Joseph Selbie is a Christian yogi, meditator, author of "The Physics of God", blogger and entrepreneur. His life path has been informed by Paramhansa Yogananda (author of Autobiography of a Yogi) who came to America to show the unity between original yoga and original Christianity. Over forty years a resident of Ananda Village in Northern California, Joseph tries to live the change he wants to see in the world.
Occasionally we read that our universe is a holographic projection. One’s first encounter with the idea that our universe is a holographic projection can engender bemused disbelief or outright skepticism.
We also read various takes as to the origin of the holographic projection. String theorists, who popularized the notion, tell us, somewhat confusingly, that the holographic information that determines the behavior of the three-dimensional volume of space we call the universe is “pasted on” the “boundary” between our three-dimensional universe and a two-dimensional energy realm.
Two-dimensional holographic information pasted on the boundary with our three-dimensional universe is almost impossible to visualize. The key thing to grasp, however, is that M-theorists are positing that the information that informs the physical universe does not exist in the physical universe itself but exists outside the universe altogether.
So what could be outside the physical universe? What could contain the information that informs the universe? I believe the answer is the heavens. Heaven is the hologram from which informs the holographic projection we know as the physical universe.
My suggestion is based on theories of science, such as string theory (and its most accepted branch, M-theory, in particular), but also religious tradition and, especially, the testimony of the saints, sages, and near-death experiencers who have had direct transcendent experience of heaven.
“In a word, absolutely everything in nature, from the smallest to the greatest, is a correspondence. The reason correspondences occur is that the natural world, including everything in it, arises and is sustained from the spiritual world, and both worlds come from the Divine.”__ Emanuel Swedenborg, Christian mystic
“The blueprints of everything in the physical universe have been astrally conceived—all the forms and forces in nature, including the complex human body, have been first produced in that realm where God's causal ideations are made visible in forms of heavenly light and vibratory energy.”—Paramhansa Yogananda, yoga master
“Everything was created of spirit matter before it was created physically—solar systems, suns, moons, stars, planets, life upon the planets, mountains, rivers, seas, etc. I saw this process, and then, to further understand it, I was told . . . that the spirit creation could be compared to one of our photographic prints; the spirit creation would be like a sharp, brilliant print, and the Earth would be like its dark negative. This Earth is only a shadow of the beauty and glory of its spirit creation.”—Betty J. Eadie, near-death experiencer
Until the advent of string theory and the holographic principle in the 1960s, there had been no persuasive scientific framework to support how such transcendent testimony, describing the ancient principle, as above, so below, could possibly be reconciled with science.
M-theory posits that vast amounts of pure energy exists in what they refer to as branes, vast zones in our greater reality that are filled with super high-frequency energy. In M-theory, our almost incomprehensibly large physical universe is tiny in comparison to a brane.
From the point of view of M-theory, our three-dimensional universe could be described as being like a saturated sponge submerged in an ocean of high-frequency energy. The string-theorist’s name for this vast ocean of energy is the “bulk,” as in, “the bulk of the cosmos.” I prefer to call it the energy-verse as the word bulk is so poorly descriptive of the reality to which it refers.
Counterintuitively, the energy-verse, as posited by M-theory, is two-dimensional. The energy-verse is completely nonmaterial, that is to say it contains no three-dimensional space in which there could be three-dimensional material. It is composed of pure energy that only needs two-dimensions in which to vibrate.
The energy-verse is, I believe, the location of the heavens or astral regions of all religious traditions. The essential qualities of the energy-verse—that it is nearly infinite, that it exists “beyond” the physical universe, and that it contains only nonmaterial, two-dimensional, high-frequency vibrating energy, matches uncannily well the descriptions of the heavens, or luminous astral regions, given by hundreds of saints, sages, and near-death experiencers.
“Just as persons on the cinema screen appear to move and act through a series of light pictures, and do not actually breathe, so the astral beings walk and work as intelligently guided and coordinated images of light.”—Sri Yukteswar, yoga master
“Heaven is a world much like our own except there is no time nor space as we think of them here. Heaven exists in a higher dimension of energy. The higher realms are a world of inexpressible beauty.”—Nora Spurgin, near-death experiencer and researcher
Not only did M-theorists unknowingly provide a location for heaven, but, by making the mathematics of holography an integral piece of their theory, they also provide the key mechanism by which heaven can be understood to function as the template, or hologram, for the physical universe.
In our physical world, a hologram is a flat, two-dimensional film with which light can be made to interact to project a three-dimensional image. Using today’s technology, the creation of the two-dimensional hologram requires starting with digitized images of either an actual three-dimensional object or one generated by a computer. Then the information in those digitalized images of three-dimensional objects is encoded into a two-dimensional hologram. Thus in our physical world the information for the hologram comes either from copying an existing form or from the creative mind of a designer.
Where, then, in the vast ocean of high-frequency energy in the energy-verse, do the original forms, the original templates, the original intelligently and creatively ordered information that encodes the universe come from? I think you know my answer: It has “been first produced in that realm where God's causal ideations are made visible in forms of heavenly light and vibratory energy.”
One implication of the universe being a holographic projection may surprise you. Inherent in the very principle of holography is that the physical universe can’t simply have been started and left to evolve on its own. The holographic principle suggests that our universe is being continuously projected in dynamically and rapidly evolving detail down to the tiniest sub-atomic particle.
You may also be surprised to learn that saints and scientists alike concur on this point:
“God is creating the entire universe, fully and totally, in this present now. Everything God created . . . God creates now all at once.”— Meister Eckhart, Christian mystic
“The universe emerges out of an all-nourishing abyss not only twelve billion years ago but in every moment.”—Brian Swimme, physicist
“My solemn proclamation is that a new universe is created every moment.”— D. T. Suzuki, Zen teacher
“We are not stuff that abides, but patterns that perpetuate themselves; whirlpools of water in an ever-flowing river.”—Norbert Wiener, physicist
“The Tao is the sustaining Life-force and the mother of all things; from it, all things rise and fall without cease.”—Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
A continuously and dynamically evolving holographically projected creation requires a continuous and dynamically evolving source of holographic information. The saints, sages, and near-death experiencers tell us that the information source is a luminous, heavenly counterpart to our universe—the “sharp, brilliant print,” as was described by near-death experiencer Betty Eadie.
Another implication of the universe being a holographic projection may you surprise even further. Not only is the universe around us a holographic projection, we, ourselves, inhabit holographically projected bodies, projected from our own personal luminous “spirit body” hologram. Living through both our bodies, physical and spirit bodies, we interact with the complex reality that is the cosmos on many levels. We are both actors and directors in an Intelligently created cosmic movie.
“We are beginning to see the entire [cosmos] as a holographically interlinked network of energy and information, organically whole and self-referential at all scales of its existence. We, and all things in the universe, are non-locally connected with each other and with all other things in ways that are unfettered by the hitherto known limitations of space and time.”—Ervin Laszlo
Our spirit hologram, the perfect luminous counterpart to our physical body, is not distant from us, rather it interpenetrates our physical body at every point. Just as the physical universe is like a saturated sponge submerged in an ocean of high-frequency energy so, too, is our physical body.
Despite not being able to perceive our interpenetrating spirit body with our five senses, to one degree or another we are all aware of it. The experiential religious traditions of the world—from yoga, to Sufism, to charismatic Christianity, to tai chi—call the subtle energies of our spirit body life force. An abundance of life force puts a bounce in our step and a smile on our face. It tingles through our being when we feel delight and knots our stomach when we’re stressed. It warms our hearts when we feel love and tenses the body when we feel fear. It gives us an upward “rush” when we feel excited or inspired and drags us down when we are fatigued or depressed. It keeps the heart pumping, the lungs breathing, the digestion working, and it animates the myriad processes taking place in our trillions of cells. Without knowing precisely how we know, we are all aware of the presence of life force within us—and thus we are aware of our spirit body.
In fact, according to the healers, psychics, seers, mystics, and saints who have highly developed intuitive perception, most of what we experience, most of what fills our awareness, most of what matters to us—our vitality and life force, our feelings, our creative will, our personality and character, and our experience of happiness, love, or joy—actually originates from our interpenetrating spirit body, and does not exist in the physical body at all.
More significantly yet, the mystics tell us that when we die these essential aspects of who we are continue to exist where they have always existed—in our non-physical, interpenetrating, spirit body. The person we are today is very much the person we will be after death—only we will find ourselves existing, sans the physic body, solely in our more perfect spirit body in the heavenly freedom of an unconstrained and more perfect energy world.
It is fair to say, then, since our spirit body is always within us, that we are already in heaven.
“In this way, our lives in this plane of existence are encompassed, surrounded, by the afterworld already. . . . The body dies but the spiritual quantum field continues. In this way, I am immortal.”—Dr. Hans-Peter Dürr, former head of the Max Planck Institute for Physics, Munich
“You don't die when you die. You shift your consciousness and speed of vibration. That's all death is . . . a shift.”—P. M. H. Atwater, near-death experiencer, NDE researcher, and author of Beyond the Light
But we don’t need to wait for the hereafter to fully experience our spirit body—we can meditate or practice intensive prayer and tap into it in the here and now.
“Since my return [from my near death experience] I have experienced the light spontaneously, and I have learned how to get to that space almost any time in my meditation. Each one of you can do this. You do not have to die to do this. It is within your equipment; you are wired for it already.”—Mellen-Thomas Benedict, near-death experiencer
Meditation and intensive prayer are supremely effective tools for tapping into our spirit body because—through relaxation, concentration, and stillness—they methodically turn our attention away from the physical body and allow us to become aware of our spirit body more and more fully.
Meditation and intensive prayer don’t create calmness and joy: they allow us to experience the calmness and joy natural to our spirit body. When Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is within you,” he meant it literally. The more our awareness becomes centered in our spirit body, the more happy, fulfilled, loving, compassionate, energetic, and calm we feel.
Expand your awareness of your spirit body. It’s the secret to health and happiness. Breathe in energy from your spirit body, then relax and feel. Concentrate on your calm, still, center.
Be in heaven now.