Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mind, Soul and Reality

It's very easy. Instead of thinking of things as things, you have a habit. We all have a habit of thinking that everything around us is already a thing, existing without any input, without my choice. You have to banish that kind of thinking...Instead you really have to recognize that even the material world around us, the chairs, the tables, the room, the carpet, the camera included, all of these are nothing but possible movements of consciousness. And I'm choosing moment to moment out of those movements to bring my actual experience into manifestation. This is the only radical thinking that you need to do, but it is so radical. It's so difficult, because our tendency is that the world is already out there, independent of my experience. It is not. Quantum physics has been so clear about it. Heisenberg himself, codiscoverer of quantum physics, said atoms are not things. They're only tendencies. So, instead of thinking of things, you have to think of possibilties. There are possibilites of consciousness.--Amit Goswami Ph.D.

In study after study, whether the person suffered from a psychological disorder or not, Grof found the same general levels of the unconscious were uncovered a step at a time. Again from page 70 of The Holographic Universe: "It was almost as if LSD provided the human consciousness with access to a kind of infinite subway system, a labyrinth of tunnels and byways that existed in the subterranean reaches of the unconsciousness, and one that literally connected everything in the universe with everything else." In the 1960s Grof coined the term transpersonal to describe the experiences where the person "tripping" would visit territories beyond the traditional boundaries of the personality. In the late 1960s, Grof joined with Abraham Maslow and other professionals to found a new branch of psychology called transpersonal psychology. One theory that would explain transpersonal psychology is the holographic model of the universe. A holographic image is created when a single laser beam is split into two seperate beams. The first beam is bounced off the object to be photographed. Then the second beam is made to collide with the first. The resulting interference pattern is recorded on film. The image on the film doesn't resemble anything like the original object. The image looks more like the colliding waves and troughs that are created when a handful of pebbles are thrown into a pond simultaneously. The magic happens when another laser beam (sometimes just a bright light is used) is used to illuminate the interference pattern on the film. A three dimensional image of the object will appear.

These images are so life-like that you can actually walk around them and view them from different angles. If the photographic plate with the holographic interference pattern is broken in half-either of the halves will still contain all the information to recreate the original three dimensional image when illuminated by a laser. The plate can even be broken into fourths and eighths and so on, and will still produce the image when illuminated, although the detail and clarity of the three dimensional image will be compromised. The reason this happens is that unlike normal photographs, every small portion of the holographic film contains all the information recorded in the whole. This reminds me somewhat of a bit of Hindu (I think?) mythology. There is a saying that in the heaven of Indra each pearl reflects the infinity of other pearls -the part does indeed contain the whole. I wonder if this is the way our brains, souls and universe itself are constructed-or at least encoded? The holographic model would explain a lot.

I think one of the most fascinating areas that the holographic model would explain are synchronicities-meaningful coincidences. A great example of a synchronicity that I always think of is from UFO researcher Jacques Vallee's life. In the mid-1970s he was trying to look up information on an obscure group called "The Order of Melchizedek." He hadn't been having any luck in his search. He was in downtown Los Angeles at the time and at one point needed to take a cab. The driver's name of the next cab he got into-A. Melchizedek. Surprised, Vallee later looked in the Los Angeles phone directory to see how common this last name was. There was only one Melchizedek listed in the whole directory for Los Angeles-his cab driver. It was as if Vallee had asked the universe for a Melchizedek and the universe offered him the closest one on hand!

Getting back to Stanislav Grof and transpersonal psychology, it would be a good idea to go back to Michael Talbot's, The Holographic Universe. From pages 70 and 71: "If our current way of looking at reality cannot account for transpersonal events, what new understanding might take its place? Grof believed it is the holographic model. As he points out, the essential characteristics of transpersonal experiences-the feeling that all boundaries are illusory, the lack of distinction between part and the whole, and the interconnectedness of all things-are all qualities one would expect to find in a holographic universe. In addition, he feels the enfolded nature of space and time in the holographic domain explains why transpersonal experiences are not bound by the usual spatial or temporal limitations.

Grof thinks that the almost endless capacity holograms have for information storage and retrieval also accounts for the fact that visions, fantasies, and other "psychological gestalts," all contain an enormous amount of information about an individuals personality. A single image experienced in an LSD session might contain information about a person's attitude toward life in general, a trauma he experienced during childhood, how much self-esteem he has, how he feels about his parents, and how he feels about his marriage-all embodied in the overall metaphor of the scene. Such experiences are holographic in another way, in that each small part of the scene can also contain an entire constellation of information. Thus free association and other analytical techniques performed on the scene's miniscule details can call forth an additional flood of data about the individual involved.

The composite nature of archetypal images can be modeled by the holographic idea. As Grof observes, holography makes it possible to build up a sequence of exposures, such as pictures of every member of a large family, on the same piece of film. When this is done the developed piece of film will contain the image of an individual that represents not one member of the family, but all of them at the same time. "These genuinely composite images represent an exquisite model of a certain type of transpersonal experience, such as the archetypal images of the Cosmic Man, Woman, Mother, Father, Lover, Trickster, Fool, or Martyr," says Grof. A final quote from Grof's Beyond the Brain, that is given in Talbot's book would also be good to end this post with: "Bohm's concept of the unfolded and enfolded orders and the idea that certain important aspects of reality are not accessible to experience and study under ordinary circumstances are of direct relevance for the understanding of unusual states of consciousness. Individuals who have experienced various nonordinary states of consciousness, including well-educated and sophisticated scientists from various disciplines, frequently report that they entered hidden domains of reality that seemed to be authentic and in some sense implicit in, and supraordinated to, everday reality."

I didn't realize when I started this that I was going to begin a whole new series. I had actually thought of keeping this blog "lite" for awhile as I tried to get work done at my other blog. I am going to have to come up with some sort of schedule for when I do work for the two blogs-maybe two days on one-and then two days on the other? I am also not sure how soon posts will be appearing here as I am working from 4 main books and 2 others here and there and do not want to get the information and thoughts hopelessly confused. Still and all I am happy about the new series-one of the books that I will use later down the road brought up a new (to me anyway) idea of how NDEs and encounters with poltergeists and ghosts have so much variety and yet so much the same. The two books by Stanislav Grof that I used to own and wish I still did were Beyond the Brain and The Adventure of Self-Discovery if anyone reading these posts would like to look more into transpersonal psychology and the depth and the variety of the experiences people who were undergoing various forms of transpersonal therapy reported. Thanks again for your extremely intelligent and thoughtful comments! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Talbot


Aggie said...

It sounds absolutely fascinating - a way of really getting into someone's inner self and understanding what makes them tick.

Mike and Julie said...

Lovely post as always. It would be interesting to see if we would have the ability to use holograms and send our image to places we may not be able to visit. Just thinking weird thoughts before my coffee again. Take care.....Julie

Anadæ Effro said...

A little while ago, Devs, I had just commented on your previous Stanislav Grof article. Thanks for writing about him. And yes, I cast my ballot for you dedicating two days to your blog dealing with the consensus reality of history, then returning to this one, many times shifting its consciousness the way that it does.

That way, to be fair to your(s)elf, you don't have to constantly juggle being in more than one world at once, as so many who travel the boundaries betwixt the worlds so often do (+:-)}

With your relentless mind for inquiry, may I recommend that you have a gander at this site, please? Pretty nifty for the uninitiated, although you've struck me as being an Initiate from a long time back your(s)elf. It's a beautiful day. Enjoy the sun, my friend.

Time for s'more freesia planting,
Anadæ Effro ( :-)}

Autumnforest said...

Wow--another thought-provoking article. I love the way you think!

Like the cab driver incident, I sometimes wonder if our psychic level actually directs us unknowingly to "coincidences." Sort of like animal instinct and deep ancient knowledge, keeping us from fire and falling from heights...

We are very linear in our thinking that what we see and touch is what there is, that our five senses are the extent of what's out there. If you asked a person blind from birth to describe blue, he wouldn't be able to tell you. He has nothing in his experience to explain a color. A

s humans who have limited seeing and hearing, I believe that to experience more than we are equipped to do, we will need better devices to get things outside of our sonic range, things outside of our visual range, such as using infrared cameras. It's only a small spectrum in what is out there.

Our issue is, much like the blind man, if someone said to look for blue, we wouldn't know how to do it if we couldn't see, hadn't seen blue, had a reference for what blue is...

Just remember how man scoffed at the concept of tiny microscopic beings causing illness (such as consumption), and then instruments were designed to see these little bacteria.

Devin said...

It is so nice to get comments from you all!! appreciate it so much -I hope the "freestyle" nature of this series isn't off-putting to anyone -I am not even sure whether to call it a series -thanks also for the link Anadae -that is one of the things I have thought of as I have been doing history blog -there is the history we are told is "right" and then there is another history we never hear about! Of course at the rate I am going over there it will be 2012 by the time i even get to any events that have happened in our very parapolitical 20th and 21st centuries! Once again I appreciate each and every one of you stopping by and no one here at this blog ever has to worry about sounding too weird!! If anyone is worried about this just read the label under "my story" -best to all of you and I hope to be around to visit your blogs very soon! ps -this may sound like an idiotic question-but it used to be that when you saw someone following you on your blog -you could just click on their name and go to their blog and follow them-I have always done this as a thank you and to return the favor-however now when I get someone who follows this blog and I click on their name -thats it -just the name -it doesn't take me to their blog if they have one anymore -am I just bein stupid again? unless i can figure it out i will have to wait until someone comments and then click on their name to follow their blog -thanks again and I hope but can't promise anything to have the next post here around the tenth or eleventh.

Middle Ditch said...

Hi Devin, that is a lot to take in. A very interesting read, but I must come back and do it again as my tiny little brain is still trying to digest things.

I know about the followers problem and found out that you click on the pic, scroll down and then you find the link and click on that. I wish that blogger would just leave alone what works instead of keep on changing it.

Devin said...

Middle Ditch so great to see you here!! I know about blogger-keep things the same for awhile will ya-haha -I did finally figure it out -It may not be so much that you are having trouble digesting things-it could be me confusing the living you know what out of people-and I am really hoping the post i want to do today doesnt do that!-best to you as always!!