Steering by Synchronicity

May 20th, 2008

"By means of all created things, without exception, the divine assails us,
penetrates us, and molds us. We imagined it as distant and inaccessible,
whereas in fact we live steeped in its burning layers . . . This palpable
world, which we are used to treating with the boredom and disrespect
with which we habitually regard places with no sacred association, is a
holy place."
-Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, *The Divine Milieu*

When I start experiencing lots of synchronicity, I have this feeling like I want to share it with everyone, but it's very hard to put into words. Even if I wrote down every little instance of it, it's still hard to get across the feeling that comes along with it. I think of myself as a scientific and spiritual person, with a practical, somewhat skeptical, no-nonsense look at the world, while also having a sense of the mystical undertone to everything. Sounds conflicting, but somehow it isn't. When I try to explain synchronicities, I'm aware of the woo-woo sound of it. But I still see it everywhere. I want to express it somehow, but words escape me. Thank goodness for art, right?

I left a comment on a blog recently about the limitations of language and how that is why art and poetry often seem much more soulful than prose. When we release ourselves of the rules of imagery and language, we can get closer to the heart of what we're trying to express.


Anyways, I've had so many synchronicities around the book, Steering by Starlight, which I just finished listening to on my ipod (and then went out and bought the hard copy of the book with a gift card.) I felt like I needed the written pages because I wanted to re-read passages (which can be far easier than re-winding and trying to find a particular passage in an audio book.) By the way if you do happen to purchase the audio version of this book, you can find the pdf files Beck talks about on her website here. There are definite limits to audio books, I sometimes have trouble absorbing information by just hearing it (the pdfs for this book helped). But the upside is hearing the nuance and tone in an author's voice as they share their book with you. Beck is a wonderful storyteller with a great sense of humor and having her read these stories is a definite bonus. It feels more personal somehow, as if Martha was talking in my ear as I went about daily chores or exercising, and I liked that.   

Some quickie examples of synchronicities here: some of the final words in the book were about neural science and mysticism coming together and then moments later I got a link about neural buddhists in a newsletter from Rob Brezsny. Towards the end, there was a whole section about re-decorating and de-cluttering your home when that has been a big focus of mine while listening to the book. Beyond the synchronicities, I deeply resonated with this book, more than I have with any book in a long time.

6 Responses

Funny that our synchronicity posts were synchronous for you!

I’ll have to look at that book too… thanks for the tip off.

I’ve pretty much given up trying not to sound “woo woo”, as you call it, when I thought I was being hugely scientific and working in research with a sideline in art everyone except me thought I was weird… so I’ve given up the struggle now.

I happen to think this is because I’m MORE scientific than many scientists and don’t deny phenomena just because they don’t fit my current set of models of how the world works. I also don’t accept “weird models” without evidence which is what I see over and over in the world of therapists and new agers…

There are many people who use science to deny the very existence of certain things which many of us experience frequently… for instance I recently read a New Scientist article that claimed telekinesis was potentially possible but that precognition definitely wasn’t… and of course I’ve had plenty of precognitions. At least they were trying to be more open-minded…

Which is a very long-winded way of saying please do tell about your synchronicities and don’t worry about reporting experiences. Its explaining them that is harder!

I studied Feng Shui few years ago, and my book also talked about synchronicity. Also, just recenly I experienced a case of synchronicity. I was sitting in the living room and suddenly I feel like listening to this song, Crimson and Clover. I didn’t say anything. But suddenly, I heard this song coming from the bedroom! My husband, who was in the bedroom at that time, was playing this song on Youtube. He said he suddenly felt like listening to Crimson and Clover.

I really like Martha Beck but hadn’t heard of this book until now. I might have to try to procure a copy. Thanks!

syncronisity: I wrote a post yesterday about words, then this morning started to read a book called Writing & Being and the chapters are about shoshin (beginners mind), meditation and writing and the habit of writing – all things I thought of yesterday and wrote about!!! :-)

great quote – may have to steal it for my “thought for the day.” Am going to check out the book – have Amazon coupons and could use some happy something right now..just took a pretty hard hit, but the “synchronicity” is that I think I knew it was coming. Sigh.

About ten years ago I went to hear Deepak Chopra talk with a friend of mine. The lecture was on synchronicity and how if we put out into the world what it is that we are looking for, so often it will come to us. We just need to be open to it when it comes.
I also have tried not to sound “woo-woo” but have decided that sometimes we have to let it out. How can I explain how I feel about making my art and the magic behind the creative process without talking about magic or other out there things? People like to point out how weird other people are, but how do you explain the popularity of supernatural tv shows, books, and other out there things (crystal skulls anyone?) that infuse our culture. We need to embrace our quirks!

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