Flavor of synchronicity

There are many types and flavors of synchronicities, and more recently, a particular flavor has been coming up, one where something comes up in my mind and then in the wider world short after.

Today was a good example. My partner and I joined a wildflower hike through the university, and close to the peak I mentioned to her (for the first time this year) that we could take a look at the summer schedule for another local outdoors group. Maybe we could join some of their outings as well.

About half a minute later, a group of people came towards us on the path, and when we asked them which group there were with, they turned out to be from the specific group I had mentioned just before.

It was maybe not the most remarkable coincidence, since both groups have outings every weekend this time of year (although the timing and geography of it was more of a coincidence, since both groups have outings across a whole state and this was a relatively obscure little mountain).

But it is part of a pattern of these types of synchronicities happening daily for me, in various ways.

For instance yesterday, I suggested to my partner that we go and sit with a local Zen group this week, and when I checked email a couple of minutes later, I had received one through Zaadz from someone I haven’t met yet, but who is with that particular group. (This is a group we haven’t gone to for at least a year).

Synchronicities may have several functions.

They invite us to take a look at the content of the meaningful coincidence, amplifying it for us.(Although, in my experience at least, the content itself often does not seem so important.)

Maybe more importantly, they are a reminder of the seamless whole of life, of the movements of the whole being expressed in (seemingly separate) local events.

And finally, they may be signposts on the way, and encouragements to continue practice and investigation.

In either case, they are temporary phenomena, and something that lives its own life as anything else.

Finally, they help us check our common sense and level-headedness.

It may be a meaningful coincidence to me, but that does not mean that there necessarily is a direct connection in the world. The connection may just be in my mind.

And it may happen a lot, but that does not mean there is anything special going on. Synchronicities are relatively common on the path, a garden-variety experience, although certainly not necessary.

They can even be an (apparent) obstacle, if they are used to inflate a sense of importance of this sense of a separate self (a separate self, better than others).

Of course, this is really a gift rather than an obstacle, as there is an invitation here to notice any tendencies for inflation. And also, when that comes up, to work on it, to see what is already more true for us than the belief inflation comes out of.

In practical terms, the most important thing with synchronicities may be noticing how this apparently separate self relates to them. And that is no different from anything else in life.

2 thoughts to “Flavor of synchronicity”

  1. Wonderful post, per usual. “Per usual.” Ha ha.

    I agree with what you are saying here. Except that I don’t think the synchronicity itself is purposeful. It may be more the case that the veil is getting thinner, somehow, from our practice or the worthy wear of our spiritually hungry mind.

    There is a close cousin to synchronicity that I experience from time to time that I call non-discrete intuition. For example, walking down the street I might know in a foggy sort of way that something is going to happen and then I’ll bump into someone I know. Or, there was the time I drempt I chipped a tooth which awakened me whereupon I immediately chipped a tooth. Or, while worrying about being careful with my laptop it impossibly drops out of its satchel.

    It’s not classic, useful intuition, but a fuzzy harbinger that aids me not a whit.

    These things I suppose I “choose” to explain as kindly signposts that encourage me to soldier on in my muttled practice. I mean, I “like” this stuff, even if it is not practical and doesn’t help me bet on ponies at the racetrack, or anything.

  2. “Except that I don’t think the synchronicity itself is purposeful.”

    Yes, I agree with that, actually. I put the first one in, about attention being drawn to the content of the synchronicity, because I know many see it that way, including Jung if I remember right. But to me, and you as well it seems, the content is usually less important.

    I remember another one from yesterday: I was on the bus and thought about someone I haven’t seen for three years or so, and then ran into her at the hardware store a couple of hours later.

    Those are of the more “fuzzy” variety as you say.

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