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  • Writer's pictureDerek Carlson

Synchronistic Red Herrings

This morning, I came in to work and sat down in my chair. My computer was asleep, so the screens were black. As I sat there for a moment, I found myself having fond memories of my ex girlfriend. Six years ago, we had an extremely karmic and contentious business deal go bad, and going through that was one of the worst experiences of my life in terms of the feelings and energies it pulled out of me.

We haven't talked since, and I doubt we ever will. But this morning, staring at a blank black screen, I found myself randomly thinking about her and I had such feelings of forgiveness for everything and gratitude for knowing her and having been with her. I was touched, and it was beautiful.

After a few moments in this space of reflection I grabbed my mouse and shook it to wake up the screens. And when I did, this is what I saw:

Here's the thing. This ex girlfriend is Swedish, born in Sweden and lived there until she was 19. And guess where in Sweden she lived, and where her family still lives...

You get one guess...



How in the world did I "psychically" pick up on the fact that my computer screen was going to show a random image of Dalarna, Sweden?

What's the cause-and-effect relationship behind this, because clearly it's far too meaningful to be coincidental? The odds of that are infinitesimal.

I mean, did me thinking about her cause that random image to be selected in some weird invisible way described by quantum physics? Or did the fact that that random image of Dalarna was already on the screen, but not visible, cause me to think of my ex? Or did the fact that the random image of Dalarna was going to be selected in the most probably reality in my near future (thank you Seth for describing how probable realities work) cause me to psychically sense that near certain probable future - and then work backwards in time to start thinking of my ex?

I mean, what is the quantum explanation for how these two extremely meaningful things just occurred one after the other?

Ewwww, smells like Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco! Why the reddish fish all of a sudden?

Well, those are red herrings, see.

And my question above, "What is the quantum explanation for how these two things just occurred?", is a red herring too.

Meant to distract from what's really going on.

Meant to keep me from realizing power where it truly lies.

Meant to keep me from realizing my true power.

What am I talking about?


Meaningful connections in time that can’t possibly have any cause-effect relationship based on the laws of physics that we understand. Like any physics... metaphysics, quantum physics... pick your physics...

And yeah, sure, maybe there are some cause-and-effect-but-not, non-linear, non-temporal quantum laws that we can eventually come to intellectually understand that explain the phenomenon of synchronicities in a rational way... perhaps...

But why am I looking for a rational, understandable answer?

Two reasons. First, I just want to understand, because I am inherently curious for no particular reason.

Second, if I understand how it works, perhaps I can use that understanding to make my life better in the future. Perhaps I can learn how to hack life so that beautiful, beneficial synchronistic things happen to me more often.

So here's my attempt at understanding:

This universe, and our lives, appear to unfold in time, one event after another, with a temporal cause and effect relationship.

But that’s entirely an illusion of the mind. 100% not real.

Everything has already been created. It’s been created, and (in a sense) it’s now done and gone, and in another sense it never really existed in the first place. And our minds are just running us through the illusion of time.

But our minds are not in time, and we are not in time – at all.

Clearly our beliefs, and our choices, create our experience of reality – and our literal reality – in many ways. I can think of four specific dynamics of how this happens, but that’s another blog post.

So there is free will - and our life experiences - and destiny - is not predetermined.

But, based on initial conditions (just like any complex system), one can predict the range of outcomes in time to a greater or lesser degree. Statistically, given certain initial conditions, one’s life will probably unfold within a certain range of experiences. But still, there’s variability in that, and our will and willingness greatly determine the life we create and experience.

But if all of time - all of everything - is already “over and done” – Maktub, already “written” – then how can there possibly be free will? (

Well, I look at it as a giant “choose your own adventure” book where all the possible story lines and endings are written in the book, and you get to choose which of the stories, and which ending, you read.

So based on your free will, you choose a different story, even though clearly the book in your hands is already fully written, complete with all the variations in story and endings.

Your experience, reading the book, is of one of many unfoldings, based on your free will choice.

But your free will choice does not create the alternative stories, for they have already been written. It just creates your experience of reading the single story thread you choose to read.

So, if you are reading a choose your own adventure novel, and something synchronistic happens in the story, you – as the main character in the story – might think to yourself, “Well... how could those two events possibly be connected? There’s no possible cause-and-effect explanation for how these two meaningful events could possibly occur together.”

But you, knowing that you are just reading a book in your hands, also clearly know the explanation: Because outside of the time that is unfolding within the novel, and experienced by the characters in the novel – completely outside of that time, and actually perhaps years or even decades prior to that – the writer of the novel simply dreamt up the story in his or her imagination, where there are no limits of any kind.

He, or she, simply thought, “Hmmm, let me just write this into the story on page 75, and then let me write something else into the story at page 153 and have it ‘miraculously’ connect back to that event on page 75. Won’t this be cool! People won’t see it coming, and the coincidental – synchronistic – relationship between the events will just blow people’s minds!

I know this because I wrote movie scripts for many years. We would often come up with some clever idea, and then we’d have to go back and edit numerous places earlier in the script to insert the “plants” that setup the clever “payoff” that we were working on. And many of the payoff points were places where synchronistic connections with earlier parts of the story were suddenly revealed.

So, again, there’s no mystery how an ‘impossible’ synchronicity happens in a novel. It was just imagined by the writer and simply written. Easy peasy. It has nothing at all to do with time as it unfolds within the novel, within the imagined story. It has nothing to do with the laws of time in the novel or the metaphysics of reality within the novel, because there is no time or reality in the novel. It's just words on paper that came from someone's imagination.

The whole thing happens outside of the novel entirely. In this case, it happens in the writer’s “real” life many years earlier, and those years, and that literal world the writer lives in, has nothing to do with the implied time and world of the choose your own adventure story that contains many stories and many endings, none of which exist in reality.

So, for me, it’s a bit of a red herring, or a fool’s errand, to spend time and energy trying to understand the temporal metaphysics of how synchronicities happen, or how I can “create” more beneficial synchronicities in my life through some understanding of some theoretical model, quantum physics or otherwise.

I’d much rather work to realize I am not this character, this body, this “Derek” in this world, ruled by the physics of this world, living in time, and at the effect of the laws of time and of this universe.

Because I’m not.

I’m invisible.

I am a mind. And a mind, or a soul, or a kerplatzle - whatever name you give it - it ain't here in this world.

I am not trapped in this stream of time or in this universe of form (including astral form).

I’m actually the writer of “Derek’s” experience, and I write from outside of this universe entirely. And just as a writer has free will to write any story and not be limited by any laws, I have similar creative power.

Except when I think I don't.

So, how do we “work” to realize the truth that we are not a body and we are not here?

Ultimately, just living and regular ‘ol painful experience is the main way for many, many eons.

But at some point, one can focus and speed up the process of “enlightenment” or “waking up” using any number of mind training techniques.

For me, my guidebook, training manual, and practice is A Course in Miracles.

Thinking in terms of the physics and metaphysics of this realm, and working to manipulate things to live a “better” life in this world is a distraction, a red herring, and not just a waste of time... it actually lengthens the time to awakening. (Karma creates more karma creates more time for it all to unfold.) And the longer we are asleep, the more pain we experience.

So I’m working my way out of this, as fast as possible. Get me the hell out of here! I mean, get me the hell out of hell!

And as I do this, from the invisible realm of my mind, the number of beautiful and beneficial synchronicities that I experience just keep growing exponentially. Weekly now, I often smile in joy, or weep with a sense of deep meaning, as I witness one synchronicity after another... many of which, like the one today, are centered in love and forgiveness, and are precisely what the Course refers to as Miracles.

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Sep 27, 2021

What a freaking HUGE synchronicity and this exploration is beautiful, helpful, and deep. The red herring at the end will serve as a mental reminder to me to not get distracted in this temporal realm. PERFECT metaphor with the choose your own adventure book - really helps me visualize the journey of being human...and relax into it! I think I'll follow the dragon's trail today. OOOh now I'm going to speak to villagers. OOOh now I'm going to eat a mysterious mushroom on the wooded path. Each choice leads somewhere and of life RESTORED! P.S. A kerplatzle???? Only you!!!

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