Synchronicity requires a human participant because it’s a subjective experience in which we give meaning to a coincidence. Meaning differentiates synchronicity from a synchronous event. A synchronous event is anything simultaneous — events that occur at the same moment. Clocks are synchronized, airplanes are scheduled to take off at the same time, several people walk into the same auditorium at the same moment, but no one sees anything significant in these coincidences. In synchronicity, however, the meaningful coincidence occurs within a subjective timeframe. We link two events together, the events need not occur simultaneously, although that’s often the case.
Western philosophers usually assume that intellectual training and analysis alone provide the royal road to understanding. However, transpersonal philosophers — especially those of Asian traditions such as Vedanta, Sankhya, Buddhism, and Taoism — emphasize that while intellectual training is necessary, by itself it’s not sufficient for deep understanding. They claim that the mind also must be given a multidimensional contemplative or yogic training that refines ethics, emotions, motivation, and attention.
Goal of Contemplative Training
This training is designed to develop “the eye of contemplation” by inducing specific states of consciousness in which one has the keenness, subtlety, and quickness of cognitive response that are required for penetrating insights into the nature of mind and reality. These insights collectively constitute the transcendental wisdom variously known as prajna (Buddhism), jnana (Hinduism), ma’rifah (Islam), or gnosis (Christianity). This wisdom is the goal of contemplative training and is said to liberate those who acquire it from delusion and the suffering it produces.
Take a look around around you and see how everything is in a constant state of change. Appointment come and go, as do feelings, thoughts, and people. Every moment is a new moment because nothing is solid and nothing goes unchanged.
Impermanence can be a blessing if you are feeling down or having a bad day. Just remind yourself that “this too shall pass,” and encourage yourself to stay with these emotions and situations until they have passed. You can use this truth to help you cherish each and every moment of your life, because each moment is fleeting.
My point, once again, is not that those ancient people told literal stories and we are now smart enough to take them symbolically, but that they told them symbolically and we are now dumb enough to take them literally.