“And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth,
‘You owe me.’
Look what happens with love like that.
It lights up the sky.”
Believed to be written by Rumi – mystic poet and philosopher (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273)
ONE of my earliest memories is looking at the stars through a telescope, shimmering blue, oscillating red. Without being unable to comprehend quite how far away – in distance and years – they were, or indeed exactly what they were, I somehow understood how impressive they were.
I became fascinated by the cosmos and, along with learning the alphabet, one of the first things I knew was all the planets and some of the major constellations.
To this day my idea of perfect romance is heading into the countryside at 3am to watch a meteor shower overhead. Or waking in the early hours to watch the sun rise over the sea. There’s nothing like viewing the sky.
The cover story of the latest edition of New Scientist magazine concerns the nature of space and time. In the piece, the author Anil Ananthaswamy states: “A light ray always moves at one unit of space per unit of time – in a sense it is n the edge between space and time.”
This is perhaps why many are spellbound by the night sky so much. Maybe the light-emitting stars which dwell at the point between space and time echo the pause between the in and the out breath – which is where eternity and infinity exist.
It’s often said that we are made of stars… and we actually are. All the elements we’re comprised of originated in the stars. The carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and other atoms in our bodies were created in stars over 4.5 billion years ago.
In the 1980s, astronomer Carl Sagan said in his popular American TV series Cosmos: “We are a way for the universe to know itself. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from, we long to return. And we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff.”
Ann Druyan, who co-wrote Cosmos with her late husband Sagan, describes the series’ central revelation as being “our oneness with the universe.”
In this sense, we are part of a holographic universe where each component reflects the whole.
There’s no doubt we live in a chaotic cosmos marked by constant change and turbulent force. But in all chaos there are patterns to be found – because of the holographic nature of things. If you were to write out a series of seemingly random numbers for the rest of your life there would be various patterns to be found in there. In fact there are mathematically-ordained sequences running through everything. Take the twirling Fibonacci sequence – which is to be found everywhere from sunflowers to our own DNA. It seems that by design, it’s in (our) nature.
In terms of this coincidences can be seen as being connected as two similarities in an ocean of chance, even though they are not two events linked by causes and effects that the world at face value appears to operate on.
The meaning which emerges from two acausal events is known as synchronicity and was coined by psychologist Carl Jung. It’s what he believed proved there was an underlying order to the chaos in the cosmos.
In his book Synchonicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle he details the case of one of his patients who, during a critical moment of therapy, had a dream in which she was given a golden scarab beetle. When she was later relating this to Jung, he heard a gentle tapping at his window and turned round to see a flying insect knocking against the glass.
He said: “I opened the window and caught the creature in the air as it flew in. It was the nearest analogy to a golden scarab one finds in our latitudes, a scarabaeid beetle, the common rose-chafer (Cetonia aurata), which, contrary to its usual habits had evidently felt the urge to get into a dark room at this particular moment.”
I thought of this the other day when I was walking past a hedgerow and spotted a stag beetle on the ground on its back with its legs flailing and unable to right himself. I found two twigs and gently flipped him over onto his feet.
Synchronicity happens to us all. How many times has a song come on the radio that you had been thinking about hours earlier? How often have you been drawn to a book and opened it on a passage that has particular wisdom you were looking for? Or maybe a friend mentioned a classic film in passing that you had only just watched the other day?
The more you notice and even to a certain extent expect these unexpected occurrences – perhaps ‘glitches in the matrix’ – the more they seem to happen. It’s as if your subconscious has turned from red or amber to green.
Many scientists are now coming to believe that synchronicity is further proof of the interconnectedness of everything. In his absorbing book The Holographic Universe Michael Talbot details how many scientists including Nobel Prize winner Niels Bohr, along with Karl Pribram and David Bohm, theorised the universe is a hologram brought into existence in part by the mind (consciousness). The theory goes some way as to unifying disparate occurrences and effects in the world. It would explain things such as synchronicity in that acausal events are linked because everything is – holographically.
For me synchronicity represents hope. Hope is the one thing that mankind cannot live without.
And it is perhaps in the ever-present shining stars that hope resonates out across the universe too.
What would someone think when looking from another vantage point in space back at the “Pale Blue Dot” or “pixel” we call home – Earth?
Use your eyes, heart and soul to study the stars above… to the nth degree from this Pale Blue Dot.
In observing the coincidences, the chaos and the cosmos we truly see our consciousness.
“The universe and the light of the stars come through me.” (Rumi)
* I often use this site to link to good causes. If you’ve been inspired by this post I would ask you to give a book on astronomy to a child – or someone with a childlike spirit – who you know.