Exoplanet – Kepler | Photo by NASA via Wikimedia Commons
You have a close friend whom you’ve not heard from for many months, and while driving home, you think of calling her. As soon as you arrive home, you immediately get distracted by so many things and forget to call. Sometime in the evening, when things settle down, the phone rings, and it is your friend whom you haven’t heard from. A mother has been struggling with his teenage son’s problematic behavior for the last year. She suspects him to be on drugs but doesn’t know the signs and is afraid to confront him.
Finally, her son is arrested the night before for shoplifting, and she is desperate for help. The next day, Sunday, while still in distress, she decides to stay home and watch the Sunday Mass on television. In disbelief, she listens to a homily of a priest who is an expert on addiction. The priest goes on to describe the problems of addiction among young people. The woman finds his sermon describes the very problems she has with her son. Two days later, her son is admitted to the drug program, which the same priest runs.
“It is the seeming randomness of these timely events that is vexing. The ancients observed the same occurrences in life and nature. They became interested in discovering underlying patterns in unpredictable events.”
We can all relate to these experiences because they are commonplace. It is the seeming randomness of these timely events that is vexing. The ancients observed the same occurrences in life and nature. They became interested in discovering underlying patterns in unpredictable events. They consulted seers, prophets, and shamans about the future and the means for conjuring up visions from ingesting hallucinogenic substances, consulting oracles, peering on crystal balls, reading patterns in tortoise’s shell, or tea leaf have developed.
Various arts for predicting future events or life changes evolved. Astrology relies on interpreting the movements and alignments of objects in the cosmos. The I Ching provides a guide for divining the future through the designs imprinted in nature. Palmistry is interested in interpreting the pattern of lines in the human hand, etc. It was disconcerting enough not to predict the future that prognostication has become a human obsession.
From time immemorial, man has an inkling of the interrelationship between all things in Nature. The intimate relationship between mind and matter or between man and the universe has been an enduring theme in art and science. Carl Jung coined the term synchronicity to describe discrete experiences which serve as an intimation into the close link between our mind and external events.
“Carl Jung coined the term synchronicity to describe discrete experiences which serve as an intimation into the close link between our mind and external events.”
In the midst of the apparent randomness of events in our lives are hidden patterns – an organizing element that provides meaning and order. Human thought, although impalpable, has a tremendous influence on how events unfold before us. Collective thought patterns can spawn revolutions and mass action even in the absence of conscious effort to organize people for dramatic political or cultural change. Often the seeds for revolution are planted through seemingly unrelated developments in another human arena, such as technology and the Internet, as in the case of the revolutions in the Middle East or the Arab Spring.
The small change in the mode of communication via the Internet became a galvanizing force for the brewing collective thought of an oppressed people. The emerging scientific paradigm from complexity theory or chaos theory provides a good framework for understanding complex phenomena and the ever-changing world around us.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Fernando B. Perfas is an addiction specialist who has written several books and articles on the subject. He currently provides training and consulting services to various government and non-government drug treatment agencies regarding drug treatment and prevention approaches. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.