I have been reading your theory on synchronicity, attention and pattern wiith great interest. There seems to be some amount of thruth in in and I am still looking at it to determine how much. May be your answer will help me with this.
You say that within viewpoints or levels there is causality but in between different levels and viewpoints there is synchronicity. This stays somewhat unclear for me because of a couple of reasons. First I find there is a difference between a viewpoint and a level. So what is your definition of a viewpoint? You had the different pictures of the tree example, but there can be different levels within each viewpoint like having black and white, colour or infra-red pictures. So I would make an important difference between them.
We can also see this when the tree would be moving because of the wind. I could see the movement, hear the sound of the leafs and smell the odour of the blossom. These are all different levels within one viewpoint, won't you agree? Or are they all different viewpoints in your book? The fact is that there is causality from the wind to the smell of the blossom, sounds of the leafs and sight of movement.
And when I take it one step further, f.i. because of the nice smell and the sounds of the leafs my mind relaxes. Is this a different level or no? From your previous posts I would say yes? So you would say the relaxing of the mind is synchronicity although the wind seems to be the cause of the mind relaxing?
I would like to see some precise definitions on viewpoints and levels and some clarity on where causality ends and synchronicity begins to determine how much truth your theory contains.
Thanks for all the good questions, Marko. Sorry for not getting back to you sooner.
In regard to viewpoints and levels, I tend to see them as synonymous. But that only means that I consider “viewpoint” to be more than just a superficial attitude. In other words, the physical world is a viewpoint, not a “place”. It's a limited viewpoint, and within that viewpoint everything observed is on the same “level”. Physical experience thus obeys a causal pattern of relationship, whereas relations between levels do not, but obey a synchronous patterning relationship.
In the tree example, it's true one can certainly list many qualities of the tree, such as color, black and white, infrared images. But all these are physical qualities, and hence they are all on the same level. One can point to the physical causes as to why the tree looks a certain way under infrared light, and another way under sunlight. But why do some people love trees, and others chop them down for lumber? This is not “caused” by the tree. One can try to find causes, but it's very complicated, because one is then dealing with a different order of experience, this matter of love, emotion, attraction, brutality, etc. There are some causal issues mixed in there, but many which have no causal explanation. Many of them have no direct physical cause. Something about the pattern of trees attracts some people, aesthetically, while to others it is merely an object to be used for a purpose, such as firewood or furniture. It would be out of place to try to determine a purely physical cause for this difference.
But even that example is still ambiguous, because physical attraction, while having emotional qualities, is still very much related to the physical viewpoint itself. What about a more distantly related example? How about the classic concept of karma. The concept of karma attempts to explain physical phenomena, such as having a terrible car accident, as being “caused” by one's past actions. But this, if examined closely, would seem to require some force that would cause events to happen, that God or someone or something is somehow making this accident occur in accord with one's past actions, or at the very least that one has a “store” of accumulated tendencies on some subtle plane that makes things happen on the physical plane. If that were the case, one would expect to find this force operative on the physical plane. One should be able to detect it acting upon physical objects. And yet nothing of the kind has ever been found? Why? Because there is no such force acting from the subtle dimension upon the physical dimension. It is merely that events happen in patterns synchronous with one's subtle energy body, and vice-versa. The link between the subtle and the physical is not causal, but synchronous. They are each a reflection of one another. One can “read” something about one's physical life by examing the subtle, but neither actually causes one another to be a certain way. They simply reflect the same basic pattern.
Your example of the leaf, the bloom and its smell also are all physical matters that have a causal relationship. But how about this. You are thinking of someone you loved, and who died, and you then you smell their favorite perfume. Now, maybe one could find out that someone just walked by wearing that perfume, and that could account for why you smelled it. But it doesn't explain why you thought about that woman before you smelled her perfume. Did your thought “cause” the woman to walk by wearing the same perfume? No, of course not. The two merely coincided.
Wilber gives the example in Grace and Grit of a great wind striking up when his wife died. Now, did his wife's death cause the wind to blow? No, of course not. If one analyzed the wind, I'm sure one would find a perfectly fine meteorological explanation. The relationship between the two events is not causal, but physical. Ghosts would also be an example of a similar phenomena. They do no exist or act in the physical world, they simply coincide with it. Psychisms of all kinds are not really what people think. Precognition, mind-reading, etc, all these are not causal events, but examples of synchronicity. Science may be able to study the phenomena, but they won't be able to find the causal relationship they are looking for, because there is none. The mind is merely able to “coincide” with phenomena of other levels of experience, and resonate in their pattern.
I think this is in some respects a test to differentiate levels. If there is a causal connection between two things, they are on the same level. If their connection is only one of similar pattern, of synchronous coincidence, then they are on two different levels.
An example would be the physical brain. Wilber finds neuroscience to be devastating to much of mysticism and metaphysics, because he thinks that brain chemistry explains so much of how we think and what we do. In a sense, he's correct. But its not as simple as that. While the brain does indeed create a chemistry that corresponds to our inner thoughts and subjective experience, it isn't clear which comes first. Do we think a thought, and this causes the brain to produce a chemical reaction, or does the chemical reaction come first, and the thought is just a product of the chemistry? This question is not resolvable in a causal fashion, and this indicates that mind and brain are on different levels. The best we can say is that thought coincides with brain chemistry. But we cannot say that thought exists only as a brain phenomena. Some interesting NDE out-of-body experiences during induced hypothermia, where there is no brain activity, demonstrate that thinking and observing processes can occur without the brain being involved. So the brain isn't necessary to all thought and perception, but when active it does coincide with thought and mind.
Now as for the mind relaxing when the wind blows and nice smells come into the room is a mixture of the two. We conventionally say that the mind relaxed because it smelled something nice. But this is only because it liked that particular pattern. It chose to relax on cue. It uses that pattern as an excuse to relax. The wind didn't literally cause the mind to relax. It simply gave the mind an excuse to relax. The mind relaxed all on its own, really. It could have relaxed just by remembering that smell. It could have relaxed without any cause at all. Emotional responses are not generally “caused” in the same way that physical events are caused, because we can generate them without cause. Tiny “causes” can set some people off, and yet major trauma may not. Linking all these things to hormones and other brain chemistry issues is trying to mask synchronicity with causality, and often with disastrous results, in that people always like to “blame” their emotional reactions on some cause, and now the excuse is brain chemistry, when in fact these things exist on distinct planes, and hence cannot be treated simply as causal events. The effect of drugs on the brain and the mind is not a wholly causal one, because these only effect one side of the equation.