Synchronicity & Me

roylichtenstein02Synchronicity is a concept put forth by Carl Gustav Jung, protégée of Sigmund Freud who broke with some of his ideas and went off in his own direction. What Synchronicity is–it is a theory that seemingly random events could actually be meaningful coincidences. Like, if the Universe, or God, or some kind of Higher Power, is actually sending out communications. God winking at you, or subtly pulling your coat to get you to pay attention to something. Synchronicity could be the principle driving such means of divination as the I Ching, the Book of Changes, Tarot, Astrology; or any one of a number of different types of portents, omens, and signs.

I once read a book about it called Synchronicity & You, by Frank Joseph. It was very well written and included a list of 17 types of signs to look for. One was if Animals appeared in an unusual place, such as a White Bird, or a Black Swan. Another was coincidences of number combinations. The book included a lot of anecdotes that could be just random, but were really unusual. For instance, while making the film The Wizard of Oz they needed a coat for the Wizard and the costumer was sent to a thrift store and bought a coat–just what the director had in mind. The coat turned out to have once belonged to Frank L. Baum, the author of the Oz books. Anyway, after reading the book I was trying to find out more about the author, and I found another book by him that was about the lost continent of Atlantis. But then I found out that he was the Neo Nazi who had organized the march in Skokie, Illinois that had so upset the Jewish Population. Even more bizarre, he was later revealed to be a Jew himself. This and other scandals resulted in him being thrown out of the Neo Nazi group. I don’t know where I am going with this. I certainly don’t condone his views or Nazism, though on the subject of Synchronicity, he really writes very well. It is a paradox.

Anyway, getting back to the subject of Synchronicity, it seems like once you start looking for it, you can see all kinds of threads to follow, especially in Literature. These are some very random things I have been noticing recently:

Rex Tillerson, the current Secretary of State. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if he is gone soon, given the chaos that is the rule of the Trump Administration, he is now SoS. His name is rather unusual, and it reminds me of a character in The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick. In this so-called Sci Fi novel, which is a counterfactual history where Japan and Germany win in WWII, there is another counterfactual history called The Grasshopper Lies Heavy. That is where the US and the Allies win, but later the US ends up in a cold war with Britain. In this version of History, FDR dies and Rexford G. Tugwell is made President. The names are kind of similar. But so what? I found out that Rexford Tugwell was an actual person, and he was part of FDR’s “Brain Trust.” It is interesting to read about his career, which I won’t go into here. Rex Tugwell and Rex Tillerson.

The I Ching is also a feature of The Man in the High Castle. Philip K. Dick used it in the composition of the novel, and the characters in the novel also consult it. Carl Jung studied this as well.

Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, another book by Philip K. Dick, also exhibits a lot of synchronicity. Philip K. Dick was a friend of Episcopal Bishop James Pike of the Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. He was the most controversial and radical figure in Christianity during the late 60s, and would later die tragically in an ill prepared quest to visit the site of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Qumran. By some coincidence–Synchronicity perhaps–the two were friends and often engaged in long philosophical and theological conversations. Dick showed Pike his latest book, and there was a passage where one of the characters met a black man in a gas station, and then was somehow compelled to return and give him a hug. Pike told Philip K. Dick that the incident was a lot like something in the Book of Acts, where Philip the Evangelist meets an Ethiopian Eunuch. Dick had never read the passage and couldn’t say why he had even written the similar passage in his own book.

Acts 8

26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.

27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,

28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.

29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?

31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:

33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.

34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

All right now. Here is another one. In PK Dick’s book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? the basis for the movie Bladerunner, there is a strange cult called Mercerism. This made me think of Robert Mercer, who has a data company called Cambridge Analytica. Mercer is a big contributor to the Trump campaign, and he also backed Brietbart News, and Steve Bannon. Cambridge Analytica was also allegedly involved in the Brexit campaign and the recent election in Kenya, actually declared invalid by the Kenyan Courts due to tampering. In PK Dick’s book, Mercerism is a religion of empathy founded by Wilbur Mercer wherein cult followers watch Mercer attempt to climb up a hill while being stoned. Not on drugs, but actual stones thrown at him. The cult members have a device with two orange juice can-size devices they hold that allow them to feel what Mercer is going through. Empathy amplifiers. The device reminds me of a similar device used in Scientology, a religion founded by another Science Fiction author, L. Ron Hubbard. Anyway, There is a news show, similar to 60 Minutes, and they have a segment on Mercerism wherein Buster Friendly exposes the whole religion as a hoax. It was filmed by an actor called Al Jerry on a soundstage. Once the religion has been exposed, Mercer (or Al Jerry) makes no attempt whatsoever to deny it. He confirms what muckraker Buster Friendly has claimed. Yet, the cult followers continue to follow–it doesn’t really matter to them that it is a hoax.

Philip K. Dick wrote other books that explore religion, or feature characters based on the Bishop Pike. He actually had a stroke which triggered a very intense experience like a prophetic vision.

This is just a rambling blog that I am trying to finish on the public computers at the library. I have to post it or I will lose all my work. Anyway, there are a lot of other things that I have been thinking about that connect things that I have been reading lately, and they are Wagner, T.S. Eliot, and of course, the Knights of Templar. I am also reading a book called The Sign and the Seal by Graham Hancock that mentions all of these topics in support of its premise that the Ark of the Covenant was taken by the son of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba to Ethiopia. While reading his book I wondered what Graham Hancock was up to and found that he had just recently, on August 14th, 2017, suffered a stroke and seizures. He was at death’s door, but is reportedly through the worst of it and recovering. One last note of seemingly random but more likely synchronicity:

Whenever I have coffee at Dagny’s, I always order the Ethiopian.

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