Monday, May 17, 2010


No, not the album by The Police, rather, the (as I like to put it) "metaphysical opposing 'force' to entropy"*. (A simple, non-technical, non-physical explanation of which being "things fall apart"**.)
Synchronicity is when similar things happen in clusters, where/when one would not expect them to.

For example:
Two weeks ago, on pure impulse, I decided to check out Buffalax on youtube to see what new videos he's posted since the last time I checked. (Answer: a lot!)
Anyways, one of the videos of his that I watched was for Kaoma's song "Lambada" from 1989. You may be surprised, but I had never heard this song before. (In 1989 I was in the midst of an oldies and classical music only phase. (It lasted until 1993.)) Anyways, a couple of days later - Mother's Day - I decided to go to a 6:30am drop-in hockey at a nearby rink. I had actually found out about this rat time on the same day I was checking the Buffalax videos. (The only reason I went that morning, was because my regular Sunday late night skate was canceled for an ice show.) Anyways, while I was waiting to see if anybody else would show up, (as a goalie, it makes no sense for me to suit up if there's nobody to shoot on me!,) I happened to hear a tune emanating from one of the video games in the lobby. It was Kaoma's Lambada! I immediately knew it was familiar, but I couldn't place it until I later associated the Buffalax lyrics with it. Then I went back to his page, checked the likely candidates, and found the song within three tries.

THAT'S Synchronicity. There was no reason I should have felt like checking out Buffalax's uploads, going to an early Sunday open hockey was nigh unprecedented for me, and only happened because of extenuating circumstances. There was no reason to expect the song to be emanating from, of all things, a video game machine. (No, it wasn't DDR.)

Anyways, Synchronicity. This is distinctly different from providence.

Providence: "things happen for a reason"***.

Example: This past Friday, a friend of mine got into a stupid car accident. It was his fault - he rear-ended an SUV - no damage to the other guy - and his car was rendered undrivable. Because of this he was able to go visit his grandmother who was in the hospital, something that he had not been planning on doing when he had the accident. Later that evening, she died. If he had not had the car accident, he would not have had the opportunity to see his grandmother one last time.

Obviously, some may the coincidence of the two events is just random. That it's no different than a corollary to synchronicity. However, I beg to differ. In my view, and as I have explained it above, Synchronicity which involves like events separated by an enormous gulf of coincidence, is, essentially, of no import. Nothing has happened because I heard the song Lambada in two places, nor could it, conceivably. Whereas with providence, things happen for a particular reason. This reason may not be self-evident...may only come clear after some amount of time, but in hindsight it is obvious that one event led to another.

The story of how I met my wife is another example of this, but that's too long for this post.

On second thought, perhaps the Lambada synchronicity is providential...because it, among other things, inspired me to start blogging again. I had been tempted to begin anew for a while now, but hadn't actually gone ahead and done so, but this coincidence inspired me to make my (hopefully triumphant) return. There have been other motivating factors, but I'll save those for another post as well. And while I'm at it, discovering the song through Buffalax is providential as well, because without his crazy lyrics, I wouldn't have been able to make the connection. So I guess it is all connected! XD

Welcome back to you and to me.


* This is my own personal definition. Wikipedia doesn't mention metaphysics.

** This is how the concept was explained to me way back in high school Chemistry, and due to its simplicity it has stuck with me ever since. Wikipedia will give you a more complicated and much less simple answer. If you dig around you will find this definition buried within the entry of "Social entropy": "disorder increases with time"...same idea, but I like my definition better. It just seems more...elegant.

***This definition is accurate. Wikipedia will drown you in philosophy and comparative religions and such, but I prefer elegance in simplicity.

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