Some of my favorite stories have to do with coincidences and my favorite response to telling these stories usually is: “There are no coincidences.” Even my mother used to tell me: “Everything happens for a reason.”
Everyone I know has usually more than one great coincidence story and about half of them also believe there are no coincidences.
COINCIDENCE AND SYNCHRONICITY
Psychologist Carl Jung believed the traditional notions of causality were incapable of explaining some of the more improbable forms of coincidence. He believed where no causal connection can be demonstrated between two events, but a meaningful relationship nevertheless exists between them, a different type of principle is likely to be operating. Jung called this principle “synchronicity.”
THE PHYSICS OF SYNCHRONICITY
In the Journal of Cosmologya few years back three physicists wrote an article titled: Synchronicity, Quantum Information and the Psyche
Below is how they start their thesis.
In this paper we describe synchronicity phenomena. As an explanation of these phenomena we propose quantum entanglement between the psychic realm known as the “unconscious” and also the classical illusion of the collapse of the wave-function…
Synchronicity effects are global phenomena in space and time. They cannot be explained by classical physics. However, in the case of a significant coincidence appearing between the psyche of two individuals one can see an analogy with quantum entanglement.
EINSTEIN AND COINCIDENCE
One of Einstein’s classic lines is: “God does not play with dice.” Even though he was the unwilling father of quantum physics, which seems to allow for dice rolling in the universe, he never came to terms with it. He always believed there was some form of connectivity, a “cosmic library” of sorts.
SKEPTICS AND COINCIDENCE
Skeptics, such as Robert Todd Carroll of the Skeptic’s Dictionary, argue that the perception of synchronicity is better explained as apophenia – the experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. Michael Shermer, a past guest on Between the Lines and publisher of Skeptic Magazinecoined the word “patternicity”, defining it as “the tendency to find meaningful patterns in meaningless noise.”
SYNCHRONISTIC OR SKEPTIC
Do you believe in synchronicity or patternicity? Are there no coincidences or is it just apophenia? The big split is in the concept of connectivity. Even if there is randomness does connectivity still exist? And, there is the ultimate question of consciousness, where does it fit in this conundrum? The answer lies somewhere in the “cosmic library”.
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