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  • Linda Odhner, with photos by Liz Kufs

Excerpted Inspirations #36

"It's taken me some time to be comfortable using the term synchronicity, Jung's term for the curious way in which ordinary, external reality can suddenly click into alignment with one's inner, archetypal world. When I first heard of the phenomenon I thought I was being asked to believe synchronicities are planted in front of us by an unseen hand like clues in a cosmic scavenger hunt. This was way too anthropomorphic for my taste. But gradually I came to understand that these events, or recognitions, have to do with something mystics have always tried to convey: that the knowledge and the truth and clarity we are seeking isn't 'out there' at all, but deep inside. Certain insights want to break out into daylight, but we hold them down, fearing the kind of change that might take place if we knew them experientially and all at once. Down through time, we've evolved different methods by which they can emerge, in small, manageable doses. We throw the I Ching, we deal out tarot cards, we analyze our dreams, and through these fissures in ordinary logic we can in effect nudge ourselves along -- Self talking to self in a heavily coded language.


"Perceptions of synchronicity work, I believe, in about the same way. When a message wants to move from the unconscious to the conscious level, we experience a kind of turbulence first, the flutters that signal disequilibrium. Finally, though, something in us manages to paint it across the very landscape, where we can't help but read it, and we draw from that reading the courage to strike out into the wilderness and make up our new maps as we go along."

-Carol Lee Flinders, At the Root of This Longing: Reconciling a Spiritual Hunger and a Feminist Thirst (1998) pp. 14-15

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