Thursday, April 28, 2011

(4) Cosmic Plenum

The idea of a "Cosmic Plenum"-- an Intelligence or Godhead that
supports and sustains the universe--has probably been around
for millennia, mainly nestled in religions and philosophies. In
Hinduism there's Brahmin, the Ultimate Reality of all phenomena.
And in ancient Greek philosophy there's the Logos, deemed the
Reason that underlies the universe. Also, later the Christian Fathers
borrowed the concept of the Logos, declaring Jesus as the
"Incarnation of the Logos." And out of this declaration, the iconic
Pantocrator--the Cosmic Christ, the Lord of the Universe--emerged,

Eventually more contemporary philosophies began to think of the
Cosmic Plenum in terms of Energy. There's the "elan vital" expressed
in Vitalism. In its simplest form vitalism holds that living organisms
differ from non-living forms, in that there is an energy that sparks their
soul or living spirit. This vital energy is a substance that infuses and
gives life to more sophisticated life forms.

And when considering the Cosmic Christ, the paleontologist-priest
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin oft referred to energy. Teilhard declared
that "all energy is psychic in nature." He believed that energy is
"divided into two distinct components--a tangential energy, which
links the element with all others of the same order...and radial energy
which draws it towards ever great complexity and centricity..."

Basically Teilhard believed that a Within underlined the Without of
the universe. Essentially he was thinking of the Cosmic Plenum. But,
like so many others, he had moved into the realm of speculation.

On the other hand, modern physicists have also dared to speculate
about a Cosmic Plenum.

Known as the "Father of Quantum Mechanics," the late David Bohm
was a protege of both Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer ( the Father
of the Atom Bomb) when he was at the Institute of Advanced Study
in Princeton. Eventually he assumed the Chair of the Physics
Department at the University of London.

But it was what Bohm did *after* he retired as a physicist. Essentially
he became a philosopher, espousing an incredibly interesting theory
about what he called the "Implicate Order." What Bohm suggested
strongly is that there is an Inner Aspect of the universe as well as an
Outer Aspect that we normally study.

He based his theory on his knowledge as a physicist. Bohm's
universal system was a "Whole," if you will, seamless, with the Inner
playing into the Outer. As he stressed, our's is a *holistic universe*
and its process is holistic. Bohm believed that there was a Cosmic
Plenum, which he called the "Holomovement."

Continuing, another contemporary philosopher, Ervin Laszlo--a
systems analyst and founder of Systems Philosophy--developed a
theory of the Cosmic Plenum that involves what is called the Quantum
Vacuum. ( In quantum field theory, the vacuum state is the quantum
state with the lowest possible energy. Generally, it contains no physical
particles. *Zero-point field* is sometimes used as a synonym for the
vacuum state of an individual quantized field.)

Perhaps difficult to understand, but Laszlo considers the quantum vacuum
that cosmic substratum which becomes unstable in universe-creating
explosions. His theory is about a recycling, recreating universe. As put
by Laszlo, the quantum vacuum is both "the cradle and the deathbed of
universes." However, he notes that this "vacuum is Akasha and Prana
rolled into one: the dynamic virtual-energy substratum that endures
through all of time and fills all of space."

Laszlo's theory broadens when he talks of the quantum vacuum as an
"information field underlying all of reality." Continuing, he notes that
"there is a feedback loop in which information is conserved and transferred
from the virtual cosmic plenum to manifest reality and back." Laszlo
further relates this occurring "in a holographic nature--think of Bohm's
implicate order."

So, this idea of a feedback loop can not only be traced back to Bohm's
idea of information conveyed between his concept of an implicate
order and an explicate order of the universe, but also back to Teilhard's
idea of an information exchange between the Within and the Without
of the universe.

Again, even in our own modern time, we are back to religious and
philosophical speculations when it comes to the Cosmic Plenum.
Still we seem very much drawn to the idea of such a Plenum or
Cosmic Mind/Spirit that somehow provides our surface world with
Information that we are mandated to make Intelligible.

So, who is to say what the Future might hold when it comes to
such wonderful imaginings about the Cosmic Plenum! Perhaps
one day we might hit upon the Reality of Such.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

(3) Deep Ecology

"Deep Ecology" is a philosophy for here and now as well as for
the future. The Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess developed
this special ecological philosophy in the early 1970s, Simply
put, Deep Ecology is a holistic paradigm that not only recognizes
the importance of the eco-system and natural processes, but
recognizes the rights of other living forms. Basically Deep Ecology
stresses the interdependent nature of human and non-human life.

Another way of looking at Deep Ecology is to compare it with what
philosophers call "Shallow Ecology" that is essentially human-
centered (anthropocentric). Shallow Ecology is still a major force
throughout our own times, in that it views nature only for human use.
Nature, bluntly put, is seen only as an utility.

Human beings are considered *separate* from Nature according
to the scenario provided by Shallow Ecology; whereas, Deep
Ecology--as already put--stresses an interconnected as well as
an interdependent world. Consequently, proponents of Deep
Ecology do not consider the world simply as a resource for human
use. Rather it values the well-being of both human and non-human
life who share our planet.

Deep Ecology values the diversity of the Earth's biosphere, and
humans have no right to impoverish this special diversity. On the
other hand, Deep Ecology most certainly takes in account vital
human needs. For example,within Native American cultures,
hunters may have had the need to kill animals for food--but they
also thanked that animal for its sacrifice. However, on our
larger socio-cultural scale of modern times, this outlook may
prove challenging.

Politically Deep Ecology has already played into the thinking of
contemporary environmental, ecological, and green movements
as well as consideration for animal rights. And culturally it can be
inter-weaved into various religious and spiritual worldviews. Also,
philosophers are contrasting Deep Ecology in relation to other
modern movements such as social ecology, ecofeminism, and
biocentric egalitarianism. And some ethicists are considering Deep
Ecology when it comes to forging new moral approaches towards
engaging Nature.

However, personally, it would seem that our level of consciousness
will need be considerably tweaked sharply in future when it comes
to the socio-cultural expression of Deep Ecology.

Monday, April 11, 2011

(2) Neurocosmology

I have to admit that one of the most complex books that I have
ever read is Todd Siler's BREAKING THE MIND BARRIER: THE
Schuster in 1990.

At the time of writing Siler was working as a visual artist
at M.I.T's Computer-Aided Design Laboratory in the Department
of Mechanical Engineering. He had already delved deep into
what he calls "Neurocosmology," having published such items
as Metaphorms: Forms of Metaphor; Architectonics of Thought;
A Symbolic Model of Neuropsychological Processes; and The

And as an artist Siler's artworks have been exhibited inter-
nationally and are in numerous collections, including the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the
Pushkin Fine Arts Museum in Moscow.

But now to the hard part...we need better to understand what
Siler means by *neurocosmology* and *metaphorms."

As put in his book, "A metaphorm is an object, image, concept,
or process that we compare to something else...Metaphorms invoke
the idea of forming, connecting, shaping *some thing* (or
information) in our mind's eyes and hands." (pp.30-31)

However, when it comes to neurocosmology, the going becomes
a little more complicated. Siler notes that his "book presents
a vision of nature as a world of what [he calls]--*processmorphs*--
things that are alike in process but not necessarily alike in form:
from heavenly bodies to human brains." (p. 18)

Continuing, Siler lists three principles of neurocosmology:
(1) Through metaphorms, relate everything you do, see, feel,
create or experience in terms of brain processes.
(2) Through metaphorms, relate everything you do, see, feel,
create or experience in terms of the universe's processes.
(3) Interrelate the results and experiences from 1 and 2.
Then question what these interrelations mean or suggest to you.

One reviewer noted that Siler's blueprint for neurocosmology
might be a new science that links the microcosm to the Macrocosm.
Of course philosophers since Ancient Greece have toyed with this
kind of linkage. But Siler believes that by "decoding the brain,
we decode the universe."

But we need move on, getting into the nitty-gritty of Siler's
hypothesis about *processmorphs," things that differ in outward
form but are alike in process. He cites examples such as humans,
earthquakes, windstorms, and stars as sharing similar patterns of
energy phenomena.

In his book, Siler provides illustrations that somehow link our
brain's processes with natural processes. For example, he gives
examples of what he calls "Cerebral Fusion: Intuition" and "Cerebral
Fusion: Reason" by displaying metaphorms of the brain in action.
He also discusses processes vis-a-vis processors. For example, he
relates the brain's Neocortex with Time-Space and Information-Related
Systems (such as analog/digital processes of computers.) He also
relates our Limbic System with Energy-Matter and Energy-Related
Systems (such as with fusion/fission nuclear reactors), and our
Brain Stem with Momentum and Offense/Defense Related Systems.

One of my favorite Siler illustrations is a view of the brain's
Hipppocampus, a section of neural tissue from the Temporal Lobe,
that actually corresponds with the layout of a spiral galaxy.

Anyway, we have moved into Nature big time, in the Cosmic! These
accounts are but a small dip into Siler's vast respository of
illustrations that connect both the layout and processes of our
brain with Nature's processes.

Almost as an end note, Siler asks the question: "Couldn't it just
be possible that our theories of the universe are theories about
ourselves? That we have to study everything about ourselves and
our creations--*in conjuction* with studying everything about the
cosmos--to actually see ourselves? The idea implies that *all
theories,* to various degrees, describe aspects of human brain
processes." (pp. 236-237)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

(1) New Cosmology

The New Cosmology about our universe starts out with the
"Big Bang, originally labeled by antagonist Fred Hoyle. He
actually didn't accept the Big Bang theory and used the term
in a derisive way. However, in 1964, Arno Penzias and Robert
Wilson accidentally discovered the cosmic background radiation
of the Big Bang At the time they were in charge of a new Bell
Laboratories microwave receiver, and this receiver kept
picking-up signals--from everywhere! They thought there were
kinks in the receiver, no, then they figured it must be some sort
of outside interference, like birds defecating on the receiver,
again no. So it had to be cosmic radiation residue from the
Big Bang!

At the same time, in nearby Princeton University, scientists
were intent looking for this cosmic background radiation. Word
got around, and they knew that Wilson and Penzias' microwave
receiver had done it. And 25 years later, in 1989, the Cosmic
Background Explorer satellite (COBE) was launched--and its
findings were consistent regarding the cosmic microwave
background of the Big Bang.

As to what this means is yet another story. The theoretics for the
Big Bang were already in place, years before its background
radiation was picked-up by Penzias and Wilson. In 1927
Georges Lemaitre, a physicist and a Roman Catholic priest
from Belgium, had presented his theory of what was to become
known as the Big Bang. He believed that the universe began as
a single point, a form no larger than a cell, and it "exploded."
In a few seconds the universe began to expand into what is now
considered a dense, hot "primordial soup." Later elements evolved
that allowed for the formation of galaxies, millions upon millions,
with billions of suns and presumably solar systems. Hence the
possibility of finding planets, eventually, that might sustain Life.
We have only begun the search, and someday we might be

Using special astrophysical technology, the latest estimate is
that our universe is some 13.7 billion years old. Scientists
believe that it's an expanding universe, with the galaxies moving
farther away from one another. And here it begins to get strange.
Astronomers today figure that our present universe is composed
of Dark Energy (74%), Dark Matter (22%), and Normal Matter (4%)--
and out of that 4%, most is gas and only a minute percentage
accounts for stars and their systems.

And whatever might be Dark Matter and Dark Energy? They are
hypothetical terms that cosmologists use. They believe that
Dark Matter can be inferred by its gravitational effects on normal
matter. As for Dark Energy, it is believed that it permeates all
space and is behind the increasing expansion rate of the universe,

As for the surface of the universe, geometrists are continuously
challenged. The geometry of the universe considers two
possibilities, either the universe is curved or it is flat. And recently,
NASA announced that their WMAP (Wilkinson Microwave
Anisotropy Probe) spacecraft has pretty much confirmed that
our universe is flat--with only a 2% margin of error.

So whatever does this mean? Well a flat universe involves
accelerative expansion. As cosmologists put, absent
Dark Energy a flat universe will expand forever with an
eventual fixed rate. But with the presence of Dark Energy--
all 74% of it--the acceleration of the universe slows down,
but in time eventually increases.

Alas, an uncomfortable topic--the ultimate fate of the universe!
The candidates have been as follows: Heat Death, the Big
Freeze, the Big Crunch, and more recently the Big Rip. If the
WMAP is definitely correct about ours being a flat universe, and
the measurement of Dark Energy is on the mark, well than the
leading candidate is the Big Rip. If so, all normal matter will
disintegrate into unbound elementary particles as the rest of
the universe continues to expand infinitely. But cosmologists
tell us that sad event is a long, long way off. Still it's not a
comfortable thought.

Overall, however, our fledgling empirical observations of our
universe are leading into a Mystery. If we continue to increase
our knowledge, who is to say what Wonder we might discover.
But for now it's just strangely weird.

There's Black Holes, for example. Cosmologists speculate that
they are usual in the centers of galaxies. Our contemporary
astrophysical technology helps us feel around the conclusion
that there is such a thing as a Black Hole. However, one does
not want to get close to such a cosmic beast. According to
general relativity, a Black Hole possesses a gravitational field
so powerful that nothing, but nothing can escape its pull. This
includes matter and even light. Nothing escapes--maybe.

Some theorists believe that a Black Hole might actually be
a wormhole. Thus it is a kind of an inner tunnel where one
might travel from one point to another point in the universe.
Hard to figure, however, if everything that enters such a hole
is destroyed. On the other hand, maybe matter seemingly
dumped into a Black Hole arrives at the other end of the tunnel.

Regardless, cosmic theories are fascinating There's the String
Theory that combines general relativity and quantum mechanics
into a quantum theory of gravity. This theory also involves
additional dimensions to our usual three spatial dimensions
plus our one dimension of time. And further developed String
Theory moves into what is deemed the Holographic Principle.
More on that as we get into Quantum Theory.

The basis of Quantum Theory can be summarized in three
propositions: (1) In the subatomic world, few things can be
predicted with 100 % precision; however, accurate predictions
can be made about the probability of any particular outcome;
(2) One has to work with the probabilities rather than certainties,
because it is impossible--for an observer--to describe all
aspects of a particle at once as to its speed and location; and
(3) Electromagnetic energy, such as light or heat, does not
always behave like a continuous wave--rather it is grainy
because energy can be transferred only in quantum packages,
and thus light has a dual character, sometimes displaying
wavelike aspects and in other circumstances as particles.

And the magic component in this cosmic story, whether it's about
us or whether about the whole universe, is Energy!

In 1900 Max Planck had originated the theory of Quantum
Mechanics, which is a theory of energy as emanated in discrete
packages. Soon Albert Einstein took Planck's idea one step
further, assuming that light was quantized. And later David
Bohm, a premier physicist, known as the "Father of Quantum
Mechanics," believed that this underlying background of Energy
to be the plenum of the universe. Bohm likened this plenum,
this immense background of Energy. to be one whole and
unbroken movement that he called the "holomovement."

At least some major cosmological theorists say out-loud
that there is a Plenum of the Universe. But hold on! There just
might be a problem. Could be that our universe is *not* the one
and only universe!

Maybe the theories are getting out-of-hand. There's the
theory that there is a multi-universe derived from the many-
worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. In quantum
mechanics, there is this paradoxical situation in which an
object often seems to exist in two or more different states at
the same time. (Remember the dual character of light, or
electron, sometimes appearing as a wave, sometimes a particle.)

The many-worlds interpretation deals with this, theorizing that
if an electron seems to exist in two states, then that at every
quantum mechanical event, the universe splits into two, This
could go on infinitum, it you will. And ultimately this could lead
to incredibly huge numbers of branching universes.

And there is yet another theory that really is boggling--especially
if true. That there is a Parent Universe that spawns universes,
including ours. This idea is interesting, because the Big Bang
seems almost like a "birthing." Maybe this theory of a Parent
Universe isn't so way out after all.

[The above information is an extract from one of my earlier
works, the "Sol Scientia." ]


Many current concepts that connect Science amd Spirituality could
serve as a spiritual foundation for the Future. In this essay site
it is my intent to provide descriptions of selected topics as well
as commentary regarding how I see how this selection might evolve
in the Future.

Though certainly not all that I might select, some of the topics
I will discuss are as follows:

• The New Cosmology
• NeuroCosmology
• Deep Ecology
• The Cosmic Plenum
• Vitalism, Panpsychism, Emergentism

• Panentheism
• Natural Theology
• Evolutionary Theology
• NeuroTheology
• Memetics and God
• Consciousness
• Multidisciplinary, Multidimensional
• Noosphere Extended
• Intuition
• Meditation
• God Imagery
• Archetypal Psychology
• Gestalt Psychology
• Transpersonal Psychology
• Enactivism
• (Psi) Non-Local Prayer
• (Psi) Peak Exprience
• (Psi) Near Death Experience
• (Psi) Reincarnation
• Transhumanism

• Wisdom Traditions
• Creation Spirituality
• Eco-Spirituality
• Personal Entelechy
• Us & the Universe