Synchronicity Only Explains So Much
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Jim Harold recounts three times he’s received what seems to be a supernatural message after losing a loved one, and one serendipitous coincidence that may have saved his life, but what is the meaning of these synchronicities?
Synchronicity refers to two or more events that seem to be related simultaneously occurring at the same time. And our guest today has had multiple, strange synchronicities happen in his life. Are these events merely coincidental, or is there something larger at play? Decide for yourself as we interview one of the original paranormal podcasters, Jim Harold.
AI-generated transcript of this episode available upon request.
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About the Guest, Jim Harold
Jim Harold is the creator of several podcasts, including The Paranormal Podcast, Jim Harold’s Campfire, Unpleasant Dreams, and You Won’t Believe What Happened To Me. And those are just the paranormal ones. Jim also has podcasts discussing true crime, classic TV shows, and relationships. He’s not exclusively into audio, either. Check out his YouTube channel, several books of true ghost stories, and even a true ghost story coloring book for grown-ups.
What is Serendipity?
Serendipity involves unexpectedly happening upon something of interest, relevance, or value, and having the wisdom to recognize that value within an entirely different context or application. You might be pondering a problem, and find the answer in the graffiti on a highway overpass, that you only witnessed because your normal route was under construction. Or you might, in the course of developing a new drug, accidentally get some in your mouth, and discover the next big artificial sweetener.
We notice serendipities because it’s part of human nature to search for patterns. We humans automatically notice patterns, even within randomness. In design, it’s nearly impossible to create a design that truly appears “random.” That’s because we are so good at identifying patterns and assigning meanings. Common phenomena like Blue Ford Syndrome and pareidolia remind us that most serendipities we notice are just noticeable because they are outliers within the normal chaos.
The word is fairly new, and based on a Persian fairy tale called The Three Princes of Serendip. This week, our Apple Premium and Patreon subscribers will get to hear Diana tell her own version of this out of print, oft-translated fable.
Serendipity vs. Synchronicity and their Relation to the Paranormal
Whereas serendipity is the ability to glean a relevant eureka moment from an unexpected source, synchronicity is more about timing. As my etymology peeps will appreciate, Chronos refers to Father Time, and the rest of the word, Syn+City refers to Las Vegas, NV. But although you and I know that truth, Psychology Today claims that synchronicity is a Jungian term. “Synchronicity, as an acausal connecting principle, suggests that the shared meaning between two low-probability events had something to do with explaining why they happened.”
Either term potentially implies that a coincidence is more than just a coincidence; synchronicity exclusively so. Serendipities usually result in objectively practical external outcomes, but their causality can be dismissed as coincidental. Synchronicities are, by definition, not mere coincidence. Synchronicities tend to have mainly subjective internal emotional intrigue. The events themselves may hold no inherent value or useful outcome. Rather, it is their connection which is relevant to the study of epistemological metaphysics.
One might say that serendipity is similar to receiving a mystical sign from the universe. But another might argue that the wonder of serendipity lies within the human ability to recognize the relevance of the serendipitous discovery from within in a completely irrelevant context. Synchronicity by necessity uses the simultaneous happening of rare events to imply a supernatural connection between the two.
What can you do with your haunted mirror?
This episode sparked a little debate between haunted mirror owners. If you find yourself in possession (no pun intended) of a cursed mirror, would you keep it? Or would you get rid of it? And how? If you’re in the “get rid of it” camp, it’s not a simple decision. Breaking it comes with bad luck. Burning glass doesn’t work so well. But selling it or giving it away involves inadvertently cursing someone else. Patrons will get a bonus this week of Becky and Diana’s best hot tips on how to get rid of a cursed mirror like the one in this episode without calamitous results.
Have you taken a paranormal cruise?
Is it anything like we imagined? NO??? Sounds like it’s time for us to start a Go Fund Me to buy a cruise ship. Let’s make this nightmare a reality.
Have you experienced a serendipity or synchronicity that bordered on supernatural?
We love the concept of synchronicity, and are fully open to believing that some serendipities are supernatural in nature. Tell us about your synchronicities by finding us on social using those buttons down at the bottom of the page. Or submit your story if you’d like to tell it in an episode. We appreciate you sharing so we can all have a spooky day!