Thursday, December 29, 2005

More Synchronicity

Could synchronicity be categorized as "any experience that unsettles you by demonstrating that some of your 'rules of reality' are not complete or just plain wrong"?

In the typical Western non-superstitious view of the world, there are rational and scientific reasons for everything that happens. So when a long-lost friend calls us on the telephone just as we were thinking about them, when two people speak (or blog) the same thing at the same time, when it turns out the woman serving you coffee at Starbucks was born in the year and same hometown (many states away) as you, and there is no obvious causal reason and the probability of chance seems too remote, it unsettles the mind. Could our understanding of reality be wrong?

The Mayan Calendar predicted that the pale-faced god Quetzalcoatl would return in the year 1519 to reclaim the city of Tenochtitlin. That very year, Hernan Cortez arrived in Mexico and easily captured the city. Was his arrival coincidence, or was there merit to the prophesy? If the latter, what are we to make of the fact that the Mayan Calendar ends on December 21, 2012, and that there have been predictions of meteor impacts to the Earth that same year? The most notable of these impacts, Comet XF11, was originally predicted to catastrophically strike the Earth in September 2012.

That prediction was quickly revised, and we are now told that the comet will be a "near-miss." However, the distance between synchronicity and conspiracy theory is not that great. Are we to believe the NASA's "revised" calculation or should we assume that the government is simply trying to avert a panic? ("Shop normally, and avoid panic buying.") While it is more reassuring to believe the former ("everything's under control, the world will continue as always"), is it really that improbable that the government would lie (does the term "weapons of mass destruction" sound familiar)?

Spooky stuff. I'm not saying the world's going to end in 2012, I'm just saying most people don't accept the probability of an approaching Armageddon because it's more comforting to believe we're all safe and secure than to accept the possibility of a government conspiracy to suppress the realization of an ancient Mayan prediction.

But then, how do you explain that Cortez thing?

So synchronicities, acausal coincidences where something other than the probability of chance is involved, can poke little holes in our limited concepts of reality, and cause us to question our most fundamental, underlying assumptions. This is not a bad thing; this is good.

Question reality, ask difficult questions, raise great doubt.

Most people unquestioningly assume that they exist as a self somehow separate from everything else. "I am me, and everything that is not me is something 'other.'" Zen practice shatters this illusion. Based on the view that of the world being something "other" than the self, most people assume that the world existed before they were born, and that after they die the world will go on without them. Hoxever, the late Zen teacher Kosho Uchiyama taught that when you are born, your world is born along with you, and when you die, your world dies with you and nothing is left behind. Although this is a logical conclusion of self and other being one, it is a startlingly different view of reality than we are used to.

So in the universe created in your mind, that came into being with your first breath, you can look at synchronicities and coincidences however you like: as sort of black holes in the fabric of reality, as proof of divine intervention, as cosmic hiccups. Or you could ignore them . . . but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be watching the stars in 2012.


GreenSmile said...

Very interesting post, Shokai. But top this:
is going to be my new mainpage background for the the retooled Executioners Thong. Has been in my draft versions for almost a month.

Well then, thats synchronicity aint it?

Shokai said...

That's beyond synchronicity, that's what Einstein would have called "spooky action at a distance."

summersun70 said...

How about this then?
I came along to read your first post on Synchronicity, after linking to it from Kathleen_Callons_blog.
But before I did, I had just downloaded the horsehead nebula picture and posted it to another journal. It was a real shock to come to your blog to find it posted here, under the title 'More Synchronicity'. Just how much more do you want? Lol!
I was so shocked that I read your first post and then logged off. But I just had to come back today and take another look. I'm glad someone else had a wierd experience with this too.

Shokai said...


If your nerves can take it and you want to go further into the rabbit's hole, check out and see still more of this synchronicity.

summersun70 said...

I've just seen it! What can I say? :)
(and I've added to greensmile's web counter score too, so he'll be pleased :))

Kathleen Callon said...

Just saw the link. Glad I could be part of it, even if "it" is a "coincidence".

Internal growth and eternal happiness,