What Science Can and Can't Say About Spirits

What Science Can and Can't Say About Spirits

William C. Gough & Rober L. Shacklett

[To be published as a three part series in The Journal of Religion and Psychical Research in the July 2000, October 2000 ( now called The Journal for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies), and January 2001 issues.]


Part I:

In this three part series of articles the authors develop an expanded model of universal connectiveness that includes spirit in a scientific framework. Part I will first cover the unexpected personal experiences of the authors while working on the paper. It will then discuss the goal of the paper and the authors strategy for achieving that goal. The authors will address the question of why mainline science has painstakingly avoided this subject. Next will be an overview of the research evidence that the spirit world exists and why there might be a continuity of life after death. Part I will conclude with examples of the possible nature of the astral plane and its implications for science.

Part II:

Part II will briefly summarize the original model of the authors which assumes that the creation process flows from a phase of reality that is pure potential yet spaceless and timeless. These concepts were discussed in detail in a three part JRPR series published in 1993. The authors will then expand upon the original model and present their hypothesis for the existence of multiple three-dimensional spaces and times that are co-existent and interpenetrating. The process for human feedback between levels will be described. A rational for a finite number of levels -- seven -- will be given. Part II will conclude with a discussion of how the creative energy/information source which originates outside of space and time manifests the patterns at the seven different levels.

Part III

Part III will begin with a discussion of the coupling between each level. This leads to an understanding of how the metaphysical "bodies" are linked via interpenetrating patterns. The degree of feedback represents the level of consciousness for the "kingdoms" of the physical world. Humans have a high degree of feedback potential which is known as "free will". The model is then applied to address the issue of "dark matter" or "missing mass" -- one of the biggest mysteries in cosmological science. The paper concludes with a review of the model's assumptions and what science can't say either because of diverging views or because the issues are not being addressed at all. Part III includes a complete list of references for the entire paper.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction (Bill Gough)
  2. Our Goal
  3. The Spirit World And Science
  4. Evidence For The Spirit World
  5. The Astral Plane
  6. Our Original Model
  7. Our Hypothesis
  8. Symbols And Human Feedback Between Levels
  9. Creation Of Levels
  10. How Many Levels?
  11. The Generative "Force"
  12. How Patterns Manifest At Different Levels
  13. Coupling Between Levels
  14. Can Dark Matter Be Explained?
  15. What Science Can't Say
  16. Conclusions
  17. References

1. Introduction (Bill Gough)

The theme for this year's conference was "the world of "spirits". This was the focus of attention for the attendees at the Conference. The intention of Dr. Shacklett and myself was to explore what science might be able to say about spirits. I have been attending these conferences for many years. This year I was one of the first speakers, but an event occurred during my talk that had never happened before. The loud and blasting sound of the fire alarms went off. It stopped shortly and we were told that we should not burn incense or smoke in the sleeping rooms on the second floor.

I mentally thanked the interruption since it gave me the opportunity to tell the audience about a series of strange happenings that had occurred during my preparation of the talk. When Bob Shacklett and I were sitting at his dining room table discussing how spirits might couple their energy into our physical space-time, the car horn started blowing in his garage which is connected to his kitchen. I looked into the kitchen and saw Edie, Bob's wife, standing next to the stove. I wondered if she had pressed the electronic radio-transmission button on the device attached to the car keys which signals whether the car door is locked or unlocked by blowing the horn. But the keys were lying next to the telephone -- across the room from where Edie was standing. We all went into the garage, but no one was there.

In the days as I finalized the talk, I was thinking about what to say about a particular point while shaving in the bathroom. The lights started alternately dimming and then returning to normal. I called out to my wife, Marion, and asked if she was running a hair dryer or electric heater in the adjoining bathroom. She replied no. I therefore assumed that the power company must be working on the lines.

The next night I woke up at one o'clock in the morning and started to think about an aspect of the theory regarding the spirit world. The smoke detector outside our bedroom door suddenly started to screech. Marion woke up and I jumped out of bed and ran around the house trying to locate any smoke or fire. This alarm never had gone off before, but there was no smoke or fire in the house. I tested the batteries and they were fine.

After my talk at the Conference, the fire alarms went off intermittently during the talks of others. But there was one very dramatic incident. A Siberian shaman gave an explanation of the difference between what he described as "black", "yellow", and "white" shaman. He defined the black shaman as one who was raised and only knew the belief system of his own indigenous culture. A white shaman was someone from a Western culture who had been trained in the ways of indigenous culture. A yellow shaman was from the indigenous culture but had been imbued with the Western belief system.

As the next person got up to comment further upon these remarks, the fire alarms went off again. However, this time they did not stop. The shrill sound was so intense that everyone at the conference had to leave the room and go outside into the court yard. People concluded that the entire fire alarm system at the Saint Sabina Center must be defective.

Immediately after the Conference, Marion and I went on a trip to the East coast. In Washington, D.C. over dinner with my artist friend, Bob Bourdeaux, and his wife, Marion and I described the above series of events that had plagued us while exploring the spirit world. Bob, with a twinkle in his eyes said, "But you and probably all the people at the conference had been raised or trained in the Western cultural tradition. Your first thoughts are to seek a "logical" explanation of an event based upon the Western cultural belief system -- who pushed the car key button, who overloaded the electrical circuits, where is the smoke coming from, who is burning incense, why do we have faulty fire alarm equipment. Now just think -- what if you had been raised in a culture that truly believed in a spirit world -- a spirit world that continually interacts with you on a daily basis? Your first thoughts would have been: What are the spirits trying to tell me."

This paper is a science-based intellectual model of how science might encompass a world of spirits. But do I really believe in the existence of intelligences inhabiting such a world? If I did I would have said that the spirits were reading my thoughts and trying to communicate with me. Maybe the spirits got frustrated with our lack of recognition of their existence and our continual Western response to their attempts to communicate with us. Did the spirits keep those fire alarms screeching until we all had to leave the conference room? Could the spirits have wanted to emphasize the truth of the statement by the Siberian shaman that our belief system really determines our ability to effectively communicate with the spirit world?

2. Our Goal

The majority of human beings on this planet believe in spirits -- both their own spiritual aspect and the existence of non-physical spirits. Yet modern science has nothing to say about spirits and considers the subject non-relevant. The goal of this paper is to explore what science can and can't say about spirits. Our strategy to achieve this goal was to follow three parallel approaches.

First, we looked at the broadest range possible of scientific fields, both hard and soft --i.e., mathematics, high energy physics, astrophysics, cosmology, engineering, biophysics, life sciences, medicine, psychology, music, anthropology and religion. We searched for the models and data in each area that would create a consistent overall picture. This resulted in our frequently selecting a subarea of a field for emphasis.

Second, we focused upon the underlying assumptions in all fields that support the basis for their current beliefs. The process by which assumptions become beliefs, and then become dogma can be insidious in science. It places constraints upon what we believe we can do and the type of experiments that are performed. It is only by understanding and then changing underlying assumptions that a new more encompassing model can be developed.

Third, we considered inner research done by humans over the ages to be a valid guide for developing an integrated approach to an expanded model that could include spirit. Thus, we reviewed the inner research carried out by ancient societies, religions, and modern clairvoyants. We explored the potential for bridging the teachings of a major religious mystical tradition with an expanded paradigm for modern science based upon our model (Gough, 1997). Knowledge gained through inner research is usually considered irrelevant by modern physical science. One exception is the high energy physicist, Dr. Stephen M. Phillips, who has evaluated the possibility that humans can obtain knowledge of the microcosmos directly, without instrumental aids, and related past inner research to contemporary particle physics (Phillips, 1980). We also believe that such inner research using the human mind has unique potential. Our expanded model explains why such research can not be matched using the physical material instruments of science.

3.The Spirit World and Science

The question of the existence of spirits is one that mainline science has painstakingly avoided. There are many definitions for the term "spirit" but the first definition in the dictionary defines it as "the principle of conscious life" (Stein, 1967). For this paper we will use the term "spirit" to include all of the following: 1) the spirit aspect of a living human, for example as documented in research on near-death experiences, 2) the spirit aspect of a deceased human such as has been reported in literature on apparitions and ascended masters, and, 3) spirit entities that have never incarnated on Planet Earth for example as reported in religious literature as angels, archangels, etc. Note that our use of the term spirit implies that "conscious life" exists at levels beyond the physical.

The belief in the existence of a non-material world has been a staple element of the human race over thousands of years. It exists in pagan beliefs; in the major religions, for example Christian, Islamic, Judaic, Hindu, and Buddhist; and in most ancient civilizations, including the Egyptians, Greeks, and Native American (Randles & Hough, 1998). Metaphysics has always asserted that there are realms of life where non-physical entities and angelic beings abide. Over the centuries humans claim to have interacted with these intelligences and have reported upon their "physical" nature and environment. They report that such beings can "step down" their vibrations and sometimes be detected via our five senses and even instrumentation.

There are a number of questions that scientists ask. If spirits exist why can't everyoneexperience them using their five physical senses? Even if everyone can't experience them, why can't their existence be demonstrated via scientific instrumentation? Could this be due to the cut-off of scientific instrumentation at the extremely high-energy end of the electromagnetic spectrum? Initially when questions were raised about how our model could account for spirit entities, we replied that they might exist in that region of the electromagnetic spectrum where science was unable to measure at this time (Gough & Shacklett, 1994a). However, we found this answer increasingly unsatisfactory as we researched the evidence for the world of spirit.

4. Evidence For The Spirit World

What is the research evidence that there might exist a continuity of life after death? The topic has been discussed over the years and been the subject of interdisciplinary books and conferences (Kubler-Ross, 1975; Spong, 1987; Batey, B., Ed., 1999). One can not present absolute proof. Later in the paper we will discuss why. However, the accumulated evidence from a series of research areas, when taken as a whole, provides a rather convincing story that supports the viewpoint of ancient civilizations and religious traditions in the existence of a spirit world. We will briefly explore some of these research areas.

First there has been more than a century's investigation of channeling (mediumship) and apparitions, especially those seen by several observers. This has been carried out primarily by parapsychologists, but includes innumerable researchers from other fields (Klimo, 1987). Over the years, many of those who were able to interact with the spirit world related their experiences, for example Emily S. French, Harold Sherman, Eileen Garrett, and James Van Praagh who was the resident expert on NBC's The Other Side(Randall,~1915, Sherman, 1949, Angoff, 1974, Van Praagh, 1997). Although millions of people see visions of departed loved ones each year, scientists have always held that these apparitions occur spontaneously and cannot be made to happen. Dr. Raymond Moody, M.D. at his clinic was able to demonstrate that this was not true. He conducted research showing that one could make contact with apparitions of the dead under controlled clinical conditions using specially designed chambers (Moody & Perry, 1993).

In the early part of the 1900's the research on the world of spirits included top physical scientists such as Sir William Crookes and Sir Oliver Lodge. Arthur Conan Doyle, M.D., the famous author of the Sherlock Holmes Stories, describes this research in his two volume book on The History of Spiritualism which he dedicated to Sir Oliver Lodge (Doyle, 1926/1975). Sir Oliver Lodge is quoted as saying: "I tell you with all the strength and conviction I can utter that we do persist, that people over there still take an interest in what is going on here; that they still help us and know far more about things than we do, and are able from time to time to communicate with us." (Randall, ~1915, p.v).

More recent supporting evidence regarding apparitions comes indirectly from the field of thanatology which is the scientific study of death and dying -- a field of research that began in the 1980's and was pioneered by psychologists and psychiatrists. Drs. Karlis Osis and Erlendur Haraldsson have evaluated data from a four-year study involving fifty thousand deathbed observations by one thousand doctors and nurses. The study was cross cultural with comparisons between the United States and India. Drs. Osis and Haraldsson made a careful characterization of the apparition experience in these terminal patients and separated hallucinations from experiences of reality. They conclude "this evidence strongly suggests life after death -- more strongly than any alternative hypothesis can explain the data" (Karlis & Haraldsson, 1997, p.3).

Another area of research that supports the existence of a possible afterlife is out-of-body experiences (OBE's) especially near-death experiences (NDE's). The area of research on journeys out of the body has been made famous by the Virginia businessman, Dr. Robert Monroe, who in 1958 had experiences that drastically altered his life. Monroe subsequently established The Monroe Institute that has carried out over thirty years of research using "Hemi-Sync" sound technology to help individuals facilitate such out of body experiences. Monroe postulates that there exists a Locale IIwhich "is a non-material environment with laws of motion and matter only remotely related to the physical world." "However, the conclusion that some form of existence in Locale II follows life activity in the known physical world goes beyond conjecture" (Monroe, 1973, pp.71&79).

Persons who have experienced "clinical death" but then revive often recall being outside of their physical body during that period. Moody labeled this phenomena a Near-Death Experience (NDE), and wrote his well-known book Life After Life after studying one hundred such subjects (Moody, 1975). Dr. Kenneth Ring, a world-renowned authority on the NDE, and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Connecticut, has recently written the most complete book on near-death experience. He concludes: "Indeed, everyone, critics included, understands that many moderns have become fascinated with NDE's not simply because they suggest that the moment of death is one of stupendous splendor and joy beyond reckoning. No -- it is rather the unmistakable implication that this kind of experience continues, that there really is a life after death and that, furthermore, it will be wonderful." (Ring & Valarino, 1998, p.278).

A recently completed three year study of the blind by Drs. Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper has added strong evidence that out-of-body and near-death experiences are not merely some kind of psychological aberration or neurological artifact (Ring & Cooper, 1999). There have existed astonishing claims that blind persons, including those blind from birth, can actually "see" during such experiences. After a careful analysis of case studies, Dr. Ring concludes that: "Clearly, the evidence is overwhelming that these NDE's can no longer be regarded as dreams or fantasies, or things people merely imagine. --- Something real, indisputably real, is happening to these experiencers. When it begins with the OBE episode, they seem to be beholding things of this world, but with an enlarged understanding. --- But, then, they are taken into an elsewhere to which we, the witnesses, can no longer have direct access. However, knowing that they have not been hallucinating even at the beginning of their journey gives us greater confidence that the visions they will soon encounter -- emanate from another reality and have their own self-existent truth" (Ring & Valarino, 1998, p.95).

The study of comatose patients offers another area of support. Arnold Mindell, Ph.D., a psychotherapist, questions the belief that comas are unconscious, inaccessible states and that those in persistent vegetative states are -- or should be considered -- dead. Mindell believes that comatose patients are in an altered state of consciousness and describes how the comatose person is able to communicate with others. He states: "Once we succeed in communicating with people in strongly altered states, life after death appears as a timeless, eternal reality trying to manifest itself in the present." (Mindell, 1989).

Reincarnation research is another area that implies the possible existence of a spirit world. In the United States, research by psychologist Dr. Helen Wambach addresses the possibility of reincarnation and the issue of the soul's pre-birth intent. In a two year study she used hypnosis to explore questions regarding life before birth with 750 subjects. Although hypnosis research is always controversial, her work is conscientious and the responses to her questions persuaded her that "90% of the people who come to me definitely flash on images from a past life -- I am convinced that the time has come to study rigorously the plausibility of reincarnation" (Wambach, 1979).

Rigorous research has been done on persons from areas of the world where reincarnation is an accepted belief. Ian Stevenson, M.D., Carlson Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Personality Studies at the University of Virginia, has carried out over 30 years of research on children who claim to remember a previous life and has collected 2,600 reported cases. He has published a four-volume series that details reports of cases from India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Lebanon, Turkey, and the Tlingit Indians of Alaska. Specific information from the children's memories has been collected and matched with the data of their claimed former identity, family, residence, and manner of death (Stevenson, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1983).

In a recent two-volume series, Dr. Stevenson addressed those cases where wounds on a deceased person appeared to have influenced the embryo of a later-born baby. Thus, not only memories but actual physical markers were studied. His research indicated that birthmarks or other physiological manifestations indeed relate to experiences of the remembered past life, particularly violent death -- a result that challenges many assumptions of modern biology (Stevenson, 1996).

Another area of research is the use of electronic devices to proportedly receive information from the spirit level of reality. Such communication could provides direct informational input from another level and should avoid problems associated with a "human instrument." Since 1959 a great number of technical persons and enthusiastic amateurs have been engaged in recording and analyzing Electronic Voice Phenomena which manifest themselves on ordinary magnetic recording tape. This research "has produced some intriguing results -- recorded voices that seem to be attempting to contact researchers on this side of the veil" (Randles & Hough, 1998, p.73; Bander, 1973).

Then in 1977, American research engineer and inventor George Meek claimed to have built a machine that allowed two-way conversations with the dead. He called it Spiricom -- short for "spirit communications." John G. Fuller, an investigative reporter, wrote a fascinating account of Meek's research. Fuller states: "This is a strange story. -- If it is true, it represents a major breakthrough in communication beyond this life, and into the next; persuasive evidence that life continues after death. --- One thing I can say with certainty: I am convinced of the honesty, integrity, and competence of those concerned" (Fuller, 1981). We have known both George Meek and John Fuller and believe that they are men of integrity. George Meek established the Metascience Corporation to carry out research and published a book to express his thoughts on life after death (Meek, 1980).

By 1985 the leap was made from radio to television with the images recorded via video cameras. After this the communications expanded to include computers and fax machines. To accept such two-way communications, one must assume that organized intelligences exist at another level of reality and are using physical technology. In fact, the claim is made that there are groups of participants in the spirit world working with groups here on earth. The implication is that the spirit world is following and making use of progress in earthly technology development (Kubis & Macy, 1995; Randles & Hough, 1998).

Are images of the dead really materializing on television and computer screens? Is this just a modern manifestation of the hoaxed spirit photographs from Victorian times? The easy and typical Western response is that they must be fraudulently produced. Yet, there exists a large international network of researchers working on instrumental transcommunication, with regional centers in Europe, North America, and South America. They are presenting their data in books, at international conferences, on the internet (www.worlditc.org), and in an international newsletter (Macy, Ed., 1999). Later in this paper we will address the possibility of why modern day electronics may be providing an optimum vehicle for communication between the physical world and the world of spirits.

5. The Astral Plane

Each of the research areas discussed above are considered controversial. However, when taken in aggregate, we believe that they justify a serious consideration by science of how its current belief system could be expanded to account for the existence of the world of spirits. Traditionally the next level to the physical world has been called the astral plane. Dr. Monroe has called this "Locale II" -- a term that might be more acceptable to the scientific community. Let us now briefly explore some of the reported characteristics of the astral plane.

In 1895 C.W. Leadbeater, an English Bishop, published a small book describing the astral plane based upon an investigation by trained clairvoyants. This became, and remains, a manual for the Theosophical Society -- founded by the Russian-born Madame Helena Blavatsky in 1875. Leadbeater goes into considerable detail, but for this paper a few of the more general statements are relevant: "The first point which it is necessary to make clear in describing this astral plane is its absolute reality. -- It is hard for us to realize how partial our sight is - to understand that we are all the time living in a vast world of which we see only a tiny part." He notes the "finer" materiality of the astral plane and "that many of its inhabitants have a marvelous power of changing their forms with protean rapidity." Leadbeater then discusses the interpenetrating nature of the astral plane "so that here at the surface of the earth all exist together in the same space." (Leadbeater, 1941, pp.3-4,6-7,15)

While Leadbeater used humans to explore the astral plane, one hundred years later modern researchers are using electronic instruments. Here are some of the characteristics of the astral plane that they describe. Individuals on the astral plane have a body composed of finer matter and vibrations. There is no sickness, and sex exists without pregnancy. Their thoughts create their reality and they communicate telepathically. One's personality is unchanged from what it was on earth, yet intellectual growth continues. One's mind determines the body's appearance, missing limbs are reestablished, disfigurations become prefect and the age one appears is subject to choice, usually 25 to 30 (Kubis & Macy, 1995).

The astral environment is described as having houses and beautiful settings with sandy beaches, lakes, and mountains. Butterflies, hummingbirds, etc. exist as do family pets. Individuals materialize "synthetic" food. In addition many "astral" planets exist there. The astral plane is considered an interim place where one either reincarnates back to physical earth, moves to another planet, or moves to a higher level (or plane) (Kubis & Macy, 1995).

What we have just described is extremely hard for a scientist and even a lay person to believe. Yet, if spirits are real, then we must treat this information as possibly being valid. If we do this, there develops another major issue for science. The entities described do not appear to be of sub-nuclear dimensions, nor to exhibit extremely high energy. Rather the entities appear to be of low energy and ordinary size. No durable pattern can persist in the high energy randomness within the quantum vacuum. Hence, the vacuum could not support microscopic forms and certainly not macroscopic forms of the size of the human body. Thus, to say the entities could exist in physical space-time beyond the cut-off of scientific instrumentation -- i.e., at the extremely high energy end of the electromagnetic spectrum -- isn't tenable. A more reasonable answer for non detection is that these phenomena exist outside of the electromagnetic spectrum that defines what science uses to characterize our physical world.

6. Our Original Model

Our original model has been described in considerable detail in a number of papers, so we will just summarize the key points here. Our model assumes the creation process flows from a phase of reality that is pre-form or potential. This aspect of reality becomes the "progenitor" of 4-dimensional space-time. In the creation process "light" serves as the "mother" of form which constitutes our physical reality. By light we mean the entire electromagnetic spectrum. (Shacklett & Gough, 1991; Gough & Shacklett, 1993a, 1995, 1996)
Science agrees that everything in the universe is vibrating. Our position is that vibration in the form of waves is primary, and that pattern, form and matter arise from the interaction of waves -- akin to interference patterns, holograms, and standing waves. Matter could be considered "frozen light." Sonoluminescence is the process of converting sound into light. If the waves of matter (sound) can become light, then it may not be too unreasonable to assume that a similar non-linear conversion process could exist for the waves of light to become matter waves. Modern physics has already found that under the right circumstances, light and matter can switch identities (Flam, 1994, Tatterson, 1997).

The correspondence between shape and a spectrum of waves, and vice versa, is an exciting new field of mathematical research known as drum theory. Objects that vibrate, be they drumheads or atoms, have characteristic vibration frequencies -- they each are putting out a different tune (Gordon & Webb, 1996; Peterson, 1998). Our papers focus upon how that "tune" can be changed via non-local input. Non-locality suggests that distant systems can be connected in a totally new way -- a way in which distance no longer seems to matter. Recent physics experiments strongly support the existence of the phenomena. Our model suggests that for the human body, non-local effects, which initially appear at the sub-atomic level, will be detectable as changes in the molecular structure of cells. Such changes will alter the body's cellular communication process and therefore can affect both behavior and body healing. (Gough, 1997).

Current science has two underlying assumptions. First, science normally assumes that everything originates with matter (the Big Bang). Second, science assumes that the velocity of all matter and information is limited to the speed of light. This second assumption has been proven to be correct for that aspect of the physical reality that we can measure. Our original model changed the first assumption by introducing a pre-form of reality. Our expanded model will change the second assumption.

7. Our Hypothesis

We will first describe our hypothesis, and later in the paper we will outline in more detail what science can't say. We propose the existence of multiple three-dimensional spaces and times that are co-existent and interpenetrating. The three-dimensional spaces are assumed to emerge from a background of creative intelligence/energy.

The concept of interpenetration can by appreciated when you realize that at this moment everyone is immersed in a worldwide communication "space." With the proper instrument, for example a cell phone, you can access this communication space and talk to someone on the other side of the planet. We now accept this interpenetrating world of communication without question. Yet, in 1267, when Roger Bacon, a scientist and writer, suggested that it was possible to use electricity for communications, he was imprisoned for dealing in black magic (Settel, 1960). And more recently, when our parents were children, the fact that Marconi had been able to send a wireless message across the Atlantic made the front page headline of the New York Times: WIRELESS JOINS TWO WORLDS (New York Times, 1907).

We suggest that each interpenetrating space has its own physics with different physical properties and time. Thus, each of the interpenetrating 3D spaces has a different speed of light since the physical properties of space determines the nature and density of its physical matter. Specifically, it is the permittivity and permeability that give space its characteristics. These two parameters respectively determine the electrical and magnetic properties of space, and thus the velocity of light. Within each interpenetrating space or "level", order and form arise out of an underlying base of randomness.

The next question we had to address was the topology of the cosmos. Topological properties refer to the most fundamental geometrical properties of a form. They are the most permanent properties -- ones that persist under the most drastic changes of shape. Conventional scientific wisdom says that the universe is infinite. However, there are other scientists who believe that the universe could be finite in a topology that gives the illusion of an infinite size.

One thing that cosmologists have observed by measuring the density of matter and energy in the cosmos is that the topology of the universe does not appear to be spherical. Cosmologists now believe that if the topology of the universe is finite, it could be either 1) a Euclidian 3-dimensional torus, i.e., a doughnut shape, or 2) a hyperbolic space, like a pretzel in the shape of the infinity sign. Neither of these possibilities contradicts any available cosmological evidence. Cosmological research is underway to resolve the questions (Luminert, Starkman, & Weeks, 1999). Very recent data indicates that the Euclidian geometry appears to hold (Perlmutter, et.al., 1999).

In our expanded model we assume that the topology of the cosmos is a torus. A torus is the topological equivalent to a vortex shape. The torus/vortex shape is the most common shape found throughout nature (Elgin, 1993). The torus topology is fractal- like, meaning that there is a self-similarity for this topology across the entire range of sizes that exist in the physical universe; as illustrated in Table I.

We further assume that our cosmic torus is in dynamic motion, just like everything else in the physical universe. A dynamic torus implies pattern permanence. There exists a dynamic interchange between shape and flow process. The stability of the entire structure is provided by the angular momentum. The material aspect of the multiple 3-dimensional space and times (levels) that we have hypothesized become part of the cosmic torus' unique wholeness. With each interpenetrating level having its own unique vibrational waves which correspond to "light" at that level.

In summary, we picture a dynamic 3-dimensional cosmos in the topology of a torus -- composed of interpenetrating levels. There will exist a perceived separateness between levels, because their different physical properties and times create "speed of light" barriers between them. But how many levels are there and what is the coupling between levels? Now we enter the most speculative aspects of our expanded model. It is more like a work in progress in which we will present our current thoughts recognizing that they are incomplete and subject to change.

A cosmos in the topology of a dynamic torus will have certain inherent properties. It is a completely flowing and self-referencing system. The two flows become self-containing as shown in Figure 1. It is both a dynamically closed system that is self-organizing and self-bounding. It is also a dynamically open system connected to all others and to the non-local generative ground as shown in Figure 2. Because the torus topology is fractal-like and so prevalent in our universe, this connectiveness to the generative ground and hence to everything else in the universe, including living cells and human beings.

There have been many attempts to name this generative ground or to refer to it by its characteristics. It is spaceless-timeless, the home of non-locality, the source of consciousness, and in earlier papers we referred to it as the knowledge realm. Mathematicians have used the term pre-geometry. Physicists have called it pre-space and others say super-space. It has been referred to as the meta-universe, the Void, and some would even say God.

The idea of a generative ground or super-space unquestionably has ancient roots. More than twenty centuries ago the Taoist sage Lao-tsu described it this way:

There was something formless and perfect
before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty.
Solitary. Unchanging.
Infinite. Eternally present.
It is the mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name,
I call it the Tao. (Mitchel, 1988)

8. Symbols And Human Feedback Between Levels

In our model the creation of pattern and form in three dimensional space and time, i.e., in our physical world, flows from a generative ground that is pre-form or potential. Hence, we have postulated a reality beyond the spaces and times associated with all the levels. One to which everything in these physical worlds is linked, resulting in a non-local connectiveness that negates the apparent separateness we normally experience. Although pattern and form in the physical world can be altered via interaction within the physical, they can also be altered via feedback between levels. Thoughts and intentions are the tools humans use to create the feedback -- individuals who have become exceptionally skilled in the use of these tools are known as psychics and shamans.

Symbols are defined as "meaningful" patterns for an individual experiencing them. Since they are patterns that are experienced and expressed in our physical world, they occur in space-time -- and can exist at all the interpenetrating levels in the universe. According to drum theory, every symbol corresponds to a spectrum of waves. Thus, a symbol could be considered a particular radio station putting out a particular carrier wave. Humans, via their thoughts and intentions can "empower" a symbol by superimposing a message upon it. This is why the same symbol can have different meaning at different times and in different cultures.

In agreement with Drs. Carl G. Jung and Wolfgang Pauli, we have defined the ordering beyond our space-time as archetypes, i.e., formless forms. A key linkage in our physical world via which we access and express archetypal information are patterns and symbols. We have discussed this process in detail in our paper on "Science and Symbols" and will now briefly discuss the relationship to human feedback between levels (Gough & Shacklett, 1993b).

Nature bestowed upon humans a distinguishing characteristic -- a big, complex brain. Over the last million years a remarkable change occurred, the brain acquired one extra pound of neural tissue, primarily in the neocortex. "At the same time, the brain's functions split in two -- a revolutionary development made necessary because evolution had to rewire one lobe to accommodate speech. --- The human brain lobes, while appearing symmetrical, are functionally different. This specialization is called hemispheric lateralization." (Shlain, 1998).

The brain represents an ever changing universe of patterns. We believe that the brain represents a set of structures optimized to create, record, or change patterns. Recent research by neurobiologists now considers that the "brain is such a dynamic machine that it never stops sucking out information to update what it has inside" (Meredith, 1999). One brain lobe is optimized for processing local input from our five physical senses; the other optimized for handling non-local input received via the chakra system from other levels and archetypes. The brain's primary function in the physical body is to convert the patterns received from both types of inputs into electrochemical feedback to the body that changes our behavior. It is this complexity and specialization of the human brain that gives humans the ability to manipulate symbols.
Because of the uniqueness of the human brain, human beings are highly effective at creating feedback across multiple levels. Through mental intention and attention, we can empower a symbol -- tune to it and amplify its signal in the universe. We do this via our thoughts since they exemplify the flexible pattern structures in our brains. Dr. Leonard Shlain presents his views on effects of this symbolic feedback process. He proposes that the process of reading and writing reconfigured the human brain and resulted in profound changes in religion and gender relations (Shlain, 1998). We discussed the broad implications of this use of free will in our paper on "The Science of Good and Evil" (Gough & Shacklett, 1994b).

The symbols used for letters and numbers were intimately connected in ancient times. Ancient cultures claimed a sacred status for traditional alphabets (Sanskrit, Islamic Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, Tibetan, etc.). A geometric metaphor for the creation process based upon the three dimensional torus has been explored. It relates the origins of ancient alphabets and sacred texts, and indicates that a deeper underlying meaning may be coded into the ancient sacred texts, specifically the first book of the Bible (Tenen & Gough, 1989).

In effect, the symbols of the ancients were the means to tune to universal archetypes beyond space and time. Today science relies upon mathematics. Mathematics is the study of pure patterns, which means it is the study of the language of Nature. However, science does not understand why the symbol system of mathematics has the power to uncover the hidden secrets of Nature. The question for modern science is: Why does the world dance to a mathematical tune? (Barrow, 1992, p.22).

An area of mathematical research that we believe will lead to an understanding of the relationship between the archetypes of the generative ground that are at the basis of the creation process, is the field of topology known as knot theory. Knots, therefore, become the mathematical representation of "transceivers" for tuning to the information within the multilevel universe; and might even be considered a parallel to the sacred symbols of the ancients. They provide the hope for finding the deep underlying basis "in the relation between space and sign, geometry and symbol, the source common to mathematics, physics, language and all" (Kauffman, 1991, p.3).

9. Creation Of Levels

Let us now return to the dynamic three dimensional space that is being created. When one includes time, this becomes the four dimensional space-time discussed in physics. In our expanded model this universe has a toroidal topology with interpenetrating levels, each with unique physical properties (and different speeds of light). Although the question remains whether there exists a finite number of such levels, we have assumed that the number is finite.
One of the major implications of our accepting the viewpoint of those cosmologists who believe the universe is finite, is that it implies boundaries at its surface. This means that the universe can be treated as a resonant cavity filled with vibrational waves. The result would be standing waves that could create divisions. These divisions of the whole could embody the different interpenetrating levels of spaces and times that we are proposing.

10. How Many Levels?

We propose that there are seven major levels, but we can't prove this. Our reasoning is based upon analogy to an apparent cosmic design law for seven-ness that appears throughout the universe. The law of seven also called the law of octaves says that there will be a doubling of the vibrations of the eighth "note" thereby creating an octave. This appears to be a fundamental law of the universe probably embedded in the cosmic design. It is not a part of current physics but represents an overlay upon the infinite electromagnetic spectrum, which is usually considered to have a cutoff at the Planck length of 10-33 cm..

We know that on the surface of a torus the mathematicians have proven that seven colors are always sufficient to differentiate areas -- this is called a map-coloring theorem. Arthur M. Young, who graduated in mathematics from Princeton University and was the inventor of the Bell helicopter, suggested its possible implications. Young considered the universe to be a process put in motion by purpose. He considered that the torus might be analogous to process and hence these colors could correspond to distinctions in the process. If the entire universe was a torus, he concluded that "its seven colors would correspond to the seven stages which might be expected in process". He relates these seven stages to seven kingdoms starting with light and ending in "man" that cumulatively increase in power (Young, 1976, 1980). Thus, although the seven-ness on the surface of a torus does not imply a division into seven separate regions within the three dimensional volume of the torus, it may relate to the dynamic process taking place in the creation of the patterns within the space-time volume.

Seven-ness appears in sound waves in the seven fundamental tones of Western music. The notes of the Western diatonic music scale are but a few points on a spectrum of tone-frequencies that actually includes an infinite number of points or minutely-different pitches. Yet in all lands, children from the age of eighteen months to two and a half years have been found to spontaneously sing melodic fragments with the intervals of second, minor third, and major third. The name given to this fundamental type of melody that infants everywhere in the world seem to sing quite spontaneously, without having learned it from their parents or the culture around them is the Ur-song. (Tame, 1984, p.230)
Leonard Bernstein, the well known composer and conductor, researched the phenomena of the Ur-song and believes that it implies that the seven-ness of the diatonic scale is in our genetic programming (Gardner, 1981). In 1973, in his Charles Eliot Norton lectures at Harvard, he described the Ur-song of the world's children as an archetypal pattern --- the joint product of the physical laws of harmony, and of the innate, genetic pattern of all human beings. (Tame, 1984, p.230 & Gardner, 1981)

The concept of the diatonic scale being written into the genetic pattern of man is in itself full of implications. The Ur-song may be demonstrating to us that our thought processes and the natural flow of consciousness (which is so uninhibited and spontaneous in infants) are themselves somehow linked to harmonic principles. It is only one small step from all of this to the postulate that the ancients were correct: that there truly is something about tonal music which puts it in tune with the entire universe, thus making it a real source of healing and regeneration. (Tame, 1984, p.92) Music therapy is now a significant area of research and clinical applications. Don Campbell, a well known educator on the connection between music and healing has summarized the entire field in his recent book The Mozart Effect: Tapping the Power of Music to Heal the Body, Strengthen the Mind, and Unlock the Creative Spirit (Campbell, 1997).

Seven-ness also appears in non-Western music. Of the four main dimensions of music -- harmony, melody, rhythm and timbre -- harmony is virtually nonexistent in Indian music. However, this lack is more than made up for, in that melody, rhythm and timbre are developed to an extraordinarily sophisticated degree. As in the Western diatonic scale with its seven major tones, there are in Indian music seven basic notes. While the notes of this scale are not brought together harmonically, there is a very refined art - one might even say science - to the melodic use of this tone scale. Modification of the seven basic tones are used to produce a total of 22 basic intervals to the octave which are applied in Indian music. (Tame, 1984, pp.179-180)

Although physics defines no octaves in the electromagnetic light spectrum, we can observe a seven-ness, for example in the colors of a rainbow. In physical matter, the elements in our universe are arranged in seven rows of the periodic table because the properties periodically repeat. The English chemist, John Newlands, who first proposed this arranged of elements based upon an analogy with the keyboard of a piano, was laughed at -- so the table is named after the Russian scientist, Mendeleeff, who clearly presented the data, but without reference to music and the "law of octaves". (Newman, 1956, p.910; Jaffe, 1956, p.924)

The planets in our solar system have about a 2:1 spacing. This planetary characteristic is called Bode's law. The ratio 2:1 is, of course, the ratio of the octave itself, and so it was as if the planets formed a chain of octaves, each next planet representing one octave. The distances involved were not exactly of the ratio 2:1, but were near enough to suggest to early European astronomers that a definite law of some sort might be involved. (Tame, 1984, pp.237-238)

Seven appears often in the religious literature. For example, according to the Kabbalah, a Judaic esoteric body of lore, there are ten "Sefirot" in the creation process as represented by the Tree of Life. The top three Sefirot represent the World of Emanation. They are not spoken of as a triad, but rather as a complete, self contained whole. In our modeling they would correspond to the generative ground beyond space and time. The remaining seven Sefirot would correspond to the seven levels of substance in our model. In the Kabbalah the first three of the seven are known as the World of Creation, the next three are the World of Formation, and the last is the World of Action. Each Sefirah is both a product of the preceding Sefirah and a forbearer to the succeeding Sefirah. (Fisdel, 1999)

In metaphysics there are seven major chakras which are said to connect the body to the seven levels of substance. Leadbeater also states that there are seven levels or as he calls them "planes". "The astral region -- is the second of these great planes of Nature - the next above (or within) that physical world with which we are all familiar." (Leadbeater, 1941, p.6)

Today, modern researchers of the brain/mind and levels of consciousness, also sometimes use a seven-level symbolic interpretation. For example, Dr. Elmer Green of the Menninger Foundation first developed his seven-level diagram of human substance and perceptual structure in 1963 and called it "The Anatomy of a Psyche." He has continued to find it applicable as his research in biofeedback progressed over the years (Green & Green, 1989).

11. The Generative "Force"

However, if there were not a driving "force", i.e., the creative energy/information flowing into this universe, the pattern structure of such a universe would decay -- as the second law of thermodynamics states. Along with a growing number of other scientists, we assume that this driving force arises out of a generative ground or pre-space and becomes the creative force behind space-time and the physical universe of pattern and form.

If the seven-ness is a cosmic property, then it may represent a constraint imposed by the creation pattern in the generation of space-time. Science has nothing to say about creation patterns. However, individuals with experiences exploring at other levels may be able to give us clues. For example, in a near-death experience, Lynnclaire Dennis saw the Pattern, a dynamic and luminous holographic matrix, which she believes is a universal representation of the energy of creation. The vibration of the Pattern she experientially calls pure love.


Dr. Louis H. Kauffman, a mathematician, topologist and well known knot theorist from the University of Illinois at Chicago, has been studying the Pattern. He has found an inherent seven-ness in the Pattern as it is brought into three dimensions. Other even more basic sources of seven-ness may become evident when processes such as the "Laws of Form" as developed by Dr. Spencer-Brown are studied in more depth (Kauffman, 1999; Dennis, 1997, Spencer-Brown, 1969)

12. How Patterns Manifest At Different Levels

We have assumed that the manifestation process originates outside of space and time, in the generative ground. This we believe is true for all the varying degrees of physiciality at each of the seven interpenetrating levels. For a human, we can therefore say that there exists a "soul" outside of all space and time. The soul is the essence, or pattern generator, for that human being. Thus, there would be generated human patterns, sometimes called "bodies" at each of the interpenetrating levels. These would normally be superimposed upon one another.

At each physical level there must be a process that guides the formation of the pattern into a "physical" form. In our physical world we believe this can be represented by electrostatic field patterns. Electrostatic detectors such as Kirlian photography devices have recorded the existence of such patterns in the form or auras. Phantom leaf experiments have shown their persistence after removal of physical structures. The phantom limb phenomena of medical fame is also suggestive of such patterns. With a phantom limb a person experiences the presence of their limb even though it was amputated or missing since birth.

In the literature this pattern field is usually called the "etheric double" or "subtle body". Unlike the "bodies" at other levels such as the astral, the etheric double exists in our physical world of space-time (Leadbeater, 1975). It can be considered like a hologram composed of energy interference patterns. While the astral or bodies at the other levels are weakly coupled to the physical, the etheric double is strongly coupled to the physical body. We assume that a similar etheric-like double accompanies physicality at the other levels

13. Coupling Between Levels

Because each level has its unique physical laws, each level will have its own vibratory characteristics. In a sense each level has its own form of "electromagnetic theory" that is unique to that level. This results in different speeds of light at each of the seven levels. Hence, we suggest that a "light barrier" exists between levels. Thus, if only physical properties are considered at each level there will be no strong coupling between the levels. The weak coupling that does exist results from the non-local linkage to the generative ground that would be present at all levels.
As a pattern is introduced as a non-local input from the generator background, a similarity is created at all levels in which it is going to manifest. Similar patterns at each level may create a coherence or "resonance." The interpenetrating patterns are superimposed and appear linked. For a human these are the metaphysical "bodies" described in the literature.

What determines the division between the mineral, plant, animal, and human "kingdoms" is the degree of feedback that can exist between our physical level and the other "higher" levels -- i.e., the degree to which the feedback approaches the generative source. This depends upon the design of the principle "antenna," the brain. The human brain represents a uniquely designed "antenna" capable of being tuned to higher levels. The number of levels involved in the feedback process determines the ability of a particular "kingdom" to produces changes in the generative patterns.

The degree of feedback is often referred to as a level of consciousness. It varies within the individuals of each kingdom -- with the widest variation occurring in humans. This concept was illustrated in Figure 3 by C.W. Leadbeater, considered one of the greatest clairvoyants of the 20th century. The figure depicts the variation in the range of the feedback associated with each of the four physical "kingdoms." The double triangle on the right illustrates the range available to our spiritual aspect. It also shows the shift in the focus of one's consciousness away from emphasis primarily upon the physical. This shift occurs as the brain is reprogrammed in a highly spiritual person.

For humans, this high degree of feedback is known as "free will". It permits a human to distort the coherence between the "bodies" at the different levels. When the balance from the natural coherence is lost, the result is dis-ease. When this incoherence occurs within a society it is known as evil. By aligning with the generative source (God) natural coherence can be restored. The process by which such alignment can be facilitated requires sincere intent to be one with the source -- this process is knows as "prayer".

What are the physics issues for the coupling between levels? Since we are proposing a physicality at each level, with associated mass and charge which would give rise to both gravitational and electromagnetic phenomena, we have to address the issue of cross-level interaction. Such interaction is not observed, at least to our knowledge. The possibility exists that the properties of space-time at each level are different enough so that neither gravity or electromagnetism couple across from one level to another. The precision with which astronomical observations and predictions can be made would demonstrate very quickly any perturbations in the behavior of objects in our solar system that showed influences of unseen gravitating objects. Furthermore, similar precision in many kinds of electromagnetic experiments would show effects of unseen charged objects at another level.
Therefore, we need to propose an explanation of why such direct interaction is not observed. One possibility is that the physical properties of the space and time at each level are sufficiently different that coupling is not possible, at least to the degree that the effects can be observed. The progressively higher and higher velocities of light require changing permittivity and permeability of the vacuum states at each level. Since these parameters are fundamental to the interactions of charges, it might be that such differences are responsible for the absence of coupling.

The absence of direct coupling does not mean that there can be no influence communicated across levels. We have described how non-local interaction can influence objects and persons at this physical level. The same kind of non-local effects exist across levels as shown by the many physical phenomena that can originate at the astral plane or even higher. These include the effects on electronic instruments cited earlier. They could also include the strange electrical phenomena described at the beginning of this paper.

It appears that technology is moving in a direction favorable to more influence of higher levels upon our lower level. The means whereby this is being accomplished is electronics. We have proposed that non-local coupling to our physical level affects, via the magnetic vector potential, the movement of charge (Gough & Shacklett, 1995; Gough, 1997). Thus, in addition to magnetic effects (for example those upon a magnetic tape or a compass), the types of charge effects one would expect would be ionization phenomena such as observed in smoke detectors, changes in moving currents such as current flow in electric power devices, changes is charge distribution in electronic devices of all types including TV's and computers. Obviously, this type of electronic technology was not available until very recently. Therefore, our experience of such effects in modern Western culture does not have anything like the long history of the types of spirit-caused phenomena that characterized ancient times up to the early 1900's

14. Can Dark Matter Be Explained?

One the biggest mysteries in cosmological science is the question of the "missing mass" which is thought to make up more than 90% of the universe. We will briefly address this issue because our expanded model may help solve the mystery through the gravitational influence of the other levels. The presence of this so called "dark matter" is inferred from its gravitational pull on other visible objects. "Most of the mass of the universe seems to exist as some form of 'dark matter' that is invisible through any kind of telescope. Studies of how galaxies rotate and move about one another indicate that they are enveloped in halos of such material. But researchers do not know what dark matter is made of." (Powell, 1994).
Current research to help answer this question is focussed upon the evidence that the universe is swimming in neutrinos, which if they had even the most infinitesimal mass, might account for the dark matter effect. However, the results of recent experiments are casting doubts upon this possibility and appear to be "bad news for the neutrinos-as-dark-matter folks" (Smith, 1999, p.18). One research scientist who has written a book on the subject of dark matter states: "As long as the identity of the most dominant material in the universe today remains unknown to us, we cannot claim that our scientific picture of the world even approaches completion." (Krauss, 1989, p.272)

In spite of the fact that we know a few things about the gravitational interaction, it still remains one of the deeper mysteries of the physical world. Gravity we believe is a property of the whole. When we propose a physicality, hence mass, at the various levels, this physicality, must produce a gravitational effect. Thus, there should be a gravitational effect for the entire universe. In our expanded model this would include all levels and would depend upon the combined total mass of all levels.

An interesting question is whether this combined mass of the different levels could be a major contributor to the over 90% of the universe's mass that is currently undetectable. Because of the alignment of multi-level objects, the interpenetrating levels might produce the type of "halo" effect that has been found around galaxies including our own Milky Way (San Jose Mercury, 1997).

Another speculation is that the halo around galaxies might be analogous to the halos seen around humans by clairvoyants. These halos consist of both an etheric aspect that exists within our physical space-time and aspects due to the other levels. The etheric aspect, because it exists within physical space-time can be made visible and detected by the use of electrostatic devices such as Kirlian photography (Krippner & Rubin, 1974).

Based upon our knowledge of modern physics and our earlier arguments about the non-coupling of charge between levels, we cannot, at the present time, fully support this speculation about dark matter. However, we have also assumed a finite topology for the universe -- a torus. We realize that a scientific discovery of the actual topology of space could have profound implications for physics. "Relativity is a purely local theory. It predicts the curvature of each small volume of space -- its geometry -- based on the matter and energy it contains. Neither relativity nor standard cosmological observations say anything about how those volumes fit together to give the universe its overall shape -- its topology. Relativity would describe both a torus (a doughnut like shape) and a plane with the same equations, even though the torus is finite and the plane is infinite." (Luminet, et.al., 1999, p.92)

There are cosmologists who believe that if research should show the universe to be finite rather than infinite, it might explain gravity. In a finite universe, "the illusion of infinity would come about as light wrapped all the way around space, perhaps more than once -- creating multiple images of each galaxy. Because we are embedded in space, we cannot see the flexure directly but rather perceive it as gravitational attraction and geometric distortion of images." (Luminet, et.al., 1999, p.90-91

15. What Science Can't Say

We have made many assumptions in developing this expanded model. We have often chosen a controversial "minority" scientific position when such a minority viewpoint represented the most appropriate fit for the overall framework we are developing. We believe our expanded model addresses compelling questions that modern science has diligently avoided. However, it is important for the reader to fully understand the assumptions in our modeling. Therefore, we will present a brief summary of what science can't say. By this we mean that either there are diverging views among scientists, or that scientists are not addressing the issue at all.

1) The universe's fundamental parameters: We have taken the position that angular momentum and charge are the universe's fundamental parameters and that mass and hence gravity are emergent properties. This concept was first proposed by the famous Russian scientist Dr. Andrei Sakharov in 1967 (Sakharov, 1968). Supporting research continues to be published in main line physics journals but the idea remains quite controversial in science's search for an understanding of gravity (Haisch, et.al., 1994, 1996; Penrose, 1994).

2) Infinite versus finite universe: Most cosmologists still hold to the viewpoint that the universe is infinite. However, this position is now being challenged and the possibility exists that the universe is finite -- merely giving the illusion of infinity. Our expanded model requires a dynamic three dimensional structure for the cosmos. Cosmologists are considering possible finite structures -- the 3-torus and nine simple variations on it or a finite hyperbolic three-dimensional universe for which there are infinitely many possible topologies (Luminet, et.al, 1999). For our modeling we have chosen the Euclidian 3-torus.

3) A multi-level universe: Although discussed in the metaphysical literature, nothing in science talks about an interpenetrating multi-level universe. We, therefore, are outside of traditional science with this concept. Our proposal should not be confused with the idea in physics known as the "many-worlds interpretation" of quantum mechanics. This interpretation was put forth by Hugh Everett in 1957 and contends that myriads of universes are created upon the occasion of each measurement act, thus producing innumerable "parallel universes" each as real as our own (Herbert, 1985).

4) Physical detection of other levels: Why can't we physically detect the other levels? We believe that physical instruments made of non-organic matter have an inherent limitation that prohibits them from detecting levels with different speeds of lights. Living systems are not so severely limited. We have made some suggestions regarding detection of other levels but have no convincing scientific foundation for our beliefs. We recognize this as a weakness in the model.

5) Charge as a fundamental unit: We have assumed that charge is a fundamental unit at all levels. If this is so, than why don't the other levels strongly interact to charge phenomena at this level such as solar flares? Yet, we believe that the evidence indicates that there is none or only a very extremely weak interaction. We also recognize that modern physics does not have a deep understanding of the underlying nature of charge. We have therefore assumed that there exists some natural barrier or property that inhibits charge interactions between levels. Hence, only a non-local coupling between levels is assumed to exist.

6) Number of levels: We have assumed a finite topology for the universe. Because the boundary surface of a finite structure places constraints upon vibrational waves within it, there can exist a finite number of standing wave structures. Since we have assumed a toroidal topology with non-local input from pre-space, the nature of that input could also provide a basis for maintaining a given number of levels. This type of universe can therefore have a finite number of interpenetrating levels within it that are distinct. In theory there could be any number of such levels. The only rationale which we have for assuming that there are seven major divisions is analogy with phenomena in the physical world supported by some metaphysical and religious literature. However, we have no scientific basis for this assertion.

7) Decreasing density of matter: We have assumed that the density of matter decreases as the speed of the light increases. This would mean that our physical world is the most dense, and that the density of the matter at other levels continually decreases. Although there is psychical and metaphysical support for this position, we have no scientific basis for making this assumption.

8) Breadth of non-locality concept: Most physical scientists treat non-locality as a microscopic phenomena. However, there are increasing numbers who consider non-locality to operate on a macroscopic scale, for example in superconductors (Leggett, 1986; Shimony, 1988). In previous papers, we have treated non-locality as an underlying universal property, including being the basis for synchronicity (Shacklett & Gough, 1991; Gough & Shacklett, 1993a). We have also discussed how non-locality can become a scientific explanation for distant healing (Gough, 1997). In our expanded model we have further assumed that non-local interactions between levels serve as the primary coupling for creating physical changes. Thus, we have applied the concept of non-locality well beyond the currently accepted scientific position.
9) Least action: The least action principle describes how the physical universe (as we currently know it) runs. Action is equal to energy (more precisely, the difference between the kinetic and the potential energies) times time. It turns out that of all the possible ways a physical process can go, Nature always selects the one that minimizes the total action along the path. The least action principle represents a major assumption of science, but it successfully underlies modern physical theories. Therefore, we felt justified in considering the least action principle to be valid at all physical levels. Nevertheless, this is an assumption beyond those of current science.

As the above illustrates, science still has many major gaps that need to be filled. Some of the areas we have addressed have more than one equally probable but opposing scientific theories, other areas are not testable by scientists under the current paradigm.

16. Conclusions

We have developed an expanded model of universal connectiveness that includes spirit in a scientific framework. The multi-level physical universe proposed has the potential to allow scientists to answer a number of questions that have eluded science heretofore. However, there remain many unanswered issues. Our hope is that we have sketched a road map useful for the development of a new scientific paradigm that will include the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of Nature.


The original version of this paper was published in the Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on the Study of Shamanism and Alternate Modes of Healing, Santa Sabina Center, San Rafael, CA, September 4-6, 1999. Republished with the kind permission of Dr. Ruth-Inge Heinze, Conference Coordinator and Editor, University of California, Berkeley, CA; and the Independent Scholars of Asia, Inc.

17. References and Notes

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Haisch, B., A.Rueda, H.E. Puthoff, "Physics of the Zero-Point Field: Implications for Inertia, Gravitation and Mass," Speculations in Science & Technology, 1996.

Herbert, N., Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics, Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1985, p.19.

Jaffe,B., "Mendeleeff", The World of Mathematics, Vol. 2, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1956.

Karlis, O. & E. Haraldsson, At the Hour of Death: A New Look at Evidence for Life After Death, Norwalk, CT: Hastings House, 1997.

Kauffman, L.H., Knots and Physics, Teaneck, NJ: World Scientific Publishing Co., 1991.

Kauffman, L.H., Personal Communication with W.C. Gough, October 25, 1999.

Klimo, J., Channeling: Investigations on Receiving Information from Paranormal Sources, Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 1987.

Krauss, L.M., The Fifth Essence: The Search for Dark Matter in the Universe, NY: Basic Books, 1989.

Krippner, S. & D. Rubin, Editors, The Kirlian Aura, NY: Anchor Books, 1974.

Kubis, P. & M. Macy, Conversations Beyond the Light: Communication with Departed Friends and Colleagues by Electronic Means, Boulder, CO: Griffin Publishing & Continuing Life Research, 1995.

Kubler-Ross, E. Death: The Final Stage of Growth, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1975.

Leadbeater, C.W., The Astral Plane, Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1941 (First published, 1895).

Leadbeater, C.W., Man Visible and Invisible, Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, Quest Book, 1975, p.11 (First published 1902).

Leggett, A.J., "Quantum Mechanics at the Macroscopic Level", In The Lesson of Quantum Theory, J. de Boer, E. Dal and O. Ulfbeck, Eds., Elsevier Science Publications B.V., 1986, pp.35-57.

Luminet, J.P., G.D. Starkman, J.R. Weeks, "Is Space Finite?", Scientific American, Vol. 280, No. 4, April 1999, pp.90-97.

Macy, M. Ed., Transdimension: The Bridge to Worlds Beyond, Vol. 1, Jan.-June 1999.

Meek, G.W., After We Die, What Then?, Franklin, NC: Metascience Corp. Publication Div., 1980.

Meek, G.W., [Editor to add reference to Meek's new book.]

Meredith, D., "Mind Over Matter: Brain-Wave Kinetics", Duke Magazine, Sept.-Oct. 1999, pp.16-20.

Mindell, A., Coma: Key to Awakening, Boston,MA: Shambhala, 1989.

Mitchell, S. (trans.), Tao Te Ching: A New English Version, NY: Harper & Row, 1988, Chap.25.

Monroe, R.A., Journeys Out of the Body, Garden City, NY, Anchor Books, 1973

Moody, R.A., Life After Life: The Investigation of a Phenomenon -- Survival of Bodily Death, Bantam Books, 1975.

Moody, R.A., P. Perry, Reunions: Visionary Encounters with Departed Loved Ones, NY: Villard Books, 1993.
Morse, D., [Reference to be added by Editor.]

Newman, J.R., "Commentary on the Periodic Law and Mendeleeff", The world of Mathematics, Vol. 2, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1956.

New York Times, "First Wireless Press Message Across the Atlantic", "Wireless Joins Two Worlds", Oct. 18, 1907, p.1.

Osis, K. & E. Haraldsson, What They Saw -- At the Hour of Death, Norwalk, CT: Hastings House, 3rd Edition, 1997.

Penrose, R., Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness, NY: Oxford University Press, 1994, pp.217-227.

Perlmutter, S., et.al., "Measurement of Omega and Lambda from 42 High-redshift Supernovae", The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 517, Issue 2, 1999, pp.565-586. [Comment on paper by Dr.D.Wooden, NASA Ames: "The authors find that Omega_lambda + Omega_matter = 1, which means Euclidian geometry holds. Two parallel lines never intersect." E-mail to WCG&RLS, 11/16/99.]

Peterson, I., The Jungles of Randomness: A Mathematical Safari, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998, pp.92-101.

Phillips, S.M., Extra-Sensory Perception of Quarks, Wheaton, IL: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1980.

Powell, C.S., "A Dark Matter", Scientific American, Jan. 1994, p.20.

Randall, E.C., The Dead Have Never Died, Greenwich, CT, Eve Weir (Republished the book without date), ~1915.

Randles, J. & Peter Hough, Life After Death & The World Beyond: Investigating Heaven & the Spiritual Dimension, NY: Sterling Publishing Co., 1998.

Ring, K. & E.E. Valarino, Lessons from the Light: What We Can Learn from the Near-Death Experience, NY: Plenum Press, 1998.

Ring, K. & S. Cooper, Mindsight: Near-Death and Out-of-Body Experiences in the Blind, Palo Alto, CA: Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, 1999.

Sakharov, A.D., "Vacuum Quantum Fluctuations in Curved Space and the Theory of Gravity", Sov. Phys. Doklady, Vol 12, 1968, pp.1040-1 (English translation of 1967 article).

San Jose Mercury, "Mystery Halo Found Around Milky Way", (Los Angeles Times), Nov. 5, 1997. [Technical data on this subject can be obtained from the Astronomy & Astrophysics Abstracts on the WEB with a search for "Milky Way AND dark matter".]
Settel, I., A Pictorial History of Radio, NY: Citadel Press, 1960, p.16.

Shacklett, R.L. and W.C. Gough, "The Unification of Mind and Matter: A Proposed Scientific Model," Foundation for Mind-Being Research Technical Report, December 29, 1991.

Sherman, H. You Live After Death, Greenwich, CT: Fawcett Pub., 1972 (Originally published 1949).

Shimony, A, "The Reality of the Quantum World", Scientific American, 258, 1, 1988, pp.46-53.

Shlain, L., The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The conflict Between Word and Image, NY: Penguin Putnam, Inc., 1998.

Smith, D.L., "The Secret Life of Neutrinos", Engineering and Science, (California Institute of Technology), Vol. 62, No. 3, 1999, pp.12-19.

Spencer-Brown, G., Laws of Form, London: George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1969.

Spong, J.S. Ed., Proceedings of the Symposium on Consciousness and Survival: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry Into the Possibility of Life Beyond Biological Death, Sausalito, CA: Institute of Noetic Sciences, 1987.

Stein, J. Editor, The Random House Dictionary of the English Language -- The Unabridged Edition, NY: Random House, 1967.

Stevenson, I., Cases of the Reincarnation Type: Vol. I India, Vol. II Sri Lanka, Vol. III Lebanon and Turkey, Vol. IV Thailand and Burma, Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1983.

Stevenson, I., Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects, Vol. I & II, Westport, CT: 1996.

Tame, David, The Secret Power of Music, NY: Destiny Books, 1984.

Tatterson, K.G., "News & Analysis: Boom! From Light Comes Matter", Photonics Spectra, Nov. 1997, p.31.

Tenen,S. & W.C. Gough, "The MERU Project: Origins of Ancient Alphabets and Sacred Texts", San Anselmo, CA: MERU Foundation Publication, 1989.

Van Praagh, J., Talking to Heaven: A Medium's Message of Life After Death, NY: Dutton Book, Penguin Putnam, Inc., 1997.

Wamback, W., Life Before Life, NY: Bantam Book, 1979.

Young, Arthur M., The Reflexive Universe: Evolution of Consciousness, A Merloyd Book, Delacorte Press / Seymour Lawrence, 1976.

Young, Arthur M., Which Way Out? And Other Essays, Lake Oswego, OR: Robert Briggs Associates, 1980.



Bill Gough has over thirty years of management experience in scientific research and development in energy, physics and basic science programs. He obtained his BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering from Princeton University and did advanced work at Harvard University. Since 1988 he has pursued full time his study of the science of consciousness. Prior to this, he was Fusion Power Manager at the Electric Power Research Institute, and later the Director, DOE Stanford Site Office responsible for the high energy physics and synchrotron radiation research at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. His published works appear in Scientific American, the Environmental Engineer's Handbook, and other books/journals.

Over the last 25 years, he has gradually increased his concentration upon his avocation of metaphysics, parapsychology and spiritual pursuits. As a co-founder in 1980 and current president of the Foundation for Mind-Being Research, he has assisted in the evolution of consciousness studies in an effort to bring this new field into wider recognition as a bona fide science. Bill is a Registered Professional Engineer and is listed in Who's Who in the West and in Who's Who in Science and Engineering.


Robert Shacklett is Emeritus Professor of Physics at California State University (CSU), Fresno. Before his retirement in 1979 he spent 24 years on the physics faculty, with time out for administrative service as Assistant Dean and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Bob has a deep professional interest in the relationship between physics and the mind sciences and has served as Vice President and Board member of the Foundation for Mind-Being Research for a number of years. With colleague, Bill Gough, he has published articles dealing with the physics behind the connection between spirit, mind and matter.

His undergraduate work was at CSU, Fresno, and he received the Ph.D. in physics from Caltech. He is a member of the American Physical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and other scientific and professional societies. He has published research articles in Physical Review and Reviews of Modern Physics, and other journals. He is listed in a number of biographical references, including American Men and Women of Science and Who's Who in Science and Theology.

Reprint requests to:
William C. Gough
442 Knoll Drive
Los Altos, CA 94024
E-mail: billgough@fmbr.org

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