toxic thought waste site

Theological whimsy, metaphysical larks, and other spiritually radioactive waste products.

Friday, February 06, 2009

The Power of 11:11

I have a number of personal productivity blogs I check on occasion. Reading about being productive is the next best thing to being productive, doncha know! In any case it occurred to me recently that for some reason or another Steven Pavlina's feed had disappeared from my list. So I hopped over to his page to see what he was up to.

Apparently he is a pretty famous productivity guru. I had read a couple of his essays at one point and they were pretty inspiring. Dream big, work hard, etc. Over time he seemed to veer farther and farther off into the weeds. He would mention how he and his wife had an actual psychic link. He did a weird polyphasic sleep experiment (nap for a few minutes every few hours and don't sleep at night), and raw veganism among other things. I don't actually have anything against the last two, but I completely turn off when people start talking about their psychic abilities.

So I didn't know if I was going to get productivity advice or bizarreness or woo when I checked in. Well, the answer was woo. Woo in a big way.

The two things that compel me to write are: (1) it's always interesting to come across a new area of crazy that I'd never heard of before and (2) it's always oddly compelling to watch the train wreck of a life dedicated to crazy ideas.

I thought I was pretty educated in the ways of woo, but I had never heard of the "11:11" thing before. The funniest part is that it was apparently started by Uri Geller. I kind of find it amazing that people do anything but laugh at this guy. Apparently, I'm pretty out of touch with the New Age movement these days. Here is a pretty succinct response to the whole 11:11 school of thought. In any case, I now have another crazy belief system to add to my collection.

Even more interesting is the long essay that Steve writes on this subject. He clearly really believes it and really believes it's important. At one point he writes:

Form this intention with your thoughts, but feel it as well. You must really want it. You must desire to see the truth about reality as strongly as a drowning man desires his next breath. If you don’t really want to see the truth, nothing will change.

Here he summarizes my feelings about knowing the truth. And yet he does this in service of the idea that seeing a digital clock with the numbers 11:11 on it is a message from the universe. Something special is going on.

And so now I have to stand back a second and be kind of amazed that I'm even surprised by this sort of thing. I guess it just makes me mad that this sort of nonsense is so contagious. Who knows, I'm probably adding to it by mentioning it at all....

I sort of freaked myself out while writing this post, because I noticed that there were 11's all over my screen. Of course this is because I typed them all as I was writing this post and searching for links. But still, what are the chances....?

Of course, what if I'm wrong and being closed minded? Are you brave enough to challenge your preconceptions and experience the power of 11:11? Do you have the guts? No? Okay then... As for me, I'm taking the red pill. Actually 11 of them.

I'm ready to embrace the truth.

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OpenID sunnyskeptic said...

Funny. I always remind my fiance when I see it's 11:11, just for the hell of it. I think it's hilarious. I also remind him of various other superstitions, so we can laugh about how other people actually believe them. :)

Fri Mar 06, 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger evtujo said...

I guess what's so funny about this particular superstition is that it seems even more idiotic than usual. I mean, quantum healing or "crystals" or cryptozoology at least have a surface sheen of science to them. But I don't even have a category for this level of lame.

It's pretty funny to read the forums at his site on this topic.

Sat Mar 07, 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger robert d said...

Seems like a lot of energy devoted to 11:11. Especially since there is not etiology.

A bit more interesting is to consider recent numbers generated by the stock market.

1. Market - bulls and bears -
The Beast.

2. Crash started when Congress delayed passing first stimulus bill. The DOW feel almost exactly 777 points. Newspapers everywhere had headlines 777. New beginings.

3. Market bottomed recently when the S&P index almost exactly hit 666.

The statistically probably of this ex ante is just about as small as complex proteins emerging via natural selection.

Life is good,


Mon Mar 23, 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger evtujo said...

@robert d: i actually can't tell if you are joking or not. but i'd have to say that illustrating a point about numerology by saying that certain numbers were almost reached is (perhaps unintentionally) quite funny

Wed Mar 25, 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger robert d said...

English is not my native tongue and hence I do not quite appreciate the repetitive use of funny in all the responses to the 11:11 blog. I would conjure there are better words but everyone uses funny, rather quaint and curious.

I am not a strong advocate of numerology. I offered my observations on the stock market only as a curio.

But suppose there are intelligences other than our own. The caveat being that these intelligences do not speak English, or actually any other tongue. These intelligences communicates via nonverbal symbols.

The major division with respect to nonverbal communication with other intelligences is how communication with nonverbal symbols is to be established.

One group advocates that the meanings of the symbols are already established and one who wishes to communicate with these entities must learn the meaning of the symbol set.

Another group advocates that via repetition a set of symbols and their meanings are developed over time between both parties of the exchange. With this method the symbols and their meanings are not established in advance.

Well, if my stock market observations were funny, this should be a hollering hoot.

Life is good,


Sat Mar 28, 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger evtujo said...

It's hard to believe there could be some "intelligence" that can control reality enough to make 11s show up willy nilly but at the same time can't master human languages enough to get a less ambiguous message across.

I suppose you could suppose anything to support any conclusion you like. Still not very compelling.

Fri Apr 03, 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger robert d said...

Mea Culpa

In my prior comment I was not referring to 11:11 phenomena. The 11:11 phenomena was so underdeveloped that at best I just gave it a scan.

My comment was referencing communicating with non verbal intelligences in general. The most auspicious of these realms of non verbal intelligences would be the sphere of mathematics. A more germane example would be the Tarot.

And then there is the Meta that combines the common denominators in the above in an attempt to establish a even more direct link.

I guess it would come as a shock to some that English is not the preferred way to communicate. And even more that the sublime is never communicated verbally.

Tue Apr 14, 04:23:00 AM  
Blogger evtujo said...

I'm familiar with communication via mathematics. I'm not aware of any information that has been communicated via tarot cards. If you have evidence of this you should try to get some money from james randi. I believe the current payout is one million dollars.

It seems that our brains are very good at identifying patterns even when looking at noise. How do you know there is something on the other side sending a signal? I'm not saying there can't be. I'm just curious how you would distinguish this from a case where it *is* just noise.

I guess if you have never experienced the sublime via verbal channels you should try to find some better books or listen to better speakers.

I wouldn't expect that an intelligence from "beyond" would have to communicate in english. But I also wouldn't expect that it would be so hard for them to use a human language.

Sun Apr 19, 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Edward T. Babinski said...

Your three year old ate your Daniel homework? It would be nice to put to bed the "old" date for Daniel. Please email me at


Sun Feb 14, 12:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Playground equipment Houston said...

i actually can't tell if you are joking or not. but i'd have to say that illustrating a point about numerology by saying that certain numbers were almost reached is (perhaps unintentionally) quite funny

Tue Sep 13, 11:21:00 PM  

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