24 Jun 2009

Apple-eaters Anonymous

Posted by Teapots Happen

OK, this is long and odd – one of what I call a “chain synchronicity,” in which minor coincidences start stacking up, more and more – perhaps not impressive to outsiders, but impossible not to be awed by from the inside, as it continues to unfurl …

“The trouble is,” Teddy said, “most people don’t want to see things the way they are … I never saw such a bunch of apple-eaters.”

Part I

I was upstairs on the bed, enjoying the air conditioning and reading a collection of JD Salinger shorts, when Becky called me from downstairs.

The story I was in the middle of was “Teddy,” a tale about an unusual ten year-old boy.

All of the stories had been good, but this one was unexpectedly starting to feel like it might be special and relevant – first Teddy had explained how he’d had his first mystical experience; “I was six when I saw that everything was God, and my hair stood up, and all that.”

Since my relationship with synchronicity had been kicked off by such a mystical experience, it’s a topic near and dear to my heart – and I was eager to see where the story was going to go.

Just before Becky called me again, and I decided to pause in my reading and bring the book down there with me, I’d read the part where Teddy tries to explain how he attains mystical awareness at will – but hits a wall as he tries to make a rationalist understand:

“You’re just being logical,” Teddy said to him impassively. “You’re just giving me a regular, intelligent answer. I was trying to help you. You asked me how I get out of the finite dimensions … I certainly don’t use logic when I do it. Logic’s the first thing you have to get rid of.”

When I got downstairs, I wound up on the laptop, I can’t remember why, but the first thing I did was open up my iGoogle page – where I immediately noticed a blog in my RSS feeds titled “Divine miracles: you could never dream this stuff up“and went to read it.

The article was about true tales of synchronicity, and how some doubt they could be true, since they are so irrational. Near the end of the article, the author wrote:

“Anna’s letter reminded me how important the suspension of ‘logic’ is in these cases.  Prayers such as these open us to what transcends the limitations of the rational mind.”

When I realized how well it fit with what I had just read in the Salinger story, I laughed – and then remembered something else – earlier that very morning, someone had commented on my ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ post, and I’d responded with a ramble on the topic of learning to suspend logic, get past the limitations of rationalism:

it’s a weird balance to strike between my extremely rationalist and extremely mystical tendencies … I do lean/yearn more toward the latter, but that very bias makes my rationalist side all the more suspicious of all this … part of what I’m hoping to do with this blog is achieve some kind of integration/truce state between these extremes … starting this blog felt like “coming out of the closet” for me, I think it will be useful in nailing the coffin shut on knee-jerk fundamentalist rationalism once and for all. “Don’t stop believing,” indeed …

Laughing, I explained the coincidence to Becky …  I would not have thought much more about it, but just as I finished talking, a single narrow sunbeam shot into the dim living room sideways, like a golden spotlight – perfectly illuminating the sculpture that I sometimes consider to be some kind of intuitive shrine to Transformation:

intuitive transformation art/shrine, enlightened

intuitive Transformation art/shrine, enlightened


(For years I had a bleached, sterile cow skull atop my entertainment center  – over the last few years it’s become green, growing, beautifully complex – and the closest thing I have to a shrine or reliquary … while I don’t practice any type of ritual magick, it has often felt magical, energetic, and meaningful to me.)

I’ve lived here for years, and I’ve never before seen the sun do this – it came in at such a strange, oblique angle, in such a narrow beam – and in the context, it was impossible to ignore.

After two minutes (from 8:29-8:31 PM, according to my digital camera’s records), the sunbeam moved off of the shrine – and then suddenly vanished entirely, its trans-rational message delivered – in style, with echoes of ancient pyramid holes that align with the sun’s light only once every thousand years.

I felt a shift in my mind as the weight of that rogue sunbeam dislodged something small and heavy, and it fell away from my mind – another corroded chunk of my resistance to nonrational thought, to intuitive living, to coinci-dancing through this magical reality.

Or as Teddy would say – I’d “thrown up another chunk of the Apple” …

Part II

It’s now 12:30 AM – I was just working on this post, and filling out my brief notes about “Teddy” – and was pondering a line from Salinger’s story:

“You know that apple Adam ate in the Garden of Eden, referred to in the Bible? You know what was in that apple? Logic. Logic and intellectual stuff.  That was all that was in it. So – this is my point – what you have to do is vomit it up if you want to see things as they really are.”


"from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."

"from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat." - Genesis 2:17

It just occurred to me that no one had brought the snake-in-paradise angle up yet in the lively comments/discussion on Slim Jim’s Snake Synchronicity.

Knowing Slim Jim as I do, the notion of his snake being a synchronistic message about his hyperrationality had occurred to me as soon as I heard it – in its obvious parallels to Carl Jung’s classic story of synchronicity – the scarab beetle coincidence that helped a hyperrationalist patient overcome her rigid thinking.

But until just now, in spite of my religious studies background, I’d failed to make the connection to the serpent in the Garden of Eden, and its role in convincing Eve and Adam to eat from the “tree of knowledge.”

~ — ~

Sitting here at the keyboard musing about how the Biblical tale might mesh with Jim’s synchronicity, I suddenly sat up bolt upright and literally smacked myself in the head, as I made another connection that should have been obvious:

In Slim Jim’s synchronicity, he first had a dream about multiple snakes swarming after him:

In the dream, I was sitting in the middle of the woods.  I’m not sure why I was there.  Dreams often don’t make sense.  There may not have been a reason.  Right next to me was a pile of dead branches.  After a while, several snakes came out of the underbrush without warning and slithered around me really fast.  They were so close to me that they almost touched me.  The snakes were about three feet long and an inch in diameter, not particularly large but not particularly small.  Up until that day, I knew very little about snakes, and I basically assumed that most snakes were poisonous.  The fact that the snakes were so close to me and I thought they could kill me with one bite scared me to the point that I sat up in bed and was jolted awake.

OK, so I’ve had a new blog post in “draft” mode for the last week and a half now – it’s the next unwritten synchronicity story, chronologically:


Just yesterday Becky asked me why I hadn’t posted for awhile on here, and I told her I didn’t really know – it just wasn’t time, I wasn’t motivated, I was rereading the short book involved to see if there was anything in there I might want to include in the post – and I was considering skipping the post entirely – it just seemed kind of weak and hard to explain.

Well, I don’t have that post done yet, but now I know that I will be posting it, after all.

Here’s the book cover image I had uploaded for the upcoming post – which until just now I never connected with Slim Jim’s dream:


Part III

Shouting and hopping around the room a bit, amazed that I’d failed to connect the slithering snakes synchronicity cover art with Jim’s slithering snakes synchronicity dream (I didn’t think it necessarily meant a darn thing, but it was an amusing coincidence),  I went to Google’s image search to find an image of the cover of the book (to show Becky and to send to Jim).

But when I searched for “secrets of synchronicity,” I didn’t see the book cover.

In fact, this was the #1 result:


A picture of my Teapots.

(I finally had to yell at the universe to knock it off with the synchronicities already, so I could finish this post and get to sleep!)


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9 Responses to “Apple-eaters Anonymous”

  1. (note: the MacGregors – authors of the ‘Of Scarabs’ blog with the pic of my teapots on it – are the husband and wife team working on a book about synchronicity that will include some of my stories, and who have posted both my teapot tale and Jim’s snake story on their site.) …

    I just went to investigate the image to figure out why the heck it comes up for that search – the image is not named or titled with either “synchronicity” or “secrets” – but their blog does have that phrase on every page – because apparently, “Secrets of Synchronicity” is also the title of their forthcoming book!

    But I still have no idea at all why Google decided that THAT image, out of many dozens on their site, is the best result for the phrase … rationally you would think the existing book with that title would have the spot, or maybe the bestselling synchronicity book “The Secret” … lol



  2. Your teapots came up because it’s the best photo/image for synchronicity that I’ve ever seen. The universe agrees! People who have seen it think it should be on the cover of the book.


    Trish MacGregor

  3. Great story!! I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that the size of the snake I saw in reality was pretty much exactly the same as those on the book cover, and – from the brief glimpse I got of it – the patterns on its skin were pretty much the same except the colors were a little off (my snake was green and yellow). I hope people who read my story read about your book cover as well.


    Slim Jim

  4. Jim and anyone else interested in the Salinger story, I found it online: http://www.freeweb.hu/tchl/salinger/teddy.html

    “What would you do if you could change the educational system?” Nicholson asked ambiguously.

    “Well . . . I’m not too sure what I’d do,” Teddy said. “I know I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t start with the things schools usually start with.”

    He folded his arms, and reflected briefly. “I think I’d first just assemble all the children together and show them how to meditate. I’d try to show them how to find out who they are, not just what their names are and things like that . . . I guess, even before that, I’d get them to empty out everything their parents and everybody ever told them. I mean even if their parents just told them an elephant’s big, I’d make them empty that out. An elephant’s only big when it’s next to something else–a dog or a lady, for example.”

    Teddy thought another moment. “I wouldn’t even tell them an elephant has a trunk. I might show them an elephant, if I had one handy, but I’d let them just walk up to the elephant not knowing anything more about it than the elephant knew about them. The same thing with grass, and other things. I wouldn’t even tell them grass is green. Colors are only names. I mean if you tell them the grass is green, it makes them start expecting the grass to look a certain way–your way–instead of some other way that may be just as good, and may be much better . . . I don’t know. I’d just make them vomit up every bit of the apple their parents and everybody made them take a bite out of.”



  5. i really don’t believe that logic has to be suspended, i think that we just have to accept that it doesn’t always have a place…



  6. That cow skull photo is really cool. I used to have that Salinger book but it got stolen before I could read it. I think I know who stole it, so it may float back into my life by being stolen back.


    noise bursts

  7. This afternoon I accompanied Jacque out to her mom’s house, to hang out with the numerous dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, and edible garden plants.

    I brought a book – “Secrets of Synchronicity,” which had been untouched for the last few days as I read other books instead.

    I opened it up to the post-it bookmark and started reading – within 1/2 a page I hit this:

    “It reminds me of a myth I learned in school about two people who lived in a garden. they were at perfect peace with the universe until a snake came, tempting them …”

    One page after that, a long speech about the Oneness of all Things – very reminiscent of the theme of Teddy’s philosophy.



  8. […] And a couple of years later, that book would lead into the previous blog post on here – Apple-Eaters Anonymous. […]

  9. thanks for the post. got here through a “Teddy” quote.