Ground-breaking blog. The Dual, the non-Dual and the Big Missing Piece

Humanity has been stuck – seemingly forever – in its challenge to understand the relationship between the material world and the other reality that is represented by mystical experience, intuition, shamanism, meditation and prayer.   This can seem like a choice between realities.  It isn’t.  There is a piece missing which once understood, explains everything. 

We are all familiar with the material world, probably too familiar.  That is how our lives are on a day by day basis – eating sleeping, keeping warm in a world of cars and i-gadgets.  Through the appropriate practices, mind-bending substances, or even spontaneously it is possible for us to enter into a realm of awareness where we are less conscious of the material and more aware of the oneness and of our interconnectedness with all things. 

For a century now, our collective understanding has been informed by quantum physics.  This rose out of a background in the Orange vMeme and its scientific investigation of material reality.  That view had developed the understanding of matter – Newtonian mechanics, the motions of the planets, chemical reactions and organic biology.  

The idea that atoms were the smallest possible pieces of matter and that each element was unique had given way to the knowledge that whether hydrogen gas or heavy-metal mercury, all atoms were made from smaller component like electrons and neutrons.   The more physics investigated this realm the more confused it became.  Eventually it developed the understanding that matter and energy were ultimately interchangeable.  All fundamental particles could also be viewed as waves of energy, a relationship encapsulated in Einstein’s E=MC2 equation.  There is a world of paradox and uncertainty where both the particle and the wave are descriptions of a single reality.  The difference between one “particle” and another resides in the properties which the energy / wave is exhibiting.  It is a matter of observation and description.

This realm is incomprehensible to most of us in any detail.  Even quantum genius Richard Feynmann said that they he couldn’t explain it, and you’ll probably be relieved if I don’t try.   But the quantum picture has a crucial feature that I want to explore.  The question of duality arises from our material world. That which is material has established its separateness.  It is in some sense distinct, and visibly separated from a cosmic one-ness. What we struggle with as humans is the fact that our consciousness – whatever that may be – has the capacity to be sometimes living in the awareness of our materiality, and at other times to transcend that awareness, operating in the “field”, the “oneness” the space between thoughts.

In my view, the conversation about matter and energy, about dual and non-dual states of awareness has missed the most important and fundamental aspect of all.   If the difference between one “thing” and another resides in its description, if the quantum probability wave only collapses into something “known” when it is observed, then that difference between things consists of the information that the universe holds about them.  Underneath matter and energy is consciousness.  That is what holds it together, and that is also what separates it into its components.

As humans, our big challenge with such a reality is that we are incarnated.  My survival in this form depends deeply on knowing that I am here and the bus is there, and on the intention to maintain separation when crossing the road.  It will hurt me to be fully non-dual with the bus.  So much of our biology and experience is geared to sustaining our materiality.  It sits beneath the Beige survival Vmeme, fundamental to our existence.

In the face of this it is very hard to grasp, and comes as a shock to consider that beyond the realm where all of creation is energy lies a deeper truth.  The only reason why existence consists of more than an undifferentiated energy “soup” is that both energy and matter are governed by information.   The difference between an electron and a proton is a piece of information that the universe holds about the nature of electrons and protons.  The difference between a Hydrogen atom and a Mercury atom is that the universe has established a pattern of information in which normal Hydrogen atoms “have” one proton and one electron, whereas a Mercury atom has 80 of each.  The difference between one Mercury atom and another is the information about where that object (or wave of energy) is at any time.

So the deeper truth is that we are neither dual nor non-dual.  Or that we are both, but generally not at the same time.  The difference between these perceptions rests in where we place our awareness.  Are we connected with the information about our physical sense-data and our view of our surroundings? Or are we connected with the information about the fundamental and mystical wholeness of that huge field of energy and the information which describes it, and describes us?  And in that big connection, are we recognising that some of the wholeness is in the information that the universe holds, and that some of it is in the information that we are examining in our personal, local information store – our individual consciousness?

Here you may begin to wonder about the boundaries.  What part of the information is “in me”?   And what part of it is not?   Or you may recognise that this question opens up the different definitions of God – the personal God, 2nd-person God or the all-knowing all seeing, transcendent God-in everything.  And this is where it is essential to avoid the trap set by both our material nature, by the conventional scientific viewpoint or even by the integral distinctions.  We see ourselves as separate, and most people will stay that way unless they make an effort through spiritual practice to experience something else.   Out attempts to believe anything else are challenged by conventional science, which doesn’t see anything other than the material realm.  It cannot acknowledge any connection between you and the universe except that which it can measure – light from the stars, chemicals you breathe.  The information is not detectable.  Consciousness is unrecognised except as a psychological experience.

Twenty-five years ago I had an undeniable experience through visualisation of detecting a fact about another person miles away – a knowing  that could not have been anything other than intuitively received.  The science in which I had been trained said that this was not possible.  In effect I had shown in practice both that the information exists and that the boundaries are porous between what “I” know and what is known in the wider universe.  You may well be experienced in exploring these porous boundaries.  For me this was entirely new.  I needed a scientific explanation, one which meshed the already-known with the hitherto-excluded.  The search finally led after twenty years to writing a book which explains the world to my satisfaction (and I was not easily pleased). 

The view that it presents is justified from a number of scientific perspectives.  It understands biology as well as physics, and draws a new perspective on genetics and evolution.  It also rests in practical experience in alternative healing, explains why homeopathy works, draws from subjective commonalities in the descriptions of shamanistic (non-ordinary) reality and from some philosophical viewpoints on how we construct our individual and collective reality.   

What I have been laying out here is the view that everything which exists is governed by a vast amount of information. Every particle in the universe embodies a piece of what the universe “knows” about itself. Every part of creation operates in a way that is defined by the rules that the universe has constructed for its operation over a 14 billion year timespan. Those rules are part of the information field, that governs how amino acids form, or how genetic replication takes place.  The collective information includes the things that we know about ourselves, but also those things that we are intuitively aware of through our relationship with the field. The Values systems of SD are part of that field of information too, and subject to change according to the principles which have applied at every stage of creation, namely what works in what conditions so as to become stable. 

Widespread among human habits is the perception that we are human beings having a spiritual (consciousness) experience.  We need to turn that perception on its head.  We are beings of consciousness, living in a realm of information and having a material experience – not just a human one, but an experience of participating in the entirety of material creation.   The universe is continually generating fresh knowledge of itself, creating new structure and new relationships.  So too are we – embedded in it, and it embedded in us.   

I have a profound desire for the whole world to begin seeing itself differently.   I want us to end the habit of seeing ourselves through material eyes against the background of a material world so that we know ourselves afresh as beings of creative, world-forming  information.  This is way beyond the fluffy new-age notion of “we are all energy”.   For me, this is where Integral Consciousness truly lies, in recognising how the interior and the exterior realities connect, both individually and collectively.  All four quadrants are aspects of the universal “mind” – choices about our perspective, and which parts of the information we are engaging with.   Knowing that, we have more chance of aligning ourselves with the world and with each other.  It is the beginning of a new level of empowerment and responsibility for our existence.  

Jon

 God’s Ecology:  A science of the Spiritual Habitat is available from www.spiralworld.net.

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