Archive » April 5, 2007
The Third Age
By Dr. Peter Brill
We’ve been having groups at the Third Age Foundation for several years now and a mystery arose in one. We have often discussed spiritual matters and a woman named Susan would tell how coins had become a guide for her. For example, when she would confront the unrealistic worries we all have about getting old and running out of money, she would suddenly start to find coins – mostly pennies but often ones of higher denomination. She would continue to find these coins until her concerns would abate. Also, at key points in her life, the coins would serve as a trail or a signpost to guide her on the right path or to confirm she was still on one.
Susan has been wanting to decrease her work to part-time status. She couldn’t afford a house in Santa Barbara but if she moved, she would need part-time work. So she went to visit a friend in another state and quickly found that she could find a part-time job, when and whether she wanted one.
Susan’s friend had known about her desire to buy a house and, knowing that a house nearby had just gone on the market, took Susan to see it. It was perfect. It was just what Susan wanted. And of course, what did Susan find in the driveway? A dime. She bought the house.
We all know people who tell stories like this. But what do these anecdotes mean? There are movies like “The Secret” that suggest that our intentions bring about the physical world. Did Susan’s desire create the dime?
We know that a great deal goes on in the deep unconscious of the brain. How deep does it go? As we travel deeper into our brains we know we are connected to other people’s verbal and non-verbal behavior. We ride the currents of a deeper level of communication and energy, which keeps us well and happy when it’s positive. We are connected to larger events; look at the impact of September 11, for instance. But does it go beyond that? Is there some larger spiritual force? Universal consciousness? Did Susan’s dime come from that consciousness?
I talked to a couple of my male tennis buddies and they were very clear that this explanation was irrational. They insisted that things just don’t come and go in the universe. They find coins all the time. They think Susan is adjusting the filters in her cognitive mindset to look for coins when they will help her.
Can a coin come and go in our midst? Most of us don’t believe that is possible. Is it? Can the mind have a greater effect than we believe? One support for the power of consciousness seems to come from a paradox of physics at the subatomic level. It seems we alter subatomic events by observing them. Is it more likely that we have learned everything there is about how the world works or that we still have a great deal to learn? I will probably be left to puzzle over Susan’s coins all my days. I love mystery and believe that there is always more to learn.
It means something to Susan and, in the end, that’s all that matters. So what would Susan’s dime mean if it were a symbol? It’s certainly a symbol of hope because it assumes an optimistic future. And it gives one a sense of being talked to or interacted with something beyond ourselves. It makes us feel like part of a large whole.
“It tells me to trust the universe; abundance is there,” Susan says. “I’ll be OK.”
I say good for Susan. Anything that helps us mine our unconscious expands our consciousness. Anything that gets us to listen to our intuition helps us escape the prison of solely using rational thought. You never love from the rational part of your mind, anyway. So whether the sign comes from some collective consciousness or our own depth of spirit, it’s all about finding what we want and having the courage and optimism to go that way. If we find a signal along the way, does its origin really matter?
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