Does Technology Undermine Intuition and Synchronicity?
The simplest definition of synchronicity is a meaningful coincidence. The International Association For Analytical Psychology gets a bit more technical: “an acausal connecting principle.” The term, of course, was coined by psychologist Carl Jung, who explained it with an anecdote. One of Jung’s patients was describing a dream involving a golden scarab beetle. During the session, an actual specimen, a rarity in that location, appeared at the window.
Apart from the beetle, this is a fairly typical example of how synchronicity works. You think of a person you haven’t seen or thought about in years and they suddenly call. You find yourself seeing the same sequence of numbers repeatedly: 11:11 and 444 are popular examples.
Synchronicity and Intuition
Synchronicity is closely related to intuition, which refers to understanding that doesn’t directly make use of conscious reasoning. Intuition, though, can be explained by the mind picking up on cues unconsciously. For example, you may intuit someone’s intentions by observing their tone of voice and body language.
Synchronicity can be understood as a more extreme and controversial aspect of intuition. It would be hard to deny that intuition exists. However, many are skeptical of synchronicities, which are a kind of external validation of intuition -a confirmation that the world “out there” forms meaningful patterns that correlate with our consciousness.
Technology vs Intuition?
The central metaphysical question regarding synchronicities is whether they are actually random events to which we attribute meaning or if they are evidence of an underlying order to things. The latter tends to be anathema to modern secular materialist thinkers.
Resolving such a complex question may be impossible, along with other eternal debates such as free will vs determinism. My goal is to focus on a more narrow issue -the question of whether modern technology is inherently opposed to intuition and, in particular, synchronicity.