You may have experienced them yourself-‑those odd “coincidences” that somehow seem to be more than just mere coincidence. They leave you with a strange feeling, as if, perhaps, you have suddenly stumbled into an episode of the Twilight Zone.
I have been observing and studying synchronicities for over three decades now. They have intrigued me and challenged me. Like many people, I have experienced a fair number myself. But as a psychotherapist, I have experienced far more, perhaps hundreds in my therapy office and in workshops.
Synchronicities are the result of a deep and profound connection between consciousness and our world of matter. But this connection defies our normal sense of logic.
In my twenties and thirties, I found the paradoxical nature of synchronicities to be disturbing. But 1 no longer think that logic is the end‑all‑be‑all god I thought it to be. Some things are neither black nor white. And our ideas of how the universe operates are just ideas.
I recently met a physicist in Switzerland who shared his views on science and human perception. I loved his analogy and I now pass it on to you. He said we are like children watching mom and dad playing a game of cards. At the moment they are playing canasta and through observation we have figured out some of the rules. Suddenly, however, they switch and start playing poker. The rules have changed, and we are in turmoil. Science is the act of observing the cosmic card game and trying to figure out the rules. There are, according to him, no cosmic laws. What looks like law can change in the twinkling of an eye whenever the one playing changes the game.
In some very real ways my encounters with synchronicities have changed “the game” for me. I had experienced them quite a bit in my twenties, but during my graduate training as a psychotherapist, they subsided. I was focused on being a professional person and I had no place for those strange coincidences. I did not, at this time, even know that there was a word for these odd occurrences. As I developed my private practice, I was very content, thank you, with my own little version of “the game.” I had my black and white niche down pretty well. I was a psychotherapist with a successful private practice. I had a waiting list of people to see me. I was secure, if not smug, in my position. Although I still occasionally experienced synchronistic events, they did not, in the least, threaten my logical view of the universe. And then she showed up. A referral from another therapist, Sue (not her real name) had been referred to me for long standing depression and paranoia.
In our first session, Sue told me that inexplicable fires often broke out in her vicinity. This un‑witting starting of fires was a great source of consternation for her, and she had the “up‑tight” presence of paranoid‑type personalities.
As a logically biased therapist I assumed she was simply deluded about the fire thing, but encouraged her to continue talking. It turned out that when she was about seven years old, she accidentally burned her family’s house down to the ground. From that point on she was afraid of fire, especially the ones that seemed to break out around her for no good reason.
Now I always had a candle burning in my therapy office, a symbol and a reminder for me of the “light of awareness,” a light that I was continually striving to attain on behalf of my clients as well as myself. This candle sat on the mantle of a fireplace. As we continued to talk, I heard an odd explosion from that vicinity of the office. I glanced over and saw to my horror that the candle had exploded and flaming hot wax was all over the mantle. In disbelief, I watched a river of burning wax streaming onto the wooden floor. I leapt to my feet and put out the fire.She said, “I told you so!”