"Empathy, Resilience and Consciousness"
PART IV: THE TAO OF RESILIENCE
by Peggie C. Southwick; Iona Miller, Editor
Asklepia Foundation, ©1998/2002
Functions of Distinctiveness
The Creative Evolution of Evolutionary Creation
Life is a Hologram of Holograms
Consciousness & the Biohologram
Making the Indistinct Distinct
Summary: The Holographic "Enchanted Loom"
From Particles and Waves to Strings and Membranes
From Strings and Membranes to Struts and Cables
Summary: Energy Transducing Tensegrity Structures
A NEW RESILIENCE METAPHOR
Heuristic passions is ...the mainspring of originality --the force which
impels us to abandon an accepted framework of interpretation and commit
ourselves, by the crossing of a logical gap, to the use of new framework.
(Polyani, 1962, as cited in Moustakis, 1990, p.123)
On the Nature of Metaphor
How is it possible to know something, even about ourselves, that is radically
new? Metaphors are one of the cognitive mechanisms that lead to the
discovery and advancement of new theories. Often, in science, they
appear spontaneously in dreams which are then applied in real time.
Metaphor and analogy help us create mapping between two domains in a one-to-one
Metaphor still plays a role in the articulation of new scientific theory.
In cognitive psychology, metaphors are drawn from the terminology of computer
science, in transpersonal psychology from mysticism, in Consciousness Restructuring
Process from Chaos Theory, QM, Holographic and other theories. Thus,
science recycles its metaphors in self-referential strange loops.
Alchemists made use of symbolic metaphors, but ascribed causal powers to
metaphorical similarities, (creating the so-called "doctrine of signatures.").
In this way they tried to satisfy their wish to manipulate nature rather
than know it. But, metaphors may be nature, our nature; or
certainly phenomenological expressions of our existential nature.
They provide a reference point without defining reality.
The problem becomes not one of how to know something radically new,
but how to learn something radically new. Thus metaphors are
instructive. They are a central Way of leaping the epistemological
chasm between old and new knowledge, old and new ways of essential being.
Metaphors help us make this leap. They help us enter a problematic
situation in order to solve it, to explore it, and explore the world restructured
by the metaphor.
We can tap the source of creativity, healing and holistic restructuring
through imagination and metaphor. The possibilities for concepts
and for thought are shaped in very special ways by both the body and the
brain that evolved to control it, especially the sensory-motor system.
Conceptual metaphors appear to be neural maps that link sensory-motor domains
in the brain to regions where more abstract reasoning is done. This
allows sensory-motor structures to play a role in abstract reason (Lakoff,
The mind-body split or dualism vanishes when bodily control mechanisms
are being used in abstract reasoning. Conceptual metaphorical mappings
are not primarily matters of language, they are part of our conceptual
systems, cross-domain mappings, allowing us to use sensory-motor concepts
and reasoning in the service of abstract reason and holistic perception.
This metaphorical mapping ability is automatically acquired unconsciously
in our everyday functioning in the world.
In fact, when metaphors are synchronistic, emergent, spontaneous, self-organizing
expressions of our dynamic stream of consciousness, they are an imaginal
encoding of information that bridges the domains of conscious and unconscious
worlds, material and transpersonal realms. Such metaphors can be
deeply transformative--more than mere language, a technology for changing
our behaviors, feelings, thoughts, and beliefs. Intentional contact
and immersion in these metaphors can transform our spirit and soul.
How can we know or describe anything about the changes we have not yet
experienced, change that by universal consensus takes us beyond the realm
of everyday reality, for which our words and concepts have been fashioned?
Metaphors contain a subtle communication by containing meaning in a delicate
net of imagery. In psychotherapy and mysticism, both, it is characteristic
of the Self to speak to the ego-personality in the language of myth and
metaphor. It allows us to grasp some image of that which remains
as-yet-unknown. Classical metaphors of transformation are embodied
in the primordial wisdom traditions.
Metaphors are strongly related to process-oriented psychotherapy and immersion
in the stream of consciousness [itself a metaphor]. The notion and
phenomenon of metaphor raises as many questions as it answers. Metaphors
do not directly describe perceptual reality, but its language helps us
imagine an "as if" reality.
For example, in Metaphor Therapy (Grove) we ask what an experience is like.
The replies about the nature of feelings and traumas come automatically
couched in somato-sensory metaphor: "like a rock on my chest, like a stab
in the back, it leaves me feeling breathless, disembodied." Following
the 'trail' we might ask, "Disembodied like what?" "Like a
cloud, like smoke, like a vaporous nothingness"... The metaphorical
possibilities or replies are virtually endless. They embody that
which is still unknown and possibly unknowable, yet explorable through
imagery and dialogue.
Metaphor is an artifact of language--saying this to mean that. They
function as tools. That leads us to suspect it is a technology. As
such, it is an aid to understanding. Metaphor represents the convergence
of figurative language, imagination and consciousness. There is a
fundamental distinction between literal and metaphorical language.
John Searle, in his well-known essay Metaphor asserts that there
is no semantic difference between metaphoric expression and literal, because
"sentence and words have only the meaning that they have...Metaphorical
meaning is always speaker's utterance meaning." Even poetic metaphors
can muddle or clarify comprehension by distorting truth conditions.
You say one thing to mean something else. So talking of metaphor
as a kind of meaning may be false.
Yet, the role of conscious and unconscious processes in metaphor production
and interpretation is ubiquitous. The role of "seeing as" permeates
the development of consciousness. It reflects interactions between
imagination, perception and cognition; how bodily and neural processes
create and constrain imagination. Language, concept and world are
the three realms of metaphor which is a mode of cognition.
But metaphors are events, not objects. And generative-metaphors
can be viewed as problem-setting scenes and problem-solving situations.
[Tacit generative metaphors may underlie our perceptual patterns much as
personal and collective mythologies do].
Metaphors describe the internal structure of domains and how they are represented;
the nature and organizational structure of information. They follow
the information processing approach and propose a spatial representation
in which local subspaces can be mapped into points of higher-order hyperspaces,
and vice versa. The distance among concepts in these mental spaces
is the main parameter for establishing the comprehensibility and aesthetic
pleasure of metaphors.
Conceptual metaphors are more than semantic representations; they imply
deep action, even though the locus of metaphor is thought. They directly
reflect our metaphorical understanding of experience. This dual coding
is based on more than a theoretical point of view based in imagery and
Metaphor is not merely a superficial phenomenon of language, but shapes
our judgments, and structures our language. Displaying many facets,
metaphor pervades our everyday non-theoretical language. A metaphor
is a holistic schema, a unifying framework that links a conceptual representation
to its sensory and experiential ground. It embodies the gestalt and
ecological properties of thought.
The network of underlying metaphors form a cognitive map, a web of concepts
organized in terms which serve to ground the abstract. This cognitive
topology, by which we impose structure on space, gives rise to spatial
inferences and images. The subjective ego-centric properties of the
individual are projected onto the world via this cognitive mapping.
Even the same metaphor of 'time' can produce different interpretations,
depending on the relative position of the observer within his cognitive
Mental pictures and verbal processes meet in metaphor which promotes retrieval
of images and verbal information that intersects with information aroused
by the topic. Language is a conduit for this force by transferring
or conveying thoughts and feelings to others. Therefore what is literal
be metaphorical; only the literal use of language can be true or false.
These facts underlie or form the dynamical basis of all talk therapies.
George Lakoff and others have developed contemporary theories of metaphor.
Undeniably, there are a great many irreducible metaphorical concepts in
our everyday life which function in a systematic way and are grounded in
our physical and cultural experience. But what is metaphor a metaphor
for? How do metaphors work? How can we interpret two
levels of understanding, novel and classical metaphors for comprehension
and understanding? Can we learn without metaphors?
Epistemological metaphors help us relate "how we know what we know." They
help us frame and describe our experience and its meaning at both the personal
and collective levels. However, when do our epistemological metaphors
become more than models? When we "know," how do we "know that
we know," and "what is it like?" This bears on the confusion
surrounding the process and products of linguistic understanding.
How do psychological processes figure in metaphor comprehension and memory?
When we think in metaphors, do they create similarity, or state some pre-existing
similarity? Do they produce new knowledge by projecting the "known"
into an unknown domain? How do they emphasize, suppress,
and organize features of cognition and awareness? How do we incorporate
novelty through similar differences, and different similarities?
What are the educational uses of metaphor? How can we tap directly
into multidimensional metaphoric process?
What is beyond metaphor: what is the role in cognition and consciousness
of synecdoche (inclusion) and metonymy (contiguity)? Metonymy describes
extension involving Whole-Part relations in contrast to synecdoche, which
involves Part-Whole relations. Or, it is a figurative extension of
meaning involving concomitance. It is arguably possible to distinguish
between metaphor and metonymy and between non-figurative implication and
metonymy. The distinctions are cognitively based and have linguistic
relevance, which improve our understanding of the dynamic role of language
Lakoff and Johnson (1980) claim that our conceptual system is largely metaphorical.
But metonymy and synecdoche may be just as holistically basic. Expressions
in simile are even more common than metaphor; both follow literalisms.
They provide a context for our experience. Metonymy is implied meaning
without restriction to the figurative uses of words. It is a figurative
extension of meaning involving concomitance. Expressing what we sense,
think and believe about things and our existential condition,
they form the ground of our synergetic cognition about self, others and
Ultimately, what would metaphors of resilience, such as "bouncing back,"
or "pressing on," "come back," "rebirth" mean to us unless they originate
in a spontaneous, emergent way? What metaphors form the tacit webwork
Reply to Jung: Quantum Sermons to the Living
Harken, I begin with nothingness. Nothingness is the same as fullness.
In eternity full is no better than empty. Nothingness is both empty
and full. As well might ye say anything else of nothingness, so for
instance, white is it, or black, or again, it is not, or it is. A
thing that is infinite and eternal hath no qualities, since it hath all
This nothingness or fullness we name the PLEROMA. Therein both
thinking and being cease, since the external and infinite possess no qualities.
In it no being is, for he then would be distinct from the pleroma, and
would possess qualities which would distinguish him as something distinct
from the pleroma. (Jung, Seven Sermons to the Dead)
Jung's autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1961) was one
of those pivotal reading experiences which radically change the course
of my (Southwick's) thinking and my life. Tucked away discretely
in an appendix in the back of the book was his "Seven Sermons to the Dead."
Since Jung admitted regret over having written the piece, I could not understand
why it had such a profound effect on my autonomic nervous system when I
read it. With my heart rate elevated and my breathing nearly stopped,
I sensed one of those rare aha! moments from which is would never fully
recover. Thus it was that my conflicted feelings about this "sinful"
work of his younger years came about: I had been profoundly moved,
-- metamorphosed in thinking by words which, for some reason unknown to
me, had evidently embarrassed their author. [perhaps because of its "channeled"
Now, after years of filtering down through the apparatus of my own thinking,
it is time to allow the distilled spirit of these messages, as I have heuristically
experienced it, to be poured onto page. The remaining arguments of
this chapter will more logically flow from this initial, philosophical
offering as concepts from Jung's Sermons are reviewed as useful metaphors
for explaining (a) the source from which have emerged all life functions
and (b) as the foundational elements upon which the effects of these reciprocally
emergent functions are framed.
The previous chapter concluded with a brief sojourn into the "something-for-nothing"
realm of quantum physics. There it is was theorized that at some
point beyond the temporo-spatial limits of our human comprehension, lies
an infinite source of finite energy. We had an infinitely brief glance
at the point where "virtual reality" and "actual reality" merge as infinitude
cloaks itself within the energy patterns from which all of life is formed.
The underlying motivation for this intellectual quest was to discover the
ultimate whys and wherefores of resilience, which is the point to which
we now return.
If the whole point of evolution is survival of the fittest, (or the most
resilient) then it would seem that the lowly bacterium, from whose functions
all higher life forms have theoretically sprung, may well represent nature's
supreme creation. It descendants are still around, basically unchanged
after perhaps three billion years, while the relatively recently evolved
human species already seems determined in one way or another to destroy
itself and most other life along with it.
What resilience lessons can be learned from these microscopic life forms
through whose organic functions the evolution of life and all of its on-going
processes are possible and by whom the containers of all of these life
processes are ultimately reclaimed for recycling? Is the earth really
made up of many indifferent, different life forms, resiliently evolving
to ever higher levels of form-function complexity? Or might we all
be, as Jung and other (see for example, Campbell, 1988) have implied, the
distinctively evolving mind-body whose infinite function it is to become
more wholly conscious of its own paradoxical nature so that it may more
fully exist in its infinite state?
Functions of Distinctiveness
In the pleroma there is nothing and everything. It is quite fruitless
to think about the pleroma, for this would mean self-dissolution.
CREATURA is not in the pleroma, but in itself. The pleroma is
both beginning and end of created beings. It pervadeth them, as the
light of the sun everywhere pervadeth the air. Although the
pleroma pervadeth altogether, yet hath created being no share thereof,
just as a wholly transparent body becometh neither light nor dark through
the light which pervadeth it. We are, however, the pleroma itself,
for we are a part of the eternal and infinite. But we have share
thereof, as we are from the pleroma infinitely removed...in our essence
as creatures, which is confined within time and space.
Yet because we are parts of the pleroma, the pleroma is also in us.
Even in the smallest point is the pleroma endless, eternal, and entire,
since small and great are qualities which are contained in it. It
is that nothingness which is everywhere whole and continuous...nowhere
divided. We are also the whole pleroma, because, figuratively, the
pleroma is the smallest point in us and the foundless firmament about us.
(Jung, Seven Sermons...).
Because Jung (1961) wrote "Sermons" in the paradoxical language
of the Gnostics who inspired it, dissecting it for clarity of meaning is
itself somewhat paradoxical, since ambiguity is Sermons' strength
as well as its weakness. Thus, I confess a measure of trepidation
as I attempt to explain in more linear terms and quantum metaphors, the
necessarily ambiguous concepts, somewhat circular reasonings, and often
archaic terminology from which I wish to borrow for purposes of this paper.
Jung intimates that to explore the pleroma means self-dissolution, liquefying
or dissolving one's sense of self, the de-construction of ego-death, primordial
restitution leading to re-emergence.
The first of these concepts is called by the name "pleroma" (Jung, 1961,
p.379), a useful term which encompasses at once all that is and is not
in the aspect of one grand paradox of unified paradoxes. I believe
that we experienced a virtual taste of this pleroma when we sampled from
Zukav's (1979) quantum something-for-nothing menu in the previous chapter.
Virtual energy particles in general have the paradoxical quality of being
and not being at the same time, which from our limited perspective within
time and space logically cannot, but yet seems to, happen.
Jung's (1961) Sermons taught that distinctions such as being and
not being exist only in our minds, where we create them in a valiant attempt
to understand about our infinite nature that which is unknowable in our
finite state. Thus, even though--and because--we are confined within
the paradox of our own mind-body duality, our very nature requires us to
examine and try to make sense of our existence by noting differences and
similarities in everything we experience.
Jung's (1961) Sermons asserted that "we die in such measure as we
do not distinguish" (p. 382). If this is true, then the very essence
of life itself should consist of making distinct that which is indistinct.
Throughout nature, in fact, this does seem to hold true. Furthermore,
distinction-making can be broadly interpreted as the basis for all evolutionary
processes. It is what we "intellectually superior" humans seem to
do the best, and most poorly--at.
Intellectually, we excel at making distinctions at the quantifiable levels
of our existence. Our proficiency wanes dramatically, however, as
we approach intellectual understanding of the infinitely macrocosmic or
microcosmic levels of our being. While it seems that it is the apprehension
of this most unknown and unknowable aspect of our being which holds the
ultimate key to all life's explanations, ironically, it is just this very
distinction which cannot be intellectually deciphered from within our finite
The question ariseth: How did creatura originate? Created
being came to pass, not creatura; since created being is the very quality
of the pleroma, as much as non-creation which is the eternal death.
In all times and places is creation, in all time and places is death.
The pleroma hath all, distinctiveness and non-distinctiveness.
Jung quickly gets to the heart of the philosophical distinction between
any Creator and the Creation. In invoking "distinctiveness and non-distinctiveness"
we are reminded of the metaphors of quantum mechanics, and its wave-particle
ambiguity surrounding the nature of sub-atomic matter/energy.
Distinctiveness is creatura. It is distinct. Distinctiveness
is its essence, and therefore it distinguisheth. Therefore man discriminateth
because his nature is distinctiveness. Wherefore also he distinguiseth
qualities of the pleroma which are not. He distinguisheth them out
of his own nature. Therefore must he speak of qualities of the pleroma
which are not. ...When we distinguish qualities of the pleroma, we are
speaking from the ground of our own distinctiveness and concerning our
...What is the harm, ye ask, in not distinguishing oneself? ...We fall
into indistinctiveness, ...we fall into the pleroma itself and cease to
be creatures. We are given over to dissolution in the nothingness.
This is the death of the creature. Therefore we die in such measure
as we do not distinguish. ...Hence the natural striving of the creature
goeth towards distinctiveness, fighteth against primeval sameness.
This is called the PRINCIPIUM INDIVIDUATIONIS.
And so the youthful Jung laid out his own lifework, and that of mankind
as the process of individuation -- a process whose differentiation is largely
coded in terms of metaphor and metaphorical transformations through the
union of opposites. He realized we create all qualities and distinctions
through thinking. Not just our thinking but our being is distinctiveness.
He suggests not thinking about differences, but striving after our own
Because we are equally skilled at making new, creative, intuitively connective
distinctions, the human is now beginning to see itself as functionally
indistinguishable from the trillions of distinctive cellular energy universes
within which it functions as an information transducer. As we are
able to apply this newly created distinction, or discovery, to increasingly
larger classes of information, we find even more similarities and connections
between our nature and the nature of life in general. These are reflected
in the self-similar complexity of fractals in nature, in the notion of
embedding at various degrees of magnitude or levels of observation.
It is the metaphor-making capacity of the human mind, the "flip side" or
reciprocal function of making logical distinctions, which have elevated
our species above all others to its present (although somewhat wobbly)
position atop earth's evolutionary ladder.
As we will soon see, when framed within Jung's (1961) Sermons, the
function of life seems to be that of reassembling finite, paradoxical reality
into a state of logical order and esthetic harmony so that it may in effect
ultimately validate, or complete, the state of perfection within which
it exists simultaneously as its own pleromal antecedent.
"Everything which we do not distinguish falleth into the pleroma and is
made void by its opposite," (Jung, 1961, p. 328). At the sub-quantal
level virtual photons continuously pop into and out of existence from the
groundstate of nothingness--the virtual vacuum, quantum flux or Zero-Point
This also brings to mind again the interactions of quantum particles and
their anti-particles. As discussed elsewhere in this paper, it has
been mathematically shown that every particle in the universe seems to
have a mirror opposite somewhere, with which it shares mutual instantaneous
annihilation should they meet.
It is thus assumed by some quantum physicists that our reality consists
of all the particles which have not (yet) met with anti-particle annihilation.
And although such random merges seem to be occurring continuously, for
some reason yet unknown to science, there are never enough anti-particles
around to cause any noticeable annihilations of our universe.
The key word here is "noticeable," and that is the point. Perhaps
Jung's intuition about the function of the void was correct when viewed
from its quantum backside: non-distinguished particles do not exist within
this reality to be banished to the void by our ignorance of them (as he
proposed). Rather, they are already in an infinite state from which
they need to be made distinct by finite beings if they are to have finite
That is what distinguishes them as anti-particles. Put another way,
it does seem logically possible that the nature of our universe is infinite
non-existence (as pleroma) unless and until a created energy form gives
it a finite identity, or distinctiveness, by somehow focusing its own creative,
attentional energies upon it, thus drawing it out from the void.
Perhaps our reality is not the accidental, random result of some universal
particle/anti-particle annihilation as science would have us believe, but
is being creatively evolved over time through the infinite numbers of distinctions
being made by life forms from among the effects that living particles have
upon one another.
To compound this, modern cosmology (Goldsmith, 2000) shows that space is
in a process of infinite acceleration from every 'point' in spacetime,
and most of the gravitational force of the universe comes from non-luminous
'dark matter,' and 'dark energy' of whose nature we know virtually nothing.
The universe is speeding up, suggesting some sort of powerful anti-gravity
force at work, separating galaxies. The seemingly empty vacuum of
space is seething with this strange dark energy. Again, we are reminded
of Jung's gnostic language, and the battle of opposites in gnosticism between
forces of light and dark.
The Creative Evolution of Evolutionary Creation
We must deal with the problem of where original life energy came from if
it is true that pleromal non-life is the infinitely natural order of things.
Jung (1961) called life and all of its many elemental energy pattern manifestations
"creatura", which he equated with a state of distinctiveness. In
other words, he implied that "to be" is to exist as a state distinct from
all other states.
Given this as a truth, Shakespeare's "To be or not to be, that is the question,"
was amazingly astute. Taken to its logical extreme, it should seem
as though the pleromal state would, of necessity, require an opposite state
in order to comprise a paradox perfectly completed within its own paradox.
If perfect, complete "not-being" were its only possible state, there would
be no potential for a "being" state. This is embodied in the vacuum
potential gradient inherent in the groundstate of the virtual vacuum.
Virtual photons 'boil' into existence because they can, therefore
they must; they also evaporate back into the primordial non-being.
Thus is the inactive realm which generates activity.
The pleromal state has to have some way it can remain in complete union
with its perfect self, yet manifest simultaneously in another distinctively
opposite state. It expresses in one in which its opposites are simultaneously
free to imperfectly exist as conflicting paradoxes.
These paradoxes are also free to creatively merge into wholeness states,
and then re-emerge into their divided states, evolving all the while into
increasingly complex combinations and divisions of paradoxical states.
For example, at our current apex of intellectual evolutionary process,
it is mathematically estimated that each individual human brain is capable
of "more possible mental states than there are atoms in the known universe"
(Sagan, 1977; Rossi, 1993).
Therefore, we can operationally define pleroma as the state of all possible
dimensions of reality states, including (but not limited to) those infinite
dimensions of reality which exist beyond the limitations of our spacetime
continuum as supraliminal (faster-than-light) energy, and those subliminal
energy states which exist as "the invisible dark matter and energy" of
Based upon this definition, we also suggest that it is possible that in
some manner, and at some non-time in non-space, the pleroma "impregnated"
itself with its own paradoxical energy "child" whose destiny it has been
to grow and develop within the womb of life, which we know as our own timespace
continuum. We might call this the "Om-niverse."
In other words, within the speed-of-light limits presented by our four-dimensional
reality zone, perfect supraliminal energy is effectively "slowed" to an
imperfect temporal state where, like a newly fertilized ovum, it
becomes separated into two paradoxical, incomplete halves of its whole
self. Or, as Jung put it: "The pleroma is rent in us."
The first new life states created from the division of the pleroma within
our reality Jung (1961) named "Abraxas," or the ultimate energy-state he
called "god" and from which all other subsequent god-states have since
been created. As described below, this god seems to have characteristics
very reminiscent of the virtual energy state which both encompasses and
divides finitude and infinity:
Had the pleroma a being, Abraxas would be its manifestation. ...Abraxas
is effect...it is a force, duration, change...it is improbable probability,
unreal reality...Abraxas is the world, its becoming and its passing....It
is the appearance and the shadow of man. It is illusory reality.
As such, Abraxas seems to represent that aspect of our reality which is
always just beyond the reach of our comprehension, our life force, itself.
It is that which makes us more than the sum of our parts. It seems
to be that which at once separates us from and unites us with our infinite
Pleroma seems to be that energy field which contains both our life and
our death states and everything that exists in between those two states.
It is a metaphor of the creative edge of creation. In effect,
Abraxas seems to represent the source of all possible states of
being, or interactional energy patterns, that life energy can create.
As such, it is the collective soul, or psyche, or consciousness
from which all other souls, or psyches, or consciousness in the form of
god-as-man have evolved.
Dividing themselves out from the energy field called Abraxas were the two
lesser, opposing -- but equally effective -- energy states which are called
god and devil. These energy patterns are less distinct than man,
but more distinct than Abraxas. Therefore, they represent a state
of energy somewhere between the ultimate god and man, symbolically comparable,
for example, to Christ and Satan in the Christian Bible.
This new god is described as that state which promotes fullness and generation
of life; the devil is characterized as that state which ultimately diminishes,
or uses up life energy. Thus, it is the job of the negative force
to keep the machinery of embodiment and death (disembodiment)
in motion. From this perspective, Jung seemed to be subtly implicating
these oppositional good-versus-evil states as the origins of all possible
combinations of energy patterns, or archetypal states, that could be existentially
made distinct within our divided reality state.
These fundamental god-devil archetypal energy states are given form, and
thus made distinct, via the living effects through which they are made
manifest within our existential domain. Jung's Sermons name
these effective states Eros and The Tree of Life. These
two states are described, respectively, as that "flame" which "giveth light
because it consumeth energy, thereby diminishing the fullness of life,
and that "Tree" which "in growing it heapeth up living stuff" (p. 185).
These dynamics sound a lot like the quantum "something-for-nothing" that
is gained from life's virtual energy exchanges within infinity -- which
hold all of life together as the electromagnetic force. Jung even
states that "Good and evil are united in the flame" [of their paradoxical,
life-sustaining ("effective") roles within our reality dimension] (p. 385).
From that point, it is implied that divisions and redivisions occur in
the energy field of our reality until "[i]nnumerable as the host of stars
is the number of gods and devils....The multiplicity of the gods corresponds
to the multiplicity of man....Numberless gods await the human state" (p.
In other words, returning to our quantum metaphor, the number of probable
(and improbable) energy patterns, or particle-wave formations, available
for interaction with one another within our reality state, is immeasurably
immense. The pleroma, or quantum foam is beyond the statistical probability
of quantum mechanics, and is an example of complex dynamics, or Chaos.
In terms of human consciousness, this Chaos is manifest as the intangibility
of the collective consciousness. The concept of Abraxas as collective
consciousness can be operationally metaphormed as the evolution of quantum
energy states from their pleromal-Abraxas state to their human-being state
and back again, within a continuous re-cycling of finite-infinite energy
These patterns would simultaneously represent, or convey information about,
all of the distinctive particle states and the distinct energy wave
interference patterns which had been created from these states during the
creative act of finitely distinguishing their existence. This universal
consciousness state, or creatura psyche, would necessarily, then,
be composed of the creative energies of all of its life forms, including
the reified forms assigned to its gods and devils (Jung, 1961).
Perhaps running this concept through Zukav's (1979) virtual energy metaphor
in yet another way can help to illustrate how this universal consciousness
might function as a unitive force: When a finite, pleroma-reflecting
life-energy state eventually merges with its own infinitely reflected image,
both become completed in one another and "disappear" over the infinity
horizon in a burst of virtual life energy. They are "united in the
flame" (Jung, 1961) created from their own unity. But just as quickly,
they reappear in our timespace zone.
Thus, it seems that it is during the infinitely brief amount of time (from
our limited perspective) that man's virtual energy "rests" in its pleromal
state that his collective-Abraxas energy-state micro-momentarily becomes
infinitely perfected. And likewise, it follows that during the overlapping
of these virtual energy exchanges between particle states, pleromal-Abraxas
for a fraction of a millisecond (eternity, from its perspective) becomes
completed in man.
As Zukav's (1979) virtual energy-exchanges show, it can also be assumed
that during all of these transactions, new particle-wave patterns are being
re-created as virtual-energy "vapor-trails", instantaneously recycled into
other energy fields, --the eventual material manifestations of which our
entire observable and experiential universe is composed. Thus, Sermons
concludes, somewhat paradoxically:
"In this world is man Abraxas, the creator and the destroyer of his
own world" (Jung, 1961, p. 189).
Summary: Life is a Hologram of Holograms
The popularization of the Holographic Paradigm as conceived by physicist
David Bohm and neurologist Karl Pribram began in the 1970s, and carried
into the '80s with the publication of Bohm's WHOLENESS AND THE IMPLICATE
Based on the work of Northrup & Burr, the less well-known, yet concurrent
development of "A Holographic Concept of Reality" (1973), by Miller, Webb,
Dickson was published in Krippner's PSYCHOENERGETIC SYSTEMS.
A follow up, "Embryonic Holography" (1973, Miller & Webb] suggests
that DNA is the projector of the biohologram, both at the cellular level
and the whole-organismic level.
The holographic theory's evolution in scientific and philosophical thought
was followed by ReVision Journal, and summarized by Ken Wilber in
the classic of New Science literature, THE HOLOGRAPHIC PARADIGM AND
OTHER PARADOXES (1982). Consciousness Restructuring Process is
related to this theory in Iona Miller's "The Holographic Paradigm and CRP:
Explication, Ego-Death and Emptiness" published in CHAOSOPHY '93.
The gist of the holographic theory is that: "Our brains mathematically
construct 'concrete' reality by interpreting frequencies from another dimension,
a realm of meaningful, patterned primary reality that transcends time and
space. The brain is a hologram, interpreting a holographic universe."
Pribram postulates a neural hologram, made by the interaction of waves
in the cortex, which in turn is based on a hologram of much shorter wavelengths
formed by the wave interactions on the sub-atomic level. Thus, we
have a hologram within a hologram, and the interrelatedness of the two
somehow gives rise to the sensory images.
There is a more fundamental reality which is an invisible flux that
is not comprised of parts, but an inseparable interconnectedness.
In this dynamic model, there are no "things" only energetic events.
The holoflux includes the ultimately flowing nature of what is, and also
of that which forms therein.
Bohm speaks of "the source" as beyond both implicate (enfolded) and explicate
(unfolded) realms. We can imagine Source as the coherent Light which
illuminates and objectifies the implicate realm.
In a more recent commentary, Fred Alan Wolf (1991) comments on the possible
roots of "shamanic physics" and the holographic concept in relation to
two shamanic notions: visionary or mythic reality, and the sense of universal
In brief, according to the transactional interpretation of quantum physics,
these invisible quantum waves of probability originate in the present,
in the past, and in the future. For any event to manifest, these
waves coming from the future and the present or from the past and the present
must interfere with each other in the present. The pattern of that
interference then creates matter and energy as we perceive them.
Somehow shamans were able to see to either the past or the future source
of those waves. In this manner they were able to construct visions
that had mythic proportions and appeared to them as archetypes in the Jungian
Above it was suggested that perhaps supraliminally coherent energy oscillations,
when "slowed" within the temporal limitations of finite reality (ranging
from 186,000 miles per second to near-zero velocity), would lose
their coherency and separate into their polar opposites forming interference
waves. This idea is not as far-fetched as it sounds because a subliminal
version of such a phenomenal process is currently being accomplished in
Physicists have found that particles can be "trapped" using a combination
of laser beams and magnetic energy field, and thus slowed-down, or cooled
to a temperature approaching absolute zero. At this point, which
seems to represent the infinitely slow, dark end of our spacetime continuum,
energy oscillations seem to stop and particles all merge into one large
particle-soup, the subliminal energies of which the "cold, dark matter"
(the void) of our universe is composed.
In this energy state, known as the Bose-Einstein condensate, "the wave
nature of each atom is precisely in phase with that of every other."
These condensates were created in the lab winning the 2001 Nobel Prize
for Physics. Quantum mechanical waves extend across the sample of
condensate and can be observed with the naked ye. The sub-microscopic
thus becomes macroscopic (Cornell & Wieman, 1998, p. 40).
Another interesting and useful finding is that physicists are also currently
developing communications technology using laser-beam-split particles,
each half of which is known to carry and "aware of" the same identical
energy-state information as its twin. In this coherent light beam,
not only the beam is split but each photon. Thus, it is hoped that
someday we will be able to send these microcosmic bits of energy zooming
around inside computer chips serving in effect both as transmitters and
receivers of information, much the same as do the messenger molecules of
our mindbody (Smale, 1997).
Other physicists have actually succeeded "proving" that particles do not
have distinctive properties until those properties are made distinct.
In essence, they sent split-halves of particles flying off in opposite
directions, a distance of nearly seven miles apart. They found that
each time one of the halves was secretly detected and measured by a researcher
at one end, the observing researcher at the other would see the half at
his end "magically" manifesting itself at the same time with the same identical
informational characteristics. In effect, it instantaneously experiences
the same energy-pattern changes as its mate. This two-slit experiment
has been replicated thousands of times by different researchers (Pool,
In other findings relevant to our claims, physicists have actually succeeded
in creating a minuscule amount of matter from an enormous amount of energy
by focusing an incredibly intense laser pulse of electromagnetically charged
photons at a field of electrons moving at nearly the speed of light.
As the laser beam approached the electrons, its photons absorbed so much
energy from the interaction that they ricocheted off into what very quickly
evolved into an electron and its anti-particle twin, a positron.
"The action is the reverse of the usual matter-antimatter annihilation:
the blaze of energy [in this case] becomes matter" (Winters, 1997, p. 40).
Furthermore, in another laboratory, researchers have developed an immensely
durable mirror which could withstand the force of incredibly high-powered
laser beams, out of "hot, electrically-charged has, also known as plasma....[I]t
will behave the same way as a metal mirror"...but only for two-trillionths
of a second at a time (Saunders, 1998, p.95).
And finally, behind all the observable light and matter in the universe,
astronomers have now discovered a "faint, nearly uniform glow...about 2.3
times as bright as the visible universe" which they speculate seems to
emanate from "some unidentified source...which generates two thirds of
the light in the cosmos" (Wusser, 1998, p. 18). Thus, overall, modern
science does seem to be distinguishing itself as a wonderful metaphor for
its own creative origins; it seems as though researchers are peering into
their microscopes and telescopes, perhaps "seeing" evidence of an infinite,
pleromal "eye" staring back.
In his book, The Holographic Universe, Michael Talbot (1991), among
other things, explained three very important concepts reminiscent of Jung's
which consequently justify the above sojourns into the realms of science.
The first topic was covered when parallels were drawn between the infinite
and finite functions of pleromal and virtual energies.
The second is that of interference patterns, which Talbot describes as
"the crisscrossing pattern that occurs when two or more waves....ripple
through each other" (p. 14). In Sermons, for example, the
very first interference patterns could be seen as those primordial energy
wave frequency patterns which were created when the pleroma divided unperturbable,
infinite energy into its mirrored, negatively- and positively-charged,
life-and-death generating polarities. Others would have increasingly
followed over time, as a natural consequence.
The third concept of this integrative summary encompasses the dynamics
of the first two. Talbot offers up the following metaphor for the
emergent phenomenon of our holographic universe, as seen from the perspective
of a physicist's laboratory:
A hologram is produced when a single laser light is split into two separate
beams. The first beam is bounced off the object to be photographed.
Then the second beam is allowed to collide with the reflected light of
the first. When this happens they create an interference pattern
which is then recorded on a piece of film. To the naked eye the image
on the film looks nothing at all like the object photographed. In
fact, it even looks a little like the concentric rings that form when a
handful of pebbles is tossed into a pond. But as soon as another
laser beam...is shined through the film, a [lifelike] three-dimensional
image of the original object reappears. (pp. 14-15)
This parallels with Jung's Sermons. First of all, laser light
is also known as a "coherent light source in which all waves in the beam
are in step [in perfect synchrony]" (Benton, 1998, p. 115). Imagine
the pleroma as the source of all infinitely coherent light, "shining" itself
into its own entropic womb where our temporo-spatial universe is given
its life-potential as a single laser beam (Abraxas).
As it enters through the "beam-splitter" of this new temporo-spatial domain,
its infinitely coherent energy is divided into its electromagnetically-charged
paradoxical energy state distinctions, "god" and "devil." These magnificent
energy beams are now independently oscillating at mutually reciprocal frequencies,
each with the potential to "cancel" or diminish the effects of the other
through the interference effects of their positive versus negative wave
crests and troughs.
As these crests and troughs initially encounter one another's equally powerful
effects, the tremendous tension between them generates the explosion from
which our universe evolves. This "big bang," in effect represents
an act of ultimate equilibration between infinitely coherent and finitely
incoherent forces, the source of all known and unknown (all actual and
virtual) equilibrative forces of our universe.
Meanwhile, the individual particles given birth during these events are
now zooming around in different directions, each still containing the "remembered"
reflection, its wholeness state of perfect energy coherence. Thus
compelled by their own need for re-equilibration, they begin to interact
vigorously with one another, each seeking to join up with others which
can help it re-achieve a state of balanced wholeness. When their
interactions finally electromagnetically attract those particle-partners
whose energies create that perfect balance, they euphorically "disappear
in a cloud of virtual light" for a tiny fraction of time before being recycled
back into the imbalances of our asymmetrical, four-dimensional energy state.
Given this hypothetical set of events, the first holographic interference
pattern created would have been reflected onto the ethereal "holographic
film" of our finite universe. It then develops into the lifelike,
three-dimensional, "god-like" qualities, or "effects" that infinite energy
takes on within our finite reality (as Abraxas) when illuminated by the
pure light of its own omniscient, infinite, pleromal energy source.
Thus, returned to our Sermons' metaphor, all of Jung's creatura,
--god, the devil, and their "children," Eros and the Tree of Life -- can
now be better understood as pleroma-Abraxas created holograms, whose functions
and forms were intended to be made distinct from one another so that they
could thus reciprocally interact as interference waves, and thereby regenerate
themselves into increasingly complex developmental levels of distinctions.
Over time and space, it can be similarly imagined that the emergent function
of the "rippling" effects of immense numbers of criss-crossing interference
waves must have been -- must be-- one of making mutually interactive, or
reciprocal, holographic projections of holographic projections. Talbot
(1991), bootstrapping his thought from Pribram/Bohm, also implicates the
unfolding of this kind of underlying "holomovement" dynamics within the
Our brains mathematically construct objective reality by interpreting
frequencies that are ultimately projections from another dimension, a deeper
order of existence that is beyond both space and time: The brain
is a hologram enfolded in a holographic universe (p. 55).
Put another way, the universe can now be understood as a continuously evolving,
interactively dynamic hologram whose function it is to explicitly reflect
through time and space the emergent effectiveness of its implicitly enfolded,
infinitely holographic nature.
In "The Enfolding, Unfolding Universe," Bohm suggests that, "Consciousness
is basically in the implicate order as all matter is, and therefore, it's
not that consciousness is one thing and matter is another, but rather consciousness
is a material process and consciousness is itself in the implicate order,
as is all matter, and that consciousness manifests in some explicate order
as does matter in general." Further,
David Bohm suggests psychological "atom-smashing" as a
way of radically destructuring the ego, opening it to wider experience
of the undivided whole. The holographic paradigm is one of reciprocal
enfolding and unfolding of patterns of information (explication).
The stream of images in CRP functions analogously to the unfolding of the
stream of consciousness and the enfolding and de-structuring of the ego
(ego death). Consciousness and matter share the same essence; their
difference is one of degree of subtlety or density. "Emptiness" is
an integral aspect of mind/matter. Chaos theory links all these elements
as aspects of the archetypal healing process, which is facilitated by CRP.
Holographic Paradigm in CRP, 1993).
Remember, Jung said that we die in such measure as we do not distinguish.
Weber is a little less ambiguous suggesting in the Holographic Paradigm
Psychological death occurs when consciousness keeps step with the ever-moving
and self-renewing present, allowing no part of itself to become caught
or fixated as residual energy. It is residual energy that furnishes
the framework for what will become the thinker, who consists of undigested
experience, memory, habit-patterns, identification, desire, aversion, projection
and image-making. This is not a purely personal process but the energy
of aeons of such processes sclerosed through time, persisting on both personal
and collective levels. Ego-death dismantles this superstructure...
Ken Wilber cautions us not to jump on the mystical bandwagon which confuses
the implicate order as the Source, the Tao, or even the mystic void.
While the implicate reveals the holoarchy of the material level, this is
as far as it goes--except as an analogy. The implicate is not transcendental
to matter, but underlies it, as a coherent unity--it is still matter.
It is analogous to "ecology" on the biological level.
Wilber states that, "the problem is that the quantum potential is merely
tremendously huge in size or dimensions; it is not radically dimensionless,
or infinite in the metaphysical sense. And you simply cannot equate
huge in size, potential or actual, with that which is without size, or
prior to any dimensions, high or low, subtle or gross, implicate or explicate."
To "worship" nature or mistake the immanence of wholeness in matter as
the Ultimate Reality does not account for transcendent realities--it mistakes
the creation for the creator. This is pantheism, reification of matter,
animism. Arguably, pantheism is a confusion of two radically different
domains--matter and spirit, according to Wilber's vision of the "perennial
We could compare four aspects of the nonrepresentational voids as
1). "Dead" Void: physical void (implicate order, frequency domain;
QM's dynamic void; interstellar space);
2). the Emotional Void of the derepressing unconscious, with its
empty trances and transitive moments between explicate states;
3). the mental or Existential Void, the imaginal realm, with its
bliss states, ecstasies, and inspirations; and,
4). the spiritual or Mystic Void of objectless contemplation, transcendental
unified state. In some mystical schools even this state is the not
the Ultimate. They represent embedding, or progressively deeper phases
of implication within a Reality which supercedes explication in any form.
Wilber notes that,
There is a world of difference between the pre-temporal consciousness,
which has no space and no time, and trans-temporal consciousness, which
moves beyond space and time while still embracing it...This in no way proves
that the holographic blur is not a transcendent state; it demonstrates
that one cannot judge so on the basis of language correlations.
What physics has found is actually a unified interaction of material shadows;
it discovered that various physical particulars are interrelated processes--but
interrelated shadows aren't the Light. As for the implicate order,
we saw it was actually a huge energy dimension; it wasn't radically dimensionless
or metaphysically infinite.
Consciousness is information -- consciousness-in-forming -- the process
of unfolding. The intensity of consciousness at any level is a function
of the amount of information at that level (Battista, 1978). All
of the potential information about the universe is holographically encoded
in the spectrum of frequency patterns that constantly bombard us.
Through destructuring in meditation or process therapy, one quiets the
brain becoming sympathetically in tune with (entrained to) this universal
frequency pattern. When this occurs, the encoded information about
the universe becomes holographically decoded, and the individual experiences
a state of unitive consciousness with the entire universe.
Bohm suggests that we transform as eternity unfolds in us, but that eternity
may also transform, as it returns to itself enriched by our participation.
Bohm contends that the nonmanifest frequency realm is n-dimensional and
atemporal, inconceivable to 3-dimensional thought. Bohm likens n-dimensional
space to phase space, (ref. polyphasic consciousness). He asserts
that only when the individual has dissolved the 3-dimensional self consisting
of gross matter, can the ground of our being flow through us unobstructedly.
He extends this notion to psychology, urging us to dissolve the "thinker"
as the highest priority the seeker for truth can undertake. He advocates
a kind of "psychological atom-smashing," in which countless illusory egoic
clusters (analogous to spasms that reduce the flow within the whole) are
Knowledge consists in this theory of the process of tuning in on the manifestation
(phenomenon) of the nonmanifest in order to make it accessible, through
a state of consciousness which lies outside the barriers of the finite
senses. Bohm maintains that this capacity exists in the universe,
not in us strictly speaking.
However, "the challenge for the individual locus of consciousness is
to provide the condition that allows the universal force to flow through
it without hindrance. The result is not knowledge, in the Kantian
sense, but direct nondualistic awareness..."
Its precondition is emptiness, as Bohm repeatedly insists, which entails
a suspension of the Kantian categories and of 3-dimensional space-time.
Such emptiness brings about the cessation of consciousness as the knower
and transforms us into an instrument receptively allowing the noumenal
intelligence to operate through us, irradiating our daily lives and those
Consciousness & the Biohologram
Consciousness may be seen as a frame of electrical charges in motion such
as electrons bombarding a television screen; personality is a time series
of these scintillating frames of consciousness. Personality becomes
a reverberating input-output pattern of self creation seeking information
or patterns of energy from the environment as well as from its own memories.
The personality never recreates itself but creates only a close approximation
which is accepted due to the principle of constancy as being the same (Miller
& Webb, 1973).
The phenomena of unique individuality and personal continuity depend on
memory. Consciousness involves the most recent memory and thereby
the most subject to erasure and loosening. Personality transformation
becomes energy pattern modification of not only scintillating consciousness
but also of recent circulating memories and older stored memories.
Thus consciousness can be conceptualized as an electronic phenomena occurring
in the brain that involves both dynamic charges in motion and also stored
structure (Tien, 1969). Referring to the mechanisms mentioned earlier,
a very close connection between electronic activity and structure can be
seen. A good deal of work on human psychological processes indicate
that human beings are extremely sensitive to the various electromagnetic
events in their environment.
It has been shown that stress can uncouple synchronized and harmonious
biological rhythms resulting in pathological conditions for the organisms
(Burr and Northrop, 1935). We are proposing that these biological
systems can be resynchronized and recalibrated through conscious effort.
The proposed mechanism for this influence has to do with the indicated
coupling of these various external events to biological processes.
The amplifying effect of consciousness has also been seen to be relatable
to the various electromagnetic occurrences in the brain. At a deeper
level of analysis, it can be suggested that the field phenomena which we
have been studying and working with are in fact more real, if that term
can be used, than the particulate matter and various objects of which we
have been speaking (Wheeler, 1959).
Briefly stated, the fields and particles may be themselves composed of
empty curved space, trapping lines of electromagnetic force. This
is the holographic concept of reality. The structural configurations
themselves or the geometry of the fields and the particles are more fundamental
than either the fields or the particles themselves.
The personality never recreates itself, but creates only a close approximation
which is accepted due to the principle of constancy as being the same.
The phenomena of unique individuality and personal continuity depend on
memory, of which consciousness is the most recent and, thereby, the most
subject to erasure and loosening. Personality transformation becomes
energy pattern modification of not only scintillating consciousness but
also of recent circulating memories and older stored memories of childhood.
According to the holographic model of reality, all the objects we can observe
are three-dimensional images formed of standing and moving waves by electromagnetic
and nuclear processes. All the objects of our world are three-dimensional
images formed electro-magnetically, i.e., holograms.
This concept and the models of human information processing based on the
hologram, throw interesting light on the philosophical tradition which
holds that the world of objects is an illusion. With the triumph
of relativity and quantum physics, the interpenetration of the philosophical
and the scientific is possible.
We propose that the "reality hologram" which appears as a stable world
of material objects is the elementary particle which has a long-term existence
and fairly simple rules of interaction. We also propose the existence
of a "biohologram" which appears as mobile and evolving, through the DNA
molecule. This "biohologram" projects a dynamic three-dimensional
image that serves as a guiding matrix for the manipulation and organization
of the "reality hologram."
Thus we have mobile self-organizing holograms moving through a relatively
static simpler hologram. The possibility exists that such "bioholograms"
could achieve sufficient coherence to continue existence as a pattern of
radiant energy apart from a material substrate. We feel that such
an occurrence could form the scientific basis of such psychoenergetic phenomena
as psycho-kinesis, clairvoyance, telepathy, and precognition. (Miller,
Webb & Dickson, 1973).
Researchers have found that at the moment of ovulation there is a definite
shift in the electrical fields of the body of the woman. The membrane
in the follicle bursts and the egg passes down the fallopian tubes.
As a sidenote, we feel that the phases of the moon quite probably influence
the permeability of the membrane in the follicle, making it more likely
that the egg will pass down the fallopian tubes at certain periods of time.
The sperm is negative with respect to the egg. When the sperm and
the egg unite, the membrane around the egg becomes hyper-polarized.
It is at this moment that the electromagnetic entity is formed.
The fertilized egg cell contains all information necessary to create a
complete operational human being. And furthermore, the biohologram
begins to function at conception, and only ceases to function at death.
So, perhaps conception is the proper place to mark the beginning of the
The zygote begins to divide as it travels down the fallopian tube.
It is quite possible that it navigates its passage partially by sensing
the biohologram of the mother. And this may actually assist in approaching
and attaching to the wall of the uterus.
As soon as attachment to the wall of the uterus is complete, the zygote
begins the process of establishing the linkage with the mother's circulatory
system that will permit the passage of blood carrying important nutrients
into the zygote. The womb is a special electronic environment in
which an electrolytic solution provides an excellent framework for electromagnetic
effects which are necessary in the development of the egg.
With the formation of the neural tube, one end (the end that is in the
center of the embryonic disk) begins to expand and enfold, twist, and develop
itself into a system of complex tissues in complicated geometrical structures,
which will become the structure of the brain of the creature. It
is our contention that the brain is necessary and the nervous system is
necessary for the development of the creature. It is one of the earliest
formations and is prior to the generation of most of the structure of the
Our contention is that the DNA at the center of each cell creates the multi-cellular
creature hologram by influencing the DNA in the center of the cells.
Initially, the problem of development centers around the flow of materials
through space, and the establishment of material structure at discrete
locations in space. (Miller & Webb, 1973).
We believe that the biohologram projected by the embryonic nervous system
forms a three-dimensional pattern of resonant structures; including points,
lines, and planes that electromagnetically behave as the acoustic waves
- the material waves - of the drumhead. In other words, these electromagnetic
points, lines and planes form locations of no movement.
Essentially the matter that is flowing, the electrolytic solutions that
are flowing, that have been drawn from the blood of the mother, are caused
to move rhythmically through the developing embryo. As they reach
certain points, lines and planes their motion stops. This is where
structures are laid down and built up. This process is the key to
The zygote acts like a three-dimensional nozzle. Electrolytes from
the blood stream of the mother flow through this nozzle and into the cymatic
structure of standing wave patterns distributed through space inside the
embryo and becomes fixed, solidified structures. This accounts for
the different zones and the separation of the zones of the different kinds
of tissue groups.
The picture is completed by the effects of the biohologram on the DNA of
the cells that have formed along with the migration of the substances.
You have an actual migration of cells, and a migration of substances throughout
the embryo that take up locations dependent upon resonant structures of
standing wave patterns. The cells, having arrived at their proper
location and beginning to involve themselves with the materials and the
fluids that are flowing in the three-dimensional nozzle are then specified
in their particular tissue nature by the biohologram being projected by
the nervous system.
They are refined and developed as their genome is shut down until only
the DNA that operates in a particular cell is just that DNA which defines
the structure and operation of that particular kind of tissue group.
So, through a complex interaction of three-dimensional electromagnetic
fields rapidly dividing cells and a flow of electrolytes that is directed
by the field but also feeds back on the field and influences it, a multi-cellular
organism achieves the proper structure that will permit it to exist apart
from the specialized environment of the womb.
As long as the biohologram is functioning properly, as long as the nervous
system is continuing to coordinate and project the complex three-dimensional
fields that support the biological processes in the organism, the organism
survives. When the biohologram ceases to function properly, the organism
suffers. And when the principle action of the biohologram stops,
the organism dies.
If there is any scientific correlate to the concept of Soul, it is most
probably this bioholographic pattern system. It is composed of the
ultimate stuff of the universe, electromagnetic field energy. Which
does not die in the sense that creatures die, so it fulfills the attribute
of the Soul of being immortal in that sense. However, the pattern
does change with growth, with learning, with experience, and with age.
So there is a development of the Soul or the electromagnetic field entity.
It is conceivable, although a great deal more research needs to be done,
that the electromagnetic field entity might be capable of an independent
existence which would form the basis for the concept of life after death.
However, a free electromagnetic field entity without a biophysiological
matrix might have a difficult time in interacting with creatures, such
as ourselves, that are still utilizing the biophysiological matrix.
(Miller & Webb, 1973).
Consciousness: A Reciprocal Function of Resilience
Physics is the study of the structure of consciousness.
Zukav, 1979, p.31
It seems that Jung's (1961) Sermons metaphorically implied that all concepts
and their "anti-concepts" such as good and evil eventually evolved of logical
necessity as a self-ordering function of the pleroma's most complex living
(thus most distinctive) mind-body paradoxes.
It is important to emphasize here that even in the human act of discriminating
between a pair of paradoxical ideas, whichever is selected as the focus
of one's energies will assume for him the characteristics he assigns to
it. In science, this is known as experimenter bias. In ethics
it produces the tremendous variations in values and belief systems over
time and space on our planet. It exemplifies the eternal schism between
perceptions of good and evil.
Making the Indistinct Distinct
The basic psychological problem here is metaphorically contained within
what is called Heisenberg's "uncertainty principle." This is the
physicists' way of admitting that, because we are all concurrently moving
around in space, there is no way scientists can know simultaneously, with
certainty, both the position in space and the momentum of a particle.
Thus science can only make predictions about one of these aspects based
on what the other aspect is doing and what similar others have done in
the past. Thus, a researcher must first choose which aspect she wants
to attend to. Then, once that she has attuned her energies to the
aspect of her choice, those focused and thus biased energies in turn appear
to exert a mysterious, influential force upon the particle being observed,
as though altering its character in order to meet her expectations.
Indeed, by shaping the focus of our conscious energy to selectively tune
out some irrelevant stimuli while necessarily holding onto that which is
salient to the moment, it seems as though a perceptually-biased energy
pattern is formed in order to establish a state of resonation with those
energy patterns being attended to.
This is how we make distinct that which is in reality, indistinct.
This is also a long version of why quantum mechanics maintains that there
is such a thing as pure objectivity in this universe. Einstein showed
us that all is relative. Quantum evidence seems to support the notion
that it is from our distinctively-biased energies that our material reality
Plugging this concept back into our pleroma-holograph metaphor of reality,
it can be said that energy wave patterns which intersect via the attentional
energies of the mind-body are holographically altered for what can be seen
simultaneously as "good" (life-energy enhancing) by one person and as "bad"
(life-energy diminishing) by another.
At some level of efficacy, this adaptive process of altering the holographic
projections created within our personal energy fields is occurring continuously
throughout our lifetimes. As both the introjection and the projection
(interpersonal mind-body-receiving and -sending) of innately- valenced
and morally-biased energy states, it is the fundamental "good" versus "evil"
functions of information transduction between humans.
Thus one can imagine those holographic interference patterns that represent
the most stable or resilient qualities: through replication and amplification
they survive most successfully over the longest periods of time. They are
life-enhancing (good) energy patterns, --kind of like a cosmic "bell-curve."
Energy begets energy. When more distinctively life-stabilizing energy
that is made available within the overall global energy pattern, more distinctively
stable energy is available to be used in the creation of subsequent life-enhancing
interactions within the human community and its individual members.
The following section will propose how this process might be able to cycle
"simultaneously" between the individual and the collective.
Earlier in this paper, we touched on the fact that levels of resilience
can be empirically measured by vagal tone, or cardiovascular reactivity.
We have also seen how the highly interactive dynamics of the resilience
process are closely tied to one's ability to learn positive coping skills,
which in turn depend on his ability to learn to develop a sense of self-efficacy
within his environment.
This resilience was shown to be directly correlated with his ability to
regulate his arousal levels via his autonomic nervous system. This
in turn helps expand the range of his attentional abilities, which enables
him to more resiliently adapt to the demands of his environment.
All of these life skills involve this person's ability to focus his energies
intently enough in order to effect desired, positive outcomes in his life.
Positive outcomes, or emergent effects of resiliently adaptive attitudes
and behaviors can be associated with the functions of Jung's Tree of Life,
which were all related to life-enhancing behaviors and thoughts, --or coping
skills. Negative, maladaptive outcomes leading to various pathologies
can be associated with those which are born of egocentric desires for self-validation
at the expense of one's own (or another's) well-being. The point
of this detour into the psychological evolution of moral polarities is
The choice of which of these energy patterns a person is tuned into
is a moment-by-moment, individual one. It is not a fate predetermined
by some either good or evil force exterior to one's own mind-body state,
even though it often seems so. It can be and often is influenced
by other nearby fields of energy patterns, but the ultimate choice of which
patterns of energy that we resonate with, is within the conscious control
of most human beings.
Once this level of moral individuation is consciously achieved, holistic
healing begins within that person's sphere of influence. It begins
within the body as an enhanced state of physical, mental, and emotional
health, then spreads transpersonally outward into other relationships.
We examined some of these life-enhancing, therapeutic phenomena in the
previous sections, and saw that although the manner in which they manifest
in the world takes on many different forms, ultimately all holistic
healing is the result of (a) making some level of conscious choice to positively
alter one's thought patterns (b) which similarly alters one's characteristic
attitudes, (c) which alters arousal levels and neurotransmitter levels
within the body, (d) which accommodates the ultradian-quantum healing responses
that (e) regulate breathing rhythms and brain waves in order to (f) modulate
the mind-body's neural energy frequencies which (g) instruct its hormones
to (h) alert the messenger molecules to (i) tell the genes which proteins
to transcribe in order to (j) restore harmony and balance to the system.
And in some cases, all of this can happen within minutes--virtually instantaneously.
Expressed within a wide range of variance within and between individuals,
these many reciprocally interactive dynamics somehow all connect together
into one seemingly seamless, flowing process which we call life.
For centuries, man has been trying to unravel the mystery of how it all
fits together; how its immensities and minutia are interconnected and inter-communicate
in a way that hold the universe and all of its functions together.
Now, with metaphors such as those provided by holography and quantum mechanics,
we are in the best position ever to more discriminately separate out those
things which we can name from among those which we must simply accept on
theoretical faith. We seem to be moving over closer towards our virtual
The Holographic "Enchanted Loom"
The conscious brain has been described as an "enchanted loom," and as such,
can be metaphorically framed within the four dimensions of its finite universe.
Its attention-shuttle is empowered by various combinations of energy frequencies
as they equilibratively oscillate back and forth across the warp-threads
of its neural net. "Enchanted loom" takes on a whole new meaning
, however, when it is incorporated into the holographic paradigm.
A holographic enchanted loom would simultaneously record each of its state-dependent
memories across the entire warp and woof of its structure and upon each
single thread on the loom.
Thus, each strand of energy patterns from which one's conscious picture
of life is woven would contain, in its entirety, the ever-changing consciousness
of the whole life-tapestry. And indeed, as will soon be made clear,
this does seem to be how our magnificent brain works at its most fundamental
level, --as a holographic frequency analyzer.
The process begins with our five senses, which have all been found to process
information holographically, according to Talbot (1991) who explains that
the transference of new information from one part of the body to another
is accomplished via a mathematical language which physicists call "Fourier
transforms." As Talbot explained it, this universal language is used
at the quantum level of our existence to communicate descriptions of the
dynamically interactive temporo-spatial relationships, or current energy-pattern
states, of our wave forms.
What [experimenters] found was that the brain cells...responded to Fourier
translations of [energy wave] patterns...The brain was using Fourier mathematics,
--the same mathematics holography employed, --to convert visual [and other
sensory] images into the Fourier language of wave forms. (p. 28).
He went on to describe how physicist Carl Pribram had earlier worked through
the problem of how our body communicates with itself by imagining what
would happen if it were to convert all of its memories and learned skills
into a language of interference wave forms. "Such a brain would be
much more flexible and could shift its stored information around with the
same ease that a skilled pianist transposes a song from one musical key
to another" (Talbot, 1991, p. 24). He further theorized that once
something was thus memorized as a particular combination of wave forms,
(as a holographic form) it could be recalled and/or examined from about
any viewing angle or perspective desired. Much subsequent research
has supported his theories.
Talbot goes on to describe the mathematics which were developed in order
to describe the functions of wave forms. He explains that Fourier
transforms are a mathematically symbolic way of converting any pattern,
no matter how complex, into a language of simple wave frequency formulas.
These wave formulas can then be converted back into their original wave
patterns, much like a television camera converts images into electromagnetic
frequencies, and then the television set changes them back into their original
Therefore, as Candace Pert (1997; 1990) and others implied earlier in this
paper, our mind-body seems to be a magnificently complex, holographic frequency
analyzer which has also been observed speaking to itself, by way of its
messenger molecules, in Fourier transform "tongues."
The phenomenon of energy transduction, in terms of Jung's Sermons
via Zukav's quantum mechanics, began way back at the beginning of the universe
when pleromal energy waves begat Abraxas energy waves. These in turn
begat both the energy waves of which all subsequent life has been composed,
and the stressor-- "anti-energies' by which one's life forces are consumed.
The key to both the long-term and the short-term survival of this whole
energy-transducing process seems to be found in the concept of regeneration,
wherein new life energy resources are appropriated for oneself through
adaptive mind-body commerce with the Tree of Life. As Rossi's (1993)
theories implied earlier, when one's relaxed energies become focused and
centered within this regenerative process, creation of new energy is facilitated
in the form of something-for-nothing virtual energy exchanges between one's
infinite and infinite states.
In addition to what we learned earlier from Rossi about the mind-body's
ultradian healing-response, he also explained that when life stress is
psychically perceived as the challenge to be met rather than as distress
to be escaped from, the body alters its biochemistry in order to meet the
challenge presented to it by releasing only the needed catecholamine neurotransmitters.
This is turn creates an optimal state within the body for creative problem-solving.
When stimuli are perceived as distressing, however, the body also produces
cortisol. It immediately increases arousal within the body-mind to levels
which reduce--or completely block--one's attentional focusing abilities,
and thus limit problem-solving capacities, ability to disciminate, emotional
intelligence, his health, --all levels of resilience. "Cortisol is
probably one of the most violent immunodepressants there is" (Sapse, 1977,
quoted in Fackelman, 1977, p. 350).
The point here is that when we believe that we are equal to the challenges
life presents us (where no cortisol is causing hyperarousal states), we
seem to enter into a creative "zone" where the mind-body actually generates
more energy reserves for itself. It is as though, at this apex of
our human-beingness, or enery-wave frequency distinctiveness, -- the state
where mind energy has to creatively stretch itself in order to meet the
demands of its body, or body-energy must stretch in order to meet its mind's
demands, or where mind-body energy is just generally being stretched by
its mind-body challenges, --that we actually seem to become more alive.
It is as though accepting the challenge to stretch and grow alters the
state of our mind-body in a way that focuses all of our energies on solving
the problems at hand, with faith that the energy will be available to meet
the challenge. Somehow, this act of staying faithfully focused on
our goal communicates that need for energy restoration in a way that actually
facilitates its regeneration as needed (Sears, 1995).
It makes sense that increased levels of highly focused energy--or increased
energy-wave frequency distinctiveness -- leads to increased levels of quantum
energy exchanges, which lead to increased levels of residual virtual energy
from which new actual energies can be made.
This, in its most fundamental essence is what the ultradian healing response
(formerly biorhythms) is all about. It is the regular, daily rebalancing
of our mind-body state so that it can holographically regenerate itself.
It does this through the creative production --and transduction --of virtual-to-actual
energy wave frequencies and interference patterns into better coping skills,
or emotionally intelligent, resiliently equilibrative neural structures.
These enhanced neural pathways in turn facilitate the efficacious transduction
of information and energy patterns through all the levels of one's being.
Looking from another angle, it could be assumed that every time one accepts
a life stressor as a challenge and thus in effect lowers his stimulus threshold
in order to allow more creative information (energy wave patterns) into
his mind-body, he increases his problem-solving, adaptive capacities and
along with them his sense of self-efficacy.
Thus, the next time an even bigger stressor confronts him, he will have
been effectively "stretched" enough psychologically to take on this even
bigger challenge and become even more "alive." This is how moral
consciousness grows as one individuates into an increasingly distinct,
whole individual, and how that whole individual, in turn, generates increased
morally-conscious energy back into the body of the collective. And
that, ultimately, is the Tao of resilience.
Resilience as "Tensegrity"
The first two sections of this chapter have dealt with what this paper
titled the "reciprocal Causality Dynamics" from which resilience functions
(seeing distinctions and making adaptive connections among those distinctions)
creatively emerge. It was concluded that the purpose of this whole
immensely complex pattern of energy dynamics seems to be connected with
our need to become more highly conscious; to become more fully aware of
both our distinctiveness and our interconnectedness within the evolving
holomovement of some infinitely higher state of energy resources that we
From Particles and Waves to Strings and Membranes
String Theory has enjoyed a vogue in physics and cosmology as 'superstrings.'
Yet, it is a prime example of how even an elegant scientific theory which
encompasses many 'explanations' may be plausible and yet not necessarily
describe reality. In science, camps are divided whether string- and
now membrane-theory describes Reality. This theory has its critics.
We must always be suspicious when science declares rather than suggests
models, as the history of science is one of theories overturned periodically
by better, more comprehensive theories. The ongoing process of revolutions
in science will probably continue for some time. Generally, these
revolutions come about through improving our ability to observe and test
ever finer levels of the macro- and microcosm. Thus, the history
of science is one of self-correction and refinement over time, through
better insight and modeling.
When a scientific model is used as a theory of the way WE are, we can understand
it best as a metaphor of reality, rather than an objective description
of the true nature of Reality. If we tie our vision of what we are
to any current theory, we are likely to be disabused of that notion at
some point. Truth is generally much more complex, and simple, than
human modeling can encompass. Science is actually the science of
what 'works,' -- the state of the art at any given moment.
One reason for this dissonance in what is now called M-theory is that throughout
its development, string theory has come up with over 14 solutions to its
train of thought, each involving a different number of dimensions for its
solutions. Even though Brian Greene, champion of these hidden dimensions,
has dubbed this the "Elegant Universe," (1999) it fails to be an
elegant theory. In physics an elegant or beautiful theory is sublime
when its equations are simple and clear. Strings, superstring, and
membranes have so far failed to meet this touchstone, much less prove itself
more than a possible or plausible solution to the Theory of Everything.
However, in this work we cannot solve that conundrum. Our touchstone
here is somewhat different, for we are seeking metaphors, "as if"
realities which illuminate our understanding of the human condition, which
shed light on the nature of the universe as we grope toward truth.
We can use string theory, much as the ancients used the discovery of the
nature of harmonies, the so-called Music of the Spheres, to light their
comprehension of self, others and nature. Even an incomplete theory
can function as a useful model and display internal coherence. Whether
it expresses in equations the way things really are remains to be seen.
Therefore, to begin this section, we will take a look at the architectural
energy-pattern structures from which our reality seems to derive its temporo-spatial
form. Among other theorists, Tom Stonier (1990, cited in Rossi, 1995)
has identified information transduction as being the organizational principle
behind the structure of our universe. Stonier, however, claims he
has mathematically established information as the equivalent of matter
and energy, each of which he sees as being ultimately transducable into
the others. He also explains that
organized systems exhibit resonances. Resonances lead to oscillations.
Oscillations represent time cycles during which changes may be introduced.
Such changes may dampen or amplify the existing oscillations. Alternatively,
they may create new resonances and excite new sets of oscillations.
The more complex the system, the greater the likelihood of introducing
change into the system during any given cycle. Hence the exponential
growth of information (p. 41).
More on this later. For now we will make another quantum leap to
a related line of thinking called "string theory," or more accurately "the
M-theory of Everything." "M" is said to stand for either "Magic,
Mystery or Membrane, according to taste (Witten, 1996, cited in Duff, 1998,
p. 64). This theory gives us a useful new metaphor as Duff goes on to describe
some of its terms.
A particle, which has zero dimensions, sweeps out a one-dimensional
trace, or 'worldline,' as it evolves in space-time. Similarly a string--having
one dimension, length--sweeps out a two-dimensional 'worldsheet.' and a
membrane--having two dimensions, length and breadth--sweeps out a three-dimensional
'world volume.' (p. 65)
'Spin,' or inherent angular momentum, which we briefly touched on earlier,
is the way physicists describe the way particles appear to be rotating
even thought they really are not. It is actually more like the idea
of spin which is inferred from the trajectory of particles through space
(Zukav, 1979). According to Duff (1998), laws of "supersymmetry"
require that each particle of a particular spin must have "a particle with
the same mass but half-integer spin" (p.64) which is a technical way of
saying that particles must have anti-particles in order for our universe
to make logical sense, which it as yet does not.
Since researchers have never found such a symmetrical particle-partner,
they assume that is merely because it cannot be seen. Since the state
of supersymmetry implies a balance of gravitational forces, this new paradigm
also further validates many of the ontological views expressed earlier
in this work, since it proposes that all four of the elemental forces (gravity,
the electromagnetic force, the nuclear force, and the weak force) are ultimately
just different phenomenal aspects of their mutual, virtual energy-exchange
M-theory proposes a number of possible scientific explanations for the
origins of everything, but the one most useful for our purposes here is
called the "T-duality" theory. This growing paradigm, in a very concise
nutshell, sees the universe as existing simultaneously at both microcosmic
and macrocosmic reality levels as parallel universes, one the reciprocal,
or inverse function, of the other. Harking back to the past, the
ancients also thought so and expressed this truism in the alchemical maxim,
"As Above; So Below."
In other words, it portrays the energy of both these realities as existing
in two simultaneous states which Duff called the "Duality of Dualities"
(p. 67). One of these energy states is called its "vibrating" state
and the other is called its "winding" state. Loosely translated,
this points back to oscillation frequencies (waves) and their related states
of energic tension, called particles, -- or in this case, the energy-pattern
traces called strings, which are made by particles vibrating across space
Significantly, Duff reports that the physicists are hoping to use "known"
characteristics about our observable universe in order to infer the unknown
reciprocal characteristics of their proposed alternate reality. Put
in terms even more useful for purposes here, they believe that the energy
information which exists in one of these dual reality dimensions is humanly
transducable into its paradoxically mirrored, reciprocal state. And
that is pretty much what this whole work has been trying to say.
As living beings, we exist paradoxically within a dual state of dual states
as both the finite, living products of interactions between particle and
wave/matter and energy/body and mind, and the infinitely interactive process
from which all of those dual-state living products arose.
In other words, the proposed invisible 'reciprocal dimension' has already
made itself knowable within our reality as the virtual/actual informational
energy-exchange by means of which we communicate as both messenger and
receiver in order to become more harmoniously and resiliently evolved.
So, in effect, physicists are "reinventing the wheel" here,--but that is
okay; they too need to intuit truth via those metaphors within which they
are best prepared to see it. The creative interactions of our many
paradigms, philosophies, and religions are vital to the evolution of collective
For example, physicists'' "matrix theory" also provides further validation
of our holographic theories of everything. According to Duff (1998),
they evidently imagine the phenomena of quantum energy dynamics as an infinite
number of criss-crossings of energy-wave strings forming an immense, hypothetical
matrix upon which numerical coordinates are meaningless, and where "points"
on this matrix are themselves matrices which "do not commute,--that is,
xy does not equal yx" (p. 69).
Not only is Cartesian logic being replaced here by something very similar
to the holographic, Fourier-transformational reality metaphors discussed
earlier, but cutting-edge physics is again supporting a key point of this
Our four-dimensional reality state seems to be simultaneously gazing into
and reciprocally interacting with a quantum mirror-image of itself where
sequentially-ordered informational states do not commute. That is
to say, because of the temporo-spatial limitations of finite reality, the
energy sequences through which we communicate our information/energy states
must oscillate up and down as well as from left to right, at varying frequencies.
These sequential properties of matter do not perfectly commute into their
energy equivalents within our reality, but rather, they create the reversed,
paradoxical mirror image which, in effect, stabilizes life energies in
their finite evolutionary state. This is probably why infinite virtual
energy exchanges (of which we, as evolving by-products of their electromagnetic
interactions are fundamentally composed), when they are not able to be
perfectly completed within their finite, "actual"--mirrored states, return
so infinitely quickly to this "actual" state -- for further self-correction.
From these quantum energy-metaphors we have now also found a more efficient
way of imagining how energy takes on its 3-dimensional shape as it moves
through the temporal dimension of our reality: Dimenionless virtual/actual
particles vibrate across time, forming two-dimensional waves, which oscillate
across time in various geometric shapes, which in turn move about in all
four dimensions like invisible duct-work energy tunnels.
As energy becomes increasingly ordered into evolving patterns of evolving
patterns, it begin to electromagnetically manifest as matter. This
concept of shaped energy will "shape" the conceptual contents of the next
section of this paper.
From Strings and Membranes to Struts and Cables
It has been established that a particle has no measurable dimensions in
our reality, but is merely a hypothetical entity with the potential to
have mass (energy) as one of its characteristics. So, it is really
just a symbol that we use to describe the movement, or interactive relationships
of energy within our four-dimensional reality. One of the ways
we are here describing life in our reality zone is as an elaborate energy/information-transducing
process whose purpose it is to enable us as its chief frequency-modulators,
to become more highly conscious of, and thus individuated within, that
It seems fitting to conclude this theory by also metaphorming a mechanically
stable energy-reinforcing structure upon which this process can take shape.
And, since energy particles can now be imagined to exist as potential shapes
in space, it follows that there must be some rules and regulations that
its virtual energy shapes must follow in order to become actuated.
According to the fundamental laws of physics as described by Ian Stewart
(1998), nature likes to conserve, or minimize, the energy it has to expend
in order to do its work. The original proponent of this view was
Buckminster Fuller, who expressed it mathematically and philosophically
in his tour de force, Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry
of Thinking (1975) and Synergetics II (1979).
Fuller discovered Nature's own rules of assembly. His vision was
founded on the geometry of close-packed spheres, which can be found in
the nuclei of all atoms. In fact, there is much to link the nature
of Fuller's primary modules, the self-assembling tetrahedron and the Vector
Equilibrium Matrix to the virtual vacuum or quantum foam, Jung's pleroma.
Nature's own economy and minimalism is the reason why: (a) "the surface
of smallest area that encloses a given volume is a sphere"; (b) "Without
some constraint, the area of minimal surface would be zero"; and, (c) "Minimal
surface" is a surface whose area is the smallest possible, subject to the
following constraints: the shape's surface must contain some given volume,
and its boundary should lie on some given surface or curve, or both (p.
Thus it can be said that in its material form, energy seeks to equilibrate
itself into a perfectly energy-efficient, completely energy-balanced shape
of a sphere. Its underlying "assimilation and accommodation" dynamics
therefore all seem subsequent to this basic geometrically equilibrative
law of energy conservation. Therefore, the distinctive shapes which
virtual/actual particle/energy wave patterns reciprocally evoke depends
upon their underlying energy-redistribution dynamics.
In his very notable Scientific American article (1/1998), Donald
E. Ingber revitalizes the current of Synergetics by identifying the prominence
of tensegrity in geometric shapes in "The Architecture of Life," and its
relationship to Complexity. He states the following as his introduction:
Life is the ultimate example of complexity at work. An oganism...develops
through an incredibly complex series of interactions involving a vast number
of different components...[which] are themselves made up of smaller molecular
components, which independently exhibit their own dynamic behavior...Yet,
when they are combined into some larger functioning unit--such as a cell
or tissue-- utterly new and unpredictable properties emerge, including
the ability to move, to change shape and to grow....That nature applies
common assembly rules is implied by the recurrence--at scales from the
molecular to the macroscopic--of certain patterns, such as spirals, pentagons
and triangulated forms...After all, [everything is] made of the same building
blocks: atoms of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorus.
The only difference is how the atoms are arranged in three-dimensional
space (p. 48).
Ingber goes on from there to describe this emergent phenomenon as a process
of "self-assembly" (p. 48) into increasingly complex hierarchies of life
forms. He stated his observation that nearly everything in our world,
including the human body, is constructed using a form of architecture known
as tensegrity (p. 48). He explains, "The term refers to a system
that stabilizes itself mechanically because of the way in which tensional
and compressive forces are distributed and balanced within the structure"
The key point here seems to be that the stability (or resilience) of a
tensegrity structure comes not from the strength of its individual member-parts,
but from the way that its mechanical stresses are balanced and distributed
across all of the parts of the whole.
Ingber describes two categories of tensegrity structures, the first of
which is made up entirely of "rigid struts," each of which is able to bear
either tension or compression, and the second of which is composed of "prestressed"
structures which bear either tension or compression even before being subjected
to external forces. The compression-bearing rigid struts function
to stretch, or tense, the flexible tension-bearing members, or "cables,"
while the tension-bearing cables, in turn, compress the struts. Thus,
these "counteracting forces, which equilibrate throughout the structure,
are what enable it to stabilize itself" (p. 49).
[insert figures from appendix here]
A closer look at some of the other interesting and relevant features of
tensegrity shows that: (a) It is the constructive, architecturally equilibrative
use of gravity which gives most buildings their stability by taking advantage
of its continuous compression forces; (b) Tension-bearers "map-out" the
shortest path between adjacent members, resulting ideally in highly resilient
geodesic-like shapes; (c) Tensional forces, in turn, follow these accommodative
shortest routes between points so that their tensional stresses become
adaptively assimilated as new functions of the structure's resilient, ever
equilibrating form (Ingber, p. 49-50).
When studying the functions of tensegrity structures involved in the make-up
of cells, Ingber found that when attached to a flexible substrate material,
cells contract and become more spherical, thereby "puckering" the material
beneath them. So it seems that the tensegrity dynamics of any given
structure, even a living one, can have a significant rippling effect on
the dynamics of its surrounding neighbors.
More significantly, it was seen that pushing down on a tensegrity structure
forces it into what appears to be a flattened, disordered state, but as
soon as the pressure is removed from it, "the energy stored in its tensed
filaments causes the [structure] to spring back to its original, roughly
spherical shape" (p. 50). This demonstrates that when tension and
compression ratios are evenly distributed across a structure's member-parts,
the structure will resiliently rebound from traumatic stressors.
As shown above, in cellular tensegrity structures all the way up to and
including the human body, all interconnected structural elements rearrange
themselves as needed in response to local stressors. So, in effect,
just as the body varies the stiffness or flexibility of its bones, joints,
tendons, and muscles in response to demands made upon it, cellular structures
also stiffen or relax their various cytoskeletal parts through contraction
and extension of their minute microfilaments, microtubules, and intermediate
filaments in response to its structural integrity needs. This is
important because some research shows this bears directly on our own
consciousness, as we shall see in the next section.
Furthermore, molecules too rearrange their shapes in order to communicate
their reactions to the electro-chemical dynamics which influence their
structural integrity. Thus, all levels of the human body's structure
are simultaneously and continuously increasing their tensegrity states
as much as possible, within the reciprocal limitations set forth by the
corresponding state of the "structural matrix" to which and within which
they are attached. Elsewhere in science, the notion of reciprocal
limitations is referred to as "rein theory."
Ingber and his associates actually observed how it is that these kinds
of structural alterations communicate information in order to bring about
changes in the biochemistry and genetic activities of the cell and its
surroundings. For example, they found that
[b]y simply modifying the shape of the cell, they could switch
cells between different genetic programs....Thus, mechanical restructuring
of the cell and cytoskeleton apparently tells the cell what to do.
Very flat cells, with their cytoskeletons stretched, sense that more cells
are needed to cover the surrounding substrate--as in wound repair--and
that cell division is needed. Rounding indicates that too many cells
are competing for space on the matrix and that the cells are proliferating
too much; some must die to prevent tumor formation (pp. 52-53).
It is important to emphasize that it is at some point in between these
extremes of shape variation that the living cell functions most resiliently.
And thus we return to the topic of our work here. However, we can
go into a little more detail on just how this tensegrity not only affects
our structural robustness, but also our consciousness.
Microtubules: Where Consciousness and Tensegrity Meet
Quantum theory describes extraordinary behavior of matter and energy which
comprise our universe at a fundamental level. At the root of QM is
the wave/particle duality of atoms, molecules and their constituent particles.
When a quantum system remains isolated from its environment, it behaves
as a "wave of possibilities" and exists in a coherent complex-number valued
"superposition" of many possible states. Superposed quantum states
for which the respective mass distributions differ significantly from one
another will have space-time geometries which correspondingly differ.
Microtubules are hollow, cylindrical, tiny subcomponents of the cytoskeleton
and transport system of our cells. They are the structural and dynamical
basis of the cells, organizing functional activities, including synaptic
regulation in the brain's neurons. They are self-assembling and mediate
cell division and DNA splitting. Their conformation allows them to
make computations--they function as onboard quantum computers.
Within MTs are arranged in a hexagonal lattice which is slightly twisted,
resulting in a helical pathway. The cell's bone-like scaffolding
appears to fill communicative and information processing roles.
They regulate the strength of neuronal synapses. Microtubules can
convert incoherent energy (thermal, chemical, or electromagnetic) into
coherent photons, in a process known as "superradiance."
Cells get their shape from tensegrity, the architecture of life.
Systems stabilize themselves mechanically because of the way in which tensional
and compressive forces are distributed and balanced in their structure.
Tensegrity structures are stable because they are "prestressed."
The cytoskeleton is composed of microfilaments, microtubules, and intermediate
filaments. They compose a lattice, which stretches from the cell
surface to the nucleus. It pulls the cell's membrane and internal
constituents toward the core. In opposition, the two compressive
elements are the microtubules (or compressive "girders") and the extracellular
matrix. Intermediate filaments connect microtubules and contractile
microfilaments to the surface membrane and cell's nucleus. (Ingber).
Synergetics stabilizes the cell through continuous tension and local compression.
Microtubules, as tension-bearing parts of the structure, connect along
the shortest, most economical paths. Because of this synergetic geometry,
tensegrity structures offer a maximum amount of strength for a given amount
Changing the shape of cells can switch them between different genetic
programs. Mechanical restructuring of the cell and cytoskeleton tells
the cell what to do. Changing cytoskeletal geometry and mechanics
affects biochemical reactions, protein production and gene expression.
Changing cell shape can make them differentiate, (flat) can make them divide,
or (round) activate a death program called apoptosis.
According to Hameroff (1995), if quantum theory IS relevant to consciousness,
it is at a level of embedding deeper than neurons, and possibly deals with
conformational shapes. Proteins configured in a lattice so that coherence
occurs among the superposed quantum states may result in "quantum computing,"
where outputs regulate neural firing. The role of neurons is more
like a magnifying device in which the smaller-scale cytoskeletal action
is pumped up or transduced into something which can influence other organs
of the body (Penrose, Shadows of the Mind, p. 376).
Microtubules are such geometric lattices of proteins. Its paracrystalline
lattice structure promotes long-range cooperativity and order. This
crystal-like lattice can function as a quantum wave-guide, which may be
one possible biomolecular quantum device in neurons. The most basic
cognitive unit is not the nerve cell synapse, but the microtubular structure
Tube-shaped microtubules and tubulins are ideal quantum mechanical resonators.
Resonance might support the existence of sub-quantum coherence in the brain.
This conformational state occurring throughout significant brain volumes
may produce Bose-Einstein condensate (shared quantum state), and/or quantum
Coherent, nonlocal order emerges. The many parts that make up an
ordered system not only behave as a whole, they become whole; their identities
merge or overlap so they lose their individuality entirely. Thus,
they are capable of forming ephemeral but extended structures in the brain.
Structures formed by Bose-Einstein condensates are the building blocks
of mental life; in relation to perception they are models of the world,
transforming a nice view, say, into a mental structure which represents
some of the inherent qualities of that view.
Coherence is a matter of phase relationships, which are readily destroyed
by almost any perturbation. On the other hand, complex dynamical
systems have subtle internal phase relationships, and in some cases the
nature of the dynamics protects these relationships through feedback, amplification,
etc., especially in the presence of a supply of energy (Hameroff).
So the physical dynamics which follow from quantum coherence can assume
a significant role.
"Superradiance" is an effect which can convert disordered energy of various
kinds into coherent electromagnetic energy. Spontaneous emission
of radiation in a transition between levels leads to the emission of a
coherent radiation pulse which excites "super-radiant" states.
Ordering of water molecules in each microtubule can transform incoherent
disordered energy into coherent photons within its hollow tubular core.
Through pumping and a further effect called self-induced transparency,
coherent photons are allowed to propagate. (Hameroff).
Objective reduction means cascades of self-collapse give rise to the "stream"
of consciousness, and provide a "flow" of time. ("OR", Penrose, 1994).
An intrinsic feature of space-time itself, quantum gravity may be the agent
of such collapse. Self-collapse creates an instantaneous "now" event;
sequences of such events create the flow of time and consciousness.
Self-selections in fundamental space-time geometry may result in the factor
we call subjectivity or subjective experience.
OR in brain microtubules is the most specific and plausible model for consciousness
yet proposed, according to its authors Penrose and Hameroff. OR is
an instantaneous event--the climax of a self-organizing process
in fundamental space-time. Sequences of OR events give rise to our
"stream" of consciousness and orchestrate our perceptual experience.
The actual choice of state made by Nature is non-computable, a self-selection
of space-time geometry, coupled to the brain through microtubules and other
biomolecules, (Hameroff & Penrose).
Consciousness may involve a form of quantum computation that occurs in
fundamental space-time geometry. At extremely small scales, space-time
is not smooth, but quantized. Quantum electrodynamics and quantum
field theory predict virtual particle/waves (or photons) that pop into
and out of existence, creating quantum "foam" in their wake.
This granularity has been modeled by Penrose as a dynamic web of quantum
spins. If spin-networks are fundamental units of space-time geometry,
they may provide the basis of proto-conscious experience. In other
words, particular configurations of quantum spin geometry would convey
particular types of qualia, meaning and aesthetics.
Specific arrangements of space-time geometry constitute all brain activity.
Quantum computation involves the processing of "qubits" as 1 and 0 (and
other states) simultaneously. Subunit tubulins act as qubits, switching
between states on a nanosecond timescale. Information is superposed
and computes in the form of "qubits" in a quantum state which then collapse
to definite "bits," or particular results.
Pre-conscious processing of information occurs in the form of qubits, or
superposed states of microtubule automata. As the threshold for objective
reduction is reached, these qubits collapse to definite states and become
bits, resulting in a conscious experience of recognition or choice.
While the microtubule quantum superposition evolves linearly, it is influenced
at the instant of collapse by hidden non-local variables. The final
response or action (or resilience) is determined by the effects of the
hidden logic inherent in the space-time geometry of the quantum system
Holism and non-locality are features of the quantum world reflected in
the quantum nature of awareness. This implies interacting systems
have to be considered as wholes; non-locality means spatial separation
between parts does not alter the fact we must deal with an interacting
The sense of self is attributed to temporal correlation (e.g. coherent
40 Hz). Jibu (1990) proposed that gap junction synapses account for synchronized
40 Hz neural activity. Quantum states and self-collapse in neuronal
MT could link brain activities such as thalamo-cortical 40 Hz to experience
embedded in "funda-mental" spacetime geometry.
Buddhists describe distinct "flickering" in their experience of reality
(Tart, 1995). 25 second intervals between 40 Hz depolarizations suggest
such "cognitive quanta" as functional entities. When these move from
pre-conscious to conscious they orchestrate our moments of experience.
Time doesn't really flow, but appears to flow, because OR events are irreversible
and have a direction in time. Thus instantaneous events give rise
to the subjective flow of time, our stream of consciousness. Self-organizing
quantum activities in cytoplasm may be the missing ingredients in neural-level
correlates of consciousness.
The instantaneous conscious "now" creates new experience from rearrangements
in the fundamental spacetime geometry in which raw qualia, or proto-conscious
experience resides. In a volitional act possible choices may be superposed.
As the OR threshold is reached, the quantum state reduces to a single classical
state -- a choice is made.
Summary: Energy Transducing Tensegrity Structures
Wheeler described a "pre-geometry" of fundamental reality comprised of
information. Chalmers contends it includes "experiential aspects"
leading to consciousness. Consciousness emerges from a critical level
Microtubules transduce the experiential aspect of fundamental information.
MTs are "electrets" with piezoelectric and ferroelectric properties.
MTs assemble and disassemble dynamically, and reassemble. They convey
signals and process information. Thus, MTs are linked to learning,
memory, and synaptic plasticity. Information is fundamental to the
physics of the universe. Matter and mind may arise from consciousness
-- the fundamental constituent of reality according to some (Goswami, 1993).
Information has both physical and experiential aspects. The climax
of a self-organizing process is fundamental to the structure of space-time.
Yes, consciousness has neural correlates. However, brain processes
relevant to consciousness extend downward within neurons to the level of
the cytoskeleton, in which proto-conscious qualia (subjective experience
or inner life) are embedded in the basic level of reality. Consciousness
runs deeper than membrane-level functions. "Qualia" (raw feelings
or experience) or an experiential medium from which consciousness is derived,
may exist as a fundamental component of reality. For science to demonstrate
this empirically, the very nature of physical reality must be re-examined.
Only large collections of particles acting coherently in a single macroscopic
quantum state could possibly sustain isolation and support coherent superposition
in a time frame brief enough to be relevant to our consciousness.
Only very special circumstances can support consciousness. In this
model, microtubule-associated proteins "tune" the quantum oscillations
leading to OR.
Ingber has demonstrated mechanical signaling through cytoskeletal tensegrity
networks in which MTs are compressed by contractile action and other filamentous
structures. Associative learning, memory, and phase transitions occur
in simulated MT experiments. Collective quantum dynamics called super-radiance
allows MTs to transform incoherent, disordered energy into quantum coherent
photons within its hollow core.
Now we can see how all these concepts and terms fit together in the "synergetics
of resilience," to produce emergent effects which are greater than the
sum of their parts.
Resilience, as seen through the lens of the tensegrity paradigm, appears
to have the flexible yet stable shape of an elaborately constructed network
of on-going energy-distribution information feedback loops. Yet it
is also simultaneously the reciprocally interactive process underlying
the dynamics of its own self-assembly. This resilience is achieved
in humans through a combined process of creative self-reflection and intelligent
When the concepts of tensegrity are viewed from the perspective of quantum
mechanics, the shape which energy (as a potential particle-function) take
sin three-dimensional space evolves relative to the tension and compression
dynamics recorded within the interference wave interactions from which
it has emerged over time. In other words, the architectural design
of a material form emerges as the holographic by-product of its continuously
shape-shifting, -- and thus information-transducing function.
This is ultimately how all life forms transduce information about themselves
to other life forms. By utilizing an interactive, holographic kind
of particle-wave "Morse Code" about their current temporo-spatial state
just as Candace Pert (1990) predicted earlier, the human body-mind communicates
within its inner environment (it "self-reflects") in order to increase
the over-all tensegrity of its immense number of "parts" so that it can
adapt ("self-correct") more resiliently to all of its life stressors.
Each form of feedback loop can be seen as a separate continuum which is
reciprocally interactive with all other feedback-loop continua supporting
its life form structure -- which, ultimately is all of them. Every
living-energy-information feedback loop is holographically interconnected
with all other living energy-information feedback loops.
Resilience, as a tensegrity process, therefore, is the organism's ability
to (a) respond appropriately to stressors from within and without its biological
structures in a way that allows it to (b) redistribute those stressors
equitably across its member-parts in a way that (c) establishes and maintains
its many tension-compression ratios within their respective homeostatic
Those feedback-loop continua whose ideal "set-points" have been stretched
and tempered, or "prestressed" have the ability to creatively adapt to
more stressful energy than those whose "zones" remain very limited.
Also, some "strut-like" feedback loops allow more for the compressive receiving
and holding of stressor energy, while others, -- more "cable-like," allow
more for the flexible holding and sending of energy tensions.
On the human level, the former, compressive feedback loops might be compared
to one's innate craving for novel stimuli, an intellectual, strut-like
strength, and the latter cold be seen as one's ability to evaluate stressors
as challenges, rather than as oppressors, an emotional, cable-like strength.
[insert Appendix C, fig. 12]
When these continua of energy patterns are all interconnected into even
one "simple" organ of the body, and complexity of the structure is immense
and mind-boggling. The next higher level of complexity after the
human body's physical structures upon which the body's mind is shaped.
Our metaphor of how the dynamics of the human mind-body fits together with
the pleroma, holographs, and tensegrity will conclude this section.
Conclusions to Part IV: Emergence or Emergency?
The basic message from all of this science for us as humans is that when
it comes to adapting to our environment, our response can either be based
in self-organizing emergence in the face of chaos, or non-adaptive breakdown
which creates emergency. Adaptive challenge is what leads to critical
states to which we either succumb, or rally with a new sense of self-image,
a new higher level of self-organization. This holds true whether
the challenge comes at the physical, emotional, intellectual/moral, or
We opened many pages ago with a question as to whether or ot we humans
are actually separate, distinct life-forms "ruling" this planet, or whether
it might be true, as many have suggested over millennia, that we are all
fundamentally inextricably embedded "parts" of one huge, organismic whole
life form. The answer to both questions, not surprisingly, is "Yes."
The point is how do we respond attitudinally and in real-time to those
challenges, in a holistic, synergetic or dissociative manner?
Like "the sound of one hand clapping," mankind often seems to have congratulated
itself on its achievements far more than observable history has justified.
On the other hand, when viewed ontologically as well as epistemologically,
-- perhaps there is room in the bigger scheme of things for the many blunders
Perhaps, if we choose to learn from our mistakes how to make better choices
for ourselves in the future, the "negative" stressors we have brought upon
ourselves down through the ages may have actually been helping both our
mind-bodies -- and our world-body to become stronger and more consciously
resilient with the overall state of our mutual inter-dependence as a whole,
living, holographic "tensegrity" structure.
However, and this is a BIG however, the planet Earth does not have the
luxury of allowing us more time for making further mistakes. Our
impact upon the planet in terms of ecology, resource exploitation, pollution,
population, acid rain, ozone depletion and other irreversible factors is
changing our environment beyond the point of viability for us, certainly
in terms of quality of life as humans have known it since our emergence.
And this does not even address the purely humanistic concerns of fair allocations
of resources and human rights. We cannot afford to dwell in the ivory-tower
of abstract notions about the nature of energy/matter while the planet
as we know it is dying around us. Its resilience bears strongly on
our own. Despite our desires to migrate into space we are tied inexorably
to its fate; Earth's resilience to our resilience.
Even biologically, there is no substitute for good air, good earth, and
good water. These are the resources of our real "wealth," from which
all else, including our phenomenal science and technology depends.
For our planet, "resilience" may mean our extinction. This has happened
to myriad species on earth in deep history, for our galaxy is essentially
hostile to life, even while fostering its development in this oasis Earth.
Not only the depletion of the planet, but other factors impinging from
outside of our solar system challenge our continued existence.
Thus it is that energy, at all levels of manifestation within our time-space
continuum, can ultimately be distinguished as being involved in some phase
of an oscillating process of evolutionary, distinction-making self-reflection
and self-correction. Furthermore, this state is continuously being
communicated among all other states via the resiliently evolving tensegrity-building
The sound of one hand clapping is like a person's eternal mind without
the information-transducing energies of its finite body. Or, -- it
is consciousness without the self-reflecting functions of its life dynamics.
As the Jungian-holographic-tensegrity resilience metaphors have shown us,
life is a koan within a koan, and we, as participants in its energy dynamics,
are the vital, living, energy-shaping metaphors of its ongoing mystery.
Thus, the secret of the universe is -- "Its alive!"
[add something from Gnostic Jung by Hoeller]
Chaosophy 2002 Contents
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