Heraclitus said (in paraphrase) that the deepest logic of our lives is a child playing with game pieces in another reality. As the game pieces fall, we notice the reverberations, in the play of coincidence.
When we pay attention, we’ll find that we are given signs by the world around us every day. Like a street sign, the play of coincidence may seem to say Stop or Go, Dead End or Fast Lane. And it gives us far more. We find ourselves moving in a field of symbolic resonance which not only reflects back our inner themes and preoccupations, but provides confirmation or course correction. A symbol is more than a sign: it brings together what we know with what we do not yet know.
So, through the workings of synchronicity, we are brought awake and alive to a hidden order of events, to the understory of our world and our lives. As in the scene in the movie The Matrix when the black cat crosses the room in the same way twice, riffs of coincidence (which I have termed reincidence) may teach us that consensual reality may be far less solid than we supposed.
Unlike Jung, I do not consider synchronicity to be an “acausal” phenomenon. Though there may be no apparent process of causation involved in the physical world, we are often roused to suspect that there is a deeper logic, and sometimes a hidden hand, involved.
I think the relationship between dreams and synchronicity is this. When we dream, we go beyond the curtain walls of our ordinary understanding. We get out there. We go near or far into other orders of reality where the rules of linear time and Newtonian physics do not apply. Through the play of meaningful coincidence, powers of the deeper reality come poking and probing through the walls of our consensual hallucinations to bring us awake. Sometimes they work to confirm or encourage us in a certain line of action; sometimes they intercede to knock us back and discourage us from persisting in the worst of our errors.
Coincidence cards from a game I invented. You’ll find the rules in my book The Three “Only” Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence and Imagination.