General Overview of Where Science, Technology and Spirituality Merge
"God is dead." This often quoted and catchy phrase was written by the brilliance of Friedrich Nietzsche in his The Gay Science back in 1882. Since then this statement has been taken as a war cry for some, a direct threat to others and a meditative concept for the philosophic. Whether Nietzsche meant it as the end of Abrahamic Theology or a bold declaration for Nihilism opinions differ and no one knows for certain. However, "God is dead," seems to have also become the mantra of Scientism and aided in stamping out the centrality of one's personal experience for devout allegiance to number and measure as the only way to truth. The expansion of mind into matter since the Enlightenment has brought countless new benefits, technological advancements, revolutionized transportation and materialized the collective unconscious in the form of the Internet. In our journeying through matter we have wandered away from the doorway of our original perspective, the doorway in which we stand looking out between two infinities. Looking forward with our two eyes we see the endless dream of the night sky; with eyes closed our third eye/imagination beholds the eternality of the fifth dimension, dare I say the point before the Big Bang. Too many have become lost and can no longer find their way back to the spiritual and correct frame of reference, where infinity is understood as both inner and outer. Here, with this perspective, humanity is infinite, all powerful, occupying great significance and seeing the divine in all; fully aware that the shadows of physical life are projected from the light of our inner world.
Though my posts certainly cannot cover all aspects and topics I hope to give a general overview of a few areas where our scientific tools and technologies can offer new perspectives on spirituality. Areas where science and spirituality merge are fields such as Neuroscience, Immersive Technology (Virtual Reality), Psychology, Quantum Physics, Epigenetics, Neurolinguistics, Cymatics, Herbal Science, Neuropharmacology and many others. Techniques and technologies like psychoactive substances, meditation, Yoga, lucid dreaming, asceticism and modern flotation tanks are just few of the methods available for a person to attempt to rupture the mundane plane and experience the numinous. Therefore science can now be seen as an ally and not an enemy in regards to investigating the phenomenal and spiritual.
For this post I limited my overview to only three topics, these are Visible Sound, Geometry (letters and numbers) and Neuroscience & Psychology. Each of these topics are entire books unto themselves, so by no means will my measly discussion do justice. However, my goal is to make aware these doorways that may previously lay hidden, these doors open up many possibilities but its for you to continue travel down the rabbit hole ... Alice.
Whether mantra, magic/magick, prayer, exorcism, curses, blessings or ritual, humaniy's divine power lies in the spoken word. This spoken word goes far beyond the mere conveyance of definitions and ordinary meaning; such as writing or having any sort of ordinary conversation. Therefore, Sacred/Ritual Language and Sacred Time are concepts employed to distinguish such uses of linguistic power, because at those instances the practitioners are existing outside the cyclical flow of ordinary time. In performances of sacred language when definitional meaning to words is absent, it is the sound's frequency or vibrations that hold the important power and ability to affect the world.
Cymatics is the scientific study of how sound can and is made visible. The various vibrational frequencies contained within sound have a harmonic accordance with a particular sacred geometric pattern. This is why throughout the history of art but more specifically religious iconography you see veneration directed at sacred geometric patterns. Correctly understood - both mythologically and scientifically (fractals, fibonacci sequence, golden ratio and so on) - these patterns literally contain the building blocks for life. Below is a quick video that demonstrates these harmonic patterns within sound by allowing the vibratory frequencies to organize sand particles into the corresponding geometric shapes. The video will progress from lower to higher harmonic variations, so you'll hear a high pitch and if you have sensitive ears you may want to turn down the volume.
These patterns can also be formed by the manipulation of the human voice. Within the buddhist tradition it was and is common of an experienced monk to know how to chant cymatic patterns into water. The video below is a series of chants recored within the Great Pyramid of Egypt and then played back in a cymatic machine.
Known to many tribal societies with active psychedelic shamanism, language and sound can also manifest itself visibly under the use of psychosomatic substances. Famously, the psychedelic brew known as Ayahuasca has had a long tradition of being the plant ally for Amazonian shamanism. Ayahuasca induces states of Synesthesia where audible sounds visibly manifest themselves as particular correspondent colors. The shaman then performs spiritual songs known as Icaros, these icaros are not just heard but also seen by the tribe and is critiqued as a visual piece of art. In the book True Hallucinations, Dennis and Terence McKenna retell their fascinating and tremendously impactful experience where they attempted to experiment with the limits of visible language while maintaining a psychedelic intoxication lasting over two weeks deep in the Amazonian basin. Very little research, if any at all has attempted further investigations into the synesthetic phenomenon induced by psychedelics. Due to current laws scientific research into psychedelics is illegal despite the miraculous experimental results acquired during the 1950's and 1960's when they were still listed as legal substances.
Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is an indigenous neurotransmitter to the human brain but also the world's strongest, fastest acting and safest of all known psychedelic substances. The secreting gland of DMT is the Pineal Gland, within spiritual traditions this gland is referred to as the Third-Eye or the seat of the soul. Iconography and symbolism of the Pineal gland is replete throughout religious art; often it is symbolized by a pine cone, a single open eye or some demarcation in the center of the forehead. The reason a pine cone is used (and got its name) is because the spiraling fractal golden ratio seen when looking at a pine cone is said to be similar to the visible vortex one experiences upon full activation of the Pineal. How DMT is related to visible language is due to the bizarre "machine elves" experienced by those who take the trans-dimensional voyage. These elf like entities are insistent that a person begins to condense three-dimensional objects via ecstatic states of glossolalia just as it appears they are doing. Now I will come back to the topic of glossolalia in the section on Neuroscience because of the interesting questions experimental results have raised. However, there is a lot to be said about the tryptamine family of psychedelics and it is not my intention to discuss such things now. Being a general overview my goal is only to identify psychosomatic substances and their relation to visible sound.
Numbers, Letters and Geometry
Sacred Geometry makes sense, but you may be wondering how are letters and numbers related to spirituality and science? To preface I should say this topic is much more expansive than any blog post could do justice to, let alone my brief overview. However, unbeknown to most, what we regard as generic numbers and letters actually have deep esoteric and occult spiritual significance. In order to comprehend the series of correspondences I will mention its important to have a grasp on the concept of Sympathetic Magic or Magical Thinking. In its simplest explanation sympathetic magic is basically encapsulated by the old Hermetic adage, "like affects like ... as above so below." Whether one subscribes to the belief in sympathetic associations between like objects or not is unimportant; for the only way to understand the metaphorical and symbolic significance behind words and symbols is to see their fractal sympathetic link back to divine powers.
Any introduction into the philosophy of behind numbers usually begins with research into Pythagoras and his mystical school. However, don't assume that Pythagoras was the originator of such ideas about numbers and their spiritual or trans-dimentional significance; it is impossible to know for certain and obviously was understood within the ancient megaliths. Some Renaissance Christians like Johann Reuchlin argued - though contrary to Jewish opinion - that Pythagoras received his knowledge of numbers, mathematics, theology and geometry from the Jewish Kabbalah. Not to mention the legends of Pythagoras wandering from mystery school to mystery school traveling from Greece, to North Africa, India, China, Persia, to Ancient Palestine and back home. Similar tellings have been said about Jesus of Nazareth (theory of him being an initiated Essene Jew), Plato and many others so to what degree these stories are factual who knows. However, we do know that these Ancient Mystery schools did exist and there was transmission between them.
Numbers tie into all this is for the same reason why Renaissance Christians were eager to establish Pythagoreanism as an off shoot of the Kabbalistic tradition. First, it substantiated Christianity's ties to the historical Jewish tradition rather than Pagan Greece; second, it provided a numerological argument for a monotheistic theology. Like Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Esoteric Buddhism and other solar oriented religions/traditions the theology of the One and the Three are central. For Pythagoras it was the Monad and the Triad, for Christians it is the Son/Sun ("the light of the world," "the risen savior," "God's only begotten Son/Sun" etc.) and the Trinity, in India it was Brahma, the One, with a triune consisting of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and this can be found in countless other theologies. Unlike the Moon which is dualistic (having a dark and light side) and typically associated with fleshly desires, the Sun was customarily symbolized as a complete unity, spiritual purity, divine intelligence, androgynous (though physical incarnation is usually male), all giving, self sustaining, the source of life, the highest of the high, God's chosen One and so on. Pythagoras taught that zero, one and two are not (philosophically) numbers and that three should actually be considered the first real number. He based this in the concept that zero and two are both dual numbers and exist to modify the one; the one is existence, being itself, universal consciousness and the un-namable. Zero is dual because nothing insinuates the possibility of something and two is just the self generative aspect of the 1 making a copy of itself.
If we designate these different essences with the corresponding number we will find that many archetypes and mythologies will reveal themselves of their deeper wisdom. For example, lets first use Christianity, making God the Father = 1, the Son/Jesus = 2 and the Holy Spirit/Mother Mary = 0. Symbolic analysis alone we can deduce that its logical that Jesus - both God and Man, both dead and alive - is signified by 2; a DISTINCT split or representation of the Father. The Holy Spirit or Mary is the generative component, obviously then 0 is the universal vulva, the cosmic gateway and metaphorically symbolized in the New Testament as the Immaculate Conception. Also it is 0 and 2 that reside in the lower triangle, or physical world. In this example, God the Father, the 1 reigns over 0 and 2 because being dualistic, or being in the dual physical world they are mere variations of the UNITED self. Because of this, Pythagoras taught three to be the first number since it must take all three to compose the triangle, three dimensions to form physicality
Continuing with this same example above, let me briefly mention how letters and alphabets are related as well. Like I mentioned before, 0 and 2, or Mary and Jesus being in the lower world are trying to get back up to perfection/unification but must depend on each other to do so. This ascent was symbolized by raising the bottom horizontal line of the triangle (connecting 0 and 2) to the mid waypoint and thereby establishing the first letter of the alphabet, A. Similar little esoteric origin stories can be found for the other letters, other languages and other cultures with persistent curiosity and some internet searches. Language is arguably one of the most important components of Religion, Magic and what it means to be human. According to Genesis, the Gospel of John, Gnostic creation myths, majority of indigenous folk tales state that the world was spoke into existence, essentially forming with language. If those spoken commands of God were his physical manifestation it is apropos symbolism that Jesus - God's Son/Sun and his dual incarnate would then be referred as the "alpha and omega;" the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. What makes Classical Greek, Hebrew and Sanskrit (though can be made true for all alphabets) sacred or particularly special is that each letter has a numerological equivalent that then allows for words and phrases to also add up to specific number sets. This adds a mathematical dimension to a language and can therefore be condensed to contain even more occult meaning.
Again, referring back to the triangle above, if you look at the center where the three lines merge into a single point, you'll notice that it appears as if you are staring at the corner of the room or the inside of a cube. This cube plays a significant role in mathematics, geometry as well as theology. In Mecca - one of the holiest cities in the Islamic tradition - there is an large black cube called the "Kaaba" which many muslims have circled during their religious hajj. This Kaaba or cube holds the geometric key to understanding many symbols and motifs of the Abrahamic traditions. For instance, envisioning a six-sided three-diensional cube and unfolding it flat reveals the central symbol of the christian tradition, the cross.
Turning our focus to Judaism there is the six-pointed Star of David, another two-dimensional representation of a six-sided cube; a symbol essentially comprised of two triangles laid upon each other, one pointing up one down. Could it be the same triangle from above, depicting the divine decent and redeeming ascent of the human soul by the Messiah? The interesting thing about symbols is they can contain many different meanings and hold various sympathetic associations but because being psychic excretions are rooted in archetypes of our collective unconscious.
Books on such symbolism are dense and numerous, so my objective is not to go any further with an analysis but to draw the connection between geometry, numbers, letters, language and theology. Unfortunately due to indoctrination on all such subjects we divide these studies and view them as separate, perhaps even put into their own separate "boxes." If we educated in the effort to show the pervasive fractal pattern of universal intelligence and organization, maybe then the rational soul of humanity could fuse with the mysterium and once again behold the absolute magic of spirit.
Neuroscience and Psychology is another area where scientific experiments, theories on mind and neuro-imaging have reshaped perspectives on modern spirituality. The human Mind is the frontier of the 21st century; more expansive than scattered stars across the night sky, more bizarre than sea creatures from the unexplored depths and closer to us than the embrace of a lover are the lurkings of inherited archetypes hidden within the dark recesses of the unlit mind. Penetrating into that darkness is the brilliant light of the messianic descent and template for our own hero's journey. Deep within the collective unconscious resides all the gods, demons, elves, ferries, monsters and legends of mythological lore. Theories like Julian Jaynes's Bicameral Mind gives a voice to such entities which have been described as animate being in sacred books all over the world. The bicameral mind is a hypothesis that states the corpus callosum - a bundle of neural-fibers responsible for connecting the two hemispheres of the brain - was once not fully active and therefore communication from one sphere to another was perceived as a voice from divine beings. As human history unfolded and the egoic mind began to emerge those voices which were once the insight of a higher dimension were inoculated as our own. Personal connection with the transcendent other was consolidated into priest crafts, dogma, and tradition. Continuing even today God is said to directly speak only to a chosen few but what if the Other is only veiled by the thin curtain of ordinary consciousness; able to be accessed and contacted within the limitless of our own Innnerverse.
Within Neuroscience there is an emerging field called Neurotheology due mostly to the efforts and research of Dr. Andrew Newberg M.D.. Using the latest equipment in brain imaging Neurotheology investigates the dynamic within the brain during religious and spiritual experience. Dr. Newberg has performed experiments regarding meditation, prayer, hymnal singing, glossolalia (speaking in tongues) and more; here is a quick snippet of him describing his own research.
Neurotheology is not attempting to prove anything within the metaphysical or theological realms, it merely is using modern neuro-technology to document the phenomenological activity in the brain. Dr. Newberg's results in scanning meditative vs. non-meditative brains and christians speaking in tongues have produced very interesting data. If you are interested in seeing these results here is the link to his research.
Neuolinguistics is another branch within neuroscience that also is bringing forth fascinating results pertaining to how visual perception and words are connected, how language programs the mind, how language is used in mental categorization and so on. Dr. Gary Lupyan is the man which has contributed significant research in these areas and continues to push the bounds of understanding. One of the more significant results that are tangential to the spiritual or religious traditions is his findings on visual perception and words/naming. In his article, Language can boost otherwise unseen objects into visual awareness Lupyan tested whether or not verbal cues could improve a persons ability to see otherwise unseen objects. The results showed that once a person was given a word or name for a before unseen object, it was in fact now made present in ones conscious awareness. Lupyan’s results stated “language can provide a boost to perception, propelling an otherwise invisible image into awareness.” The way in which this ties into spirituality is because Lupyan's experiment is preceded by thousands of years of sacred mythology stating that in fact the world is a linguistic creation; the God(s) spoke the world into existence.
This now brings the discussion back full circle from the beginning on sound being made visible. Shamans of the Amazon already know that the matrix of experience is coded by the language of the perceiver. Experiment after experiment Quantum Physics has shown that the world doesn't exist with any real properties until it is observed. So, if the organization of matter depends on mind and language is the code or film which mind uses to project the world, than we can see how the theologic myths of the Word and the power/sacredness of language are given new meaning. The recursive feedback loop between mind, thought and language is another trinity in which worlds are made; mind is the 1 (unified) giving rise to 0 the generative principle of thought (equal) and mind manifests itself physically through language or the 2 (distinct). How fully do we truly know the languages we are using and in turn how much does a language contribute to the construction and limits of who you think you are? It is truly an exciting time to be, these questions and many others that I have raised here are just now being delved into.
Science, Technology and Spirituality are now converging into each other and offering brand new ways to see ourselves and the numinous. Despite the new look and feel I believe that this convergence is essentially a reconnecting with ancient wisdom and mending the broken cycle of time. We have veered away from our original position between two infinite worlds; fortunately that outer perspective is bending back unto itself and now science can help in reestablishing the importance of spirit.
Thank you for your time and attention, I hope you enjoyed my post and it potentially brought you some new ideas and insights. Comment below, let me know what you think and if you enjoyed it please Share and Like.
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