Friday, November 18, 2016

More Book Synchronicity

The book was echoing my present reality, it seemed.

It wasn't the first time I'd experienced this phenomenon, certainly. However, this latest instance of book synchronicity was probably the most surreal, with it seeming to directly reflect my life's events and circumstances at the time, even as they unfolded from day to day. Talk about a head-trip.

For starters, consider the context of my actually buying the book.

My copy of States of Confusion by Paul Jury, around which this incident centers, was bought from a library sale, as a discard, and it was synchronistically notable from the get-go. Just before the library-visit in question, while in the parking lot after making an important phone call, I'd decided on a long roadtrip West, with the goal of a cross-country journey beginning in coastal South Carolina and ending in California or thereabouts -- and, surprise surprise, the States of Confusion book, which I would buy just minutes later, was about just that: a big, meandering, cross-country roadtrip.

Just a coincidence? Not inconceivable ... until we consider the completely random circumstances of my buying the book (which, as it were, are doubly notable when it's considered that they fit the pattern of so many other synchronistic incidents I've experienced in the past). Namely, I'd first been illogically Compelled to browse the discards on sale, despite not needing any new books to read (I had a whole stack at the time). Next, I'd been strongly attracted to the States book, though I could only see the spine of it on the library rack, reading "States of Confusion" with "jury" underneath it -- that is, absolutely nothing about roadtrips or travel, or anything at all relating to the trip I'd just minutes previously decided upon, as to rule out any sort of subconscious influence. (And, that's not even considering the fact that I was at the library at all, with my having zero plans to go there that day, nor any overt reason to do so ...)

Regardless, the book's synchronistic purchase was just the beginning. As it so happened, I finished my last read and then began the States of Confusion book on the day of my departure, less than 24 hours after my fateful visit to the library. From there, more and more eerily surreal parallels began to crop up:

1) The first couple pages of the book mentioned the author's being a college student, and what transpired after his graduation; however, before I could read any farther, I was interrupted by someone saying "hello" to me. The person was a totally random stranger, approaching me at the bench outside the coffee shop where I was reading/eating at the time, and, somehow, we ended up in conversation about ... college and college graduation, along with several other subjects, almost all of which were exactly what I'd just read in the book, seconds earlier. What's more, these subjects all came up from the stranger's end, and with zero prompting on my part -- that is, I said absolutely nothing that would've subconsciously suggested that this person broach these subjects. In fact, the subjects were entirely offhand, awkwardly so, without any bearing whatsoever on anything we were discussing; the stranger literally just kind of tangented onto her time in college and how she'd graduated with a certain GPA, completely out of the blue.

2) Soon after, a couple states into my roadtrip, I was struck by a random, vague (yet very distinct) thought: of how an inordinate number of businesses are incorporated in Delaware, thanks to certain laws there. This thought was, as best as I can remember, apropos to nothing I was experiencing or thinking about at the time; I wasn't in Delaware, or reading of Delaware, or considering visit Delaware -- nada. And then, just hours later, while reading more of the States book, I came across a passage that mentioned precisely what I'd thought of that morning: Delaware's incorporation-friendly laws, and the glut of corporations headquartered there. As it were, it was the first the book had mentioned this, or anything Delaware-related (and, the last it mentioned it ...).

3) Towards the middle of the book, the author makes mention of how he was by then driving around the country foul-smelling and unshaven -- which, by the time I'd reached that part of the book, described my condition exactly. As it so happened, I'd been unable to steal the time to shave before departing, despite being visibly overdue; and, likewise, I'd developed a spontaneous and mysterious body odor just before leaving, such that, despite taking regular showers (unlike the book's author), I stayed smelly (and had an uncharacteristic five-o'-clock shadow). Just like I was reading about ...

4) On the very day I was passing through Atlanta, GA, I Just Happened to reach the part of the book where the author passes through ... Atlanta, GA. And, it bears saying: the book had, like the Delaware reference, made absolutely zero mention of Atlanta before or after this part, nor did I have any plans on even being in Atlanta on this day or ever in the trip -- such that I couldn't have possibly orchestrated the coincidence, even had I read the book beforehand, with the correlation hinging on so many objective elements and chance variables ...

5) My roadtrip was conducted in a van, in which I slept in at night, "van-camping"-style -- which, halfway through the book, is precisely what the author ends up doing: trading in his sedan for a van, in which he sleeps, van-camping-style ...

6) Several days into my trip, I decided, totally randomly and illogically yet strongly and distinctly (the same way I'd felt about buying the book upon first seeing its spine on the rack ...), to head south, to Florida, hence abandoning my Westerly ambitions. And, likewise, the day after taking this caprice, I'd been struck with a similar notion: to seek out a hot mineral spring in Florida, the kind that are soaked in for their purported therapeutic effects. Then, just a couple hours later while resuming my reading of the States book for the day, I came to a part where -- yeah, you guessed it -- the author mentions medicinal hot springs, specifically. Again: for the first time in the book, with no prior foreshadowing, or anything that could've possibly incited my spontaneous Compelling to seek out some hot springs ...

There were more synchronistic parallels -- lots more, actually, to the point that I felt to be in nothing less than a living dream. But, once again, I'll stop there, for the point is made.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

No I'm Not Making These Up (I Promise)

Just when I thought myself schooled in synchronicities, knowing all their variants and species and subspecies ... nope.

The newest to establish itself: the "involuntary bodily function" synchro.

What're these? Just what the name implies: my body performing some involuntary function at the exact instant that that function's essence is expressed elsewhere, externally from me (in, say, a book or a sign or some independent event). Example: my bowels churning  precisely as I randomly read "churn" in a book (this exact one has happened to me, multiple times, as it were). Besides the synchroshock value of the whole thing, these incidents are exceptionally noteworthy due to their involuntary nature -- which is to say, their objective nature, as to almost totally rule out chance coincidence as a reasonable explanation. After all, even if the "churn" I randomly read were visible to me, in my peripheral vision prior to directly reading the word, it could not have conceivably influenced the synchronistic corollary event, except perhaps on a deeply subconscious level (though, more often than not, this happens when the word isn't visible beforehand at all).

Try consciously making your bowels churn. It's like trying to wriggle your ears, but exponentially more difficult (and more awkward). Personally, I cannot make my bowels churn on command, however loudly I yell at them.

No I'm not kidding. I've actually had this happen to me, and not just a few times, either.

* * *

Take the afternoon of 10/20/16, for instance.

I had just sat down to lunch and a book, minding my own business -- when, a couple bites in, a weird (yet wonderful) energy shot up my spine and into the left side of my head, leaving me feeling like a Christmas tree with its star turned on. Then, coinciding perfectly with this phenomenon, I read "left side of the brain" in the book I had open. The phrase registered with precise, keen timing, as to correspond seamlessly with my thought of, "Energy in the left side of my brain."

And, it bears mentioning: I'd had no such weird/wonderful energy-jolts prior to that one, nor did I have any after. Likewise, the book's mention of the left side of the brain was as random and singular, not occurring before or after my physical phenomenon -- which is to say, I hadn't been having these all day, nor had the book devoted an entire chapter to the brain's left side. Instead, both of these single, fluke incidents Just Happened to coincide, and at that exact instant ...

* * *

Or, how about another, from a couple weeks earlier, on 10/6/16.

Same deal as before, except this time it involved my spleen rather than my head. Precisely as I randomly read "twitched" in a book -- my spleen twitched, in a distinctive (and irksome) way that I experience from time to time (but, on that day, I'd not had happen for hours).

* * *

Or, how about this one, also of recent note (10/14).

Just like the last one, basically, except that this time I was writing rather than reading, in a personal health-journal I keep. Precisely as I wrote about my spleen evacuating the night before (yeah, spleens do, when upset, evacuate gas and the like, if you've never had the pleasure of spleen dysfunction) -- BAM! -- it happened again, my typing out "spleen evacuated" 100% synchronistically with my spleen gurgling empty, as to coincide perfectly.

Ah! you might say. But this time, you were writing about the involuntary function, and thus thinking about it, and so the thought could've just acted as a subconscious trigger. Yes, good point -- and, perhaps, that was indeed the case. For this one, at least. (Then again, considering I've experienced several others which would fail to be explained in this manner, but were, pattern-wise, nearly identical ... perhaps this one wasn't just some subconscious tomfoolery.)

* * *

Here's a nice little pair, which occurred back-to-back, on the evening of 9/13/16.

Straight quote from my log:
Had a couple of late and highly notable reading synchros this evening, both of that "involuntary bodily function corresponding to something read" type. The first was when I was in the sauna and got a sudden surge of that bad upset deep in my left guts, a couple seconds before I read "a vicious congestion of the chest" -- a perfect description of this phenomenon in the guts of mine, couldn't have put it better myself. [...] And then, a little less notable but almost identical in nature: "not so tense" almost precisely as my shoulders visibly/palpably relaxed, causing me to slump, again not quite perfectly synchronistic but certainly close enough to be of note.
 * * *

Once more, I could post additional examples ... but I won't. If you're unconvinced (or curious), go to the log and search for "involuntary" in the 2015 and -16 sections. (Not that my log constitutes objective proof of the phenomenon, of course; if nothing else, it's good for a laugh.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Buckshot of "Ask and Ye Shall Receive"

In a random book, I read of someone listening to a NASCAR race on the radio. Afterward, I had the thought: You know, I've never once heard a race on the radio ...

After thirty-some years of life on Earth, you'd think I'd have heard at least a race or two. But no, not once.

The next day, I was in my car, traveling through a small town in another state, when I lost my radio station. Upon scanning for a new one, I came to a station with an announcer rather than music -- for a NASCAR race.

* * *

A few days ago, I noticed my toilet bowl needed cleaning. My first thought was to go for the chlorine-based spray I've always used, but I was stopped by a thought: This stuff is toxic, and pollutes the environment when flushed. There must be a good, nontoxic way to flush the toilet ...

Thirty minutes later, when reading a random magazine, I came across a how-to article for cleaning house -- which mentioned that baking soda and vinegar were great as a "nontoxic way to clean the toilet."

As it were, I had both. Worked great, and no nastiness.

(Oh yeah, and the magazine? An issue of 'Parents,' the first I'd never seen, which I'd been Compelled to get from the library's "free" bin, despite being neither a parent nor a parent-to-be nor having the slightest interest in anything parent-y. And, of course, there was nothing about toilet-cleaning anywhere on the magazine's cover ...)

* * *

When on the way to a doctor's appointment, I randomly thought of the waiting room there, and how I would sometimes read its complimentary copies of Rolling Stone. This triggered a second thought: Been a while since I've read a Rolling Stone. Wouldn't mind reading one again sometime.

At the doctor's, I was seen to right away, so I was deprived of waiting in the waiting room and, thus, of leafing through a Rolling Stone. But no matter, because, during my visit, the doctor informed me that she'd recently cleaned out all the magazines in the place, and had felt "led" to save all the copies of Rolling Stone -- for me.

I left with a veritable stack of the things, as to require a double-bagged bag.

* * *

I could list more -- many more. But I won't. You get the idea.

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Book-Synchro Returns

For those unfamiliar, allow me to recap.

The "book synchronicity," as I've dubbed it, is, categorically, as follows: I'll read of something in a given book -- usually a rare, new fact previously unknown to me -- and then, very soon after, I'll read of that same thing a second time, in my next sequential book. Usually, said books will have been purchased totally randomly, and read in a similar fashion; likewise, the books will be completely different (subject matter, author, type, etc). Another common component of these incidents: I'll have been Compelled, in a special, illogical way, to buy the books in question, and similarly motivated to read them when I do. Thus, a typical, patternistic reading-synchro would involve me being Compelled, for no particular reason, to buy several books, at different time periods, and then read them randomly, perhaps after they'd been sitting in my stack for weeks or months or longer, just waiting for me to get that illogical green-light to at last crack them open -- only to find that the two books will contain notably similar facts, mentions, or themes, and with a precision and nature that would render such recurrences highly unlikely (sometimes shockingly so, as to be of astronomically low probability).

To see what I mean, browse some past examples, why don't you.

* * *

Now, I've experienced some good, convincing book synchronicities, and plenty of them, such that I've stopped blogging these incidents unless they are truly exceptional.

Case in point.

This one breaks somewhat from the typical book-synchro pattern, in that the incident's first ingredient was a newspaper rather than a book. And, also somewhat unique, the paper came to me, and for free. As it were, the paper was in a supermarket I frequent, though not for sale; rather, it was lying atop a cooler, just beyond the checkout. When I passed, the paper Jumped Out at me, demanding my attention, in that special way typical of Compellings. So I stopped and picked it up, finding myself holding a week-old copy of The Wall Street Journal (from August 23rd, 2016). It would seem that some considerate soul had left it on the cooler after reading it through, to be recycled as is customary. Though not much of a Wall Street Journal-type, I proved to be the paper's savior from that lonely cooler (after I checked with a cashier that, indeed, the paper was fair game rather than just a misplaced for-sale copy). I had little interest in WSJ subject matter, of course, but interests don't factor into Compellings.

That night, we come to this incident's first synchronicity: While reading through this paper, I came across an article that mentioned the recent acquisition of a company called Syngenta, which I had never before heard of in my life. And then, approximately a half-hour later, when reading through my current book at the time (Fast Food Nation, as it were), I came to a section on GM foods, in which it mentioned the company Syngenta.

A classic book-synchro: my learning of something for the first time in my life, in some randomly bought- and read piece of reading material, and then, a short time after, encountering that same thing elsewhere, despite the sources being entirely different in subject matter (and time of purchase, and about everything else). It's only more notable that, in this case, the original source was a cast-off, week-old newspaper, involving news and information for which I had no logical need, and picked up totally on instinct in an equally random place.

But that was just the start. (Remember: the blog-worthy ones gotta be truly exceptional, these days.)

Next up, Exhibit B: the vitamin book, Planet Heal Thyself.

Here, we must rewind several weeks (remember, also, that my book-synchro books are often acquired weeks or months apart). This part, too, comes with a twist: instead of randomly buying this book, I got it for free, unexpectedly, when buying a vitamin supplement. When considering the supplement, I hadn't seen a sign for a free book; I learned of this bonus only upon checking out (the supplement was on sale, too, and I even had a coupon -- my lucky day!). The complimentary book, called Planet Heal Thyself, was about vitamins and minerals and the like, but I wasn't much drawn to it at the time, so it went in my stack, where it would sit for the next few weeks, while I entertained more-attractive books. Only after finishing Fast Food Nation (the book that first echoed Syngenta, thus instigating the whole mess) was I Compelled to read the vitamin book.

This too followed the pattern, with the book just seeming to glow amongst its brethren in the stack, saying Pick me! Pick me! in that special way I've come to recognize.

That brings us to the second synchronicity. Within the first few pages of the vitamin book, it mentioned a website, "23andMe," where one can have their DNA analyzed for various things. I'd never heard of this site before, and despite previously having no real interest in exploring my DNA, I was Compelled to write it down and visit it. However, as it turned out, I didn't get around to actually looking up 23andMe until a few days later, in a fit of determination to clear my desk of notes and other I'll-do-it-laters. Similarly, on the same evening, about thirty minutes later, I got around to finishing that curious copy of the WSJ I'd started reading the other night (I do this, picking through a section or two of a newspaper at a time). In the paper's final section, I came to an article about genetic testing, which mentioned a website where the public can be tested for various genetic conditions:

This recurrence, too, fits the book-synchro pattern, doubly so: first, I'd originally learned of the site just days before; and, second, I re-encountered it in the paper less than an hour after actually visiting the site. (And, keep in mind: the paper's mention of 23andMe was in the last, innermost section, totally concealed and out of view when I'd initially snatched up the paper and even after I'd read the first few sections -- so it's impossible that I could've been subconsciously influenced by it, in even the most subtle and imperceptible of ways).

Exceptional yet? Apparently not, because two days later, it happened all over again.

Same deal: another randomly bought book (a heady historical title called DNA USA, this time), read as randomly, just after finishing Planet Heal Thyself -- and, sure enough, this one, too, mentioned the 23andMe website. So, after somehow remaining ignorant to 23andMe for the several years of its existence, I suddenly bumped into it three times within a matter of days, from three sources that couldn't have been more random and misdirected (and, as it were, adhering to the pattern established by dozens of past incidents, which cranks up the notability factor exponentially).

For this third one, though, I can foresee an obvious rebuttal: Weren't you already thinking of genetics and the like when you began reading a book with "DNA" in the title? Ah, a good point, Watson, because this scenario would indeed suggest some subconscious influence in my choice of reading material. Except, here's the thing: I'd bought the DNA USA book before reading Planet Heal Thyself and the unexpected copy of The Wall Street Journal -- that is, before I'd ever first read of Syngenta and 23andMe in the others (and even before I'd come to the relevant part of that first, initial book, Fast Food Nation). As it so happened, just a couple days prior to my receiving the paper on charity, I'd picked up the DNA USA book from a thrift store, despite having a good, full stack of unread books back at home -- being Compelled to buy it, illogically yet distinctly, as is prominent with these things.

So, yeah ... exceptional.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

You Just Can't Force These Things

It was one of "those" days.

The synchronistic phenomenon was in full swing: the incidents coming left and right, the world alive with them, as to leave my head spinning in a surreal, living-dream daze. On the day in question, I'd experienced several "reading"-type synchronicities in particular, where my random thoughts and experiences would coincide with equally random phrases read in books or on signs and the like. To my resident skeptic, however, such high levels of "activity" only inspire negative, glass-half-full comments. For example: while I was sitting outside a coffee shop and read "A bell jingled," and no bell jingled in answer.

With that, my mind's resident skeptic spoke up: If you're really experiencing these surreal synchronicities as you think, then why no bell?

Good question, I thought in reply. Absently, I then set the book down to take a sip of coffee. Afterward, upon resuming the book, I picked back up where I'd left off, at "A bell jingled."

Immediately upon reading it this time, I heard a bell sound from behind me -- and not just any bell, but a jingling bell, a Christmas leftover, with holly and mistletoe and all, hung on the coffee-shop door (despite it being August). The door, opened by some random patron exiting the shop, lay at my back, totally out of sight, such that I couldn't have orchestrated its opening and my reading the phrase even subconsciously -- yet the two had coincided perfectly, as is patternistic of this phenomenon (and of the dozen or so similar occurrences that had transpired that day alone).

To this, my inner skeptic had no rebuttal. I sat silently for a moment, then laughed.

But, striking at this was, it wasn't through (whatever "it" is).

A minute later, a couple paragraphs down in my book, the phrase was repeated, exactly: "A bell jingled." And, again, a jingling bell coincided perfectly with my reading the words (albeit from a different door this time).

My skeptic and I shared another telling silence, then I refreshed my laugh.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Stressing the Point

The numbers. They were at it again.

Not that they'd ever stopped (or had for the last several years, for that matter). But, rather, they were just on an uptick again, inordinately present and ridiculously abundant, as well as particularly ornery -- even witty, seeming to toy with me. On the day in question, I'd not only seen the number 37 and its variants somewhere in the neighborhood of several dozen times (at least that many; I just lost count around the 30-40 mark), but the number had appeared to track me down. In parking lots, for instance: everywhere I parked, the number would be on a neighboring car(s) in some fashion, usually the license plate, and always in a manner both conspicuous and unlikely (and impossible to have been even subconsciously orchestrated by myself, due to, say, invisibility of the number until I parked and, hence, brought it into my view).

Naturally, with so many number-repeats that day, I made several entries into my endless log of such incidents, that evening. However, even at that late hour, there was still one more in store.

As it were, I was making said entries in a gym lobby of all places, staked out on their complimentary couch with my laptop on my knees, the setting sun coming in through the picture window at my back. It was then, while pecking the day's synchronicities into the keyboard, that it happened: with a dull roar from behind me, the window darkened, drawing my attention. Instinctively, I turned around: a truck had parked at the curb outside, feet from me, with a large trailer hitched at the back. And, the way I'd turned around, it was the rear half of this trailer that crowded my vision.

Advertising a landscaping business of some sort, the trailer was crowded with a phone number in large, eye-grabbing type, the last four digits of which were directly in my line of sight: "7337."

Precisely as I was writing about the dozens of 37s, as if to stress the point. No, I'm not making this up.

With a chuckle, I simply made a new entry in my log, transcribing this latest head-spinner. It took seconds; I still had the log file open in my computer's text editor.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Welcome to the Living Dream

You know how you can lay in bed sometimes, neither awake nor asleep, in those twilight hours between late night and early morning? That's how it was for me that night: a long, purgatorial period of non-sleep, of which I was conscious but not really awake.

Until, suddenly, something woke me up all the way -- I don't know what, just a vague, silent prompting to Get Up, involuntary and almost physical. So, I got up.

A split second later, an alarm went off nearby, as to coincide perfectly with my totally spontaneous wake-up.

There followed a moment of stark confusion on my part, as I simultaneously clawed through my blear of half-sleep while trying to trace the source of this alarm that had so synchronistically announced itself. This alarm, I determined, was my watch ... except, I hadn't set any alarm (I don't even know how to; best I can figure is, some buttons got pressed randomly during the course of the preceding day). And, equally eerie: I tried to tell myself that the alarm had started before I woke up, thus signalling said wake-up ... except, it hadn't. The alarm had sounded only a hair after my awakening -- but definitely after, as to coincide with my levering upright instead of the opening of my eyes.

I then sat on my bed in the perfect dark, in an awkward, half-risen angle, listening to the alarm chirp its minute-long chirp. Once again, I'd been synchroshocked.

I remained in this awestruck position for some minutes afterward, long enough to irritate my back. Finally, I reached for a pen and a Post-It, and wrote "alarm synchro -- with blog post."

Monday, May 23, 2016

Mind, Machine, and the Empathic Revolution: Manifesto for a New World

Free eBook from Aaron Garrison:


Like most revolutionaries, I have a dream: of genuine empathy between people -- as to truly see through someone else’s eyes, and discover all it can teach us.

Also in the revolutionary spirit, I have a manifesto, presented as the following essay.

Available as an eBook from the following vendors (for free, except at Amazon and Barnes & Noble):

Available as a print book, via PoD, from the following vendors:

Saturday, May 7, 2016

More Number-Fun

I've reported on my fun with numbers, certainly; and I've reported the newish, "combination-types" of these sort of incidents, too. Well, here's a little more of the latter.

This time, it involved bumper stickers.

First, I've been seeing numbers lately (which goes without saying, really, for the phenomenon hasn't stopped since it started, years ago). Second, the predominant repeats as of the last couple days have been 317, 144, and their variants (73, 14, 44, etcetera). Which brings us to the bumper stickers I got in the mail today.

The bumper stickers in question were for my websites, to be put on my newest vehicle, as to promote my little web-enterprise (the extent of my advertising, as it were). Upon opening up the mailer, however, I gave pause: there, staring up at me, were more my latest, most-popular numbers -- a whole cluster of them, at the bottom of the bumper stickers (their print numbers, I guess). I found this notable from the outset, due to the sheer amount of the repeats, and their total randomness, and their arrival precisely admidst a storm of these very numbers, lasting for days.

Though, what really made this incident blog-worthy was the underscore of irony, given that one of the stickers was for (drum-roll) (Another patternistic component of these incidents, as it so happens, such as when I experience book synchronicities while reading books about synchronicities ...)

But wait, there's more!

When I opened the scanned image in my photo editor, to crop it for this very blog post, I was met with yet another number-repeat, now in the scanned file's timestamp, as a Sundae-topping cherry of sorts.

Upon seeing the cluster of numbers on the bumper stickers, I'd smiled. Upon seeing the file's timestamp, I laughed (which, it felt, seemed to be the point of that little footnote, as if some force wasn't satisfied until getting that response ...).

Thursday, May 5, 2016

More Definitions

I've made several "definitions" posts, as to keep the world abreast on the latest types of synchronicities to ping my radar. And, as of a couple days ago, I now have a new one to define.

First, some preliminary definitions.

A "Compelling" -- when I am intuitively urged to do something, often of an illogical, unnatural, or seemingly counterproductive nature (but that turns out to be beneficial in the end). Example: when I was once Compelled to stay put in my car after parking, only a split second before a bicyclist stormed past my driver's side, from my blind spot, as to occupy the space that would've been filled by my door.

A "Repeat Number" -- when I repeatedly see a specific number (or its shuffled-up variants, such as 173 or 317 instead of 137), typically in improbable, provocative, or otherwise conspicuous ways. Example: encountering an overwhelming number of cars with license plates containing the repeating number, and in independent, unsought-out ways, as to establish an objective and validating factor to the incidents, thus ruling out subconscious bias like selective perception or subconscious suggestion (such as, for instance, randomly stopping to let a car pull in front of me, only to reveal its repeat-number-bearing license plate -- and, typically, many, many times within the course of a day, as to be astronomically unlikely).

A "Receipt Synchro" -- a variant of the Repeat Number, in which I will receive a receipt bearing a repeat-number, often in such a patternistic and conspicuous manner that, also, precludes some type of subjective or psychological bias. Example: randomly going into a store, without planning on it, and then buying an equally random and unplanned selection of goods, only to find the receipt riddled with the repeat-number du jour (and, typically, with other randomizing factors that make the appearance of the number even more unlikely, such as, say, buying a random piece of produce that weighs in at .173 pounds and, thus, ups the total to exactly $11.73, when I Just Happened to check out at exactly 1:37 PM, after Just Happening to get in a long line that held me up such that I would check out at exactly that time and not 1:38, all perhaps after being Compelled to go into the store in the first place -- etcetera).

A "Litter Synchro" -- when I randomly pick up a piece of litter, only to find it to be somehow synchronistic. Example: picking up some unused napkins to throw away, only to find myself developing a mysterious and spontaneous nosebleed just minutes later, to be plugged with the fortuitously found napkins (and, again, perhaps with some illogical and troublesome Compelling thrown in the mix, such as having to go out of my way to pick up the napkins, as happened with the nosebleed incident in question).

And, now, I introduce the newest addition to my synchronistic lexicon: the "Compelled, Number-Repeating, Receipt-Litter Synchro." (No, it's not a handy-dandy new gadget you can get for a limited time at only $199.95 if you call now!!!)

This incident was just as it sounds. While walking down a supermarket aisle, minding my own business, I was Compelled to go out of my way and pick up a stray piece of litter, which turned out to be a receipt. After a second Compelling (did I mention I was late for an appointment, and had absolutely no time for messing with litter?), I unfolded the receipt and read it over, only to be met with the predominant repeat-number for that day, 37. And then, a couple lines down, there was a 73. Then, another one.

On it's own? Yeah, it could've been chance. However, after the past precedent of the dozens upon dozens of prior incidents, all of similar pattern and nature ... unlikely. In any case, it was something of a synchronicity salad, I felt.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Good Day for a Duck (or, An Introduction to Animal Symbolism)

"Animal symbolism" is an old and complicated concept. It goes by many names ("animal totems," "power animals," "augury," "omens"), and is associated with any number of belief systems and traditions, with countless cultural and subjective spinoffs from each, all anywhere from closely similar to wildly different. So, when folks talk about "animal symbolism" and the like, there's no telling just what is being referred to, since the term covers as many hugely varying ideas as there are people to discuss them.

It is for these reasons that I have, until now, avoided the subject.

But, I can't anymore. These days, I've experienced it so much, and for so long now, that I've, first, determined that there is, beneath all the fluff and superstitions that have become attached to it over the millennia, indeed something to the idea (and with enough certainty to satisfy the relentlessly skeptical part of myself that I retain in order to ensure that I'm not deluding myself). And, second, I've just recently had several incidents that have been coherent and consistent enough to establish both a distinct definition and a pattern of action. Namely, my "animal symbolism" synchronicities will, typically, involve a series of notable, statistically unlikely, or otherwise conspicuous encounters with a given animal (or, alternately, with the underlying archetype of a specific "animal," such as, say, repeatedly seeing images of alligators, or signs reading "gators," or meeting several "gator-like" people, etc).

Case in point: the urban ducks.

This exemplary incident of animal symbolism spanned several days, earlier this month, beginning at a hotel on the outskirts of Charlotte, NC. The hotel was pretty ordinary, a middlebrow Best Western in a big plaza of middlebrow hotels, in a big strip of equally button-down medical offices and shipping warehouses and other industrial architecture, all alongside a bustling seven-lane highway. That is to say, this hotel was, in a word, urban, smack dab in the middle of your stereotypical concrete wasteland -- the last place you'd expect to meet any wildlife, much less a duck.

Yet, it was there that my first symbolic duck crops up.

Though, I didn't just see a duck in the vicinity of the hotel. No: the duck was directly in my path upon leaving the hotel, forcing me to take note lest I trip over the thing. As it were, I'd parked my car around the side of the hotel, in an odd, out-of-the-way spot in order to ease the loading of my stuff; and it was there that I encountered this first duck, waddling casually past my self-made parking space, the only other living thing in the area. So unexpected was the sight, I stopped and did a double-take, and then stopped a second time, looking around for a fountain or pond or an overturned duck-crating truck.

There were no ponds or fountains, though. Not that I saw.

(Here, I should note another, book-type-recurrence synchronicity that occurred in conjunction with this one: less than an hour after encountering this hotel-duck -- my first ever, as it were -- I read randomly in a book of a hotel with a resident duck, also in classical patternistic fashion.)

The next duck comes a few days later.

For this one, I'll summarize: another stray duck in an urban landscape where you'd not expect to see anything more than a roach, much less waterfowl. This time, the encounter occurred at a similarly urban-wasteland convenience store, and our meeting was even more conspicuous: as I was emerging from the store's jangling door after paying for gas, there was a mother duck, waddling down the sidewalk with her chicks, directly in my path. In fact, "directly" is, again, a poor description, for this cluster of ducks was right there, precisely as I emerged, dead center in front of me, once more forcing me to stop and give pause lest I trip over this creature.

Had someone been standing by with a duck-box, trying to time the duck's crossing with my exit from the store, they couldn't have done a better job.

The last duck appeared only the next day, as if to ensure my attention.

It was the same as the last two, and as conspicuous, except this time I was in my car, driving through a parking lot. The lot was big, and totally concrete, and every bit as urbanized and un-duck-friendly as the last two environments -- yet, there was a lone duck, in the midst of it all like the proverbial sore thumb, and waddling directly in the middle of the lane I was driving down. Again, I had to stop in my tracks, now to avoid running over my symbolic animal. There, in view of a busy Starbucks and a strip mall of shops and restaurants, I idled patiently in my car, watching this third duck-that-should-not-be ... be. (And, it bears mentioning: I'd felt Compelled to enter the parking lot from this way, against all reason and logic and convenience, passing up the prior entrance and, instead, pulling into one farther down, which forced me to cruise the length of the lot and, thus, encounter the third duck in my little trifecta.)

What's it all mean? That, unfortunately, is hard to say. However, after three conspicuous, patternistic, highly improbable duck encounters, all within a matter of days ... I find it unlikely that the local duck population has been conspiring against me.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Intuition Is Real

I'm an intuitive kind of guy, it would seem. And, lately, this "skill" has been a little more active than in the past, as to warrant sharing.

First, a few months ago, I started seeing a pattern in my parking: wherever I would park, however randomly, I would find myself confronted with certain, repeating numbers on the license plates of neighboring cars (or, alternately, on a bumper sticker or other adornment). Now, my repeat-number drama is another phenomenon I've made some noise about, but the parking-space thing lent a new, intuitive dimension to it. The pattern goes like this: I'll be strongly and distinctly Compelled to park in a certain spot, and these Compellings will, almost without fail, land me squarely behind a license plate bearing one of "my" numbers (usually the number-repeat du jour). And that's how it goes as of late, again and again, such that, within the last few months alone, I've had it happen dozens of times, to the point of it becoming as common as the wind.

This particular flavor of the phenomenon is, admittedly, a tad murky, since you'd have to be me for such hard-to-convey subtleties like the Compellings and the conspicuous number-repeats to really have an impact (that is, seeing these numbers dozens of times over the course of a day, every day, for years on end, and always in nearly identical fashion). But, still, I found its mention appropriate to this post.

I dunno. Maybe someone will find this part notable (after all, I'm sure I'm not the only one experiencing this stuff).

* * *

Anyway. Moving along.

As for the second recent trend in my intuitive adventures, this one's a tad more somber: predicting the behavior of my fellow motorists. Or, rather, their rash, mortally dangerous behavior.

This hair-raising variant of my intuitive Compellings has popped up infrequently over the years, always in the gravely conspicuous fashion in this post's first link. However, unlike other kinds of synchronicistic phenomena I experience, these near-mishaps have, thankfully, been few and far between -- until last month, when I got two "near misses" within weeks of each other, both of them almost exactly alike.

The first was on 2/15, when I was stopped at a little four-way intersection within the parking lot of a large shopping center. I came to the intersection, stopped, waited ... but when my turn came up, something inside me said, "Stay" -- another Compelling, impossible to describe but no less striking. So I stayed. Then, a split-second later as I watched a truck approach the intersection, I had a second stirring, hot on the other's heels: that truck wasn't going to stop.

Well, the truck didn't stop. It sailed right through with barely a pump of the brakes, penetrating the exact space that my car's driver's side would've occupied had I gone through (as was logical and legal and totally "normal" to do). And need I mention that there was zero indication of the truck's murderous behavior beforehand (nor enough time for me to react even if there had been) ...?

And then, on the 29th, two weeks to the day, it happened again.

Another mini-intersection in a shopping center's maze-like parking lot. Another insistent Compelling to stay put when my time came to proceed. Another car barreling through the four-way stop, precisely as I somehow knew that it would (despite having no business of knowing such). And, of course, this all happened with no outward, logical indicators that would've allowed me to predict what was coming, even on a deeply subconscious level (or, again, to have time to react, with everything transpiring within a second or less).

This time, the only differences were that this car didn't even slow down, and that part of my Compelling was that it would not only blow through the stop sign but swerve through (which it did). Oh yeah, and this time, I wasn't in a car, but instead on my moped (which, for those unfamiliar with mopeds, are no match for any car, especially not a demonic minivan swerving by at speed).

* * *

My latest intuition was of a different, less-"Oh my God!" kind, and did not involve a motor vehicle in any capacity, parked or intersection-ignoring or otherwise.

This one involved food.

Umeboshi plums. The Japanese are fond of these, or so I've read. Ever heard of umeboshies? I hadn't, not until I happened across them at the health-food store.

Long story short: I saw this curious concoction, and was instantly seized by another Compelling: buy this stuff, and eat it. I read over the plums' Asian-character-marked packaging, looking for some possible reason why I should be interested in an odd ethnic food from an ethnicity that I cannot claim. And then, after I saw the plums' outlandishly high price ($35 and some change for a teeny little bottle), I reread the box, thinking I'd missed where the umeboshi will clean my house or cure cancer or do something to justify their cost. But, nothing other than nutrition facts and some optimistic marketing jargon.

My Compelling, however, remained unfazed: get the plums, ridiculous price or not.

I bought the plums.

Once again, I'll summarize: within a day after eating one of these zesty, salty little plums, I felt different. Better. My health is not what it could be; specifically, my digestion. And that's just what the plums seemed to address: my digestive issues, and the many systemic symptoms that result therefrom. I let myself get excited, but only a little; after all, my improvement could've been coincidence, if not outright placebo (despite my having no notion that the plums would improve my digestion, conscious or otherwise). So I experimented, noting the specific improvements that seemed to implicate the plums, and when/if they corresponded with my eating the stuff.

The improvements did correspond, without question. And the benefits continue to this day.

One thing bears mention here: my digestive woes were not a recent thing, nor something that I hadn't tried to address in the past. As it were, I've tried many, many, many remedies, from supplements to radical diets to yoga and special exercises to herbs and unguents and foul-tasting spices, all the way to fringe experimentation either too obscure or personal to expand upon -- without noticeable improvement. But then, from out of nowhere, I'd blindly bought this unfamiliar, expensive imported food, going on nothing but a classic "gut feeling" -- and it worked. (Though, as some after-the-fact research has pointed out, my results are not surprising, for umeboshi plums are traditionally known as a highly effective digestive remedy (known to the Japanese, at least -- and, it would seem, to whatever hidden force lay behind my intuitions).)

And, for what it's worth: umeboshi tastes damn good. I like to mix it with something sweet and savory, myself. Bonus.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Ask and Ye Shall Receive (Yes ... Again ... Really ...)

First, there's some required reading. Not that this incident doesn't speak for itself; it's just more fully appreciated in the context of its predecessors.

Now, as for this latest reprise of the classical "ask and ye shall receive"-type synchronicity, it begins two months ago, in December of '15.

I was in North Carolina at the time, visiting family for Christmas. While there, I encountered my father's grey pickup truck, and had the random thought that I wouldn't mind driving a truck for a while -- not own a truck, necessarily, just toy around in one for a little bit. This wasn't a distinct "asking," really, but it was no less of a desire, however faint. Well, long story short, I had car troubles while up in NC, which necessitated a rental car after the holidays. However, when I went to pick it up, I received some news: they were out of the economy car I'd reserved (cue Seinfeld sketch), but would I take a free upgrade? Of course I would; I wasn't picky, so long as I paid the same.

My upgraded vehicle? A big slate-grey pickup truck. Just days after my random-but-distinct desire to drive just such a truck (a grey one, as it were).

* * *

For the next part of this meta-incident (and yes, there's a next part, plus a third), we skip forward to January of '16, a month later.

Again, I'll summarize: more car trouble, and I needed to travel, hence another rental car. Likewise, just before this situation arose, I'd been struck with another fanciful notion to drive a certain type of car -- an SUV this time. In fact, for the whole week prior to my new car woes, I'd had these thoughts on several occasions, usually coinciding with my encountering one of the many big, beastly SUVs out and about.

You can probably guess what happened next.

On the morning I was to pick up my next rental car (another cheapie sedan, because I still wasn't picky about what I drive, despite my sudden car-lust), I received a call: "We couldn't get ahold of the car you rented, so you're getting a free upgrade."

This upgrade: a ginormous Chevy Tahoe, an SUV if there ever was one.

* * *

Yep, lightning struck a third time.

Today, in February of '16, the situation was almost exactly the same: yet more car troubles (my "luck" with the rentals was met with an equal amount of problems with my owned vehicle, it seems), and I had a doctor's appointment I didn't dare cancel, so it was back to my friendly neighborhood car-rental folks. And, surprise surprise: they were once more out of cheap cars, and I was receiving a free upgrade, and the car was (drum roll) just the kind I'd mysteriously and suddenly gotten the hots for.

Really, it's pretty profound in itself that this situation should recur three times in as many months. But, that each time I should be struck with vague-but-distinct desires to drive just the type of car I was upgraded to, just before receiving the upgrade ... However, I'm getting ahead of myself somewhat, for this latest incident was a little different, as to be a bit more notable.

See, this time, my "I want to drive this sort of car" thought was, unlike the last two, neither vague nor broad. This time, my desired car was very specific: a Nissan 350z. And, similarly, I can tell you exactly from whence this thought emerged: I had to walk a few minutes to meet the rental driver who was to pick me up (Enterprise really does pick you up, you know), and this short walk required me to pass a property on which I've seen parked, many times, a particular Nissan 350z, which I've several times thought that I would like to drive. Thus, it was by passing this property that my old longings for a 350z were stirred.

Note that this desire surfaced 1) only before being picked up and taken to the rental agency, and 2) just before I was picked up. That is, mere minutes before I would get to the agency and learn, entirely unbeknownst to me until then, that I'd once again received a free upgrade, now to a Nissan 370z (a luxury sports car that would've cost approximately four times as much as the economy-class I'd reserved, it bears mentioning).

(Ah, the more perceptive of you are probably saying, "But it was a 370z, not a 350." That was my initial thought, too (or, at least, it was after my head stopped spinning from witnessing this trifecta of sorts). But then, tonight, I got curious and Wikipedia'd the 370z, only to find that it is the 350's successor -- that is, not a separate model, par-se, but the 350's replacement. So, practically speaking, the 370 is in essence a 350z, just of a later year.)

* * *

So, just to recap: I not only got the exact type of car I'd "wished" for, and in the most random of ways, due to circumstances entirely unknown to me and outside my control -- but it happened three times in a row, each less than a month apart.

But I'm just "lucky," right? Just a "funny coincidence," right? Right ...

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

An Echo's Echo

I was writing a tweet while eating dinner, multitasking. As it were, the tweet in question was a synchronicity "report":

"1/26/16 synchronicity: randomly reading 'rumbling' in a book, precisely as a rumbling sounded from the neighbor's RV next door (as randomly)"

Then, mid-tweet, a new synchronicity unfolded: precisely as I typed "rumbling," my guts rumbled audibly, in digestion. The noise and the typing's completion coincided with the same perfectly synchronistic, "impossible to replicate even if I'd practiced it" timing -- the very same unmistakable timing with which the original "rumbling" had occurred.

I laughed. Then finished the tweet, and expanded the original incident's log entry. Then made this blog post. Then laughed some more.

Monday, January 11, 2016

This Is What A Living Dream Looks Like

A few days ago, I started reading a book, The Ashes of Waco, by Dick J. Reavis. A recounting of the 1993 Waco incident, in which "David Koresh" and a group of associates burned to death in their compound, the book describes Mr. Koresh as a gun-toting, beer-drinking Messiah, who smokes cigarettes and "plays a mean guitar," and possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of the Bible and like books (and, by his own description, was the Lamb of Revelation, capable of reading God's book of the seven seals).

I read that colorful description on January 8th specifically. As it were, it was the first time in a while that I'd encountered anything involving such a worldly Messiah -- if not the first time ever. Not the most common breed of Christ, that.

The next day, the 9th, I received an email: I had a new Twitter follower, a "Bodie Myers." Upon opening the email, I was met with the avatar and mini-bio screenshotted above.

Guns. Beer. Guitar. Books. All elements of that unlikely, Koreshian Messiah were present, recurring in less than 24 hours.

I don't know Mr. Bodie Myers (assuming this individual is male). But I'll send him/her my thanks, all the same. Besides synchroshocking me, your Twitter follower-ship gave me one hell of a laugh.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Book Synchro, Re-revisited

Once again, I must share a reading synchronicity, thus revisiting a thoroughly visited phenomenon.

Actually, "revisit" isn't quite right, because I've already touched upon this particular flavor of synchronicity several times. In fact, I've devoted so many posts to it, even inventing a word like "re-revisit" isn't right, either. No. Poke through this blog, and you'll find it riddled with book- and reading-synchro posts, with a new one coming each time the phenomenon evolved or shifted or complicated -- so many I can't even insert a clever little link to point you to them.

Well, it's happened again: I've experienced the newest iteration of the book synchro. And though I'm hesitant to add another book-synchro post to the stack, I must, for this last one was a whopper.

* * *

Picture this, if you will: you sit down to read a book, and things in it start to happen. The book describes your surroundings. Echoes your thoughts. Corresponds with stuff happening to other people, even. Surreal, right? Right. It would, really, leave you quite unhinged, were you not ready for it (or even if you were).

But it's also impossible, too. Right ...?


Yes, that scenario is exactly what I've experienced -- or, at least, in the book synchro's latter incarnations. The phenomenon started out quietly enough, albeit not unnotably so (nor much less surreal): I would, say, read of the exact same, unlikely things in two random books, back to back, when the chances of such a recurrence were incredibly low (and there were no outward indicators of the books' contents, or any parallels of subject matter, or anything else that might have resulted in such a coincidence). Or, later on in the timeline, the phenomenon might've become a little more active and dynamic, such as reading exactly what I'd just then been thinking, in the back of my head (in a separate, independent chain of thought that was in no way related to the text). Or, later still, to send me deeper into this particular rabbit hole, the book might echo the speech and actions of those around me, visible and nearby but in no way connected to my book (or connected to me at all, beyond being in my proximity).

But these were all just coincidences, right? Even though they were hugely unlikely, and even though they happened again and again and again (and again), dozens of times and in the same basic, coherent pattern -- all just coincidence. Because, Mr. Garrison, that sort of thing is, simply, impossible.

But, I repeat: wrong. It is possible, and it has happened to me, a great many times. And, likewise, the book synchros (and all kinds of other, similar incidents) continue to happen for me, daily.

But, enough of the old "is it or isn't it real?" debate. Nothing I can say will convince the unconvinced (which, to be fair, is how it should be, considering that I am without objective evidence and can only give my word as to these events' reality -- got to show discernment, and be healthily skeptical, after all). So, let's just move on to the latest string of incidents, those which have demanded this post.

Shall we?

* * *

It started routinely enough, if mind-bending synchronicities can be at all routine.

A few days ago, I sat down to read, and almost immediately, as if on a switch, I started getting the hits: one sentence after another, echoing my reality in some respect, be it random thoughts or something I'd recently been thinking, or unlikely topics of inquiry I'd been exploring just hours or minutes earlier, or something going on across the street just right there-that-wow! Etcetera. But, at this point, not too big a deal (can you believe that I've really gotten used to this sort of thing ...?).

Soon, however, things got interesting.

First, there was just more: more echoes, more frequency, more parallels. But then it all graduated in intensity, as well as in timing, with things coinciding in a "perfectly synchronistic" fashion that is as impossible to describe as it is to consciously orchestrate. Next, as I read on, experiencing this rheostat-esque intensification like a passenger on a shuddering aircraft, I noticed a qualitive difference in the incidents, with the echoes and such beginning to overlap and intertwine, as to gain a multidimensional character that, also, I haven't the words to convey.

And that was just in the morning.

Fast forward to that afternoon, at lunchtime, when I sat down to read again, and had the "storm" repeat itself. By the time I'd finished eating and closed my book, the text had been spitting out a running commentary of what was, more of less, happening in my head and immediate environment. Right as I thought of getting some extra coffee, then decided against it because Starbucks double-brews their drip coffee and, thus, would be too much caffeine -- "too much coffee," reads the book. A long, random chain of thought that ended in my thinking of "1999" by Prince, and its lyric "the sky was all purple" -- "beginning to purple the sky," reads the book. Etcetera, etcetera, again and again, until even my sky-high tolerance for wow was in danger of being reached.

At the storm's tail end, the phenomenon even gained some irony, when the book's narrator began questioning his sanity and whether his experiences were objectively real (because the guy in the book had been presented with irrefutable proof of psychic experiences) -- when I'd been thinking that exact same thing (down to the same terminology, "objectively real"), in regards to this very phenomenon. More echoes, sort of. (Irony, or mockery?)

Oh, and the name of this particular book? Stir of Echoes. And what was it about? A man who experiences all kinds of weird, "impossible" stuff and has to reconcile with it. (And did I know this the day before, when I'd felt so strongly Compelled to buy it at a thrift store, totally randomly, like all the other book-synchro books ...?)

Yes, surreal. Surreal indeed.

* * *

"But surely it stopped there?" you say. I mean, after all, even the guys in books like Stir of Echoes get a break after such a crescendo of their impossi-weirdness. Right? Right ...?

No, didn't stop there.

The next day, the same thing happened, for the most part. If anything, the phenomenon just kept intensifying, for it not only continued through the rest of Stir of Echoes, but right on into the next sequential book I started on (plus a random magazine I read in between the two). And, throughout, it was the same deal: stark, explicit reflections of my inner and outer reality, coming in big, minutes-long bursts that left my head spinning. Dozens of individual "echoes," each wow-worthy enough to merit its own blog post.

"Living dream" says nothing, friends. Nothing at all.
All in all, these reading-synchro whirlwinds happened for three sequential days, spanning several books and other assorted reading material, and all following nearly the same pattern. On the fourth day, when this long-winded meta-incident finally ceased, it wasn't without another note of irony: it stopped only when I began expecting the phenomenon, anticipating a repeat when I sat down to read that day.

Oddly, a part of me knew that would happen -- and was expecting that, too, as to add yet more irony to the stew (along with some humor).

* * *

Good thing I'm just a guy on the internet, though. Just another faceless voice making fantastic claims without a shred of proof.

Yes, good thing. Because books just don't behave that way, thank God.