For centuries it has been recorded that under certain circumstances human consciousness can leave the body and travel both within the external world and to other locations of existence. This process has been known by many names but in recent years all variations of these “journeys” have been grouped under the generic, and “catch-all” term of “Out of Body Experiences” or the OBE.
Of course such a concept is totally impossible within the modern paradigm of science. Consciousness is an epiphenomenon of the brain and as such cannot exist in any location outside of the brain. Indeed even if consciousness could travel to locations outside of the confines of the skull a further question has to be asked; without sensory organs such as the eyes and the ears how can a disincarnate consciousness receive information from the external world?
I have proposed a radical new hypothesis that allows modern science to accommodate the OBE within its present model and that the experience is neither subjective nor objective but a mixture of the two. What needs to change is our understanding of the actual nature of what we term “eternal, consensual, reality”.
This new model contains three crucial elements; The Zero Point Field / Zero Point Energy, Bose-Einstein Condensates and the Pineal Gland. What links them is a central Theosophical concept; the “Book of Life” otherwise known as the “Akashic Record”.
The Potential of the Zero-Point Field
The term “akasha” is a Sanskrit expression that means “sky” or “aether”. This mystical substance is everywhere and within it is recorded every action, emotion, thought, feeling and experience of every living being. It is like a huge database that contains a record of everything. Mystics have long suggested that this information can be accessed in certain states of raised consciousness and the data can be downloaded for future use.
According to philosopher-scientist Ervin Laszlo the Akashic Record is a known scientific phenomenon, but is known by quantum physicists by another term. This term is the Zero Point Field or ZPF.
ZPF is a consequence of something long known to particle physicists, called the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. It states that if we know the position of a sub-atomic particle we cannot know its speed, and if we know its speed we cannot know its momentum. If a particle were at rest we would know both. As such particles can never be at rest, not even at absolute zero, the coldest state known to science. This is minus 273.15 degrees Celsius. This is three degrees above the temperature of the vacuum of space. Why this is of significance is that there should be no energy at absolute zero but there is. Lots of it. All space is filled with this quantum vacuum energy. It fills everything and in doing so changes what we think is a vacuum into a space absolutely full to the brim with energy, technically known as a “Plenum”.
This has interesting parallels with ancient Chinese philosophy that suggested that there is no such thing as empty space. For philosophers such as Chang Tsai the bedrock of reality is the ch’i. Ch’i translates as ‘gas’ or ‘ether’ and is a tenuous and non-perceptible form of matter which is present throughout space and can condense into solid material objects.
The idea that matter somehow condenses out of the ch’i is amazingly prescient because there is a process that echoes perfectly this most ancient of ideas. This fascinating new form of matter is called Bose-Einstein Condensation and just like Chang Tsai suggests this is where the ch’i is seen to form a condensation out of the vacuum.
It should come as no surprise to theosophists that this new form of matter was first predicted by Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose, a scientist brought up within the Eastern rather than the Western philosophical tradition. In a paper that he sent to Albert Einstein in 1924 he described how it may be the case that if particles were cooled to a few degrees above absolute zero they may change from being a single particle to a collection of particles that act as if they were one. Such a bizarre idea was proved when the first Bose-Einstein condensate was created in 1995 at the University of Colorado. Many years before, in 1938, a similar phenomenon was observed when a substance called helium 4 was found to have absolutely no viscosity. This meant that it could flow with absolutely no loss of energy.