There is a cosmic mystery that is absolutely perplexing in which we play some sort of role. It is generally referred to as synchronicity. For those who may not be familiar with the term, it refers to related events that occur without a causal connection.
An example might be helpful. Let’s suppose I am thinking about a friend who I have not been in contact with for many years, and he suddenly calls. The two events are my thoughts and his call. They are related, but neither caused the other to happen as far as we know. This would be considered a synchronistic occurrence.
Some might suggest that this is no more than a random coincidence. However, what explanation do we offer when these types of events occur frequently and with high levels of improbability? How do we dismiss a phenomenon that is so ubiquitous that it has been recognized in every culture throughout the ages?
Numerous books have been written on the subject of synchronicity. Some consider this the intervention of God. Others view this as some form of cosmic consciousness. Although I recognize the validity of this aspect of reality and experience it on a regular basis, I have no idea what the source is.
I am not troubled by our current inability to empirically validate the authenticity of this phenomenon. Long before science identified the existence of viruses and bacteria, people recognized that there was a connection between cleanliness and disease. We still don’t know precisely how gravity works. Nevertheless, we acknowledge its existence and can now precisely measure its influences.
At present, the evidence of synchronicity is purely anecdotal. I would have to write extensively in order to convey all of these types of experiences I have had personally. Instead, I will share just one that illustrates why I acknowledge something that I cannot explain.
In August of 2002 I was licensed as a massage therapist and set up practice in a small shopping strip in February of the following year. By May 2004, I had developed a clientele that was sufficient to pay my bills but did not generate any significant profits. At that time, I was reading a book that promoted the idea that our thoughts can influence events. Skeptically one afternoon I sat in my living room and briefly and silently directed my desire for more income towards the universe.
Within thirty minutes I received a phone call from the executive director of a non-profit organization called Alternative Medicine Integration (AMI). They were part of a pilot program in Florida that administered funds for alternative medical services to Medicaid recipients who had chronic back pain. The director informed me that he was seeking massage therapists in my area and was calling to see if I would be interested in becoming a provider.
As he explained the program, I learned that they would refer clients to me to receive treatments twice each month. Furthermore, the compensation they were offering was twice the amount that I normally charged. They were seeking practitioners with at least 3 years of experience; however, even though I had been licensed for less than two years, I was invited to participate anyway and eagerly accepted.
The details are so specific that the synchronistic nature of this event is undeniable. Similar experiences both prior and since have convinced me that there is some organizational force at work in the universe that we do not currently understand. It is not something I can summon at will, but neither am I surprised when it occurs.
Synchronicity certainly offers the impression that someone is observing and responding to our needs. Undoubtedly it lies behind the extensive belief in the importance of prayer and innumerable forms of religious observances. However, these providential events occur despite any particular belief or ritual. If this is God, She is acting with complete indifference to our theology.
Any positive fulfillment of an appeal to higher power tends to affirm the validity of one’s cosmic perspective. One person prays to the Virgin Mary. Another makes an offering before a Buddhist statue. A third merely issues a silent appeal to the universe at large. As events reveal an apparent response, there is an assurance that they have followed the proper path.
Often, needs are met, and issues are resolved in extremely detailed and specific manners. But, is this actually evidence of God? Is it possible that there is an organizational field that can be accessed which is capable of directing events in our lives without any cognitive awareness?
It is challenging to conceive of an organizational force that is not directed by some form of intelligence. Here, ancient Vedic teachings may be of some help. Beginning thousands of years ago, yogis taught that the human body is a microcosm of the universe. Considering that simple observation offers significant insights.
We make many decisions with the use of our intellect. Nonetheless, our very existence requires no thought at all. The cells, tissues, organs and systems in our bodies function in a harmonious rhythm completely independent of our cognitive direction. In fact, if we had to rely on remembering to breathe and maintain the rhythm of our heart, most of us would be dead within an hour. Furthermore, we wouldn’t be able to concentrate on anything else.
What is true of the human body applies to all life forms. From the simplest cell to the most complex ecosystem, completely natural processes function throughout our global biosphere without any cognitive direction. Indeed, our entire planet demonstrates this self-directed inherent order and balance.
Is synchronicity simply one more expression of this natural tendency to achieve homeostasis? Perhaps these synchronistic events are not intended to meet our individual needs. What if we are merely being positioned to fulfill our role as an integral aspect of the greater fabric of existence.?
Considering the role of synchronicity in our lives and the world at large is fascinating, but contemplating the implications on a cosmic scale leads to unanswerable speculation. Is it possible that this organizational force is the underlying factor driving the progressive complexification presented in chapter 4? Is it responsible for forming matter, generating life on the earth, spawning complex organisms, and stimulating the development of human consciousness? If so, the universe is probably filled with various life forms, some of which may exhibit intelligence equal to or exceeding our own.
If someday we encounter extraterrestrials, it will be interesting to find out what insights they may be able to provide regarding our unresolved cosmic questions. What will they think of the violence associated with so many of our philosophical differences. Is it possible that they will delay any contact with our species until we reach a higher level of social development? Will their culture have a religious history? What will they be able to tell us about their understanding of God?
Does God exist? If we can avoid rendering our planet uninhabitable, in a thousand or perhaps ten thousand years we may have a more definite answer to that question. For now, what is certain is that we must grant to others the same right we wish for ourselves, that we are free to believe what satisfies our mind and comforts our heart.
If we fulfill the essential teachings of religion, we will love one another and live in peace. If we embrace the synergy at work in the universe, we will acknowledge our interconnection and interdependence and seek to develop mutually supportive social relationships. The results are potentially identical, a global community that is founded on mutuality.
Our existence may be due to the actions of a deity or merely a natural event. If God exists, it is rather certain that He is far different than those conceptions formulated thousands of years ago. As we grow in our knowledge about the universe, our challenge is to remain open to whatever insights may await us as we discover what it means to be at home among the stars.
- If you were God, how would you make the world better for mankind?
- If we all worked together, how could we bring about those changes without divine intervention?