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The Meaning of Coincidence

abracad, · Categories: coincidence and synchronicity, luck, paranormal phenomena, psychic development, science and spirituality, spirituality

Coincidence is where two or more unrelated things seem to occur in close enough proximity to suggest some relationship between them. Eg you dream of a school friend you haven't heard from for years only to get a reunion invitation from that same person next day.

Between getting the idea for this post and actually writing it a friend told me of two instances when people she hadn't seen for ages came into her mind. The first she ran into on the street next day, and the second happened to be on the TV when she walked into the next room! And, on the day I posted this, I happened to be flicking through the TV channels and started watching an old series (of about 80 episodes). Bizarrely the episode being shown was the same that I happened upon over 4 years ago also by channel-flicking. I don't follow this series and don't recall having watched it inbetween times. Coincidence, or what?

We all experience coincidences. And quite often they send a little shiver down our spine as though signaling some greater hidden force is at work.

But before getting too carried away, let's make it clear - coincidence happens as a fact of nature. For example, if you continually roll two dice, once in six they will come up with the same number. Nothing spooky about that. Coincidences are significant only when they occur more frequently that chance suggests they should.

The great Swiss psychologist C.G. Jung coined the term synchronicity to describe "temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events", ie coincidence. Jung ascribed the phenomenon to some "acausal connecting principle", ie he postulates some greater, unseen, reality having a direct effect on earthly events.

When we are born, a small part of Spirit associates itself with our physical body. But while incarnate the knowledge of our Spiritual nature is buried deep within. Our focus needs to be on earthly matters both to survive, and to fulfill our purpose in being here.

But we remain Spirit; and occasionally we glimpse evidence of that reality. Like us, the physical universe manifests from Spirit and remains subordinate to Spirit. Largely it operates deterministically, but within that apparent determinism lie clues to the existence of a greater reality.

Anomalous experiences: degree vs frequency

It's a bit like we're puppets (albeit with our own Will) in a puppet theatre. We make our moves and observe the moves of others, but remain unaware of the hidden (Spiritual) force that is pulling the strings save for the occasional glimpse of its influence. Sometimes that glimpse may take the dramatic form of seeing a ghost, having an out of body experience, or getting a premonition of a major event. But mostly it takes the form of a coincidence such as thinking about a long lost friend only to hear something of them very soon afterwards. Perhaps part of our role in this life is to rediscover our Spiritual essence after having it hidden from us. Coincidence provides but one signpost along that journey.

Reassuring as it is to have evidence we are part of some bigger reality than the material world, coincidences are involuntary, they come to us in dreams, just pop into our minds, or just happen as pairs or groups of  related but non-causally connected events. Is it possible to somehow train our minds to pick up on the hidden connections between events, or even to act as a connection, making desired things (more likely to) happen?

As mentioned we are by nature Spiritual entities temporarily inhabiting physical world bodies in the material world. By learning to attune ourselves more to our Spiritual essence (raising our vibrations in the language of Spiritualism) through a process of psychic development we can become more aware of the greater, underlying reality, and even influence it through the exercise of our personal will. Parapsychological experiments indicate some are more naturally gifted at this process than others, but with effort we should all be able to produce some positive results. However, if you're hoping to use the power of coincidence to make the lottery numbers match your selections you might be disappointed. We cannot do anything that isn't written into our greater plan, so if coping with sudden wealth isn't one of this life's pre-determined lessons it probably won't happen.

Further reading:

Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle by C.G. Jung

Jung on Synchronicity and the Paranormal ed. Roderick Main

The 7 Secrets of Synchronicity: Your Guide to Finding Meaning in Signs Big and Small by Trish & Rob MacGregor

I Can See Clearly Now: How Synchronicity Illuminates Our Lives by Mary Soliel

The Power of Coincidence: How Life Shows Us What We Need to Know by David Richo

Signs: A New Approach to Coincidence, Synchronicity, Guidance, Life Purpose, and God's Plan by Robert Perry

Synchronicity: Nature and Psyche in an Interconnected Universe (Carolyn and Ernest Fay Series in Analytical Psychology) by Joseph Cambray PhD

When God Winks at You: How God Speaks Directly to You Through the Power of Coincidence by Squire Rushnell

The Purpose of Your Life: Finding Your Place In The World Using Synchronicity, Intuition, And Uncommon Sense by Carol Adrienne & James Redfield


Filed in: coincidence and synchronicity, luck, paranormal phenomena, psychic development, science and spirituality, spirituality

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