Originally posted by Pianoman1
What is Synchronicity?
Is there a place for intuition in how we perceive the cosmos? So many of my greatest eureka moments have been arrived at intuitively - a sort of gut feeling that something is right.
"A Wink from the Cosmos," by Meg Lundstrom
"Earl was trying to track down an out-of-print book called The Adventures of Marco Polo. He scoured two used book stores in New York City, had no success, and caught a taxi to a third. The cab driver was unusually chatty, and during their conversation, Earl glanced at his license on the dashboard. His name? Marco Polo!
Art was sitting at his computer typing an e-mail missive when his cat Coal jumped from his lap onto the keyboard. Before Art's startled eyes, as the cat shifted from key to key, its paws tapped out the word emerson on the screen. "To make it even weirder, I've been studying Ralph Waldo Emerson intently for the past year, and the study has taken on a very symbolic meaning to me," he says, still in shock. "My wife was sitting next to me at the computer, and if I'm sent away for being crazy, she has to go, too!"
The uncanny coincidence. The unlikely conjunction of events. The startling serendipity. Who hasn't had it happen in their life? You think of someone for the first time in years, and run into them a few hours later. An unusual phrase you'd never heard before jumps out at you three times in the same day. On a back street in a foreign country, you bump into a college roommate. A book falls off the shelf at the bookstore and it's exactly what you need.
Is it only, as skeptics suggest, selective perception and the law of averages playing itself out? Or is it, as Carl Jung believed, a glimpse into the underlying order of the universe? He coined the term synchronicity to describe what he called the "acausal connecting principle" that links mind and matter. He said this underlying connectedness manifests itself through meaningful coincidences that cannot be explained by cause and effect. Such synchronicities occur, he theorized, when a strong need arises in the psyche of an individual. He described three types that he had observed: the coinciding of a thought or feeling with an outside event; a dream, vision or premonition of something that then happens in the future; and a dream or vision that coincides with an event occurring at a distance.
No one has come up with a definition that has superceded his, although there has been debate on whether events linked to precognition and clairvoyance should be included as synchronicity.
Some scientists see a theoretical grounding for synchronicity in quantum physics, fractal geometry, and chaos theory. They are finding that the isolation and separation of objects from each other is more apparent than real; at deeper levels, everything -- atoms, cells, molecules, plants, animals, people -- participates in a sensitive, flowing web of information. Physicists have shown, for example, that if two photons are separated, no matter by how far, a change in one creates a simultaneous change in the other.
Whatever its cause, the appeal of synchronicity runs deep. "People love mysterious things, and synchronicity is like magic happening to them,"
says Carolyn North, author of Synchronicity: The Anatomy of Coincidence (Regent Press). "It gives us a sense of hope, a sense that something bigger is happening out there than what we can see, which is especially important in times like this when there are so many reasons for despair."
The more pragmatic a person, the greater a surprise a synchronistic incident is -- even mild ones of the sort that happen to most people sooner or later. For example, Bruce, a corporate lawyer, was stunned the day that, just as he was getting ready to dial his father, he picked up the phone and heard his father's voice on the other end -- calling him. "I said, 'Holy smokes!' We were both dumbfounded!" he recalls. For a moment in time, synchronicity shattered their assumptions of cause-and-effect reality.
Some people, however, would shrug and call this intuition. How are the two different? At first blush, synchronicity and intuition seem to be separate phenomena. Synchronicity happens "out there": against the odds, something in the Universe seems to swing into place to answer an inner need we have. Intuition happens "in here": it's an inner knowing, an ability to tune into knowledge in a nonrational, nonlinear way. We know something but we don't know how we know it.... "
Pianoman1, though these observations conclude that the "ability to tune into knowledge in a nonrational, nonlinear way" defines the phenomena you describe, my view is that it's a rational perception: from a confluence of events, which our subconscious and memory storage combine to produce recognitions of which we would otherwise be unaware. Fascinating!