Updated: Dec 9, 2022
Yesterday I wrote in an elementary way about the holographic universe. For more details on that, please refer to the blog post Being and Becoming- The Holographic Universe Part 1. I will however summarize the main ideas: the theory of the holographic universe states that the information of the whole of an organism is contained within a fraction of the organism. To be specific- 3D information can be obtained from a 2D surface, i.e. you can take a fragment of bark and gain information into the entirety of the tree.
We can go farther and say that not only does the piece show us information about the whole organism, but that the single organism contains information about the whole universe.
Amazing isn’t it?
Today we are diving into the philosophical application of the holographic universe. Our overarching goal in this multi part blog is to find a way to bring wonder into everyday life.
The One Reveals the Many
Applying the principle of the holographic universe as a philosophy means one can look at any part of creation and gain insight into the whole. Underneath all things are the same constituents of reality. And, if everything is made up of the same parts, then everything is bound to have more in common that meets the eye.
Life is a mystery. But maybe the reason for that mystery is because we haven’t yet perceived the patterns underneath life. Or better yet, true mystery arises even when we do have a scientific explanation for everything. A formula can describe a process but it doesn’t capture the essence of the process. Only experience can do that. The beauty of how everything works together remains mind blowing. Thus understanding the mathematics of it all is really a doorway into making the mystery come even more alive.
So what is an example of a part of creation overlapping with the pattern of all creation?
Take breath: every breath is a microcosm of the continuous universal process of taking in and letting go. No living organism could survive without some mechanism of being able to receive the new and release the old.
When we breathe oxygen in, the body immediately synthesizes that oxygen to work for every part of the body. When we exhale carbon dioxide out, the body is universally releasing a gaseous waste or byproduct it doesn’t need anymore.
What’s even more intelligent about this process is that what is wasted for us is nutrition for something else. Trees and plants use carbon dioxide during photosynthesis thus removing it from the atmosphere. Everywhere in creation this nutrition/waste exchange is occurring. It happens both within the individual organism and within the organism’s relationship to the larger environment.
This is one of life's simple truths:
All things need nourishment. All nourishment is either transformed or let go. All things need a system of releasing the byproducts of transformation (plus what was never used in the first place).
If we bring an awareness of this truth into all things, we may find ourselves less emotionally impacted when we recognize people, things and experiences transitioning from something that nurtures us to something that we need to let go of. Just a thought.
Take another example of the one representing the whole. You observe your dog scarf down his food as soon as you put it in his bowl. You may even have to counteract this compulsion by buying a food bowl that makes a maze for your dog and only lets it eat one part of the bowl at a time. Most dogs will eat so much food that if you fill their bowl five times over, they won't stop eating.
More than a few times I have watched a dog eat mindlessly and with no concern for its well being and felt compassion. And it wasn’t the dog for whom I felt compassion. I saw in that dog my own animalistic compulsions to eat not only when it was completely unnecessary but to the point of being detrimental to my health.
Of course not every dog eats without end. And not every human eats without end. But according to the Enneagram, a personality mapping system, there are certain personality types who tend to fall into this addiction. Other personality types fall into other addictions. If you are curious by the way, those who score high in the Helper archetype, whose deep fear is a lack of love, often struggle with food addiction. Again, a repeating pattern: this time the pattern repeats itself based on psychology not species.
If I didn’t consciously recognize myself in the dog, I might be disgusted by it. I would see something repellant within myself I didn’t want to look at and compensate for my feeling of inadequacy by separating myself from and thinking myself superior to the dog. When the real opportunity is to honor the fact that I too am an animal.
I’m not just an animal of course. But it is a part of my evolutionary identity and there will always be instincts that need to be satiated that keep me grounded in this body. Lucky for us humans, instinct isn’t the end of the story. Instinct doesn’t have to rule the day. It simply needs its place at the metaphysical altar of life.
Tune into the next blog for an exploration of how to tap into our potential according to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali!