Edition #14 – Chance

5 minute read


In this edition, we talk to 17 artists and some of our readers on the subject of chance and synchronicity in an attempt to shed light upon this mysterious subject and gain some insight into it’s links with creativity. Paul Weston, Glastonbury author and keeper of obsessive diaries talks to us about his attempts to provoke synchronicities via his own peculiar approaches and intrigues.

We talk to an artist with a background in the physics of soft condensed matter, about the relationships between science, creativity and synchronicity. We talk to serial contributor Robin Leiske about her thoughts on the Angels of Synchronicity, who oversee the increase in probability of a chance encounter between individuals they know have something to exchange. We talk to Robert Caspary about Jung, Pauli and the time he photographed a dream. Our investigations take us to London to meet Tabitha an artist who has completed a drawing a day for 10 years, to a Mexican living in Denmark investigating the chance encounters of humans on google street view. JEMontclair, another regular to our pages, reminds us to ask and remember to say thank you

This eclectic edition hurtles at a pace through the many approaches, concepts and landscapes associated with chance and synchronicity, resting on some convenient points of interest that have encouraged and informed my interest in the subject. In amongst all this, we hear some personal accounts of synchronicity from readers of Wake up screaming, I have been indulging in my own thought on the subject, attempting to gain enough clarity to express them outwardly in words. I also include a song I wrote and recorded this month, It’s not directly related to synchronicity, but perhaps it might instigate some events in others. 

Some scattered thoughts on synchronicity

So where do I start? Perhaps with a disclaimer, a pre-warning that the following pages might in fact be a complete collection of misunderstandings on the subject of chance and synchronicity. 16 pages of stabbing in the dark, attempting to grasp at something that’s beyond our understanding. But perhaps in all our naive grappling and babbling, we might have formed some sounds that make sense, we might be taking some useful steps into a territory rarely breached by art and science. We might have even taken a scratch from the surface allowing us to poke our minds in as far as we can without completely blowing them.

Each contribution we received this month, coincidentally, seemed to fit with aspects of my own thinking on the subject, expanding and informing and evolving my understanding or misunderstandings. 

My approach to this subject veers, on one day, I am charged by the majesty of synchronistic events, to the point that I allow it to penetrate and inform my decisions, like I am in an ongoing conversation with my environment, entranced by the collision of events so improbable so as to appear as if they were encouraged into being by some other force. On this thought train, there is no “other force” – it is all one force and you are that force and sometimes we become so in the flow of the force that we get the chance to notice it, that’s synchronicity. It is more real than I. 

On another day, when the magic disappears, I come to think that these things don’t mean anything, they are just unique events, colliding in the pin light of a consciousness that holds a certain structure of memories that allows for these two things to become linked. If we find meaning out of this it is only because we are meaningful species, we look for meaning and pattern everywhere. We are constantly on the lookout for repetition and trails to follow. 

I prefer the initial state of mind, and it’s this more indulgent and optimistic one that I have concentrated on throughout this month, writing and writing in the hope that the next attempt might actually produce some coherent outward formation of my inward conversation on the subject.

We are each one of us a mini universe. Sometimes we fit so snuggly into our bigger picture that there are no joins, this is where synchronicity appears.  The convergence of patterns, the noticing of the nuances of the universe by the universe. Synchronicity is an expansion of consciousness. It is patterns colliding. It is a spontaneous clashing of events, but one that evokes meaning and excitement in the consciousness in which it collides. I get the feeling that to understand the true workings of this is to become infinitely aware. 

Many have spoken of a sort of pleasure, or “wow moment” involved with the phenomenon. I wonder whether we find it so exciting because it’s what the universe is striving for, the recognition, noticing, relating together distant objects, recognising what marries them, this is the special ability that humans have, that pinnacle of ability of the universe to recognise itself, to recognise patterns within itself. It leads to this feedback loop of pleasure associated feelings, similar to those received when creating: the bliss, the confirmation of meaningful engagement.

There is a similarity of feeling between creative work and the recognition of synchronicity. Creativity might be ongoing synchronicity, it’s the human engaging in a series of meaningful actions that collide to make meaning, the artwork itself. 

When I engage in the creation of a picture, the picture talks to me through feeling, through this to and fro of mark making and emotional response, when a line is placed down that interacts blissfully with those around it, it could be said that it’s behaving synchronistically. So perhaps the creation of a picture is an ongoing unfolding of synchronistic events seemingly in control, but ultimately random. If we expand that out to real life actions, it might be a good way to approach the understanding synchronistic events in the world.

Perhaps synchronicity is the interactive play we receive from the universe when we actively engage in it. The more we engage with the experience the more chance there is for synchronicity to appear. Imagine engaging with this to such an extent that you live in a constant synchronicity. This is what Terrance McKenna touches on in his Time Wave Zero and what Glastonbury Author Paul weston touches on in his talk on Synchronicity.

Robert Caspary tells us the story about cathcing a dream on camera, Paul Weston tells us about the dream of a bill he received for £110.94p, which was later reflected in the real world when the post fell through the letterbox. I have had similar experiences. I feel like our fleeting links to synchronicity are glimpses into the full capacity of the universe to know everything, especially where synchronistic dreams occur. 

On one hand I am led to the conclusion that everything is coincidence. Everything is linked in some capacity and every now and then, we just happen to happen upon one very tiny occurrence of two things converging, within our own consciousness. We can try to put our finger on it, but may find that when we do it pops out from underneath the tip. It’s all meaningless, until it’s not. There is no mystery, we are simply not well enough endowed with an understanding of the ins and out of the universe to comprehend.

While we attempt to work it all out, I am happy to live in a world where the universe is trying to guide us and encourages us to interact with it. This can be a beautiful way to play with your existence, enhancing the interplay between environment and consciouness, even if it is slightly delusional, or misunderstood. 

This might be the extent of my clarity on the subject. I will pass you on to 16 artist who have kindly contributed their thoughts on the subject, collaborating to create an intriguing adventure into the realms of synchronicity.

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