The Holographic Nature of Reality
In holograms, all parts are reflected in the whole and the whole is reflected in all parts, so if you chop a piece of holographic film into tiny bits then shine a laser onto any of them, no matter how small, you will still get a complete image. The “physical” world around us behaves much like a hologram. Just like a piece of holographic film, all quanta exist as interfering wave patterns. In and of themselves, these interference waves have no “solidity” – no definite properties or location – just like the squiggles/circles on holographic film. The image is distributed throughout the entire film, just as quanta are distributed throughout the entire universe. Then when a laser beam (the light of consciousness) is directed at those interference waves, seemingly solid particles (three dimensional images) appear before our eyes.
One of the first physicists to consider this “cosmic hologram” metaphor was David Bohm who defined the universe as an “undivided wholeness in flowing motion” which he termed the “holomovement.” He dubbed the implicate order an undivided holistic realm that is beyond concepts like spacetime, matter, or energy. In the implicate order everything is fully enfolded or entangled with everything else. By contrast, the explicate order world of ordinary observations and common sense emerge, or unfold, out of the implicate order. Bohm used a hologram as a metaphor to illustrate how information about a whole system can be enfolded into an implicit structure, any part of which reflects the whole.
For Bohm, atoms are not the “building blocks of matter” but rather just a term given to one aspect of the holomovement. The various forms we name, words and categories we create, are all ultimately arbitrary because at the implicate level of reality, everything is one. No two atoms, two rocks, two trees, or two people are any more separate from one another than whirlpools are separate from the river. The universe is a holographic oneness in perpetual motion, both created and navigated by consciousness. Matter is not separated by space and time; rather, matter, space, and time are always already ever-present and one.
To illustrate this, think of a DVD. At the explicate level of the DVD, you see a movie with people, places and events happening in space and time. For the actors on your television screen, they experienced everything happening in “real” time in the “real” world during filming. But for you the viewer, holding the DVD in your hand, you can see the implicate level of the movie where all the people, places, and events on it are mere projections of a single totality. You can rewind, fast-forward, slow-mo, or freeze-frame the entire realistic three-dimensional explicate world of the DVD because you are operating from the implicate world of remote control. The One, God, infinite consciousness, cosmic mind, or whatever you want to call it, operates at the objective, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent level of the implicate DVD, and meanwhile us humans, animals, plants, insects, and every other subjective entity in the physical universe are method actors in the explicate movie.
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