On How Synchronicity Is Jungian Pseudo-Science: Neil Young “Harvest Moon”
On it’s face, the idea of synchronicity is a lovely thing. Carl Jung is credited with first describing the concept, where two or more seemingly unrelated things happen for some reason. Being Jung, he credited this to mystical origins. The problem is, the human brain is often stronger than the unknowable mystic forces of the universe (you know, if those exist).
More times than not synchronicity can be chalked up to paying attention. These things were all around you anyway, but if someone mentions elephants to you, you are more likely to start noticing elephants. It’s all suggestion.
I started to wonder, 6 to 9 months ago, if my whole generation hadn’t just discovered an appreciation for Neil Young at the same time. It’s only because I finally tripped and fell face-first over the brilliance of his Harvest and After the Gold Rush albums and then started digging deeper. Now it feels like Neil Young is everywhere — as though the majority of people I know started talking about him around the same time, or wanted to tell stories about discovering him, or just proclaim his genius.
That is patently not the case, however. There was a Neil Young revival in the ’90s circa the “This Bud’s For You” incident and the Pearl Jam duet on “Rockin’ in the Free World.” There was probably one in the ’00s that I can’t quite culturally pinpoint, on a smaller scale. People have been discovering and rediscovering Neil Young since long before I was alive and with any luck will keep doing it. This is not a mystical force, at least no more mystical than any force that propelled him to write such great songs.
I’m much more excited by the symmetry of pulling one’s head out of the sand than from a mystical entity.
Unless any mystical entities are reading this.