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To see the World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an Hour.

by William Blake
Our understanding of the universe is only as fine as the 'models' we build to explain it. Plato likened the universe to a giant bowl, in which the one true god, like a master chef, mixed together the ingrediants of creation. Later, after Newton and up through René Descartes and to the Industrial Revolution, the universe was likened to a giant clockwork mechanism, and god was reduced to the role of the Prime Clockmaker, content to do nothing but watch creation wind down.

In the early twentieth century, new wrinkles were added to the fabric of the universe: quantum mechanics, the Uncertainty(or Fuzziness) Principle, and Relativity, to name a few. The old mechanistic, deterministic view of the universe was shattered forever.

When University of London physicist David Bohm, a protege of Einstein, close friend of J Krishnamurti and one of the most respected quantum physicists, encountered holography for the first time, he was electrified (figuratively): here at last was a new process on which to model our understanding of the universe-THE UNIVERSE IS LIKE A HOLOGRAM.

That fascinating page explains the origin of the holographic model in the work of Bohm, who was dissatisfied with the standard theories' inability to explain all of the phenomena encountered in quantum physics, and the work of Karl Pribram, a neurophysiologist at Stanford University, who was likewise dissatisfied with the inability of standard theories of the brain to explain various neurophysiological puzzles, for instance the appaarent NON-LOCAL existance of memory, within the brain.

Prior to the work of Pribram, it was generally assumed that specific memories had specific locations somewhere within the brain tissues, called 'engrams.' For example, a rat trained to run a maze would have an 'engram' of the maze in its brain; find that engram and cut it out, and the rat should become lost. But a series of experiments conducted by Pribram's mentor, Karl Lashley, at the Yerkes Laboratory of Primate Biology, demonstrated that this was not the fact. The rat brains could be sliced, diced, and shuffled, yet the rats continued to navigate the maze.

To Pribram, the only explanation was that the memories were NOT located at specific sites within the brain, but were somehow spread out or distributed throughout the brain. The problem was that he knew of no process or mechanism that could account for such a state of affairs, until he encountered holography.

Just as one fragment of a hologram can create the entire holographic image (with admittedly less detail and lower resolution), so, too, can one fragment of the brain remember the contents of the brain as a whole (ditto on the lower resolution). Ergo: THE BRAIN IS LIKE A HOLOGRAM.

And that is the thesis of Stanislov Grof, a former Freudian dissatisfied with traditional psychoanalysis' inability to explain many psychological problems, who is widely known as the father of transpersonal psychology, which postulates the idea that a person's psyche is not necessarily limited to his own brain. Under the right conditions (psychoactive drugs or certain yogic practices, e.g.), a person can experience transpersonal states of consciousness, and think the thoughts of other people, past lives, plants and animals, the planet itself, or even the entire cosmos.

Any questions??