Monday, April 26, 2010

Unseen influences: synchronicity, coincidences and timing

Many of the strange incidents described in other articles were very unpleasant and painful to experience. There is another side to the story: I experienced some interesting and amusing unusual incidents too, many of them during a phase in my life when I had started to wake up, defend myself and investigate the metaphysical world.

This article contains a miscellaneous assortment of such incidents. I am not sure of their significance, although they do provide supporting evidence for the theory that our thoughts may influence reality.

Some of these incidents gave me an opportunity to take a closer look at something that I had seen on TV or read about, and wished that I could see more of; other things that I had just been thinking about and dwelling on without wishing that I could see them also manifested in my life.

The milkman, the archbishop and the Liverpool Spinners
One fine summer’s day many years ago, I decided to go to the Harrods sale. I wanted to get there early to avoid the crowds, but needed to stay at home until my milk was delivered: it would turn sour very quickly if I left it standing outside my door in the heat. I did not expect to wait long, as the milkman always came very early on Saturdays in the summer. I did not know that my regular milkman was on holiday; the temporary man was late because he was not familiar with the route. I played some music while I was waiting, including songs by The Spinners (Liverpool not Detroit), who were one of my favourite groups. They often wore a stage uniform of yellow tunic and black trousers. I played one song several times because I liked it so much: it is called Asikatali or Asikhatali and is a South African freedom song.

This song by association made me think about Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, friend of Nelson Mandela and renowned anti-apartheid campaigner who lived in South Africa for many years. He had been interviewed on the radio recently, and said something about the ordination of women that could be taken two ways. I thought about this while I was waiting: I wondered what he actually meant by his comments and whether he was in favour or not.

The milkman eventually came, I put the milk away and went out. I was singing Asikatali to myself as I walked along: We do not care if we go to prison/it is for freedom that we gladly go”. I was lost in the song when I suddenly had an uncomfortable feeling: it seemed that someone was following me. I came back down to earth and turned round. I saw an African man who seemed to have fallen into step behind me. He was wearing a tunic and trousers made of black and yellow patches.

I turned back - and saw Archbishop Huddleston: he was standing right in front of me! His face was unmistakable, and he was in clerical dress. He had two small boys with him, and they went into a sports shop. Perhaps he was buying cricketing gear for some of his young relations.

The temporary milkman was really responsible for this incident: it was his arrival time that got me to the right place at the right time. A few seconds earlier or later and I would have missed seeing the Archbishop. Perhaps the music and drumming and the pictures in my mind had something to do with it too, where the African man was concerned. What I was dwelling on in my mind certainly manifested in my life in this case.

I found The Spinners' recording of Asikatali on YouTube recently. It reminded me of this incident from my past.

The sultanas and the fox cub
Christmas was on the horizon. I decided to make some mincemeat provided that I already had all the ingredients, dried fruit in particular. I checked my stores and found that I had some dried fruit but no sultanas. A friend came visiting. She put a bag into my hand: it contained some dried fruit, including some large, pale, plump sultanas - the best specimens that I had ever seen. I told her that she had read my mind.

I paid her back immediately: I gave her a BBC Wildlife magazine that I had bought for her children because it had an article about Russian Dwarf Hamsters, which they loved. It also had the winning pictures from the BBC’s wildlife photography competition. She told me that she had heard about this on the radio. The BBC had announced that the winner was a picture of a fox cub with a puzzled expression. She had immediately wished very strongly that she could see this picture, and I had put it into her hand. This is a good example of a ‘double whammo'.

The two glaciers
I was sucking the juice out of some science fiction magazines before taking them to a charity shop. I was reading a story about a man who lived in an imaginary future where there was a new ice age. He lived near a glacier; it was moving towards his hut and after measuring the daily movement he realised that he would soon be forced to move south as his little house would be overwhelmed by the ice. Before I had quite finished the story, I switched the radio on to hear the news summary, which usually ended with a light item. I endured the depressing news until the final item came: it was called ‘The Galloping Glacier’. It was about a glacier that was moving so fast that its movement could be measured on a daily basis.

I told a colleague and fellow traveller, who is featured in some of my articles under the name of Mr W, about this, and he told me a long story about his experiences with double glazing: there had been some big new development. I can’t remember the whole story, but it is the topic that provides an example of another ‘double whammo’.

Water jet and gas jet
I felt a generous impulse one day, and decided to go out and get a present for someone. I was rather undecided as to where to go, but eventually took a route through a busy central area. I noticed that a small crowd was watching something. I went to see what they were all looking at, and found that it was a spectacular water leak.

Normally when water mains burst the water just ripples away into the gutter and no one gives it a second look, but this was like a fountain. The water was rising higher and higher in spurts. More people came to see the show and a policeman came to inspect it too. I went on to the shops, and when I came back there were no remaining signs that something unusual had happened.

I told Mr W, who immediately matched my story: he gone out around the same time, felt an inclination to take a different route and seen a big gas jet that had caught fire and was attracting a lot of attention from passers-by.

The small lions and the Age of Aquarius
I had been reading about the dawning of the Aquarian Age. I had come across the idea that we also need to consider the sign of Leo, which is opposite Aquarius. The start of this aspect of the new age could be symbolised by a small lion or lion cub.

Just as I was thinking about this, the TV news ended with an item about someone who was fostering some young wild animals: two lion cubs and one tiger. Then I had a flash of understanding: I suddenly realised that the name of a former acquaintance meant ‘young lion’ in his native language, which I had started to learn.

Soon after this, I went to an event and was introduced to someone who suddenly produced a small size Lion chocolate bar and insisted I take it.

The two Boxers
I raised a few families of Russian Dwarf Hamsters many years ago. It was very amusing to watch some of them go through the ‘wild young man’ phase. I remember going to investigate some squawking and finding two brothers sitting up and throwing punches at each other. It was just sparring, not real fighting. They were big around the shoulders and I thought that they looked like two boxers with towels round their necks. I told some people at work about my two tiny boxers.

When I came home that day, I arrived just in time to help someone get his dogs out of the front door. It was narrow and heavy, and he was trying to hold it open with one hand while manoeuvring the dogs on leads out with the other. I held the door open for him, and admired the dogs: they were two Boxer dogs! They were beautiful. I had never seen either the man or the dogs before, and I never saw them again.

Yet again, something I had been thinking about manifested in my life, and the timing was spot on.

Arthur Miller
I was reading his autobiography and thinking about the parts that had some relevance to my investigations. I decided to go to a central market by a particular route, and on the way I saw him and his third wife sitting at a table outside a small cafĂ© – he was unmistakable.
I often passed famous actors from TV programmes that I liked in the street, but as I often walked through theatreland I can’t see much significance in this. Someone from the US whose book provided confirmation of some of my ideas is another matter.

Nelson Mandela’s daughter’s hat
I watched Mandela’s inauguration, which was attended by his daughter. I really liked her hat: it was dark and square, very different from the usual round, flowery hats that are often worn on formal occasions. I wished for a longer look, as the cameras soon moved to him.

I was thinking about it while waiting for a bus. My bus came; I was about to get on when I noticed that the one behind had many more empty seats. I didn’t want to have to stand, so I went towards the second bus. Then something prompted me to go back to the first bus: after all, I only needed one seat.

A strikingly dressed young woman got on at the next stop. Everyone was looking at her surreptitiously: her clothes were very smart and unusual. I think that she was a fashion student and had made them herself. Her hat looked remarkably like the one worn by Mandela’s daughter: it was exactly the same shape and colour.

It was always my habit to look out for the emptiest buses, but on this occasion something made me take one that was almost full. I was very glad that I did, considering what came of it.

The Pygmies and the 1950s housewife
I saw a TV programme about someone who brought a group of Pygmies from Africa to Europe - I think it was Germany. They wore tracksuits and walked along in single file behind their guide; they had someone to look after them and deal with the cultural differences. I thought that taking them out of their usual environment was not a very wise idea, and wondered what they thought about life in the West.

The next day, someone who looked as though he came from the same group came and sat next to me on the bus. He wore a similar tracksuit, and although very small appeared to be a young adult not a child. I had been thinking about the Pygmies, but not actually wishing that I could see them.

Something very similar happened after I watched a programme about a woman who lived as much as possible like a housewife from the 1950s, including the clothes. I like the 1950s, and was delighted when a young woman wearing 1950s clothes got on my bus. She was not the one I saw on TV, but her handbag, shoes, dress and hairstyle all looked very authentic. She sat right opposite me, so I was able to get a very good look at her clothes.

The Tibetan restaurant and the motorised settee
I saw a fascinating TV programme about people who had put engines on their furniture, on a bed for example, then drove around in them. One man was chugging along a country lane on his settee at around 1 mile per hour. I would have liked a closer look, but thought that there was no chance as he lived up north somewhere and would only take it to places where there was no traffic.

A few days later, I was walking to work via a slightly different route from my normal one when I saw the settee parked outside a Tibetan restaurant! It had probably been hired for a promotional event, to attract customers. I was able to examine it closely: there was a real (uncooked) pizza in the steering wheel, and a little table with a vase of cloth flowers was attached to one of the arms of the settee.

Who and why
I have only ever met one person who has had a string of similar experiences, although a few more have told me about one or two incidents involving coincidences. I have found online some more people in whose lives synchronicities are a regular occurrence. I wonder how many there are in the entire world. I wonder why we are singled out in this way. I wonder what we all have in common.