Lately a lot of people around me have been talking about seeing patterns of syncronicities around them - do they have a meaning or is it just a part of the hard wiring of our brain?

I found an interesting word from Wikipedia - great new word that explains a bit of this phenonmena:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apophenia

Apophenia is the experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data.

The term was coined in 1958 by Klaus Conrad, who defined it as the "unmotivated seeing of connections" accompanied by a "specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness", but it has come to represent the human tendency to seek patterns in random nature in general, as with gambling, paranormal phenomena, religion, and even attempts at scientific observation.

 

Conrad originally described this phenomenon in relation to the distortion of reality present in psychosis, but it has become more widely used to describe this tendency without necessarily implying the presence of neurological differences or mental illness.

In 2008, Michael Shermer coined the word 'patternicity', defining it as "the tendency to find meaningful patterns in meaningless noise." In The Believing Brain (2011), Shermer defines patternicity as "the tendency to find meaningful patterns in both meaningful and meaningless noise." The Believing Brain thesis also says that we have "the tendency to infuse patterns with meaning, intention, 

and agency", which Shermer calls 'agenticity'. 

 

Religion

The attempt to foretell the future, present, or past by finding patterns in animal entrails, tossed sticks, or by picking random passages from a holy text are often cited as examples of apophenia. A more extreme example is the pareidolia associated with finding the faces of religious figures in pieces of toast, the grain of cut wood, or other such patterns.

Recent real-world examples include the finding of a cross inside a halved potato; the appearance of Jesus and Mary inside a halved orange; and the appearance of Jesus' face on a piece of toast, in the frost on a car window, and inside the lid of a jar of Marmite.

 

Synchronicity

Carl Jung coined the term synchronicity for the "simultaneous occurrence of two meaningful but not causally connected events" creating a significant realm of philosophical exploration. This attempt at finding patterns within a world where coincidence does not exist possibly involves apophenia if a person's perspective attributes their own causation to a series of events. "Synchronicity therefore means the simultaneous occurrence of a certain psychic state with one or more external events which appear as meaningful parallels to a momentary subjective state." (C. Jung, 1960)


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