Archetype as the Language of Wholeness & Breaking the Consciousness Code Part 1
To theoretical physicist David Bohm the quantum theory implied a universe of unbroken wholeness, and a completely new way of thinking about ourselves within it:
“ … the quantum theory shows that the attempt to describe and follow an atomic particle in precise detail has little meaning. ..The notion of an atomic path has only a limited domain of applicability. In a more detailed description the atom is, in many ways, seen to behave as much like a wave as a particle. It can perhaps best be regarded as a poorly defined cloud, dependent for its particular form on the whole environment, including the observing instrument. Thus one can no longer maintain the division between the observer and observed (which is implicit in the atomistic view that regards each of these as separate aggregates of atoms). Rather, both observer and observed are merging and interpenetrating aspects of one whole reality, which is indivisible and unanalysable.”
‘Wholeness and the Implicate Order’
Despite these discoveries, the ‘mechanistic’ or ‘atomistic’ mindset prevails in the way most scientists think:
“When it comes to the informal language and mode of thought in physics, which infuses the imagination and provokes the sense of what is real and substantial, most physicists still think and speak, with an utter conviction of truth, in terms of the traditional, atomistic notion that the universe is constituted of elementary particles which are ‘basic building blocks’ out of which everything is made. In other sciences, such as biology, the strength of this conviction is even greater, because among workers in these fieldsthere is little awareness of the revolutionary character of development in modern physics. For example, modern molecular biologists generally believe that the whole of life and mind can ultimately be understood in more or less mechanical terms, through some kind of extension of the work that has been done on the structure and function of DNA molecules. A similar trendhas already begun to dominate in psychology.”
David Bohm, ‘Wholeness and the Implicate Order’
A good example of just such a trend is the work of biologist O E Wilson, who writes with great conviction about how the brain has through aeons of evolution and the as yet not very well understood developmental patterns of complexity theory not only programmed itself, designed itself but also brought itself to life — or at least, to the experience of cognitive awareness as processed by the electrical firing of billions of nerve cells.
Bit by bit, however, other evidence is accumulating from various research efforts and scientific discoveries, of a more complex model of development, one that ties in with the insights of the wisdom teachings. Lynne McTaggart’s book ‘The Field’ , first published in 2002, was an attempt to document some of this research. In 2001 the ultra orthodox British medical journal ‘The Lancet’ caused a stir when it published a paper on a study of near-death experiences by Dutch cardiologist Dr Pim Van Lommel which documented numerous cases of patients remembering precise details about the hospital room, the bed where they lay, what the nurses said, etc, even though their hearts had stopped and the ECG machines registering brain activity had flatlined. Lommel’s conclusions are that there is a way in which consciousness exists as energy fields outside the brain and body system, similar to the way electromagnetic patterns exist outside our TV sets. The neurosurgeon Dr Eben Alexander’s account of his week long near death experience, while in a coma brought on by a rare and often fatal form of meningitis, with brain activity reduced to pure physical impulses, adds further testimony and weight to these conclusions. A former scientific reductionist, and athiest, his experience while supposedly almost completely brain dead was of a powerful scintillating reality that correlated with what has been called heaven.
Research into both the brain and the heart, and their interaction, by the Stanford based HeartMath Institute also suggests another order of energetic pattern which they term ‘holographic blueprints’. Their research indicates that the complexity and speed of the brain/body system cannot be explained by what remain essentially mechanistic models, and that there must be a ‘higher order control system’:
‘In essence, the HeartMath model holds that human beings consist of both physical and non-material bodies. We each have an individual spirit. which is non-physical in the classical sense, yet has a very real, dynamic and evolving structure organized along quantum-holographic principles.These structures act as individual “holographic blueprints” that serve to maintain and evolve the pattern of physical structures.’
These non-physical structures, or “holographic blueprints” could be called the ‘software’ to the brain and body system’s ‘hardware’. Moreover, this ‘software’ is intricately intertwined with what here the HeartMath Institute calls the ‘individual spirit’ or presence that is in effect the power source, the animating energy of it all. In other words, not only is there a higher order of energetic design or blueprint underlying the functioning of our brain and body systems, but there is also a core level of identity, the source of conscious awareness, the seat of the self.
The existence of causal levels beyond the physical systems of the body is of course not news to many alternative health practitioners, and to the teachingsof many ancient healing practices. To quite a large degree, the understanding implicit in these practices and other forms of healing is that if the disturbances in the energetic anatomy are eased and dissolved, then health will return to the physical body because the energetic field holds a blue print of wholeness that is reflected in the physical. In very simple terms, we can think of there being three aspects or levels of ourselves: the level of being or presence, the level of energy field, and the level of physical form:
— — — — — — — — — — —
None of these levels can really be separated out from the other. Only when we die, the physical form, the hardware, is — for a while anyway — sort of left behind, separate from the field and the flow of animating presence.
The HeartMath Institute speak of the energy field, or “holographic blueprints” as a ‘flow of information’ which we experience as ‘intuition’. Moreover, each individual has the capacity to:
“ tune his/her receiving structures to increase the signal quality and flow of informational content. By refining the tuning of the energetic and physical systems, the coupling to the spirit level can be increased, resulting in greater signal strength and thus more clarity and accurate interpretation of the information and its meaning.”
Our sense of presence, or core identity is intricately woven into the place from which new synthesis and insight are sourced. This has always been the case — whether we call ourselves mystics or scientists.
Part of what the HeartMath Institute mean by the ‘receiving structures’ are the faculties of consciousness that we call simply ‘heart’ and ‘mind’. But most particularly, heart, the intuitive and feeling capacities. While the intellectual and reasoning capacities of the mind mull over, observe, analyze and logically deduce, the heart registers the flash of insight, or perhaps it is more accurate to say, ‘downloads’ the new synthesis that emerges out of the blended levels of presence and energy field. These processes are mediated through the interaction of our physical senses with the brain and heart, the feedback of the ‘physical’ heart to the brain, and through the complementary ways theright and left hemispheres of the brain process experience. The right brain is able to take in the ‘whole’, whether that is the phenomenological world, or the whole in the sense of the undimensional level of matter. The left is much narrower in its attention, and is more about focussing in such a way that the mass of input from the right is pared down to a manageable amount. Similar to the way a jpeg has to have the amount of pixels in it reduced in order to work in certain contexts. However, then the left brain’s slightly simplified ‘take’ on the larger and limitless reality is supposed to be fed back to the right brain, so that a new and expanded synthesis of insight is evolved.
In his work, David Bohm considered that one of the reasons the ‘mechanistic’ or ‘atomistic’ mindset has prevailed for so long, and in the face of what quantum physics seems to demonstrate, is the habit of mistaking thought for the reality it is representing:
“ … a theory is primarily a form of insight, i.e. a way of looking at the world, and not a form of knowledge of how the world is…... all our different ways of thinking are to be considered as different ways of looking at the one reality, each with some domain in which it is clear and adequate….When we deeply understand that our theories also work in this way, then we will not fall into the habit of seeing reality and acting toward it as if it were constituted of separately existent fragments corresponding to how it appears in our thought and in our imagination when we take our theories to be ‘direct descriptions of reality as it is’.”
According to Iain McGilchrist, in his extraordinary book ‘The Master and His Emissary: the divided brain’, the problem of mistaking thought for the reality it is representing is symptomatic of the way the left-brain thinks. And the unquestioned assumptions of reductionist thought about the world are evidence of what he believes is an imbalance in brain function, whereby the left-brain is no longer in balance with the right brain and its larger scope. It seems as if the structure of thought itself, related as well to hemisphere imbalance, is tied up with a distortion in identity, whereby the atomistic theory of the universe is sustained. We see in fragmentary ways, act in fragmentary ways, and therefore tend to prove to ourselves the validity of our view. Flatland is sustained even though it has been shown not to exist; scientists avoid the deeper implications of the quantum model; Galileo is put under house arrest because the Church cannot afford to have its cosmology — of power — upset.