The following discussion is based on David Bohm’s theory of the ‘Implicate Order’, developed in the 1980s in order to explain the strange behavior of sub-atomic particles. The central underlying theme of Bohm’s theory is that there is a unifying reality which underlies physical reality called the ‘implicate order’. This ‘order’ unifies the totality of existence so that nothing is separate from anything else.
Today, we can venture into a discussion of quantum physics and its relationship to consciousness because much has been written about this in recent decades, and also because analogies taken from the physical world can often help us understand the spiritual world. This is because the principle “as above, so below” is universally true, whether we perceive it to be so or not.
Since the 1920s, the field of quantum physics has catapulted us forward in our understanding of the physical world. It has taken some physicists to the edge of this world, to the place where the physical interfaces with the spiritual. One area of quantum physics in which this is true involves the creation and destruction of sub-atomic particles. It is because of the inherent mystery at this level, of things coming into and going out of existence, that we can explore the fertile ground of present knowledge and ask broader questions regarding being and non-being — spiritual questions arising out of this mystery.
Within quantum physics, it is understood that in a vacuum — a space that has, as much as possible, been emptied of both matter and energy — that some background energy still remains. Out of this background energy, particles continually emerge and disappear.1 Some of these particles have a ‘virtual’ reality — a reality that is similar to that of ‘real’ particles, but different from them in the length of time that they exist.
Divine breath is the origin of life in the Universe. It is the gift of the Mother/Creatrix/God who infuses life with Light and brings consciousness into awareness of being both a self and also merged within a greater Unity.
‘Virtual’ particles appear out of the ‘nothingness’ of the vacuum and disappear back into it again after such a very short time in existence, that one could almost say that they did not exist at all. ‘Virtual’ particles can also become ‘real’ particles, becoming measurable and lasting longer, depending on how much energy is added to the vacuum.2 Also, both virtual and real particles can change into other particles before they disappear from existence.
The fluidity of this landscape of sub-atomic particles is like the foam frothing on a turbulent sea. However, the seas of the earth are something we know and have ideas about. We observe their tides, their wave-patterns, and foam. What we don’t know is where sub-atomic particles — the constituents of the ‘quantum foam’ — go when they are not ‘real’ or even ‘virtual’, or what the generating force is for this turbulence.
This is a serious question. Some physicists define the vacuum state as a state of nothingness. However, it has also been defined as a state of being which appears on the physical level to contain nothing, but which plays an active role in determining which particles emerge from it and become ‘explicate’ or real. The ‘implicate order’ can be seen as both a physical and metaphysical construction — the name for a vast Intelligence which contains all things within itself and which ‘en-folds’ or ‘un-folds’ these things so that they emerge into the reality we experience as real.
The ‘implicate order’, should it exist, would appear to have the capability of creating separate particles which appear to us as real (un-foldment), and also of reabsorbing these particles (en-foldment) so that they disappear into it and become part of the background again. Whether we are talking about muons, electrons, pions, or positrons, there are a number of questions that arise out of this focus:
- Why do certain particles arise then disappear?
- Why do they change into other particles?
- Is there a guiding Intelligence that is continually creating physical matter out of background nothingness?
- Is the Implicate Order something close to what we think of as God?
The view that nothingness is filled with something, though not something we can see or measure, takes us from the realm of the physical into the realm of the spiritual. From a spiritual perspective, we may be seeing our own future — the future of consciousness. For there is an analogy that can be made between the way sub-atomic particles operate — the way they come into and go out of existence — and the way individual consciousness has the potential for operating as it evolves. For example, we can hold the possibility that individual consciousness, like sub-atomic particles, has the capacity to ‘un-fold’ and ‘en-fold’ as particles do — hovering between being and non-being, and that this dual awareness is the result of an evolving awareness, a consciousness infused by Divine ‘breath’.
Divine ‘breath’ is the infused life of God as it affects all beings. It is not restricted to any particular belief system, tradition, or religion. Sacred ‘breathing’, which is the experience of Divine ‘breath’, does not just involve taking in air, but rather taking in the higher frequencies of Light. Such breathing contains within itself both the capacity to individualize consciousness, and also to return it to the state of non-duality.
The infusion of Divine breath involves a process analogous to inhaling and exhaling on the physical plane but with this qualification — that the pulsations of Light which polarize and unite consciousness between time and eternity, between form and formlessness, do not necessarily alternate in time in the way that inhaling and exhaling do. Rather, they may be considered to be points of reference on a continuum, both ends of which can remain in consciousness. Also, in contrast to the physical act of breathing which is within the awareness of every creature, the awareness of Divine breath is not automatic within human consciousness at the present time. Rather, it corresponds to a consciousness that has developed a capacity to attune to the higher frequencies of Light.
For such a consciousness, the inhalation pulse of ‘sacred breathing’ brings consciousness into a state of self-discernment — one in which the individualized self becomes a unique expression of the Infinite. The exhalation pulse, by contrast, brings consciousness into oneness with the Universal — with that which is All. In the latter state, individualized identity disappears, and, like a drop of water in the ocean, becomes part of the All.
Divine breath is the origin of life in the Universe. It is the gift of the Mother/Creatrix/God who infuses life with Light and brings consciousness into awareness of being both a self and also merged within a greater Unity. The role of Divine intention is that consciousness on all levels, the human as well as the sub-atomic, will come to realize itself as unified so that matter and consciousness will no longer be separate. Though such movement is only in its beginning stages at this time, the purification of the earth and of individual consciousness will accelerate this process, bringing the fruits of sacred breathing to each soul who seeks the light, as naturally and inevitably as physical breathing takes place today. In this way the un-folding and en-folding aspects of reality will ultimately be realized.
The means to the deepening experience of Divine breath are purification and purity which allow the greater incorporation of light within the cellular structure of the body. These awaken the capacity to see and feel the Divine behind individual physical life, as well as the capacity to feel One with All. As a model for this dual experience, quantum physics illustrates in the behavior of the tiniest sub-atomic particles, life’s purpose and the purpose of consciousness, down to the smallest dimensions of physical reality.
1. Zukav, Gary. The Dancing Wu-Li Masters. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1979, 2001, p. 266.
2. Cole, K.C. The Hole in the Universe. New York: Harcourt, Inc., 2001, p. 84.