Staying Jung Might Be Just a Coincidence

I’ve written about my encounters with coincidences.  They seem to be regular occurrences in my otherwise predictable existence.  The great psychoanalyst Carl Jung thought they were examples of what he called archetypes, vestiges in our subconscious of our primitive ancestors.

Last week, for example,  the brakes on my Mitsubishi Lancer had started to grind,  so I dropped it off at the Sears Auto-Center in the Chicago Ridge Mall.   A oil change was due, and— not surprisingly for a car over 10 years old— a few other repairs were called for.

With more than a   few hours to kill, I  naturally gravitated to the nearest bookstore where I  casually browsed among the American History offerings.  I’d  been captivated by the   Ken Burns’ PBS  saga on the Roosevelts  and looked for the companion volume. Not seeing it,  I went  with  a book about conspiracies by Brad Meltzer  based on his  History Channel series.

When I got to the check-out counter my curiosity was piqued by  some card games on a nearby rack.   I  thought  one of them  would be perfect  to while away the time  with my grandson Holden whenever I picked him up from school and brought him to my place until his mom arrived.

The card game? Rock, Paper, Scissors.  For 2 players. Ages 4 and up.  Perfect.

I grabbed a bite to eat at the mall’s food mart, returned to check on the car, then took off on foot to kill more time at my mother-in-law’s condo a few blocks away.   En route I stopped at a  Walgreens to buy the Sun-Times; I figured the New York Times Crossword would be a pleasant diversion while my car underwent surgery.  Wednesday’s usually is easier, but I was in no hurry.

I was moving along taking my time through the clues when …WHAT!…. 55 Across= Loser to paper?  4 letters.  Of course, ‘rock’.

Now if I hadn’t bought the card game, I don’t think I would have automatically come up with that.

Coincidences rock!










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  • What a great illustration of how crosswords can grab all the knowledge you have, no matter how long you've had it!

  • It appears Jung saw synchronicity as our instinct to wake to the fact that life really isn't so predictable. We just try to construct it that way.

    I found a blog here that had a very good description, thanx for sharing your story Aquinas.

  • The only coincidence like that I had (I would guess 36 years ago) was that my tire blew out on a big pot hole right behind the Sears Auto Center.

    My father (about 48 years ago) had a muffler blow out in front of a Midas.

    I also had a Dodge manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors of Illinois, which was a piece of aggravation. Probably basically the same car.

    In a noncoincidence, I had taken a comparative personalty theory psych course where I thought the professor had coopted Jung, but, I was able the find the book and checked the index to find that he had said absolutely nothing about Jung.

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