We experience material reality in the form of separate objects. However, modern physics is developing a conceptual understanding of the physical universe as an interconnected whole. New scientific insights concerning the nature of reality in relation to quantum theory are beginning to produce a new understanding in which nothing is separable from anything else. We are beginning to find that although this perceived separation between material objects is experientially real, it is not ultimately real.
With the advent of Einstein’s theory of relativity, new relationships were taken into account. Specifically, it was observed that physical reality was inseparable from the spatial structure. In relativistic physics, material reality was still described as separately existent objects interacting like billiard balls. However, the connection was made between the structure of the billiard balls and the structure of the pool table on which the game was played. Ultimately, time and space, which were previously considered independent of each other, were now seen to be relative or related to each other through the underlying spatial structure of space-time.
It wasn’t long after Einstein’s insight into the interconnectedness of space and time that a new science began to emerge which we call quantum physics. This strange new science, which physicists encountered as they peered deeper and deeper in the structure of the atom, revealed a reality that was everything but consistent with common sense. By this I mean that the predictions the theory makes about the nature of reality do not correspond to our usual sensory perception of physical reality. However, quantum theory is the most accurate method physicists have for predicting the behavior of physical reality.
One startling feature of the quantum model is that electrons, as well as other subatomic particles, are not really objects at all. In addition, an electron can manifest as either a wave or a particle. An electron can be fired at a screen to reveal a tiny point of light, thus clearly revealing the particle-like side of its nature. However, the electron can also behave as a blurry cloud of energy. If fired at a barrier, in which two slits have been cut, the electron can go through both slits simultaneously.
A popular interpretation of the evidence suggests that the electron manifests as a particle only when it is being observed. For example, when an electron isn’t being looked at, experimental findings suggest that it is always a wave. In another slightly different interpretation, it is the method of observation that determines which aspect of the electrons nature will manifest. Conceptually, we could say that what we experience as physical reality does not exist in a defined or definite state prior to the act of observation. Similarly, it is the act of observation itself which somehow defines the state of physical reality. This line of thought represents a radical break from classical physics in that there is no longer any reality out there which we are struggling to uncover. For indeed, any interaction we make somehow effects that which we are trying to observe.
Quantum theory also predicts another fascinating phenomena which is known as non-locality. It is quite obvious to our sensory perception of physical reality that things have specific locations. However, David Bohm, a protégé of Einstein and one of the world’s most respected quantum physicists, held the view that at the quantum level, location ceased to exist. In other words, all points in space became equal to all other points in space, and it was meaningless to speak of anything as being separate from anything else. A non-local interaction links up one location with another without crossing space, without decay, and without delay. Simply put, a non-local interaction is unmediated, unmitigated, and immediate.
Bohm’s conception of non-locality enabled him to give an explanation for what is known as the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox, or EPR paradox. In short, the paradox describes the problem of how two twin particles can seemingly communicate instantaneously which each other. The problem is that, according to Einstein’s theory of relativity, nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, let alone instantaneously. Bohm’s interpretation of the EPR paradox is that the twin particles are not separate, but non-locally connected.
In 1964, a theoretical physicist named John Stewart Bell devised a simple and elegant mathematical proof which demonstrated how non-locality could be experimentally verified. This proof is known as Bell’s theorem. The only problem was that the testing of his theorem required a level of technological precision that was not yet available. It wasn’t until 1982 that physicists Alain Aspect, Jean Dalibard and Gerard Roger of the Institute of Optics at the University of Paris succeeded in verifying the twin particle test that had been outlined by Bell.
In what is now known as the Aspect experiments, the non-local effect was demonstrated by producing a series of twin particles, allowing them to travel in opposite directions, and then measuring certain characteristics of the particles. Quantum particles, when observed, display what is known as a spin state. In general, this characteristic comes in complementary pairs, such as an up or down spin state. In order to understand the type of experiments performed by Aspect and his team, let’s consider the following simple variation. Imagine two particles which together have a zero net spin state. That is they each have opposite spin states relative the other, thus cancelling when they are combined. However, according to quantum theory, the precise state of each particle’s spin characteristic is undefined until it is observed. Since the two particles must have opposite spin states, determining the spin state of one of the particles through observation determines the spin state of the other particle.
In quantum theory, the spin states do not just exist to be revealed by observation. The spin states are in some way the product of observation. So, the observation and determination of one spin state then gives the other particle a spin state. Prior to the initial observation, each particle has only a potential spin state, which when determined, has to be the opposite of the other. In the experiments led by Aspect, the particles fly away from each other at the speed of light and are allowed to travel a relatively great distance. Then, a primary measurement is made to determine the spin of one of the particles. After this measurement has been made, the spin state of the second particle is measured and is always observed to be in the opposite spin state relative to the first. For a more rigorous explanation of the actual way this experiment would be conducted, please refer to the text of Quantum Dynamics of Morphing Psy ~ Trance ~ Formations.
The amazing thing is that the observation of one particle instantaneously determines the spin state of the other particle regardless of the distance separating them. It doesn’t matter if they’re ten feet apart or ten billion miles apart. The question could be stated, how is information transferred between two apparently separate particles faster than the speed of light? A number of theories have arisen which attempt to account for hidden variables that somehow facilitate the unseen cause and effect relationship whereby one particle affects the other. However, these theories avoid the most obvious conclusion, which is that the apparent separateness of the particles is itself an illusion. The separateness is not ultimately real. Non-locality is simply a manifestation of the ultimate unity underlying what we experience as separate physical objects.
As we shall see, these ideas are very consistent with concepts which describe the universe in terms of holographic principles. Before we proceed further into our exploration of unity, it is necessary to understand some of the basic ideas of holograms. A hologram is produced when a single laser beam is split into two separate beams. The first beam is bounced off the object whose image is to be recorded. The second beam is reflected off a mirror and allowed to collide with the reflected light of the first. When this happens, the two parts of the beam create an interference pattern that is recorded on a piece of film called a holographic plate.
It is this phenomena of interference which makes holography possible. Interference is simply a pattern that is created when waves move through each other. Consider what happens when if you drop two pebbles in a pond. Each pebble will produce a set of waves that form concentric circles which radiate outward from the point of impact. As the waves from each pebble expand, they will at some point collide, and the pattern that results is known as the interference pattern.
The pattern that is recorded on the holographic plate looks absolutely nothing like the object which was used to make the recording. Basically, it looks like a bunch of chaotic swirl’s and concentric rings. However, once another laser beam is used to illuminate the film, a three-dimensional image of the original object reappears. You can walk around the image and view it from different angles, but if you attempt to grab it, you’ll find that there is really nothing there.
The most striking property of holograms is that the whole image is contained in each part of the film. If you take the original film, on which the interference pattern is recorded, and cut it in half, you will find that the entire image can be projected by illuminating only half of the whole. In fact, you can cut the holographic plate into as many pieces as you want and you’ll find that each piece, when illuminated, produces smaller versions of the whole image.
At this point, we can easily begin to draw some very interesting connections between the concepts we’ve addressed. In the holographic model, we say that the information of the whole is contained in each part. This is the same thing as saying that the information is distributed non-locally. We have also found that, at the quantum level, all particles are also waves. Thus, all of physical reality is essentially nothing but interference patterns.
It might be a good idea for us to contemplate the meaning of this last statement for a moment. Imagine an endless web of energy patterns. Science has discovered that, at the quantum level, these waves of energy are connected non-locally. This means that every portion of the pattern is infinitely interconnected with every other portion. It is essential to remember that we are not objective observers to this field of crisscrossing frequency patterns. We are it.
David Bohm suggests the possibility that this underlying unity of existence produces the physical world in the same way as a holographic plate produces a hologram. Could it be that our experiential perception of separateness is nothing more than a holographic illusion? Bohm describes the deeper level of reality as the “implicate”, or enfolded, order. He refers to the level of reality of our everyday experience, as the “explicate”, or unfolded, order. This is not to say that our physical existence is unreal. However, it is helpful to understand it simply as a secondary reality.
Let us consider what we are really observing when we perceive a physical object. Consider the paper you are reading and words on the page. What you see out there is not what exists directly where it seems to be. You are perceiving a holographic blur of frequency patterns that are translated into a pattern of neural stimulation, which in turn is experienced as the object out there. In fact, the process of determining that the object exists out there occurs only in your mind’s interpretation of the neural stimulation. When you look up at the stars, you are seeing light that left the stars millions and perhaps billions of years ago. Again, we are not seeing what is there directly; we are seeing a pattern of neural stimulation created by our interpretation of the light. “The same holds true for all the physical senses.
What you see, hear, taste, touch, and smell are all ultimately patterns of neuronal stimulation that in some way correlates with what is out there, but still are not really that.” The frequencies that are translated into neural stimulation are, in and of themselves, colorless, textureless, and tasteless. The qualities we experience through sensory perception are created by the mind and represent an “explicate” order or secondary reality.
Our material reality is but a filtered version of the ultimate unity which connects everything. This filtered version creates separateness because it only perceives bits and pieces of the whole at a time. If we could remove the filter, we would experience reality directly as an interference pattern where all information is distributed non-locally. Again, let’s not forget that we are this pattern. Your hands, this paper, the trees outside the window, our solar system, the entire universe; it’s all a seamless, unbroken extension of everything else. It is one thing. If this is true, then there can be no objective reality because the observer, the process of observing, and the observed become one thing.
We hear things, we see things, we feel things, we taste things, we smell things. Throughout life we have assumed that all those things exist as defined things independent of our experience of them as those things.” However, as noted in our discussion of quantum theory, science has found that this may not be the case. The defined thing-ness of those things we experience cannot exist except in relation to our experience of them.
In fact, any thing that can be experienced only exists in relation to something else. We may experience up and think that up is independently up; however, up can only be up in relation to down. Likewise, we experience hot and think that hot is independently hot, not aware that hot can only be hot in relation to cold. “The same is true for everything that we experience, in that whatever we experience something to be, it can only be that in relation to some other aspect of existence that is not-that.” This form of existence can be termed relational existence: existence that is what it is in relationship to some other aspect of existence.
While absolute existence is structureless, relational existence has structure. In order to get from the uncut boundless non-structure of absolute existence to the structure of relational existence, the system must undergo some transformation or process. In order for the one thing to become two things, the one thing must polarize itself. It is this process of dualization whereby absolute existence forms a relationship with itself. Thus, some relational existence is defined in terms of some other relational existence. “Once relative realities exist, there exists a level of structure within existence. The existence of this relational structure allows existence to form other relationships with itself.”
In other words, absolute existence does not dualize just once, but does so over and over again, repeatedly and progressively. What this means is that the relational realities produced by each level of dualization themselves undergo the process of dualization, resulting in the creation of two new relational realities within each preceding level of relational existence. This process of repeated and progressive dualization creates an interconnected structure of relational realities which we can call a relational matrix.
Regardless of how many times existence dualizes, the underlying reality will always be that of unity and interconnectedness. Although we experience reality as seemingly separate pieces, the fundamental reality form which that perception arises is that of oneness, whereby nothing is separable from anything else. Each part of the structure, each reality cell, contains some of the existence of all the other reality cells. Thus, each part of the structure is a reflection of the whole.
Since any localized area of existence has the quality of a-where-ness, then a non-localized area of existence, which would be everywhere, would not have a-where-ness, but would have the quality of every-where-ness or no-where-ness. This unbordered every-where-ness is consciousness. Consciousness exists everywhere, and thus no-where. Absolute existence, as we’ve defined it, can be considered as existent nothingness, because it exists without the borders which define a thing. It is no-thing and no-where, because it is everywhere. Absolute existence is consciousness.
Any attempt to transcend the duality of existence inherent to our experience can seem hopeless until one realizes that they are an inseparable part of whatever it is that exists. Therefore, we have access to whatever it is that exists directly because of the inescapable fact that we are that. At the deeper “implicate” level of reality, you are infinitely connected to everything else that is. You are connected to every other person, organism, and atom in the universe; thus, you are all these things. Similarly, your thoughts are infinitely connected to all thoughts. Being that the image of the whole is contained within each part, the whole universe is within you. The information of the whole is distributed non-locally, and therefore you have access to all of it. Your mind is the Universal Mind.
All relative realities are created by consciousness existing in relation to itself. “We are that consciousness. We are that consciousness existing in relation to itself and interacting with itself.” There is nothing else. None of the things we perceive as separate have an independent existence, as all are in actuality relational extensions of the underlying unity of consciousness. “Physical reality is a product of consciousness. Consciousness is not a product of physical reality. Physical reality does not interact with itself in some unknown fashion to cause consciousness to come into existence. Consciousness in the process of repeated and progressive self-relation becomes the awareness of experience, and thus creates physical reality.”
We have seen that we cannot directly experience the true texture of quantum reality because everything we look at crystallizes into matter. For the same reason, we can never experience consciousness as consciousness. When the unbordered, structureless-ness of consciousness attempts to look at itself, it creates a relational structure or frame of reference, experienced as a relative state of awareness. Consciousness can only experience itself through its creation. This a wonderful thing because here we are, armed with the understanding that nothing is truly separable from anything else, and experiencing ourselves as all that is. Separateness is an illusion. Fundamentally, your true self is not other than the indestructible, unbordered, structruless-ness of consciousness. To put it another way, you are the Source. The Universe is your body. The understanding of this truth gives rise to the experience of unconditional love for all frequencies because they all exist within you.
This article has been reprinted from GaianXaos.