Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Synchronicity or is that coincidence?

By James Kyle

The source of today’s article is a pretty serious misunderstanding I have just had with my girlfriend, Linda.  Now that in itself could lead to a series of articles about miscommunication and trust.  However what happened next was that having just sent a text to my girlfriend about these issues I received one in reply. Thinking this was from Linda I looked at my phone only to see the message was from someone else entirely. Having read the message I returned to my mobile phone’s music player screen to then notice the next song about to play – a song I was unaware I had on a compilation album. It was called “Looking for Linda.” That then led me to think about other events in my life where there had been synchronicity in the past.

Now for those of you reading enough of my previous articles you will have realised that I come from a scientific background and am not really convinced that “the universe” tries to send us messages by throwing up strange coincidences. However there has been at least two other occasions when this attitude has been sorely tested. Many years ago in one of my efforts to move outside my comfort zone I signed up for singing lessons. It was interesting and challenging and quite fun. This was before the days of the all pervading internet so when I decided I wanted to sing “Wind beneath my wings” I went to a music shop in central London to buy the sheet music. The shop itself however had an electronic display unit where you could select any sheet music to be printed. So I went up to this unit and brought up the first page, where the previous customer had left it I guess, and there it was displaying the sheet music for “Wind beneath my Wings” without me selecting anything. How many songs have ever been written? Or at least how many thousands of these were on this machine? Was the universe telling me I should be taking up signing as a career?  Well if you had ever heard me sing you would probably quite quickly come to the conclusion that this was not the case. So moving on…

On another occasion, In LA at this point, I received a call from someone I did not know and had never met, associated with the university I attended, inviting me to a “faith healing” session. Now again recall my scientific perspective on life, so although this was during the long period where I was chronically Ill, I gracefully declined. That evening I was going to the theatre to see “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead (I love Tom Stoppard plays). Now this theatre was many miles away from where I lived in Santa Monica and nowhere near the university I attended, towards downtown LA in fact. On arriving at the theatre I went up the ticket booth to collect the tickets I had reserved and the person giving them out handed them to me and said “I recognise your voice – I invited you to a faith healing earlier today” And yes, she had. How many people live in LA? Nah, I still didn’t go. But the play was good.

Now for me the overriding perspective on all of these is that very unlikely events do happen. Despite all the odds people do win big lottery prizes. The chance against an individual winning big is huge – but even so, the universe rolls the dice or bounces the balls in such a way that the correct numbers come out for a particular someone and against the odds that someone becomes a millionaire. When I met that person in LA I just thought to myself, what were the odds against that? ... and by the way Mr Universe, if you were going to go out of your way to make such an unlikely event happen in my life – why couldn't it be me having my 6 chosen numbers being the winning lottery numbers! (Oh and don’t even get me started on the fact that my mother wrote down all 6 winning UK lottery numbers one time, misplaced the piece of paper and ended up putting on completely different losing numbers).

But hey, on this one I am not going to say anything further. What do you think? Do we live in a conspiring universe?