Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Universal Hologram

In the 1950s and 60s inventor Dennis Gabor discovered that when you photograph objects with a split light beam and store the information as wave interference patterns, you get a better image than with ordinary point-to-point intensity photographs.  Not only is the captured image clearer, but it is completely three dimensional. 

In a classic laser hologram, a laser beam is split.  One portion is reflected off an object – a china teacup, say – the other is reflected by several mirrors.  They are then reunited and captured on a piece of photographic film.  The result on the plate – which represents the interference pattern of these waves – resembles nothing more than a set of squiggles or concentric circles.  However, when you shine a light beam from the same kind of laser through the film, what you see is a fully realized, incredibly detailed, three-dimensional virtual image of the china teacup floating in space (an example of this is the image of Princess Leia which gets generated by R2D2 in the first movie of the Star Wars series).  -Lynne McTaggart, “The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe,” (83)

A hologram is produced when a single laser light is split into two separate beams.  The first beam is bounced off the object to be photographed.  Then the second beam is allowed to collide with the reflected light of the first.  When this happens they create an interference pattern which is then recorded on a piece of film … as soon as another laser beam is shined through the film, a three-dimensional image of the original object reappears.  The three-dimensionality of such images is often eerily convincing.  You can actually walk around a holographic projection and view it from different angles as you would a real object.  However, if you reach out and try to touch it, your hand will waft right through it and you will discover there is really nothing there.”  -Michael Talbot, “The Holographic Universe” (14-15)

The three-dimensionality of holographic images is not their only amazing attribute.  In holograms, all parts are reflected in the whole and the whole is reflected in all parts, so if you chop a piece of holographic film into tiny bits then shine a laser onto any of them, no matter how small, you will still get a complete image.

Back in the 1980s, a series of bookmarks appeared on the market using holographic technology.  Each one was made of a shiny strip of silver paper that looked like glossy aluminum foil at first glance.  When the paper was held directly under a bright light and tilted back and forth, however … Suddenly, the images in the foil looked as though they’d come to life and were hovering in the air just above the paper itself … If you have one of these bookmarks, you can do an experiment to demonstrate for yourself just how a hologram works … use a sharp pair of scissors to cut your beautiful, shiny bookmark into hundreds of pieces of any shape.  Then, take the smallest of the fragments and cut it again into an even tinier piece.  If the bookmark is truly a hologram, you’ll be able to look at your tiny speck of a bookmark under a magnifying glass and still see the entire image, only on a smaller scale.  The reason why is that it exists everywhere throughout the bookmark.”  -Gregg Braden, “The Divine Matrix” (104-5)

The “physical” world around us behaves much like a hologram.  Just like a piece of holographic film, all quanta exist as interfering wave patterns.  In and of themselves, these interference waves have no “solidity” – no definite properties or location – just like the squiggles/circles on holographic film.  The image is distributed throughout the entire film, just as quanta are distributed throughout the entire universe.  Then when a laser beam (the light of consciousness) is directed at those interference waves, seemingly solid particles (three dimensional images) appear before our eyes.  One of the first physicists to consider this “cosmic hologram” metaphor was David Bohm who defined the universe as an “undivided wholeness in flowing motion” which he termed the “holomovement.”

Einstein’s protégé, American physicist David Bohm, felt that quantum theory suggested the existence of a deeper reality than the one presented by our senses.  He dubbed the implicate order an undivided holistic realm that is beyond concepts like spacetime, matter, or energy.  In the implicate order everything is fully enfolded or entangled with everything else.  By contrast, the explicate order world of ordinary observations and common sense emerge, or unfold, out of the implicate order.  Bohm used a hologram as a metaphor to illustrate how information about a whole system can be enfolded into an implicit structure, any part of which reflects the whole.”  -Dean Radin, “Entangled Minds” (254)

Bohm’s implicate order is analogous to the two dimensional piece of holographic film and the explicate order is analogous to the three dimensional holographic image.  The implicate order is the underlying undivided wholeness of the universe and the explicate order is the multitude of seemingly separate forms.  To illustrate this duality, consider the following passages from my book Asbestos Head:

“If you blur your vision enough, forms disappear and you are left with nothing but a mass of color in motion.  There is no word that describes the blur, but perhaps you make one up.  Then you make a habit of making up words for blurs and start recognizing similarities - you label tree blurs, rock blurs, other animal blurs and maybe even atom blurs.  This allows you to compare and categorize, make judgments, and express artistic concerns about the blurs, but the fact remains that the boundaries between blurs are perceptual, not actual.  We know no two trees, rocks, animals, or atoms are exactly alike, but if no two things are exactly alike, we have no way to measure what constitutes one thing or it’s other.  If no two things are exactly alike then there must be only one true form that is everything (i.e. the universal hologram)

We know that sub-atomic particles are constantly in motion, but on a smaller scale than we can perceive.  We know that the planet beneath us is constantly in motion, but on a larger scale than we can perceive.  We know the Universe is perpetually changing and in motion, but we perceive most things as unchanging and still.  Then we use language to label this fallacious stillness.  We recognize similarities in the stillness and create categories and definitions.  We forget all about our faulty premise and attribute a priori importance to these forms we perceive; though in fact knowing no two things are truly separate and everything’s constantly moving (a.k.a. the holomovement).”

Bohm cautions that this does not mean the universe is a giant undifferentiated mass.  Things can be part of an undivided whole and still possess their own unique qualities.  To illustrate what he means he points to the little eddies and whirlpools that often form in a river.  At a glance such eddies appear to be separate things and possess many individual characteristics such as size, rate, and direction of rotation, et cetera.  But careful scrutiny reveals that it is impossible to determine where any given whirlpool ends and the river begins.  Thus, Bohm is not suggesting that the differences between ‘things’ is meaningless.  He merely wants us to be aware constantly that dividing various aspects of the holomovement into ‘things’ is always an abstraction, a way of making those aspects stand out in our perception by our way of thinking.  In attempts to correct this, instead of calling different aspects of the holomovement ‘things,’ he prefers to call them ‘relatively independent subtotalities.”  -Michael Talbot, “The Holographic Universe” (48-9)

For Bohm, atoms are not the “building blocks of matter” but rather just a term given to one aspect of the holomovement.  The various forms we name, words and categories we create, are all ultimately arbitrary because at the implicate level of reality, everything is one.  No two atoms, two rocks, two trees, or two people are any more separate from one another than whirlpools are separate from the river.  The universe is a holographic oneness in perpetual motion, both created and navigated by consciousness.  Matter is not separated by space and time; rather, matter, space, and time are always already ever-present and one.  To illustrate this, think of a DVD.  At the explicate level of the DVD, you see a movie with people, places and events happening in space and time.  For the actors on your television screen, they experienced everything happening in “real” time in the “real” world during filming.  But for you the viewer, holding the DVD in your hand, you can see the implicate level of the movie where all the people, places, and events on it are mere projections of a single totality.  You can rewind, fast-forward, slow-mo, or freeze-frame the entire realistic three-dimensional explicate world of the DVD because you are operating from the implicate world of remote control.  The One, God, infinite consciousness, cosmic mind, or whatever you want to call it, operates at the objective, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent level of the implicate DVD, and meanwhile us humans, animals, plants, insects, and every other subjective entity in the physical universe are method actors in the explicate movie.   Bohm himself said, It will be ultimately misleading and indeed wrong to suppose, for example, that each human being is an independent actuality who interacts with other human beings and with nature.  Rather, all these are projections of a single totality.

While it may look as though we’re disconnected from one another and the rest of the world, that detachment doesn’t exist on the plane where the hologram originates … On this level of unity, there really can be no such things as ‘here’ and ‘there.’  -Gregg Braden, “The Divine Matrix” (107)

Matter does not exist independently from so-called empty space.  It is a part of space … Space is not empty.  It is full, a plenum as opposed to a vacuum, and is the ground for the existence of everything, including ourselves.”  -Michael Talbot, “The Holographic Universe” (51)

David Bohm’s work into quantum physics and quantum mechanics also realized and affirmed a single ultimate reality; the true nature of the Universe.  Time will inevitably show the Universal explicate, implicate and super implicate orders of David Bohm and the holomovement, will eventually have most profound implications for humanity which all science will quite simply have to accept sooner or later, thus proving conclusively the Universe rather than being a vast and disparate multitude of separately interacting particles of matter, is in reality a magnificent unbroken completeness, a continuum, an infinite flowing movement of Energy, vibration, the holomovement.” -Adrian Cooper, “Our Ultimate Reality” (88)

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Ayahuasca and the Heart of Darkness

London Real is an excellent UK-based podcast with some great episodes covering one of my favorite topics, entheogens. Check out their most recent show above where co-host Nic Gabriel tells the story of his life-changing Mayan calendar-ending Peruivian Ayahuasca adventure.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Pranayama Yoga and Qigong Deep Breathing

What is the #1 most important key factor to achieving and maintaining optimum health, energy, longevity, vitality, and wellness?  Is it genetics, diet, exercise, hydration, sleep, mindset, environment?  Certainly all of these factors are very important, but in fact they are all secondary to something most doctors and lay-people alike completely overlook.  Think about this:  what is the most important thing in your life?  It’s so important that you do it all day every day and all night every night.  You are even doing it unconsciously right now while reading this.  It’s something so crucial to your health, longevity and wellness that ceasing for even a few minutes results in certain death!  The one and only undeniable answer is Breathing.  To breathe is to live and without breath there can be no life.  All life, plant and animal, from birth to death, completely depends upon the air for health, well-being and continued existence.  From microscopic mitochondria to macroscopic lungs, every living cell breathes and depends on the air’s life-giving properties for sustenance.

Breathing may be considered the most important of all of the functions of the body, for, indeed, all the other functions depend upon it.  Man may exist some time without eating; a shorter time without drinking; but without breathing his existence may be measured by a few minutes.  And not only is Man dependent upon Breath for life, but he is largely dependent upon correct habits of breathing for continued vitality and freedom from disease.  An intelligent control of our breathing power will lengthen our days upon the earth by giving us increased vitality and powers of resistance, and, on the other hand, unintelligent and careless breathing will tend to shorten our days, by decreasing our vitality and laying us open to disease.”  -Yogi Ramacharaka, “The Science of Breath” (6)

Pranayama is the ancient vedic science of breathing practiced and perfected over several thousand years by Indian yogis.  Shaolin martial monks and Taoists evolved and perform a similar discipline known as Qigong (Chi Kung).  For the past several years I have been diligently learning, practicing, and teaching Pranayama / Qigong and I can say from daily personal experience that this kind of internal exercise is by far the most important, over-looked and under-appreciated, energizing, invigorating, strengthening, purifying, balancing, meditative, relaxing, revitalizing, immunity-boosting and longevity-promoting activity possible. 

Breathing and related exercises are one hundred times more effective as medical therapy than any drug.  This knowledge is indispensable to man, and every physician should study it thoroughly.”  -Taoist Shen Chia-shu

Everyone instinctively knows that breathing is absolutely unarguably the most important thing in their life, but how many treat it as such?  How much attention do you give to your breathing?  Have you ever learned or practiced methods of proper and effective breathing?  Most people walk around on half-power their whole lives, chronically starved for oxygen, wide open to disease, shallow staccato chest-breathing their way to early graves.

Man has contracted improper methods and attitudes of walking, standing and sitting, which have robbed him of his birthright of natural and correct breathing.  He has paid a high price for civilization.  The savage, today, breathes naturally, unless he has been contaminated by the habits of civilized man.  The percentage of civilized men who breathe correctly is quite small, and the result is shown in contracted chests, stooping shoulders, and the terrible increase in diseases of the respiratory organs.  Eminent authorities have stated that one generation of correct breathers would regenerate the race, and disease would be so rare as to be looked upon as a curiosity.  Whether looked at from the standpoint of the Oriental or Occidental, the connection between correct breathing and health is readily seen and explained.  The Occidental teachings show that the physical health depends very materially upon correct breathing.  The Oriental teachers not only admit that their Occidental brothers are right, but say that in addition to the physical benefit derived from correct habits of breathing, Man’s mental power, happiness, self-control, clear-sightedness, morals, and even his spiritual growth may be increased.”  -Yogi Ramacharaka, “The Science of Breath” (7)

Regular deep breathing practice is absolutely the best holistic exercise and the ultimate preventative medicine.  It detoxifies, oxygenates, cleans and purifies the entire bloodstream through the lungs, moves the lymphatic system, relieves general body aches, pains, stress, anxiety, and depression, increases stamina, lung capacity, abdominal muscle, core strength, mindfulness, mental clarity and focus, internally exercises and massages your organs, improves posture, poise and patience, promotes longevity and cellular regeneration, boosts energy levels, elevates moods, releases happiness endorphins, assists in weight control, improves digestion, assimilation, and elimination, strengthens the heart, lungs, abdominals and immune system, aids in deeper sleep and elicits the relaxation response in every cell of the body.

The benefits of working with the breath are profound.  The way you breathe directly influences the quality of your life.  In fact, the way you breathe might be the most important factor in how you feel.  Think about how people breathe when they are sad and crying.  They inhale with short, shallow gasps and exhale with either long wails or choppy sobs.  If someone is angry, in-breaths are usually constricted and out-breaths are long and forceful.  During stress, the breath can actually become so shallow that it is almost nonexistent.  On the other hand, when someone is feeling good, the breath is calm, deep, and even.  The amazing thing about breathing exercises is that the relationship also works in the reverse; by changing the way you breathe, you can also change the way you feel.  If you breathe deeply, down into the abdomen, this sends a message to the body to transform negative emotions into positive ones.  Deep breathing moves chi and clears stagnant energy.  It is almost impossible to breathe deeply and feel negative emotions at the same time.”  -Mantak Chia, “Simple Chi Kung” (56-57)

Breathing is the mechanism through which lungs purify and detoxify the bloodstream, and blood is the substance which nourishes and sustains every cell in your body.  Thus proper and effective breathing is of paramount importance in maintaining the health and integrity of every cell in your body. 

Blood begins its journey in the heart, bright red, oxygen-rich and full of life-giving properties, then later returns from its journey dull blue, oxygen-starved, and devoid of life energy.  Blood is pumped from the left auricle into the left ventricle then out of the heart through the arteries and into the capillaries where it reaches and feeds every cell in the body.  On its return journey the blood is pulled from the capillaries through the veins and back into the right auricle of the heart.  When filled the auricle contracts forcing blood through the right ventricle down into the lungs where it branches out and disperses into millions of hair-like blood vessels and air cells thick enough to hold the blood but thin enough to allow oxygen to penetrate.  Upon inhalation oxygen comes into contact with the impure blood and a chemical combustion takes place oxidizing the bloodstream and releasing carbonic acid gas generated from the waste products and toxins gathered up during its arterial journey through the body.  Upon exhalation carbon dioxide and other toxins are dispelled from the system and the newly re-purified blood, bright red and oxygen-rich is pumped back out to every cell in the body.

Unless fresh air in sufficient quantities reaches the lungs, the foul stream of venous blood cannot be purified, and consequently not only is the body thus robbed of nourishment, but the waste products which should have been destroyed are returned to the circulation and poison the system, and death ensues.  Impure air acts in the same way, only in a lessened degree.  It will also be seen that if one does not breathe in a sufficient quantity of air, the work of the blood cannot go on properly, and the result is that the body is insufficiently nourished and disease ensues, or a state of imperfect health is experienced … A little reflection will show the vital importance of correct breathing.  If the blood is not fully purified by the regenerative process of the lungs, it returns to the arteries in an abnormal state, insufficiently purified and imperfectly cleansed of the impurities which it took up on its return journey.  These impurities if returned to the system will certainly manifest in some form of disease, either in a form of blood disease or some disease resulting from impaired functioning of some insufficiently nourished organ or tissue.”  -Yogi Ramacharaka, “The Science of Breath” (11)

Put simply, blood is what feeds our trillions of cells and sustains our lives; from the tips of our heads to the bottoms of our feet, blood constantly circulates giving life energy to every cell.  After just one cycle from heart to artery to vein and back to heart again, the blood collects various impurities which are taken to the lung capillaries for regeneration through respiration.  Proper breathing fully re-oxidizes and replenishes the vitality of our blood so that the cycle of life may continue without slow deterioration.  In fact as pranic breathing practice develops and lung capacity grows your ability to take in oxygen and expel carbon more efficiently results in a cumulatively building state of daily wellness.

It is therefore necessary that a proper supply of oxygen be taken through the lungs.  This accounts for the fact that weak lungs and poor digestion are so often found together.  To grasp the full significance of this statement, one must remember that the entire body receives nourishment from the food assimilated, and that imperfect assimilation always means an imperfectly nourished body.  Even the lungs themselves depend upon the same source for nourishment, and if through imperfect breathing the assimilation becomes imperfect, and the lungs in turn become weakened, they are rendered still less able to perform their work properly, and so in turn the body becomes further weakened.  Every particle of food and drink must be oxygenated before it can yield us the proper nourishment, and before the waste products of the system can be reduced to the proper condition to be eliminated.  And when assimilation is not normal, the system receives less and less nourishment, the appetite fails, bodily vigor decreases, and energy diminishes, and the man withers and declines.  All from the lack of proper breathing.  Lack of sufficient oxygen means imperfect nutrition, imperfect elimination and imperfect health.  -Yogi Ramacharaka, “The Science of Breath” (12-33)

Our lungs are situated in the pleural chamber of the thoracic cavity separated from each other by the heart, blood vessels and air tubes.  Each lung is free and unattached in all directions except at the root where it is connected via bronchi, arteries and veins to the trachea and heart.  When we breathe, air comes in through the nasal cavity where it is warmed and filtered through hairs and mucous membrane.  The air passes through the pharynx, larynx, and trachea then into the bronchial tubes where it is subdivided and dispersed into the millions of tiny air cells in the lungs.  Air is drawn into the lungs by the diaphragm, a long, strong, flat muscle stretched across the chest.  When the diaphragm contracts, the size of the chest and lungs expand and air rushes in like a vacuum.  When it relaxes, the chest and lungs shrink and air is blown out like a bellows.  The diaphragm’s actions and contractions are involuntary like the heart's, but through practice and the will yogis can transform them into a semi-voluntary muscle.

The internal organs also need exercise, and Nature’s plan for the exercise is proper breathing.  The diaphragm is Nature’s principal instrument for this internal exercise.  Its motion vibrates the important organs of nutrition and elimination, and massages and kneads them at each inhalation and exhalation, forcing blood into them, and then squeezing it out, and imparting a general tone to the organs.  Any organ or part of the body which is not exercised gradually atrophies and refuses to function properly, and lack of the internal exercise afforded by the diaphragmatic action leads to diseased organs.”  -Yogi Ramacharaka, “The Science of Breath” (34)

In this clip I show a deep breathing technique and how it has moved my physical heartbeat to the center of my torso under my sternum.  From 0:40-1:07 the noise that sounds like a distant engine or a cat purring is actually me inhaling using a pranayama / qigong deep breathing technique.  From 1:07-1:37 you can see my heartbeat at my solar plexus but nowhere else in the upper left quadrant of the chest showing how daily deep breathing practice will bring about both literal and figurative heart centeredness!  :)  If you are interested in learning Pranayama, Yoga, and/or Wing Chun be sure to visit my site and email me to schedule a session.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Synchronicity and Meaningful Coincidences

Synchronicity is a term coined by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung which he defined as the “temporally coincident occurrence of acausal events.”  In other words, synchronicities are meaningful coincidences – highly improbable, highly significant, serendipitous happenings.  When it is clear that there is no cause-and-effect connection between two events, yet a meaningful relationship nevertheless exists, this is synchronicity.  Jung believed synchronicity is an acausal connecting principle of our collective unconscious through which we are shown mystical glimpses of meaningful connections between our subjective and objective worlds, divine bridges between our inner and outer experiences.

"Synchronicities are revelations of the absence of any division between the physical world and inner, psychological reality. Synchronistic events are ‘lucidity stimulators,’ neon-signs from the dreamlike nature of the universe to help us wake up to its, and our, dreamlike nature. Just like a dream, mind and matter are not separate, distinct realities, but rather, are seemingly different fundamental components of the same deeper, underlying reality that has both an external-matter aspect and an internal-mind aspect.”  –Paul Levy, “God the Imagination”

The blurring of boundaries between consciousness and matter challenges everything we are taught in traditional Western thinking. From a very early age we are urged by our parents, teachers, and religious leaders to draw clear lines between the ‘subjective’ and the ‘objective,’ the ‘real’ and the ‘unreal,’ the existent and the non-existent, or the tangible and the intangible. However, a reality that is very similar to Jung's acausal universe is becoming recognized in modern science, notably in quantum-relativistic physics … It was Jung's recognition of phenomena that exist outside cause and effect that led him to define synchronicity as an ‘acausal connecting principle.’  Meaningful coincidences between the inner world - the world of visions and dreams - and the outer world of ‘objective reality’ suggested to Jung that the two worlds were not as clearly separated as we might think.”  -Stanislav Grof, “The Holotropic Mind” (169)

Have you ever experienced visions or emotional pangs related to some person or incident outside your sensory experience?  Have you ever had déjà vu or coincidences so meaningful yet improbable that it boggled your mind?  Have you ever had a friend or relative pop into your head and then seconds later the phone rings and it is them?  Myself and many others have experienced such synchronicities, all of which can only be seen as chance/coincidence in a Newtonian world, but have special meaning in a Jungian, consciousness-based world.

How many times have you gone to call someone on the phone, and found that he or she was already on the line when you picked up the receiver … or when you dialed the number, you discovered that the line was busy because your pal was calling you?  On how many occasions have you found yourself enjoying time with friends in a busy street, mall, or airport, only to have the eerie feeling that you’ve already been in that place or with those people before, doing exactly what you’re doing at that moment?  While these simple examples are fun to talk about, they’re more than random coincidences.  Although we may not be able to prove scientifically why these things happen, we all know that they do.  In such moments of connectedness and déjà vu, we find ourselves spontaneously transcending the limits imposed by physical laws.  In those brief instances, we’re reminded that there’s probably more to the universe and us than we may consciously acknowledge.”  -Gregg Braden, “The Divine Matrix” (57-58)

I have personally experienced many synchronicities, déjà vu’s, and prophetic dreams which have convinced me that something like Jung’s acausal connecting principle truly does exist within consciousness outside of space and time.  For instance, one night in college I actually dreamed of a conversation that I would be having the next day and experienced paradigm-shattering déjà vu as I found myself enacting my dream in reality.  Stunned in revelatory paralysis, the dream came flooding back to me and I realized that I was standing in the exact place, wearing the exact clothes, and having the exact discussion that I had dreamt.  Suddenly it occurred to me that I knew exactly the entire next sentence my friend was about to speak, so I quickly snapped out of the reverie and said the whole sentence along with her verbatim simultaneously.  My friend then stared at me dumbfounded as I laughed and tried to explain.

Another time, a few years ago I was meditating and started to feel a tight clenching at my solar plexus so I tried to relax, took a deep breath and exhaled with an Om.  The very second I finished my Om breath, the electricity in my  3rd floor apartment room, all the lights and my digital clock, went dark for 2 seconds then came back on.  Shocked, I phoned my friends on the 2nd and 5th floors to see if their power had gone out and it hadn’t.  This meant at most the power went out only on my floor and perhaps only in my room!  Perplexed and curious I then said a little prayer to “God,” my “higher self,” or whatever aspect of the one consciousness was listening, and said, “it seems like that was more than just a coincidence, if that was some kind of sign, could I please have another one?”  And so the next day I was downstairs in my girlfriends’s room watching the cartoon South Park on DVD, the episode where Cesar Millan comes to deal with Cartman.  Just as Cesar finished saying the words “you must express the dominant energy,” the lights, the television, everything went dark once again, then came back on 2 seconds later and the DVD somehow skipped back and said once again “express the dominant energy.”  “Express the dominant energy” coinciding with 2 power outages, my meditation, and my asking for a sign was quite an odd, memorable and mysterious synchronicity for me.  

Most of us have encountered strange coincidences that defy ordinary explanation. The Austrian biologist Paul Kammerer, one of the first to be interested in the scientific implications of this phenomenon, reported a situation where his tram ticket bore the same number as the theater ticket that he bought immediately afterward; later that evening the same sequence of digits was given to him as a telephone number.  The astronomer Flammarion cited an amusing story of a triple coincidence involving a certain Mr. Deschamps and a special kind of plum pudding. As a boy, Deschamps was given a piece of this pudding by a Mr. de Fortgibu. Ten years later, he saw the same pudding on the menu of a Paris restaurant and asked the waiter for a serving. However, it turned out that the last piece of the pudding was already ordered—by Mr. de Fortgibu, who just happened to be in the restaurant at that moment. Many years later, Mr. Deschamps was invited to a party where this pudding was to be served as a special rarity.  While he was eating it, he remarked that the only thing lacking was Mr. de Fortgibu. At that moment the door opened and an old man walked in. It was Mr. de Fortgibu who burst in on the party by mistake because he had been given a wrong address for the place he was supposed to go.  -Stanislav Grof, “The Holotropic Mind” (171)

Jung was treating a woman whose staunchly rational approach to life made it difficult for her to benefit from therapy.  After a number of frustrating sessions the woman told Jung about a dream involving a scarab beetle.  Jung knew that in Egyptian mythology the scarab represented rebirth and wondered if the woman’s unconscious mind was symbolically announcing that she was about to undergo some kind of psychological rebirth.  He was just about to tell her this when something tapped on the window, and he looked up to see a gold-green scarab on the other side of the glass (it was the only time a scarab beetle had ever appeared at Jung’s window).  He opened the window and allowed the scarab to fly into the room as he presented his interpretation of the dream.  The woman was so stunned that she tempered her excessive rationality, and from that point on her response to therapy improved.” -Michael Talbot, “The Holographic Universe” (78)

These kinds of anecdotes are not exactly “scientific” but due to the very nature of synchronicities, science and the scientific method are unfortunately ill-equipped to offer any insight into such intangible, immeasurable, and subjective phenomena. However, for many people who have personally experienced such highly improbable, unbelievable synchronicities, confirmation from science is unnecessary because like a glimpse behind the veil, they are given a kind of gnosis, an intuitive recognition of the subtle interplays between consciousness, space, time and matter. 

In a mechanical universe where everything is linked by cause and effect, there is no place for ‘meaningful coincidences’ in the Jungian sense. In the practice of traditional psychiatry, when a person perceives meaningful coincidences, he or she is, at best, diagnosed as projecting special meaning into purely accidental events; at worst he or she is diagnosed as suffering from hallucinations or delusions. Traditional psychiatrists either do not know about the existence of true synchronicities or they prefer to ignore the concept. As a result they may wrongly diagnose ‘meaningful coincidences’ as the result of serious pathology (delusions of reference). In many cases of spiritual emergencies, where valid synchronicities were reported, people have all too often been hospitalized unnecessarily. Had those experiences been correctly understood and treated as manifestations of psycho-spiritual crisis those same people might have been quickly helped through approaches supporting spiritual emergence, rather than undergoing all the problems that unnecessary hospitalization entails.”  -Stanislav Grof, “The Holotropic Mind” (173)

Physicist F. David Peat believes synchronicities are very real phenomena which provide circumstantial evidence for an absence of division between the outer physical world and our inner psychological worlds.  He states that “the self lives on but as one aspect of the more subtle movement that involves the order of the whole of consciousness.  It has been an arduous process, but as explored in the first chapter, quantum physics is slowly dragging the world of “rational science” kicking and screaming to the realization that staunch materialism is untenable, and concepts like Jung’s collective unconscious are not so fantastic or fanciful after all.   

Jung himself was fully aware of the fact that the concept of synchronicity was incompatible with traditional science and he followed with great interest the revolutionary new worldview that was emerging from developments in modern physics. He maintained a friendship with Wolfgang Pauli, one of the founders of quantum physics, and the two of them had a very fruitful exchange of ideas. Similarly, in personal communications between Jung and Albert Einstein, the latter explicitly encouraged him to pursue the concept of synchronicity because it was fully compatible with the new thinking in physics.  Sadly, however, mainstream psychologists and psychiatrists have still not caught up with the revolutionary developments in modern physics and Jungian psychology.”  -Stanislav Grof, “The Holotropic Mind” (173-4)

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