Richard G. Petty, MD

Intuition, Coincidence and Synchronicity

The other day I was enjoying a pleasant dinner with some Indian friends, and we got onto the subject of the history of Kashmir. With us were some American friends who knew little about the subject, so we gave them a quick update on the history of the region. A few minutes later we had moved onto something else, and I mentioned that I had just met an Indian-born English businessman with whom I may collaborate on a project. And that I had just recalled that he and his parents were originally from Kashmir. Later, as the valet brought my car round, the song playing on the radio was Led Zeppelin’s classic song Kashmir.

Some might say, "Ah ha! A Synchronicity!" But they would be incorrect, and this leads us to consider the role of intuition in synchronicity. For an event to be a synchronicity, it must be meaningful. Let me give you an example. I received a flier from Sounds True, a wonderful company in Boulder, Colorado, that specializes in materials to aid personal and spiritual development. I’m a good customer, so they send me a lot of invitations to examine new products. This one was a program by Stephen Wolinsky called Quantum Psychology, and it was based upon the teachings of a Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, an Indian Spiritual Teacher and Exponent of Jnana Yoga and Advaita Doctrine, who lived from 1897-1981. As far as I know, I had never come across this sage’s teachings before. The material looked interesting, but I had a lot to read and listen to, so I wasn’t convinced that I’d have the time to dedicate to the program. Then, no more than an hour later, I was looking for an unrelated item on the Internet, and up popped Sri Nisargadatta’s name. Shortly after that, I picked up a book on chess, and the author – Jeremy Silman – had dedicated his book to Sri Nisargadatta. A chess book: not some arcane treatise on Indian philosophy. This was enough for me. I always let my intuition do the walking, so I ordered, and Stephen’s material was indeed excellent and provided me with some tools that I could use in my service to other people.

So always keep an eye out to see if the Universe is trying to tell you something, but don’t fall into the rut of assuming that everything is always meaningful. As Sigmund Freud once commented, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Coincidences are just that, and it is only when they become meaningful that they can be classified as a synchronicity.

I recommend to students that they should get a small journal or diary and spend just one week watching for coincidences, and then seeing if any of them become meaningful. This is a great exercise for your intuition, and it helps with your powers of discrimination: by making notes ahead of time, it helps you to avoid the trap of the self-fulfilling prophecy.

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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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