SYNCHRONICITY--by Mick Bysshe
He tells me to take some Reese's Pieces for the flight crew, so of course this week's New Yorker has a cartoon of a robber inquiring "are those Reese's Pieces?" while holding up the store clerk during a robbery.
Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of the network of mutuality, the Unitarian Universalist speak of the interdependent web, and not many years ago Al Gore invented the Internet. He might have had a little help from his friend, Joe Cocker.
The notion of acausal synchronicity was first promulgated by Carl Jung after handing one of his clients a scarab beetle to complement the beetle that appeared in her dream life. It apparently became a breakthrough in the therapy sessions that seemed to be going nowhere.
"My sister and I are 3 years, 3 months, 3 days and 33 hours apart in age. Our mother's favorite number is 3." I told her to look up Jeremiah 33:3 and that my son was born when I was 3 decades, 3 weeks, and three days old.
"I had a dream I was selling lollipops out of a cigarette carton. A few weeks later two co-workers were talking. One said 'these are the cigarettes I am smoking now.' She pulled lollipops out of a bag. I was shocked. It was the fulfillment of the dream that I had."
If you overdo the obsession with patterns and coincidences in your life you may be drifting into apophenia, a word coined by Klaus Conrad a German psychotherapist. He felt this could indicate a form of schizophrenia.
I had somewhat of a foray into paranoia in the fall of 1994. Due to obsessing about coincidences I felt I had caused the death of 68 people on the 68th anniversary of the death of Houdini. It was on the 17th anniversary of my first day on the job in Brazil, Indiana. The 68 who died were on flight 4184 and the plane was in a holding pattern in NW Indiana, waiting for permission to land. There was ice buildup on the wings, but I felt I was responsible for the crash--just as one woman felt she was responsible for the carnage of September 11th, 2001
Most patterned coincidences appear in hindsight rather than foresight, but I had one experience in foresight that I feel is worth sharing. It happened in 1985. A man I met one morning while out and about handed me his business card. I noticed that the four last digits of his phone number matched the four digits on my friend Joreen's car tag. I thought "I am going to run into Joreen today." Sure enough it happened. She pulled up in a gas station in her car. We remain good friends..
"Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous." "Remark made by Albert Einstein who formulated a mathematical construct between matter and energy.
The writer Nelson Algren's ideology can be summed up in a remark made by one of his characters, a defrocked priest. Asked by law enforcement why he was defrocked he replied "because I believe we are members one of another."
That's from the Good Book and should inform our meaning making, our logotherapy. We are bound together in the web of synchronicity, the Other is the Self sometimes and the One is the All. Something like energy equaling mass times the speed of light squared.