Embracing the flow of life through synchronicity
Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see.
- Carl Jung
Have you ever noticed how, sometimes, there seems to be a hidden guide leading our lives, and how meaningful coincidences seem to occur mysteriously?
Synchronicity describes the occurrence of completely unrelated events at the same time, syn chronos. You see a stone shaped in the form of a heart, and immediately receive an email invitation from a heart-centered meditation workshop, for example.
How does our practice of Wholistic Wellbeing affect our attitude toward synchronicity? Our actions? Our mindset? I believe the practice of Wholistic Wellbeing can help us stay in touch with that mysterious guidance.
The word ‘synchronicity’ comes from Chronos, the primordial god of time in ancient Greek paganism and pre-Socratic philosophy. As an idea, synchronicity also stretches back to ancient philosophy: though the term was first coined by Carl Jung as recently as 1928, he used it to describe old Chinese religious and philosophical concepts. Synchronicity emerges from ancient spiritual ideas and the idea that there is something outside ourselves shaping our actions and directing our destinies with good intentions. In other words, synchronicity allows us to understand what the gentle voice of the cosmos is telling our souls.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “you make your own luck”? You may think that maybe through rationality and sheer willpower we can control our world. But all we can do is be aware of the present and do the next thing, accepting that the universe shapes our world. If we do this – whether from spiritual or secular standpoints, as we can accept ‘the universe’ as a biological force as well – we come closer to creating a comfortable world for ourselves.
Don’t be disappointed that the world is not exactly how you want it to be, or that the world around you just happens. The fact that you do not have the power to control every aspect of it is something you have to accept. History, mythology, and folk tales across cultures are replete with tales of kings and politicians who imagined that they had greater power than they actually had and then got their comeuppance. For instance, when King Canute tells the waves to go away; or when King Lear, whose fool becomes his closest friend in the midst of a terrifying storm, goes mad; or from my own tradition in India, when Arjuna accepts that the mortal warrior is subservient to divine action in the Indian Great Epic, The Mahabarat: all these stories revolve around hubris.
We must accept that being human means to be limited in our capacities to control the world around us, and be humble enough to go with the flow without trying to “explain” every moment of synchronicity. This does not mean that we should discard our ambitions to change the world for the better, but simply to accept that we are not the sole authors of our destinies and allow room for mistakes, accidents and change. The more you develop your own Wholistic Wellbeing, the better you’ll be equipped to navigate whatever storms, issues, and problems life throws at you; to accept life as it unfolds; to welcome synchronicity rather than overanalyze it, and, in so doing, to reframe it as serendipity, happenstance, or even happy accidents.
It’s really impossible to “explain” synchronicity: events are simply lived, moment by moment. When we surrender to that fact, we surrender to the flow, and the world around us mirrors and may manifest some of our desires. The more we can accept what comes our way, the more we are able to feel that we are not the center of our universe, but rather that we are part of it. This is how we improve ourselves; and that improvement is what drives our Wholistic Wellbeing.