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Intuition: Spirit and Knowing

Connections Through Time,   Issue 4: July - September 1999

Spirit is a mysterious part of life - each of our lives.    

Can the spiritual aspect of life ever be adequately described by words or mathematics-physics?   Virtually all religious and philosophical traditions address the issue of spiritual reality - with no concensus on the details, and yet there is an underlying agreement about the existence of the mysterious spiritual realm.   The entanglement of spirit with physical life is also being explored by scientists using less religious terms like "wave-particle duality", "nonlocality", "zero-point energy" and "consciousness".   Science has always progressed when it focused on those areas that are not understood, not predictable, and not contained within the current model of the world, i.e., science gravitates toward those mysterious areas where significant information is often waiting to be discovered.

Graphic of Older and Wiser Einstein Here is a quote from Albert Einstein's essay, "The World as I See It", that captures his sense of the spiritual in humans:
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious.   It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.   Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.   It was the experience of mystery -- even if mixed with fear -- that engendered religion.   A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity.   In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man...   I am satisfied with the mystery of life's eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence -- as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature."

What is the "reason" that resulted in human beings?   That is a wondrous mystery sometimes pondered by human beings.   The fact that each of us can ponder and think and feel as an individual self must be part of the answer.   We sense - we know - that we each have a spiritual aspect that is separate from, and yet somehow connected to, the complex electro-chemical aspects of the human body.

Knowing, without the use of logic or intellect, is a capability of human beings.   We directly "know" what we consciously experience.   We know that we see, hear, smell, taste and touch.   We know that we feel emotions, and we know that we think.   We also know that there are mysteries within our selves and mysteries that connect us to each other and to the rest of the universe - these are the spiritual mysteries.

In the previous physics section, we outlined three important research areas (Zero-Point Energy, Quantum Information, and Consciousness) that will shape humankind's evolving views of the interactions between the human spirit and the physical universe.   Hal Puthoff is the leading researcher in the ZPE area. He was also the Founder and first Director of the SRI Remote Viewing program.   Thus, he has a strong research background in both the physical and the "metaphysical".   Following are excerpts from an internal report of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin, entitled Think-Piece on the Relationship of Zero-Point Energy Research to the Role of "Metaphysical" Processes in the Physical World.

Throughout mankind's cultural history there has existed the metaphysical concept that man and cosmos are interconnected by a ubiquitous, all-pervasive sea of energy that undergirds, and is manifest in, all phenomena. This pre-scientific concept of a cosmic energy goes by many names in many traditions, such as ch'i, ki or qi (Taoism), prana (yoga), mana (Kahuna), barakah (Sufi), Úlan vital (Bergsonian metaphysics), and so forth.

Complementary to the above metaphysical concept, contemporary physics similarly posits an all-pervasive energetic field called quantum zero-point energy, a random, ambient fluctuating energy that exists even in so-called empty space.     ...

Should we further consider the possibility that such random vacuum energy might be subject to influence by consciousness or intention, then, given that it is well understood by physicists that a restructuring or "cohering" of vacuum energy would have physical consequences for matter, animate or inanimate, such could provide a rational basis for psychokinesis, healing or other processes that are part and parcel of the pre-scientific view. In such fashion the similarities, differences and possible synthesis of the pre-scientific and modern concepts of an all-pervasive energy field can be considered.

If my goal for this research comes to full fruition, what would emerge would be an increased understanding that all of us are immersed, both as living and physical beings, in an overall interpenetrating and interdependent field in ecological balance with the cosmos as a whole, and that even the boundary lines between the physical and "metaphysical" would dissolve into a unitary viewpoint of the universe as a fluid, changing, energetic/information cosmological unity.

Var-Rel-Symb.gif - 28813 BytesThe scientific and spiritual views of the universe are indeed converging - don't you think?   Please send your comments to email to the editor, or use the contact link in the navigation bar at the top right of all our webpages.


H. E. Puthoff, Ph.D.
Think-Piece on the Relationship of Zero-Point Energy Research to the Role of "Metaphysical" Processes in the Physical World
From an internal report
Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin
Austin, Texas 78759

Note that the internet reference for each graphic can be found by clicking on the graphic and going directly to the associated website.

Go to another section of this issue: Physics: Time and Uncertainty       Applications: Action and Intention

Copyright 1999 by Physics-Intuition-Applications, Inc.