Because my recent post ‘Dreams Entering Reality‘ received more interest than usual, I’m presenting another example of this, again from my own experience.
Some years ago we took into our house a female tuxedo (black and white) cat who had been a stray in the neighborhood . From the time we rented a house on that street, I was watching her – she survived at least two winters outside with no home, then one cold day late in September she showed up in our garage with a pair of kittens. I made friends with her, helped her feed the kittens, found a home for them, then, under her new name Brigit, this little mother came inside to live with us for the next 13 years.
A few months after Brigit died I had a dream where I was walking along a woodland path when I saw Brigit beneath a bush, watching me, with a small black and white dog by her side.
I went over, picked her up and said “let’s go home Brigit.”
Then, as I woke up, I thought of the little dog I had left behind. “You can come too little dog,” I said.
That evening I went running along a path that follows the East Don river through parkland in north/east Toronto. On this route, which I ran 1-2 times a week, I had been regularly passing a young woman roller-blading in the opposite direction with a border collie – a black and white one like the one in the photo above – flying along in front of her. The dog ran with complete abandon, as if it was determined to never let its female companion catch up. Neither of them ever paid me any attention.
This night I had just finished my run and I was walking slowly up a low hill towards an exit to my car when the dog appeared at the top of the hill. It stopped suddenly in its tracks and stared down at me. Then, as the young woman came to the top of the hill, the dog, its eyes still fixed on me, ran down to me, tail wagging happily, and began licking my thigh.
Looking perplexed, the young woman came and pulled her dog back, apologizing to me. I assured her that this hadn’t bothered me at all.
Well, now, what do we make of that?
Chance? Of course, anything can be a chance event. And it is worth noting that only one thing was required here – that the dog do this one different thing that evening. If it had run past me as usual there would be nothing to write about.
But remember – it wasn’t just that a black and white dog had unexpectedly come along. This one had a definite history of ignoring me.
I looked up border collies and discovered that, in addition to a love for running, they are one of the smartest dogs in the world. They are known for their intense stare, something they’re said to use to communicate with sheep.
Now, there is something else I should add – when I and the dog were looking in each other’s eyes, there was strong emotion, at least in me. I can’t speak for this charming border collie, but in me something was crying out – “Yes, yes, yes!”
Some, who will think they are being scientific, will say that we should keep emotions out of this. We should be ‘objective’.
The psychologist Carl Jung said – and he said it over and over – that if you leave emotion out of the equation you are doomed to misread whatever is going on. Emotions, he said, are psychological facts.
Think of this too – the meeting with the black and white dog wouldn’t carry any special significance had there been no dream. But the reverse is true too – had the dog not appeared, the dream would have been just another easily forgotten dream. When Jung talked about synchronicity (meaningful coincidences ), he considered this to be one of the most important features of it – that the two events form a whole.
So those who want to ascribe this to chance can go ahead. But it was my experience, not theirs. As far as I’m concerned, I had a meeting of some kind with my dear Brigit. I experienced something that I can’t explain, something that I think is best left unnameable, at least until we have scientists who have the motivation and knowledge required to address such things.
Will we have to wait until the next century for that? Longer? Who knows. But until then, I think the only way to look at these things objectively is to acknowledge that the ‘real world’ appears to be larger than we think it is.
One last thought though – if the mind and the world can interact together in such an minor or insignificant way as this, what else might they do?