9 - Return to the Dreamtime

Only human beings have come to a point where they no longer know why they exist. They don’t use their brains and they have forgotten the secret knowledge of their bodies, their senses, or their dreams.


They don’t use the knowledge the spirit has put into every one of them; they are not even aware of this, and so they stumble along blindly on the rood to nowhere - a paved highway which they themselves bulldoze and make smooth so that they can get faster to the big empty hole which they’ll find at the end, waiting to swallow them up.


It’s a quick comfortable superhighway, but I know where it leads to. I’ve seen it. I’ve been there in my vision and it makes me shudder to think about it.
the Lakota shaman Lame Deer Lame Deer Seeker of Visions

Where does the holographic model go from here? Before examining the possible answers, we might want to see where the question has been before.


In this book I have referred to the holographic concept as a new theory, and this is true in the sense that it is the first time it has been presented in a scientific context. But as we have seen, several aspects of this theory have already been foreshadowed in various ancient traditions.


They are not the only such foreshadowing, which is intriguing, for it suggests that others have also found reason to view the universe as holographic, or at least to intuit its holographic qualities.

For example, Bohm’s idea that the universe can be viewed as the compound of two basic orders, the implicate and the explicate, can be found in many other traditions. The Tibetan Buddhists call these two aspects the void and non-void. The non-void is the reality of visible objects. The void, like the implicate order, is the birthplace of all things in the universe, which pour out of it in a “boundless flux.” However, only the void is real and all forms in the objective world are illusory, existing merely because of the unceasing flux between the two orders.1

In turn, the void is described as “subtle,” “indivisible,” and “free from distinguishing characteristics.” Because it is seamless totality it cannot be described in words.2


Properly speaking, even the non-void cannot be described in words because it, too, is a totality in which consciousness and matter and all other things are indissoluble and whole. Herein lies a paradox, for despite its illusory nature the non-void still contains “an infinitely vast complex of universes.” And yet its indivisible aspects are always present.


As the Tibet scholar John Blofeld states,

“In a universe thus composed, everything interpenetrates, and is interpenetrated by, everything else; as with the void, so with the non-void - the part is the whole.”3

The Tibetans prefigured some of Pribram’s thinking as well.


According to Milarepa, an eleventh-century Tibetan yogin and the most renowned of the Tibetan Buddhist saints, the reason we are unable to perceive the void directly is because our unconscious mind (or, as Milarepa puts it, our “inner consciousness”) is far too “conditioned” in its perceptions.


This conditioning not only keeps us from seeing what he calls “the border between mind and matter,” or what we would call the frequency domain, but also causes us to form a body for ourselves when we are in the between-life state and no longer have a body.

“In the invisible realm of the heavens ... the illusory mind is the great culprit,” writes Milarepa, who counseled his disciples to practice “perfect seeing and contemplation” in order to realize this “Ultimate Reality.”4

Zen Buddhists also recognize the ultimate indivisibility of reality, and indeed the main objective of Zen is to learn how to perceive this wholeness.


In their book Games Zen Masters Play, and in words that could have been lifted right from one of Bohm’s papers, Robert Sohl and Audrey Carr state,

“To confuse the indivisible nature of reality with the conceptual pigeonholes of language is the basic ignorance from which Zen seeks to free us. The ultimate answers to existence are not to be found in intellectual concepts and philosophies, however sophisticated, but rather in a level of direct non-conceptual experience [of reality].” 5

The Hindus call the implicate level of reality Brahman.6


Brahman is formless but is the birthplace of all forms in visible reality, which appear out of it and then enfold back into it in endless flux.7 Like Bohm, who says that the implicate order can just as easily be called spirit, the Hindus sometimes personify this level of reality and say-that it is composed of pure consciousness.


Thus, consciousness is not only a subtler form of matter, but it is more fundamental than matter; and in the Hindu cosmogony it is matter that has emerged from consciousness, and not the other way around. Or as the Vedas put it, the physical world is brought into being through both the “veiling” and “projecting” powers of consciousness.”

Because the material universe is only a second-generation reality, a creation of veiled consciousness, the Hindus say that it is transitory and unreal, or maya.


As the Svetasvatara Upanishad states,

“One should know that Nature is illusion (maya), and that Brahman is the illusion maker. This whole world is pervaded with beings that are parts of him.”9

Similarly, the Kena Upanishad says that Brahman is an uncanny something “which changes its form every moment from human shape to a blade of grass.”10

Because everything unfolds out of the irreducible totality of Brahman, the world is also a seamless whole, say the Hindus, and it is again maya that keeps us from realizing there is ultimately no such thing as separateness.

“Maya severs the united consciousness so that the object is seen as other than the self and then as split up into the multitudinous objects in the universe,” says the Vedic scholar Sir John Woodroffe.


“And there is such objectivity as long as [humanity’s] consciousness is veiled or contracted. But in the ultimate basis of experience the divergence has gone, for in it lie, in undifferentiated mass, experiencer, experience, and the experienced.”11

This same concept can be found in Judaic thought. According to Kabbalistic tradition,

“the entire creation is an illusory projection of the transcendental aspects of God,” says Leo Schaya, a Swiss expert on the Kabbalah.

However, despite its illusory nature, it is not complete nothingness,

“for every reflection of reality, even remote, broken up and transient, necessarily possesses something of its cause.”12

The idea that the creation set into motion by the God of Genesis is an illusion is reflected even in the Hebrew language, for as the Zohar, a thirteenth-century Kabbalistic commentary on the Torah and the most famous of the esoteric Judaic texts, notes, the verb baro, “to create,” implies the idea of “creating an illusion.”13

There are many holographic concepts in shamanistic thinking as well. The Hawaiian kahunas say that everything in the universe is infinitely interconnected and that this interconnectivity can almost be thought of as a web. The shaman, recognizing the interconnectedness of all things, sees himself at the center of this web and thus capable of affecting every other part of the universe (it is interesting to note that the concept of maya is also frequently likened to a web in Hindu thought).14

Like Bohm, who says that consciousness always has its source in the implicate, the aborigines believe that the true source of the mind is in the transcendent reality of the dreamtime. Normal people do not realize this and believe that their consciousness is in their bodies. However, shamans know this is not true, and that is why they are able to make contact with the subtler levels of reality.15

The Dogon people of the Sudan also believe that the physical world is the product of a deeper and more fundamental level of reality and is perpetually flowing out of and then streaming back into this more primary aspect of existence.


As one Dogon elder described it,

“To draw up and then return what one had drawn - that is the life of the world.”16

In fact, the implicate/explicate idea can be found in virtually all shamanic traditions.


States Douglas Sharon in his book Wizard of the Four Winds: A Shaman’s Story:

“Probably the central concept of shamanism, wherever in the world it is found, is the notion that underlying all the visible forms in the world, animate and inanimate, there exists a vital essence from which they emerge and by which they are nurtured. Ultimately everything returns to this ineffable, mysterious, impersonal unknown.”17


The Candle and the Laser

Certainly one of the most fascinating properties of a piece of holographic film is the nonlocal way an image is distributed in its surface.

As we have seen, Bohm believes the universe itself is also organized in this manner and employs a thought experiment involving a fish and two television monitors to explain why he believes the universe is similarly nonlocal. Numerous ancient thinkers also appear to have recognized, or at least intuited, this aspect of reality.


The twelfth-century Sufis summed it up by saying simply that “the macrocosm is the microcosm,” a kind of earlier version of Blake’s notion of seeing the world in a grain of sand.18 The Greek philosophers Anaximenes of Miletus, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, and Plato; the ancient Gnostics; the pre-Christian Jewish philosopher Philo Judaeus; and the medieval Jewish philosopher Maimonides - all embraced the macrocosm-microcosm idea.

After a shamanic vision of the subtler levels of reality the semi-mythical ancient Egyptian prophet Hermes Trismegistus employed a slightly different phrasing and said that one of the main keys to knowledge was the understanding that “the without is like the within of things; the small is like the large.”19


The medieval alchemists, for whom Hermes Trismegistus became a kind of patron saint, distilled the sentiment into the motto “As above, so below.” In talking about the same macrocosm-equals-microcosm idea the Hindu Visvasara Tantra uses somewhat cruder terms and states simply, “What is here is elsewhere.”20

The Oglala Sioux medicine man Black Elk put an even more nonlocal twist on the same concept. While standing on Harney Peak in the Black Hills he witnessed a “great vision” during which he,

“saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together as one being.”

One of the most profound understandings he came away with after this encounter with the ineffable was that Harney Peak was the center of the world. However, this distinction was not limited to Harney Peak, for as Black Elk put it,

“Anywhere is the center of the world.”21

Over twenty-five centuries earlier the Greek philosopher Empedocles brushed up against the same sacred otherness and wrote that,

“God is a circle whose center is everywhere, and its circumference nowhere."22

Not content with mere words, some ancient thinkers resorted to even more elaborate analogies in their attempt to communicate the holographic properties of reality. To this end the author of the Hindu Avatamsaka Sutra likened the universe to a legendary network of pearls said to hang over the palace of the god Indra and “so arranged that if you look at one [pearl], you see all the others reflect in it”


As the author of the Sutra explained,

“In the same way, each object in the world is not merely itself, but involves every other object and, in fact, is everything else.”23

Fa-Tsang, the seventh-century founder of the Hua-yen school of Buddhist thought, employed a remarkably similar analogy when trying to communicate the ultimate interconnectedness and interpenetration of all things. Fa-Tsang, who held that the whole cosmos was implicit in each of its parts (and who also believed that every point in the cosmos was its center), likened the universe to a multidimensional network of jewels, each one reflecting all others ad infinitum.24

When the empress Wu announced that she did not understand what Fa-Tsang meant by this image and asked him for further clarification, Fa-Tsang suspended a candle in the middle of a room full of mirrors. This, he told the empress Wu, represented the relationship of the One to the many. Then he took a polished crystal and placed it in the center of the room so that it reflected everything around it. This, he said, showed the relationship of the many to the One.


However, like Bohm, who stresses that the universe is not simply a hologram but a holo-movement, Fa-Tsang stressed that his model was static and did not reflect the dynamism and constant movement of the cosmic interrelatedness among all things in the universe.26

In short, long before the invention of the hologram, numerous thinkers had already glimpsed the nonlocal organization of the universe and had arrived at their own unique ways to express this insight. It is worth noting that these attempts, crude as they may seem to those of us who are more technologically sophisticated, may have been far more important than we realize.


For instance, it appears that the seventeenth-century German mathematician and philosopher Leibniz was familiar with the Hua-yen school of Buddhist thought. Some have argued that this was why he proposed that the universe is constituted out of fundamental entities he called “monads,” each of which contains a reflection of the whole universe.


What is significant is that Leibniz also gave the world integral calculus, and it was integral calculus that enabled Dennis Gabor to invent the hologram.


The Future of the Holographic Idea

And so an ancient idea, an idea that seems to find at least some expression in virtually all of the world’s philosophical and metaphysical traditions, comes full circle.


But if these ancient understandings can lead to the invention of the hologram, and the invention of the hologram can lead to Bohm and Pribram’s formulation of the holographic model, to what new advances and discoveries might the holographic model lead?


Already there are more possibilities on the horizon.


Drawing on Pribram’s holographic model of the brain, Argentinean physiologist Hugo Zuccarelli recently developed a new recording technique that allows one to create what amounts to holograms made out of sound instead of light. Zuccarelli bases his technique on the curious fact that the human ears actually emit sound.


Realizing that these naturally occurring sounds were the audio equivalent of the “reference laser” used to recreate a holographic image, he used them as the basis for a revolutionary new recording technique that reproduces sounds that are even more realistic and three-dimensional than those produced through the stereo process. He calls this new kind of sound “holophonic sound.”26

After listening to one of Zuccarelli’s holophonic recordings, a reporter for the Times of London wrote recently,

“I stole a look at the reassuring numbers on my watch to make sure where I was. People approached from behind me where I knew there was only wall. By the end of seven minutes I was getting the impression of figures, the embodiment of the voices on the tape. It is a multidimensional ‘picture’ created by sound.”27

Because Zuccarelli’s technique is based on the brain’s own holographic way of processing sound, it appears to be as successful at fooling the ear as light holograms are at fooling the eyes. As a result, listeners often move their feet when they hear a recording of someone walking in front of them, and move their heads when they hear what sounds like a match being lit too near to their face (some reportedly-even smelt the match).


Remarkably, because a holophonic recording has nothing to do with conventional stereophonic sound, it maintains its eerie three-dimensionality even when one listens to it through only one side of a headphone. The holographic principles involved also appear to explain why people who are deaf in one ear can still locate the source of a sound without moving their heads.

A number of major recording artists, including Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel, and Vangelis, have approached Zuccarelli about his process, but because of patent considerations he has not yet disclosed the information necessary for a full understanding of his technique.*


* A sample audio cassette of holophonically recorded sound can be obtained for fifteen dollars from interface Press, Box 42211, Los Angeles, California 90042.



Chemist Ilya Prigogine recently noted that Bohm’s idea of the implicate-explicate order may help explain certain anomalous phenomena in chemistry.


Science has long believed that one of the most absolute rules in the universe is that things always tend toward a greater state of disorder. If you drop a stereo off of the Empire State Building, when it crashes into the sidewalk it doesn’t become more ordered and turn into a VCR. It becomes more disordered and turns into a pile of splintered parts.

Prigogine has discovered that this is not true for all things in the universe. He points out that, when mixed together, some chemicals develop into a more ordered arrangement, not a more disordered one. He calls these spontaneously appearing ordered systems “dissipative structures” and won a Nobel Prize for unraveling their mysteries.


But how can a new and more complex system just suddenly pop into existence? Put another way, where do dissipative structures come from? Prigogine and others have suggested that, far from materializing out of nowhere, they are an indication of a deeper level of order in the universe, evidence of the implicate aspects of reality becoming explicate.28

If this is true, it could have profound implications and, among other things, lead to a deeper understanding of how new levels of complexity - such as attitudes and new patterns of behavior - pop into existence in the human consciousness and even how that most intriguing complexity of all, life itself, appeared on the earth several billion years ago.



The holographic brain model has also recently been extended into the world of computers. In the past, computer scientists thought that the best way to build a better computer was simply to build a bigger computer.


But in the last half decade or so, researchers have developed a new strategy, and instead of building single monolithic machines, some have started connecting scores of little computers together in “neural networks” that more closely resemble the biological structure of the human brain.


Recently, Marcus S. Cohen, a computer scientist at New Mexico State University, pointed out that processors that rely on interfering waves of light passing through “multiplexed holographic gratings” might provide an even better analog of the brain’s neural structure.29 Similarly, physicist Dana Z. Anderson of the University of Colorado has recently shown how holographic gratings could be used to build an “optical memory” that exhibits associative recall.30


As exciting as these developments are, they are still just further refinements of the mechanistic approach to understanding the universe, advances that take place only within the material framework of reality.


But as we have seen, the holographic idea’s most extraordinary assertion is that the materiality of the universe may be an illusion, and physical reality may be only a small part of a vast and sentient nonphysical cosmos.


If this is true, what implications does it have for the future?


How do we begin to go about truly penetrating the mysteries of these subtler dimensions?



The Need for a Basic Restructuring of Science
Currently one of the best tools we have for exploring the unknown aspects of reality is science.


And yet when it comes to explaining the psychic and spiritual dimensions of human existence, science in the main has repeatedly fallen short of the mark. Clearly, if science is to advance further in these areas, it needs to undergo a basic restructuring, but what specifically might such a restructuring entail?

Obviously the first and most necessary step is to accept the existence of psychic and spiritual phenomena.


Willis Harman, the president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and a former senior social scientist at Stanford Research Institute International, feels this acceptance is crucial not only to science, but to the survival of human civilization.


Moreover, Harman, who has written extensively on the need for a basic restructuring of science, is astonished that this acceptance has not yet taken place.

“Why don’t we assume that any class of experiences or phenomena that have been reported, through the ages and across cultures, has a face validity that cannot be denied?” he asks.31

As has been mentioned, at least part of the reason is the longstanding bias Western science has against such phenomena, but the issue is not quite so simple as this.


Consider for example the past-life memories of people under hypnosis. Whether these are actual memories of previous lives or not has yet to be proved, but the fact remains, the human unconscious has a natural propensity for generating at least apparent memories of previous incarnations.


In general, the orthodox psychiatric community ignores this fact.



At first glance the answer would appear to be because most psychiatrists just don’t believe in such things, but this is not necessarily the case.


Florida psychiatrist Brian L. Weiss, a graduate of the Yale School of Medicine and currently chairman of psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami, says that since the publication of his best-selling book Many Lives, Many Masters in 1988 - in which he discusses how he turned from being a skeptic to a believer in reincarnation after one of his patients started talking spontaneously about her past lives while under hypnosis - he has been deluged with letters and telephone calls from psychiatrists who say that they, too, are secret believers.

“I think that is just the tip of the iceberg,” says Weiss. “There are psychiatrists who write me they’ve been doing regression therapy for ten to twenty years, in the privacy of their office, and ‘please don’t tell anyone, but...’ Many are receptive to it, but they won’t admit it”32

Similarly, in a recent conversation with Whitton when I asked him if he felt reincarnation would ever become an accepted scientific fact, he replied,

“I think it already is. My experience with scientists is that if they’ve read the literature, they believe in reincarnation. The evidence is just so compelling that intellectual assent is virtually natural.”33

Weiss’s and Whitton’s opinions seem borne out by a recent survey on psychic phenomena.


After being assured that their replies would remain anonymous, 58 percent of the 228 psychiatrists who responded (many of them the heads of departments and the deans of medical schools) said that they believed “an understanding of psychic phenomena” was important to future graduates of psychiatry! Forty-four percent admitted believing that psychic factors were important in the healing process.34

So it appears that fear of ridicule may be as much if not more of a stumbling block as disbelief in getting the scientific establishment to begin to treat psychic research with the seriousness it deserves. We need more trailblazers like Weiss and Whitton (and the myriad other courageous researchers whose work has been discussed in this book) to go public with their private beliefs and discoveries.


In brief, we need the parapsychological equivalent of a Rosa Parks.

Another feature that must be a part of the restructuring of science is a broadening of the definition of what constitutes scientific evidence. Psychic and spiritual phenomena have played a significant role in human history and have helped shape some of the most fundamental aspects of our culture. But because they are not easy to rope in and scrutinize in a laboratory setting, science has tended to ignore them.


Even worse, when they are studied, it is often the least important aspects of the phenomena that are isolated and catalogued. For instance, one of the few discoveries regarding OBFJs that is considered valid in a scientific sense is that the brain waves change when an OBEer exits the body.


And yet, when one reads accounts like Monroe’s, one realizes that if his experiences are real, they involve discoveries that could arguably have as much impact on human history as Columbus’s discovery of the New World or the invention of the atomic bomb. Indeed, those who have watched a truly talented clairvoyant at work know immediately that they have witnessed something far more profound than is conveyed in the dry statistics of R. H. and Louisa Rhine.

This is not to say that the Rhines’ work is not important. But when vast numbers of people start reporting the same experiences, their anecdotal accounts should also be viewed as important evidence.


They should not be dismissed merely because they cannot be documented as rigorously as other and often less significant features of the same phenomenon can be documented.


As Stevenson states,

“I believe it is better to learn what is probable about important matters than to be certain about trivial ones.”35

It is worth noting that this rule of thumb is already applied to other more accepted natural phenomena.


The idea that the universe began in a single, primordial explosion, or Big Bang, is accepted without question by most scientists. And this is odd because, although there are compelling reasons to believe that this is true, no one has ever proved that it is true. On the other hand, if a near-death psychologist were to state flatly that the realm of light NDEers travel to during their experiences is an actual other level of reality, the psychologist would be attacked for making a statement that cannot be proved.


And this is odd, for there are equally compelling reasons to believe this is true. In other words, science already accepts what is probable about very important matters if those matters fall into the category of “fashionable things to believe,” but not if they fall into the category of “unfashionable things to believe.”


This double standard must be eliminated before science can begin to make significant inroads into the study of both psychic and spiritual phenomena.

Most crucial of all, science must replace its enamorment with objectivity - the idea that the best way to study nature is to be detached, analytical, and dispassionately objective - with a more participatory approach. The importance of this shift has been stressed by numerous researchers, including Harman.


We have also seen evidence of its necessity repeatedly throughout this book. In a universe in which the consciousness of a physicist affects the reality of a subatomic particle, the attitude of a doctor affects whether or not a placebo works, the mind of an experimenter affects the way a machine operates, and the imaginal can spill over into physical reality, we can no longer pretend that we are separate from that which we are studying.


In a holographic and omnijective universe, a universe in which all things are part of a seamless continuum, strict objectivity ceases to be possible.

This is especially true when studying psychic and spiritual phenomena and appears to be why some laboratories are able to achieve spectacular results when performing remote-viewing experiments, and some fail miserably. Indeed, some researchers in the paranormal field have already shifted from a strictly objective approach to a more participatory approach.


For example, Valerie Hunt discovered that her experimental results were affected by the presence of individuals who had been drinking alcohol and thus won’t allow any such individuals in her lab while she is taking measurements. In this same vein, Russian parapsychologists Dubrov and Pushkin have found that they have more success duplicating the findings of other parapsychologists if they hypnotize all of the test subjects present.


It appears that hypnosis eliminates the interference caused by the conscious thoughts and beliefs of the test subjects, and helps produce “cleaner” results.36


Although such practices may seem odd in the extreme to us today, they may become standard operating procedures as science unravels further secrets of the holographic universe.

A shift from objectivity to participation will also most assuredly affect the role of the scientist As it becomes increasingly apparent that it is the experience of observing that is important, and not just the act of observation, it is logical to assume that scientists in turn will see themselves less and less as observers and more and more as experiences.


As Harman states,

“A willingness to be transformed is an essential characteristic of the participatory scientist.”37

Again, there is evidence that a few such transformations are already taking place.


For instance, instead of just observing what happened to the Conibo after they consumed the soul-vine ayakuasca, Harner imbibed the hallucinogen himself. It is obvious that not all anthropologists would be willing to take such a risk, but it is also clear that by becoming a participant instead of just an observer, he was able to learn much more than he ever could have by just sitting on the sidelines and taking notes.

Harner’s success suggests that instead of just interviewing NDEers (near death experience), OBEers (out of the body experience), and other journeyers into the subtler realms, participatory scientists of the future may devise methods of traveling there themselves. Already lucid-dream researchers are exploring and reporting back on their own lucid-dream experiences. Others may develop different and even more novel techniques for exploring the inner dimensions.


For instance, although not a scientist in the strictest definition of the term, Monroe has developed recordings of special rhythmic sounds that he feels facilitate out-of-body experiences. He has also founded a research center called the Monroe Institute of Applied Sciences in the Blue Ridge Mountains and claims to have trained hundreds of individuals to make the same out-of-body journeys he has made.


Are such developments harbingers of the future, fore-shadowings of a time when not only astronauts but “psychonauts” become the heroes we watch on the evening news?


An Evolutionary Thrust toward Higher Consciousness

Science may not be the only force that offers us passage to the land of non-where. In his book Heading toward Omega Ring points out that there is compelling evidence that NDEs are on the increase.


As we have seen, in tribal cultures individuals who have NDEs are often so transformed that they become shamans.


Modern NDEers become spiritually transformed as well, mutating from their pre-NDE personalities into more loving, compassionate, and even more psychic individuals. From this Ring concludes that perhaps what we are witnessing is “the shamanizing of modern humanity"38


But if this is so, why are NDEs increasing? Ring believes that the answer is as simple as it is profound; what we are witnessing is “an evolutionary thrust toward higher consciousness for all humanity. “

And NDEs may not be the only transformative phenomenon bubbling up from the collective human psyche. Grosso believes that the increase in Marian visions during the last century has evolutionary implications as well. Similarly, numerous researchers, including Raschke and Vallee, feel that the explosion of UFO sightings in the last several decades has evolutionary significance.


Several investigators, including Ring, have pointed out that UFO encounters actually resemble shamanic initiations and may be further evidence of the shamanizing of modern humanity, Strieber agrees.

“I think it’s rather obvious that, whether [the UFO phenomenon is being] done by somebody or [is happening] naturally, what we’re dealing with is an exponential leap from one species to another. I would suspect that what we’re looking at is the process of evolution in action.”39

If such speculations are true, what is the purpose of this evolutionary transformation?


There appears to be two answers. Numerous ancient traditions speak of a time when the hologram of physical reality was much more plastic than it is now, much more like the amorphous and fluid reality of the afterlife dimension. For example, the Australian aborigines say that there was a time when the entire world was dreamtime.


Edgar Cayce echoed this sentiment and asserted that the earth was,

“at first merely in the nature of thought-forms or visualization made by pushing themselves out of themselves in whatever manner desired.... Then came materiality as such into the earth, through Spirit pushing itself into matter.” 40

The aborigines assert that the day will come when the earth returns to the dreamtime.


In the spirit of pure speculation, one might wonder if, as we learn to manipulate the hologram of reality more and more, we will see the fulfillment of this prophecy. As we become more adept at tinkering with what Jahn and Dunne call the interface between consciousness and its environment, is it possible for us to experience a reality that is once again malleable?


If this is true, we will need to learn much more than we presently know to manipulate such a plastic environment safely, and perhaps that is one purpose of the evolutionary processes that seem to be unfolding in our midst.

Many ancient traditions also assert that humanity did not originate on the earth, and that our true home is with God, or at least in a nonphysical and more paradisiacal realm of pure spirit.


For instance, there is a Hindu myth that human consciousness began as a ripple that decided to leave the ocean of “consciousness as such, timeless, spaceless, infinite and eternal.”41


Awakening to itself, it forgot that it was a part of this infinite ocean, and felt isolated and separated. Loye has argued that Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden may also be a version of this myth, an ancient memory of how human consciousness, somewhere in its unfathomable past, left its home in the implicate and forgot that it was a part of the cosmic wholeness of all things.42


In this view the earth is a kind of playground,

“in which one is free to experience all the pleasures of the flesh provided one realizes that one is a holographic projection of a . . . higher-order spatial dimension.”43

If this is true, the evolutionary fires that are beginning to flicker and dance through our collective psyche may be our wake-up call, the trumpet note informing us that our true home is elsewhere and we can return there if we wish.


Strieber, for one, believes this is precisely why UFOs are here:

“I think that they are probably midwifing our birth into the nonphysical world - which is their origin. My impression is that the physical world is only a small instant in a much larger context and that reality is primarily unfolding in a non-physical way. I don’t think that physical reality is the original source of being. I think that being, as consciousness, probably predates the physical.”44

Writer Terence McKenna, another longtime supporter of the holographic model, agrees:

What this seems to be about is that from the time of the awareness of the existence of the soul until the resolution of the apocalyptic potential, there are roughly fifty thousand years. We are now, there can be no doubt, in the final historical seconds of that crisis - a crisis which involves the end of history, our departure from the planet, [and] the triumph over death. We are, in fact, closing distance with the most profound event a planetary ecology can encounter - the freeing of life from the dark chrysalis of matter.45

Of course these are only speculations.


But whether we are on the very brink of a transition, as Strieber and McKenna suggest, or whether that watershed is still some ways off in the future, it is apparent that we are following some track of spiritual evolution. Given the holographic nature of the universe, it is also apparent that at least something like the above two possibilities awaits us somewhere and some-when.

And lest we be tempted to assume that freedom from the physical is the end of human evolution, there is evidence that the more plastic and imaginal realm of the hereafter is also a mere stepping stone.


For example, Swedenborg said that beyond the heaven he visited was another heaven, one so brilliant and formless to his perceptions that it appeared only as “a streaming of light.” 46


NDEers have also occasionally described these even more unfathomably tenuous realms.

“There are many higher planes, and to get back to God, to reach the plane where His spirit resides, you have to drop your garment each time until your spirit is truly free,” states one of Whitton’s subjects. “The learning process never stops.... Sometimes we are allowed glimpses of the higher planes - each one is lighter and brighter than the one before.” 47

It may be frightening to some that reality seems to become increasingly frequency-like as one penetrates deeper into the implicate.


And this is understandable. It is obvious that we are still like children who need the security of a coloring book, not yet ready to draw free-form and without lines to guide our clumsy hands.


To be plunged into Swedenborg’s realm of streaming light would be tantamount to plunging us into a completely fluid LSD hallucination. And we are not yet mature enough or in enough control of our emotions, attitudes, and beliefs to deal with the monsters our psyches would create for ourselves there.

But perhaps that is why we are learning how to deal with small doses of the omnijective here, in the form of the relatively limited confrontations with the imaginal that UFOs and other similar experiences provide.

And perhaps that is why the beings of light tell us again and again that the purpose of life is to learn.

We are indeed on a shaman’s journey, mere children struggling to become technicians of the sacred. We are learning how to deal with the plasticity that is part and parcel of a universe in which mind and reality are a continuum, and in this journey one lesson stands out above all others.


As long as the formlessness and breathtaking freedom of the beyond remain frightening to us, we will continue to dream a hologram for ourselves that is comfortably solid and well defined.

But we must always heed Bohm’s warning that the conceptual pigeonholes we use to parse out the universe are of our own making. They do not exist “out there,” for “out there” is only the indivisible totality, Brahman. And when we outgrow any given set of conceptual pigeonholes we must always be prepared to move on, to advance from soul-state to soul-state, as Sri Aurobindo put it, and from illumination to illumination.


For our purpose appears to be as simple as it is endless.

We are, as the aborigines say, just learning how to survive in infinity.

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