Synchronicity Paperback – Nov 21 2011
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About the Author
Dr. Kirby Surprise received his doctorate in counseling psychology from the Institute for Integral Studies. He works in an advanced outpatient program for the State of California where he assesses, diagnoses, and treats clients with psychotic and delusional disorders. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area. Dr. Allan Combs is author of more than 100 articles, chapters, and books on consciousness and the brain. He is co-editor of the Journal of Conscious Evolution, and associate editor of Dynamical Psychology. Combs's most recent book is Consciousness Explained Better.
Top Customer Reviews
While reading this book, I could not escape feeling time and again of quite ego driven exercise and nothing more then opinion based claims. I have no problem with someone stating “I think …”, I believe …”, “What might be …”. But no – good Dr. Surprise knows it all. What exactly is and what is not. Yung got it all wrong ... Human aura is fake and con-work … to mention just a few. List of intellectual insults of anyone with slightly more open mind goes on and on.
While our Dr. Surprise fully support scientific model of material proofs (good luck with it on this subject), verifiable evidence, repeatability, etc – he provides none. What was specifically annoying, his constant flip-flopping between going into some quite avant-garde areas, such as (Satori, Multi Universes, String Theory, Altered States of Consciousness, Mysticism) while at the same time degrading them all via materialistic-reductionism of today’s retrograde science to mare primitive instincts as his trump card to all.
Some interesting points on Satori but overall, at least in my case, this and few other ideas were lost in sea of sardonic comments and constant desire to tell you authoritatively “what is life all about”.
Beside his opinionated cynicism, material is quite chaotically organized. Hardly flows from one topic to the other.
With this book Dr. Surprise managed to make quite disservice to the concept of synchronicity and any understanding of it. Spare your money and more importantly, time.
I found the title of the book misrepresents what the contents are about in a way. Had it been titled; I don't believe in synchronicity, I would not have bought it.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The above scenario is an all too common Synchronistic Event (SEs), often tossed away as coincidence, dumb luck, intuition, or simply a gut feeling during a specific moment in your life. Ever wondered if there was something more to them then just that? Well there is and you can find out more in Dr. Kirby Surprise's Synchronicity: The Art of Coincidence, Choice, and Unlocking Your Mind.
One part science text book, one part metaphysical treatise, and two parts (non-fiction) story telling, Synchronicity is a book that will change the way you understand your own mind and the reality in which you live in. Through it, you will gain the ability to recognize your own SEs, create them, and recognize the SEs of other's around you.
This book is written in such a way that anyone could easily grasp the concepts presented by the author. As an individual with an English degree (something as far away from the scientific field as Neptune is from the sun), I can vouched for this book's accessibility. Moreover, it has changed my mind for better, and it can change yours too!
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in psychology, Jung, synchronicity, and, of course, to anyone who is interested in themselves.
However, his book is not very well-written, nor are his claims either clear or well-supported. He seems to have tied his view of the nature of SEs (his abbreviation of "synchronous events") to a theory in physics--a version of string theory--that may or may not turn out to be true in the long run. This seems to be a weak point that a very sceptical, science-oriented person, which he repeatedly says he is, would notice and discuss. But he doesn't. He believes that SE's cannot be other than our own creations, and that this view is somehow scientific. But he gives no argument for his opinion, which seems to me to need defending. He also believes that SE's are amusing, but have no greater significance--again a view that needs arguing for, especially given the testimony of so many over so long years that SE's can be highly meaningful. But there is no argument given. In the light of his views, teaching you to produce SE's is on the level of teaching parlor tricks, and that is the tone of his presentation. But if that's so, what's the point? My impression is that he believes there is one, but is not able to articulate it clearly.
Added to these problems are poor writing at every level from the sentence and paragraph level to the organization of the whole, and no clear overall point to the book. It's a pity, because there are some very interesting ideas here, by someone who seems to know SE's very well.
The greatest value in this book, and its a limited one, is that the author provides seven steps for cultivating synchronous events in your life at the end of the book. Whether these techniques will be effective for you is debatable, but they are good suggestions which should have a broad appeal and usefulness.
As an avid reader, especially in the field of how the human mind works, and its relation to metaphysical studies and quantum field research, I will admit that some books are obviously much better than others. This is not just a personal bias however of "liking" one over the other. If I had to rate the quality of the "argument" so to speak in this book against every other one I've gone through in a general sense, with the others averaging a 7-8 out of 10 with 10 being perfect, I'd have to give this book somewhere in the range of a 5.
My advice to those who pick this book up is to simply browse through it, take note of his steps at the end, and consider one point:
Why would someone argue for the presence of extra-physical "coincidences" which synchronicity is, produced by unfathomable non-random means (probabily wave or underlying "field" structures to the universe), and then explain the presence of SEs by saying they are all a direct byproduct of your own mind and personal worldview? It may indeed be true that many if not most SEs are a form of self-delusion, of looking for patterns in everything. Books that look for "The Bible Code" for instance are often discredited in this way. But if you as a scientist truly believe this, why bother writing a book about it? It's like saying perpetual motion machines are impossible, but here are dozens of personal examples of them if you want to try to build one yourself...(as the author points out with dozens of personal examples of SEs throughout his book).
In my opinion, this book is another example of saying, God exists, and he is you, and you are Insane if you believe these SEs are some sort of meaningful supernatural guidance for your life. Its a trend in modern writing like this to essentially discredit all metaphysical experiences as a "politically correct" way of saying, there is no god, and you are deranged if you believe you are god.
I will also admit that I did not read the entire book cover to cover, so my review is not a true in depth analysis. I spent four hours "browsing" through it in the bookstore and ultimately decided not to buy it as I didn't feel it would add anything profound to my understanding of the topic.
I do however think the seven steps provided at the end of the book are well worth exploring.