Monday, 28 April 2014

The strange case of the Syracusan dekadrachm ― part eight

Time Warp
photo: Craig Sunter
Synchronicity, as the word would indicate, is most commonly understood as a psychic and a world event occurring at the same time and acausally linked through their significance to the observer. Upon investigation, the two events appear to be generated when part of the unconscious becomes stimulated and the phenomenon can be used successfully in the treatment of neuroses.

Jung also used the term synchronistic whenever there were differences in time and space, but included such manifestations under the broader term of synchronicity.

Skeptics pretty well assign all examples to random coincidences and say that there is no evidence that synchronicity even exists  as anything apart from this. You will notice that the primary source (C,G, Jung, Synchronicity) is not included in the bibliography at the above link, that there is an emphasis on the skeptic point of view, and that the lead quote is from Steven Strogatz. If you are, by nature, a skeptic and are unfamiliar with Steven Strogatz then you will be thinking something like that his quote (and the title of his work given in the bibliography) indicates that synchronicity is merely seeing patterns where none exist. Strogatz' work on synchrony is, at first glance, a different model of what Jung saw as synchronicity but the two are not irreconcilable. Before going in that direction, watch this video of a presentation by Steven Trogatz:

So, let's take Strogatz' example of the metronome pair linked by a platform exhibiting synchrony as a "Newtonian" example and compare this with quantum entanglement. The Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky Paradox and subsequent research has established that the properties of pairs or groups of particles are linked and that changes in one particle are instantaneously seen in the other(s). Speed is not a factor here, not even the speed of light. In the original thought experiment, it was particle spin that was considered, but it also works for all other particle properties.

We can see, through the bridge example in the video, that there is a compensatory phenomenon happening here between the movement of the bridge and the step of the people on the bridge, and this creates the synchrony. It is a well-known phenomenon and soldiers do not march in step on bridges in order to lessen the probability of it happening.Yet, in quantum entanglement, synchrony also occurs but there can be no physical communication as the phenomenon is instantaneous. We cannot say "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction" because that statement includes time, and from time, we infer causality. The idea is already being expanded into "epistemic entanglement". Coming from a similar direction, transdisciplinarity shows how different realities are linked in a state defying classical logic where something can be both A and non A. The famous example being the wave/particle duality which meets these requirements.

Jung demonstrated the compensatory function of the unconscious ― at least in the "upper" areas where the unconscious impinges on the conscious (dreams are the best-known example). But Wolfgang Pauli pointed out that the bulk of the unconscious, of course, is not observed by the person who has it. Thus, the unconscious must contain a great measure of objectivity because there is no subject present. In other words, the observer is not present to affect anything. "Below" the personal unconscious, lies the collective unconscious with its archetypes. This "stratum" (I use these spatial terms as metaphors for what we cannot actually perceive) is already moving away from the individual to the collective and it will later lose all traces of mental imagery and language. We cannot possibly know if volition is inherent in the unconscious, or is a result of its function in its "upper levels", but the compensatory actions of each part of the Jungian model of the psyche is well researched and has practical and successful application.

So time differences in synchronistic phenomena should really not matter too much in the model as we only really understand time/space in relative terms where there is an observer. It becomes virtually impossible to imagine a reality without including the location of an observer, let alone perform much in the way of experiments. Pauli was very interested in numbers and randomness. Have a look at Harald Atmanspacher, Pauli’s ideas on mind and matter in the context of contemporary science.He criticized Neo Darwinism for its insistence on random mutations when the numbers just did not work out at all, and he had some interesting ideas about physical and mental time.

Tomorrow, the conclusion.

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