1 Year Anniversary Recap - Part I ended with a discussion of the EGG Project (also called the Global Consciousness Project) which I wrote about in detail in Synchronicity Clusters and Warping the Existential Matrix. The numerical data recorded by the random event generators can be visually represented as a bunch of dots in a given space. The ongoing experiment demonstrates that the dots are normally distributed uniformly, which is to be expected from random data, but that statistically improbable clusters (or correlations) form when world-wide events occur which cause a large percentage of the world's population to share focus, emotions, and intention. This finding suggests that global consciousness has an effect on reality beyond what is commonly known or accepted.
If one were to visualize the actual events in our personal (or collective) lives in a similar fashion, as dots in a given space, then we have what can be called the "existential matrix". These events, or existential dots, are not necessarily random for they are the products of our conscious decisions, habits, social norms, the physical laws of our universe, etc. But, if we remove all these factors which influence what we experience, there is typically very little evidence that an underlying order exists which gives our lives a deeper meaning or a higher level purpose. The events in our lives might just as well be considered random and uniformly distributed across an existential matrix.
When synchronicities occur, however, we have sudden insight into an underlying order, an order that may seem to possess a philosophical or metaphysical intelligence. A group of events, or existential dots, which in logical terms are entirely disconnected suddenly function synchronously as a group; the coincidence is so meaningful that it cannot be ignored. This is an unprecedented warp in the existential matrix. And when we experience this, we are naturally inclined to ask the question: When, how, and why do synchronicities occur?
One can ideate that one of the essential reasons behind the occurrence of synchronicities is the focus of our attention, just as focus is evidently one of the possible reasons behind the skewing of the random numbers in the EGG Project. On the other hand, one could argue that if this were true, then we should be experiencing synchronicities in a very predictable manner; whenever we focus upon something, a meaningful coincidence should occur. This is not commonly the case, however, or at least not obviously so. Indeed, the frequency and nature of synchronicities is very difficult to pinpoint, very hard to predict.
A couple weeks ago, while I was working on this post, I wrote that synchronicities occur most frequently for me when I am focused upon some aspect of my evolution, or when the current events in my life are crucial to my development. In contrast, my job, for instance, makes me focus on very mundane aspects of reality throughout the day, and it is very rare that a synchronicity occurs related to work. Thus, I thought that it was only the focus upon evolutionary matters which results in synchronicities.
Since writing down these ideas, however, life has proven me wrong. (That life would show me evidence to the contrary was itself a synchronistic event, and this happens quite often whenever I am about to publish ideas online that still require balancing.) There was a problem at work that was very difficult to solve and it funneled in my attention to the maximum degree so that even my dreams became involved. As a result of this intense amount of focus, I experienced a number of synchronicities, the most blatant of which had to do with how closely the events seemed to coincide with the stock market crash and Lehman Brothers going under; our dealings with the client who experienced the problem seemed to closely mirror the news of the market after-effects over the days. [09/28/08: The troubles at work persisted this week until Thursday. Only five minutes after reading the first news headline on the internet that spoke positively about the market's situation, our client called and we were able to overcome the technical difficulty with our software that he'd been experiencing.]
I still believe it's true that I experience much less synchronicities while I am at work but I believe this to be because the degree of focus is limited; generally I am only paying attention with my intellect and not with my entire being, unlike when I am involved in aspects of my evolution that interest me on a profound level. Thus, to achieve the level of focus that actually warps the existential matrix, one must involve more than just intellectual focus, but the emotions and the deeper levels of self as well. The various aspects of self must be in congruence and regularized to point in a single direction. In other words, a black hole in consciousness must be materialized.
Even when our entire attention is indeed funneled into one focus, however, the synchronicities are not always blatant because we may not recognize the underlying order behind life's events. This is especially the case when we are not familiar or mature with the subject at hand, not only because the underlying order makes little sense but also because our initial endeavor to understand the subject invites the exploration of widely varying perspectives. My first post, Synchronistic Conditioning and an Emerging Portrait of Vitality, illuminates the yin and yang oscillations which occur in dreams/syncrhonicities/ideas as a result of focusing upon an aspect of life about which we have little understanding, and little sense of equilibrium or balance. The synchronistic data, so to speak, seemingly illuminate opposing or antagonistic proclivities; the messages behind dreams and the "signs" behind the syncrhonicities seem contradictory. Only as we progress do the dreams and synchronicities become more obvious and orderly; life begins to shed its sense of randomness and arbitrariness.
As I've written already, one pictorial representation of our progress is the paisley pattern because it begins wide at the bottom and narrows towards the top. The essential form of the paisley pattern is really a triangle (or pyramid or cone), whose apex is located just before the twirl begins at the top. (I have preferred referring to the paisley pattern over a simple triangle because after an enlightened degree of balance is achieved at the apex, movement in the twirling section, which can be described as a recursive refinement, is no longer random but seems to adhere to strict archetypal patterns, or a form of cosmic thinking.)
The triangle is a common symbol which depicts the sacred concept of Trinity; it can also depict the reconciliation of opposites, or the coincidence of opposites (Coincidentia Oppositorium), a concept which is generally regarded as an essential aspect of many religious and mystical traditions. Similarly, the space-time fabric surrounding a black hole is cone-shaped, which is a 3-D version of a triangle. Whether we are speaking of a Coincidentia Oppositorium or a black hole, the triangle implies the coming together at the apex of two (or in the case of a black hole, any number of) separate components at the base. In mysticism, this is the convergence/collapse/synthesis of a duality into unity. In astrophysics, the black hole is an inescapable gravity well which pulls all objects into a point of singularity. My argument is that both the black hole phenomenon and the unification-based evolutionary process are derivatives of the same archetypal pattern and one discipline, namely science, can illuminate the other, namely mysticism, and vice versa.
When mystics speak of their feelings of at-one-ment with the world, it is this unification at the apex of the triangle which they are experiencing. Polarities are compacted and all is seen and felt as one. When mystics speak of unconditional love and compassion, they are referring to the necessary reconciliation of opposites that occurs archetypaly during enlightenment, which when translated into social/cultural/personal relations is that which brings all together in peace, harmony and love, unconditionally. When mystics speak of the importance of selflessness, they speak of the inability to reconcile the opposites due to the ego, which accepts this or that, not this and that.
In black hole terms, an object is ripped apart as it reaches the center of a black hole. And so the ego is the psychological equivalent of mass which blocks one's entry into the apex. In The Dimunitive Staircase, I wrote about a dream which a friend of mine had that illuminated in simple terms the inability of the ego to approach the apex of a Coincidentia Oppositorium. It simply depicted him going up a spiraling staircase which ended up wedged between two walls so that, due to the size of his body, it was impossible for him to proceed. He had this dream before I discussed with him any of these ideas which highlights the archetypal nature of this phenomenon.
In my past, long before thinking of black holes and their parallel concepts in psychology/spirituality, it was quite common for me, especially while seeking inspiration or simply a higher state of mind, to go through rather painful states of mind in which I felt myself being squeezed down to the size of a pea, psychologically speaking, best described as a form of regression back to childhood. After this process of diminution I would often feel myself slipping through some kind of tiny portal and suddenly find myself in a higher state of mind.
Conversely, many people have experienced firsthand the often devastating drop in spirits after temporarily soaring during a higher state of mind. In fact, I experienced this yesterday. While I was in a very inspired, selfless state, I had a phone conversation with someone which manifested a little anger within me. All of a sudden a high pitched anxiety flooded my system which left me breathless, an anxiety whose intensity I rarely experience while in a mundane state.
Anger itself is an inchoate, entropy-inducing form of energy (in contrast to how unconditional love can generate a higher order) and the tiniest focus upon this energy could swiftly secure a collapse from the heights. But, the experience can also be interpreted as my having quickly oscillated from a state of selflessness to that which was ego-driven due to the feeling of being threatened by the phone conversation to lose my higher state of mind. In black hole terms, it would be the equivalent of changing from a wave of light, selfless/massless, that is near the center of the black hole which suddenly manifests mass/ego and thus gets ripped apart.
I began hallucinating the "X" several years after first having the diminution experiences, the "X" being two triangles on top of each other. The middle of the "X" depicted a passageway that would lead from the bottom triangle up to a higher state of mind. The "X" also represents the space-time warpage of a black hole leading to a white hole.
If we accept as true that focusing with a high degree of intensity on an aspect of our lives materializes a trinity-like evolutionary path that resembles the attributes of a black hole, then there are two arguments which are implied:
1) Intense focus upon any aspect of life will automatically drive one towards a collapse of the duality or set of dualities involved. This is not to say that to follow through with this reconciliation into unity is inevitable with sustained focus, for it is typical that the ego or an arbitrary bias that has fixated will block the path towards this coincidence of opposites. But, in general, this spells out that all evolutionary paths ultimately lead to unity.
2) Intense focus on any aspect of life can lead to enlightenment, or at least a state of mind which transcends the mundane. This, I believe, is already a claim that many mystics make for enlightenment can occur under any circumstance. This would also suggest that all black holes lead to white holes. (Note that the existence white holes on the other side of black holes have not been proven, though I have read that they are "mathematically possible" according to some scientists.)
It is interesting to note that writing this very blog began, over the months, to develop the tension of opposites trying to converge when I started to introduce fiction into my writing style. The philosophical style of writing, which attempts to maximize clarity and illumination, is in direct contrast to my usual fiction style, which is naturally imbued in enigma and ambiguity.
I began writing fiction when I started writing the post about Kafka, Kafka, Enigma, and Mysticism. The difficulties of describing Kafka philosophically effectively gave birth (or rebirth) to the fiction writer that had been lying dormant within me since this blog was launched. Logic Dies, I am Sorry was a story written as a result of my failed philosophical writing efforts. The story tells of a "sphere of noise" that was rapidly approaching the main character, a lecturer, in order to consume him and silence his speech.
As the months passed, I kept oscillating between both styles of writing, which was an intriguing way to write and relatively easy to do while I was in an inspired state of mind, since this duality was relatively compact. But, it became increasingly difficult as my social/family/work life began to consume more and more of my free time. My inspired states became less accessible and during my more mundane states, I am naturally more ego-driven. As various aspects of my ego, the poet (fiction writer) and the philosopher are completely at odds with each other.
The poet wields the scepter of numinosity. With the ability to potentiate an uprooting of one's ordinary perception of reality in a relatively direct fashion, the poet as an ego feels superior to the philosopher who although can inspire and energize through ideas lacks the ability to affect a significant shift in consciousness in the same direct fashion. The philosopher, on the other hand, engrossed in the pursuit of truth and clarity, scoffs at the chimerical qualities of the poet's expression. The two, in short, as egos are incongruent while in the midst of their actions.
Had the duality remained comfortably compact, the resulting style of writing is what I would call "holographic literature", where each idea is presented more than once, each time from a different perspective and a different writing style. This is still my aim for this blog, but I've realized how difficult it is to do unless life affords me more frequent access to the heights, as in the past.
As is apparent with the frequency of my posts in the recent past, my writing productivity towards the end was grinding down to a halt, curiously like one would enter a state of timelessness as one approached a black hole. The final story was The Freedom of Wings and the Invisible Tides, the main character: The Ever Receding Man.
Coming up soon: Three essays in the works, as well as a short story about a shape-shifter, an upper-X character.