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I wonder about synchronicity, telepathy and coincidence.

So very often I will, for come reason, be thinking of someone who has been out of my mind and my circle of activity for months or even years. Typically this would be in the early morning while I’m preparing to leave for the office. I’ll get to work and sometime in the morning that person will phone me. I believe that this happens too often to be coincidence. So if not coincidence, what is it?

Some people will call it synchronicity. So what is synchronicity? It’s a term first introduced by Carl Jung, the psychologist, back in 1920. He describes it as two or more events which share no common cause (i.e. the one does not cause the other and they are not both caused by a common something else) but which nevertheless have a meaningful connection. That seems to fit my “coincidences” above. Jung used the concept as a “proof” of what he called the collective unconscious and which Sedley Burger, who first put me on the road to self-management, called the universal subjective.

Imagine a sea with pointy islands poking above the water. Those pointy islands are our individual conscious minds. Now look below the surface. Somewhere down there the islands are all joined together at the seabed. That is the level of the universal subjective, or the collective conscious. Is that what I tap into when I think of that person? I believe that it is.

Or was it telepathy that made that person call me (or made me think of him, because he had already decided to call me)? Well what would telepathy be in the context of the univeral subjective? Simply one thought in the collective conscious! You might think I’m crazy, but that would make Carl Jung crazy too and he happens to have been one of the greatest thinkers of relatively modern times.

Now on to an apparently related subject. If there are 40 kids, all the same age (i.e born in the same year), in a class, how likely would you think it is that two of them were born on the same day? 5 to 1 against? 20 to 1 against? 50/50? I would put money on it happening, because the likelihood is 87%! I remember our maths teacher telling us this when I was in High School. It was about 50 years later that I sat down and did the maths. I now have a graph that shows that with 65 kids the likelihood is so close to 100% that it is pretty well certain to happen. Incidentally, a 50/50 likelihood (even money) occurs when there are just 23 kids in the class!

I rather playfully titled the graph “Synchronicity”.


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