September 2010

Acceptance and Gratitude
Aligning our Chakras and Grounding Meditation
A Mystery of Chance
Beginning Today
Cool Links
Facing Your Truth
Favorite Searches
Forgiveness is an Act of Self-Love
Fishin' Mission
Keeping in Tune
Labor Day
Life Love You
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Power of Focus
The Mystery of Chance
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  9/1 -- Classical Music Month

  9/1 -- Coupon Month

  9/1 -- Honey Month

  9/1 -- Jazz Month

  9/1 --- Little League Month 9

  9/1 -- National Hispanic Heritage

  9/1 -- National Hunting/Fishing Month

  9/1 -- Apple Month


  9/1 -- Book Month

  9/3 -- Labor Day

  9/9 -- Grandparents Day

9/14 -- Donut Day

9/21 -- Nat'l POW/MIA Recognition Day

9/21 -- Yom Kippur

9/22 -- Autumn Begins

9/27 -- Oktoberfest

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At some time or another it's happened to all of us. There's that certain number that pops up wherever you go. Hotel rooms, airline terminals, street addresses -- its haunting presence cannot be escaped. Or, you're in your car, absently humming a song. You turn on the radio. A sudden chill prickles your spine. That same song is now pouring from the speaker.

Coincidence, you tell yourself. Or is it?

     For most mainstream scientists, experiences like this, however strange and recurrent, are nothing but lawful expressions of chance, a creation -- not of the divine or mystical -- but of simply that which is possible. Ignorance of natural law, they argue, causes us to fall prey to superstitious thinking, inventing supernatural causes where none exist. In fact, say these statistical law-abiding rationalists, the occasional manifestation of the rare and improbable in daily life is not only permissible, but inevitable.
     Consider this: from a well-shuffled deck of fifty-two playing cards, the mathematical odds of dealing a hand of thirteen specified cards are about 635, ..000,000,000 to one. (This means that, in dealing the hand, there exist as many as 635, ..000,000,000 different hands that may possibly appear.) What statisticians tell us, though, is that these billions of hands are all equally likely to occur, and that one of them is absolutely certain to occur each time the hand is dealt. Thus, any hand that is dealt, including the most rare and improbable hand is, in terms of probability, merely one of a number of equally likely events, one of which was bound to happen.
     Such sobering assurances don't necessarily satisfy everyone, however: many see coincidence as embedded in a higher, transcendental force, a cosmic "glue," as it were, which binds random events together in a meaningful and coherent pattern. The question has always been: could such a harmonizing principle actually exist? Or are skeptics right in regarding this as a product of wishful thinking, a consoling myth spawned by the intellectual discomfort and capriciousness of chance?
     Mathematician Warren Weaver, in his book, Lady Luck: The Theory of Probability, recounts a fascinating tale of coincidence that stretches our traditional notions of chance to their breaking point. The story originally appeared in Life magazine. Weaver writes:
     All fifteen members of a church choir in Beatrice, Nebraska, due at practice at 7:20, were late on the evening of March 1, 1950. The minister and his wife and daughter had one reason (his wife delayed to iron the daughter's dress) one girl waited to finish a geometry problem; one couldn't start her car; two lingered to hear the end of an especially exciting radio program; one mother and daughter were late because the mother had to call the daughter twice to wake her from a nap; and so on. The reasons seemed rather ordinary. But there were ten separate and quite unconnected reasons for the lateness of the fifteen persons. It was rather fortunate that none of the fifteen arrived on time at 7:20, for at 7:25 the church building was destroyed in an explosion. The members of the choir, Life reported, wondered if their delay was "an act of God."
     Weaver calculates the staggering odds against chance for this uncanny event as about one chance in a million.
Coincidences such as these, some say, are almost too purposeful, too orderly, to be a product of random chance, which strains somewhat to accommodate them. But then how do we explain them?
     Psychologist Carl Jung believed the traditional notions of causality were incapable of explaining some of the more improbable forms of coincidence. Where it is plain, felt Jung, that no causal connection can be demonstrated between two events, but where a meaningful relationship nevertheless exists between them, a wholly different type of principle is likely to be operating. Jung called this principle " . . synchronicity."
     In The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, Jung describes how, during his research into the phenomenon of the collective unconscious, he began to observe coincidences that were connected in such a meaningful way that their occurrence seemed to defy the calculations of probability. He provided numerous examples culled from his own psychiatric case-studies, many now legendary.
                                                                                                      (Continued on Page 7)

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Volume 6 - Issue 9                           NEW BEGINNINGS   by                            Page 8                   

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Volume  6 - Issue 9               Shop with us and we all help each other                                                          Page 9

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Volume 6 - Issue 9            We donate 10% of all profits to charity                                                            Page 10

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Volume 6 - Issue 9          New Beginnings Newsletter needs your help for us to continue                 Page 11

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The Mystery of Chance  ~  by Peter A. Jordan

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Volume 6 -Issue 9            NEW BEGINNINGS  by                                                 Page 13

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Volume 6 -Issue 9                      NEW BEGINNINGS  by                                       Page 14

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(Continued from Page 13)

Self-knowledge comes from introspection and meditation; from reviewing our journey so far, what's worked well, and what hasn't. But such introspection takes effort, and will. It's all too easy to put it off until tomorrow, or to see only what we want to. Given the audience is just one, our self, we can and must be brutally honest.

How many of us are too busy to focus? Or at least that's our excuse. There's a stack of bills to be paid so we carry on in the same old way not because we want to, but because it's a means to and end and we know it works. We're like rats running around a wheel. Like a drug it allows us to avoid or abdicate the difficult choices. Many of us are simply living without purpose.

The world is big and we are small. We can't possibly explore every opportunity or fight every battle. So we must identify those that are most worth pursuing - for us. This is an individual matter to be decided in the light of our self- . . ....knowledge. A different person in the same situation may choose entirely differently, yet you and he can both be right. 

Having overcome the common condition of aimlessness we must then avoid the desired state of focus descending into the less desirable condition of obsession. Being focused still allows time for other pursuits, eg spending time with loved ones, following hobbies etc. Do not neglect these; in particular, always make space for loved ones, as they are what define our very purpose. Taking time out doesn't damage our focus. To the contrary it allows us to return with fresh enthusiasm and lets us see the wood from the trees.

Another common human fault is to waste time fretting over things that can't be altered. What is, is - end of story. None of us can turn back time, so quit trying, you're only dissipating your precious energy. If something is given, accept it. Instead direct your focus to things you can change/ . .....influence.

By taking time to discover and define our purpose we live more effectively and gain more satisfaction in the process. By aligning our efforts with our motivations and interests (ie our focus) we become far more potent. Once you find your purpose the quality of your existence will follow naturally.

Volume 6 - Issue 9         NEW BEGINNINGS by Ivory Tower Institute                      Page 17

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