A couple of blogs back the topic was Dreams, which dealt with the conscious dreams we have in our lives. Today’s blog is about those dreams that I said were generally caused by eating too many rich foods before going to bed. Even though it sounded like I was trivializing, I would like to assure you I definitely was not.
Today’s blog is about the dreams of our subconscious. We could even include nightmares if we wanted. The main idea is that we have a whole world that is going on when we close our eyes and sleep. That universe is what the philosopher Carl Jung came up with in the 1950s and which he labeled Synchronicity. His definition of this phenomenon is when the inner and outer events of our world come together in a way that cannot be explained by simple cause and effect. We might like to call it “meaningful coincidence” or “when dreams come true” or even “happenstance” or “dreamscapes.”
My friend Ken several years ago saw a Cuban film “Strawberries and Chocolate.” One night soon thereafter Ken, a piano student for the last several years, dreamed he was playing the beautiful music he had heard in that Cuban film. The next day while on the phone with our friend Bob in Boston, he was told the name of the composer of the music, Ignacio Cervantes, a Cuban composer of the 1800s. (Bob is a super fast fact finder on any subject via his handy iPhone.)
Ken tried everywhere, even the internet, to get a copy of the music, which he found out was called “Adios A Cuba”—but to no avail. A very short time later, two of Ken’s friends out of the blue told him they were going to Cuba for an educational conference. He asked them to get him a copy of the song while there. David and Debbie looked everywhere in Havana but couldn’t find a copy of the music. Their last day they noticed from a bus a used book sale going on in a park. They got off, saw a stall that had old music—and lo and behold in the stack was a copy of “Adios A Cuba,” which they bought for Ken.
Was this just a series of accidents, happenstances, coincidences or serendipity? No, it was “Synchronicity.” Most of us have had similar incidents to Ken’s in our lives. So when Synchronicity happens, many people overlook it or call it something else. They might say, “I got lucky,” or “That happened just in the nick of time,” or “It came out of the blue,” or “It jumped out at me.”
In order to understand Synchronicity as it appears presently in your life or has appeared in your past, and will appear in your future, let’s look at the circumstances in which Synchronicity shows up in your life and the patterns it takes—single incidents, strings, and clusters (like the Ken incident.)
As you read the following descriptions, read actively. Scan your memory for similar events. Think of what’s happened to you in the last few weeks and months and see what patterns emerge. (I’d love to have some of your examples in the “Comment” section at the end of this blog.)
We experience Synchronicity most often when we let ourselves be open to it and are attentive, which in turn is affected by the outer conditions in which we find ourselves—and the inner conditions in which we put ourselves (our dreamscapes or dream escapades.)
- Special circumstances such as falling in love, finding Mr. or Ms. Right, births, deaths, and times of upheaval are outer conditions that push us toward openness because, as the ground shifts beneath our feet, we feel more vulnerable.
- Mundane circumstances of daily life can be rich with Synchronicity if we have the right inner conditions—if we make ourselves more open to the world through personal awareness and understanding. (This would cover Ken’s experiences.)
For most of mankind’s history, such incidences were thought to be the work of the Gods because you gave money to the church, you prayed to a certain saint or you crossed your heart three times and tapped your heel twice and repeated some magic phrase. Since Jung most of that has changed. We now realize that it is our conscious and sub-conscious uniting with one another and that we have to be open minded for all this Synchronicity to take place.
Remember the last time the phone rang and you said, “I was just going to call you.” And you really meant it. I dreamed once that I was attending school in Spain. The next day in the mail, I received some information about Middlebury College’s Graduate Year Abroad Program in Spain. I applied within the week and ended up getting a scholarship to attend The University of Madrid to complete my Masters Degree.
Writers use Synchronicity to no end, or at least I do. My novel CONTESSA was based on a big Hollywood extravaganza type dream I had one night. Honestly, I got up the next morning and wrote the prologue at Starbuck’s on napkins. Also, I had a real nightmare one night and it showed up in print as TEDDY BEAR MURDERS. The book THE CELESTINE PROPHESY is about all this dreamscape stuff and has sold over 23 million copies. The author Mary Shelly had a nightmare one night, got up the next morning and began writing it down. She named her Synchronicity FRANKENSTEIN.
Our night dreams sometimes do and can come true. Even Lewis Carroll in ALICE IN WONDERLAND had the White Queen saying, “It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.” Alice, like many disbelievers or cause-and-effect people said, “My memory only works one way. I can’t remember things before they happen.”
It’s an amazing world we inhabit at night when we go to sleep. Some people even talk in their sleep and some people get up and wander about. Some people are busy dreaming up plots for their next books or dreaming up things for themselves to do or prophesies for themselves to fulfill. I definitely belong to this group. Do you?