Explain this SERENDIPITY and these COINCIDENCES?

The_Sage theeSage at azrmci.net
Sun Jul 20 18:43:44 EST 2003


>Reply to article by: "John H." <john at faraway.com>
>Date written: Sun, 20 Jul 2003 23:25:42 +1000
>MsgID:<3f1a97ee at dnews.tpgi.com.au>

>'Co-incidence' is an appellation, not an explanation.

That is exactly why coincidences are very important to psychologists
since the reason for the appellation tells us more about the
psychology of humans than it ever would about physically real reality.

>I just don't know with
>Jung's synchronicity, sometimes things do come together in uncanny ways. I
>cannot dismiss the same as co-incidence ALL the time and if you do the maths
>sometimes the probabilities are vanishingly remote. Indeed, if such
>probabilities were determined for x occurring if we do why, we would argue
>that the risk is infinitesimal and not worth worrying about. Yet in
>retrospect, such events are discounted as being just co-incidence but if
>pressed a priori about the likelihood of the same occurring we would laugh
>uproariously at such a improbable possibility.

Probability is also an appellation and not an explanation. From an
objective point of view, probability means nothing unless the
probability is exactly zero. And that is what Jung meant by
synchronicity -- meaninful coincidences that have zero probability of
occuring.

Take a deck of playing cards for example. The odds of getting a royal
flush at any one time are 649,739.0:1, which is somewhat rare, but
does that mean it is impossible to get a royal flush? You and I know
if you play cards long enough, eventually you will get a royal flush,
but will that mean when you do get a royal flush it will become a
coincidence or a synchronicity? The answer is no to all of the above.
Now if while you are playing cards, you shout, "Come on royal flush"
and a royal flush occurs, that would be an example of a coincidence.
But if you had a 'significant' dream of winning a royal flush at 2PM
the next day, and the next day you got a royal flush at 2PM the next
day, now that would be an example of a synchronicity.

The odds of getting a royal flush are irrelevant, it is the odds of
your dream causing or predicting that you would get a royal flush,
since the odds of a dream being able to influence reality in this
manner is zero, since no conceiveable way is known that could explain
how dreams cause or would predict that you would get a royal flush.

>From a subjective point of view, synchronicities are paranormal or
magical and therefore not in the realm of science, especially since
there is not one valid, properly documented and publicized case of
someone writing down a dream or foreknowledge of an event way in
advance of the event, and then having the event occur just as the
dream or foreknowledge predicted it would. All we ever have are after
the fact storytales where we have to take somebody at their word that
it happened. Jung was no exception to this. But what is most
significant about synchronicities isn't that they don't exist outside
of our imagination, but that so many people want to pretend they exist
and want to pretend that they are 'special' enough to have a few here
and there. The reason for people wanting this tells us alot about the
psychology of humans.

>For example, some weeks ago I
>was on the net and forgot to reconnect the phone line, it remained so for a
>number of hours. Finally sitting down to rest I suddenly jumped up to
>reconnect the phone because I remembered that I had left it disconnected. I
>hadn't even stood up when the phone began ringing. Jane was on the phone and
>I hadn't spoken to her for a few weeks and that was the first time she
>phoned in that period. Now what are the odds that at the very moment I am
>startled and reconnect the phone, she starts dialling and the phone is
>reconnected just in time for it to ring?(10 secs out of 21days
>X24hursX60minsx60secs... ) I related this event to some friends and and they
>told me how they often can anticipate their partner's phone calls. The
>typical rationalist response is, "It's just a co-incidence." Stories like
>this are numerous by the way so it seems co-incidence is a prevalent thing
>in the universe.

The unconscious has no concept of time and is prone to mix up cause
and effect, especially under times of stress. Your phone call is a
perfect example of that since hearing from a long lost girlfriend is a
sudden surprize (read: stress) and that 'jolt' was enough for you to
mix up your memories of cause and effect, creating a false memory.

>Naturally I disdain all forms of religion, including rationalism.

By definition for the word religion, rationalism is not a religion, it
is a philosophy.

>The universe is spooky, get used to it.

Prove it then, because it certainly isn't spooky for me.

>If you don't believe me, read about J
>Wheeler's delayed choice dual slit experiment.

That isn't the universe, that is particle physics. When someone can
tell me if a photon is a particle or a wave or whatever, I will start
paying attention to those experiments, otherwise it would be resorting
to the unknown to explain the unknown.

>No, I won't argue the case,
>it's all up for grabs for me. I practice science, I don't believe in it; and
>I'm not that fucking arrogant as to believe that there's an explanation for
>everything.

Nor does everything need an explanation.

>V. unlikely you would remember your mother's face at 6 weeks of age. Nigh
>impossible actually.

Why would it be impossible?

The Sage

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"Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you still
exist, but you have cease to live" -- Mark Twain
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