There's something called synchronicity that we've probably all experienced at one time or another. Some people prefer the term 'meaningful coincidence.' You're thinking about your friend from high school whom you haven't seen in 20 years, and lo and behold she calls you up the next day. Or you hear Larry King use the word propinquity only a few hours after you looked the word up in the dictionary. What do these kinds of meaningful coincidence mean?

One way to look at synchronicity is to see it as a sign that your mind's unusually energized. The idea is simple: the more alert you are and the more actively you're engaged in the world around you, the more things you'll notice and the more likely it is that you'll find patterns, coincidences, and repetitions. If you're depressed, you won't experience much synchronicity in your life. If you're manic, you'll experience lots of it. Carry it too far, as paranoid-schizophrenics do, and you'll experience so much synchronicity that you'll be considered crazy.

About the Author

David Gamon, PhD

David GamonDr. David Gamon, one of the original writers at ScienceIQ, studied cognitive science at U.C. Berkeley, where he received his Ph.D. in Linguistics in 1997. He is the author of many popular books about the human brain, including Building Mental Muscle, Use It Or Lose It!, and Brains That Work a Little Bit Differently. His current projects include books about gender differences in the brain, the brain’s construction of sensory reality, and psychopathy.