by Frank Joseph
New Dawn No. 88
from NewDawnMagazine Website
It happens to everyone, more often than we realize.
But synchronicities are not "mere" coincidences, random accidents
Fascinated as he was by it, even Albert Einstein
could not understand how it worked.
Their often dramatic, occasionally funny, always numinous testimony formed the basis for a book I wrote, Synchronicity & You, Understanding the Role of Meaningful Coincidence in your Life.
fundamentally a form of guidance that enters into the personal lives
of every human being. Even if we knowingly discard it, at least part
of its influence enters our subconscious.
A representative incidence of admonitory synchronicity not included in my book was recounted by the California poet, Miriam Hohf:
Another prominent category of synchronicity falls under the heading of Numbers, which thread together mystical human experience, often with surprising results.
The number 57, for example, is an intimate characteristic of the American Revolution, as investigator Arthur Finnessey abundantly demonstrates in his well-researched book, History Computed.
In numerical symbolism, 57 is the combination of two numerals, 5 and 7.
Five is associated with male energy (i.e., war), while seven signifies the completion of cycles. Together they form a symbolic concept perfectly reflecting the completion of major military cycles running like inter-linking themes throughout the history of the Revolutionary War.
Isodore Kozminsky refers to any number from 55 to 64 as "the Sword," associated with military victory (Numbers, Their Meaning & Magic, NY: Samuel Weiser, 1977, page 51).
These ancient interpretations of 57 make its frequent recurrence throughout the War of Independence very appropriate.
Yet, we stand in awe of its historical significance:
The outstanding feature of 57, around which a causal incidents revolved, was a major rift in the fabric of history:
All other, similarly powerful historical events likewise
produce extraordinary high levels of meaningful coincidence. In
fact, the more dramatic, even traumatic, the event, the greater the
intensity and sheer number that appear.
So many, in fact, they embraced
all 17 categories of synchronicity. The meaningful significance of
particular numerals played its part in the Titanic disaster, too - in that classic bad-luck symbol, Number 13.
Two, separate examples serve to illustrate.
A British journalist, W.T. Stead, demonstrated his contempt for superstition by deliberately concluding a story on the 13th of April, 1912.
Further tempting fate, his narration described the discovery of an
ancient Egyptian sarcophagus and the curse of violent death alleged
to overtake anyone who verbally translated its inscription. The next
day, R.M.S. Titanic met the disaster in which Stead perished.
George Wick had been traveling with his family through Europe for several months and booked homeward voyage on Titanic. While in transit to Cherbourg, where the doomed ship would make final docking before attempting her transatlantic crossing, he stopped at Paris.
There he purchased a Grand Prix sweepstakes ticket, choosing Number 13 on purpose, just to prove to everyone that he was not superstitious.
Several days later, Wick went down with the
A White Star insignia crumbled to pieces in the hands of Mr. Arthur Lewis while she was pinning it to her husband's cap. He was just about to board R.M.S. Titanic, where he was a steward.
At the time, she regarded the incident as a bad "omen," although he dismissed her expressed anxiety as foolishness, until the ship foundered a few days later.
Fortunately, Mr. Lewis survived.
He seriously expressed his premonitory feelings to the hotel manager, who allayed the Colonel's "superstitions" enough for him to reluctantly board the great ocean liner.
While at sea, Weir told his secretary about the burst water
pitcher, could not shake his sense of foreboding, and said he must
get off Titanic at the next opportunity, when it docked in
Queenstown, Ireland. Again dissuaded, he remained aboard, only to go
down with the ship he intuited was doomed.
An additional 4,066
would-be passengers either missed the boat or canceled their
reservations, usually under apparently normal circumstances, but
sometimes through unusual coincidences that prevented them from
virtual panic, she said the liner would sink before it reached New
York and railed against her husband, daughters and servants for
being blind to her vision of masses of people drowning in the
freezing waters of the North Atlantic.
Convinced the ship would be torpedoed
and sunk on that passage, Blanche convinced him to change their
booking. Interestingly, she felt safe traveling on Lusitania at any
other time. It was only the prospect of the May 1st crossing that
alarmed her. True to her sense of foreboding, the vessel was
torpedoed and sunk with heavy loss of life on the same voyage she
refused to take.
Published in 1892, From the Old World to the New described the
sinking of an ocean liner after colliding with an iceberg in the
North Atlantic. The "fictional" name of its captain, E.J. Smith,
likewise belonged to the man who commanded R.M.S. Titanic, twenty
years later. Interestingly, the author of From the Old World to the
New, W.T. Stead, lost his own life on board the same ship.
She strikes an iceberg and sinks, leaving the survivors among her thousand passengers to be rescued by a steamer. Similarities to the real-life tragedy convinced readers the story was based on Titanic's particulars.
But author Mayn Clew Garnett was said to have received the details for his novelette in a dream he had while sailing on the Titanic's sister ship, Olympic.
While he may have
been influenced by physical parallels noticed during his passage
aboard the virtually look-a-like vessel, Garnett's selection of 43
north latitude for Admiral's collision with the iceberg was
virtually the same position at which Titanic met her identical fate.
Three days later, he sailed on the Titanic, never to return.
Next day, an iceberg struck that very spot. Both men escaped the
disaster with their lives, because the rats' sudden appearance had
made them uneasy enough to station themselves, as often as possible,
in the immediate vicinity of the lifeboats.
The same night he and his
wife were killed in the sinking, six-year-old Bess suddenly died of
causes the veterinarian was unable to determine.
Another example belongs to May de Witt Hopkins, who experienced the fragrance of roses in her London home one day after R.M.S. Titanic sank.
Although word of the disaster had spread by that time, names of those on board were not yet published.
But with the flowery scent filling her
room from no apparent source, Hopkins suddenly felt that someone she
knew was trying to make her aware of his or her death. She later
learned that a friend, who was, unbeknownst to her, a passenger on
the ship, had indeed perished when it went down. Interestingly, her
own mother, during the late 19th century, had been similarly alerted
to the death of a loved one by a mysterious, flowery odour.
The Managing Director of the White Star Line, Joseph Bruce Ismay, survived the Titanic, but thereafter resigned his post, because he was publicly, although unfairly, blamed for the tragedy.
He spent the next 25 years of his life in
virtual seclusion, dying on October 17, 1937. That same Sunday
afternoon, a framed, oval mirror that hung in Ismay's office during
his tenure at the White Star Line suddenly crashed from its hook,
scattering broken pieces across the floor.
They were surprised to see that it contained a meticulously detailed model of the sunken vessel. It had originally been sent to the US for promotional purposes on behalf of the White Star Line and was supposed to be returned to the London offices on the doomed ship's return voyage.
But the 30 foot-long representation was
accurate in more particulars than anyone could explain. Although it
presented a full compliment of 20 davits, there were only a dozen
miniature lifeboats. Moreover, the bow was partially ruined and a
long crack appeared from the keel toward the upper deck, mimicking
the actual damage sustained by Titanic.
While traveling in Europe during the spring of 1912, a New York lawyer, Isaac C. Frauenthal, dreamt of being aboard a large ship which collided with some floating object and began to sink.
His was a long, vivid nightmare, in which he clearly recalled
the sights and sounds of calamity. Several nights later, the
identical psycho-drama repeated itself, and he told his brother and
sister-in-law that it must be a warning against their up-coming
voyage on R.M.S. Titanic.
When Lucien P. Smith narrowly escaped death during the terrible fire on Viking Princess, in 1966, it was his second, major disaster at sea.
A survivor of the
Titanic, he was in his mother's womb when that ship sank, just as
Mrs. Astor, also aboard, was pregnant with her son, John Jacob. Both
children were born eight months after the sinking, in which their
fathers perished. Their mothers died in the same year, 1940.
Such an extraordinary case of parallel
history began to unfold when William C. Reeves went aboard the tramp
steamer, Titanian, as an ordinary seaman, departing Scotland for New
York on April 13, 1935. Ten days later, at 2300 hours, he was
ordered into the foc's'le head to stand watch.
unable to keep his mind from drifting back to a dramatic moment in
the book when Titan's look-out missed seeing an iceberg in time to
avoid disaster. Also, he could not help but notice the ironic
similarity of his ship's name, Titanian, and Robertson's Titan with
Reeves knew that penalties were severe for raising a
false alarm, the darkness ahead showed no sign of danger, and for
some moments he hesitated to act. But at last his feelings of
imminent collision overwhelmed him and he ordered the bridge to stop
engines, "Iceberg ahead!"
Slowing to full stop, Titanian's crew were astonished
to behold an enormous iceberg looming directly ahead out of the
darkness. The floating mountain appeared at 23:40, the same hour of
Instead, they clearly define the operative principle of meaningful coincidence as a legitimate phenomenon.