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New Book Reviews



By Brent Raynes




Synchronicity:
The Art of Coincidence, Choice, and Unlocking Your Mind
By Dr. Kirby Surprise

The Career Press, Inc.
220 West Parkway, Unit 12
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
2012, 284 pages, U.S. $16.99
ISBN-13: 978-1-60163-183-1


Reviewed by Brent Raynes

The author, a California psychotherapist, looks into the controversial and hard to wrap your mind around concept known as synchronicity (meaningful coincidence), a term that this author (Dr. Kirby Surprise) explains originated with the noted Swiss psychiatrist Dr. Carl G. Jung, who first presented a book on this subject, entitled Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle, back in 1952.

There’s coincidences and then there are those so-called “coincidences” that seem very puzzling and contrary to statistical norms of expectation, wherein events seem connected by subjective non-causal meaning rather than objective cause-and-effect. Though Jung perceived synchronicity as connected with his concept of archetypes of the collective unconscious (as opposed to the free will components of our personal unconsciousness), Dr. Surprise finds that “archetypes” is just another thing that if you look for it you’ll find it and that Jung’s preoccupation with the archetypal model was flawed. “Jung was grasping at straws,” Surprise wrote. “He did not want to publicly say people can affect the world around them. He knew most of his peers would consider this, well, nuts.” But Dr. Surprise doesn’t consider it “nuts”, and in fact states that “the idea of archetypes will just get in your way.”

Dr. Surprise describes how we can use our internal psychological states to actually effect external events in our lives. He presents a lot of thought-provoking information on the subject, detailing how to go about using synchronicity to improve and empower your own life, weaving together many interconnecting elements from many different perspectives, be it from quantum physics to ancient mysticism. To me, one of the most intriguing chapters in this book, and one that will no doubt be most controversial with many, was chapter 10, entitled Tulpaware Party. Here he repeats the Alexandra David-Neel story of her travels in Tibet and the “tulpa” (thoughtform) she claimed to have created in the form of a man in a friars robe. Surprise provides several examples from his own life where he himself created such “thoughtforms,” just for fun, including a short three foot tall raptor (influenced by his watching the movie Jurassic Park) with a turned backward baseball cap, a lot of gold bling, and diamonds in his teeth. “It’s programmed to hang out in the den and greet people,” he added. “Of course, nobody sees him. Almost nobody. Last year my daughter’s friend Rose went into my den to look for something, and came out rattled and upset. She’s a little high strung anyway. She said there was a giant lizard in my room. It jumped up and greeted her like a puppy dog. She said it was some kind of dinosaur. Some things are only funny if you have a sense of humor.” He also recounted an earlier episode, in fact the first time he had created a “tulpa,” when he and his wife were working different shifts and the apartment they were living in seemed empty when she wasn’t around, so having just read David-Neel’s book he decided to create his own thoughtform to keep him company. The problem was he forgot to tell his wife and when she encountered it, she was very upset with him and ordered him to “get rid of it”! “My wife now gives me permission to create whatever I want, but it has to stay in my den,” Surprise added.

So, alas, if you’ve ever wanted to experiment with synchronistic events and maybe do a little tulpa creation on the side, this book may be just for you!

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Friday, November 26, 2021