WHY GOOD and BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO US
A supposition for the understanding of synchronicity
By: J. Marlando
There is a question that would have been scoffed at by science even a century or so ago that simply asks, “Does the world act on us or do we act on the world?” Today however there are a great number of new physicists who not only take the question seriously but dare answer it with a definite, “It is we who act upon our world.”
One major reason why these scientists respond this way is that it is well known among them that it is our consciousness that is intrinsic to creating our realities. Indeed, many modern physicists today believe that matter “couldn’t/wouldn’t” exist without consciousness to perceive it. In the far reaches of this the tree in your yard exists as it appears to you only because of how you bring it into being through your own consciousness. We need not go into those complex speculations any further but the point is that nature is not over there (outside of us) as generally thought, but is in connectedness with us. Indeed, the quantum physicist Neils Bohr told us that quantum theory reveals the indivisibility of nature and more recently the physicist Fritjof Capra has shown us how we are all in the “web” of life not only with other people but with everything. And yet, another physicist, David Bohn, teaches us that all existence is in an undivided whole—when we do something we not only affect the local environment we’re in but have caused change in the entire universe. Yes, I admit all this is too much for most of us to comprehend in all its implications but, on the other hand, what we can see is that the idea of synchronicity is grounded in much more than mere theoretical mumble/jumble; that there is a serious basis for the offering that there are no accidents in our lives and that there are indeed synchronistic events.
It was in fact Carl Jung (1875-1961) that was first to coin the term (Synchronicity) and later teamed up with the physicist, Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958) to give Jung’s theory a rational base with the desire to at long last bring science and psychology together. The following is my attempt to not only explain what synchronicity is but how we are truly at the helm of what occurs in our lives in that strange never land between the realities of mind and matter.
For many readers the first question will be what the heck is synchronicity anyway? The quick answer is that it describes the meaningful coincidences in our lives as being the result of connectedness with the entire universe and not chance or luck either good or bad.
We’ll repeat here a few typical examples of what we’re talking about. Let’s say that you are in your home talking to someone about a person you haven’t seen for years. You’ve not seen this person for a very long time or even thought about her. Nevertheless for some reason on this day her name popped in your mind and you were speaking about her to someone. Then, the telephone rings and you are absolutely surprised because that particular person is on the other end of the line calling you after all those years. That is what is known as a common synchronistic event.
Synchronistic events, however, can become much more complex than this. In fact, I will tell you of a one that occurred in my life that borders on the unbelievable but never the less happened. In any case, another common example of synchronicity is that you have been trying and trying to get ahold of a person by phone or dropping by his house and have kept missing him. Then one day you go to town shopping, walk into a busy store and there he stands at the counter next to you. Jung drew a diagram to explain a basis for his concept:
*Causality merely refers to the principle that everything must have a cause.
Most simply explain what the diagram is basically saying, I believe, is that there is an energy, spiritual mover or some other unknown force behind the major events in our lives and so, yes, there are no accidents. In regard to this, I know of a man who was out of work and in desperate need of a job. And so one morning he had an interview at nine with a company he hoped to find employment with. On his way into town he had an upset, however. A tire blew out and he didn’t have a spare. He swore and kicked the flat tire but of course none of that changed the situation—he was stuck and was going to be late for his interview and so probably missed getting the job anyway. Then after about twenty minutes a man drove by and seeing the circumstances stopped and asked the man if he wanted a lift. Of course he did—back then there were no cell phones—so he had to find a public telephone to solve his problems. Anyway, on the way into town the two men began talking and the good Samarian driving ended up to own a large company and was looking to hire a man who had the skills that his passenger had. The man with the blow out ended up with a better job than he was applying for and the kind hearted man giving him a lift ended up with a new employee. That’s synchronicity!
Here’s another story. Many years ago a fourteen year old boy was watching a TV show called Breakfast in Hollywood. The show featured water ballet that was performed by young girls in their teens. This particular young man happened to notice one young girl and her image stayed with him long after the show was over. In fact, for the rest of his life!
Long after the boy had grown up he was a student at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, California and was performing in the children’s show, “Treasure Island.” After the show the actors gathered on the patio to sign autographs for children, and a little girl who asked the young man to sign an autograph happened to be the daughter of the grown woman who, as a teen, had been on Breakfast in Hollywood.
Many years after that, the young man befriended a commercial pilot who flew water planes and while he didn’t know it then, this same pilot had worked with that young girl who swam on the Hollywood TV show after she had grown up and become a stewardess.
Many years after this, the young man was hired to write a movie and given a house to live and work in. He met a lady who was living across the street and a couple of months or so later they were married. Yes, you’re right it was the same woman who was on the show as a teenager. And, when all this was finally realized by us, as it ended up she remembered the play at the playhouse, and had indeed known the pilot that the young man—grown up—had met along his way. How more synchronistic can events be than this? And, by the way, I can tell you that this story is absolutely true because *I am that young man and my wife (of over thirty years now) is that young woman.
What Carl Jung believed is that life is not a series of random events but rather a kind of an expression of a deeper order; a weaving of sorts from the inter-connectedness that we have with everything else. Does this imply spirituality in the universe? I believe that it does; a spirituality that can be called Mind, Consciousness or God but yes, a spirituality nevertheless and one that permeates all that is.
*Incidentally, those few seconds I saw her on the TV screen when I was only fourteen years old is as vivid in my mind today as then. Makes one think there must be much more to this old world than we are aware of and more purpose and meaning in our lives than we ever realize.
Note: There is more to the mystery than the synchronicity aspects to my story. All my grown up years I was one of those men who ran from serious relationships with women. I didn’t want to be that way but I was. Even with wonderful women who I knew, the moment that I sensed commitment I was out of there. When I happened to meet the lady who lived across the street from me, all this changed practically overnight—I wanted commitment and was truly ready for it for most virtually the first time in my life—had I been searching for her all those years, was I answering some mystical call to find her or…was it all mere coincidence?
Certainly things occur in our lives that can be called “good” and can be called “bad.” If we happen to be in the right place at the right time and win a car, that’s good. If we get in a car accident on the way home, that’s bad. The question is are we somehow unconsciously involved in creating the occurrences? We suggest that the answer is yes but not as most of us would immediately think—that is, that good thoughts attract the good and bad thoughts attract the bad—while there is truth in this as well it seems that the aspects of synchronicity are more deeply rooted in the universal than the local. In other words, if we walk our paths in love today we are going to experience positive changes both externally and internally. On the physical level the world will become brighter and friendlier for us. By changing our view of life, life becomes what we deem it to be! Indeed, you can test this for yourself. Sincerely say I love the world today or say I hate the world today and see what happens.
Synchronicity however is far more complex than this in that, we’ll say, your act of kindness or cruelty, of rudeness or politeness, of caring or uncaring will have ramifications that you may never be aware of. In the physical-matter sense some say, for example, that the fluttering of a butterfly deep in some far off jungle may be intrinsic to the most torrent windstorm whipping across Kansas. In other words, everything is connected to everything else; we are in the web of relationships that so many of today’s quantum physicists talk about. In this same light, and this is where it truly gets complicated is in our connectedness with Universal Mind. In deed the physicist, Paul Davies, once said, “…the universe is a mind. Our own minds could then be viewed as localized “islands” of consciousness in a sea of mind.”
If you’d like to experience a touch of your oneness with the Universe, go to your window, look out into the vast distances of the sky beyond whatever landscape is before you and open your eyes as wide as you can—just keep that up for a minute or two and you should experience the sensation of non-separation and so a most beautiful wholeness. Try it!
Now then, recall that everything in nature is gifted with the easiest path. The stream runs downhill and around whatever obstacles it encounters, nature leads bees to the shortest paths of collecting their pollen, wild seeds sprout in the very spot that best suits them for growth; there must be a kind of harmony or dance between the atoms and molecules to permit replication of species but then again *the entire universe is in a beautiful ballet of symmetry. Only man—our kind—creates obstacles for self and others and creates barriers to the flow and ebb of his being. Indeed our kind will defy the self and the whole of nature to build fortunes and will do all kinds of harmful things to gain power or even prestige. In America the bison populated the Great Plains and grass lands living in harmony with the Natives who hunted them for food and skins for thousands of years without ever killing them off for the greed or profit of it; they were merely the natural predators for that big, handsome prey called “buffalo.” Then we—so-called civilized people arrived—and we killed them off for profit and often just for the fun of watching the buffalo die. We created imbalance and devastation in both worlds—the world of the Indians and the world of the Buffalo. In other words, we intruded in the natural harmony of life. This kind of destruction is repeating itself in many of our **rain forests even as I write these words. This kind of distinction is currently occurring for the graceful elephant and other species only to fill the pockets of the profit seeker.
So what are we getting at?
Bad things happen because they occur when the natural flow of the universe is corrupted. A terrorist straps on a few explosives and walks into a crowded building—this unnatural act murders, maims and brings disharmony into the entire world. Indeed, how many times have all of us heard someone say something like if there’s a God, why would “he” let such horrible things happen? Our kind lifts himself above God (or Universal Mind or Nature) and creates all—yes ALL—the unnecessary suffering in our world. Nearly all the hunger and starvation in the world is the result of governments and armies not because droughts or floods or wind or storm…But wait, think about how much suffering occurs in your private life because of your own decision making; over debt, too much junk food, drinking, doping; jumping into situations that “felt” wrong to begin with; wrong career or job choices, wrong marriages, over spending or, in other words, living your life against the grain of what feels natural to you; things you “knew” were wrong in the depths of your heart but nevertheless permitted your mind to overrule so you did them anyway. And so, as a result you can be likened to a stream reversing its natural course and struggling to run uphill. Stop and think about it, does most of your life feel like you’re on an uphill course?
Bad things happens when we live outside our own comfort zones; the natural tendencies from which love, peace and harmony takes precedence over the acquisition of stuff and the seeking of prestige; when, as someone said, we stop allowing the world to work through us. In order for synchronicity to occur in our lives we must be in “synchronization” with ourselves in our lives. There is no such thing as negative coincidences occurring in our lives except, if you will, when we’re “out of sync” with the whole; when we are, so to speak, out of step in the dance of the universe.
We cannot help but return to Emerson’s rose here as it is so relative to what we are attempting to say about living in harmony with all else and so with ourselves:
These roses under my pillow make no reference
to former roses or to better ones, they are just what
they are; they exist with God today…
In reference to what we’re saying most of us have known individuals who just seem to make money and have good fortune fall into their hands. You will note that invariably these people take the easiest route in their lives. They simply do not swim upstream to reach their goals. They mostly do what they want to do, what is comfortable for them to do and in this way, they become in “harmony” with nature and as a result positive coincidences are bestowed upon them. To the average person it seems that such individuals always to just happen to be in the right place at the right time.
*Scientifically there are four seemingly separate forces—gravity, electromagnetism, the weak radioactive force and the strong nuclear force. What is believed by most of today’s scientists is that these essential forces will one day be discovered to be manifestations of one major force. Everything in the universe seems always to unfold in the oneness of it all!
**Between 2000 and today not thousands but millions of rain forest hectares are depleted every year for the sake of creating farm land and enriching the speculators and lumber industries. This is true for Congo Basin, for the forests of the Amazon Basin and those forests of Southeast Asia. This negativity spreads across the planet.
Note—a hectare is 2,471 acres.
A common question that is commonly asked about all this is how can the Universe know what every individual needs to create positive coincidences in their lives? At first glance this seems like a logical inquiry to make. After all there are billions of people and the idea that any system, spiritual or not, could keep track of that many individual needs does border on the ludicrous. This is a reason why a lot of people scoff at the very idea of synchronicity. A reason, however, that this question pops up so much is because people are typically indoctrinated to believe that they are over here and the Universe is over there, outside of them. Indeed, in this belief our kind has even removed God from Nature and put “him” way out there in a Kingdom all his own. Jung’s synchronicity suggests, as do so many of today’s physicists, that we are not separated from the Universe but rather in wholeness with it. (Go back to your window again and look at the sky—passed whatever landscape is out there—with your eyes as wide open as you can make them. You will be given a sense of the reality of wholeness; of being one with everything else).
Some people contribute this “connectedness” to Jung’s collective unconscious which may be the factor that connects us all through a part or layer of mind that we all draw our information from. That is, this is how we all tap into the all-knowing Universe as part of its wholeness. Remember what Paul Davies said about viewing our minds as localized islands of consciousness in a sea of mind. This is probably the best image we can have to comprehend our connectedness to the whole.
In light of all this, we say—Open up to the world today and the world will open to you.
Suggested additional reading:
C.G. Jung*Synchronicity” Translation by R.F.C. Hull* Princeton University Press
F. David Peat * Synchronicity* Bantam
Paul Davies * God & the New Physics*Simon & Schuster