Elements of quantum theory applied to our everyday behaviors and relationships can very usefully stretch systemic coach perspectives.
- Note however, that a complete and operational understanding of quantum reality is still impossible for anyone to grasp to the point of living within such a frame of reference on a continuous basis.
Among others on this website, the text below is attempt to offer a few temporary thoughts on the connections between fractals in quantum theory and synchronicity as first developed by C.G. Jung, with many practical examples as experienced in systemic coaching.
Everyday life in quantum reality
To begin with in quantum reality, neither space nor time really exist. This proposal is almost unfathomable in our consensus Newtonian and day-to-day reality.
To be more precise according to quantum perspective, everything exists in simultaneity, within an all-encompassing here and now reality in which we are active participants, busily co-creating our continuously expanding, holographic universe. In this shared universal co-creation, we are all one. Together as one, we partake in an endless or timeless conversation within an entwined fractal reality.
- Obviously, this state of affairs is rather difficult for anyone to experience in normal, everyday reality.
The real-life experience that comes closest to fractal recognition and awareness occurs when we are faced with perceptions of synchronic events. Carl G. Jung coined the term. Synchronicity takes place when two apparently disconnected events are perceived as:
- Taking place so simultaneously that it is impossible to clearly perceive which came first, or which could have caused or be responsible for the other.
- Intimately related in terms of meaning or purpose,
- Totally disconnected in terms of material or Newtonian causality.
- You are intensely revisiting an important past event and as if you were of the same mind, your life partner walks into the room and spontaneously mentions the same event.
- While pondering on an unusual subject, and as you walk by a bookstore, a new book on the very subject is highlighted in the shop’s display window.
- You fondly think to call a friend you haven’t seen for an extended period of time and the phone rings, with that friend on the other end of the line.
- Your mind and heart are trying to solve a technical problem, or you want to move in a specific personal developmental direction, and you are accidentally introduced to a person who happens to be an expert in the field.
Such coincidental events are experienced as much more disconcerting when they unfold over great distances such as between people who live and work miles apart:
- Two unrelated scientific research teams, working on different continents for years with little success, simultaneously make the same breakthrough discovery and separately publish very similar results.
- The famed and documented Paoli effect links apparently accidental mechanical disorders to the presence of particular people or unusual emotional or mental states.
- Rupert Sheldrake has long documented experiments on the instant, distant communication that occurs between owners and their pets.
Although everyone has experienced such synchronic occurrence more often than once, consensus science is at a loss when it comes to providing the beginning of an explanation. Consequently, the whole subject has long been brushed away as unscientific hogwash. Today, quantum theories on the holographic nature of reality can offer some theoretical options.
Etymologically speaking, note that synchronicity means coincidence. Different from the concept of haphazard chance - the word hazard comes from al zahr or the dice in Arabic - coincidence also refers to two or more apparently unrelated incidents that happen in close correspondence without being related by a direct, physically visible, Newtonian or causal relationship.
- Example: Imagine the following thought experiment: Just like the proverbial chicken and egg if they emerged simultaneously, linear causality could go any-which way between two or more coincidental related events: neither or both the chicken and the egg come first.
In coincidence or synchronicity, each of the concerned interrelated incidents or occurrences is perceived to be totally independent and could equally be considered as the root cause of the other. In effect, such correlated incidents seem to simultaneously occur in time, sometimes at a great distance, as if related to or communicating with each other at lighting speed or at twice the speed of light, which is as close as we can get to simultaneity.
As a possible explanation for synchronicity, the quantum worldview hypothesizes that we could well be living in a form of fractal or holographic universe.
- In this reality, similar or entwined patterns are simultaneously repeated or echoed across our perceptions of time and space, either on equivalent levels, or between infinitely small and much larger, much more complex system levels.
- In this world view, one’s close observation or knowledge of particular patterns in any system can offer precise indications of what is simultaneously occurring in other correlated but apparently distant equal, larger of smaller, apparently disconnected systems.
Fractal Space in Systemic Coaching
- Example: At the start of a session, a coach politely asks her client to choose one out of two available chairs. Moving slowly and already pensive about his coaching issue, the client barely acknowledges the coach invitation. He seizes one of the seats, moves it back a few inches, then moves it forward, then back again, and finally sits, slightly moving his seat forward again. He then expectantly looks up at the observing coach, waiting for her to sit facing him.
Catching on to the client’s apparently innocent preliminary actions, the still standing coach says:
_« Before we start, observing you, it seems you are trying to fine-tune to what could be the right distance, maybe between us and maybe in another relationship that preoccupies you. »
After an instant of surprise, the entrepreneurial client explained the crux of his issue: He had recently recruited a new Chief Operational Officer to manage one of his companies. As he had previously managed that company in a rather hands-on fashion, he was searching for the right delegation distance, and was quite hesitant.
He knew that to succeed the COO's transition, he should take distance and leave the newcomer ample ownership space. He was also aware the newcomer didn’t know much about the company and market specifics. So success would also rest on giving the newcomer appropriate support during a temporary tutoring period, without becoming overbearing. Consequently for this entrepreneur, finding the appropriate management distance was not an easy issue.
The client quickly and simply explained the essence of his complex issue. It could be experienced as a form of double bind: “If I let go too much, we will not succeed, and if I don’t let go enough we will not succeed.” So the question was how to fine-tune the right distance between partners, both here in the coaching session and there in his business reality, in order to do both or neither of the above, and succeed.
In this case real study, the still-standing coach suggested the client directly address the new chief operations officer as if the latter was seated in the empty chair facing the client.
- Can you tell your COO what you propose could be an excellent way to accompany your shared transitional period until he becomes fully operational?”
To generalize, this example illustrates that for a systemic coach:
- Everything that takes place before, during, after and around a coaching process provides precise indications on fractal patterns that are shared on several levels: in the client issue, in the coach-client relationship, and in the coach's issue of finding the right distance from the client: not too close and not too distant.
Consequently, a systemic coach is particularly attentive to all apparently innocuous details, sequences, events, behaviors, interruptions, interactions, etc. that may precede, accompany and follow coaching sequences, sessions or relationships. All such apparently accessory or disconnected occurrences are recognized by systemic coaches as significant fractal expressions of one identical meta-process. They all convey meaning and reveal patterns that apply to the client frame of reference, to the client issue, to the coach-client relationship, and most probably to other apparently disconnected coach and client issues emerging in their apparently independent lives.
In the above example,
- The client is physically expressing the issue churning in his mind. Here, one can easily consider the existence of an obvious causal effect.
- The client is also replicating his issue or concern by transposing it to the relationship with the coach. He is simultaneously illustrating that he wishes to establish a right distance, here and now in the coaching context.
- Obviously, the coach also has an equivalent concern: how to accompany any client towards the achievement of a stated objective by completely respecting client space and energy and ownership. For any coach, what indeed is exactly the appropriate coach-client distance? How can one both accompany appropriately and stay out of the way?
Consequently a very similar fractal pattern seems to be echoed as a general coach concern, both in this specific coach-client relationship and as an echo of the client’s issue with his COO. This fractal reproduction may be extended to other areas:
- Separately, the coach could also consider that with someone else in her own personal life, there is an equal need to establish the right distance.
- Separately, the same distance issue could also be active elsewhere in the client’s life with other personal and professional partners.
To summarize, systemic coaches are aware that fractal or holographic behavioral and process patterns echo throughout coach-client contexts. They are common:
- In the client issue as verbally exposed through client content, during the coaching session,
- In the coach-client relationship as experienced here and now in the coaching session,
- In other relationships and contexts in diverse client environments elsewhere in the client’s life,
- In other relationships and contexts in the coach’s life.
Note again that such observations of emerging fractal patterns that may surface before, around and during a coaching sequence seriously question the Newtonian frame of reference that rests on physical or visible causality.
A career-coaching experience
An expatriate financial director based in New York City for the past four years is nearing the end of his mission. He is discussing his next career step with his coach: Within the same company he has requested an equivalent position Europe to allow his family’s return to their home country, but the official career-management process seems rather slow. The very political corporate HR has clearly seemed to be temporizing, postponing, rather evasive.
Taking his future into his own hands, the financial director has launched his own internal and external career search: he has directly networked with high-level executives in a number of European divisions and other companies within and outside the international corporation.
In the introduction to the session with his coach, he had also mentioned a more personal concern: the four-year apartment rental contract for their East Side flat had also come to an end. The executive had approached his landlord for a temporary lease extension but answers to his requests had been vague and evasive. It seemed the owner wished to substantially increase the rental price, was hesitating to renew the lease for too short a period, maybe had another long-term tenant waiting to move in. But nothing was clearly stated.
As a consequence, the executive and family would probably first have to temporarily move from one apartment to another in New York before knowing where they would all move again, this time to Europe. The uncertainty was difficult to manage both at work and at home. Time was running out and the stress of deadlines was building up.
Luckily, an opening had emerged in the personal sphere: In the same high-rise, just a few floors below and oriented in the opposite direction, an identical apartment became available for six months. This opportunity greatly simplified the family issue. The proximity and timing was perfect!
For the coach, the symbolic synchronicity between work and home was quite revealing. When he heard the story, he simply said _“If this apartment opportunity is to be taken as a symbolic indicator, you may soon be offered a similar position in the same company. It could be an easy shift, simply re-oriented in a complementary direction. You may soon have a temporary professional option, a sort of stepping-stone to a more important later change. In the following weeks, the executive was indeed offered an equivalent job in the same corporation, in Europe. The client was relieved, and the coach intuited it was only temporary.
This slightly more complex example illustrates quite precise details in the occurrence of fractal or holographic patterns as they reflect or echo in relatively distinct dimensions: the family apartment on the one hand and the professional corporation on the other.
The example may reveal important connections between two different and complementary theoretical constructs: Jungian synchronicity on the one hand and quantum theory and its holographic reality on the other:
- What is often perceived as occasional synchronic occurrences that emerge in our lives could actually be fragmented perceptions of a much larger quantum, fractal reality.
In other words, all the patterns that may emerge in the course of any person’s private, professional, leisure, etc. are fractal reflections of one same life quest, consturction or conversation.
- Everything one perceives and does in what appears to be different environments with different people can actually be perceived as mere reflections of one unique holographic progression or conversation with oneself.
The above example illustrates how quantum-based systemic coaches are aligned with post-Einstein theories that explore the possibly holographic nature of the universe. They are attentive to patterns shapes and forms that echo across apparently different and separate areas of their client lives, and they also keep close attention to how they synchronically fit in, as coaches.
- Systemic coaches listen to the patterns of meaning or purpose of synchronic or fractal manifestations as pieces of a more significant, more complex client conversation.
Coaches accompany clients in a shared exploration of their apparently distinct fields of experience in order to help them perceive their personal holographic coherency, as reflected in their various fractal mirrors. Client awareness of deeper purpose can be distilled from a very large variety of echoing personal and professional client realities. Consequently, by espousing a holographic reality, systemic coaches can accompany client search for coherent indicators to help them identify more purposeful actions, existential themes, internal conversations, and developmental issues.
- Espousing fractal reality as observable in nature and through quantum mechanics, a systemic coach consequently considers that all client actions and conversations participate in one common developing reality, one same emerging conversation, one unitary purpose, one coherent synchronicity.
Practical fractal pattern recognition
As exemplified above, a quantum based systemic coach very practically listens to significant event segments as expressed by clients: what are the common actions, actors, conversations, postures, developments, processes, results, etc. that simultaneously emerge in all the apparently distinct fields in the client’s reality? In effect, systemic coaches listen and observe to recognize client synchronicity or parallel occurrences. For example, the above client:
- Was nearing equivalent ends in several realms, both in his apartment and in his professional assignment.
- In both these areas, the client perceives a frustrating lack of honest or transparent support from his landlord on the one hand, and from his executive HR on the other.
- In both areas, he decides to take personal initiatives to organize his own future moves.
In the above example and in his private realm, the client finds a new temporary apartment that conveys a number of specific criteria: It has an identical layout and equal square footage. It is on an equivalent floor in the same building. It is oriented in an opposite direction. An agreement with a new owner is easy and timely.
- From a fractal or synchronicity point of view, the quality of patterns pertaining to events in any area of client life can be perceived as obvious indicators of a general evolution in the client’s overall or life development process.
Consequently, developmental indicators can be expected to simultaneously emerge, in a viral fractal way, in all other areas of the client… and coach life.
- Caution: Being encyclopedic on fractal reflections is not the point of focus for a practical systemic coach. Just a few significant indicators are usually more than enough to accompany practical client development.
Consequently, a few pattern indicators can significantly contribute to help perceive patterns in an important puzzle: the essence of the shared coach and client life quest. In the above example, just one or two of the client’s many areas of experience are enough to reveal and accompany his personal or inner conversation in both career and personal life. The overall coaching issue at hand is one of career transitioning.
Perceived fractals in systemic coaching do not just concern client lives, issues, stakes, goals, behaviors and results. Client synchronicity and fractal occurrences are often if not always entwined with their environments. That environment includes their coach’s lives, issues, stakes, goals, behaviors and results. Consequently, indicators of coaching fractals need to be considered as coach-and-client occurrences that reflect their common or entwined issues, lives, stakes, projects, etc.
Coach-client entwined fractals add to the undeniable fact that coaches are not neutral and external to client issues. They are participating witnesses in their client lives, behaviors, emotions, progressions and processes. In this perspective, coach-client correlation provides both with many fractal indicators that pertain to both of their entwined lives and shared development. By becoming more aware of themselves through fractal reflections in their own holographic existence, coaches have a form of direct access to their client patterns, through their shared themes, issues, projects, ambitions and strategies.
- Example: Just before a first coaching meeting with a new manager in a new client company, a systemic coach feels rather tense. A common acquaintance in the larger environment had described this manager as a very difficult, closed and unpredictable person. This negative description had obviously added to the coach’s apprehensions.
Early in their work together, however, the coach is rapidly surprised to discover a rather effective, charming, open, honest, and direct manager. The obvious discrepancy between the negative indirect description and the immediately positive here-and-now connection with the manager puzzles the coach, for a minute or two. The professional coach rapidly adapted to follow his intuition and this first meeting quickly proved to be rather successful.
Coincidentally, the first issue the manager client brought to this first coaching session concerned a troubling recruiting discrepancy:
- On the one hand, the manager had met a prospect that rapidly appeared to be her best choice both in terms of personality and competency.
- On the other hand, she was puzzled because everyone previously involved with the selection process had advised her against that choice, for reasons she felt were totally unmerited.
She was troubled as to what to believe and decide.
Making an immediate pattern connection with the discrepancies in his own client experience and in the client prospect perception, the systemic coach simply asked: “What does your intuition tell you?” Immediately, just as what happened with the coach, the client knew her prospect was to be hired.
The rest of the coaching session routinely focused on designing an action plan to rectify the perception gap in the recruit’s company environment. Simultaneously, the nature of the coaching work provided numerous leads as to how to gradually modify the way the client was perceived in her corporate context. In a fractal or holographic way, the two issues were related if not entwined, and very similar solutions were implemented to solve both.
Theoretically, the coach could also ponder on the discrepancies in his own image: How is he perceived by indirect acquaintaces compared to how he is perceived by clients and partners in direct contact.
- Fractal perception of similar patterns in apparently distinct issues also allow clients and coaches to leverage copy-paste fractal solutions, that would apply to all their realms of interest.
Consequently, quantum-based systemic coaches are routinely trained to perceive mirroring patterns that simultaneously occur between processes that unfold:
- Within their coach-client relationships and
- Within the content their clients bring to the coaching context.
- Within their own lives as coaches.
Indeed, whatever the issue brought by a given client, it is inevitably to be considered as also present in the relationship between the coach and the client. One step further, these issues very possibly also occur in the coach’s life, elsewhere with other people and clients, and elsewhere in other unrelated realms of the client’s life. That is the nature of fractal reality in a holographic-universe frame of reference.
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A near-missed coaching session
When a coach announced his arrival at the reception desk to meet with an entrepreneurial CEO in her office building, the receptionist informed him that the expected meeting had been cancelled - an emergency - but if he could wait a few minutes, the CEO was on his way down from her office and would explain.
Again a postponed meeting! Again wasted time! Deception, frustration, anger… emotions flowed through the coach. Gaining awareness of his emotional turmoil, the coach recovered, first with resignation, then with acceptance, then by embracing the new state of affairs.
The CEO rushed through the lobby, explaining on his way out that he just had an unexpected meeting with a strategic partner, on the other end of town… just enough time to get there… I’m very sorry… we have to postpone our conversation to a a later date.
The coach suddenly had an intuition, and seized the opportunity:
_ « Not a problem! I’ll accompany you there, and we’ll have time to discuss what's going on while you drive. Anyway, I don’t have anything else on my agenda in the coming hour ». He followed his client to his car.
In the car, the client CEO is obviously stressed. The coach fastens his seat belt. The client immediately engages in a high-pitched monologue on the crisis situation. He is in the middle of a strategic negotiation with an important partner, and they are blocked. He is frustrated, almost exasperated. Months of time investment, hope and planning are inches away from becoming an utter loss.
The client unfolds his story and spills out his disappointment while driving. The traffic is intense, then slows, and then jams to a standstill. He becomes more and more tense, stressed, agitated, obviously feeling cornered. His dialogue switches to fuming about the monstrous traffic jam in which they are stuck. Perceiving the client’s intense frustration, the coach patiently sits back, waits it out. While the client is voicing his emotional state, the coach calmly breathes, observes, stays very present and attentive.
Suddenly, in a jolt, the CEO reacts: he takes a sharp right turn to engage into a smaller tangential street, accelerates, turns again, and again. He instinctively seizes openings as they emerge in the traffic’s flow. From crossroads to roundabouts, slowing then speeding, his stress gradually transforms into high adrenaline-driven alertness. The car finally engages into a well-oriented and rather fluid avenue. The cruising CEO then gradually calms down. They will not be more than ten minutes late! He sighs with relief.
_ « So what do you think of all this? » he conversationally, almost absent-mindedly asks his coach, just a few minutes before arriving at their destination.
_ « If you are talking about the way you drove here, started the coach, I think there are a number of possibly interesting elements. In your initial precipitation, you first took the most obvious direct route, and got yourself into a massive traffic jam. You then felt stuck, became exasperated, angered. Then, you reacted in a creative way by seizing small emerging opportunities. You found indirect, more fluid routes that led you to a much more open avenue. To conclude, you are now arriving at your expected destination, relatively on time.
I consequently think that if you don’t get too frustrated when you meet hurdles, if you don’t lose sight of your longer-term goal, and if you trust your creative, instinctive and opportunist capacities, you have all the skills you need to deploy very positive agility to achieve your expected success.
I do wonder what equivalent strategies you could deploy in your coming meeting, and partnership project. But you are in a hurry, so can you call me as soon as you are done ? »
Two hours later, the CEO called his coach to thank him. He was really satisfied. He had succeeded to navigate the strategic partnership around the difficult snags. Together, they had found unexpected innovating options. They were back in business and very motivated!
In a systemic fractal dimension
- Every single event in our lives unfolds to reveal a meaningful structure, a characteristic form, a precise pattern or process.
- Consequently for a systemic coach, there are no privileged subjects, times or locations where one listens to a client's way of being, reacting, problem-solving and learning.
Indeed, any client time and place can offer very privileged coaching opportunities. Especially those times and places that are obviously connected to client lives and environments. There, it is always useful to listen to client patterns, even in all their apparently meaningless actions, in all their seemingly insignificant daily routines. Everywhere in their lives and environments, clients always express themselves as they are, in direct connection with their ongoing patterns, their inner story or dialogue.
This can happen in a restaurant with the staff, in mobility with the surrounding traffic and environment, in their offices and meetings, while discussing or just conversing with their personnel, in a park with or without a surrounding crowd, at home within their families, in their individual or collective sports, in their hobbies, etc.
- A systemic coach espouses the basic principle that beyond content, client interactive patterns - the very shape of their behaviors and connections - always serve to illustrate their fundamental concerns, rhythms, strategies, behaviors, inner conversations on their ways to develop and succeed.
In apparently different environments, including when interacting with a coach, each most innocuous client interaction presents itself with a very precise and significant form, a well-defined, precisely scripted story-line that merits intense coach attention if not comprehension.
When well trained in systemic pattern-recognition, coach presence and attention naturally focuses on pertinent forms or patterns that hold the essence of client issues, concerns, strategies, purpose, ambitions, etc.
The apparent partnership issues and driving difficulties expressed by the entrepreneurial CEO in the above case-study both follow a precise, pattern. Indeed, a same client theme is equally present in the negotiation situation with a strategic partner and during the trip across town.
- In both cases, the client first chooses to take the most obvious, direct route,
- On this trajectory, the client meets with unexpected difficulties: the traffic jams, the common projects hits an important snag.
- These unexpected hurdles create impatience, stress, tension, anger... that could provoke or confirm a deadlock.
- Creative reactivity, entrepreneurial reactivity, lateral opportunism, innovative search for emerging openings, all allow the client to find unexpected alternatives, to...
- ...achieve destination and success.
The coach as a participating witness.
For a systemic coach, there are always personal learning opportunities to be seized in each and all client interactions. The above sequence is also marked with another coach-related, shared or fractal occurrence:
- Arriving to the expected meeting and before seeing the client, the coach is also
- Faced with a blocked situation: the meeting is cancelled. The coach also
- Goes through diverse emotional reactions of deception, exasperation, anger, then resignation and acceptance. When the client arrives at the reception and shares her reasons for cancelling, the coach also
- Makes a instinctive, creative, opportunist offer to accompany her on her trip, in order to have the coaching meeting on the road. This reaction also
- Helps keep and ultimately consolidate the client relationship by providing measurable added value, in a totally unexpected way.
This outcome reflects the final success achieved by the CEO with her strategic business partner.
- Consequently in almost total synchronicity, the coach goes through the same client pattern, navigating through an equivalent fractal loop within minutes. The coach can consequently be considered a responsible participating observer in a shared interactive theme, behavioral process or unfolding script.
Theory and practice
Today, these systemic and quantum concepts are becoming well known. They are the subject of numerous scholarly debates as to the true nature of reality. Obviously, however, these novel theories are not the subject of systemic coaching interactions with clients. In fact, systemic coaches are not to present themselves as systemic theoreticians. Just as for any other professional in the field of coaching, systemic coaches are just intensely trained to humbly perceive, recognize and integrate the patterns that emerge in all aspects of their own lives, as well as those at work within their client concerns and developments. Usefully, in as much as clients and their coaches share fractals, these patterns often overlap, are sometimes almost identical. Beyond just observing of course, systemic coaches are also trained to respectfully intervene to facilitate client changes of perspectives and induce useful viral shifts, in order to help themselves and their clients open each of their unfolding internal dialogues.
Fractal patterns in larger systems
For a quantum-based systemic coach, fractal patterns obviously occur in larger collective systems such as within families, teams and organizations. Fractal pattern recognition and trained skills to immediately and appropriately respond differentiate professional systemic coaches from more linear Newtonian approaches.
- Example: A CEO and HR agree with a coach to undertake a three-day organizational coaching process that would include their forty top executives including the CEO and her executive team.
Details for the event are defined and dates are set for a three-day kick-off five months later, after summer. When he called a month before to plan for the trip, the coach is informed that the dates have been moved, that the three-day time span for the event has been reduced to two days, and that the executive team and CEO have decided not to attend. Considering all these unilateral changes, a call is arranged with the CEO and HR to clarify reasons and objectives for the completely modified organizational-coaching architecture.
During the call, the coach asks how many participants are to be involved. The CEO answers 32 senior managers just below the executive team.
She then specifies that among other themes, the work should be focused on a specific issue: Whenever organizational goals and means are clearly defined with the targeted senior non-executive management level, these have a generalized tendency to unilaterally question and modify their commitments without providing any information or arranging for any prior negotiation. They regularly proceed as if commitments made with the executive team could later be revisited without first engaging in any form of discussion. The CEO was very concerned!
The coach quickly caught on to the shared pattern. Indeed, he had just experienced such a unilateral change with the CEO and HR. They had all originally agreed to a three-day organizational coaching kick-off event including the full executive team plus the 32-member next level. Unilaterally, without any communication or negotiation, several key details of the agreement with the coach were modified. Indeed, they had limited the event to two days, changed the dates, and reduced the group of attendants without ever consulting with or informing the coach, until he called.
- The coach confronted them with the similar patterns. He then asked the CEO and HR how they expected to change the patterns enacted by the middle management levels without considering the executives and CEO were an integral part of the process.
On another more professional level, how could the coach decently accompany the organization’s solution while accepting to be taken hostage in the system's problem? It was obvious that all the concerned actors in the process, the coach, CEO and executive team were all participating observers in a common fractal or holographic pattern that was enacted on a number of different levels.
One could easily extrapolate that all this company’s internal commitments were regularly modified in the same way, as those that concerned external partners, suppliers and clients. It could well be that all the actors in their ecosystem most probably regularly participated in the same form of process or game, by unilaterally changing contracted agreements.
Fortunately the confronting systemic coaching questions led to immediate awareness and a corresponding change in CEO and HR frame of reference as to what needed to be done in the company. New decisions and an appropriate coaching action plan were subsequently rolled out to modify the pattern within the executive team, with the middle managers and throughout the organization. This incidentally also put the coach contract with this organization back on its original tracks.
On the side of the coach’s issues the above example also provides room for development and possible client options. For example, calling a month before the expected dates when the original agreement was established six months ahead can reveal a lack of coach follow-up. It could be good policy for the coach to firm up an agreement halfway to a deadline, and then again in the last quarter.
In a fractal way, the coach’s lack of follow up skills probably mirrors an equivalent lack of tracking attention within the client organizational processes. When coaches reflect on their own responsibility in client issues and on how to improve in future client relationships, they may often find solutions that also fit client needs.
- Caution: Systemic coaches do not present theory nor use words that elicit a client call for definitions. Coaches just ask questions to enable awareness, enlarge client perspectives and then accompany them to co-design actions that will ensure the achievement of successful results.
Although post-Einstein quantum and systemic theoretical constructs can be very useful for coaches to perceive and react appropriately, professionals do not waste time explaining holography, quantum theory, fractals, synchronicity, etc. This being said, it can be very useful for quantum-based coaches to superficially understand some key elements of quantum theory.
Synchronicity and fractals in quantum theory
Ongoing fundamental research for the elemental blocks that make up our physical reality has allowed physicists to discover a different reality, for which scientists were not necessarily searching or prepared. One of these discoveries is that "time" and "space" which we perceive as apparently very different realms, can be construed as two opposite ends of the same continuous spectrum. It is more than a theory. It is the way we experience relativity: The faster we communicate, the smaller becomes our world.
- Example: As a real consequence, organizations that routinely use information technology (speed) in all aspects of their work almost naturally become multinational (space).
As Einstein’s e=mc2 equation and atomic bombs have proved to be true, the same holds for energy and matter. Much like vapor and ice, matter and energy are complementary states that belong to one continuous dimension. Matter is made of energy.
On the subject of synchronicity, one of the most interesting if not mind-blowing recent developments in physics, more particularly in quantum mechanics, is the Bell theorem originally formulated in 1964. It offered a demonstration that information could travel much faster than the speed of light! According to Einstein, that possibility was inconceivable. But nobody including Einstein could find an error in Bell’s theorem. It was intensely debated until few decades later, when the 1982 Aspect experiment offered the challenging hypothesis some form of proof. Unfortunately, both the hypothesis and the experiment raise more questions than they answer.
To describe some of questions raised by Bell through the experimental procedure developed by Aspect in a practical way, imagine the following situation and contraption:
- A light-creating source simultaneously creates and emits a pair of protons, and sends them flying off in opposite directions– each at the speed of light-.
- Created together, the two photons are correlated as could be twins: they are polarized at complementary angles, or have 0 and 1 values, or have correlated “spins”, for instance one vertical and the other horizontal.
- At equal distances from the photon-emitting light source, measuring devices A and B are installed to permit several maneuvers.
For one, the measuring devices serve to confirm that the polarities of the two traveling photons are still complementary at any given distance. When measured, such correlated photons indeed always keep their common or "twin" polarization, no matter how far they have traveled from each other.
At one end (A, below), the measurement device is then modified: It is tweaked to reverse the polarity or spin of the A photon.
- Surprisingly, the B measuring device at the other end then records a simultaneous polarization or spin change in the other distant photon.
Repeatedly, the Aspect experiment seems to offer proof that at any distance, two apparently independent but correlated photons can act as if they were still connected, each instantly reacting to mirror the change occurring with its far-off twin.
- Note that as each of the two photons are traveling away from each other at the speed of light, the communication between them measurably needs to take place at twice that speed!
Also note that such "simultaneous" communication across such space-like distances does not happen between just any pair of particles. It happens between two simultaneously created, entwined, aligned or correlated "twins". This is necessary to ensure their connection across space and time.
The possible consequences of Bell’s theorem have opened a whole new world of possibilities. If one applies this precondition to other areas, the importance of alignment, correlation, and entwinement could be generalized when considering other types of partnerships such as siblings, twins, parents and their children, teams, organizations, etc.
In terms of consequences, also consider that the whole universe can be defined as "initially correlated" by its unique or shared origin:
- The Big Bang: On a much larger scale, that explosion is the equivalent of the twin-producing light source in the Aspect experiment.
This analogy raises the hypothesis the whole universe could be highly correlated and in continuous instantaneous communication with itself, no matter the distances involved. Nothing can happen to any part of the universe without all its other components being simultaneous informed and reactive, with equivalent or mirroring action everywhere else.
Also, in keeping with another quantum theory view, one can consider the whole universe as an evolving hologram that reflects itself across fractal illusions of space and time. In such a view, the above two photons in Aspect’s experiment should be considered to be one and the same. The apparently opposite time-space directions in which they fly do not exist.
- It could consequently be considered that if the tweaked photon and its apparent twin simultaneously change, that is just because they are actually one and the same, perceived in different fractal images of the same hologram.
Holographic images of the same photon that appear in separate fractals give observers the illusion they are separate entities. If they seem to change simultaneously, it is because they are one, as seen from different angles or as observed through different fractals in the same universal hologram.
This can give us a theoretical explanation for synchronicity. Synchronicity events are apparently separated emanations originating from a common holographic reality. In the same hologram, we experience synchronicity or correlated events as common patterns simultaneously perceived in different fractals. Consequently,
- When we perceive synchronicity or similar patterns in distinct dimensions of our lives, we do not realize they are all fractal projections that echo through one all-encompassing hologram.
- Likewise, when we react to events within any of our fractal realities, we do not realize that we are actually contributing to the development of one same comprehensive or universal hologram.
Training for synchronicity and fractal pattern recognition
In our everyday reality, awareness of fractal patterns, or of what we call synchronicity, generally seems to surface under a number of specific conditions. For one:
- The concerned people or collective systems need to have developed a very strong type of bond, focused energy, call it initial alignment, shared purpose etc.
This type of heightened presence and awareness can naturally occur within intimate relationships.
In such relationships, deeper bonds are either built over a long span of time or in shorter very high-intensity, highly intimate, trust-based soul-to soul connections. When individuals or collective systems have developed that type of natural alignment, the concerned actors almost spontaneously become intensely correlated or entwined, as it were. This connection generally proves to become a constant in time, no matter the apparent distance.
- Note: Such alignment criteria equally serve to create lasting positive and negative connections, relationships or partnerships.
Synchronicity alignment consequently applies to such strong connections as those developed between lovers as well as between archenemies, between persecutors and victims or hostages (as in the Stockholm syndrome), in shared adventures and military combat, in families and prisons, etc. All such intensely positive or dramatic settings for relationships can be considered to build equivalently strong connections - to the finish as it were.
To resume, heightened states of awareness that allow increased perception of synchronicity and fractal patterns seem to occur commonly occur between partners, enemies, lovers, high-end sports competitors, mothers and their children, twins, dance partners, martial arts opponents, owners and their pets, childhood friends, team-workers, and other such strongly bonded or aligned individuals and groups. We can consider that these may also develop in very intense systemic coaching contexts: with our clients.
- Both as a cause and as a result of this powerfully deep and fundamental connection, attention is focused and energy is high. Presence to one-another, environment, context and purpose can become strong enough to defy apparent separateness of space and time.
In positive and negative dimensions, training methods to achieve this state of presence or heightened awareness with oneself, others and the environment have long existed. One could extrapolate that means to develop this type of enlarged conscience have always been accessible to humans. They may even be part of our animal heritage and instinct, accessible to all forms of life. Just considering human history:
- For centuries and worldwide, individual and collective introspective techniques to develop individual and shared alignment to heighten existential awareness and presence have long been practiced, experimented and shared.
Among others, such means include religious trances, relaxation, sophrology and hypnosis, martial arts, boxing, group therapy, and high-end sports practice, military boot camps, meditation and contemplation, yoga, brainwashing, fasting, intense physical and breathing exercise, terrorist training camps, etc. not to forget mindfulness, a more recent buzzword for such well-known skills.
Many have trained to regularly and intensely practice such techniques in such contexts claim to achieve more or less altered states of consciousness and measurable physical transformations. Worldwide, much has already been done to measure and quantify such results. More intensely over the past decades and in most of the introspective fields mentioned above, measurable physical indicators of possible beneficial alterations and consequences have also been studied, tested and published.
Depending on the studies and techniques, immediately quantifiable benefits can range from altered breathing and heartbeat rates, blood pressure, synchronized brain waves, altered pain thresholds, altered sensory perceptions, etc. Other publications have claimed longer-term indirect benefits that may be harder to correlate. These include better sports performance, deeper sleep, better digestion, higher perceptual sensitivity, stronger relationships, enhanced decision-making skills, altered stress levels, happiness, success, etc. The list goes on and may become endless.
- It has also been claimed that when ten to twenty percent of a given population regularly follow such personal introspective, correlating or alignment techniques, a collective result can be measured within their larger non-practicing, shared environment.
These claims and studies are widely published, accessible online and quite well known to brain-washers, yoga aficionados, religious zealots, personal-development experts, commando trainers, practicing Buddhists etc.. The public at large, however, still treats such research findings as mere religious, ideological or sectarian belief, if not just plain hogwash.
On a slightly different note, biological and ethnological observation and research on measurable human and animal relational behavior has also come up with rather similar or equivalent conclusions. These have measured the effects of shared attention, presence and intimate communication between members of the same groups, tribes, nations and species, if not between animal species and plants. These studies still escape the attention of the public at large.
To consult Metasysteme's systemic coaching training program, intensely focused on devloping your intuition by acquiring fractal pattern recognition skills.
One-on-one coach-client alignment
Other medical and biological research has provided interesting leads as to what happens when two or more individuals intimately synchronize, tune in or get on what is commonly called the same wavelength. This is more than a concept. It can be measured, and definitely happens in professional coaching relationships. To give a specific example, when two or more intensely communicating people deeply share intimacy through a focused, intense and moving dialogue based on intense listening, respectful silences, eye contact, proximity, etc. a number of shared measurable phenomena occur.
When this happens, physical indicators reveal that breathing and heart rates synchronize, almost imperceptible microscopic blinks and gestures, facial and body muscles, become correlated in a shared rhythm, a form of interpersonal harmony. Gradually, blood pressure and brain waves also start mirroring each other to the point of developing what could be perceived as one shared state of mind or being, one shared body of ebbs and flows, one common vibrating existence.
- Whenever deep, respectful intimacy is shared with another, a tuning-in or aligning process seems to naturally kick in. This is as natural as it is universal.
- The same could be said of the darker side whenever two or more get into intense fighting or war, boxing matches, wrestling bouts or martial arts competition.
- In short, intimately engaging partners seem to lose their sense of separation, to develop the perception of a shared or unitary form or body.
This could explain the saying “make love not war”. Both allow for the same form of intense partnership connection, developing a shared awareness of fractal echoes and relational synchronization. Even if one is focused on the darker side of the Force.
- Caution: Some behavioral technicians consider that rather gross and conscious mimicking or mirroring of another person’s gestures, tone of voice and facial expressions can create a useful therapeutic or relational ersatz of trust and intimacy.
The results of such a mentalist approach to human, animal, and other naturally instinctive connections have nothing to do with the heart of the matter. Quantified results of superficial mimicking techniques show these are relatively limited in their scope. They do not measure up, by a far cry, to the uncontrolled, natural, cross-cultural, animal, almost cellular synchronizing effect of heart to heart and soul-to-soul connections. Consider here that which defines a horse whisperer’s type of deep, respectful, intimate, timeless, attention and dialogue.
- Note that such a deep capacity to align from being to being is foundational to systemic coaching.
As they synchronize through shared listening, silences and profound attention, essential bodily rhythms, entwining takes the partners beyond the meaning of words, to the point of uniting their existence into one undivided shared presence, one connected being, one common heart and mind.
From that point on, the partners enter an intimate interactive bubble that seems to exclude non-pertinent stimuli, relegated to the rank of meaningless noise. Together, in order to plunge into their shared meditation, they signal a clear “do not disturb” message to the external surroundings. To be precise however, this is not exclusion per say. The partners have simply eliminated all superficial time and space distance between them. They have literally become one or inseparable.
From that point on with the elimination of space and time, heads get closer, eyes lock in, pupils enlarge and all bodily rhythms slow down and synchronize. When words start coming from the heart, the tone of voice deepens, and its level lowers closer to whispering. Breathing also calms to halve its pace, except for meaningful, emotionally laden sighs.
From that point on the meaning of words often serve as poetry. They just punctuate a much more holographic communication process. Through these, spurts of meaning occasionally interrupt a more significant all-encompassing flow of much fuller, intensely expressive silences, emotional waves, surges of shared synchronicity awareness, instants of blinding revelations, slices of universal knowledge, a limpid pool of mutual understanding, occasional bouts of delight and laughter.
Within any collective or natural environment, once this quantum-level type of truly intimate alignment or correlation has been forged and consolidated between apparently separate entities, little can be done to achieve its dissolution over space and time. The benefits of such powerful connections give a real measure of the awareness true presence, listening, respect, trust and intimacy can provide: one that allows for a totally different, timeless, instantaneous perspective of shared reality.
Such effects and consequences in quantum-based systemic coaching are undeniably measurable. The partnered energies merge, accelerate, refine, purify, intensify, and focus into a new form of laser-sharp awareness. This shared presence is a natural form of augmented reality. It merges with wider-reaching presence and meaning. Some call it the collective unconscious, the universe's vibrations, our spiritual reality, truth from the soul, connection with our biological and mineral nature, etc.
In such a limpid state, questioning and uncertainty simply vanishes. Only obvious clarity and direction in the form of true meaning persists. Having emerged out of the intricate blinding folds of day-to-day mainstream reality, all become one inseparable entity, a unified togetherness within an all-encompassing whole. In this crystal-clear state, there is no question as to the nature of shared purpose, as to how each needs to be and what each need to do.
In such a state of awareness, coach and client decisions and actions are obvious. Nothing is perceived as either or, good or bad, light or heavy, easy or difficult. Everything is obvious, naturally necessary, intrinsically sustainable and healthy. All becomes fully owned, embodied and unavoidable. Everything is there to happen. Fast!