Tuesday, 19 July 2016
Thin Places and Synchronicity
Last week I wrote about Thin Places where the boundary between heaven and earth is less distinct and more permeable. There is a psychological aspect to this phenomenon which can be seen in dream time while you are asleep but also in ways when you are awake. One of the waking manifestations of this is synchronicity. This is a phenomenon which was extensively studied by Carl Jung. The simplest definition of synchronicity is ‘a significant coincidence’. In effect it is two or more seemingly unrelated events which occur in a related way that have a connection that is significant to the person.
I have had some experiences of this nature which particularly stand out. In one situation I had just finished my interview with the Dean of Theology at Huron University College to be admitted to the M.Div. program. I had made the decision to enter the program with the intention of beginning the process to ordination as an Anglican priest. It was a very positive interview and as I drove away from Huron College I turned on the car radio which is always tuned to CBC and the program involved three people being interviewed about their experience of becoming ordained ministers later in life. I took it as a sign that I was on the path I was intended to be on.
Another time I was taking a course at the University of Toronto as part of my undergraduate studies. The course was on the psychology of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. The class in which we discussed synchronicity was held on April 1st. The reading for the class included a letter by Carl Jung discussing the subject which was written on April 1, 1949; that is the date of my birth. So we have the date of the class studying the phenomenon of synchronicity; we have the date of the letter being studied and we have my birthday. I understood this to be an affirmation of the meaningful reality of synchronicity.
Now it is easy to dismiss these events and others like it as mere coincidences without any significance. You can also do that with dreams and others events that are influenced by the unconscious life. However, if we pay attention to our dreams and such events in our waking life we will receive information about ourselves that is important for us to know. During these times the barrier between our conscious life and our unconscious life is more permeable. I believe that dreams and other such events are ways in which God or the divine—if that is a more acceptable way for you to look at it—speaks to us. One way of looking at dreams is, God’s Forgotten Language. God does speak to us in many ways as God does work in mysterious ways that we do not always recognize. May we have eyes to see and ears to hear and dreams to remember and consider. Blessings.