at the risk of seeming ridiculous…

The Work of the Spirit?

Posted in written thoughts by Charles on October 13, 2007

I’m sure many of us have felt it.  I’m not talking about instances purely related to the spiritual.  I’m talking about those moments where things just seem to come together.  Things that are seemingly unrelated just happen to come together at a certain place in time.  This phenomenon has many names.  Grace, providence, destiny, chance, choice, etc.  I would personally call it hope.  Hope that something bigger than all of us is at work.  That perhaps there are moments where truth clothed in beauty breaks into the world.

The collective unconscious and the theory of synchronicity were probably the most notable contributions Carl Jung gave to the world of psychology, or perhaps just the world in general.  Whereas Freud would not differentiate between an individual and collective psychology, Jung focused his work around the collective.  He talked about there being something that happens in our unconscious, which is common to all, that intuitively knows and has a better grasp on our ideal selves than our own egos.  Jung calls this collective unconscious the “reservoir of the experiences of our species.”  I’m reminded of this scene from the film, Waking Life, where two of the characters start talking about puzzles.  A test was conducted on a person, one of the characters said, on how fast he can finish a puzzle.  The first puzzle given was not yet released to the public.  The interesting phenomenon was the second puzzle.  Unknowingly to the test taker, the second puzzle had been released to the public a day before.  The person finished the second puzzle significantly faster than the first one.  The character concluded that it seems as though once the answers are already “out there,” we seem to all intuitively “know” it.

So why the talk of psychology?  And how does this relate to “the work of the spirit” as my entry is perhaps pretentiously called.  Well, it is wrapped up in this notion of synchronicity.  Jung developed this theory by describing it as an experience where multiple events that are meaningfully connected occur together, but these events are also unrelated.  Things happen together, yet the actors involved in those events are somewhat unaware of the happenings of the other events.  This idea was used by Jung to describe the dynamic of the things that govern the human experience.  The mover of the collective unconscious if you will.

The 60s.  1960s to be exact.  I can think of no better decade in history that dramatizes Jung’s theories (also because I’m obsessed with the 60s… but that’s for another day).  Here we have this moment in history where people rise up and take the direction of history into their own hands.  But what makes this event incredibly significant is that it was not just in America.  Many of us will often think of the Civil Rights movement when thinking of the 60s.  MLK.  Malcolm X.  But we fail to recognize that the liberation movement of the 60s was a global event.  Barack Obama often refers to the civil rights movement as something that gave ripples off to other parts of the globe that inspired movements.  This is a bit too glorifying for America.  I would argue that it’s something greater.  Something that took hold of people not just in the states, but also in Europe, Latin America, South Africa, China, etc.  Malcolm X, after traveling around the world, said it well in that the world was having a revolution.  Not just black people.  Something took hold of the world and pushed it forward to its dynamic liberation.

Jazz and blues.  It only takes traveling to various countries to realize that music is a synchronistic phenomenon as well.  As jazz was having its heyday in Harlem, Bossa was springing up in Sao Paulo.  We mustn’t also forget about the developments of South African jazz.  The basis of these forms of music is the dissonance created by the 7, augmented, flat 5 / flat 9, and diminished chords.  These chords represent the anguish experienced by suffering people.  To that effect, one could also see the emergence of arirang folk songs in Korea during the Japanese occupation as well as its further development through Korea’s tragic history.  It is in the nature of the blues to sing your sorrows away so that you can be free.  I don’t think that it’s by pure chance that these developments across the world emphasized the struggle and liberation.  Again, I believe that it was something greater that knew the hearts of men and its yearnings for freedom.

Jung touched on something profound.  Perhaps it was the spirit of God he was tapping into.  That’s what I would like to think anyways.  Nevertheless, I am filled with hope because I know that something knows our ideals better than we do.  And that it is dynamic in its push to get us there.

*Much of this was inspired by talks with d.sohn during this past summer.


4 Responses

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  1. david sohn said, on October 13, 2007 at 20:32

    great entry.

  2. Dan said, on October 13, 2007 at 23:26

    Are you referring to the cultural revolution as China’s part in this global revolution?

  3. Charles said, on October 13, 2007 at 23:49

    No i’m not. I’m talking about the student activism. Although, I would say that I understand the idea behind the cultural revolution and that it’s not necessarily a completely bad idea. Of course, the way it was carried out… no go.

    Now, it’s given that a lot of these countries that had movements arising did not just begin in the 60s. But i just see that decade as the culmination, or dramatization rather, of many of these historical processes. Now with china, student activism had more of its widespread impact in 1919… also Korea’s independence movement came some time before the 60s as well. So the dates aren’t completely in sync. But I suppose i’m trying to point out the process.

    Good question tho. You pointed out the flaw of over-generalizing.

  4. Fausto Intilla said, on October 14, 2007 at 18:40

    a)The Jungian Theory of Syncronicity, is a clear demonstration that
    everything in this Universe is predeterminated.The Heisenberg’s
    Indetermination Principle comes from the human ignorance
    (we cannot see the reality in its totality)…so only an ignorant,can believe in Free Will.

    b)Matter is a complex form of energy; Energy
    is a complex form of Information; Information…is God’s Thought.

    The Universe is God…so we are parts of God.

    c) Every kind of “human desire”,is followed by a Chain of “Electron wave
    functions collapses” (in agreement with Schrödinger’s Theory) which will not
    follow ours expectations! …So the paradox is: if we want to get hold of
    something,we shouldn’t have to search for it. (Men stay still,and the mountains move…).
    A curiosity: The connection between the electron
    wave-function and the human intent has to do with the fact that
    experiments have proved that the intentions of the operator of a radio
    transmission facility, directly and instrumentably alter the
    “footprint”, the radiation pattern of the antenna. It has also been
    shown that the intent of the human being causes a divergence in
    the quantum field (which is the information field).
    Any divergence in the information field results in
    alterations of “probability”, which directly influences
    the outcome of any system which contains any element
    of chance, directly influencing the resulting observable
    events. (See the work of Princeton Engineering Anomalies
    Research at


    “In agreement with Henri Bergson’s thought (see the last pages of “Entre
    le temps et l’éternité” of Ilya Prigogine ,Librairie Arthème Fayard,Paris),
    we can accept the idea of a “Space-time absolute value”, where
    all the “Space-time relativ values” are incorporated (in agreement with Einstein’s
    theory of relativity); the conclusion is that there is only one Real
    Matrix of the Universe…so every other possible /potential parallel
    “event/dimension/future” it’s only a human illusion.

    All the other parallel Universes (or Multi-Universes,as Phd. Everett said)
    can only exist in our minds…perhaps whilst dreaming.

    Unfortunately several physicists are conditioned by Heisenberg’s Principle of
    Indetermination…which, as you will know, is enough explain the
    existence of Free Will.

    Well, the Principle of Indetermination is hardly bound by the limits of
    observations made by the human brain.

    (We cannot see the reality in its totality…Bohm taught).

    If we accept the idea that our Universe really is God,well,in a infinite
    Caos of Energy too, there must to be a logical (but not for human
    brain),exact,specific,and perfectly organized …Plan.

    How many significant (important) coincidences can happen to a person in his
    life,living in a unorganizated and stupid Universe?…I think no-one.
    Every synchronism in our life, is like an open-eyes-dream (Jung
    taught)…and we can thank the fine intelligence of our Universe…if
    they happen.”

    Fausto Intilla
    (Inventor-scientific divulger)

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