Synchronicity, Meaningful Coincidences

Visionary FictionBefore I became a serious writer, my powers of observation made me about as Sherlock Holmes-like as an open secret or plastic glasses.

In other words, I was a perfect antonym for the famous detective, who took such pains to notice subtle cues and details in the people and situations around him.

I didn’t need blinders. Mine were built in.

Beyond the Five Senses

To break into writing, I had to seriously change my ways. No self-respecting reader would make it past page one of my fiction without the vibrancy and richness of detailed and realistic descriptions — a combination of imagination and careful observation.

On top of that, I chose to write Visionary Fiction, which goes a step beyond what is observed through the five senses. I’m talking fiction that incorporates telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and ESP.

Visionary Fiction opened a new world of paying attention. I needed to receive and transmit information from the unconscious, the kind of stuff hidden below the tip of the iceberg that doesn’t surface unless the observer is in a receptive state.

So how does a Visionary Fiction writer go about tapping into the submerged?

One way is to pay attention to meaningful coincidences and pleasant surprises; in other words open up to synchronicity and serendipity.

Meaningful Coincidences and Pleasant Surprises.

In the simplest of terms, synchronicity is the experiencing of two or more events as meaningfully related.

Serendipity, on the other hand, is a pleasant surprise, such as the accidental discovery.

I can best explain by example.

Something interesting happened to me while writing down my soul, Janet Conner style.

First I asked my Inner Voice what I should call him or her. A crow cawed outside my living room door. Once. Then silence. I took this as a sign and addressed my Inner Voice as Black Crow.

The following morning the local newspaper featured a story about a blonde woman and her pet raven. I’m blonde and the crow and raven are both members of the Corvidae family, so I took that as an another sign.

Addressing my Inner Voice, as Black Raven this time, I wrote: How about a new title for my novel Between Now and Forever.


Jodi Aman

Instantly my Samsung bleeped with a message, which linked me to a blog post titled Peace on Earth, via She Writes (of which I am a member).

How nice, I thought, but that’s not an answer.

When I followed the blog link, I came across the site’s header, “Heal Now and Forever be in Peace” (the italics are mine, in case you didn’t get the connection).

The blogger’s last name was Aman, close enough to “Amen” to be a sign (sort of).

It was an interesting way to start the day, and I bookmarked Jodi Aman’s site to revisit later.

Tell Jodi. She’ll Know What to Do.

When I returned to Jodi’s site, synchronicity came into play again.

I had just finished reading “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,” by Eckhart Tolle. At one point, he talked about listening to a friend who was in deep pain. “I looked at her with no thought and no judgment,” he said, “and listened in stillness without any mental commentary.”

Then I read the following in Jodi’s post, Call Jodi. She’ll Know What to Do: “Just listen with compassion and without judgment.”


Jodi also talked about helping the poor and the downtrodden, reminding me of the prayer to St Jude I had found the previous week in my mother’s Bible (which I’d opened for the first time since her death four years earlier).

The last line of the prayer was, “St Jude, helper of the hopeless, pray for us. Amen.”

One last example:

For the query and synopsis of my novel, I was trying to put into words what my protagonist had learned and how she had changed during the course of the story.

She wanted to serve, but feared giving up her freedom and individuality.

She has to overcome her sense of boundary and separateness, I wrote in my notes. She has to let go of her past, let go of her story.

Then, there it was, in Jodi’s post – thoughts so similar to my own. “…the illusion of separation is the only problem, and isolation makes the negative stories in our head worse.”

Do examples of synchronicity and serendipity such as these count as evidence for the collective unconscious as Carl Gustav Jung claimed back in 1920?

As someone who ponders the submerged rather than the tip of the iceberg, I believe the answer is yes.

In a previous post about synchronicity, I concluded:

Though you may have answered CHANCE after each of these synchronicities, I’ve
decided to consider these subtle, fleeting, and easily dismissed occurrences as
timely arrivals of special information.  I’m not sure what this information means as yet, but I’m willing to relinquish cynicism and doubt in favor of synchronicity and serendipity, faith and hope.  What can it hurt to have a positive attitude and believe there are opportunities coming my way?

Therapist Jodi Aman and I are now blogging friends thanks to my Inner Voice and the wonderful synchronicities of this life.


About Margaret Duarte

Although warned by agents and publishers that labeling her work Visionary Fiction was the “kiss of death,” Margaret Duarte refused to concede. “In a world riddled with fear, misunderstanding, and lost hope,” she says, “I believe there are people prepared to transcend the boundaries of their five senses and open to new thoughts and ideas. The audience is ready for fiction that heals, empowers, and bridges differences.” Margaret joined forces with other visionary fiction writers to create the Visionary Fiction Alliance, a website dedicated to bringing visionary fiction into the mainstream and providing visionary fiction writers with a place to call home. In 2015, Margaret published BETWEEN WILL AND SURRENDER, book one of her "Enter the Between" visionary fiction series, followed by book two, BETWEEN DARKNESS AND DAWN, in 2017. Through her novels, which synthesize heart and mind, science and spirituality, Margaret encourages readers to activate their gifts, retire their excuses, and stand in their own authority. Margaret is a former middle school teacher and lives on a California dairy farm with her family and a herd of "happy cows," a constant reminder that the greenest pastures are closest to home.
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27 Responses to Synchronicity, Meaningful Coincidences

  1. esdragon2 says:

    My book Dreaming Worlds Awake, first published in 2011, gave as its subtitle; Stories, synchronicities and Dreams. The second chapter is headed; The word synchronicity was coined by Jung to describe meaningful coincidences occurring, for instance, when a dream, vision, or other inwardly perceived event corresponds to an event in external reality.

    'The simultaneous occurrence of events appearing to be related but without apparent causal connection.' Ruth White.

    'Divine timing.' Esme Ellis.

    The chapter then goes on to reveal several personal experiences of the 'phenomena'. It is certainly something I have been aware of in my life for some years.


    • Having written a book such as Dreaming Worlds Awake with a chapter revealing personal experiences of synchronicity, you indeed understand the phenomena–as many more people would if they learned to pay attention. I like Jung's example of the scarabaeid beetle that showed up during a session with a patient who was describing a dream about a golden scarab she'd had the night before, an event that finally "punctured a hole in her rationalism and broke the ice of her intellectual resistance." According to Jung, "When enough coincidences pile up one can't help being impressed by them."


      • esdragon2 says:

        Wonderful stuff, everyone! A slight BUT coming up — Victor. Coincidence and even co-incidence isn't quite the same as Synchronicity. I would venture to say that synchronicity has to be recognised as an aha! If I may quote a bit from my book; '… a place where human intelligence meets Divine Intelligence, and Synchronicity is just one of the mysterious connective forces which arise from this encounter. Notice me, it demands, and I will respond with further revelations.' It's noticing the significance that makes it so. And recognising it allows even more of it to flow into our lives.


  2. libredux says:

    Good to read this glimpse into a distinctly "visionary" aspect of your writing process, Margaret.

    I too find synchronicities to be meaningful and beyond mere chance.


    • I've always believed in synchronicity (there were too many examples given by others to ignore), but the examples I gave above were still eye-openers. There's believing as a result of other people's experiences and then there's believing due to one's own experiences, which is better by far.


  3. drstephenw says:

    I can relate to your connection between desiring evocative description in your writing, tapping into the submerged, and finding synchronicity/serendipity as a tool. I don't feel traditional description is a natural place I go as a writer, but in working on a series about characters who uncover connections between their past life memories, there is an abundance of synchronicity in the actions of the book. It's been a fruitful source of ideas for my process: the 'coincidences' may not lie in the world around me as they did for you (though I see them in other areas of my experience), but I believe that they point to the world beneath, the collective unconscious, and tapping something deeper in the writing process. Thanks for sharing your experience of this phenomenon.


    • I like how you said: "I believe that they (synchronicity/serendipity) point to the world beneath, the collective unconscious, and the tapping something deeper in the writing process." You could replace the words synchronicity and serendipity with visionary fiction here, in that VF also points to the world beneath the collective unconscious and the tapping something deeper.


  4. Over the years I have come to expect synchronicities when I am writing my novels. I look forward to them! Having said that, I am always still in awe when they happen. They point me in directions I could not have imagined.


  5. As with you, synchronicities appear most often in my life while I'm writing — be it in my journal or one of my novels. Ideas and events show up in the "real" world that coincide with what's happening in my internal world, ideas and events that are too "right on" to be merely coincidence. That's when I know I'm on the right track. An internal GPS, so to speak.


  6. It may be just a coincidence (ha!), but of the last three books I read, two were about synchronicity, The Synchronicity Key: the Hidden Intelligence Guiding the universe and You, by David Wilcock and Beyond Supernature: a New Natural History of the Supernatural. And in between the two was Margaret Duarte's Between Now and Forever. How about them apples–and I didn't notice that sequence until after reading Margaret's piece above. (BTW all three titles are highly recommended for VF writers.)

    Years ago, before "synchronicity" was a buzzword, I started to hyphenate coincidence to make co-incidence to indicate that two things happened together not by chance but by design. A quirk of the English language that, if you take apart coincidence and synchonicity, they mean the same thing: happening at the same time or in parallel. This is in contrast to cause/effect events, which happen in sequence with the latter event, rightly or not, regarded as the result of the former.

    If we think about the world around us in the present moment, it is all happening in parallel right now. All that is is synchronous. The key to getting that, as Margaret points out, is to pay attention. Unfortunately, at least so far, our brains can only take in so much at once, and so we need time and sequence and all that linear stuff to avoid overload. (In the above book, Lyall Watson observes about the brain that there is a lot more of it than we use, as if the intelligent evolutionary process has already given us the hardware for more advanced perception; we are only lacking the software. Very cool and it makes this whole evolution of consciousness thing quite probable.)

    Ok, Margaret, look what you did. You got me going! So with that smattering and lots more to think about, I'll sign off–for now.


    • I love it when synchronicity is at work, Victor. Thanks for another example. The two books you mentioned sound interesting. I'll have to check them out. Thanks for the tip. I don't find it hard to believe that our brains have the hardware for more advanced perception, just lacking the software, which is also available, if we look hard enough. Oh, and by the way, I do enjoy it when you get going on a subject. Response and involvement from readers is what makes writing posts worth the time and effort.


    • esdragon2 says:

      Victor, I replied to your comments, but somehow they got posted under Margaret's above! ???


      • Found it, Esme, and thanks. BUT accepted, although I can see it applying to both a co-incidence and a synchronicity, as I was using co-incidence in a rather quirky way while playing with the word. I agree that Synchronicity is the correct term for what we are talking about here.


      • esdragon2 says:

        Thanks Victor. I was being a bit finnikty, maybe!


    • Hi Vic. I just got to a paragraph in chapter eight of your book "The Anathemas," which ends with the character John (a former minister) saying, "If a fiction writer amassed such a series of serendipitous incidents with nothing more than coincidence to motivate them–" only to be cut off by the character Richard, who bristles at John's invocation of a divinity. "There are other explanations for the miraculous," Richard says, starting a new train of thought that I found very interesting. These quotes are taken out of context, so won't make sense to those reading this comment, but I think you get what I mean. Synchronicity and serendipity can be seen as divine or as coincidence, depending on the attitude of the one on the receiving end.


      • Made me smile, Margaret. I've found that when synchronicity is working in life, reality can be so wildly serendipitous that it would not be believable as fiction. Would be interesting to track one of those periods some time; I wonder if the writer acting as a conscious observer would skew any such experiment. Hmm.


  7. Admin - Eleni says:

    I love this post! It explains serendipity beautifully. Life is filled with synchronicity if you look for it, and I’m not a believer. I know it’s real because I experienced it and continue to do so. Like Jodine, I’m always in awe when it happens. These last few weeks have been filled with synchronicity, and I'm now waiting for the one breadcrumb that will tie it all together and make me go Aha!


    • Hi Eleni. Your comment and the others above make me realize that I've gotten so busy lately that I've disallowed the emergence of synchronicity into my life. And I miss it. Those surprises, those breadcrumbs, that when tied together make one shiver with realization that can be felt but not explained. Realization that makes you say, "Aha." Time to start "Writing Down My Soul," again.


  8. Jim Murdoch says:

    I believe synchronicity comes into play when we focus on stuff, desired or undesired. It isn't spoken of as much, but synchronicity is happening all the time in bringing the negative stuff we don't want. However we usually only take notice of synchronicity when we change our focus and desire something, or simple concentrate on some topic or other, like we do when we write. Then we notice stuff, find stuff, bump into people, simply because our vibration lines it all up.


    • esdragon2 says:

      To my mind this take on Synchronicity is overly sceptical. I don't think desire or undesired should come into it at all.


    • I see your point, Jim, an argument for the belief that "thinking it makes it happen," which I've noticed to be true often enough in my life. Not quite how I meant it in this post, but a variation of the theme (I don't claim to be an expert by a long shot). And true, when we're concentrating on something, be it the topic of our writing or a person we know, I mean really paying attention, things start to line up in mysterious and unexplainable ways, which I interpret as synchronicity.


  9. philipparees says:

    I come late to this site and this discussion but three years ago I attempted to start a 'co-incidence collection with a very startling synchronicity that accompanied the end of writing my book. If interested it is still buried here…. I am delighted to find a community for visionary fiction, since these ideas will be forgiven more easily in fiction than what I have attempted (non-fiction) and the sheer escalation of acceptance will encourage more people to be aware of them, since consciousness creates!


    • Hi Philipa. I followed the link and found your article about synchronicity very interesting. And yes, these types of experiences (though very real as far as I'm concerned) are more acceptable when presented in fiction. Welcome to our VF community.


  10. Some say Synchronicity is Always happening…

    Could be—we may just be unaware…

    One of Jung's disciples, Marie-Louise von Franz, fully explored the connection between the Unconscious and the physical world—perhaps the "mechanism" for Synchronicity…


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