I have been thinking about consciousness and reality stimulated by a programme on You Tube entitled The Holographic Universe. Some of the experiments it describes I was aware of but not as fully as the programme describes. The main tenet behind the concept is that reality is a hologram that is generated by the brain’s interaction with or interpretation of a field that exists as potential in the universe. This is based on the idea that electrons exist as a wave of potential until observed by a conscious observer, at which point this observer collapses the wave function into matter at a particular (in both senses!) point in time and space (the electron becomes a particle). This in turn gives rise to the idea that the brain is actually a holographic generator; that what we experience as “reality” is a holographic projection from the brain based on information from this infinite field of potential. There were three main sets of experiments quoted which gave rise to this notion. The first was the experiments of Ben Libert at the University of California at San Francisco which first gave rise to the notion that brain activity to begin actions occurred before we thought we had consciously made a decision. The second was the work of Dr Dean Radin at Saybrook Graduate School who was demonstrating an experiment that measured our physiological response to randomly generated pictures on a computer screen which were either emotionally arousing or emotionally mild. The experiment demonstrated that our response began up to 6 secs in advance of the picture – before the computer had even generated the image. The last was part of a BBC documentary in 2010 which echoed the Libert test and showed that monitoring brain activity allowed scientists to predict accurately a decision you were going to make about pressing either a left or right button around 6 secs before you pressed it.
As part of the first part of this Holographic Universe series an image was shown from an IBM film made back in the 70s that I remember from my childhood which showed a man on a picnic in Chigaco and focused on his hand. The image then zoomed out at regular intervals to reveal the Earth, the Solar System, the Milky Way and finally the Universe. It demonstrated that when you zoomed out from the man to the universe you got a constant pattern of space interspersed with tiny amounts of matter in the form first of planets, then stars, then galaxies. It then zoomed in again to the man’s hand and on down to the atomic level where the pattern appeared very similar with small electrons and protons with relatively large areas of space in between. What occurred to me here is the implications for Astrology. The point of the film was to show that what we think of a “solid” matter is not as solid as we think and is very similar to that which we see as the universe, ie. that matter is made up of mostly space with very small amounts of matter. However, they did not really address the conundrum that even these small amounts of matter are themselves composed mostly of space and therefore really matter is energy as Einstein pointed out and the I-Ching suggested many years before with the concept of Yin and Yang. But back to Astrology; if you link the notion of the field which is generating the holographic potentials which our brain converts or projects as the physical world then it is not difficult to suppose that the solar system and the Universe is representative of a field which exists at all levels and that this larger field influences our day to day activity – particularly if what we experience as the solar system is part of the hologram created by the field. Secondly, the fact that we appear, from the experiments, to be reacting unconsciously to phenomenon up to 6 or 7 secs prior to becoming conscious of them might be no surprise to astrologers given that in Astrology all phenomenon have an orb where an aspect is apply and then separating – ie. that astrological phenomena have an epicentre to which they build and then from which they recede – much like ripples in a pond, or waves of potential. I have suggested in a previous article that I think that the chart describes the nature of consciousness for each individual – the constellation of our particular consciousness given an overall background (wave?) of all potential astrological phenomena. It is also easy to wonder whether the chart might not be describing in our natal birth chart our particular interference pattern (an interference pattern being the means by which holograms are formed) and the hologram that this will create. Not only this but the transits would then describe the interference patterns that interact with this initial interference pattern (or hologram) to create further interference patterns – or at least, the play and dance between them. Thus a square between Neptune and Mercury describes a particular interference pattern. It is still a wave of infinite potential and specific to the individual because it in that it occurs in a specific time and place and no two charts or transits to a particular chart could ever be the same, ie. no chart is identical to another chart nor could the transits all be identical at any point to that particular chart – I think! Since Astrology rests on archetypal energies (infinite potential waves) that then coalesce and are described by a chart at a particular time and space (this is the core of astrology), one can see that in drawing up a chart one is capturing the point at which the wave of astrological possibilities becomes particular or forms a holographic reality.
Yet, I wonder if there is also something more here. This something more is the fact that consciousness might be more like an epicentre rather than cause and effect in a linear way. I notice that we often don’t understand or become fully conscious of what is happening in a transit until it is has built up to an exact aspect. I also notice that it is not acting which seems to be key to our lives but what Don Juan in the Carlos Castaneda books called “seeing”. In my own life and coaching others, it is not the acting that makes any difference to our lives – since we are doing that all the time – but rather the reflection on our actions; that is just the act of becoming conscious or perhaps more precisely, “aware” that is important. Don Juan suggested that “seeing” was the only important thing in the end. Perhaps it is the case that our awareness allows us to adjust the lens on our interference patterns or at least our viewpoint so that we see a fuller picture. As part of the Holographic Universe programme they showed an extremely realistic holographic image of a tiger’s head with open mouth. What was intriguing was that as the camera angle moved around the tiger’s head we got to see behind parts of the image that initially blocked our view yet it was a projection on to a 2D screen! Is it perhaps the case that the field is sophisticated enough that it is taking into account what we are learning? So that when we watch a film, we love to discuss the film and what is going on and what we thought of it and we are gripped by it when it is happening and often commenting on it – at least in my house that is the case! We do not know the outcome or precisely what will happen (at least the first time we watch it) yet we would be aware that we cannot influence the outcome, however much we might identify with the characters or be completely involved. Indeed we cry, get angry, grip our seats at key points, even though we know it makes no difference. Yet it is possible that we might be able to change our angle of viewing the film (if it is a holographic film) and see it more deeply and be aware of completely different elements of the film that we would not otherwise have seen? Most of the learning I have taken from the wisest traditions I have studied in terms of religions, philosophers and wise people, seems to suggest a similar theme and certainly my friend Chrissy has banged this theme into my head on a regular basis and that is not to identify with my personality or my story or drama. This is not to say that we cannot avoid playing the game or the drama, any more than we can physically put our hand through a tree but that we are less identified with it, as we might be watching a film. So is it possible that we have somewhat missed the point in thinking that the whole point of the drama is about acting (if you will excuse the pun) rather than awareness. This doesn’t mean that we don’t act since this would be impossible (not acting is in itself an action). No the point is that even if it is projection it is in effect “real” for us.
The deeper question is what sits behind all of this – how was this game set up and more pertinently why? The answer to this is the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything which as fans of Douglas Adams know is forty-two. However, if our experience of life is a projection of a two dimensional framework to appear three dimensional then 42 must be two dimensional. This means the axes must be 6×7. It is like a cryptic crossword – what could the answer to a 6 letter by 7 letter phrase be which supplies the whole framework of warp and weft for the three dimensional, cosmic mind that we experience? Thinking very deeply about it, I realise that I have the answer. The answer to Life, the Universe and Everything is that it is a B-L-O-O-D-Y M-Y-S-T-E-R-Y. I think there is enough infinite interference pattern in these two 6 and 7 letter words to cover the entire field of Life, the Universe and Everything – or at least that is what my limited projector is telling me.
One response to “The nature of reality and consciousness”
I have posted this on Facebook. Wonder if it gets any comments. Love the conclusion. Brill answer.