Thursday, April 24, 2014

Death In The Holographic Universe

Several Near-Death Experience researchers such as Dr. Kenneth Ring, author of “Life at Death,” have pointed out that the Holographic Universe model offers a way of understanding these experiences as ventures into the more frequency-like aspects of reality.  For instance, many patients describe their experiences as entering a realm of “higher vibrations,” or “frequencies,” where everything is made of light and sound.  The sounds are described as “celestial music” more like a “combination of vibrations” than actual sounds, and the lights are described as “more brilliant than any on Earth,” but despite their intensity do not hurt the eyes.  Dr. Ring believes these and other observations provide evidence that the act of dying involves our consciousness being shifted away from the ordinary explicate world of appearances into the implicate holographic reality of pure frequency.  

Ring is not alone in his speculations.  In the keynote address for the 1989 meeting of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS), Dr. Elizabeth W. Fenske, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Philadelphia, announced that she, too, believes that NDEs are journeys into a holographic realm of higher frequencies.  She agrees with Ring’s hypothesis that the landscapes, flowers, physical structures, and so forth, of the afterlife dimension are fashioned out of interacting (or interfering) thought patterns.  ‘I think we’ve come to the point in NDE research where it’s difficult to make a distinction between thought and light.  In the near-death experience thought seems to be light,’ she observes.”  -Michael Talbot, “The Holographic Universe” (246)

Another decidedly “holographic” feature of NDEs is the commonly repeated notion that, in the afterlife realm, time and space as we know them cease to exist.  NDErs have reported that, “it has to be out of time and space.  It must be, because the experience cannot be put into a time thing” and “I found myself in a space, in a period of time, I would say, where all space and time was negated.”  It seems inside this 4 dimensional holographic universe our consciousness experiences the explicate movement of space and the passage of time using a holographic physical body to navigate.  Outside the hologram, however, consciousness experiences the implicate at-one-ment of all space, time, and matter.  Many have reported that in the afterlife realm they didn’t even have a body unless they were thinking.  One NDEr said, “If I stopped thinking I was merely a cloud in an endless cloud, undifferentiated.  But as soon as I started to think, I became myself.

In addition to those mentioned by Ring and Fenske, the NDE has numerous other features that are markedly holographic.  Like OBEers, after NDEers have detached from the physical they find themselves in one of two forms, either as a disembodied cloud of energy, or as a hologram-like body sculpted by thought.  When the latter is the case, the mind-created nature of the body is often surprisingly obvious to the NDEer.  For example, one near-death survivor says that when he first emerged from his body he looked ‘something like a jelly fish’ and fell lightly to the floor like a soap bubble.  Then he quickly expanded into a ghostly three-dimensional image of a naked man.  However, the presence of two women in the room embarrassed him and to his surprise, this feeling caused him suddenly to become clothed … That our innermost feelings and desires are responsible for creating the form we assume in the afterlife dimension is evident in the experiences of other NDEers.  People who are confined in wheelchairs in their physical existence find themselves in healthy bodies that can run and dance.  Amputees invariably have their limbs back.  The elderly often inhabit youthful bodies, and even stranger, children frequently see themselves as adults, a fact that may reflect every child’s fantasy to be a grown-up, or more profoundly, may be a symbolic indication that in our souls some of us are much older than we realize.”  -Michael Talbot, “The Holographic Universe” (246)

Perhaps the most holographic aspect of NDEs is the life review.  Dr. Ring calls it “a holographic phenomenon par excellence.”  Many NDErs themselves have used the term “holographic” to describe the experience. “It was an incredibly vivid, wrap-around, three-dimensional replay of my entire life,” said one NDEr, “It’s like climbing right inside a movie of your life,” said another.  Every moment from every year of your life is played back in complete sensory detail.  Total, total recall.  And it all happens in an instant.  The whole thing was really odd.  I was there; I was actually seeing these flashbacks; I was actually walking through them, and it was so fast.  Yet, it was slow enough that I could take it all in.  Thus the experience is holographic both in its panoramic three-dimensionality and also in its incredible capacity for information storage.  NDErs lucidly re-experience every single thought and emotion of not only their lives, but the thoughts and emotions of everyone else they ever came in contact with!  They feel the joy of people who they treated kindly and the pain of people they treated poorly.  No thought or emotion, theirs or anyone else’s they ever knew remains private.

In fact, the life review bares a marked resemblance to the afterlife judgment scenes described in the sacred texts of many of the world’s great religions, from the Egyptian to the Judeo-Christian, but with one crucial difference.  Like Whitton’s subjects, NDEers universally report that they are never judged by the beings of light, but feel only love and acceptance in their presence.  The only judgment that ever takes place is self-judgment and arises solely out of the NDEer’s own feelings of guilt and repentance.  Occasionally the beings do assert themselves, but instead of behaving in an authoritarian manner, they act as guides and counselors whose only purpose is to teach.  This total lack of cosmic judgment and/or any divine system of punishment and reward has been and continues to be one of the most controversial aspects of the NDE among religious groups, but it is one of the most oft reported features of the experience.  What is the explanation?  Moody believes it is as simple as it is polemic.  We live in a universe that is far more benevolent than we realize. That is not to say that anything goes during the life review.  Like Whitton’s hypnotic subjects, after arriving in the realm of light, NDEers appear to enter a state of heightened or meta-conscious awareness and become lucidly honest in their self-reflections.  It also does not mean that the beings of light prescribe no values.  In NDE after NDE they stress two things.  One is the importance of love.  Over and over they repeat this message, that we must learn to replace anger with love, learn to love more, learn to forgive and love everyone unconditionally, and learn that we in turn are loved.  This appears to be the only moral criterion the beings use.  The second thing the beings emphasize is knowledge.  Frequently NDEers comment that the beings seemed pleased whenever an incident involving knowledge or learning flickered by during their life review.  Some are openly counseled to embark on a quest for knowledge after they return to their physical bodies, especially knowledge related to self-growth or that enhances one’s ability to help other people.”  -Michael Talbot, “The Holographic Universe” (250)

Many dying individuals have reported encounters with other beings, such as dead relatives or friends, ‘guardian spirits,’ or spirit guides. Particularly common seem to be visions of a Being of Light, which usually appears as a source of unearthly light, radiant and brilliant, yet showing certain personal characteristics such as love, warmth, compassion, and a sense of humor. The communication with this Being occurs without words, through an unimpeded transfer of thoughts. In the context of this encounter or outside of it, the dying individual can experience a partial or total review of his or her life, which almost always involves vivid colors and a three-dimensional, dynamic form. The message from this experience seems to be the realization that learning to love other people and acquiring higher knowledge are the most important values in human life.-Stanislav Grof and Joan Halifax, “Human Encounter with Death” (154-5)

People on their death beds will often speak of seeing angels, deceased friends/family, seeing bright warm lights of love, or having their entire lives flash before their eyes.  These visions begin to reconcile traditional notions of “heaven” and the “afterlife” with the actual experiences of current and historical near-death  experiencers.  It appears the seeming finality of death truly is a physical phenomenon only and consciousness lives on forever.

I would like to commence this section by emphatically stating an extremely important truth which everyone should know and understand beyond any possible doubt: There really is no such state as ‘death.’  What many people believe to be the finality of ‘death’ is in fact no more and no less than the transition from one state of life and reality, that of the physical matter, to a state of life of a vastly finer density of the Universe.” -Adrian Cooper, “Our Ultimate Reality” (145)


Anonymous said...

That was a great read, Eric. Every word resonated with my own beliefs of this life and what it's about. It's an area that's been of great interest to me since i began travelling and learning of ancient cultures.


Eric Dubay said...

Glad to hear that, thanks Anon! said...

The folks that have yet to discover your writings Eric are sure missing out on the esoteric truth.

IMnsHO and E.

Eric Dubay said...

Thanks Jerry, I always appreciate your comments!

Anonymous said...

Are "near death" experiences any more authoritative than other "spiritual" experiences, for example the person who believes they were visited by an angel, the virgin Mary, or a deceased love one, perhaps a spirit guide? Believers from many traditions "speak in tongues" or have other similar mystical experiences which they claim proves the authority of their separate faiths.

In general life, our personal experiences can be misleading. Can you argue for your belief in a holographic universe from a stronger perspective? Do you believe it is one of many possibilities, or the only possibility. If the later, why it is the only possibility, why must it be?

I think my own beliefs on this are not so far from yours, but I don't ground my beliefs in experiences and certainly not other people's. David Icke asks us to believe in reptilian overlords based on personal testimonies and the "evidence" of myths. Surely as people interested in truth we should present our beliefs from more solid ground?

Hoping you'll enjoy the challenge of this question.

Eric Dubay said...

Hey Anon, thanks for the question. I think The Holographic Universe is an excellent metaphor for explaining certain facets of reality, but there are certainly other ways of explaining. As for NDEs, it is a tricky area because they're very subjective and unrepeatable under laboratory conditions so applying the scientific method is difficult. However, throughout history, regardless of faith or lack thereof, people's accounts from the world over have incredible similarities:

Modern Near Death Experiences

Historical Near Death Experiences

And beyond this, my own (and others') Out of Body Experiences have shown me that human consciousness can and does exist outside human bodies, making the idea of our consciousness surviving physical death more than just a possibility. In addition, I have also had many experiences with entheogens (psychedelics) which have given me first-hand experience of consciousness outside this physical realm (will be posting soon). Peace

Anonymous said...

Regarding science: I don't trust it. Science has given us racism, fluoridated water, global warming and perfectly safe, let's see, vaccines, GMOs and nuclear power, not to mention magic bullets and simultaneously pancaking and disintegrating twin towers. Why would we believe science? It's a propaganda tool, no more authoritative than mainstream media.

What I'm saying, what I want to talk about is appeals to authority. Surely as truth seekers we've learnt to reject claims of authority, including science, ancient texts and personal testimony. If we haven't learnt that lesson then I fear we will be as open to manipulation as we ever were.

I know I'm using this thread, which perhaps should focus on NDEs to bring up this topic about truth. It's just I feel strongly about it. As self-proclaimed researchers on the quest for truth shouldn't we talk from a stronger position, reason not trust. Shouldn't we know why what we believe must be the truth. I'm tired of being asked to trust by the leading lights of the truth movement. You're right about consciousness but you can prove it a lot more powerfully if you use reason than if you use personal testimony. Don't you think so?

They say that children learn most, not from the content of their lessons, but from the lessons of the learning experience. By making appeals to authority and personal testimony aren't you teaching trust, aren't we back to faith, back to square one? You're appealing to your own experience and asking us to trust you. Every politician does the same thing.

Eric Dubay said...

Hey, I definitely understand and agree with your concerns. "Science" with a capital "S" doesn't exist, but the scientific method of applying reason and evidence through repeated experimentation and cross examination is certainly a worth-while operation in the search for truth. Saying "science gave us racism and fluoridated water" is overly simplistic and inaccurate though. Science didn't "give us" all those things, but people in the name of "science" with a religious fervor have deluded non-critical thinkers into believing such untruths. As for the appeal to authority, I recommend everyone experiment with strong psychedelics, practice out of body and lucid dreaming techniques, meditate, and figure out for yourself if your consciousness is independent of your physical body. If there were a scientific (or since you don't like that word, I'll say "rigorous") way of testing the validity of near-death experiencer's testimonies, I'd love to see the research, but until then, such a subjective and unrepeatable phenomenon is likely condemned to the world of "authority."

Anonymous said...

Thanks Eric, I appreciate your patience and constructive attitude in reply to my questions. I know that questions can seem aggressive, especially on the internet, from an unknown source,

I think we can use reason to prove that consciousness must transcend being and not being, but there are limitations to what we can understand by reason alone. For me the limitations are not a problem but a spur to deeper meditation. When we, as truthers, make appeals outside of reason, we shouldn't make truth claims. Possibilities are very interesting and thought provoking, but we should try to kick the habit of trusting authority figures. That has a lot to do with why we are in this mess and why it will be so difficult to solve.

Eric Dubay said...

Good points, thanks! :)

muzuzuzus said...

Interesting blog Eric and it coincides with my present return of focus into this subject of OBEs and NDEs.
I have had two, and the second OBE I had years ago was VERY powerful!!!

I am really wanting to encourage interdisciplinary approach to this and ALL subjects. For example, the other I read that some people, especially young, who have had NDEs have killed themselves, or attempted, or thought about doing so because of wanting to return.
I also found myself watching a talk by William Buhlman--who some call a foremost expert. Although interesting, I didn't really click with him. He seemed to have a rather dismissive attitude toward earthy reality, calling it the "epidermis" (skin) of the universe. To me this is implying it being shallow.
I was curious if he had ever had psychedelic experience, and found a way to contact him, but have not received a reply and don't expect on (but you never know).
I say this because in my experience, I am aware how cultural conditioning can dull you to the natural world and your sensual body. It happened to me from age 8/9 to 15 which was when I was turned onto LSD and POW!!!!! I suddenly found myself in an vastly mysterious sacred Garden of Eden.
So I wonder how adults who never had early psychedelic experience like I did, but sure WILL have cultural indoctrination, feel about the sensual world of light and shade, and sex, and cycles. So often in many different forms you hear it put down, and other 'realities' promoted as superior. You hear terms like "gross" and "dense" etc to describe earthy reality.
This is a big reason that in years following LSD experiences, and searching for some help with integration, Alan Watts moved me because he was not other worldly but emphasized the sacred nature of Nature, and LATER I added WOMEN authors to my all-male little growing library. Women who deconstructed the patriarchy, and spoke of the Goddess, and sacred nature and the body

And no they do not in turn discount multidimensional reality, but they don't (and by the way Eric I am not saying your doing this) create the typical patriarchal duality which is splitting reality into different columns of classification and having one side superior to the other, eg light = good dark = bad

If those kids who had killed themselves to get back to (?) were living in a loving intelligence culture where they could explore Earth with psychedelics ,,,what then?

Eric Dubay said...

Thanks Muz, I've heard almost every NDEr say that "the other side" was so much more beautiful, loving, and real than this reality, so they wanted nothing more than to stay, but since it wasn't yet their time they all had to come back. I hadn't heard of any NDErs killing themselves to get back however, they usually come back with a renewed sense of purpose in this life, but never again afraid of physical death because they know their consciousness survives.

Anonymous said...

If we indeed transcend birth and death, what then? To exist, to be formed, is to enter the realm of polarities, of beginning and end, internal and external, potential and limitation, self and other, good and evil. In metaphor we claim to be waking up, but we awake to a nightmare, a hellish world in which we face an amorphous monstrous foe more fearsome than any cyclops, and we are more confused than if we had been placed in the maze of Minos. If this world of ours, so full of pain, is merely a holographic illusion, how do we orientate ourselves within it? Why take to the stage and play our allotted role? Why not sing hallelujah, clap our hands and wait longingly, yearningly, for the day of destruction??

Eric Dubay said...

Great points and questions! I was asked similar questions and did my best to answer in this interview clip:

God, Consciousness, Intelligent Design, Duality, Satan and the Ego

muzuzuzus said...

Haven't listened to your interview yet Eric, but will later, but thought I would also try tackle the question put by Anonymous.
There seems to be a New Age (influenced by Eastern beliefs) that there are two realms, the real or polarities, and a realm beyond that. The former is often considered inferior and a trap by those who believe in the latter, and so eg in Eastern belief systems there has been posited a 'Oneness' that people whop are 'evolved' aspire to and abide in. This belief actually sets up a duality between a 'One' and the 'many'. A great that exposes this belief, and its off shoots is titled The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power. This belief gives us the guru system where it is believed certain--usually always--men are more pure and holy than the rest of us, and are in 'Oneness', and are totally 'selfless'. And thus any sheenanigans they ACTUALLY get up to is glossed over, ignored, even glorified. And this creates the master servant trip. It is dangerous.
In reality, as Alan Watts showed, and women who write and talk about Goddess spirituality reveal, the reality IS polar. This is essence OF reality, and to assume you can escape is you being caught up in a higher hidden duality. Some absurd dream of neverending bliss.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Eric and Monsieur Muz, I appreciate considered thoughts that spur my own. I accept that we live in the realm of duality, trapped in the life journey from womb to tomb. And I accept that we transcend this duality, that beyond the existence/non-existence dialectic lies a mysterious void that thought cannot penetrate but we know must be. To my own question, to myself, I answer, if we transcend birth and death then we can transcend all other dualities. The quest for transcendence replies to "what then?"

muzuzuzus said...

I think trying to understand how reality is polar relational is very hard for many people. Their language cannot seem to grasp how it functions dualistic ally. This is really how you have to think, meditate on the question: HOW can you even know light unless you know darkness, or life unless you know death?
You may conceptually conceive there is a place without the dynamic of life and death and light and darkm but CAN you conceive it? Well no, because it doesn't make sense. How could you read the meaning of these words in BLACK text unless you also have the WHITE ground they are typed upon?

knowledgeislightweight said...

Perhaps folks will realize that nothing is external to consciousness and that matter does not exist.

That would likely explain two of the most sought after questions that we are still searching for...

1. What is the fundamental building block of matter?

2. When did the universe begin?

A spiritual fellow may say that all is infinite spirit and its infinite manifestation...and that we are eternal...devoid of beginnings and endings.

But who knows...