Keys to an Expanded Scientific Paradigm
William C. Gough & Robert L. Shacklett
Paper presented to the 13th International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alternate Modes of Healing Santa Sabina Center, San Rafael, CA, August 31 to September 2, 1996
This is the story of two persons trained in science and how we now view science. Both of us received our scientific training at good universities (Princeton University and Caltech respectively) and each has over thirty years of broad work experience in the world of traditional science. Consensus paradigm shifts start at the individual level. Thus, this is the personal story of the evolution of our belief systems as rooted in mainstream science.
All aspects of modern society are being influenced through their current interpretations of science. It is our view that society is functioning on an outdated scientific paradigm that is not recognizing a large part of reality -- namely the mental/spiritual aspects. Fortunately, science is an open system amenable to change but strongly resistive (and rightfully so) to change without proof. We believe that evidence from multiple fields of science is now available to facilitate the emergence of such an expanded scientific paradigm.
We believe that real social change cannot occur without a new updated scientific paradigm coming into existence. Our goal in this paper is to stimulate your thinking by giving you highlights (some controversial) of our personal keys to an expanded paradigm for science. We believe that such a new paradigm of science can bridge between our outer world of modern physics and our inner world of thoughts and feelings.
The clues or guides to our personal belief changes came from four sources. 1) Our knowledge of modern science, 2) Recognition of the mysteries and underlying assumptions of modern science, 3) Appreciation of the wisdom of ancient science and religion, and 4) Experiences that have expanded the boundaries of our perception -- "white crows." William James said: "If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black .. it is enough if you prove one single crow to be white."
Most of the "white crows" given as examples in this paper are those of Bill Gough (Bob Shacklett provides one) although we each could provide many more. Figure 1 illustrates the four clues. Figure 2 turns them on their side and one sees a change in perspective with new insight (Could this be how to balance our left and right brains?). This illustrates an objective of the paper -- to challenge you to be open to changing your perspective on how to approach science.
We will now focus upon the key questions that this new paradigm will need to address to create a strong bridge between modern science and spiritual wisdom. This will be accomplished by accessing available information from a wide range of disciplines and considering it from a new and different perspective. This process brings forth an unexpected clarity that gives a holistic meaning to the universe, a meaning that previously remained obscure in modern science. This is similar to the process by which a 3D picture magically emerges out of a 2D background in the currently popular 3D illusions. We hope to provide in this paper the bare beginnings of an expanded framework for the evolution of science. Specific emphasis will be placed upon the role of the evolving human being in this scientific pursuit.
Key #1: Expand Science Beyond 3D Space and Time
Where do we need to expand the scientific paradigm and why? Most scientists consider the three dimensional physical world and linear time to be the only reality. In science, space-time is treated as a closed system. Other spaces (dimensions) that arise in scientific theories are considered "abstract." By assuming a closed system modern science can require reproducibility (Gough, 1992). This has greatly facilitated modern physics and is the rationale behind "physical laws and constants." For scientists to change this belief requires a major conceptual leap. It amounts to a change in the personal world view of the scientists. Such changes are very difficult. They are similar to the process of changing one's political or religious belief system -- intellectual evidence is often rejected out-of-hand. This is why we have included in this paper some of the "white crow" personal experiences that have caused us to expand our view of the scientific paradigm -- for in most situations it requires personal experiences to alter a core belief system.
The assumption that space-time is a closed system needs to be modified. Evidence now exists in a number of fields of science that this assumption, although proven very useful in the past, may need to be modified to address questions in many areas. We have discussed this issue in detail (Shacklett & Gough, 1991) and will only briefly outline some of the more obvious ones at this time. For example, the underlying nature of a non-locality in physics (Gough & Shacklett, 1993a:107-108), the location of mind in neuroscience (Gough & Shacklett, 1995:26-27), precognitive remote perception in parapsychology, the dream/archetype issues of psychology (Gough & Shacklett, 1993a:61-64) and synchronicity which can be treated as non-local events in psychology. Remember, physicists don't actually know how non-local quantum events happen; they know only that they apparently occur.
An example of a white crow occurred when I was 30 years old and working at the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. I was sent on a training mission to the University of Michigan. Never having been on the campus before, I began randomly walking around. As I was walking towards a fountain, I saw approaching me someone who looked familiar. It was my best friend from grade school, Bruce Walke, whom I hadn't seen for almost 25 years. He recognized me at once and we talked. He told me that he was also visiting the campus and that he had devoted his life to the study and teaching of religion. I told him that I had spent my life studying and working in science and technology. He then asked me how science could explain things that he took on faith in religion -- for example Jesus changing water to wine, healing the blind, raising the dead, and walking on water. I told him that modern science could not explain such events and that most scientists assume that these are just parables. This answer didn't seen satisfactory to me and a question was stamped into my mind. I never saw Bruce again, but now I would reply differently.
We are convinced that there exists a scientific rationale for the existence of a "phase" of existence that is beyond the world of physical form. This phase change we believe occurs at the Planck Length of 10-33 centimeters. Physicists generally agree that the concepts of space and time cease to have meaning at this Planck dimension. All known physics breaks down at this point.
There is also a Planck Time which is about 10-43 seconds. It is obtained by dividing the Planck Length by the speed of light. Perhaps, time is made up of discrete moments with nothing in between. That is if light, energy, and space come in discrete units, why not time? This would provide a wave/particle duality for time (Morris, 1984:210-211) The physicist David Finklestein called a particle of time a chronon -- a perfectly acceptable theoretical concept (Shallis, 1982:35-36). Although current science admits that there is no fundamental theoretical need for chronons and certainly no way of measuring or detecting such particles of time, it is possible to conceive of going into the black void between the holes in the grid of space-time -- possibly between chronons, which is an image that some shamen use. To understand time requires a paradigm shift. The physics of time demands that we distinguish how time is from how it merely appears to us (Price, 1996).
There are a number of scientific models that can link the non-physical (a realm of intelligence) to the physical (a realm of matter and energy). We have discussed one such option based upon twistor theory in our earlier papers (Shacklett and Gough, 1991:29-32). The work of David Bohm provides another excellent option (Bohm, 1980). Such models provide the rationale for creating a larger wholeness that encompasses mind/spirit.
Key #2: An Intelligent Creation Process with Feedback
If physical reality undergoes a phase change to realms beyond space-time what role would such realms fulfill in science? We believe that such realms serve as the source for an intelligent creation process that produces the patterns of nature which science studies. Since both the physical and non-physical realms are a part of a larger whole, they are coupled via a feedback process which humans can interact with and influence.
We assume the source of the creation process originates beyond space-time, which is contrary to the bottom-up creation process assumed by many scientists. They assume that meaning and purpose arise out of the increased complexity from the assembled parts, a viewpoint called reductionism. We define meaning as the significance or importance that humans attribute to a collection of objects or events. However, purpose arises from realms beyond the physical. We believe that the human mind represents an aspect of us that can function beyond space-time and thus can access the creative intelligence of the whole.
Much of what follows in this paper is our rationale for why we as scientists believe that there are non-physical realms beyond space-time and how such a viewpoint modifies and expands the current scientific paradigm. We stated that realms beyond space-time can establish relationships between parts and events in our physical world. Here we are addressing a major mystery in modern science. We will outline a few of the issues.
Biological morphogenesis, the structural development of an organism, remains a mystery in science. How does a seed go to an oak tree; or an egg to a human being? DNA can specify the parts or components but where is the guidance for the dynamic assembly? Dr. Rupert Sheldrake's theoretical ideas and supporting data on morphogenetic fields involve a creative agent or intelligence beyond space-time. Research on the power of prayer, on life after death, and on reincarnation all point towards a non-physical realm of active intelligence that transcends space and time.
Physics can explain the relationship between one atom and the next and can extend this understanding to larger scale crystalline structures. It can also address the natural forces and processes that sculpt the various shapes observed in our physical environment. Yet, physics has nothing to say about the shape of a dinner fork, except to defer to concepts like intention, purpose, and choice, all of which lie outside space-time. There are other clues that indicate the existence of realms beyond space-time at even a more fundamental level. The uncertainty principle in quantum physics and Godel's Theorem (which can be considered an uncertainty principle for symbols) both imply a step-down in dimensions with a loss of knowledge/information (Gough & Shacklett, 1993a:72). Randomness is a controversial subject in mathematics. From one level something may appear random, whereas from a higher level it may have order.
There are many examples in human experience that support the view that realms of reality exist beyond space-time. However, here we reach a limit of science. When we investigate scientifically such experiences, we can show only that they work, not how or why they work. There is great similarity here to non-local events that we believe permeate the physical world. Yet, just like the human evidence that we will discuss, physicists don't actually know how non-local quantum events happen; they know only that they occur.
Scientific studies are providing increasing evidence for creative non-physical realms of active intelligence that transcend space and time. These include the studies on prayer, life after death and reincarnation. The implication is that organized "fields" of intelligence can manifest within space-time without "physical form." This was a possibility that neither of us had given serious thought to from the perspective of science. At least this was true until we experienced a white crow.
The son of a friend of Bob's who was living in Michigan sent Bob a transcription and audio tapes of channelings that started right after the Challenger Space Shuttle had exploded on January 28, 1986. These channelings were purportedly from the seven astronauts who had died. The material covered many issues and experiences of the Challenger crew both before and after their death. However, one statement in particular stood out as amenable to a check of its validity. The crew members made it very clear that they did not die at the time of the explosion but lived during the period that the capsule plummeted towards the ocean. NASA was definitely imparting the perception that they had died at the time of the explosion. The question to our Foundation was whether to seriously investigate these messages from the "dead."
I went to Washington, D.C. and met with a senator and his staff assistant -- there was controversy and concern that the whole truth about the accident was not being revealed by NASA. I then purchased the Report of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident. My concerns were further increased when I read the report, for it did not explicitly state that the astronauts died at the time of the explosion but only implied they did by linking the statement "an explosive burn of hydrogen and oxygen propellants --- caused complete structural breakup. All seven crew members perished." (Report of Presidential Commission, June 6, 1986:19). The Foundation set up a team of scientists and brought in a second channel who corroborated and extended the original information.
At a NASA news conference in Washington, D.C. information was made public for the first time that appeared in all major newspapers and was headlined in the July 29, 1986, edition of the San Francisco Chronicle: "NASA Feels Crew Outlived Explosion" (San Francisco Chronicle, 1986:1). Other channeled information regarding the onboard tapes and the activation of the emergency air systems also were subsequently authenticated.
My concept of what happens after death was altered -- I had to accept the possibility that the organized intelligence of a person may not only exist but may actively function after physical death of the body.
In order to bring these kinds of experiences into the domain of science, we would have to presume some kind of coupling between the different realms of reality. Currently no mechanism is known which can account for the ability of a "disembodied" intelligence to choose to make itself manifest at a more dense level of reality. Nevertheless, the many accounts of appearances and "supernatural" phenomena throughout the centuries seem to demand such a mechanism. The main reason for the apparent disregard by the scientific community of such phenomena is that the phenomena cannot be made subject to laboratory conditions and therefore tends to be ignored.
We believe that these fields of intelligence can be thought of as "light forms or bodies" and are causative or prior to the physical manifestations but do not necessarily have to be embodied in the physical. As "light bodies" they could not be detected by electromagnetic waves (light), since light does not scatter off of light. However, charged particles in the vicinity might react to such fields, rendering them visible to us. This seems to be the mechanism by which phantoms and auras become visible in the Kirlian process. Because the process that we are suggesting is subject to many variables and uncertain factors, it is not surprising that reproducibility is difficult.
Key #3: Physical Laws Are Malleable from Beyond Space-Time
What are the implications to physics should there exist a phase of reality beyond the limitations imposed by space-time? In physics we operate as if a physical law once discovered is fixed. This follows from the fact that almost all calculations in physics involve the use of one or more "fundamental constants" whose values depend upon measurements made in different laboratories around the world and at different times. These "constants" are intricately interconnected, with many accepted theoretical interrelationships tying them together. Taken collectively they characterize the nature and behavior of the physical world in which we live.
Therefore, to imply that there could exist conditions under which such constants might vary or that the laws that contain them are not "lawful" amounts to heresy in the physics community. One can understand the strong reaction to Dr. Rupert Sheldrake's suggestion that physical laws are "habits" and physical constants might change over time (Sheldrake, 1995:179-207, 1988:11). We agree with Sheldrake that because consciousness is superior to matter, intention can locally influence a physical system. However, for the reasons offered above, we disagree with his suggestion that individual constants could vary over time in a detectable way. If the universe were undergoing some kind of evolution that would change the constants, then all our "yardsticks" would also change and we would not be able to detect the variation.
In experimental studies involving living systems, we use double-blind protocols and statistics. Unlike inanimate matter studied by physicists, living systems can clearly exercise choice. Because of this, statistics must be employed to extract from the data the gross or average behavior of such systems.
Choice, we believe, originates from beyond space-time -- in the realms beyond the physical that sustain the relationships between the parts or events. To remove the "thinking effect" in experiments with humans we use the double-blind testing protocol in which both subjects and experimenters are unaware of the specific conditions in each of the individual test runs. This reduces to a bare minimum the possibility of random human choices altering the overall constraints of the experiment. By having a large enough sample of subjects, there will be an "averaging out" of the perturbing influence of the "thinking effect". Unfortunately, the "averaging out" does not work for the experimenters; there are not enough of them to apply statistics.
Now let's carry these ideas one step further into the field of parapsychology. We have concluded that a process whose source originates from beyond space-time has the potential to affect the physical. If, as we believe, the human mind originates from beyond space-time, humans have the potential to alter physical shape and form, i.e., locally modify physical "law". Therefore, by their intentions humans can change the relationships of the parts and events in physical reality. In other words, we have the potential for psychic healing and macro-psychokinesis.
I have had a number of personal white crows that have convinced me of the reality of our potential to effect physical structure through intention. Twenty years ago I was introduced to Dr. Lawrence Kennedy who invited me and my family to a demonstration of macro-psychokinesis (PK) in which he promised to bend dinner utensils using just his mental intention. We brought our own spoons and joined a small group of about a dozen people. While he was showing pictures of his own 12 year old son bending, the spoon in our 12 year old son's hand started to bend spontaneously. I then gave him two of our spoons which he held, one in each hand, and without touching the tops they both bent over. I walked out of the demonstration confused -- my physics belief system was in stress. Kennedy came running after me and said that I must take his course and learn that I have the same capability that he just demonstrated.
I accepted the challenge. My wife, son and I attended, and we all successfully did PK on our table ware. Early one Sunday morning soon after this experience I was lying in bed and heard a loud bang in the kitchen. I ran out to the kitchen and saw my son holding the handle to one of our large brass serving spoons -- the head had blown off and was on the floor! My mind flashed back to the structural materials laboratory at college where I had run a large hydraulic strength-of-materials testing machine. This equipment would exert tremendous forces upon metal samples of about the diameter of that serving spoon. If they were ductile material they would neck down; if they were brittle they would suddenly break with a large bang. My 12 year old son had just accomplished the same feat and created the same sound by his mental intention! My physics belief system had also just gone "bang."
This experience illustrates what can happen when focussed intention is impressed on a physical system. Indeed, psychokinesis is the name we give to the mechanism of thought-matter interaction. Currently a leading edge in medical science is a field of study based upon these effects and known as psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). Its very name acknowledges the links: psycho, or mind,; neuro, for the neuroendocrine system (nervous system and hormone system); and immunology, for the immune system. Isn't it curious that science refuses to acknowledge serious consideration of the phenomena in the first category (PK) but is willing to embrace that of the second (PNI)?
Now consider the impact on one's belief system when physical law is suspended before one's very eyes, even when there is no evidence of conscious intention.
At about the same time as my PK experience, I received an invitation from Virginia Gyure Cates, who co-founded the Foundation for Mind Being-Research with me. Virginia had met a professor from San Jose State in machine design, Warren White, who was willing to demonstrate how to levitate a table. So together with my wife and son we went to Virginia's home. I set up the card table in the living room, and in normal room light four of us sat around the table. Hands were held above the table. The table tipped upward with two of the legs high off the floor. Warren said that my family and Virginia must now do it by ourselves and he sat down across the room. Even though I trusted everyone around the table, Warren said that we must convince ourselves that no one could possibly be using their knees; we therefore rotated positions. The table still tipped up. I was trying to remain neutral and non-judgmental about what was happening. However, my scientific curiosity got aroused, and I decided to push down on the table that was rising up in from of me. When I did I found that I was pushing against a real force. What was happening to the force of gravity in the local area of the table? We invited Warren to our home, and with our table and a different group of people, we photographed and a friend videoed the same phenomena.
The phenomenon of levitation has been reported in every age and culture. Unlike other forms of PK, it is an either/or type of experience and offers probably the most severe challenge to the conventional scientific paradigm. Especially when it is experienced personally by one trained in modern science.
Key #4 Light is the Source of All Physical Form
If space-time emerges out of a non-physical phase of reality, then what "tool" is used to create the physical phase of space-time with the great diversity of natural patterns that we observe? Our hypothesis is that light gives rise to space-time and to every pattern or form that exists in our physical reality. Thus, light becomes the interface between the physical world of form and the intelligence of the non-physical world of mind/spirit. In a manner similar to Dr. Richard Feynman's and other modern scientists, we use the term "light" to mean the entire electromagnetic spectrum from the frequencies associated with phenomena at the Planck length to those corresponding to the size of the universe.
The structure of space-time, which provides the platform from which modern science operates in its study of the patterns of physical form, is built upon scientific mysteries. Great scientists including Einstein have recognized our underlying ignorance of the true nature of space and time. An even greater mystery to science is the nature of "light" (Gough & Shacklett, 1995:20-22). The properties of light are unique, and a photon of light can not be treated as just another form of matter. Yet almost all the scientific knowledge of our universe comes from the interaction of light with matter. Light is at the foundation of all science. However, we don't really know what matter is, and as Dr. David Bohm has stated, matter could be considered "frozen light" (Weber, 1986:45).
We are trained to think as if the wave-like nature of light and the individual particle-like aspects of nature can be separated, bringing about the well-known wave-particle duality. This duality persists today in a very strong way as indicated by current experiments in physics which are attempting to solve some of the puzzles surrounding quantum behavior (Kwiat, P., et al., 1996:72-78). In order to explain some of the mysteries of the wave-particle world, physics has formed categories which are either wave-like (photon, gluon, etc.) or particle-like (electron, proton, meson, quark). The wave-like entities serve to carry the forces of interaction between the particles.
In our view, all of these entities arise out of the full spectrum of light whose source is beyond space-time. Indeed, space-time itself is believed to have arisen from the "Big Bang" which science maintains is the origin of all physical reality. Science, however, is not able to project back to the exact moment of this event, leaving a gap equal to the Planck time of 10-43 seconds. If science could reverse its point of view and look at the creation process from the top down instead of the bottom up, we believe that current theories on the origin of the universe could be incorporated. In addition, the evolution of inert matter would be essentially unchanged. However, with the appearance of living systems that have the ability to make choices, the feedback relationship with realms beyond space-time introduces the aspect of a co-creation evolutionary process.
Indeed, research on the physics of the quantum vacuum lends credence to the belief that the world of physical form can arise from light at the quantum vacuum level. Based upon the research work of Dr. Bernard Haisch and others there now exists a scientific rationale for this possibility. The implications of this work are far-reaching, since gravity, inertia, and mass can now be considered as aspects of electromagnetism, thereby suggesting solutions to age-old questions about the fundamental nature of these phenomena (Haisch, Rueda, and Puthoff, 1994, 1996; Haisch, 1996). As we discussed in our paper on "Outer and Inner Light", Dr. H. J. Kimble at Caltech has done experimental work showing that there is a potential process at the level of the quantum vacuum for introducing change into the physical world -- producing form out of the formless (Gough & Shacklett, 1995:25-26).
Since a human being has a physical body occupying a portion of space-time, direct experiences of "inner light" (inputs of intelligence from spiritual levels) that don't come through the physical sense organs are possible. These could relate to the spiritual experience often described in religious literature. In addition, since "inner light" manifests within our bodies, changes at the cellular level can occur. This could be the source of the pleomorphism of changing forms of microbial species discussed by Dr. Beverly Rubik as well as an explanation for "miracle" healings (Rubik, 1995:198-205; Gough & Shacklett, 1995:30).
Thus, we can view the interior space that the human being occupies in physical space-time to be like a soap bubble in air. We are effectively like a probe in a sea of waves. Our choice is whether to align with the non space-time realm or not as illustrated in Figure 3. When we are aligned we experience an "inner light" or inner peace. The alignment can be experienced through any or all of normal sensory channels.
Many practitioners work with sound and music for healing. Both sound and light are related. Sound waves are produced by the movement of matter which could be considered packets of frozen light. We know that sound can become light -- this is known as sonoluminence. When this happens there occurs a frequency conversion of over one trillion. The process behind this conversion remains a mystery in science, although there are a number of promising theories. Hence, we should recognize that the human instrument can be tuned or detuned by both light and sound/music.
Although I have not had a deep inner light experience as has been reported by many people, I have had a unique inner sound experience. This was really my first white crow experience that occurred over thirty years ago. It was the middle of the night and my wife, Marion, and I awoke simultaneously. We had both heard exquisite sounds -- an unearthly music. Although short in duration, it was beyond anything our physical senses had ever experienced -- we called it "music of the spheres". We could ascribe no physical cause to this sound. We lived on a farm off a dirt road with the nearest house a third of a mile away.
This experience caused me to question why this had occurred. A few days before, Marion had been very sick and I took her to the doctor in the late afternoon. The doctor, a World War II army physician, stated with certainty that Marion had pneumonia in the right lung. We were to return the next day to have an X-ray, since the laboratory had already closed. That night I decided to try a psychic healing, since I had been reading about the biofeedback work at the Menninger Foundation and was training myself to go into the alpha state by using a small feedback unit. With strong intentions and deep love I placed my hands above Marion's lung and asked that it be healed. She felt a tingling burning sensation. The next day we had the X-ray. When the doctor looked at the X-ray, I will always remember the surprise in his face as he exclaimed, "I know she had pneumonia!" yet there was no indication of pneumonia on the X-ray. Finally he said "This sometimes happens" and then told Marion to rest, etc. To me the "music of the spheres" was the non-physical signal that later reinforced a physical "miracle."
Key #5: Symbols Language, and Mathematics
But how do we as human beings understand, connect, and participate with this non-physical phase of reality? The physical world of space-time consists of a world of two and three dimensional forms and patterns. We have postulated that there exists a phase of reality beyond the physical world that has orderings which many have called archetypes or archetypal patterns. All the forms and patterns in the physical can, in our view, be considered projections from these non-physical archetypal patterns. Thus, all are linked in a larger unity beyond space-time. In effect, the interference patterns of light or sound are creating symbols. In mathematics the study of this interrelation between form and waves is known as drum theory.
Over the centuries people in religious, shamanic, and healing practices have used sacred symbols to facilitate connections to the knowledge of a more encompassing whole. A similar approach has been used by science in its endeavor to understand the patterns of nature. In fact, all of physics is based upon a symbol system called mathematics -- it is its foundation. Yet neither physicists nor mathematicians understand why this symbol system has been so successful in its ability to model nature.
The uniqueness of humans is that we can manipulate symbols. Our brain is a pattern/symbol generating and receiving organ. The source of those symbols comes from an indwelling mind that extends beyond space-time. Mathematics is not an invention but a discovery -- this is what the great mathematicians believe. In effect, humans "mine" the realms beyond space-time for symbols and thereby can obtain knowledge of relationships to a larger whole. Dreams are inputs from beyond space-time and sometimes have provided insights into scientific and technical problems as well as other important relationships in our lives.
In ancient times symbols did not just represent quantities as contemporary society tends to believe. Throughout history symbols have represented qualities -- links to an intelligence beyond space-time. Certain symbols, because of their power, have been considered sacred. However, in modern science this whole hierarchy of values has collapsed (Gough & Shacklett, 1993a:72-74; Shacklett & Gough, 1991:18-28). Although love is intrinsically better than hate, no mathematical symbol is considered intrinsically better than another; and out of this imbalance has evolved our fascination with things as opposed to values. This concept of valuelessness has been transferred from modern science to our belief about words and thoughts (brain neural circuits/patterns). Their real power on ourselves and others is no longer fully respected. The world of mental symbols that humans have discovered can serve as a bridge to the non-physical. They allow us to better understand the intelligence of a living universe and provide us the option to co-create for the betterment of the whole (Gough & Shacklett, 1993b:14-33).
The fact that symbols are bridges to the non-physical is why mathematics works as a tool to model nature. It is also why the positional form of the body can serve as a symbol maker and provides the basis for the power of the sacred dance and movement. But above all, we need to recognize that the patterns that we create within our bodies through our thoughts and emotions determine the feedback we receive from the non-physical realm and, at the same time, offer us the opportunity to be co-creators.
The mystery and power of how symbols can be used as a link to knowledge beyond space and time became evident as the result of working with a shaman, Shelley Thomson. At age 85 my mother had decided to move from her apartment in New Jersey and live in California near us. We started visiting retirement centers in the local area. This turned out to be both discouraging and time consuming, so I decided to ask Shelley to help. I obtained a list of all the retirement centers within a reasonable radius of our house. There were twelve which included the five we had already visited. I wrote the name of each on a slip of paper and folded it so the name could not be seen. These slips of paper I then gave to my wife who numbered them, thus making the process double blind.
Shelley knew nothing about any of these locations. She held each of the unopened slips of paper in her closed hand. She focused her attention upon the written symbols, and without ever physically seeing what was written, described the retirement center, the type of residents, the quality of the management, and how my mother would enjoy living there. One center stood out as being the most desirable. It was one we had not visited. She described it as horseshoe-shaped with a blue area within the central courtyard, and noted that my mother would enjoy being with the residents. We visited the center. It was as Shelley had described. We were shown a room that overlooked the courtyard and a blue swimming pool. My mother liked it immediately, but we were told that the room we were in had been rented and that there were no other vacancies. I later called Shelley, she said to check again since she had seen my mother in that room. I went back and was told that the room had unexpectedly become available, since the woman who had rented it had fallen and wouldn't be coming. My mother rented the room and has been very happy living there. She is now 90 years old and has developed a close friendship with a 92 year old retired medical doctor.
Key #6: Human Perception
How is the "reality" that we perceive created? One of the most important messages from quantum physics is that human perception via our five human senses is not an adequate tool for explaining the universe (Gough and Shacklett, 1993a:207-209). The observer is connected to the observed system -- we are an integral part of a larger whole. Experience becomes a subjective picture that we construct. Science can't give us the answers. Dr. Edwin Land's radical revision of color science has shown that we can see colors that can't be there according to physics. We know that a cat raised in a "formless environment" is blind forever.
We have proposed that the entire physical universe is an ever-changing configuration of waves (Gough & Shacklett, 1993a:195-196). Even though we perceive our world as having solid form and substance, physics teaches that all the constituents of matter are in continuous vibration. The limitations of our perception are such that the vibratory nature of matter remains invisible to us. This is why we can refer to matter as "frozen light." For these reasons, the physical body can be considered a tunable probe in this infinite sea of vibrations. Our perception of reality at any given moment depends upon a combination of the input from the outer environment detected by our sense organs, our "inner light" originating from the non-physical realms, and the "state of the human probe" as determined by genetics, current physical condition, programming due to family, culture, etc.; and how one has self-tuned the human "transceiver" (Gough & Shacklett, 1995:27-28;30-32).
We have postulated a feedback linkage between the physical world of form (patterns & symbols) and the non-physical phase. The non-physical phase represents the realm of archetypal blueprints that establishes the connectiveness and relationships with the larger whole. When we alter physical form, patterns or symbols, the feedback process results in changes in the nature of the physical events that we encounter. Consciously or unconsciously humans beings are always an element in this feedback process. Our mental/emotional processes (the patterns in our brain and body) provide a feedback linkage to the non-physical realms. It is this linkage that is at the basis of the statement that we are continually creating our own physical reality. As we learn to carefully observe external events, we will become more aware of the synchronicities that reinforce the self-tuning of our human transceiver.
This is one of Bob's white crows which made an unforgettable impact on my understanding of the relationship between belief or expectations and one's experience. My wife, Edie, was conducting a large-scale, FAA-sponsored research project at NASA which tested commercial pilots in an airliner cockpit simulator when they were presented with simultaneous, computer-generated, visual information from two sources (Fischer, 1979). One input was a real-time TV display of the view that the pilot would have from the cockpit window as he landed the airplane. This view came from a movable camera scanning a model airport with landing strips. The second was a Head Up Display (HUD) which projected critical instrument readings, including lines representing the runway, all superimposed on the first visual field. The FAA was considering installing the HUD in commercial airliners. I was allowed to be an unofficial observer during the experiment.
The experiment required each pilot to land the aircraft under a variety of conditions of fog, wind shear, and other such variables common to airports. The HUD proved to be very popular with the pilots, once they familiarized themselves with its properties. But Edie was curious about what the effect of the HUD would be when something unexpected occurred. In randomly selected runs, she placed a model of a large airplane on the runway where the pilots would be landing the aircraft after breaking out of the fog. The results were quite a surprise; not so much the fact that 6 out of the 8 pilots tested took longer than usual to change the plan to land the aircraft. The real shocker was that 2 pilots did not see the airplane on the runway at all, forcing Edie to abort the simulation at the last minute to avoid a crash. At the debriefing, when the pilots saw the videotape, the two that had missed seeing the obstacle said that what they did see was the runway, the field, the whole rest of the scene, but without the image of the airplane--just as they expected it would look.
Six months later I had a personal reinforcement of this phenomenon. We were living in Arizona and were traveling in a motor home. One morning, after Edie had left to meet some visitors, I glanced out of the window. The motor home was gone, just as I expected. In its place was the driveway and the house next door. Some time later I began to wonder what the delay was and looked out the window again. This time the motor home was there, as big as life. I learned later that Edie had walked, not driven to meet the visitors as I had assumed.
What is fascinating about these experiences is the way the mind fills in the picture so that it conforms to what we expect it to be. The NASA experiment was one of those rare occasions when it was documented, proving in a dramatic way that the saying, "we create our own reality" is a real process. Furthermore, we are saying that the process involves more than just the visual; via non-local, synchronistic effects we can literally alter the events we encounter in life. Thoughts do matter--positive thinking works!
Key #7: The Heart and Love - Enhancing the Spiritual Flow
How do we align with the non-physical phase of reality to create the most efficient coupling and enhanced flow?
But first let's address how the coupling might be introduced into our physics. In modern science there are terms such as the magnetic vector potential that are traditionally not regarded as "important" since they do not represent "real" electromagnetic fields or forces. However, such non-physical terms have now been shown to have physical consequences. The philosophical implication is that we believe this could represent a mechanism for coupling between the physical and non-physical (Gough & Shacklett, 1995:25-26).
Our bodies represent a volume within physical space-time. When such coupling is strong within our bodies, the result is the experience of "inner light". Because the source of this input arises from the high frequency side of the electromagnetic spectrum, a frequency step-down process is required. The meridian/acupuncture point system and the nadis/chakras system of the ancients appear to represent aspects of such a process. In modern science terminology they would approximate human light pipe, wave guide (a microwave "pipe") and antenna systems. Research supports this assumption (Gough & Shacklett, 1995:28-29).
When we speak of the human body as a tunable probe, we will need to overcome the tendency for most modern deliberations about human beings to focus upon the brain. For over 2,000 years the cardiocentric doctrine was dominant, and the heart was considered the seat of the soul and the organ that controlled mental functions, emotions and behavior. We believe this concept needs to be reconsidered, since we regard the entire human being as a "probe" in a sea of infinite vibrations. The body is like a musical instrument and can be tuned. That tuning can be accomplished via mental and emotional control. Emotions can be considered the body's thoughts which manifest as feelings. As illustrated in Figure 3, we can be in tune with the music of the whole -- with God's orchestra.
Enhancing the flow from the realms of wisdom and intelligence can lead to a more meaningful and hence desirable life. Thus, we are now suggesting there may exist a "physics of happiness." A physics that delineates the importance of the particular "station" to which we tune our thoughts and emotions. To what and how do we tune? Scientific research at the Institute of HeartMath has emphasized deep heart-focused feelings of love, care, and appreciation. Scientific measurements have shown an entrainment of the body's oscillators in the heart, brain, and respiration systems which bring the body's systems into synchronization. As the practice is continued, an internal coherence state is reached and can be identified by its harmonic spectrum or overtones. It is through heart-felt love that we will enhance the coupling to the realms beyond space-time (Gough & Shacklett, 1995:35-39).
We have described seven key points that we believe must be considered by those interested in helping science move from its present state to one which is more in harmony with the current and future needs of humanity. These needs range all the way from sensible guidelines for developments in alternative medicine to bringing some order into the world of psychic phenomena to help in sorting out the plethora of UFO experiences. Scientific answers to all possible questions is not the goal. But we do believe that the institutions of science can provide immense help in building a bridge to a heightened understanding of ourselves and eventually each other.
We are all players in a huge orchestra -- God's orchestra. Right now there's a lot of cacophony because nobody knows where the score is. We think that an expanded scientific paradigm will enable humanity to come up with scores suitable for this orchestra. In the meantime we can practice our ensemble playing.
The authors wish to thank Robert Bourdeaux (8510 Brink Rd., Gaithersburg, MD 20882) for his artistic contribution to the creation of the artwork used in this paper.
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