Defying physics in interpersonal relationships
May 29, 2013 6:07 PM   Subscribe

There are anecdotes, usually of identical twins, who manage to "communicate" even when separated by distance and/or time. One twin just "knows" that something has happened to the other twin. I don't have a twin, but I once had this kind of connection with my then boyfriend.

For example, we were living in separate cities at the time, and I was having a bad day, and he called to say hello -- I picked up, all I said was "hello," and his response was "I could feel you were having a bad day, I'm getting on the train right now, I'll be there in a few hours." (He did arrive in a few hours, I was very happy to have him there, really did need him that day.) I've read studies about how over time, couples tend to do things like call each other at the same time because they sync their schedules, so the probability of doing the same things at the same time increases. But what I am talking about goes beyond probability -- seemingly inexplicably, you just know how the other person is feeling / what they are thinking.

Recently, I've been wondering how other people have experienced this kind of connection -- this was triggered by another recent experience of the phenomenon: I knew a close friend of was going on a trip, but couldn't remember the exact date she was leaving. I woke up one morning and just "felt" her leaving. I texted her right away, and she texted me when she arrived at her destination -- she had indeed left that day.

My questions for the hive mind are:
1. Please share your stories of having a physics defying connection with someone -- family member, friend, romantic partner, pet, anyone.
2. Can you point me to research on the topic? Twin research is ok, I vaguely know this research exists, but don't have any good references.

Thanks for sharing, and look forward to reading some interesting and inexplicable stories!
posted by booksandwine to Human Relations (40 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
As an identical twin, I can vouch for this. In one instance, when my brother and I were four and He was far away in the hospital for surgery and I was staying with our grandparents, I reportedly turned to our grandma and told her my brother was okay at a time that coincided with him coming out of surgery.
posted by Fukiyama at 6:15 PM on May 29, 2013

My mother and I have this all the time. She regularly calls me just as I'm thinking I'd like to talk to her, and every now and then when I am having a particularly terrible day but haven't done anything out of the ordinary to indicate that that's the case, she calls and wants to know what's wrong. It's really rather amazing, actually.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 6:21 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is a running joke between myself and my boyfriend. Generally with reference to getting headaches or being upset at the same time (we don't live together, or, indeed, in the same city), or similarly-themed dreams (about things we haven't talked about.)

We're both fairly skeptical people, and have tried to come up with various non-woo explanations--the best we've come up with is a combination of subconsciously picking up voice or video cues (we talk or video chat most days), a certain amount of confirmation bias and some similar habits. I'll be interested in seeing what other responses this gets.
posted by kagredon at 6:31 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

The key phrase for research on this is "confirmation bias".
posted by supercres at 6:34 PM on May 29, 2013 [104 favorites]

This has happened to me with one of my siblings, a close friend I've known since high school and a recent partner I had. I attribute it to intuition, instinct, and the intimate bond we share. I can sense when something is dangerous, someone is not sincere, and when there is pain. More recently, I could actually feel the person nearby and that something wasn't right or they were in danger. I later found out the person was actually nearby and had a very disappointing experience. This is just one example and i think it's intuition, being simpatico and the existence of a deep underlying bond. The feeling overcomes me and don't know the specifics, but I know something is going on. It depends on how much meditation I've done and how much they are on my mind. It's happened more often when I have a clear mind.
posted by happysocks at 6:35 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Well, when I was in college at Cornell, I had a psychology professor who fervently believed in ESP and recently published a study where he was trying to prove it. I actually signed up for the psych study while I was an undergrad. I think it involved looking at gruesome images, that maybe someone else was looking at at the same time or something?

Anyway, that's not anecdotal at all.
posted by mermily at 6:48 PM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]

I have a twin sister.

When I was maybe seven years old, I had a nightmare. In this nightmare, our family was at the beach. The beach itself was a very narrow strip between the ocean and a very tall (over 100 feet) cliff. As we were doing the standard beach stuff, we saw a huge tidal wave approaching. We all started frantically climbing the cliff to escape. I lost track of the rest of my family, but just as I was about to reach the top of the cliff, the tidal wave came and swept me away.

It was a terrible nightmare. I had it almost every night for a week. I was afraid to go to sleep because I knew I would have this dream. Eventually, though, I stopped having it.

Many years later, when I was in high school, I had the same dream, for the first time in ages. It wasn't as scary this time, maybe because I was older, maybe because part of my mind was saying 'Oh, it's this dream again.'

The next morning I was walking to school with my sister, and I mentioned that the previous night I had had a specific nightmare for the first time in around ten years. She said, "Were you at a beach, and there was a cliff, and a tidal wave?" Turns out she also had the dream as a kid, and had just had it again.
posted by dfan at 6:49 PM on May 29, 2013 [11 favorites]

The strongest one of these was when I woke up in the middle of the night feeling awful and knew that someone I love(d) died. Got the call the next morning.

With people who are dear to me I experience similar things to what happysocks wrote. It often is a strong sensation that is hard to shake.
posted by travelwithcats at 6:49 PM on May 29, 2013

Before the bandwagon of warnings against pseudoscience begins, I thought I would jump in here and say that -- I believe -- there are simply. things. we. do. not. understand.

I had an amazing experience in 1977 that involved my mother and a "feeling" that sent me to her house to find her crumpled up, bleeding, and unconscious. She had developed a flu and tried to get to the bathroom and fainted into the side of a cedar chest. There's no way to explain the "feeling" and there's no use trying to explain it scientifically. Period.

Does that make it any less real? I think not.

This makes me think of all the hell that Thomas Nagel has caught since his last book, "Mind and Cosmos." How dare him suggest that there are things that clearly happen that have no scientific explanation. He made it clear he was still an atheist and it has nothing to do with religion, but acknowledges there are things that can't be explained within the context of science and physics as we know it. That doesn't mean there is a "God" but only that there are things which we may not even have the capability of understanding. He calls for open minds to remember that we are very young as an intelligent species on this planet - in this mysterious cosmos.
posted by Gerard Sorme at 6:49 PM on May 29, 2013 [8 favorites]

I have these incidents often enough. I believe the reason is that subconsciously (whether awake or at night/in dreams), I am going through the likely events and piecing together everything I know about the person, the circumstances, etc., and I suddenly put together what is likely going on.

Note I say likely, and I'm not even sure how likely, but I do think that it's a combination of knowing enough of the inputs probably and a few of them very intimately (which is why it makes sense for twins to understand someone they know so well and who with they can more easily empathize), and having the sort of mind that can see how things will likely go.

To use a sports analogy, you will sometimes see a player begin to react before another player has given a tell. It's not due to mind-reading, just experience and good reading of what is likely the situation.
posted by michaelh at 6:52 PM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

About twelve years or so ago, I went to a gifted conference. Stephanie Tolan was one of the speakers. She talked a tiny bit about psychic phenomenon and giftedness. So you might check to see if she has done research herself on the topic or if any of her work references such research. She is a respected source and all that.
posted by Michele in California at 6:53 PM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

For an example of this with a reasonable scientific explanation... My mom and I can almost always tell when the other has a headache. We're both very sensitive to changing air pressure and certain kinds of weather will always give us headaches. As long as I've lived within ~50 miles or so of her I've been able to tell with a lot of certainty (and vice versa) if she was having a headache and how bad it was.
posted by telegraph at 7:11 PM on May 29, 2013

If you're interested in reading about research similar to what you're talking about, Dr Rupert Sheldrake discusses an experiment he uses to test telephone telepathy here. There will usually be something like this in your average issue of Fortean Times.

Of course, there are obvious, fatal flaws in his methodology, and that which we call "defying physics" is really just confirmation bias, but it's fun to read about. There isn't really a lot of credible research on telepathy - irreproducible results are not especially useful to science. But again, it's fun to read about.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:27 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Bem/psi study that mermily mentioned (and that had many sub-experiments looking for precognition of any sort) has been pretty thoroughly debunked.
posted by supercres at 7:34 PM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'm very skeptical about these sorts of things, and I think the vast majority of them are just coincidences. We hardly notice all the times we're thinking about someone and they don't happen to call. And it's perfectly natural that there would be a lot of overlap between the categories of "people you think about often with strong emotion" and "people who call you," or "people who have a significant thing happen on a day when you were thinking of them."

And yet, I have to wonder about this strange thing that happened back in my 20s. I woke very suddenly one morning in a state of fear and sat bolt upright in bed. I had been dreaming very vividly of a man being injured by something falling on him in a warehouse. I looked at the clock -- it was 6:30 am. A few hours later at work, I got a call that my father was in the hospital with a broken back. A crane had fallen on him in the warehouse where he worked. I asked when it had happened -- just before 6:30. That gave me chills.
posted by Corvid at 7:42 PM on May 29, 2013 [6 favorites]

I used to have a book called "From parent to child: The psychic link." You might check it out, though I think it is anecdotal, not research based.

You are going to have a hard time finding good research (I mean experiments) on the topic. Even setting aside the tendency of people to scoff at such things, psychic phenomenon is strongly associated with times of crisis. It most often occurs when someone is in danger, under duress or when someone dies. There would be serious ethical issues with intentionally hurting or endangering people (not to mention killing them) for experimental purposes and there is no reason to believe that faked "danger" would trigger real psychic phenomenon.

Having said that, my recollection is that during WWII they experimented with this a bit and got statistically significant results. I think the idea was to use one person to mentally broadcast info like a spy and another to receive it. You might also look for stories from war times. As noted above, this phenomenon is associated with duress so there are some stories from times of war.

I don't think confirmation bias explains all of it but it is hard to get good, reliable data. I briefly comoderated a group for talking about weird incidents of this type. It had been born of a conversation on an email list where we talked about weird incidents and possible explanations, both "mystical" and scientific. The problem was the only people who joined the spin off group were the ones who believed it was psychic. I was the most sciency person on it (and I do astrology, so, yeah). It lost all balance and did not become what I hoped it would. The group certainly suffered confirmation bias, though the original discussion that birthed it was more evenhanded and interesting and had some fantastic anecdotal evidence.
posted by Michele in California at 7:51 PM on May 29, 2013

I had a house mate whose dog would go to the top of the stairs a few minutes before she would arrive,
and then there is this.
posted by hortense at 9:04 PM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

In college, in the '80s, I had a friend go overseas for a year, and this person wrote me letters and postcards at unpredictable intervals: sometimes I'd get mail 3 or 4 days in a row, then nothing more for a week or so (ah the joys of waiting for the mail in the Pre-email days).

In early November I mentioned to a (non science) instructor that I could almost always tell, upon waking, if I was going to get a letter or not that day. He asked me to test this by stopping by his office each morning (mail came late afternoon) and note if I thought a letter would come or not. We did this straight through to the end of the school year in May. At the end, I'd predicted a letter on a day a letter arrived 32 times. An additional 11 times I predicted a letter and one did not come that day but did the next. 17 times I predicted a letter and one did not arrive within 24 hours, and 4 times a letter came when I did not predict it. (I still have the notebook, but not the letters, oddly enough.). Clearly this is way better than chance, but was it due to me somehow intuiting when my friend would be likely to write or some overall pattern in the mail -- who can say? I just know it felt strange at the time, and stranger and stranger as the weeks wore on.
posted by anastasiav at 9:36 PM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]

On a trip with my mother, I decided to take a walk in the afternoon without her. At one point, I suddenly felt distinctly bad, and thought about going back. I looked at my watch, and the time was 3:30. Within a couple of minutes the feeling passed. When I came back, my mother said she had had a terrible stomach ache, and had felt for a moment that she was going to die. When had this been? About half an hour ago, she said: around 3:30.
posted by shivohum at 10:25 PM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]

One thing I've seen. Was waiting with a few people to get into a concert and the conversations were basic chit-chat stuff about the band, other bands, the venue, other venues, etc. One guy turned to one gal and said, "You're a twin, right?" She said, "Yeah; do you know my sister?" He said, "No; I'm a twin, too."
posted by ambient2 at 10:59 PM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]

My mother had an extraordinarily close relationship with her mother, e.g., daily phone calls (after Mom married), even though they lived in the same town and saw each other frequently. Naturally, Grandma was a favorite babysitter. My brother and I occasionally spent the night with her when my folks had plans for the evening. So, we were surprised on one such night at Grandma's to be awoken when Mom and Dad showed up after midnight to take us home, rather than picking us up the next day.

My grandmother died in her sleep that night, apparently dozed off in front of the television. She was just 63 years old. Her sister, who lived nearby, discovered her body the next morning—Mom asked her to check when Grandma didn't answer her phone. Regarding bringing us home the night before, Mom said that she simply felt strongly compelled to do so. When her mother didn't answer the phone the next day, she "just knew" she was gone.

For years I thought this was an example of what you are looking for in this question. Now I think "coincidence" and "confirmation bias" better explain what happened.
posted by she's not there at 11:01 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Before my dad died, I had a premonition, so I raced home (from abroad) and was able to be at his deathbed.

Years later, I had a "my nan's going to die" premonition and did the same thing cuz, well, I was right the last time, right? However she didn't die and she's still fine years later.

So um yeah, I'd say coincidence / confirmation bias. Tho this stuff sure makes for good stories!
posted by ClarissaWAM at 2:12 AM on May 30, 2013 [4 favorites]

When my grandfather died, I was living abroad. I woke up after a strange, vivid but peaceful dream in which he was in the driveway of our old house getting into a car, and we were all lined up on the porch saying goodbye to him. I woke up to the phone ringing and the news that he had passed away.

A less dramatic story: Another time, while at university, I dreamt I had a fight with my mother. It was one of those weird dreams where you wake up still feeling angry. I then checked my email and got one from my sister in which she told me about a huge fight she had just had with our mother.

Just a couple more anecdotes for you and nothing that can't be explained by coincidence and confirmation bias. But still, I was happy to have had the dream about my grandfather. I think of it as my way of saying goodbye to him, which in real life I was not able to do.
posted by Ziggy500 at 2:35 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think it needs to be pointed out that there is a huge spectrum of possible explanations for this kind of phenomenon that neither a) rely on ideas about the supernatural, nor b) justify a kneejerk response of "confirmation bias!". One could envisage all kinds of ways in which people develop deep and detailed knowledge about specific other people's patterns of emotional response, etc, without being aware that they know these things.
posted by oliverburkeman at 4:46 AM on May 30, 2013 [9 favorites]

When I was 12 years old, I was visiting a friend in a tiny northern California town, 3,000 miles from my home in Florida. We went to some variety show put on for kids, and there was a really fun juggler there. After the show, for no reason at all, I asked him if he knew someone named [my mom's married name], then said "She would have been [my mom's maiden name]."

He looked at me very strangely and said "Yeah! She was my college Spanish teacher!"

"At the University of Florida?"


"Yeah, she's my mom."

"She's your mom? You're the bump?!"

Turns out he'd known my mom when she was pregnant with me. Hadn't talked to or seen her since taking Spanish in her class. My mother was dumbfounded when I returned home and told her I'd met him and somehow knew that he knew her.
posted by Specklet at 4:57 AM on May 30, 2013 [4 favorites]

Mod note: A couple of comments deleted. This is a bit of an edge-case post since "please share your stories" posts are strongly discouraged as chatfilter -- but this question also asks for research sources, which is fine, and a good way to help answer. Commenting just to argue with the phrasing or idea of the post is not so helpful. Thanks.
posted by taz (staff) at 5:02 AM on May 30, 2013

I like to consider myself pretty rational and grounded, but the truth is I've always really wanted something inexplicable like this to happen to me. Some sort of unspoken connection with someone else, or dreams that have some sort of meaning outside of what's going through my mind, or some other form of "I just know somehow." If a compelling enough coincidence ever happened to me, I'd probably be confirmation-biasing it pretty hard.

But nothing like that's ever happened.

You're probably thinking "cool story, bro," but my point is these things also don't happen a whole lot, and there's a lot of boring middle ground between "this totally happened to me" and "this subject is ridiculous" that we often don't hear in discussions like this.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:01 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Conducting legitimate, rigorous research on these kind of phenomena can be very difficult, since these events happen at random times to random people. So a lot of investigation tends to focus on people who claim to be able to do this on a more-or-less regular basis, rather than the "extraordinary thing happens to ordinary person" stories.

James Randi, Martin Gardner, and Ray Hyman have written extensively about their investigations of parapsychology, the paranormal, pseudo- or fringe science, and other mysterious phenomena, including various tests and experiments they've conducted on people who claim psychic abilities. Their books and articles, along with Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World, are excellent resources for the layperson interested in the evidence for or against the actual existence of physics-defying phenomena, and explanations of how & why people can come to believe in same.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:40 AM on May 30, 2013 [4 favorites]

I think one of the problems with discussions about these phenomena is that people who have these experiences describe them poorly. They don't explain how the way they "know" something that there's no logical reason to know feels subjectively different than knowing other things, like today is Thursday or fried chicken tastes good.

Example (I am an atheist and anti-woo): in 1992 my company had an all hands meeting with 500 people there. Everyone's name was put into a jar, and they drew one out at the end. That person would get an upgrade to first class on their next flight.

When I put my name in, I knew I would win. But the experience of knowing something that hasn't happened yet is different than the experience of something that has or is a truism.

The most loosely accurate metaphor I've come up is this: you're on a two week vacation, lounging on the beach one week into it when you suddenly realize that you forgot to send a crucial email. Before the realization, you had no idea the email existed (you had completely forgotten), but once you remembered it, something suddenly exists, a thing that seemed to come from out of nowhere but that you know to be a fact.

It's not a perfect metaphor, but that sensation is probably familiar to more people than simply saying, "I knew relative/friend/lover X was in trouble."

So that sudden realization subjectively feels different than the everyday I-know-this-to-be-true type of realizations because it comes as both a surprise and because it comes with a kind of built-in confidence level to it that's different than a guess or supposition or a might-be.
posted by digitalprimate at 10:23 AM on May 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

My grandma was friends with a woman (she passed away several years back), Jewish, from Germany, a twin. She and her sister were part of experiments of this sort conducted by the Nazis when they were 10-ish years old. Apparently at least some of this was of the injure-one-see-if-the-other-one-feels-it variety. Her sister unfortunately didn't live through them.

So yes, there is research on this. But likely not the sort of thing you would want to find.
posted by phunniemee at 10:27 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sometimes, you get a "hit," when an unlikely guess pays off. Calling it a connection is not based on evidence of a connection, it's based on evidence of performance, and even that is distorted by all the times the "connection" fails. Neither your reasoning brain nor the older instinctual brain take notice of these "misses" because misses are expected, and your brain works very hard to try to ignore what's expected so it can concentrate on the unexpected, interesting, and threatening.

Psychics are often as big believers as their patrons, but they consistently fail reasonable testing, and fail with patrons who don't serve them with feedback and who don't, like most psychic patrons, choose to pay attention to the hits and ignore the misses.

Even if your boyfriend had the idea that you were down in the dumps, and called, he wouldn't have said anything to you about it had you answered the phone with a happy voice. It's still a miss.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:33 AM on May 30, 2013

digitalprimate has nailed it-- a lot of these things only add up after the fact, and when they don't add up after the fact, we fix it. Of those 500 people in the room, half of them could "know" they were going to win, absolutely no doubt in their minds. Assuming the winner was in that group, 249 losers will say "Huh, I felt sure I would win," while the winner is saying "I knew it!" These are the same feeling, viewed in the lights of two different outcome. Most of those losers will tell nobody how they felt, because it was an mistaken belief. The winner will tell loads of people because it was a hit.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:45 AM on May 30, 2013

Actually, Sunburnt, although I am anti-woo, I intended that as a full on "woo can't be explained only experienced" comment...until your reply steered me firmly back to confirmation bias.

The event may have subjectively felt differently than others, but you're correct that my apprehension of it was only one datapoint and that half the room may have felt the same way as I did.

Sure was weird though.
posted by digitalprimate at 11:20 AM on May 30, 2013

There was an interesting post not too long ago about the malleability of memory, and how many of the things we have clear, distinct memories of did not actually take place (or at least not in the way we remember). I would suspect that in many of these "physics defying" cases, particularly from childhood or from traumatic events, one small memory is warped by another, larger one.

For example, a person may wake up from a strange, confusing dream and then later in the day learn that a parent passed away. Over time (or possibly instantly), the memory of waking up from that strange dream gets partially rewritten into waking up from a dream about the parent's death and creates an eerie coincidence that never actually happened.

This is not to say that all of these types of stories are necessarily false, but I think it offers a reasonable explanation for how some of them might arise.
posted by parallellines at 12:23 PM on May 30, 2013

A few years ago my husband and I went to the movies one night and ended up seeing that stupid roller derby movie Whip It. At some point in the middle of the film, he just loudly gasped and made a sob for no apparent reason. He said he'd just suddenly come over with a huge wave of grief. I asked if he wanted to go home, but he said no, and we stuck it out, even though neither of us was particularly into the film. We got home maybe an hour and a half or two hours later to find our beloved Best Cat in the World lying at the base of our driveway, having been struck by a car at some point while we were out.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 2:20 PM on May 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

Here's some expert authors you could look for books by: Larry Dossey, Judith Orloff, Daryl Bem (already mentioned here!), Russell Targ, Dean Radin, Lynne McTaggart, Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer (sadly died after the one book, but it's a good one). They all have a lot to say on the subject, and there's plenty of actual scientific research out there on these topics, especially from the doctors and scientists.

I was also looking at the Institute of Noetic Sciences this morning, and it looks like they've got a lot of articles posted.

As for the Stephanie Tolan stuff, hey, I think I found what you mentioned.... Also here in book form.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:03 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

I think the physics of this is somehow related to gut/nerve bacteria we all share,talking with and about us, yet unbeknownst to us.
posted by hortense at 10:15 AM on May 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

Carl G. Jung dealt with this topic throughout his Collected Works. I would suggest "Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle (From Vol. 8 of the Collected Works of C.G. Jung)."

Synchronicity. A term coined by Jung to designate the meaningful coincidence or equivalence (a) of a psychic and a physical state or event which have no causal relationship to one another. Such synchronistic phenomena occur, for instance, when an inwardly perceived event (dream, vision, premonition, etc.) is seen to have correspondence in external reality: the inner image has "come true"; (b) of similar or identical thoughts, dreams, ect. occurring at the same time in different places. Neither the nor the other coincidence can be explained by causality, but seems to be connected primarily with activated archetypal processes in the unconscious. W├Ârterbuch-Psychologie-ihrer-Grenzgebiete (Dictionary of Psychology and its Applications) Kurt Von Sury, Editor.

C.G. Jung: "My preoccupation with the psychology of the unconscious processes long ago compelled me to look about for another principle of explanation, because the causality principle seemed to me inadequate to explain certain remarkable phenomena of the psychology of the unconscious. Thus I found that there are psychic parallelisms which cannot be related to each other causally, but which must be connected through another principle, namely the contingency of events. This connection of events seemed to me essentially given by the fact of their relative simultaneity, hence the term "synchronistic." It seems, indeed, as though time, far from being an abstraction, is a concrete continuum which contains qualities or basic conditions that manifest themselves simultaneously in different places through parallelisms that cannot be explained causally, as, for example, in cases of the simultaneous occurrence of identical thoughts, symbols, or psychic states." Richard Wilhelm: In Memoriam, Collected Works Vol. 15

"Synchronicity is no more baffling or mysterious than the discontinuities of physics. It is only the ingrained belief in the sovereign power of causality that creates intellectual difficulties and makes it appear unthinkable that causeless events exist or could ever occur. ... Meaningful coincidences are thinkable as pure chance. But the more they multiply and the greater and more exact the correspondence is, the more their probability sinks and their unthinkability increases, until they can no longer be regarded as pure chance but, for lack a of a causal explanation, have to be thought of as meaningful arrangements. ... Their "inexplicability" is not due to the fact that the cause is unknown, but to the fact that a cause is not even thinkable in intellectual terms." The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, Collected Works Vol. 8.

These quotes are pulled from the glossary of Jung's autobiography "Memories, Dreams, Reflections." He gives some examples of synchronistic events from his own life in this work.

Hope this gives you a direction you might want to follow.
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks at 1:10 PM on May 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

Three things:

1. I used to have a terrible dream which occurred at least several times a month for over 5 years. The dream was that I was flying around (like superwoman) when I noticed power line/phone line kind of wires above me. The lines get closer and I try to avoid them but they block me in and I can't fly above them. Fast forward to when I was in my 20's I was a flight instructor (and still having those dreams). I had a partial engine failure while taking off with a student on a very hot day on a small mountain airport. The plane was not climbing fast enough and in front of me were ...power lines. My bad dream come alive.
Long story short - I did piloty things and missed the power lines. I never had the dream again.

2. When I was in my young teens the family went out on a weekend drive but I declined and stayed home. I took a nap and had an extremely vivid dream (which I never had before or since) where the the family was in the car and had a small accident. Everyone was scared and I awoke with my heart beating quickly. When the family got back they were all visibly shaken up- they had a small car accident.

3. I used to regularly have particularly vivid dreams about places that I have never been but recognize years later when I realize that I am there.
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 2:31 PM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm going to second the mom thing These Birds brought up. My case is a little different.

When I call my Mom she picks up and says my name. This has been happening for 27 years. Her phones were made by Ma Bell in the sixties, and I don't have a regular calling schedule.
And no, she's not socially isolated.

5 or 6 times I've been asked to prove it by calling her while someone else listens. She has a perfect record.

I don't know what's going on. It's just mom, you know? She had 9 miscarriages before she managed to carry me to term. She loves me. It doesn't seem mysterious or supernatural at all.

I hope to be that tight with my son.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 5:51 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

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