Saturday, May 03, 2008

May 3, 2008 Lives on in Synchronicity 35 years ago today

My bizarre adventures in the occult long ago brought me to the concept of what Carl Jung called "synchronicity," which Jung defined as an acausal connective principle based on coincidences. Or some such inexplicable trick of paranormal psychology. At any rate, in the seventies it would happen to me on a number of occasions. I began reading widely on paranormal phenomena, as it had happened to me a number of times in both DC & Vietnam before the occurrence I describe below.

I now do remember reading a book at that very time which built upon my Jungian interests. Arthur Koestler's epiphany The Roots of Coincidence which had spurred my interest tenfold---with this following event, I plunged much more enthusiastically into occult matters, visiting Lyon's premier astrologer and pursuing a few books in French, but I digress from the following absolutely true rendition of events as witnessed by two or three U.S. Embassy FSO's:

At the time I was Vice Consul in Lyon & had just had a weird coincidence in my Lyon consulate as part of my official duties. The great pop/rock group Santana was visiting Lyon & I was in my office reading my latest edition of Rolling Stone & was perusing an article on the Rolling Stones Group's recent successful rock tour. The consulate secretary opened the door of my office and unannounced in walked Chip Monk, the director/impresario/stage manager of the Stones on loan to Santana & in town for the Santana gig that evening. Monk had been the chief Rolling Stones advance man at Altamont [see link above] and organizer during their successful record-breaking tour around the world. I showed him the Rolling Stones article on the Stones and we started to talk rock & roll [I had hired Iggy Pop in AnnArbor for a sock hop in East Quad Prescott House where I was an RA in 1966 & three years later I became bouncer/cashier/doorman for Commander Cody & the Lost Planet Airmen at Mark's Coffee House in Ann Arbor.] I had even flown to SF to see Commander Cody play at The Family Dog as an opener for The Grateful Dead. [In another coincidence, just two years ago in Boca, the daughter of Iggy's stage manager back in Ann Arbor visited my house---she's now a straight-A student, a girl named Ross.] But I digress, although the coincidences do pile up! Anyway, Monk gave me a backstage pass and I partied with Santana all night [I drank Champagne, they puffed ganga.]

Back to the main Narrative: A few months later, I diddly-bopped up to Paris to help a female FSO friend in the Embassy there celebrate her 30th birthday. The date was May 3, 1973. Everything that day started to turn up in threes. Little things and bigger things. Lunch was an inexpensive 30 francs. I bought an African musical instrument called a balaphon for 300 francs and then we went to the Parc de Luxembourg to lie on the grass on a perfect Spring afternoon.

I recall telling my FSO friends about a book I was reading on Native American tribal differences. And how on the East Coast, vast tribal confederations had formed like the Five Nations and sophisticated trade and negotiating protocols had evolved even before the advent of the Europeans. Yadda yadda, but the same book had stressed how in California and parts of Oregon, the exact opposite phenomenon had occurred and the tribes had split again and again and tended to assert the fissiparous tendencies that isolates in language and tribes often do. California native Americans were in the clan or extended family mode by the time the Franciscan missionaries discovered these children of God.

I had taken off my shoes a half-hour before and wiggled my toes in the lush grass while making a joke about how California then was like the weird hippies etc. of the counterculture two centuries later [in 1973]. I then digressed onto my little obsession-phase of the moment, coincidences and synchronicity. When I was done talking about some of my weird experiences with synchronicity/coincidences, I went to put on my shoes and perhaps the weirdest of the many weird coincidences that have happened to me during a coincidence-filled lifetime occurred. In one of my shoes, a French banque cheque for 30,000 francs made out by a French gentleman named "Berger" which of course means "Shepherd" was stuck. How it had arrived in my shoe, which was lying less than three feet away from me as we lay on a blanket in the gorgeous confines of the Luxembourg Gardens is a perfect mystery. It had to be a gentle zephyr of some kind, because no one had approached us at all. Even so, there was hardly any wind at all, that we could remember.

At the time, we talked for a few minutes joking about it's being a birthday present to my FSO friend who should share it in flying us all to Tahiti [at the time the check was worth about $9000 US], but of course I did the right thing and tore it up.

May 3, 1973 was certainly a day for threes!

And thirty-five years to the day later, those ca-raazy coincidences still keep on happening.

The Higher Power has a sense of humor!

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