FTP037 - Synchronicity with Kirby Surprise
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Euvie: Hello and welcome to the Future Thinkers podcast. Today on the show we have Dr Kirby Surprise. He’s a psychologist and author of the book Synchronicity: The Art of Coincidence, Choice, and Unlocking Your Mind. We’ve mentioned this book quite a few times on the podcast before, so it’s really exciting for us to have Dr Surprise come on the show today and share his insights, his research, and stories from his life.

He has a lifelong relationship with synchronistic events and he also has a lot of insights into the scientific [00:00:30] explanation of them. Also, we recently did a video interview with the team behind Eternity blockchain. So, if you guys want to learn more about what they’re doing, the technology of their platform, what kind of problems they’re looking to solve with it, and what their vision is for the future of blockchain and the world check out futurethinkers.org/eternity. The video interview will be up a couple of days after this episode goes live.

Mike: Before we get into the show I just want to say a quick thank you to our recent donors and patrons, [00:01:00] Stacy, Dave, and Rich. Thank you guys for supporting the show, we love you.

Euvie: Also, we’re trying something new here. There’s a second part to this episode where we get a little bit more weird and you can find that other half at community.futurethinkers.org, you have to sign up and become a member to listen to it, we hope to see you inside. To get all the show notes, books, mentions, and other bits from this episode go to futurethinkers.org/37. I hope you guys enjoy this one. [00:01:30]

Mike: Dr Surprise welcome to the show, it’s really exciting to have you.

Kirby: Thank you for having me on.

Mike: So, why don’t we start by defining [00:02:30] what synchronicity is for our listeners.

Kirby: Synchronicity are those events that happen that seem to be conveying some meaning to you, they’re kind of beyond cause and effect. You’re thinking about something and it pops up in your environment or you’re wondering about a question, an event happens around you and it seems to give you the answer. Carl Young said that they were ascribed to an “acausal connecting principal,” which really doesn’t define it very well. They are amazing [00:03:00] coincidences is the best way to put it.

Mike: I suppose a lot of books have been written about the subject with the law of attraction, a lot of people say it’s like the universe speaking to them or their higher selves. So, what does the actual physical science behind synchronicity?

Kirby: Do you mind a rather lengthy explanation?

Mike: Sure, go for it.

Kirby: Okay. So, people have been reporting synchronistic events since people have been recording anything. Basically, our ancestors were always looking at the environment and trying to figure out how to get messages [00:03:30] from it, where the gain would be. Whatever their religious mythology was trying to tell them. The science really started back in the 30s in two prongs. The first was Carl Young, who actually talked about synchronicity rather late in his career, he coined the term. He talked about coincidences that would happen. For instance, he was researching art types which he believed to be universal patterns that cause synchronistic events and he noticed, for instance, [00:04:00] he was working on the art type of fish and he had all kinds of fish coincidences.

People would call him with obscure reference to fish. Suddenly, his environment was filled with fish clues basically, and he thought that meant that he was contacting the archetype out there in hyperspace of fish. Now, he said that these archetypes existed in the space, which he called psychoid which is neither purely [00:04:30] mental consciousness or physical. It’s something in the middle. And he said that these coincidences cluster around these archetypes. They sort of bend the space around them like gravitation, and events tend to cluster in the same way that objects form around, like rings form around planet. I didn’t find this explanation particularly helpful.

The other line comes from Dr J. B. Rhine, who was a psychologist back in the 1930s. He was at Duke university. One day [00:05:00] a gambler walks into his office and says, “Hey doc, I know this sounds kind of crazy but I’m able to control the outcome when I roll dice.” And being an actual scientist Rhine, instead of throwing him out, said, “Okay, let’s break out some dice and a notebook and see if you can do it. So, they broke out six pairs of dice and a notebook, and he said, “I want you to make the number six come up more often than chance.” So, they began [00:05:30] throwing these six pairs of dice, they did 100 throws and he found out that, indeed, the gambler was making sixes come up about six or seven percent more than they should be statistical average.

He thought this was like rather strange or impossible, maybe it was a fluke, maybe it was a one-time thing. So, he started repeating the experiment and over and over again he found that his subject could change the dice throws by two, three and six percent generally. So, then he [00:06:00] tried making devices to make sure humans weren’t interfering. In other words, machines that throw the dice for you. He tried to measure if there was a force coming from the individual people affecting the dice. None of this had any affect. There was no physical force involved whatsoever. So, then he started thinking about, well, maybe it’s got something to do with morality or spirituality.

So, he set up experiments where gamblers were versing preachers. He found out that the ability was the same, [00:06:30] no matter what the character of the person was or what their belief system was. Then he did things like he had one group take a few hits of alcohol and they found out the ability dropped and then he had people take caffeine, and he found out the ability was a few points higher. So, they realized that he was looking at something that was somehow physiologically linked to what our nervous system was doing. Then he went on a many decade’s career [00:07:00] of trying to figure out what exactly was going on. He tried dice, coin tosses, radioactive decay, the way objects fall randomly on a table top and he found out almost universally people were changing things by three to six percent.

One of the most interesting things happen when he started making graphs of these long runs of dice tosses. He found that in the beginning, say you’re going to do 100 dice throws and you’re aiming for a specific number like the six [00:07:30] from the original experiment. He found that in the beginning of the experiment, say the first 10, 15 throws, people’s ability to influence the dice to make them come up the way they wanted to was fairly high, you get that, you know, three to six percent range above average.

But then a curious thing happens. Their ability seems to drop off and within maybe 20 throws you’re actually under the curve, you’re inhibiting the target [00:08:00] you’re looking for. Towards the end the probability comes back up as if the ability’s returning, it passes average and then by the end of the experiment that people were, again, showing three to six percent influence on the dice toss. And he realized that what he was looking at was the attention and emotion of the person doing the experiment. In the very beginning of the experiment, they were excited, they were interested, they were paying attention.

[00:08:30] 20 tosses, not so much. As you go further in they are kind of bored, they are not paying attention anymore, they don’t really want to be doing this for 100 tosses. So, they’re actually having a negative attitude towards the experiments, which suppresses the target outcome. Then, towards the end of the experiment, the ability starts to come back as they become interested in what the outcome is going to be. They start paying attention again, they start being positively [00:09:00] excited about seeing if they have the ability to do it. So, at the end, they wind up, again, with a high change of probability on the dice tosses.

So, he realized that attention and mental state are what’s causing these tosses, and these tosses are synchronistic events in a lab. Now, there’s an old gamblers joke that illustrates what synchronicity is like in real life. So, a man wakes up, [00:09:30] he looks at his alarm clock. It’s [5:55] in the morning. He turns on the TV, it’s on channel five, the five o’ clock news. He takes 55 minutes to get ready for work. Goes down to street level, takes the number five bus to fifth street to where he works at 5 55 fifth street. Takes the fifth elevator to the fifth floor and notices his office is on the fifth door to the left.

And it’s his 55th birthday so he figures this is a message from God. There’s got to be some way [00:10:00] to take advantage of all these synchronistic coincidences. So, he sits down at his desk and he finds the cleaning staff has left a racing form on his desk. He looks at the number five horse in the number five race and it’s Your Lucky Fives. He figures this is a sure bet. He’s absolutely going to win, he’s going to make a lot of money. He bets $5,000 with his bookie for that horse to win. He waits ‘til five o’ clock to [00:10:30] call back and says, “How did my horse do?” The bookie says, “He came in fifth.”

Mike: Of course.

Kirby: Now, it sounds like a joke, but these kinds of sequences actually happen to people all the time. And thousands of people have talked about synchronistic events over the years. I’ve never found anybody that hasn’t really had any. Now, what I have found is that they follow people’s belief systems. If you are a fundamentalist [00:11:00] Christian, Muslim, Hindu, you look at the world and you see it behaving according to your belief system. So, people tend to reflect what they’re thinking and feeling back off the environment. Now, I’m a scientist, I’m a licensed psychologist and I don’t really go in for things and have no explanation.

And the idea that people, as an individual, can alter vast [00:11:30] amount of time and space to cause this kind of coincidence to reflect their own thoughts didn’t make any sense to me. So, what I needed was a better explanation, one that was based on what was currently known about science, which started with Rhine and Young, and that eventually led into the modern quantum realm and M theories.

It used to be that scientists would laugh at our ancestors and say, “Those poor savages [00:12:00] talking about other planes of consciousness and dimensions. How ignorant could they possibly be?” They’re not laughing anymore. There’s nothing about this that contradicts the best modern science we have. For instance, when I was doing my PhD and learning experimental design. One of the first things the teach you is that observing the experiment changes the outcome. And this is very hard for people to accept, but it’s actually [00:12:30] what’s occurring. It’s not because they’re cheating, it’s not because they’re tweaking. Its’ because what you look for gets reflected back at you.

It’s why we do double blind experiments where neither the experimenter or the subject knows what they’re really looking for in the study is because they know that the outcome is going to change, because what you’re looking will show up. So, that is like square one for [00:13:00] scientific research. Now, many, many high-powered scientists have tried to debunk Rhine’s work and run these dice tosses themselves. And they find over and over again, that’s exactly what happens. Now, in the example of the guy with the five synchronicities. There’s 50. The joke goes, “But it’s his 55th birthday.” So, you can assume he’s waking up with that on his mind. Maybe it’s got some kind of [00:13:30] emotional charge for him.

So, what happens is his concern, conscious or unconscious, is shaping the events around him. How it’s possible to do this and not alter the environment itself we’ll get to a little bit later. But what people are looking at is a mirror. Now, there’s nothing behind the mirror. For instance, some people who keep pet birds in a cage will but a mirror in the cage with the bird. The mirror [00:14:00] is there because the bird’s brain is not sophisticated enough to know that it’s looking at a reflection. It thinks there’s another bird in the cage, so it fights with it, tried to mate with it, tries to socialize with it. Keeps him occupied.

Human beings are doing the same thing, only they’re doing it with the environment. They often don’t recognize that what they’re seeing is their own projections, their [00:14:30] own attention, their own personal mythologies. Now, this is more than simply a belief system, this is who you actually are. So, you mention books like The Secret, who say this is the universe talking to. I’m saying taking that approach is an immensely bad idea because it disconnects you from the fact that what you’re doing is seeing part of yourself reflected in the environment.

[00:15:00] Now, this is not all good. I had tremendous problems when I first ran into strings of synchronistic events. I could tell you the house story if you like. It’s a very strange thing, especially if no one has ever told you that events work this way. People think they’re going crazy. Other people get caught in sort of clouds of synchronistic events of their own making based on their past histories. As a psychologist I very often see people recreating the [00:15:30] traumas that have happened in their life in the world around them. The same dire events happen to them over and over again. The same relationship patterns. Because there’s something unresolved psychology in their structure from earlier they’re still working with that keep getting projected or reflected back in the environment.

Once you understand this, observing synchronistic events becomes the royal road to the unconscious, [00:16:00] as Freud would say. You can look at the events and think about the emotional tone and content and figure out what your own unconscious is processing at any given time. One of the fun parts about this is it’s not just your conscious or your unconscious, it seems to be the transpersonal parts of us, as well. Those parts I generally don’t comment on because that’s out of my personal range.

Euvie: Can you explain what you mean by transpersonal. Is that [00:16:30] the relationship or interaction patterns, or is that more like collective beliefs? What do you mean?

Kirby: Okay. My beliefs in this are mine. Now, when I wrote the book I’m very specific that I’m giving people a mythology. This is an explanatory fiction, because I don’t want someone picking up on my belief systems and then having those reflected instead of working with their own. One of the primary problems in physics and religion, [00:17:00] all human interaction, is that we don’t have good math or even conceptual mechanics for how you go from the personal to the transpersonal.

The big question in physics right now is we’re realizing we can work with quantum entanglement states, where we can get a particle split into two, separate them by distance, tickle one and the other one vibrates. We know, for instance, that individual particles don’t really exist until you try [00:17:30] to measure them. That’s spooky. We know if you read things like Roger Penrose, who was Hawkins math teacher. They know now that particles exist in a local place when you look for them and then, when you’re not looking of them, they’re universalized. They can be anywhere in time and space.

There’s a process somehow where things go from universal to individual. As human beings, we sort of bear that in our collective spiritual mythologies, [00:18:00] as well. Most people believe that there’s a way to become one with everything. One with their conception of deity. But we really don’t have an exact system for that, and Penrose points out that we don’t have the math for it either in the realm of physics. We can define individual locations on a dimensional system, like a coordinate system. We cannot describe curved space, we cannot describe area space. We can use language [00:18:30] as an abstraction.

As human beings, we wind up with the same problem. We can describe spiritual realities where we know something transcendent is going on. But when we try to bring them into a physical explanation, it doesn’t work. Edwin Abbot, in the 1800s, wrote a book called Flatland. It was a romance in two dimensions. And he describes a world that only has two dimensions, there’s no up or down. Now, in that world you cannot go over or [00:19:00] under anything, you have to go around. They don’t even have a conception that there’s an up or down.

Now, one of the ways that explains synchronistic events is to say if you had a three-dimensional object, let’s say a cone with it’s point down, above this two-dimensional plane in the flatlanders. And you being lowering it. There’s a point where the tip touches the plane, and the flatlanders see something appear out of nowhere, like the way we see a synchronistic event. [00:19:30] As the cone descends, and the circle on the plane widens, it encompasses more of their time, space, their events. You can see a pattern of synchronistic event that seems to be coordinated by something.

Eventually, the cone passes all the way through. The plane disappears, things stop and the flatlanders are left wondering what happens, all these coincidences, everything was coordinated. But they can’t have an explanation on their plane that’s really that [00:20:00] reasonable, because they can only have an abstraction. We’re doing the same thing when we look at the universe in general. We have come to the point where the M theory, which is now the accepted model of physics is stating that we have a practically infinite number of alternate realities in the same space with us right now.

They’re separated by what they describe as the smallest possible quantum. [00:20:30] Which means that people used to make jokes that, “Yeah, Elvis is playing in an alternate reality right next door. He’s still in Vegas.” But what they’re actually saying in physics now is this is literally true. Every possible variation events literally is happening. The universe is zero sum game. It’s infinite, nothing is left undone. Now, what I’m saying is that we do [00:21:00] not alter the environment. That’s magic. It doesn’t work. But we do do is we’re able to choose, so some degree, the way we steer in these probabilities. So, in M theory they say this universe of ours rides on a thin membrane, they call them brains now. And that it’s like stacking paper. We’re surrounded by them.

What I’m saying is that the way we move [00:21:30] the time is not just moment to moment in one direction or timeline. We’re moving through probability. We encompass areas of probability, areas of these alternate universes that we move through. We’re moving through them at the speed of light, according to the physics. So, you have a small ability to steer within them. So, for instance, if I decide, after this interview, I’m going to go into the kitchen and get a glass of water, [00:22:00] that’s a very small distance in probability, it’s likely to happen. So, you can measure how likely something is going as a distance. If I said I was going to get up and replace Donald Trump as president tomorrow, that’s an immense distance. I simply don’t have the ability to do that.

Mike: Wishful thinking.

Kirby: Wishful thinking. I do think he lives in his own reality though. So, what we do do though is our attention and our mental [00:22:30] activity are steering us as we move through probabilities to probabilities that more closely match the content, our attention, our emotion, and our process. This explanation does not require altering the environment in any way. It only requires that you pay attention to where you want to go. Now, I imagine that just as they’re finding that [00:23:00] space itself is kind of lumpy and uneven, energy wise, that this mental plane, to use an older term for it, probably has all kinds of structures on it that we just can’t see.

And there’s no way to predict them. I do know that you can pick any symbol, any thought, concentrate on it and look in the environment and it will begin to show up. However, there’s some caveats here. [00:23:30] So, just to set your listeners up for a second, your situation is amazing. Your brain is the biggest super computer in the known universe. To do what the human brain does requires something they’ve estimated the size of a continent. The processing power we have in each brain is greater than every man-made computer on the planet wired together, and it’s doing all this at like [00:24:00] 7 to 30 megahertz with 40 watts energy. It’s just unbelievable.

Now, you have billions of sensors pointed at the environment. Every sensory cell you have is digital, just like a computer. Every second trillions of singles of data go throughout your nervous system from your senses into your brain. This super computer does some amazing things with this information. [00:24:30] The first thing it does is, well, it deletes most of it as not relevant. The second thing it does is it fills in gaps. So, what we do as a species is we are pattern matchers. Synchronicity is noticing patterns in the environment, patterns that have meaning. This is what neurologically we’re actually rigged to do.

So, part of the neurology of this is when you look for a pattern in the environment, [00:25:00] some of what you’re doing is merely super computer processing the environment for the specific things you’re looking for. For instance, my wife bought a blue Toyota. Suddenly, when we’re driving down the road, there’s all these blue Toyotas everywhere. I was like, “This is really amazing, where did they all come from?” Well, what actually happened was not synchronistic. We had no emotional charge to seeing blue Toyotas, but now that they were in our life [00:25:30] because we owned one, we were looking for them. The brain had been occupied with the thought of blue Toyota, and now that had become an instruction to filer the environment for that particular thing.

So, there’s an old metaphysical saying, “As above, so below.” On the purely physical level, a lot of synchronicity is our brain processing information, showing the conscious part of us [00:26:00] only the things that we’ve chosen to think about. Now, the brain is amazing. The part of us that we think is conscious in the world experiencing things is about the size of a walnut, it’s on the front left of the brain. The rest of those systems in this amazing super computer is primarily automated, okay, it’s following code instructions to filter your environment to show you the things you’ve been interested in. Now, there’s a section [00:26:30] behind the frontal lobes called the frontal orbital. Its design is to tell the memory aspects of the brain. So, back after your brain back in the motor strip is mostly memory function. Memory, sensory integration. It’s where you call when you want pieces of things that have happened to you.

The orbital can tell it to sort things in a particular pattern. It pays attention to where you’ve chosen to put your attention and then it looks for associations [00:27:00] both in the environment through the sensory systems and in your memory. Now, that’s purely physiological, but at the same time you are moving through probability. When you are, for instance, as a therapist one of the most tragic things I see is someone is molested by a parent as a child, as a young child. Now, this corrupts their trust in the world in general. I mean, parents are God-lie. [00:27:30] It creates a tremendous amount of trauma that is not resolvable by a child.

The brain continues to try to process this for you. The unconscious can spend years trying to put things and sort them back into memory so that, in the future, it’ll be settled as a strategy to keep the organism safe. Later on, in the person’s life, even if they’ve forgotten about it, the brain is still trying to process it, they’re still looking for patterns. The brain is [00:28:00] trying to keep the person safe or it’s trying to re-enact the pattern with other people to solve it. Now, much of psychosis and, my job basically is I deal with a lot of psychotic and delusional people, that’s what I do. You can see, if it’s not just organic and it’s not just the computer’s damaged, you can see the psychodynamic underpinnings. For instance, if someone is extremely grandiose, like, they think they’re creating patterns in the environment, they call that thoughts of reference, [00:28:30] they may be doing it because they’ve been traumatized and they need a way to be powerful. They need a way to feel like they are in control of things.

Some people fall into synchronistic events sort of my accident. I described one client in the book who I was to do an evaluation on him, he came into my office. His file said that he was paranoid schizophrenic. Paranoid schizophrenics either usually A, hear voices, or B, have complex delusional systems, but [00:29:00] they can think normally in other circumstances. So, I’m talking to this guy and he’s like, very depressed, but he doesn’t seem psychotic. You can tell after a while there are traces of negative symptoms, various things that are happy, but he didn’t look crazy. So, I said, “Look, I’m sorry to interrupt the interview, but you just don’t seem like you’re a paranoid schizophrenic to me. You’re very rational and you’re not grandiose. [00:29:30] What’s going on with you?”

And the guy says, “You won’t believe me. They never believe me.” So, I said, “Try me.” So, he tells us stories. In his early twenties he’s walking by a store window and he’s kind of distracted in his head thinking about something, it’s a question he’s got. He stops and look at a TV set in the store window and there’s a news forecaster who looks directly at him, mentions his first name and answers the question he was thinking about right in front of him. [00:30:00] This is actually sort of a typical synchronistic event. So, he becomes blown away. He goes, “How is this possible?” No one has ever told him the environment reflects his thoughts so he starts looking for a rational explanation.

His explanation is, “Well, God’s talking to me.” Because having all those coincidences line up would require a vast amount of energy and control a time and space and this is the illusion that people change the environment. [00:30:30] So, he then notices that God is talking to him. People come up to him on street corners and asked him questions that are in code. Billboards seem to be talking to him. Radio, TV broadcasts, it’s all God talking to him telling him something. He becomes convinced that this is so unusual that he must have some special purpose, that God’s trying to tell him to do something. So, as he’s trying to figure this out, [00:31:00] he tells all his friends what’s going on and they drift away pretty quickly.

Then he’s at his job, he tells his co-workers that God is talking to him and all these coincidences are happening and points them out and pretty soon he loses his job. He wound up hospitalized a couple of times. The thing that was unusual about him that caught my attention was he was not grandiose. Usually, if someone has religious delusions there’s some, “I’m special,” quality about it. He didn’t [00:31:30] have that. He said, “Well, there must be a lot of people like me, I just don’t understand what I’m supposed to do and it’s ruined my life.”

He was hospitalized at the time. So, I said, “Well, you’re doing. You are creating these events. You are seeing what you’re looking for and it’s changing the events around you.” At that point he told me I was crazy. So, I said, “Okay, what I want you to do is I want you to go back to your room, watch TV and [00:32:00] instead of seeing God talking to you through the newscasters, make believe it’s Bugs Bunny. Look for a different personality behind it.” So, he came back for his next session and went, “Oh my God, I’ve been talking to myself for 30 years. It does exactly what you said. I look for Bugs Bunny, I get Bugs Bunny. I look for Mel Brookes, it’s Mel Brookes. I look for a different story, it’s a different story.”

Now, he did well with this. He recovered and I taught him [00:32:30] rather quickly that this is fun. This is not a big cosmic deal here, okay? This is something every human being is doing all the time. Everybody does this every moment of their lives. Some people notice it and some people don’t. We’re taught when we’re four and five years old and watching Disney films that if you wished upon a star, magic things happen in the environment. When you get to seven or eight, they say,” Okay, fun time’s over [00:33:00] time to learn Cartesian logic, that the world doesn’t work like that. That your mind doesn’t have any effect on what you’re doing and let’s start to become an adult.”

Well, that’s not making them an adult. That’s cognitive castration because there is this reality where everybody does this. When Rhine was doing his original experiments he wondered whether animals have this ability. So, he set up an experiment where he put chickens in a cage with a lightbulb. The bird needs the heat from the lightbulb [00:33:30] to stay alive. The lightbulb is attached to a random number generator. In other words, the bird has to tweak the math in the generator like it’s a pair of dice to get the bulb to come on and stay warm. Obviously, the chicken does not have the kind of brain that’s thinking this through, but they can do it because there’s something about being a living organism that allows you to do this.

One of the most dramatic demonstrations [00:34:00] was they went away for the holidays, left the labs set up, came back, the bird had died and the random number generator went back to zero at the moment of the bird’s death. So, the animal was doing it. Everybody does it. Now, living in the States, as I do, this past year has been an amazing demonstration of this to me. Because we have factions here that are living in their own bubbles of information. There’s been a lot of stories about fake news and what [00:34:30] people are doing in the internet nowadays is they’re looking for things that confirm what they already believe. This is how you can believe some of this nonsense, because you look for people that have your opinion and then they give it back to you.

But it’s also very synchronistic because whereas you can say someone with a diametrically pposed political opinion is a fool, you must also realize that the world is reflecting their thoughts and emotions back to them and that seems to confirm their reality. [00:35:00] One of the amazing things about studying neuroscience is realizing exactly what the frontal lobe of the brain is for. We are not supposed to be sure about anything. We have evolved to do something that machines, as of yet, can’t do. We look at the world and all its complexities and what we need and what we’re looking for, and then we guess at what the right pattern to follow is.

We’re not supposed to be [00:35:30] sure. If you put someone in an FMRI and watch their brain patterns while they think, then ask them to make a decision, you see this interesting thing. At the very beginning of making the decision there’s a huge amount of brain activity, but then as they put options to the side, “Well, that’s not possible. That won’t work. Well, that person’s not going to be available. Well, this and that.” As the possibilities of the decision get less [00:36:00] and less the brain activity goes down. When someone has actually decided, the brain is quiet. It’s no longer thinking. To me, this is what faith looks like. It’s the point where you stop thinking. It’s when you really, really believe something, your brain’s offline. So, this is why the book is explaining synchronicity as an explanatory fiction.

Now, the physical reasons why, or the [00:36:30] energy reasons why we can do this, logic goes off the rails. So, I present a model that can be used to give people complete control over their synchronistic events, at least the ones they want to generate consciously. Theosophy, and this is not scientific, this is just a fictional model that fits, says that as beings we have multiple forms around us. You might say that there are other dimensions like M theory is now telling us [00:37:00] physical space has 11 dimensions. Well, there’s also, it seems, emotional and mental dimensions to our existence. These energies for really bad flatlander analogy are objects on those levels, and they change events patterns. They are outside of time and space somewhat. They are not archetypes. There is no actual evidence anywhere that Young’s idea of universal archetypes [00:37:30] exists, except maybe in the abstractions of mathematics. And even that is questionable.

Mike: So, you’re saying they’re not having a physical affect on the environment. They’re actually just moving through dimensions of probability.

Kirby: Right, so think about it this way. Everybody has seen a timeline where someone’s supposed to be the dot in the centre of the line moving forward. That’s a standard model. So, they say moments occur one after the other. What I’m saying is that we exist in a range of moments, [00:38:00] in a range of probabilities all at the same time. So, that we are not just, for instance, I used to love the old Star Trek show. There’s this one episode where there’s a transporter accident and the characters are now in an alternate dimensions where there’s an evil Spock and an evil Kirk. Lots of sci-fi shows, when they run out of plot, go to that evil other dimension kind of thing. But it’s not a doorway, it’s not you jump from one to the other. You exist over [00:38:30] billions of these probabilities yourself right now, and you’re moving through time. So, you don’t have to jump from one place to another. You are flowing directionally through probability all the time.

Mike: Right. So, when you get a large group of people together who are all looking to confirm what they already believe, I can really see the importance now of an extra layer of responsibility for search engines and Facebook newsfeeds and that kind [00:39:00] of stuff. These companies have a huge responsibility because they’re basically synchronicity machines for people who are unconscious.

Kirby: Absolutely. It’s a wonderful way to put it.

Euvie: So, how can people become more aware of this in themselves, and how can they use it in a way that is actually beneficial?

Kirby: How people use it is up to them. Essentially, they have a mirror the size of the universe to play with. Now, the first part of this is take responsibility for what you’re thinking. [00:39:30] One of my favourite sayings, I put in the book, is, “Don’t believe everything you think. Just because you think it is, doesn’t mean it’s true.” Now, you can develop this ability very easily because it’s already going on, you’re basically becoming aware of it. One of the phenomena that happened with synchronicity I call a trail. Someone sees one event and they’re like, “Whoa, what was that?” And then that focus causes other events to start happening and they start following.

[00:40:00] Unfortunately, people can get puppy dogs chasing their tails. They’re like chasing their own thoughts and they don’t realize it. In the book there’s a bunch of exercises in the back that show people how to gradually gain the ability, focus in on it, and then change things. Your ability to change the meaning of the environment, the messages that are coming across is pretty profound. The most important part is not believing them. So, for instance, books like The Secret, “The universe is trying to be your best friend, help you out.” It’s not true. [00:40:30] What you’re doing is you’re chasing your own wishes and thoughts.

So, some people are harmed my synchronicity because they’re traumatized and they’re projecting that out. Some people, like [inaudible [0:40:42] believe that synchronistic events were the Goddess trying to help him and have him have a joyous life and he did, because he believed the universe was out to do him good.

Mike: This seems to me like the biggest explanation of why people who meditate a lot more have more [00:41:00] synchronistic events, because they’re able to quiet down the unconscious mind and whatever they focus on has, I would assume, more of the brain’s attention and power.

Kirby: That’s exactly right. You can pick what you meditate on and project it out and the environment will follow it. To the point where I tried to play chess with the universe for a while and I managed to get like three moves in, but I couldn’t get any further because I’m not that good a chess player. It wasn’t the fact that the universe couldn’t play chess with me, it was the fact that [00:41:30] I can’t keep track of a board in my head that’s more than three moves in.

You can have the universe format to mythology. You like Star Wars? You can play with the force. It’ll be all around you. Events will be proving it. If you have a fundamental religious philosophy of some kind, the universe can look exactly like that. Or, as the horrific events of this last year in politics have demonstrated in the United States, a particular political view which may be completely [00:42:00] disconnected from reality, but people start to see it as valid. I’m giving away my stance here sort of like a progressive liberal. But watching people project their own desperation on this candidate and then see them reading only those events in the environment that back up their belief system is pretty terrifying.

I believe that you can, for instance, you can create personalities in synchronicity. [00:42:30] Part of our brain is designed to make copies basically the people around us, what we think about their psychology. We have sort of a gran stage in our memory where we re-enact our relationships and we estimate what the people are going to think. And we have computer models of the major people in our lives on those stages. Our actual individual consciousness, what we think of as I is actually a computer program which is also running on that stage.

[00:43:00] We can keep track of about 60 people at a time. We can also sort of tell the stage crew to set overall conditions on the stage, the props. Religion can be one of those. You can use synchronicity and pretend you’re talking to God, and you’ll get answers. God will talk back to you. It will arrange events, signs in poor tense. The problems with this is you’re never going to get anything back that some part of your own self [00:43:30] didn’t already know. And the personality that is being reflected is going to be the one you assume that it is. So, if you believe in a transpersonal universalized loving consciousness running the universe, that’s what talks to you. If you believe in a vengeful, hateful, wrathful deity that is more interested in how we are different than how we are alike, that’s what your environment’s going to look like.

[00:44:00] This is one explanation for the horrific things the fundamentalists do around the world. They are indoctrinated into a belief system that they disbelieve in. I mean, one of the oldest religious tricks in the world is you get a follower and you tell them, “This is how the universe is, this is what God wants of you and if you don’t believe me just walk out in the streets and look at the signs poor tense and it will tell you I’m write.” Well, what happens is the person has been pre-programmed to sort [00:44:30] their environment for a specific mythology, and then, of course, they see what they’re looking for. So, I view this also as an indication that there is a fundamental unity out there. How far it goes I don’t know because I can’t fathom how big the universe is and how many dimensions it’s got and how much consciousness is there.

But in physics we’re looking at that problem with the particle that exists only when you look for and then is irreversal when you don’t. [00:45:00] We’re sort of the same way. There is some part of us that seems to be universalized but we’re kind of flatlanders. We don’t see the up or down very well, we only see what’s immediately in front of us.

Euvie: Sounds like what you’re saying is that we are kind of in quantum super position at all times, and until we observe a part of ourselves it can basically exist in multiple different states at the same time. And it also seems like what you’re saying is that the [00:45:30] synchronicity is creating them as a combination of awareness and focus. That we have to be aware of what kind of program we’re running and then, if we want to change it, or focus on a part of it, that’s what it takes to direct it.

Kirby: Yes. Yeah, I would say what’s an accurate, the interesting thing here is we’re making speculations about the correlations between actual physics and human psychology. Which is always dicey because we don’t live on the same scale as our [00:46:00] particle physics. We’re almost a different universe here. We use this principle to identify ourselves in a fundamental way, that’s all true. It’s difficult to answer the rest of it, I think that people have to come to their own conclusions. We’re getting a beginning taste of what real physics might be. We’re starting to see that ordinary what has memory that can be used to reconstruct molecules with a vibration.

[00:46:30] We can communicate with two separated particles. We’re part of this, only we’re on a larger scale. One of the things though is that on our scale, things aren’t simple. If you’re looking at the math and physics of quantum juxtaposition for one or two particles, you can kind of get an idea of what’s going on. The problem is as particles combine into greater and greater relationships, become things like protons and atoms. We know that the quantum entanglement principle still work, but the [00:47:00] range is smaller.

It’s like everything that they’re associated to sort of tightens the possibility of ranges. So, as I say in probability, the more individual relationships you’ve got, the more complicated you are, sometimes the less degrees of freedom you have. So, synchronicity is not creating your own reality. We have limits. One of the things I objected to about books like The Secret was they were telling people that – or things like Scientology – [00:47:30] are trying to sell people the idea they can create their own reality.

It runs out, yeah, if you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on training, we’ll tell you how to do that. but we have limits of human beings. And I think that what we miss is that the most important part in this is our relationship with other people. This can all get very abstract and it can get very new-agey and, “I’m going to become enlightened,” kind of thing. But [00:48:00] the reality is the most important part is understanding that just as we are moving through worlds of our own meaning, so are all the people around us. And it’s really the people that are important.

I take synchronistic events as a minor form of satori, which is the realization of unity in your own consciousness. You realize that what you’re looking at on the outside is in some way fundamentally the same, something that you’re connected to. My hope for this book was twofold. One was that [00:48:30] people with mental illnesses and or confused by these phenomena would be able to get a grip on how reality was working around them into being given the choice and responsibility of deciding what they thing.

And the other was to possibly change people that are locked into these ‘us or the’ mythologies of religion and politics, to see that we are all fundamentally part of the same individual being. That there’s only one consciousness, we’re all [00:49:00] part of it but we see it from a different angle. And if you realize that people’s lives, their opinions, their relationships maybe being shaped by the reflections they’re seeing in the environment that they’re unaware of, I think it helps you cut them some slack and help you look at what you’re with your reality.

Mike: What I’m really interested in now is what has happened since you wrote the book? Particularly, you mention your daughter and her friends and the experiences they were having. [00:49:30] The daughter of a man who wrote a book about synchronicity must have a lot of insight and experience and just be naturally using this knowledge. How have you seen her develop over time in creating her own synchronicities?

Kirby: Her and her friends, who have seen me do this, take it completely in stride. They’re actually better at it than I am in a lot of ways. They are almost unimpressed by it. I went through a long journey with it to figure out how this worked. They play with it. [00:50:00] My daughter is now a concept artist for a game company and she’s thoroughly a geek girl. She’s very happy, she’s very talented. And when I talk to her about it, like I get excited riding in the car with her, “Vinnie, that happened and this happened,” and she’s sort of bored with it. She recognizes it, it’s part of her ordinary reality, and they just go with it because they don’t think it’s unusual. I was raised differently. I was born back in ’57, [00:50:30] grew up in the 60s when nobody was telling you that anything like this existed. When synchronicities sort of exploded into my life in my college years, I thought I was crazy because no one told me any of this was possible.

One of the things I’ve been hoping to do is simply to have people have their experience normalized, to realize this is not something to worry about. It’s something that’s fun, it’s normal. It’s unavoidable. And that they don’t have to be [00:51:00] concerned about it, they can be joyous about it, they can be creative with it. And I think my daughter and, some of her friends who have been hanging out here for a while, have actually done that in a way that I haven’t been able to do. I am still kind of impressed and on the edge about it, but for some people it’s just a normal part of everyday existence.

Mike: What exists me about your book is that it tends to dispel the mythologies and funnel people back into this knowledge that it’s your focus and [00:51:30] attention that creates the synchronicities around you. Brings me back to meditation, which is the thing I talk about all the time. Meditation is that strengthening of that focus muscle. So, I’ve noticed the more I’ve mediated the more synchronicities happen around me.

Euvie: And they’re more they’re positive, also.

Mike: Exactly.

Kirby: I’ve found this to be universally true in my clients, yeah. Absolutely. Meditation’s an interesting thing. Not only is it a spiritual act but what it does neurologically. For instance, ordinary [00:52:00] mindfulness meditation, watching your breathing. It gives the brain the opportunity to process things that it’s not done with yet. Meditation, even if you’re not picking an object, unfocused meditation like breathing, mindfulness, let’s your brain catch up on passed business. It lets you heal. And I think that the natural state of a healthy person is kind of loving and social and aware, and it causes these positive feelings and outlooks in the environment.

Mike: [00:52:30] What other kind of things have you noticed since you wrote the book? Other stories, other external events that you’ve noticed.

Kirby: Well, I live in a cloud of these events every day. So, not a day goes by I don’t notice a whole bunch of them. sometimes I turn it off for period of time, just because life needs to be dealt with more. What I’ve noticed is following this trail of looking at quantum states and this question of the transition between singular states and universalized [00:53:00] states. I’m working on a book now, it’ll take me a while, it’s going to be called the One Question. I believe that the one fundamental question that we’re all faced with in our lives, our spirituality, and our science is what’s going on with the ability to be an individual entity, person, particle and yet at the same time manifest this universalized consciousness location in time and space and the same time.

I’m fascinated by the fact that, even though [00:53:30] we’re beginning to play with this in the lab, we don’t have the math for it. We don’t have a good way to describe it. We can say, “Well, we did the experiment and it worked,” but there’s no set of set transition concepts that goes from single individualness to universal. And yet, it’s quite probable that these extra dimensions of time, space, and consciousness don’t operate with anything close to singularity, yet we come back to this. [00:54:00] We wake up in the morning as the person we were when we went to sleep.

Sociologically we see a lot of divisions and I think that part of the human path has been getting over this fear of the other. Instead of just like, “I am me and there’s other people, how do I relate to them. I am my group, how do I relate to other groups. I am my belief, how do I relate to other beliefs.” And I think that it’s all eventually heading [00:54:30] towards hopefully an understanding of the universal nature of everything both the individual particles, personalities, organisms, cultural groups, until eventually we hopefully recognize that we’re all part of the same being.

I mean, one of the most amazing things Einstein said was not just the equivalence of matter and energy and figuring out how light and time works, he said that space itself is an energy field [00:55:00] and that everything in it is derived from the energy of that field. Everything is a localization of the universal energy. And I think that might be one of the only archetypes there actually are. I think that people are localizations of some kind of universal consciousness. But then that’s my myth, and I’m inviting people to create their own.

Euvie: Do you think that our human tendency to look at ourselves and identify with ourselves [00:55:30] and our group more is kind of just a fundamental aspect of being an individuated consciousness? That that’s why we have so much trouble identifying with others, because we fundamentally have this individuated perspective?

Kirby: When you talk about things in universal terms, it becomes difficult. Because I’m not sure. I certainly think that looking at the anthropology and the sociology being human has been a progressive pattern. We started only being able to deal with about [00:56:00] 60 people at a time, because that’s how many people you can track what they want, who they are, who they’re attracted to, who’s kids are who’s, the politics of small. We invented religion as a way to have a universalized set of rules so that if you came across somebody who wasn’t in your clan, and they had the same belief system, you had some basic idea of how to operate with them. Of course, with having unitary guides, kings and emperors, and individuals [00:56:30] taking advantage of that, I think we have gotten to a place now with our communications technology where we’re on the verge of it becoming possible to recognize people universally as people.

It seems a sad thing that we’re not able to do that, but I do think we’re on the way. I think we’re working towards a more universalized human awareness. I try to leave questions of consciousness alone. My own personal [00:57:00] myth is that all energy is a form of consciousness, which would make sense. We’re trying to figure out where consciousness arises in the brain. Well, everywhere, because the matter is conscious. It’s just the brain has complicated self-referencing feedback loops that gives us self-awareness.

The biggest goal of physics has always been find that one universal formula that describes everything. The problem is that we aren’t even close to having an understanding of the range of the universe as it is. [00:57:30] When I come across this kind of question, my universal cop out is to go back to I think it’s important to be kind to people and to somehow put aside some of the more vexing questions and pay attention to the people around us.

Mike: Yeah, good advice.

Euvie: What are some good resources that you can recommend for people if they want to dive into this deeper?

Kirby: Well, to sound a little promotional about it, there’s a reading list in the back of the book with a couple hundred books in it [00:58:00] which are most of the things that I use to put together the model. The book itself is pretty self-contained. It also has a safety system build in that describes where not to get lost, and orients people. From there, what I want is people to look at the model and then make their own. My best advice is don’t believe something because you read it in this book. See if this seems to be true in [00:58:30] your experience. And since the ultimate goal is this sort of mirroring in the environment is to know yourself, create your own myth, pick one for yourself. Don’t pick one of the pre-canned ones that are going to ask you for your money or your political affiliation or whatever it’s going to be. Find out who you are. Find out your own explanation for this and then go with that.

Mike: It seems like your next book is a natural progression [00:59:00] into the questions I’ve had since reading your book, which is the interaction between myself and society on this synchronistic level. What was the other part of the book that you had mentioned that you’re going to be focusing on in the next one?

Kirby: A couple of parts. One is that progression that we started as individuals with small tribes and how do we manage this progression from individuality to large-scale groups. Then in physics there’s the problem [00:59:30] of how does an individual particle go from being at one location while you’re looking at it to universalized nowhere, somewhere, and back again. Particle behaviour can be described mathematically on the physical plane pretty easily. Yeah, there’s dictionaries worth of math to say how an electron works, but we still have the math. When something disappears out of the physical universe and becomes universalized and comes back, there’s no math for the transition.

[01:00:00] In Western philosophy there’s also the question of the one and the many, which is how is it possible that I can sense a universalized consciousness and yet be an individual. Many of our mystics and meditators have had experiences of suddenly having glimpses of a universal consciousness which has more dimensions than living as a human, but there’s no model for how that works. Now, you can tell somebody [01:00:30], “Do Rinzai zen four hours a day for six weeks,” and you’ll probably have a satorio experience but what happens during the transition there and back isn’t known. It’s a mystery. And our most honest spiritual leaders and theologians say that wisdom entails not knowing things but recognizing what you don’t know.

And I’m hoping that sort of by saying that in a convincing way, [01:01:00] people will become more centred in their own actual experience rather than the experiences people are telling them they should be having, or experiences that they’re trying to generate through various things when, in fact, they’re pretty much okay the way they are.

Mike: I think it’s going to be so important for someone to write a book about the mechanics of search engines and social networks, and how they actually affect synchronicities.

Kirby: [01:01:30] They’re biases. So, there’s different, say, everything you’re experiencing is an information stream. And in your environment if you’re walking through crowds or whatever it can be relatively random. But like what you’re saying with search engines, just as you have this three to six percent ability to tweak the information in the environment, the environment also has its own biases. And the example of search engines preferring fake news, or [01:02:00] commercial biases and what they present you with when you do a search, is a really good example of this.

Mike: Yeah, definitely.

Euvie: Also, one thing that’ we’ve talked about before is how environments are constructed. For example, how cities are designed that they tend to produce specific kinds of experiences, so the actual physical environment has biases also.

Kirby: Absolutely. Some people feng shui their environment to make sure the energy feels like it moves, [01:02:30] but we are actually wired to be happier and feel more secure in certain kinds of locations, certain kinds of environments. We tend to do better with open spaces and with green. I see a lot of environments in the cities here in America that are default environments. They’re defined by the lack of resources. They’re defined by commercial activity instead of liveability. And I think this stresses people, [01:03:00] I think it creates mental health problems because we’re not paying attention to what people need to live as people. We’re paying attention to how do we get the most money out of this particular location. And I think that it’s pretty detrimental to do it that way.

Euvie: Yeah, we’ve talked about consciousness trip wires, that’s actually a Mike term about how do we design environments to create certain kinds of states of consciousness, basically. And how [01:03:30] can we, through designing our environment, make all of our lives better?

Mike: Yeah, there’s this study about ants and scientists were trying to figure out why ants appeared to be so intelligent, but it’s because their algorithm had simplified to respond to their environment, which contained most of the intelligence of how they formed their colonies and where they put their eggs and how they gathered food and everything. When a certain condition was met in the environment, the ant just made a really, really simple switch. And we’ve thought about doing that [01:04:00] on a human level.

Like, how do we have little reminders all over the house, or if we build this incubator, how do we create – we’re building an incubator by the way in Bulgaria. And we want to set it up in a way that it creates synchronicities and states of consciousness for the people depending on what room they’re in, so there’s more of a creative room or there’s a technology room, or there’s a meditation room or anything like that. So, this idea of stumbling into a room and then have the room dictate what [01:04:30] kind of behaviour, if designed properly, could create in my experience more synchronistic events and create more consciousness in the person who exists in the room.

Kirby: Yes, I think it’s a wonderful idea. There’s a long history of architectural design and city design that does exactly that and I think that – I read this, it might have been a Larry [inaudible [01:04:53], it was a science fiction story. And he had a house set out so that each room was a different emotion.

Mike: [01:05:00] Cool.

Kirby: And there were rooms for different concepts. And the rooms were populated with objects that associated to all different aspects to a particular thing that they want to focus on. So, there was this wonderful sequence where this couple was breaking up and they were sitting in the room dedicated to love. They would go to the room appropriate for the type of experience they were having [01:05:30] in their life at that given moment, and I think if you could accomplish that that would be a truly work of art.

Mike: That’s a really interesting concept, each room having a dedicated emotion. Why is this again?

Kirby: I don’t know. It’s a science fiction story read when I was much younger. I’m blanking on the guy’s name at the moment, I read so many of them.

Mike: Cool. Do you have a copy of the booklist that you recommend at the back of the book? Because I don’t remember it being included with the [01:06:00] audio edition.

Kirby: Yes, I do. I could probably email it to you if you’d like.

Mike: Great, perfect. One question we like to ask of everyone is what excites you about the future and the developments in your field?

Kirby: Well, in my field as a professional psychologist we are now beginning to understand the brain as a computational system, as a computer. And that is not as dehumanizing as people would fear, because it lets us understand how to help people. [01:06:30] One of the things I do for a living is I interview people and I look at their [inaudible [01:06:33] and tell what area of the brain is work and what area is not. And technology that’s coming out now, like CRISPR, which can edit genes accurately, is going to be good for doing things like correcting mental illnesses, physical deficits.

We’re also entering into an era where if someone needs medication for mental health or physical needs, [01:07:00] we’re going to be able to cheaply sequence their genome to see exactly which medication they’re going to react well to. I’ve recently been reading some experiments that are being done about using recordings of vibrations to program ordinary purified water to lock onto the vibration, then you add molecules to it and it assembles what you want. Like a DNA sequence, almost like a transporter in some way where you filter [01:07:30] out the original substance, like homeopathically from one sample, take its vibration, transmit it over the internet, imbue that in another sample of purified water, then the water could reassemble the molecules that used to be in it.

These sort of quantum entanglement stuff is moving from the realms of criticized and scoffed at new age stuff into actual science and technology. Actually, very hopeful about what’s coming up. If the political leaders can keep their act [01:08:00] together and stop draining our resources with useless wars and funnelling money to extremely wealthy people, I think that what’s going to happen in the next 50 years is going to be absolutely remarkable.

Mike: One more question. In the book, you didn’t mention – it seemed like you took more of an atheistic, scientific approach to explaining the meaning behind the synchronicities. And I’d like to know what you believe the meaning to be. If there’s sort of a [01:08:30] purpose to this experience on earth, maybe earth is some sort of a training ground for learning how to control your mind and generate your reality precisely as you desire. What is your explanation for why we have this ability?

Kirby: It’s natural survival. I think that organisms in nature develop remarkable abilities to survive in their environment. And if there was any possible way [01:09:00] that an organism could tweak the probability in their environment to raise the chances of survival, the organism would learn how to do it. And I think that’s exactly what’s happened. As far as the more long-range questions go, I’m blown away almost weekly about how little I actually understand about the universe. Last couple of months they figured out that there’s not 200 billion galaxies, there’s 2 trillion galaxies.

Five percent of this [01:09:30] is the matter that we’re looking at. 95 percent is dark matter and energy, and there’s matters of ghost particles and stuff that doesn’t even react with the Higgs boson to produce mass. We know almost nothing. I really don’t want to give people a personal mythology. I don’t want to say to somebody, “This is the purpose of anything.” I think that we have, what we do know, is that we do have this reflection ability. I would like to [01:10:00] believe that we are spiritually evolving beings, that we have an astral mental body and a causal body. That we incarnate, and part of us is outside of time and space. But the thing is, I can’t be sure of anything that’s actually true. I’m not a seer. I don’t see energy fields.

And when I focus on those kinds of realms, what I get back is the story I’m telling myself. So, I really think it’s a spiritual disservice to people to tell them what’s going on [01:10:30] in their lives or what consciousness is really about. I have a problem with, you know, a lot of religions have a major figure head like Jesus or Muhammad, or Krishna or the Buddha, and I think it does them a spiritual disserve to point the centre of their path outside themselves. And I think that people should generate their own mythology and walk their own path. And I [01:11:00] wouldn’t want them to walk mine. I’m not them. It’s a dissatisfying answer, but I don’t think we’re made to be sure about things. I think we’re made to look at the world with a big question mark and a lot of wonder. I don’t want to step on that, I want people to explore their own lives.

Mike: Yeah, that’s exactly why I appreciate your book so much is because it takes this almost mechanical approach to synchronicity, [01:11:30] it’s just trying to explain how it works and not necessarily why it works. Dr Surprise, thanks for joining us. This has been an interesting conversation and best of luck to you with the future book. I’m really excited, you’ve got your first two sales with Euvie and I.

Euvie: Yeah, I look forward to it. Alright, that’s it for this episode. Thank you for listening. To get all the show notes, links, mentions, and books from this episode go to futurethinkers.org/37. Also, we’re trying something new here. There’s a second part to this episode, where we get a little bit [01:12:00] more weird. You can find that other half at community.futurethinkers.org. You have to sign up and become a member to listen to it. We hope to see you inside.

Dr. Kirby Surprise on Future Thinkers PodcastIn this podcast episode we talk to Dr. Kirby Surprise. Dr. Surprise is a clinical psychologist who has had a life-long interest in the synchronicity phenomena – seemingly random but meaningful coincidences that happen in people’s lives. His interest in philosophy and metaphysics, as well as his own work in psychology, has led him to study synchronicity from a scientific perspective and write several books, the most well-known being Synchronicity: The Art of Coincidence, Choice, and Unlocking Your Mind.

The term Synchronicity was originally coined by Carl Jung. The term describes meaningful coincidences – something that people have been experiencing since the beginning of time. Throughout history, people have come up with various mystical explanations for synchronistic events – seeing them as good or bad omens, or messages from the universe.

This historical perspective has led to the phenomenon being largely overlooked by the academic and scientific communities. That said, there have been a number of interesting studies or related phenomena done throughout the last 50 years. A notable meta-study (large study of many different academic experiments across 3 decades) has shown that people have the ability to change the outcome of probabilistic events with their mind – by as much as 6% over mere chance. This has been shown with dice rolls (including where the dice were rolled mechanically and not by a person), and with random number generators.

The key idea here is that having an observer in a situation changes the outcome of the situation. Scientists have already known this for several decades. It’s why they do double-blind experiments, where neither the facilitator nor the participant know what the expected outcome of the experiment is.

Synchronicities are not a big cosmic deal. This is something every human being is doing. Click To Tweet

Dr. Kirby Surprise Explains Synchronicity

The idea of synchronicity works based on the exact same principle – when you have an expected outcome in mind, it actually changes the outcome of the event. Of course, this happens on a conscious physical level – for example, you take different actions. It also affects the outcome on an unconscious level – you may notice different things in your environment. But most interestingly, the principle seems to act on some other non-physical level, which we still cannot fully understand. In the dice roll experiments, neither the scientists nor the participants were touching the dice (they were rolled mechanically). And yet, when the participants focused their mind on a specific number, it was more likely to come up.

In this podcast conversation, Dr. Surprise explains more about how synchronicity works from the scientific perspective, and tells a story of own his lifelong experience of living with synchronicities.

Your brain is the biggest supercomputer in the known universe, with billions of sensors. Click To Tweet

In This Episode of Future Thinkers Podcast:

  • [2:29] – What is synchronicity?
  • [4:52] – First experiments
  • [10:45] – Modern science and synchronicity
  • [21:00] – You make synchronicities happen
  • [39:11] – How can you become more aware of it
  • [45:13] – Can quantum physics explain synchronicity?
  • [51:32] – How does meditation play into synchronicity?
  • [56:55] – Personal mythology and outlook

Quotes:

“If the political leaders can keep their act together and stop draining our resources with useless wars, funnelling money to extremely wealthy people, I think that what’s going to happen in the next 50 years is going to be absolutely remarkable.”

“Our mental activity is steering us as we move through probabilities, to probabilities that more closely match the content of our attention, emotion, and our process.”

Pick any symbol, concentrate on it, look into the environment, and it will begin to show up. Click To Tweet

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