DANCING WITH THE WHOLE:
A THEORY OF CREATIVE ENTRAINMENT - PART 2
By ©1997 Carlisle Bergquist, MFCC, Ph.D.c.
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Order based on similar differences and different similarities makes information more manageable and useful. However, certain areas of our knowledge exceed our ability to find a common order. This may be because they are too dissimilar, or because we have not yet found the information medium that connects them. Spirit -- mind -- body is an example of such dissimilar areas of our being. They are domains the interconnections of which currently exceeds our ability to observe and understand. We relegate explanations of their interconnection to religion and philosophy thereby leaving a chasm in what preferably would be a unified field of knowledge about a whole universe.
The disciplines of religion, philosophy and mysticism are replete with competing explanations. For example, Barbara Brennan (1987, pp. 137-146) describes seven levels (or bodies), beyond the physical body. Brennan indicates that they serve as energy transducers converting the unknowable source through various forms that finally appear in our physical presence. Alice A. Bailey (1962 p. 17) in her many writings also describes seven levels that she groups in a tripartite order: The domains of Spirit, Soul (Consciousness), and Form, or Spirit -- Mind -- Body. I will use Brennan's and Bailey's models because they allow comparison with the philosophical perspective of physicist David Bohm (1980, 1987). Bohm's theories concern the discipline of quantum physics whereas Brennan's and Bailey's apply to the esoteric constitution of humankind. This essay is about entrainment and must restate its systems assumption to justify the inclusion of these diverse materials. Each of these theories models a creative transduction of the formless whole into our manifest universe. This essay alleges that humankind is subsumed in a greater suprasystem; thus, our being must unfold in a manner coherent with the unfolding of the suprasystem itself. I therefore consider Bohm's theories useful to explore more subtle regions of our being and I propose that entrainment is a method through which the transduction from one system level to the next occurs.
The division between Eastern and Western thought is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the perception of the whole -- the suprasystem. Hindu cosmologies see all form as rising out of, and returning to, a common ground of being. Buddhism suggests that form is an illusion that arises from a ground of non-being. Though the final iterations of these two hierarchies seem directly opposite, both represent the total of creation as an undivided, immeasurable, indescribable whole. Chinese Taoism termed wholeness as the Tao of which Lao Tzu said: "The Tao that can be told of is not the eternal Tao." (Tao Te Ching, vs. 1)
In Western thought the whole is divided, composed of separate objects and forces; thus, naming and describing the universe have taken precedent in the sciences. Likewise Western Judao-Christian religions hold humankind apart from both nature and the Divine. The strategy of the Western mind has been to understand wholeness through separation and measurement of ever smaller proportion. Paradoxically, measuring the infinitesimal may bridge the world views based upon measurement and those based upon the immeasurable. Among competing theories in modern physics, David Bohm poses a model of wholeness born of measurement that embraces the immeasurable, the holomovement.
David Bohm theorizes a plenum is an infinite number of electromagnet frequencies that pervade all space whether matter is present or not. He calls this infinite ground of being the holomovement. According to Bohm (1980, p.151) "all forms of the holomovement merge and are inseparable....the holomovement is undefinable and immeasurable." The holomovement sounds very much like Lao Tzu's writing of the Tao. It is from the holomovement, the immeasurable sea of energy, that all things appear and in which they eventually enfold: it is the suprasystem, the superimplicate order. Taoists describe one's individual expression of the Tao as one's Te. The following elaboration will briefly explain Bohm's orders and compare them with Brennan's and Bailey's models. It will then propose how the stages of entrainment might provide interaction with systems greater than ourselves; that is, how we express our Te.
Implicatus (Latin), means to enfold. Thus, the Implicate order is an enfolded order carried within the holomovement. However, the holomovement is boundless thus within it may be many implicate orders one enfolding the next. Though a multidimensional superimplicate order (holomovement) exceeds our imagination, Bohm and Peat give the following example of enfolded order:
Consider two concentric glass cylinders, the inner one fixed and the outer capable of being slowly rotated....between the cylinders is a viscous liquid such as glycerin. When the outer cylinder is turned, the fluid close to it is dragged along at nearly the same speed, but fluid close to the...stationary cylinder...is nearly at rest....fluids in different regions of the space move at different speeds....If a drop of ink is placed in the liquid [and the cylinder turned] ...the drop is drawn out into a thread until eventually it becomes so fine as to be invisible. (1987, pp. 172-173)
The remarkable thing in Bohm's example is that the drop of ink reappears when one rotates the cylinder an equal number of turns in the opposite direction. Thus, the form of the drop is first enfolded into the medium and then unfolds to become visible. Bohm suggests that what we see as form is simply a momentary unfolding from the Implicate order. This process may have many iterations as one implicate order unfolds from the next until it is finally visible in the world of form.
The Implicate Order and this unfolding process bear a striking similarity to the various levels described by Brennan and Bailey. Spirit seems like the Implicate Order unfolding from the immeasurable holomovement. Likewise, the orders enfolded within one another simulate the sheaths or bodies described in many mystic traditions. Brennan (1987, p. 138) lists three such orders as part of the Spiritual level, the Ketheric Template Level, Celestial Level, and the Etheric Template Level. Each of Brennan's levels is the implicate order for the level beneath it. While Brennan's model is her view of the human form, Bailey's moves from the seat of the Divine, to the world of form.
This order is primarily concerned not with the outward side of development, and evolution in a sequence of successions, but with a deeper and more inward order out of which the manifest form of things can emerge creatively. Indeed this order is fundamentally relevant both in nature and in consciousness. (Bohm & Peat, 1987, p. 151)
Bohm and Peat indicate that the implicate order is a particular type of generative order. This is more easily understood considering that each order is the generative order of the order beneath it in succession. This continues upward through the various implicate orders to the holomovement. The generative order discussed herein is what unfolds form.
Returning to Brennan's and Bailey's notions of the planes of reality, the soul (consciousness), or universal mind as Eastern psychologies express it, simulates the generative order. As Bohm and Peat said above it is a "more inward order out of which the manifest form of things can emerge." Again as Bailey states it: "...energy follows thought." Thus the generative order is the conscious direction of energy unfolding from higher implicate orders into lower ones until form becomes explicate.
The explicate order is the empirical world. It is the matter/energy we organize with our senses. It is the world of form. However, if explicate form is constantly being unfolded from the implicate order by way of the generative order and enfolded back into the implicate order, how is it that the forms we see remain relatively coherent? Ruhpert Sheldrake proposes a guiding resonance as follows:
A "resonant" effect of form upon form across space and time would resemble energetic resonance in its selectivity, but could not be accounted for in terms of any of the known types of resonance, nor would it involve the transmission of energetic resonance, this process will be called morphic resonance.
Morphic resonance is analogous to energetic resonance in a further respect: it takes place between vibrating systems. Atoms, molecules, crystals, organelles, cells, tissue, organs and organisms are all made up of parts in ceaseless oscillation, and all have their own characteristic patterns of vibration and internal rhythm; the morphic units are dynamic not static....What is being suggested here is that by morphic resonance the form of a system, including its characteristic internal structure and vibrational frequencies, become present to a subsequent system with a similar form; the spatio-temporal pattern of the former superimposes itself on the later. (1981, pp. 95-96)
Sheldrake's idea of morphic resonance and its fields is suggestive of the generative order. It differs in the fact that it does not generate the form but rather guides the physical materialization. It is as if the oscillation of one form entrains with the oscillation of all the similar forms that came before it. Thus, the explicate order is the result of a process of creative entrainment.
The suprasystem, the holomovement, the Tao, is indescribable and immeasurable. Bohm's orders, and the models of Brennan and Bailey, are but their best guesses about the unknown. I propose the following supposition acknowledging the same limitation. I am suggesting here that Bohm's orders present in the constitution of humankind as spirit, mind and body. We access each these domains through a combination of the stages of entrainment. These stages cycle in the unfolding and enfolding of form, and in our own creative process.
The holomovement is an open ocean of energy waves moving in all directions and of all lengths and frequencies. In a normal ocean, waves are complex and incoherent consisting of these many varied frequencies. Such waves change shape and dissipate as component energy waves gather and separate because of their independent rates of travel. They remain chaotic. Occasionally, a unique wave does not readily dissipate. This wave is a soliton wave. I propose the same process occurs in the holomovement and becomes an implicate order.
Soliton waves unfold from the chaos of many frequencies and maintain a single wave form and frequency for a considerable time. The process realigns and entrains the component sine waves. They feed their energy back into one another and thus create a solitary wave rather than dissipating. They are in synchrony. This phenomenon occurs within a critical window of kinetic energy; with too much energy the wave breaks into turbulence and with too little it dissipates.
Soliton waves form only when conditions4 are such that the sine waves translate linear motion into the nonlinear feedback and thereby maintain congruity. These conditions produce complementarity -- added to synchrony -- and thus establishes a stable generative order. The stable energy soliton, in concordance with all wave energy, now produces harmonics. Thus, out of chaos comes explicate order. Figure #4 illustrates this final form of entrainment the explicate harmonic dance of opposites. I call it Quintessence5.
Quintessence is relatively stable. It remains however a harmonic structure within an energy ocean of infinite frequencies. I propose that any of its component harmonics have the potential given the right conditions, to amplify, entrain other harmonics and thus repeat the process yielding a new form. This produces a constant evolution of form. I speculate that: the individuation of spirit (from the holomovement), its awareness of separation (soul) thus generating harmonics in the world of duality, and finally the physical manifestation of the body, parallel this process in humankind.
I propose that the we have access to the various domains through our similar constitution. That we can attain knowledge from these domains by consciously moving through the stages of entrainment. St. Bonaventure (1993) describes the process from a mystic's perspective as seeing through "the eye of the flesh, the eye of reason, and the eye of contemplation." As humans we are a crucible in which data from these three "eyes" is perceived and given meaning. I suggest that seeing with each of these eyes requires entrainment with one of the domains of spirit, consciousness and body.
Data gathered through the eye of the flesh forms empirical knowledge. It is knowledge learned and verified through the physical senses or instruments that extend them. We learn through harmonics: our nervous system entrains with the oscillating fields of the physical world. The eye of reason is interpretive. We learn by drawing ourselves into complementary entrainment that which we seek. It deals with the symbolization, organization, and interpretation of ideas, impressions, and feelings. The eye of contemplation opens in the experience of gnosis. We learn by merging with knowledge from transcendent realms. The instrument of inspiration: it is synchrony.
Yeats pens in Among School Children: "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" Yeats alludes a unity perhaps we more easily experience as children, before we become prisoners of our self-consciousness. As children we seem less afraid to immerse ourselves in the activities at hand. We are able to lose ourselves as dancers to become the dance. We consciously engage in dancing and with intention surrender ourselves to the dance. Unfortunately we are equally capable of becoming the dance without or conscious intention. We entrain and become entranced.
The theory of cognitive development espoused by Jean Piaget (1936, 1937) show the process by which a child entrains with consensual reality. Piaget's theses form a foundation in educational theory and though not his intention, show psychosocial entrainment with the formation of intellectual reasoning. Entrainment occurs through the processes of assimilation6 and accommodation7 as we tailor our view of the world to match the views those around us. Clearly this development has positive use in our lives. However, if cosmologies like Hinduism that represents form as illusion should be true, then Piaget's theory shows how we entrain into a common trance.
Common, or collective, trance is not always as benign as in the above example. A poignant instance of this negative entrainment is the cadent power used by Adolph Hitler to produce the mass consciousness of the Third Reich. Hitler rhythmically punctuated his speeches with powerful extension of his arm. He worked crowds into frenzies using the synchrony of his salutes. By blaming the Jews for the nations economic woes, he established complementarity. Hitler's rhetoric embellished his listener's ideas establishing harmonics. Thus, he created an entrainment unit he used repeatedly until; a collective consciousness formed and a nation became entranced.
Many authors have written of the need to become conscious of the hidden rhythms in our lives. Charles Tart (1986) wrote about the tendency for people to entrance and provides many insights on the waking up process. Carlos Castanada (1968, 1974, 1981) tells of the awakening he learned from Don Juan by consciously changing his habitual rhythms. Stephen Wolinsky (1991) has likewise developed a psychotherapeutic approach based on the idea that most psychological difficulties stem from an underlying trance. Thus to metaphorically become the dance without conscious intention has a serious implication in out lives. I suggest that Sheldrake's idea quoted below, is also true of psychological, social, and emotional form and reinforces the value of entraining with intention.
In the early stages of a form's history, the morphogenetic field will be relatively ill-defined and significantly influenced by individual variants. But as time goes on, the cumulative influence of countless previous systems will confer an ever-increasing stability on the field; the more probable the average type becomes, the more likely it will be repeated in the future (Sheldrake, 1981, pp. 100-101)
Synchronicity is a term introduced by Carl Jung (1973) that refers to meaningful coincidences of events. I am proposing here that synchronicity is unconscious entrainment with an implicate order. I stipulate that it is unconscious because the individual who experiences these events has no awareness of the entrainment. Thus the cues they might notice remain in the subconscious just below awareness as subtle sensations or vague images until the actual unfolding of the event. Once unfolded the subconscious cues enter awareness and give the appearance of a meaningful coincidence. This differs from individuals who have precognitive ability. Those with precognition also entrain, but learn to be aware of the cues and thus develop the skill to report them before they unfold. Peter Russell (1983) notes that those who meditate often experience more synchronistic events. I suggest it is because they step down the harmonic entrainment of normal awareness to near synchrony and therefore receive more cueing from the implicate order soon to unfold.
This essay broadly explored entrainment as a component in communication and thereby the creative process. It demarcated several stages of entrainment and proposed that creating results from their cumulative succession. The stages become more dynamic as the degrees of entrainment increase. Likewise this essay relates the cosmological orders of David Bohm with the constitution of humankind as described by religious and mystical tradition. It suggests that the stages of entrainment serve as a communicative bridge between these realms of our being and with the cosmos. These thoughts exceed our knowledge; thus, this essay is not presented as proof. It is rather an inquiry intended to further a dialog with our inner selves, and amongst those of us who are compelled to wonder. The stages of entrainment are observable in the natural world thus in a holistic universe they conceivably operate in the realms beyond our view.
Mark Rider (1992, p. 151) proposes "the most adaptive brain that lends itself to physical healing is one that protects itself from overuse...by shifting to alternate states of consciousness." The shift is generally downward toward lower frequency activity. I suggest that just as with the brain, a shift downward in the states of entrainment fosters health. Healing is re-creating the body. Shifting downward to states of entrainment with less complexity allows us to communicate with deeper parts of our being thus re-creating ourselves in spirit, mind and body. Much like the earlier analogy of the sail boat we must take the helm. We must make the effort to align ourselves. We must learn to observe the inner wind and waves traveling in more subtle mediums. When we surrender in fullness we dance at the still point of the turning world. We find ourselves dancing with the whole.
5 The "Fifth Essence" according to medieval philosophy was the ultimate substance of which heavenly bodies were made from the four elements of air, fire water and earth. It is not used in that manner here but seemed a fitting title for the final unfolding of form.
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