The Asklepia Foundation


Synchronized Chaos and Co-Consciousness

by Iona Miller, ©1993

ABSTRACT:  In a Bohm/de Broglie theory, the guide wave (or pilot wave) governs or patterns the whole quantum experiment--the observer as well as the observed.  This nonlocal guiding principle also acts as a morphogenetic field for the structuring of atoms and cells.  An analogous structuring of free flowing energy appears in the stream of consciousness.
The on-going stream of imagery manifests the process of co-evolution which is not distinct from our psychophysical being.  Imagery and the entity it shapes are not separate.  They are different dimensions of the same energy.  The guide wave is something of a cosmic memory which holistically conditions the present moment through complex feedback and feedforward phenomena.  The guide wave maintains specific forms as new moments unfold.
Research shows that synchronized chaos may be engineered through perturbation and operational amplification, creating flexibility among many different behaviors.  Isolated chaotic systems cannot synchronize, but parts can synchronize through supporting subsystems, like a phase-locked loop.  Thus, chaotic signals are generated which drive stable periodic behavior.  The presence of chaos appears to be an advantage in controlling dynamic behavior, leading to flexibility and stability.  Just as small disturbances in chaotic systems radically alter their behavior ("butterfly effect"), tiny adjustments can stabilize behavior.

"A chaotic attractor is an infinite collection of unstable periodic behaviors."

                                                   --Ditto and Pecora, "Mastering Chaos"

"The guide wave of implicate energy is a formative wave, Bohm says.  It is a wave that forms things (like particle patterns).  So it is a morphogenetic wave or "cosmic memory,"  This cosmic memory wave is a relatively autonomous subtotality in the implicate order."

                                                   --Briggs and Peat, LOOKING GLASS UNIVERSE


From philosopher Heraclitus to physicist David Bohm, the universe has been described as flow, using metaphors of rivers and oceans of energy flux.  The universal ocean of becoming unfolds our experience of ordinary reality, conditioning it far below the level of our normal observation.  As our enhanced ability to observe cosmological patterns and the minutae of nature grows, so does our conceptualization of the laws of nature.  Our concepts of the laws of nature evolve creatively with our perception of formerly hidden orders.

Wholeness (Bohm's holomovement) is a unified flowing movement, alive and scintillating pure consciousness--a multidimensional reality.  Tiny fluctuations within this implicate sea can lead, through the "butterfly effect" to macroscopic transformations.  Deterministic chaos is the source of this purposeful, yet seemingly random, flux--the structure of flow.  Such a high degree of order is present, it is impossible to observe at the explicate level.  The implicate order is the subquantum domain.

That flow is subject to intermittant turbulence from invisible sources which creates waves and sudden vortices which unfold from the nonmanifest implicate order, into explicate manifestation.  This is the hidden, undefineable variable which seems to arise spontaneously within the ever-generating energy matrix.  Structures will inevitably arise within far-from-equilibrium situations.

Beneath chaotic unpredictability hides an intricate but highly ordered structure -- a complicated web of interwoven patterns of regular, or periodic, motion.

These patterning principles may not become physically manifest themselves, yet they temporarily pattern the flow of energy.  Fluctuation on one level is order on another.  Reactions within the chaotic flux begin generating a stable structure in space and time--a self-organizing system.  According to Bohm, life unfolds inevitably from the multidimensional order of the universe, wherein the distinctions "life/nonlife" are only abstractions.

A patterning field or structure is a flow within a flow, in constant matter or energy exchange with the environment.  The structure stabilizes by flowing.  Each form is implied in every other--through the common resonance of fields.  The image of wholeness which represents this emergence of relative autonomy from the whole is the vortex.  A vortex within a flowing river is an image of wholeness, according to Bohm.

Its mandala-like dynamics is compelling and magnetic.  A vortex is remarkably stable to fluctuations and change.  But under the right perturbation, it may either spontaneously disintegrate or evolve into a new form.  Self-organizing structures live on the finely balanced edge between the need to remain safe from fluctuation and the need to remain open to it.

Physicists Bohm and de Broglie developed a theory of the GUIDE WAVE, (or pilot wave), which demonstrates a principle of nonlocal guiding of particles in the double-slit experiment.  The guide wave acts nonlocally to organize the arrangement of every particle.  A formative wave is also postulated by biologist Rupert Sheldrake as the morphogenetic field, which guides atoms and cells into place in the formation of structure.  Briggs and Peat summarize Bohm's speculation on the guide wave/morphogenetic field:

Bohm believes that the guide wave (and hence the morphogenetic field) is actually a very "subtle" form of energy.  It is energy from the implicate order and so exists in the multidimensional reality beyond our three-dimensional space and time.  It is subtle but, because of its multidimensionality, it is powerful.

The guide wave of implicate energy is a formative wave, Bohm says.  It is a wave that forms things (like particle patterns).  So it is a morphogenetic wave or "cosmic memory."  This cosmic memory wave is a relatively autonomous sub-totality in the implicate order.

The guide wave or cosmic memory--that subtle nonlocal energy emanating from the multidimensional implicate--acts on the present moment.  Then it acts on the next present moment, and the next.  It acts to give a shape to the succession of moments.  It guides whatever is unfolding in those moments of space-time.

Once [the structure] is formed, the guide wave remains in place to give it continued shape as new moments unfold.  But as these moments fold again into the whole, they carry an imprint or afterimage of energy back into the implicate, where they affect the guide wave and subtly change the cosmic memory.

All this works, of course, because implicate and explicate, morphogenetic form and the entity it shapes, aren't really separate--they're different dimensions of the same thing.

...Because both forms and the formative field are not fixed things but must be constantly re-created, it is almost inevitable for creative jumps to occur.  In a sense, reucrring and habitual forms make creativity possible.

...Both the Bohm and Sheldrake hypotheses agree on the unity of human consciousness.  Consciousness as a whole is a morphogenetic field giving a general shape to each individual's consciousness.  Each individual consciousness also forms its own field, including its experiences and memories.  This individual field resonates and modifies the field of human consciousness as a whole, affecting the future.


If these intangible fields can pattern and mold physical matter, they can certainly manifest analogies in our own less-tangible field of awareness as images and patterns of the on-going process of creation and transformation.  Morphogenetic fields manifest in imagery, in imagination as well as in matter.  This restless flow of energy "morphs" into an infinity of variations all reflecting the guiding pattern of the organism which is not separate from its essence.

In the river of consciousness there arise waves and vortices, which pattern and channel the free flow of energy.  Freely flowing energy is capable of self-organization.  The guide wave potential is the organizing principle.  It guides the unfolding of the seemingly random flow of imagery expressing symbolic potential in the same manner that it structures and directs the aggregation of matter.

In our personal consciousness this guide wave potential manifests as dreams, visions, fantasies, the chaotic unconscious imagery encrypted within our behavior and physical symptoms.  The guide wave is an expression of the total arrangement; guiding field and entity are not separate.  They are different dimensions of an interdimensional co-evolution; manifestations of a complex dynamic process which fluctuates around the "edge" or boundary layer of order/disorder, facilitating adaptation and creativity.

We can speculate that the guide wave, a universal ordering principle, structures the unfolding of the therapeutic process when we immerse ourselves in the fluid flow of the stream of consciousness.  What unfolds in the session is many times a shorthand description and restructuring of the holistic, or fundamental essence of the individual.


The guide wave of implicate energy ("cosmic memory") is actually the guiding force in transformation.  In CCP, we can speculate that, as in any experiment involving observation, the guide wave governs both journeyer and guide.  Unlike therapies where the therapist remains "objective," CCP is a co-conscious process, where both participants synchronize with one another, sharing the unfolding of the therapeutic event.  The dream guide carries and communicates the guide wave patterning information directly, existentially during the experience.

This phenomenon of rapport, synchrony, or resonance has recently been reflected in a technological advance in applied chaos theory.  Engineers have found that it is possible to control some systems that behave chaotically.  They are demonstrating that "chaos is is manageable, exploitable and even invaluable."

Normally, a chaotic system continually shifts from one pattern to another, apparently randomly.  In controlling chaos, the idea is to lock the system into one particular type of repeating motion, while remaining in the chaotic region.  Zeroing in on one particular type of motion, or periodic orbit allows switching rapidly from one state to another--quick adaptation.  It also means the possibility of rapidly directing the system to a desired state.

Research (Ditto and Pecora, 1993) has shown that perturbing a chaotic system in the right way encourages the system to follow one of its many regular behaviors.  The trajectories of chaotic systems can be plotted in phase space, with the trajectory representing the history of the dynamic system.  The nonlinear trajectories are complicated, much like the labyrinthine journeys of the traveller in the deep mind.  There is no predicting where the process will lead next.  Yet it follows an intentionality.

The trajectory is drawn toward a so-called chaotic attractor, which in some sense is the very essence of a chaotic system.  The chaotic attractor is the manifestation of the fixed parameters and equations that determine the values of the dynamic variables.

So if one measures the trajectory of a chaotic system, one cannot predict where it will be on the attractor at some point in the distant future.  The chaotic attractor, on the other hand, remains the same no matter when one measures it.  Once researchers have obtained information about the chaotic attractor of the a system, they can begin to use chaos to their advantage.

The strange attractor is the hidden guiding principle behind the chaotic system.  A chaotic attractor is an infinite collection of unstable periodic behaviors.  Attractors may be multidimensional because systems can have many different state-space variables.  A vast array of possible behaviors make up the chaotic system.

We can read the aforegoing as a metaphor of the transformative process.  It is that multidimensional primal attractor of the individual which the guide finds during the journey as a patterning principle.  It manifests as unpredictable "periodic unstable behavior."

As the chaotic vortex is approached, the moment of bifurcation can lead to a phase shift (state change)--a change in the state of consciousness--as new attractor values are established through means of emergent process, association, resonance, rapport.  Thus, self image is fundamentally restructured holistically.

Continuing the analogy, research has shown that isolated chaotic systems cannot synchronize.  The parts of a chaotic system must be stable if they are to be synchronized.  The entire system can remain chaotic, and still synchronize under specific conditions:

If two similar, stable parts are driven by the same chaotic signal [guide wave], they will both seem to exhibit chaotic behavior, but they will suppress rather than magnify any differences between them, thereby creating an opportunity for synchronized chaos.

The trick is to link the two systems by passing a common signal between them in just the right way.  "By changing the periodic driving signal to a certain type of chaotic signal, workers have recently discovered that two systems can be coaxed to operate in phase."

We might suggest there is an analogy with co-consciousness here, where both parties temporarily focus on a shared experiencial reality which they co-create within the flow of process.  Engineers use chaos to stabilize systems by introducing a supportive subsystem.


One design developed by Pecora and Thomas L. Carroll of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory uses a subsystem of an ordinary system as the synchronizing mechanism.  They first distinguish the synchronizing subsystem from other supporting parts and then duplicated the synchronizing subsystems.  The supporting subsystem then supplied the driving signal for the original synchronizing subsystem and its duplicate.

Pecora has suggested that the synchronization process may be a useful metaphor for some types of brain responses.  In CCP, the shaman/therapist (deeply funded by the guide wave) is the "synchronizing mechanism," or "the supporing subsystem" or "driving signal."  The therapist's patterns resonate and harmonize, and automatically adjust or entrain those of the journeyer (the "duplicate").  The creative/healing wavelength of the guide resonates and entrains with the inherent creative capacity of the other participant.

If these subsystems are stable, they will behave chaotically but will be in complete synchrony.  The stability of the subsystems guarantees that any small perturbations will be damped out, and therefore the synchronizing subsystems will react to the signals from the supporting subsystem in practically the same way, no matter how complex the signals are.

Thus, both participants become conduits for the guiding force of the chaotic transformation process.  Here the subsystems are equivalent to dynamic variables.  By linking through a resonating subsystem they create the matrix for therapeutic change.

A complex exchange of dynamic information flow takes place, setting up recursive or reflexive feedback loops in the joint system.  With initially different "outputs", both participants "quickly converge, generating chaotic signals in synchrony."  Such a nonlinear system is capable of handling several tasks simultaneously, insuring more flexibility, faster response, and unusual behaviors generally adaptive in nature.

Small changes in the initial condition of the participants have little or no effect on the behavior they eventually settle into during the consciousness journey.  Both "waltz around their chaotic attractors in a synchronized ballet."  They form effectively a "synchronized chaos circuit," patterned by the guide wave manifesting through the archetypal transformative process.  The "guide" of the process is not the therapist, but the nonlocal holistic patterning principle.

Until recent discoveries,

Scientists had no reason to believe that the stability of a subsystem could be independent of the stability of the rest of the system.  Nor had anyone thought that a nonlinear system could be stable when driven with a chaotic signal.

Stability depends not only on the properties of the subsystem itself but on the driving signal.  A subsystem may be stable when driven by one type of chaotic signal but not when driven by another.  The trick is to find those subsystems that react to a chaotic signal in a stable way.

One practical system of "controlling" chaos begins with obtaining "information about the chaotic system by analyzing a slice of the chaotic attractor."  This is analogous to the interview, beginning to get a sense of the dis-ease in the imagery the client presents as "the problem," or "slice of life" they present to the therapist.

After the information about this so-called Poincare section has been gathered, one allows the system to run and waits until it comes near a desired periodic orbit in the section.  Next the system is encouraged to remain on that orbit by perturbing the appropriate parameter.  One strength of this method is that it does not require a detailed model of the chaotic system but only some information about the Poincare section.  It is for this reason that the method has been so successful in controlling a wide variety of chaotic sytems.

The therapist gets a sense of the distortions in the primal self image of the individual, reflected in a myriad of "fractal-like" generations of their psychobiology.  The interview continues until the guide finds a therapeutic opening, a point of entry, which may be a dream sequence, feeling, or symptom that indicates an issue or issues which periodically recycle through the client's life.  Entering the co-conscious state, both participants begin sharing a chaotic trajectory.

On the journey, the guide gets an even better sense of the patterns of energy which constitute distortions to the free flow of energy (the dis-ease).  Since the whole is contained in the part, the fractal-like imagery of the unfolding process contains the totality of the necessary information, yet most of it remains unrevealed.  A detailed model of the dis-ease is not needed to facilitate its transformation and evolution.

The guide relies on entrainment to effect change in the co-conscious system.  "Perturbing the system" in therapy means amplifying the transformational process by following its lead, and deepening the level of experience down to the fundamental levels where the obstructions lie.

This process in chaos theory has to do with rate of convergence and divergence from the desired behavior or orbit.  Control parameters nudge the system toward the desired behavior.

When the control parameter is actually changed, the chaotic attractor is shifted and distorted somewhat.  If all goes according to plan, the new attractor encourages the system to continue on the desired trajectory.  If the system starts to go astray, the control parameter is changed again, producing yet another attractor with the desired properties.

In therapy, the control parameters include changing the sensory modality of experience, for example from visual to kinesthetic, visceral, or olfactory.  Or it might mean suggestions for deepening, or letting go and identifying with another image, or returning to the beginning of the dream and entering from a totally fresh perspective.

These controls lead away from the eddies and backwaters of ego-serving fantasy and other places people get stuck in the process work.  The direction leads generally toward fear and pain, toward an amplified or increased sense of anxiety and chaos, through a breakthrough experience to healing and insight.

One experiment for controlling chaos in a metallic ribbon, simply used a second magnetic field as the control parameter.  In the same way, subtle fields may emerge and manifest as guiding factors in the creative therapeutic process.  Scientists found that "even in the presence of noise and imprecise measurements, the ribbon could easily be the chaotic region."  They were "genuinely surprised at how easy it was to implement and exploit the chaos."

In another experiment, Hunt proved that chaos could be controlled in electronic circuits.  Furthermore, he dispensed with the Poincare section, noting that "information for the controller can be obtained directly from the measurements of the chaotic behavior."  In experiential therapy, "measurement" is equivalent to direct observation combined with skilled and intuitive analysis.  These discoveries led to the design of systems with more flexibility and stability than ever before.

The design consists of two circuits: a driving circuit and a synchronized circuit.  The two are identical except for an important component missing in the synchronized circuit (an operational amplifier and its ancillary components).  The two circuits are connected at a single point.  As a result of the connection, the two circuits have the same nonlinear driving component.

The chaotic output of the synchronized circuit will match that generated by the driving circuit if both are correctly built.  Faulty or poorly made connections "wreck the synchronicity."  Both circuits might generate chaos yet not be synchronized.  Components supposedly nearly the same may differ too much.  Thus, rapport is essential to the therapeutic result; the state of the circuit needs resetting.  In therapy, as electronics, to hear the "message," you need to be able to amplify the output.

"Tracking" has emerged as an important variable factor in extending the range of control for induced chaotic behavior.  We might see this notion reflected again in co-consciousness, as well as the follow-up sessions which are typical of all psychotherapy.  The dynamics of chaos theory may reveal why so many less consciousness journeys are needed to accomplish specific behavior goals, than when other therapies are employed.

Tracking extends "the range over which the control of chaos can be maintained.  Tracking compensates for parameters that change as the system ages or that slowly drift for one reason or another."  To maintain stability, the parameters of the control mechanism must adapt.

In some methods "an unacceptable amount of time may elapse as one waits for the system naturally to approach the desired orbit in the chaotic attractor."  Another technique "rapidly moves the chaotic system from an arbitrary intitial state to a desired orbit in the attractor...reducing the time needed to acquire unstable orbits by factors as high as 25."

Researchers are now working on techniques for controlling chaos in biological systems, such as heart arrhythmia.  Control of chaos is based on the principle that "chaos is not always so chaotic."  It can be somewhat predictable, so systems can be designed to exhibit complementary chaotic behavior which can be synchronized.

It has been suggested that devises for encrypted communications could be created, conceling messages within a chaotic signal.  It could only be decoded using the right subsystem.  Is this what nature has done, encoding the transformational process in a chaotic jumble of noise, which we can tune into through intentionality, harmonizing with the holistic flow?

In a synchronized chaotic generator, "you can also demonstrate the effects of attractors in chaos by plotting the output of one of the integrating operational amplifiers versus its neighboring op-amp.  Such an input produces a spectacular pulsating spiral pattern and is evidence for a single attractor."


Briggs, John & Peat, David; LOOKING GLASS UNIVERSE; Simon & Schuster, New York, 1984.

Ditto, William and Pecora, Louis; "Mastering Chaos"; SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, August 1993, p. 78-84.

Neff, Joseph and Carroll, Thomas; "Circuits that Get Chaos in Synch"; SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, August 1993, p. 120-122.

Peterson, Ivars; "Ribbon of Chaos"; SCIENCE NEWS, Vol. 139, Jan. 26, 1991.

--------------;"Chaotic Systems that Stay in Step"; SCIENCE, March 24, 1990.

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