Richard G. Petty, MD

A Seaplane in Colombo

In my book and CD program Healing, Meaning and Purpose, I described an event when I was 17 years old, and about to go to medical school. A book – Esoteric Healing – fell from a shelf in our local lending library and struck me as I was walking past. Many years later I related the tale while dining in London with the writer Colin Wilson. He told me that he could trump my story. While he was researching for a piece of information a book also fell off the shelf, but what is more, it fell open at exactly the right page! He also told me of another startling case. The writer Rebecca West was in a library looking for some papers relating to the Nuremburg War Trials. She found that the papers were in chaos, until, in despair she put her hand on a book, seemingly at random, and it opened at the exact page that she was seeking. Three cases are not enough for a critical scientist and they could all be examples of chance. After all, every day there are an awful lot of people in libraries that do not contain flying books! But my intuition tells me otherwise. Although I have examined many alternative explanations, I keep coming back to the idea of synchronicity.

I have another reason for doing so. Shortly after the end of the Second World War, my father had an assignment in Singapore. In those days the flight from London was long and arduous, and involved five separate legs, with overnight stays at each stop. He was about to board a seaplane in Colombo in Sri Lanka, still known as Ceylon in those days, when the captain announced that the plane was too heavy, and that they needed a volunteer to stay behind and pick up the next flight in three days time. My father volunteered instantly. The prospect of an extra three days exploring one of the most beautiful countries in the world, while staying in the plush splendor of the officers’ mess was more than enough of an incentive.

As he was paddled back to shore to start planning his next few days, he waved goodbye to his traveling companions and they all promised to hook up in Singapore. The plane took off, made an abrupt and unexpected turn and moments later crashed and exploded in the jungle. Tragically everyone on board perished. This was many years before I was born, but had it not been for my father’s eagerness to explore a new culture, I would not be here today.

There is an interesting little sidebar here, which shows synchronicity in action. Before Sri Lanka was even known as Ceylon, its old name was Serendip, the root of our modern word serendipity, meaning the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.

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About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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