From my own experience I know they are every day events, that are 'like' particles in the processes of individuation, 'bits of information' in the context of F. David Peat's idea of an 'interactive force'.
When I left I went to a pick up some pictures I'd left to be developed from a roll of film I'd found in our van when I cleaned it. The roll of film was under a seat and I had no idea what pictures were on it or how long the film had been laying there. When I riffled through them I realized they were from the last trip my husband and I had taken in the fall, several months ago.
One image made me feel 'funny'. It was a picture of myself wearing a bathing suit, a pink sweater over it, running through the silvery sunset tinged surf, waving my hand at my husband who was taking the picture. Then I recognized that this picture was virtually identical to one of the cards my friend's husband had given her! It had a woman, wearing a swimsuit topped by a pink sweater, waving as she ran through silvery sunset tinged surf.
I didn't think about the timing for very long except that it did seem unusual that just on that day I picked up the old roll of film, she had a card that was identical not just basically but in such specific detail. I thought about showing the card to her, but decided not to mention it. It was just an 'event', nothing personal and the word 'coincidence' did not occur to me.
I forgot that event until another similar event happened, then another, then others happened more frequently, not always similar in content except that the timing seemed to be unlikely, even impossible to happen once in a lifetime.
How could it happen that I am driving, we are in heavy traffic and suddenly I hear myself blurt out that I don't feel like myself any more, that I'm going to change my name to Ju-anna. And I've not thought about that before; the words spontaneously came out of my mouth, unwilled by me! Suddenly a white van passes from the passenger side to in front of me, dangerously close then veers into the left lane and speeds away but I saw the first vanity plate I've noticed it was letters: DJWANNA. The letters decoded themselves spontanteously into Do you want to? Then a 'second sight' (literally) revealed that they repeated what I'd just said my name was: 'Ju-anna'! Different letters, same sound! "Did you see THAT?" I yelled and tried to speed up to make sure I'd seen what it seemed I'd seen but traffic made that a dangerous thing to do so I didn't think more about it. That was in 1983 probably.
Then over a span of a few years (1982-1989) similar and a variety of other 'kinds' of unusual events happened. Some were all in my mind, a kind of content that I'd never had in the past, or so I believed at the time. Occasionally I noticed thoughts that occurred that seemed faint, they were not quite words somehow, but were a suggestion of words, like a fragrance identifies an object before its visible. I watched two such events advance to becoming real words in my mind! Then later that content met its exact match on the jacket of a book, An Imagined World, by June Goodfield!!!! I felt 'funny' when I read about Anna Brito, who 'caught a sudden glimmer of possibility; she observed a pattern that had hitherto been unnoticed or ignored and she began to think of explanations for what she'd seen. Her superiors weren't very impressed, but she persisted, thanks not only to tenacity but to inexperience--a mind uncluttered by pre-conceptions...." There was a faint sense of more words in my thought, added to words on the jacket but they were in the book! That variety of inner content began to accumulate, it became a stream that gradually paralleled the understanding of my 'normal' experience, built up from every day situations at times, but not always. I could see the accretion of the new understanding and how it was built as I lived, from events in my life in a perception that was new to me, unfamiliar and it made me feel 'funny' very nearly constantly by 1984 and afterwards until about 1995. I'd become comfortable and familiar with this 'funny stuff' and I could relate to my own inner content when it emerged, and at times say it aloud in it's 'now'. As a comparison I remember having a different understanding, before I was 5 decades in age.
I noticed that certain new (to me) content was 'inserted' into my mind. Example: The word 'overt' came to mind one day, then it re-occurred until I wondered why. Then the word 'covert' began to 'haunt' me the same way. I wrote the words down one day and laughed (to myself) when I saw that the difference between the two words was also a similarity, the word 'see' and the letter 'c'. An overt thing can be seen, a covert thing cannot be seen. It meant nothing to me then, but much experience followed so now I realize the words were telling me something, they suggested that an 'overt' thing and a 'covert' thing was happening.
The words 'the numinous is hard to bear ' occurred into my mind, spontaneously one day in 1985 and I wondered what the 'numinous' was. I looked it up but didn't understand the definition. (I remembered that in the past I'd been able to understand dictionary definitions but now I could not.) Then within a few days I read the word in a book, Contact by Carl Sagan which I was reading then. That book made me feel 'funny' all the way through it and I 'met' ideas in it that I'd never known about.
The word 'palimpsest' began to hang around in my thought after reading the book, then a most amazing thing happened soon after that when the book's main theme which was about a message that was a palimpsest took root in my mind, and seemed relevant to me. I noticed that a new context at times emerged in my thought, automatically produced, and immediately, so quickly that it took a few years (2 at least) to identify was a kind of 'echo' of content that had occurred into my thought. Or from what I was looking at at the moment. It began like a 'drip' then became a deluge, that changed over a span of years. (My next post will be more explicit about this and how it began.)
I realized the thing was 'talking' to me, this 'interactive force', which is how I thought of it after reading F. David Peat's book in1989. There was a replay of content literally. , At times this was thoughts that occurred about something I was doing or thinking about; the content re-occurred in a bundle, no space between words, but a different kind of hearing the bundle turned the words towards me, and simultaneously formed a personal 'bit of information'. This had to happen in one specific situation where I could see this happen, but the word 'echo' is good too.
The timing was what should have puzzled me, should have aroused curiosity but I'm a slow learner.
The duration, the span of time through which this kind of event happened convinced me that there was a purpose other than my own behind them. I could see that I didn't will them and could not have understood them myself because the new meaning was produced, given to me in a variety of forms. Some could be recognized immediately, others required certain events in the real world to happen later. There were incidents where suddenly memories from a very early age were retrieved and linked to 'right now' , and they had information in them, only then.
I'd not read anything about psychiatric ideas and when I began trying to describe my experiences to a psychiatrist I didn't realize this was a 'kind' of experience that has psychiatric names and definitions until one day I asked to read what a therapist wrote while she listened to me! I was puzzled then outraged.
It was obvious she recognized a pattern but nothing I'd actually said was on the record. Nobody who read that report would know what I'd talked about. That may be different now, when psychiatric names and definitions are everywhere in news, movies, television shows like NCIS, CSI. Hearing names is not likely to convey the kind of meaning that experience does. I've read a lot but it was 'events' that produced a new understanding.
This post has some examples that I'm using to try to make a point about how these kinds of unusual 'events' that produces the process of individuation, but more than that: information, fragments at a time usually. But there's a lot I didn't know then about history, especially the origin of psychoanalysis, nothing about my own mind, thought, mechanisms that alter thought, (even changing the direction of my own thought, so that its 'heard' the way another person would be heard.) (That's a really big change!) And noticing how much spontaneous content that is not self willed or self generated occurs, just comes into my mind, its thought embedded, but that it was not my own thought took a long time to become curious about, and attentive towards.
Especially I could not have suspected depths of mind exist or that there's a variety of inner content that may not be available for articulation for a long span of time. There are levels in the mind where content occurs that requires years of attention turned towards 'me' as an object, an observer to 'me' as an actor and its own audience because there is at this point, (and not before) a point where both inner and outer world interfaces, becoming one.. When that kind of event occurred at first there was no sense of 'numinosity', only a kind of 'dizzy-ness', momentary confusion, wierdness. I don't rule numinosity out, but words need to get connected to their real world meaning, in lives. That's where meaningful coincidence is an 'interactive, information generating force'. The word 'numinous' doesn't attach itself automatically to any event.
There is a consensus that there's a thin line between normal experience and the kind of experience that is essential to a process of individuation.
"There are certain dangers that are not necessarily associated with psychosis, which is a common diagnosis; ignorance that such a process exists; the span of time over which the process evolves; and the fragmented, non-linearity of related events, as well as the apparent doubleness; literally an alternate to 'normal' reality emerges. Its there already.
What some authors have named 'numinous events'' does not always seem to be anything but 'strange', unreal. I can only understand what I've experienced myself, and there was a distinct loss of volition but also a distinct change in perception and thoughts.
I hope this is useful information to other individuals like myself, who didn't know what 'psychosis' is, and do not suspect what the content of 'psychotic thinking' is, what kind of 'events' are psychotic, when it can vary so greatly in content. When the content is so explicitly related to what the 'I' that's observing understands with 'my' normal way of getting meaning, it can turn reality upside down, inside out. I hope these posts and the examples I give are re-assuring and helpful. It's difficult to live through the apparently 'non-numinous' when years of events have to occur, and there's no linearity of events.