Gordon Lightfoot, Synchronicities and Dwarf Sheep; What I'm Learning about Collective Consciousness
By Robin M. Strom
“I don’t know where we went wrong but the feeling’s gone and I just can’t get it back.” The song going through my head was driving me nuts. And the question came to me, "Why was I humming a Gordon Lightfoot song?"
A Little (I promise) about Psi Phenomenon
Extra-sensory perception or Psi (as it is now called) has been studied extensively for approximately two centuries now by psychologists and parapsychologists. It is theorized that everyone has at least a little of the sixth sense as an innate ability. In other words, it is very much like playing the piano. Everyone can play the piano, it’s just that most of us can only play chopsticks. Many are in the middle and can play adequately with lessons. But concert pianists transcend the norm, breathing life into music, creating magic. Think of the late George Winston. (If you've never heard his December album you are truly missing out.)
Belief in extra sensory perception is also believed to play a significant role in psi abilities. Those that do not believe in psi effectively block the ability in themselves. Their innate disbelief in the possibility of psi inhibits their performance. (Think George Winston wearing mittens.)
It was coined the Sheep-Goat effect by the late Professor of Psychology, Gertrude Schmeidler. Sheep believed in the possibility of psi as a genuine phenomenon, goats blatantly did not. When tested in laboratory experiments sheep performed much better on the tests, often scoring above chance, while goats performed poorly, often at or below mean chance (below chance being equally statistically unlikely). Schmeidler was one of the first researchers to argue that psi abilities were directly related to the belief in many things paranormal.
For my own part, I have always tended far more toward goat. Trying to research the paranormal from a more scientific perspective, I have always tended to steer as far clear of the more esoteric aspects of paranormal research, feeling that if I couldn’t measure it on a device or capture it on audio or video than it wasn’t really evidence at all, merely someone’s “feelings.” Which now brings me in mind of that horridly sentimental song by Morris Albert. Sing it with me…” Feelings, nothing more than feelings. “
But being honest with myself, I started to notice, what one author named, Morphic Resonance with my husband and my son. It’s essentially when two people who are close to one another, like a husband and wife or a mother and child, have the same thought at the same time. You’ve probably noticed this phenomenon if you’ve lived in close proximity with another person with whom you have many shared experiences. The definition tends to be that people who have the same thoughts simultaneously do so because they have the same shared experiences.
It is usually something like this; I’ll see a car for instance that reminds me of a similar car owned by my brother. At the same time as I’m thinking this my husband will verbalize the same thought, “Hey, I wonder if that old jeep of your brother’s is still running? “
Then I started noticing that these Morphic Resonances occurred remarkably often. Now my husband and I have been together for a couple of decades and the same with my adult son, so we have shared many of the same experiences. Thus, the goat in me can find a rational explanation for having the same thoughts when faced with the same stimulus. However, the underfed, over-educated, dwarf sheep in me began to wonder if it might not be daily evidence, albeit of an unremarkable nature, of something else. A shared consciousness or a reading of one another’s thoughts perhaps? Evidence of telepathy?
Then last night I was alone. Both my husband and son were gone for the night. I watched a little TV, got ready for bed and I noticed that I had a Gordon Lightfoot song playing in my head over and over again. I couldn’t understand why. I had not heard the song that day. Indeed, I played absolutely no music all day, so there was really no reason why I’d have that particular song on repeat in my brain.
Now my son has a truly eclectic taste in music, and independently of myself, he had discovered the delights of Gordon Lightfoot. Lightfoot was a little ahead of the era of music I grew up with, and hence I have never gone out of my way to listen to him. The fact that I was humming a Gordon Lightfoot song was just…odd.
On a whim, because I am always interested in weird coincidences, I texted my son and asked him if he’d been listening to that Gordon Lightfoot song that I had on loop in my mind. Sure enough, he was sitting out tending a bon fire, in another state and listening to music. The Gordon Lightfoot song I’d been humming for an hour he had played.
Now that cannot be Morphic Resonance, because we were not reacting to the same stimulus. In fact, I was not reacting to any musical stimulus, because I’d not listened to any music all day. And, if I had listened to music it would more likely to have been Queensryche, because I am a creature of habit, and my tastes are not nearly as refined as my son.
So how is it that my son two states away and I were thinking of the same song at the same time? That’s just too odd a coincidence to ignore.
So now the dwarf Sheep in me is sitting up and preening itself, and the Goat has his tail between his legs (if goats do that). Hey goat, ”I don’t know where we went wrong but the feeling’s”…well, wavering a bit.
If you’ve had similar experiences, I’d love to hear them. Please leave your comments below
“What is it called when two people are thinking the same thing at the same time?” (2011) Answers. Retrieved from What is it called when two people are thinking the same thing at the same time? - Answers June 20, 2023.
Storm, Lance. The Sheep Goat Effect. (January 26, 2023) Psi Encyclopedia. Society for Psychical Research. Retrieved from The Sheep-Goat Effect | Psi Encyclopedia (spr.ac.uk) June 20, 2023.
Witty-question.com. “When two people think of each other at the same time?” (October 20, 2022) Retrieved June 20, 2023.