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The Holographic Universe

  • Jan 26, 2014 · 1:00 PM
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The Holographic Universe
(before signing up, see participation prerequisites below)

In his book "The Holographic Universe, author Michael Talbot wrote that ". . . there is evidence to suggest that our world and everything in it. . . are also only ghostly images, projections from a level of reality so beyond our own it is literally beyond both space and time." Beginning with the work of physicist David Bohm and neurophysiologist Karl Pribram, both of whom independently arrived at holographic theories or models of the universe, Talbot explains in clear terms the theory and physics of holography and its application, both in science and in explanation of the paranormal and psychic. His theory of reality accommodates the latest thinking in physics as well as many unresolved mind-body questions. Unfortunately, Michael died in 1992; so, his book is already twenty years out of date. New discoveries, particularly in quantum physics, have added new evidence as well as new controversies to this hotly-debated field.

The discussion of this topic will be based on the 5-part free video workshops by Stephen Davis. If you enjoy sci-fi movies, you will probably like the way that Davis incorporates clips from popular movies to enhance his points. I believe that most members will find this series entertaining as well as informative and stimulating. The videos are available to watch online at:

http://www.holographicuniverseworkshops.com/

The site also has full transcripts of each workshop.

The videos are also available on Youtube although I had a little trouble rounding them all up. You should be able to find them at the following urls:

The Holographic Universe - Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMBt_yfGKpU

The Holographic Universe - Part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_603492&feature=iv&src_vid=lMBt_yfGKpU&v=vU6yCD_sEvU

The Holographic Universe - Part 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3EnFYnX6Wo

The Holographic Universe - Part 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BshVgi-KTwI&list=PLFABoc0PHvmZx2Tthor1WvN6y-W_1_a9G

The Holographic Universe - Part 5
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnrPZhbnpmU&list=PLFABoc0PHvmZx2Tthor1WvN6y-W_1_a9G

Prerequisite:
Since this discussion will be based on the information provided in Stephen Davis' workshops, Plato's Cave members who would like to participate must prepare by watching all five workshops (6 hours). PLease do not RSVP "yes" unless you have watched all of the videos. This special meeting may be postponed or cancelled if there is insufficient interest to meet the prerequisite, but I think that the philosophical concepts will 'grab' you if you take the time and make the effort.

 

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  • Joel F.

    I thought the topic was the holographic universe rather than religion or mysticism. So anything goes here?

    January 28, 2014

    • Steve

      I'm not sure which comments you are referring to, Joel. As I recall, you said that you did not watch 3 of the 5 workshops. 'The Truman show' was actually referenced in one of the workshops if that is your issue.

      January 29, 2014

  • John

    I've looked a bit more into the quantum eraser effect, and it is a fascinating and mysterious phenomenon (I'll post a nice article I found from Science: it's fairly short and accessible, though the authors try to cram in some heavier technical details towards the end). As I understand, the double slit experiment (and analogues thereof), and the destruction of the interference pattern, can be explained in terms of the informational state of the system, and not necessarily in terms of the uncertainty principle (which is how I've understood the phenomenon, and how Feynman describes it in the lecture Joel posted).

    January 29, 2014

    • John

      But I have to say that some of the supposed experts themselves bear much of the blame as well: I get the feeling that many of them are more eager to "blow the minds" of their audience rather than give a careful and rigorous explanation of subtle and difficult research.

      January 29, 2014

    • John

      And by the way, the concept of information, and its potential ambiguities, plays an important role in accounts of cognition. What do you know, another possible topic for discussion!

      January 29, 2014

  • Jairo M.

    At 13:15 this guy says some astonishing things. The Hologram (Holographic Universe?) is the only one being conscious, is doing the consciousness-ing. Consciousness cannot be pinned down, is not localized. The idea of a witness is a mythology. Scientists witnessing the slits are not really there. We don't exist. It's only an illusion, a mental construct, and the constructs have no reality, except to the extent that they are believed. Scientists have faith, believe in their observations, witnessing particles or waves. Shamans can heal by showing only the Hologram (God) exists http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Px54l5dJZz8

    January 29, 2014

  • Jairo M.

    It is our purpose to get out of this Holo. Univ. and get back into the director's seat. So we are each Trumans in our own Truman show. And there is a director that we are trying to go back to. And what might that mystical experience be like? Well some say it's like super sex. And they say that we know we are getting close to it when we remember that we had been there before, like a faint memory or a Deja Vu. That's according to how this Swami explains it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gUzlm3is2o

    January 29, 2014

  • Joel F.

    Jairo, the uncertainty principle has been demonstrated at atomic or sub-atomic scales and has no application to cognition as you suggest. Also, when you say if we focus too much on faith, I wasn't aware that a quantity of attention was involved. Either faith informs your life or it doesn't, there's no more or less to it. If applied to science, how do you explain the significant percentage of scientists who attend church? Your next question is completely off-topic, can we use science to get to mystical experience. But I'll answer anyway with a resounding no. Your next question, what do you think Deepak, indicates you have not thought about what this forum is about and who might be reading your posts. You offer a URL but don't give any explanation as to why the members here would want to look at it. Are you sure you are in the right forum for your questions and not just wasting people's time here? Moderator?

    1 · January 28, 2014

    • Steve

      First of all, this is a philosophy forum, not a science forum -- speculative statements and unproven theories are allowed. Afterall, speculation and thought experiments have led to many scientific breakthroughts, and they are certainly acceptable in philosophical discussions. I read the article that was referred by Jairo, and even though I do not agree with all of the statements, many of the theoretical statements offered have also been stated by well-respected theortical scientists. I have no problem with Jairo's postings, as long as are not clearly political or religious prostelyzing. -Steve, moderator

      January 28, 2014

  • Jairo M.

    The Heisenberg uncertainty principle can also be applied to what we focus on. If we focus too much on faith, then we can't see the science. If we focus on the science, we can't see God. Or can we use science to get to mystical experience? What do you think Deepak? http://tinyurl.com/lkqajwc

    January 28, 2014

    • Jairo M.

      Deepak Chopra is pointing to an ocean of consciousness out of which waves or vibrations arise to bring about energies and particles. Ultimately thoughts are things. So when we quiet our mind, we find no things.

      1 · January 28, 2014

    • Jairo M.

      If I were a cup, would I be the clay or the porcelain or the ceramic that makes the cup? I would be cup- ness. If I were a number, would I be the things numbers count? I would be number. If I am mind, am I the thoughts that come across it? I would be mind, clear sky, thoughts are clouds.

      1 · January 28, 2014

  • Joel F.

    There's a video of a Feynman lecture on the double slit experiment (start it at 9:48) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUJfjRoxCbk He demonstrates that detection destroys the interference pattern but never suggests it's viewing or not viewing the information, unlike what was proposed in the holographic universe series. Feynman also interweaves an excellent explanation of scientific method.

    January 27, 2014

    • John

      One last thing and then I'll shut up. The accumulation of trials over time is crucial I think. As I understood the Feynman lecture, if electrons are sent one at a time, the detection of the electrons at the plate (not at the slits) is one at a time as well. That is, "they come in lumps" as he says, hence their particle-like character. However, the distribution on the plate over time, over repeated deliveries of electrons, is an interference pattern, hence their wave-like character. So I'm not exactly sure if a single electron sent through the double slits would result in a wave-like interference pattern: what Feynman described was probability distributions on the plate, that is, the probability of detecting an electron at some specific location on the plate as it's sent through the double slit. Anyway this is yet another question to explore, and an indication that the discussion was quite stimulating indeed.

      January 27, 2014

    • Steve

      In his lecture Feynman does use metaphores for the electron detectors like "watch" whereas Fred Alan Wolf's cartoon video used "observe", both of which perhaps improperly imply that a conscious observer is necessary to 'collapse (or destroy) the wave function. A more precise description is that information (ie. which slot the electron goes through) is extracted by the detectors which could be recorded and later 'observed'. Feynman does not deal with the 'quantum eraser' enigma at all. See my reply to John below for urls of actual research and more up-to-date explanation.

      1 · January 27, 2014

  • John

    Note the sentence: "Placing detectors at the slits to determine which one a particle is passing through destroys the interference pattern on the screen behind." "Destroys", not "changes to two discrete slits". This is perfectly in line with the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, as I described above. I hope this distinction is clear. In general, my objection to this co-opting of quantum mechanics is the inflation of the notion of observation to some kind of mystical force. Rather, measurement is a species of interaction (particularly at the quantum level); interaction alters the phenomena being interacted with, which is simple and clear enough.

    January 27, 2014

    • Steve

      I believe that your interpretation of this statement is not correct. The "destruction" of the wave pattern is the same as "collapsing" the wave function resulting in a "particle" pattern. There was no "new-agey" mystical fluff in the first two workshops. Stephen Davis clearly stated in the third workshop that the following workshops would be his (an others) speculation, which we, unfortunately, never got to discuss because of the early objections and debate over Dr. Fred Alan Wolf's quantum mechanics demo.

      1 · January 27, 2014

  • Pamala C.

    I think john that you made a perfectly reasonable request to validate what was claimed as empirical results. Pointing out that discrepancy was vital, however no one absolutely knows what is being portrayed completely, so since this is a philosophical discussion of "what ifs", we could just have moved on saying "if A is Contained within B, what would that mean?" Data effectively challenged, but conjecture of creativity allowed. Good minds, great discussion. Maybe less judgemental adjectives in the exploration, but definitely a delightful engagement.

    1 · January 27, 2014

    • Steve

      Check out these urls for more detailed explanations of the double-slit and quantum eraser experiments: Excerpts from
      "A Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser"
      by Yoon-Ho Kim [1], R. Yu, S.P. Kulik, Y.H. Shih, and Marlon O. Scully
      http://www.bottomlaye...­

      A youtube explanation clarifying how the experiment works can be watched here:
      http://www.youtube.co...­

      The reporter in this video explains why the wave/particle pattern change is not caused by the detectors, but by the retention or loss of information recorded for later analysis or 'observation'.­.

      And here is a short video from the Discover Channel with By: Prof. Anton Zeilinger showing the physical double-slit experiment setup and explaining it in the same way that Dr. Fred Alan Wolf explained it in the cartoon video that you object to.

      Quantum Mechanics - Double Slit Experiment
      http://www.youtube.co...­

      1 · January 27, 2014

  • John

    My posts below need to be read from bottom up.

    January 27, 2014

  • John

    I'm not going to claim expertise when it comes to quantum mechanics, and I'm open to be proven wrong. However, I also will not simply take without question claims made on the Internet. Inaccurate and exploitative appropriations of quantum mechanics for new-agey and self-help purposes seem to be especially prevalent, and I would simply caution people against them.

    January 27, 2014

  • John

    Here's a passage from a recent Scientific American article (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/new-double-slit-experiment-skirts-uncertainty-principle/):

    "In the early twentieth century, physicists showed that this interference pattern was evident even when the intensity of the light was so low that photons pass through the apparatus one at a time. In other words, individual photons seem to interfere with themselves, so light exhibits both particle-like and wave-like properties.

    However, placing detectors at the slits to determine which one a particle is passing through destroys the interference pattern on the screen behind. This is a manifestation of Werner Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, which states that it is not possible to precisely measure both the position (which of the two slits has been traversed) and the momentum (represented by the interference pattern) of a photon."

    January 27, 2014

  • John

    So this leads me to what I should have stated more clearly during the discussion. Applying the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle to the double slit experiment, then, detection will indeed change the trajectory of the photos passing through the slits, because in order to detect those photons, photons would have to be directed towards and reflected off of them, deflecting their course. However - and this is the crucial distinction - this detection does not change the pattern from one of interference to one specifically of two discrete slits. Especially if only a single photon is being sent through the two slits at a time, the presence of detection would disrupt the interference pattern in some way, but this does not mean that it will change the pattern specifically to one of two discrete slits (as the video states).

    January 27, 2014

  • John

    However, as I said during the meeting, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle does indeed state that measurement at the quantum level will change the behavior of the thing measured, simply because if you want to detect, for instance, the position of an electron by some means of light detection, you will have to reflect photons off of it, which of course will alter its velocity. Simply put, if you want to measure quantum phenomena, you must interact with that phenomena in some way; measurement, or to use the more loaded and problematic term, "observation", implies interaction. Which is to say, interacting with quantum phenomena changes the behavior of that phenomena, which is hardly surprising.

    January 27, 2014

  • John

    My target of criticism was, and remains, the characterization of the double slit experiment in the videos, which claims specifically that the presence of detection devices (represented by large eyes in the video) at the slits changes the pattern from one of interference arising from wave propagation to one of two discrete slits arising from particles passing through. To quote the video: "The electron decided to act differently, as though it was aware it was being watched." Firstly, I think this demonstrates a loose and confused understanding of quantum mechanics, which imposes a psychological overlay onto the quantum level. Secondly, I still think this is a misrepresentation of the double slit experiment itself. As far as I know, the presence of measuring devices at the slits does not change the pattern from one of interference to one of two discrete slits.

    January 27, 2014

  • John

    I'd like to clarify something that I should have mentioned during the discussion, for anyone still interested. (This will take several separate posts)

    January 27, 2014

  • Joel F.

    Tumultuous, honest, invigorating!

    January 26, 2014

  • John

    Though I strongly take issue with the videos selected as the basis for the discussion, I enjoyed the discussion itself, as well as seeing some old faces and new. Thank you Steve for your time and organization.

    January 26, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    A lively conversation. Heated at times, but always with the intent of getting to the truth. I am so happy I attended. These people nourish my mind and soul!

    January 26, 2014

  • Steve

    For our discussion this Sunday, pay special attention to the 'quantum eraser' issue that is presented by Dr. Campbell near the end of part two of the workshops. Also, check out my file posting, "Is Nature Natural?".

    January 25, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hawking says that there are no black holes, and that matter and energy do escape. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2545552/Stephen-Hawking-admits-no-black-holes-GREY-holes.html

    January 25, 2014

  • Joel F.

    I also preferred the transcripts but for a different reason, to avoid listening to the narrator slowly repeating each point. It's often the case that clarity is mistaken for slow pace and repetItion. On the contrary, something fast-paced keeps one more engaged and motivated to understand the material. I believe the video series could have been condensed into one segment without losing content.

    January 21, 2014

  • amanda m.

    I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for the transcript. My Bible Belt upbringing tends to provide me with a real turn-off when there is this kind of "testimony." So the videos are actually more off-putting to me than the transcripts for that reason. Although I imagine others would find them entrancing. Science itself I find as too strong a competition for that kind of amazement.

    January 21, 2014

  • Jairo M.

    As you all may have already noticed, one video, The Holographic Universe - Part 3, has been removed from YouTube by the user for some unknown reason, but that part is accessible, by various other means, on the page http://www.holographicuniverseworkshops.com/

    January 20, 2014

  • Pamala C.

    I am looking forward to this, since I did my own little cartoon story on the Holographic universe. Please allow 10 min to Get this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbEnq9cNsiE

    January 20, 2014

  • Jairo M.

    I probably wouldn't be able to make it, so I have UN-RSVPed myself from this event. So please have a good time and learn much for me. And tell me about it some time. Thanks, Jairo

    January 12, 2014

    • Jairo M.

      Now what do these monks have to do with this topic of the Holographic Universe? The monks are also building a sand Mandala in the local area. That's a Buddhist ritual where they paint a beautiful geometric design full of colors made out of colored sand. Now the word Mandala means Universe, actually a small model representing a universe, usually having a geometric frame work, circular and symmetrical, having cardinal directions if shown two dimensionally, but may be visualized as being somewhat 3 dimensional, as if a birds eye view. A map of a universe. Each universe has a supreme being ruling over it, which is also known as a Buddha. So Yahwe is a Buddha who resides in his Mandala and rules it like a Kingdom. And the Buddha of Compassion, Avalokiteshvara, has its own kingdom or Mandala. Actually, more correctly, the Buddhas (or Bodhisattvas) and our Christian God-Buddhas reign over a Pure Land, or Heaven.

      January 20, 2014

  • Jairo M.

    Krishna == Consciousness.
    By Me all this world is pervaded,
    [by ] My form unmanifested [==The Subconscious Mind?];
    all beings have existence in Me [i.e. they depend on my borrowed consciousness to be aware of themselves?]
    and I do not have existence in them. [i.e. they depend on Me, but I don't depend on them?]

    And further, [in reality] beings do not exist in Me;
    behold My status as a divine mystery;
    further, Myself remaining that urge behind beings, [i.e., it is this Self
    which is stated here to be the vital urge behind the
    emanation of all beings. ]
    I bear them
    but do not exist in them either. [i.e. I am not affected by them.]
    From Chapter 9 Verses 4 and 5 of the Geeta (http://advaita-vedanta.co.uk/index.php/content/85-bhagavad-gita-commentary-chapter-9) Krishna consciousness is not an artificial imposition on the mind; this consciousness is the original energy of the living entity. When we hear the transcendental vibration, this consciousness is revived

    January 18, 2014

  • Jairo M.

    Contemplating the selflessness of person and phenomena http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpExrFYv5Hs

    January 17, 2014

    • Jairo M.

      The glasses she needs to see exist conventionally but not inherently and absolutely. Glasses are just made up of atoms, and those can be interchanged, just like the atoms in our body and our brain, and even what we see doesn't exist inherently. So all mental activity doesn't exist either. And time doesn't exist because we can conventionally accept that the past doesn't exist, nor does the future. And where is there room for the present? It is sandwiched and squeezed out of existence between two non-existents (past and future). But there purpose of such contemplation, I think, is that therefore we shouldn't take ourselves (and our problems) so seriously and be kinder and more forgiving, try the Golden Rule, etc. and make the world a better place.

      January 17, 2014

    • Jairo M.

      The purpose of such a contemplation should be to make this world a better place, something science is not able to do by itself.

      January 17, 2014

  • Steve

    Do you think this theory sounds nutty? Nature Journal of International Science adds credibility to the Holographic Universe theory:
    Simulations back up theory that Universe is a hologram - A ten-dimensional theory of gravity makes the same predictions as standard quantum physics in fewer dimensions. Read it here:
    http://www.nature.com/news/simulations-back-up-theory-that-universe-is-a-hologram-1.14328

    January 15, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Although 10 dimension may be mathematically predictable, the series goes too far in its assumptions. The Nature Journal stays within logical bounds. But the series contends that the mind, which is part of the hologram, is a hologram projector for itself to observe. So the projected hologram (Mind) is projecting another hologram. At that point it is no longer plausible. We cannot make assumptions of more than a few steps from the mathematical model.

      January 15, 2014

    • Steve

      I agree. The first 3 hours or so stands on a fairly solid empirical basis. At that point, however, Stephen Davis admits that the rest of the workshop is his own speculation. But, just for fun, go ahead . . . follow the thread, philosophize . . . go with Davis' assumptions and see where it takes you. Scientists, as well as philosophers, follow similar paths at the beginning of their theorizing.

      January 15, 2014

  • Jairo M.

    If all this sounds too NewAge-y and mystical, and counter-scientific, counter-cultural, alternative to physicalism-materialism, anti-reductionist, we have to blame it on the hippies who came up with Orientally-inspired stuff like the Tao of Physics and inspired physicists to take quantum leaps and boldly go where we are going now. Read "How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival" brought to my attention by Swami Worldtraveler

    1 · January 14, 2014

  • Jairo M.

    What's above, so is below. What's in the stars, so in the atoms. What's out there, so inside me. What I criticize in you, I also manifest. Now as in the nano quantum level, so in our everyday level? Love is the connection. Ram Das says it best. http://www.ramdass.org/loving-awareness/

    January 14, 2014

  • Jairo M.

    I am watching the videos and am familiar with, but still finding difficult to grasp, this concept from a workshop given by Dr Hasmukh Taylor who gives it a Vedantic twist and proposes "the model of the Hologram with the real object as the Self or Brahman, and Consciousness would act as the Source’s laser illuminating the real processes of the Cosmos through the Laws of Physics – processes that have been recorded on a subtle inner surface of the Self, and generating the holographic illusions of daily life." Retrieved from http://www.scienceandnonduality.com/europe/C9_2012_Holland.shtml

    December 26, 2013

    • Jairo M.

      Have you considered why some scientists would as you say wish to deny that there is anything valid beyond the world of appearances? Could it be that some scientists may work for some entities that wish to have an advantage in the market and so such scientists make it point to evangelize the conventional paradigm and discredit alternatives? Please review the discussion board thread titled "Souls transcend" especially towards the last few pages and also review the past meetup where we investigated whether there are alternatives to Physicalism (more or less another way of saying materialism).

      December 27, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      A) In the ideal, empiricism/physical science can only work with what is observable and measurable, by definition. It is the legitimate limitation of their mind and work. B) In the real, confirmation bias cannot be denied.....I addressed Physicalism earlier in the week. I will look for "Souls transcend".

      December 27, 2013

  • diana p.

    very interesting series - just finished part 2 - find it all ties in nicely with my other readings

    December 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I watched Part 1. He needs to be more careful about presenting a possible explanation with such factual overtones. But I greatly enjoyed the explanation of Wave-Particle duality and the problem of measurement. If the theory is correct, than the immaterialism of Leibniz and Berkeley was ahead of their time, that Intelligence has to mediate shared experience, and that Hume was right about causation. There isnt any. But if the mechanism of reality is changed, I see no practical difference in how we live it. Pragmatically it is the same.

    1 · December 26, 2013

    • Jairo M.

      Have you seen "What the Bleep Do We Know"? Highly recommended. If I am not mistaken, many of the scenes in this video were taken from that movie or its extended version, or some other documentaries. I see many of the experts who were on WTBDWK here. This video production adds guiding narrative in spoken and written form to prepare the viewer for the concepts of a Holographic Universe. I too am done with Part 1. I get a better grasp of the double slit experiment now.

      December 27, 2013

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