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Keywords:

  • Ramon Ferrer I Cancho and Richard Solé;
  • symbolic systems;
  • synchronicity;
  • the Self;
  • Zipf's law

Abstract:  Jung's theory of synchronicity is seen as a step in the development of a complete theory of the symbol. In so doing, a number of proposals are made for modelling the symbolic process along lines already in use for modelling a variety of other phenomena, ranging from language to the behaviour of earthquakes. These modelling techniques involve processes of self-organization, and raise issues of scaling in systems including symbolic systems. The proposal is made that symbolic systems obey the same rules of scaling that these other systems obey, and that symbolic systems can therefore be understood as exhibiting the characteristics of a power law distribution—a concept that is explained and developed in the paper. It is finally proposed that synchronicity is an aspect of the symbolic that can be characterized as exhibiting a high degree of ‘symbolic density’.