Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Weird Coincidences and Strange Happenings: Two New Ones

A premonition I wrote about a few weeks ago turns out to have been even more dead-on accurate than I originally thought.

About a month ago I launched the first of several planned postings exploring what may or may not be paranormal phenomena I’ve experienced over the course of my life.   In that posting, I briefly mentioned that I’d recently had yet another dream that had turned out to be prophetic.   The dream was about someone who’d once been a very close friend.  For various reasons, we drifted apart many, many years ago, and I’ve since moved several times.  But I’ve never forgotten about this person.   In the dream, he was going through a major medical crisis.  I inquired and found out that he was, indeed, facing very serious health issues that previously had been unknown to me.

What I didn’t say in the posting was that in the dream, my friend was suffering from one particular symptom that turned out not to be present in reality—or at least I wasn’t told about it when I inquired.  For privacy reasons, I’m not going to divulge the details.  Suffice it to say that at the time, the dream turned out to be very accurate in the sense that the person was going through a horrible health challenge, but it fell short in that one particular detail.

Now, fast-forward to last week.  I learned that the specific (horrible) symptom displayed in the dream has come to pass.  The dream has now turned out to be 100% prophetic and 100% accurate.   I absolutely hate that this is happening to this person.  But what’s more astounding is that I learned what he’s going through not from the normal means of human communication, but via some other unknown method.

I’ve been experiencing this type of phenomenon all my life.  Until recently, only a very few people in my immediate family have known anything about it.  When you are making a living as a putatively serious, professional journalist, the last thing you want is for the public or your employer to begin to suspect that you are not quite all there, and are perhaps only visiting this planet.  So I’ve kept quiet about it.  

My guess is that you have experienced many of the same things and have kept quiet about them for similar reasons.  Once upon a time, western culture did believe in such phenomena, but had a nasty habit of burning people at the stake who spoke up about it.   Today, we don’t invite you to your own personal bonfire if you claim to have glimpsed the future or seen a vision, but you may be ostracized other ways.   The conventional 21st century wisdom is that such things can’t possibly happen, and therefore anyone who feels that they can is off kilter, weird, and maybe borderline crazy.

I am here to tell you that such things do happen, and that people who experience them not only are normal, but probably average.  Experiencing such occurrences is a basic part of what it means to be human.  And as it turns out, I am far from being the first “serious person” to say so.  Professional psychiatrists have known about these phenomena and have taken them seriously for more than a century (and Eastern scholars and philosophers have embraced them for much longer).  The reason they know about them is that dreams are believed to provide great insight into the personality and psyche—Freud called them the “royal road to the unconscious.”  Since dreams provide such an important tool in the pursuit of psychoanalysis, these hard-boiled, serious scientists have given a great deal of study to them, analyzing tens of thousands of them.   And guess what they found?  These types of occurrences are not uncommon and take place often enough to be statistically significant.

The great Swiss psychotherapist Carl Jung, who followed in Freud’s footsteps and created a school of psychiatric thought that’s still followed today, witnessed strange coincidences happening so often that he gave the phenomenon a name—“Synchronicity.”  The basic idea is that some kind of force in the Universe causes strange coincidences to take place.   The famous example he gave was a session where he and a patient were discussing her dream, which involved a scarab symbol.  The scarab is an ancient Egyptian representation of a beetle, which that society revered as a symbol of the heavenly cycle of rebirth and regeneration.  At that precise moment, Jung heard a tapping on the window.  Care to guess what was trying to get into the room and join the therapy session?  If you guessed a beetle, you’re starting to get the picture.

Jung also believed that all humans, from infancy, can tap into a collective unconsciousness and retrieve universal concepts from it, in an inherited process similar to that of animal instinct.  He didn’t really try to explain how this process physically worked.  But if he’s right, then each of us somehow has access to data that didn’t come to us via any of the 5 senses that we know about.  And this, as I said, was from a stone cold sober, very serious scientist who had a profound impact on the field of psychoanalysis and who is still followed today.

So when you think, or people tell you, that these phenomena can’t be real and that no educated  person can possibly think otherwise, don’t you believe it.  The current cultural bias we all experience against such phenomena is sort of a reverse superstition, one that says, in equal ignorance, that if something doesn’t immediately lend itself to an explanation, then it can’t be real.  This bias is no more valid that other types of ignorant prejudices that science has overcome in the past.  My belief is that science eventually will overcome this one as well.  One of my motivations for writing this series is to help people free themselves from this prejudice and learn to view the universe with a more open and accepting mind.  Those who are not able to do so shut themselves off from an important part of the human experience to which we are all rightful heirs.

And toward that end, I have another incident to relate before I close.  Three nights ago, for no particular reason, I hauled out my late mother’s photographs and began going over them.   Contained in the collection is a set of school pictures of some of my first cousins, the daughters of my favorite uncle, who passed away several years ago.  I used to be quite fond of one particular cousin.  But after she got married and moved out of her father’s home, we never saw one another again and, alas, did not keep in contact.  In the past 40 years, I’ve only spoken to her one time, very briefly, at a funeral.  So now I found myself looking at her photograph, taken when she was probably about 13 or so, remembering her fondly and wondering how she was doing.

The very next day, she contacted me via Facebook.   There was no reason.  She was just thinking of me.

Life is more marvelous than you can possibly imagine.  Don’t ever believe otherwise.

We’ll continue to explore this theme in the weeks ahead.  I’ll also be talking about it from time to time on my radio program, The Forrest Carr Show, airing from 10:00 AM to Noon Mountain Standard Time (which this time of year corresponds to Pacific Daylight Time) on Tucson’s PowerTalk 1210, which streams here.  I’ll be bloviating about this blog posting, barring breaking news, today (Tuesday, 7/29).

If you have an experience to share,  I’d love to hear from you.  Here is my contact page.


Shameless plug:  God and the nature of fate and free will is a major theme of my sci-fi novel, A Journal of the Crazy Year.  It’s a good, quick, cheap read, and many of those who’ve done so have said it will stay with them.  :-)  Support your local author!

For more on dreams, I recommend The Dimensions of Dreams by psychiatrist and researcher Ole Vedfelt.  It’s not available via Kindle, only in hardback, but fairly cheap used copies are available.  Vedfelt collates and analyzes most of the current theories about dream interpretation and his is a wonderful one-stop-shopping book for anything and everything about dreams.  His book is available here.

©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.


  1. Runs in my family too. When I was in college (in 1979) I had a dream about the reunification of Germany. When I told my American Foreign Policy instructor about my dream he laughed about it saying it would be highly unlikely to ever happen. My mother had dreams about the future as well and I continue to have some prophetic visions form time to time. Some of them make their ways into my books.

  2. Thanks for commenting! I discussed this on my radio show today and have had some listeners express interest in hearing more about this kind of thing. I'm fully of the belief that this kind of thing happens to everyone!

  3. You're blog is great, so varied and I just enjoy it so, thanks.