What is Coherence Anyway?

We often use the word coherent to indicate that someone is making sense and is ‘pulling things together’ in a uniform and logical way. We say ‘he was being coherent in his explanation’. Beyond everyday talk, however, lies a very important and crucial understanding of what coherence is that gets overlooked most of the time.

 

Coherence is a very important dynamic that is inherent in the way the Cosmos and all living things function and interact. The process of coherence is a binding force but also an ordering factor that drives energy and information into systems that come into play with it. So what is it exactly? If you try to imagine a tree with all its branches and roots, leaves and all, it forms a coherent whole yet it’s parts are so geometrically and physically, even functionally, different. So what makes those parts enter into coherence with each other? There are two things in charge here – the first is connection and the second is flow.

Connections that Fit & Last

The first part has to do with how the part of a system (the tree) are connected to each other and what is their respective function with respect to the whole. Individually they are quite dissimilar and they might not be so interesting when you set them apart. However, in the bigger scheme of things, that is as part of a functional whole, they become connected to something that is far bigger than themselves. 

They become integral and whole. This connection gives rise to how the whole functions through its part and by means of its parts at once. If it were connected differently, the dynamics of the whole would also be different. So the relationship comes into being essentially through the interplay of forces that are aligned in a certain way we describe as ‘coherent’ – meaning in a delicate and fragile balance that brings forth flow and synergy to its parts thus in turn nurturing the growth as a whole.

This dynamic equilibrium is in fact brought about through the power of coherence which in this example means the way in which the parts of the tree are connected together to bring long-lasting stability and growth to the whole and thus to its parts.

There is another reason why coherence is important – and this is before we get to the second point regarding flow. Coherence can be obtained through several means and criteria all of which presuppose the existence of a connection between those parts or systems that are coming into coherence with each other. The main criteria is the idea of a ‘fit’ or ‘match’ between the interlinked parts. What do I mean by this?

It's All for the Greater Good

This fit might be in terms of similar or resonant frequencies of energies or structures and we see that Physics gives us many example about this – such as constructive interference between sound or electromagnetic waves or else resonance between material structures and certain frequencies. It could also be geometrical or physical but this may also not be so as we saw in the example of the tree where the parts are neither physical, structural nor functionally similar. What is important in this criteria of ‘fit’ is that the coherent parts are able to come together in such a way as to create a functional whole that is bigger than the sum of its parts. So coherence in a way is a ‘silent and invisible’ force that connects parts or systems in a certain way and which makes them work harmoniously together vis-a-vis the objective of a greater good (or greater whole). In this sense coherence has a vitalistic or teleological power to it.

 

[Teleology in Ancient Greek Philosophy  is the understanding that certain causes are not just historical – that is, the cause always historically precedes the effect in time – but can also be goal-oriented. This means that the goal or purpose is what causes a particular thing to be set in motion. Evolution of living organisms is considered teleological by many outside the Darwinian blind or random mutation theory. In this case there is also an element of vitalism, which holds that there is a higher intelligence  pervading through nature and existence that directs everything.]

There is another reason why coherence is important – and this is before we get to the second point regarding flow. Coherence can be obtained through several means and criteria all of which presuppose the existence of a connection between those parts or systems that are coming into coherence with each other. The main criteria is the idea of a ‘fit’ or ‘match’ between the interlinked parts. What do I mean by this?

Flow & Harmony

So the medium of this ‘fit’ whether in energetic, geometrical, quantum form, doesn’t really make a difference in terms of coherence, as long as the connection and interplay of the parts fit together in such a way as to bring forth the maximum equilibrium and harmony to the whole. Coherence is in fact a multiplier and harmoniser of energy and information – meaning the more a system is coherent the more strongly and rapidly the energy and information flow through it in a the most constructive, synergistic way possible, positively affecting the wellbeing of the whole.

The idea of flow is in fact closely tied to this idea of harmony between the parts in coherence with each other. This harmonising force between the parts is what coherence really is in its simplest definition. In this sense, coherence plays a fundamental role in the communication of energy and information between living and non-living things and thus it is also an important key factor in the creation, growth and health of all that is, being your cells, organs, society, planetary ecosystem or even the whole Cosmos – inner and outer. The more coherence there is within and among systems, meaning the more harmony there is, the more energy and information is allowed to flow and hence the more balanced and healthy that system is.

 

This idea has ramification into so many other systems of knowledge, ancient and new. For instance ancient energy medicine traditions had known about this idea of how coherence can bring about and restore health, vitality and longevity in a person, or any living system for that matter. The same goes for other practices wherein the human body-mind is involved such as Yoga, mindfulness, Tai Chi, all the way to everyday practices such as sports, art and cultivating proper mindsets and posture. Anything that engages and promotes coherence in its process is seen as a portal that connects to us to a wider body of information, energy and ultimately intelligence.

If like me you believe that we are living in a super connected Universe that is alive, intelligent and dynamic, then coherence is part of this overall super intelligence. It is seen as an operative in creating and keeping this grand ecology of energy and intelligence alive and connected.

There is another reason why coherence is important – and this is before we get to the second point regarding flow. Coherence can be obtained through several means and criteria all of which presuppose the existence of a connection between those parts or systems that are coming into coherence with each other. The main criteria is the idea of a ‘fit’ or ‘match’ between the interlinked parts. What do I mean by this?

How can we be More Coherent?

Coherence can be applied to anything and whatever you do from talking to people to listening to your favourite music or embarking on a life-long mission. It doesn’t really matter what you do in fact, since when applying coherence in whatever you do, you participate in the living inner and outer Cosmos. Still let’s take a few example on what coherence looks like in our everyday life and how it can be harnessed.

Connecting Teams & People

One of the most important role of coherence in human life is in relationships since relationships are so fundamental to our individual happiness and the wellbeing of society. Relationships are the basis of our social life yet they can also be the source of divide and crises. A good reason for this is in fact coherence and how it comes about in our relationships.

We all have different inner motivations and we interpret our reality differently according to our own inner world that acts as a filter to what we perceive on the ‘outside’. We form bonds and group together according to common traits such as political views, age, personality or more loosely such as just belonging to the same school or workplace. So some of our relationships are by choice and some others not. In any case coherence can come into play or not and this can make a huge difference as to what is the outcome of those relationships.

For example if the people within a group or organisations make a perfect ‘fit’ together in terms of ideas, resources, skills, responsibilities and also on their general outlook on life together with their individual energies and personalities, there is a greater ‘synergy’ and harmony that is enhanced even more through smooth internal communication and good timing in taking action based on the same goals that are uninhibited by useless bickering and disagreement on how to go about it, etc. The whole ‘system’ here seen as a group or organisation is working efficiently and effectively by virtue of it having a certain coherence on how its parts – its individual members – are connected and fit each other so as to create the maximum harmony, balance and health to the whole system which in turns positively affects them as individuals. 

The opposite can be seen in groups, families, organisations that are ‘dysfunctional’ and express a general lack of coherence. There is little point in giving examples here as such examples are unfortunately can be seen everywhere around us.

How can we increase coherence in a group? There are different factors some of which are not directly under our control. This is not to say that nothing can be done whatsoever. The most important thing for increasing coherence between members of a group is to always work (being aware of it first and foremost) on reducing the importance of any differences and disagreement between members. I am not saying try to work out differences or try to throw love and forgiveness in abundance (although this would be a wonderful thing but I am not going as far). What I am saying is to downplay differences we see in each other and avoiding to take things too personally thus avoiding to reduce the negative interference and friction between our egos into the team, group or family. Despite having different ideas and energies, the team can still enter into coherence by means of allowing a detached space wherein their personal differences and judgments don’t come in as much as possible.

Easier said then done… I am aware. However You don’t always need the whole group to do this at the same time. In fact it doesn’t even need to be mentioned within the group. It suffices in the beginning to have one person, could be the leader or not, to be very conscious of these dynamics and to keep himself/herself as far detached as possible from having his/her feelings and judgments come in between. Sooner or later others (we are always reflections of each other) will start aligning to this, with others joining in (and if not there is always the possibility of them falling naturally out of the group if that is what needs to be done). Sooner or later, if the group members have more in common with each other than not, the whole group will start entering into more coherence and this starts to be seen in the way things start moving more smoothly – better communication, more positive outcomes, happier people, better moods, better decisions, etc

Health, Vitality & Holistic Medicine

The mind and body’s health is an obvious example of how coherence comes into play. We now have more scientific research and evidence that is building a wider picture about how our mind and body’s internal communication works. We have started to understand more and more how tightly interactive these systems within the body are – from the genetic, intra-cellular, to how organs and whole biological systems such as the immune and endocrine systems work together to keep the larger system (our mind-body) in dynamic equilibrium.

The constant messaging and chatting going inside our body is not just chemical or electrical. There is now increasing evidence and studies that show that there is communication at a deeper level than chemical or electrical messaging, such as for instant quantum coherence. This idea is based on the premise that various parts that make up a system can communicate by coming into resonance through the quantum field. The sharing of energy and information is instant as there is no back and fro messaging as in the case of chemical or electrical signals. It’s more a matter of how the parts interact with each other by entering into coherence at the smallest and deepest level of physical reality.

The more coherence there is among the mind-body-energy systems, the more they are going to function optimally and the whole will be in balance and good health. The opposite is also true, as when the individual systems go into decoherence, there is misalignment and disconnection. The mind-body starts working sub-optimally and eventually may run into more decoherence which can manifest in ailments, sickness and chronic disease.

Knowledge, Communication & Wisdom

At both an individual and collective level, coherence plays an extremely important part in our transfer of information, buildup of knowledge and the emergence of wisdom. Knowledge and communication are intrinsically tied to how we are attuned and in coherence with each other. If there is a lot of noise and interference, very little can be communicated which leads to poor knowledge acquisition or learning. For example if the members of a class or group are totally out of coherence (different energies, personalities, attention levels, emotional levels, etc) there is very little chance that they will ever get to move forward because each would be interfering with the signals and energies each other member is receiving or transmitting in the common space.

When some or most of the members of the group align with each other by virtue of interfering less or even better interfering in a constructive way and in good timing through mutual support, help, etc, the group starts entering into more coherence (at different levels – mental, energetically, emotionally) and what is being communicated and taught is more easily expressed and learnt. Not only does the communication signal become clearer and stronger but it also gets a multiplier effect where some individuals become active agents as amplifiers and synthesisers of what is being communicated.

The same thing happens on a personal level. Most of the time the interference comes from our own mind – we stand in our way. Usually this happens through excessive thinking, doubts, distorted self-image, negative self-talk, etc. In short we are constantly polluting the clear signal of our perception of the world, and expression of it, with ‘mind interference’ and this is what ultimately causes the disconnection or misalignment between heart and mind. This is what makes us go out of coherence with the heart and what starts creating all sorts of misalignments reflected in what is happening externally around us.

If even for a moment we allow ourselves to be without interference and judgments, and hush the incessant subconscious chatter of the mind, we start entering into coherence more often. Primarily we enter into coherence with our ‘heart’ – that deeper inner space that ‘knows’, and with our higher consciousness, that which has a wider, longer view of our purpose and soul path. This results in clear communication with Self, that is then reflected outwardly in more resolve and determination and an unobstructed path towards anything our heart desires.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Albert Farthing

    I love this article –it is powerful, clear and excellent —
    Al

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