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.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Rensma, R. (2016). Meaningful mutations: Reflections on the synchronicity of evolution. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 35 (2). https://doi.org/10.24972/ijts.2016.35.2.61