That (the invisible Brahman) is full, this (the visible Brahman) is full.
This full (visible Brahman) proceeds from that full (invisible Brahman).
On grasping the fullness of this full (visible Brahman)
there is left that full (invisible Brahman).
Om (is) ether, (is) Brahman. ...
This (the Om) is the Veda (the means of knowledge),
thus the Brahmanas know.
One knows through it all that has to be known.
There are many books which cover the details of the parallels between the new physics and mysticism, but few help us to actually visualize what this great integration means to our worldview. Surprisingly enough, there is an easy way to quickly integrate the ancient mystical connections into our current worldview, although it seems so bizarre to our normal "common sense" way of looking at things that it is not as easy to assimilate as it is to say. A basic understanding of the new vision of reality provided for us by modern physics will help it to seem less unbelievable, as does a familiarity of the ancient schools of sacred geometry. It basically comes down to a matter of perspective, and requires a totally new understanding of space and time -- new at least for most of us in the West.
A Matter of Perspective
From where we are now, we look out upon an apparently expanding Universe, and we project this image back in time, way back in time, about 15 or 20 billion years, toward that singular point of origin called the Big Bang. This Universal Singularity is thought of as infinitely dense, our entire Universe compressed to a single point, where the laws of physics do not apply -- infinitely dense matterenergy and no spacetime. (Actually, physics breaks down just 'before' the Singularity itself.) The concept of the Big Bang represents a singular point of origin for our entire Universe, a state of pure and infinite potential, and the whys and wherefores of the origin of that state completely transcend spacetime and are beyond the scope of physics. Modern cosmology and common logic tells us that this is a past state of the Universe which has since evolved into what we see now, so we tend to think of it as no longer existing as such. Now, imagine that this is not exactly the full picture.
Imagine that what we have conceptualized as the Singularity of the Big Bang does still exist in that initial state of pure potential, right at this moment -- we "see" it on the one hand (in a fragmented way) as the singularities of particles, every particle in the universe, and see it on the other hand (in a reversed way) as the infinity of space.
Now forget the idea that atoms are even particles at all. Think of atoms as four-dimensional vortices of "past" spacetime that reach all the way back to the Singularity of the Big Bang, which is still there shining forth as it always has, providing the very substance of every "wherewhen of spacetime" that ever was or will be. Of course, our surface consciousness of the physical world "floats" in the resonant state called the present, where we see only the top cross-sectional ring of each vortex (more like interacting sets of vortices), which appear to us as those strange tiny spheres called atoms. In a sense, we could say that the center of every atom is in the same place -- and even more strange, this very same place is also seen as the infinity of space.
In this perspective, the Big Bang is not merely an event in the past which created matterenergy in spacetime (although this is still true from within our normal perspective on time), but is more precisely a continuous state which creates what we experience as matterenergy in spacetime -- the Big Bang is more like a "Big Shine". In the light of what we know today about matterenergy in spacetime, such a view is not really that far out at all. Modern physics knows that the quantum processes which form the substance of all matter completely ignore the rules of spacetime separation, and are actually manifestations of interacting force fields which are in turn aspects of a single universal Superforce.
This worldview sees every quantum process of the Universe -- past, present, and future, even anything that can be imagined -- as integral an part of a timeless state of the Universe that is equivalent to the Planck-time of Big Bang cosmology. We can conceptualize this state as a hyperspherical condition of unified force, expressed as a polarity between the Universal Singularity and a higher-dimensional Infinity -- a Hyperspherical Polarity.
The polarity between Singularity and Infinity manifests in our experience in a number of lower-dimensional forms, and is key to understanding our experience of time, space, consciousness, and how the entire Universe is tied together in our experience of matterenergy in spacetime.
In a manner of speaking, the hyperspherical polarity is "sliced up" into our experience of four-dimensional spacetime. As space itself, it is the polarity between every single dimensionless point in space and the fully-extended three-dimensional infinity outward from that point. As time itself, it is the polarity between the singularity of past and the infinity of future, between the singular course of deterministic events which led to the present moment and the infinite number of possible and somewhat predeterministic futures. In matterenergy, the polarity appears in the dualistic nature of wavicles, which act as either point particles or waves. Even in individual consciousness it emerges as the polarity between the singular localized reference frame and the infinite field of matterenergy in spacetime surrounding the experiencer.
We have seen that the Big Bang universe can be modeled as a hypersphere centered on the Universal Singularity at t=0. In this model, time is a hyperspherical polarity and spacetime is an expanding hypersphere. The hypersurface of the present is the expanding surface of the hypersphere. Keep in mind, however, that the hypersurface of the present is a condition of universal simultaneity that is never seen as such, and the present quantum state of the universe that any of us ever sees is defined by our light-cone slicing through the hypersurfaces of the past.
In fact, the notion that the universal hypersurface of the present even exists as a physical condition of spacetime is a complete abstraction imposed upon reality by modern science. Science presupposes the existence of space and time as universal absolutes, and assumes they exist whether or not there is a consciousness to experience them. This, of course, was a natural assumption for science to make, and was necessary in order for the physical models of our universe to be formulated.
Reality divided by reason always leaves a remainder. After everything has been said about the universe, after the entire world has been transformed on the basis of scientific knowledge into a hierarchical structure of ever-widening systems, we are still left with a profound sense of mystery. ...
This luminous experience of the impenetrable mystery is common to all the scientists, philosophers, and mystics of the highest rank. The scientist calls it the mystery of Nature. The philosopher calls it the mystery of Being. The mystic calls it the mystery of the Spirit.
Being, Evolution, and Immortality
1974, The Theosophical Publishing House
Akasha (matterenergy in spacetime) and Transcendence
The polarity between spacetime and consciousness is a fundamental principle of mysticism, and as a process, it is the essence of creation itself, "for on either side alone nothing could be achieved". The fact that one is a field diverging to infinity and the other a field converging and even transcending toward the inner singularity is a direct reflection of the hyperspherical polarity. The fields are built and supported by the creation process, the interaction between the male and female principles of existence.
According to ancient Indian tradition the universe reveals itself in two fundamental properties: as motion, and as that in which motion takes place, namely space. This space is called âkâsha (Tib.: nam-mkhah) and is that through which things step into visible appearance, i.e., through which they possess extension or corporeality. As that which comprises all things, âkâsha corresponds to the three-dimensional space of our sense-perception, and in this it is called mahâkâsha. The nature of âkâsha, however, does not exhaust itself in this three-dimensionality; it comprises all possibilities of movement, not only the physical, but also the spiritual ones: it comprises infinite dimensions.
Spiral of TranscendenceÂkâsha is derived from the root kâsh, ‘to radiate, to shine’, and has therefore also the meaning of ‘ether’, which is conceived as the medium of movement. The principle of movement, however, is prâna (Tib.: sugs), the breath of life, the all-powerful, all-pervading rhythm of the universe, in which world-creations and world-destructions follow each other like inhalation and exhalation in the human body, and in which the course of suns and planets plays a similar role as the circulation of the blood and the currents of psychic energy in the human organism. All forces of the universe, like those of the human mind, from the highest consciousness to the depths of the subconscious, are modifications of prâna. The word prâna can therefore not be equated with the physical breath, though breathing (prâna in the narrower sense) is one of the many functions in which this universal and primordial force manifests itself.
Though, in the highest sense, âkâsha and prâna cannot be separated, because they condition each other like ‘above’ and ‘below’, or ‘right’ and ‘left’, it is possible to observe and distinguish the preponderance of the one or other principle in the realm of practical experience.
All that is formed and that has taken spatial appearance by possessing extension, reveals the nature of âkâsha. Therefore the four great elements (mahâbhûta; Tib.: hbyun-ba) or states of aggregation, namely the solid (‘earth’), the liquid (‘water’), the incandescent or heating (‘fire’) and the gaseous (‘air’), are conceived as modifications of âkâsha, the space-ether.
All dynamic qualities, all that causes movement, change or transformation, reveal the nature of prâna. All bodily or psychic processes, all physical or spiritual forces, from the functions of breathing, of the circulation of blood and of the nervous system, to those of consciousness, of mental activities and all higher spiritual functions are modifications of prâna.
In its grossest form âkâsha presents itself as matter; in its subtlest forms it merges imperceptibly into the realm of dynamic forces. The state of aggregation, for instance, which we call ‘fire’ or the state of incandescence, is material as well as energetic. Prâna, on the other hand, appears in such bodily functions as breathing, digestion, etc., and is the cause of physical and psychic heat (Tib.: gtum-mo).
If this were not so, the interaction of body and mind, of spiritual and material forces, of matter and consciousness, sense-organs and sense-objects, etc., would be impossible. It is precisely this interaction of which the yogin (irrespective whether he is Buddhist or Hindu) makes use, and upon which the technique of meditation is built.
Lama Anagarika Govinda
Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism
These teachings are very difficult to grasp from within our objective point of view since we see only one side of the creation process as a physical universe in which we seem to be an isolated observer in a physical body. The side of creation that is consciousness is not generally recognized as having a dimension of transcendence equal to the expanse of the physical universe, and as a reality without which the physical universe would not even exist. Such things were taught only in the monasteries of the world, where those who really wanted to understand the ancient wisdom could withdraw from the responsibilities of physical-world life and spend months and years in meditation, with many hours spent in the study of seemingly strange and abstract sacred verses, which can now be understood with I think a little less abstraction in the language of modern physics.
Hyper-rings and Seed-ray on the Hypersphere
Metaphysically, the hyperspherical polarity is a geometric expression of Logos, the transcendental First Cause of Creation, and the central singularity represents Mythos, the fully transcendental essence of Existence itself. Geometrically defined, it is actually an infinite number of outwardly-projected infinitely long rays (forming an infinite pseudosphere) of what can only be describe as the essence of polarity itself, the essence of existence itself, pure force or pure consciousness.
The seed-ray represents the source of individual consciousness, the seed of life-force and awareness, and the experience of time itself. Being a fully integral part of the hypersphere, it has no existence independent of the hypersphere. With it's complementary ring-aspect it forms the geometric seed of the light cone, which is the entire field of physical experience for that individual. From our spacetime perspective, the ring is actually experienced as the infinity of space, and everything in between is defined by the light cone itself, the electromagnetic field in spacetime, quantum-electrodynamics, the quantum vacuum.
The seed-ray serves as the individual's primary frame of reference, the transcendental and most inner level of the experiencer, so often sought in meditation. Here, at the seed of individual consciousness, the initial differentiation (quantization) takes place, and other rings and rays appear as the field of akasha. This is the metaphysical seed of sacred geometry -- the emergence of individual consciousness and the experience of creation.
Mystically understood, this is how time itself is experienced -- a depth of spacetime projection appears before the seed-ray of awareness, the experiencer. This is known as the Mayas, the fractalized holographic-like field of akasha. It is much the same no matter what level of existence (physical, astral, etc.) the experiencer might find his or her "self" in. Our physical field of maya is the cosmic dance of matterenergy in spacetime, which, of course, includes the physical bodies we identify with.
The actual quantum reality underlying any object, atom, or any point in space whatsoever, is defined by other ray-ring aspects on the hypershpere, which in fact are still in their higher-dimensional state of unity while only appearing to be "out there" in space. The intricate web of akasha seeded by the individual's Flower of Life field provides for the entire experience of matterenergy in spacetime, including the quantum-sized spheres of pure potential which fill the quantum vacuum. Those quanta which appear farther away in space are simply the manifestation of those ray-ring aspects which are rotated further away from our reference ray. The hypersphere itself defines all possible realities (including the parallel universes often used to explain the probablitistic nature of the quantum world, which in this case need not be considered as actually being in a manifested form to be part of the quantum discription.)
The point, of course, is to realized that even in the physical world of separateness, the primary source of everything is still the transcendental state of wholeness. This state of the Universe is the driving force of our life and consciousness this very moment, and is the source of literally everything "else" in our world at the same time.
The Light of transcendental omnipresence never changes, and by that right, it is the most real state of Reality we can possibly imagine. There is only That; We are That; always have been, always will be.
With the ancient understanding of space, time, and consciousness firmly in mind, we can look at the hypersphere of the Big Bang in a "new light". From a mystical perspective, the Big Bang of modern cosmology is a continuous process, an omnipresent condition which has always been the same no matter what we believed. Western science, caught up in its purely objective view of existence, has imposed the concept of "universal time" on this timeless condition, projecting it into the past as a single event.
What a strange thing to do with the most beautiful mystical principle of all. We have completely ignored the ancient message of nondualistic mysticism and have thus found our science of the universe bogged down in the "strangenesses" of relativity and quantum theory for most of this century. We have certainly developed an extraordinary understanding of the physical universe, and this was no doubt the purpose of modern science, but perhaps now is a good time to re-integrate the sacred science of the ancients.
A mystical understanding of modern cosmology sheds a good deal of light on the strange aspects of both modern physics and ancient mysticism. We can see an underlying order as the source for the chaos of the apparently random and probabilistic nature of the quantum world. The perfect homogeneousness of the transcendental hypersphere is all possible realities in an unmanifest condition, all probabilities superimposed. At the same time, it is more exciting than ever to study the ancient systems of metaphysical teaching.
Oh Lord, dweller within;
You are the light in the heart's lotus.
Om is your very self, Om holiest word,
Seed and source of the scriptures.
Logic cannot discover you, Lord,
But the yogis know you in meditation.
In you are all God's faces,
His forms and aspects.
In every heart you are,
And if but once, only,
A man will open his mind to receive you
Truly that man is free forever.