3.7.13

Can Science Confirm Occult Beliefs?

I am aware that the question I put as the heading of this post is a very sensitive topic, but someone had to ask it. You have probably all asked it but you didn't know where to start looking for the answers. I managed to find my starting point so let me go on a bit further with the story.

A while back, I attended a seminar on the subject of astral projection (which I will talk about in the few posts to follow) and it was there that I started talking to a few people about the idea of a holographic universe. Just the day after that, I talked with another person about the string theory. Everything was just following its own course and my imagination couldn't help put be intrigued. So I started doing a bit of research the fruits of which I will put forward in this post. I urge you to have a look at this blog which helped me a lot when it came to understanding things (thanks to the many videos), but it also gave me a few new ideas.

I would like to emphasize that the field I will be talking about is often considered a type of pseudoscience (that which can be science and is presented as such, but lacks scientific proof which we may not (yet) be able to scientifically prove or that which lacks scientific status in any other way). You will hear many scientists say that all this is just silly, but to me, everything that I read and watched seemed quite logical and interesting. From a philosophical point of view, it couldn't be clearer to me than it already is. But you have to be the judge of whether or not it is all logical to YOU and how much "water it holds" in your world.

First of all, I should explain the meaning of the word "occult". In the 16th century, this word referred to anything secret (lat. occultus, hidden, secret). Soon, a new meaning appears: that which the mind has not yet perceived or that which is difficult to understand/not understandable. The reason why I wanted to mention this is because I will be mentioning a few occult beliefs in Wicca such as the belief in magic, reincarnation, the possibility of achieving astral projection and so on. All of these concepts can fall under the aforementioned etymological category.

When any connection between science and the occult is mentioned, the first concept which springs up is that of the Matrix. You have probably watched the trilogy but just in case you have not, just follow the link and read the summary. The second movie which I would like to mention is Inception from 2010. What these two movies have in common is that both plots are set in alternative realities. And now it's time to elaborate on that. :)

There is a theory called the holographic universe theory which basically says that our brain produces three-dimensional pictures of our lives/our universe (everything around us) using holographs. David Bohm, an American theoretical physicist, introduced this hypothesis and had a great influence on people such as Karl Pribram (a professor of psychology and psychiatry in the field of neuroscience) and Michael Talbot (the author of the book The Holographic Universe and other works through which he tries to connect spirituality and science). In case you don't know what a hologram is, allow me to explain. A hologram is a three-dimensional picture which is produced with laser rays or another sort of coherent light source. This sort of light is called "highly coherent light". But what is coherent light? This is a type of light the rays of which travel coherently or, in other words, which are synchronized (you can see examples in the pictures below). It has been discovered that the human brain has microtubules which produce this kind of light and combine two holograms in your mind to form a 3D picture i.e. a microhologram of the universe that WE see (because everyone sees the world around them differently).

Sunlight - more colors, the rays aren't coherent
LED light - one color, the rays aren't coherent
Laser - one color, rays are coherent
The question now is that if we produce our realities in such a way, then how do we know what the "real" reality is?

In order to answer this question, I would like to go back to the notion of the matrix. A matrix is like a game which enables an individual to live a life over and over again. If we take that our brain really does put us in such a matrix, then we have to ask ourselves who has the controls?

Imagine yourself playing and first-person game. You have your character with which you run about and who you make do things that your order him to do. Every time you lose the game, your character dies and you start the game over form the last point when it was saved (or from the beginning of that level or sometimes even from the very beginning of the game!). Anthony Peake (and American author) has an interesting thought on this. He claims that this game-like process repeats itself over and over again that is that we are born, we live the game and that when we die, we simply begin the game all over again. Does this remind you of the concept of reincarnation

Peake has carried out numerous studies on the existence of life after death. He emphasizes that point in time just before a person dies when they claim to see a white light of their whole life flash in front of their eyes. He connects this with the phenomenon that time seems to slow down severely when we are experiencing something traumatic in our lives (just remember how fast are when you're in danger!) and he "blames" glutamate (a neurotransmitter in the brain) for this slowing down. Peake says that these weren't just your memories but rather an actual whole life that happened rapidly.

Recall the game analogy from before. When you play the same game for the second/third/fourth time, you know what you will have to avoid in order to stay alive. Peake draws a parallel between this and real life. He mentions that feeling of uneasiness you get before something bad is about to happen, that little voice in your subconscious which says "don't go there" or "don't do that". This is what we usually calla hunch or what some even call a premonition. Peake claims that our subconscious knows when to warn us about these moments because it has lived through those moments many times and in many variations in "previous games". Now if we take this to be correct, we have to ask ourselves what reality is for us. If we are just a pawn in the game, what is OUR reality? What is real for US?

In order to explain this, I have to refer to the opinion of quantum physics on reality. If we say that our reality is what we perceive with our senses (what we see, hear, feel etc.) then that is a very sad reality because, as physics says, the atoms which make up our universe are comprised of 99.99% empty space and the other 0.1% is made up of the parts of the atom (nucleus, electrons). It's also worth while to note that, in our reality, time flows in a linear manner (from past to future). New findings say that the nucleus and electrons aren't just physical but they are fluctuations (waves) in an energy field. Since they are wave-like, time for them doesn't flow linearly and can thus be in several places at the same time, go back and forth in time etc. This is what the measurement theory attests. It says that all subatomic particles are waves until we measure them or observe them. A consequence of this is the observer paradox which says that the presence of an observer directly affects on the observation of a certain experiment/event. Richard Feymann (a theoretical physicist) agrees with these claims since he himself claims that that photons (a type of subatomic particle) do not comprehend time and thus go against Einstein's theory which says that time stops at the speed of light.  According to the observer paradox and the measurement theory, they only exist thanks to the observer. Feymann also claims, in conformity with this, that universe is one big electron which travels at the speed of light. From this, it is logical that everything in the universe is connected. This could explain concepts such as "universal consciousness" in Paganism and even ways in which magick functions i.e. the way in which energy is transferred through magick.

Since I'm already on the topic of universal consciousness, I have to mention two people: Bernard Haisch (an astrophysicist) and Martin Ball (an anthropologist). They say that the consciousness of humankind does exist and that it is a common consciousness which each one of us experiences in a subjective way. We are aware of the space around us which separates us from other people and, because of this, we feel like separate beings with separate minds but that space is just an illusion of our reality.

But let us get back to the measurement theory and the observer paradox. Anton Zeilinger (a physicist) goes even further and says that molecules also succumb to the observer paradox just like photons do. Consequently, we (or rather our minds) create our reality and all matter surrounding us with the simple act of observing. We again come to the same question as before: what is reality?

An example of an Irish
tower
Raynor Johnson (a physicist) gives a very nice example in order to depict our vision of reality. He tells us to imagine an Irish tower with five windows which symbolize the five senses. So imagine that you are always closed up at the top of that tower and you suddenly see a door in the roof which finally enable you to get out of that tower for the first time! This is also the first time that you see the real reality that surrounds you and you realize that it is very different from the reality that you perceived until then. Johnson connects this to the holographic universe theory and says that there possibly could exist a reality outside of this reality (something similar to what is depicted in the Matrix trilogy). Who can say that what we see isn't an illusion?

At the end of the day, we know the world that surrounds us only through our five senses. We see thanks to the photons (sets of light) that travel from an object to our eyes and neurons which then send electrical impulses (which symbolize that object) to our brain which then projects an image of that object. In short, all our senses function using electrical impulses which are sent to our brains. According to this, we only see an electronic copy of our reality.

All of this leads to the questioning of the existence of an alternative reality which the occult advocates. These can be alternative realities as in dreams, astral projections all the way to worlds beyond this world (spiritual and other realms). Andreas Mavromatis (a psychologist) introduced the concept of hypnagogia (the time when dreamlike images appear to you just before you're about to fall asleep). He believes that this is a short time span during which we can perceive realities outside of our own because time and space are completely irrelevant then (just as they are in dreams). Remember how you don't perceive time in the same way in dreams as you do when you are awake or how you can teleport from place to place in your dreams. The one thing that can create problems here is the fact that our subconscious tries to entertain our brains while we sleep, that is it creates our dreams. It isn't until we wake up that we realize that it was all a dream i.e. a perception. According to this, we could just wait for ourselves to wake up out of this dream that we are now "living". Mavromatis includes astral projection and lucid dreams among the aforementioned alternative realities. I mention this because it will be the topic of my next few posts :) so I won't go on about that here. I have to leave something for the following posts. :)

I understand that some of you will say that all of this is just silly, but I'm here to convey other people's ideas which I happened to find interesting and which I hope will be proven true one day. I believe that the coexistence of science and religion is possible but I guess time will tell.

So it doesn't look like I'm "stealing the words from other people's mouths", you can see a recommended literature list just below. I recommend the following resources if you find this topic interesting. Some are books or articles, but some are also popular scientific videos which I came across and took a liking to during my research :)

So until next time, yours,
Witch's Cat

Talbot, Michael - Holographic universe
Bohm, David - Thought as a System (or anything else by Bohm if you find it)
Peake, Anthony - Cheating the Ferryman
Zeilinger, Anton - Dance of the Photons
Mavromatis, Andreas - Hypnagogia
Haisch, Bernard - The God Theory

Subversive thinking - blog
Lifting the Veil of Maya - blog
Is there life after death? part 1 of 9 (Anthony Peake)

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