Too Coincidental, has it happened to you?
You know those things that happen that just seem TOO coincidental. Like for instance, you learn the definition to the word "obsequious" then the next day somebody calls you that? Or you have this wonderful idea for a mini-giraffe, then the next week a commercial steals your idea? (that last one happened to me, haha)
I’m not really talking about Deja-vu, but things that happen as soon as you learn that it exists. Any ideas about why this happens or experiences of your own?
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I’ve noticed it for words… But that makes sense. Before, when you dont know the word, its just another big word, but as soon as you learn it, you are almost looking out for it… Its something new, and when you see it you notice it because its new to you.
Happens pretty often to me. Craziest one happened this week actually. I bought this book through Amazon.com called “Communion with God” (it’s not a religious book actually). Then I stumbled on the Way Back Machine, a website that shows you what websites used to look like wayyyy back when. So I randomly typed in Amazon.com and clicked on a random date in 2001. What do I see on the front page? A description of a new book that has come out form Neale Walsch called “Communion with God”!!! Keep in mind this is an html snapshot of what it looked like back then and has nothing to do with my browsing or purchasing history. Crazy!
iamjimmy, yes that is what it was sparked from, lol.
One of my weirdest “dejavu” things: I had a dream where i woke up to for school and i opened the cabinet to get a glass, and there was a silver cord hanging down. I pulled it and on the other end was a camera. coincidentally i needed a camera for school. WELL, I woke up that morning and just shrugged it off as a weird dream. I got downstairs, opened the cabinet and what do you know, a camera. We have NO idea where this camera came from, its like it came out of thin air. We asked everyone we could think of and it wasn’t theirs >_>
@bryan. I thought that too, but on some things it just doesn’t seem like that. Just like the title says, WAY to coincidental. One just happened to me, i mentioned a giraffe on here then goto facebook and a friend made a joke involving a giraffe.
I’ve heard this phenomenon referred to as the “Universal Mind.” From what I’ve gathered from the theory it s is based around the idea that all thoughts are original in nature and belong to a sole creator. Once he thought has come to be the creator is limited in time on whether to act on the idea or not. In part if the creator chooses to sit idle the idea still exist and it has to go some where. The ideas are theorized to collect in a collection pool which can be accessed by any human. So Jessica if you would have been walkin around with your bath robe on backwards 3 years ago you would be a millionaire lol…
Well, there’s a, maybe less exciting explantion for these phenomenon’s. I believe there are two things going on:
1) Stuff that seems too coincidental happens all the time, but it really hits you because of selection bias. For example: You dream of a bike and your bike gets stolen, you might say, aha! What a coincidence! But you would have said the same thing if you would had an accident with your bike, or someone wants to borrow your bike or or or.. And these things are bound to happen, its just probability. Same goes for meeting someone you vaguely know on a holiday, its not really uncommon.
2) Mass priming effect. They once did a study where a group of people in a city got a newspaper puzzle the day after the rest of the city made them. They were 80% (iirc) more succesfull than average (expectation). Why? Because as soon as the answers are out, those words will be more often used and if this is being used on a large scale, people get mass influenced. (If you learn a new word, the chances are much bigger that other people, especially friends because you are a part friend, also learned that new word). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priming_%28psychology%29)
Ofcourse the question, why does this happen is not answered. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was an evolutionary advantage for groups to be more cohesive. And maybe there even isn’t a why or maybe its because we all came from the same source.
I remember something similar being explained in the movie ‘waking life’- must see for lucid dreaming- about how two or three completely innovative ideas could spark on different countries or continents. We have these fixed ideas that X invented the telephone and Y invented penicillin, when actually that’s not the case at all. In some instances (for some reason I’m thinking penicillin) it had already been invented elsewhere but the guy didn’t bother to get a patent for it, and that seems to be the case with a lot of these ‘sparks of genius’.
The basic idea would be of an ‘universal pool of ideas’ from which one would merely bring forth a concept into existence and then decide whether to materialize it (turn the idea from mere energy into solid substance). I came across this video on TED where the speaker gives the example of some poet who would literally ‘feel’ when the poem would come to her, run from the field into the house and write it down. Sometimes if she wasn’t fast enough, she’d have to ‘catch it by the tail’ and pull it towards her, and then the poem would be laid on paper backwards- starting with the end.
I feel almost as if I have to apologise for bringing poor Elizabeth Gilbert into the picture. She’s becoming a Dan Brown type of phenomenon and I hate Dan Brown. Her book was actually well written, funny and dare I say inspirational.
As for my personal experience with these phenomena, it’s become so annoying that I had to start investigating. One rational explanation would be that at some point you just send a signal, a simple thought out into the universe and from then on your unconscious is constantly on the lookout for that piece of information. Consciously, you’ve completely forgotten about it, but your antenna is still out, without you knowing. To illustrate this, here’s something that happened to me a while back: I was desperately trying to remember the name of some guy from college. I was at it for a few hours one day, trying to get there through all sorts of associations, even trying to think if I’d ever seen his name on paper, and how that would be easier to remember with my photographic memory. I wasn’t able to do it for the life of me. Three or four days later, so a considerable amount of time, and by then of course, I’d stopped thinking about it, I was driving into town and a huge lorry passes by, with huge letters on the front of it ‘MIRKO srl’. Also, his name is Serbian and at the time I was in Romania.
A basic explanation would then be that I was somehow on alert and noticed something I otherwise wouldn’t have bothered with or wouldn’t have considered noteworthy. That’s the rational explanation, but in some cases that is just not enough.
For those who want to explore the phenomenon I recommend C.G. Jung’s ‘Synchronicity’. I’d love to tell you what it’s all about but I haven’t read it yet. I’ve recently decided Jung is one of the awesomest people to have ever lived, up there with Waldo Emerson and Einstein, and am now painstakingly reading through tomes of his writing. Synchronicity is the next one on the list though, so I’ll perhaps report later with my findings.
Jung is the one who came up with the concept of ‘collective unconscious’ which is a far better phrase than the above mentioned ‘universal pool of ideas’ and in my opinion deserves a lot more credit for his work. Most people haven’t heard of him but have heard of Freud (he was on coke all the time, of course it’s all about sex. jeez) which is a real shame.
Anyways, another good one was when I became obsessed with socially adept psychopaths ( the ones who aren’t murderous but cause just as much damage without being physically violent) and was reading on the subject. About two weeks later, in the span of one week I saw one episode each of CSI, NCIS and the Mentalist, all educating on the concept of the non-violent psychopath. I was thrilled more people found out about it because whenever I tried to talk to people about it everybody just thought I was exaggerating.
At the end of that week I was beginning to think to myself: ‘My God, I can control television!’.
Cool story! i LOVE Jung too, hes amazing. One of the most brilliant onorthodox psychologists that ever lived. Sometimes it seems to me that the wannabe rational linear conscious ego part of the mind causes a very limited world view.
@martjin. So the fact that I post E. Gilbert’s video here and then a few hours later decide to check out your TED Discussion group, only to find that this video has already been suggested…what’s this one? selective bias?
It’s getting too weird for my feeble mind. Not just this, but everything about this site seems to be bringing about these coincidences. Are we a community already at an energetic level? Are we synchronizing somehow? Is there a ‘High Existence Type’, and that’s why we all have so much in common? And if it is a type then how do we define it? We’re a varied bunch so how do we define that which unites us?
Also, after we achieve world domination who will be leader? you or Jordan? are we doing the Spartan thing (I vaguely remember reading somewhere they had two kings, in recognition of the ‘absolute power corrupts’ principle)?
I was sober the first and second time I watched it and trust me, I don’t remember it either. There’s just something weird about it, and it’s not just the drawing stuff. :) The information is just so new and so concentrated it makes it hard to wrap your brain around all of it.
Now the third time I watched it I wasn’t so sober and I think that was still one of the best trips ever. I felt like a three-year old on Christmas day, that sort of enthusiasm just makes life worth living. I just had that feeling that the universe had opened itself up to me and now I had the answer to everything. brilliant movie, good times…
It always happens to me , so many times that they can’t be “just” coincidences , my researchs about that and some coincidences ;-) drive me to read The Celestine Prophecy and others sites and books about law of attraction (which is partially true). Thoose readings and meditations on it carried me in two possible conclusions : a god or something like that hears my thoughts or my thoughts influence directly the world around me (like law of attraction and creative thinking) . Now I’m sure that the second was the right (but I’m not saying that something like God does not exist) cause of my hermetics studies(and practices) on Franz Bardon’s books.
Everyone has decent answers. I came up with an explanation that has two prongs. 1. Intuition within with subjective perception of consciousness 2. the very root of “the law of attraction”.
I don’t want to bore everyone with a long winded response, so I’ll summarize idea. 1.
As we go through every instant of life, we are constantly recording everything of significance from thoughts to occurrences to actions while simultaneously creating relations and connections between these events interdependent of each of other through casualty. When we step in in a pile of shit, we can create the assumption that it was “bad luck” or it might be a “bad day” and on the flip side we can say the opposite if we were to find 20 dollars. As we live we are constantly defining everything around us.
Now when this is phenomena mixed with intuition or what I like to call the natural law of attraction. See the law of attraction has been taught as if you think of something enough it will create itself right? In reality this isnt the law of attraction but actually a MANIPULATION of the law of attraction because it is consciously guided by the choice maker.
When coincidence occurs it is clearly not on the part of the choice maker because then it wouldn’t be coincidence. So this could lead us to the conclusions that we have these thoughts that will lead to us defining an action or event as a ironic coincidence because we connected it as such with the early prophetic premonition, but in reality its just the natural law of attraction working naturally. THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND ALREADY KNOWS WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN!!! INCEPTION!!!!! DAHM DAHM!
I agree with Martijn. Your brain might just create the coincidence because you want it to happen, because it truly is a nice feeling, whatever the coincidence is.
I think the brain likes rhythm – through sound, in art and also in some of our actions.
But I’m 50/50, it might just be a little message that wants us to stop and think twice about our random actions. Or is that just what I want it to be?
Here is my latest little coincidence.
Two nights ago I dreamt that I was sitting in the back of a bus that arrives in a big parking lot. I saw a mother with her child in a buggy outside on the left. The mother is a few meters away from the buggy buying a ticket for something. The buggy starts rolling towards the bus and neither the driver or the mother notice it. To save it from crashing into the bus I stretch out my left arm through the window and pushes it a good bit away. After this I notice that the sleeve of my jacket got dirty from the side of the bus. I look at it and brush the dirt off. No dramatic feelings or actions, I whatever it and the dream goes on…
Now to the other part…. Yesterday morning when I’m about to get off at a bus stop a mother stands in front of me with her child in a buggy. She gets off before me and during these few seconds she decides in the last one to turn a quick left, the same second that I’m entering the space that she decides to move into. So I do an emergency turn, I jump to the left towards the bus to avoid a crash with the buggy. By doing that I bump into the bus and my jacket gets dirty. When I lift up my arm to brush it off I realize what I dreamt about a few hours earlier.
I’m not sure what it is …or if it is ..or if it isn’t.
I’m not sure if it matters so much either, I just enjoyed the fact that it was a coincidence and I’ll remember this time getting of a bus like no other time….
What do you think?
I think it’s a mix between the answers of Martijn and Krish. Yes, selective-bias and the mass priming effect can definitely account for a lot of these occurrences. However for happenings like mine, Alex’s and Sofia’s, those rationalizations can possibly be held responsible. There is definitely some element of law of attraction-like stuff going on that cannot (yet) be explained by modern science. I fully believe in concept of a collective-consciousness and in the idea that we can somehow be guided towards certain events based upon our thoughts and desires. Serendipity runs RAMPANT when you have your mind set on achieving a goal. Anyone that has experience with intention-based meditation can attest to this. I love logical and rational as much as the next guy, but I accept that there are some things we cannot explain. And I love that :)
I feel that the things that we cannot explain, are theories that yet to be discovered. For all of history people have looked at things that cannot be explained and have used religion to fill in those gaps. Anything scientific once has a religious explanation, rain, snow, the sun, etc. I agree with Jordan in that I love having things that we have no clue about how they happen, and that needs to make us strive for the answers, similar to how once religiously explained phenomena now have scientific answers. With this I feel like its not enough for us to say that there is some higher being causing these coincidences, there are probably psychological aspects including and beyond selective-bias to explain these coincidences.
Exactly Jordan. A very interesting idea that runs parallel with all of this, including collective consciousness, happened to me today. My college roommate and his girlfriend were meeting today for the first time in a while. As soon as she got here. Plans randomly fell in place for me to hang out with a friend I hadn’t seen in sometime. It is uncommon for me and my friend to hang out, but it just happened. On top of that it left my roommate to “be” with his girlfriend for quite a bit of time, “uninterrupted”, due to my elongated absence. It makes me think that the fabric our interdependent realities is ultimately caused by collective consciousness of us and those around us and lastly our enviroment. Stay with me here… could it possible that my rare occurrence-hang out with my friend was ultimately caused by my roommates own personal intention? Could I go as far to say that this thought that I had and therefor this post that I am writing was ultimately caused by me taking part in this discussion before all of this occured? Coincidence? I think not! :o
My most frequent coincedences happen when I think of someone random from a while ago, and then I see them that day. Happens to me all the time. Or I’ll be thinking of something and the people I live with will start randomly talking about what I was thinking about, like they could hear my thoughts and pretend they hadn’t.
Very interesting ideas, I like! I feel that there are no coincidences. That the little or big happenings that catch our attention are actually the universes way of letting us know we are very connected and they happen specifically for us to recognize. To lure us in some to see our thoughts are very much alive. The universes way of smiling at us, so smile back!
One such coincidence happened to me a few years back, and pardon me for the experience being religious in nature. I had been feeling something of a spiritual void, and was agnostic at the time (still am). I decided to research religions that were primarily surrounded by worship of a single entity. My first subject was Wicca; years beforehand I had read some about it and had remained interested (still am).
After some procrastination, I visited my local public library for reading material and I had to wait for the guy at the book catalog computer to finish. When he stood, I briskly walked to the machine from the religion stacks and took the seat. As I moved the cursor to the search bar – “wicca” was already typed in.
It was one of those surreal, heart-pumping moments, looking up and seeing the same guy before me hovering near the religion section. Should I talk to him? Will I regret it if I don’t?
It was a very awkward breaking the ice, but I did it. “Guy” also happened to be near my age with a similar story as well as career goals. We hung out after, swapped email addresses and sadly never talked again, as of yet.
I also believe there is a collective conscience that connects us all. I have seen evidence of it in the bible, as well as real-life. In the bible it says that we each have a piece of the holy ghost (or something like that, I’m not well-versed on the bible), in us, which is basically a piece of God. So all of our souls are connected to one supreme being a.k.a the “collective unconscious.”
When i was 13 or 14 I was pondering this above. After I finally decided that this seemed the most logical idea for God or whatever this supreme being is, not too long afterwards I heard about the SAME idea on TV. I had no idea this was already thought of, lol.
Daniel Gilbert guys, Stumbling on Happiness. It is on torrent on audiobook and narrated by the author who is a compelling orator and also featured on TedTV. If you like it then you should of course pay for it as have I.
This phenomena much like happiness itself is explored. There are always incidents of chance, but of course there is also our perception of chance and events within our own reality construct.
This combines with other principles like filling in, a notion applied to perceptual nature of vision but applies equally well to our perception of time.
Has anyone read or listened to Stumbling on happiness or Malcom Gladwells Blink?
SoHappiness is particularly interesting coming from someone to have so extensively studied our perceptions of emotions and time and other events.
Once again though I fear I’m at odds with the board consensus!
Edit: If you aren’t sure about what your reality constructs mean to you and your thoughts, have you considered why meditation works? How does that gel with NLP principles of what causes phobia, and PTSD, phobias and addictive behaviours. How would meditation effect those and why? The answers are in there.
Yes, last year. I was walking with a guy that I liked, although at that time I wasn’t sure whether or not that was the case. I offered to take him home (since he lived just across our university); so when we entered the car, I turned on the radio, and the song was Paramore’s The Only Exception (which he really likes!).
When he got out of the car, I had to admit to myself that I did like him… so I kind of asked for a sign. And after that, for 2 days straight, whenever I entered the car and turned on the radio, the song was always – ALWAYS – The Only Exception! And I always catch it just when it’s starting! It was a bit unbelievable and amusing, haha.
We’re still friends right now, by the way. I have no idea whether that was a sign, or just simply a coincidence :)
Nobody has mentioned black swans yet. That for every unlikely thing that DOES happen, there are an infinite amount of unlikely things that AREN’T happening at that time as well. In a realm of so many possibilities, many things seemingly happen at random and, given how much information our brains take in ever day, we just connect things together and make them personal. Freak coincidences do happen, they are happening all the time, but you might not have the information to recognize them yet. For example I have seen the Communion with God book pop up in my life on at least half a dozen occasions, and read excerpts, though I have never sought it out or read it cover to cover. Coincidence?
Alex; hello i am robert
you happen to have a connection to the spiritual world which you are not aware of…so; the spiritual world is attempting to make the point it exist…you seem to want to develop your connection but are having some difficulty discovering a right path for you to walk…
you say you have an open mind; but, you seem to fill it with choices which lead you away from your connection…my suggestion…practice connecting to the spiritual world within you :D
I once had a dream where I met a girl named Quinn. The dream remained in my thoughts for days and somehow seemed to insist on some sort of analytical interpretation on my part, it seemed significant. Upon looking up the meaning of the name Quinn, I found it to be of Irish and Gaelic origin, its meaning being “counsel”. This blew my mind; at the time of the dream I had never before heard of the name “Quinn”, or anything similar to it. It was a point in my life where I was indeed searching for some sort of counseling, answers. Too coincidental, for sure.
Alex; i am glad you started to learn at 13…this is the age when you became responsible for your beingness…it is true inside each of us is a piece of the spiritual world…connecting to this light is; what i believe, the purpose of our life…
this is not about a religion…you already have this light within you…all you need do it practice connecting to it…to do this just practice clearing your mind…it will lead you to the light :D
Haven’t read all of the comments through but skimmed to get a jist of it… well here’s my opinion on “coincidence.”
So firstly I went through a phase when I was really intereseted in this, so I’ve done a lot of thinking on it.
K, so I think the first problem with why our brains get so “boggled” by de javu and coincidence etc… is because most of us think (most of the time) in a very linear way. We are aware of the facts that we know now, our subconscious fills in facts we forgot (in a vague like picture.) Lastly, most of us see time (naturally) as a kind of line moving forward.
Point two is that our brains are wired to find patterns in the world around us… thats why we have mathematicians plotting away at functions, mapmakers making maps proportional to the real world, business calendars running on the same 5 day a week schedule everyday… etc you get my drift. We want to find corralations (which is like patterns) in the world around us. Obviously this works for the world we live in… 2.5 billion years of evolution in the making.
I’m going to guess that over the 2.5 billion years of evolution, our brains have evolved to release a series of chemical pathways that make us “light up” if you will, when we think we’ve found a pattern in our little linear world. It keeps our brain sticking the the adaptations we have for survival described in point one and two. And again, it works for our little world.
The problem is that we don’t know all the “facts” in the world… we get caught up in this linear time line we like to think in that we forget that the world has three other dimensions we know. And modern physics says 10 dimensions total (approx.) Imagine sectioning off a one inch wide line across the mona lisa and only seeing the painting within the boundaries within that line. Imagine that was the only part of the painting you saw? What would you see? An abstract ribbon with cool designs on it. Maybe even a pattern of lines. But the reality of what your actually seeing is not an abstract painting with patterns… its actually the mona lisa!
Some people might say “Not everything we see is what it really is” (or something like that) I disagree… we see what we see, lets just see some more.
Is it coincidence that I woke up in my bed in my house this morning, just like every other morning of my life? I dreamed about eggs last night and my mom made eggs for breakfast… is that coincidence? I read in some physics book, anything can happen at any given moment, its more about the probability of it happening.
Last point (this is getting long! sorry!!!): as helpful as our propensity for finding patterns is, its not a foolproof mechanism. For example, math seems to be rational and always right. 2+2=4. Yet the same formulas we use in quantuam physics start to give out wacky answers when applied to astrophysics, and vice versa. 1/3 is .3333…. its a number that never ends yet I can eat exactly 1/3 of a cookie. Our ability for finding patterns is still not perfect.
Thats just one way I look at it, and not to turn my post into an essay loll I’ll end there :)
This one was wierd: A few hours ago, I was in my basement reading “Conversations with God” and listening to Last.fm, when this song titled “Remember Who You Are” by the Living Legends came on. Before then, I had never heard of this song before, and I’ve been listening to the Living Legends for years. Anyone who’s familiar with “Conversations with God” knows the coincidence.
I work in a manufacturing environment. ( A plant with production lines)
I dreamt one night that there was a fire on our line, lots of smoke, and I could see one of my team mates trying to push the start button on our line.
The next day, I had all morning to think about it, and mull over how I would evacuate if a fire did occur. I even told my break partner.
Well, guess what.
That afternoon, we had a fire on our line, lot s of smoke, and that same team mate was trying to start the line when this was happening. I told my break partner: “Follow me.” And we took the nearest exit outside to safety and walked all the way around the plant to the front of the building.
Although it wasn’t a serious fire, the rest of the crew was criticized for evacuating towards the tunnel where the fire crew was coming from to try and put out the fire. They didn’t take the nearest exit route.
The only reason my break partner and I did, was because I had dreamt the event the night before.