Christine King BVSc, MANZCVS (equine), MVetClinStud
Stories: Quantum entanglement in the shower
For me, there's something magical about the shower. It seems to act as some sort of portal between the seen and the unseen. (I'm kidding, of course. The shower is simply where my mind is usually most relaxed yet alert — most receptive, in other words.) The shower is one of the places where I get my best ideas, solve my thorniest problems, and have my greatest insights; and the shower was where I had my first direct experience of 'quantum entanglement' and a brilliant example of how interconnected we all are.
When I was a kid, there was a Chinese man who went to our church, called Sing Poi Hung. He was a tall, thin, quiet man who was married (as they do) to a very outgoing woman of generous nature and proportions. Mrs Hung featured prominently in my childhood, as she was an opera singer (married to a Chinese man — an oddity in himself) and she sang in our church choir, as did my mum. And for awhile, Mrs Hung gave me and my brother elocution lessons in her beautiful home, which was filled with all sorts of exotic furniture and artefacts. (I remember standing in her living room and reciting, with perfect diction, "Cats sleep anywhere; any table, any chair..."; and my brother's favourite, the Tortoise's Lament, "I'm tired of grass and cabbage leaves; I really am. I want ice-cream and ginger nut and strawberry jam." Ah, the things that stay with us...)
The Hungs had two lovely boys, both a bit younger than me, but both very delightful. Mrs Hung and the boys were foremost in our experience of church and school life; Sing Poi, as everyone called him, remained very much in the background, an inscrutable Oriental curiosity to us little Aussie kids, with our fair skin, our freckled faces, and our completely Aussie outlook on life. Sing Poi was kind and he often had a bemused smile on his face, his eyes crinkled with silent laughter, but he said very little. In fact, I can't recall whether he said a single word to me or even knew who I was beyond being one of the many King kids (there were six of us, and I once heard one of the adults at church say of us, "seen one King, seen 'em all"). In other words, I did not have a close relationship with Sing Poi Hung; he was just one of the many 'bit-players' in my childhood, more background than foreground.
Fast-forward three decades or so. I had moved to the US in my early thirties and was living in North Carolina when one day, while I was in the shower, Sing Poi Hung popped unbidden into my mind. I hadn't thought about him in many years, probably not since I was a teenager. It was a pleasant memory, because I had liked him, but it was gone as quickly as it had arrived. I didn't think anything more of it until a few days later when, in her weekly email to me, mum mentioned that Sing Poi Hung had recently died. I worked backwards and discovered that he'd died in Australia at the same time as his memory popped into my mind in the US.
Many years have passed since that day. I'm now back in Australia, living once again in my childhood home, and I still think of that experience with wonder and curiosity. For one thing, it makes me wonder whether my friends in the US can somehow feel 'a ripple in the ether' or if they spontaneously think of me whenever I think of them (and vice versa). If the passing of a childhood acquaintance could be felt by me all the way across the world, how much more influence might the loving thoughts of friends and family have, no matter the gap of space and time?
Might this be the sort of thing Rupert Sheldrake was describing in his book, Dogs that know when their owners are coming home, and other unexplained powers of animals? If so, then the thoughts we have of our animals when we're away from them may well be experienced by them in some way. If so, then we could put our thoughts to good use by helping our animals feel safe and loved. Instead of worrying about whether they're OK (and thus sending them worrying 'vibes'), think of them with love and affection, and joyful anticipation of when you're home with them again.
What have you got to lose? If nothing else, it'll change your thoughts from worry to something far better for you :-)