1. Religion & Spirituality

Taoist Practice & Field Theory (page two)

Higgs-Boson, Spanda & The Breath Of God


Continued From Page One

Deep-Direct Memory & Memory-Indexes

If we accept, at least provisionally, the existence of morphogenic fields as postulated by Rupert Sheldrake, it opens up all kinds of possible alternative understandings of human memory, for instance:

Perhaps what we habitually refer to as “memory” -- namely, a mental thought/image -- is simply a localized representation (a conceptual bookmark, a 3-D index) of a moment of experiencing/perceiving which, from the timeless nonlocal perspective, is still and eternally “happening.”

This would be similar to how, on older radios, there exists (instead of the digital display of newer models) permanently-visible, written markers of specific stations. We “tune in” to a particular station via these station-markers. Later, when we turn the radio off, the station-marker remains (as an indexed “memory” or representation of the station’s location) -- though the music of that station is no longer being directly experienced by us. Just because we’re no longer listening, doesn’t imply, of course, that someone else isn’t now listening directly to that music, via their own radio. In other words, the music itself does not exist -- cannot be found as an object, as a material trace -- within the physical radios themselves! Looking at the station-marker on our radio might bring forth a conceptual memory of the music; but to experience it directly requires connecting to the music itself, which exists “in the ethers” -- at a specific though nonlocal frequency-location.

Along the lines of Sheldrake’s morphogenetic fields, we could extrapolate this example to include not only the music of radio-stations but also objects/events themselves -- as vibratory patterns which have a similar sort of “eternal” existence.

In summary: perhaps there exists not only indexed-memory -- i.e. conceptual memory, rooted in thoughts/images which another thought attributes to “some event that happened in the past” -- but also a deep-direct memory, accessed via something like a morphogenetic field, which contains the space-time experiences as eternally alive vibratory patterns, and accessed as a kind of yogic direct perception.

Morphic Resonance: Deciding What To Re-Member

So then: How do we decide what to remember? We re-member (know consciously as part of our body) what we’re in morphic resonance with, at whatever level of organization we’re considering.

For morphic resonance to activate, we must manifest (as “receivers”) a certain degree of similarity to the initial form/pattern, which then triggers an alignment, a resonance, with the (nonlocally) stored memory-pattern. This points to the skillfulness of imitating, as a way of establishing the proper feng shui -- as a gateway into activating the resonance, i.e. to accessing the memory, placing ones current form into direct communion with the “stored” form (i.e. moving from the memory-index to the living-memory).

And this brings us back around to Gregg Braden, who assumes as probable the existence of the 11 (or 25) dimensions predicted by Super-string Theory -- with the implication that what we perceive directly in our three-dimensional world is simply a shadow (or a fractal or a holographic re-presentation?) of higher-dimensional patterns. These more subtle patterns, or fields, can be re-membered, consciously activated -- Braden suggests -- via emotional energy experienced within the heart-field. In particular, it is coherent heart-based feelings, i.e. love, devotion, enthusiasm -- experienced as an electromagnetic frequency within the heart-field -- that allows a resonance with the “higher-dimensional blueprints.” [I’ve written more about this aspect of Braden’s work in my essay, Inner Alchemy & The Science Of Compassion.]

Manifestation As A Quantum Computer Simulation?

In Tying Up Lose Ends: Topology Swallows Quantum Computing, I proposed the creation of a yogic body as something akin to a quantum computer. In Divine Matrix, Gregg Braden suggests the possibility that our observed three-dimensional world is something like a simulation generated by a quantum computer. In this metaphor, Consciousness is the quantum computer’s operating system; coherent heart-based emotion is its language; and atoms are the information-bits.

Just for fun .... Let’s extend this metaphor a step further, into the realm of subatomic particles -- the processes of which determine which particular atoms will come “on line,” so to speak, to be part of a given creative projection. This brings into play yet another field: the so-named “Higgs field.” As I understand it, elementary (sub-atomic) particles acquire mass via their interaction with the Higgs field. Paired with the Higgs field is the recently-discovered Higgs boson (the so-called “God particle”) -- which defines the smallest excitation, the most subtle vibration, within the Higgs field. Now, one thing that makes the quantum world “weird” is that subatomic particles flash continuously in and out of existence; and so, in a sense, the entire world (as perceived through a quantum lens) is winking in and out of existence, tremoring continuously at the border between the manifest and the unmanifest ....

The Breath Of God: Higgs-Boson, Spanda & Ming

All of which sounds, to my ear, remarkably similar to what in Kashmir Shaivism is known as spanda: the “Divine pulsation” which defines the relationship between the manifest and the unmanifest, and which ultimately is the seed of all creation. Spanda is:

“... the original, primordial subtle vibration that arises from the dynamic interplay of the passive and the creative polarizations of the Absolute, and that by unfolding itself into the energetic process of differentiation bringing forth the whole of creation.”

Or, as the Kashmiri mystic/philosopher Abhinavagupta more poetically suggests: "Spanda is the pulsation of the ecstasy of the divine consciousness."

And this brings us back to where we began, with Taoist practice, because both spanda and the subtle excitation precipitated by the Higgs-boson sound quite similar, also, to Ming (with a capital “M”) -- what Taoist cosmology posits as the subtle energy or power inherent within the Absolute (i.e. the Tao) to manifest names-and-forms, to birth the ten-thousand-things.

So: it would seem that what’s being pointed to, by the Kashmir Shaivism term “spanda,” as well as by the Taoist term “Ming,” and by the physics term “Higgs boson,” is a primordial vibration, or tremoring, which gives birth to the appearances of the manifest world. It’s a case of different languages, each speaking of that tenderly insistent “breath of god” sent forth across the waters, calling from the depths of the unmanifest the surface-play (in who knows how many dimensions!) of the ten-thousand-things -- set free to dance, in this pattern and that, this field and that .... until at last:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

~ Rumi (trans. Coleman Barks)


  1. About.com
  2. Religion & Spirituality
  3. Taoism
  4. Forms of Taoist Practice
  5. Taoist Retreat Experiences
  6. Taoist Practice & Field Theory - Cinnabar, Classical & Quantum Fields

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.