Convergent Evolution, Attractors and Love
Rome White Paper
The 2016 Network Continental Meeting took place in Rome at the end of September and was attended by some 25 members, with 14 presentations over two days on a wide range of themes (see abstract document). The theme had its genesis in the presentation given at the 2015 Beyond the Brain conference given by Dr Ulisse di Corpo and Antonella Vannini on Syntropy – the paragraph below describes the theme in broad terms:
In 1941 the mathematician Luigi Fantappiè introduced a new type of causality into the explanation of life and evolution. The equations which combine quantum mechanics and special relativity show that, in addition to causality, retrocausality is also an ingredient of our universe. Whereas causality is governed by the law of entropy (diverging tendency), retrocausality is governed by a symmetrical law which leads to the increase of differentiation, complexity and structures. Combining the two Greek words syn=converging and tropos=tendency Fantappiè coined the word syntropy in order to describe the retrocausal action of attractors, the converging tendency of evolution towards a final unifying cause which he named love. A similar description was developed by Teilhard de Chardin and named Omega Point and by Carl Jung and Wolfgang Pauli, who called it synchronicity. The aim of the conference is to promote the sharing of contributions in this domain both in the scientific field and in the humanities and arts.
In this brief reflection I highlight some of the main themes emerging from the conference presentations and discussions. Network meetings are always about extending our ideas about reality beyond the limitations of scientific materialism, with a particular focus on the nature of consciousness. This in turn has implications about the spiritual nature of the human being.
One important theme explained by Phoebe Wyss was synchronicity or meaningful coincidence. The standard scientific view excludes purpose and meaning, so coincidences are simply random chance events (Aristotle’s final causality is set aside). As also elaborated by Richard Tarnas in Cosmos and Psyche, the key is that there is no sharp distinction between what we call inner and outer; rather they reflect and interact with each other, so synchronicity is an expression of this.
This in turn implies an underlying intelligence as stated as far back as the 1930s by Max Planck and Sir James Jeans, among others. Phoebe referred to the one Cosmic Mind in which we all participate, an idea elaborated by New Thought thinkers such as Ralph Waldo Trine, Thomas Troward and Charles Haanel more than a hundred years ago. Archetypes can be understood as ordering principles of our inner reality. Phoebe proposed that astrology gives a broad framework of meaning.
A more recent model is David Bohm’s relationship between the implicate (enfolded) and explicate (unfolded) orders where unity and connectedness is primary and separation secondary. The implicate order reflects and conveys coherence and convergence. The latter as an evolutionary trend was well articulated by Teilhard de Chardin. This trend is well worth recalling in the chaos of the events reported daily in the news – fragmentation and assertion of separate identities. The reality of holons balances separateness with integration. Fractals also illustrate this part-whole resonance.
Observer and experimenter effects imply a co-creative and participatory view of reality rather than a sharp distinction between subjective and objective – I already referred to this in terms of inner and outer. Discussions on these themes within the Network go back more than 20 years and are also well articulated in the epilogue of Richard Tarnas’ Passion of the Western Mind and in the Goethean science developed by Brian Goodwin and Stephan Harding at Schumacher College. The work on PK at the Princeton PEAR lab also demonstrates the power of intention as focused thought. This is arguably a non-material influence on the material world.
Tuvi Orbach developed this theme of intention, postulating a 5th dimension of information and attractors where a blueprint in this dimension can interact with attractors so an intention for future is an attractor for the present. He gave examples of humans planning a house and birds a nest – the latter as an example of future purpose in nature. He pointed out that 4 random changes are much more likely to lead to entropy while epigenetics demonstrates adaptation and improvement. He also stressed the centrality of co-creation in global mind change.
Both Christian McMillan and Paul Hague referred to the journey from separation to wholeness. Bergson criticised finalism as another form of determinism – if materialism pushes deterministically from the past, finalism pulls deterministically from the future. This idea excludes creative novelty, a point that exercised Whitehead and leads David Ray Griffin to reject precognition in principle, despite a proliferation of evidence. Ulisse would see this in terms of attractors from the future – in this sense a vision of the future is also an attractor towards which we are trying to move, although the path is not predetermined. For him, synchronicity is a pull from the future. He highlighted the following key polarities or complementarities:
Fields were mentioned by a number of speakers as formative and ordering principles, including the akashic field from the work of Ervin Laszlo; also family fields from family constellations. Perhaps both are ‘knowing fields’. Fields connect us in various ways. For Ulisse, increased influence of the invisible world results in more synchronicities. If we align ourselves non-dually with the Universe, then we can reach our full potential and expression as a human being. Richard Blasband also referred to the power of the invisible in the role of the etheric body in the genesis and recurrence of disease – if the cancer pattern is still in the etheric, it is more likely to recur.
Pier Luigi Luisi reminded us that complex systems are networks of interactions and relationships where there is no centre of command. He found the Buddhist view congenial in this respect. Here there is co-dependent arising and feedback, with no initial cause. Dynamic interactive processes reflect impermanence and transformation at all levels of life, including humans. This view reminds us of the importance of processes and relationships, also within the Network; also that health is expressed as dynamic balance.
Hardin Tibbs showed how time cannot in fact be detected or measured. From his angle as a futurist, he remarked that most of his colleagues were Newtonian or Laplacean with a rather deterministic idea of the future. However, we know that there are intrinsic limits to prediction, especially with nonlinear or wicked problems. Many policy makers are systems illiterate – universities specialise in linear critical analysis. Hardin also asked what it would be like if we knew the consequences of our actions in advance, holding up a ‘moral mirror’ corresponding to reports of the life review where we re-experience events multi-dimensionally, not simply from our own point of view. With anticipatory hindsight we might choose differently in either case.
Our orientation to the future exhibits both fear and anxiety as well as hope and trust. Christian Sideras reviewed the history of hope, drawing on a number of sources. Christians live in the hope of renewal and forgiveness, and despair (desespoir in French where espoir is hope). We are more familiar with the politics of fear than hope, with its emphasis on negative campaigning. These polarities recall the fear and love loops of the International Futures Forum, created at Schumacher College by Brian Goodwin and his students in the wake of 9/11.
Both Ulisse and I spoke about the invisible force of love – with reference to syntropy and the work of Peter Deunov, Gandhi and Pitirim Sorokin. We underestimate the power of love even though we all experience it. Deunov’s vision was one of a culture of love and wisdom that can act as an attractor and compass direction for our efforts. Deunov said: “Love is necessary for the transformation of the world. It is the only force which can bring peace between the nations, each of which has a mission to accomplish on earth.” And former Congressman Dennis Kucinich sums it up well:
The world is multidimensional. The new vision is a holistic one that understands the power of intention and the power of co-operation, of mutuality, of trust, of seeing the world as one. That vision then becomes our outer reality. Ours is the ability, through our consciousness, to create peace, to create love. The organ of transformation is the human heart because there is nothing – no weapon ever made – that is more powerful than a human heart.
In our final session we reflected that the prevalence of the mechanistic paradigm is at the root of our crisis. Correspondingly, extended states of consciousness are not understood by academe.
Among emerging recommendations were:
- Realise that we live in a co-creative universe
- Our intentions and visions can manifest in outer reality
- Work in a homoeopathic way – small scale
- Pay attention to synchronicities
- Think about the role of social media in networking global mind change
- Think and act out the box
- Live your life mindfully and lovingly
- Live what we want to move forward – be the change