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  • Writer's pictureBernard Beitman, MD

A Triple Coincidence Enhances His Life

A cluster deepens his marriage, leads him to a mentor, and sparks his curiosity.

Brendan Engen experienced this triple cluster coincidence:
  1. Through a medium, Brendan was instructed to contact Jeffrey Mishlove about the Roman philosopher Seneca.

  2. The email contact took place just when Jeffrey was going to Seneca’s birthplace.

  3. Shortly afterwards, Brendan randomly found a book inscribed by Jeffrey in a bookstore.

The multiple effects of this coincidence cluster included enhancing his marriage, finding a mentor, and recognizing there is more to reality than the current scientific paradigm.

Brendan tells the story:

"I graduated from a doctoral psychology program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in June 2005. As a graduation present, meant in the spirit of fun, my wife scheduled a telephone session for me with a well-known psychic medium (Kevin Ryerson), who claims to channel various spirit guides with whom he is in contact in order to provide guidance and answer important questions. He has been acknowledged by many of his clients (some of whom have been celebrities) to provide remarkably accurate and significant information. "During my session with Kevin (via telephone), I was told that in various past lives I had been involved in intellectual and philosophical pursuits, especially 'therapeutic' forms of philosophy, such as ancient Stoicism, which endeavored to apply philosophical wisdom and rational insight to the practice and cultivation of the good life or the happy life. In one of my 'incarnations,' I had been a student and something of a devotee of the Roman statesman and philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC – AD 65) or Seneca the Younger, as he was sometimes known. "Ryerson’s channeled guide also communicated to me during this reading that my present life’s work would be an important recapitulation of many of the themes, both good and bad, that I experienced during those incarnations, and that I would come into contact with my former teacher, Seneca, again. This time, the teacher would be in the form of his present incarnation — as Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove, the host of the New Thinking Allowed program and a noted figure in the field of parapsychological research and theory. "Ryerson’s guide directed me to contact him in some way, assuring me that it would turn out to be an important and formative encounter. I was inspired by many of Ryerson’s comments and recommendations, but still was no true believer when it came to paranormal phenomena and the power of meaningful coincidence. I was open enough to the possibilities that he had discussed with me during our session to at least investigate how to attempt to make contact with Mishlove. "With a little internet searching, I was able to find his e-mail address. I wrote him a note about the content of Ryerson’s messages to me and asked him if he thought there was anything legitimate about these claims of past incarnation. I was gratified to receive Jeffrey's response not long after in which he expressed his own interest in Seneca’s moral and intellectual work, as well as the study of alleged reincarnation experiences. He was quick to point out that since he had no memories of being Seneca and no direct evidence for that claim of being Seneca in a 'past life,' he was inclined to disbelieve in it as literally true, but instead construed it as an experience of what he called archetypal synchronistic resonance.

"Mishlove also said that part of what really struck him as extraordinary and meaningfully coincidental about receiving my first email when he did is that he opened it while he was on his way to Cordoba, Spain — the birthplace of Seneca!

"This initiated a series of very fruitful e-mail exchanges in which we explored the implications of this idea and its potential for being applied more generally to other questions in parapsychology, which ultimately involved our writing a paper together on the subject. "A day or two after receiving my first e-mail response from Jeffrey, I visited some friends in a nearby town, Walnut Creek (I had been living in San Francisco at the time). While perusing a bookstore there with my wife, I found a used book entitled The Looking Glass God: Shinto, Yin-yang and a Cosmology for Today by Nahum Stiskin (1971), which had been inscribed by Jeffrey nearly 35 years earlier! Evidently, the book was given to him by the author while conducting a radio interview of him for a Berkeley-area radio station at that time. I was stunned! "My experience following these events subsequently had something of what I can only describe as a 'haunted' quality — as if I were haunted not by ghosts or spirits, but by psychically 'deep' archetypal influences of which I had no prior personal awareness."

These coincidental experiences deepened his relationship to his wife, who had given the psychic session to him in fun. This consequence illustrates Shakespeare's notion that we "jest in truth." Theoretical explanations:

  1. How did the medium know? His guide helped him search the psychosphere for a mind actively and emotionally focused on Seneca.

  2. How did Brendan time his email to coincide with Jeffrey's trip to Cordoba? A cosmic dance had been set in motion somehow to create the beautiful timing of their coming together. How the dance was set in motion opened Brendan's mind to higher intelligences.

  3. How did Brendan find the book inscribed by Jeffrey? Human GPS is a possible way to understand — a radar-like capacity that scans the environment for resonating energy similar to the activated image in Brendan's mind.

To read Jeffrey and Brendan's paper on Synchronistic Archetypal Resonance, click here. To listen to a discussion of this coincidence cluster, please click here.



  • Archetypal Synchronistic Resonance: A New Theory of Paranormal Experience. Journal of Humanistic Psychology. (2007)

  • Jeffrey Mishlove and Brendan Engen Volume 47 (2) 223-247


Image by Michal Renčo from Pixabay

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