Everything that we know about our family, this world, the universe and ourselves is seen, felt and known through awareness. Awareness is made-up of sense perceptions, thoughts, feelings, memories, imagination, dreams and knowing that flows through our inner world.
Even the so-called “external world” is actually seen and experienced inside ourselves, as our senses gather streams of incoming light, sounds, feelings, and waves of energy from the surrounding environment and projects them into our inner world, for us to experience. In a very real sense ... in a scientific sense ... we see and interact with life through a reflection of the outside world that is displayed INSIDE us.
Therefore, reflections of the external physical world are seen side-by-side with our thoughts and dreams. In fact, awareness of the outside world and awareness of the inner world are experienced in the same inner theater and are made of the same raw materials of consciousness.
Have you ever looked at a memory or a thought and asked “what is it made of?”
For instance: pick a favorite place or environment, and watch what happens inside yourself ... you instantly see an image of it, hear its name, and/or spontaneously recall memories associated with it.
Now, instead of getting involved with the story of that place, just look at the thought itself, for what it is.
Using your imagination, freeze-frame that thought and hold it steady. See it. Feel it. Dissect it. What is that thought made of? What are the raw materials that form the essential structure of the image that you see inside yourself?
Morphing atmospheric shapes made of
light, energy and feeling
We can usefully describe the raw materials that form the essential structure of perceptions, thoughts, memories, dreams, imagination and inspiration as: light in colors and shapes, space that is structured into forms, feelings, sensations, energy, sound, knowing, and emptiness. Everything in our awareness is made of these raw materials.
In this context we can say that all that we've ever known about ourselves, this world and this life ... on the most essential level of actual experience ... is made of light, color, structured space, feeling, sensations, sound, knowing and emptiness. Everything.
Hence, all our relationships and even the sense of whom we are as individuals are made of these materials.Of course, these things are not solid. They are atmospheric.
Even the most solid things are really made of pure space
The atmospheric principle of awareness runs curiously parallel with the common understanding in physics about the non-material nature of the so-called physical universe. It's now known that even the densest materials are truly not solid in the ways that we use to think, but are made of nearly pure space.
Therefore, not only is our awareness of everything in life atmospheric in nature, but everything in the physical universe is made of pure space as well. The nature of our awareness is a living reflection the nature of the cosmos. I boldly say that the atmospheric nature of our awareness and the atmospheric nature of the physical universe are directly and intimately related.
Awareness is like an ever-changing holographic movie
A few seconds ago, you made a thought of a favorite place stop for a while so that it could be dissected and explored, but as you well know: perceptions, thoughts, memories and sensations do not stop for very long. They are always coming and going in an endless kaleidoscope of living experience. They pulse into consciousness and instantly disappear until recalled at a future time ... or they arise in our awareness and with the greatest of ease they may spontaneously become part of an internal movie ... which also disappears rather quickly.
Here-and-now experiences of the outside world and experiences and sensations of our thoughts, dreams, memories and imagination play together in a symphony. These impressions form a psychodynamic environment of morphing light, shapes and atmospheres that tell the story of our lives.
“Morphing shapes of light and atmospheres” is a simple, beautiful definition for our awareness and also a common way that holograms are expressed in the media of the modern world. Combine the essence of the two italicized words in the sentence above and we have the phrase “Holographic Awareness” ... which accurately describes the actual experience of awareness and suggests how it pulses through living beings and moves.
Perceptions of the external world and our thoughts and memories from the inner world are closely related as all are holographic
Let’s say that you’re driving down the highway at 60 miles per hour, and you see a wonderful old oak tree in a nearby field. There is no doubt that the oak tree exists in the world “out there,” but you’re actually seeing light that is reflected from the oak, inside yourself.
In the scenario above, your eyes look at the oak for a moment ... and a moment later your eyes move back to the highway to stay in touch with the traffic. Even though you're not looking at the oak when you are driving the car and looking at the traffic, you can be thinking of its beautiful form. The thought you are seeing inside yourself of the magnificent old tree can be as clear and as real, as if your eyes are on it. Your eyes may go back and forth several times from the tree to the road, but one way or the other, the image of the oak stays present inside yourself.
What is happening in this situation is that your brain is holding onto a holographic impression of the oak tree for you to experience. It does not matter so much if the image is coming from actual eyesight or from memory, as both perceptions are atmospheric holograms that you're seeing inside yourself. Both holograms are made of the same materials. You can even say that they are the same hologram as they come from the same source — the ancient oak — and they carry the same patterns of energy, imagery and feeling.
The Whole in Every Part
Can you “see the world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour?” (William Blake). I say that you can and you are, but most people do not recognize that they are constantly touching the infinite, nor do they appreciate the expansive, all-encompassing nature of their normal, every-day, here-and-now awareness.
The "Whole in every part" is a principle known by poets, mystics, great thinkers, children and ordinary people like you and I, since the beginning of time. It was intelligently presented to the scientific community of the Western world during the second half of the last century by physicist David Bohm, an associate of Albert Einstein and neurophysiologist Karl Pribram.
From Bohm’s perspective, the universe is recognized to be wholistically interconnected through resonance occurring within the underlying Unified Field (the quantum field) that connects all matter, energy and information in the cosmos. In fact, Bohm and many scientists, mystics and again: regular people like you and I, believe that despite its apparent solidity the universe is a gigantic splendidly detailed, multi-dimensional, super-hologram. I personally believe that the human brain is an organ to process, reflect and translate the holographic universe. An individual’s brain is like a portal that is connected to the super-hologram of the Grand Universe.
Individuated expressions are a reflection of the Whole
Experientially, you can engage with anything in your awareness, and what may seem like a separate part is actually a whole universe inside a universe ... connected to a holographic ecosystem that is interwoven into the Grand Universe.
For instance, if you recall your same favorite place that we used in the previous essay, you can use your attention to bore deeper and deeper into the details of the place ... it’s history, environment, composition, climate, visitors, position on the planet and how it changes over time. Your favorite place — in the 3D physical world and also the version that you engage with inside yourself — is not solid or flat ... but is multi-layered, atmospheric, energetic, and has infinite depth. It can be useful to identify, explore and discuss a layer or a part, but in reality it is not a separate, isolated thing. The way it really exists is as an orchestrated system that is woven into its immediate surroundings and is connected through the quantum field to a vast ocean of forces, beings and possibilities. Your favorite place, as grand, humble or unique as it may be, is truly an expression of the Whole cosmos and is intimately connected to It.
Another example: take a single grain of sand and enlarge it to the size of the earth. From this perspective, you now see that the billions of atoms composing it are atmospheres the size of basketballs. You may dive into a single atom and explore the forces in its depths, or you may focus your attention on fields of atoms and learn of their interconnected relationships. All this is permissible because of the holographic nature of the universe, and the infinite depth that is everywhere. Each seemingly separate part is not an island unto itself, but is an individuated reflection of the Whole Universe and is intimately woven into the fabric of It.
Even with a 3-dimensional hologram made with lasers ... if you cut it into a hundred parts ... one may think that each part will show a separate area of the image, but that’s not the case. With holograms, each of the smaller parts still contain a reflection of the complete, whole, 3-dimensional image.
The “whole in every part” nature of holograms provides us with a compelling way to understand ourselves as we are the offspring of a grand, spectacular, Universe. As reflections of it we are grand, spectacular ... and holographic as well.
A hologram is made of light, space and depth. It may seem to magically appear and also disappear in the twinkle of an eye, according to your angle of vision. A hologram can be viewed and experienced from an infinite number of points of view. It can be broken into a thousand pieces and when each piece is illuminated it will faithfully project the entire unbroken hologram. Hence, each seemingly separate part contains the complete, fully-assembled, unified Whole.
When you look at holographic material inside yourself, we now have the essential understanding that it is a vibrant part of the Grand Universe. It is intimately connected to you, the rest of the inner landscape and also the external world. It is connected to others, nature, evolution, and to both real and imagined realms of life. The holograms inside yourself are constantly morphing and adapting to you, the observer, as the holographic material is alive and responsive as it reflects the thoughts, feelings, dreams and inspirations that you are dialed into. Finally, the inner holographic material that you engage with repeatedly is customizing your immediate personal reality and also setting-up the unfolding of future realities for you to experience.