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Those who have explored the ancient philosophy of the East or the modern physics of the West are well aware of the strange concepts and ideas being expressed and will have a head start in recognizing the intuitive beauty of the parallels. Yet the most amazing and important ideas can be grasped by anyone who is interested in exploring the deepest mysteries of the Universe. No doubt, of course, it will require some mental gymnastics.

Our worldview is typically based on logic and objective reason, but it turns out that those deepest mysteries of the Universe challenge the very foundation of that worldview. Today's physics, for example, shows us that to think of the Universe as being composed of separate particles scattered around in space is actually a limited view of a more fundamental, more real, reality. The experience of separateness does indeed seem to be illusory, just as sages and mystics have been telling us since before we can remember. Anyone who has experienced an actual mystical realization of oneness will tell you that if we were not transcendentally unified, we would not even be here, and it seems that today's unified field physics is pointing to that very same realization.

The synthesis of scientific and spiritual thought, which has been happening for a long time but most significantly over the last 150 years, requires the recognition that science has already transcended the physical world, and that spiritual reality be understood at the metaphysical level. At the same time, metaphysics deals with universal principles which naturally transcend religious dogma. Obviously, everyone must follow their own path to spiritual realizations.

 

The central principle of the great wisdom of the East is Nondualistic Mysticism: There is only one True Reality, and That never changes. Everything is That. We are That. There is only That.

transcendental, yet omnipresent
timeless, yet the source of spacetime
formless, yet the creative essence of all form

Although we in the West tend to refer to it as Eastern Philosophy, the mystical foundation is common to all spiritual traditions and has been better referred to as the Ancient Wisdom.

It has long been pointed out that this vision of Oneness from the ancient teachings seems to find a modern parallel in science's vision of a Universal Superforce which creates everything. The most exciting parallels, however, are in the principles of the creation process and the way the two disciplines actually support and clarify each other. For those seekers of spiritual understanding not willing to ignore the scientific perspective, a modern metaphysical system of understanding is invaluable.

Of course, no metaphysical system can represent the transcendental in its true form. By definition, transcendental reality is unknowable, and to attribute any form whatsoever to the One Reality is idolatry. A metaphysical system is merely a tool to help bring forth realizations of higher realities which cannot be fully represented in three-dimensional space, let alone on a two-dimensional page.

 

The reason we can talk about higher-dimensional realities within three-dimensional space is because, in the same way we can understand how a circle drawn on paper can represent a sphere, we can use the conceptual space of our mind to understand how a limited objective model can represent a higher reality. This conceptual mind-space gives us the capacity for abstract and conceptual thought. In metaphysical philosophy, it is called the higher mind and is understood to reside within the higher dimensions of depth-consciousness known as the soul, and those dimensions do indeed go beyond three-dimensional physical space. Multidimensional depth-consciousness is the body-mind-spirit connection. Its source is our force of spirit, our innermost reality, which is always unified with the One Reality. That is the heart of nondualism and the Ancient Wisdom.

Language and Traditions

References to the Sanskrit classics are used because their metaphysical foundation is well-preserved and the terminology is familiar to those who have studied comparative religion and philosophy. Brahman and Atman, for example, refer to the Universal Spirit and the individual spirit. In the pure nondualism of Vedanta, the Atman, our spirit and seed of consciousness, has no reality independent of Brahman, much like how a ring on a sphere has no reality without the sphere. In the Hebrew tradition, the equivalent to Brahman is called Ein-Sof (The Endless One). It should be understood that the underlying principles are universal and are the same for all spiritual traditions. Similarly, all bioforms that happen to share our Universe are, by necessity, part of the same Universal Lifeforce that we are.

The state of reality represented by Brahman (n.) [Ein-Sof] transcends even the Creator God, Brahma (m.) [Yahweh], and contains all three aspects of the Trikaya within Itself. Brahman is simultaneously Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva (Creator-Preserver-Transformer) while remaining unchanged [all three modes of Godhood in one, the Godhead]. Obviously, this requires one to go beyond the idea of 'theological deities with bodies' toward the conceptualization of mystical principles. This is called nontheism (which is not atheism) and is characteristic of Buddhism, for example, and metaphysics in general.

Metaphysically understood, the Trikaya represents the creation process, which happens continuously. It is the source of the polarity of consciousness and the three-fold experience of time (past-present-future). The metaphysics of nondualism recognizes the underlying polarity which creates the Trikaya as more fundamental, more real. In this way, duality is recognized as an expression of polarity, and the illusion of separateness is transcended. For example, the duality of the positive and negative electric charges arises from the polarity of the electric force field, a single reality, and a more fundamental level of reality. Ancient Sanskrit has metaphysically-descriptive expressions for the Trikaya and the way it manifests, such as in the three modes of existence, Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas, and in the word Saccidananda, a combination of three Sanskrit words meaning Being-Consciousness-Bliss, or existence, consciousness of existence, and love of existence, all aspects of Brahman.

In The language of metaphysical philosophy, the term Logos is used to refer to that creative characteristic of Mythos (the unknowable) which is actually experienceable. By definition, Logos (Om, the Word) is the perfect expression of Mythos. It is the First Cause of Creation ["In the beginning was the Word, ..."], as well as the creative polarity which defines the laws of physics and makes everything happen. We experience it constantly. At its pure metaphysical level, Logos has the intrinsic property of polarity, the dynamic essence of force, the perfect expression of Mythos. The realization of Logos, in its transcendental wholeness, implies the existence of the otherwise unknowable Mythos. Geometrically thinking, if Logos was a sphere, Mythos would be its central point. In Sanskrit, Logos is called the Dharmakaya, the perfect embodiment of Divine Law. As metaphysical principles, Mythos and Logos are equivalent to the first and second bodies of the Trikaya.

 

The practice of Yoga (yoking, union), in its primary sense, ideally results "in the realization of one's essential oneness with the whole of existence and in the reconstruction of one's life on the basis of that realization." (Haridas Chaudhuri)  The study of metaphysics, and even conventional physics, provides insight along the path of Jnana Yoga, one of the three primary classifications of yoga, Bhakti Yoga (the way of devotion), Karma Yoga (the way of good works), and Jnana Yoga (the way of the intellect). In one combination or other, these three methods form the foundation of all schools and systems of yoga, past and present, and even apply to all spiritual traditions.

Devotional ritual and compassion are important, but a lack of metaphysical education over the ages, especially in the West, has resulted in an intolerance for other devotional paths. It is fortunate and ironic that the birth of science and the age of reason in the West would eventually lead to a rebirth of metaphysical understanding and a new language with which to share it.

Historically, Jnana Yoga has been more prominent within esoteric mystery schools and among the Gnostics and Kabbalists, for example. Most notably, it is the essence of the Upanishadic texts of the East and the famous writings of Shankara, which go directly to the nondualistic foundation of the Vedic tradition.

Jnana Yoga is more suited for those whose intellect mistrusts the emotional fervour of worship.
It is the Yoga of pure discrimination. It transcends the intellect through the intellect.
It needs no Iswara, no altar, no image, no ritual. It seeks a more immediate approach to Brahman.
This path may perhaps be more direct, but it is also hard and steep.

Swami Prabhavananda
from the Introduction to
Shankara's Crest-Jewel of Discrimination

It seems that modern science is providing us with a new language to more easily explore this steep and ancient path. While physics cannot provide scientific proof of a spiritual origin or a timeless center to our Universe, with core concepts in line with the principles of nondualistic mysticism, it seems to point directly to the possibility.

Physics and Geometry

The mathematics used to describe quantum physics suggests, and cannot avoid, the very strange notion that the quantum processes which define matter and energy are somehow all unified in a way that is independent of their spacetime separation. This implication of quantum theory is known as nonlocality, referring to nonlocal (spacetime-independent) connections. Today it is generally referred to as quantum entanglement and is probably the theory's best know feature. Equally bizarre, another feature arises from the quantum wavefunction which implies that all possible outcomes must somehow actually exist before a measurement or observation is actually made.

In the early days of quantum theory, because the math worked so well, the Copenhagen interpretation simply set aside any need to interpret such strange implications. It was generally believed that they arose from the use of matrix mechanics (or wave mechanics), and that a more rational interpretation of those implications would someday become clear. However, experiments in recent decades continue to show that nonlocality is indeed a physical characteristic of reality. It is now even routinely used in certain electronic devices. Obviously, a fundamental shift in our understanding of physical reality has been realized and the need for a real interpretation of quantum reality has become more apparent.

Fortunately, an understanding of the mathematics is not necessary to develop an intuitive feel for the concepts involved. Geometry can be used as a very effective aid to represent the most profound scientific and mystical principles. Using multi-dimensional models we can visualize how separate atoms are actually unified in the quantum realm, and how our entire universe radiates from a single point in a higher dimension, a timeless Universal Singularity realized both in the zero-point Superforce of unified field physics and in the time-zero of Big Bang cosmology.

 

The theoretical core of modern physics deals with Unified Field Theories which attempt to mathematically model our entire physical Universe in the terms of a single Universal Superforce. With subtle differences, they all share the key principles of Relativity and quantum physics, and which model is 'most correct' is probably not as important as the realization of universal oneness to which they all point.

The mathematics of Relativity and quantum physics is multi-dimensional and complex, yet it describes a reality which is fundamentally simple and based on geometry -- the geometry of quantum fields within the geometry of spacetime. As a representation of reality, geometry is arguably even more fundamental than the mathematics which describes it. The geometry of spacetime existed long before Einstein developed the equations of Relativity. The exact value of pi is intrinsic to the geometry of the circle, yet it cannot be precisely expressed as a number.

The Gnostics of the 12th Century had a geometric vision of Logos as "an intelligible sphere whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere". (Joseph Campbell)   Today, this geometric mind-bender could be represented by an infinite hypersphere, a four-dimensional sphere with infinite radius. Rather than a typical spherical plane with a radius and a surface, this is more like a spherical state of polarity, the polarity between singularity and infinity, with the infinity being a dimension beyond our three-dimesional experience of infinity.

Intriguingly, an interpretation of unified field physics suggests that a hyperspherical polarity of the Universal Superforce is the most fundamental expression of existence which can be realized from the physical plane, like a geometric Logos. In this picture, all quantum processes which define matter and energy, along with the seed of individual consciousness, are represented by simple geometric elements (radius rays and equatorial rings) within the hyperspherical geometry. With this geometry representing the quantum realm in its most fundamental form, it can be thought of as forming the central reality of any of the current unified field models.

The idea is much like imagining the point of the Big Bang at time=0, that transcendental pure potential of the entire Universe, as a timeless state which continuously creates our experience of a dynamic Universe, while remaining unchanged in its unified state, in its higher dimension. Subatomic physics understands that the entire history of the Universe, from the Big Bang to the present, is represented by the subatomic structure of matter. From the mystical perspective, the Big Bang is literally happening right now at the center of every atom, and is integral to our experience of the present and the structure of depth-consciousness. From the perspective of objective time, defined by the laws of cause and effect in the physical world, the Big Bang is something that happened 'in the past'. In the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom, however, time is understood to be closely related to the experience of consciousness. In fact, "time is the innermost rhythm of our conscious existence." (Lama Govinda)

Key Connections

For those more familiar with physics or metaphysics the most interesting specific connections are easily summarized.

A hyperspherical force polarity, through the interaction of the ring-ray elements, and from the perspective of any one of those elements, can provide a geometric source for the wave mechanics of matterenergy in spacetime, while maintaining an underlying level of all possible realities in an unmanifest state. Many will recognize the key significance of this to quantum physics and the way matter and energy seem to behave. This possibility actually makes more sense than having to imagine that there must be an infinite number of parallel universes, for example, in order to account for the quantum wavefunction.

This is basically an interpretation of the Kaluza-Klein model, a classic unified field theory from Einstein's era, forms of which are used in string theory today. It unifies the electromagnetic and gravitational fields in a mathematically beautiful way by adding a fourth dimension of space at the Planck scale (about 20 orders of magnitude smaller than a proton). In the Kaluza-Klein model, we are living in a five-dimensional (or more) spacetime in which the fourth dimension of space is confined to tiny Planck-scale spheres, an infinite number of them, filling all of space, and which are ultimately responsible for everything we see and experience.

Taking an extra step for this particular interpretation, it is entirely possible that all of those tiny fourth-dimension spheres scattered all over three-dimensional space, are actually different rings on a sphere within that fourth dimension; that is, they could all be rings on the same hypersphere.

 

This geometric picture of unified field physics provides a mechanism for the strange properties of both Relativity and quantum physics, including the light-cone, the wave-particle duality, quantum entanglement, the wavefunction, and the 'quantum foam' of empty space, as well as the male and female movements of Creation and the polarity of time and consciousness. Perhaps most interesting, the spherical geometry beautifully represents the metaphysical nature of the Trikaya, the three-bodied unfoldment of Creation from the One Reality.

A ring on a four-dimensional hypersphere appears as a sphere in three-dimensional space. The more the ring is rotated away from the reference ring, the farther away in 3D space it appears, with a 90-degree rotation representing infinity. It is interesting to note that the four-dimensional hypersphere could be a ring on a five-dimensional hypersphere, which could be a ring on a six-dimensional hypersphere, and so on, each representing a new set of infinite possibilities, and all centered on the same Universal Singularity.

An important point to keep in mind is that even though rings on a hypersphere can represent physical spacetime and individual consciousness, the primary reality of the hypersphere is not really a sphere with a surface as such, but rather is defined by a spherical array of vectors, infinite in number and infinite in length. The idea of a hyperspherical force polarity is fundamental and remains unchanged during the experience of any spacetime unfoldment.

 

It is clear that our understanding of the Universe has grown exponentially over the ages, and to now find ourselves at a point where scientific physics clearly offers a worldview consistent with the Ancient Wisdom is remarkable and exciting, and is no doubt an important step in the evolution of human awareness. The answer to the age-old philosophical question "Why are we here?" has actually long been understood to be:   for the evolution of consciousness, which is the evolution of the soul, both on the individual level and the universal level.

 

Slay therefore with the sword of wisdom the doubt that lies in thy heart.
Be one in self harmony, in Yoga, and arise, great warrior, arise.

from the Bhagavad Gita
(Song of the Holy One)

 

 

 

FIRST DAY:  August 1, 1996
as "of Quasars & Quanta"

(from writings begun in 1984)

classic awards page
(from the early days of the Web)

 

 

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