It should be pointed out that the exact nature of such phenomena has been the subject of significant analysis for some time. It has intrigued philosophers, psychiatrists, mathematicians and physicists. To name a few: Kammerer’s Law of Series, Schopenhauer’s Apparent Design in the Fate of the Individual and most importantly to me J.C. Jung’s Synchronicity, an acausal connecting principle.

 1.  A middle-aged physician was in New York City for a medical convention. One evening he was strolling through the Soho district when heard music coming from a small club. Something in the sound caught his attention and reminded him of his youthful days when he was in a small jam band group. He stood outside listening and after a short while the band took a break and came on to the sidewalk. He struck a conversation with one of the young band members first about the music and then to where the band was from. It turned out both came from the same city in western Pennsylvania. When the older man introduced himself, the younger responded with, "Is your middle name Wayne?" The older man said, "Yes." Whereupon the younger man reached for his wallet and produced a driver’s license that he would use when he needed a faux ID. It turned out to be the older gentleman’s first driver’s license. Was it merely a coincidence? Maybe; but nevertheless, it is odd.

2.  A man, celebrating his birthday with his wife in a city halfway across the country from where they lived, happened into a small out-of-the-way antique store.  His wife was exploring for hidden treasures, while he was off to the side looking through some random vintage magazines.  He spotted an old issue of Life Magazine; it had his date of birth displayed on the cover. " Oh honey, look at what I found!" Even more unusual was what came next: Upon closer examination, the faded address label, glued to the lower corner, revealed that this issue was the one directed to his parents at (what was and still is) their home address.  Awesome!

3. ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER'S HOLIDAY STORY:  Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah or Quanza children celebrate by lighting candles. And whether it’s a high rise tenement in a dense city or a single home in the suburbs, they place their candles in windows for all to see.

Isaac Bashevis Singer tells a story about one such young boy and his dad who stood watching the reflection of the little flames dancing on the window. Suddenly a brightly colored parakeet landed in the snow on the windowsill and started to peck at the window. Of course they let it in. Over the next couple of weeks they posted fliers in their building’s elevators, the lobby and on lampposts at the street corners. When there was no response, the sweet cheerful songbird became an important member of the family.

The young boy grew into a young man and was attending a local city college. He met a very nice young woman at school, who he liked very much and started dating. When winter arrived they attended a holiday party; friends sat around sharing holiday stories. The young man shared his about how the holiday parakeet flew into his life a decade ago. His girlfriend was dumbstruck, because she and her family lost their family’s parakeet a winter 10 years earlier. Of course the parakeet recognized his former owner and her family. It was a joyful reunion. Shortly hereafter the young couple married, shared the parakeet and lived happily ever after, convinced that the special bird had brought them together.

  4. A friend recently shared her experience of this last year. On the one hand, the word horrific does not even begin to capture its essence, on the other it is truly and purely inspirational. And while this sequence of events may not appear at first to be a classical story of coincidences, if there is such a thing, it certainly satisfies what are the odds? test.

In January she was diagnosis with cancer requiring surgery, radiation and chemotherapy to achieve remission.

In the spring her husband suffered a nearly fatal burst appendix.

The fall brought a disastrous auto accident where her mother and two aunts were driving to visit their 3 sisters. Two of the aunts were killed instantly. Her mother was severely injured; requiring months of hospitalization then months of physical therapy.

December as the year was coming to its close, her mother and father’s home caught fire and burnt down.

That would certainly have to qualify in anyone’s opinion as quite the year; beyond karma, divine retribution or any test of endurance. Was this woman and her family overwhelmed? Almost, however she started with an exceptionally good and generous spirit. She had the support of her family and 4 year old twin daughters to focus on, so in spite of all that happened last year, she has no rancor. She and her family are starting this year with optimism and enthusiasm. Strangely, I find her story to be truly uplifting. I am very confident that she and her family will make it through and persevere.

 Update:  January '08.  Woman's husband had two minor heart attaches; requiring angioplasty. 

©Stuart Friedland Oct.28, 2007

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