Recently I was introduced to the wisdom of pursuing understanding of the nature of the universe, consciousness and existence under the aegis of quantum physics’ cutting edge. The science of quantum physics has arisen and exists within the same western socio-cultural milieu that I was born into. This, I think is an important point.
I have a great deal of interest and respect for the realizations held within the direct mystical revelations that have occurred in human history. Institutional dogma has been built upon these originally experiential realizations, eventually resulting in organized religion. Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Shamanism, and accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus have all signposted my journey. However, while the realizations and subsequent teachings these systems contain may fundamentally hold a universal truth (the original experiential realizations) they are inherently expressed within the metaphors, language and ultimately the culture within which they arose.
I don’t remember who said it, however – “The object of thought becomes progressively clearer with an accumulation of different perspectives on it.”
The Quantum Monad
The word “monad” comes from the Greek “monas”. In translating Euclid into English in 1570 the term “monas” was translated by John Dee to mean “unit” and had previously been rendered as “unity”. This alteration of “unity” was made on the basis of digit to mean a single number regarded as an undivided whole.
A monad is an elementary individual substance that reflects the order of the world and from which material properties are derived. The term was first used by the Pythagoreans as the name of the beginning number of a series, from which all following numbers derived. Giordano Bruno in “On the Monad, Number, and Figure” in 1591 described three fundamental types: God, souls, and atoms.
The idea of monads was popularized by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in Monadologia in 1714. In Leibniz’s system of metaphysics, monads are basic substances that make up the universe but lack spatial extension and hence are immaterial. Each monad is a unique, indestructible, dynamic, soul-like entity whose properties are a function of its perceptions and appetites.
In Amit Goswami’s fantastic book The Visionary Window: A Quantum Physicist’s Guide to Enlightenment this man with a doctorate in theoretical nuclear physics describes the quantum monad as that which retains the quantum memory of habit patterns and propensities of past lives created by conditioning. These habit patterns consist of quantum memory – the conditioning of quantum possibilities. Goswami posits that it is this memory of past propensities (karma), this quantum monad that survives physical biological death.
Interestingly under this thinking (as I understand it) the question of how there can be so many more people now than in history past if the soul exists is answered by seeing the individuality of the soul, as in each individual having an individual soul, as an illusion produced from the day to day individualistic nature of physical experience derived from limited physical senses.
The Zero-Point Field
Another physicist by the name of Ervin Laszlo (who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 and 2005) considers the zero-point field to be the fundamental underlying basis for reality. Laszlo sees the zero-point field as the basis for the entire realm of manifest phenomena, including mass, energy, and information. The zero-point field stores information and according to Laszlo may very well be accessible by human consciousness non-sensorially in the form of intuitions, images, archetypes and the seemingly anomalous contents of altered-state experiences.
Laszlo writes about the zero-point field:
“There the almost infinitely varied things and forms of the manifest world are united in an essential oneness at a deeper level. At the fundamental level of reality the forms of existing things dissolve into formlessness, living organisms exist in a state of pure potentiality, and dynamic functions condense into static stillness. All attributes of the manifest world merge into a state beyond attributes. Time, space and causality are transcended in a state of pure being: the state of Brahman. Absolute reality is the reality of Brahman; the manifest world enjoys but a derived, secondary reality – mistaking it for the real is the illusion of maya.”
The God Theory
Bernard Haisch is an astrophysicist, author of over 130 scientific papers, was the scientific editor of the Astrophysical Journal for nine years, and editor in chief of the Journal of Scientific Exploration. Haisch, in his book The God Theory, writes:
“If you think of white light as a metaphor of infinite, formless potential, the colors on a slide or frame of film become a structured reality grounded in the polarity that comes about through intelligent subtraction from that absolute formless potential. It results from the limitation of the unlimited. I contend that this metaphor provides a comprehensive theory for the creation of a manifest reality (our universe) from the selective limitation of infinite potential (God).
If there exists an absolute realm that consists of infinite potential out of which a created realm of polarity emerges, is there any sensible reason not to call this “God”? Or to put it frankly, if the Absolute is not God, what is? For our purposes here I will identify the Absolute with God. More precisely, I will call the Absolute the Godhead. Applying this new terminology to the optics analogy, we can conclude that our physical universe comes about when the Godhead selectively limits itself, taking on the role of Creator and manifesting a realm of space and time and, within that realm, filtering out some of its own infinite potential.
Viewed this way, the process of creation is the exact opposite of making something out of nothing, It is, on the contrary, a filtering process that makes something out of everything. Creation is not capricious or random addition; it is intelligent and selective subtraction. The implications of this are profound. If the Absolute is the Godhead, and if creation is the process by which the Godhead filters out pars of its own infinite potential to manifest a physical reality that supports experience, then the stuff that is left over, the residue of this process, is our physical universe, and ourselves included. We are nothing less than a part of that Godhead – quite literally.”
Consciousness as the Ground of All Being
Richard Conn Henry, a Professor in Physics and Astronomy at John Hopkins University, in a review of Bernie Haisch’s book The God Theory for The Journal of Scientific Discovery submits the statement that “it is not matter that creates an illusion of consciousness, but consciousness that creates an illusion of matter” as perfectly encapsulating his own understanding.
Professor Henry goes on to state that this is correct physics: it is not controversial in the slightest degree that there is no reality; this has been demonstrated in both theory and experiment. Here Professor Henry refers to Groblacher et al. (2007) whose paper “An experimental test of non-local realism” appeared in the journal Nature (vol. 446), concluding that the concept of ‘realism’ (a viewpoint according to which an external reality exists independent of observation – that is, (to me) independent of consciousness) is untenable.
The Sun & The Moon
Let’s come full circle and return to the Bronze Age in which the sun and the moon were widely known symbolic signs. According to Joseph Capbell’s The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor as Myth and as Religion, the moon cyclically “sheds its shadow to be born again, connoting the power of life, as here engaged in the field of time, to throw off death…[while] the sun, the light which is unshadowed, [here is] recognized as the light and energy of consciousness disengaged from this field of time, transcendent and eternal.
In the context of these symbolic assignments, the cycle of a single lunar month has been compared, by analogy, to the term of a human lifetime.” When, fifteen days into the cycle, the moon becomes full, “there is a moment when the rising moon, having just emerged on the horizon, is directly faced across the world, from the opposite horizon, by the setting sun. Certain months of the year the two, at this perfectly balanced moment, are of equal light and the same size.
By analogy, the confrontation has been likened to that in the mid-moment of a lifetime when the light of consciousness reflected in the mind may be recognized, either suddenly or gradually, as identical with that typified metaphorically as the sun. Whereupon, if the witness is prepared, there ensues a transfer of self-identification from the temporal, reflecting body to the sun-like eternal source, and one then knows oneself as consubstantial with what is of no time or place but universal and beyond death, yet incarnate in all beings everywhere and forever; so that as we again may read in the Upanisad: tat tvam asi – thou art that.”