Have you ever retraced the pattern of your life and wondered about the circumstances and choices that led you to this present moment? Have you ever made a decision based on a gut feeling rather than a rational conclusion? Have you ever been influenced by what feels like some outer mysterious force? Perhaps examining the phenomena of intuition and synchronicity will shed some light on this.
Intuition is a deep knowing that we feel within, but which we cannot rationalize through logic or reason. This gut feeling usually comes on so strong that one of two options becomes apparent: either surrender and trust your feeling, or ignore your intuition and possibly regret it.
Ten years ago, my husband and I made the decision to move to Nova Scotia from Toronto based solely on a feeling. We had no jobs waiting for us and no family, friends or professional contacts. There was only the undeniable, magnetic draw to honour and act on this ‘feeling’ that we were meant to live here. Why did we do this?
Intellectually, it didn’t add up, but to this day it ranks as one of the best decisions we’ve ever made, along with getting married and having our two children. The drive to trust our feeling overrode logic and fear. Never once did we fall into the trap of over-thinking it. Over the last several years, we’ve met many people who have had a similar experience, further supporting my belief that decisions made from the heart (by way of our gut feeling) will always steer you in the right direction.
Could intuition also apply to something like driving along the highway and getting the feeling you should slow down, only to pass a police cruiser moments later, thereby avoiding a hefty fine? Is this truly intuition, or is it your mind reasoning out potential consequences that in turn altered your behaviour?
One way to make the distinction between these two examples is that the former is unconscious and the latter is conscious. Synchronicity just might be the missing piece of the puzzle that helps support this gut feeling about a specific person, place or circumstance, and the thread that leads to the ‘collective unconscious’.
The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung coined the term synchronicity: ‘an apparently meaningful coincidence in time of two or more similar or identical events that are causally unrelated.’
Would synchronicity apply to a dream that reveals an insight, after which you find yourself surrounded by similar messages that support this in your everyday life? Or a reoccurring number or sequence of numbers popping up over and over again throughout your day or week, prompting you to bet on a horse or buy a lottery ticket using those same number(s)? Are these actually synchronistic events, or are they ego-driven desires that are self-serving and often lead to a dead end?
Carl Jung refers to an example of synchronicity during a treatment session with one of his patients. She was describing a moment in her dream when she was given a golden scarab. Seconds later, he heard a tapping at the window behind him. It turned out to be a local version of a scarab beetle, which contrary to its normal behaviour mysteriously felt the urge to come into the room at that moment. Was this some kind of sign for both patient and doctor to pay particular attention to that portion of her dream?
One of the tricks to sorting out synchronicity is to become self-critical. By examining the fine line between a self-fulfilling prophecy and tapping into the collective unconscious that is so much greater than our ego and personal desires, revealing a universal wisdom for all to access. When presented with a perceived moment of synchronicity, ask yourself: what is the message, and whom is it serving? If it revolves around personal gain and/or narcissistic affirmations, you may have lost the plot.
It would also be helpful to keep in mind the phenomena of ‘confirmation bias’ to distinguish unconsciously programmed patterns. For example, it seems to many people that they continually see 9:11 on the clock, despite the fact that it is only 9:11 twice per day. Clearly, we ascribe more importance to these numbers ever since 9/11 happened. But how many times per day do we look at the clock and see different numbers? We don’t have the same association with them, so we don’t think them significant. We may be more prone to seeing a repeated pattern more readily and therefore attempt to draw more meaning from it than it actually possesses.
So how might we better understand these two mysterious signposts? It would seem to me that synchronicity and intuition are a marriage made in heaven. Synchronicity is the outer cue that leads us to discover the inner wisdom of our intuition. When they do the cosmic tango, connecting and intertwining, we experience firsthand what was previously hidden. This convergence reveals a deep knowing that goes beyond concepts and ideologies and can only be described as living in a state of Grace. This might also be the same realm where the collective imagination resides, which can be expressed as the creative muse or a stroke of genius.
By staying open to these inner and outer cues, we can access this wisdom and become co-creators with this divine force. The trick is not to succumb to delusional fantasies that only serve to feed the ego, but to refocus on the bigger picture that is trying to get your attention. Keep your thoughts fluid. Give up attachments and ideas that may have served you in the past but are not applicable to where you are. When you empty your mind of clutter, staying present and paying attention, you can experience the beauty, wonder and wisdom where all creativity and magic reside.
The pineal gland, known as the jewel of our consciousness, is located in the middle of our forehead. In yogic tradition it is called the Ajna chakra, and is often referred to as the ‘gateway to ascension’. Our intuition physically manifests in our solar plexus, which corresponds to the Manipura chakra. Hence the term, ‘gut reaction’. Through a regular meditative, spiritual or yogic practice, we learn to balance these two chakra centers, reconciling synchronicity and intuition within the heart. In the spaces between our breath and the quiet solitude that results from contemplation and meditation, there is a fusion of the two, allowing co-creation with our Higher Selves to occur. Thus the mind is put in its rightful place as the servant, which in turn functions as the outlet for this divine expression.
And here’s where it gets interesting. None of this can occur without your consent. Consciousness is the key to co-creation with the divine. We are all part of the larger cosmic process, and without OUR participation, this elixir that can potentially provide our life journey with a deep sense of knowing, wisdom and wonder, will wither away and become meaningless, wasted energy.
When we realign intuition with synchronicity and cultivate greater awareness of this process, our physical and spiritual body will gain access to the super highway towards that deep knowing which is available to all, fueled by our intention to stay open and our willingness to remain conscious.
July 5, 2012