I have noticed that I often have the same thoughts as people around me and many of the things that come to mind end up happening shortly after. To what extent does my thinking cause these phenomena?
I suggest we use the word synchronicity. Some very important observations arise from the experience of synchronicity.
As the word suggests, synchronicity is not cause and effect. One of our most fundamental errors as humans is that we continually ascribe cause and effect to phenomena. We seek to explain what happens in terms of cause and effect especially when one event follows another. Why? Because it gives us comfort, it ‘explains’ things, justifies them, providing a false sense of certainty, or at least, a sense of order rather than randomness. But relating one thing to another in this simplistic way leads to all kinds of confusion. An understanding of synchronicity enables us to step out of this very limiting frame and into a wider and more magical universe.
One of my teachers used to say: Masters understand synchronicity while slaves imagine cause and effect.
What is the correct understanding of synchronicity?
It appears to me that the phenomena of this world travel in currents. Things of like nature occur together. Phenomena that have similar sensations, perceptions and ideas flow together along the same path. One of these currents will attract the attention of certain individuals who then travel within it and share similar experiences.
It is important to see that there is a compatibility between the people and the phenomena that draws them together and reinforces the view. We are attracted to what we can see and experience. Another person’s experience may be opaque to us and so we cannot travel with them. The shared phenomena gather force from the power of collective attention. This school is one such current.
There are many currents flowing and unfolding at any given time. You may participate, consciously or unconsciously, in several of them, subjecting yourself to cross-currents which are nonetheless distinguishable in their separateness although they may also influence each other.
The master knows what currents s/he is in, the direction they are taking and what is likely to occur. Please understand that this knowledge is not certain and exact but it is workable. Chance also plays a part in what happens as well as the impact of currents we do not sense or feel.
What sets the master apart is the ability to take everything impersonally, as data. This makes it possible to know and use the available currents. Then, a current can be used to take you where you need to go, like hopping a ride, or to bring you what is required. Similarly, you may refuse to participate in a stream that is flowing in the wrong direction, away from your aim. Discernment is critical.
The master is master of self, first and foremost. In the beginning, mastery is a path opposing ordinary life because it requires no longer reacting in an automatic way, no longer taking things personally. But this does not mean isolating yourself in your own world. The master does not accomplish aims by pushing against life. There is not enough force to continually swim against the stream, it is too expensive in terms of inner resources. And as we have learned, the pushing force evokes more opposition. So the master uses the streams that are already moving in a helpful direction. This is a matter of sensing more than thinking.
Does this relate in some way to Easter?
I think so. In my view, Jesus was a very great master. He knowingly stepped into a very great confluence of currents which formed the perfect basis for the invocation He intended. His life was a pageant which aimed to invoke something new and very great into the human sphere. He connected the currents of the Roman world, the Jewish traditions and Hellenism with humanity’s need for a new beginning. His was the ultimate agreement and His invocation continues to resound in a most extraordinary way after 2000 years, although the religions established in His name may be waning.