Max’s Synchronistic License Plates

Back in early November, we were guests on skeptico hosted by Alex Tsakiris. So far, it has been one of our favorite interviews. Alex knows his stuff, knows his audience, knows how to keep things moving. We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about the show. Alex has an impressively engaged audience.

This evening, on the winter solstice, we received a fascinating email from Max Clarke, whose website  is crowded with synchronicities, many of them connected to license plates. He heard us on Alex’s show, which was episode 432:

Max’s writing is funny, insightful, and the background of his interests parallels ours – synchronicities, of course, the I Ching, the Seth books, the trickster… And OMG the real license plates he has photographed over the years add new meaning to this type of synchro.

His posts go back to 2007, and begin with a visit to Alcatraz where – and I bet you didn’t know this – Sean Connery had a cabin during the filming of The Rock. Max explores the world of San Francisco with an eye for the unusual, the mystical, the strange, and his posts have these license plates that are mind-blowing.

Here’s one that I love. It happened when Max was driving an airport shuttle van:

One day I visited a bookstore for something new to read. The subject was Taoism. I bought a book about Taoism because the Tao was important to British metaphysical writer Stuart Wilde. The book was written by a Chinese master of Taoism.

The day after I bought the Taoism book, my first passenger in San Francisco was named Tao. Driving to that first pickup, I probably thought, “Wow! Tao!”  Probably had trouble keeping the shuttle van in my lane, too.

A month later, I bought a more advanced book about Taoism, written by the same Taoist master. It cost a little more than the first volume, but I didn’t care. Taoism was a fascinating system, and the extra dollars were giving me extra ancient Chinese wisdom.
And the next day, another passenger named Tao.

Pow! Tao! Wow!

And then I spent forty bucks or so to buy the Taoist master’s book about the I Ching…a thick hardcover volume  about divination and the hexagrams. It cost as much as the two books combined, but I did not care. Imagine the wisdom I would absorb from the big book….

The next day, I could not wait to enter the dispatcher’s office and see the reservation card for my first pickup of the day. I was sure there would be a Wow! Pow! Tao! moment.
My first passenger of the day had a non-Tao name like Mr. Blah-Blah. Maybe Mr. Ho-Hum, or maybe Steven Snoozer. Possibly the name was Ennui… Biff Ennui.

Not one thing that day or that week connected with the I Ching…no name or license plate or song on the radio or company name.

But I let it go. My greed for another great Tao moment may have frightened it off. When you absolutely need something, the burning desire can  push it away. So can entitlement, which was not present when I purchased the first two books.

A year or two later, though, I was driving in San Francisco and spotted a car with the plate TAO.

Nice, very nice. Got a couple of shots near the Transamerica Pyramid. Too bad the car was in the distance. though, and the plate was nearly unreadable.

Years after TAO, I met the owner of a license plate QIAN. I thought it might be her name, similar to Guan Yin. Nope. She said that was a reference to the I CHING. In fact, it was the name of the first hexagram of the I Ching. It represented force, creative action, initiatory power.

Excellent plate, and the lady behind the wheel made a nice first impression. Poised with an easy smile.

So visit his website  and feast on 12 years of posts that are humorous, insightful, and filled with synchronicities, many of them concerning license plates. His material is fascinating.

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6 Responses to Max’s Synchronistic License Plates

  1. Adele says:

    This probably sounds a tad corny but I lived in the Bay area for 23 years, right over the Golden Gate bridge in Sausalito. It was magic town. Like life was a constant parade of synchronicities. I have come to believe that certain places draw in special energies. I could write a book about that special place and hope I can do it.

    p.s. I have that book he is talking about re: the I Ching.

  2. Sheila Joshi says:

    What an interesting guy Max is! He’s like the 4th mystic shuttle / taxi driver I’ve come across. Who are these guys?! This blog post of his is funny and thought-provoking! This was entirely new to me —

    “While synchronicities can be very important – sometimes lifesaving – they may often be simply the “universe at play.” In ancient Hindu philosophy, the universe was created as a kind of divine play. Many of our synchronicities are not supposed to seem like messages from God. They are plays, little comedies in which we are one of the players, an actor in something bigger than ourselves. A term used in India for this kind of event is lila.”

    Now I’m researching lila!

  3. gia says:

    I’ve had several license plate synchronicities. They’re always unexpected and welcome. But these… are really startling.