“Snakes on a Plane” in Church

The night before church, I prayed to experience a snychronicity. The next morning during church I got a weird one!

Why does it matter? I crave a larger, more accurate, more open-ended Belief. And these weird things serve as microcosms of Truth for me. I torture them in the furnace of implication to extrapolate understanding. So everything below may seem excessive or inconsequential until you understand; you are reading a man forging out his Belief in type.

First, I will briefly recount the unlikely sequence of events, then I will lay out some of my thoughts on the implications. Finally, I will include my original written account which I composed in the church service immediately after the coincidence.

THE ACCOUNT
My brief recounting of the events begins during the worship portion of the second service. The lights were down and the music pulsed in the darkness. About two songs into the set, my mind began to wander with the throbbing lights. I was thinking about an amusing scene from one of my favorite TV shows. One scene connected to another and then to another. After 3 minutes, I was in full-blown recall of the movie Snakes on a Plane. When I snapped out of my daydream, I was a bit startled that my mind had wandered so far so quickly. Samuel L. Jackson was juxtaposed against the contemporary Christian music and hand-raising around me.

“How did I end up thinking about that stupid movie?!” I did a quick backward trail through the sequence to a moment of insignificant distraction which started it all. “Funny how small things can snowball so quickly,” I mused.

The pastor took the pulpit and began his message. Not far into his sermon, he related a hunting story in which he killed a large rattlesnake. He maintained that it is typically rare for him to see a snake. He said, “contrary to what movies might tell you, snakes are not waiting to attack you… You know, snakes on a plane and all that stuff.”

The smile of knowing recognition crept across my face. My prayer was answered. I immediately documented the sequence and was left pondering the implications.

THE IMPLICATIONS
Very few explanations could explain how this coincidence happened. I see only six that are remotely worth mentioning, and only two of them fix upon my mind.

  1. It was a random coincidence.
  2. God influenced my stream of thought toward the synchronous term (Snakes on a Plane).
  3. God influenced the pastor toward the synchronous term.
  4. I unconsciously heard the synchronous term in the halls between services and my Superconscious steered my train of thought toward the term, resulting in the illusion of synchronicity.
  5. My Superconscious manufactured a memory sequence after the synchronous term appeared in the sermon, and filed it as having happened prior.
  6. A collective unconscious dropped the synchronous term “into the air.”

I have given myself a fairly wide selection of options. None of them are easily the truth and each of them has serious further implications.

  1. Random Coincidence – Highly Unlikely. In principle I discount this possibility nearly every time. I prayed for a synchronous event and the next day I was provided an obscure movie title in a church setting in the span of 15 minutes. The odds are staggering. Especially considering these things happen to me on a fairly regular basis. Randomness is likely impossible.
  2. God Influenced My Thought – Very Likely. I prayed and got an answer. I have a lot to say about this. I may publish a stand-alone blog post about the implications of this subject.
  3. God Influenced Pastor – Highly Unlikely. I might be on an island in my own head, but I know there’s a great big world of people on the mainland. The world does not revolve around me, so I doubt God would have interrupted a sermon to a thousand people just to slip in a little nod to me.
  4. Superconscious Heard – Likely. I have pronounced alertness about the unconscious mind’s power. I pondered this power in my blog entry Umm…That was REAL.
  5. Superconscious Manufactured – Unlikely. I would categorize this as Highly Unlikely, but I am not sure what the limits of the Super are. In a dream state, I can be completely deceived. But it does seem unlikely that my whole perception of time and sequencing of events could be upset at a whim of the Super.
  6. Collective Unconscious – Unlikely. I do not see enough evidence to convince me about the existence of a shared consciousness. It seems that my consciousness is profoundly disconnected from externals and even disconnected from the Super in my own head.

I plan to explore ideas 2 and 4 in future posts. These questions are microcosms of a much larger belief-system check I am running on myself, so they will show up in discussion again.

THE ORIGINAL TEXT
As I wrote on Sunday, July 6th, 2014:

We were in worship. I was rolling a name-badge sticker over my hand and my mind began to wander.

I was rolling it over the creases of my palm and remembered a line in The Office where Pam is reading Jim’s palm and says, “your major and minor lines cross at a ridge. That sucks.” My mind continued to wander on The Office.

I recalled where Michael calls Jim and Pam into his office to showcase his talking computer. As michael typed in the text, a robotic voice read the text back. I pondered those online programs and the tech involved for a few moments. Then recalled that there are programs that feature celebrity voices like Schwarzenegger and Samuel L. Jackson.

I vaguely remembered having a very close connection to the Samuel L. Jackson voice program and tried for a bit to remember how. Then i remembered that i received a phone call a number of years ago from Mr.Jackson.

During that time the movie Snakes on a Plane was due in theaters. One of my friends found a website where he input my phone number and typed in my name. The website then called me with a personalized message in Samuel L. Jackson’s voice, “Hey Seth, this is Samuel L. Jackson. I want you to see my new movie Snakes on a Plane….” And so on.

My mind continued to wander for a bit then i snapped out of it and thought, “this is bizarre… I’m here in worship and how on earth did I end up thinking about Snakes on a Plane?” I ended up recalling the above train of thoughts.

Worship wrapped up and the message began. The sermon was titled “Faith &Wisdom.” Our pastor brought up the scripture  in Matthew 10:16 where Jesus commands, “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” He then related how he has been hunting for 12 years and only seen two snakes. He said, “contrary to what movies might tell you, snakes are not waiting to attack you… You know, snakes on a plane and all that stuff.”

These two things happened about 15 minutes apart.

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