As long as we pay attention, life regularly sends us signs or synchronicities that can help us make decisions or see things more clearly when we are a little lost. But what exactly is synchronicity? What’s the difference with a coincidence? How to pay attention to it and interpret it? The answers from Géraldyne Prévot Gigant, psychopractitioner and author of “I listen to the signs: learn to perceive and understand synchronicities” published by Leduc.
When life’s coincidences come at just the right time to help us make decisions or find our way, we talk about synchronicity. Widely studied in the middle of the 20th century by Carl Gustav Jung – founder of analytical psychology and first disciple of Freud – synchronicities have since caused much discussion. How is this phenomenon explained? What connection with the unconscious and intuition? Can we open up to the world of synchronicities in order to be more receptive to it? What precautions can be taken to avoid going overboard? The answers of a psychopractitioner and author of a book on the subject.
What is synchronicity?
The word “synchronicity” comes from the Greek roots “syn” which means “with” and therefore marks the idea of reunion, and “khronos” for “time”. Literally, synchronicity therefore means “which occurs at the same time”, and it therefore translates the idea of a meeting in time or simultaneity.
The concept was theorized by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung in the 1930s, after he was confronted with synchronicity during a session with a very Cartesian patient who was not very open to signs. While she was telling her about a golden beetle present in her last dream, the same golden beetle came at the same time to bump against the window of her office, shaking up the patient’s certainties and allowing her to open her spirit. The famous psychiatrist defines synchronicity as “the simultaneous appearance of events which have no visible causality between them, but which are significant for the person experiencing them”.
Synchronicity is often compared to a coincidence linked to simple chance, but there is a fundamental difference between the two concepts. “ Synchronicity is indeed the manifestation of two elements creating a coincidence, but it does not stop there. For a coincidence to become synchronicity, it must have meaning or carry a message » explains Géraldyne Prévot Gigant. For example, I am singing a song, I turn on the radio and it is precisely this same song that is broadcast. One of two things: the lyrics of the song resonate within me and open my eyes to a problem or a situation that has been worrying me for some time, we then talk about synchronicity. If this is not the case, then it is a simple coincidence, linked solely to chance. To put it simply, synchronicity is a meaningful coincidence.
Note that the message or meaning conveyed by the coincidence can arrive later, a few days after the event. This is why it is important to keep these signs in mind and remain attentive to them. “ We can thus remain for a certain time, with an accumulation of coincidences which seem trivial and meaningless to us. And then suddenly something enlightens us and opens our eyes » says the psychopractitioner.
The theory of synchronicities is subject to controversy in science, and is today considered pseudo-scientific, to the extent that it is not based on experimental evidence. According to people who are interested in it, synchronicities can open the doors to understanding, help one follow one’s destiny, and take the right paths.
How to explain synchronicities?
Although imbued with a certain mysticism or metaphysical belief, synchronicity can also be explained by the expression of our unconscious, which is more receptive to certain things around us, depending on whether they concern current concerns.
« There is a whole world of the invisible around us, to which we are more or less receptive depending on the person. This invisible universe directly linked to our unconscious can be a valuable source of lessons, if we are attentive to it. » summarizes Géraldyne Prévot Gigant. Dreams – a window into our unconscious – are for example a precious tool in understanding synchronicities.
For Carl Gustav Jung, these are directly linked to the concepts of collective unconscious (layer of the unconscious shared by all human beings, regardless of their culture, education or personal experience) and archetypes (universal forces and timeless that influence our behavior and our emotions).
How can we listen to these synchronicities?
It is not always easy to listen to the synchronicities around us. As long as we are more of a Cartesian nature, the coincidences available to us will not even be noted because they are considered simple coincidences, which makes a possible interpretation impossible. When you feel a little lost in your life, when you are unable to make decisions for fear that they will not be the right ones, it can be interesting to take an interest in listening to the signs and understanding of their meaning.
« The ideal posture to receive synchronicity is to be attentive and welcoming. You have to stimulate your unconscious and make it understand that you want to dialogue with it » recommends the author first of all.
To do this, you can start by writing down your dreams – place, person, object, symbol, animal – as soon as you wake up. This can be a starting point, to then be attentive to anything that may come up repeatedly in the days that follow, whether in the street, at work, on TV or in the media. Don’t hesitate to write down things that interest us in a little notebook that you always have with you. “If a symbol, an animal or an object is activated regularly, then it can be interesting to look for its meaning. Personally, my reference bible is “The Dictionary of Symbols” by Jean Chevallier and Alain Gheerbrant,” says Géraldyne Prévot Gigant.
Synchronicity is generally a vector of a strong emotion caused by the mixture of fascination and astonishment felt in the face of the perceived sign. This is also how we can recognize and identify synchronicity. “ It conveys a fairly strong emotional flow, especially if the symbolism carries the messages » confirms the psychopractitioner.
What is the place of intuition?
Synchronicities are of course closely linked to our part of intuitiveness. “We touch on the dimension of human intuition, beyond facts, space and time,” assures the author. Openness to synchronicities helps to develop intuition, and intuition makes us more receptive to synchronicities: it is a true virtuous circle. We could ultimately describe intuition as an inner guide, and synchronicities as an outer guide. The cohesion of the two is essential to find your way, and answers to your questions.
Good in his body, good in his head!
What precautions should you take when interested?
The risk of researching and studying synchronicities is to rely too much on these signs, and to see synchronicities where there are sometimes only simple coincidences.
« It is essential to exercise discernment and wisdom in order to sort out coincidences and synchronicities. » insists Géraldyne Prévot Gigant.
Also be careful not to leave your life and your choices outside, just as you could do with a divinatory tarot or with a clairvoyant. We must not forget our share of responsibility, decision-making and creation. “The risk is to take refuge in this poetic and mysterious world of synchronicities to escape reality, and to wait for the signs to show us a path that we cannot choose, or to take a decision that we cannot make” summarizes the psychopractitioner.
It is therefore important to succeed in finding the right balance to dance with synchronicities without relying on them. To do this, we must keep one foot in the real and the tangible, and the other in the mystery, while keeping a little touch of madness to be receptive and not fall into Cartesianism.
« The study of synchronicities is not an esoteric divinatory support but a practice of wisdom and self-knowledge: even if we are helped by the invisible world, it is first of all we who make our decisions »concludes the author.