Thursday, November 30, 2017

Enter the "Thematic"

And still my synchronistic adventures continue to evolve, now with the emergence of yet another sub-type: the "thematic" incident.

This particular species of the phenomenon is defined as follows: a "theme" somehow presents itself in my life experience, often with the same specific elements popping up here and there in some capacity, spanning the course of a day or two in most cases, and always in the most random, yet coherent, of ways. For instance, one morning I might read of something ridiculously strange, rare, or obscure, only to encounter that exact same curiosity in the afternoon, entirely randomly and perhaps in a different form or manifestation, but always discreet enough to be observed as a pronounced repetition, however different in appearance or source or detail. The result is something of a subtle psychic "echo," similar in effect to the echo-type of incident, but differentiated in behavior (and, usually, in the "texture" of the ultimate experience, in a way difficult to convey in writing).

Case in point: one morning I ordered a certain supplement, a pituitary glandular, made from porcine and bovine sources (yeah, the brain-stuff). And then, that afternoon, in a random novel that I'd begun reading just the day before, I came to the description of a monster that fed on the pituitary glands of its victims, which was not announced previously in the text (or on the cover or in the blurb or anywhere else visible to me when I'd purchased this book) -- thus echoing perfectly the underlying theme of "carnivorous consumption of pituitary glands," in a way that could not obviously be explained by any "normal" causation.

I had experienced several of these over the years, to be sure. However, only lately have they become frequent enough, and distinct enough, to deserve their own classification.

This was seen most strikingly, once more, in my reading. More than once now, I've had my current book -- often as random a book as could be, bought and read "blindly," without foreknowledge of the contents or often even the subject matter -- thematically echo my life at the time, in varying ways and with varying accuracy and frequency, but always to the degree of being unmistakably relevant (and damn eerie, in a special way that even the most surreal of my synchronistic experiences can't rival).

Over a period of about a month, these type of incidents began to increase in frequency and distinction, slowly coming into my awareness and establishing themselves as a sub-type. However, it wasn't until a particular book, 'The Guinea Pig Diaries' by A.J. Jacobs, that I saw just how drastic the life-echoing thematics could be.

It started one day when, over the course of a particularly eventful morning, I'd undergone a series of random thoughts, images, experiences, and other specific real-life miscellany -- and then, no more than an hour later while reading the book at lunchtime, I found the text echoing nearly my entire morning, and in a coherent manner, sometimes even using the exact same terms and references. It was, in every sense, like being in a living dream, having my life echoed so explicitly from a piece of literature.

And then, the next day, it happened again.

Same exact deal: after a particularly eventful morning filled with specific, unique, memorable experiences, I sat down to enjoy a quite, uneventful lunch with a good book ... only to find it to once more echo, more or less exactly, my morning, and again even reflecting specific events in similar or identical terms.

And would you believe that, the next day, the pattern repeated itself? The word "trifecta" comes to mind. (And "wow.")

* * *

Indeed, quite surreal. And new, too. But this "thematic" business wasn't finished, nor fully developed.

After that milestone 'Guinea Pig' book, I did come to experience several more stark instances of such activity -- never quite so intense or explicit as that marathon three-day run, though close to it, and always in the same, now-recognizable pattern. However, it was only November 28th, two days ago as of writing, that I was introduced to the latest iteration of the thematic synchronicity, the first that could be described as a noticeable, more mature version of the sub-type.

This one, too, began with a book -- or, rather, my lack of one.

I forgot my book at home, is what happened. Somehow, literally for the first time ever, I walked out the door with absolutely everything I needed for the day ... except for my current read, to be enjoyed over lunch. And, worse, I discovered my blunder only when I had actually sat down and set the table and taken my vitamins and laid out every utensil save for my cherished book -- when I was past the point of no return, as it were. But, resourceful as I am, I went to my one available means of recourse: my phone.

Now, I don't normally read on my phone, as a rule. In fact, I make as little use of my smartphone as possible, leaving it turned off 99% of the time, and for a dozen different reasons. But, hungry for the written word as much as lunch, I made an exception and quickly went online and Googled "free ebook," looking for a book, any book. And, as it were, after tapping through the first page that came up, I had soon downloaded a free HTML copy of the first remotely interesting book to catch my eye: The Metamorphosis, by Kafka (which I'd never read, believe it or not).

Thus outfitted, I finally blessed my food, took a bite, put the phone in airplane mode, and began reading. Not perfect, surely, but it worked.

What's the point of my little tale? Simple: that the book I ended up reading throughout my lunch hour that day was about as ridiculously random and unforeseen as humanly possible, with the development arising from a surprise circumstance unknown even to myself. In other words: there's no way I could've known, even on a deeply subconscious level, that I'd be reading a different book than that I'd had planned, and especially not Metamorphosis in particular.

Need I tell you what happened next?

It was the 'Guinea Pig' book all over again, from the very first page, with Metamorphosis echoing, either essentially or overtly and literally, my morning, which just happened to have been another unique, un-routine adventure filled with abnormal-for-me events -- except, now the thematically-echoing text was from a book that hadn't even been on my radar until seconds earlier. This batch of thematic echoes ranged from vague-but-identifiable (I'd woken up uncharacteristically late that day, throwing off my whole schedule, despite my being a chronic late-morning insomniac, when the Kafka character had woken up uncharacteristically late, throwing off his whole schedule) to the unmistakably explicit (these were, unfortunately, all too complicated or subjective to quote with any degree of coherence, but, nonetheless, were there, and no less head-spinning for their lack of objective notability). And, like previous instances of these thematic-reading sessions, there were more than just a few parallels there, with at least a dozen or so by the time I'd finished lunch.

Living. Dream.

Afterward, I was left feeling that my morning had been gathered up, put in a blender, and poured into this book.

* * *

And need I say that it didn't even stop there, with the thematic-type incidents?

That is, there were other, "normal" kinds of synchronicities that involved my uber-random reading of the Kafka book -- those of the instant, in-the-moment variety, all of them notable in themselves but also upgraded in unlikeliness due to their dependence on my Just Happening to be reading that particular book.

For instance: reading certain passages of the text that coincided, with absolutely perfect timing and accuracy, with fully random and objective events occurring around me, such as coming to "pouring" precisely as someone hit the dispenser on a drink machine and sent out a distinct "water pouring into a cup" noise. Or, similarly, when I caught my head slumping down and straightened it up (after reading on my phone for over an hour), for the first time, precisely as I came to some equally random and singular text that described exactly that (yet couldn't have influenced me subconsciously, with my head-straightening depending on the objective, independent event of my muscles fatiguing at that precise time). Etc. Etc.

I could go on and on, but my fingers hurt (and so does my head, still, from all the spinning it did two days ago when this all happened). Make of it what you will.

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