Friday, 26 June 2009
My mind is still very busy with the ideas that Anthony Peake describes in his books. My attempts to try and uderstand how Life works have not been very successful so far. In fact, my goal seems to drift further and further out of reach with each little insight. Not to mention that I have lost belief in some of my dearest ideas. But some ideas seem to be persistent. Like the idea that I have lived this life before.
In his book ”Coma” Robin Cook touches upon some ideas that are close to how I tend to think about life. Like the idea that our reality is limited by our memory of that reality. This is an obvious problem when Eternal recurrence is your model of reality, but is also is the fundamental issue in other models. To say it simple: if we live in a private universe, where we over and over re-create our life from memory, this life or reality must be fuzzy at the edges. Robin Cook gave a great example, by letting the main character in his novel buy a Little Richard record. When he listens to the record he realises that Little Richard sings the same couplet three times, in stead of three different couplets. And he remembers that the song had three different couplets. After having some more experiences like this he slowly begins to realise that he is dreaming his life, or actually: that he is in a coma. (I have told this story before, I know.)
I cannot help think that my reality is very fuzzy at the edges too. No matter what subject I have an interest in, I never get to the bottom of it. There is never enough data. Or the data seems to expand at a rate and a quality that has striking resemblances to the workings of my own imagination. I mean, it seems that my reality is either defined and limited by my memory or by my imagination. This feeling, combined with the overall feeling that Life is extremely un-real, has been with me from early youth, but it is getting stronger over the years. And this feeling is backed up by experiences. These experiences are difficult to describe. They are in the territory of synchronicities, dreams, visions and intuitions. For hard core scientist that would meant that it is all nonsense, but I don’t think that. I just mean they are hard to describe. In the book ”Is there life after death” there are many stories that describe it very well. And on his blog Anthony Peake writes some very good stories too. Like this one, posted on his blog on the 12th of 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. James 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. 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!”