‘Dalíland’ actor Ben Kingsley on life’s circles and patterns

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Sir Ben Kingsley believes that circles in life are patterns, coincidences happen all the time, and we should pay attention. Photo by REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni.

Note: This interview took place prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike. It has been edited for length and clarity.

Dalíland actor Sir Ben Kingsley has appeared in a striking range of films over the more than five decades of his acting career. The Oscar-winning actor considers acting a way of stopping time for himself. He says he has experienced circles and patterns in his life with profound effects, and urges others to pay attention and “listen to the signals.”  

More: Actor Sir Ben Kingsley on ‘stopping time’

Some people call [circles in life] coincidence. I think they're patterns. There may be even patterns that are set by something that I can't name. Others might attempt to name it. I can't.

But I had occasion to explore certain journeys and paths, and they were all linked by what could be called a coincidence. I've decided halfway through this not to be specific, and not to mention the incident because it's very private to one or two individuals. So I won't. But what I will say is that I had occasion to share something with, for want of a better word, the universe. And the very person to whom it was directed, somehow through a chain of coincidence, heard it, and responded. It's quite extraordinary. 

It has happened all my life. There's huge circles all my life. Circles and circles and circles always meeting. 

Sometimes we have a thought, or a recurring theme in our heads, [it] is probably connected to something we have to do, with somebody we have to meet. That's all I can say. Listen to the signals. You might say, ‘Oh, isn't that strange? Or isn't that coincidence?’ No, it's not. All I'm saying is no, it's not. 

I don't think I'm unique. I think it's happening all the time. Just take time to listen. Put certain things down, put certain things away, switch certain things off. I'm not talking about meditation, not even with a capital “M” or a small “m.” None of that hocus pocus. When you have these little nudges, little pokes, little thoughts that start to add up, just trust them, work on them. I think they're all signals that we can be sensitive to, and we can act upon them in good faith, and they will pay off. 

More: Sir Ben Kingsley on House of Sand and Fog



Rebecca Mooney