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Statue next to the gondolas of a Ferris Wheel.


Synchronicity takes the coincidence of events in space and time as meaning something more than mere chance, namely, a peculiar interdependence of objective events among themselves as well as with the subjective state of the observer...

Carl Jung (1949)

My choice of the singular form [The Book of Change] arises from my conviction that the Chinese authors selected the title to reflect their concept of Change as the one unchanging aspect of the universe normally perceptible to human beings.

John Blofeld (1963)


Adam Black, on his plinth, is rather put upon by changes he is unlikely to have foreseen. Cultural and social change testifies to Blofeld’s observation that it is only the constancy of change that does not change. Humans have always sought to bridle change, and in the West we do so with stories couched in terms of causes; we tell how this event was due to Hoy sound looking out from Orkney. A little more on how it is common for our explanations rely on ‘causes’. another, and they in turn to yet others; so we seek to gird round change thereby reducing its malign Sun setting down a river. Most simply expressed in the loss we feel as the world changes around us. power on us. The I Ching - The Book of Change - shows another way of facing flux. Tumbling waters of a river in Iceland. The more poetic 'flux' is one of the most venerable conepts in every culture. For this Jung coined the term synchronicity denoting the conjunction of mental and physical events as they meaningfully come together in one moment. If we follow Jung, the explanations favoured by the Greeks are built on causes; the accounts favoured by the Chinese are built on meanings.

Carl Jung, the psychotherapist, was greatly interested in various aspects of the immaterial and had his interest in the I Ching raised by his friend, and the most famous translator of the I Ching, Richard Wilhelm. Accordingly he wrote a forward to the translation out of which grew his idea of synchronicity. The above quote is on page xxiv of the 1968 Penguin edition. Blofeld’s translation of the I Ching, (which has been more commonly rendered as The Book of Changes) seeks to place it in a context both historical and divinatory, and to do so in a more accessible way than some of his predecessors rather opaque renditions. The quote is from p.23 of the 1984 Allen and Unwin Mandala edition.

The statue of the Lord Provest Adam Black, who died in 1874, stands in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, cheek by jowl with the twenty-first century Ferris Wheel. An arrangement that might well have been seen as undignified, and pobably unimaginable, a hundred and fifty years ago.

Above hovering on blue introduces a link: click to go, move away to stay.


Saturday 26th June 2021

Murphy on duty to this site