—an accidental and remarkable occurrence of events or ideas at the same time, suggesting but lacking a causal relationship
—the fact or state of being synchronous; simultaneous occurrence
The definition of synchronicity, according to Carl Jung, is a meaningful coincidence, i.e. a coincidence that holds some personal significance for the observer.
Yesterday, within a 12 hour period, I found myself surrounded by references to the British author Somerset Maugham. First was an email from an American friend, currently living in Vermont, with a quote from Maugham about Buddhist temples in Thailand.
“They are unlike anything in the world, so that you are taken aback, and you cannot fit them into the scheme of the things you know. It makes you laugh with delight to think that anything so fantastic could exist on this somber earth.”
I knew that Somerset Maugham had spent considerable time in Thailand, and also here in Chiang Mai, during 1920-1930 [?]. Had always meant to do some investigation on this, but somehow never got around to following up on it.
Next a friend dropped by the house to chat, and knowing about my obsessive reading habit, offered to give me a couple of books that a visiting friend of his had given him. Geoff explained that his friend just didn’t have enough room in his luggage bulging with gifts and trinkets picked up during his three weeks in Thailand. Books he had brought along to read and never gotten around to even cracking open.
One was a biography about Somerset Maugham by Jeffrey Meyers. Just published and I hadn’t heard or read about it. The other book was “Earthly Powers” by Anthony Burgess, one of the finest contemporary British authors. Though I hadn’t read it, I knew that this tome, first published in 1980, had utilized the persona of Somerset Maugham as the protagonist of the novel.
Later in the day I was working on a short piece I have begun on the life and works of the Russian author Gogol. Needed some specific information and decided to try the internet. Was happily surfing the now abundant sites in Russian when one link suddenly presented me a page, not about Gogol, but rather Somerset Maugham. An absolute wealth of information as well as abundant photos and artwork. [The Gogol information was there also, but on a different page.]
It was at this point that I questioned, “what the significance of these three differing references to Somerset Maugham? Where do they fit in my life?”
An author whom I haven’t even thought about in decades is suddenly being presented to me from three unrelated sources. Nothing more than coincidence? Hardly.
No immediate answer, but intuitively know that the answer will eventually surface.