Last Sunday, just after midday, I had what I consider to have been an amazing experience. I was down at the east end of Coopers Beach with a wheelbarrow collecting seaweed for the garden. A stream of people arrived at the beach near where I was working. Their numbers grew. I noticed one of them was the pastor of one of our local churches. Next a friend of ours left the group to run over to me. I hadn’t seen her for some months. She exclaimed excitedly that her daughter, whom we’ve known since she was primary school age, was about to be baptized.

I dropped everything to join the group of people, many of them familiar faces, as they approached the water’s edge. The tide was low and the surface was choppy. A cool south-westerly buffeted us. Just as the first of three baptism candidates entered the water shivering in a wetsuit, a flock of several hundred petrels, began feeding all around us. According to Te Ara, The New Zealand online encyclopedia, ‘Petrels are remarkable birds. Most spend their lives at sea and come to land only to breed.’

In the eleven years we’ve lived at Coopers Beach, I have never seen petrels anywhere near the beach. I’ve observed them in the distance from Tokerau Beach. That’s all. This time they were so close you could almost touch them. Even more remarkable was that the birds were sitting on the water’s surface, periodically submerging their heads to catch small fish. The motion was exactly that of the people being baptized.

Storm Petrels

Less than a minute after the third person was baptized the birds had left. It was almost as if they had collectively responded to the obvious excitement of the group of baptismal candidates and their supporters. It felt like a blessing to me.

I don’t believe the above incident was a coincidence. I can’t prove this but there are many books covering the scientific phenomenon outlining the interconnectedness of all beings and things, which goes a long way towards explaining such synchronous events. Dr. Bruce Lipton has two books in our little library: The Biology of Belief and Spontaneous Evolution. Joseph Jaworski has penned an inspiring read called Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership. And, of course, anything by Rupert Sheldrake is worth reading.

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See 

 In Search of Simplicity is now available as an eBook here.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit:

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101


The following is from David Richo’s, Ph.D., book Unexpected Miracles: The Gift of Synchronicity and How to Open It (New York: Crossroads, 1998)

Synchronicity is the phenomenon of meaningful coincidence. It is a resemblance, correspondence, or connection between something going on outside us and something happening inside us. In any ordinary coincidence, the events are connected by meaning rather than by cause and effect. This may not yet be synchronicity but simply synchronization. It becomes synchronicity when it makes a meaningful connection with our life’s purposes or helps unfold our destiny to show love, see wisely, and bring healing to ourselves and our world. All coincidences are connected by meaning, but synchronicity happens when the meaningfulness is relevant to our personal evolution. It is the spur of the moment in that it spurs us on and in that it may happen suddenly! It happens just in time. It is also just in time in the sense that it is part of the justice of the universe in bringing us exactly the pieces we need to fashion— or be fashioned by— our destiny.

Synchronicity is a word made from two Greek terms meaning “joined with” and “time.” Synchronicity is a bond or connection that happens in a timely way. A correspondence between two things is suddenly made clear. The unifying connection was always present but an immediate and meaningful coincidence makes it visible here and now.

Synchronicity thus combines an essential unity with an existential one. The eternal present makes an appearance in the momentary present. This is why it seems fitting to say that synchronicity guides us into spirituality.

Synchronicities cluster around significant events. Many meaningful coincidences occurred, for instance, when the Titanic sank and when Lincoln and Kennedy were assassinated. Personal disasters or crises in our personal life will also invite synchronicity. Norma orders a red dress for a party but a black dress is delivered to her. As she is about to phone the store to report the error, her sister calls: “Mother has died. Come for the funeral.” Norma thought she was in control of her life; she thought she knew what would happen next. The synchronous event told her otherwise and outfitted her for what was actually coming next: something much deeper was about to occur.

Synchronicity is the surprise that something suddenly fits! Synchronous events are meaningful coincidences or correspondences that guide us, warn us, or confirm us on our path. Coincidence happens at a specific moment. In this sense it is existential, tied to the here and now. Correspondences are ongoing. This is how synchronicity is essential, always present, to our human experience. Synchronicity is also found in a series of similar events or experiences. It can appear as one striking event that sets off a chain reaction. It is always unexpected and somehow uncanny in its accuracy of connection or revelation. This is what makes it impossible to dismiss synchronicity as mere coincidence.

Jung called synchronicity: “A non-caused but meaningful relationship between physical and psychic events….A special instance of acausal orderedness….Conscious succession becomes simultaneity….Synchronicity takes the events in space and time as meaning more than mere chance.” A coincidence is two unplanned events that happen simultaneously. It becomes synchronicity when it is connected by meaning. You and I love red roses. That is a coincidence. If unknown to each other, we meet as our heads bump while we are both smelling the same red rose that caught our eye at the same time and then later, we are married, that is synchronicity!

Synchronicity gives us a clue to the deep underlay of purpose and meaning in the universe and how that purpose is working itself out in our lives. Our own wholeness has a foundation and support in the larger order of things. All objective events have a corresponding subjective configuration in our psyche. Synchronicity is an instant instance of this correspondence. Its spontaneous timely events are articulations of the continuous nature of creation, intimations about the irrefrangible unity underlying it. Synchronicity is always striking and sometimes eerie. The “other worldly” feeling we have when it happens to us may be an indicator that an archetype is arising into consciousness from the depths of our psyche.

Things happen as they need to for the best purposes of the universe. Our belief that we can interfere with this is another trick of the arrogant ego. We may not know how what is happening right now really fits into our future. I can only trust that in addition to all I see, there is some other vision that will appear and make all this appear as just right.

Yet synchronicity cannot happen by any conscious intervention of ego since it is a phenomenon of grace: an entry of the transpersonal world onto our personal turf. It is a moment that manifests the unity that always and already existed between psychological and spiritual, mind and universe, you and me, me and everything. It occurs when our unconscious is ready for a step into wider consciousness. The ancient oracles were about precisely this!

The inner artist of our true Self uses two brushes: a conscious one: synchronicity, and an unconscious one: dreams. The synchronicities (meaningful coincidences) of our lives and the dream images that have most excited or stupefied us are the best— though often most ambiguous— clues to our self-actualization. When a dream confirms a movement in the psyche, that is itself synchronicity. Prayer that is answered is synchronicity since prayers that are answered are the ones that are consistent with our destiny.

Synchronicity is the special moment in which destiny summons us to move forward. It is the spur of the moment that initiates movement and may at the same time smart! This is the process by which archetypal reality incarnates itself in historical time: something unknown is doing we do not know what or why or through whom. Synchronicity really means that we are never alone in the universe. “O mighty love! Man is one world, and hath another to attend him,” wrote George Herbert.

Many psychic events do not occur instantaneously but undergo an incubation period in the unconscious. Something has not yet happened but is in the works. Synchronicity cuts across time-bound warps. It transcends the limits of being and becoming. This is because in the inner world there is no separation between past and future, time or timelessness, what is happening, what is about to happen, and what will happen. Only the present exists, which contains it all. In synchronicity, we meet our future—or our past—in our present. “To transform itself in us the future enters into us long before it happens,” Rilke wrote.

Synchronicity is the strikingly meaningful coincidence of two events or of a series of events. It can also be the coincidence of a psychic perception and a simultaneously occurring event as happens in ESP. Premonitions are in this category. In both ESP and premonition, the case can be made for synchronicity only if meaningfulness is present. This is always the ultimate criterion of synchronicity.

Synchronicity occurs in a dream that reveals what is already true or about to become true: Lincoln dreamed he was assassinated one week before the event. Dreams and astrology manifest many synchronous correspondences. There is immense synchronicity in the zodiac and our inclinations/choices. Rituals are forms of synchronicity in that they are outward enactments of corresponding inward graces.

Synchronicity appears in our work on ourselves. There may be synchronicity in the fact that our knowledge of our real issues—in ourselves and in our relationships—comes simultaneously with the strength to face them! We are usually in denial for a long time before we finally recognize and acknowledge our own truth. Synchronicity is in the fact that we often only let ourselves know when we can deal with what we know.

When we are ready to learn, a teacher appears. This is synchronicity. Occasionally a person, who died long ago or recently, comes to mind over and over in the course of a week or more. It could be that the meaning of that person in our life is coming home to us in a compelling way. Perhaps we learned something from that person and need to remember it now. Perhaps there is something we are now ready to learn. This may be another form of synchronicity. The face of the teacher/grandfather appears when the time has come to be instructed or to gain a deeper insight into who we are. This might even be the time to ask that person to be our guide from the other world if that fits our world view.

Synchronicity also occurs in looking back upon your life and seeing how it all prepared you or instructed you for the fullest fruition of your potential. A hidden feeling or truth waited to be awakened by just the right person or circumstance, sometimes painfully. My destiny had to have just such a beginning. My neglectful father helped me practice for the independent life I live now. My empty cupboard helped me care about starving children. James Hillman writes: “This way of seeing removes the burden from the early years as having been a mistake and yourself a victim of handicaps and cruelties; instead it is the acorn in the mirror….”

Everyone and every event in life’s drama is part of the metaphor of our journey. The issue from an old relationship may not be: “how bad he was” but: “how much I needed to learn!” Most of us keep meeting partners who show us exactly where our work is, e.g., men who abuse, women who are unfaithful. The wounds are openings into our missing life. Often, the only way a lost piece of ourselves or of our history comes back to us is through another person. The unknown is scary so people and events come along that help us go there. This is synchronicity. The only mistake we make is hanging on to some people too long or too briefly. How and with whom did I do that? We take them as literally themselves instead of as themselves and metaphorical forces, come to boost or chide. What delivered me from the constrictions into the open air? Who finally pointed the way beyond my limitations?

Finally, there is synchronicity in divination devices such as the I Ching or the Tarot: one ineluctably chooses the hexagram or card that coincides with one’s circumstance. This meaningful coincidence is based on the belief that the psyche will direct us to the exact information that we need when we need it.


The culmination of synchronicity is its direct revelation of destiny: the design of the whole universe works itself out in the display of each unique human life. “Life is a struggle to succeed in being in fact what we are in design…Our will is free to realize or not to realize the vital design we are but which we cannot change or abbreviate….” wrote Ortega y Gasset.

What we refuse to bring into consciousness, comes back to us as fate. It hits us from without when we refuse to heed its summons from within. It makes spiritual sense to forge a lasting agreement with the universe, which can only be an unconditional Yes to what is. Attention to synchronicity helps us join unfolding processes consciously. The word “design” adds the element of artistry!

Each generation presents to the universe a population of people who have just the right ingredients in them to make the world better. Each person is a crucial cell in this mystical body of humanity. There is synchronicity in the fact that here and now the world always has just the human resources that it needs to further its evolution as is fitting for this epoch. Nature participates in the same synchronicity by its drifts of species and seasons of growth and change in each era. It creates an ice age and a temperate age in accord with the over-all requirements of evolution. I am here at the right time— and just in time— for me to make my contribution and nature is supporting me by presenting just the conditions that promote this enterprise. And so are all the people in my life.

Destiny is often connected to career. Our work in the world is often our form of service or of actualizing our potential. Jonah is the biblical archetype of refusing one’s destiny. Since he was needed as a prophet, his refusal of the call to become one was disregarded. He was swallowed by a whale and forced to swallow his pride. There are also times in the course of life when refusals are allowed to stand and then “a great prince in prison lies,” as Donne says.

Jung said: “We find our destiny on the path we take to avoid it.” The greatest of human tragedies is to be distracted from our destiny and lose our power to activate our potential because of years of addiction to drugs, alcohol, or to relationships that are abusive, unworkable, or depleting. A great potential in us can thereby fade away and no one will do anything to halt the dissolution. The world will stand by as we throw away our fortune. We will stand by as we throw ourselves away. There is no guarantee that a whale will intervene for us as it did for Jonah or a tornado as it did for Dorothy. The challenge is to find our destiny in exactly what we are refusing to engage in. This is no easy task. It is hard to stop and look while we are running the other way! Is my destiny scribbled on parchment, twirled in a bottle and hurled into the sea, to be stumbled upon only long after I am gone?

How does chance figure in? Chance may simply be a playful way the universe has of collaborating with us in the working out of our destiny. Thus synchronicity integrates the irrational into an orderly pageant of evolution. The challenge is always the same: to believe in the artistic design in spite of the random display. The record shows us humans to be crassly ignorant and destructive but also touchingly responsive and restorative.

Perhaps Ghandi expressed this tension between our existential display and our essential design most accurately: “I see that mankind still survives after all its attempts to destroy itself and so I surmise that it is the law of love that rules mankind. “

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit:

In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

We humans have two great problems: the first is knowing when to begin,

the second is knowing when to stop.

Paulo Coelho, The Zahir

Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist is one of favourite books. Every few years I pick it up again to reread. It’s a classic fable—poetic and meaningful. A beautiful story about the value and magic inherent in following our dreams.

The Zahir is completely different. It seems semi-autobiographical like many of Coelho’s other books. In fact, the author states in The Zahir that any writer can only write about themselves. I extrapolate this to mean we can only deeply share that which we’ve personally experienced.

I love the book. I personally enjoy Coelho’s openness about life as a best-selling author. And I’ve received much insight from his comments about expressing and releasing the past. Here are a couple of excerpts from The Zahir on that subject:

“How does one go about abandoning the story one was told?”

“By repeating it out loud in meticulous detail. And as we tell our story, we say goodbye to what we were and, as you’ll see if you try, we create space for a new, unseen world…”


“When I had nothing more to lose, I was given everything. When I ceased to be who I am, I found myself. When I experienced humiliation and yet kept on walking, I understood that I was free to choose my destiny…”

Like Coelho, I believe in the value of sharing our stories. I also fully resonate with his words and feelings about the guidance we receive constantly if we allow it. The following words from the book beautifully summarize Coelho’s perspective regarding what I call synchronicity, what he calls signs:

I believe in signs. After I had walked the road to Santiago, everything had changed completely: what we need to learn is always there before us, we just have to look around us with respect and attention in order to discover where God is leading us and which step we should take next. I also learned a respect for mystery: as Einstein said, God does not play dice with the Universe, everything is interconnected and has a meaning. That meaning may remain hidden nearly all the time, but we always know we are close to our true mission on earth when what we are doing is touched with the energy of enthusiasm.

The Zahir is set in Paris and in the steppes of central Asia. I recommend the book for anyone interested in the modern human condition and for anyone interested in the art of relating to the one(s) you love. Next to  The Alchemist, this is my favourite Paulo Coelho offering. Read it. Once begun, you won’t want to put it down.

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

Three times this story has arrived in my inbox in the last two weeks. I’m getting the message. It’s time to share it. Anyone reading my books or blogs knows I love synchronicity. Here’s a classic example from Dr. Larry Dossey.



For years a book had gathered dust in my library — The Starship and the Canoe, which deals with the real-life adventures of George Dyson, son of Freeman Dyson, the famous physicist.  The book describes how George built a replica of the ancient oceangoing canoes called bedarkas, which were used by the indigenous tribes of the Pacific Northwest, and it relates his remarkable adventures sailing the canoe up and down the coast of British Columbia.

Larry Dossey

When my wife and I were invited to speak at Hollyhock, a conference center on Cortez Island off the British Columbia coast, I finally decided to read this book.  I felt it would reveal some of the history of the area and make our visit more meaningful.  During our lengthy journey to the island, I became mesmerized by the account.  I could not put it down, and by the final ferry ride to the island I was on the final pages.

When we arrived at the conference center, our host offered to take us on a walk along the rocky beach.  A short distance above the high-tide line was a huge fallen tree, behind which a strange canoe rested upside down.  I had never seen anything like it.

Suddenly I was stunned:  I realized it was identical to George Dyson’s bedarka, which I’d been reading about on the journey to this particular spot.

“What’s that?” I stammered.

“Oh, that’s George Dyson’s bedarka, our guide replied.  “He parks it here on his trips up and down the coast.”

Go figure.

Larry Dossey, MD


From: Coincidence Or Destiny?: Stories of Synchronicity That Illuminate Our Lives By Phil Cousineau, Robert A. Johnson

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John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

Synchronicity for blog 121109

Here is an excellent post from a new Twitter friend, Manifesting Source. This is as clear and accurate a summary of synchronicity as I’ve found anywhere. Do follow Manifesting Source on Twitter and/or subscribe to the blog at

This particular post is from

October 29th, 2009 | Author: admin

Can you speak about the mechanics of synchronicity?

The whole notion that you hold about time must be reoriented if you are to have an understanding of the workings of what you call synchronicity and others refer to as coincidence. Indeed, from certain vantage points there are no accidents, no coincidences. We will reiterate that the appearance of the linear nature of time and the perception of cause and effect is simply a trick of the mind to create the illusion of predictability and control.

Your consciousness flickers in and out of myriad dimensions. The appearance of causality is a thread you weave through your perceptions to imagine yourself continuous, to conceive of yourself as more than the collection of your thoughts from one moment to the next. In truth, you are pure consciousness, thought forms made manifest in a grand and glorious dream. The linear concept of time enables you maintain the illusion that the physical plane is progressive, that life comprises a sequential parade of events, one leading into the next. Again, you look for evidence to support this perception of the world as a constant reinforcement, refusing to perceive the indicators of the deeper truth.

But you asked about synchronicity. The experience of synchronicity is an indicator of a deeper alignment of the events of consciousness. It is often the case that this alignment is significant enough to awaken one’s attention, with events that are so clearly connected by intention and yet sourced from such divergent origin as to awaken one to a sense of wonder. This is a significant moment, the moment of awareness. It is an opportunity to recognize a significant theme. When synchronicities are dramatic enough to garner attention, it is confirmation that you are in the flow of your soul’s direction, that the resistance and the density of the plane of material existence are momentarily lightened. Experiences of synchronous events are communications from the higher self that provide confirmation of the direction of the action at hand.

This particular post is from I’m indebted to for posting such excellent information.

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John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

I thoroughly enjoyed our talk today on Spirit Quest Radio when Karen Kinsey interviewed me about my life and the story behind In Search of Simplicity. We touched on finding your life’s purpose and living it, simplicity of living and the beauty and magic of synchronicity. Karen’s weekly program is called MetaStories and it airs live every Monday at 4pm PST. See the Spirit Quest website for the archived show and more great programming.  

Here’s the link to the archived show:

It’s the first one with a star.

Lucia’s away for five weeks in the Netherlands at present, leaving Asha and me at home. The photos below were taken in January of Asha and me at Cape Reinga, the very top of New Zealand where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. It’s a magical place.




Many people work hard and spend their health trying to achieve wealth. 
Then they retire and spend their wealth trying to get back their health.

If you are like so many people today, you’re either short of money and working at something you don’t like in order to get more, or you have more than enough money and not enough time to enjoy the good things in life.

I was in that position once – over 20 years ago. Then something changed and I’ve been doing what I love and enjoying the good life ever since.

And now it’s time for me to not only live the good life, but to share with people like you the amazing journey that brought me to this place of contentment and deep fulfilment.

In Search of Simplicity is my true, exciting and serendipitous journey through the wilds ofPapua New Guinea, theHimalayas, around the planet and into the heart of life guaranteed to change the way you see the world.

In Search of Simplicity offers a gateway into a world in which your deepest dreams and wishes are fulfilled, even before you are aware of them, a gateway into that place of simplicity where you stop struggling and trying to make it happen and simply allow it to happen.

When you’re in the right place, doing just what you want to do, and genuinely enjoying it, the Universe bends over backwards to ensure your success.

Buy the book on Amazon.

The small investment required to buy this book could just transform your life, as the events described in page-turning style transformed mine. At the very least you’ll enjoy a tantalizing read.

Click here to read just a few of the endorsements of satisfied readers from all walks of life.

In Search of Simplicityis a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life. It has been compared with James Redfield’s The Celestine Prophecy and Dan Millman’s Way of the Peaceful Warrior. It is a page-turning adventure story and it’s TRUE.

Listen to a three minute audio trailer here:

In Search of Simplicity offers a gateway into a world in which your deepest dreams and wishes are fulfilled, even before you are aware of them, a gateway into that place of simplicity where you stop struggling and trying to make it happen and simply allow it to happen.

When you’re in the right place, doing just what you want to do, and genuinely enjoying it, the Universe bends over backwards to ensure your success.



‘This book has important keys to living well. Far from predictable, it is an exciting read; showing us that living with simplicity can lead to stimulating adventures, fresh insights and a deeper understanding of life.’

Suzanne Stewart, Wellington


 The following is a fun, five minute interview that Eileen Kapa of DBFR makes with the author as he speaks about In Search of Simplicity and some of the bigger questions of life the book endeavours to answer. This was made as a small part of a Far North book launch and book signing tour in March, 2009.

In Search of Simplicity

will soon be available in eBook format. More details to follow.


From the Author:

My search for simplicity carried me all over the world. You could call it a search for a simpler way of living, a more natural way of being.

The external journey culminated in living for periods of time with two sets of agrarian people, one Islamic, the other Christian—the Hunzas in their Shangri La stronghold at the roof top of the world and the Trobriand Islanders at their doorstep perched on coral islets in the western Pacific. Each of these societies lives with grace and in balanced harmony with nature.

The internal journey took place while staying in Dharmsala, home of the displaced Tibetans and their leader, the Dalai Lama, in northern India. That journey carried me home to the place we’re all seeking, to the source of sustenance spoken of by every mystic, to the Heart of Life itself.

It is a story of import to every human being because it is the journey we are all on, a search for the meaning of life.

The story is filled with coincidences to the point of disbelief. The journey brought me in contact with inspiring people who dared to be different, who have dared to be themselves.

It is an epic adventure. It is a story of love. It has helped me to live my life with a simpler perspective and more meaning. I trust it does the same for you.

Years after the events described in In Search of Simplicity took place, I read The Celestine Prophecy for the first time. It feels like my personal journey is like that of the reluctant fictional hero created by James Redfield. I continue to be swept along on a great adventure (of my own making) to discover and to share the magic and the mystery of life. It’s waiting for us all behind every smile and with every breath of the wind.





IN SEARCH OF SIMPLICITY by John P Haines …a truly amazing true story travel/adventure book by a loving and thoughtful man.

Amanda McBroom said this February 25, 2009 on

Amanda is an outstanding actress, singer/songwriter and is the composer of the 1979 worldwide hit, The Rose.


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