One book leads to another...

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Mystic Synchronicity

Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous. ~ Albert Einstein

Have you ever thought of someone you haven’t heard from in a while, and then received a letter or phone call from them?  Before caller I.D, did someone in particular ever cross your mind as you picked up the phone and sure enough, it was that person calling?  Is it intuition or coincidence?  If indeed (as some believe) coincidence is a form of metaphysical synchronicity or the concurrence of similar planes in the universe, how does that affect the odds of improbability becoming not just possible, but prophetic?

It’s a question my friend and fellow blogger Shady Dell Knight has been thinking about this week over at Music and Memories. Stop on by for a head-scratching, toe-tapping good time! As you can see, I did and now am stuck on the subject of coincidence :-)
Here're a few examples:

American novelist Anne Parrish was delighted to run across a childhood favorite while browsing a London bookstore in 1929. When she showed her husband the book, ‘Jack Frost and Other Stories’, he quickly noticed that the inscription on the flyleaf inside read Anne Parrish, 209 N. Weber Street, Colorado Springs.

Mark Twain happened to have been born on the day of the appearance of Halley’s Comet in 1835. In a quote-turned-prediction in 1909, he said “I came in with Halley’s Comet and, as it is due again next year (1910), I expect to go out with it,” and he did.

Henry Ziegland thought he had truly ‘dodged a bullet’ when, after terminating his relationship with his girlfriend (who then committed suicide), her angry brother shot Ziegland before turning the gun on himself. But Ziegland had not been killed, for the bullet had merely grazed his face and lodged in a tree behind him.  Years later, Ziegland decided to get rid of the tree with a couple sticks of dynamite but alas, the explosion hurled the bullet into his head; and got him that time.

And if you ever visit the Petrified Forest, you might want to heed the warnings not to remove any of the petrified rocks you’ll see lying around everywhere. In the Rainbow Forest Room, located inside the gift shop, you can peruse hundreds of letters; confessions received along with returned artifacts from folks desperately wanting the curse removed!  Many of these letters are heartrending, and a few are downright hilarious.

“You're right. It's a curse to take wood from the forest. My girlfriend of three years finished with me on the drive home. So here's your damn wood back."

Do you believe in intuition or coincidence? Could the Petrified Forest curse be merely coincidence?  Would you take a petrified rock with a curse attached?


  1. Hi, dear Diedre!

    This is an amusing and thought provoking post about coincidence. I thoroughly enjoyed the stories about Anne Parrish, Mark Twain and Henry Ziegland. The Zieglund story in particular is an amazing one. I doubt that I would take any artifact from a natural setting if I was told there is a curse attached. My luck is already bad enough as it is. :) The guy who lost his girlfriend on the ride home from the Petrified Forest probably got into an argument with her over the credibility of the curse. :)

    Thank you for linking back to my post in which I disclosed the coincidence involving Frank Gifford and Muhammad Ali. As I reminded one of the readers who commented, Gifford and Ali shared at least one common link - their long time association with sportscasting icon Howard Cosell. In addition, both Gifford and Ali had personalities and skills that kept them in the public eye long after they retired from their respective sports.

    For the last 25 years I have owned two interconnected CD megachangers with a total capacity of 500 CDs. I keep the machines set to "shuffle play" mode which randomly selects songs. I play the system and use the music for motivation during my thirty minute workouts every evening. I have experienced many coincidences as the changers pick tracks at random. One day a blog friend posted a particular Beatles song. That evening as I began my workout, the very first track that my machines picked from the field of thousands was that exact same Beatles song. In the middle of one of my workouts, I found myself thinking about Mrs. Shady #1 and how we met as teenagers on the dance floor of the Shady Dell in 1968. Incredibly, the very next song that randomly played on my system was a favorite of hers, "I Love You" by People, a record that was at its peak on the chart the day we met. It became "our song." Holy smoke! I just realized as I am writing this that today is her birthday! I haven't seen her or been in contact with her since 1980! Why did she suddenly pop into my head today and provide me with this example of coincidence for your post? Astonishing, isn't it?

    I think we tend to have false notions and expectations about probability and random sequence. For example, when I play my changers set to "shuffle," I sometimes wonder why the system picks one specific song several times a week, (it keeps turning up like a bad penny), while it might take years for the system to get around to playing certain other songs that I know are loaded in the system, songs that I have been waiting patiently to hear. Then I remember that randomness isn't a nice even distribution. Given enough time, probably centuries, the system might play the same song three times in a row.

    Thank you again for mentioning SDMM, dear friend Diedre, and enjoy the rest of your week!

    1. Hi Shady!

      My pleasure! It's always entertaining to visit your posts and I'm happy to share!

      Ha! We thought the same about the guy losing his girlfriend ;-) I saw the warning signs before I knew about the curse, and some of those 'rocks' are truly beautiful but jeez, they are as you say part of the natural setting...

      Leaping lizards! Those really are some remarkable coincidences you've experienced. You must be a frequent flyer on the cosmic plane of thought ;-) How cool!

      May your week be peaceful, my friend :-)

  2. When I was younger, I used to think it meant I was psychic when I knew what the next song on the radio would be. Now I'm not so sure that's psychic as much as just predictability! But I have thought about someone or dreamed about them and run into them soon after...always so weird! I also heard once that if you're suffering from insomnia, it's because someone else is dreaming about you!

    1. Hi Stephanie!
      The field of Paraphyscology has long maintained that what scientists call coincidence is much more visible to children - or the young - I've always wondered why that might be? Do open minds close with age?

      I've heard that saying too, but with the added element of you being awake in someone's dream. It was interesting to hear that after my best friend (grade school) said she'd dreamed of me on a night I couldn't sleep ;-) I think now I would ask her to please dream of me sleeping - ha!

  3. I'm a total skeptic about pretty much everything, but those stories are interesting. The one about the tree and the bullet made me laugh. He sure got his, in the end! ☺

    1. Hi Debbie!

      Yes, he sure did :-) I guess you just can't escape the wiles of fate sometimes. His story in particular makes me think there might have been a little more than coincidence at play ;-) Good to see you, Debbie, have a terrific week!

  4. Hi Diedre,

    I sensed I should come over and visit your blog before I do something strange, like get some sleep. Yes, I sensed, even at two in the morning, that I should check out your post.

    I'm delighted I did. Much to consider here. I'm not so sure about coincidence. Perhaps an inner tuning alerts us to an upcoming event. I think we can all relate to thinking about a certain song and just like that, it starts playing on the radio.

    Thank you for a fascinating post, Diedre.

    Gary :)

    1. Hi Gary!
      Did you really? Ha, you make me smile!
      For whatever reason to stop on by, I am grateful. You've always got something fresh and fun to say :-)
      When a song, particularly one that isn't often played, is played after I've been thinking of it I typically consider it my good fortune. But some of the other incidents I mentioned in this post do make me wonder...
      I do hope you got some sleep after all, and thanks so much for coming by!

  5. I'm a believer in intuition. I think it's a real thing that can actually be studied and proven. I've had gut instincts or intuition about things I couldn't know or guess.

    I think with children it comes easier because they are innocent and haven't been on earth as long.

    I'm superstitious, so I would not take a petrified rock. But what if it's by accident? Like a piece gets stuck in your shoe? I wonder if the curse would apply then.

    1. Hi Chrys!

      I tend to agree, there's a difference between intuition and two people showing up at an event at the same time.
      I think in all their innocence, little people are just more open - and accepting - of perceptions and probably reality as well - ha! How nice.
      Gads! That's a good point about accidentally taking a cursed artifact. Good thing I didn't think of that while traipsing around in boots that pick up all kinds of small rocks, etc. :-)
      Thank you so much stopping by!

  6. "Would you take a petrified rock with a curse attached?" But then again, I am from the voodoo capital of the U.S. Sometimes I wonder if we're "foreseeing" things or actually making it come to fruition. But then again, that sounds like a GREAT novel premise, so maybe I'll explore it there, eh?

    1. Hi Quanie!

      Oooh! I hope you do explore that theme! You never fail to fascinate me with that voodoo stuff ;-) Now I'm really excited to read your next best-seller :-)
      Always a pleasure to see you, Quanie - thanks!

  7. Synchronicity is one of my favorite words and topics. I've wrote a few posts on this topic myself.

    I don't hold a lot of stock in the matter of curses, but I definitely believe in intuition or some kind of psychic interconnection. Coincidence definitely figures in with many things in my life, but I guess they were also events destined to happen.

    So many times have I been thinking of someone and then all of a sudden I get a call from them. Something must be happening with that.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Hi Arlee!
      Good to see you :-)
      I certainly agree, there must be something to the alignment of separate planes theory, or why would so many odd things happen? Nonetheless, I embrace it when it happens because it's a step outside the norm :-)

  8. Something like this happened to me last night. I texted my sister and asked if I could stop over quickly. But as I sent the text, I received a text from her asking if I could stop over. I've had some tickets I've been holding for her for a few days, but it's odd we texted at the exact same moment on the exact same day. As for the petrified wood, I think it's just something that sticks in a persons mind. Some people hear a thing is cursed and the next bad thing that happens to them they attribute to the curse. Though it's most probable the bad thing would have happened with or without the wood taking.

    1. Hi Jeffrey!
      Wow! That was an awesome 'coincidence' with your sister!
      I tend to agree with you about curses. The mind can be powerfully persuasive ;-) For instance thinking you're going to fail, then failing because you didn't try as hard as you would have had you believed you would not fail.
      I think it's likely cases of nagging guilt relating to the petrified rocks :-)
      Glad you came by!


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