Is it Coincidence? – Dr. Matt’s Thoughts – August 16th, 2007
Folks, one day I was looking to buy myself another car. However, I like to pay cash, and the cash just wasn’t there at the moment. I was talking to one of my friends, a high-powered fitness trainer who sells this newfangled ab device on late-night TV. I was sitting around my apartment / office, talking to her on the phone, saying that I either needed to call some people up to make some Dr. Matt business deals, or the other task I had to do that day was to clean out the garage. I wasn’t quite sure what to do, or who I needed to talk to, and since I needed some additional cash assets, cleaning the garage, I told her, could surely wait until another day.
“Why do you want to clean the garage?” she asked me, no doubt while developing killer abs on the end of the line.
“Well, it’s just something I’ve wanted to do for a while,” I told her while munching on a few Hint-of-Lime Tostitos. “I’d like to be able to work under the hood a little more often, so I want to set up a nice space for working on the cars, organize my tools, etc.” I added: “But it’s really just something for me, I could do it anytime.”
“Yes, God forbid you do something just for you,” she said.
I paused mid-Tostito. “What do you mean?” I asked her.
“This car is something for you, so why not START by doing that first, by doing something for you? Sounds like you need to organize your day anyway, why not get in the swing of things by organizing your tools?”
Folks, this is something that hadn’t even really occurred to me. Not only that, but how could I bring a car into my life until I had cleared out a space for it? At the very least, I knew that organizing my space would get me in the right frame of mind for organizing my plan.
Here’s the kicker, folks. When I got into the full swing of organizing that garage, creating that space for my Toyota Plug-In Hybrid Prius, I’ll be darned if the calls didn’t just start pouring in, calls for public speeches, my agent demanding a new book, and the list went on.
Wait a minute Dr. Matt, you say, that’s just a coincidence. You’ve got to stop thinking in coincidences, oh negative nanny. Belief in coincidence is belief that you live alone on an island, and you’re king of that island. In addition, you see yourself as having gills of some kind and hunting fish not unlike Kevin Costner. Okay, even if you’ve just got your one island, even that island affects the currents. No, you say, there’s only coincidence, so my island doesn’t have any water around it. Plus, it’s in space and probably on some kind of asteroid, and the island is actually on the inside of the asteroid where nothing can get in. Therefore my decisions have no effect on the rest of the universe.
“Oh really?” I say. “Did you forget that you have physical mass, and change the overall gravitational pull of that asteroid? You did say it was a small island, and I assume you were thinking of a small asteroid that has little effect.”
Dang it, you say. Okay, then say I don’t have physical mass then, and I’m just some sort of energetic blob. That should limit my impact on the universe and allow for nothing but coincidence.
“You have no physical mass?” I say.
No, you say.
“So, you exist outside of normal space-time?”
That’s right, you say. In this scenario I am outside of space-time. That should allow my belief that things just happen because they happen.
“This ‘outside of space-time,’ does it exist at only a single point?”
No, you say. There is no space, so a “single point” is meaningless. It extends towards infinity.
“In this scenario,” I say, “you acknowledge that other people exist?”
Correct, you say. I’m simply saying that I have no affect on them, because I am metaphorically a blob extending infinitely outside of space-time. Therefore, my decisions and actions cannot cause events to which they are not directly related.
“I see,” I say. “So this would be the condition of all men?”
I suppose so, you say.
“So, all these other people, they also extend infinitely outside of space-time?”
I guess you could say that, you say.
“In other words, each and every one of us,” I say, “in your scenario, is intermingled in a sea of infinity?”
“Therefore, each of us is infinitely connected to all of those around us?”
Dang it, you say.
…Now, folks, don’t claim that this is crazy talk, because after all, you’re the one that said it. You’ve proven that yes, indeed, my decision to do something for myself and for what I wanted directly affected the number of calls I received that day. When I get my Toyota Plug-in Hybrid Prius, I’ll be sure to thank you.
In the meantime, get on board. Do things for you, start in the direction of your goals, and just watch things happen. Seriously, do you want to keep wasting your time imagining scenarios in which you are an amorphous blob? God knows I’m tired of imagining you that way.
* Dr. Matt is not a real doctor.