A Conversation with Robert Perry

Author of SIGNS: A New Approach to Coincidence, Synchronicity, Guidance, Life Purpose, and God's Plan

What were your purposes for writing this book?

The more time I've spent with this phenomenon, the more I've realized the need to share what I have found, for two reasons. First, it is has been extremely valuable for me personally, and so I am naturally assuming it could be that for others as well. Second, it's new territory. I haven't found anything out there that resembles this model, which gives me the impression that we have this hugely important phenomenon that has been right under our noses all along, passing by unnoticed. So it just seemed that it was important to share about this phenomenon with others.

How are CMPEs different from other forms of synchronicity or coincidence?

There are a couple of main ways I see them differing. One is that if you look at the way coincidences and synchronicities are often defined, you see they are defined as a confluence of events that have some meaningful similarity or relationship to each other. In that sense, CMPEs just have much stricter requirements. Yes, they are a confluence of events that have a meaningful relationship. However, in this case they are required to have not just one thing in common, but a whole list of things. And the list must have certain characteristics. It must have some really specific commonalities or parallels, which are then surrounded by a whole parallel context. And the list as a whole has to tell a coherent story, one that goes to the heart of both events. In contrast, if you think about a classic example of a coincidence, in which you think about an old classmate and then read his obituary in the paper, the only thing those two events have in common is the person's name. There's not a list of things in common, just that one thing.

The second way that CMPEs differ is that if you look beyond the definitions of synchronicities and coincidences, at the actual examples given, it tends to be a case of almost anything goes. The initial tighter definition of two meaningfully related events that come together in time tends to give way to any kind of patterning of events that seems somehow meaningful, somehow unlikely. As a result, the events will often not be together in time, but even years apart. Or they won't have anything actually in common, it is just that one seems like the question or the problem and the other seems like the answer. In practice, then, synchronicity seems to be a case of anything goes. The CMPE model, in contrast, is simply much tighter. The requirements are much more stringent, and therefore you can have much more confidence that something truly out of the ordinary is going on.

Can CMPEs predict the future?

In my experience, they definitely can. I can't say their track record is perfect. In the book, I include examples of predictions that were not borne out. But on the whole I have found their predictions to be impressively accurate. They have often predicted events years ahead of time, events that I had no reason to expect would happen, yet that still did happen. So in my experience, they do seem to have their finger on the pulse of the future.

What does the presence of CMPEs signify about the nature of human existence?

I think the very least they imply is that reality is more than just a kind of blind matter and energy. CMPEs are organized so intelligently that it seems to me truly untenable to explain them as the workings of raw chance. Further, their intelligent organization seems designed to convey a message. They have something to say to us. And their messages imply that there's a purpose for the situations we're in, there's an objective to achieve, there's some larger direction in which it is all heading. And that direction seems ultimately to be a rather lofty one, one that involves both an inner maturation and transformation and an outer contribution. Finally, since the messages of CMPEs are remarkably consistent even when they come to different people, they appear to provide evidence of some overarching intelligence that transcends the strictly personal and is in some sense trying to "speak" to us. And in my view, evidence for that-basically, evidence for God-is priceless.

Is a belief in God necessary to work with or tap into the guidance of CMPEs?

Absolutely not. In fact, I was using them for years while not really thinking they came from God. I did believe in God, but that belief wasn't necessary for my work with them. All you have to believe is that, first of all, if you can't explain them as the workings of chance, if they are more than that, then maybe they have something valuable to say about your life. But even that might be more assumption than you need to bring to the table at first. To me, there are no assumptions that need to be brought to the phenomenon to work with it. All you need at the start is an openness to the idea that seemingly random events can be non-random, and an openness to going wherever that non-randomness leads.

What role have CMPEs played in your own life?

They've played, actually, a huge role in my life. I haven't written about them before now just because the phenomenon takes so much explanation, but they really are the guiding force in my life. I honestly don't know what I would do without them. I think I would feel quite lost, really. That, however, is a place they have earned over a lot of years. I gradually realized that they just knew more, they saw more deeply, they understood things more completely. They saw all facets of the situation in ways I didn't. They just proved themselves to be wiser than I am. And so I didn't really need a belief of where they came from to see that their track record in dealing with situations was way beyond mine. As a result, they have become my lifeline in moving through life.

What are your hopes regarding further study?

My hope is that they become used by people and investigated by researchers. I think they could be very fruitfully investigated scientifically-maybe not with the tighter models of science that we expect from, say, physics, but certainly with what we expect from the social sciences. They really could be investigated in that way. So my hope is that they are, and I'd be more than happy to be part of that kind of research. I hope there can also be an interaction between researchers and the average person on the street who wants guidance for their lives. My experience is that people left to their own devices with these things will have a difficult time really making use of them. So I think the researchers and the lay people, so to speak, can have a very fruitful interaction, in which the lay people will receive help from the researchers, and the researchers receive cases, examples, from the lay people. And I think the potentials for this over time are really enormous, depending on how much the phenomenon is delved into, and how widely. A database with thousands of CMPEs from hundreds or thousands of individuals could yield some extremely interesting patterns.

Join Synchronicty host Marie Bernard for an interview with Robert Perry, author of, Signs: A New Approach to Coincidence, Synchronicity, Guidance, Life Purpose, and God's Plan.

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Robert Perry

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