You’ve visited imaginary worlds and other dimensions in science fiction movies, in comics, and in novels. Are they just the writer/director's hallucinogenic fantasies? Or are these dimensions actually KNOWABLE? If so, how can we prepare ourselves for this type of altered perception?
Jacob’s Ladder. Limitless. The Matrix. Memento. Altered States. Fictional worlds in which material reality suddenly melts away and the protagonist is left to fend for himself in harrowing, seemingly unreal situations. We’ve witnessed these worlds and believed them to be figments of the writer’s imagination. But are they?
These imaginary worlds are as real as the people, streets, houses, and stores we encounter in our normal daily rounds. Although we cannot see these apparitions in our current state, scientists and other investigators are finding they are real. Moreover, they are not the threatening specters moviemakers would have us believe — they simply exist beyond the reach our limited consciousness.
At a key moment in Jacob’s Ladder, Jacob's friend, chiropractor and guardian angel Louis (Danny Aiello), cites the 14th century Christian mystic Meister Eckhart — “Eckhart saw Hell too; he said: ‘the only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won't let go of life, your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they're not punishing you,’ he said. ‘They're freeing your soul. So, if you’re frightened of dying and... you’re holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you’ve made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth.’”
This is straight out of The Tibetan Book of the Dead. In fact, this film is a fictional interpretation of a Near Death Experience (NDE). At the end we see “Jacob never made it out of Vietnam.” His body is shown in an army triage tent just as he expires. Apparently, the entire series of events turns out to have been a dying hallucination. Jacob's experiences appear to have been a form of purgation in which he releases himself from his earthly attachments, finally joining his dead son Gabe to ascend a staircase (Biblically known as Jacob's Ladder) toward a bright light.”
The science of consciousness, or should we say the scientific investigation of it, inevitably delves into the unseen — that which lies behind the physical — the metaphysical. This investigation is now moving forward on two fronts (metaphysical investigators and physical scientists) toward the same objective, namely the full unfolding of consciousness, or as Gopi Krishna called it: "Knowing the Knower."
Much investigation is still outside the realm of traditional science, yet, as metaphysical exploration moves forward, we apply more scientific methods, which caused JJ Semple to wonder, "Who's to say that the same scientific methods we apply in the physical realm won't someday apply to the metaphysical realm? The NDE provides palpable evidence of meta-physicality.”
In A History of Western Philosophy, Bertrand Russell explains the origin of the two approaches:
“Orphism before Pythagoras was analogous to Asiatic mystery religions. But in Plato, Saint Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, and Kant there is an intimate blending of religion and reasoning, of moral aspiration with logical admiration of what is timeless, which comes from Pythagoras, and distinguishes the intellectualized theology of Europe from the more straightforward mysticism of Asia.”
This exploration is still being conducted by these two informal, loosely-knit research tendencies, not by any sanctioned organization. Nevertheless, it moves forward with a dynamic élan, prompted, I believe, by what Gopi Krishna called a urge to understand "the evolutionary impulse." Metaphysical investigators explore consciousness from the inside-out while physical scientists explore it from the outside-in:
Group 1: Metaphysical Investigators
Metaphysical investigators, those who have undergone Kundalini/NDE and other mystical experiences, write about them empirically, from the inside-out, just as a 16th Century explorer might have kept a journal of his adventures during a sea voyage. This inside-out group is headlined by such researchers as, Gopi Krishna, Richard Bucke, J Krishnamurti, and PD Ouspensky, who cautioned that metaphysical research in the laboratory of the body deserves a rigorous methodological approach:
"There is no question of faith in all this. Quite the opposite, this system teaches people to believe in absolutely nothing. You must verify everything you see, hear, or feel. Only in that way can you come to something."
In keeping with this approach, JJ Semple described his experience in Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time: “After activating the Kundalini-Life Force, I was able to see the blueprint of my perfect body and compare it to my actual state. Amazingly, the Life Force recognized my deformity and immediately began to correct it. I witnessed it slowly reshape my body to the exact proportions in the blueprint.
“I could see my original design and the fact that it is perfect means that an unseen sentient entity in nature created it before my incarnated being came into this world.”
These observations are alluded to in the writings of other Kundalini researchers, such as Michael Bradford:
"This control and guidance is also evident in the experiments done with developing animal embryos in which the removal or substitution of tissue, if done at an early enough stage, does not result in a totally deformed final form but rather in a smaller or modified, but still complete form. If the process of development were strictly a mechanical one, this would certainly not be the result. One logical explanation for this phenomenon is the existence of a controlling field, such as the pranic spectrum, which has a pre-determined form towards which it is guiding the development of the organism via the growth processes.”
In The Backward-Flowing Method: The Secret of Life and Death, JJ Semple wrote, “Where this blueprint had been stored between the time of my conception and my 35th year, I did not know. Physical scientists, geneticists, in this instance, would probably say it resided in the brain, and that is a safe assumption, for, until we can prove it resided outside the body, we must assume it is somehow connected to it. Nevertheless, the fact that I saw the blueprint and watched the Life Force energy use it to “reengineer” my body made me think that some sentient agency must play a role in reproduction, and in the design and formation of the body. Why had this blueprint suddenly reappeared? Where had it been for thirty-five years? Why was the Kundalini-Life Force using it? If it had no purpose, wouldn’t it have ceased to exist? So then, it must have a purpose, for it was still there.”
In The Biology of Consciousness: Case Studies in Kundalini, JJ Semple continues this discussion:
"As applied to my situation, the 'controlling field' referred to in the above passage used a blueprint of my perfect body to manage my incarnation. The changes in symmetry I experienced were due to neural blockages caused by the splinter — blockages causing a massive redistribution of growth energy throughout my body. Ergo, my transformation from a symmetrical to asymmetrical being. Not only did this newly awakened pranic energy reverse this process, it started it going in the other direction, namely from asymmetrical back to symmetrical. It healed me, and it did so intelligently, which made me realize it had access to DNA and other evolutionary information about my being. And that is what I base my hypothesis about Kundalini’s ability to modify DNA on: finding a way to restore and revitalize the affected body parts, a process that included conforming my body to the blueprint for its intended substantiation. It still amazes me that 35 years after my birth, this 'controlling field' or super-consciousness went back to my 'archives,' found the blueprint, and used it to restore my body to its original intended state and form."
Group 2: Physical Scientists
Physical scientists, such as Dr. Harold Saxton Burr of Yale University, who explored field theory in the 30s. “Physicists define a field something like this: when something occurs somewhere in space because something else happened somewhere else in space, with no visible means by which the cause produced the effect, the two events are connected by a ‘field.’
If this is true, then:
"As everyone knows, when we sprinkle a card with iron filings and hold it over an ordinary magnet, the filings will arrange themselves in a pattern that represents the ‘lines of force’ of the magnet’s field. And though we can change the filings as often as we like, each set of filings will always assume the same pattern.
“Even by the most pedantic, therefore, the ‘fields of life’ can be considered a scientifically-respectable phenomenon, eligible one day for the imprimatur of the hierarchy. When that will be will depend on how long it takes biochemists to lose their enthusiasm for present fashions (and perhaps for economic interests to open their focus to cost-effective natural vs. patented chemical solutions)."
- The fact that we do not perceive these states/fields means our current consciousness must be inhibited,
- There is consciousness in every field/cell.
As author Sol Luckman points out, “A salient point in the evolutionary model I am elaborating is that evolution of species ultimately is driven not by material, but by metaphysical energy, or consciousness, of a spiraling, “meta-genetic” nature.
“If today we are to embrace a worldview in which consciousness is more important than matter, we need to base our timekeeping on the nonphysical, invisible reality (that gives rise to reality) rather than on the physical.”