Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Exegesis: Synchronicity, Semiotics and All-Seeing Eyes

Synchronicity is a wonderful and powerful thing. If you work with it, it works with you.

Working with Synchronicity requires a high degree of rigor and discernment, of separating the big fish from the guppies
. But eventually you will reach a genuine shift in consciousness- you will realize that mind is not brain, as Jeff Kripal says, and that there are forces at work that utterly mock our reductionist models of consensus reality.

The most powerful synchronicities in my life are mine alone. Explaining them is usually difficult, often impossible. It took me a long time to separate signal from noise, genuine sync from simple coincidence (which is often fun, but not nearly as utilitarian). So I don't bother trying to explain them to the uninitiated. And I really recommend that you do the same. Rigorous analysis gives you all the confidence you need; you don't have to seek validation from other sources.

Synchronicity often comes in waves, often tied to astrological influence for some unknown reason. It sounds rather counterintuitive but I notice syncs will heat up during MercRet phases. I don't know that much about Astrology per se- which is to say I tend to stumble around a lot and pay attention only to major trends or when a number of astrologers agree (which most of them don't) on a certain phase.

But I do very much agree with Jung's appraisal that Astrology is linked closely to Synchronicity. That the planets themselves are not necessarily influencing us but the subtle, repeating rhythms of nature can be marked by their movements, much like ancient navigators used the stars to chart their way.
I use Synchronicity the same way. Recently I've been experimenting with The Alchemical Tarot (I'm as much a bumbler with the Tarot as I am with Astrology) as a synchronistic tool and finding remarkable-- nearly impossible-- patterns emerge.

Cards repeatedly showing in spreads, seemingly beyond random probability, and in combinations that seem not to describe the future, but the god-damned morass I've been plumbing through (the same damn sword cards keep popping up) lately. In other words, using it for diagnostic means and not prophetic ones. That to me seems to fall under the same influences that govern Synchronicity.

A several key points in my life Synchronicity has popped up and helped me make difficult decisions that only in hindsight seem inevitable. I found that that by narrowing my focus and not hunting for correspondences, they'll come to you. I also came to realize that Synchronicity isn't always pleasant-- it can upset you, and force you out of comfortable ruts, just like what happened one sunny Tuesday morning eleven Septembers ago when I thought I was on top of the world.

All that being said, the sync I've been mulling over recently is pretty minor in the grand scheme of things (and not nearly as gratifying as the Rev. Moon death sync). In and of itself, that is.

The day after I had poured out my disgust over the Olympic scaremongering (and profit-driven fearporn in general), I got my copy of The Jack Kirby Omnibus Vol 1. This was a typical sync in that I ordered it off Ebay (and got it for an amazing price, thank you very much) but the tracking information had gone blank and I had no idea where it was in transit. It arrived Saturday morning (less than 24 hours after the Olympic post) and I made a delightful discovery-- there was a story in there that I had never seen.

In fact, it was a story I hadn't heard of before (this is a period in Kirby's career fans generally ignore). It's called 'The All-Seeing Eye' and is a rather startling little tale about a journalist who is entrusted with an ancient artifact (the eye of the title) which allows him to, well, remote view.

The writer uses it to break stories and report crimes to the cops. But a gang of clever thieves catch on to the Eye and try to steal it from him to help in their scams. After their plan is foiled the newspaperman, being an honest fellow, decides that the Eye is too powerful to be allowed to fall into the hands of crooks or worse, so he hitches a ride out into the ocean and drops the Eye in the drink.

The story is not a world-beater but it tied right into what animated my post the night before- how crooks and thieves are misusing symbology (All-Seeing Eye spotting is like a religion to these types) to whip up fear and rake in profits.

Cryptosemiotics was once the province of a tiny handful of USENET weirdos but once profiteers like lifelong Naval Intelligence asset Bill Cooper got their hands on it it became the basis of an endless right wing witchhunt; brainwashed EvangeliCIAls constantly scouring the mediastream for signs of that dastardly Illuminati Goldstein and his devilish symbol trickery, while their jobs are exported, their savings looted and their homes are foreclosed by real-life villains, not imaginary witches and warlocks.

The story helped put the capper on my cryptosemiotic work- at least publicly. I realize that I don't want to do anything more to feed this madness, even though my interest- my obsession- over the past few years largely became centered on ignoring all the secret society flooferoo and trying to glean what these symbols originally meant. But there are too many people walking on the edge of the volcano out there and when they fall they usually take innocent people with them. I don't ever want that on my conscience.

I did cryptosemiotic work via email for years before launching this blog. But that was before I realized how empty and meaningless-- not to mention utterly garbled-- most of the symbolism you see out there is and what a near-total waste of time it is looking for it. I realize that now. Fun for email, message boards, FB groups? Sure. Worth much more than that? Absolutely not.

I can say with utter confidence now that it doesn't ever go anywhere but in endless circles, and my creeping suspicion over the past couple of years that it was all being put out there to divert people from real issues is now a bedrock conviction.

The utter economic devastation we see all across the world proves once and for all what the real issues were and are, and in a better world the people who wasted our time chasing phantoms- or wasting a second worrying about Lady Gaga- would face real consequences for their actions.

Which is not to say there isn't value in cryptosemiotics- there very much is. But it's kind of like a chainsaw or a gun- it can do a lot of damage in the wrong hands. And at this point, that's mostly what it's in.

But bringing it back to the beginning here, Syncs tend to cluster around potent symbols, so it's well worth your time to familiarize yourself with them. But I would recommend that you stop worrying about things you will never have any control over and learn what symbols tend to recur through your own life. In that, a serious study of cryptosemiotics is useful as it gets. After a while, you'll lose that narcisstic paranoia and get down to reverse-engineering the hidden architecture of reality as it exists in your own psychic neighborhood.

I finally understand the obsession with secrecy and so on with some of these old esoteric groups. They understood how the stupid and venal tend to shit not only their own beds but everyone else's if they think there's a buck to be made. But at the same time secrecy has a distorting effect and can lead to its own kind of sins, sins that can ultimately consume the host. History is filled with esoteric rebels who became exoteric dictators.

For now, you just have to get used to the fact that if you choose to hack the reality-consensus mainframe, you're going to arouse opposition among the simpletons, whether the materialist/reductionist Left or the witch-hunting/cryptofascist Right. Them's the breaks.

But I think the best approach for the time being is openness and honesty, as well as a pure heart and an open eye. As well as the realization if that knuckleheads like Alex Jones or Mark Dice understand- or even recognize- a sign or symbol, it's probably not worth your time.

UPDATE: Speaking of syncs and such, I can't believe I forget to mention this one- the fam and I took a few days to drive up to my old stomping grounds of Innsmouth and Arkham (that's 'Gloucester' and 'Salem' for the civilians) and had a lovely time. We capped it all off with a delicious meal on the patio of the local Chinese restaurant, which gave us a great view of the streetlife (dogs- lots of dogs).

At the end of the meal the waitress brought the bill and the cookies. At first I pushed aside mine but then I thought where else could I possibly get an effective fortune than in Witch City, USA (in the shadow of Samantha Stevens, no less)?

This certainly fit the bill, right down to a T. Doubly so given the immediate view to my left. Gave me a ray of light in what have been some dark days lately...


  1. My friend over at Tek-Gnostics is using the I-Ching to to explore the connections of synchronicity and semiotics. Good luck Mr. Knowles with your using the Tarot with synchronicity. I am certain the more we use or minds eye the more we are presented with synchronicity. The wonders of nature by the riverside. Shine. Respectfully Dennis.

  2. Hey Chris,

    Very cool post, man. I also use Tarot in just the ways you describe - as a diagnostic tool rather than a prophetic one. In my experience all forms of divination are essentially diagnostic rather than prophetic. I think this is because of the Eternal Now, or sumthin'. It makes sense that the source of Meaning and Pattern comes from a 'place' unbound by space and time, and that divination is a kind of symbolic cartography.

    I also have bizarrely reoccurring cards in my own spreads, and odd synchs that cluster around a reading -- especially when I do occasional readings for close friends. Something that I've noticed about Synchronicity is that it speaks to us in a searingly intimate language -- like some hidden aspect of our own sentience -- and at other times it stands apart from us, seemingly outside of us. It even has a sense of humour sometimes.

    I look forward to more JK posts, by the way. I think you're on the cutting-edge as far as Kirby is concerned. I think Jack Kirby was a strange attractor from the get go, but that something happened to him that acted like a fuel-injection, resulting in a turbo-charged intuitive dreamscape. The guy was definitely piercing veils all over the scape.


  3. I'm reminded that when we were fiddling around with the I Ching in the early 70s, my husband -- who's a huge Bob Dylan fan -- kept getting Dylan songs. I mean literally -- certain Dylan song titles and lyrics of that period are obviously copped straight off the I Ching. So in that sense, it wasn't weird, except that he was getting them and I wasn't and neither was anybody else we knew. Definitely some sort of affinity going on.

  4. As much as I like this blog, I don't get what appears to be an oversensivity to anything christian or "right-wing".
    Let me ask, what is wrong with Bill Cooper? The work he did in his time was one of a kind. Cooper never concealed his military past (which even cost him a leg). And listening to many hours of his recordings, unless I'm totally deaf, where is the evidence that he was a fundamentalist? He didn't even go to church, and believed in the separation of church and state. There's no doubt, however, that he was a lonely and miserable man. Why not let him rest in peace?

    Rant over. I don't know much about American christian fundamentalism, except from news reports. I hear that it's bad, oh yes, but over here in Europe what we get a lot of is secular fundamentalism, which I think is worse. I can't bring myself to hate the few remaining hard-core catholics, given the treatment they get by the media and society, especially as some of the best people I've known were christians.

    Synchronicities are a fascinating topic. Having experienced a few major ones I can only thank you for your thorough treatment of it. I believe they are same thing that christians call miracles. Sadly it has been proclaimed by some that the age of miracles is over. Such people don't understand the Bible, which is full of instructions on how to bring about such synchronicities, and how it can help them live better, sometimes in a very practical sense.

  5. I think this is an important essay for people to reframe for themselves, and examine their own agendas. Chris, the great truth revealed here is that you can best study and examine that which has the most meaning for you. (This is true for everyone.) Kirby is a significant figure in your life, and the more texture realized between you and him, the more insights issuing from him make sense.

    BTW, the character's name Purcell has origins via English, Welsh, and Irish (of Norman origin): from Old French pourcel ‘piglet’ (Latin porcellus, a diminutive of porcus ‘pig’), hence a metonymic occupational name for a swineherd, or a nickname, perhaps affectionate in tone. This is a common surname in Ireland, having become established there in the 12th century.

  6. Again you have clearly stated a feeling that has been crawling up the back of my neck, that a good deal of the interesting info of the past and it's symbols has been getting repetitive and circular and leading where? Whereas the fear control and secret sale handshakes had their way with the world.

    That is a beautiful tarot deck. It doesn't seem scary if you know what I mean. Not dark. I am looking for understanding, not to be scared of the future. I am thinking strongly of ordering that one for the first time.
    Thanks for all you do.

  7. Yes. Thanks for this. The 'necessary secrecy' attached to knowledge accumulation is often presented as some benign complement to the progress of a given society, civilisation or culture, but of course it leads to greater ignorance. Every activity of mind should come with a warning to the curious. Linking together thoughts and images can be useful, but this approach is diversionary when presented as a story-package and a done deal, because there's nothing then for the reader/user to do except inspect this supposed 'totality of truth'. Doing stuff yourself and putting it in the world - call it the Great Work, if you like - is the way to go.

  8. Chris, I wonder if you've ever stumbled upon the Tarots de Marseille Jodorowsky made together with Camoin.
    I've never been into tarots myself, I'm more connected to the I Ching, but his work threw me into a new and exciting world (also recently found out Jesse himself is digging into it as well).
    The work on symbols that lies behind each card is impressive, and I believe that getting used to those symbols could be impressively powerful on many levels.
    Personally I always had the sensation that tarots, I Ching and some kind of synchronicity, tends to have an 'above all' point of view especially when we're unbalanced and focused on solving specific problems.

  9. Great post. I've been waiting for you to write something like this as you've been mentioning in your posts lately how tired you are of the hoopla. Like you say, teetering on the edge of the volcano you may take people with you when you fall and this is what is happening on a massive scale now. It's time for people to look into their own selves and their own "psychic neighborhoods" and share the goodness and positive synchronicity that goes on there. Yes there is a war being fought, always, but let's focus on our own weapons of mass discovery and enlightenment. Your own synchs, your appreciation of Kirby are guiding light beacons, that are entertaining and meaningful.

    As usual I'm very pleased with your writing. It has none of the dark and broody emissions of other "researchers" in the field no matter how well-regarded they may be. Thanks man.

  10. I checked your Star Trek blogs, maybe episode 66, In The Blink Of An Eye, would tie some things together. There is the physics, and the artifacts, and the interactions, maybe relative. I still follow Jack Kirby, that taught me to read and draw when I was two, no regrets.

    The interaction of various time states would be something, but very personal. That is sort of time travel, maybe just memory making some sense, not to be trusted, mostly.

    No conspiracy, just maybe seeing history, and memes, from one end of the equation, or the other, it only makes sense backwards if you can see the thing broadcast in the math, everyone seems to not follow it.

  11. Really interesting stuff. I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now and I just wanted to say thanks for your wonderful posts. You have a really refreshing attitude in regards to all of this kind of stuff, especially when compared to some of the other blogs you can see floating around...

    Anyway, when I saw you mention the the alchemical tarot, the first person I thought of was Alejandro Jodorowsky. He has a wonderful book out called 'Psychomagic', which was translated from Spanish recently (2010), and touches on some of this same kind of stuff. Very interesting, recommended.

  12. Chris - Your references to hacking, or reverse-engineering, reality are what really resonate with me, since that is one of the questions I've been dwelling on recently. In part it's a question about the nature of magic: Is the magician able to reach down into the source code of deep reality and tinker with it, or does magic only touch the consensus reality that we humans construct for ourselves out of the infinite possibilities of existence?

    But on another level, it doesn't really matter, since the function of the magician, or the saint, or the enlightened person seems to involve seeing through the facade of consensus reality and reaching around through the back panels to tinker with it. That's where true knowledge and true power lie.

    Or to use another metaphor, it's like the various treatments of hyperspace in science fiction. In some stories, hyperspace is presented as a place that you can see out the porthole as your spaceship travels through it. In others, space travelers experience strange hallucinations that are explained as the result of the human mind's inability to make sense of higher dimensions. And in still others, you zap instantaneously from here to there, and the process is compared to folding a two-dimensional sheet of paper over in the third dimension so that Point A and Point B temporarily coincide.

    Synchronicities, I suspect, are the result of a higher-dimensional connection between what appear to be separate points to our three-dimensional perceptions. But the point is not to get fixated on those inconceivable higher dimensions that provide the path between Point A and Point B, but to simply see what others cannot see, do what others cannot do, and reshape the world.

  13. Let me share an example of Positive Synchronicity

    I just spent the last month in New York, in Brooklyn to be more specific, right next to Fulton Street. I would walk past Fulton everyday for 30 days on my way back to the apartment I was renting with my girlfriend.

    When I got back home to Canada, I noticed my parents had changed the brand of tissues in the bathroom. What was the name of the new brand? Fulton Street Market (manufactured by Amway).

    It's these kind of small coincidences that keep me going and that remind me I'm on the right path in the decisions I take and the work I decide to do.

  14. @urfol

    For what it is worth and at the risk being unpopular here...or more unpopular.-)I agree with what you said about Bill Cooper,I don't say everything he said was correct,but I admire his work and I must say that from what I read and saw of his work I didn't see him as a fundamentalist,I'm certainly not,so I think I would have recoiled from his work if I thought he was.Maybe I just never came across that side of his work,or maybe it just went over the top of my head.I read
    "Behold A Pale Horse" years ago and quite liked it.
    Again,I don't agree with everything he said,just like I don't agree with everything Chris writes here either,but I do admire the work of both.

    Minor rant over...begin tomato throwing now.

  15. Hey Chris this is Jesse Moynihan. Nice post man. I've been getting really deep into the idea of synchronicity and the Tarot. I had my Tarot read a few months ago and have since caught the bug. I read Jodorowsky's book, as well as A.E. Waite's, and Joseph Campbell/Richard Roberts' writings on the topic. I've been carrying around the 22 Major arcana and consulting them on the daily. Getting really interesting results that affirm my developing thoughts on synchronicity.

  16. heres a Bill Cooper quote which i think puts his work(?) into perspective. "This is Part 1 in a series of live broadcasts by William Cooper on the Hour of the Time shortwave radio program on Mystery Babylon.
    There are only two religions in the world, Mystery Babylon and Christianity, and those of the Mystery Schools believe that Christianity is a perversion of their true religion and seek to destroy it. As the program progresses you will plainly see that Satan has carefully and deceitfully crafted a Pagan Religion of the Dying and Rising god that counterfeits the Religion of Christ BEFORE the advent of Christ, for Satan was not unaware of the prophecy of the coming Son of Man first prophesied in the Garden of Eden." I am able to appreciate the story aspect, but do not doubt for a minute that he was part of an unpleasant agenda. When people take stories and convert them to belief systems, they take themselves out of the game, so to speak.

  17. Bill Cooper - This is Part 1 in a series of live broadcasts by William Cooper on the Hour of the Time shortwave radio program on Mystery Babylon.
    There are only two religions in the world, Mystery Babylon and Christianity, and those of the Mystery Schools believe that Christianity is a perversion of their true religion and seek to destroy it. As the program progresses you will plainly see that Satan has carefully and deceitfully crafted a Pagan Religion of the Dying and Rising god that counterfeits the Religion of Christ BEFORE the advent of Christ, for Satan was not unaware of the prophecy of the coming Son of Man first prophesied in the Garden of Eden."
    enough said. storyteller, tick; reliable source of information, i think not.

  18. Excellent post. I did shudder a bit about lots of dogs near a Chinese restaurant though. In the UK dogs don't go near them.

  19. Can you remember when you had someone asking you in a rather adjitated manor(via comments on this site)how you tell the difference between a coincidence that has little or no meaning and one which actually does hold some meaning, as in it develops into something more profound. I added a comment which went along the lines of... 'Today as I was reaching into the cake tin, I was trying to remember what type of cake it was, as I wondered I heard 'Victoria Sponge Cake' - come from the radio which was right next to my ear at the time'...I commented on the fact that it was JUST a coincidence.

    Well, Victoria Sponge Cakes bizarly popped up several times in the days that followed.
    I was thinking there has got to be more to this but couldn't quite get what. Then a couple of weeks ago I heard about this book which explained it all for me.
    It's Not Rocket Science by Ben Miller!

    'If you have ever wondered about the origins and potential fate of the universe, earth and man, all wrapped up in quantum physics, stars, nuclear fusion, global warming, E=mc2, human evolution, fossils, how the earth was formed, DNA, victoria sponges, the Maillard reaction, space travel, Gordon Ramsey, and aliens then this is the right book for you.'

    According to Ben Miller in the book he explains how matter / the universe really, is formed/created in a similar way a victoria sponge cake! So yeah...

    "Coincidence is the Hidden Architecture of Reality"

  20. Glad to see you opening up about what type of mysticism you practice yourself. I have seen comments where people wanted to know what type of meditation you use, etc. I judged your lack of response recommending a specific method as you "holding back." I agree the tarot is definitely a "real" tool, and I believe it is just one example of the symbolic ruling the "actual."

    The burning hand has been an interesting symbol for me. I believe it was you that brought the symbol into my conscious by referring the wicker man movie. *Coincidentally, I was reading Frazer's Golden Bough today and he was discussing the attributes of the burning hand, how it was used as a talisman among catburglar theives who wanted the occupants of their victim house in a "death sleep." Which actually compliments this post well, as I see this post advising people to use their "magic" for good, not evil.

    I see where you are frustrated with Alex Jones, and have to admit there was a time when I took his ideas more seriously. Extremism is bad, so says CS Lewis. Positivity is key.

    A reply to one of your posts a while back suggested there was no such thing as evil, that it was impossible to imagine the opposite of PKD or Anton Wilson. I disagree. Black magicians want you to: 1. Think reality is real and 2. $*&%ing hate it. I've spent far too long being hateful. Therefore, I don't watch TV! Ha ha. (I've also quit facebook, also too negative) But that doesn't make me complacent, or complicit. Your posts, as well as the insightful comments from your "fanbase" give me hope.