Outside of therapeutic settings, many types of unusual experiences arise from psychedelic use, both during and following a psychedelic journey. Our current, limited scientific paradigm relegates these unexplainable phenomena to the forlorn lost and found box of rational materialism. Synchronicity qualifies as one such phenomenon that can’t be validated through empiricism.
What is Synchronicity?
Famous Swiss psychologist Carl Jung created the concept of synchronicity. He wrote plenty on the subject, as well as many other people following him. Merriam-Webster defines a synchronicity as:
the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (such as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality
Jungian psychology might describe synchronicity as a meaningful coincidence of the collective unconscious. People share accounts of experiencing synchronicities that often involve seeing the same number, hearing the same song, or a name that gets repeated. While these might be synchronicities, are they low resolution examples?
Synchronicities come in much bigger, more potent and improbable shapes and sizes. I tend to dismiss repetitions of names, numbers and songs as cosmic compost. Living in a world inundated with prodigious amounts of information, it’s not hard to see or make connections in the media landfills that occupy our minds.
I feel there’s a similarity here to psychics who glean information from you based on what you’re wearing, and what you say. If there’s sufficient information floating around in the environment, even the smallest bits, they can be tied together with ease.
But what about higher-resolution synchronicities that don’t involve the media landscape? What about synchronicities with such improbability, they exceed lottery winning odds? What about synchronicities of powerful, meaningful coincidence that defy explanation? I experienced my first high-resolution synchronicity after a plant medicine retreat.
About a couple of weeks or so after my second ayahuasca retreat and still in my integration period, I experienced the most potent synchronicity of my life up to that point. I was tinkering around on LinkedIn and did a check to see who had looked at my profile recently.
The last person who looked at my profile works in the psychedelic therapy industry. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw who the person worked for and what they did. I have nothing on my LinkedIn profile about psychedelics and have no idea why they would be checking me out.
I had to follow up. I reached out, messaged the person, and asked why they looked at my profile. As the universe would have it, they were looking for a writer to produce content for their website. This is my line of work. In a matter of weeks, I found myself writing about psychedelics and pursuing a passion I never thought would ever come to materialize.
The universe, it seems, drafted me into my “cosmic job.” There are day-to-day jobs to pay the bills, then there are “cosmic jobs.” Cosmic jobs are the jobs that unlock and utilize our greatest talents, skills and passions. We dismiss our cosmic jobs as pipe dreams, instead of considering them as attainable pursuits.
In other words, your cosmic job is the life work you’re tasked with by the universe and your reason for existing on Earth. The Japanese concept of ikagi explains this idea well. Did the universe reward my deep inner work with my first step forward into my cosmic job?
Tapped into the Oneness of the Universe
Despite the epistemological limits of science at the moment, we’re making thrilling strides into virgin realms of knowing. Discoveries on the scientific fringes, both in neuroscience and quantum physics, threaten rational materialism, pushing the worlds of science and spirituality closer together, inch by inch.
For example, science now shows us how LSD makes us feel one with the universe. This isn’t the jelly-brainer at Robot Heart during Burning man telling you this at sunrise. No, this is real science, which discovers what spiritual gurus and systems across the world have already known for millennia.
So does the universe feel us when we’re tapped into it, and manifesting the oneness? Much like how the brain demonstrates neuroplasticity after psilocybin sessions, does the universe make novel connections with newfound psychonauts after psychedelic journeys?
Does the universe increase and make new connections in the cosmic brain? Are we all a neuron in a cosmic brain, and a cosmic brain in a neuron? Is a high-resolution synchronicity an example of the cosmic brain’s neuroplastic expansion?
Downloading Consciousness and Cosmic Runway Lights
A burgeoning idea now challenges our collective belief regarding consciousness. We’ve long held that consciousness arises from the brain, and that our body produces it. However, a new theory suggests that our brains could download consciousness.
Our brains may act like a radio antenna and actively download consciousness. I find this idea fascinating. If this is the case, then does that make a synchronicity a cosmic file download? Do psychedelics act as the click on the cosmic download button? Do psychedelics make our antennae bigger, more receptive, and more sensitive to the universe’s signals?
Where empirical investigations fall short, indigenous spirituality and anthropology picks up the slack. Indigenous cultures around the world have long known about synchronicities and their meaning. Our rational materialist paradigm has long made the mind preeminent at the expense of the wisdom of the heart. Synchronicities challenge logic and reasoning. They reassert another way of knowing, that has long been forgotten in the West.
Carlos Casteneda spoke of the “path of the heart,” that journey through life doing your cosmic job. This is no secret to indigenous cultures. In his book, The Way of the Shaman, Michael Harner considered synchronicities as “a kind of homing beacon analogous to a radio directional signal indicating that the right procedures and methods are being employed.”
If this is true, then are synchronicities a cosmic ping, or cosmic runway lights that illuminate our path forward into the unknown and into fearful places?
Synchronicities Dispel Fear
I know that I felt scared about a couple of things. I was afraid to go into freelance writing. I also feared making my psychedelic use public. Now, I don’t care about either. Why? Because it seems that the universe wants me to go in this very direction.
Not long ago, I learned the difference between bravery and courage. More or less, bravery is action in the absence of fear. Courage is action in the face of fear. Courage is the greater virtue. Synchronicities can help nurture courage. As Terrence McKenna said:
“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.”
If you’re downloading the cosmic map, illuminated by runway lights, what is there to fear? Fear can be turned into a valuable tool. What can be more mysterious and powerful than the random design of the universe? If the universe is sending you these signals, what can possibly be a more intriguing mystery to delve into, than the enigma of what your true purpose on Earth is?
Psychedelics Connect to Cosmic Wifi to Tune In, Turn On, and Flow Out
Merriam-Webster defines “synchronous” as:
of, used in, or being digital communication (as between computers) in which a common timing signal is established that dictates when individual bits can be transmitted and which allows for very high rates of data transfer.
Assume we’re a radio antenna (or a computer as in the definition), downloading consciousness. When we do psychedelics, are we telling the universe our cosmic wifi is turned on and ready to receive and transmit data? I think it’s more probable than doubtful.
Once we “tune in” and “turn on” as Timothy Leary said, awesome things happen. He got the “drop out” part wrong. The third part is to “flow out.” To go out in a cosmic flow state with the passionate, random design of the universe, and be ready to accept its mysterious gifts of bliss, awe and fulfillment. The universe wants to play with you, make novel connections through you, and experience itself and the joy of being alive through you and your success.
Synchronicities are the runway lights toward that goal, and psychedelics seem to turn them on. It’s about time we all “glow up.”