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LATEST DIALOGUES Akashic Field and Consciousness

Photo credit:  NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Photo credit:
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

According to Ervin Laszlo, the coherence of the atom and the galaxies is the same coherence that keeps living cells together, cooperating to form life. When a complex system made up of many interacting parts is operating, sometimes an unexpected jump to a new level of complex organization happens. Our human body is made up of many such levels, each formed by another jump in complexity. Our lowest level of the cell jumps up a level to body tissue, to body organ, to body system and to the whole body. We are therefore formed with many onion skin like levels that all cooperate in complex ways to make one whole human being. It is really amazing how it all fits together.

At the same time, in the human realm of consciousness, we are – as far as we know – the only creatures able to contemplate who we are, why we are here and how we fit into the universe. We can even contemplate on the fact that we can contemplate about who we are and how we fit into the universe. This coherence also allows evolution to happen and that has enabled us to evolve from a microscopic bacterium right through to the complex beings that we are with all our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual capabilities.

Ervin Laszlo presents a theory that helps to tie both together. He proposes that the quantum vacuum – which we know contains all the information of our history from the Big Bang to now – is also consciousness. Everything in the universe therefore has consciousness; from a pebble to a tree, to a cloud, to a person. While this goes against the view of mainstream science, there are some highly respected scientists such as Freeman Dyson, David Bohm and Fritjof Capra, who support the idea that the universe is in fact conscious. Ervin Laszlo says that life happens because it comes from the quantum vacuum.

What is consciousness? Consciousness is about being aware of our own existence and the environment in which we live. So if one sub-atomic particle reacts in line with another particle somewhere else in the universe, we could say it is aware of what the other one is doing. In a way it is aware of itself in the universe. So, the question is: Is it enough to say all particles in the universe are conscious?

We are conscious of our existence and have evolved a brain able to access and use the consciousness held in quantum vacuum. Consciousness is yet another manifestation of coherence allowing a mass of nerve cells to co-operate and form a unified sense of self.

Ervin Laszlo equates this quantum vacuum with the Akashic Field of ancient Hindu spiritual tradition. The Hindu say the Akashic record is a field from which all the universe is formed and which holds all that ever was, is or will be. The Hindu also say that the Big Bang that started the universe, and the big crunch that will happen when the universe goes into reverse and collapses back into itself, is only a part of many cycles of universes, just like ours, appearing and disappearing, just like the subatomic particles in our world.

Ervin Laszlo states that information can be transferred from one cycle to the next, which explains how the precise numbers for gravity, electromagnetism etc. come to be so exact when there has not been enough time for these to have formed randomly. Those numbers are transferred from previous universes.

The Akashic Field, being the background to the subatomic worlds, also flows through the other realms of stars, galaxies and human life, and is an activating force in all those realms. It is the force moving the stars and galaxies and the spark that gives life to bunches of molecules, driving the power of evolution and giving us the ability to develop our consciousness and experience the unity of the universe.

Ervin Laszlo’s theory says we are therefore linked to all people who have ever lived, and we can get access to them by accessing the Akashic field. This can explain life after death, because the past has never gone away, telling us that the past is ever present in everything we do. It clearly points to a universe where all is one and everything is linked. And if we tune ourselves into the Akashic field, we can access abilities that appear to be supernatural, but are in fact completely natural. Activities such as meditation can help us plug into the Akashic field and become much more than we are at present. Science and spirituality do not need to be set against each other as we have tended to think for so long.

Ervin Laszlo links the world of science with spiritual traditions, presenting it in a seemingly clear and logical way, incorporating all the latest research in so many fields of scientific research and tying it all together into a wonderful cohesive theory that makes sense of so many strange and contradictory parts of the universe. It explains what is usually called the supernatural in natural terms, giving strong evidence for the truth of such things as clairvoyance, reincarnation and spiritual healing.

Information
In the universe, states Ervin Laszlo, information is entirely basic. In the latest conception the universe doesn’t consist of matter and space, it consists of energy and information. Energy exists in the form of wave-patterns and wave-propagations in the quantum vacuum that fills space; in its various forms, energy is the “hardware” of the universe. The software is information. The universe is not an assemblage of bits of inert matter moving passively in empty space, it is a dynamic and coherent whole. The energy that constitutes its hardware is always and everywhere in-formed. It is in-formed by what David Bohm called the implicate order and what physicists now regard as the quantum vacuum or zero-point field (also called physical spacetime, universal field, or nuether). This is the in-formation that structures the physical world, the information we grasp as the laws of nature. Without information the energy waves and patterns of the universe would be as random and unstructured as the behavior of a computer without its software. But the universe is not random and unstructured; it is precisely in-formed. Would it be any less precisely informed, complex systems could not have emerged in it, and we would not be here to ask how this on first sight highly improbable development could have come about.

The answer science has to the ‘what’ question refers to an entangled, holographic, non-local connecting in-formation field in the cosmos. In his books – in greatest detail in Science and the Akashic Field – he discusses the evidence for this field and notes that the Hindu seers referred to it as Akasha, the fundamental element of the cosmos. In recognition of this feat of insight, he is calling the information field of the universe the Akashic Field.

But how does the scientific answer to the question regarding the fundamental significance of the spiritual experience relates to the answer given by religion?

For the world’s religions, the larger and deeper reality to which the spiritual experience connects us is a numinous, divine reality. It is either a spirit or consciousness that infuses the natural world (the immanentist view), or a spirit or consciousness that is above and beyond it (the transcendentalist claim). Traditional polytheistic religions leaned toward the former, while the Abrahamic monotheistic religions (with some exceptions) embraced the latter.

The difference between a divine intelligence immanent in the world and one that transcends it is not negligible, but it is still just a difference in interpretation. The raw data for both positions is the same: it is the spiritual experience, a quantum communion with universal oneness. In the Western religious perspective this is communion with the spirit that infuses the cosmos, identified as God. Deepak Chopra writes, “Spirituality is the experience of that domain of awareness where we experience our universality. This domain of awareness is a core consciousness that is beyond our mind, intellect, and ego. In religious traditions this core consciousness is referred to as the soul which is part of a collective soul or collective consciousness, which in turn is part of a more universal domain of consciousness referred to in religions as God.”

Our experience of the core consciousness of the world is ultimately an experience of the universal domain of consciousness Western religions call God. The experience itself, if not its interpretation, is the same in all religions, and in all religions it inspires a sense of oneness and belonging. Michael Beckwith affirms that “when you strip away the culture, history, and dogma of every religion, the teachers of those religions were teaching very similar principles and practices that led to a sense of oneness, that ended a sense of separation from the Whole.”

Science’s answer to the question of what the spiritual experience connects us to is immanentist. The information that underlies the universe, the Akashic Field, is part of the universe. This doesn’t mean that the immanentist position necessarily states the ultimate truth; it only means that science can only take an immanentist position. Scientists are limited to speaking about the natural world; they must leave speculation about transcendent realities to poets, philosophers, and spiritual masters.

It’s time to conclude. If the substance of the spiritual experience is always and everywhere the same, differences in its expression and interpretation are secondary and not a valid cause for conflict and intolerance. The world to which our quantum brain connects us is fundamentally one, whether its oneness is due to an information field within the natural world or the work of a divine transcendent intelligence. To enter into communion with this oneness has been the quest of all the great teachers and spiritual masters. And to understand the nature of this oneness has been, and is, the ultimate quest of all great scientists. Still today, physicists seek the one equation that would anchor their famous “Theory of Everything,” the theory that would account for all the laws of nature and explain everything that ever happened in our integrally whole universe. Einstein said that knowing this equation would be reading the mind of God.

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“You must unlearn what you have learned” – Yoda in the movies of Star Wars. David was born 1973 in Norway. He is a deputy head of a Norwegian interest organization in mental health care called White Eagle. His main work is in the community of Bergen as a consultant in the archive of building projects. His main passion is practicing Vedanta teachings. Vedanta is called Science of Consciousness and he stopped chasing and searching for experience and now he is doing self-inquiry (reflections, contemplation, analyzing, logical thinking and systematizing) as a means of knowledge: Self-Knowledge of Vedanta teachings. James Swartz is his teacher and he has 40 years experience with Vedanta teachings. He has been influenced by Swami Chinmayananda and Swami Dayananda Saraswati. They follow and are influenced by a traditional Vedanta lineage. Vedanta means end of knowledge and the source is mainly Upanishads. He is also grateful to Science and Nonduality and Deepak Chopra for the influence of following Vedanta teachings
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3 Responses to “Akashic Field and Consciousness”

  1. February 23, 2015 at 10:54 am, Shaikh Raisuddin said:

    The Universe is a Universal Set within which any Set is contained in another Set and contains many Sets endlessly above and below. (Please refer Set Theory of mathematics)

    Because the ultimate divisibility of matter is unknown. Only the ultimate particle is devoid of consciousness

    To be conscious is to undergo CHANGES because awareness comes by changes.

    Consciousness is function of change. No change, no consciousness.

  2. May 11, 2015 at 8:47 am, David Storoy said:

    Translations from Upanishads,Bhagavad Gita etc is a very tricky business and I have been more aware of that when I am on the Vedanta bus now with a teacher that is true to the traditional(Sampradaya) Vedanta teachings. They are very very thorough about translations and inquiries/investegation of words in scriptures.

    So even if I am still found of Laszlo`s work I think it is easy to do some misinterpretation about the topic Akasha if you are not going more in depth into the scripture or doing som real thorough inquiry or investigation. It is a very subtle issue as with everything in the non-dual reality so it is important to be clear about what we mean.

    I have a friend that is a Vedanta teacher that also follows more traditional approach and I will be sharing with you in this post. He is clear than about why Laszlo is missing some important issues about Akasha and that his interpretation is about something else than Akasha is about according to traditional Vedanta view,inquiry or investigation of that topic.

    “His description of what he calls Akasha is generally akin to what Vedanta refers to as karana-sharira, the macrocosmic causal body, but also contains elements of hiranyagarbha, the macrocosmic subtle body, and virat, the macrocosmic gross body or physical universe. The element that is lacking in his description is Brahman-atma, pure awareness, which is at once both the adhishthanam or substrate of the entire manifest universe, including the macrocosmic causal body, and entirely independent of the entire she-bang. In other words, though all objects depend on awareness for their existence, awareness is ever-free of all objects, for whether objects arise or do not arise, awareness always is. And there can be no cause antecedent to awareness, for such would render awareness an object and yet leave unresolved the issue of the essential nature of the “field” of conscious existence in which it appeared. Moreover, the line of reasoning used to establish awareness as an object would ultimately devolve into the logical absurdity of an infinite regression of “awarenesses” with no fundamental reality, which is obviously not the case since existence is a self-evident fact and as a “something” (albeit an exceedingly subtle “something”), it cannot have come out of nothing.

    Vedanta reveals Brahman-atma, pure awareness, as the fundamental “substanceless substance” of which everything is made and the source out of which everything arises, in which everything abides, and back into which everything resolves. This is not to say that Brahman-atma, pure awareness, is a substance or that it is a willful entity with a desire to create or that it possesses any attributes that would enable it to enact such an inclination. Rather, Brahman-atma is simply the eternal conscious being on which everything depends for its existence.

    Existing within Brahman-atma is a deluding power referred to as maya or ignorance. Ironic as it may seem, if limitless awareness did not have the power to apparently delude itself, it would not be limitless. Though mayais referred to as ignorance, it is actually the subtlest form of matter. The reason it is characterized as ignorance is because as a material substance (albeit an extremely subtle one), its nature is inertia, and that which is inert is neither conscious nor intelligent. Hence, when Brahman-atma is conditioned by maya, it is rendered “as though” not conscious, unintelligent, or ignorant. Simply put, it forgets its true nature and seems to be something it is not.

    Brahman-atma conditioned by maya and, thus, wielding the power of projection, is referred to as Isvara or God-the-Creator. And the first thing Isvara creates, so to speak, is the macrocosmic causal body. The macrocosmic causal body is avyakta, the unmanifest realm of pure potentiality in which all objects abide in a state of dormancy. We might think of it as the storehouse of the subtle “blueprints” for all the objects, both subtle and gross, that can appear as the manifest universe. Though the macrocosmic causal body is an undifferentiated state and, thus, is neither a body nor a volitional entity, it is the source of all nama-rupa, objects with name, form, and function, which is the reason it is conferred with causal status.

    As mentioned, the macrocosmic causal body is the realm that Laszlo seems to be describing as the “fundamental substance to everything.” However, he proceeds from there to describe the functioning of the manifest universe and how it is one inter-connected whole. This is true from the relative level—that is, within the context of the apparent reality. It is not true, however, that “I” or Brahman-atma, pure awareness, am the manifestation. This is a subtle point, but one that is vital to understanding the true nature of reality. We can make it a bit easier to digest by means of the analogy of light. While the appearance of all objects depends on light, light is entirely free of the objects it illumines. Just so, while all objects depend on awareness for their existence, awareness is entirely free of all objects. Moreover, awareness doesn’t “illumine” objects willfully. Thus, while we can say that awareness is the “light” by means of which all objects are illumined and so is the only source of illumination, awareness is not the illuminator in that illumining objects is not an action performed by awareness. Illumining is simply the svarupam or nature of awareness. Just as shining isn’t something the sun tries to do, so “illumining” or lending existence to objects isn’t an action that actionless awareness is capable of doing. Awareness is existence. And when existence is conditioned by maya, objects appear. Awareness “shines” and objects are known. Awareness is the light “streaming” through the images on the film of maya.

    Because the macrocosmic causal body is undifferentiated, it is a reflection of limitless Brahman-atma, and in this sense gets equated with space and “bliss.” The limitlessness of Brahman-atma is indicated in Sanskrit by the term ananta, which by extension becomes the fullness indicated by the term ananda, for what is limitless includes everything and is, thus, full. Though ananda is often translated into English as “bliss,” it is vital to note that as an indicator of the essential nature of awareness, it cannot refer to experiential happiness, for experiential happiness is an object, and pure awareness is non-objectifiable. Thus, the “bliss” of the causal body is simply the reflection of the limitlessness of awareness sans the knowledge of awareness as its source and essential nature. Therefore, if Laszlo is equating what he calls Akasha with space and ananda or bliss and is asserting that such is the fundamental substance of reality, then he is mistaken. He has correctly described the inter-connectedness of the total manifestation, but doesn’t recognize awareness as its substratum and the sole self-dependent, self-luminous reality.”

    • January 09, 2016 at 9:35 pm, exertionGoldSun said:

      ☀️thank you

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