In other words, I was a perfect antonym for the famous detective, who took such pains to notice subtle cues and details in the people and situations around him.
I didn’t need blinders. Mine were built in.
Beyond the Five Senses
To break into writing, I had to seriously change my ways. No self-respecting reader would make it past page one of my fiction without the vibrancy and richness of detailed and realistic descriptions, a combination of imagination and careful observation.
On top of that, I chose to write visionary fiction, which goes a step beyond what is observed through the five senses. I’m talking fiction that incorporates telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and ESP.
Visionary fiction opened a new world of paying attention. I needed to receive and transmit information from the unconscious, the kind of stuff hidden below the tip of the iceberg that doesn’t surface unless the observer is in a receptive state.
So how does a visionary fiction writer go about tapping into the submerged?
One way is to pay attention to meaningful coincidences and pleasant surprises; in other words open up to synchronicity and serendipity.
Meaningful Coincidences and Pleasant Surprises.
In the simplest of terms, synchronicity is the experiencing of two or more events as meaningfully related.
Serendipity, on the other hand, is a pleasant surprise, such as the accidental discovery.
I can best explain by example.
Something interesting happened to me while writing down my soul, Janet Conner style.
First I asked my Inner Voice what I should call him or her. A crow cawed outside my living room door. Once. Then silence. I took this as a sign and addressed my Inner Voice as Black Crow.
The following morning the local newspaper featured a story about a blonde woman and her pet raven. I took that as an another sign.
Addressing my Inner Voice, as Black Raven this time, I wrote, “How about a new title for my novel (Between Now and Forever)?
How nice, I thought, but that’s not an answer.
When I followed the blog link, I came across the site’s header, “Heal Now and Forever be in Peace (italics are mine, in case you didn’t get the connection).”
The blogger’s last name was Aman, close enough to “Amen” to be a sign (sort of).
It was an interesting way to start the day, and I bookmarked Jodi Aman’s site to revisit later.
Tell Jodi. She’ll Know What to Do.
When I returned to Jodi’s site, synchronicity came into play again.
I had just finished reading “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,” by Eckhart Tolle. At one point, he talked about listening to a friend who was in deep pain. “I looked at her with no thought and no judgment,” he said, “and listened in stillness without any mental commentary.”
Then I read the following in Jodi’s post, Call Jodi. She’ll Know What to Do: “Just listen with compassion and without judgment.”
Jodi also talked about helping the poor and the downtrodden, reminding me of the prayer to St Jude I found the previous week in my mother’s Bible (which I opened for the first time since her death four years earlier).
The last line of the prayer was, “St Jude, helper of the hopeless, pray for us. Amen.”
One last example:
For the query and synopsis of my novel, I was trying to put into words what my protagonist had learned and how she had changed during the course of the story.
She wanted to serve, but feared giving up her freedom and individuality.
“She has to overcome her sense of boundary and separateness,” I wrote in my notes. “She has to let go of her past, let go of her story.”
Then, there it was, in Jodi’s post – thoughts so similar to my own. “…the illusion of separation is the only problem, and isolation makes the negative stories in our head worse.”
Do examples of synchronicity and serendipity such as these count as evidence for the collective unconscious as Carl Gustav Jung claimed back in 1920?
As someone who ponders the submerged rather than the tip of the iceberg, I believe the answer is yes.
In a previous post about synchronicity, I concluded:
Though you may have answered CHANCE after each of these synchronicities, I’ve
decided to consider these subtle, fleeting, and easily dismissed occurrences as
timely arrivals of special information. I’m not sure what this information means as yet, but I’m willing to relinquish cynicism and doubt in favor of synchronicity and serendipity, faith and hope. What can it hurt to have a positive attitude and believe there are opportunities coming my way?
As always, thanks for stopping by.