Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Son the Manifestation

This is a tale of unlikelihood transcended.

First, a preamble: I am not a witch, warlock, demon or angel. If I am anything unusual at all, I am by nature an experimenter who keeps an open mind.

In recent years I have been experimenting with my own mind, in the manner of many who have gone before me.

Oh, it wasn’t my idea, not at first. I didn’t seek this out.

It all started with my synchronicities. I didn’t ask for them. But they started, at about age 35 or so, and they’ve continued apace until this day. (I am 48 at present)
There are far too many to dismiss with random chance and the bell curve. If I were to focus on any one, I might explain it away easily enough, but taken together they force me to at least consider the possibility that there is more to this reality than readily meets the eye.

For more background on this, see my “Big Brain Speculations,” if you haven’t already.

To summarize, I have been forced by what I have seen happen in my life in recent years, to at least consider the possibility that this reality, this universe or what have you that we all find ourselves in, is not based in matter and energy as it so readily appears to be. I have instead found myself seriously considering the possibility that this reality, everything we can perceive, is instead made of thought, or if you prefer, data. We only think that reality is matter and energy and that we are as well, because all of it, ourselves included, is thought or data. Or even ‘spirit’ if that floats your boat. At this most basic level there’s little difference between them. In other words, I have been entertaining the idea that reality is a dream. Similar to our sleeping dreams, yet very different in that we are all dreaming it together.

This is where my thoughts have led me. A lonely place, to be sure.

So naturally I have to test this all the time. It’s too unbelievable for me to just accept, even though my ‘experiments’ are the very thing which led me here.

The nature of these experiments of mine is usually that I attempt to influence reality in some way by merely thinking about it. Oh, not in the “abracadabra alakazam” magical sense, but instead more of attempting to change my subconscious picture of reality, since in the course of my mental experimentation it became apparent that if our thoughts influence reality at all, it is our subconscious thoughts that do so and not our conscious thoughts. The idea is that if I can change my own deep beliefs, change my ‘picture’ of reality, then the dream that is reality will resonate with that and also change. So they’re basically various techniques that taken together amount to controlled self-hypnosis.

>Synchronicity alert! (Intermezzo)

I felt that since I am in the middle of writing about this very thing, it’s only right to report to you a synchronicity that I’ve only just experienced ten minutes ago as I write this. I think if you can imagine having this sort of thing happen to you all the time you might feel more sympathy for my search for alternate explanations of what is going on with reality.

It went like this: Tonight I was sharing some of the music of my youth with my wife, a la YouTube. Fantastic thing, Youtube. For some reason I found myself thinking of Traffic with Steve Winwood, and so I let her listen to the band "Traffic’s" “Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys” one of my all-time favorites, and damned near a half-hour long, too. Steve Winwood is amazing. And what better name for a drummer ever existed than “Reebop Kwaaku Baa?”

Then I looked at the other "Traffic" songs listed there on YouTube and I played her another one that I recalled from my early days, named “John Barleycorn Must Die” and then in answer to her confusion explained to my darling wife the legend of John Barleycorn, the death and rebirth of the barley seed being an allegory of *our* death and re-birth… Then about twenty minutes later after she went to bed I picked up the novel that I am currently in the middle of reading, (re-reading actually, from twenty-five years ago) “Time Enough For Love” by Robert Heinlein, and started into it again. Well, four pages after the point where I picked it up again I read that the main character Lazarus Long had lost a couple of mules while on a pioneering excursion, and one of them was named, you guessed it, John Barleycorn.

John Barleycorn? Really?

I hadn’t spoken anything of the legend of John Barleycorn nor the song of the same name to anyone nor even thought of it in many years, perhaps decades, and then when I do, well twenty minutes later there I am reading it again in a random novel. It’s like an echo in reality. Sure, I had read that novel before, but a quarter-century ago, and there is absolutely no way that I would have recalled the name of a mule lost in transit from that long Heinlein story after all these years. I hadn’t even remembered that there were mules in the story, much less their names. I was thinking about the band "Traffic," and not the novel that I'd be getting back to in a while.

I really do get this all the time.

>End of Synchronicity Alert. Back to my son.

Originally when my wife and I decided on having a baby I thought that it could not hurt if I ‘affirmed’ in my mind that such would indeed happen. I constructed what used to be called a “sigil,” a physical symbol representing my son-to-be, even including his name, which we had already picked out. Connor. Lover of hounds, or perhaps lover of wolves. This is how one can influence their own subconscious mind. By constructing real-world representations of their desire in symbolic fashion. Anything that has emotional resonance works. By this I mean that employing ‘props’ makes the self-hypnosis more effective.

So I put a good amount of effort into the construction of a sigil representing my hopefully-soon-to-be-conceived son Connor. A symbolic representation, drawn on paper, carefully folded, with other ancillary actions performed. The more important I made it on my mind, the more likelihood of it affecting my reality, or so the theory goes.

Oh and yes, this is indeed called “Magic” or even “Magick” by some, but it’s really just a controlled form of self-hypnosis through symbolism and emotion. I prefer to think of it as focused meditation with the aid of props. I’m no Merlin. Just a humble experimenter. As one author calls it, I am a psychonaut. Or just a psycho. I'll leave that to you to decide.

So my wife got pregnant, tested pregnant the very next day after my experiment. Then she miscarried a month later. So much for all of my meditation. Or so it would seem.

We then tried various doctors, and the verdict came in. It was highly unlikely that we could ever get pregnant naturally. In fact, they were amazed almost to the point of disbelief that we had managed to get pregnant even the one time.

Our remaining options were artificial insemination, which we tried, and tried, and tried again, and after the many times that that didn’t work, all that remained to us was ICSI in-vitro fertilization, the proverbial “test-tube baby” At about twelve thousand dollars a try. After our insurance, which is fortunately a very good plan, it would still be the better part of four thousand dollars a try. And all that we had to spare in our bank account was about four thousand dollars.

We had run out of options. All that we had left was ICSI, but all we could afford was one try, one attempt, when our doctors all told us that we would likely need between four and six tries to get pregnant.

To gamble with all that remained of our savings on that one attempt which was likely doomed to failure, or not? That was the question facing us.

Now I have to say that while the first mental experiment was a failure in that the baby did not survive, it still produced (so to speak) a pregnancy, and an unlikely one at that, and right on cue, so I wasn’t giving it up yet. After all, this sort of thing costs me nothing to try. There’s no fee attached to meditating. And I still had the sigil that I used as a focus from the first time.

So in what in retrospect seems a truly foolish and even crazy thing to do, I decided that the one ICSI attempt would have to do. Moreover, I decided that it would work. So we scheduled it and went through the process. I had decided that I’d darn well make it work the one time. Looking back at it, it was brash overconfidence.

So I tried my meditating again. This time however I put a lot more effort into it, emotional effort as well as intellectual. I employed mental imagery from Judeo-Christian mythology in my visualization, since that was what I’d grown up with, hoping that it would have the most significance to my subconscious mind, and even employed fire at the end to rather dramatically destroy the sigil, imagining that I was ‘releasing it’ into the world. Drama is the key to this sort of thing, if there’s anything to it at all. There is no ‘magic’ in a sigil or in visualization. It’s all in the mind of the person doing it. In the person’s conviction, in their ability to truly believe something that is essentially unbelievable, just enough for reality to echo it in response, much like what I think happens when I get my odd synchronicities.

It isn’t easy to suspend one’s own disbelief. However, at the end of my little ritual with my sigil and visualizations when I lit the fire and attempted to muster as much conviction as I could, I had the distinct, albeit fleeting impression of *something* happening, almost like a distant sound in my head, gong-like almost, for the lack of a better description. I immediately *seized* on that fleeting echo, ‘pretending’ that it was real and symbolic of a successful completion to the operation, all in order to more effectively convince myself that something happened, causing myself to believe in it all the more so because of it. Even if nothing happened, I did a very good job of convincing myself that it had, is the point.

Did it *work?*

All I can do is list the ‘results,’ if such they were. I still can’t really believe that this stuff can work, but here’s what happened afterwards. Once again my wife tested pregnant, the very next day. Of course that’s when she would have tested pregnant since we’d gone through ICSI, so nothing miraculous in that. The fact that the one attempt worked was a one out of four or five shot however, and the fact that it turned out to be a boy (as I had affirmed) was another fifty-fifty of course. So approximately a one-out-of-ten, or a ten percent shot that it would have worked as it did. Plus a very healthy baby testing off the charts on height and in the 95th percentile in weight. A big, healthy boy named Connor, who looks enough like me at that age that he could easily be my clone. We’d selected the name in advance of it all of course, and I’d employed it in my meditations, so that’s his name.

Here’s the strange part, or one of them at any rate. I knew it would work right after I ‘heard’ that ‘sound’ in my head at the end of it, and I knew that it would be a boy. I just knew it. Now maybe I could have been wrong, but I had definitely defeated my own doubts in this matter, as I had set out to do. Did the fact that I had defeated all of my doubts influence the outcome? Who can say? Most would deny it, as being irrational or even crazy to even think it. Myself, I’m not so sure. It *felt* like something happened, and the results are exactly as hoped for. No evidence that I made it happen, but none that I didn’t, either. Also, I’d done this sort of thing before and always had pretty good results with it, although never with something so important as a baby.

So that’s my story, incredible as it may sound. And incredible it will remain to most of my readers I think. I wouldn’t believe it myself if I wasn’t the one involved.

I like to think of it like the Shakespeare quote. “There are more things in heaven and earth…”

Minor Update, April 13, 2010:

I neglected to mention that I also visualized him looking just like me only with his mother's eyes, bright blue. I even spoke of it often with my wife before the first pregancy and subsequent miscarriage.

My eyes are hazel.

He is the exact image of me as a child, so much so that I've got the rather uncommon experience I think, of looking at the living face of myself as I used to see it in a mirror as a very young child. I cannot tell you how eery that is, and still very, very cool at the same time.

And yes, his eyes are bright blue. We can be sure now because he's over 9 months old. Cue the Rod Serling intro...

162 comments:

  1. I'm not so jaded as to discount meditation comepletely. I know it can affect one on a physical level. I've seen it. I think this comes from unlocking the power in ones mind. It's basically prayer.....Your meditating affecting your wife's pregnancy, however, seems as absurd, to me, as thinking, "Godidit !". I don't intend to seem mean, but I see no way meditation on your part could change anything internally with her. It seems those things are going to happen whether you like it or not.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'll add, I see prayer as meditatio, even if it's misplaced. God won't answer any prayer (he can't), but the introspection can produce results just as in meditation.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Only absurd if my pet Big Brain scenario or something like it is not the case. I can understand why you see it as you do. More than that, I'd be surprised if you saw it my way. In order for that to happen you'd have to consider seriously the possibility that your whole world is essentially not real. Hard to take for most people, to be sure.

    So for you, I just got lucky, very lucky, and my son was born exactly as I wished that he was in every way by coincidence. It may well be so. I can't prove anything. This must remain conjecture on my part. However the more that things happen as I envision them, the more my little incipent psychosis is reinforced, eh? So help me befor I go over the edge, I guess... lol. Or perhaps I already have, eh?

    ReplyDelete
  4. hey Brian; we knew that Maddie would be a boy too. My wife had boy dreams, I had feelings, the Chinese zodiac confirmed. She wasn't. But it's 50/50 right?

    Any way, you are half right that everything we perceive is data.

    Reality is matter and energy, but our perception of reality is data (ironically, that data is actually matter and energy!).

    Just FYI; MI or Hydra never hijacked my handle, Ryan was always Ryan and I'm seeing your point about Obama now that he's the first president ever to include a woman in the presidential golf foursome. That actually is a big deal.

    ReplyDelete
  5. And you aren't mean, Mac. Not in the least.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Reality is matter and energy, but our perception of reality is data (ironically, that data is actually matter and energy!).
    -----------
    Or you are half wrong, possibly. Or even diametrically wrong. That is my contention. No offense. It's understandable. I mean, why wouldn't we think of ourselves as real? Why wouldn't we think of everything else as real, too?

    To the unreal, all the other unreal things are real.

    Reality is incorrectly perceived as matter and energy by people and instruments that are themselves not matter and energy but thought, or perhaps more accurately elements in a 'flow-of-consciousness' like a dream, and yet different due to the fact that we're all dreaming it. We are sapient, self-aware 'characters' in a story line. I'll repeat that. A story line.
    There's just no way to tell, is the point, so I must consider the possibility. It makes a lot of sense if you can accept it. Ties up a lot of loose ends. And the hints are there. I certainly see them.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It seems your BB could be what the religiously inclined refer to as God. He's everywhere at all times because he's our collective consciousness ?

    ReplyDelete
  8. If that's the case, the main difference is merely god's actions, or rather, the actions attributed to god.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Or perhaps, they see god as the writer or director of this story line we are all characters in ? Am I way off here?

    ReplyDelete
  10. The ideas of God are all man-created. The BB, if it is true, is more basic than that. It would describe the nature of reality, not any personality connected with that. The BB is not to be prayed to in any sense, it cannot perceive nor appreciate worship. It's all in the head, is the point. Our heads, collectively, not any God's head. The BB's nature *explains* why so many of us are so easily deluded into thinking that it is a God. It's nature is deceptive. If we think "God!" the BB says "Sure, why not?" The BB itself however, literally IS us, all of us. It is not God in any traditional sense of the word. It gives us what we expect, and if that's God, it can make us think we've got that, too.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The BB isn't 'located' everywhere at all times; it quite literally IS everywhere at all times. As in, it *is* the moon, the Andromeda spiral, Mauna Kea, and Topeka, Kansas. These 'places' all exist in the dream that we all share; we all know that they are 'real' places and so they are. As real as a rock. Which as it turns out, isn't real. A rock is made of data, as is the little boy throwing it through a window. They're made of consciousness. No deity required whatsoever. If the BB is true, it's all consciousness, all a vast dream. How is a dream like a God? I don't see it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. And things aren't 'made' of consciousness like they're made of cement or plastic or matter and energy. When I say that a rock is made of consciousness, I mean that it has no location in reality because reality itself isn't real. The real location of the rock, and of Topeka and Andromeda for that matter, is in our heads, and nowhere else. In our minds, rather, since our 'heads' and bodies are as much an illusion as the rest of reality is.

    How's that grab ya?

    ReplyDelete
  13. brian,

    i hope you don't take offense to me saying this, but it seems to me that your bb theory closely parallels the same basic principles of backward reasoning that is employed in religion.

    i don't doubt that there are many aspects of the mind and the way it interacts with the world that we don't fully understand. noetic science is still fairly young so it may be quite some time until we see any major evidence supporting a definitive link between the powers of consciousness and the physical world.

    i think you have put a lot of faith into the bb theory and i use the word "faith" here intentionally. again, i hope i don't offend, but the way you defend your theory reminds me of the way christians defend god.

    seeing things the way they want to see them in order to support their ideas, finding ways to explain away evidence that does not support or might discredit their theories.

    you say you're considering a possibility, that it ties up a lot of loose ends, if you can accept it. but it sounds to me like it's beyond a possibility to you. and i'm sure to a christian the idea of their god makes sense and ties up a lot of loose ends too.

    i guess what i'm trying to say, in short, is this: be mindful of your thinking.

    ReplyDelete
  14. "ties up loose ends" is just another way to say "fills the gaps", right?

    I would echo Richelle in that this reminds me of Christian apologetics. Especially the unfalsifiablity of the theory.

    I would also echo Richelle and say no offense.

    ReplyDelete
  15. No offense taken, either of you. Glad to hear your opinion.

    Yeah, it's pretty thin. I realize that. If you were the one getting the synchronicities I personally think you'd have a different opinion. It's not something that is easily accepted if you're not getting anything to indicate it.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "ties up loose ends" is just another way to say "fills the gaps", right?
    ------------
    Actually I was thinking of problems in quantum physics. The wave-particle duality and waveform collapse, entanglement, and about a hundred others. The observer's role, etc.
    To me this seems the logical end toward which quantum physics is heading. The problem is that it's not believable to most people.

    ReplyDelete
  17. hey Brian; we knew that Maddie would be a boy too.
    ----------------------
    I didn't get 'foreknowledge' of his sex. What I was saying is that I requested it quite intentionally, and my order was filled. Lol. Slight difference, no?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Eventhough we may know it's not god, Brian, it seems fairly easy to confuse the BB with a religious based idea. Even some of the non-theologically inclined (ie, Ryan and Richelle) see it as a god type theory....

    ReplyDelete
  19. You requested a male child, your request was granted = Prayer answered ?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Easy to confuse with, yes. But that would be confusion.

    The only difference, makes all the difference. There is no deity. Unless you want to consider all of us together as a deity. I don't see how that fits the bill for a God. We're a pretty lame one, if so.

    No prayer was answered. I didn't wish for it, I affirmed it. The difference being, it wasn't a wish or a request, it was me convincing myself that it would happen, no third party. Just because I believed that it would. Even though I produced that belief through synthetic methods, in essence 'fooling myself' into it.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I knew my child was a male because we saw his penis on the ultra-sound, not that it's big.He is my son, after all ;-) My Uncle Joe wanted a son desperately. He had FIVE daughters. I suppose he didn't know of your Big Brain ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  22. "If you were the one getting the synchronicities I personally think you'd have a different opinion. It's not something that is easily accepted if you're not getting anything to indicate it."

    c'mon brian, this one is too easy. you are assuming we haven't experienced synchronicities because we do not share your enthusiasm for their possible implications.

    this is distinctly familiar to the christian "well, you would understand if you had ever felt the touch of god" statement.

    just as i may, at times, feel an overwhelming sense of emotion and not attribute it to "god's love" or the "touch of god", i very regularly experience sychronicities and do not attribute them to anything other than coincidence.

    someone not sharing your sentiments regarding syncronicities does not translate into them never having experienced them, or experiencing them to a lesser degree.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hear hear Richelle. Why haven't you posted more often?

    ---

    Brian, maybe man is just smarter than he thinks he is?

    ReplyDelete
  24. I meant in like kind and degree, Richelle. Everybody gets them, in varying degree. My experiences are subjective. I propose that if you had them in like kind and degree, you'd be puzzled at the very least, and suspicious of how such a thing can occur in the universe that we all think we inhabit. Or maybe not, I don't know. My suspicion drives me to continue to pursue this possibility. It's free, after all. It's more elegant. It's more pretty. And beauty is truth, no? Besides, it's always my fallback, in case science is wrong. You don't develop 'plan B's? This is my plan B, my best guess as to what reality IS, if it is NOT what we science-minded folk think that it is.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Brian, maybe man is just smarter than he thinks he is?
    -------------
    Hey, fine! If that's what it is, I want to explore THAT! Would you give up just because you might be wrong?

    Like I said, it costs me nothing. Except my time. So if you are right and it's just that we're smarter than we think we are, well then aren't I the one looking into it and you the one telling me not to bother?

    :-) Just sayin, is all...

    ReplyDelete
  26. "I meant in like kind and degree, Richelle."

    and again i say you are making an assumption.

    let's say, hypothetically, that i experience syncronicities of like kind, to an even higher degree than those you experience, and i experience them more frequently. does that mean i could still not arrive at the conclusion that they are all just coincidence? of course it doesn't.

    i've had some pretty insane instances of deja vu that last for over a minute (and before you ask, no, 99% of them were not pot induced). they are wickedly intense. but i still just think it's my mind playing tricks on me. no big brain, no glitch in the matrix, just a coincidence.

    and as for your question about having a plan b, no, i don't have one. not existentially anyway. i accept that there are questions that will never be answered in my lifetime. and while i may ponder the answers to those questions, i'm careful not to get consumed by the possibilities.

    if they figure out science is wrong in my lifetime, that we're really not matter, or real, okay, that's cool, at least i'll know. if they don't figure it out until after i'm dead, oh well, there isn't shit i could do about it, i lost the capabilities necessary for giving a damn when i died.

    you at least see the parallels in your arguments and those made by the religious, right?

    -------------

    "Hear hear Richelle. Why haven't you posted more often?"

    well, i took a hiatus for a while and sometimes i just like to quietly stalk the blogosphere.

    ReplyDelete
  27. you at least see the parallels in your arguments and those made by the religious, right?
    ----------------
    Yes.

    I see the parallels, and the differences.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I propose that if you had them in like kind and degree, you'd be puzzled at the very least, and suspicious of how such a thing can occur in the universe that we all think we inhabit. Or maybe not, I don't know.
    -StBtG

    and again i say you are making an assumption.
    -Richelle

    Doesn't my 'puzzled at the very least' and 'or maybe not, I don't know' innoculate me at all from you thinking that? I mean, I'm admitting in the statement that I may be wrong, because it is subjective....
    Plus, there you are telling me about your dejavus. They puzzled you, at the very least, no?
    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  29. As to religion, don't you all think that this reality-being-thought thing is much more likely than a deity that thinks and acts like we silly humans do? (If science has it wrong, of course)

    It also completely includes science with zero conflict. Religion rejects science. Heck, this even explains things that science can't explain yet, and not with a 'goddidit' either. I mean, if reality is thought, then *of course* there is much quantum weirdness. *Of course* the waveform collapses when observed. *Of course* particles become entangled.

    So if I'm going to have a 'faith' then I guess I chose the most logical one. And I still 'believe' in science. That's the primary thing that I go by in my life. Science and logic. I just think that this is actually both scientific and logical. It's just hellishly unlikely by 'normal' standards, and even quite literally *unimagineable* to most.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Let's look it from the backside:

    Our current scientific paradigm postulates a 'Big Bang,' perhaps a huge quantum fluctuation, and an inflationary period, and many other things that we find very strange. Something coming from nothing has always been a problem, no matter how we like to think we're beyond it. All of the universe bursting into existence in a vaccuum, or perhaps not even a vaccuum but a complete void where space doesn't even exist yet... pretty mindbending concepts. Amazingly strange by our standards of what is likely or normal.
    Now think of it as a dream. There is no real matter or energy in the sense that we think of it, just us dreaming of matter and energy.
    Simple, neat, logical, and explains everything. Now I know that Occam's Razor isn't always right, but this is also beautiful and elegant in the sense that scientists mean it when they say that they knew that their theory was correct even before they tested it because of its beauty and elegance.
    I don't say that I know it's true. Of course I don't. I just think when you factor in ALL of the zillions of variables, that it's actually more likely than what we generally think is true today.

    Plus, Heisenberg, Bohr, and Schroedinger all became mystics. Factor that into it.

    ReplyDelete
  31. In the Big Brain, or more accurately the Big Dream, there is no matter, energy, space or time. The universe is a fabrication of our minds, our minds which are all that truly exists. Oh, it's a perfect fabrication, or nearly so. It has to be. The very minds that are theorizing about it and looking for flaws in it are the minds creating it as they theorize about it and look for flaws. So naturally they create it to all fit together seamlessly.
    The only level where this is impossible is at the level of the very small. That's the level where we're getting hints of something amiss. If we have eyes to see them of course. If we can believe something so outlandish.

    I'm not just jumping on the bandwagon and committing myself to it, but I'm also not about to dismiss it out of hand.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Brian I disagree with your postulation of the BB, this hasn't changed, but I still do suspect that coincidence or synchronicity are perhaps deeper ways the mind reasons.

    I'm glad you do what you do.

    You're intractible :-)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Word verification: dessnad . I had witty observations, but work is calling....

    ReplyDelete
  34. I just watched several science channel specials on cosmogeny and related things like time and light.

    Apparently it's widely accepted that before the Big Bang there was nothing, not even space nor time. And then they actually say that 'something exploded into that nothingness and from that explosion came space and time and all the matter and energy and everything.' That's what they're saying.

    Since when can a place that has no space and time have an event happen in it? An event has a past and a future, is bound by time. No time means it can never change. I'd call the Big Bang a change.

    Just sayin, is all. It makes no semantic sense.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Incidentally that's not me denying the Big Bang, that's me mentioning how illogical it is, and still accepting it.

    Accepting it, but acknowledging that it might be just a part of this dream rather than a real event in a real universe, as we tend to think of real.

    Of course, if reality really is more like a dream, then when I say that matter (for example) isn't really 'real' that's not technically correct. It's not real like we think of real, but it's as real as anything ever gets.

    The problem is, I guess, that nothing we've ever thought was real, really ever was.

    ReplyDelete
  36. While we're on the subject of strangeness being the norm in the new physics (if we were; if not we are now) check this out. Apparently the scientists at cern are thinking that time paradox might be responsible for the LHC being plagued with problems. Some kind of causality violation.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Of course I liked this part of the article best:

    "The great physicist Niels Bohr once reportedly said “We all agree your theory is crazy. The question is whether it’s crazy enough to have a chance of being correct.”"

    ReplyDelete
  38. "...in the course of my mental experimentation it became apparent that if our thoughts influence reality at all, it is our subconscious thoughts that do so and not our conscious thoughts."

    It's late at night and early in the morning here, and I started to read your post but it's a bit long for this time of day and I need to get some sleep.


    Nevertheless, when I came across this part, I had a flash of inspiration that there is no such thing as 'sub-conscious'.

    I think what we mean by this is sub-vocal, and/or peripheral, where our eyes might see something but not register it in that part of the brain which our attention is 'manifested'.

    I think that most of the animals on the planet don't have what we would call a conscious mind if noticing something and being able to verbalize it or it immediately or even ever becoming the focus of attention is the criteria of 'having a streaming consciousness'.

    There's so much crap happening around us all the time to take every little thing into account and, I think that we learn to block a fair whack of stuff, which are clues that could help us better understand what is going on around us if we could verbalize it and/or learn it somehow.

    What I'm saying is that I don't believe that there really is anything that we ought to call 'our subconscious' at all.

    ReplyDelete
  39. "Doesn't my 'puzzled at the very least' and 'or maybe not, I don't know' innoculate me at all from you thinking that?"

    your walking back your statement doesn't change the fact that you had made an assumption, then qualified that assumption. i think once i brought it to your attention you revised your stance and admitted that you could be wrong, even though it was an afterthought.

    and as for the deja vu puzzling me, no, not really. i've always just figured it had something to do with the way my brain was processing information at the time the deja va occurred. and as for the syncronicities that danny and i experience quite regularly (especially when we're together), we just chalk it up to coincidence.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I think pboy is right though I would word it a bit differently. I think a lot of the experiences discussed here are examples of the data management challenge that our brains face every day. This area is my field of research, at least from a machine cognition standpoint though we use a fair amount of what is known about human decision-making and cognition in the design work. Our nervous systems, are awash in raw data. Some of that data can be thought of as information. Some of that information is used by automated or process management parts of the CNS to monitor of control actions and processes that are usually best managed outside of what we would call conscious control. A sizable part of our CNS is devoted to suppressing that raw data at any given time so as to prevent information overload. Most of that data just isn't important at any given time. Much of what reaches our conscious thoughts has been filtered and synthesized into more meaningful heuristic elements that are used in those so-called higher centers. So what does that mean? It means that the overwhelming majority of raw data points collected by our CNS are not registered by the cognitive centers of the brain at what we would call a conscious level. This is generally a good thing since if we didn't filter it our brains would constantly be bombarded by data in a manner similar to an Internet interruption of service attack. We can often (and do) over ride this process once we have 'made up our mind' about something and re-examine some of that raw data before it is lost. Our human propensity for confirmation bias generally means that we will be able to find data points or patterns within the raw or lower level synthesis data (often out of context) that correspond to our assumptions. Rarely is the full data set considered (might not even be accessible). These biased confirmations become re-incorporated into our existing heuristics and we tend to be even more vulnerable to seeking support for the biased heuristics as time goes on. The stronger the heuristics become the more we see what we want to see in the data over time.

    This is a huge problem in information management research.

    ReplyDelete
  41. One of the strategies we are exploring with the machine systems is possibly of interest to this discussion. Any time a heuristic is discovered to suffer from potential bias, the machine systems are being programmed to reassess any other heuristics developed with similar patterns. We are experimenting to see if this form of experiential learning reduces bias over time. In essence the computer is configured to be suspect of any patterns that are similar to patterns known to be biased. Whether this across the board refinement of heuristics leads to a more logical system will be an interesting point of research.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Richelle said,

    "...seeing things the way they want to see them in order to support their ideas, finding ways to explain away evidence that does not support or might discredit their theories."

    A handy definition of confirmation bias.

    ReplyDelete
  43. So synchronicities are happenning all around me and I've just never noticed them before I was 35 or so? Possible. But the ones that I notice, I notice because they are so prominant, so strange, like John Barleycorn in my story. John Barleycorn is not mentioned frequently around me without my noticing it.
    When I was talking to someone about Aikido and then on my drive home twenty minutes later I saw a licence plate that read "AIKIDO" I hardly think that it was some ambient thing happenning around me. The only reason I noticed it is because I was just talking about it. Seeing what you've just talked about on a licence plate is a pretty big synchronicity, especially with a word like "AIKIDO."
    When I was telling someone in a restaurant that I had thought about ordering the tiramisu but didn't want to waste the money and twenty seconds later the bartender (who could not have heard me) placed a tiramisu in front of me and said "Do you want this? We have an extra one left and it will only go bad" I don't see it as a heuristics problem. Explain how you do. Explain how Jung was misled in the same way as I was. Maybe I need to know.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Brian:

    "Since when can a place that has no space and time have an event happen in it?"

    "It makes no semantic sense."

    You answered your own question. We don't have vocabulary to accomodate the difficult concepts you're attempting.

    Consider:

    Most folks, when asked to consider "space" fall back to a mental model of utter nothingness, which is NOT the case.

    We humans just don't get it yet, as a species. Certain individuals can occasionally glimpse the 'man behind the curtain' though.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I know what confirmation bias is and consciously guard against it. I do this because I can see the Christians doing it all over the place. I really don't think that's what I'm doing, but I'm willing to listen.

    ReplyDelete
  46. agree Ed about the semantics and how we lack words, but honestly 'without time and space' is pretty plain, no? I understand that space is not empty, that virtual particles are created and annihilated all over the place in apparently 'empty' space, etc. I can even understand that space and time came out of the big bang. What I do have a problem with is the words "without space and time" describing what the Big Bang exploded into. That part is, I think, wrong. No, seriously. And some scientists agree, albeit not the majority of them. If a place is without space and time, it's not a place, it doesn't even exist. If it is without time, no event can start or finish within it. Including the Big Bang. Because that is an event, a huge one, and events cannot happen without time and space, especially without time.
    I think space and time existed already in some degenerate form perhaps, and then perhaps a different version of it all came out of the Big Bang or something.
    I'm not saying that I can be sure, and I'd love some random quantum physicist reading this to explain it to me. But it certainly seems fishy to me, and I'm used to the kind of 'fishy' that is all over quantum physics. Even so, it's fishy.

    ReplyDelete
  47. IMHO, the Big Brain thingy is too close to a religion because it is something that cannot be disproven. Just like when the Christians throw the 'God hypothesis' into the ring, then smugly assert that we can't discount it logically because

    a) the hypothesis has been made, and

    b) a negative cannot be proved for all cases.

    I'm suspicious of anything that doesn't respond to being measurable or quantifiable, but that just speaks to my existentialist-materialist mentality.

    word ver: "derstorc"

    the bird that delivered little Wolfgang, er Connor...

    ReplyDelete
  48. "What" the Big Bang exploded into is the same thing that the Universe continues to expand into. That's easy.

    Space and time are just reference frames we understand. We're on the inside, and can't perceive the exterior. But that doesn't mean it's not there.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Here's a random thought.

    The 'dark energy' that we've noticed that causes the universe to expand in spite of it's mass, where we expected it to be contracting, is simply the pressure of our version of non-empty 'space' as compared to the true void outside the expanding universe. If what is outside of the universe is a true void, and what is inside is not, then is it not possible that there is a version of 'vapor pressure' here that is applicable?

    ReplyDelete
  50. "What" the Big Bang exploded into is the same thing that the Universe continues to expand into. That's easy.
    -----------
    Yes it is. It's always easy to say "I don't know." :-)

    But you are making sense. It's better to say "I don't know" than "it was a place without any space or time..."

    ReplyDelete
  51. Einstein and friends notwithstanding, it'd be a shame if we could never reach out and travel to the stars practically.

    But even a discovery of such magnitude would get co-opted by the religious:

    "God revealed the science necessary for us to travel to the stars, so we could spread the Gospel..."

    I can already hear it.

    ReplyDelete
  52. This is no shit.

    word ver: "reejew"

    Def: the first two syllables of the name of a phenomenon whereby ancient rabbis are raised from the dead against their will.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I believe this is why I see this as a heuristic problem. We can change our perceptions of the world through pattern repetition and reinforcement. When we repeat the patterns enough they do begin to alter our perceptions in that we tend to see the patterns we are looking for in any data and these heuristics become more ingrained. I think we see that in all forms of philosophy and theology. In fact it appears that we are extremely wired to behave just this way. We know that our brains are extremely fond of determining causation even when it isn't appropriate or valid. I think it helps explain why it's so hard to overturn beliefs. Given time and repetition our filters become so well honed that they become difficult to budge.

    We can reproduce these kinds behaviors and thoughts through a variety of means at the macro level far removed from the level of quantum effects so I also tend to be a bit wary of introducing them into the discussion.

    From my personal perspective the BB hypothesis has strong similarities to other forms of philosophy like religion. When I apply the same filters I get similar questions. Based upon what we know of nature and biological systems is it more likely that some force, entity, deity or undifferentiated mind exists or is it likely that similar innate mechanisms are at work to explain thought processes that lead to beliefs of all kinds, including religion?

    It's obviously a fascinating topic, though nothing I have ever observed or experienced (even a classic near death experience) has lead me to doubt that the explanations aren't entirely mechanistic as real as they are to people.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Seems to me Brian, that you're trying to create a model of everything based on these synchronicities.

    There are, what you call synchronicities, therefore the universe is made up of information which we percieve as 'reality'.

    I have a problem with the 'what' that the information is 'on'.


    For example written words are usually on paper and made with some kind of ink or are stored on computer memory, transfered to ram and projected on to some kind of 'screen'.

    Your model doesn't seem to have the 'medium' that the information is 'written' on, and you seem to me making a GIANT leap from synchronicities to 'big brain'(which is supposed to be made of 'what', again?)

    If it is all just some kind of potential energy that we call 'matter' and kinetic energy that we call 'energy' then aren't you just bandying words to come to your conclusion?

    e.g.

    Synchronicities mean something.

    They must mean that the entire universe is just information and that a miracle is happening which lets us percieve ouselves as individuals with individual streaming consciousnesses operating in three dimensions of space(perhaps more) and over time.

    I don't see the NEED for this model.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Pliny, interesting. I need to think on this more.

    ---

    Pboy, that's easy. You are describing what I call your 'reality bias.' Lol.

    No, hear me out. IF, and I say again IF this BB type thing is the case, then all of your reasons for thinking that a substrate is required, a computer for data, a brain for thought, etc., are due to the fact that they always are necessary in this 'dream' since in the dream we believe that undifferentiated mind cannot exist without such substrates. And yet if you think about it, all of that is how it works in our dream. We thus assume that it must work that way outside of it. Why? All of the 'rules' that make it necessary are rules WE have, in the dream. As such, they are not even remotely applicable to whatever is dreaming the dream.
    Why can't mind exist, and be the only thing that *does* exist, if that's all that ever existed? No brain to think the thoughts, no computer to store the data. I'm saying that DATA, or THOUGHT, is primal, and not the things we record them on or in.
    I know, it's far out, and easily objected to on many grounds. The problem is, all of the 'grounds' are a part of the dream.
    I guess I just have no problem imagining that mind is all there is, and because of that we made shit up that seems "not mind" in our communal dream. Of course we did. Thats what would be expected to happen. If we dream, it's because we desire something more substantial than a mere un-solid ephemeral dream. So we made a 'concrete dream' together to share with each other. A dream in which we believe solids and gasses and liquids and energy exists as more than just concepts in a mind.

    What came first, the thought or the brain that thinks it? Why not the thought? Because the brain doesn't exist yet? How would we know that such isn't the natural order?
    And besides, let's not forget that in the BB, no 'matter' really exists, it's all in the mind, in the dream, and thus all computers and brains and substrates are a part of the dream, and not the ultimate reality. The dream in that scenario, is the substrate and the thoughts on it combined.

    ReplyDelete
  56. It seems to me, a large problem with this theory is, we must ALL be in on the same, or at least very similar, dream. What of the malcontents who wish to not participate in this communal 'dream' ?

    ReplyDelete
  57. Mac, this is way more complex than I can convey well. Sorry. In advance, I know it sounds stupid. Honestly, I'm trying to verbalize intuitive thought here, feelings almost, so it's not as cogent as I'd like it to be.

    First of all, when I say "we" are having the dream, "we" are all life, not just humans. The dream has been going on for a very long time. Basic rules were set down by pre-human life. New ideas such as religion have to go 'up against' the much older established paradigm we know as 'nature.' They may hold sway in some localized ways, but they cannot overturn the order of being in this dream. Science is the study of the old paradigm, science represents it and even possibly *preserves it* with its descriptions of natural law. One mind cannot overturn nature as we know it using science, nor can a group of minds, no matter how sure they are that they are right. One mind can receive apparent confirmation of it's beliefs that 'go against' the old paradigm, and so believe that reality is as they believe and not as it is. That's 'allowed.' Reality deceives in that way. What it can give you is apparent confirmation that you will believe; what it cannot give you is actual confirmation that all will be able to see and believe and thus change the paradigm over to a new track.
    In my 'experiments' I set myself up for apparent confirmation, because in this one instance such a thing would prove the deceptive system and not deceive me into believing that my own folly might be true. In essence, if one looks for God and finds God, it either proves that there is a God or that reality likes to give you what you expect it to. But when one looks for reality to just give you what you're expecting it to, and start intentionally expecting it to give you random things and it does, then it must prove that reality gives you what you expect it to. And then you also understand why so many people are so sure that they know God.

    My confirmation word as I post this: slyncer
    Is one of you thinking of assasinating me by any chance?

    ReplyDelete
  58. And here's the scary part:

    If reality deceives in that manner, then people that are certain that I am wrong will see evidence of that. At least, evidence that they'll accept. It's allowed.

    Not saying this to soften up you 'rubes' in my snake oil presentation here, just stating fact. IF this is true, then contrary beliefs will be confirmed to the doubters. It'll take a very long time to prove. Unless science (believable to the masses, generally) stumbles on something that really proves it, and I think that not very likely in the near future.

    There, I'm done free-associating here. Have at me.

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  59. I see the deception of this 'dream' in this way. In a normal dream you either get what you want or what you fear. You direct it. In the communal dream you have to go along with the world as it has been laid down by your predecessors and nature in general. But still being a dream, if you're not satisfied with that paradigm and prefer to believe something completely different (or fear not to) the dream, being connected with you, accomodates your desire/belief/fear as much as it can without conflicting with the main storyline of the communal dream, that being nature/science.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Pliny, you have piqued my interest. I will attempt to respond more fully tomorrow, but for now...

    Let's say that I have changed my perceptions around so that I see patterns in my environment that I've never seen before. Given.

    So now I'm seeing patterns that are 'synchronicities' or significant coincidences.

    At this point in my own heuristics I apply a filter whereby I ask myself 'since I'm seeing patterns, synchronicities, and they are real (others with me see them too) then how significant are the patterns that I am now perceiving, and are they significant enough, prominant enough, perposterous enough, that their existence is not allowed by the bell curve? Because 'so what' if I've never seen them before I altered my perceptions? They're still there now. You're not propounding that they're illusory, are you? Because I can summon witnesses, lol... (no, seriously)
    They're there, and so two questions arise: Are they minor enough to be within the bell curve, or infrequent enough to be "normal" outliers?

    No, and no. My judgement of course. But I trust me. I was there. :-)

    Let's talk more of this if you have the time. It's not familiar to me.

    ReplyDelete
  61. But Brian, you're saying here that the 'Big Brain' is a misnomer and it's the 'Big Consciousness' that is 'eternal' and it is creating temporary small consciousnesses that only think reality is real.

    Christians, Muslims and Jews would all agree with you and they call that 'Big Consciousness' GOD.

    Anyone trying to convince someone that GOD is 'doing it' will resort to the 'designer argument' which is, "Imagine God sitting at the dials which set the tolerances of the physical constants and such!"

    We are basically being asked to imagine that there is a God, and deem HIM real BECAUSE we can imagine HIM.

    What's the subtle difference between what they do and what you try to do?

    1) Oh, you don't anthropomorphasize the 'big consciousness' the way that religion does.

    2)Yours is more of a collective consciousness model where any attempt to 'thwart' your model is sloughed of as being part of the model.(as if entire religions aren't exactly that, just putting a 'name' and sometimes a 'face' to it)

    3)Any persistent challenge is met with, "Oh, I don't really know if there's anything to it.", but you're willing to keep bringing it up so you DO believe it(and therefore it is a belief) and you think that having deniablity is making it 'mysterious'.(as if religions don't use this exact same trick. i.e. contadiction is looked upon as 'mystery' which cannot be solved by our 'small' minds therefore we simply retreat from it with the 'knowledge' that our minds are too small.)

    4)This is just collective solypsism. Instead of 'brain-in-bucket', it's 'brains-in-bucket'.

    Your just as stubborn as any believer really Brian, you just duck this by denying that you truly believe.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Pboy, perhaps I am a believer at this point. At least I'm getting there. The more re-inforcement I get, the more I have trouble discarding this. And yet I see your points clearly. You're right that there are parallels between God and the Big Dream (I've always admitted that 'brain' was a misnomer; I chose it for the sound of it; 'dream' is closest I think). I recognize that. I don't see it as a deity, but the parallels are going to cause someone like you to make the equivalency, since you're a stickler that way. And it's subjective like a religion is. And, and, and...
    I cannot prove any of this logically. I just have fun talking about it, because to be frank, I 'feel' that it is true. I know, you're gonna jump down my throat on that one. So be it. It's my intuition that it is true, or something like it. That's the truth of the matter. This produces a conflict inside me, since I want to be able to prove anything that I think it true, and I can't prove this to another person, nor really to myself using logic alone. I intuit that it is close to the truth. Sorry to be so unscientific. I really am.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Let's use your 'God tuning the dials of the universe' analogy for a moment.
    In the BB the universe is fine-tuned because we expected it to be. I mean, it had to be or we wouldn't be here, and we knew that, so when we developed the means to investigate it, much to our surprise, it was.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I'm not trying to jump down your throat Brian.

    I'm trying to make you see that this is your version of a religion, an 'unreligion', if you like.

    We have to start from basic premises or axioms.

    What you seem to be doing here is admitting that reality needs these basic premises or axioms for it's model and we can all agree on them... but...

    And your 'but' is that you think that you see anomalies, the synchronicities, and that they 'guide' you to discard reality in favor of BB.

    But I'm saying that religion does the exact same thing. A JW, for example, might come to your door and we all agree on the basic premises of reality until he puts it in terms of his God.

    All of them are reality deniers and they, like you, are saying that 'no', reality is 'incorporated' in their overarching idea that 'God-did-it/is doing it'/your overarching idea that BB is 'all'.

    It's self-referential when they do it and it's self-referential when YOU do it too.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I didn't take it as you jumping down my throat and I am telling you that I am forced to agree with you.

    No, seriously.

    I think if you read back you'll see that I said that I am believing in something here, at least somewhat. And like any belief, it's utterly unsupportable. I'm seeing it. Really.

    I'm adjusting to that. I don't like it, but I'm not going to deny it anymore. So I'm going from there and seeing what I want to do next.

    ReplyDelete
  66. B - up to my A in alligators at work this week - not blowing off your interesting discussion. Be back to discuss the areas we covered later

    ReplyDelete
  67. Pliny, those patterns that have been there all along and I'm only now seeing... If upon analysis they're too 'unlikely' in toto to be consonant with the cause-and-effect universe of science and the probability bell curve, that only tells me that evidence of the unreality of the universe has been there all along for me to see and I'm only seeing it now that my perceptions have changed. It's *not* telling me that
    they're only a function of my brain and how I perceive reality.

    How do you interpret this differently?

    ReplyDelete
  68. Oh, and no rush Pliny. It is interesting. Get back to it when you can. I'll be around.

    And by the way, I appreciate you all stopping by. My thanks.

    Richelle, nice to see you as always. I appreciate your candor.

    My main reason for blogging about this subject is not to spread the 'gospel' as it were (shudder) but to clarify my own thoughts. And you all definitely help me with that, in many ways.

    Appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Brian,

    There are always outliers beyond the 99% confidence level on the bell curve. You're just taking more note of them than the rest of us do.

    I have occasional synd=chronous events like you describe, too.

    But I usually just say to myself, "Self, that was cool."

    Then I move on.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Yes Ed, which is where my statement about 'frequency' comes in. I get that type at least once a week or more, and many, many less prominant ones. Occassionally I get that type twice in one day. That type being, something that is definitely a 99th percentile outlier or more. If I got one a month or two, I'd be a lot less conscious of them.
    The "John Barleycorn" one is average or even less-than-average prominance for those that I really take notice of. I'd call that one say, an eighty-fifth percentile, and only that high because it was pretty fast, less than a twenty-minute lag, and the phrase is so arcane in modern English. This kind is most common.
    It's pretty weird, but nothing compared to the tiramisu one or many others even stranger.
    Another thing, although this part *may* be perceptual. When I notice them and talk about them a lot, they get even more frequent.
    The one that I once got about the movie "What The Bleep Do We Know" is what I'd call a 99.9999999th percentile. That one involved the movie, which was ABOUT that sort of thing in the first place, and a sixteen-year old magazine that I randomly selected in a hospital waiting room the next day. The coincidence itself was more than a 99th percentile and THEN when you consider that it revolved around a movie ABOUT just that sort of thing, about reality and it being like consciousness etc, it increased that maximally, I think.
    Plus I get a lot of more typical coincidences, say in the seventieth percentile. Often in groups, that is to say, two or more in an evening. These frequently involve me saying an atypical word (but not as atypical as say, John Barleycorn or Aikido) and it immediately, even simultaneously, being echoed on the television or radio or whatever. These are at least one a day on average.
    An example of a minor one, say what I'd call a 60th percentile: I recently said the word "Fox' out loud to my wife in a sentence, stressing it, and within a second someone on TV used the phrase "Fox guarding the henhouse..." A very, very minor one in my mind, and if the phrase on TV was in reference to Fox News I'd have discounted it completely, but it wasn't, so I at least took notice, barely. So stuff like that, I hardly count at all. It has to be more than that.
    Just to comunicate my 'standards' to you.

    ReplyDelete
  71. And I haven't told you all about the last time I tried something like what I did to 'manifest' my son. It was more recent, in fact.

    One day about four months ago (right around when my son was born, perhaps a week or two before) I was walking our dog, a three-year old pug, and noticed in the sunlight that one of his eyes looked funny. On closer inspection I noticed that his iris was completely closed, in comparison to the other one. He was blind in one eye. We immediately took him to the vets and she said it was a type of disorder similar to Bell's Palsy. It could last a couple of weeks, or it might last the rest of the dog's life.

    Saddened by this, that evening I decided that I'd meditate (with props etc) on healing my dog's eye. Again, as silly as this may sound, I felt that I had nothing to lose. So in the course of the meditation I pretty much convinced myself that the eye problem was a minor thing that would get better soon.
    The next morning, the dog's two eyes matched again. The effect was completely gone. Overnight. Even the vet thought that was unusual.

    Doesn't prove anything, but I keep getting this thing re-inforced in different ways, rather than proven invalid. And as long as that keeps happening, I have to at the very least take it seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Brian, comment 73 reminds me of the time brian (li'l b) "prayed" that he find his favorite lost swimming shorts (abandoned @ the Y?). Granted, this problem is more serious than lost shorts. But to think that meditating could cure Walter's palsy seems way out there. The concept is incredulous to me. This goes way beyond coincidental occurrences. It seems you have developed some kind of cosmic faith healing technique (for want of a better description).

    ReplyDelete
  73. Mac, I'm not 'faith healing,' I'm convincing myself that it will heal quickly on it's own. Autohypnosis. I didn't 'lay on hands' or anything sily like that. The dog was involved only as an object of meditation.
    The idea being, if I can believe it, and nobody else is out there convinced that it's impossible, and nobody can prove that I had any part in it, then it's possible. Only if someone else who 'knows it's impossible' is involved does it become impossible. Or at least a lot harder.
    It's no different from what I did with my son, when you think about it.
    This type of thing is only possible if reality is indeed dreamlike. That's what I'm saying.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Plus, as to brian small 'b' losing his shorts and finding them with God's help, lol...

    One of the things that occurs to me in this is that people who really, deeply believe in their god, may get 'results' while praying. Because they're basically autohypnotizing, and their 'prop' is their deity. It's a pretty effective method, too. Thus explaining all the crowd of religious people that insist that they get 'miracles' in their life.

    I once met a woman in Newport RI and had coffee with her, and we had a long conversation, and I told her about many of my coincidences and what I thought that they were. She seemed a willing ear. Plus I wanted to sleep with her. :-)

    Unbeknownst to me at the time, she had been having them too. Only she had been attributing them to God, and was right on the cusp of joining the baptist church because of them. She was convinced that her synchronicities were divine in origin. So, imagine it from her POV. Here she is, having them, and then she meets this guy, and without ever telling him about them, he goes and describes them perfectly because *he's* getting them too, only he seems to not believe in god at all and explains *another way* that they could be happening. Another way that makes sense to her, in fact.

    From her point of view, my just telling her about them unprompted WAS another synchronicity! So, she lost her faith in God. Seriously, I didn't see here around for several days, and when I finally did she informed me that she'd spent the last few days crying, and even at first THINKING THAT I WAS SATAN. She came to her senses at the end and so told me that she wasn't becoming a Baptist anymore. We only knew each other a short time, so I don't know what became of her after that. But it speaks to my point here about faith in god being able to do it too, only FALSELY, since the God part isn't there, isn't real, it's just reality responding to deep expectations of the 'faithful' and thus fooling them into believing in God even more intensely.
    When their faith conflicts with other people's reality, it won't work, however. That's when it 'fails them' every time.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Faith in God can do it - but falsely, because the god part isn't real ? I think a lot of Christians would say the same thing about this BB scenario of yours. Oh sure, they use different terminology. They'll say theirs is the true way and your results are Satan's doings or some such nonsense. BUT, it's all just a matter of terminology and vocabulary, essentially the same idea has been conveyed using different words.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Well Mac, if that's how you feel, we'll just have to disagree. No problem. I totally understand you. Like I said, it's not really very believable to others. And I do this mostly to clarify my own thoughts, not to sell it to any of you. I appreciate being able to talk about it with you, so thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  77. I suppose I feel as I do because I simply can't wrap my head around your idea here. I know my reality isn't a dream like state. I'm sure of it. It seems, to me, you have replaced god with a dream like reality (I've often thought many christians were daydreaming). Maybe I'm just too cynical, maybe my intellect isn't able to proccess it. Whatever the reason, I simply can't imagine rigging a pregnancy or curing the dog with meditation .

    ReplyDelete
  78. Faith in God can do it - but falsely, because the god part isn't real ?
    -------------
    Sort-of... Faith in *anything whatsoever* can do it, because nothing is real. The only truth is that all is false. If it's all a 'dream' then of course we get what we expect, at least to some extent, to the extent that it doesn't infringe on the expectations of others in the dream. It's the belief, the strength of it, that counts. And religion can produce strong belief. So it can produce little 'miracles' more than capable of convincing a person that they're 'signs from God' thus cementing their faith in Him, without the need for Him to really exist in any way. It's the faith that counts, ironically enough. Not what the faith is in. Because it's our own mind that creates the dream in concert with all other minds. Our minds are all that really exist. And not as brains in boxes. As minds, disincarnate. Nothing but mind. Mind is all there is.

    That's the gist of what I'm trying to get at. Just for the sake of argument. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  79. To clarify that last answer a bit, our minds are all that is real. God is nonexistant except to some of us, in our communal dream. God has no mind. We do. We are minds, some of whom believe in a God. But that in no way gives God any sort of reality, even if some of their 'prayers' are answered, even if they see 'signs.' That would just be the normal quality of the universe, to give us what we unconsciously expect it to. If we expect God, we see Him everywhere. If we expected Quetzalcoatl, the same would happen.

    ReplyDelete
  80. I know my reality isn't a dream like state. I'm sure of it.
    ---------------
    There I'll disagree with you. You cannot be sure of it. You do not have any idea what it would be like to have a dream that lasts your whole life and is consistent due to others being involved in it, dreaming it with you. Plus if that's all you've ever had, all you've ever known, you'd never know the difference, because there wouldn't be one.
    You 'believe' that your reality isn't a dream. That's the best anybody can do. But you absolutely cannot know it, sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  81. You *can* be sure that reality isn't a sleeping dream, that much is true. A regular sleeping type dream it definitely isn't. I've been maintaining that it's like a dream, but there are definitely huge differences. It's more like a dream than it is like what we think of it as, that's my position. More like the Matrix even, if you prefer, but with no machines running computers, no computers, just minds, just our minds, no brains or machines required to hold them, just our consciousnesses. Consciousnesses believing that matter and space and time and energy are all real. Consciousnesses believing that they're not dreaming. But all their evidence for it, for them not being in a dream, is a part of the dream too. In fact, according to what I'm saying here, if you believe 'hard' enough that it isn't a dream, why you'll get evidence that you'll believe which 'confirms' to you the 'fact' that it's not a dream, FROM THE DREAM.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Brian, I think your biggest and first mistake is presupposing an absolute for experience.

    Even math, the absolute of absolutes is predicated upon our assumption of quantities. Maybe it is only one, with many manifestations. But this does not lead to you. I'm simply saying that math which is one thing we cling to to bring us truth is still "shaky" in an ultimate sense.

    Now this brings us back to you. You're asserting an absolute. I'm not saying you're not qualifying you're authority, you do. That's cool.

    Regardless, absolutism is a dark room wherein lies nothing or x.

    I would suggest that you bring in the boundaries of your hypothesis. I would also suggest that you parse out the argument, so that 'all perception is mind' isn't included.

    If indeed you keep running with that, then logically one can conclude you're putting all of reality on man. But that's a giant, unfounded conclusion.

    You need to stick with proving that coincidences and synchronicities are, and they exist in the way you say they do. You haven't even done that.

    Pliny so far, has the best explanation.

    ReplyDelete
  83. You need to stick with proving that coincidences and synchronicities are, and they exist in the way you say they do. You haven't even done that.
    ----------
    I know that. I am not doing this to prove it to you. I can't prove this. I know that. I keep talking about it because I am in the process of proving it to myself. I still can't 'believe' it, but it does seem more and more likely as I go along in my life. And as such, I definitely appreciate all of your objections and 'disproofs' and critique. That's what I'm discussing it for. To make sure that I cover every angle. Because it's utterly subjective, it can only be 'proven' to me and others that may be having these experiences, and that is a subjective proof.

    ReplyDelete
  84. I should have known you wouldn't let that one slide. You're right. None of us can be 100% sure of any of this. That realization kind of makes us more agnostic than atheist, doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  85. One question, if I may: Do you experience any time (numerals) related coincidences? Does thhe number 11:11 have any significance to you? .... OK, that was two :-)

    ReplyDelete
  86. I have always maintained that to insist that you know that there is not a deity or a spiritual reality is exactly and precisely as stupid as insisting that you know that there is one. We just can't know. I've always been an agnostic and only recently have called myself an atheist on occassion, justifying it because while I can never know that there is no God, I can be *almost* certain that if there is one, it's nothing like the one the Christians think it is, nor anyone else for that matter. If there is a God, it's something we haven't thought of with our little pea-brains yet.

    Time related coincidences? No, not at all. It's often verbal- relating to words, or else related to objects or visual imagery such as in a film or on TV, or actual happenings in my life. But not time related nor numerically related.
    Maybe I'll have one now that you've told me about them, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  87. I have a friend that has 1111 occurrences. She believes there is something to it. I notice the time now, but I'm pretty sure it's because she made me aware of it. It is kind of weird, I go about my normal daily business not thinking of the number at all - then glance at a clock at that exact time. But, I never noticed it until she mentioned it to me. I have done some research. it seems others share this phenomenon. Some put significance on the noticing, as if it's a spiriual awakening of sorts (?)

    ReplyDelete
  88. She's a nice girl, I wish I understood more, so I could help her figure it out.

    ReplyDelete
  89. I understand exactly what you mean Brian. To put something 'out there' in order to think about it better, to get to the heart of the matter. I do the same, and usually appreciate a good debate or disagreement, not for the sake of getting feisty but to learn, nuance, grow etc. But I'm preaching to the choir.

    ---

    To address mac more directly :-) I didn't stress absolutism to point out the sun necessarily.

    I even see it as a personal failing of mine, to have thought provable the absolute, though believing it is understandable.

    I was attempting to be helpful. I may have failed but it was an attempt nonetheless. Brian knows more about certain arguments than I do (hee hee, certain arguments). I 'know' that he 'knows.'

    Yet it's a mistake often made.

    Not that there are or are not absolutes, but assuming that there are or aren't and then saying that the argument based off that assumption is irrefutable, definite etc.

    Brian isn't technically doing that given that he's qualifying his own certainty, but the BB hypothesis is still, as far as I can see, absolute.

    But I'd rather him post about this, than about...I don't know...Kim Kardashian, or Twilight.

    I may be wrong, but I think the BB holds more intellectual merit, than a blog about somebody's derriere and tweeny vampire movies.

    And for this I'm grateful.

    ReplyDelete
  90. If indeed you keep running with that, then logically one can conclude you're putting all of reality on man. But that's a giant, unfounded conclusion.
    ---------------
    All of reality on man, and lower animals, and plants, and indeed all life down to the unicellular procaryotes from the dawn of time, and perhaps before that. If all is consciousness, what is the nature of the consciousness of a star and how would it create reality for it, I wonder?

    When I say "all is consciousness" I realy mean it.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Mac, what you describe is the identical mechanism at work. The nature of the coincidence varies with the personality and personal experiences of the individual having them.
    Now that you mention it, I have heard of the 11:11 thing. I'm not a numerical person nearly so much as I am a verbal/visual one, so my coincidences all conform to that.

    Having them is an awakening, I'll attest to that. To what, I'm not sure yet. I'm hoping not a psychosis. That's why I have you nice people, to keep me relatively grounded.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Oneblood, I absolutely love you. That was a perfect endorsement, man.

    You are too funny by 9/16ths.

    I understand our mutual friend Harry is already trying to merchandise my Big Brain ideas. Tell him I want half of the tee shirt proceeds or I'll convince myself that he doesn't exist and he'll wink out like a candle.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Todays Synchronicity:

    I was just talking to my wife, with the TV turned down in the background. She was saying that she felt like a cow. (baby weight)

    I said "You're a pretty cow..."

    She laughed.

    And I followed it up with, yes, I know, corny and stupid, but I said "And that's no bull!"

    And at that precise moment a bull appeared on the TV behind her. A Merril Lynch Commercial.

    ReplyDelete
  94. You know what Brian, on your part that's actually a good idea to put down to data, this or writing, what you label synchronicities.

    If you had a compilation of them with approx date and time, sans opinion, that would be interesting.

    The way we use the terms 'synchronicity' and 'coincidence' are relatively abstract. It could read scientifically.

    That being said we are talking about events usually predicated upon individual interpretation. Synchronicity to one person, means absolutely zilch to the next. Also, time is a factor (as the 'chron' points to).

    What's the time factor for an individual: 10 seconds - 15 minutes? If it happens to two people while in conversation (not just one while in conversation with another) is there a longer time factor?

    I would suggest taking your experiences, having at them with reason driven inquiry, compiling them, and posting them. No opinion.

    I think you're up to the challenge Bri, even if it takes a while.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Today's Synchronicity:

    I recently purchased three books off Amazon. Heinlein's "Time Enough For Love" and "The Number Of The Beast" and E.E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman Series, the first three Lensman books in one volume. I've read both the Heinlein books before in my early twenties so almost thirty years ago, but had never read the Smith book. I remembered basic plot elements from the Heinlein books but almost none of the specifics, and was looking forward to re-reading them. So I'd just finished "Time Enough For Love" and had gotten sixteen pages into "The Number Of The Beast" and decided to not read the two Heinlein books back-to-back after all. He's great and all but can get sickening after a while. I needed a break from him so I stopped reading the second one and started the E.E. Smith Book instead.

    Now in "The Number Of The Beast" in those first sixteen pages I did read before stopping I ran across the latin phrase "Nos Morituri Vos Spernimus" a corruption of the old Roman Gladiator oath "Nos Morituri Vos Salutamos." So instead of "We who are about to die salute thee" it was "We who are about to die, scorn thee"

    I found it amusing and actually did dimly recall that from the first time that I read the book so long ago. (I like latin)

    So as I said, I stopped that one and I started reading the Smith book, the one that I'd never read before.

    Got to page 45, and the scene is Rome, and there's gladiators, and guess what they're saying?

    "Nos Morituri Vos Salutamos" of course. What else do gladiators say? And also of course I never knew nor suspected that there were gladiators in a classic space opera from 1948. Whyever whould I?

    ReplyDelete
  96. oneblood

    just wanted to let you know...

    i have tried repeatedly to post comments on your blog but have been denied the privilege. so please don't think that i don't think you're not interesting enough to stalk on the blogosphere.

    because i do...

    anyway, i thought your last post was really very kind of you and i just wanted to let you know that.

    and brian,

    my apologies for using your commenting area as a substitute for oneblood's.

    and now to make it up to you i will add something relevant:

    i left a comment on seeker's post "fairly unbalanced" that has to do with 11:11.

    it made me think of you and mac.

    i hope you guys feel special. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  97. Richelle,

    Pliny has mentioned that problem repeatedly, but for the 'life of me' I can't figure out why.

    It should be the same (well it looks the same) as mac's blog.

    I know the problem's on my end so to speak, but that's about it. From there this poster is clueless. Nevertheless thank you for your thanks dot dot dot

    ReplyDelete
  98. I apologize Stacy, I think it was a foul up on my part. I think (stress think) you and Pliny should be able to post now if you want.

    ---

    As far as the synchronicity Brian, I think you're on the ball for 'sallying forth' and listing them.

    The thing is to (and I know you know this) just keep going and going...sans interpretation.

    It's a tough road to hoe (is that actually an idiom?) but if enough of them line up outside normal mind processes and ordering then you can make your hypothesis. Sure this is to science what garage rock is to music theory, but I bet it'll lead to some interesting questions.

    ReplyDelete
  99. "I apologize Stacy..."

    Oh man. That was a guy mistake if there ever was one. Correction...

    Sorry Richelle.

    Oy, I feel like a complete putz.

    ReplyDelete
  100. lol

    it's okay oneblood, i won't hold it against you.

    many men have done the same thing in more critical situations, i.e., during sex.

    so don't feel like a putz

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  101. oneblood, the saying is, "It's a tough row to hoe." It comes from farmers who hoed the rows of whatever they had planted.

    On the other hand I guess any road would be tough to hoe. :o)

    Here's a couple of 'nautical' versions. "Yarr! It's a tough roe to hoe!"(meaning that roe would indeed be tough if you needed to hoe it)

    ...or, "Yarrr! It's a tough ho who rows!"(a desperate prostitute indeed, to get to the boat before it docks!)

    ReplyDelete
  102. Thanks for the leeway Richelle.

    And thank you too pboy, I'd rather be hoeing the row, than the road.

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  103. many men have done the same thing in more critical situations, i.e., during sex.
    ----------
    Yeah, I hate it when that happens.

    ReplyDelete
  104. I used the phrase about hoeing a row on my last post and oneblood commented on it. Then I was commenting on his use of that expression on this post and then Emma and I took a trip to Vancouver where I picked up a Province newspaper to do the crossword.(something I haven't done in years)

    The answer to one of the clues was 'roe'.

    I think that one can go for years without hearing the word 'roe'.(shrug)

    But is this as significant as the cat passing by the doorway twice in the movie Matrix?

    I don't know Brian, I just don't think so.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Well Pboy, yours was a stretch. Row - Roe LOL Last weekend my husband told me we could go "pick our cow" for stocking up the freezer. I was horrified, no way. I said something like "I do not want to meet my food source or see her eyes." That way I can pretend my steaks come from the freezer? Anyway, that night, watched a weird movie called "The Island" and Steve Buscemi's character said the exact same thing I had said about our cow. Coincidence? Could be, but freaky when it happens. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  106. But Jude, if you look up at my previous comment to oneblood, I did a play on words thing and changed the idiom(?) to, "A tough roe to hoe."

    ReplyDelete
  107. Yes, you did, PBoy! I did overlook that, but it does change everything. I believe points can be awarded for the play on words synchronicity. ;-) Maybe even extra points, that's a tough way to get there!

    ReplyDelete
  108. Pboy, Jude, to clarify how I react to my synchronicities, in the case of pboy's 'roe' I wouldn't have thought anything much of it. Too thin, although still a coincidence.

    Now had the entire phrase "a tough row to hoe" come up, that would catch my attention, but still too thin, as the phrase is too common and is much used in the media and elsewhere right now.

    If the entire phrase were used, along with pboy's pun-mis-spelling 'a tough roe to hoe' THEN I'd give it about an eightieth percentile, as a very significant synchronicity.

    Just to let you know my approximate standards here. I don't jump at just anything that happens to be a coincidence. Far from it.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Well now it's just getting more complicated, Brian. I see your point, not every little thing counts as more than simple coincidence, but they do give you pause. But! This afternoon my youngest son said "that's a tough row to hoe". How is that weighted? We've been talking about this for a couple of days here, and there it pops up again. But, like you said, it's a common phrase. Must say though, that when he said it I thought OHH, Jeeeez.....the SBTG blog! A little haunting to say the least.

    ReplyDelete
  110. This afternoon my youngest son said "that's a tough row to hoe". How is that weighted?
    ----------------
    Depends. If he's one and a half and it's his first phrase and nobody taught it to him, it's pretty significant. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  111. Today's Synchronicity:

    I was just watching MSNBC. They mentioned the name of the Chinese unit of currency, the renminby. I'd never heard of it. But it sounded to me like the fairly uncommon acronym 'NIMBY' (Not In My Back Yard) so that's how I thought of it.

    So a half hour goes by at most, and another story comes on about a fancy treehouse. Contessa Brewer introduced the story as 'The Ultimate NIMBY, or Not In My Back Yard.'

    ReplyDelete
  112. Oh, and plus, I explained that acronym to my wife not two nights ago. She'd never heard of it.

    ReplyDelete
  113. ROFL! OK! OK! Uncle! My "3rd generation" synchronicity of rows and hoes, which started with Pboy passing it along, has been denied. Tough crowd! Now as to the nimby...... ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  114. Oh, not denied. I always take note of such things. It's just that it's not weird enough for me to say, remember it for very long afterwards if it happened to me.
    To be frank, I didn't think the NIMBY thing was that huge either. I almost forgot all about it, and only at the last minute decided to post it here. I remembered that I'd only told my wife about it two nights before, which to me increased the 'weirdness' factor, so I posted it.
    I tend to let most coincidences slide. They have to really stand out to me for me to even remember them now, because I get so many of the little ones that don't prove anything to anybody. However if the BB is true, they're a product of it as surely as the salient ones are.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Tough crowd...
    -Gotta love Dangerfield... I miss him.

    ReplyDelete
  116. What ya really have to be careful of is a hoe in the road. That'll flatten a tire quickly. I find it odd that sometimes these word verifications of yours are too close to the topic at hand....several people mention them, it's not just me noticing. This one, however, had zero noticable meaning ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  117. If not on topic, the verifications are at least funny.....renblogi ?

    ReplyDelete
  118. That last one is 'ignobler' all scrambled up.

    Hey, if the word verifications are close to the topic, isn't that incredibly appropriate here?

    ReplyDelete
  119. Synchronicity of the Day:

    I am still reading E. E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman Series, and today as I did so I noticed one of his characters using the word "martinet." I thought "I've heard that word before and from context I take that it means something to do with a military man that lives the part, as in, is strict and by the book. I should look it up to make sure though..." That was the thought process at the time. It's an unusual word, after all.

    So later on tonight I'm watching a recorded movie, Star Trek Nemesis. And in the movie, they used the word "martinet" again. So that's twice in one day that I've run across it.

    ReplyDelete
  120. It's a minor coincidence since they're both militaristic space operas in a way, but it is a very uncommon word, so I thought I'd mention it.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Brian,

    I was just hanging out with Sheik Djirbouti at the Sands. He said to tell you thank you for the tip about Cheyenne.

    He's also going to send me to two mosques! He fired the imams because they were bad for business. Too much violence not enough cash.

    Serving Allah to make challah, will be my new motto for quite some time.

    My first drash from the bima, I mean sermon from the pulpit, wait a second, khutbah from the minbar, will be about Brian the hidden imam.

    Which reminds me of another motto that's on my business cards.

    -It's not heresy, it's Harry C!-

    Judge you!

    ReplyDelete
  122. Well, make sure to Sheik Sheik Sheik Djabouti whenever you get the chance. I always do.

    ReplyDelete
  123. And I'm not the hidden Imam, I'm the Lost Imam.

    Or more accurately, I was misplaced.

    No doubt I'll turn up someday. Probably right next to the car keys.

    ReplyDelete
  124. As the Lost Imam, I only have a very small mosque. A teeny one. More of a mosquito actually. It's a porta-mosquie.(TM)

    You have a right to have your two mosques, Harry, but two mosques don't make you right.

    Hey, I'm playing a zither and doing muezzin calls for a new group, 'The Imammas and the Papists.' Our new hit single "Crusadomasochist" is number one with a scimitar in Riyaddh right now.

    (We don't do Bar Mitzvahs)

    ReplyDelete
  125. The abysmal punning is frankly beyond caliph. I asked Mrs. Pliny what I should say in response and Shia said that the Sunni I forgot these puns the better. As for me I say that one can never hadj enough puns to aid in our life's journey.
    Oh well, that's more than enough for now. Kaaba nice day!

    ReplyDelete
  126. Kaaba nice day!
    ---------------
    What, are you stoned? You've put me between Iraq and a hard place here, Pliny. Sufi-cient to say that it's jihadly worth my time to continue this pungent commentary after you've demonstrated so well to me that it Islame to do so.

    ReplyDelete
  127. Okay, here's my "Saint Brian's Special Pun Challenge:"

    What did Mohammed say to his cousin upon releasing his cattle?

    (C'mon, you guys can DO this!)

    ReplyDelete
  128. Our new hit single "Crusadomasochist" is number one with a scimitar in Riyaddh right now.
    ----------------
    Minor coincidence report:

    On watching the conclusion of "Star Trek Nemesis" tonight, after writing the above, I realized that the alien (Reman) starship was named the "Scimitar."

    ReplyDelete
  129. Okay, this really now qualifies as a synchronicity here.

    After posting the last about the Scimitar being the name of the Reman vessel in Star Trek Nemesis, I shut down this computer and picked up my book, the already-mentioned "Lensman Series" by E. E. "Doc" Smith, and promptly read this in less than three pages after I picked the book up again:
    (Page 533:) ...a supple and sentient cable of living steel, tipped with it's double-edged, razor-keen, SCIMITAR-like sting, slipped into the tunnel beside Kinneson and wrought grisly havoc among the Catlats close-packed there!"
    I mean, I just frigging picked the book up and read less than three pages and there's the word SCIMITAR that I've been talking about already previously tonight as a coincidence.

    ReplyDelete
  130. "What did Mohammed say to his cousin upon releasing his cattle?"

    I don't know the context, but if his cousin were a military leader
    he could've said, "Army salami make 'em."

    Man that's bad. Salami is only pork right? Oh well, there's my immediate guess.

    ReplyDelete
  131. Good guess... well, a fair one at any rate.... ;-) Not even close though.
    Your only hint is that the answer is a terribly pathetic pun. And when you hear it or guess it, it'll be obvious that it's the right answer.

    ReplyDelete
  132. I don't know the context
    ----------------
    The context is, Muhammad has released all of his cousin's cattle... And then he says something to his cousin about it.

    ReplyDelete
  133. So the context is that he has let Ali his cattle get loose?

    ReplyDelete
  134. You're getting warm, Pliny.

    Not there yet though.

    If nobody gets it today I'll post the answer tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Ahem.

    Where's the beef?

    (meaning your answer good sir)

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  136. THE ANSWER:

    What did Muhammad say to his cousin upon releasing all of his cattle?

    Ahem...

    "Ali! Ali! Oxen free!"

    ReplyDelete
  137. I realize this is a bit late, but bear with me, Brian...

    Re: my last comment on outliers on the bell curve and synchronicities, listen to this:

    I gotta set this up first. For whatever reason, I have a tendency to have bowel movements that are at best semi-solid, and sometimes this makes for a less than complete wipe job at the end. This reminded me of a guy I knew in the army back in '84-'86 named Jim, who once told me during a field exercise that he'd just taken a dump and was happy because he had no "monkey tail" of shit hanging from his butt. I don't often recall that particular conversation, but I was thinking how nice it would be to not have to deal with "monkey tails" anymore.

    Then, as I was driving home in the dark on the 5th of November(the last day I worked, currently), I got a call on my cell phone and it was this guy Jim, whom I had not spoken to in 23 years.

    It turns out he found my home number on the internet (not hard, if you know my real name), but the timing was WEIRD.

    ReplyDelete
  138. Um, I'm at a loss for words here.

    A bowel-movement synchronicity. Hmmm.

    Well, the synchronicities (theoretically) work on things that are salient and prominent in one's subconscious. So if you thought about the poop monkey-tail thing and laughed to yourself about it and thought about it a lot, that creates the necessary fertile ground for reality accomodating you and providing a related synchronicity.
    Anything's possible, as they say, whoever they are.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Does anyone remember the SNL skit with John Goodman called 'Fecal Matters'?

    Has indirectly helped my hygeine for years.

    ReplyDelete
  140. You guys are too kind, bringing this to a level I understand ;-)

    Ed,
    Two words: Baby wipes !
    Sure it may be embarrassing using them, but less so, it seems, than "monkey tails".

    Seeing this, I thought, "Wow, mac. You'd be in trouble for sure"
    I do not own undershorts, kind of hard to stain them that way.

    Well that, and I have maybe the opposite thing. Like logs, I tells ya .

    ( I can't believe I just divulged my BM habits on a blog about a man's meditation induced son)

    ReplyDelete
  141. You shouldn't poo poo the idea Brian. Your synchronicities win hands down, butt Ed's gets at least turd prize.

    It was cheeky to be sure, if it were a dog it'd be a shitzu.

    ReplyDelete
  142. I'm a believer in Mammon but today I'm going to my roots.

    I'd like to wish everyone chere a chappy Chanukah, and for those so inclined a chappy Chronikah.

    I have successfully transitioned into my role as imam. We have a new call to prayer from the wonderful Jewish cantor Van Halen Shmenke. "Isdislam that I'm feeling?"

    They love it, this mosque will be a reformed temple in no time.

    Judge you!

    ReplyDelete
  143. Brian,

    I Hope you have a Hare Krishna.

    ReplyDelete
  144. I'll Baha'i as a kite 'till New Years, that's for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  145. They love it, this mosque will be a reformed temple in no time.
    -------------
    Way to convert them to your faith without having to Ramadan their throats.

    ReplyDelete
  146. Brian,

    Happy New Year, I can say that it's been a genuine pleasure to partake in your discussions.

    Be sure to say hi to Ma and Pa back at the ranch for me, I know you guys have been short some help since I left for the big city.

    You should talk them into getting a computer so we can all chat like we used to by the fireside... When Pa would tell his stories about the 'old days' and give you, me and sister Elsie a shot or two of whiskey.

    No wonder I don't remember his stories that well.

    Anyway, Brian be sure and tell Ma that I'm ok, and that I'll be sending home some money soon so you guys can buy that new furnace, pay the electric bill, and get Pa's banjo out of hock.

    Your brother,

    Buford Oneblood Mueller

    P.S. Stress that Elsie is an exotic dancer, not a hooker. I still think they don't believe her.

    P.P.S. If you are gay, please tell the neighbors, they think you're Mormon. Elsie heard it from one of their sons who came to see her dance. I think everyone can deal with gay, but if Ma thinks you've converted, she'll keel over.

    ReplyDelete
  147. Anyway, Brian be sure and tell Ma that I'm ok, and that I'll be sending home some money soon so you guys can buy that new furnace, pay the electric bill, and get Pa's banjo out of hock.
    ------------
    She's been very upset ever since you left home to become a cabaret singer. Then we heard that you were tending horses since you wanted a more stable position. She was glad when she got the news that you had decided to scrap that and become a jew instead.

    P.S. Stress that Elsie is an exotic dancer, not a hooker. I still think they don't believe her.
    -----------------
    I've tried, but they aren't buying it. Maybe if they didn't already know that I'm her pimp...


    P.P.S. If you are gay, please tell the neighbors, they think you're Mormon.
    -----------------
    What's the difference?

    ReplyDelete
  148. I'm sorry if I have to explain it Brian.

    As everyone else knows, Mormons have sex with cattle. Gay men on the other hand know about feng shui and when to wear pink.

    Ma could handle that. Pa would just try and give you whiskey either way, so there's no use tellin him.

    Personally, if you are Mormon, I don't want you catching hoof and mouth disease

    ReplyDelete
  149. As everyone else knows, Mormons have sex with cattle. Gay men on the other hand know about feng shui and when to wear pink.
    -----------
    Ahh, it took a moment to spot your error.

    Regular gay men know about feng shui and when to wear pink, but Mormon and Christian gay men have sex with cattle. They're just male cattle. Or donkeys. Or goats. Or sheep. Or dare I say chickens.
    And the Christian gay men each have two penises, one uncircumcised and one by Smith and Wesson. They also are absolutely sure that they aren't gay; they've just experimented with men a lot; after all, doesn't every heterosexual man? It's not as if they don't have wives. There's your proof right there that they're not fags. They absolutely positively definitely aren't fags cause you can't deny, there's the wife right over there. See her wistful look.
    She knows he's a real christian because he doesn't ever lust after her; he has so much self-control. Even in her best lingerie he rarely looks up from the paper.

    Deep in her heart she wishes for him to give her an orgasm someday. And deep in his heart he wishes she were Hal Linden.

    ReplyDelete
  150. Hal Linden? You took that to Hal Linden? Bwaaahhahahhaahahaha!
    Carry on. Will be interesting to watch where else this conversation veers off to. LOL

    (word verification munchen?)

    ReplyDelete
  151. Not to be a bandwagoneer Brian, but Jude's got a point. Hal Linden?

    That's what makes you the best saint/imam around...you're the godless patron of quirky.

    Was it the mustache? How he used to look at Fish? Do tell.

    ReplyDelete
  152. Here's one for the synchronicity file......

    Jude's word verification was munchen?
    Munchen is Munich in Deutsch.
    Brian mentions Hal Linden.

    The last time I was in Munich, I got sick on fish (or was it the 12 litres of Oktoberfest beer?).

    As oneblood points out, Fish was a character on Linden's Tv show, "Barney Miller" (Though I liked the fish character, Wojo was my favorite).

    Wow, it's eerie ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  153. Was it the mustache? How he used to look at Fish? Do tell.
    --------
    Earlier in the day I saw a commercial for something for the elderly (I forget what now) and there was this really old guy with a mustache hawking it, and I did a double-take when I realized that it was Hal Linden. Boy, he got old.
    So the name was fresh in my head.

    ReplyDelete
  154. Perhaps this qualifies as a synchronicity....

    I was looking over your comments on DD's earlier. Then I was goofing around here, and found this.

    It seems to be a blog about one man's synchronicity. He's an atheist, but comes away with a very different take on it than you.

    Anyway, I thought the contrast was funny :-P

    ReplyDelete
  155. I think Newsbloggers finally died.

    ReplyDelete
  156. Mac, he seems to come away with the typical take on it, which is understandable. And personally I didn't thing his synchronicity was that startling. I've had two fortunes in one cookie countless times.

    You can answer this if you like, on the next post, since we're all there now because the DD blog finally died.

    ReplyDelete