Friday, November 18, 2016

More Book Synchronicity

The book was echoing my present reality, it seemed.

It wasn't the first time I'd experienced this phenomenon, certainly. However, this latest instance of book synchronicity was probably the most surreal, with it seeming to directly reflect my life's events and circumstances at the time, even as they unfolded from day to day. Talk about a head-trip.

For starters, consider the context of my actually buying the book.

My copy of States of Confusion by Paul Jury, around which this incident centers, was bought from a library sale, as a discard, and it was synchronistically notable from the get-go. Just before the library-visit in question, while in the parking lot after making an important phone call, I'd decided on a long roadtrip West, with the goal of a cross-country journey beginning in coastal South Carolina and ending in California or thereabouts -- and, surprise surprise, the States of Confusion book, which I would buy just minutes later, was about just that: a big, meandering, cross-country roadtrip.

Just a coincidence? Not inconceivable ... until we consider the completely random circumstances of my buying the book (which, as it were, are doubly notable when it's considered that they fit the pattern of so many other synchronistic incidents I've experienced in the past). Namely, I'd first been illogically Compelled to browse the discards on sale, despite not needing any new books to read (I had a whole stack at the time). Next, I'd been strongly attracted to the States book, though I could only see the spine of it on the library rack, reading "States of Confusion" with "jury" underneath it -- that is, absolutely nothing about roadtrips or travel, or anything at all relating to the trip I'd just minutes previously decided upon, as to rule out any sort of subconscious influence. (And, that's not even considering the fact that I was at the library at all, with my having zero plans to go there that day, nor any overt reason to do so ...)

Regardless, the book's synchronistic purchase was just the beginning. As it so happened, I finished my last read and then began the States of Confusion book on the day of my departure, less than 24 hours after my fateful visit to the library. From there, more and more eerily surreal parallels began to crop up:

1) The first couple pages of the book mentioned the author's being a college student, and what transpired after his graduation; however, before I could read any farther, I was interrupted by someone saying "hello" to me. The person was a totally random stranger, approaching me at the bench outside the coffee shop where I was reading/eating at the time, and, somehow, we ended up in conversation about ... college and college graduation, along with several other subjects, almost all of which were exactly what I'd just read in the book, seconds earlier. What's more, these subjects all came up from the stranger's end, and with zero prompting on my part -- that is, I said absolutely nothing that would've subconsciously suggested that this person broach these subjects. In fact, the subjects were entirely offhand, awkwardly so, without any bearing whatsoever on anything we were discussing; the stranger literally just kind of tangented onto her time in college and how she'd graduated with a certain GPA, completely out of the blue.

2) Soon after, a couple states into my roadtrip, I was struck by a random, vague (yet very distinct) thought: of how an inordinate number of businesses are incorporated in Delaware, thanks to certain laws there. This thought was, as best as I can remember, apropos to nothing I was experiencing or thinking about at the time; I wasn't in Delaware, or reading of Delaware, or considering visit Delaware -- nada. And then, just hours later, while reading more of the States book, I came across a passage that mentioned precisely what I'd thought of that morning: Delaware's incorporation-friendly laws, and the glut of corporations headquartered there. As it were, it was the first the book had mentioned this, or anything Delaware-related (and, the last it mentioned it ...).

3) Towards the middle of the book, the author makes mention of how he was by then driving around the country foul-smelling and unshaven -- which, by the time I'd reached that part of the book, described my condition exactly. As it so happened, I'd been unable to steal the time to shave before departing, despite being visibly overdue; and, likewise, I'd developed a spontaneous and mysterious body odor just before leaving, such that, despite taking regular showers (unlike the book's author), I stayed smelly (and had an uncharacteristic five-o'-clock shadow). Just like I was reading about ...

4) On the very day I was passing through Atlanta, GA, I Just Happened to reach the part of the book where the author passes through ... Atlanta, GA. And, it bears saying: the book had, like the Delaware reference, made absolutely zero mention of Atlanta before or after this part, nor did I have any plans on even being in Atlanta on this day or ever in the trip -- such that I couldn't have possibly orchestrated the coincidence, even had I read the book beforehand, with the correlation hinging on so many objective elements and chance variables ...

5) My roadtrip was conducted in a van, in which I slept in at night, "van-camping"-style -- which, halfway through the book, is precisely what the author ends up doing: trading in his sedan for a van, in which he sleeps, van-camping-style ...

6) Several days into my trip, I decided, totally randomly and illogically yet strongly and distinctly (the same way I'd felt about buying the book upon first seeing its spine on the rack ...), to head south, to Florida, hence abandoning my Westerly ambitions. And, likewise, the day after taking this caprice, I'd been struck with a similar notion: to seek out a hot mineral spring in Florida, the kind that are soaked in for their purported therapeutic effects. Then, just a couple hours later while resuming my reading of the States book for the day, I came to a part where -- yeah, you guessed it -- the author mentions medicinal hot springs, specifically. Again: for the first time in the book, with no prior foreshadowing, or anything that could've possibly incited my spontaneous Compelling to seek out some hot springs ...

There were more synchronistic parallels -- lots more, actually, to the point that I felt to be in nothing less than a living dream. But, once again, I'll stop there, for the point is made.

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