Synchronicity — The Way Life Is
Over 20 years ago I was exposed to the idea of synchronicity as suggested perhaps by Carl Jung – things happening in seemingly mysterious ways at just the opportune time. I was captivated by Deepak Chopra’s tape series Synchrodestiny (1993) as well as Joseph Jaworski’s early book Synchronicity. Jaworski has connected up with people like Peter Senge and Otto Scharmer to create other books such as their 2008 title Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future or Jaworski’s 2012 Source: The Inner Path of Knowledge Creation. This latter ties directly into writings in my own spiritual path in writings like Pathwork Lecture 149 titled: Cosmic Pull Toward Union – Frustration, which speaks of our growing beyond our identification with our dualistic manifest consciousness and identifying instead with Source as our eternal Essence. Of course we experience frustration too because of our humanity, but at our essence we are Source. All of this is up for me these days. And thrills my Soul.
Twenty years ago I could see synchronistic occurrences and smile. These would suggest more at play than that of which my conscious mind was aware. For example, consider a time in my early fifties, a time when I had finished my leadership roles at SDRC, the United Way, St. Paul Church and other organizations. One Sunday morning I, as an usher, was sitting in the back of church daydreaming in and out during the sermon. Suddenly a strange vision came. In it I was in a band and God was the director. In the vision I was searching for my spot in the band. I tried the first chair trumpet, and then the first chair trombone, and then first chair clarinet. Nothing seemed to fit. What role would be mine? Meanwhile God was waiting patiently, tapping his baton lightly on the music podium. Finally God said, “Could the third chair clarinetist please take his seat so we can get started?” Instantly I got it. I was through with being first chair anything. It was time to be third chair clarinet. I could relax into this and back off from leadership roles as my only calling in life. This synchronistic occurrence stuck with me for years before I could finally settle in to my role as third chair clarinetist and be fulfilled in these less visible roles. The pressure for leadership was taken off my shoulders. But of course this lesson has not yet been learned or followed entirely!
Indulge me with another significant event that would reshape my entire spiritual life. It was August of 2000. I was signed up for a one-week directed retreat. I had requested to have Julie Murray as my director for this retreat, but she refused on the basis that she was the spiritual director of my then-business partner Pat. This would have been a boundary violation for her. Rather, I was to have Elmer for my director. I was disappointed, but surrendered. Then the night before the retreat I got a phone call from the organizer. Elmer was sick and I would “have to have” Julie Murray as my director for the retreat. Julie accepted this “divine intervention” as a sign that she was to be my retreat director after all.
I had my first session with her on day one of the retreat. Within hours of it I fell apart and was in fear and confusion. I had left my wife in May of that year, left my church of over 50 years the year before, and had retired from my 29-year career with SDRC two years before that. All that had framed my life and given it meaning was gone – gone because I had chosen to give it up. Now, in August of 2000 I seemed utterly lost in my life. Julie was shocked when I came to my second session the next day. After hearing where I was she said, “Gary, you are most serious about your spiritual path. But you need an incredible amount of help! The only place for you to get the level of help you need is Sevenoaks Pathwork Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, from a spiritual teacher named Donovan Thesenga.”
Six weeks later I attended my first workshop at Sevenoaks – and was most uncomfortable with the need for emotional transparency. Nevertheless, when the Pathwork teachers mentioned that they offered a five-year transformation program beginning in October I signed up immediately – mostly because of my hunger for spiritual help and because Julie was so strong in her recommendation. So month after month for five years I would get in my car and travel the 468-mile trek to Sevenoaks. And wouldn’t you know it but on this first session of the transformation program in October the first person I met lived just outside Cincinnati in Northern Kentucky. She was two years ahead of me and we were the only two people there from Cincinnati. Our 8-hour treks over and back filled us with times of great conversation during these first two years of the Pathwork Transformation Program. All of this falling into place because Elmer was sick in August! How could I think I am in control?
One other thing… When my last retreat session with Julie Murray ended she said, “I do not know why I am led to share this, but there is a quote that seems important for me to give you. It goes like this: There was an old man and a young man, and the young man asked, ‘And did you get what you wanted from this life after all?’ The old man responded, ‘Yes, I did.’ ‘And what would that be?’ ‘To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on this earth.’” Yes, the longing to feel myself beloved, indeed. These words stuck with me much of the first year but then left my awareness until the end of school year when a teacher came up to me and said, “Gary, I was coming back from my walk to river this morning and God seemed to be asking me to tell you that ‘You are my beloved son, in you I am well pleased.’” Of course instantly I was taken back to Julie’s comments and nearly brought to tears.
I am just now coming back from a three-day Pathwork workshop at Sevenoaks. I noticed that as I was in the workshop insight after insight would arise, each one coming at the perfect time and quite unexpectedly and from segments that were quite unrelated. I was amazed. Upon arriving home Pat spoke of her experience of the Cincinnati workshop she attended while I was in Virginia: Healing Attachment Wounds and Embracing the Authentic Self – DARe Module 1: The Dynamic Attachment Re-patterning Experience. Her workshop integrated perfectly with my Pathwork experiences over the weekend. From her workshop Pat recognized my Attachment Avoidance patterning brought on by no felt experience of love from Mom. This was precisely where I was at my Pathwork workshop over the weekend. And again, my Soul is blown away with gratitude.
In reflecting on this I saw that perhaps synchronicity is not an every once in a while occurrence. Perhaps synchronicity is how we experience all of life as we awaken to life. Perhaps in the end all there is is synchronicity. Or rather there is never synchronicity but rather all of life is the natural spontaneous blossoming from Source, of which we are a part in our Essence. This awareness fills me with joy. Since Source never dies, when I experience myself as Source I, too, never die. Oh my manifest form of who I think Gary is dies, but not that Essence of Gary that goes on and on – experiencing and surrendering to the “Cosmic Pull of Union” lifetime after lifetime. And, of course, experiencing frustration while living and learning in dualistic consciousness in this manifest place called Earth.
A prayer arises in me. “May I open more and more fully in surrender to the Cosmic Pull of Union, and experience the thrill of the Journey of Life as my Essence blossoms in all its dimensions, including the dimension of Love. Pat and I await this arising in both of us.
Shared in love, Gary