" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

July 30, 2018

If Only I Could Remember Where I Was When JFK Was Shot, But Can You?

It's surprising just what cards life deals to individuals that can give individuals a sense of meaningful coincidence and connectedness in each other's lives.
Caroline Baum in conversation with Ailsa Piper at the 2017 BWF
I just finished reading a book called 'Only' which I bought last year at the Byron Writers Festival after attending a talk by the author.
It was a memoir (a collection of memories) by Caroline Baum
I had only (pardon the pun) just finished reading Jimmy Barnes' first memoir, 'Working Class Boy', which I also bought at the BWF last year after hearing Jimmy's talk at the same event, which I wrote about in this recent post -
Should I Use a Ouija Board: Yes or No?
Those two memoirs couldn't be any more opposite one another as far as lives go, I reckon.
I like reading memoirs about interesting public figures and even about people who aren't such public figures, because like they say, everybody has a story to tell.     
Caroline tells of the "coincidence" of sharing "an exact same birthday" as Caroline Kennedy, not to mention the same name of "Caroline"
According to both Caroline's Wikipedia pages though CK is one year older than CB, but they were both born on November 27th.
Although in the book Caroline Baum writes JFK was shot just before her sixth birthday, which means that both Carolines would share the exact same birthday, so Caroline Baum's birth-date on her Wikipedia page must be wrong if her book is right.
In 'Only' Caroline writes about remembering where she was on November 22nd the day JFK was shot and seeing mothers crying when picking up their children after school.
I was born in September of 1964, so whenever I would hear the question, "where were you when Kennedy was shot?", I would think to myself, "yeah, where was I?".
I would have been about to come out of the same oblivion that JFK was blasted into ... that's if you don't believe in an afterlife or before-life.
But I do, so that question to me is like a Zen Koan.
"Ikkyu, the Zen master, was very clever even as a boy.
His teacher had a precious teacup, a rare antique.
Ikkyu happened to break this cup and was greatly perplexed.
Hearing the footsteps of his teacher, he held the pieces of the cup behind him.
When the master appeared, Ikkyu asked: "Why do people have to die?"
"This is natural," explained the older man.
"Everything has to die and has just so long to live."
Ikkyu, producing the shattered cup, added: "It was time for your cup to die.".
Even teapots have to die;-)
I'm not a particularly religious person and by that I mean that there aren't really any world religions that I could take to
hook, line and sinker.
Buddhism would go close, but no cigar from me I'm afraid.
I did have an OBE in my preteen years, so if it wasn't for that experience I would probably be an Atheist by now, but I'm not, as I do believe in "God" for lack of a better word, I just don't have much faith in what man-made religions tell me what "God" is all about.   
I just happened to catch that latest talk by William Buhlman in the You Tube above while I was reading the Kennedy chapter in 'Only' and if I hadn't had one of those experiences that William was talking about I'm sure I would be saying "bull, man" to Buhlman.
I have no idea who William Buhlman is, or what his teaching is about, but I do know that OBEs are real from my own experience.
Not something I have tried to repeat or sure that I would really want to for that matter.
What's the point if you have already had one anyway I think?
But one thing is for sure and that is you will never view life the same way you did before and believe that consciousness is a product of the body.
So from my experience I would say that Buddhism is the only "religion" I would feel comfortable going along with, as a lot of other religions are too dogmatic and seem to want to condemn everyone who disagrees with their religion to imaginary places like hell.
Personally, I don't believe any souls perish or end up in an eternal hell, but if that floats your boat and makes you happy then believe what you like I guess, as I'm sure my belief won't sway you anyway.
I do remember where I was when I heard about September 11, 2001 and the Twin Towers going down.
I was on my front lawn unwrapping the morning paper and seeing the photo and headlines on September 12th Australian time, as I was asleep in the Australian night when those planes hit the buildings.
But I'm sure there are people reading this post who weren't born before 9/11, 2001, thinking the same as I was about the JFK question.
But enough with the existentialism and the "where were you?"  and "where are you going?"questions.
Because what struck me about Caroline Baum's memoir on a personal coincidence level was that her father and my father both died pretty much the same way.
My father suffered with dementia in his last years pretty much the same way as Caroline's father did and it was pneumonia that ended up taking my father out the same as Caroline's father.
But when Caroline wrote that her father died on September 16th, 2014, that was a WTF(?) to me, as my father died on September 13th, 2016, but the day of his funeral was September 16th, so there is an unpleasant date on the calendar we both have in common when it comes to remembering our fathers.
I guess the things in life that you don't really want to remember can be pretty hard to forget and vice versa.
Back to the Future with Neil Diamond on Nov 5th?
But I do remember where I was on the 5th of November, 2015, and that is one night I wish not to forget:-)

UPDATE: 30th, July, 2018
I used the phrase "hook, line and sinker" (I've now highlighted the phrase in hot pink in the above post to make it a bit easier to spot) when I was writing about religion in my post just after midnight last night and the phrase kind of stuck in my head for some reason as I went to sleep, then I get up this morning and read the news at the ABC news site about a dog who swallowed a fish hook while on a walk along a Queensland beach -
Pets swallowing fishing hooks 'very common'
 There was also a story about domestic violence above the dog story and ... SPOILER ALERT ... if you haven't read 'Only', but Caroline's grandparents on her mother's side died in the streets of Paris when her grandfather shot her grandmother to death and then turned the gun on himself.
On Caroline's website there is an interview with a lady whose own son was stabbed to death at cricket practice in front of other children and now this lady works to bring domestic violence issues to the public's attention.
There was also a story about taking pictures of whales and other dangers from taking cell phone photos, which kind of resonates with my post about whales that I wrote before this one -
The Secret Life of Whales?

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