JOURNAL OF POSSIBLE
Issue 2, Fall '94
The Tao of Psychology
Synchronicity & the Self
by Jean Shinoda Bolen
Reviewed by SMiles
Jean Bolen is a Jungian analyst and psychiatrist with
several wonderful books to her name. The Tao of Psychology is the perfect
introduction to the parapsychology of meaning where synchronicity imbues
greater significance to coincidental events in our every day lives. The
book is brief and easy to read. She captures Jung's ideas of archetypes
and the collective unconscious perfectly, encouraging what she calls the
Agatha Christie approach to detecting and analyzing synchronicity. She
adds an important intuitive perspective by developing Jung's thoughts as
they relate to the ideas of the eastern Tao and I-Ching.
"Synchronistic events are the clues that point to the
existence of an underlying connecting principle. Whenever synchronicity
occurs, the visible and tangible 'ten thousand things' are experienced
as being aspects of the one, while the invisible matrix, that inexpressible,
ineffable, unseen connection; the Tao, is the great mystery."
Coincidences become synchronicities through a process identical
to Jungian dream analysis. Symbolic interpretations are drawn when the
patient/experiencer feels the connection of inner feeling and outer events.
"Like a Waking Dream" we can experience existence as an aboriginal dreamtime:
"The coincidental timing and symbolic quality of such
events convince people of synchronicity. The coincidence is between a psychological
situation and an outer accident, meeting, or event - in which the outer
situation is a symbolic representation of the psychological struggle or
conflict. It seems to me that synchronicity is frequent, but unless an
individual has some insight into the psychological situation the symbolic
coincidence is not appreciated. Like ignored dreams, they have no impact."
Jean Bolen's works are highly recommended. From her Goddesses
in Everywoman and Gods in Everyman to Ring of Power and
to Avalon. Her balanced perspectives are an asset to our future.