Love Is in the Air — The Magic of Synchronicity

Because Valentine’s Day is nearly here, I thought it would be fun to treat you to another excerpt from my book Active Consciousness . The selection below underscores the power and magical ability of synchronicity to bring us in contact in time and space with those we are meant to spend our lives with.

As a quick reminder to those of you unfamiliar with the term, a synchronicity is a coincidence of seemingly unrelated events that share a common meaning. A typical example of synchronicity is when the beloved clock or watch of an individual breaks or stops at the precise moment of their death. These kinds of “meaningful coincidences” were first identified as a unique phenomenon by famed Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, who also coined the term “synchronicity” [2]. A more in depth description of synchronicity and its relationship to phenomena based on similarity in vibrations (such as Sheldrake’s morphic field and homeopathic medicine) is described in my book Active Consciousness.

Please note that I use the term active consciousness to refer to the use of consciousness to affect the way our reality unfolds. Psychokinesis is one example of active consciousness, as are a variety of manifestation techniques. Among many other things, Active Consciousness includes meditation exercises and a manifestation technique similar to the method described by the Abraham teachings [3].

“This manifestation technique incorporates four key elements or steps, each of which I’ve labeled with a catch phrase to serve as a reminder or mnemonic device for you: 

1-NOW+: Focus your attention on the Now and then enter a state of open-heartedness and compassion—a state that I call NOW+.
2-PURE GOAL: While in NOW+, embody your goal—both in content and feeling. Truly be in the goal state—without harboring any doubt.
3-LET GO: Once you leave NOW+ and resume life as usual, let go and trust that your goal will come to pass. Continue to release all doubt.
4-CHOOSE JOY: As you go through your day, stay in contact with NOW+ as much as possible—especially when you need to make a choice. This enhanced state of awareness will enable you to use your deeper emotions as a guide. A calm feeling of happiness or joy will indicate that you are on the right track. A contracted state of unhappiness provides a sign that you are veering off course. Choose joy and you will head in the right direction toward your goal….

How do the four steps of active consciousness actually work? What is the mechanism that brings you to your desired goal? One clue is a phenomenon that many people who practice these methods have noticed: Periods in which unlikely but beneficial things occur tend to be accompanied by increased synchronicities.

Remember, a synchronicity is an event in which meaningfully related, but causally unconnected things occur at the same time. If the achievement of envisioned goals tends to be accompanied by an increase in such phenomena, then the mechanism of active consciousness might have something to do with synchronicity as well. Perhaps, by following the steps NOW+, PURE GOAL, LET GO, and CHOOSE JOY, each of us affects the consciousness field in such a way that meaningfully-related things co-occur and meaningfully-related people connect. These useful synchronicities then help bring us to our goals.

Many people have also reported that synchronicities tend to have a numinous quality to them—a kind of aura of mystery or of the divine. If you can try to remain alert for this feeling of numinosity, it can be another sign that you are moving in the right direction.

I have some excellent examples of synchronicity in my own life and I bet you do too. Synchronicities are often involved when you find the perfect job or when meet your life partner. I’ll never forget those few days in Pittsburgh [over thirty years ago] when I first met my husband Steve. By a series of sheer “coincidences,” we were introduced at a conference that I normally would never have attended. That period was also suffused with a numinous quality that I will always remember and cherish.

It all began with some unusual circumstances that led me to go to Pittsburgh in the first place. On a whim, my PhD advisor decided to apply a research technique that she had developed to a problem outside her normal area of expertise. She wrote up her results and submitted them to a conference in Pittsburgh. After the paper was accepted for presentation, however, she discovered that it would be difficult for her to attend. So she decided to send me in her stead—the first and only time this ever occurred. The next thing I knew, I was off to Pittsburgh to give my first conference talk.

While I was there, I hung out with a Stanford professor I knew named Forest. As we ate lunch one day, we began talking about a man at the conference who I found intriguing. For some reason, this discussion triggered a precognitive thought in Forest’s mind—about a completely different man. Inexplicably, he said to me, “Oh, I could tell that you were in love with Steve.” “Who’s Steve?” I asked. “Aren’t you going out with Steve Rubin?” he replied. “No. I’ve never heard of him. But why don’t you introduce me to him tonight?” That night, at a conference reception, Forest pointed out my future husband to me, and soon we were sitting next to each other at the conference banquet.

The next day, I drove to the airport for my flight home. I had arranged to have dinner at an airport restaurant with an old college acquaintance of mine who now lived in Pittsburgh. Even though he and I had never dated, hadn’t communicated in years, and had never socialized outside of our college classes, he suddenly suggested over dinner that we get married! I quickly wrapped up this awkward exchange and rushed off to my gate. And there, sitting in the gate lounge, was Steve—my future husband! We greeted each other casually and about a half hour later, boarded a plane for Dallas.

Then something else unusual happened. Our flight was delayed for three hours on the ground. With nothing to do for three hours and a plane that was half empty, I went over to Steve and asked if I could sit with him. By the time we landed in Dallas, we had talked for over six hours and Steve had missed his connection to San Jose. He managed to transfer onto my flight to nearby San Francisco and we continued our conversation all the way to California. We’ve been together ever since.

Now, what I’d like to propose to you is that useful but improbable pathways into the future can be created or made more probable through at least two mechanisms: causality—i.e., the usual scheme of things, in which one thing ultimately causes another; and synchronicity—the co-occurrence of meaningfully related events. The story that I just related includes many examples of both, and together they forged a path that led to my happily married future with Steve.

Certainly, it was not unusual that my advisor decided not to attend a conference in a research area that was of little interest to her. Nor was it unlikely that Steve and I would be on the same outbound flight from Pittsburgh. These were the result of normal causal chains of events. But why did my advisor choose to send me to the conference and not one of her other graduate students? Even more importantly, why did Forest suddenly think of Steve when I was talking about someone else? Or come to believe that Steve and I were already in love? Why did my old college friend suddenly ask me to marry him when we hadn’t communicated in over four years and had never had any kind of romantic relationship?

I believe that the answer is synchronicity. Somehow, Steve and I had become enveloped in a field of meaning that was bringing us together. This field increased the chance that my advisor would choose me instead of one of her other graduate students to present her paper. Perhaps it also had some influence in causing our flight to be delayed on the ground for three hours. And in my view, nothing but synchronicity could have caused Forest to suddenly think of Steve and suggest that we were in love. To this day, I still marvel at this precognitive leap. Indeed, my old college friend may have unwittingly come under the spell of my “marital field of meaning” too!

Everything that happened to me over the course of those amazing few days in Pittsburgh waspossible, but much of it was quite unlikely. These unlikely but fortuitous events were instances when the choice points that lay before me resulted in a realignment—a veering off onto an unlikely path into an improbable future… One thing I can say for sure: those few days in Pittsburgh were suffused with a numinous quality. In fact, both Steve and I knew within days that we were destined to be married.

Of course, I had to use my intuition and take action too. I had to act on my impulse to suggest that Forest introduce me to Steve and to boldly ask Steve if I could sit with him on the plane. I had to make my way through a branching tree of possibilities and take the right path. But I also needed synchronicity to introduce new and unlikely paths for me. I needed Forest to think of Steve and tell me about him in the first place. And once these new paths were available to me, I needed to choose them.

Finally, why did this all happen? Perhaps it was my sincere yearning for a lasting relationship during the few months that preceded the conference that finally caused a marital field of meaning to form for me. I had had a long string of failed romances during my years in graduate school, but about a month before the conference, I finally decided to let go and not worry about my love life anymore. Perhaps I had unwittingly used active consciousness. I had applied PURE GOAL and LET GO without realizing it.

Of course, if it is true that active consciousness causes synchronicities to form, then it’s not about “magic” or even coincidence—it’s just a different kind of mechanism at work at a deeper level of reality… In other words, synchronicities are just a natural aspect of how the world works. We just need to create and cultivate them.”