Imagine a microcosmic landscape crackling with pigments of green and gold with electric frequencies of saffron-orange cradling circular pulsating “beings”.
Rupert Sheldrake has such a painting hanging in his study in Hampstead, London. It was this unexpected gift, given a few years back from Swedish artist Hawk Alfredson (who resides at the Hotel Chelsea) that beckoned the distinguished Prof. Sheldrake to the Hotel Chelsea this spring, 2007. It was the painting, and of course, an invitation to lecture at New York’s Open Center.
Sheldrake’s material for “The Extended Mind” focused on his recent double-blind experiments regarding the presence of telepathic communication among conscious beings. As we exist among many different types of non-visible fields (electromagnetic and gravitational, for instance) Sheldrake believes that the natural selection of evolutionary habits working among these fields will one day be proved to play an essential part in any evolutionary theory, including that of physical, cosmic, mental as well as biological evolution. Communication delivered via telepathic means were the basis for two of Sheldrake’s best-selling books in recent years, A Sense of Being Stared At and Dogs that Know When Their Owners are Coming Home.
It was the beginning of springtime in N.Y. when the tulips around Washington Square Park were opening, thought to be whispering the name “Sheldrake” if one only chose to believe. A week before meeting Rupert in the hotel lobby I had come face to face with Deepak Chopra (talking business on his mobile) just in front of the Museum of Modern Art.
Both Chopra’s ayurvedic medical practices and Sheldrake’s important theory of “formative causation” have been influenced by Hindu spirituality, Quantum Mechanics and the Kabbalah. I quickly considered my near-collision with Chopra as a sign to look more closely toward the meaningful coincidences that were happening in my life and to consider myself ready for anything that (John C. Lilly’s) cosmic E.C.C.O. might be lying in wait to reveal.
I was preparing a four-day visit to Charlottesville, Virginia, with my husband that week to connect with a gallery that would be exhibiting my photographic work. Immediately, I came to realize that all plans were to be suspended when a tall man with a lanky gait quickly moved through the hotel lobby, heading full force to the elevator. He was familiar in a way that might be similar to a shape-shifter from a past life.
“Excuse me, might your name be Rupert Sheldrake?” I asked.
“Why, yes.” Rupert replied quite simply.
It didn’t take long before we connected over the painting of mystical “circlings”. He remembered my letter which accompanied my husband’s painting and agreed to be photographed early the next morning, just before his scheduled radio interview. The photograph was taken in room #1024, known for it’s warm red walls, Edwardian furniture and lovely morning indirect light from the south.
I’ll always remember this picture of Rupert and think: “What if I had not been unusually aware of the power of synchronicity that week, set off by a mere collision at MOMA?”
One thing that Rupert doesn’t know (yet) is that for several weeks before we met I thought to myself that I wished to contact him in some way, just didn’t know the right way to approach the subject at that time since a couple years had passed without communication. The thought came to my mind several times regarding just what I might write as a friendly greeting, but my mind would encourage me to relax on following through. Somehow, my intuition understood that sometimes one must be patient and just wait for the right moment to arrive. (Happy Birthday Rupert)