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Should we believe in Predestination? Or is there another way to view things?

Posted on 05 April 2016, 8:29

Let’s consider three types of puzzling phenomena: exceptional case histories to do with identical twins, instinct, and synchronicity.

Firstly some strange stories from various sources about about identical twins separated at birth:

Jim Lewis and Jim Springer

“When Jim Lewis of Lima, Ohio, was nine years old he learned that he had an identical twin who had been adopted at birth. Thirty years later…he decided to see if he could find him… He soon learned that he was called Jim Springer and lived in Dayton, Ohio. As soon as they met they discovered a string of (impossible) coincidences. Both had married a girl called Linda, then divorced and married a girl called Betty, both had called their sons James Allan, although Jim Lewis spelled Alan with only one l; both owned dogs called Toy, both had worked as deputy sheriffs; both had worked for the McDonald’s hamburger chain; both had been filling station attendants, both took their holidays at the same seaside resort in Florida and used the same beach – a mere 300 yards long; both drove to their holidays in a Chevrolet; both had a tree in the garden with a white bench around it; both had basement workshops in which they built frames and furniture; both had had vasectomies; both drank the same beer and chain-smoked the same cigarettes, both had put on ten pounds at some point in their teens, and lost it again; both liked stock car racing, and disliked baseball.”

Dorothy Lowe and Bridget Harrison

“Dorothy Lowe and Bridget Harrison were also separated at birth. They both decided to keep a diary in 1962 and both filled in exactly the same days. The diaries were of the same make and colour. Both played the piano as children but gave it up in the same year. They both had sons, Bridget’s son was called Richard Andrew, Dorothy’s son was called Andrew Richard. Their daughters were called Katherine Louise and Karen Louise. Dorothy had originally intended to call her daughter Katherine but changed it to Karen to please a relative. Both wear the same perfume. Both leave their bedroom doors ajar. Both had meningitis. They had identical IQs. Both collect soft toys and had cats called Tiger.”

Barbara Herbert and Daphne Goodship

“Barbara Herbert and Daphne Goodship were the twins of an unmarried Finnish student, and were adopted by different families at birth. Both their adoptive mothers died when they were children. Both had fallen downstairs when they were fifteen and broken an ankle. Both met their future husbands at town hall dances when they were sixteen, and married in their early twenties. Both had early miscarriages, then each had two boys followed by a girl. Both have a heart murmur and a slightly enlarged thyroid. Both read the same popular novelists and read the same magazine. And when they met for the first time, both had tinted their hair the same shade of auburn, and were wearing beige dresses, brown velvet jackets and identical white petticoats.”

Because each of these pairs of twins were monozygotic or identical twins, we would have expected each pair to resemble each other in appearance, temperament, special abilities, health, likes and dislikes and so on. But quite uncommon to have the actual details of their lives corresponding in such ways. In these cases they seem to be following the same life scripts.

Let’s consider instinctive behaviour: The bar-tailed godwits

The twin stories seem to baffle the Skeptics, who resort to suggesting that these multiple correspondences come about because of their shared genes. Really? That would be similar to asserting that there are genetic instructions for the annual 11,500 kilometre flight path of the bar-tailed godwit from a specific location in Alaska to the mouth of the Rakaia River in New Zealand. In Christchurch we used to ring the Cathedral bells to celebrate their arrival every year,

A female godwit, a shorebird, was recently tracked and found to have flown 7,145 miles (11,500 kilometers) nonstop from Alaska to New Zealand—without taking a break for food or drink. The bird completed the journey in nine days. “In addition to demonstrating the bird’s surprising endurance, the trek confirms that godwits make the southbound trip of their annual migration directly across the vast Pacific rather than along the East Asian coast, scientists said.” “This shows how incredible and extreme birds can be,” said Phil Battley of New Zealand’s Massey University, who took part in the study.’

What is in common between the story about the godwits and the stories about the twins is that it is difficult to ascribe the details of what is described to genes. What gene combination could possibly prescribe the starting place in Alaska, the flight path across the Pacific and the river destination in New Zealand? What gene combination could explain the matching details of our twin stories?

A third puzzling phenomenon: Synchronicity with Prof. Steven M. Rosen

In my Afterlife Teachings from Stephen the Martyr I describe how Stephen spoke five words in his dialect of Greek. Synchronicity led us to sing those five words to the five notes of the UFO of Close Encounters. In an article, and later in my book, I reproduced those five notes in musical notation, so that they could be sung.

Many months later I was surprised to receive the following letter from an academic I had never heard of:

“”I have had an experience that might interest you, one I would like to share. But first, let me introduce myself. I am a college professor in the City University of New York. My interest - really a passion – centres on the transpersonal, evolutionary aspects of parapsychology, and of science (e.g. theoretical physics, foundational mathematics in general.)

For the past several years I’ve been working towards expressing my theme in a way that would communicate to a broad-spectrum audience. I’ve been writing a “metaphysical novel” that deals essentially with these synchronistic linkages attending the evolution of consciousness.

Last Wednesday afternoon, I was working in the basement office of my New York suburban home, feeling enthusiastic about approaching the climax of my project. The three central characters, in the course of their development, have just listened to the theme “Joy” from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. “Sandy” remarks that it reminds her of the movie “Close Encounters”. I want to portray her as singing the five-note musical signature phrase. Can I use musical notation in my manuscript? Specifically how would it be done? (I do not know musical notation). At that moment, my father-in-law called down to me, telling me that the mail had just arrived. I opened the envelope from the ARPR [ Journal of the Academy of Religion and Psychical Research], removed the latest issue of the Journal, thumbed through its pages and quickly discovered your article on synchronicity by spotting your splendid musical staff.” [See my Into the Wider Dream: Synchronicity in the Witness Box]

Again, we ask the question, How did it happen that Prof Steven Rosen got his “musical staff” immediately after wanting it?

Asking “why?” about the twins, about the godwit, and about the synchronicity, this is really a rhetorical question. Frankly, we do not know precisely why. We cannot give a firm answer to our original question about predestination.

I do like this quote from Einstein “Why are there so many coincidences?” “The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science…the mystery of the eternity of life, and the inkling of the marvellous structure of reality, together with the single-hearted endeavor to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature.”

An Internet metaphor

What we can say is that science has to assume that reality is one and undivided; the mathematics of quantum mechanics demands that physical reality is consciousness based, physical reality of time and space. Many would follow QM physicist David Bohm in viewing physical reality as a projection of a timeless, spaceless order, which is the ultimate reality. Thus “physical” is ultimately “mental”, “psychic”. The orders are not separate but “implicate” and “explicate.”

Perhaps we can visualise this in terms of the Internet. The internet comes into existence through the linkage in a vast network of computers in most countries of the world. We talk of “Cyberspace”, an “Imaginary, intangible, virtual-reality realm where (in general) computer-communications and simulations and (in particular) internet activity takes place. The electronic equivalent of human psyche (the ‘mindspace’ where thinking and dreaming occur), cyberspace is the domain where objects are neither physical nor representations of the physical world, but are made up entirely of data manipulation and information.”

In cyberspace by entering search words we can instantly listen to endless YouTube musical productions, access information from any period of time.. almost timeless, spaceless. It is impossible to locate in physical space where our information came from. We think of something and we have it, but we can’t say how.

All this is so similar to psychophysical reality. In physics we speak of quantum entanglement, in which space and time seem to be transcended. Psychic phenomena across apparent time and space seem to show mind and consciousness similarly entangled. It is hard to pinpoint cause and effect. To me it seems best to see events such as those of our twins, the journey of the godwit, the synchronicity with Professor Rosen, as emerging from an entangled reality. What emerges from such a reality is certainly not random, is meaningful both emotionally and mentally, and can often be seen as part of a wider pattern. But we are unlikely to discover some action or thought that will trigger the event that evokes in us so much wonder. A religious and spiritual response is appropriate, dissecting things to find cause and effect is probably not. We can talk of memory fields, Akashic records if we wish. But these do not occupy space and time, and as with cyberspace can probably be regarded as entangled with all else.

Michael Cocks edits the journal, The Ground of Faith.
Afterlife Teaching From Stephen the Martyr by Michael Cocks is published by White Crow Books and available from Amazon and other bookstores.
His latest book, Into the Wider Dream: Synchronicity in the Witness Box is published by White Crow Books.


It is all very well trying to find patterns and laws in things that happen, but when God is personal and there are individual angels in thousands and saints who can apparently have some influence in our world,we should surely expect variety.  Someone had fun with some identical twins and they and we can rejoice and wonder.  In my old age I am in contact with a variety of people I would not have dreamt of earlier.  Some can’t take that sort of thing.

Jim Hunt, Mon 18 Apr, 08:21

As one who has experienced some amazing coincidences including being one row in front of a man I last met as a child 50 years earlier in New Zealand when my father worked for his father - on the same bus going to Anaheim,L.A. I meet many people who have never had a significant coincidence. Many separated twins have no similarities in emotions or lifestyle. All the examples do is show that some do. Belief in re-incarnation requires a previous belief that eternal goals may be met by achievement - perhaps through several lifetimes. The Christian understanding is that eternal life is the gift of God and is received not achieved and therefore does not require more than one life in this world.

John Marcon, Thu 7 Apr, 03:21

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“Children and the Light” by Peter and Elizabeth Fenwick – ALF Rose had this experience many years ago when he was ill with pneumonia as a young child of four or five. Suddenly I was out of my body and floating near the top of the window in my bedroom. I could see myself in bed and my mother kneeling at the side of the bed. She was crying and looked very distressed. I gazed at this scene for a little while and remember that I didn't feel any emotion at all and was completely indifferent to what I saw. Without any warning at all I was travelling very swiftly through a dense forest. Read here
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