The Science of Self Club has completed more than three years of activities at the University of Florida. We wanted the name to reflect the working philosophy of the group. The topic is very broad -- the Self -- who we are, what we are here for, topics related to self-discovery that we don't understand very well. We wanted a forum for discussion, but not limited to one view or body of knowledge. We don't have the truth, but we can bring in different groups/ideas and have a debate. We wanted to emphasize the role of science in spirituality. Combining both is not totally unique and this effort is expanding. It's not just about combining conventional science with dogmatic religion. Today we have quantum consciousness, back in the heyday of magnetism Mesmer popularized hypnotism in Europe and people spoke of animal magnetism. Today everything is quantum, tomorrow... who knows? The idea is to talk about the spirit of the scientific paradigm or what it should be.
With animals, we see the predominant mode of operation is instinct. With plants and simpler organisms, it's even more primitive. The more advanced animals start to exhibit emotion and even affection, but this is something we humans are more sophisticated with. Our expression of emotions is abundant and complex. The intellectual is more exclusive to us, and things we consider more elevated like ethics and love. This is also reflected in the chakras -- ascending from the sexual, to heart, to crown chakras. At the top, we have the crown chakra, the only one pointing up, not as imbued as the other chakras. As we evolve, we outgrow slavery and going at each other with machetes - it still happens throughout the world. The line between right and wrong starts to become less obvious, ethical dilemmas arise, more delicate and sophisticated issues like euthanasia in the polemic Terry Shiavo case.
What should I do? Our life is much more complicated than just eating, reproducing, survival... there are complex issues and we need the intellect, reason. Some would say that reason is one of the things that brings us closer to God, a more sophisticated aspect of ourselves. The third death or Nirvana, exiting the reincarnation chakra... Right now I have a physical body; I've had out-of-body experiences that show that I have a body of emotions, astral body; a few throughout history have had a rarer experience called satori, samadhi, cosmic consciousness, the experience of enlightenment in the "dimension of ideas" of ideas, of love -- not in the overused sense, but in the sense of true maxi-fraternity and abnegation. When we go through the third death, we lose the physical body: the body of instinct. We lose the body of emotions, not because we become cold as stone but because we've learned to harmonize. Their ability to care and help is most evolved but their emotions do not get out of control. Serenity would be a strong characteristic of these persons. But what is left? They don't cease to exist, they continue to evolve perfect through their mental body (discernment, thoughts, intellect).
In our lives we still have to deal with emotions, that's why we still have an astral body (psychosoma), and we still have an animal body. This physical condition provides growth opportunities that we could not have in the extraphysical condition. But we also have a mental ‘body’. Today and in the future, the mentalsoma will be more and more relevant as the others come under our control and are not as critical. Here in the USA, for most, survival is not the main challenge. Wherein does our purpose lie, then? It's going to be shifted towards these more sophisticated aspects. So, what does this have to do with synchronicity?
Let's say I feel a synchronicity occurred and that I should take actions based on my interpretation of this. Let's say there is a string of coincidences that lead you to think that you should move to Texas and take up a job opportunity that has come up. How likely is it that it was synchronicity? But are you sure that's what the synchronicities mean? Who or what sponsored them? Did I cause them? A spiritual helper? Someone poking fun at me? Let's think about us? What kinds of people do we run into in our daily life? More Mother Theresas or pranksters? Do we have people who want to maintain the status quo and would have an interest in steering you away? So we need alertness and discernment. We can't buy wisdom, but we must do our best.
Actions, people you meet, things you see, read, things that fall on your lap out of nowhere, a thought that comes to mind, something you hear -- so unlikely, so bizarre, sometimes a string of them. Is this just coincidence?
Audience: "I lived off the Alaska Highway, 250 miles from the nearest city. Someone came through from the highway with a piece of leather with a drawing and inscription from a temple. He gave it to me. I thought it was great because I had been to Nepal. A week later a Buddhist monk came by. I wouldn't even be able to find it, had he not come within about a week, because we put away things that we value but they are hard to find. It turns out that it was his from masters' monastery, and I was a conductor for it to return to its original place."
I am sure most of you have had at least one synchronicity that made you stop in awe. Sometimes it seems as if a sign that reveals "yes, we do live in a material world," as the Police song you placed some minutes ago, "but that there is more." We are not just bodies. Is there a plan, purpose? I think so!
Audience: “I was at the beach, and I felt I should be in this particular part. I made a great detailed landscape drawing. Two people came in between me and the view, but there was something about them that attracted me. After they left, I finished my drawing and went walking by the park. I saw them again and so asked them if they would like to see my drawing. They were both art teachers at a university in Jacksonville. They seemed to like it and I felt such a connection with them. We hung out all afternoon. It was all very enjoyable, how it came together.”
I went to a conference with some other friends who were also going to present. We were at the last event of the evening, the day before our presentation. So, I thought we should hand out some announcements. The moment I told my friend to hand them out as people left, I pointed to a guy who was leaving "Like this guy, who is leaving." My friend ran into him when he went to the bathroom. Turns out he had only left for a little while. When I leave, I run into him again. He and his girlfriend come the next day. He was very sharp, asked good questions, and we all felt we would like to keep in touch. We forgot to exchange contacts.
The conference was over, we packed up and got our rental car. We were so hungry on the highway, but we missed the first exit. I had a pre-sentiment that there was not going to be another exit for a while but I was unable to advise the driver to exit immediately, for some reason. Sure enough, there was no exit for a good while. After maybe half an hour, there is an exit with a Subway but it closed just before we got there. Fortunately, there was a chain restaurant that one of my friends had tried before and was not bad. We were so hungry, anyway. We had a good time and enjoyed our food. We are about to ask for the check, when I see the back of someone seating nearby. I could not see the face of the lady across him. It turns out it was the young couple from the conference. They lived two hours away from the Penn State campus. We exchanged contacts and offered them a book.
say that there is something important that you want to study to help others,
like teen suicide. You start running into relevant situations and information,
from the magazine article at the dentist's office to the book that fell from
the shelf as you walked by. You just started a business but after a while your
money is running out and you run out of confidence. An idea, a quote you read
once, then comes into your mind: "People who accomplish great things, must
take great risks." You regain your confidence and that day you get your
The examples thus far have been all nice and "heart-warming," but what about when you decide to take a right turn and the lamp post falls on your head. How often do lamp poles fall, and why did I have to in that spot, at that time? You had an unpleasant dream before your flight that seemed to predict doom, so you decide not to go last minute. The usually-punctual flight companion missed the flight because he overslept - a very rare event. But the remaining two friends went along and died in the plane crash. Why? We cannot be too simplistic about it: "The latter deserved to die - they had karma! The former, no, they are meant for great things!" How do these things happen, and why?
Some things are generated by ourselves, and many are not really synchronicities. Let's say you pick your birthday, say 4 / 27: 427 is your number. You start noticing the time 4:27 all the time. After a while, you notice that you under-estimated your brain's biological clock, and you stop paying attention to it. At the airport, months later, you are informed that your wonderful airline overbooked the economy flight. They arrange an alternative, and you wonder if you should stay or if you should go. You think you should stay, and happen to see 427 in the running announcement screen and you take this as a pointer to go with your intuition. So, it started out as not being synchronistic, but then, because you were no longer actively pursuing it was used for a synchronicity you could identify.
Audience: “My dad still lives in the same house I grew up in. The house number is 403. When I moved to Florida, I got married and his parents' house was 4103. It was not why I married him, but that was interesting. Unfortunately, that marriage did not last very long. When I moved to Gainesville, I found an apartment complex that was reasonable. The address there was 4203, where I lived for 10 years.”
Yes, I notice numbers can come up in different contexts. Some of it is self-generated, even biologically, but not always.
What else can trigger synchronicities? We can think of past lives. Of many previous experiences, you would have met many people, have had close relationships with many people, but many, many people. You would have been friends and family. So should it be surprised that we develop a proneness to meet certain people with whom we develop an instant connection; or even the opposite, an instant repulsion or dislike. But why? Many times there is nothing horribly wrong with them. So, as we explore this it comes part of our self-discovery and self-development progress. Sometimes, synchronicities relate to what we "tune in to." We might run into events related to what we have been thinking about or feeling or our degree of ethics.
Imagine ten people in the zoo, when the lion escapes. Eight manage to escape, and two twins trail behind, looking equally appetizing. It turns out that the one who got attacked was an illegal hunter and mistreated animals since he was a child. The other was an environmentalist and donated a lot of time and energy to protect animal life. So, was that just a coincidence? The lion being instinctive felt more threatened by the hunter. What we do, think, and feel is going to determine to some extent who we run into. Something someone tells me could help me solve a problem I'm currently dealing with. Apparently complete opposites, cops and criminals are so closely associated. The thief that goes clean, moves to another town, but keeps getting mugged. "Wait! I'm the good guy now, what's going on?"
We're not going to go into details now into concepts of karma, but it's not just an individual process. Why are we born into specific families for example? Why do we have the parents we have? What we have done in the past is done, but we can choose better postures and decisions today. There may be a tendency in humans today to divine this process? Are you sure it was an "angel?" How do you know? Was it from a positive source, a mal-intentioned source, a not so wise a source? We have to take care with eagerness to follow an idea that might not even be our idea. We can test things out and discern. How can we sponsor synchronicity? Well, it helps to be more alert and lucid, pay attention, be observant. Reading about it helps: classics include the novel "The Celestine Prophecy" and works of Carl Jung, who came up with the term. We can read about the processes involved in synchronicity like bioenergetics, energetic attractions, and karma. On reincarnation, I recommend the book Retrocognitions by Wagner Alegretti and Life Before Life by Tucker.
Another issue is merit; nothing is for free. If you want to experience a certain thing or spiritual assistance, considering there are limited resources, it's economics, who is going to have it? When we are watching TV, do we need help? Not usually! If we are counseling someone, we might merit more assistance. The more you invest in helping, the more you merit assistance through synchronicity, the out-of-body experience and increased parapsychism like telepathy or your ability to perceive and interpret energies. Why? Because you are putting it to good use. You will often run into the right people, being in the right place at the right time.
You can become a key player for something, whether at the local or the international level, we don't really know who we are. Maybe someone in this room is supposed to right a book that would help thousands of people throughout the world; we should not underestimate that. If you write a book that helps, probably it's a book that promotes change. So, you will attract some counter-flow and should be attentive but not paranoid. At times, traps catering to our weak spots can look like opportunities. A colleague who teaches about personal evolution had an opportunity to get a great job but away from a consciousness education institution. He realizes that had he taken that high-paying job, he would not have advanced his service and entrepreneurial potential as much as he did.