Synchronicity or Being In Time
(Image credit: The Zozo Phenomena)
“Don’t manage time, manage yourself”, were my opening words
to a group who had come to hear me speak about time management. “Accept it. We
cannot control time.”
What makes it so hard for us to accept this is that many of us have the belief that if we can’t control time, it will control us. In reality, time does not control us, our sense and perception of time does.
Time is like air, we need it to survive and it’s out there for us to use, naturally and unconsciously.
How do we do that? One simple step: We don’t try to control time (which we can’t), we look at what we can control that will enable us to “breathe” more easily; and that is our energy.
“Defined in physics as the capacity to work, energy comes from four main wellsprings in human beings: the body, emotions, mind, and spirit.”
We have control over our energy and its sources. When our energy levels are at their prime, we are in sync with time.
Synchronization is defined as: “The operation or activity of two or more things at the same time or rate.” How can we operate in time with time? How many different times are there?
The term synchronization itself can be divided up in at least two other units; one, in music where syncopation involves a variety of rhythms which are in some way unexpected and which make part or all of the piece of music sound off-beat or out of synch and two, in psychology where synchronicity is a psychological phenomenon, a term coined by Carl Jung and defined as:
“…the phenomenon of events which coincide in time and appear
meaningfully related but have no discoverable causal connection.”
Hear this classic ragtime as an example of syncopation. (2:46)
“Those are very different definitions, especially when one keeps in mind the distinction that one term (synchronization) involves deliberate connection, while the other (synchronicity) specifically denies a connection (there is only the appearance of a connection, not the reality).”
When you are keeping your clocks in time, you are synchronizing. When you are connecting two meaningful but seemingly unrelated experiences, that is synchronicity. Where synchronization is physical, synchronicity is a psychological phenomenon.
Any discussion of time needs to include Albert Einstein. He said: “When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.”
Embedded in this quote are the dualities of time; the physical and the psychological experience, the internal perception and the external measurement. One is considered objective; the sun rises and sets, while the other subjective; it’s how an individual perceives or senses the passage of time. In reality, even the most objective manifestations are subjectively perceived. This reinforces another of Einstein’s theories;
"...us physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one." (video 10:31)
This “illusion” is an important one as it relates to Jung’s definition of synchronicity; meaningful events which coincide in time and but have no discoverable causal connection. Illusion, meaning and causal connection; let’s look at these important elements as they affect this discussion.
“The Axiom of Causality is the proposition that everything in the universe has a cause and is thus an effect of that cause. This means that if a given event occurs, then this is the result of a previous, related event. If an object is in a certain state, then it is in that state as a result of another object interacting with it previously.
In addition, everything that becomes or changes must do so owing to some cause; for nothing can come to be without a cause. — Plato in Timaeus”
In other words, everything I see or experience is a result of something which took place prior to the fact, making the illusion of past, present and future a convincing one.
(Image credit: MessageToEagle.com)
For Jung, events connected by meaning need not have an explanation in terms of causality. Leave it to Jung to take a phenomenon out of the theory of causality and assign meaning as its most important aspect. By doing so however, Jung returns us to Einstein’s subjective experience of time; we assign meaning to our experiences, therefore how meaningful an event is, is solely based on our subjective experience, it’s all relative.
Connections and patterns.
Rhizome is a philosophical term used to describe the relations
and connectivity of things. To better understand the concept of rhizomatic
connections, the authors Deleuze and Guattari have assigned the following six
1. Connectivity, states that every part of the system is connected to another part in any possible way. A person has a relation with another person who is connected to many more, hence creating a network.
2. Heterogeneity, defines that a rhizome is a connection between things of different nature. For example, the connection between orchids and bees. Both interact in the reproduction system of the other, but each one belongs to a completely different environment.
3. Multiplicity, all the parts are connected to one another and then these to others, and these others to a greater number of others; as in a mathematical expression of n3. One is connected to three, these three to three other more and so on.
4. A rhizome can never be broken. If one of its parts is interrupted, it will continue in a different path, or change its function, but will always remain.
5. Cartography and 6. Decalcomania. “Rhizome is like a map. You can enter at any specific point but you cannot trace it because it has no end. In general, rhizome is defined as an interaction system applied to any division that follows no specific pattern or rules of organization.”
How much of these connections are we consciously aware of as they take place on a daily basis? The personal you as well as the business you can actually sit down and “map” the connections as they relate to you; a worthwhile exercise. For example, number 4 can become a way to connect differently with an experience that you deemed as a failure. Your business, a project, a proposal, is not “broken”. Look to see what part or parts were interrupted. Can you continue in a different path? Can you make changes in its function? What core aspect remains the same?
Sandra Reeve writes:
“ ‘Break the pattern which connects the items of learning and you necessarily destroy all quality.’ - Gregory Bateson
(Image credit: Hayley Anderson- View of King George Sound Over Outback Queensland)
I choose pattern as a primary ecological principle. The
perception of pattern involves an awareness of overview and horizontal view
simultaneously and an apprehension of past and future within the present
moment. Pattern indicates to me flow, movement and design, connection,
repetition, aesthetic, meaning, process and product. All of these qualities and
concerns are present in my movement research projects.
One of the key principles of ecological thinking is to recognize the existence of patterns and to see that we exist as part of those patterns, rather than as separate from them.”
Is our awareness and perception of patterns inclusive of time and space? Do you see yourself as part of the patterns in your environment or separate from them? What qualities and concerns are present in your personal or professional lives?
By connecting and by being perceptive of patterns, we make ourselves open to seeing and experiencing synchronicity.
Meaning and perception: Or, not merely a coincidence.
In, Catching the Bug of Synchronicity, Paul Levy writes:
(Image credit: wikipedia)
illustrate what he meant by the word synchronicity, Jung brings up an
experience he shared with a patient of his. This particular patient was very
caught in her head, and the analysis was seemingly going nowhere. She was
stuck, trapped in the self-created prison of her own mind. Jung realized there
was nothing he could do. In Jung’s words, “I had to confine myself to the hope
that something unexpected and irrational would turn up, something that would
burst the intellectual retort in which she had sealed herself.” She had an
impressive dream the night before, in which someone offered her a golden scarab
– a valuable piece of jewelry. At the moment she was telling Jung the dream,
there was a tapping on the office window. Jung opened up the window and a
scarabaeid beetle, whose gold-green color closely resembles that of a golden
scarab, flew into the room. Jung caught the beetle in his hand, handed it to
her and said “Here is your scarab.
The shock of recognition in the synchronistic moment, in which Jung’s patient realized her dream of the previous night was being both literally and symbolically enacted in her waking life, pierced through her resistance and cracked her defensive shell wide open. At the moment of synchronistic transmission, a fundamental shift in perception took place within her which inwardly transformed her and made her receptive in a new way. From that point on, Jung commented, “The treatment could now be continued with satisfactory results.”
A molecular chemist connects the dots.
Fernando R. Goñi sees “the meaning of the synchronicity and
the synchronistic facts” as follows:
“The synchronistic facts that takes place being the non-temporal relation of psyche - physique, are the norm of our lives although we seldom recognize them like such. The synchronicity is our relationship with the total, Psychic and Physical Universe and therefore it connect us with the unconscious. The synchronicity and the synchronistic facts give us the opportunity to understand the way to putting us in balance with the symmetry of the Universe, and therefore with ourselves and with the environment that surrounds us. The meaning of the synchronicity is that the universal homeostasis is non temporal and non spatial.”
Homeostasis is an innate drive that influences our behavior patterns. Here Goñi refers to these patterns as part of our relationship and our engagement with ourselves, others and our environment.
“Expression and the Inner”
(Image credit: Fractals In Nature)
Milos Djukic writes about “Expression and the Inner”. He calls this “synchronicity or a fractal alignment.”
“Insights is the final and primordial manifestation of our spirit framed by thoughts, words and feelings.
For a scientist, the most important is the insight that manifests suddenly (“epihany”). That is the rare moment of enlightenment and inner peace.
What is less known, is the fact that instantaneous insight, as an integral part of innovation process, was often initiated through social-spiritual interaction with people. It seems to me that not only scientists, but also other professions can benefit from this."
Imagination and Synchronicity
Fernando R. Goñi writes:
“[W]ith my mind, I could travel and pass the frontier that even physically could see.
Imagination is, therefore, the first form of relationship in the universal space, is the bridge between the physic person compelled to a meager space of the Universe, and the unconscious that embrace it.
In many ways my imagination, or perception, or unconscious always could have traveled to a higher speed and farther than physical senses, helping to explain the perfect physical harmony existing from the smallest to the bigger.”
Any boundaries that limit me in my physical experiences is opened up through my imagination; my ability to imagine. Because of this ability, I am able to perceive all that I am a part of; my internal and external worlds. And in this way I am in sync.
Dedicated to @Milos Djukic, “A great person deserves no less.”