Shortly after this accidential acquaintance with the idea of transpersonal psychology, Ellie had a transformative spiritual experience during her regular meditation which she describes as a "communion with her higher self." During this experience, her long period of confusion and lack of direction was finally brought to a close, for in it she received a vision of what it was that she should be doing in her life, what her purpose was, and how she should go forward. She told me that what she was told in her vision was that transpersonal psychology was the path she was to follow, even though at the time of the vision, she did not know what transpersonal psychology was.

In a cafe, shortly after this experience, Ellie found herself making eye contact with a young man across the room. After avoiding his eyes numerous times, she instead "went with the flow of the experience," introducing herself to him and beginning a conversation. Toward the end of their talk, learning he was a sociology major, she asked him, on the off-chance, if he knew what transpersonal psychology was. He initially said he had no idea, but then, upon reflection, said that he had had a friend whose mother had gone to some school up north that specialized in psychology, a school named John F. Kennedy University, but that he didn't know much more. Ellie smiled as she continued the story.

"So the next day I called information and got the number of JFK. I called them and asked them, the way I had been asking lots of people over the months since that moment of clarity, did they know what transpersonal psychology was? The guy laughed at me. 'We only have a whole master's program in it.' And that's how I ended up going to graduate school here, how I ended up deciding to be a psychotherapist. A whole series of chances: Williamson's book given to me out of nowhere, picking up that book in the store by chance, being told by my higher self that transpersonal pscychology was my path, and then just happening to meet a man who directed me to JFK, who himself didn't even know what transpersonal psychology was!"

As the result of what looks on the outside to be simply a series of chances, Ellie appeared quite certain that she was doing what she needed to be doing, both for her spiritual life and her vocation, and the role that chance seemed to play in moving her toward where she felt she needed to be obviously imparted an element of wonder to her story, as is always the case in synchronistic experiences.

Now many of us could probably tell similar stories of how we ended up doing what we needed to be doing in our lives, inwardly or outwardly, and Ellie's story, with its random occurrences, has none of the drama or astronomically remote improbabilities that some of the other stories of meaningful coincidences we have heard have. What it is important to see, though, is the meaning which Ellie made of the random occurrences: that a series of external chance coincidences felt as though they led her, geographically and spiritually, to a place where she found what she considers her spiritual vocation. She did not set out to find JFK. She did not decide to become a psychotherapist. She did not sit herself down one day and say, "I am going to do something about my spiritual emptiness" and begin attending church deliberately and consciously in a search for spiritual fulfillment. In fact, at the beginning of what she came to see as her spiritual awakening, she had no idea what to do or where to go to resolve her disenchantment with the scientific career she had been pursuing.

The connections that occurred for Ellie indeed occurred to her, without her causing them, and yet, they took on great meaning and import for the direction of her inner and outer life. Did she interpret the events of her life in this way in retrospect? Did she "make up" this story, in the sense that she read meanings into these chance events? Yes and no. As she tells the story, the external opportunities of the Agape Center, hypnotherapy, and transpersonal psychology happened by chance to enter her life at a point of openness to transformation, to which she responded by taking action. As with all the stories we have seen, a coincidence can hold meaning or not, depending on the attitude we bring to it.

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