When I rejected the beliefs of my parents

It’s probably not completely true to say that this account marks the day I rejected the beliefs of my parents, rather it was a major event in an on-going process that led me to reassess all my assumptions.

It was Christmas 1977, I think. I was living in the UK, in St. Albans in Hertfordshire but was staying with my parents in London. In those days when claiming government benefits it was necessary to ‘sign on’ every fortnight, and so I had to get from the outer suburbs of the East End of London to St. Albans. Armed with an array of illegal drugs, I decided to walk the distance. Today, according to Google Maps, it’s 23 miles and would take around 8 hours to walk. That’s if you walk it directly, and I didn’t. I left at around 7pm on a Saturday evening and in those day long before GPS and Google Maps, I got lost.

So at 6:30 Sunday morning I had arrived at the small town of London Colney, 3 miles or so from St. Albans. I couldn’t walk any further and when I saw a bus stop I decided that I had to stop and wait for a bus. This was 6:30 on a Sunday morning. Buses were basic at the best of times. Sunday was a reduced service and I knew I would be for a wait probably of a few hours for the first bus.

As I walked up to the bus stop to read the timetable, a truck pulled up. The driver wound the window down and shouted out “Hi Phil! What are you doing here this time of the morning?”. It was an acquaintance of mine. I didn’t even know he drove trucks but he gave me a lift to my front door.

I had been brought up to respect science. Religion was a nonsense told to people to keep them in ignorance. It was, I was told, the opium of the people. So how could I explain this? Coincidence didn’t cut it, but if this was part of a design then the designer must be outside of space and time. A series of events led my acquaintance to drive that truck at that time to arrive synchronistically at the precise time when I arrived at the bus stop. This was beyond human comprehension.

As I became aware of the patterns of events that surrounded me, I realised that these were not just a result of cause and effect that science understands but there were other processes going on. As humans we can never completely understand these processes but when we tune into them we increase our understanding.

This way of looking at the world is rejected by modern science. In fact there is a word ‘Apophenia’ which is defined as ‘the tendency to mistakenly perceive connections and meaning between unrelated things’. Of course, this is tautological. Once you have decided that the events are unrelated you can then say that the person making the connections is suffering from apophenia. In other words you should only see patterns where they are approved of.

Once you step out of this hypnotically induced conformity, a new world opens up. It’s as if it was there all the time and staring you in the face but you don’t see it because you have been programmed not to.

By Philip Braham on .




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