Aesthetics of Coincidence

Illustration by Sarah Ashmun with Permission:

After the initial surprise evoked by most coincidences, the person usually considers one of two meanings—explanation or use. Sometimes there is no good explanation and no obvious use.  Yet with some coincidences, there is a simple beauty in the synchronizing of the two events.

We are fascinated by synchronization in its many, many forms—a pair of elegant dancers, migrating birds, harmonizing singers.  When two or more apparently independent events create a coincidence, we can also be fascinated. We don’t know how it works, but there it is. We don’t know how to use it, but we think about it. Without clear answers there still may come a feeling of amazement and peace.

A 24 year old woman, upon experiencing an amazing coincidence without apparent cause and no apparent use, described how it made her feel:  “It was like when your mom pulls the sheet all over you, and it settles on you, and you feel you are in the right place.”

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