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Leaving on a Jet Plane - John Denver and the basic theory of Synchronicity

Updated on April 12, 2013
John Denver and Kermit the Frog
John Denver and Kermit the Frog


    When things seem like more then mere coincidence, this is known as synchronicity. You can find it in the little dots in life that would connect us all if we just took the time to notice them and trace them with our crayon of preferred color.

Synchronicity, one definition:
The temporally coincident occurrences of a-causal a-causal connecting principle.
-Carl Jung

Synchronicity isn't really scientific because it can't be tested but basically the theory comes down to this:

    There are patterns everywhere in everyone's life that seem to be more then a coincidence. Carl Jung believed that these were not random occurrences but are actually manifested by the mind's recognition of the pattern itself.

Breaking it down…

Your unconscious mind:
[the psyche, repressed feelings/thoughts, the voice inside your head...]
recognizes a pattern and taps into the collective unconscious
[the knowledge everyone is born with, instinct, the matrix...]
to create a meaningful moment to enrich your individual, yet shareable human experience.

Friend of Folk, the Earth, and Muppets

    My favorite example of synchronicity to share is in the life and death of John Denver. This is not only because I am a fan of his music, but because it is easy to research and it makes people think.

    For those of you who have no clue who I'm talking about, John Denver was a very talented, very mellow, folk singer and environmentalist who was famous in the 70's and 80's. In addition to writing lots of cool folk songs and trying to save the world, he also appeared in several movies, and television shows including music specials, and on The Muppets Show.

Rocky Mountain High

      The first bit of connect the dots goodness that I want to get out of the way is the Colorado Connection. John loved Colorado so much that not only did he live there until his death, but he also wrote Rocky Mountain High, an ode to the state. It became one of his biggest hits and many of his other songs have references to Colorado as well. On one of his albums he played with the Mile High Orchestra. The obvious connection of course is his name is John Denver and the capitol of Colorado is Denver, also the county he lived in was Pickin county.

[Get it...Pickin'...Folk Singer...]

I read somewhere that he changed his name to Denver in honor of Colorado but since he was born in Roswell, New Mexico I will excuse this due to possible government involvement. Perhaps the witness protection program… I’m only kidding folks.

Flight, Feathers, and Fuel

    The next obvious connection concerns John's other biggest hit song, Leaving on A Jet Plane. John Denver's death was tragically ironic in that on a jet plane. John was an amateur pilot and while taking a first time flight of a new plane he ran out of gas and dive-bombed it into the ocean.
    But even more ironically tragic is that during the 1970s gas crisis John was a public spokesman for gas conservation, and because of this he had his own secret stash of gas in tanks buried on his property.


Better still; here is a selection of the music played at his funeral.

"On The Wings of a Dream"
"High Flight"
"The Wings That Fly Us Home"

These interesting choices would be even more meaningful had the bird theory been true...

     Many news sources put out that a bird flew into the engine and he crashed because feathers were found at the scene. As it turns out they were from a feather pillow he had in the cockpit. John was pretty tall at six foot, and the pillow supposedly helped him comfortably work the rudder pedals of the plane.
    Even though this bird theory was not true, like many stories of celebrity death, there are people who still believe it was what happened. This does not make it any less tragic that the seagulls ate most of him before they found his body. What was left was cremated, and the ashes were spread where else, but over the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Pondering Patterns

    This is just a sample of synchronicity. Perhaps you‘ve seen or heard of it, or maybe you never thought about it until now. Now the true question is; are these patterns just coincidence? Are they caused by us? Did John create his own ironic fate?
    Look for synchronicity in your life and share it with others. By being aware of this phenomena then we may actually be able to learn to manifest experiences and patterns. I hope this makes you think, and if nothing else maybe I've awakened in you an interest in folk music.

Until next time remember:

“Life ‘ain't nothing but a funny funny riddle…”
    -John Denver, Thank God I’m a Country Boy


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    • bluebird profile image


      4 years ago

      Very interesting. I hadn't made that connection between his "leaving" song and his death. Wow! There must be something to what you say - it is indeed an interesting subject and now I'll have to stop a bit and think on this.

      John was like a brother to me I never knew. I cried and cried the day he died as I would a brother. He was a special human being.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      He literally "left on a jet plane". How prophetic and ironic!

    • GeneriqueMedia profile image


      11 years ago from Earth

      Very well done, and widely thought provoking. I never knew of this issue with John Denver. Then again, I don't listen to him with any regularity.

      Makes me want to do one on Sonny Bono now.


    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Well - this really got me thinking, and yes I realise that there are patterns, numbers, reoccurences in my life - I just hadn't meshed them all together - but synchronicity definitely exits for me. Thanks for reminding me about John Denver - I had a lot of his music many years ago - but have lost it with various house moves and the change from vinyl through tape casettes to CD Roms and onto MP3/4 .........

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      11 years ago from South Africa

      A great Hub on a great subject - and yes, I believe in synchronicity. Thanks for raising the subject here. I refer to it in my Hub on personal growth.

      Also LEaving on a Jet Plane is one of my favourite songs, although I really like the Peter, Paul and Mary version.

      Love and peace


    • cdub77 profile image


      11 years ago from Portland Or

      Great Hub, has got me thinking. Plus you approached your topic in a way that kept me reading and then I was like "Oh, it's over already?"

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Yes I believe as you do I feel that there is very little coincidences in life there is reason for everything and all things that happen, happen for a reason and a purpose!

      Great Hub!


    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      11 years ago

      I've heard it said that there's no such thing as co-incidence, so perhaps there's a reason for all the synchronicity in our lives. Thanks for the John Denver example, and the songs!

    • imadork profile image


      11 years ago from St. Peters, MO has his height at 5'10".

      No wonder he changed his name. His real name is Henry John Deutschendorf Jr.

    • KCC Big Country profile image


      11 years ago from Central Texas

      Not to take away from you great hub, but John Denver's height seems to be widely speculated between 5'9" and 6 ft. There are tons of references to his height online.

      Isn't it funny, when you think about it, that people even care about that stuff? But, we seem to feel the need to do that. I guess to find something to compare them to ourselves, a way of connecting.

    • imadork profile image


      11 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      John Denver ROCKS -- softly

      Have you ever seen the movie Magnolia?  I think you would find it interesting.

    • LyrialZander profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago

      Thank you for the comment Christoph, and for being one of my fans! :)

      I try to be aware of my own synchronicity, there are recurring numbers, themes, and such. And I'm always on the look out for little bits of irony. However, I don't want to attract negative energy because I'm too focused on "syncing" things together.

      What I'm really interested in, would be the idea of controlling it somehow! Now that would be incredible.

      Thanks again!


    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      11 years ago from St. Louis

      I have long been aware of my own Synchronicity. Sometimes it is unbelievably high - like freaky high - and sometimes it is almost non-existant.

      I had no idea John Denver was 6' tall. I thought he was a short little fella. Thanks for an interseting hub!


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