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Anyone who has explored the ancient philosophy of the East or the modern physics of the West is 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 imagine 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.

 

The central principle of the great wisdom of the East is Nondualistic Mysticism: There is only one True Reality. It is that eternal and unchanging essence of existence upon which philosophers ponder and mystics meditate, and of which we are a part.

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 suggested that this vision of Oneness from the ancient teachings finds 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 that is where the two disciplines can shed light on each other. For those seekers of spiritual understanding who are not willing to ignore the scientific perspective, a modern metaphysical system of understanding is invaluable. Also, metaphysics deals with universal principles which naturally transcend religious dogma.

 

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. It is the realm of meditation and creative thought and provides the spacetime-independent path for incarnation. Its source is our force of spirit, our innermost reality, which is always unified with the One Reality. This 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 all who have studied comparative religion and philosophy. Brahman and Atman, for example, refer to the Universal Spirit and the individual spirit, or to Universal Consciousness and individual consciousness. 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 who happen to share our Universe are, by necessity, part of the One Reality and the same Universal Lifeforce that we are.

It should also be noted at the outset that no metaphysical system can claim to 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 in a two-dimensional image.

The state of reality represented by Brahman (Ein-Sof) transcends even the Creator God, Brahma (Yahweh). It contains within itself all three aspects of the Trikaya (Trinity). Metaphysically understood, the Trikaya represents the creation process, which happens continuously. It is the source of the polarity of consciousness and the tri-fold experience of time (past-present-future). An ancient and metaphysically-descriptive expression of the Trikaya is Saccidananda, a combination of three Sanskrit words meaning Being-Consciousness-Bliss.

In the language of philosophy and metaphysics, the term Logos refers to that creative dynamic of Mythos (the unknowable) which is actually experienceable, and is thus knowable in that way. By definition, Logos (Om, the Word) is the perfect expression of Mythos. It remains unified with Mythos and is thus transcendental and omnipresent in its wholeness, yet it contains the intrinsic property of polarity, the creative essence of force, the perfect expression of Mythos. Logos is the First Cause of Creation and the creative polarity which makes everything happen. We experience it constantly. In deep meditation, the realization of Logos implies the existence of Mythos. Geometrically thinking, if Logos were a sphere, Mythos would be its central point. In Sanskrit, it 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, refers to a method leading to the realization of the spirit within and its unity with the One Reality. Ideally, Yoga 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)   An actual mystical realization of oneness has an undeniable and powerful affect on the mind and life of the individual. A mystical experience of one sort or other can happen quite unexpectedly and we in the West, as a general rule, have found ourselves ill-prepared to assimilate the profound realizations and broadened awareness. Fortunately, there has been an increased interest in real Yoga and metaphysical education in the West.

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 yogas form the foundation of all schools and systems of yoga, past and present, and they apply to any religion or spiritual teaching. While Jnana Yoga does not replace the devotional path, it goes a long way toward understanding the common foundation of all devotional paths.

Of course, the metaphysical path comes more naturally to those who find themselves ready to explore that level of understanding. Historically, Jnana Yoga has been most prominent within monastic 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 to those whose austere intellects mistrust 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, the need for a real interpretation has become more apparent. Fortunately, an understanding of the mathematics is not necessary to develop an intuitive understanding of 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 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 pure potential of the state of the Big Bang as a timeless process continuously creating our experience of a dynamic Universe, while remaining unchanged in its unified state, in its higher dimension. 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'. Science must use objective time. In the nondualism of the Ancient Wisdom, time is understood to be closely related to consciousness. In fact, "time is the innermost rhythm of our conscious existence." (Lama Govinda)   Objective time is merely surface-consciousness experiencing spacetime, while the actual force of time deep within depth-consciousness serves as the seed of consciousness and arises from a dimension that is independent of spacetime, just as the Big Bang seems to do.

Key Connections

For those more familiar with physics or metaphysics the most interesting specific connections can easily be 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 would provide a mechanism for the strange effects of both Relativity and quantum physics, including the unifying notion of quantum entanglement, the 'all possible realities' of the wavefunction, and the 'quantum foam' of empty space. It also provides a geometric source for the wave-particle duality and the light-cone of Relativity, as well as the male and female movements of Creation and the polarity of 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 it appears in 3D space, with a 90-degree rotation representing infinity. It is also 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 spacetime and individual consciousness, the primary reality of the hypersphere is not really a sphere 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. This abstract picture of a geometric nondualism is, at the least, a very interesting possibility.

 

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 -- it has to be 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.

 

And the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started,
and know the place for the first time.

T. S. Eliot

 

 

 

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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