

    I also seem to recall you bringing up the possibility of an essay on ways to defuse the sorcery of advertising – perhaps this was back in the Well of Galabes days. I don’t know if there’s more to it than banishing rituals and hoodoo floor washes and flinging your TV at the nearest passing dump truck – but if so, it would seem both badly needed and desirable these days.

  96. Helena Blavatsky in her “Isis Unveiled” made the point, roughly, that you are known. And that, similar to the chord of a key on the piano when you are struck, the note you will produce is known – of course also accounting for the various ways that the key can be struck. So, as you progress through the various and interconnected “templates” of consciousness that you have preloaded, your responses to your key being struck at the different levels of vibration produces a known result. That, of course, is complemented by the rippling reality.

    So, ignoring the M&M fallacy, The moments of your life will produce the intended melody of that life, kind of a dharma thing. Of course, in a gamified consciousness, you could fulfill your challenges, or not, kind of a karma thing (I often think dang I’m going to kill that fly whether I’ll owe the fool a thousand more lifetimes or not – like I have all eternity, so who cares…).

    Then, if the goal is to fulfill your individuation process, uniting with the godhead, etc. etc.. then the melody to completion is known. Then, the future (the perfected self) determines all of the steps along the way. And the future requires the past, aligning causal chains as needs be. Nothing in my experience has dissuaded me from this as a working hypothesis.

  97. Okay, I’ve tabulated everyone’s votes so far. Thank you!

    Stephen, I wonder if Dembski has any idea that Bishop Berkeley was there close to three hundred years ago. As for intelligent design, I’ve long thought that those of its proponents that I’ve read could benefit from some exposure to systems theory. From a systems perspective, any sufficiently complex system is capable of intelligent behavior — and that includes, say, an ecosystem, or the biosphere.

    Tom, I must have missed that bit of antediluvian SF. Please remind me of the author and title!

    Kimberly, those fall very neatly in the gray area between synchronicity and psychism.

    Jake, I’ve added that to the list.

    Michael, if I understand correctly, that’s quite common.

    Justin, that’s certainly one way to look at it.

    Sein, I imagine a dog named Qualia trotting relentlessly after a gaggle of scientists, who are all pretending not to glance back and notice it gaining on them! Schopenhauer’s a fave of mine, btw, though I don’t share his value judgment about existence.

    Galen, it’s comedic gold at this point!

    Justin and Balowulf, so noted.

    Epic, some people have scores with the Zener cards that are lower than chance at a statistically significant level. You may be one of them. I don’t recommend pursuing a career as a gambler!

    SamChevre, thanks for this. I’m glad to see the concept getting some exploration.

    Varun, the exact relationship of the archetypes to the Platonic ideas or forms is an intricate question, and to my knowledge there isn’t yet a consensus. To my mind, though, it’s not the concept of victory that the synchronicities are clustering around, it’s the archetype that Trump is instantiating — the one that I’ve called, flippantly but not too flippantly, the King in Orange. When an archetype manifests, the world of our experience twists around it — as we see right now.

    Aloysius, exactly. There are many, many more interesting places to be.

    Kevin, so noted!

    BoulderLovin Cat, tasty, tasty synchronicity! 😉

    Galen, so noted. I’m not sure when I’ll have time to get to Aurobindo but he’s on the list.

    Mobi, I consider the monotheist religions to be fully valid. Their sole mistake, to my mind, is in thinking that the god contacted by their founders is the only god there is. It’s a serious mistake, and it leads to other mistakes, but it doesn’t vitiate the religions as wholes.

    Tidlösa, that’s certainly one way to think about it.

    Piper, all of the above!

    Steve, and there you are. 😉

    Cat, and there you are, too!

    Zachary, thanks for this.

    Cat, I’ll keep that in mind. The question in my mind is who would give the commencement speech?

    Cliff, I’ll consider that.

    Coboarts, and that’s certainly one way to think about it.

  98. Well, I am glad you picked synchronicity, because while it didn’t synchronize for the first canuck, it did for this one here.

    1) A second vote for mental hygiene. Just because an archetype is awake and thundering around my neighbourhood, leaving a trail of synchronicity in its wake, am I sure I want to be picking up what it’s putting down?

    2) it seems like there are two types of synchronicity, if there are two levels of subconscious. One being the kind that is a trail of breadcrumbs your own higher self leaves to initiate you out of your own Dark Forest. The second could in theory be coming from any other part of the vast conscious multiplane ecosystem that you can perceive by accident or intention…like a set of stairs in the woods you happen upon in the Dark Forest humanity as a whole or in part might be wandering in, set for a curious cat? How can you tell whether it’s a trail of breadcrumbs or a trap of the Fae? Or is this not an “or”, and I should more carefully reread the lore? (I’ve made an assumption demons don’t ever communicate with synchronicity, because they are mechanical in behaviour – unenchanted).

    3) I would also runner up vote on the never-unenchanted-world. I seem to recall you said you only read dead people primarily because it’s easier to see their imbalances – your own era’s literature is too easy not to see it, because being a creature of your own time, you’ll share it. Apologies if I’ve totally made that up… But lately, partly because Netflix is doing the shhhh, cocoon in your nostalgia, Gen X and watch all these 80’s movies, and partly because I wanted to rewatch to examine the hypothesis of: if the world was never unenchanted, then these films I have been thinking about, that suddenly Gordon White is also writing about… Maybe they really are modern myth repetition. Garbled, as usual, by our age’s prejudices, but still enchanted, still something that always is, and if we compare them to the other similar myths, see what the imbalance is here, we might see something about ourselves we might otherwise miss by either swallowing or own unbalance back OR assuming we’re unenchanted people: Aliens franchise, Terminator franchise… Horror as a type of warning fairytale for grownup children on the Dark Forest. Labyrinth , a Puella heroine fairytale. The Dark Crystal

    And I know I may be thrown to the pit of darkest rugose nightmares to say… BUT I am willing to testify to the court that Harry Potter deserves a relook, comme Sword of Shannara . I’ve read it a couple times, and Voldemort is not simply evil for no reason, Harry is only a hero because he has sidekick archetypes in his friends, he’s no cardboard hero, and the twists within the prophecy are pretty mythos cannon. Can it be accused of being unoriginal? Definitely. Because all the Retellings are unoriginal, only lightly rehashed to fit the way people can understand as the cultures change.

  99. Robert, one vote tallied for why occult philosophy contradicts social-justice ideology.”

    Seconded. Although I have a feeling it’s the whole misunderstanding of “holon”.

  100. Too funny, a dog named Qualia ! It is black a lot of the time too, after being kept in the dark and out of sight. Was first introduced to philosophy via ‘The Archdruid Report’ ten years ago and am now studying it at the tertiary level, through the Druidic lens of course , which helps me contextualise things very quickly, but doesnt necessary make me popular 😂. Oh well.
    So thank you very much indeed.

  101. JMG,

    When I say “should have” I didn’t mean that the underlying assumption was a pessimistic outcome. Just seems like I’ve had more than my share of exceptionally good outcomes, and most instances involved rather remarkable coincidences. Just not quite sure if that qualifies as synchronicity.

    p.s.: The “Save my name…” checkbox never works for me.

  102. I had a very welcome syn happen this week. Violet, well known in these comments, wrote a while back a book on herbalism called Wanderlust Herbal which I find to be an especially useful primer on the topic. Some while back I bought a stack of them from Violet for the purpose of distributing them among my friends who have a spark of interest in the topic, figuring that a good move to protect my health down the road is to sow seeds of herbalists all about me. I make my own limited use of the art to some profit, but its not a primary calling for me at this time so I try to encourage those more strongly inclined towards the healing arts. Anyway, my stack had gotten thin, and I have a new neighbor and a coworker who both have a stated interest in herbs and mien of a healer, and I wanted to give the coworker a copy but hesitated because I was down to my last copy to give, then I had a conversation with my new neighbor and in a fit of generosity I gave her that final gift copy. So much for my birthday present intentions for the coworker. I was mulling over the departure of this irreplaceable book from my stacks biking back from work yesterday. I get home and there is a messily put together package waiting for me. No surprise though, Violet had gone ahead and gifted me more copies of the book; unless another printing happens the last that are likely to come available. So that was neat, and today my coworker got a belated birthday present.

    I ain’t going to vote for the fifth Wednesday post, there are already so many good suggestions I wouldn’t want to vote against any of them.

  103. Don’t mind me, just coming in for a drive-by voting (oh the horror!) since everything in the post was explained excellently as per usual and I have no questions.

    I cast my vote for Jessi’s suggestion of a true and faithful cosmology of spiritual beings.

  104. Offlist if you wish, sir! This may ramble a bit too much…

    ” t could also be described quite adequately in ancient Greek as the Logos—a word that can be translated variously as “word,” “proportion,” or “reason,” and might best be understood as the connection between things that gives them meaning. (My Christian readers are welcome to reflect on whether this has anything to say to the use of the same term in their theology.) Perhaps the best label for it, though, is from Gregory Bateson: “the pattern that connects.”

    Have thought about this quite a bit. Obviously the Fourth Gospel is not just theological, but a mystical symbolon: it is supposed to represent the Fourth Man (the other three Gospels are men 1-3). That said, there is a philosophical side to “In the beginning was the Word”. John has Platonic overtones as well – Plato said that “the Good” went “Beyond Being” (Plotinus spent his whole career elucidating): the foundation of Being hangs from the chandelier of the Good. They are con-substantial, but not the same. It’s just a step to the doctrine of the Trinity from there. The basic idea seems to be that God created out of His Being and in accordance with His Goodness by instantaneous Will. The measure of this is “Logos”. God is not a Being among other beings, so there has to be a Logos to mediate the principle of individuation. Otherwise, God could not communicate the gift of His being in the manner He does, giving fully, but without compromising fullness of Being. Some people claim this leads to an interminable mediation problem: who mediates the mediator? And so forth. One can see how the Logos was made con-substantial at that point: there are other mediators, hosts of them, but none are consubstantial. Henotheism is compatible with the Gospel. Where that leads the Logos, in my mind, is back to the person of Christ: Who exactly was this dude? And will we ever fully know: “all the books in the world could not contain, etc.”. You can see how their theology worked, though – they ended up in the dual nature of Christ – putting the Logos there, alongside Man. The best I can come up with is that the Logos doctrine safeguards the Unity of the Creation. Beyond that, it is almost a complete mystery, although we may mystically be permitted to see portions of that mystery in a little clearer detail. There’s plenty of room for Carl Jung in all of that! This was a great post!

  105. Dear JMG – My vote is for commencement speech.

    So the best place to start reading Jung, is “Man and His Symbols?” Along with the essay on synchronicity? Lew

  106. JMG, you’ll be happy to know God agrees with you. One of the Psalms says, “Don’t elevate any other god over the Big Kahuna.” This, of course, harks back to “You shall have no other gods before me.” I know the other ones are there because I sense them from time to time. I sense mine, too, and the feelings are quite different.

    What topic is ahead? Looked like the malign enchantment one , but I may have overlooked a few votes.

    What do fried crickets taste like? The live crickets are chirping away right now, a sound I’ve enjoyed ever since I can remember. When I was little we were stationed at Fort Hood where there were giant crickets. My brother declared war on them , as they eat anything and everything. He’d go down in the basement with a shoe and you’d hear whap-whap-whap. Even so, the crickets won the war by attrition. There was one brother and seventy million-bajillion-kazillion crickets. One day my dad brought a horned toad home from the range, and my brother had hopes of enlisting it in the war, but it wouldn’t eat crickets, at least not our crickets, so Dad returned it to from whence it came. It was probably a commissioned horned toad and didn’t want to live in NCO housing.

  107. Dear J.M. Greer,

    Is synchronicity related to the experience I and some others I know have had, that the effects of a magical working or ritual can seem to begin from when the intention is formed to do the working, rather than strictly afterward? Do you have any thoughts about this phenomenon? It made me think that the ordinary ideas of linear time and causality aren’t the ultimate truth.

    I vote for an essay about the malign enchantment.

    Regards,
    Josh Rout

  108. Have you commented on Jordan Peterson’s Maps of Meaning? Are you familiar with his idea about the Bible being a guide to the emergence of the Devine individual?

  109. What are your thoughts on “negative synchronicity”, which I’ve seen a few other commenters make reference to, and have experienced myself? By this I mean the phenomenon of outcomes being less likely than expected by chance.

    For me it seems to arise from an intense focus or obsession on a particular outcome. Very often in those cases some statistically unlikely roadblock appears, as if in opposition to my anxious or imbalanced perspective.

    In the other hand, when I have been able to simply set an intention openly and without expectation, synchronicities have almost always appeared in abundance.

  110. Bewusstein, JMG,

    I’ve wondered for a while now if there’s a connection between skepticism about qualia and aphantasia, the lack of a mind’s eye — in other words, the inability to summon up qualia at will. When I contemplate what I mean by “qualia,” part of what goes through my head generally is an image of whatever I happen to be looking at — but of course the image in my head is now disconnected from the actual thing in a way that my immediate experience of the thing is not.

    Without this at-will qualia, I could easily see having a much harder time understanding what the heck the qualia folk were talking about.

  111. John Michael wrote, “Now’s the time to focus all the more strongly on making and maintaining connections with the spiritual realm, because that’s the source of the creative power that can transform the situation for the better.”

    Again, perfect timing! I got an email last week from Four Quarters requesting people to come help with the raising of a large stone in the stone circle there. I haven’t been to Four Quarters since the Age of Limits conference, but something about working in a group to help build a spiritual monument struck me as very healthy at this time. So I am headed there tomorrow. Fortunately, that does not conflict with my other spiritual practice, swimming, because the pool will be closed over the holiday weekend. I think there was a stretch of the stream at Four Quarters where you can really swim, which would leave the cramped pool feeling like the overgrown bathtub it is.

    The Ecosophia potluck feels like a little pilgrimage to me, with side trips to visit the holy relics of College Hill and old Newport. Providence is amazingly rejuvenating for someone escaping Manhattan! I will be bringing along spirits to pour libations in case the ghost of Charles Dexter Ward needs some appeasing. Otherwise we can all just imbibe them to our hearts’ content. There will be lingon, elder, and serviceberry infusions; redbud and black locust flower infusions; a rootbeer infusion, a pomegranate infusion, and my own Flew Away recipe. I’m not gonna lie — the sassafras root, cumin seed, and osha root, in that last one don’t necessarily get along that well together, but it is quite invigorating.

    As soon as the powers that be announced that nature was out to get us, so we should lock ourselves inside for protection and never go near the natural world without a protective interface, I immediately rushed outside to walk for as many hours each day as I could through forests and along riverbanks. I also started eating all sorts of herbs and flowers on my treks that I hadn’t known were edible before. Nature IS my protective interface; why would I want to insert a protective barrier between me and it? I did miss petting dogs on my walks, but I was worried the few intrepid souls out walking them might rush home to dip them in bleach if I dared pierce their protective bubbles.

    I have also just started taking my first tentative steps in harvesting wild mushrooms. This Monday (recovering from the casino) I found some oyster mushrooms sprouting from a fallen tree in Frick Park here in Pittsburgh. They helped create a delicious pork and zucchini pasta sauce that I am enjoying while typing this. Last month I found a giant puffball mushroom (larger than a soccer ball and only slightly kicked!) in the north woods of Central Park. Obviously, many New Yorkers are still scared to go out because that mushroom would normally have been harvested long before I came upon it. It did make a delicious (and large) vegetarian stirfry.

    Now to bed so I can enjoy one more pool swim tomorrow morning before going to meet the new standing stone!

  112. I believe I’ve mentioned here before that the book series The Wheel of Time, by Robert was the catalyst behind my abandonment of materialism and atheism and my interest in philosophy and spirituality. The series has also turned out to be quite the synchronicity magnet for me. Looking back on it now, it seems as if I’d been fated/destined to read those books.

    For starters, I happened upon the books completely by hapenstance, having ehard absolutely nothing about it beforehand, nor about either of its authors, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. I happened upon it one day while I was going with my mother to visit her parents and she took the opportunity to stop at the library to check out a book. I wasn’t planning on checking anything out for myself, but I went inside and by pure chance I happened upon the shelf holding Mr Jordan’s books and decided to grab one of them.

    Much later, after having grown interested in spirituality, I called out to the gods during meditation session to ask if any of them were interested in working with me. In response I received the image of an elephant-headed man and heard the name “Ganesha” whispered to me. This despite the fact that I’d never looked into the Hindu pantheon and had no conscious memory of either the name or the figure of Ganesha. I would later learn that Robert Jordan had been nicknamed Ganesha during his time at Vietnam.

    Most recently, since taking up writing as a hobby during quarantine, I remembered some story ideas I’d come up with years ago, before I read TWoT. One of them in particular shares some startling similarities to the plot of the series, such as the protagonist being the reincarnation of a historical figure from a prior era who played a role in the end of that era.

    @Sein ist Bewusstein
    “Interesting how they always have to smuggle ‘Universe-B’ (Spirit) back in somewhere.”

    Indeed. The dirty little secret of all the so-called “materialist” explanations of consciousness (except eliminative materialism, though that hardly counts as an explanation) is that they’re actually all forms of dualism, be it property dualism or even outright dubstance dualism.

  113. Anyone else notice that synchronicity goes into overdrive when one dabbles in psychedelics? They come thick and fast everytime I have ingested some mushrooms or LSD. It isnt just a personal thing either, everyone who is also on the trip feels them too.

  114. Just as I was trying to explain synchronicity to a friend …
    And I would like to add my vote for the discussion of the malign enchantment. Thanks again for all you do.

  115. 1) “In situations of extreme psychological importance—again, Jung’s patient and her scarab is an example—that level would rise sharply, to produce a stunning coincidence in response to the profound involvement of consciousness in the situation. ”

    Remote Viewer Joseph MacMoneagle says the same thing about Remote Viewing — If he is RV-ing for a worthy cause, like finding a lost child or seeing how the blocks of the Pyramids were cut, he is much more successful. Boredom or unworthy causes rapidly drop to the level of randomness.

    Perhaps boredom is a primary tool of oppression–
    Are our business and political leaders creating such soul-destroying environments intentionally, as a means of control?

    2) Did Jung believe that the Archetypes are swimming in the deep waters of a shared human consciousness?

  116. My synchronicities are usually coming across the same idea in about three different places in quick succession. Then shortly after I’m in a situation where the idea proves very useful.

    Can synchronicity also involve not noticing things? If Marie Curie and Alexander Fleming had kept tidier labs, they wouldn’t have discovered what they did. A lot of science seems to come from things left in drawers. 🙂 Can synchronicity make you ignore something, until something significant has happened?

  117. Hi JMG,
    Thank you for your work, and thank you for opening the floor to our suggestions for future posts. As a mother to a 6 year old daughter who resides with you on the Asperger’s end of the Spectrum, I would be grateful to hear any and all thoughts you might be willing to share on anything autism and Asperger’s related. I deeply appreciate the multicolored, multifaceted beauty that is her mind, and I am lucky to be strongly empathic, so I believe I understand her better than some will. Still, I always yearn for deeper insight so that I can parent her as well as possible. I intuit that for her, the way her mind works will lead her to a unique and beautiful life way, as perhaps it has done for you – but sometimes I get discouraged when her way of being is viewed by others as an affliction.

    For example, I observe my daughter to be quite gifted at making surprisingly broad and deep intellectual connections that sometimes give me a jolt – when she does that, she gives me a little sideways, testing look – it’s like an old soul behind her eyes pulls back the curtain for a minute and checks to see whether I’m paying attention and can handle it, then winks at me before going back behind. And, like many kids, she knows that the animals, plants, and others around us are communicating, but she is adamant that she either knows or can learn their language, and no naysaying from skeptical grandparents and the like can sway her. Somewhat in line with this, a psychiatrist friend of ours believes wholeheartedly that individuals with Asperger’s represent a rapid, ongoing evolution toward a more well-adapted and less-insane human. And yet my daughter has been classified as having “special needs” and “developmental delays” by her school counselor and the multi-person team assigned to her “case.” (For the record, I lean toward our psychiatrist friend’s view.) Because I find them discouraging, I consciously avoid materials and resources that treat Asperger’s as a malady – but I don’t want to overlook something there that she needs or that I could be doing to ease her path.

    If you were ever inclined to share your thoughts on the role of autism (the condition) in Western society, the role of autistic individuals in Western society, the role of autism and autistic individuals as we undergo the collapse, autism and human evolution, how a parent could best support the growth of an autistic mind, how autism and the occult intertwine, or anything else on the topic, that would be so valued.

    Thank you again for all you share with us.

  118. Thank You Mr Greer for that very informative essay.

    An essay on an esoteric view of depression would be very helpful.

  119. Kind Sir

    Since the 1920s there was no groundbreaking progress in physics. Sure, we crossed some highly complex Ts and dotted many exorbitantly expensive Is, but the paradigm remained the same.
    My assumption was, that with quantum mechanics we had simply reached the limit of our cognitive abilities, but maybe the real reason is, that we are afraid of what we might find.

  120. In the language of the planes, I wonder if archetypes exist in the upper mental, the plane of meaning and values, and would act through the astral. You’ve said elsewhere that time and space work differently on the astral plane – a place on the astral corresponds to a particular image or imagined thought. So perhaps a synchronicity is when that astral ‘place’ is being visited by someone at various times and places on the material plane, triggered by flows of meaning from the upper mental.

    Also, perhaps some evidence for synchronicity is that even materialists experience chains of meaningful coincidences, but they choose to dismiss them as illusions. So it’s not that synchronicities don’t happen and materialists can accuse those who ‘believe’ in synchronicity of making things up.

    It also goes some way to explaining an aspect of what consciousness itself is – that it is the ability to divide reality into meaningful chunks, and to be aware of this process of division – and that this consciousness is shared across the rest of the universe.

    Interestingly, those who believe in the dogmas of materialism and mechanism take meaning from their assumption that the rest of reality, in essence, has no meaning. To the materialist, consciousness itself is therefore defined as being much more limited than what it really is, which in turn leads them to behaviour that corresponds to this, as in a self-fulfilling prophecy. If to you the universe is mechanistic and materialist, then you’ll behave accordingly – mechanically and materialistically.

  121. I think your human geographic environment certainly has an impact on how much you experience synchronicity. When I was living in downtown Madison, Wisconsin (a college-town area full of free-thinkers, social misfits, and all manner of assorted oddballs) between 1993-1998 and just discovering the occult and spirituality, I experienced more synchronicity than you could shake a stick at, and it was pretty amazing. I think a lot of it was about the Spirit guiding me towards realizing how very much moral, spiritual, and intellectual growing up I had to do.

    But then the synchroncities guided me to moving to Milwaukee (as conventional, Midwestern, and so very German as it is possible for a city to be) on January 3, 1998, and you would think I had moved to some kind of “No Synchronicity Zone”. That’s not to say synchronicity simply doesn’t happen happen here. I do think, however, that it’s a lot more rare and subtle and on an “only when absolutely necessary” basis compared to a place such as Madison. And when I do experience synchronicity here, it often feels as though it’s in the form of the consistency with which this place likes to tell me “No” and “Go away”. That’s why I sometimes catch myself hoping that it’s not necessarily part of the Spirit’s plan for me to spend all of the rest of my days here.

    It’s not difficult to figure out why this would be. That second level of the Unconscious Mind (I would call it the Deep Subconscious) is a place where the individual human minds form a collective with other human minds. Indeed, I’m pretty sure “Collective Unconscious” is a pretty standard Jungian term. So it stands to reason that the locality in which you live would also be your neighborhood in the Collective Unconscious. And the receptivity of other minds in that neighborhood depending on the prevailing cultural norms, would have a strongly governing effect on how you experience synchronicity.

  122. Synchronities aren’t alien to me, either. One synchronity that happened, for example, is, that, one time, I took the cell phone out of my bag, and immediately, the cell phone rang and a friend called. And, by the way, are there good introductions to Jungs concepts of archetypes and synchronity?

  123. How does one distinguish between synchronicity and karma? Taking the example of the lover archetype, I’ve had the following experience far too often for my liking:

    I feel great, light, much better than usual. Within a week of feeling like this, I meet someone who shows an interest in me. I fall for them hard, hook, line and sinker. And I fall flat on my face, every single time. Then I spend weeks/months (it used to be several years) suffering from a broken heart.

    This kind of encounter has never ended well for me. So what starts out looking like a great synchronicity (I meet them at a party I wasn’t planning to go to, or somewhere I don’t usually go), with the lover pattern latching on over-eagerly to the other person’s apparent interest, then turns into something that looks more like karma. A track record of getting my heart broken for no good reason. No relationship ever comes of this.

    Assuming the two play together, synchronicity and karma, how can we know when it’s just synchronicity?

    My vote would be for disciplining/healing a dysfunctional will (discursive meditation and magical practice, I suppose?).
    In response to a question on dreamwidth you said “Consciousness is one of the two qualities of the divine spark at the center of each being — the other is will — and so partakes of the divine plane, the highest of the planes.”

    Would consciousness be the more receptive quality and will the more active/shaping quality, i.e. the feminine and masculine principles? Would strengthening the will also involve strengthening one’s receptive qualities? It seems to me those two would always be in balance and reflect each other. Or is it possible to be very receptive and yet extremely weak-willed?

    That said, seeing as the malignant enchantment has so many votes and is the most likely candidate, I’d be interested in this aspect of it:

    If you consider karma, was the malignant enchantment really that bad or was it actually necessary? Has it been something we needed to experience, collectively and individually? It seems there have always been people in western societies who were not under its influence, otherwise we wouldn’t have Levi’s or Fortune’s books. Has it served a useful purpose for those who were/are affected, perhaps?

  124. I’d like to add my vote to the disenchantment post, please.

    When I first started practicing the SOP and Druidry a of couple years ago, I walked outside to go to work on a beautiful morning and a pair (!) of hawks landed on a low branch about 50 ft away from me and stared directly at me. I still am not quite sure what it meant, but I’ll never forget that experience. I also regularly have great blue herons fly directly over my car while driving, far more often than mere chance would allow.

    How do the archetypes relate to the occult view of deities or other spiritual entities?

  125. My suggestion for your next “odd post out”: That one that you’ve been saying you’ve been considering doing for a while, namely the decline of the astrological influence of Pluto (which I agree with, though I disagree that it’s over and done entirely; I think it’s just singing its “swan-song” right about now). Or another good one might be a post about the thick, black, goopy, congealing energetic “gunk” that has been accumulating on the Lower Astral Plane ever since 2012 and really started making itself felt in 2016.

  126. Hi John Michael,

    Please count my vote for an essay on ecology, from whatever angle takes your fancy. 🙂

    I was sort of wondering if reincarnation works as a process to improve (maybe hone is the correct word to use here? Not sure) upon a persons deeply held archetypes and/or their relationship to those?

    Cheers

    Chris

  127. Hi John Michael,

    Am I correct in assuming that the minor deviation from the norm could also be described as the small wiggle room of ‘free will’ which we have been discussing for many years?

    Cheers

    Chris

  128. Long time reader, first time commenter, prompted out of lurking by this thought from Kevin:

    “This would then imply that the more control you have over things, the fewer synchronicities you’ll see; and given that our comfortable classes are able to control more about their environment than most people ever could, this is probably also a reason why so many people don’t see them”

    When I was eighteen, I spent ten months hitchhiking and busking around Europe. Both activities involve surrendering control: unlike buying a train ticket or owning a car, you have no way of knowing how soon (or even whether) you’ll reach your destination. You don’t have control, but you do have some influence, in as much as your state of being (reflected in your facial expression, among other things) will affect the likelihood of a driver stopping for you. The same applies as a street musician: there’s no contract, no boss, no union to represent you, but if you can take responsibility for your state of being and pay attention to what works, then you can learn to influence (not control) what you will earn. In hindsight, learning to work with these forms of influence was my first taste of something like magic.

    It was also an experience of relying on the kindness of strangers – and when I arrived at university the following autumn, it struck me how few of my contemporaries (drawn almost exclusively from the comfortable classes) had ever found themselves in such a situation, let alone willingly put themselves into it. It meant that I knew something about what people are like, something my fellow students didn’t know.

    But then we come to the synchronicity.

    Roll forward to my late twenties: I’m doing bits of freelance journalism, I still hitchhike pretty often and I get the idea of a writing a piece about the lessons I’ve learned from years of thumbing lifts. That week, I’m standing on a slip road when a white van pulls up. ‘Jump in the back!’ says the driver and I do. There’s no seats, just a mattress on the floor. He’s got two lads with him in the front and they start joking with each other, swerving the van to throw me around a bit, and I don’t like this situation. It’s the kind of joking that can escalate. Luckily, there’s slow traffic on the road ahead and they stop at a petrol station where I am able to hop out.

    Now, I must have hitched 30,000 miles by that point, and I’d had a few lifts from odd characters or reckless drivers, but nothing that made me feel unsafe the way I did in the back of that van. And it happened just when I’d started to write an article that would probably have inspired a bunch of kids to go out hitching for the first time. So I took the hint and I never finished that article.

  129. In view and place magic, synchronicity works. Not in a clockwork world, now entirely run by clocks.

    Remember: every computer is a clock. Therefore every robot is a clock. Every internet is a clock. Every screen is a clock. Every workplace is a clock. They are Anti-Magic. Does that make them Anti-Logos? Or Anti-Human?

    And therefore, do analog (tube) computers and analog (steam) robots therefore HAVE magic? The artists think so.

    Descartes is so dumb it’s scarcely worth mentioning. He is of the clockwork world. So what are you if you’re not “thinking”? Dreaming? Sleeping? Comatose? So are you packed in a closet or do you suddenly re-constitute when you revive? How about when you’re awake and only awareness without thought? Those ain’t hard states to visit. He’s also saying “if you don’t think, you die,” which apparently the West has taken to heart: they can’t stop thinking, fretting, projecting, worrying, instead of acting and being. And that leaves aside the obvious: okay, so YOU are? And who are YOU, the viewer, the thinker? If you don’t know that, you know nothing.

    The Western way is to have two parts: the observer and the observed. …And true to form Science knows NOTHING about consciousness, the Observer, *at all*, and believe only one half of the universe exists and is real: *the Observed*. Worse, the observed (the measurable) is only solid matter (interacting with energy) so it’s probably the universe’s tiniest slice of What Is. Still, they’ve done admirably for themselves by it. It’s just so painfully stupid to think because you know nanotech with hairline focus, that nanotech is everything that exists, is important, and the only way to accomplish anything. Stuff it, Rene. And Plato, at least how he’s understood now, started this gibberish: there was a mind world and a real world.

    There’s a consequence to the various deciding game-theories commenters pointed out: that is, you can’t decide anything at all. Not “logically”, at least, since accurately all these logical methods have crippling flaws. No problem except that we protest and pretend that we do. Then back-rev (retcon) the justification. Worse – or better, hard to tell — this therefore means data collection is likewise useless. It will simply lead to stronger confirmation bias, which I think we’ve been seeing somewhere. The data will cripple itself, by the laws of the universe, no need to do much about it. Like Sauron, if you can see every needle in every haystack, you instantly don’t know which to look at or what to do about it.

    So therefore, “dysfunctional will” is only over-applying the mind to decision making instead of the “heart” or “self” or whatever that is. As above, the decisions will happen and come out of you with or without your mind. Like dodging a punch. Or rather the only way your body WOULDN’T dodge a punch is if your mind got in the way and grid-locked it.

    “hope that some adult will stop them and reestablish clear, safe boundaries.” Liminalism, the thrust-block. That is, Daddy’s home and spanking, also the thing they hate and reject most. And that’s why he’s the King: they make him so with their attention. Sigh.

    Christ almost certainly was in the secret society the “Essenes”, translation: “The Poor,” as in “Give your money to” and did their magical initiation (and Enlightenment) rituals. Paul was in there for 3 years later on before he was kicked out.

    Suppose your office is mildly telepathic, group-minding dinners. Is it Synchronicty then? What if all humans are mildly telepathic, trailing off by distance and style, is that Synchronicity and the Collective Unconscious? If it’s “Style” then it would taper off for different species, spirits, and dimensions. Yet we would be “entangled” with them all, by “consciousness” to later or lesser degrees. What if the train station you are going to has consciousness and can also inform the Tarot, not just humankin? What if the Future Trainstation is *both* different dimension and mental style (and motivation) but can still reach out to you and talk?

    And are “Archetypes” therefore the lines of force that have been pre-cut and are habits, energy patterns that pre-exist us today? That’s why we don’t get to choose them. For us, previous humans — our heritage — cut the paths, and we inherit them as we do roads and cities.

  130. @JMG, put me down for a vote on the enchantment / disenchantment of the world theme.

    Also, did you read Rossi’s book on Francis Bacon? I’m going to have to read that one as well. One of the theme’s I’ve explored in my Radiophonic Laboratory series is how Daphne Oram was influenced by Francis Bacon when she helped found the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. It was the section in his New Atlantis about Sound-Houses that she found to be an inspiration:

    “We have also sound-houses, where we practice and demonstrate all sounds and their generation. We have harmonies, which you have not, of quarter-sounds and lesser slides of sounds. Divers instruments of music likewise to you unknown, some sweeter than any you have, together with bells and rings that are dainty and sweet. We represent small sounds as great and deep, likewise great sounds extenuate and sharp; we make divers tremblings and warblings of sounds, which in their original are entire. We represent and imitate all articulate sounds and letters, and the voices and notes of beasts and birds. We have certain helps which set to the ear do further the hearing greatly. We also have divers strange and artificial echoes, reflecting the voice many times, and as it were tossing it, and some that give back the voice louder than it came, some shriller and some deeper; yea, some rendering the voice differing in the letters or articulate sound from that they receive. We have also means to convey sounds in trunks and pipes, in strange lines and distances.”

    Daphne Oram was an interesting woman. Her father was an amateur archaelogist and they lived in Wiltshire close to Averbury and Stonehenge. She wrote a book that never saw print but survives as a manuscript, The Sound of the Past – A Resonating Speculation. In this work the influence of her fathers interest in archaeology can be seen. She speculates and muses on the subject of archaeological acoustics and proposes a theory, backed by research, suggesting that Neolithic chambered mounds and ancient sites like Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid in Egypt were used as resonators, and could be used to amplify sound. Her research suggested that ancient peoples, through their knowledge of sound and acoustics, may have been able to use these places for long distance communication. I hope someone publishes it some day. Her other book had been republished a few years ago but this is in riskier territory for most.

    In this whole project I’ve been tantalized by clues and threads, showing the interest in the music of the spheres, combinatorial arts, and the mystical/magical aspects of sound never went away in the late 19th/20th century but were still there, as whispers or shouts, moving from one mind to another, one way or another.

  131. I became interested in politics in the late 1990s and was part of the anti-war movement from about 2 weeks after 9/11. In those days, one regularly heard the following claims, or variations of them, made on the Left:

    While we do not condone the terrorist attacks of 9/11, it’s important to understand what the terrorists’ motives were;
    The media are amplifying anti-Muslim hysteria and the rush to war by constantly replaying emotionally-charged clips of airplanes flying into the twin towers;
    While those who were guilty should be held responsible, we must not blame all Muslims for the actions of a few;
    George Bush’s worldview, in which one is either “with us or with the terrorists” is extremely dangerous and must be opposed. (In fact, it was in relation to Bush that I learned the word “Manichaean.”)

    Today, I am hearing the following from the Left:

    Any police officer who kills a black person is guilty, and “justice” consists of punishing them;
    We need to “say their names” and regularly replay clips, often with all context removed, of police officers appearing to murder black victims;
    Police killing of black men is the fault and responsibility of all white Americans, who are all, without exception, implicating in the system of white supremacy;
    “White silence is violence”; you are either with us, or with the racists.

    The reason that I think this is relevant is that what it demonstrates to me is a complete failure of any capacity for pattern recognition on the part of a great many people in our society. (The overwhelming majority, quite possibly). And there are many other examples that I can think of– We all know, for instance, the way that the tobacco industry produced a deadly and addictive product and deliberately hid the truth about it. We all know that most American industries, from oil to timber to beer to television, are structured just as the tobacco industry is. And yet, people still resist the idea that these industries would behave in the same manner as the tobacco industry.

    My original point in saying all this was related to the mental plane. Patterns of order are mental plane phenomena; the capacity to see them is the capacity to function, to some extent, on the mental plane– to grasp it from below, anyway, which is what I understand the purpose of ratio to be; most people seem to entirely lack this capacity. So I was originally intending this rant as a vote for a post on mental plane hygiene. I wonder, though, if this doesn’t relate to synchronicity also– The capacity to recognize synchronicity is also the capacity for pattern recognition. I wonder if the inability to recognize synchronicity when it happens. and the actual reduction in the level of background-synchronicity by the industrial age, aren’t two sides of the same phenomenon?

  132. @ Leonie

    Re miracles and synchronicities

    I’ve had a similar occurrence in my family. Many, many moons ago, when young men are indestructible and more prone to foolishness, my brother was driving home in the wee hours of the morning after, ahem, partying. Crossing the city, he was out on something like a six lane interstate and fell asleep at the wheel. When he woke up, the responders were prying the top of his car open to extract him from the wreckage. It appears that he’d drifted to the inside, bounced off the concrete barriers separating him from the opposing traffic lanes, then drifted all the way across to the other side and wedged his car under the back-end of a parked semi-trailer. Fortunately, because it was something like 2 A.M., there had been little to no other traffic on the road.

    I didn’t witness the incident, but I did see the car in the junk yard afterwards. It was crumpled. Every passenger space was gone: the roof was caved down within inches of the seats, the engine was in the front compartment. In short, it was a death-cage. All, that is, except this bubble of space around the driver’s seat, which was untouched. He walked away from that accident with bruised knuckles from where his hand slammed into the radio on impact. By any reasonable assessment, he should not be alive today. If that wasn’t a miracle, I don’t know what is.

    @ JMG

    Re fifth-Wednesday topic

    I’ll cast my vote for malign enchantment.

  133. @JMG. Sigh. I slept on it and answered my own questions. Because Jung.

    On a related note, I see you also have a lot of requests for Tamanous. After a little over a year doing it the regular way with the elements, I modified my SOP slightly to align more with my intentions I send to the south and west to thank the good spirits of the land and ‘learn to live in a good way with [them], and all my relatives here’ and to thank my wise and loving ancestors and have them ‘guide me, so that the gifts they have given me can benefit our descendants’. My intention to the north is just to listen, occasionally that is when I will be moved to pray. Results seemed good, but then – slow, as always, after several months – I realized, I should have asked you first, get a third opinion (on my logic and divination, which were positive) on whether it was still balanced. I was then too embarrassed to admit I had done it first without asking. But the synchronicity seems to indicate, it might be a good time to share with others, so maybe I should link to it and see what you think?

  134. John Michael,

    thanks for this thoughtful post! The woven fabric metaphor really helped crystallize the interactions between deeper structures of consciousness and the manifested world that comprises our day-to-day experience.

    My vote is for the post on mental hygiene!

  135. I was one of the original requestors for something on this subject, so many thanks for this fascinating essay. Over the last few years as I’ve begin to pursue the esoteric I’ve experienced a rash of coincidences, which prompted my original ask.

    Amongst many others there was the day trip to central London where I saw 27 reproductions of the Mona Lisa in the space of 8 hours or so. Meaning? None that I’ve been able to fathom since, and I’m not a huge admirer of the picture. She doesn’t have any eyebrows for one thing.

    In a sudden fit of nostalgia, I recently rewatched the TV series ‘Connections’ by James Burke which covers the history of Science and Technology to about 1978 when it was originally broadcast. As a matter of fact, the first 4 episodes are available of Youtube if any of the commentariat would like to check what I’m about to report. The first episode covers the impact of a cascade of power cuts that hit New York in (I think) 1963 and opens with JB entering a lift and going up dozens of floors before emerging onto the observation deck of the World Trade Centre – while he discusses the impact of the power failures. The scene then changes to the cockpit of an airline trying to cope with the fact that all the lights have gone out below. This is flight 911, which James Burke, who is from the UK, pronounces as flight ‘nine eleven’, a distinctly non UK to talk about that number (I think I would have said nine one one). Meaning? Well with hindsight I can see it but if there was message there I don’t suppose I was the target.

    Finally, while reciting ‘In praise of Johnny Appleseed’ in my workroom, a sudden brief smell of woodsmoke, the kind you get from burning apple tree wood which has a distinct, sweet smell. Once again a message that was probably only peripherally intended for me, not even sure should use the word intended there.

    I’ve started to wonder if at least some synchronicities are forerunners that arise from substantial events or structures that are arising on inner planes and as it were ‘breaking out’ into the physical plane before the main event. The best analogy I’m able to come up with is that they might be like the bow wave in front of a very large boat travelling along a calm and narrow canal. The bow wave arrives first, and it’s nothing like the boat that arrives shortly after but the wave gets to you before the boat itself arrives and if you knew enough about the shape of this sort of wave, you’d be able to say something about the boat that will shortly appear.

    I don’t see anything in what you wrote that contradicts this idea, is it a reasonable way to think about synchronicities?

    Andy

  136. Thanks for this post, JMG. Enlightening as always.

    @lunarapprentice; I suffer from a very similar dysfunction and thus am also very interested to hear JMG’s take on it.

    JMG, I cast my vote for Dysfunctions of Will. Thanks!

  137. I have only skimmed through the posting. I am not sure if this is tangential.

    I am not sure if you ever heard of John Halstead’s attempts to convince Neo-Pagans that the Gods were Archetypes and vs versa. He was trying to a Jungian NeoPaganism. I bring that up because of late over at Patheos Pagan people have been writing about being abandoned by the Gods. I have heard that people especially NeoPagans confuse archetypes and Gods.

    Is that a post-modern idea of Gods – the Archetypes or what? As a Roman Polytheist, I never encountered that idea until I encountered Halstead. Is the Archetype idea an outgrowth of Joseph Campbell’s writings.

    This blog post has been a synchronicity for me since I have been reading and reviewing Neopagan writings and found them strangely empty.

  138. I would like to put in a vote for a post on the malign enchantment of the world. The name Edward Bernays comes to mind, as a candidate for head wizard! Dysfunction of the will would be interesting, too.

  139. “Walt, it’s a standard bit of occult philosophy that each of the inner planes is at least as complex and richly populated as the material plane. How many different kinds of plant and animal are there on this planet, and how many different ecological niches do they fill?”

    It’s not the diversity of the populations of the planes that I sometimes have a hard time with. It’s wondering how many of them are arm wrestling each other over the outcome when I’m drawing to my inside straight. Do I ever get to play the game on its own terms, or are the respective angels of my and my opponents’ karma, the positions of the planets when I was born, the goddess the dealer burned a candle to the evening before, and an archetype that wants the player named Jack to draw a jack to win the money he needs to move to Jackson always going to be messing with the deck?

  140. Minor synchronicity – feeling in need of a good rip-roaring 19th Jules Verne style adventure, I reread Voyage to Hyperborea. Again, hit whatever fascination the concept of Ilul holds for me. The other day, feeling in need of some Greek wisdom and a good story with depth, I reread Mary Renault’s Mask of Apollo.There, again, was a classic case of ilul, this time same-sex: the actor Nikeratos’ feelings for Dion of Syracuse. Who was indeed the best man of the age. Though, as Niko’s partner Thettalos pointed out, “and doesn’t he know it!”

    A painful example of the tragic flaw which stems from the highest excellence and brings the hero down, alas. .

  141. JMG: Thanks so much for this post! Very synchronistic. Jung’s intro to the I Ching opened up a lifelong friendship for me.

    I also cast my vote for “Dysfunctional Will”.

  142. I hope to comment more substantively later today or tomorrow (many excellent contributions already!) but wanted to cast my vote for a post on malign enchantment. Banish the malgorithms!

  143. I vote for dysfunctional Will.

    Thinking of synchronicity, there are times when things go so very smoothly and right for me, and unexpectedly – my “thank you, Goddess!” moments – are those examples of synchronicity?

  144. And third synchronicity! Right after I posted the comment about ilul, I read Steve T’s comment “Even as if the beloved himself were a god he fashions for himself as it were an image, and adorns it to be the object of his veneration and worship.”

  145. Hello JMG,

    Interestingly enough, I’ve just experienced a moment of synchronicity when I saw the title of your essay today. Back in the morning, I was discussing with my co-author (we are in the process of finalizing the background of a RPG SciFi setting) the science underlying our setting and I was thinking to myself that could all of this could be explained by a so-called physics of non-local endospaces much like what Dan Simmons imagined for Hyperion/Endymion with The Space That Binds (translation’s mine) and when the discussion was over, I recall of that concept of synchronicity that I’ve been attempting to tweak into a workable roleplaying concept for two years. Got lunch, was back to my work table, typed in your blog’s URL and, voilà 🙂

    Read through your text and got quite charmed by the simple explanation. Learnt some things or two anyway like the collaboration between Jung and Pauli. Got me to remember that a french comic-books writer, Jean-Pierre Pécau used the synchronicity a lot in his stories too.

    Your blog and your essays are rather often a great source of inspiration for me. Thank you again.

  146. I vote for the malign enchantment post too.

    I’m interested in the topic of the collapse of academia, but for fairly personal reasons. Our household income comes from my husband’s teaching and research job in the Agriculture college of a large, federally-funded land grant university.

    I’m intrigued by some of the language around the collapse scenario for academia in the comment threads, and whether I’m misunderstanding it to be a much more abrupt and widespread collapse than the general decline of complex culture.

    Comparing it to the general argument – that we are in a long decline, that will neither send us shooting to the stars with Progress nor all dying in a single fiery ball of Apocalypse, I can’t tell if the academia subcategory of human activities would also fall apart in a YMMV way, and if so, what occult and non-occult practices might be helpful for softening the thud at the local level.

    I would like to think that there’s some room for reforms that would salvage some of the universities on a smaller, more accountable scale, more tightly focused on actually useful skills.

    At least in our particular situation, reform is very difficult. Our university, while publicly funded by state and federal sources, is mostly funded by tuition dollars, and has used that and claims to “intellectual property” concerns, to evade/exempt itself from public financial reporting requirements.

    So finding out data about where money comes from and how it is spent, on a granular level, to enable informed public input on budget-cutting and programmatic reform, is virtually impossible.

    Even the state Auditor General (Pennsylvania) and legislature only have access to a bare minimum of information found on the IRS 990 forms (about 50 pages) filed publicly each year. Legislation to break open the secrecy and bring the university within open public records laws applied to other public entities, is introduced every few years, and fails just as often.

    However, as Covid began, my husband’s department head said he got more institutional financial information from the higher-ups than ever before, coupled with an instruction to prepare 2020-2021 annual departmental budgets with 3%, 5% and 10% cuts (if I recall the numbers correctly).

    That process, of course, was loaded with massive corporate bureaucratic incoherence and self-contradictions, but it was still interesting that the upper administration released a little more information to lower-level functionaries.

    It seems likely that trends in play for many decades will continue, particularly the trend of the university strip-mining its branch campuses located across the state, and siphoning the students and money that would have gone to those community-level institutions, back into the main, core campus, to keep up main campus enrollment numbers and tuition and room and board funding.

    Our economy in general is also very tourist dependent around the university’s football program, which – as expected – has left many tourist-focused small businesses and hotels and restaurants reeling with the cancellation of the Big-10 football season.

    In past years, I’ve put some time and effort into thinking about reforms to salvage some of the institution while abandoning much of it, and retool the economy to serve more local needs on a smaller scale, but the sense of futility got the better of me and I stopped. I’m wondering if now is a good time to restart that thinking and circulating some ideas locally about it again.

  147. Just for fun….

    “With one breath, with one flow
    You will know Synchronicity
    A sleep trance, a dream dance,
    A shared romance, Synchronicity
    A connecting principle, linked to the invisible
    Almost imperceptible, something inexpressible.
    Science insusceptible, logic so inflexible,
    Causally connectable, nothing is invincible.
    If we share this nightmare
    Then we can dream Spiritus mundi
    If you act, as you think,
    The missing link, Synchronicity
    A connecting principle, linked to the invisible
    Almost imperceptible something inexpressible.
    Science insusceptible, logic so inflexible
    Causally connectable, nothing is invincible
    We know you, they know me
    Extrasensory Synchronicity
    A star fall, a phone call,
    It joins all, Synchronicity
    A connecting principle, linked to the invisible
    Almost imperceptible, something inexpressible.
    Science insusceptible, logic so inflexible
    Causally connectable, nothing is invincible
    It’s so deep, it’s so wide,
    You’re inside Synchronicity
    Effect without a cause, sub-atomic laws, scientific pause
    Synchronicity…”

    – “Synchronicity”, The Police

  148. I’m probably too late but I’d love to hear your take on Conspiracy Theories, how to not be taken in, and how might one help to pull someone out of the rabbit hole they’re in. Thanks

  149. JMG It seems very much like the Trump phenomenon is the expression of an archetype. Your response to Varun about everything twisting around it is exactly what is happening. When was the last time in American history were we hit with such a strong archetype?

  150. “I know very little about what high school students are thinking and talking about these days, and I’m far from sure I could communicate with them.”

    I think a lot of us are in the same boat. I know I am; that’s why I made the request! But I can certainly understand the reservations, for the same reason.

  151. Hi JMG,

    Thanks very much for this post. Jung’s synchronicity book is a very worthwhile read. To me the big takeaways were the natural laws being only statistically true, and the extent of ESP research that had been done by serious scientists back in the day.

    The fact that the provocative findings of that research have been sent down the memory hole so thoroughly supports your idea of the ideological rigidity behind the religion of progress and science research.

    Do you know whether Jung came to the idea of synchronicity through his “active imagination” work?

    My suggestion for an upcoming post is a breakdown of the astral plane. I have a pretty good grasp of the physical, etheric, and mental planes, but I am shaky on astral projection, automatic writing, pathwork, and using the imagination as a “sense organ”. It seems important, but I don’t fully get it yet.

    Thanks for all you are doing here and elsewhere!

  152. First of all, thank you to everyone who’s voted! At this point, a post on the undisenchanted world and the malign enchantment we’re under is way out in front, with essays on dysfunctions of the will, why occult philosophy contradicts woke ideology, and mental-plane hygiene behind it in that order. Still, I’ll be taking votes until next Wednesday’s post goes up, so it’s early days yet.

    Pixelated, there are many kinds of synchronicity, and yes, those are two of them. As for Harry Potter, I stopped reading the series partway through because it bored me — I read all those clichés when they were still fresh — not just because Lord Moldywarp was a cardboard cutout villain. (His backstory, which I didn’t get to but have heard since, is a perfect mainstream liberal fantasy of How Someone Becomes So Evil.) I wonder if Rowling has changed her mind any, now that she’s the target du jour of a wokester mob.

    Arkansas, it’s much, much more than that.

    Sein, of course Qualia’s a black dog. I’m pretty sure she’s a littermate of the Hound of the Baskervilles. 😉

    TJ, maybe that’s the way the world normally works!

    Ray, thanks for this.

    Arkansas, this rambles a good deal less than some comments I put through, and I think some of my readers will want to read it. Thank you!

  153. I am studying lately the death of professor Culianu’s file. And I am amazed on how many things had to fit to be that clean a murder. Is there a negative version of synchronicity or is just the mimetic endeavor of some agents or individuals to do “something they think is great or they desire” by mechanical and material means?
    Or rather what is called a slight of hand.
    I am thinking here how Facebook use AI to serve people some apparently meaningful content or contacts suggestions for example. Is it this akin of comparing margarine to butter. Internet is some sort of material and mechanistic version collective unconsciousness and still synchronicity happen all the time, although there are correction levels at every level from gate voltage anomalies correction, to all kind of software corrections from firmware to the most abstract level.

  154. I haven’t read the comments, before posting, so my previous comment could very well go into the same subject of malign enchantment. Talking about synchronicity!

  155. @James M. Jensen II: As someone who is aphantasic and has done extensive meditation and divination on the topic, it is not (in my opinion) something that can be distilled down to such a simple answer. People are unique in bizarre ways.

  156. You may have already done this, but I’d like an explanation of what archetype The King in Orange is activating and why. I’ve already run the notion of the classical Greek Tyrant and come up with 3rd World Kleptocrat instead. I also gave Drunken Monkey Martial Arts Master a try. Julio-Claudian Emperor?

    Speaking of kings, the most famous queens in history seem to me to have been the heart and soul of their country and their era, like the Japanese emperors.

  157. Looks like the vote on malign enchantment is going to win. Alright then, tell us how to help remove this enchantment and who put it there in the first place!

    I was thinking we could start a Society for Eradication of Progress. The name alone is so blasphemous it should cause an uproar. Moreover we could hold a public ceremony where we burn a symbol of progress, say a mock space rocket or a flying car! Just imagine that. 🙂

  158. Ever-inspiring Archdruid, I would like to cast a vote for what Will Oberton mentioned, a post on Everything Autism & Asperger’s.

    Saw and read the posting by Forest on the subject this AM; bravo!

    Having a weak spot for Konrad Lorenz, I must especially thank you for the two photos of him with his goslings. There has been a lot in my life recently involving interactions with birds, to the extent I’ve begun to investigate establishing a relationship with spiritual beings in the avian realm.

    As always, many thanks for all that you do!

  159. Re: the song “Synchronicity” by The Police: first impuslive thought, “How very Orphian!”

  160. All the suggested topics sound fascinating and my personal vote is you address them all over the next year or so. You’ll never lack for a topic for the fifth Wednesday.

    As for an addition to the list. You have sometimes mentioned a human civilization existing prior to the Younger Dryas Period and I would like to know more about your thoughts on the subject.

  161. P.S. 2nd rank vote: Aspergers, especially with some discussion of girls and women here. Everybody is pretty familiar with the geek-boy-intellectual version, but that’s certainly not the whole story.

  162. @ Steven D, on using the last Wednesday in September to talk about politics and the upcoming election (which is too broad/ contentious), I urge instead narrowing the focus on a key aspect of the election agenda, this being the legal etc. struggles involving RussiaGate/ SpyGate/ Gen. Flynn.
    Barr has told us to expect major SpyGate *fireworks* by summer’s end.
    And, the D.C. Circuit has issued a ruling (playing ball with Sullivan’s bid, to block DoJ’s request to have Flynn charges dropped), which Flynn’s lawyer Ms. Powell has called a total travesty, which she plans to fight with (undoubtedly) *extraordinary* means.
    So, odds are quite high, that by end of Sept., one way or the other, developments in the legal area will easily be the *most dramatic* ones since Watergate, and thus warrant attn. in a upcoming post.

    Relevant essays are by Margot Cleveland, incl. about “Sullivan’s clear partiality”,
    (See https://thefederalist.com/2020/09/01/d-c-court-endorses-continued-legal-harassment-of-michael-flynn/ ),

    ex-Navy Intel J.E. Dyer, on how Dems’ fight vs. Trump is driven by urge to hide/ keep control of Deep State’s Cloud Counterterrorism surveillance system (of U.S. persons),
    (See https://libertyunyielding.com/2020/06/15/a-unified-theory-of-spygate-the-partial-story-and-scope-as-we-know-it-so-far/ ), and

    ex-FBI Mark Wauck, esp. about Carter Page vs. the FBI’s Abuse of Power, and Angelo Codevilla’s review (of Michael Anton’s new book) which concludes (about the aftermath of the election): “America might well experience an explosion of pent-up rage, less like the American Civil War of the 19th century, and more like the horror that bled Spain in the 20th.”
    (See https://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/2020/09/four-recommended-reads-922020.html .)

  163. Count another vote for the malign enchantment. The dysfunctions of the will doesn’t sound to be too far off topic from it either since maybe that is a contributing factor?

  164. Synchronicity gets noticed.

    I’ve been doing weekly hikes lately for various self-care reasons and have had three visits by birds. On the first, a flock of 5 Canada Jays (Grey Jays for those who learned them a while ago) quietly flitted quite near my head for several minutes, and it was good. The next hike, I came to a fork in the trail, asked aloud which way to go, and a flicker loudly and obviously took off to the east. And the third was the most significant to me. I was meditating by a creek, in near tears because of the beauty of the moment, the light, the air, how some individual water drops were flying up from a short waterfall and glowing in the sun, and asked for some clarity in my life’s mission. And right there, within a few feet, was an American Dipper doing what dippers do, in the clear waters of the shaded creek. This was significant and meaningful to me because I have always identified with water (fresh more than ocean), and dippers are birds of the West and Southwest (where my spiritual heart lives). Later, a brief internet search brought up more connections to my life and possible paths.

    This was also stunning to me, because I have lived much of my life in the materialist, skeptical scientist mode until several years ago. Yes, I subscribed to the Skeptical Inquirer and was arrogant about ‘superstitions’. But that dipper moment was a nearly instant response to my question, and gives me much to work on. Nowadays, thanks to friends and JBG and thoughtful commentariat both on the ADR and this site, I have been more open to the possibilities that other human can sense things I haven’t, and that may include non-human entities. After all, as a biologist, I have learned of so many organisms are able to sense things outside of our human limits. If I can see Hadinger’s brush (an indicator of polarized light), then when other people say they can see auras, well, I listen with respect.

    And to top things off, (though I suspect there will be more of these moments) last night, after reading JMG’s Synchronicity posting, I picked up a book that has been unread on my nightstand awhile, Cortés and Montezuma by Maurice Collis. The back blurb had this gem:

    “The landing of Hernán Cortés on the coast of Mexico on April 22, 1519 was either startling confirmation of complex Aztec astromagical calculations or one of the most fateful coincidences in modern history. For it was on that very day that the Aztec astronomer-priests had prophesized the return from the east of the avenging Mexican god Quetzalcoatl.”

    BTW, I started the SOP 3 weeks ago, have started adding the Water invocation and I am investigating divination methods. A possible insight is that these workings have helped me be more aware of other layers and planes.

    One more comment: I am going to post this and then try to catch up on the comments. I find it a challenge to get through them before another posting. I am amazed at how consistently John does this, and the high quality of the comments. Thank you all.

  165. Lew, I don’t know if there’s one “best place” to start with Jung, but those will do.

    Your Kittenship, I don’t recall the word “Kahuna” appearing anywhere in the Bible, but you’re doubtless more familiar with it than I am. 😉 As for crickets, think salty crunchy snack food with a bit of a nutty flavor. The ones I had were barbecue flavored, and rather pleasant.

    Joshua, whether it’s synchronicity or not, it’s an experience that most operative mages have had — I certainly have — and yes, it really does mess with linear notions of space and time.

    Haystacker, no, I haven’t read his books. I mostly read books by dead people these days.

    Mark, it certainly happens, and yes, it does seem to be attracted by frantic fixation on outcomes.

    James, I had very little visual imagination until I laboriously learned how to visualize. It didn’t make me any more prone to skepticism, so I doubt it’s that.

    Christophe, an excellent strategy!

    Valenzuela, fascinating.

    Russellnb, hmm. I didn’t find this to be the case when I tried hallucinogens back in the early 1980s, but your mileage may vary.

    Jeff H., nice.

    E. Goldstein, (1) yes, indeed it is. (2) That’s why it’s called the collective unconscious — it’s shared by all of us collectively.

    Yorkshire, indeed it can.

    Forest, as someone with Aspergers, I have very mixed feelings about the wholly positive take on the syndrome you’re presenting here. Aspergers has its advantages but it also has its very harsh downsides. I don’t at all blame you for distrusting the public schools’ approach, but please be prepared to help your daughter deal with the difficulties she’ll have reading social cues and getting along with other people, and for the love of the gods don’t pretend that the problems don’t exist! (Take it from me, that’s the opposite of helpful.) Children with Aspergers are usually a bundle of impressive strengths and serious weaknesses, and they need a lot of patience, caring, and comfort as they learn to deal with the fact that the rest of the world expects them to do things they can’t and very often isn’t interested in the things they can do.

  166. What is the status of non-physical senses if synchronicity is brought into play? Finding another “sense” like eyesight for precognition and telepathy is certainly the model most psi researchers go off. I have to admit the synch view works better for the Rhine research. I know you’ve brought up astral senses before, so it seems that in an occult sense we have other senses otherwise we would only be aware of “outer” sensory data and not inner experience (a la Avicenna). Where does one end and one begin? What is synchronicity versus inner senses?

    Thanks!

  167. JMG, I’m still working my way through the prior comments, but I would like to register a vote for a discussion on the malign enchantment of modern culture.

    One thing that’s occurred to me on that score is that the materialist worldview in some ways boils down to an a priori insistence that there is no meaning to anything – after all, the difference between a synchronicity event and a coincidence is not located in the physical description of the event, but in whether one considers it meaningful. But of course, this worldview makes synchronicity much less likely, because the fewer things one considers meaningful, the fewer opportunities you have for the universe to provide a meaningful coincidence…

    Thus one argument for treating things as sacred is that acting as though something is meaningful makes it into a potential locus for synchronicity, a way for meaning to communicate with you.

  168. @JMG

    Thanks for the essay! Delightful!

    The world is full of synchronicities, and over the years I’ve come to think of it, simply, as the Universe smiling and saying “hello”. Not long ago, the kids needed new rain boots (we live in a swamp, and they are necessary!). I had no luck at the kids’ consignments, so we headed to the local Mart of Walls. We, winced at the price, got to the register, scanned the boots for older kid, and then…. there was no tag on the smaller boots. They couldn’t be purchased without a barcode, so we left them. He was so disappointed. The next day, we went to the grown-up consignment where I get my clothes (and which does not sell any kids’ items) and lo and behold, the kid finds, in the sale section, for a dollar, a pair of dinosaur-print light-up rain boots in his size. Seriously the only time I have ever seen any article of children’s clothing for sale in that shop. They’re his favorite shoes, of course.

    @Leonie

    We would say your child’s guardian angel was on the job!

  169. @racoon

    How wonderful! Typically, you’d put an icon on an eastern wall of your house, and stand facing it for prayer and devotions. Any idea which one it is? There are different types of icons of the Theotokos (Hodigitria, Panagia, Eleusa…), and there are various meanings ascribed to the different types, as well as particular famous icons that are often copied, and which have long histories and miracles attached to them (Kursk-Root, Kazan, Portaitissa…).

    There’s a brief guide here:

    https://orthodoxwiki.org/Icons_of_the_Theotokos

  170. Russellnb on psychedelics:

    My personal understanding is that some of the perceptual filters that would normally have prevented me from noticing synchronicities were dissolved by the psychedelic experience.

    jbucks on archetypes and the upper mental plane:

    That makes sense. It also relates to the above, about the psychedelic experience, which in some cases may enhance access to the higher planes. Definitely the astral plane, quite possibly the mental as well.

  171. Thanks for an excellent and fascinating essay. Synchronicitously (I’m pretty sure that’s not actually a word but you’ll know what it means) I had been talking to my daughter recently about synchronicity and that it’s worth paying attention to such events and rather than just putting it down to chance.

    As far as ESP is concerned I thought I would relate a couple of my own experiences.

    As teenagers, I and my best friend were very close. We used to play a lot of strategy games together and trying to work out the other’s thinking became the main point of playing. One day with nothing much to do and no physical game to hand, we played scissors, paper, stone. At our first draw, we both had the same. We both thought that was fun and decided – without mentioning it to one another – that that would be the game today; always to draw the same. To start with it was like thinking very hard what my friend would do, but that gets very tiring for such a fast game and after a while it just became a sort of gut feeling I relied on. We played many, many rounds and every time when he had scissors, so did I, when he had paper, so did I and when he had stone, so did I.

    The other episode was many years later, maybe twenty years ago now. I was up in the attic and came across a pack of ordinary playing cards. For some reason, I decided to try and guess the colour (either black or red) of the top card of the face-down pack. I got it right and then something like the next seven, too. This was too amazing, so I continued guessing the colour before turning the next card over. Sometimes it would come to me immediately and sometimes less quickly, but there was always a subtle, strange feeling when I thought I had the right colour before turning the card over only to see that I was right again. I did that more than forty times in a row all told, I never once got it wrong. I was going to go through the whole pack but I started feeling tired and more than a bit spooked by the whole experience. I have never tried to repeat it.

    In both cases it definitely took a lot of effort involving a very high level of concentration. This fits well with what you said above about the rate of success in laboratory ESP experiments.

  172. Another one for ‘Malign Entrancement’ please JMG. Well, not that but…you know what I mean. I get how something like the I Ching works within the idea of Synchronicity much more than, say the ‘all change confirmation’ I told you about a couple of weeks ago. Who or what ‘persuades’ two birds to impactfully end their lives by two cars within 5 minutes of each other and right near me? I can’t claim that power but we seem to agree it didn’t feel like coincidence, especially given it was just after quiet time contemplating some fairly deep stuff while in nature.

  173. JMG,

    Thanks for that clarification. I had naively assumed that the religion of progress would at least pay attention to science.

    I feel like I should know the answer to this already, but is there a historical overview on the formation of the myth of progress? I know you’ve written on this a lot but I can’t recall a specific work. I’m thinking of a full history with landmark texts or moments that helped to create the myth. Or did it just evolve slowly and imperceptibly, gathering steam (pardon the pun) as the industrial revolution rolled on?

    As an aside, do you know of any similar works explaining biophobia in western culture. As a farm boy, I’ve never understood that.

    Cheers,
    Simon

  174. I seldom dream (or perhaps I almost never remember them), but a few weeks back I had a dream of me staring down into a murky dark pool, getting frightend that something was down there. Then a frog was tossed up, and I’m not sure if it was a lifeless frog, or a toy (teddybear frog).
    And my act of returning the “teddy” to the pool gained the trust from a large humanoid frog that was hiding down there, it surfaced and I got a very compassionate although cold and slimy hug.
    I told my wife about the dream, and with her aid, our working hypothesis now is that it was a frog spirit that thanked me for sparing some especially wet parts of the fields this year from hay harvest (the tractor would just have gotten stuck, and little hay would have been gained from cutting it).
    After that, I went to that patch of high grass, and there was alot of frogs and toads there, enjoying the shelter from predators that the high grass provided.

    Syncronicity or not…? Hard to tell! Feels like that the incidents connections could be soley a product of my own imagination.
    The incident you described with the Jung, the client and the scarab involves multiple agents where a scarab is one. (Although in honesty, it could be rationalized away by reasoning that the story from the client made Jung more perceptive about scarabs.)

    Oh, and the frog spirit in my dream, it didn’t look at all “something like a bat” 😀

  175. I am going to pile on here 🙂 I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on the disenchantment/malign enchantment of our current world, with maybe some thought as to timing and possible actors.

  176. @JMG,

    With that logic, one could easily argue that every kind of endeavor (whether scientific or occult) to discover and explain finer forces of nature is “argument from ignorance”.

    As for statistical models, we engineers use them to estimate the outcomes and states of a system when we don’t have complete information about how that system works. Like all mathematical models, we treat them merely as models to approximate reality, not as the reality itself. In contrast, many of the theoretical physicists tend to believe that mathematical constructs perfectly represent reality, rather than admitting that our theoretical constructs may have limitations.

  177. Once again, everyone’s votes have been tabulated. Thank you for your enthusiasm!

    DropBear, both of those are possibilities. It’s also possible that physics passed the point of diminishing returns around 1900 and is now approaching the point of negative returns.

    Jbucks, yes, exactly– in Fortune’s model the archetypes exist on the upper mental plane — what the Neoplatonists called the noetic plane. And yes, exactly — what you contemplate, you imitate, and so if you believe the universe is a machine, you behave like a machine.

    Mr. Nobody, it’s not just human geography. It’s a common teaching of most traditions that certain places are more transparent to the spirit than others, and synchronicities are one of the ways that expresses itself.

    Booklover, well, you could always read Jung’s books on the subject, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious and Synchronicity.

    Piglet, life is complex; you’ve got synchronicity, an activated archetype, karma, and probably some unresolved psychological conflicts all knotted up there together. The next time you feel great, light, much better than usual, turn into a hermit — don’t go to parties, avoid people of your preferred sex, and if someone shows interest in you, back away fast. Then see what happens. As for will and consciousness, no, they’re by no means always in balance — there are plenty of people who are receptive and passive, and plenty of others who have strong wills and no clue about what’s going on.

    Kwo, archetypes are structures of the mental plane; deities are inhabitants of the spiritual planes.

    Mr. Nobody, the Pluto material will be published in book form, probably in early 2022, by Inner Traditions. I’ll post an announcement when it’s available for preorder. As for the astral gunk, I’ll consider that.

    Chris, that’s certainly one part of the process. As for wiggle, the relationship between synchronicity and free will is complex and I’m not at all sure I understand it yet.

    Mountaineer, this is one of the reasons why I thing it would be a good idea to have every high school graduate do two years of public service in something like the old Civilian Conservation Corps, where people from all classes and ethnic groups are thrown together and get to know each other. Among other things, it would give the pampered children of the comfortable classes a glimpse outside the bubble!

    Jasper, you remind me of an old philosophical joke. “René Descartes is sitting in a bar with an empty glass in front of him. The bartender comes up and says, ‘You want another one?’ Descartes says, ‘I think not’ — and vanishes.” You and the joke aren’t being fair, though; Descartes never said that you exist only when you’re thinking, only that the fact that you’re thinking shows that you exist. Wrong? Sure, as I noted above, but not in the joke’s sense. As for Plato, what he noted — or more precisely, what he picked up and developed from Pythagoras and Parmenides — is that very broadly, we experience two kinds of things, things we experience with our senses and things we experience with our thoughts, and things of one kind don’t relate to things of the other kind in a simplistic and straightforward way. Rather, it makes more sense to look at them as two different worlds or realms, and to search for the subtle connections that unite them. His mistake, to my mind, was in believing that the realm of mind is the real world and the realm of the senses is unreal; it’s just as big a mistake to do as modern materialists do and switch labels.

    Justin, no, and I probably should. Oram is quite right; I’ve chanted the word “Awen” in the West Kennet long barrow and, at the Wilmington Long Man, had a conversation in an ordinary conversational tone when I was standing on the Long Man’s head and the other person was standing on a mound down below his feet, about a hundred yards away.

    Steve, it’s partly a failure of pattern recognition, yes, but keep in mind the old magical adage: what you contemplate, you imitate. So much of the left has been fixated on being against this or that or the other, rather than being for anything specific, that it’s not at all surprising they’ve turned into a parody of what they hate.

    Coop Janitor, hmm! I think he’d turn down the invite. I could see Laura Merrill being asked to give such an address after she became Grand Priestess, or Miriam Akeley, or if the event takes place after the fulfilment of the Weird, Randolph Carter. Alternatively, a visiting professor at Miskatonic might be asked to do so — I could see Toby Gilman, Leah Gilman, or Emmeline Grenier being given that honor — and if the latter, the Great Old Ones alone know what she’d say!

    Pixelated, good heavens, you don’t have to ask my permission to experiment with the SoP. As I’ve noted rather more than once, it’s a very flexible ritual and handles modifications well; if you’re getting good results, go for it. Yes, you can post a link if you like.

    N0rway, you’re most welcome.

    Andy, there’s a word for synchronicities like that: “omens.” Yes, they happen, and in saner ages, people watched carefully for them.

    Neptunesdolphins, it’s a common bad habit to confuse archetypes and gods. One more constructive way to think about it is that the archetypes are the imprints the gods have left in the human psyche. No,. Campbell got the idea of archetypes from Jung — very few of his ideas were original.

    Walt, well, compare it to the material plane. How many different forces and factors govern, say, the movement of water in a stream? You’ve got gravity, you’ve got the structure of the stream bed, you’ve got variations in rainfall and snow melt, you’ve got the complex internal dynamics of flow and current and turbulence, and so on and so forth. Maybe gambling would be dull and mechanical without all the additional factors adding spice!

    Patricia M, thank you! That’s high praise — and I trust you caught the Jules Verne references in that particular novel, too. I’m not sure how much of the “thank you, Goddess” experience is synchronicity and how much is due to other factors — how would you measure?

    Sebastien, after my experience constructing a roleplaying game, I confess the idea of trying to set out RPG rules for synchronicity is utterly fascinating. If you ever manage it, please do let me know.

    KW, a friend of mine who teaches at a Pennsylvania state university has just been told that PASSHE has ordered her university to cut its teaching staff by 20%, effective at the end of the school year in May. The higher education bubble in the US is about to pop. I’d encourage you and your husband to take steps to find some other means of support right now — as in, starting this evening — so you aren’t left twisting in the wind along with thousands of other academics.

    Ethan, thanks for this!

    Will O, the last time I know of was 1932, and it constellated around FDR.

    Walt, duly noted.

    Samurai_47, as far as I know, Jung came up with synchronicity as a result of his clinical experiences, combined with close reading of Schopenhauer’s philosophy.

  178. Ed, my take was that it was simply competent tradecraft on the part of the assassin.

    Patricia M, my book on the subject, The King in Orange, will be published by Inner Traditions in the spring of 2021. I’ll post something here when it’s ready for preorder.

    Ecosophian, ha! The Society for the Eradication of Progress is a great idea. Timely, too; a new book entitled The Innovation Delusion: How Our Obsession with the New has Disrupted the Work that Matters Most by Lee Vinsel and Andrew L. Russell is about to be released by one of the big publishers.

    Bryan, you’re most welcome.

    Teresa, I’ll consider that. I need to rewrite my book on Atlantis sometime soon anyway, and some explorations along those lines might be helpful.

    Arid Otter, watching birds as a source of synchronistic insight is a very ancient and, as you’ve seen, a very productive practice!

    Lee, the non-material senses sense things on one of the non-material planes. That’s why they’re not always so useful in perceiving things on the material plane! Synchronicity can influence the inner senses too — when three people have the same dream, for example, that’s an astral synchronicity.

    Fred, exactly. If you deny that the universe has any meaning, sure, you’re going to have a hard time finding meaning in it! (That’s always been my problem with existentialism.)

    Methylethyl, thanks for this. The universe does indeed say hi.

    Hereward, thank you — these are classic examples.

    Jay, Jung would consider that to be synchronicity. Did the birds communicate anything to you?

    Simon, I know of no books like those. I’d read ’em if I found them.

    Alnus, that sounds like straightforward psychism — your mind and that of the frogs came into contact on the astral plane. I presume the frog spirit didn’t look slightly like a sloth, either!

    Minervaphilos, not at all. If you’re actually attempting to discover the forces, it’s not an argument from ignorance. It’s an argument from ignorance if you’re assuming that they’re there and that someone will surely get around to discovering them someday.

  179. Hey jmg

    On the subject of jung, what do you think is the most common mistake people make when using or discussing his system of psychology?

    Also, I vote for either malignant enchantment that the real-world radiance has placed upon society, or a discussion of the other ways you can use tarot cards.

  180. JMG, meditate on the Kahuna and you will understand the hidden Biblical references.

    HA! WE got to tell HIM to meditate for a change!😁

  181. JMG,
    can you point me to Berkley’s poem? I am almost completely new to philosophy and while I harbor deep distrust of it, I would like to learn more.

    James about quantum effects,
    The whole point of the interpretation of QM is to explain our world in terms of QM. Everything around us is based on QM. The main reason we don’t see QM strange effects at scale is not the size of Planck’s constant, but enthropy. For example superconductors and superfluids readily exhibit quantum effects and the quantum bomb tester (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elitzur%E2%80%93Vaidman_bomb_tester) can “trigger” a bomb without triggering and thus find out if it’s a dud.
    I would recommend to everybody a book called “Schrodinger’s rabbits”. It is in support of Many-Worlds interpretation (MWI) but the many examples it provides are challenging to think about.

    Walt F,
    I agree with you about MWI – the rules of physics still apply. I think there is definitely something to MWI but I agree that is useless when it comes to consciousness or decision-making. If there is a connection we have a lot of steps to figure out before we can use it that way.
    But as a simplifying assumption it really helps. All the QM experiments that are used to justify woo-woo spiritualism are easily explainable by assuming that all particles just go everywhere and they interact in all possible ways. That way, delayed choice quantum experiment or photons interfering with their future self – all these experiments become easily to process and predict without any need for special observers.
    Of course that does not mean MWI is true but it is simpler than the alternatives so it’s a much better model to start with.

  182. Mr. Nobody,

    I live in Madison and I know exactly what you’re talking about. There hasn’t been a week that’s gone by, since I started practicing the SoP, where something don’t notice something synchronous. Even non-practitioners notice it, and just brush it off as mundane occurrence. My boss has a saying “everything comes in waves,” because at any point if we get a problem of one kind coming into the shop it is a guarantee that we will have the same problem come in over and over for at least two weeks.

    Madison is a place poised on the edge of the spiritual world. Wisconsin as a whole is weirdly important to the whole life of the United States, even though we’re such a small state.

    Regards,

    Varun

  183. Thank you for the reply.

    I don’t want to take up any more of your time on the academia topic, or argue about it, but did want to mention (in case other readers are following this thread) that the four “state-related” universities in Pennsylvania (Penn State, Pitt, Temple and Lincoln) are in a different legal category — the “Commonwealth System of Higher Education” created in the 1960s as semi-independent institutions — than the 14 state colleges in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).

    It’s the latter schools that were recently informed that they’d see a 20% cut in faculty, with notifications expected in October, that contracts will not be renewed after this academic year ends next spring. I found some news articles about that online.

    The “state-related,” semi-independent universities might enact similar scale cuts, but if they’re planned, they haven’t been announced yet. Penn State’s upper administration is maintaining a public posture, at least, of wait-and-see, following budget cuts and employee furloughs already enacted over the last six months.

    For my own work, I’m interested in what might be done to shape and reform the pieces of academia that will still be standing after the major changes in student enrollment and federal funding that are already in motion, finish their cycle of effects.

    For example, I’m curious about which 80% of faculty at PASSHE manage to keep their jobs, and how the decisions about which 20% to cut will be made. And which parts of the state-related schools like Penn State will be cut loose, and which will be maintained.

    Will decisions be made by by department and discipline? Or by seniority? Or will each department be directed to cut 20% of its teachers? I do think there are some things worth salvaging about post-high-school education, and some things that need to be pitched into the “dustbin of history,” as you say. And will continue doing some divination about the specific questions regarding whether work in that area is part of my own path.

    Thank you again for all the time you invest in your readers and our spiritual growth.

  184. I would like it if you would write about Spengler’s The Decline of the West. After trying to read it many times, I finally took it out of my local library (both volumes) and have been laboring through it. A lot of it is hard to read because I don’t have the breath of knowledge he had, but some of it is so timely, so pertinent to the things that we deal with now, that I have been taking notes, so I don’t forget those thoughts (talk about synchronicity!).

  185. Thanks JMG but why would it be that some people have a tendency to do so bad on Zener cards? Like it’s the sense of right and wrong is flipped. This becomes painfully obvious on red or black at the roulette wheel. (Or guessing cards color from a deck.)

  186. Hi John,

    I am looking forward to the revised edition of your book on Atlantis. I loved the original and how you tied together a lot of different material and different strands of thought and evidence to reach your conclusion. A conclusion I agree is the most plausible scenario.

    I have long believed the notion that humans lived for hundreds of thousands if not millions of years as primitive hunter-gatherers and then suddenly developed civilizations only in the last 5000-6000 years really stretches credibility, if for no other reason than statistical probability. It would make far more sense if other civilizations existed long before the present cycle started in Mesopotamia, Anatolia and Egypt but have been lost in the mists of time. Or maybe evidence has been found but the mainstream academic establishment refuses to consider the possibility.

    I came across an interesting thought the other night. I was rereading Julius Evola’s book Revolt Against the Modern World. He talks about the possibility that a civilization existed in prehistoric times in the lands surrounding the Arctic Ocean, which he calls Hyperborea after the legendary Greek land of that name. Based on what was known about natural history at the time, he estimated it would have existed around 100,000 years ago. Well, wouldn’t you know but I was also reading through the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s paleoclimate site and found there was a period of several thousand years between 120,000 and 130,000 years before present when the Arctic was largely ice free and the Earth’s climate appears to have been relatively stable over an extended period of time. Average sea levels were about 6-8 meters higher than today, but much of the Earth appears to have had a fairly temperate climate according to this and other paleoclimatology sources I have come across

    From a geographical perspective, the Arctic during this period would have been like the Mediterranean writ large: a largely enclosed sea with lots of suitable sites for harbors, plenty of sheltered anchorages, plenty of large navigable rivers giving access to the inner regions of North America and Eurasia, and so on. In fact, I recall that you expect Canada and Russia to benefit hugely as the Arctic thaws out and rivers like the Ob, the Yenisei, the Irtush and the Mackenzie become navigable and fertile all the way down to their estuaries. It would have been a natural time and place for one or more high cultures to emerge during the Late Pleistocene.

    Maybe Evola and Clark Ashton Smith were onto something after all…

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory paleoclimate website:

    https://esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/nerc.html

  187. My vote goes for a commencement speech on malign enchantment. And, these days, since most high school students (as with most people of any age) are thinking about very little if anything at all, at least this would give them something of real importance to think about, if they are listening at all, and, anyway, would probably be under the malign enchantment of their ‘smart’ phones. Most commencement speeches, college or high school, are filled with a bunch of platitudes – I certainly don’t remember any commencement speeches, I just recall wishing hurry up already and not feeling any thing special about graduation day. I do believe that a speech on malign enchantment would have gotten my attention…
    ,,,,,,,
    @ JMG – In meditating on your mention of the dogma of materialism and the dogma of mechanism several thoughts came to mind. Among other baleful effects, the dogma of materialism, when combined with the age-old evils of slavery, produced a most deleterious and corrupting forms of racism. The dogma of mechanism reduced nature and people (save the chosen few) to wind-up toys designed to do the bidding of their masters (the chosen few, the elect). A mechanistic plus materialistic view of food broke food down into individual nutrients and replaced them cheaper synthetics, i.e., junk-food / food-like substances; food production reduced to cheap and/or mechanized labor with little thought for the land. These dogmas sucked-up all the ‘oxygen’ of spirituality, mysticism and the occult, leaving despair in their wake. All along though there have been whispers of something beyond. Food needs a special force to grow – it cannot be mechanized into existence. And resource wars (much could be said here). Likewise, people are more and more realizing that they need something beyond a regulated material existence, that there is something else. And Mother Nature is getting very restless indeed.

    Synchronicity: pandemic and all kinds of disasters. Five-alarm wake-up call.

  188. I like that this topic inspires so much questioning. That’s very comforting.

    Are you familiar with Stuart Hameroff?

  189. So, another comment, this one more central to the themes of the post.

    How do you respond to Nassim Taleb’s critique that most of the order we think we see is actually an illusion caused by randomness? That’s a nagging doubt I can’t shake about the whole synchronicity thing (and everything it touches).

    I find Taleb’s argument can’t be brushed off so easily as when most materialists make something like it, because Taleb was one of the first to sound the alarm that most science is insufficiently rigorous, and he is happy to watch modern scientific institutions burn down.

    From what I’ve gathered from things you’ve said elsewhere, you seem to think Taleb has it backwards: that randomness, not order, is the illusion. I have to admit, this seems like an awfully large pill to swallow. Between “It was only a coincidence,” and “Nothing is ever a coincidence,” the former seems less likely to lead to trouble.

    (Don’t take me wrong: I’m a convinced non-materialist, on philosophical rather than probabilistic grounds, and I have experiences that would seem to fit better in a genuine spiritual framework than in a more minimalistic non-materialism.)

  190. Thinking more about Nassim Taleb, he strikes me as a modern-day Lucretius in his temperament at least: a materialist but not a mechanist. Lucretius’ theory of atoms “swerving” — that is, behaving non-deterministically — in some respects foreshadowed QM. (Lucretius was an atomist but argued that since humans have free will, atoms must swerve.)

    Of course, Taleb is a practicing Orthodox Christian, but it’s not clear from his writings just how much of it he believes. He seems sometimes to think of it as a health club.

  191. WRT to the “astral gunk”, it occurs to me that the subject is at least tangentially related to “the malign enchantment we’re all under” that so many readers would like to hear more about. For what is the gunk, other than the most tangible manifestation of said malign enchantment?

  192. Once again, I’ve tallied everyone’s votes. Thank you for your enthusiasm!

    J.L.Mc12, I have no idea. You’d have to take a census of people who’ve tried to understand Jung and then figure out what mistake they make most often.

    Your Kittenship, I just want to know where you got an edition of the Bible translated into Hawaiian surfer slang!

    NomadicBeer, if Berkeley wrote a poem I don’t know of it. The best intro to his philosophy is Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous, which can be found in any collection of his works.

    Varun, neither one. That’s like asking whether Mount Rainier is more related to a personality or an individuality.

    KW, ah, it wasn’t clear to me that your husband’s institutioin was one of the state-related universities. Nonetheless, if it doesn’t happen this year to Penn State, it will happen soon. The higher education industry in this country is at the far end of a speculative bubble, and the bust is going to make the dot-com bust look mild. Get out while you can!

    Katherine, I’ll consider that.

    Fail, Rhine never did figure that out.

    Galen, thanks for this. If occult sources are to be relied on — and they’ve scored some remarkable hits — there have been four great cycles of human civilization on Earth before ours, and the usual names given to them are the Polarian, Hyperborean, Lemurian, and Atlantean cycles. The first two had their heartlands in the countries surrounding the North Pole; the third had its heartland in what geologists call Sundaland, the vast now-drowned land mass (the size of India) whose mountains are now the island chains south and east of Southeast Asia; the fourth had its heartland on the shores of the Atlantic, in areas now underwater; and ours had its heartland in southern Asia, in a band extending from the Middle East to China. Each one had its own distinctive and unique forms of technology and culture; it’s been suggested that one of the reasons that archeologists don’t recognize their remains is that they don’t look like what we think of as the products of civilization.

    PatriciaT, that seems about right.

    Covergirl, nope. Tell me about him.

    James, my view is a little subtler. Occult philosophy has it that nothing is ever a coincidence, but most of what goes on its so far beyond our capacity to understand that we might as well treat it as random. The reason Taleb’s argument is impossible to disprove (or, for that matter, to prove) is that our species simply isn’t that bright — for heaven’s sake, we haven’t yet been able to solve the three-body problem!

    Mr. Nobody, yes, that’ll have to be included in the discussion.

  193. A question I’d already been mulling over for a bit relating to last month’s fifth week post that for, uh, some reason (*wink*) appears to be at least tangentially on topic this week given that you mentioned the anima/animus archetypes specifically: How do the higher-plane genders alter the expression and particularly the projection of the anima/animus? (If I’m interpreting correctly this should show up most strongly on the astral, the next plane down from the mental archetypes, so the big cases would be astral man with animus expressed and astral woman with anima expressed?) I’d imagine that part of it is that the astral gender affects the expression of the anima/animus, but a) while the usual description of projecting the anima/animus onto a potential lover sounds like a good match for astral masculinity I’m not sure how well that holds for astral femininity (projecting the image of “someone who desires you” onto a potential lover is the obvious suspect and might actually fit, especially given the infamous traditionally-female abusive relationship fail state of “I know he loves me, I can bring him around!” and the traditional woman’s comments about not believing that the guy didn’t notice that she was into him?) and b) I’m not sure if there’s more to it than that. (Jung being an obvious occultist hiding in plain sight, I imagine somebody’s written about that, quite possibly Jung himself.)

  194. JMG, I got it at the secondhand bookstore in the little town on the Plains of Leng. The Bible gets around!

  195. I’d like to share a possible synchronicity I just had. I’ve been observing previous discussions on the blogs regarding Trump winning the election, with omens and divinations pointing to the number 538. After reading this blog entry and thinking about synchronicities today, I moved on and sat down to watch a movie tonight – The Godfather: Part 2. And a certain number leapt out at me in one scene:

    https://i.imgur.com/Mih3XGi.jpg (on top of the doorway of the building)

    That alone might not be too meaningful, maybe I’m just noticing a number that’s been on my mind – but there’s the context of the scene. The man entering the building – a cruel old mafia don who rules the local neighbourhood – is about to be murdered by a young upstart, who replaces him as don. So there’s the meaning of a transfer of power, from the old establishment to the new, all in building number 538.

    Again, I always tell myself it’s just a coincidence, or just confirmation bias, or wishful thinking for the election, etc. I was always a typical skeptic materialist before discovering these blogs. But I did get a bit excited thinking about the meaning of the scene, in a movie I happened to watch right after this essay on synchronicity came out, so I felt like I had to share it!

  196. Forgot to vote in my previous comment, but I would like to cast another one for an article on the various classes of non-physical beings. Thank you!

  197. For that extra post, I would love to learn more about how magic and time interact. So frequently, results come on a completely different timetable than one intends. For me, I’ve frequently gotten what I’ve asked for well past the point of utility, e.g., the dream job comes but only after I’ve already changed careers. Makes one want to give up magic entirely. Thank you.

  198. Jmg& your kittenship

    In Australia someone did in face translate the gospels into Australian slang, I browsed it at a bookstore many years ago.

  199. @ dropBear–
    “but maybe the real reason is, that we are afraid of what we might find.”

    That is my own view.

    In the 1970s I came across a short story by Fred Hoyle called “A Jury of Five” to illustrate his speculation–or view–that reality is created by its participants. In the story a college professor and an business magnate are both returning to the city after respective weekends in the country. There two cars collide at a crossroads, but only one body is found in the mangled wreckage. The police ID the two cars and are rather sure that the body is either the professor or the magnate, but they cannot tell which, so they seek acquaintances of the two men to identify the body. There are five of these–each has some relationship to either the professor or the magnate–though not both. Each acquaintance has reasons for the body to be or not be either the professor or the magnate, and Hoyle goes through each of their thoughts. When the cover is pulled back, a majority of three don’t want it to be the magnate, and it is the professor who is revealed. The magnate is soon discovered alive and wandering in a nearby wood.

    It should be noted that Hoyle was respected for good technical work–including the creation of elements in stars–but his speculations gained no traction at all.

    Hoyle did not believe participants–the observers in the Copenhagen interepretation–had to be human: In general they would clearly not be. Yet who the were and how they participated would be hard questions to answer. But Hoyle’s colleagues were not interested in this line of thinking at all.

    In the 18th and 20th century each of the sciences in turn–using good scientific methods–ran into clear indications that formal and materialist methods, while very effective, were incomplete and therefore blocked further understanding. But these indications were refused, and understanding–after reaching a certain level–has come to a stop.

    –Gaianne

  200. @JMG: “your mind and that of the frogs came into contact on the astral plane”

    That might be the case, but this spurs more thoughts for me. Care to enlighten or reason with me?
    Humans and frogs live very different lives and our perspectives differ radically.
    To my knowledge, the signs of compassion and connection that I experienced in the dream (returning of a lost keepsake and a hug) are rather antropocentric and such experiences would probably just puzzle or even scare a frog.

    Is the connection/event on the astral plane of a radically different and unknowable nature and is the dream just the pale shadow of that astral plane connection, projected upon my human mind?

    If so, then the projection of that event on the frogs mind would be of a more froglike nature.

  201. Hello JMG

    “Sebastien, after my experience constructing a roleplaying game, I confess the idea of trying to set out RPG rules for synchronicity is utterly fascinating. If you ever manage it, please do let me know.”

    As far as I can tell from now on, any set of rules would be a total waste of time because, well, synchronicity. Reading the comments from all fine contributors here got me into thinking that the most rigidity applied to the conscienceness, the less synchronicity is able to manifest itself.

    I’d rather explain in the source book what synchronicity is (in rather simple terms), what archetypes are and what the collective unconscious is, all these to be understood game-wise.

    If we ever manage to publish that stuff and before that, to put it into actual gaming, I’ll let you know for sure.

    My most recent ditch is the use of synchronicity by a soviet agent in the late 70 in L.A. to exchange the lateral door of a Ford van from opening on the right to open on the left because she once saw the same model down Alameda St but left-hand driven 😉 The Gmen inside the van didn’t stand a chance :/ This is, give or take, the maximum effect one can dream to achieve when in total harmony with her inconscious self.

    I use synchronicity (and all jungian analytics) twofold: first as Phlebotinum to “explain” weird things and give the players characters some power over reality making them more than mundane humans and as a plot device to drive them struggling with a weird reality. My current personal setting is one of contemporary occultism (dark pulp fiction but without any Mythos). The RPG I’m working for publication is a less cheesy cyberpunk/hard SF setting.

    Remind please me to set one apart for you if it ever hits the bookshelves, I remember you’re fluent in French 🙂

  202. Another vote for the dysfunction of the will, please.

    I also wanted to share a miracle where guardian angels were working overtime.

    Many years ago, I went to meet my children walking home from school, and on our way back, my daughter and I stopped to talk to a neighbour while my two sons, around 6 and 8 at the time, continued on down our very long driveway, which snaked through a woods.

    We heard a loud crack, and turned to find a large tree had fallen directly onto the driveway, its large trunk perpendicular to the driveway, exactly where my two sons had been walking side by side seconds before. They had cleared the spot by about ten or twelve feet before the tree fell.

    There was no doubt in my mind that their guardian angels (and mine!!) were holding that tree up until they had safely cleared it.

  203. Speaking of synchronicity… there is a pile of National Geographics by the front door of my bookstore, free for the taking if anyone wants them, and yesterday when I came to open the store I noticed the one on top had a large scarab gracing the front cover.

    But what does it mean? What is this trying to tell me? I have no idea.

  204. Hi John Michael,

    Free will is a most complicated matter, and few people give the subject much attention.

    Earlier today I had an odd thought, and it was that in reading your essay I had an impression that the word archetype and also the way the word is used indicates to me that perhaps Carl Jung may have been discussing averages of archetypes rather than well defined constructs. Not sure really.

    And my odd thought was that, it is possible that people have wildly different representations of generally accepted archetypes, or that their personalities are such that they interact wildly differently if say another person had the exact same archetype. Dunno.

    Cheers

    Chris

  205. Hi, everyone.

    For those who haven’t checked out the Kickstarter for JMG’s Vintage Worlds anthologies, I’d like to note that it had a strong start but we have an uphill climb to reach the mandatory goal to receive any funding at all. Spread the word, friends.

  206. Archdruid,

    Sorry, poorly worded question. What I meant to ask is.

    Does an archetype imprint on an individuality and have its influence flow down, or does it imprint on the personality and have it influence flow up?

    Regards,

    Varun

  207. Heya JMG! I found this Sensei Arch Druid synchronicity this a.m. https://www.scmp.com/video/coronavirus/3100310/buddhist-waterfall-meditation-helps-japanese-cope-stress-covid-19 .

    There are no coincidences but there sure are a lot of synchronicities! We heeded your advice and after 25 years have retuned to the cold h20 challenge. Our normally great good fortune and well being have noticeably increased. Thanks for this. Best wishes and flowing positive energy to you and yours!

    Black Tuna and Hand

  208. Thanks for reply on archetypes. I like that than the other view of how humans create Gods through archetypes. What runs through much of the neo-pagan writing is the emphasis on self-sovereignty. That seems to come from a desire against seeing any religious concept as authoritarian. I suppose there is a lot to unpack there.

    Campbell made it easy to elude religious formality in achieving the hero’s journey by the self. Archetypes seem to be handy for the human-centric universe.

    I take synchronicity as a result of living in the cosmic ecosystem. I see that Gods, humans, Others live in a web of life. What one does affects the others. Humans are embedded in this web like the others. I believe that modernity have removed humans from this web to make them live outside.

    As for cause and effect, i had a wall fall on me. I now have a brain injury. People have said “everything happens for a reason.” Nope, nada, not so. Things happen. No reason.

  209. I would like to leave a vote for discussion of autism / Aspergers, with a strong second for dysfunctions of the will if the autism subject is knocked out in the first round. Thanks!

  210. Very interesting. We often run into the caricature of Jung in modern textbooks that doesn’t really make sense, and this makes much more sense.

    He and you are addressing one of the deep questions of all time…what causal interactions exist in our world. The “materialsm mechanism” story had a simple mechanical version before quantum theory. But it wasn’t really invalidated as much as revolutionized with a less intuitive (but more precise) quantum understanding of what matter is and a great reduction in the number of mechanisms which is often called “unification” so that everything is thought to be a result of 4 forces for which we have successful quantum theories that describe 3 of them. We still can’t make a consistent theory of quantum gravity.

    I agree with you that the materialists’ ideas are fully inadequate for guiding humans in living. Much of the ideological chaos of our era has its roots in the debunking of traditional means of generating effective stories, rituals, and beliefs to guide a culture. But the frontal attack on materialism claiming non-physical causes is a tricky business. The problem isn’t only with arguments from ignorance. People who honestly look for statistical signatures of non-physical causes, can’t find reproducible evidence. The rhetorical example is simpler than the actual studies: if the rain really fell more reliably on the fields of the righteous than the unrighteous, then we would know about it from rainfall maps. Most of the studies have been done on things like ESP and prayer where non-null results are notoriously unreproducible. The Zener-Rhine experiments for example don’t stand up after repeated attempts to find conditions in which non-null effects can be regularly observed.

    I suspect the path forward lies in two directions. One that the materialists may be convinced to join is to observe the fact that emergent complex systems such as human minds are better addressed with tools that exist at their level of complexity (such as story and ritual) than with reductionist oversimplifications. The other path that the materialists will forever reject is recognition that non-physical intelligences (God or spirit beings) likely don’t choose to be detectable by statistical means. If this is the case, then more personal experiences are the only way to know about them and we shouldn’t expect statistical regularity in their interactions with the world.

  211. Hello JMG

    “we haven’t yet been able to solve the three-body problem!”

    Indeed, we have. There is a known analytical solution to the 3-body problem devised by Sundman in 1909. The review has been made quite recently in https://arxiv.org/pdf/physics/0203001.pdf

    This discovery has only a minor importance because analytical solutions are impracticable in reality, one cannot use them to calculate orbital transfers. Approximations still work best. The main hint of this is that deep solar probes never go off-course or miss rendez-vous points with planets to get gravitational assistance from them.

  212. Mr. Nobody and JMG:

    I’m also very interested to read about the declining astrological influence of Pluto and look forward to the publication of your book, John.

    As for the “thick, black, goopy, congealing energetic ‘gunk’ that has been accumulating on the Lower Astral Plane,” that sounds like crude oil to me. If Pluto (the archetype, if not the icy dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt) rules the underworld and power, I’m thinking he must be deeply connected to our multi-faceted predicament here in the waning days of the fossil fuel era. It doesn’t feel as if he is finished with us just yet, nor we with him. We need those chthonic gods who rule the deep earth, wherein lie the seeds of our rebirth.

  213. @JMG lol. Well, that’s another of my patterns journaling about kept me up half the night. Identifying as an intellectual person, but then at the first sign in thinking originally suspecting I must be Wrong. I frequently do push through and do something original and valuable to others when I feel “in my wheelhouse” in the end, but I expend too much needless angst first, and probably am missing many more situations I could have done this at the most exciting fringes of my confidence…

    Re: Moldywort. I get that boredom for a well read adult! – and the fact that it blew up on Rowling is also a part of the Story that might make it instructive – that if part of the problem with the Kids Today is the paucity of story, the one story that is death, then how can you translate to them? It’s like having only monoglots, you need a polyglot and a Rosetta Stone to translate via a third language. If they only read Potter at face, that’s just an echo chamber, because the end fails the same way: the Myth of Redemptive Violence aka Retributive Justice aka Critical Race Theory (I’ve been thinking of it as the more awful face of the Wendigo above the veil). I can’t try to capture who Mercury IS to a kid who hasn’t had the richness of a classical education. But I can start with Snape.

    The prophecy in Potter is the thing that allows it to be flipped still – the ambiguity. Voldemort fails because his Trickster messenger is too greedy and hasty, he delivers only the first part, he leaves too soon while the oracle is speaking, before the whole warning/gift is received. There are two boys, and in choosing one, it’s Enemy’s undoing. But it’s the choice left unchosen, Neville, that is a mirror throughout to the ternary that resolves the falsehood of the duality, if you can be nudged to think of it that way. Then the whole ending looks like the pooped bed it is. It was so close though, I thought she’d really do it, expose Harry as the Gollum. There’s room for some subversive retcon fanfic. I have thought… With one tweak LOTR would have failed too: if Frodo just walked on in and dropped the Ring into the fire while the battle distracted Sauron. It’s the fact Gollum is allowed to play the part he did that makes it a complete myth Cycle that can be read alone. The lack of inevitability, the incomplete goodness or evil of either character alone at the very end.

    Is Trump a demigod or demiurge? Shrug, but i know he’s half man.

    Is Covid killing no one or everyone? Yes, it’s killing some, like everything else, so like everything else you decide how much life you give up to save how much death.

    That was the answer to question 1 – you don’t screen out the Archetype, you’re a human lacking the body to do so, so you integrate it healthily with your astral hygiene.

    (2 was you tell the difference with the same methods of any other pathworking)

  214. Sorry, JMG, this is not quite on topic, but I’ve been waiting for an article like this one to come out for quite a while: https://onezero.medium.com/the-privileged-have-entered-their-escape-pods-4706b4893af7

    Thought you might like to take a peek.

    Of course, plenty of rich Americans spent the Great Depression in Europe (mostly Paris), so this isn’t exactly new. But what’s going on today smacks more of trying to ride out the Apocalypse. It also has a Brave New World kind of feel – obsession with technology and using it as a barrier between oneself and the gritty unpleasantness of reality.

  215. Hi JMG,
    I would be happy to read more of your thoughts regarding Daoism or chinese occultism someday. Having read much of your works as well as dabbling in Daoist thought there seems to be a large degree of overlap in practices and principles. Have you read much Daoism yourself? Or perhaps the Golden Dawn integrated the principles themselves around the time they were integrating the I Ching.

  216. @JMG and @Galen Diettinger

    The assumption of prehistoric history in our human sense is certainly an interesting question.

    First off, that little I know about archeology is from Bill Brysons “A short history of nearly everything”.
    A very good book of popular science, that is more or less a crash course of how our todays sciences and their findings came about since roughly the beginning of the “enlightenment” age.

    He mentions, that findings of prehistoric skeletons and any past remains are actually extremely rare, they just need very specific conditions to be preserved.

    Accordingly the holes in our assumption about deep time history are enormous. The models of e.g. human genesis are therefore picture of our bundled findings that appears like a good purview, but it probably isn’t.

    Currently mankind is presumed roughly ~2 millions of years old(?), I guess that would make space for prehistoric cultures. There are some curiosities worldwide that are indeed somewhat inexplicable:
    – Yonaguni Monument in the ocean
    – Longyou Caves -> this one is actually really extremely unfathomable of how it came to be

    Because often times the “mysteries” of histroy seem to be – not so mysterious.

    I have two questions now:
    1) the prehistoric cultures did not seem to have used fossil fuels and created such a leviathan of a civilization as we in all probability? Given we do not for example find old deposits of radioactive waste. So what “form” could technology back then have taken, since there is a limited number of options how to transform our environment into tools…?

    2) One interesting thing also would be an account of where occultists gave the right guess beforehand things were discovered with modern methods of measurement and reconstruction.

    regards,
    Curt

  217. JMG – you said “Jung would consider that to be synchronicity. Did the birds communicate anything to you?”
    The message felt pretty clear to me – ‘death of an era and time for change’ …but I am naturally a skeptic, so after some reflection while the pigeon flapped its last, I was prepared to dismiss the first strike just as a coincidental reflection of things I’d been meditating about just before. It was the second birdstrike, happening a few minutes later up the road in a very similar fashion in front of me, that punctuated things into ‘take notice!’ territory. And here we are.
    The thing that I am still finding it hard to get my head around, though, is the step up from some guidance in a dream or through divination to actual stuff happening (and dying) in front of you, underlining or supporting a message as though guided by an ‘invisible hand’. How’s that work (beyond saying its a mystery)?

  218. I am reading Halsall’s “Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West”, as mentioned last week. However, I find this piece from Chapter 6 unexpectedly relevant to the issue of meaning and synchronicity.


    The barbarian migrations and the end of the western Roman Empire have been viewed variously, as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ things, and consequently the story has been cast in diverse ways so that most of the classic forms of story are to be found. Many narratives are tragedies, with the demise of the western Empire (or perhaps the fall of the Gothic kingdom of Italy) as their final act. Historians writing their work as tragedy have a tendency to consider particular decisions as mistakes with ‘fatal’ consequences (admitting the Goths, recognising non-Roman king-ship, failing to destroy barbarian groups when the chance presented itself, and so on). Others take a more positive line, rendering their works comedies (in the classical sense as the opposite of tragedy, representing the triumph of heroes over adversity), and see the period as a story of the rise to pre-eminence of particular peoples or of the new, medieval world. Others still, especially those following the migrations of particular tribes, write history along the lines of medieval romance or epic, narrating the strange and exciting adventures of particular heroes.

    One reason why all these literary renderings are possible is that all historical writers and most of their readers – unlike the audience of a novel – know what is going to happen in the end… Events are given great significance because in the end they gave rise to other particular happenings – they can be seen from a later perspective as the ‘origins’ of events or institutions…In what follows I have tried to avoid representing events as leading inexorably towards a specific final result, whether tragic, romantic or comedic. Whereas most writers about this period write history backwards, either in seeking to explain a particular predetermined end-result or in tracing the origins of a specific institution, I have attempted to depict history as unfolding. I have endeavoured to give primacy to those sources closest in date to the actions under discussion in the belief that, paradoxically perhaps, we come closer to an appreciation of the decisions that led to particular outcomes by looking at writers who did not comprehend their historical significance

    Late antique people made choices according to what they thought would bring about, for them, the best result. Their actions, however, frequently had cumulative effects quite different from those intended and unfolded in a fashion that no one can have foreseen. The force that informed their actions and weighed heaviest upon them, and which imposes itself most forcefully upon our perception of them and their deeds, was the past. The actors in this story were, simply enough, walking backwards into the future.

    My rendition of western European history between 376 and 550 might still be read as a tragedy or as a heroic epic depending upon any predisposition that the reader might have, but it is presented as a dynamic sequence of events in which people acted according to their awareness of their situation and their own aims. They did not know that they were part of a particular story or how it would end. However, while the actors did not know this, the audience of history, that is both the author of this account and his readers, do, and this can only give this narrative a heavily and repeatedly ironic character.Tragedy and comedy can involve irony; irony can be tragic or comic.Comedy, tragedy, epic and romance all revolve around a unified, linear narrative structure and a particular ending, which informs the actions of the characters. Similarly, whilst history presented as tragedy, comedy, romance or epic has in all cases aimed to instruct, it can only do so – indeed it can only be written – by imposing a teleological structure on the narrative, preventing a full awareness of historical dynamics. A hero, for example, is often presented as such by ascribing to him (or occasionally her) an intention, rarely justified by the evidence, to produce a long-term result. Tragedy, by contrast, comes about by the characters’ inability to produce a particular outcome and evade another fate. But historically such fates rarely seem inevitable. Consequently, this story unfolds as the disjunction between the intended results of people’s actions and their actual outcomes. The end of the western Roman Empire was brought about by people frequently, if not always, trying to do the opposite.”

  219. John—

    I’ve already cast my ballot for the next fifth Wednesday, but given the discussion of the banality of Moldywort in the thread, I’d like to toss another suggested topic in for consideration down the road: the metaphysical nature of evil. (As opposed to “Eeeeeeeeevil.”)

  220. @ Myriam,

    “But what does it mean? What is this trying to tell me? I have no idea.”

    It’s trying to tell you that you live in a world with synchronicity. 😉

  221. Thank you very much for the article. It provides some missing pieces for my puzzle. The relationship of synchronicity and quamtum phenomena and the more pedestrian materialist views: beautifully woven! A new fabric, or I have not seen these threads woven this way before. On my second reading now. Will return. Much evidence for synchronicity in comments.

    A vote for malign enchantment.

    Clocks being anti-synchronicity – a very good tip! Radiance might be all in for clocks. And events sending a sort of bow-wave before them – yes I agree with this, but synchronicity might be a bit different. The archetype on prowl.

  222. Well here’s a synchronicity: In last week’s open post there was a robust discussion of how to remove a mouse infestation. Today, right after starting to read this post on synchronicity, my husband alerted me to a mouse in our kitchen – the first that we’ve had in our four years of living here!

    I’ve certainly had more meaningful synchronicities, but that was the most recent.

    My vote is for 1) mental hygiene or 2) tamanous culture.

  223. Regarding your discussion of a higher ed bubble making the tech bubble of the 1990s seem insignificant, it seems tech is going through similar troubles just now:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/03/theres-a-lot-of-chatter-on-wall-street-today-about-a-tech-bubble-heres-what-they-are-saying.html

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/09/04/is-the-tech-bubble-about-to-burst-again/

    This brings to mind something I talked about towards the end of the last post. I was wondering if you could respond to it:

    “In any case, Mr. Greer, what do you think of my idea of the “Late Silicon Age Collapse”.

    I have been reading a lot about the Late Bronze Age Collapse lately. One particularily fascinating source is “1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed”.

    Nobody knows for sure what caused the dramatic collapse of centuries old civilizations with only Egypt surviving. But I see a lot of eerie similarities between that time and our time. The Late Bronze Age was, like our time, a period of hyper-connecticity and (mini-) globalization that undermined any local sense of resilience and stewardship. After some combination of barbarian invasions (Sea People), plagues, climate change, etc, this mutual dependency proved to be a curse causing a dramatic “domino effect” across the Eastern Mediterranean. Cities were hastily destroyed and abandoned. The survivors fled to the countryside and even basic literacy rapidly evaporated [1].

    I see a lot of eerie parallels with the “Silicon Age”, the way it has made us hyper-globalized and over-dependent while spreading various forms of socio-political radicalism. In a 2015 post on the future of the Internet, you mentioned the growing threat of cyber-crime. Well, it has gone up dramatically since the pandemic. All that would be needed is a few big hits to large swaths of the Internet and we may be in the dark!

    [1] – Many ancient written languages like the Linear B of Mycenaean Greece cannot be deciphered to this day.

  224. To bang on my little toy drum some more: Leo Strauss proposes that when an otherwise accomplished logician makes “commits such blunders as would shame an intelligent high school boy”, those blunders might be signal flares. Are we all outsmarting Descartes here, or just receiving the first layer of his hidden message?

    “…in the corruption of our manners, there are few disposed to speak exactly as they believe…”

    So I meditated on Descartes’ First Meditation, on whether you can be certain you’re not dreaming. He concludes that you can’t; I’m not convinced. Seconds after I finished, a slideshow I’d left running slid, in its predictable, mechanistic way, to a piece of calligraphy:

    “But I’ll Still Be Dreaming”.

    🙂

    (I like the commencement address idea.)

  225. John, Goldenhawk, Mr. Nobody,

    First of all John, congratulations on the imminent publication of two new works with Inner Traditions! I’ve always respected their output. As you know, I don’t agree with your conclusions about Pluto but am still eager to read your fully developed argument.

    Mr. Nobody, in your original comment you used the phrase ‘thick, black, goopy, congealing energetic gunk’ which immediately brought Pluto to mind.

    Goldenhawk, I’m much inclined to agree that Pluto’s not done with us…crude oil is one of the major substances it rules. My main point of disagreement with JMG is that the synodic cycles of Pluto with the other outer planets appear quite meaningful when applied to the study of history. And this is true for the other planets discovered in the modern era. Their symbolic and energetic effects seem quite apparent going way back, even though they hadn’t been objectively revealed to us. You also said ‘We need those chthonic gods who rule the deep earth, wherein lie the seeds of our rebirth.” A very fine observation.

    The Pluto/Saturn synchronicity of recent times would be the conjunction last January, exactly as covid was revealed in the global media. There’s a dark potency in this…beware the Panopticon.

    I had intended to comment more broadly about syncronicity, but the Pluto issue really intrigues me. Cheers to everyone!

    Jim

  226. Once again, everyone’s votes have been tallied. An essay on the malign enchantment we’re under is way out in front, followed by dysfunction of the will, the conflict between occult philosophy and woke ideology, and mental hygiene, in that order. All other topics are well behind those. Still, the contest isn’t over yet.

    Username, human psychology is complex, and human romantic psychology is especially complex. I’d have to know a lot more about the fine details of Jungian theory than I do, in order to hazard an answer to your question.

    Galen, that would make a great trashy fantasy novel! Still, he’s grasped a crucial detail, which is that the technologies of an ancient civilization may not resemble ours at all.

    Your Kittenship, no doubt. 😉

    Tulip, interesting. Now we just have to see what happens.

    J.L.Mc12, so noted!

    Alnusincana, since you’re human, you experience astral patterns through the filter of human consciousness. The frogs experience the same patterns through the filter of ranine consciousness.

    Omer, so noted.

    Sebastien, I’ll gladly remind you. Thank you!

    Logan, fascinating.

    Myriam, thanks for this. That would certainly be my take.

    David BTL, “intuition” is a vague word that contains a lot of different modes of subtle perception. I’m sure that some forms of intuition work by perceiving the ebb and flow of synchronicity, but others seem to have other sources.

    Myriam, good question, but it’s a nice example.

    Chris, in other words, archetypes are also statistical averages rather than deterministic structures? That seems quite plausible to me.

    Varun, the archetype is present to both the individuality and the personality. Each personality experiences some aspects of some archetypes, and those experiences go into the individuality’s conception of the archetype.

    Black Tuna, glad to hear it.

    Neptune’s Dolphins, and of course the place where self-sovereignty falls down is that no human being is actually sovereign. As you note quite rightly, we’re all embedded in a structure of interconnections, dependent on other beings and forces. Thus self-sovereignty ultimately turns into a dysfunctional fantasy of entitlement that is always frustrated.

    Ganv, that seems sensible enough.

    Sebastien, fascinating. I stand corrected.

    Goldenhawk, it does indeed sound like Pluto!

    Pixelated, several people I know who endured the whole lumbering series thought that it would have been a much better tale if Neville had turned out to be the real Chosen One.

    Ron, yes, I’ve caught a few previous stories about that same process. I wonder if the privileged who do this realize that they’re just demonstrating to everyone else how unnecessary they are…

    30-yo, I’ve read a fair amount about Taoism, and I also practiced one of the old “temple styles” of taijiquan for ten years, so you’re not mistaken. I’ll see if I have anything to say about the subject as we proceed.

    Curt, (1) one of the things most conventional models of prehistory don’t take into account is the possibility that there were natural resources that no longer exist, because they were exploited to exhaustion by an ancient civilization. Any civilization of our far future, for example, will have very little idea of what petroleum is, since we’re not going to leave much! (2) That’s one thing I’m assembling.

    Jay, as Jung pointed out, such things suggest that synchronicity affects matter and energy at the macroscale, not just at the quantum scale.

    Matthias, fascinating.

    David BTL, so noted — and it’s a timely subject.

    Piglet, you’re most welcome.

    Aidan, the collapse at the end of the late Bronze Age seems to be to be very well explained by Robert Drews’ 2003 book The end of the Bronze Age : changes in warfare and the catastrophe ca. 1200 BC, which I’d encourage you to read. The one additional factor that needs to be worked in is the severe subsistence crisis in Mycenean Greece, caused by inappropriate farming methods, which probably triggered the whole thing. It’s one of the few situations in history where something like a sudden collapse really did happen — though of course it was regional, and didn’t even overwhelm the entire eastern Mediterranean; Egypt and Assyria both came through it intact. (It’s Linear A that can’t yet be read, btw; Michael Ventris deciphered Linear B in the early 1950s.)

  227. Thank you for those interesting sources.

    Do you still think my idea of a “Late Silicon Age Collapse” is an appropriate descriptor of the near future?

  228. Hi JMG many thanks for your very good post about Jungian ideas and his relation with the materialistic worldview.

    You said “Once again, everyone’s votes have been tallied. An essay on the malign enchantment we’re under is way out in front, followed by dysfunction of the will, the conflict between occult philosophy and woke ideology, and mental hygiene, in that order”

    Well this kind of interest (priorities) expressed for the comentariat; could means that there is a big “Unbehagen in Der Kultur” in all the strata, with the “Self”, or the own perception of it, as certainly a source of huge problems in our virtualized hyper-modernity. Do you think this could be significant?

    Cheers
    David

  229. Wait till you see Mooneyham’s Ediacarian scenario, in which the bizarre lifeforms of that period evolve into organisms even stranger than those we know existed and developed a civilization with technologies and ways of life even more alien than his hypothetical Sundaland civilization.

    http://www.jmooneyham.com/edia.html

    That’s one thing I like about his scenarios. He does a good job imagining what truly ancient and even non-human civilizations on Earth might have looked like, including pointing out that their cultures, mindsets and technologies would likely have been radically different from ours. And as you illustrate in Star’s Reach, organisms and civilizations from other star systems are likely to be even more bizarre from our perspective than Mooneyham’s Sundalanders and Ediacarians.

  230. For the fifth Wednesday in September: a sketch of the life and work of Thomas Moore Johnson (1851-1919), the Neoplatonist in Osceola, Missouri. I can suggest sources.

  231. JMG,

    Re: the five advanced civilizations that occultists speak of. Is there a particularly good book or website that gives the whole rundown?

  232. Wonderful stuff as always.

    I read an article a ways back about some people walking around the city seeking synchronous events. Made me shake my head as the people were acting as if they’d discovered the secrets of the universe when its something even a dime store New Age mystic understands

    It is still a good thing to do with fairly low risk though.

    Ad for bugs

    Nothing wrong with promoting bugs as a snack but too many of the people doing it are the psychopathic social status striver types and for them its more about getting other people to eat a food with taboo qualities to lower those peoples status than any real health or ecological benefits. Live in the hive question nothing eat bugs people merit a great deal of caution.

    As for ESP experiments. Some people seem to have negative ESP traits. They were sometimes called goats as vs sheep (believers) even it is supposedly correlated to belief . The research is pretty dicey and obviously someone posting here is not likely to be super skeptical.

    My personal opinion is that ESP as tested is not a thing but we do have extra senses for things that matter to us an are directly or indirectly connected to us. We are “synced” with them so to speak. It is also apparently possible to connect with other things, this is called remote viewing these days or scrying or whatever else.

    Guessing cards is pretty iffy though supposedly other mediums for testing ESP than Zener cards have been tried often getting better results so I might be wrong..

  233. Something I forgot. I want to thank our host here for his excellent ability to clarify matters

    This post was one of those things where a few bits on synchronicity, mysticism and the like helped a whole bunch of stuff rolling around in my skull, Its like taking a grad course in magical theory. No idea what I am going to do with it but I am always grateful for increased understanding.

  234. @JMG: From a materialist perspective, there’s bound to be some underlying explanation for the apparent paradoxes of quantum mechanics; we just haven’t figured out what it is yet. Out if curiosity, how close do you think we are to getting the whole picture, i.e. a complete and comprehensive understanding of the physical laws that comprise the universe? The modern quest for the Philosopher’s Stone seems to be the search for a Grand Unifying Theory of Everything, which would explain WHY fundamental particles like quarks and fundamental forces like gravity and fundamental constants like the speed of light exist. If we can figure out that, then maybe we can finally start to understand the bigger picture, though I have no idea how close or far we are from such a discovery.

    Also, wanted to cast my vote for an exploration of where you see American society and culture going, in the long run.

  235. JMG – Just a quick note on today’s synchronicities. I was coasting along in the right-hand lane when a car with the vanity license plate “BRIANNA” overtook me in heavy traffic. Then the news featured a story on “Breonna Taylor”. My lane started to move more quickly than the one to my left, and as the story ended, I was passing “BRIANNA”.

    When I got home, I sat in the car to hear the end of the story about “Pepe the Frog”. As the story wound its way to explain that Chinese (Hong Kong?) pro-democracy protesters had adopted the Pepe figure “without being aware of its 4-chan right-wing baggage” (as the story went), a young Chinese woman guided two suitcases on wheels carefully down the street past my car. “Baggage.” I thought.

  236. JMG,

    One vote for a post on the Tamanous culture. I was trying to think of something clever to say about receiving a box of mail-in ballots, but thought it might be a bit too far, plus, my cleverness is sporadic and comes off maladjusted at times.

    I hope this is not too off topic, but here goes. Upthread you indicated that deities are on the Spiritual Plane. Where are lesser beings such as angels, saints, masters, etc.? Also, on what planes, levels, etc. do we usually reside when we are disembodied (dead) until our next incarnation? Sorry, I know you have probably addressed these questions at one time or another, but I feel like I need a score card or something.

    Thanks,

    Will1000

  237. Once again, thank you all for your votes; they’ve been tabulated.

    Dan, on the other hand, bright people can still make dumb mistakes. I’ve certainly made my share, and they weren’t signal flares of anything but insufficient knowledge or clarity of thought.

    Jim W, thank you. I’ve certainly had a good experience with them so far.

    Aidan, no. As I’ve had to point out an astonishingly large number of times, my first book about the future of industrial society was not titled The Really Sudden Descent

    DFC, I think it’s quite significant. It’s always interesting to me to notice which way these fifth-Wednesday questions work out.

    Galen, the guy ought to consider learning enough about fiction to be able to turn some of this stuff into novels. I suspect he’d do very well.

    Larry, I’ve already got some sources on Johnson, and am considering him for a post, or part of a post, on American occultists.

    Kyle, not that I know of. I got most of the information I have from brief discussions in old occult literature of the Theosophical and 20th century Rosicrucian variety, and those are always mixed up with oddities of various kinds.

    Simon, I figured the bug-eating was pseudo-ecological virtue signaling.

    Ashara, that opening line of yours — “From a materialist perspective, there’s bound to be some underlying explanation for the apparent paradoxes of quantum mechanics; we just haven’t figured out what it is yet” — is as perfect an example of the argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy as I can think of. Did it not occur to you when you were writing this that that sentence is a demonstration of blind faith in a dogma? It’s exactly the same illogic the Creation Science types use when they say, “Well, we can’t account for every difference between the geological evidence and the Book of Genesis, but sooner or later God will explain it all to us.” In answer to your question, I believe that five hundred years from now people will look at our current scientific theories, roll their eyes, and wonder how we could have been so gullible, in exactly the same way that so many people do today when they read about the scientific theories of five hundred years ago.

    Lathechuck, two elegant synchronicities! Thanks for this.

    Will1000, remember that no being exists on one plane only. We humans have bodies on the material, etheric, and astral planes, and the beginning of a mental plane body; we also have a soul, which is the as-yet-undeveloped shell of substance from the spiritual and causal planes surrounding a divine spark, which belongs to the lowest sub-plane of the divine plane. Deities, angels, saints, masters, etc. have their own arrangement of bodies, mostly on the higher planes we can’t yet reach. As for death, it’s a complicated process involving stays on several different planes; I’ll do a post on it one of these days.

  238. I’m late to the party after having taken three days to try and read all of the comments from last week, but this essay on synchronicities is even more fascinating and informative than I thought it would be. Now I can see how astrology would work. Also, I have my own scarab story: My husband and his brothers had gathered for the first annual memorial service for their late mother about 20 years ago and were talking about their childhoods. There used to be one particularly beautiful jewel beetle http://www.miyama-analysis.net/micro/2019/06/tamamushi-micro.php that they would frequently see around the neighborhood that had disappeared entirely a decade or two prior. The next day as the priest began intoning the Heart Sutra before their mother’s grave, one of these came flying in and landed on one of the relatives gathered (her youngest granddaughter if I recall right).
    I think it was roughly 25 years ago I read a book urging readers to recognize synchronicity and allow it to inform their lives instead of brushing it off as “mere coincidence.” Taking that advice instantly filled my life with meaning. Nonetheless, I was practically alone in this way of thinking for years. Aside from the experience at his mother’s memorial service, my husband only experienced his first personal synchronicity last year in October, and the rest of my relatives on all sides of my family are highly rationalist, mostly intellectual and aghast at anything that smacks of superstitions–the pond scum we were all supposed to be leaving behind because it had resulted in witch hunts (in fact one relative tried to grab the beetle, hoping to sell it). So outside of a small group of fellow Shinto practitioners I got in the habit of explaining my world view in terms of “I don’t actually believe this, it’s just a happier way of viewing life.” That satisfied my father, who was honest and intelligent enough to realize the human mind itself limits what we are able to perceive. With 99% of the people in my life unable to accept “irrationality,” when asked to speak before a group of women about Shinto as Japan’s first foreign priest, I assumed they would be similar. When I started fielding questions and comments, though, one after another described meaningful synchronicities, and I realized belatedly this is why they had come to listen to me. I also think there are quite a few people that have to feign complete rationality in their normal lives, who attend such events, sitting in the back quietly absorbing it all.
    (Aside, you know who you are, if you are reading, please forgive me, but it was just so much fun watching you notice and enjoy synchronicities–practically indulging in them, after decades of self-described rationalism. It was really a lot like watching someone fly a hang glider for the first time.)

  239. Speaking of synchronicity – there was a question I procrastinated asking in the open post that fits this discussion even better. Is the causal plane related to synchronicity? The idea of an underlying pattern emerging into our world seems in harmony with the name ‘causal plane’ but I know almost nothing about the concept and wonder synchronicity is how we might relate it to our everyday experiences.

  240. @Arid Otter,
    Your story of the dipper intrigues me. In the enchanted waterfall where I practice misogi weekly, each year in the spring I’ll notice the chirping of birdies while I’m at it, and upon leaving the waterfall, notice a dipper come flying in. After that for a few weeks, I keep my bathing short to avoid disturbing them.
    Like yours, my spiritual heart resides in the arid southwest. The last time I was there, my spirits told me to quit blubbering because a significant part of me always remained there and it was also stupid of me to think that physically I would never return. My spirits are really interested in seeing me mature in this life. Each time I see the dipper again, I will remember my connection to them. Thank you for enhancing my experience further.

  241. @Ashara

    I know you addressed JMG, but I really felt like replying to this one.

    You said that there is definitely a materialist explanation for the apparent paradoxes in quantum mechanics, it’s just that we haven’t figured it out yet. This reminds me of the believers in Progress who insist that some or the other techno-fix will save the day and bring about the glorious green Utopia, it’s just that it’s not yet happened, but no worries, some or the other day, it will happen, we just have to wait for that hero/heroine to work his/her magic and take us zooming off towards whichever Utopian future we apparently are headed towards.

  242. “I don’t recall the word “Kahuna” appearing anywhere in the Bible”

    I take it you haven’t read the Hawai`i Pidgin Bible ( http://www.pidginbible.org )

    “Yahweh say, “Auwe! Wat you wen do to him, hah? You wen kill yoa brudda, and now, his blood stay ova dea on top da groun, jalike he stay calling to me fo help. So! I wen make kahuna da land awready so no can grow stuff. But you, I goin make you so you no can even work da groun no moa! Dat groun, jalike da mout open fo soak up da blood from yoa brudda wen you wen kill him. Cuz you goin try fo work da groun, but da groun no goin give you back notting. You no goin get place fo live. From now, you gotta jus go one place inside dis world to anodda!””

  243. Correction to my comment to dropBear–

    18th century should have been 19th century.

    Specifically, in the 19th century mathematicians developed self-consistent, useful, but mutually incompatible geometries–sometimes thought of as the geometries of Euclid, Lobachevsky, and Gauss. Before this development geometry was simply true. After, truth was not absolute but depended on context. This was very unsettling.

    I do not mean, however, that this development supports the 21st century post-modern notion that truth is whatever you want, when you want it–as that is not implied at all.

    Apologies for my previous, inadequate proof-reading!

    –Gaianne

  244. @JMG
    Thank you very much for your answer!

    I’d like to pose a further question to you or anybody else, I hope it does not break the “must be strictly on-topic” rule!

    – ancient natural resources-> it is a very intriguing point. How could one imagine that? I know that peat was one historic fuel in the Netherlands. What other resources could there be?

    The fossil fuels ie coal and oil, I think sunnnv on the last open post claimed it was at max a few million years old. That would for example predate a possible ancient civilization but it would also mean this civilization has ignored that resource? It sounds strange.

    Are there any other high energy resources thinkable apart from coal and oil, and maybe peat? anything that did not come from organic matter, or alternatively developed a different resource from organic matter, is such a thing thinkable?

    Early hominids and seemingly successive stages of modern day humans have been found I think two million years ago – where could we assume possible human civilizations in this time frame until now?

    Also, Earth has been populated by giant animals. Increasingly to our day there has been notable extinction, and as at least Jared Diamond argues, much of that may have been the doing of human societies increasing in technological complexity and societal complexity (and number, of course).
    Would we not find such extinction events when there were early civilizations?

    OK, I can see this is probably the material for a post of its own, or for someone else than JMG to make an article, maybe. Or for the next open post…

    regards,
    Curt

  245. @JMG

    I would throw my vote behind malign enchantment however it appears there will be an essay coming soon!

    A piece covering how ancient spiritual sites that confuse archaeologists, like the Elorra cave rock cut temples, might be an interesting ride?

    I have noticed that Casting the Ogham Fews can begin…or uncover, streams of synchronicities. When a diviner notices the same few continues to come up over and over again beyond coincidence for example. The mind Of the diviner may begin to question why this is happening and find themselves swimming in synchronicities on more then ‘a few’ planes!

    Continuing the delightful work of writing pulp fantasy romance! Many thanks for your inspirations!

  246. Mr. Greer,

    You mentioned something about this being the 5th civilization. Is that related in any way with the Aztec’s idea of the fifth sun?

    Also, my votes are for the malign influence, Bohm, that complex process that happens to us after death.

  247. @sgage

    “It’s trying to tell you that you live in a world with synchronicity.”

    That makes a great deal of sense.

    “For cryin’ out loud, we’re smackin’ you in the face and you still don’t get it! Pay more attention!”

  248. JMG – I re-read your post and read around elsewhere to get the macro idea a bit more. It obviously bothered Jung (and myself!) as to what ‘willed’ the wildlife to join in the show. It appears to me that as an awareness and appreciation of the Unus mundus increases, the ability for that awareness to influence (mostly living?) things around it also grows – showing some similarities to the way other natural ‘forces’ work. How much that is brought under conscious control is where magic comes in I guess. Intriging.

  249. So synchronicity is because we live in an interconnect web of Gods, Others, humans. We are all a part of the cosmic ecosystem. I have always had “Gods’ directed reading.” I would suddenly be attracted to a book or be told read this or it would come up out of nowhere. Sometimes, I would be reading and pow right in the middle was a message.

    This summer was the summer of Genghis Khan and his offspring. The utter suddenness of his warfare and the ruthlessness of it. By the time he was done, whole populations vanished and old kingdoms were dust. Then came the change of his offspring where they went back and forth being Mongol and Chinese or Persian. I am still pondering it all.

    I suppose one could say that this is an indicator of the virus, the Orangeness of life, or the vast destruction that is happening everywhere. Floods, explosions, storms…

  250. @JMG

    The moment I read “omen” it clicked – along with the sensation that I’ve missed a significant part of the subject about the ones that are not omens. Back to the thinking chair for me.

    @Logan, I sat through that episode just a few weeks back, and completely missed that! I wonder if anyone has pointed either of these out to him, and what on earth he makes of it?

  251. Synchronicity – Age of Aquarius: I was just reminded that, according to Hesiod’s Theogony, Gaia’s first consort was Ouranos …. or, in Latin, Uranus.

  252. Hi JMG

    What’s going wrong with a person / synchronicity, if life is just hard / difficult, everything goes badly in relation to what might be expected from a particular time / place / socioeconomic level (ie why do things go *consistently* better / easier for peers (over decades)?

    My vote goes for why occult philosophy contradicts social-justice ideology.

    (If you “do” autism could you include ADHD, completely different, but similar symptoms, to the milder forms of autism).

  253. BoulderLovin Cat:
    As is so often the case, the answer is chickens. Chickens adore any source of protein and will gobble up all the Japanese Beetles they can get. At our place we ignore the admonitions of Those Who Know who tell us not to use Japanese Beetle traps because they attract more beetles; more is good! We string up the traps and every morning we dump the contents into the chicken pen and they’re gone in a flash. Probably more humane than drowning them, which is usually the suggestion.

    Christophe:
    If it’s big stones you’re interested in and you can make it to eastern Pennsylvania, a visit to Columcille in Bangor, PA, might be just the thing for you. The megalith park is decades in the making and is quite magical. Public events are not being held due to the Virus That Shall Not Be Named, but private visits are allowed.

    http://columcille.org/

    Re: Synchronicity
    We’ve had a couple of incidents when we had a bill due and not enough to pay it and suddenly, from somewhere, the exact amount shows up. One time it was a refund on an overpayment we’d made many, many months earlier which turned out to be the precise amount of money we needed, right down to the pennies, and it arrived at the precise time we needed it.

    My husband, a devout Pentecostal, has had quite a few experiences:

    – When he and his brother were teen-aged boys they went canoeing on a rain-swollen river. (Why, you ask? The answer lies in “teen-aged” and “boys”.) They were experienced canoers, but lost control because of the force of the current. Ahead of them was a small bridge which, had there not been so much rain, they would have passed beneath easily, but there was only a foot or so of room between the surface of the river and the bottom of the bridge; a bystander saw what was happening and ran to call the emergency services. Just before the bridge, the canoe entangled on a partially-submerged tree and was forced toward the bank where it stopped. When the police and ambulance arrived, the boys were out of the canoe with no injuries and the canoe was undamaged. The pair of them were so pleased when they got their picture in the local paper. Of course.

    -A few years ago a neighbor asked my husband to clear some storm-damaged trees from her property, trees which were leaning badly, but not fully down. This is quite dangerous, says the husband, because when a tree is partially felled it is hard to know where the pressure on the trunk is. He cut the first tree down, but instead of cutting at ground level as is his habit, he left a stump of about 2 feet. He went to the next tree and began to cut back the upper branches so that he could saw the trunk into woodstove-length pieces. Removing that weight from the top of the tree caused it to snap suddenly and fall towards him; he ducked and the tree landed precisely on top of the 2 foot stump he had left, thus not killing him. Looking back, he still doesn’t know why he left that stump, he’s been cutting firewood for decades but never cuts trees that way. Maybe his guardian angel was looking after him that day.

  254. @Curt:

    Are you perhaps thinking that any “civilization” by definition has to exploit some sort of high-density energy source, as our civilization does? I can’t see how such a definition would make any sense at all, either historically or philosophically.

    Imagine a culture that focused all its excess effort on harmony, or on building cohesive communities, while living within the limits of the ecosystem in which it exists. Such a culture might create works of breath-taking beauty and power in the realm of the arts, or it might penetrate to the depths of reality and the limits of human perception and understanding in the realms that we loosely categorize as philosophy and spirituality. Its achievements might so impress its neighboring peoples that they, too, would follow its lead and adopt its methods as their own, in an ever-widening circle.

    The resulting set of similar cultures would definitely count as a civilization, at least to my way of thinking. (And of course such groups of cultures have existed in the past, and still do exist here and there. The Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest offer a impressiver example, as do (after a different fashion) the Navajo. Each of the two seems to me definitely to count as a small-scale civilization. For an example on a larger scale, you might take the Inca.

  255. Here’s my own take on the role that consciousness plays in the universe, for whatever it might be worth.

    I’m inclined top think that unembodied consciousness is the primary “ground of all being,” consciousness in and of itself, wholly apart from any particular being that might embody that consciousness, that might be conscious of anything.

    If that is the case, then our universe of matter and energy, time and space, would merely be a trivial epiphenomenon upon that consciousness, dependent on that unembodied consciosuness for its very existence.

    And if that, too, is the case, then individual beings who exhibit consciousness (you, me, and all the other life-forms on our earth, for instance) are nothing more than very limited, trivial secondary epiphenomena of Consciousness within our tiny corner of the already trivial universe in which we spend our ephemeral lives.

  256. I hit “send’ too soon! To continue …

    In which case, further, synchronicity is just one of the ways in which this unembodied consciousness manifests in the epiphenomena upon it, including in our own lives, and this needs no further explanation.

  257. Since you answered a question by indicating that you think there are different kinds of intuition, I would be interested in a post on the various kinds of intuition. I know it’s way behind, but I might as well put it out there, in the hope that such a post will show up while you still have a blog and I still can read it. 😉

  258. I’m going to have to read Jung’s essay on Wotan soon. Re the archetypes, Hitler clearly was a harbinger and emblem of an archetype deep within the unconscious of the German people that was activated. He was their Messiah but when we watch him speak we can see he’s a lunatic. When an archetype is activated, does the outcome all depend on the consciousness of the person personifying the archetype? I presume Hitler could have chosen differently or did the archetype (or something else) possess him in some way?

    Also I hope you can do an essay on the stages of death please.

  259. Many thanks to everyone for their votes.

    Patricia, thanks for this! That’s a great scarab story.

    Greencoat, not much is known about the causal plane, since at our current state of evolution we can’t experience it directly. The underlying idea is that the causal plane is the plane of causes, the level of being where things begin to happen (the divine plane, the plane above, is unchanging). So the root of synchronicity, like the root of all other created things, is there.

    Valenzuela, many thanks for this! The first verse of the Gospel of John works tolerably well, too: “Da time everyting had start, had one Guy. “God’s Talk,” dass who him. Dat Guy an God, dey stay togedda, an da Guy stay God fo real kine.”

    Curt, we have no way of knowing. Imagine yourself living in the year 12,020 AD. You’ve studied geology, so you know that some sedimentary rocks have small amounts of hydrocarbons in them — not enough to be of any use to anyone. It has never occurred to you or to anyone that those small amounts are what was left over after a long-lost civilization used every scrap of technology at its disposal to get every drop of petroleum out of those rocks. The idea that there was once so much oil in those rocks that a global civilization powered itself on that fuel would be dismissed as crazy talk even if anyone thought of it — and since your civilization obviously runs on something other than fossil fuels, it probably never occurred to anyone that a civilization could run on some supposedly abundant carbon-rich resource in the rocks. Coal and oil are much older than a million years, by the way. It takes around 50 million years to convert organic matter into oil or natural gas, and all the coal in the world was laid down in the Paleozoic, after plants evolved cellulose and grew to tree size, but before microbes evolved to break down the cellulose. As for extinctions, take a closer look at the fossil record; there have been waves of extinction at intervals since hominins spread out of Africa a million years ago…

    Ian, one of the things synchronicity explains very well is the capacity of oracles such as the Ogham fews to foretell things. Glad to hear about the pulp fantasy romance!

    Ray, you only get one vote, so choose one. As for the fifth sun, yes, the old occult literature sometimes made that connection.

    Jay, human beings can join in the show as well. We’re talking about a force that shapes everything in the cosmos.

    Neptunesdolphins, I rather like “the Orangeness of life” as a descriptor!

    Andy, glad to hear it.

    Patricia M, synchronicity indeed. That article is too funny — “we’ve tried blaming Trump for everything. Why isn’t anybody listening?”

    Michael, that can be a matter of karma. It can also be driven by unconscious self-defeating programming — I’ve seen a lot of this over the years, and had to disable some in my own mind as well. As for autism, that’s not too much of a reach — I have mild ADD and motor dyspraxia (that latter is spelled “clumsy as frack” in English) as well as Aspergers, so talking about some of the other neurological problems that cluster with autism spectrum disorders makes sense.

    Pixelated, definitely fetchez la vache, preferably la vache qui rit.

    Robert, a very traditional explanation, and one that accounts for the world quite neatly.

    SLClaire, so noted.

    Bridge, the Wotan archetype always makes a beeline for Gotterdammerung, so once Hitler embodied it, his Third Reich was predestined to crash and burn like Valhalla in the last scene of Wagner’s opera. The consciousness of the person who embodies an archetype has very little influence over its effects, compared to the momentum of the archetype itself.

  260. JMG, perhaps off-topic, but since you’re not a fan of Critical Race Theory, thought you’d like to know that an Executive Order was just issued banning this toxic ideology in federal agency training: https://twitter.com/realchrisrufo. (Of course the NYT spun this as “Trump Moves to Cancel Government Sensitivity Training.”)

    One CRT-influenced training at a national laboratory included the statement that hard work and a can-do attitude are bad for women, people of color, gays/lesbians, and non-Christians. https://twitter.com/realchrisrufo/status/1293603172842221570. How is it possible to see this as anything other than sexist and racist? Perhaps this is an example of malign enchantment?

  261. If I only get one vote.. Bohm! I’d love to see something on Bohm. I’ve come across his name while book browsing in Amazon.

  262. This post synchronized with the death of David Graeber, a very fine thinker and social critic who most recently wrote BS Jobs, also author of Debt: The First 5000 Years. In 2016 he wrote: “technology has been marshaled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. In order to achieve this, jobs have had to be created that are, effectively, pointless. Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.” (entire article here: https://evonomics.com/why-capitalism-creates-pointless-jobs-david-graeber)

    I’ll miss his contributions. His words above certainly reflect JMG’s recent observation about many people’s dawning realization that their lives suck. I imagine the theme will be revisited in the upcoming post on our malign enchantment. Seems quite significant that it’s such a landslide vote…very much looking forward to the post.

    John Michael, are you planning to do a post here on the grand mutation and its implications for the next 200 years? I’m following your series of posts on your mundane subscriber site but have also been wondering if there’s any validity in placing the planets in the equal house archetypal zodiac wheel and viewing the chart symbolically for the whole world? I’m also sensing that the conjunction’s perfection on the solstice is quite meaningful.

  263. JMG, I want to thank you for this topic on Synchronicity and Carl Jung. I have not read that much on Jung, as modern society emphasizes Freud so that’s who I’m most familiar with. The most I’d seen on Jung has been when I learned about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and when I read about Jung’s occultism back when I was an Evangelical Christian. The book was from an evangelical viewpoint and thus was very negative on Jung, because occultism is an evilly evil with a side of evilness, of course. So Jung is added to my growing list of Ecosophia suggested authors to look into.

    And as for voting on a topic…I’ve only read half way through the comments, and already have several picked out that I’d like to see your opinions on! If forced to pick one, I’d request an essay on the malign enchantment we’re under and how to overcome it. If down the road you have openings for other essay ideas, please consider occult philosophy vs. wokester* ideology, mental plane hygiene, and dysfunctions of the will and how to overcome them.

    *In an answer to a post the other week, I mentioned how, while writing a reply, my spellchecker suggested “wonkiness” for “wokeness”. This time, the spellchecker suggested “jokester” for “wokester”. I love my spellchecker! Maybe it’s playing the trickster archetype?

    Joy Marie

  264. Hello John Michael and All,

    When the beginning of this essay mentioned the association test I immediately stopped reading and found it free online (link at the bottom – warning: the results will create beyond a month’s worth of discursive meditation into your inner workings!).

    Seems to be an accurate test, with my odd word out being “duck” (the animal). I then went back to this essay, scrolled down, and found… ok, well geese aren’t ducks, but still, waterfowl!

    My question is, when two people feel an archetype between them, could it be a different one from The Lover, but they assume it’s The Lover because the other person is of the sexual gender and orientation to which they are usually attracted?

    And could the unfulfilling conclusion of many relationships be caused by acting on the wrong archetype?

    Thank you for this and all of these valuable essays.

    http://watchwordtest.com/watchword/wtitle

    – Chris

    PS. I vote for an essay on Free Will.

  265. @JMG. Done. Never could embed images… I’m actually saddened to see this was made in France all along, and not a genuine Canadian Processed Cheese Product for Fancy People we were proud to put in our kids’ lunchboxes, rather than the Shameful American Processed Cheese Product Cheez Whiz I eat in private. But I guess an Anglo would say that, how embarrassing!

    {JMG edit: it’s really simple — you just have to use the img src HTML tag and an appropriate URL:]

  266. Thinking about mechanistic materialism I am remembering a philosophical tangle I got stuck in about 12 years ago. In college I was going to write a paper for a ‘Modern Philosophy’ class drawing on Spinoza, many details I have forgotten, but the gist was I thought I could use something from Spinoza to make a real cracker jack argument to the effect that Spinoza was an atheist. I figure I was going to try to argue that theism required a premise contrary to monism or something to the effect. The important part of my tangle was that to formulate my argument I had to define theism, and therefore I had to have an operative definition of ‘god’ for the purpose of my essay. What a tangle it was trying to come up with that! If I could get the right definition of God I had the rest of the argument as slick and tidy as you could like, but the problem of defining God to any satisfactory degree was an absolute pickle. I managed something good enough for an 200 level college course, but the Professor and I both knew the argument just lampshaded the problem I tried to some behind a suspect definition. Good enough for college, but not the ground shaking argument I felt like I had started with. The exercise taught me a great deal about argumentation that the most cussed problems could hide in trying to make sense of a single point of an argument; in fact it have been my experience that even very very good arguments have at least a little mess swept under some rug!

    Thinking about quantum effects as a challenge to mechanistic materialism feels to me so much like the tangle I got into those years ago. At a surface level I think that quantum effects are a great counter to the more generic brands of ‘MM’, but when I try to think more deeply about what specifically is meant my the claims of MM, and what would or would not falsify them I am left in a real befuddlement. I recollect a long time ago I was a commited anti-Platonist, and today I rather favor Platonism, or at least something more nearly resembling it than my past position, but not because I think my old metaphysics was factually mistaken, only because I think the old definitions of ‘existence’ that I had gave needless metaphysical primacy to one set of phenomena (commonly called ‘stuff’) and labeled another set of phenomena (like sensation, meaning, pattern) as secondary. I can still effectively think about the same things with my old way of thinking, and productively too, its just that in involved a bunch of extra effort applying labels which didn’t actually do anything to the out come of my thinking. That is to say over the last decade I have started to find materialism frustrating to use, more so that incorrect specifically, and I find my current more inclusive metaphysics to be at least as correct and less bothersome to use.

    The most devastating argument against materialism I know, at least from a rhetorical stance starts with the necessity of materialist to define everything except matter in motion as an illusion or an appearance, and to ask what, materialistically speaking those things are. Its glib and a materialist worth their salt will notice as much, but the conversation the follows tends to be very interesting, as an infinite regress of explanations that include either in form or substance something other than moving matter tends to follow until the point of boredom or distraction.

    Mechanism is more interesting as their is a cheap way to crack more naive versions of it, by way of computational irreducibly. It is a simple fact that many chains of cause and effect, even with in classical limitations, are not predictable by any other classical chain of cause and effect of equal or lesser complexity; and practically speaking are not predictable by other mechinistic models whose complexity is not exponentially greater. There is a more sophisticated breed of machinist (wait that word already means… bah you can smell what I stepped in) which simply won’t care that something cannot be predicted in actual fact, their only claim is that their is the possibility for any closed system to be a sum of discrete processes which are each caused. Thinking on this lead me back to my past tangle with Spinoza, because I could make a cracker jack argument against mechanism, if only they will grant me a specific enough definition of cause.

    What is a cause, if it is specifically an event in time that comes before an effect and is linked by a knowable ‘carrier’ then quantum physics includes phenomena which make mincemeat of that. But does a cause have to me an efficient cause? If so mechanism is on its back foot, but if not than materialism is sweating because we have to answer a why question with something that isn’t clearly material. Bell’s experiments require at least a mechanism which is more flexible about time and space that we are in the habit of considering matter to be.

    And what about the observer phenomena? To me the math is over my head, but it makes it seem as though the existence of matter, or what I might call ‘classical behaving phenomena’, is inside of a assemblies of entanglement, and that anything aspect that slips out of entanglement, which becomes untrackable mechanically, is free in a sense to behave in ways that are not caused by anything that can be mechanically tracked. Considering this in the matter of scientific controls it is in micro phenomena and other patterns where the casual factors can be accounted for in detail that we can prove quantum behavior is real, but whether those patterns take place in the complexities of daily life controlled studies are hard to imagine. Could untrackable phenomena have something essential to do with consciousness and meaning? Can something akin to quantum tunneling tie a dream to a beetle? I have a hasty argument that it would be natural enough if it did.

    Consider, we know that there are details of photosynthesis which use quantum effects to gather more energy from light than could be gathered from a classical explanation of light. So what even, in detail, is going on with quantum stuff it at least includes one consequence which is eminently useful to a living process, and we also know that some how or another living things have managed to take on forms that benefit from this reality. I can’t say that meaning is or must be tied to quantum effects, but if there are any other consequences of quantum effects what would be adaptive to living things it wouldn’t be weird for them to be tuned into it. How does pollen find the corn silk? If this were the case it would have to show up in the untraced hidden realms of life, because if it could be tracked then entanglement would classicalify the effect. At a tiny scale all over, for much is to small to get caught by the great entangling net, like the paths of photons through a leaf, smaller that the holes in the net weaving together our material reality, but are their way other than smallness of size to squeeze though the great entangler? And if so what would happen to those things twanged together by encountering the ends of such a tangling filliment.

    In sum any product of evolution is going to have blind spots. It seems as though classical effects are limited to areas where there isn’t a blind spot. Quantum messiness there fore surrounds life. Life adapts to its environment, so any quantum weirdness that is exploitable is likely to be exploited, but it only works in blind spots so the exploit is hidden. Whether it guides the right pollen to the right corn silk, or the photon to the chlorophyll, or the beetle to the patient it is part of the environment that shapes life, and which imposes its limits onto consciousness itself. Cough, cough, that was a sloppy and involves some special begging, but since I only am trying to show a plausible notion, not a certain reality, good enough for a rant on the internet.

  267. BACKWARDS IN TIME CAUSALITY

    I’m trying to work out an idea about ‘backward in time causality’, which I hope that it may shed some light on the mystery of synchronicity; or on the mystery of what QM is really saying about the way the world works.

    Let’s start with the concepts of NECESSARY cause vs. SUFFICIENT cause.

    If the existence of A always implies the existence of B, this could be written as:
    A –-> B.

    If we add the assumption that A occurs before B, the situation is consistent with the way we ordinarily think of causality. Specifically, A –> B, is stating that A is a SUFFICIENT cause of B.

    We will use the symbol ‘~ ‘to mean ‘not’.

    Thus:
    ~A means ‘non-A’, ‘i.e. proposition ‘A is false’.
    Another way of saying this is that A does not exist.

    But A –> B is logically equivalent to the statement that
    ~B –> ~A.

    Yet, if we discard the assumption that the cause of an event must occur BEFORE the event caused, things get very interesting.

    For in this situation
    (~B) –> (~A)
    we can logically claim that ~B is a NECESSARY cause of ~ A.

    So we can say that (~B), which occurred at a LATER time than (~A), is the NECESSARY cause of (~A).

    One way of looking at this is to say that a SUFFICIENT cause operates FORWARD in time, whereas a NECESSARY cause operates BACKWARDS.

    I’m unsure whether this concept sheds any light on synchronicity, or on Cramer’s ‘Transactional’ approach to Quantum Mechanics (which involves probability waves or two types, one traveling forward in time, and one traveling in a time-reversed manner).

    Anyhow, I’m interested in JMG’s and the commentariat’s reactions to the idea that necessary vs. sufficient causation operates in different temporal directions.

  268. @Christophe on June bugs

    IDK, I had so many “little brown beetles that seem to have developed from c-shaped grubs” (I think mine might actually have been Autocerica castanea–coffee-bean-sized–not Phyllophaga) that they ate a lot of my garden to nubs. Killed my newly non-dormant black raspberries. I had a trap crop of–oh, I can’t remember the name, but a “weed” that slightly deters ants, looks similar to rue but much faster growing–and they ate that to veins. I had Chinese cabbage setting seed I planned to harvest and they ate the seed pods while the seeds were still maturing. I had little *hot peppers* starting–*the fruits, the actual hot fruits*–and they even ate those (as well as the leaves of course).

    I’m a weakling, so I hired a guy to dig them up during the day and drown them in a jar of soapy water. Didn’t get them all so when I saw them at night eating my bush bean seedlings–like 6 on a single newly emerged seedling, *you could hear them chewing*–I picked them off and drowned those too.

    Now I finally have peppers (interesting, when they grew new leaves they came in in big clusters, many more than they’d had before; never seen that before because I never had a pepper plant lose so many leaves before). The beans are probably a loss…they already took a long time to come up, then were further set back by these beetles…I don’t think the lil plants will get big enough to set beans before frost. Though we’ll see. And like I said, the raspberries are a loss too, the beetles ate all the newly non-dormant plants’ leaves and the plants couldn’t recover.

    So *those* “June bugs” to me are a problem.

    IDK if the problem is these Autocerica beetles have replaced Phyllophaga (“invasive pests”) or…what. I’m sure a balance will develop eventually…but for now, I’m going to drown them.

    So how would you interpret this situation? Lots of very destructive Autocerica beetles instead of Phyllophaga? I have the impression this is common in the northeast US. Both are “scarab” types…

  269. @John Michael Greer

    After thinking further about the example of mages who begin to experience the effects of a working before actually doing the working, I wonder if the analogy of sympathetic resonance of strings could be helpful in thinking about synchronicity. An event in time could be imagined as a string or potentially vibrating body. So if magic could be imagined as a kind of tuning fork – a resonator of events in time – which is introduced into the space of these string-like possible events, then those events with a harmonic likeness will begin to resonate; the greater the likeness, the greater the resonance, and the more likely they will manifest within our linear experience of time. Since the intention of the mage has a harmonic likeness to the resonator, it’s natural for resonant events to extend backwards in time towards that intention.
    Another thing to consider would be time-states from the point of the ‘resonator’ – the power conducted by a working or ritual – since it seems to operate outside of normal causality. For example, once during a eucharistic type of working, I realized that in fact there was really only one occurrence of that particular eucharistic working for that deity, one event outside of the flow of time; all those past, now, or future who perform it are simultaneously participating in that single moment or event. So by this string analogy, all performances of this particular eucharistic ritual throughout time would be in sympathetic resonance with the original resonating power – from its point of view, all performances are occurring in a single moment. From our point of view, the more frequent performance of the ritual would be amplifying the resonance – laying down ‘tracks in space’ for more events of a harmonic likeness to resonate.
    In the case of synchronicities ‘in the wild,’ when magic is not being intentionally performed in order to bring such a resonator of events into being, perhaps there could be unintentional or unconscious creation of such resonators, astrological influences, or natural tides or flows of them, similar to fluctuations in weather.
    It’s just an analogy (I like something to visualize!), & I may be on the wrong track, but it might be worthwhile to meditate more on it. I would appreciate any of your insights.

    Regards,
    Josh Rout

  270. Mark L,

    I’ve also experienced the anti-synchronicity where I have willfully ignored signs, and my life goes to hell and everything I pursue fails until I take the hint. In one situation, it even left me penniless after I fought hard against the very obvious signs that it was time for me to leave Japan and come home. It was around that same time that I realized that synchronicity was a two-way street. Before, I was under the illusion of having complete control over my life and believed that the world would always give me want if I just willed it into existence. I think many new agers believed that and developed a God complex as a result, and I am thankful for my harsh lesson.

    I love your concept of discernment as I think that understanding follows the two-way path. Just as you put etheric energy into the universe to guide your life in ways you desire, you are also open to receiving all signs and letting that dictate your action.

    I think a lot of the reason why synchronicity doesn’t work for a lot of people is an unhealthy etheric body, a strong belief in randomness (even in situations where that belief is unwarranted), and a refusal to spread beyond their comfort zone. I’ve recently been fretting about my landscaping, as it looks awful and is overgrown with dead shrubs and weeds. As a result of synchronicity, I ended up making friends with an arborist and, today, spent the whole day with him working outside cleaning up my landscaping and learning about plants and wildlife and horticulture, whereas I’m definitely the type most comfortable in front of a computer. It took me a long time to be able to trust synchronist signs enough to just go with it, but the result is always great, and after about 12 hours of working outside, we installed the first part of an absolutely stunning rock garden with a miniature maple tree at the center.

  271. This will probably have to wait till the next month we have five Wednesday, but my vote goes for an essay on improvisation.

    The essay you developed and wrote for us this week was superb, thank you JMG!

    One thing that resonated with me was this line:
    Jung’s patient had identified her ego with her animus: that is to say, she was acting out a stereotypical male role in her culture, that of the know-it-all who can never be mistaken, and since she had an excellent education and a fine mind, she was able to protect herself against self-knowledge by convincing herself that she knew better than Jung about everything.

    There is a lot of synchronicity with the #meToo movement and BLM both acting out, especially by those who are well educated and of fine minds, who are able to protect themselves by the knowledge they are using to convince themselves that they understand everything.

    That’s not to say that the opposing side understands everything either, since they’ve risen just to counter, but instead it helps me understand why the groups have convinced themselves and exist in the first place.

    In a culture such as the USA, ego will always have a lot of influence, which realistically means, we’ll have a lot of conflict.

    I searched my mind for examples of synchronicity. A lot exist, especially the times in my life when I wasn’t focused on my work in the machine. That made me realize we still experience synchronicity then, only what we experience and see are experiences similar to the machine we are in. Synchronicity seems to snowball.

    Personally, I realized when I really began developing an interest in druidry, I began listening to the OBOD podcast and won the trivia question. For a long time, I focused on what I won but ten years later, the author of that book showed me the depth of their druidry. The reality was, Cuchulain and the Irish myths are important to me, more so than the Norse myths I had convinced myself were more important. Recognizing this has given me a sense of calm I haven’t had in months. Thanks for the pointer.

  272. Two odd examples of the big S. Just got an email from my son from a conversation we had in April in which we were talking about a family he was friendly with when he was at school about 30 years ago. We could not remember the youngest girl’s name. A couple of days ago I was talking with a friend of mine about the same family and we could not remember their surname. Now I know it. Will let my friend know so she can sleep at night.
    Another time my mother and I were driving around a suburb we used to live in and we saw a woman from that time walking home. We stopped and gave her a lift and had a bit of a chat. Had not seen her for about 45 years. A couple of weeks later we saw her funeral notice in the paper.

    Yikes!

  273. Dear JMG, More apologies for forgetting what a mass of scifi has accumulated over the years! It’s just that my all-time favorites naturally stand out for me (including a couple of yours). The key Mark Clifton stories (often with a co-author) appeared in Astounding in late 1953, and details can be found in Wikipedia. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Clifton] Like much of the scifi of those times, the environment is a more-intense version of McCarthyism that horribly resembles what is now being done to people’s heads via media control.

    The classic novel that continued those stories was titled “They’d Rather be Right” when it appeared in Astounding in 1954 (later paperback was “The Forever Machine”, and I’m not sure how complete a reprint it was). Basically, the very well sense-equipped, well designed, and well informed computer, Bossy, could communicate mentally with a human who was wired in properly, and could help the person reform his or her mind, eliminating the kind of inaccurate thinking patterns and beliefs that lead to the body’s slow disorganization and loss of function with age. The description of Bossy’s own programming and memory-bank provision could well be the first description of systems thinking, though that name didn’t exist then.

    Dramatic rejuvenation of human oldies took about a week on the table, being re-educated electronically and nourished by IV plasma. But as the title said, many people would rather be right than rejuvenated and mentally healthy.

  274. I have had to think quite deeply on this topic because the word “synchronicity” itself is not one readily found in my personal vocabulary. (Nor for that matter, is co-incidence). Instead, I have developed a nuanced view of “metaphor” which I find continually applicable in the clinic, and it seems to me that there are a lot of commonalities between my use of metaphor and this post’s offerings on synchronicity. I shall have to find the Jung essay soon.

    It is extremely common for me to hear, within my very first history taking with a patient, the central “metaphor” that characterises their complaint, and that needs to be unravelled for them to find relief.

    It seems to me that our bodies are always expressing what is happening within (to be honest, this particular proposition that it is possible to “read” the inside using signs presented on the outside, is central to the practice of TCM, so it is very much NOT new to me, I’ve just spent much of my clinical life learning to work with it).

    What often happens though. and I wonder if this is much more common in our materialist age, is that people hardly ever listen to themselves, or, that is to say, they seldom listen to the broad hints and extensive commentaries upon their own conduct of life, on their emotions, on their perceptions and on their thoughts, that their bodies are continually providing to them.

    Often even the body’s simplest messages, such as “eat something now” “drink something now” “sleep now” “pee now” are ignored because, well, “I’m too busy and have no time for that”. By the time a person has reached my clinic, the messages they are receiving from their body are usually a great deal more strident – “STOP working and REST – right now! And if you won’t stop, I’m STOPPING you!”

    There are stories I could tell to illustrate this in more detail. But, of course, I cannot, because none of these stories are mine to tell.

    Anyway, the “story” of a person’s illness or dis-ease is often metaphorically very eloquent, and I have no doubt that these metaphors will often extend into every part of the world that a person encounters, because I often hear this kind of thing third hand as people tell me the history of their complaint, even though they themselves are often missing the import of it through inattention. It may be that my *real* job is to help them pay better attention. The healing that will result will come of itself, once they tune themselves into themselves better. This is what I have found.

    So, I shall apply the lens of synchronicity to the lens of metaphor as I have worked with it in my clinic, and see what comes of it.

    Thank you.

  275. I’m going to put in a vote for I’d the malign enchantment/disenchantment of the world. Since it is happening now.

  276. Boulder

    One night I dreamed of chocolate cake, ..”

    I take this story and a few others as a form of ESP rather than synchronicity.
    One day after my son had worn his hair long for several years and he was sleeping upstairs while my daughter was asleep on the couch and they had not seen each other, he came downstairs with a hat on to conceal his cut and stood at the couch as she opened her eyes. Then he took off the hat and spun around. She said “Wow, I just had a dream that you cut your hair.”

  277. As for QAnon, I always figured it was an “info op” by Trump supporters in the military intelligence community.

    That’s close. It is a direct communication to the people to bypass the media. It encourages people to think for themselves while pointing out the many distortions of the media. It shows up how certain people are committing crimes and names names. It also tends to be very encouraging and inspiring. It frequently speaks of unity and people coming together.

    What is isn’t is any of the typical lies that are now being said about it. Not a whisper of racism or supremacy or violence. Nothing dangerous about it at all but once you learn to turn everything the MSM says by 180 degrees it is laughingly easy to see the plans and thoughts of the nefarious ones. The lies have become that reliable and accurate! For them, the truth and exposure that Q is presenting is indeed very dangerous and they are furious but they cannot say why, so they make up stuff that will reverberate emotionally with their base.

  278. I experienced a profound synchronicity 44 years ago which remains vitally alive and meaningful to this day. A close friend had recently, while browsing in a used book store, noticed a small volume of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and thought “I’ll bet Jim would like this”. He presented me with a lovely old leather bound book, printed in England in the 1880s. I knew nothing about Stoic philosophy at the time. I opened randomly and read the following passage:

    Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one substance and one soul; and observe how all things have reference to one perception, the perception of this one living being; and how all things act with one movement; and how all things are the cooperating causes of all things which exist; observe too the continuous spinning of the thread and the contexture of the web.

    Not quite a ‘road to Damascus’ moment, but in that vein. The words are burned into my memory…I recall them daily. This simple practice has been central in my awakening and has unequivocally helped in recognizing the vast fields of synchronicities in which we all live. The book itself remains among my most cherished possessions, always near at hand, and I will pass it along to my son when I depart.

  279. Eowyn,
    My husband had to take the course at the U.S. State Dept. this summer. It was after the George Floyd killing, and the Foreign Service Officers in his office (The Middle East) decided everyone was racist, etc.

    I looked into the course and the theory of whiteness. It was based on diversity training in the 1970s by a woman (I forget her name, but her book was cited as the source for the Museum of African American’s list on White Supremacy.) She asked the participants, who were mostly White men of various jobs, to list their values. They listed hard work, etc. So she wrote up this list as the end all and be all for White Supremacy. And no one refuted it or checked it. She was an ordinary consultant with no academic training.

    So the whole thing is bogus, and the anti-race etc is all based on a house of cards.

  280. Hi John,

    I know this is a bit of a taboo subject, but I believe it’s important, so I’ll bring it up – I’ve been thinking a lot about sex magic recently. This is an extension of a broader process that’s been happening where my magical development has proceeded enough that it has recontextualized everything in my life. My life of these crazy aha moments but I digress.

    I don’t have much of a synthesis yet, but here are a scattershot set of things that have occurred to me. This line of thought started when I spontaneously saw the middle pillar during the act, with my partner as malkuth.

    Another interesting note is how shibari (Japanese bondage) represents a manifestation of the magical principle of using constraints to act upon a thing.

    It’s become clear to me that essentially any porn is sex magic, and like all magic there are right hand and left hand versions (it just happens that, like with most things, the money is in more and more degenerate left hand manifestations). I believe there is a massive opportunity for a once in a generation artist in the space – the medium is highly powerful, and highly unexplored. I imagine that a well filmed, well constructed right hand path sex ritual would, for example, be a very powerful piece media magic.

    Other random thought – it’s become clear to me that sex magic is incredibly important for the creation of children, and the disenchantment of modern life has much to do with our problems bearing children. Powerful sex = powerful kids. I would hypothesize also that sex after conception remains vitally important for the development of the fetus, as each act would provide informational / energetic transfer. Child bearing is possibly THE most powerful mode of manifestation we have access to – of course it is magical! Are there any examples of significant historical figures you are aware of that we born of serious ritual by powerful magicians?

    Do you feel that discussion of sex magic is still greatly choked off? It seems to me that it is one of the magical disciplines still cloaked in secrecy (likely because of its tremendous power).

    I’m excited to one day attempt to find a synthesis between my musical / theatrical interest and sex magic ritual – feels near peak magical tech to me.

    I assume there are right hand teachers of this stuff – they’re just hard to find.

    Do you have any advice about exploring this in the meantime? I assume doing any of this stuff with uninitiated partners is unwise and likely unethical. Also, it’s easy to fuck yourself up with powerful things…

  281. As an extension of the sex magic for child bearing note, obviously astrological timing would be important (as with any serious magical undertaking)

  282. What a shock to hear of David Graeber’s untimely death! He and David Wengrow were owing me a book on the origins of inequality… May his (I presume) atheist soul rest in peace !

    Maybe of interest to readers of this blog, his first book was on magic as a tool of resistance by former slaves in Madagascar.

  283. Arkansas,

    As a deep monotheist I interpret the trinity as all aspects of the godhead, but fundamental – can’t be without it – type aspects. The Holy Spirit is the actual spirit of God, the all-permeating energy/intelligent infinity which is the reason God is everywhere. God the father/mother is the utter mystery of existence itself and is the source and the no-thing of Buddhism. The logos is the mind of God or what I call the organizing principle and that is why there is organization and laws of nature and a periodic table and so on. Without this, indeed, was not made anything that was made.

  284. @Robert Mathiesen

    I didn’t imply a civilization is only such when it has a high rate of thermodynamic transformation like ours.
    What you present, the Navajo or for another example the Amazonian cultures, is certainly what I also have in mind, what our host predicts for the future and so on.
    Certainly also what I’d positively value.

    It was just the question whether a past civilization could have been thermodynamically as active as ours ie making use of a high density fuels.
    I am curious mostly because of the Longyou caves, that seem difficult to explain without advanced machinery.
    However most of these ancient “mysteries” that some explain with ancient high tech machinery do not seem to be such mysteries after all and could have been easily made with manual labor, without electricity or any other fuel.

    @JMG

    Thank you very much for the data points and overview! Yes, it may be difficult to determine today what a civlization back in the day did.
    Fossil fuels are obviously age old from the dawn of time and life on this planet, so a prehistoric civlization would have had them available already, but obviously made no use of them.

    I think it is unlikely that an ancient civilization used high density fuel like us and advanced machinery to me, because by then I figure they would have certainly found these resources and made use of them.

    So how could “technology” have looked in ancient cultures? I guess the technological diversity applies to the diversity of tools, dwellings and materials that cultures have used around the globe historically, mostly on a stone age level. There is diversity in that.

  285. JMG – The synchronicities keep on coming.

    Saturday morning (9:00-11:00), I volunteer at a local farmer’s market, to help customers and vendors follow the pandemic regulations. Just outside the entrance to the market, I notice that some guy is passing out flyers, so I gently investigate (because you never know what agenda people might have), and am relieved to find out that he’s promoting a fund-raising auction for a local restaurant. “Great place.” I say, “My older son got his first job washing dishes there, about 15 years ago.”

    At the end of my shift, I lingered for about 15 minutes, chatting with another volunteer, and my older son walks into the market. He lives about 5 miles away, and was out on his motorcycle. He has only been to the market once before. (It’s odd enough that I should see him there, doubly odd that I was talking about him first.)

    So, we chat for about half an hour, then I excuse myself to shop at the store next to the farmer’s market. He departs. I’m in the store for about fifteen minutes. When I come out, there’s a package delivery truck parked between the store and my car. My younger son is the driver. We greet each other, and go on our way. I’ve never seen any delivery to the store before, and assume that most goods come in through loading docks at the rear.

    Thursday night, a thunderstorm knocked out our electricity for a few minutes, resetting the clock in my workshop. Friday, I noticed in blinking 12:00, but was too busy to reset it. Same on Saturday. On Sunday, I decided to take care of it, so I push a button to increment the time by one minute and stop the blasted blinking, then checked my watch to see what the time actually was. 12:01 Well. That was easy.

    I note that these items are all, literally, syn-chron-icities. They’re only significant because of the timing.

  286. Wotan may lead directly to Ragnarok, but here’s a disinfectant for Wotan: courtesy of, I think, Anna Russell. TTO: Ride of the Valkyries

    “We’re riding the night skies, showing our fat thighs, picking up dead guys,
    There goes one, now!

    “We take them to Asgard, boil them to corpse lard, smells like a barnyard – you call this a JOB?!!?”

    Then follow it up with Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd as Siegfried and Brunhilde.

  287. Just one more… after a half hour or so of trying to get caught up on the comments here, I thought I’d take a break and check my e-mail. There was a message from a recently-license ham radio operator who I’ve been advising, inviting me to get on the air and see whether his changes helped up communicate. “I could do that,”, I thought, “if too much time hasn’t gone by since he posted the message. When was that?”… 7:08 PM. And what time is it now? “7:09 PM”. Right. Off we go.

  288. Onething, thank you for your reply! I have to admit, I ultimately believe in the Trinity because the saints say that it is so that they experience God mystically, because the smarter and holier theologians thoughtfully present it in ways that make it less topsy-turvy (then again, reality is topsy-turvy), and also because thinkers like Kukai in Japan and even pagan cultures (eg., the Celts) typically revere the Triad as important. Also, Iamblichus and the Pythagoreans taught that numbers mean something, and three is a repetition of one, but with perichoresis – a unity dance, which includes “Other” without losing Unity. Yes, I understand it more conventionally for purposes of talking, along your lines. The Father is archetype, the Son is creation principle, the Spirit is the dynamic energy. But it’s easy to become Sabellian that way, too, so I try to balance with (hopefully) faithful speculation from other directions. God is NOT like a three leaf clover, for instance. Although He is, as well, but not as Trinity analogy. I’ve become a monotheistic Henotheist lately: “though there be some that are gods so-called” says Saint Paul. I think he is saying the demigods exist. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), I Cor. 8:5. Also, I hold Jesus to be a true avatar, although much more than that also. He is not another celestial or heavenly god alongside Thor, etc. But yet…there is a mystery about the hypostatic union, also…he was truly man. Maybe he is in one way “lower than” a demigod – that’s the paradox. The point seems to be that God utterly accepts, loves, and redeems matter, descending into it, and now we are living in a time where “Time begins to flow backward”. At some point, the poetry takes over, and it becomes difficult to parse – the Creeds, for instance, box themselves into a dead end, but what else could they do? They were pushing technical language to the uttermost: not surprising if you were contemplating the ultimate mystery.

  289. On Gluten

    My research has raised the possibility that one of the things the green revolution of the 1960’s produced with more productive varieties of wheat is that the wheat had a much higher gluten content. This was not an issue but a benefit for industrial food production. What effect a higher gluten content has had on the population is an interesting question.

  290. JMG – thanks for the reply. I think entwined in my observation was the question of how consciously humans are (and can be) involved in synchronistic events occuring, so get we’re in the show – it’s just who’s involved in the directing.

  291. @Scotlyn

    I think Jung’s essay may be the short book: Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle. That would be a translation of the German original. My 2nd hand copy will arrive shortly I hope. In a small example of synchronicity I encountered the Japanese word ‘Tsundoku’ on Friday for people who commit the venison sin of buying books and let them pile up, but in my defence I put aside a small collection on Astrology quite deliberately until I’d got to the point where I felt capable of broaching yet another subject. There’s no excuse for some of the other piles though.

  292. @Walter Mandell

    I think you would have to distinguish necessity and sufficiency strictly for causes from formal logical necessity and sufficiency – and in that case, I think you’re more or less back at the beginning in examining causality, though you may have a more precise language for discussing it. But for quantum phenomena, classical logic breaks down, and you need a non-classical logic – something like multi-valued logic (more states than just True or False) or intuitionistic logic (rejecting the law of excluded middle).
    For the implication A –> B, any true statement A and true statement B makes the implication valid, whether there’s an identifiable causal relation or not. For example, ‘If elephants have trunks, then 1 + 1 = 2.’ This doesn’t seem helpful.
    Also, in the case of the contrapositive (~B) –> (~A), you have switched antecedent and consequent, but you have also negated them; ~B is still only a sufficient condition of ~A (‘~B is true only if ~A is true’), and ~A a necessary condition of ~B (‘~A is true if ~B is true’). The contrapositive is logically equivalent to the original implication, so nothing new is proved when both are true. To obtain the necessary condition in the backwards direction, you would have to prove the converse statement, B –> A, in which case you have logical equivalence; if we are talking about causes rather than just conditions, then the statements are simultaneous. A is true if and only if B is true.
    Moreover, when A is false, then it doesn’t matter whether B is true or false – the implication is true.
    It reminds me of an inside joke among my friends about people who give advice using the phrase, ‘If I were you.’ It’s a conditional statement (‘If I were you, then x’) equivalent to [I am you] –> x. Since the antecedent ‘I am you’ is always false, unless you’re talking to yourself, then whatever consequent you add, whether true or false, the entire implication is always vacuously true. So whenever someone says, ‘If I were you, then…’, no matter what follows, the entire statement is true! Therefore, if you want to never technically lie to others, always put ‘If I were you, then…’ in front of your statement.
    Of course, that doesn’t mean every true or false statement in the universe causes me to be you! There’s no causal relationship.

    Regards,
    Josh Rout

  293. @ Scotlyn

    I’m currently re-reading Theodore Roszak’s ‘Where the Wasteland Ends’ and specifically just got to the part where he was talking exactly about the disconnection of the ‘mind’ from the body in modern society. It’s interesting that he ties it in with the over-emphasis on a debased form of sight and hearing as the ‘objective’ senses, which immediately made me think of tv and film: both of which rely on watered down sight and sound (although cinema gets around this by turning the visual and aural stimuli up to 11) .

    This year I’ve heard time and again people say that we should ‘trust the experts’ which seems to me to be the next stage in the process. Not only should you not listen to your body, you shouldn’t listen to your mind either!

  294. Eowyn, yes, I heard and was delighted. I understand he’s also raised the prospect of denying federal funding to any school district that adopts the “1619 Project” attempt to turn US history into woke propaganda. Both those moves will win him plenty of votes.

    Ray, so noted.

    Jim, I’m planning on doing a post on the Grand Mutation here in December. So far, at least, I haven’t been impressed by equal-house archetypal-zodiac interpretations — it seems to me that it sheds far too much nuance and meaning — but of course your mileage may vary.

    Joy Marie, I think the trickster archetype is indeed having fun with your spellchecker! Nice.

    Chris, of course. Plenty of relationships get messed up, for example, because one partner is projecting a parent or child archetype on the other.

    Aidan, thanks for this.

    Pixelated, so noted!

    Ray, it’s almost always in the definitions that the trouble slips in. Lao Tsu’s advice is cogent: “A process as it is described is not the process as it exists; the names that are assigned to it are not the things that they name.”

    Walter, how would you correlate this with Aristotle’s taxonomy of four causes?

    Joshua, at least as a metaphor, that works.

    Packshaud, so noted!

    Prizm, that makes a great deal of sense. Social psychology is in its infancy as yet, but it seems plausible that a group of people can embody a distorted archetypal projection collectively.

    JillN, yikes indeed. Synchronicity isn’t always welcome.

    Tom, many thanks for this. I’ll look ’em up.

    Scotlyn, thanks for this. It occurs to me that the entire philosophy of occultism is based on the same concept in a broader sense: the visible world is always a symbolic expression of the invisible world.

    Onething, I’m far from sure that what QAnon is saying is true. Clearly someone wants it to be believed, and a lot of people want to believe it, but that’s far from the same thing.

    Jim, thank you for this!

    Jake, as the text above the comment screen says, I like to ask people to make their comments relevant to the subject of each week’s post. Please repost something about this on one of my open posts — I do those on the fourth Wednesday of each month — and I’ll respond.

    Curt, you’re missing the possibility that an ancient civilization had other resources, perhaps very different from the ones we’re using, and collapsed when it exhausted those other resources. It may never have occurred to them to try burning petroleum or coal, just as that never occurred to the Romans or the Chinese.

    Lathechuck, those are pretty good!

    Patricia, funny. “Oh, Bwunhilde, you’we so wovewy.” “Yes, I know it, I can’t help it.”

    Jay, it’s sometimes possible for individual human beings to shape the flow of synchronicity; that’s what magic is about.

  295. Do you see the areas with the highest proportion of SWPLs (I.e. Pacific Northwest) at the present as being most likely to become the “white ghettos” of the 2030s and 2040s.

    As SWPLs have done the best in the Silicon Age of the “knowledge elite” (in IT and education), do you see these areas as particularly impacted by the Long Descent?

  296. JMG & Co. – Expect the unexpected. Do you want to experience some synchronicity? I jump in my car, grab my sister in law (my best friend) an just go where the spirit takes us. I’m a pagan, and she’s an Evangelical type Christian, so things can get a little weird. We visit a lot of old churches, and wineries. Forget the schedule, and the clock, if you want to stop and check out that roadside attraction, do it. Where are you going to spend the night? Who knows? Shake it loose.

  297. I’d like to share a series of synchronicities most of them occurring in a single day.

    On the evening of that day I was to attend a meeting. it didn’t interest me much, and I would have been happy to have an excuse to blow it off. My attendance changed both my self and the course of my life.

    Synch 1. My car was stolen. I left work around 2pm and walked to where I thought I’d parked it but it was not there. I spent some time walking the streets assuming I had parked it elsewhere. When I got home I phoned the Police and they logged the loss. It turned out they had picked the car up earlier in the day, after it had been joy-ridden and ditched but an internal glitch meant the message had bypassed their usual recording system.

    The police notified me of my car’s fate and where it was stored much later. A friend drove me to pick it up just in time for me to drive to the meeting nearby. Our interaction during that brief drive was also a kind of presage of the future but I’ll keep this reasonably brief. Oddness during a quick errand en-route formed another strand of the series.

    The meeting involved a major enterprise in which until my attendance, I felt no real interest. Going was a chore, a favour for a friend. In that meeting I was swept up by a kind of idealism in a way that was unlike me. Yet I was still sceptical as I drove away.

    I got home after midnight, hungry, tired and stirred-up. I turned on the heater and the extension cord burst into flames right where it passed under the couch. Both the carpet and the throw hanging down from the couch caught fire very fast. I quickly turned off the power at the wall, and put out the fires. I would have liked to turn off the mains but I had just had a smart meter installed and these can never be turned off. (Well they can but you are not allowed to do so under threat of…. I’m not sure what, but I remembered the installer giving me the dire warning.) I had no idea why it had happened and feared my home had a wiring problem.

    I went to bed feeling afraid, troubled, powerless, isolated, incompetent, unprotected, alone. My decision to join the project that was the subject of that meeting came about largely as a result of ……… (you guessed it.)

    That project blew up dramatically for me. It meant that instead of insulating myself from the above feelings as I had hoped to do, I had to meet them all head-on in truly horrendous circumstances over quite a long period. My life became a slow-moving train wreck, and changed as radically as I did.

    In the midst of the devastation I went to my home town for a family Christmas. I felt like hell. I had a line from a poem that I couldn’t remember circling in my head as the fragment of a song can do. It was “…..there are three conditions which often seem alike, yet differ completely, flourish in the same hedgerow…..” this may not qualify as a synchronicity but when I got home and looked it up the words of the poem were significant, reassuring at the time, important later. I had read that poem more than 20 years before and had no conscious memory of it.

    It would take too long to explain all the details. I don’t think the events of that days were meant as a “warning”. The feelings aroused had the opposite effect. I didn’t know what a synchronicity was then and I wouldn’t have believed in such things if I had. There were many ways that they were a kind of symbolic microcosm of both what was to come and why I needed to change.

  298. Jay,

    One thing I have noticed is that, like the birds, human beings can often be the messengers of synchronicity. I’ll give one example that creeped me out two weeks ago. In February, a gifted friend of mine contacted me and told me that my best friend, who had died 10 years at the age of 28, had reincarnated inside my wife and I should check to see if she was pregnant. Sure enough, she was. My friend’s name was Joe, and our baby is a girl and we will name her Sofia Rose.

    After thinking about it for awhile, I started to doubt that my gifted friend was right given that, with reincarnation, I’ve always read it’s normally a long time before reincarnation happens. I wasn’t asking for a sign or anything, but I had that doubt, and then I visited my dad two weeks ago.

    I have noticed in the past that spirits seem to communicate through my father sometimes, especially after he had a major heart attack 20 years and has been a bit addled since. His mother was a spiritual medium so perhaps it runs in the family. In any case, out of nowhere, he starts making jokes about how we should give her a “hillbilly name like Sofia Jo” and starts listing out various hillbilly names that end with Jo, and I got that “feeling” that something else was present then.

  299. A laughing datapoint from today: my middle son (he of the blinky dinosaur rainboots), asked for toy car tracks for his birthday, and did not get them (we were concerned about the space they take up). Today, a churchlady friend brought me a pot of flowers as thanks for a tomato plant, and also happened to have a bulging trash bag of toys some friend of hers had cleared from her son’s closet (ok sure). I didn’t look inside. When we got home, it was a mass of plastic parts that the kids quickly assembled into a gently-used, massive Hot Wheels garage with a four-storey car elevator, and a loop-the-loop track with an automotive ski-jump on it.

    I’m not sure whether that’s synchronicity, or just that my middle son puts out such powerful wishes that the universe bends to accommodate him. Is there any practical difference?

  300. @JMG – being an IT guy, I’m not following your GIGO analogy with respect to logic, assumptions and reality. To me, the “garbage in” doesn’t apply here, assuming the reality “input data” of the universe is a constant. But maybe I’m offtrack already. I do agree that the processing algorithms inside that eight inch slab of meat between our ears varies wildly, and many of us have basic flaws in logic and assumptions, that we build on, and thus create sometimes even more flawed conclusions. So the “garbage out” makes sense.

    But at least with materialism, we have two factors not found in other philosophies. Materialism, in terms of x,y,z and time, is the one that most humans can agree on – because we all share and interpret the reality of it in very similar ways. This doesn’t mean it explains everything, but it does represent the common starting point for other views on existence. As you pointed out though, to consider materialism a complete explanation of reality by the Western world has certainly had significant negative effects.

    The second second factor of materialism is repeatedly, which it holds a distinct advantage over other philosopies. I can’t perceive in the nuances of Atomic Theory through my five senses, but every time I flip a light switch, the theory seems to hold water. Again, it doesn’t prove it, but it’s a concept that’s hard to get past when building on how the universe works. The agnostic in mean admits there are flaws in a materialistic view, but not any more serious than the flaws in supernatural or spiritual views.

    @Russellnb – brain chemistry is a weird thing. When altered by drugs or psychotic episodes, the functions of associations and perceptions can get really skewed, with delusions, paranoia, and the like. Call it an abundance of synchronicities if you like, but I think more of it terms of trying to operate a 25 watt radio with a 50 watt input.

  301. I liked this post very much. It reminded me another favourite post: “Darwin’s Casino”, where you again described the cause and effect dogma and how quantum physics shattered this scientific belief.

    As for the theme for the 5th Wed I have a proposition: The legitimacy crisis of the medical science.

    As I use herbalist medicine for 10 years, my favourite herbalist is Stephen Buhner. Searching the internet for his latest directions on COVID19 treatment I bumped onto this FDA letter to a herbal store that threatens the owner that there might be legal repercussions because of selling Coronavirus Protocol products that are not approved by the FDA. (https://www.fda.gov/inspections-compliance-enforcement-and-criminal-investigations/warning-letters/herbal-amy-inc-604813-03062020)
    In the list of not approved protocols they mention Stephen Buhner’s protocol, among others, and they state that:
    “In addition, it is unlawful under the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 41 et seq., to advertise that a product can prevent, treat, or cure human disease unless you possess competent and reliable scientific evidence, including, when appropriate, well-controlled human clinical studies, substantiating that the claims are true at the time they are made.”
    I do not know about the other protocols, but the reason I prefer Buhner’s is because in his books he has attached scores of medical papers and clinical studies that support the claimed properties of every herb he proposes.

    The subject I want to raise to your attention, is the medical establishment’s urgency to silence every alternative medicine source, because they are afraid of losing their status, or at least this is how I see it. It is a crisis of legitimacy, as you have described it so many times, for the medical science establishment and they are using coercive measures. Another example of this is in my country, Greece, where police is gathering evidence to prosecute the coordinators of rallies that oppose the use of masks for children in schools [in greek only(https://www.iefimerida.gr/ellada/irakleio-dikografia-diorganoton-sygkentrosis-kata-maskas)]. I can almost understand a state imposing laws for the compulsory use of masks, but I cannot understand the prosecution of those who oppose them democratically.

    Anyway, you know better which subject to choose, and I always read your posts with pleasure.
    KostaM

  302. JMG,

    I don’t see Q as something to believe. It does often discuss specifics of corruption and suggests areas for people to look into. A very big part of it is individual inquiry and not depending on mainstream news sources. Kind of the opposite of the propaganda spell. In fact, it might be an attempt to help break that spell. The MSM has suddenly taken to calling it a conspiracy theory. If by that one means exposing the existence of corruption and the deep state (including human trafficking) then it does deal in conspiracy. But they call it dangerous without saying why. Another (non-MSM) criticism is that it keep people pacified!

    I’m not sure what aspect you refer to when asking if it is true or not. A big question has been whether it has connection to the Trump administration. I think it does.

  303. @David by the Lake re Biden’s message – well, it’s at least simple enough that the village idiot can understand it. Or a toddler in day care.

    The catch being, of course. “I’m not Trump” applies to his 29 former rivals. And Jane Doe, Joe Blow and Representative Yoho. Or for that matter, Kim Kardashian.

  304. Jim, I’m planning on doing a post on the Grand Mutation here in December. So far, at least, I haven’t been impressed by equal-house archetypal-zodiac interpretations — it seems to me that it sheds far too much nuance and meaning — but of course your mileage may vary.

    I’m inclined to agree about the marginal value of looking at an archetypal chart. The synergies and harmonic relations of the planets will be best revealed as they play out in the varying house structures.
    One feature which keeps insisting I pay attention to it is the Mars/Uranus midpoint at 0 Taurus, exactly square the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction. And in the US chart, exactly conjunct the Ascendant! I know midpoints are not a traditional part of the mundane toolkit but this looks like a major flashpoint to me. Thanks for letting me spin off-topic a bit.

  305. Considering the degree to which synchronicity has shaped my life, I’m rather shockingly agnostic about the various explanations for it. I think I’ve posted before about being personally opposed to the “bucket list” mentality of having detailed plans for life (and feeling entitled to having those plans fulfilled), because being being alert to possibilities life offers as they arrive has benefitted me more than any long-term plan I’ve ever made. When I first met my wife, we had both decided on short notice to attend an event as a distraction to Very Important Troubles that were going on in each of our lives. In the long term, those troubles turned out to be utterly unimportant in every way except that they helped bring about our meeting. Furthermore, like in the most contrived Hallmark movie one can imagine, we weren’t looking for partners and we were living in about as close to “different worlds” as possible within the same metropolitan area. Had we not met where and when we did, it would have taken some serious meddling by very determined powers for us to ever meet anywhere.

    So which came first, the event, or its significance? We could say the significance is something we created by what we chose and accomplished subsequently to the event. Or we could say that the significance of the outcome somehow made the event so necessary that it happened, which challenges our notions of material causality but also provides an explanation for the otherwise utter improbability of the event. I’m happy with it either way. Much of my life experience takes place in the continuum of memory, where experiences follow a chronology but explanations sometimes don’t.

    (“One of the advantages of being fictional characters,” I told her when I proposed—in the presence of our friends, who had joked for years about us resembling fictional characters—”is we’ve known that whatever happened, we’ve been in the same story all along.”)

    When we speculate about influences extending backward in time, or otherwise acting to generate synchronicity, I think it’s worth considering how opportune a target memory could be for such influences. Which is easier, to steer a scarab beetle through a window, or to tweak a woman’s (or her doctor’s) recollection of the content of her dream? I don’t know how to do either one, and naive material causality can’t manage either one, but if dreams and memories are astral, then the latter might be more in the remit of an entity (such as an archetype) with power on the astral planes.

  306. @NomadicBeer, that sums up my feelings about MWI very well.

    One thing I’m pretty sure of is that there’s something very basic we’re not noticing and therefore not taking into account. My favorite notion along those lines is that there’s more than one dimension of time. One is the coherent continuum we’re aware of, and the other is the axis of changes (possibly including “wavefunction collapse” and consciousness both) that generate a coherent singular present out of underlying chaos. If time is a river, we’re floating on (and only aware of) the surface but there’s also turbulence from underneath that we can’t perceive or access, just as we read a novel without (usually) being aware of the edits the author made while writing it.

    It’s a bit like Many Worlds (and like Many Worlds, it requires an additional dimension for reality to extend in), where the “underwater” dimension holds the alternative worlds, but unlike Many Worlds the alternatives don’t propagate endlessly; they dissipate, except for what comes to the “surface” of spacetime.

    Of course I can’t show any equations or experiments to validate the notion.

  307. This past Friday, shortly after reading your post on your other blog about Kek, my daughter told me that she had made an origami frog at school that morning. I’m not sure, but I think this may count as a synchronicity.

  308. Also, I am Canadian and not terribly invested in which leader the US elects, though I think I may prefer your orange guy.

  309. I’ve been thinking about what you said about geography and synchronicity. I suppose it’s very possible that this particular section of the shore of Lake Michigan that I currently inhabit could just be a synchronicity “dead zone”, and that this has done just as much to make Milwaukee the way it is (very materialistic, conformist, and unspiritual) as the German cultural heritage that has contributed so much to the human environment.

  310. Some people were talking about the problems with wheat. Just as another viewpoint, spelt was used almost exclusively in Eastern and Middle Europe until after WWII. There is also the number of ingredients. My bread bag lists 10 ingredients whereas my own bread contains only 5. Also notable is the presence of soy flour. Until fairly recently soy was used to fatten animals before they were sent to market. Do you think it might do the same to humans?

  311. Here is another synchronicity that I have held off on relating though many people in this forum played a part in it, and I have not thanked you all properly. This also relates to what Kosta has proposed as a topic–the current crisis of medical legitimacy.
    About two years ago, I’d gotten very angry at the American medical racket for not helping a friend’s wife who had chosen not to undertake chemotherapy. They refused to help her in the ways she had chosen as appropriate for herself. She may have died even with that help, but when she died I got so angry I prayed to the Dragon King to go fix the broken American medical system. I had regrets after that, because many innocent people could suffer in the process. I prayed again to the Dragon King to release him from such an ill-conceived request, but he was all in favor of going ahead with it. He told me, though, that to protect the innocent, he needed more information on what was precisely wrong with America’s medical system and how it could be improved. He asked me to write and publish an article on that.
    So I turned to you all, and our host had many good ideas as did several other people here, and with that and other sources of information including from insiders in the medical-pharmaceutical system, I wrote up a four-part series (here is the second part–the first appears to have disappeared: https://www.opednews.com/articles/What-Can-We-Do-to-Fix-Amer-by-Patricia-0rmsby-America-Freedom-To-Fascism_Anti-democratic_Externalities_Health-Alternative-191116-397.html ). In it, I wound up concluding that the people profiting from the racket would only double down until the system was well and truly broken beyond repair, urging readers to get themselves as independent from the established medical system as possible by acquainting themselves alternative medicine among other steps, predicting that information on alternative medicine would disappear from the Internet (that had already begun), and suggesting to medical professionals to be prepared to wing it.
    I’d barely published that conclusion on December 14 and fielded the questions and comments when the first COVID cases were reported in China. It shortly arose on its great bat wings and proceeded to America and beyond. As I see it, the Dragon King gave me an opportunity to ameliorate my own karma in the carnage that is currently underway, before he unleashed it. Otherwise, I can only continue to pray for people to come through this crisis intact.
    Incidentally, I had been warned never to make requests of the Ocean Dragon, as he would surely be happy to oblige, but if it involved killing someone, that person would be killed in “waves” of trouble.

  312. Among many other topics, JMG’s post touched on the topic of Quantum Mechanics (QM), as did some of the comments.

    If you want to dive down the rabbit hole to explore the mysterious relation of consciousness and QM, pick up a copy of “Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness” by Bruce Rosenbaum and Fred Kuttner (Oxford University Press) Copyright 2006

  313. JMG – Some distance up the thread (Sep 3), Joshua Rout asserted that a magical working can start to be effective even before it’s been started, and that this calls causality into question. As far as I can tell, the intention to do magic is itself magical action, so causality remains intact. However, free will comes into question, because if the effects begin before the work is performed, can the work be aborted? I think so. In delicate diplomatic situations, “confidence building” actions are exchanged, leading up to a major agreement. So, a mage’s intention could be recognized with a bit of synchronicity, leading to more action by the mage, and greater effects, but if the mage backs away there may be some negative synchronicity “blow-back”, or maybe just a period of sullen sulking. Default on a confidence-building measure leaves the negotiation a step behind where it started.

    My will for this day was that encroaching underbrush and danging vines be removed from my favorite bicycle path. I tucked some sharp steel objects into my knapsack, and deployed them in a way that I found effective. My reward was that a casual friend of many years before came strolling down the path while I was at work, and we had a chat. Hadn’t seen him in years, but had no real reason to call. Later, I was clearing debris where a dead tree had fallen into the path. As I broke, cut, or just gathered leafless broken branches, I tossed them back toward the woods, and was amused to note that, regardless of whether they turned end-over-end once or twice, they almost all landed parallel in a neat stack. “I am NOT trying to do that!” I assured myself.

  314. Dear JMG and readers,

    Would you be able to explain, in Iching how the main hexagram, the changing hexagram and the catalyzing hexagram interact with each other ? I tried to search for a clear information without success.

    Could you also recommend a book to learn how to use Tarot.

    Regards,

  315. JMG,

    I was wondering if I should send in a comment on this article over the weekend when my daughter and I were wandering to the park. Then she said “Dad look at that shiny bug”. I wouldn’t have ever seen the ‘Scarab’ from my angle so I guess here we go:

    Is it possible to ‘break’ synchronicity when a group member makes a choice counter to the group’s plan?

    I ask because there’s a specific incident in my professional past where three workers performed some very intricate maintenance to an oxygen production plan. Two of the three involved then called in sick the next day before the plant was being started up. The suspicion was that they’d ‘effed’ it up and didn’t want to admit it needed to be redone and take the heat for the associated downtime costs but also didn’t wish to be present when it started up to avoid getting hurt or worse if things went awry …

    My personal, private view on the situation is that the 3rd person essentially ‘broke’ the synchronicity of the explosion happening because he chose a future where things worked out and the special gasket they’d possibly installed (possibly?) incorrectly held up to the pressure & temp of the system.

    This person had a history of making brave choices (like going charging into a cloud of ammonia to shutoff a valve to help out other people caught in the situation). Curious what you’d think of the situation?

  316. It’s been quite surprising how many apple trees I’ve come across this year, and some of them in just totally random spots. Yesterday I had the family out to enjoy the first autumnal colors and I found an apple tree along the side of a scenic road I decided to turn onto at the last minute, next to a stream in a rather remote spot.

    I felt the whole day the American spirit was with me.

    On another, yet related note.. I received a support letter from Donald Trump in which the highlighted verbiage mentioned the stamps on the return enveloped. Curiously, I looked at the return envelope and found these stamps. Yes. Apples.

    Prizm

  317. @James, @Walt, and @NomadicBeer – in my opinion, the many worlds interpretation is one of the most suitable for a theory compatible with consciousness and free choice – one interpretation which seems quite consistent with observation is that the ‘observer’ decides which branch to ‘stay with’ – and the rarer the branch, the more effort of will is required to ‘find’ it or ‘take’ that path. That view seems quite consistent with new thought, and also the law of limitation – to achieve a challenging result, one must give no consciousness to anything not part of that result.

  318. Thank you for this post! I’d actually. I had actually thinking about synchronicity a lot with respect to your thinking lately, since I love your writing and also struggle to abandon my default “safe” faith in materialism.

    Would you have any ideas regarding how individuals of consciousness combine or compete in terms of synchronistic effects? Does material law only allow so much “wiggle room”, thus making large groups especially manifest a more material appearance?

  319. @hapigreenman: I read that article. It specifically denied we were on our way down; just that the *rate* of growth was slowing down, since we had already picked the low-hanging fruit.

  320. JMG – Since you have touched on the subject of consciousness in this post, I would be excited to read your thoughts on nonduality in a future post or series of posts. If that is too broad or nonspecific a topic, since nonduality is considered the perennial wisdom, maybe you could discuss how you see this concept relating to the idea of universal consciousness, or perhaps how nonduality relates to druid thought and practice. Also, thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas on Ecosophia and previously on the Archdruid Report.

  321. Once again, all votes have been tallied.

    Aidan, not necessarily and not necessarily. There are a great many variables to consider.

    Danaone, by all means, if that entertains you.

    SarahJ, thank you for this! That’s a classic story, and very much the sort of thing Jung wrote about.

    Methylethyl, that’s the far-from-gray area where synchronicity blends into magic.

    Drhooves, you’re treating materialism and supernaturalism as though they’re mutually incompatible, and they’re not — that’s the fallacy of the excluded middle. The problem with scientific materialism is not that it’s wrong, it’s that it’s incomplete; it takes that subset of the universe of our experience that is intersubjective (that is, experienced by most people in pretty much the same way) and replicable, and insists that this subset alone is real and everything else is an illusion. The occultist accepts that the material plane is pretty much what the scientist says it is, but notes the existence of other planes that impinge on the material plane in certain specific ways — such as, of course, synchronicity.

    Lunarapprentice, of course! Believers in progress want to erase the past because comparing the past and the present shows that progress is a myth.

    KostaM, duly noted. The medical industry is in crisis because so many people no longer trust its claims. The Obamacare fiasco over here was an attempt to force people to pay for medical services whether they wanted them or not — it’s not accidental that a program along those lines started being discussed by politicians not long after a study came out showing that Americans had a higher number of health care visits to alternative practitioners than to the medical industry. My guess is that we’re within a decade or so of a major reorganization of health care in the US, in which the existing industry loses its legal monopoly and many of its legal protections — but we’ll see.

    Onething, so noted. Yes, I’m pretty sure that it has a close connection to the current administration.

    David BTL, that kind of purely negative campaigning rarely works; you have to offer something positive to the voters, and the Democrats have been remarkably unable or unwilling to do that.

    Jim W, midpoints aren’t something I’ve gotten into yet, but that’s intriguing; thank you. Which US chart are you using?

    Walt, that seems perfectly reasonable to me. Speculations about mechanism are just that, speculation; you can work with the thing itself without worrying about what causes it.

    Allie, you know, maybe it does!

    Mr. Nobody, to my mind that makes a great deal of sense.

    Patricia O, fascinating. We could use a Dragon King messing with our collapsed health care system.

    Lathechuck, the interesting thing is that I’ve had magical workings succeed in ways that required certain things to happen before I’d even thought of doing the working, so something stranger than intention may be at work.

    Hapigreenman, thanks for this.

  322. I know it’s late in the cycle, but I’ve been wondering lately about why we consider causality so sacred and paradox so anathema…

  323. Foxhands, you’d have to talk to someone who knows the I Ching a great deal better than I do. As for Tarot, Eden Gray’s Mastering the Tarot is a good introduction.

    Stuart, the story about the oxygen plant doesn’t sound like synchronicity, so much as a sloppy installation job that wasn’t quite sloppy enough to go boom.

    Prizm, thanks for this! No surprises there:

    “He saw the fruits unfold,
    And all our expectations in one wild-flower-written dream,
    Confusion and death sweetness, and a thicket of crab-thorns,
    Heart of a hundred midnights, heart of the merciful morns.
    Heaven’s boughs bent down with their alchemy,
    Perfumed airs, and thoughts of wonder.
    And the dew on the grass and his own cold tears
    Were one in brooding mystery.”

    Mike, I suspect it’s more that the wiggles cancel out in large groups, and the statistical average converges on the track of mechanistic law. When you get a lot of people all trying to push the wiggle room the same way, the results can be dramatic — magical lodges make use of this a lot.

    John L., I’ll consider that.

    Brendhelm, it’s the mentality of control that pervades our culture. Causality holds out the promise that we can make the whole universe do what we want; paradox laughs in our faces.

  324. Hi JMG. Is like to see where we currently are in the Long descent, some good old Archruid report stuff, I mean but up to this date.

  325. Synchronicity? Or significant? Or maybe “the rot sets in visibly?”

    I picked up a book called God in the Oval Office, because it had a brief rundown on every president the United States has had: when he lived, when he served, party, and a head shot photo. I noticed that every president from Washington on up through LBJ looked serious and presidential. The next one,Nixon, is the first to be shown with a smile-for-the-cameras grin, which everyone thereafter had. Even the elderly and signified Poppy Bush. As if they were doing a commercial. For what that’s worth.

    It ends with Dubya, being written before Obama took office.

  326. @NomadicBeer,

    Sorry I missed your comment earlier! Thanks for the book recommendation; I’ll take a look.

    @Cleric of Progress,

    That’s a really interesting perspective. I’ve read novels where something like MWI + a subject with free will, but it never occurred to me to take it seriously. Standard MWI makes no distinction between subject and object as far as I can tell (as I mentioned in a comment on this site a while back, materialism to my mind reduces all relations to it-it relations). So to the extent that there is a subject, it is “split” along with everything else.

    That said…

    (Oh, boy. Oh boy oh boy oh boy. I’m actually going to get to do it. I’m going to get to invoke Occam’s Razor in its proper context!)

    The most compelling account of how free will interacts with the material world that I’ve run across is that of philosopher Roderick T. Long, who posits that the will doesn’t actually change the probabilities of various outcomes, but simply causes one of those possibilities to actualize. As an analogy, it’s a bit like picking up some dice and setting them down on whatever result you want: you haven’t changed the probability of the result, you just caused that particular one to happen.

    I could easily see adding in willpower as a limited resource that is spent in proportion to the unlikelihood of the event being actualized. It would take little or no willpower to “go with the flow” and give in to habit, because that’s what your physical neurology will tend to do by chance; that would also explain why those with poorly developed wills have comparatively less free will: they have not only less willpower, but fewer opportunities where their reserves of willpower would be enough to affect the outcome significantly.

    (To extend the dice analogy a little, it takes no effort to leave the dice where they are, and only a little effort to tip one of them from one side to an adjacent side. The further from the current faces you want to move the dice, the more effort you’ll have to expend.)

    That thing is… once you’ve done that, where’s the need for multiple timelines? “Entities should not be multiplied” and all that.

  327. JMG, I’m glad you see the value in a dragon’s rather violent approach to the issue. I cannot think of anything else that would work, either. There is considerable evidence that the instrument of disruption was deliberately manipulated if not outright planned for the benefit of the status quo, but also that it did not quite work out the way they thought it would. For one thing, they seem to have to exaggerate fatality figures. Also, the controversy raging about alternative treatment protocols cannot be completely suppressed and has drawn many people’s attention.

  328. Hi John Michael,

    Yeah, it is possible that the archetypes are similar to the workings of narrative in that they build or decline with each successive life. So that may also explain why people can latch onto an archetype, take it to the worst possible excess, not realising the fate that lies in store, and/or the possible downsides. It does indicate a lack of internal balance to me, but maybe I’m being too harsh. 🙂

    Spring is nicely bouncing along down here this year (makes up for last years non existent spring). All things being well it should be a bumper fruit crop. Yay! Still as they say, mustn’t count chickens and all that business before they’re hatched.

    Cheers

    Chris

  329. Jim W, midpoints aren’t something I’ve gotten into yet, but that’s intriguing; thank you. Which US chart are you using?

    I was referring to your posting on the US grand mutation conjunction chart with the 0 Taurus ascendant. Otherwise, I use the Sibley chart for transits and progressions. The midpoint axis is fascinating and can be quite revealing. Easy to get carried away with them too, lost in too much complex abstraction. Sometimes they really jump out though!

  330. Dennis,

    Strange goings on indeed. Cant pretend to understand fully what you’ve experienced but always remember the last few lines of a Pirsig book talking about the death of his son and the subsequent birth of his daughter – they seemed to fit the same ‘pattern’, somehow and he was sure his son hadn’t just gone.

  331. JMG: for the 5th Wednesday, I would love to see a post on starting a garden. It’s a mundane topic, I know, but one that would be very useful in these uncertain times.

  332. Quantum mechanics is assumed to be indeterminate when in fact, it doesn’t have to be. Theories of QM range from the very indeterminate (Girard-Rimini-Weber) to the solidly determinate (Pilot-wave).
    This undercuts any attempt to explain the workings of our world as indeterministic on the basis of QM. For one, the different theories of QM (assuming their action scales to the level you claim) would yield vastly different phenomena at the scale of insects bumping into windows. It is for this reason that a Christian philosopher like Alvin Platinga promotes the Girard-Rimini-Weber theory specifically, because it best serves his purpose of finding a way for a creator to guide (apparently unguided) evolution.
    For two, one of the realities of QM is that QM acts the way it does because the wavelengths of energy and the particles in play are on the same scale. The interplay of independent processes at any given scale can give rise to what may seem to be indeterminate action but isn’t really.
    I’ll argue that true indeterminism has never been proven to exist in our universe. QM comes close, but it’s more like a black box that we are claiming indeterminism MAY exist inside of, yet lacking final proof, and that in the face of acceptably deterministic explanations for such action.
    And if indeterministic QM is the basis for the workings of our world, how do you describe the fact that every other facet of science is understood deterministically?
    There is a limiting factor or missing understanding of QM which gives it a “god of the gaps” quality that is easily exploited.

  333. Topic ideas

    1) General thoughts on Buddhism ?
    2) How does Music’s cause changes in spiritual states?
    3) Overcoming over-reliance on mechanical causation for materialists

  334. Pingback: URL
  335. Dear JMG,
    my entire life was shaped by sincronicities, which acted in very few, but very meaningful specific special events.

    With time, simply I have taken a road that brought me to uncover realities well bejond the accepted dogmas of rationalist-mechanicist.
    Putting them down straight, I had the Great Answers to the Great Questions. And found with sheer surprise that behind these Answers, a throng of new Great Questions simply were there, waiting to entertain us…

    It seems that there will always be a supply of Great Questions ready…

    Now, I’m aware that I’m in a dubious position, because my current job is science!
    But also I have come in contact with a huge deal of informations about the present and the future that simply I could not reject, but also cannot deliver freely, because they cannot be accepted in the current cultural environment. Great material for a strong cognitive dissonance, indeed!

    Between the lot, is the definition for what we call sincronicity: it is just the effect of our natural personal and collective ability, that is, Manifestation.
    Right. We manifest things into reality. The rules here, in our courrent dimension, is that a delay exist between tought and manifestation, and this delay exist to serve our experience.
    More so, the delay is precisely the reason why we are here as humans.
    Sounds weird, uh?
    There are some weirder things down the lane, but this will be sufficient for now.

    Have a nice day
    Pierluigi

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