" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

March 14, 2017

Paul Carter: When Taoism and Synchronicity Collide

I'm always amazed where life will lead me when I live in the moment and flow with it.
I've been reading a book by a guy named Paul Carter over the last few weeks. 
It's actually three of his books all brought together under one cover.
Jessica Watson, Ned Manning and Paul Carter
I never would have picked up Paul's book if I had not of attended a talk years ago in Byron Bay where Paul was on a panel with
Jessica Watson and Ned Manning.
Alice Dreaming
I went to hear Jessica talk about sailing around the world by herself and I knew Ned was in and old Aussie grind-house movie called 'Dead End Drive-in' that I once saw, but I had never heard of 
Paul Carter before that day and I doubt I would have ever bought his book if I hadn't heard Paul talk on the panel that day, because I'm not into motorbikes, oil rigs or smoking monkeys.
Starring Ned Manning
The only book I can remember reading about motorcycles was 
'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' when I was a teenager and while it was OK it didn't make me want to go out and buy a motorbike.
But a little voice in my head told me that I should buy Paul's book anyway, as I would get something out of reading it in the future.
The weird thing is though that I've had this book sitting on my self since mid-2012 when I bought it and it wasn't until the end of Chinese New Year (Year of the Monkey) this year that I saw the word 'monkey' in the title of Paul's book and that same little voice in my head that told me to buy it in 2012 told me that the monkey is a sign and I should read it now, because the
Year of the Fire Monkey was coming to an end, and wasn't 2012 when you bought it meant to be the end of the world according to a Mayan calendar?-)
So I promised myself that this had to be the next book that I started reading, and as the Year of the Rooster got underway and I had finished reading my last book I picked Paul's book off the shelf and started it.
Not long after I started reading Paul's book I decided to visit a Taoist temple in my hometown of Brisbane, which I wrote about here -
Something Strange Happened to Me on THE WAY out of a Taoist Temple
Another weird coincidence was that when I was looking for Taoist quotes to put into the above post I kept coming across Bruce Lee quotes on Taoist practice by a Dr. Paul Carter.
I wondered if this was the same Paul Carter whose book I was currently reading.
But it turns out this was a different Paul Carter, who happens to be a registered acupuncturist and herbalist who resides in Melbourne.
A scene from the movie 'Birdman', which I watched again the other day
The strange thing also is the synchronicities I have been having while reading Paul's book, even though he wrote about his visit to a hospital in Kabul in 2007, and then I read about his visit in 2017 and next minute I'm reading about a Kabul hospital getting attacked in the current news, probably the same hospital Paul was writing about in his book -
Kabul hospital attacked by gunmen disguised as doctors
Even just before I started reading his book I saw this news story about the Australian Bio-Diesel industry -
Biodiesel: The great crash of Australia's 'fish and chip cooking oil' renewable fuel industry
Fryer Fuels worker pouring out old cooking oil for recycling and turning into animal feed.
"Former chef-cum-Darwin's "biodiesel warrior" Greg Henderson was elbow-deep in an industry of second-hand grease when the global price of crude oil started to tumble in 2014.
Within weeks the humble entrepreneur was contemplating a price war with one of the world's biggest oil conglomerates.
"We lost two clients in one week," Mr Henderson said.
It is a common story in an Australian industry that, in the last few years, has faced business conditions described as "catastrophic" by one of the last remaining players.

I found this pod-cast Paul Carter (the oilman/biodiesel bike rider) was on in 2015 when I was trying to find out what Paul had been up to since the writer's festival which I met him at in 2012 -
Paul Carter – Driller, Adventurer and Author
Show Notes
Part 1

Where did Paul’s story telling ability come from?
Growing up on the rigs back when people talked to one another.
G-strings and heli-decks
How it all started in Oil and Gas with Tri-States in Aberdeen: Growing up around offshore drillers and models of semi-sub drilling rigs
First drilling gig as a “powder monkey” on a land rig in remote Western Australia
Being held hostage on a rig in offshore Nigeria
On danger money
Being saved by the US Navy
Driving over someone in a riot in Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Nigeria, coca cola and AK47s
Working in the Philippines on Malanpya
Living it up Manila, Philippines
Working in Saklin, the drugs, firearms and people smuggling capital of Russia
Japan: juxtaposition of tradition and technology
Brunei: the Betty Ford Clinic for Drillers
Joe the Monkey
NAFOD: No Apparent Fear of Death

Part 2

Joe the horny, mischievous monkey
Accidentally becoming a writer
The Oil and Gas industry post 9/11
What didn’t make it into his book
Paul’s writing process
Facilitating a state of flow
What perceptions of the oil and gas industry would Paul dispel
Being called an earth raping eco-vandel
“Unless you’re living off the grid, knitting your own muesli, living in a hemp igloo then far enough you can turn around and have a crack at oil and gas”
The story behind the book “Ride like hell”
Bio-diesel: The possibilities of recycling used cooking oil for public transport
How the government in Australia is holding these ideas back
Using Li Ion batteries, solar panels and grey water recycling systems to get off the grid
What Paul would change about the Oil and Gas industry
The technology advancements of the industry during his career
Paul’s favorite drink
Who Paul’s considers successful
Paul’s definition of success
Who Paul would study with if he could take 6 months off to study with anyone past or present
“Don’t put your finger where you wouldn’t put your dick”
Driving across Japan on a Russian motorbike with a chimp in the side car
“Don’t Tell Mum” the movie

Paul riding on bio-diesel Betty 
I'm now up to the 'Is That Thing Diesel?' part of the book and it is interesting that Paul directly addresses the phenomena of synchronicity in this book when he writes about his trip around Australia on the bio-diesel bike, "I knew this was going to pan out; there was just too much synchronicity about it: there was no way I could be a BMW tourist now. No, this ride was going to be about me and Betty."
One of the most bizarre "coincidences" in Paul's book
'Is That Thing Diesel' though is when he writes about meeting a Canadian backpacker (a seal basher, as Paul writes in his book) at a crossroads in the middle of the central Queensland (my home state) outback in the middle of nowhere who happened to have a copy of Paul's first book, 'Don't Tell Mum...' and asked him to sign it for him.
And if you read that post linked above about the Taoist temple you would know that I was on the way to Redcliffe to see the
Bee Gee's Way.
Paul starts off his last book 'Is That Thing Diesel?' with the words,"My name is Mud...or it should be".
And if you don't believe me listen to that You Tube above where Paul reads out the prolog to his book.
When I got to Redcliffe I picked up a free magazine that had a Mud Run photo on the cover and right around the corner of the 
Bee Gee's Way was the 'Yabby Road' fish & Chip shop, while on the subject of bio-diesel fuel which mainly comes from the used cooking oil from fast food fryers.
There is also a yellow submarine painted on the 'Yabby Road' fish & chip shop with portholes for the cooks to look through to see if there are customers out front and Paul writes a lot about deep sea oil exploration in his books and how most of the world's underwater surface is yet to be explored.
For the record, I'm not much of a Bee Gee's fan, but I am a big Beatles fan...hence the name of my blog which is named after a John Lennon song, although that song isn't a Beatles song, but it was written by my favorite Beatle.
My dad passed away on September 13th, 2016
The thing is I haven't been to Redcliffe for about twenty years and had no idea there was a 'Yabby Road' fish & chip shop here, which was probably more of an attraction to me than Bee Gee's Way.
I have no idea what the food is like there, because I had already had lunch and was too full to grab a bite to eat, so I'll have to come back on an empty stomach and take in the Bee Gee light show one night in the future.
There were a heap of synchs on my trip to Redcliffe that I could write about here, but the post would get too long, so I'll write another post later about those other syncs. 
Another sync with reading Paul's book was that I had just read about how he and his oil drilling buddies were drinking tequila in an Asian seafood restaurant and got the bright idea to have giant crabs out of the tank race each other.
He writes in the book that these crabs were as big as Frisbees when you held them in your hand.
I went down the road to grab a Sunday paper and and to check my keno ticket (which I had won $50 on) and what should be on the front page of the paper, but a woman holding a crab as big as a Frisbee in her hand. 
In fact there were crabs placed all through the paper.
But it wasn't just the crab racing story that Paul told in the book that burned into my brain it was the part where one had crawled under the table after the race, dislodged the tie around its claw and cut off Paul's mate's little toe.
His mate was too drunk to go to a hospital and decided to toss his toe on a BBQ and cremate it rather than try to get a doctor to stitch it back on.
Which I found as funny as it was horrifying.
And I could imagine a travel campaign for that country that had a local citizen or tourist saying that you can throw another toe on the barbie.
An article about BBQing in the free Redcliffe magazine I picked up
That free magazine I picked up in Redcliffe had an article about BBQ myths and #1 was 'Should meat be at room temperature before cooking on the barbeque?';-)
I'd also been thinking about Paul's words that if you drive a car, or live in the modern world and use energy then you can't complain about the oil industry, because you are responsible as well, because you are using what they are pumping out of the ground.
I flipped the paper over and there on the back page is a make and model car like I own, although not my colour paint-job.
Ironically, the middle section of the paper is full of the olden time modes of transportation, with a single horse probably being the equivalent of one of today's motorcycles;-)
My Abbey Road t-shirt
A Yabbey,Yabby or Yabbie
Why did the Beatle cross the road?
Probably to get a bite at Yabby Road and walk down the Bee Gee's Way.
The thing with synchronicities though is that they weave all over the place, because the above page is from a supplement in the same Sunday paper which was the day I also wrote about in this post -
Dog Gone It! Murray Ball Has Passed Away One Day Off From a Full Moon
and there are more posts yet to come from that day in the weave of events that we call life.
I also had to laugh when I saw this recipe for
Strawberry Lattice Pie in the same Sunday supplement, as Paul writes about his wife baking him cherry pies when he was living in Perth after him giving the oil drilling game away and the sexual implications behind a cherry pie.
Whenever I see lattice it reminds me of the cover of 'The Who''s 'Tommy' album -
Mt Thompson: The Place Beyond the Pines?
Ken Russell poses with Tommy album
Being divorced and over the marriage/mirage game I'd much prefer strawberry pie. 
Just to show you how bizarre synchronicity is, in the same Sunday supplement is an ad for the movie 'Jasper Jones' starring 
Matt Nable, who I met at last year's Byron Bay Writer's Festival and bought his book 'Guilt', and I've been feeling guilty for not getting around to reading it, but I know by now that the universe has its reasons.
'Guilt' will be the next book I read, or I won't be able to live with myself.
Ironically, Matt was lined up to write the screenplay for Jessica Watson's movie adaption of her book about sailing around the world, and we had a good chat about that movie in Byron Bay last year when Matt was signing his book for me.
Small world, but not flat, as Jessica proved by sailing from Sydney to Sydney to all you "Flat Earthers" out there in fantasy land.
My oldest son used to tutor Levi Miller's mother and agent on how to use an Apple computer when my son used to work for Apple.
So before this post gets too long and as cliche as it sounds, I'll just say that everything is connected it would seem.
Just as I was about to throw out the Sunday supplement I saw the above ad, which I hadn't noticed before.
It's about a disease that I had never heard of called Endometriosis.
I only included it here because of all the Yellow Submarine syncs that I mentioned above and knowing how the universe likes to throw out cryptic clues I thought I had better include the ad here in case someone who is suffering from this disease should stumble across this blog post of mine.
The Lord works in mysterious ways, as they say.

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