Two Old Codgers

How the World strikes us

The other day, David added a comment to the blog on deja vu. To save you looking it up here is his comment:

"Yesterday, I was on one of my regular walks in the local countryside and the image of another old fella came into my mind who I used to regularly see whilst
out on an early morning ramble (that's the walk, not what's going on in my head). It occurred to me that I hadn't seen him for a long, long time. It was just a fleeting thought.

You know what's coming, don't you? Within ten minutes I see this figure in the distance coming towards me and we exchange pleasantries as we pass - of course, it's him. Why did he come into my mind at that particular time I wonder?"

I have never been able to subscribe to the theory that my life is all mapped out and that some
Change direction
people are able to see into the future. It is just too much to believe that every tiny step of my life is pre-ordained. Think of where you are now and all the things that led you here. You chose science rather than art because that's what you best friend chose; your Dad gets a job in a new town and, as a child, you virtually start a new life. These are fairly large life changing moves but think of the tiny things that may have changed your life, a teacher says something that catches your imagination; you saw something in a magazine; possibly as simple as turning left instead of right; a TV programme that started you off on a new path - so many insignificant things you can't even remember.
Speak of the devil

I think most of us will have experienced precognition in one form or another without giving it a name - unless we say 'Speak of the Devil' when you have been talking about someone and they appear. I think 'Speak of the Devil' relates to a time in the mid-17th century, it enshrined the superstitious belief that it was dangerous to mention the Devil by name.

Maybe pre-cognition is part of the animal mind of which we aren't really conscious. Many
Dog Waiting
people who have dogs know about this. Dad might be ten minutes and two or three miles away from home when the dog starts wagging his tail and sitting by the door. He knows Dad is on his way home.

These mental connections are so vague it is difficult to christen them. Most of them we can put down to coincidence. You think of someone and a little while later - they are. Alan Bennett comes into your head and a few days later you see that his 'Talking Heads' are going be shown on television.

Let's end on a digression - (Again!)

The National Science Foundation published an article summarising research on human thoughts. It was found that the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those thousands of thoughts, 80% were negative, and 95% were exactly the same repetitive
Neg  Thoughts
thoughts as the day before. This suggests that one of the tendencies of the mind is to focus on the negative and ‘play the same songs’ over and over again. There was another interesting study in which scientists found, firstly 85% of what we worry about never happens. Secondly with the 15% of the worries that did happen, 79% of the subjects discovered that they could handle the difficulty better than expected. The conclusion is that 97% of our worries are baseless and result from an inbuilt pessimism.

I have realised that when I have one of those sleep defying worries (Usually something and nothing). When I do resolve it I then search frantically through my mind to find something else to worry about. Do you think that means I have mental health problems or, by your own standards, I am normal!

Negative thoughts

A comment from my Yorkshire friend William:

I remember listening to the radio and the discussion was about debt. A young self employed builder had received a letter from the builders merchant threatening to take legal action against him if he didn’t settle his bill in the next seven days. 

He had a young family and he was worried sick as he couldn’t pay the bill for weeks until the job he was doing was completed. That week he hardly slept a wink, he lost weight and contemplated suicide.

Builders Bill
In the end his wife read him the riot act and told him to be brave and call the builders merchant to explain his predicament. When he did the chap in accounts said “Don’t worry lad, as long as we know. You pay us when you get payed.”

How many times in our lifetime have we been in a crisis that looked insurmountable only for it to be resolved one way or another. 

If only we had a crystal ball!

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