On May 18th 2007 I, at long last, received in the mail from Dr Roderick Main a copy of his new book, Revelations of Chance, which is subtitled Synchronicity as Spiritual Experience. (See Entry 192).
An accompanying card was dated May 1st
- Here it is at last! The discussions of your coincidences occupy a large part of the whole - so thanks again for making them available to me...
On May 23rd 2007 I e mailed Roderick that his book had arrived "... with attendant coincidences", and, in response to his inquiry, outlined them -
"... there were two involving people reading my book Coincidences and my name. The first, outlined here by GM Simon Williams was sent to me at the Internet Chess Club where my handle is Parsifal - Psycho-Cowboy ( 06.17 16 May -07 EDT ) was reaing your book on the train looked up and was passing "J Plaskett roofing and scaffolding in London" ... I read that on May 18th (possibly the 17th).
Later Williams said that it was either precisely my surname, or something which differed from it by ony one letter.
The other was in this e mail from top quizzer Trevor Montague, which arrived whilst I was reading Chapter Five of Main´s book
- 18 May 2007 20:05:55 +0100
... thought you might like this coincidence this evening. ... at about 5.45... i was... reading your book and was up to page 174 (ref: 55 about The Wolfman) and beyond in fact... up to p 179. My phone rang and it was a... friend... from my local church. ... Ruth... rang to tell me there was a... programme on C5 at 8pm called The Wolfman that i might be interested in... bizarre not just because i had just read your Wolfman coincidence but because Ruth had never phoned... before to tell me of... programmes she thought i might be interested in! In case you think i am pulling your leg... ring Ruth... on 01883 - - - - - - and she will confirm... I have a few more pages to read but am going to watch The wolfman now : )
The Wolfman coincidence is Entry 149 here.
I had shortly before sold Simon a copy of Coincidences and sent one as a gift to Trevor.
Chapters Five and Six of Main´s new book are about me and my Narrative material.
Chapter Five is entitled Multiple Synchronicities of a Chess Grandmaster and includes the incidents involving William Hartston.
At page 113 Chapter Six begins -
The self-revelation of synchronicity as spirit
A Modern Grail Story
It is a continuation of his analysis of my Narrative material, much of which, of course, is in Coincidences. Indeed Appendices Three and Four of my book are here within Part Two: The Narrative, Epilogues and Appendices.
Those two Appendices are comprised largely of the material upon which Main now comments in Chapter Six of Revelations of Chance: Synchronicity as Spiritual Experience.
I had read Chapter Five and then started Chapter Six on the evening of May 22nd 2007.
By about 12:30 a.m. on May 23rd I had reached p. 123 in Main´s book.
On p. 119 he writes of how he will now be making a kind of "experiment in interpretation of the self-revelation of synchronicity".
By p. 123 he is quoting Jung and drawing comparison with his methods as outlined in Psychology and Alchemy where he speaks of how he analysed, not isolated dreams of an individual, but rather a whole series of them.
But here we are not dealing with isolated dreams; they form a coherent series in the course of which the meaning gradually unfolds more or of its own accord... Of course the interpretation of each individual passage is bound to be largely conjecture, but the series as a whole gives us all the clues we need to correct any possible errors in the preceeding passages.
"Though with somewhat less confidence than is implied in Jung´s concluding statement, this is essentially the method I endeavoured to employ in regard to Plaskett´s synchronistic experiences, which likewise seem to form a "coherent series" whose "meaning gradually unfolds more or less of its own accord."
He then lists the four conceptual themes which he detects in my Narrative, as also listed in Appendix Three within my Part Two: The Narrative, Epilogues and Appendices Entry, which is after Entry 22 here.
At the bottom of p. 123 he starts with -
The concept of identity is emphasised repeatedly throughout Plaskett´s material. It emerges first through the highlighting of his surname in the two coincidences involving Plaskett´s Crater and Plaskett´s Star.
I paused and, prompted by what I had been reading, entered - "Synchronicity Plaskett" into Google. Although I had several times Googled my own name in some or other context, I had never before entered that precise wording.
These are some of the hits thrown up - http://www.universetoday.com/2007/03/01/the-perfect-crater-for-a-moon-settlement/?1402
In the first hit the Universe Today site (Then) had two ads on it stating that "Your Name Is Not An Accident".
They were for a numerology service.
... ... ...
I note some of the coincidental material and also
The Parallels between Space Exploration and Spiritual Exploration
a) My book begins with my discovery, on December 22nd 1984, of the existence of a Plaskett Crater on the dark side of the moon.
Its cover, showing the photo of same crater, may be seen towards the bottom of this page -
Also here - http://www.chessclub.com/finger/Parsifal
The date of my discovery I was to deem significant, as December 22nd is, as I had written in Coincidences, "the beginning of Spring and of sunnier times".
And there were also quite a few other happenings on December 22nd, as listed in Appendix One of the book and here in Appendix One of Part Two: The Narrative, Epilogues and Appendices -Appendix One: December 22nd changes for the better
The crater´s also to be seen here in the ESA Press Release which my Google search of Plaskett Synchronicity threw up -
It is the same photo as appears on my book´s cover.
Only this time it is is in colour:
"Earthrise over Plaskett Crater".
The European Space Agency release is dated March 1st 2007.
As mentioned in point d) of Entry 235 , that was also the publication date of Main´s book Revelations of Chance, with its analysis of my material contained in Coincidences.
The publisher chose to use the motif of the mantis for the cover of Revelations of Chance, although without consulting Main.
They used the same mantis motif for the cover of the catalogue in which that book first appears.
"The beginning of Spring and of sunnier times".
Their SPRING catalogue.
The publisher is State University of New York.
I learn of the synchrony of the publication of the ESA Release about the future of Mankind in Plaskett´s Crater, and of Main´s book as I read the chapters in Main concerned with the material in my book, Coincidences.
What clearer verification could I receive of Main´s observation of Synchronicity´s self-referring tendency, i.e. that coincidences tend to spawn coincidences?
And does it not also support - and indeed continue - his insight that
Plaskett´s synchronistic experiences, which likewise seem to form a "coherent series" whose "meaning gradually unfolds more or less of its own accord."
It transpires that parts of the dark side of the moon are, when reached, not dark at all.
In fact they are the precise opposite. Unlike any location neither on earth nor on the moon´s visible face, these places are permanently illumined.
Plaskett´s Crater is onesuch.
The ESA release speaks of "Eternal Sunlight" in Plaskett.
I viewed for the first time a broadcast of the Academy-Award winning film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_sunshine_of_the_spotless_mind
at Easter 2007.
See the comments of Steiner in Appendix Four of Part Two: The Narrative, Epilogues and Appendices (see after Blog Entry 22) about the appearance of the sunlight-bearing Grail and how it must make its appearance in the heavens at Easter.
b) The Williams and Montague coincidences each stem from my book. In one I am addressed via a message sent to "Parsifal", and the other concerns a poem of my wife´s in which she dubs me "Wolfman" and each coincidence revolves around Parsifal or Parzifal.
c) The European Space Agency release of March 1st (2007) speaks of Plaskett´s Crater as our new home.
On that very date, one year earlier, I had bought my first house, and that same evening, March 1st 2006, I watched on TV some of the Richard and Judy show where they mentioned comic Dave Spikey and his new CD, Living The Dream.
That, of course, the title which I had already decided to give this Blog, based around my WWTBAM? win of Nov 23rd 2005 (the money that bought the house) and the TV documentary about the family of a friend of my son´s broadcast on that date in 2003. See Entry 200.
Later they went on to discuss a book about the men who have walked on the moon, called MoonDust, by Andrew Smith. http://www.lovereading.co.uk/book/1002
d) ALSO there was a spectacular lunar eclipse, which a 4NCL crowd of us
viewed late on the evening of March 3rd 2007 -
This was the first lunar eclipse I had ever watched, and as I did so my wife and child watched it with a telescope from our roof in Spain.
Just after the ESA release and publication of Main´s book.
When I viewed it the effect was that the Northern part of the moon was illumined, i.e. where Plaskett´s Crater lies.
e) On May 23rd or 24th 2007 I spotted this article in The Times, which had gone up on the day I read Chapter Five and started Chapter Six, -
The success of these two Mars explorers, Spirit and Opportunity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Exploration_Rovers
, albeit serendipitously in the first case, as the Times piece concedes, is to be contrasted with the complete failure of the ESA probe that had been intended to land on Mars shortly before them,
Beagle2on Christmas Day 2003 , but which failed -
Note the names.
The ESA probe is of course a reference to the ship that took Darwin to the Galápagos.
But here´s how the American craft got named -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Exploration_Rover#Naming_of_Spirit_and_Opportunity
The exploration of Spirit succeeds.
But the second Darwin craft fails.
And then to note which craft confirmed the precious water on Mars...
Also, re man on Mars, the ESA March 1st 2007 Release says -
"SMART-1 views the edge of Luna Incognita: Mars on the Moon? SMART-1... investigated... areas at the edge of Luna Incognita... near the lunar poles... to prepare for... bases on the Moon and... Mars. Mankind did not see... Luna Incognita, until the first probes sent images of the lunar farside.
(The first proto-map of the dark side of the moon, made using those probe images, appeared on the day I was born.)
Plaskett crater sits close to the Moon's north pole... Plaskett crater could play a key role in preparing... for... journeys to Mars. On such a mission, Earth would dwindle to a point and the astronauts would lose the familiar view of home ...
From Plaskett, on the far side of the Moon... Earth can only be seen... for just a few days during a few months every year. "A human outpost there, on the edge of Luna Incognita, would allow us to study the effects of Earth-deprivation on a crew in a controlled way," says Bernard Foing, SMART-1's Project Scientist.
"It will allow us to simulate Mars operations and isolation, on the Moon, at a safe distance from a... base at the north pole." "
f) On May 26th 2007 we watched my son take the lead role of the clown in his school´s performance of El Planeta de la Sonrisa (The Smiling Planet) by Isabel González Muños. http://csbs.csusm.edu/csbs/www.book.book_detail?p_name_0=11288&lang=SP
He had gained the part when the boy who had been to play it dropped out.
Sacha had earlier laughed when someone had slipped during a rehearsal which had led to something of a domino effect as many cast members tumbled over.
This laughter was what had led to the gang spitting at my son, as reported in Entry 237, and the boy who had both instigated the attack and been one of the spitters had played the clown and taken my son´s laughter as a personal slight.
But, as I wrote, it was all just a storm in a teacup.
In the play the clown arrives at an unhappy planet but succeeds, despite the malefic influence of a nasty witch, in uniting it and cheering everybody up. http://www.educa.madrid.org/web/cp.bartolomecossio.madrid/teatro/planeta_sonrisa/planeta_sonrisa.htm_sonrisa.htm Quite early on, when seeing my son playing a clown trying to cheer up a planet, I thought about the REM song Shiny Happy People, although I knew nothing about this children´s play. Neither was I a great fan of that band nor well acquainted with their material.
And then at the finale that very song was played.
Incidentally, when I looked up this song at YOUTUBE, I found that, although it is quite an old video, it had only been uploaded to YOUTUBE on March 2nd 2007, i.e. the day after the ESA announcement that Plaskett Crater could be our new home.
... ... ...
Main writes of the symbolic significance of heavenly phenomena -
"... the celestial journey of Dante, and analogously that of Plaskett, consists of a series of progressive transformations into ever higher and subtler states of consciousness and insight.
The idea of transformation from normal psychophysical levels of experience to a spiritual level of experience, and vice versa, seems to be evoked quite often. Plaskett´s Crater, being on the far side of earth´s satellite, the moon, lies at the extreme outer limit of connectedness to the terrestrial and faces into the heavenly, or, symbolically understood, spiritual spaces beyond. Plaskett´s Star, in turn, actually is situated out in these heavenly or spiritual spaces." Revelations of Chance, p.125.
On Sep 3 2006, following its many useful photographs, SMART-1 was deliberately smashed into the southern part of Luna Incognita so that scientists might study the material thrown up by this deliberate making by Man of a CRATER on the moon.
The site chosen for the crash was the Lake Of Excellence.
... ... ...
Sir Laurens van der Post begins his 1976 work Yet Being Someone Other with his conviction that there could be no thrust of inquiry into the physical universe without it being accompanied, if not preceded, by an equal and opposite thrust into the universe of the spirit. I first read this book in 1985.
He refers to the Renaissance accompanying the rounding of the Cape of Good Hope by Bartholomew Diaz and Vasco de Gama. He also cites C.G. Jung´s observation that, if one wished to pinpoint a date at which the Renaissance began, one could choose the day when the poet Petrarch decided to climb a mountain in the Alps purely to shatter a taboo. The long held belief of the locals was that the the cloud-capped peaks were inhabited by demons.
Here van der Post is implying something beyond mere symbolic matching: he asserts a direct and even causal correspondence between physical and spiritual explorations.
The Cape, had initially been an ambivalent symbol, indeed it was first dubbed the Cape of Storms. With its rounding came the breakthrough to the world of the East.
He concludes with his thoughts as he watched the Cape slip into the distance whilst he stared from the stern of the last of a line of passenger ships leaving for England.
He noted that the image of Earthrise, which he had seen on a master TV screen at N.A.S.A moments before man first set foot on the moon, would be the replacement symbol.
The oceans had been investigated and mapped. In the future man´s search would be beyond the planet, and he would look back and see something only possible from that height; a world at unity.
"The Cape may have been ambivalent, but the meaning of which it had so long been a dominant image did not change. The thing itself stood fast. Only the images changed in order to inform us of new and deeper levels of discovery and re-discovery. However great its power of evocation of life, and its enlargement of our awareness of the paradox of the truth which alone can transform and set free the explorer in the spirit from the explored, this beautiful and beloved Cape had served its purpose, and the time was upon it to vanish in the sea of time behind us as other loyal images had done.
But as it vanished, there moved into the vacant space entire this jewel of earth that contained it, glowing in the dark night of soul and time and space, no longer ambivalent but single at last, a star of universal and unfailing good hope."
... ... ...
In late 2008 news articles such as this -http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/nov/30/apollo-8-mission led to my realising for the first time that Jim Lovell had also been part of the crew of Apollo 8 and thus had been one of the first three men to see the dark side of the moon. I had lived through the mission, but at eight had failed to take in its especial significance.
In the early hours of the morning of April 16th 2009 I checked to see if there might be any available affirmation that he had actually been the very first. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/forty-years-since-the-first-picture-of-earth-from-space-1297569.html
Thus I became aware of more detail of this voyage that brought us our first image of ´Earthrise´, e.g. that the astronauts had read to the world the first ten verses of Genesis as their craft passed over the very site where, seven months later, the first men would walk on the moon; the Sea of Tranquility.
Apollo 8 entered lunar orbit on December 25th 1968.
Several hours later that morning I looked at The Independent on line and saw a trailer for a film called simply Moon that had been directed by David Bowie´s son, Duncan Jones. The trailer had been up at an article by Tim Walker since April 13th, but this was the first I had heard of either the film or his being a director.
It is visible here -
It ends with a view of ´Earthrise´ seen from the moon.
And further testimony to the effect of seeing our planet from space may be heard here -
re Apollo 8
At 18:04 on April 17th 2009, my wife was about to send me a thing ´Tweeted´ by Astronautics on Twitter just as I asked her what things the Greek God Apollo "governed".
I had asked her something earlier that day about the Greek God Apollo, thinking as I was of her book Journeys to the Underworld and it´s mention of the entire Greek pantheon.
The significance of the ´tweet´ by Astronautics became clearer; April 17th was the anniversary of the successful re-entry of Apollo 13. Fiona then mentioned that just a few days earlier she had begun following a poster on Twitter with the handle ZARG. He had chosen to represent himself by a photo of an astronaut, and, she informed me, had the surname LOVELL.
In view of all of my Apollo 8 inquiries earlier that day I was intrigued and noted his profile -
Name Tim Lovell Location Bristol, UK Bio Science, astronomy, and technology fan
- and later that day I joined Twitter and I too began to follow him. Not long before this I had found myself switching on to the fact that the Jodrell Bank telescope was named the Lovell telescope. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jodrell_Bank
Two men of such uncommon name prominent figures in the field of space exploration... Researching it I discovered that the telescope had only been (re)named in honour of Sir Bernard Lovell in 1987.
Now here was a third man of that name in the same field. I ´tweeted´ asking if he were perhaps related (?) He replied -
* @JamesPlaskett I'm not related to Sir Bernard Lovell AFAIK. It's not impossible as he's from Bristol but I haven't traced my tree yet.12:05 PM Apr 18th
I'm not related to Apollo astro Jim Lovell either. I have met him though. Top chap.12:07 PM Apr 18th
And not that long after he ´tweeted´ this -
@TAMLondon Astronaut Jim Lovell is in the UK on Oct 2nd. Any chance of getting him to speak at TAM London? http://www.wyas.org.uk/4:39 PM Apr 19th from TwitterFon
... ... ...
Space exploration has its dangers and pitfalls. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_accidents_and_incidents
So does spiritual exploration.
See Entry 176.
Re the Identity theme, also note the name of the mission which on January 19th 2012 recorded the first continuous video of the dark side of the moon -http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?collection_id=65931&media_id=130956191
Lastly, I mention a few incidents germane to the common themes of space exploration, spirituality and my win on the show which has become the very seat of modern materialism : Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?.
The day before the first part of my appearance was to air, I saw this article -
Guardian Fri 13 Jan 2006 -
Final answer? Not quite as star gets second chance to play for a million · Quiz show question that floored designer 'unfair' · Changing Rooms host tries again for big charity prize
It was about Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and his wife.
... Having breezed... to... £500K... during... WWTBAM? All that stood between the couple and a £1m donation to charity was the question: "Translated from the Latin, what is the motto of the United States?" ... - In God We Trust; One Out Of Many; All As One; or Striving Together - Llewelyn-Bowen ... gave his answer. Sadly, it was the wrong one.
Or was it? Llewelyn-Bowen opted for In God We Trust, only to be told that the correct answer was One Out Of Many.
But fortunately for the Shooting Star Children's Hospice, yesterday, only hours after the show was recorded on Wednesday, Celador announced it would give the Llewelyn-Bowens a second chance as the question did not meet its "usual high standards". In God We Trust is the official motto of the United States, adopted on July 30, 1956. It appears on US currency. But it is not a translation from the Latin. One Out Of Many is another US motto and is a direct translation of the Latin, E Pluribus Unum. It has appeared on the Great Seal since 1782. A Celador spokeswoman said: "We are not satisfied that the question meets our usual high standards of fair game play, so we have invited them back to resume the game with a new question at the same level. The question they answered was ambiguous."
This ruling was supported by the US embassy. "In God We Trust is the motto of the United States, so that part of the answer is right, but it wasn't translated from Latin. So he's right and he's wrong," said a spokeswoman.
The Llewelyn-Bowens, who were appearing in a St Valentine's Day couples special to be aired on Feb 11, welcomed the news. "We feel as if we've been reprieved from the firing squad. How unusual is it to get a second chance in life?" said Mr Llewelyn-Bowen. "But... this charity really deserves this and we're grateful to Celador for the opportunity."
The couple's performance was the best so far by any celebrity pair.
So they were invited back to face another £1m question.
It was - "Who was the first man to go into space twice?"
They were uncertain and so took the £500K.
... ... ...
Shooting Star Children's Hospice
... A St Valentine's Day couples special
How unusual is it to get a second chance in life?"
A couple given a Valentine´s Day second chance...
And they mentioned that they had actually got married twice, i.e. had had a second ceremony essentially just because they enjoyed the first one so much!
See the plot of the film mentioned in point a) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
And here was I campaigning for Ingram and wife to be given his fairly-earned million.
... first man to go into space TWICE.
I was also in legitimate consultation with my wife; she was Phone A Friend.
At my £500,000 question, "Which of these astronauts has never set foot on the moon?"
(Answer: Jim Lovell)
and also my £32,000 one, "The 2004 biopic "De-lovely" was based on the life of which composer?" (see Entry 223) "lovel" appeared on screen.
On Aug 31st 2007 I learned of the existence of the film Sunshine -
That was through a news announcement of what would be the next project embarked upon by its director, Danny Boyle -
... ... ...
And, re parallels between space exploration and spiritual exploration, note that in the Part Two: The Narrative, Epilogues and Appendices entry here (see after Entry 22) we see many coincidences clustered around my reading of Dante´s Paradiso.
That book, as well as being the climax of a journey to enlightenment is also a (fictionalised!) tour of the 14th century model of the solar system.
Earthrise over Plaskett Crater -
And here are both the original earthrise seen from Apollo 8 and that one over Plaskett´s Crater - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmaOcPYCGMA
... ... ...
As a codicil I might add that at 22:50 on October 29th 2012 I posted at my Facebook wall
That, naturally, immediately put me in mind of the palaver over the Lewellyn-Bowen´s final question, so I tweeted to Dawkins about that -