Revolution In Science – Evolution In Consciousness
Science is not the immutable enterprise of observing the world around us and describing our observations; it’s subject to change. Change in science is triggered by new and unexpected, and initially unexplained observations. These produce the radical changes scientists call scientific revolutions. They impact on far more than science: they open fresh vistas for all of us. It is important to get to know the nature of science’s next revolution—what triggers it, what view it gives us of the world, and what it means for our own life and for our shared future on the planet.
Theories in science are not indefinitely tenable. For a while they explain the facts that come to light in the relevant fields, but when key observations fail to mesh with the dominant conception, the theories are either revised, or they break down. If the mismatch is persistent, piecemeal adjustments will not work. The theory needs to be replaced; a fundamentally new conception must take its place. The enterprise of science advances through such “paradigm-shifts”—the periodic renewal of its fundamental conceptions. There was a paradigm-shift at the turn of the 20th century when key observations failed to mesh with the basic assumptions of Newtonian physics: scientists soon abandoned those assumptions and adopted Einstein’s revolutionary theories in their place. Today relativity theory itself fails to mesh with new observations, and the challenger, quantum theory, is not free of problems either.
The astounding—and for the established theories entirely mysterious—observation is instant, space- and time-transcending interconnection among nearly all the things scientists observe in the principal fields of investigation. It appears that we live is an integral universe where all things affect all other things. In this universe all things are connected, but they are not just locally connected, at a given point in space and time. They are nonlocally connected over all points. As a result the natural sciences find themselves on the horns of a dilemma. Maintain the dominant conception and hope to adapt it to the new findings—or create a new and different conception? The latter is a revolution: a paradigm-shift. When it comes—and now it is coming—it heralds the shift from a fragmented “local-state” paradigm inherited from Newton, to the new nonlocal-state paradigm based on the latest advances in quantum and bio-physics and cosmology.
Enter the Akasha
Why is the new nonlocal-state paradigm an Akashia paradigm? The reason for this is clear and can be spelled out.
Go back to the second half of the 20th century. Physicists had begun to trace the fields and forces of nature to common origins in a unified, and then in a grand-unified and then super-grand-unified field. An in-itself unobservable cosmic matrix entered the world-picture of science. David Bohm’s theory of the “implicate order” is a shining example of this development. The implicate order is the hidden holofield that produces the things that meet our eye: the spectacle of the “explicate order.”
A concept advanced by the Hindu seers thousands of years ago is an amazingly accurate anticipation of this development. The cosmos has a hidden dimension: the rishis called it the Akasha. They said that the Akasha encompasses all the other elements: vata (air), agni (fire), ap (water), and prithivi (earth). It holds all the elements within itself, but it is also outside of them, because it is beyond space and time.
In his famous treatise Raja Yoga, Swami Vivekananda wrote that the Akasha “is the omnipresent, all-penetrating existence. Everything that has form, everything that is the result of combination, is evolved out of this Akasha … it is the Akasha that becomes the human body, the animal body, the plants, every form that we see, everything that can be sensed, everything that exists.”
The modern yogi Paramahansa Yogananda agreed: the Akasha is the subtle background against which everything in the world becomes perceptible. The Akasha cannot be seen; it can only be observed when it becomes the things that we do see. The Akasha is hidden but fundamental reality of the world.
Bowing to the insight of the ancient Hindu seers, we call the world’s fundamental dimension the Akasha. And we call the basic conception that grounds science’s revolutionary new theories the Akasha Paradigm.
Tapping Into the Akasha
In her autobiography I’m Over All That, Shirley MacLaine writes that she is often reading “the Akashic Records.” She is not alone. Today and all through history many people have made this claim, everyday women and men and not just actresses and shamans, artists and spiritual leaders. They were not mistaken: they were reading information sourced in the Akasha, the hidden deep dimension of the cosmos.
Why is knowing about the Akasha so important? First, because it gives us the best understanding ever of the fundamental nature of the world. This is not just a world of things moving about in space and time; that is only the surface. Below it there is an interconnected, holographically “in-formed” and fundamentally whole world where all things interpenetrate with all other things. A world where all things create themselves through these “cosmic connections. ” Second, because the realization that we live in a fundamentally whole world prompts us to think and to act differently. After all, we are not outside or above the world; the world is in us, just as we are in the world. What we do affects the world, and through the world affects us. It either makes us and our world more coherent and whole, or makes us and our world incoherent and unsustainable—prone to catastrophic breakdown.
Seeking wholeness and sustainability in the world are not fighting windmills and chasing mirages; they are the basic precondition of living and thriving in a nonlocally interconnected universe. Knowing that the world is intrinsically whole and locally as well as nonlocally interconnected changes the way we relate to each other and to the world. It gives us an aspiration toward wholeness and coherence; it takes us to a more evolved consciousness. In the final count this is what will spell the difference between heading toward a world that collapses into violence and chaos, and setting out on a path that is peaceful and sustainable, leading us to a world that is home to seven billion humans, thriving in a dependably life-supporting environment.
For more on the Akasha paradigm and what it means for us and our future, read Ervin Laszlo’s new books: The Akasha Paradigm: Revolution in Science, Evolution in Consciousness, and his enhanced multi-media e-book with video clips by Deepak Chopra, Edgar Mitchell, Marilyn Williamson and others: The Birth of the Akasha Paradigm: New Thinking for a New World.