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December 22nd, 2011Synchronistic EventsDr. Kirby Surprise 18 Comments

“I was going to a writing workshop in two days. I was more than a little self-­conscious about the project I was to present, a book called “The Way Synchronicity Works.” I was concerned about claiming that I had an inside knowledge of the mechanics of meaningful coincidence. The book said that SE were reflections of people’s thoughts manifesting in the events around them, and I had pieced together a model that explained how this worked. I had legal and ethical matters on my mind. I had my license as a psychologist to consider, if I was going to say it, it had better be true. I was brooding over this as I walked through the parking lot towards my car after work. The sky was dark and overcast; it had been raining much of the day. The blacktop was covered with a thin reflective layer of water. I had to watch my feet as I walked to avoid stepping into deeper water. I was considering if I could honestly represent SE as personal reflections in the environment. Something golden beneath the water under my feet caught my attention. I looked down into the reflection of my own face, and saw beneath it, in the water, what looked like a gold credit card. I reached through the reflection of my face in the water and picked up the plastic card. I brushed water and bits of grime from the surface and read from the bold stylized letters printed across the top of the card “Kirby, Kirby and Kirby.” At first I thought I must have misread the card, it couldn’t actually be saying my name three times. I read again. I had indeed picked up a card with my name printed on it, plucked from my own reflection in the water. Under the heading it read: “Motorcycle lawyers; Licensed in California, we wrench ride and litigate.” It reminded me that this was indeed the way synchronicity works. The events mirror our thoughts and concerns.

  • dug2deep

    Being a counselor myself, it has always been a challenge to break through the vial of ignorance (unawareness) as to understand why certain things, and paradigms, occur as they do. I have come to understand coincidental events by degree(s) toward the groove, the groove being the main thoroughfare of events with the highest probability of reaching a definitive outcome (i.e., syncronicity). For the individual, what mechanism or medium distinguishes each experiences from being a happenstance to that of being divinely ordered? How much of an experience is self-generated, intrapsychically constructed and ordered? How strong of a role does subjective, intuitive, and intra-psychic perceptions play in the natural order of things? When is an experience a true reflective event (syncronistic) from an inflective psychopathology? Discerning “reality”, under normal conditions, is a highly-complex series of activities that occur on a sub- and unconscious level. Personal awareness, as the theory goes, stems from a psychosocial-cognitive/emotional interaction of observing inflective and reflective elements that culminate from an objective and subjective stew. Witnessing common patterns and correlations point toward the deeper connection to the world in which we all live.


    • Anonymous

      It sound very much like you don’t much need my insights, the depth of your thought on the matter indicates you already understand the staggering complexity of SE and the questions they raise. I’m a psychologist, not a saint or psychic. I would rather have the questions and the experiences, than the false certainty of answers that only mean one has stopped thinking and experiencing.

  • Anonymous

    Some of my SE’s have spanned more than 30 years between relevant events. I purchased the book and read it over the weekend.  In the week since, I played with the exercises toward the end of the book and found that rewarding. I find the experiences more satisfying when they are random and illuminating. Perhaps I have not learned to play well enough yet.
    Thanks for giving me a context to set them in. It is relieving to feel I am still discovering myself and not distracted by an outside entity. It keeps me imagining.

    • Anonymous

      SE appear timeless to me. I have seen them take decades to come to a punchline as well. I think we see then from the present moment, but across any time period or set of circumstances we search for them in. Would love to hear one of your examples.


  • CLG<3

    One day I was reading about Twin Flames on my phone in a MAC cosmetics. I googled it because I heard about them through someone else. I was trying to figure out what this intense connection was I had with a man. I’ve never experienced a connection like this. We could literally be in each others presence for hours and not speak. It was all eye contact and what felt like telepathic communication between us. People have told me that I even look like him. Anyways, I think the connection we had was too intense for him to he walked away from what we had in fear I think… It was like ying and yang. Both so different but underneath it all we were the same person. But back to the story… I finished getting my make up done, got off the chair after being in deep thought about him and our connection, comparing the signs of a twin flame relationship to ours and everything fit the description. Suddenly I heard a song come on singing about TWIN FLAMES!!! So random, what were the chances of me hearing that song when mac playss their music through a satelite radio, its on a constant shuffle of songs… But there it was. I took the SE as a confirmation that my thoughts about him being my twin flame were true.. What do you guys think??

    • Anonymous

      Not being you, I can’t tell for sure. I tend to look at SE as mirrors of the full range of our thoughts and feelings. Mirror what you were thinking the SE certainly did. I tend to be more cautious about taking SE as confirmations of anything. If the thought you were thinking was true, the SE reflect a truth. But, I for one often think things that turn out not to be true, and see them reflected as SE. I Take SE under advisement, like the content of dreams.

      The idea here is that you get to choose, its your amazing powers that make SE.


  • Taomelon

    I have had coincidence startling ones in fact for several distinct years now.
    However to perceive that say an infinite amount of to a human who on the surface understands is what it is I believe. Coincidence that sprouts for circumstances also can be quite startling however they can also be comprehended in a balance to us reasonably.
    It would be nice to only see a miracle in coincidence however where does that leave us the human being? These are seperate if one is rational and unless you simply want to enjoy sensationalism coincidence that is harnassed naturally isn’t true.
    That nature that produces plants, animals Etc and all different would produce coincidence is really
    not comparable that science knows of.
    Mandating your demise and wondering why your here at all have their roots in human desparity.
    That what you produce isn’t real because you yourself have not that much alone to do with it.
    So as Fromm pointed out in “Man For Himself” what is actually necessary to us is we need to
    understand why we act as we do from our history personally. And see why we allow at all our
    hearts our minds to be manipulated like machines at all – - – sadly this way?
    Alice Miller is anouther author who gets to that root I believe truly.

  • Syoung4321

    I have believed in but not understood SE’s for most of my 57 years….today’s was asking this mechanic that comes to the customers house to fix my landladys car–he comes in, sees my pictures of jazz legends, and says his son is a saxophonist(my career for 38 years)–I will now teach his son.
    The second came in an email from a large company that was asking if I knew four people to link to…….two of the four were my separated wfe and someone she has had a crush on. I have been trying to deal with this for 6 months, my jealousy, etc.,and yesterday I finally said, “I have to let you go to become friends with this man if I really love you, and whatever happens will happen” (I’m paraphrasing)
    Today I get an email showing both of them, and I KNOW neither has ever contacted this company….Strange, eh?

    • Anonymous

      No so strange. You create these events. You are seeing aspects or your thoughts mirrored back to you in the events around you. In particular, those with emotional valence for you. This is exactly what the book is about. So, now the ball is in your court; do you want to take the next step and consciously look for patterns you chose? Blessed be.


  • Rita Kowats

    “SE were reflections of people’s thoughts manifesting in the events around them. “  These words resonate with me all the way down to the pit of my soul, as does the fear in putting it out there to the public.  I recently created a community page on spirituality on Facebook.  I felt vulnerable and afraid to “live out loud,” but the alternative was unacceptable, so I posted, believing that it would draw the reflections of many people, creating synchronous events that I may never know about

    It’s scary and lonely putting ourselves out there when we run counter to the mainstream.  I am deeply grateful to Dr. Kirby for risking it.  If our culture payed attention to these sacred moments of synchronicity, perhaps we wouldn’t have to have Memorial Day remembrances.

    • Anonymous

      Amen. I wouldn’t be all that afraid to put your views out there. It depends on the context you use. People generally respond well if you can explain yourself with a positive presentation.

  • Aviela

    I just read your book and enjoyed it very much. 
    I think you’re saying that EVERYTHING in the Universe is being created from moment to moment and time is simultaneous and that we are multi-dimensional and have more than one self so to speak…our thoughts, feelings, instincts, intuitions, psychic sense, high-self, low-self, our unconscious etc can express/project and there may also be times that more than 1 of these “selfs” can comment on a given event.

    You speak of thought-forms and that you created the raptor thought-form and your wife picked up on it…and it sounds like you are basically saying that SEs are created by our thoughts, both conscious and unconscious.(This is what I am understanding from your book)  Do you think it’s then possible to pick up on someone else’s thought-forms …and this is actually what telepathic/psychic communication is??? Simple example of this is you’re thinking of someone and then they call you. You can’t know for sure, at this point in our understanding, who “created” the SE…

    You mention Telepathy & Clairvoyance and you say that some SEs may have been created in the future and effect us in the present….could you write an example of that??? (maybe I missed it in the book). 

    How do you breakdown the SE you report on P232?  You say that it reflects our natural ESP…are you saying that the SE was created by some aspect of the multi-dimensional self???? yours or maybe your friends???I tend to understand things more in terms of telepathy, psychic senses and dreams, and instincts and intuition. I  think people are naturally psychic, some more that others….no question, but I haven’t experienced anything quite like this kind of SE, and I’ve read about other SEs that just can’t seem to be explained as projection.

    I hope you can talk more about these more complex SEs in the near future.
    If you have any comments or clarifications on anything that I’ve mentioned they would be welcome.
    Thank you.

  • Eva

    Hello Kirby, I have looked at your book but have not bought it yet. I have a strange story to tell that I have not told many people. I have been in active recovery for 20 years for a dissociative history. Around the same point in time that I found out about my history I started to notice strange patterns of coincidences. In the beginning I was very frightened of it and even tried to bring it up with my therapist because I thought it meant something was wrong with me. However in time there were other books published about the same kind of experiences being spiritual in nature and I had heard a rumor that other people with my condition had similar events. Twenty years later I have come to accept this pattern and have collected everything from t-shirts to music albums to my 20 years worth of journals showing extreme synchronicity. Sometimes people who I let in on it are a little freaked out by this pattern. I do have a theory though. It seems to be tied to strong emotions, very strong emotions. It has always been very healing for me and I have used it to help others. Two songs that were featured at my fathers funeral two years ago had phrases that he would use when greeting family. Just wanted to let you know that your work is important. You’ve let people such as myself know that we are not alone and that someone does take what we are seeing seriously.  Thanks

    • Anonymous

      Hi Eva,

      Your correct that the SE are tied to emotions, and attention. Its a pity people can be so freaked out by SE, when they are actually completely normal. Good part is, you are now aware that you are the source and there isn’t anything to be afraid of. Do read the book and have some fun with this.


  • clresu

    I’m in the middle of your book; I’m enjoying it quite bit.  I heard you on Skeptiko.

    The thing is, I’ve known on some level that it was me/us creating SEs . . . I think I realized this first when negative ones started surfacing after having been too mentally involved in negative thoughts . . . and then that the SEs would change as I changed. 

    I’m driving at a question here, though: there’s something greatly comforting about seeing SEs both ways: as being subjectively created and as being objectively (outside ourselves) created.  When we consult the Tarot, for instance, I’ve always felt it was a reading on how we felt inwardly about what we were inquiring about at the moment of inquiry . . . That is, that the reading would reflect back to us what was already inside of us . . . instead of what an outside authority had to say ont he subject.  

    The thing is, we sometimes want the outside confirmation of something.  If we ask, will I succeed at this or that, and the Tarot tells us, “yes,” we feel better about it if that “yes” is from an outside God.  

    What are your thoughts on this?

  • Toban

    Hello. About six years ago I thought I made up a word ” pentarchy” while in the middle of a thoughtful moment. Months later I encountered the word when checking my email while thinking about that moment when I was feeling a low, specifically a lack of energy which I desperately needed.

  • Anonymous

    Dr Surprise.

    Aloha from Hawaii. For many decades I have studied synchronicities.

    I was listening to your audiobook version of Synchronicity (your book) I was also ordering about 13 new books on synchronicity.

    One element that came up was an old post on synchronicity from Deepak Chopra’s site and I was making a comment on it when I realized that the woman before me in comments said she was from Morocco and I realized that the narrater of your book was named Morocco. As you can see I made a comment to that effect complete with many typos!!).
    I love your book.

  • Anonymous

    In 2007 I was leaving my home in Hawaii for a 2 week cruise ship trip to new Zealand to s tay for months. I had picked a large bog of tahitian limes from a remote and hard to find residential neighborhood on an obscure street.

    When I left for New Zealand I asked the person that took me to the cruise ship dock if they wanted the limes and I left them with a giant bag of hard to find and rare version of limes. About a month later I got a call from the person I gave them to. He said he had a great synchroniciity.

    It turned out that he and his wife from England took off that weekend for the North shore of Oahu for a camping trip at Maelaeikahana and they had the lemons in the car. Where the campsite was was 60 miles from their home and where the limes were from .

    They met a couple walking on the beach and it turned out their wives were both from England and they were often confused for each other by their friends. They invited them back to their campsite for dinner and they realized they had the limes and said “Would everyone like lemonade?” to which the consensus was “Yes”.

    When they took out the limes the australian man they invited said “Those look just like the limes in our yard” It turned out this same man from 60 miles away on an obscure street had gone to the same campground and synchronistically met my friend and their wives had a similar personality and country of origin and indeed these were the limes from his yard which was 60 miles away .

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Dr. Kirby Surprise

Dr. Surprise received his Doctorate in psychology in 2007 from the institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco, his masters in psychodynamic and transpersonal psychology from John F. Kennedy University in 1988. Dr. Surprise received his license as a psychologist in 2009, and currently works in an advanced outpatient program for the state of California.

Book Reviews

“Synchronicity is teeming with delightful and often compelling surprises about the nature of meaningful coincidences in contemporary life. The author’s prose is playful, provocative, and profound. Though you may not agree with all of Professor Surprise’s conclusions, this book should be required reading for anyone wanting to understand the magnificence and mystery of synchronicity.”
—Gary E. Schwartz, PhD, professor of psychology and medicine, The University of Arizona, and author of The Sacred Promise


“An interesting mix of mythology, neuroscience, and common sense, this book takes a serious, but light-hearted look at the way synchronicity works and the degree to which it can be controlled. Going well beyond the ideas of Jung, synchronicity’s discoverer, psychotherapist Surprise draws on anthropology, String Theory, and Walt Disney to make the case that our internal states do effect external events....”
—Anna Jedrziewski, New Age Retailer


A true thriller from cover to cover—Kirby Surprise proves that there really is nothing more fascinating and mysterious than the human mind.
—Linda Watanabe McFerrin, Author of The Hand of Buddha and Dead Love (Stone Bridge Press, 2010)