G.A. Williams’ Theory – My 19 Synchronicities / Freud (part 3)
Concepts share the potential of language and words for unfolding new meanings, for changes of meaning, returning to earlier meanings…Loewald 1
The true beginning of scientific activity consists… in describing phenomena and then in proceeding to group, classify, and correlate them. … Everything depends on their not being arbitrarily chosen but determined by their having significant relations to the empirical material, relations that we seem to sense before we can clearly recognize and demonstrate them. … The advance of knowledge, however, does not tolerate any rigidity even in definitions. Physics furnishes an excellent illustration of the way in which even basic concepts” that have been established in the form of definitions are constantly being altered in their content.” 2 Sigmund Freud (1915)
The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice and because we fail to notice that we fail to notice there is little we can do to change until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds. 3 R.D. Laing
The preceding chapters V and VI summarize the key events in my life (pre Odyssey
House) that predisposed me to a fascination for, a curiosity about, and an initial adoption of Jung’s mystical/magical position about synchronicities. The present Chapter VII and Chapter
VIII which follows summarize the key events and their significance in my life (post Odyssey House) that contributed to a gradual shift away from Jung’s psychodynamic/ supernatural perspective to a wholly psychodynamic/ naturalistic/progressive perspective. It is important to note that this shift in perspective did not occur in a straight line from point A to Z, rather, like World War I, it advanced and retreated circuitously over time.
My View of Synchronicities Pre Odyssey House
The reader will please note that eleven years before my life transforming experience at
Odyssey House I was impressed by what seemed to be the mysterious power associated with certain coincidences that appeared seemingly at random in the ongoing flow of my life.
In this connection, I recorded three specially meaningful coincidences in my journal I referred to as:“The Sun at Midnight” (1959), “Lazarus Rising” (l963), and “Saved By the Rabbi” (1966).
As was mentioned in Chapter V, my initial experience of all three was that they were episodic random events – apparently uncaused – surprising my consciousness like noting a firefly’s random flashes of light in a dark sky.
What impressed me most was the feeling of the uncanny that accompanied each one of these “numinous” events.By some logic of feelings, these uncanny occurrences confirmed the presence of actual occult forces. Further, these occult forces appeared to be spiritualized leaving me with no doubt that I had made a direct and highly personal connection with an unseen but palpably important ‘spiritualized’ realm of reality.
Further, connecting to this realm of reality gave me a desired direction just at the time I needed it the most – atforks in the road of my life’s journey, critical points, I experienced as quintessential stuckness. This external guidance took the form of validating that I was unconditionally accepted, cared for, protected, confirmingthatI was on the right road, and encouraging meto just keep going in the same direction – a cosmic green light.
Thus, pre Odyssey I was virtually on the same track as Jung with respect to my attitude towards synchronicities. However, this attitude radically changed as a direct result of my life defining experience working at Odyssey House(l967 – l969).Odyssey was an innovative therapeutic community for the treatment of heroin addicts beginning in the late sixties. I was a budding psychologist and thankful that I was hired “chosen” to become part of the staff. Initially, I played the role of a relatively detached observing participant, but quickly became enmeshed in its’ half healing and half noxious atmosphere, resulting in a shift of my perspective to that of an hyper-emotionally involved and a progressively more confused participant observer.