Posts Tagged ‘synchronicity’

Synchronicity illustrated with a little help from my friends

October 4, 2014

Walking along the beach, I on the spur of the moment decided to pop into a hotel and see a friend.

I found her as she was leaving. Had I been a minutes either side, I would have missed her.

As I left the hotel, to continue my walk, I bumped into a friend walking her dog. Had I been seconds either side I would not have bumped into her.

Synchronicity explained with a little help from my friends

September 23, 2014

Talking to Angelo, he mentioned he liked A Tiny Ring by Jewelia and that he enjoyed Paulo Coelho on Super Soul Sunday.

He though did not quite understand the concept of the universe conspires.

I explained best as I could  synchronicity.

From a room with a view, skype chat with a friend. Conversation  interrupted by a message from Jewelia to tell me she would be sending signed album to the very person i was talking to.

Synchronicity: Cascais, an actress, a writer, Brazil

March 18, 2014
promenade at Cascais

promenade at Cascais



Walking along the promenade at lunch time today, I got into conversation with a Brazilian actress.

I asked if she lived in Cascais?

No, lived in England, a little town called Haslemere, in Surrey, I would not know it.

Really, I said, I was there Thursday last week.

I asked did she know Godalming (near Haslemere), there was a lovely place to eat called Cafe Mila.

Yes, she said, her friend worked there, in the kitchen.

Really, said I, I was talking to him last Thursday.

I asked her to name a famous Brazilian. She could think of none.

Look, I said, and showed her By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept.

She screamed, Paulo Coelho, he is a friend of my mother!

A friend of mine too, I said.

She was then catching a train to Lisbon.

We walked to the station. She asked would I join her, I said no, but we could meet another day.

The train she caught, was maybe the train I saw yesterday, it had the Scorpions on the side.

Note: The following day, I had By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept signed for Breda by Paulo Coelho.

Paulo Coelho on Luck, Coincidence and Faith

July 29, 2013

Paulo Coelho talking about luck, coincidence and faith.

Thoughts are taken from The Alchemist.

Synchronicity – Chinese girl with a pocket watch

August 31, 2012
The Edwards Family - Stratford-upon-Avon

The Edwards Family – Stratford-upon-Avon

Alice reading to her sister

Alice reading to her sister

Synchronicity is the coming together of inner and outer events in a way that cannot be explained by cause and effect and that is meaningful to the observer. — Carl Jung

It is very rare these days to see anyone with a pocket watch.

It was therefore a surprise to see an attractive Chinese girl, very elegantly dressed, wearing a pocket watch.

I commented on it. She said no, it was not an old watch, and referred to it as an accessory, but said she would like an old pocket watch. I said that could be arranged.

We were both on the Reading to Gatwick train. She had travelled from Bath and was on her way to Austria.

I alighted at Guildford, existed the station, crossed the road and walked along the River Wey into the town centre (a far more attractive route than via the road).

Moored on the River Wey was a boat, from Straford-upon-Avon. It was the only boat moored.

How strange thought I, Bath lies on the River Avon, though not the same River Avon.

William Shakespeare is from Stratford-upon-Avon.

My friend Elaine and fellow collaborator on The Way of the Bow audio book was at a Shakespeare Festival this week.

I walked along the river. There was a Alice reading a book to her sister, a rabbit leaping down a rabbit hole.

The rabbit consults his pocket watch and mutters he is very late for a very important date.

This evening a dramatisation of a case of Sigmund Freud.

Sigmund Freud had his consulting rooms in Vienna. His close associate until they had a very bitter falling out was Carl Jung. It was Carl Jung who expressed the idea of synchronicity.

A strange world.

Strange case of synchronicity

July 6, 2012

Synchronicity is the coming together of inner and outer events in a way that cannot be explained by cause and effect and that is meaningful to the observer. — Carl Jung

Synchronicity has strange behaviour. Events are clustered in time and space.

Early today I had the company of Russians on my way to Guildford. I then put them on the London train as that is where they wished to be. Some fool had sent them on a roundabout way to London.

They were from Moscow, and I was very pleased when they offered to take a book for me to a friend. She will be pleased as it is a signed copy of Aleph. She had asked me for a copy of Aleph. It was her birthday, and I have been negligent in giving her a present.

Excellent lunch at the Guildford Institute. I then popped down to the library.

One of the librarians (all volunteers, and all always very helpful), proudly showed me a book they had just been donated on stained glass. A huge coffee table book, but sadly I cannot recall the title.

I expected it to be of the stained glass windows for which England is justly famous. It was not, it was of stained glass worldwide, but also of glass, not just stained glass windows.

Once I saw this, I mentioned a piece of glass I had picked up from Finland and remarked how Sweden and Finland were renowned for their quality glass.

As I said this the book fell open at a page, and there was the very piece of glass I was talking about, the image was from Christie’s!

I also mentioned a piece of glass I picked up last year. It was Swedish, or at least I believe it to be. The shop had no idea what it was they had.

The only way I could describe the glass I had from Finland, was that it was like ice. Exactly the same description in the book.

I then mentioned there was a very famous piece of stained glass in Guildford, in Abbot’s Hospital.

Prior to lunch I had hoped to find a copy of Aleph, but no luck.

In one bookshop, I spoke with a Greek girl, who the previous week I had directed her to where she could find information on Paulo Coelho. I then apologised for not telling her of the video conference Paulo Coelho did the previous week, but said she could still watch.

Onward with my search. No Aleph, but I did find a copy of The Alchemist, which I bought.

As I was buying, a Spanish lady spoke to me. Portuguese? I corrected her no Brazilian, but he writes in Portuguese.

She then told me her daughter taught Paulo Coelho.

This surprised me as I did not think anywhere taught Paulo Coelho. Though as I write, I did not so long ago meet someone who had one of his books on their course as a set book.

Where, I asked?

Sheffield University, she teaches Portuguese.

She was then surprised when I told her both my nieces studied at Sheffield University.

She told me she was from Santiago de Compostella.

Ah yes, I said, El Camino de Santiago. She suggested I walked it, got my book stamped.

She explained few pilgrims walked the route in modern times, now many.

Yes, I replied, could be because Paulo Coelho walked the pilgrimage and wrote of his experience in The Pilgrimage, and then wrote The Alchemist. If you walk the route you give something back

The two Russians I met told me of how much they liked the works of Paulo Coelho, how popular and much loved he was in Russia.

The Alchemist I will give to them as a present, to say thanks for doing me a big favour.

Believe In Peace

April 8, 2012
Believe In Peace - Steve Lawson

Believe In Peace - Steve Lawson

Many, many years ago, sometime late 1960s, early 1970s, I heard an amazing album, it was a saxophone recorded in Grace Cathedral, making use of echo in the cathedral. I still have it somewhere on reel-to-reel tape. Sadly I have never been able to find it on the net.

I mention this unknown album, as Believe In Peace by Steve Lawson brings back fond memories. The difference being Steve Lawson uses a bass guitar and tape loops. What a pity he did not make use of a building as Gregory Paul did with The Fremont Abbey Session.

The other intriguing aspect is how this album came about. It is an improvisation on an art exhibition by Geoff Bush based around I Ching.

Steve Lawson describes the events that brought about Believe In Peace as serendipitous. What he is actually describing is synchronicity, unplanned events that somehow against all odds appear to be connected.

This album came about via one of those unplannable serendipitous internet chains of events that you look back on and wonder if someone had planned them after all…

Lobelia and I had two house concerts booked in the Milwaukee and Madison, WI. Jason Bush – a musician from Minneapolis who had found us on Twitter, was considering the long drive down to Madison to see us play. However, this was right in the middle of the Union struggles in Madison, and our host was very involved, and quite rightly chose to focus on that rather than our show. So we had a free night. Jason putting his entrepreneurial hat on, invites us to play at an art exhibition of work by his dad, Geoff Bush. There’s an open studio weekend (Art-A-Whirl) and Geoff was exhibiting. We chatted on the phone, liked the sound of each other and booked it.

Intending to play a ‘normal’ Steve and Lo house concert-type set, I found on first seeing Geoff’s art that I was moved to want to react to it musically in some way. His art is all based on the I Ching – the ancient Chinese book of wisdom, used by some for divination, but by others just as a source of deep inspiration. Geoff’s work featured the various hexagram symbols heavily, contextualising them in mixed media works. My favourite was a granite carved cube, with one of four hexagrams on each vertical face. These are where the four track titles come from.

So Lobelia and I split our set in two. The first half, me solo, is what you hear here. A series of four improvisations, played while those in attendance were encouraged to continue walking around looking at the art, seeing how the soundtrack and the visual work interacted, informed or complimented each other. We then did a more typical duo show in the second half.

I feel a great affinity for Geoff’s work – his focus on the iconography of the I Ching Hexagrams roots his work in wisdom, in words, in ideas, in a quest for deeper inspiration and meaning. And his overall theme is also the title of this album: Believe In Peace. Geoff’s quest for peace has caused him to explore the themes as expressed in the I Ching, and I feel enriched by his journey and art. I hope some of that comes across in the music.

You can download the album for free from bandcamp, but if you cough up some money, Steve makes a contribution to Reprieve, a very worthy cause.

Steve also has another interesting, hard to refuse, offer, twenty albums on a 4 GB memory stick. All as mp3 320, but some are also available as lossless high quality FLAC. [see mp3 v FLAC]

Buying My Music In Bulk (USB Stick And Bandcamp)

To listen to FLAC need VLC Media Player.

For me synchronicity too. I had recently written of slow fashion. One of Steve’s albums is Slow Food. Evidently a kindred spirit.

switching on the codes

July 15, 2011

To all with mental health problems, just think – they may not always be problems. — Stuart Olds

Where do our thoughts come from?

Last weekend I was in Alton for the Alton Food Festival. I came across a copy of Veronika Decides to Die. I almost bought it, I had it in my hand, but I put it back, a decision I was to regret later.

I wandered around the market which was something of a disappointment, looked in St Lawrence Church, then bumped into Stuart Olds who was doing a book signing.

We had a long chat about many things, but in particular Gaia and the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho. I especially mentioned The Alchemist and Veronika Decides to Die.

I told him about Paulo Coelho being locked away in a mental hospital and told him this was the subject matter of Veronika Decides to Die. He looked at me as though I had looked into his soul.

What I did not know was that he had gone through something similar. He talks about this in Hope’s Truth, of which I have a signed copy. This came to him in a manic period, as though downloaded into his brain, though what he describes is not manic depression or bi-polar, it is schizophrenia.

At a press conference in Istanbul, Paulo Coelho responded to a quote from Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk on mental health and writers. I think it was Orhan Pamuk saying he would go mad if he did not write and Paulo Coelho responding it was because he was mad that he did write. But not sure, maybe it was the other way around.

The Girl on the Landing
The meaning of life? The joy of meeting my many, many readers, says Paulo Coelho

The Witch of Portobello in a bookshop

April 15, 2011

The Witch of Portobello

I was in a bookshop today in Guildford. I let a lady go before me as she was laden down with books. There is one book you have missed I said, and you are very lucky I have not taken it, The Witch of Portobello. Her eyes opened wide. That was the one book that caught me eye she told me, but I did not get it as I did not know the author. Well now is your chance I told her, and she added it to her purchase.

I will tell you a story I said.

I then told her the story of a stone as told by Ken Crane at the end of Paulo Coelho’s St Joseph’s Day party. His wife Yumi picked a stone. When he was asked to pick a stone, Ken picked the same stone. The stone was the Alchemist Stone!

I explained to her that these were examples of synchronicity, a term coined by Carl Jung

Synchronicity is the coming together of inner and outer events in a way that cannot be explained by cause and effect and that is meaningful to the observer.

I gave her another example. The previous week I had come to Guildford for lunch and had hoped to find a friend. Sadly I did not. I was again in Guildford on Monday. Before I left the house I had a message from Paulo Coelho to say O Aleph (Elif in Turkey) had been released in Hungary and had shot straight to No One. I arrived in Guildford, was on my way to lunch, when there was my friend sat by the river reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. My friend is Hungarian!

The Witch of Portobello tells the tale of Athena. Sherine Khalil, or Athena as she is known, believed to be of gypsy descent, was rescued by her adoptive parents from an orphanage in Transylvania in Romania. Her early childhood was in Lebanon, then in London. My Hungarian friend is from Transylvania.

When I chatted to my Hungarian friend, I said Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was a good choice to read. I commented on the love you put into your work, something I said Paulo Coelho had said at his press conference in Istanbul. I had long forgotten I had written something similar when I wrote of the film of The Witch of Portobello.

Scribes had an important role in early Judaism, theirs was the task to copy out ancient scriptures. They had to be in the correct frame of mind. The same was true for illustrators of early Muslim texts. It does matter what you do, be it write a book, paint, draw, compose music or carve a piece of wood. Robert Pirsig captured the essence of this in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Only then do you cross the transition zone.

I mentioned to the lady I met in the bookshop that Carolena Sabah starred as Athena in the film of The Witch of Portobello and that I had the pleasure of meeting her at Paulo Coelho’s St Joseph’s Day party in Istanbul.

I wandered to the Castle Grounds and flipped through the two books I had picked up, one of which was 500 Illustrations by G Curtis Jones and Paul H Jones, a collection of inspirational and thought-provoking stories and anecdotes. Or as the subtitle says: Stories from Life for Preaching & Teaching. One of the stories which caught my eye was Good Samaritans, a tale of a random act of kindness, a motorist stopping to help a fellow stranded motorist. When I got home in the evening I found Carolena Sabah had posted as a facebook note a very similar story Kindness is Contagious involving herself. Not only that, the time when she posted the story was at the same time I was sat in the Castle Grounds in Guildford reading Good Samaritans!

I knew Paulo Coelho had posted on his blog today a story about dance, but it was only when I got home this evening I saw it was taken from The Witch of Portobello! [see Dance!]


April 15, 2011

I have no solution for Learned Helplessness (check the post and the moving comments). But I know one thing:

Everything moves. And everything moves to a rhythm.

And everything that moves produces a sound; that is happening here and all over the world at this very moment.

Our ancestors noticed the same thing when they tried to escape from the cold in their caves: things moved and made noise.

The first human beings perhaps looked on this with awe, and then with devotion: they understood that this was the way that a Superior Being communicated with them.

They began to imitate the noises and movements around them, hoping to communicate with this Being: and dancing and music were born.

When we dance, we are free.

To put it better, our spirit can travel through the universe, while our body follows a rhythm that is not part of the routine.

In this way, we can laugh at our sufferings large or small, and deliver ourselves to a new experience without any fear.

While prayer and meditation take us to the sacred through silence and inner pondering, in dance we celebrate with others a kind of collective trance.

They can write whatever they want about dancing, but it is no use: you have to dance to find out what they are talking about.

Dance to the point of exhaustion, like mountain-climbers scaling some sacred peak.

Dance until, out of breath, our organism can receive oxygen in a way that it is not used to, and this ends up making us lose our identity, our relation with space and time.


An extract from The Witch of Portobello posted by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

Paulo Coelho posted a different video on his blog, but I could only watch the video for less than a minute as I could not stomach watching the anorexic dancers. It made me feel ill looking at them.

The Bolereo performance, which I have used, is the breathtaking routine by Torvill and Dean at the 1984 Winter Olympics for which they were awarded a Gold Medal. They were awarded perfect 6 by all the judges. Something that had never been achieved before and has never been achieved since. Watching one loses all sense of time and space, it seems to go on for all eternity, one is spellbound. It is one of those performances that sends shivers down the spine.

To quote William Blake

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

I agree with Paulo Coelho, there is something about dance, and to that I would add music, that lifts the spirit.

What is underlying is rhythm.


Maybe, and I am guessing, it is rhythm that underlies the very foundation of life.

Visit any culture, be it in time and space, and music and dance are at the heart of that culture.

I can be in Puerto de la Cruz during La Carnaval. The people do not walk, they move to the rhythm of the music.

That is why it is sad and depressing that music has been hijacked by big business and lousy programmes like X Factor to the detriment of music. I can find better music on the streets of Brighton. And why is it better, because the people enjoy playing it, they are communicating with the Soul of the World.

Dance has been degraded to clubbing.

Clubbing: go out, get drunk, throw up in the street and pick a fight.

A friend is a Street Angel. Street Angels are volunteers who patrol the streets at night looking out for the vulnerable and defusing trouble. In essence picking up the pieces of a broken society. [see Talking with a Street Angel]

I love where in the film of The Witch of Portobello Carolena Sabah who plays the part of Athena does her dance routine.

Hildegard von Bingen talked of herself being ‘a feather on the breath of God.’

Handel’s Messiah was an inspiration from angels and an attempt to capture their voices. On completing the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ Handel is reported to have exclaimed ‘I think I did see all Heaven open before me and the great God Himself.’

If there is one thing that makes us difference from the rest of God’s creatures it is not what we arrogantly claim to be our superior intelligence, it is music. Yes, other creatures may sing, but they do not make use of musical instruments.

For my lovely Hungarian friend who likes dance, skating and Paulo Coelho.

And for my lovely friend Sian who loves to dance.

Synhronicity: I was in a bookshop today. I let a lady go before me as she was laden down with books. There is one book you have missed I said, and you are very lucky I have not taken it, The Witch of Portobello. Her eyes opened wide. That was the one book that caught me eye she told me, but I did not get it as I did not know the author. Well now is your chance I told her, and she added it to her purchase. I then told her the story of the stone as told by Ken Crane at the end of Paulo’s St Joseph’s Day party. His wife Yumi picked a stone. When he was asked to pick a stone, Ken picked the same stone. The stone was called The Alchemist Stone! I knew Paul had posted this story about dance, but it was only when I got home this evening I saw it was taken from The Witch of Portobello! [see The Witch of Portobello in a bookshop]

Synchronicty: I knew Paulo had written on dance, but my thoughts on dance were before I had read what he had written. I then read what he had written and found he had written similar to myself! All I had noticed was the anorexic dancers and decided Torvill and Dean gave a far better performance of Ravel’s Bolero.

Synchronicty: I am currently reading The Eight (highly recommended) and if there is one underlying theme it is that of rhythm.

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