In the wild word of modern yoga there exists a significant amount of bleed-over from the world of the New Age, almost like someone tried to paint the Venn diagram in watercolor, during a gentle drizzle.
I’m not sure that you can define New Age, just as I’m not certain of the definition of yoga. I say yoga is like music - many traditions, backgrounds. Some with explicit rules, others without. But generally recognizable. Distinct. New Age is harder - the melting pot’s self-aware decision that every tradition has something to offer, and the pioneering spirit to move away from dogmatic and puritanical roots. Exodus from the flames is all the direction needed.
That feels comforting, I think, to people raised with rote memorization of Thou Shalt Nots, but it is also inherently directionless. Nothing to work towards, just clear ideas of what to run away from. Spiritual bumper cars. Except in the dark, without the aid of gravity.
And sometimes, when running in the darkness, people stumble onto the path of yoga. While tending to a scraped knee, they hear the music and start to follow. Direction for the directionless. It soothes their aching backs, gives their monkey minds something to chew on, and starts to shine a light into the broken places.
For many people, this instigates a revolt, because the broken places should be healed - ignored - paved over - not highlighted. Deeply engrained habits, desires, wounds? This is not the kind of yoga that makes it onto the cover of a magazine. Except this can be a teaching of yoga: get quiet, look around you, look within you. Examine the wound that would be so easy to airbrush from the historical records, the mental instability that you can cleverly hide within the four walls of your bedroom or in the tomb of the couch. The unfulfilled longing. What is really happening? Why are you doing this? And: are you sure?
In the great bleed from New Age to yoga, synchronicity is like breadcrumbs along the path. Reassurance that you’ve chosen wisely.
For me, synchronicity is different. It’s a glitch in The Matrix (they sure got that part right). It’s a signpost that you’ve been here before. That your’e walking a path you’ve been down, and while it can feel familiar, it only becomes home if you spend your life retracing those steps over and over. To me, synchronicity doesn’t say you’re on the right path - or the path out of here - it says, pay attention. There’s a curve up ahead and you have a chance to break free. Or loop back around, if you’re not ready to leave this well-worn part just yet.
There’s always next time.
And here I am, dear friends, on the doorstep of next time. Breadcrumbs having bulldozed a path straight through the forest, illuminated by neon signs and a searchlight.
Yet something is different - eerily different - as this time, I’m not following a path. My eyes are closed, my gaze inward.
And the path is rising up to meet me.