Review of Robert Perry's new book:
Signs: A New Approach to Coincidence, Synchronicity, Guidance, Life Purpose, and God's Plan

By Sheryl Valentine*

      On a recent evening, I picked up Signs around 8:30, and literally could not put it down until I finished it at exactly midnight.  It's a very helpful and significant book! 

   Robert writes about his investigation of a phenomenon he calls CMPEs (Conjunctions of meaningfully parallel events), or "signs".   After thirty years of using them in his own life, he has come to realize that CMPEs provide wise, intelligent, insightful, specific, and consistent guidance.

     So just what is a CMPE?  The first half of the book explains the phenomenon and how we can learn to use it in our lives.  Robert provides copious examples from his own life to illustrate just how they work.  Later chapters explore the nature of guidance offered by CMPEs.
   A sign is a response to your life, and it speaks with its own voice. It usually speaks about a situation you are struggling with or seeking guidance about, either consciously or unconsciously.  CMPEs frequently have certain characteristics, which I will list here, excerpted from page 59 of the book:  

  • There is a question of yours that is central to one of the events; a question the sign could be seen as answering.
  • There is a strongly felt need, issue, or problem of yours within one of the events.
  • There is a new idea, realization, or decision of yours in one of the events.  Signs will often come along and comment on new ideas or decisions, usually to confirm them (though occasionally to shoot them down).
  • One of the events is emotionally significant for you - involving a major happening, an important piece of news, or a significant beginning, ending, or turning point.

     Just days before reading this book I experienced what I now recognize as a CMPE, and that it contained all the characteristics listed above.  Briefly, a few weeks ago I had one of those days when I was feeling particularly frustrated about certain conditions regarding my business, and had come to a place of deep surrender of the situation.  Within a day or two, I had conversations with two people (2 events) that were independent of each other, yet occurring within an hour.  The conversations, while completely different, contained objective similarities that seemed to respond to a question and an issue in my life.  One of the events contained a new idea, and has thus provided helpful guidance and direction that I feel moved to act on.  It certainly doesn't seem to be an accident that I picked up Signs and read it in one night, merely days after a significant CMPE of my own - especially since I bought the book over two months ago!

    Another fascinating aspect of the book is Robert's commentary on how CMPEs can predict the future.  This chapter is particularly interesting to students of A Course in Miracles in that, he writes about a CMPE regarding the suppression and eventual publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and its parallel with the suppression and eventual publication of the original versions of the Course.
    He goes on to discuss signs that seemed to predict the events of September 11, 2001, as well as signs predicting the recent economic collapse.  And then, just for fun, Robert accurately predicted the sex of 3 of his children using signs.

    Amazingly, even while writing the book, Robert experienced several CMPEs that confirmed information he was writing about, as well as speaking to his doubts about how to present particular aspects of the material.  As I write this, I recall quite a few "signs" I had during the years I wrote my book, and how they either provided much needed guidance and/or pointed me in new directions.

    Robert doesn't bring God into the phenomenon until the last chapter, mainly because he wanted to show that CMPEs are not dependent on belief of any kind. They appear to be scientific in nature, but also point to the existence of another force at work in our lives.  Is God the ultimate director and great Guide in the universe? Robert does a great job answering this question.
    He asks us, "Could it be that, in the form of CMPEs, God is speaking, yet no one is listening?"

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Sheryl Valentine is the author of "Oh My God. It's Me!"   Visit her website http://www.SherylValentine.com to find audios and writings pertaining to A Course in Miracles.


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