Eight years ago, I drove to Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park to see my friend, Joe, who was battling liver disease. When I walked in his room, his girlfriend, Beth, was standing over him, sprinkling water over Joe while she said a prayer.
I asked her what she was doing and she said she was blessing Joe with rose water. I couldn’t help but smile. I reached in my briefcase and pulled out the book I had brought to read in case Joe was sleeping.
Thanks to he-who-must-not-be-named blogger teapots happen for alerting me to this Kurt Vonnegut quote on synchronicity:
One would soon go mad if one took these coincidences too seriously—one might be led to suspect that there were all sorts of things going on in the Universe which he did not thoroughly understand.
Mr. teapots happen also directed me to this incredible Vonnegut tale of synchronicity in his own life, which was posted on Trish and Rob MacGregor’s blog:
KURT VONNEGUT AND SYNCHRONICITY
Levels of synchronicities are often apparent during emotionally charged experiences, evident in a story that Kurt Vonnegut related to writer Alan Vaughn, which he included in his book Patterns of Prophecy.
Anyone who came of age during the 60s understands the unique role that Vonnegut’s books played in the culture of that time. In Cat’s Cradle, he talked about the karass, a group of people who unknowingly work together to achieve some common goal. You knew you were a member of a particular karass when meaningful coincidences happened between you and other members of that group. But in Vonnegut’s world, there was a danger that you might mistake a random coincidence for a meaningful one, which meant you were involved in a Granfaloon or false karass.
Vaughn wrote to Vonnegut and asked him where the idea had come from about people being linked through meaningful coincidences. Vonnegut’s response is included in Vaughn’s Patterns of Prophecy. It’s a remarkable example of a synchronicity involving emotions and death—the death of Vonnegut’s sister, who was suffering from cancer, and the death of her husband in a tragic accident—all within twenty-four hours.
One morning Vonnegut apparently felt compelled to call his brother-in-law, whom he never phoned, and who was in a train that minutes earlier had plunged off an open drawbridge in New Jersey. As Vonnegut was calling him, news about a railroad accident came over the radio and Vonnegut knew his brother-in-law was on that train, even though the man never took trains. Within an hour, he was on a plane headed for New Jersey. By the end of that day, Vonnegut and his wife had adopted his sister’s six children. His sister died the next day.
Vonnegut’s experience involves two aspects of synchronicity. Precognition or foreknowledge of an event was evident in his sudden feeling that he should call his brother-in-law. Clairvoyance, also called remote viewing, was evident with Vonnegut’s certainty that his brother-in-law was on the train mentioned in the radio news flash.
The terminal illness and death of his sister, of course, added to the emotional levels of the incidents.
Click here to see all my posts featuring cool synchronicity stories.
ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the one book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.
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SEE EVERY MOMENT AS A GIFT
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