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.

 

IndiaFriends!

As I am reconnecting with my roots and visiting loved ones in India, and away from writing my weekly blog, I thought we could share space in a slightly different format: anecdotes that make me think and chuckle.

Let’s start with this one.

A scene that took place between Austrian Emperor Joseph II and Wolfgang Mozart, marvelously dramatized in the movie, Amadeus, is one of my favorites of all time. The story goes that after hearing Mozart’s opera, The Abduction from the Seraglio, the Emperor complained:

“That is too fine – there are too many notes.”  Mozart’s famous reply was, “There are just as many notes as there should be.”

How often have we complained about this or that in our lives to which a perfect response would be: “Things are as they should be.”?

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In Lewis Carroll’s classic, Through the Looking Glass,” there is an exchange which always makes me chuckle between the White Queen and our unlikely hero, Alice-

The Queen says, “The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday—but never jam to-day.”

“It MUST come sometimes to ‘jam to-day,'” Alice objected.

“No, it can’t,” said the Queen. “It’s jam every OTHER day: to-day isn’t any OTHER day, you know.”

“I don’t understand you,” said Alice. “It’s dreadfully confusing!”

“That’s the effect of living backwards,” the Queen said kindly: “it always makes one a little giddy at first—”

“Living backwards!” Alice repeated in great astonishment. “I never heard of such a thing!”

“—but there’s one great advantage in it, that one’s memory works both ways.”

“I’m sure MINE only works one way,” Alice remarked. “I can’t remember things before they happen.”

“It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,” the Queen remarked.

This makes me think about future memory – a memory of things in the future, a future that has not been born yet.

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There is a story that once, on a long flight, Albert Einstein struck up a conversation with an Indian man next to him.

He said “Let’s play a game. I will ask you a question, if you don’t know the answer, you pay me $5. Then you ask me a question and if I don’t know the answer to that question, I will pay you $500”

The Indian agrees. Einstein asks the first question: “What’s the distance from the Earth to the Moon?

The Indian doesn’t say a word, reaches into his pocket, pulls out a $5 bill and hands it to Einstein.

On his turn, the Indian asks Einstein: “What goes up a hill with 3 legs and comes down on 4 legs?

Einstein thinks about it and comes up with zilch. He hands the Indian $500.

Einstein frustrated by the question asks the Indian: “So, what goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four?”

Indian says nothing, pulls out $5 from his pocket and hands it to Einstein.

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Have you ever outwitted a smarty-pants or run circles around a busy body? Are there anecdotes that tickle you over and over? Drop your stories and victories in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you.

 

India

I’m off to India, the land of my birth. For the next couple weeks, I’ll be staying in a small village which is home to peacocks and wonderful people. In fact, I will be staying in the house I was actually born in.

It has been 19 years since I was last there and my mother says I won’t recognize the place. I wonder what it will feel like to be in the room where I took my first breath. The very room in which I became me.

I took my first steps there, uttered my first words. Fell in love with earth.

India holds a special place in my heart, but that doesn’t mean that I am not deeply troubled by the many contradictions that come with it. Covered with temples dedicated to love, tantra, yoga, meditation, and self-awareness, yet women’s rights are still unequal and pollution is everywhere. Multi-billion dollar corporations dotting a landscape of such poverty.

It needs to be seen to be truly understood.

I would like to invite you to join me on this journey by following me on Instagram. I know it’s nowhere near the same as being there but the images and videos may peak your interest and excite your appetite to adventure there one day.

Here are some random facts about India to stir your curiosity:

  • The board game Snakes and Ladders originated in India.
  • Diamonds were first mined in India
  • Freddie Mercury and Ben Kingsley are both of Indian descent
  • India is the world’s second-largest English-speaking country
  • India was once an island
  • Indian languages belong to four of the world’s major language groups: Indo-European, Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman.
  • India prides itself on being the world’s largest democracy
  • India has the second highest population of Muslims in the world.

Send me your India stories or dreams. I would love to read them and I promise to share stories as they happen during my travels over there. If you haven’t already, please follow me at