Recognizing And Understanding Synchronicity
In Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch, he introduces the concept that God is all around you and talking with you all the time, in ways you never really thought about: you need only pay attention.
What constitutes a synchronicity? It could really be anything. Once you begin paying attention, you’ll notice signs and synchronicities all around you. Some very big. Some very small, but they all have one thing in common–the feeling that comes with them.
There’s an intuitive tug that can be felt when you recognize a synchronicity, typically in the heart or the brow, because it’s aligned with those chakras–you see it and you feel it.
A sure sign of synchronicity is repetition. When you see something or hear a song or phrase over and over, and the odds of that thing occurring that frequently are pretty low, and it catches your attention and makes you go, “Hmmm…,” you can safely assume that it was meant to do just that and you might be able to find meaning behind it.
Experiencing A Synchronicity vs. Reading Into a Synchronicity
Apophenia: is the tendency to perceive meaningful connections between unrelated things, or see patterns in random data.
Synchronicity: the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.
Upon first glance, these two things seem to be exactly the same, and by and large, people who are heavy into a modernist/materialist worldview believe they are. However, having experienced and observed the two in action, both within myself and others, for nearly 10 years, I’ve come to recognize them as having a fundamental difference.
Apophenia, I’ve noticed, is extremely common among people who are new to their spiritual path as well as people who are prone to what some would call “magical thinking.” In my observation, apophenia occurs when one is consciously or subconsciously looking for meaning where there is none.
Examples of apophenia that I’ve seen frequently over the years are:
- Finding a feather on a beach laden with Sea Gulls and calling it a sign from spirit (when the odds of finding a feather on said beach is astronomical)
- Searching for images in clouds (also known as pareidolia, which is a type of apophenia).
- Insisting that perfectly common and replicable lens flares in photos are spirit orbs (I wrote an entire blog post on this here).
- Many of the more far-fetched conspiracy theories actually require apophenia in order to make any sense of them.
- Discussing something via Facebook messenger, then being served an ad for that thing, and assuming that is a sign from spirit rather than a social media algorithm at work.
Apophenia, it seems, is driven by a desire to find meaning.
I used to see a lot of people posting pictures of clouds and asking, “Do you see (insert sign here)?” Effectively, they’re looking at the cloud and looking for a sign, and then finding the thing they’re looking for. That’s not synchronicity, because you’re looking for it. That’s pareidolia. Synchronicity occurs when you’re not actively looking for it.
You have to be careful when it comes to seeming synchronicities on digital properties like Facebook and Youtube and anything that has to do with online ads, because those platforms have algorithms that are specifically created to serve you content based on your online habits–what you’re talking about, what you’re posting about, what you’re searching for and even what you’re discussing in your private messages.
If you think something, but have never typed it in any of those places and it shows up as an ad–count it as a synch. But if you were just discussing it with your friend via a Facebook messenger and then you see an article served to you in your newsfeed on a similar topic, I wouldn’t read too much into it.
Synchronicity, on the other hand, is the sort of odd coincidence that tends to smack you out of nowhere when you’re not looking, and it’s often accompanied by a feeling of incredulity and self-doubt: am I really seeing this? And then (at least in my experience) it keeps bombarding you in completely unrelated and impossible ways until you stop dismissing and fully acknowledge it.
A question that people often wonder when it comes to synchronicity is, “Am I making this up?” or “Is this just a coincidence?”
Synchronicity isn’t driven by a desire at all. It catches you off guard and gives you a small, eerie glimpse into matrix.
A good general rule of thumb that I like to use to determine whether or not something is a synchronicity–aside from the intuitive tug–is whether or not it catches you off guard. If it catches you off guard, it’s most likely a sync. If you’re actively looking for it, it’s probably not.
You don’t find synchronicities, they find you. And that’s the big difference. All in all, follow your intuition. It’s your best guide.
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New to Spirituality?
Look up the meanings behind commonly used spiritual terminology and concepts in the Spirituality Encyclopedia.