I was traveling in the US in the fall of 1979. I was 25 years old and completely lost. My girlfriend back home had just left me and I was extremely unhappy. We had been together for maybe five or six years or so and I had no idea how to make it on my own. I didn’t know how to sleep alone and I didn’t even know how to cook a supper.
In San Francisco I met some people and we rented a car to go to LA. It was a Canadian girl, Francoise, two English lads, a guy from Austria, (I can’t remember their names) and there was Monika Hauri from Switzerland. Somehow Monika and I found each other and when the group split up in LA Monika and I traveled on together. I have vague memories about staying in Santa Monica for some time but eventually we took a night flight to Mexico City. We drank lots of Tequila in the restaurants at the Plaza Garibaldi. Hundreds of Mariachi bands were playing simultaneously. It was a fantastic cacophony. I remember also from Mexico City that we always had to run to cross the streets to escape all the mad taxi drivers.
Anyway, after some time I explained to her that I was going to Isla Mujheres because I needed to be alone to think things over. A week later or so she found me there but I didn't want to continue our relationship.I was looking for adventure and adventurers don't walk hand in hand with women. So I told her to fuck off and went to Guatemala.
After a few months I was back in Stockholm, more miserable than ever. I didn’t know what to do with my life. I couldn’t fit anywhere. My friends had little home parties and I was bored to pieces with all the coziness and their boring small talk. “Could you pass me the sauce, please? It’s wonderful, isn’t it?" That kind of stuff.
In late September 1981 I had had enough. I sublet my apartment and bought a one-way ticket to Greece. I had no plans at all on where to go and I figured that Greece could be a good place to start out. The first thing that happened to me was that I caught a terrible flu. I was completely knocked out for a week or so. After another week of recuperation I realized that Crete was not for me. Crete was for couples, sitting in the taverns, silently sipping drinks with little umbrellas or sparklers for decoration. I was desperate. Where should I go and why? Wouldn’t it be the same thing wherever I went?
I checked out from my hotel and went down to the harbor without any idea of where to go. The next boat was to Santorini so I took it, glad to leave Crete behind. It was a horrible trip. The sea was very rough and people were puking in every corner.
We came to Santorini late at night, maybe 11:30 pm, or so. There were many people in the harbor and a lot of restless hustle and bustle. I put my backpack down and smoked a cigarette while I was trying to figure out how to find a place to stay at this late hour, when a young boy came up to me.
-Hotel room mister? Do you want a hotel room?
When I said yes he told me to wait a few moments and disappeared in the crowd. When he came back he had a young American woman with him.
Then we took a bus up to his parents hotel. I fell in love immediately. She was so pretty and seemed so smart. I liked the way she talked. I liked everything with her.
At the hotel they made us a dinner. Suddenly I was sitting there in the warm Mediterranean oktober night, with all its stars and creaking cicadas, and a beautiful young woman with brown eyes across the table,and a bottle of wine to the moussaka. I thought I was dreaming.
We had some wonderful days and nights there and I was madly in love. One day I asked her about what she did before coming to Santorini and she told me that she had stayed in Luzern in Switzerland for some time and worked in a hotel there as a waitress. Then I told her that I knew someone from Luzern and that her name was Monika Hauri. I can’t find words to the feelings that came over me when she told me that she knew her. She told me about what had happened to Monika and that she was now happily married to a Canadian guy.
Then the love of my life suddenly left me. Just like that. She ditched me. She had had enough of my neurotic negativity and I was all alone again.
The next day I took a night boat back to Athens and if I had been confused before it was nothing compared to my confusion that night. I spent the whole night on the upper deck looking at the stars and the moon and the dark endless sea. And the sea, the night sky and my consciousness kind of merged into an incredibly strange experience. I was all alone in the universe. I was feeling so alone. And in the same time I was feeling connected. We were all connected in some strange way, through some kind of invisible web.
Well, to make a long story short, I went to India and then I spent a number of years on the moon.
One day there in India I bumped into Monika again. She wasn’t very happy to see me but we had a short conversation in a chai shop in Pushkar. I told her that I knew a little about what had happened to her and I remember that I asked her if she didn’t find the whole thing very strange. She couldn’t see anything strange with people bumping into each other. She said: “Of course you meet some people again if you’re traveling along the same routes."
Eventually I came back home, found myself a girlfriend, an apartment and a job as a gardener and everything was all right for many years, with pasta dinners, TV nights and everything. This relationship also ended in a catastrophe and I have been a living alone since then. And I have been quite happy with that. I have finally learned how to live alone.
In July 2005 something interesting happened though. I found a letter among my bills and junk mail when I came back home from work. It said: “Greetings! Do you remember me? If yes send me an e-mail." It was from Doreen. I hadn’t heard a word from her for almost 25 years so I was, what should I say, a bit surprised.
I sent her an e-mail right away, eager to know what had happened to her after she had left me in Santorini. And I had so many memory gaps that I needed help with. I have always been interested in strange coincidences and I have periodically experienced a lot of them, but this what happened to me in Santorini was by far the most fantastic of them all. Isn’t it incredibly strange that I fell in love with someone who knew Monika Hauri? What is the probability for such a coincidence? And Doreen dumped me much in the same way as I had dumped Monika. Wasn’t it strange that I kind of got paid back with the same currency? Is there a God that sometimes interfere with the course of events and direct our steps, and if it is, what is the reason for it? Is it a God or is it a bunch of Gods or is it something in our unconscious minds that create the synchronicities? Or is all this with synchronicities just illusions?
I had thousands of questions I needed to discuss with her.
Well,here are some of my observations regarding synchronicities:
Many people have experienced or will experience synchronistic phenomenon’s without being aware of it because synchronicities are not on their maps.
Some people seem to believe that one will experience synchronicities when one's meditation practice is deepening, when one begins to find more harmony in life. I don’t think so. I think that synchronicities are more frequent when we are completely lost and upset, when we lose our heads, when someone or something has put us out, like a divorce or the death of someone near to us. Synchronicities can happen when we feel balanced, yes, but they will not be very strong. Well-balanced and satisfied people who are set with everything rarely experience synchronistic phenomenon’s. In fact, they don’t even know what you talk about if you happen to bring up the subject.
It is often impossible to tell anyone about a synchronistic experience. If you do, either you or someone else will look completely ridiculous. The synchronicity is often set up in such a way. Many of my “best” synchronicities can never be told without causing trouble, so I have to take my stories with me to the grave. Also Jung noticed this. Many people experience synchronicities but refuse to talk about them. Synchronistic experiences belong to a secret dimension of life, an esoteric dimension.
You can never prove that you have experienced an interesting synchronicity. It is therefore meaningless to study the phenomenon scientifically. If someone tells you a story about a synchronicity it can be true or it can be just a made up story. Or it might have some truth in it but it is changed a little here and there to make it sound better.
One shall not become too interested in synchronicities, though, I think. If you look for synchronicities and meaningful encounters everywhere you will go crazy. You will become paranoid. Why is he calling now? Is it a secret meaning behind this seemingly normal meeting? Why did I forget my keys? Everything is not synchronicities.
However,if I had not caught that terrible flu on Crete I would have left Crete much earlier and in that case I would not have met Doreen. Well, in that case I would not be sitting here writing this. If I had not been so desperate and unhappy with everything I would most probably not even have gone to Crete. Synchronicities have serious philosophical implications. Unhappiness and desperation can be a part of a plan. Is everything part of a plan? It is impossible to find answers to such questions so it is better to drop them, I guess. It is like speculating if there are many more universes out there. We will never get to know about it. We will never find out if we have a free will or not, but we have to live as if our will is free.
A strong synchronistic experience can change the way a person look at life, but really, there are many things in life that are far more important than looking for synchronicities, like taking care of children for example, or trying to be helpful to other people and to wake up to what is going on in the world and every once in a while celebrate and have some fun.