I’ve been selected as Author of the Month for June 2019, on Graham Hancock’s website. The administrator asked me to contribute a 2,000-word essay. I could have extracted something directly from “I, Universe,” but decided to write something new instead. You can read it here: Rediscovering Magic Through Science.
A few days ago, I was the guest on episode 227 of the Trans Resister Radio podcast. The host, Aaron Franz, and I chatted for a hour on all kinds of esoteric topics: religion, death, non-duality, the meaning of life, paranormal phenomena, and more. You can access the show at the link below (available as an MP3 download or through services like iTunes, Spotify, and others). Enjoy!
As always, I ,Universe is available from online bookstores everywhere, including…
The intellectual and spiritual journey I’ve been on for the past year has been powerful and life-changing. It shows no sign of fading. In fact, the whole picture has gotten clearer and clearer as time has progressed.
I’m really glad I blogged about it all, because I now have a permanent record of what is probably the most important transition of my life. For a while, I’ve been considering turning the past year’s blog entries into a physical book, but I think I need to start afresh and introduce the insights from a more effective angle than the haphazard way that they occurred to me at the time.
I put an outline together today, penned an introduction and the first chapter, totaling some 3,000 words. I’m really happy with the results so far.
I’m not sure how much or how little a book of this kind is going to interest the folks who visit here. I just feel passionately about, so I’m going to do it.
The working title is Reality Check, which is a perfect fit thematically, but is a bit common. I’m sure those words have already been used as titles before now. I’m all ears for an alternative title.
I would like the cover to feature a kitten playing with its reflection in the mirror (i.e. not fully understanding reality), but how I’m going to get a photo of that I’ve no idea.
I want to thank everyone who posted challenging comments to my blog entries over the past year. It’s good to be kept on your toes and also helps me to notice my failure to communicate at times.
The journey is, of course, not over, and probably never will be. I haven’t reached any sort of ultimate conclusion, and I doubt there’s a point where I will say, “I understand it all now. Job done.” So, when is a good time to write a book about the nature of reality? Might as well be now.
Some people think of eternity as a line with no beginning and no end. In church, I’ve heard preachers say things like “Way back in eternity past …” It’s as if God were on his own forever until he decided to make the universe. Likewise, we are led to believe that we, as individuals, had a beginning but will not have an end – that we will simply go on collecting experiences forever, both on earth and in heaven. But I think we misunderstand the nature of eternity. It is not a line with no end. We’ve misunderstood the whole nature of time itself. Infinite Consciousness (my preferred term for what you might think of as God) does not experience time in the way that we (that is, our individual egos) do because it knows the end from the beginning. There is no value for Infinite Consciousness in travelling along a never-ending line where it always knows what’s coming.
Infinite Consciousness exists in eternity, which is not a never-ending time-line; it’s a realm of no-time or all-time – a realm where free will, deductive thinking, and decision making do not exist, because all is known, all is complete. Time as we understand it is merely a construct. Infinite Consciousness created time as a means of fragmenting itself, of experiencing incompleteness, for reasons known only to itself. The consciousness within me is Infinite Consciousness. The consciousness within you is Infinite Consciousness. We are the same being. We have simply been placed into an arena where we cannot access the full awareness of what we are. Just beyond my subconscious mind is Infinite Consciousness holding me here – holding itself here. Likewise, just beyond your unconscious mind is Infinite Consciousness holding you here. We are one and the same being; we have simply been forced into a state of amnesia, because that amnesia is the only way to experience what it’s like for there to be something other than you. To be human is to leave eternity and enter time – to deliberately forget what you are and undergo a period of learning filled with thrills and spills, joys and sorrows.
I experienced a sudden moment of clarity recently. It came like a bolt from the blue when I was out cycling one evening, travelling along a route that I had cycled since boyhood. I was reminiscing about what it had felt to be here doing this when I was a teenager, playfully imagining I could ride through a time-warp and suddenly be that person again, re-living those memorable school days. And it suddenly hit me: “There is no time. You are not moving forward through time. You are Infinite Consciousness, and there is only this one eternal moment – the NOW. Time is an illusion that is playing through you. You are standing still. There is only NOW.” I had read these ideas before, but never understood them until this strange moment when the pieces of the jigsaw clicked. I suddenly got a new perspective on the question “What happens to my soul when I die?” Or as Christians would say: “Where will you spend eternity?” I’m not heading for anywhere, heaven or hell. I’m standing still. The events of time move towards me and play through me, and it’s all a construct. It’s like time is a DVD and you’re the laser reading it, standing still in the now while the movie plays through you. If I could tear the veil of time away, the full knowledge of what I am would flood my consciousness – and time would disappear. When I had this moment of clarity, I just started to laugh joyously (good job I was alone). It was a wonderful moment of intuition that added another layer of clarity to the intuitive journey I’ve been on for the past year.
I have heard the analogy that we are like droplets of water and collectively we make up the ocean. It’s a limited analogy, because we’re still inclined to identify ourselves with the droplet (the ego) and not the ocean. The truth is you are the ocean. Yes, little you. You are Infinite Consciousness. The awareness inside you is the awareness of God, if you like. The only reason you don’t already know that is because the experience of human individuality makes you forget it. It’s the only way the human experience can work. If you suddenly awoke to your true magnitude, you couldn’t function here in this place as an individual. Here at this human level we are individuals. We may still be individuals are a higher level. But at the highest level, you and I are the the same being. In simple terms, imagine two people dying at the same time, suddenly realising they are the same person with two sets of memories (the truth is likely more complex than that, but I hope you get the idea). We are only lulled into thinking that we are separate by “ego.”
Some people who embrace this kind of thinking seem to favour the idea of reincarnation. Now, reincarnation might be true on one level, but at the same time, it’s just another part of the time construct, and we have to get beyond that. Even if my indivudal “soul” has lived a hundred lives before now, on a higher level of awareness, my soul and your soul are the same person. Reincarnation strikes me as just another way to perpetuate the human ego into “eternity to come,” when the whole point is the realisation that ego is a construct, and the future is a construct. There is only ONE existing in the NOW.
The whole universe is an expression of Infinite Consciousness undergoing an experience of separation. And humans are only a small part of that. The three-dimensional physical nature of the universe is nothing more than a holographic projection which allows human and animal life to interact via five senses. In its fundamental essence, way beyond the atomic level, it is pure energy. And all of it is a projection of Infinite Consciousness.
Well, that’s what I think. Crazy as it may sound to some ears, this is the view of life that resonates most clearly to me. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest that I can’t stand in line with a whole bunch of people and call myself a Christian or an atheist or whatever. The world is full of people patting each other’s backs and assuring each other that they’re on the right track. There is a massive section of the population that believes strongly in something that is in direct opposition to the strong beliefs of another massive section of the population, and only one of them can be right. Or maybe neither! The sheer scale of each opposing herd leads me to put no faith whatsoever in the herd mentality. The truth is not found in following the archetypal belief systems of those around us.
Have you ever noticed how someone can say “I’m an atheist,” or “I’m a Christian,” and no one will laugh. But if you should say, “I am Infinite Consciousness. I am everything that ever was, is, and will be,” the person you are talking to might think you are mentally ill. This is how much we are infected with the herd mentality. It doesn’t matter if one herd says something in complete contradiction to another herd. As long as it’s a herd, we give it respect. But when someone stands up and says something different, the ridicule begins (David Icke, circa 1991, anyone?).
We refer to ourselves as “human beings,” but it might be more accurate to call ourselves “human becomings.” None of us are existing in a state of being. The experience of life in a body is the experience of continual change as we move through time. There is only one that possesses being outside of time: Infinite Consciousness. I intuitively believe that this Infinite Consciousness is the awareness inside every one of us. The experience of being propelled through time is just an illusion, born out of our disconnection from the full awareness of the vast being that we collectively are.
[A Christian friend recently asked me, “What is it that you believe now?” Tough question to give a short answer to. I could say, “I believe I am everything that exists, experiencing a state of separation from the full magnitude of what I am.” Or I could say, “The universe is holographic in nature, like the Star Trek holodeck or The Matrix.” I’ve tried those kinds of answers and I’ve seen eyebrows raise in an expression of bewilderment that seems to communicate, “How on earth did Darryl go from believing in Christ to this bizarre nonsense?” For what it’s worth, I’m going to try and guide you step by step into my headspace.]
What is the true underlying nature of reality? What is my place in it? Does my life have meaning, or am I a cosmic accident? Are the answers to these questions found in religion, or is science where the real enlightenment lies? Is it even possible to know? What chance do I have of finding out? And where the hell do I even begin?
The first step is a willingness to unlearn what you’ve been taught, or more appropriately, what you’ve been conditioned to believe all your life. With hundreds of belief systems on Earth, the chances of you inheriting the right one, by virtue of geographical placement, are miniscule. If you were born in America, is Christianity true by virtue of the number of people around you who believe in it, or the number of times its ideas are repeated to you? If you were born in Iraq, is Islam true for the same reasons? Look around the world and you will find countless differing religions, each one confident of its superiority over all others, one generation indoctrinating the next. The thing that so few people dare to do is to step outside of the zeitgeist – the spirit of the age. But it’s what you have to do if you want to discover the real truth. No belief should ever be so sacred that we are not permitted to look critically at it and assess its worth.
The zeitgeist is not only religious in nature, but also infiltrates the arena of science. Science is concerned with what is definable and measurable. It’s all about weighing evidence and making rational deductions. When there is no evidence for something, it will not become a scientific fact. That is why science has little or nothing to say about ideas like God, or the soul, or the afterlife. And that’s fair. Those things seem to be outside the scope of measurement. I would guess this is why many scientists are atheists. They have decided that if there is no evidence for something, then they have no business believing in it. But therein lies the trap. Absence of proof is not necessarily proof of absence. And although science prides itself on making no assumptions, the entire discipline hangs on one colossal assumption – that the physical universe is the cornerstone from which we do our thinking. Matter is what matters. But if we’re willing to look closely at the presuppositions that shape our thinking, we might discover that we’ve been making deductions using the wrong set of presuppositions – that we have been unwary victims of the zeitgeist. One of the most important things I figured out was that the proper starting point for rational thought is not observation of the physical universe; first and foremost, it is observation of our own self-awareness, as I will attempt to show.
Having unlearned (or at least temporarily shelved) everything taught or imposed upon me by science and religion, I begin with the knowledge that I am a conscious being. I am self-aware. Let’s not even assume that I am a body. First and foremost, I am self-awareness. It appears that I have eyes with which to see and ears with which to hear. Five senses in total, allowing me to receive information from outside of myself. But already I’m making too many assumptions. Do I really see with my eyes? No. On closer inspection, my eyes receive information, convert it into electrical signals, and pass these to the visual cortex at the back of my brain. I see with my visual cortex, experiencing a bright world of colour and motion inside the absolute darkness of my skull, which no actual light can penetrate. If I pick up a pencil, I feel the pressure of it in my fingers. But I don’t, really. The nerves in my fingers transmit signals back to my brain, and my brain tells me that my fingers are touching something. Meanwhile, my eyes relay signals to my brain, showing me visual information about the object I’m touching. The principle to remember here is that you cannot get beyond your brain in order to prove the existence of the physical world. All the information is second hand.
Perhaps you think it should be taken as a given that the physical universe exists, by virtue of the rich and repetitive nature of our perceptions. But let’s remember that every night in bed we experience a five-sense environment in our dreams. Dreams are so lifelike that we usually believe them to be real for the duration of their experience, yet they have no physical substance. When we are awake and when we are dreaming, it is our consciousness that does the perceiving, not our physical senses. In truth, when we awake, we simply have no way of knowing whether we are connecting to a real physical universe, or merely a longer dream – one whose rules are more concrete, perhaps because it is a dream-world held together by the collective unconscious of the all those who share it. Either paradigm is possible, and neither provable.
We are perceivers and we can never get past our perceptions to discover the actuality of the universe. You can look out of the window and say, “The grass is green.” Are you sure? Did you ever consider that a cat or a lizard might see the grass in a different manner, since the structure of their eyes are quite different from a human’s. What right have I to say, “The universe really is the way I see it,” when I am perceiving the universe through the machinery of my body. Consider the bat, which is almost blind and much more reliant on a form of radar. Or the dog, who experiences an exotic realm of smells that we humans can barely imagine. Bodies are biological machines that perceive the universe in differing ways. The grass is only green when the body-machine interprets the data it receives in a certain manner.
We cannot be certain what the actuality of the universe is; we can only see it through our own particular lens. We can’t even know that the universe is genuinely physical in nature. Consider the analogy of the modern videogame. We can take part in adventures across city-sized maps, with amazingly detailed roads, buildings, and countless nooks and crannies for exploration. We can make our game character turn his head in any direction and watch the real-world laws of geometry playing out in two-dimensional space on the flatness of our television screens, beaming out texture, light and shadow. Once, I had a moment of clarity when I stood on a hillside, gazing down through the trees at a lake and a castle on the opposite side (in a game, that is). It was a picturesque scene, and in the real world it might have made me reach for my camera. And I thought, “No one else has stood on this precise spot and looked down the hill at this exact angle. Not even the game’s creators. The game is just too vast.” It struck me as profound that something so artistic – something that was just for me in this moment – could spring to life from nothing more than a rapid series of mathematical equations being processed inside my computer. In videogames we experience an interactive world of sight, sound and touch – a limited but spectacularly detailed facsimile of the physical world. The big question, then, is this: if we mere mortals are able to create this 3D experience inside a computer, have we any business assuming that our universe is truly 3D in its deepest essence, in its actuality? The three-dimensionality of a videogame is nothing more than binary ones and zeros flowing through electrical circuits, and yet the laws of physics in a game are as solid and dependable as the laws of physics in the real world. A game’s vistas, although not nearly as detailed as the real world, use the same mathematics of geometry, the same understanding of light and shadow. Put simply: the universe is made of mathematics.
Some people simply will not enter into this manner of thinking, because it seems repugnant that the universe should be telling us fibs about itself. But this is exactly what has already happened and continues to happen. Without any knowledge of astronomy and geometry, we started off believing the Earth was flat. Why? Because our experience told us it was flat. The human form is so tiny in relation to the magnitude of the Earth that we have no conscious awareness of moving over a curved surface as we go from place to place. Only when we started getting our heads around geometry, and noticing things like how the stars travel up the sky as we move towards them, could we begin to deduce that we were sitting on a big ball. When a cat sees its reflection in a mirror for the first time, it thinks it is looking at another cat, one that mimics its every move – until it learns to see through the lie. We’ve invented the hologram – images that stand out from their photographic paper screaming, “I have substance!” Yet wave your hand through one and there’s nothing there. The key question is whether you want to trust your experience or try to see the bigger picture.
The universe lies until you figure out the lies. Its purpose is not to tell you its innermost secrets. Its purpose is to provide consciousness with an experience. It is up to us to probe its nature, except most of us have been doing so from the wrong standpoint. We’ve assumed that it’s all real, when that realness – that three-dimensionality – may be nothing more than a stream of data, a matrix, a frequency to which our consciousness is tuned. Is Betelgeuse six hundred light-years away from Earth, or is it sitting right next to us, just another point on the data stream?
You may ask, “What difference does it make which view I take? Life is the same either way.” On the contrary, life is vastly different. If we use the physical universe as the cornerstone of our rational thinking, we can easily lose sight of the importance of our own self-awareness. When you look in at yourself from the outside, through the eyes of science, and you begin to understand the brain, the tendency is to explain away your own consciousness in purely physical terms – as if your consciousness is little more than a computer program performing a task. And yes, there is something very computer-like about our minds. All creatures, humans included, possess behaviour patterns: appetite, sexuality, testosterone, predatory instincts, maternal and paternal inclinations, etc. These things, and more, make us predictable to a certain extent. Similarly, a computer programmer can create an autonomous game character, imbue him with behaviour patterns, and place him into the game environment, where he will interact with it and behave as if he is self-aware. However, you would never say that such a character is genuinely self-aware. And yet you know that you are, in a manner that transcends any form of artificial intelligence. Science has never distinguished mind from self-awareness. The two are not the same. Mind is a brain-based faculty used by self-awareness. Science has fundamentally lost touch with the wonder of consciousness that we all experience. It has no place for such a thing because it cannot seem to grasp it and measure it. “No,” says science, “you cannot be immaterial consciousness interfacing with a brain. You’re just a brain.” And yet, where is this thing called self-awareness on any map of the brain? Nowhere to be found.
If you start from the deeper standpoint of using self-awareness as the cornerstone of your thinking, you end up with a vastly different perspective on the universe. For a start, the one thing you can be sure of is that you exist. As Rene Descarte said, “I think, therefore I am.” Everything else is under suspicion, because everything else is a perception. What this means is, if you want to believe in a physical universe, you have to take it on trust. If you want to believe it’s all a matrix, you have to take it on trust. In this predicament, what do you do with the scientific approach, when you suddenly realise you can’t use it to get anywhere? My answer to that is you use an almost forgotten little thing called intuition.
What do you sense the truth to be? The two most fundamental questions you should ask yourself are “What am I?” and “Where I am?” In my experience, asking those questions starts you on a wonderful journey of self-discovery that brings an end all to the bewilderment of living in the zeitgeist. For the scientifically minded person, the understanding that consciousness transcends matter opens up the genuine possibility of life after death and the mystery of whether our physical birth was really the beginning of our life. For the religious among us, it presents spirituality free from imposed dogmas that must never be questioned. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
(I recommend watching the following documentary for an easy-to-understand visual look at the nature of reality.)
For those of you who have been following this spiritual transformation of mine, it’s about time I told you the specifics of what I’ve now come to believe.
I suppose it started off with me reading about “chakras,” energy vortices that are beyond the physical realm and aligned with the body – seven of them, from the crown of the head to the base of the spine, each with its own function. Whether this is your soul, part of your soul, or whatever, I’m not sure, but it’s seen in terms of energy, rather than something far out that can never be understood.
This gelled with me, because of an experience that I had when I was twenty-four, when I was praying with my girlfriend. She prayed that God would touch me, and I experienced an intense vibration in the stomach area for several minutes (skip the dietary, jokes, please; I’ve heard them all). Very pleasant, very exciting, and very real. Also documented by other Christians. Touched by the Holy Spirit? I thought so initially, but the conservative Evangelical in me soon dismissed the whole thing as purely physiological. Over a decade later, now reading about chakras, I couldn’t help but wonder, did I experience energetic activity in my solar plexus chakra?
The trouble is, rationality is king with me. I needed to bring this knowledge down to a level where I could hang it on something rational. And so, I decided to experiment with something I remembered from my teenage years: I saw a friend perform telekinesis (more correctly called psychokinesis), the moving of an object with the mind. So I tried to do it myself, and as you’ve seen lately, I got some excellent results. Whilst this doesn’t prove anything specifically about chakras, it does bring the view that we are beings of energy a little closer to credibility than the laughability that many people attach to it.
There are other reasons for believing in chakras, too. For instance, the heart chakra, in the centre of the chest, is our emotional centre. We don’t feel emotions with our brains. Our souls experience them in the chest area. Anyone who has felt deep emotional distress knows the crushing pain in this location. It’s where we get the expression “broken heart.” It’s certainly not the organ that pumps blood around the body that is suffering. It is the energy centre that occupies that physical space. The throat chakra is said to be responsible for matters of the will. Think about some of the contexts in which our throat becomes uncomfortable, or dry, and makes us gulp.
Okay, so I can connect some of the dots to things we know from this physical world. It isn’t proof; it’s just a way of looking at things. Here, briefly, are more ways in which we can look at reality. I’m going to use some terms that I will be hard pressed to define accurately, because I don’t fully understand the concepts myself, and it’s going to sound like I’ve jumped off the deep end.
Everything that exists is consciousness. All matter is consciousness. Yes, that means that every blade of grass, every rock, every piece of matter in the universe, is in some sense conscious. Everything is in a state of vibration, and matter is consciousness condensed to a slow vibration. What we see as the physical realm is only a fraction of what really exists.
Our own consciousness is tuned into this “frequency” – one of a great many frequencies. Our birth in this life was not our beginning. We didn’t have a beginning because we are each an aspect of the infinite consiousness that is everything – God, if you like. It is very likely that our consciousness experienced other incarnations before the one we are currently in. Being born is not the beginning of your life. It is like your consciousness chose to incarnate, to condense itself into this body, thus shutting off a great deal of its “higher self” including all the memories of every life it has lived. After the experiences of this life, your consciousness with leave the body and reconnect with its higher self and you will move on to whatever’s next, whether that is another incarnate life or something different.
On a more down to earth level, we perceive the physical world in a certain way, and we think that’s the way it really is; we say that a blade of grass is green or the sky is blue, or whatever. What we should realise is that that’s not strictly true. Other creatures are perceiving this world in different ways. The cat or the lizard see the world differently, with their slit-like pupils. Flies, with their compound eyes, have a vastly different means of processing visual reality that our eyes do. Bats are near blind and rely on a form of radar. Birds migrate by sensing something we don’t. Dogs experience a world of smells that we know little about. My point is the world isn’t actually as humans see it. The physical world is just an energetic frequency, and the body is just a computer that interpets the physical world in a certain way to the brain. The old philosopher, I think it was Rene Descarte, who said, “I think, therefore I am,” was onto something: the view that you can’t really prove that anything exists beyond your own consciousness, because everything that you gather through your five senses is transformed into impulses in the brain that your consciousness interfaces with and experiences. Your brain is between you and the world.
There’s a book called The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot that I’m dying to read on this theme. If you have the time, here’s a good video that explains the idea behind it. Be warned, it’s 20 minutes long:
So, try to stretch your mind to conceive that we may all experiencing a collective “illusion.” Something like Neo in The Matrix. When you rap your knuckles on the desk, it feels solid, but it’s actually the illusion of solidity created in your consciousness by the “computer” that holds all this together. Not even your body or brain is real. It’s all part of the program. A screwball idea? Remember, the illusion of solidity is something that even we mere humans have made great strides in. We invented the hologram. Look at the incredibly detailed worlds that you can interact with in today’s videogames, a three dimensional illusion behind a flat TV screen. I’m suggesting that physical reality may be the same thing on a vastly more spectacular scale. And behind it all is not Neo sitting asleep in a vat of smelly gunk in a human battery farm. Behind it is infinite consciousness, of which you are a tiny and unique aspect undergoing an experience in your evolution. You, and everyone else, and everything else that has conscious reality are one.
Oh boy. I really did jump off the deep end, didn’t I? Do I really believe this stuff? I’m afraid I do. But who’s to say it isn’t just the biggest load of poppycock? Nobody. I can’t prove this stuff. These are hard admissions for me because I’ve started believing certain things without knowing quite why I believe them. That’s a strange thing for me to say because anyone who knows me knows I prize rationality above anything. While these beliefs aren’t irrational, they are unprovable. The only thing I can attach these beliefs to is “intuition.” And that’s another weird thing for me to say, because I’ve never thought much about intuition until now, and I’ve certainly never lived by it.
I think it works like this. Once you let go of the mind prison that says “this world is all there is” and the other mind prison of religious belief systems that restrict you to a strict set of beliefs – once you open your mind to all possibility – then you connect to your higher self and to knowledge you had before you were even born. People live lives shut off from this knowledge because they are disconnected, at a mental level, from their higher selves.
Of course, it’s very convenient for me to believe something and then to say I don’t have to prove it because it’s intuition. And I know someone will accuse me of just believing what I want to believe. But for me, the strength of conviction I feel goes beyond wishful thinking. That’s why I’ve been reluctant to really let fly and talk about this stuff. I also want to be careful to say that this isn’t something I want to impose on you. It’s just another way of looking at life. Take it or leave it, it’s up to you.
For me, I can’t understand rationally why I believe so strongly in this stuff – so stongly that it has transformed my life. Did I merely read some good material by David Icke and decide to take the rest on faith? Come on, I’m smarter than that. Something else is going on here, and I don’t know what to call it except intuition. For me, the proof of the pudding has been in the eating. And next time I’ll talk about some of the ways this new understanding has benefitted my life.