Sunday, January 10, 2021

Synchronicity, again

Many people are bamboozled by intellectualizations. Some people enjoy exhibiting their polysyllabic vocabulary. Synchronicity is a word rarely used in conversations at the corner five and dime. Not many people know what it means, and fewer still understand the meaning.

The definition of the word is this: The simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no causal connection. Coincidences in time.

Synchronicity is a concept, first introduced by analytical psychologist Carl Jung, which holds that events are "meaningful coincidences" if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related.

Synchronize your watches is a not uncommon phrase particularly in military circles. The idea is there.

Never mind. Think kaleidoscope. Every child has had one some time or other. Pick one up, give it a turn, and have a look. What do you see? Beggars description, it does. Think synchronicity. Everything seems to be happening at the same time together.

Time is the problem. If time did not exist, then everything indeed would be Now. I tried to draw the concept once. A cyclone came to mind. Everything swirling around, inside, outside, up and down. Without time, everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the gurgle of your stomach would be coincidental, happening all at once now.

Kaleidoscopic, dude.

photograph by M Simoni

I spent most of my classroom time teaching remedial classes. Two of my students, both considered well below the normal range of measured intelligence, came to me asking if they might combine their science project with their metal shop assignment. I agreed. The photo above is the result of their efforts: a fine strand of DNA, complete with color coding.

It occurred to me that a double helix of DNA, with its colored segments entwined, also makes a nifty example of synchronicity. Are all cells synchronized? Yours, mine, and the crow in the tree? This would mean, given the nature of genetic machinations, that each one of us is happening right now, everywhere and forever, individually and together. Phew!

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