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.

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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.