New concepts (was Hexwood and synchronicity)

Neil Ward neilward at
Wed Apr 11 23:22:55 EDT 2001

Elise said:

<< Usually with me I learn some new concept from a book and suddenly it pops
up everywhere; people mention it, I see other books on it, it comes up in
odd circumstances, I meet people who are are very interested in it, whatever
'it' is.  It's like the zeitgeist wave washes over me.>>

This phenomenon is easier to explain:

The brain skips over things it does not understand ("does not compute"), but
when a new fact is acquired or a new concept learnt, the brain processes it.
People will be particularly sensitive to newly acquired information as their
brain attempts to reinforce the memory/understanding with additional data or
occurrences, so the fact or concept to which they were previously oblivious
shouts at them from all sides.

In my earlier post, I suggested that the word 'indigo' was possibly an
example of word sensitisation; I thought it was a weaker case of
synchronicity than the other things I mentioned.  I had been aware of the
word indigo - it wasn't something new to me - but my memory of it was
sensitised by the conversation I'd had with my friend, so I noticed the
occurences in "Hexwood" more acutely than I would otherwise have done.  In
fact, a couple of days ago, the same friend noticed that a pair of tights
given to her by an elderly neighbour were also called 'Indigo'.  You could
argue that we were both noticing mentions of the word in the world around
us, but that mine simply seemed more mysterious because it was dotted
throughout a magical story and not slapped on the front of some 20 Denier
legwarmers.  You could argue that, and I would just smile and assume a
distant expression.

I find it interesting that I am so struck by these memory games after
reading "Hexwood" - a story riddled with confusions of the memory.

Neil (now reading "The Homeward Bounders")

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