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Synchronicity: The Bridge between Matter and Mind
F. David Peat

30 June - 7 July 2003

Many of us have experienced a mysterious and inexplicable coincidence in our lives, an event that is charged with deep significance. Such true synchronicities are more than mere chance occurrences. They provide a bridge between inner and outer worlds, between our private thoughts and objective realities. Within a synchronicity patterns of external events and inexplicable occurrences mirror inner experience, and dreams and fantasies can flood over into the external world. To distinguish them from mere chance occurrences Carl Jung stressed that they are "meaningful coincidences", while James Joyce wrote of epiphanies, those moments of illumination when disparate events coalesce into a recognizable pattern.

While synchronicities defy any rational explanation, in terms of causal links and connections, they nevertheless reveal to us an underlying world of patterns, forms and connections that transcend any division between the mental and the material. It is for this reason, this intimation of the transcendent, that synchronicities are so fascinating. Synchronicities can also function as transformative meeting points that occur at crucial periods in our lives. As a particular case study the meeting between Carl Jung and the physicist Wolfgang Pauli will be explored. In particular the way Pauli's dreams led him to explore the relationship between psyche and matter and a belief in the "resurrection of spirit within the world of matter".

Many of us feel confined to a narrow world of logic and physical law, a world that admits no hint of mystery. We feel isolated within an indifferent universe and an increasing complex society whose members are reduced to ciphers. Synchronicities, by contrast, offer a doorway into a very different world. One that is more in keeping with the deep insights that have been offered, for example, by the new sciences.

The course will explore:
Synchronicities, illuminations, epiphanies and the sense of connectedness as events that sum up a life or anticipate the future
The nature of consciousness and its connection to the body.
Theories of Mind and Matter
The nature of the Archetypes and other structuring principles of the psyche
Laws of matter and mind. Are they a priori or do they evolve?
The role of the New Physics (chaos theory and quantum theory) and its connection to consciousness
Connections between minds, and between mind and matter
Metaphors of alchemy and the process of individuation
Wolfgang Pauli and the resurrection of spirit within the world of matter
The current state of our world and the need for values and ethics

Synchronicity: The Bridge between Matter and Mind will proceed via lectures and group discussions. Participants will be encouraged to keep a journal. In order to maintain a healthy balance between mind and body participants will also be involved in such activities as art work and stone balancing. Participants are also encouraged to take advantage of the thermal hot springs below the village, and time will also be set aide for one or more excursions from the village of Pari

Note: This course is intended for well-balanced participants who are in search of new insights and those who would like to explore the implications of synchronicity and its connection to such areas as the nature of consciousness and the New Physics. It does not offer any form of psychotherapy.


June 30. Participants arrive, welcome and dinner.

On the following days there will be two daily workshop sessions:

9.30 - 12.30 Lecture and question period

4.30 - 6.30 Discussion of the topic of the day, art work and walks.

Note: During the middle of the course there will be a one day-trip to nearby sites of interest such as the Etruscan town of Roselle, the "sword in the stone" at San Galgano, the Abbey of San Antimo or the city of Siena.

July 7. Summing up. Participants leave following lunch

Cost: $1,300 US

This cost includes accommodation and all meals (traditional Tuscan fare), from dinner on 30 June to lunch on 7 July. It also includes the cost of the one-day excursion, all art materials, etc.

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Contact F. David Peat

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