Without a Cause: The Sinister Nature of Synchronicity pt.2
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In the first part of this analysis we pointed out how synchronicity became the object of methodical research, due to the rising awareness of a certain lack in the contemporary understanding of the world and man’s place in it.
The question posed was: how is it possible for ‘the inside’ to correspond in a certain way to ‘the outside’; in another words, how is it possible for man’s inner being to provoke, without mediation of an outside action, corresponding reaction from the “outside” world?
As we proceed to explain the traditional notion of the relationship between man and the world it will eventually provide us with a clear indication as to where contemporary notions diverge from it.
By ‘traditional’ I mean here the notion whereby this relation does not connote a substantial disunity, whereas by ‘modern’ or ‘contemporary’ I denote that notion whereby there is a presupposition of a substantial gap between the two, and methodical investigation either resigns before it or various attempts are made to bridge it.
Schopenhaer and Jung’s attempts provided examples of the second option.
One may ask, what has all this to do with synchronicity? Isn’t it, after all, something we must follow directly to its root by taking it as it is? Where is the fun in all this abstract reasoning?
Perhaps the objection would apply if it wasn’t for a minor quibble:
Synchronicity, supposedly, is not a cause and effect relation. And going down to the root of the being we want to explain is what traditional metaphysics called analysis – It was, as opposed to the modern notion where analysis mainly means dismantling of concepts, an attempt to follow the thread of effects to their cause.
Therefore, from our point of view, synchronicity cannot be analyzed at all. It can only be described as it occurs, because in its essence it remains a chance event.
However, as we shall demonstrate, there is in fact a probable cause of “acausal connections”. And the most one can say about it is that it is not a pretty sight.
As synchronicity “wondrously demonstrates” that the world, understood as an aggregate of chance events, somehow responds to acts of our will, then this cause has to be something intrinsic to human being, because Modernity does not admit any other rational agent.
However, both Schopenhauer and Jung claimed that it is not to be sought after in the realm of conscious choices, but deeper, somewhere below the surface of both man’s awareness of himself and the world.
Therefore, investigation of synchronicity in modern terms would be an act of regression.
The question as to why this is so presents us with the necessity to lay out the summation of the traditional view of metaphysical knowledge, i.e. knowledge that goes to the root causes of things, not by dismantling, but by penetrating and pervading them, that is to say letting the knower assimilate to the thing known.
The other necessary distinction is the very notion of the relationship of cause and effect that either ruled metaphysics, or was at least significantly present, until the advent of Modernity.
This relationship can be summed up in the principle according to which effect proceeds from the cause, remains in it and returns to it.
While it may seem strange to a modern mind, it is in fact probably the best intellectual path for making discussion possible about things like destiny, providence or purpose, not only in the life of individual, but also in the universe itself.
Anything less can lead in the wrong direction; because, as opposed to modern attempts to trace meaningful connections in the world, it doesn’t lead towards regression into that which lurks below but straight on the path of progression towards that which resides above.
Both of these principles, i.e. substantial unity of intelligence and the world, on the one hand, and substantial unity of cause and effect, on the other hand, inevitably presuppose that the nexus of connection is on an essential level not material; assimilation of knowledge and the thing known as well as the recurrence of offspring into its origin is made possible by the fact that they are, in their respective essences, not material bodies.
This means, as we shall see in the following, that expressions like “soul”, “spirit” and, ultimately, “God” are not optional and interchangeable with “ego”, “self” and “collective unconscious”, but necessary if we are to think beyond the world of chance; attempts to obfuscate this – and it is something that a plethora of modern thinkers of Jung’s ilk did – end up by invoking precisely the opposite of that which was supposedly sought for.
Nature of knowledge
The presupposition of meaningful connection between events is based upon the claim that there is a rational agent acting upon them and/or that the events themselves are intrinsically rational.
In our time rationality is understood in the reductionist sense as the reflection of the material world through mind-constructing concepts that approximate the “state of empirical facts”, i.e. objects of the five senses.
However, this is not the way rationality was originally understood and it is by no means the way most people understand it even today.
In the traditional sense thinking is understood to be an activity of extracting the intelligible structure of things by assimilating to it as much as possible and only then engaging in the process of methodical reasoning, i.e. analyzing effects upwards towards their root causes or, conversely, following the causes downwards to their effects.
So “empiricism”, which more or less serves as the epistemic basis of all modern thought, is precisely a contrary way of thinking to that which could help us find our bearings here.
A good example of this is the notion of tabula rasa or blank slate which today serves to denote the original state of mind understood as a physical entity with no sensual imprints from the “outside” world being written upon it.
Originally, however, this term denoted the non-physical mind which is originally devoid of all intelligible forms, not because of its original blankness, but because of its original power to assimilate every essential intelligible structure in this world; its ability to go into things and allow things, in a way, go into it.
One curious consequence of this is the fact that knowledge ends up being essentially and irrevocably personal because it cannot be substantially detached from the knower:
“The scientific knowledge, moreover, consists in the assimilation of the knower to the thing known. Now the knower is assimilated to the thing known, as such, only with respect to universal species; for such are the objects of science.” (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, book II, pg. 187.)
The reason why our mind cannot become assimilated to a body such as , for instance, a stone but only to the essential intelligible structure that defines the stone, is the simple fact that mind doesn’t assimilate matter, i.e. bodies of individual things; the structure that can be assimilated to, however, is reality itself and this reality always touches us on the deepest personal level, because apprehension of the object of knowledge is a unique act of a qualified individual:
While Modernity observes man as an individual primarily defined as such by the actions of its body, traditional thought sees him as a body qualified, and thus differentiated from others, by the act of his soul.
The body is in the soul and not the other way around, because:
“(…) intellectual creatures (…) contain corporeal creatures, not by quantitative extension, but in simple fashion, intelligibly; for what is intellectually known exists in the knowing subject, and is contained by his intellectual operation. (…) It is impossible, furthermore, for two bodies to contain one another, since the container exceeds the contained. Yet when one intellect has knowledge of another, the two intellects contain and encompass one another.” (SCG, II, 142, 148)
The reason why we are so accustomed to speak of soul as something “in the body” is the fact that it effortlessly pervades bodies. As opposed to two bodies touching by their respective quantitative extremities, the body is affected by the soul in the sense “(…) we say that a person in sorrow touches us (…) since contact of power, which appertains to intellectual substances, extends to the innermost things, it makes the touching substance to be within the thing touched, and to penetrate it without hindrance” (SCG, 166.), that is through the power of its activity and not it’s physical properties.
This simple distinction makes for a world of difference, because, if we reflect upon the fact that the true subject of synchronicity should be “psyche”, then we must point out that this psychological or psycho-analytical notion is the complete opposite of the traditional notion of the soul as described above.
As opposed to soul, “the psyche” of Jungian psychoanalysis is the sum total of the interactions of physical factors in the organism and its environment which develops consciousness, i.e. primarily an ability to reflect upon itself and create a stable ‘I’ or ‘Ego’.
However, this flies in the face of the simple truth that material being cannot reflect into itself. From the traditional standpoint this is unthinkable and can only be imagined, not inferred.
And this brings us to the crux of the problem.
Synchronicity has to do with the interplay of imagination and will; in Jung’s view chance events “conspire” to reinforce the strong, albeit usually unconscious, wish. Similarly, New Age “life coaches” insist that “the whole world conspires” to help you get what you want, abundance of information presents itself to someone as he “googles” away the cosmic conspiracy, etc, etc.
The thing in common here is that someone has to will and imagine something to get a synchronistic result.
Let us base our discussion on the last example.
Information overload and real illusion
As we stated in the first part of this analysis, the Internet is an extremely apt medium for synchronicity, mainly because it offers a false image of the “horizontal world” with no notions of higher or lower and, correspondingly, no notion of true and false in any substantial sense.
But it is also an abyss constantly being buried under an infinite flow of material particles – the swarm we call information.
When one says that information overload is worse than information starvation, more than few heads are going to nod in approval; however, the answer to thequestion as why is this so is not readily apparent.
After all, information is knowledge.
Or is it?
Information is the unit of quantification of knowledge, that is: knowledge deprived of its essence and turned into a material thing.
When one observes how people on the Internet talk among themselves, one soon notices a peculiar frequency of strange jargon; for instance, people don’t really talk – they interact; something is not understood – it is processed, etc.
The reason for this is an attempt at assimilating the mind to images; the information world forces one to project.
The illusion of total materiality it is based upon – because imagining information to be knowledge means precisely this – can only be built upon the active, that is to say the wilful, imagination. In such a world, the subject of knowledge is built upon material reflection of material being – something we’ve already defined as an impossibility – therefore a projection of images, because material reflection can only be a futile attempt which ends up being a creation of the system of phantasms containing nothing but images of sense experience.
What is extremely important to understand is this “knowledge” has to be outside of the knower, because there is no way it can be properly assimilated, so it ends up being an ever growing system of connections and relations one perceives outside of oneself, one talks about, debates or even writes them down into volumes of books, but never really lets it all be assimilated into the intimacy of his inner being.
These relations are primarily not causal, but meaningful in the sense that they can be infinitely collated and interpreted by the outside observer and clustered into something resembling a “cloud” of meaningful connections. Of course, the Ego processing this endless stream of information is the substance keeping it congruent, meaningful and providing the illusion of stability – posing as a veritable counterfeit of the traditional trade mark of reality.
This is what we’ll define as “the reality tunnel” and the knowledge both building and trying in vain to understand this reality tunnel, we’ll define as “consciousness”. Its only stable subject is Ego.
Sadly, synchronicity in this context denotes the moment when the walls of the reality tunnel start closing in on its builder.
There is an intrinsic need to unify the information and to create a “big picture”, that is: to in some way accomplish the ersatz of the proper intellectual process of assimilation by use of will and imagination. Intellect cannot be applied in this operation, but only imitated, because its proper assimilation to its object necessarily pushes into ever more narrow – and ever more unique – directions towards the primary cause. As the effects in a non-material sense of the word do not leave their causes because the power of the primary cause(s) is not material but all pervading and omnipresent, they provide the intelligence with the opportunity to follow them back to their origin in the sense of power keeping them in existence, i.e. keeping them clearly defined, differentiated from other beings and connected with them both in horizontal and vertical way.
This kind of knowledge is simultaneously a path upwards and downwards: the first cause makes possible the existence of what comes after it in causal relation as well as the knowledge of it, whereas, at the same time, the thinking is ascending to it by assimilating to its effects. In the end, what we end up with is a world where the question of the relationship of man’s inner being towards that which is outside of him is utterly meaningless – the discovery of truth is made possible by the existence of the world which is intrinsically revealed as meaningful and man who is originally assimilated to it by virtue of his immaterial power of actualizing the various causal relations in his innermost self. However, as he is not – and never will be – their cause, he cannot take them in any other way but as they are.
As opposed to this, having the totality of information transparent for one’s observation would mean being in possession of the total system or, which is the same thing, the total quantity of knowledge. It would mean consciousness was able to reflect upon everything and to acquire an image of everything. This is, of course, impossible but it is nevertheless the necessary cognitive trajectory of someone dwelling in a reality tunnel – there is a compulsion to process that which can’t be freely assimilated to.
This is the reason for the compulsive need to “make sense of the world” so prevalent nowadays. This need is originally provoked by reduction of causality to activities of matter, taken as the sole existent substance out of which causality somehow “evolves”, so that we end up with this:
“Now, there can be no difference between non-being and non-being. Therefore, one non-being is not preferable to another non-being. (…) In nothingness (…) no difference of moments can possibly be assigned, so that a thing should be made in one moment rather than in another” (SCG, 96.)
The only way – as Jung unintentionally, but quite aptly, demonstrated – to extract some kind of meaning from this is to invoke “acausal connection” and make it dependant on the activities of individual’s “psyche”. Schopenhauer stopped one step short of the abyss when he posited the transcendental will which preserved at least the formal structure of a metaphysical order where there is a higher, albeit also subjective, principle which can account for the diversity of the world and not sink it in the pure nothingness. Moreover, this also left him obliged to affirm the meaningful conditional relation between man and the “outside” world as eminently a moral and an aesthetic one: the question is not one of realization of man’s will in the free play of synchronicity magic but the fulfilment of his destiny in the sense of finding one’s place in the “great scheme of things”.
In Jung’s notion – which is in its peculiar way quite congenial with what we get with the other hierophant of Nothingness, Martin Heidegger – we end up with dissolution of any conceivable mode of diversity brought about by gradations of causality flowing from the first cause – the goodness, beauty and truth of the world – and what remains is the egotistical task of “self-realization” which is inherently meaningful only in the subjective and, finally, sub-subjective way of dissolution of Ego into nothingness.
All that talk about archetypes, dynamics of the psyche and its deeper levels has only one end: the dissolution of the substance of matter. And it seems that it is fairly natural that this downfall into deeper levels of delusion – because the very idea of pure matter mirroring the pure Ego is a real, substantial, delusion, no less delusional because it is real – is accompanied by synchronicities.
The reason for this, as it seems to me, is the fact that the advance of chaos is heralded by an increasing intensity of meaningful, accidental, connections that, however, have meaning only for the one isolated indivduum experiencing them. And, let us not make any mistake about it, it is an experience – a real illusion or illusory reality – quite capable of re-creating the world for the isolated consciousness. The very fact that our minds seem to be pushed in the opposite direction of this train of thought, i.e. they’re unable to conceive it, only serves to reinforce the point and to demonstrate that the process of absolute materialization and further dissolution of thought is in fact unthinkable and therefore impossible.
It resembles a dream, as Schopenhauer to some extent rightly stated, but a dream that can go on into infinity. The world conspiring to accommodate the dreamer’s will does so by dissolving into chaos which is not the simple severing of all meaningful relations but an overload of meaning whereby every relation is freely correlated to another and so on unto increasingly nauseating infinity.
Meltdown or Humility?
It is interesting to note how this process of un-thinking seems to be an ideal with a definite political superstructure. We’ve already pointed towards chaos magick as a method of choice of contemporary identitarian movements and Jung’s theory of acausality as the metaphysics taken up by the most radical system of post-modern Satanism.
The reason for this is probably that politics or ideology are attempts to give form to the formless and to try and implement that which cannot be implemented. One “dreamer of the day”, also writing roughly around the time when Jung’s essay on synchronicity came out, summed it up quite aptly:
„Like each man, a Culture has ages, which succeed one another with rhythmic inevitability.
They are laid down for it by its own organic law, just as the senility of a man is laid down at his conception. This quality of direction we call Destiny. Destiny is the hallmark of everything living. Destiny-thinking is the type of thought which understands the living, and it is the only kind which does. The other method of human thought is that of Causality. This method is inwardly compulsory in dealing with inorganic problems of technics, mechanics, engineering, systematic natural philosophy. (…) The Destiny-Idea is the central motive of organic thinking. If anyone thinks it is merely an invisible causality, he understands it not. The idea of Causality is the central motive of systematic, or inorganic thinking. (…) Destiny-thinking and Causality-thinking are related to one another, however, through their common provenance: both are products of Life. Even the most inorganic thinker or scientifico, the crassest materialist or mechanist, is subject to his own destiny, his own soul, his own character, his own life span, and outside this framework of destiny his free, unbound flight of causal fancy cannot deliver him. Destiny is Life, but Causality is merely a thought-method by which a certain form of Life, namely Culture-man, attempts to subjugate all around him to his understanding. Thus there is an order of rank between them: Destiny-thinking is unconditionally prior, for all Life is subject to it, while Causality thinking is only an expression of a part of Life’s possibilities.“ (F.P. Yockey, Imperium (online edition, pg. 6 – 7.)
This passage from a leading post-Nazi thinker sums up the despair of the modern man who, by rejecting the reality of the mind undetached from reality, embraces the warm boiling of an imaginary primordial soup out of which, we are supposed to believe, emerge forms that are seemingly not purely material but are in actual fact sub-material: the creations of a feverish imagination brought about by the will of unbounded egotism.
The idea that causality is a purely mechanical abstraction is an aberration stemming from the fatal decision to detach from one’s own origin and it ends up with a desperate attempt to fix the broken bond, without making amends. For someone like Yockey, Jung or postmodern conspiracy theorists, the Aquinas’ passages we quoted previously can only be but faint echoes from another world.
Yet that other world is the world. In it the man is not, and never will be, a creator of either its Being or his own destiny, but only the one who is sustained in it and driven to his destiny by the act of the eternal power of love; the causality that pervades all and everything in its most intimate centre and not merely in its outward appearance.
This is the source of the causality of meaningful connections and the root of destiny for the man who attempts to return to it by ascending and not descending the ladder of Being.
Or he can decide to up the ante and end up with this:
“For a long time the nature of the LHP had been misunderstood. The traditional definition as magick use for personal/destructive/negative purposes is meaningless because it assumes a framework of moral opposites, which does not, in reality, exist in relation to magickal energies. All evolution of consciousness is a magickal act – an expansion of the acausal into realm of the causal. From the ‘traditional’(sic), moral/ Nazarene (this term denotes Christianity. Myatt obviously endeavors to follow Satanist’s tradition of never pronouncing the name Jesus Christ, KT) point of view all such evolution, of necessity, becomes evil. It is unfortunate that, for a long time, this simple fact has been obscured by silly systems like Qabala (meaning Kabbalah, KT) with its notions of a Dark Side of the Tree (meaning cabbalistic “Tree of Life”, KT). No dark side exists, because what actually exists (…) is(emphasis in the original, KT) dark of itself because it presences non-Being.“ (source)
And it is more or less the final word about just where “acausal connections” and synchronicity lead.
Putting aside these extreme cases, that nevertheless represent the consequent trajectory of mind-less thinking, we can conclude this analysis with some remarks on synchronicity as opposed to destiny.
Destiny is first and foremost the morally qualified trajectory of a person’s life, which is completely unrelated to his or hers everyday wishes or “dreams”, insofar as it cuts through superficial aims based on imagination to fulfil the true end of a person’s existence. The very interesting question is why some people’s lives seem to be rather random affairs, while others are clearly led towards a certain place in life, seemingly from no conscious decisions of their own. While we will not dwell upon it in detail here, one remark could prove enlightening for further penetrating this problem.
Namely, a question of the same order would be, why do we know some things before we can explain them and why do we know some ideas are wrong although at the moment we encounter them we can’t find any basis to refute them?
In both cases, the reason is that our conceptual knowledge is based on causality which transcends our ability to fully conceptualize it into a closed system. The meaning of knowledge comes not so much from knowing in itself but from being known by that which is higher. This is what makes something like destiny and meaningful correspondences exist in one’s life real yet never really be explicable.
The presupposition of recognizing the purpose in the world is an ability to assimilate oneself to its origin, which in turn absolutely presupposes renouncing the ambition of being its creator.
Perhaps one could wave off this ambition as something reserved for a small number of psychotics and psychopaths, yet in actual fact this is often the usual trajectory for a good number of people, although most don’t really act upon it.
The idea that one can invoke an Egyptian deity to inaugurate the American President into office, as well as the dissolution of even the most basic hierarchy which separates the fringe from the mainstream testify to a changing trend in this matter.
Most of the media, research, politics and even religious and metaphysical doctrines now being disseminated via the internet are in fact based upon the principle of chaos, that is on the principle of acausal meaningful connection, where causal explanation only serves to indicate that the world “has been figured out”, whereas in fact it is a sign of a reality tunnel being finally closed all around the Ego. In the sphere of information flow synchronicities are pretty much common occurrence up to the point when they cease to be meaningful coincidences and become the meaningful, but completely illusory, reality of one’s own consciousness entrapped in the informational cluster.
In itself, this is a fulfilled escape from reality. In contrast to simply believing in one’s own lies it is an instance of turning one’s own lie into reality and proclaiming it to be the world itself.
The final step is the dissolution of Ego under the weight of its possessions and, we can assume, momentary reversal of illusory meaning into total meaninglessness, probably ending up in complete moral, mental and psychical break down.
In illusion crumbling into itself without a cause.
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Really enjoy this website. You are definitely on the right track with Heidegger and modern nihilism. Oddly enough I used a lot of Yockey quotes from Imperium to attempt a critique of liberalism in my own blog. I always felt that his idea of a coming imperium was wrong headed thinking. The occult dimension in the political is very evident to me. I think you might enjoy some of my work although I am not on your level of philosophical background.
Thanks. When taken out of the overall context ideas of the likes of Yockey may seem as some kind of alternative to postmodernism, but in reality they’re just a flip side of the same coin. As much as our age tends to forget the lessons of previous century mediated by mainstream of public opinion and historians, they were not all that wrong as people tend to see them now. There’s a good reason for Nazism to be stigmatized and no amount of historical revisionism will change that. Yockey was a direct intellectual and political descendant of the Third Reich, attempting to refine its fundamental ideas and overall political strategy. The trouble with “liberalism” is that we tend to subsume many disparate things under this moniker and then ditching of the baby with bath water becomes almost inevitable.
Yes I think you bring up very important aspects of his thought which I could never quite define but which definitely had a malignant quality. A whiff of sulpher so to speak.
In other words, as you describe it here, syncronicity is at the exact antipode of mystical revelation. In the latter case the hidden meaning of things is revealed and although the revelation is personal it is nonetheless “objective” as the meaning revealed is rigorous, intelligible and part of a hierarchy where each existent thing has its own rightful place and fullfils its own function. Whereas in the former case- that of syncronicity- there is no hierarchy, only a network where everything is randomly tied to everything else and there is no inherent meaning except for the psyche of one isolated individual.
In both cases the experience is personal but in the case of authentic revelation the spirit discerns the meaning, while in the case of syncronicity the imagination in way superimposes meaning or forms a kind of sympathetic link to the flowing images which then create the image which suits the individual’s desires.
This is how I understand it.
For a number of years I was attracted to the idea of syncronicity and I discerned absolutely no difference between this and authentic intuitions of a higher sort. And it is no wonder, since it mimicks the real thing so well.
There was also my experience with the tarot. I never could tell what is objective and what is creative or what is a simple mirror of hidden desires in it.
I would say that’s how I see it. But bear in mind that this is only a single article about something that is very convoluted. I think there’s even more depth to it. The reason I have written it is, among other things, the experience similar to yours. I also, when younger, thought this to be some kind of “higher state” of psychological experience. Only later, step by step, I realized that it is more akin to a mild psychosis. I think the key thing is that it is completely ego centered and that it lacks moral relevance – something that traditional notion of destiny necessarily entails. Schopenhauer’s essay is in fact much better than I gave it credit in the text, because this is what he points out when he talks about destiny, look it up. It’s in his “Parerga and Paralipomena” (you’ll find it easily on libgen.info).
Btw. you’ll tell me more about that Tarot business some day. Its extremely risky practice, more so because I’ve seen it work in the hands of some people with almost machine like precision.