Can We Learn to Control Coincidence?

Can We Learn to Control Coincidence?

In Connecting with Coincidence: The New Science for Using Synchronicity and Serendipity in Your Life (HCI Books—March 2016–$15.95), Dr. Bernard Beitman acknowledges that some coincidences will be best explained by randomness, personal responsibility, and Divine Mystery, but most times by a combination of the three. We’ve all experienced or heard of surprising events and unexplainable coincidences—money that seems to come from nowhere, a spontaneous idea that turns into a life-changing solution, meeting our soulmate on a flight we weren’t supposed to take, or families being reunited by “accident” after years of separation. Often these coincidences are explained as being controlled by a higher power or pure chance. But for the first time since Carl Jung’s work, comes bold new research that explains scientifically how we can identify, understand, and perhaps even control the frequency of coincidences in our everyday lives. 

Connecting with Coincidence is filled with the interesting anecdotes of Dr. Bernard’s clients and associates. Simulpathity, or the act of feeling someone else’s stress while at a distance, governs the cause of most of these coincidental incidents. Family members, friends, and associates are not exclusive in experiencing simulpathity, strangers like one of Dr. Bernard’s research participants bears witness to this. The anonymous participant was going through a marital separation due to the abuse in her relationship. While on the way to meet up with her estranged husband, the participant found herself on the other end of a misdialed call with a woman who was in an abusive relationship as well, and terrified out of her mind. Because of this coincidental call, the woman left her husband indefinitely. Meaningful coincidences like that one happen all the time. But when we learn to recognize and understand them—and perhaps even help manifest them—they can improve our lives dramatically. 

As a leading expert in Coincidence Studies, Dr.Beitman proposes a greater personal responsibility which depends partly upon newly discovered “grid cells” located in the brain, near the hippocampus. Helen Marlo, Ph.D., Chair of Clinical Psychology Department, and editor of Jung Journal states that, “Dr. Beitman’s compelling, uncanny, and illuminating stories of coincidence penetrate mind and heart. This ground-breaking and powerful book challenges us to examine coincidences, and their relevance for meaningful human experience, with greater consciousness, and a heightened appreciation for their transformative potential.” Where other books on coincidences tend to be theoretical, inspirational, or story collections only, Dr.Beitman’s book is the first to provide a scientific understanding and practical way in which readers can use them in their own lives. 

Highlights from the book include:

Practical ways to use meaningful coincidences: 

~    How to activate your observing self so you don’t miss synchronistic moments 
~    How serendipity can offer insights into solving problems or making difficult decisions 
~    Why stress activates meaningful coincidences 
~    Which states of mind impede our ability to experience synchronicity 
~    How to interpret the meaning of a coincidence 
~    Why being attuned to coincidences is a learned skill—and how to hone your sensitivity. 

Advice from the book: 

~    Know your capabilities and limitations 
~    Keep collecting information that appeals to you 
~    Hone your intuition by following some of your inner urgings to see what happens 
~    Positive expectations and curiosity yielded the best results for receiving unexpected money 
~    Remember to ask silently or out loud. 

About the Author: 

Dr. Bernard Beitman is the first psychiatrist since Carl Jung to attempt to systematize the study of coincidences. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia and former Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He attended Yale Medical School and completed a psychiatric residency at Stanford. Dr. Beitman has received two national awards for his psychotherapy training program and is internationally known for his research into the relationship between chest pain and panic disorder. In addition, he has edited two issues of Psychiatric Annals that focus on coincidences. Dr. Beitman is the founder of Coincidence Studies. His work with coincidences was the subject of a feature story in Men’s Health. Visit his blog at: 

Available wherever books are sold or to order directly from the publisher, contact: or (800) 441-5569

Connecting with Coincidence: The New Science for Using Synchronicity and Serendipity in Your Life
Bernard D. Beitman, MD 
ISBN: 9780757318849 
$15.95 – March 7, 2016

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