Existence the Nature of Existence Term Paper

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The Implicate Order and Explicate Order can be compared to a piece of holographic film and the image it produces. The film corresponds to the enfolded, or hidden, Implicate Order. The image, or hologram, (what is humanly perceived) is the Explicate Order. Thus, the tangible "reality" of our everyday lives is a kind of holographic image being projected from the "film" or source -- the Implicate Order (Dunlap, 2000).

The flow of time is part of the dynamic process of enfolding and unfolding. "As the present unfolds and becomes part of the past, it does not cease to exist, but simply returns to the cosmic storehouse of the implicate" (Talbot, 1990, p. 200). The event we call death is another example of what he is saying. Death is not the end -- it is simply moving out of the Explicate and into the Implicate.

Bohm (1987) suggests that consciousness flows from the Implicate Order. The brain is not the source of intelligence but is more like a processing-receiver. Like a television set is not the source of the images on its screen, the brain acts like a receiver. From this it follows logically that consciousness -- not matter or energy -- must be the substance of the universe.

If matter is something that we construct ourselves, a holograph, then matter is an illusion. What really exists is patterned wavelengths and frequencies. But this does not mean that the Universe is an undifferentiated mass. Various patterns are like the whirlpools in a river -- impossible to tell where they begin and end -- and inseparable from their source. While still inseparable from the river, each whirlpool has a unique character and pattern, an individual identity. Thus, what we thought of previously -- as things -- are part of the holomovement, what Bohm calls relatively independent subtotalities. As such, every part contains all the information in the whole. This points to the existence of previously unexplained "knowing," such as clairvoyance, prophetic dreams, mental telepathy, etc. -- all knowledge not derived from the physical senses. Events like the near-death experience are considered adventures into the Implicate Order. People who have had near-death experiences report being "in the light," that is, in the frequency domain of the Implicate Order. Perhaps these kinds of experiences represent instances of intersection between the Explicate and Implicate when individual consciousness is enfolded rather than unfolded.

Existence is mental. Marilyn Ferguson (1987) opens her famous book The Aquarian Conspiracy by stating: "The great shuddering, irrevocable shift overtaking us is not a new political, religious, or philosophical system. It is a new mind -- the ascendance of a startling wordview that gathers into its framework breakthrough science and insights from earliest recorded thought" (p. 23). The advent of this change in consciousness may be seen as a response to the threat of extinction. If human beings are to survive, they must find new ways to solve problems, creative ways that reflect a new understanding of reality's interconnectedness.

For more than two hundred years the old Newtonian view of the universe was tremendously useful for technological advancement. In fact, it worked so well that scientists thought all knowledge would be gained through the paradigm of Newtonian physics (Herbert, 1987). But now we know there is much more to reality than the mechanical clocklike universe we once pictured -- where all the parts were separate entities that worked together to form a material universe. In the old view a world full of separate things could be manipulated, rearranged, changed into something else, irradiated, or multiplied without concern about an effect on anything else. For example, we believed we could destroy the insect world to produce better crops, but the result was devastation to the natural world of songbirds, wild flowers, pure water, and fish (Carson, 1962, 1994).

The belief of everything separate led to fragmentation and alienation from each other and the earth. The consequent destruction of relationships brought social and environmental chaos. Now, however, we see there is a deeper reality. To meet the challenges we face, we must enlarge our sense of how interrelated and interconnected everything really is -- literally -- it's not a metaphor. Quantum physicists tell us that all these newly discovered aspects of reality are deeply connected to consciousness. Once we understand that we are creating matter, then matter with all its defects and diseases, will lose its power. We will understand that what we believe about the nature of reality has a direct impact on what we bring into our experience and the images we construct. As Pribram puts it, "...it'll be a different world. I wouldn't even be surprised if preventative therapies would be instituted, that deal with controls of ourselves, so we aren't as prone to get cancers and so on" (Thinking Allowed website, p. 6). We can learn to construct better holographs.


Bohn, D. (1980). Wholeness and the implicate order. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Carson, R. (1962, 1994). Silent spring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Dunlap, C. (2000). The rhetorical construction of God: Mary Baker Eddy's journey. Doctoral dissertation. Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan.

Herbert, N. (1987). Quantum reality: Beyond the new physics. New York: Anchor.

Kuhn, T. (1962, 1970). The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago.


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