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Coincidence or something more?

Have unexplainable coincidences ever happened to you? You think of a friend whom you have not been in contact with  for years and that very day the friend calls you. You make a special dish which you make very rarely, to surprise your  spouse and your spouse tells you that, that very morning he had wanted to ask you to make that dish.  During a break from office you see an item of clothing you like, but you do not buy it thinking it is an extravagance and you don't even mention it to anyone. But that very weekend your boyfriend surprises you by gifting you the same and hoping you will like it. You need money desperately and some money which is a dividend from shares which you had invested in and forgotten all about, arrives unexpectedly in the mail.  You get the kind of coincidences I am talking about. Science has no explanations for them and there is no logic or reason behind them. Hence they are  dismissed as 'mere coincidences.' Yet, throughout history strangest of coincidences have baffled humans.

Consider these  perplexing  coincidences which include the well known Normandy invasions as well as the bizarre coincidences in the lives of Abraham Lincoln and J.F Kennedy.  (click on link if you do not know about them) Or look at these weirdest of coincidences coming from authenticated sources like Readers Digest, BBC, Science Digest and Ripley's Believe it or not.

There are many such things for which science has no explanations. We know today that is it indeed possible to go to the moon, but if you had said so even two hundred years back, you would have been dismissed as a lunatic or a dreamer.
Most sceptics  and cynics would perhaps ridicule these coincidences as mere chances and nothing more. Yet there are many who believe them to be signals from the Universe--all a part of the grand plan or destiny, in which you are a mere cog in the wheel. Deepak Chopra  (who has written more than 45 books and that have been translated into 35 languages and sold more than 20 million copies worldwide) says that coincidences are not accidents but signals which can guide us to out true destiny. William Burroughs said  "In the magical Universe there are no coincidences and nothing happens unless someone wills it to happen."
 I have read all of Brian Weiss's books too and he says (to put it simplistically) there are reasons for everything that happens.

Personally, I have experienced many such coincidences. I have blogged about one such coincidence here. 
Another such coincidence I am sharing here.I used to teach at a preschool in Bangalore, many years back. I used to interact with the parents a lot. A few years later, long after I stopped teaching, I moved to Pondicherry. I had a strange dream about a child's mother whom I used to interact with in preschool. Imagine my utter astonishment when I ran into her at Pondicherry, the very next day! She had come on a holiday and her hotel was very near to my house! I had not thought about her at all for years. She wasn't even a 'friend'. Her son whom I had taught when he was four, was now a ten year old who did not remember me but when he was at pre school he was really fond of me. This was one of the strangest coincidences I have experienced. Many more such 'coincidences' have happened to me.Some are too bizarre and would sound incredible if I mentioned them.


A good friend and I were discussing coincidences and he sent me this quote from the movie "Pi"

Hold on. You have to slow down. You're losing it. You have to take a breath. Listen to yourself. You're connecting a computer bug I had with a computer bug you might have had and some religious hogwash. You want to find the number 216 in the world, you will be able to find it everywhere. 216 steps from a mere street corner to your front door. 216 seconds you spend riding on the elevator. When your mind becomes obsessed with anything, you will filter everything else out and find that thing everywhere. "
 



But there are many many things which happen by pure chance especially when you are not 'seeking coincidences' even in your subconscious  mind.

Perhaps Science will advance enough someday to find explanations to things like these. And then the future generations would say, back in 2010, people thought they were coincidences. They were not very advanced like we are today.

What is your take on this? Have you experienced such coincidences?Do you think of them as 'signals' from Universe or do you just dismiss them? (I urge you to read the historical and documented coincidences which I have linked if you haven't heard of them)

I would love to hear what you have to say about this.

Comments

  1. Coincidences do happen, and it is always smart to follow a hunch and also to analyze why a certain coincidence happened ...

    Like Mulder says : The truth is out there (enter some spooky music!).

    Jokes apart - the tough thing is to figure out why the coincidence happened

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  2. Yes Preeti, I hope science will advance some day and take an interest in what's behind these coincidences rather than the skeptical attitude that's more common now.
    I have had too many such coincidences and dreams to my credit! The latest in line being a thought that came out of nowhere to me while preparing fish curry that it wouldn't be eaten at the usual dinner time. I recognized the thought too and wondered why on that particular day I felt dinner would be delayed. There was nothing I could think of.
    In the evening my husband called to say that MIL had a fall and had to be taken to the hospital. Dinner naturally was late that day.
    And this is one of the simplest of the coincidences I have had. :) mentioned here. :)

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  3. I once dreamed an answer to a maths problem, got up immediately & voila it got solved;-D
    But there another time where I dreamt that I lost my water-bottle & at lunchtime when I noticed my bottle missing I was so thrilled. I told everybody who cared to listen about it but after an hr it turns up mysteriously on the last bench in the class. I was soooo disappointed that day;-P
    And yeah sometimes I think abt somebody I havent thot abt for a long time & believe it or not they call me after ages that very day. Its happened to me many times. And have u noticed both of us have posted within minutes of eachother so many times;-o

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  4. And guess what I too mentioned abt coincidence in my latest post;-D

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  5. It happened to me too. Once, I was thinking about this long lost friend while glancing through old photographs. The very next day he called, after almost 6 years :).
    Such coincidences make you realize, Life is Beautiful

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  6. i feel there are different abstract things which exist.

    one is the power of telepathy - where two people end of thinking the same thing at just about the same time

    One is maybe the power of intuition where ones mind is able to visualise an incident or a thought, in the past, present or future without having known it directly by itself

    A third dimension is the power of mental influence where people are able to govern forces (physical and mental) with the power of ones mind.

    the last is the cosmic connection between unconnected things which react in tandem for reasons not known to the scientific eye.

    All these on one end subsume into universal theory of synchro destiny but also exist in isolation as an abstract power worth reconing.

    very thought provoking piece. i should maybe try to blog this out sometime in more detail.

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  7. There have been so many times - when I pick up the phone to call someone and get a call from that person. When I open the chat window to ping a long forgotten friend and I see them type in a "Hi"!
    When I'd have studied just one chapter of the 5 i was supposed to, and the test has 4 of 5 questions from that one chapter! At times its spooky! And sometimes nice! But it happens for sure! :)

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  8. I'll let you know my strangest ones....though it didnt really matter me much....

    I saw a BMW passing through and in a second thought about my Mausaji(uncle)who had just bought one...
    I was just thinking about how lucky he was and the very next moment...i saw an auto with "Chetan BABA" inscribed on its back.....n i laughed out...

    My uncle's name is Chetan....it didnt really do any gud or bad...but just gave me a moment of joy...and a thing to talk about wid my friend...who was wid me on the pillion and we had not talked since past 20 minutes, from the moment we started our journey. Had a Nyc tym..

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  9. many a times it has happened with me too , preeti. For instance, I think of a long lost celebrity and his/her interview would feature in that day's news edition. some times same thoughts cross the mind between two people like cosmic twins and this is what we call telepathy.

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  10. This happened to me last weekend - I thought about pinging a friend twice last week, but her status was always busy. So I said to myself, "will call on weekend", and she called me before I did :).

    And coincidences happen to us all the time...as you shared with us.

    To be honest, I dismiss most of them. But some of them are hard not to think about. Sometimes I find reasons, sometimes I don't.

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  11. maybe thats wat they call subconcious mind..

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  12. There have been many instances, when I have felt like this has happened before - when things I have dreamt about actually happen few days later.

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  13. I love coincidences and wait for it to happen :). It is the surprise element that it brings with it that I love the most.

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  14. hmm talkin bt coinciences...i guess we can go bact to "the Secret"...i think this theory works quite well....if you think of something honestly, with intensity (u might not always be aware that ur thought is honest and intense)....there are high chnaces of that happeneing....i have myself seen many such coincidences happeneing...
    one which i can recall...while doing my summer internship during my MBA..i went to a proffs house in campus (i was doing a survey)...his wife was a very interestring female, who made me sit with her for like 3 hrs and told me many interesting things...she was a very unique female..so i kinda remembered her..

    then 10 mnths after that..i was just strolling down in the campus...and out of nowhere i just thought about her...JLT..and the very next day i met her near the campus bank...i was surprised to the core...
    so i feel that if the thought is honest (it can be good or bad) there are high chnaces of it materialising....:))

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  15. Remaining humble that mankind is just scratching the surface of science, I have to say that coincidences are just that - In the zillions of events that happen, the laws of mathematics say that amazing coincidences will happen a few times. Having said that, we should remain humble that we know very little and maybe there is a pattern to it that future science will reveal.

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  16. Hi, I am one of those who you choose to call skeptic or cynic. Yes, I don't believe in higher meaning behind coincidences. This is not because I have anything against them. It is just because there isn't any evidence that can support these claims. Without evidence, these are best described 'superstitions'.

    I say this because even elementary knowledge of statistics teaches me that for the trillions of things happening randomly all the time, there is bound to be something that looks like a pattern. And a basic understanding of human psychology teaches me that we are much more likely to remember coincidences. Ever thought of a song when the radio is playing and it DIDN'T play next? It has happened many times to you (maybe hundreds), but you don't exactly remember. Simply put, the number of "coincidences" is not statistically significant.

    Of course the god-men want you to believe they are gods, of course snake-oil salesmen want you to believe in its healing power, and of course authors of 45 books want you to believe there is higher meaning in life. But by accepting anything without proof, you are only making yourself gullible and harming yourself emotionally, physically, and economically.

    Trust me, if someone comes with a proof that there is a higher meaning in life, I won't be having any cognitive dissonance. But until that happens (which my education gives me enough reason to believe is very unlikely to happen), I am happy to be a skeptic, and happy to be an agnostic.

    PS: The link for "these perplexing" doesn't work.

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  17. PPS: Just to be clear, I do believe that there are self-fulfilling prophecies. There is proof for those, and their observations are statistically significant.

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  18. There is an unseen network at work here, one in which thoughts travel quicker than it takes to formulate them. Those thoughts become things, as my notes from The Universe tell me everyday.
    I find that I manifest most things with conscious creation. You do too, I can tell. :)

    Love Deepak, and read him when I can. I also love Eckhart Tolle, and I'm reading him as soon as I sign off tonight. xoxo

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  19. That is me, Gillian! Not Julian! My husband was signed in. :)
    Oops!
    xo

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  20. Yes, I do believe in co-incidences. But some of them are over-rated. Like thinking about a person and he/she calling you. What one tends to ignore is that there are many a times when one thinks of so many people and sometime or the other, one of them is bound to call you :).

    Same is the case with thinking of a song and then it being played on radio.

    But yes, there have been some incidents (like you mentioned) which tilts me towards believing in them. Intuition is a closely related phenomenon I guess.

    Liked the topic and the write up very much :).

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  21. I really had goosebumps reading some of those "coincidences". Many a times has it happened that when i was about to call a friend of mine, i would get his call. There would be many more but my memory is notoriously nasty.. will comment once i remember any such things!!!

    Happy Ugadi to all....

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  22. Preeti, It happened today too. Kids cooking-- i posted a blog on this two days back and guess what? there is an article on this in today's edition of Hindu-- young world.

    Small co-incidences this.

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  23. interesting post, Preeti. i am a strong believer in 'everthing that happens, happens for a reason', i just haven't applied that to coincidences...

    i remember someone talking highly about Alexander mccall smith, many months later i happen to just pick up a book and then two months later i actually get to meet the author! now that's very coincidental!

    on a lighter note, i had this recurrent dream when a school kid of a tiger cornering me in a room...now i do hope that doesn't come true!

    but then i read life of pi very recently, so....

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  24. Oh I believe that coincidences are signals. But somehow I don't want science to come up with a valid answer to them. I think mystery is what adds more charm to these coincidences :)

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  25. Lets not be too rational about this one thing...lets just believe that they happen because they happen. That's the beauty of these coincidences.

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  26. I truly go with these lines -"nothing happens unless someone wills it to happen."
    n everything happens for something good.So do coincidences :-)

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  27. Very often mamma dreams of something and it really really happens. But its mostly about something bad. :( So I am not particularly fond of these. :(

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  28. Preeti, can't help but smile and nod at this post...well-written, without being fluffy, which is usually the case when someone touches on this topic. Gr8 going!

    I have always experienced all sort of coincidences for as long as I can remember. They are banal - like thinking about any random movie and suddenly watching being aired on TV it within 24-48 hrs to having a long lost friend call me out of the blue whom I had been thinking of. Some very significant things have also happened - like finding the exactly right person I need to be touch with at that point in my life through some weird and unexpected channel. And some I would not say for fear of being burned at the stake! :)

    You can also add a lot of deja vu feelings to this mix!

    So yes, I do believe things happen for a reason. After reading Deepak Chopra's "SynchoDestiny", my belief in my own experiences has only solidified.

    Also, only yesterday me and my friend were discussing how ANYTHING you put your attention to, grows. If you put your attention to coincidences, they will grow. If you choose to pay attention to, say, a new word, you will suddenly see that word splattered everywhere. Similarly, if you pay attention to your failures in life, your failures will grow! The Universe will fill out your order of these experiences. (If you don't know what I am talking about, see this: http://tinyurl.com/yfd8kn5).

    This should not come as a surprise - why, even love grows with attention! :D

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  29. Prerna: I still have not read deepak chopra. But steve Pavlina was very impressive. I agree 100% about love growing with attention :-) In fact lack of it, kills it :)
    And on yes--people coming into your lives exactly when you need them, that I have experienced too.And we should trade stories maybe on chat or through mail) about our personal 'coincidences' :)

    Mamta: Uh oh! Scary. But if dreams are good, it is great no?

    Aish: Yes :-) We should 'do' coincidences :-)

    Rohan: Too much dissection takes away charm--I agree. But sometimes I cannot help dissecting too :-)

    Meira: Yes! See my comment to Rohan above :-)

    Suma: I also beleive in that maxim "everything happens for a reason". As regards dreams, they are manifestation of our subconsciuos thoughts, often symbolic. Have been reading 'dream dictionary'.

    Asha: yes :-) Many like that has happened to me too.

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  30. Shantharam: See Brown Phantom's explanation for that. Oh yes--happy ugadi. Do u celebrate? We don't! :P

    Prashant: I would have blindly classified you as cynic :-) Surprised to read your views. I must share one incident with you on Intuition. Ping me or we will talk on phone.

    Gillian: :-) I found you commenting as Julian very cute! I haven't yet read deepak chopra. i do have Eckhart Tolle's 'power of now' but I have not yet read that too. I agree about thoughts manifesting in things. It has indeed happened to me.

    Welcome: welcome to my blog :-) and happy you connected :-) I too have read about this 'transfer of energy'.Eevn in the latets movie 'avatar' the underlying maxim is that all energy is borrowed and you have to give it back. But it seems amazing when it happens as things like these defy 'logic' or 'rationality'.

    Ambuj: welcome to my blog and thank you for the interesting comment. if you click on the word 'coincidence' it works fine--will make amends to 'perplexing too' :-)
    You must at least read Dr.Brian Weiss who studied at Yale and was a rigorous cynic and sceptic. In fact his scientific training did not allow him to accept anything like this at all, without 'proof'. he provides enough 'proof' in his books. I agree 100% with you about Godmen and about being gullible and blind. What I believe in is the power of 'positive thinking' which has truly worked in my life.(you might call them self fulfilling prophecies)

    Ramesh: Perhaps you are right about Mathematical probability of coincidences.But one time you must read Dr.Weiss. Again it can be dismissed in many ways--but what you said about being humble, I truly liked! :-)

    Deepti: I agree 100% with the philosophy explained in 'The secret'. 'Strong belief' in something does work.

    Varun: I love the surprise element too :-)

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  31. Lakshmi; It has happened to me only once--where a dream manifested into reality.

    Committed to life: yes--probably.

    Shachi: Yes--see brown phantom's explanations for coincidences like that.

    Asha: First time I am hearing about cosmic twins. Interesting. Will research this!

    Kuunal: Chetan baba was really amusing! That is a nice coincidence :-)

    MS: Lucky lucky about tests!! :-) About other coincidence see Brown phantom's theory :) yes--it does happen.

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  32. Sandhya: Brilliant comment! Left me floored! You must must blog about it and I would surely love to read.

    Certified rambler: Oh yes!! they do make life beaaaaautiful! :)

    Reflections: LOL!! :) Yes--i agree about the coincidence of us blogging :) Loved your comment--sooo YOU :)

    Shail: yes--they have happened to me too! Amazing intuition you had about dinner being late and then your MIL.Maybe science is still in nascent stages still..Perhaps one day there will be answers--who knows!

    Ritu: Yes--the truth is out there! :)

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  33. Maybe we like to believe in coincidences, simply because we all like to believe that some magic exists around us. Maybe you did actually see that lady sometime back, but only your subconscious mind registered it! Having said that, I would rather believe in the magic here than the science. Having scientific answers to all our questions will dampen the philosophical quest in us, doesn't it?

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  34. Preeti, I too have experienced a lot of mind-blowing coincidences. I finally started writing them all down and over the years developed a model for working with them. Last year, I published a book about it all. I now keep a blog where I share current experiences. They are not quite as amazing as the twenty coincidences you posted a link to. But they are perhaps more meaningful in that they offer guidance for one's life. Anyway, if you are interested, come visit my blog at www.semeionpress.com.

    Robert

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  35. Robert perry: Interesting that you have written a whole book about it.Will visit. Thank you for the comment.

    Maverick: the lady and I lived in two different cities. So I could not have 'seen' her in my subconscious or whatever. I dreamt about her years later, after I moved out from Bangalore.I saw her in Pondicherry and she had come on a holiday there and out of millions of people I bumped into her. It is indeed a very strange coincidence and not 'magic'. But yes it sounds like that :)

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  36. An interesting post Preeti. I have had many coincidences in my life and have lost track of so many of them. There is some other weird phenomenon I experience. I don't know If I can call it a coincidence or deja vu or anything else. This happens to me very often. I would be thinking of something or some place or read about some place in a very old magazine. The next thing you know, its there all around me. My friends would be planning a trip there, or there would be some news of an incident that I thought of. This might be something that happens to everyone too. I am not sure. But I find it very weird.

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  37. Agree with them hands down. According to your belief it is done unto you! Just like there are atheists and believes so do we have people who believe in all this! Till the twain shall meet!!

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  38. hi preety

    i dont knw if its a coincident or not
    but me and my best frnd(we r frnds for 3 years)
    we often think same thing same time
    there wud be thngs we wont think or talk abt for ages
    but one day for no apparent reason i wud think abt it and she wud be thinking abt the same
    its freaky!!

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  39. oh yes coincidences hv always happened to me...n i do agree tht they r signals from the universe...so true...

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