I was, am, and will be just the right age to participate in the evolution of the new age movement. This more or less made up for being a tad too young to fling myself into the sixties counter culture, which as a fifteen year old in Glasgow, I was desperate to do. When my dear mother agreed to let me have my birthday money several months early in order to buy Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band the week of its release in June 1967, and I settled to absorb the genius and the joy and the beauty, my young mind was intrigued by the lyrics of George Harrison’s Within You Without You. For example, We were talking about the space between us all really piqued my interest. The mystical element was definitely present, and other sixties artists reflected that movement, Donovan for one (Histories of ages past/hung in light and shadows cast/down through all eternity/the crying of humanity – Hurdy Gurdy Man), Pink Floyd for another (The movement is accomplished in six stages/and the seventh brings return/seven is the number of the young light/it moves when darkness is increased by one – Chapter 24).
Certainly newspaper reports of The Beatles comments on their Transcendental Meditation trip to India contributed to my growing curiosity. And the fact that I was reading one of those newspaper reports sitting beside my slowly dying and hospitalized father in March 1968, my father who spent the entirety of World War 11 in India of all places, absorbing the culture because there was not much else to do as the Japanese got stuck in Burma, did strike me as quite the coincidence. Then and later.
Emigrating to Canada after my father’s passing rather shifted my cultural focus: both Canada and the United States were beset with political problems. Although Canada’s were somewhat less than all encompassing, the Americans, shocked by political assassinations, inner city race riots and the endless traumas of the Vietnam War, were a study in bloody and anguished turmoil as I sat in Toronto, reading Rolling Stone. In that same time period, the early seventies, I began my long spiritual search through mystical and esoteric literature, both the new stuff then emerging, like the Seth books channelled by Jane Roberts, (ironically barely 100 miles from where I lived, although I did not know it at the time), and older, out of print books from the Spiritualist and Theosophical camps. These familiarized me with the notions of the afterlife, reincarnation and karma, and I pondered the implications endlessly.
At some point I discovered the work of Colin Wilson, specifically the books The Occult and Mysteries, which gave me a cultural map for how occult and esoteric teachings ran alongside, at times acknowledged and at times repressed, the evolution of western culture since the time of ancient Egypt. Wilson, by citing the earlier work of Carl Jung and Arthur Koestler on synchronicity, brought me up to speed on the subject.By then, however, I’d already experienced the phenomenon in my own life. Specifically by ingesting the psychedelic LSD, which, by altering my mode of consciousness in the manner suggested by Aldous Huxley in his The Doors Of Perception, then widely available in a Penguin edition, which was the notion that the brain is a filtering mechanism which blocks out large chunks of conscious perception in order then we navigate though the world smoothly and safely. On LSD I did experience those filters being removed. Rather forcibly and shockingly I might add, as if the back of your head has been ripped off and quickly replaced with the universe in all its complex mystery.
The relevant details are these: sitting in rooms with either small or large numbers of people coming and going one had an instant understanding of how one’s thoughts and emotions affected those who entered the room. One could see and feel the vibrations enter and effect their bodies, causing certain muscular/body language reactions. One could sense the thoughts of another before they spoke them. One could know if another was not speaking the truth of their thoughts. One could see and know that all matter (walls, floors, doors, etc) was not solid but in a constant state of vibration, just as sub-molecular physics posited. Let me repeat: one could see and know. There was no need for the analysis that doubt inspires. The evidence was palpable. Those who were not experiencers would argue that you were hallucinating an illusion and no matter how long or hard you tried you could not convince them that ordinary consciousness was in fact an illusion, a clever fabrication designed to keep you on the straight and narrow.
Many years later I would come to understand that when thus seeing and knowing I was operating in my buddhic or intuitional body, that’s the one beyond the astral and mental bodies, the one where knowing, without the intercession of the analytical intellect, is the standard mode of operation. These days, in my work as counselor and regression facilitator, I will often say to the client go to your place of knowing. By this I mean, ascend in vibration beyond your emotional and mental bodies, with all their anxieties, fears and doubts, to your intuitional body, where knowing cannot be challenged by not-knowing.
It is in this body where one comes, after many years of experiencing and pondering, to know that coincidence is no mere accidental bumping of careless bodies or thoughts. When you think of a distant friend, not seen or heard from in months, and the next day or hour they phone or write, you know that the two of you are connected by thought, just as surely as a radio station and a correctly tuned receiver. When you are walking with a friend and you think a certain thought which they then, in seconds, more or less repeat to you, you know it’s no fortuitous circumstance or accident. When you are wondering where a certain piece of forgotten information lies and your hand goes directly to the book needed, or perhaps it falls from the shelf to your feet, you know your need and the response are connected in an a-causal fashion, as Jung defined synchronicity. When a newspaper, randomly picked up in a spare moment in some public place, gives up the exact information you thought you’d forgotten moments before in some sudden conversation with a friendly stranger, you know you’re in the zone.
On the inner journey of spirit, those in the early stages have many exciting encounters with synchronicity, feeling perhaps that it is coincidence with a hidden agenda. At first they feel the universe is a miraculous entity which sometimes seems to be responding to their needs. When it seems to run counter to their perceived needs they blame a malign fate, not realizing that their unconscious patterns are projecting externally and producing that fate (as Jung points out in Aion). Later they come to see that those needs can be expressed consciously, that the lovely confluence of desire and response can be intentionally directed. Perhaps it’s god, perhaps it’s angels or one of the religion-creating prophets, perhaps it’s my destiny. When you’re starting out it never seems that it can be something insignificant or small like me. Later on the journey one becomes more accustomed to marvelous synchronicities, and later still, almost blasé. By then one knows that this multi-dimensional consciousness that is cleverly shrunk and then embodied in the human, is entirely capable of manifesting any number of synchronicities, should you be so focused on that path. Then it has become a fact of life, a given, something for others to be thrilled over. You know that When you’ve seen beyond yourself, there you may find peace of mind is waiting there, and the time will come when you see we’re all one, and life flows on within you and without you is real and not just a lovely series of poetic metaphors. You have moved from your earlier plateau of achievement onto other challenges.