SynchroMysticism Applied: Loren Coleman

Loren Coleman is far and away the most prolific and well-known SynchroMystic on the web today. With over forty book titles to his credit, many of which are on the subject of cryptozoology (i.e., the study of alleged “hidden animals,” like “Big Foot” and the famed “Loch Ness Monster”), Coleman looms large on (what we might call) paranormal wavelengths.

For an introduction to the fascinating possibility that the world’s fauna include more species than those so-far cataloged and on display at your city menagerie, Coleman is the go-to guy.

Among his cryptozoological print offerings are Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America (New York: Paraview, 2003), Cryptozoology A to Z (with Jerome Clark, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999), The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates (with Patrick Huyghe, New York: Anomalist, 2006), Monsters of Massachusetts (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole, 2013), and Mysterious America (Kindle Edition, 2007).

He also maintains the cryptozoologically dedicated weblog, CryptoZooNews, and is curator of (and, presumably, docent at) the International Cryptozoology Museum at Thompson’s Point in Portland, Maine.

Of primary interest to us here, however, are the industrious Mr. Coleman’s other, more Fortean and SynchroMystical, researches.

Prominent in this regard are his innumerable posts on the Twilight Language weblog, which boasts well over 4 million total visitors.

The site’s name is a reference to an obscure, symbol-infused “language” that has apparent connections with various, Eastern, religious concepts – especially in certain Buddhist sub-traditions. (See here.)

In his 2004 book, The Copycat Effect: How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow’s Headlines (New York: Simon and Schuster), Coleman wrote:

“Twilight language” concerns, from psychology, the hidden significance of locations, dates, and other signs; from religious studies, the hidden symbolism that lies in the texture of the incidents; and, from criminology, the profiling insights that have revealed the ritualistic nature of certain crimes and violent incidents.

In Coleman’s estimation, these “hidden significances” are largely discovered (or masked) in “Lexi-Links” (from the Greek léxis, meaning “speech” or “word” and the English “link,” which obviously has to do with the component parts of a chain) or what he elsewhere calls “name games.”

By “name games,” the prodigious Coleman seems to designate odd name-related patterns, or synchronicities, that crop up in newsworthy events from election results and political happenings to school shootings, serial murders, and suicides. The latter seem to occupy a conspicuous place in his thinking, due to a past, personal tragedy. (Incidentally, Coleman identifies 18th-19th-century German writer and Freemason Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe’s 1774 The Sorrows of Young Werther, available in a Dover Thrift Edition, as something of a locus classicus for suicide “copycatting.”)

These bizarre interconnections are perhaps best illustrated as opposed to merely described. The best advice for a person just dipping her toes into this unconventional territory is to simply learn by meditating upon Coleman’s various examples, embedded in his books and online posts.

Coleman seems less concerned with speculating about the possible, metaphysical foundations of “synchronicity,” and more focused upon engaging in and writing about examples of SynchroMysticism. This is evident in his above-mentioned “blogging” activities, which treat faithful readers to a steady diet of curious associations lying beneath interesting, and often world-historic, news events.

To date, Loren Coleman’s major, written statement on these matters is contained in the engrossing, and previously cited, The Copycat Effect, to which interested visitors are referred for further information. Happy reading.

SynchroMysticism Defined: Jake Kotze

SynchroMystic guru Loren Coleman credited author and filmmaker Jake Kotze with having coined the term “synchromysticism.” Coleman wrote:

The word “synchromysticism” was first coined by Jake Kotze in August 2006, on his website-at-the-time, Brave New World Order.* Kotze defined the concept as: “The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance.” (Source.)

Let us mine some of the depths in this quotation.

One thing to notice is that the qualifier “meaningful” appears to do quite a bit of work. After all, on one definition of the word, “coincidence” merely marks out temporal correspondence.

Many of these correspondences are indeed mundane (both in the sense of being commonplace or worldly, and in the sense of being run-of-the-mill or, in a word, dull). For instance, as I type this, there is a song playing in the background, the air conditioner just kicked on, two Mourning doves are walking around outside, and so on.

Presumably, however, no one is tempted by the notion that there is any remarkable (i.e., meaningful) relationship between any of the scattered goings on that I just listed. For, at any given time, innumerable events are occurring simultaneously. The vast majority of these events with be nothing to write home about – whether individually or considered together.

What the synchromystic looks for, then, is not merely events that are temporally related, but events that are temporally associated in particular, “meaningful” ways.

Candidate events may have uninspired, “exoteric” (or outward and easily comprehended) meanings on the surface. But the synchromystic is the person who may notice esoteric significance lying under the uninteresting appearances.  (Or, at least, this is one way that person sympathetic to the project may understand it. Less sympathetic individuals may be tempted to the opinion that the synchromystic is “reading-into” events or engaging in wishful thinking or self-delusion.)

Kotze was a contributor to The Sync Book, published in 2011. He seems to take a monistic view of reality. On this sort of perspective, which appears (among other places) in some streams of Hinduism, all things are, ultimately “one.” Sameness is the fundamental property of existence, while difference is explained as illusion (maya).

Within this broad framework, synchronicity (that is, significant coincidence or simultaneity of “connected” events) is taken to be to a psychological phenomenon in which the percipient catches a glimpse of the “true,” undifferentiated nature of things.

Kotze’s view, while interesting, is far from the only view. In other posts, we will explore the views of other, influential thinkers from the famed Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung and Hungarian-British journalist Arthur Koestler, to lesser-known figures like the oraculist James Shelby Downard, and on to more contemporary commentators including the aforementioned cryptozoologist, Loren Coleman.

Stay tuned.

* Kotze’s weblog title is a composite of two phrases. Firstly, it is a reference to the so-called “New World Order.” Arguably, this phrase has at least two different interpretations. For more on the imperialistic interpretation, see books by Noam Chomsky and Henry Kissinger. For those with more conspiratorial turns of mind, see the “illuminist” interpretation propounded by persons like Mark Dice and A. Ralph Epperson. Secondly, Kotze’s phrase hearkens back to Aldous Huxley’s classic, 1932 novel, Brave New World. Huxley’s book, along with George Orwell’s dystopian nightmare, 1984, are practically required reading.