Publisher: The Career Press Inc, PO Box 687
Location: 3 Tice Rd, Franklin, NJ
Cover: Ian Shimkoviak, bookdesigners.com
reviewed by: Lynard Barnes 9/4/2009
Summary: The meaning behind signs, sequences, and synchronicities. An exploration into critical thinking for the reader.
Reality is a Type I error!
Finally, a book that explains everything by showing us that there is no explanation for anything. All we have to do is look at the clock for crying out loud.
While it may sound facetious and pompous, what you really take away from 11:11 – THE TIME PROMPT PHENOMENON is an appreciation for critical thinking. The authors appreciate numbers. Quoting Pythagoras that “All is number”, they start the journey with the story of “Mary” who, for a couple of months, finds herself awakening every night at 11:11pm with “what some would call a paralysis episode”. The obvious question is whether what was happening to Mary was a coincidence or something more.
According to Jones and Flaxman, people started using numbers to count things 30,000 to 40,000 BC. Numbers are such an integral part of our lives that it would be odd if they were not occasionally noticed as numbers. You hit a lull of a certain kind in life in which a particular number takes on a disproportionate significance. Even more familiar is the melody of a song that just will not go away. Music, as Jones and Flaxman point out, is also about numbers.
Jones and Flaxman spend the greater part of THE TIME PROMPT PHENOMENON explaining Mary’s brush with the 11:11 prompt. From a possibility of four, they arrive at two distinct and separate conclusions. Neither conclusion is exclusionary, but they don’t compliment each other either. The conclusions however are only secondary to the informational value of the book. In turn, the reader must struggle a bit to gleam that information. For instance, on page 188, we have this:
“Perhaps much of the reason humans apply so much meaning to these coincidences comes from our tendency toward matrixing, seeking patterns where there may or may not be any. Matrixing, which is technically call pareidolia, is an important concept as it is an explanatory basis for many unexplained phenomena.”
This focus on what the brain can and can not do, upon its capacity to absorb information from the environment as well as distort what it absorbs is intricately woven throughout the book. Note however that, as demonstrated in the above quote, THE TIME PROMPT PHENOMENON suffers from the observation-tower paradox. The authors hover over the observable terrain of mind and events and make objective sounding observations. But the tower from which they are observing mind and event is itself mired in the terrain. Authors of such observational science (including scientists) are locked in the terrain tower. It’s as if someone says to you, the scientist, “I see ghost”. You, as the scientist replies, “Scientifically, there ain’t no ghost. You suffer a mental aberration”. To which the person replies, “Thanks for your input.” This is pretty much where 11:11 THE TIME PROMPT PHENOMENON is in terms of bringing some new insight into the mind-environmental-stimulus discussion. It certainly is not a major drawback. Consider the word “pareidolia”–it is just one of the word in the book which makes it worth reading.
If you are simply curious about numbers and even if you don’t buy into the pareidolia, synchronicity, apophenia (called a Type I error in statistics) concepts, you will thoroughly enjoy reading 11:11 THE TIME PROMPT PHENOMENON just for the numbers–3, 7, 23, 24. (I can’t recall whether they discuss the number 27. What’s up with that?)