When was the last time you experienced something seemingly out of the ordinary? Perhaps this morning you were thinking about someone and ring, ring, they called. Or, you were looking for a signal or sign, a piece of information, when a newsletter slipped into your inbox and offered it to you. Did you consider why this coincidence might have happened?
The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung would have you take note of these coincidences. He did a lot of work in the area of “meaningful coincidences” , which he called synchronicity, and suggested that coincidence seems to be a primary way that the universe evolves. Reflect over your own life and you’ll likely recall the effect of this. Life stories are studded by the mysterious by-products of chance meetings, missed trains, books opening to a significant passage, ajar doors, overheard conversations, a meeting of eyes across a crowded room. Much of the sometimes higgledy-piggledy nature of or CV’s can be explained by the effect of coincidental job opportunities that were not part of the career plan.
In their book, The Celestine Prophecy: An Experiential Guide, authors Redfield and Adrienne propose that coincidence is a key partner in a powerful combination of coincidence + cosmic jolt. Many of us have an inner restlessness, a dissatisfaction (even after having achieved a goal), we experience a vague uneasiness, or a sense that something is missing. Once in a while, a chance event surprises and intrigues us. It’s as if some higher purpose is being revealed.
The combination of inner searching (“There must be more to life”) and an occasional cosmic jolt (“Wow! What a strange coincidence. I wonder what that meant?”) is a powerful process. Mysterious and exciting, coincidences are purposeful in moving us forward in our destiny. They make us feel more alive, as if there is some greater plan at work.
Try this reflection exercise (from Redhill and Adrienne) to recap on the role of coincidences in your life;
Home: Were there any particular coincidences or signs connected with getting your current living space (significant house numbers, encounters with neighbours, delays in negotiations, mixed-up phone calls, special street names, or any other odd detail?)
Work: What were the coincidences that impacted on how you got your present job? Think back to how you found out about it, to whom you talked, and what messages you might have received.
Relationship: What coincidences were at play when you describe how you met your most important relationship? What led up to your being in that place at that time? Did the person remind you of anyone? Did you notice any signs?
Most synchronicities seem to happen when we need them most, like a gift of the universal flow of energy. Most esoteric literature advises that we can stimulate the ability to generate coincidences through emotional charge (focus and desire) and vivid imagining. In fact, scientific parapsychological experiments conducted at Duke University in the 1950’s demonstrate without a doubt that the most important success factors for ESP tests were “enthusiasm”, “high interest in producing accurate guesses, especially at the beginning of the day”, and a general sense of “hopeful expectancy”
We don’t need a rational explanation to be moved by coincidences, just an awareness and a curiosity to explore further what the coincidence is trying to promote. As Alan Vaughn says in Incredible Coincidence; “….everyday coincidences show the artfulness of our unconscious minds in creating our lives. The least we can do is admire it. The most we can do is to give the creative expression our full support”.