Monday, August 22, 2011

Synchronicity and the Panama Canal

The  last pages of David McCullough's "The Path Between The Seas" touched on an epic coincidence; the beginning of the first World War and the opening of the Panama Canal. The Canal was both a physical and symbolic leap forward for civilization just as the  "War to End All Wars" was an equally immense step backward. 

The Panama Canal cost four times more than the largest cumulative expenditure of any project in US history, including the acquisition of all US territories to date (from the Louisiana Purchase to Alaska, which had totaled $75,000,000). It was completed without graft.  No pay offs or kick backs or price gouging have ever come to light and even the huge cost in human life (slightly over 5,000 lost) can be offset by the worthiness of the cause and the appreciation by those involved of the magnitude and meaning of the work.

Myron Herrick, US Ambassador to France (1912-14, 1921-29) had been Phillipe Bunau-Varilla's social and political chaperone in the United States.  It was Bunau-Varilla's vision and arduous campaign that convinced the US government to rescue the French dream of completing the seemingly impossible challenge of building a path between the seas.  

Years later, on August 3, 1914, it was Ambassador Herrick who delivered word to the French Prime minister that Germany had declared war on France.  That news arrived on the same day, at the same hour, that Phillipe Bunau-Varilla, aboard the ship Cristobal, passed into the lock at Pedro Miquel to mark the official opening of The Panama Canal.   That the staggering magnitude of these two events had occurred in such "yin-yang" fashion caught my attention.  It seemed so perfectly synchronistic.     

A word coined by the psychologist Carl Jung, synchronicities are people, places or events that our souls attract into our lives to help us evolve to higher consciousness. The more aware we become of how our soul manifests, "the higher our frequency becomes and the faster our soul manifests positively." 

 Jung believed that each time we encounter "acausal parallelisms" or meaningful coincidences-- synchronicities-- we have attracted, or created these experiences.  It is why we are here. It is how our reality works.

If we think of human consciousness as sprouting from a  genetically connected root, much as an aspen grove grows as one large plant, then the grinding together of the tectonic plates of our universal "Id" or "collective unconscious" may be what gives birth to such phenomenon.  Geologic, biologic and psychologic evolution of the planet and its species might occur at synchronistic seams or tension-filled tipping points.  Technological and spiritual chaos meets spiritual and technological order; past collides with future and the present manifests in a rapid succession of occurrences that dramatically alter the course of the earth's history and development.  

Compare this essay's accompanying photos.  Pictured are two types of trenches.  One is associated with WWI, the other with The Canal.  They are cisterns holding two parallel sets of hardships, failures and successes.  How can the pathos played out in these subterranean arenas not touch the imagination and hint of a universal force that holds us in its sway?   History is both an exercise in observation and interpretation.  It is the doorway to who we were, what we are and who we will be.  Step through and let your imagination lead you.     

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