By Anthony Peake
In the first of his Seven Sermons to the Dead, the Gnostic founding father of depth psychology Carl Gustav Jung, wrote the following:
I began with nothingness. Nothingness is the same as fullness. In infinity full is no better than empty. Nothingness is both empty and full.
This nothingness or fullness we name the PLEROMA. Therein both thinking and being cease, since the eternal and infinite possess no qualities. In it no being is, for he then would be distinct from the pleroma, and would possess qualities which would distinguish him as something distinct from the pleroma.
The belief that there is a reality behind the fabrication of the perceived universe is central to Gnostic belief. The reality that is presented to us by our senses is a false one. Our true nature, our” Spirit”, is trapped within what William Blake called the “Mind Forged Manacles” and modern Gnostic science fiction writer Philip K Dick termed the “Black Iron Prison.”
The word “Pleroma” is from the Greek πλήρωμα, means “fullness.” This place is regularly referred to as the light existing outside of our phenomenal world, a place that is the true “ground-state” of reality.
This is theology. As we know the 21st century seems to have become a battleground between “irrational” theologies and “rational” science. However recent developments in the world of quantum physics suggest to me that Gnostic theology may be proven right. It seems that there is a “fullness” that exists within nothingness, and that light itself may be the facilitator by which we, within the “Black Iron Prison” may be able to access the riches of the Pleroma.
Most people who are given a basic education in the sciences are taught that space is exactly that, empty. Of course, on Earth no space is ever empty really empty but Outer Space is a different concept altogether. By definition , t is empty of anything. However, in the 19th century the idea that Outer Space was really empty was a huge issue. The problem was a simple one – electromagnetic energy. As we have already discussed it was a known scientific “fact” that light was a wave and that it travelled through space as a sound wave travelled though air. However, therein lay the problem. Sound in itself does not exist. It is simply a compression wave in the air. This wave travels like waves travel in the water (which again, if you think about it, would not exist if there was no water. No water to wave no wave!) But it was clear that light waves did travel through the vacuum of outer space. So how did light and heat get from the Sun to the Earth? In effect what was doing the “waving”?
Victorian scientists proposed that space was not empty and contained a substance that carried the electromagnetic waves through space. This substance was called the “luminiferous aether.” Its role was made clear by the word “luminiferous” which means “light carrying.” However, there was no evidence that this invisible substance existed except as a tool for one scientific paradigm to remain unchallenged against all the counter-evidence. However, in 1887, two American researchers, Albert Michelson and Edward Morley proved, in a very ingenious experiment, that the luminiferous aether did not exist.
This was one of the first discoveries that contributed to the discovery of the present paradigm of science. If light was a wave, which experimentation clearly showed it was, then how could it travel through empty space?
in 1905 Albert Einstein proved that light was also particulate – it was made up of tiny individual particles called photons. The problem of light propagation was solved. Particles exist in their own right and do not need a medium in which to travel through. As such light particles could easily fly through space from the Sun to the Earth.
It is ironic that recent discoveries regarding the nature of space itself may suggest that we are in need of another paradigm change. In a curious echo from the past it seems that a substance similar to the aether may indeed fill up all of space. This is the Zero Point Field, a field that fills all of space and is, in many ways, the backdrop to what we call “reality.”
ZPE is a consequence of something long known to particle physicists, called the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. This states that if we know the position of a sub-atomic particle we cannot know its speed and if we know its speed we cannot know its momentum. If a particle were at rest we would know both. As such particles can never be at rest, not even at absolute zero, the coldest state known to science. This is minus 273.15 degrees Celsius. This is three degrees below the temperature of the vacuum of space. Why this is of significance is that there should be no energy at absolute zero but there is. Lots of it. All space is filled with this quantum vacuum energy. It fills everything and in doing so changes what we think is a vacuum into a space absolutely full to the brim with energy.
A “field” is a medium by which information is transferred from one particle to another. Modern science also tells us that electromagnetic field exists everywhere. Well this is not quite true. At Absolute Zero all known forms of energy, including electromagnetic energy, vanish. This really is “empty space.” This is a very strange place, in many ways linked to the quantum world simply by its very environment. At these super-low temperatures a fascinating new form of matter is created, something called a Bose-Einstein Condensate.
This new form of matter was first predicted by Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose, a scientist brought up within the Eastern rather than the Western philosophical tradition. In a paper that he sent to Albert Einstein in 1924 he described how it may be the case that if particles were cooled to a few degrees above absolute zero they may change from being a single particle to a collection of particles that act as if they were one. Such a bizarre idea was proved when the first Bose-Einstein condensate was created in 1995 at the University of Colorado. Many years before, in 1938, a similar phenomenon was observed when a substance called helium 4 was found to have absolutely no viscosity. This meant that it could flow with absolutely no loss of energy.
In principle, what is happening is that all the particles within the condensate have become one, a single particle spread out in space and time. These condensates pull their energy directly out of the ZPF in the form of Zero Point Energy.
However, what is more amazing is that these peculiar B-E Condensates have been found to exist within the human body. Indeed, it has been discovered that much of all living things are liquid crystalline in structure. For example, the collagen in bone is a semi-solid substance and is referred to as ‘liquid crystal’. If you have ever used a pocket calculator you will have seen liquid crystals in action. However, a liquid crystal is an extremely odd state of matter. They are neither liquid nor solid but a peculiar hybrid state. However, it is now known that information is transferred instantaneously within this state and as also totally non-local. Nearly all the connecting tissues and cell membranes contain this substance. Significantly, within all the cells of the body can be found tiny structures that are, in effect, biological Bose-Einstein Condensates. Known as “microtubules” these intriguing structures can be found in all cells of the body that have a nucleus. They are responsible for communication across each cell and as such have been called the cell’s “brain.” As the name implies microtubules are both microscopic and tubular in shape. In some brain cells (neurons) they can be surprisingly long, some reaching nearly a metre in length, and bundled in arrangements consisting of hundreds or even thousands of individual structures. These bundled structures are reminiscent of fibre optics and indeed they have a great similarity with this man-made form of communication because they function in a similar way in that they send information using a form of light propagation. However, what is of significance is that it has been shown that the coherent single-photon micropulses of light that are sent along the length of each individual microtubule is generated from Bose-Einstein condensation. In other words the communication processes that the microtubules use is facilitated by quantum effects.
Indeed, many of use a Bose Einstein condensate when we listen to music using a CD player. The information from the disc is read using a laser beam and a laser beam is technically coherent light – a beam in which all the light particles (photons) are all sharing a single “coherent” state. But there is another application of laser technology that has direct reference to the workings of the human brain, the hologram.
Holograms are three dimensional images created by using lasers to “photograph” an object and then reproducing the subsequent image by illuminating it with another set of lasers. This is again an application of coherent light in which a seemingly solid image can be reproduced from stored information. In 1986 two Japanese researchers, Isuki Hirano and Atsushi Hirai, suggested that coherent light is generated in vast quantities by tiny structures found deep within the neurons of the brain. These structures, known as microtubules, are so small that it is possible that the energy they use to generate the coherent light is Zero Point Energy drawn directly from the ZPF. In other words, they draw energy from what Gnostics call “The Pleroma, Indian traditional philosophy called the “Akashic Record” and what Chang Tsai knew as the Ch’i.
Ch’i translates as “gas” or “ether” and is a tenuous and non-perceptible form of matter which is present throughout space and can condense into solid material objects.
The idea that matter somehow condenses out of the ch’i is amazingly prescient and
echoes the Gnostic belief that matter is a form of adulterated light. Indeed, it may be recalled that the Great Gnostic teacher Mani was once quoted as stating that matter was “bottled light.”
Intriguingly it has recently been suggested that Zero Point Energy provides the fuel to create the Bose-Einstein Condensates. Could this be the unified model that we have been looking for? Remember, if this model is correct then the Zero Point Field is the ultimate ground state of the universe, the “universe behind the universe. Something that Gnostics call “the Pleroma.”
In my opinion, it is reasonable to conclude that the microtubules of the brain could have a direct communication with the ZPF through a form of electromagnetic energy called “coherent light.”
Hirano and Hirai argue in their paper that each micropulse of light generates single-photon holograms. Now there are literally trillions of microtubules in the human body. If each one can create single-photon holograms then the amount of information that the human body can store is effectively unlimited.
In another research paper Peter Marcer and Walter Schempp have shown that microtubule communication across the body works in a non-local fashion. In other words, information was sent instantaneously between different locations within the body.
But the singularly most amazing fact about microtubules is that any two closely situated parallel microtubules would give of an intense beam of light of a single wavelength in the direction of its partner. If this was the case then an interference pattern identical to those used to create holographic images would be created with light and dark bands. Encoded within these bands will be huge amounts of information.
If this is correct then the human brain has direct access to the Pleroma and the virtually limitless information that it contains. It will be recalled that the Pleroma can be described as a huge digital database that stores the records of everything that has happened, and will happen, in the universe. In fact, if modern quantum physics is correct, then there are trillions of universes containing billions of copies of every human being that has ever lived and ever will live. Each one of these consciousnesses will download their life experiences into the “Fullness” via their microtubules and similarly they can upload limitless data from the Pleroma using the same process.
Similarly, if Hirano and Hirai are correct then the “pleromic” data can be reassembled using the laser-like coherent light to create seemingly three dimensional holographic images of the stored information. This would create in the mind of the experiencer a three-dimensional version of the recording that would be totally life-like in every way. It would be like the illusionary world of the Matrix movies. It would be indistinguishable from the “real” thing. I use the speech marks because such a model suggests that the “reality” we take for granted that is external to our bodies and supplied to us by our senses may not be as “real” as we believe. Indeed, modern neurology tells us that what we take to be external reality is a construct of the brain modelled out of the electro-chemical information supplied to it from our senses.
In my books, I call this internally generated model of reality the Bohmian IMAX or BIMAX. I call it Bohmian in honour of the late, and great, Professor David Bohm who first suggested the holographic nature of perception. The IMAX reference is to convey the “virtual-reality” feel of the BIMAX.
So is it possible that in the early years of the 21st century it may be discovered that it is the Gnostic model of the universe that is the correct one, a model that has been carried through the centuries within the esoteric groups of Christianity (The Gnostics), Islam (The Sufis) and Judaism (the Kabbalists)? Indeed, this model can also be found in the great religious traditions of the East such as the Hindu concept of Maya and the Buddhist concept of Sunyata.
Science looks out and mysticism looks in, both are different routes but both may lead us to true “Gnosis.”
Anthony Peake is a writer who deals with borderline areas of human consciousness. His first book, Is There Life After Death? was published in 2006 and since then he has gone on to develop his own ideas together with exploring the latest areas of research in his field. More about Anthony.
Article originally appeared in The Gnostic 4, republished with permission.