The Rabbit and the Turtle: Unconscious Prayer to the Mystery

It seems seems there are some interchangeable words when talking about coincidences. When I go looking for something very deeply (like deep research for several days), synchronicities abound. A secular view might be that intensely focusing consciousness creates a feedback loop which manifests similar ways through different times, like how waves hit the shore almost the same way, just separated by time.

The secular world should acknowledge that the Bible has a very advanced account for the phenomenon of synchronicity. However, the understanding between secular and sacred is garbled around the misuse or misunderstanding of words. What a secular person may describe as consciousness focus, a person like myself uses a broad understanding of the word “prayer.”

I’m reminded of the scripture:

“So I tell you: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (‭Luke‬ ‭11‬:‭9-10‬ NET)

What Jesus talks about here (in context) is how God the Father answers persistent prayer. I beleive persistent prayer and intensely focusing consciousness are one and the same thing…at least for me. There are a host of examples in my life where my consciousness was moving and I could not distinguish the difference between God’s still small voice, my prayers, or the wandering of my own mind (see my entry Snakes on a Plane in Church).

For me, prayer is sometimes synonnymous with daydreaming or idle-mindedness. I say that only because of how often I am shown that God engages me through the messy medium of my mind, not as kneeling at an altar on a holy day as conventional models of religion would have it. To illustrate this, let me explain two amazing synchronicities which occured for my daughter and me. 

The Rabbit

My daughter is still quite young. She absolutely adores any animal. She has an almost spiritual connection with anything from grasshoppers and earthworms to cattle and horses. About three weeks ago, she was getting quite antsy indoors since it had been raining so much. 

“Honey, lets go outside for a hike.”

She wailed in displeasure, “I don’t wanna go outside!” She had a severe case of cabin fever, so I needed to do some coaxing. 

We had seen a family of rabbits in our backyard several times so I lured her outside with the promise of a rabbit hunt. “Let’s go on a rabbit hunt and see if we can find one.” (Really, it was just a way to get her out of the house.)

She perked up, “Okay, Daddy. Let’s look in the backyard for the baby and the mommy one.”

I knew we would not find anything so I set her set expectation low, “We will look hard, but they might be hiding because of all the rain.”

So I played the part of a rabbit hunter with her, checking all over the backyard and property behind us of corse to no avail. By this time, she was distracted from the rabbit hunt by the great outdoors, so we set off on a hike.  

We treked for quite some time to an area I had never been. It was just behind another neighborhood. The path we were on ended at a beautiful stand of trees with low-hanging branches. Under the branches flowed a swift and deep stream, swollen over its grassy banks by the recent weeks of rain. As we neared the tree, I spied a small stone bench. 

“Okay, honey, this is the end of our hike. Lets play here for a little bit then go home.” 

As we threw rocks into the wayer, my daughter looked to the low-hanging branches where the water entered and gasped, “Look, Daddy! We found the rabbit!”

Sure enough, only about eight feet away, a small rabbit had jumped out of the trees to investigate us. We sat frozen for a while looking at the little bunny. My daughter marveled at the rabbit, and I marveled at and answered “prayer.”

The Turtle

A similar thing happened the week after our rabbit hunt. On a drive home from the store, my daughter and i passed over a bridge where a neighbor had found a tutle several weeks prior. Wanting to spark my daughters imagination I said, “They found a turtle here on the road a coule weeks ago. Lets drive slow and see if we can find one.” Of course I was not expecting to find one, and we did not. I just wanted her to feel the excitement. 

“Daddy, when we find the turtle, we can bring him home, and he can stay with us!”

I pulled into the driveway and drop her and the groceries off with mom, then I quickly drove off to get to an afternoon shift at work. As I pulled back over the same bridge, not five minutes later, an enourmous painted turtle huddle in the center of the road. Astonished, I pulled the van over, threw the turtle in, and raced home to show my daughter what God had sent for her amusement. She was awestruck. 

The Magic

These stories can be used to illustrate the different interpretations between unaware Christians, and secular synchronicity seekers. The Secularist may say that me and my dughter’s intentions were so strong that the desire manifested the coincidence. That misses the magic of an interaction with a soverign Consciousness. Because I accept this interaction, the event took on a beautifully poignient meaning for me. I recognized how much God values my daughter’s love of nature. He reinforced it by either sending a rabbit and turtle, or by sending us to them. For me to see someone that big, powerful, and loving take care of my daughter in such a meaningful way made me love Him more. 

The Glory

A Christian might say the rabbit was not an answer to prayer per se because I didn’t pray. That misses the glory of what prayer really is. Prayer is an unedited stream of consciousness between me and the Mystery. Its a messy, tangled-up, and tumbling fluid of my mind and His, so that I am unsure of where I end and where He begins. Either God spoke to a rabbit to travel to our location or He planted the idea of a rabbit hunt in my head, masked it as my own idea, set the timer on all the little decisions I made about where to hike, how fast, where to end, so that we would happen upon the bunny. That level of interpersonal mingling is starling and comforting at once. 

Originally penned Jul 8th, 2015

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An Obscure Synchronicity: Nathan Drake, Terence McKenna, John Dee, and House, M.D.

Nathan Drake, Terence McKenna, John Dee, House M.D.

Nathan Drake                               Terence McKenna                             John Dee                                           House M.D.

I have been keeping an eye on synchronous patterns for some time. I get immense satisfaction from seeing unexpected connections. I am filled with a sense of amusement at the force behind these impossible coincidences. I just experienced one of these strange connections between two obscure terms, “John Dee” and “ergot.” Here is how it came about:

Just the other day I was playing a video game I recently acquired called, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. The game stars Nathan Drake, an Indiana-Jones-type adventurer with a knack for obscure history. In the chapter I was playing through, Nathan Drake gave a brief history lesson about a 16th century inventor named John Dee. I had never heard of Dee and passively noted from the dialogue that he was an inventor of sorts who worked with English royalty.

It was later the next day that I began listening to a Terence McKenna lecture for the first time entitled, Hermeticism & Alchemy. In this lecture, McKenna describes the Alchemical scene in England during the 16th century. He launched into a detailed account of John Dee’s activity in Alchemy and the occult. As he spoke about Dee, my mind raced to recall where I had heard of this guy and quickly remembered the video game’s account of him from the night before. I was amused at the coincidence of running into John Dee’s biography twice in 24 hours from two very different sources. But it was nothing compared to my surprise at the subsequent synchronicity which immediately followed.

As the lecture continued, McKenna talked about a curious substance called ergot. Ergot, he explained, is a type of fungal infestation which grows on improperly stored grain or corn. It appears as a stinky, black goo which drips down the plant and ruins crops. Ergot, as McKenna recounted, was possibly consumed for its hallucinogenic properties during Dee’s time, but it is also highly toxic. I was very amused by this new information and was shocked when less than 4 hours later, this obscure topic came to me through another bizarre coincidence.

That evening, after listening to the McKenna Lecture, I turned on one of my favorite TV shows, House M.D.  Season 4, Episode 4 entitled “Guardian Angels” featured a young woman suffering from hallucinations. After several failed diagnoses, the light of revelation dawned upon Dr. House and dawned upon myself simultaneously… ergot poisoning! I chuckled under my breath as I listened to Dr. House rattle off a similar rap to that of Terence McKenna about how ergot grows and its effects after consumption.

So there it was in a little over 24 hours… Nathan Drake presented John Dee, Terence McKenna presented John Dee and ergot, Dr. House presented ergot. Strange little sandwich.

What does it mean? Who knows! Ten years ago, my younger, more zealous and insecure self would have prayed fervently, fasted, and searched the Bible trying to get the message God was shouting through the light-years of cotton filling the space between His voice and my ears. But I have settled into a great deal more security in my relationship with Him. I feel I know more of His character now. He’s a bit of a trickster. If anything, I take this incredibly unlikely pair of coincidences as a sign that He’s listening. He is interested in my interests. And He weaves his signature through my life as a reminder of that.

I take it as a sign that God is looking over my shoulder, reading along with me in this book of my life.

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If you are interested in hearing Terence McKenna’s account of John Dee and ergot, I think most of it is in the first two hours of the video below.