Archive for the ‘synchronicity’ tag
Another day and another hike in the Canmore area was rewarded with another sighting of elk. I wasn’t able to get as close as I wanted as the river stood between us. I continue to be amazed at how lucky I am to see so many wild animals in so many places. I just happen to be in the right place at the right time, each time. Thinking more about this idea of being in the right place at the right time, I began to think again of my time along the Grande Randonnée 65 in southern France. And, these thoughts turned to the morning I woke in Le Puy en Velay, in the pre-dawn darkness before it was time to head to the Cathedral for the Pilgrim’s Blessing by the Bishop of Le Puy:
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I lay there in the dark knowing I couldn’t fall back asleep no matter how hard I tried. It was a perfect time to meditate. It’s strange how meditation became such an important part of my life. Of course there are all the benefits for the body, but it was the benefit to my inner self that drew me to meditation and held me there. It was one of the few times that I achieved anything that resembled being at peace with myself and the world. The outer world was more about chaos for me than it was about peace. At this point in my life, I didn’t know how to handle the unknown, the chaos and the uncertainty of anything and everything. Meditation helped me achieve some needed balance and it was teaching me the skills I needed to mentally survive in the chaos of my life.
“Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about. The off-center, in-between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we don’t get caught and we can open our hearts and minds beyond limit.”
Wise words from Pema Chödrön; but for me, life hasn’t been much of a friend. I know that life is life, neither good nor bad, but still my mind remembers so much that I felt as “bad” as a youth. I still get caught off-centre and off-guard as the scenes replay themselves in my mind over and over again. As I continue meditating, I return again to these words and begin to allow the contrasting negative thoughts break apart and dissipate.
“Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic–this is the spiritual path.” (p. 10)
Eventually I stop thinking and I begin to relax with a shift of focus back to my breath.
I got my first copy of the I-Ching about 40 years ago and I have had some opportunity to delve into it over the years, more out of curiosity than out of need. I found this image at the “jungquotes” site and decided to compare it to my text from 1969 and found two other versions. The version isn’t that important in my opinion, for finding value in the I-Ching. Since I have had a particular interest in the I-Ching (Book of Changes) and the yin-yang symbol at the centre of the this image which is a pa kua (a circle containing the eight trigrams), I was intrigued when this image showed up in my e-mail inbox this morning. Of course it sent me to get my copy of the book off the shelf (1), as well as to check out what Wikipedia had to say (reference here).
Before going further, I want to comment about the solid and broken lines. Solid lines represent the male (yang) principle, and the broken lines represent the female (yin) principle. There are eight trigrams which can be paired so as to create sixty-four hexagrams. A person can use three coins which are cast (thrown) six times in order to create a “response” to a question. The first throw provides the bottom line and each succeeding throw builds the hexagram upwards. If one gives a value of 2 to “heads” and a value of 3 to “tails” and then adds up the value of the three coins, one is able to determine whether the line is solid or broken, masculine or feminine. The even numbers s 6 and 8 yield a broken line, a feminine line. The odd numbers 7 and 9 yield a solid line, a masculine line.
I decided to try using an online I-Ching divination service (Hexagram 19 – lin) as well as to cast my own hexagram using coins (Hexagram 41 - sun) in order to answer a particular question with regards to further education and training. The basic result was that this was indeed an auspicious time, but also that downsizing or “focusing” on less would be needed if the project is to be successful.
This is where synchronicity comes into play. I have not fully decided to again return to studies for yet another degree and certificate, but I have begun to cut back on those things that would draw too much of my attention, downsizing my life so-to-speak. There are more things to be considered without relying on a “divination” tool such as the I-Ching. Yet what is striking to me was how this casting of coins has provided an “echo” of what is already being said, done, understood.
I am interested in what my readers have to say about the I-Ching and any “synchronistic” readings they may have experienced. Please add your voices here.
(1. Legge, James (1964). I Ching: Book of Changes, With introduction and study guide by Ch’u Chai and Winberg Chai. New York: Citadel Press. 19th century translation.)
It isn’t often that I borrow images from others, but today’s image is one that just begged to be brought here. I came across this image thanks to one of my Twitter friends, someone who had found the image at a site called Poor Artists hosted on Tumblr. I then went in search of Paige Bradley’s own page where the statue is featured in four different settings. I encourage readers to check out both sites as there is so much to see. The world is richer than one often thinks.
In a way, I find this to be a synchronistic event, the “tweet” to view the image. I am reading Women Who Rub With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. In the book she talks about accessing the Wild Woman or La Loba:
“Each woman has potential access . . . She arrives there through deep meditation, dance, writing, painting, prayermaking, singing, drumming, active imagination, or any activity which requires an intense altered consciousness.” (Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves, p. 30)
How fitting an image to go with this ancient idea! Yet, that is not all that was synchronistic for me. As several of my recent posts have discussed, naturism is another current area of study, the idea of being Sky Clad as an outer expression of honesty to match the quest of discovery of the authentic self. This image, Expansion, addresses this quest as well. I guess I could say that I am double lucky in having this image appear in my life at this particular time.
As I was walking along the sidewalk upon the return from a longer walk in the countryside, this little bird was huddling in the protection of the tree, closer to the calm centre. Often, we do the same thing, we retreat from the buffeting winds of the outer world for the presumed safety of the shadows. Do we necessarily know what we are really doing when we do this, or is it just an instinctual respone?
Robert Johnson has an interesting point of view:
When we experience inexplicable conflicts that we can’t resolve; when we become aware of urges in ourselves that seem irrational, primitive or destructive; when a neurosis afflicts us because of our conscious attitudes are at odds with our instinctual selves – then we begin to realize that the unconscious is playing a role in our lives and we need to face it. (Johnson, Inner Work, 1986, p. 5)
I found this quote which I had highlighted in my copy of this book this morning, the first thing that caught my eye. Synchronicity? Perhaps. Why do I suggest synchronicity? Well, if you have been following the posts and the comments, you will have found that some of my posts are in response to the comments. I had no intention of deliberately responding to one of the latest comments through a post, but it somehow began to emerge. First, the photo. Retreat into a safe place, an assumed safe place. Only, it isn’t so safe at all as in this shadow zone, one is not alone at all. The ghosts, shadows and memories crowd into this safe place making it seem more a prison than a safe container.
Waking up to the unconscious is something can disable the psyche, especially if one is not also strong in the outer world. The best strategy when in this position is to find a guide. Of course, I am biased and would suggest that one find a qualified, certified Jungian analyst. Why? Well, this allows one to remain in charge and not become an obedient follower. In my opinion, this is the best and safest route to take when attempting to become a whole person, a healed person with a healed soul.
It’s strange sometimes how information comes to us, information that we don’t even realise that we might need to know. I wrote to a friend of mine about a niggling sense of disquietude only to find that my friend had been noticing the same. We both wrote it off as synchronistic. Then, not even hours after this communication, I received information from a third friend, astrological information. In truth, I have to admit that I don’t follow the world of astrology with any interest. I know that astrology has a real place, but it doesn’t “catch” with me. That said, I don’t dismiss it as just some New Age blather as well. I just don’t understand or relate to it very well. The astrological information I received spoke directly to the sense of disquietude that had been nagging. Here is a part of the information I received, information about the recent lunar eclipse:
A lunar eclipse is powerful in the psyche as well as in the inner workings of our environment. We are often zapped with energy diffusing and need to rest and relax these few days in order to find out how we think and what is contained in our points of Aquarius and Leo in our natal charts. The eclipse is in the sign of Aquarius and is directly opposite Leo so it is a Full Moon. It is often a time where we feel pulled apart depending on where Leo and Aquarius fall in our chart. It is also significant how these two signs shadow each other and become significant of future events depending upon our awareness of shadow.
Hmmm, that explains the feelings I’ve been having, feelings that include a tension such as one feels waiting for “the other shoe to drop.” For some reason, likely resistance, I didn’t follow up on the note which included the above quote. I rationalised to myself that this really wasn’t going to be helpful. If anything, I wanted to push it away as I didn’t want to know just in case it meant I would have to do something about the feelings, in case I had to make some changes. Sometimes, especially at moments like these, I wish I was a simple “dummling” who bumbled about happily unconscious of anything to do with the world of psyche and soul.
Earlier in the afternoon, I went to borrow a drill bit for my basement renovation project and disturbed a robin that was sitting on a nest. Immediately she flew away and perched in a nearby tree and was joined by her mate. Togethery they created quite a bit of noise hoping I would disappear. I got a number of shots of the two of them and eventually a shot of mama on her nest. Here is a photo of papa robin.
Yesterday I began reading a new book by Barack Obama called Dreams From My Father, a book I’ve had for a while but was too busy with the SoFoBoMo project research to find time to read it. The project, book two is now done. I will upload it to the SoFoBoMo site tomorrow. Now, back on track. Yesterday evening I got a phone call from a relation asking for a digital recording of a song he wants to use for a home-made movie using Adobe Photoshop Elements, a song about children. I sent him “Teach Your Children Well” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young as it has long been a favourite of mine, a song I used to play back when. With nostalgia hitting, I wandered through some other songs until another song caught my eye, “Father and Son” by Cat Stevens. It wasn’t the right kind of song for the movie project, but it was just what I needed to listen to at that moment.
Now taking in all of this, there are three events which talk about fathers and children. This could be all about coincidence and I left it at that. Late this afternoon, just as I put the last touches on the SoFoBoMo book, I got a phone call from my son with the news that he will become a father to a son. Now this is more than coincidence. The mother? Her name is Robyn. Synchronicity at work.
Just two posts previously I spoke of how a broken decorative brick, green with sea algae, ellicted thoughts of Celts and the Celtic world. Yesterday, a visit to Uxmal adding a number images and a wealth of resonances to my treasure chest. Here is a detail of one of the bricks that was laying on the ground in front of the Magician’s Pyramid. Looking at the various buildings on the site, structures build from 500 to 1000 AD, I noted many such designs. The beach brick had done its work in preparing my eyes and mind for the experience of Uxmal – a happy coincidence, a synchronicity.
I will be posting other images from Uxmal over the next while and reflecting.