consciousness:Ramana Maharshi taught that you could achieve the stage of butterfly if you simply “Ask yourself again and again, ‘Who am I?’”1 “The inquiry ‘Who am I?’ will destroy all other thoughts, and like the stick used for stirring the burning pyre, it will itself in the end get destroyed. Then, there will arise Self- realization.”2 That’s much more easily said than done; and like any other teaching in the back of the movie theater, if it worked, there would be a lot of butterflies populating the Earth by now. So you’re going to take a little different approach that does work. For approximately the next two years in your cocoon, you’re going to focus on answering the question, “Who Am I not?”, along with the question, “What is true?” At least, that’s what worked for me and a few other scouts and got us where we are today. Basically, before you can find the true answer to “Who Am I?”, you have to strip away all the false answers you’ve collected during your lifetime, especially those you picked up belonging to various groups in the back of the movie theater. Remember that in order for a caterpillar to transform into a butterfly, it has to first realize it’s not a caterpillar any more. “It is during the time of pupation that the adult structures of the insect are formed while the larval structures are broken down.”3 So we’re going to take a closer look at some of the beliefs commonly held around the topic of “Who I Am” and whether they are true or not; and one of the most common that has become very popular among New Age groups is: “You create your own reality.” But is that true? First of all, since the New Age apparently never found out that “reality” is actually a holographic image, and not “real” at all, the saying is not true right off the bat. But that’s just a minor error, and I’m very willing to amend their slogan slightly to conform to quantum physics and say, “You create your own holographic universe,” so we can focus on the important issues. “You create your own holographic universe.” Is that true? If so, exactly who is the “you” who is creating your own holographic universe? Let’s find out by picking up where we left off in our study of quantum physics in the last part. We said… “What we have always thought of as our life, our reality, is not real – according to quantum physics – but actually a holographic 3D movie we have been immersed in, whose wave frequencies have been downloaded from The Field to our brain, where they are translated into particles located in space and time and projected “out there” for us to perceive through our senses.”
…and the question we asked was, “Who or what is creating the holographic movies I’m experiencing as my reality?
You’ll remember that a hologram is a two-step process, and in the second step the reference beam is directed toward the holographic plate (or film) containing the object in order to get the object to pop out into “reality.” What we didn’t discuss yet is that a single piece of holographic film is capable of storing many, many objects, and in fact holography may soon replace other laser-based storage techniques because of its capacity to hold so much information. (“The advantage of this type of data storage is that the volume of the recording media is used instead of just the surface.”4) Which object or objects pop out when you direct a reference beam at the film depends on the angle of the reference beam. In other words, you can choose which holographic images to create by using different angles for the reference beam to select the exact wave patterns you want that are stored in the holographic film. Now let’s apply that to our holographic universe…. Some sort of reference beam – we don’t know what yet – is directed at The Field, which is like a gigantic piece of holographic film that already contains all the wave frequencies required for an infinite number of holograms; and out pops “reality.” So now we can ask our question even more specifically: Who or what is the reference beam that chooses certain wave frequencies from The Field to create our holographic reality? The best answer anyone has come up with so far is consciousness. Consciousness is what chooses the precise wave frequencies in The Field and downloads them to a human brain, which then converts them into space/time particles and out pops our “reality.” Of course, this process is not two-dimensional or linear as portrayed in this picture. A more realistic depiction might be three-dimensional concentric circles, with “reality” in the middle, The Field around it, and consciousness around The Field. You could think of it like a peach, where the peach pit is “reality,” The Field is the meat of the peach that you eat, and consciousness is the skin. However, we’re stuck with two-dimensional linear pictures right now, at least until this book can be made holographically. * * Consciousness is what chooses the precise wave frequencies in The Field and downloads them to a human brain, which then converts them into space/time particles and out pops our “reality.” This is where quantum physicists split into two main groups. One group – the “pure” scientists – cannot accept this answer, although it is the most logical and the simplest, and therefore satisfies Occam’s Razor and the principle of parsimony. That’s because consciousness cannot be measured or dealt with in the normal scientific way. Consciousness simply does not lend itself well to mathematical equations or statistical research. But there are a significant number of quantum physicists who understand that consciousness is not only the best answer, but also the most workable. One of those is Dr. Amit Goswami, in my estimation one of the great thinkers of our time. Dr. Goswami is Professor Emeritus in theoretical physics at the University of Oregon, Senior Scholar in Residence at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and author of eight books on Quantum Physics, including The Self-Aware Universe and Science and Spirituality: A Quantum Integration. Dr. Goswami says: “Quantum Physics enables us to see directly that we can make sense of the world only if we base the world on consciousness. The world is made of consciousness; the world is consciousness…. Quantum Physics makes this as clear as daylight…. Consciousness must be involved,… and so for the first time, science encounters ‘free will.’ Consciousness is free because there is no mathematical description of the subject in our science; only objects can be described mathematically, and only to the extent that they are possibilities. The question still remains paramount: Who is the ‘chooser?’ And when we see that… we see that there is freedom of choice, and out of that freedom of choice comes our actual experience.”5 Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, Teaching Fellow in Physics at Yale University, has these thoughts… “If you put it that there is an intangible world that effects the tangible world of our experience, and if you then say, ‘That’s what quantum mechanics says,’ – and granted, that’s a fair way of trying to put into English something which is very, very difficult to grasp – but it then leads quite naturally to the conclusion that quantum mechanics says that there is a spiritual world that makes this choice, that there is another world that is intangible that effects and influences the physical world. That intangibility, however, is itself the bedrock of physical reality. It may be intangible, but it is – well, we can’t really say what it is or why it’s there – but it is in fact the most fundamental feature of matter.”6 Fred Alan Wolf, theoretical physicist, puts it this way… “Quantum Physics says that consciousness is playing a role in the universe. It says that there is a secret underground that seems to be effecting the reality we live in, and that this reality we live is not at all what it appears to be.”7 And Dr. Andrew Newberg, Director for the Center for Spirituality and the Neurosciences at the University of Pennsylvania, asks… “Whether or not we’re just living in a big ‘Holodeck’ is a question we don’t necessarily have a good answer for…. It is conceivable that all of this really is just a great illusion…. So what is the relationship between consciousness and material reality – whether or not the material world can actually be derived from a consciousness reality, or whether consciousness itself could even be the fundamental stuff of the universe, so to speak, instead of the ‘cold, dark matter’ or other aspects of matter that physicists have been looking for?… Maybe it has something more to do with consciousness. In that regard, then, we really can think about the universe as being more a state of consciousness… much more so than the material reality that we normally look at.”8 So a number of highly respected and thoughtful quantum physicists have concluded that consciousness is what chooses the exact wave frequencies from The Field it wants to use to create our holographic experiences. However, just like The Field, no one can prove consciousness exists. But also like The Field, when we assume “consciousness must be involved,” as Dr. Goswami says, we can then build a very successful model of how our world works and use that model in very practical and successful every-day applications. So the statement “You create your own holographic universe” is not true, since the “you” you think of as you, the one on the “reality” side of The Field, is not creating that reality. It might be closer to the truth to say, “Your consciousness creates your own holographic universe.” But… what exactly is consciousness? If you would like a good laugh, click here to watch a short video from What the Bleep!? – Down the Rabbit Hole, where some of the brightest people in the field of quantum physics try to give an answer! Now, after you’ve stopped laughing, please appreciate the honesty and humility with which all those great minds struggled with the question, because defining consciousness is not easy at all. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines consciousness as “the quality or state of being aware, especially of something within oneself.”9 In philosophy, “at its most basic level, consciousness may be said to be the process of a thinker focusing the thought on some aspect of existence.”10 “In human beings, consciousness is understood to include ‘meta-awareness,’ an awareness that one is aware.”11 In many spiritual teachings, consciousness is synonymous with the human soul or spirit, the immortal part of a human being; and “higher consciousness – also called super consciousness (Yoga), objective consciousness (Gurdjieff), Buddhic consciousness (Theosophy), God-consciousness (Sufism and Hinduism), Christ consciousness (New Thought), and cosmic consciousness – are expressions used to denote the consciousness of a human being who has reached a higher level of evolutionary development.”12 But, “we may be forced to admit that consciousness, like infinity and the particle- wave concepts in quantum mechanics, is a property that cannot be made intuitively straightforward. Consciousness – like gravity, mass, and charge – may be one of the irreducible properties of the universe for which no further account is possible.”13 If you visit Answers.com and Wikipedia.com and search for consciousness, you will find essay upon essay – dozens of them – from respected researchers trying to explain what consciousness is, all with a little different take on the word. For me, the last quote is perhaps the most significant and worth repeating… “Consciousness – like gravity, mass, and charge – may be one of the irreducible properties of the universe for which no further account is possible.” So I think it’s clear no one really knows exactly what consciousness is or how to properly define it. The truth is we will never know; we only know it must exist. We are, in fact, incapable of knowing, and always will be incapable of knowing, simply because we are on the other side of The Field from consciousness; and our brains – at least according to Pribram – are designed as holographic receivers and translators, and have no capacity or ability to access or process any information on the other side of The Field. We do know that consciousness is not the body, the brain, the mind, the intellect, or anything else in the holographic universe. It is not a thing; it is the creator of things. Am I saying that we – the “I” who is writing this book and the “you” who are reading it – have no consciousness? No, I’m saying the word consciousness has been applied to mean a great many things in our holographic universe, and it’s very confusing to then use it to describe what exists on the other side of The Field. Yes, we – “you” and “I” – have a kind of consciousness, which is self-consciousness. We are aware of our “selves,” and we are aware of being aware; as the dictionary said, “the quality or state of being aware, especially of something within oneself.” That’s fine, but that’s not the consciousness we’re talking about that chooses wave frequencies from The Field. Rene Descartes said: “I think, therefore I am.” Descartes lived inside the movie theater like everyone else, and as I mentioned before, in quantum physics we are finding the opposite of what we have always believed is actually closer to the truth: “I am, therefore I think.” The consciousness we’re now talking about is the “I am;” you and I and our self- consciousness are the “I think.” * * For a long time I hesitated to do this, probably in reaction to the two complete dictionaries of new words and meanings L. Ron Hubbard created for Scientology. I don’t even enjoy reading poetry; I like to read plain and simple English with clear and well- accepted words and meanings. But because of all this confusion about the word consciousness, and because this concept is so essential to understand on your path to becoming a butterfly, I feel it’s necessary to come up with a new label to properly describe the consciousness on the other side of The Field – this “irreducible property of the universe” – and differentiate it from us on this side of The Field. I decided quite early I could not use terms like “higher self,” “higher power,” “higher consciousness,” or “expanded self,” since they, too, are so over-used and misunderstood; and frankly, they all take a Human Adult in exactly the opposite direction of where you want to go if you want to become a butterfly. We’ll see why shortly. Likewise, I didn’t want to use “soul” or “spirit” or anything else with any religious connotation. This isn’t about theology or ascended masters or higher levels of spirituality. I finally decided on the term, “Infinite I,” which admittedly makes some assumptions, but in the end and for our purposes turns out to be quite useful. The assumptions are that whatever consciousness exists on the other side of The Field has qualities and attributes that are infinite, such as: ~ infinite joy ~ infinite abundance ~ infinite wisdom ~ infinite power ~ infinite and unconditional love ~ and an infinite desire to play and express itself creatively14 This may or may not turn out to be the “Truth”; perhaps we’ll find out when we die – or not. But for now it’s as close to the truth as we’re going to get, and, like the concept of The Field, provides a very workable model to continue our transformation into a butterfly. It also serves the purpose of making a clear distinction between the Infinite I on one side of The Field, and “you” and “me” on the other side, walking around in holographic bodies on a holographic Earth. Therefore, the Infinite I is not the “I” who writes these words, and it’s not the “you” who reads them. (I’m going to give another name to that “you” and “I” in the next chapter.) I also want to emphasize that when I say “Infinite I,” I am talking about a single, individual consciousness – not consciousness in general (as the word is sometimes used), or some “collective consciousness,” or “cosmic consciousness,” or “God.” Each of us has an Infinite I. (Perhaps the closest anyone in the movie theater has come to this concept, as far as I can tell, is Jane Roberts in her novels, The Oversoul Seven Trilogy,15 based on the “Seth material.”) So from now on I will refer to the Infinite I as the one who chooses the precise wave frequencies in The Field and downloads them to a human brain, which then converts them into space/time particles and out pops our “reality.” Before we go on, I want to be very clear about this Infinite I, because I don’t want any confusion with other concepts you may have developed inside the movie theater. The Infinite I is not your “higher self” or “expanded self.” There are two things wrong with the term “higher self;” one is the word “higher,” and the other is the word “self.” First, “higher” has no relevance here. It’s a judgment word, a comparison, and we will soon see that judgment is the glue that keeps the illusions together inside the movie theater. The word “self” implies that what we think of as our “self” has a higher version. But what we think of as our “self” is not true – any of it. In fact, where we’re headed with all this is toward “no-self.” So the last thing we want to think of in terms of the Infinite I is that it is some expanded version of us. It’s not. Nor is the Infinite I some “advanced” or “spiritualized” or “ascended” or “purified” or “better” version of you. It is not some “enlightened” or “evolved” or “avatar” or “holy” version of you, either. It is not something you will ever grow into being. You will never “become” your Infinite I, no matter what you do, how “good” you are, how much you meditate or eat only organic food, or pray, or perform certain ceremonies or rituals. It is not “God,” or “All That Is,” or Allah, or Jehovah, or Yahweh, or “The Source” either. It is also not your consciousness, God-consciousness, Christ consciousness, universal consciousness, or cosmic consciousness. Those are all movie-theater versions of the truth, and therefore skewed. It is consciousness, yes – your consciousness; but not the consciousness you experience as a human being, which is self-consciousness. super consciousness, objective consciousness, Buddhic Although you are in constant communication with your Infinite I (whether you realize it or not), you and it exist in entirely different worlds – on different sides of The Field. The best analogy I can think of is an astronaut on the moon, representing “you,” and Mission Control in Houston, representing your Infinite I, with all that space (The Field) in between. I like this analogy because not only did your Infinite I send you to the moon in the first place, but it is also your best friend and partner in this adventure. But then what is the Infinite I, you ask? Good question. I don’t know. I know from direct experience of testing and challenging the model that my Infinite I exists, and it created me and your Infinite I created you. I can tell you what it’s not, but I cannot tell you what it is yet; and as I said, I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to tell you what it is, in truth, as long as we are on this side of The Field. The only thing I can say in all my dealings and contacts with my own Infinite I, it is something I would be proud to take home to meet the parents. * * So here is the “Consciousness Model” in a nutshell…. Your Infinite I chooses an experience for you in the form of wave frequencies from an infinite number of possibilities in The Field and downloads them to your brain. Your brain receives those wave frequencies and translates them into physical “reality,” and sends them “out there” for your senses to perceive. You assign power to the holographic universe you perceive to make it “real” and to the persons, places, and things you see. But this suggests that there is nothing you can see, hear, taste, feel, smell, or experience in any way that your Infinite I has not chosen for you to experience and then sent to your brain to process into “reality.” Every moment of every experience you have now – or have ever had and will ever have – has been carefully chosen and created for you by your Infinite I, exactly the way it is and exactly the way your Infinite I wants it to be, down to the smallest detail. Remember… THERE IS NO “OUT THERE” OUT THERE!
FOOTNOTES 1. Robert Adams’ blog about Sri Ramana Maharshi – Back to reading 2. Mahadevan, T.M.P., in the Introduction to Who Am I?: The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi – Back to reading 3. Wikipedia – Pupa – Back to reading 4. Wikipedia – Holography – Back to reading 5. Goswami, Amit. What the Bleep!? – Down the Rabbit Hole – Back to reading 6. Wolf, Fred Alan. What the Bleep!? – Down the Rabbit Hole – Back to reading 7. Newberg, Andrew. What the Bleep!? – Down the Rabbit Hole – Back to reading 8. Satinover, Jeffrey. What the Bleep!? – Down the Rabbit Hole – Back to reading 9. Merriam-Webster Dictionary – consciousness – Back to reading 10. Wisegeek.com – consciousness – Back to reading 11. Answers.com – consciousness – Back to reading 12. Answers.com – higher consciousness – Back to reading 13. Ramachandran, V.S. with Blakemore, Colin, Answers.com – consciousness – Back to reading 14. Adapted from the various writings and seminars of Robert Scheinfeld – Back to reading 15. Roberts, Jane. The Oversoul Seven Trilogy – Back to reading