Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Science of Synchronicity

Science is simply a technique of making accurate observations and drawing logical conclusions from those observations.  The field of investigation need not be the physical universe, even though most professional scientists specialize in some aspect of 3-D reality.  Even phenomena that are non-repeatable, such as synchronicities, lend themselves to scientific investigation.

We often think of scientists as working in laboratories, performing experiments.  If a scientist working in one laboratory gets the same results as a scientist working in another laboratory, this is a good indication that the results are accurate.  But what happens if no laboratory is available?

Astronomy is a good example of what scientists can do without a laboratory.  Confronted with a bewildering array of stars and galaxies, astronomers have managed to make a remarkable amount of sense out of it all.  By observing the spectra of millions of stars, astronomers have learned to sort the stars into categories, and have figured out how stars evolve.  They have done the same thing with galaxies, as well.  There is still a lot to learn, but astronomers have made amazing progress in the past 200 years figuring out the physical universe and our place in it.

Consider, now, synchronicities.  The term "synchronicity" was coined by Carl Gustav Jung, one of Sigmund Freud's disciples.  It means "meaningful coincidence."  We get to decide what's meaningful to us, and in so doing we have already left the world of materialistic science, which assumes that there's a universe "out there" which exists independently of the observer.  To materialists, whatever "meaning" we attach to the phenomenon is irrelevant. 

With synchronicity, on the other hand, we are talking about a realm of reality, which, even though it seems to exist "out there," is not separate from the observer.  There's a deeper layer of reality involved, if you will, and we can use the scientific method of "making accurate observations and drawing the logical conclusion from these observations" to achieve an understanding of this reality.  What at first might seem incomprehensible becomes, upon investigation, a realm that follows its own logic and its own laws.

Let's consider a couple of real-life examples of synchronicities:

Laura and I had a sweet synchronicity on Tuesday, Nov. 26.  On Monday a friend of ours, Lisa, called and said she needed two quarts of raw mesquite honey, she needed them soon, and she couldn't make it to Farmers Market.  Hmmm, I pondered, we no longer do home deliveries.  The best we could do would be to leave her honey at the Co-op information desk for her to pick up.  Lisa also wanted the honey at the Farmers Market price ($14.00) rather than the Co-op price ($18.99).  I don't like to cut the Co-op out of the equation like that, since it's their markup which allows the Co-op to exist in the first place.  Nevertheless, as a favor to Lisa, I agreed to deliver her honey to the Co-op at some unspecified time later in the week.

I was thinking about having Laura deliver the honey on Wednesday.  But on Tuesday afternoon, after we had worked out at the gym and finished our shopping, I decided we had time to take Lisa's honey to the Co-op before we went to meditation group.  So that's what we did.  It was a spur of the moment decision.  We drove across town, parked the car, carried the honey across the parking lot, and when my hand was literally on the door of the Co-op, I looked over to the left, and there, 10 feet away and walking towards us, was Lisa!  This is what I would call a classic synchronicity.

Even if we had set a time for her to pick up her honey, it would have been virtually impossible for us to achieve perfect timing like that.

Laura and Lisa were both blown away, not only by the coincidence itself,  but by the impeccably dramatic timing of it.  I made a crack about "cutting out the middle man" and went inside.  Frankly, I wasn't at all surprised -- my life has been trending that way lately.  Divine choreography has once again become obvious in my life.  Back in the 70s I figured out that the frequency of synchronicities indicated if I was in the divine flow or not.

Now for the next example:

Laura had a synchronicity happen this past Saturday at Farmers Market.  The Las Cruces Museum of Nature and Science, directly across from our honey stand, has a set of double glass doors in front.  As Laura was exiting the museum through one door after a bathroom break, she "saw a fat old scruffy green-jacketed man going in -- our hands on the opposite doors at exactly the same moment."  An hour or so later, Laura took another break.  She continues, "The next time I came out of the museum I saw exactly the same man at exactly the same spot."

The materialistic worldview, which holds that existence is happening strictly by chance, would say that this was a "mere coincidence" -- there are x number of people entering and leaving the museum on a Saturday morning, so there is a certain statistical probability that the same two people will encounter each other more than once on the same morning.

The synchronistic point of view holds that there is nothing "mere" about "coincidence."  "Coincidence" simply means "occurring together";  in other words, "co-incidence."  Was there any particular meaning to the co-incidence at the museum?  Probably.  The Universe was telling Laura, in effect:  "So you're tracking synchronicities now, are you?  All right, what do you make of this one?"

I have noticed over the years that the Universe occasionally send me a "tweak"  -- as in, "Are you paying attention?"  Not only does the Universe have a sense of humor, it has every possible human characteristic -- and infinitely more, besides.

Despite what the meaning of co-incidences may or may not seem to be, at least the synchronistic point of view can admit the possibility that at least some co-incidences are caused by, for example,  overlapping morphic fields rather than mere probability.

These two examples of synchronicity are very different, and indicate that a wide range of phenomena can fall under the same basic definition.  Like astronomers studying stars, synchronicity scientists need a massive amount of data before they can draw any meaningful conclusions.

Soon I will be reviewing Jan Cederquist's Meaningful Coincidence -- Remarkable true stories of synchronicity and the search for answers.  This will quickly take our discussion to the next level.

I always welcome feedback.  My email address is soarbird (at) wildblue (dot) net.       

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