Monday, October 26, 2015

SIDEWALK ORACLES: An Interview


You begin Sidewalk Oracles by saying, “We are embarking on a path of real magic.”  Please explain.

Real magic is the art of bringing gifts from another world into this world. We do this when we go dreaming and when we remember to bring something back.  We can also walk the roads of everyday life as conscious or lucid dreamers, learning to recognize how the world is speaking to us in signs and symbols. In night dreams and conscious excursions, we get out there; we go near or far into other orders of reality where the rules of linear time and Newtonian physics do not apply. Through synchronicity, powers of the deeper reality come poking and probing through the walls of our consensual hallucinations to bring us awake. Sometimes they work to confirm or encourage us in a certain line of action; sometimes they intercede to knock us back and discourage us from persisting in the worst of our errors.

Sidewalk Oracles is full of fun everyday games. You call one of them Sidewalk Tarot. What is Sidewalk Tarot and how do you play it?

I invented the phrase Sidewalk Tarot after I noticed that things keep literally popping up, like tarot cards, on the streets and sidewalks of the small city where I live. Anything that enters your field of perception, through any of your senses, within your chosen time frame may count as a card in play, even as one of the greater trumps.
     There are two basic ways to play the game of Sidewalk Tarot. The first is to put your question to the world. Do you have a question or theme in your life on which you would like help or guidance right now? Then try to state that theme as clearly as possible. A simple way to that is to fill in the blank in the following statement: “I would like guidance on……”      The game now is to be ready to receive the first unusual, striking thing that enters your field of perception as the tarot card the world is dealing you in response to your question.
      The second basic way to play Sidewalk Tarot is to schedule ten or twenty minutes of unscheduled time to let the world put its question to you. Using all your senses, you gather impressions during that short period of time and then study them as you would look at a tarot spread.
I make it my intention, the first time I leave the house (or wherever I am staying) in the course of a day, to gather three observations from my external environment. These do not need to be extraordinary in any way, just things that pop up on the street. As in drawing from a tarot deck, you can choose to play with as few or as many cards as you like. The big difference is that a tarot deck offers you only 78 cards; the number of cards in the world deck cannot be counted.

You invented a new word – kairomancy – for the practice of navigating by synchronicity. Please explain.

I invented the word “kairomancy” to describe the practice of navigating by synchronicity. It builds on the idea that a key feature of the experience of meaningful coincidence is that we know this is a special moment when things operate differently. The Greeks have` a word for a special moment of this kind. They call it a Kairos moment. Kairos is also a god, the antithesis of Chronos, the old god of tick-tock linear time. Kairos is jump time, opportunity time, the special moment you have to seize before it is lost.
    So: Kairomancy. The word literally means divination by special moments. But it means more. It means being poised to seize time by the forelock – to recognize a special moment of opportunity (or warning) and act on it tight away.

You invite us to become kairomancers, which sounds romantic and mysterious. What is a kairomancer and how does someone become one?

A kairomancer is someone who is ready to recognize the special moments when synchronicity is at work – and to seize on the revelation or opportunity that is now available. To be a kairomancer, you must be:

Open to new experience
Available, willing to set aside plans and step out of boxes
Thankful, grateful for secret handshakes and surprises, and ready to
Honor your special moments by taking appropriate action.


If you want to become a kairomancer you need a poet in your soul. You need to grow your ability to recognize what rhymes in a day, or a week, or a life and to build that “talent for resemblances” that was held to be the primary requirement for a dream interpreter in ancient Greece. So, yes, this is quite romantic. Walk this path, and you’ll find there is a champagne fizz of excitement in the air any day.

Explain what you mean when you say “coincidence multiplies when we are in motion”.

When you are on the road, outside your regular commute, you are more likely to notice novel things around you. When your plans get screwed up, and you can avoid Type A personality disorder, you may find that  Trickster energy comes into play, making new connections.
     Synchronicity often becomes especially strong when we are going through major life passages, involving birth or death, falling or out of love, losing a job or taking a creative leap. Our emotions are stirred up, and the world seems to be stirred to move in different ways around us.

You give us a synchronicity game called “Listen for Your Daily Kledon”. What is a kledon and how does this work?

I borrowed the word kledon from the ancient Greeks. A kledon is sound or speech coming out of silence or undifferentiated noise. Sounds and voices heard in this way were one of the most important oracles in ancient Greece. A kledon is often something you overhear — a snatch from a stranger’s conversation, a song from a passing car radio, the croak or cry of a bird, the siren of an ambulance.

Another everyday game you suggest is bibliomancy. What is that and how does it work?

Bibliomancy is literally “divination by the book”. You have a theme on your mind, and you open a book at random and look for guidance in what you see on the page. People of faith have often used sacred books in this way, as Abe Lincoln turned to his family Bible (the one on which Preseident Obama swore his oath) for a second opinion on his prophetic dream of his assassination. You can use any book you like, and instead of setting an intention you can simply let the text in front of you offer a spontaneous message for the day.

One of your rules for navigating by synchronicity is “Notice What’s Showing through the Slip”. You say this even led you to your present publisher. Talk to us about that.

When I first spoke to Georgia Hughes, the wonderful editorial director of New World Library, on the phone, she spoke to me as if we had been close friends for ages. I was surprised, and asked if she knew who I was. “You are Robert Moss,” she told me. “You are the author we are publishing.” This was strange, because I had never discussed any book project with Georgia, though I now had one in mind. When I mentioned this, she realized she had confused me with Richard Moss, one of her stable of authors. I begged her not to apologize. “There are Freudian slips and then there are cosmic slips. This one is an opportunity.” I was now emboldened to lay out the idea for the book that was published as The Three “Only” Things. A day later, we had a contract. I have stayed with New World Library ever since. An editor’s slip turned me into a constant author. So: if you hear a name misspoken, or spot a typo, pay attention. Something may be showing through the slip.

Physicists speculate that we are living in Many Interactive Worlds. You say that through dreaming and monitoring synchronicity, we can acquire evidence of the existence of parallel worlds and use this to do some good. Please explain.

It is an emerging consensus in physics that we live in one of numberless parallel universes and that the “many worlds” are interactive in ways that escape our ordinary attention, Synchronistic encounters and moments of déjà vu can help to awaken us to these possibilities. When we keep dream reports over time we sometimes notice that we seem to be living continuous lives in other realities, near or far from our present one. Once you awaken to this possibility, you may start to observe how choices you are making now are bringing you nearer or farther from parallel selves who made different choices in the past. This discovery can equip you to make the conscious effort to draw gifts and lessons from those parallel selves

How do you explain what you do to people who are meeting you for the first time?

When I am asked by a stranger on a plane, "What do you do?" my favorite answer is this: "I am a storyteller, and one of my greatest pleasures is to help people discover their bigger stories, and live those stories and tell them so well that they want to take root in the world."

What is the most important thing you have learned about reality?

The only time is Now. All other times - past, present and parallel - can be accessed in this moment of Now, and may be changed for the better.

-

Sidewalk Oracles: Playing with Signs, Symbols and Synchronicity in Everyday Life by Robert Moss has just been published by New World Library.



1 comment:

Worldbridger said...

I was pleased to purchase Sidewalk Oracles two days ago, and though I am only about a third of the way through the book I have to say how much I appreciate the choice you made to make it a collection of stories rather than an exercise book.

I'll say more when I've finished, but for now I am lapping it up like cream.