coincidences

Isis and Osiris by Susan Seddon Boulet

Long before I became aware of Carl Jung’s writings on synchronicity, archetypes, dream interpretation and the collective unconscious, I noticed synchronicities or “meaningful coincidences” all the time. Deja Vu’s and mini-premonitions littered my life. I bet you’ve experienced a few too.

I have always gotten such a kick out of these events. Classic examples of this include-

  • Talking or thinking about someone and they call
  • Dreaming about someone I haven’t seen in awhile and then I see them the next day.
  • Numbers, names, symbols draw my attention to them as they appear in clusters, speaking their secret language.

The more I notice the synchronicities the more the synchronicities seem to happen. It’s almost as if I enter a magical world where I am listening to and following clues from the invisible worlds.

Jung’s theories centered upon the idea that a person’s life was more than just a collection of random events. He was transfixed by the idea that there was a deeper order in play. That the world was an orderly framework within which we lived as the subject and were the focus of it. From this idea, Jung theorized that coincidence, synchronicity and the like, served a purpose similar to dreams, guiding us through our journey.

Here’s an example of synchronicity from Jung’s book, Synchronicity.

My example concerns a young woman patient who, in spite of efforts made on both sides, proved to be psychologically inaccessible. The difficulty lay in the fact that she always knew better about everything. Her excellent education had provided her with a weapon ideally suited to this purpose, namely a highly polished Cartesian rationalism with an impeccably “geometrical” idea of reality. After several fruitless attempts to sweeten her rationalism with a somewhat more human understanding, I had to confine myself to the hope that something unexpected and irrational would turn up, something that would burst the intellectual retort into which she had sealed herself. Well, I was sitting opposite her one day, with my back to the window, listening to her flow of rhetoric. She had an impressive dream the night before, in which someone had given her a golden scarab — a costly piece of jewellery. While she was still telling me this dream, I heard something behind me gently tapping on the window. I turned round and saw that it was a fairly large flying insect that was knocking against the window-pane from outside in the obvious effort to get into the dark room. This seemed to me very strange. I opened the window immediately and caught the insect in the air as it flew in. It was a scarabaeid beetle, or common rose-chafer (Cetonia aurata), whose gold-green colour most nearly resembles that of a golden scarab. I handed the beetle to my patient with the words, “Here is your scarab.” This experience punctured the desired hole in her rationalism and broke the ice of her intellectual resistance. The treatment could now be continued with satisfactory results.

— Carl Jung

We all have felt or experienced coincidences. Sometimes we become aware of them on the periphery of our consciousness and at other times they smack us in the face.

These coincidences or synchronicities are not always easy to discern or understand but they do hold up a mirror to our lives, slow us down momentarily and show us that something else is going on and that things are connected in ways that we do not always comprehend.

I have observed that for the “deeper order” to respond to my needs or questions I have to go deeper. I have to ask from the depths of my being for help or a response. If I am moving through my day willy-nilly then the world reflects back to me in that willy-nilly, automatic pilot way. But if I pull in, hunker down into my core self, breathe from there, then life sends me signs and experiences such that I come into alignment with a clarity of purpose.

Just as I am writing a hawk is swooping past my window. Not in the distant sky but close, close, close. Close enough to make my heart jump for joy and make my soul smile profoundly.

“Hawk. Messenger. I thank you for lighting my day.” I think as I watch it fly off.

I would call that a synchronicity. It makes me feel, think and know that I am a part of a bigger whole; a wholeness that is partnering with me, reminding me at turns that I am not alone.  When that happens I relax, trusting the invisible that feeds and informs our visible world.

Oh and another thing, every time I experience a synchronicity I snap my fingers to say to the invisible orchestrators, I got that. I loved it. Keep more coming my way!

I’ll leave you with a few words from Timothy Leary: Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…”

How about you, have you experienced meaningful coincidences in your life? How do you react when one happens? I would love to hear your stories, share them with us in the comments below.

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