Dream Analysis/Interpretation by Dream Analyst
Gerald Gifford {at Forum #1}

Since 1998

Since 2012

Since 2005
Contribute to
Kitty Fund
The Dream Forum Is Open

By submitting a post you have read and agree to Our Disclaimer/Privacy Policy



Power of Dreams/MDS Dream Forum
Start a New Topic 
Author
Comment
Synchronicity - Chance Encounters That Are Life Changing

This is a re-post with a lot of editing from an earlier post.

Ah yes, Synchronicity! This is the most controversial of Jung's theories. And hard to prove. But when we look at our 'chance' encounters that turn out to be major interventions, many often prove to be life changing events and we have to wonder, 'was it a Synchronistic event'?
Here is how this theory came about:

This concept was inspired to Jung by a patient's case that was in situation of impasse in treatment. Her exaggerate rationalism (animus inflation) was holding her back from assimilating unconscious materials. One night, the patient dreamt a golden scarab - cetonia aurata. The next day, during the psychotherapy session, a real insect this time, hit against the Jung's cabinet window. Jung caught it and discovered surprisingly that it was a golden scarab; a very rare presence for that climate.

Cetonia Aurata or the Colden Scarab
So, the idea is all about coincidence: in this case, between the scarab dreamt by the patient and its appearance in reality, in the psychotherapy cabinet.

But this coincidence is not senseless, a simple coincidence. By using the amplification method, Jung associates in connection with the scarab and comes to the concept of death and rebirth from the esoteric philosophy of antiquity, a process that, in a symbolic way, the patient should experience for a renewal and vitalization of her unilateral personality, the cause of the neurosis she was suffering from.

My Chance Encounter




My great sychronistic experience, a story I have repeated many times at the Dream Forum previously, was the Sunday afternoon I had return home from running errands with my wife. As soon as I got through the door I went to the television and turned it on. I remember this event vividly, something I have trouble with in normal experiences. The station was tuned to the local PBS channel {even before my 'rebirth' I was an enthusiastic viewer of PBS} where I saw Bill Moyers {someone I was very familiar with from previous experiences, and he being the one time press secretary for Lyndon Johnson} talking with this guy named Joseph Campbell {someone I had never heard of}. The subject was mythology, a subject I had little knowledge of. I was immediately captured by the conversation and was glued to my seat for the entire 60 minutes the program ran. It turned out to be the first of six hour long conversations with Campbell entitled 'The Power of Myth' and it is still a staple video series PBS stations across the country often use for fundraising promotions.

I sat through the program and was mesmerized by the conversation. When the program ended I was totally enthralled and I remember thinking to myself, 'this is important'! I knew something had occurred that would be meaningful in my life.
And it has been!

A simple chance encounter that occurred 18 years ago. I was so taken by that conversion, and the next five hours of programming that followed on consecutive Sundays, I began to read all I could about Campbell and mythology. Read and buy all the audio books available, listening to them over and over again {this was before the internet became the institution it is today}.
That led to Jung and the dream and more books/audio books. And many, many other authors of related themes {among them Marion Woodman, Elaine Pagels, Jean Houston, Allan Watts, Stephen and Robin Larsen, Jonathan Young, James Hillman, and of course cursory reading of the great philosophers, anthropologists and the other sciences related to anything to do with the psyche}.

And as I sit here I can honestly say it has become who I am, that one moment in time 18 years ago being a transformation from the old self to someone entirely different, a better person, a spiritual person {not religious, religion is for those who must be led through the trials of life instead of taking charge of one's own life see below}. And just how big a transformation it has been is not ordinary. From a couch potato who was controlled by unconscious stimuli with little inclination to use my mental facilities {that is beyond making judgements of who will win the next football game}, to someone who lives to think and discern the possibilities, loves the philosophical conversation, and believes the real world is 'within' and the outer world is but a dream {speaking metaphorically, or am I?}.



As I look back the whole transformation experience I can see it was during those mid-life years, that natural time/phase of change in life, something I often witness in many of those who post their dreams for interpretation. Having realized this change of life process in my own life, and the whole experience of becoming a different and better person, at the age of 60 {an age I don't look, feel or act} I am looking forward to early retirement at 62 so I can put all my efforts to my dream work at the Dream Forum. And to broaden the pages of Myths-Dreams-Symbols. This is my true bliss, my creative/spiritual journey that both Campbell and Jung assured me of achieving if I followed the hero path. A soulful life of bliss, balance and harmony, surrendering to that 'inner being' whose sole/soul desire is for creativity and spirituality. I am convinced this is a path anyone can follow and achieve, if only they surrender to the true identity of the Self.

I have found this is a path few are able to follow. Letting go of the ego and surrendering to the Self, that is something our society, religion and culture forbids us to do. And the emotions, to take control of that aspect is to die a death of many piercing spears. Most can not even bare the pain of losing their material worth let alone taking control of their own emotions.
The Importance of Spirituality

The spiritual part is most important in how I conduct myself in the social realm where I have less control of those forces outside my creative domain. This involves ethics, honesty and a desire to provide a service and product for others that benefits them more than it does myself. And I put an emphasis on 'more'. WWJD-WWBD. What would Jesus do in any social interaction with his fellow man? How does Buddha consciousness fit with those same interactions? A spiritual approach to everything I do in life, not a cursory attempt to placate the ego. Religious people live that kind of life, a vain attempt to look spiritual. A truly spiritual person walks the walk as well as talks the talk. We all 'fall short' but the reasons why have more to do with a lack of trying more than it has to do with really wanting to succeed. Religious folk are stuck in the ego world, true spirituality requires a death to that world of ego control.

The rewards for living a creative/spiritual life? For me is has been my bliss when working with the dream. Especially those times when I get a response from and interpretation such as "Oh my God. You just blew me away" {with your interpretation}. I have helped someone realize what was there all along. In doing so there is an awareness that can help that person better understand who they are and hopefully live that better life that awaits them.

And in the social realm where I find myself putting so much of my energies {fence contractor}. Two great benefits. The first is knowing, and feeling, I have done something good for the other person. Walking away from 'every' job knowing we provided something that is beneficial to each person we serve. That is special.

The second? In this time of the 'Great Recession' business has been bountiful. I am sure it is a direct result of providing a good, honest service, letting ethics be the driving force in how I approach the business I conduct in making my living. I am having, and making an impact on someone else's life. This is important to me and I give thought to it all the time. 'Do unto others as you would have them to unto you'. To do so comes with rewards. Psychological, in the first benefit, and monetary because I lived the first.

It is a sea change from that old person I once was. And it provides positive benefits related to cause and effect. But in my mind it goes beyond that realm to a deeper aspect within nature. A simple equation to live by, one that works because it is a part of nature, 'what goes around comes around'. Nature, the natural world, is where we all began, and where it all ends. Natural law is the law for which I can believe since it is the only source that provides factual answers to all questions. I believe in the question but thrive to learn the answers.

I tend to live by simple equations. I have simplified my life so there are less emotional boundaries to follow. The same goes for material worth. 'beware of your possessions less they possess you'. Evolving to be a better person, living in accord with nature. Jung's dictate that anyone who discovers a spiritual identity is healed from all maladies is a natural formula that resides within nature. We are a part of nature, not separate from it.

The approach of WWJD-WWBD works and it will work for anyone who walks the walk. I am confident in this because I believe in nature there are those mechanisms that insure such results. God is not separate from man, man is not separate from nature'. If there is any such thing as a true metaphysics, possibilities beyond the physical realm of experience, it is within nature. Not an unnatural occurrence but something within nature, and in particular our own human nature. I do not worry about faith or a religious philosophy. I believe I need only live WWJD/WWBD. It is working for me in the present so why think or live differently?

At least that is my belief system, one I live by {Myths to Live By}.



One last thought, or better said, one last issue, in ending this prolonged pain to anyone who may happen to read it. I ask myself, and I know there are those ask this question, how is it I, a simple man who works with his hands, is capable of reading a dream and providing an interpretation that fits? I am not a learned person in the academic world of Jungian psyche. And although I have 18 years of self teaching on the subject, so what, that does not qualify me as an authority on dreams. The answer is, and this is something I believe is true, it is an intuitive nature I possess that lends me to understand the often difficult and deep world of the psyche. Why else would I have been caught up 18 years ago with the synchronistic event with Joseph Campbell? And why have I stayed with this path and journey for all this time? It fits with who I am, my true self. What I was as a younger man was merely a casting for what I was meant to be. Predestined, I am not sure. Preordained, I don't think so. I would have lived my life as it began, in the folds of unconscious motivations that only can lead to destructive behavior, and a life where that void is always and eternally present. Eighteen years ago an event occurred that fit with that true person within. Now that inner person has become the whole person. Or at least a honest attempt to live a life that was meant to be. Creative and spiritual, a path that is about the soul and not about the ego. A journey that never ends, even until after death. After that no one knows. So let's focus on this life and attempt to awaken the true identity within. That true person is a creative person, whatever the talent/skill/soul's desire may be. And it must be from the spiritual realm. Nature has its mechanisms, simple equations that must be observed.
Life is but a dream and when we finally awaken we either find ourselves within a world of blissful wonder, or in the pits of hell we have created for yourself. Life is first and foremost a PSYCHOLOGICAL journey.

And finally, The End!

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 60 Murfreesboro, Tn

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Synchronicity - Chance Encounters That Are Life Changing

Beautiful. Abundantly evident that the burgeoning of the new world of the humanmyth has vitalized you. I read, myth is something that is not true on the outside, but true on the inside. I also read jung say that if you have in yourself something that is a particularly bad enemy you know that you have something particularly good on the other side.

I have a question for you, that came to mind. I was hooked by Campbell and Jung at a young age, about 18 or 19. I was very very keen on them for some time, and would always return to this subject throughout the years of outward adventure and necessity. Over the last couple years, as my life has become more stable, I have turned with even more enthusiasm to this school of thought. As I am still too young to be issuing profundities, the future must be considered as completely unknown to me. I may one day become ice cold to the whole subject. Yet looking back, and conjecturing foreward, this whole world of psyche and psyche of world, it feels as if I have been searching for the same thing the whole time. At times when I wasn't, there was and is usually some gnawing at my bones, some aching that was always so merciless. In the last couple of years I have begun to add to it notions of competence and intelligence which has made it endurable and even a strangely special. My question for you is, did you always sense your life leading up to who you are and have become? Was there a thread of continuity where you can say that it was only a matter of course that you would become so steeped in the atman. Perhaps science and religion have matched the demands of the modern consciousness and finally given us something to be bothered with.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 34

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Synchronicity - Chance Encounters That Are Life Changing

Sam,
These are some good questions you ask and the description of your encounters with Campbell and Jung are definitely applicable to how to use their insights in your future. I have started a response but my time is short this morning to insure a qualified answer. Choosing the proper words is most important. I will do my best to answer your post later today.

I do hope such conversations become the norm at the Dream Forum since they are as important to understanding the psyche as is the dream. It is the psychology that we are wanting to get to and there are many elements to that process besides merely interpreting our dreams. Understanding oneself takes a lot of effort but the knowledge offered by Campbell and Jung provides more than adequate avenues to that understanding. The so called 'secret knowledge' is a psychological recognition and both Campbell and Jung were masters of the psyche. I hope to stir you in that direction especially since you have already invested the time to get to know these two great masters. You are at that age when their message can make a huge difference in your life. Possibly a matter ofa balanced, harmonious life as opposed to the ordinary, conflictive life most people live. Take my word, the later is not acceptable for anyone who has a 'mind' for the greater possibilities. And I know you have such a mind.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 60 Murfreesboro, Tn

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Synchronicity - Chance Encounters That Are Life Changing

Sam,
I have not forgotten my promise to comment further on your questions. They are important. I am still working on editing my comments {I have them in Word} and will post them this weekend. I will contact you when I do.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 60 Murfreesboro, Tn

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Synchronicity - Chance Encounters That Are Life Changing

Thanks Jerry, oh, I am wondering if I need to have a masters degree in clinical psychology first before I can attend a cg jung alnalytical training school. What do you know about this, or think about such an idea? I'm just starting to get a little restless, I may be a few years immature as well, but who knows.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 34

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Synchronicity - Chance Encounters That Are Life Changing

Sam,
To best determine the qualifications for attending a school the for study of Jung's analytical psychology go to this web page Jungian Oriented Graduate Programs. It has a list of schools that may be closest to you.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 60 Murfreesboro, Tn

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Synchronicity - Chance Encounters That Are Life Changing

Ok, I'll look at this, it appears you need to have a masters degree at least to be in the institute of analytical psychology. I don't know if I have that much time, but I'm gonna look at some possibilities. Thanks for the link.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 34

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Synchronicity - Chance Encounters That Are Life Changing

Sam,
If it is something that you really feel important, go for it. To do it just to be doing it may not be a good use of your time. Have you discovered a deep interest in Jung to the point getting into the field of analytical psychology fits a deep desire? There are many avenues you can take to fill such a desire. I took the path of self education and of course the MDS web site and the Dream Forum. It is my bliss and it took some time after discovering Jung to realize it. Discovery comes first. The journey would then become how to achieve the bliss.

Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 60 Murfreesboro, Tn

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Synchronicity - Chance Encounters That Are Life Changing

I do have a deep desire to continue to understand the universal psyche. I think I am also trying to assert my power instinct into the world where I feel less than accomplished. I just don't know how to go about doing it. Part of that power drive is a desire simply for a larger income where I could entertain thoughts of a mortgage and health insurance for my family of three. Even through my corporate health ins. policy, to add my wife to my plan is an extra 300/month. At 32k/year, we just can't afford it. Yet even if I were making 40k, an income I would be very happy with for a while, I wouldn't consider my job as the "summit of my long career" (ray davies, the Kinks).

The idea you mentioned that there are many avenues you can take to fill the desire of your bliss is an idea I've been with for a while. To provide an asthetic service to people, I think, is my general desire, something that reaches beyond just the basic needs of people that already have much convenience in life in regards to materiality and the just distribution of goods.

Here is a part of the kinks' song, a little bit of emotion:

People learn their lines/they act out their parts
They talk on cue/but it's got no heart
It's all on the surface/It's all contrived
They're scared to come out/Somehow they've got to survive

Life has so many basic demands and needs, from keeping the lawn watered and mowed, to cleaning house and babysitting. Sometimes it feels like there is no time to worship that superior creative force inside, and that the relentless call to service is a sacrilege and its only function beyond gross material service is to choke the flood of a larger and more inspired desire to give.

The world is astounding, I want to serve it, I can see it's superiority over me, I can see my reflection in its boundlessness. I am astonished by how actively the gods are engaged in living through us, and us through them. How is it that we all live with the gods, but we don't have the scientific and intellectual honesty to acknowledge them/it/Her/Him.

Anyway, I'm only starting to pry my eyes open and wake up to the world, I have much experiencing to do. I'll see where that takes me. Thanks Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 34

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Synchronicity - Chance Encounters That Are Life Changing

Hi Sam and Jerry

The question you ask about whether there has always been an urge towards let me call it the spiritual life is really interesting.

I have always had that urge although I didn't know it.

I can first remember coming slightly awake when I was about eight. One beautiful day in summer I was walking by myself through a field with chest high grass. As I walked I startled up literally hundreds of butterflies (this was 1948 and before DDT was widely used. You have no idea how beautiful the world was before DDT) and I stopped and stared up into the cloud of butterflies above and around me ... and I knew! I had no idea what it was I knew, but I had discovered there was something "other".

Ever since then, that gift from the gods has gently pushed me to understand. I am not there yet but I think I am getting closer.

In peace ...

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 70 New Zealand

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Synchronicity - Chance Encounters That Are Life Changing

Sam,
Again, thanks for sharing. When we understand the personal experiences of the dreamer, or in this case the person, we have a clearer view of the possibilities. I see your responses providing a clearer view of your possibilities.

Quote, " Part of that power drive is a desire simply for a larger income". Joseph Campbell often stated, and this is one discipline I live by, is 'if you do it for the money you are off your path. If you do it to follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been all along. The greatest difficulty in living the hero/heroine journey is to 'stay the path'. There will many, many times when you will 'fall short'. But if you will go back the basic fundamentals of the 'hero journey' {Campbell's
hero quest
Monomyth
} you will always return to that path and reap the rewards from it.

Quote, "To provide an aesthetic service to people, I think, is my general desire".

One has to learn what their bliss is, must know what it is that touches the soul. I think more time is needed to investigate the possibilities to your blissful path. At 34 you are just beginning those years of 'transition' and realizations take time. The good news is you have discovered early there is that hero path. Most never do.

"Life has so many basic demands and needs". This is the social dragon I am always complaining about. The fulfillment of ones bliss comes when the social dragon no longer has control. At this period of my life I must endure the responsibilities {something I have chosen to do, primarily to assist my son as he elevates his life to a firm foundation} of managing the 'family' business and reduce my 'bliss to a lesser role in my routine. But I have plans. In two years I will be eligible for early retirement and hopefully a full time devotion to my dreamwork. That would be the fulfillment of my bliss. That would be the ultimate goal of the hero journey.

The dragon is persistant, especially in today's world where materialism is the ultimate god. Joseph Campbell even said as much {and this was in the late 80s} in an interview with Michael Toms. And Campbell's directive to achieving bliss can be found in this statement about Nirvana; 'Nirvana is a psychological state of mind and is the condition that comes when you’re not compelled by desire or by fear or by social commitments.' So simple to say,so very hard to follow.

"Anyway, I'm only starting to pry my eyes open and wake up to the world, I have much experiencing to do. I'll see where that takes me."
This statement speaks well of your wisdom to realize where you are in life. One benefit that comes with growing older. Wisdom. At least it should be that way.
For you and I it is, and will be.

Jery

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 60 Murfreesboro, Tn

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

Re: Synchronicity - Chance Encounters That Are Life Changing

Sam,
Finally, my response to your post. Hopefully I have edited it so there is good understanding to what I wish to convey. A clear mind to the world of the inner world is often hard to access when there are so many other demands on my mental faculties, limited as they are.

I was caught by my first experience with Campbell and have lived there ever since. I was 42 when that happened. It was as if that thing I was searching for suddenly appeared. I immediately recognized it and it has been the guiding force in my life ever since. Psychologically, and unconsciously, I knew there was a void, I just didn't know what it was. And although the introduction of Campbell into my life didn't immediately solve my addition to the ego world, it was the beginning to understanding those unconscious forces that pushed in a destructive direction {childhood experiences being the primary stimuli}. I believe we all possess an ability to recognize the source of our psyche conflicts since it is from those early life experiences that make up who we become later in life. We need only 'cross paths' with the proper 'authority' to fully understand the influences. That is where synchronicity has a role. Unfortunately most let those infrequent opportunities pass them by. It is the social/material 'dragons' that are the untamed controlling agents in most people's life and the root to many of the psychological ills. Add to that the personal emotional conflicts within the psyche {most self created} and you begin to see why the world is so 'messed up'. As Joseph Campbell once said in an interview with Michael Toms, 'just look around, the world is falling to pieces'.


You are still within those years of looking forward to completely understand the full mechanics of how this message can assist you. I was there for many years during my forties, knowing enough to think I 'knew' when in fact I didn't know {Campbell's often quoted proverb,' He who knows doesn't know. He who doesn't know knows'}. The good news is you have begun that difficult task of knowing who they are, the inward journey. Doing this requires one to go past the temporal wants and needs of the material world and focus on the 'inner' life. This is a psychology of the self, Jung's Individuation Process {there are other paths that may provide the same results but few I can think of that do the job so thoroughly}. The tendency in the first half of life is to focus on the material world {building a career, raising a family, etc.}. But when 40 looms on the horizon the focus changes.


As you age life begins to take turns that are so different than you were younger. The subject of death slowly creeps into the equation. The mid-life thing becomes a search for meaning and a validation of ones life. It becomes more and more a psychological thing and less a focus on material worth and ego building. This is the norm for all of us and of course was a part of my evolution as well. It often takes an occurrence of outside forces to open the eyes to what is occurring, what is real. And when you do begin to see clearly, and most people never do, you realize it is psychological first and foremost. Because Campbell and Jung are all about this psychological journey {myths are the universal stories of those different patterns of psychological behavior, the many different 'collective' journeys}, they offer solutions to how to confront, and live with these changes. Those of us who take a deep look within begin to understand the process of this 'hero journey', the psychological path that will bring about balance and harmony, if it is followed. The real task is staying the course to the hero path. The dragons of society, the demons within, constantly challenge the psyche. It requires Discipline and that is something so few people lack. Addition to the material world, to ego self, are the primary foes and they are well armed. Society, with its patriarchal ground, will not let go easily. This is the reality we face every morning and the tasks that confront us every day. Slaying the dragon is not a one day affair. It is a life long endeavor.

The self has to undergo a death of ego {Campbell said a complete annihilation}, just as the myth of Jesus on the cross represents a metaphor for the individual life. To reach that place in life does require the greatest of hero deeds. But to ascend to that highest mountain is to realize a balanced and harmonious life. I believe unconsciously we all know this, it is a basic pattern inherent in all human life. Consciously, well, those inherent patterns are so governed by the outer material world of ego there is little chance to focus on the inner life, that part of us that 'intuitively' knows and understands. 'We must say yes to life' and realize there is suffering in all life no matter how great the bounties of the hero journey. This is the basic message of Buddhism.

Buddhism is a natural religion; it does not violate either mind or body. Its ethics closely approximate the Natural Law. The Buddha became cognizant of how men are born and die according to their good and evil actions, according to their self-created Karma {or the consequence of meritorious and demeritorious deeds}.



There is so much more to be said about the hero path and journey. But that would require more space than I could ever find. And more words than I could ever speak. The task becomes yours to take, your journey must be your own. But if you abide by those natural laws where ego is but a minute part, and take up the mantle of the spiritual deed, I believe you and anyone else who has the discipline can become a hero/heroine in their own life. There will be many difficult times {the FIRST Buddhist saying 'life is full of sorrow'} but the rewards will be much more bountiful. This is the underlying message from Campbell, the psychology of Jung.
Jerry

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 60 Murfreesboro, Tn

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

stats from 7-14-10 to the present