The following is excerpted from The Cosmic Hologram: Information at the Center of Creation by Jude Currivan, PhD, published by Inner Traditions.
An in-formed universe requires an in-former . . .
Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder what makes the universe exist. Be curious.
Stephen Hawking, physicist
Many pioneering scientists, including Planck, Heisenberg, Schrödinger, and Einstein, have come to stand alongside spiritual seekers from all eras to gaze into the as yet unknown and ask the question of who or what creates our perfect Universe.
Indeed, from a letter he wrote in 1936 to young student Phyllis Wright, Einstein’s viewpoint holds that “everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe—a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.” I would maintain that we are now at a threshold where the next steps in revealing the essence of this great mystery are at last capable of integrating evidence-based and faith-based perspectives.
The growing scientific perception of the informational nature of all that we call physical reality is, at the same time, showing it to be in-formational, literally in-forming in its entirety and encompassing all from its simplest to its most complex forms.
In other words, our Universe is composed not from the all-pervasive presence of merely arbitrarily accumulated data and accidental processes, but ordered, patterned, relational, meaningful, and intelligible in-formation, exquisitely balanced, incredibly co-creative, staggeringly powerful, and yet fundamentally simple.
The in-formation present from the very beginning of space and time, as simple as it could be but no simpler, provided the essential instructions from which our 13.8-billion-year-old Universe has facilitated the evolution of ever greater levels of complexity. The informationally entropic progressions of its nonlocally connected intelligence has and continues to co-creatively express, explore, and experience on all scales of physical existence, as it advances to the embodiment of progressive self-awareness.
As there cannot be an in-formed universe without the existence of an in-former, without anthropomorphizing such creative impetus, the inevitable question that these scientific revelations come to is: Who or what is the ultimate intelligence that makes our perfect Universe?
We’ll now pose this essential query and see how the emerging understanding of the cosmic hologram offers a visionary perspective and new insights, both on this age-old enigma and in answer to it. With the increasing evidence that ours is a finite Universe within an ultimately infinite cosmic plenum, it’s also now an appropriate time for us to address notions of a multiverse of other universes beyond our own.
Our In-formed Universe
The French philosopher and author Marcel Proust once stated: “The real voyage of discovery consists of not seeking new landscapes but having new eyes.” So has it been throughout the history of humanity, as we’ve come repeatedly to expand our vision of the world and see it and ourselves anew. With new data, we can amass further information and perceive the meaningful in-formation it encodes. From its intelligence we can progress to knowledge and onward to incorporate its strands into an interweaving tapestry of unfolding wisdom.
We began our exploration of the cosmic hologram by referring to the poetic and profound vision of the ancient Vedic sages of Indra’s net. Describing the holographic expression of the infinity of cosmic mind, we find ourselves, some three millennia and countless discoveries later, coming to essentially the same perspective, albeit recounting it in very different language. This developing convergence of views continues with an acknowledgment of the innate and all-pervasive intelligence that flows throughout and indeed makes up everything that we call the physical world.
Our “univer-soul” journey over the past 13.8 billion years has progressed from its radiant beginnings to the geospheres of planets, on to the emergent and complex biosphere we are members of on our own planetary home, to the globalized techno-sphere of the early twenty-first century.
To where now do we journey? What do we now need to see and with what new eyes?
The techno-sphere we currently inhabit and the Internet are enabling the enmeshing of our societies into a global whole; we have access to vast new levels of information that flow as never before. This techno-sphere connects us literally as a worldwide web, raising and reflecting both the commonality of our human experiences and their diverse expressions. At its perhaps most opportune, it offers us ways to appreciate, share, and enhance universal values while learning to celebrate and honor our differences. It also without precedent enables us to come together at moments of great inspiration and joy or of deep sorrow.
Revealing what has been, what is, and what may be, for good or ill and like no other resource before, it encourages and sometimes forces us to collectively view with new eyes. What we then can or are willing to comprehend, how we choose to respond, and to what degree we’re prepared to participate in being the change, as Gandhi said, we wish to see in the world, is up to us.
In the years following the cataclysm of World War I, the concept of the noosphere, that derives from the Greek word nous, meaning “mind,” was developed by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Ëdouard Le Roy, and Vladimir Vernadsky. In thinking about the future of humanity, these three visionaries saw ahead to a potential for the processes of increasing complexity to evolve from an environmental biosphere to such a collective and unifying human and essentially planetary consciousness.
Now, almost a century later, the emergence of a techno-sphere that they never envisaged may come to be appreciated as being a necessary transition in enabling the whole of humanity to see itself, ask the fundamental whys and why nots of our lives, and set them in a wider context of the nature of reality itself.
In the “never again” time after the global conflict of the First World War, Teilhard perceived such a noosphere as embodying the victory of love over the forces of fear. Indeed he considered that “love is the affinity which links and draws together the elements of the world. . . . Love, in fact, is the agent of universal synthesis.”
New discoveries are increasingly providing support for Teilhard’s universal synthesis in the innately whole world of the cosmic hologram. At the same time, the techno-sphere is revealing the peril of global breakdown unless we come together as a human family and act inclusively, justly, and compassionately toward each other and responsibly for our one and only planetary home.
It may and hopefully will be, but only if we so choose, that as we approach the centenary of the farsighted vision of the noosphere that we are able to overcome our fears and denial and finally cross our next evolutionary and critical threshold to embrace its awareness.
Beyond the complex plane, in its investigation of nonphysical realms, science is only just beginning to catch up with the numinous experiencers of past millennia. Its discoveries in the years to come will almost certainly shake our perceptions, not just of the world “out there” but at far greater and more personal levels. For they’re likely to directly encounter the presence of a grander and ultimately infinite and eternal intelligence of which we are microcosms—droplets of the great cosmic ocean, sparks of the great cosmic flame.
The ongoing revolution in our understanding of the true nature of what we call “physical” reality and its inherent insubstantiality was only the first step of our journey. The next challenge is in perceiving how cosmic mind constructs and real-izes the in-formational and holographically expressed nature of ours and the possibilities of other finite universes; this is the pioneering scientific work-in-progress of seeking to understand the cosmic hologram.
Along the way, the perceived separation between mind and matter falls away, and the illusory dualism that has been under increasing threat from scientific discoveries over the past century can finally be resolved into the emergent understanding of the all-pervasive unity and wholeness of all-encompassing mind.