“More than 95% of the energy density in the universe is in a form that has never been directly detected in the laboratory!” (NASA)
I have no idea how I happened to be at what was a very high level scientific lecture in NYC – at Lincoln Center I believe – by David Bohm and neuroscientist Karl Pribram. Bohm worked with Pribram on the theory that the brain operates in a manner similar to a hologram, in accordance with quantum mathematical principles and the characteristics of wave patterns. At the lecture I attended Bohm and Pribram discussed their “holographic theory of the Universe”. A hologram is actually an information storage system that allows the information to be compressed in its dimensions. Like standard photography, an image is captured on a special film. If you shine the light of a laser through the film a very precise three dimensional image will appear in the air – maybe you remember the scene in Star Wars where Princess Leia appeared to deliver an important message. You don’t need special glasses and you can move around the image just as if it were a real object.
One of the very interesting things about a holograph is how the information is stored – it is stored throughout the film. By this I mean that you can take any small piece of the film and the information for the entire image is there. If you have a square film 12 inches by 12 inches and you cut a one inch by one inch piece and then shine the laser through it, the entire image will all be there – it will just lack some of the detail, it won’t be as crisp and precise but it will all be there appearing in 3-d space. Bohm and Pribram postulated that our brain functions similarly and that the physical Universe as a whole holds information in the same way. This would mean that all of the information existing in the Universe exists in every molecule – just in less detail. The bigger a piece of the data field you had access to, the greater the detail available. Since we are all individual points of consciousness of an infinite and continuously expanding energy field, might we have direct access to all of the knowledge / information in the Universe? Might this be how inspiration works? Like a Universal Search Engine, we pose a question and our inquiry goes out into the network and as answers are found, they come back to us as flashes of insight.
You will see how this connects directly to our hope for “PositiVibes Networks” of people coming together. Consider how Bohm’s concerns apply to our discussion of the continuous monologue coming from the ego.
The Holographic Theory of the Universe would indicate the inseperably interconnectedness of all of Creation. Bohm was concerned by what he considered an increasing imbalance of not only man and nature, but among peoples, as well as within people, themselves. Bohm mused: “So one begins to wonder what is going to happen to the human race. Technology keeps on advancing with greater and greater power, either for good or for destruction.”
He goes on to ask: “What is the source of all this trouble? I’m saying that the source is basically in thought. Many people would think that such a statement is crazy, because thought is the one thing we have with which to solve our problems. That’s part of our tradition. Yet it looks as if the thing we use to solve our problems with is the source of our problems. It’s like going to the doctor and having him make you ill. In fact, in 20% of medical cases we do apparently have that going on. But in the case of thought, it’s far over 20%.”
In Bohm’s view:
…the general tacit assumption in thought is that it’s just telling you the way things are and that it’s not doing anything – that ‘you’ are inside there, deciding what to do with the info. But you don’t decide what to do with the info. Thought runs you. Thought, however, gives false info that you are running it, that you are the one who controls thought. Whereas actually thought is the one which controls each one of us.
Thought is creating divisions out of itself and then saying that they are there naturally. This is another major feature of thought: Thought doesn’t know it is doing something and then it struggles against what it is doing. It doesn’t want to know that it is doing it. And thought struggles against the results, trying to avoid those unpleasant results while keeping on with that way of thinking. That is what I call “sustained incoherence”.
Bohm proposes in his book, Thought as a System, a pervasive, systematic nature of thought:
What I mean by “thought” is the whole thing – thought, felt, the body, the whole society sharing thoughts – it’s all one process. It is essential for me not to break that up, because it’s all one process; somebody else’s thoughts become my thoughts, and vice versa. Therefore it would be wrong and misleading to break it up into my thoughts, your thoughts, my feelings, these feelings, those feelings… I would say that thought makes what is often called in modern language a system. A system means a set of connected things or parts. But the way people commonly use the word nowadays it means something all of whose parts are mutually interdependent – not only for their mutual action, but for their meaning and for their existence. A corporation is organized as a system – it has this department, that department, that department. They don’t have any meaning separately; they only can function together. And also the body is a system. Society is a system in some sense. And so on.
Similarly, thought is a system. That system not only includes thoughts, “felts” and feelings, but it includes the state of the body; it includes the whole of society – as thought is passing back and forth between people in a process by which thought evolved from ancient times. A system is constantly engaged in a process of development, change, evolution and structure changes…although there are certain features of the system which become relatively fixed. We call this the structure…. Thought has been constantly evolving and we can’t say when that structure began. But with the growth of civilization it has developed a great deal. It was probably very simple thought before civilization, and now it has become very complex and ramified and has much more incoherence than before.
Now, I say that this system has a fault in it – a “systematic fault”. It is not a fault here, there or here, but it is a fault that is all throughout the system. Can you picture that? It is everywhere and nowhere. You may say “I see a problem here, so I will bring my thoughts to bear on this problem”. But “my” thought is part of the system. It has the same fault as the fault I’m trying to look at, or a similar fault.
Thought is constantly creating problems that way and then trying to solve them. But as it tries to solve them it makes it worse because it doesn’t notice that it’s creating them, and the more it thinks, the more problems it creates. (pp. 18–19)
Who or what is doing all of this thinking?