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Giegerich, W. (2012). A Serious Misunderstanding: Synchronicity and the Generation of Meaning. J. Anal. Psychol., 57(4):500-511.

(2012). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 57(4):500-511

A Serious Misunderstanding: Synchronicity and the Generation of Meaning Related Papers

Wolfgang Giegerich

This paper points to the problem caused by the fact that numerous academic ‘Jung studies’ are conducted on the basis of the English translation of Jung's works without any knowledge of his original texts and illustrates it with the misconstrual that Jung's concept of synchronicity suffered in the studies of many recent authors, as exemplified by two articles in the September 2011 issue of the JAP. The translation of ‘sinngemäße Koinzidenz’ as ‘meaningful coincidence’ seduced those writers to take synchronistic ‘meaning’ as meaning the meaningfulness of life or even as ‘transcendent meaning’, which is incompatible with Jung's synchronicity concept, and to replace Jung's strictly intellectual project of establishing an explanatory principle for synchronistic events (in addition to the principle of causality for all other events) by the fundamentally different project of focusing on the impact that such events may have for the experiencing subjective mind, on ‘human meaning-making’, and, with a decidedly anti-intellectual bias, of hoping for ‘shifts into non-rational states of mind’.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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