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Reply To: On Synchronicity and Meaning



What a fascinating piece. You write, it’s a ‘humble’ piece, and to me, it’s an epic – a gradual unfolding of events, their impact on your life, and your take on some of your blissful moments and some of your heart-wrenching times (like your mother’s unfortunate and untimely ending). And, was it after your mother’s death that you found Dr. Thomas’ books discussing new and unique approach to life? By the way, the book, “Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper, and More Connected Life – By Dr. Thomas” should be arriving next week.

James, your beautiful stories of  synchronicity in your life, like running into someone who offered you a job, to being saved from a life threatening accident affirm the sacredness of all lives. As your stories unfold, I am reminded of  Joe Campbell  (  Joseph Campbell, Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation.)  “I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.” —  Sometimes I wonder whether these moments that keep percolating in our heads, are there to remind us that there is an incredible mystery that we are living and the synchronistic phenomena is a way of reminding us of that enormous mystery that we too are a part of.  That’s what my synch moment affirmed for me, that I am a tiny particle in an enormous mystery.

You wrote, (“The what if” narrative from childhood into adulthood because it has to do with life possibilities. You look at something and ask yourself: “What if I did this and what would happen afterward”) Ah I find great profundity in this, because the time of my first synch moment coincided  with my fav mantra, and my fav mantra was, and perhaps in some ways, it still is, “What If?” especially, “what if I had spoken my truth then”,  “what if I had not taken that route in life”, “what if I had packed up and left long long ago”…… Agree James, that our synchronistic experiences are  related to this dynamic.

Thank you for these profound words from  Campbell: ” One of the things that keeps coming back to me is where Joseph mentions along this line in my own words is this realization of: (that which you embrace will inform you and enrich you; but that which you deny will destroy you. And this embrace of the shadow; or your dragon if you will; takes on a difference tone of which instead of threatening you will show you in some kind of way how your difficulties may actually be your saviors in a different way.)  This is similar to what Jung says about wounds  — that our wounds are  an opening to the subconscious mind, which also happens to be the birthplace of our creativity.  When we face our wounds, we have access to a creativity not yet known to us.

On my long walks to the mountain, besides listening to Joe’s lectures, I also listen to John O’ Donohue,  especially his words on suffering and wounds.

John O’ Donohue

(Beauty is the closest sister to that which is broken, damaged or soiled. This is also the beauty of “Paypos”(sp? I can’t find this word, is it Latin, is it Irish, what is it? )  He defines it as, the emotion that awakens in our hearts in the presence of loss…let’s say, it’s the loss of a relationship, and you realize that you will never be with your beloved in the same way, as you were then in that particular place in time…and the place fills your heart with a sense of paypos(sp?) a longing – a sense of deep deep loss. So one of the best ways to heal yourself is to go to that place with the beloved, the time you could hear the skin whisper, now direct a gaze inwards to your soul, and the kindness of that gaze in the paypos (sp?) of your inner loss, can TRANSFIGURE that loss and bring you whatever is missing from your life. And with going inward I find I am healing that loss, I am embracing it, instead of denying it or repressing,  “what if I had spoken my truth” which only leads to a cycle of regrets and more regrets.

Just as I was closing my laptop, I ran across another great saying, you are free to take three guesses, “Wherever we are, whether tasting Paradise or enduring Hell, we are best off if we embrace each moment and experience the full range of emotions — the ecstasy AND the agonies of life. Embracing the experience includes acknowledging & fully experiencing negative feelings — frustration, rage, loss, fear, the emptiness of a broken heart — as well as the happy happy joy joy parts of life … saying “yea” to it all.” (???)

Again, James thank you ever so much for this beautiful piece. I do wish to cover a few more points on the issue of “homelessness” and  “what happens when the homeless die”. All very deep topics, dear friend.

Shaahayda (with gratitude)