Sorry–thought I had added a couple of my examples here but maybe it was in a forgettable past post, so I’ll add here, too.


  SERENDIPITY – ONE:  My daughter Lili was curious about the IChing so I threw one for her.  Of all the possibilities of syllable pairing, it came up with LiLi,  so I threw one again and it, too, came up with LiLi….



SYNCHRONICITY – TWO:  When my youngest daughter was born in 1971 diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome and a common heart defect , I was told there was nothing that could be done about it, that she would gradually grow weaker and die, possibly about the age of 5 or 6.  When she was about four  I searched and found a planned secluded Quaker community in the mountains of North Carolina which I felt would be safe and began to make preparations for our family to move there. (It may have been as much for me as for her and my other children, because I’d always assumed I’d completely decompensate when she died). I placed a long-distance call to the landlord of a cottage I had been referred to there and he turned out to be a doctor. When I told him about my terminal daughter, he informed me that a heart procedure had recently been developed and that it might repair her heart defect.  (My pediatrician had not informed me of this). As it turned out, the operation was successfully  carried out at Emory’s Egglestone Children’s Hospital  several blocks from our family home in Atlanta, Georgia.   If we had waited much longer before learning of the surgical innovation, it would have been too late, because of deteriorations in her heart. I BELIEVE THIS WOULD BE AN INSTANCE OF SYNCHRONICITY..


SYNCHRONICITY – THREE:  I had recently gotten my Ph.D., was unable to find a professional job in our city, had been offered a position at a Mental Health Center in another state, was divorced and had 4 children in different schools and had my house up for sale, when on Friday night my ex told me he was going to file an injunction keeping me from leaving the state with the children to start my new job.  Serendipitiously and synchronistically,  my house closing had been scheduled for Monday morning, so in a mad dash Monday morning early I picked up all 4 children from different schools, asked a friend to watch the children and meet me in the parking lot at the Unitarian Church after lunch, met for a brief goodbye with two long-term clients, signed at the house closing, and hightailed it to my new job in another state with the children, one of whom had undergone open heart surgery the month before.   There’s a little more excitement in the story, but it would make this entry too long.  If my ex had not said what he did on that day, if it had not been for the weekend to get ready, and if the house closing had not already been scheduled for Monday,  my whole life would have come tumbling down.  Guardian Angel?  I guess it’s called synchronicity.


Jung’s belief was that, just as events may be connected by causality, they may also be connected by meaning.

SYNCHRONICITY – FOUR  (Recent)  Blue People —  My daughters and I visited my cousin in north Georgia recently and in describing a friend of my daughter’s,  another of my daughters mentioned that he was one of the blue people of Kentucky, where upon my cousin emitted a startle response.  Wow, she had never heard of the blue people until two days prior, and the second time she had heard of them was yesterday, and the third time today!  What are the odds on that?


SYNCHRONICITY – FIVE  (Recent)  Parakeets —  My granddaughter said she wanted to go to the animal shelter, and so they did.  On the way she said she wanted a bird.  Of course, there are no birds in a dog shelter, but when they arrived a cage with 3 parakeets was sitting there–had just been dropped off by an older couple that didn’t want birds.  She got her wish, and they make a lot of noise.


I hope others might add their examples to my home page and I can add them here (I hope).  If you comment, I can move it up toward the top (I  hope)

I have to turn to Wikipedia for a definition of this page title, because my own dictionary and the book itself are up on an unreachable shelf in anticipation of the carpet man, who is going to put new carpet down following the passing of my dear cat “Lucky,” whose name was not a serendipity but maybe a curse, because after several years he became blind and deaf, and had trouble finding his pee pad.  He was happy, though, being able to find his way up on our bed and to his food.  But then he began obviously failing (after a happy two years) and thus the new carpet.

 Wikipedia tells us: Serendipity is an accidental lucky discovery. Also, in case you’re curious, there’s  Serendipity (film), 2001 film starring Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack;Serendipity (book series), written by Stephen Cosgrove etc…. 

Seriously, Serendipity means a “fortunate happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”.  The first noted use of “serendipity” (meaning pleasant surprise) in the English language was by Horace Walpole (1717–1797). In a letter to Horace Mann (dated 28 January 1754) he said he formed it from the Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip, whose heroes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of”. The name comes from Serendip, an old name for Sri Lanka (aka Ceylon), from Tamil Ceralamdivu, Sanskrit Simhaladvipa and Persian Sarandīp (سرندیپ). Parts of Sri Lanka were under the rule of Tamil kings for extended periods of time in history. Kings of Kerala, India (Cheranadu), were called Ceran Kings and divu, tivu or dheep, which means island. The island belonging to the Chera King was called Cherandeep, hence Sarandib by Arab traders.

The notion of serendipity is a common occurrence throughout the history of scientific innovation such as Alexander Fleming‘s accidental discovery of penicillin in 1928, the invention of the microwave oven by Percy Spencer in 1945, and the invention of the Post-it note by Spencer Silver in 1968.  Serendipity is not just a matter of a random event, nor can it be taken simply as a synonym for “a happy accident” (Ferguson, 1999; Khan, 1999), “finding out things without being searching for them” (Austin, 2003), or “a pleasant surprise” (Tolson, 2004). The New Oxford Dictionary of English defines serendipity as the occurrence and development of events by chance in a satisfactory or beneficial way, understanding the chance as any event that takes place in the absence of any obvious project (randomly or accidentally), which is not relevant to any present need, or in which the cause is unknown.  Innovations presented as examples of serendipity have an important characteristic: they were made by individuals able to “see bridges where others saw holes” and connect events creatively, based on the perception of a significant link. The chance is an event, serendipity a capacity. The Nobel Prize laureate Paul Flory suggests that significant inventions are not mere accidents.  Serendipity and scientific discoveries —role of chance in scientific discoveries.  The serendipitous can play an important role in the search for truth, but is often ignored in the scientific literature because of traditional scientific behavior and scientific thinking based on logic and predictability.  Successful researchers can observe scientific results with careful attention to analyzing a phenomenon under the most diverse and different perspectives. They can question themselves on assumptions that do not fit with empirical observations. Realizing that serendipitous events can generate important research ideas, these researchers recognize and appreciate the unexpected, encouraging their assistants to observe and discuss unexpected events.  Serendipity can be achieved in groups where a ‘critical mass’ of multidisciplinary scientists work together in an environment that fosters communication, establishing the idea that the work and the interest of a researcher can be shared with others who may find a new application for new knowledge. Various thinkers discuss the role that luck can play in science. One aspect of Walpole’s original definition of serendipity, often missed in modern discussions of the word, is the need for an individual to be “sagacious” enough to link together apparently innocuous facts in order to come to a valuable conclusion. Indeed, the scientific method, and the scientists themselves, can be prepared in many other ways to harness luck and make discoveries.

SYNCHRONICITY  – From Psychology Today  Aug 12, 2015 – Jung’s Scarab  Psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung brought us the term “synchronicity,” which literally means “falling together in time.” Synchronicity describes the surprise that occurs when a thought in the mind is mirrored by an external event to which it has no apparent causal connection.  From Wikipedia: Synchronicity is a concept, first explained by psychiatrist Carl Jung, which holds that events are “meaningful coincidences” if they occur with no causal relationship, yet seem to be meaningfully related. During his career, Jung furnished several slightly different definitions of it.  Jung variously defined synchronicity as an “acausal connecting (togetherness) principle,” “meaningful coincidence”, and “acausal parallelism.” He introduced the concept as early as the 1920s but gave a full statement of it only in 1951 in an Eranos lecture.  In 1952, he published a paper Synchronizität als ein Prinzip akausaler Zusammenhänge (Synchronicity – An Acausal Connecting Principle) in a volume which also contained a related study by the physicist and Nobel laureate Wolfgang Pauli.

Jung’s belief was that, just as events may be connected by causality, they may also be connected by meaning. Events connected by meaning need not have an explanation in terms of causality. This contradicts the Axiom of Causality in specific cases but not generally.  Jung used the concept to try to justify the paranormal.  Synchronicity (book) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  1973 Bollingen paperback edition.  Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle, by C.G. Jung, is a book published by Princeton University Press in 1960. It was extracted from Structure & Dynamics of the Psyche, which is Volume 8 in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung. The book was also published in 1985 by Routledge. To Jung, synchronicity is a meaningful coincidence in time, a psychic factor which is independent of space and time. This revolutionary concept of synchronicity both challenges and complements the physicist’s classical view of causality. It also forces a basic reconsideration of the meaning of chance, probability, coincidence and the singular events in our lives.  Jung was intrigued from early in his career with coincidences, especially those surprising juxtapositions that scientific rationality could not adequately explain. He discussed these ideas with Albert Einstein before World War I, but first used the term “synchronicity” in a 1930 lecture, in reference to the unusual psychological insights generated from consulting the I Ching. A long correspondence and friendship with the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Wolfgang Pauli inspired a final, mature statement of Jung’s thinking on synchronicity, originally published in 1952 and reproduced in this book. Together with a wealth of historical and contemporary material, this essay describes an astrological experiment Jung conducted to test his theory.Synchronicity reveals the full extent of Jung’s research into a wide range of psychic phenomena.    A believer in the paranormal, Arthur Koestler wrote extensively on synchronicity in his 1972 book The Roots of Coincidence.


I just found another blog on the topic, which looks interesting. I’m  going to follow him (

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