Coincidences that seem out of the ordinary yet meaningful are intriguing, amusing, mystical even. They can make us question our very existence in this human plane. How to interpret synchronicities like these? Here I share a step-by-step approach and insights from prominent writers on the subject of explaining coincidences.
How to Interpret Synchronicities
The following is about helping you with explaining coincidences. It incorporates concepts of the psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Bernard Beitman MD (1942–), Founder of Coincidence Studies,1 the psychoanalyst Gibbs Williams, Ph.D. 2, and author Paulo Coelho. 3
So, How Do You Explain Coincidences?
How to interpret synchronicity? Start by recording each synchronistic event in a journal noting how you felt, elements with a common meaning, how it happened, and possible future significance. Look for patterns/associations with key elements to help you interpret the meaning. Take time for deliberation. Meditate.
Meditation can open your intuition channels. While in an alpha state of mind, ask the question and let your intuition guide you. The answer may not be clear at first. Just let it go. Expect the answer to come out of the blue…an ‘ah-ha’ moment…like a spiritual awakening.
Only you have the power to know the true meaning of the synchronicity.
Why Keep a Journal
Beitman proposes keeping a diary to help you with objectivity. With a diary or journal, you can look for any emerging patterns over time. It allows you to step back from the situation and let the free flow of ideas emerge.
The psychophysical event includes the observer just as much as the reality underlying the I Ching comprises subjective, i.e., psychic conditions in the totality of the momentary situation.Carl Jung, Foreword to the I Ching
According to Beitman, you are the expert and only you can explain the meaning of the coincidences. It’s your destiny to discover it so to speak. Though, consulting with a third party may help you with self-reflection.
What to add to your journal on Explaining Synchronicity
In terms of how to interpret synchronicities listed in your journal, Beitman (2015) recommends looking at four aspects of the meaning to the coincidence. From these, arise the following …
The four parameters to help you analyze coincidences:
What was it that you made you wonder resulting in a feeling of meaningfulness.
Rate the degree of similarity (e.g. low, medium, high) between two or more elements signifying the same idea or object. Reflect on common meanings.
The event triggered you to ponder on what it meant. How did it happen? Is there a logical explanation? Could it be a shared consciousness, between two connected people? Was there something that made you feel you manifested it or attracted it through thought or actions?
Your insight might be to strengthen bonds, to listen more to your intuition, or resolve some personal implications for the future. Is it something regarding a decision, a new possibility, course of action?
For more depth on the effect of synchronicity in your life, Beitman offers a coincidence scale to rate your connection to it in his book Connecting With Coincidence, available at Amazon.
Interpret Coincidences As Waking Dreams
Then there is the work of psychoanalyst, Gibbs A. Williams,2
Williams considers synchronicities to be waking dreams and so interpretation is similar to that of analyzing dreams.
This means picking out the key elements of the synchronicity and finding an association with each. The connection to the elements leads to the answer to the problem or conflict.
Interpret Coincidences Using Your Intuition
Paulo Coelho 3, the author of The Alchemist, regards coincidence a language. And, the key to understanding this language is intuition.
I wrote about ways to spark intuition in a previous article that could help here. Interestingly, one way I mentioned was to keep a diary of events, similar to those suggested by Beitman.
This has been brief, but it gives some basis to start your own analysis. I intend doing so in my own understanding of the synchronicities I mentioned in my article on signs of synchronicity.
Having a ‘coincidence journal’ appears as a key approach recommended by professionals towards unraveling any obscure meanings. I’ll give updates here as I find more professional wisdom and progress in my journey of discovery.
- Beitman, B. 2016. Connecting With Coincidence – The New Science For Using Synchronicity and Serendipity in Your Life. Health Communications Inc. Florida.
- Williams, Gibbs A. 2010. Demystifying Meaningful Coincidences (Synchronicities): The Evolving Self, the Personal Unconscious, and the Creative Process. Lanham, Md. : Jason Aronson.
- Coelho, P., Clarke, A., & Smith, J. N. (2014). The Alchemist. Harper Collins.