Carl Jung > Synchronicity

What is Synchronicity?

The term synchronicity is coined by Jung to express a concept that belongs to him: the acausal connection of two or more psychic and physical phenomena.

cetonia aurata picture
Cetonia Aurata - the
Golden Scarab
This concept was inspired to him by a patient's case that was in a situation of impasse in her treatment. Her exaggerate rationalism (animus inflation) was holding her back from assimilating unconscious materials.

One night, the patient dreamt of a golden scarab - cetonia aurata. The next day, during the psychotherapy session, a real insect hit against the Jung's cabinet window. Jung caught it and discovered surprisingly that it was a golden scarab; a very rare presence for that climate.

One generally speaks about coincidence in cases like this.

But this coincidence is not senseless, a simple one. By using the amplification method, Jung searches for materials in connection with the scarab and comes to the concept of death and rebirth from the esoteric philosophy of antiquity.

Thus the scarab is seen as a symbol of deaths and rebirth process that, in a symbolic way, the patient should experience for the realization of the completeness of her unilateral personality, the cause of the neurosis she was suffering from.

Finally, Jung talks about the significant coincidences of physical and psychological phenomena that are acausal connected.

Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle book cover
Jung's book on synchronicity
Behind all these phenomena he places the constellation of an archetype which, in his view, engages equally objective manifestations - in the physical world - and subjective ones - in the individual's psyche.

Jung wrote a book on synchronicity together with theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate W. Pauli providing proof for his concept. (See the note below.)

Synchronicity, as an explicative theory, applies to phenomena from the area of parapsychology - premonition, telepathy, dreams and so forth - to I Ching (the specific method of consulting and the functioning of the Oracle), astrology and many other borderline fields.

It is also present in the Jungian psychotherapy, as we have already shown, but also in situations where patients find information about their psychotherapists by extrasensory ways, information that was not public, or vice versa, when psychotherapists get information about their patients. The latter case is attested by Jung in his accounts.


Further Resources:

  • The best source for the study of synchronicity is Jung's book Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle. You may order this work from
  • A paper connecting synchronicity and dreams (with quotes from Jung) may be ordered from our papers section here. The paper is included free in our Jung and Dreams email course. Click here to learn more.

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