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International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Abstract

Although Jung made a connection between his concept of the archetype and mankind’s evolutionary history throughout his career, he remained notoriously tight-lipped about his own specific views on evolutionary theory. In the final years of his life, however, he finally went more into detail about this important topic, putting forward a most thought-provoking idea: the notion that synchronicity, or meaningful coincidences, had a role to play in the way evolution took shape. As I will argue in this paper, Jung’s comments on this topic present clear evidence that he did not think primarily along Darwinian lines, as has recently been claimed; rather, I will argue that he adopted what Wolfgang Pauli referred to as a third position—one that goes beyond both Darwinism and Lamarckism. This third position is strongly informed by the notion that evolutionary changes are not random but meaningful, and that synchronicity has a role to play in the way evolution takes shape. This suggests that Jung is not so much a kindred spirit to Neo-Darwinian evolutionary psychologists, but a thinker who is much closer in his intuitions and affinities to several evolutionary thinkers who have been influential in the field of transpersonal psychology, most notably Ken Wilber.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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