January 23, 2003
Last night Law and Order was on my television when this happened. The show Iíd been watching had ended and Iíd not changed the channel or turned the television off. I wasnít paying attention to it until a mention of a year book caused me to look up and begin to listen.
What I saw at first glance was the actors in the show looking at a page in a year book, then it showed the page they were looking at. What I noticed immediately was not the picture that was relevant to the story but the name under the picture on the page directly below the picture the story was concerned with. The name under that picture was: Andrew Samuels.
The book I was reading during the show was The Plural Psyche by Andrew Samuels.
He's a Jungian author. I'd not read the book and had just begun reading it that evening. The book has been in a box in my garage for some time when I noticed it in passing on day. The title 'Plural Psyche' interested me at the time. I remember taking the book from the box and bringing in into my house, intending to read it. I know some time passed before this night when I took it to my room to read during commercials in a show I wanted to watch.
It just happened that was the night that episode of Law and Order show was on! I dislike the show but my attention was 'plucked away' from what I was doing at just the moment to see that image, for the 2 seconds it was on.
After the scene changed I wasnít sure Iíd actually seen the name, Andrew Samuels. Later, some time later a rerun of the show was on, I recognized the name Fiona Reid so I watched it with my camcorder ready. The story was about a young girl who was perpetually a student. She went from one school to another as a student but now was involved in a murder. now accused of murder. When the scene came on I taped it to verify what Iíd seen. And have evidence. It was indeed a picture from a year book and the name under the picture I'd noticed was Andrew Samuels. I had not tried to find the replay, it just happened that I saw it again and recognized the name Fiona Reed so that I had my camcorder ready for that scene.
Iím not saying the picture was of the Andrew Samuels who was the author of the book I was reading, because I donít know what that Andrew Samuels looks like. It may have been his year book or perhaps it was a name chosen at random.
It was however without doubt a repetition of the name of a book in my hand at the time. That is the kind of coincidence is the kind I think of as 'describing to me' what I'm doing at the moment. Such events have happened often enough to think of them as 'echoing' what I'm doing; literally identifying what I'm doing at the moment be repeating back what I'm doing. By 2003 its not uncommon to experience that kind of event but itís always a surprise, I feel a shock. I cannot predict, nor do I try to predict them. How to interpret what the event means is the issue. I have not always thought of them as a kind of reflection, or an 'echo'.
What does this kind of coincidence mean to me? The timing is so perfect. I've decided the event has the attribute of being a 'voice' because it 'speaks to me' like an echo, reflecting what I'd doing at the time.
It Ďrepeatsí a detail about my life back to me, the way the sound of my voice repeats back in an echo. In fact this Ďechoing backí a detail about my life means the same thing to me that a sign along the freeway means: Iím going the right way, itís just a validation. Itís like being told Iím o.k, my location and my activity are 'known', but by whom, is what I wonder about. I don't believe I have foresight enough to know 'this is the night I need to begin to read Andrew Samuels' The Plural Psyche! It's odd that typing the name Fiona Reid into an Internet Search box brings a result to that show, because she's just a fictional character.
Now something more about Andrew Samuels and the book I was reading, The Plural Psyche, Personality, Morality & the Father. The first page had an idea about Time and how new ideas are picked up that matched with a thought that had developed clearly enough to fit what Andrew Samuels wrote:: "When I was at school, I learnt the following maxim from one of my teachers: What now looks like to us like the intellectual or ideological discoveries of the past are better understood as descriptions of the most progressive contemporary practices. For example Machiavelli did not write a handbook for princes, containing smart new ideas. Rather he described what the most enterprising princes were already doing. Adam Smiths' importance is not that he promoted capitalism, but that he described (and thus understood) what the new capitalists were doing. You could say that such writers were bringing something to consciousness.
I expect this is so with much of this book. What looks like (and from the emotional perspective of the writer really is) discovery is description. Discovery is a fantasy. but so to is description." End of quote.
That is an excellent description of how I had come to grasp the way the 'voice of the age' had been picked up when the 'voice' was speaking in so many 'new' fields. The ideas of a 'new psychiatry'; new non-Euclidean geometries; new ideas about quantum physics were written down by Freud, Jung, Charles Hinton, P. D. Ouspensky, George Gurdjieff simultaneously. I had thought that their ideas, now committed to actual words had come from the influence I'd experienced. Once their ideas were in words those words influenced other people, who further elaborated on them. Ira Progoff, Maurice Nicoll, and Theodore Reik were not the originators but they were important elaborators, more important to me than the originators. I have a special link to Theodore Reik, whose life was linked to mine. He wrote about how the mind operated to create insight into his patients problems. He had no special insight into his own life however, that was revealed in Fragment of a Great Confession when he realized that in writing a book about Goethe's love for a young girl, he had really written his own story with his invalid wife. It's an amazing book in my opinion, he related honestly the kind of secrets that Freud and Jung kept. His books came to my attention over a span of time but it seems to me now that a clear path led to them, I just recognized being directed along that path.
George Gurdjieff had noticed that P. D. Ouspensky did not seem to understand his own book, Tertium Organum. I remember that when I was reading the book I sensed within my own mind a somewhat grandiose idea occurred to me that made me smile at myself, that Ouspensky had written a book about what he was searching for but he didn't seem to know it. I can't claim to be the originator of that highly inflated notion or that I felt a smile within me, I witnessed that inner content.