By Jennifer Palmer
Synchronicity has played a prominent role in my awakening to a reality beyond the one we can see with our eyes. By developing sync awareness, I’ve learned how to see the magic otherwise hidden in the everyday—a magic that we miss when we’re too busy to step outside of our routines. When the most important thing is getting from points A to B to C, whether on a journey through actual space or in accomplishing a task or learning a skill, we tend to miss or disregard the “accidents” that occur along the way as “distractions” from our “goal”. But when we open ourselves up these occurrences and become aware of them, we’re opening ourselves up to a non-linear way of being that may actually be more aligned with way the universe really functions. For instance, it might be while waiting on line to see the movie that we share a life changing conversation… or it may be while procrastinating on a project that we discover an entirely new passion.
Andy Warhol tells a great story about being invited to a grand European ball and getting more and more excited about it as the date grew closer. But, as it turned out, the planning and preparation and the actual cab ride to the Ball were all more exciting and fun then the event itself. In the same way that life’s big parties are not always the best part, the supposed set backs and endings are often the start of a whole new chapter. For instance if we lose a job it’s likely to feel terrible, but years later, we can look back at that time as a fortunate moment in which we were forced to find a new job that turned out to be far better than the old one. The act of being sync aware takes us away from thinking about life as a straight line moving through causally related events to an existence based on spiraling circles of meaning, in which there’s a bigger picture that we can only see if we step back from our mechanical based understanding of time, in which we move through quantifiable units like an object on a conveyor belt. Manmade time is something that’s measured and sold—we live our lives according to its gage, judging our productivity by what we’re able to accomplish—and not by what we’re able to feel.
Technically speaking, synchronicity is when two or more seemingly significant things or events echo one another in a way that can’t be understood causally. For example, I have a dream in which I’m in a small town that I haven’t been in for many years and the very next day, I go on a trip upstate to a different small town, in which I happen to meet someone who lives in the small town about which I dreamt. Or the famous synchronicity recounted by the psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, who coined the term Synchronicity:
“My example concerns a young woman patient who, in spite of efforts made on both sides, proved to be psychologically inaccessible. The difficulty lay in the fact that she always knew better about everything. Her excellent education had provided her with a weapon ideally suited to this purpose, namely a highly polished Cartesian rationalism with an impeccably “geometrical” idea of reality. After several fruitless attempts to sweeten her rationalism with a somewhat more human understanding, I had to confine myself to the hope that something unexpected and irrational would turn up, something that would burst the intellectual retort into which she had sealed herself. Well, I was sitting opposite her one day, with my back to the window, listening to her flow of rhetoric. She had had an impressive dream the night before, in which someone had given her a golden scarab — a costly piece of jewelry. While she was still telling me this dream, I heard something behind me gently tapping on the window. I turned round and saw that it was a fairly large flying insect that was knocking against the window-pane from outside in the obvious effort to get into the dark room. This seemed to me very strange. I opened the window immediately and caught the insect in the air as it flew in. It was a scarabaeid beetle, or common rose-chafer (Cetonia aurata), whose gold-green colour most nearly resembles that of a golden scarab. I handed the beetle to my patient with the words, “Here is your scarab.” This experience punctured the desired hole in her rationalism and broke the ice of her intellectual resistance. The treatment could now be continued with satisfactory results.” – Carl Jung
“When coincidences pile up in this way, one cannot help being impressed by them – for the greater the number of terms in such a series, or the more unusual its character, the more improbable it becomes.” – Carl Jung
Synchronicity reveals a different kind of time—a natural, universal time. Instead of mechanical clocks and the Gregorian calendar, natural time is signified by the moon and the seasons—by the changes in light and in our bodies. Time is the measure of interconnections—of our oneness with the Earth and our connection to the stars which still call to us behind the screen of light pollution. Instead of seeing ourselves as living on the Earth, the experience of synchronicity teaches us that we are ONE with the biosphere. As the late philosopher, Jose Arguelles pointed out, the increase in accounts of synchronicity corresponded to increased awareness of our oneness with everyone and everything on the planet. This, he claimed, was a part of our evolution as a species—a movement beyond thinking of ourselves as separate from nature to understanding that everything that we are and everything we’ve created, including technology and plastics and our consciousness itself, is a part of a single “post-organic” planetary organism. The mass realization of this would signify our cosmic readiness to move into a new stage of development, one already heralded by individual artists, philosophers and mystics from the beginning of time. These prophets of our next age are emissaries from a near future in which we live in balance with our planet’s intricate systems, having tapped into an invisible wealth of information he referred to as the noosphere, a kind of invisible social media network in which telepathy and synchronicity are the chief ways in which to communicate. In this new reality, time is not something to be quantified, bought and sold—instead, Arguelles proposed, time would be ART—the medium through with we could create communal expressions of our profound and magical interconnection with the rest of the Universe.
When I started experiencing synchronicity several years ago, I thought that maybe I was losing my mind. Either that or I’d discovered a conspiracy of global mind control in which my own thoughts were being relayed back to me through mass media. It wasn’t until I met a group of fellow sync explorers online that I realized that synchronicity had always been the case—that things and people and events were always already interconnected in profound and beautiful ways, but it wasn’t until I stepped off the conveyor belt of my own life that I became aware of them. The world hadn’t changed—I had. By quitting my corporate job and taking the plunge into trying to discover a greater meaning to my existence, I’d opened myself to information streams that existed outside of human based time. My consciousness was expanding and opening up to messages from the universe, many of which came to me through the experience of synchronicity. My friends on line (who included Jake Kotze, a “synchromystic” and multi-media artist who uses images from popular culture to unveil underlying themes in our collective unconscious) made me realize that the experience of synchronicity was not one of impending doom by nefarious agents, but rather one of the joy of discovering the oneness that connects each and every one of us. The feelings of paranoia and fear that I’d had were actually the symptoms of profound boundary loss, in which the dualistic nature of our culturally based reality were broken down into an understanding that there’s no separation between any person or any thing… we are each individual expressions of the universe knowing and loving itself. The “wow” factor of Jung’s beetle story or of 9/11 synchronicities speaks to a joy that’s present in the eternal now of universal oneness.
It’s not what is syncing that is important—it is THAT it syncs. The individual elements of a sync stream are not to be held on to and examined for individual meaning, which is to say, that if I happen to be syncing with Satan through imagery and references, this doesn’t mean that something “evil” is coming into my life. This is just my perception that I’m overlaying upon the syncs—rather, it’s the experience of recognizing the syncs that matters. I’ve learned not to hold on to the individual things or events but to highlight the experience itself. When I’m syncing a lot it doesn’t matter what I’m syncing with, but that I’m experiencing the universal oneness of an underlying order that operates beneath and through everyday reality.
For years after I came to this profound realization, I tried to communicate it through my writing. I wrote numerous articles and essays, some of which were published online and in books. While I was happy that people grokked what I was saying, I never felt like I was adequately conveying the joyfulness of a mystical experience that was open to everyone without the need for years of religious study or the practice of meditation, yoga or other heart opening practices. While it’s true that these methods have many positive benefits and are most certainly paths towards realizing the power of synchronicity and the oneness of the universe, the experience of synchronicity was available without any mystical “training”. I wanted to open people up to the possibility of this spiritual awakening—even people who would never use the word spiritual. I started to realize, however, that words were inadequate for conveying this, since the words most often appeared in the context of a book or website that had it’s own predetermined demographic, which already closed it off to the wide open group of everyone that I wanted so badly to reach. It was around the same time that Katy and Joel first reached out to me to be a part of their film about synchronicity that I realized that perhaps film would be a better medium. My sync friends online had already demonstrated this with their sync videos, in which they edited together parts of popular movies along with current events to reveal them both being in sync with deeper levels of cultural meaning. I opened up to the possibility of my own story being used to create a cinematic portal by which people wouldn’t only learn about what synchronicity “is” but would actually have the opportunity to experience it through the film.
In order to do this, it was crucial that the filmmakers and I made a pact to let sync be our guide as we went about the difficult process of making an experimental documentary. With our intentions set in such a way, I realized we were opening ourselves up to some pretty serious messages and guidance from the universe. If synchronicity is a part of a global moment of awakening, as described by Arguelles and others, then to attempt to capture it on film would be to give ourselves over to it, while at the same time needing to plan shoots in advance and edit footage according to some sort of logic. The filmmakers and I have surfed and at times been submerged by the uncanny flow of this phenomenon-one that simultaneously guides us to our goals by overturning our notions of what those goals actually are. As a group of professionals having worked in our various fields of online media and filmmaking, none of us were fully prepared for the magical ride we were signing up for—in which nothing has gone fully as planned but has been exactly perfect, something we didn’t always recognize in the moment when our best laid plans turned out not as expected. The process has been one of learning and growing, anchored all along by our faith in the need to bring the experience of synchronicity out in a way that does it justice. In getting some leading authors, thinkers and visionary artists to talk with me about sync, the plan wasn’t merely to document talking heads going on about mental constructs, but to capture the imagery, sounds and light in synch with their words and alluding to the dreamlike nature of our collective reality. We’re creating a cinematic prose poem that’s more aligned with the non-linear, non-linguistic language of music. This is a movie that is meant to be felt—it’s for those who have just started asking questions about the nature of our reality. It’s for anyone who feels there might be more to life than just moving through stages. This movie traces my own initiation into the expansion of my consciousness in the hope that others will be inspired to do the same. We bring in elements of healing, art, psychedelics and community activism in an effort to reveal elements of the mandala of our existence, the entire shape of which is usually hidden by our reliance on man made time and man-made goals. This film takes us into a different space—that of time as art.
With lots of footage already shot and a 30 minute cut already completed, we have the practical evidence of our seriousness in this endeavor. That the universe has opened up and offered us the possibility of completing the film by shooting such luminaries as Graham Hancock, Rick Tarnas and Rupert Sheldrake at the Joshua Tree this September is a gift too huge to be ignored. It’s not only the words and theories of these major figures that we hope to capture, but, similar to our shoots with Amy Lansky and Daniel Pinchbeck, it’s the magical occurrences that accompany such an undertaking, like the shimmering foam atop a cresting wave, that we’re interested in experiencing and capturing. We’ve already had the magical experiences of “accidentally” capturing a UFO or happening to host two renowned plant medicine healers in one shoot or of encountering our own fears and roadblocks in dramatic fashion while working on this project—there’s no telling what “taking it up a level” and attempting to capture these luminaries in such an energetically charged location as the Joshua Tree will reveal to us. Each one of us has gone through rapid transformations while working on this project—it’s our belief that this will be transmuted to those who watch the completed film, a cinematic mediation that requires the input of those who watch it in order for it to be truly finished. We’re looking to all of you out there who are already experiencing magic in your own lives to join us on this journey—by giving to this campaign you become a part of the movie. Your stories about synchronicity will be woven into the project as we take you with us to the Joshua tree and beyond as we ready ourselves for what is certain to be an energetic bomb of a weekend.
Great article, Katy. Thank you!