Author Topic: The Universe as a Hologram  (Read 1807 times)


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The Universe as a Hologram
« on: February 11, 2017, 06:16:16 pm »
                          The Universe as a Hologram

                               Author unknown

     Does Objective Reality Exist, or is the Universe a Phantasm?

          In 1982 a remarkable event took place. At the University of
          Paris a research team led by physicist Alain Aspect performed
          what may turn out to be one of the most important experiments
          of the 20th century. You did not hear about it on the evening
          news. In fact, unless you are in the habit of reading
          scientific journals you probably have never even heard
          Aspect's name, though there are some who believe his
          discovery may change the face of science.

          Aspect and his team discovered that under certain
          circumstances subatomic particles such as electrons are able
          to instantaneously communicate with each other regardless of
          the distance separating them. It doesn't matter whether they
          are 10 feet or 10 billion miles apart.

          Somehow each particle always seems to know what the other is
          doing. The problem with this feat is that it violates
          Einstein's long-held tenet that no communication can travel
          faster than the speed of light. Since traveling faster than
          the speed of light is tantamount to breaking the time
          barrier, this daunting prospect has caused some physicists to
          try to come up with elaborate ways to explain away Aspect's
          findings. But it has inspired others to offer even more
          radical explanations.

          University of London physicist David Bohm, for example,
          believes Aspect's findings imply that objective reality does
          not exist, that despite its apparent solidity the universe is
          at heart a phantasm, a gigantic and splendidly detailed

          To understand why Bohm makes this startling assertion, one
          must first understand a little about holograms. A hologram is
          a three- dimensional photograph made with the aid of a laser.

          To make a hologram, the object to be photographed is first
          bathed in the light of a laser beam. Then a second laser beam
          is bounced off the reflected light of the first and the
          resulting interference pattern (the area where the two laser
          beams commingle) is captured on film.

          When the film is developed, it looks like a meaningless swirl
          of light and dark lines. But as soon as the developed film is
          illuminated by another laser beam, a three-dimensional image
          of the original object appears.

          The three-dimensionality of such images is not the only
          remarkable characteristic of holograms. If a hologram of a
          rose is cut in half and then illuminated by a laser, each
          half will still be found to contain the entire image of the

          Indeed, even if the halves are divided again, each snippet of
          film will always be found to contain a smaller but intact
          version of the original image. Unlike normal photographs,
          every part of a hologram contains all the information
          possessed by the whole.

          The "whole in every part" nature of a hologram provides us
          with an entirely new way of understanding organization and
          order. For most of its history, Western science has labored
          under the bias that the best way to understand a physical
          phenomenon, whether a frog or an atom, is to dissect it and
          study its respective parts.

          A hologram teaches us that some things in the universe may
          not lend themselves to this approach. If we try to take apart
          something constructed holographically, we will not get the
          pieces of which it is made, we will only get smaller wholes.

          This insight suggested to Bohm another way of understanding
          Aspect's discovery. Bohm believes the reason subatomic
          particles are able to remain in contact with one another
          regardless of the distance separating them is not because
          they are sending some sort of mysterious signal back and
          forth, but because their separateness is an illusion. He
          argues that at some deeper level of reality such particles
          are not individual entities, but are actually extensions of
          the same fundamental something.

          To enable people to better visualize what he means, Bohm
          offers the following illustration.

          Imagine an aquarium containing a fish. Imagine also that you
          are unable to see the aquarium directly and your knowledge
          about it and what it contains comes from two television
          cameras, one directed at the aquarium's front and the other
          directed at its side.

          As you stare at the two television monitors, you might assume
          that the fish on each of the screens are separate entities.
          After all, because the cameras are set at different angles,
          each of the images will be slightly different. But as you
          continue to watch the two fish, you will eventually become
          aware that there is a certain relationship between them.

          When one turns, the other also makes a slightly different but
          corresponding turn; when one faces the front, the other
          always faces toward the side. If you remain unaware of the
          full scope of the situation, you might even conclude that the
          fish must be instantaneously communicating with one another,
          but this is clearly not the case.

          This, says Bohm, is precisely what is going on between the
          subatomic particles in Aspect's experiment.

          According to Bohm, the apparent faster-than-light connection
          between subatomic particles is really telling us that there
          is a deeper level of reality we are not privy to, a more
          complex dimension beyond our own that is analogous to the
          aquarium. And, he adds, we view objects such as subatomic
          particles as separate from one another because we are seeing
          only a portion of their reality.

          Such particles are not separate "parts", but facets of a
          deeper and more underlying unity that is ultimately as
          holographic and indivisible as the previously mentioned rose.
          And since everything in physical reality is comprised of
          these "eidolons", the universe is itself a projection, a

          In addition to its phantomlike nature, such a universe would
          possess other rather startling features. If the apparent
          separateness of subatomic particles is illusory, it means
          that at a deeper level of reality all things in the universe
          are infinitely interconnected.

          The electrons in a carbon atom in the human brain are
          connected to the subatomic particles that comprise every
          salmon that swims, every heart that beats, and every star
          that shimmers in the sky.

          Everything interpenetrates everything, and although human
          nature may seek to categorize and pigeonhole and subdivide,
          the various phenomena of the universe, all apportionments are
          of necessity artificial and all of nature is ultimately a
          seamless web.

          In a holographic universe, even time and space could no
          longer be viewed as fundamentals. Because concepts such as
          location break down in a universe in which nothing is truly
          separate from anything else, time and three-dimensional
          space, like the images of the fish on the TV monitors, would
          also have to be viewed as projections of this deeper order.

          At its deeper level reality is a sort of superhologram in
          which the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously.
          This suggests that given the proper tools it might even be
          possible to someday reach into the superholographic level of
          reality and pluck out scenes from the long-forgotten past.

          What else the superhologram contains is an open-ended
          question. Allowing, for the sake of argument, that the
          superhologram is the matrix that has given birth to
          everything in our universe, at the very least it contains
          every subatomic particle that has been or will be -- every
          configuration of matter and energy that is possible, from
          snowflakes to quasars, from blue whales to gamma rays. It
          must be seen as a sort of cosmic storehouse of "All That Is."

          Although Bohm concedes that we have no way of knowing what
          else might lie hidden in the superhologram, he does venture
          to say that we have no reason to assume it does not contain
          more. Or as he puts it, perhaps the superholographic level of
          reality is a "mere stage" beyond which lies "an infinity of
          further development".

          Bohm is not the only researcher who has found evidence that
          the universe is a hologram. Working independently in the
          field of brain research, Standford neurophysiologist Karl
          Pribram has also become persuaded of the holographic nature
          of reality.

          Pribram was drawn to the holographic model by the puzzle of
          how and where memories are stored in the brain. For decades
          numerous studies have shown that rather than being confined
          to a specific location, memories are dispersed throughout the

          In a series of landmark experiments in the 1920s, brain
          scientist Karl Lashley found that no matter what portion of a
          rat's brain he removed he was unable to eradicate its memory
          of how to perform complex tasks it had learned prior to
          surgery. The only problem was that no one was able to come up
          with a mechanism that might explain this curious "whole in
          every part" nature of memory storage.

          Then in the 1960s Pribram encountered the concept of
          holography and realized he had found the explanation brain
          scientists had been looking for. Pribram believes memories
          are encoded not in neurons, or small groupings of neurons,
          but in patterns of nerve impulses that crisscross the entire
          brain in the same way that patterns of laser light
          interference crisscross the entire area of a piece of film
          containing a holographic image. In other words, Pribram
          believes the brain is itself a hologram.

          Pribram's theory also explains how the human brain can store
          so many memories in so little space. It has been estimated
          that the human brain has the capacity to memorize something
          on the order of 10 billion bits of information during the
          average human lifetime (or roughly the same amount of
          information contained in five sets of the Encyclopaedia

          Similarly, it has been discovered that in addition to their
          other capabilities, holograms possess an astounding capacity
          for information storage--simply by changing the angle at
          which the two lasers strike a piece of photographic film, it
          is possible to record many different images on the same
          surface. It has been demonstrated that one cubic centimeter
          of film can hold as many as 10 billion bits of information.

          Our uncanny ability to quickly retrieve whatever information
          we need from the enormous store of our memories becomes more
          understandable if the brain functions according to
          holographic principles. If a friend asks you to tell him what
          comes to mind when he says the word "zebra", you do not have
          to clumsily sort back through some gigantic and cerebral
          alphabetic file to arrive at an answer. Instead, associations
          like "striped", "horselike", and "animal native to Africa"
          all pop into your head instantly.

          Indeed, one of the most amazing things about the human
          thinking process is that every piece of information seems
          instantly cross- correlated with every other piece of
          information--another feature intrinsic to the hologram.
          Because every portion of a hologram is infinitely
          interconnected with every other portion, it is perhaps
          nature's supreme example of a cross-correlated system.

          The storage of memory is not the only neurophysiological
          puzzle that becomes more tractable in light of Pribram's
          holographic model of the brain. Another is how the brain is
          able to translate the avalanche of frequencies it receives
          via the senses (light frequencies, sound frequencies, and so
          on) into the concrete world of our perceptions.

          Encoding and decoding frequencies is precisely what a
          hologram does best. Just as a hologram functions as a sort of
          lens, a translating device able to convert an apparently
          meaningless blur of frequencies into a coherent image,
          Pribram believes the brain also comprises a lens and uses
          holographic principles to mathematically convert the
          frequencies it receives through the senses into the inner
          world of our perceptions.

          An impressive body of evidence suggests that the brain uses
          holographic principles to perform its operations. Pribram's
          theory, in fact, has gained increasing support among

          Argentinian-Italian researcher Hugo Zucarelli recently
          extended the holographic model into the world of acoustic
          phenomena. Puzzled by the fact that humans can locate the
          source of sounds without moving their heads, even if they
          only possess hearing in one ear, Zucarelli discovered that
          holographic principles can explain this ability.

          Zucarelli has also developed the technology of holophonic
          sound, a recording technique able to reproduce acoustic
          situations with an almost uncanny realism.

          Pribram's belief that our brains mathematically construct
          "hard" reality by relying on input from a frequency domain
          has also received a good deal of experimental support.

          It has been found that each of our senses is sensitive to a
          much broader range of frequencies than was previously

          Researchers have discovered, for instance, that our visual
          systems are sensitive to sound frequencies, that our sense of
          smell is in part dependent on what are now called "osmic
          frequencies", and that even the cells in our bodies are
          sensitive to a broad range of frequencies. Such findings
          suggest that it is only in the holographic domain of
          consciousness that such frequencies are sorted out and
          divided up into conventional perceptions.

          But the most mind-boggling aspect of Pribram's holographic
          model of the brain is what happens when it is put together
          with Bohm's theory. For if the concreteness of the world is
          but a secondary reality and what is "there" is actually a
          holographic blur of frequencies, and if the brain is also a
          hologram and only selects some of the frequencies out of this
          blur and mathematically transforms them into sensory
          perceptions, what becomes of objective reality?

          Put quite simply, it ceases to exist. As the religions of the
          East have long upheld, the material world is Maya, an
          illusion, and although we may think we are physical beings
          moving through a physical world, this too is an illusion.

          We are really "receivers" floating through a kaleidoscopic
          sea of frequency, and what we extract from this sea and
          transmogrify into physical reality is but one channel from
          many extracted out of the superhologram.

          This striking new picture of reality, the synthesis of Bohm
          and Pribram's views, has come to be called the holographic
          paradigm, and although many scientists have greeted it with
          skepticism, it has galvanized others. A small but growing
          group of researchers believe it may be the most accurate
          model of reality science has arrived at thus far. More than
          that, some believe it may solve some mysteries that have
          never before been explainable by science and even establish
          the paranormal as a part of nature.

          Numerous researchers, including Bohm and Pribram, have noted
          that many para-psychological phenomena become much more
          understandable in terms of the holographic paradigm.

          In a universe in which individual brains are actually
          indivisible portions of the greater hologram and everything
          is infinitely interconnected, telepathy may merely be the
          accessing of the holographic level.

          It is obviously much easier to understand how information can
          travel from the mind of individual 'A' to that of individual
          'B' at a far distance point and helps to understand a number
          of unsolved puzzles in psychology. In particular, Grof feels
          the holographic paradigm offers a model for understanding
          many of the baffling phenomena experienced by individuals
          during altered states of consciousness.

          In the 1950s, while conducting research into the beliefs of
          LSD as a psychotherapeutic tool, Grof had one female patient
          who suddenly became convinced she had assumed the identity of
          a female of a species of prehistoric reptile. During the
          course of her hallucination, she not only gave a richly
          detailed description of what it felt like to be encapsuled in
          such a form, but noted that the portion of the male of the
          species's anatomy was a patch of colored scales on the side
          of its head.

          What was startling to Grof was that although the woman had no
          prior knowledge about such things, a conversation with a
          zoologist later confirmed that in certain species of reptiles
          colored areas on the head do indeed play an important role as
          triggers of sexual arousal.

          The woman's experience was not unique. During the course of
          his research, Grof encountered examples of patients
          regressing and identifying with virtually every species on
          the evolutionary tree (research findings which helped
          influence the man-into-ape scene in the movie Altered
          States). Moreover, he found that such experiences frequently
          contained obscure zoological details which turned out to be

          Regressions into the animal kingdom were not the only
          puzzling psychological phenomena Grof encountered. He also
          had patients who appeared to tap into some sort of collective
          or racial unconscious. Individuals with little or no
          education suddenly gave detailed descriptions of Zoroastrian
          funerary practices and scenes from Hindu mythology. In other
          categories of experience, individuals gave persuasive
          accounts of out-of-body journeys, of precognitive glimpses of
          the future, of regressions into apparent past-life

          In later research, Grof found the same range of phenomena
          manifested in therapy sessions which did not involve the use
          of drugs. Because the common element in such experiences
          appeared to be the transcending of an individual's
          consciousness beyond the usual boundaries of ego and/or
          limitations of space and time, Grof called such
          manifestations "transpersonal experiences", and in the late
          '60s he helped found a branch of psychology called
          "transpersonal psychology" devoted entirely to their study.

          Although Grof's newly founded Association of Transpersonal
          Psychology garnered a rapidly growing group of like-minded
          professionals and has become a respected branch of
          psychology, for years neither Grof or any of his colleagues
          were able to offer a mechanism for explaining the bizarre
          psychological phenomena they were witnessing. But that has
          changed with the advent of the holographic paradigm.

          As Grof recently noted, if the mind is actually part of a
          continuum, a labyrinth that is connected not only to every
          other mind that exists or has existed, but to every atom,
          organism, and region in the vastness of space and time
          itself, the fact that it is able to occasionally make forays
          into the labyrinth and have transpersonal experiences no
          longer seems so strange.

          The holographic prardigm also has implications for so-called
          hard sciences like biology. Keith Floyd, a psychologist at
          Virginia Intermont College, has pointed out that if the
          concreteness of reality is but a holographic illusion, it
          would no longer be true to say the brain produces
          consciousness. Rather, it is consciousness that creates the
          appearance of the brain -- as well as the body and everything
          else around us we interpret as physical.

          Such a turnabout in the way we view biological structures has
          caused researchers to point out that medicine and our
          understanding of the healing process could also be
          transformed by the holographic paradigm. If the apparent
          physical structure of the body is but a holographic
          projection of consciousness, it becomes clear that each of us
          is much more responsible for our health than current medical
          wisdom allows. What we now view as miraculous remissions of
          disease may actually be due to changes in consciousness which
          in turn effect changes in the hologram of the body.

          Similarly, controversial new healing techniques such as
          visualization may work so well because in the holographic
          domain of thought images are ultimately as real as "reality".

          Even visions and experiences involving "non-ordinary" reality
          become explainable under the holographic paradigm. In his
          book "Gifts of Unknown Things," biologist Lyall Watson
          discribes his encounter with an Indonesian shaman woman who,
          by performing a ritual dance, was able to make an entire
          grove of trees instantly vanish into thin air. Watson relates
          that as he and another astonished onlooker continued to watch
          the woman, she caused the trees to reappear, then "click" off
          again and on again several times in succession.

          Although current scientific understanding is incapable of
          explaining such events, experiences like this become more
          tenable if "hard" reality is only a holographic projection.

          Perhaps we agree on what is "there" or "not there" because
          what we call consensus reality is formulated and ratified at
          the level of the human unconscious at which all minds are
          infinitely interconnected.

          If this is true, it is the most profound implication of the
          holographic paradigm of all, for it means that experiences
          such as Watson's are not commonplace only because we have not
          programmed our minds with the beliefs that would make them
          so. In a holographic universe there are no limits to the
          extent to which we can alter the fabric of reality.

          What we perceive as reality is only a canvas waiting for us
          to draw upon it any picture we want. Anything is possible,
          from bending spoons with the power of the mind to the
          phantasmagoric events experienced by Castaneda during his
          encounters with the Yaqui brujo don Juan, for magic is our
          birthright, no more or less miraculous than our ability to
          compute the reality we want when we are in our dreams.

          Indeed, even our most fundamental notions about reality
          become suspect, for in a holographic universe, as Pribram has
          pointed out, even random events would have to be seen as
          based on holographic principles and therefore determined.
          Synchronicities or meaningful coincidences suddenly makes
          sense, and everything in reality would have to be seen as a
          metaphor, for even the most haphazard events would express
          some underlying symmetry.

          Whether Bohm and Pribram's holographic paradigm becomes
          accepted in science or dies an ignoble death remains to be
          seen, but it is safe to say that it has already had an
          influence on the thinking of many scientists. And even if it
          is found that the holographic model does not provide the best
          explanation for the instantaneous communications that seem to
          be passing back and forth between subatomic particles, at the
          very least, as noted by Basil Hiley, a physicist at Birbeck
          College in London, Aspect's findings "indicate that we must
          be prepared to consider radically new views of reality".