In an attempt to re-examine and relate personal experiences to the concepts of life and the world, I recalled certain events that recount these particular concepts. While there is much to explore to the extent of these theories, I find these as good subjects to start writing with for positivity. Here, I tackle the notions behind – it happens at the right place at the right time, what a small world!, opposites attract or do they(?), and the center of the universe.
Human beings are curious nature filled with timeless wonder. We constantly ask and seek for answers only to find ourselves still in awe. It’s not dull to keep asking knowing life would only revolve around relentless questions and wonders. Indeed, the great Philosopher Socrates said that “an unexamined life is not worth living.” At one point, we examine our life by striking questions; sometimes the question itself is enough to re-evaluate ourselves and the world around us. Theories, philosophies, and scientific studies allow us to dissect the nature of life, yet there are still unfathomable life questions that leave us to ponder. Could life really be beyond human comprehension?
The Four Life Theories Worth to Ponder
#1. The Theory of Synchronicity
March 2011. I was all set for a promo flight from Cebu to Singapore with my friend. At the airport terminal, an inquisitive Japanese old man asked where I bought the Nikon camera, prying whether I bought it in Japan (I wish I got it from there, it could mean I’ve been there!). The thing is, it was my sister’s and she bought it locally. The Japanese man was expecting that we were flying to the same destination, I told him that we were leaving for Singapore and not for Japan. We couldn’t prolong the conversation, so, we bid our good-bye with a smile. It was the short introduction to a particular event I would later find meaningful in the future.
Carl Jung refers Synchronicity as non-random series of two or more events that are not related but have the same meaning. Jung stated that the human self or soul is partly not subject to time and space. Thus, Synchronicity conceptualizes the connection of inner world and outer world and proposes that there is no such thing as coincidences but rather meaningful coincidences. It suggests that life is not a series of causal or random events but indeed a profound array or universal order termed as Unus Mundus.
Let’s evaluate the concept. If Synchronicity is the connection of physical (outer) and mental and spiritual (inner) aspects and if life events are actually brought by a unified reality called unus mundus, we can conclude then that the inner and outer world influence the universal order. It would make a lot of sense on the importance of mind and spiritual being to actually create some form of energy and if we surround ourselves with optimism and positive actions, we can actually turn fate into our side.
You as well encountered synchronicity. Do you remember when you turn on the radio or when a song was played on and it just hit you right at the moment? Or when you stumbled in a book store and found something you’ve been thinking about lately? Or that moment when you finally get your dream job after meeting a man who works at a company who seeks talents like you have. He likes your portfolio and you know you’ve been working hard for that dream. Everything seems to fall at the right place at the right time!
Do you wonder what happened next about my encounter of the Japanese old man at the airport terminal?
March 11, 2011. I was finally back home from Singapore! At the airport, mother called me in the phone. It sounded like mere urgency and persistence, I just arrived and I just turned on my phone – quite intensifying. Mother informed me of an earthquake and tsunami in Japan that day. She advised me not to travel by sea to get back to our hometown. It still didn’t sink to me, I heard and saw the news on T.V., it looked like a terrible disaster. Eventually, the thought of the Japanese old man I met at the airport came to me. It left me asking “Where is he now? Was he affected by the disaster? Is he still alive?” I still asked that today. I often think, I wish I asked his name and what city he came from or probably asked for a snapshot. I could hardly remember his face.
June 2011. I was finally back at school, new campus, new field of study. I already had an idea about elective Foreign Language classes and I thought I was getting Bahasa Malaysia. I was fascinated because I had a short trip to Malaysia with my friend back then. I actually learned from a local girl how to say terima kasih (thank you). Surprisingly, as I connect the dots, it finally get to me why they offered Nihongo class instead of Bahasa Malaysia. I had Japanese language studies for two semesters.
Nov 2011. I applied for a cultural exchange program with a theme on Disaster Management and Recovery Efforts by the JENESYS Programme via National Youth Commission (NYC). I wasn’t really expecting anything. My feelings were neutral, neither positive nor negative. But I was surprised how requirements just turned out to be quite compatible with my interests and involvements such as volunteering in a local environmental organization.
Dec. 2011. Sendong tropical storm struck the city. Everyone was doing anything we can to help alleviate the aftereffects of the disaster. It didn’t really sink to me that time, but I remember it was NYC who organized a Fest for the marginalized victims of the typhoon upon which our class volunteered to do our part.
Feb 2012. I received a letter from NYC. I made it! Sooner I’ll be in Japan, can you believe it?
May 2012. Finally, I arrived in Japan and I was able to visit Sendai, the tsunami affected area. It was the breaking news mother reported to me one year ago upon arriving from Singapore that made me eventually think of the Japanese old man I met at the airport, and why Nihongo class was offered instead of Bahasa Malaysia. It makes sense to me now. Meaningful coincidences, right? The truth is, I didn’t have much connection with Japan except that as a child, I grew up watching animes with my siblings. I’d go home quickly from school to watch Ghost Fighter, Flame of Recca, HunterXHunter, Dragon Ball, Slam Dunk, Sailor Moon, Doraemon and Pokemon! And I got hooked with my high school friends on Japanese horror movies – The Grudge, The Ring and Shutter. And then series of meaningful events upon which I mentioned came in.
The thing with the Theory of Synchronicity is that it allows you to connect previous events in your life and realize how history shapes your present and postulates your future. We can relate synchronicity to the notion of “You reap what you sow.” Don’t be misled–you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant (Gal 6:7). This is also the notion behind Unus Mundus, unified reality from which everything emerges and to which everything returns. Whatever you believe, it speaks the same truth.
According to Brian Kim, there are two aspects of synchronicity: logical and faith (gut, trust or belief); it relates with Carl Jung’s inner and outer world connections. However, faith and logic are always better when they’re together. Faith without action is crippling so as with action without faith.
How much are you aware about your sync’s? Why not try to examine a specific event of your life then travel in the past to trace and connect the dots. It could be how you land on a job, where you are right now or how you met your partner. Anything! While I promise you this can be entertaining and surprising, you will also get to re-evaluate your life, appreciate it more and learn from it.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. – Steve Jobs
We all get used to hearing and probably saying “opposites attract!” Science even proves us that it does with the positive and negative magnetic fields. However, the Law of Attraction tackles the concept of attraction in different perspective.
The Law of Attraction and The Theory of Synchronicity are much alike as both associate mind and matter. According to Louise Hay, a well-known author in the arena of personal development, “Every thought we think and every word we speak is creating our future, it’s as though our thoughts go out into the universe and are accepted and are brought back to us as experience.” The Law of Attraction suggests that common phrase – “We become what we think.” Thus, optimism plays a significant role in this theory. The Law of Attraction Experience.
We all perhaps attracted matters from thinking about it, positively or negatively. Apparently what we think becomes who we are; it affects our attitude, our vibe and everything else around us.
Going back to the cultural exchange program I had, I believe I never had any negative thoughts or negative anticipation when I applied for it. I wasn’t even expecting. I just thought that if it was for me, then it will be given. Interestingly, almost a year before that, my younger sister and I were watching a local television show on a late December. Sometimes, we are really fond of Horoscope predictions and it’s really bizarre that we have the same birthday (with different years). The prediction for us for the New Year was “Studies and Travel Abroad.” We were ecstatic upon hearing it. Saying “Yes!” like it’s going to happen. It did for me. But what about those moments when you were very optimistic but seeing vague results?
Years ago, I joined this global photography scholarship for amateurs. I wanted that so bad that I took a brave stance to borrow my uncle’s semi-prof dSLR and went to a cargo ship company 10-15 minutes from home to ask for permission but never got permitted, yet received a ‘good luck’ from the company’s representative and he suggested to access the local beach to capture the port. So, I rented a local pump boat. That was my first wonderful intimate moment of discovering a place through the lens of a camera. I did not get that scholarship. Why was it even with all the optimism? What I think is that optimism gives you always a positive result at the right time. That was really ambitious of me; I had no experience as much as the amateur who got the scholarship and those shortlisted. All of us who attempted were also hoping, throwing a positive energy to the Universe or praying to God. Going back to the Unus Mundus of Synchronicity – many of the applicants have been working harder and devoting their time and energy than I was. Someone must be more deserving than anyone else.
However, that brave attitude, positive thinking and the thoughts of learning photography have brought me to the present – I have improved my photography (I never stop learning), got opportunities to be published in local newspapers, captured places, won a local photography contest and now I am having my personal projects with a vision to continuously grow in this field one step at a time. Or as simple as to live with it for the rest of my life, and probably pass it on!
Jack Canfield said,“The Law of Attraction states that whatever you focus on, think about, read about, and talk about intensely, you’re going to attract more of into your life.” The Law of Attraction is the same as the Inner and Outer World concept of the Theory of Synchronicity – what you think and what you do shape your future. Louise Hay said, “…every time you think a thought and every time you speak a word you are literally painting your future, you are creating, and you’re creating your own life.”
Hay suggests to train ourselves to become aware of our thoughts and to train our brain to think positively. It may not be easy, but we are humans and we are able to take control over our mind. We all strive to think positive and feel better because we can!
So, do opposites attract? I don’t think it’s the differences that attract us, instead it’s our the same desires to meet new things and new people or something similar to what we think and aim. This is our common ground that makes the universe conspire to bring different worlds together. Like attracts like, indeed!
“Life is not happening to you. Life is responding to you.” – Author Unknown
This is the most complex theory among others. The Small-World Network has been applied to Sociology, Neuro Science, Physics and Mathematics. But I want to tackle it in a simple way, besides it is so complex that I am not going to talk like an expert.
I’ve heard about the theory of Collective Dynamics of a Small World Network through watching the movie 2 Days in Paris directed by Julie Delpy as an assignment for our French class. As stated by Marion,
“Our world is very small. And if you travel to the other side of the planet there is a very high probability that you will bump into someone who lives right down the street from you. Scientifically, it is proven that it’s not just chance. We are a whole and everything is connected. The illusion of chaos in which we live is actually quite orderly and definitely linked.”
Like Jack, Marion’s sweetheart from the movie, I was trying to prove if the theory works by re-examining my previous journeys in three places – Singapore, Malaysia and Japan (not during the travels since I learned about this theory lately). Surprisingly, it starts to convince me that it does! The theory does work – all straight from those three places. The probability might be amplified by the fact that Filipinos are everywhere! But what surprises me is actually the circumstance when you bump into someone in a moment you least expect it.
Singapore. We already met co-Filipinos in the place where my friends and I stayed. They were all from Luzon and they were looking for a job in Singapore. When we went to a market, we also met two countrymen who were in a vacation. During our last night, we slept at the place of the daughter of my kindergarten teacher who happened to work there and just got acquainted that time through my friend’s mother. Small world! But the most surprising one was getting lost from Malaysia to Singapore alone. I bumped into a Filipino woman in Choa Chu Kang and she helped me find my way to Singapore Zoo and Wildlife Safari. I even took a selfie picture with her. She saved my day!
Malaysia. We met my friend’s aunt – Ate Paz who worked for a Chinese family and where we stayed with during our short visit in Malaysia. We also met Ate Elle, a friend of Ate Paz who also worked in Kuala Lumpur. Both of them were very accommodating; I would always cherish my wonderful, thrilling and funny moments with them in KL! However, the most surprising small-world network experience is the unexpected! It just surprised me that the driver of the taxi cab we got was actually from Davao. Of all the taxis, small-world!
Japan. There are Filipinos living and working in Japan, as we all know it, but the most amazing part is actually bumping into someone in a place you would least expect it! Ichinoseki is a city in Iwate Prefecture, Japan. Along with other cultural exchange students, we wandered into the cold streets of Ichinoseki under its dark sky and bumped into a Filipino woman upon passing by a pub. She actually invited us to visit her place but due to time restrictions, super busy itinerary and the distance of her place from the city proper, we missed the opportunity. But I took a group picture with her.
Why am I even taking time proving the workability of this theory? I don’t even know exactly why. But it is the same enthusiasm you feel when you try to discover something out of curiosity. Or because of the opportunity to re-examine my life and become dumbfounded finding that it actually connects!
Connection is something that the theories of Synchronicity, Collective Dynamics of a Small – World Network, and the Law of Attraction have in common. Everything seems to be linked. It’s more apparent now in the new age of social media that we find common friends, common interests, common places we’ve been to and common acquaintances, making our world smaller and turning it into a global community. The World Wide Web is a Big Data many researchers are already using to study human behaviors.
The Small-World experiment by Milgram is a complex study to quantify the path length of individuals from the United States in the process of identifying the number of connections they have. The study suggests that humans have short path length of a small-world network and that the world is made of short ties yet we are often not able to discover them.
I’m still dumbfounded by how small-world phenomenon works for me. The world is indeed small, sharing a lot of things and you’ll never know where, when and who you are going to bumped into (maybe someone in your known or unknown network). But what amazes me most is the kindness, that human thing that this small-world network has shown me!
“We live in a small world. Not a leaf falls that doesn’t affect the myriad of things.” -Leo Buscaglia
We’ve been taught that the sun is the center of our Solar System and it’s true. Indeed, everywhere is the center of the Solar System and the universe. In my point I am the center, in your point – you are. This is refered as cosmological principle.
To scientifically explain this further, link here to see how a particular point expand at the center as you line it up to its corresponding dot. Trust me, you’ll be amazed! If you are not getting it clearly, watch this video about black hole, on 8:19, the author explained about cosmological principle.
This is good thing to see yourself as the center of the universe; it makes you feel like you are special because you really are! And your life is something beyond compare. If you begin to think that you are indeed the center of the universe, you will appreciate more your life and God’s love. The thought and feeling of being at the center also allows you to focus. This is actually how meditation practitioners and experts do it, bringing the mind to the center of the body where peace resides and then allowing that peace and love spread to the world!
So remember, whoever you are, you are the center of the universe! Wherever in the world you move, you are the center of the universe! You are special, you are wonderful, you are loved! Let’s all be reminded of that.
2015 © From Utter Space With Peace & Love