Synchronicity - Who is the playwright?
Posted on 30 October 2012, 17:18
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts..”
[William Shakespeare - (from As You Like It)
Yes, indeed, it certainly seems that way… when strange coincidences so often seem to link this incident in our lives to that.
Last week my wife Gertrud was buying some cards for sending to friends on special occasions, and there was one card she felt she had to buy even though not really suitable for greetings: it was a painting of a man shoeing a horse. That evening we dined with a man we had not met before, and Gertrud had the urge to show him this card. “I shoe horses, I am a farrier,” said the man.
What drove Gertrud to buy the card, and then to show it to this man? What drove… Or rather, if she is acting a part in some play, who is the playwright, who is the director of the play? What is the intent of the playwright, getting Gertrud to act out this vignette with the card?
That question is very much on my mind at present as I am trying to complete a book to be called Into the Wider Dream: Synchronicity and the Fates. In this regard I have been studying a really excellent book by Brian Inglis: (below) Coincidence: A Matter of Chance – Or Synchronicity? It is published by White Crow. Inglis presents many and varied and indeed fascinating accounts on synchronicity. He helps us to think about the subject by giving clear accounts of the thinking of leading scientists and philosophers.
The synchronicities that Brian Inglis presents can all be described in single paragraphs, and come from many times and places. In my book I am really describing synchronicities all of which can be regarded as parts of one very long dramatic production taking decades to perform, comprising many plays, acts and scenes. And of course all through this period I have been tormented with wondering who the playwright was? And who was the director? And for what purpose had the play been written? I suppose I partly wrote the book to try and answer my questions, and why, like Brian Inglis I looked to see what open-minded scientists might suggest, or what were the intuitions of the great mystics.
The long dramatic production was centred around the conversations a group of us had, over a period of eight years, (recorded in my book Afterlife Teaching,) with the spirit I believe to be that of St Stephen. So often after recording some of his spiritual teaching we would observe meaningful coincidences that would help us actually experience the meaning of his teaching. So, whoever or whatever the playwright might be, the intention of those experiences with the was our spiritual development.
Early on in what we could see as an extended dramatic production, in 1973, an acquaintance knocked on the door of my vicarage in Christchurch (NZ) and presented me with a large black notebook with over 100 pages of prophecies about me written by a lady I had never heard of, and who lived in the North Island. Apparently I was to play a role in the Second Coming, and there were many prophecies couched in the imagery of the last chapters of The Book Of Revelation. There were a lot of prophecies to do with the last chapters of that book. I hope I received the gift politely, and even though I accepted that God could talk to me in poetic and mythic language, I put it to one side.
The next act the play came three months later when, on an impulse I visited a library I had never been in before. The librarian at the time was a woman called Olive Ashman. Apparently she and her husband Thomas had recently arrived from England, and in the course of our conversation she mentioned that they had been living in Sevenoaks in Kent, and that three months previously, her husband Thomas had begun speaking in his sleep, at first in Latin.
Thomas was persuaded to take the phenomenon seriously, and although not previously a medium, found himself able to fall into a deep trance, enabling Olive to talk to Stephen (in English).
I saw that the event as being in synchronicity with the delivery of the prophetic notebook, and I still do, because we found that we were on many occasions sometimes very painfully acting out a synchronistic drama directly using the themes from the book of Revelation referred to in the Black Book of prophecies.
Perhaps an overriding theme in our synchronistic dramas throughout all those years is that of The Union of Opposites: the union of north and south, the union of male and female, the union of spiritual and physical, of light and dark.
The synchronicities helped to bring us to see ourselves as conscious participants in the universe, and to experience ourselves as selves, emanations of a common Self. They served the purpose of helping to enlighten us as to who we were in relation to a limitless Whole.
Synchronicities however, seem to come in many forms and guises. It is interesting to see the many different types in Brian Inglis’ book. A scientist friend in Auckland finds them everywhere, meticulously writing them down, with exact times, dates, cheque numbers, chassis, flight numbers. I am inclined to accept them as genuine, but they are so complex that I don’t not have the space to described them here. (His name is Dr Brian Cocksey.) Many of them seem to predict the future disasters.
But to come back to the original question: who is the playwright, who directs these dramas? In both Inglis’ book and mine, the authors quoted agree that the happenings of this world are a projection from a deeper level of being. The physicist David Bohm speaks of the “explicate” order office physical world being a projection from the timeless “implicate” world, the biologist Rupert Sheldrake understands the implicate world as well of memory fields that act as morphogenetic or form-producing fields that result in bodily structure, instinctive behaviour and synchronistic events. Other people claim that it is our deepest spiritual selves that produce these effects in the physical world. The world’s religions all, at least officially, speak of predestination; Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, Hinduism, do this. Christians also speak of guidance in the Holy Spirit.
As a clergyman, I often refer to the words of the Epistle to the Ephesians, and speak of the God who is in all, through all, and above all; or speak of the God in whom we live and move, and have our being.
Provided we don’t define the word “God” too narrowly, putting things in that way does as good justice to the synchronicity that we observe, as any other. God is the playwright, and his ways are often inscrutable.
Teachings about predestination, Providence, the Holy Spirit, communion are ways of regarding synchronicity. The good thing about such ways of seeing things, is that they preserve our dignity as people, as Subjects not objects, as “you’s” not “its.” They allow for the prayer and worship that is appropriate when experiencing such phenomena. They give us insight into the experiential basis out of which the world’s religions have emerged. But one must affirm that it is appropriate to discuss synchronicity both from the scientific and philosophical and also from the spiritual points of view.
Michael Cocks edits the journal, 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.
Coincidence: A Matter of Chance – Or Synchronicity? by Brian Inglis It is published by White Crow.
Next blog October 13