The term synchronicity, coined by philosopher Carl Jung, is the best word we have to describe such a series of unexplained coincidences. Jung defined synchronicity as a “meaningful coincidence of two or more events where something other than the probability of chance is involved.”
Even as a child, and well before I had heard Jung’s definition, I had an unspoken understanding of these sorts of experiences. A certain number showing up several times over the course of a couple days, a few normally challenging tasks working out oddly easily all in a row, or having recurring instances of deja vu in a short time span. These have always been interpretive experiences that evoke a sixth sense – or inner knowing – of a pattern happening around me that is beyond a mere anomaly. These subtle and personal experiences can be extremely visceral, moving and validating. And they can cause us to ask bigger questions about ourselves and the nature of our universe.
Last year I had an extremely vivid series of synchronicities relating to a work project that inspired me to write this article. These synchronicities presented over a long-time span and showed up a few different ways. These events are personal but, hopefully, in explaining my experience, you can get a clear sense of what a synchronicity might look like in your past, present, or future.
About a year and a half ago I had a dream: I was walking down a dirt road and came across a rundown rural home with a chain link fence and an unkempt yard. Children were trying to escape from an older man who owned the house and I was helping them. I awoke with the feeling they were fleeing some type of cult. My role in the dream was to help them do that.
Fast forward to six months later when I was hired to help write a digital series: the story? It followed a teenager who tracks a missing friend to a cult and then helps a group of teens held captive there escape the older male leader. My role as the writer was to help the lead character accomplish this task. The finale episode involves four teens escaping the compound on a dirt road.
The coincidence between my dream and the storyline didn’t escape me as we wrapped writing on the series finale, and I even mentioned it to some colleagues. But what happened around production is what made this one of the strongest examples of synchronicity I have ever experienced.
Within the first week of pre-production and production, I had an unusual series of vivid deja vu events, some coming multiple times in the same day. The first one occurred in the office where I found myself typing an email I knew I had typed before. The deja vu experiences on the set were even more startling as I had never set foot there before. These experiences were like walking into footsteps I knew I had taken, or completing words in a sentence to someone I knew I had said already. For me, a strong deja vu event is like walking into a memory from the past that is somehow happening in the present.
Questions these synchronicities provoked for me were: was I living out some destiny? Had I seen my future in the dream? Or was the dream helping write my future? Was I not only living out, but reliving an experience I had lived elsewhere in time and space?
These surreal experiences and the questions they provoke can open the door to matters of consciousness, time/space, and how we relate to these in the objective reality (seen) vs the backdoor (unseen) underpinnings of our universe.
Consider that more physicists than ever are looking at the possibility of how quantum physics applies to consciousness and time/space. For instance, consider the “observer effect” in physics experiments where an observer measuring particles in the process was shown to have an effect on the outcome (see the famous Double Slit experiment). This effect is what physicist Eugene Wigner described as a “participatory universe.” The idea that particles in our brain could exist in quantum superpositions and either be at two places at one time or have an impact on the particles of matter around us.
In this sense, something like the “observer effect” could suggest that thinking about another person might affect whether that person shows up later in real life. And deja vu might be explained by a quantum superposition where we have a sensation of the collapse of time/space (time being one major illusion in objective reality). Might dreams we have today, also reflect a future that our current brain molecules are in touch with? We may have a feeling we have been somewhere before or that something was meant to be, because we were already living it in the future of a time loop that we are never physically divorced from. Now, questions of free will begin to emerge. Can we affect what happens in our already happening future the way Marty McFly does it in Back to the Future? I don’t freakin’ know. It’s just a fun question to ask.
If I had to take a guess about why so much showed up for me around working on my digital series, I would bet that it was because this was a career milestone. It was a notable movement on the scale and one that didn’t come out of nowhere. I had formed an intention years before about what I was looking to call into my career path, and then let hard work, timing, and the universe call me in for it. Perhaps, on a quantum level, so much was shown to me because it was something my future self would have wanted my past self to know about. While walking on set, I certainly would have wanted myself to acknowledge a feeling that, “You’re on the right path. This is a big deal. Pay attention. You were meant to be here.”
I’ll conclude with this: Synchronicity holds a special place for me as it was my first key into the secret garden of the matrix. It has helped deepen my respect for the great mysteries of our reality and helped me ask the bigger questions needed to glean possible answers. Synchronicity is not something I (or anyone) can actively seek out – but we can attempt to notice and interpret it when it pops up. Religious people may view it as god talking to them; others may view it as an interconnected universe that we are participating in, participating back. Ultimately, this experience of interplay with the universe through synchronicities can elevate life and make it poetic, rather than flat and statistical. This unspoken sense that the universe has given us a wink and a nod, even for a moment, can be uplifting, unifying, and highly validating.