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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Synchronicity 1

I looked up in Wikepaedia information on the dialogue between Nachiketas and Yama. I had read Katha Upanishad long ago and could not recall the entire details. Surprisingly, there were scant details in the Wikepaedia. I went back for a general search with Google and came across an entry narrating how Somerset Maugm had quoted from Katha Upanishad in his book ‘Razor’s Edge” A short while later I came across an almost verbatim reproduction in the Cosmic Link column of Economic Times including the Razor’s Edge connection. This was a few days ago.

I first heard about ‘synchronicity’ from my father. He was reading a book with that tittle. I too wanted to read the book but as it often happens it had disappeared. My father had mentioned that the word was coined by Karl Jung to refer to an acausal relationship between two unconnected incidents. My father cited an example too. There is a belief in Kerala that the cry of ‘Kalan Kozhi’ heralds a death. The cry resembles ‘pooooovvvaaa’which is interpreted as (‘let us go’) an invitation to some soul to accompany it to the nether world. Quite often, one hears its cry in the night only to hear the news of a death in the morning. There cannot be any rational cause and effect relationship between the two but nonetheless such coincidences come up with disturbing frequency..

Ever since, this notion of Synchronicity was in the back of my mind and frequently surfaces and is again relegated to the sub-concious. Like this sentence in Robin Sharma’s “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”: “Synchronicity is one of God’s ways of remaining anonymous”. Deepk Chopra deals with it in greater detail:-

“Only Jung who studied religion and dream symbolism and saw the unconscious as a source of spiritual insight did not think all coincidences were the result of chance and happenstance. Some, which he felt were ultimately evocative to the person experiencing them, could be the expression of some underlying pattern being manifested through a meaningful relationship of events. He called the phenomenon ‘synchronicity’-an acausal connecting principle which was not based on a deductive cause and effect mechanism”

My current obsession with synchronicity was triggered after a visit by Hari and Usha .I mentioned to Hari that Owls are the best exterminator of rats and he could try putting up some nests for owls in the estate. A day later he phoned and mentioned the superstition about ‘Kalan Kozhi’.Till that day I was not aware that the mysterious bird which was supposed to be the harbinger of death was an owl. I researched it and found that the English name for the bird is ‘mottled wood owl’. (strix ocellatta)

A month ago, I had built an owl’s nest on the specifications available on the internet and put it up at ‘KRISHNA’. I do hope no mottled wood owl takes up residence in it and further strengthen my belief in ‘synchronicity’!.

Synchronicity 2

I was selected as a Probationary Officer of SBI and allotted to Kanpur circle in 1971. At that time Kanpur circle covered most of the branches in UP. I don t remember whether it was the first time I went to Kanpur or the second time, my father gave me the dentures of his father which he has been keeping for over 25 years for immersion in Sangam but could not. He has been faithfully observing annual “Shraddam”.One of my earliest childhood memories is of Ilayathu, who will come in the previous night of “Shraddam”and will leave early next morning with my father to Mankara for the ceremonies.Ilayathu was quite old even then and always used to wear a blue dress. He had ‘kadukkans’ in his ears and was almost always chewing beetle leaves. In later years, his son or nephew used to come.

I think it was in 1973 that I went to Allahabad and Sangam and immersed the dentures in the confluence as directed by my father. He had expressly instructed that no ‘Panda’ should be engaged for the purpose and that he will be doing the kriyas in Bharathapuzha at Ottapalam at the same time I was doing the immersion. We synchronized the timing earlier. I was required to take a dip in the Sangam, face east and say that “on behalf of your son and my father Krishnankutty I am consigning to the Sangam the remains “ or something like that and throw it over my head towards my back.

On my promotion to the Dy.General Manager cadre I was allotted to the Inspection & Audit department and sent on mobile duty. This was in September 1995. I remained in mobile duty for three years. This was the first time I was confronted with a series of strange coincidences which can only be explained by something like ‘Synchronicity’

My father had passed away in December 1989 on the day of Guruvayoor Ekadasi. He was cremated at Ottapalam and we were keeping his bones for eventual immersion at Sangam. My father believed in a Super power and had deep knowledge and faith in religious practices. We therefore wanted the bones to be immersed at Sangam. But somehow this got delayed for over seven years. The coincidences began then..

(1) I never wanted to join inspection department and mobile duty. I had to.
(2) As I had worked in Kanpur Circle earlier, I could not be given any inspection assignment in UP. I was given one.
(3) There are over 700 branches in UP and I could have been allotted any one of them. I got Varanasi close to Allahabad.
(4) This could have happened any time of the year. But the assignment was in December coinciding with the death anniversary of my father.
(5) One Pandey, Cash Officer of Varanasi branch and a brahmin poojari, invited me to come with him to Allahabad and to take a dip in Sangam. He was not even aware that I intended to go
(6) I did the Kriyas at Sangam, at Dashaswmedh Ghat at Varanasi and at Gaya
(7) The day I reached Gaya for Samarpan was perhaps the most auspicious day. That day Pandavas had done ‘tharpan’ there for the departed souls. I was not even aware of it.
It was as if some invisible power had taken charge of my life, at least temporarily, and directed it towards fulfillment of certain tasks. It is certainly difficult to believe that all of them were the result of chance or mere happenstance.

Should I not beleive in Synchronicity?


  1. a)The Jungian Theory of Syncronicity, is a clear demonstration that
    everything in this Universe is predeterminated.The Heisenberg's
    Indetermination Principle comes from the human ignorance
    (we cannot see the reality in its totality) only an ignorant,can believe in Free Will.

    b)Matter is a complex form of energy; Energy
    is a complex form of Information; God's Thought.

    The Universe is we are parts of God.

    c) Every kind of "human desire",is followed by a Chain of "Electron wave
    functions collapses" (in agreement with Schrödinger's Theory) which will not
    follow ours expectations! ...So the paradox is: if we want to get hold of
    something,we shouldn’t have to search for it. (Men stay still,and the mountains move...).
    A curiosity: The connection between the electron
    wave-function and the human intent has to do with the fact that
    experiments have proved that the intentions of the operator of a radio
    transmission facility, directly and instrumentably alter the
    "footprint", the radiation pattern of the antenna. It has also been
    shown that the intent of the human being causes a divergence in
    the quantum field (which is the information field).
    Any divergence in the information field results in
    alterations of "probability", which directly influences
    the outcome of any system which contains any element
    of chance, directly influencing the resulting observable
    events. (See the work of Princeton Engineering Anomalies
    Research at


    "In agreement with Henri Bergson's thought (see the last pages of "Entre
    le temps et l'éternité" of Ilya Prigogine ,Librairie Arthème Fayard,Paris),
    we can accept the idea of a "Space-time absolute value", where
    all the "Space-time relativ values" are incorporated (in agreement with Einstein’s
    theory of relativity); the conclusion is that there is only one Real
    Matrix of the every other possible /potential parallel
    "event/dimension/future" it's only a human illusion.

    All the other parallel Universes (or Multi-Universes,as Phd. Everett said)
    can only exist in our minds...perhaps whilst dreaming.

    Unfortunately several physicists are conditioned by Heisenberg's Principle of
    Indetermination...which, as you will know, is enough explain the
    existence of Free Will.

    Well, the Principle of Indetermination is hardly bound by the limits of
    observations made by the human brain.

    (We cannot see the reality in its totality...Bohm taught).

    If we accept the idea that our Universe really is God,well,in a infinite
    Caos of Energy too, there must to be a logical (but not for human
    brain),exact,specific,and perfectly organized ...Plan.

    How many significant (important) coincidences can happen to a person in his
    life,living in a unorganizated and stupid Universe?...I think no-one.
    Every synchronism in our life, is like an open-eyes-dream (Jung
    taught)...and we can thank the fine intelligence of our Universe...if
    they happen."

    Fausto Intilla
    (Inventor-scientific divulger)

  2. Thanks for your detailed comments and references.It took time for me to respond as I was going through your other blogs. Your post on Yoga mentions B.K.Iyengar referring to A,U,M to the three states of consciousness.This is actualy from Mandukya Upanishad.The fourth state of consciousness "Turiya" represented by the sound (nadam) produced when these letters combine

  3. The word synchronicity has been explained well.

  4. My dear Raju,

    I was born into a Hindu family, but am truly irreligious and I trust there's no need to mention that I'm an atheist too. Due the first circumstance, I can relate to your write up quite well. Due to second, I have to cross swords with you. I don't care mush for the speculative side of psychiatry and psychology. I'm a science student and base most everything that effects us chemically on the periodic table, the mechanical ramifications of life on physics and economics bit on the solid base that's arithmetic. Being a banker you will also see the truth in the economic base.

    As a child I have also heard stories of the Kalan Koozhi superstition. Being a staunch conservationist and a naturalist of sorts, I happen to know that the bird that makes the poovah sound is a Kula Kozhi. It's is an eerie sounding call all right. The actual Kalan Koozhi is an owl, but not the 'Mottled Wood Owl'. I'm providing an Mp3 link for you to listen to the call of this (Mottled Wood Owl)one.

    There is an owl couple resident about 250 meters from my house and almost every evening it gives out the uuuuu hhaaaaaaa call. This call is indeed really eerie and it has reverberating vibrato effect too making it truly eerie. Since most owls are nocturnal and their calls are rather different sounding there are superstitions about them all over the world. 'I Heard The Owl Call My Name' a book by Margaret Craven is about a vicar in British Columbia and runs on the Indian lines.

    I'm now planning on getting one of the local avid avian photographers to come down to take photographs of this bird as well as record it's sound, convert to an Mp3 and upload on the net. Thereafter I suppose the Kalan Kozhi myth should blow over.

    Jung and synchronicity are on a direct clash path with Darwin and his theory of evolution. If synchronicity then where does the survival of the best and nature's selection feature? What about disuse atrophy and our coccyx (tailbone). If it is acausal then it's chance. And I certainly believe in chance or I wouldn't be buying lottery tickets.

    Although irreligious, I certainly love the good side of Hinduism - payasam, sandalwood paste, and silk mundoos.

  5. Dear Sri Raman,
    Thank you for your comments. The authentic book on birds of Kerala is by the orinthologist V.T.Induchudan. According to him Kalan Kozhi is Mottled Wood Owl. I also give two other links in confirmation.

    Kulakozhi is a small bird and its English name is Water Hen.(Induchudan) A link showing pictures of Kulakozhi is given below. Doubtless you will recognise the bird. water hen

    The call of the bird given in your link, of course does not resemble the cry of the Kalan Kozhi. There is a reference in the internet to the same bird with a different cry like the shriek of a lady.
    As regards synchronicity, please also read my posting Coincidence Threshold. Link given below.
    Mutation, which results in new species may be an acausal phenomenon. Just as Newtonian laws are inadequate to explain the behaviour of sub-atomic particles at speeds approaching the speed of light,Darwins theory may not be adequate to explain sudden changes in the genetic code.Regards

  6. Dear Sri. Raju,

    The analysis in your reply is straightforward and the authoritative links are very informative. I have seen this bird just a couple of times and from a distance while it was in flight. It cries out in flight while moving from a large mango tree to some teak trees across a 6 or so acre lake. It is a large bird which is not the picture I get from the pictures from the Wikipedia link provided. However the data on the wingspan suggests a big bird. You will have to wait a while for the conclusion to see if this Kalan Kozhi is indeed the Mottled Wood Owl. My gut feeling now is that you have scored high. However try an listen to the Kula Kozhi if there are any around where you stay at dusk. It has a poovah call.

  7. Dear Sri.Raman,
    Kula Kozhi is a fairly common bird even now in rural Kerala and can be seen around ponds. It makes a sort of cluck cluck sound and also is not nocturnal unlike owls.
    If it is a large bird, it could be a great horned owl. Do advise me when you succeed in identifying you 'bird'.

  8. Kp NirmalkumarPl Lathika
    Synchronicity: The relation that exists when things occur at the same time

    I give a link on what synchronicity meant to Rajagopalan Kozhipurath K as objectively narrated in his blog. I also invite Kozhipurath Ramachandran and Satheesan Puthumana to read and comment
    Like · · Unfollow Post · Share · Remove From Profile · Tuesday at 5:04pm ·
    Pl Lathika likes this.
    Rajagopalan Kozhipurath K This particular streak of irrationality continues with

    swapnalokam: Coincidence Threshold
    Tuesday at 7:36pm · Like · 1 ·

    Kp Nirmalkumar We're open to divergent explanations and speculations about this fanciful world we briefly call ours:)
    Tuesday at 8:13pm · Unlike · 2
    Rajagopalan Kozhipurath K Was away on an assignment. Couldn't visit FB for a couple of weeks.
    Tuesday at 8:15pm · Like · 1

    Kp Nirmalkumar Glad you're back:)
    Tuesday at 8:28pm · Like · 2

    Pl Lathika i too carry with me such experiences.. which are not fully explained by mere chance or coincidence ... i would wonder whether there a medium of communication from a world beyond or an unrecognized space within our world... moments when one would drop out from this bare materialistic existence..
    Wednesday at 12:50pm · Like · 1

    Kp Nirmalkumar Actually we must remain humbled by the Universe, but, in sheer will power, ask more manifestations from God. Coincidence is, alas, inadmissible evidence:)
    Wednesday at 2:18pm · Like · 1

    Satheesan Puthumana അനുഭവങ്ങള്‍ ഏറെയുണ്ട് -ഒരു നാണയം ഒരു നൂറു തവണ toss ചെയ്‌താല്‍ ഏകദേശം അമ്പത് തവണ head /tail തന്നെ മുകളില്‍ വരുന്നു എന്നതിന് തികച്ചും ശാസ്ത്രീയമായ ഒരു കാരണം പറയാനില്ലെന്നത് പോലെ പ്രോബബിലിറ്റിയുടെ അപൂര്‍വമായ ഉദാഹരണം എന്ന് അത്തരം സന്ദര്‍ഭങ്ങളിലും അദ്ഭുതപ്പെടാറു ണ്ട്-ഒരു കുറിപ്പാക്കാന്‍ പറ്റുമോ എന്ന് നോക്കട്ടെ -
    about an hour ago · Unlike · 2

    Kp Nirmalkumar An apparently meaningful coincidence in time of two or more similar or identical events that are causally unrelated: synchronicity is full of suspense about mysterious unseen forces at play in our lives
    about an hour ago · Unlike · 1