This article is a companion piece to The New Idealist Issue Five: Doomsday Edition which you can download here.
Please note: This article was originally published in The New Idealist section of The Intelligent Review site in May 2014 before being transferred to this new site in July 2015.
Yes, our planet seems to be overheating and we seem to be playing a role in its demise. Just how much is still being debated. Perhaps a more spiritual approach to our problem is needed before we go floating off into outer-space.
Many scientists question whether anything spiritual exists. Spiritual concerns rate little relevance in a scientifically-oriented, technologically-trained but seemingly now-doomed modern society. Because science is largely responsible for portraying the world as merely a collection of mechanical parts acting on each other, some people perhaps feel that spirituality may also be defined in scientific terms.
Perhaps this is matter of perception. Twenty years ago, I had been invited to Peru by a Peruvian shaman who taught me a way to shift my perception so that I became aware of other realities. Although I hadn’t fully realized it when it happened to me, the shamans had brought me to the doorway of doom—my own death.
Many scientists question whether anything spiritual exists.
This most powerful experience involved my taking the vision-producing substance Ayahuasca into my system. And I had become ill. What seemed to happen was my body had a near-death experience. The body-mind—the mind that is totally occupied with the circulation of the life force, the blood, the nerve impulses, and so on, began to get the message that something is wrong. When the body-mind is threatened and thinks it is going to die, it will engage other normally less probable realities seeking for its own continuance.
So, I thought, perhaps drug-intoxication somehow convinces the body that it is dying. There is probably some evidence that near-death experiences can be related to drug intoxication. Under such an influence the normal survival instinct is subjugated and the focus of consciousness—the ego-I—is willing to grab for straws on the ocean since the lifeboat is sinking. Or in another metaphor, the ice of the ego-surface has melted under the heat of shamanic awareness.
In other words, the mind will engage less probable realities because the mainstream reality is no longer leading to the survival of the body. Mainstream fails, because the body is telling it that this focus is no longer working. Engaging the mainstream is like looking for a set of lost keys under the lamppost simply because it is lit up. The keys are no longer there, they have been kicked into the darkness, but we like to look where the light remains. The body and the mainstream mind probably play this way. And it works so long as the body-mind is finds this strategy is successful for survival.
In brief when the body-mind is threatened and thinks it is going to die, it will engage other normally less probable realities seeking for its own continuance.
When one is faced with dying the focus of consciousness no longer remains in the usual body-survival reality mode it shifts to another whole universe.
Later I thought about my experiences and, as a physicist who has written about parallel universes, began to make a theory. I would expect, if my theory was correct, that when one is faced with dying the focus of consciousness no longer remains in the usual body-survival reality mode it shifts to another whole universe.
The big question is where are these other realities and how do I assess them? As Woody Allen once put it, “There is no question that there is an unseen world. The problem is how far is it from midtown and how late is it open.” Since the discoveries of the new physics, the question of the existence of parallel universes—worlds which exist side-by-side along with our own—has taken on renewed interest well beyond mere speculation. Perhaps our global heating situation is bringing us closer to finding this new world. I believe that the findings of quantum physics, particularly quantum field theory coupled with the general theory of relativity increasingly show evidence that suggests the existence of a non-material, non-physical universe that has a reality beyond our own mainstream reality even though it may not as yet be clearly perceptible to our senses.
Matter has evolved from the unimaginable nonmaterial realm. From it we’ll find answers appearing as doomsday seems to approach
Our mainstream thinking will pooh-pooh this, of course. Encroaching doomsday is just another problem that needs a novel material-based solution—another fix to our addiction with matter perhaps in spite of the findings of current nonmaterial physics theory. Consequently I don’t see this nonmaterial albeit spiritual way of thinking antithetical to materialistic science. It’s just the other way around: Matter has evolved from the unimaginable nonmaterial realm. From it we’ll find answers appearing as doomsday seems to approach and we leap to a new universe that will look nearly alike to the doomed one we just left, just around the corner.
Fred Alan Wolf, PhD, aka Dr. Quantum®, works as a physicist, writer, and lecturer. His work in quantum physics and consciousness is well known through his popular and scientific writing and appearances in many films. He is the author of sixteen books and audio CDs and many technical and popular articles. He won the 1982 National Book Award for Taking the Quantum Leap and his latest book is entitled Time-loops and Space-twists: How God Created the Universe (hc 2011, pb, 2013). He has appeared in many productions including: New Humanity (2012 Documentary); Holy Man: The USA vs Douglas White (2011 Documentary) and What the Bleep!?: Down the Rabbit Hole (2006 Documentary), amongst others.
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Issue One: Downwardly Mobile? Will the next generation find it harder to reach the next level?