Sri Aurobindo on synchronicity

The eminent Swiss psychologist Carl Jung coined the term synchronicity to describe what he called “temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events“.  A disciple of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Nirodbaran, once experienced this type of uncanny acausal coincidence.  In this brief post, we read Sri Aurobindo’s explanation of synchronicity.  Synchronous events occur because, unbeknownst to us, we are eternally in communion with the people around us through the inner sheaths of our consciousness, and sometimes those hidden perceptions float to the surface, making us respond in some striking fortuitous manner which our plodding reasoning mind would not have otherwise exhibited.

Photobomb : Author unknown

Nirodbaran: A strange incident occurred today. Dr. Becharlal and I worked as usual in the dispensary. After the day’s work we shut the doors and went out — Dr. Becharlal to the pier for his habitual walk, and I to X’s place. J also went to the pier at this time. But he somehow did not enjoy his stroll and instead had, what he called, “a very repulsive feeling” when he arrived at the pier, and distinctly felt that he should go back to the dispensary. When he went there, he found a number of people collected near the entrance, knocking at the door; they were waiting for me. J inquired what had happened, and was told that B. P. had been stung by a scorpion and required immediate medical help. He at once hastened to fetch me. I asked him to find Dr. Becharlal, and bring him also to the dispensary. He went towards the pier looking for the doctor. After going a little distance he met Dr. Becharlal, who was returning without finishing his walk; he said that somehow he did not feel like going to the pier that day. I am a little baffled by the whole incident. Are these just accidents?

Sri Aurobindo: No, of course not. But they seem so to all who live in the outward vision only. “Coincidence the scientists do them call.” But anyone with some intelligence and power of observation who lives more in an inward consciousness can see the play of invisible forces at every step which act on men and bring about events without their knowing about the instrumentation. The difference created by Yoga or by an inner consciousness — for there are people like Socrates who develop or have some inner awareness without Yoga — is that one becomes conscious of these invisible forces and can also consciously profit by them or use and direct them. That is all.

These things manifest differently, in a different form or transcription, in different people. If it had been Socrates and not Becharlal who was there,— which would have been useless as he was no doctor and highly inconvenient to you as he would certainly have turned the tables on you and avenged me by cross-examining you every day and passing you through a mill of philosophical conundrums and unanswerable questions — but still if he had been there, he would have felt it as an intimation from his daemon, “Turn back, Socrates; it is at the Ashram that you ought to be now“. Another might have felt an intuition that something was up at the Ashram. Yet another would have heard a voice or suggestion saying “If you went back at once it would be useful“— or simply “Go back, back; quick, quick!” without any reason. A fourth would have seen a scorpion wriggling about with its sting ready. A fifth would have seen the agonised face of B. P. and wondered whether he had a toothache or a stomachache.  In Becharlal’ s case it was simply an unfelt force that changed his mind in a way that seemed casual but was purposeful, and this obscure way is the one in which it acts most often with most people. So that’s thus. [1]

The capricious spark of intuition which is briefly flashed during occurrences of synchronicity ripens in self-realized sages into the highly refined powers (Siddhis) called Prakamya and Vyapti .  It is through Prakamya that one gains knowledge of “the present states of mind, feeling, sensation etc of others” and it is with Vyapti that we “communicate anything we have in our systems, thought, feeling, power, etc, to another”[2].   As Sri Aurobindo explained, “every thought, feeling, sensation or other movement of consciousness in us creates a wave or current which carries it out into the world-consciousness around and there it enters into any person who is able and allowed to receive it.  Half at least of our habitual thoughts and feelings are such unconscious borrowings.”[2]

References

  1. Nirodbaran. Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo, page 306.
  2. Sri Aurobindo.  Record of Yoga, p 20.

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18 thoughts on “Sri Aurobindo on synchronicity

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  6. Sandeep Post author

    Some verses related to synchronity


    Oracles that break out from behind the shrine,
    Warnings from the daemonic inner voice
    And peeps and lightning-leaps of prophecy
    And intimations to the inner ear,
    Abrupt interventions stark and absolute
    And the Superconscient’s unaccountable acts,
    Have woven her balanced web of miracles
    And the weird technique of her tremendous art.
    This bizarre kingdom passed into his charge.

    (Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book I, Canto V)

    Reply
    1. ipsa

      She sports a Truth that is not circumscribed by by external law; it functions in its sovereign sway; thought born not in the little limited human mind, but in the world of the immortals. As you know, in every shrine or temple where there are oracles, speech usually emanates from a source that is invisible—behind the scene. She has these oracles—prophecies in her repertoire. Those who know the story of Socrates are familiar with his daemon voice. Daemon is the inner soul, it speaks from within, warns when you are likely to go wrong. Now this daemon is different from demoniac. Demon is rākshasa, but daemon is something related to the antarātman. Indications of what is going to be and intimations from within come to our subtle inner ear. At times we are overtaken by abrupt interventions; bare and imperious influences and interventions come from the superconscient; they are not answerable to any logic or law; we cannot explain them. All these have oven the neat web of secret Nature’s miracles. If we have the proper consciousness to look into the workings of higher Nature, directly or through the miracles of Nature, we can see these precise operations. It is indeed an art—great and unimaginable—whose technique is unfamiliar to us and therefore looks weird.

      source:
      http://www.savitrithelightofthesupreme.org/blog/_archives/2010/12/5/4696262.html

      Reply
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  8. mike

    Yes, synchronicity certainly is weird. l know because l get a barrage of these things constantly.
    lt only really started getting intense when l came across a woman l believe is my twinsoul. Never even noticed these things before meeting her.
    Also, l haven’t come to this decision lightly [her being my twinsoul]. lt’s taken many years of discernment.
    There was never any real attraction to this woman. Never anything vital or physical – it just happened one day when l felt a weird click in my head as l was thinking about her, and then l was one with her consciousness [a complete stranger]. Ever since that experience l haven’t been able to forget her. My kundalini seemed to wake up and the anahata and ajna chakras started opening up. l’d see a burst of pinkish-white light at my heart centre which eventually formed a bridge of light going to her. My ajna centre [third eye] started vibrating rapidly and l could see two purple colored petals there.
    All sorts of synchronicities started happening [still are] with her, which are obviously engineered by some outside force. Occult visions of her started to take place – like seeing her face and eyes enveloping my face [lt feels like a warm embrace and l always feel better and stronger during this experience and a feeling of incredible love.Bear in mind l hardly know this person]. l’v also noticed that after l feel her presence things get done almost instantly. l might have a problem l’ve been working on for hours and suddenly she pops in lol, and it’s sorted straight away.
    Anyway, the synchronicities are way too many to mention and weird just doesn’t describe them, but l know what Sri Aurobindo means. ln fact l’ve seen and felt HIS presence during my contact with this woman.
    l am a little concerned that it’s not interference from false sources. Sri Aurobindo does say how they try to keep twinsouls apart – so they could easily engineer synchronicities or masquerade as anyone, l suppose.
    Any insight on this would be very welcome. Sorry to bore you all with my story.

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      Mike: Any insight on this would be very welcome.

      As you too may have noticed, once you have a spiritual opening, all kinds of experiences tend to occur and it is not easy to distinguish whether one is interpreting them correctly or just projecting one’s desires. In the Record of Yoga, we find Sri Aurobindo himself entertaining doubts about some of his experiences. There are cases where his vital desires seem to have gotten mixed with the trikaldrishti (i.e.vision of the future)

      I would suggest going for objective double-blind tests, the way scientists do. Ask a trusted friend to take some horoscopes (e.g. you, the supposed twin soul, and another random woman) to a few reputed astrologers and see if they detect any connection. (of course, there are those who don’t regard astrology as science, but that is another matter)

      Reply
      1. mwb6119Mark

        Sandeep said: As you too may have noticed, once you have a spiritual opening, all kinds of experiences tend to occur and it is not easy to distinguish whether one is interpreting them correctly or just projecting one’s desires.

        Sorry to post on something written so long ago, but I wanted to state that I too have spoken about some of my experiences here in this forum, with you Sandeep, incorrectly. It is very hard to distinguish what is happening and easy, very easy, to presume one is further along than one actually is. I am constantly correcting myself (after the said fact), and wish that someday I will be able to clarify with some certainty where I am in this spiritual process (in the least to myself for some sense of assurance). Presently, I can only loosely speculate my position.

        Thank You!

    2. Yaël

      Bon, si nous admettons que tout passe par la shakti, les énergies extérieures (le monde) et intérieures (celles de l’individu) doivent s’accorder plus ou moins. La correspondance (ou synchronicité) peut être entre un état de conscience et des événements concrets, entre un souhait et sa réalisation, entre une question et la réponse de la vie, entre deux personnes (comme ici), entre un vivant et un défunt, entre deux plans de conscience qui symbolisent les uns avec les autres et ainsi de suite… Mais derrière ces symboles, ces correspondances, ces coïncidences, il y a toujours la shakti à l’oeuvre, c’est toujours le résultat d’une combinaison de forces qui s’ajustent plus ou moins bien. Si nous sommes conscients, la correspondance des énergies externes et internes est plus facile, plus harmonieuse, en principe. Si nous sommes inconscients et imperméables aux leçons de la vie, il y a plus de frictions, plus d’accidents, c’est plus chaotique. Alors, si le monde vous semble chaotique, il ne faut pas trop s’étonner, n’est-ce pas ? L’harmonisation des énergies externes et internes accompagne, si vous voulez, la croissance et l’ouverture de la conscience. Si votre vie ressemble à un chantier de démolition ou si elle ressemble à une routine assommante, alors, il doit y avoir dans le fonctionnement de votre conscience quelque chose qui correspond à cette réalité objective et que les énergies traduisent à leur manière, douce ou brutale. Si c’est trop brutal à votre goût, demandez à Kali de se calmer ! Mais on ne peut pas généraliser, car certaines personnes très lumineuses souffrent beaucoup parce que leur âme profonde accepte cette souffrance pour une fin qui nous échappe (il y a tant de choses qui nous échappent !) Comme j’aime le répéter, le karma des bouddhistes explique la souffrance des coupables, mais la croix des chrétiens explique la souffrance des innocents… Sorry for my french, my english is impossible !

      Reply
      1. Sandeep Post author

        Yael : le karma des bouddhistes explique la souffrance des coupables, mais la croix des chrétiens explique la souffrance des innocents

        Interesting.. 🙂 For non-French blog readers, Yael says that the Karma of Buddhists explains the suffering of the guilty, while the suffering of the (Christian) Cross explains the suffering of the innocents.

  9. mike

    l always felt an attraction to Socrates [long before l knew about SA] and only found out recently that he was one of Sri Aurobindo’s past incarnations.

    Reply
  10. Helen Stewart

    Dear Participants, hello Sandeep — I am so glad I chanced upon this wonderful blog recently! I am really grateful for receiving your permission to quote , Sandeep . . .
    (just did that in my spiritspeaks-theofilia.blogspot.ca, blog) –

    Blessings to All! – Helen (theofilia, is my blog-name).

    Reply
  11. Owen Graham

    Hi, I wanted to point out that since the scorpion is the symbol for Scorpio, you might say this was a Scorpio event. I also looked up the name of the birthday of Nirodbaran (Sri Aurobindo’s doctor who is telling the story) and he was born on November 17th, the sign of Scorpio. So it was not only a Scorpio event from the scorpion but for the doctor who is a Scorpio. Since I think astrology works because of synchronicity, this is an interesting point.

    Thank you for this blog and entry. I am an avid reader.

    Reply
  12. mike

    Funnily enough l was just reading about another disciple with the same date of birth:

    Another weird synchronicity [God knows what it means, though lol].

    “Padmanabhan Counouma (17 November 1908—10 February 1991”

    “It is significant that Counouma’s birthday was on the same day as that of the Mother’s passing away, the 17th of November.

    hxxps://overmanfoundation.wordpress.com/2015/09/

    Reply

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