By virtue of its consequences, the ongoing pandemic that has gripped the world from one pole to the other is the equivalent of a worldwide conflagration.
Panic, the loss of human life, stagnating economic development, the unravelling of many societal structures and of interpersonal relationships, the forbiddance of cultural manifestations and the limitations placed on our socialization, the curtailing of private initiative and activity necessary for our continued existence, the primary refocusing of medical efforts on combating the effects of the pandemic to the disadvantage of all other pathologies, as well as a burgeoning of depressive suffering leading to many a suicidal tendency are the primary consequences that will indubitably scar the history of contemporary man.
Yet, perhaps the most macabre effect of the pandemic was, in our opinion, the inadmissible ignorance of the statute and dignity of the human being. For an impermissible length of time, the deceased were ‘interred’ in refuse bags and dumped in mass graves, entirely disrobed of both vestments and of the honourable respect they earned through their lifelong work. We experienced the same depressing sentiment when reading how the aptly named ‘plague doctors’ treated their victims during the Middle Ages. This recoil of contemporary civilization has left the ignoble impression of a downfall to a degree of barbarism we did not believe the world capable of experiencing again. All the more since this was not owed to the musings of medieval illiterates, but rather to international forums which we hold in an altogether different esteem.
The current pandemic represents a grave threat to global stability and to the world’s psychological, political, cultural and economic equilibrium. All our customs, our social and spiritual conventions, have been shattered. The sententious announcement of a blighted invasion coming forth in “waves” demonstrates mankind’s inability to defend itself from invisible entities, originating in micro-infinity, despite arming ourselves with sophisticated weaponry aimed against our visible peers.
We appear to be entirely unprepared before a virus which, employing its own limited intelligence, comes forth “in new ways, and with novel mutations”. The intelligence of micro-infinity thereby is proven to surpass that of the macro-infinity, i.e., our own. Moreover, the paradoxes of human behaviour find themselves at apogee, while the egos and vested interests in political and economic domination cloud our judgement and waste our efforts and resources in investments aimed to prevent entirely avoidable conflicts, while altogether ignoring our confrontation with inevitable enemies. This is the lamentable truth writ large for all to see.
Our greatest wonder, the question to be answered above all others, is: Why did we get here? To this, there is only one answer: Because we do not know, or do not wish to know, who we truly are. In the operational framework arguing that such viruses have a natural origin and were not made by human hands, by those who would see themselves as the masters of the Earth, any such plague – of natural, rather than laboratory, origin – can be expected to eventually exhaust its own vigour and disappear. In its wake, after so many wounds have been opened, it is imperative that we answer the question posed above. For, in all honesty, the source of all the world’s ills cannot be solely traced to this virus that has, admittedly, agitated and ravaged all the layers of our collective existence. Indeed, the ailments plaguing us are many more in number, and not all can be alleviated through recourse to medical therapy. That would be too easy, since it would, sooner or later, necessarily provide a solution.
The principal causes of our unhappiness stem from the underlying recesses of human psychology. By this psychological source we understand, first and foremost, our subjective preferences, of which there are as many as there are humans on Earth. This is only natural, and inevitable; yet the need for interpersonal collaboration itself requires a generally acceptable conceptual framework. Such a framework can only be provided by the scientific milieu – provided, of course, it too does not find itself subservient to political or financial commandments from on high. Let us, then, rely on the scientific truths of our time. For this, however, we first need to briefly review the existing knowledge pathways. There are two fundamental pathways for knowledge that are broadly referenced at present: direct (empirical) experience and scientific knowledge, respectively.
Can be reduced to the perception offered by our five senses, and is usually qualified as a form of naïve realism since we cannot see the essence of reality, but merely its appearance. As human beings, we are programmed to perceive an apparent three-dimensional reality. We cannot view the Earth as being round, nor experience the true dimensions of our Sun or those of distant stars, etc. The higher an airplane flies, the smaller it appears to our vantage point.
Each species has its own perceptual paradigms, different to those of other species. It must be said that some species have more advanced perceptual capabilities than man does, an argument directly contradicting any simplistic interpretation of the concept of evolution. We have discussed these aspects at length elsewhere. As humans, we lack the olfactory capacity of felines; the acoustic perception of dolphins; or a capacity for orientation by echolocation, as bats can. As we stated previously, in taking a simplistic view we could argue, on this basis, that – regarding the perception of reality – mankind is less evolved than the aforementioned species – an absurd affirmation to say the least. Moreover, there are not as many different realities as there are species, but rather one reality perceived differently through the skewed lens of the limited capacities of each individual species in turn. It is often argued that, despite the instruments available to us at present, we have been unable to come to know more than 4% of the entire observable Universe; a figure that other, more sceptical authors further reduce down to 1%.
Therefore, beyond our perception – be it mediated by powerful instruments, or otherwise – there are entire other dimensions out there which we cannot yet see; universes we do not know; and, most likely, worlds we merely suspect. Yet despite this, and although we only have access to an extremely limited percentage of the entire reality we do inhabit, in our unmeasured egos we think ourselves Gods and cast sentences on the life and death of our peers, citing ‘our’ right as masters of the planet and the Universe as if we, ourselves, had created them!
Broadly refers to the instrumentation of knowledge beyond the limits of natural perception. This form of knowledge is, itself, limited by the instruments available to us at any given time.
The earliest canons of scientific research were established by Galileo. He asked that science concern itself with that which can be quantified and expressed in mathematical jargon, while religion should be concerned with the realm of the Spirit. The Book of Nature is written in mathematical parlance, Galileo argued. It is easy to see that the scholar’s attitude was concurrently a reply to the Church’s position on the scholar’s scientific convictions. In time, René Descartes would contribute to the establishment of the methodological basis of modern science, arguing, like Galileo had done prior, for a rational scientific discourse and for a distinction between spirit and matter (res cogitans versus res extensa).
However, to exclusively confer science the capacity for attaining knowledge is to exclude any other sources, including the entirety of human experience gathered throughout our history. Such lines of reasoning paved the way for a scientistic perspective. Science came to be considered infallible – an attitude contradicted by the very history of science itself. As we can deduce, a number of personalities today are attempting to emulate Descartes in trying to exclude not only our moral and aesthetic values, but also the concepts of conscience and psychology, from the overarching discourse on science and culture.
Through his Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687), Isaac Newton stimulated a particular interest for scientific knowledge across the European continent. By the end of the 19th century, the majority of sciences had been developed to the degree that they could underpin a materialistic conception of the world around us that coalesced around that time. The dilemma of the origin of Man had yet to be resolved; yet through Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, scientific consensus was also reached on this thorniest of subjects.
It would appear that the majority of existential questions had been answered. In the view of one physicist, by the end of the 19th century there were no further discoveries of great importance to be made. Classical physics had become the “Bible” of the sciences. The world was being described as laid out in a predictable, deterministic universe, functional by virtue of immutable natural laws, and comprised of disparate material objects bearing no relation to one another. The ultimate “building block” of matter was reduced to the atom, understood as a physical (solid) and indivisible (a-tom) substance. Therefore, there was nothing further beyond the atom itself! As strange as it might seem, and even though the evolving sciences have disproved it over a century ago, this conclusion would come to underpin two far-reaching consequences we have had to contend with to this day. In other words, many of us are still tributary to a mode of thought that was only valid 160 years ago.
The idea of the existence of a disparate world, bereft of interpersonal relationships beyond those of blood or alliance, was translated into the generalized division along groups, parties, cultures, social models and religious, ethnic and national lines. From this idea that we are all strangers to one another, free of any obligations – economic, moral, or otherwise –, discord, strife, hatred, aggressiveness, egotism, insults, calumny and many other evils are born.
Let us consider the hatred with which two different political parties publicly confront one another. Let us witness the absurdity with which the Opposition chooses to withhold voting for measures proposed by those in power, even when such measures would be for the public good, and necessary steps for the proper functioning of the economy and society at large, motivated purely by the egotistical desire that those in power be voted out in the future elections such that they, the current Opposition, might garner the electorate’s favour. What society might be losing matters little; personal interest trumps all. There are countless examples of this occurring in the real world, with entire countries stagnating akin to a vehicle exposed to two equal and opposite forces. So much for democracy! Naturally, there are also other examples of countries in which wiser policies were implemented, in particular in attempting to repair the damage caused by the Second World War.
The nefarious aspect of policies such as those described above is the result of a subjective and egotistical involvement, motivated by individual interests instead of those of the broader society. This is an improperly-understood application of the otherwise-correct democratic principle of admitting a multiplicity of views across the political spectrum. To have a different opinion does not necessarily mean being aggressive and hateful towards your political opponents, but rather attempting to have a civilized dialogue, without partiality or hatred. The truth must be born of rational arguments that are objectively, not subjectively, justified. Difference should not transcend into divergence, conflict and war.
In our earlier writings, we have claimed that in a world in possession of a mind capable of reason, to resolve a conflict of ideas through war is proof of a degrading futility. And if wars are launched merely in order to ensure political domination over one’s peers or to take over their subsistence or resources, then we have not evolved from the behaviour of carnivorous beasts who must kill in order to feed. It is likely in order to justify conflict in this vein that Darwin is being cited as often as he is, even though that was undoubtedly not his fundamental intention. We believe it a great drama for any author when he reaps something other than what he meant to sow – and especially so during posterity, when he can no longer defend himself!
It follows from the above that politics itself must be in accord with the progress achieved by our scientific knowledge. Far from the division postulated by classical physics, valid throughout the 19th century, in today’s world political thought must keep in time with contemporary, modern physics which stipulates that, in the profundity of matter, we are all interconnected and interdependent, with the separation postulated by classical physics no longer applicable.
The entire Universe is one single unit comprised of various interdependent relations, connections both informational and energetic. This is an entirely novel concept of the world, circumscribed within a spiritual dimension situated at the origin of all things, wherein lie the premises for all that would come to pass. We are the effect of those that precede us and the cause of those that follow. We are dependent on all those that produce our consumer goods and – for this reason alone – we should respect them, just as we should understand our responsibilities towards others. No-one can live in isolation. We are social beings par excellence, as Aristotle himself claimed 2300 years ago.
A second consequence of Newtonian physical thought that has left a lasting mark on human thinking in general is the reduction of Nature to the atom, to the indivisible physical substance. Put simply, it is the reduction of the world to our own perception.
It has been claimed as early as Oriental Antiquity that the world as we see it is a mere illusion: Maya. We should reiterate: we can only perceive its appearance, and not its essence. We required several millennia of evolving scientific knowledge in order to be able to verify this assertion made by Oriental spirituality. The universe in existence beyond substance, beyond the atom, only began to be revealed to us in 1895, when Conrad Röntgen discovered X-rays, thereby opening one of the most important chapters in medicine and technology in general. In 1896, Henri Becquerel discovered uranium’s radioactive properties, while in December 1900 Max Planck described the quantum as being the smallest unit of energy, coining the name of a different class of physics than the existing Newtonian: quantum physics and quantum mechanics. Therefore, it was through science that one of the strangest and most mysterious dimensions of our existence was revealed to us.
Quantum physics and quantum mechanics create an immense and unsurpassable epistemological fault line, engendering a revolution in scientific thought. They force a different way of thinking, a different and strange logic – a metalogic, if our reader will allow – situated well beyond the bounds matter and, consequently, difficult to express through the linguistic instruments at our disposal, requiring pure mathematical language. This is a universe so strange and so full of mystery that some adepts of materialistic thinking refuse to accept it, either from an inability to understand it or due to their own personal interests – despite the fact that, out of all the sciences, the principles underpinning quantum physics are revealed through incontestable experiments carried out with the most modern instruments at our disposal.
Quantum physics demonstrates that that which we call ‘matter’ is nothing more than a vacuum, or a quantum field, formed by a series of energetic quanta in constant motion, or vibration. The denser a physical object, the lower its frequency; inversely, entities with a positive signification have higher frequencies. The quantum field is the source of all matter, including that of all other fields – electromagnetic, gravitational, etc. – for which reason it is sometimes also referred to as the spiritual field. In our opinion, the quantum field corresponds to the spiritual dimension of the Universe, being the source of universal consciousness which Max Planck has called “The Mind of Matter”.
The fundamental laws of the Universe, pre-genetic information, also stem from the same point of origin. During a reunion with other scientists, Max Planck once claimed that the Universe exists because the subatomic particles that comprise and underpin the structure of the atom are maintained in constant motion by this very Mind of Matter (Conference on Quantum Physics, Florence, 1944).
If there is such a “Mind” or primordial Consciousness that generates all forms of existence in the Universe, it is easy to understand how our own consciousness represents a mere branch of this broader Cosmic Awareness. Moreover, we can thus understand why the human consciousness itself has the ability to collapse and convert the invisible wavelengths of the quantum field into the physical particles of our perceivable reality, in effect being co-substantial with this Cosmic Consciousness. There is an energy field surrounding all physical bodies, modulated into information-bearing signals; the fields emitted by physical objects are, naturally, invisible to most of us. At present, however, we do have several technical means by which these fields might be highlighted and measured.
We previously touched upon the existence of a series of strange phenomena within the quantum dimension of matter. The first such strange occurrence: the duality between particle and wave, where the observed object exists in both states simultaneously. Laboratory experimentation has revealed that, if we observe a quantum phenomenon such as, for example, the projection of a ray of light unto a slot-bearing screen, the screen will show particles of light (photons). However, if we do not consciously engage with the experience, the screen will show an interferential pattern of waves. The logical deduction that follows is that through our very consciousness we can influence the structure of matter itself. In other words, we create our own reality depending on our culture and capacity for interpretation, opting for one of the innumerable latent possibilities that exist within the quantum void.
Two specialists on quantum physics, Bruse Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner, claimed that it is out of a fear of being accused of creationist allusions that some researchers fail to mention this capacity for involving the human mind in the organization of matter in their scientific discourse. In the duality present at the quantum field level, the same quantum entity is concurrently both cause and effect, contradicting our formal logic. Ubiquity, the capacity of being present in multiple places at once – for example, an electron simultaneously occupying different positions – is yet another strange manifestation that occurs at the quantum level of matter. Another law applying to the quantum field is the interconnectivity of all objects at the most profound level of matter, which we have already mentioned. Everything communicates with everything else, either consciously or unconsciously, achieving an exchange of energy and information that demonstrates both its structural and functional unity, including that between Man and the Universe at large.
By virtue of this principle of the Universe’s holographic operation, any action, any thought – irrespective of the positive or negative significance exerted upon a single point – is reflected on the whole, since the whole is present in each part of its being, just as the structural schema of a living organism is present in each of its cells through coded DNA sequences. This is yet another proof of the rationality and intelligence involved in the organization and operation of matter across the entire Universe, a phenomenon bearing multiple social, biological and psychological consequences at the human level and, evidently, at the level of our entire planet. Thus, is it suggested that the Universe can more readily be likened to a great Mind, a great Thought, than to a well-oiled machine – as two prominent physicists, James Jean and Wolfgang Pauli, have argued.
In our book “Creierul și mintea Universului” (“The Brain and Mind of the Universe’, Școala Ardeleană Press, Cluj-Napoca, 2019) we wrote that “Man and galaxy alike owe their existence to the same fundamental laws inscribed in the quantum depths of matter, in the dance of subatomic particles that interfere with one another, that collide and that give birth to new particles […] [only to] then arrive into our world for a new nanoseconds, outline all existing forms, then disappear into the void whence they came”. Where do they come from? Where do they go? That remains a mystery.
It is thought that the dimensions of quantum infinity are trillions of times smaller than what is distinguishable by the best microscope CERN currently has. As used to the reference scale of the human eye as we are, it is hard for us to imagine that there are worlds we cannot see, sounds we cannot hear; that, beyond what we can see with the naked eye, there can be other shapes bearing configurations of heights and depths akin to those apparent in the macroscopic realm. Viewing these images under an electron microscope, we were amazed by the differences between these and the flat aspects revealed under a classical microscope. It is equally difficult to understand how a logic of simultaneity in disposition and the principle of the included tertiary operate at the quantum level, entirely distinct from the formal logic of successive iteration and the excluded tertiary applicable at the macro level.
In her book, “Viul de dincolo de materie – Relații cuantice în fiziopatologie” (‘Life beyond matter – Quantum relationships in physiopathology’, Școala Ardeleană Press, Cluj-Napoca, 2021), Dr Mihaela Gheorghiu, in discussing the energy sources of quantum fields, shows that if we create a physical vacuum in a space that is both thermally and electromagnetically isolated, to scientists’ surprise, quantum particles – quantum matter – will begin to spontaneously appear within the enclosure. The old adage Ex nihilo nihil would appear to have been thus contradicted. On the issue of the origin of energy within the Universe, we can add that the quantum vacuum constitutes a “realm” of miracles bearing its own, strange logic that is impossible to understand by our limited and reductionist thinking predicated upon the logic of solid entities.
The dossier of progress that mankind has achieved in developing new scientific breakthroughs with certain implications for the future destiny of humanity should also include what David Wilcock terms as the New Science, what we ourselves have defined as the New Cognitive Wave. The fields of quantum physics, neurocognitive sciences, transpersonal psychology and clinical death experiences fall under this broad umbrella. Other relatively recent emerging fields are the concepts of telomere and telomerase, which we will comment on below. In what follows, we will try to steer our review towards the influence and implications of these new scientific data points for the future of mankind. In other words, we believe the time has come to ask ourselves: Quo vadis?
In one interview, Corine Pelluchon, a licensed graduate in philosophy, spoke of the two opposite schools of contemporary thought: the humanist school, and the transhumanist school. A humanist perspective naturally pleads for the cultivation of human values, an ideal whose roots were planted as early as the Renaissance and whose ultimate goal is nurturing compassion towards one’s peers, respecting the environment and the entire living world on which we are so dependent. Respect for our peers, for the environment and for the entire living world represents the only way out of the impasse in which mankind currently finds itself in. Conversely, transhumanist thinking – a much more thorough analysis of which we have attempted in another work – sees as its ultimate objective the transformation of the human being through technology and nanotechnology, aiming for a transition from hybrid man to humanoid robots capable of self-replicating. In “Creierul și mintea Universului” (Școala Ardeleană Press, Cluj-Napoca, 2019, p. 462), we wrote that the postmodern and transhumanist world aims to do away with borders, laws, governments and ethical restrictions. The transhumanist age will be seen as a conscience-less superintelligence based on mechanical algorithms, claims Yuval Noah Harari (“Homo deus. Scurtă istorie a viitorului” / ‘Homo deus. Brief history of the future’, Polirom Press, Iași, 2017). We are, without a doubt, inhabiting a world of exclusivist contradictions. Harari and all commentators on the age of the “iron man” – if we are permitted the moniker owing to their metallic texture and the absence of conscience and emotionality on their part – claim that mechanical – therefore, unconscious – algorithms will replace our existing conscience, a fact irksome to those wishing for a world without ethical rigour.
Here we find an explanation for the reasons why clinical death experiences (CDE or “near-death” experiences) are contested by adepts of this materialistic vision on the world. A near-death experience is indubitably an experience of the consciousness detached from the human brain; there are a multitude of scientific arguments supporting this claim. First of all, near-death experiences are studied via modern scientific instruments by researchers bearing prestigious university titles and whose scientific output is unimpeachable. Some of the notable names in questions are cardiologist Michael B. Sabom (United States); Kenneth Ring, Professor of Psychology at the University of Connecticut (United States); Peter Fenwick, neurologist and psychiatrist at King’s college Hospital in London; Danish cardiologist Pim van Lommel etc.
We shall enumerate several arguments underpinning the reality of near-death experiences:
- Near-death experiences are a universal phenomenon. The subjects that have experienced clinical death were not bound by culture, religion, gender, ethnicity or age; and these phenomena can be experienced either by adults, or by children that have reached the age at which they become self-aware.
- During a near-death experience, subjects blind from birth… can see. Kenneth Ring personally studied 21 cases of patients blind from birth that had near-death experiences. These subjects’ testimonies of the images seen during these experiences are corroborated by those of medical staff present at the time. This is a form of sight mediated by the consciousness that detaches from the body during a near-death experience.
- The spontaneous healing that can occur during near-death experiences has been confirmed by medical records released by curating physicians at the time. Eben Alexnder, a Professor in Neuroscience at Harvard University in the United States recovered from a deep coma caused by a form of E. coli purulent meningoencephalitis. He healed without lasting trauma after spending a week in a coma, during which time he had a near-death experience which he (naturally) only recounted afterwards. Anita Moorjani, admitted to hospital for terminal lymphatic cancer had a near-death experience after which she was almost instantaneously healed. A doctor specialising in cardiac surgery, Gilbert (France) experienced clinical death from the obstruction of his coronary artery, causing long-term cardiac arrest. During his near-death experience, he was told by an entity from another cosmic plane that he was healed, and that he must return home. In the meanwhile, his colleagues at the hospital whose emergency ward he had arrived at prepared him for the required surgical intervention, after a coronarography found his arteries obstructed. Upon returning from his near-death experience, Gilbert refused the planned surgical intervention, having returned with the conviction that he had been cured. A new coronarography, carried out upon his request, proved that he had indeed been cured instantly during his near-death experience.
- All those who have had near-death experiences were subjected to a process of spiritual They returned with a deeper knowledge of the purpose of existence, became calmer and more generous and displayed a greater appreciation and love towards their peers.
- Out-of-body experiences caused by scientifically-induced procedures at the institute founded by Robert Monroe in the United States have confirmed a broad majority of the points raised by those that had undergone near-death experiences.
- Investigations carried out during near-death experiences, using the tools available to us at present, have demonstrated that there is no brain activity during such instances. To this end, in order to convey a more accurate understanding of the phenomenon, that an investigation into brain activity employs the same techniques that determine brain death for the purpose of harvesting organs for transplant. Aside from encephalograms (or EEGs) that must show no activity, doctors also test the reflexes of the cerebral stem, which should also remain inert in order to pronounce a case of brain death.
The logical conclusion from the above is that if brain activity is functionally excluded from the discussion, it follows that near-death experiences are experiences purely of the consciousness, which transcend the physical plane of the body to another dimension, which we shall define as a spiritual one.
In the experiments undertaken by R. Monroe, consciousness is not pathologically altered, as happens during near-death experiences. For this reason, we have designated them as lucid experiences; the subjects that chose to undergo these extracorporeal experiences following the techniques of the Monroe Institute have confirmed the majority of events also claimed during near-death experiences; however, the conditions between the two instances being markedly different, it is only natural that many different aspects would also be perceived. The fact that in Monroe’s experiments subjects’ consciousnesses remain lucid and unaffected is also an argument for the authenticity of near-death experiences.
The contribution of neurocognitive sciences
Around the year 2000, Richard Davidson (Wisconsin-Madison University, United States), a passionate researcher in the field of neurocognitive sciences, established a Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience. Employing modern technology such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), R. Davidson stumbled upon a discovery which, to our eyes, appears truly revolutionary. The above technique can view the areas of the human brain that activate when we are thinking, or when we are receiving the words we hear addressed to us.
It was found that the brain operates a selection of our thoughts and emotions according to ethical criteria. Those with positive significance, and therefore beneficial to our health, prevalently activate a pre-frontal area of the left frontal lobe, while those with negative significance activate a pre-frontal area of the right frontal lobe. Depending on the dominant hemisphere within the brain, these localisations can sometimes also be inverted. It was also noted that the response time to perception, that is, the time to awareness, is much longer for words and emotions bearing negative connotations. It is as if the brain itself refuses to accept insult, calumny or evil. Such a selection of cognitive and affective language suggests to us that, in its very operation, the brain respects a certain code of ethics (which we have described elsewhere before in 2008, starting from the surprising revelations made by Richard Davidson).
Logically, the question then arises: what authority at the level of our brain has the ability and capacity to undertake the selection of our thoughts along ethical criteria? Evidently, it is only our conscience that can censor our thinking according to ethical criteria. In what follows, we shall discuss the physiological and philosophical implications can be derived from this ethical function of our consciousness.
At the neurophysiological level, the emission of a thought presumes a simultaneous emission of a certain neuronal bioelectric potential. An electromagnetic field is created around the neurons in question which, like any other electromagnetic field, is propagated through space. Yet we might ask: where does it propagate to? The answer came from Werner Heisenberg, who Niels Bohr charged with enunciating the principles of quantum theory in Copenhagen in 1927, claiming that the most insignificant thought reaches to the furthest point in the entire Universe. Therefore, it is easy to understand how, depending on the thought’s positive or negative signification, its echo in the Universe will facilitate or, conversely, distort operativity at this level. Man and Universe as one: through the interference of the fields emitted by both sides, with or without our will, we are implicated in the demarche of a Universe with which we form a structural and functional unity.
We are what we think. Each positive or negative thought has a second reverberate echo in its propagation to the level of each of our cells, including to our genomic (DNA) sequence. The science of epigenetics shows us that our genes are themselves also favourably or unfavourably influenced depending on the significance borne by the signals they receive.
As for the widespread use of the term “vibration” as it pertains to words, we must stress that any entity existing in the Universe finds itself in a state of constant motion or vibration in accordance to its own internal frequencies. Words, too, have their own specific frequency. Positive semantics carry a higher frequency or vibration, while negative signification occasions lower vibrations. We can thus understand why words with higher vibrations signify health, happiness, vitality, while those of lowered frequency often signify disease or illness. It is claimed that of the thousands of thoughts we have daily, a great many of them do not belong to us alone; that we merely receive them from persons we are consonant with, emitting on the same wavelength. If we predominantly think across lower frequencies we shall, in turn, receive thoughts that share the same levels which, upon adding up, can indeed lead to behavioural disorders far removed from our genetic heritage. Looking at the entire restive world, best broadcast by television networks – as we witness accidents, crime, rape and shocking scenes in movies – we quickly come to understand what kind of education our youth are receiving, especially those whose instruction is reduced to the mediatic offer on display.
Another consequence of our thought patterns are their biochemical implications. Akin to the difference in frequencies described above, depending on the beneficial or detrimental health signification of the thoughts in question, biochemical substances acting as neurotransmitters within the brain, released at the precise moment of thinking, vary according to the same above-mentioned criteria. In his book, The Moral Molecule (Humanitas Press, 2014), Paul Zak (United States) describes oxytocin as the “moral molecule” par excellence, attributing it an essential role in safeguarding familial cohesiveness, and in the bond between mother and new-born child that is established upon their very first contact. Current research also stresses the importance of this initial interaction for their future relationship.
Paul Zak has studied the role oxytocin plays in a wide variety of circumstances, including in the relationship between man and Divinity. In his book, The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins claimed that religion has wrought the greatest evil upon the world. Paul Zak contradicts this point of view, ironically apologising and arguing that, according to his research on oxytocin levels released by the religiously devout, he found that they in fact showed the highest levels of oxytocin – that they were thus the happiest overall and, as other studies have shown, that they lived longer lives in comparison to atheists. This was also the conclusion of a study by David B. Larsen (Duke University, United States) on a test group of 126.000 subjects. The devout are shown to live, on average, 29% longer than atheists or agnostics. Larsen explains this fact through the lens that religion removes anxiety over one’s death, thus having a quantifiable anxiolytic effect.
Paul Zak also cites several other virtues of oxytocin, of which the most important is that of ethical regulation through the temperance of aggressive testosterone-induced behavioural patterns in youth – the greatest amount of testosterone is released until the ages of 25-30. Another interesting fact is that faithfulness is also dependent on the body’s capacity to release oxytocin – both in humans, and in other animals. Zak cites an example of field mice exhibiting more oxytocin receptors than mountain mice – consequently resulting in a more monogamous and faithful behaviour.
Dopamine, serotonin, endorphins etc. – all neurohormones that serve to positively motivate human behaviour are themselves regulated by oxytocin. Compatibility between the two partners in a couple, but also that within a family unit, is often attributed to mediation by oxytocin. This is a relatively new-found role for oxytocin, that of mediation and resilience – the latter understood as the capacity to quickly recover from the stresses caused by negative emotions (R. Davidson).
One highly important conclusion to the findings of the present chapter: oxytocin is the hormone that is activated in generating a state of well-being, in fostering a feeling of happiness and contentment, in ensuring decent and conciliatory behaviour, in maintaining good health, in fomenting compassion, empathy and fondness for one’s peers, and in experiencing religiosity. Another highly useful conclusion aimed at remediating violent behaviours is the need to reinstate the humanities in general as important educational pillars, since they help develop optimum levels of pacifying oxytocin within the body. Education predicated on pursuing strictly technical subjects frustrates the being, depriving it of the advantages of these civilising chemical interactions.
Societal stress and telomers
The term ‘stress’ has long escaped from the realm of scientific research laboratories into the wider world; having now become quite well-known.
Telomers are structures that coat the ends of chromosomes like a glove, protecting them during the process of cellular division. Each such division is accompanied by a shortening of the above-mentioned telomers. Consequently, shorter telomers signify a shorter lifespan, while longer telomers indicate a lengthy life. Elizabeth Blackburn, who discovered telomerase, the enzyme capable of rebuilding telomers, with her research team and won the Nobel Prize for her findings in 2009, observed that telomers no longer shorten in people over the age of 75, such that these individuals can then have lifespans well over 80 years.
Studies undertaken on telomers have also described the factors that might determine their diminution, thereby facilitating a shorter lifespan. These are best exemplified by the phenomenon of depression. Under the input of the relevant chemical processes, one can achieve both a diminution of telomers and a reduction of telomerase within observed cells. This process of shortening our telomers is, however, reversible under the effects of antidepressant medication, in effect being equivalent to a rejuvenation. An atrophy of our brain capacities under the effects of aging or other causes can itself be reversible in certain conditions, among which of utmost importance are the adoption of an appropriate diet, continued physical exercise, changing one’s lifestyle, positive thinking and certain therapies. (Elizabeth Blackburn, Daniel C. Amen).
Negative thinking, which we have touched upon previously, also has the effect of blocking neurogenesis and reducing neuroplasticity, ushering in a decrease of the body’s immune capacity and a reduction in telomeres. Neurogenesis entails the creation of new nerve cells (neurons), while neuroplasticity refers to the mere regeneration of individual segments comprising the nerve cell in question. It has been shown that the negative effects of stress, through its chemical implications, are reflected even at this neural level.
Of the approximately 65.000 thoughts it is believed pass through our minds daily, 90% are seen as being iterations of previous thoughts; a further percentage of these, as we have argued, are not even our own. This is yet another proof that we emit and receive thoughts by which we connect to other minds. At risk of repeating ourselves, we again stress that we are, willingly or unwillingly, directly involved in the destiny of the entire world. For each of us in turn, finding a useful role to play alongside our convivialists on this Earth is, at once, both an art and a science.
Daniel G. Amen also argues that the conscientiousness with which we engage in pursuing a life goal plays an important role in maintaining our bodily and cerebral health. No less important, the author claims, is the choice of a profession that corresponds to our native preferences.
The brain’s ethical code
Current research in the field of neurocognitive sciences, which we have touched upon previously, stresses the idea that, in its operation, the brain adheres to an ethical code, with a selection of our thoughts based on ethical criteria expressed by words, ideas, emotions, sentiment and action being employed at the cerebral level.
We would briefly remind our reader that thoughts bearing positive semantics, therefore beneficial to our health, are prevailingly processed at the level of our left prefrontal cortex; while those with a negative signification, harmful to the brain’s biochemical operation, most often activate the brain’s right prefrontal cortex. By the energy fields emitted concurrently with our thoughts, and by their associated biochemical interactions, words do become thought-shapes of our mind. From the roughly 65.000 thoughts that traverse our mind each day, depending on their signification, it can be argued that at every moment we are continually opting for life or for death; for a harmonious adaptation to our environment or, conversely, for affliction, death, unhappiness and hostility towards our peers.
Moreover, we can thereby understand that negative thinking, nonchalantly cultivated by those with a crude and rudimentary education and likely actively pursued by vested interest groups across the mediatic and political spectrum, often bears destructive consequences both for our own organisms, and for our peers and our immediate and cosmic environment. We need not necessarily be scholars to be able to understand that we are what we think – that our thoughts and emotions become our cells, healthy or ailing – because this modus operandi of our organisms is hard-coded within our genome, in our very DNA, and is not a mere invention or a distortion of scientific fact as some individuals, having never set foot in a medical amphitheatre, might claim.
A rudimentary education cannot make sense of why, through the physical effect of our thoughts’ propagation through the aether, through aggressive and violent manifestations, we occasion the same effects upon our peers; why, through the massive accumulation of these negative energy fields, we create “darkened clouds” above our heads that directly negatively influence us and sicken us through lowering our immune response capacity, gravely disrupting even the operation of our own Universe itself. What we are here claiming is not fantasy, but a conclusion derived from the theory of complexity which – if we are allowed a metaphorical expression – draws our attention to the fact that the wingbeats of a butterfly in Australia may well cause a hurricane in California. Or, to phrase it even more poetically, one cannot tear a petal from a flower without disturbing a faraway star.
Far from us, naïveté; we are acutely aware that, somewhere within this world adrift without a compass, there exists a phobia towards any discussion of the relationship between Man and Universe, a phobia designed to justify one’s own beliefs; yet we believe that if we renounce our conceit of dominating others, there is plenty of room for everyone on this world. We need only excise the verb “to discriminate” from our hearts and minds, and replace it with “to accept”. In conclusion, at this precise moment of scientific innovation, ongoing laboratory research reveals that we are in possession of a brain that is both anatomically and physiologically programmed to carry out a selection of our thoughts according to established ethical criteria, irrespective of their social, moral or religious origin.
Despite claims to the contrary, the fact that our brains operate in this manner circumscribes us unto a spiritual dimension of existence; and however much we might wish to deny, for other reasons, motives or interests, the favourable chemistry towards health and social harmony brought about by our love for our peers, by a peace of the spirit, by the sentiments of happiness, of compassion, of generosity, of kindness – we will not succeed in changing that reality. And however hard we may try – employing all currently existing or theorised philosophies – to nullify the biochemical, endocrine and immunological responses that are not only harmful to our own health but also risky for our attitude to our peers, those that are developed in times of severe stress and powerful negative emotions – anger, reactive depression, anxiety, fear, aggressiveness and violence – these we cannot annul, neither through “executive orders” from on high, nor through the injurious attitudes of the frustrated.
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We thus reach the conclusion that the history of Man and the Universe appear to have both been written in the same hand, as Professor Stanislav Grof (United States) argued: “Man and the Universe share the same spiritual origin”. This conclusion is congruent with the way the Universe itself operates at the profound levels of matter described by quantum physics, as we have argued above. It is claimed that there, in the spiritual hyperspace that the quantum dimension has also been termed, lie the origins of all things.
Another argument to the same end was provided by the proceedings of a scientific reunion organized in Tucson, Arizona, between September 7th – 9th 2016 by the Universities of Columbia and Arizona, attended by university scholars active in the fields of modern physics, neuroscience, biology, psychology, sociology etc. The conference participants issued a “Manifesto for a post-materialist science”, which takes a critical view against excluding the concepts of Conscience and Spirituality from our understanding of Reality altogether.
Faced with the current impasse of mankind, we believe we are all in need of a new paradigm, a ‘New Spirituality’. In our book, “Mintea de dincolo” (The Mind Beyond, Școala Ardeleană Press, 2015), we argued that the current available data on ourselves obligate us to review all existing concepts of matter, energy, life, death, existential purpose, interpersonal relationships, as well as tried, tested and failed societal models. We need to redefine the concepts of Man, Spirituality, Universe, human justice and Divine justice. Through this concept of a ‘New Spirituality’, we understand the cultivation of those ethical values that allow us to preserve our own health, to fulfil the purpose for which we are here and to create social harmony in a world of economic, political, ethnic, biological, psychological and especially religious differences.
We believe that, faced with the failures of the vast majority of mankind’s undertaken efforts – be they political, economic, religious, cultural, philosophical, democratic or otherwise – the only continuing thread that comes close to the truth must be that of science verified through experience, and not abstractly or statistically evaluated. The world’s evils all stem from fanaticism – irrespective of the field or manner in which it manifests – and from political pretensions. Politics and its subservient press have turned people into slaves. Mankind should not be led by our Vainglorious Intelligence, but by our common Wisdom of the Good. Any construct predicated on hatred will, ultimately, fail.
But what is hatred? To answer this, we need only look at the diagram depicting the intensity of the Earth’s geomagnetic field on September 11th 2001, when the two towers of the World Trade Centre in New York were attacked – an intensity registered by 37 monitoring stations spread across the globe. Operating as part of the Global Consciousness Project, these stations recorded the greatest single simultaneous increase of the intensity of the Earth’s magnetic field ever documented.
The attacks took place between 9 and 10 am on September 11th, 2001. 15 minutes after the first attack, and approximately 15 minutes before the second, the graphs noted an almost sudden ascending trajectory. Three days on from this terrible event, a prayer was held which focused on the idea of peace and harmony in the world, and which millions of people joined in. This time, the intensity curve of the Earth’s geomagnetic field veered, almost equally abruptly, in the opposite direction, nearly mirroring that of September 11th. This is the most convincing proof of the influence of consciousness, and especially that of collective consciousness, on the effects of matter – and yet another example in support of the existence of an ethical code of the mind.
Depending on the semantic contents of our thoughts, we will exert a favourable or, conversely, harmful effect on the operation of our physical world and the Universe as a whole. Again and again, we prove that those who sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind. Or, more simply put, that we all reap what we sow. Let us hope we will prove capable of learning something of note from the storm the pandemic has caused.