Words: Synchronicity

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I like words – some more than others, but I enjoy all words. I may not use some words often because we communicate with other people using words. When someone doesn’t know the meaning, or has a misunderstanding, stuff can get weird. I also wouldn’t want to be thought of as being too hoity-toity.

I confess to owning and reading dictionaries while hidden in the closet. Books about troublesome words written by Bill Bryson entertain my curiosity, as has everything else he’s written.

I blame my aunt Lorry for the freaky word-love thing. She’d send me the word of the day from the Washington, D.C. newspaper, along with cutouts of Dennis The Menace cartoons. When I was nine or ten, I didn’t care as much as I do now. Thanks, Lorry.

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Synchronicity is polite. While I much prefer saying shit happens or it is what it is, those are not accurate definitions or even quite synonymous. My online dictionary says it’s “a simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.” We can use the word like that, but it’s an even deeper theory proposed by Carl Jung in the 1920s. One of Jung’s definitions was “the simultaneous occurrence of two meaningfully but not causally connected events.” Over the years, his definition moved around a bit. I suppose his theory clarified with time.

synchronicity-2Sue’s excellent blog (An Artist’s Path) on this topic back in April can be seen here. She gives a good personal example similar to the experience of having someone calling you just as you are thinking about them. “That’s weird, I was just thinking about you.” It’s not weird, it’s synchronicity. It happens and always has. Sue tied synchronicity to a conspiracy of the universe. That works for me.

 

Serendipity is a similar and related word: it refers to events happening by chance in a happy or beneficial way. The key word that we would often use in casual conversation is coincidence. That works okay with serendipity, but not as well with synchronicity because the latter invokes elements of spirituality.

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Jung seemed to think there was a relationship to ESP, while others associate synchronicity with deities, universal forces, or some other intelligent spiritual forces or entities.

Remember, there must be no identifiable earthly cause to the event. I don’t assign human events to spiritual entities, but I’m willing to listen to reasonable, albeit unfounded, theories. The two events must also be meaningfully related, or at least appear to be. If there is a cause or reason for something to happen, it also will not fit the definition.

Synchronicity happens often enough so that many of us have experienced several such events. Usually, we charge it to coincidence, then we move on with our lives. But many of us, especially spiritual searchers and people who enjoy unexplained magical events, will focus on the event and may label it synchronicity.

One article I read that discusses both synchronicity and serendipity, posted by Dr. Joe Dispenze, can be found here. I neither agree nor disagree with anything that he said in that piece, but it is longer than what I write.

I’m grateful for the words we have available to define our human experiences and our nature, what we have in common, and how we differ. They enable us to share everything about our brief existence, to understand each other, and to make our lives better.

As things happen in life, we must pay attention,
learn, look both ways, and mind the gaps.

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5 thoughts on “Words: Synchronicity

  1. You have found my favorite topic, without exception.

    I refuse to dismiss a minor but slightly mystical experience with an easy “coincidence”. We are, after all, part of a very large universe and part of a very large earth. There is a mind meld that goes on between people and it’s obvious even when they don’t or won’t realize it.

    If you read about inventions in the early days of the 20th century (or even before that) you will hear of three or four scientists all studying the exact same problem, and all of them hitting the solution almost simultaneously. One in France, one in England, one in the US, and maybe Russia.

    My own theory is that when man was just beginning to be Man, his communication with his own species was similar to the way animals communicate, often, with grunts and stares and subvocalization–and the ability to communcate to other hunters in a pack about how to bring down that damn big waterbuffalo, or heffalump. It was much sharper than it is today, since we no longer put much faith in it, but it was an excellent, soundless way to survive. The better telepaths/communicators might just live long enough to drag home supper.

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    • I agree with your assessment Judy and just heard someone use those words the other day, “mind meld” during a moment of synchronicity. I do believe the universe conspires to give us what we seek, and as Rumi says, “What you seek is seeking you”. We’re really all in this together whether we realize it or not.

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      • I have had dreams that have been a precursor (sometimes briefly and sometimes in great detail) of an event yet to happen. This is the equivalent of deja vu, but it’s mostly just the dream that presaged the event. Places I had never seen, and a month or two later Im there. cool. I never discount such things, nor can I control them. They just are.

        And I suspect most people are afraid of such things, because they can’t control it, and can’t explain it. Ergo, it ain’t there. it didn’t happen. Or you just made it up.

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  2. I love this stuff, too. I experience it frequently, and without addressing the unknown source of it, I ALWAYS enjoy it and it ALWAYS feels significant and these things feel large at the time and grow larger as time passes. I don’t know if it’s spiritual or scientific (I’ve never felt the two couldn’t be the same) but I truly believe we’re all connected, or it’s all connected, or you know, however people want to label it. We know more than we know we know, time, space, blah blah, but I don’t believe in coincidences.

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    • Definitely connected. joey. That feeling you get when one person out of an entire roomful of people looks back at you, and you think., whoa…and you know they feel it too. And it’s just as strong a feeling online, as off.

      Long-term couples experience it, knowing when the other one is feeling blue, or happy, or weary. He walks into the room and she says, without even considering it, “don’t start with me…”

      A very young child can distinguish male and female infants by sight. We have to ask. =)

      The old saw about standing in the middle of the sidewalk, staring up, pointing. Within minutes everyone around you is doing the same thing. They aren’t sure why, but they have to look too.

      Mass hypnosis is mind connection on a grand scale, isnt it.

      I’m as much a realist as anyone I know, but part of that reality is facing the fact that there’s a lot going on that can’t be explained, nor can it be explained away.

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