By Dawson Church, Ph.D.
Ours is not the first generation to notice synchronicity. It’s fascinated human beings for millennia. Two thousand years ago, the
father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, observed,
“There is one common flow, one common
breathing, all things are in sympathy. The whole
organism and each one of its parts are working in
conjunction for the same purpose. … The great
principle extends to the extremist part, and from
the extremist part it returns to the great principle,
to the one nature, being and not-being” (Jung,
1952). Roman emperor and philosopher Marcus
Aurelius believed, “Everything is connected and
the web is holy.”
In the early 20th century, the great Swiss
psychiatrist Carl Jung became intrigued by the
phenomenon of synchronicity. He defined it as “a
meaningful coincidence of two or more events,
where something other than the probability of
chance is involved” (Jung, 1952, p. 79).
One of his most quoted examples of
synchronicity occurred during a therapy session.
A young patient of Jung’s who was not making
progress in her therapy recounted a dream in
which she saw a piece of jewelry shaped like
a golden scarab beetle. In ancient Egyptian
cosmology, scarabs are the symbol of rebirth.
While they were discussing the dream, Jung
SYNCHRONICITY AND DREAMS
heard a rapping at the window. Opening it
to investigate, he found a beetle of the scarab
family. He gave it to the woman, a symbol of her
potential to move past her obstacles and renew
her life. Jung wrote, “Synchronicity reveals the
meaningful connections between the subjective
and objective world.”
Albert Einstein was a frequent guest at Jung’s
house during the time Einstein was developing
his theory of relativity. Their conversations
about the relativity of time and space played a
role in the development of Jung’s concepts of
synchronicity. Einstein quipped, “Synchronicity is
God’s way of remaining anonymous.”
Jung analyzed his patients’ dreams, paying
particular attention to the symbols they
contained. He looked for connections between
dream images and waking life, like the scarab
beetle. These turn up with surprising frequency.
Dreams can change the course of our lives.
They’re often filled with symbols and events that
contain synchronous links to real-life challenges.
They give meaning to our experience and can
provide information far beyond the abilities of
the waking mind.
Some synchronous dreams carry information
about our health. In dreams, people often gain
knowledge about their bodies that transcends the
scope of ordinary consciousness.
Radiologist Larry Burk, M.D., has been
studying breast cancer dreams for years.
Analyzing stories from women around the
world, he finds that many of these dreams are
life-changing experiences (Burk, 2015). They
also share common characteristics. Among these
are that the dreamer senses that the dream is
important (94 percent of cases). In 83 percent of
cases, the dream is more intense and vivid than
other dreams. Most dreamers experience a feeling
of dread, and in 44 percent of cases, the words
cancer or tumor appear.
In most cases, the dream resulted in the woman
seeking medical consultation. Dreams led directly
to diagnosis and frequently highlighted the
precise location of the tumors.
The dreams of cancer patients demonstrate
the intricate dance of mind and matter.
Consciousness is able to present refined levels of
information beyond the most sophisticated scans
and instruments available to modern medicine.