(Animation from GIPHY.com)


Right, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I can begin. Sufficiently lowered expectations for a logical conversation to take place, because there isn’t anything logical about what I’m going to (attempt to) propose. I’ve toyed with the notion of this concept or a concept like it for a long time, but only recently have I decided to flesh it out and name it. This post has been left in drafts for several months, only now I’ve decided to stop letting the number of drafts outnumber the posts I decide to publish. I would be far more prolific if I stopped deleting material that I fear will one day lead to me being committed or ironically brought up as evidence against my state of mental health in a court of law. Cross that bridge when I come to it…

So what is the Eglantine experiment or alternatively, the Eglantine effect?

In its simplest form, it could be explained as two wrongs, despite all common sense and logic, somehow making a right.

The first time I personally experienced this effect, was during one of my first vocations. I was given erroneous instructions to make a delivery (unknown to my employer, the business had moved). I unknowingly misheard/misinterpreted the false directions I was given, arriving at the new place of business, a place I had no prior knowledge existed, as though the instructions I received were accurate. It was only once I returned, my employer questioned if I had difficulty finding the place, and revealed the information he had given me was useless.

No doubt, you’re thinking, I intuitively found this place of business, maybe other factors were at work, a totally fair assessment. But I can only attest to the fact that I was relying entirely on the mental recollection of the verbal instructions I was given and at the time, believed to be accurate. Somehow, coincidentally, something was lost in translation, that led to the initial desired result. How or why, is anybody’s guess. (It’s possible my employer’s instructions, were wrong twice, or I was wrong once, leading to the right address.)

Another example I’ve seen of this event play out, several times in my own lifetime, is with events where the dates have been changed. One specific account, a family function was taking place on a specific date. My grandmother was given the date, and subsequently fell out of contact with relatives for several days. Due to venue complications, the date of the function was changed. No one could get in contact with her to communicate the change of the date, as her answering a phone call was the only means to contact her. And for whatever reason, she wasn’t answering her phone. When the day of the function came, she was found waiting outside in her car. Her initial date, marked in her diary, was the date the function was changed to be held upon. Granted, she thought it was 1 hour earlier than it was.

I’ve seen this similar type of coincidence (“phenomenon”) occur when someone has ordered food for a person before they have arrived at a restaurant. Upon relaying to the person what has been ordered on their behalf, they have revealed a dislike or in one event, an allergy to the meal. When questioning the wait staff, the order somehow erroneously taken, is a dish the individual would actually prefer.

By this point, you’re no doubt thinking I’m highlighting anecdotal, possibly falsified or outright fictitious accounts of positive coincidental outcomes? That is a totally fair assessment. But at this point, I should highlight that I believe this concept, even if it is just an observation of a specific type of coincidence, could be heavily linked to Carl Jung’s theory of Synchronicity (previously discussed).

Like Carl Jung explains in his writing on the topic, Synchronicity is a by-product of a greater reality (comprised of dimensions transcending the physical), Jung called this “Unus Mundus”, the One World. Theoretically, all aspects of coincidence, both cause and effect are bound, arising from the same source, before the perceivable event even takes place. Everything theoretically comes from the Unus Mundus and consequently returns to it.

Will you partake in the Eglantine experiment?

So according to the scrawlings of my own deranged verbiage, we could attempt to test this nonsense/theory (one of us has already met the other halfway). A complete stranger concocts seemingly random instructions, instructions devoid of meaning, to both the stranger who writes them and the stranger who reads them. Two wrongs. The phenomenon (or coincidence, depending on your stance) is if something perceivably meaningful occurs, after attempting to follow the nonsensical instructions.

The name for this theory/event/experiment is from a film where this event occurs, and happens to a woman called Eglantine Price. In the film “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” (1971), a would-be Witch (Angela Lansbury) applies for correspondence to learn Witchcraft. A charlatan, Professor Emelius Browne (David Tomlinson), seeking to take money for conducting a bogus course on spellcraft gives Eglantine information he makes up, along with incantations he copies from a children’s book he had discovered in an abandoned nursery. A book he considered to be filled with nonsense. When Eglantine Price repeats the incantations and follows the instructions Browne thought to be nonsense, she successfully performs magical feats.

The Eglantine Experiment

I’m going to try to give this as little thought as possible. 1) because the more random and erratic the instructions are, I feel is going to yield better results and 2) I’m tired and it’s about to hit 1 am. (One of the many flaws in this experiment, is that in most instances of it occurring naturally or even as a literary trope, the actions are done for a tangible purpose. This experiment is void of tangible purpose, outside of proving or disproving the event taking place this one specific time, to discover perceivable meaning. More holes in this than Swiss cheese).

(Partake at your own risk.)

Alright, the experiment commences now. To the best of your ability, follow these instructions however you perceive them.

  1. Left turn.
  2. Right turn.
  3. Go straight.
  4. Continue until you see a letter A.
  5. Cross
  6. Cross section, look for A.
  7. Identify something next to A.
  8. Immediately, across from new object B.
  9. Central object/location.
  10. Engage.

(I take no responsibility for the outcome of the experiment or any incidents that may incur.)

Now, I couldn’t be bothered coming up with instructions, so just like Professor Emelius Browne, I ended up just looking up random instructions and relayed them as I perceived them (“instructions directions” in Google image search).

Well, I’d say “Good Luck!” but in the bizarre turn of events that Jung’s Unus Mundus is an actuality, the outcome of this, if anything at all, is already “underway”. Theoretically, the outcome was/is as sure as I am to finish writing this sentence, actually it’s more sure than that, or equally sure.

Then of course, if you’re of the mindset that the Unus Mundus is total bollocks, and you’ve wasted not only your time reading this tripe, but also partaking in the experiment… Well, at least you were a sport for giving it a go. Kudos. Alas, for you, the experiment yielded a negative result. Perhaps there was no Eglantine effect. Perhaps, in the end, it was wrong of you to bother reading this, then it was wrong of you to put the farcical theory into practice…

Or perhaps, it wasn’t.

No, it was. It probably was.

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