The Asklepia Foundation



Explication, Ego Death, and Emptiness

by Iona Miller, 1993

ABSTRACT: David Bohm suggests psychological "atom-smashing" as a way of radically destructuring the ego, opening it to wider experience of the undivided whole.  The holographic paradigm is one of reciprocal enfolding and unfolding of patterns of information (explication).  The stream of images in CCP functions analogously to the unfolding of the stream of consciousness and the enfolding and de-structuring of the ego (ego death).  Consciousness and matter share the same essence; their difference is one of degree of subtlety or density.  "Emptiness" is an integral aspect of mind/matter.  Chaos theory links all these elements as aspects of the archetypal healing process, which is facilitated by CCP.

Consciousness is basically in the implicate order as all matter is, and therefore, it's not that consciousness is one thing and matter is another, but rather consciousness is a material process and consciousness is itself in the implicate order, as is all matter, and that consciousness manifests in some explicate order as does matter in general.

                                                 --David Bohm, "The Enfolding, Unfolding Universe"

Psychological death occurs when consciousness keeps step with the ever-moving and self-renewing present, allowing no part of itself to become caught or fixated as residual energy.  It is residual energy that furnishes the framework for what will become the thinker, who consists of undigested experience, memory, habit-patterns, identification, desire, aversion, projection and image-making.  This is not a purely personal process but the energy of aeons of such processes sclerosed through time, persisting on both personal and collective levels.  Ego-death dismantles this superstructure...

                                               --Renee Weber, THE HOLOGRAPHIC PARADIGM


The popularization of the Holographic Paradigm as conceived by physicist David Bohm and neurologist Karl Pribram began in the 1970s, and carried into the '80s with the publication of Bohm's WHOLENESS AND THE IMPLICATE ORDER.  Its evolution in scientific and philosophical thought was followed by ReVision Journal, and summarized by Ken Wilber in the classic of New Science literature, THE HOLOGRAPHIC PARADIGM AND OTHER PARADOXES (1982).

The following is a synopsis of those dialogues on the holographic paradigm which are germane to the Creative Consciousness Process.  This paper draws heavily from the cited works with the intent of providing an illumination of key factors in the phenomenology of dreamhealing.

When these discussions took place, chaos theory had not been developed into the interdisciplinary model it is now.  Consequently, its metaphors were not available.  We will attempt to interpolate and insinuate chaos theory, and its relationship to the Creative Consciousness Process into the discussion.

Rather than tying CCP to chaos theory, (one of the surest routes to theoretical oblivion), we hope to amplify understanding of the archetypal healing process.  CCP was not developed from chaos theory, but amplifies the phenomenology of the process as a scientific "myth" which helps us grasp its complex order.

The gist of the holographic theory is that: "Our brains mathematically construct 'concrete' reality by interpreting frequencies from another dimension, a realm of meaningful, patterned primary reality that transcends time and space.  The brain is a hologram, interpreting a holographic universe."

Pribram postulates a neural hologram, made by the interaction of waves in the cortex, which in turn is based on a hologram of much shorter wavelengths formed by the wave interactions on the sub-atomic level.  Thus, we have a hologram within a hologram, and the interrelatedness of the two somehow gives rise to the sensory images.

There is a more fundamental reality which is an invisible flux that is not comprised of parts, but an inseparable interconnectedness.  In this dynamic model, there are no "things" only energetic events.  The holoflux includes the ultimately flowing nature of what is, and also of that which forms therein.

Bohm speaks of "the source" as beyond both implicate (enfolded) and explicate (unfolded) realms.  We can imagine Source as the coherent Light which illuminates and objectifies the implicate realm.

In a more recent commentary, Fred Alan Wolf (1991) comments on the possible roots of "shamanic physics" and the holographic concept in relation to two shamanic notions: visionary or mythic reality, and the sense of universal connection.

In brief, according to the transactional interpretation of quantum physics, these invisible quantum waves of probability originate in the present, in the past, and inthe future.  For any event to manifest, these waves coming from the future and the present or from the past and the present must interfere with each other in the present.  The pattern of that interference then creates matter and energy as we perceive them.  Somehow shamans were able to see to either the past or the future source of those waves.  In this manner they were able to construct visions that had mythic proportions and appeared to them as archetypes in the Jungian sense.

Speaking of the shaman's sense of a meaningful relationship between any two events, he draws an analogy between the shamanic "spider's web" or web of life and Bohm's holographic universe.

Perhaps the hologram and the spider web are the same thing seen from different cultural viewpoints.  A web is made of vibrating threads.  A hologram is made from light waves, vibrations of energy...Bohm calls the hologram the implicate order.  This order is normally invisible but yet contains all of the possible phenomena that can be experienced.  When an experience occurs, the order is changed.  This new order he calls the explicate order.  Thus what is explicate is what is observed.

In CCP, we might see the "web" as the deep context of emergent imagery, connected and sensitive to all energy events in the vast implicate ocean of energy potential.  However, the "implicate sea" is not the infinite ground of mysticism, but is perhaps its physical analog.  From the psychological perspective, we have spoken of this "holographic blur" as "The Unborn Dream."

Following imagery down to its most fundamental depths leads to a perception of a destructured phenomenal field.

Ken Wilber cautions us not to jump on the mystical bandwagon which confuses the implicate order as the Source, the Tao, or even the mystic void.  While the implicate reveals the holoarchy of the material level, this is as far as it goes--except as an analogy.  The implicate is not transcendental to matter, but underlies it, as a coherent unity--it is still matter.  It is analogous to "ecology" on the biological level.

Wilber states that, "the problem is that the quantum potential is merely tremendously huge in size or dimensions; it is not radically dimensionless, or infinite in the metaphysical sense.  And you simply cannot equate huge in size, potential or actual, with that which is without size, or prior to any dimensions, high or low, subtle or gross, implicate or explicate."

To "worship" nature or mistake the immanence of wholeness in matter as the Ultimate Reality does not account for transcendent realities--it mistakes the creation for the creator.  This is pantheism, reification of matter, animism.  Arguably, pantheism is a confusion of two radically different domains--matter and spirit, according to Wilber's vision of the "perennial philosophy."

THIS DOMAIN IS NEVERTHELESS PRECISELY THE PROVINCE OF SHAMANISM.  Shamanism deals with the mind inside nature, which is the realm of spirits, if not Spirit.  It emerges from the spiritual perception of matter/consciousness as One World.  It cleaves to archetypal Feminine divinity, emphasizes immanence, promotes non-linear, diffuse, imaginal, or "matriarchal consciousness" (Neumann), "anima consciousness" (Hillman).

In contrast, "patriarchal" philosophy and religion emphasizes hierarchy, linearity, structure, and transcendence.  Its aescetic orientation puts it at odds with the natural, sensual world.  Shamans and saints enter the spiritual world with different worldviews.

The holy man uses meditation to "die daily," by withdrawing attention from the senses entirely, and aiming to still the thought process and the constant flow of imagery.  It is a via negativa, which transcends the realm of imagination.  The shaman is also familiar with death through his own NDE, and entering the realm of the dead, the realm of the ancestors, regularly.  Most shamans are not saints and therefore they usually do not seek transcendence of this imaginal realm.

Laughlin, et al draw a distinction between the shaman and mature contemplative:

One cross-culturally common resolution to the constraints imposed by the empirical ego upon the epistemic process has been the shamanic principle.  The shaman learns to transcend empirical ego constraints by altering his ego state, allowing him to immerse himself and participate in a broader, more destructured phenomenal field.  Yet even this solution produces its own state-specificity that is subject to bias due to (1) ego-distortion during the descent stage of the journey, and (2) the ideological origins of interpretation imposed upon the experience and subsequent to the descent.

The mature contemplative, on the other hand, offers another solution to the problem of state-specificity; he is trained to maintain a detached intentional field (or watcher) that observes the process of reduction during transformations of state and thus maintains a relative objectivity about his own phenomenal processing.

The authors suggest combining both models as compliments and checks on excessive bias in each to provide the most auspicious climate for development of the epistemic process.

It may be a mistake to assume shamanism is a spiritually primitive perspective: rather it is primal, fundamental.  Shamanism, like psychology, is pragmatic in its approach to the person.  Its orientation toward myth, healing, and vital service to the community has been the reason its presence is almost universally accepted by local religious authority, according to anthropologist Inge-Ruth Heinze.

Religion tolerates shamanism within the fabric of community because their domains don't conflict.  Shamanism generally makes no claims for transcendental mystical illumination as it appears in the "perennial philosophy."  It is, however, spiritual as well as functional.

Shamanic consciousness journeys are structured largely by the worldview of the practitioner.  What they believe is possible greatly influences what manifests.  They work within the belief systems of participants to open chinks or gaps in their respective worldviews.  This so-called "crack between the worlds" widens into an irrational abyss as the sense of other realities suddenly enlarges.  Through simple contact and entrainment of consciousness, the participant is immediately engaged in an enlarged Reality.

Important analogies emerge for CCP in linking the nature of physical reality with descriptions of the phenomenology of consciousness journeys.  We are neither trying to make any journeys conform to a "holographic concept," nor questing after the implicate order, nor trying to explain the appearance and meaning of this material in the context of CCP.  We simply observe its appearance in the journeys.

These analogies are hermeneutic interpretations of the metanarratives of CCP.  They are the metaphors we "see" by; "how we know what we know."  They are useful models to accompany the training journeys of dreamhealing apprentices. As such, they may function as useful orientations for the guide, but are irrelevant to the journey itself.  The participants should not be bothered with them, as it will "interpret" their unique experience in a reductive way.

Who wants to hear that their experience of being inexorably sucked into a terrifying bottomless pit is just another typical experience of the violent void of the derepressing unconscious?  Remember, the psyche unfolds just what each participant needs for healing in a nonrational way we could never guess or make up.  This process is initiated when we deliberately "observe" the stream of consciousness in a therapeutic context.  The importance lies in the experience; meaning is inherent within it, embodied as a gestalt.

We have simply observed that the consciousness journeys and holographic theory are analogous in many ways and may shed light on one another.  The same patterns appear over and over in the journeys.

In either case, a fundamental state-of-the-art understanding of the nature of (theoretical/mythical) physical reality is a useful foundation for consciousness exploration.  Consciousness may be viewed as a phenomenon from the quantum level, the organization of neurons, etc. or from a "top down" systems theory approach.  Science involves both theories and experimentation.  The analogy sheds some light on the theoretical nature of certain experiential states.

CCP is not only an empirical orientation of "mind observing matter" but also a phenomenology of "mind observing mind," and sometimes "mind observing spirit."  Of course, it is understood that "observation" is participatory and transformative.  When the images unfold and change, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors are automatically modified.

We can recycle our consciousness by feeding it back into itself, viewing itself from a panoply of infinite relative perspectives.  These recursive identifications lead to mode-melding of discrete levels of observation.  The entire spectrum of experiential states (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) becomes potentially available for unfoldment through observation/participation.

Such experiences as mind-as-inert-matter, "mind inside nature" (observing natural processes from the internal perspective) may emerge.  Or mind-as-spirit may travel to or entrain with other minds in psychic exchange, etc.  All radical perspectives of spirit and matter are potentially available.

Chaotic dynamics governs finite explication as the imagery of the stream of consciousness.  Identification with unfolding processes of creation and destruction leads to experiences such as planetary consciousness, and glimpses of cosmic consciousness.

Because the guide helps the participant toward these destructured states, they are emergent not stabilized states of consciousness, such as those found in spiritual disciplines.  For untrained participants, the states are not necessarily "repeatable at will" as are those of skilled meditators.  One of the signs of the mature shaman is the ability to both enter and exit "shamanic consciousness" at will, (Achterberg, 1985).

All of the transforms are self in search of Self through immersion within the flow.  Nonordinary or altered states of consciousness are fundamental to the process. They impact the body directly through imagery.

There are infinite possibilities for explicating implicate consciousness as images.  However, each individual embodies a gestalt of "probabilities"; because of "sensitivity" explication of certain patterns is more likely based on initial conditions at conception and birth and the complex effects of subsequent psychophysical trauma, which pattern primal self image.

In the therapeutic context, both guide and participant co-consciously entrain in the unfolding process of destruction/creation and healing.  Though both are immersed in the process, the guide maintains a bifurcation of consciousness which allows an overview of the process, which by necessity is consistent with the guide's working metatheory or worldview.

Theory is also a "way of seeing," alerting us as to what to look for in the experiment.  Theories are science's versions of mythic reality.  A practical psychological theory can be corrected through experiment, through practice.  Without the matrix of theory, the data flies by incomprehensibly, unnoticed for its deeper importance.  It becomes essentially invisible.

Participants in the consciousness journeys report states which are analogous to these scientific models of wholeness, unfolding, and void states, which are superficially (or semantically) analogous to profound mystical states.  Within this context, there are a great variety of nonordinary states of consciousness leading toward a sense of healing, of wholeness.

The journey may even involve a state of global "illumination" of the cortex, as multiple neural systems are entrained and repatterned by the whole.  But this does not mean that participants in chaotic consciousness are experiencing the highest mystical illuminations.  It is more analogous to Self Realization than God Realization.

We could compare  four aspects of the nonrepresentational voids as the

 1). "Dead" Void: physical void (implicate order, frequency domain; QM's dynamic void; interstellar space);

 2). the Emotional Void of the derepressing unconscious, with its empty trances and transitive moments between explicate states;

 3). the mental or Existential Void, the imaginal realm, with its bliss states, ecstasies, and inspirations; and,

 4). the spiritual or Mystic Void of objectless contemplation, transcendental unified state.  In some mystical schools even this state is the not the Ultimate.  They represent progressively deeper phases of implication within a Reality which supercedes explication in any form.

In consciousness journeys, participants may become experientially aware of the deeper implicate order and respond with oceanic feelings, mystical awe, and psychosomatic phenomena.  Bohm refers to meaningful symptions as "somasignificance" and "signasomatic" to describe the patterns of flow between that aspect of the world that is more material and that which is more mind-like.  In experiential psychotherapy, the body (our physical matter) does not symbolize the unconscious; it is the unconscious: the "wilderness" of body and world.

Wilber notes that,

There is a world of difference between the pre-temporal consciousness, which has no space and no time, and trans-temporal consciousness, which moves beyond space and time while still embracing it...This in no way proves that the holographic blur is not a transcendent state; it demonstrates that one cannot judge so on the basis of language correlations.

What physics has found is actually a unified interaction of material shadows; it discovered that various physical particulars are interrelated processes--but interrelated shadows aren't the Light.  As for the implicate order, we saw it was actually a huge energy dimension; it wasn't radically dimensionless or metaphysically infinite.

In the human realm, we might regard the differential equation relating stress and momentum to something like an implicate order (for example, the stress gradient of the vacuum), which often unfolds in the beautiful intricacy of a strange attractor.  The attractor is the explicate order, a complex manifold of vortices of nonlinear information explication.


Both the analytic and holographic models are based on a set of holistic assumptions.  Information theory is a theoretical structure capable of integrating both of them as complimentary.  In information theory, "information" is defined in terms of its relational aspect; information itself is a holistic concept.

In the analytic model information results from the selection of a particular outcome from a set of possibilities.  In the holographic model information results from an analog mechanism that allows two states to interact with each other. A general theory of consciousness may be based on holistic assumptions and can utilize information theory.

Consciousness is information -- consciousness-in-forming -- the process of unfolding.  The intensity of consciousness at any level is a function of the amount of information at that level (Battista, 1978).  All of the potential information about the universe is holographically encoded in the spectrum of frequency patterns that constantly bombard us.

Through destructuring in meditation or process therapy, one quiets the brain becoming sympathetically in tune with (entrained to) this universal frequency pattern.  When this occurs, the encoded information about the universe becomes holographically decoded, and the individual experiences a state of unitive consciousness with the entire universe.

Much of the transformative work in CCP takes place at the threshold between the manifest and nonmanifest.  As imagery unfolds deeper and deeper levels of psyche, it becomes more primal, less structured, until perceptions of forms and patterns dissolve entirely in chaotic consciousness.  Thus, CCP is a self-deconditioning process, leading toward experience of the process of awareness itself, leading to a meaningful void.

When the new order emerges creatively, it is literally "displayed" or unfolded, made manifest.  That display instantly communicates the information it embodies in imagination.  The image is an immediate guide to activity and its dynamic display is also feedback which recycles and patterns the whole system.

Mystics are attuned to the inner display of consciousness, much deeper within the implicate order.  Bohm notices that, "every thought forms a display in what I call the imaginal world, in terms of the feeling, the image, the idea, the excitement, the muscular tension, which are associated with the thought."

He also has said that "when the content of thought is totality, it is carrying out a dance: making a display which is fundamentally its own deep inner nature, the whole of itself.  In that process it becomes totally involved, and therefore it becomes in a way a work of art which is displaying its inner principle rather than anything superficial...Metaphysical thought has a drive inherent in it to go further, to the point of being without an external content."

Bohm suggests that we transform as eternity unfolds in us, but that eternity may also transform, as it returns to itself enriched by our participation.

Bohm contends that the nonmanifest frequency realm is n-dimensional and atemporal, inconceivable to 3-dimensional thought.  Bohm likens n-dimensional space to phase space, (ref. polyphasic consciousness).  He asserts that only when the individual has dissolved the 3-dimensional self consisting of gross matter, can the ground of our being flow through us unobstructedly.

He extends this notion to psychology, urging us to dissolve the "thinker" as the highest priority the seeker for truth can undertake.  He advocates a kind of "psychological atom-smashing," in which countless illusory egoic clusters (analogous to spasms that reduce the flow within the whole) are dissolved.

Knowledge consists in this theory of the process of tuning in on the manifestation (phenomenon) of the nonmanifest in order to make it accessible, through a state of consciousness which lies outside the barriers of the finite senses.  Bohm maintains that this capacity exists in the universe, not in us strictly speaking.

However, "the challenge for the individual locus of consciousness is to provide the condition that allows the universal force to flow through it without hindrance.  The result is not knowledge, in the Kantian sense, but direct nondualistic awareness..."

Its precondition is emptiness, as Bohm repeatedly insists, which entails a suspension of the Kantian categories and of 3-dimensional space-time.  Such emptiness brings about the cessation of consciousness as the knower and transforms us into an instrument receptively allowing the noumenal intelligence to operate through us, irradiating our daily lives and those of others.


Bohm, influenced by Krishnamurti, advocates the death of the 3-dimensional thinker by slowing down and ultimately stilling the shape-shifter's dance.  Rebirth is within the n-dimensional domain of consciousness.

Renee Weber says that, "such an event would usher in the dynamic state Bohm refers to, in which creation and dissolution and creation would flow through us simultaneously, like quanta of energy born and borne away in the split micro-second, ever welling up afresh without being arrested, clutched at, or sullied...a self-conscious universe realizing itself to be integrally whole and interconnected."

We can conjecture that the process works in reverse: i.e. by following waves of imagery back toward their source in the nonmanifest, we enfold and unfold forms which are open to our perception.  As the ego is enfolded, it is engulfed once again in the process of ego death, which transforms into blissful fusion with the whole, leading to the unfolding of rebirth imagery.  The fundamental movement is one of folding and unfolding, penetrating and interpenetrating.

What we do in n-dimensions is related to what we can observe in three dimensions.  Those things are connected which have very nearly the same degree of implication, however far they may be spread across space and time.  3n-dimensional reality is another domain of order which creates a broader context.  There are complex parallel orders, not just one sequential order, with many criss-crossing and interpenetrating orders.  This is the manifold of the chaotic strange attractors.  Time might very well exist multidimensionally moving in many directions simultaneously.

Bohm calls the dynamic expression of the universe the holomovement, the ground of what is manifest.  But any form of movement can constitute a hologram, movements known or unknown.  The unfolding of the dynamic stream of images through psychic life constitutes such movement.

The Creative Consciousness Process expresses as physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual reality.  Bohm implies that the flux can be arrested, coming to balance for the time being, coming to relative closure, "like the vortex which closes on itself, though it's always moving."

Bohm cautions that, "thought will now take the words, 'the nonmanifest' and form the idea of the nonmanifest; and therefore, thought thinks the manifest plus the nonmanifest together make up the whole, and that this whole thought is now a step beyond thought...But, in fact, it isn't.  This nonmanifest that thought imagines is still the manifest, by definition, because to imagine is also a form of thought.  It's a form of thought; it's the manifestation of thought."

He goes on to point out that thought will imagine it has captured the whole.  "Obviously, the nonmanifest that we talk about is a relative nonmanifest.  It is still a thing, although a subtle thing."

Such is the territory of CCP.  Thought cannot grasp it, and this is not the aim of the consciousness journeys.  It is however true that when consciousness moves into the abyss, it moves beyond the threshold of conceptualization and manifestation of forms, physical and imaginal. This is the realm of spirit--that which does not have obvious structural form and which nevertheless moves something else.

Bohm interestingly implicates thought as the source of disorder.  Its very nature is form.  Transcending it, or destructuring it, reveals the nonmanifest, universal consciousness of mankind.  This implies that in psychology we've been addressing problems in the wrong domain; CCP helps us move to their nonmanifest source, rather than simply addressing the symptomatic problems.


The dream guides or consciousness guides empty themselves, still themselves, before conducting the journey.  Bohm supports this notion in general as opening another dimension of experience, the wholeness within our own experience.  There is one reality, but this reality has multiple dimensions, multiple levels, and multiple aspects.

We go from the explicate to the implicate, then to a deeper multidimensional level, thence to some vast ocean outside of space as we ordinarily experience it... Consciousness has to become commensurate with that different space in order to discover it.  Consciousness, in fact, has to change its very state.

To make this emptiness a reality in the consciousness of man, as Krishnamurti was saying, conscious-ness would empty itself of all these ripples.  When the mind is full of all these ripples and little movements, they scatter the energy, as it were, and it looks as if they are all there is.  The plenum which consciousness is is not seen, or is not able to operate.

If we say consciousness is the manifest content, it is the non-manifest movement beneath, and it is something far beyond that, and the point is by ending these ripples in the manifest and the nonmanifest, ending these ripples in the manifest and the germs in the nonmanifest which create them, then we have an emptiness which makes conscious-ness somehow a vehicle or an instrument for the operation of this totality--of intelligence, compassion, truth.  But if consciousness is full of all this content which then begins to keep itself going, self-generated, it becomes just chaos, (Bohm).

Elsewhere he says, "we've got to leave thought behind, and come to this emptiness of this manifest thought altogether and of the conditioning of the nonmanifest mind by the seeds of manifest thought.  In other words, meditation actually transforms the mind.  It transforms consciousness."


Bohm's notion of "explication" is probably the most relevant aspect of his theory to CCP.  It concerns direct reference and the process of unfolding, which of course relate to the unfolding of images from the nonmanifest into the image-object domain in the context of the journeys.

John Welwood discusses this aspect in "The Holographic Paradigm and the Structure of Experience," rooting it in the framework of Gendlin's work on 'focusing.'

CCP has analogous steps to Gendlin's "direct reference" or "framing".  It is another way of speaking of the identification of the problem, a sense of the dis-ease.  The "felt implicite" is the entire psychophysical response during the whole journey, amplified and run through a variety of scenarios in the "theater of the mind."  Explication of the journey's images culminates in actualization, grounding, integration of the potential expressed in the imagery/experience.

Gendlin (1964) has outlined a series of experiential steps for making the implicit explicit, for bringing the holographic blur into focus.  If you ask yourself, or rather ask of your felt sense, "What is the main quality of my relation to my father?" you have created a frame or lens to focus the felt sense further.

How does this work?  Perhaps a word will now arise (e.g., "heavy"), or you may feel a bodily change (e.g., a flutter in the stomach, a sigh), or a certain image may appear that expresses this feel of your father.  Gendlin calls this framing of the implicit direct reference: "a use of words to set off, separate out...some aspect of experience which can thereby be called 'this' or 'that' experience, or 'an' experience (1973).

Applying a frame to the implicit is somewhat analogous to deblurring a blurred photograph by highlighting the major contours or spatial frequencies, so that particular shapes can emerge from the blur.  In photography, this can be done through a Fourier transform, one of the mathematical formulas for the convolution and deconvolution of certain types of holograms.

Thus the felt implicit, as the way the organism holistically feels patterns of relationship, is analoguos to the way in which a Fourier transform encodes spatial frequencies into a hologram.  Explicating the implicit is like a re-transformation or deblurring of the transform back into a recognizable form.  The first step of explication, direct reference, allows a pattern to emerge from the blur.

Our descriptions of experience do not "read off" what is there, but are rather further transformations of it;" "to delineate the situations involves simplifying and further organizing what is already very complexly patterned (Gendlin, 1972).

Gendlin (1964) has described these explication transformations as a "focusing" process that opens up the implicit and "carries it forward," thus making concrete differences in the way we live.  The first two steps in focusing blurry feelings are direct reference and unfolding.  Unfolding may occur when we take whatever has emerged from direct reference and refer it back to the felt implicit.

Thus a feedback loop of unfolding and enfolding is initiated in the therapeutic process.  A directly felt effect is one way of transforming the implicit and allowing it to unfold, either gradually or in a sudden "opening up."

The unfolding itself clarifies and changes stuck patterns, hidden associations and meanings (interference patterns) that have been enfolded in the implcit, and that have exerted a compulsive effect on behavior.

Interestingly, this way of listening to the implicit and letting it unfold without imposing preconceived forms on it, which is so effective in therapy, is precisely the same process that Bohm (1973) recommends to physicists for discovering a new order amid the present chaos of data in the field."

Once the implicit has opened up--whether in therapy or in evolving a new theory in physics--it is never quite the same again.  Once you have unfolded the problem in your relationship to your father, that relationship (and your life) is never quite the same.  The zig-zag dialectic between transformative explication (which need not be verbal) and felt meaning changes or "carries forward" experiencing, resulting not only in therapeutic progress or personality change, but also in creative discoveries of all kinds.

Let us define intuition as direct access to the implicit, which operates by scanning a holographic-type blur with a diffuse attention that does not impose preconceived notion... Specific intuitions usually come to us as diffuse wholes, which we may have difficulty explicating at first or providing reasons for.  We simply "know" something through contacting our diffuse felt sense of the situation.

Our depth of attunement to implicate orders seems to range through a continuum from everyday intuition to profound mystical insight.  Mystical experience seems to be a more total form of this holistic vision that sees through one's particular situation to the whole of the life process, the implicate order of the universe itself.  For some people working with the felt implicit in a therapeutic way is a first step in unlocking their deeper connectedness with all of life.

Welwood describes "empty moments in the stream of consciousness" as "transitive tracts."  They appear as pauses or split-second transitional moments during which one scans a whole felt meaning complex.

We see this in the consciousness journeys as pauses between shape-shifting transforms--the empty spaces in metamorphosis.  Perhaps they are microstates of chaotic consciousness which pattern each and every imaginal transform with the dynamic imprint of the whole.

This emptiness is the unmanifest made manifest as emptiness--the unconscious as the implicate order of experience, rather than a set of autonomous or explicit "contents."  What is unconscious are holistic patternings, which may be explicated in many different ways and at many different levels of the organism/environment interrelationship.


Personal limitations prevent us from experiencing universal consciousness.  In ordinary consciousness, our attention is limited to only a few of the nearly infinite variety of 'images' in the implicate phenomenal field, which are theoretically available to individual personal consciousness.  The phenomenon of resonance is implicated in this process.  We resonate with those images which create and define our unique reality.  In nonordinary reality, such as dreams and consciousness journeys, momentary fissures in our constructed reality allow us a brief glimpse of the immense and unitary order underlying all of nature.

During dreams, we can access the unending flow of wisdom, the flow of nature.  Ullman postulates that "the implicate order represents in a sense an infinite information source, perhaps it is the origin of this greater fund of knowledge.  Perhaps dreams are a bridge between the perceptual and nonmanifest orders and represent a natural transformation of the implicate into the explicate."  Dreams therefore appear to pattern our lives holistically (top-down) instead of arising from the primitive substratum of consciousness (bottom-up).

Commenting on his notion of parallel universes and dreams, Fred Alan Wolf points out that a piece of holographic film actually generates two images, a virtual image that appears to be in the space behind the film, and a real image that comes into focus in the space in front of the film.  Light waves composing the virtual image diverge from the apparent focus or source.  Focusing in empty air, it is invisible unless revealed by dust or smoke passing through it.

Wolf believes that all dreams are internal holograms, and ordinary dreams are less vivid than lucid dreams because they are virtual images.  The lucid dreamer views the dream from within, bathed in the scene where the waves focus, creating a virtual reality "out there."

Further, Wolf postulates that lucid dreams (and perhaps all dreams) are actually visits to parallel universes.  They are just smaller holograms within the larger and more inclusive cosmic hologram.  "I call it parallel universe awareness because I believe that parallel universes arise as other images in the hologram," Wolf states, in Talbot's THE HOLOGRAPHIC UNIVERSE.

Based on his studies of nonordinary consciousness, Grof tends to agree that the avenues of exploration available to our psyches via holographic interconnectedness are virtually endless.  He thinks that the almost endless capacity for holograms to store and retrieve information accounts for the containment of enormous amounts of personal information in vision, fantasies, and other "psychological gestalts."

Grof believes that the tendency of the visionary experience to emerge as countless images unfolding in rapid sequence is related to the holographic nature of the process.  This is why a single image may contain information about general attitudes, self-esteem, parental issues, and relationships, all at once.  Each small part of the scene can contain the entire constellation of information.  Grof's work has shown that the hidden holographic order surfaces nearly every time one experiences a nonordinary state of consciousness.

Jean Achterberg's work (1985) on imagery in healing led her to conclude that, "When images are regarded in the holographic manner, their omnipotent influence on physical function logically follows.  The image, the behavior, and the physiological concomitants are a unified aspect of the same phenomenon."

Creativity is necessary for the healing of the body.  Bohm has as much as said that in the implicate order, as in the brain itself, imagination and reality are ultimately indistinguishable, and it should therefore come as no surprise to us that images in the mind can ultimately manifest as realities in the physical body.

We react both mentally and biologically to everything we experience.  The link is indivisible as 'mental' events always have a neurophysiological, chemical and physical substratum.  Cleaving to the material basis of the phenomenon--the earthy part--we reunite with our alienated bodies, our primal sensuality.  It is only through inclusion of the body in process--body as unconscious, consciousness in our bodies--that we can open to the mythic realm of the Dreamtime.

In THE HOLOGRAPHIC UNIVERSE, Talbot compares Bohm's idea of implicate and explicate order with the Tibetan Buddhist notion of the void and nonvoid.

The nonvoid is the reality of visible objects.  The void, like the implicate order, is the birthplace of all things in the universe, which pour out of it in a "boundless flux."  However, only the void is real and all forms in the objective world are illusory, existing merely because of the unceasing flux between the two orders.

In turn, the void is described as "subtle," "indivisible," and "free from distinguishing characteristics."  Because it is seamless totality it cannot be described in words.  Properly speaking, even the nonvoid cannot be described in words because it, too, is a totality in which consciousness and matter and all other things are indissoluble and whole.  Herein lies a paradox, for despite its illusory nature the nonvoid still contains an infinitely vast complex of universes.

Its indivisible aspects are always present as universal interpenetration, cosmic conscious-ness.  We are unable to perceive the void directly because our unconscious mind is far too conditioned in its perception.  Conditioning prevents us from seeing the destructured frequency domain.  Following natural process, this is precisely the conditioning--the vortices and eddies in our essence--that CCP ever-so-gently deconstructs.

What is left is that destructured phenomenal field which is reached after a dizzying, bewildering journey into the nethermost depths of the psyche.  The guide beckons the journeyer on into that realm, past the fear and the pain, deeper and deeper.

The guide's global perspective resonates with, entrains, and opens the participant to letting go of outworn patterns and rigidities.  The old patterns break up as flow is restored.  Resting in the void allows for instantaneous repatterning by the whole.  Unfolding of the process leads to integration, entrainment of systems in the service of evolution, adaptation.


"Physics, Mysticism, and the New Holographic Paradigm: A Critical Appraisal", Ken Wilber in THE HOLOGRAPHIC PARADIGM.

"Reflections on the New Age Paradigm: A Conversation with Ken Wilber in THE HOLOGRAPHIC PARADIGM.

"The Enfolding-Unfolding Universe: A Conversation with David Bohm," Renee Weber in THE HOLOGRAPHIC PARADIGM, Ken Wilber, Ed.; Shambhala, Boulder and New York, 1982.

"The Holographic Paradigm and the Structure of Experience" John Welwood, in THE HOLOGRAPHIC PARADIGM.

"The Physicist and the Mystic--Is a dialogue between them possible?  A Conversation with David Bohm, Renee Weber in THE HOLOGRAPHIC PARADIGM.

"The Holographic Model, Holistic Paradigm, Information Theory and Consciousness," John R. Battista, M.D. in THE HOLOGRAPHIC PARADIGM.

Achterberg, Jean, IMAGERY IN HEALING: Shamanism in Modern Medicine, Shambhala, Boston, 1985.

Talbot, Michael, THE HOLOGRAPHIC UNIVERSE, Harper Collins, New York, 1991.

Wolf, Fred Alan, THE EAGLE'S QUEST, Simon & Shuster: New York, 1991.

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