If the future can be foretold, then…
Posted on 17 April 2012, 21:20
Case Study: I had just put down the telephone receiver after a long conversation with Dr Brian Cocksey in Auckland, a man who has been at the centre of many striking synchronicities.
In the course of the conversation, on my side, I had mentioned;
(1) a book about the Holy Communion Service in which the author suggested that the text was like the script for a play.
(2) in which the actors might or might not have true spiritual communion.
(3) I had mentioned Stephen the martyr and my book about him, also
(4) Lawrence LeShan and his four modes of viewing reality,
(5) the Cubic City of God of Revelation chapter 21.
(6) I had also described a long series of synchronicities which had led me to imagine a cube containing the globe of the Earth. I saw the Cubic City of God of Revelation as embracing the whole earth, and I saw the cube that I believed I had been led to draw, as an affirmation of my notion of the all-embracingness of the Cubic City.
After I had put down the receiver, I looked to see if any e-mail had arrived. Yes, my friend Joakim of Gothenburg, Sweden, had sent me an e-mail telling me about a dream that he had had eleven days before, that he thought might interest me. In the dream he was in his parish church and the pastor was upfront energetically proclaiming that…
(1) the communion service was like a script for a play;
(2) Joakim noticed that there were white robed beings having spiritual communion at a higher level;
(3) the church caretaker by the name of Stephen stood in the gallery at the west end of the church applauding the words of the pastor.
(4-5) Stephen was twirling four cubes simultaneously and
(6) as they twirled, the cubes resembled globes of the Earth.
(7) There was confirmation that Joakim was dreaming in terms of Revelation 21: because at the end of the service there was to be a wedding, but the bride had not yet arrived. This looks like a parallel to, “I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband.” (21:2)
(8) Rev 22:14 - “Happy those who wash their robes clean! They will have the right to the tree of life and will enter by the gates of the city.” To me this parallels the white robed beings in Joakim’s dream.
Even if we want to quibble about a detail, Joakim’s dream of eleven days before appears to predict most of what I had to say to Brian during that telephone conversation. Brian, no doubt, had many things to say as well – it was a long conversation – but Joakim appears to be dreaming about my side of it.
(1)The Conversation –(2) immediately afterwards I read the e-mail about – (3) the Dream that predicted it. And that is the synchronicity. I (we) need time just absorbing what was happening then, and to think about the implications of the event.
Let’s face it, the precognitive dream and the synchronicity are completely baffling happenings if we go around looking for normal explanations. Furthermore if dreams can accurately predict the future we might be forced to the conclusion that, in spite of our believing that we can make up our own minds whether or not to do a thing, we are actually puppets with some kind of invisible agency pulling the strings. If we were to believe that, then we have would have to consider it a valid defence in court if a criminal pleaded not guilty on the grounds that he was such a puppet.
Precognitive dreams and synchronicities have been described since the beginning of recorded history, and there have been various attempts to explain them.
Plato (423-347 BCE): Plato (below) lets Socrates describe a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on that wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. According to Plato’s Socrates, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall do not make up reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.
According to Plato, then, it seems that precognitive dreams and synchronicities are signs of “the things passing in front of the fire” in the spiritual plane, of which we only see their shadows in the world that our physical bodies inhabit.
David Bohm (below) (1917-92) a leading British physicist, together with several colleagues, maintains the position of Plato that this world is a kind of projection of the mind, from a deeper level of reality. The “explicate (unfolded) world” is a projection of the “implicate (folded)” level of reality. A like-minded colleague David Peat (b.1938) has written a scholarly book on synchronicity. Another sympathetic physicist Victor Mansfield (1941-1998) is the author of yet another such book. The psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961) collaborated with Nobel prize winner physicist Wolfgang Pauli (1900-58) in studying dreams and synchronicity.
I said that Joakim’s dream raises for me the question of who pulls the strings of us puppets on Earth. And the following quote from Stephen reinforces the question: In Afterlife Teaching Stephen said, “In the course of our destinies we tend with the use of our physical minds to create a path which differs from what we are to follow, and will follow. It would be easier to step off this earth, than to change one moment of what our lives will be.”
Stephen had this to say: “Think of yourselves as you would gaze upon your image in the pool which, for all intents and purposes, be your mirror. How often, as a child, have we looked into this pool and our consciousness has gone into that which we see. This then is the state that our conscious mind is in, in the image. What we see in the city are reflections, or so be it, symbols of what truly is, but because of the unreality of that image it can either be good or not good as we ourselves choose to see.”
Stephen said, “Imagine that you are a reflection. Now I say to you, step outside of your consciousness, and come within yourself that you may see the image.” Later he says: “We take our consciousness and immerse it in the image, for we reason as children do: I wish to experience… For by looking at myself from without, I can understand myself better.” (Afterlife Teaching, pages 16 and 17.)
So then, what are we to say about Joakim’s precognitive dream and the synchronicity?
First we might remind ourselves of Lawrence LeShan’s four modes of viewing reality. [See (4) above.] We can think in terms of his Sensory/Physical mode, where time passes, when we have first Before, then After; when we see and touch and measure. In that mode, the dream was precognitive, and the synchronicity inexplicable. When we think in terms of what LeShan calls the “clairvoyant”, perhaps “holistic” mode, we are in timelessness or eternity, where everything is present at the same time. The clairvoyant mode is a bit like when you hold a DVD: you hold the whole video drama in your hands. The sensory physical mode is a bit like putting the disk to the video player, and letting the drama unfold - but only a bit like, since of course we have no DVD but rather an eternal pattern of relationships in a wider order of spirit.
LeShan makes the point that it is valid and okay to see and perceive things in the sensory physical mode; and that it is equally valid to see and perceive things in the clairvoyant mode, even though the two modes appear to contradict each other. On the one hand we are going about our business in a sane and sensible businesslike manner; on the other hand it seems that “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philip.4.20)
”But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly” (Heb.12.22). Other religions use different picture language for this, but do not disagree. In all that we do it seems that we have dual citizenship, the one thing in terms of the physical and another in terms of the spiritual.
My physical mind just can’t get its head around Joakim’s precognitive dream; my spiritual self feels lifted up and happy about the dream, reassuring you and me that we are citizens of eternity, and that nothing can separate us from the love that is in all, through all, and above all.
Michael’s revised edition , Afterlife Teaching From Stephen the Martyr is published by White Crow books and available from Amazon and all good online book stores.
Next blog, May 1
It is Scientific Method, not Materialism, that makes these “exact” (more often “statistically probable”) “predictions about our world.” There are scientists who are religious believers, and those who are Materialists. Buddhists, Moslems and Spiritualists can do their arithmetic just as well as anyone else.
Michael Cocks, Sat 28 Apr, 05:03
Materialists are people who claim to know the nature of Energy. Energy in fact is defined by what it does rather than by what it is. Materialists think of energy as having nothing to do with mind; for them, when you get sufficiently complicated configurations of energy as in a brain, you get mind as a by-product. Destroy the brain, then no more mind. As Materialism is a belief and almost a “religious” faith, and not the result of scientific research, Materialists strenuously seek to discredit the scientists who study the paranormal including mediumistic phenomena.
As I said, scientists can do science perfectly well regardless of faith or lack of it. The trouble with Materialism, or with conservative religious dogmas, is that they all seek to prescribe one’s scientific conclusions, thereby precluding the research. In what I wrote earlier, rather than referring to “Mentalists” I could have called them “Open-Minded” scientists, accepting as given that the universe is one system, and that we have to try and make sense of the phenomena that are addressed in the books published by White Crow Books.
@Michael: “Our thoughts will become very muddled if we try to combine Mentalism with Materialism”
Perhaps that statement is true, but it doesn’t seem to have any content.
Materialism makes exact, verifiable predictions about our world. That those predictions sometimes fail doesn’t mean they are any less useful in the domain where they do work.
The problem I’m trying to articulate with Mentalism as currently (not) defined, is that it doesn’t seem to make *any* predictions, whether correct or incorrect.
Saying “all is matter”, while possibly false, at least has some content which makes it falsifiable: matter is defined has having specific, measurable, attributes like force and mass and charge.
To say that “all is mind”, without somehow defining what “to be mind” *means* in terms of observable behaviour, doesn’t seem to be saying anything at all. “The world is a dream” seems to be an empty statement - certainly, it may be true, but what *kind* of dream is it? What might we expect dreamlikeness to imply? What would it NOT imply? How would we test the proposition of dreamlikeness, and compare it to nondreamlikeness?
What I’m asking is, can we make the word “mind” say something, rather than nothing?
Nate Cull, Fri 27 Apr, 16:12
Joakim’s Dream is a synchronicity that seems to predict the future. I have described what happened accurately. Researchers have collected a multitude of such dreams. The phenomenon makes no sense for the Materialist who asks, “What is Matter?” And answers, “Never Mind.”
Michael Cocks, Mon 23 Apr, 17:56
It makes sense for the Mentalist who asks, “What is Mind?” And answers, “No Matter.”
Physicist David Bohm and his allies are Mentalists. Like the Materialists, Mentalists see the universe as one system. In the realm we call “spiritual”, physicists who are Mentalists see it as the CREATIVE aspect of Mind. In the realm we call “physical”, these physicists see it as the CREATED aspect of Mind. What we see in the world about us is the created aspect of Mind which seems to obey Newtonian laws, but shows its mental nature through events like synchronicities and predictive dreams. The Newtonian laws seem to be overridden by what seemed like dreams of the creative aspect of Mind.
Mentalist physicists produce theories attempting to create a physics embracing the creative and created aspects of Mind.
Our thoughts will become very muddled if we try to combine Mentalism with Materialism, because they contradict each other.
@Nate: Well, I am certainly not qualified to judge the validity of string theory. I just read what´s out their and draw conclusions based on that, so I may be way of the mark. It would be a pity, I kinda saw a pattern emerging there…. Ah, well.
Jeremy Pryce, Sun 22 Apr, 00:42
@Simon: Sadly I don’t understand the first thing about string theory, and as a physics layman I’m rather of the impression that the best mathematicians in the world don’t understand string theory either. I’m a fan of Peter Woit ( http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/ ) who points out that string theory has yet to make an actual non-falsified prediction. That seems like a big problem to me.
Generally I just feel that something went wrong in 20th century physics around the WW2 era because of the sprawling complexity of our postwar models and the rapidly diminishing returns on mental investment. Quantum computing and condensed matter physics are interesting, as they seem to be getting actual results; telescopes which can observe actual images are certainly real; the rest of the high-energy physics and cosmology theory scene just seems to have been leading nowhere. In my opinion, and I am of course unqualified to have one.
Nate Cull, Sat 21 Apr, 04:50
@Nate: Thanks for sharing your perspective! Have you contemplated the implications of string theory to spirituality? Science, I believe will end up explaining spirituality and, eventually, merge with it.
If you haven´t before, give string theory a go! If you have, I would love to hear your thoughts on the origin of strings and how spirituality could tie into it.
Scotty may just beem you up yet….
Jeremy Pryce, Fri 20 Apr, 22:03
Sorry, just another addendum:
Of course neither “atom” nor “cell” are really primal notions in physical science. I think I mean by “atom” something more like “extended body in space and time possessing substance/mass/momentum” which would have the real conceptual breakthrough around the era of Newton and Liebniz, though observations of biological cells via microscope date from about that era too.
The problem with ESP and spiritual visions is that we don’t seem to be dealing with things even remotely similar to Aristotelian ideas of “extended bodies in space”, with or without Newtonian ideas of momentum and energy. We have personal, subjective, mental “observations” which can’t be repeated and which are mostly invisible to instruments. We have maybe “extended mental entities” or “shared idea-feeling-forms” but they don’t seem to obey even the idea of enclosure within regions of space and time. We don’t really grasp how they connect, what their properties are, how big or small they are, or how to compare them to anything.
In spiritual science, we seem to be stuck at a prehistoric level of understanding without even the barest inkling of how to rub the rocks together. And it’s not obvious that we’re even making any progress after thousands of years, or even how to tell if we were.
(though possibly the Gospels might give some clue there: peace, love, joy might be indicators we’re doing something right.)
Nate Cull, Wed 18 Apr, 13:19
I’d like if I may to restate the central point I was trying to make, but didn’t quite get to:
Science, in the domains where it has appeared to work spectacularly well for us, is based on the very simple idea of “putting small, simple ideas together in simple, easy ways to create complicated ideas”. At least that’s my paraphrase of the core of it.
The problem that many science-believers have with religion (and spiritualism and philosophy and politics and art, all of which are seen as “soft” enterprises at best if not outright mind-viruses) is that these appear to put the cart before the horse: they start with very complicated, not-at-all-well understood ideas such as “spirit” and “human personality” and “God” and “the good”, and then come down from there to attempt to explain the simple and everyday. And that just doesn’t seem like a very good way of doing things. How can we get anywhere if we start from something we don’t understand? Better to start from what we do, and move up the complexity ladder, than down. And so we got Logical Positivism and Behaviourism and neo-liberal economics and Evolution by Natural Selection, and other ideas which attempt to leverage simplicity to explain complexity, with various levels of success.
Assuming that “the spirit” is in fact real and primary to “the physical” - how can we possibly start to characterise “spirit”? We do indeed seem to be the blind trying to lead the blind. We don’t agree what beauty and truth are, but we seem to agree what rocks and tables are, and “what if the universe is just made of trillions of rocks with no living Spirit overseeing it”, though probably false and certainly artistically uninspiring, is at least something we can calculate, and then test our calculations against our observations.
So here’s the trillion dollar question: if our sense that the universe is physical is wrong, what can possibly replace it? Against the complex idea of “human body”, we have the simple ideas of “cell” and “atom” (both of which are getting woolly at the low end, but at least let us model some stuff which turned out to be useful).
What is the equivalent of “atom” and “cell” to “the human spirit”? Even “idea” or “thought” or “feeling” seem hugely complicated and vague. Is it even conceivable that we could ever have “a science of spirit”? Without “atoms of spirit” on which we agree, how can we even begin?
Nate Cull, Wed 18 Apr, 13:04
As a Star Trek fan I have to point out the obvious similarities between the New Jerusalem of John’s Revelation and a Borg Cube ( http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Borg_cube ). Coincidence…. or eerie synchronicity?
Tongue firmly in cheek. For those here not familiar with television science fiction, let me explain. The Borg, Star Trek’s most popular primary “villain” race, were an invention of the late 1980s Next Generation series. Since this was before the end of the Cold War, they were a fairly transparent Soviet/Communist analogy: they went around gobbling up other races and forcibly “converting” them into a sort of man/machine hybrid. For their own good, but other races didn’t usually see it that way. Their catchphrase was “Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.”
(In fact looking and acting almost exactly like Doctor Who’s Cybermen did in the 1960s, but let’s not get into debates about originality in American vs British TV. Let’s just admit that the Brits got there first and continue).
Anyway, since the Borg are basically Space Stalinists, they have a very pragmatic, minimalist approach to architecture: their space ships are nothing more than giant flying cubes. Filled with worker drones constantly wired up to the local Internet. As a Net addict myself, that actually sounds kind of like my idea of Heaven, but I guess on the TV show the Borg Cubes were supposed to be Scary Socialism gone wrong. Everyone was an equal interchangeable worker and constantly communicating with their neighbours at a mental level to form a group mind. This was apparently bad and Star Fleet officers spent a lot of time and effort either trying to blow these guys out of the sky or explain to them the merits of individualism and competitive ego and not turning planets into slag unless they really annoy you.
On a more serious note, it seems to me that while precognition and synchronicity are quite probably true, there is still a huge unsolved problem around causality when we start playing with future-to-past time communication, and it’s not clear to me how LeShan’s “four modes” come anywhere near solving this. If causality DOESN’T flow directly in a linear stream from past to future, then how DOES it work? If future events can affect the past, then why do only some events out of the infinity of possible futures actually occur? And more importantly, if time flowing backward can occur at room temperature inside living systems like the human brain, why can’t we construct physical experiments also at room temperature (ie in situations where neither quantum physics nor general relativity are usually held to apply) to demonstrate such temporal inversion?
It’s easily established by dropping an egg onto the floor that there is, in our normal easily repeatable physical reality, a clear difference in the “arrow of time”: an egg simply does not rise from the floor and unscramble itself no matter how many times we repeat the observation. If we truly believed that time ordering of evens is either symmetrical or irrelevant, then it seems that we should equally be able to argue “The egg fell because I pushed it off the table” or “I chose to (or accidentally did) push the egg off the table because it was destined to fall in the future.” But the second is very difficult to reconcile with both our intuitions and experiences: we feel that the case of pushing an egg has a very simple cause-and-effect relationship that we can categorise both in terms of personal agency and energy-mass interactions: my hand has more momentum than the egg, the egg can’t “push back”, so it falls. We can easily measure mass and force. But we can’t seem to measure “this egg is or isn’t destined to fall” and it’s very unclear how the physical pathways would work.
Thermodynamics, in fact, seems to give us a clear “arrow of time” from energy to entropy; the usual assumption is that “the past is more energetic than the future” and therefore sorting out the direction of time is a simple matter of energy flows. Introducing some kind of destiny mechanism like an Aristotelian “final cause” would complicate ordinary common sense science immensely (possibly infinitely) with no obvious predictive payoff.
Arguably the fundamental equations of physics, or our current approximations of them such as QED, do demonstrate temporal symmetry; Richard Feynman made this point. But we have never found a way of exploiting this in the “room temperature” domain. If we had, there’d already be a “Timebook.com” where you could read your future self’s diary. That we don’t have that today suggests that nobody in the future is going to choose to try to set one up. Yet given humanity’s basic curiosity and willingness to experiment, why aren’t those future selves of ours doing just that?
Liebniz’s “monadology” seems even weirder, where he suggested that there’s neither a flow of energy/time from past to future nor from future to past, but an infinity of atomic states all co-existing separately. Some spiritual writings such as Stephen seem to suggest that something like that literally exists. But that seems to fail Occam’s razor in the worst way: it makes an infinitely complex assumption and then fails to generate even any basic predictions. How can that lead to a coherent science?
And yet, even though it seems personally do believe in something like a “final cause”, which would suggest something like a single “highly energetic future state” reaching back to our past (an Omega Point or Second Coming or something like that). But I don’t know how to get from here to there. It seems far more philosophy than science, and unfortunately in the world where I live (computing and engineering), where we seem to need and seem to have the ability to create simple answers to pressing technical questions, that’s not all a compliment.
Nate Cull, Wed 18 Apr, 12:36
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