Believe it or not, I only this evening realized that, while my post of the 26th and JM Smith’s post of the 23rd were quite different, both concerned Babylon. I suppose his post must have played a role in my intuition – in an email correspondence with Tom Bertonneau a few days later – that “Babel” might be a suitable name for our Enemy in his current corporeal instantiation. In retrospect, it seems as though it could hardly have been otherwise. But at the time, I had no conscious recollection of Dr. Smith’s excellent essay. None whatsoever. Had you asked me about it, I would have been able to reel off a précis of the piece. But at no point in the writing of my post a few days later did it occur to my recollection.
In this event, at least two things are of interest to me.
First, the synchronicity of the two posts was not planned. Not consciously, anyway. Nothing at the Orthosphere ever is. We don’t read each other’s posts before they are published, and no one acts as a gatekeeper or editor in chief. I read Dr. Smith’s essay, was edified and educated thereby, and filed it away cerebrally for future reference. When I wrote mine, his did not appear to my conscious attention at all.
Now on the one hand, this sort of conjunction of events makes Jung’s notion of synchronicity look pretty humdrum. Stuff happens, and it happens to fit together intelligibly. How not? How, otherwise, could we have a world?
But then on the other hand, it makes synchronicity look pretty fundamental, especially in human history. Something about Babylon was in the air, or it would have been most unlikely for Dr. Smith to have thought an essay upon it worthwhile. Likewise with me.
Humdrum has to be fundamental, almost by definition. Synchronicity, then – the ingress of an unusual or (especially) novel idea contemporaneously at many loci of the extensive continuum – would seem to be a basic feature of things.
And that’s the second thing.
Funny thing, Providence.