ELIZABETH DENLEY defines some of the key qualities of synchronicity and how it manifests in our daily life. She also explores our rational, scientific focus in recent centuries that has limited our awareness of synchronicity and our understanding of cause and effect.

Meaningful coincidences. Fated meetings. Chance encounters. Turning points. Events that are so significant they have the fragrance of synchronicity about them. It is as if the Universe is conspiring to bring something about. Such curious events used to be known as ‘magic’ in ancient times. Today we refer to them as synchronicity.

What is synchronicity? Is it a chance coming together of events and circumstances without any design or purpose? I don’t believe so. Perhaps the purpose is beyond our consciousness, so we dismiss the possibility that there is a connecting correspondence in these events. Perhaps synchronicity is a resonance with the divine plan, with the realms of Nature that we don’t see and so don’t understand?

Carl Jung coined the term ‘synchronicity’ in the 1920s to describe meaningful connections that are not a result of cause and effect – he called them acausal cross-connections, or the occurrence of two meaningfully but not causally connected events.

But Jung was not the first person to describe or try to understand synchronicity. Such meaningful connections had already been described by the ancients, including Avicenna and Albertus Magnus. In fact, before the scientific method focused all our attention on the need for visible proof of cause and effect, synchronicity was considered to be as fundamental as causality within natural law. It was only in the 18th century, with the rise of natural science, that causality became dominant and correspondence theory slowly vanished. Even today, however, for the so-called primitive mind, synchronicity is self-evident, needing no proof or justification. And all acts of creation are included.

In fact, the ancients had a much more holistic worldview. Hippocrates wrote, “There is one common flow, one common breathing, all things are in sympathy. The whole organism and each one of its parts are working in conjunction for the same purpose … The great principle extends to the extremist part, and from the extremist part it returns to the great principle, to the one nature, being and not-being.”

Shakespeare also expressed the same principle in his play, As You Like It, in his famous monologue about the seven ages of humanity, where Jacques starts by saying, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” I wonder if Shakespeare understood the nature of the playwright?

Carl Jung wrote extensively about synchronicity – about acausal connections and meaningful cross-connections between events. He called it acausal orderedness. In his book, Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle, he presents many experiments demonstrating examples of synchronicity. He also reasons that without space and time there is no causality. Anything that exists beyond space and time is, by definition, no longer bound by the laws of cause and effect. Jung considered synchronicity to be “a psychically conditioned relativity of space and time.”

It begs the question: What about consciousness? Is consciousness bound by causality? And what about the human potentiality that lies beyond consciousness? Once we move beyond the physical realm into the realm of the mind and soul, we are not bound by the same constraints of time and space, cause and effect.

Once we move beyond the physical realm
into the realm of the mind and soul,
we are not bound by the same constraints
of time and space, cause and effect.

Schopenhauer spoke about the transcendental Will, “the subject of the great dream of life,” which creates life. In his worldview, it is from this Will that all causes radiate like longitudinal lines from the poles, existing in a meaningful relationship of simultaneity as they flow in synchronous parallel.

Coming back to daily life, almost everyone has experienced that sense of recollection we call déjà vu. For example, you may walk along the street and meet someone new, and feel that you have done the same thing in the same place and have known that person before. Where does this ‘memory’ come from? We regularly have experiences that are not measurable scientifically, because science requires repetition, analysis and inference, cause and effect. Some events are not repeatable, and are not measurable. Beyond measurability, intuitively we know that life is an expression of a deeper order of universal wholeness – an order that Babuji called the Divine Play.

So how to understand this play? One way is to expand our consciousness so that we develop greater awareness of more of the spectrum of consciousness. We are then sensitive to synchronicity from a higher dimension, and we then experience connectivity and synchronicity in the light of vibrational compatibility at the subtle level.

Vibrational compatibility is a vast subject. It determines the family a soul joins at the time of conception and the dimension a soul moves to at the time of death. It also determines so many of the choices we make during this life, including with whom we spend our time, what attracts us, what we do career-wise, and so much more. Just as iron filings are drawn to a magnet, the natural laws of vibrational compatibility pull events and people together in ways that are not always measurable by the scientific method. How can you scientifically measure why a soul joins the family in which it is born, for example?

Is vibrational compatibility dependent on cause and effect? What is the cause and what is the effect when a soul is conceived in a family? Do the parents’ vibrational conditions draw the soul, or is it a synchronous event that is as much dependent on the state of the incoming soul as on the parents? Perhaps Schopenhauer’s image of the transcendental Will is more apt, from which all causes radiate like longitudinal lines from the poles, existing in a relationship of synchronicity as they flow in parallel, all connected to the same source. At any rate, it is worth exploring.

Having worked as a research scientist, I feel we have shortchanged ourselves and our view of knowledge during the last few centuries, by limiting ourselves only to the scientific method. Of course it is a wonderful approach, and very useful, as it allows us to formulate hypotheses and either verify or falsify their validity. We learn to observe, record and infer, continually replicating and refining our observations and understanding in order to learn more about the world. But it is only one approach, based in duality.

In the process, we have ignored the possibility of direct perception, which comes from inner connection and a deeper capacity of consciousness to download knowledge from dimensions beyond duality, where acausal connections are natural. Maybe the time is here when we once more value synchronicity.




Elizabeth Denley

About Elizabeth Denley

Elizabeth is originally from Australia, and is the founding editor of Heartfulness Magazine. She loves meditating, writing, singing, playing the piano, gardening, thinking, spending time with her two grown up children, and life in general. She is active in researching and publishing the writings of the Heartfulness masters of the 20th and 21st centuries. She considers every moment of every day to be precious.

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