December 18th, 2004


Seven-year gap?

Recently (or, at least I thought it was recently), I once again began jotting down funny coincidences. The only other time that I wrote down synchronicities was in the 1970s, and the emotional consequences were so intense that I tore up the list.

I had the following synchronistic experience about two weeks ago. I was mulling over what I would be talking about in the closing classes in the Psychology of Well-Being course that I teach. The final two classes were devoted to the topics of death and meaning. As I was mentally rehearsing some points that I wanted to make, I thought about how people often feel that, in order for their lives to have meaning, some aspect of themselves must continue after their physical death, whether it is a soul that continues on, or a body of accomplishments that continues to influence others. The key point of my reverie was that, as I was pondering this issue, the following phrase intruded dramatically into my thoughts: "keep on keepin' on." It is not a phrase that I normally use myself. Now, here's the synchronicty: Later that day, I opened up the December 6th digest of the Yahoo Evolutionary Psychology Group, which was engaged at the time in an interesting discussion of negative attitudes toward sex. The second post in the digest, from a good cyber-friend, Paul Okami, ended with "Keep on keepin' on."

What does this have to do with the title of this post? Well, when I had this "keep on" experience, I had been meaning to add it to the list that I had started "recently." My recollection was that I started this new list of synchronicities just a few months ago. But an electronic search of documents on my hard drive revealed only one file with synchronicities listed in it, and the date was February 1998. This left me wondering, Did I just have a nearly seven-year blackout?

Incredulous, I began searching my entire hard drive again with different criteria. Aha! Now a file called Synchronicty2.rtf appears in an unexpected folder. Date: October 19th, 2004. The mystery is solved. The file was simply in a location other than where I thought it should be. There is, after all, a rational explanation for everything.