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Connecting with Coincidence: The New Science for Using Synchronicity and Serendipity in Your Life Paperback – March 7, 2016
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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"By bringing a medical-scientific understanding to meaningful coincidences, Dr. Beitman provides a fascinating guide for the rich potential of coincidences to better our lives and show us our untapped abilities."
―Andrew Weil, MD
About the Author
Dr. Bernard Beitman is the first psychiatrist since Carl Jung to attempt to systematize the study of coincidences. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia and former Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He attended Yale Medical School and completed a psychiatric residency at Stanford. Dr. Beitman has received two national awards for his psychotherapy training program and is internationally known for his research into the relationship between chest pain and panic disorder. In addition, he has edited two issues of Psychiatric Annals that focus on coincidences. Dr. Beitman is the founder of Coincidence Studies. His work with coincidences was the subject of a feature story in Men's Health. Visit his blog at: www.coincider.com.
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I do (or at least want to) believe that there IS something more meaningful than just randomness and base rates. While the book promises to explore the scientific based CONTROLLING of future coincidences, it does little to deliver on that promise. There's no coincidence that it earns but one star.
What a delight it was to read Dr. Beitman's very clear and practical interpretation of Carl Jung's work in this field. His understanding of synchronicity and his liberal use of actual coincidence stories, coupled with hs very balanced professional mental health perpective, gives readers an excellent vantage point from which which to view this subject in a new light.
The author's background as a well respected psyhiatrist not only validates Jung's work, it also gives specific guidance to those who wish to make synchronicity work in their lives. From ways to nurture and increase meaningful coincidences in one's life to waving signs of caution, Dr. Beitman offers readers a roadmap to making positive and satisfying life changes.
This is a great read for taking something as complicated as coincidences and explaining them in a grounded way.
As a compendium of synchronistic anecdotes, Connecting with Coincidence stands up well with many such believe-it-or-not collections. There are so many accounts of synchronistic events in the book that synchronicity itself begins to feel like a behavioral norm, which, I suspect, it actually is, but on so many subtle levels that it frequently escapes detection.
Dr. Beitman, like most scientifically-trained analysts, looks for the "mechanism" behind the phenomenon he is investigating, so a reductionist approach is inevitable along with the appropriate labelling of parts and a sequential arrangement of their interaction.
For me, a synchronistic experience has always had a marvelous "Ka-Blam!" quality to it that I love and a mysterious, magical aura that gives it its fascination. After all, Jung described it as "an acausal connecting principle", which means that it doesn't come from this reality at all. For Beitman, it involves elements of brain science and each person's attempt to solve problems, leading to the activation of one's ever-handy subconscious, which acts like a resident Wizard of Oz, showing you how to get back to Kansas a wiser person using what Beitman calls your "human GPS" system.
Still, Beitman leaves a lot unsaid for us "magical thinkers" who intuit more than can be said about such a multi-dimensional and often funny encounter with our paranormal capacities. Beitman must defer to his training as a scientist, but he leaves enough loopholes in his presentation (which he occasionally acknowledges) to still feed our spirits.
This is pure new age mumbo jumbo. He makes arguments such as "My mathematically inclined colleagues would tell me these coincidences are examples of random chance at work. They would say that in large populations, many unlikely events like this have to happen. I wouldn't be able to argue with them because theirs is a fixed belief in the "laws of probability". But the timing of that call was too precise for randomness. The brother showing up just when he was needed calls for a better explanation". I'm not sure if I need to argue any more about the weird theories explaining coincidences which only serves to perpetuate the beliefs of those who are already inclined to believe in this crap and would infuriate any scientific mind.