Friday, 4 June 2010


Synchronicity - by Yosh Pelicanos

 "It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards"

 Lewis Carroll – ‘Through the Looking Glass’

A Common Experience

Have you ever had the experience of thinking of a friend that you haven’t seen for years, then a moment later the phone rings and lo and behold, that very friend has called you out of the blue? Many of us have at some point in our lives have experienced an event or series of events occurring that appear to fly in the face of  pure chance and hold some deeply personal meaning for us. Some react to this by shrugging their shoulders and stating it was ‘just a random coincidence’, others are inclined to perceive the experience as something more.

Meaningful Coincidence

In 1952, Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung published a paper entitled ‘Synchronicity - An Acausal Connecting Principle’ , in which he outlined his theory that synchronicity is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated occurring together in a meaningful manner. To count as synchronicity, the events should be unlikely to occur together by chance.   

Those of you familiar with Jung’s work will be aware of his concept of the ‘collective unconscious.
He states in his book Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (p. 43),
“My thesis then, is as follows: in addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche (even if we tack on the personal unconscious as an appendix), there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals."

"This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents.”
Jung saw synchronicity of proof of the idea that there is a governing dynamic that underlies the whole of human history and experience.
Plum Pudding
‘The French writer Emile Deschamps claims in his memoirs that in 1805, he was treated to some plum pudding by a stranger named Monsieur de Fontgibu. Ten years later, the writer encountered plum pudding on the menu of a Paris restaurant and wanted to order some, but the waiter told him that the last dish had already been served to another customer, who turned out to be de Fontgibu. Many years later, in 1832, Deschamps was at a dinner and once again ordered plum pudding. He recalled the earlier incident and told his friends that only de Fontgibu was missing to make the setting complete—and in the same instant, the now senile de Fontgibu entered the room.’

I think you’ll agree that’s a pretty unlikely coincidence -  but what does it all mean?

Science and Synchronicity
Interestingly, some scientific ideas allow for Synchronicity. What follows is an extract from the excellent article "A Wink from the Cosmos," by Meg Lundstrom (Intuition Magazine, May 1996) 
Some scientists see a theoretical grounding for synchronicity in quantum physics, fractal geometry, and chaos theory. They are finding that the isolation and separation of objects from each other is more apparent than real; at deeper levels, everything -- atoms, cells, molecules, plants, animals, people -- participates in a sensitive, flowing web of information. Physicists have shown, for example, that if two photons are separated, no matter by how far, a change in one creates a simultaneous change in the other." 
 Perhaps separated consciousnesses can operate in a similar way?

How this piece came about

Jodorowsky et cat
Strangely enough, it was a series of small synchronicities revolving around Chilean Surrealist Alejandro Jodorowsky that led me to write this article. I was originally asked to write a post about Jodorowsky’s truly bizarre unmade movie version of  Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’

After a little research on Dune I was feeling unsure about what to write so I took a break. My mind wandered and I made a truly odd decision. For the first time ever, I decided to consult an online tarot reading website. I went to the first link on Google and found myself with a choice of twenty Tarot packs. 
For some reason I chose the Marseille tarot and went ahead with the reading which seemed to be quite relevant (albeit taken with a liberal pinch of salt). Intrigued, I typed ‘Marseille Tarot’ into Google and on the second page of links was astonished to see the words ‘The Tarot de Marseille restored by Camoin and Jodorowsky’. It couldn’t be the same Jodorowsky, surely? It was indeed!
See where it takes you..........
This was the second or third in a chain of coincidences involving this bizarre (and it turns out, very interesting) man so whilst it probably doesn’t sound that amazing a coincidence to the reader it’s the significance to you personally at the time that’s the key thing .in all this. This particular path I’ve followed has lead me to write about something I never expected to and also kindled my interest in Jodorowsky’s work. I find the more you open yourself up to these little signs, the more they happen – and they can lead you to unexpected and creative places.

So the next time The Universe prods you and says “Hey you!” and you get that little tingle of: “That’s a bit weird”, don’t just shrug it off. Pay attention.


  1. I wonder if Jodowsky re-designed the Marseille Tarot before or after INCAL, as they seem to have the same colour scheme, don't you think.
    If there ever was a man with a finger in multiple pies - this is him.
    In between blowing everyone away with his surrealist imagination, he also oversaw the wedding of Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Manson

  2. Very interesting:) x


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