Tuesday, 12 May 2009


If my theory is correct then 70% of us exist inside an inwardly-generated "illusion" that we perceive to be an external "reality". The philosophers call this the "Phaneron" and I term it the "Bohmian IMAX".

If this is correct than this "world" should be full of self-referential clues that hint at this illusion. I suggest that these clues are presented to us all the time. Some of us see them and others just ignore them as just chance and coincidence. Those who have reflected on these things have another term .... they call it synchronicity. From Karl Jung to Arthur Koestler there has been a fascination with this "significant coincidences. Jmaes Redfield in his "Celestine Prophesy" books came to the same conclusion. These synchronicities mean something. So what should I make of this one:

Yesterday I was travelling through on the Merseyside Metro system from Liverpool James Street Station to my home station of Spital. I was reading the Michael Shallis book [i]On Time[/i]. Michael has a fascinating section on coincidence and meaning and I had just started this as the train left Birkenhead Central. As usual I was listening to my Archos MP3 player (as you all know from previous postings this machine has around 14,000 individual MP3 songs and I was, as usual, listening on random play. So there is a 1 in 14,000 of any one track being played. As we approach Rock Ferry Station I was overcome with what initially felt like a mixed deja senti/vu sensation. The first few bars of the Duffy song "Rockferry" started to play as we drew into Rock Ferry station. Now many of you know that a few months ago I recorded on this FORUM that exactly the same set of circumstances conspired to select this track as I was looking at the song's subject matter through the train window. And it was happening again! The odds of this happening once are very high .... but twice on a "random play" starts to stretch belief. Of course in order for coincidences to be significant there has to be another linkage at work. That was that I was reading a chapter on COINCIDENCE AND CHANCE!!! Indeed at that point Michael was discussing the statistics of coincidence and what made them significant. I got home feeling quite strange about all this.

That is interesting I hear you say, but not THAT interesting.

I agree, but today it continued.

Usually my journey to work consists of a metro journey, then an overground train journey then a short bus journey. For the last three weeks there has been improvement work on the Central Loop Line of the Liverpool metro service. This means that I have been obliged to take a bus from central Liverpool to my work location in Speke. Every day I have caught a bus numbered the 500. This goes to John Lennon Airport (note the Beatle link) and takes the quickest route. This morning I am at Paradise Street Bus Station waiting in my usual place. A bus draws in and I assume it is the 500 and get on. It is only as it drives away towards the city centre that I realise I have got on the wrong bus. I knew that this route would get me to work eventually but the route takes much longer and drives through the inner suburbs of the city before heading out to the airport. I have my archos on (random play as usual) and I am still reading the Shallis book and enjoying some of the fascinating coincidences that he describes. As a Wirralian I do not know Liverpool that well so I was not exactly sure where I was when The Beatles starting playing on the Archos. As soon as the song began to play and I recognised the tune a shiver went right up my spine (I mean this literally, it was one of those "somebody walking over your grave" type sensations). I knew exactly where I was going to be as I looked out the bus window. Literally (and I mean literally to the second) as the Beatles sang

"Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes

There beneath the blue suburban skies

I sit, and meanwhile back ...."

The road sign "Penny Lane" appeared in my field of vision. This really scared me more than anything that has ever happened in my ITLADIC journey.

This was really significant. Think about this. "Penny Lane" was indeed "in my ears and in my eyes". I was listening to it through headphones and I was looking at Penny Lane through the bus window. But it gets weirder. As many of you know Liverpool is in the North West of England. Known for its rainy skies. This morning had clear blue, cloudless skies..... I was in the Liverpool suburbs looking up at "Blue suburban skies". Now I admit that on its own this is of no significance but taking into account what was happening that I also had blue skies above me added to the weird feelings going through my head. Oh, and of course ..... I was sitting.... ("I sit" as the lyrics say). So when this 14,000 to 1 track came on I could have been walking (I wasn't I was sitting) the skies could have been cloudy (they were not, the were clear blue). I was in Penny Lane. I was reading a book about coincidences. The night before I had the Rockferry incident. It was verrrry weirdddd ..... almost Twilight Zone stuff). I have just done a quick check on my Archos about local place names in song titles within the 14,000 tracks. I am sure I am right but I only know of four:

Penny Lane by The Beatles,
Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles,
Rock Ferry by Deaf School and
Rockferry by Duffy (what is it about Rock Ferry that inspires people to write about it in song?)

As I got off the bus I watched it drive away. Along the side of the bus was painted a large picture showing, among others, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Now I need to check this but I am also sure that the road sign "Penny Lane" was featured in this advert for Liverpool 08. As it disappeared in the distance its destination was shown on the back of the bus ..... "John Lennon Airport". I felt the shiver hit yet again!

5 comments:

String said...

That was one amazing set of synchronicities! Wow...don't you love it when this happens? (I can understand the shivers though) - I have had similar ones with music, for some reason songs seem to 'line' up better - I haven't a clue why. What does it mean? Perhaps you are onto something big, I suspect you are.

Song synchronicity started for me at a young age when I used to predict the song lists on FM radio (when the DJ's could choose their own plays) for hours on end...(in front of witnesses) eventually the songs would 'line up' with real events. Then for me the crowning time involved a film, the star of the film and a newspaper article all maneuvering around me on the same day reflecting a series of precognitive dreams...with the statement in the newspaper involving Time and the star and the events marking a huge turning point in my life.

I apologize for not making it to your forum, I have a month of company from the States and have had no time to complete any writing.

Keep up the good work Anthony - inspirational to say the least!

Jeff said...

Hi Anthony,
Just bought your two books and just started reading them,fascinating stuff. Your story about Penny Lane is incredible, I'd like to share with you a synchronicity that happened to me.
Just before my Dad died I had a feeling of profound peace, after he died I asked God if I could enter into and live my life in this peace, and then it happened, bang, a massive panic attack and a tremendous surge of energy. Ever since I have lived with anxiety/depression but have always viewed it in a spiritual context as a kundalini awakening/spiritual emergency and it's my simple Christian faith that has kept me going.
I am a gardener by trade and one day I was feeling particularly bad and started to criticise my faith to myself. One tenet of my faith is to approach it like a child,as Jesus said. I was saying to myself that there is no God. if there is why do I suffer so much, "approach it like a child' you're supposed to be a grown adult etc. Anyway I finished the garden I was doing and went to get the cheque. When i was in the house I noticed a copy of 'Whistle Down the Wind'. Two days later I hear the theme music to this movie on the radio. So that night i went and rented a copy of the movie, I watched it and had forgotten what a great movie it is. I know in the film the kids faith is mis-directed, but it really impresses upon you the power of a simple devotion and faith. Two days later I'm in the video shop talking to the guy behind the counter, a lady walks into the shop, walks up to the counter and stands right beside me, the lady is Hayley Mills, the star of 'Whistle Down the Wind'. What are the chances of standing next to the star of the film you've just seen, especially when that film is made in 1961, the year I was born.
Hope to see you in London in July,
Best wishes,
Jeff.

Anthony Peake said...

String,

Thanks for your comment. I quite understand with regard to your involvement on the FORUM. It can be both time consuming and compulsive.

Anthony Peake said...

Jeff,

It will be great to meet up with you in London. I assume that you are coming along to the Platform Event at The National Theatre. Do not forget that we are planning to go for a drink afterwards!!!

Karl L Le Marcs said...

Tony: As you are only too aware, I usually understand you very well, however your opening statement to this post confused me....

"If my theory is correct then 70% of us exist inside an inwardly-generated "illusion" that we perceive to be an external "reality". The philosophers call this the "Phaneron" and I term it the "Bohmian IMAX"."

Where do you get 70% from? And if this is such then where are the other 30% of "us"? It's not often I'm confused and I rather like it when I am, as it challenges me to understand, but if you could give me your thoughts on this I would appreciate it!