Synchronicities on the day my wife and I were engaged.
Posted on 11 March 2014, 11:04
All my writing in the past 45 years, my e-journal The Ground of Faith, all my blogs, they all have come about because I’m have been trying to make sense of the experiences I have been having in those years, personal experiences that tell me that there is something fishy about the common sense world of see and touch. Most of those experiences I have had in common with a number of other people. They include quite well authenticated conversations with the spirit of Stephen the Martyr, oft repeated synchronicities both with friends, and with people overseas whom I have never met, dreams apparently foretelling future UFO events, personal communications from the so-called “dead”… the list could continue. While having such experiences, I have been leading a comparatively normal life in the physical world, and these days getting spiritual support and love in an open-minded Christian church, where however unfortunately my apparently weird experiences cannot be mentioned.
How do I make sense of it all? Of course I have no easy answers. My experiences do prompt me to ask whether this earthly life is some kind of illusion, whether it is some kind of game. If it is such a game then I would argue that it is not like some kind of cerebral computer game played by geeks. I would argue that we have to do with an “illusion” that serves the purposes and needs of spiritual beings both incarnate and discarnate. It will serve physical/spiritual relationships, serve desires to cooperate, to love, to be creative, to be at one. It will do this primarily. It also will force us to re-evaluate how we understand the world we live in.
In my forthcoming book, Into the Wider Dream, I discuss the day when my wife and I got engaged. Previously I had been experiencing multiple synchronicities with Prof Mary Rose of Baltimore, Maryland, and also with Prof Steven Rosen then of Staten Island, NY. I had met neither of them in person. On the day when we became engaged, my fiancée and I came to the gate of her home. At that very moment another woman by the name of Mary Rose walked past us. Shortly afterwards we visited a bookshop to be confronted at its entrance by a pile of books called The Mary Rose Story.
That evening I travelled to my home in the country where I had a lodger called Peter Hayden, and who was contemplating marrying a woman called Lesley. Before going into the house I found a letter from Steven Rosen (below) in the mailbox. Although Steven had not even heard of my new fiancée Gertrud, who is Swedish, he was describing the tail-end of a dream in which he had received the gift of book with a handwritten title: “Weird [can mean a Nordic and Swedish Fate goddess] Valentine [engagement to be married]”, with the author as Mary Land. This part of the dream reminded him of Mary Rose of Maryland (he corresponded with her). He also related that on March 17th [Gertrud’s Day in all Swedish calendars] a student had given him an old psychology book. The student was called Leslie. Steven’s daughter was called Lesley, [the name of Peter’s woman friend. ]
This letter arrived punctually on the day of our engagement.
I have told this story many times, but it well worth repeating. What does this story suggest? (“Suggest” is the right word, for we cannot “prove” matters in events like these.) That we were experiencing so many synchronicities with Mary Rose and Steven Rosen suggests that in another dimension there are strong links or ties with them. Perhaps we belong to an invisible spiritual group. Perhaps.
In his letter Steven Rosen described the end of a dream, and his thoughts about it. He had the intuition that they might have to do with experiences that I might be having, so he sent the letter saying so. And they did. He was right in all details. He had sent similar letters previously, and it had been he who initiated the correspondence. His first letter had related to a strong synchronicity with musical notation in an article by myself in what is now called The Journal of the Academy of Spirituality and Consciousness Studies. This in turn had related to a key moment in our conversations with St Stephen. For me, then, Steven was and is part and parcel of the whole overwhelming St Stephen experience.
Unbelievably his letter arrived on the day of our engagement. That was also the day that another Mary Rose had crossed our path. What inspired this other Mary Rose to walk in front of us? How did Steven Rosen, the US and the New Zealand postal services arrange things so that Steven’s letter arrived at the right time and the right day? How many hundreds of people have to do their job on time for the delivery to succeed? We cannot imagine how the conscious minds of all those involved could possibly have arranged all these happenings.
Certainly we could imagine our eternal selves getting together to arrange some coincidences, but what about the postal services? The other person called Mary Rose? The pile of The Mary Rose Story in that bookshop? Which eternal selves are doing what?
But perhaps it is the case that we do live in a holographic universe. [See my previous blog] Perhaps the universe is one and undivided, and perhaps in its essence it occupies neither space nor time. This is the view of some physicists. It is also the view of St Stephen. When we puzzled about impossible to explain happenings such as I have been describing, Stephen had this to say:
“A simple way to put it would be:
Take this universe:
instead of speaking of bodies existing in the void of space,
we might speak of the bodies as holes in the void.
We could say that the void, or the pattern between,
is of greater substance than what we feel to be solid,
that we form the outline of what is, and this is why our shape,
or the shape of the happenings, and of our purpose,
does not seem to fit our puzzle.
It makes space for that puzzle.” [Page 193]
John Bell’s theorem has it that ultimately we cannot talk of local causation. The EPR experiment, with Alain Aspect, and the thinking of scientists such as David Bohm will have it that space itself is an illusion, where space and time are projections of spacelessness and timelessness. [Their reasoning is complex, so I will leave it to the reader to explore Wikipedia entries .]
The Gospel of John once again, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” [John 1:1-2]
In effect what John was saying has the same meaning as Stephen’s words. It is implying that in some sense God, the Whole, the Void, or Spirit creates such scenarios that I have been describing. Can we understand what this means in practice? No, not really. It only gives us words to say, so that we are not left dumb.
In a sense we are nothing but conscious and also unconscious participants in the Whole, we are actors in a drama produced by the Whole, except that in our incarnate minds we cannot stand back and divine the purposes of that Whole.
This leaves us I think with two sorts of moralities and systems of ethics. There is a morality for this physical life where we have to live with each other and depend on each other, use our common language, common philosophies, and moralities. We cannot readily discard them, for there has to be some agreement about how we interact. There can be no doubt that we are ordinary human beings, struggling to earn a living, coping perhaps with health or relationship problems. Inescapably we are ordinary human beings living in the physical world. . . .
….on the one hand.
But on the other hand, every bit of paranormal evidence we have demonstrates conclusively that we are also eternal beings not separated by space and time. A medium in New Zealand can channel the spirit of someone who died on the other side of the world 2000 years ago. A man in Sweden can dream correctly eleven days in advance the contents of a conversation in New Zealand. The eternal world is real, and it does not involve space and time as we know it.
Sixty years ago, when I was studying philosophy, I wrote a thesis on the work of the Israeli thinker, Martin Buber. Buber (below) was making the distinction between the impersonal I-it relationship and the personal I-Thou, I-You (Ich Du). I understood “I-Thou” to be a relationship where we see the other person as an eternal being, and respond to them as such. I was arguing that ultimately all ethics, all sense of true right and wrong, depends on such I-Thou relationships. It comes to the point when we are driven to say that we are each other.
And of course that contradicts every experience we have had throughout our lives. Even so we must try and understand the incomprehensible. Every psychic experience, every synchronicity, the contents of nearly every book published by White Crow, the findings of some quantum physicists, all demand that we see space and time as an illusion, that space and time do not separate us, that in some sense we are each other.
We are not going to drop the idea of non-separateness easily.
If there is a certain repetitiveness in my blogs, that is the reason. We are not going to drop the idea of non-separateness easily. To get our heads around the idea, here are two pictures:
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” —Albert Einstein
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 forthcoming book, Into the Wider Dream will be published summer 2014 by White Crow Books.