At the MacDonald's restaurant near my home, they tend to play American music from the 1960s and 70s in the background. As you enjoy your meal, you are reminded of times gone by. One day I was quietly having my dinner reading the inserted entertainment section for the upcoming weekend. At one point, I listened to a song that struck me as slightly insipid, though tuneful. I noticed that the background harmony was being sung by famed American balladeer Johnny Mathis.
I then flashed back to my early youth when I had heard an extraordinarily well produced album of songs sung by Mr. Mathis. I remember the songs having a deep emotional impact on me at the time. Now as I heard this tune recorded somewhat later, I felt slightly incensed that he could have fallen into merely singing background vocal of a second rate song. How sad it was that people could not hear the extraordinary tunes he had sung on that album. One of the songs was entitled "Wonderful, Wonderful."
After expressing a bit of indignation, I returned to my newspaper. I then proceeded to turn the page of the entertainment section, and there lo and behold right in front of me was a full-page picture of Mr. Mathis! He was staring back at me with a bright smile and piercing eyes, as if to say, yes, indeed life is magical, and here is another instance for you to savor.
After getting over the shock, bemusement, and wonder, I realized that I had simply experienced a "life response." Life had suddenly presented me with an instance of good fortune as a result of some change of consciousness within myself. In this case, it was taking a decided interest in a thing; i.e. this newer song vs. his old great tunes. When you do so, life tends to suddenly bring you results related to the subject from literally out of nowhere. You are experiencing an instance of life response. What happens is that through the intensity, you become connected with objects and individuals outside yourself that are in alignment with your interests and intentions. Hence, the sudden appearance of the full-page advertisement for Mr. Mathis' coming appearance at a major California resort.
I am currently writing a book on this subject of Life Response. There I have identified a plethora of instances of this miraculous-like phenomenon of life. I also indicate its various causes -- such as a decided change in attitude, efforts at higher levels of cleanliness and orderliness, and, of course, as in this case, a decided interest in a thing, or even more powerfully an aspiration and decision to achieve, acquire, or connect with something. There are a number of other ways to produce that effect, including various movements of the Spirit.
To have the experience even once can change one's entire perspective on life forever. One sits there dazed, and after awhile can only call out in wonder and amazement, or sing out as Mr. Mathis once did, "It's wonderful, wonderful; oh so wonderful my love!"
--Roy Posner 19:30, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
See also other Case Studies on Life Response