Remo F. Roth

Dr. oec. publ., Ph.D.

dipl. analyt. Psychologe (M.-L. v. Franz)

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Further contributions about Carl Jung's synchronicity principle see in Psychovision, Synchronicity Page


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Introduction to Carl G. Jung's Principle of Synchronicity

by Remo F. Roth, PhD, CH-8810 Horgen-Zuerich, Switzerland

Thanks to Phyllis Luthi ( for the help with the translation


In today's world we reduce all events to the Principle of Cause and Effect (causality) and ask, which cause belongs to which effect. Carl G. Jung, toward the end of his life, realized that there is another type of events. Such events are directed toward a goal, that is, they lead into an event which has no cause. Therefore, they correspond to a new creation. In religious language such "effects" without "cause" were considered as miracles. The Catholic Church calls the underlying principle the providence of God.

When one observes one's dreams over a longer period of time, one becomes aware that often outward events occur that are very similar to the content of one's dreams. It would seem that the inner world and the outer world coincide. Carl G. Jung had suggested that one should - instead of looking for a magical relationship, as they did in medieval times - try to find the common meaning of such relatively simultaneous inner and outer events. The principle that underlies this nexus he called synchronicity.

Jung cites in his letters [vol. 1, 1973, p. 395] an occurrence that is an impressive example of synchronicity: "For instance, I walk with a woman patient in a wood. She tells me about the first dream in her life that had made an everlasting impression upon her. She had seen a spectral fox coming down the stairs in her parental home. At this moment a real fox comes out of the trees not 40 yards away and walks quietly on the path ahead of us for several minutes. The animal behaves as if it were a partner in the human situation."

According to Jung it would be wrong and extremely dangerous, to see a causal relationship between the two occurrences and to say that one event was the cause of the other. That would be nothing other than a relapse to the magical-causal thinking of the middle ages. Instead of this we must accept that the two occurrences are not causally connected, but rather by a common meaning. This means that we have to extract the meaning of the symbol "fox" for the interpretation of this synchronicity. This would somehow purport, that the dreamer herself - symbolically speaking - should be lead much more by her "inner fox", meaning that she must recover the instinctive cleverness she had lost with her intellectual point of view.

When one has experienced a number of such synchroncitities (see also Carl G. Jung’s Scarab Synchronicity), one gains over time the impression that there is a wisdom within them, far beyond that of our conscious knowledge. Furthermore, they would indicate that the inner world, for example dreams out of the so-called unconscious, know something about the outward, but also that the outer, the animate or even the inanimate material world knows something about the inner. Carl G. Jung had therefore put forth the postulate that there has to be a world in which inner and outer world, psyche and matter are connected in an undifferentiated unity. This world was called the unus mundus in the Middle Ages [see also the UNUS MUNDUS forum]. Carl G. Jung and Wolfgang Pauli looked for this world and called it the unified psychophysical reality ("die psychophysische Einheitswirklichkeit") beyond the split in matter and psyche. One must consider this a potential world out of which causeless new creations can occur. Synchronistic events show the moment that this potential world will incarnate into the concrete.

In the above example it was in the moment of that the fox emerged in the forest that this moment came in which the stricken woman came out of her intellectualism and was able to recover her instinctive cleverness. Jung would probably have said something like the following to her: "You see, now the fox is also outside. Invite the symbol of instinctive cleverness into your world and you will be lead by it in your later life. Forget all of your ifs or buts, conquer all your intellectual blocks in this way and begin to trust your instinctive wisdom which will show you the right way." Through the experience and the interpretation of this synchronicity would the consciousness of the client abruptly transform and this impressive occurrence would lead to a new meaning to her future life.

Physically seen the principle of cause and effect leads finally into so-called Entropy, in other words the so called "heat death" of the universe. The differences in energy between various parts decrease until there is no more difference, energy no longer can flow, and life is extinguished.

Similar events one can observe in the psychic realm. People who have been bound too long to the causal paradigma begin to die in this life. Unconsciously they will become "living deads". Thus the Sufis, the mystics of Islam - say these words of wisdom: "Die before you die!" By this they mean that in such people a new conscious orientation should take place which effects so that the consciousness then would much more be connected to the principle of synchronicity instead to causality. This letting go of old tried and true, this giving up of the power principle, of "Where there's a will there's a way!" works like an elixier vitae. Such people begin a second life which falls under the principle of synchronicity. I call it Synchronicity Quest, which means that they begin to let theirselves be lead by coincidences and to take assistance from their dreams in order to learn to understand wherein the way of life further leads. In greatly critical moments synchronicities come to pass which show the real goal of life, which can not be found by will and causalistic thinking.

Experience shows that such synchronicities work negentropically, meaning that they build new psychic energy fields out of which further new life possibilities emerge. People grow in this manner and those who take their dreams and synchronicities seriously have a chance to lead a life filled with a new and deeper meaning. Thereby they have simultaneously overcome the paradigma of causality while entering into a new age of synchronicity which appears on the horizon of the new millennium.



see also

English Homepage of Remo F. Roth (further articles in English) (articles about Synchronicity, Wolfgang Pauli and Carl G. Jung)

Wolfgang Pauli and Parapsychology

Wolfgang Pauli und die Wiederkehr der Weltseele (in German)