Science & Spiritual Path – Part 3 – Thoughts on Co-Creation

I hadn’t intended to write a post about Co-Creation as part of this series. However, when I chanced across an article about Australia National University researchers furthering research into the Observer effect, it occurred to me that this was the perfect place for such a post.

This post builds on the arguments for the ‘non-existence of time apart from motion’ as laid out in Everything is Now and the argument for Free Will laid out in The Double Agent of Change. Certainly they are not a pre-requisite for understanding the ideas in this post, but if you read those afterwards they might help the overall argument make more sense.

Before we get too deep, let me define Co-Creation as I understand and experience it. Co-Creation is the process of influencing energy at a base level to bring about particular outcomes in reality in ‘the future.’ When we live in flow and are connected this happens so naturally that we don’t always stop to think about how amazing it is.

Our ability to influence reality always depends on the momentum and trajectory of energy. One person, or even dozens of people, can’t stop a speeding train. This is why our ability to influence reality one or two steps ahead of us is tremendously limited (see the post The Art of Finding for options in dealing with immediate situations).

However, because the only moment that exists is the now, what we think of as the further future – months or years out – doesn’t exist yet and can therefore be an ‘open space’ for creative influence.

What does this look like in practical application? At the risk of putting myself in the crazy category I’m going to share some very real examples from my own life…

  • In the year 2000 when I graduated from college, I wanted more than anything (do not ask me why!) to work for Leo Burnett in downtown Chicago. That summer, while I was walking around downtown submitting applications, I put my hand on the Leo Burnett building and said “I wish to work here.” Shortly after,[1] I got a call from one of the personnel agencies I submitted a resume to. They were filling openings for a large ad agency downtown – guess where? Needless to say, I got the job. – Every job I’ve gotten since college has a story like this one.

 

  • In the year 2002 when we were visiting San Antonio and walking the Riverwalk I made a wish that someone influential in Chicago’s city planning would see the Riverwalk and do something like it in Chicago. When I visited home just a few years later I stumbled into a building that showed plans for a redesigned walk along the Chicago River.

 

  • In the year 2009 when my husband and I visited Montreal we found an extensive bike infrastructure – including very protected bike lanes and even traffic lights with little bicycles on them. I remember thinking – if Montreal, a place that’s colder that Chicago, can do this, why can’t we? I made a wish that we would put in such a bicycle infrastructure in Chicago and I’ve watched over the last few years as that has started to grow and develop (Chicago was pretty late to this party, admittedly J).

These are three examples out of dozens and dozens from my own experience and I’m quite sure that hundreds of thousands of people across the globe have experienced the “magic” of co-creation for themselves.

Did “I” influence reality to bring about these outcomes? Without ever talking to anyone, writing a letter to the city, or being an activist for a cause? It sounds crazy right? If asked point blank, depending on my mood, I would respond somewhere in the range between of course not! To probably not or unlikely and sometimes simply I don’t know. But, here is where the Trickster lesson of the ‘bait thief’ comes in handy.

To believe that all these events happened only because I wished them to be so is to swallow the bait and the hook – to be delusional. To deny it outright and say it’s impossible that I had any influence at all is to leave the bait and the hook (ie – I don’t become delusional, but I don’t get to eat / transform my life either). I need to take the bait without swallowing the hook – I need to be able to simultaneously accept that these events came into being (partly) because I wished them so and that they could just as easily have had nothing to do with me at all.

There is tension between these two realities, if I can allow that tension to fluctuate in my mind-space, I can let data points accumulate and accumulate and accumulate… I can say, I don’t know for certain whether things are truly happening because of me, but whatever it is I’m doing seems to be working out as I hoped – so I’m going to keep doing it. 🙂 [2] See the post Trickster Makes this Road for more about the Trickster and the Spiritual Path.

Seeing is Believing

So far I’ve explained what I understand Co-Creation to be, and at the risk of sounding quite crazy, I didn’t want to soft-pedal or be evasive about it because it’s huge, amazing, and fascinating – but now we need to talk about how it works from a more scientific perspective since that’s what this post is about.

Let’s start with the Observer effect and the experiments into it thus far. From Wikipedia the Observer Effect “refers to changes that the act of observation will make on a phenomenon being observed.” The long-standing experiment into this involves light acting as either particle or waves and a new experiment by Australian National University has essentially reproduced this experiment with atoms.

What is important about both these experiments has nothing to do with “who” is doing the observing (whether a person or mechanical apparatus), but rather has to do with the very simple conclusion that even something as slight as observation – by anything at all – influences reality. Or, to state it another way; at the smallest, most particulate level – all energy is influenced by interaction, we cannot even watch energy without influencing it.

If merely watching reality can influence reality – imagine how much more actually trying to influence reality can influence reality.

The other piece that’s important, that triggered the writing of this post, is what this latest experiment demonstrates about what I think of as the ‘nebulous reality’ of the unknown.

When I was in grade school I was a bit obsessed by a silly thing that I called “the collision of worlds” which was the idea that when we meet people (not people we know and co-exist with on a regular basis, but random people – like the grocery store cashier in a different city) that it was like a collision of their whole world and my whole world that existed together for just the time of that interaction and then drifted away to a completely separate existence again.

Since then I have been somewhat interested in the idea, even though it seems impossible, that everything outside one’s own sphere of awareness (and even some things within our sphere of awareness) might be a bit nebulous; unset, unformed. I guess how I would explain it is this – where knowledge is connected, reality is ‘set’, but where it isn’t, it isn’t.

This is already a really long post and it would take several hundred more words to explain the experiment. You can read about it here, but the conclusion the scientists drew is this,

“If one chooses to believe that the atom really did take a particular path or paths then one has to accept that a future measurement is affecting the atoms past, said Truscott. // The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of their journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence.”

I believe this is a ‘double-sided’ problem to which we’re seeing one side here. Our measurement brings that atom into ‘known’ existence for us – and it’s past becomes set. But at the same time our existence also became known for the atom. Or, to use the earlier concept, our two worlds collided in that moment of existence, so to speak. Even though our existence seems continuous to us, it may in fact be nebulous to the atom (who knows how an atom even perceives us?) until the moment of measurement in the ‘now.’

As argued in Everything is Now, the only moment that exists is ‘now’ which occurs at the cross-roads between the past and future. The ‘now’ has energy leading into it and energy leading out of it, but since it is the only moment of actual existence, it also presents the only opportunity to change the direction and flow of energy.

If thoughts are energy (and the Universe is made up of energy) then thought – or intention, or whatever you want to call it – can influence reality just as physical action can. This may seem ridiculous or unrealistic when we think about trying to “move” a physical object with our minds – but if thoughts are energy and what we’re trying to move is energy (the unformed, nebulous energy of the future) then it becomes a bit easier to fathom.

What we are doing when we co-create is use our energy to move energy in the future. Instead of trying to push the train in a particular direction, we are ‘re-arranging the railroad tracks’. We influence the future trajectory of the energy, not the actual physical matter itself. When we influence the trajectory, things in the present start to line up according to our intention and vision.

How Do We Do It?

There tend to be a few sticking points around this for people that I’d like to address here;

Thoughts are not energy.

If everything in the Universe is made up of some kind of energy, then thoughts must be energy also. If thoughts are not energy, what are they?

Thoughts are stuck inside our head and therefore cannot influence the outside world.

Most people have had at least one occurrence in their lives where there’s a song running in their head and someone else start’s humming it, or they are thinking about someone and suddenly that person calls / contacts them, or someone is searching for a word and we think it only to have them nearly simultaneously come up with the same word we just thought of. Our thoughts are not stuck inside our head – in fact, sometimes I wonder if they’re in our head at all. At the very least, many of our thoughts are in our energy field which not only surrounds us, but through which we are connected to other people and also the Universe.

“My” thoughts and wishes don’t seem to come true.

For many of us most of our thoughts are pretty weak – meaning that we are not truly convicted about them. Weak thoughts don’t influence much of anything.

This gets very tricky, actually, and is one of the reasons walking the spiritual path is so key because sometimes, consciously, we can think we’re very convicted or motivated to go in a particular direction, but subconsciously we have fears that hold us back or sabotage our progress. One of my biggest clues that I’m not as aligned as I think I am is when I can’t get traction on a particular wish or intention.

When we have a subject where there are already lots of conflicting thoughts, influence is much harder (probably impossible for an individual). Take a concept like gun control or abortion or the environment – there are already tons and tons of conflicting ideas around these concepts keeping them in something of an energy quagmire. In order for these topics to ever move anywhere, an idea is going to have ‘come from the side’ so to speak or do something to disrupt the existing tangled energy.

In summary, thoughts have the most opportunity to influence reality when the below three conditions are met;

a.) There is ‘open space’ for the energy to move (for example, new or different ideas) OR thoughts / intentions align with where the energy is already going; situations where there is not already a lot of conflicted energy keeping things stuck.

b.) Our ‘minds’ and hearts (or conscious and subconscious) are aligned, our whole being sends a clear signal – so to speak – versus a mixed signal

c.) We have a strong connection to the Universe (or God or whatever you want to call it) through which we communicate our wish or intention.

A person who has put energy behind a thought or intention where a, b, and c are all true is going to have a very good chance of influencing reality in that direction. More importantly, though, a person who regularly connects to the Universe through meditation or prayer and is more aligned overall is going to experience Co-creation more often – even on small things – because b & c are going to be true ‘by default’ so anytime a is also true, anytime there’s space for the energy to move, BINGO, the Co-Creation process will start.

 

[1] (not the next day, but like maybe a week later – I mean, this was 16 years ago… my memory is not that exact! J)

[2] On the flipside, you might suggest that I’m really just ‘psychic’ and I didn’t “wish” these things into being, I just “knew” that they would come to be. I would counter, though, that I do have a fair bit of experience with psychic knowing[2] and it’s a completely different feeling. To “know” something psychically, at least for me, is to have a sense for how energy is moving and where it’s going. For me, that knowing is like a physical sensation.

In contrast, for cases of co-creation the energy is either nebulous and unformed or it’s going in a different direction and I can feel that resistance when I put out my request. If I have a feeling around these events at the time I make my request it’s uncertainty. Or rather it’s a certainty that any number of future outcomes are possible.

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