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Letters Volume II

To Enrique Butelman

Dear Sir, July 1956

Concerning the Spanish translation of my book Naturerkliirung und Psyche I should advise you to make use of the English version.

In comparison with the original German text there are quite a number of improvements in the English, which I think should be considered in the Spanish edition.

I think also that the appendix added by the English editors should form part of your edition.

I am very interested in the fact that you have taken up the subject of synchronicity.

My ideas in this respect seem to be highly incomprehensible, to judge from the reactions I got.

People seem to be incapable of following my conclusions

It seems that they are particularly shocked by my using astrological statistics and that I believe that nothing is explained by the words telepathy, precognition, etc . . . . Physicists are even unable to accept the fact that the term statistics presupposes the existence of exceptions to the rule, as really existent as their averages.

Causality as a statistical truth presupposes the existence of acausality, otherwise it cannot be a statistical truth.

In other words, the exceptions to causality are real facts which I try to envisage from the standpoint of their meaningful coincidence or synchronicity.

As a rule the improbability of a series of meaningful coincidences (i.e., of identical meaning) Increases with the number of its individual occurrences.

The question now is, where to find such a series.

Astrology is for the reasons indicated in my book-not a safe field for investigation.

Rhine’s chance method has yielded the best results yet, but it remains sterile in view of a point of special interest.

It concerns the question: what is the psychological condition in which a synchronistic phenomenon may be expected?

Rhine’s results have already shown that the test-person’s lively interest is of paramount importance.

When it slackens by the test-person getting accustomed the results quickly deteriorate.

A certain affective condition seems to be indispensable.

One has therefore to look for emotional conditions.

We are actually investigating accidents, i.e., fractures with their preceding dreams and the corresponding results of other chance-methods of mediaeval origin as f.i. geomantics, horoscopy, playing cards, etc.

We have some encouraging results.

Owing to the traditional psychological nature of the said methods they permit a certain insight into the underlying unconscious constellations and their archetypal structure.

I have observed personally quite a number of synchronistic events where I could establish the nature of the underlying archetype.

The archetype itself (nota bene not the archetypal representation!) is psychoid, i.e., transcendental and thus relatively beyond the categories of number, space, and time.

That means, it approximates to oneness and immutability.

Owing to the liberation from the categories of consciousness the archetype can be the basis of meaningful coincidence.

It is quite logical therefore that you are interested in the effect of mescalin and similar drugs belonging to the adrenalin group.

I am following up these investigations.

It is true that mescalin uncovers the unconscious to a great extent by removing the inhibitory influence of apperception and by replacing the latter through the normally latent syndromous associations.

Thus we see the painter of colours, the inventor of forms, the thinker of thoughts actually at work.

Sincerely yours,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 317-319.