Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Thirty (or 40) Years of Synchromystic Addiction

This may be just another Tuesday to the rest of the world, but it's a very special Tuesday for me: it marks the 30th anniversary of my self-initiation as a full-bore Synchromystic, even if the term hadn't even been invented yet.

It seems like such a trivial thing in hindsight, but in fact it was the culmination of a ten-year period of fascination with Synchronicity. A period that began - you guessed it - when The Police released their 1983 swan song, Synchronicity

I'd been a huge fan of The Police for five years at that point, and smoked more dope to their albums than perhaps any other band besides The Clash (which is saying something, believe me). So I was already pumped and primed for revelation. 

I just didn't realize what kind of revelation.

You see, the truth is I was largely unimpressed with the album, and became all the more so as radio stations overplayed it long past the point of exhaustion (you can read my epic dissertation on the Synchronicity record here). 

No, what really caught my attention was that the article in that Rock Bill magazine there. 

Why, you ask?

Well, the interview was accompanied by sidebars on synchronicities by one Robert O'Brian, apparently included to shine a little more light on what Sting was going on about (and seems to have largely misapprehended). 

Having been caught in the powerful grip of vivid dreaming at the time, the concept of dreams bleeding over into reality was especially seductive. It's something that, like Sting, I didn't entirely understand and like Sting, I would blab on and on about anyway. 

For a number of years, mind you. 

Especially three years later...

1986 was a particularly immersive year for all of this, as I was knee-deep in the New Age and entirely besotted by the Sibyl (who first cast her spell on me in - you guessed it - 1983). But I soon soured on all the crystal-kissing, got smitten by Cyberpunk and its corollaries (like Mondo 2000 and the New Edge quasi-movement), then got caught in a long and ugly depressive spiral after a bad acid trip landed me in the hospital.

But the Spirit World beckoned once again in 1993, for reasons I can't even rightly recall at the moment. I'd gotten myself out of an oppressive work situation, which may have had a lot to do with it. 

Better still, the dismal Cyberpunk mindset was losing its grip on my imagination (thanks in large part to this cyclone of cringe). I was reading a lot of books on Jung et al, scooped up all the back issues to Gnosis I could find as soon as I discovered it (at Tower Records, of all places), and was becoming immersed in what my wife called "your (meaning "my") Jesus books." 

I was filling up notebooks with dreams and syncs, and after years of bad experiences, I finally found a musical collaborator on the same wavelength

Life in general seemed rightly well and re-enchanted.

I'd also recently gotten on AOL - with the blazingly-fast 2400 bps modem I pilfered from work - and believe when I tell you that I learned all about the beguiling powers of dopamine around that time. I've been on every opioid you name, and nothing - I mean NOTHING - could ever compare to the rush I got on my first year on that platform. Not even remotely exaggerating.

I have to admit that I still feel a little tingle in the back of my head when I hear that sound, no lie. I miss those days like you wouldn't believe.

Going into September, I was obsessed with this album, which deeply etched itself into my new, post-depressive awakening. It still takes me right back into that mindset, and I can still remember listening to it that morning of September 5th when I was on my way to destiny. 

In fact, I'm listening to it again right now. Still kicks.

I was also counting the hours until everything would change, and this epiphany would hit my TV screen. My wife and I watched a lot of FOX - Simpsons, 90210, Get a Life, Melrose, Sightings, COPS, America's Most Wanted - and my brains were already utterly besotted with this promo ( I thought it was a Sightings spinoff at the time). I was hooked before the first episode even aired.

Little did I know that sick, insane obsession fascination would still have a hold on my soul 30 years on.

Speaking of sick, insane obsessions: I couldn't have realized it at the time, but the Sibyl and her Shepherd Boy also began their fateful romance around this very same time BECAUSE OF THE REALITY-OVERWRITING POWERS OF SYNCHRONICITY, my people.

Also because the Sibyl and The X-Files are not only joined at the mystic hips, they are the great apocalyptic oracles of our time. 

Just accept it already - you'll feel better, I promise you.

So what was this initiatory epiphany, already? Well, I'd been having these recurring dreams of my childhood church (Parkway United Methodist) being filled with worshippers and bathed in a golden, heavenly light. 

I liked those dreams.

It's another story altogether, but suffice it to say that one night I dreamt that my wife, my bassist and I walked into the Methodist Church in Morristown and watched as the pastor raised the communion chalice. It glowed with that golden light I mentioned, like a beacon. That caught my attention, believe it.

Mind you, I'd never been in that church, and knew nothing about it or its pastor. But the dream seemed like a message, and so on the glorious morning of September 5th I drove on over to Mo'town, blasting Frosting on the Beater. I parked in the public lot and walked up to the church - nowhere close to full, but boasting the same octagonal kind of sanctuary from my dream. 

That caught my attention, but it wasn't until I looked at the Sunday bulletin that I realized the pastor was in fact the brother of the minister who'd taken the pulpit at my old church a few years after I'd moved to Jersey. 

What were the odds? 

I talked to my aunt that night - she and her family still attended Parkway - and she said, rather excitedly, "You see? That's a sign from God."

Who am I to argue?

Many signs were to follow, but there was a far more portentous sign from that same week that I wouldn't become aware of until much, much later.

In fact, it hit the stands the day before my epiphany (weeklies are usually post-dated a week ahead) and as you'd expect, pointed to all of our futures. 

The cover is actually nasty and cruel: the Sibyl was in full meltdown-mode at that point, and a lot of journos (and TV producers) took sadistic pleasure in making her extremely-fragile state the focus of their stories. But all the same, it points to another Tuesday in another September that needs no explanation.

And seeing that Eight is the Number of Completion, let's fast forward eight years to the third act in our little Mystery Play.

I was having the time of my life that summer - I was freelancing drawing storyboards at a production studio in Lower Manhattan, my third child was born, and I'd just gotten one of those snazzy new iMac's, with an incomprehensibly-fast 55K modem. As I've said many times before, I had Tuesday off for some reason or the other, and was rudely awoken by my wife with the news.

The trouble all started with an odd detail - I noticed that the flight paths of two of the planes intersected pretty much right over head. Nothing particularly unusual in that - we're smack-dab in the path of the airport and hundreds of planes fly overhead every day. 

But then I remembered that by all rights, I should have been in the PATH station that morning, and pretty much all of my friends were stuck in the city that day and regaled me with horror stories for the next week.

Soon I found myself with no work, a brand-new computer and a hot new search-engine that didn't suck (though it certainly came to suck sweaty moose-balls a few years later). And so the work that eventually became The Secret Sun was born. 

Here's just a tiny sampling of the madness from those days following:

And the rest, as they say, is history.

It was all pretty raw and untutored (it's not like there was a manual for sync work yet - hint, hint) and filled with the self-fixation that every nascent Synchromystic has to work through, but it laid the foundation for Our Gods Wear Spandex and everything to follow. 

I'm actually going to pore through the mess in the coming weeks and see what forgotten gems of wisdom might be hiding amid all the amateurism bumbling

It's only taken 40 or so years, but I feel like I'm finally starting to get my bearings in the Synchromystic wilderness. Oddly enough, it's all based in a return to first principles: Music and Dream. 

Because those are - by many multiples - the most powerful channels through which the Spirits broadcast to us all. 

Not the only channels, mind you. Just the most powerful.

• • • • • • • • • • 

Better still, there's a large and tuned-on group of people exploring the deepest depths of the Synchromystic oceans. How can you join in?

click on the Moon for details

Well, just click on that big ol' moon there and enroll for the fall semester. For as little as three bucks a month you can get access to more high-density esoteric edutainment than you can shake a stick at.

Come for the Scholarship, stay for the Fellowship.