The Ground of
Science Mysticism and Experience
Synchronicity, uniting matter and Spirit, a gateway to the
direct experience of the Divine.
Definitions of Synchronicity.
Some writers on Synchronicity/
meaningful coincidence/ miracle?
on Synchronicity : The Five-fives
- Einstein-Podolski-Rose thought
- Bohm's phantasm universe
- <>Karl Pribram The
Holographic Nature of Reality
- <> Envying
Further Items of Interest
Some writers on Synchronicity /meaningful
Physician and psychoanalyst,
asks whether guardian angels occasion these coincidences, or is it
all-embracing Spirit working
out its loving purposes?
Writer, speaks of a Holarchy, a hierarchy of holons, atoms, molecules,
cells, tissue, individual humans, humanity and so on up. The hierearchy
of whole works as one.
Maria von Franz Jungian analyst:
"What is the relationship between my conscious self and the Self
of the Whole?”
Physicist : "This suggested hidden unity of the inner and the
outer worlds. . . is not easily understood or experienced. I
argue that it requires us to transcend the psyche, to consider
ourselves more than finite psychological beings.
Analyst: " in synchronicity, the person directly experiences a
sense of oneness. This is what is so deeply moving in experiences
of synchronicity, and is why these events are often felt as
numinous, religious, or spiritual experiences."
Alan Vaughan Psychic researcher: "To
those who would seek to find their place in the cosmos, I
recommend the shortest of prayers: 'Thy will be done. May my will
F.David Peat Physicist,:
"Synchronicities suggest that we can renew our contact with that
creative and unconditioned source which is the origin not only of
ourselves but also of all reality. By dying to the self and its
mechanical reactive responses to nature, it becomes possible to engage
in an active transformation and gain access to unlimited ranges of
energy. In this way, body and consciousness, individual and
society, mind and matter may come to achieve their unlimited
experiment All affects all else,
Universe."More like a Great Thought"
#In the field of brain research,
Karl Pribram has
become persuaded of the holographic
of meaningful coincidence:
together Envying the musicians
A conversation with him
about the Christ of the Space Between, the
Christ the orchestrator of the Kingdom. The pivotal synchronicity
of the Five-fives. A similar message to that of the physicists, but
adding the dimensions of personality, love, Spirit, creativity.
(This has been a key event, in the spiritual life of
Editor Michael Cocks.)
coincidence is just one of many ways in which we can be sure of the
work of Spirit in our lives.
In "Envying the Musicians"
above, I had that day surrendered my life to Christ, in a
much deeper way. Christ was close to me. That evening I spoil
my enjoyment of a performance of chamber music by envying the
musicians and their skill. I chide myself for spoiling a spiritual
experience. Before bed that night something prompts me to
look for a book under a certain bookcase, and to look up
a certain page. There, I find a poem about not envying
the musicians because one thus spoils a spiritual experience.
A very meaningful coincidence, and of course I had no idea what I
might find in that dusty and forgotten book. But what was the
point of the happening? I knew all along that envying the musicians was
The point becomes clearer if we can accept the
words of St Paul at the Areopagus: "[God] is not far from each of us,
for in him we live and move, in him we exist." Acts 17.27
Similarly "One God and Father
of us all, who is over all and in all" Ephesians 4.6:
If you look back
at the short summaries of what our writers on meaningful coincidence or
synchronicity have to say, you will note that they present a similar
general picture of ourselves in relation that which is greater than
They imply that our thoughts and our
actions are somehow "embedded" in the wider mystery we call God.
Another way of putting it is to say
that "All life is sacramental", a sacrament
being defined as "an outward and visible sign of an inward and
It is not so
difficult to affirm this in the presence of love and beauty.
But life has much of non-love and spiritual ugliness. Christians
have been accustomed to point to the Cross, as a symbol that
the will and the love of God can override the forces of evil. This
symbol helps us in unwavering affirmation that "in him we live and
move, in him we exist."
You can believe that all
life is sacramental? You believe in one God
over all and in all? In that case perhaps you don't really need
meaningful coincidence, synchronicity, and miracle.
view all this as the action of the Holy Spirit.
Our belief in such a God is reinforced by experiences
of the holy and the numinous, of selfless love and service of others,
through the experience of creativity, and much else. Meaningful
coincidence is another way of knowing for sure that we are participants
in that which is greater than ourselves.
"Envying the musicians", then. Our
thoughts can be given us by Spirit,: first listening to the
musicians, and then the book. Synchronicity can demonstrate what
we already know that Spirit embraces all, and it can also reveal depths
in relationship. A friend, Peter Hayden, called it "the poetry of
The internal collision that comes between us and
In our heart of hearts, can we really believe
that the universe is a "great thought" [Jeans] and that the world of see
and touch, "are projections of a single
How much are we in actual fact deeply affected by the
modern Western mind-set? Alexander Solzhenitsyn
describes it as "rationalistic-humanistic autonomy: the proclaimed
and practiced autonomy of [humans] from any higher force
above [them]" A world split apart, 1978.
Are we not deeply influenced by all the media, by our
schooling, by society at large? Does not part of us rebel at
the whole thrust of what is being written
in this journal? This writer himself is compelled to admit to
being so influenced.
What can possibly prise us away from the modern Western mind-set?
One answer seems to be strong incontestible synchronicity.
Look at the synchronistic story in the August issue: The
Singing Stone. Do you believe it? But does it fit into the
humanistic mind-set? It does not of course.
But most of us live with split minds. We accept the
synchronistic story that that event was inspired
other-dimensionally. But commonsense has it, we think,
that the rest of reality has nothing to do with other
dimensions. That synchronicity mixed thoughts,
stones, stories, books, events in ways that absolutely cannot
be explained either by chance, or by cause and effect. But
...another aspect of ourselves shouts that it MUST be mere
chance, it CANNOT have meaning.
'Commonsense' and synchronicity: "are in head-on opposition,
for according to science we are the more who have been derived from the
less, whereas our religions [including answers to prayer as well as
synchronicity] teach that we are the less who have derived from the
more. In thus contradicting each other, our two views - one
taught in our schools, the other by
our churches and synagogues - cancel each other
out, leaving us without a clear self-image or identity. It is
impossible for both views to be true, yet simply by having been
born into today's West, we all believe parts of both of them." p.146 Beyond
the Postmodern Mind, Huston Smith, 3rd ed, 2003
On the one hand we are deeply influenced by nihilistic Reductionism, on
the other hand - we pray. Plainly prayer assumes that the
Divine is everywhere, can hear our prayers, and influence us. "We are
the less who have been derived from the More."
Synchronicity is also the world of Taoism. And Buddhism. We
visited a Buddhist temple in Bangkok one time,
and found a fortune-telling machine at the door. They believe
that its chance operation would be in tune with the activity of
higher dimensions, and give you answers.
What about the Fates, of Greece and Rome? (The ancients
treated them far more seriously than their all too human gods.)
What about Islamic emphasis on the will of Allah? Or the
Christian teachings about Predestination? All assume meaningful
coincidence, orchestrated from a mysterious higher level.
The fact is though, the world of synchronicity is the real and
valid world for most of the human race in most ages. The modern
Western mindset is the big exception.
do need to be very aware of our very human drive to create a meaning
for events, and that we see connections that are vague and shallow, and
very likely illusory. There is always room for error and self-deception
in our search for oracles, and in our observing of meaningful
coincidence. Such self-deception can be a barrier to true
experience of Spirit.
However, let us also agree that there are experiences, so striking,
occurring at such an important juncture in a person's life, that
reasonable people will agree that they are truly meaningful. These
experiences are often imbued with the numinous, truly acting as
gateways to Spirit. "
Those of us who are Christians, who are inspired by the great prophets,
by Jesus and his disciples, by St Paul, who aim at good and
loving lives, in accordance with the leading of the Holy Spirit, who
aim to abandon self-centredness, and act as salt, and as leaven in the
world, will welcome these experiences as sure demonstrations of God at
carry these thoughts further, do revisit Victor MacGill's article in
our August Issue No.2. It is fine writing and inspirational.
The Spirituality of
the Unchurched A must read: One
might see the mission of the Church as to be alert to - and be in tune
with - the ways in which God is already in touch with everybody, inside
or outside the Church.
God is working his purpose out,
As year succeeds to year:
God is working his purpose out,
And the time is drawing near:
nearer and nearer draws the time,
the time that shall surely be,
when the earth shall be filled
with the glory of God,
as the waters cover the sea.
From utmost east to utmost west,
wherever foot has trod,
by the mouth of many messengers
rings out the voice of God:
Listen to me you continents,
you islands look to me,
that the earth shall be filled
with the glory of God,
as the waters cover the sea.
A. Ainger, (1841-1919)
...theoretical physicists have amply demonstrated, that once we
deal with the ultra small, as in Quantum theory, or the ultra large, as
in Relativitiy theory, we find that the universe "is not only queerer
than we imagine, it is probably queerer that we are able to imagine" A
remark of biologist J.B.S. Haldane.
Prayer of St Stephen: "Lord, let me forget that I
am me, Let me know that I am with thee, Let me not separate myself from
thee Because I am me"The Stephen Experience,
Michael Cocks. Kelso 2001.
Beyond Postmodernism p.210
but created by the French, and France was occupied in both world
wars. This has sensitised to the tyrannical tendencies that are
only in academic fashions such as structuralism, but in political
ideologies and regimes as well. As a word, Derrida's "Deconstruction"
pulls against Postmodern "constructivism", but the tension lodges in
cultural-linguistic wholes themselves: they
unite: and at the same time divide by ostracising - to some extent
inevitably ostracising - those who fall outside their pale.
Deconstructionists are the volunteer brigade within Postmodernism
that patrols the dark side of constructivism's socialising agent,
society; they are pledged to seeing that the rights of pariahs
-outcast ideas as well as outcast people - are redressed. It is
in this light that their crusade against universalistic and tyrannising
claims generally, their celebration of difference over identity, and
their obsession with variety, heterogeneity, plurality, and otherness
in almost every guise is to be understood. Marginalising, for them, is
the unforgivable sin, and in their efforts to atone
for it, the Other is raised
to an object for holy concern
Prophecy with synchronicity
It is a
characteristic of the teaching of Stephen, and indeed of most writers
on meaningful coincidence,
that our attention is directed to the knowing of ourselves as
extensions of a Power Greater than ourselves. It is suggested that our
spiritual health is related to the degree to which we surrender our
separated selves to this Power.
Islam, the name itself, means
Submission. St Paul had it that we died to self, and were raised with
Neither Stephen, nor these
writers really concern themselves with prophecy, especially prophecy
about the future.
Yet there is prophecy about the future which
has been fulfilled. It is a real phenomenon. Take Nostradamus,
writing between 1555 and 1568. It may be
true that in the majority of prophecies, they are ambiguous,
or unintelligible. However what about the date 666 at the
date of the Great Fire of London (1666), connecting it with the
Great Plague? He sees both the fire and the plague as retributions for
the wrongful execution of King Charles I. He named the French
chemist 'Pasteur', and said he would be celebrated as if he were a
lesser God. (I am indebted to George Moss A Smudge in Time.)
# Dr Brian Cocksey of Auckland, has a web site
, which deals amongst other things with prophetic Meaningful
Coincidence, and it is indeed interesting.
His world-view is very different from that of this
journal, as is his view of the Source of all things we call God. Yet
his meaningful coincidence raise questions which we from our approach
need to think about.
#Concerning the Lincoln/Kennedy synchronicities mentioned in
"questioning Stephen" in the August 2003 issue: This internet address
(referred to in Cocksey's site) will be of interest.
A reader has noted that the A.A
Serenity Prayer was composed by theologian Reinhold
Niebuhr, in 1944.
"God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be
changed, courage to change the things that should be changed, and the
to distinguish the one from the other."