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Demystifying Meaningful Coincidences (Synchronicities)

The Evolving Self, the Personal Unconscious, and the Creative Process

Gibbs A. Williams

Demystifying Meaningful Coincidences (Synchronicities): The Evolving Self, the Personal Unconscious, and the Creative Process offers an original theory of the nature of meaningful coincidences (synchronicities) and their practical use from a naturalistic (nonsupernatural and non-Jungian) perspective. The findings are the outgrowth of Gibbs A. Williams's forty-year investigation, both as a professional observer of some of his synchronicity prone patients receiving psychoanalytic psychotherapy as well as of his own intimate experience of these intellectually challenging and emotionally powerful occurrences. His naturalistic perspective is in marked contrast to the findings of Jung and his followers, who view these odd events as "channeled" messages from a transcendent realm of spiritual reality. Instead, Williams concludes that meaningful coincidences are the surface manifestations of an individual's unique creative process, accommodating the "best" available resolution of a problem for a person initially feeling "stuck" in a seemingly intractable dilemma.

While his analysis robs the magic associated with only reacting to the "numinous uncanny aura" associated with synchronicities, it nevertheless affirms a wondrous appreciation for the creative capacities of each person to order his or her own chaos. Readers are treated to a rich mine of historical data, novel concepts, and theoretical insights drawn from speculative philosophy, depth psychology, and esoteric occult and spiritual traditions, and they are shown how to decode their own synchronicities in order to be able to use their embedded "messages" for increased self-awareness, cohesiveness, and expanding consciousness.
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Jason Aronson, Inc.
Pages: 330Size: 6 3/8 x 9 1/2
978-0-7657-0702-4 • Hardback • February 2010 • $95.00 • (£65.00)
978-0-7657-0703-1 • Paperback • October 2015 • $39.99 • (£24.95)
978-0-7657-0704-8 • eBook • February 2010 • $37.99 • (£24.95)
Gibbs A. Williams, PhD, is a psychoanalyst and supervisor in private practice in New York.
Chapter 1:The Emotional Power and Intellectual Challenge of Synchronistic Phenomena
Part 2 Part I: Theoretical Perspectives
Chapter 3 Chapter 2: Jung's Psychological/Supernatural Theory of Synchronicities
Chapter 4 Chapter 3: Refuting Jung's Three Anti-causal Arguments
Chapter 5 Chapter 4: Naturalistic Interpretations of Synchronicities: M.D. Faber's Naturalistic Regressive Synchronicity Theory
Part 6 Part II: Theory Construction
Chapter 7 Chapter 5: Synchronicity Challenged
Chapter 8 Chapter 6: Immersion in the Occult
Chapter 9 Chapter 7: My 19 Synchronicities and Freud
Chapter 10 Chapter 8: My Theory Works
Part 11 Part III: A New Theory
Chapter 12 Chapter 9: A Theory and Use of Meaningful Coincidences: Naturalistic Progressive Synchronicity Theory
Part 13 Part IV: Practical Application
Chapter 14 Chapter 10: Synchronicity and Psychotherapy: Findings, Observations, Decoding and Conclusions
Gibbs Williams has struggled with awe-inspiring coincidences in his own life and combed the relevant literature to formulate a rational psychodynamic theory of synchronicity. This book is both a personal journey and a guide for psychotherapists to harness their patients' creative processes to liberate the sense of self from its traumatically imposed restrictions.
Frank M. Lachmann, PhD

Williams provides numerous coincidence vignettes from his patients and 19 from his own experience. Unlike Jung, he provides extensive, detailed contexts for each one…. Williams's book extends coincidence studies in a much needed way…. Gibbs Williams has clarified a crucial function of meaningful coincidence - to help activate self-awareness in the search for solutions to intractable problems. His work will encourage future researchers to gather the psychological histories and current contexts that are likely to increase the appearance of coincidences…. Williams has helped further the development of the emerging field of coincidence studies.