Invisible Ground *
INVISIBLE GROUND OF EXISTENCE by Iona Miller
"Intentionality" has become the new explanatory buzzword in healing, AS IF it explained anything in terms of interactive processes. Intentions can only be approximate, because we may not have the Big Picture when we formulate our intentions. Even if it describes functionality in process, "I intend to heal you or foster universe somehow healing you", how does that image/fantasy/wished for event translate into any kind of pro-active process in the real world?
Is it even will, let alone free will? Can perturbing a photon in the quantum processes of our mindbodies do it? Is mind over matter easier in the quantum domain? [To say it works through chi doesn't explain the phenomenology. It introduces more mythopoetics and divides unnecesarily organic from inorganic matter]. Or is it simply that healing rituals work at the psychophysical level anyway, which we pretty much can see from our personal experience; but then they don't always "work".
Is the desire to heal simply a caring extention of self-care (empathy) or a spiritual hubris? Many self-styled healers are identified with and highly attached to that self-image. This may be a form of spiritual materialism. Why are healers prone to developing reactionary heart conditions and other maladies associated with their work?
Are we on the right track of catching ourselves in the act of a possible self-delusion on the way to finding out what may be 'really' going on? The historical list of well-meant remedies from leeches to nostrums is encyclopedic. Of course, I'm as clueless as anyone there. What feels good is that we have conscious desires, intentions, to help one another, to foster health, and positive connection. Actively caring for one another makes us feel good.
The relation of clear light to mass is obviously a singularity, which is what experience show us, the illusion of point-particle separateness which comes from the meso- and macro- level of observation. Mass is possibly an artifact of spherical standing waves. In that sense, all mass "realizes" itself. Paradoxically, the mass of the universe creates the virtual photon fluctuation that creates the mass that creates the fluctuation...From its own point of view, light does not go anywhere in space or time. It just is.
However, the problem with marrying ONE theory as with one religion is that we then create a Procrustean bed to which the "evidence" must conform. AKA, observer bias.
CONNECTIVE TISSUE JOURNAL
INVISIBLE GROUND: In the Effulgence of its Brilliance
By Iona Miller; Nov 1, 2005
“To me it's very obvious that consciousness is not simply an epiphenomenon, not a byproduct of the brain; it's something that's pervading the whole universe. . . . Consciousness is not simply produced by a complex set of neurons. It's there, in the whole body, and in all of existence.” ~Ervin Laszlo, Philosopher
"The world is real precisely because it exists only in consciousness; for it is a Conscious Energy one with Being that creates it. It is the existence of material form in its own right apart from the self-illumined energy which assumes the form, that would be a contradiction of the truth of things, a phantasmagoria, a nightmare, an impossible falsehood." ~Sri Aurobindo (The Life Divine p. 22)
The clairvoyant may see forms which are elsewhere, but he cannot see the formless. The telepathic may communicate directly with the mind of another, but he cannot communicate with one who has acheived no mind. The telekinetic may move an object without touching it, but he cannot move the intangible. Such abilities have meaning only in the realm of duality. Therefore, they are meaningless. Within the Great Oneness, though there is no such thing as clairvoyance, telepathy, or telekinesis, all things are seen, all things understood, all things forever in their proper places. -From "Hua Hu Ching: The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu" as translated by Brian Walker, published by Harper San Francisco
Every soil has its secret, of which we carry an unconscious image in our souls: a relationship of spirit to body and of body to earth. (Jung; CW XVIII)
What is this invisible ground whose image we carry in our souls where spiritual ideals merge with worldly realities? Isn’t it always right here, right now everywhere always forever? The contextual background, the invisible environment, is the fundamental ground from which both mind and matter emerge, the luminous absolute space of reality beyond the mere absence of energy/matter.
The radiant ground is the fundamental source beyond the boundary layer of quantum foam. Our healing task is to somehow realize this radiant image of the body in earth, to ground this body in its essential nature, which is the source of creativity and healing. It is precisely in the world, in life itself, that we experience compassion, wisdom, enlightenment. It is only our persistent rigid delusions to the contrary that prevents us from realizing it every moment.
Does an intention to heal indicate metaphysical free will? And if not, what can it mean to call ourselves healers; or agents of healing, with or without new agey evolutionary spin? Some self-styled healers subscribe to the notion that the more of us join together in our intentionality in a “critical mass”, the more some evolutionary imperative for mass or planetary healing will be amplified or speeded up.
But an intention to heal can only be approximate. It does nothing to further the notion that healing "works" via intentionality, as is often claimed. In fact, it is just vergiberage, a term applied because healing seems beyond any other mechanisms, though we attributeit to spontaneous remission, placebo affect, or natural causes. Do our fantasies of healing enter the picture at all? The fact is we just don't know, but that doesn't mean we should quit searching.
Maybe it is is just a vain attempt to wrest order from the warp-speed of chaotic modern life. We are experts at deluding ourselves. Will and intentionality are ideals, even heroic ideals of a striving ego. Will implies a very directive controlling “masculine” approach, and perhaps the nuance of intentionality is nonobjectively “feminine”, perhaps more in harmony with the flow of nature.
In its depth, fleeting existence is 'being,' a dynamic process of complete integration. The intuitive, spontanous person is holistic, aware of interrelationships and the rich web of contexts, aware of and sustained by the invisible ground of Being. Is this absolute nature, the primordially pure and radiant groundstate of consciousness -- the source of healing, of creativity, of illumination? Even our self-image originates here along with our photonic body.
The inclusion of quantum physics and field theories in holistic new age philosophies and energy medicine is an urge to lift the veil of Isis and commune directly with deep nature, the wellspring of our being. What Is-Is. We are shifting our identification from the meat body to that metaphysical essence beyond the evocative electromagnetic veil.
This ancient quest, shared with mystics and meditators for aeons, has extreme emotional appeal. Many of its phenomena are hypnotic in character. We can drive the central nervous system with any continuous repetitive stimulus, such as a silent mantra or chanting. Curiously, through concepts that broaden our mental boundaries and practices that open us spiritually, we transcend the prison of the body, simultanously realizing it is not separate from Cosmos.
Deep nature is our essential nature. We come to see “that which is Above is like that which is Below”. Paradoxically, it allows us to inhabit our bodies yet more fully, realizing it is a Temple of Living Light, with a naturally radiant and primordially pure awareness.
Activating emotions alone brings a correlated change in body chemistry (Pert) which can likewise lead to changes in attitude that enhance well being. This process is accompanied by the stream of imagery, often called stream of consciousness. Jung said the gods have become diseases, and we connect with them through our somatized pathologizing, our personalized agonies over our bodies and souls. Our bodies don’t just succumb to toxic agents, intruders and aging; they literally embody our existential conflicts and memories.
No matter what we think or do physical, emotional and spiritual healing goes on as it always has throughout human history. Whether we try self-help (self-regulation; meditation), seek outside help, or get lucky in the synchronistic flow of events often we find just what we need to make the difference. It is the boon or treasure we find in the journey. Psychophysical healing is a variation on the theme of death/rebirth: the old maladaptive self must die so the new creative self can emerge.
Spontaneous healing happens in the dark, in a lacuna of our consciousness, drawing from processes still unclear in our understanding. So what is the uncaused cause if there is no such thing as conscious willing and we lack direct awareness of the causality of conscious will.? Why do we cling to this belief? How does our expectancy enter into it ? And if “shift happens” does it really matter how? Yes, because it is that “mattering” of which we speak.
Can we query our belief-generating systems for information? And how could that influence the self-monitoring architecture of another? Who does what to whom in the healing dyad or group? What is the role of psychic contagion? Can we find our answers in the proffered solutions of the new age or parapsychology which seek their legitimacy in the arguments of new physics, traditional or alternative medical fantasies, AI, IT, or any other disciplines serving up plausible solutions?
Many self-styled healers don’t consider the act their “own”. Likewise, those using a Ouija board find the planchette under their fingers seems to move on its own, even though the messages it spells out can only come, ultimately, from the participants. Dowsers looking for water report that the dowsing rod moves autonomously in their hands, relaying unseen forces. Doesn’t that imply anyone can “do it”? Even if we settle on what to do, we still don’t know how to do it, though legions of self-styled experts charge a high price for their opinions and methodology.
It can’t require a self-interpretation or be a confabulation of belief systems or pseudo-science. However, we cling to a belief in a nonphysical agent, invoking either spiritual agency, self-organization, or a pre-physical “ether”. Have we just substituted appeals to the undifferentiated root of energy/matter for God? Just because subspace is immaterial and essentially metaphysical does that make it “divine”, or is it just the most rarefied strata of the foam of manifestation?
WHAT enables access to truth? Thomas Kuhn, in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), concludes no language is neutral, thus no science can truly be Objective and, by extension, no beliefs, secular or otherwise can truly be objective. Science has relativized our view of human agency, through language and media, revisioing our experience of how we communicate. But our conscious intentions DO affect our actions and where we focus our flaslight of our awareness.
Conscious will as part of self narrative is an illusion, a way of distinguishing agency between the fabrication of a sense of self and the world “out there”, an illusory distinction created during self-interpretion. Any role of intentionality as a conscious factor is likely to be a confabulation describing the relationship of self/Self. Deciding or intending is a conscious thought, not an immediate experience. Beyond the scope of conceptual thinking all distinctions become irrelevant.
Healing is not just a voluntary process we can will, since it depends to some extent on the permeation of collective conscious and unconcious. Even self-healing occurs in some psychophysical “twilight zone”. This suggests that rather than any intentionality, essential character may be more important in the healing process, perhaps through a sort of psychic contagion like Jung’s concept of mana personality, etc.
The notion of will, at least in regard to healing, may serve as a “guiding fiction”. Maybe it is an artifact of “magical thinking”, the basis of shamanic healing for millennia. Shamans appealed to spirits beyond, to Mystery to elicit a favorable change through appeal or placation. Who can say they weren’t effective by perturbing the foundational layer of psychopysical reality? Otherwise, why did they beliefs grow into the cultural flowers of religion?
We are authoritative about our own conscious thoughts because we author them, we believe. But entertaining a thought is not the same as executing it. Nevertheless, even that imaginal practice may create psychophysical changes in our own organism, and sometimes seems to effect others, as well once we entertain thoughts about the occurance of that state itself.
A big part of our conscious position is rooted in our belief system or worldview, about the structure of mind and reality. These are fused, yet appear in observation to be a series of nested or embedded hierarchies of operation. They look different, or their agents and descriptors do, to the observer from the organismic, chemical, molecular, atomic, and subatomic domains.
Is a person's stream of consciousness causally influenced by that person's physical actions? What is the medium of that so-called healing action? We know from media studies that media is an interruption of our internal narrative, a detour in content and focal point. Interruption enables the message by lending it shape; its particularity is its truth. there is no message aside from some medium.
If nothing else, intentionality begins a healing ritual where it is virtually inconsequential if both parties are consciously aware of that context or not. But this ritual seems to deepen beyond sociological context. Another environment obviously springs up, or exist a priori, such as the mystery of unified field. Not only a MESSAGE but MESSAGES emanate/proliferate aside from some medium.
Is it willing, even if we aren’t consciously aware of agency? Is there a common cause in both our willed actions and their ‘effects’, a common cause in some unconscius set of psychophysical events? Does conscious mental rehearsal amplify the effect of activated intention? But aren’t our conscious willings and actions always the result of common underlying cause?
But what if the urge “to heal” doesn’t come from conscious reasoning and decision-making to begin with? What if it spring spontaneously from our essential nature? Then, isn’t everyone a potential healer, as well as healee? Decoding our own will is an act of mind-reading turned on ourselves that at best creates an interpretation and at worst a distortion of living process.
But this is strongly counterintuitive to our perceptions of healing intuition. Intuition is non-interpretive, non-inferential. It just IS, requiring the mind to surrender to that phenomenal immediacy.
Consciousness is immediacy and is not limited to or by recognizable application of some mental concept or inner sense. Our access to our own mental states isn’t immediate, as shown by the fact that motor movement initiates before associated conscious prefrontal intent to move.
Is both “the road to hell” and the road to healing paved with good intentions? How can we interpret our healing acts of will, both when they appear to work and not work? Is it adequate to attribute the effect to a “higher agency”?
How can we know we haven’t initiated or amplified healing process at the foundational level? On the other hand, how could we ever think that we could? Is our own belief in ourselves or the process essential to deploying the healing dynamic?
Our perceptions of ourselves and cosmos come through the interplay of figure (ourselves) and ground (cosmos). But what do we really know about this canvas of our consciousness, this Ground Zero of our experience? If we look deep enough we find the cosmos within ourselves. Perhaps the very fabric of our consciousness is not only analogous but identical with that of the multiverse, literal as well as figurative.
Environments can be notoriously invisible, below our perceptual threshold, and they have their own “ground rules”. The primordial ground is invisible, immeasurable, unmanifest, in fact metaphysical, by definition. How can we attune to the nature of the ground, ground our meditation? Can we perceive reality as an unbroken wholeness more than conceptually? Where is our “common ground”?
Physics has attempted to define these ground rules of existence and consciousness with multifarious results. Physics is a field of expediency, a field of expedient intellectual products. Its canon is limited by aim and criteria and lack of a meta-theory.
We can’t quite explain away seemingly solid objects of our perception. Topological quantum field theories that attempt to account for manifestation abound. What is the boundary region of spacetime like and how might it differ from even deeper space, the Foundation?
The closer we come in our search for a unified theory, the more theories splinter into a variety of proposed solutions based on different foreground figures which are observable or mathematical in nature. Each micro-state is an elementary bit of information. In current physics there is a conceptual and philosophical gap between the physical world and its foundation. How can we model the foundation if it is essentially outside the Universe/Multiverse of space, time, causality, and complexity?
Our mode of being conditions our perceptions. How can we distinguish what is Real from artefacts of our physiology and personality? Different types of personalities bring different styles of thinking to the problem, some more spiritual or emotional than cognitive.
Ground rules, pervasive structure and overall patterns still elude us. If we have no consensus in physics, it becomes a matter of belief; what is below the beliefs? Without a formal theory of Being, how can we “ground” ourselves? How can we “come to our senses”?
At the base level of reality, we interact non-analytically, holistically and organically with ‘as is” reality. The modern myths of our times are those scientific theories which foster our sense of mystery and awe when we gaze into the deep heart of Nature. The Anima Mundi--Soul of the World--the soul of matter, is alive and well. All we need do to connect with her is turn an imaginal eye on our relations with self, others, and world.
There is a therapeutic value in deliteralizing our theories about the way things work. We can view theory poetically, metaphorically to illuminate the natural process of creation and dissolution of pattern and form. Nature repeats herself at all levels of organization. Therefore insight on the fundamental nature of matter and the relationship of interacting systems reveals analogies with human existence and behavior. Whatever nature is, we are that dark Mystery below, and we instinctively yearn to touch it.
Whether we think in terms of neurological processes or fields attempting to describe our direct experience, we are so much more than our wetware. We are carbon-based, water-based, spiritually-, emotionally-, relationally-based. Each of us concoct some way to differentiate our individual self, deeming ourselves completely independent. We are still wildly dependent, despite the persistent delusion. What is the dynamic of temporal linkage? (slowness; slowing down brainwaves)
Our senses tell us stories that are not completely true. We sense it but we don’t know what to do about it. It is even more true for retrocognition, replication of relational impressions: instinct, resonance, dysfunctionality. As therapeutic intervention shows, our labels of emotions can be routinely blocked, unblocked, skewed and even wildly reversed, calling the nature of both thought and emotion, not to mention beliefs, back into question.
Yet, there is a way beyond the fragmentation of thought (DRM) into the exposure of underlying meaning and coherence that flows through and binds us, even if we are unaware of it. We can loosen and suspend our habitual perceptions and worldviews, which normally constrict behavior. Consciousness unfolds new meanings in the chaos of transformation.
Our view of so-called ultimate reality keeps changing. We need a new framework. Nature is not detached from our nature. We cannot understand the new photonic approach with old assumptions about space, time and matter/energy, and without discernment. The structure of reality is intrinsically related to “what” we experience. Consciousness has the ironic task of explaining its own complexity. Physics cannot be detached from the concrete and nonlocal wisdom of the living body: soma sapientia.
In the end it's all about self-illumined energy/matter, the boundary layer where nothing becomes something, and the underlying Foundation which is essentially metaphysical, but not metaphorical.
Motion, Mathematics, Complexity, Synchronicity
The paths of Wolfgang Pauli, coming from the advanced edge of physics, and Carl Jung, from the advanced edge of the psyche, crossed with interesting results for their generation. Pauli came away rededicated to unifying psyche and matter, to finding "the irrational in matter and the subjective in physics" and convinced of "the resurrection of spirit in matter." Jung came away with the idea of acausal connections -- meaningful coincidences -- an idea developed with the help of Pauli.
This collaboration raised the question of what it means to live in a world of where synchronicity is part of our experience. Each of the physical and psychological theories that have arisen since have also addressed implications about our existence and interconnections, not just theories. It is quite different to be essentially an ethereal wave-front in space than a solid meat body. But we rarely even conceive of ourselves this way, much less wrap our minds around the implications. We live in a fantasy of solid objects and conscious awareness, and look for meaning in often meaningless “signs”.
Consciousness is more than simple conscious awareness or self awareness. It’s ALL in your mind, but not necessarily merely in your head. Consciousness is distributed throughout the entire body. Though the brain is associated with the nervous system it is embedded in body consciousness and coupled to it.
Body and mind mutually inform and conditon one another as mindbody, or the psychophysical organism. The connective tissue of the body has its own form of coherent communication by conductance. The connective tissue acts a dynamic liquid crystal array, which conveys information many times faster than the nervous and hormonal systems. It is the basis of gut feelings and holistic responses.
The universe is literally holistically contained within the mindbody and is the context of mindbody. Both physicists and mystics now tell us that there is noTHING “out there.” The Vedas said centuries ago that it’s all “mindstuff” and modern science is now confronting that. Wave forms and particles derive their energy from the inside of space. That self-illumined energy is dynamic, always interacting from the cosmic to subquantal realms.
"The vast interplanetary and interstellar regions will no longer be regarded as waste places in the universe, which the Creator has not seen fit to fill with the symbols of the manifold order of His kingdom. We shall find them to be already full of this wonderful medium; so full, that no human power can remove it from the smallest portion of Space, or produce the slightest flaw in its infinite continuity. It extends unbroken from star to star; and when a molecule of hydrogen vibrates in the dog-star, the medium receives the impulses of these vibrations, and after carrying them in its immense bosom for several years, delivers them, in due course, regular order, and full tale, into the spectroscope of Mr. Huggins, at Tulse Hill.", declared James Clerk Maxwell.
Space is more than an unreactive void. The vacuum energy or Zero Point Energy (ZPE) can be viewed as the Qi energy field according to the ancient Chinese Qi theory or worldview. In the very beginning there was Wu (Nothing or Void), then there was "Hun Tun" (the Great Chaos), later formed the "Tai Chi", then formed the "Tai Shih" (the Great Beginning) permeated with Qi.
The Qi then split into two, the Yin and Yang complementary Qi forces. The interactions of the Yin Qi and Yang Qi evolves all things including Life. To the Chinese, Everything has Qi. Everything functions through Qi. It is the Qi that keeps us alive. To the Chinese, Life is not the end product of an evolutionary process, rather Life Force Qi's existence necessitates Physics and Chemistry being what it is.
Roger Penrose, a mathematical physicist at Oxford University, believes that if a "theory of everything" is ever developed in physics to explain all the known phenomena in the universe, it should at least partially account for consciousness. Penrose also believes that quantum mechanics, the rules governing the physical world at the subatomic level, might play an important role in consciousness.
Penrose's idea, one of many rivals to the Many World Interpretation (MWI), claims that quantum states evolve as superpositions until the associated distortion of spacetime becomes great enough to generate a graviton He tried to advance the unification of relativity and QM together with his conceptual twistor theory (OR).
He connotes a metaphysical substance beyond space-time. Relativity and QM become aspects of that “substance”. It is an abstract model of the foundation of the universe. It should give a pretty good prediction of the point at which decoherence occurs, but does it match observed results?
Penrose intended for spin networks (twistors) to describe the geometry of space-time, but they describe the geometry of space even better as embedded spin networks which are not located somewhere, but actually are somewhere. Spin networks describe the boundary layer of spacetime, rather than the truly fundamental layer. The spin networks themselves could be the fundamental informational channel, whose web-structure functions as a “cosmic internet”.
In quantum gravity states at C(squared) are called spinors. A state in C2 is also a qubit, a bit of information in consciousness studies and quantum computing. Quantum and even subquantum gates may manipulate qubits. Quantum gravity is based on these Planck-length quantum computers.
This is the explicit layer of spin networks, a cosmic tranducer, the boundary layer of the physical and the foundational: the Veil of Isis. This quantum computation is still the boundary, not the Foundation. It also marks our conceptual boundary. A qubit state is a vector in 2-D complex vector space. > scalars > vacuum fluctuation > Brownian motion.
Spin networks generate the quantum foam of vacuum fluctuation. The intrinsic vibrational fluctuation is nonlocal from the perspective of the foundation; always, everywhere holonomy. Spin networks loop in to knotted states to formulate energy/matter, topological quantum field theory (TQFT), spin foam networks (merger of quantum history and space-time geometry), and the hierarchy of structural complexity. Spin networks are objects and spin foam morphisms. The operator network becomes visible: a manifold of morphogenesis.
However, what we call process is not process at all from the perspective of the Foundation. There is no time at the fundamental level. Quantum phase space can be described by a nested array of spin networks, which appear as quantum excitations of the (quantum loop) gravitational field with nodes and links, much like Fuller’s Synergetics.
So the real problem is conceiving the foundations of the world in a way that clearly marks it’s categorical distincton from the world itself, then reconstructing the transition from the fundamental to the quantized boundary of our perceivable world.
Unobservable physical reality is drastically different from the visible macro world. The fundamental domain cannot be observed, in principle, for it is nonlocal and a-temporal. What can be observed is the self-organized criticality of virtual vacuum fluctuation as nothing becomes something.
We have to assume there is actually something at all beyond human existence. But what it is we cannot know. We can only model its noticable attributes.
Consciousness interfaces (often simultaneously) with many different domains such as sensory input, language, thinking (primordial, rational and irrational cognitive ideation & logic) & sense of Self. There is a relative preoccupation in consciousness studies on the interface with sensory input. We could probably learn some of the constraints, attributes and underlying processes of Consciousness if we carefully analyzed the different interfaces and tried to understand the underlying generic foundations that could be applied to such seemingly different domains, including spirituality.
Consciousness is more than perceptual awareness or sense of self. It is more than the flaslight beam of egoic or focal consciousness, or even the omnidirectional vision of the global Self. It is more than awareness or awareness of awareness.
Meditation masters speak of an inner light that pervades the physical and energy bodies, and now science investigates it as biophotons, and through quantum physics we can watch that matter/energy/information devolve back into the void from which it emanates. Masters have often equated this pervasive Light with primordial Consciousness and the source of life as well as matter.
Alan Aspect set up a physical experiment which showed that photons previously entangled continue to inform each other even after separation. They do this instantaneously, so are regarded as "non-local" Is the photon conscious too? They certainly are aware. If so, then the seat of consciousness is at a different/deeper
self luminous hierarchal level just as the ancients say.
Even if we cognitively comprehend that “all is one” and actively pursue that experientially through meditation, we can still be fooled about our so-called intentionality having any effect on ordinary reality.
It is fashionable now for self-styled healers to deploy their “intentionality” with earnestness and sometimes with show. But, from a psychological view, this intentionality is another name for the exercise of free will, and reopens that old philosophical question. The implication is that somehow intentionality, or conscious focus, amplifies in any way the healing energy or directionality.
Experience shows that healing can occur spontaneously in many contexts without any conscious intentionality. In fact it might even retard the process to impose any kind of willfulness in it. Much of what is healing for us takes place at the subconscious or unconscious level, below our threshold of awareness.
The ultimate embodiment of the unconscious is our psychophysical organism: the physical body with all its attendant phenomena, including consciousness and awareness. We truly embody our memories, our history. Our symptoms, whether spiritual, mental, emotional, or physical reveal a meaningful gestalt of our current existential situation. Sometimes we can heal the body, but not the emotional trauma; or perhaps the mind calms and emotions resolve even though the body is terminal.
So, earnestly engaging in intentionality, even in a diffuse, generalized, nondirective way may be no more than a healing fiction, magical thinking. It does convey a permissiveness, an atmosphere psychologically conducive to relaxing and releasing old patterns. There is, however, ample proof to show that a wide spectrum of healing rituals alone can facilitate meaningful psychophysical change. Set and setting can be strongly suggestive, even evocative. For example, it is well known that “white coat syndrome” may cause spiking in a patient’s blood pressure at the prospect of seeing the Doctor.
Slight changes in our body chemistry can lead to dramatic change. Often, it is the rapport or emotional resonance that evokes the effect, rather than the specific technique. Naive practitioners unfamiliar with hypnotic techniques may mistake their procedures as agent of change. Most practitioners are “true believers” of the techniques they use; but the faddish nature of many of these procedures, and the branding of techniques should alert us to other motivations.
If the rapport is there, a variety of psychologically induced effects come into play, including placebo effect. Still, researchers such as Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama have shown that one person’s mind can remotely influence the physiology of another, even in blind studies. In the end, do we really care how we heal, when it not knowledge but relief that we seek?
Physicists and metaphysicists seem to talk about Consciousness both as an irreducible primal essence, and consciousness as a neurological state of an organism, including human. Consciousness is equated by mystically-oriented physicists with the very essence of cosmos beyond energy/matter, residing within us as the groundstate of Being.
The reductionistic view equates it with Mind as just a sequence of awareness interacting with the environment which can become complex as self-awareness arises; hierarchically stratified neural processes.
But no one seems to really know what Consciousness or consciousness is, anymore than they know what electricity or even mathemathics actually is. For some it is cosmic, for others the most mundane result of our brain functions. The distinctions between so-called objective and subjective consciousness is now moot. Physics has shown there is only subjectivity, though facts can exist.
"Almost everyone agrees that there will be very strong correlations between what's in the brain and consciousness," says David Chalmers, a philosophy professor and Director of the Center for Consciousness at the Australian National University. "The question is what kind of explanation that will give you.
Chalmers wants more than correlation, alledging we want explanation how and why brain process give rise to consciousness. That's the big mystery.” The converse question would be how and why does Consciousness give rise to cosmos? The problem is, Consciousness and consciousness seem to be irreducible, try as we might.
According to Chalmers, the subjective nature of consciousness prevents it from being explained in terms of simpler components, a method used to great success in other areas of science. He believes that unlike most of the physical world, which can be broken down into individual atoms, or organisms, which can be understood in terms of cells, consciousness is irreducible. It’s an aspect of the universe, like space and time and mass. According to this view, consciousness is primal.
A theory of consciousness would not explain what consciousness is or how it arose; instead, it would try to explain the relationship between consciousness and everything else in the world. In another theory the boson involved is conformal gravity, aka dark energy, aka the vacuum, aka zero point energy. Anything that gets entangled (electrons, photons, etc) builds up consciousness. There are other theories of entanglement, coherence and decoherence.
Many say QM has the look and feel of consciousness. There are several types of explanation of quantum state reduction, an occasion of experience: Copenhagen (conscious observation causes collapse), multiple worlds (each possibility branches off to form a new universe), decoherence (interaction with environment contaminates superposition - though it doesn’t really cause reduction), some objective threshold for reduction (objective reduction - OR), or quantum gravity.
Popular QM notions seem to fall into two categories:
Copenhagen-esque--"old school" explanations which dwell on quantum theory's non-intuitiveness and in fact seem to celebrate the "leap of logic" needed to accept the observer-based wave-function collapse postulate;
New Agey Utopian idealism--"quantum theory is strange, consciousness is strange, therefore, consciousness is explained by quantum theory", entanglement is proof that "all points in the universe are connected by some underlying ineffable thing, so can't we all just get along", etc.
Quantum theory will probably play a role in explaining consciousness and its relationship
to the brain. In some theories (Greenfield), mind is rooted in the physical connections between neurons, while consciousness is an emergent property of the brain, similar to the 'wetness' of water or the 'transparency' of glass. The electrical activity of the brain makes a `model' of a self in the world and our understanding of physical reality requires this `model' to exist `in the dark'. We don’t know if it’s basis is quantum or complexity, or some combination of quantum uncertainty and chaotic sensitivity.
There may be a link between chaotic sensitivity and quantum entanglement to create the ‘trick’ of consciousness (King, 2005). Synapses are making a potential energy landscape. High energy chaos explores the full phase space and attention lowers the energy until the dynamic either enters an existing attractor (recognition) or the system bifurcates to form a new attractor (new learned stimulus). It's a form of energy minimization.
Is there a link between global brain states and quantum phenoemena? Promising hypotheses link Freeman's model of chaos and bifurcation, Cramer's idea of transactional quantum entanglement, and Pribram's idea of the holographic brain and newer ideas of stochastic resonance and more theoretical ideas of quantum chaos. All these processes can interact together to make a viable basis for intentional subjective consciousness.
The brain is full of oscillations. The oscillations are chaotic in the time domain but holographic spatial oscillation in the space domain. Neural systems identify the oscillations that are in phase and they become the process that stands out from the out of phase noise. The in phase waves cause synaptic adaption and learning. When the brain goes from 'hunting' to 'eureka' there is a transition from chaotic out of phase excitation to phase correlated excitation.
This is the same process that happens in a quantum measurement, when we can only measure energy as frequency and can't directly sample wave amplitude of a quantum, so have to let enough beats pass to get an accurate frequency and thus don't know the time exactly. This is the uncertainty relation. The two processes are homologous.
Coherent oscillations in neurons are both the consequence of coupled areas and the cause of them over time. Chaotic excitations can, of course, be in or out of phase . It is the non-linearities which enable a number of harmonic oscillators to become mode-locked into phase or phase multiplicity, so non-linearity is the basis of all these phase locking phenomena, too (King).
According to Walter Freeman, "Consciousness may well be the subjective experience of this recursive process of motor command, reafference and perception. If so, it enables the brain to plan and prepare for each subsequent action on the basis of past action, sensory input and perceptual synthesis. In short, an act of perception is not the copying of an incoming stiinuIus. It is a step in a trajectory by which brains grow, reorganize themselves and reach into their environment to change it to their own advantage."
This `model' is an intellectual abstraction and in reality it is just spatial and temporal relationships between each piece of electrical activity. Every quanta is in the form of matter waves except at state reduction. The electromagnetic fields permeating neurons and synapses consist of real and virtual photons, in their wave states, and each of these are disturbances in the photon field.
Our experience of reality is based on mind and observation. Physics is described in complex mathematics, but mathematics doesn’t explain itself anymore than matter/energy or electromagnetism. The final problem is associated with the ultimate nature nature of space, without and within us and a nonreductionistic description of our biological evolution. Physics, a natural philosophy, reflects on chemistry, biology and even social sciences.
Only our mental impressions, sensory filters, language categories, and concepts make us perceive things: things as separate from ourselves, the I and the not-I. But we are seamlessly welded to the Universe at the most fundamental levels. We cannot scientifically or spiritually distinguish ourselves from the subquantum ground of BEING, even if we feel separate or alienated.
But who among us has successfully abandoned the tendency to conceptualize observations as things, and compound that observation with qualitative attributions? We have experiences and later we say it was this or that. Some forms of meditation are based on disidentification from all aspects of existence and nominalism: neither this nor that.
Still, most of us still can’t wrap our quantum minds around it as a steady state of perception. We need working models for our praxis. Though science has extended our sight to the subquantal and cosmological levels, we still think provincially from the human scale of our natural senses. Our logic and metaphors are based in the senses. But our outer life comes from the invisible inner world, where we are literally in resonance with the Cosmos.
Concepts of matter, life, and mind have undergone major changes. Consciousness is not a material system and neither is Quantum Mechanics (QM). The world is quantum mechanical and we must learn to perceive it as such, but we don’t need to understand that to experience nonlocal healing, any more than we need to comprehend internal combustion to drive. Both pysicists and mystics have a tough time reconciling experience of the deep nature of reality with their mundane experience in the world of things.
So how does that mind and its underlying mechanisms relate to or produce consciousness? Is consciousness a quantum process, or does it underlie all process? Neurologists tell us it is a physical matter of wetware in the skull. However, the most we can say at the molecular level is that there are correlates of consciousness. The irreducible precursors of consciousness and matter are built into the universe. They just ARE, unified holistic process.
At the finest levels of observation, physicists contend the distinction between mind and matter becomes as paradoxical as the distinction between energy and matter, life and death (organic/inorganic). Quantum mechanics strongly suggests the Universe is mental. The substratum of everything, including our experience of being, has this mental character.
Healing theories, particularly nonlocal models, have drawn from theories in both new physics and consciousness studies, often compounding and confounding both disciplines. They mix levels of observation in theories, which seem to be largely conditioned by the favoritism of pet projects; thus each theory is generally associated with only one or two “brand” names of researchers.
Healers have been quick to parrot many of these ideas that support what they feel they have observed in intentional healing acts, or what validates the tenets of their school of practice. Often their comprehension of the scientific basis of the argument is slim to none. But this attribution is used to “explain” the phenomenon, with enough misapprehension to preserve the Mystery. However, it isn’t this confusion that makes it so. Are the enigmatic qualities of the quantum realm actually the same as the unity, coherence and other enigmatic qualities of the conscious one? The jury is still out.
There is no consensus among theories of what constitutes FIGURE and what constitutes the most fundamental GROUND, and it seems they share the same essential nature. Our perceived ‘content’ is not distinct from the ‘context’ in which it arises. It is one whole cloth of bubbling space-time. Nothing more, nor less. We have looked into the Abyss of spacetime and found it laughing back.
Ervin Laszlo points out regarding the finest level of observation, that because of “the quantum vacuum, the energy sea that underlies all of spacetime, it is no longer warranted to view matter as primary and space as secondary. It is to space or rather, to the cosmically extended "Dirac-sea" of the vacuum that we should grant primary reality.” Virtual particles pop in and out of existence like quantum foam.
Mass is the consequence of interactions in the depth of this universal field. There is only this absolute matter-generating subquantal field. This realization transforms our perception of life. Living systems constantly interact with the quantum vacuum, also called zero-point energy, vacuum fluctuation, or subspace. Wave-packets of matter are in a subtle interactive dance with the underlying vacuum field, a vast network of intimate interactions, extending into our biosphere and even Cosmos. Mind and matter both evolve from the cosmic womb of space.
According to Laszlo: “The interaction of our mind and consciousness with the quantum vacuum links us with other minds around us, as well as with the biosphere of the planet. It "opens" our mind to society, nature, and the universe. This openness has been known to mystics and sensitives, prophets and meta-physicians through the ages. But it has been denied by modern scientists and by those who took modern science to be the only way of comprehending reality.”
He goes on to propose a poetic metaphor: “Everything that goes on in our mind could leave its wave- traces in the quantum vacuum, and everything could be received by those who know how to "tune in" to the subtle patterns that propagate there.” In a mechanistic throwback, he likens it to an antenna picking up signals from a transmitter that contains the experience of the entire human race, reminding strongly of Carl Jung’s Collective Unconscious.
Worldviews color our perceptions of our Reality, even in science. Concepts are effective theories, useful not true. The universe is immaterial, mental and spiritual. The mind observes, but it doesn’t really observe “things”. It has a way of attributing certain qualities, subjective qualities and dynamics, to everything, even so-called “objective observation. This multisensory narrative becomes the content of our memories. This and out embodiment is how we remember what happens.
Our minds have a tendency to come up with reasons, whys and wherefores, for things as they appear to us. It is part of our survival mechanisms. However, physics has proven, through relativity theory, the uncertainty principle, wave/particle duality, and Godel’s theorem, that there can be no objectivity, no order or creativity without chaos.
The mind produces narratives. Archetypal forces act as lenses that cause us to cherish certain beliefs, which lead to a class of thoughts, and patterns of emotions and behaviors. It doesn’t matter if you come down on the side of preferring order or chaos, nature has her way.
Ultimately, spontaneous or natural healing seems to by-pass this entire complex system, overriding our conscious perspectives in many cases. We may not “believe” in paradoxical healing, but it can still “work”, effecting psychophysical change at a deeper level through the emotional mind and through Mystery.
Healing is irrational. Perhaps the question we should really be asking is what causes us to imagine we are dissociated from a state of optimal health. This doesn’t mean our bodies will always work flawlessly. Chaos theory reveals that many systems in the body are self-organizing and regulated by stochastic processes that are naturally chaotic in nature. Chaos actually helps us reorganize, recalibrate our metabolism.
We can discuss it in terms of nested structured duality, superfluids, or an array of vortices, or a microtubule bank, or a dendritic cluster, hyper-neurons, glia and gap junction networks, or an entangled or collapsing wave function; still, we're merely talking about resonance between arrays -- patterns. This perspective leads to consideration of a Holographic concept of reality, the frequency domain, David Bohm’s implicate order.
Panpsychism aside, every bit of electrical activity is unaware of itself, is unaware of every other bit of electrical activity, and is unaware of all their relationships. This raises the question: why does consciousness exists at all and why is it a unity? What is synchronicity but a feedback between perceived reality and the emerging train of events. This is consistent with the transactional interpretation in which there is a handshaking between past emitters and future absorbers.
There are many plausible ways that quantum theory can help with these profound mysteries and it will be many decades before some understanding of the actual mechanisms are finalized. So, despite the pluses and minuses of existing quantum theories of mind, these kinds of theories should be encouraged. If consciousness is or is related to quantum effects then scientists will have to think in these directions to figure it out.
"Whether this vast homogeneous expanse of isotropic matter is fitted not only to be a medium of physical interaction between distant bodies, and to fulfill other physical functions of which, perhaps, we have as yet no conception, but also to constitute the material organism of beings exercising functions of life and mind as high or higher than ours are at present - is a question far transcending the limits of physical speculation.”, said Maxwell.
Of course, that was then and this is now.
Most natural philosophers hold, and have held, that action at a distance across empty space is impossible. In other words, that matter cannot act where it is not, but only where it is. The question "where is it?" is a further question that may demand attention and require more than a superficial answer.
Arguably, every atom of matter has a universal though nearly infinitesimal prevalence, and extends everywhere; since there is no definite sharp boundary or limiting periphery to the region disturbed by its existence. The lines of force of an isolated electric charge extend throughout illimitable space.
No ordinary matter is capable of transmitting the undulations or tremors that we call light. The speed at which they go, the kind of undulation, and the facility with which they go through vacuum, forbid this. So, clearly and universally has it been perceived that waves must be waves of something, something distinct from ordinary matter.
Faraday conjectured that the same medium, which is concerned in the propagation of light, might also be the agent in electromagnetic phenomena, and he called it “the ether”. Now we speak of it as the zero-point domain of virtual photon fluctuation. Romantically, we refer to it as the plenum, since it is infinitely full of potential.
Some philosophers have reason to suppose that mind can act directly on mind without intervening mechanism, and sometimes that has been spoken of as genuine action at a distance. But, in the first place, no proper conception or physical model can be made of such a process, much less how that deploys intentionality in distance healing.
Nor is it clear that space and distance have any particular meaning in the region of psychology. The links between mind and mind may be something quite other than physical proximity. Since we don’t know how it works, in denying action at a distance across empty space we are not denying telepathy or other activities of a non-physical kind. Brain disturbance or mindbody healing are plausible physical correlates of mental action, whether of the sending or receiving variety.
There is no consensus in physics, nor in consciousness studies, though there is a correlating theory for nearly every one proposed in physics. Spontaneous healing may bypass all of these suggested metatheories. A field becomes a nearly innacurrate term in the subquantual domain or metaphysical level of observation.
According to Hameroff, “Everything (matter, energy, you, me) is part of the hidden geometry of spacetime, of which the Platonic is one aspect. Smells and colors and melodic tunes are complex assemblies of fundamental qualia embedded as configurations in fundamental spacetime geometry.
The qualia in spacetime geopmetry *out there* caused qualia *in here* within us because there is spacetime geometry within our mindbodies as well. Because spacetime geometry is inherently nonlocal it could be that *out there* and *in here* are connected, or actually the same. Only in the classical world is there a spacelike distinction. Pure consciousness is the experience of a total lack of phenomenal content while still awake and alert, and thus able to remember there was nothing.
[Some theories alledge] cognitive functions reflect consciousness which exists in the universe. I am saying that quantum processes in the brain (related to cognitive processes) are connected to protoconscious quantum information inherent in the universe. The connection results in OR which is a moment of consciousness (the protoconscious/unconscious quantum information becomes conscious) But remember the universe/spacetime geometry out there is also in our heads.” Hameroff
Several Vedic and Taoist texts (and perhaps other traditions as well) suggest that, with proper refinement of consciousness, the “outside” world can be cognized holographically, in a superposed, interpenetrating state where everything is experienced in everything else. If evidence can support such claims, perhaps the human mechanisms of perception have the capacity to directly experience an uncollapsed universe in which what is normally unconscious is merged into consciousness (or vice versa). Its like a dream.
But somehow consciousness is; somehow creativity emerges; somehow healing works; somehow we are, and are interrelated. Perhaps real meaning comes from our struggle to try to understand how these things work, to struggle toward wisdom in both the material and spiritual realms. There is meaning in the struggle to create, to heal, to know, to be.