I engage critically with C. G. Jung’s late work on the idea of synchronicities, and related work from other authors at the time. My focus is on methodology, argument analysis and conceptual inquiry (rather than empirical or historical research).

The mirror theory of eros: synchronicities

Jung says that synchronistic phenomena appear when an archetype of the collective unconscious is triggered (or ‘constellated’). He also points out that this usually goes along with projections. Interestingly, the mirror theory of eros arrives at a similar result.

The mirror theory of eros: projection

When a person becomes infatuated, their soul is dominated by the phantasm that represents the loved one; the phantasm cannibalizes the entire psyche of the subject. In such a case, the unconscious image (the phantasm) acquires an astonishing power and autonomy.

The mirror theory of eros: the spiritual mirror

A word about this “spiritual mirror” business. It is called spiritual because in Ficino’s views, the notion of “spirit” is central, and among other things, the spirit acts as a mirror through which the soul can access what the senses take in from the external world. The setup is similar to an old-fashioned camera, with the eye (and the other senses) corresponding to the lens, the psyche (the...

The mirror theory of eros: phantasmata

1. Suppose a subject becomes enamoured with another person. In that situation, we can assume in the subject’s mind a cluster of ideas, perceptions, presumptions, etc., all of which have the other person (the “love object”) as their content in some way. For example, there may be memories (“When we first met, she looked like this …”), general ascriptions of personality (“He’s a very attentive...

Death: walking out of the mirror

As every lover of Eurospy knows very well: death is a woman. If you fall in love with her and have the good luck to find it requited, she may sacrifice herself in a kind of Liebestod, Which makes you — immortal! (Logically…)

Archetypes activating

Let’s say we understand the collective unconscious as a set of patterns, called archetypes, of psychological processes. A subject’s psychology may, in a given situation, start to conform to such a pattern. What is such a 'triggering' like?

Chorismos troubles

Several of my difficulties in understanding the supposed “psychological relativity” of time and space had to do with the weird nature of the collective unconsciousness, as Jung conceives of it. Let’s catch up with some of that.

The hypocritical mirror-critic

Returning from his year-long stay on a Greek island, the protagonist of The Magus makes an intermediate stop in Rome. But he compares his impressions unfavorably with those he had in that other Mediterranean world: The sun shone as certainly, the people were far more elegant, the architecture and the art much richer, but it was as if the Italians, like their Roman ancestors, wore a great mask of...

Leif Frenzel is a writer and independent researcher. He has a background in philosophy, literature, music, and information technology. His recent interest is Jungian psychology, especially synchronicities and the relationship between consciousness and the unconscious.