John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café ~ A Novel About William Hammett Author Profile Buy the Book from Amazon Now Contact the Author
John Lennon and the Mercy Street Cafe

by William Hammett

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Lennon: Biography in Brief
Lennon and Yoko Ono
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Lennon Discography
Lennon's Guitars
Lennon's Political Activism
Lennon's Last Years
Beatles' Musical Influences
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Synchronicity and Reality Shifts
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Synchronicity and Reality Shifts

The characters in John Lennon and the Mercy Street Café frequently encounter synchronicity (non-random coincidences, or "acausal connecting principles" to use Jung's phrase) and "reality shifts" (unusual shifts in the perception of reality).


Synchronicity is a term coined by psychologist Carl Jung. While treating a woman who regularly had disturbing dreams involving a golden scarab beetle, he heard a scratching at his window. Crepuscular rays by Mila Zinkova (GNU Free Documentation License 1.2)It was a scarabaeid beetle, a species not indigenous to his geographical area. The woman, formerly resistant to psychotherapy, went on to make progress in her treatment, taking the appearance of the beetle at the window as a sign. Later, Jung developed the theory of synchronicity – the idea that some events are, when viewed as mere coincidence, statistically improbable. Synchronicity also provides a strong link between consciousness and the physical world.

How many times have we thought of someone we haven't seen in years, only to get a phone call from that person the next day, someone who has a bit of information we really need? Or we agonize over an impending decision, and suddenly every song, TV show, billboard, email, license plate, movie, or person we meet seems to be related in some fashion to our decision. Is it the universe nudging us in a certain direction?

Synchronicity occurs more frequently in the general population among those who meditate or consciously look for coincidences, sometimes keeping a journal of them. It is also reported in high numbers by those reporting near-death experiences, out-of-body experiences, and lucid dreams. Jung, a man of science, also regarded precognition and clairvoyance as forms of synchronicity since they, too, represent a connection between our intuitive sides and the rational Newtonian world described by science. Intuition is important inasmuch as how we interpret coincidences is as important as the coincidences themselves.

It's worth noting that Dr. Bernie Siegel, pioneer of mind-body medicine and author of the bestseller Love, Medicine, and Miracles, believes "that nothing is a coincidence. It's all part of creation and God's plan and our response. We just have to be open to seeing it. We have to want to see it and participate in creation" (p. iv from the introduction to Small Miracles by Yitta Halberstam and Judith Levanthal, Adams Media Corporation, Holbrook, MA, 1997). Discussions of synchronicity can also be found in the works of Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and Fred Alan Wolf, to name only a few.

Reality Shifts

Millions of people also report what are termed "reality shifts," a phenomenon described in detail by author Cynthia Sue Larson on her site at Reality Shifters (highly recommended). Have you ever lost your wallet or keys, only to find that they turn up in a place you've never been or already looked? Have you been stuck in traffic, running late for an appointment, only to find that you arrive early? Have you seen someone out the corner of your eye, but when you turn, they're not there? Does someone's recollection of a shared event differ radically from yours in basic details of who, what, when, and where? Exposure (photography), GNU Free Documentaion License, version 1.2Have you seen someone's death announced on the evening news, only to see the person in a live interview one year later? If so, maybe you've experienced reality shifts, alterations in the normal space-time continuum and the way people experience reality.

If quantum physics is correct, then reality is a bit more elusive than we think. At the quantum level, subatomic particles only exist as probability. They cannot have position and energy at the same time, which is a contradiction of Newtonian physics. Electrons wink in and out of existence. Reality therefore becomes dependent on the observer and his or her perceptions. Accept quantum theory, and a doorway opens up. The universe is thought-responsive. In the Christian gospels, the belief that our thoughts determine reality is called faith. In eastern philosophy and metaphysics, this belief in manifesting reality is called the power of intention. We are what we think.

Remember what Einstein said: "There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." It all depends on our perspective. As Bernie Siegel said, we have to want to be active participants in creation.

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Crepuscular rays by Mila Zinkova (GNU Free Documentation License 1.2)
Exposure (photography), GNU Free Documentaion License, version 1.2

Photos are copyright 2007 William Hammett unless otherwise noted.