Bird Droppings August 11, 2021
The synchronicity saga and or saga of synchronicity
My morning was a series of events literally intended but at the same time filled with moments of coincidence. I checked my phone as I do first thing for emails and various social media posts. A dear friend from New Brunswick Canada had posted a beautiful quote. She does not get on social media often and only to post profound thoughts it seems.
“I asked the leaf whether it was frightened because it was autumn, and the other leaves were falling. The leaf told me, “No. During the whole spring and summer, I was completely alive. I worked hard to help nourish the tree, and now much of me is in the tree. I am not limited by this form. I am also the whole tree, and when I go back to the soil, I will continue to nourish the tree. So, I don’t worry at all. As I leave this branch and float to the ground, I will wave to the tree and tell her, ‘I will see you again very soon’. That day there was a wind blowing and, after a while, I saw the leaf leave the branch and float down to the soil, dancing joyfully, because as it floated it saw itself already there in the tree. It was so happy. I bowed my head, knowing that I have a lot to learn from the leaf.” Thich Nhat Hanh
My day was not set in stone but that thought inspired me to do some work in my herb garden first thing. I proceeded to move plants from a temporary bed to my herb garden after I had spent several days cleaning it out. By chance I skipped breakfast and literally was fasting as well. I sat on my back porch and smudged some white sage and gave thanks for some moments. After smudging I went and did my morning swimming which I do every day. As I walked in our pool a hummingbird came to the feeder nearest the pool. She was feeding and sitting on nearby branches until another hummingbird showed up. A bit of a hummingbird war ensued, and I was four feet away. After completing my swim, I did my morning Kroger run and had some brunch. I seldom go to IHOP but did this morning. I talked with the waitress about all that is going on and as I left wished her a good day. My stop at Kroger was as always, the high point of my day. I have a routine get my veggies, then meat and so forth. I have had as students several of the Kroger cashiers and sackers. As I was checking out, I got talking to the cashier at the self-checkout. She was a bit disheveled and said it had been a busy day so far. As I headed out again, I wished her a beautiful day and she said and you as well.
My morning was immersed in the four directions, and I was at first simply following moments in my thinking. But as the morning progressed Earth, Fire, Air, and water were all involved. Coincidences perhaps?
I write often of coincidence a seemingly boring topic to some. To me it is a never-ending saga of special moments one after the other. During a college graduate class, we discussed science and measuring of data. Intuition and coincidence, it seems are difficult commodities to evaluate. Many years ago, Carl Jung split with Sigmund Freud over similar matters and coined the word synchronicity. Several years ago, as I was talking it seems sometimes, I never stop I was drawn to the door of my room on B-hall and as I stepped out a friend passed by exactly as I stepped to the door. There was a friend with a problem. If I had been a few seconds later a moment later and that friend would have already passed my room. I was drawn to the door like a moth to a flame. That specific moment I wondered was I meant to interfere to get involved in the problem or simply to offer advice or questions, was it coincidence, perhaps simply a chance happening, or was it synchronicity as Jung would proclaim.
“The images of the unconscious place a great responsibility upon a man. Failure to understand them, or a shirking of ethical responsibility, deprives him of his wholeness and imposes a painful fragmentariness on his life.” Carl Jung
“Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.” Eric Fromm
Which direction do we go as we try and unravel the human condition the frail substance about which we have evolved from. Can we separate out and categorize, analyze and measure that which makes us human versus a pack animal.
“Man may be defined as the animal that can say “I,” that can be aware of himself as a separate entity. “ Eric Fromm
“The mind is like an iceberg; it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water.” Sigmund Freud
“The path of least resistance and least trouble is a mental rut already made. It requires troublesome work to undertake the alternation of old beliefs. Self-conceit often regards it as a sign of weakness to admit that a belief to which we have once committed ourselves is wrong. We get so identified with the idea that it is literally a “pet” notion, and we rise to its defense and stop our eyes and ears to anything different.” John Dewey
When beset with an issue or problem we so often fall victim to the easiest route the way of “least resistance least trouble” as John Dewey would say. Years ago, in a book on Loss Control management my father used the illustration of an iceberg we only see one-seventh of the problem. We too as we journey through life are only one-seventh visible. There are sixth sevenths that stay hidden away secreted somewhere from view.
“Thus, we see that the all-important thing is not killing or giving life, drinking or not drinking, living in the town or the country, being unlucky or lucky, winning or losing. It is how we win, how we lose, how we live or die, finally, how we choose.” R. H. Blyth
It is how we choose that is important. Each day for several years since I began this morning endeavor I have talked of the journey in life. I had used as a screen saver my son’s image crossing a stream in north Georgia stepping stone by stone across a rippling rolling stream. My son is soaking wet and could have just as easily walked the stream and avoid falling from the rocks he was wet already, but he chose to step on the slippery rocks. The challenge for him was doing it, making the journey not simply surviving.
“Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease a herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence.” Mourning Dove – Salish
This becomes a difficult task trying to explain how the problem has a purpose how a human issue has reason in the world of measurement where non-measuring is constant and so often the point. I can never find the distance between the stones of the stream as my son’s footsteps fall crossing rock by rock.
“You can never cross a stream the same way twice” Zen saying
“Traditional people of Indian nations have interpreted the two roads that face the light-skinned race as the road to technology and the road to spirituality. We feel that the road to technology…. has led modern society to a damaged and seared earth. Could it be that the road to technology represents a rush to destruction and that the road to spirituality represents the slower path that the traditional native people have traveled and are now seeking again? The earth is not scorched on this trail. The grass is still growing there.” William Commanda, Mamiwinini, Canada, 1991
Going from a single person’s problem to that of the North Slope of Alaska may seem a stretch. But as we journey in life we essentially do not get to replay our hand once we lay the cards upon the table. Yesterday by chance somewhere before 4:00 AM I was reading an old National Geographic and how the oil fields are so enticing in the Wilds of Alaska. After nearly fifteen years of protection the last administration tried to open the area for oil exploration and the current administration shut it down again. Greedy people see only money. Others see loss of habitat wildlife and wilderness that can never be replaced. Another amazing coincidence this morning I could not pull this up it literally disappeared and I wrote another piece which I emailed instead yesterday as I look at each it was time for this one today and now for this a good follow up, peace my friends and have a good evening and please keep all in harm’s way on your minds and in your hearts and always give thanks namaste.
My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
(We are all related)