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Six Questions about Synchronicity

Asked by Jesse Ducharme to Antero Alli (12/5/2011)

Question 1 : What is the limit between a synchronicity and an illusory

correlation bias?

What limits perception of authentic synchronicity? The automatic assignment

of meaning. We often unconsciously assign meaning to events whether they
are inherently meaningful or not. When this automatic mental action
happens around our daily coincidences, it can create a deep and
meaningless trance of faux synchronicity -- a form of self-hypnosis where we
con (convince) ourselves into believing something carries far more
significance than it actually deserves. Discerning between assumed, or
projected, meaning and an authentic open perception of innate meaning
demands a consistent practice of reality checking our perceptions. If no
reality checks occur, we court self-delusion. When we are writing our own
reality checks, we are more likely to liberate a second attention or, an
awareness not linked to the thinking machine but to Presence. And authentic
synchronicity expresses a Presence beyond the thinking machine.

Question 2 : Is there a link between the creative process of an individual

and the apparition of synchronicity unto his life ?

That depends on how “creativity” is defined, approached, and expressed.

Creativity fueled by ego, with its relentless demand for credit and attention,
can arouse narcissistic fantasies of excessive self-importance which can
exaggerate the significance of whatever is being created, ie., “my ideas will
change the world.” This type of limited creativity expresses the infantile
stages of ego development that may be necessary to further evolution and
maturity, ie., you first need an ego to get beyond ego. If you can get beyond
ego, you can open up to sources of creativity beyond your wildest
imagination. This process has been dramatized in my group paratheatre
work with the Muse archetype. Wherever interaction and dialogue with
autonomous archetypes can guide the ego to serve creation, rather than
identify as a “creator”, the playing fields of creation seriously expand. Any
process where the personal ego serves transpersonal forces nurtures a
mature relationship with creation while opening the doors of perception to
more synchronicity.
artwork by James Koehnline

Question 3 : Can synchronicity be a personal development tool?

If so, what are the benefits and can these benefits be gained
by active use of synchronicity?

As I understand synchronicity we are talking about awareness of, and

participation in, a transpersonal event beyond our control and
comprehension. Though we can experience it, I doubt it can be willed or
figured out like some puzzle. The phrase “active use of synchronicity” has
the ring of self-delusion to me. It is more likely that synchronicity actively
uses us. To benefit from being “used” by synchronicity requires nonchalance.
Don’t make synchronicity a big deal. Synchronicity may simply be the
standard time zone of the cosmos - behind the common misconception of
time as defined by the clock face.

Another way of getting closer to the experience of synchronicity is to fully

believe in yourself. If synchronicity expresses the hidden timing behind all
existing events, then it stands to reason that our experience of good timing
may depend on synchronization with existence, of a personal alignment with
the existing conditions of our lives. When we align our minds with existence,
we self-synchronize. I think Goethe's word for synchronicity was Providence:

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back.

Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth
that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the
moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All
sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all
manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which
no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can
do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in
it. Begin it now." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

from "Hungry Ghosts of Albion"

a 2-act play by Antero Alli

Question 4 : How can synchronicity give insight into someone's unconscious

What is possible to discover this way?

If synchronicity expresses the innate timing of the universe, then it runs

deeper than what the conscious mind can usually detect. Until the
phenomena of synchronicity shocks our ego into awareness of itself, this
hidden timing continues playing out while we’re not watching, whether that
be in our nocturnal dream life or our daytime waking life. What we perceive
as synchronicity may only be the tip of the iceberg. The universe may not
only be stranger than we think; it may be stranger than we CAN think. As
for containing insights into the unconscious, that depends on how much new
information and shock a person can allow or endure. Insight is not always
wonderful. If we cannot find new ways to live with more truth about
ourselves, insight can become a source of annoyance, anxiety and dread.
Living with more truth may also amount to how much compassion you can
show yourself and others. Truth without compassion feels like cruelty to me.

artwork by James Koehnline

Question 5 : What’s the relationship between synchronicity and individual

and collective archetypes?

Before this question can be addressed, we must first understand what is

meant by the oft misunderstood and over-used term,“archetype”. Since
psychologist Carl Jung first made this term popular over fifty years ago, as
he did with “synchronicity”, I refer to his notion of the origins of archetypes:

“It seems to me their origin [i.e. archetypes] can only be explained

by assuming them to be deposits of the constantly repeated
experiences of humanity.” - Carl Jung
Going on Jung’s assumption, the relationship between synchronicity and
individual & collective archetypes may exist as a deeply complex network of
communication lines shared between autonomous psychic events. They are
autonomous when they have lives and agendas of their own. The constantly
repeated experiences of humanity over centuries and aeons creates its own
massive multi-layering weave in the collective psyche that webs our psyches
together on deep unconscious levels.Repeating the same experiences
deepen neurological grooves in the brain that act out in predictable behavior
and habit patterns. We are fated to redundancy until we make some choices
to go against the grain of old habits and engage new experiences to break
the redundancy trance of habitual response.

With that said, I see the relationship between synchronicity and individual
and collective archetypes opening up as a never-ending mystery to be lived,
rather than any problem to be solved or any event to be merely
comprehended. Psychic events linking us with synchronicity and the
archetypes link us to the transpersonal. As such, these events are not likely
to be subject to our beck and call or our control or immediate
comprehension. Though all these psychic events can be experienced directly
and offer unspoken insights and revelations, it may be a misguided effort to
try and define or categorize them for any sake of intellectual convenience.
Those ambitions may be best served by intuition and more sensory
processes via more artistic mediums like poetry, music, cinema, and any
other creative mediums giving expression to the ineffable but without
provision of explanation, thesis, or formula.

Question 6 : What type of belief can increase the manifestation

of synchronicity and its significance ?

Total belief in oneself tempered by deep receptivity and empathy to others

and the living planet. The world we know and live in may be more mental
than we realize. That's the way of culture and cultural trance. If we are to
open up to the innate timing of existence, it may not be enough to break
cultural trance and open the doors of perception. We may have to walk out
through those doors to a place beyond the constructs of the mind itself --
where labels, explanations, and theories fail and where our hearts ignite in a
blaze of feral creation.