The Baader-Meinhof effect is described as "the phenomenon where one stumbles upon some obscure piece of information—often an unfamiliar word or name—and soon afterwards encounters the same subject again, often repeatedly" - it's an effect most have had repeated experiences with, so I'll spare the anecdotal examples. It's an effect that science can not quite explain, save for attributing it to the pattern recognition part of our brains, the one that's always looking to tie things together, to feel secure in its clairvoyant abilities. And it's an agreeable reasoning built on "objective truths" we (supposedly) can verify, something all sciences relating to internal human experience, rely on - heavily.
But it's a limiting reasoning, one that does not privilege the most enthralling aspect of the human experience: our capacity to create our world, to mold our understanding of the events unfurling around us on this hurling rock of cooled magma. It pre-supposes a limited capacity, that we are lizard brains trying to make sense of an increasingly connected and (recognizably) patterned world. And maybe that is all we are - but maybe not, no? Why bow down to the simplistic analysis, to choose the lowest common denominator, step back from the controls and bobble around like a literal lizard lives inside our skulls?
Not choosing this route forces you in to an, potentially, uncomfortable situation, one where your actions are your own, personal responsibility reigns and translation and sign-reading is the only option. Where repetition reveals itself as meaningful and worth decoding - the dreams you have, the conversations you stumble into and the passages you read all acting as cryptic signs for off ramps and destination cities off in the distance. The abyss of this decision is liable to swallow each of us whole, borne from our need to belong, to understand, to feel grounded.
But maybe the truth of life is in the floating - lack of permanence being the only constant, please excuse the cliche. Maybe it lies in an understanding that any explanation - cosmic or scientific - is inherently incomplete, will never be enough, could never be enough. That the truth lies somewhere in the middle, as it usually does. Between the shores of self-determination and lizard-brains, awash with hypocrisy, practice, failure and enlightenment.
Maybe you keep seeing something because of your vision, the energy you create attracting that which you crave. Or maybe your brain is just currently predisposed to the idea, object, person or place - and finding ways to pick it out in the world, saying "Aha, thar she blows!", setting off alarms and oxytocin. Either way, does all of this not boil down to a question of perception? The mere difference between the two answers being one of choosing what to do with the perception? Which way to funnel, after the fact of being flooded?
I've been living inside this forest of thought for awhile now - finding myself frequently repeating a variant of the phrase "Yeah, totally, it's all about perception". It's like the Baader-Meinhof effect for the Baader-Meinhof effect, some sort of wonderful and cruel meta joke.
I've yet to decide how to handle this.