In 1952 C. G. Jung published a paradoxical hypothesis on synchronicity that marked an attempt to expand the western world's conception of the relationship between nature and the psyche. Jung's hypothesis sought to break down the polarizing cause-effect assessment of the world and psyche, suggesting that everything is interconnected. Thus, synchronicity is both "a meaningful event" and "an acausal connecting principle." Evaluating the world in this manner opened the door to "exploring the possibility of meaning in chance or random events, deciphering if and when meaning might be present even if outside conscious awareness."
Now, after contextualizing Jung's work in relation to contemporary scientific advancements such as relativity and quantum theories, Joseph Cambray explores in this book how Jung's theories, practices, and clinical methods influenced the current field of complexity theory, which works with a paradox similar to Jung's synchronicity: the importance of symmetry as well as the need to break that symmetry for "emergence" to occur. Finally, Cambray provides his unique contribution to the field by attempting to trace "cultural synchronicities," a reconsideration of historical events in terms of their synchronistic aspects. For example, he examines the emergence of democracy in ancient Greece in order "to find a model of group decision making based on emergentist principles with a synchronistic core."
"Cambray has written the clearest and most coherent study to date on the subject of synchronicity. This book deserves to be widely read and disseminated because in the past 'synchronicity' has been enshrouded with confusion and prejudice and the general reader has not been able to find a suitable point of entry into the debate. . . What is remarkable about this book is that Cambray takes synchronicity out of the confines of Jungian studies and links it to current research taking place in a variety of new and exciting fields in physics and the natural sciences." (
Journal of Analytical Psychology)
"In his study of Synchronicity, Joseph Cambray has masterfully blended the historical and known with the cutting and emerging edges of humanity's grasp of its inner and outer reality. He has managed to produce a book that a novice in Jungian studies would find comprehensible, and that C. G. Jung himself would find compelling." (Beverley Zabriskie, Jungian Analyst)
"Joe Cambray has been at the forefront of new developments in Jungian theory and practice over the last decade. This book provides an opportunity to see the range and depth of his thinking on synchronicity in its entirety. Cambray's book is essential reading for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of this central element in C.G. Jung's system of psychology.” (George B. Hogenson, author, Jung's Struggle with Freud)
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