Monday, February 05, 2007

Synchronicity

Do you ever think about synchronicity ( idea coined by Carl Jung: "temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events") or even simple coincidence?

On Saturday I was chatting with colleague Dave Mason about a project. In conversation he brought up how he used to love reading when he was a child. He would read White Fang under the covers with a torch after his official bed time. I remembered White Fang from my own childhood, and The Call of the Wild, by the same author. But I couldn't, for the life of me remember the writer's name. Of course it is Jack London.

The coincidence was that this afternoon I received an email from 'The Ripples Project'. I usually don't have time to open them, but today I did and this was contained within:

I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark
should burn out in a brilliant blaze
than it should be stifled by dry rot.

I would rather be a superb meteor,
every atom of me in magnificent glow,
than a sleepy and permanent planet.

The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.


-Jack London

I like the sentiment.

But what are the chances of that?

2 comments:

  1. David, Your comment goes back to 2007, but maybe you'll pick this up (nine years later)! Originally from Santa Rosa, I grew up, of course, with the London "mythes" as a part of everyday life. Came to France for a year in 1965 and stayed until a sabbatical took me back to SR from 1996 to 2001. I had virtually lost contact with hometown and family until then and the only real "event" that might have brought me to ask certain questions had been a dream my father had in the early '50s concerning a fatal accident in Red Bluff which occured at the exact moment (1:15am) -- Father dreamt that my sister's husband was handing him their nine-day old son and asking him to watch over him. That he had had a truck accident and they were giving him only three days to live. The hospital in Red Bluff called that morning and my brother-in-law passed away three days later. I'd never heard of New Age this or that and Carl Jung was a vague name I'd heard when I took a first year psychology class, but thought he had something to do with African anthropology! Was it because of my long absence and finding myself in a space where anything could happen -- I thought I was hired to teach French in a High School. Now retired, I was a tenured teacher here at that time. In any case the events that followed hadn't a millionth of a chance of being due to simple conincidence. It took me four years before deciding to consult a French psychologist who, sent me to a Jungian analyst. Seven years later I'm totally convinced of one thing: Reality is far more complicated than our senses often lead us to believe and the physicist with whom I live and who has been through several NDEs not only wouldn't disagree, but smiles at the fact that all this continues to "amaze" me?

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  2. PS What relationship does all this have to do with Jack London? During my stay back in SR I wrote a series of six full-page articles for two French newspapers. Two of these articles concerned Jack London. I found myself reading London both in English and French. We know that London often chose extremely "flowery" language (latin based literary style)probably due to his feelings of inferiority and "bastard" status -- a wolf is pure, White Fang was of mixed-blood. In short, once stripped of its latin "accouterment" I found a totally different reading in French. I know that London discovered Jung toward the end of his life and, according to London's daughter, actually wrote a series of short stories based on Jung's achetypes.

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