Before we proceed any further…

There is a clockwork mechanism inside our heads keeping time, making sense and order out of the inexplicable

… we should come to some kind of decision about how we feel about synchronicity.

For the Mesopotamians, it was enough to believe that there was a direct correlation between a heavenly event, or a sign from the gods (interpreted as the gods speaking directly to them) and an earthly event.

They would not have believed in our concept of coincidence or random chance. In fact, the ancients did not perceive events in anything like the ways we do today.

This is not to imply that we are more ‘advanced’.

I do not happen to think we are; I think we sublimate a lot of raw emotion that the ancients had more effective ways of expressing (although I have to say, I read Marion Zimmer Bradley’s description of pagan rituals in The Mists of Avalon, and decided, okay, I have been socialised to be a Christian, there’s no doubt about it. I find bloodshed in the guise of ritual far too disturbing to be able to imagine looking at entrails I have personally disgorged from any animal).

My contention is that we have an ambivalent relationship with synchronicity.

I would like to believe there is order in the universe, and some really do believe this. For the rest of us, though, the only order is that which humans have decided must exist because if there is no discernible order, we feel as though we will go mad with existential angst. In other words, we believe there is order because we have imposed order on the workings of the universe, turning the universe into a clockwork mechanism, since that makes us feel safe here in the bewildering darkness of the inexplicable. 

So, synchronicity is an ancient cosmological and psychosocial belief. We have inherited it in bits and pieces. I think what I am asking of you is to ask yourself, do you believe in synchronicity, or do you believe in chance, randomness, and coincidence? Which side of this teleological debate do you find yourself on? I personally, as with too many things, straddle a very uncomfortable fence on this one, but I mostly find myself having to disagree with the Mesopotamians, since I am very much a product of my time.

And yet… I exist within the semi-comfortable/uncomfortable place of noticing certain events and wondering if there is any meaning to them, or if I am just being silly, and looking for answers where none exist. This is the fundamental ‘problem’ of trying to let the past and all I know is true of human history, influence me in the present, with all I’ve been taught to believe.

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