Space Antenna

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Saving the 20th Century...

Six Questions about Synchronicity
Asked by Jesse Ducharme to Antero Alli 

Question 1 : What is the limit between a synchronicity and an illusory correlation bias?
What limits perception of authentic synchronicity? The automatic assignment of meaning. We often unconsciously assign meaning to events whether they are inherently meaningful or not. When this automatic mental action happens around our daily coincidences, it can create a deep and meaningless trance of faux synchronicity -- a form of self-hypnosis where we con (convince) ourselves into believing something carries far more significance than it actually deserves. Discerning between assumed, or projected, meaning and an authentic open perception of innate meaning demands a consistent practice of reality checking our perceptions. If no reality checks occur, we court self-delusion. When we are writing our own reality checks, we are more likely to liberate a second attention or, an awareness not linked to the thinking machine but to Presence. And authentic synchronicity expresses a Presence beyond the thinking machine.

Question 2 : Is there a link between the creative process of an individual
and the apparition of synchronicity unto his life ?
That depends on how “creativity” is defined, approached, and expressed. Creativity fueled by ego, with its relentless demand for credit and attention, can arouse narcissistic fantasies of excessive self-importance which can exaggerate the significance of whatever is being created, ie., “my ideas will change the world.” This type of limited creativity expresses the infantile stages of ego development that may be necessary to further evolution and maturity, ie., you first need an ego to get beyond ego. If you can get beyond ego, you can open up to sources of creativity beyond your wildest imagination. This process has been dramatized in my group paratheatre workwith the Muse archetype. Wherever interaction and dialogue with autonomous archetypes can guide the ego to serve creation, rather than identify as a “creator”, the playing fields of creation seriously expand. Any process where the personal ego serves transpersonal forces nurtures a mature relationship with creation while opening the doors of perception to more synchronicity.

artwork by James Koehnline
Question 3 : Can synchronicity be a personal development tool?
If so, what are the benefits and can these benefits be gained
by active use of synchronicity?
As I understand synchronicity we are talking about awareness of, and participation in, a transpersonal event beyond our control and comprehension. Though we can experience it, I doubt it can be willed or figured out like some puzzle. The phrase “active use of synchronicity” has the ring of self-delusion to me. It is more likely that synchronicity actively uses us. To benefit from being “used” by synchronicity requires nonchalance. Don’t make synchronicity a big deal. Synchronicity may simply be the standard time zone of the cosmos - behind the common misconception of time as defined by the clock face. 
Another way of getting closer to the experience of synchronicity is to fully believe in yourself. If synchronicity expresses the hidden timing behind all existing events, then it stands to reason that our experience of good timing may depend on synchronization with existence, of a personal alignment with the existing conditions of our lives. When we align our minds with existence, we self-synchronize. I think Goethe's word for synchronicity was Providence:
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

from "Hungry Ghosts of Albion"
a 2-act play by Antero Alli
Question 4 : How can synchronicity give insight into someone's unconscious ?
What is possible to discover this way?
If synchronicity expresses the innate timing of the universe, then it runs deeper than what the conscious mind can usually detect. Until the phenomena of synchronicity shocks our ego into awareness of itself, this hidden timing continues playing out while we’re not watching, whether that be in our nocturnal dream life or our daytime waking life. What we perceive as synchronicity may only be the tip of the iceberg. The universe may not only be stranger than we think; it may be stranger than we CAN think. As for containing insights into the unconscious, that depends on how much new information and shock a person can allow or endure. Insight is not always wonderful. If we cannot find new ways to live with more truth about ourselves, insight can become a source of annoyance, anxiety and dread. Living with more truth may also amount to how much compassion you can show yourself and others. Truth without compassion feels like cruelty to me.

artwork by James Koehnline
Question 5 : What’s the relationship between synchronicity and individual
and collective archetypes?
Before this question can be addressed, we must first understand what is meant by the oft misunderstood and over-used term,“archetype”. Since psychologist Carl Jung first made this term popular over fifty years ago, as he did with “synchronicity”, I refer to his notion of the origins of archetypes:
“It seems to me their origin [i.e. archetypes] can only be explained
by assuming them to be deposits of the constantly repeated
experiences of humanity.” 
- Carl Jung
Going on Jung’s assumption, the relationship between synchronicity and individual & collective archetypes may exist as a deeply complex network of communication lines shared between autonomous psychic events. They are autonomous when they have lives and agendas of their own. The constantly repeated experiences of humanity over centuries and aeons creates its own massive multi-layering weave in the collective psyche that webs our psyches together on deep unconscious levels.Repeating the same experiences deepen neurological grooves in the brain that act out in predictable behavior and habit patterns. We are fated to redundancy until we make some choices to go against the grain of old habits and engage new experiences to break the redundancy trance of habitual response.
With that said, I see the relationship between synchronicity and individual and collective archetypes opening up as a never-ending mystery to be lived, rather than any problem to be solved or any event to be merely comprehended. Psychic events linking us with synchronicity and the archetypes link us to the transpersonal. As such, these events are not likely to be subject to our beck and call or our control or immediate comprehension. Though all these psychic events can be experienced directly and offer unspoken insights and revelations, it may be a misguided effort to try and define or categorize them for any sake of intellectual convenience. Those ambitions may be best served by intuition and more sensory processes via more artistic mediums like poetry, music, cinema, and any other creative mediums giving expression to the ineffable but without provision of explanation, thesis, or formula.

Question 6 : What type of belief can increase the manifestation
of synchronicity and its significance ?
Total belief in oneself tempered by deep receptivity and empathy to others and the living planet. The world we know and live in may be more mental than we realize. That's the way of culture and cultural trance. If we are to open up to the innate timing of existence, it may not be enough to break cultural trance and open the doors of perception. We may have to walk out through those doors to a place beyond the constructs of the mind itself -- where labels, explanations, and theories fail and where our hearts ignite in a blaze of feral creation.

On the First and Second Attentions

 "It is essential that you have Knowledge.
It is also essential that you escape the Known." 
-- J. Krishnamurti
What we pay attention to informs the content of our minds; how we pay attention informs the quality of our minds. Two types of attention demonstrate these distinctions (hereafter called "first attention" and "second attention"). The first attention refers to that awareness linked to language, thinking and the automatic assignment of labels and meaning. The second attention refers to that awareness linking to presence, energy, and phenomena without any assignment of meaning. Both attentions are important and necessary for different reasons.
The primary purpose of the first attention involves solving survival problems, such as figuring out where to find enough food, water, and shelter to stay alive. Once these basic problems are solved, the first attention continues its automatic processes of labelling the objects, and the people in our immediate environment. At some point, this labelling attention turns inward to analyze the type of work we can do to solve the money problem of assuring future survival. After entering public education systems, the first attention sophisiticates its labelling processes beyond the concrete concerns of survival priorities through an increase of abstract thought, ie., philosophy, mathematics, history, etc. Abstract thought disconnects attention from the immediate environment and redirects attention into the strata of mind alone. Whether our concerns are concrete or abstract, the first attention continues its automatic (unconscious) inner activity of labelling and assigning meaning.
The primary purpose of the second attention involves the simple act of seeing, of witnessing without assigning meaning to whatever is being perceived. As the aperture of perception dilates and opens, we perceive more reality -- not our ideas of reality or what that reality might mean -- but the existing conditions of the way things actually are. As more reality is perceived, the second attention dialtes to a more direct experience of certain immutable principles of existence, such as uncertainty and impermanence, principles that do not require any assignment of meaning. When the second attention activates, we become more aware of uncertainty as a creative state where possibilities replace certitudes and a spirit of discovery guides the way. The second attention sophisticates with any direct experience and acceptance of the state of impermanence -- the fact that everything changes and undergoes death and rebirth in perpetua. As we awaken to impermanence, we awaken to our mortality -- not just our own but others' and not just as an idea or concept but a reality. 

These two attentions function separately and/or together at various degrees. Left alone, the first attention fixates awareness on survival issues -- such as security, status, analysis, money, problem solving, and social needs. Left alone, the second attention fixates on "post-survival" luminosities such as ecstasy, rapture, clairvoyance, telepathy, sources of inspiration, intuition, creativity, and the imaginal powers of dreaming. 
The first attention expresses a function of physical sight and intellect; the second attention links to the energetic body and intuition with biological correlations in the pineal gland. The two attentions are linked the way external sight is linked to insight and clairvoyance. Though both attentions are linked, their mutual interaction remains for the most part latent and rarely made conscious during daytime waking hours. Discovering and developing meaningful interactions between both attentions involves a kind of double vision for 1) seeing through appearances and into underlying infrastructures and essences of reality and 2) developing truthful interpretations of these insights. 
The first attention stabilizes awareness; the second attention destabilizes awareness. First attention stability feeds on the pursuit of certitudes such as fixed beliefs, ideas, preconceptions, assumptions, and dogmas. The more unstable second attention comes alive as we permit more uncertainty and when we find that inner stillness of being unknown to ourselves. The second attention opens and/or narrows according to each person's anxiety threshold or, how much uncertainty we can permit before anxiety sets in. Anxiety expresses a natural response of the nervous system when we reach the limit for how much uncertainty we can bear. 
Both attentions can be strengthened through different types of concentration. First attention can be strengthened by concentrating on the meaning of an event or perception. Second attention can be strengthened by a concentrated merging with the energy or phenomena of whatever is being perceived. First attention creates a picture and assigns a story, a message or meaning to it. The second attention attunes to the signal, frequency or vibration of the energy. A message is the ordering of a signal. Second attention gets the signal, first attention organizes it into a message. 
This interplay between signal and message happens by itself - unconsciously and beyond our control -- at the speed of light. The second attention absorbs luminosity and is light-sensitive; the first attention translates energy (light) through pattern recognition. The second attention acts like a radar dish receiving raw signals from inner and outer space, whereas the first attention is like the computer program that translates incoming signals as readable data and then, outputs the data

The first attention can act as an anchor to the second attention, as the second attention can act as a catalyst or shock to the first attention. The first attention anchors the second attention when we learn to find words, images, and ideas that most truthfully serve the authenticity of the second attention signal. The second attention shocks the first attention awake with the experience of more uncertainty and the option to experience the unknown firsthand. If the second attention fails to anchor itself in the first attention, the absorption of luminosity can accelerate and overstimulate the nervous systems; the brain heats up and we are overwhlemed with psychic energy and images. Not unlike a power surge through an electrical wire without a ground, the energy sputters, disperses and fails to deliver. 
Whenever the first attention consistently avoids uncertainty and resists the unknown, our thinking processes can rigidify, grow brittle, and become overly literalist. Eventually, this over-literalization of thinking can result in claustrophobic sensations, paranoia, and imagination death. Educational systems of western civilization have assigned the first attention with a priori status by giving out the highest grades for how much knowledge we can retain. The problem with this is that we learn to equate not knowing with Failure. The "knowing mind" belongs as much to the first attention as much as the "not knowing mind" belongs to the second attention. First attention secures itself by accumulating knowledge and plans, as much as the second attention thrives in a spirit of discovery and open minded uncertainty. 
To accelerate perception, relax the urge to label and to define. While these reactions may temporarily secure our sense of certitude, their hypnotic influence can overwhelm the inner action of seeing.
If basic survival problems remain unsolved -- when security, status and/or territory becomes threatened -- survival anxiety naturally ensues. In an attempt to alleviate this anxiety, the first attention can begin fixating on absolutes as an, albeit unconscious, attempt to restore a sense of security via certitude where no certainty actually exists. In its extreme, an insatiable appetite for certitudes can mask the suffering of frustrated survival/security needs. This dillemna can also drive us crazy by trying to make sense of everything or spin out in a nonstop rant of rationalizations. First attention cannot solve the problems created by the first attention. Attempting to solve problems with the very mechanistic mindset that created them in the first place perpetuates a kind of mobius strip of mental looping. Mad, mad, mad Monkey Mind. 
The mad reign of King Monkey Mind can be overthrown by shifting the focus towards the second attention. The second attention can be cultivated by relaxing the search for meaning. This can be experienced by relaxing the tendency to project, interpret, and/or assume meaning onto whatever is perceived, in lieu of paying more attention to whatever presents itself before our eyes. This shift can be expediated by refusing to label or name or narrate whatever you are perceiving or experiencing. This begins a process of flexing a perceptual muscle that was at one time active and vital before it weakened, corrupted, and/or atrophied. 

To review, the first attention attaches to day-to-day survival concerns, solving everyday mundane problems, and making sense of things by automatically assigning labels and meaning to experience. The second attention links to presence, energy and phenomena, allowing direct engagement with the autonomous forces of creation and even the living archetypes governing existence. As these two attentions recognize each other and find ways to work together, an important bridge develops between them allowing us to traverse freely between worlds.

This article developed from STATE OF EMERGENCE, Part 5
A Paratheatre Manifesto by Antero Alli

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