EPISODE RELEASED 15th NOV 2021
CAN PHYSICS SHED LIGHT ON HOW SYNCHRONICITY MIGHT WORK?
“Synchronicity: A meaningful coincidence of two or more events where something other than the probability of chance is involved.” C.J. Jung, from ‘Synchronicity: An acausal connecting principal’
The majority of us have experienced some meaningful coincidences in our lives - perhaps the right person to help with a problem got in touch out of the blue at just the right time to help solve it, or the right book randomly ended up in front of you when you have hit a block with a certain question, or a disaster happened that created total upheaval in your life which in retrospect turned out that without that disaster you would never have arrived at a certain really important change in your life.
Of course there is no way of scientifically testing or falsifying either a potential coordination between the causally unconnected events, nor the meaning of those coincidences to the individual. Despite that, the famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung thought that meaning could be as rigorous and objective as logical deduction, setting apart synchronicities from mere statistical coincidences.
So, firmly planting ourselves on the subjective, experience based side of the scientific fence, today we’re going to be exploring what Jung meant by a synchronicity and the evidence in physics that might help to explain at least the possibility of a non-local connection across space and time, or between the ‘inter-psychic world’ as Stanislaf Grof puts it, and material reality. We talked to psychologist Monika Wikman in episode #6 about Jung’s Collective Unconscious concept, so please listeners go back to that episode if you’d like to familiarise with that crucial idea too.
So who better to explain the relevant physics than the executive director of the Los Angeles ‘C.G.Jung Institute’ and theoretical physicist, Christoph Le Mouel. Having moved out of high energy quantum physics when he moved to USA in 2007, he is passionate about the connections between physics and psychology and incredibly knowledgable about the history of science.
What we discuss in this episode:
00:00 Superhero scientists and poems from the unconscious
12:30 Einstein and Jung have dinner: Relativity between space and time and between the psyche and the outside world
13:30 Quantum physicist Wolfgang Pauli asked Jung to write about synchronicity
16:30 Synchronicity: ‘Meaningful equivalence’ between causally unconnected events
19:40 Symbols appearing widely without previous knowledge of them by the patients
21:30 Marie-Louise Von Franz’s ‘Axe killer’ ego consciousness example
24:55 Is it impossible to investigate synchronicity with science despite the acausality?
26:45 Wolfgang Pauli sought therapy from Jung
29:00 The ‘Pauli’ effect
34:00 The incompleteness of quantum mechanics according to Einstein and Pauli
35:00 Pauli wanted a neutral language with analogies to connect quantum mechanics with psychology
37:45 They discussed the unobservable parts of reality, strange numbers and other realities
44:00 Einstein, Podolosky and Rosen’s 1935 acausal entanglement paper
48:45 The implications of the proof of acausality in quantum mechanics
51:30 Einstein and Minkowski - Space and Time are one: Space time
52:30 Einstein’s Twin paradox
55:00 Science cannot deal with meaning, despite statistical significance beyond chance
01:02:30 Nobody understands the implications of Quantum Mechanics, despite the Maths working so well
01:04:20 Quantum Cognition to explain psychological biases and decisions
01:06:20 Uncertainty in quantum mechanics leaves space for creativity and meaning
01:07:50 David Bohm: Bridging psychology and physics using the 'rheomode’ process language
01:10:00 Jung’s Brain as a transformer idea: transforming ‘Infinite intensity’ of the psyche into extension and frequencies.
01:13:00 The Many Worlds Interpretation of the probabilistic frequencies of the quantum field
01:17:00 Stan Grof, altered states and dreams, increasing synchronicities
01:22:20 Meaning is vague, but has effect
01:24:00 Jung on consciousness - conscious/unconscious duality
01:29:45 An incomplete transition, from analysis to synthesis