The world is full of coincidence. Scientist Camille Flammarion wrote about when an essay he was writing about the wind blew out of his window and was lost. It actually fell in front of a print worker who took it to work and printed it off for him.
Actor Anthony Hopkins once found a novel of a film he was about to work on on a bench. It turned out to be an annotated version by the writer of the novel.
From a policeman who answered a phone in a factory he was checking, only to find his friend on the line, to the man who ended up carrying out the exact first aid on a policeman that the policeman had carried out on him years earlier, coincidences are the spice of life.
Arthur Koestler put them down to puns of destiny, whilst Charles Fort put them down to the Cosmic Joker. Paul Kammerer, on the other hand, suggested that life naturally provides congregations of related events in a process he called seriality.
Coincidence is a process whereby events become linked in some meaningful way without meaning behind it. Chance, it seems, throws up situations that imply meaning, but this is only our mind grasping for answers and order when they don’t exist.
At least, that is the rational answer. Applied to the unexplained, meaning can so easily be grasped, suggesting telepathy or premonition at work, when in reality, it is inevitable that groupings of events will happen, with nothing paranormal actually occurring.
Another way of looking at it is to say that chance, itself, is ordered. As such, the universe conspires to produce fortuitous, or disastrous, coincidences while attuned to your mind. Good or bad luck can be the outcome, with runs of linked events.
Carl Jung devised the term ‘synchronicity’ to pinpoint such meaningful coincidence. But if a theory can ever be devised to put real meaning into coincidence, then much of the paranormal could be explained in a stroke.
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