Synchronicity I

Synchronicity has been lacking in my life of late, of recent years. It used to play an important role. Here I want to reflect a bit on it's occurrences in my life. 

Synchronicity is a term coined by the Swiss Psychologist C. G. Jung and described as follow in Wikipedia: "Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events, that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, that are observed to occur together in a meaningful manner."

Seems to me that after I started to doubt the meaning of synchronistic events they seemed no longer to occur. Meaning of course is what we assign and is not inherent, so is very personal.

Jung lived and worked in Zurich a few decades before my arrival, so that by the time I emerged in to adulthood the term synchronicity was well known and used, certainly in the social circles I chose. Dwuno, my mentor in my late teens had introduced me to the I-Ching, the Chinese oracle "... centered on the ideas of the dynamic balance of opposites, the evolution of events as a process, and acceptance of the inevitability of change." Ideas that made perfect sense to me then and now. A foundation that allowed me to embrace principles of Astrology in that same spirit of analogy rather then causality.

While Dwuno used sticks from stalks of plants (Schafgarbe) gathered at the proper, auspicious phase of the lunar cycle, I employed the simpler method of 3 Chinese copper (for it's conductivity) coins. I remember often feeling a sense of awe, and a sense of embracing life anew with reverence, and a strengthening of my belief in hidden forces at work that gave meaning to life in general and mine in particular. 

There was an incident where living communally with several guys I had mixed up our laundry to the hilarity of those involved, giving socks, maybe underwear, to one, not the other. Somehow the I Ching's response to my inquiry was profound, even though so many decades later I no longer can recall the specifics. My reading then enlightened me to some of my underlying, until then unconscious feelings.

In Amsterdam, a few years later, alone, in search of the New Age, a week had passed, I was at a loss, it was a beautiful full moon night as I returned early to the Youth Hostel. I threw an I-Ching, was stunned, slept and my world changed. Next morning for the first time I talked to others at the hostel. As I walked the rainy, dreary streets of Amsterdam again, the sun broke through. While I watched a lovely scene of many cats that enjoyed a brief, warm respite on a romantic looking houseboat, I was invited in, found a new home, a new friend, and a new beginning in this most interesting of cities, Amsterdam. Soon enough I was able to immerse myself in New Age practices like Astrology, Massage Therapy, Tai Chi, Encounter Groups, Vegetarian eating and free form dancing to name only a few. It was the mid-seventies. Times were rich, exciting and full of promise. I credit the I-Ching with my finding my way in to the new age communities of Amsterdam more expediently.

Before leaving Amsterdam again and that time for good, I connected with a Surinam black man, at least a decade older then I was then with a love of alternative theater  similar to mine (he may have had his own company, I no longer can recall with certainty.) We were not lovers, but seemed both to have the same experiences of thinking of one another as we might walk the neighborhood, only to almost immediately bump in to each other. This happened so often, it was uncanny. Probably if I had stayed on, rather then moved on, we might have become lovers, the attraction was powerful, the synchronicities amazing.

In Zuerich, one night as I meandered along the cobblestone streets of old town, I witnessed a gypsy guy playing flamenco style guitar. Suddenly he took off and left his case and cash behind, obviously afraid of the oncoming police. So I sat down next to his case and cash and eventually, after a good long while I was able to return those items to him and so another intense attraction ensued. One in which I could feel his stare on my back, while completely unaware of his proximity.

I did have a boyfriend in Amsterdam, a dutch boy with a wide grin, pink skin and big, today I would say schizoid, crazy eyes. Intensely concerned about his mental health there were times I could hear his thoughts in my head, before he spoke, eerie. In obeyance to the voice of his god, he did jump off a third story balcony. The lack of serious injury seemed to only confirm to his mind his belief in his higher power. He was institutionalized for a while. Sadly I lost touch with him, but often wonder if he is still alive - and well. His life was laced with synchronicity, stories that are not mine to tell.

But synchronistic events did not limit themselves to or with love objects. In Amsterdam I got myself in the middle of line of hitchhikers in need of reaching the place of destination for an exciting workshop I had signed myself on. I was dismayed at the long line of kids seeking a free ride, most to international destinations. Oddly though within moments a car stopped right in front of me, in the middle of that long line, at the outskirt of Amsterdam and I was offered a ride that deposed me right at the proper address in a little nearby village. Sure seemed to me that I was at the right place at the right time. Synchronicity at it's best; practical and very useful.

In New York I remember bending down to tie my shoe laces, only to avoid twice things falling from above, once water and something else (a rock?) the next time. Both times I was outside my lower east side apartment and one might argue a neighbor may not have liked me, although that had not  ever occurred to me then.

In Santa Fe oddly my new home would echo the one prior in Manhattan where I had lived on 717 East 5th Street while in Santa Fe my address was 717 Manhattan Ave. I was never sure about the meaning of this one, but always got a tickle from this fact.

I was working at a progressive psychiatric clinic outside Zurich, I was twenty. My girlfriend had gone to Israel on vacation.  I wondered if she had returned home, she was to bring me back a Bedouin dress chosen especially for me by my friend Shoshi in Israel. Uncharacteristic for me I lingered at lunch time, read the news paper and discovered an article on two Japanese girls that had drowned by accident in the lake the day before. It could not be? Yes, it did happen. My best friend and her sister had drowned by accident for real. I was able to give a tiny bit of comfort to the mother as I recounted her daughter's dreams in which she had repeatedly experienced the terror of drowning. We  had discussed those at great length in the early morning hours, maybe 4 months before the tragedy happened for real.  I had tried to mine the potential psychological meaning of those dreams with my friend, but was deeply humbled and humiliated by the actual true life event that unfolded within only a few months. The world lost a very beautiful, enormously talented, artistic, bright soul that day in my friend. Her sister had suffered from Down Syndrom and was living in a holistic minded community where she had learned more independence and ease of movement. On our very first encounter, Akiko had penetrated my eyes, when all of a sudden she jumped in to my arms, hugged me and kept looking, and looking and looking at, or rather inside of me, through my eyes. Surely this was a meeting of souls, totally non-verbal, but so powerful. I miss those two sisters, so unlike one another, but both having left a profound impression on me and many others no doubt.

Inside Sing-Sing prison one man found his long lost brother by the chance opening of a magazine where he discovered an article his brother had written of the two of them. I had the pleasure to help them reconnect.

Synchronicities surely have the capacity of enriching our lives. We all are familiar with those moments where we think of someone and the phone rings with them on the phone. Some of us dream, like my friend did of me, when in her dream she saw me in trouble, while in real life I was stranded on the side of the road with a blown engine as I considered calling my friend for help. Synchronicities can easily be dismissed as minor occurrences of chance, but sometimes they can change lives. In a funk with Higher Power I have dismissed and doubted their relevance. I am still feeling rebellious, or frustrated, or angry with God-dess, life, or the affairs of the world as they appear to my sensibilities. I do miss though those exhilarating moments of synchronicity as a relevant part of my life.

To be continued

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