A HOLOGRAM REALITY?
This article will discuss the nature of reality. We all grow up believing that matter is real, that it is composed of real particles of physical material. But, from ancient times spiritual teachers have told us that we are wrong, that this world is only a delusion, that there is no such thing as "matter" except in our imaginations. Now, modern physicists are telling us the same thing. As I look at my hand before me, it sure seems real to me! How can I disbelieve that? How can I even approach this question of the nature of reality?
In order to set the stage for this discussion, letís keep in mind that ancients did teach an idea called "maya," which meant that this world only appears to be real but really isnít. Sages taught that we have trapped ourselves in bondage to a great lie because we believe in a false reality. Jesus tried to teach us that we, who are spirit-beings born from above, are foreignors to this world and that we should strive to leave it; He calls us to follow Him up that path of departure, demonstrating that by yielding one's body to death gains him the victory, placing him suddenly in the presence of our Father God who beckons us to leave this pig-pen to return home to our palace. That IS the primary message of the Bible, even though Christian religionists prefer to promote the "good life" in this world.
MUST DIE TO LIVE?
Death results in Life? Oneís natural response to such a notion is to call it nonsense. I might try to contemplate how that might be true, wondering if a non-material reality is better than this material one. But, as I awake from that contemplation, I see my material hand before me and I get on with daily life. My hand sure looks and feels like solid matter. So, how can it be that there is no such thing as matter? This perplexing question begs me to turn away from such nonsense. Most anyone will gladly explain that unless they eat real food their bodies will die, that without real shelter and heat and water they will die. Physical scientists devote their lives to researching what? Matter or fantasy? Matter, of course! Fantasy doesnít permit scientific method of study. Most any court, after hearing the arguments, would rule that physical matter is real and that there is no evidence otherwise. So it is that most all men accept a responsibility for self-survival along with that of protecting care for their families. This is a real life or death matter! How can I renege on my responsibility for my own survival? How can I reject the known and grasp the unknown? Am I not born with a powerful instinct for survival? Is that instinct not part of Godís grand design? So, isnít denial of that natural instinct wrong and against my self-interest? If I deny my physicality and stop eating, and then die, have I not killed the very vehicle of my life? Isnít that act so unnatural and irrational that it deserves my contempt?
MYSTICS AND MARTYRS
Amazingly, across eons of time, countless sages and mystics have claimed that this material reality is just delusion, that the true reality is on the other side of appearances and there are no signs to guide one there except his own homesickness. For one who feels that homesickness, it seems to be a more powerful argument than the appearance of his hand before his eyes. Countless numbers of such mystics and heretics have willingly burned at stakes rather than recant that which they have believed to be Truth. Evelyn Underhill writes the stories of such persons in her 1911 book, MYSTICISM, a book which Iíve read many times when feeling lonely for companions along my path. FOXES BOOK OF MARTYRS is another book of men and women with whom I feel an eternal kinship and indescribable admiration and love. What is it that might drive such countless thousands of Christians to follow their Lord to the DEATH? I guarantee that there was no earthly reason for them to do so. Nor were they encouraged by loved ones to die that way. Nor was there any tangible reward for doing it. Clearly, the vast majority of our modern people are not recommending that fatal path; if they dare think about it at all, they probably shake their heads and ask why? why? why? If any mystic attempts to answer that question, he will find his questioner turning away mindlessly.
THE WORD IS GOD
As I sit here typing my thoughts onto a computer screen, Iím wondering where I can go with this line of thinking. Even if I am personally convinced of a spiritual reality in opposition to this material one, is it possible to argue against the evidence which our senses provide us so convincingly? Are all my senses lying to me? If I am to favor rational argument over irrational, then how can I refute my senses which have always confirmed the rational?
Okay, I think Iíll start with the Bible passage which says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1) If you speak a word into a microphone so that an oscilloscope can illustrate the energy patterns, you will see a picture of energies oscillating rapidly up and down between positive and negative. That series of pulsing energies, which you spoke aloud, is what gets heard by listening ears and recognized by minds as meaningful. Your listener understood your pattern of oscillating energies exactly as you wanted him to understand it. Your word was expressed, received, translated, and perceived as meaningful. There was no "matter" transferred from you to a listener, but your expression probably created an image within his mind which had a sort of meaningful reality to him.
Such images in oneís mind actually make up the entire reality of oneís life. Every aspect of oneís reality exists in his mental imagination or else it doesnít exist at all for him. His imagination is his entire reality, outside of which he has no conscious awareness. In this world, it is our physical senses which feed our imaginations. A spoken word has meaning to oneís imagination. The sense of touch is a powerful stimulus to your mind. The sense of sight feeds oneís mind very much like a spoken word does: through energies of varying frequency patterns being received through the eyes and translated into meaningful images. As such various feeds are received by me and translated so as to be meaningful to me, I can choose to recognize them however I wish, as physical or otherwise. I choose to recognize such stimuli from my senses as real. The important point is that it is only within my mind that my reality has any meaning. I am not conscious of anything "real" except what my senses tell me, and what they tell me is accomplished through patterns of oscillating energies of varying frequencies and amplitudes. My world is in my mind; I cannot know of anything else.
Yes, I have been taught from the moment of birth that "things" are real, that they are made of material substances and that they exist separate from me even when I am not looking at them or touching them. I have learned to accept my perceptions of externals as physically real. When spiritual teachers tell me Iíve made a mistake by doing that, I donít know how to respond because the physical reality is the only one ever validated for me; my internal contemplations have never been validated as real, but are considered fantasies or just "imagination."
Laws of physics limit scientists to studies of the physical dimension of reality. They have always shied away from anything mystical, spiritual, and fantasy. But, recent decades have found physicists uncomfortably compelled to state their conclusions in similar terms as were used by ancient mystics and spiritual teachers.
A HIGHER PHYSICS
For us lay people who donít understand Einsteinís mathematics, we depend on occasional writers to digest the works of physicists and explain them to us. In 1976, Fritjof Capra published his THE TAO OF PHYSICS. That book probably lighted the path of my spiritual course as much as any other, ever. The very next year was another bright light by Itzhak Bentov: STALKING THE WILD PENDULUM, On The Mechanics of Consciousness. In 1979 Gary Zukav published THE DANCING WU LI MASTERS, An Overview of the New Physics. It appears that scientists are being forced to think beyond traditional parameters.
A COSMIC HOLOGRAM
As enlightening as those books were, todayís physicists are making quantum leaps even more distant from traditional Newtonian-based physics. A recent concept which seems to have merit among theoretical physicists and quantum mechanics is that our perceptible reality might be nothing more than a hologram. My own understanding of holograms is very elementary; I think of multiple projectors all pointing toward a central spot. The image from each projector is not visible until it collides with the rays from another projector. When waves of light intersect they become visible. That is called wave interference. Perhaps that much is fairly easy to comprehend, but it gets more complicated when we learn that light-energy might get perceived as either a wave OR a particle, depending upon the expectation of the observor.
Along with this wave-interference concept, we are reminded that there is no such thing as a particle of matter. Within an atom there seems to be a huge number of different types of energies, all interacting intelligently with each other and yet they have no actual substance. I think of them as tiny spots of heat which have only a property of warmth but no substance. Our solar system is supposedly similar to an atom, electrons/planets rotating around protons/sun in the center. But, that is an oversimplified image and might not even be accurate. What we do know about an atom is that it is nearly all empty space, just like our solar system where we can only see distant fellow planets under special conditions of darkness and with telescopes. Conceivably, solar systems should be able to pass through each other continuously for thousands of years without two planets ever colliding. Of course, that canít really happen because of other powers of magnetic attraction and repulsion which prevent two systems from coming together. Yet, we should understand that an atom is really huge when compared to the extremely tiny elements of what physicists call "space-time." At great magnification, the seemingly fluid space-time becomes grainy, made up of tiny units somewhat like pixels which are a hundred-billion-billion times smaller than a proton. This distance is known as the Planck length, a mere 10 to minus 35 meters (10-35m). The Planck length is impossible for any scientific experiment; no one ever dreamed that the graininess of space-time might be discernible. That is, until the work of the physicist, Craig Hogan, at the Fermilab particle physics lab in Batavia, Illinois stumbled upon the fundamental limit of space-time, where it stops behaving like a smooth continuum and instead dissolves into grains like the tiny pixels of a photograph. Hogan concludes that if space-time is a grainy hologram, then you can think of the universe as a sphere whose outer surface consists of Plank length sized pixels, each of which contains one bit of information. See article at http://www.symmetrymagazine.org/breaking/2010/10/20/fermilab-scientists-to-test-hypothesis-of-holographic-universe/
My own imagination fails to grasp the concept of how an infinite number of quadrillions of tiny energies might work in harmony to produce in our minds an intelligible image, let alone to produce our selves as intelligent beings, all working wonderfully to create a figmentary reality in which we each believe we play individual roles of significance. The outer boundary of the universe which astrophysicists contemplate is a cosmic horizon beyond which light has not yet reached us in a 13.7 billion year lifespan. That would be a pretty huge sphere!
My own thought is that we need not consider such a huge universe to have any substantial reality except as an image in oneís own mind. It is only when we consider material items to be separate from ourselves that we become awed by their greatness. It is quite a different matter when I realize that there is no such thing as matter in all the universe, and the entire cosmic reality is but a part of my own mind-play, in my imagination. Mind play! Itís all a grand Mind Play. If I am to think of this world as a mental construct which exists only in my perception, then doesn't it follow that I should include the entire universe as a part of my alleged hallucination? If this thesis is valid, then the entire hologram supposition is only an attempt by particle scientists to explain how the stage-play might be manifested IF substance really existed. If substance is just imaginary, then physicists must throw up their imaginary hands and yield to the wisdom of the sages who defined reality long ago. The Supreme Mind conceives offspring, spirit-mind players, for an imaginary stage who will do contest against opposing mental ideas, positive versus negative, life versus death, good versus evil; a mathematic problem being enacted by personified values. Perhaps it is for us to yield to a script which was written by the whole in order to find an ultimate solution, or perhaps to explore how variables might influence the equation. Might it be presumptuous conjecture to posit that the ultimate solution will be peaceful harmony of that Supreme Mind which is choreographing the experience? Perhaps the experience IS the reason for existence. Suppose that in this eternal battle, I, as a spirit-mind, yearn instinctively for the Light to be expressed as fluid waves, while my opponents disturb that flow in order to experience a particle reality which appears to consist of physical material so that it will then be subject to manipulation by those who want to exercise their power over it. Their rebellion against the wave-flow is a disturbance which creates interference waves which are then perceived as particles of a material reality. It is somewhat akin to looking at an ocean reef through glassy smooth clear water so that the water is not even visible at all. But, when one disturbs that surface, then the ripples become the prominent visible and opaque reality. You canít see through a surface which appears to have a reality of its own rather than simply being pure clean water. Clear waves versus interference particles!
Supposedly, then, the spiritual mind wants to yield to the uninterrupted flow of waves of clear energy while the worldly mind wants to experience the results of his own mental rebellion/interference so that he enjoys the power of influencing a particle reality where he can be a god. Ironically, he can never be god of a pure and clear reality, but only one which is chaotic and disturbed. Both the spiritual mind and the worldly mind perceive the same energies, one wanting the smooth flow of waves while the other wants the cacophony of particle collisions. A cosmic hologram in which we individuals get to choose how we will perceive the energies in motion. There is no such thing as a particle of matter; there is only a fantasy of matter which when examined with an infinitely powerful microscope fails to appear. It just ainít there. My belief that it is there is my fundamental error, verily, my sin.
Oscillating energies, clear and non-material, provide a matrix, being expressed as a Word by the Supreme Mind, to appear as a manifestation, like images in a dream, where we figmentary offspring get to believe the manifestation is either physical material or mere mental construct. We are individually responsible for realization of our true selves as either physical or spiritual. If I can realize the Truth of my spiritual reality, then that can permit my reunion with the non-particle Supreme Mind from which I sprang. Simply stated, oneís ultimate goal must be the death of the particle world/flesh person so that the mental spirit-self can agree with its source. From the pig-pen to the Palace, but one has to willingly leave all the finite wonders and values of the pig-pen behind him to journey home as a solitaire.
Sadly, it is our worldly beliefs, limitations, values, and ties which we are reluctant to abandon. We prefer this false matrix, which we know, over the risk of something unknown. Weíve been taught that oneís only value is in serving the group, whether family, community, or state. We have always been warned against being solitaires and against thinking differently from our group. Social constraints are designed to punish us if we dare to stand separate from it. It is certainly not easy to follow that divine rebel, Jesus, who calls us to do exactly that if we would be "saved." Jesus said He is the "Light of the world" and that no one can come to the Father except by Him. Is He telling us that He is pure Light-wave rather than Light-particle? Is He confirming that our finite world reality is a wave-interference hologram, in which we deluded players must now choose whether to own it as it is and perish with it, or to follow him by rejecting the hologram and claiming the spiritual reality of wave-Light and thereby reunite with our source?
It seems that one intelligent and influential energy which promotes particle reality is called Satan, while another who promotes wave reality is called Christ. In the great battle of Truth versus Lie, these are the generals who direct their warriors. Since all is a Mind Play, it is in our minds where we experience the battle of beliefs. That race of spirit/Light beings whom God claims as His direct offspring are "born from above" into particle bodies with instincts inherited from their Father: Godly, righteous, compassionate, justice, Golden Rule, honest, noble, etc. The opponent race of physical/Dark beings whom Satan leads are born to express the mental belief that this particle reality is all-that-is, and that a person should make the most of it because there is no afterlife; their instincts are directly opposite from those of the Godly race.
WHAT THIS TEACHING MIGHT MEAN TO YOU
Finally, I would like to step back a little and try to get some meaningful perspective about the nature of the reality, especially what it might mean to an individual life. We learn from our preachers that every person has a "soul" which never ceases to exist. We learn that our actions in this world determine our eternal state of being, either in hell or in heaven. Itís a simple and childish concept but itís all weíve ever been taught so we accept it as core belief. We really believe that we are something real, that each individual is a real identity forever. So, letís consider that in light of the hologram concept. Just briefly, consider this concept, which I will qualify in the following paragraph. But consider this for a moment. If we are all figments of a Mind Play, somewhat like God having a dream of us, why should we believe that anyone has some kind of right to live forever, to exist beyond the dream? In Matthew 6, Jesus talks about being like flowers of the field, one day in bloom, the next day gone. Doesnít sound like any eternal soul there, does it? So, what if all is just a dream of God, a dream which can change just as radically as our own night-dreams change. I donít think the figments of my own dreams have any life of their own after my dream is finished; they have no right to exist separate from me after I awake. It seems to me that my dreams might provide a clue to understanding Godís dream. Characters can appear and disappear at whim; they have no right to claim an eternal existence. They are mere figments of the dreamer. In the next paragraph, I want to qualify that thesis.
GODíS PLAN FOR THE OVERCOMERS
In Godís Grand Pageant, the Design includes some individuals (His wheat, in a field of weeds) who are "born from above" as extensions of Himself, meaning that they are of His Spirit, His imagination, and His power. These spirit-beings are not mere figments of His dream, but actual extensions and experiences of His Mind. We are more than passing "thoughts," rather we are elements of that Supreme Mind who express its activity. Of these many "children" of His own, namely, the family Israel, the genetic descendants of Jacob, some will devote their lives to finding the Truth and thereby perceive His energy as spiritual wave rather than world particle. It seems that the mental achievement of attaining that enlightenment results in a sort of rhythm-entrainment with the Supreme Wave which is Space-Time itself. To become part of that Wave must be Heaven, eh?
But, what about the great many true Israelites who do not devote their lives to seeking that Truth? Do they simply cease to exist like the animals and other races of beings? No, it seems that they are part of a greater process which needs more explanation. While a few of His offspring attain reunion with their source, many who also share His indwelling Spirit will get stuck for a time in a lower level of realization, after which they will reappear on the stage and get another chance to reject the lie which they couldnít release before. The prophet, Ezra, explains what happens after one dies. In chapter seven of II Esdras (See http://divinepageant.com/ii_esdras.htm) he explains that all of Godís children, upon death, will first see the Glory of God. Those who scorned their Father will go to a place of torments where they can witness the reward of the righteous ones from a distance, until the time of the second resurrection. Those who were righteous will go immediately to a place he calls "habitations" of Delight and Rest. [Sidenote: you will enjoy reading this book of Ezra for in it the Angel of God explains many things that preachers don't know. The Roman Catholic church deleted it from the Bible at the Council of Trent, about 1546AD because the angel's messages seriously conflict with its pagan doctrines.]
TO BE SPIRITUAL ONCE AGAIN
Alright, if the above thesis is valid, then one's task in this life must be to realize himself as a spirit-being offspring of the Supreme Mind instead of a powerless victim of physical laws. One is a sort of extension of that Supreme Mind with an ability to create into his perception whatever he believes to be true. We spirit-beings are assured of afterlife because our spirits are part of that Supreme Mind which can never cease to exist. Other races and creatures share our stage as physical, emotional, and intellectual figments but without God's Spirit because they were results of the first chapter of Genesis Design. While Genesis 1 describes God's Design, it is in the second chapter that He creates an offspring race, into whom He breathed His pneuma, which then "names" (believes) that Design into their perception. Thus it was that the Mind Play began. Reality was a paradise as long as we knew it as a fluid wave-type spiritual reality, but when we succumbed to physical, emotional, and intellectual temptations, we suddenly became part of a particle reality instead of our wave Light reality. Then we were stuck in a foreign world.
Now that the end time event is here, namely the Great Day of the Lord, it is time for some of us prodigals to head for home. We have experienced a material world stage for 12,000 years and the oscillating energy of our precessional cycle is about to change from negative to positive, from world to heaven. We, who want to reclaim the spiritual reality and reunion with our Father, ask the question of what should we be doing to achieve that? Sure, I'd like to deny that the table in front of me is not physical material but merely an image in my mind which I can alter however I might wish. But, I don't know how to deny the particle reality effectively. Neither does the Bible offer any instruction of any technique to do that. It is unlikely that there is any technique which can accomplish it because if that was possible, Jesus would likely have alluded to it, but He didn't. He merely taught us that our apparent flesh-self must be rejected, that we must willingly offer ourselves as living sacrifices, that we must follow Him through that Death door, that we must leave the flesh and material world behind. He offers us a door, through which we must yearn to leap while trusting that He told us the Truth that He went before us to prepare a place for us. We can't see what is beyond that door, perhaps because the Light is too bright and we are accustomed to darkness. So, I must consider my flesh/particle reality to be an anchor which I must leave behind in order to fly free again. Jesus showed us that we will then have new bodies which might look somewhat similar, but will be of a different nature, not physical particles but rather fluid waves of Light which our spirit-being selves then use for expressing the WILL of the Supreme Mind.
Yet, while I do live in this seemingly physical body, what should I be doing? My thoughts turn to St. Paul's advice to the Christians at Philippi, 4:4ff - "Rejoice in the Lord always, Again, I say, Rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men; the Lord is at hand. Be anxious about nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition along with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
[Think on these things] 4:8 For the rest, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever are honorable, whatever are just, whatever are pure, whatever are pleasing, whatever are lovely; if there is any virtue, anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things."
Since all is a Mind Play, then it seems especially important that we turn our minds to Godliness and avoid dissension, strife, argument, animosity, anger, revenge, and ill-temper.
You are a spirit-being, imprisoned in a pseudo-body of flesh because you don't yet realize the truth which Jesus told us. Because you have accepted the delusion, you value a flesh which prevents you from returning to your heavenly Father. You feel that you really want to return, but you have learned to fear the angel of death rather than to long for him. Big Fail, o beloved of the Father! But, with a new consideration of the Truth, perhaps we can find it easier to deny the lie, in order to fly free to our Father, of Whom we are a part, forever and ever. Amen.
by Roger Hathaway, October 27, 2010 RETURN TO INDEX