12.02.2008

Half-random Notes on the Word-defying Phenomena of Synchronicity



(1st there was Twitter telepathy)




More and more people like me are experiencing the phenomena of synchronicity thru which seemingly unrelated events, persons, places and things are revealed as being interconnected. The realization of the interconnectedness is a freaky, "oh shit" kinda moment, but as strange as it is, it seems to make those who experience them happy rather than fearful, something I can confirm.

I think the reason for the surge of syncs is manifold--but it has something to do with this time of transformation that we've entered, in which the old ways of doing things according to our old reality are breaking away and disintegrating all around us. Synchronicity is outlining the building blocks for a new reality based on new groupings of meaning.

Wikipedia gives a classic example of synchronicity, as described by the French author, Émile Deschamps:

The French writer Émile Deschamps claims in his memoirs that in 1805, he was treated to some plum pudding by a stranger named Monsieur de Fortgibu. Ten years later, the writer encountered plum pudding on the menu of a Paris restaurant and wanted to order some, but the waiter told him that the last dish had already been served to another customer, who turned out to be de Fortgibu. Many years later, in 1832, Émile Deschamps was at a diner and was once again offered plum pudding. He recalled the earlier incident and told his friends that only de Fortgibu was missing to make the setting complete—and in the same instant, the now senile de Fortgibu entered the room. ("Synchronicity", Wikipedia)


This example shows how synchronicity goes beyond mere one-off coincidences such as showing up at a party wearing the same dress as someone else or hearing an obscure song in a bar the second you finish telling someone that they need to give that tune a listen. Real synchronicity is at once deeper and more expansive: for instance, a synchronicity would have been if after hearing the obscure song you went home and had a strong compulsion to check out a music blog and read on the homepage that the musician behind the obscure song died earlier that evening--about the time you were at the bar. Synchronicities are connected coincidences that exponentially raise the weirdness factor of each single coincidence contained within the thread. Together, these threads create a web of connections that stretch in several directions at once and depend upon an exquisitely exact sense of timing. If Deschamps had come into the restaurant in Paris an hour earlier, he would have most likely beaten Monsieur de Fortgibu to the last dish of plum pudding and likely would have never found out that the old man dined at the restaurant on that day at all. When Deschamps is offered plum pudding again many years later and recalls the previous sync to his companions, the completion of the web depends upon Monsieur de Fortgibu walking into the diner "in the same instant" that Deschamps tells his friends that the only thing missing from his tale is the senile old man. It still would have been quite a coincidence had Monsieur de Fortgibu appeared before the tale was told, but it's so much more uncanny that he appears at the same instant that the lack of his presence is being commented upon.






Synchronicity reminds us that everything happens exactly when and how it is meant to happen. It teaches us that the rules of cause and effect upon which we base our current reality are illusions--although very persistent ones, to paraphrase Einstein. In order to benefit from what synchronicity can teach us, one has to be willing to let go of old ways of thinking--in particular, the notion that things happen because of related things that happened before which create the conditions for that which happens after. As one starts accepting the reality of synchronicities they start happening more frequently--this is because openness and awareness of synchronicities are the necessary tools for recognizing them.

The synchronicities have led to the plot of my book--all fiction is based on synchronicity. They are the signs of a big story. They are the building blocks of myth and the scenes in a dream.

Synchronicity is what happens when I stay tuned--even while flipping thru the channels: I catch a flash of a face--an abrupt syllable--a drum beat or cymbal crash.

The faster I click the more meaningless it all becomes, until it's as though I'm flicking through raw thereness itself.



Size is an illusion--everything is everything:

Augustine described God as a circle whose center was everywhere and its circumference nowhere:

I feel that because the event horizon of your Konsciousness sphere can be infinitely expanded it means we are all equal. If there is an infinite up and down to Konsciousness you are always in the middle, no? Meaning a God, Archetype, E.T or Buddha is no more integral then a human, amoeba insect or atom. All are the same in the I of God. In the same fashion syncs - in actuality all space time phenomena - have no hierarchy of importance, one connection is as profound as the other, yet context and point of view highlight some for total 'awesomeness'.

--Jake Kotze, The Blob


26 comments:

Ray of Mars said...

Captain Howdy says hello.

kermit said...

Interesting article. I don't mean to be an asshole since I really like the intention behind the article, but:

In order to benefit from what synchronicity can teach us, one has to be willing to let go of old ways of thinking--in particular, the notion that things happen because of related things that happened before which create the conditions for that which happens after.

And if we are to let go of the "old" ways of thinking what are we supposed to replace them with?

As one starts accepting the reality of synchronicities they start happening more frequently--this is because openness and awareness of synchronicities are the necessary tools for recognizing them.

Just because they're noticed more doesn't mean that they are happening more frequently. They could be happening at the same rate as before, only now you've started to notice them.

Synchronicity reminds us that everything happens exactly when and how it is meant to happen.

Meant to happen according to whom? If synchronicity is deep, widespread coincidences on a mass scale, then by definition there is no plan, and nothing is "meant" to happen.

On the contrary - if I'm understanding your point correctly - it's the old system of cause and effect that "everything happens exactly when and how it is meant to happen."

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I don't quite buy into the idea of synchronicity as a workable system, since it sounds too much like magical/wishful thinking - the sort of magical thinking that is not accommodated in the cause/effect model.

This is not to say that I don't think the cause/effect model has it's faults in practice.

kermit said...

sorry, that last line is supposed to say:
This is not to say that I don't think the cause/effect model has its faults in practice.

TRUE said...

Howdy Ray!!

Hey Kermit--thx for reading and commenting. Your questions are all good ones--I think synchronicities are created in part by a person's awareness of them. It seems paradoxical but the more you tune in to them the more they occur--and by that I mean the frequency and overall number of these strange, unexplainable strings of coincidences.

As for good old cause and effect, I don't think it's in any serious jeopardy. But it's become such a dominant way of explaining everything--its entrenched in dualistic metaphysical comparisons. I believe that events such as 9/11 show us that cause and effect don't really answer everything, and in fact, they might not be the dominant way in which things happen. My point about letting go of cause and effect is that it's a very limiting viewpoint.

I agree when you write that synchronicity is not a "workable system"--that's the whole point. Realities are systems--constructed via language. Synchronicity calls into question the authority of any given reality by referring to a raw "thereness" as I mentioned in the post.

I like to imagine that the synchronicities themselves might be places where the current reality and the next reality are intersecting...who knows? It's fun to think about thought.

Jake Kotze said...

I have recently moved into a new place here in Winnipeg.

I have carried around a stack of, maybe 40, prints of paintings by Magritte for the last 6 years.

They used to be stuck up, covering a entire wall space in an old South African apartment of mine.

I have been contemplating whether it would finally be a good idea to stick them back up..
Am I at home enough yet?

I showed them to my roommate not a week ago.

Yesterday I was telling myself that I should bring home some tape, to stick the paintings up, when I am next at work, where such stuff can be found.

I sat here in the office, having totally forgotten about this Magritte commitment, until I read this piece and will directly proceed to find tape here.

Tomorrow I plan to stick those suckers back up feeling more secure through this synchronicity that I am Home.

Thanks for Being part of this story.

carrie said...

ah. wonderful.

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