How mind creates the world: Seth, Stephen and the physicists.
Posted on 26 June 2012, 9:31
Think about the table in the room where we are sitting: it appears to have colour, to be opaque with nothing passing through it. But a study of optics will show that there is no colour as such in the object that we perceive, but rather the wavelength or frequency of the light reflected from its surface is translated by the mind and the brain and produces the experience of colour.
Similarly with sound: vibrations of certain wavelengths are transmitted through the air, interpreted by the ear, the brain, and consciousness as sound.
We understand the table to be solid, but are told that the atoms of which it is composed consist of 99.99% empty space. The same is true of our bodies. Our minds interpret the sound and light waves as sound and colour, and the near emptiness of the atoms and molecules of the table as hardness.
If we live in a city, radiation from a number of TV stations and many radio stations is passing through the walls of the building that we inhabit, through the table and through our bodies, just as if they weren’t there. We are only aware of it when we switch on our radio or TV sets.
Do our senses provide us with an objective representation of reality? Hardly. Consider how much our perceptions are shaped by our experiences as human beings in the society to which we belong, how much by the language we speak, the things we have learnt in school, by the religious and the philosophical beliefs that we may have, and by our emotional make-up. To get around this problem, the human mind has invented the methods of science, which are wonderful ways for people of varying philosophies and beliefs to arrive at approximations of an objective truth out there that command general assent.
Is there any world out there independent from our minds? Three hundred years before many modern quantum physicists came to regard the whole of the sensory physical world as a mental phenomenon, the Irish Bishop George Berkeley (1685-1753) (below) put forward the theory that denies the existence of material substance and instead contends that familiar objects like tables and chairs are only ideas in the minds of the perceivers. Yes, his theory seems to defy common sense, but we need to take it seriously, and try to grapple with the counterintuitive discoveries of these quantum physicists.
I have been fascinated by a book called, Bridging Science and Spirit, Common elements in David Bohm’s physics, the Perennial Philosophy and Seth, by Norman Friedman. He mentions the work of the French physicist Louis de Broglie’s wave-particle duality theory of matter, based on the work of Max Planck and Albert Einstein on light. He saw that the duality was an absolutely general phenomenon extending to all physical nature.
A useful comparison to help us picture the wave-particle duality is the numerous TV and radio waves present in our rooms, and blanketing the country. In the absence of a TV set, where is my favourite TV program? The answer is, Blanketing the country (as radio wave frequencies), but nowhere in particular. But if I switch on my TV, the waves become perceived locally as a TV show seen at a particular place, – the wave has become a “particle”, so to speak.
This is a useful but actually misleading comparison, because we are actually thinking about levels of reality. In this regard, Plato taught that there were Ideal Forms producing the physical world, David Bohm did this with his writing about the Implicate-Explicate universe, and so did Jane Roberts’ (below) “Seth” and Thomas Ashman’s “Stephen the Martyr” in their own ways. It was a misleading comparison because the radio waves are everywhere, whereas the implicate realm is spaceless, timeless.
Seth speaks of “the outer and inner ego.” Friedman writes, “In Seth’s language, ‘the outer ego’ refers to our normal waking consciousness, which operates in the three-dimensional world. The inner ego organises the inner level of consciousness, thereby creating the substances in the three-dimensional world… The inner ego is a higher level of consciousness, much more active and knowledgeable than the outer ego. The outer ego deals day by day with the physical reality created by the inner ego. The inner ego (or unconscious mind) is both purposeful and highly discriminating.… The outer ego is the offspring of the inner self. The inner ego has access to a huge library of knowledge (of a collective unconscious) and through its creation of the physical world provides stimuli to keep the outer ego constantly alert and aware… Seth uses the analogy of the outer ego acting out a play which the inner ego has written. In a sense, the outer ego is spoon-fed – given only that information, including feelings and emotions, that it can handle. This information is usually in the form of data picked up by the physical senses. Matter, in short, is that shape the basic experience takes when the inner ego projects into the three-dimensional world. The similarity between the collective unconscious [of Carl Jung] and the implicate order (of Bohm) is apparent.” (p.117)
Friedman: “Essentially, (for Bohm) the laws of quantum mechanics relate the multi-dimensional order to our observed three-dimensional order. The three-dimensional consciousness is certainly more subtle than matter, it is limited compared with the 3n-(multi) -dimensional consciousness…” (p.119)
Seth : “There is however a portion of you, the deeper identity that forms both the inner ego and the outer ego, who decided that you would be a physical being in this place and in this time. This is the core of your identity, the psychic seed from which you sprang, with a multi-dimensional personality of which you are part.”(p.119 Jane Roberts: Seth Speaks: the eternal validity of the soul, 1972)
Physicist Roger S Jones: “I had come to suspect, and have felt compelled to acknowledge, that science and the physical were products of human imagining – that we were not the cool observers of the world, but its passionate creators. We were all poets and the world was our metaphor.” (p.122 Friedman)
Friedman: “the reality of classical physics consisted of matter and the fields including gravitational and electromagnetic. Other fields were added in the 20th century, but the basic assumptions did not change. Quantum theory essentially erased the difference between matter and fields, making reality a unity that exhibits the properties of both. This single, unitary stuff gave rise to the fantastically successful algorithm now used by physicists in all calculations involving quantum theory. But nobody knows what the unitary stuff really is. Seth of course defines it as CUs, (units of consciousness), which have essentially the same attributes as the quantum stuff (waves and particle attributes). Most quantum physicists, of course, stopped short of calling this unitary substance ‘consciousness.’ ” (p.123)
In a short blog like this we can’t go into much detail, and we may not quite understand exactly how quantum physicists are so sure of the mental basis to reality. But when we think about incidents of synchronicity, dreams that foretell the future, with all sorts of other paranormal phenomena, then solid and matter-of-fact as the world may appear, we can see that in the last resort it must be dream stuff.
But doubts will come to our minds: and we may think back to the philosophy of Berkeley and ask him, “Do you really think that the table and chair in my room cease to exist if I go outside?”
The following limerick suggests the answer:
“There was a young man who said, ‘God,
Must think it exceedingly odd
If he finds that this tree
Continues to be
When there’s no one about in the Quad.’
‘Dear Sir: Your astonishment’s odd:
I am always about in the Quad.
And that’s why the tree
Continues to be,
Since observed by,
Yours faithfully, God.’”
If we define “God” as “what is in all, through all, and above all” we can think of a universal network of consciousness that translates the wave into particular reality. We do not know the process that brought about the Big Bang bringing into being countless galaxies of the cosmos. But we can see how all the phenomena of the paranormal give the game away for supposed “physical” reality, and at least in the world as we experience it, everything is ultimately the product of mind.
That this has been a brief sketch of what quantum physicists and Seth have to say about the world as a production of the Mind.
Stephen says much about the subject: we may perhaps agree that Stephen does not differ from Seth, except that he expresses himself more especially in the language of poetry and feeling. Here are two examples:
In Afterlife Teaching from Stephen the Martyr, we read: [Section 8.] Stephen: “Think of yourselves as you gaze upon your image in the pool which, for all intents and purposes, be your mirror.
[Here, Stephen is addressing our eternal selves looking at themselves in the mirror of this world:] Just one more step with your thoughts, and you might be able to see yourselves. Think of yourselves as you gaze upon your image in the pool which, for all intents and purposes, be your mirror. How often, as a child, have we looked into this pool and our consciousness has gone into that one which we see. This then is the state that our conscious mind is in, in the one of that image. What we see and perceive are reflections, or so be it, symbols of what truly is, but because of the unreality of that image it can either be good or not-good as we ourselves choose to see.” …..
9. Question: “What is the role of the Physical, as opposed to Spiritual?”
Stephen: It was created in the image of the Father as an extension to the Source.
How can one explain and give a concrete example of love?
What is an extension of love but love?
What is an extension to the air that you breathe but air?
We speak of “the Father”, for in this way we can conceive in our minds a tangible image of what is intangible.
The essence of what is a father is in the image of the Source that created it.
What is a father, but a source of love, protection, a teacher, comforter and a strength?
This is a father, therefore. We were made in this image.
To create thus from base material requires this material to be refined, to insert and influence emotions with other emotions.
We have listened to the words that we must step outside of ourselves and look inwards. This would be confusing if it were not for the image that we are conscious of ourselves as. Imagine now, each one of you, your reflection in the pool. Then imagine that you are that reflection. Now I say to you, step outside of your consciousness, and look within yourself that you might see the image.”
Afterlife Teaching From Stephen the Martyr by Michael Cocks is published by White Crow Books and available from Amazon and other bookstores.
Next blog, July 10