When you begin to see the Universe as a living entity and not a barren void, you come to understand the subtle patterns in life. What's more, you begin to move in time with them to a certain extent.
I think becoming aware of Synchronicity and the like is just a part of this-- I think a vigorous program of meditation or a similar practice is equally important. But eventually the masks of causality and chance fall away and you begin to see the deeper currents moving beneath the sliver of consciousness that most people content themselves with.
I think reading and writing are equally important aspects of all this as well, which is probably there's been such an aggressive effort to render the general population illiterate in the past several years.
Today was a rare day off for me after a very busy and frustrating week (a blackout that also managed to burn out our fiber optic equipment, endless car trouble, etc) and it just happened to coincide with a local book sale. I used to go every year but stopped more recently simply because it felt like I was seeing the same old stuff over and over. And I always seemed to be busy for the past few go-rounds. But I took advantage of the free time today.
At the same time I was also wrestling with a post on Gnosticism and the present dilemma of American religion, particularly that of the Evangelical movement, which is currently seeking to esotericize itself (for lack of a better term) a strategy I don't believe church leaders have really thought through very carefully.
I couldn't get anywhere with that because the fact is it's none of my business. My point, that the Evangelical movement can't take on the trappings of Gnosticism without eventually (if not inadvertently) developing an explicitly Gnostic belief system, didn't seem worth the time of doing a full piece. And I was much more interested in my haul at the book sale anyway.
There was a lot more than the same old same old. One of the books I got- for 50 cents a shot- was The Gnostics by Tobias Churton, a book I'd not yet read. I got two nice companions to it; a copy of The Other Bible, the phonebook-sized compendium of the Apocrypha and Gnostic and Hermetic texts (a book I always glanced through but never actually committed to buying) and Dan Burstein's surprisingly meaty Secrets of the Code, an anthology of essays built around themes in The Da Vinci Code (both of which I had already read).
For good measure I also got an unabridged audiobook of Inferno. I don't expect much but, hey, I've got a lot of hours to fill.
There were other surprises: Nevill Drury's Magic and Witchcraft and The Illustrated Book of Signs and Symbols by Miranda Bruce-Mitford. Neither book looks like it has much in the way of new information but both are lavishly illustrated and will make nice additions to the reference library. I do have a lot of these books but have found that there'll usually be something to set me down a useful path.
Another surprise was The Druids by Stuart Piggott. This looks like a lovely read, and is also filled with some fascinating imagery as well. So little of any real value is known about ancient Celtic religion and it's been a while since I've read into the subject. I'm looking forward to refreshing myself on it once I get some things off my plate.
There were a lot of DVDs and a few graphic novels but all I got were DVDs of the recent War of the Worlds and- speaking of surprises- a DVD of Doctor Who: Pyramids of Mars. For good measure, there was a British book on Doctor Who from the Tom Baker era that I picked up for nostalgia's sake.
There were a number of other books I was eyeing but given my shrinking shelf space I marked them for library takeouts. I'm in the middle of a few different books right now, so most of these will have to wait. But what was important to me was their symbolic value. I've been attending these sales since the early 90s and never before had I grabbed anything like this haul, esoterically-speaking.
The funny thing is is that just a week or so back I found myself near the used book shop for another reason and decided to drop in. It had been a while since I'd been there (for much the same reason that I'd missed the past few sales- boredom with the stock) and lo and behold what do I find but a first edition hardcover of Flying Saucers and the Three Men, Gray Barker's seminal book that brought the Men-in-Black into the cultural lexicon.
Not only was it there waiting for me, I picked it up for $7.50, about a tenth of what you'd pay for it from an online dealer. This wasn't the first time I'd found a treasure at this spot- I also picked up a first edition Passport to Magonia for a mind-boggling 5 dollars there as well.
This seems to be a pattern. I was in the neighborhood for another reason another time a few years back and found another esoterically-inclined UFO book, one that inspired a bit of impromptu bibliomancy that Mike Clelland ended up blogging about:
Christopher Knowles: So for some strange reason I had to take my son somewhere today. So since I had to go way out of my way I stopped at the used book store. And what's waiting there for me? An unread copy of UFOs and the Psychic Factor by Ida Kannenberg...
Mike Clelland: Get ready, this book is WONDERFUL! That sweet old grandmother has such a delightful take on this subject!
Christopher Knowles: What are the odds?
(a little while later)
Christopher Knowles: OK, so I pick up this book, thinking "what's this all about, what's it got to tell me?" and open the book up at random as I do with new non-fiction books. I open the book up to page 103 and my eyes focus on the second paragraph...
Mike Clelland: Ha-Ha! Seems "they" manipulated your path! I love this kind of stuff. Really and truly, it just slays me.
Now check out the funny part. Here’s the first two sentences on page 103 of that cool book, this is what the the second paragraph says:
"An example of these mysteries may be that we want him to read a certain type of book. We manipulate his path and so that he stumbles over certain books, which he feels “inspired” to read."
But then again I've also been wondering if Synchronicity is not simply misdiagnosed psi, as David Hufford advised me in 2008 (Eric Wargo has been working on that thesis as well). If that is the case it's a form of psi we don't know how to work with yet, since we are only aware of it after the fact.
But in the end what matters is results. And I'm certainly happy with those. Now all I need is time to read all this wonderful material.