Tuesday, September 29, 2009

UFOs, Synchronicity and Morphic Fields

This post examines the notions of synchronicity and morphic field in the context of UFO sightings. If the UFO phenomenon is essentially a psi-related reality, then synchronistic events should be associated with it. Such association, then, should be investigated seriously. What it means is that witnesses may actually have misperceived a mundane object and interpreted it as an ET spaceship. In such circumstances, the ETH ufologist would typically discard such sighting, and ignored any data coming out of it. ETH ufologists (and sceptics) would simply call this a mere coincidence.

But does it really matter if the UFO is actually a misperception or a truly unexplainable aerial phenomenon? I would propose that it does not matter much as long as the experience can be understood as a synchronistic event. One needs to look if the perception of a UFO at that very time could have been a meaningful event that relates to other part of the witnesses’ life. Why, because one should be aware that it is how many psi events start. Meaningful but mundane acausal events can lead to PK effects because ultimately they originate from the same unconscious processes. A single misperceived mundane object might not be a relevant point of data, but when it is put in perspective with several other data points, it might become very relevant. From a methodological standpoint, this implies significant changes as to how UFO events should be investigated. Not only UFO frauds or hoaxes (as discussed a few posts ago) should be included in any serious research but also UFO synchronistic (yet mundane) events.

The idea that synchronistic events surround the UFO phenomenon is not new, however. Raymond Fowler, famous for having investigated the Andreasson affair , wrote a book on how synchronicity was occurring in his life and he his UFO research (Fowler, Raymond. 2004. Synchrofile. Lincoln: iUniverse). John Keel, when investigating for the Mothman Prophecy also noted many synchronistic events around him. Scott Rogo, while researching for Haunted Universe had a few very troubling synchronistic events. Bertrand Méheust started his classic book on UFOs out of a synchronistic event.

To get a better sense as to how synchronicity can be integrated into parasociology in general, and the study of UFOs in particular, a closer look at synchronicity is required. Today’s post is inspired by a short but interesting book on the notion of synchronicity. I certainly recommend it for anyone who wants to have a good and clear introduction to this notion. The full notice is:

Combs, Allan and Mark Holland. (1996). Synchronicity: Through the eyes of science, myth and the trickster. New York: Marlow.

Synchronicity as a matter of perspective

The notion of synchronicity has been used in modern physics to describe the famous Bell’s inequalities. John Bell found that when two particles in the same quantum state are pushed through a splitter, their spin (quantum self-rotation) varies in the same way even if they are in a different position and have a different velocity. They appear to be linked by a non-causal property that is call in physics synchronicity or non-locality. In other words, what is perceived at the local level (the particles) can be only understood by a nonlocal understanding of reality (pp. 14-15). The physicist David Bohm proposed that synchronicity is a matter of perspective. If one transposes the splitter experiment from a four dimension construct into a six dimension universe, then the two particles become two different views of the same particle, which explains the paradox discovered by Bell. The key here is to understand that a six dimension universe cannot be imagined by the human mind. It is only a mathematical abstraction, but it is also an acceptance that there are other forces at play in the universe and that it requires a different approach to take stock of them.

If this general principle is extracted out of physics and applied to human life, this raises many interesting issues. One of them is that synchronistic events can be seen as outcomes of a morphic field (as discussed in a previous post, see also Sheldrake 1981; 2006). The morphic field becomes a descriptor for those additional dimensions beyond the usual four. There is also some empirical evidence to show that the notion of morphic field can be used that way. Combs and Holland mentioned some interesting experiments that involved mice, which at every generation they became more effective at finding their way out of a maze (p. 25). Another set of experiments was a hidden picture that was easier to recognize by people outside Europe after it was shown on British television. Somehow the knowledge was integrated into a morphic field (p. 27). Arthur Koestler, the well-known author and parapsychologists, also proposed that all ESP events were forms of synchronicity, in a way congenial Jung’s notion of Absolute Knowledge, which itself can be considered as super-morphic field.

The issue of psychokinesis (PK), however, is more complex. Combs and Holland underlined an approach proposed by Suzanne Padfield, who “ believes that the influence of thought upon material events is actually based on physical brain processes—that patterns of brain activity occurring at the molecular or atomic level tend to bring about similar patterns of external world activity. Such patterns ‘ are connected in a similarity space in which distances are defined by degree of similarity and where time and space do not automatically appear at all” (p. 35). This idea is not new. It is actually a very old one akin to the belief in the power of prayer, and more recently discussed in the book and movie The Secret. Human will can both tap into and influence morphic fields. In this context, the distinction in parapsychology between ESP and PK could be based on the notion of information exchange. ESP is mostly characterized by taking information out of a morphic field, while PK is rather characterized by inputting information in a morphic field.

Multi-level synchronicity as morphic field information exchange

By following the same logic, one could construe UFO events as an exchange of information. A substantial emotional upset in a community inputs information in a morphic field which eventually leads to a PK event (i.e. UFO sighting) while at the same time the individuals (who may have nothing to do with the original emotional outburst) “catch” information from the morphic field, and thus explaining the paranormal events linked to UFO sightings (e.g., premonition and dreams of UFOs, be there at right place and right time, synchronistic events before UFO sightings, and UFO repeaters who could be seen as more “in touch” with this type of morphic field).

This way of looking at the UFO experience goes much beyond what Combs and Holland discussed. But it can help to resolve an apparent paradox illustrated by the 30 year-old debate between Bertrand Méheust and François Favre. As discussed in previous posts, Méheust considers that people who see UFOs are truly witnesses of an event for which they have no impact on. This view is supported by the fact that many key symbolic elements in UFO sightings appear to have no meaning for the individual witnesses, but do have a meaning for their community or society. On the other hand, as François Favre underlined, the UFO experience is very often surrounded by paranormal events (premonition, telepathy, synchronicity, Oz factor, etc) directly linked to the witnesses. It is Favre's contention, therefore, that people who see UFOs have something to do with it (or in his terminology, they are psi-subjects). The notion of information exchange between a society and individuals through a morphic field would resolve this paradox. And quite frankly, it could be a foundational concept for parasociology applicable to other macro psi effects such as hauntings, RSPK (poltergeist), Bigfoot sightings, etc.

Archetypes versus morphic fields

The question would then shift to how societies “connect” to a morphic field. One of the usual answers is linked to the notion of an archetype being activated, as proposed by Carl Jung. As discussed in a previous post, the use of archetype can be highly problematic when it is situated at the sociological level. But if the notion that societies tend to input more into a morphic field than extracting from it, while it tends to be the reverse for individuals is correct, then maybe the Jungian “mistake” makes more sense. A major collective emotional discharge is not activating a social archetype it rather creates the conditions of archetypes at the individual level to be activated along the same line of resonance within a given morphic field. This is in line with what I wrote in the last post: “A symbol’s potential strength within a specific society, at a specific time of its history, is the key to interpretation rather than its presumed universal and timeless meaning”. In other words, the concept of archetype is a useful one at the individual level, but should be abandoned for the sociological level. The more plastic and dynamic notion of morphic field is definitely more effective at the sociological level. This perspective is certainly more coherent with what is known from the social sciences. However, the hard question as to why a few collective emotional discharges give rise to macro psi effects, while most of them do not remains to be answered.

How individuals connect to a morphic field is better understood, given the extensive research done in parapsychology. Just to name a few, one can underline the unconscious belief, facility to dissociate or suspend the intellect, exposure to electro-magnetic fields, strong and unresolved unconscious conflicts, etc. Yet, like for the sociological level, the hard question as to why some individual produce psi effects while others do not in similar circumstances remains unanswered as well.

The presence of synchronistic events, however, should be retained as a key indicator for future research.

Eric Ouellet ©2009

1 comment:

Glenda said...

Loved the thereory and subject matter in this post A+... It is a great application of scientific brainstorming with a twist... Glenda