Swiss psychologist Carl Jung coined the term synchronicity to describe the phenomena of acasual events coming together in a meaningful way. In otherwords, a “meaningful coincidence”. This idea has also been called “morphic resonance”, which describes a phenomena of ideas being transmitted unconsciously from one person’s mind to anothers. I’m not a psychologist or physicist, thus I can’t even begin to explain this phenomena, but it is a source of fascination for me and it happens to me on a regular basis. For example, symbols from my dreams regularly appear in waking life very soon after I’ve dreamed them. Words also make repeated appearances in quick succession. Recently I dreamed of the word dray – which I believe is a type of horsedrawn cart – for weeks after dreaming the word it appeared everywhere, in passages of books I was reading, in documentaries, in ads. Another recent phrase that kept appearing was fata morgana (a mirage or illusion). Last year I dreamed of a musician I’d once seen at the Queensland Multicultural Festival several years earlier. His name is Tenzin Choegyal, a very talented Tibetan musician. Within days of dreaming of Tenzin his music appeared on ITunes and links to his website began appearing in my inbox. A week later I went to the Multicultural festival again and found him performing on one of the stages. But I’ve had even weirder experiences with this phenomena. Bare with me on this one:
When I was about three years old I had frequent dreams about Bigfoot, or the Yowie as he’s known in Australia. I lived in Sydney at the time in an area not too far from where Yowie’s were said to be sighted. In 1977, the year I turned four my family moved to New Zealand. The dreams stopped. Many years later, when I was sixteen, my mother, sister and I moved back to Australia, to Brisbane. The dreams started again, albeit infrequently. I had just started a new school and was pretty shy, but within a a few months I’d made a few good friends. One was Carla, who interestingly had just moved from Sydney to Brisbane. It turns out Carla was born in New Zealand, but left around 1976-77. On a sleepover at her house one night we started talking with her mother about dreams. I mentioned my bigfoot dreams and the two of them went pale. Carla related a dream she’d had after arriving in Sydney from New Zealand – although she wasn’t sure it was a dream – of seeing a yowie outside her bedroom window holding a red bucket. It turns out the red bucket was a construction of her mothers to remove the fear from the experience. She told her daughter it was a mother Yowie out collecting berries for her baby. Further discussion revealed that as Carla was arriving in Sydney from New Zealand I was leaving Sydney for New Zealand. Carla’s mother was convinced there was a deep spiritual connection between the two of us. Is it a bizarre case of synchronicity or something deeper? I still don’t know.
There are dozens of more famous examples of synchronicity:
- Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace independently developed the theory of natural selection around the same time. Wallace even sent Darwin a draft of his manuscript without realising that Darwin had just developed the same theory.
- In 1876, Elisha Gray filed a caveat (an announcement of an invention) which described an apparatus “for transmitting vocal sounds telegraphically’ with the U.S Patent Office. Unfortunately for Gray Alexander Graham Bell had only just filed a patent for the same two hours earlier
- Neptune was discovered simultaneously in 1846 by two mathematicians – John Couch Adams and Urbain Jean-Joseph Le Verrier
- During the 17th century Issac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz are both said to have invented calculus, though this one is a little controversial. Some believe Leibniz based his ideas on Newton’s.
- Petroglyphs in San Juan River region in New Mexico have a striking resemblance to those in Africa
- Easter Island pictographs resemble those in the Indus Valley
- Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot both worked independently on photographic experiments in 1839
- The Rubik cube is also said to have been independently designed by Erno Rubik and a Japanese engineer by the name of Terutoshi Ishige
- Lewis Hyde in Trickster makes this world writes about the seemingly indepedent phenomena of the trickster in many of the world’s traditional cultures
- Spiral galaxies, hurricanes and cyclones, whirlpools, ammonites and snail shells, the double helix, goat or antelope horns, fiddleheads, fractals. Spirals appear independently everywhere
Are these cases just pure coincidence, or is there something else going on? Have you ever experienced synchronicity?