CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.—A surprising coincidence often involves something in the outside world reflecting the thoughts in a person’s mind. You think of a song you haven’t heard in ages and it starts playing on the radio. You think of a friend you haven’t heard from in ages and she calls.
Bernard Beitman, M.D., a founding father of Coincidence Studies, envisions a psychosphere. The psychosphere is like the atmosphere, but instead of air it contains ideas, emotions, thoughts.
It is “the atmosphere-like mind of which we are all giving ideas and taking … ideas. It’s almost like breathing. … We pull in ideas, we give out ideas,” he said.
Some others have talked about the “universal mind,” but Beitman said, “My mind is not large enough to envelope that.” He brings the idea to a more tangible scale. He looks at coincidences in which the physical world reflects the mind and in which one person’s mind seems connected to another’s. The psychosphere could be filled with energy information, he said, which physically forms these connections.
We haven’t identified the physical existence of this energy information yet, but we may have receptors for it. Even our five known senses are a bit of a mystery, Beitman said. There are conflicting theories, for example, as to how scent receptors in our nose work. Perhaps we have receptors for this energy information we haven’t yet located in the body.
“In modern America and much of the modern world, we don’t want to believe much of this,” Beitman said.
The connection of two people’s minds often manifests as “mother’s intuition.”
A strong example is the case of a little girl named Ruth. Her mother realized she was missing and thought to check a nearby quarry first. That’s exactly where Ruth was. She was about to get in the water at the quarry—certainly a dangerous situation.
Why did the mother go straight to the quarry? Was it because it was the most dangerous place of all the places she could think of checking? Had Ruth expressed some interest in the quarry before?
Some explanations can be considered in some cases, but the numerous anecdotes build up to a critical mass that’s hard to explain away, said Beitman.
Another case is even more puzzling: A 17-year-old girl was about to commit suicide. She was in her car in a forest several miles from her house. Her brother felt something was wrong and somehow drove to that exact spot though neither of them had been there before.
“I don’t know how the statisticians are going to say ‘probability [is the explanation]’ on this one,” Beitman said. Some statisticians reduce coincidences to pure chance: in large populations (like the 7 billion people living on Earth), low probability events will happen.
Beitman thinks we may have a sort of built-in global positioning system (GPS) that lead us to useful coincidences. He references the Nobel-prize-winning research by Edvard Moser, his wife, May-Britt Moser, and British-American scientist Dr. John O’Keefe. They found grid cells in the brain help people map their locations.
Could it be that there’s an emotional aspect to this mapping? Did Ruth’s mother map the quarry and tap into that map in a special way when the emotion of fear and her bond with her daughter was activated?
As for the case of the suicidal girl and her brother, Beitman said, “How do you map a territory you’ve never been in?”
This is the fourth part in a series of videos with Dr. Beitman. Check here for all parts in the series: Coincidences Video Series
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