New -- 1 April 2005
Synchronicity is, strictly speaking, "meaningful coincidence." It's not in your standard dictionary [yet], so don't bother to look it up. It is instead defined by true believers in the concept and disseminated via the web. The fact that you're reading this at this very moment is clearly synchronicity in action.
Okay, so you're not yet convinced. Perhaps you just clicked on what you thought was a random link and ended up here -- as if there was no meaning at all to you're arriving here at this very precise now. You may be correct in that it may be just a simple result of causality, or cause (clicking on the link) and effect (finding yourself here).
On the other hand, it is also just possible that causality -- the so-called "law" of cause and effect -- is not entirely a fundamental necessity within the constraints of this universe. While it may be idealic in a strictly mechanical world defined by a mechanical physics theology (and mechanistic purveyors of science), the quantum physics of probability and chance is not necessarily quite so random. Chance and coincidence may be pervasive, if not planned and/or directed. As Stephen Osborne  has said, "Sometimes it's [just] marvelous."
Ah yes, the product of our paradigms -- which in turn often have less value than a quarter. Seeing is believing, but more importantly believing is seeing. As a consequence, if we are believers in the art of synchronicity, we are very likely to note the meaningful, marvelous coincidences which fill our lives with joy and delight.
One might also consider that in addition to coincidence as a matter of perception, it also has other influences. Thinking of someone you haven't seen in ages just prior to a surprise meeting with them may be as much telepathy as coincidence. Everything falling into place might be as much about creating reality as the luck of the draw. And despite the tendency of dictionaries to define coincidence as accidental or "mere" chance, it may be that a "happening without apparent causal connection" is in reality an indicator of the failings of causality; not the other way around. Coincidence -- thanks in large part to Quantum physics -- seems more likely now to be the essence of life. As Stephen Osborne  noted:
Synchronicity and meaningful coincidence may be even more than a tangled blur. One fellow traveler  has said:
It may very well be that synchronicity is simply a characteristic of "Grand Unification". When we become ever more connected in our being with the rest of the universe -- i.e. the Grand Unification -- then synchronicity occurs more and more often. When we get into the flow, then the flow responds to our presence with synchronous events, and all is blissful and charming.
On the other hand -- it seems as if there is always another hand -- there is something that John Russels was reputed to have said : "Sanity calms, but madness is more interesting." And madness is in essence creative individuality.
This then is the issue of doing one's own thing amongst the otherwise pervasive connections in the universe. A standard assumption by many thinkers, for example, is that being an ego-oriented individual goes hand in hand with a lack of connection with the rest of the universe. Thus doing random and strange things (i.e. very individualistic things) would not be happening if the individual was connected and in the flow, so to speak. If one were picking flowers, for example, the tendency -- if one was fully connected and knowledgeable about the many and varied ways flowers have been picked in the past -- the tendency would be to pick the flowers in a way similar to prior pickings. This would imply a lack of individuality, originality, and/or creativity. Thus, we are faced with increasing unification implying decreasing individuality.
On the other hand (I think this is about three hands thus far), one can always assume that the fully connected individual -- by virture of knowing all the previous ways of picking a flower -- might intentionally decide to pick a flower in a whole new, original, and creative manner. In this case, the individual -- within the Grand Unification scheme -- would be heightening the individuality of the event.
If one goes with the flow, then one is cooperating "in positive enforcement of conscious creation". Such creation, of course, implies a degree of predestination, where the individualistic nature is not part of the action. Nevertheless, if one can go with the flow -- and simultaneously allow the flow to provide synchronicity -- and then on occasion strike out on a wholly new tangent, individuality is enhanced. It's like taking the Hero's Quest into new realms -- from time to time -- but only after being fully aware of the old realms. There is also the assumption that these old realms are, in turn, always open to new realms being added to the mix. That is why we have heroes.
Many of us will choose the go-with-the-flow synchronicity route and be quite content. But some will also choose the quest-into-new-realms approach -- at least from time to time. Both choices are to be honored. Think of it as Frodo and his three Hobbit friends leaving his idealic Hobbit village and going off to wage the ultimate war between good and evil, and upon returning from their victories finding their village blissfully unaware of where the four have been or that there has even been a war. It is particularly nice to realize that there are those who will answer the call, and that those who receive no call can unknowingly benefit nonetheless.
But more than the fantasy of the Lord of the Rings (at least in the movie -- in the book there were battles yet to be waged close to home), there is something really appealing about the fact that our civilization can provide a blissful life for so many, even when so many others are hearing the call and rushing off to join the fray of political and other battles in order to protect the potential of a blissful life of others where synchronicity can reign supreme. It's a bit like those mentally retarded people who never seem to age -- because of their lack of perceiving stress and trauma -- but who still do quite well in life because of the generosity and caring of others. They may also be indebted to those few who still undergo the Hero's Journey in order for others to benefit. The fact they are unaware of such boons is, of course, part of the connected synchronicty of the universe.
Meanwhile, from this particular hero -- one whose madness is indeed very interesting... you're welcome.
 Stephen Osborne, "Just a Concidence?", Utne, May-June 2003 -- exerpted from Geist, Winter 2003.
 Loree, UfoAndromeda@aol.com, Private Communication, May 2003.
 John Russell (as quoted in) Home By Design, April-May 2005.
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