coincidence or coincidence? Between causality and synchronicity


Post photo: spacetime | © Willgard Krause from Pixabay
The post was originally on Lothar Birkner's weblog published.

Almost everyone has probably experienced something similar in their life. Something happens or you meet someone that somehow seems to make sense without there being a reasonable explanation for it. Most of the time you do that with the comment: But that was a strange coincidence. Or the question arises as to whether a higher power might be at work here. Most adherents of classical science largely dismiss such reasoning as mystical talk. Solid physical evidence and insight is lacking.

The Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology CG Jung, has studied this phenomenon very intensively. Jung also worked with the physicist and Nobel laureate Wolfgang Pauli had a lively exchange of letters from 1947 and was looking for a physical interpretation of so-called synchronicity. Jung and Pauli were in an intensive written dialogue for a long time. As far as other well-known physicists were concerned, the idea that mental states and the inanimate world should be connected and somehow interact was probably too daring for them.

In the last two decades, as some of the insights that quantum physics brings to the table have raised more and more questions, the attitude of some physicists has changed somewhat. Quantum physics is the study of the very smallest: it describes how elementary particles, atoms and other tiny objects behave. In addition to the theory of relativity, it is one of the pillars of modern physics and has been challenging philosophers and thinkers for 100 years because of its bizarre laws.

The thought experiment by is downright legendary Erwin Schrodinger from the 1930s: He imagined what would happen to a cat obeying the rules of quantum physics. In this case, she could be dead and alive at the same time. Quantum mechanics deals with the smallest parts, smaller than an atom. The discoveries of quantum physics have expanded the mechanical Newtonian world view and given us a different view of the world. What Einstein once described as "spooky action at a distance" is one of the most paradoxical and amazing principles in all of physics. Entanglement allows particles to be correlated in such a way that they can no longer be characterized independently - even though they are in different locations.

Some scientists come to the conclusion that there are surprising but undeniable parallels or connections between the spiritual world and the world of quantum physics. The physicist and physician Christian Hellweg, who has spent years scientifically researching the functions of the brain, is convinced that the properties of the mental correspond exactly to those characteristics that characterize the extremely mysterious and wondrous phenomena of the quantum world. the physicist Hans Peter Dürr even formulates his insights as follows: “Matter is the crust of the spirit”. And he goes on to say: “In quantum physics, spirit corresponds to what we call potentiality. So I could say by analogy, everything is made up of spirit, reality is spirit, matter is a tangible expression.”

The bottom line is that there are many more amazing findings and open questions than reliable, proven answers. In any case, the separation between humanities such as philosophy or psychology on the one hand and physics on the other hand no longer seems to be as strictly maintained as many thought for a long time. Consciousness, often dismissed as an epiphenomenon by classical physics, seems to be of great importance in this context. The world view - everything is matter, the rest is only downstream - does not seem tenable. Although I have always rejected the interpretation that the material brain alone is decisive, and consciousness and thoughts are just secreted by the brain (roughly like the kidneys excrete urine). 

Certainly there will be new research results and insights in the future. We do not know whether human cognitive abilities will ever be sufficient to answer all these questions conclusively. In the end, the statement remains CG Jung,: "We don't have secrets, the real secrets have us." 

“Everything has its hour. For every happening under heaven there is a definite time: a time to give birth / and a time to die, / a time to plant / and a time to uproot the plants, a time to kill / and a time to heal, / one A time to tear down / and a time to build, a time to weep / and a time to laugh, / a time to mourn / and a time to dance; a time to throw stones / and a time to gather stones / a time to hug / and a time to break the hug, a time to seek / and a time to lose / a time to keep / and a time to throw away, one A time to tear / And a time to sew / A time to be silent / And a time to speak / A time to love / And a time to hate / A time for war / And a time for peace."

Bible, Standard Translation (2016, Ecclesiastes 3,1:8-XNUMX)

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