interpreting signs from fate

i used to expound on this theory of interpreting signs from fate, especially in terms of social interaction.

it kind of went like this: if someone caught my attention three times, i should interpret that as fate whacking me on the head saying “do something”–like breaking the familiar stranger routine and striking up some kind of conversation.

this also applies to unfamilar words and concepts, except usually it only takes hearing something novel once or twice before i heed fate’s divine intervention and look it up.

this reminds me of a phenomenon which struck me so profoundly when i was younger (perhaps in elementary school) that i remember the following anecdote to this day.

we had learned in school that the word utensil was another word for forks, knives, and spoons. what was extraordinary was my dad using the word utensil that night (or within a few days) and my knowing exactly what he meant, but also realizing that a few days earlier i would have had no idea what he meant. and maybe the word would have passed right over my head like i’d never heard it, because i don’t think i was in the habit of stopping my parents at every unknown word to ask for a definition.

in that moment i had some awareness that i had been unconscious of my ignorance in the past, which suggested that i could possibly be unconscious of my ignorance in the present. or perhaps it was just my first known realization and appreciation of a coincidence. either way, it stuck with me.

Update, 2013-07-27: Apparently people are calling this effect the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.

36 Comments

jane

Have you been inspired by a sign from fate to make you remember this?

look for installment two coming tomorrow.

jackie

“Fate”–your belief system is convoluted

Brian

I’m always surprised by the recognition that you impact your children’s lives in very subtle ways – it is not always the big things, but sometimes it’s the small ones, like a single spoken word

convoluted? pshaw.

its simply a belief system about figuring out what to pay attention to and what not to. call it fate, coincidence, proximity. at some level we’ve got to make decisions about what to ignore and what to seek.

Kansas

I say seek out and squish those things that cause pain.

jane

you mean like scorpions? or like crappy database teachers that make you want to run from class screaming?

jackie

Oh, I get it, like a higher order object recognition system.

there’s a certain implicit ethics as well that i probably should have stated: that most people, myself included, ignore too many things on a daily basis. i’ve seen this at work and school. people would rather labor in ambiguity and ignorance than look things up and own their knowledge. it’s about fighting entropy.

and this ethic is my preventive.

Brian

Wow, I’m impressed that you referred to my entropy post.

welcome to the blogosphere

[…] In any event, the universe was seeming to say, look into this. The funny thing is that it took so long. I’m not sure what the impetus, but it was last October that I found myself looking on eBay for printing presses when I discovered the San Francisco Center for the Book. Sounds almost quaint in the age of the internet, doesn’t it? […]

priya

I believe that d universe is costantly giving out signals but smtimes i find myself go weak in understanding n reactin to them.. maybe coz its not what i want.. what should one do in times like these..

kary

I am desperately seeking answers about a guy. I am a devout Christian so I meant to google “interpreting signs from God” but just felt i should leave off “from God” in my google search. So here i am on this page. Funny thing is, the name of my guy is Justin… is this a sign? This could drive a person crazy.

Kary, hmm, sounds like a sign to me, but it’s really up to you to interpret and determine the meaning of the “signs” in your life. Good luck.

Sweety

I need help here. There’s a guy that I’ve known for a long time, and my best friend has noticed we have some kind of “connection”. We are friends, and i have had many dreams about him, proposing to me, us being together…even my friend has had many dreams about this as well…we have never spoken about “us”, we only see each other once every month or two…but i feel there is something there and i cant explain it…anyways, i feel like emailing him, but am too scared but everywhere i go i hear his name, i look one way, and there it is, i put the tv on and right away it’s there and when i ask someone to give me the name of their doctor, there is the name again. Am i going psycho here? or is fate trying to tell me something? arghhhhh

dawn

I have the same question as the other girls. Whats the deal with with having signs about a guy in the past about. Does it mean something?

Jessica

Lately, I have been noticing tons of “coincidences” showing up. For example, I wanted to hear a song one day and it was playing when I woke up the next day. Or, I think of a movie and it is on TV.
It has me really believing in the idea that I create my own reality with my thoughts. I think that everything that shows up in our reality is a result of our thoughts-conscious or unconscious. We draw things to us with our thoughts.
It is really strange though because these things keep happening to me everyday now-very frequently. I am starting to feel like I am losing it! Any thoughts?

Sweety

Hi, do you know it’s still happening and I’m going to see this individual soon? It’s driving me crazy…I even had a dream a few months ago I lost my best friend and we lost our friendship not too long ago…But I agree, I think our thoughts do create our reality.

Barb

Lately I have been seeing things in threes. It seems everytime I look at the clock, its 2:22 or 3:33, etc., I have been waiting to see what it means and trying to figure it out, but I am lost .Any ideas out there?

anon

im only young, 13 but i am very mature and spiritual for my age.

ive known this guy all y life and weve good mates since weve met. recently we snogged. we both knew it was going to happen sooner or later. the whole night fell into place – my television didnt work so we wernt preoccupied with that. we had been play fighting and we were pretty close and the chemistry was pretty amazing. later that night he suggested we put a dvd on but i asked him to put it in and he said no. being as stubborn as we are it never played. the lights were off and we started play fighting again. we ended up passionatly snogging. we did repeat later that night and slept in the same bed.(nothing happend!!!). the next morning he went home and neer mentioned a thing. i dont see him to often but 2 days after whilst in town to meet my friend i saw him, we chatted yet and again it didnt come up. that night he was a little nasty on msn. he has been going through a bad patch with school, drink and his mom, and i told him to get his life sorted because i was really concerned about whats going to happen to him, now he ignores and blocks me on msn. im getting mixed signal not only from him but the world. nobody really knows as he asked me to keep it secret. the signs i tend to get are friends becoming lovers ect. but sometimes im getting DONT GO THERE signals and then THE GO AHEAD!

me

im not sure if this site is still operating. but i just want to know if what has happened realli is fate. Not long ago I met this guy who im starting to see now. The thing is Before I met him i had, had a dream with him in it. I saw his face heard his name and other details wwhich came tru. So i dreamt of him without knowing who he was..he is leaving to college next yr..does this mean what we have will just end? i hope if fate does exist it will keep us together.

Lucy

I’ve been doing some research for my friend about fate and stuff because she this guy that she used to go out with appears everywhere she goes and his name comes up everywhere as well for example on vans and company cars. She can even be sitting in the car and she’ll turn round or look up in front of her and theres his car with him in it! Im sure she’s also had dreams about him. The thing is my friend and this guy have a really on/off friendship and atm its off because he doesnt want to know and has a new girlfriend. But she still sees these signs everywhere. Is fate trying to tell her something? And if so what is it because we cant figure it out. Does it mean that he is thinking about her and wants to rekindle their friendship. Or is it just conincidence that she likes to think is fate? I used to believe in fate when i was obsessed with a guy a while back but now i just believe that everything is pretty much a conincidence and that it would pretty much happen anyway. So what’s fate trying to tell her here? Woah long comment :)

Bridget

How do I interpret that recently several people that I’ve met have been named Paul. It’s odd. My 1st bf was named Paul, and recently – my chiropracter. Another guy that I started dating, my new boss, and the guy in front of me at the convenience store. It’s not that common of a name – yet it keeps showing up in my life. What does that mean?

nikki

hi umm i came ah cross this and .. well anyways i was wonderin if you might be able to help me … me and my hubby2be have been together for 4yrs and never gotten prego in all the 4 yrs and now just out of the blue my doctor tells me that she has a “feeling” that i’m prego and then a few days later a close friend of my family and a family member says to me the same thing but i told her that i couldnt be i’d know it cause i’d be at least 3 months and now my mother and bestfriend are prego …. i dont know what to think about it … i mean i really want kids and all but i’ve had alot of problems in the past with this type of stuff … do you think its just me really wanting a baby that its all in my head or is fate trying to tell me something ????

melody

well this seems pretty weird but iam am a christian and ever since i was around seven years old i have been praying to god that on my sixteenth birthday that he would make me psychic well now iam fifteen and for the past year i have been noticing that i will be thinking in my head and be like oh what if this happened (in any situation that iam in) and always it comes true . i can make up whatever i want to have in the situation how random or silly it may be but whatever it is it happens. well its not exactly what you would call psychic….am i crazy?

Jan-age 15

Ive had the same like Jessica
But with Love, signs come up everywhere thats happened in a story, my thoughts coming into reality, happening everyday now, my horoscopes seems to be coming true even more everyday, tis pretty freaky,on my chinese calender, I looked for a Snake (lover’s sign) i was hoping the best match would be a rooster (me) and it was a rooster, me and my friend was completely like wow-shes in love with his twin, me and my best friend are both born in 1993. I would go into detail, because all this sounds like coincidence, people may think, what? just a load of rubbish, but it really isn’t,

is it fate?

m

I’m lost. I have no idea what to do with my life. I wanted to become a painter but I keep failing in the Art School exams. I thought just now that I could find something helpfull on the internet and the first thing I saw was a famous painter’s work on the google’s searching machine. Do you thing this is a sign for me to keep trying to become what i really want?

wendy

I wish people understood my version of fate.

Recently I told this guy I loved him, and he didn’t feel the same. So instead of dwelling on the whole feelings associated with that kind of situation I just kind of got over it. Yet, I can’t seem to escape him. His name isn’t too common, but watching a movie recently with a friend (one I had never seen or heard of) the main character had his name. The bad guy in the movie had his last name. Also, he has a very distinct car. Of course I see these cars every where I go. How can I let go if it won’t let go of me? Is this a sign? It has to be right?

I’d love to hear how to interpret these signs..or even just talk about signs in general.

Crys

ok, so i’m only 16 but the thing is, i’ve been having trouble with my bf. i have been thinking bout breaking up with him, but i wasn’t sure if i should or not.
but yesterday it was really weird. i was on the computer, trying to forget about my bf and listening to music while texting my friends, and all of a sudden the music wouldn’t play and said a popup “are you there” that no matter how much i tried i couldn’t get rid of. then my phone went black all of a sudden and i couldn’t check it.
then a voice that sounded like my voice started talking to me. it said ” don’t break up. you still like him a lot and always will”. the voice was crystal clear and it was as though somebody was standing right in front of me. this has never happend before. so even tho every one of my friends has told me to break up with him, i’m not sure anymore. i have no clue if this is fate or not.

a few months ago i was told by my dead friend that i was special. I used a ouiji board for the first time and he popped up saying no problem i called him whatever that meant. I mean at first demons popped up trying to talk to me i told the board no evil if they said yes they were evil i drug the piece to goodbye til i got my friend. He shocked me by tellling me how he died and everything. I was with my fiance she is a witness she had no idea who he was or why he was telling me that i’m a demi-god. Now this new movie coming out may have something in store for my new found fate and my be a revelation to me. Talk bout fate smacking you in the face Right!?!

Nataliya

I’m not exactly sure if this is fate or not. Ok, like there is this guy named Kevin, that I have a huuuge crush on and me and him were friends last year in sophomore year and he would flirt with me sometimes then because we were in the same classThis year, we still are friends though. So I confessed to him in teh beginning of junior year and he took it just fine. Then my family moved closer to my school and I found out that he lives right across from my neighborhood. And ever since I moved closer to school, I have been getting so many.. chances I guess, to do something like talk or kiss his cheek and what not. But I never took them and it’s crazy because in all my other classes there is a guy who has the same name as him and my mom is dating a guy named Kevin too. And when I am alone with Kevin somewhere, something is always nagging me to do something, and I get the urge too but I never take it because I’m afraid of being rejected or avoided… Sooo, can that be signs from fate?

morgan

i wasn’t sure if i wanted to go out with this guy. after i read a page on a book that said “if you’re looking for a sign this is it. go for it. it will be amazing” i knew that i should date him. but then i found out that he talked badly about me behind my back…what does that mean?

Sydney

I danced with this guy to a particular song. Now every time I turn on my iPod, that song is playing. I don’t look at it before I hit play. I just startthe music, and there it is. Is this a sign, or am I just imagining things?

Once Upon A Time

I have looked at the clock unconciously as everyone does; but in the last year or so-maybe less maybe more-I have noticed that I have looked at the clock to see the time of my birth month and day (10/23) at an unnervingly constant rate even with clocks HOURS out of sync. What does this mean?! I can only assume something HUGE is going to happen on my birthday this year.

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