Are the themes underpinning Pope Annalisa and The First Souls myth or reality? In the popular mind, myth is equated with fantasy, with impossible gods, creatures, and events played out by equally impossible human heroes usually with Greek or Norse names. And reality? Well, reality is what it is, the “normal” world devoid of the miraculous but factually “correct.” Or is it?
What Quantum Physics and Other Sciences Say about “Reality”
With the great advances in quantum physics since the 1930’s has come the shocking and often reluctant realization that the apparent world of reality at our macroscopic level is nothing like the reality of its underlying sub-atomic/energy foundation. Consider these facts and theories about the true reality of our world according to physicists, molecular biologists, depth psychologists, and other scientists:
- Our three dimensional universe is believed to have originated from a contraction of ten or more higher dimensions.
- What we perceive as the solid world is not solid at all, nor is it as stationary as it appears. It is composed of particles and waves that are in constant motion with all kinds of space between them and they encompass both matter and energy.
- These energies and subatomic particles themselves are an enigma because they act like both particles and waves at the same time.
- Even stranger is the fact that subatomic particles, like electrons, don’t really exist at all, at least not as physical objects. The are more like a mist or wave smear of light spread across infinity, encompassing all possibilities at once. All matter, including human beings, begins as a light wave of potential existence before passing into particles of solid objects.
- These quantum light waves exist as potentials until observed by a conscious awareness (us) whereby they collapse into observable “reality” as particle-like objects.
- The world that we perceive as continuous is not continuous at all. Light, electromagnetic, and other energies are not continuous but they are emitted in discrete bursts of energy units called quanta. Think of the old stop-motion special effects movie technique from the 1950’s and 60’s. A flexible object like a King Kong plastic model is photographed in a sequence of separate shots, each slightly different from the preceding one to give the illusion of continuous motion.
- Particles such as electrons have the ability to be in instantaneous, linked communication regardless of distance and time so that the behavior of one particle affects its correlated counterpart even if they are at opposite ends of the galaxy. This is known as quantum non-locality. It demonstrates how we swim in the interconnected matrix of light energy from which we derived.
- An experiment performed by the U.S. Army (Inscom) brought quantum non-locality home at the macroscopic human level. They took DNA from a human donor and placed it in a device to measure changes. The donor received emotional stimulation from a series of video clips. When the donor displayed emotional peaks and valleys, the DNA reactions had an exact correspondence. Distance made no difference.
- Noted physicist David Bohm says, “Our everyday reality is an illusion, like a holographic image, masking a deeper, primary level of reality. This reality gives birth to our world the same way a piece of holographic film gives birth to a hologram.” Bohm is saying that our solid existence is really a play of energy where we exist first as light and secondarily as a projection of light. Welcome to the cosmic holodeck, trekkie!
- Bohm’s statement seems to be proved out by new data related to black hole radiation and another emerging concept that the physical world is made up of information with energy as the carrier and matter being incidental. Information is not abstract. It is a physical property–it has mass and weight. It is carried within light and brain waves in units called q-bits. Our universe might be pictured as a sphere “papered” by two dimensional “squares” around its circumference. These squares may be encoded with light wave information in exact correspondence with the information inside our universal sphere. Each square is considered a bit or pixel of information projected into the sphere of universal space-time. Information is patterns, messages, and influences leading to transformation, so we are blanketed by higher intelligent information guiding our three dimensional world like radar guiding a ship.
- The scientific dogma that we are biologically controlled by our DNA is being proved incorrect by the science of epigenetics, a branch of molecular biology. Proteins, in fact, control DNA by locking and unlocking them, and the proteins have been shown to be environmentally controlled by human feeling and thought, the same way our conscious observation controls the appearance of physical objects from the quantum wave.
- The work of the great depth psychologist of the twentieth century, Carl Gustav Jung, yielded some amazing clues about the human mind and the nature of the soul. Jung was astounded by the content of the rediscovered Gnostic gospels and the similarity of their visionary mythology/theology to his own work some two thousand years later. Among these similarities—the existence of a universal unconscious mind of potential from which reality is derived, and viewing humans as multi-dimensional beings composed of body (matter or hyle), mind (psyche) and soul (pneuma). Both Jung and the Gnostics recognized that of the three components, the soul was the ground template for human existence, representing the link to an underlying unity. Gnostics called this unity the Pleroma, Jung called it the Unus Mundus (one world).
Both Jung and the Gnostics claimed that these transpersonal forces were communicated by symbols and images in our minds. These forces imparted guiding messages through dreams and synchronous occurrences (a series of seeming coincidences that string together in the outer world to give a message about something that has been going on in our minds). Jung was excited to see how Gnostics validated other of his insights such as his study of archetypes, which are images or patterns that are universal throughout human existence regardless of race, culture or religion.
Archetypes can come from the underlying unity or wholeness or from the collective unconscious that has to do with operations of the collective human ego at an unconscious level. They typically express themselves in myths and dreams, but archetypes are also forces that affect human life and behavior in a profound way and at a basic, largely unconscious, level. These forces can be beneficial and unifying on one hand or detrimental to human growth on the other. Jung describes their nature as being “psychoid,” that is, they are neither physical nor psychological but transcend both.
SO WHAT DO THESE SCIENTIFIC FACTS AND THEORIES TELL US ABOUT MYTH AND REALITY?
- For one thing, they tell us that the ancient Gnostics and other mystic spiritualists were closer to an understanding of reality than we have been until the last century.
- They tell us that only now are we rediscovering amazing aspects of the physical and psychological world that these visionary seers charted thousands of years ago in language, symbols, and myths appropriate to their own times and cultural environments.
- They tell us of the exciting possibility that the worlds of spirit and science may one day intersect in a manner that will bring us closer to the truth of who we are, where we came from, and where we are going (see the table of correlations below).
- They tell us that myth and “reality” may be much closer than we suspect, and general recognition of the miraculous may be just around the corner.
Before we discuss the correlations between science and mystic spirituality, we should try and define the essence of myth drawing on sources like Jung and Campbell. The first thing to realize is that myths are not idle fantasies of phantasmagoric imagination. Myths are deep explorations of the human mind and soul. They tap into universal truths of existence via archetypes, symbols, and dreams among other means of detecting the sacred unseen. Since mythic vision touches these higher dimensions of existence, myths may embody the highest truths we possess about our origin, purpose, and destiny, which, after all, is the real goal of science and philosophy. The core Gnostic myth of Sophia is about a feminine aspect of the God force who fell from a higher state of being. Her actions led to the entrapment of spirit in matter and the formation of the archontic forces that keep our spirits entombed in fleshly bodies trapped in the material earth plane. Her longing is to return to her heavenly home.
This myth displays all the symbolism describing the fundamental condition of humanity—a conscious self-awareness that feels like it came from elsewhere (the Fall) because it has no other analogue in the material word; an ego (archontic forces) that keeps us fixated on superficial materiality to the exclusion of the higher awareness within; our desire to be renewed and reborn to our former exalted position (baptism, resurrection, the drive toward wholeness and unity). From the description above and the correlations below, you will see how mystical penetration of the higher dimensions by our innate faculties has yielded truth that seems to be verified by scientific inquiry. Perhaps that is why so many creative scientific breakthroughs by Einstein and others started as visions and then worked backward to proofs. Creativity and enlightenment may have less to do with discovery than with remembrance of our real state of existence.
CORRELATIONS BETWEEN SCIENCE AND MYTH
|Universe, space/time was created by 10 or more higher dimensions collapsing into 3 lower dimensions – the Big Bang – resulting in material creation||The Fall from a higher state of being. The Gnostic planes of existence and “disturbance” in the Pleroma (heaven) resulting in the material creation|
|E=MC2 (Matter is energy; energy and matter are interchangeable)||Matter is divine energy vibrating at low levels to create appearance of solidity|
|Perceived phenomena are not continuous because, light, electro-magnetic, and other energies are emitted in bursts of discrete units called quanta||God emits or emanates energy in differing vibrations to form the layers of the invisible and phenomenal worlds|
|Matter is not solid. Subatomic particles are waves that only appear as particles. Electrons are not “real” matter||The world of matter is illusory and not as it appears to the physical senses|
|Particles can communicate at the speed of light regardless of distance; human DNA is in communication with its donor after extraction. Dark energy theory||The universe and everything in it is connected by a matrix of unseen energy; we are all encompassed in the Mind of God|
|The universe is a hologram masking a deeper level of reality; our world is a fuzzy reflection of a higher reality||Platonic forms, allegory of the caves, archetypes from a higher plane, Gnostic emanation from the Pleroma (heaven)|
|We are not controlled by our DNA. We can control our DNA by feelings and thoughts and beliefs. The basis for self- healing and healing others||The basis for spiritual healings as performed by Jesus and others?|
|Humans are tripartite beings of body, mind, and spirit seeking to become whole by integrating the heart (feminine) and the mind (masculine) (Jungian depth psychology)||Gnosticism: the two must become one; “Christ came to repair the separation, which was from the beginning, and again unite the two, and to give life to those who died … [through fragmentation].”|
|To be whole, healthy human beings, we must attune to our Higher Selves. If we do not, we remain fragmented and subject to the rule of the ego (Jung)||Gnosticism: “If you bring forth what is in you, what you shall bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is in you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you”.|
|Information from our Higher Selves (the higher dimensions) comes in the form symbols, images, and archetypes (Jung)||Gnosticism: “… truth did not come into the world naked, but it came in types and images.”|
AND THE MORAL OF THIS STORY IS . . .
DON’T TAKE THE APPARENT WORLD FOR GRANTED. NOTHING IS AT IT SEEMS, MYTH AND THE MIRACULOUS ARE FAR CLOSER TO REALITY THAN YOU EVER IMAGINED.
Accept More Than One Standard For Validating Information
Science and logically oriented people tend to dismiss anything that doesn’t conform to the scientific method as invalid or as New Age fantasy. This ironically echoes charges the orthodox Christians used to level against Gnostic Christians in the first centuries AD for using a non-orthodox, mystical approach to find truth. The common denominator of this criticism is that forms of literal materialism are denying spiritual mysticism.
To be sure there is a lot of baloney being spread around under the New Age label. Equally true is that scientific method (hypotheses must be testable, refutable, and subject to empirical observation) is valid within its context, namely, as descriptions of the macrocosmic, visible world. The thing is, there can be more than one context to life and reality, and a deeper reality underlies that which is seen.
We need to recognize and accept different standards for determining the validity of information. Though some sciences such as quantum physics and certain aspects of molecular biology border on the metaphysical, hard science is limited to descriptions of the physical world and physical processes. We can call this the “objective” world for sake of discussion.
Non-material phenomena are the provinces of psychology, philosophy, metaphysics, and mystical experience. These are more “subjective” disciplines exploring the subjective world. (The list above was arranged in the order by which the more “subjective” studies shade away from the boundaries of the hard sciences and scientific method, although the borderline is fuzzy as in the case of psychology.)
Truth is a loaded term, but it would be hard to argue that truths do not lie somewhere within each of the subjective fields of knowledge mentioned above. We should not dismiss revealed or intuitive wisdom or the theories of philosophy and psychology because they cannot meet the limited objective parameters of the scientific method. The subjective disciplines employ different methodologies and descriptors from rational science because they are penetrating dimensions of reality and the psyche that extend beyond the material.
Since many scientists and mystics concur that all reality stems from one source, perhaps a better way to consider the validity of metaphysically as opposed to scientifically derived information is to say that the objective and subjective sciences are describing different layers of the same reality.
Scientists cannot afford to publicly incorporate intuitive or mystical knowledge into their work because they play by a prescribed set of ground rules. If they violate those rules they’ll be criticized or even ridiculed. But here’s a fact. Many scientists, such as Einstein, used non-material intuitive faculties such as imagination to intuit or visualize an instinctive truth then work backward to a scientific hypothesis or theory.
Some aspects of mystical knowledge, such as those found in the Gnostic myths, do not always display an immediate or clear nexus with science. But over time as science creates new instruments to probe the quantum physical world, we are seeing how the symbolic mytho-poetic works of ancient mystics described, in terms of the available language and culture of their day, predicted phenomena such as the Big Bang, Parallel Universes, Gaia theory, Information Theory and the Holographic Universe Theory to name a few correlates.
The ancients arrived at their revelations through introspection using their intuitive and imaginative powers. They described facets of unseen dimensions that form the template for physical reality as we perceive it. Many points are emerging where these subjectively derived revelations are correlating to the newest and most advanced findings in genetics, molecular biology, and quantum physics (see table above).
I suspect many a scientific discovery occurred because some open-minded guy in a white coat was familiar with some tidbit of ancient spiritual knowledge. These closet spiritualists probably used clues from ancient wisdom as a starting or ending point in their scientific quests.
So let’s not disrespect all channeled, mystical, philosophical, or otherwise “unscientifically” derived information as New Age drivel. Perhaps that elusive term, truth, is to be found at those emerging points of intersection between mysticism and science, and if science is the y-axis of truth pertaining to the nature of reality then certainly spirituality is the coequal and necessary x-axis. Perhaps this is what Albert Einstein meant when he said, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
People on both sides of the scientific/spiritual divide need to study and respect the works of one another for only with an integrated heart/mind quest for knowledge will humanity find the answers to its most compelling existential mysteries.