Current Update as of May 16, 2006
Inspired by The Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies
Edited by HENRY REED, Ph.D.
Excerpt, with permission of the publisher,
A Concise Catalog of Contemporary Puzzles
embarking on the search for an integral theory of everything (TOE),
we should review the puzzles that are emerging in the pertinent
fields of the sciences.
1. The Puzzles of Cosmology
Cosmology, a branch of the astronomical sciences, is in turbulence. The deeper the new high-powered instruments probe the far reaches of the universe, the more mysteries they uncover. For the most part, these mysteries have a common element: they exhibit a staggering coherence throughout the reaches of space and time.
The universe is far more complex and coherent than anyone other than poets and mystics have dared to imagine. A number of puzzling observations have cropped up:
The flatness of the universe: in the absence of matter,
space-time turns out to be flat or Euclidean
(the kind of space where the shortest distance between two points
is a straight line), rather than curved (where the shortest distance
between any two points is a curve).
The missing mass of the universe: there is more gravitational pull in the cosmos than visible matter can account foryet only matter is believed to have mass and thus to exert the force of gravitation. Even when cosmologists allow for a variety of dark (optically invisible) matter, there is still a great chunk of matter (and hence mass) missing.
The accelerating expansion of the cosmos: distant galaxies pick up speed as they move away from each otheryet they should be slowing down as gravitation brakes the force of the Big Bang that blew them apart.
The coherence of some cosmic ratios: the mass of elementary particles, the number of particles, and the forces that exist between them are all mysteriously adjusted to favor certain ratios that recur again and again.
The horizon problem: the galaxies and other macrostructures of the universe evolve almost uniformly in all directions from Earth, even across distances so great that the structures could not have been connected by light, and hence could not have been correlated by signals carried by light (according to relativity theory, no signal can travel faster than light).
The fine-tuning of the universal constants: the key parameters of the universe are amazingly fine tuned to produce not just recurring harmonic ratios, but also theotherwise extremely improbableconditions under which life can emerge and evolve in the cosmos.
to the standard model of cosmic evolution, the universe originated
in the Big Bang, twelve to fifteen billion years ago (the latest
satellite-based observations, made from the far side of the moon,
confirm that the universe is indeed about 13.7 billion years old).
Until quite recently, the scenario of cosmic evolution seemed well established. Detailed measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiationthe presumed remnant of the Big Bangtestify that its variations derive from minute fluctuations within the cosmic fireball when our universe was less than one trillionth of a second young and are not distortions caused by radiation from stellar bodies.
the standard cosmology of the Big Bang is not as established now
as it was a few years ago. There is no reasonable explanation in
BB theory for the observed flatness of the universe;
for the missing mass in it; for the accelerating expansion of the
galaxies; for the coherence of some basic cosmic ratios; and for
the horizon problem, the uniformity of the macrostructures
throughout cosmic space.
existence of a vaster, perhaps infinite universe is underscored
by the astonishing finding that no matter how far and wide highpowered
telescopes range in the universe, they find galaxy after galaxyeven
in black regions of the sky where no galaxies or stars
of any kind were believed to exist.
a number of physical cosmologies offer quantitatively elaborated
accounts of how the universe we inhabit could have arisen in the
framework of a Metaverse.
fluctuations that led to our amazingly coherent universe may not
have been selected at random. Traces of prior universes could have
been present in the pre-space from which our universe arose.
The staggering coherence of our universe tells us that all its stars and galaxies are interconnected in some way. And the astonishing finetuning of the physical laws and constants of our universe suggests that at its birth our universe may have been connected with prior universes in a vaster, perhaps infinite Metaverse.
Do we come across here the footprint of a cosmic Akashic Field that conveyed the trace of a precursor universe to the birth of our universeand has been connecting and correlating the stars and galaxies of this universe ever since?
2. The Puzzles of Quantum Physics
the course of the twentieth century, quantum physicsthe physics
of the ultrasmall domain of physical realitybecame strange
In their pristine state, quanta are not just in one place at one time: each single quantum is both here and thereand in a sense it is everywhere in space and time.
Until they are observed or measured, quanta have no definite characteristics
but instead exist simultaneously in several states at the same time.
These states are not real but potentialthey
are the states the quanta can assume when they are observed or measured.
Even when the quantum is in a set of real states, it does not allow us to observe and measure all of these states at the same time: when we measure one of its states (for example, position or energy), another becomes blurred (such as its speed of motion or the time of its observation).
Quanta are highly sociable: once they are in the same state, they remain linked no matter how far they travel from each other. When one of the formerly connected quanta is subjected to an interaction (that is, when it is observed or measured), it chooses its own stateand its twin also chooses its own state, but not freely: it chooses it according to the choice of the first twin. It always chooses a complementary state, never the same one.
Within a complex system (such as the whole setup of an experiment), quanta exhibit just as sociable behaviors. If we measure one of the quanta in the system, the others become real (that is, similar to a commonsense object) as well. Even more remarkably, if we create an experimental situation where a given quantum can be individually measured, all the other quanta become real even if the experiment is not carried out . . .
mechanics, the physics of Isaac Newton, conveyed a comprehensible
concept of physical reality. Newtons Philosophiae Naturalis
Principia Mathematica, published in 1687, demonstrated with geometrical
precision that material bodies move according to mathematically
expressible rules on Earth, while planets rotate in accordance with
Keplers laws in the heavens.
over a hundred years ago, the mechanistic, predictable world of
Newton ran into trouble. With the splitting of the atom in the late
nineteenth century and of the atomic nucleus in the early twentieth,
more had been fragmented than a physical entity.
remarkable fact emerging from this sea of quantum mystery is that
particles and atoms are not individual beasts. They are sociable
entities, and under certain conditions they are so thoroughly entangled
with each other that they are not just here or there, but in all
pertinent places at the same time.
Could the nonlocality of the most basic elements of the universe be due to a fundamental field that records the state of particles and atoms and conveys this information to particles and atoms in corresponding states? Could it be that an Akashic Field is active not only at the cosmological scale, but also at the ultrasmall scale of physical reality?
3. The Puzzles of Biology
superlarge as well as the ultrasmall domains of physical reality
turn out to be amazingly correlated and coherent. But the world
in its everyday dimension is more reasonable. Here things occupy
but one state at a time and are either here or there and not in
both places simultaneously.
in the living world, macroscale objects are not classicalor
not entirely so. Instant, multidimensional correlations are coming
to light between the parts of a living organism, and even between
organisms and environments.
The living organism is extraordinarily coherent: all its parts are multidimensionally, dynamically, and almost instantly correlated with all other parts. What happens to one cell or organ also happens in some way to all other cells and organsa correlation that recalls (and in fact suggests) the kind of entanglement that characterizes the behavior of quanta in the microdomain.
The organism is also coherent with the world around it: what happens
in the external milieu of the organism is reflected in some ways
in its internal milieu. Thanks to this coherence, the organism can
evolve in tune with its environment.
That the living organism is coherent as a whole is not surprising what is surprising is the degree and form of its coherence. The organisms coherence goes beyond the coherence of a biochemical system; in some respects it attains the coherence of a quantum system.
if living organisms are not to succumb to the constraints of the
physical world, their component parts and organs must be precisely
yet flexibly correlated with each other.
closer analysis it turns out that dynamic equilibrium requires a
very high degree of coherence: it calls for instantaneous long-range
correlations throughout the system.
a complex organism the challenge of order is gigantic. The human
body consists of some million billion cells, far more than stars
in the Milky Way galaxy. Of this cell population, 600 billion are
dying and the same number are regenerating every dayover 10
million cells per second.
level of coherence exhibited by organisms suggests that quantumtype
processes take place in them. For example, organisms respond to
extremely low frequency electromagnetic radiation, and to magnetic
fields so weak that only the most sophisticated instruments can
within the organism embraces the set of the organisms genes,
the so-called genome. This is an anomaly for mainstream biology.
According to classical Darwinism, the genome should be insulated
from the vicissitudes that befall the rest of the organism.
the classical Darwinian tenet regarding the isolation of the genome
is not correct. It has been proved false indirectly, through statistical
probability, and empirically, by way of laboratory experiments.
connection between genes and environments is demonstrated in laboratory
experiments. Geneenvironment connection can be conveyed even
by mechanical means.
recently discovered adaptive response of the genome
is also evident when electromagnetic or radioactive fields irradiate
the organism: this, too, has a direct effect on the structure of
its genes. In many cases the new arrangement shows up in the offspring.
Even more striking are experiments in which particular genes of a strain of bacterium are rendered defectivefor example, genes that enable bacteria to metabolize lactose. When these bacteria are fed a pure milk diet, some among them mutate back precisely those of their genes that enable them to metabolize it again. Given the complexity of the genome even of humble bacteria, this response is astronomically unlikely to occur purely by chance.
Exposure to chemicals also produces adaptive mutation. When plants and insects are subjected to toxic substances, they often mutate their gene pool in precisely such a way that detoxifies the poisons and creates resistance to them.
The German theoretician Marco Bischof summed up the key insight currently emerging at the frontiers of the life sciences. Quantum mechanics has established the primacy of the inseparable whole. For this reason, he said (and the emphasis is his), the basis of the new biophysics must be the insight into the fundamental interconnectedness within the organism as well as between organisms, and that of the organism with the environment.
a field, sometimes called biofield, instantly and continuously
coordinate the myriad interactions of the organisms myriad
molecules, genes, and cells, and correlate entire organisms and
species with their environment?
4. The Puzzles of Consciousness Research
is the most intimately and immediately known fact of our experience.
It accompanies us from birth, presumably until death. It is unique,
and seems to belong uniquely to each of us. Yet my consciousness
may not be solely and uniquely mine.
Native tribes seem able to communicate beyond the range of eye and ear. As shown by the customs, buildings, and artifacts of diverse peoples who lived on different points of the globe, and may have lived at different times, entire cultures appear to have shared information among themselves, even though they were not in any known form of contact with each other.
In the laboratory also, modern people display a capacity for spontaneous transference of impressions and images, especially when they are emotionally close to each other.
Some images and ideasuniversal symbols and archetypes occur and recur in the culture of all civilizations, modern and ancient, whether or not their people have known each other or have even known of each others existence.
The mind of one person appears able to act on the brain and body of another. This faculty, known to traditional peoples, is verified today in controlled experiments and forms the basis of a new branch of medicine known as telesomatic or nonlocal medicine.
findings at the farther reaches of human consciousness recall Einsteins
pronouncement half a century ago.
Traditional cultures did not regard transpersonal connections with distant peoples, tribes, or cultures as illusion, but modern societies do. The modern mind is not ready to accept anything as real that is not manifestnot literally ready to hand (manus being Latin for hand). Consequently, transpersonal connections are viewed as paranormal and admitted only under exceptional conditions.
of the exceptions is twin painwhen one of a pair
of identical twins senses the pain or trauma of the other. This
phenomenon is well documented. Guy Playfair, who wrote the book
Twin Telepathy, noted that about thirty percent of twins experience
twins are only the top of the tree of bonded pairs. Some form of
telepathy has been observed among all people who share a deep bond,
such as mothers and children, lovers, long-term couples, even close
Not only can people communicate with the minds of other people, but they can also interact with other peoples bodies. Reliable evidence is becoming available that the conscious mind of one person can produce repeatable and measurable effects on the body of another. These effects, in turn, are known as telesomatic.
effects were known to so-called primitive peoples: anthropologists
call them sympathetic magic. Shamans, witch doctors,
and those who practice such magic (voodoo, for example) do not act
on the person they target, but rather on an effigy of that person,
such as a doll.
are positive variants of sympathetic magic today that are increasingly
widely known and practiced. One variant is the kind of alternative
medicine known as spiritual healing.
form of positively oriented sympathetic magic is healing by intercessory
prayer. The effectiveness of prayer has been known to religious
people and communities for hundreds and indeed thousands of years.
Intercessory prayer and spiritual healing, together with other mindand intention-based experiments and practices, yield impressive evidence regarding the effectiveness of telepathic and telesomatic informationand energy-transmission. The pertinent practices produce real and measurable effects on people, and they are more and more widespread. But mainstream science has no explanation for them.
Could it be that our consciousness is linked with other consciousnesses through an interconnecting Akashic Field, much as galaxies are linked in the cosmos, quanta in the microworld, and organisms in the world of the living? And could this be the same field we have encountered before, manifesting itself in the realm of mind, in addition to the realms of nature?
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