Jun 20, 2017

Synchronicity as a Belief System

I've heard this word around a lot in the last year or two.  Usually it's said by people who also believe in various other mystical things - crystals or karma or higher powers outside of God.  So I mistakenly assumed synchronicity meant something to the effect of "the Universe aligning for you because you wanted it to."

Finally I looked it because I was going to use it in a blog post and wanted to double check the meaning before I committed it to written word.  Turns out I was way off!

"Synchronicity (German: Synchronizität) is a concept, first introduced by analytical psychologist Carl Jung, which holds that events are "meaningful coincidences" if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related."

Thanks, Wikipedia!

I had to think about this for a while because I'm probably not as smart as I think I am.  But after breaking it down and mulling it over, I realized this is a concept I can get on board with.

I enjoy the mystical and magical BUT I am super skeptical and believe none of it.  I don't believe in any higher power, God, karma, the Universe, you name it.  When I try to open my mind enough to accept the possibility I lean more towards believing that if there are higher powers, it doesn't really matter because they don't care about us anyway.  (A quick Internet search informs me that this is called deism or possibly "apethism.")

What I do believe in is myself.  I don't believe the universe will rearrange itself to my liking if I just believe it hard enough, but I do believe in my ability to affect change, particularly for myself, through my own actions.  I think affirmations and beliefs work because you behave differently once you change your beliefs.

Synchronicity fits into this perfectly because, while I chalk most experiences and events up to random chance or coincidence, it does occasionally feel meaningful.  Lately my self help books are starting to show me patterns, and I'll hear the same message in a couple different places when it's exactly what I need to hear at that moment.

The explanation for that is not that the Universe cares whether or not I quit sugar binging or if I figure out my finances, but that I find the pieces that are relevant to me and create meaning in it myself.  A 10 hour long audiobook has a lot more in it than "use keystone habits to create a chain effect" but that's the piece that I pluck out because it ties in with something in the other book I just read and it rings true with my own past experiences.

Life does follow certain patterns - we learned that in biology class.  So it makes sense that the older I get, and the more I read and learn and experience life, the more of those patterns I'll become aware of.  And having that knowledge means I can apply it to my life when it's appropriate or has meaning for me.

It's kind of like some of my previous discussions about purpose.  What's the purpose of life?  What's our individual purpose as human beings?  I believe we each get to decide that for ourselves and, to me, that seems incredibly liberating because there's no wrong answer.

Synchronicity is the same thing.  Building meaning for myself out of the experiences I have, both deliberate and random.

Have you experienced synchronicity?  Or do you believe there is no such thing as coincidence/that it's all due to higher powers?

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