Is it the Collective Unconscious or Google Spying on you? – On C.G. Jung and Synchronicity

When you suddenly see kingfishers everywhere and you assign meaning. Then C.G. Jung calls this synchronicity or is it just well-done Marketing brought to you by Google? An unknown word appeared in my life and it was the project name from Action from Switzerland called “Halcyon Days”. I had to spell this word several times as I mentioned it on several occasions. And I always got it wrong.

So on a Monday night when I was watching a documentary on C.G. Jung and synchronicity, I noted down the correct spelling. I hoped that I would now spell it correctly. That evening I learned that there are a few “coincidences” between C.G. Jung and J.R.R. Tolkien. That was quite a fascinating discovery as I feel these two come from two completely separate fields of my life. However, the connections are intriguing. 

Kingfishers everywhere

Then, I heard from a friend about an old seventies TV-series that I binged on. It was one of those cold Saturdays and Sundays where going out of the house was just not an option. Guess what? One of the main families in the series had the last name “Halcyon”. I then learned how to pronounce it and found out that it is actually a special kind of tree kingfisher (bird). I finally checked Wikipedia: “Halcyon Days is an oblique reference to the Greek mythological figure Alcyone”.

“Ovid and Hyginus both also make the metamorphosis the origin of the etymology for “halcyon days“, the seven days in winter when storms never occur. They state that these were originally the 14 days each year (seven days on either side of the shortest day of the year[5]) during which Alcyone (as a kingfisher) laid her eggs and made her nest on the beach and during which her father Aeolus, god of the winds, restrained the winds and calmed the waves so she could do so in safety. The phrase has since come to refer to any peaceful time. Its proper meaning, however, is that of a lucky break, or a bright interval set in the midst of adversity; just as the days of calm and mild weather are set in the height of winter for the sake of the kingfishers’ egglaying.

Now you all know that Wikipedia is not scientific but it is often a good first reference for discovery, especially if you are looking for connections. Today, I read an article in which Ellie Golding was mentioned. And she has an album called “Halcyon Days” . Yes, it’s a coincidence, maybe…maybe not. Maybe Gaby Tan, the founder of AFS is a fan of that seventies series or Ellie Golding or really good at Greek mythology or maybe she just likes the bird.

Synchronicity

What C.G. Jung would say though is that I assigned a deeper meaning to this and that is why it is synchronicity. I was ruminating about the question if I should continue to edit my Bollywood-meets-Bond-style novel “Double Happiness”. Maybe you don’t know that I ventured into creative writing a few years ago. I never fully finished “Double Happiness”. Fear took hold of me. I did not see immediate success and decided to quit. Part 1 was published, Parts 2 to 4 are draft manuscripts lying around on my computer. I did not even know if I still had them.

And then out of the universe I get a sign that reminds me of India. The kingfishers are everywhere and my favorite Indian beer brand is “Kingfisher”. I cannot remember a time in my life that was so mellow and calm. So, if I wanted to lay my artistic eggs this fasting period up to Easter 2018 would be the best time to do it.

The Lens of the Writer and the Paintbrush of the Artist

We look at life through a different angle. As writers we have a lens. We make the normal day-to-day visible with words just like a painter who brushes a situation in a shopping center into a piece of art or a photographer who captures a war story in one image. What we do with our writing is to paint a world inside your head and sometimes we touch your soul. And when we touch your soul we feel connected through the words. There is beauty in that.

What I did not really know about C.G. Jung until the recent explorations was that he painted and that he was so interested in mythical topics. When I picked up the archetypes for the second time, his words about cultural separation seemed so up to date it was almost scary.

“Unser Intellekt hat Ungeheures geleistet, derweilen unser geistliches Haus zerfallen ist….Schliesslich graben wir die Weisheit aller Zeiten und Völker aus und finden, dass alles Teuerste und Kostbarste schon längst in schönster Sprache gesagt ist.” (Carl Gustav Jung, Archetypen, originally 1934, 2010 ed., p. 19)

Can you grasp the idea that there is a collective unconscious in this world and that we can tab into it like into a radar? There is a painting in Jung’s red book that symbolizes the channel to the collective soul. For a while, when the Internet was fairly new in the 90-ies and only geeks knew about it many of them thought of the Internet as our collective consciousness. I felt it was Twitter for a long time.

What has our Collective Unconscious Become?

Is the Internet now the collective, global expression of our fears, prejudice and biases? And are we just stuck in a loop where what we set out there echos back to us? Did I find Halcyon’s everywhere because I was looking for them? Is it all just selective perception or is it Google spying on me? 

This needs further exploration. Rest assured though that the answers will rock your grounds, shake your inner most beliefs of what is true and what is not. Are you with me on this journey?

Tell me about your synchronicity experiences please.



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