Chaotic Consciousness in Alchemical Art

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Chaotic Consciousness by Iona Miller, 4/2009

"The secret of alchemy is this: there is a way of manipulating matter and energy so as to produce what modern scientists call a 'field of force.' The field acts on the observer and puts him in a priveleged position vis-a-vis the Universe. From this position he has access to the realities which are ordinarily hidden from us by time and space, matter and energy. This is what we call the Great Work." ~ Fulcanelli, 1937

“The changing of bodies into light and light into bodies, is very comfortable to the course of nature, which seems delighted with transmutations.” ~ Opticks, Sir Isaac Newton

“Ultimately, the Stone should be considered a catalyst to instruct the body code to overcome its inherited weakness and rebuild a better, stronger vital metabolism that is not just self-repairing, but building to an optimal state of health. . .The Stone has the seed of all DNA in an archetypal form and gives the correct, original instructions to the potential new cells. This enables generations of mutation/adaptation of the organism to self-correct.” ~ Dr. Ross Mack

Chaotic Creativity

The magic moments in alchemy come when we glimpse universal principles through personal experience. Innovation in either the sciences or arts occurs only when a single mind perceives in disorder a deep new unity. Science is an attempt to control our surroundings by entering into them and understanding them from inside, and in a subjective reality, so is art and mysticism.

All these disciplines employ the processes of discovery, invention and creation rooted in the ground state through which nothing becomes something and manifests itself objectively. A contemplative civilization values mystic immersion in nature and the immanent emptiness within all nature (the ground state), the infinitely recursive perpetual union with what already exists.

Art is a personal, though often anonymous creation. And scientific discovery may be as well. Both science and art seek to find the design of nature in her detail. It requires inductive thinking followed into the detail of nature, and our nature to develop visionary insight.

Theories are imaginative choices which often outstrip the given facts. Induction images more than there is ground for and creates relations, which at bottom can never be verified. Every induction is a speculation and it guesses at a unity which facts we know suggest.

Every innovator has a particular way of looking at and arranging the facts, guided by a sense of aesthetic unity and beauty. Science shows us that nature has a unity, and this unity makes her laws seem beautiful in their simplicity. Our demand that nature be lawful is a demand for unity -- for order to emerge from chaos. We seek it instinctively at the creative edge.

We become creative, whether as artists, scientists or mystics, when we find a new unity in the variety of nature, a likeness between things (symbols or images) that were not thought alike before, and this yields a sense of richness and of understanding. The creative mind looks for unexpected likenesses, new analogies, and engaged the whole personality.

Art and science may likewise bridge the conflict between paradoxical analogies, between poetic metaphors, and enrich our understanding of the world without completing it. The images we create depend on our factual grasp of the relation between the symbols in the image. Power is contained in conjoining minute particulars which denote the change of scale between the metaphor and its application. This is the value of originality.

We expect artists and scientists to be forward-looking, to fly in the face of what is established, to create new paradigms -- not what is acceptable, but what will become accepted. Like art, science is preoccupied less with facts than with relations, less with numbers than with dynamic arrangement.

New vision is the continuing search for dynamic structure. A theory is the creation of unity in what is diverse by the discovery of unexpected likenesses. In all disciplines, including alchemy, innovation is pictured as an act of imagination, a seeing of what others have not yet seen. It is indeed, a creative observation of outer or inner worlds: "The Tell-tale Art."

Chaotic Plenum

The psyche is a chaotic plenum of meaningful psycho-sensory imagery in constant dynamic motion and fractal reiteration, reflecting the present state in the imaginal dimension. This stream of consciousness is familiar, yet Mysterious. For a taste of such imagery, see PsychogenISIS:

The ancient art of alchemy was the search for the God-head in matter. The alchemical task was to unify spirit and soul in the body. Psychic reality means to be in soul, esse in anima, as Jung put it. It means an enlarged experience of concrete reality, an imaginal dialogue with events, situations and circumstances.

Psychic reality means to be in soul, through embodiment (soma) or enlivenment (psyche)--perceiving images viscerally and mentally. This recognition of the archetypal nature of reality, and the archetypal reality of nature, and our own nature is a way of reclaiming the divinity of body, matter, and world. This notion is part of the cultural return of the Feminine.

In our Transmodern culture every image, mundane or divine, has been used and abused, sampled and morphed into virtually all possibilities. In the post-Postmodern Era there is no new iconography. In imagery and art, there is nothing new under the Sun. Everything which can be used from religion, myth and symbolism, even science, has been used and can only be recycled -- recycled like these collaged images from the trash-heap of society. The materials for these images was literally someone's garbage. Using personal and cultural remains we turn "lead into gold."

Here, in this animated world, images are lovingly juxtaposed with their complements and opposites. Some images just want to "live together." The familiar is combined with the mysterious, reflecting a unique surrealistic vision. Reflectaphors, or reflective metaphors, repeat themselves in each image or poster, as well as jump from image to image--i.e. they echo themes among the various pieces as the series unfolds itself in self-similar fashion, like the iterations of fractals.

Anima Mundi bids you welcome and acts as our tour-guide or hostess. She coaxes you deeper into the labyrinth of desire and fulfillment, where each of you can find your own resonance, the imagery which speaks the loudest or clearest, or beguiles with the mere whisper. We react positively or negatively to images that touch on our complexes, our traumas, and our own revelations and meaningful iconography.

To experience psychic reality means to be in soul, in the realm of the imagination, as if interacting with its inhabitants and locales. Inner visionary experience, be it wrathful or beatific, is an expression of soul. Through images the unconscious affects our worldview, health and relationships. Soul is the middle world between gross materiality and the spiritual world.

Matter, spirit, and ego fight over the soul. Yet soul is a primary experience, virtually our only way of being. Each wants its unique fantasy to reign uppermost. So, the first task is to distinguish soul from spirit, so the body may unite with and be enlivened by both.

This is a psychological approach to art and life--giving voice to soul, living life as art. It means the return of a subjective feminine eye on reality. It means the enlivening of our bodies and the world of nature with imagination. When we see soul as the background of all phenomena, we becoming aware of the animating principle and develop a relationship with Her.

All images arise either from body processes (instinct) or psychic forms (spirit). Whether instinct-controlled or spirit-controlled, they are related to physiological processes. They appear psychologically as images, but work physiologically. They produce emotional or visceral aspects, but not in any causal way. The images don't produce reactions. The image is the entire psychophysical gestalt.

The soul generates images unceasingly. The soul lives on images and metaphor, especially epistemological metaphors -- how we know what we know. These images form the basis of our consciousness. All we can know comes through images, through our multi-sensory perceptions. So, this soul always stays close to the body, close to corporeality, to what "matters." Let the images come into your body; embrace the image.

This resurrection of the soul of the world means a raising of consciousness of created things, the world's psychic reality. Physical reality becomes psychic, and psyche becomes real--it "matters." The difference between soul and external things no longer matters. Inner and outer world are both real and in fact One World.

Image, metaphor and symbol bridge the abyss between matter and spirit. Images are the subtle net that unites symbols. They are integrated with feeling, mind and imagination. We can see soul in all natural objects. We can notice our fantasies constantly conditioning our experience of reality. Knowledge of spirit doesn't come from ideas, even revelations, but through a reflective process from multitudinous points of view.

Eccentric Science

Jung modeled his psychological theory of individuation on the circle, the mandala of Self. But transmodern Jungian thought has evolved beyond monism toward models grounded in multiple points of view and chaos theory. This models a decidedly more eccentric science, closer to the core value of chaos in alchemy.

Alchemists are nothing if not eccentric. Complicated orbital dynamics are chaotic. They can vary cyclically for long periods, then abruptly change to chaotic patterns. Orbits track systems over time. Eccentric orbits are decidedly off-center; they are original paths relating to eccentricity, conformism and primary process. They map the transition from stability to transformative chaos.

Eccentricity influences the stability and existence of equilibrium points, escape and capture trajectories. These universal constructors have metaphorical equilvalents in human personality and transformation. Surplus values enter open systems through chaos. Turbulence, even illness can have positive results.

The relation between physical illness and creativity in visual artists can be examined using an interdisciplinary approach combining biographical data from art history, physical information from medicine, behavioral insights from psychology, and concepts from nonlinear dynamics, popularly known as chaos theory. One study modeled the chaotic effect of illness on creativity that mirrors the classic crisis of shamanic illness:

An interdisciplinary approach combining chaos theory, art history, medicine, and psychology was used to study the impact of illness on creativity in the lives of 21 visual artists-- Botticelli, Dürer, Michelangelo, Titian, Goya, Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, Redon, Monet, Matisse, Ryder, Munch, Beaux, Marsh, O'Keeffe, Kahlo, Demuth, Blaine, Schonzeit, Flanagan, and Longo-Muth. Art history and medicine provided biographical data and physical information, and psychology offered insights into motivation and behavior. As a mathematical abstraction of behavior, chaos theory revealed the dynamics of the creative illness through an understanding of the patterns that emerged in the lives of the artists. A period of illness was modeled as creative chaos, which functioned as a time of transition to a new stage of life and the production of new art. The artists studied clustered into four patterns. First, a period of illness preceded choice of a career in art. Second, illness transformed the creative process and the art produced. Third, for some artists, illness became life's focus, with negative consequences to the artists and their art. Fourth, artists who remained creative during an incapacitating or terminal illness produced work in an entirely new medium.

Alchemist Heal Thyself

Because chaos theory addresses disequilibrium, discontinuities, and the emergence of new states of being, it offers metaphoric models of "creative illness"--an illness that profoundly affects the person and the work produced. Evidence suggests that it is not only the illness, but a person's response to the illness and resilience that leads to a new stage of life and new work.

Even though a physical ailment may be debilitating, certain individuals have also found it to be motivating. We see much the same process occuring in the alchemical art, which has shamanic overtones. Shamans and alchemists often experience an "illness of the calling" for those who become quintessential healers. The ego is deliberately destabilized and displaced. It can be a crisis of severe proportions that functions as self-initiation. The creative illnesses of Freud and Jung lasted for years.

All illness is meaningful. Jung suggested we seek the god, the spiritual sources, in the illness. Creative illness is always life-challenging and potentially self-healing. It often succeeds a period of intense stress, preoccupation or search for a certain truth. It can take the form of physical illness or depression (nigredo). It is also often a dark night of the soul, spiritual illness. The alchemical crisis is initiated by soul loss and alienation.

Physical and emotional symptoms can be explored psychologically, mined for their metaphorical imagery and insight through self-analysis. We harness the attempt at self-healing by nature. Newly found resources and natural healing capacities, placebo and spontaneous recovery, are mobilized. Termination of the initiatory illness is often rapid and marked by exhilaration. The wounded becomes a healer in his or her own right.

We emerge from the ordeal with personality transformed, new coping strategies and the conviction that a great truth or a new world has been discovered. We turn inward to be born again by unblocking the energy formerly contained in the symptoms.

Imagery and art are therapeutic mechanisms. Old stresses and traumatic imprints are released and a new multidimensional identity is discovered. The inner physician heals thyself. It is a transformational healing experience, an influx of creative ideas and a permanent personality change -- spiritual transformation.

Engagement Learning

A discipline such as alchemy engages us in a way that promotes a deeper understanding of the concepts, issues and ideas that drive us, including sensitive dependence on initial conditions, iteration, fractal nature, and the presence of strange attractors. Commited to the irrational process, we are "in over our heads." We embody our internal transformation states.

Alchemy is not an orderly, single-path progression to a conclusion. Emergence is naturally a self-transcending construct. The creative individual in the process of alchemical acceleration must experiences states of disequilibrium. We must and do trust the process that we are at the creative edge, not the verge of obsession or psychosis.

1. Creativity develops under conditions of emotional fluctuations, tensions, and external as well as internal conflicts. 2. Creativity is "self-organizing dissipative structure," an open system that can survive only through a constant exchange of matter/energy and information with its environment. 3. Creativity continuously creates disequilibria and bifurcations, breaks barriers of routine, to liberate from automatic experiences in order to achieve inner autonomy. 4. Creativity can be regarded as desire to build a new reality through an expanded awareness. 5. Creativity is an important outlet for the increased tension of inner conflicts and defense force against mental illness. (Laycraft)

Alchemy is a virtual training environment where nature shows the nonlinear, interactive way. Noise can be embedded signal in nonlinear feedback systems. Control mechanisms operate over many time scales. Thus, what first appears as sporadic or emergent qualities can stabilize over time. There is a connection between arts skills learning and broader learning.

What we learn in the alchemical art compliments, validates and suppliments what we learn elsewhere. The mind normally follows learned trajectories. But a change in parameters or modification of the link structure produces bifurcations leading toward novel organizational states. These dynamical networks present idiosyncratic organizations, involving more or less lability and chaos, ranging from spiral-point attractors to chaotic ones.

Personality is a reciprocally-interactive complex system. Recursive distinctions give rise to complex fractals in personality. Recursion relates directly to self-reference, through which logic loops back upon itself like the alchemical Ouroboros as well as fractal geometry. These perspectives are attractor states that divide the observed from the observer. They give rise to the laws of physics, the deep structure of language and the controversies of social science.

Adaptation and adaptive behaviors are central themes of practical importance in the study and function of personality. Adaptation is an important non-linear, dynamic and complex concept and system involved in evolution and survival of our species. It is related to "holding the tension of the opposites":

As a state of being, the uroboros represents fused opposites: self/other, inside/outside, good/bad, feminine/masculine which we modeled well by fractal dynamics. As a cycle of activity, the uroboros symbolizes seeds of creative growth and self-renewal. By looping around and feeding upon itself, the uroboros relates to recursion, whereby the end products of experience are fed back into the beginning. As an ongoing cycle, recursion eventuates in conscious processes of self-reflection and self-control over impulses. Although the separation of opposites, or making of distinctions, is necessary for survival, the symbol of the uroboros suggests that our paradoxical core remains buried deep within the psyche for life. (Marks-Tarlow)

Alchemy creates catastrophe shelves or bifurcation points in a deliberate way. This advances interaction through the first two levels of chaos ultimately reaching the third level, or deep chaos. This enables us to move from the known with its certainties and predictable solutions to the unknown.

We construct our own belief systems and knowledge from direct experience. Anomalous experience emerges from chaotic systems. They inject novelty into the system. They include everything from deja vu to high weirdness. How we react to them, depends on how we contextualize them. Traditions tell us they can be wrathful or beatific, horrifying or blissful.

For example, fear is the driving force behind paranormal delusions because high fear levels invert the effect of experience on fear, thereby creating a positive feedback loop in which belief, experience, and fear mutually reinforce each other in a perceptual "contagion" process. The excellent fit of the cusp model implies that, at least at high levels of paranormal experience, we face the dilemma of choosing between believing in the paranormal or experiencing fear.

Paradox Logic

Play is a crucial element for discovery of fluid connections, physicosocial dynamics and prescriptive information and control for more efficient self-regulation -- adaptive solution finding. Thus, alchemy represents a dynamic synthesis that is always occuring at the critical edge of the merger of inner life and "external" [sic] environment. It is always happening in the NOW, the cusp of self-discovery.

There is only One World. It is our work to see art in all intrinsic form and holographic process - eidetic experience, perceptive transparency. LIGHT is the basis of all appearances and differences. In this view conceptual categories become literally senseless except as heterogeneous interacting agents.

Entropy and dissipation are the core thermodynamic insight, leaving the creation and evolution of living systems as ignorable mysteries. A deeper appreciation of the wholeness of human occupation emerges within a spiritual paradigm reflecting the fundamental complexity, organizational fitness, nonlinear processes, and pattern flow formation of dynamic human occupation.

Individual Innovation

Self-similarity and self-affinity are newly recognized symmetries by which transformations in time and/or space leave the central pattern unchanged. Attending to fractal complexity is fascinating yet effortless. Gell-Mann (2002) defines effective complexity as regularities or schema found or judged to be useful. They appear as equations, genotypes, laws and traditions, and best practices. Chaos is synergistic, guided by preferential attraction.

Multidimensional information implies higher dimensional chaos. The folding dimension can describe time evolution of fractal structure with no relation to time scale. Data or information then appears nonlocal, synchronous, or entangled. A fractal conception of time injects the infinite into the finite, with open-ended possibilities for nested temporal cycles.

Fractal structure is the result of repeated nestings of temporal intervals into the window of the present now. This iterative embedding process shapes the world/observer interface by increasing its complexity with every new temporal nesting. Simultaneity supercedes succession explaining the structure of temporal interface.

Fractal time results in complexification and decomplexification of our perceptions. Fractal time may account for the depth dimension of symbolic perception. Inside/outside are entrained and the outer structure locks onto the internal dynamics of the observer/participant.

From a fractal point of view we can pack an infinite number of activities into the same period of time and still leave room for more. Perturbations of current focus in unfolding existence are fractal catalysts permiting us to overcome structural constraints.

Positive maladjustment is a phase transition from chaos to order. Spontaneous multilevel disintegration is described by the chaotic attractor. As soon as a person feels that some modes of thinking, feeling, and acting are higher, conflicts of a vertical nature arise.

Emotional, unconscious and slightly conscious forces dominate the spontaneous multilevel disintegration. Epistemology addresses how we know what we know. A deep question for epistemology is how (without a homunculus) sentient beings discover new ideas that are within their structural capacity but beyond previous experience. Innovative crystallization can be understood as synchronized coupling between two or more chaotic systems.

Nonlinear Nothingness

Nonlinear Thinking

A stable worldview is one that reinforces thought trajectories that enhance individual wellbeing. Many factors can interfere with this stability. Metaphors reflect two parallel systems, each stable in their own right. Mapping across destabilizes each system, leading to entropy and an emergent self organizing system.

This re-organization produces new insights, consciously or unconsciously. Metaphoric meaning produces different perceptions, reframing or a solution to a problem. One metaphor can alter perspective, attitude, self concept, motivation, learning and behavior, just as one trauma or therapeutic intervention can change us utterly.

Chaos theory and alchemy are both about systems trajectories. Chaos and complexity theories merge at the point where they focus on fractals. Developmental stage change has a fractal nature, including increasing task complexity. The sequence of tasks in transition is identical from order to order.

Problem solving is a dynamical process where nonlinearity is expected. Pattern variables are the key to choices. Critical states, small and big disruptions, influence our learning. Bifurcations or changes in pattern, changes in our mind and views, are intrinsic to our stability. Fluid boundaries are critical to growth. Thus, solutio is the key to the alchemical process. Chaos is the Universal Solvent.

A dynamical systems approach to cognitive systems is a multimodal model of creative thinking. The levels include semantics (or sense transformation level), logics and grammar. Dynamical patterns are used as substitutions for representations in cognitive theories. The dynamics of each level, which is supposed to be chaotic, allows for the generation of new information not presented by initial conditions.

The transition steps pattern is also fractal. The transition steps result in increasingly less partial organization of combinations of elements at the next order. At the same time, those elements increase in complexity from one order to another, with fractal similarities to the overall model. Levels of organization, from physics to psychology and alchemy, display homologous features. They are fractal.

Although the concept of ‘a self’ is a hypothetical construct, it has proven useful as a psycho-social construct. Usually perceived as a central or core part of an individual's identity, there are many variations of what the idea of self system is like. The self is almost always considered an organized system.

Recursion gives rise to self-similarity. Since all properties enter consciousness, all of them are in this sense recursive. A particular property emerges as a result of a given combination, or new sequence revealing a new property from the total set available. Emergent phenomena are constituted by and generated from underlying phenomena, and at the same time they are autonomous from those underlying phenomena. Emergent phenomena are ubiquitous in living systems across scales and domains.

As part of human dynamical organization, self-image is considered non-linear. Different initial points of origin lead to different trajectories and outcomes. Fractals may play a significant role in self-concept and self esteem. Developmentally, the self evolves into increasingly complex self-organization continuing through whole-life learning. Alchemy brings infinite possibilities for meaning, so conclusion of an operation or cycle of refinement does not imply closure of fractally reiterating processes, since alchemists are recursive paradoxical thinkers.

Divergent Perspectives

A paradigm is a prevailing point of view or way of thinking about an issue that exemplifies an entire scientific culture, such as the "new" nature of nature. Science changes as our perceptions and patterns change. The universe is a complex web of relations. The radically novel comes into existence through emergence.

Nonlinear wisdom emerges through several important themes: the necessity of living in the dark with chaos; the self-organizing quality of nature, both inner and outer; interpenetrating, fractal boundaries between self, world, and other; and the paradoxical essence of psyche, where only through separation and individuation can we open ourselves to love and vital interconnection with self, others and world.

Chaos and complexity have made militant anti-humanistic models of spirituality obsolete, opening the way for intentional facilitation of emergent positive internal resources. Whether you come to chaos theory from a scientific, artistic or philosophical portal, at some point the concepts take root in you and proliferate. Changes in shared beliefs, expectations, perceptions, norms and patterns of reciprocal behavior among individuals who interact with one another lead toward cultural shift.

Emergent perceptions about life-meaning, purpose, and identity are understood through the model of intention, meaning, and perception, influencing the system-wide changes that occur during spiritual occupation. Complexity is the mother of new ideas and forms. Alchemy opens flows of information across scales, from smaller biological processes up to larger scale social processes.

We can view spiritual occupation as both the creative process (means) and as engagement in spiritual activities (ends), which sustain and support life and health. This is a nonlinear view of the spiritual dimensions of personal growth through the process of self-organization and self-transcendence.

Hyperdimensional Experience

Hyperdimensional experience (HDE) is psychological awareness of a dimension beyond that experienced previously, or normally and in everyday life. Sometimes it is unexpected or fleeting, the result of a drug, temporary circumstances or a physiological state such as illness. Sometimes it is sought as an abiding frame of mind by means of a program of training like alchemy, religious discipline or meditation, or as a successful outcome of psychotherapy. (Marks-Tarlow)

By its nature the experience of hyperdimensionality means the sense of a further or higher dimension in perception, thought and feeling. As such it may be distinguished from other altered states of consciousness (ASCs), which may be positive, negative or even pathological in their effect. As distinct from ASCs in general, the HDE is felt as a liberating, expansive or life-changing experience.

Often it is linked with intellectual and/or emotional insights, which again may be evanescent or may be capable of subsequent articulation and elaboration in a productive sense. Coherent narratives of our life-journeys is a reiterated aspect of self-concept. We gain the capacity to sink beneath everyday surface events to the very origins of consciousness. In this zone of expanded awareness, external events of life are seen as meeting and fitting the internal contours of psyche like hand and glove. Oceanic experience leaves a sense of expanded perception in its wake that is more or less persistent..

Elimination of all clear distinctions between inside/outside, self/other, mind/matter, grants a wholeness to experience, a sense of "rightness" about how character and destiny intersect, even when this fit appears perfectly horrific. A state of "primordial confusion" at the base of consciousness can be modeled via re-entry dynamics by fractal boundaries between psyche and world. Within this paradoxical state, boundaries are simultaneously opened and closed, and opposites are equated. This is the stuff either of madness or higher consciousness, depending upon the strength of the therapeutic container (alembic, retort).

Chaos theory and alchemy are aligned methodologies. Emergent wholeness is qualitatively different than holism. Critical dynamics are "constructed" according to a specific meaning. Positive and negative hedonic categories are perceived as subjective categories of distress (fear, anger, sadness, etc) and eustress (joy, love, wonder, etc).

Their accompanying approach/avoidance action tendencies offer perceptual guidance concerning self-preservationary and self-developmental adaptive responses to environmental changes. Our behavioral choices must align to ensure optimal biological harmony---a naturally harmonious state of homeostatic balance with cognitive and emotional fluctuations.

The transitional conditions at each interpenetrating operative level may be identified as phase states, occurring by analogy within nonlinear dynamical systems, and involving iterations, feedback, and strange attractors. They may also be represented as fractal loops. The resulting condition of wholeness unfolds a fractal or "in-between" ontology which hyper-dimensionally marries living and dying, order and chaos. Alchemy and chaos means levels without hierarchy and wholes without holism.

Rationality is not always capable of dealing with the complex situations we encounter in the real world. Irrational decision-making processes have evolved over time and are rooted in the deepest functions of the brain/mind. Nonlinear dynamic systems modeling of broad and deep spiritual occupations further validates the theory and practice of alchemy by addressing the full complexity of occupation as an embodied process of spirit-mind-body and world. Linear and nonlinear thinking are required for creativity, healing and innovation.

The Age of Information is the Age of Turbulence

The traditional scientific view is to regard matter, information and energy as basically different. Knowledge from the theory of relativity, and especially from quantum physics, shows that at the micro-level, matter appears to be energy if considered from the appropriate point of view. Information has not yet been considered or discussed in this connection, or at least not adequately.

For the process of self-organization, every complex system requires, in addition to matter, (materially compressed energy), various types of energy, as well as information of appropriate quality and quantity. No system can function or exist without this information. (Karl, Toifil).

If consciousness is pure information it is not limited to physical form; its patterning may emerge from chaotic dynamics operating at the quantum level, where the "no-thing" of pure information becomes a structured "some-thing," through intentionality coupled with chaotic determinism (self-organized emergent order). The so-called "software of consciousness" is unlike the matter and energy of classical understanding, but exerts a measureable effect on the physical world, apparently through quantum chaos.

Fractal therapies, including alchemy, allow us to penetrate deeply into the psyche--into the vortex of the internal structuring process--through progressively de-structuring patterns of organization. The undecomposable level of chaotic consciousness is experienced as the pure, unconditioned imprint of the whole, resulting in a new primal self image and sense of relationship to the greater whole which emerges through nonunitary transformation.

Information patterns randomness. Even though information is beyond physical reality as we know it, it is nevertheless "real" and even more fundamental than the world of matter. The functionalist definition of consciousness is not based on the measurement of a substance or energy, but on a measure of pure information. This implies that consciousness interpenetrates the entire universe, but at a level more fundamental than field theory or QM.

There are characteristics of quantum systems that can be tied to chaotic behavior in classical systems. When the dynamics is chaotic, these quantum fluctuations and virtual vacuum fluctuations grow very large. Disorder is not an ultimate fate from which nothing can escape, but is actually the progenitor of order. A more ordered state arises out of apparent disorder. At this moment of crisis for a system a "bifurcation point" a system has two options. Either it will be destroyed by the fluctuation and disintegrate into chaos, or it will suddenly leap to an entirely new level of organization, a new internal order.

At bifurcation the stability of steady states and cycle changes becomes supercritical--far from equilibrium. Repatterning of the whole by the natural chaotic dynamic leads to new emergent order within the framework of personality--ego is transformed and "reborn" anew. Repatterning may occur through harmonic resonance of certain informational content within the general perception of overwhelming white noise or blankness, the results of "downloading" informational overload. The information contact that is "in phase" with the participant is fed back into the system through synchronization.

Quantum Potential

The occult secret of alchemy is that we carry a bit of chaos and a bit of the Universe in us. The universe is fractal in the expression of the forces of nature and biological tissue is the ultimate fractal form it adopts (King). Matter is not inert but "alive and active." Further, the vacuum state is teeming with nonobservable "life"; a turbulent froth which conditions the emergence of probabilities in quantum fluctuation. The vacuum is not an empty stage, but the domain of violent upheavals in nothingness, where new particles are constantly being created and destroyed.

Bohm has posited a multidimensional common ground for consciousness and matter. He alleges that the superholographic level of the universe has a staggering number of dimensions, and that it may be a "mere stage" beyond which is "an infinity of further development." Bohm calls it, "vast, rich, and in a state of unending flux of enfoldment and unfoldment, with laws most of which are only vaguely known." In this view nature itself is a living organism whose diversity encompasses all the diversity of form emerging from the superhologram. It is "purposive" and possesses "deep intentionality."

To the ancients Chaos was the unknown, the spirit world, which displayed the discontinuous monstrosities created by the erratic side of nature, as well as her beauty. When we look into the face of nature, we see ourselves reflected back with an eye not jaundiced by the bias of the ego. Dreams, nightmarish visions, and the dynamic imagery process all reveal the state of our consciousness at the deepest level--depicting the nature of our relationship to the whole of consciousness network.

Recycling consciousness allows emergent order to crystallize in a more-adapted primal self image--a new steady-state, a new system of values. Transformation takes place as one configuration or expression dynamically changes into another in accordance with chaotic dynamics, global repatterning. Bonds are the force of attraction. They make matter matter.

We inhabit an ocean of "active information"--the ever-flowing, ever-changing pattern of the meaning of life itself. The entire inner and outer environment includes the whole field of electromagnetic information, which patterns our electronic bodies. But we also are subject to the patterning effects of the whole of existence, a global pool of information, a pool of being, which is paradoxically rooted in non-existence.

Novel processes and elements emerge that are in no way implicit in anything that has gone before. They permit the totally new to enter the universe, superceding historic determinism. They are like gaps or intermittancy in the scintillating fabric of spacetime, from which creation emerges. Inside gold is the sun.

Non-existence underlies existence, and we fluctuate between them. Existence is discontinuous. Just where are we when we don't exist--between moments--at the bottom of our breath? We have dissolved into the matrix of unconditioned creativity, unconditioned process--the spirit world, the realm of the dead, eternity. And we are reborn in each and every nanosecond. This is the quintessence of alchemy.


Alchemists are explorers of consciousness and matter. Alchemy is traditionally associated with chemistry, but matter is more fundamental than chemistry; it is electronic. Therefore, physics is even more fundamental to alchemy as it describes the deepest knowable domain -- Zero Point singularity.

ZPE is the source of electrodynamic laws down to the subquantal domain of virtual standing waves, including all spatial and hyperdimensional fields. Life is a particular form of order related to local limitation of symmetry (chaos). Information can be transmitted from one harmonic fractal involved field to the other, by phase conjugate adaptive resonance.

Everything is interconnected at the level of zero-point consciousness, as well as (on the level of information) through inter-field resonance. Therefore, right from the primal beginning, everything (including spacetime itself) is electrodynamic in fundamental nature, and all the laws of electricity, harmony, resonance, capacitance, resistance, inductance, etc, as well as thermodynamics (on the metric physical material levels) universally underlie all the laws of nature. (Maurer)

Consciousness is a Point of View (POV) with significance. A "potential POV" is innate, pervading everything and existing everywhere at once, arising implicitly in every moment of spatial extent. Every point is connected to each other point unavoidably and intrinsically by holistic entanglement. We live in a self-centered virtual reality. Through spiritual technology we learn to still the turbulence within by resting in the restorative state of cosmic zero. We are impelled by our very being toward self-cure.

©2009 Iona Miller is a nonfiction writer for the academic and popular press, hypnotherapist (ACHE) and multimedia artist. She is a participant, not just commentator. Her conspirituality work is an omni-sensory fusion of intelligence, science-art, new physics and emergent paradigm shift, melding many social issues into a new view of society. She is interested in the effects of doctrines from religion, science, psychology, and the arts. Website: