Science comes to terms with Spirit
Until recently, the world has been divided into two camps: those who believe in metaphysics (whether in miracles, esp, or in the ‘new age’ saying that ‘we create our own reality’), and those who scoff at such nonsense.
Until recently, the world has been divided into two camps: those who believe in metaphysics (whether in miracles, ESP, or in the ‘new age’ saying that ‘we create our own reality’), and those who scoff at such nonsense.
The problem was that in the past we were not able to ‘prove’ that there was life after death, angels, telepathy, or any other apparently intangible aspect of our spirituality.
This separation of Body, Mind and Spirit is linked to the “Age of Reason”, and the development of the industrial and technical revolutions of the 18th century. It seemed then that with scientific investigation, everything would be found to have a material explanation. This led to the belief that nothing could exist unless it could be measured, weighed, and tested.
Brought up to respect logic and reason, the sceptics do not accept the findings of investigators in anything to do with the metaphysical, regardless of how thorough the methodology, because it does not fit their paradigm of ‘reality’. But the public are prepared to place blind faith in anything material which is said to be “scientifically tested and proven”.
In the case of medicines, this trust is not always warranted, as the thalidomide cases demonstrated. In recent times, certain anti-depressants were seen as ‘miracle cures’ – I heard it said we should all be on these ‘happy’ pills! But recent work has shown that the most popular of these has serious side effects, especially in young people, and can cause suicide – and that this was known to the company (see New Scientist 3 July 2004).
It would appear that the companies involved select which test results to publicise. Demands are now being made that companies stop suppressing negative test results.
However, in the end, it is the scientists who are providing us with explanations of the esoteric.
The front page of New Scientist some weeks later read:
Rule 1: Nothing exists until it is measured (Niels Bohr 1930)
Rule 2: Ignore Rule 1!
Nothing is sacred in science now, and even the most basic of Newtonian tenets is being questioned.
New research challenges principles we believed to be ‘hard and fast’. There is even rebellion in the quantum ranks, where the work of Niels Bohr (fundamental to current understanding of quantum physics) is being challenged.
Recent research suggests everything is changeable, even the speed of light! This was, until now, the most sacrosanct of scientific beliefs. But ‘beliefs’ are just that: things we believe – believing that the world was flat did not make it so!
And so one day we may find that even Einstein’s e = mc² may have to be modified.
Science has become exciting! We can read about the new ‘string theory’ (that the universe is made of tiny vibrating strings), or the very recent discovery that all particles are entangled, even when divided and separated. Together it can be said these comprise an explanation of the Zero Point Field. Everything is and can only be part of the Field, including you, me, – and the sceptics.
We are all linked
Given ‘entanglement’, telepathy becomes a more tangible concept, less ‘coincidental’ or anecdotal. The ‘collective unconscious’ mind postulated by Jung becomes acceptable. It can be explained. This allows us to entertain the thought that we all probably have an ability to access it.
This collective ‘other-than-conscious’ mind explains why so many scientists had their breakthrough ideas in dreams, or were anticipated in the works of science fiction authors. It explains Rupert Sheldrake’s theory of ‘morphic resonance’.
It is not only in the field of physics that scientists have made discoveries that impact on our understanding of ourselves. In the bio-sciences, our understanding of the human brain and its awesome power has made quantum leaps in the last few decades.
We have billions of brain cells, or neurons (responsible for our thoughts), each of which is capable of making ‘connections’ with hundreds of thousands of others. Back in the 1960s, a Russian professor calculated that the total number of potential connections, if written out, would be a 1 followed by 9.5 million kilometres of noughts …. (And some of us think we’re stupid?!) This comes close to infinity!
With the use of electron microscopes, it also became possible to see these microscopic cells. This led to the discovery that, with use, there is an anatomical and chemical change in the branch-like tentacles or dendrites of the cells. The dendrites within the neural network thicken and grow with use. This led to the realisation that the majority of neurons were under-developed – perhaps as many as 90%. If we can exist comfortably using less than 10% of our potential, we need to ask a couple of questions.
Why do we have such powerful brains if we do not need them?
Why don’t we use them?
How can we alter this situation?
Perhaps we do need them, and perhaps this is where we have those intangible abilities such as intuition and telepathy. Our early hunting ancestors would have needed these skills, to ‘know’ where danger lurked, to know in which direction to head for food, shelter or water. Today’s business people perhaps have a similar need! But many of us have been taught NOT to trust our intuition, and to doubt our instincts.
It is this doubt, and the accompanying anxiety, that is a major chemical cause of the under-utilisation of the brain. Given our hunting ancestry, fear is ‘interpreted’ by the biochemical centres of the brain, the thalamus and hypothalamus, as a possibility of physical danger. We thus react with the ‘fight or flight’ response. Adrenaline gives us the physical strength that it is ‘assumed’ we need.
Accompanying the adrenaline are lactic acids, to prevent energy being wasted on digestive processes. Hence the ‘butterflies’ we feel when nervous, and the ulcers that ultimately develop.
In addition, this biochemical soup contains cortisol, a neural inhibitor.
That is, it functions to switch off our thinking brain, the neo-cortex. We are not designed to fight and philosophise at the same time! Hence, the greater the anxiety, the more likely we are to experience our minds going ‘blank’.
We then claim to have poor memories! In fact, we have the potential to remember everything, as hypnotherapists know – but not when stressed.
Negative thinking is thus counter-productive; we worry and fret about so many things: how we look, about the poor performance of the country’s soccer, cricket or rugby teams, or whether we have enough money, and the chemical locks of the brain turn on.
Adrenaline is fine in small doses, but in our world we cannot physically fight the people who stress us, nor can we run away from the situations we don’t like, and repeated doses of adrenaline cause real physical problems.
A primary cause of much ill health results from stress, and this links to our failure to work with the bio-rhythms of the brain. Research in the past decade has shown that we have natural 90 minute alternating cycles of beta and alpha waves whilst awake, and of theta and delta waves during sleep. Modern lives do not allow the majority of us to move naturally between the alert beta and relaxed alpha state. Hence, we don’t relax.
Why is it that ‘what goes around comes around’?
Brain machines can pick up not only the precise areas of activity in the brain, since our thoughts are both electrical and chemical events, but also the strength and rhythm. Negative thoughts produce strong beta waves, which radiate out from us like ripples in a pond – and at the other-than-conscious level of our brains, this electrical energy is received by other people.
Have you noticed how many people pick up their cell phones BEFORE they ring?
Now that we understand more about the quantum field, and quantum entanglement, we are better able to accept that perhaps most of human communication is at this other-than-conscious level.
Even though we are not conscious of this activity, it determines much of our behaviour. It was ‘Unconscious’ – because we were not aware. We have all experienced taking instant likes or dislikes to people we have just met: they give out bad or good ‘vibrations’! If I do not love myself, this energy is transmitted to others – who will not find me loveable.
If I myself believe I am stupid, what will the outcome be?
At one stage, we believed that individuals were either clever or stupid, depending on the quota of intelligence they had been born with – their IQ.
It seemed that some people were born with more, others with less. In fact we are all born with billions of brain cells. If effectively used, we should all be geniuses! But it is a case of ‘use it or lose it’. Some individuals are exposed to greater mental stimulation, which is more conducive to what we have deemed ‘intelligence’.
Then we realised that EQ, or emotional intelligence, was equally significant – and intricately linked with IQ. Emotional disturbances (fear) clearly impact on cognitive abilities.
Now, we have the additional dimension of SQ, or spiritual intelligence which is about values and meaning in our lives, and without which neither IQ nor EQ can function effectively.
SQ applies what we have learned from quantum physics to our consciousness, as represented by oscillations of the electrical and magnetic fields in the brain. We do not have to build up a picture of a rose by a step-by-step process of connections; rather, there is an instantaneous image.
Who are we?
Even more exciting, neuro-scientists such as Llinas and his colleagues are concluding that consciousness is an intrinsic state of the brain, not just a simple by-product of sensory experience. Our cells have a proto-consciousness; i.e. the brain is designed for consciousness, it is a ‘receiver’ of our thoughts. Where then do they come from? Is it an expression of our connection with some Higher Being?
Zohar and Marshall have examined the physics of the Higgs Field and the Bose-Einstein condensate, and have concluded that human experience is intrinsically linked to everything in the universe.
They suggest that this is perhaps what the mystics called ‘God’ (chapter 4):
“… we conscious human beings have our roots at the origin of the universe itself. Our spiritual intelligence grounds us in the wider cosmos, and life has purpose and meaning within the larger context of cosmic evolutionary processes.” (p.88)
Scientists have also come to the conclusion that there is a “God spot” in the brain, situated in the temporal lobes. Artificial stimulation of this area results in feelings of deep peace accompanied by intense happiness, similar to those spiritual experiences described by religious people, shamans, and those who have had near-death experiences.
In all such cases, the experiences are life-transforming; the people no longer merely ‘believe’ in God; they feel they have experienced oneness with God. Now they KNOW.
The capacity to heal, or to be telepathic, lies within each one of us. Religious people KNOW their prayers are answered. But our negativity has locked our psychic abilities – as Ford once said, Whether a man says he can or he can’t, either way, he’s right. If I reject any notion that I could be psychic – I cannot be.
“We were not isolated beings living our desperate lives on a lonely planet in an indifferent universe. We never were alone. We were always part of a larger whole. We were and always had been at the centre of things … Our life, in every sense, was in our hands.” (McTaggart, p.296)
This implies that we are part of a ‘big picture’, each playing our small part in the tapestry of life. The Mayans understood this. New revelations on the Mayan calendar show that the entire history of the Earth can be seen as part of the development of consciousness, culminating in the not too distant future in the acceptance that we are co-creators. Each of has a life plan and purpose.
But just as some acorns will not find the right conditions to develop to their full potential, so too many humans fail to fulfil their potential. If they do not accept that we are made in the likeness and image of the Creator, they will not listen to the inner voice. If they continue to think negative thoughts, these will continue to create a negative reality, for as the Bible says, we attract that which we fear.
We can conclude that we are what we think. Literally.
“The consciousness of human beings has incredible powers, to heal ourselves, to heal the world – in a sense, to make it as we wish it to be…. ” (McTaggart, p.294)
The gap between the esoteric and the ‘scientific’ worlds is gradually being bridged. It may take time, but we now have rational explanations which account for the fact that we are not just human beings who have spiritual experiences, but spiritual beings who are here for human experience!
Anyone who has not yet seen the movie What the Bleep do we Know? should do so for a wonderful explanation of all this!