To start off the New Year I thought I’d discuss today’s top tweet using a fictional, gender-neutral person called “Charlie.” I’ll also use a literary device from my school days: S/he.
So Charlie is a bit of nut. Or maybe not. It might depend on how we look at it.
S/he believes that “big picture” patterns appear over time, especially in the form of recurring numbers. S/he knows about Carl Jung’s idea of synchronicity, and that Jung gives the example of recurring numbers. Charlie also realizes that Jung never advocates actively looking for synchronicity. For Jung, synchronicity just happens after we make a choice.
Choice and the idea that synchronicity occurs after making choices distinguishes believers in synchronicity from
- Religious fanatics who believe they see signs in everything and make choices on the basis of those alleged signs
- Frightening mad persons who do bad things because they believe they see signs or recurring patterns telling them to behave a certain way
- The paranoid who tragically hurt themselves or commit suicide because they believe they see patterns indicating that the world is out to get them
As for Charlie, s/he is only human and learns as s/he goes along. S/he used to believe that perceived recurring numbers were proof that s/he was on the right track, cosmically speaking.
But one day a friend said something that complicated things. The friend said “Charlie, what if you made a different choice and a different series of patterns came up?” This made Charlie think, which is usually good.
Maybe there is no single life journey or path, Charlie thought. And maybe every time I make a choice the universe splits and different Charlies live out parallel lives.
Charlie knows it’s a big mystery out there.
Having read some psychology books, Charlie also considers the possibility that s/he is unconsciously selecting these numbers while ignoring or playing down a lot of other numbers that pass by.
“Of course,” most would say.
But Charlie doesn’t think it’s quite that simple. S/he still feels a sense of confirmation when numerical synchronicity arises, even after thinking and analyzing the phenomenon from different angles. Sometimes s/he even wonders if angels or other spiritual powers guide us toward meaningful coincidences.
After all, Charlie is just a person. Unlike the worldly wise, s/he tries to be humble and remember that there’s still a lot to figure out in this great mystery called life.
About the Author
Michael Clark’s PhD thesis is entitled, Synchronicity and poststructuralism: C. G. Jung’s secularization of the supramundane. He likes to think about things but believes that the intellect is, at best, an aid to spirituality.