Tuesday, September 22, 2009


In 1949 Swiss psychologist Carl Jung wrote the foreword for one of the first Western translations of the I Ching. Richard Wilhelm’s translation of this Chinese classic got the attention of the science community because one of the world’s best known psychologists provided credibility to the 2000 year old book. A book that many considered too abstruse to be intelligible, or of no value at all. In his foreword Jung introduced the term Synchronicity, which he described as a concept that takes the coincidence of events in space and time as meaning something more than mere chance.

The Amorillum Spiritual Dictionary www.amorillum.com states that Jung considered synchronicity to be a term that could be used to explain the alignment of universal forces with the life experiences of an individual. Jung believed that many experiences we perceive as coincidences are not coincidence at all, but rather the alignment of these forces creating the situation we find ourselves facing. The I Ching was the foundation of not only Jung’s theory of synchronicity - it also served as the foundation for German philosopher G.F. Hegel’s dialectical theory of history which became the foundation for Karl Marx’s theory of dialectical materialism. The theories of Hegel and Marx made a tremendous impact on the philosophical direction of Western civilization.

I am amazed that a book that is over 2000 years old could serve as the foundation for information technology (Gottfried Von Leibniz’s theory of binary mathematics 1675) and the discovery of the genetic code by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953. In the last paragraph of his famous introduction Jung writes “As to the thousands of questions, doubts, and criticisms that this singular book stirs up, I cannot answer these. The I Ching does not offer itself with proofs and results; it does not vaunt itself, nor is it easy to approach. Like a part of nature, it waits until it is discovered. It offers neither facts nor power, but for lovers of self-knowledge, of wisdom - if there be such - it seems to be the right book.”

As many of you know, I will conduct a four week introductory I Ching (Book of Changes) workshop during the month of October at the City College Adult and Continuing Education program (ACE) www.ccny.cuny.edu/ace. If you are interested call
212 650-7312. If you have thought about developing a better understanding of the I Ching and you are reading my column for the first time by chance - you could be having a synchronistic experience. When you are aligned with the mind of the universe there is no such thing as a coincidence.

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