A Scientific Look at Synchronicity: The Search for Meaning in Coincidence

Key Notes April 28, 2010

Synchronicity, as defined by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, entails the simultaneous occurrence of a certain psychological state with one or more external events that appear as meaningful parallels; in other words, synchronicity references the notion of meaningful coincidence.

Whether or not we choose to attribute meaning to such coincidences, they tend to constitute a common occurrence in our daily lives, often providing us with some degree of affirmation, support, or guidance depending on the situation at hand. Investigators label these coincidences as instances of synchronicity and seek to study them scientifically.

Join us for a fascinating look at the experiences of four researchers whose lives have been shaped by synchronistic events that some might dismiss as chance, luck, or serendipity. Using their scientific backgrounds and training rather than their personal beliefs, they explain how such meaningful coincidences have impacted their outlooks and in the process changed the course of their lives.

Bernard D. Beitman, M.D., is Professor and former Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and the author or editor of 15 books and over 100 papers and chapters primarily about psychotherapy. He served as editor of the May 2009 Psychiatric Annals issue on “Synchronicity, Weird Coincidences and Psychotherapy.”

Paul DeBell, M.D., is a psychiatrist in private practice in New York. He has worked in mental health clinics in the poorest areas of the city for over thirty years while teaching on the faculties of most New York City medical schools. He is the author of “Decoding the Spiritual Messages of Everyday Life: How Life Shows Us What We Need to Know.”

Ginette Nachman, M.D., Ph.D., holds doctorates in medicine and clinical psychology. She has served as a Board Member and Director of Education for the Rhine Research Center, where she is a Research Associate.  She is a member of the International Association for Near Death Studies Physicians Advisory Board and is presently writing a book on Synchronicity.

Robert Perry is best known for his work with “A Course in Miracles.” He has been working with CMPEs (Conjunctions of Meaningfully Parallel Events) for over thirty years, during which time he has slowly developed a model for identifying and understanding them. He is the author of “Signs: A New Approach to Coincidence, Synchronicity, Guidance, and Life Purpose.”

Location: Harvard Club of NYC
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