Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Coincidence or Synchronicity?

Last weekend, I was chatting with a young woman, who is just beginning to open up psychically. She said, "I'm starting to have all these weird coincidences. Does that happen to you?"

I answered that I preferred to think of them as synchronicities, and that yes, they happen to me all the time. To me, a coincidence is accidental, and a synchronicity is a manifestation of some deeper level of structure, perhaps related to intention. This is borne out by dictionary definitions (shown at the bottom of this article).

And wouldn't you know that a synchronicity happened almost immediately? My husband and I were in LA for a benefit concert for a friend's charitable project, for which my husband had done some publicity. Through a series of misunderstandings, we weren't left the "all access" passes we'd been promised.

At dinner, we discussed this predicament. We were both prepared to pay for general admission tickets -- after all, we'd come all this way. My clear intention, though, was to hang out back stage, or maybe in the VIP area. Here's what happened:

After dinner, we walked back to our motel, which was 6 long blocks from the theater, in a borderline scary neighborhood, to change our clothes. On our walk, I said that after the concert, I'd like to take a taxi back to the motel, as I didn't want to walk there in the wee hours of the morning. My husband said he'd rather get a ride from one of the locals we knew who'd be at the concert. That sounded good to me.

We left the motel, intending to walk up to the theater. As we left, we stepped into the street to avoid some 'action' on the sidewalk. As we did, an empty taxi pulled up to us. We hadn't signaled for it at all. We got in, and the driver asked us if we'd called for a cab! When we said no, he said that someone at the motel had called, but had not given a name or room number! I guess it was our cab -- we just hadn't called for it with a telephone.

The taxi whisked us to the theater -- remember, it's only 6 blocks. As we alighted, our friend, the one whose project the concert was supporting, happened to be behind the cordon, talking to those who'd be checking credentials. He said, gesturing at us, "These people are my set up crew." (He doesn't really have a set up crew.) And we got our all access passes! No fuss, no hassle.

Had we not taken that cab, we would have arrived 10 minutes later. Our friend would already have been inside, directing the concert's video people on how to set up his video. And we would have been stuck with the General Admission tickets -- more money, a crummier experience. Is this a synchronicity? Or a coincidence?

And before the end of the concert, when we left, the young woman who wondered about coincidences, was leaving, too. She gave us a ride back to our motel. Synchronicity? Or coincidence?


According to Webster's dictionary, a coincidence is "an accidental and remarkable occurrence of events, ideas, etc. at the same time...".

According to Wikipedia, "The idea of synchronicity is that the conceptual relationship of minds, defined as the relationship between ideas, is intricately structured in its own logical way and gives rise to relationships that are not causal in nature. These relationships can manifest themselves as simultaneous occurrences that are meaningfully related."

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