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?


About Sharon

Writer, bibliophile, dreamer and student of everything
This entry was posted in JOURNAL ENTRY, ME ON WRITING, Writing prompts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to 11:11

  1. anamchara01 says:

    Dear Sharon,

    Thank you for that excellent post on synchronicity! I believe synchronicity happens to each one of us numerous times each day, but we hardly recognize the signs. The Mystery we call Life is so deeply entangled with our inner and outer world that is seems as if there’s always this subtle communication going on between both worlds. Perhaps that’s why the wise old hermeticists said “as above, so below”..

    Personally, I noticed it too the moment I started paying closer attention to what is áctually happening in my daily life. As an avid dream explorer, I’ve encountered many inexplicable synchronicities in the past few years. And every time, the ego tries to wrap its rational mind around it, but each time it is left perplexed and in a state of deep humility.

    I’d like to share two anecdotes:

    – A year ago I had the following dream: I was asleep at my parent’s home, yet suddenly I woke up by the cries of my sister (or my girlfriend? can’t remember correctly); she was having a bad dream with a lot of blood in it. I somehow knew that in my grandfather’s house, another girl was dreaming a similar dream. So as fast as I could, I ran outside the house, straight to my grandfather’s place. There, I learned that the girl didn’t dream of blood, but of equally red strawberries.

    The after I had this dream, I came across one strawberry, lying in the middle of the road. Although it was raining, I stood there a long time, watching this strawberry and making sure I was not dreaming.

    While the dream taught me of an inner division between a natural state (grandfather’s house) and an unnatural one (strawberry becomes a scene of blood; parent’s house), it did not really gave me a distinct feeling of which side I’m running to. Life however was merciful and delivered me this strawberry on the road, thus answering my inner question.

    – Lately I’ve been working on integrating the image of the Earth Mother in my consciousness. At some critical points in this process, I came across lots of toads (including toads which were afterwards killed on the road) and also red sand/bricks on the road. I’ve never seen toads or red bricks at those spots, except for those specific moments when the inner battle was at its strongest.

    All these experiences show me every time again that Life is indeed a Mystery to be lived and not a problem to be solved (as someone once said).

    • Hi there
      Very pleased you stopped by. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on synchronicity. Yesterday I bought a book called Sync: the emerging science of spontaneous order by Steven Strogatz. It’s just the sort of book I need at the moment. It’s all about the tendency for things to synchronize in the universe from people to atoms.

  2. Pingback: Monday comes around « The sunlit desk

  3. drtombibey says:

    Ms. Sharon,

    My personal moment of synchronicity came half-way through medical school. To that point, I would say I had been a smart, but not brilliant kid. I wondered what would possibly distuingish me from the other students. They were all bright.

    We would make rounds, and the Professors had a big entourage of students and residents tag along. They would go in the room and ‘talk at’ the patient, but seldom with them.

    I could tell the poor patient patient wanted to say something. ‘Uh wait… hey.. uh.. err…. uh hey!…’ They wanted to say it, but they were scared and intimidated and usually didn’t speak up.

    I’d go in the room after rounds, sit in the chair, prop my feet up and ask ’em what their trouble was. Sometimes I’d sit and eat popcorn with the family as they watched a movie. All I had to was ask and the patient or the family would give me all the clues I needed. It still baffles me that this is so elusive to some Docs.

    Soon I was getting all the right answers. Bless her heart, one student got angry about it. “What made you so smart of of a sudden?” I was just a country boy (still am) and it upset her.

    I tried to explain, but she didn’t want to hear it.

    That was many decades ago. I knew then I would never go to work for a living again, and I haven’t. All I do is walk around and be Dr. B. At the end of the month, someone sends a check. I love the patients and the role, and I’ve helped more than af few in my time. My third year of med school, when I got my first try at the Doc gig was synchronicity at it’s best for me.

    Dr. B

    Dr. B

    • Dr B
      I like that you don’t “work”. This is a really healthy attitude and no doubt makes you a better doctor and means you enjoy the role so much more. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  4. Karen says:

    Sharon, I think sometimes we underestimate how complex the world actually is. I am certain that synchronicity exists on many levels. I often have a sense of de ja vu where I’m almost certain I dreamed about the event that is unfolding before my eyes. I also think that our brains are such amazing creations that we’re often not aware of what memories or information that we’ve got stored in the depths of our experiences.

    I guess my faith in God provides me with a convenient explanation – there’s a divine hand at work behind the scenes that we’re simply not aware of most of the time, but get a glimpse of every now and then in those synchronous moments.

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I will certainly be back to yours when I get a spare minute.

    • Hi Karen

      Thanks for stopping by. I have the same experiences with de ja vu – I’m absolutely certain at times that I’ve dreamed those moments when it occurs. I agree with you that our brains are amazing – there’s so much we don’t know about these amazing organs. The brain and its workings is the true undiscovered country

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s