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Random or Real? The Reliability of Synchronicity

written by Kristin Wermus, PCC

Are the peculiarities of life such as a chance meeting, a call from an old friend, or your favorite song playing on the radio right when it is needed the most simply a random event or part of a divine plan? I used to think these sorts of happenings were just by chance. Yet, the more I observe and experience life, the more I believe they are prompts intentionally placed on our paths to help guide us when we are lost, stuck, or alone. The ancients used to refer to these instances as fatum. Translated, it means the will of the gods or willingness to help. I tend to think this assistance is readily available but not always noticed due to our state of mind.

Not too long ago, I myself, received "help" at an unforeseen and oh-so-needed time in my life. I was flying to San Diego to say my final goodbyes to a close friend. Unfortunately, due to the short notice of the trip, I couldn't get a direct flight. So, my plane had to fly to Utah and pick up more passengers before going to California. There, a woman about my age boarded and sat down in the seat next to me. Given the circumstances, I felt like keeping to myself, but for some reason, we started chatting. In a matter of minutes, we realized we were both headed to San Diego to visit the very same person and say goodbye. Meeting that stranger on the plane gave me the strength to meet my friend for our final farewell.

Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist, would have claimed my plane experience as a synchronistic event. Jung, the first to introduce the concept of synchronicity, explained it as a "meaningful coincidence of two or more events where something other than the probability of chance is involved." He believed these events were there to enhance our consciousness and bring clarity where there seemed to be confusion. He spent years of his career explaining and utilizing the phenomenon of synchronicity to assist patients in sourcing meaning from these occurrences.

I love the story Carl Jung tells in his book, "Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle," where he writes of a young woman that he could not get to tap into her emotional side. She was entirely rational and logical, and he felt that he would not be able to work with her. Then, one day his patient told him about a dream she had where she received a piece of jewelry shaped like a scarab beetle. As the woman was telling this story, Jung heard a tapping on the window and opened it to find a scarab beetle in the golden color, just as she had described it in her dream. It was only then that the young woman awoke to a deeper place of self-inquiry and clarity. Below is a quote from Jung describing the event.

"The woman had been so convinced about the nature of reality, so rigid in her convictions and assumptions that nothing other than a paranormal, mystical event, beyond description and words, would weaken her resolve."

Questions to increase awareness and clarity via the synchronicities in life:

  • What can you notice in your everyday life that you haven’t been paying attention to?

  • What repeating patterns are showing themselves during the day?

  • How are messages showing up in your dreams?

  • How are seemingly random day and or night events connected?

  • What could they be saying that you are not hearing?

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