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
Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier
Through God’s Eyes won first place in the “Spirituality and Inspirational” category at the San Diego Book Awards on June 22, 2013.
Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents on Amazon.
Order it at GodIsLogical.com.
In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?
Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.
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Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.
Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.