Synchronicity – by Helena Daly
Art by Benjavisa Ruangvaree
The Wisdom of Soul
Synchronicities are fascinating phenomena that people usually love to talk about. But what are these mysterious events exactly and how are we to understand them? To begin with, the word synchronicity is a term used to describe the link between two simultaneous events (one objective and one subjective) that are connected through their meaning. These phenomenal events that directly arise one out of the other, cannot be explained by the laws of cause and effect that occur in physical time and space. The reason for this is because they occur within subtle dimensions of reality, and in subtle time and space, which operates differently from physical space.
Synchronicities are often described as a mysterious force, operating within a sort of “cosmic clock”. This brings with them a strong sense of another side of life operating behind the appearance of physical life. It is as if during these profound times, the veil between worlds lifts, and inner and outer worlds converge.
From a religious and soul perspective, these occurrences are believed to govern our existence as souls, and are often described as sharing similar characteristics to experiences and interventions of grace. During these incredible experiences, the soul awakens to a process of spiritual unfoldment. For many, this mysterious phenomena provides a clear and direct encounter with the spiritual realm, in which higher dimensions of mind and intuitive energetics are strongly activated, and through which deeper meaning emerges. Meaningful connection comes through a deep inner feeling—an energetic resonance that often results in spontaneous and transformative emotional responses. This inner sense is often described as a warmth or rush of energy through the body, or getting the chills, and as having an eerie feeling while at the same time experiencing a sense of awe, reverence and sacredness.
From a Jungian perspective, synchronicities are not chance happenings but here and now phenomenal events that open out a pathway, while pointing the way to a deep and often archetypal complex being activated within the person. Synchronicities’ powerful effect moves well beyond perspectives rooted in reason and purely materialistic scientific outlooks. Their transformative power breaks through rationalistic thinking and rigidly held beliefs and attitudes, especially when they show themselves concretely—revealing the connection between the hidden subtle world and the physical world.
Perhaps the most famous example of a powerful synchronicity is the one described by Carl Jung, which happened during a psychoanalytic session with a patient. This woman had a highly developed rational mind, which made her psychoanalytic treatment difficult. One day, at the precise moment of telling Jung about a dream she had in which she received a golden scarab (a beetle with significance in Egyptian mythology)—a tap was heard on the window. Jung reported how on hearing this tap, he opened the window and a scarab-like beetle flew in. He caught the beetle and presented it to his patient saying “here is your scarab”. The stunning impact of this synchronistic event overwhelmed the defenses of the rational mind and intellectual resistance, and this led to a breakthrough in treatment.
I also had a similar, equally powerful experience. A few years ago, during a dream therapy session, a client of mine shared a dream that both intrigued and bothered him. While describing the dream, I bought this gentleman’s attention to the central image—that of a German Shepard dog, which held a great deal of energy. As we opened it out, a significant association was made to an important personal relationship in his life. This image captured and communicated so beautifully, the interpersonal dynamics at work in this particular relationship—a message that was not easy to receive and process. After our session ended, we both left the office together to go our separate ways. As we emerged out of the building and walked into the carpark, right there in front of me in a car was a German Shepard dog with his head hanging out the window and his long tongue dangling away, looking right at us. I was stunned and quietly said to my client, ‘look’. He turned and looked, equally stunned and utterly speechless. To say the importance of his dream message was reinforced is putting it mildly!
When these types of extraordinary events happen in life, it is so important to pay attention. Synchronicities are the energy and wisdom of soul calling and communicating. For me, there is no doubt whatsoever that these events serve and guide spiritual evolution. They show the way, if we are just willing to look and listen, and they comfort, in letting us know that we are on the right path.
Now there are different types of synchronistic events, which are good to bear in mind, such as those that occur between mental content (a thought or feeling) and outer events. Here’s a personal example to help illustrate this phenomenon in action. A few years ago, I moved into a temporary, transitional living space. It was a large studio and while settling into it, I had the thought that a screen-divider might be quite nice to put in place, while helping separate the bedroom area from the living and kitchen area. I was seeing this in my mind’s eye, and visualized a colorful one, maybe purple, or one that was at least unusual, a bit exotic and with plenty of character. The next day, my friend Karin called in to see me and wondered how it was all going. I told her about my screen-divider idea and she laughed out loud, while telling me that just the day before she was looking around a second-hand store and saw one for sale. She thought to herself that I may like something like this for the studio, but then reckoned that the style and color of it, which was rather plain and bland, would probably not appeal to me! And she was right. Another simple example of this type of synchronicity is when someone calls you, just as you are thinking about them, or very shortly afterwards.
Other powerful synchronistic events that come through dreams, visions or premonitions, can point to something that will happen in the future, which then do occur. The best known historical example of this is President Lincoln, who just prior to his assassination reported having dreams in which he saw his body lying in State.
And there are also dreams or visions which coincide with an event that is taking place at a distance (and is later verified)—experiences I have also had. The following amazing synchronistic event happened twenty years ago, shortly after I had returned from my travels in India. Upon returning, I stayed with my parents for a while, and slept in my old bedroom where I had this very intense, extraordinary transpersonal dream, impossible to forget—the type of experience that lives on in the memory forever and ever.
One night I awoke to see myself sitting upright and leaning forward, while breathing really fast, as if I were in labor and about to give birth. I was not sure if I was dreaming or waking as I recognized that I was in my own bed, in my own room. I look up from my bed to see my mother enter my room, walk around to my side, bend in towards me, and say; “it’s okay, just breathe to the ticking of the clock”—tic toc, tic toc, breath in, breath out, tic toc. And so I started to do this, breathing quick, short, focused breaths to the sound and rhythm of the ticking clock—aware that I was very close to giving birth. While my mother was standing by my side, I turned my head to look at the clock and saw it was almost 3am in the middle of the night, and I carried on breathing in and out to the seconds of the clock, as they ticked away.
When morning came and I got up to go to the bathroom, I met my mother coming out and she said to me “Helena, I was dreaming all night that I was cleaning the kitchen and everywhere around me, and I couldn’t stop. I was cleaning like mad, and it was tiring me out so much that I went to the doctor to tell him that I couldn’t stop, and to please help, to do something”. And I told her about my dream, and asked her if by any chance she had come into my room in the middle of the night. I suspected not, but given the intense lucidity of my experience and the dreaming landscape being the same as the physical room I was sleeping in, I wanted to double check and make sure! But no, she had not come into my room.
Well, we were both amazed and rather flabbergasted by these dreams and wondered what on earth they could be about. It turns out we did not have to wait too long, as a few hours later, my mother received a phone call from her Australian son-in-law. My sister and her husband had been living in Saudi Arabia at that time. Greg called to say Marina had given birth to a baby boy at 3am Irish time and that all was well. Their son was born at the precise time I was having this dreaming experience of going through the energetic motions of giving birth! My mother’s dream, we came to understand, is reflective of what is called ‘preparing the nest’. Dreams of cleaning frantically are known to occur during profound threshold experiences, like when someone is about to give birth and when someone is about to die. It is the psyche’s way of preparing and clearing the way for those entering and leaving!
And it is on that precise note that I wish to leave the reader—with thoughts about other, less spoken about synchronistic events that happen around death. Extraordinary phenomenal end-of-life events (dreams, visions and death-bed encounters) are often experienced during the dying process and in those moments surrounding death, by dying individuals and family members. These strange-but-true, death-related encounters are common phenomena but not commonly spoken about. And so I think they deserve their very own blog, which I will set out to do next. A blog—as well as a book, which I am happy and excited to say is well underway. So watch this space.
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