See this statue? This is Mother Mary – today, she will be our tour guide into the concept of synchronicity.
Synchronicity is a term that was coined by the great Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Gustav Jung. It refers to the phenomenon that happens when unlikely events linked by some common theme or concept all happen in a short time-frame together, or in some improbable sequence.
For believers, experiences of synchronicity can give rise to the sensation that some unseen Hand is guiding the actions around us in the world.
For non-believers, it’s all “just a coincidence,” and there’s no meaning in these occurrences, despite the unlikeliness and the improbability.
So how about a real-world example…
This past Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, I was meeting someone in Santa Monica. The other person lives in the area and wanted me to see this great statue of Mary that stands at the corner of California Avenue and 7th Street. I have no objections to statues, and am even somewhat in favor of them, so I agreed.
I went to the chosen corner at the appointed hour, and I very much enjoyed my time standing before Mary. I even snapped the picture at the top of this article because, though I am essentially a lapsed Jew, Mary was making me feel calm and cared for and comforted.
The next morning, on Sept. 8, I posted the picture on my social media channels just because I like the image. A couple of people wrote to me and asked, “Hey, did you know that today – Sept. 8 – is Mary’s birthday??”
No. I had not known that. Lapsed Jew and all… And without knowing that factoid, I had posted the only picture of Mary that I’ve ever posted…on her birthday!
That evening – still Mary’s birthday – I was heading out to meet a friend at a house party. He texted me the address: it was in Venice, CA., a house on California Avenue. I drove there, and as I was parking, he texted me again to say, “Oh, no, my bad – it’s at the California Avenue in Santa Monica, not Venice.”
I drove over to the other California Avenue, mostly focused on not wanting to be too horribly late for this gathering. When I arrived, though, it felt wrong. The same street address did exist at both California Avenues, but this one was super-quiet for a place that was supposed to be hosting a live band in its front yard. I entertained the notion that I had been in the correct place the first time around, and was now in the wrong place. I decided to pull around the corner at the end of the block to call my friend to figure this out…
And as I did, I saw the same statue of Mary right across the street from me. Without knowing where I was going, I had ended up directly in front of her again!
It turned out, also, that yes, I was in the right ‘hood the first time around, so I headed back to Venice, met my friend, and enjoyed the house party. But consider the fact that out of the millions of places I might have ended up in across the vast, sprawling geography of Los Angeles…the mix-up with my friend had sent me straight back to Mary (on her birthday!).
So the point is that this is an unlikely sequence of events, linked by a common element:
1) Someone sends me to the statue of Mary.
2) The next day, I post a picture of the statue…and it turns out that this is happening on Mary’s birthday, which I’d had no idea was that same day.
3) That evening, a miscommunication sends me right back to Mary again.
This unlikely sequence, then, qualifies as either an instance of real synchronicity if you’re a believer, or “just a coincidence,” if you’re not.
I’m a believer in synchronicity. There is meaning here, and I’m still pondering it. I need to research and meditate on Mary. Who is she to me? Who am I to her? What’s the message? Because in my worldview, there absolutely is a message. It feels important, too, and I need to decode it.
This is synchronicity.
Does it mean anything to you…?
By Steve Seinberg