FORWARD by Dr. John Shepherd
The following, as you probably know by now, is the blog space of Charlie Fitzgerald Grant, one of the 7,144 people who ‘went missing’ on December 21, 2012. ‘Went missing?’ you’re probably asking. Charlie and all the others didn’t ‘go missing’. They disappeared, vanished. Vaporized. Poof and they were gone. Which is impossible, right?
The world did not end for all of us on December 21, 2012, the end of the Mayan Long Count Calender, but it appears that it did end for 7,144 of us. Or did it? While, as I write, funeral/memorial services are being held around the world for these people, not one of their bodies has yet to be found.
Today is January 7, 2013- seventeen days have passed since the mass disappearance- and, while theories and speculation abound, we still have no firm grasp on what happened; we have no explanation to put forth at this time.
What happened? Where did those 7,144 people go? Many of the world’s top scientific experts are currently working on trying to come up with an explanation. This blog you are about to read is quickly becoming one of the major pieces of the puzzle.
I, Dr. John Shepherd, Chairman of the Neuroscience Department at Stanford University, have been placed in charge of a team of scientists and psychologists studying what Mr. Grant called ‘The Cash Register Synchronicities.’ Are these ‘synchronicities’ a code? Are they the key to unlocking this mystery? Or are they merely coincidences that a troubled young mind mistook for meaning? At present we simply do not know.
For now, I’ll let you read Mr. Grant’s blog. It is surely one of the strangest things I have ever read, especially considering the circumstances. At this time my colleagues and I simply don’t know what to make of it all.
I will let you judge for yourselves.
Also, I would appreciate any potentially helpful feedback you may have. I can be contacted via email: DrJShepherd@standford.edu
~Dr. John Shepherd, Stanford University- Palo Alto, California, January 7, 2013
Today I begin at the beginning.
The eye opens. The Pulse begins. You see that you lay in a bamboo grove. You are the wounded hero. A yellow labrador runs toward you.
Kokopelli dances in the moonlight while playing a haunting, sweet and sorrowful melody on his flute.
I have three Emergen-C boxes full of synchronicities I have collected at the cash register while working as a cashier for The Unique Chain of American Grocery Stores. This collection began in 2005 when I noticed in a customer’s purchase the total price matched up with the time of the purchase. I fed out a little piece of receipt paper and wrote down the numbers. Since then I have done the same whenever I have noticed a match of a customer’s total with the time, date or some other improbable ‘coincidence’ in the transaction. At last count, done late last year, I had collected nearly 200 cash register synchronicities. I suspect the number well exceeds 200 now here at the end of 2011; we soon shall see.
Today I begin at the beginning: Logging all the data…the first step in what I feel to be an exciting journey of discovery… I don’t know if this will lead anywhere or to anything, but that is not important right now. It is the process that matters. And a part of that process begins now. Perhaps it is too late, or perhaps it is right on time. Only time will tell.
Note: While some of the matches of time, total and/or date of purchase are chronologically exact, most are not. Also, I will have you know, I am never consciously looking or watching for these synchronicities. (Synchronicities is a word, the plural form of synchronicity, despite the fact that the auto spell checker always puts the wiggly red line under it.) They- the synchronicities- just pop out at me and fill me with a delightful sense of surprise and wonder, which I try to share with the customer. That’s what this is about for me- surprise, delight, wonder, joy and shared experience, that which makes life beautiful and worth living. This is not like the movie The Number 23, starring Jim Carrey. Nor is it like Pi. I have my complexities & moods- ups & downs, highs & lows- like everyone else does. But I am not on the verge of acute psychosis. In fact, I feel it is highly likely that the opposite of going mad is occurring to me: I am going sane. Simply put, my eyes are opening. I am awakening. I am writing to you out of my heart’s desire to share my experience with you, for what is the point of experience if it is not shared?
Synchronicity- meaningful coincidence- is real and has enormous implications for our lives, I believe; whatever your ideological leanings, whatever it is you happen to believe, whether you are religious or spiritual or not, the experience of synchronicity has the potential to help ‘crack you open;’ it can help turn you away from an ego-dominated, materialistic worldview and toward a spiritual and holistic one. The acausal field of which Carl Jung wrote tirelessly- Jung coined the term synchronicity in his essay of that name published in 1947- this field beyond and within our 3D spatio-temporal dimension- has presented itself to me and countless others and it seems to me it’s about time we pay attention to it. We can celebrate and honor the amazing and mysterious connections and patterns weaving our lives together; it is in this spirit that I write to you. For there is a powerful message here if we would only stop and hear it. It’s the message that we are all Created with Love as One here on Mother Earth, we are all interconnected parts of the same Tree or Web of Life, all threads in the Divine Magic Carpet, woven together and held together by Love. Stubborn, separative ego-consciousness, its greed-infused lack-love (and its offspring capitalistic consumerism) has put the very existence of the Tree/Carpet in jeopardy. Is this not clear? Is it not apparent that we are putting the ecosystem which sustains biological life on this planet in jeopardy? And is it not also clear that, if we wish to survive as a species and preserve the ecosystem for generations to come, we need not only to re-evaluate and change how we live on the Earth, but we need also to reorient our vision and redirect our focus away from Self/Me and toward Other/We? That we need to re-set the balance before it is too late? And that we need to see that we’ve been identifying with only a small portion of who we really are? Is not all of this clear?
Here’s a saved fortune cookie message for me as I begin this task: ‘Accept yourself’…I accept myself and I accept the gift of meaningful coincidence that has been bestowed upon me. And I go forth with a desire to share this gift with the world, for the gift is worth nothing if it is not shared. Some may appreciate it, others may not, but it must be given.
Another note: The first couple of years of this, ’05 and ’06, I wasn’t always too diligent about logging the dates of the cash register synchronicites. Also, I suspect several of the little receipt papers from early on have been lost.
And, for any who may doubt the existence of this phenomenon, I’ve been showing the customers, and sometimes coworkers, for quite some time now when it happens. While some have found it more interesting (or exciting) than others, I am sure many of them remember their transaction and would be willing to come forward to testify.
1. 12-?- 2006: Back to back purchase totals- $24.23 followed by $24.32
2. Date Unknown (most likely sometime in 2006): $21.23 @ 12:23 pm
3. Same day as number 2: $53.35 @ 10:53 am
4. 12-18-06, $45.54 @ 1:54 pm & customer was born in 1954
5. Date undocumented (most likely sometime in 2006): 1:19 pm, $19.11
6. 9-22-06: $18.22, first transaction of the day: $18.22 on 9-22
7. Date Unknown (most likely sometime in 2006): $11.34 @ 11:43am
8. Same day as number 7: $21.32 @ 12:32 pm
9. Same day as 7 & 8: $3.18 @ 1:38 pm
10. 2-3-07: $46.00, 10:10 am
11. Date Unknown (most likely sometime in 2006 or 2007): $20.44 @ 12:44 pm
12. 12-?-06: $50.13@ 1:35 pm
13. Date Unknown (most likely sometime in ’06 or ’07): $12.24 @ 2:42 pm
14. Same day as number 13: Customer’s check #: 1330, purchase total: $16.60
15. 9-21- 2009: $62.26 @ 6:46pm
16. Date and Time Unknown (most likely ’07): Back 2 back totals- $31.73 then $31.72
17. 12-05-05: Customer’s change is $3.45 @ 3:45 pm
18. 4-30-08: $40.00 @ 4:00 pm
19. Date Unknown (probably ’07): $1.58 @ 1:58 pm
20. Same day as #19: $41.30 @ 4:31 pm
21. Date Unknown (’06 or ’07): $23.04 @ 3.24 pm
22. 1-26-07: $40.13 @ 1:43
23. 2-30-07: 2:30 pm- Back to back purchases: $15.06 followed by $15.06
24. Date Unknown (sometime in ’06): $1.29 @ 11:29 am
25. 1-04-07: $16.61 @ 1:16
26. 5-9-08: $31.31 @ 1:33 pm
27. 1-19-07: $12.21 @ 12:21 pm
28. 2-15-08: $32.81 paid with check #1823
29. 10-11-07: $2.27 @ 1:27 pm
30. 4-25-06: $5.29 @ 2:59 pm
31. 2-15-08: $9.18 @ 9:18 am
32. 6-27-08: $18.30 @ 1:38 pm
33. 5-15-06: $15.51 @ 1:55 pm
This is a good time for a break. We’ve got like 200 or so more to log here and time is running out, (not to mention of the essence and so on), so please excuse me if the pace is brisk. I have waited too long already. I’ve been too much of a procrastinator, I know, and this is hopefully the beginning of the end of that tendency. So here we go! Bon voyage! Affix your life jacket and safety belts please and enjoy the ride. As Bill Hicks was always saying, ‘It’s just a ride.’
Another reason this is a good time for a break-at number 33- is that the synchronicity I experienced with the number 33, and right after that with 22, is what opened wide my eyes to meaningful coincidences and their implications. I don’t have time to dwell here on too many of the details, so I’m going to tell this story as quickly as I can. This background information sheds some light on why I was open to spotting the cash register synchronicities in the first place.
I shall begin by telling you a little about myself. Let me formally introduce myself. I am known in the realm of space-time as Charlie Fitzgerald Grant. I am the firstborn son of three to Charlie Peter Grant and Rosie Evelyn Landry Grant. The first name Charlie goes way back in our family, passed on from father to first son so many times that the word junior is not even in our vocabulary anymore.
I was born at 12:10 am on May 29, 1976, two weeks ‘late,’ finally removed by C-section and weighing 9lbs. 2 ounces, a big baby, I know. My tiny-figured and energetic mother Rosie thought I would be obese, which didn’t turn out to be the case. I turned out slender and kind of lanky. It’s like that a lot with life, is it not? You don’t get what you expect or fear/hope for; instead you get the opposite. Sometimes the surprises are pleasant, others painful. Pleasure and pain go together like cookies and milk, yin and yang- you can have them separate, but they’re so much better together!
So yeah, I was a fat baby who became a slender man. Whatever, right? Whatever, indeed. This may all be a mountain being made of a molehill for all I know, but this must be written, the gift must be offered, regardless. Those who spend their time debunking the significance of phenomena like synchronicity (not to mention u.f.o. sightings and psi-phenomena) stopped reading long ago, I’m guessing, so this is to you out there who are still with me, those of you who wish to continue with me on this journey. It may get bumpy, it may have it’s boring points, but I hope that it ends up all being worth it in the end. I have to try to keep the exposition to a minimum, tell you only the really important stuff, to ensure that I have enough time to list all of the cash register synchronicities I’ve collected, just in case there is some chance of it having a positive impact. The global breakdown we are seeing here in the early 21st century has me not only alarmed and horrified at the scale of the tragedy and suffering going on, but it also has me feeling a sense of urgency to do whatever I can to contribute to bettering our situation. That is what is behind this writing. One never knows how much time one has, never does, but it feels to me like now it is especially true. No time to waste! Let’s move forward now , shall we? The clock is ticking, the sand drops down the hourglass…
Here’s why Charlie and Rosie Grant gave me, their firstborn fat baby boy, the middle name Fitzgerald: yes, my middle name is in honor of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, on whose birthday I was born, May 29. It’s funny to me, because neither Charlie nor Rosie came from wealthy backgrounds like the Kennedy’s. Both my parents grew up in lower-middle-income-working families in the broken-down-former-shoe-industry-mecca, Lynn, Massachusetts, -‘Lynn, Lynn the city of Sin, You neva get out the way you came in,’- far from the lavish mansions of Martha’s Vineyard.
The fact that I have the same birthday as JFK doesn’t mean anything on its own; it is the following that is significant, and what amounts to the first synchronicity of my life and suggests that perhaps my very existence is a synchronicity: my father’s birthday is November 22, which most Americans know is the day JFK was assassinated in Dealey Plaza in 1963. It was Dad’s eleventh birthday, the saddest birthday one can imagine, as he tells it. Then, 13 years later (13 original colonies), during the year of the American Bicentennial, 1976,- American flags waving madly in the wind, disco and patriotic songs blaring hysterically as millions snorted multitudes of white lines,- I was born ten minutes into what would have been President Kennedy’s 59th birthday.
It’s funny for me to think that had I been extracted from my mother Rosie’s womb 11 minutes earlier I wouldn’t be telling you any of this. There, in a nutshell, is the crux of the issue. Is it mere randomness or is it happening on purpose, by design? People really enjoy getting into it on this philosophical question (if they don’t just ridicule you outright, like some do) with regards to synchronicity. ‘What if it’s mere coincidence?’ they ask. Just pure random, deaf, dumb and blind chance.
Well, that’s just no fun and will not do, I say. And I have to ask, ‘But what if it’s not mere coincidence?’ Anything is possible, so of course it’s possible that my experiences & the cash register synchronicities are just unadulterated randomness coalescing to appear like something meaningful with mystical overtones.
But I also say, ‘The Newtonian Order has been overthrown.’ Is it not now clear that the universe is not a clock as once envisioned? That it is not a machine, but a living, breathing, evolving, experiencing/expanding/unfolding, conscious process and presence? This may not be clear to many, but it seems plain as day to me these days.
I just don’t buy the ‘pure coincidence’ line, not one darn bit I tell ya. ‘Well, what if you’re just psychologically compensating here with all this synchro-whatever stuff, hmm? What if deep-down you’re so desperate for meaning that you’re looking for all this stuff and finding it fulfills your need, makes you feel important or something, or even makes you think you’re delivering a message from God. Surely, you don’t believe you’re some kind of prophet, do you? I certainly hope not; you don’t want to be a crazy person, do you?’
Once again, I have to grant the possibility, in a universe shown by our science to have infinite possibilities and probabilities, that I am just psychologically compensating or something else. But again, I have to ask, what if that is not the case? What if there is indeed a Transcendental Creative Designer of the Network of Biological Life, The One Who Is Called God, and what if that Creator is at work here? What if the Almighty He/She Who Is Perhaps Actually Beyond Mere Mortal Names is sharing an elaborate and elegant code? Don’t you have to consider that possibility as well, in a universe of infinite possibilities?
To me it really could all just be as simple as what Mel Gibson’s character-in the M Night Shayamalan feature film ‘Signs’- says to Joaquin Phoenix’s character: ‘..there are those who see signs and those who see coincidence.’ Clearly, I am one who sees Signs.
Which brings me back to the number 33:
It is the end of the 20th Century- it is the final months of 1997 and I am a 21 year old living in San Diego, Ca., in the first months of my first experience living away from where I grew up in Massachusetts. I am in a store called Natural Wonders in the Mission Valley Mall, working as a part-time holiday season helper, just another one of Santa’s good little capitalist elves hired to demonstrate and promote Nature and Science toys, like the foam, flying-disc-shooting-space-gun. Feeling sort of humiliated and wondering what the heck I am doing there, I aimlessly spin the display version of a model earth globe, you know just a regular ol’ globe. Just spinning it around slowly over and over, sort of hypnotizing myself in the process. Perhaps my brain starts producing alpha waves. I suddenly have the thought that I want to know San Diego’s latitude, not even thinking of the word latitude at the time. I have no idea why I suddenly want to know the latitude of my new home city. I have never thought to check before. I line my finger up to the southern-tip of California and slide it across the meridian line to the latitude numbers printed in the Pacific Ocean. Is it thirty-two, or thirty-four? Or, thirty-three? ‘Could it really be thirty-three?’ I ask myself. Why would that have mattered to me, you ask?
Well, you see the woman with whom I moved to San Diego-my girlfriend at the time- a high-spirited, funky, free-wheelin’ singer-songwriter/ Goddess worshiper/ Wiccan, named Penny Moon, was 33 years of age. Since we had been together, I kept seeing 33’s all over the place. Wherever I went out to Consumer-land I saw big 33% off signs and such. I didn’t feel compelled to research the number, though, until I found out that San Diego is indeed located at 33 degrees North Latitude, 33 and a half to be exact. While absently watching a documentary about San Diego called ‘San Diego: Above All’ on PBS Television, I hear the narrator say the following (and I’ll have you know this is just a couple days after the experience with the Globe at Natural Wonders): ‘San Diego, located at 33 and a half degrees North Latitude…’ Something is going on here, I thought. Actually, I felt it more than I thought it, but that’s a whole other issue, isn’t it?
It’s also synchronistic that I had begun reading the writings of Carl Jung right before the revelation of the thirty-three synchronicity. Jung’s the one who coined the term synchronicity. Several of his writings were given to me by my father before I left for California. He had all these barely-read Jung books, which I would always see in the book case when I was little (what a funny name, Jung, I thought), because he and my mom had tried to salvage their marriage (before finally getting divorced) by going to a Jungian analyst named Ken Simpson.
During the next break, I will tell you about the what I learned about the number thirty-three. And then I’ll tell you about my experiences with the number twenty-two and speculate about its implications.
34. 3-12-10: $8.82@ 8:02 pm
35. 2-22-10: $24.01 @ 4:21 pm
36. 10-11-09: $42.44 @ 6:44 pm
37. 5-05-10: $12.52 @ 6:52 pm
38. 5-14-10: $55.05 @ 5:55 pm
39. 5-17-10: $8.48 @ 8:48 pm
40. 5-24-10: $62.22 @ 8:22 pm
41. 1-29-10: $7.37 @ 7:37 pm
42. 5-01-10: $14.45 @ 4:54 pm
43. 5-7-10: $33.11 @ 4:44 pm
44. 5-24-10: $5.48 @ 8:45 pm
45. 5-17-10: $6.58 @ 6:48 pm
46. 5-17-10: $24.62 @ 6:42 pm
47. 5-05-10: back to back transactions @ 2:40 pm $18.18 followed by $14.14
48. 5-17-10: $26.43 @ 6:43 pm
49. 6-6-10: $18.35 @ 8:35 pm
50. 5-01-10: $4.98 @ 8:49 pm
51. 3-18-10: $37.80 @ 8:37 pm
52. 2-11-10: $20.45 @ 8:45 pm
53. 4-14-10: $4.48 @ 5:58 pm
54. 4-10-10: $55.08 @ 5:58 pm
55. 8-09-09: $33.63 @ 6:03 pm
56. 3-28-07: $9.25 @ 2:59 pm
57. Date unknown (probably ’07): $20.56 @ 10:56 am & $10.46 @ 12:46 pm
58. 1-18-07: $111.59 @ 11:59 am
59. 6-27-08: $16.25 @ 12:56 pm
60. 10-16-09: $10.66 @ 6:01 pm
61. 9-04-09: $9.55 @ 9:05 pm
62. 8-14-09: $46.60 @ 6:04 pm
Philip K. Dick’s ‘Exegesis’ is a major part of this journey. Charlie is one of the homoplasmates. This will be made clear to you later, or maybe it won’t. We’ll see.
Here’s The Exegesis (7-14), transcribed from the Appendix of ‘VALIS.’:
“7. The Head Apollo is about to return. St. Sophia is going to be born again; she was not acceptable before. The Buddha is in the park. Siddhartha sleeps (but is going to awaken). The time you have waited for has come.
8. The upper realm has plenary powers.
9. He lived a long time ago, but he is still alive.
10. Apollonius of Tyana, writing as Hermes Trismegistos, said, ‘That which is above is that which is below.’ By this he meant to tell us that our universe is a hologram, but he lacked the term.
11. The great secret known to Apollonius of Tyana, Paul of Tarsus, Simon Magus, Asklepios, Paracelsus, Boehme and Bruno is that: we are moving backward in time. The universe in fact is contracting into a unitary entity which is completing itself. Decay and disorder are seen by us in reverse, as increasing. These healers learned to move forward in time, which is retrograde to us.
12. The Immortal One was known to the Greeks as Dionysos; to the Jews as Elijah; to the Christian as Jesus. He moves on when each human host dies, and thus is never killed or caught. Hence Jesus on the cross said, “Eli, Eli, lama Sabachthani” to which some of those present correctly said, “The man is calling on Elijah.” Elijah had left him and he died alone.
13. Pascal said, “All history is one immortal man who continually learns.” This is the Immortal One whom we worship without knowing his name. “He lived a long time ago, but he is still alive,” and, “The Head Apollo is about to return.” The name changes.
14. The universe is information and we are stationary in it, not three-dimensional and not in space or time. The information fed to us we hypostatize into the phenomenal world.’