“Synchronicity: A meaningful coincidence of two or more events where something other than the probability of chance is involved.” – Carl Jung
Chances are you’ve heard the word synchronicity floating around, but what is synchronicity? Is it real? How is it experienced?
The purpose of this article is to explore synchronicities further – specifically what they are and how you can observe them in your life so you’re able to gain insight and clarity about the magical—and paranormal—experiences of your life.
Ready to get started? Let’s dive in:
Synchronicity: A personal story
A few nights ago, I was reading Carl Jung’s book, “Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle” while nursing my daughter to sleep. The air in my room was stuffy and humid, and I was sweating uncomfortably.
Typically, I sleep with a fan facing me but that night the fan was on the floor. For a few minutes, I thought about waking up my partner and asking him to turn it on but he was sound asleep so I decided not to bother him.
Suddenly, the fan fell over and slammed into the ground. My partner immediately woke up, picked the fan up, turned it on and put it on the dresser where the air blew directly on me.
That was one of many synchronistic experiences I’ve had in my life. And chances are you’ve had your share of synchronistic experiences too, but you might not have been aware.
What is synchronicity?
The term synchronicity was first coined by famed psychologist Carl Jung as a way to describe two or more meaningful events where something other than the probability of chance is involved.
The idea is that certain events magically fall together at just the right time.
In one of his most memorable examples, Jung wrote about a highly educated, high-strung, neurotic patient of his who was closed-off and struggling to make progress in her therapy. He knew in order to break through to her, he’d need something “magical” to happen to be able to shift her mindset and soften her exterior.
As he waited for a “synchronicity” to happen she recounted a dream she had the night before where someone gave her a golden scarab – an expensive piece of jewelry.
As she spoke Jung heard a tapping on the window in his office and opened it up to find a scarabaeid beetle—a rare sighting for that climate.
He picked the beetle up, which closely resembled the golden scarab she was talking about and handed it to her. He said, “Here is your scarab” and through that experience, he was able to break through her resistant barrier and start working with her to overcome her neurosis.
And while Jung did us all a service by assigning a name and a definition to synchronistic experiences, the reality is these types of improbable, magical events have been part of our Universe since its inception.
How is synchronicity different than statistical probability or serendipity?
It’s 11:11 am and just as you’re about to “make a wish” your boss calls you into his office. He tells you the company is downsizing and your position is being eliminated. Even though you’ve wanted to leave that stifling 9 to 5 for years, you’ve been too afraid to make a move and this news comes as a total shock.
Suddenly and without warning, you’re unemployed.
Questions such as, “How will I pay my bills?” and “What do I do now?” run through your mind on repeat.
Out of nowhere, you start thinking about a former classmate of yours who created an online e-commerce business and is doing really well. You imagine what it might be like to have that kind of creative freedom – to work from home doing what you love, and to no longer struggle.
As an artist, you’d love to have a career where you can pursue your passion fulltime, but it feels impractical and you have no experience building a business.
You take your laptop and head to the nearest coffee shop so you can job search and try to secure employment ASAP. You order a latte and sandwich, and your total comes to $11.11. It seems odd, but you don’t think too much about it.
You sit down and begin scrolling through LinkedIn looking for opportunities. After a few minutes, you hear a voice call your name. You look up and see it’s the former classmate you were thinking about earlier. You invite her to sit with you and notice it’s 1:11. She tells you she’s in town for a business convention and is looking for artists to sell art prints on her website. You pull out your phone and show her some of your artwork, and she asks you if you’d be interested in selling on her site—you say yes!
Silently you think, “What are the chances of running into her here, on the day I got fired, while she’s in town for a convention looking for artists and I was JUST thinking about her?”
Carl Jung would call this experience a synchronicity because it strings together two or more than two meaningful events. But, it is actually a paranormal happening, or is it just dumb luck?
Serendipity, otherwise known as a “happy accident”, occurs randomly and is used to describe one random, but highly welcome, happening. For example, let’s say you lose your subway card and only realize it’s not in your wallet when you arrive at the train. You reach in your pocket and pull out $2.75 – the exact amount you need to purchase a new ticket. You weren’t even aware you had money in your pocket, but you’re grateful you did because it saved you from having to go home.
This type of experience is a serendipity rather than a synchronicity because it involves only one meaningful event, versus two or more.
Statistical probability refers to the likelihood of a particular outcome coming to fruition based on certain mathematical equations. In statistics, data is collected, analyzed and interpreted and then used to predict how likely certain outcomes are.
For example, the 7-day weather forecast on your phone is based on the statistical probability of weather patterns. A meteorologist uses the data collected to predict the most likely scenario for each day. The science behind this is imperfect, and that’s why sometimes the predictions are wrong.
There’s also something known as a “standard deviation” (to learn more about standard deviation, click here) and this is the range the data can fall outside of and still be considered normal. Going back to the weather example, if there’s a 100% chance of rain on Sunday, but it doesn’t rain, this would be considered outside of the standard deviation (i.e what’s normal) because it would be highly unlikely.
So when we look at a string of events that occur in a meaningful way—one after the other—we have to wonder, “Are these events merely outside of the standard deviation, or is there something else going on here?”
The further these events fall outside of the standard deviation, the more improbable they become…
How is synchronicity experienced?
Synchronicity can be experienced anywhere, anytime – even when you’re sleeping! You may notice repeating numbers, randomly receive answers to your questions, or see meaningful symbols in many different forms.
During synchronistic times, you may feel a sense of deja vu that stops you in your tracks. You may also get goosebumps even though you’re not cold. Both of these are affirmations that what you’re experiencing is real, and more than a random occurrence.
What are some examples of synchronicity?
Some common examples of synchronicity include:
- Seeing repeating number patterns such as 1111, 333
- Thinking of a family member or friend, and then they call/text you
- A seemingly random series of events that lead to your desired outcome
- Overhearing a stranger’s conversation that answers your internal questions
- Dreaming about certain animals and then seeing them repetitively in real life
- Randomly finding or receiving an item you lost long ago
Typically, these types of experiences tend to grab your attention and bring you back into the present moment. They’re too symbolic and meaningful to be created by chance alone.
What should I do when I experience synchronicity?
If you’re experiencing synchronicities in your life, pay attention and take notes!
Where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing? How do you feel?
Write down your answers, and write down what’s happening. By recording your thoughts, feelings, and emotions as you experience these meaningful coincidences in your life, you’ll have an easier time decoding them and understanding why they’re happening.
Synchronicities turn improbable circumstances and events into probable and remind us we’re so much more than meets the physical eye.
Unlike mere coincidence, mathematical probability or serendipity, synchronicities show us the holographic nature of our universe—and just how connected we are with everything, and everyone.
In conclusion, remember—you are a magical, spiritual being who is ALWAYS being guided and the synchronicities in your life are here to remind you of that.
P.s. want to learn more about synchronicity? Click to order Carl Jung’s Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle
About Antasha Durbin: Antasha is a spiritual writer, life-long student of the universe, and psychic tarot card reader. Her website, cajspirituality.com, is dedicated to casualizing the spiritual experience and making it attainable for anyone, anywhere, anytime. Follow her for free, easy-to-digest and highly actionable advice on spirituality, mindfulness and empowered living.