Does God exist? Can we prove that scientifically? Is heaven a hologram? Do we have the ability to create miracles? M-Theory, and the power of your personal conviction… these are just some of the topics that Sandie will be discussing on What’s Going OM with lecturer and author Joseph Selbie, Author of The Physics of God: How the Deepest Theories of Science Explain Religion and How the Deepest Truths of Religion Explain Science this week on What is Going Om.
Setting aside the pervasive material bias of science and lifting the obscuring fog of religious sectarianism reveals a surprisingly clear unity of science and religion. You’ll find that the explanations of transcendent phenomena given by saints, sages, and near-death experiencers—miracles, immortality, heaven, God, and transcendent awareness—are fully congruent with scientific discoveries in the fields of relativity, quantum physics, medicine, M-theory, neuroscience, and quantum biology.
Deepak Chopra and Joseph Selbie discuss Joseph’s book The Physics of God on The Chopra Well.
The 47 minute video covers two themes:
- M-theory: Down the Quantum Rabbit Hole and Into Heaven
- The Observer Effect: Press “Play” for the Cosmic Movie
Here is a link to a wonderful interview I had with Robin Lysne on her Evolve program (SoulVox Network):
The interview is an hour long and covers a number of topics especially near-death experience, the scientific foundation for heaven, and more.
These days we often read that our universe is a holographic projection. One’s first encounter with the idea that our universe is a holographic projection can engender bemused disbelief or outright skepticism.
We also read various takes as to the origin of the holographic projection. String theorists, who popularized the notion, tell us, somewhat confusingly, that the holographic information that determines the behavior of the three-dimensional volume of space we call the universe is “pasted on” the “boundary” between our three-dimensional universe and a two-dimensional energy realm.
Other explanations range from the wildly imaginative to the darkly sinister and often involve technologically advanced aliens and Matrix-style computer simulations. I’m not sure about you, but I’m not ready to go there.
Rather, I’d like to suggest another origin for the holographic projection that we call the universe, one that fuses string theory with spiritual teachings: Simply put, I believe heaven is a hologram.
My suggestion is based on theories of science, such as string theory (and its most accepted branch, M-theory, in particular), but also religious tradition and, especially, the testimony of the saints, sages, and near-death experiencers who have had direct transcendent experience of heaven.
Not everyone accepts the idea of heaven, but it is common to every religion. And most descriptions of heaven include the metaphysical concept, “as above so below,” that is congruent with my suggestion that heaven acts as a holographic template for the physical universe. The Hindus and Buddhists describe multi-leveled heavens with as many as ten levels. The level above always defines the level below. Interestingly, the Hindus and Buddhists do not separate the heavens from the earth—the earth is just one more level of creation that has its own particular qualities determined by the level above.
The idea that heaven can be real and could have a direct connection with our physical world is easier to accept, I think, from the direct testimony of relatively more contemporary sources who base their descriptions on direct transcendence experience.
“In a word, absolutely everything in nature, from the smallest to the greatest, is a correspondence. The reason correspondences occur is that the natural world, including everything in it, arises and is sustained from the spiritual world, and both worlds come from the Divine.”__ Emanuel Swedenborg, Christian mystic
“Material existence is only a shadow of that higher, finer dimension of reality. This world is the result of the astral world. The blueprints of everything in the physical universe have been astrally conceived—all the forms and forces in nature, including the complex human body, have been first produced in that realm where God’s causal ideations are made visible in forms of heavenly light and vibratory energy.”—Paramhansa Yogananda, yoga master
“Everything was created of spirit matter before it was created physically—solar systems, suns, moons, stars, planets, life upon the planets, mountains, rivers, seas, etc. I saw this process, and then, to further understand it, I was told . . . that the spirit creation could be compared to one of our photographic prints; the spirit creation would be like a sharp, brilliant print, and the Earth would be like its dark negative. This Earth is only a shadow of the beauty and glory of its spirit creation.”—Betty J. Eadie, near-death experiencer
Until the advent of string theory and the holographic principle in the 1960s, there had been no persuasive scientific framework to support how such transcendent testimony, describing a dynamic connection between our physical world and a subtler purely energetic one, could possibly be reconciled with science.
M-theory, string theory’s most well-known version, posits that vast amounts of pure energy exists in extra dimensions beyond the four dimensions with which we are familiar (three dimensions of space and one of time). These dimensions and the high-frequency energies they contain are beyond our senses’ and our finest instruments’ ability to detect. In M-theory, the three dimensions of our already almost incomprehensibly large physical universe are the smallest dimensions in the cosmos.
Our three-dimensional universe could be described as being like a saturated sponge submerged in an ocean of high-frequency energy. The string-theorist’s name for this vast ocean of energy is the “bulk,” as in, “the bulk of the cosmos.” I prefer to call it the energy-verse as the word bulk is so poorly descriptive of the reality to which it refers.
Counter-intuitively, the energy-verse, as posited by M-theory, is two-dimensional. The energy-verse is completely nonmaterial, that is to say it contains no three-dimensional space in which there could be three-dimensional material. It is composed of pure energy that vibrates in two-dimensions.
The energy-verse is, I believe, the location of the heavens or astral regions of all religious traditions. The essential qualities of the energy-verse—that it is nearly infinite, that it exists “beyond” the physical universe, and that it contains only nonmaterial, two-dimensional, high-frequency vibrating energy, matches uncannily well the descriptions of the heavens, or luminous astral regions, given by hundreds of saints, sages, and near-death experiencers.
“Just as persons on the cinema screen appear to move and act through a series of light pictures, and do not actually breathe, so the astral beings walk and work as intelligently guided and coordinated images of light.”—Sri Yukteswar, yoga master
“Heaven is a world much like our own except there is no time nor space as we think of them here. Heaven exists in a higher dimension of energy. The higher realms are a world of inexpressible beauty.”—Nora Spurgin, near-death experiencer and researcher
“Time as I had known it came to a halt; past, present, and future were somehow fused together for me in the timeless unity of life. I learned that all the physical rules for human life were nothing when compared to this unitive reality.”—George Rodonaia, near-death experiencer
“But if prophets down the millenniums spake with truth, man is essentially of incorporeal nature. [Man] is only temporarily allied with sense perception.”—Paramhansa Yogananda, yoga master
Not only did M-theorists unknowingly provide a location for heaven, but, by making the mathematics of holography an integral piece of their theory, they also provide the key mechanism by which heaven can be understood to function as the template for the physical universe.
The holographic principle, as it is used in string theory, states that the behavior of the three-dimensional volume of space, time, and matter that we call the universe is governed by information existing outside the universe. Put another way, high-frequency light-energy, interacting with the information contained in a two-dimensional hologram in the two-dimensional energy-verse, results in the creation and unfolding of the colossal three-dimensional holographic projection we call the universe. Or put yet another way, in the language of M-theorists, the holographic information that determines the behavior of the three-dimensional volume of space we call the universe is “pasted on” the “boundary” between our three-dimensional universe and the two-dimensional bulk.
A missing piece of any of these scientifically couched descriptions of the holographic mechanism is the explanation of where the information in the hologram comes from in the first place.
In our physical world, a hologram is a flat, two-dimensional film with which light can be made to interact to project a three-dimensional image. Using today’s technology, the creation of the two-dimensional hologram requires starting with digitized images either of an actual three-dimensional object or one generated by a computer. Then the information in those digitalized images of three-dimensional objects is encoded into a two-dimensional hologram.
Thus in our physical world the information for the hologram comes either from imaging an existing form or from the creative mind of a designer.
Where, then, in the vast ocean of high-frequency energy in the energy-verse, do the original forms, the original templates, the original intelligently and creatively ordered information that encodes the universe, come from? Information complex enough that it can project the universe into being in all its intricate detail from the stars to subatomic particles?
It’s not enough that such information contain only the physical laws that govern the birth and behavior of our universe. Inherent in the very principle of holography is that the physical universe can’t simply have been started and left to its own evolution. It wasn’t created once and left on its own. The holographic principle suggests that our universe is being continuously projected in dynamically and rapidly evolving detail down to the tiniest sub-atomic particle.
You may be surprised to learn that saints and scientists alike concur on this point:
“God is creating the entire universe, fully and totally, in this present now. Everything God created . . . God creates now all at once.”— Meister Eckhart, Christian mystic
“The universe emerges out of an all-nourishing abyss not only twelve billion years ago but in every moment.”—Brian Swimme, physicist
“My solemn proclamation is that a new universe is created every moment.”— D. T. Suzuki, Zen teacher
“We are not stuff that abides, but patterns that perpetuate themselves; whirlpools of water in an ever-flowing river.”—Norbert Wiener, physicist
“The Tao is the sustaining Life-force and the mother of all things; from it, all things rise and fall without cease.”—Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
A continuously and dynamically evolving holographically projected creation requires a continuous and dynamically evolving source of holographic information. The saints, sages, and near-death experiencers tell us that the information source is a luminous, heavenly counterpart to our universe: the “sharp, brilliant print,” as was described by near-death experiencer Betty Eadie, or as explained by Yogananda, “all the forms and forces in nature, including the complex human body, have been first produced in that realm where God’s causal ideations are made visible in forms of heavenly light and vibratory energy.”
Not only is the universe around us a holographic projection, we, ourselves, inhabit holographically projected bodies, projected from our own personal luminous “astral body” hologram. Living through both our bodies, we interact with the complex reality that is the cosmos on many levels. We are both actors and directors in an Intelligently created cosmic movie.
“We are beginning to see the entire [cosmos] as a holographically interlinked network of energy and information, organically whole and self-referential at all scales of its existence. We, and all things in the universe, are non-locally connected with each other and with all other things in ways that are unfettered by the hitherto known limitations of space and time.”—Ervin Laszlo
Our astral hologram, the perfect luminous counterpart to our physical body, is not distant from us, rather it interpenetrates our physical body at every point. Just as the physical universe is like a saturated sponge submerged in an ocean of high-frequency energy so, too, is our physical body. According to M-theory, this energy vibrates at such a high frequency that it is detectable neither by our senses nor by physical instruments.
Despite not being able to perceive the interpenetrating subtle energy with our five senses, to one degree or another we are all aware of it. The experiential religious traditions of the world—from yoga to Sufism, to charismatic Christianity, to tai chi—call these subtle energies life force. An abundance of life force puts a bounce in our step and a smile on our face. It tingles through our being when we feel delight and knots our stomach when we’re stressed. It warms our hearts when we feel love and tenses the body when we feel fear. It gives us an upward “rush” when we feel excited or inspired and drags us down when we are fatigued or depressed. It keeps the heart pumping, the lungs breathing, the digestion working, and it animates the myriad processes taking place in our trillions of cells. Without knowing precisely how we know, we are all aware of the presence of life force within us.
In fact, according to the healers, psychics, seers, mystics, and saints who have highly developed intuitive perception, most of what we experience, most of what fills our awareness, most of what matters to us—our vitality and life force, our feelings, our creative will, our personality and character, and our experience of happiness, love or joy—actually originates from our interpenetrating subtle energy body, and does not exist in the physical body at all.
More significantly yet, the mystics tell us that when we die these essential aspects of who we are continue to exist as they have always existed—in our non-physical, interpenetrating, energy body. The person we are today is very much the person we will be after death—only we will find ourselves existing solely in our more perfect energy body in the heavenly freedom of an unconstrained energy world.
It is fair to say, then, that we are already in heaven. When we die we no longer have the input from our physical senses that distract most of us from being fully aware of the spirit body that’s been with us all along.
“In this way, our lives in this plane of existence are encompassed, surrounded, by the afterworld already. . . . The body dies but the spiritual quantum field continues. In this way, I am immortal.”—Dr. Hans-Peter Dürr, former head of the Max Planck Institute for Physics, Munich
“You don’t die when you die. You shift your consciousness and speed of vibration. That’s all death is . . . a shift.”—P. M. H. Atwater, near-death experiencer, NDE researcher, and author of Beyond the Light
But we don’t need to wait until we die to experience our subtle energy body more deeply—we can meditate and tap into it in the here and now.
“Since my return [from my near death experience] I have experienced the light spontaneously, and I have learned how to get to that space almost any time in my meditation. Each one of you can do this. You do not have to die to do this. It is within your equipment; you are wired for it already.”—Mellen-Thomas Benedict, near-death experiencer
Meditation is a supremely effective tool for tapping into our energy body because—through relaxation, breathing, concentration, and stillness—meditation methodically turns our attention away from the physical body and allows us to experience our subtle energy body more and more fully.
Meditation doesn’t create calmness and joy: it allows us to experience the calmness and joy natural to our subtle energy body. In practicing yoga postures, it is not the act of relaxing the physical body through stretches and breathing that creates calmness and joy. Rather, the physical tension that was keeping us focused on the physical body has been released, allowing us to feel our natural state. Concentration and stillness similarly are effective, because they get us beyond our stream of thoughts and body sensations, freeing us to become aware of our energy body’s natural state of joy.
When Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is within you,” he meant it literally. The more our awareness becomes centered in our subtle energy body, the more happy, fulfilled, loving, compassionate, energetic, and calm we feel.
Expand your awareness of your subtle body. It’s the secret to health and happiness. Breathe in energy from your subtle body, then relax and feel. Concentrate on your calm, still, center.
Be in heaven now.
Originally published in Science and Nonduality Dialogs
By Joseph Selbie
In an adult human body, there are fifty-quadrillion coordinated biochemical events taking place each and every second. Every second, each of our fifty trillion cells generates fifty thousand biochemical events in a near-perfectly coordinated dance of atoms and molecules that make possible everything from voluntary movement to the continuous complex processes of circulation, digestion, assimilation, elimination, respiration, growth, and healing.
If you aren’t staggered by this you should read that paragraph again—fifty-quadrillion coordinated biochemical events take place in your body each and every second.
How does our body know what to do?
The DNA Model
The conventional biochemical model considers the body to be an amazing self-organizing and self-sustaining biochemical machine. This model maintains that our bodily processes are influenced by the brain to some extent through the agency of electrochemical signals running through our nervous system and by biochemical messengers, such as neuropeptides, flowing through our circulatory system, but that the fundamental self-organizing life-processes, the heavy lifting, so to speak, is achieved by preprogrammed instructions coded into our DNA. In the conventional model, the DNA in the nucleus of the cell is that cell’s brain, and collectively, the brains of fifty trillion cells work together astonishingly seamlessly to keep us alive and healthy.
Fine as far as it goes. But how does our DNA do this?
Most microbiologists and geneticists still hold the belief that not only are all the blueprints for all the proteins the body needs contained in our DNA, but that all the information our body needs to grow and maintain itself (i.e., all the information that determines when and in what combinations to build specific proteins) is also contained in our DNA. According to this belief, the DNA in every cell is hard coded like a computer to regulate what and when proteins are needed within the cell and in response to outside instructions: From the beginning of life in the womb to the passing from life in death, every infinitesimally small biochemical interaction is preset by and preprogrammed in our DNA.
Unfortunately for the conventional DNA model this preset programming has yet to be found.
You can imagine that geneticists who held this belief eagerly looked forward to the revelations surely to come from the Human Genome Project. Once the entire human genome was sequenced in 2003, geneticists thought they would be able to understand all the unexplained mysteries of how the encoded information in our DNA coordinates and controls the life of every cell and thus the life of every organism.
Alas for the geneticists, the Human Genome Project did not solve the last mysteries. In fact, those mysteries were compounded:
“When the human genome was sequenced, some scientists were saying, “That’s the end. We’re going to understand every disease. We’re going to understand every behavior.” And it turns out, we didn’t, because the sequence of the DNA isn’t enough to explain behavior. It isn’t enough to explain diseases.”—Denise Chow, LiveScience: Why Your DNA May Not Be Your Destiny
In a commentary on the surprising results of the Human Genome Project, David Baltimore, one of the world’s preeminent geneticists and a Nobel Prize winner, addressed the issue of human complexity: “But unless the human genome contains a lot of genes that are opaque to our computers, it is clear that we do not gain our undoubted complexity over worms and plants by using more genes.”
Not finding the preprogramming for all of life encoded in our genes has forced geneticists into a fundamental reassessment of how our genes function. This reassessment has been strongly influenced by relatively recent discoveries that have led to the establishment of a new discipline in genetics known as epigenetics—literally, “above the gene.” These discoveries indicate that our genes are not fixed—that what were previously considered permanently dormant genes can become active and active genes can become deactivated.
Twins who begin their lives with identical portions of their DNA activated can end their lives with very different portions of their DNA activated. There is no inevitable, preprogrammed, hard-coded destiny in our genes; outside influences, such as diet and exercise, and even our thoughts and feelings, can substantially alter gene activation and gene expression.
It is impossible to reconcile the new evidence of such flexible gene expression with the idea that DNA is the preprogrammed brain of the cell. Our DNA turning on and turning off genes by itself would be rather like Escher’s hand drawing the hand drawing the hand or a computer that can independently decide what programs to run.
These discoveries cast significant doubt on the long-held belief that DNA is the brain of the cell. It looks more and more likely that our DNA is a collection of protein blueprints and that the controlling information that decides which protein is created when comes from outside the cell—in fact from outside the physical world.
How, then, can such controlling information that comes from outside the cell turn genes on and off or alter the gene expression of the same gene—something that according to the conventional model is impossible? The key is found in the emerging field of quantum biology.
Quantum biology, as the name implies, is the study of quantum effects, specifically nonlocal quantum effects, in living systems. Until recently, nonlocal quantum effects were believed to be impossible in the warm, moist environment of living systems. However, fascinating new discoveries have shown that belief was mistaken.
The first and most well-established discovery of quantum biology is its explanation for the amazing efficiency of photosynthesis. Scientists have long known that photosynthesis in plants is far more efficient at capturing the energy of the sun than any nonliving chemical processes can duplicate. It turns out that the cause of photosynthesis’s amazing efficiency is quantum coherence.
The chlorophyll molecule’s job is to transfer the sun’s energy to a photoreaction center where the sun’s electromagnetic energy is converted to chemical energy. Quantum biologists discovered that hundreds, even thousands, of chlorophyll molecules, when transferring the sun’s energy, vibrate in perfect synchronization with one another. They do so by forming a liquid crystal—i.e. they align in exactly the same way, in exactly the same phase (like rowers stroking in perfect rhythm), and in exactly the same frequency. This perfectly coordinated and sustained liquid crystal structure turns all the chlorophyll molecules into a kind of biological superconductor, thereby enabling the super-efficient transfer of sunlight quanta from one chlorophyll molecule to the next. The phenomenon is called resonant energy transfer and can only happen when all those molecules are in a state of quantum coherence.
This may sound like just another wonder of science, but such coordinated molecular coherence does not occur naturally in nonliving systems. In fact, according to conventional thinking in quantum mechanics, every chlorophyll molecule should be dancing to its own tune—out of alignment, out of frequency, and out of phase with all the other chlorophyll molecules. In the language of quantum physics, every chlorophyll molecule should behave decoherently.
Nonlocality and the Holographic Principle
Weirdness Alert: You are about to learn more about one of the cast members, nonlocality, that has a starring role in the long running play called Quantum Weirdness.
If thousands of chlorophyll molecules are being held in a coherent state, then the coordinating information that maintains the coherent state must originate nonlocally. Nonlocal is an awkward term physicists use to describe a realm in which distance does not exist. An object or an event is considered to be local if it is subject to the effects of distance. On the other hand, and counterintuitively, objects or events in a nonlocal realm are unaffected by distance—because in that nonlocal realm there is no time, space, or matter.
If you can’t get your head around this you are not alone: Even physicists who accept the inescapable need for nonlocality in the workings of quantum physics have a hard time with it:
“Despite the unrivalled empirical success of quantum theory, the very suggestion that it may be literally true as a description of nature is still greeted with cynicism, incomprehension, and even anger.”— Dr. David Deutsch, Oxford University
Quantum weirdness is compounded when the concept of nonlocality is combined with M-theory (the most accepted branch of string theory). One of the weird results of this combination is the holographic principle. The holographic principle states that the information that determines the behavior of the entire three-dimensional volume of space we call the universe is “pasted on” the “boundary” between our three-dimensional universe and a two-dimensional, nonlocal, pure energy realm. Put another way, the way the universe works—from the Big Bang to the present—is the result of information existing outside the universe itself. Put yet another way, light energy, interacting with holographic information in a nonlocal two-dimensional realm, results in the continuous holographic projection of the colossal three-dimensional world that we call the universe.
There is another logical leap that can be taken from M-theory’s holographic principle that few physicists make: our physical bodies are also continuously created holographic projections and the information that controls our projection exists nonlocally outside the physical universe.
“We must liberate man from the cosmos created by the genius of physicists and astronomers, that cosmos in which, since the renaissance, he has been imprisoned. We now know that we . . . extend outside the physical continuum. . . . In time, as well as in space, the individual stretches out beyond the frontiers of his body. . . . He also belongs to another world.”—Dr. Alexis Carrel, Nobel Prize winner
According to M-theory, the information that coordinates the continuous manifestation of our physical body cannot reside in our DNA or any other physical form, but must reside in a nonlocal two-dimensional pure energy realm from which the physical body is projected.
The saints and sages, masters and mystics, have been telling us essentially this for millennia: we have a subtle energy body, or astral body, or spirit body, or any of many other names given to it, and it is a luminous, Intelligently coordinated, perfect template for our physical body. According to the esoteric spiritual teachings of many traditions, without our astral body, the physical body would simply disappear.
“A subtle spiritual mechanism is hidden just behind the bodily structure.”—Sri Yukteswar
M-theory’s holographic principle and quantum physics’ nonlocality lends support to this millennial spiritual belief that our physical body is controlled by information that originates outside the body itself—our subtle energy body. Quantum biology identifies the mechanism, the bridge that enables information to go from nonlocal to local: quantum coherence.
Quantum Coherence and Liquid Crystal Behavior
Chlorophyll’s magic dance in a liquid crystal state isn’t the only evidence that quantum coherence occurs in living systems. Experiments suggest that the tissues of all living organisms are frequently found in coherent states—possibly even most of the time. In a 1998 study, geneticist and quantum biologist Mae-Wan Ho and her team were amazed to find liquid crystalline domains virtually everywhere in living tissues.
Another confirmation of sustained states of quantum coherence in the physical body is based on the 1920s discovery that our bodies emit very weak photons, called biophotons. In the 1970s, Fritz-Albert Popp extensively measured biophoton emission from human bodies. Popp’s team expected to find, based on the conventional biochemical model, that every biophoton emission would be emitted at random times and at random frequencies. Instead, they found that almost all biophoton emissions were emitted in phase—same timing, same frequency. Their findings suggest that, just as chlorophyll molecules are aligned and synchronized during photosynthesis, most tissues in the human body exist indefinitely in quantum coherent states.
Significantly, it has also been discovered that DNA, too, behaves as a liquid crystal.
Putting It All Together
From these and other discoveries, we see that a new quantum biological model is emerging. While well-known conventional biochemical processes are unquestionably taking place continuously in living organisms, there is another, subtler process taking place as well: the liquid crystal structures within our tissues, including DNA, phase in and out of quantum coherence—thus allowing the information from our subtle energy body to Intelligently coordinate the life processes taking place in our physical body.
“It is the failure to transcend the [biochemical] mechanistic framework that makes people persist in enquiring which parts [of the body] are in control, or issuing instructions or information. These questions are meaningless when one understands what it is to be a [quantumly] coherent, organic whole. An organic whole is an entangled whole, where part and whole, global and local are so thoroughly implicated as to be indistinguishable, and where each part is as much in control as it is sensitive and responsive. The challenge for us all is to rethink information processing in the context of the [quantumly] coherent organic whole.”—Mae-Wan Ho, geneticist and quantum biologist
Quantum biology strongly suggests that life did not arise from the atoms in a cosmic accident. Instead, it appears that physical life was created by the intelligent coordination of physical matter at the direction of Intelligent information originating beyond our physical realm. Quantum coherence is the hidden bridge by which that Intelligence coordinated the trillions of atoms necessary for even the veriest beginning of life—that elusive magic moment when life was born and which has and will continue to elude biologists as long as they remain convinced life arose from inert matter. Quantum coherence is also the bridge by which our Intelligently coordinated subtle energy body coordinates the fifty-quadrillion biochemical events taking place in our bodies every second. The emerging evidence of quantum coherence in living systems has given us a glimpse of the lawful mechanism, the hidden secret, by which Intelligence creates, evolves, and sustains biological life.
Originally published on Science and Non-duality (SAND)
By Joseph Selbie
Have you ever seen a glow of light around someone? It can happen when the ambient light is not too bright and especially when you are in a calm and mellow mood. Have you ever felt a shared electric thrill pass through you at a concert when everyone rises to their feet? It often happens when a crowd-pleasing piece is played. Have you ever been moved by sound that seems to come from nowhere and everywhere? It can happen when we are alone and in a quiet space.
If you have, you’re not crazy. The light you see is real. It’s not some afterimage like one caused by a camera flash. And what you feel is real. You really are sharing the feelings of other people, they aren’t just your own. Those sublime sounds you hear are real as well—unless it’s Elvis thanking you for writing all his best songs, in which case, yes, you need help.
For those of us not hearing from Elvis, the mystics explain these experiences as evidence of our subtle energy body. According to them we live in two bodies. One is our physical body, which our senses reveal to us, and the other is a subtle energy body, or astral body, that our intuitive perception reveals to us.
The mystics go further and say that the physical body is created, sustained, and controlled by the subtle energy body; that the physical body is the sock of a sock puppet and the subtle energy body is the hand inside the sock. Without the hand, the sock puppet is just a lifeless, well, sock.
You might think that science can give no support to the reality of such woo-woo concepts, but string theory, especially the branch of string theory known as M-theory, gives us a scientific framework to help us understand how such subtle energy can exist. M-theory suggests that we continuously and simultaneously exist in two realms—in our three-dimensional physical universe, and in a vast, hidden-to-the-senses, two-dimensional, pure-energy realm they call the “bulk” (as in, “the bulk of the cosmos”).
According to M-theory, the bulk, or energy-verse as I like to call it, is inconceivably vast—dwarfing the physical universe. In fact M-theory suggests that an almost unlimited number of other physical universes could also exist in the energy-verse. The energy-verse is filled with super-high frequency vibrating rings and strings from which string theory gets its name. These rings and strings vibrate at frequencies too high for either our senses or scientific instruments to detect. Further, M-theory suggests that this ocean of high-frequency energies invisibly interpenetrates the physical universe at every point, like water saturating a sponge. Thus the rings and strings are invisible to our senses and yet surround and interpenetrate our physical body and world at all times.
This is pretty much exactly the way astral or subtle energy is described by the mystics: we are surrounded by and interpenetrated with subtle energy. They tell us that our subtle energy body is the source of the light seen as our aura, our feelings, and much more.
More significantly yet, M-theory also suggests that our entire physical universe is a holographic projection—and that the hologram from which it is projected exists completely, and only, in the vast ocean of the energy-verse.
In our physical world, a hologram is a flat, two-dimensional film with which light can be made to interact to project a three-dimensional image. According to M-theory, our universe’s hologram is a two-dimensional, light-template with which the high-frequency energy of the energy-verse interacts to project our entire three-dimensional physical universe into being.
Got that? I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t. It takes getting used to. Try this: The hologram from which the physical universe is created exists as coordinated images of high-frequency light in the energy-verse. The high-frequency energies of the energy-verse then continuously interact with those coordinated light images to holographically project the physical universe into being.
Again, this is pretty much what the saints and sages have been telling us for millennia: the physical universe is created and sustained by subtle energy.
Everything was created of spirit matter [Intelligently guided high-frequency energy] before it was created physically—solar systems, suns, moons, stars, planets, life upon the planets, mountains, rivers, seas, etc. I saw this process, and then, to further understand it, I was told . . . that the spirit creation could be compared to one of our photographic prints; the spirit creation would be like a sharp, brilliant print, and the Earth would be like its dark negative. This Earth is only a shadow of the beauty and glory of its spirit creation.—Betty J. Eadie, near-death experiencer and author of Embraced by the Light
From the chapter, “An Experience of Cosmic Consciousness”: All objects within my panoramic gaze trembled and vibrated like quick motion pictures. My body, Master’s, the pillared courtyard, the furniture and floor, the trees and sunshine, occasionally became violently agitated, until all melted into a luminescent sea; even as sugar crystals, thrown into a glass of water, dissolve after being shaken. The unifying light alternated with materializations of form, the metamorphoses revealing the law of creation. –Paramhansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi
And not a few scientists have said the same thing:
We must liberate man from the cosmos created by the genius of physicists and astronomers, that cosmos in which, since the renaissance, he has been imprisoned. We now know that we . . . extend outside the physical continuum. . . . In time, as well as in space, the individual stretches out beyond the frontiers of his body. . . . He also belongs to another world.—Dr. Alexis Carrel, Nobel Prize winner
Our second body is far more that a scientific novelty, however. It’s not just an amorphous cloud of energy. Our energy body is the “sharp, brilliant print” that produces our particular physical body and it animates, controls, shapes, and continuously sustains the holographic projection our senses perceive as our physical body.
More importantly, most of who and what we are, in every moment, is not contained in the physical body. We are much more the (luminous) hand in the sock puppet than we are the (physical) sock.
In fact, according to the healers, psychics, seers, mystics, and saints who have highly developed intuitive perception, most of what we experience, most of what fills our awareness, most of what matters to us—our vitality and life force, our feelings, our creative will, our personality and character, and our experience of happiness, love or joy—is actually seated in our interpenetrating subtle energy body, not in the physical body at all.
More significantly yet, the mystics tell us that when we die these essential aspects of who we are continueto exist as they have alwaysexisted—in our non-physical, interpenetrating, energy body. The person we are today is very much the person we will be after death—only we will find ourselves existing solely in our luminous energy body in a luminous energy world—what most people think of as heaven or the astral regions.
The astral kingdom is a realm of rainbow-hued light. Astral land, seas, skies, gardens, beings, the manifestation of day and night—all are made of variegated vibrations of light. Oceans heave with opalescent azure, green, silver, gold, red, yellow, and aquamarine. Diamond-bright waves dance in a perpetual rhythm of beauty.—Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi
In this way, our lives in this plane of existence are encompassed, surrounded, by the afterworld already. . . . The body dies but the spiritual quantum field continues. In this way, I am immortal.—Dr. Hans-Peter Dürr, former head of the Max Planck Institute for Physics, Munich
You don’t die when you die. You shift your consciousness and speed of vibration. That’s all death is . . . a shift.—P. M. H. Atwater, near-death experiencer, NDE researcher, and author of Beyond the Light
Since much of who we are lives on after death, you might think there would be little difference between what we experience now and what we will experience after we die. There is, however, a profound difference. Our subtle body is innately closer to the experience of our full Divine potential. The saints and sages tell us that our natural state is Joy beyond imagining.
[During my near-death experience] I became more blissful, more rapturous, more ecstatic. I was just filling and filling with this light and love that was in the light. The dynamics of this light are not static at all. They are so dynamic and so much going on in there of love and joy and knowledge. As you take it into yourself, or as it goes into you and you receive it, your ecstasy level just becomes tremendous …—Jayne Smith, near-death experiencer
But we don’t need to wait until we die to come closer to experiencing our higher potential—we can meditate and tap into it in the here and now.
Since my return [from my near death experience] I have experienced the light spontaneously, and I have learned how to get to that space almost any time in my meditation. Each one of you can do this. You do not have to die to do this. It is within your equipment; you are wired for it already.—Mellen-Thomas Benedict, near-death experiencer
Meditation is a supremely effective tool for tapping into our joy-filled, peace-filled, and love-filled energy body because—through relaxation, breathing, concentration, and stillness—meditation methodically turns our attention away from the physical body and allows us to experience our subtle energy body more and more fully.
Meditation doesn’t make us calm and joyful: it allows us to experience the calmness and joy natural to our subtle energy body. In practicing yoga postures, it is not the act of relaxing the physical body through stretches and breathing that makes us become calm and joyful. Rather, the physical tension that was keeping us focused on the physical body has been released, allowing us to feel our natural state. Concentration and stillness similarly are effective, because they get us beyond our stream of thoughts and body sensations, freeing us to become aware of our energy body’s natural state of joy.
When Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is within you,” he meant it literally. The more our awareness becomes centered in our subtle energy body, the more happy, fulfilled, loving, compassionate, energetic, and calm we feel.
Expand your awareness of your subtle body. It’s the secret to health and happiness. Breathe in energy from your subtle body, then relax and feel. Concentrate on your calm, still, center.
And whatever you do, if you hear from Elvis, don’t believe everything he’s telling you…
Originally published on Science and Nonduality (SAND)