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Introduction to The Holographic Universe Part II
2006 02 14

By Michael Talbot |

"The Holographic Universe" from:

Bohm and Pribramís commitment to stand up for what they believe in, regardless of the consequences, is also evident in the holographic model. As we shall see, placing their not inconsiderable reputations behind such a controversial idea is not the easiest path either could have taken. Both their courage and the vision they have demonstrated in the past again add weight to the holographic idea.

The Paranormal as Evidence
One final piece of evidence in favor of the holographic model is the paranormal itself. This is no small point, for in the last several decades a remarkable body of evidence has accrued suggesting that our current understanding of reality, the solid and comforting sticks-andstones picture of the world we all learned about in high-school science class, is wrong. Because these findings cannot be explained by any of our standard scientific models, science has in the main ignored them. However, the volume of evidence has reached the point where this is no longer a tenable situation.

To give just one example, in 1987, physicist Robert G. Jahn and clinical psychologist Brenda J. Dunne, both at Princeton University, announced that after a decade of rigorous experimentation by their Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Laboratory, they had accumulated unequivocal evidence that the mind can psychically interact with physical reality. More specifically, Jahn and Dunne found that through mental concentration alone, human beings are able to affect the way certain kinds of machines operate. This is an astounding finding and one that cannot be accounted for in terms of our standard picture of reality.

It can be explained by the holographic view, however. Conversely, because paranormal events cannot be accounted for by our current scientific understandings, they cry out for a new way of looking at the universe, a new scientific paradigm. In addition to showing how the holographic model can account for the paranormal, the book will also examine how mounting evidence in favor of the paranormal in turn actually seems to necessitate the existence of such a model.

Paranormal Remains Controversial
The fact that the paranormal cannot be explained by our current scientific worldview is only one of the reasons it remains so controversial. Another is that psychic functioning is often very difficult to pin down in the lab, and this has caused many scientists to conclude it therefore does not exist. This apparent elusiveness will also be discussed in the book.

An even more important reason is that contrary to what many of us have come to believe, science is not prejudice-free. I first learned this a number of years ago when I asked a well-known physicist what he thought about a particular parapsychological experiment. The physicist (who had a reputation for being skeptical of the paranormal) looked at me and with great authority said the results revealed "no evidence of any psychic functioning whatsoever." I had not yet seen the results, but because I respected the physicistís intelligence and reputation, I accepted his judgment without question.

Later when I examined the results for myself, I was stunned to discover the experiment had produced very striking evidence of psychic ability. I realized then that even well-known scientists can possess biases and blind spots.

Unfortunately this is a situation that occurs often in the investigation of the paranormal. In a recent article in American Psychologist, Yale psychologist Irvin L. Child examined how a well-known series of ESP dream experiments conducted at the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, had been treated by the scientific establishment. Despite the dramatic evidence supportive of ESP uncovered by the experimenters, Child found their work had been almost completely ignored by the scientific community. Even more distressing, in the handful of scientific publications that had bothered to comment on the experiments, he found the research had been so "severely distorted" its importance was completely obscured.

How is this possible? One reason is science is not always as objective as we would like to believe. We view scientists with a bit of awe, and when they tell us something we are convinced it must be true We forget they are only human and subject to the same religious, philosophical, and cultural prejudices as the rest of us. This is unfortunate for as this book will show, there is a great deal of evidence that the umverse encompasses considerably more than our current worldview allows.

People are Addicted to Their Beliefs
But why is science so resistant to the paranormal in particular? This is a more difficult question. In commenting on the resistance he experienced to his own unorthodox views on health, Yale surgeon Dr. Bernie S. Siegel, author of the best-selling book Love, Medicine, and Miracles, asserts that it is because people are addicted to their beliefs. Siegel says this is why when you try to change someoneís belief they act like an addict.

There seems to be a good deal of truth to Siegelís observation, which perhaps is why so many of civilizationís greatest insights and advances have at first been greeted with such passionate denial. We are addicted to our beliefs and we do act like addicts when someone tries to wrest from us the powerful opium of our dogmas. And since Western science has devoted several centuries to not believing in the paranormal, it is not going to surrender its addiction lightly.

I am lucky. I have always known there was more to the world than is generally accepted. I grew up in a psychic family, and from an early age I experienced firsthand many of the phenomena that will be talked about in this book. Occasionally, and when it is relevant to the topic being discussed, I will relate a few of my own experiences. Although they can only be viewed as anecedotal evidence, for me they have provided the most compelling proof of all that we live in a universe we are only just beginning to fathom, and I include them because of the insight they offer.

Lastly, because the holographic concept is still very much an idea in the making and is a mosaic of many different points of view and pieces of evidence, some have argued that it should not be called a model or theory until these disparate points of view are integrated into a more unified whole. As a result, some researchers refer to the ideas as the holographic paradigm. Others prefer holographic analogy, holographic metaphor, and so on. In this book and for the sake of diversity I have employed all of these expressions, including holographic model and holographic theory, but do not mean to imply that the holographic idea has achieved the status of a model or theory in the strictest sense of these terms.

In this same vein it is important to note that although Bohm and Pribram are the originators of the holographic idea, they do not embrace all of the views and conclusions put forward in this book. Rather, this is a book that looks not only at Bohm and Pribramís theories, but at the ideas and conclusions of numerous researchers who have been influenced by the holographic model and who have interpreted it in their own sometimes controversial ways.

Expand Your Viewpoint of the World
Throughout this book I also discuss various ideas from quantum physics, the branch of physics that studies subatomic particles (electrons, protons, and so on). Because I have written on this subject before, I am aware that some people are intimidated by the term quantum physics and are afraid they will not be able to understand its concepts.

My experience has taught me that even those who do not know any mathematics are able to understand the kinds of ideas from physics that are touched upon in this book. You do not even need a background in science.

All you need is an open mind if you happen to glance at a page and see a scientific term you do not know. I have kept such terms down to a minimum, and on those occasions when it was necessary to use one, I always explain it before continuing on with the text.

So donít be afraid. Once you have overcome your "fear of the water," I think youíll find swimming among quantum physicsí strange and fascinating ideas much easier than you thought. I think youíll also find that pondering a few of these ideas might even change the way you look at the world. In fact, it is my hope that the ideas contained in the following chapters will change the way you look at the world. It is with this humble desire that I offer this book.

This book is available at amazon: Holographic Universe

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Holographic Reality & Spritual Science

Consciousness, OBE, RV, NDE, Entheogens and Altered States

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