THE NEW PARADIGM IN

SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS
THEORY
BOOKS BY PETER FRITZ WALTER

The New Paradigm in Business, Leadership & Career
(Book Reviews)
!
The New Paradigm in Science and Systems Theory
(Book & Media Reviews)

!
The New Paradigm in Consciousness & Spirituality
(Book & Media Reviews)
THE NEW
PARADIGM
In Science and Systems Theory
34 Book & Media Reviews by Peter Fritz Walter

Victor H. Anderson • Fritjof Capra • Russell DiCarlo (Ed.)
Donna Eden • Riane Eisler • Masaru Emoto • Richard Gerber
Amit Goswami • Valery Hunt • Georges Lakhovsky • Ervin Laszlo
Lynne McTaggart • Michel Odent • Candace B. Pert • Dean Radin
Otto Carl Simonton • Rick Strassman • Michael Talbot

Vidette Todaro-Franceschi • What the Bleep Do We Know!?
Published by Sirius-C Media Galaxy LLC

113 Barksdale Professional Center, Newark, Delaware, USA

©2014 Peter Fritz Walter. Some rights reserved.

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About Dr. Peter Fritz Walter
http://peterfritzwalter.com
About the Author

Parallel to an international law career in Germany, Swit-
zerland and the United States, Dr. Peter Fritz Walter (Pi-
erre) focused upon fine art, cookery, astrology, musical
performance, social sciences and humanities. He started
writing essays as an adolescent and received a high school
award for creative writing and editorial work for the
school magazine.

Upon finalizing his international law doctorate, he pri-
vately studied psychology and psychoanalysis and started
writing both fiction and nonfiction works.

After a second career as a corporate trainer and personal
coach, Pierre retired as a full-time writer, philosopher and
consultant.

His nonfiction books emphasize a systemic, holistic, cross-
cultural and interdisciplinary perspective, while his fiction
works and short stories focus upon education, philosophy,
perennial wisdom, and the poetic formulation of an inte-
grative worldview.

Pierre is a German-French bilingual native speaker and
writes English as his 4th language after German, Latin and
French. He also reads source literature for his research
works in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Dutch.

All of Pierre’s books are hand-crafted and self-published,
designed by the author.

About Quoting

Quotes are followed by a forward slash (/) and a page
number. They always refer to the author and the book that
is being reviewed, and the page number of the edition that
was reviewed. It may not in every case be the newest edi-
tion of the book.
To Tomaj Javidtash

The author’s profits from this book are being donated to charity.
Introduction

These book reviews were written between 2005 and
2014, the result of an effort for making a contribution not
only to academia, but more so, to college students around
the world who wish to be informed about books that cover
the exciting adventure of the paradigm changes in busi-
ness, science and society that we are currently living
through.
The present volume belongs to a reviews trilogy that
are intended to be a coherent whole. The two other vol-
umes are entitled The New Paradigm in Business, Leadership
& Career and The New Paradigm in Consciousness & Spiritual-
ity.
This journey, undertaken with the intention to share
knowledge that I believe is useful to many people, was a
great challenge and adventure and opened me new path-
ways that were confirming my research on the perennial
holistic wisdom of ancient civilizations who were thriving
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

before patriarchy was putting nature upside-down about
five thousand years ago.
Currently, with the advent of a networked global soci-
ety, and systems theory as its scientific paradigm, we are vir-
tually looking into a different world, with a rise of ‘hori-
zontal’ and ‘sustainable’ structures both in our business
culture, and in science, and last not least on the important
areas of psychology, medicine, and spirituality.

—A paradigm, from Greek ‘paradeigma’, is a pattern of things, a
configuration of ideas, a set of dominant beliefs, a certain way of look-
ing at the world, a set of assumptions, a frame of reference or lens, and
even an entire worldview.

While most of this new and yet old path has yet to be
trotted, we cannot deny the changes that happen all
around us every day.
Invariably, as students, scientists, doctors, consultants,
lawyers, business executives or government officials, we
face problems today that are so complex, entangled and
novel that they cannot possibly be solved on the basis of
our old paradigm, and our old way of thinking. As Albert
Einstein said, we cannot solve a problem on the same level
of thought that created it in the first place—hence the need
for changing our view of looking at things, the world, and
our personal and collective predicaments.
What still about half a decade ago seemed unlikely is
happening now all around us: we are rediscovering more
and more fragments of an integrative and holistic wisdom
that represents the cultural and scientific legacy of many

8
INTRODUCTION

ancient tribes and kingdoms that were based upon a per-
ennial tradition which held that all in our universe is inter-
connected, and that humans are set in the world to con-
sciously live in unison with the infinite wisdom inherent in
creation as a major task for driving evolution forward!
It happens in science, since the advent of quantum
physics and string theory, it happens in neuroscience and
systems theory, it happens in biology, in ecology, and as a
result, and because science is a major motor in society, it
happens now with increasing speed in the industrial and
the business world, and in the way people earn their lives
and manifest their talents through their professional en-
gagement.

More and more people begin to realize that we cannot
honestly continue to destroy our globe by disregarding the
natural law of self-regulation, both outside, by polluting
air and water, and inside, by tolerating our emotions to be
in a state of repression and turmoil. Self-regulation is built
into the life function and it can be found as a consistent
pattern in the lifestyle of natives peoples around the
world.
It is similar with our immense intuitive and imaginal
faculties that were downplayed in centuries of darkness
and fragmentation, and that now emerge anew as major
key stones in a worldview that puts the whole human at the
frontline, a human who uses their whole brain, and who
knows to balance their emotions and natural passions so as
to arrive at a state of inner peace and synergistic relation-

9
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

ships with others that bring mutual benefit instead of one-
sided egotistic satisfaction.
For a real change to happen, we need to change the
thinker, as Krishnamurti used to say, which means we need
to undergo a transformation that puts our higher self in
charge as the caretaker of our lives, releasing our condi-
tioned ego from this task.
Hence the need to really look over the fence and get
beyond social, cultural and racial conditioning for adopt-
ing an integrative, holistic and systemliterate worldview
that is focused on a higher level than mere problem-
solving.

—Systemliteracy is a term I have coined. While it sounds similar to
Fritjof Capra’s idea of Ecoliteracy (ecoliteracy.org). On my site
systemliteracy.net I have defined it: ‘Systemliteracy is the true under-
standing not only of nature, but also of the human energy field, human
emotions, the complexities about war and violence, and how humans
can ultimately be led to establishing world peace.’ See also my blog on
Medium: https://medium.com/systemliteracy-learning

What all these books convey is that it’s not too late, be
it for our planet and for us humans, our careers, our sci-
ence, our collective spiritual advancement, our scientific
understanding of nature, and that we can thrive in a world
that is surely more different in ten years from now that it
was one hundred years in the past compared to now.
We are free to continue to feel like victims in this new
reality, and wait for being taken care of by the state, or we
may accept the state, and society, as human creations that
will never be perfect, and venture into creating our lives

10
INTRODUCTION

and careers in accordance with our true mission, and based
upon our real gifts and talents.
I haven’t given ratings in my reviews, and for good
reason. I find rating content a misguided popular institu-
tion that puts the consumer in the role of the ‘king’ to
judge all and everything from a naturally limited personal
perspective. As mindful humans we should be careful with
judgment, with judging others, or judging what others
have achieved and produced in terms of intellectual or ar-
tistic content.
This being said, the very fact that a book was included
in my three review volumes is proof enough of the fact
that the book is highly worthwhile reading, and the review
serves to elucidate the why and how of that. Besides, there
was no need to give any specific ‘star’ ratings.
I hope that any book you may be interested in that is
included here can help you to lead a better life, have a
higher understanding of your own path of life, help you to
have better relationships, a more harmonious emotional
life, and a tighter grasp of scientific research and ultimate-
ly—a success boost in your personal path of life.
On the other hand, if any particular book you want to
see reviewed is not included here, you may write to me
using the email address published in the copyright section
of the book. I will consider your request for the next edi-
tion of this review sampler.
—Peter Fritz Walter

11
Contents

Victor H. Anderson! 17
• Etheric Anatomy! 17

Fritjof Capra! 25
• The Tao of Physics! 32
• The Turning Point! 40
• Uncommon Wisdom! 49
• The Web of Life! 53
• The Hidden Connections! 67
• Steering Business Toward Sustainability! 76
• The Science of Leonardo! 85
• Learning from Leonardo! 94

Russell DiCarlo (Ed.)! 99
• A New Worldview! 99

Donna Eden! 169
• Energy Medicine! 171
• The Energy Medicine Kit! 177

Riane Eisler! 181
• The Chalice and the Blade! 183
• Sacred Pleasure! 188
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Masaru Emoto! 191
• The Hidden Messages in Water! 193
• The Secret Life of Walter! 199

Richard Gerber! 205
• A Practical Guide to Vibrational Medicine! 205

Amit Goswami! 211
• The Self-Aware Universe! 211

Valery Hunt! 219
• Infinite Mind! 219

Shafica Karagulla! 227
• The Chakras! 227

Georges Lakhovsky! 245
• The Secret of Life! 245

Ervin Laszlo! 249
• Science and the Akashic Field! 252
• Science and the Reenchantment of the Cosmos! 264
• Quantum Shift to the Global Brain! 272

Lynne McTaggart! 283
• The Field! 283

Michel Odent! 289
• The Functions of the Orgasms! 289

Candace B. Pert! 305
• Molecules of Emotion! 305

Dean Radin! 311
• The Conscious Universe! 318
• Entangled Minds! 325

Otto Carl Simonton! 329
• Getting Well Again! 329

14
CONTENTS

Rick Strassman! 343
• DMT—The Spirit Molecule! 343

Michael Talbot! 347
• The Holographic Universe! 347

Vidette Todaro-Franceschi! 359
• The Enigma of Energy! 359

William Arntz & Betsy Chasse! 365
• What the Bleep Do We Know!?! 365

Bibliography! 427

Personal Notes! 437

15
Victor H. Anderson

Etheric Anatomy
The Three Selves and Astral Travel
With Cora Anderson
New York: Penguin Arkana, 1993
Albany, CA: Acorn Guild Press, 2004

Etheric Anatomy is a small booklet that really surprised me! It’s an ac-
count by people situated far from the mainstream. The book is precious
for anybody who is researching the human aura, lucid dreaming, astral
projection, or general pagan knowledge about the vital energy. This
book review was first published in my Consciousness, Healing & Spiri-
tuality review sampler, but I moved it here because I believe that our
science is over the next ten years or so integrating this knowledge, per-
haps under the header of ‘clairvoyant medicine.’

Let me first utter a word about what has been called
‘spiritual anatomy.’ Many cultural traditions contain an
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

esoteric thread describing what might be referred to as the
anatomy of the human soul. While the terminology might
be esoteric and quite confusing, it’s in all traditions about
the same thing, namely, that we are essentially made from
a bioplasmatic energy that pervades the cosmos. The Egyp-
tians called it ka, the Chinese ch’i, and anatomically the
correspondence to it are the the meridians known from
acupuncture; the Indians call it prana, and the correspond-
ing part in the body are the chakras and nadis known from
yoga, the Jewish tradition calls it the sefirot, and Western
lore, or the ‘fairy’ lore from which Anderson comes, calls it
the etheric or astral body. In addition, theosophy has made
us aware of the power of thought forms, and the existence
of the aura.
I studied Huna over years, which is why I can say that
every bit of what Anderson writes in this booklet is true. I
didn’t really learn something knew from the book, but it’s
a wonderful compilation and summery of this knowledge.
In addition, the authors contribute their own valuable ex-
trasensorial insights and perceptions. Yet I consider this
book as a valid contribution to science as modern science is
currently developing an approach to what Dr. William A.
Tiller called ‘Psychoenergetic Science,’ title of one of his
books.
—William A. Tiller, Psychoenergetic Science, New York: Pavior,
2007. See also my blog, where I am developing a series of articles, under
the header of a notion I coined ‘Systemliteracy,’ that are concerned with
the integration of this ancient knowledge into modern science. See my

18
VICTOR H. ANDERSON

article ‘The Human Energy Field: Modern Science and the Huna Tradi-
tion’ within this collection:

https://medium.com/systemliteracy-learning

The most important detail conveyed in the first chapter
entitled The Etheric Anatomy of the Human Being, is the ‘trin-
ity structure’ of the soul, which is indeed something that
strikes the holistic researcher as it is to be found not only in
the teaching of the Kahunas, but also in virtually all main-
stream religious teachings.
In order to comprehend more fully our psychic
structure, it must be understood that the human be-
ing is a trinity. This is neither a metaphor nor an ab-
stract illustration. The human soul and spirit body is
made up of three definite parts or entities. Each of
these three entities has its own individual and collec-
tive existence in the soul and personality, just as
surely as the three atoms in a molecule of water./8

The authors have a unique manner of describing phe-
nomena known from psychology, psychoanalysis, parapsy-
chology and quantum physics, as they use the terminology of
the natives, and not the language of modern science. But
for this very reason, their account actually gains vivacity
and authenticity. Some observations are strikingly original,
such as the idea—which I found in other clairvoyant litera-
ture—that the human body emits a specific sound, a sound
that is different from one individual to the other, a fre-
quency that identifies the individual:

19
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Another interesting property of the vital body, al-
though difficult to detect, is a faint buzzing sound,
somewhat like that of a bumblebee. This signals the
gathering in and arrangement of atoms and mole-
cules to maintain the structure of the dense body./12

The subatomic world, known as the specific focus of
quantum physics, is in the language of the natives the
world of the spirits. I have found this indeed confirmed in
the overwhelming part of shamanic literature. The author
states on the same lines:
What we call the ‘spirit world’ is composed largely
of particles and frequencies of a subatomic nature.
We of the Craft say that these planes or worlds are /
below the atom. We know the vital body to be made
up of what we call bioplasma. Besides the other finer
particles and frequencies of which it is composed,
there is a small amount of plasmic hydrogen, i.e.,
electrons and protons. In substance, it actually re-
sembles the more tenuous parts of the sun itself! The
term ‘astral body’ may be vindicated after all./12-13

A particularly interesting field of study has become
aura research, and even aura healing, the healing of the
luminous body. What years ago was still relegated to ‘eso-
teric traditions’ is now beginning to be effectively inte-
grated into the official body of medical science and psy-
chology.
The author clearly states that contrary to common be-
lief, the aura is not limited to living beings, but is an

20
VICTOR H. ANDERSON

energy-related phenomenon that is to be found with all
objects, be they inanimate. He writes:
Every object with which we deal in everyday life is
surrounded by a kind of shadowy counterpart that
varies in color, density and dimensions, depending
on the kind of matter. A steel ball an inch in diame-
ter will have a pale, violent-blue replica of itself ex-
tending one sixteenth of an inch from it on all sides.
If we examine a bit of rock, we will find that it too
has an extension that varies in color and dimension
depending on its composition. Pieces of wood and
other more organic objects have wider and some-
times more colorful ‘surrounds’, as psychic children
call them. When we break a rock in two, the etheric
part follows the outline of the break./13

It has been said that only living things have auras.
This is not the case. Every material object of appre-
ciable size is surrounded and penetrated by some of
the etheric matter and frequencies from the various
planes of existence. Even a statue has an aura. The
auras of what we call inanimate objects are static
and homogenous in appearance unless acted upon
by mana from ourselves or the mana and presence of
spirits, saints or the Gods./17

What has been seen by the use of Kirlian Photography is
described by the authors here in a beautiful passage. The
phenomenon has been demonstrated also by energy heal-
ers such as Donna Eden who heal recurring pain in phan-
tom limbs by impacting energetically upon the aura of the
missing or amputated limb.
21
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

If we keep cutting the leaf up, a point is reached at
which the vital body of the leaf will dissipate into
the ether. If a part of the leaf is torn off and slowly
pulled away, the bioplasma will stretch out a half
centimeter or so, and then break off and rejoin the
severed parts./14

Further research is needed in order to determine
when the fetus becomes an individual human being,
that is, ensouled. Based on my personal observa-
tions, I would estimate the time as forty-two to
forty-five days./36

There is a striking congruence with what Rick Strass-
man writes in his book DMT—The Spirit Molecule (2001),
where he says that in his observation ‘a pineal DMT re-
lease at forty-nine days after conception marks the en-
trance of the spirit into the fetus.’

Now, let me comment on Part Two of the booklet, writ-
ten by Cora Anderson and entitled The Three Souls and Out-
of-Body Travel. Cora Anderson distinguishes between the
alpha spirit, the beta spirit and the delta spirit, and writes
with regard to the ‘vital body’ and that other authors call
the ‘etheric body’:
The alpha spirit is usually the first to feel sex attrac-
tion and fall in love. It does not separate sex from
love. In some primitive cultures, it is called the bush
or animal spirit. The word animal does not put a low
meaning to it, but means ‘anima, life soul or spirit’.
In the ignorant and undeveloped human being, the
alpha spirit becomes so full of complexes, it can no

22
VICTOR H. ANDERSON

longer use its form of natural instinctive mentation.
/44

There are several important ingredients in this state-
ment. First of all, I am thankful for her clarifying that
‘animal spirit’ in the terminology and scientific worldview
of the Kahunas is not to be connoted with ‘lowness’ of any
kind. What Cora Anderson calls the alpha spirit, the Kahu-
nas call the low self or unihipili.
The Unihipili will release the mana to the Aumakua
as semen is released in sex, or water sprouts from a
garden hose. You will feel a tingling up and down
your spine and in your genitals. If you feel a sudden
surge of sexual feeling, do not repress it. This signals
a most perfect and intimate union with the God
within you, your Aumakua. Always remember you
are a trinity in the divine image; otherwise, this
prayer will not work./49

The secret about the huna prayers is that it’s the low
self that sends the mana, and the quest for help or advice,
to the high self or Aumakua, and not the middle self or ra-
tional mind. This is why the prayers of mechanistic minds
remain unfulfilled! This is logically so because it’s simply
not the middle self—our reasoning mind— that sends the
vital force to the high self, but the low self. This is a bril-
liant example for the fact that religion, understood intelli-
gently, has much in common with science, as it is inquisi-
tive, and not based upon dogma.

23
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

I leave it here with my review, expressing my thank-
fulness to the authors and to my own higher self for hav-
ing guided me to find this precious resource of wisdom.

24
Fritjof Capra

Books Reviewed
The Tao of Physics (1984)
The Turning Point (1987)
Uncommon Wisdom (1989)
The Web of Life (1997)
The Hidden Connections (1997)
Steering Business Toward Sustainability (1995)
The Science of Leonardo (2007)
Learning from Leonardo (2013)

Fritjof Capra is well-known and famed as one of the
most important authors on new science and systems re-
search. I found Capra’s Tao of Physics in 1985, at a time
when my life was in a complete reorientation. In this situa-
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

tion, Capra’s books The Tao of Physics and The Turning Point
reflected the turning point in my own life.

The Tao of Physics hit me as a lightning, but what a
blessing was that hit! The impact of the book on my per-
sonal journey was comparable only to my discovery of the
I Ching and Taoism, as well as the psychoanalytic teaching
of the late Françoise Dolto (1908-1988). Besides Capra’s in-
tellectual brilliance and exquisite use of language, it’s the
simplicity of his diction, and his unpretentious way to re-
late other people’s achievements and remarkable traits
with accuracy and tact that make Capra stand out not just
as a scientist, but as an encyclopedic scholar. The fact that
his books have become worldwide bestsellers over many
years, and were translated in all major languages of the
world shows his immense popularity and may also be a
signal that his message is accepted by the intelligent strata

26
FRITJOF CAPRA

of modern society. Yet, The Tao of Physics asserts that both
physics and metaphysics lead inexorably to the same
knowledge, or are two visions of the universe that com-
plement one another. The book was a door opener for
many people while it was first regarded as a somewhat too
daring perspective put in the world by a scientist.
It is worthwhile to have a closer look at some bio-
graphical details which will help to better understand his
stand in life, and his mission.
Fritjof Capra was born February 1st, 1939. His birth in
the sun sign Aquarius may or not be considered an auspi-
cious sign of his later career and his mission for ecology
which reflects a foremost concern of the Aquarius Age into
which we are currently heading. The son of the Austrian
poet Ingeborg Capra-Teuffenbach, Capra graduated in
1966 at the University of Vienna with a doctorate in theo-
retical physics. He studied with Werner Heisenberg and
researched and taught particle physics and systems theory
at the University of Paris (1966–1968), the University of
California, Santa Cruz (1968–1970), the Stanford Linear Ac-
celerator Center (1970), Imperial College, London (1971–
1974) and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (1975–1988).
While at Berkeley, he was a member of the Fundamental
Fysiks Group, founded in May 1975 by Elizabeth Rauscher
and George Weissmann, which met weekly to discuss phi-
losophy and quantum physics. He also taught at U.C.
Santa Cruz, U.C. Berkeley, and San Francisco State Univer-
sity.

27
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

After touring Germany in the early 1980s, Capra co-
wrote Green Politics with Charlene Spretnak in 1984.
He is fluent in German, English, French and Italian. He
contributed to the screenplay for the movie Mindwalk
(1990), starring Liv Ullman, Sam Waterston and John
Heard. The film is loosely based on his book, The Turning
Point (1987).
Capra’s ecological vision proposes modern society to
abandon conventional linear thought and the mechanistic
view of the universe, and develop a holistic science para-
digm. He is a founding director of the Center for Ecoliteracy
in Berkeley, California, which promotes ecology and sys-
tems thinking in primary and secondary education.

According to Capra, our economic and social problems
such as unemployment, crime, pollution or global warm-
ing are the result of a perception crisis in modern society. A
globally networked world cannot be understood any more
within the framework of a reductionist and mechanistic
science as it was practiced by Descartes and Newton, but
needs to be transformed into a holistic and organic view of
reality. Once this view is adopted, it will be obvious how
many hidden connections there are between phenomena
that the old worldview considers as separate, and how
much in life, and in living systems, co-evolves by means of
an often invisible interdependence.
As Capra explained in a lecture at Mill Valley School
District, April 18, 1997, entitled Creativity and Leadership in
Learning Communities, which was published by the Center

28
FRITJOF CAPRA

for Ecoliteracy, ecoliteracy means to be ‘ecologically liter-
ate’: the understanding of ecological communities, also
called ecosystems, and using those principles for creating
sustainable communities. Ecology is a term derived from
the Greek word oikos (household); thus it conveys the
study of the relationships between all members of the
household called ‘Earth.’ Ecological thinking is thus con-
cerned with relationships, connectedness and context; in
science it is called systems thinking. In the same lecture he
reports that one of the early insights of systems thinking
was the realization that every living system is a network.
At first, ecologists formulated the concepts of food chains
and food cycles, and these were then expanded to the con-
cept of the food web.
The Web of Life, a book that Capra published in 1996, is
an old idea, which has been used by poets, philosophers,
and mystics throughout the ages to convey their sense of
the interwovenness and interdependence of all phenom-
ena. In this sense, systems theory is actually a link back to
the oldest of science traditions, which by itself proves that
science, too, is cyclic as everything else in life.
In his leadership programs, Capra stresses the fact that
leaders could learn to understanding themselves using the
systems view to being able to bring about emergence. This
kind of leadership needs to be team leadership, not single
leadership, as in all self-organizing systems leadership is
distributed, and responsibility becomes ‘a capacity of the
whole.’ Leadership thus consists, according to Capra, in

29
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

facilitating the emergence of new structures, and to incor-
porate the best of them into the organization’s design.
There are other important facts about Capra that are
perhaps lesser known, and partly explain why he has this
phenomenal lucidity, while he works as a scientist and yet
in his books by far surpasses the limitations of this profes-
sion and the worldview of most of his professional col-
leagues, except those on his own level of genius. Capra
said somewhere in his books that he was raised in a quite
matriarchal environment, an environment virtually de-
prived of males. He was raised by three women, and they
were all single, for different reasons: his mother, his
grandmother and his great grandmother. And they lived
together with many animals on the big farm.
All this is important, I think, for understanding his ba-
sically non-judgmental worldview and his ability to un-
derstand people from ultra-orthodox to very liberal with
the same generosity and magnanimity.

Capra is truly exceptional in this respect. This can be
seen in his personal and autobiographic volume Uncom-
mon Wisdom (1989) which is a recollection of conversations
with remarkable people, and at the same time a kaleido-
scope of anecdotes form the life of a truly lively and com-
municative human being. The other noteworthy instance
from Capra’s life is his long involvement with the counter-
culture and his meeting with most of the celebrities of that
culture, as for example Timothy Leary, Terence McKenna,

30
FRITJOF CAPRA

Gregory Bateson, or Ronald David Laing and Thomas Szasz,
the founders of the antipsychiatry movement.
Besides Capra’s intellectual brilliance and exquisite use
of language, it’s the simplicity of his literacy, and his un-
pretentious way to relate other people’s achievements and
remarkable traits with a certain modesty that make Capra
stand out as a truly universal and encyclopedic scholar.
The fact that his books have become worldwide bestsellers
over many years, and were translated in all major lan-
guages of the world has its explanation here. In addition,
it’s Capra’s extraordinary human skills, his ability to
communicate across scientific disciplines together with an
integrative mindset and attitude that make him such an
important alternative figure in the mainstream science en-
vironment.
Capra is in my view one of the most important holistic
thinkers of our times, and perhaps even the most important
of our science philosophers today.

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

The Tao of Physics
An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern
Mysticism
New York: Bantam Books, 1984 (Quoted Edition)
New York Shambhala, 2000
Originally published in 1975

Much was written about The Tao, and it is almost always considered as a
synthetic and holistic vision of modern physics seen through the glasses
of ancient mysticism! But more importantly, let us ask how the author
made his point?

Capra made his point by assembling a number of small
points, one after the other, for finally proving the whole of
his thesis or theory. To begin with, Capra writes:
If physics leads us today to a world view which is
essentially mystical, it returns, in a way, to its begin-
ning, 2500 years ago. It is interesting to follow the
evolution of Western science along its spiral path,
starting from the mystical philosophies of the early

32
FRITJOF CAPRA

Greeks, rising and / unfolding in an impressive de-
velopment of intellectual thought that increasingly
turned away from its mystical origins to develop a
world view which is in sharp contrast to that of the
Far East. In its most recent stages, Western science is
finally overcoming this view and coming back to
those of the early Greek and the Eastern philoso-
phies. This time, however, it is not only based on
intuition, but also on experiments of great precision
and sophistication, and on a rigorous and consistent
mathematical formalism./5-6

An important discourse in The Tao of Physics is Capra’s
report about the Eleatic school because it gives us an im-
portant clue for the origins of our intellectual dualism:
The split of this unity began with the Eleatic school,
which assumed a Divine Principle standing above
all gods and men. This principle was first identified
with the unity of the universe, but was later seen as
an intelligent and personal God who stands above
the world and directs it. Thus began a trend of
thought which led, ultimately, to the separation of
spirit and matter and to a dualism which became
characteristic of Western philosophy./7

Capra’s book is of course attempting to overcome that
very dualism by showing that upon a deeper look a synthe-
sis between Western scientific thought and Eastern phi-
losophy is the only intelligent way out of the dilemma.
What I call in my writings the schizoid split in the internal

33
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

setup of our culture, Capra called it the division between
spirit and matter.
As the idea of a division between spirit and matter
took hold, the philosophers turned their attention to
the spiritual world, rather than the material, to the
human / soul and the problems of ethics. These
questions were to occupy Western thought for more
than two thousand years after the culmination of
Greek science and culture in the fifth and fourth cen-
turies B.C./6-7

And the next step, then, in the building of that cultural
paranoia was the turn of events starting with the reduc-
tionist science philosophy of French philosophers La Met-
trie and René Descartes. Capra explains:
The birth of modern science was preceded and ac-
companied by a development of philosophical
thought which led to an extreme formulation of the
spirit/matter dualism. This formulation appeared in
the seventeenth century in the philosophy of René
Descartes who based his view of nature on a funda-
mental division into two separate and independent
realms: that of mind (res cogitans), and that of mat-
ter (res extensa). The Cartesian division allowed sci-
entists to treat matter as dead and completely sepa-
rate from themselves, and to see the material world
as a multitude of different objects assembled into a
huge machine./8

What Capra was showing here is the missing link be-
tween our modern-day separative and highly individualis-

34
FRITJOF CAPRA

tic worldview, and its historical origins. And it explains
conclusively why we are torn up, fragmented and un-
whole (unholy):
This inner fragmentation mirrors our view of the
world outside, which is seen as a multitude of sepa-
rate objects and events. The natural environment is
treated as if it consisted of separate parts to be ex-
ploited by different interest groups. The fragmented
view is further extended to society, which is split
into different nations, races, religions and political
groups./8

After having shown how a fragmented worldview
came about historically, Capra presents the Eastern world-
view:
In contrast to the mechanistic Western view, the
Eastern view of the world is organic. For the Eastern
mystic, all things and events perceived by the senses
are interrelated, connected, and are but different as-
pects or manifestations of the same ultimate reality.
(...) In the Eastern view, then, the division of nature
into separate objects is not fundamental and any
such objects have a fluid and ever-changing charac-
ter. The Eastern / world view is therefore intrinsi-
cally dynamic and contains time and change as es-
sential features. The cosmos is seen as one insepara-
ble reality—forever in motion, alive, organic; spiri-
tual and material at the same time./10-11

The danger of fragmentation, Capra explains conclu-
sively, is that we try to find absolute points of reference

35
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

behind each of our fragmented concepts, and we do this
probably unconsciously in an attempt to heal our inner
split. Yet ultimately by doing so we bring about a distorted
perception of reality, by taking the map for the landscape.
Looking at the paradoxical behavior of electrons in the
quantum world, Capra asked the question why Westerners
are so terribly confused, and even shocked, when encoun-
tering a paradox, or simply an illogical behavior? He
found the answer in comparing Western thought with
Eastern philosophy.
Eastern mysticism has developed several different
ways of dealing with the paradoxical aspects of real-
ity. Whereas they are bypassed in Hinduism through
the use of mythical language, Buddhism and Taoism
tend to emphasize the paradoxes rather than conceal
them./35

I think this difference between Indian thinking and
Chinese and Japanese philosophical traditions is impor-
tant, as Joseph Campbell has emphasized it as well in his
book Oriental Mythology. The Zen tradition, derived from
its original Chinese root philosophy (where it was called
Chan Buddhism), is very fond of putting the stress on the
paradox for a simple reason: the paradox teaches us the
limitations of rational thinking and thereby shows us the
relativity of a merely rational worldview.
By seeing our obvious limitation, we can go beyond the
hyper-rationalistic worldview and develop a holistic, inte-
grative, worldview that gives the necessary space for the

36
FRITJOF CAPRA

irrational, for the fantastic, the imaginal and scurrilous in
nature, and also in our human nature. Without the latter,
humor, for example, as an expression of humanity, is not
possible.
This fundamental change in how we perceive reality as
modern scientists is important primarily because our
whole science is going to shift, and must shift, according to
this reorientation of the observer. Capra makes it clear that
we cannot remain with the old demons:
The mechanistic view of nature ... is closely related
to a rigorous determinism. The giant cosmic ma-
chine was seen as being completely causal and de-
terminate. All that happened had a definite cause
and gave rise to a definite effect, and the future of
any part of the system could—in principle—be pre-
dicted with absolute certainty if its state at any time
was known in all details. (...) The philosophical basis
of this rigorous determinism was the fundamental
division between the I and the world introduced by
Descartes. As a consequence of this division, it was
believed that the world could be described objec-
tively, i.e., without ever mentioning the human ob-
server, and such an objective description of nature
became the ideal of all science./45

The result was that we discarded nature out of science
and by doing so, we created a fundamentally nature-
hostile science, a science that destroys us by destroying our
planet. This science, then, reflected exactly the distorted
view prevalent since patriarchal times in our culture that

37
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

says the male is superior to the female. This cult of male
supremacy led straight to a never-ending course of vio-
lence that slowly but definitely suffocates us today.
Western society has traditionally favored the male
side rather than the female. Instead of recognizing
that the personality of each man and of each woman
is the result of an interplay between male and female
elements, it has established a static order where all
men are supposed to be masculine and all women
feminine, and it has given men the leading roles and
most of society’s privileges. This attitude has re-
sulted in an over-emphasis of all the yang—or
male—aspects of human nature: activity, rational
thinking, competition, aggressiveness, and so on.
The yin—or female—modes of consciousness, which
can be described by words like intuitive, religious,
mystical, occult, or psychic, have constantly been
suppressed in our male-oriented society./133

And the same biased perception of reality, distorting
the harmony between the male and the female principle, is
to be seen throughout Western philosophy, in its abysmal
dualism, which lacks the fundamental ability to find the
synthesis that Oriental thought is so apt to establish. Capra
conforms with the Eastern worldview that says all oppo-
sites are complementary and ‘merely different aspects of
the same phenomenon’.
Capra wistfully remarks that in the East, ‘a virtuous
person is therefore not one who undertakes the impossible
task of striving for the good and eliminating the bad, but

38
FRITJOF CAPRA

rather one who is able to maintain a dynamic balance be-
tween good and bad.’
When you look at the Tao of Physics from this perspec-
tive, from the big picture behind the details of quantum
physics, you will see that Capra’s deeper message in this
revolutionary book goes way beyond a redefinition of
modern physics. Capra has prepared the ground in this
earliest of his books for the giants to come. While The Tao
remains Capra’s most popular book it is perhaps not his
best book. The genius trick was that he developed the
original idea further and found something like a new ho-
listic concept for all sciences, but did not label it fashiona-
bly as ‘A Theory of Everything’. He termed his new con-
cept ecoliteracy.

39
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

The Turning Point
Science, Society and the Rising Culture
New York: Simon & Schuster (Flamingo), 1987
Original author copyright 1982

The Turning Point is a logical follow-up to The Tao, and equally impor-
tant. This book was a turning point also in the author’s life. In my per-
sonal view, and contrary to what most critics say, it is lesser the Tao of
Physics that is the real strike of genius, but the present book because of
the extrapolation of the holistic concepts developed in the Tao upon the
whole value system of postmodern international culture, thereby sug-
gesting our culture adopting and developing new values.

Only a thinker who is both logically precise, very
knowledgeable about science history, and who has a meta-
rational and integrated perception of life and the universe
could do such a giant work. The following quote shows
the general direction that Capra took from the time of writ-
ing this book, and that will be especially present in his two
subsequent books, The Web of Life and The Hidden Connec-
tions. It has been called the systems view; it simply is a

40
FRITJOF CAPRA

sound holistic science paradigm that can be practically ap-
plied to all scientific research, and that promises to bring
about scientific, social and later political results that are in
accordance with human dignity, fostering the expansion of
human consciousness and evolution. These solutions will
be different from those we had in the past because they
will be integrated and sustainable, and this both in the
fields of science and culture:
These problems (…) are systemic problems, which
means that they are closely interconnected and in-
terdependent. They cannot be understood within the
fragmented methodology characteristic to our aca-
demic disciplines and government agencies. Such an
approach will never solve any of our difficulties but
will merely shift them around in the complex web of
social and ecological relations. A resolution can be
found only if the structure of the web is changed,
and this will involve profound transformations of
our social institutions, values, and ideas./6

One of the points that show Capra a genius is his men-
tal flexibility. Contrary to many other scientists from the
so-called exact scientific disciplines, he has an extraordinar-
ily synthetic thinking ability which makes him sense shifts
and developments in society long before they actually
happen. Then, following his intuition, he puts his sharp
rational mind in the forefront for collecting and arranging
the information he needs to elucidate and deploy.
This is in accordance with Einstein’s saying that a
problem can never be solved on the level of thought that

41
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

brought it about int he first place. In fact, it’s only through
creative thinking and intuition that we can find new solu-
tions to our old problems, because we then relocate the
thinker to a higher level of perspective. This can be seen in
the way Capra puts spotlights on trends and philosophical
movements of old, to show the potential they had for forg-
ing the reigning worldview, or else for shifting that view
and preparing the ground for a paradigm shift. For example,
Heraclites was one of those enlightened minds who
showed us the volatile path of integrated wisdom, but he
was not followed. Instead our science was to slavishly fol-
low Aristotle, and in the East, the same happened when
Lao-tzu was shunned by Chinese thinkers for giving the
preference to the pedantic, moralistic and hair-splitting
Confucius.
One important area where the reigning paradigm is
presently shifting is psychology. This is only now really ap-
parent, in 2013, where we can count the books written
about what today is called energy psychology, but at the
time Capra authored The Turning Point, this was unthink-
able. Capra explains why the systems view of life will have
a profound impact upon psychology, and the way psy-
chology will be taught at university:
As in the new systems biology, the focus of psychol-
ogy is now shifting from psychological structures to
the underlying processes. The human psyche is seen
as a dynamic system involving a variety of functions
that systems theorists associate with the phenome-
non of self-organization. Following Jung and Reich,

42
FRITJOF CAPRA

many psychologists and psychotherapists have
come to think of mental dynamics in terms of a flow
of energy, and they also believe that these dynamics
reflect an intrinsic intelligence—the equivalent of the
systems concept of mentation—that enables the psy-
che not only to create mental illness but also to heal
itself. Moreover, inner growth and self-actualization
are seen as essential to the dynamics of the human
psyche, in full agreement with the emphasis on self-
transcendence in the systems view of life./407

In fact, one of Capra’s friends is Stanislav Grof, and
with Grof he discussed many of the topics around
psychology/psychiatry he writes about. I got this informa-
tion not only from the huge footnote section in the present
book, but also from his insightful book Uncommon Wisdom
(Bantam, 1989), in which he published interviews with
leading edge personalities from all walks of life, and that
stands as an example for Capra’s extraordinary communi-
cation abilities, and which I will review further down.
As I have to limit myself in this review to a few topics
from the extraordinarily rich array of scientific disciplines
Capra reviews in this book, I shall present, as an example,
how he summarizes the alternative cancer therapy ap-
proach developed by Dr. O. Carl Simonton and his wife,
Stephanie Matthews-Simonton. While I have read their
book, Getting Well Again (1978/1992), and reviewed it, I got
interested in their cancer research because of the informa-
tion I received about it in the present book:

43
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

The popular image of cancer has been conditioned
by the fragmented world view of our culture, the
reductionist approach of our science, and
technology-oriented practice of medicine. Cancer is
seen as a strong and powerful invader / that strikes
the body from outside. There seems to be no hope of
controlling it, and for most people cancer is syn-
onymous with death. Medical treatment—whether
radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, or a combination
of these—is drastic, negative, and further injures the
body. Physicians are increasingly coming to see can-
cer as a systemic disorder; a disease that has a local-
ized appearance but has the ability to spread, and
that really involves the entire body, the original tu-
mor being merely the tip of the iceberg./388-389

What many physicians and mainstream cancer re-
searchers hide or veil is the fact that the strangeness of the
current cancer therapy approach has nothing specific about
it, and can be well explained, and criticized, by seeing
through its mechanistic and inhuman approach to healing,
which is not healing in fact, but medical business. And it’s a
worldwide and gigantic business, and all the huge profits
go in the hand of a few pharmaceutical multinationals that
use a league of uncritical doctors as their brave and brain-
washed business consultants.
Needless to add that it’s one of the most ethically ques-
tionable businesses in the world as it brings about huge
misery, and thousands dying every year as a result of the
hypnotic spells of doctor-executioners that play the devil’s
agent, people who, what now is clear after twenty years of
44
FRITJOF CAPRA

alternative cancer therapy, would not have needed to die
in the first place! This is truly scandalous considering the
effectiveness of perennial natural healing techniques. Ca-
pra writes in more hopeful terms, when he reports the Si-
monton approach to cancer therapy. But the fact alone that
the Simontons are successful in their approach shows with
the best possible evidence that they must be right some-
how:
One of the main aims of the Simonton approach is to
reverse the popular image of cancer, which does not
correspond to the findings of current research. Mod-
ern cellular biology has shown that cancer cells are
not strong and powerful but, on the contrary, weak
and confused. They do not invade, attack, or destroy,
but simply overproduce. A cancer begins with a cell
that contains incorrect genetic information because it
has been damaged by harmful substances or other
environmental influences, or simply because the or-
ganism will occasionally produce an imperfect cell.
The faulty information will prevent the cell from
functioning normally, and if this cell reproduces oth-
ers with the same incorrect genetic makeup, the re-
sult will be a tumor composed of a mass of these
imperfect cells. Whereas normal cells communicate
effectively with their environment to determine their
optimal size and rate of reproduction, the communi-
cation and self-organization of malignant cells are
impaired. As a result they grow larger than healthy
cells and reproduce recklessly. Moreover, the normal
cohesion between cells may weaken and malignant
cells may / break loose from the original mass and
travel to other parts of the body to form new tu-

45
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

mors—which is known as metastasis. In a healthy
organism the immune system will recognize abnor-
mal cells and destroy them, or at least wall them off
so they cannot spread. But if for some reason the
immune system is not strong enough, the mass of
faulty cells will continue to grow. Cancer, then, is not
an attack from without but a breakdown within.
/389-390

What I may add here is that this ‘popular image of can-
cer’ is not the result of folk wisdom, or folk delusion, but
rather of folk hypnosis. The general public knows intuitively
very well that what the official rhetoric says about cancer
is not true, but what can they do against the medical estab-
lishment? Wilhelm Reich was legally murdered by his fel-
low colleagues, medical doctors who populate the rings of
the FDA, in their effort to ruthlessly discard out any ap-
proach and any practitioner that does not fit in their
business-driven, medical approach that serves to fill the
pockets of multinationals and that doesn’t intent heal any-
body. What it does is to keep people sick because it’s on
the back of sick people, and not on the back of healthy
people that it makes its return of investment.

In fact, the public is brainwashed by a medical propa-
ganda that has no parallel in human history and that has
put the image of cancer as the ‘killer disease’ in the minds
of all and everybody. It is not the common man’s intuition
that has created this standard metaphor of the hopeless
and passive patient who is ‘innocently executed’ by a ter-
minal disease. It’s a myth, but it could spread like a virus
46
FRITJOF CAPRA

because of the apathy of most consumer-citizens to see
through the veil of consume-friendly messages they re-
ceive every day in the media, and it’s the price they pay for
their eternal passivity to inquiry themselves—for after all
there is enough alternative information to be found today
on the Internet, and there are many alternative cancer
therapies. Capra continues:
The Simontons and other researchers have devel-
oped a psychosomatic model of cancer that shows
how psychological and physical states work to-
gether in the onset of the disease. Although many
details of this process still need to be clarified, it has
become clear that the emotional stress has two prin-
cipal effects. It suppresses the body’s immune sys-
tem and, at the same time, leads to hormonal imbal-
ances that result in an increased production of ab-
normal cells. Thus optimal conditions for cancer
growth are created. The production of malignant
cells is enhanced precisely at a time when the body
is least capable of destroying them. As far as the per-
sonality configuration is concerned, the individual’s
emotional states seem to be the crucial element in
the development of cancer. The connection between
cancer and emotions has been observed for hun-
dreds of years, and today there is substantial evi-
dence for the significance of specific emotional
states. These are the result of a particular life history
that seems to be characteristic of cancer patients.
Psychological profiles of such patients have been
established by a number of researchers, some of
whom were even able to predict the incidence of

47
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

cancer with remarkable accuracy on the basis of
these profiles./391

48
FRITJOF CAPRA

Uncommon Wisdom
Conversations with Remarkable People
New York: Bantam Books, 1989

Uncommon Wisdom is not strictly speaking a science book, but it eluci-
dates much about the scientist Fritjof Capra and the method of his spe-
cial approach to knowledge gathering by exchanging views with others,
so as to achieve at a multi-vectorial perspective. It is a very readable and
from the human point of view highly interesting book, for it shows with
many examples that we arrive at a mature judgment of any problem
only by exchanging with others, and if the field of study is outside our
professional expertise, by consulting with the best experts in the field.

I reviewed Uncommon Wisdom (1989) only recently, and
after my second lecture of the book. Previously, I had been
convinced that the book cannot be reviewed as it is very
personal, autobiographic and contains many conversations
difficult if not impossible to paraphrase without actually
quoting them. To quote them entirely was excluded be-
cause of copyright, so I had to mark the main points only.

49
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

First of all, I reflected why I should review the book.
After my initial hesitation, and reading it once again, I
came to realize that it is actually a very important docu-
ment, because it relates the transition that the author made
from The Tao of Physics (1975) to The Turning Point (1987),
and how Capra was receiving broad feedback and support
from other scientists, psychologists, psychiatrists and
medical doctors to discuss his paradigm-changing re-
search, and the project for the upcoming book that was cer-
tainly challenging to write. As such, the book is something
like a background study for Capra’s upcoming bestseller
The Turning Point (1987) while it was published two years
after the latter.

The book contains conversations with Werner Heisen-
berg, J. Krishnamurti, Geoffrey Chew, Gregory Bateson, Stan-
islav Grof, R.D. Laing, Carl Simonton, Margaret Lock, E.F.
Schumacher, Hazel Henderson, and Indira Gandhi. In addi-
tion, the so-called Big Sur Dialogues, a conversation about
paradigm changes in medicine, at the Esalen Institute,
which was led by Capra, and to which attended and con-
tributed Gregory Bateson, Antonio Dimalanta, Stanislav Grof,
Hazel Henderson, Margaret Lock, Leonard Shlain and Carl Si-
monton.

I have not quoted this extensive discussion, while it is
one of the best documents one could possibly find for voic-
ing the various opinions and policies that are presently
leading conventional Western medicine toward a truly ho-
listic and integrative medical healing paradigm.

50
FRITJOF CAPRA

It would have been against copyright to quote this en-
tire section of the book, which is why I just mention it here,
and recommend the reader of this review to buy the book
and really peruse it.
Uncommon Wisdom is a must-read for everyone who
wants to be informed how, since more than two decades,
our fundamental scientific paradigms are changing toward
a holistic worldview.

All the scholars Fritjof Capra met, and other people he
mentioned in this book do not need to be introduced, as
they are world-famous.
To begin with, I could not say which part of the book I
liked best and which part, as it is often the case, was of
lesser interest to me. It was all one fascinating read from
the first to the last word. Perhaps, yes, the most captivating
accounts for me were Capra’s meetings with Gregory Bate-
son, Stanislav Grof and Ronald David Laing. This is by the
way my experience with all of Capra’s books, and I believe
this has to do with both his scientific honesty and his clear,
and careful writing style that doesn’t venture into specula-
tions, but still conveys also the emotional nature of the
author. Capra is perhaps exceptional among scientists in
that respect, and in this book this becomes particularly
evident, as it retraces also his hippie years, and his spirit of
adventure as a young man, lover, artist and scientist.
What emerges from the lecture of this book is a deep
insight not only in the scientific subjects discussed in it, but
in the way Capra researches. As he has outlined it in his

51
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

lecture at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, in November
2007, his research method is unique in that he doesn’t as
other researchers base his knowledge-gathering on books,
as the primary source of information, but on their authors.
Over the many years of his research and publishing, he
managed to always get in touch with the authors of the
books he found important for his research, and bonds with
them, and often actually befriends them. Sometimes, he
spontaneously sent a manuscript to some of them, and re-
ceived valuable feedback.
In this way, Fritjof Capra has befriended many great
minds over the last thirty years, among them those fea-
tured in this fascinating and very personal book.

52
FRITJOF CAPRA

The Web of Life
A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems
New York: Anchor Books, 1997

The Web of Life is the book in which Capra defined his approach to ecol-
ogy, thereby making ecology, or deep ecology, a concept that is part of a
new science paradigm, powerfully introduced and promoted by one of
the most important science theorists of our times.

What is deep ecology and why do we need it? Capra writes:
Whereas the old paradigm is based on anthropocen-
tric (human-centered) values, deep ecology is
grounded in ecocentric (earth-centered) values. It is
a worldview that acknowledges the inherent value
of nonhuman life./11

Such a deep ecological ethics is urgently needed to-
day, and especially in science, since most of what
scientists do is not life-furthering and life-preserving

53
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

but life-destroying. With physicists designing
weapon systems that threaten to wipe out life on the
planet, with chemists contaminating the global envi-
ronment, with biologists releasing new and un-
known types of microorganisms without knowing
the consequences, with psychologists and other sci-
entists torturing animals in the name of scientific
progress—with all these activities going on, it seems
most urgent to introduce ‘ecoethical’ standards into
science./Id.

This book’s quest is enormous in that it requires mod-
ern science to fundamentally shift its regard upon nature,
and upon living! Our regard upon nature has been condi-
tioned by patriarchy since about five thousand years, and
it’s a rather defensive, distorted, schizophrenic, and reduc-
tionist regard. Capra looked back in history and found
amazing early intuitions and truths propagated by our
great thinkers, poets and philosophers, such as for exam-
ple Immanuel Kant, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe or Wil-
liam Blake. 
The understanding of organic form also played an
important role in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant,
who is often considered the greatest of the modern
philosophers. An idealist, Kant separated the phe-
nomenal world from a world of ‘things-in-
themselves.’ He believed that science could offer
only mechanical explanations, but he affirmed that
in areas where such explanations were inadequate,
scientific knowledge needed to be supplemented by
considering nature as being purposeful./21

54
FRITJOF CAPRA

Capra wondered why our science and technologies are
so deeply hostile toward our globe, which we call Mother
Earth after all, and so little caring for its preservation? He
found conclusive answers in ancient traditions that fos-
tered what we call today a Gaia worldview, a respectful
attitude toward the earth, the mother, the yin energy and
generally female values:
The view of the Earth as being alive, of course, has a
long tradition. Mythical images of the Earth Mother
are among the oldest in human religious history.
Gaia, the Earth Goddess, was revered as the su-
preme deity in early, pre-Hellenic Greece. Earlier
still, from the Neolithic through the Bronze Ages, the
societies of ‘Old Europe’ worshiped numerous fe-
male deities as incarnations of Mother Earth./22

This is how Capra, always grounded in common sense
and meaningful retrospection, smoothly introduces the
novice reader to the concept of systems research or the sys-
tems view of life.
Post-matriarchal thought, which was naturally sys-
temic, can be traced from the Atomistic Worldview (Demo-
critus), over the Cartesian Worldview (Newton, La Mettrie,
René Descartes) and Relativistic Worldview (Einstein,
Planck, Heisenberg), to the Systemic Worldview (Bohm,
Bateson, Grof, Capra, Laszlo, etc.) and the Holistic World-
view (Talbot, Goswami, McTaggart, etc.).
In all systems, we have to deal with different levels of
complexity that are woven in each other, thus rendering it

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

almost impossible to dissect parts of the system for closer
research without disturbing the system. This means that,
contrary to earlier vivisectionist science, we need to leave
the system intact and focus our research onto the whole of
it—which makes it all so complex, but this very complexity
renders justice to nature!
As a result, we had to develop a new mathematics,
which today is called the mathematics of complexity, in
order to deal with the high complexity levels in living sys-
tems. This also means that our chief scientific method—d-
eductive analysis—is inadequate for any inquiry in the
functionality of living systems, because they are networks
within networks and can only be grasped scientifically
through understanding their properties.
According to the systems view, the essential proper-
ties of an organism, or living system, are properties
of the whole, which none of the parts have. They
arise from the interactions and relationships among
the parts. These properties are destroyed when the
system is dissected, either physically or theoretically,
into isolated elements. Although we can discern in-
dividual parts in any system, these parts are not iso-
lated, and the nature of the whole is always different
from the mere sum of its parts. (...)  The great shock
of twentieth-century science has been that systems
cannot be understood by analysis. The properties of
the parts are not intrinsic properties but can be un-
derstood only within the context of the larger whole.
Thus the relationship between the parts and the
whole has been reversed./29

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FRITJOF CAPRA

At each scale, under closer scrutiny, the nodes of the
network reveal themselves as smaller networks. We
tend to arrange these systems, all nesting within
larger systems in a hierarchical scheme by placing
the larger systems above the smaller ones in pyra-
mid fashion. But this is a human projection. In na-
ture there is no ‘above’ or ‘below’, and there are no
hierarchies. There are only networks nesting within
other networks./35

This means that living systems are not, as most of our
governmental and societal organization, hierarchical, but
network-based, and thus structured not vertically but
horizontally by ‘neuronally’ linking segments to larger mo-
lecular structures that distribute information instantly over
the whole of the network. You can also say that a living
network is a system of ‘total information sharing’ where
there is not one single molecule that is uninformed at any
point in time and space.
The fact that horizontal networks are nested within
other horizontal networks, while the different networks all
possess a different level of complexity, makes research so
intricate. This is inter alia why high-performance comput-
ers have greatly aided in developing systems theory. But
the most revolutionary insight here is that our usual habit
of dissecting parts from a whole for further scrutiny and
scientific investigation does not work with living systems.
Why is this so?
Ultimately—as quantum physics showed so dra-
matically—there are no parts at all. What we call a

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

part is merely a pattern in an inseparable web of
relationships. Therefore the shift from the parts to
the whole can also be seen as a shift from objects to
relationships./37

Hence, the whole of our approach to scientific investi-
gation has to shift from an object-based to a relationship-
based research approach when we deal with living systems.
This requires researchers to change their inner setup which
is exactly what quantum physics revealed to us, that is, the
observer’s belief system will be reflected in the outcome of
the research.
And there is one more crucial element in systems re-
search that Capra explains and elucidates. It is what we
already learnt within the revolutionary reframing of sci-
ence by quantum physics, the fact namely that in ap-
proaching quantum reality, and organic behavior, we have
to learn the mathematics of probability. What is probabil-
ity? It is the approximation of behavior. Dealing with ap-
proximations means that we leave the certainty principle
and venture into what Heisenberg called the uncertainty
principle. Giving up certainty triggers fear. This fear was
very vividly described by Max Planck and Werner Heisen-
berg when the paradigm began to shift and quantum phys-
ics slowly but definitely began to undermine traditional
physics. When we abandon certainty, we begin to grasp
the notion of approximation, and of probability, and accord-
ingly, we will shift our mathematical constructs when we
deal with open systems.

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FRITJOF CAPRA

What makes it possible to turn the systems approach
into a science is the discovery that there is approxi-
mate knowledge. This insight is crucial to all of
modern science. The old paradigm is based on the
Cartesian belief in the certainty of scientific knowl-
edge. In the new paradigm it is recognized that all
scientific concepts and theories are limited and ap-
proximate. Science can never provide any complete
and definite understanding./41

Unlike closed systems, which settle into a state of
thermal equilibrium, open systems maintain them-
selves far from equilibrium in this ‘steady state’
characterized by continual flow and change./48

Living systems are open systems, which means that
their main characteristic is change and flow, and not conti-
nuity and static behavior. And they are far from equilib-
rium, which is the single most revolutionary discovery of
systems research. It means living systems are constantly
struggling against decay, and decay means equilibrium.
When we extrapolate this insight from organic systems
into our metaphysical reality, we see that it applies also to
human beings, and even to religions. When we are settled
and satiated, we are not alive. This is what it all boils down
to. So this profound insight from systems research may
help us to survive in a state far from equilibrium, putting
our assuredness or false assuredness away, to stay with a
beginner’s mind, as it’s so wistfully expressed in Zen. Our
universe is a basically patterned universe, so is human intel-
ligence.
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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

But what are patterns? Capra explains the importance of
pattern when he explores the meaning of self-organization,
which is one major characteristic of living systems. In or-
der to scientifically explain pattern we need to change or
for the least upgrade our basic toolset of scientific investi-
gation. Capra explains:
To understand the phenomenon of self-organization,
we first need to understand the importance of pat-
tern. The idea of a pattern of organization—a con-
figuration of relationships characteristic of a particu-
lar system—became the explicit focus of systems
thinking in cybernetics and has been a crucial con-
cept ever since. From the systems point of view, the
understanding of life begins with the understanding
of pattern./80

In the study of structure we measure and weigh
things. Patterns, however, cannot be measured or
weighed; they must be mapped. To understand a
pattern we must map a configuration of relation-
ships. In other words, structure involves quantities,
while pattern involves qualities./81

The systems view of life really involves a radical
change in our scientific thinking because traditional sci-
ence was quantity-based and measure-oriented, while sys-
temic science is quality-based and relationship-oriented.
Capra exemplifies this truth by looking at the proper-
ties involved in the scientific focus of both static and sys-
temic science theory. In this context, we should look at

60
FRITJOF CAPRA

feedback loops as an important self-regulatory function in
living systems. This is important because without feedback
loops, living systems could not be self-organizing. Capra
explains:
Systemic properties are properties of pattern. What
is destroyed when a living organism is dissected is
its pattern. The components are still there, but the
configuration of relationships among them— the
pattern—is destroyed, and thus the organism
dies./81

Because networks of communication may generate
feedback loops, they may acquire the ability to regu-
late themselves. For example, a community that
maintains an active network of communication will
learn from its mistakes, because the consequences of
a mistake will spread through the network and re-
turn to the / source along feedback loops. Thus the
community can correct its mistakes, regulate itself,
and organize itself. Indeed, self-organization has
emerged as perhaps the central concept in the sys-
tems view of life, and like the concepts of feedback
and self-regulation, it is linked closely to networks.
The pattern of life, we might say, is a network pat-
tern capable of self-organization. This is a simple
definition, yet it is based on recent discoveries at the
very forefront of science./82-83

Another central point in this book is Capra’s focus
upon the intrinsic quality of living systems as nonlinear sys-
tems that require, to be understood, an equally nonlinear
mathematical approach. One early realization of mathe-
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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

matical nonlinearity was the introduction of the fractal in
mathematics. In fact, in my exchanges with the Swiss
mathematician Peter Meyer who was the collaborator of
Terence McKenna for the realization of the Timewave Zero
calculus as a part of Novelty Theory, I learnt that time is a
fractal. Capra explains:
The great fascination exerted by chaos theory and
fractal geometry on people in all disciplines—from
scientists to managers to artists—may indeed be a
hopeful sign that the isolation of mathematics is
ending. Today the new mathematics of complexity is
/ making more and more people realize that
mathematics is much more than dry formulas; that
the understanding of pattern is crucial to under-
stand the living world around us; and that all ques-
tions of pattern, order, and complexity are essen-
tially mathematical./152-153

After having elucidated that systems research involves
a process-based scientific approach rather than an object-
based one, Capra presents the perhaps most important re-
search topic in this book: the reinvestigation of cognition
based on the insights from systems research. Capra pur-
sues:
The identification of mind, or cognition, with the
process of life is a radically new idea in science, but
it is also one of the deepest and most archaic intui-
tions of humanity. In ancient times the rational hu-
man mind was seen as merely one aspect of the im-
material soul, or spirit./264

62
FRITJOF CAPRA

In fact, the whole debate about information processing,
vividly criticized in the early writings of think tank Ed-
ward de Bono, and the even larger debate about cybernet-
ics make it all clear that cognition is currently in a process
of reevaluation:
The computer model of cognition was finally sub-
jected to serious questioning in the 1970’s when the
concept of self-organization emerged. (…) These
observations suggested a shift of focus—from sym-
bols to connectivity, from local rules to global coher-
ence, from information processing to the emergent
properties of neural networks./266

In my scientific exploration of emotions, I have revis-
ited our scientific grasp of emotions, as it was coined
within a fragmented and reductionist science paradigm.
Fritjof Capra comprehensively explains that emotions are
not singular elements but coherently organized within a
patterned system in which cognition and response are inter-
twined in a self-regulatory and organic whole:
The range of interactions a living system can have
with its environment defines its ‘cognitive domain’.
Emotions are an integral part of this domain. For
example, when we respond to an insult by getting
angry, that entire pattern of physiological proc-
esses—a red face, faster breathing, trembling, and so
on—is part of cognition. In fact, recent research
strongly indicates that there is an emotional coloring
to every cognitive act./269

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

The most important fact that systems theory teaches us
about cognition is that it does not work like a computer
processes information. Information processing, already
declared years ago ‘an obsession of modern science’ by
Edward de Bono, is quite a misnomer because our brain
does not ‘process’ information as a computer does.
A computer processes information, which means
that it manipulates symbols based on certain rules.
The symbols are distinct elements fed into the com-
puter from outside, and during the information
processing there is no change in the structure of the
machine. The physical structure of the computer is
fixed, determined by its design and construction.
The nervous system of a living organism … interacts
with its environment by continually modulating its
structure, so that at any moment its physical / struc-
ture is a record of previous structural changes. The
nervous system does not process information from
the outside world but, on the contrary, brings forth a
world in the process of cognition./274-275

Capra then answers to the debate about artificial intelli-
gence and the myths it creates in the minds of masses of
people:
A lot of confusion is caused by the fact that com-
puter scientists use words such as intelligence,
memory, and language to describe computers, thus
implying that these expressions refer to the human
phenomena we know well from experience. This is a
serious misunderstanding. For example, the very
essence of intelligence is to act appropriately when a

64
FRITJOF CAPRA

problem is not clearly defined and solutions are not
evident. Intelligent human behavior in such situa-
tions is based on common sense, accumulated from
lived experience. Common sense, however, is not
available to computers because of their blindness of
abstraction and the intrinsic limitations / of formal
operations, and therefore it is impossible to program
computers to be intelligent./275-276

Real intelligence is human, and original, not mechani-
cal and artificial! True intelligence is contextual, as lan-
guage is. No computer can understand meaning. A rat’s
intelligence is a million times closer to that of man than
that of the most powerful and sophisticated computer. Ca-
pra notes:
The reason is that language is embedded in a web of
social and cultural conventions that provides an un-
spoken context of meaning. We understand this con-
text because it is common sense to us, but a com-
puter cannot be programmed with common sense
and therefore does not understand language./276

Mind is not a thing but a process—the process of
cognition, which is identified with the process of life.
The brain is a specific structure through which this
process operates. Thus the relationship between
mind and brain is one between process and
structure./278

Now, let us look at what sustainability means in sys-
tems research. A system is sustainable when it’s not only

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

functional but also well integrated in a greater continuum
so that it has a good prognosis for survival, for continuity.
Capra writes:
Partnership is an essential characteristic of sustain-
able communities. The cyclical exchanges of energy
and resources in an ecosystem are sustained by per-
vasive cooperation. Indeed, we have seen that since
the creation of the first nucleated cells over two bil-
lion years ago, life on Earth has proceeded through
ever more intricate arrangements of cooperation and
coevolution. Partnership—the tendency to associate,
establish links, live inside one another, and cooper-
ate—is one of the hallmarks of life./301

Partnership and cooperation were indeed alien words
under patriarchy but they were imbedded in pre-
patriarchal cultures, such as the Minoan Civilization, and
thus what we get today is a return to the sources.

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FRITJOF CAPRA

The Hidden Connections
A Science for Sustainable Living
New York: Anchor Books, 2004

The Hidden Connections is perhaps the most lucid of Capra’s books. This
being said, I could well imagine that if you begin reading Capra with
the present book, without reading his previous books first, you might
get stuck somewhere in the midst of it—simply because you lack out on
essential information that is contained in Capra’s earlier books.

At the very onset of The Hidden Connections, Capra re-
veals an important detail about himself and his unusual
development as a scientist:
My extension of the systems approach to the social
domain explicitly includes the material world. This
is unusual, because traditionally social scientists
have not been very interested in the world of matter.

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Our academic disciplines have been organized in
such a way that the natural sciences deal with mate-
rial structures while the social sciences deal with
social structures, which are understood to be, essen-
tially, rules of behavior. In the future, this strict divi-
sion will no longer be possible, because the key chal-
lenge of this new century—for social scientists, natu-
ral scientists and everybody else—will be to build
ecologically sustainable communities, designed in
such a way that their technologies and social institu-
tions—their material and social structures—do not
interfere with nature’s inherent ability to sustain
life./xix

Capra starts, systemically sound, with the cell, noting
that the simplest living system is the cell, and especially,
the bacterial cell. Then Capra looks at what membranes are,
and what they do, and this is highly revealing, and teaches
an important lesson about relationships. I haven’t found
this insightful metaphor anywhere else, and it showed me
right at the start of this book that it’s going to be highly
substantial lecture:
A membrane is very different from a cell wall.
Whereas cell walls are rigid structures, membranes
are always active, opening and closing continually,
keeping certain substances out and letting others
in./8

The cell’s metabolic reactions involve a variety of
ions, and the membrane, by being semipermeable,
controls their proportions and keeps them in bal-
ance. Another critical activity of the membrane is to

68
FRITJOF CAPRA

continually pump out excessive calcium waste, so
that the calcium remaining within the cell is kept at
the precise, very low level required for its metabolic
functions. All these activities help to maintain the
cell as a distinct entity and protect it from harmful
environmental influences. Indeed, the first thing a
bacterium does when it is attacked by another or-
ganism is to make membranes./Id.

The next important point to understand how nature
‘thinks’ is the cell’s metabolism, the network that serves
recycling. Capra succinctly elaborates:
When we take a closer look at the processes of me-
tabolism, we notice that they form a chemical net-
work. This is another fundamental feature of life. As
ecosystems are understood in terms of food webs
(networks of organisms), so organisms are viewed as
networks of cells, organs and organ systems, and
cells as networks of molecules. One of the key in-
sights of the systems approach has been the realiza-
tion that the network is a pattern that is common to
all life. Wherever we see life, we see networks. (...)
The metabolic network of a cell involves very special
dynamics that differ strikingly from the cell’s nonliv-
ing environment. Taking in nutrients from the out-
side world, the cell sustains itself by means of a
network of chemical reactions that take place inside
the boundary and produce all of the cell’s compo-
nents, including those of the boundary itself./9

I shall leave out in this review the long passages in
which Capra explains the essential contributions of sys-

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

tems researchers such as Humberto Maturana, Francisco
Varela, or Ilya Prigogine, as this would render this review
definitely too extensive. I shall thus restrict myself to a few
remarks for describing the core of systems research that
Capra unfolds in this book:
The starting point for this is the observation that all
cellular structures exist far from equilibrium state—
in other words, the cell would die—if the cellular
metabolism did not use a continual flow of energy to
restore structures as fast as they are decaying. This
means that we need to describe the cell as an open
system. Living systems are organizationally clos-
ed—they are autopoietic networks—but materially
and energetically open./13

One of the most important insights we gain from sys-
tems theory and the close observation of natural processes
is the relationship between chaos and order. What is
chaos? What is order? We all have some preconceptions
here. Sure, but I promise you that when you read this
book, you will let go all of them, because they are wrong!
Chaos is not chaos, but ordered chaos, and thus not ran-
dom, and order is not a stable condition. You may remem-
ber that we discussed earlier on what self-organization
means relating to systems. Here, Capra explains in more
detail what self-organization actually does:
Th[e] spontaneous emergence of order at critical
points of instability is one of the most important
concepts of the new understanding of life. It is tech-
nically known as self organization and is often re-

70
FRITJOF CAPRA

ferred to simply as emergence. It has been recog-
nized as the dynamic origin of development, learn-
ing and evolution. In other words, creativity—the
generation of new forms—is a key property of all
living systems. And since emergence is an integral
part of the dynamics of open systems, we reach the
important conclusion that open systems develop
and evolve. Life constantly reaches out into
novelty./14

The next great error most of us are caught in is the dis-
crimination between humans and animals when it is about
cognition. Fact is that humans are not much more intelli-
gent than Gorillas, only a little more, to be precise: we are
precisely 1.6 times more intelligent than gorillas. Besides
that, it was believed that in animals cognition was working
in basically different ways than in humans. This seems to
have been an error. Researchers found you can talk with
chimpanzees if you learn their language, and they can
learn ours. Capra summarizes this research shortly:
The unified, post-Cartesian view of mind, matter,
and life also implies a radical reassessment of the
relationships between humans and animals.

Throughout most of Western philosophy, the capac-
ity to reason was seen as a uniquely human charac-
teristic, distinguishing us from all other animals. The
communication studies with chimpanzees / have
exposed the fallacy of this belief in the most dra-
matic of ways. They make it clear that the cognitive
and emotional lives of animals and humans differ

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

only by degree; that life is a great continuum in
which differences between species are gradual and
evolutionary./65-66

I shall finalize this review with some very interesting
political and social hidden connections that Capra unveils
in his book.
There are probably still people around who are fond of
biotechnology, but I guess they just ignore the facts, and
their knowledge is for the most part taken from the huge
amount of propaganda material. Was it only for this en-
lightening information, the present book is worth its price
as it daringly unveils the hidden facts and tells the truth!
The most widespread use of plant biotechnology has
been to develop herbicide-tolerant crops in order to
boast the sales of particular herbicides. There is a
strong likelihood that the transgenic plants will
cross-pollinate with wild relatives in their surround-
ings, thus creating herbicide-resistant superweeds.
Evidence indicates that such gene flows between
transgenic crops and wild relatives are already oc-
curring. /193

Why do we need biotechnology? I guess certain peo-
ple, corporations and their consorts need it for making
huge amounts of money. But is it tolerable in a democracy
that all suffer from the side effects of technologies that en-
rich a few? I learnt as a law student that such a kind of sys-
tem is called an oligarchy, the reign of an elite. So I am seri-

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FRITJOF CAPRA

ously asking how we ever came to say that we are living in
a democracy?
In the animal kingdom, where cellular complexity is
much higher, the side effects in genetically modified
species are much worse. ‘Super-salmon’ which were
engineered to grow as fast as possible, ended up
with monstrous heads and died from not being able
to breathe or feed properly. Similarly, a superpig
with a human gene for a growth hormone turned
out ulcerous, blind, and impotent. (...) The most hor-
rifying and by now best-known story is probably
that of the genetically altered hormone called re-
combinant bovine growth hormone, which has been
used to stimulate milk production in cows despite
the fact that American dairy farmers have produced
vastly more milk than people can consume for the
past fifty years. The effects of this genetic engineer-
ing folly on the cow’s health are serious. They in-
clude bloat, diarrhea, diseases of the knees and feet,
cystic ovaries, and many more. Besides, their milk
may contain a substance that has been implicated in
human breast and stomach cancers./198

Why do we need superpigs? It seems to me that they
are the result of quantitative thinking, a primacy of quantity
over quality, and this for the obvious reason of maximizing
profits. This is a good example for the fact that we live in
what has been called the corporate society, as the prototype
of a society in which major corporations dictate the stan-
dards the government is going to follow and to enact as
laws. Capra notes the details:

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

In the United States, the biotech industry has per-
suaded the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to
treat GM food as substantially equivalent to tradi-
tional food, which allows food producers to evade
normal testing by the FDA and the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), and also leaves it to the
companies’ own discretion as to whether to label
their products as genetically modified. Thus, the
public is kept unaware of the rapid spread of trans-
genic foods and scientists will find it much harder to
trace harmful effects. Indeed, buying organic is now
the only way to avoid GM foods./199

In Germany, France, and most other European coun-
tries, the laws are different regarding genetically modified
food. Capra informs:
The governments of France, Italy, Greece, and Den-
mark announced that they would block the approval
of new GM crops in the European Union. The Euro-
pean Commission made the labeling of GM foods
mandatory, as did the governments of Japan, South
Korea, Australia, and Mexico. In January 2000, 130
nations signed the groundbreaking Cartagena Proto-
col on Biosafety in Montreal, which gives nations the
right to refuse entry to any genetically modified
forms of life, despite vehement opposition from the
United States. /228

As a trained lawyer, I can clearly see that we are facing
currently a challenge to legally codify these new technolo-
gies—lest, as it were, they are going to codify us, entrain-
ing us in a turbulence of faits établis, and then the law will

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FRITJOF CAPRA

leap behind the actual developments. But the law should
better accompany the research step by step so as to be up-
dated with the explosive growth of these very heavily
funded research disciplines. Capra writes:
The development of such new biotechnologies will
be a tremendous intellectual challenge, because we
still do not understand how nature developed tech-
nologies during billions of years of evolution that
are far superior to our human designs. How do
mussels produce glue that sticks to anything in wa-
ter? How do spiders spin a silk thread that, ounce
for ounce, is five times stronger than steel? How do
abalone grow a shell that is twice as tough as our
high-tech ceramics? How do these creatures manu-
facture their miracle materials in water, at room
temperature, silently, and without any toxic
byproducts?/204

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Steering Business Toward Sustainability
Edited with Wolfgang Pauli
New York: United Nations University Press, 1995

Steering Business Toward Sustainability is a book of high
practical value for leaders and organizations who are con-
scious of the need for deep ecology and the challenge we
presently face to update most of our basic business rou-
tines and procedures in order to build sustainable organi-
zations.
Quite simply, our business practices are destroying
life on earth. Given current corporate practices, not
one wildlife reserve, wilderness, or indigenous cul-
ture will survive the global market economy. /1

Capra’s idea of ecology has developed over many
years. It is rooted in the insights he exposed in his previous
four books, and thus we can say this present book is sol-
idly grounded in research. In addition, Capra leaves no
doubt that it’s not just a technocratic idea, but an intrinsi-
cally spiritual concept. He also credits those, religions and
peoples, who have practiced ecological thinking long be-
fore the birth of the United States of America:
When the concept of the human spirit is understood
as the mode of consciousness in which the individ-
ual feels connected to the cosmos as a whole, it be-
comes clear that ecological awareness is spiritual in
its deepest essence. It is therefore not surprising that
the emerging new vision of reality, based on deep
ecological awareness, is consistent with the so-called

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FRITJOF CAPRA

perennial philosophy of spiritual traditions, whether
we talk about the spirituality of Christian mystics,
that of Buddhists, or the philosophy and cosmology
underlying the American Indian traditions. /3

Capra reminds us of the fact that when restructuring
our economies, we should learn from nature, instead of
feeling superior over nature. Ecoliteracy is one of the no-
tions Capra is currently lecturing about, and Gunter Pauli,
the co-editor of this reader is one of Capra’s truest collabo-
rators, himself an authority on ecology in Germany. Within
the concept of ecological literacy, Capra seems to give the
highest importance to the term sustainability, and he com-
prehensively explains what this term means:
In our attempts to build and nurture sustainable
communities we can learn valuable lessons from
ecosystems, because ecosystems are sustainable
communities of plants, animals, and microorgan-
isms. To understand these lessons, we need to learn
nature’s language. We need to become ecologically
literate. (...) Being ecologically literate means under-
standing how ecosystems organize themselves so as
to maximize sustainability./4

Many of us have yet to understand why our modern
technologies are so much in conflict with nature’s setup,
and this is a fact that is barely elucidated in the mass me-
dia. Non-educated people, and even entrepreneurs who
have not been exposed to academic study are usually at
pains with understanding the deeper reasons of this con-

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

flict. Capra, referencing Paul Hawken, The Ecology of Com-
merce, Harper, 1993, elucidates it:
The present clash between business and nature, be-
tween economics and ecology, is mainly due to the
fact that nature is cyclical, whereas our industrial
systems are linear, taking up energy and resources
from the earth, transforming them into products
plus waste, discarding the waste, and finally throw-
ing away also the products after they have been
used. Sustainable patterns of production and con-
sumption need to be cyclical, imitating the processes
in ecosystems./5

Back in Antiquity, there was barely a need for people to
learn systems thinking because they were naturally
aligned with the logic of nature, as they were living with
nature, and not on top of nature, as we do today. We can
also say that we as modern city dwellers have lost our con-
tinuum, as it was expressed with much emphasis by Jean
Liedloff in The Continuum Concept. Besides, Capra informs
us about how we should apply ecology in our daily lives,
and what it teaches us. There are seven principles to learn
that Capra calls Principles of Ecology and that he explains
one by one:
Interdependence
All members of an ecosystem are interconnected in a
web of relationships, in which all life processes de-
pend on one another.

Ecological Cycles
The interdependencies among the members of an
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FRITJOF CAPRA

ecosystem involve the exchange of energy and re-
sources in continual cycles.

Energy Flow
Solar Energy, transformed into chemical energy by
the photosynthesis of green plants, drives all eco-
logical cycles.

Partnership
All living members of an ecosystem are engaged in a
subtle interplay of competition and cooperation, in-
volving countless forms of partnership.

Flexibility
Ecological cycles have the tendency to maintain
themselves in a flexible state, characterized by inter-
dependent fluctuations of their variables.

Diversity
The stability of an ecosystem depends on the degree
of complexity of its network of relationships; in
other words, on the diversity of the ecosystem.

Coevolution
Most species in an ecosystem coevolve through an
interplay of creation and mutual adaptation.

Sustainability
The long-term survival of each species in an ecosys-
tem depends on a limited resource base. Ecosystems
organize themselves according to the principles
summarized above so as to maintain sustainability.
/6

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Capra also explains very well the feedback-looping
that we find is a typical feature of living systems. The un-
derstanding of feedbacking by constant parameter change as
a response to a given stimulus is crucial for the under-
standing of the cyclic nature of all life. This is one of the
points modern scientists are really at pains with because
their thought structure simply is too linear. Capra explains:
When changing environmental conditions disturb
one link in an ecological cycle, the entire cycle acts as
a self-regulating feedback loop and soon brings the
situation back into balance. And since these distur-
bances happen all the time, the variables in an eco-
logical cycle fluctuate continually. These fluctuations
represent the ecosystem’s flexibility. Lack of flexibil-
ity manifests itself as stress. In particular, stress will
occur when one or more variables of the system are
pushed to their extreme values, which induces in-
creased rigidity throughout the system. Temporary
stress is an essential aspect of life, but prolonged
stress is harmful and destructive to the system./7

It’s exactly this widely unpredictable feedback-looping
that is inherent in the current paradigm of ecological de-
struction. This dangerous situation is worsened by the
general lack of ecological literacy regarding the possible
effects of large disturbances, such as ozone hole, deforesta-
tion, global warming and desertification.
Our knowledge also is insufficient to make ecological
solutions work effectively even once ecology-friendly poli-
cies are implemented by governments and organizations.

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FRITJOF CAPRA

It is not enough to see the dangers and implement good
new laws for protecting nature, we also need to see how
the damage already done will interact with our new poli-
cies; this is so because it’s not taken for granted that our
best-intended tactics of healing nature are going to work.
For insuring this, we have to learn much more about
feedback-looping in natural systems, and we need to learn
how nature heals herself.

For example, it has been shown that the planting of
new trees does not per see heal the damage that deforesta-
tion has done to our planet. It’s all in the why and how of
planting trees, where, how many, and in what mixture of
species that the wisdom lies. On the other hand, it has been
seen in Indonesia, one of the worst hit countries by defor-
estation, that huge areas that were deforested began to
grow trees without anybody doing anything about it! Later
research showed that the conditions had been ideal for
trees to grow again, but nobody really knew why in other
places, where at first sight conditions were very similar,
this was not the case.
We definitely have to develop humility, given our
dreadful ignorance in the face of the complexity level of
nature, at all phases of evolution.

We are simply not trained in complexity thinking, and
our schools and universities destroy the little of complexity
we have developed naturally as children as a result of free
play. It is freedom that is at the basis of building complexity,
not discipline, it is permissiveness, not repression. Here is

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where our morality clearly stares grimly in nature’s face
because nature is amoral. If theologians will ever grasp
this dimension is not my concern, but as scientists we
should definitely do away with our projections upon na-
ture and at the same time get all our senses and our emo-
tional intelligence ready for receiving the messages of na-
ture. Nature communicates when we are ready to listen,
and it will tell us how we can help healing the damage we
have done to her over the last five thousand years of patri-
archal ignorance.
This book together with Hidden Connections and The
Web of Life teaches the basics of understanding nature’s
complexity. It also teaches us the importance of diversity, a
concept that at present is rather shunned by mainstream
politics, while liberal phases, as it was the case through the
1970s, foster higher levels of cultural diversity.
Nature shows us that this is not just a random devel-
opment but that it’s diversity on which side is intelligent
and life-fostering behavior, and not uniformity. This is so,
inter alia, because diversity fosters flexibility, and vice
versa, while uniformity entails rigidity. What does loss of
biodiversity on the planet mean for our future as a human
race? The regard here is rather dim, and Capra leaves no
doubt about it:
In ecosystems, flexibility through fluctuations does
not always work, because there can be very severe
disturbances that actually wipe out an entire species.
In other words, one of the links in the ecosystem’s
network is destroyed. An ecological community will

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FRITJOF CAPRA

be resilient when this link is not the only one of its
kind; when there are other connections that can at
least partially fulfill its functions. In other words, the
more complex the network, the greater the diversity
of its interconnections, the more resilient it will be.
The same is true in human communities. Diversity
means many different relationships, many different
approaches to the same problem. A diverse commu-
nity is a resilient community, capable of adapting
easily to changing situations./8

The loss of biodiversity, i.e. the daily loss of species,
is in the long run one of our most several global en-
vironmental problems. And because of the close in-
tegration of tribal indigenous people into their eco-
systems, the loss of biodiversity is closely tied to the
loss of cultural diversity, the extinction of traditional
tribal cultures. This is especially important today. As
the beliefs and practices of the industrial culture are
being recognized as part of the global ecological cri-
sis, there is an urgent need for a wider understand-
ing of cultural patterns that are sustainable. The vast
folk wisdom of American Indian, African, and Asian
traditions has been viewed as inferior and backward
by the industrial culture. It is time to reverse this
Euro-centric arrogance and to recognize that many
of these traditions - their ways of knowing, tech-
nologies, knowledge of foods and medicines, forms
of aesthetic expression, patterns of social interaction,
communal relationships, etc.—embody the ecologi-
cal wisdom we so urgently need today./8

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This is what I am saying since about twenty years, hav-
ing founded, back in 1994, Ayuda International Foundation
for the protection of tribal people’s wisdom about life, and
their high cultural diversity, and wistful traditions for liv-
ing in alignment with the laws of nature.
Yet it’s a fact that in most developing countries tech-
nologies for recycling and for healing the badly afflicted
metropoles are costly and not as accessible and readily
available as in wealthy high-tech nations. Only truly sup-
portive cultural and technological exchange between rich
and poor countries can help changing this dim picture.
Whatever our personal opinions are in the face of these
huge global problems, that also our next generations will
be burdened with, we have to keep an open mind and
learn, and change our rigid positions.
Fritjof Capra and Wolfgang Pauli have given in this
reader very useful suggestions that can be taken as starting
points for deeper study, as the field of investigation is
huge, and never-ending. Nature’s complexity is perhaps
the single most important topic of study for 21st century
science, and I hope I can contribute a little to it by my own
efforts. As for the authors of this book, they surely have
done their very substantial contributions!

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FRITJOF CAPRA

The Science of Leonardo
Inside the Mind of the Great Genius of the Renaissance
New York: Anchor Books, 2008
First published with Doubleday, 2007

Fritjof Capra notes in his elucidating study on Leonardo, The Science of
Leonardo (2007/2008), that the great polymath of the Renaissance was
contrary to common belief not a mechanistic thinker, as were later, for
example, Francis Bacon or Galileo Galilei, despite the fact that he was
one of the first great inventors of modern machines, and actually very
interested in machines all his life through. But he did not, as later Carte-
sian science and philosophers such as La Mettrie or Baron d’Holbach,
consider the human body as a machine.

The world was used to see Leonardo da Vinci (1452-
1519) as a painter, not a scientist. I questioned this view
already at the start of my genius research, about thirty
years ago, when I found out about Leonardo’s scientific

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notebooks. Leonardo and Goethe were the avatars of a
new culture, a new society, and yet, at their lifetimes, their
breadth of mind and holistic worldview was hardly val-
ued, let alone understood. Goethe had a stable income as a
government-employed jurist, Leonardo was doing work
for kings and queens, and made a living with construing
weapons, but both had their minds focused on what essen-
tially constitutes life, and Leonardo, just as later Albert
Einstein, was a genial scientist before he was a great artist.
Before the 20th century, both scientists were barely under-
stood. Goethe’s color theory was looked at with suspicion,
as it was in flagrant contradiction to Newton’s scientific
universe.

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Theory of Colors, New York:
MIT Press, 1970, first published in 1810, Frederick Burwick, The Damna-
tion of Newton: Goethe’s Color Theory and Romantic Perception, New
York, Walter de Gruyter, 1986 and Dennis L. Sepper, Goethe Contra
Newton: Polemics and the Project of a New Science of Color: Cam-
bridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988

Leonardo was considered by Herman Grimm, a noted
historian, in side remarks of his monograph Life of Miche-
langelo, as a flamboyant regal person, but also a bohemian
and ‘dark soul’:
Lionardo is not a man that you can pass at ease, but
a force that we are bound with and whose charm we
cannot escape when it once has touched us. Who-
ever has seen Mona Lisa smile, is followed eternally
by this smile, just as by Lear’s fury, Macbeth’s ambi-
tion, Hamlet’s depression or Iphigenia’s moving
purity.

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FRITJOF CAPRA

—Herman Grimm, Leben Michelangelos, Wien, Leipzig: Phaidon
Verlag, 1901, 42 (Translation mine)

It is as if Lionardo had within himself the need of
the most daring contradictions in relation to the
truly wonderful beings he was able to create. He
himself, handsome, and strong as a titan, generous,
surrounded with numerous servants and horses,
and fantastic household, a perfect musician, charm-
ing and lovely in sight of high and low, poet, sculp-
tor, architect, civil engineer, mechanic, a friend of
counts and kings and yet as citizen of his nation a
dark existence who, seldom leaving the semi-dark
atmosphere of his being, finds no opportunity to
invest his forces simply and freely for a great en-
deavor. (Id., 43-44)

Such natures, that with their extraordinary talents
seem to be born only for adventure and who have
kept even in the most serious and deepest endeavors
of their mind a child-like playfulness, are rare, but
possible appearances. Such men are of high descent;
genial, beautiful, independent and glowing of yet
undefined action, they walk into the world. All is
open to them and in no way they encounter real,
oppressive sorrow; they mold their lives that no-
body than themselves understands because nobody
has been born under conditions that exactly led to
such a fantastic yet necessary and inescapable des-
tiny. (Id., 44)

Grimm’s picture of Leonardo lacks personal touch; it is
deeply romantic and seems almost sterile. Grimm did not

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depict, and even less appreciate, the personal identity of
the genius but rather painted him as a genus. Needless to
add that in his romantic effluvia, Grimm did not lose a
world on the scientist Leonardo, and this is all too typical
for the general opinion about him before the 20th century.
Now, with the study of his scientific genius by Fritjof Ca-
pra, Leonardo can eventually be noted by science history
as one of the greatest scientific innovators the world has
ever seen. He notes in his elucidating study on Leonardo,
The Science of Leonardo (2007/2008), that the great polymath
of the Renaissance was contrary to common belief not a
mechanistic thinker, as were later, for example, Francis Ba-
con or Galileo Galilei, despite the fact that he was one of
the first great inventors of modern machines, and very in-
terested in machines all his life through. But he did not, as
later Cartesian science and philosophers such as La Mettrie
or Baron d’Holbach, consider the human body as a ma-
chine.

Capra makes his point convincingly that modern sci-
ence did not begin with Galilei, but with Leonardo, be-
cause it was Leonardo who, for the first time in human his-
tory, has applied the scientific method, logic, observation
and the capacity to conceptualize a multitude of single
data into a single coherent and consistent theory. This was
so much the more an achievement as during his lifetime
science was still entangled with religion to a point that a
large body of the corpus scientia was ecclesiastical doctrine,
and as such a mix of mythic views, politically correct as-

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sumptions and a residue of observation that was for the
largest part taken over from Aristotle. Capra writes:
Leonardo da Vinci broke with this tradition. One
hundred years before Galileo and Bacon, he single-
handedly developed a new empirical approach to
science, involving the systematic observation of na-
ture, logical reasoning, and some mathematical for-
mulations—the main characteristics of what is
known today as the scientific method. /2

It is highly curious to observe that Leonardo did not
formulate, at the onset of his lifelong multidisciplinary re-
search, an intention for so doing; calling himself humbly
‘uomo senza lettere’, an uneducated man, his project was
to write a manual on the ‘science of painting.’ His grasp of
the world was predominantly visual, and so was his scien-
tific method; it was primarily based upon very accurate
and very astute observation of nature and all forms of liv-
ing. Only a genius can have the abundant curiosity, the in-
tellectual grasp and the persistence to inquire so deeply
and so thoroughly from what the eye perceives, to really
get to unveil basic laws and functional connections in all
living, and in all material life.
One may be baffled to see that this magnificent creator
was to that point marginalized during his lifetime that
none of his notebooks were ever published, worse, as Ca-
pra reports, after his death, the collection of his writings
and drawings, almost thirteen thousand pages, was scat-
tered and dispersed all over Europe, and stuffed in librar-

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ies, instead of having been sorted and properly published;
still worse, almost half of the collection was lost. Capra
writes:
Leonardo’s scientific work was virtually unknown
during his lifetime and remained hidden for over
two centuries after his death in 1519. His pioneering
discoveries and ideas had no direct influence on the
scientists who came after him, although during the
subsequent 450 years his conception of a science of
living forms would emerge again at various times.
(…) While Leonardo’s manuscripts were gathering
dust in ancient European libraries, Galileo Galilei
was being celebrated as the ‘father of modern sci-
ence.’ I cannot help but argue that the true founder
of modern science was Leonardo da Vinci, and I
wonder how Western scientific thought would have
developed had his Notebooks been known and
widely studied soon after his death. /5-6

I would like to focus for a moment on one single and in
my view significant detail, namely how Leonardo was
thinking about ‘life’, about living systems, and about sci-
ence in relation to life. We are today familiar with the con-
ception of life being not a linear rigid structure that is to-
tally measurable, except when organisms have died, but a
nonlinear structure of dynamic patterns, which are essen-
tially relationships. As we have seen, Fritjof Capra has elu-
cidated in his study The Web of Life (1997) that life is basi-
cally a structure of ‘networks within networks’ and that
hierarchies do exist in nature only in the sense that smaller
networks are contained in larger networks but not in the
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FRITJOF CAPRA

sense of a rigid up-down hierarchy as traditional human
society, especially under patriarchy, has conceptualized it
as the reigning sociopolitical model.

This view is emerging since a few decades and is called
the ‘systems view of life’; it is related to deep ecology and
Gaia theory and was developed, besides Capra, mainly by
Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Humberto Maturana, Francisco J.
Varela, Ilya Prigogine and Ervin Laszlo.

What was known from Goethe’s pantheistic philoso-
phy that considered life as an organic whole, we find it, in
Capra’s retrospective, equally with Leonardo. Capra
writes:
Nature as a whole was alive for Leonardo. He saw
the patterns and processes in the microcosm as being
similar to those in the macrocosm. (…) / While the
analogy between microcosm and macrocosm goes
back to Plato and was well known throughout the
Middles Ages and the Renaissance, Leonardo disen-
tangled it from its original mythical context and
treated it strictly as a scientific theory. /3-4

Capra goes as far as talking of Leonardo as ‘a systemic
thinker’, because of his strong synthetic thinking ability,
that was able to ‘interconnect observations and ideas from
different disciplines.’ /5
He observes that Leonardo’s visual perception was
unusually sharp and accurate, and truly scientific in scope
and intent, and that he also had an accurate sense of motion
which is seldom to find. Usually, the static eye distorts ob-

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jects that are in motion. We are hardly aware of this imper-
fection of our sight as we today are surrounded by visual
objects such as televisions, and take high-quality photo-
graphs using digital technology. But at a time when there
were no photographic plates and cameras, motion was hardly
ever depicted by visual artists in a realistic sense; this was
simply so as most artists were unable to train their eye to a
point to perceive motion correctly, and without distortion
of perspective.
In addition, Capra notes, Leonardo had a view of the
body that preceded quantum physics and modern spiritu-
ality. For Leonardo, ‘the human body was an outward and
visible expression of the soul; it was shaped by its spirit.’
/5
Unlike Descartes, Leonardo never thought of the
body as a machine, even though he was a brilliant
engineer who designed countless machines and me-
chanical devices. /Id.

Fritjof Capra notes that Leonardo had an understand-
ing of nature that was basically ecological in the sense that,
contrary to what Francis Bacon would advocate a century
later, man was not made for dominating nature, but for
understanding nature, and based upon that understanding,
to cooperate with nature. From this basic worldview, Leon-
ardo was sensible to nature’s complexity and abundance,
which was certainly not an attitude commonly to be found
at his lifetime. In addition, he was aware of the fallacy of
scientific reductionism. Capra notes:

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FRITJOF CAPRA

Our sciences and technologies have become increas-
ingly narrow in their focus, and we are unable to
understand our multifaceted problems from an in-
terdisciplinary perspective. /12

We urgently need a science that honors and respects
the unity of all life, that recognizes the fundamental
interdependence of all natural phenomena, and re-
connects us with the living earth. What we need to-
day is exactly the kind of thinking and science Leon-
ardo da Vinci anticipated and outlined five hundred
years ago, at the height of the Renaissance and the
dawn of modern scientific age. /Id.

I will end my review here for this book is so particular
and detailed that I would need to paraphrase too much of
Capra’s good and competent narration. This book and his
last book so far, which I shall review below, are very great
achievements of the writer and scientific thinker Fritjof
Capra. His excellent Italian, and his special knowledge
even of ancient Italian understandably was extremely
helpful to him in perusing—or rather deciphering—Leon-
ardo’s shorthand writing style.

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Learning from Leonardo
Decoding the Notebooks of a Genius
San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2013

Learning from Leonardo is a fascinating read and unveils much of Leon-
ardo’s unique personality, and especially the nature of his scientific and
human genius. It seems conceptually be the second volume of Capra’s
earlier book on Leonard’s science. I have a feel that these two books
about Leonardo could in the future be considered as the most important
works of Fritjof Capra, and they are certainly his highest achievements
given the difficult nature of the subject, and the difficulties with trans-
lating and perusing an immense amount of data, which to this day will
and remains inaccessible to most humans on the globe. One probably
needs to be a genius oneself to really penetrate into the universe of
Leonardo.

The genius of Leonardo is so unique because it was so
versatile. It cannot be compared with anything we know
today, in a culture where specialization is required and

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FRITJOF CAPRA

where universal genius would be frowned upon as ‘gener-
alizing and imprecise.’ Perhaps Leonardo had most in
common with Aristotle, in that both men were general and
precise at the same time, which is not achievable for most
humans simply because of the sheer amount of data to
process, ideas to develop, concepts to make, and hidden
connections between seemingly separate subjects to make
out and describe. I am well aware that in stating this, I
made a comparison that limps as Aristotle was certainly
not a great artist, nor did he excel in inventing and concep-
tualizing machines of any kind. It is then the unique com-
bination, the unique synthesis of art, science and technol-
ogy that makes the genius of Leonardo.

The main message of this book is that we, as a society,
need to expand our understanding of the multi-faceted
problems with an interdisciplinary perspective, rather than
staying with the narrow focus of ‘specialization’ that mod-
ern science emphasizes so much. If we could see, as Leon-
ardo did, the unity of all life, and recognize the fundamen-
tal interdependence of all natural phenomena, we would
begin to design effective solutions to problems that we al-
ways thought were unsolvable. The author’s intention was
thus to outline the synthesis in thinking that Leonardo
achieved 500 years ago. When you consider this enormous
and enormously important claim, you cannot but think
this must be a tremendously timely book.
What our science achieved only recently, over the last
30 years or so, within the framework of systems theory,

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

was for Leonardo a natural and organic way of thinking,
for at the core of Leonardo’s synthesis was the understand-
ing of living forms of nature. His conception of painting
was scientific, too, in that it involved for him the study of
natural forms in very minute detail, in a way that to my
knowledge no other artist has every undertaken. In this
sense, the artist Leonardo and the scientist Leonardo can-
not be separated: one part of his personality comple-
mented the other. It is therefore important to understand
both is art and his science, and then, as the author did in
this book, arrive at a synthesis.
What only now emerges in modern science, namely an
appreciation of the form and gestalt of matter, rather than
its substance, Leonardo was lucidly aware of. He studied
throughout his life the magic of water, its movements and
flow nature and was by so doing a pioneer in the discipline
known today as fluid dynamics. His manuscripts are filled
with precise drawings of spiraling vortices. His studies
seem to not have been appreciated by previous comment-
ers, which makes Capra’s contribution a very original one,
as he delivers an in-depth analysis of Leonardo’s ‘water
science’, and he based his analysis on extensive discus-
sions with Ugo Piomelli, professor of fluid dynamics at
Queen’s University in Canada.
As Leonardo observed how water and rocks interact,
he undertook ground-breaking studies in geology, even to
the point that he identified folds of rock strata and outlin-

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FRITJOF CAPRA

ing and evolutionary perspective 300 years before Charles
Darwin.
In addition, Leonardo made extensive inquiries about
plants. While this research was first intended as studies for
paintings, it became so extensive that they resulted in
genuine studies about the patterns of metabolism and
growth that underlie all botanical forms. Other domains of
study were mechanics, known today as statics, dynamics,
and kinematics, thereby inventing a great number of ma-
chines. He also compared the way humans move their
body and animals, by comparison, and what fascinated
him most in this field of inquiry was the flight of birds. He
became almost obsessed with flying, and thus designed
highly original flying machines. But his science of flight, as
Capra shows with his habitual systematic approach, in-
volved numerous sub-disciplines such as aerodynamics,
human and bird anatomy, and mechanical engineering.
Capra’s has great merit in identifying what he calls the
‘grand unifying theme’ in Leonardo’s explorations of both
the macrocosm and the microcosm, in order to gain an un-
derstanding of the nature of life. Capra reports that this
quest reached its climax in the anatomical studies he car-
ried out in Milan and Rome when he was over sixty, espe-
cially in his investigations of the human heart. Nobody
had at that time an idea how the heart functions.
Finally as Leonardo approached old age, he became
fascinated with the processes of reproduction and embry-

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

onic development. In his embryological, he described the
life processes of the fetus in the womb in great detail.
I do not dare to utter any even slight critique of this
enormous work by Fritjof Capra, and perhaps we should
wait until the scientific world will eventually open their
minds to this immensely enriching knowledge, until a real
review of this book can be written. Until then, my little
overview here may serve as a guideline—and it’s certainly
not intended to be more than that, for I am not myself a
scientist and as the book is so extravagantly detailed, I
can’t figure how to really review it.

98
Russell DiCarlo (Ed.)

A New Worldview
Conversations at the Leading Edge
Erie, PA: Epic Publishing, 1996

A New Worldview, edited and published by Russell E. DiCarlo, is some-
how a radical book in that it really holds its promise: it presents a new
worldview, and all its contributors are leading-edge scientists and para-
normal healers of the highest caliber and with the highest credentials.

This is the most electrifying science book I have read so
far, and each contribution is a major one. I go as far as say-
ing that this book will really contribute changing your re-
gard on life forever, and your regard on science as well be-
cause it presents, through and through, a holistic science
approach of the finest, and part of its discourse is science
theory, and systems theory.
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

It would be preposterous to even remotely attempt to
paraphrase the contributions of this reader. I therefore de-
cided to put a small number of quotes for each of the eight
contributions to the reader that I present here. I think it
would be a good idea to really follow up with each author
after having read the quotes, and read some of their own
books, which is why I have sought out for each author one
of their most popular or bestselling books—and indeed all
of the contributing authors to this reader are themselves
bestselling authors.

Contributing Authors
Barbara Brennan
Caroline Myss
Gary Zukav
Jacqueline Small
Larry Dossey
Peter Russell
Peter Senge
Stan Grof

100
RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

BARBARA ANN BRENNAN

Barbara Ann Brennan is a teacher, healer, therapist,
author and scientist who has devoted the last 20 years to
research and exploration of the human energy field. She
holds a Master’s degree in Atmospheric Physics from the
University of Wisconsin and worked as a research scientist
at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. In 1982, Barbara
founded the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, which
offers a 4-year Professional Healing Science Training Certifica-
tion Program. She is regarded as one of the most adept
spiritual healers in the Western Hemisphere. She has pub-
lished several books, among which Hands of Healing: A
Guide to Healing Through the Human Energy Field.

Editorial Book Reviews
Hands of Light: A Guide to Healing Through the
Human Energy Field, by Barbara Ann Brennan, is a
scientist’s look at the field of bioenergetic healing,
offering specific techniques towards expanding per-
ceptual tools of healing, seeing auras, understanding

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

psychodynamics and the human energy field, and
spiritual healing. Trained as a physicist and psycho-
therapist, Brennan has spent the last 15 years study-
ing the human energy field and working as a healer.
Hands of Light goes beyond conventional, objective
knowledge while retaining scientific clarity. It details
a study of the human energy field and how it is in-
timately connected to a person's health and well be-
ing and contains essential information for anyone
involved in healing and conscious health care, in-
cluding people seeking to heal themselves. Science
and spirituality may currently be at odds, but fortu-
nately there will always be scientists who are spiri-
tual seekers, and it is in the mingling of the two
worlds where wisdom is born.
—Jodie Buller

Barbara Brennan
I have a scientific background, and from a scientific
perspective, there aren’t any adequate experiments
to tell you what the field really is. So I am going to
have to speak solely from my experience as a healer
who is able to perceive the field and work with it.

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From this perspective, the human energy field—
which can be perceived by anyone with practice—is
the matrix structure upon which the cells of the
physical body grow. It is the template of the physical
body./146-156, at 146

Based upon my experience as a healer conducting
private sessions with clients spanning a fifteen year
period, and as a teacher for as many, I can tell you
that anything that happens in the physical body will
happen in the pattern of the energy field
first./146-156, at 146

In between the structured layers of the field is a bio-
plasma like energy that simply flows along the lines
of the structured field pattern. It’s the energy that
flows along the lines of the structured field pattern
that changes very fast with thoughts and emotions,
not the structured pattern itself. For example, if you
stop yourself from feeling something, it will stop the
flow of energy in the field. And if you experience the
feeling, the energy will be released. There is a direct
correlation. There are even correlations between the
energy field and the part of the brain you are think-
ing with. As you change your thought patterns, the
patterning of the field changes./146-156, at 147

When you forgive yourself, wonderful things hap-
pen. There is a certain tension and stagnated energy
that is held in the field whenever there is anything
that you won’t accept within yourself. It’s kind of
like a mucous that you get when you have a cold. So
you actually create distortions in your own energy

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pattern that have to do with unforgiveness towards
yourself. These distortions will eventually lead to
illness./146-156, at 148

Life is associated with constant movement in the
personal energy field, so any attitude of non-
forgiveness within the self will create blockage.
When you have a non-forgiving attitude towards an
individual, there will be a definite pattern in your
field. The outer edge of your field will become rigid
and brittle when interacting with that person. There
will be additional ways that you will not let your life
energy flow out towards that person. There are great
bands of energy or bioplasmic streamers that nor-
mally flow between people when they interact.
There’s an exchange of life energy that normally
goes on between all living things. It’s not just human
beings: there’s a flow between humans and animals,
humans and plants. But if there is a sense of unfor-
giveness, all that will be stopped./146-156, at 149

If you look at the energy field, there are three major
aspects: reason, will and emotion. All are associated
with psychological phenomena. When you judge
another, you stop the flow of your emotions towards
that person which would be on the front of your
body, and you would be pushing your energy to the
back of the body, into the will, and then running it
up into the mind. So you ‘will not’ accept that per-
son, and then the energy moves up your body to the
head region and you rationalize it in the mental
sensors./146-156, at 149

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When a person allows love into their field, the field
becomes very soft, very flowing, resilient. The whole
field blows up sort of like a balloon. It becomes very
energized and the energy flows out of the field in a
very healthy way./146-156, at 149

To feel grateful is one of the most important experi-
ences we need as humans. When we feel it, there is
an acceptance of everything in our life and a surren-
der to basic values in life. We can see the positive in
everything and also feel thankful for it. That’s essen-
tial because it allows a connection to take place be-
tween the personality self and the deeper regions of
the human being, the core essence or the divinity
within. The intense energy from the core essence
then irradiates out. It’s as if a corridor opens from
the core essence of an individual, and the energy is
able to flow out and into the entire world. Also, the
connection from the personality to the spiritual or
divinity within, is open and made more solid. Grati-
tude also puts the individual in synchronicity with
the universal energy field that connects all of life, the
flow of the life force, or the morphogenetic fields of
the whole planet and the solar system. That is also
very important because it puts you in sync with
your life./146-156, at 150

There are several things that happen with fluores-
cent lights. The pulse of the fluorescent beats against
the human energy field. It’s like two fields beating
against each other, which I realize sounds terrible.
Fluorescent lights also emit x-rays. So it really dis-
rupts the human energy field. In my book there is a

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case study about a female client who came in for a
healing session. The woman had been working on a
computer under fluorescent lighting for about six
months for 12 hours a day. She got very, very ill. She
was in her twenties, and she was able to take the
skin under her arm and stretch it out four inches.
The first layer of her energy field was breaking
down. After she quit her job she got well right away.
/146-156, at 151

The study of the human energy field is as compli-
cated as the study of the anatomy and physiology of
the physical body. There is a subtle anatomy and
physiology in the human energy field./146-156, at
151

If you are not getting what you really wanted to cre-
ate, then what you are going to do is to create pain.
That pain then will motivate you to
change./146-156, at 153

The field of anyone who hasn’t done a lot of per-
sonal development work and transformed them-
selves will be quite brittle. It will be laden with
blocks, stagnated energies, and probably tears, dis-
ruptions and imbalances./146-156, at 153

One major thing about the human energy field: en-
ergy and consciousness cannot be divided. So when-
ever the energy moves, you also experience it. You
become consciously aware of it. Transformation is
about becoming consciously aware of everything. In
other words, awakening./146-156, at 153

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From the broader spiritual perspective we are all
connected in concentric spheres. Those who are
closer around us are more involved in the creation of
our personal reality than those who are outside of
that sphere. You can expand that out concentrically.
We not only create as individuals, we create as
groups, as communities, as nations, and as the
whole of humanity./146-156, at 155

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CAROLINE MYSS PH.D.

Caroline Myss Ph.D. is an international lecturer in the
field of human consciousness and is widely recognized for
her pioneering work with Dr. C. Norman Shealy, former
president of the American Holistic Medicine Association,
in the area of the intuitive diagnosis of illness. Together
they have written the book, The Creation of Health. Accord-
ing to Myss, the root cause of disease is not to be found at
the level of the physical body, but rather at emotional,
mental and spiritual levels.

Editorial Book Reviews
Who can help asking ‘Why?’ when they develop a
disease? According to theologian and ‘medical intui-
tive’ Caroline Myss, Ph.D., and co-worker C. Nor-

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RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

man Shealy, M.D., who is a physician, neurosurgeon,
and expert on pain and stress management, the an-
swer goes further than a medical explanation. The
Creation of Health explores the emotional, physical,
and spiritual patterns that form health and the
stresses that can cause disease.

Joan Price
Myss identifies eight dysfunctional patterns that
lead to illness. Being aware that ‘negative attitudes
create negative responses within the physical body’
allows you to make changes toward health after
identifying your emotional, psychological, and spiri-
tual stresses. The most interesting chapters discuss
specific diseases in terms of lifestyle factors, stress,
and psychological patterns and energy factors, with
case studies. A heart attack, for example, is ‘an ex-
plosion of energy attempting to break down an emo-
tional barrier ... caused by warehousing fears and
anger’, says Myss. The authors alternate, rather than
co-write, chapters and topics, so you know whose
perspective you’re reading. The theoretical sections
are not easy reading, but the insights you can apply
to your own health make the work immensely
worthwhile.

Christiane Northrup
The pioneering work of Dr. Shealy and Caroline
Myss is the best way I know to learn the dynamics
of the human energy system. Applying the princi-
ples ... outlined in this book in your own life may be
the most important thing you do for your health this
decade.

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

—Christiane Northrup M.D. is the author of
Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom.

Richard Gerber
An important book that addresses the crucial spiri-
tual issues which lie at the root of many diseases ...
Shealy and Myss provide a clear understanding of
the reasons behind ‘dis-ease’ as well as solutions
that may heal the higher causes of illness.
—Richard Gerber M.D. is the author of Vibrational
Medicine.

Caroline Myss
The human energy field shouldn’t be called that at
all, but since we call it that, let’s define it very
clearly. It’s better understood as an information cen-
ter because that’s what it is. And that’s where you
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RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

store all your messages. That’s where you store all
your faxes. That’s where you warehouse everything.
Your responses to everything and everyone, all your
fear—everything—is stored in your energy field.
Your responses form patterns that influence your
electromagnetic circuitry. This dictates a quality con-
trol signal that influences the creation and quality of
cell tissue./136-145, at 137

This means you would be taught to take responsibil-
ity for your attitudes and for the thoughts that you
generate because you would be taught that from
that moment on, every thought you have has a con-
sequence in the physical world. It is irrelevant to me
that you can't see it. You’re going to live your life by
that fact./136-145, at 137

Energy is intelligent. It is alive. It is informa-
tion—energy is information. It is one and the same
thing./136-145, at 137

Nobody ever goes to heaven sane. You have to go
quite insane before you get enlightened./136-145, at
138

I cluster the 1st, 2nd and 3rd chakras under what I
would call the tribal or the group mind. But instead
of looking at each of the chakras individually, I clus-
ter them. So the 1st, 2nd and 3rd are one unit, 4th, 5th,
6th and 7th are another. Then there’s the 8th, which is
symbolic. (…) At some point, every one of us,
somewhere along the line—this life, next life—is
destined to break free of the tribal mind and develop

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the upper 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th chakras. It is inevitable.
This is the stage of individuation. The 4th thru the 7th
chakras have nothing to do with time and
space./136-145, at 139

So, in looking at the top level, when you start the
journey of individuation—being an individual by
pulling away from the tribal mind—you begin the
journey of becoming congruent, of getting all the
seven chakras lined up with a more mature will.
That’s when you have to go into conflict with the
tribal mind, because you are now purging yourself
of what you want to believe versus you have been
programmed to believe./136-145, at 143

If people could stay in present time for two days,
their whole life would change, because the conse-
quence of having that much energy would activate
synchronicities—coincidences in their lives of being
in the right place at the right time and that would
change everything./136-145, at 145

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RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

GARY ZUKAV

Gary Zukav is the author of the book The Dancing Wu Li
Masters, which won the 1979 American Book Award in Sci-
ence, and helped to establish him as one of the foremost
interpreters of the new physics. A graduate of Harvard
University, he has also authored the book The Seat of the
Soul, which describes the evolutionary journey of human-
ity from external power based upon the perception of the
five senses, to authentic power based upon the perceptions
and values of the soul.

Amazon Editorial Review
At an Esalen Institute meeting in 1976, tai chi master
Al Huang said that the Chinese word for physics is
Wu Li, ‘patterns of organic energy.’ Journalist Gary
Zukav and the others present developed the idea of
physics as the dance of the Wu Li Masters—the
teachers of physical essence, Zukav explains.

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Mary Ellen Curtin
The 'new physics’ of Zukav’s 1979 book comprises
quantum theory, particle physics, and relativity.
Even as these theories age they haven’t percolated
all that far into the collective consciousness; they’re
too far removed from mundane human experience
not to need introduction. The Dancing Wu Li Mas-
ters remains an engaging, accessible way to meet the
most profound and mind-altering insights of 20th-
century science.

David Bohm
This book is an extremely clear and easily under-
standable account of the latest developments in
physics …

Gary Zukav
The evolutionary transition that humanity is now in
has no precedent. There is nothing in our past from
which we can extrapolate our future. (...) This evolu-

114
RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

tionary transition is one from a five sensory species
that is evolving through the exploration of physical
reality with the five senses to a species that is evolv-
ing through the alignment of the personality with
the soul and that is not limited to the five senses.
/317-330, at 317

Five sensory humans are not much interested in in-
tuition, but multi-sensory humans are very inter-
ested in it because intuition is central to the multi-
sensory human. Intuition is the voice of the non-
physical world. As we become multi-sensory, we
become able to distinguish between personality and
soul. (...) Personality is that part of an individual that
was born into time, matures in time and dies in time.
(...) The soul is that part of the individual that is im-
mortal, that evolves in eternity./317-330, at 318

If we really believed that we were responsible after
we leave the Earth for everything that we create
while we are on the Earth, we would create very
differently./317-330, at 318

The personality usually wants an attractive mate,
money, a comfortable place to live, a healthy body—
but the Universe gives us what the soul needs, in
every case, in every instance, at every moment.
/317-330, at 319

Aligning personality with soul is done through re-
sponsible choice with the assistance and guidance of
nonphysical guides and Teachers. (…) Responsible
choice means making choices that create conse-

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quences for which you are willing to assume
responsibility./317-330, at 319

You create consequences no matter what you choose.
If you do not choose consciously, you do not create
consciously. It’s as simple as that. You create, but
you create unconsciously. What you create uncon-
sciously is what you have created in the past. If you
do not choose to create consciously, you will con-
tinue to create the same painful experiences that you
have created previously. You will continue to do that
until, in this lifetime or another, you understand the
origin of the pain that you are experiencing. Then
you will change. The change will be thorough, com-
plete, and permanent. /317-330, at 320

As we become multi-sensory, we enable accelerated
spiritual growth./317-330, at 320

You can choose to cooperate instead of to compete.
You can choose to share instead of hoard. You can
choose to revere Life instead of exploit Life. You can
choose to be interested in and support the growth of
others instead of exploiting others. /317-330, at 320

The transformation in the human species is chang-
ing all of its social structures, including economics.
The economics in which our current commercial ac-
tivities are embedded is based on the assumption of
scarcity and the orientation of exploitation. Eco-
nomic theory assumes that it is natural for a signifi-
cant portion of the human family to be in need, to be
lacking the basic necessities of life, in addition to

116
RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

many things that are necessary for physical comfort.
This perception is contrary to the reality of the Uni-
verse in which we are living and growing. As we
become multi-sensory, this becomes more and more
evident. The Universe is compassionate and abun-
dant. It is alive, wise and eternal. It provides what
each soul needs at each moment./317-330, at 321

If you have no meaning in your life, if you do not
know why you are alive, you are not on the path
that your soul wants to walk. As you begin to move
in the direction that your soul wants you to move,
you begin to get a sense of meaning. When your life
is alive with meaning, when you are excited every
day about what you are doing, when you want to
get up, when you want to be with people, when you
have no fear, when you have forgotten to worry,
when you are fully engaged with your life, you are
moving in alignment with your soul. That is authen-
tic power./317-330, at 322

Decision-making today is primarily an intellectual
function. We use logic and understanding that origi-
nates in the mind. This / logic and understanding is
linear and exclusionary. That is, you cannot think of
one thing without excluding others. You cannot un-
derstand something one way and understand it in
other ways simultaneously. We are now developing
a higher order of logic and understanding that
originates in the heart. The heart is inclusive. It ac-
cepts. The intellect judges. The higher order of logic
and understanding that originates in the heart com-

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prehends nonlinear realities and simultaneous
realms of truth./317-330, at 323, 324

Quantum physics is the pinnacle development of
science. It leads us to the intellectual realization that
consciousness is an aspect of physical reality, that
the two can’t be separated. /317-330, at 327

Human history has been the sequential recording of
one brutality after another. You will know in your-
self that you are striving for authentic empowerment
when a part of you decides that it will not partici-
pate any longer in this brutality, that your life will
contribute something else to this human experience,
and you find a way to do that in your day-to-day
interactions. These will cumulatively form the
course of your life./317-330, at 329

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RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

JACQUELYN SMALL, MSS

Jacquelyn Small is the the author of Becoming Naturally
Therapeutic, Awakening in Time or The Sacred Purpose of Being
Human.
Another of her books, the Transformers has become a
classic. Small is the former Director of Training for the Texas
Commission on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse; and she served
on the external degree faculty of the Institute of Transper-
sonal Psychology in Menlo Park, California, for four years.
She currently sits on the Advisory Board for the National
Council on Codependence. Her company, Eupsychia, Inc., is a
healing and training center dedicated to bridging tradi-
tional and transformational psychologies.

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Editorial Review
Noted psychologist Jacquelyn Small helps us break
the cycle of addictive behavior, destructive relation-
ships and self-harm by teaching that we are not hu-
man beings learning to be spiritual, we are spiritual
beings learning to be human. Jacquelyn Smalls 12
Principles of Wholeness, developed in her 30-year
clinical practice, provide a one-year process of psy-
chospiritual inner work. Blending ancient wisdom
and modern science, this process has led client after
client to the personal transformation of addictive
living that precedes spiritual awakening. The read-
ings, exercises and guided imageries in this book
will help you access blocked emotions and modify
the basic patterns buried within you that are holding
unwanted behaviors in place. You will learn how to:
Release stuck emotions through ‘inner work’ de-
signed to heal your past. Identify pseudo-
personalities that masquerade as your true self. Cre-
ate the inner space required for a spiritual awaken-
ing to occur naturally.

Jacquelyn Small
Western psychology is based upon ego psychology.
Unfortunately, even though the word psychology
comes from the word ‘psyche’, which means ‘soul’,
Western psychologists really have not been very
knowledgeable of the fact. They have focused their
attention upon the ego, which is like studying the

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RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

shell of an egg and not looking inside to discover the
essence of the chick./331-358, at 332

If you bring in a little Eastern thought about the en-
ergy centers called ‘chakras’, you will realize that
each of us has seven different levels of consciousness
that we are capable of experiencing while we, as
consciousness, are in human form. Historically, ego
psychology in the United States has studied the first
three levels of consciousness—the physical body,
emotions, and workings of the mind, which has
been narrowed unfortunately to the intellect. What
many psychologists don’t realize is that beyond
body, emotions and mind we have yet another level
of consciousness which you might think of as the
heart./331-358, at 332

The seventh level of consciousness is where you be-
gin to live your deepest truth and embrace your
spiritual will. When people come into that stage of
consciousness, they become ‘transformers.’ If they
walk into a room full of other people, their very
presence begins to cause energy shifts to occur.
/331-358, at 332

The transformer is flowing through life, allowing
you to be, and they don’t ever view you through
judgmental eyes, as needing to be changed. The re-
former is always trying to change you because they
have already got a preconceived notion of what’s
right. If you don’t live up to their ideal, they have a
way to either punishing you, making you feel
wrong, or pulling away from you. A transformer just

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doesn’t view you that way at all. They simply meet
you in the moment and because they see you from
the ‘Bigger Picture’, they know that you are a spirit
in human form and that you’ve gotten caught in a
condition, trapped in something that is scaring you,
beating you up, or taking your energy./331-358, at
333

I see addiction as a way of being stuck in the past
through repetitive, self-destructive behavior. /331-
358, at 334

There are so many addictions—some are just more
subtle than others. The chemical addictions are the
easiest ones to spot. People even get addicted to
their ideas and beliefs and become extremely unwill-
ing to change their rigid and dysfunctional point of
view. Sometimes I think those are the worst addic-
tions of all because they block growth./331-358, at
335

Our intrinsic nature is spiritual. We are made of light
particles. We have the ability, just as physics is show-
ing us now, to manifest as both the particle, localized
in time and space as the personality that we / know
so well, and also as the wave function, which is our
spiritual nature. The law of complimentarity rules
us. I am an ego in concretized, physical form, but I
also can evaporate and be spirit. But spirit is not a
belief or dogma. It’s not religion. Spirit is an internal
force that moves you toward the realization of your
ideal. When we relax our ego-driven controls, we

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flow naturally toward what inspires us./331-358, at
335, 336

To be healthy individuals we just learn to honor our
human nature and also honor the fact that we are
spiritual beings and not try to be either/or. If I fall
down in my consciousness and think I am just an
ego, I get stuck in the muck. Every condition that I
butt up against will start defining me— ‘I am a neu-
rotic. I am a divorced woman. I am a basket case. I
can't get it right.’ All those things we say and do
when we are in a lower state of consciousness. /331-
358, at 336

I am sure you have met people like that. They are
always pretending to be positive. Everything is just
so full of love and light all the time, but you don’t
feel as though you have touched a real person. And
you have a little secret knowledge that if you ever
did punch one of their buttons an overheated
‘shadow self’ would come out. And in fact, you can
bet it does behind closed doors./331-358, at 336

Most of us are from dysfunctional families which
means we’ve got some very core issues to deal
with—with mom, with dad, with life, with self-
image. / So our little earthy self is made up of an
ego nature that takes on a ‘persona’ which means
‘mask’ in Greek. It tries to live according to society’s
standards so that it won’t get in trouble. It is a very
basic structure called ‘personality.’ When I call it
‘lower self’ I don’t really mean that it is ‘less than’
the Higher Self. It’s just closer to the earth, very sus-

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ceptible to destruction. It’s concrete. /331-358, at
336, 337

We have seen what people are like who have no
egos. They are in back wards of state hospitals. They
can’t function in the world. The ego is living the
earth life and it knows the ways of the outer
world./331-358, at 337

We can operate in the world through the laws of ma-
terialism, of limitation, of separation, of sensation
and of survival. We can live our lives locked into a
sense of separateness and isolation, of only looking
out for ourselves. We have that power. Unfortu-
nately, some people do that without even knowing
it./331-358, at 337

Once you have developed a strong ego and person-
ality structure and have become identified with it,
then you’ve got a foundation and the strength to go
through the transformational process and experience
more of your spiritual nature. And that transforma-
tional process is going to be chaotic at times because
it’s a ‘death/rebirth’ process. If you don’t have a
strong ego, you will not be able to make it. People
can shatter into fragments and become mentally ill.
/331-358, at 338

The soul wants to play, to dance, to experience life. It
just is what it is. The soul lives totally in the mo-
ment. When it picks up a piece of paper, it starts to
feel the texture of the paper and begins to get really
into it. It gazes into a sunset, captivated by its

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RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

beauty. It is totally caught up in whatever it is doing
at the moment. And if you think about it, that’s the
way we love to be in life more than anything el-
se—totally and intensely involved. And when we
are in that state of consciousness there is no sense of
time. You might think you have been sitting some-
where ten minutes and it’s really been an hour. /331-
358, at 338

The intellect is in between, and it serves as a bridge
between our conscious and unconscious mind. It
serves as a gatekeeper. The intellect will only let in
so much soul power at once because the soul is light
and it’s terrifying to an ego that’s not able to handle
it. So our intellect serves as a filter and it will restrict
our awareness to as much of reality as we can han-
dle at any one time. The intellect is like a computer,
very mechanical and always being programmed
with information from what is already the past.
/331-358, at 339

The intellect is always drawing its knowledge from
the past. It’s like a little researcher and it makes a lot
of mistakes because it is using that person’s percep-
tion which is going to be distorted if there is a lot of
unfinished psychological business going on all the
time./331-358, at 339

On the other hand the Higher Self mind, which op-
erates from a very expanded state of consciousness,
sees whole patterns. It thinks in terms of the whole,
not the part. It might move in and dissect something
for a minute, but it won’t get lost in it. It can pull

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back out and see the whole picture, putting all
things in their proper perspective. In Eastern
thought, it’s called ‘Big Mind’./331-358, at 340

When I was twenty-nine I had a clinical near-death
experience. I was out of my body for a while, look-
ing down upon it from above the hospital bed say-
ing calmly to myself, ‘You don’t want to go back into
that body, do you? That body has had it.’ But when
my thoughts turned to my son who was eight years
old at the time, I felt compelled to return. He didn’t
know how to take care of himself. It was my com-
passion for my son that brought me back. Through
this experience I had a wonderful opportunity to
know that there is no such thing as the death of the
individual. There are only shifts of consciousness to
other states of being. In that next state beyond where
I am now, my body dissipates and I just become
space. Using the language of the new physics, I am
dissolving my particle nature and I am moving into
a wave function. I can dialogue with myself and
with others, even when I am out of my body. /331-
358, at 341

We have to continuously be stepping out of our old
skin, ‘making dying our profession,’ if we are to
grow. And right now, as one Humanity we’re step-
ping out of one big, huge, human soul skin and we
are moving into a new dimension of consciousness.
/331-358, at 341

If you allow the law of attraction to draw you, if you
allow yourself to be pulled by your bliss rather than

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RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

deciding from the intellect whom you should mate
with, you will find that you are exactly with the
partner you need to be with at the time. It may not
need to be a marriage. It may just be a love affair. Or
it may be a real close friendship or a business part-
nership. Sometimes we have to go through the trials
of a relationship to find out what is our right rela-
tionship. Sometimes the role or label we put on a
relationship misidentifies it./331-358, at 342

Your desire nature is always moving you towards
fulfillment of your ideals. (...) But if your desires are
distorted and begin moving you towards self-
destructive, addictive and self-defeating behaviors
and activities, then you’re going to mess up your
energy for awhile which will really slow you down
in your growth. Sometimes I think we deliberately
choose something dysfunctional to slow us down or
send us off course because we start moving too fast.
Or because, for some reason, we need the lesson this
dysfunction will provide. /331-358, at 342

If you make decisions based on greed, or want too
much luxury, or put yourself into debt financially
just so you can have a lot of goodies, then you are
letting the lords of materialism become your god
and rule you. That kind of life always leads to
misery./331-358, at 343

I think it is very important to be in our bodies, and
to be fully involved with life. To really be willing to
commit to being here. (…) Attachment involves get-
ting hooked on outcomes and expectations. It’s an

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ego thing. It is not a Higher Self state. If I have be-
come attached—let’s say to my mate—in a jealous,
possessive way and I feel as though I own him, look
how I am going to behave. I am going to act in a way
that is going to make me less than proud of my reac-
tions. So attachment is the exact opposite of love. It’s
paradoxical because we tend to think of attachment
as meaning you are really close and intimate with
someone. But attachment blocks intimacy. It blocks
true intimacy./331-358, at 344

To use an analogy, the Higher Self is really more an
artist than a scientist. It really doesn’t care if it is
validated empirically. It just wants to express. It is
full of life, full of creativity, full of joy. It is loving
whatever is happening in the moment. Even if it is
something ‘negative’, it can honor the fact that both
positive and negative are part of life./331-358, at 344

The Higher Self, coming from our pattern of whole-
ness, tends to live from the ‘bigger picture.’ It pos-
sesses a creative imagination—meaning that its
thoughts are creative—and it knows it. It takes re-
sponsibility for how it thinks. (…) It’s light, it’s en-
ergy, it’s vibration. It’s experienced through sound,
color, music, movement, flow—those are all words
that pertain to the Higher Self. The Higher Self is not
‘in-formed’, meaning it’s not in form. It’s energy. It is
an energy matrix, or scaffold, that formulates matter
into an individual. It is an archetype./331-358, at 345

I can literally start becoming a living representative
of that Higher Power in my life. Then people start

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calling you teacher, or they say, ‘you are represent-
ing an archetype.’ You have to be careful. As you
begin to attract people to you, which happens when
you begin to express your Higher Self a lot, you
have to know the responsibility that’s involved. You
are more influential than you perhaps realize, so you
have to be careful about the words you use and the
things you do and be willing to take complete re-
sponsibility. /331-358, at 346

The minute that I start realizing that I am a soul in
human form, everything changes and my soul con-
sciousness comes alive in me. It always has been, but
I just didn’t notice it before. Now I have noticed it; it
is a conscious aspect of my experience. I begin to
learn about the soul’s qualities—the soul just is qual-
ity actually. That’s the definition of the soul, it’s
qualities such as inspiration, imagination, joy, cele-
bration, light, play, spontaneity, deep compassion,
hope, and faith. The soul is really not a thing, it is
our essence, our ‘flavor.’ The soul desires to manifest
here on the earth through our physical forms. Our
souls are wanting to spiritualize matter. What that
means in ordinary language, is that we are learning
how to bring the good, the true and the beautiful
through in all our relations and in all our activities.
/331-358, at 347

I think we are shifting away from fear consciousness
to consciousness of love and compassion. We are
shifting from separatism to more of a unified whole-
ness. I think we are realizing now that we are not
individual countries, that we are all living on one

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globe. Television and the media have helped us to
realize that we just can’t separate off from each other
as we’ve done in the past. And yet because we are
both an ego and a soul, we also have a right to have
a personal life. We have a right to our privacy. We
have a right to make our own decisions and choices
and to honor each others individual nature while at
the same time recognizing our right relationships
with each other as soul brothers and sisters. Ulti-
mately, we’re all here for one reason and that is to
bring spirit into the material world. And the only
way we can bring spirit into the material world is by
becoming it. /331-358, at 347

Our technology is running too far ahead of human
consciousness. We have gotten so good at making
machines, and yet our consciousness has not caught
up with our abilities as technicians. (…) We are
building machines and we are making better houses
and we are learning how to till the soil better. But
then all of a sudden this machine called materialism
just starts outrunning everything. I think that just as
we get to the place where we are just about to die,
we come to the end of the cycle, the Higher Self
moves in and begins to send us dreams and visions.
/331-358, at 348

Most of us have a huge amount of control issues.
We’ve been very well trained by mainstream society
to try to be in control of everything and to have to let
go of control is not such an easy thing to do. Essen-
tially it’s about making the shift from thinking ‘you’

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were living life to suddenly realizing life is living
you! It’s a dedication to service./331-358, at 355

We’re not human beings trying to become spiritual.
We’re spiritual beings learning how to be human.
/331-358, at 355

When I go internal, I am able to live from ‘The Big-
ger Picture.’ In other words, I can see that my soul is
here for a purpose and that I have taken on the form
of an ego for awhile, living in the human condition.
This gives my life a sacred meaning, and a deep
sense of belonging./331-358, at 358

When you step onto the path of the inner unfolding
life, you realize that there is no place to ever stop.
You become the journey and you become the bridge.
And you realize the journey is your home./331-358,
at 358

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LARRY DOSSEY, M.D.

Dr. Larry Dossey is the author of Space, Time and Medi-
cine, Recovering the Soul and Healing Words which explores
remissions of illness that are unexplained by the traditional
paradigm of medicine. A physician of internal medicine, he
served as battalion surgeon in Vietnam and was former
Chief of Staff of Humana Medical City Dallas Hospital.
He lectures internationally and in 1988 was invited to
deliver the annual Mahatma Gandhi Lecture in New Delhi,
the only physician ever invited to do so.
Dr. Dossey is co-chair of the Panel on Mind/Body In-
terventions, National Institute of Health in Washington, D.C.

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RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

Dr. Larry Dossey
Now, there is overwhelming evidence that if you
take prayer into the laboratory and subject it to test-
ing, you can show that it works. So, that’s the big
news. This information has been marginalized and it
is practically unknown, even to physicians. It is not
taught in medical schools. But it’s out there. /124-
135, at 127

My primary interest is not the practical applications
of prayer to make diseases go away. It’s really the
larger message about who we are, and what our ori-
gins and destiny may be. How consciousness mani-
fests in the world. Those are the real issues that go
far beyond whether you can use prayer to bail your-
self out of a difficult situation or illness. /124-135, at
127

The prevailing notion that prayer is asking for
something—basically talking out loud to a cosmic
male parent figure who prefers English—either for
yourself or somebody else is woefully incomplete. I
want to get away from that common way of looking
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at prayer. Prayer for me is any psychological act
which brings us closer to the transcendent. It’s not
the territory of any specific religion./124-135, at 127

Love is a felt quality that can change the state of the
physical world. We are beyond metaphor and poetry
here. We are talking about something that literally
can make a difference in outcomes in the world.
/124-135, at 128

The materialists cannot account for non-local events.
There is currently nothing within the field of bio-
logical science that can explain distant, non-local,
consciousness-related events. /124-135, at 128

The problem is, the skeptics and the materialists
won’t look at non-local data at the level of biology
and psychology. They will grant you that non-local
phenomena occur at the quantum level—the level of
the very small, such as atoms and subatomic parti-
cles. That has been proven beyond a reasonable
doubt. But the notion that these things can happen
at the level of the psyche and at the level of biology
is just not being entertained./124-135, at 128

These non-local manifestations of conscious-
ness—among which prayer is one type—display
characteristics that are not displayed by any known
form of energy. For example, prayer, transpersonal
imagery effects, and so on, are not a function of the
amount of distance a person is from their target.
These activities are just as effective when done on

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RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

the other side of the earth as when they are done
close up. /124-135, at 128

The reason that many of the dedicated materialistic
scientists are so infuriated over the mere discussion
of prayer and distant healing, is that it really begins
to call into question their world view. It calls into
question the adequacy of materialistic science, upon
which these people have staked their careers, self-
identity and self-esteem. And when you begin to
question somebody’s world view, that’s more in-
flammatory than making derogatory comments
about their mother. It generates tremendous animos-
ity and really draws a line in the sand. If the data is
right, then the materialist’s model of the universe is
inadequate. It’s down to that. That’s why you see
people libeling and slandering other people over
these issues in the scientific journals./124-135, at 129

Right after I began to attract the attention of cynics,
materialists and skeptics in medicine, I pulled a
book off my shelf called Garrison’s History of Medi-
cine, written in 1929. It’s one of my favorite books. I
went back and looked at the way the great medical
authorities of the day treated Oliver Wendell Hol-
mes, who was among the first to suggest hand-
washing. He was vilified for proposing the silly idea
that washing your hands could cut down on the in-
cidence of infections and death following childbirth,
in spite of the fact that there was supportive scien-
tific data which had been collected from the hospital.
It showed that the practice of physician hand-
washing tremendously lowered the death rate fol-

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lowing childbirth. The data was in, yet in spite of
that, this man was unbelievably hounded by other
leading orthodox obstetricians./124-135, at 130

Physicist Max Planck, commenting about the con-
troversy surrounding quantum physics around the
turn of the century said that, science changes funeral
by funeral. That’s a clever way of stating that some
people are never going to change their mind. /124-
135, at 131

You can get a feeling for the profound changes tak-
ing place within medicine by looking at Dr. David
Eisenburg’s 1992 Harvard survey which found that
over 60 million Americans went to alternative thera-
pists that year—one-third of the adult population.
That sounds like a huge shift to me. /124-135, at 131

I think that a lot of people in this culture have been
deeply brutalized by the false assumption that there
are only two ways you can live a life and you have
to choose one or the other. You can choose to be in-
tellectual, rational and scientific on one hand, or on
the other, you can live your life intuitively, spiritu-
ally. It’s being either the scientist or the artist or mys-
tic and there is no way to get those two abilities to-
gether in your life. This schizophrenic assumption
has caused immense suffering for people in this cul-
ture and I think that’s a false divide. If you look at
the implications of these prayer studies for example,
where you can show under laboratory controlled
conditions that things like empathy, compassion,
love, and caring can make a difference, and that

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RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

there is some aspect of the psyche that is eternal,
non-local, immortal – spiritual if you will – the fact
that we can show that scientifically suggests that this
great divide between science, religion and spiritual-
ity is false./124-135, at 133

Healing is a word that is particularly forbidden in
medical schools and hospitals. You don’t talk about
healing. You talk about the mechanics of medicine.
/124-135, at 133

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PETER RUSSELL

Peter Russell graduated with first class honors in theo-
retical physics and experimental psychology at the Univer-
sity of Cambridge (England).
He has been a business consultant for fifteen years to
international corporations such as Apple Computers, Shell,
BASF, American Express and BP. He produced a series on
meditation for BBC Radio 4, and is the author of seven
books, including The Global Brain Awakens, which explores
the psychological dimensions of the global crisis and The
White Hole In Time.

Editorial Review
At this unprecedented moment in history, when es-
calating crises threaten all life on earth, internation-

138
RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

ally renowned physicist-futurist Peter Russell
weaves together the physical and social sciences,
modern technology and ancient mysticism to dem-
onstrate that the possibility of global illumination is
now as real-and as imminent-as the threat of mass
annihilation.

In this updated edition of The Global Brain Awakens,
Russell details an extraordinary new vision of hu-
manity’s potential as a fully conscious super organ-
ism in an awakening universe. Presenting evidence
that the earth itself is a living being and every per-
son upon it a cell in the planetary nervous system,
Russell describes how breakthroughs in telecommu-
nications and computer networks are rapidly linking
the human species into an embryonic global brain.

At the same time, the human potential movement is
growing faster than any other segment of society,
and influencing every aspect of the culture-
including business, politics and medicine. Russell
shows how the convergence of these powerful
trends is creating the required conditions for an evo-
lutionary shift in consciousness from egocentrism to
geo-centrism.

First published in 1983 as The Global Brain and trans-
lated into ten languages, Russell’s seminal work
won acclaim from forward thinkers all over the
world. Regarded by many as years ahead of its time,
its original predictions about the impact of computer
networks and changing social values were quickly
fulfilled.

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Peter Russell
Consciousness is used in many different ways. You
can talk about consciousness in the context of
whether you’re awake or asleep, or in terms of social
consciousness, which involves one’s value system.
(…) I tend to look at the current times from a differ-
ent perspective. As human beings, we are experienc-
ing the most significant era of change in this planet’s
history—not just in human history but probably in
the history of this planet. Never before has a species
arisen which has so much creativity and so much
intelligence but also so much destructive capability,
which has shown itself through such / things as the
environmental crisis. In my view, we are really being
pushed to work inwardly and to go through an evo-
lutionary process. If we don’t, I doubt we’ll survive
much longer. We’ve come to this point in history
where we have to learn how to use our powers of
creativity and our intelligence in ways that do not
threaten our own future, nor the future of the rest of
this planet. I think many people are looking at the

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RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

ecological crisis as signaling the need for people to
change their thinking and to change their values.
/359-373, at 359, 360

If you look at what’s happening in the world, you
will find that now, we’re all becoming intercon-
nected. The linking together of humanity, which be-
gan when the emergence of language allowed us to
share information with each other, has now reached
a global level. We are sharing information through
television, through print, through video, through
computer networks. We are beginning to function as
a single information system./359-373, at 364

Science fiction writers of thirty or forty years ago
had no idea of what was going to happen to com-
puters and information processing. Most science
fiction writers were talking about huge computers.
They didn’t see the advent of the small, portable
personal computer, the lap-top computer which
could be networked with other computers. In the
same way, very few people can foresee the incredible
speed of change and awakening that is possible on
the level of consciousness, once things start taking
off./359-373, at 364

If a system is sent into a chaotic, disordered state, it
can—though not every time—reorganize itself into a
higher state of organization and capability. On the
global level we are going through chaos. We are see-
ing breakdowns of economic systems, and the turn-
ing around of some of the political systems in East-
ern Europe. It appears to be the breaking down, but

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

it’s also a field in which new levels of organization
could emerge. They haven't emerged yet, but the
time is ripe for something new to happen./359-373,
at 365

One thousand years ago, you could probably predict
the next hundred years. One hundred years ago, we
could probably predict the following twenty to
thirty years. Today, we really can’t predict more than
a few months ahead in many areas. What I call the
‘prediction horizon’ is getting closer and closer and
closer, so we are certainly moving into a much more
unpredictable world. But within that unpredictabil-
ity, there is so much potential for change. I think
we’re in the most exciting time in human history. In
our own lifetimes we are going to see as much de-
velopment, and as much evolution, as perhaps the
whole of humanity has witnessed over the last 5000
years./359-373, at 365

We now have—interestingly enough—about the
same number of people living on the planet as there
are nerve cells in the human brain. We are now en-
tering this process of connectivity. We aren’t yet as
interconnected as the nerve cells in the brain and we
only communicate with one or two people at a time,
but I think the way our technology is going, over the
next ten, twenty or thirty years, that connectivity
will probably rival that of the human brain. When
that happens, I think we are in for a major transfor-
mation on a global level. /359-373, at 366

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RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

The word ‘synergy’ comes from the Greek—syn and
ergos— literally meaning to ‘act together.’ In a high
synergy system, the individual units—whether they
be people in a society or nerve cells in a brain—
while acting in their own interest, are also acting for
the good of the whole system. It’s an alignment be-
tween individual interests and group interests. /359-
373, at 366

Many of us compromise our individuality. We don’t
really express ourselves. We don’t live our own
truths. We tend to live the truths that the media tell
us. We live the truths that the fashion houses tell us.
So we wear the latest fashions, do the right things,
go to the ‘in’ places. Not because, ‘that’s who I am’
but because we want to belong to the right group.
We want to be seen to be part of the system. As we
begin to wake up, we also become more open to
other people—more compassionate, more loving
towards other people, more able to interconnect
with other people. At the same time that’s happen-
ing, we also gain a greater inner strength to actually

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

be ourselves, to express our own truths./359-373, at
368

The change in world view that I think needs to
come, is a shift in values of what we consider to be
important. That comes back to a fundamental belief
about how we find the peace that we’re looking for
in the world. It could come from reading books, but
I think they would be books of a more spiritual na-
ture. If one goes back and reads some of the old clas-
sic spiritual teachings, one finds the same basic mes-
sage about letting go of attachments, letting go of
our beliefs about how to find happiness and begin-
ning to recognize that whether or not we’re at peace
is not a question of what we have or do, but is a
question of how we see things./359-373, at 369

The critical decision rests upon how we perceive the
world. In each of our lives, in every single moment,
and regardless of whatever is happening to us, we
have the opportunity to either see this as a threat or
as an opportunity: an opportunity to learn more
about ourselves, an opportunity to develop our con-
sciousness in some way or other, an opportunity to
grow. Part of the shift entails putting this into prac-
tice in our own lives so that at every moment of the
day we begin to make that choice. Instead of seeing
things through the eyes of fear, the eyes of anxiety,
the eyes of separation, we begin to see that we are
actually in control of our lives. We are in control of
how we see things and we begin to exercise that con-
trol and learn to use what is happening in the world

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RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

for our own inner growth and development. /359-
373, at 370

Consciousness is something completely nonmaterial
and totally indefinable by modern science and yet it
is something common to all of us./359-373, at 370

The meta-paradigm of Western society suggests that
the material world is real, and that consciousness
and mind are somehow offshoots of material reality.
(…) I think the new meta-paradigm that is begin-
ning to emerge is saying that consciousness is pri-
mary to the universe. In some sense, matter is cre-
ated in our consciousness, we are the creators of our
experience of reality./359-373, at 371

It was my meditation experience in India that made
me realize that consciousness is primary, and matter
is something we create in our awareness. That’s not
to say matter doesn’t exist out there somewhere, but
every time I experience it I am re-creating a version
of it for me in my mind./359-373, at 372

I think on a more global level, the shift is going to
happen as the anomalies build up, as we begin to
realize that consciousness cannot be excluded from
our understanding of the world as has been sug-
gested by modern physics. As we begin to realize
the world doesn’t work without including con-
sciousness, that consciousness is primary. Then I
think the shift in world views will happen./359-373,
at 372

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

PETER SENGE

Peter Senge is Director of the Systems Thinking and Or-
ganizational Learning Program at MIT’s Sloan School of
Management, and a founding partner of Innovation Associ-
ates in Framingham, Massachusetts. He has introduced
thousands of managers at Ford, Digital, Apple and other
major corporations to the disciplines of the learning or-
ganization through seminars. He is the author of the book,
The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Or-
ganization.

Editorial Review
Peter Senge, founder of the Center for Organiza-
tional Learning at MIT's Sloan School of Manage-
ment, experienced an epiphany while meditating
one morning back in the fall of 1987. That was the
day he first saw the possibilities of a ‘learning or-

146
RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

ganization’ that used ‘systems thinking’ as the pri-
mary tenet of a revolutionary management philoso-
phy.

He advanced the concept into this primer, originally
released in 1990, written for those interested in inte-
grating his philosophy into their corporate culture.

The Fifth Discipline has turned many readers into
true believers; it remains the ideal introduction to
Senge’s carefully integrated corporate framework,
which is structured around ‘personal mastery,’ ‘men-
tal models,’ ‘shared vision,’ and ‘team learning.’ Us-
ing ideas that originate in fields from science to
spirituality, Senge explains why the learning organi-
zation matters, provides an unvarnished summary
of his management principals, offers some basic
tools for practicing it, and shows what it’s like to
operate under this system. The book’s concepts re-
main stimulating and relevant as ever.
—Howard Rothman

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Peter Senge
The difference between a child at the age of one,
two, or three, learning to walk, learning to read,
learning all the incredible stuff that kids learn, and
that same person at the age of ten or twelve learning
grammar because they have to, is the basic differ-
ence between aspiration and fear./206-219, at 207

The first principle of real learning is that learners
learn what the learner wants to learn./206-219, at
208

This whole idea of tapping the capacity of human
beings in an organization to learn because they
really want to, not because they have to, is the key
for two reasons. Reason one: if people were really
learning what they wanted to learn, they would be
enthused and excited about what they were doing.
The other reason is the key from an organizational
standpoint. Learning based on desperation or fear is
always going to be episodic in nature. In other
words, people will learn as long as they have to, as
long as there is a threat that they have to respond to.
As soon as that threat goes away, the learning will
stop. So you will get episodes of learning and
change./206-219, at 208

The Japanese are very, very good at continual learn-
ing. It’s part of their culture; part of the very way
they manage. For most Westerners, learning is what
happened to us in school and when we grow up, we
work. We’re not learning anymore. So with that kind
of mind-set, we tend to only learn when there is a

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RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

crisis that compels us to learn. That’s a very impor-
tant, practical difference between learning that’s
based on aspiration versus desperation./206-219, at
208

The second core capability of a learning organization
would be the ability to have reflective conversation
in organizations. (…) Much important work gets
done through conversation. Decisions are made
through conversations; decisions are implemented
through conversations—people talking to one an-
other. Most conversations are marginally productive;
often they are counterproductive. People come in
with different views and they end up polarizing and
having a debate rather than a conversation. It’s usu-
ally not even a very good debate. What people really
have in mind remains unsaid. They’re afraid that if
they expressed their true thoughts, things would get
worse, not better./206-219, at 208, 209

In productive conversations people become more
aware of the assumptions they hold, the very basis
of why one sees things the way they do. It’s impor-
tant to realize how relative these assumptions are.
Nobody carries God’s truth in their head. We carry
views, opinions, interpretations—things that are a
product of our life experience. They’re very idiosyn-
cratic to us; they’re not absolute. Yet we treat them
as if they are absolute./206-219, at 209

One of the reason that shared visions don’t exist and
why we can’t tap collective aspiration is because we
don’t know how to manage the communication

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

process whereby individual visions can be articu-
lated and can interact so that, over time, people can
truly start to feel a part of something larger than
their own individual vision, a part of a really shared
vision. /206-219, at 209

By the time many managers rise to any kind of a
position of authority, they are usually extremely
good at advocating their views and getting others to
‘buy in.’ In fact, what’s really needed is not just the
advocacy of my views but an inquiry into my views
and the views of the other people. There needs to be
a balance of advocacy and inquiry. It’s almost com-
pletely absent in most large organizations. /206-219,
at 209

We have no idea of the process of going from A to B.
We tend to see problems as isolated from one an-
other. If I’m in manufacturing, I see a manufacturing
problem. If I’m in research, I see a research problem.
If I’m in product development, I see a problem de-
velopment problem. I treat these separately when, in
fact, often they are highly interdependent./206-219,
at 210

If you’re building an automobile, you have 12 or 13
major engineering sub-specialties. Each of those spe-
cialists is off solving their own isolated problems,
but in fact they have to produce one car. The success
of the car actually doesn’t depend on having the best
transmission system and the best drive train and the
best steering. You can put all the best parts together
and you won’t necessarily get the best car. What

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RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

makes the best car is the way all the parts fit to-
gether. /206-219, at 210

So, life is integrative. Whenever we’re trying to pro-
duce something, we’re producing something that
has to work as a whole, but our patterns of thought
and our ways of identifying and solving problems
are highly fragmented. In our culture, being an ‘ex-
pert’ literally means knowing a lot about a little. So
the whole notion of expertise is very counterproduc-
tive to being effective in organizations because or-
ganizations have to produce something that is
integrated./206-219, at 210

Customers have real needs and real problems—they
don’t care about 13 different features that you have,
each of which is world class. They really care about
how it all comes together into an integrated product
or integrated service. /206-219, at 210

So the third capability has to do with the ability to
deal with complexity, to deal with high degrees of
interrelatedness and processes which are far from
static. They are dynamic, changing over time. It in-
volves systems thinking./206-219, at 211

In the West, we tend to think of knowledge as some-
thing that we have in our heads. We actually don’t
make any rigorous distinction between knowledge
and information. We treat knowledge as a little more
important than information. /206-219, at 211

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You know something about human relationships
when you have some capacity to produce meaning-
ful relationships. It’s not something you’ve read
about in a book. You have some capacity to work
with other people, particularly those whose ideas,
emotions, backgrounds and previous experiences
might be very different than yours./206-219, at 211

Real learning is learner directed; it involves self-
assessment. In school, we learn that what’s most
important is what the teacher says, not what we say
about how well we are doing. It’s ironic: for the rest
of our lives, we’re / not going to have a teacher
around to tell us how we’re doing. Yet most kids do
not develop any capability for objective self-
assessment, which is absolutely critical for lifelong
learning. And so we have a lot of very strange and I
would say, counterproductive, notions about learn-
ing in the West./206-219, at 211, 212

In Eastern cultures, it’s typical for people to think of
learning as something that’s actually in the body, not
just in the head. When you say, ‘I know’, in most
Eastern languages such as Chinese and Japanese,
you literally are saying it from the center of your
body—‘I know it; it’s in me’. In the West, we tend to
think of it as in our heads. This is a part of the dual-
istic Western philosophy that makes its presence felt
in so many different areas. There is a real disconnect
in our thinking about learning between the head and
the hand, between our intellectual knowledge and
our capacity for action. It actually is deeply rooted
culturally./206-219, at 212

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RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

In many traditional European cultures, there was a
very rigorous, rigid cultural distinction between the
people who worked with their hands and the people
who did not have to work with their hands. It’s al-
ways sobering to remember that Michelangelo could
not have dinner with his patrons because the arti-
sans occupied a different social class because they
worked with their hands. That fragmentation is very
deeply imbedded in Western culture and it’s very
relevant to these questions of learning and what we
mean by knowledge. We have a lot of executives
sitting around in corporate suites who really think
that, ‘We come up with the big ideas here, right?’,
‘We create strategy’. Think about the parallel to this:
‘We create the strategy—you guys have to imple-
ment it!’ And, of course, what’s one of the biggest
problems facing domestic organizations! They can’t
implement strategy. The reason they can’t imple-
ment strategy is because their entire way of thinking
about it is so deeply fragmented. Our notion is that
the top of the organization thinks and that the peo-
ple at the local level, in the guts of the organization
so to speak, take action./206-219, at 212

The Japanese think of strategy as something that
emerges throughout the whole organization. A lot of
the best strategic ideas come from the front lines,
and conversely, the people at the top should be
spending their life involved at all levels of the or-
ganization. If you go to Honda’s corporate head-
quarters, you will never find any executives
there./206-219, at 212

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So, you see, this whole separation of head and hand,
of intellect and action, of corporate management and
local actors, is really a Western product. It’s very
much a product of our culture and our heritage, and
it represents a huge problem when it comes to learn-
ing because real learning, is by its nature, integra-
tive. Real learning integrates new ideas, new in-
sights and new actions. If there is no change in be-
havior, there’s no learning. But also, if there’s no
change in understanding, there’s no learning either.
There has to be both./206-219, at 213

There’s a famous library in Oxford, England, that
has an ancient, circular courtyard with 12 or 13 dif-
ferent doorways leading in. Over each doorway is
printed ‘Geology’, ‘Physics’, ‘Biology’, ‘Literature’,
etc. It is a wonderful symbol of our theory of knowl-
edge in the West. You enter through each of those
doors and you leave the knowledge contained be-
hind the other doors. So, the whole notion that
knowledge could be a more integrated activity is
really lost in the West. It’s a profound problem and
so is this deep, cultural tendency towards fragmen-
tation—the breaking up of wholes into pieces. /206-
219, at 214

There is a profound need to develop integrative dis-
ciplines in the sciences. What we have today is an
enormous tendency towards educating people in
very narrow ways. Occasionally, someone comes
along who, just by the sake of their own brilliance, is
integrative—they cut across different disciplines and
we consider those people real geniuses. Well, I don’t

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RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

know if they’re real geniuses or they’re just real con-
trarians. They somehow manage to resist the temp-
tation to fragment knowledge. /206-219, at 214

We tend to think of ourselves as things isolated from
one another. If you take seriously the notion of the
primacy of wholes, then you arrive at an entirely
different view. You seen an individual as the reflec-
tion of a community; a strand in a web of interrela-
tionships. /206-219, at 215

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

STAN GROF

Dr. Stanislav Grof , M.D., Ph.D. is a psychiatrist with
over thirty-seven years of research experience in non-
ordinary states of consciousness.
Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, Dr. Grof, along with
Abraham Maslow is considered a primary founder and
theoretician of transpersonal psychology.
He’s the author of Psychology of the Future, Spiritual
Emergency, LSD Psychotherapy, Realms of the Human Uncon-
scious, Beyond the Brain, Human Survival and Consciousness
Evolution and co-author, with his wife Christina, of The
Stormy Search for The Self.

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RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

From the Back Cover
This accessible and comprehensive overview of the
work of Stanislav Grof, one of the founders of
transpersonal psychology, was specifically written to
acquaint newcomers with his work. Serving as a
summation of his career and previous works, this
entirely new book is the source to introduce Grof’s
enormous contributions to the fields of psychiatry
and psychology, especially his central concept of
holotropic experience, where holotropic signifies
‘moving toward wholeness.’

Grof maintains that the current basic assumptions
and concepts of psychology and psychiatry require a
radical revision based on the intensive and system-
atic research of holotropic experience. He suggests
that a radical inner transformation of humanity and
a rise to a higher level of consciousness might be
humankind’s only real hope for the future.

This book is by a pioneering genius in consciousness
research. It presents the full spectrum of Grof’s
ideas, from his earliest mappings of using LSD psy-
chotherapy, to his clinical work with people facing
death, to his more recent work with holotropic
breathing, to his latest thoughts about the cosmo-
logical implications of consciousness research and
the prospects for dealing with an emerging plane-
tary crisis.

Grof has always been one of the most original think-
ers in the transpersonal field, and his creativity has

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

kept pace with the maturity of his overall vision.
—Michael Washburn

Stan Grof
Non-ordinary states of consciousness are certainly a
unique source of profound insights into the deepest
recesses of the human psyche. In my opinion their
potential significance for psychiatry is comparable to
the importance of the microscope for medicine or the
telescope for astronomy. It is hard to believe that this
area has been largely ignored by traditional psychia-
trists and psychologists./98-109, at 98

The attitude of Western psychiatry that sees mental
health as simply the absence of symptoms certainly
has to be radically revised. (...) In the alternative sys-
tem of medicine known as homeopathy, the symp-
toms are seen as expressions of healing, not the dis-
ease. Therapy in homeopathy consists of a tempo-
rary intensification of the symptoms to achieve
wholeness. This approach results in profound heal-
ing and positive personality transformation rather
than the impoverishment of vitality and functioning
that accompanies the suppression of symptoms
through the use of prescribed drugs. The emphasis

158
RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

on constructive working with symptoms instead of
their routine suppression is the first major difference
between the strategies based on modern conscious-
ness research and those used in mainstream psychia-
try. /98-109, at 99

Mainstream psychiatry is based upon the Cartesian-
Newtonian materialistic world view which main-
tains that the history of the universe is basically the
history of developing matter. The only thing that
really exists is matter and life; consciousness, and
intelligence are its accidental and insignificant side-
products. In this kind of world view, there is no
place for spirituality. To be spiritual means to be un-
educated, unacquainted with modern scientific dis-
coveries about the nature of the Universe. It means
to be involved in superstition, in primitive, or magi-
cal thinking. Traditional psychoanalysis explains
spirituality as a regression, as a fixation on the infan-
tile stage—a step backwards in development rather
than a step forward. In this context, the concept of
God is interpreted as the projection of your infantile
image of your father in the sky. Interest in religious
ritual is seen as analogous to obsessive-compulsive
behavior of a neurotic and explained as a regression
to the anal stage of libidinal development. /98-109,
at 100

And here lies the fundamental difference between
traditional psychiatry and transpersonal psychology
which considers spirituality to be an intrinsic di-
mension of the human psyche and a critical factor in
the universal scheme of things. This conclusion is

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not some kind of irrational belief or a speculative
metaphysical assumption. It is based on systematic
study of non-ordinary states of consciousness in
which we can have direct experiences of the spiritual
dimensions. These experiences fall into two distinct
categories. In the first one are experiences of the
Immanent Divine; they involve direct perception of
unity underlying the world of separation and a re-
alization that what we experience as material reality
is actually the manifestation of creative cosmic en-
ergy. The second category includes experiences of
the Transcendental Divine; here we perceive dimen-
sions of reality that are normally hidden to our
senses, such as visions of deities, or archetypal fig-
ures as C.G. Jung would call them, and of various
mythological domains./98-109, at 100

Traditional psychology and psychiatry have a model
of the psyche that is limited to the body and more
specifically the brain, which is / seen as the source
of consciousness. It also confines itself to postnatal
biography, which means to the history of the indi-
vidual after he or she was born. It tries to explain all
psychological processes in terms of the events which
took place in infancy and in childhood. In addition,
we also have the Freudian individual unconscious,
which is basically a derivative of our life experi-
ences. It is a kind of ‘psychological junkyard’ that
harbors various unacceptable tendencies that have
been repressed./98-109, at 101

The perinatal level has as its core the record of trau-
matic experiences associated with biological birth.

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RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

The memories of the emotions and physical feelings
that we experienced during our delivery are often
represented here in photographic detail. However,
the perinatal level also functions as a kind of gate-
way into the next domain of the psyche, the
transpersonal. (…) Thus people who reexperience
the stage of birth where they were stuck in the
womb before the cervix opened, might identify with
different people throughout history who were in a
prison, or who were abused and tortured, such as
the victims of the Inquisition and people who were
in Nazi concentration camps. Similarly, the reliving
of the desperate struggle to free oneself from the
clutches of the birth canal after the cervix dilated can
be associated with images of revolutions and with
experiential identification with freedom fighters of
all ages./98-109, at 101

In other words, the insights that people get into the
nature of the cosmos in non-ordinary states are in
fundamental conflict with the old, Cartesian-
Newtonian world view, but are very similar in na-
ture to descriptions that we find in quantum-
relativistic physics and other avenues of the new
paradigm./98-109, at 103

In non-ordinary states, the material world is experi-
enced as a dynamic process where there are no solid
structures and everything is a flow of energy. Every-
thing is perceived as patterns of energy and behind
patterns of energy there are patterns of experience.
Reality appears to be the result of an incredibly pre-
cise orchestration of experiences and the observer

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

plays a very important role in the creation of the
universe./98-109, at 104

There exists substantial evidence that consciousness
is not a by-product of matter, an epiphenomenon of
the neurophysiological processes in our brain, but a
primary attribute of existence./98-109, at 104

In the course of this century, quantum-relativistic
physics has seriously undermined the belief in the
tangible and unambiguous nature of our material
reality. It has thrown a new light on the ancient
Buddhist idea that form is emptiness and emptiness
is form. In the subatomic analysis, matter in the
usual sense of the word, disappears and what re-
mains is pattern, relation, mathematical order—ele-

162
RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

ments which we would certainly associate with con-
sciousness rather than matter./98-109, at 105

Traditional science claims in a very authoritarian
way that the material universe which we experience
through our five senses, is the only existing reality.
And if we experience other realities, such as histori-
cal or archetypal elements of the collective uncon-
scious, these are seen as illusory experiences derived
from the perceptions and memories of this world. In
other words, transpersonal experiences are fantasies
or hallucinations. This position is presented as an
evident scientific fact that has been proven beyond
any reasonable doubt, but a closer examination
clearly shows that it is an unfounded metaphysical
assumption. Modern consciousness research actually
has brought ample evidence that there are other ex-
periential dimensions of reality with specific and
demonstrable characteristics. To borrow an analogy
from electronics, material reality is just one ‘holo-
graphic cosmic channel’. There are other ‘channels’
that are equally real or unreal as this one./98-109, at
105

Robert Monroe has developed some very effective
means of inducing non-ordinary states of conscious-
ness, with special emphasis on those that are condu-
cive to out-of-body experiences. In non-ordinary
states, the sharp difference between what is ‘real’
and what is ‘unreal’ tends to disappear. Our ordi-
nary material world appears less real and the world
of the archetypal beings and other aspects of the
transpersonal world become very convincing and

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

believable. Careful study reveals that they are more
than fantasies or hallucinations. Once we realize that
in both instances we are dealing with ‘virtual reali-
ties,’ the distinction between what is ‘real’ and what
is derived becomes rather arbitrary./98-109, at 105

The traditional point of view of Western materialistic
science is that we are Newtonian objects, made up of
atoms, molecules, cells, tissues and organs, that we
are highly developed animals and biological think-
ing machines. If we seriously consider all the data
amassed in the last few decades by modern con-
sciousness research, we discover that this point of
view is incorrect, or at least incomplete. It is just one
partial aspect of a much more complex picture. It
can be maintained only when we suppress all the
evidence from parapsychology and the study of
non-ordinary states of consciousness, such as mysti-
cal, psychedelic, and near-death experiences, or
trance phenomena and meditation. In all these situa-
tions, we can also function as fields of consciousness
which can transcend space, time, and linear causal-
ity. /98-109, at 106

Quantum-relativistic physicists have a definition of
subatomic matter and also of light that combines in
a paradoxical fashion two seemingly incompatible
aspects of these phenomena. This is the wave-
particle paradox described by Niels Bohr’s principle
of complementarity. To understand the nature of
subatomic matter or light, you have to accept that
they are phenomena which can have characteristics
of both particles and waves. These are two comple-

164
RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

mentary aspects of the same phenomena and each of
them manifests under different circumstances. We
are now discovering that something similar applies
to human beings. We are Newtonian objects, highly
developed biological thinking machines, but we are
also infinite fields of consciousness that transcend
time, space, and linear causality. These are two com-
plementary aspects of who we are and each of them
manifest under different circumstances, the first in
the ordinary state of consciousness, the other when
we enter a non-ordinary state of consciousness. /98-
109, at 106

The most important thing to realize that traditional
psychology and psychiatry do not make a distinc-
tion between a mystical experience and a psychotic
experience. From a traditional point of view, all
forms of non-ordinary states of consciousness—with
the exception of dreams where there is a certain tol-
erance—would be interpreted as pathological phe-
nomena. Strictly speaking, Western psychiatry has
pathologized the entire history of spirituality. /98-
109, at 106

We actually have many psychiatric articles and
books that discuss which psychiatric diagnosis
would be most appropriate for the founders of vari-
ous religions, their prophets, and saints. Franz Alex-
ander, a famous psychoanalyst and founder of psy-
chosomatic medicine, even wrote a paper entitled
Buddhist Meditation as an Artificial Catatonia, put-
ting spiritual practice into a pathological context.
Similarly, anthropologists argue whether shamans

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

should be viewed as hysterics, epileptics, schizo-
phrenics, or maybe ambulant psychotics. Many peo-
ple who have transpersonal experiences are auto-
matically treated as psychotics, people suffering
from a mental disease, because psychiatrists do not
make a distinction between a mystical experience
and a psychotic experience./98-109, at 107

The concept of spiritual emergency suggests that
many episodes of / non-ordinary states of con-
sciousness that are currently diagnosed as psychoses
and treated by suppressive medication are actually
crises of transformation and spiritual opening. In-
stead of routine suppression through drugs, we
should give these people support and guidance to
help them through these experiences. When prop-
erly understood and properly guided, these states
can result in emotional and psychosomatic healing
and positive personality transformation. /98-109, at
108

If you look back at human history, you will find that
many people have invested enormous amounts of
energy in the spiritual quest. They have also made
tremendous sacrifices for this purpose—the sacrifice
of material possessions, professional careers, as well
as of personal and sexual life. In transpersonal psy-
chology, the impulse toward spirituality is viewed as
a very natural and very powerful drive in human
beings. In Western culture, we have lost all socially
sanctioned contexts in which people can experience
non-ordinary states of consciousness and have spiri-
tual experiences. Our attitude toward spirituality is

166
RUSSELL DICARLO (ED.)

certainly peculiar. There is a bible in every motel
room and even leading politicians pay lip service to
God; but if a person would have a powerful spiritual
experience in the church, an average minister would
send them to a psychiatrist./98-109, at 108

Experiential contact with the archetypal domain in
and of itself is not necessarily beneficial. It is possi-
ble to get inflated by identifying with an archetype,
and it can leave you in a state of grandiosity. For
example, some people who experience identification
with Jesus Christ, which is a very common experi-
ence in non-ordinary states, can end up believing
that they are actually the historical Jesus. Another
common pitfall is to experience one’s own divinity
(in the sense of the Tat tvam asi of the Upanishads)
and attaching this insight to one’s body ego (I am
God and that makes me special). /98-109, at 109

167
Donna Eden

Books Reviewed
Energy Medicine (1999)
The Energy Medicine Kit (1999)
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Donna Eden has treated over ten thousand individual
clients and has taught hundreds of classes, speaking to
standing-room-only audiences throughout the United
States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and South Amer-
ica. Able from childhood to perceive the body’s subtle en-
ergies, she works with those energies to heal others and to
teach others how to work with them.
—From: The Energy Medicine Kit (Back Cover)

170
DONNA EDEN

Energy Medicine
With David Feinstein
New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 1999

Energy Medicine is a quest book, the final outcome of a quest of the
authors, a real voyage, and realization of a dream, with all the obstacles
that this implies.

From her book and writing style, Donna Eden appears
to be a very strong character, and she probably needed to
have exactly that quality in her wisdom quest as when she
started, more than a decade ago, modern medicine was
really hostile toward the idea of integrating any of the
many perennial healing concepts that it discarded as vital-
istic. The authors introduce their book in very comprehen-
sive terms:
The return of energy medicine is one of the most
significant cultural / developments of the day, for

171
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

the return of energy medicine is a return to personal
authority for health care, a return to the legacy of
our ancestors in harmonizing with the forces of na-
ture, and a return to practices that are natural,
friendly, and familiar to body, mind and soul./2-3

It also seems that Donna Eden’s collaboration with
David Feinstein led to a wholesome mix of energies. The
authors have done ground-breaking research on the ubiq-
uitous quality of the energy concept and have laid the
theoretical groundwork of the Donna Eden Energy Heal-
ing Practice. This is truly a good thing to happen, as there
are today many healers who learn from hearsay and prac-
tice methods they don’t really understand. Not so for
Donna Eden. She has complemented her strong intuitive
knowledge, or what she directly perceives through her ex-
traordinary energy sensitivity, by a thorough base of theo-
retical and cross-cultural knowledge, and this makes the
strength of both her healing practice and her books. The
authors write on the cultural background of energy medi-
cine:
Numerous cultures describe a matrix of subtle ener-
gies that support, shape, and animate the physical
body, called qi or chi in China, prana in the yoga
tradition of India and Tibet, yesod in the Jewish
cabalistic tradition, ki in Japan, baraka by the Sufis,
wakan by the Lakotas, orenda by the Iroquois,
megbe by the Ituri Pygmies, and the Holy Spirit in
Christian tradition. It is hardly a new idea to suggest

172
DONNA EDEN

that subtle energies operate in tandem with the
denser, 'congealed' energies of the material body./16

To add to this list that the Japanese call this energy
hado, not ki, so far as water is concerned, as Masaru Emoto
explains in his books.
—See my reviews of Masaru Emoto’s books The Hidden Messages
in Water (2004) and The Secret Life of Water (2005) in this volume

Most native peoples call the organic, bioplasmatic en-
ergy field mana. It is also of interest that in our natural
healing tradition the field was known by a whole line of
alternative scientists, a lineage which started probably
with Paracelsus, who called it vis vitalis, and we see it re-
appearing with Swedenborg as spirit energy, with Mesmer
as animal magnetism and with Reich as orgone. The base
principle of what I would like to call the energy worldview,
as opposed to the materialistic worldview, is well put in
the following short sentence:
Matter follows energy. That is the fundamental law
of energy medicine. When your energies are vibrant,
so is your body./17

The Western mind, cunning as it is in splitting unity off
in dualistic opposites, has always had much difficulty to
understand what in India is called atman. Brahman and at-
man are related, and express the divine principle, in its
universal nature (brahman) and in its personal or personi-
fied and incarnated nature (atman). Now, then, I often hear

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

the question after I explain what atman means, if atman and
soul were identical?
I always reply that honestly I do not know. When we
pick out concepts from different cultural soils, we cannot
just put them in the same box and glue one label on the
box identifying both.
When you do that you disregard the truth that every
concept is filled with meaning and the meaning is contex-
tual, cultural, and not implied in the concept per se. So for
knowing the difference between atman and soul you have
to get into Hinduism and Christianity, and it’s not guaran-
teed that you will find the answer. In fact, you don’t need
to know the exact difference, for if you look at both notions
from an energy point of view, for you will very quickly
understand that both notions are dynamic, that both no-
tions are considered as containers of vital energy. So if this
serves you as a commonality, you don’t need to do that
extended philosophical and religious research. It seems to
me that the authors have taken the latter approach, as they
are talking about soul:
The soul is the source of the most subtle energies of
your being. Yet this subtle energy gives form to eve-
rything else about you, from your cells to your sense
of self. If spirit, as it is often defined, is the all-
pervasive, intelligent energy of creation, soul is the
manifestation at the personal level./20

Now, let’s look at another fundamental principle of en-
ergy medicine: balance. What does balance mean? I have

174
DONNA EDEN

found it expressed in Chinese medicine as harmony. In
Chinese medicine, harmony means health. It’s as simple as
that. The ancient Chinese physicians discovered that when
an organism is healthy, it is naturally harmonious, and there
are no extremes. All is in a state of harmonious balance.
The same is true the other way around: when an organism
is found to be in harmony, the physician could conclude
that the organism is in good health.

This was ignored over centuries in Western medicine,
and energy medicine now brings this perennial notion of
harmony or balance into our own medical paradigm. The
authors write:
Balance is a pivotal concept within energy medicine,
just as homeostasis is a pivotal concept within biol-
ogy. All systems move toward an energetic balance,
a state of internal stability and harmony with other
energies. At the same time, every expenditure of ef-
fort and every interaction with the environment up-
sets this balance. You are always moving toward
balance and always disturbing that balance in living
and growing./22

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

However, the book goes far beyond the theory. The
theory is kind of underlying, and the book really is a prac-
tical guide for healing, and you can apply it on a daily ba-
sis. The knowledge is transmitted in good little chunks,
and with clear and comprehensive language.
There are many different ways to work on your vital
energy, and how to balance it if you have abused of your-
self too much, through stress, smoking, fatigue, drug in-
take or through destructive relationships. For most com-
mon ailments the book gives practical advice how to treat
not just the symptom, but the underlying energy misbal-
ance, so as to reestablish health by opening the energy
flow, as a first step, and by balancing the energies, as a sec-
ond step. The authors explain that many health problems,
at their early stage can be healed simply by opening the
energy blockage. How does the energy flow get blocked?
In most cases by mishandling our emotions, by repressing
certain emotions, or by trying to overadapt to certain situa-
tions, disregarding feelings of anger or frustration over
long periods of time. This is how the vital energy can be-
come obstructed.
Energy medicine is really useful in informing the
reader about the possibility to heal disease by simple
methods of energy rebalancing, by enhancing the energy
flow, also by giving the necessary practical advice so that
the reader can administer the methods by himself or her-
self, without needing to consult an energy practitioner.

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DONNA EDEN

The Energy Medicine Kit
With David Feinstein
New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 1999

The Energy Medicine Kit is really an ingenuous product. I was very
pleased when I received it and opened that promising yellow box. And
how well all is put together! This would make a wonderful present, to
be true!

I congratulate the authors and the publisher to have
come up with this brilliant idea, that I have seen nowhere
before! I have myself started my journey through this Kit
by watching the DVD, seeing Donna Eden in her healing
seminars. It was a good idea to combine the literary con-
tent with multimedia clips. Now, after discovering the
DVD, I saw that I had much more in this precious thunder
box. There is a crystal, and I wondered what to do with it.
So I looked first in the Guidebook to find some instruc-
tions, and found them on page 21: ‘How to Use The En-
ergy Medicine Kit’, with reference to page 23: ‘Using a

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Crystal As Your Training Wheels.’ I would like to quote
here from this guide as this is really useful to know before-
hand:
While I am a hands-on kind of healer, some people
find it easier to begin to experiment with energy
methods if they use a device such as a crystal. Like
everything else, crystals carry a vibrational rate that
can influence other energies in their proximity. Crys-
tals also reflect light, perhaps the most primary vi-
bration of the universe. Spinning the crystal over an
electromagnetically sensitive point on the skin has a
subtle but immediate effect on the energies involved
with that point. When practiced with consistency,
working with a crystal can begin to bring about
beneficial changes in your energies and in your
life./23

Then I saw that the first of the 43 cards contains spe-
cific information about ‘How to Spin a Crystal’, and I tried
out the exercise described on Card 2 ‘Spinning a Crystal
over Your Chakras’ and made a surprising discovery. As
the two-year old baby of my friend had a headache that
day, I taught the girl to hold the crystal in front of her third
eye and spin it first in clock-wise and then in counter
clock-wise direction. The girl, very attentive to this healing
technique that she surely had never seen before, and smart
enough in holding and spinning the crystal, did it for
about one minute. Then they left my office. Half an hour
later the mother came back to me with the girl, smiling,

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DONNA EDEN

and told me the baby’s headache had disappeared com-
pletely.
Well, I don’t know of course if this was a coincidence
as this was not a repeated experience, but there is a possi-
bility that the healing was effected by the crystal. I know
that usually when the girl has a headache it’s for hours in a
row and the mother brings her to the doctor; however, this
was that time obviously not necessary.

As I am myself in perfect health in the moment, I have
not tried out the crystal or any other of the techniques
taught in the Kit on myself, but I will surely do so in case
of sickness.

If you need more information for building trust in en-
ergy medicine, you should perhaps do what I did before I
ordered this Kit, i.e. read about the theoretical and cross-
cultural research the author has done relating to her en-
ergy healing practice, by ordering her book Energy Medi-
cine that she co-authored with David Feinstein.
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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

The present Kit is a practical guide for self-healing,
while the book offers you insights, information and re-
search about energy healing, and practical guidance for
self-healing.
Last not least, let me mention the 21 exercises on the
CD audio that is equally provided with this Kit. Now, I
found it a little difficult to exactly take the body positions
the author describes on the CD for the various exercises,
and it would have greatly facilitated the understanding if
the author would have included some additional cards for
the exercises on the CD that demonstrate visually the posi-
tions to take. But this is surely the only negative point I
could find in this overall very beautiful Kit.

180
Riane Eisler

Books Reviewed

The Chalice and the Blade (1995)
Sacred Pleasure (1996)

Riane Eisler is a scholar and activist, co-director and
lecturer at the Center for Partnership Studies in Pacific
Grove, California. She is the author of The Chalice and the
Blade, Sacred Pleasure and The Partnership Way. I found Ri-
ane Eisler’s research through one of Terence McKenna’s
books. McKenna elucidated that some of the terminology
he was using in his books and speeches was not entirely
his own, and that, for example, the expression dominator
cultures was one he had taken over from Riane Eisler,
whose research he very much admired.
Having read most research about the old matriarchy-
patriarchy dichotomy by Johann Jakob Bachofen, Carl Gustav
Jung, other Jungian authors such as Erich Neumann, and

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first of all Joseph Campbell, I was wondering what Riane
Eisler would have to tell me what those authors didn’t? So
I immediately bought her two major books The Chalice and
the Blade and Sacred Pleasure – and started reading. And my
eyes began to open wide …

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RIANE EISLER

The Chalice and the Blade
Our History, Our Future
San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1995

Riane Eisler revealed that we were stuck in some kind of neurotic scien-
tism by upholding the age-old dichotomy of matriarchal-patriarchal
when we describe evolutionary changes, and that in reality we are deal-
ing with a partnership paradigm versus a dominator paradigm, the first
coming close to the idea of matriarchy, the latter more or less synony-
mous with patriarchy.

The merit of Eisler’s approach to social history is that
we can get away from extreme positions: there never was a
really pure matriarchy or a really pure patriarchy in hu-
man history. When we look, for example, at the mythology
of highly patriarchal tribes, such as the ancient Hebrews,
we find matriarchal elements, and in highly matriarchal
tribal cultures, such as the Trobriands in Papua New
Guinea, we find patriarchal elements.

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We therefore must conclude that we got a mix, always.
In that mix, to stay with the example of the Hebrews, there
is a firm patriarchal root structure with a few matriarchal
elements, as in yang is a small portion of yin. By the same
token, and on the same lines of reasoning, we can recog-
nize patriarchal elements in a highly matriarchal culture
such as the Trobriand islands. Already Johann Jacob
Bachofen, one of the first authors on the matter, who spent
a lifetime with delivering scientific research on matriarchy,
found those patriarchal elements in all matriarchal cul-
tures.
Hence, when we use the dichotomy matriarchal-
patriarchal, we are arguing not from a real-life perspective,
but rather from our ideological understanding of patriar-
chy or matriarchy, as if either of these were absolute val-
ues. But they are not. And to have come to this insight, I
am indebted to Riane Eisler and her very well-researched
books.

The Chalice and the Blade is a unique account, like a gi-
gantic fairy tale, written by a woman who recounts, with a
crying eye and an angry eye, the outrageous violence and
destruction that has been done to the human society in five
thousand years of patriarchal dominance! Eisler actually
suggests nothing less than a paradigm shift in history sci-
ence, and sociology. She writes in the opening pages of the
book:
But if we free ourselves from the prevailing models
of reality, it is evident that there is another logical

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RIANE EISLER

alternative: that there can be societies in which dif-
ference is not necessarily equated with inferiority or
superiority./xvii

This is a very important point of departure; to tackle
the old dichotomy patriarchy-matriarchy actually by over-
coming it. It’s new because most authors decide pro one
and con the other, thus resting within an ultimately invalid
either-or scheme that was descriptive only, instead of being
normative. The next important difference of Eisler’s ap-
proach to the more conventional approaches is that she
boldly shifts the observer. Instead of talking about patri-
linearity and matrilinearity, and thus about rather secon-
dary rules of inheritance of property, Eisler looks at the
question from a relational point of view. She asks: ‘How do
males and females relate to each other in either of these
models?’ Well, and you clearly see the answer once you are
able to lucidly formulate the question.

The answer is that in the matriarchal setting, you got a
sound tenor about cooperation and participation. This is
what the author then coined as the partnership paradigm.
And after that you got the subordination of the female, and
different vertical hierarchy levels, in patriarchy. And from
here the perspective of the male to be ‘on top’ and ‘in con-
trol’ and that of the female to be ‘below’ and ‘to be con-
trolled.’ And sexually, we know that most natives copulate
with bodies kneeled in front of each other, and thus in a
basically equal position, while the standard sexual position
under patriarchy, and our own culture as a result, un-

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

doubtedly is the missionary position, that has got its name
for good reasons – reasons that we all know about, but to a
lesser level want to talk about.

This is what Eisler coined as the dominator paradigm,
and the sexual positions that are predominantly used can
serve as a metaphor for the social and even the anthropo-
logical positions.
And if we look at our past—at the routine massacres
by Huns, Romans, Vikings, and Assyrians or the
cruel slaughters of the Christian Crusades and In-
quisition—we see there was even more violence and
injustice in the smaller, prescientific, preindustrial
societies that came before us./xiv

Another important point mentioned by Eisler is the
fact that our minds are conditioned by a single-cause etiol-
ogy, as it were, of our cultural birth and origins.
In short, though only twenty–five years earlier ar-
cheologists were still talking of Sumer as the cradle
of civilization (and though this is still the prevailing
impression among the general public), we now
know there was not one cradle of civilization but
several, all of them dating back millennia earlier
than was previously known—to the Neolithic./11

And more generally, her research has clarified that the
barbarian primal horde that ghosts in the heads of so many
scientists is just another of the myths we have been fed
with in school. Perhaps, yes, we became that barbarous
horde under patriarchy, but that was not the source event,

186
RIANE EISLER

that was not the cradle of civilization, but a later stage that
the author identifies as the truncation of civilization. She lets
no doubt that the pre-patriarchal tribal cultures, and
among them first and foremost the Minoan Civilization,
really were early democracies in the true sense of the
word:
To say the people who worshipped the Goddess
were deeply religious would be to understate, and
largely miss, the point. For here there was no separa-
tion between the secular and the sacred. As religious
historians point out, in prehistoric and, to a large
extent, well into historic times, religion was life, and
life was religion. One reason this point is obscured is
that scholars have in the past routinely referred to
the worship of the Goddess, not as a religion, but as
a fertility cult, and to the Goddess as an earth
mother. But though the fecundity of women and of
the earth was, and still is, a requisite for species sur-
vival, this characterization is far too simplistic./ 23

Especially fascinating is how our modern belief that
government should be representative of the interests
of the people seems to have been foreshadowed in
Minoan Crete long before the so-called birth of de-
mocracy in classical Greek times. Moreover, the
emerging modern conceptualization of power as
responsibility rather than domination likewise
seems to be a reemergence of earlier views./38

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Sacred Pleasure
Sex, Myth and the Politics of the Body
New Paths to Power and Love
San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1996

Eisler’s second book Sacred Pleasure is not less of a strike of genius than
her first, The Chalice and the Blade. In fact, both books are complementary
in a way, they should be edited as a two-volume reader, from a pub-
lisher’s point of view.

This book turns most of our opinions about sex upside
down. I agree with the author when she says that most
people are unaware of the fact that their sexuality repre-
sents a carefully conditioned habit:
In short, sex does not, as a once-popular song had it,
‘just come naturally.’ Rather, as illustrated by the
jarring differences in the prehistoric and contempo-
rary sexual symbols and images we have been com-
paring, sex is to a very large degree socially
constructed./22

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RIANE EISLER

I myself believe that human sexuality is not, as modern
sexology suggests, a matter of instincts, drives and
automatisms. Sexuality could be entirely different from
what it is today, and what our sex laws make it to be. Why
have we got to be sexual? This is not a party question, it’s a
profoundly spiritual quest!
I provide a few quotes to let the author speak for her-
self, for I feel not apt at paraphrasing her competent lec-
ture. I think the book speaks for itself, while what the
author says is all but self-evident. Sexuality has never been
a comfortable issue in our society and for that reason, the
book is not a comfortable read for some people. However,
this book deserves no lesser praise than the The Chalice and
the Blade.
The underlying problem is not men as a sex. The
root of the problem lies in a social system in which
the power of the blade is idealized—in which both
men and women are taught to equate true masculin-
ity with violence and dominance and to see men
who do not conform to this ideal as ‘too soft’ or
‘effeminate’./xviii

If we look at the whole span of our cultural evolu-
tion from the perspective of cultural transformation
theory, we see that the roots of our present global
crises go back to the fundamental shift in our pre-
history that brought enormous changes not only in
social structure but also in technology. This was the
shift in emphasis from technologies that sustain and
enhance life to the technologies symbolized by the

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Blade: technologies designed to destroy and domi-
nate. This has been the technological emphasis,
rather than technology per se, that today threatens
all life in our globe./xx

In sharp contrast to later art, a theme notable for its
absence from Neolithic art is imagery idealizing
armed might, cruelty, and violence-based power.
Nor are there any signs of ‘heroic conquerors’ drag-
ging captives around in chains or other evidences of
slavery./17

In Neolithic art, neither the Goddess nor her son-
consort carry emblems we have learned to associate
with might—spears, swords, or thunderbolts, the
symbols of an earthly sovereign and/or deity who
exacts obedience by killing and maiming. Even be-
yond this, the art of this period is strikingly devoid
of the ruler-ruled, master-subject imagery so charac-
teristic for dominator societies./18

190
Masaru Emoto

Books Reviewed
The Hidden Messages in Water (2004)
The Secret Life of Water (2005)

Masaru Emoto is an internationally renowned re-
searcher and an independent thinker. Certified as a Doctor
of Alternative Medicine from the Open International Univer-
sity, he is also a graduate of Yokohama Municipal Univer-
sity Department of Humanities and Sciences, with an em-
phasis on International Relations.

Masaru Emoto’s research has visually captured the
structure of water at the moment of freezing, and through
high-speed photography he has shown the direct conse-
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

quences of destructive thoughts and the thoughts of love
and appreciation on the formation of water crystals.
The revelation that our thoughts can influence water
has profound implications for our health and the well-
being of our planet. Masaru Emoto has written many
books, including the New York Times bestselling The Hid-
den Messages in Water and The True Power of Water.
—From: The Secret Life of Water

192
MASARU EMOTO

The Hidden Messages in Water
New York: Atria Books, 2004

I learnt about Masaru Emoto’s water research in the film What The Bleep
Do We Know!? It was an information that really left me speechless, and I
ordered his books at once.

I will not enter here the discussion about the credibility
of his research. Allegedly, his water photography tech-
nique is not meeting the standard of double-blind tests. So,
I will base my book reviews strictly on quotes taken from
the books, and try to check his research back with my own
twenty years of bioenergy research.
This is an approach that allows me to avoid judging the
controversy, or any of the positions as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’,
yet it helps to see that there is a certain probability that the
memory of water is likely to reflect a certain bioenergetic
functionality inherent in nature.
I will try to bring some structure in this book review by
relying not on hearsay, but on the author’s own state-

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

ments. I will put some quotes and comment on them. If
Emoto has not got full credentials, let us look what his
writings reveal about him. I got the impression that he
comes over as a wise man, a man with a very high level of
intuitive knowledge, and also somebody who knows to
write. His style is easy yet deep. He knows to express truth
in a very clear and pristine way. To begin with, he writes:
So how can people live happy and healthy lives?
The answer is to purify the water that makes up 70
percent of your body./xvi

Frankly I have never considered before in my life the
fact that I consist mainly of water, and that because of this
simple fact, I have to do something about that water I am
consisting of. Have you? To be true, Paracelsus, one of the
greatest healers in human history, said something similar.
And my next question, logically so, would be: and why
water? Emoto replies:
Water serves as a transporter of energy throughout
our body. /xvii

Having studied virtually all written traditional knowl-
edge about the bioenergy, after so many years, I over-
looked the most essential and thus had to learn it from
Emoto, that is, that this ch’i that flows through my body
flows through my body because of water, because it basi-
cally flows through that watery substance in me. Now,
Emoto puts it more precisely:

194
MASARU EMOTO

More now than in the past, the medical community
has begun to see water as a transporter of energy,
and it is even being used in the treatment of illness.
Homeopathy is one such field where the value of
water is recognized./xvii

Homeopathy is indeed concerned with water. But most
of us hardly ever knew why a homeopathic formula is di-
luted so much, and consists almost entirely of water?
When we get to know that water is the magic here, and not
the substances that are mixed with it in the homeopathic
tincture, all becomes clear. Succinctly speaking, there are
two major arguments that Emoto advances in order to ex-
plain his research, and that his detractors do not seem to
catch up with. What is it that makes water to be a receptor
and vehicle for thought? It is the fact that water, as all in
life, is vibration and that this vibration can be manipulated
through intent. But then, how and why does vibration
change its frequency? Emoto writes:
What you really know is possible in your heart is
possible. We make it possible by our will. What we
imagine in our minds becomes our world./xxii

The lesson what we can learn from this experiment
has to do with the power of words. The vibration of
good words has a positive effect on our world,
whereas the vibration from negative words has the
power to destroy./xxv

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Now, in fact this is true. The hermetic tradition taught
since times immemorial that words are codified vibrations.
The scriptures all converge in saying that in the beginning
there was the Word, and that the Word was sacred and had
creational power. In old Egypt and India, the hierophants
used vibrations for healing:
The magic rituals used by the Egyptian priests for
the curing of disease were based upon a highly de-
veloped comprehension of the complex workings of
the human mind and its reactions upon the physical
constitution. The Egyptian and Brahmin worlds un-
doubtedly understood the fundamental principle of
vibrotherapeutics./2

Now, it is crucial for getting a glimpse into the back-
ground of Emoto’s expertise, which is the Japanese Shinto
tradition. Shinto is the native religion of Japan and was
once its state religion. After World War II, Shinto lost its
status as the state religion of Japan; some Shinto practices
and teachings, once given a great deal of prominence dur-
ing the war, are no longer taught or practiced today—yet
they are still an essential part of the Japanese culture, be it
only on the level of the collective unconscious. Emoto
writes:
In Japan, it is said that words of the soul reside in a
spirit called kotodama or the spirit of words, and the
act of speaking words has the power to change the
world./xxvi

196
MASARU EMOTO

The fact that we vibrate, that we are a particular ar-
rangement of frequencies, has been affirmed by not only
the hermetic tradition, but also by clairvoyants. Not only
do we vibrate, but we vibrate differently. In a sense, we all
come with a unique vibrational pattern.
Human beings are also vibrating, and each individ-
ual vibrates at a unique frequency. Each one of us
has the sensory skills necessary to feel the vibration
of others./41

I would like to add one interesting detail that was a
surprising result of exposing water to positive affirma-
tions, negative affirmations (insults) or else leaving the wa-
ter completely unattended. The surprising outcome was
that the worst water, the one with the worst crystals, was
not the water that had received the insults from the school
children who helped carry out the experiment, but the wa-
ter that had received no attention at all from their part.
Emoto comments:
To give your positive or negative attention to some-
thing is a way of giving energy. The most damaging
form of behavior is withholding your attention./65

This is a fact known from research on child abuse.
Children who have been abused tend to go back to their
abusers despite the fact that abuse is going to continue.
And there was always a question mark in forensic research
why children do that, and why they do not, or very sel-

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

dom, betray their abuser in order to get rid of the abusive
relationship?
It has been found that it’s because the negative atten-
tion children receive in the form of abuse is for them still
better than the total lack of attention they get in their
homes. This fact may eventually lead us to better under-
stand the true needs of children, because attention and
love are one and the same thing. Try to show somebody
that you love him or her and try to do that without giving
them any attention. You will see that it’s impossible. The
very thought of the person is already attention, and by
thinking of the person you are sending out a vibration, and
energy.

What we commonly call love is exactly that bioplas-
matic energy that pervades the universe, and that has been
given so many names over the ages. And when we think in
what Fritjof Capra calls the ‘systems view of life’, it is not
astonishing after all to note that a natural element such as
water can be impregnated with that energy, or its upside-
down version, which is hatred.

198
MASARU EMOTO

The Secret Life of Walter
New York: Atria Books, 2005

The Secret Life of Water, when you compare it with Emoto’s first book,
The Hidden Messages in Water, is something like the scientific back office
of water research.

Here, Emoto really explains what hado really is, this
strange concept that seemingly was unknown in our own
culture until very recently, except among natural healers
and clairvoyants. Yet it is a very old concept, part of the
treasure of ancient Japanese wisdom, and thereby part of
perennial science.
Once I got familiar with this knowledge tradition, I
found a number of other books about hado, as for example
sending out hado by deliberate intent for healing, or learn-
ing the hado of cooking. Myself a passionate chef, I always
wondered how it is possible that two people using the

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

same recipe, and the same kitchen for cooking the same
food can end up with cooking food that tastes differently.
While the dish may even look the same, the taste is differ-
ent. The Japanese say that the cook whose dish tastes bet-
ter has a better or more sublime hado. I found books how to
deliberately improve your cooking hado so as to cook
better-tasting food, while you may cook the same food that
you always cooked before. Emoto enumerates three basic
keys for the understanding of hado:
Three key words are helpful to understand hado.
The first is frequency. The entire universe is vibrat-
ing at a particular and unique frequency. Frequency
can be modeled as waves, a fact easily supported by
quantum mechanics. All matter is frequency as well
as particles. What this means is that rather than con-
sidering something a living organism or a mineral,
something we can touch or something we can see,
everything is vibrating, and vibrating at a unique
and individual frequency./30

The second word that is helpful in understanding
hado is resonance. Resonance comes in play when
there is a sender of hado information and a receiver
of the information. Say you make a call to someone
you want to talk to. Unless that person picks up the
receiver, there will be no conversation. Without a
receiver, information cannot be sent. The Japanese
expression aun no kokyu, or ‘in-breath and out-
breath’, describes a state where subtle synchroniza-
tion occurs when we do things together. This also
refers to a relationship between a sender and a re-

200
MASARU EMOTO

ceiver. When there are vibrations matching, reso-
nance occurs. We can observe the phenomenon of
resonance in various aspects of daily life. For exam-
ple, if you have feelings of hatred toward someone,
there is a good chance that this person feels the same
about you. Likewise, if you have positive feelings
toward someone, that person will sense those feel-
ings even if you don’t express them in words. What
we feel in our hearts has a strange way of being re-
layed to other people./32

The third word helpful for understanding hado is
similarity. The macro world we know is a symbol, an
expansion of the micro world. The nine rotating
planets in our solar system are the macro version of
the electrons circulating around the atomic nucleus,
and what is going on within the human body is a
miniaturization of what is going on in the grandeur
of nature./33

This is not all about hado, it’s just a starting point.
From about page 50 of the book, Emoto expands about
healing with hado. And he has collected amazing exam-
ples from all over the world, and from different research-
ers, to prove his point. He envisions what he calls hado
medicine becoming one day the medicine of the future. He
writes:
All symptoms of illnesses vibrate at a unique fre-
quency. By knowing the frequency, it is possible to
overlap the exact opposite wavelength on top of the
symptom’s wavelength; thus, the frequency of the

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

illness is dissipated and the symptoms are allevi-
ated. /51

This is something that has been done by the Russian-
French researcher Georges Lakhovsky who, as early as in the
1920s, proved able to healing plant cancer simply by ex-
posing cancer-afflicted plants to vibrations that were ex-
actly opposite to the frequency of the malignant cells.
Based upon these experiments, Lakhovsky elaborated a
cancer etiology and healing procedures for both plant can-
cer and cancer in animals and humans. For Emoto, the
body is something like a complex sound machine and it
really vibrates, emits frequencies and can be seen as a mu-
sical composition. All organs produce sounds, and all the
sounds are in harmony with each other in the healthy or-
ganism. Now what happens when we are sick? Emoto ex-
plains:
When something goes wrong somewhere in the
body, there is discord with one of the sounds. And
when even one sound is out of pitch, the entire
composition is not as it should be./52

A controversial point in Emoto’s science of hado is
what he calls the memory of water. He claims that all water
has a memory that manifests through the fact once an af-
firmation has been emitted, and water has been impreg-
nated with such positive or negative intent, this impres-
sion lasts. It will not just vanish after a day or a month. But
how can we imagine this in practice, and what are the de-

202
MASARU EMOTO

tails of this science? How long will the impression last in
the individual case, and how to detect it? Emoto expresses
himself in terms that can neither be criticized, nor taken as
evidence for the ‘memory theory’:
All matter has its own hado, and water relays this
information. The molecules of water carry messages
like the magnet of a computer disk. Hado can be
either beneficial for life or harmful for life. But even
if the vibration is good for life, if water—the media-
tor—is impure, the hado will not be relayed
correctly./62

As I mentioned already in my review of The Hidden
Messages in Water, Emoto’s research is controversial with
regard to scientific standards applied. While he appears to
have given contradicting information to the press in this
regard, in the present book he writes, quite honestly:
I admit that the selection process is not strictly in
accordance with the scientific method, but simply
put, we choose the crystal that best represents the
entire sample instead of simply one from the most
common category./130

The fact is namely that there is never a total uniformity
in the water crystals that are formed after the water was
impressed and impregnated with intent. There is always a
mix. Now, when there is a mix, which crystals are going to
be photographed and shown in a publication? It’s well-
nigh clear that this is a crucial point in the whole of this
research. To argue from the detractor position: if there is a

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

mix, there is no proof at all because when there is a mix, all
is potentially in there, and so I can just pick out what I like
to pick out, and comment on it.

Now, strangely enough, Emoto doesn’t even come up
with the idea of a predominant scheme of crystals so that we
could establish something like a rule of evidence based
upon majority of crystals versus minority of crystals. Fact
is that Emoto not only applies intent for choosing the crys-
tals but he also applies intent for choosing the choosers. He
argued in interviews that he was carefully selecting the
people who were doing the photographs because another
crucial point brought forward by the detractors was that if
intent is so powerful on water, then what about the intent
brought in the water, more or less unconsciously, by the
photographer?
And how can we detect to what extent the crystals
have been formed by the affirmations, glued as paper mes-
sages on the bottles, on one hand, and the intent formed in
the minds of the photographers, on the other? I carefully
put a question mark here as to scientific credibility. While I
intuitively agree with Emoto and his research, I think its
scientific foundation is far from being established.

204
Richard Gerber

A Practical Guide to Vibrational Medicine
Energy Healing and Spiritual Transformation
New York: HarperCollins Quill, 2001

A Practical Guide to Vibrational Medicine is an excellent book, carefully
written, very well put together conceptually, while I have to put a ques-
tion mark behind one conceptual matter that I will discuss further
down.

Let me first comment on the general conception of the
book and the author’s unique contribution to a novel sub-
ject, that only increases in importance over time. Dr. Ger-
ber’s main quality is his detached and careful approach to
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

a matter that really is controversial. Let us not forget that
Paracelsus who was perhaps the first in our culture who
came up with energy healing had to stand trial before the
Inquisition.
This being said, the book is perhaps not as practical as
the title suggests it to be, not as practical as for example
Donna Eden’s book Energy Medicine, which I will review
further down in this volume. This is because this book is
conceptual in the first place, and practical in the second
place, and because it’s paradigmatic, and cutting-edge in
its overall perspective. It’s well practical when you con-
sider the abundance of references and the resource section
of the book that comes with pages and pages of organiza-
tions that can lead you further in your research project. But
the overall style of the book is academic, which is for me not
a negative characteristics at all but may be for some other
folks.
The merit of this book is the synthesis the author dis-
tills from his vast research referenced in the notes. For ex-
ample, if you want to look up topics like acupuncture or
Bach plants, or radionics for the first time, this book gives
you a wonderful overview and introduction into each of
these subjects. Then, in the notes and the reference part of
the book you get the information you need for further re-
search. A good idea is also the Recommended Reading sec-
tion (pp. 424-432), where the author gives concise recom-
mendations for further study. Very few authors have done
that. All this is extremely valuable as a package when you are

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RICHARD GERBER

a researcher and want to have an overview of the whole of
the topic. What is also very strong in this book is how the
author connects our modern perspective of vibrational
medicine with the old teachings, the medical tradition of
Antiquity, the esoteric knowledge of the Mystery Schools,
Chinese medicine and acupuncture sources, or Chinese
QiGong. The author proceeds carefully to define what vi-
brational medicine is.
Vibrational medicine is based upon modern scien-
tific insights into the energetic nature of the atoms
and molecules making up our bodies, combined
with ancient mystical observations of the body's
unique life-energy systems that are critical / but less
well understood aspects of human functioning.
Rather than seeing the body as a sophisticated ma-
chine, animated only by electrochemical reactions,
vibrational medicine views the body as a complex,
integrated life-energy system that provides a vehicle
for human consciousness as well as a temporary
hosting for the creative expression of the soul. /3-4

Modern physics tells us that the only difference be-
tween these forms of energy is that each oscillates at
a different frequency or rate of vibration. Hence, vi-
brational medicine refers to an evolving viewpoint
of health and illness that takes into account all the
many forms and frequencies of vibrating energy that
contribute to the 'multidimensional' human energy
system./5

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Another research topic in the transition to a holistic
model of medicine are emotions, and how they impact on
human health, or on illness. Gerber notes in a synopsis en-
titled ‘Major Differences Between Conventional Medicine’s
and Vibrational Medicine’s Worldviews’ (p. 3) for emo-
tions:

‣ Conventional Medicine Model: ‘Emotions thought to
influence illness through neurohormonal connections
between brain and body.’

‣ Vibrational Medicine Model: ‘Emotions and spirit can
influence illness via energetic and neurohormonal
connections among body, mind, and spirit.’

I would like to mention also how brilliantly, in a few
sentences, Dr. Gerber describes the outdated mechanistic
model, and why it’s superseded. I have never found this
elsewhere in this condensed form:
The concept of the body as a complex energetic sys-
tem is part of a new scientific worldview gradually
gaining acceptance in the eyes of modern medicine.
The older, yet prevailing, view of the human body is
still based upon an antiquated model of human
functioning that sees the body as a sophisticated
machine. In this old worldview, the heart is merely a
mechanical pump, the kidney a filter of blood, and
the muscles and skeleton a mechanical framework of
pulleys and levers. The old worldview is based
upon Newtonian physics, or so-called billiard-ball
mechanics. In the days of Sir Isaac Newton, scien-
tists thought they had figured out all the really im-
portant laws of the universe. They had discovered

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RICHARD GERBER

laws describing the motion of bodies in space and
their momentum, as well as their actions at rest and
in motion. The Newtonian scientists viewed the uni-
verse itself as a gigantic machine, somewhat like a
great clock. It followed, then, that the human body
was probably a machine as well. Many scientists in
Newton’s day actually thought that all the great dis-
coveries of science had already been made and that
little work was left to be done in the field of scien-
tific exploration./7

Traditional medicine in the West was vivisectionist in
that it had to kill an organism before it would inquire in its
functionality; it was studying death, instead of life, for
gaining information about life, which could logically not
result in a functional medical system. This biased scientific
approach was introduced by Aristotle’s reductionism that,
absolutized by the Church, virtually annihilated anything
even remotely systemic and organic in the observation of
nature.
While early European physicians could analyze the
human body only in terms of dissection of organs at
the time of autopsy, today's medical researchers
have the tools to study our physical makeup at the
cellular and molecular levels./7

The old–world, Newtonian model of medicine lacks
an appreciation of the seemingly intangible things
such as emotion, consciousness, and the energy and
life force of soul and spirit./9

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Dr. Gerber speaks of spiritual energy. What is this spiri-
tual energy? Gerber very carefully discusses the various
points of reference, including the Eastern tradition. But he
ends up with different energies, a whole array of energies
flowing through the human body, and not just one vital en-
ergy, one cosmic life force—and that really estranges me.
Of course, this one energy, early discovered by Paracel-
sus, appears in different vibrational octaves, such as sound
appears in different octaves. But for Gerber, there are dif-
ferent energies, to be precise, four, a chemical energy, an
electrical energy, a ch’i energy, and a prana energy.
Instead of seeing that different traditions named this
one and only energy differently, the Chinese ch’i, and the
Indians prana, he sets forth that ch’i was the ‘acupuncture
energy’ and prana the ‘chakra energy.’
Well, I am not here to clarify any confusion that Ger-
ber’s terminology might create, and I am not here to judge.
Let us just note the fact that this otherwise very careful re-
searcher and medical doctor came up with a view that ob-
viously contradicts perennial science as the latter always
spoke of one single spiritual, divine, or creator energy, and
not a whole array of those energies. The future will show
what is right or wrong here.

210
Amit Goswami

The Self-Aware Universe
How Consciousness Creates the Material World
New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 1995

What Amit Goswami can express poetically, in The Self-Aware Universe,
not many can express it ever in words. But his poetry, to paraphrase
Emerson, has an edge to it. The edge is quantum physics.

Goswami’s genius is his ability to express very com-
plex insights and relationships in a simple poetic language
that even the lay reader can understand.
When I saw Goswami in The Bleep, I was already im-
pressed by his unconventional yet powerfully convincing
appearance, but when I read him line by line, it was an in-
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

tellectual pleasure for me I seldom had when reading a
science book.
While Goswami leaves no doubt that he defends the
monistic paradigm in spirituality, which clearly means tak-
ing sides when you do this as a scientist, I respect it be-
cause he has justified his spiritual paradigm scientifically. I
can say that Goswami’s view of the universe sounds very
coherent to me, and from his general style and reputation,
this man is not a lighthearted spirit—pretty much to the
contrary.

This being said, this book is not an easy read. I had to
fight through because mathematics never was my strong
point, which is why I was thankful for Goswami’s wistful
mix of mathematical and poetic explanations of his vi-
sion—and that is something unusual in our mechanistic
science tradition—while it was not unusual in the Renais-
sance. And Goswami got a sense of humor, too:
But we physicists are a stubborn lot, and we fear the
proverbial toss of the baby out with the bathwater.

212
AMIT GOSWAMI

We still lather and shave our faces watching care-
fully as we use Occam’s razor to make sure that we
cut away all ‘hairy assumptions.’ What are these
clouds that obscure the end of the twentieth cen-
tury’s abstract art form? They boil down to one sen-
tence: The universe does not seem to exist without a
perceiver of that universe./xiv

Many of us would like to boost their scientific under-
standing without however having to digest volumes of
mathematical gibberish, and pages of formulas. Capra and
Goswami, and a growing number of other scientists today
show that it does not need to be that way, and that knowl-
edge, whatever level of complexity it assumes, is transmis-
sible in ordinary language. And for describing the para-
doxes of quantum physics, I haven’t found an author who
can explain them with similar ease:
Furthermore when it [the electron] is not a single
particle it appears to be an undulating wavelike
cloud that is capable of moving at speeds in excess
of light speed, totally contradicting the Einstein con-
cern that nothing material can move faster than
light. But Einstein’s worry is assuaged, for when it
moves this way, it is not actually a piece of
matter./xv

Goswami summarizes the quantum paradoxes as fol-
lows:

• A quantum object (for example, an electron)
can be at more than one place at the same
time (the wave property).

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

• A quantum object cannot be said to manifest
in ordinary spacetime reality until we ob-
serve it as a particle (collapse of the wave).

• A quantum object ceases to exist here and
simultaneously appears in existence over
there; we cannot say it went through the
intervening space (the quantum jump).

• A manifestation of one quantum object,
caused by our observation, simultaneously
influences its correlated twin object – no
matter how far apart they are (quantum
action-at-a-distance)./9

Goswami shows that relativity theory’s speed of the
light limitation is none when applied to subatomic physics
since we are dealing not with matter, but with waves, con-
tradicting physicists who speak in this case about excep-
tions from relativity theory. No, the wave behavior of elec-
trons doesn’t represent an exception from relativity theory
as relativity applies for matter only, for mass, and not for
waves. Goswami explains:
According to quantum physics, even though the two
electrons may be vast distances apart, the results of
observations carried out upon them indicate that
there must be some connection between them that
allows communication to move faster than light./xv

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AMIT GOSWAMI

In a similar mood and with the same eloquence, Gos-
wami explains why we need to overcome the Cartesian
dualism:
Since René Descartes divided reality into two sepa-
rate realms—mind and matter—many people have
tried to rationalize the causal potency of conscious
minds within Cartesian dualism. Science, neverthe-
less, presents compelling reasons to doubt that a
dualistic philosophy is tenable: In order for the
worlds of mind and matter to interact, they must
exchange energy, yet we know that the energy of the
material world remains constant. Surely, then, there
is only one reality. Here is the catch 22: If the one
reality is material reality, consciousness cannot exist
except as an anomalous epiphenomenon./10

With the same lucidity, Goswami discusses and even-
tually rejects material realism as a foundation for any kind
of holistic science of the future:
The negative influence of material realism on the
quality of modern human life has been staggering.

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Material realism poses a universe without any spiri-
tual meaning: mechanical, empty, and lonely. For us
inhabitants of the cosmos—this is perhaps the more
unsettling because, to a frightening degree, conven-
tional wisdom holds that material realism has pre-
vailed over theologies that propose a spiritual com-
ponent of reality in addition to the material one./11

What many people ignore, in fact, is that quantum
physics did not per se establish a holistic science para-
digm. Capra discussed this question in The Turning Point
(1987), pointing out that quantum physics is restricted to
the subatomic realm, while in conventional physics the
Newtonian mechanics is still valid. Goswami explains:
The philosophy of materialism, which dates back to
the Greek philosopher Democritus (ca. 460–ca. 370
B.C.) matches the worldview of classical physics
which is variously termed material, physical, or sci-
entific realism. Although a new scientific discipline
called quantum physics has formally replaced classi-
cal physics in this century, the old philosophy of
classical physics—that of material realism—is still
widely accepted./15

This is why, as Goswami discusses at length, the mere
decision pro or con quantum physics does not change much
in the landscape of physics. What does this change, Gos-
wami says, is the philosophy behind the screens.

216
AMIT GOSWAMI

And here he points out with many examples how
physics is shaped by the underlying spiritual or non-
spiritual paradigm. He forwards a catchy parallel to the
brain-mind discussion:
Classical functionalism assumes that the brain is
hardware and the mind software. It would be just as
unfounded to say that the brain is classical and the
mind quantum. Instead, in the idealist model pro-
posed here, the experienced mental states arise from
the interaction of both classical and quantum
systems./173

It seems that Goswami’s choice of philosophical mo-
nism was not just the result of cultural conditioning. As he
explains, and as it is well-known, India in the whole of its
philosophical tradition adhered to spiritual monism, and
idealism.

217
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

But the strength of Goswami’s coherent view of mod-
ern physics is that he carefully double-checked the results
of all the various philosophical constructs, in their effect on
scientific observation at the quantum level.
On the other hand, his clear choice of a spiritual direc-
tion may interfere in some ways with his scientific objectiv-
ity. When a quantum physicist makes such a spiritual
choice as a base paradigm also for his research, I must
question his objectiveness.
I will stop my comments here in the hope that this in-
formation is sufficient to raise your interest in the present
book, and take the challenge to read it.
While it is written in a good conversational English
and without too much science gibberish, a robust ability to
follow convoluted and complex philosophical, and to a
lesser extent, mathematical explanations is required.

218
Valery Hunt

Infinite Mind
Science of Human Vibrations of Consciousness
Malibu, CA: Malibu Publishing, 2000

I found Infinite Mind by Valerie Hunt only recently, while it’s not a new
book. It was published in 2000, but the research it is based upon dates
back to the 1970s. But that does in no way turn down or diminish the
importance of this book. In the contrary, it shows that every thorough
research needs decades to really condense into something we call a sci-
ence. And then, there is another lapse of time involved in this science to
be recognized by the established science tradition and academia! This
has to my knowledge not been done yet specifically for Hunt’s Science of
the Human Vibrations of Consciousness, but it has been done in a larger
framework, within what today is called consciousness research, and
which has been fertilized by many different sciences.

I would like to focus in this review on phenomena the
author observed and measured, or that she reports having
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

been measured by others, and that later, in some cases
have been corroborated by further research.
There is a staggeringly simple experiment that was re-
peated over and over and where observations coincided
over time, and with various researchers. It is an advanced
form of intuiting answers that usually is done with a com-
puter and where the test person clicks the mouse or hits a
pad every time, and as fast as possible, to give the answer
to a specific question.
The author writes:
We observed that before the brain wave was acti-
vated and before stimuli altered the heart rate, blood
pressure or breathing, the field had already re-
sponded. This led us to postulate that a person’s
primary response in his world takes place first in the
auric field, not in the sensory nerves nor in the
brain./25

The same results for the same kind of experiment were
reported by Dean Radin and Michael Talbot, in their books,
reviewed in this volume. Today the measurements would
of course be much more precise than back in the 1970s, as
Dean Radin reports, and errors can be as good as excluded.
It was clearly shown in these experiments that the field
reacted long before the stimulus was getting to the brain,
let alone triggered the action response. This important ex-
periment shows that the human brain practices pre-
intellectual decision–making that is totally intuitive, and
that is probably not located in the brain, because it’s pre–

220
VALERIE HUNT

cognitive, but in the aura, energy field or etheric body of
the person. What answers here is thus not the brain, not
the cognitive apparatus, but the field itself, the plasmatic
energy at the root of all life.
The next important point to consider is the relationship
between the observer and the observed, that equally was
extensively treated in the studies of both Dean Radin and
Michael Talbot, and countless other more recent studies.
Valerie Hunt writes:
A subatomic interpretation is that there is no uni-
verse without an observer. It has been said that there
is no physical universe without our thoughts about
it. Quantum physics reminds us that the moment
one inquires into matter, like an electron that has no
position, velocity, momentum or spin, that electron
acquires character. Simply, we cannot observe the
world without participating with it. Observers are
part of the nature of physical reality, where matter
and mind blend. Furthermore, when studying open
dynamic systems, there can never be identical an-
swers. The importance of repeating studies is not to
determine ‘truths’, but to disclose many truths—dif-
ferent pieces of information to fill in the puzzle. /44

But perhaps the most important research is the one
done directly on the field, research that formerly was
called aura research and that we now call research on the
human energy field. This research is so vast today, and
branches out so extensively that my guess is it will be the
foremost research topic in the future. It will probably open

221
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

the door to getting beyond the speed-of-light limitation
and allow to build magnetic-driven spaceships, as we
know them from science fiction. Besides, the applications
in daily life are so countless that I do not need to mention
them here. The author writes:
Not until we investigated practices of Eastern medi-
cine and acupuncture did we give serious attention
to human energy fields. Still, Western science does
not consider the human auric field a credible area for
research. If one cannot see the aura and discussion of
it is couched in unfamiliar language from other cul-
tures, one doubts its value. Ancient writings claim-
ing that chakras are the auric field source with me-
ridian pathways the circulation route do not fit
snugly into the current understanding from struc-
tural anatomy. Nonetheless, the few who have cho-
sen to research this uncharted human field area dis-
cover facts unique to living fields that also corre-
spond to universal laws. The human field looms as
primary to life./65

As this book is very large and complex, I will focus
here further on Chapter VI of the book entitled ‘Emotions:
The Mind-Field Organizer’ because I believe this is one of
the most important topics of the book. I will just list the
quotes here that concern Hunt’s alternative view on emo-
tions, which exactly coincides with my own research on
emotions:
Emotions carry the essence of our unique and collec-
tive consciousness. (...) I suggest that human emo-
tion is the organizer of energy fields./104

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VALERIE HUNT

Current ideas about the psychology of emotion need
to be re-evaluated./105

In the last 25 years, 100 new schools of psychology
have been established. But there has not been a revo-
lutionary new idea about human emotion since the
early part of this century. While it is true that
transpersonal psychology is pointing to higher spiri-
tual aspects of consciousness, it is still with a weak
voice that is not commanding the attention paid to
the old models. Actually, even transpersonal psy-
chology is not radically new; it is merely an exten-
sion of older concepts. /106

I have done this re-evaluation of emotions research in
my books and I speak of a unique emotional identity code,
and now find in the present book that Dr. Hunt speaks of a
specific ‘personal emotional field signature’ (p. 111), which
she describes as a form of steady state of emotionality that
represents something like a unique emotional patterning
that differs from one person to the other. Dr. Hunt writes:
In contrast to the emotions at the material body
level, in altered states there is evidence of an open
emotional system that is dynamically in touch with
deep needs and subtle happenings in the universe.
/106

Here in the no-time/space realm, one discovers free
emotional energy, a super-consciousness state, the
home of the peak experiences that we never forget.
Here the closed system opens, revealing a broad
continuum of emotions that explain things we knew

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

about ourselves, particularly the schisms in our
awareness. /Id.

I strongly believe that the internal dynamics of the
most complex biofield, the human energy field, are
based on its emotional organization. /109

At the deepest level, all things are composed of vi-
brations organized into fields that permeate the en-
tire structure. Fields, / whether biological or other-
wise, have their own integrity. They are organized,
not random, and they have the capacity to selec-
tively react, interact, and transact—to respond pas-
sively, and to cooperatively unite with other fields.
In other words, the mind aspect of the field, the as-
pect with the highest vibrations dynamically guides
all choices and transactions as it influences and is
influenced by all other fields./109-110

For researching systems theory, I have started my sci-
entific journey exactly with a closer look at what is pattern
in nature, and how pattern is distinct from principles, as
we know them from our scientific formulations of natural
laws. Dr. Hunt writes:
Patterns of the mind dictate complex human behav-
iors; brain patterns activate simpler ones. Every ex-
perience has concomitant emotions, and every emo-
tion temporarily restructures the field. Activated
emotions increase the electromagnetic flow of the
field. Likewise, emotions arise from an altered elec-
tromagnetic environment. /110

224
VALERIE HUNT

My research shows that human energy fields display
a continuum. The extremely low frequencies (ELF),
are directly involved with life’s biological processes.
The extremely high / frequency (EHF) patterns ally
with the mind-field and awareness. The general pat-
tern of ELF is similar for all people, while the EHF
reveals a personal signature of emotional patterning
for each person. Therefore, an individual’s mind-
field patterns may show unique clumps of energy at
different frequencies with breaks in the frequencies
along the total mind-field spectrum./110-111

225
Shafica Karagulla

The Chakras
Correlations between Medical Science and Clairvoyant Observation
With Dora van Gelder Kunz
Wheaton: Quest Books, 1989

This is an extraordinary book. I do research on the bioenergy since two
decades, but I have not encountered so much information about such
esoteric a subject in one single book. But I must warn the non-scientific
reader: this isn’t a book for enhancing your general knowledge about
the aura, and the chakras, and it is by no means a practical book, guide-
book, or anything of the kind.

You got two medical practitioners here, one of which is
a clairvoyant. The author herself, Shafica Karagulla, is the
kind of traditional physician who writes with a lot of ‘fac-
ulty terms’, so to speak, using medical terminology all over
the place. Further down, I’ll quote some examples. So
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

think twice if you want to buy this book. For me person-
ally, it was indispensable for my research. There are some
elucidations in this book that I found earlier in my re-
search, but only after studying tedious manuals and old
hermetic writings.
One detail also is important somehow. Dora van
Gelder died before this book was even in a draft, and
therefore Karagulla was not always sure when she gave
detailed accounts on Gelder’s paranormal perceptions.
This is obviously a bad fate, as part of the theory rests on
assumptions. On the other hand, from her memory, Kara-
gulla could relate many an anecdote about the powerful
personality of van Gelder and her lucid intelligence. One
thing she relates to have been a constant in van Gelder’s
sayings was:
There is nothing ‘supernatural’ in the universe;
whatever phenomena appear so to us are the result
of our ignorance of the laws that govern them./5

We are reminded of the German poet and scientist Jo-
hann Wolfgang von Goethe, an initiate who said that all
secrets of the universe could be known to the common
man, if only he could free himself from school wisdom,
which was the eternal parody of real knowledge. This be-
ing said, there truly is precious knowledge contained in
this book. The following three sentences alone may suffice
to convince you of the in-depth scientific research of these
authors and their competence level regarding a field of re-
search that is still unknown not only to most lay people
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SHAFICA KARAGULLA

but hardly known even to many scientists. It is also for me
an important hint as to considering clairvoyant observa-
tions as ‘real’ research, which has the quality of scientific
scrutiny:
From clairvoyants we learn that the personality in-
cludes three types of energy fields—he etheric or
vital, the astral or emotional, and the mental—all of
which surround and interpenetrate every cell of the
physical body. The interplay among these three
fields may be likened to what a musician calls the
major chord, which is composed of three frequencies
that in combination with four other notes form an
octave of seven frequencies. It is said by some that
every human being emits a unique tonal pattern
which is created by his individual energy fields
working in unison. This is sometimes referred to as
the personality note./2

This elucidation is precious in the scientific debate
about what the human energy field really is and especially
the question if it is one single energy, or several energies. I
mentioned in my review of Dr. Gerber’s book A Practical
Guide to Vibrational Medicine that I found it highly confus-
ing that the author does not speak about one energy field,
but several, and even sees ch’i and prana as different ener-
gies.
First, Karagulla speaks not of energies, but of energy
fields. Second, the etheric, astral and mental fields have
been recognized since times immemorial as different den-
sities of the field, not different fields. The etheric field is the

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

densest, the mental field the most transparent energy field.
But we are speaking here by no means about different en-
ergies! However, shortly after this important elucidation,
Karagulla falls in the same trap and assigns to electric and
magnetic fields the character of ‘energies’:
This and other research points significantly to the
fact / that in addition to the electrical and magnetic
fields which surround all physical events there are
other types of energies and frequencies that are as
yet undetectable by any instrumentation so far de-
veloped. For this reason, the gifted human being is
the only ‘instrument’ so far available or the kind of
research which correlates clairvoyant perceptions
with medical diagnoses./5-6

While my point of view is of course not authoritative, I
am convinced that the electric and magnetic fields are
manifestations of the primal cosmic energy, and not differ-
ent energies.
The following quote may point to a similar interpreta-
tion. If we can admit a universal field, as it has recently
been done, for example through the research of Lynne
McTaggart, exposed in her brilliant study The Field, then
we are back at the ground, and can affirm there is only one
field or energy, and not a confusing mess of perhaps con-
flicting energies:
This growing perception of the interrelatedness of
all living things has many implications. For our
purposes, however, we focus on the fact that there is
a continuous energy exchange between the individ-

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SHAFICA KARAGULLA

ual and the environment which every living system
(whether human, animal, vegetable, or even chemi-
cal) regulates in terms of its self-organization. This
energy exchange is so constant and so indispensable
for all living organisms that it can be regarded as a
universal field effect./12

The notion of fields is introduced to every school
child who is exposed to the experiment of proving
that when electricity flows through a wire it estab-
lishes a magnetic field. Other physical field phe-
nomena can also be easily demonstrated, although
detection of the nuclear fields requires more sophis-
ticated equipment. But when we posit a universal
life or vital field (as we do in this book), this is much
more difficult to demonstrate in a tangible way, for
there are as yet no scientific instruments capable of
detecting the presence of such a field. Yet life, if as
yet undefined, is real, and the living (as open sys-
tems) have specific characteristics not shared by in-
organic matter. The most important of these is the
ability to replenish energy (what we call vitality)
without an outside agency, which no machine can
do./13

Another important detail in the research for the present
book was the authors’ focus on energy patterns. I have
seen in my own research on the bioenergy that we can es-
tablish as fact the observation that life is coded in energy
patterns, and not in any form of ‘matter’ as a primary sub-
stance of creation.

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At a more fundamental level of physical being, we
are becoming accustomed to thinking of ourselves in
terms of systems, processes, and patterns of energy,
rather than of dense materiality./20

In the view being developed here, man is a system
of interdependent force fields, within which energy
patterns are not only appropriate to the particular
field but are also ordered by special processes and
mechanisms. Furthermore, these energy patterns are
responsive to changes in consciousness, a fact which
gives us a very different perspective upon many of
the troubling problems of human life./26

Now, going in medias res of this book, knowing that all
disease is a result of either lacking or misdirected bioener-
getic flow, we have to ask the pertinent question how we
can direct the bioenergy so as to bring about health? The
authors conclude that it’s a particular field state:
We found that abnormalities observed in the major
etheric chakras were an indication of a tendency to a
disease process, and that the area in which this
would occur could be predicted even years before
the symptoms began to manifest. /6

Vitality per se is not recognized as a form of energy
in the West, but in the East, where it is known as
prana, it has always been perceived as a universal
force in nature connected with breathing and breath.
/28

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SHAFICA KARAGULLA

Let me add a remark here. It’s not really true that en-
ergy fields were not recognized in the West. What is true is
that all direct knowledge about life was considered a her-
esy for centuries, which is why this research, together with
alchemy, herbal cures and even astrology had to remain in
the underground. Paracelsus has discovered in plants ex-
actly what the authors report here, a powerful energy field,
and he has even found how to potentiate this energy field
in plant concoctions through assemblage of specific plants
he found were syncing their frequencies, as a matter of
natural association. As a result, Paracelsus had to stand
trial before the Inquisition for this discovery, and was for-
tunately able to disprove his involvement in sorcery.

But the fact that until very recently the cosmic energy
field was a matter of controversy in modern science has its
rationale in the fact that the Church ordained what was to
be known, and what was not. In the East, such knowledge
prohibition has never taken place which is why this
knowledge could flourish so freely, and was even encour-
aged by the religions of the East, such as Hinduism or
Buddhism, and even earlier on, Taoism.
Now let us go a step ahead and ask how is this energy
being supplied and replenished in the organism? Do we as
yet have all the information we need? The author honestly
admits that not all is known here, but we can be sure that
in matters of replenishment, the direction is from the sub-
tle to the dense, from the ethereal to the material, from the
higher energy level to the lower, and not vice versa:

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

The etheric body vitalizes the physical body, but ex-
actly how this takes place is not yet known. Since the
/ etheric channels run parallel to the nervous sys-
tem, however, there may be a process of induction.
/28-29

As here only one energy is mentioned, prana, we have
a further stone in the puzzle that speaks for these authors
affirming that there is really only one cosmic energy field,
and not several. Now, how does this energy body, this
aura, look like? Karagulla describes it:
To the clairvoyant, the etheric body looks like a lu-
minous web of fine bright lines of force which, in a
healthy person, stand out at right angles to the sur-
face of the skin. Its texture may be fine-grained or
coarse, a characteristic which repeats itself in the
physical body type. Each organ of the body has its
etheric counterpart, through which the etheric en-
ergy circulates constantly./30

The color of the etheric body is a pale blue-gray or
violet-gray, slightly luminous and shimmering, like
heat waves above the earth on hot days. In the aver-
age person it extends from five to seven centimeters
(two to three inches) beyond the periphery of the
physical body, gradually fading away into the en-
veloping ocean of etheric energy. This ocean of en-
ergy is in constant rapid motion, and surrounds the
body much as the atmosphere surrounds the
earth./Id.

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SHAFICA KARAGULLA

And how does chronic illness look like? What is the
imprint it makes in the luminous body and how can these
imprints be identified? Here again, a clear answer is pro-
vided in the book:
It should not be supposed, however, that the exis-
tence of this etheric web inhibits the normal interac-
tion between the emotional and etheric fields. In a
healthy individual, there is an ordered relationship
and a rhythmic flow among all the energy fields. But
when there are chronic disturbances on the emo-
tional level, such as continuous hostility or anxiety,
the energy discharge is disordered, and this can
eventually damage the whole system. To take an-
other example, fear and depression tend to cut down
the normal flow of energy, so that organs like the
kidneys become less able to function normally. Thus
the emotions closely affect both the etheric and
physical bodies./31

Now, more specifically, what is the role of the chakras?
Usually, from selfhelp books we learn only about the seven
ordinary chakras, but there is more to it, as there are also
chakras in both the emotional and the mental bodies, so in
total there are not 7 but 24 chakras. The authors explain:
The seven etheric chakras, which are so influential in
the health of the physical and etheric bodies, have
their counterparts on the astral and mental levels.
Like the physical body, which is continually disinte-
grating and rebuilding itself, the etheric, emotional
and mental fields are constantly changing, but at a

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

much more rapid rate. The chakras are involved in
this change./34

What the chakras do is basically to transmit and trans-
form energy, and their mechanism ‘synchronizes the emo-
tional, mental and etheric energies’ (41).
You may know from popular science books that para-
normals see ‘colors’ in the aura. What does that mean? Can
the colors be associated with certain characteristics? The
authors provide stunning information here:
The colors, which vary from chakra to chakra, also
glow in a way that contributes to their flower-like
appearance. In a healthy person, the chakras’ forms
are beautifully balanced, symmetrical and organic,
with all the parts flowing together in a rhythmic pat-
tern. Their motion is, in fact, harmonic or musical in
character, with rhythms which vary according to
individual, constitutional and temperamental differ-
ences. /35

The energy pours in through the core of the chakra,
reaches the spine via its stalk, then flows along the
tiny pathways of the etheric body which are con-
nected with the physical nervous system. It finally
returns to the chakras, moving outward in spirals
through the periphery of the petals, in a constant
intake and outflow./36

What is perhaps quite unexpected is that a simple
clairvoyant regard on the chakras can reveal much about

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SHAFICA KARAGULLA

the spiritual evolution of the person, and their level of con-
sciousness:
The chakras also reveal a person’s quality of con-
sciousness and degree of personal development and
abilities, through the variations of the etheric centers
and their interconnections with those at other levels.
In a simple, rather undeveloped person, the chakras
will be small in size, slow in movement, dull in color
and coarse in texture. In a more intelligent, respon-
sive and sensitive person they will be brighter, of
finer texture and with a more rapid movement, and
in an awakened individual who makes full use of his
powers, they become coruscating whirlpools of color
and light./36

Another interesting parallel is that the chakra network
in the organism bears a resemblance with the endocrine
system:
Certainly the intricate relationships among these
chakras, as well as those on other levels, bear a close
resemblance to the functional interconnectedness of
the endocrine system. In fact, the interaction of all
the fields with the physical body is a beautifully in-
tegrated system which originates in and is sustained
by the energy patterns of the chakras in the etheric,
astral and mental vehicles./37

This following concise little summary of the main func-
tions of the chakras is hardly to be found in any other
book:

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

To sum up, the principal functions of the etheric
chakras are to absorb and distribute prana or vital
energy to the etheric body and, through it, to the
physical body, and to maintain dynamic connections
with the corresponding chakras in the emotional
and mental bodies. One of the functions of the chak-
ras is to coordinate the interaction among the vari-
ous fields. The condition of the physical body is af-
fected not only by the rate of etheric energy flow, but
also by the degree of harmony in its rhythm, and
any obstructions which deform the normal energy
patterns result in loss of vitality and ill health./38

I leave out from this review what the authors write
about each chakra, as this information would render this
book review too extensive. Let me state here only that the
heart chakra is of particular importance as it is exactly in
the middle between the upper chakras and the lower chak-
ras. Thus, it bears a particular importance for balancing the
energies. The authors point out:
In meditation, the student is encouraged to focus on
the heart center, in order to strengthen its connection
with the core of the crown chakra. This brings about
a state of true balance in the body, for the heart cen-
ter is really the point of integration in the whole
chakra system, and therefore has an important over-
all balancing effect./42

Back in the 1970s, I found in one of Wilhelm Reich’s
books the surprising statement that emotions are energy. As I
looked around, I saw that Reich, at his time, was quite the

238
SHAFICA KARAGULLA

only medical doctor, scientist and psychiatrist who was
saying this. I was intrigued and began a long research on
emotions. But I could hardly find anything but the notori-
ous assumption that emotions were ‘difficult to grasp by
modern science’ and that their nature was little known,
while in the esoteric literature it was always assumed that
emotions were related to the vital energy. Now, this book
gives conclusive evidence for the energy nature of emo-
tions, and generally, the emotional field. To note in addition
that emotions are by no means ‘in the brain’, but flow
pretty much like electric currents in the emotional body,
which is the second subtle body we carry around our
physical body. Karagulla explains:
Thus the astral or emotional field is truly universal.
It is a fluid world of fast-moving images, shimmer-
ing with color and full of symbols and images that
move us with their beauty or fill us with fear and
anxiety, since it can be responsive to false and nega-
tive ideas as well as to those which are noble and
uplifting. But in every case the emotional field is an
intrinsic component of human life which needs to be
understood and appreciated for what it is. (...) The
emotional field is permeated by energy, as are the
physical fields, but in this case it is moving much
more rapidly, and is therefore perceived as a higher
octave of color and sound. The form of the individ-
ual emotional field (the astral body or aura) has cer-
tain structural / features which correspond to those
of the etheric field and the physical body itself. To
the clairvoyant, this structure appears as a multicol-
ored aura extending thirty-nine to forty-five centi-

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

meters (fifteen to eighteen inches) beyond the physi-
cal body. It looks rather like an ovoid, luminous
cloud surrounding the body, as though the individ-
ual were suspended inside a semitransparent bubble
of changing colors and patterns./48-49

Now, after we know what emotions are, and where
they are located, let us look at what they do. When we in-
teract emotionally with others, there is energy flow in-
volved in this communication:
The activity in the field of the emotional body can be
compared to changing conditions in the atmosphere
of the earth, when observations from weather satel-
lites verify / the areas in which storms are raging. In
much the same way, the clairvoyant can perceive the
emotional storms which trouble an individual as
they disturb the aura./50-51

In our immediate neighborhood, we people our
space with our emotional images, whether positive,
negative or neutral. /51

If we accept the idea that we are dynamic systems
which are constantly receiving and radiating energy,
we can understand the degree to which human be-
ings affect one another’s emotional fields. This var-
ies, of course, according to the inner stability and
integration of the individual. When a person identi-
fies himself with his emotions, he naturally responds
readily to the emotions of others. He may be a warm
and loving person, but he may also become the vic-
tim of other people’s emotional disturbances./51

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SHAFICA KARAGULLA

There is a very interesting parallel with Reich’s analy-
sis of what he called the emotional plague as a major patho-
logical development in humanity that he thought was
caused by mishandling our emotions because of compul-
sory morality. Now, what Karagulla says is basically the
same:
Over the years, humanity has produced a great deal
of smog or debris in the emotional atmosphere./51

The importance of emotions as they are seen and
evaluated by van Gelder and Karagulla by far surpasses
even the most avant-garde research on emotions, to name
only Candace B. Pert’s bestselling book Molecules of Emo-
tion. From what they say, we can conclude that our idea of
a ‘rational mind’ is fictional, because our mind is con-
stantly connected with our emotions:
Because the mental and emotional fields are so
closely interconnected, the mind is colored by emo-
tion, just as the feelings are conditioned by thought.
This is a universal characteristic, but when it is un-
balanced or out of control the condition may become
pathological. However, if the mind is not hampered
by emotional stresses, it is a fine and flexible instru-
ment for integrating and assimilating all levels of
personal experience: mental, emotional and physi-
cal. /59

From here, it’s but one step to bring forward a more
general theory about the interaction between mind and

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

brain, which is one of the most important topics of current
neuroscientific and psychoimmunological research:
The view of the mind/brain relationship which
emerges from our research is very different from
that generated by most psychophysiological theoriz-
ing. Far from being a product of brain activity, the
distillation of meaning and the interpretation of ex-
perience are seen to derive from a deeper level of the
self. Such insight is then developed rationally by the
mind and related to other knowledge, while the
brain, which is the mind’s instrument or physical
partner, registers the information. In other words,
the mind is dependent upon the brain for physical
expression, but it also transcends the brain mecha-
nism and can to some extent compensate for its
defects./60

To come back to our initial question: how can we iden-
tify the presence of pathological development through con-
templating the energy patterns in the luminous energy
field? According to the authors, it’s a matter of how the
energy is organized:
When the energy pattern is closely knot, it is very
resistant to invasion from the outside world, but
when loose and porous it can be penetrated more
easily, and therefore the subject is apt to take in
whatever may be in the / surrounding environment.
/92-93

Now, to come to an end of this rather extended book
review, I would like to emphasize that the few quotes I

242
SHAFICA KARAGULLA

have replicated here in this review are by no means repre-
sentative for the whole book. In fact, they are rather the
exception from the rule. The most part of this book is writ-
ten in medical terminology and thus not easily accessible
to the lay reader. Yet despite this limitation, which is not
really a limitation, this book is a jewel in every new science
library, and it probably will be discovered again and again,
as it seems to me that so far, this book has not been given
the scientific attention it deserves.

243
Georges Lakhovsky

The Secret of Life
Kessinger Publishing, 2003
Originally published as ‘Le Secret de la Vie’
Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1929

Back in 2004, I ordered George Lakhovsky’s books in their French origi-
nal, the early original editions, and began to translate quotes from them.
These books are precious stones in a new science library, to be true, and
the knowledge they bring is not theoretical, but very practical.

Georges Lakhovsky (1869-1942) was not an academic,
but a practical man, a Russian engineer who emigrated to
France before World War II. He found that all living cells
possess attributes that normally are associated with elec-
tronic circuits. Observing that the oscillation of high fre-
quency sine waves when sustained by a small, steady supply
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

of energy of the right frequency would bring trigger reso-
nance, Lakhovsky arranged experiments showing that liv-
ing cells respond to oscillations contained in what he
called ‘cosmic rays’.
On the basis of these insights, Lakhovsky construed
devices for healing by the application of high frequency
waves, that today we know as Radionics. Lakhovsky found
that when those oscillations are resonating in sync with the
energy code of the cell, the cell’s growth increases, while
when frequencies differ, it weakens the vitality of cell. He
further found that the cells of pathogenic organisms pro-
duce markedly different frequencies than healthy cells. He
specifically observed that if he could increase the ampli-
tude, but not the frequency, of the oscillations of healthy
cells, this increase would dampen the oscillations pro-
duced by disease causing cells, thus bringing about their
decline. However, when he rose the amplitude of the dis-
ease causing cells, their oscillations would gain the upper
hand and cause the person or plant to become weaker, and
illness would worsen. As a result of these observations,
Lakhovsky viewed the progression of disease as essentially
a battle between resonant oscillations of host cells versus
oscillations emanating from pathogenic organisms.

Lakhovsky initially proved his theory using plants. In
December, 1924, he inoculated a set of ten germanium
plants with a plant cancer that produced tumors. After
thirty days, tumors had developed in all of the plants,
upon which Lakhovsky took one of the ten infected plants

246
GEORGES LAKHOVSKY

and simply construed a heavy copper wire in a one loop,
open-ended coil about thirty centimeter (12”) in diameter
around the center of the plant and held it in place. The
copper coil was found to collect and concentrate energy
from extremely high frequency cosmic rays.
The diameter of the copper loop determined which
range of frequencies would be captured. Lakhovsky found
that the thirty centimeter loop captured frequencies that
fell within the resonant frequency range of the plant’s cells.
This captured energy thus reinforced the resonant oscilla-
tions naturally produced by the nucleus of the germa-
nium’s cells. This allowed the plant to overwhelm the os-
cillations of the cancer cells and destroy the cancer. The
tumors fell off in less than three weeks and by two months,
the plant was thriving. All of the other cancer-inoculated
plants, those that were not receiving the copper coil, died
within thirty days.
Lakhovsky then proceeded to tackle cancerous growth
in human beings and fashioned loops of copper wire that
could be worn around the waist, neck, elbows, wrists,
knees, or ankles of people. He found that over time relief
of painful symptoms was obtained. These simple coils,
worn continuously around certain parts of the body,
would invigorate the vibrational strength of cells and in-
creased the immune response which in turn took care of
the offending pathogens. Next, Lakhovsky construed a de-
vice that produced a broad range of high frequency pulsed
signals that radiate energy to the patient via two round

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

resonators, one resonator acting as a transmitter and the
other as a receiver.
The machine generates a very wide spectrum of high
frequencies coupled with static high voltage charges ap-
plied to the resonators. These high voltages cause a corona
discharge around the perimeter of the outside resonator
ring that Lakhovsky called effluvia. The patient sat on a
wooden stool in between the two resonators and was ex-
posed to these energies for about fifteen minutes. The fre-
quency waves sped up the recovery process by stimulating
the resonance of healthy cells in the patient and in doing
so, increased the immune response to the disease organ-
isms.

Lakhovsky’s research demonstrates that it is experi-
mentally possible to manipulate the resonance pattern of a
cell’s vibrational field in order to actively fight a cancerous
tumor, thus gradually eliminating the cancer. The special
note of this treatment is that contrary to present-day cancer
treatments, it changes the disease by changing the energy
pattern of the affected cells, and not by chemically interfer-
ing with the cell’s metabolism. He called the cosmic energy
field universion, which is the title of one of his lesser known
books.

248
Ervin Laszlo

Books Reviewed
Science and the Akashic Field (2004)
Science and the Reenchantment of the Cosmos (2006)

Ervin Laszlo, born 1932 in Budapest, Hungary, is a phi-
losopher of science, systems theorist, integral theorist, and
classical pianist. He has published about 75 books and
over 400 papers, and is editor of World Futures: The Journal
of General Evolution. In 1993, in response to his experience
with the Club of Rome, he founded the Club of Budapest to,
in his words, center attention on the evolution of human
values and consciousness as the crucial factors in changing
course—from a race toward degradation, polarization, and
disaster to a rethinking of values and priorities so as to
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

navigate today’s transformation in the direction of human-
ism, ethics, and global sustainability. His book Science and
the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything posits a
field of information as the substance of the cosmos. Using
the Sanskrit and Vedic term for space, Akasha, he calls this
information field the Akashic field or A-field.

Laszlo is one of the most important authors I have re-
viewed in this book. He asserts that the quantum vacuum
is the fundamental energy and information-carrying field
that informs not just the current universe, but all universes
past and present, that is, the Metaverse. Laszlo describes
how such an informational field can explain why our uni-
verse is so exquisitely fine-tuned as to form galaxies and
conscious life forms; and why evolution is an informed,
not random, process.

250
ERVIN LASZLO

He believes that the hypothesis solves several prob-
lems that emerge from quantum physics, especially nonlo-
cality and quantum entanglement. He also sees his hy-
pothesis as solving the perennial disputes between science
and religion.
Recent works, not reviewed here, include The Chaos
Point: The World at the Crossroads, Hampton Roads, 2006;
You Can Change the World: The Global Citizen’s Handbook for
Living on Planet Earth: A Report of the Club of Budapest, Select
Books, 2003; The Connectivity Hypothesis: Foundations of an
Integral Science of Quantum, Cosmos, Life, and Consciousness,
State University of New York Press, 2003; Evolution: The
General Theory, Hampton Press, 1996; The Whispering Pond:
A Personal Guide to the Emerging Vision of Science, Element
Books, Ltd., 1996; The Systems View of the World: A Holistic
Vision for Our Time, Hampton Press, 1996.

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Science and the Akashic Field
An Integral Theory of Everything
Rochester: Inner Traditions, 2004

Science and the Akashic Field is after the books of Paracelsus, Mesmer,
Reichenbach, Reich, Burr, Lakhovsky, Capra, Emoto, Hunt and Shel-
drake the most important book I have read on the integration of the
energy paradigm—associated with the perennial notion of the ‘ether’—
into the heart of modern science.

Deepak Chopra, M.D. wrote about this book: ‘The
most brilliant, comprehensive, and intellectually satisfying
integral theory of everything that I have ever read.’
The author introduces the book with the following elu-
cidation that I think is worth to be quoted in its integrality:
Akasha (â · kâ · sha) is a Sanskrit world meaning
‘ether’: all-pervasive space. Originally signifying
‘radiation’ or ‘brilliance’ in Indian philosophy aka-
sha was considered the first and most fundamental
of the five elements – the others being vata (air), agni
(fire), ap (water), and prithivi (earth). Akasha em-
braces the properties of all five elements: it is the
womb from which everything we perceive with our

252
ERVIN LASZLO

senses has emerged and into which everything will
ultimately re-descend. The Akashic Record (also
called The Akashic Chronicle) is the enduring record
of all that happens, and has ever happened, in space
and time.

There is something like a dialectic movement to be ob-
served in the scientific evolution of humanity. There was
first a high development of single individuals that today
we call sages, who knew that all life is unity, that essential
oneness is the most important feature of our cosmos—and
thus that all is somehow interrelated. Then there was a
phase of dissection, where the unitary and holistic thinking
became split up, and where science that today we qualify
as mechanistic ‘clockwork science’ was looking at the parts
rather than the whole, and accordingly observed a cosmos
that consisted of single elements without relationship to
each other. That phase was rather short, some three hun-
dred years at best, and the turn of events occurred in the
lifetime and under the physics pulpit of Albert Einstein.
It was as if the Newtonian universe which created clas-
sical mechanics was going to pieces, virtually with every
day, with the discovery of more and more correlations be-
tween phenomena that formerly had been considered as
separated, and that were relegated to different scientific
disciplines. And there was something like a turning point
that we could perhaps correlate with the formulation of
Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. While Einstein had
helped this whole scientific revolution in motion through

253
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

his early observation that a particle can be particle at times
and wave at other times, and that its wave-like state col-
lapses under observation—and thus under the impact of
human consciousness—he resisted to admit that relativity
theory was not the last word to be said in physics. Mean-
while, the paradoxes accumulated and it all got to a point
where holistic thinkers such as Laszlo, who see the big pic-
ture, formulated scientifically the coherence factor that
links all together in the cosmos. Laszlo called it the infor-
mation field, Akashic field or A-field.
This field has been called zero-point field by others, or
simply field, else quantum vacuum or quantum field by
still others. Harold Saxton Burr has anticipated it with his
concept of the L-field. However, it has to be seen that Burr
was still thinking in terms of electromagnetic fields. The
earlier research done on the cosmic life energy by Paracel-
sus, Swedenborg, Mesmer, Reichenbach, Reich, Lakhovsky and
Emoto was explicitly registering that the cosmic energy also
is a cosmic memory surface, which is an aspect that was not
per se apparent in the earlier research. Laszlo apparently
wanted to introduce into the scientific context the esoteric
notion of the Akashic Records, which was given substantial
weight with the readings of Edgar Cayce together with the
notion of one single most potent agent, creator energy or
creator principle. Ervin Laszlo explains:
Science and the Akashic Field is a nontechnical in-
troduction to the informed universe, cornerstone of
a scientific theory that will grow into a genuine the-
ory of everything. It describes the origins and the

254
ERVIN LASZLO

essential elements of this theory and explores why
and how it is surfacing in quantum physics and
cosmology, in the biological sciences, and in the new
field of consciousness research. In highlights the
theory’s crucial feature: the revolutionary discovery
that at the roots of reality there is an interconnecting,
information-conserving and information-conveying
cosmic field. For thousands of years, mystics and
seers, sages and philosophers maintained that there
is such a field; in the East they called it the Akashic
Field. But the majority of Western scientists consid-
ered it a myth. Today, at the new horizons opened
by the latest scientific discoveries, this field is being
rediscovered. The effects of the Akashic Field are not
limited to the physical world: the A-field (as we
shall call it) informs all living things – the entire web
of life. It also informs our consciousness./3

I won’t comment in this review on the first three chap-
ters that are more or less a summary of the quantum para-
doxes, and will thus jump directly to Chapter Four
‘Searching for the Memory of the Universe’ where the
author writes that our present science paradigm is not
large enough to encompass the new notion of the informa-
tion field and therefore has to be expanded. He notes four
points that I shall quote here as they are mark stones for
further research on the matter:

• The universe as a whole manifests fine-
tuned correlations that defy commonsense
explanation.

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

• Astonishingly close correlations exist on the
level of the quantum: every particle that has
ever occupied the same quantum state as
another particle remains correlated with it in
a mysterious, nonenergetic way.

• Post-Darwinian evolutionary theory and
quantum biology discover similarly puz-
zling correlation within the organism and
between the organism and its milieu.

• The correlations that come to light in the
farther reaches of consciousness research are
just as strange: they are in the form of
‘transpersonal connections’ between the
consciousness of one person and the mind
and body of another./45

Let’s not forget to mention Nikola Tesla here, who was
one of the early pioneers and who said, as reported by
Laszlo, that the curvature of space, which was Einstein’s
explanation of the interconnectedness of quantum phe-
nomena, as for example the slowing down of clocks and
the shrinking of yardsticks near the speed of light, was not
the answer. Contrary to Fritjof Capra who argues more on
the line of Einstein, denying the existence of the ether as a
valid scientific term, Laszlo affirmed it as an ‘invisible en-
ergy field’, calling it the ‘luminiferous ether’ in his back-
ground brief ‘The Quantum Vacuum’ and showed that it is
a ‘physically real cosmic plenum’. Let me quote the ques-
tion before I am going to follow Laszlo’s reasoning on how
the vacuum can be an information field:
The quantum vacuum, it appears, transports light,
energy, pressure, and sound. Could it have a further

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property by means of which it correlates separate
and possibly distant events? Could it create the cor-
relations that make for the amazing coherence of the
quantum, of the organism, of consciousness—and of
the whole universe? The vacuum could indeed have
such a property. It could be not just a superdense sea
of energy, but also a sea of information./50

And let’s not forget the research of Apollo astronaut
Edgar Mitchell, who basically came to this conclusion, as
an answer to Laszlo’s question. Laszlo reports:
According to Mitchell, information is part of the
very substance of the universe. It is one part of the
‘dyad’ of which the other part is energy. Information
is present everywhere, and has been present since
the birth of the universe. The quantum vacuum,
Mitchell said, is the holographic information
mechanism that records the historical experience of
matter./51

The scientific explanation of how the quantum vacuum
impacts upon the historical experience of matter, Laszlo
reports, was explained by a theory presented by Russian
researchers and that is known as the torsion-wave theory.
According to this theory, torsion waves, which thus must
be thought of as information rays, link the universe at a
group speed of the order of 109 c—one billion times the
speed of light! The information aspect of the waves was
explained, according to Laszlo by a Hungarian researcher
as related to the spin of the particle, which results in a
magnetic effect. The magnetic impulse becomes registered
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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

in the vacuum in the form of minute vortices. Laszlo
writes:
These minute spinning structures travel through the
vacuum, and they interact with each other. When
two or more of these torsion waves meet, they form
an interference pattern that integrates the strands of
information on the particles that created them. This
interference pattern carries information on the entire
ensemble of the particles./52

As this kind of connectedness may be difficult to com-
prehend, Laszlo compares it with the sea. As the water of
the sea interconnects all vessels, fish, and other objects in
the water, and as the waves of water impact upon the mo-
tion of ships, these objects all being ‘in-formed’ by the mo-
tion, so do the torsion waves modulate all things in the
cosmos, by creating complex patterns. Practically, we can
deduce the location, speed and even the tonnage of vessels
by analyzing the resulting wave-interference patterns. And
here is a sentence to be carefully noted for it fully confirms
Masaru Emoto’s idea that water contains a memory:
Water has a remarkable capacity to register and con-
serve information, as indicated by, among other
things, homeopathic remedies that remain effective
even when not a single molecule of the original sub-
stance remains in a dilution./53

The next very important clarification regards the oft
debated question if the quantum vacuum is really friction-
less; many question that a frictionless vacuum could exist

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at all. Yet, Laszlo points to the recognized superfluidity of
supercooled helium (2.17 Kelvin), which is a vacuum that ac-
cording to John Wheeler’s calculations has an energy den-
sity of 1094 erg per cubic centimeter, which is more than
the energy associated with all the matter particles in the
universe, when measured moving at the speed of the light.
Laszlo concludes:
The fact is that the vacuum is both superfluid and
superdense—much like helium near the absolute
zero of temperature. This is a mind-boggling combi-
nation, for how can something be denser than any-
thing else and at the same time more fluid than any-
thing else? The vacuum, just like supercooled he-
lium, may be a mind-boggling medium, but it is not
a supernatural one./54

Now, let us look what information does to the vacuum.
Laszlo speaks of a ground state, which is when no infor-
mation flow is registered. When vortices excite the vac-
uum, what happens is that interference patterns are cre-
ated which contain the actual information. Laszlo con-
cludes:
As the vortices of individual things merge, the in-
formation they carry is not overwritten, for the
waves superpose one on the other. And the super-
posed waves are in a sense / everywhere through-
out the vacuum. This, too, is a natural phenomenon:
it is familiar in the form of holograms.
    In a holographic recording—created by the inter-
ference pattern of two light beams—there is no one-
to-one correspondence between points on the sur-

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face of the object that is recorded and points in the
recording itself. Holograms carry information in a
distributed form, so all the information that makes
up a hologram is present in every part of it./54-55

I would like to mention here the excellent study by Mi-
chael Talbot, The Holographic Universe, which I equally re-
viewed, and that gains a much greater importance after
these revelations about the actual nature of holograms, and
how they are created. Laszlo ends the chapter with the lu-
cid statement that ‘the quantum vacuum generates the
holographic field that is the memory of the universe.’ It
could not be clearer.
To keep this book review in reasonable boundaries, I
am going to jump the 5th chapter about cosmic fables, the
paradoxes physicists regularly encountered in the first
decades of quantum physics. Now, the 6th Chapter is really
explosive again, as it deals in detail with the A-Field Effect.
To begin with, the author writes:
The A-field conveys information, and this informa-
tion, subtle as it is, has a notable effect: it makes for
correlation and creates coherence. This ‘in-forming’
of everything by everything else is universal, but it
is not universally the same. Universal information
does not mean uniform information. The A-field
conveys the most direct, intense, and therefore evi-
dent information between things that are closely
similar to one another (i.e., that are ‘isomor-
phic’—have the same basic form). This is because
the A-field information is carried by superposed

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vacuum wave-interference patterns that are equiva-
lent to holograms. We know that in a hologram
every element meshes with isomorphic elements:
with those that are similar to it. Scientists call such
meshing ‘conjugation’—a holographic pattern is
conjugate with similar patterns in any assortment of
patterns, however vast./107

Practical experience bears this out. Using the conju-
gate pattern as the ‘key’, we can pick out any single
pattern in the complex wave pattern of a hologram.
We need merely to insert the given wave pattern
into the welter of patterns in the hologram and it
attaches to patterns that are conjugate with it. This is
similar to the phenomenon of resonance. Tuning
forks and strings on musical instruments resonate
with other forks and strings that are tuned to the
same frequency, or to entire octaves higher or lower
than their frequency, but not with forks and strings
tuned to different frequencies./Id.

Regarding evolution, Laszlo states that while the uni-
verse does not have a definite direction, there is evolution
toward growing structure and complexity. And further:
The evolution of the Metaverse is cyclic but not re-
petitive. One universe informs the other; there is
progress from universe to universe. Thus, each uni-
verse is more evolved than the one before./131

Another important information provided by the author
is the fact that evolution on planet earth cannot be ex-
plained with Darwin’s early theory of chance mutations.

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The evolution of life on Earth did not rely on chance
mutations, nor did it require the physical importa-
tion of organisms or proto-organisms from else-
where in the solar system, as the ‘biological seeding’
theories of the origins of life suggest. Instead, the
chemical soup out of which the first proto-organisms
arose was informed by the A-field-conveyed traces
of extraterrestrial life. Life on Earth was not biologi-
cally, but rather informationally seeded./136

Laszlo’s allusion to ‘alien seeding’ as a creational myth
is interesting, for it can indeed be found in esoteric and
religious writings, channeled messages and also in the
books of Terence McKenna, who contended to have re-
ceived this information from psychedelic mushrooms.
Now, regarding the big question as to what is ‘reality’, a
question so big that all religions tackle it, Laszlo gives a
stupendously clear and straightforward answer:
The answer to this age-old question is now relatively
straightforward. The primary reality is the quantum
vacuum, the energy- and information-filled field
plenum that underlies our universe, and all uni-
verses in the Metaverse. /140

All we experience in our lifetime—all our percep-
tions, feelings, and thought processes—have cere-
bral functions associated with them. These functions
have wave-forms equivalents, since our brain, like
other things in space and time, creates information-
carrying vortices—it ‘makes waves.’ The waves
propagate in the vacuum and interfere with the
waves created by the bodies and brains of other

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people, giving rise to complex holograms. Genera-
tions after generations of humans have left their
holographic traces in the A-field. These individual
holograms integrate in a super-hologram, which is
the encompassing hologram of a tribe, community,
or culture. The collective holograms interface and
integrate in turn with the super-superhologram of
all people. This is the collective information pool of
humankind./150

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Science and the Reenchantment of the
Cosmos
The Rise of the Integral Vision of Reality
Rochester: Inner Traditions, 2006

The present book is a sampler, not completely authored, but edited by
Ervin Laszlo. But that’s surely not a disadvantage. The book starts with
a statement that really made me happy. I have never believed in the big
bang theory, as this theory is not in accordance with the principle of
smooth continuity that can be observed in all of nature.

I believe that there was never a beginning of life, and
that there will never be an end. We know perhaps more
about the future of our galaxies, we know about the fold-
ing back of the universe upon itself, which can be seen
both as end and a new beginning, both as death and as a
new birth. For in nature, nothing ever dies without some-
thing else becoming manifest. So with this natural princi-
ple in mind, there can logically not be a single timelined
event called big bang. It’s a typical assumption of modern-
day scientists that betrays their hopelessly linear thinking.

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The widespread idea—that all there is in the uni-
verse is matter, and that all matter was created in the
Big Bang and will disappear in a Big Crunch—is a
colossal mistake. And the belief that when we know
how matter behaves we know everything—a belief
shared by classical physics and Marxist theory—is
but sophistry. Such views have been definitely su-
perseded. The universe is more amazing than classi-
cal scientists, engineers, and Marxists held possible.
And the connectedness / and oneness of the uni-
verse is deeper and more thorough than even writ-
ers of science fiction could envisage./1-2

A cosmos that is connected, coherent, and whole
recalls an ancient notion that was present in the tra-
dition of every civilization; it is an enchanted cos-
mos. /2

The reenchantment of the cosmos as a coherent, in-
tegral whole comes from the latest discoveries in the
natural sciences, but the basic concept itself is not
new; indeed, it is as old as civilization. In ages past
the connectedness and wholeness of the world was
known to medicine men, priests, and shamans, to
seers and sages, and to all people who had the cour-
age to look beyond their nose and stay open to what
they saw. Theirs, however, was the insight that
comes from mystical, religious, or aesthetic experi-
ence and was private and unverifiable – even if it
appeared certain beyond doubt. Now, in the first
decade of the twenty-first century, innovative scien-
tists at the frontiers of science are rediscovering the
integral nature of reality. They lift the private experi-

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

ences that speak to it from the domain of unverifi-
able intuition into the realm of interpersonally veri-
fiable public knowledge./2

We can live up to our potentials as conscious beings:
we can come to know the reenchanted cosmos. Not
only is this not impossible, it is not even particularly
difficult. Beyond the complex deductions and ab-
struse mathematics of the new sciences, the basic
concept of a coherent, connected, and integral uni-
verse is simple and meaningful: indeed, it is
beautiful./3

This book consists of three parts, the first two written
by Laszlo himself, and the third containing contributions
by other authors that I will list further down. The first part,
The Reenchantment of the Cosmos is a summary of what
Laszlo wrote earlier in Science and the Akashic Field. While
this is so, Laszlo somehow explained things still more
comprehensively in this summary than I found it ex-
pressed in his earlier book. It is actually an extension of the
field research, as it deals with biology, not physics, and
with the human body. I hold these statements for particu-
larly revealing and important for our future as human be-
ings. Laszlo writes:

Ervin Laszlo
The vital functions of the body are governed by con-
stant, quasi-instant and multidimensional correla-
tions. Simple collisions among neighboring mole-
cules—mere billiard-ball push-impact relations—do

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ERVIN LASZLO

not suffice. They are complemented by a network
that correlates all parts of the system, even those that
are distant from one another. Rare molecules, for
example, are seldom next to each other, yet they find
each / other throughout the organism. This is im-
portant for the organism needs to react to stresses
and strains as a whole, mobilizing all its resources
wherever they are located. There would not be time
for an integrated response to occur by a random
process of jiggling and mixing; the molecules need
to locate and respond to each other specifically,
whether they are proximal or distant. (...) The body’s
high level of internal coherence makes possible a
high level of sensitivity to the external world. In the
insect world a few pheromones in the air are suffi-
cient to attract males to prospective mates many
miles away. In the human being the eye can detect
single photons falling on the retina, and the ear can
detect the motion of single air molecules. The
mammalian body responds to extremely low fre-
quency electromagnetic radiation, and to magnetic
fields so weak that only the most sophisticated in-
struments can register them. Such sensitivity is only
possible when a large number of molecules are co-
herently linked among themselves./8-9

Very important in this chapter is also Laszlo’s funda-
mental criticism of Darwinism, and here I would like to
remind that Fritjof Capra, too, has forwarded substantial
arguments that disprove the assumption of random muta-
tions. Laszlo writes:

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Living organisms are so finely tuned to their milieu
that any mutation of their genome resulting from
random / alterations will almost certainly reduce
rather than enhance the viability of a species. Ran-
dom mutations would end up by impairing fitness
to the point where the species could no longer sur-
vive.
    However, the biosphere is populated by a vast
number of complex species, the result of a long se-
ries of successful genetic mutations. This indicates
that mutations in the genome are not always piece-
meal and random, but are sometimes massive and
systemic. If they are to be successful, the mutating
elements of the genome must be highly coordinated
among themselves, and must likewise be in har-
mony with the conditions in which the species finds
itself. This suggests that the mutating genome is not
fully isolated from the phenome and the environ-
ment in which the phenome finds itself. But to claim
this is heresy for Darwinism, even in its current form
known as the ‘synthetic theory.’/15-16

Under ‘The Coherence of the Human Mind and the
Universe’, Laszlo then provides striking scientific evidence
of psychic phenomena. The first feat to mention here is the
synchronization of brain waves that was observed in
groups during meditation. Laszlo writes:
The experiments show that as people enter an al-
tered state of consciousness—in deep meditation or
prayer—the electrical activity of the left and right
frontal hemispheres of their brain becomes synchro-
nized. Still more remarkable, the electroencephalo-

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ERVIN LASZLO

graph (EEG) patterns of the left and right brain
hemispheres of an entire group of persons can be-
come synchronized with one another. In repeated
tests up to twelve meditators achieved a 50 to 70
percent synchronization of their EEG waves while
sitting in deep meditation in complete silence, with
closed eyes and no sensory contact with each
other./18

Separative Western culture has never really fostered
coherence in people and between people, while for exam-
ple Japanese culture does very much stress, and positively
value, the fact that people in a group act in some coherent,
organized, and mutually supportive way—not just each
for himself or herself. I have vividly seen this happening
when last time in the train from the airport to downtown
Tokyo.
There was a moment about halfway the distance when
one person in the compartment was falling asleep. It was
very visible, as the person had their head just hanging
down, in a very carefree yet relaxed position. And to my
great surprise, about five minutes later all other Japanese
were sleeping. I felt as if being in a movie. And when
about half an hour later one of the people woke up, about
five minutes later all were awake again. Now you have to
see that these people were not a group, were not people
who knew each other, and had been randomly put, due to
prior reservations, in that compartment. I also wondered
why my brain was not affected and I did not feel sleepy,

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

while the whole compartment was asleep. And here we
read:
A growing storehouse of evidence indicates that
when the brain functions coherently, consciousness
is not limited to the signals conveyed by the senses.
This is a surprise to modern people who view extra-
or non-sensory perception with skepticism, but it is
not surprising for other cultures. Traditional tribes
knew and actively used some form of extrasensory
perception in their daily life. Shamans and medicine
men could induce the altered state of consciousness
where spontaneous information-transmission be-
comes possible, and their spiritual powers appear to
have been a consequence of this state./19

We thus have to conclude that, because they are more
coherent in their relatedness, Japanese have higher extra-
sensory perception abilities than people from our own cul-
ture. And there was another information I picked up in
Japan. It was about earthquakes. I had heard that earth-
quakes are very frequent in some parts of Japan but that
there is hardly ever any damage, let alone human suffering
as a result. I asked why. I got to hear that first of all in these
regions houses were built from very light material, virtu-
ally paper, carton and wood, and do not contain heavy ob-
jects, nor lamps hung at the ceiling, and that besides the
people were very well organized in their community spirit.
That they also had a strong intuition, sensing the quake
coming, and doing all preparations needed, always in
joint-effort, so that all major damage was avoided. Where-

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upon I tried to imagine how this would be like in a West-
ern country …

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Quantum Shift to the Global Brain
How the New Scientific Reality Can Change Us and Our World
Rochester: Inner Traditions, 2008

This book by Ervin Laszlo is dramatic; it is like approaching an abyss
and looking down how steep it is. This is a metaphor for the possibility
of refusing the necessary changes that we are facing globally now. It is
the looming possibility of annihilation of the human race. By the same
token, we could be at the bottom of the steep wall and look upwards;
this then is a metaphor for the possibility to rise from our ashes, so to
speak, and restart our life’s journey, as a human race founded upon the
basis of a new worldview, a new scientific, social and global under-
standing of our ultimate interconnectedness.

To give an overall judgment of the book upfront, it
goes in my view beyond his earlier book The Chaos Point
(2006) in that it contains the basic (quite catastrophic) in-
formation of the earlier work, but goes beyond and pro-
vides in each chapter a kind of retrospective of parts of
Laszlo’s earlier works. In addition, in Part Three, it con-
tains the basic history and objectives of the ‘Club of Buda-
pest’ that was founded by Laszlo for cognizing, in a large
team project, various solutions of an integral and holistic

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kind to our global worldwide challenges. In addition, I
found this book to be written in a very easy-to-understand
language, which gives me a hint it might be written for
younger people or college students. To begin with, let me
provide an overview over the structure of the book, for it
by itself contains a map that traces the territory in clear
lines.

PART ONE

1. Evolution or Extinction: That is the Question

2. Macroshift: The Dynamics

3. The Roots of Unsustainability

4. A Better Way to Grow

5. A New Vision

6. A Planetary Ethic

7. The Culture of Holos

8. Evolution, Not Extinction! A Call from Fiji

PART TWO

9. The Cosmic Plenum: The New Fundamental Concept of Reality

10. Nonlocal Coherence: The New Concept of Manifest Reality

11. The Akashic Field: The Newly Rediscovered Concept of Reality

12. Metaphysical, Theological, and Ethical Implications

13. The Next Evolution of Human Consciousness

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

PART THREE

14. A Brief History of the Club of Budapest

15. Manifesto on Planetary Consciousness

16. Principal Activities of the Club of Budapest

17. Objectives of the GlobalShift University

18. Objectives of the World Wisdom Council

19. Objectives of the International Survey of Emergent Cultures

20. Objectives of the Global Peace Meditation/Prayer Days

Laszlo explains in ‘The Birth and Body of this Book’
that Part One is meant as the ‘practical part’ which focuses
on the shift of the world we are living in, and that Part
Two is the theoretical part, and focuses on the changes in
science that have blown up the former Cartesian world-
view and created a new dimension of scientific thinking
that is called ‘holistic’ or ‘holos movement’.
Now, starting with Part One, I would like to quote the
eight points the author makes here, which could be a diag-
nosis of the present global situation, and which are further
outlined in his earlier book, The Chaos Point (2005).

• There is deepening insecurity in countries
both rich and poor and greater propensity in
many parts of the world to resort to terror-
ism, war, and other forms of violence.

• Islamic fundamentalism is spreading
throughout the Muslim world, neo-Nazi
and other extremist movements are surfac-

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ERVIN LASZLO

ing in Europe, and religious fanaticism is
appearing the world over.

• Governments seek to contain violence
through organized warfare; world military
spending has risen for the past eight years
running and has reached more than one tril-
lion dollars a year.

• One in three urban dwellers in the world
live in slums, shanty-towns, or urban ghet-
tos. More than 900 million people are classi-
fied as slum-dwellers. In the poorest coun-
tries 78 percent of the urban population sub-
sists under life-threatening circumstances.

• Although more women and girls are being
educated than in previous years, in many
parts of the world fewer women have jobs
and more are forced to make ends meet in
the ‘informal sector’.

• Frustration and discontent continue to grow
as both power and wealth are becoming fur-
ther concentrated and the gap widens be-
tween the holders of wealth and power and
the poor and marginalized populations.
Eighty percent of the world’s domestic
product belongs to one billion people; the
remaining twenty percent is shared by five
and a half billion.

• Climate change threatens to make large ar-
eas of the planet unsuitable for human habi-
tation and for an adequate level of food
production. Very few countries are still food
self-sufficient – and the internationally
available food reserves are shrinking.

• The amount of available fresh water is di-
minishing rapidly; over half the world’s

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

population faces water shortages. On aver-
age, 6,000 children are dying each day of
diarrhea caused by polluted water.

After this quite matter-of-fact summary of just the peak
of the iceberg of our global problems, Laszlo shows two
possible scenarios. The first scenario is the Business As
Usual Scenario, the second is the Timely Transformation Sce-
nario. The first scenario is an extrapolation of the facts onto
a probability scale when no change is done, that is, when
even the need for change is (as all so often) denied, by our
political policymakers and the big capital. Now, to read
through the first scenario is quite dramatic; it looks like an
apocalypse, scientifically explained, while it reminds the
politically conscious observer of all what is daily written in
our newspapers and shown on our television screens; with
the difference, however, that the analysis in those media is
lacking for the most part, presenting the picture, without
more. It is the picture of a dying civilization that virtually
suffocates in the violence it has brought about in thousand
years of patriarchy that virtually turned nature upside-
down, and does so to the present day. I shall summarize
here as follows, and these quotes are adapted from pages
9-11 of the book:

1. The Business As Usual Scenario
—The Weather Pattern. Drought, storms, harvest fail-
ures, flooding, famine, hurricanes, disasters
—The Security Threat Pattern. Epidemics, agricultural
pests, contaminated water, waves of migration, terrorist

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groups, nuclear proliferators, narco-traffickers, organized
crime, unscrupulous entrepreneurs
—The Ecopolitical Pattern. Terrorism, NATO collapses,
France-Germany-Russia-China coalition to balance US
military-economic hegemony, joined by Brazil, India,
South Korea and other countries, Global military spending,
Arms race, Global economic stagnation that weakens IMF
and WTO, North-South Agreements cancelled, trade flows
interrupted, trade war replaces trade flow, growing pov-
erty
—The Ecological Pattern. Water and food shortages cre-
ating hunger in many parts of the world, Overexploitation
of soils and overfishing leading to a shrinking of interna-
tional food reserves, Starvation and unsanitary conditions
create epidemic disease in most poor countries, gulf stream
vacillates, global warming has reached alarming dimen-
sions
—The Military Pattern. Discord rises both between U.S.
and their allies, and this whole bloc and the opposing blocs
to reaching a crisis point which can lead to global war in-
cluding the use of mass destruction weapons, Strong-arm
régimes rising in Southern Hemisphere, Regional wars,
Major power blocs may decide to use high-tech weaponry
to achieve their ecopolitical goals, New strong-arm ré-
gimes are in possession of nuclear, chemical and biological
weapons for resolving regional conflicts, War may escalate
to a global level

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2. The Timely Transformation Scenario
—The First Steps. Experience of terrorism, rising pov-
erty and cataclysms change people’s way to think and
drive them to finding solutions together, Worldwide popu-
lar movements organize themselves effectively so as to
impact upon political leadership and intercultural solidar-
ity, Political leaders begin to take anti-course action, Busi-
ness leaders may change strategies where profit of growth
is informed by corporate, social and ecological responsibil-
ity, E-Parliament is created online, linking parliamentari-
ans worldwide, providing a forum for debate for serving
the common good, NGOs link through the Internet and
develop shared strategies to restore peace, and implement
new and viable social policies.

—The Crystallizing Contours of a Cooperative World.
Money is shifted from military to educational purposes
and for projects that are ecologically sustainable, A world-
wide renewable energy program is created, that is ecologi-
cal and provides key solutions, Agriculture is restored to
its primary importance in the world economy, Business
leaders join for creating a self-regulating market economy
that ensures fair access to natural resources, etc.
—The Rise of a Sustainable Civilization. National, conti-
nental and global governance structures are reformed or
newly created for finding creative solutions that are sus-
tainable for all members of society, A new consensually
created globally coordinated market begins to function as
an eco-system and natural resources will be distributed

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equitably, International and regional conflicts are solved by
developing a higher trust-level in the possibilities of the
‘new human’/12-14
We could change direction: with a timely transfor-
mation we could create a peaceful and sustainable
world. Will we create it? Einstein told us that we
cannot solve a problem with the same kind of think-
ing that produced it. Yet, for the present we are try-
ing to do just that. We are fighting terrorism, pov-
erty, criminality, cultural conflict, climate change,
environmental degradation, ill health, even obesity
and other ‘sicknesses of civilization’ with the same
means and methods that produced the problems in
the first place—we are resorting to armies and police
forces, technological fixes, and temporary remedial
measures. We have not mustered the will and the
vision to bring about timely transformation./14

We are nearing a tipping point, but the situation is
far from hopeless: near the threshold of system-
collapse, predictions of doomsday have / a para-
doxical effect. They raise people’s level of aware-
ness, motivate widespread consciousness change,
and may end by becoming self-falsifying prophecies.
/15-16

Now, it is important to remember the lecture from The
Chaos Point (2005) that Laszlo reminds in ‘Macroshift: The
Dynamics.’
At the threshold of a critical instability, fluctuations
that were previously corrected by self-stabilizing
negative feedbacks within the system run out of con-

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

trol—they break open the system’s structure. The
system enters a period of chaos. Its outcome is either
the disintegration of the system into its individually
stable components (breakdown) or rapid evolution
toward a kind of system that is resistant to the fluc-
tuations that destabilized the prior system
(breakthrough)./18

As I cannot quote through the entire book without
bursting the limits of a book review, I will give pointed
comments on important passages. Now, within the Macro-
shift phase, we are entering the bifurcation point around
2020, now being in the 3rd of the 4 stages; there is one im-
portant thing that systems theory has overlooked so far: it
is the impact of human intention. Laszlo writes:
In the human world, unlike in nature, a bifurcation
can be decisively influenced by conscious will and
considered purpose. Human will and purpose de-
cide whether the world heads toward breakdown or
toward breakthrough. This sensitivity of human in-
tervention is a remarkable feature of today’s civiliza-
tion. It places a unique opportunity in our hands: the
opportunity to tip the scales of human destiny./31

Even if they are large and wealthy, nation-states
cannot survive in isolation; a condition of their self-
maintenance is that they produce viable conditions
for the states with which they are economically and
politically linked. This constitutes a supranational
cross-catalytic cycle. It is the basis for the function-
ing of the transnational organizations of which the
European Union (EU) is a prime example./33

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ERVIN LASZLO

This is obviously an important political argument that
however seems to be taken lightly by our ‘strong-armed’
political leaders, with the result that there are hostilities
almost everywhere, ongoing wars, civil wars, ongoing
genocide in several major parts of the world, and political
chaos with grand parades to cover the failures of the sys-
tem. And looking further in the roots of unsustainability,
we see that ‘in the six decades since World War II, human-
ity has consumed more of the planet’s physical and bio-
logical resources than in all of history prior to that time.’ In
‘A Better Way to Growth’, Laszlo then proposes to shift
from Extensive to Intensive Growth, explaining:
The ends of extensive growth can be encapsulated in
three ‘Cs’: conquest, colonization, and consumption.
These ends are served by corresponding varieties of
means: First, the technologies that use and transform
matter, the technologies of production; second the
technologies that generate the power to operate
matter-transforming technologies, energy-generating
technologies; and third, the technologies that whet
people’s appetites, create artificial demand, and shift
patterns of consumption, the technologies of propa-
ganda, PR, and advertising./48

The vision of the world in which modern people
place their trust is the one they consider scientific.
This vision is largely based on the physics of New-
ton, the biology of Darwin, and the psychology of
Freud. However, these conceptions have been over-
taken by new discoveries. /52

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

The author then enumerates Nine Outdated Beliefs and
Six Particularly Dangerous Myths.

Nine Outdated Beliefs

• Everyone is unique and separate

• Everything is reversible

• Order calls for hierarchy

• Efficiency is the key

• Technology is the answer

• New is always better

• My country, right or wrong

• The more money I have, the happier I am

Six Particularly Dangerous Myths

• Nature is inexhaustible

• Nature is like a giant mechanism

• Life is a struggle where only the fittest sur-
vive

• The market distributes benefits

• The more you consume the better you are

• Economic ends justify military means

282
Lynne McTaggart

The Field
The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe
New York: HarperCollins, 2002

The Field by Lynne McTaggart is the book I always wanted to read be-
cause I always wanted to write it. I always wanted to write a study that
proves that all what myopic modern science excludes, exists. And here
is this book. It reads almost like a thriller, so captivating it is, and the
author is able to convey the complex material in understandable terms.
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

It is obvious that she understands what she writes
about, and some of the quantum physics stuff really is not
easy to grasp.

The author argues from the premise that all in our uni-
verse is interconnected, that nothing is isolated, or, as sci-
entists say, that all is entangled. Now, when you put up
such a point of departure, a lot of consequences flow out
from this. She writes:
Perhaps the most essential ingredient of this inter-
connected universe was the living consciousness
that observed it. In classical physics, the experi-
menter was considered a separate entity, a silent ob-
server behind glass, attempting to understand a
universe that carried on, whether he or she was ob-
serving it or not. In quantum physics, however, it
was discovered, the state of all possibilities of any
quantum particle collapsed into a set entity as soon
as it was observed or a measurement taken. To ex-
plain these strange events, quantum physicists had
postulated that a participatory relationship existed
between observer and observed – these particles
could only be considered as ‘probably’ existing in
space and time until they were ‘perturbed’, and the
act of observing and measuring them forced them
into a set state—an act akin to solidifying Jell-O. This
astounding observation also had shattering implica-
tions about the nature of reality. It / suggested that
the consciousness of the observer brought the ob-
served object into being./11-12

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LYNNE MCTAGGART

This is the most lucid and well-written explanation
about the observer’s role in modern physics I ever found
in a book. It boils down to our observing life results in
changing life. If by observing the world, we change the
world, it becomes evident that we are entangled with the
world—and not isolated islands in space.
Scientists might understand in minute detail the
screws, bolts, joints and various wheels, but nothing
about the force that powers the engine./12

So what is that secret force that drives all, that is the
invisible engine behind all, and that animates all? It’s
called the zero point field. Is that the magic formula that
brings back the ether and the orgone that have been de-
bated away? McTaggart shows with convincing evidence
that modern science has more or less integrated now the
cosmic energy field.
Quantum mechanics had demonstrated that there is
no such thing as a vacuum, or nothingness. What we
tend to think of as a sheer void if all of space were
emptied of matter and energy and you examined
even the space between the stars is, in subatomic
terms, a hive of activity./19

McTaggart also explains that our universe is not only
active ‘in between’ matter, but is also a ‘relational’ interface
where everything is connected with everything, and in re-
lationship with one another:
What we believe to be our stable, static universe is in
fact a seething maelstrom of subatomic particles

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

fleetingly popping in and out of existence. Although
Heisenberg's principle most famously refers to the
uncertainty attached to measuring the physical
properties of the subatomic world, it also has an-
other meaning: that we cannot know both the en-
ergy and the lifetime of a particle, so a subatomic
event occurring within a tiny time frame involves an
uncertain amount of energy. Largely because of Ein-
stein's theories and his famous equation E=mc2, re-
lating energy to mass, all elementary particles inter-
act with each other by exchanging energy through
other quantum particles, which are believed to ap-
pear out of nowhere, combining and annihilating
each other in less than an instant.../19

One of the ways of looking at subatomic particles that
physicists needed to change was to see them as isolated
pieces of matter. Every time when they would look at them
in that way, a paradox would happen, which led to a dif-
ferent way of thinking. It was only after including the ob-
server in the experiment that paradoxes could be avoided
and comprehensive results were achieved in quantum
physics.
As the pioneers of quantum physics peered into the
very heart of matter, they were astounded by what
they saw. The tiniest bits of matter weren’t even mat-
ter, as we know it, not even a set something, but
sometimes one thing, sometimes something quite
different. And even stranger, they were often many
possible things at the same time. But most signifi-
cantly, these subatomic particles had no meaning in
isolation, but only in relationship with everything

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LYNNE MCTAGGART

else. At its most elemental, matter couldn’t be
chopped up into self-contained little units, but was
completely indivisible. You could only understand
the universe as a dynamic web of interconnection.
Things once in contact remained always in contact
through all space and all time./XV

Perhaps the most essential ingredient of this inter-
connected universe was the living consciousness
that observed it. In classical physics, the experi-
menter was considered a separate entity, a silent ob-
server behind glass, attempting to understand a
universe that carried on, whether he or she was ob-
serving it or not. In quantum physics, however, it
was discovered, the state of all possibilities of any
quantum particle collapsed into a set entity as soon
as it was observed or a measurement taken. To ex-
plain these strange events, quantum physicists had
postulated that a participatory relationship existed
between observer and observed—these particles
could only be considered as 'probably' existing in
space and time until they were 'perturbed', and the
act of observing and measuring them forced them
into a set state—an act akin to solidifying Jell-O. This
astounding observation also had shattering implica-
tions about the nature of reality. It / suggested that
the consciousness of the observer brought the ob-
served object into being./11-12

The immense energy that has been measured as per-
taining to the zero-point field could represent another
piece of evidence to its ‘global motor’ kind of function in
our universe. McTaggart writes:
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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

It has been calculated that the total energy of the
Zero Point Field exceeds all energy in matter by the
factor of 1040, or 1 followed by 40 zeros./23

It also has been found that the zero-point field contrib-
utes to the stability of matter and represents something
like a blueprint of the whole universe:
You can show mathematically that electrons lose and
gain energy constantly from the Zero Point Field in a
dynamic equilibrium, balanced at exactly the right
orbit. Electrons get their energy to keep going with-
out slowing down because they are refueling by
tapping into these fluctuations of empty space. In
other words, the Zero Point Field accounts for the
stability of the hydrogen atom—and, by inference,
the stability of all matter./25

If all subatomic matter in the world is interacting
constantly with this ambient ground-state energy
field, the subatomic waves of The Field are con-
stantly imprinting a record of the shape of every-
thing. As the harbinger and imprinter of all wave-
lengths and all frequencies, the Zero Point Field is a
kind of shadow of the universe for all time, a mirror
image and record of everything that ever was./26

288
Michel Odent

The Functions of the Orgasms
The Highway to Transcendence
London: Pinter & Martin, 2009

The Functions of the Orgasms is a cutting-edge study on the human
pleasure function in its largest contextual framework, and with a special
regard upon female sexuality and the biological function of birthing and
breastfeeding.

Odent’s [book] is a stylish polemic that mixes endocrinology, com-
parative anthropology, philology, anecdotes from the author's own
medical practice.

—Steven Poole, The Guardian
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

 ‘Fetus ejection reflex’, ‘milk ejection reflex’, ‘sperm ejection reflex’,
‘orgasmogenic cocktail’ . . . These are examples of terms used by Michel
Odent in his study of the ecstatic/orgasmic states associated with dif-
ferent episodes of human sexual life. This book about male and female
orgasms is an opportunity to convince anyone that humanity is at a
turning point. Due to the improved technique of medically assisted con-
ceptions and cesareans, the advances in anesthesiology and pharmacol-
ogy, and the development of the food industry, women can now con-
ceive a baby, give birth and feed their infant without relying on the re-
lease of ‘cocktails of love hormones’. Human intelligence and ingenuity
have made love hormones redundant. Let us think long-term and let us
raise questions in terms of civilization. The future of humanity is at
stake.

—Backcover

 The study confirms and fully corroborates the earlier
psychological, neurological and sociological research con-
ducted by Wilhelm Reich, Herbert James Campbell, James
W. Prescott, Ashley Montagu, and others. The title of the
book is deliberately coined to allude to Wilhelm Reich’s
pioneering study The Function of the Orgasm (1942) as the
author expressly notes, saying that his intention for writ-
ing the book had been to ‘rewrite The Function of the Or-
gasm in a new scientific context.’

Before I review this book in detail, providing some
quotes, I may say this as an introduction. It is natural that
one ventures out from one’s own pleasure continuum. In
other words, the understanding of the whole of life, and
the way we perceive life, is conditioned by how we experi-
ence pleasure. But it is also a limitative view when one
ventures to know only about one’s particular emotional or
sexual addiction.

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MICHEL ODENT

Michel Odent’s approach is comparatively larger.
While the focus in this book is primarily upon female
sexuality and the sexual nature of the process of birth, and
breastfeeding, he is saying that the experience of pleasure,
in its ecstatic dimension, connects us back with our source,
and thus becomes an experience of transcendence, an expe-
rience that is not just subjective and ‘personal’, but essen-
tially transpersonal. Odent links back to the oldest of tradi-
tions, the times when women had freedom and power to
live the whole of their feminine erotic experience.
Odent’s main tenet in this book is that the female has
been disempowered to give birth autonomously, because
there is a fetus ejection reflex that is connected to the limbic
system and the hypothalamus, and that is overridden by
the neocortex.
Hence, all kinds of procedures that ‘assist’ the mother
in the birthing process are dysfunctional; all support, even
midwifery, is dysfunctional as it activates the neocortex in
the laboring woman and suppresses the fetus ejection re-
flex as a result.
The same is true for the orgasmic experience of breast-
feeding which was invaded by guilt and shame as a result
of cultural conditioning. Odent also reports that the rise in
Cesarean birth led to the fact that mothers do not want to
breastfeed or only a short time. He advances evidence for
the fact that breastfeeding should be a matter of years, not
of months, with humans. He also reports interesting de-
tails about certain apes and especially dolphins and their

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

non-reproductive sexual life, which is based, as with hu-
mans, exclusively upon pleasure and exchanging pleasure. 
Besides, he speaks of a ‘cocktail of love hormones’ that
is involved in any kind of sexual experience and a special
hormone called oxytocin that triggers in the laboring
woman an altered consciousness that leads to the mother
ecstatically embracing the newborn with all her soul, mak-
ing for deep bonding between mother and infant.

Needless to add that because of all our birth assistance
and tons of machinery, the flow of those hormones has
been largely blocked in our culture, which is the ultimate
reason why women came to dislike breastfeeding their in-
fants, nor really bond with them in the first moments after
birth, which makes, as my own research demonstrates, for
our society’s enormous problems with codependence.
One of the key factors in this etiology is lacking
mother-infant symbiosis during the first eighteen months
of the newborn, including a lack of breastfeeding and tac-
tile care for the child from the part of the emotionally
frigid mother. Generally speaking, it is the inability of the
mother to derive pleasure from the birthing experience. As
a result of this blockage of the emotional flow, the mother
emotionally ‘clings’ to the child which is why she is unable
to give to the baby a sufficient amount of autonomy to ex-
plore the world in freedom.
When one grasps the universality of pleasure in the
higher vertebrates and especially in the human, one’s per-
sonal addiction loses importance and one ventures into a

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MICHEL ODENT

larger realm of human experience that is valid and experi-
enced by many more people than a tiny group. This then
makes for a higher level of erotic intelligence and better
overall judgment ability in matters of human emosexual
experiences and their cognitive, emotional and social im-
portance.

To fully understand the similarities between orgasmic
states and other ecstatic states, we need to go far back in
time, namely to the Eastern Tantra, a culture that preceded
the pleasure-hostile Vedanta by thousands of years.
While Vedanta is a relatively new religious paradigm
in Hindu culture, Tantra was much longer-lived, and for
good reasons.

Odent also cites the ‘age of sacred prostitutes’ as being
besides Tantra one of the cultures that understood this
hidden connection. Generally, the author speaks about a

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

distorted scientific worldview in which the main para-
digms were forged only by men:
It is as if there are female ways to evaluate the com-
parative importance of different perspectives in ex-
ploring human nature. All scientific hypotheses are
more or less based on intuitive knowledge and intui-
tive knowledge is gender related. Until recently the
scientific world was highly dominated by men. We
are entering a new phase in the history of sciences,
with a more symmetrical input from each gender. /4

Based upon this insight into cultural bias, which is in-
trinsically a bias of perception, the author explains how the
fetus ejection reflex could be overlooked for so long:
There are several reasons why we’ll first look at the
fetus ejection reflex. The first reason is that after
thousands of years of culturally controlled birth very
few people—including the natural childbirth advo-
cates—can imagine what it is about. Another reason
is that, in the current / scientific context, when the
fetus ejection reflex is understood, it is easier to look
at the other orgasmic/ecstatic states. We must add
that this climax probably corresponds to the top of
the highest possible ladder human beings may have
the opportunity to climb. /4-5

In accordance with the oldest religious teachings of the
world, not only Tantra, but also Taoist doctrine and espe-
cially the teachings of Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu in China,
Michel Odent advocates the cultivation of sensuality and
‘orgasmic states’ as the ultimate pathway to transcendence,

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MICHEL ODENT

and the realization of unity with all-that-is. It is wonderful
to see that a medical doctor, famous obstetrician, scientist
and author of our days has found this perennial wisdom
that I equally dug out of the cultural treasure of the ancient
wisdom traditions.
And equally in accordance with these traditions, Odent
warns of the danger to overstimulate the neocortex
through an exaggerated focus upon language, and con-
cepts. In all natural processes that require a let-go and an
utmost of spontaneity, such as the sexual embrace and par-
ticularly, as the author shows, the birthing experience, the
neocortex should be at rest, for otherwise it interferes with
the quite automatic processes that nature has set in place
for regulating and maintaining these processes.
An authentic fetus ejection reflex takes place when a
human baby is born after a short series of irresistible
contractions, / which leave no room for voluntary
movements. In such circumstances it is obvious that
the neocortex (the part of the brain related to intel-
lectual activities) is at rest and no longer in control of
the archaic brain structures in charge of vital func-
tions such as giving birth. /9

Dr. Odent has summarized two decades of research
done on spontaneous birthing to demonstrate that in the
case nature is respected, there is neither excruciating pain
involved in giving birth to a child, nor any psychological
symptoms that let birthing appear like a disease. We don’t
need to look back very far; still recently birthing was done

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in hospitals in pretty much the same way as operating a
tumor, in antiseptic rooms, under strong lights, with metal-
lic instruments making sharp noise, and with cameras in-
stalled for monitoring the ‘operation.’
I may be allowed to report here what I saw in a docu-
mentary in my younger years. It was showing how women
from a mountain tribe in Caucasia give birth under ex-
treme conditions.

The film showed a strongly built woman walking na-
ked into a mountain lake, at about –20ºC. At the shore, a
crowd of people was waiting in silence, her extended fam-
ily and friends. In walking ahead, she had to break the ice
with her hands and feet, until she reached a spot that she
found suitable for giving birth.
She broke the ice in a circle around herself, and was
then took a position with her feet firmly on the ground,
and her legs slightly bent, as if riding a horse.
Then she seemed to enter a state of trance or medita-
tion, as she suddenly was completely silent and immobile.
A few moments later her pelvis exhibited strong con-
tractions or convulsions that appeared to push the baby
out. It took no more than three of those major spams and
the baby was falling out of her womb, in her hands, that
she had held wide open, while bowing down with the last
contraction. She took the newborn up, smiling, and bate
through the umbilical cord. Then she slowly and gracefully
walked back to the shore where the crowd attended her in
silence.
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MICHEL ODENT

This documentary fascinated me to a point that to this
day I have not forgotten a single detail. And it of course
came to mind right when reading the present book. It
shows that, while the author makes believe that all tribal
populations practice or practiced quite abusive and insane
birthing rites, what the author claims to be a medical or
obstetric novelty is none. This natural knowledge existed
since millennia in tribal populations, while much of this
wisdom was lost for our own culture, mainly because of
our patriarchal past.
The book also contains a professional and perhaps sur-
prising criticism of midwifery.
Understanding that laboring women need to feel
secure, without feeling observed and judged, leads
us to the root of midwifery. It seems that women
have always had a tendency to give birth close to
their mother, or occasionally close to an experienced
mother who could fulfill the role of a mother figure:
the midwife was originally a mother figure and, in
an ideal world, our mother is the prototype of the
person with whom one can feel secure without feel-
ing observed, or judged. In most societies, though,
the role of the midwife has been gradually altered.
Most languages condition women to accept that they
do not have the power to give birth by themselves;
they must ‘be delivered’ by somebody. As a result,
the midwife has gradually become a figure who is
more often than not an authoritarian and dominat-
ing guide, an observer, and an agent of the cultural
milieu. She has also played a key role in the trans-
mission of perinatal beliefs and rituals. /11

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The fetus ejection reflex can also be inhibited by
vaginal examinations, eye-to-eye contact or by the
imposition of a change of environment, as would
happen when a woman is transferred to a delivery
room. It is inhibited when the intellect of the labor-
ing woman is stimulated by any sort of rational lan-
guage, for example if the birth attendant says: ‘No
you are at complete dilation. It’s time to push.’ In
other words, any interference tends to bring the la-
boring woman ‘back down to Earth’ and tends to
transform the fetus ejection / reflex into a second
stage of labor which involves involuntary move-
ments. /12-13

In addition, there is another important key element in
the birthing process that was traditionally overlooked in
our medical tradition. It is how the natural mechanism of
mother-child bonding. This was notoriously a matter fer-
vently discussed in religious and transcendental circles, as
science was saying since quite a few decades that no
mother loves her newborn ‘automatically’ but that there
must be something like a mutual kind of adoption.
This was also what psychoanalysis is saying and what,
for example, the late Dr. Françoise Dolto was telling me in
an interview back in 1986 about the matter. Of course, in
those circles this scientific view was and is debated and it
is alleged that ‘naturally, all mothers love their babies.’

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MICHEL ODENT

What is true here, and what is myth? Michel Odent
shows that both views are somehow true, depending on
how we define ‘love.’
Nature has not overlooked this important clue. It is
namely through the same ‘cocktail of love hormones’ that
birth becomes a natural and easy process, and that mother-
infant bonding occurs immediately after birth.
There are clear similarities between the immediate
post orgasmic states following a fetus ejection reflex
and an orgasm of genital sexuality. During the hour
following the birth, when mother and newborn baby
are in close skin-to-skin contact and have not yet
eliminated the hormones released during the ejec-
tion reflex, each of these hormones has a specific role
to play—natural morphine being a typical example.
Since all opiates have the properties necessary to
create states of dependency, it seems obvious that
body-to-body contact between two individuals who
are under the effects of endorphins can induce the
beginning of a co-dependency, or in other worlds of
an attachment. /45

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Finally, the author emphasizes the importance of ex-
tended breastfeeding, which is not only a concern for
bringing up infants within a continuum of optimal tactile
stimulation and nutrition, but also a concern of public san-
ity, for the turndown of breastfeeding is one of the primary
factors in the etiology of violence. The author writes:
The duration of breastfeeding is undoubtedly influ-
enced by family structures. Since human societies
organize mating and create marriage rules, they also
indirectly influence the duration of breastfeeding.
Nobody knows exactly what the physiological ideal
for the duration of breastfeeding is among humans.
For any other mammal, the answer is simple—al-
most as simple as for the duration of pregnancy. For
example, after spending 230 days in the womb, the
baby chimpanzee is fed by its mother for two years;
a bottle-nosed dolphin is breastfed for 16 months.
For human beings the answer is much more impre-
cise, although a / physiological ideal can be de-
duced as a reference point. Comparing human be-
ings with other mammals and taking into account
the duration of our life in the womb, our degree of
maturity at birth, our lifespan, the special nutritional
needs of our big brain, tooth development, and so
forth, we might conclude that breastfeeding among
humans was originally maintained for a matter of
years rather than a few months. /66-67

The author also clarifies that before the ‘lifelong strict
monogamy,’ most babies were breastfed for two to four

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MICHEL ODENT

years, which was a practice that started in ancient Greece
and went along all the way up until the 19th century.
Michel Odent gives conclusive samples out of the life
of the higher apes and dolphins that demonstrate that
these animals, that are genetically most related to the hu-
man race, enjoy a sexual life that is non-reproductive.
This research is important for it shows the invalidity of
the view forwarded by fundamentalist religions that sexu-
ality, if used properly, was exclusively procreative in the
whole of the animal realm, and that only humans had
‘transgressed’ this ‘natural law’ by being ‘pansexual’ to the
utmost degree.
Dolphins are known to have sex very frequently, in
many different ways, for reasons other than repro-
duction, and they sometimes engage in acts of a ho-
mosexual nature. Copulation takes place face-to-face
and though many species of dolphins engage in
lengthy foreplay, the actual act is usually only brief,
but may be repeated several times within a short
time span. Various dolphin species have even been
known to engage in sexual behavior with other dol-
phin species. Occasionally, dolphins will also show
sexual behavior towards other animals, including
humans. /90

[Bonobos] often copulate face-to-face and the frontal
orientation of the Bonobo vulva and clitoris both
strongly suggest that the female genitalia are
adapted for this position. During sexual intercourse
the females have been heard emitting grunts and
squeals that probably reflect orgasmic experiences,
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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

which perhaps explains why sex, among bonobos, is
not just for reproduction—it is the key to their social
life. Bonobos become sexually aroused remarkably
easily, and they express this excitement in a / variety
of mounting positions and forms of genital contact.
Perhaps the bonobo’s most typical sexual pattern is
genito-genital rubbing between adult females. The
two females rub their genital swellings laterally to-
gether. Male bonobos, too, may engage in pseudo-
copulation; they often perform a back to back varia-
tion, one male briefly rubbing his scrotum against
the buttocks of another. These mammals also prac-
tice so-called penis fencing, in which two males
hang face-to-face from a branch, rubbing their erect
penises together. /90-91

Michel Odent also emphasizes that humans have close
genetic relations with aquatic animals, a fact that has been
overlooked by scholars for thousands of years. It is signifi-
cant in this context that human babies can stay erect and
walk in water before they are able to walk on dry land. The
author then concludes that ‘all chapters of human anat-
omy, physiology, behavior, pathology, and evolutionary
medicine must be rewritten in the light of this so-called
‘aquatic-ape theory.’
I sincerely wish that this important book finds a large
audience beyond the circles of academia. This is a vital and
noble cause when we think of reformulating basic social
policies that regulate human behavior, and sexuality. We
must grant this research a prime agenda for it unveils most
of the myths that cultural conditioning has brought up
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MICHEL ODENT

about the nature of pleasure, thereby belittling or outright
turning down the importance of pleasure of the human
race, and generally, all of life.

We also should keep in mind that cutting-edge con-
sciousness research demonstrated that even particles pos-
sess consciousness and actually choose where they wish to
be and in which orbits they wish to circulate around the
nucleus. We have good reasons to assume that the pleasure
function is not restricted to human beings alone, but that
all of creation basically ‘runs on pleasure,‘ which means
that positive sensations are the stimulus for evolution. It is
deplorable that over the last five thousand years, and with
the turn of Tantra into Vedanta, the pleasure function was
demonized in human evolutionary history.
This namely led to forging so-called sex laws, which are
punishing life, and that are countering the positive evolu-
tion of humanity.
There cannot be any evolution of the human race as
long as we demonize and prohibit pleasure, and regard
human sexuality as basically dangerous and aggressive.
Our penal code does not display much respect of the
human nature; in fact our sex laws seem to consider us to
be an ‘impossible human’ instead of a ‘possible human’,
which is why these laws need to be abolished.
For anyone who is engaged in law reform and refor-
mulation of our basic social policies, the scientific contribu-
tion Michel Odent made in this book, and his other books,
is substantial and important. It is important because it
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shows that the natural pleasure function is in no way to be
taken as a ‘potentially chaotic behavior’ but is regulated by
nature so that no harm is done. When harm is done, it is
not the result of the natural pleasure function, but exactly
the denial of that function through the imposition of com-
pulsory sex morality.

304
Candace B. Pert

Molecules of Emotion
The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine
New York: Scribner, 2003

I came to know about Candace B. Pert through the mind-boggling film
What the Bleep Do We Know!? I found her presence markedly impressive
and right away ordered her book. Molecules of Emotion is not only an
extraordinary scientific study, but it also comes with much autobio-
graphic content. Candace Pert has the courage to reveal many details
from her life as a female scientist.
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Since the 1970s Candace Pert has persisted in her vi-
sion of finding molecular evidence for the functionality of
our emotions, and our sexuality, and more generally for
mindbody medicine, within the boundaries of modern sci-
ence. The book, if all that additional information was taken
out, would be a research paper, too thin to fill a book. And
it would probably miss its goal entirely. It’s this holistic
and empathic approach, and needless to add that it’s an
artistic approach as well, that makes this book so unique.
And it shows that this scientist is actually a great human.
Actually Pert, together with the brilliant animations in the
Bleep movie, made transparent how human sexuality
works, and that it is not a mechanical abstract function,
that it is not, an instinct or ‘drive’ as Sigmund Freud called
it, but a direct outflow from our emotional predilections.
To give an example, how she explains this rather com-
plex matter in a very readable, comprehensive way, let me
put this quote:
If receptors are the first components of the molecules
of emotion, then ligands are the second. The word
ligand comes from the Latin ligare, ‘that which
binds’, sharing its origin with the word religion.
Ligand is the term used for any natural or manmade
substance that binds selectively to its own specific
receptor on the surface of a cell. The ligand bumps
onto the receptor and slips off, bumps back on, slips
back off again. The ligand bumping on is what we
call the binding, and in the process, the ligand trans-
fers a message via its molecular properties to the
receptor. Though a key fitting into a lock is the stan-

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CANDACE B. PERT

dard image, a more dynamic description of this
process might be two voices—ligand and receptor—
striking the same note and producing a vibration
that rings a doorbell to open the doorway to the
cell./24

Candace Pert’s project was since its humble beginnings
in the 1970s very daring, as until now mainstream psy-
chology treats emotions as ‘floating parameters’ that are
hard to grasp by our reigning mechanistic science para-
digm. Candace Pert gives a hint how this abstruse para-
digm came about in the first place:
If psychological contributions to physical health and
disease are viewed with suspicion, the suggestion
that the soul – the literal translation of psy-
che—might matter is considered downright absurd.
For now we are getting into the mystical realm,
where scientists have been officially forbidden to
tread ever since the seventeenth century. It was then
that René Descartes, the philosopher and founding
father of modern medicine, was forced to make a
turf deal with the Pope in order to get the human
bodies he needed for dissection. /18

But in her own words, her vision even went beyond.
She did not just want to succeed in her personal research
project, but desired to help bring about this huge paradigm
shift to many scientists who are currently working on it.
And she wanted this paradigm shift to expand also into
medical science, so that the psychosomatic unity of body

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and mind are definitely recognized in medicine. In her
own words:
My intention is to provide an understanding of the
metaphors that express a new paradigm, metaphors
that capture how inextricably united the body and
the mind really are, and the role the emotions play
in health and disease./17

Truly original, boundary-breaking ideas are rarely
welcomed at first, no matter who proposes them.
Protecting the prevailing paradigm, science moves
slowly, because it doesn't want to make mistakes.
Consequently, genuinely new and important ideas
are often subjected to nitpickingly intense scrutiny, if
not outright rejection and revulsion, and getting
them published becomes a Sisyphean labor./19

It is known from the film What the Bleep Do We Know
how brilliantly Pert explains her research, how she can
convey complex matters in a simple comprehensive way.
And here is how she explains emotions under the particu-
lar angle of her research:
When I use the term emotion, I am speaking in the
broadest of terms, to include not only the familiar
human experiences of anger, fear, and sadness, as
well as joy, contentment, and courage, but also basic
sensations such as pleasure and pain, as well as the
‘drive states’ studied by the experimental psycholo-
gists, such as hunger and thirst. In addition to
measurable and observable emotions and states, I
also refer to an / assortment of other intangible, sub-
jective experiences that are probably unique to hu-
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CANDACE B. PERT

mans, such as spiritual inspiration, awe, bliss, and
other states of consciousness that we all have experi-
enced but that have been, up until now, physiologi-
cally explained./131-132

Generally, her emphasis both in her research and her
book is upon the psychosomatic unity of the mindbody.
Let me put here two more quotes to come to an end of my
review:
The body is the unconscious mind! Repressed trau-
mas caused by overwhelming emotion can be stored
in a body part, thereafter affecting our ability to feel
that part or even move it./141

These recent discoveries are important for appreciat-
ing how memories are stored not only in the brain,
but in a psychosomatic network extending into the
body, particularly in the ubiquitous receptors be-
tween nerves and bundles of cell bodies called gan-
glia, which are distributed not just in and near the
spinal cord, but all the way out along pathways to
internal organs and the very surface of our skin. The
decision about what becomes a thought rising to
consciousness and what remains an undigested
thought pattern buried at a deeper level in the body
is mediated by the receptors. I'd say that the fact that
memory is encoded or stored at the receptor level
means that memory processes are emotion-driven
and unconscious (but, like other receptor-mediated
processes, can sometimes be made conscious)./143

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To summarize, this highly readable book from an
amazing scientist may scramble you up a bit, but this is a
good thing to happen. The book is not a dry research re-
port, but in the contrary reads like an adventure nov-
el—the novel of a daring woman who has achieved much
in her life. She has won the hearts of many people and
through touching their hearts she has been able to put new
seeds in their minds. I congratulate her! Truly, her story is
not one you hear often in life.

310
Dean Radin

Books Reviewed
The Conscious Universe (1997)
Entangled Minds (2006)

Dean Radin is an extraordinary researcher. He was
able to trigger a major paradigm shift in science, in much
the same way as Fritjof Capra did before him. Radin’s re-
search on parapsychology and psychic experiences led to a
more or less widespread scientific acceptance of these phe-
nomena, and this is really a revolution in science. The se-
cret of his success is a combination of talents that we know
from the greatest scientists, and especially Albert Einstein;
it’s intuition coupled with concise logic, meticulous atten-
tion to detail and flawless methodology. In addition, Radin
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

had the stoic mindset necessary for waiting until the time
had come for society to accept the paradigm change. It was
not immediate, and Radin encountered a nasty amount of
resistance from both the science establishment and activist
social groups who, for one reason or the other, were
against his research. Radin also has a talent for expressing
himself with an ease that is not very often to be found with
lab scientists. More importantly, he is a trained violinist,
coincidentally as was Einstein.

He is also a great pedagogue, and has given media
presentations on his research that stand out by their clarity,
and Radin’s refreshing sense of humor. Reading his books
has greatly inspired me. He is also active in the online
world, managing an extended blog. I would like to quote a
passage from it that shows that he’s actually a multidi-
mensional personality, gifted with an array of talents, and
interested in many subjects:

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DEAN RADIN

I played classical violin professionally until age 25,
then switched to fiddle and banjo and played in
bluegrass bands for a number of years. Along the
way I graduated with a degree in electrical engineer-
ing, magna cum laude and with senior honors, from
the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), a mas-
ters in electrical engineering from the University of
Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), and a PhD in psychol-
ogy, also from the University of Illinois.

For a decade I worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories
and later at GTE Laboratories on advanced tele-
communications R&D, and then I held appoint-
ments at Princeton University, University of Edin-

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burgh, University of Nevada, SRI International and
Interval Research Corporation, where I was engaged
in research on psychic or ‘psi’ phenomena. At SRI I
worked on what is now popularly known as the
(formerly classified) psi research program con-
demned StarGate. In 2000 I cofounded the Boundary
Institute and since 2001 I've been Senior Scientist at
the Institute of Noetic Sciences. I also hold an ad-
junct appointment at Sonoma State University and
am on the Distinguished Consulting Faculty at Say-
brook Graduate School.

The majority of my professional career has focused
on experimentally probing the far reaches of human
consciousness, primarily poorly understood phe-
nomena like intuition, gut feelings and psi phenom-
ena. Very few scientists are actively engaged in re-
search on these perennially interesting topics, and
perhaps because of this unusual choice of profession
I was featured in a New York Times Magazine article
in 1996.

My interests in these topics were motivated partially
by sheer curiosity, but also by an appreciation that
these experiences are responsible for most of the
greatest inventions, artistic and scientific achieve-
ments, creative insights, and religious epiphanies
throughout history. Understanding this realm of
human experience thus offers more than mere aca-
demic interest—it touches upon the very best that
the human intellect and spirit have had to offer. I
discovered while working on these topics that I en-
joy the challenge of exploring the frontiers of sci-

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DEAN RADIN

ence, and that I am comfortable tolerating the ambi-
guity of not knowing the ‘right answer,’ which is a
constant companion at the frontier.

After being engaged in the scientific investigation of
such phenomena for about 25 years, I've become
convinced through the laboratory evidence that
some psychic experiences are genuine, that many
people do have real psychic experiences (occasion-
ally), and that most people who claim to have ex-
tremely reliable or accurate psychic abilities are de-
lusional. This topic is exploited for entertainment
purposes, and the world is full of unscrupulous in-
dividuals who falsely claim psychic abilities, so I
understand why many scientists avoid this topic.
Nevertheless, because the empirical evidence reveals
that some psychic effects can be repeatedly observed
under controlled conditions, these phenomena are
profoundly important because they suggest that
prevailing scientific assumptions about human ca-
pacities are seriously incomplete.

There is certainly room for scholarly debate about
these topics, and I know many informed skeptics
whose opinions I value. However, I've also learned
that there are some who are irrationally hostile
about this topic, yet they know little or nothing
about it. There is no kind way to say this, but the
most stubborn skeptics do not understand scientific
methods or the use of statistical inference, nor do
they appreciate the history, philosophy or sociology
of science. Their emotional rejection of the evidence

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seems to be motivated by fundamentalist beliefs of
the scientistic or religious kind. Source:

http://www.deanradin.com/NewWeb/bio.html

I learnt about Dean Radin’s research on psychic phe-
nomena through the movie What the Bleep Do We Know. I
was amazed that this scientist was able to shatter the old
prejudice against paranormal phenomena and parapsy-
chology as a science. And how?
He was defeating the enemy with his own weapons by
applying a stringently mechanistic research method, using
random number generators, as well as trial and error, and
meticulously gathered statistical proof for step-by-step
elucidating the nature of psychic phenomena. He did this
so brilliantly that it is today simply impossible to refute his
findings, so much the more as in the meantime, they are
corroborated by other researchers who replicated the ex-
periments.

Well, reading him, I became aware that it was not only
his rigorous research and application of the scientific
method that helped him succeed in a field of study that
many scientists would have called ‘unscientific’.
It’s also the fact that he earned credibility for becoming
an authority in such a daring discipline that for decades
was shunned by ‘official’ science and relegated to the ‘un-
official’ bulk of esoteric freaks, geniuses, psychics, and
healers.

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DEAN RADIN

Radin’s brilliant methodology certainly was one of the
decisive factors of his success, next to his visionary quest
and outstanding communication abilities.

Now, as the polls are showing that a majority of the
population is convinced that psychic phenomena are real,
there is also a democratic quest at stake as from a constitu-
tional point of view, science cannot just disregard such a
fact.

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

The Conscious Universe
The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena
San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1997

In this well-written book, Dean Radin meticulously defines the scientific
terms he is using for describing psychic phenomena. The following
definitions are to be found on pages 14 and 15 of the book.

Telepathy
Information exchanged between two or more minds,
without the use of the ordinary senses.

Clairvoyance
Information received from a distance, beyond the
reach of the ordinary senses. A French term meaning
‘clear-seeing’. Also called ‘remote-viewing’.

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DEAN RADIN

Psychokinesis
Mental interaction with animate or inanimate mat-
ter. Experiments suggest that it is more accurate to
think of psychokinesis as information flowing from
mind to matter, rather than as the application of
mental forces or powers. Also called ‘mind-matter
interaction’, ‘PK’, and sometimes ‘telekinesis’.

Precognition
Information perceived about future events, where
the information could not be inferred by ordinary
means. Variations include ‘premonition’, a forebod-
ing of an unfavorable future event, and ‘present-
ment’, a sensing of a future emotion.

ESP
Extrasensory perception, a term popularized by J. B.
Rhine in the 1930s. It refers to information perceived
by telepathy, clairvoyance, or precognition.

Psi
A letter of the Greek alphabet (#) used as a neutral
term for all ESP-type and psychokinetic phenomena.

OBE
Out-of-body experience; an experience of feeling
separated from the body. Usually accompanied by
visual perceptions reminiscent of clairvoyance.

NDE
Near-death experience; an experience sometimes
reported by those who are revived from nearly dy-
ing. Often refers to a core experience that includes
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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

feelings of peace, OBE, seeing lights, and certain
other phenomena. Related to psi primarily through
the OBE experience.

Reincarnation
The concept of dying and being reborn into a new
life. The strongest evidence for this ancient idea
comes from children, some of whom recollect verifi-
able details of previous lives. Related to psi by simi-
larities to clairvoyance and telepathy.

Haunting
Recurrent phenomena reported to occur in particu-
lar locations, including sightings of apparitions,
strange sounds, movement of objects, and other
anomalous physical and perceptual effects. Related
to psi by similarities to psychokinesis and clairvoy-
ance.

Poltergeist
Large-scale psychokinetic phenomena previously
attributed to spirits but now associated with a living
person, frequently an adolescent. From the German
for ‘noisy spirit’.

Before going into the detailed discussion of this book,
allow me a personal remark. I would like to express my
deep admiration for the incredible and really tough work
the author has done to realize his vision, and get parapsy-
chology aligned with all the other sciences, as a not less
exact, not less serious, and not less important science than
physics, mathematics, biology and all the rest. And while

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DEAN RADIN

this book reads very cool, as it’s written with an intention
focused on facts that are experimentally verified and that
are coherently aligned into one or several theories, it can
be verified or falsified, according to strict scientific logic
and practice.
Now, reading the Postscript of the book, the reader
may get an idea what the author actually went through, as
a human being, as a non-conforming and novelty-oriented
scientist, one of those we call the leading edge in modern
science. When a research project is finalized, people always
sit back and look at the immense work, lauding the ex-
perimenter. But have they ever felt how it was to go
through all that, from the first to the last moment?
For example, on Monday, I’m accused of blasphemy
by fundamentalists, who imagine that psi threatens
their faith in revealed religious doctrine. On Tues-
day, I’m accused of religious cultism by militant
atheists, who imagine that psi threatens their faith in
revealed scientific wisdom. On Wednesday, I am
stalked by paranoid schizophrenics who insist that I
get the FBI to stop controlling their thoughts. On
Thursday, I submit research grants that are rejected
because the referees are unaware that there is any
legitimate evidence for psi. On Friday, I / get a huge
pile of correspondence from students requesting
copies of everything I’ve ever written. On Saturday, I
take calls from scientists who want to collaborate on
research as long as I can guarantee that no one will
discover their secret interest. On Sunday, I rest, and
try to think of ways to get the paranoid schizophren-

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ics to start stalking the fundamentalists instead of
me./299-300

To begin with, I would like to stress the energy nature
of those various phenomena that we use to call psychic or
paranormal. When I speak of bioenergy here I mean the
bioplasmatic energy that is also called cosmic energy field,
not body electrics or electromagnetism. This is also the en-
ergy that is meant and referred to in shamanism, when
shamans talk about the spirits of nature. These spirits, to
be true, are energy streams that carry transcoded informa-
tion, and as such they are part of the huge communication
network built into living systems. The author says that psi
research does not fit in conventional theories and that it’s
not correct that researchers, because they face a novelty
that scares them, explain what is so far unexplainable, with
the theory of electromagnetism.
The results show that when telepathic receivers are
isolated by heavy-duty electromagnetic and mag-
netic shielding (specially constructed for rooms with
steel and copper walls), or by extreme distance, they
are still able to obtain information from a sender
without using the ordinary senses. So we know that
telepathy doesn’t work like conventional electro-
magnetic signaling. And yet, because the metaphor
provides a powerful way of thinking about telepa-
thy, many people still imagine that telepathy ‘works’
through some form of mental radio./16

The link to psi is that biological systems are exqui-
sitely sensitive to certain kinds of information. Per-

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DEAN RADIN

haps biological systems can both send and access
teleported information, in which case we would
suddenly have a scientifically acceptable (but still
fundamentally mysterious) way to both perceive
and influence objects at a distance./286

In order to keep this review in reasonable boundaries, I
will discuss in more detail here only Chapter 7, entitled
Perception Through Time, which is an intriguing research
topic that was covered also very well in Michael Talbot’s
study The Holographic Universe. The author explains that
the accumulation of conceptual frameworks for explaining
how perception and time hang together does not help
much. Concepts like retrocognition, real-time clairvoyance or
precognition, the author says, rather blur the usual concepts
of perception and time. In fact, it is true that they explain
nothing.
In my view all depends on how we define time, and
without doing this, and considering what relativity theory
said about it, on one hand, and what quantum physics
says, on the other, we cannot make any valid assumptions
about precognition, prophecy or past-cognition.
The author does not advance any theory, as for exam-
ple Michael Talbot does by explaining all these phenomena
with the holographic nature of the universe. When all is
one single hologram, it’s very well conceivable that the
timeline of events is a mere projection system that actually
is a crutch for our imagination, while in reality there is no

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such timeline at all in life, as all events occur simultane-
ously.
But while this concept is very elegant, Radin did not
venture into any of those larger frameworks, and this is
again strategically a smart way of doing. For it’s easier to
bring a theory through that is based on hard facts and
verifiable evidence, and later expand the theoretical
framework.

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DEAN RADIN

Entangled Minds
Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality
New York: Paraview Pocket Books, 2006

To be frank and straight right at the start, I find this book much more
interesting than The Conscious Universe, but this has to do with the sim-
ple fact that I am researching on these matters since two decades al-
ready; for me, the basic proof is since long established. However, I am
well aware that such is not the case with the lay public, and thus I
would recommend The Conscious Universe to those who are skeptical, or
who are so bare of knowledge of psychic phenomena that they need to
begin with Adam and Eve.

I shall first make some general remarks about the book,
and then focus on Chapter 2 entitled Naked Psi, which
deals for the most part with the highly intriguing premoni-
tions of the September 11, 2001 events. Let us first ask,
what is entanglement?

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For centuries, scientists assumed that everything can
be explained by mechanisms analogous to clock-
works. Then, to everyone’s surprise, over the course
of the twentieth century we learned that this com-
monsense assumption is wrong. When the fabric of
reality is examined very closely, nothing resembling
clockworks / can be found. Instead, reality is woven
from strange ‘holistic’ threads that aren’t located
precisely in space or time. Tug on a dangling loose
end from this fabric of reality, and the whole cloth
twitches, instantly, throughout all space and
time./2-3

Perhaps, as Dean Radin humbly suggests, there is no
ready-made answer to this question, but he’s optimistic
that over the coming years we’ll come around to see the
light on that matter. Now let me get at the core of this re-
view, the precognitive messages and presentments in the
foreground of September 11, 2001, which were collected in
their thousands, as the author reports, by the Rhine Re-
search Center. The first case he reports was a couple re-
turning from New York to their home town; the man had
tried to sleep in the plane, and had a nightmarish vision to
be buried alive in tons of cement that were closing her-
metically about him, virtually crushing his bones one by
one in this prison of stone that was converging about him.
When they returned home, exhausted after the long trip
and three thousand miles away from their friends in New
York, and went to bed, in New York the two towers of the
World Trade Center went down to ashes in an unprece-

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DEAN RADIN

dented catastrophe that was mediatized in its every detail.
In the second documented case, a couple had passed the
Pentagon on a highway and the woman, in a sudden vi-
sion, had seen the Pentagon burning and huge piles of
dark smoke rising from it, while her husband had won-
dered about her screams. In a few seconds the vision had
vanished. This had been several weeks before September,
11, 2001.

Dean Radin explains that it is because of the psycho-
logical fact of memory repression and a blinding out of
perception that so many people do actually not get clear
visions; the author seems to be convinced that we do re-
ceive clear premonitions and visions in front of cata-
strophic events that cost many human lives, but that our
brain safeguards our mental health by suppressing dis-
turbing impressions and all the anxiety that is of course
connected to it.

327
Otto Carl Simonton

Getting Well Again
The Bestselling Classic About the Simontons’
Revolutionary Life-Saving Self-Awareness Techniques
With Stephanie Matthews-Simonton and James L. Creighton
New York: Bantam, 1992
(Originally published in 1978)

I first heard about the Simontons in the book The Turning Point (1987) by
Fritjof Capra: a couple of French doctors who went out to coin an alter-
native therapy for cancer back in the 1970s. They had a lot of courage.
They did not fear to lose their reputation while they were doing things
that were not quite tolerated, at that time, by the medical establishment.

Dr. Otto Carl Simonton (1942-2009) and his wife Dr.
Stephanie Matthews-Simonton criticized the usual ways of
treating cancer.
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Their account of an alternative cancer cure which be-
came successful is written in an honest and lively manner,
not theory-based but sanely experience-based.

I think that the Simontons have greatly helped to estab-
lish alternative cancer cure in our today’s diversified
medical servicing, and thereby have done a great job for all
of us. And yet, I have met so many people, even in recent
years, who never heard of its existence! It seems that the
common man and the common woman get their knowl-
edge from the mass media, and there you see same old
soup, even today, with death-blow doctoral injunctions of
the kind ‘Your life expectancy is maximum six months’,
chemotherapy, and all the rest of it. And of course, you can
find the Simontons on the Internet. Here is the address of
the place and the reference to their well-done web site
about the Simonton Cancer Center, Malibu, CA, 90264, USA.

—http://simontoncenter.com

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OTTO CARL SIMONTON

Fritjof Capra mentions in his book The Turning Point
(1987) that he was astonished to find out that the words
healing and healer have a pejorative meaning for most
medical doctors. In fact, these terms are associated with
charlatanism and quackery. That is why, among other
things, the Simontons did not have an easy job. Their
breakthrough were techniques today called ‘self-awareness
techniques’ that at the time when they started where called
visualization techniques or mental imaging. It was one of sev-
eral approaches they had tried out, but as these techniques
were more successful than others in helping their cancer
patients, they stuck with them. (By the way, there are many
other alternative cancer cures; some are based on diet,
some on bioenergetic treatment, some on ozone inhalation,
etc.).
The most important thing in the process of helping the
patient to collaborate in healing their cancer is to get them
to learn that they have a role to play in their healing. For
they are conditioned by traditional medicine to be mere
injunction-receivers, and passive sufferers of a fate. The
authors write:
Most of our patients, who come to us from all over
the country, have received a ‘medically incurable’
diagnosis from their doctors. According to national
cancer statistics, they have an average life expec-
tancy of one year. When these people believe that
only medical treatment can help them—but their
physicians have said that medicine is no longer of
much avail and that they probably have only a few

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months to live—they feel doomed, trapped, helpless,
and usually fulfill the doctor’s expectations. But if
patients mobilize their own resources and actively
participate in their recovery, they may well exceed
their life expectancy and significantly alter the qual-
ity of life./4

One of the most daring ideas that doctors ever came up
with was to offer patients placebo drugs, suggesting they
got drug XYZ, famous and tested, and proven to be effec-
tive according to pharmaceutical publicity. In truth, what
they received was a sugar pill. Well, it’s hard to believe
that this works better than normal medicine because it has
no side effects. But it has been shown over and over that it
cures as effectively as a real drug. The authors relate a
dramatic case that vividly illustrates the power of the pla-
cebo effect:
A most dramatic case of the placebo effect has been
reported by Dr. Bruno Klopfer, a researcher involved
in the testing of the drug Krebiozen. In 1950, Kre-
biozen had received sensational national publicity as
a ‘cure’ for cancer and was being tested by the
American Medical Association and the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration. Once of Dr. Klopfer’s pa-
tients had lymphosarcoma, a generalized, far ad-
vanced malignancy involving the lymph nodes. The
patient had huge tumor masses throughout his body
and was in such desperate physical condition that he
frequently had to take oxygen by mask, and fluid
had to be / removed from his chest every two days.
When the patient discovered that Dr. Klopfer was

332
OTTO CARL SIMONTON

involved in research on Krebiozen, he begged to be
given Krebiozen treatments. Klopfer did so, and the
patient’s recovery was startling. Within a short time
the tumors had shrunk dramatically, and the patient
was able to resume a normal life, including flying
his private plane. Then as AMA and FDA reports of
the negative results of Krebiozen started to be publi-
cized, the patient took a dramatic turn for the worse.
Thinking the circumstances extreme enough to jus-
tify unusual measures, Klopfer told his patient that
he had obtained a new, superrefined, double-
strength Krebiozen that would produce better re-
sults. Actually, the injections Klopfer gave were sim-
ply sterile water. Yet the patient's recovery was even
more remarkable. Once again the tumor masses
melted, chest fluid vanished, and he became ambu-
latory and even went back to flying. The patient re-
mained symptom-free for over two months. The pa-
tient's belief alone, independent of the value of the
medication, produced his recovery. Then further
stories of the AMA and FDA’s tests appeared in the
press: ‘Nationwide tests show Krebiozen to be a
worthless drug in the treatment of cancer.’ Within a
few days the patient was dead./26-27

As to the much debated question what actually causes
cancer, the authors review in the book the following eti-
ologies: carcinogenic substances, genetic predisposition,
radiation, diet and the immune system.
Regarding carcinogenic substances, the authors note that
there is no simple cause--effect relationship between harm-

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

ful substances, chemicals, chronic irritants, and cancer, and
that the matter is rather controversial in the literature.
Regarding genetic predisposition, the authors note that a
human-based research was not yet available, the research
being available having been conducted on mice. They con-
cluded that this research left considerable doubt on any
‘it’s genetics alone’ theory.
Regarding radiation, the authors note that background
radiation, also called cosmic radiation, is too universal a
cause to possibly contribute to the cancer etiology.
With regard to another possibility being discussed, as
to fluorocarbons released from aerosol cans that destroy the
ozone layer of the atmosphere, leading to an increased ex-
posure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, the authors
admit that although this could certainly lead to potential
health problems, high levels of ultraviolet rays were asso-
ciated only with skin cancer.
Regarding x-rays and other radiation used in medical di-
agnosis and treatment, the evidence was still unclear be-
cause many people who have been exposed to high levels
of x-rays and other radiation do not contract cancer.
Regarding diet as a possible cause of cancer, which is a
relatively recent etiology, the authors note the following
quite remarkable details:
For instance, Japan, where the diet is still predomi-
nantly based on fish and rice and contains substan-
tially less fat than does the American or European
diet, has both a lower / incidence of cancer and a

334
OTTO CARL SIMONTON

substantially different profile in types of cancers
than the other industrialized countries. Since the
incidence of cancer goes up sharply among Japanese
living in the United States ... some researchers have
settled on differences in diet as a likely explanation.
/38-39

The authors argue that for understanding cancer, we
need to find out why some people have a stronger immune
system than others?
A great deal of time, energy, and resource have been
poured into the search for the causes of cancer, but
one important fact is often overlooked: When ex-
posed to known cancer-producing substances, most
people still remain healthy. It is quite clear, for ex-
ample, that the incidence of lung cancer goes up
sharply with heavy smoking. But if all it took to get
cancer was exposure to nicotine and tars, then all
heavy smokers would contract the disease. Yet most
heavy smokers do not get lung cancer./40

As problems with organ transplantation showed, the
body’s immune system normally is strong. For example, a
cancer-affected organ would not be accepted by the re-
ceiver, and if forced to do so, as was shown by experi-
ments, the receiver would indeed contract the cancer, but
as soon as the organ was again removed, the cancer would
quickly disappear. This research, as the authors conclude,
has led to a broad medical acceptance of what is called the
‘surveillance theory’ of cancer development:

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

External agents, radiation, genetics, diet—all four
factors may play a role in the causation of the dis-
ease, but none of them is a full explanation without
considering why particular individuals, at particular
points in their lives, contract cancer./44

Now, the answer is of course, that the real causes of
cancer are related to emotional stress, in the sense that the
suppression of emotions, or certain emotions, clearly con-
tributes to the causation of cancer. Another factor is the
inability noted in most cancer patients to express their emo-
tions and thus release themselves at times from pent-up
emotional tension.
For example in a research done by Dr. Thomas A. Hol-
mes and associates at the University of Washington School
of Medicine, a scale was designed that assigned numerical
values (1-100) to certain stressful events: ‘Death of Spouse’,
is rated 100, followed by ‘Divorce’, with 73 and ‘Marital
Separation’ with 65. However, even in Holmes’ study, 51
percent of the individuals with scores of 300 did not get
sick during the period of the study, which let the authors
conclude that an event, even a stressful one, is construed
differently from person to person. A decisive study done in
the 1920s by Dr. Hans Selye at the University of Prague
gave conclusive evidence for the stress-related etiology:
This evidence clearly demonstrates the very real
physical effects of stress. But it is still another effect
that is of greatest importance to the cancer patient.
Selye has discovered that chronic stress suppresses
the immune system which is responsible for engulf-

336
OTTO CARL SIMONTON

ing and destroying cancerous cells or alien microor-
ganisms. The important point is this: The physical
conditions Selye describes as being produced by
stress are virtually identical to those under which an
abnormal cell could reproduce and spread into a
dangerous cancer. Not surprisingly, cancer patients
frequently have weakened immune systems. /53

Selye’s findings were confirmed by other research and
it was found that, for example, lymphocyte function, a
critical measure of the potency of the body’s immune sys-
tem, ‘was significantly depressed in those who had lost a
wife or husband.’ Another study the authors report points
to mental factors leading to the suppression of the immune
system where it was demonstrated ‘that the body’s immu-
nity to tuberculosis can be profoundly affected by hypnotic
suggestion,’ which leads to the conclusion that mental and
emotional stress impacts on the body’s defenses.
The authors conclude that there are major themes of
research in the etiology of cancer that crystallized out:
High levels of emotional stress increase susceptibil-
ity to illness. Chronic stress results in a suppression
of the immune system, which in turn creates in-
creased susceptibility to illness—and especially to
cancer. Emotional stress, which suppresses the im-
mune system, also leads to hormonal imbalances.
These / imbalances could increase the production of
abnormal cells at precisely the time the body is least
capable of destroying them./54-55

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Dr. Simonton in discussion with Jeffrey Mishlove

But this is not yet the core of the book. The authors
went further in their research and found historical connec-
tions between cancer and emotions, and that certain beliefs
clearly trigger a predisposition for cancer: it is not down
the road that we got stress, but how we cope with it what
really is the subtle cause of cancer.
Most of the time, the ways in which we respond to
the stresses of life are habitual, dictated by our un-
conscious beliefs about who we are, who we
‘should’ be, and the way the world and other people
are and should be. These patterns of behavior form a
total orientation, or stance toward life./56

I always intuitively knew that compulsory morality is a
strong factor in the etiology of cancer, and the cancer pa-
tients I met in my life have corroborated this insight. They
were invariably people who were thinking much more on
the lines of ‘should be’ and ‘ought to behave’ than the av-
erage citizen who tends to think on the lines of ‘Me first’.
Quoting a researcher who published a book in 1893 with

338
OTTO CARL SIMONTON

the title Cancer and the Cancer-Process, and who stated that
‘idiots and lunatics are remarkably exempt from cancer in
every shape’, the authors go on to examine an array of re-
search findings that corroborated their hypothesis of ‘emo-
tional causation’. Among the factors that cause predisposi-
tion for cancer, the authors examine the research of Dr.
Lawrence LeShan, an experimental psychologist who
found evidence that co-dependence and emotional abuse
may contribute to the cancer etiology. He identified four
recurring elements, something like a fatally coincidental
sequence, in the life stories of more than 500 cancer pa-
tients:
The patient’s youth was marked by feelings of isola-
tion, neglect, and despair, with intense interpersonal
relationships appearing difficult and dangerous. In
early adulthood, the patient was able to establish a
strong, meaningful relationship with a person, or
found great satisfaction in his or her vocation. A
tremendous amount of energy was poured into this
relationship or role. Indeed, it became the reason for
living, the center of the patient’s life. The relation-
ship or role was then removed—through death, a
move, a child leaving home, a retirement, or the like.
The result was despair, as though the ‘bruise’ left
over from childhood had been painfully struck
again. One of the fundamental characteristics of
these patients was that the despair was ‘bottled up’.
These individuals were unable to let other people
know when they felt hurt, angry, hostile. Others fre-
quently viewed the cancer patients as unusually
wonderful people, saying of them: ‘He’s such a

339
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

good, sweet man’ or ‘She’s a saint’. LeShan con-
cludes, ‘The benign quality, the ‘goodness’ of these
people was in fact a sign of their failure to believe in
themselves sufficiently, and their lack of hope./63

I have scribbled at the edge of page 63 of the book, in
big and angry letters: ‘Cancer is a Western plague. These
people never had the freedom to express their emotions,
and they never developed their real self. This is the real
cause of cancer!’
LeShan reports that 76 percent of all the cancer pa-
tients he interviewed shared this basic emotional life
history. Of the cancer patients who entered into in-
tensive psychotherapy with him, over 95 percent
showed this pattern. Only 10 percent of a control
group of noncancer patients revealed this pattern.
/64

After reviewing some of their patient’s life stories, the
authors inquire into the psychological process of illness
and come to stress certain factors they have seen in all the
life stories they reviewed, such as, for example:
Experiences in childhood result in decisions to be a
certain kind of person.

The individual is rocked by a cluster of stressful life
events.

These stresses create a problem with which the indi-
vidual does not know how to deal.

340
OTTO CARL SIMONTON

The individual sees no way of changing the rules
about how he or she must act and so feels trapped
and helpless to resolve the problem. /

The individual puts distance between himself or
herself and the problem, becoming static, unchang-
ing, rigid./74-75

For each of these categories, the authors forward con-
clusive evidence from the case histories, which I will not
discuss here because of copyright. I can only say that this
part of the book is perhaps the most important as it pro-
vides very concise evidence as to the real causes of cancer,
which can be summarized as being emotional, behavioral,
and belief-related. But this is not all there is in the etiology of
cancer. The authors also provide conclusive evidence for
the fact that also the expectations a patient fosters about
cancer as a disease contribute to the etiology, and that there
is evidence for the fact that the stiff neurotic adherence to a
life-denying ideology or religion or otherwise morality-
imposing belief system decidedly contributes to the causa-
tion of cancer.
After this first research part of the book, the authors
present their own approach in the second part, that starts
at page 100, and thus approximately after one-third of the
book. I find that this was a good balance to keep by the
authors, and congratulate them, and their publisher, for
the good editing and composition of this booklet, which
comes with a 19-pages Bibliography and an Index.

341
Rick Strassman

DMT—The Spirit Molecule
A Doctor’s Revolutionary Research into the Biology of
Near-Death and Mystical Experiences
Rochester: Park Street Press, 2001

DMT—The Spirit Molecule is a courageous book written by an American
doctor, one who really stepped out of the league and looked over the
fence—with the result to never return to where he was coming from. I
was touched by this book, because the author vividly describes not only
his scientific discoveries, but also how he got there. You will be moved
by this man’s honesty and endurance, and by the many unconventional,
or even revolutionary ideas he expresses …

When a Terence McKenna writes such things people
tend to easily accept that as ‘witty psychedelic literature’,
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

but it’s a big difference when a medical doctor writes
about what is considered by many as ‘forbidden research’.
It needs courage to pronounce heretic views of this kind
from the pulpit of an accredited doctor, because it can re-
sult in professional ruin. To begin with, he writes as a gen-
eral introduction on the subject of psychedelics:
Psychedelics were the growth area in psychiatry for
over twenty years. Now young physicians and psy-
chiatrists know nearly nothing about them./27

In his concise overview over the history of using psy-
chedelic compounds in psychiatry, Dr. Strassman gives
much food for thought that supports the alternative posi-
tion:
Psychedelic research was a bruising and humiliating
chapter in the lives of many of its most prominent
scientists. These were the best and the brightest psy-
chiatrists of their generation. Many of today’s most
respected North American and European psychiatric
researchers, in both academics and industry, now
chairmen of major university departments and
presidents of national psychiatric organizations, be-
gan their professional lives investigating psychedelic
drugs. The most powerful members of their profes-
sion discovered that science, data, and reason were
incapable of defending their research against the
enactment of repressive laws fueled by opinion,
emotion, and the media./28

The late Willis Harman possessed one of the most
discerning minds to apply itself to the field of psy-

344
RICK STRASSMAN

chedelic research. Earlier in his career, he and his
colleagues administered LSD to scientists in an at-
tempt to bolster their problem-solving skills. They
found that LSD demonstrated a powerfully benefi-
cial effect on creativity./XVI

Dr. Strassman makes a good additional point stating
that the mere absence of academic attention for any given
subject of research should not keep curious scientists from
investigating in the matter to find out what is true, and
what is myth:
The lack of academic attention to psychedelics may
have been partly due to the absence of any ongoing
human research. However, it is common for
physicians-in-training to learn about previously
popular theories and techniques, even if they no
longer are in favor. The psychedelic drugs, however,
seemed to have dropped out of all psychiatric dia-
logue. /28

A matter of research that has hardly been tackled yet
by modern science is DMT-induced trance that is brought

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

about by the human body’s own DMT production. Dr.
Strassman, based on a lot of earlier research that he cites in
the notes, is convinced that the pineal gland produces en-
dogenous DMT. It is true that psychedelics explorers such
as Terence McKenna have stressed the fact that DMT has
strong affinities with the human organism in that it’s a
compound that the human body produces itself.
The similarities between naturally occurring and
DMT-induced phenomena support my suggestion
that spontaneously occurring ‘psychedelic’ experi-
ences are mediated by elevated levels of endogenous
DMT./311

To summarize, this book is highly recommended for the
serious researcher and the non-scientist interested in revo-
lutionary new insights from cutting-edge research that
sooner or later will lead to paradigm shift in psychology,
health care and mental health care.

346
Michael Talbot

The Holographic Universe
New York: Harper Perennial, 1992

The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot is an extraordinary book,
and a captivating read from the first to the last page. Not only has this
book merited more than five stars, it merits both a literary prize and a
distinction for exemplary scientific research. As the author has already
passed over into greater life dimensions, these are posthumous laurels.
But my recognition of the author’s genius, his motivation, his purity,
and his literary and spiritual maturity is real.

The book has been a true companion for me, and it ac-
companied me on all trips over weeks. To begin with, the
author has not just delivered an extensive study on the
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

vast realm of psychic phenomena, he also has consulted
personally a number of researchers he refers in his book.
As Talbot revealed in a few notes, he had himself strong
psychic abilities and was a psychic already as a child. This
may explain in part his participatory experience as a scien-
tist and his fundamental understanding of the topics at
stake.
Talbot makes a strong point for the holographic nature
of the universe and of psychic experiences in general, and I
can virtually not see how his theory can be refuted, so
well-founded it appears. An important point of departure,
just as in Lynne McTaggart’s startling book The Field, is the
acknowledgment of a plenum where mechanistic science
claims to find a vacuum:
Space is not empty. It is full, a plenum as opposed to
a vacuum, and is the ground for the existence of eve-
rything, including ourselves./51

While I recommend this book without hesitation for
the general reader, it should be an advantage to have read
previously some kind of fundamental introduction in the
new paradigms in science, such as, for example, Fritjof Ca-
pra’s The Turning Point. Talbot writes:
In his general theory of relativity Einstein astounded
the world when he said that space and time are not
separate entities, but are smoothly linked and part of
a larger whole he called the space-time continuum.
Bohm takes this idea a giant step further. He says
that everything in the universe is part of a contin-

348
MICHAEL TALBOT

uum. Despite the apparent separateness of things at
the explicate level, everything is a seamless exten-
sion of everything else, and ultimately even the im-
plicate and explicate orders blend into each
other./48

What I normally not do, I shall do it here: reproduce
the Table of Contents including the sub-chapters. This will
by itself give an overview over the vast array of topics and
research that the author has summarized in this extraordi-
nary book, the Notes section of which expands over
twenty-four pages! Below I will do a pointed discussion
based on some quotes from the book.

PART ONE—A REMARKABLE NEW VIEW OF REALITY

1 The Brain as Hologram
The Breakthrough
Other Puzzles Explained by the Holographic Brain Model
Experimental Support for the Holographic Brain
The Mathematical Language of the Hologram
The Dancer as Wave Form
The Reaction of the Scientific Community
Pribram Encounters Bohm

2 The Cosmos as Hologram
Bohm and Interconnectedness
A Living Sea of Electrons
Bohm's Disillusionment
A New Kind of Field and the Bullet That Killed Lincoln
If You Want to Know Where You Are, Ask the Nonlocals
Enter the Hologram
Enfolded Orders and Unfolded Realities
The Undivided Wholeness of All Things
Consciousness as a More Subtle Form of Matter

349
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

The Energy of a Trillion Atomic Bombs in Every Cubic Centimeter
of Space
Experimental Support for Bohm's Holographic Universe
The Reaction of the Physics Community
Pribram and Bohm Together

PART TWO—MIND AND BODY

3 The Holographic Model and Psychology
Dreams and the Holographic Universe
Psychosis and the Implicate Order
Lucid Dreams and Parallel Universes
Hitching a Ride on the Infinite Subway
Holotropic Therapy
Vortices of Thought and Multiple Personalities
A Flaw in the Fabric of Reality

4 I Sing the Body Holographic
Basketball Games of the Mind
The Lack of Division between Health and Illness
The Healing Power of Nothing At All
Tumors That Melt Like Snowballs on a Hot Stove
Do Any Drugs Really Work?
The Health Implications of Multiple Personality
Pregnancy, Organ Transplants, and Tapping the Genetic Level
Images Projected Outside the Brain
Laws Both Known and Unknown
Acupuncture Microsystems and the Little Man in the Ear
Harnessing the Powers of the Holographic Brain

5 A Pocketful of Miracles
The Gremlin in the Machine
Psychokinesis on a Grander Scale
Mass Psychokinesis in Eighteens-Century France
Reprogramming the Cosmic Motion Picture Projector
The Laws of Physics as Habits and Realities Both Potential and Real
Does Consciousness Create Subatomic Particles?
You Can Get Something For Nothing

350
MICHAEL TALBOT

Changing the Whole Picture
What Does It All Mean?

6 Seeing Holographically
The Human Energy Field
The Energy Field of the Human Psyche
Doctors Who See the Human Energy Field
Chaos Holographic Patterns
What Is the Human Energy Field Made Of?
Three Dimensional Images in the Aura
Movies in the Aura
Holographic Body Assessment
X-Ray Vision
Internal Vision and Shamanism
The Energy Field as Cosmic Blueprint
A Participatory Reality
Mind and the Human Energy Field

PART THREE—SPACE AND TIME

7 Time Out of Mind
The Past as Hologram
Phantoms from the Past
The Holographic Future
We Are All Precognitive
Hololeaps of Faith
The Shadowy Stuff of the Soul
Thought as Builder
An Indication of Something Deeper
Three Last Pieces of Evidence

8 Traveling in the Superhologram
OBEs as a Holographic Phenomenon
The Near-Death Experience
A Holographic Explanation of the Near-Death Experience
Heaven as Hologram
Instantaneous Knowledge
Life Plans and Parallel Time Tracks

351
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

You Can Eat but You Don't Have To
Information about the Near-Death Realm from Other Sources
The Land of Nowhere
Intelligent and Coordinated Images of Light
More References to Light
Survival in Infinity
An Undeniable Spiritual Radiance
Who Are the Beings of Light?
The Omnijective Universe

9 Return to the Dreamtime
The Candle and the Laser
The Future of the Holographic Idea
The Need for a Basic Restructuring of Science
An Evolutionary Thrust toward Higher Consciousness

After my first complete read of the book, I was reading
selected chapters again. I recommend you to do the same.
I have collected many quotes of the book but will pre-
sent only a few, and only on synthetic insights, where the
author summarizes specific fields of research in order to
make the point for a valid holographic paradigm to currently
emerge in global science.
To begin with, when we try to point to the most impor-
tant insight from quantum physics, we could describe it
with the word participatory; this is not just Talbot’s personal
view, but is shared by other scientists.
As we have seen, one of the basic tenets of quantum
physics is that we are not discovering reality, but
participating in its creation. It may be that as we
probe deeper into the levels of reality beyond the
atom, the levels where the subtle energies of the
human aura appear to lie, the participatory nature of

352
MICHAEL TALBOT

reality becomes even more pronounced. Thus we
must be extremely cautious about saying that we
have discovered a particular structure or pattern in
the human energy field, when we may have actually
created what we have found./191

The author lucidly adds the note here that with this
change of the basic science paradigm from an observatory
to a participatory experimental setup of the scientific task,
the role of the scientist changes implicitly:
A shift from objectivity to participation will also
most assuredly affect the role of the scientist. As it
becomes increasingly apparent that it is the experi-
ence of observing that is important, and not just the
act of observation, it is logical to assume that scien-
tists in turn will see themselves less and less as ob-
servers and more and more as experiencers. As
Harman states, ‘A willingness to be transformed is
an essential characteristic of the participatory
scientist.’/298

353
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Another important part of Talbot’s research were Near
Death Experiences (NDEs), Out-of-Body Experience (OBEs)
and voyages into past lives through past-life regression
therapy. The author summarizes the research results as fol-
lows:
Several said they didn't even have a body unless
they were thinking. (...) But as their experience in the
between-life state continued, they gradually became
a kind of hologramlike composite of all of their past
lives. This composite identity even had a name sepa-
rate from any of the names they had used in their
physical incarnations, although none of his subjects
was able to pronounce it using their physical vocal
cords. (...) Many say that they were not aware of any
form and were simply ‘themselves’ or ‘their mind’.
Others have more specific impressions and describe
themselves as ‘a cloud of colors’, ‘a mist’, ‘an energy
pattern’ or ‘an energy field’, terms that / again sug-
gest that we are all ultimately just frequency phe-
nomena, patterns of some unknown vibratory en-
ergy enfolded in the greater matrix of the frequency
domain./247-248

Some NDEers assert that in addition to being com-
posed of colored frequencies of light, we are also
constituted out of sound. ‘I realized that each person
and thing has its own musical tone range as well as
its own color range’, says an Arizona housewife who
had an NDE during childbirth. ‘If you can imagine
yourself effortlessly moving in and out among pris-
matic rays of light and hearing each person’s musi-
cal notes join and harmonize with your own when

354
MICHAEL TALBOT

you touch or pass them, you would have some idea
of the unseen world. The woman, who encountered
many individuals in the afterlife realm who mani-
fested only as clouds of colors and sound, believes
the mellifluous tones each soul emanates are what
people are describing when they say they hear beau-
tiful music in the ND-dimension.’/248

Talbot not only researched science theories, but also
looked at what spiritualistic authors wrote, as for example
Emmanuel Swedenborg. And he discovers evidence for the
holographic theory in Swedenborg’s writings:
Most intriguing of all are those remarks by Sweden-
borg that seem / to refer to reality's holographic
qualities. For instance, he said that although human
beings appear to be separate from one another, we
are all connected in a cosmic unity. Moreover, each
of us is a heaven in miniature, and every person,
indeed the entire physical universe, is a microcosm
of a greater divine reality./258-259

Swedenborg also believed that, despite its ghostlike
and ephemeral qualities, heaven is actually a more
fundamental level of reality than our own physical
world. It is, he said, the archetypal source from
which all earthly forms originate, and to which all
forms return, a concept not too dissimilar from
Bohm's idea of the implicate and explicate orders.
/259

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Another important area of research into holographic
phenomena in Talbot’s book are visions of the Holy Virgin,
and angels. Talbot writes:
Another impressively holographic Marian vision is
the equally famous appearance of the Virgin in Zei-
toun, Egypt. The sightings began in 1968 when two
Moslem automobile mechanics saw a luminous ap-
parition of Mary standing on the ledge of the central
dome of a Coptic church in the poor Cairo suburb.
(...) Most telling of all, after three years of manifesta-
tions and as interest in the phenomenon started to
wane, the Zeitoun figures also waned, becoming
hazier and hazier until, in their last several appear-
ances, they were little more than clouds of luminous
fog./275

Other areas of research that I mention here eclectically,
as it’s virtually impossible to comment on all research top-
ics, are the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the spiritual teach-
ings of native peoples. The author writes:
One thing that we do know is that in a holographic
universe, a universe in which separateness ceases to
exist and the innermost processes of the psyche can
spill over and become as much a part of the objec-
tive landscape as the flowers and the trees, reality
itself becomes little more than a mass shared dream.
In the higher dimensions of existence, these dream-
like aspects become even more apparent, and indeed
numerous traditions have commented on this fact.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead repeatedly stresses the
dreamlike nature of the afterlife realm, and this is
also, of course, why the Australian aborigines refer

356
MICHAEL TALBOT

to it as the dreamtime. Once we accept the notion,
that reality at all levels is omnijective and has the
same ontological status as a dream, the question be-
comes, Whose dream is it?/285

Like Bohm, who says that consciousness always has
its source in the implicate, the aborigines believe
that the true source of the mind is in the transcen-
dent reality of the dreamtime. Normal people do not
realize this and believe that their consciousness is in
their bodies. However, shamans know this is not
true, and that is why they are able to make contact
with the subtler levels of reality./289

Eventually, the author finds examples from the past
where scientists were already looking beyond the fence
and perceiving the universe as basically interconnected
and nonlocal, as we would say today. And he mentions the
German mathematician Leibniz who notoriously discov-
ered the binary code in the I Ching.
In short, long before the invention of the hologram,
numerous thinkers had already glimpsed the nonlo-
cal organization of the universe and had arrived at
their own unique ways to express this insight. It is
worth noting that these attempts, crude as they may
seem to those of us who are more technologically
sophisticated, may have been far more important
than we realize. For instance, it appears that the
seventeenth-century German mathematician and
philosopher Leibniz was familiar with the Hua-yen
school of Buddhist thought. Some have argued that
this was why he proposed that the universe is con-

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

stituted out of fundamental entities he called ‘mo-
nads’, each of which contains a reflection of the
whole universe. What is significant is that Leibniz
also gave the world integral calculus, and it was in-
tegral calculus that enabled Dennis Gabor to invest
the hologram./291

I highly recommend this book, also to the non-initiated
and non-scientific reader. The author somehow manages to
express himself with common sense and insight, without
using complex scientific language. This book can also be
taken as a useful research library as from the notes section
you can stretch out your research further.

358
Vidette Todaro-
Franceschi

The Enigma of Energy
Where Science and Religion Converge
New York: Crossroad, 1999

The Enigma of Energy by Vidette Todaro is a carefully researched study,
originally a PhD thesis, that treats an unusual subject. The author has
fulfilled a Sisyphus task with this seminal work that represents a re-
markable scientific achievement.

The book is not an easy-read, but for the serious re-
searcher, it’s an invaluable resource. The author reports
that her study took her much farther than she had believed
at first, and that the deeper she researched the phenome-
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

non of energy, the more she found a connection of her re-
search with religion. She writes in the Introduction:
The more I worked on this project the more I became
aware that somehow science and religion were con-
verging. It was never my goal to merge these two
seemingly disparate areas; in fact, when my search
led me into religious realms of thought, I tried hard
at first to stay clear of them. But it was impossible to
do so. Anytime I came across literature that was re-
lated to an idea of energy there were implicit or ex-
plicit spiritual overtones. Most surprising was the
abundance of spiritual ideas found in physics./4

With her wide and strongly intuitive vision, the author
approaches the topic in a systematic and methodologically
sound manner without getting lost in the maze of philo-
sophical concepts that express with a variety of confusing
terms what is one and the same thing. She first looks at the
etymology of the word energy, and the concepts of energy
in various cultures and with different philosophical tradi-
tions. While taking her starting point with Aristotle, the
author also looked beyond the fence of Western tradition
and into the very explicit Eastern notions of the bioenergy.
Under the header Ideas of Energy in Antiquity, she writes:
In the East, the ancient Chinese held that the uni-
verse was a dynamic entity filled with continuous
cyclic flow and change. The motion of these cyclic
patterns is expressed by the concepts of yin and
yang. The yin is the female, dark, quiet and resting,
intuitive component of change and is associated
with the earth. The yang is the male, light, strong,

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VIDETTE TODARO-FRANCESCHI

creative, active component of change and is associ-
ated with heaven. Although polar opposites, to-
gether the yin and yang comprise life, where there is
a continual harmonizing of both cycles of change.
These two concepts indicate the underlying Tao
(way) or pattern of everything in the universe. The
inherently changing nature / of things is held in bal-
ance or harmony by a continuous flow of ch’i./13-14

Prana, a term that has been used in the ancient In-
dian tradition for over five thousand years, denotes
a universal or vital life energy. Often translated as
'breath' in Indian works, the concept of prana is a
central one for principles of healing in Indian
Ayurvedic medicine, which was developed from
1200 to 800 B.C. Today adherents believe that one
can regulate and manipulate the flow of prana in
order to maintain or restore health using various
alternative health care modalities, such as healing
touch./14

Being myself a bioenergy researcher, I deliberately
started my research with Paracelsus, not Aristotle. I have
had a look at Aristotle’s energeia idea before reading the
present study, and while I found his ideas about energy
interesting, they cannot be said to be scientific. I do not
judge their value, though, they are perhaps genial intui-
tions, and, who knows, may one day prove to be correct,
but I can’t see how they can be evaluated? The author
managed to very quaintly summarize the Aristotelian
teaching about energy, and this is one of the greatest merits

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

of her concise study on the conceptual framework of en-
ergy over the whole of human history:
In The Metaphysics (Book IX, Theta) Aristotle noted
the importance of energeia in relation to dynamis
(potentiality) and kinesis (change or motion). He
distinguishes two types of energeia. The first type of
energeia is an unended or imperfect actuality, for
example, walking or building. These energeiai are
said to be movements or kinesis, because they are
incomplete. The second type of energeia is a com-
plete or perfect actuality, an entelecheia, where the
end product is within the thing itself, for example,
seeing and thinking. These energeiai are referred to
in general as actualities./20

Toward the end of her study, the author asks the ques-
tion ‘What, Exactly, is Nature?’ Referring to historian and
philosopher of science R. G. Collingwood, she writes that
there are three periods in the development of the idea of
nature, which she sees coincidentally reflect the ideas of
energy.
In his discussion of the first period, the Greek view
of nature, Collingwood points out that the ancient
Greeks believed a certain vitality or ceaseless motion
existed in nature, which they generally attributed to
the soul. (...) The most important aspect of Aristotle's
conception of nature lies in his belief that all things
have a final cause, which is exhibited by the indi-
vidual thing's form. According to him the soul was
the essence of living things, and of course the form
of anything / was the purpose or reason for its be-

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VIDETTE TODARO-FRANCESCHI

coming. Overall, according to Aristotle, the teleo-
logical qualities of things were so strong that there
could be no explanation for anything in nature, in-
cluding us, without it./123-124

Collingwood notes that the second stage of the Ren-
aissance view of nature came about with the Coper-
nican discovery that our world was not the center of
the universe. The main contention during this time
became ‘the denial that the world of nature, the
world studied by physical science, is an organism
and the assertion that it is both devoid of intelli-
gence and of life’. / During this period, human be-
ings were seen as outside of, rather than a part of,
nature. We became pompous, thinking that we con-
trolled things and that we were somehow superior.
Explicit in this view was the denial of final causa-
tion. The primary focus was on matter and the natu-
ral laws by which matter changes. Science and phi-
losophy recognized only efficient causes: forces pro-
ducing effects. And finally, mathematical structure
accounted for the changes, both of a qualitative and
quantitative nature. /124-125

I believe that during this period the idea that energy
was an autonomous existent contributed to the shift
in focus. It became vaguely evident that change was
inherent in various things; that is, it was recognized
that change could occur without the provocation of
external forces or efficient causes. /125

Collingwood identifies the idea of a ‘rhythmical pat-
tern’ with the modern view of nature and acknowl-

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

edges that the new physics theories are partly re-
sponsible for this notion. But the rhythmical patterns
we now know to exist in nature also seem to denote
an inner principle of change, or an Aristotelian ‘that
for the sake of which’, originally expressed by the
ancient Greeks. So one might say we have come full
circle. /125

In conjunction with this new take on an old idea that
was present in both Eastern and Western antiquity is
the increasing awareness that intuition plays a sig-
nificant role in scientific discoveries. As the historical
background of the idea of energy attests, intuitive
ways of knowing have been crucial to the develop-
ment of scientific ideas throughout history. Many
individuals knew things, such as the energy conser-
vation doctrine, without being able to empirically
verify them. In other words, intuitive ways of know-
ing seem to have led / us in the right direction long
before we were capable of scientifically validating
what we somehow knew to be so. /125-126

I will come to an end of my book review here by not
overdoing to quote from this interesting study that I fully
recommend and endorse as one of the best books written
so far on the historical and philosophical development of
the concept of energy, and the implications of it for the
progress of science. The study provides ample references
for the researcher and its structure is scientifically meticu-
lous, and methodologically convincing.

364
William Arntz & Betsy
Chasse

What the Bleep Do We Know!?
Down the Rabbit Hole Quantum Edition
20th Century Fox, 2006 (3 DVD Set)

What the Bleep Do We Know!? was a companion for me over months
without end. It was the most important documentary I have ever seen.

Life is complexity. Looking at it through the eyes of na-
tive peoples, the eyes of Albert Einstein, or the eyes of
quantum physicists hardly makes a difference. Actually,
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

the difference is one of precision. Most native tribes do not
know much about the subatomic world, yet they know
about uncertainty and nonlocality. They do not only know
about it, but actively use these laws for connecting with
the quantum field.
Most native shamans can be at two locations at the
same time, they can relocate instantly, and travel back and
forth in time. They do this not for fancy or as a pastime,
but for healing people, for doing something useful to a
community. And the field responds. Quantum physics
teaches us that this is exactly how electrons behave, and
electrons are in touch with the base layer of the universe,
that is, the quantum vacuum, the level of the Planck scale.

In this review I would like to elucidate and review in
some detail what scientists are saying in the movie What
the Bleep Do We Know!? My idea is that, given the complex-
ity of the subject, it may not suffice to watch the movie
once or twice to really understand what is being said in the
film. It is for this reason that I found the idea useful to just
typescript some of the most interesting interviews. And I
made the discovery that, although I have watched the
movie, and even the complete Rabbit Hole Quantum Edition,
several times, I got a more complete understanding of the
various subjects treated in the movie once I wrote inter-
views down word by word, and phrase by phrase.
To begin with, this famous movie is not just about
quantum physics, while quantum physics is as it were the

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WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

‘hanger’ for the other subjects that I would like to simply
list here, as a starting point.

‣ Basic principles of quantum physics, such as uncer-
tainty and nonlocality;

‣ The basic unity and integrated wholeness of all life;

‣ Time and space are just constructs of the basic unity of
life;

‣ We are all interconnected through the quantum field;

‣ The nonlinear and co-evolving logic of living systems;

‣ The energy nature of emotions and sexuality;

‣ The danger connected with following life-denying ide-
ologies;

‣ The possibility to create our own reality;

‣ An ethical code based upon one single principle: don’t
harm another;

‣ A liberal approach to all basic life functions;

‣ Honest and truthful language in dialogue;

‣ What is the purpose of life?

‣ Why are we here?

Einstein’s achievements, as we know, were not minor
ones. I will throw some light on them here. As I am myself
not a physicist, I will reference what Fritjof Capra and oth-
ers wrote and said about Einstein. To begin with, Fritjof
Capra writes in The Turning Point (1987):
At the beginning of modern physics stands the ex-
traordinary intellectual feat of one man—Albert Ein-

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

stein. In two articles, both published in 1905, Ein-
stein initiated two revolutionary trends in scientific
thought. One was his special theory of relativity; the
other was a new way of looking at electromagnetic
radiation which was to become characteristic of
quantum theory, the theory of atomic phenomena.
The complete quantum theory was worked out
twenty years later by a whole team of physicists.
Relativity theory, however, was constructed in its
complete form almost entirely by Einstein himself.
Einstein’s scientific papers are intellectual monu-
ments that mark the beginning of twentieth-century
thought. (Fritjof Capra, The Turning Point, 63)

Einstein marked the important transition between
Newtonian physics, and quantum mechanics: it is relativ-
ity theory. With relativity, the concept of time changed from
an absolute to a relative concept. Einstein namely found that
time is relative to velocity, the speed with which a certain
amount of mass moves through space. In the Newtonian
universe, time was an absolute constant, which is why we
can say that relativity theory was nothing short of a revo-
lution in physics. Fritjof Capra explains:
Einstein strongly believed in nature’s inherent har-
mony, and his deepest concern throughout his scien-
tific life was to find a unified foundation of physics.
He began to move toward his goal by constructing a
common framework for electrodynamics and me-
chanics, the two separate theories of classical phys-
ics. This framework is known as the special theory
of relativity. It unified and completed the structure

368
WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

of classical physics, but at the same time it involved
drastic changes in the traditional concepts of space
and time and undermined one of the foundations of
the Newtonian world view. (Id., 50).

Newton and Planck can be seen as the poles from
which Einstein moved away and toward. He moved as it
were away from Newton and toward Planck, because
Planck was one of the real innovators in physics and one of
the founders of quantum mechanics.
The whole development started when Max Planck
discovered that the energy of heat radiation is not
emitted continuously, but appears in the form of
‘energy packets’. Einstein called these energy pack-
ets ‘quanta’ and recognized them as a fundamental
aspect of nature. He was bold enough to postulate
that light and every other form of electromagnetic
radiation can appear not only as electromagnetic
waves, but also in the form of these quanta. The
light quanta, which gave quantum theory its name,
have since been accepted as bona fide particles of a
special kind, however, massless and always travel-
ing with the speed of light. (…) At the subatomic
level, matter does not exist with certainty at definite
places, but rather shows ‘tendencies to exist’, and
atomic events do not occur with certainty at definite
times and in definite ways, but rather show ‘tenden-
cies to occur’. In the formalism of quantum theory
these tendencies are expressed as probabilities and
are associated with mathematical quantities which
take the form of waves. This is why particles can be
waves at the same time. (Id., 56)

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Let us first have a look at the relationship between rela-
tivity theory and quantum mechanics. Contrary to what
popular science magazines sometimes state, relativity the-
ory was not ‘left behind’, and has not been ‘superseded’ by
quantum mechanics. The laws of relativity that Einstein
found and mathematically described are still valid for the
macrocosm at large; they apply in the relationships be-
tween large bodies, and in just any situation where a
minimum amount of mass is in play. Grossly speaking,
they are valid for matter. They are not valid for the suba-
tomic realm where we deal not with mass, but with dy-
namic patterns. As Fritjof Capra writes in The Turning Point
(1982/1987):
The most important consequence of the new relativ-
istic framework has been the realization that mass is
nothing but a form of energy. Even an object at rest
has energy stored in its mass, and the relation be-
tween the two is given by Einstein’s famous equa-
tion E = mc2. (Id., 81)

Quantum physicist Fred Alan Wolf states in the Bleep
Quantum Edition:
The first inkling in physics that we got, seems to me,
came with relativity. That was the first inkling that
time was not absolute, that it was not the absolute
rule of the universe, that god almighty did not say,
one second, one second, one second, one meter, one
meter, one meter. Then, the gravitational field: your
head is actually moving at a slightly faster rate than
your feet. (DVD 1, Side A)

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WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

Let me start my review of the Bleep Quantum Edition
with a quote by David Albert, Professor & Director of
Philosophical Foundations of Physics, Columbia Univer-
sity, that mentions a very interesting point, often over-
looked in the ‘cultural’ debate of the new sciences. It re-
sponds basically to the question: ‘Would we modify certain
behaviors under the influence of what we learn from sci-
ence?’
The interesting thing about physics is that it is a
genuinely new and powerful way of trying to come
to grips with the world. I think the experimental
method which is important in physics is a very dif-
ferent business from the method of revelation or the
method of meditation, or something like that. I don’t
think it’s true that for example adherents of, say,
Buddhism, could imagine changing their beliefs
based upon the outcomes of some experiments peo-
ple do with electrons. (Id.)

Generally speaking, apart from all science, from all re-
ligion and from all learning, we need a certain basic open-
ness for acquiring real knowledge, which first and foremost
means self-knowledge. Fred Alan Wolf coins it in the for-
mula that ‘how far you want to go [down the Rabbit Hole]
really depends upon how much you want to discover
about yourself.’ (Id.)
This is the amazing truth about our interconnected
universe: knowledge always includes the observer, which
means that whatever we learn about our universe, we
learn about ourselves as organic elements of this universe.
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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

If we call the base layer of the universe the quantum
field, or the unified field or superstring field, the Planck scale,
the A-field, the zero-point-field or the quantum vacuum, it
doesn’t make a substantial difference. I do not say that the
terms I have put here are really synonymous, but to dem-
onstrate the metaphor, I have approximated the truth
somehow.
William A. Tiller clearly says in the Bleep that the zero-
point-field and the quantum vacuum are strictly speaking
not one and the same thing. So I am well conscious of my
metaphorical diction here. What I want to convey is that
what really is at the basis of all creation, of all life, and new
life, is a vibrational field so subtle that it was being over-
looked for centuries, while the Taoist sages were absolutely
aware of it, calling it the Tao or the ‘subtle energy.’
Let me collect here some quotes from the Bleep Quan-
tum Edition that show, from different scientific angles, that
we are living in a universe that is basically organic and
whole, that lives and breathes, that vibrates, and that inter-
connects all-that-is in a field of total information. This inter-
connectedness has been called entanglement, nonlocality,
connectivity, colocation, coherence, morphic resonance or the
quantum field effect.

As Fritjof Capra shows convincingly in his book The
Web of Life (1997), summarizing decades of systems re-
search, this universe is a complex whole that consists of
networks being nested within larger networks. So what we
have as the architecture of our metaverse is not a hierarchy

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WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

but a horizontal, ‘neuronal’ structure in which networks
are nested within networks. The term ‘hierarchy’ is not
appropriate here because all these networks have the same
‘value’ within the whole and they all receive the same, that
is, all the information there is. Where all is shared, we can’t
really talk about a hierarchical structure, but a networked
egalitarian structure.
This is a fundamental new insight as for millenaries all
great civilizations around the globe have considered the
universe basically consisting of hierarchies, while again,
here, the native peoples knew better. How misleading our
pre-quantum science was, is vividly described in the Bleep
by Lynne McTaggart, author of the book The Field (2002):
Science creates the stories that we build on, and sci-
ence has told us a very bleak story, it told us that
we’re some sort of genetic mistake, that we have
genes that use us basically to move on to the next
generation, and that we randomly mutate. It said
that we are outside of our universe, that we are
alone, that we are separate, and that we’re that sort
of ‘lonely mistake’ on a lonely planet in a lonely
universe … and we are now realizing that this view
of the world, this view of separateness, is one of the
most destructive things; it’s the thing that creates all
the problems in the world. And we are now realiz-
ing that that paradigm is wrong, that we aren’t sepa-
rate; we are all one, we’re all together at the very
most elementary level of our being; we’re connected,
and so we are trying to understand and absorb
‘what are the implications of that? What does this
really mean to me in my life? (Id.)

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Dean Radin, Director of Consciousness Research Labo-
ratory at the University of Nevada and author of the books
The Conscious Universe (1997) and Entangled Minds (2006)
gives an enlightening introduction into the nature of our
responsive, living and intelligent universe.
People asked me why does quantum mechanics
matter given that it’s all little tiny stuff; who cares?
There are three possible answers. From a practical
point of view, it doesn’t make any difference at all. I
mean you go out to work and drive your car and do
all the rest of it. From a second point of view, it actu-
ally infiltrates everything in the world, especially the
world of electronics. When you go to the supermar-
ket and you do the scanning at the checkout: that’s a
quantum-mechanical effect. But I think the impor-
tant part is the third one which is essentially a philo-
sophical issue. Why are philosophers so passionate
about deconstructing the assumptions of the world?
I finally got it. I got it as a result of looking at quan-
tum mechanics and comparing it to classical me-
chanics; they represent two very different ways of
thinking about the way the world works—and about
what we are. So from a classical perspective, we are
machines and with machines, there is no room for a
conscious experience, it doesn’t matter if a machine
dies, you can kill a machine, you can throw it on a
dump, it doesn’t matter. If that is the way the world
is, people will behave in that way. But there is an-
other way of thinking about the world which is sug-
gested, is pointed to, by quantum mechanics, which
suggested that the world is not that clockwork thing
but is more like an organism; it’s a highly intercon-

374
WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

nected organismic thing of some type, which ex-
tends through space and time. And that kind of en-
vironment that what I think in the way that I behave
has a much greater impact not only on myself but on
the rest of the world than what and who is in the
classical world. So from a very basic point of view
having to do with morals and ethics what I think
affects the world that’s, I mean in a sense, that’s
really the key for why a worldview change is impor-
tant. (Id.)

John Hagelin, quantum physicist, Director of the Insti-
tute of Science, Technology and Public Policy, and Profes-
sor at Maharishi University gives perhaps the simplest and
most comprehensive explanation of how we can imagine
this unified field to be:
Quantum mechanics is really the play and display of
information, play and display of potentiality, waves
of information, waves of potential electrons; it can’t
support the world of electrons, it’s the world of po-
tential electrons. But you have to ask the question:
waves of what, really? What is the field that is wav-
ing? Is it the ocean? No, it’s a universal ocean, an
ocean of pure potentiality, an ocean of abstract poten-
tial existence. We call it the unified field or super-
string field. And that’s what we are made of. (Id.)

Dean Radin speaks of ‘connectivity’ and ‘entangle-
ment’ as not just one of many properties of the quantum
field, but the most characteristic property.

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

Connectivity among all things is a basic constituent
of the fabric of reality. It’s very difficult to wrap your
mind around that, but Erwin Schrödinger said—he
is one of the founders of quantum mechanics—that
entanglement, which is that idea of this connectivity
is not just a property of quantum mechanics, it’s the
property; it’s the property of quantum mechanics
that makes it very strange, and it doesn’t seem to fit
in with our ordinary world, our ordinary experience.
But in fact, it actually does. (Id.)

It is important to understand that the unified field is a
vibrational pattern that is not filled with mass, but where
mass is absent. Stuart Hameroff, Professor of Anesthesiol-
ogy and Psychology, and Associate Director of the Center
for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona de-
scribes the properties of the unified field or vacuum field
as ‘largely empty space.’ He explains that on the subatomic
level, we are moving in wide empty space:
We were told in school that the world is made of
stuff, of matter, mass, of atoms. Atoms make the
molecules, molecules make the material world and
everything is made of that. But atoms actually are
mostly empty. For example, if this ball were the nu-
cleus of an atom, a proton of a hydrogen atom for
example, the electron circulating around that nu-
cleus, which will describe the outer levels of that
atom, would be out there by the mountain over
there, roughly 20 miles away, and everything in be-
tween is empty. In fact the universe is mostly empty.
However when we go down in scale, in the empti-
ness, we eventually come to a level, a fundamental

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WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

level of space-time geometry, the fine basement level
of the universe, where there is information, there is a
pattern, it’s called the Planck scale and it’s the fabric
of the universe. At that level there is information
that’s there since the big bang. Most of the universe,
even of matter, is actually empty. (Id.)

A much more thorough explanation is given by Wil-
liam Tiller, Professor Emeritus of Material Sciences and
Engineering, Stanford University, and I hope I have type-
scripted it correctly here:
Most people think that the vacuum is empty, but for
internal self-consistency, consistency of quantum
mechanics and relativity theory, there is required to
be the equivalent to the 1094 grams of mass energy,
each gram being e=mc2 kind of energy. Now that’s a
huge number, but what does that mean, practically?
Practically, if I can assume that the universe is flat,
then more and more astronomical data is showing
that it is flat. If I can assume that, then if I take the
volume of the vacuum in a single hydrogen atom,
that’s about 10-23 cubic centimeters. If I take that
amount of vacuum and take the latent energy in
that, there is a trillion times more energy there than
in all the mass of all of the stars and all of the planets
up to 20 billion light years. That’s big, that’s big—
and if consciousness allows you to control even a
small fraction of that, creating a big bang is no prob-
lem. (Id.)

Lynne McTaggart notes that organizations like NASA,
British Aerospace all are ‘trying to tab into this incredible

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

unimaginably large energy sea and they feel if they can tab
this and travel to different galaxies, so they understand
that in empty space, there is this unbelievable energy.’ (Id.)

I am using here Ervin Laszlo’s expression ‘puzzles and
fables’ as a metaphor for the many paradoxes quantum
physics produces when we look at it with the eyes of ‘con-
ventional’ physics. It was exactly those paradoxes that led
to the revolution in physics that we today find is estab-
lished in some way, but was not just some decades ago.
Thus the puzzles and fables really had a creative impact
and it’s as it were through their push-and-pull that the
new paradigm in natural and social sciences was going to
be leveraged. There is gravity in our science establishment,
a fact even the reader of popular science magazines is
aware of. This gravitational pull basically holds scientists
in outdated views because every move into scientific nov-
elty questions the established organizational structure,
thereby causing a threat to existing research funding and,
worse, the reputation of the researcher himself.
Now, this is really an old hat, but there is something
unique in the current paradigm shift, or transition from the
mechanistic to the quantum mechanical paradigm. It’s the
fact that the push-and-pull from quantum physics was so
strong that that scientific gravity was virtually annihilated
our outweighed by a leveraging factor of potentiality
which was unknown in all of our pre-quantum science his-
tory. Jeffrey Satinover, a psychiatrist and physicist, and

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WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

author of The Quantum Brain (2001), explains in the Bleep
Quantum Edition:
You now can see in numerous labs around the
United States objects that are large enough to be
seen by the naked eye, and they are in two places
simultaneously. You can actually take a photograph.
Now, I suppose if you show the photograph, they’d
say ‘Oh, there is this nice colored light. I see there is
a bit over here and a bit over here. We got a picture
of two dots. What’s the big deal?‘
Superposition is pre-detection. What I was speak-
ing about in the film is post-detection. Now, under
normal circumstances, a single object, once it has
been detected, is in just one position. However, there
are states of matter that have been created now in
which objects can be in multiple positions simulta-
neously, not just two, but actually as many as three
thousand positions. Now, the first of these objects
were called ‘Bose-Einstein Condensates’, and they
are single wave functions, meaning they are single
particles. But even though they are single wave
functions, the wave function has multiple positions.
The tricky point here is that it’s still a single wave
function, it’s not three thousand separate wave func-
tions. It’s one wave function, so it’s one particle. (Id.)

Thus, the emergence of the new physics was nothing
short of a novelty event in human evolutionary history!
What is so dramatic about this novelty event? It’s that it
brings us back at what Laszlo calls the ‘reenchantment of
the cosmos’, thereby linking us back to the oldest of scien-
tific traditions that were not yet fragmented by the mind-

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body split, the consciousness split so typical for modern
times. Hence, science then assumes a quality of religio in its
purest sense, a link-back to our foundations, and thereby
becomes enchanted itself, and full of religious meaning.
The most striking characteristics of the unified field are
coherence, connectivity, entanglement and nonlocality, while
one may argue that all these expressions are saying basi-
cally the same, namely that we are all connected, and that
isolation and fragmentation, if we experience them, are of
our own making, the making namely of our thought inter-
face.
John Hagelin explains that somehow we are not using
the brain in the way it was designed to be used. He asserts
that the brain is ‘actually specifically designed and care-
fully engineered to experience the unified field, to experi-
ence the unity of life.’ (Id.)
Let me put two quotes from Laszlo’s book Science and
the Akashic Field (2004) that serve as an introduction, while
they show that the new science is not so new after all, and
may be termed a scientific renaissance of yet unfathomable
dimensions.
As ancient sages knew, and as scientists are now re-
discovering, in-formation is produced by the real
world and is conveyed by a fundamental field that is
present throughout nature.

—Ervin Laszlo, Science and the Akashic Field (2004), 2

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WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

For thousands of years, mystics and seers, sages
and philosophers maintained that there is such a
field; in the East they called it the Akashic Field. But
the majority of Western scientists considered it a
myth. Today, at the new horizons opened by the lat-
est scientific discoveries, this field is being rediscov-
ered. The effects of the Akashic Field are not limited
to the physical world: the A-field (as we shall call it)
informs all living things—the entire web of life. It
also informs our consciousness. (Id., 3)

There is a unison agreement now among quantum
physicists that this field exists, while there is still little
agreement about the main characteristics of quantum
physics, that are uncertainty and nonlocality. The ground in
the quantum world, as it were, is not solid ground, it’s
floating, constantly moving, and this situation creates inse-
curity, and fear. David Albert explains this in psychological
terms that show the conceptual crux of it all, namely the
moment we want to formulate it as a solid new science
paradigm:
So, on the one hand, you have a theory which from a
conceptual standpoint was profoundly puzzling,
and on the other hand, from the practical standpoint
was vastly more successful than anything we ever
had seen before. This is the kind of situation that
produces the tension that all the investigations and
foundations of quantum mechanics are feeding off
of since then; because on the one hand, this is an
acutely paradoxical puzzling conceptually confusing
theory; on the other hand, we have no option along

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the lines of throwing it out or neglecting it because it
is the most powerful proven tool for predicting the
behaviors of physical systems that we have ever had
in our hand. (DVD 1, Side A)

As we are with puzzles and fables, Stuart Hameroff
explicates the basic laws at the fundamental creative level
of the quantum matrix:
The universe is very strange. There seem to be two
sets of laws that govern the universe. In our every-
day classical world, meaning roughly our space-
and-time scales, things are described by Newton’s
laws of motion set down hundreds and hundreds of
years ago, and they worked very well for billiard
balls and canon balls and gravity. However, when
we get down to a small scale, on the level of atoms, a
different set of laws take over. These are the quan-
tum laws, the laws of quantum mechanics, and at
that level particles may be in multiple places at the
same time (‘Superposition’), they may behave as
waves especially and temporarily (‘Wave-Particle
Duality’), they may be interconnected over great
distances (‘Entanglement’), they may be unified into
one quantum state, into one state governed by one
wave function (‘Bose-Einstein Condensates’), and
the borderline, the threshold, the curtain between
the quantum world and the classical world is really
mysterious; it’s called the ‘collapse of the wave func-
tion’ because in the quantum world everything is in
superposition of multiple possibilities, and in the
classical world, these multiple possibilities seem to

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collapse to particular definite choices - so everything
is in one particular place. (Id.)

There is another notion, next to the term ‘entangle-
ment’ that was coined by Dean Radin, it’s the term ‘coloca-
tion.’ He explains in the Bleep Quantum Edition:
Einstein didn’t believe that quantum mechanics
could be true because it required that there be
‘spooky action at a distance’. That was his term.
What he meant was let’s say when we have an ordi-
nary way the fabric of reality is we have these two
places in space; they are separate and never the
twain shall meet. But in fact it’s not true. At some
deeper level that we can’t see with our eyes accu-
rately, two places in space are the same, they are
colocated, coexisting. So, if we imagine that common
sense, in the literal meaning what your senses tell
you about the world, if that’s the way the world is
actually constructed, then things like psychic and
mystical experiences don’t make any sense at all be-
cause the whole point of psychic or mystical experi-
ences, and what makes them strange, is a sense that
there is some kind of connection between what’s
going on inside your head and things elsewhere,
elsewhere in space and in time. So what this view of
quantum mechanics provides is a way of framing
what these strange experiences are like, and it re-
frames it from somehow magically information is
getting inside my head through signals or forces or
something, into a different view, which is that, in a
sense your head, yes, is here, but it’s also spread out,
spread out through space and time. And so, when I

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am able to get a telepathic impression from some-
body at a distance, it’s not because I somehow
jumped out here and got it, but because at some
deep level my head and the other person’s head are
colocated. (Id.)

You take this notion of an entangled universe and
you apply it to human experience, because human
experience is part of the universe as well. And you
say, well, let’s assume that experiences are entangled
- how would it manifest? And we can start going to
ways in which it could manifest. If there’s a connec-
tion with another mind, we call it telepathy, and if
there’s a connection with some other objects some-
where else, we call it clairvoyance, and if there’s a
connection that happens to transcend time, we call it
precognition; and there’s a connection in which my
intention is expressed out in the world in some way,
we call it psychokinesis or distant healing. So you can
go to a list of perhaps twelve kinds of psychic expe-
rience that have gotten labels over the years, like
telepathy, but this is really just the tip of the iceberg.
(Id.)

Lynne McTaggart explains it in more traditional terms,
speaking of a ‘sea of energy’:
We’re all connected. I mean the most fundamental
thing is we are all connected by an energy field, we
swim in a sea of light, basically, which is the zero-
point field; and I say that first of all you have to get
away from the whole idea of separateness, because
separateness is the biggest problem of the world
now. (Id.)

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Fred Alan Wolf is one of the quantum physicists who is
next to Ervin Laszlo perhaps the most outspoken, and non-
hesitant, to claim a total renewal of organized spiritual ritual
to reflect the consciousness boost quantum physics trig-
gered both on the individual and the collective scale. He
voices his concern in the Bleep in clear terms:
We need a new spiritual milieu, we need a new
spiritual way of understanding the nature of what it
is to be a human being because the old ways, the old
mythologies, the old monarchy-king-god versus the
old lawful-scientist’s-way-of-doing-everything are
dead. They need to be buried. We need a new realm,
a new vision and I think that quantum physics, if
anything, can help us get a step up in the right direc-
tion. (Id.)

Besides the insight that there is one unified field of vi-
bration, energy and information that interconnects all, cre-
ates all and recreates all, for understanding our universe
we need to learn about the impact consciousness has upon
this unified field. Candace Pert, author of the book Mole-
cules of Emotion (2003), humbly states:
I think the key aspect of the new paradigm, at least
in medicine, which is my little piece, is that con-
sciousness is real and has an impact. (Id.)

While Joe Dispenza claims our need to ‘go beyond our
senses to create a new paradigm’, Fred Alan Wolf is more
explicit in that he points to the danger to focus upon the
external world when we expect the world to change. I

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would term it in the words that all change is an inside-out
process and starts at the level of human intention, and thus
on the nonmaterial level of reality.
The main question will be what’s going on inside of
you, in your brain, in your nervous system, in your
nature of observation, how memory works, how
mind works; the main question will be that what is
happening there is some kind of observer matter
into relationship which is a deed making things real
for you, affecting how you perceive reality. Such
things are not really out there, you know, you are
not changing big things, big chairs, big trucks, and
bulldozers and rockets, you are not changing all -
no. But you are changing how you perceive things
and maybe how you think about things, how you
feel about things, how you feel about the world. (Id.)

Joe Dispenza gives an important point of information
when he compares the total information our human brain
receives per second, compared with the information we are
actually processing. And the question obviously is why
human consciousness evolution has left out or has de-
graded what I call ‘direct perception’?

We know the answer in the meantime, it’s because the
brain mainly serves survival purposes before it serves cogni-
tive completeness and accurate perception.
The amount of information that the brain is process-
ing every single second tells us that there is more to
the world than what we are perceiving. … The brain
processes 400 billion bits of information a second,

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WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

but we are aware only of 2000 bits. That means that
reality is happening in the brain all the time. (Id.)

This brings me to point to the important difference be-
tween our self-reflective consciousness and perception;
perception is the more practical tool for consciousness to
operate in informing itself. Ideally, perception should be
accurate, but isn’t, the way our brain has evolved till now,
which is an insight that was voiced already back in the
1960s by Edward de Bono, in his book The Mechanism of
Mind (1969).
Now, in the Bleep Quantum Edition, Andrew Newberg,
M.D., Director of the Center for Spirituality and Neurosci-
ences, Assistant Professor in Radiology and Psychiatry,
and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Religious
Studies, University of Pennsylvania, points out that per-
ception is the pure receptory process of information gath-
ering, while consciousness is what gives meaning to every
single bit of information we receive through our percep-
tion interface:
The eyes, or generally the senses are taking this in-
formation and they are storing it but you’re not
really able to get it to mean anything until you actu-
ally put it all together; in some sense it requires the
editor’s table to really put the whole thing together,
to put your movie together about what your life and
your world is actually about. (Id.)

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Joe Dispenza puts it in even more conclusive terms:
The brain is processing 400 billion bits of informa-
tion and our awareness is only on 2000; that means
reality is happening in the brain all the time; it’s re-
ceiving that information, and yet we haven’t inte-
grated it. But if we are giving knowledge and infor-
mation outside of convention, outside the box of
conventions, for example through quantum physics
and neurophysiology, and the brain is asked to con-
template, we are asked to contemplate on that, and
examine what are some possibilities and potentials,
and associate our known with our experiences of
what we know, and repeat it over and over again,
the brain is going to start to integrate two independ-
ent neuronets and is going to create a new vision.
And that vision is going to take a flashlight and
shining it from the 2000 bits of information that have
to do with our body and our environment and time
slightly over in the dark, and looking at something
new: that’s called realization. (Id.)

How do consciousness, perception and memory work
together? This point was well explicated in the Bleep with
the example of a woman who is disgusted at all men be-
cause she hates her former husband. Amanda, when she
was young, grew up in a rather traditional environment
where she was not having the opportunity of various love
affairs until she married. For her, the marriage and the way
her husband was treating her became for her the pattern
for her love, or in one word, her love pattern. The problem

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was that her husband was having affairs with other
women, even before Amanda married him.
The tragedy in Amanda’s life was her strong attach-
ment to the past, and to her husband, for paradoxically we
cannot let go of people if we hate them. Forgiving him was
obviously out of question for her. In addition, she was ego-
centric enough to believe that her own story was a blue-
print ‘for the world’, generalizing her experience and pro-
jecting her husband upon all the males she met in her sub-
sequent life.
Now, how does it happen that the brain produces as it
were an ‘optionless’ imprint, an imprint that vandalizes
the memory surface, to become ‘all over the place’ so that
the person virtually sees herself imprisoned by a single
phantasm that repeats itself in her memory over and over
again, even many years after the original experience? Joe
Dispenza explains this mechanism conclusively.
What separates us from all other species is the ratio
of our frontal lobe to the rest of the brain. The frontal
lobe is an area of the brain that is responsible for
firm intention, for decision-making, for regulating
behavior, for inspiration. It is the seed of what
causes us to take information from our environment
and process it in sort of our brain to make decisions
and choices. There are different decisions and
choices we made in the past. The brain is made of
tiny nerve cells called neurons. These neurons have
tiny branches that reach out and connect to other
neurons to form a neuronet. Each place where they
connect is integrated into a spot for a memory. The

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brain builds in all concepts by a lot of associative
memory, for example ideas, thoughts and feelings
are often constructed and interconnected in this neu-
ronet, and all have a powerful relationship with one
another. The vast concept of love, for instance, is
stored in the vast neuronet, but we got the concept
of love from many other ideas. Some people have
love connected with disappointment; when they
think about love, they experience the memory of
pain, sorrow, anger and even rage. Rage may be
linked with the hurt which may be linked with a
specific person who stands as connected with love.
(Id.)

After this quote, the mechanism of the brain may be
clear to the reader, but it may not yet make sense why the
brain does that, or more generally put, why nature has
given memory such an importance that, in a case like
Amanda’s, obviously, it stands in the way to happiness?
Naively put, we may ask ‘Why has nature not given us a
key to simply erase any unwanted nasty rubbish memory’
to free the memory surface and help us to see life virtually
with new eyes? Well, I was naive enough to ask that ques-
tion, and much to my benefit, for I received a very clear,
and unequivocal answer already years ago. I found this
answer, that normally is given by psychiatrists, to my sur-
prise voiced in the Bleep by quantum physicist Amit Gos-
wami:
Every observation can be looked up as a quantum
measurement; this quantum measurement produces
memory. We always perceive something after reflec-

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WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

tion in the mirror of memory. It is this reflection in
the mirror of memory that gives us that sense of our
I-ness, who I am. (Id.)

I never knew that human memory is a result of quan-
tum measurements, but I knew that memory has this huge
importance in our human brain because for our survival a
firm sense of identity and an equally sure feeling of continu-
ity and constancy of perception is needed, and this is estab-
lished psychiatric knowledge. One of the most difficult-to-
cure emotional and mental disorders, schizophrenia, is
namely characterized by the faulty character or absence of
one of these three fundamental characteristics of our brain
that all have to do with the memory surface.
For example, in case all these three elements are faulty
or missing, a person would be irreversibly psychotic and
behave, from a body language point of view, much more
closely to an animal:

‣ Personal Identity
I know at any moment that I am I and that I am not
another person. I am sure of this. If at any moment, I
would suddenly be aware that I am not I but another
person, this would cause such a shock that it could
lead to sudden death or irreversible mental illness.

‣ Sense of Continuity
When I wake up in the morning I know that I am I and
that the evening before I went to sleep, and thus my
life continues. If that feeling of continuity was sud-
denly absent, even for a minute only, we could suffer
such a shock that it could result in sudden death or
irreversible mental illness.

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‣ Sense of Constancy of Perception
I know at any moment that my brain continues record-
ing, that my perception is uninterrupted. If at any
moment I would become suddenly aware that my
brain stops perceiving, this would cause such a shock
that it could lead to sudden death or irreversible men-
tal illness.

After this short explanation it may appear clear why
evolution has given such a predominant place to memory,
especially for the human being! And for this mechanism to
work properly, nature has insured to not give us a handle or
key for interrupting the memory surface for this could acciden-
tally lead to irreversible brain damage and even death.
People who have lost their memory because of accidents
have to relearn all and everything like a small child, and it
will take years, but without regaining or rather, rebuilding,
their memory surface, they cannot progress in any way in
their lives, and cannot evolve in their spiritual evolution.
So important memory is! It’s almost that you could coin
this truth in the saying ‘Human life without memory is an
impossibility!’
Now let us see how Joe Dispenza continues his inter-
esting lecture on memory and the brain, for it will become
clear why the brain doesn’t even make a difference be-
tween what it directly perceives through sensory input,
and what it remembers:
The brain does not know the difference between
what it sees in its environment and what it remem-
bers because the same specific neuronets are then
firing. We know physiologically that nerve cells that

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WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

fire together, wire together. If you practice some-
thing over and over again, those nerve cells have a
long-term relationship. If you get angry on a daily
basis, feeling frustrated on a daily basis, if you suffer
on a daily basis, if you give reasons for the victimi-
zation in your life, you are rewiring and reintegrat-
ing that neuronet on a daily basis, and that neuronet
maintains a long-term relationship with all those other
nerve cells, called an ‘identity’. We also know that
nerve cells that don’t fire together, no longer wire
together; they lose the long-term relationship, be-
cause every time we interrupt the thought process,
that produces a chemical response in the body; every
time, we interrupt it, those nerve cells that are con-
nected to each other, start breaking a long-term rela-
tionship. If we practice a mental rehearsal, our skill
in doing it will show that certain brain circuits will
grow as a result of our effort. (Id.)

The claims that William Tiller is making are not minor
ones. I would go as far as saying that they are the most con-
troversial and disputable arguments brought forward in the
Bleep. They go beyond the general criticism of the film by
David Albert who found that the ‘impact of consciousness’
on matter and generally, the universe, has never been
‘proven’ by quantum mechanics. Wayne B. Jonas, M.D., the
former Director of the Medical Research Fellowship at
Walter Reed and the Office of Alternative Medicines at the
National Institutes of Health states in a note on Dr. Tiller’s
book:

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

In Conscious Acts of Creation, Dr. Tiller makes a claim
that would not only revolutionize medicine but our
perception and approach to all reality. Unlike many
who venture into these realms, Tiller has a distin-
guished career at Stanford University and a solid
grounding in physics. If there are prophets in our
extraordinary times, he is likely one of them.

William Tiller doesn’t speak generally about the mat-
ter: he simply went about construing devices that do the
job because they were ‘conditioned’ by human intention, a
beam of strongly focused conscious awareness.
With these devices, it was found possible to raise or
lower the pH of water at 1.4 units, which is considerable,
so considerable that if that was done to the water in our
bodies, we would die upon the alteration!
We took two simple black boxes like this. Inside is a
very simple electronic circuit, a few diodes, an oscil-
lator, an eprom, some resistors and capacitors. Basi-
cally, that’s it. We wrapped one in aluminum foil, we
put it in an electrically grounded Faraday cage, and
the other, we set on a table top, around which four
very well qualified meditators, highly inner self-
managed individuals sat, and they go into a deep
meditative state, they cleanse the environment, they
make it essentially a sacred space, using their mind
in all these procedures, and their intentions, and
then one of the four speaks the specific intention for
this device. The intention is to influence a particular
target experiment, might be to increase the pH of
purifying water by 1.4 pH, or to decrease the pH by

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WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

1.4 pH units. We have used these devices on all
those experiments, and they have been robustly suc-
cessful. In the meditative process, and after one
speaks the particular intention, it’s held various
ways by the four for maybe fifteen minutes, and
then, so be it, let’s let go. And then a subsidiary in-
tention is stated to seal that imprint into the device.
We take one of these devices with its aluminum foil,
we put it in a soft package, then put it in a Fedex
packet, we ship it 2000 miles away to the laboratory
we are using, up in Minnesota, and as soon as it ar-
rives there, it goes in its own electrically isolated
Faraday cage. The next day we do the same with the
control. (…) Now, we learned over some period of
time, there was another factor. We found that the use
of these intention-imprinted electrical devices, the
continued use of this somehow conditioned the
space to some higher level of symmetry, and we start
getting new phenomena, that is the devices work,
that is the pH which is normal, starts rising, 1.4 pH,
if that was the imprint, or starts dropping. You go
down 1.4 pH, you are beyond, you are dead. I mean
that’s what it means to a human. (Id.)

Let me add on here what Alexandra Bruce wrote about
these experiments, as she is an author who published a
critical book about the movie, entitled Beyond the Bleep
(2005). Alexandra unveiled a few secrets and abnormalities
about the film that I ignored before reading her study.
Now, about Tiller’s experiments, while her approach is
critical and her anonymous physicist advisor was outspo-
kenly skeptical regarding Tiller’s experiments, Alexandra

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writes in her summary of Chapter Ten, ‘William Tiller and
Conscious Acts of Creation’:
Tiller’s ideas are certainly intriguing, suggesting a
mathematical and completely scientific explanation
of the soul, consciousness and the interplay between
the subtle and gross physical realms. It is especially
interesting that Tiller’s experimenters recorded and
documented the residual effects of consciousness on
a location used in numerous experiments, where by
the effects of the ‘imprinting’ continued to resonate
in the space and affect the subsequent experiments.

—Alexandra Bruce, Beyond the Bleep: The Definite Unauthorized
Guide to ‘What the Bleep Do We Know!?’, New York: Disinformation,
2005, p. 150.

One could possibly doubt these findings if they were
standing alone in a desert landscape of innovative science,
but they don’t. They are not isolated research events and
actually fit rather well in a series of similar experiments
conducted by other researchers over the last two decades
or so.

Let me first come back to Dean Radin, whose scientific
corroboration of psychic phenomena has grown largely
beyond the ‘Uri Geller’ audience in that they can be said to
represent conclusive scientific evidence as to the existence
of psychic powers and the various phenomena correlated
to exercising those powers, consciously or unconsciously.
Today, any skeptic who rants about mental derangement
when psychic phenomena are concerned really should en-
gage a reality check with Radin’s research, or he risks to

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WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

lose his credulous negativist audience. Nobody can ever be
so negative to discard out scientific research that has been
time-tested and peer-reviewed, or he risks to lose his own
credibility as a ‘skeptic’.
Dean Radin reports random-number generator ex-
periments that are really uncanny and seem to stand in
line with Tiller’s experiments in that they show that hu-
man intention does matter and influences research results
on a probability scale considerably higher than random,
and thus largely beyond pure chance.
One type of random-number generators type of ex-
periment has been conducted many many times,
hundreds of times over the past four decades or so,
since around the 1960s. That’s been a random gen-
erator that only produces sequences of random bits,
zeroes and ones, like clipping coins, and you would
simply ask somebody to press the button would
produce 200 bits and you ask them to say ‘Well, try
to make it produce more one bits than zero bits, and
when you take the entire body of literature, all of the
hundreds of experiments that had been done, you
can ask a single question. Did it matter that people
were trying to push it toward one or to push it to-
ward zeroes, and the overall answer is ‘Yes, it does
matter. Somehow intention is correlated with the
operation, with the output of these random number
generators, such that if you wish for more ones,
somehow the generators produce more ones. (Id.)

What is a random number generator? It is an electronic
device quite similar to those construed by Tiller’s team,

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THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

that consist of a few diodes, resistors, an eprom and a sim-
ple electronic circuit. Other scientists and authors agree.
Fred Alan Wolf, not minor a capacity in quantum physics,
states in the film:
That actually keeps us wonder how people can af-
fect the world they see. You bet that they are! Every
single one of us affects the reality that we see, even if
we try to hide from that and play victim. We all are
doing it. (Id.)

Lynne McTaggart says that those who think about
quantum physics being ‘arbitrary’ and ‘random’, forget to
account for ‘the extraordinary effect of human thought, of
human intention.’ (Id.) So why do obviously only a select
few really create their own reality? Why are we not all cre-
ating our own reality in a conscious and deliberate man-
ner? Is it because we lack out on the basic knowledge that
we do have this capacity?
This is certainly one of the reasons. Our schools as
good as never tell children about those things, and gen-
iuses different from ordinary people in that they validate
their intuitive knowledge higher than any knowledge they
absorb from schools, universities or the media. William
Tiller brings it on a simple equation, saying that most peo-
ple ‘don’t affect reality in a substantial consistent way be-
cause they don’t believe they can.’ (Id.) Regarding psychic
powers, researched showed that indeed, when we main-
tain negative beliefs about the existence of those powers,
we enjoy them to a much lesser extent. Hence, such beliefs

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WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

are actually ‘negatively creative’ and thereby can posi-
tively obstruct our human potential!
In addition, Joe Dispenza references experimental data
that suggest that ‘the average person loses their intention
span every six to ten seconds per minute’. (Id.) As a matter
of fact, when intention is not consistent, its effect upon the
quantum field of life is considerably weakened. My work
with self-suggestions showed me over the years that af-
firmations that are short-lived and inconstant are little ef-
fective; worse, they can even produce the opposite effect
when they are outweighed by negative self-talk or strong
resentment impacting upon the person’s emotions for a
prolonged period of time. To put it in a slogan, when you
are not consistent in a positive manner, you are very likely
to be consistent in a negative manner, so your outcome will
be pretty much the contrary of what you expected! When
you wish a Cadillac today and a Mercedes tomorrow, and
you do not consolidate your wish list, you create only con-
fusion in your mind, and the outcome will be either noth-
ing or a negative. This is why being ‘single focused’ is im-
portant for success.
When one wants to focus intent you want to be a
singleness of mind, that’s why some of the old occult
teachings teach people to focus on a flame, a match
flame in fact, so that you learn to bring your atten-
tion into a very short channel so that the energy density
becomes greater. (Id.)

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It is indeed all a matter of channeling creative energy,
part of which process is to bundle the energy beam, so as to
render it targeted. The power of our creation really de-
pends on the mental and emotional energy invested in it,
when this energy is consistent with the intention it con-
tains. Why is this so? It has to do with the layered structure
of consciousness. There are various layers and the art of
reality creation is to remain on one single layer, and not
switch layers. Hagelin explains:
The mind is structured in layers just like the uni-
verse is structured in layers, from superficial to pro-
found, and if we use the mind at the very superficial
level of ordinary thought, we have very limited
power and barely move a speck of dust across the
table top, without using our hands, so weak con-
sciousness can be. But at the deepest level of con-
sciousness, consciousness creates universes. There
are just different levels of truth. The deepest level of
truth that is covered by science and by philosophy is
the fundamental truth of unity, and on that deepest
subnuclear level of our reality, you and I are literally
one. (Id.)

We have seen so far in this review that when we are
using the quantum field as the unifying intelligent base
layer of the universe, we can bring about what Tiller calls
‘conscious acts of creation.’ That means we can co-create
reality, using intention as the motor, for we then attune the
quantum space to our intentional vibration. It’s exactly
what Tiller’s experiments were about, only that they at-

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tuned an electronic box to receive conscious intention, and
to propagate it later, and you are going to do this with
your subconscious mind. Your black box is your own un-
conscious.
Candace B. Pert, Professor of Physiology and Biophys-
ics, Georgetown University Medical School and author of
Molecules of Emotion (2003) boldly states in the Bleep Quan-
tum Edition:
And we all create our own realities, and we do that
because we are the observer; we are each the own
observer of our own reality; and each of our indi-
vidual consciousnesses creates our own individual
reality, in the most amazing way. (Id.)

I find it intriguing to see in which precise ways the in-
sights of quantum physicists, spiritual teachers, successful
psychiatrists, famous artists and outstanding entrepre-
neurs coincide when it goes to explain the why and how of
programming one’s personal reality. This shows me that
this information and insight is available to all of us, and
not only to some chosen elite. This insight is intuition! What
most mediocre people do is to foreclose, in one or the other
way, this natural knowledge about high achievement in
order to justify their limitative worldview and to have a
reason for engaging in self-pity and endless procrastina-
tion.
Let us see, what on the other hand a conscious indi-
vidual has to say about the subject, and how we can relate

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his teaching about creating reality with other known
methods of reality creation.
I wake up in the morning and I consciously create
my day in the way I want it to happen. Now, some-
times, because my mind is examining all the things
that I need to get done, it takes me a little bit to settle
down and get the point of what I am actually in-
tending to creating my day.
But here’s the thing, when I create my day, and out
of nowhere, little things happen that are so unex-
plainable. I know that they are the process or the
result of my creation. And the more I do that, the
more I build the neuronet in my brain; that I accept
it, that’s possible, gives me the power and the incen-
tive to do it the next day.
So in order for us to change the chemistry, we
would literally have to change the neuronet, which
means we have to change our identity, which means
we have to change our attitude, and change the way
we interact with our environment. And every time
we keep being the same person, and keep experienc-
ing the same attitudes, all we are doing is reinforcing
ourselves as our identity. (Id.)

Let me now ask a common and actually very old ques-
tion. ‘Who is creating reality in us, our ego or inner con-
troller, or our higher self?’ Indeed, for mechanistic think-
ers, the idea of reality creation must be frightening because
they imagine people would ‘mess up’ the world with cre-
ating highly contradictory realities, which at the end

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would fight against each other. This is really a misconcep-
tion and was unveiled as such by Fred Alan Wolf:
One of the things that comes up about creating real-
ity is what happens when there are two people each
creating a different reality. What there happens,
what goes on there? Well, the first thing to realize,
the idea that you create your own reality, if by ‘you’
you mean that ego person that you think is running
your show creates your reality, is probably wrong.
It’s probably not that you that’s creating your reality
at all. The you that really is creating your reality is
what I call the ‘gooey in between the frames stuff’;
that’s the true you. (Id.)

I think this is a very important point. It is obvious that,
if reality was created by our egos, the dim picture given by
mechanistic thinkers would probably be true. But it’s not
our ego that is in any way involved in creating reality.
Amit Goswami, Professor Emeritus of Physics, University
of Oregon, explains that all choices about how we wish our
reality to be are being made in a nonordinary state of con-
sciousness, not with our day-to-day thoughts and emotional
patterns.
The place from where we choose to create my own
reality, that place of consciousness is a very special
nonordinary state of being where the subject-object
split tends to disappear. And it is from this nonordi-
nary state that I choose; and therefore, the ordinary
exultation of the new ager also disappeared until it
was forced to face the reality that there is really no
free lunch: we have to meditate and reach these

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nonordinary states of consciousness before we be-
come the creator of our own reality. (Id.)

This means we have to engage in a more or less thor-
ough and consistent spiritual practice in order to be able to
reach a deep meditative state where the inner controller or
‘survival program’ is put to rest, and where we connect
with the quantum field, which is a field of infinite possi-
bilities, of pure potentiality. Within that innermost realm,
and only there, we can reach out into novelty.

In all great success there is an element of novelty,
something that was hardly predictable before the person
succeeded on their particular path; this is what makes the
essential part of success in that it is part of a new reality
that has been created, consciously or implicitly. As Edward
de Bono states it: ‘Once a new idea springs into existence it
cannot be unthought.’ Imagination alone does not bring
the result; it depends on how it is channeled. It seems that
imagination must serve a clearly defined purpose or inten-
tion in order to be effective as a ‘reality creating device.’

Joe Dispenza
I think if we keep quantum physics and the under-
standing very simple for the lay person that our ob-
servation has a direct effect on our world, I think if
we keep it very simple, then people can get about
the business of beginning to practice the skill of ob-
servation. See, the subatomic world responds to our
observation but the average person loses their atten-
tion span every six to ten seconds per minute. (…) If

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we’re given the proper knowledge, the proper un-
derstanding, and given the proper instruction, we
should begin to see measurable feedback in our life;
if you make the effort to sit down and design a new
life, and you make it the most important thing, and
you spend time every day feeding it like the gar-
dener feeds a seed, you will produce fruit. (Id.)

William A. Tiller
It has such flexibility that anything you want to cre-
ate, it will create, and you learn that your intention
causes this thing to materialize once you are con-
scious enough. (Id.)

Some people, influenced by religious dogma, tend to
this they were ‘too insignificant’ to have any impact upon
their lives? If this was so, we could not be co-creators, and
we could not create our own reality. William Tiller states:
Capacity is in our bodies to be coherent. And that
manifests higher and higher energy density levels,
and to be big time creators. Just up to us, we have
the free will to not do it, or to do it, and then it just
takes time, and practice. (Id.)

A philosopher once compared humans with the bil-
lions of grains of sand on a beach, and this image has been
interpreted as a metaphor for the insignificance of human
beings in the cosmos. This is, in my view, a fundamental
error. Who, tell me, knows about the importance of an indi-
vidual grain of sand in the whole of the cosmos, or even
the whole of creation? The problem with reality creation is

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that if you work from a negative interface, you will create a
negative reality. Hence the importance of clearing the
memory surface through prayer and meditation, as a proc-
ess of inner cleansing. When people are stuck in emotional
hangups, they need to work through those hangups first in
order to be able to create a consistent, and consistently
positive, reality. Let us see what Dr. Daniel Monti, Director
of Mind-Body Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University has
to say about this:
Sometimes it requires understanding that emotional
pattern and connecting the parts of the nervous sys-
tem that are about emotional survival and cognitive
appraisal, and working through the emotional
stuckness. That’s why I suppose there are so many
different types of therapies; there is therapies that
are geared more looking at emotions, more looking
at cognitions, more looking at behavioral ways you
can help yourself get out of the pattern. But I think,
again, looking at the human organism, as every liv-
ing system, as an integrated whole, that there are
ways of integrating cognition, emotion, behavior,
physiology in your approach to change. Then, that’s
what is going to be most helpful. And there are a
variety of techniques that can help a person to do
that. See, I think what you want here is ‘What is that
thing a person can do?’ Well, I don’t think there is a
thing. I think there is a process. For somebody who
is in that kind of a pattern, there is a process of
things that person has to go through before they can
do that in a consistent way, repeatedly, so that they
actually relearnt a new way of behaving. (Id.)

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But please do not lure yourself with the great promises
done in the Bleep. I do not say they are wrong, I do not say
they are exaggerated. I do say they apply for people who
do not suffer from major hangups! If you are as ‘incurable’
as Amanda do not blame the Bleep if reality creation
doesn’t work for you but get to see the whole of the pic-
ture! If you have a hangup with your past, you can’t just
simply apply the teachings of the movie, but first have to
clear your memory surface from the negative imprint. On
the other hand, people are often overwhelmed with beliefs
and ideologies that they take for granted, which means
they take religious, social or political concepts for ‘reality’
and behave according to the demands imposed by those
group fantasies.
Dr. Miceal Ledwith, theologian and formerly Professor
of Systematic Theology at Maynooth College in Ireland,
explains:
These are bizarre ideas, but obviously they have a
great hold on the fears and the limitations, and the
insecurities of people, which is why religion can
play so effectively, whether deliberately or other-
wise, on those insecurities. People fall in line very
readily when they are trapped by these cosmic sen-
tences of everlasting punishment. (Id.)

Fritjof Capra speaks of a ‘sustainable science’ to be
worked out for the future, and Valerie Hunt, already back
in the 1980s, envisioned a ‘Science of the Human Vibra-
tions of Consciousness’, sub-title of her book Infinite Mind

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(1989/1996). In the Bleep Quantum Edition, the question
was answered implicitly and the contours of such a new
science are still blurred from what I could gather in the
film. However, this lacking sharpness doesn’t surprise. I
actually think it’s because of the high level of complexity
involved that it will take years or decades to work this sci-
ence out, and it will probably not be done single-handedly
but as a complex team project. What I have got from the
film is that the main part of that science somehow would
deal with human intention and how intention impacts upon
our material world. Another task of that science would be
to integrate the insights we gained from quantum physics,
with those gained by psychoneuroimmunology, and the
vibrational nature of human emotions.
Joe Dispenza gives useful comments on how we actu-
ally can impact upon our neuronet by focusing on certain
wanted outcomes, stopping to focus on unwanted ones.
But even prior to using such techniques that he boils down
to the slogan ‘creating my day’, he explains that all knowl-
edge gathering leads to changes in the neuronet, which
actually means that the old maxim that ‘books make you
wiser’ is true, not just in the literal sense that you gain
more knowledge, but in the sense that the very fact of
gathering knowledge regularly through reading books
renders your neuronet more complex, with the result that
your IQ will go up because of more ‘preferred pathways’
in your grey matter. I think this is important to know as a
starting point.

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Knowledge allows the brain to begin to become
wired, and we will begin to see what has always
existed, but because we live in those routine-
automated programs, we’re unable to see because
we are processing mind from the familiar. To learn
knowledge means we’re learning new things, and
learning new things means we’re gathering informa-
tion and creating the circuitry now to begin to de-
velop the sensitivity to begin to see things the first
time. (DVD 1, Side A)

While Dr. Daniel Monti puts the stress on the therapeu-
tic nature of this knowledge, speaking of a basic ‘ability to
change’ that is part of the nervous system and makes out
its ‘plasticity’, for Stuart Hameroff and Fred Alan Wolf, it’s
also the fact that science and spirituality will begin to func-
tion as complementary ingredients in that kind of metasci-
ence to be created in the future. Fred Alan Wolf affirms that
while quantum physics was mainly an achievement of the
20th century, the ‘new reaching of science and spirituality’
will be one of the tenets of the 21st.
In my view, the main problem part of that new science
will be its lacking coherence, or the rather enormous task
to work out this coherence, while for the moment, the pic-
ture quantum physics offers is, to repeat it, one of ‘fables
and puzzles’. There is not much help in Tiller’s statements
that we are co-creators and somehow responsible for all we
find ‘out there’ in the world, not only because Krishna-
murti said this before him. There is also not much help in
the insight that when you come back out of the rabbit hole,

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you have gained what Terence McKenna called ‘the greater
picture’ and you come to a point of ‘sudden realization’ of
your true nature. There is practically speaking no contro-
versy about these assumptions; the problem is how to in-
tegrate them with quantum physics without, as Professor
Albert would put it, ‘grabbing at those concepts’ in an at-
tempt to justify your desired outcome with quantum phys-
ics as the ultimate backup provider for ‘all kinds of agen-
das’.
But before I am discussing Albert’s rather important
‘dissenting vote’ on that matter, let me provide some
quotes that make it clear enough that on the very matter of
quantum physics, we are far away from something like a
scientific theory that is sustainable and sufficiently dis-
cussed so that a consensus doctorum could be reached in the
near future.
To say, I am convinced that no such consensus will be
reached; in the contrary, I speculate that the paradoxes and
various split theories will duplicate and several branches
will develop within quantum physics that divide scientists
even more into various camps.

Fred Alan Wolf
Let’s talk about the subatomic world, and then we
talk about what science has to do with reality. The
first thing to know about the subatomic world is that
it’s totally fantasy-created by mad physicists trying
to figure out what the heck is going on when they do
these little experiments. With little experiments I

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WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

mean big energy in very little spaces and little pieces
of time. It gets pretty nutty at that realm of things,
and so subatomic physics was invented to try to fig-
ure that all out. We need a new science down there,
it’s called quantum physics and it is subject to a
whole range of hypotheses, thoughts, feelings, intui-
tions as to what the heck is really going on. (Id.)

The new science Fred Alan Wolf talks about is in his
terms quantum physics itself, not a science that goes be-
yond quantum physics and integrates it in a larger whole.
But I wonder if this statement is to be taken serious be-
cause quantum physics is not ‘a new science’, it’s around
since quite a time now, and the fact that there is very little
consensus within the scientific community regarding
quantum physics doesn’t make this science a bit ‘newer’,
while it may make it a huge bit more inaccessible for the
lay person. If already scientists are virtually wading in a
mess of split-opinions, how can the lay person ever get an
accurate picture of that ‘science’, I wonder? I guess many a
person confronted for the first time with quantum physics
will simply discard out the very idea that it’s a science.
Where is the order, the methodic consistency, and the
verifiability of all parameters of that science? There is very
little to find that at least in traditional terms could qualify
quantum physics as a real science. And let me agree with
Professor Albert here, that the Bleep really made the quan-
tum mess even bigger. There is one figure in the film that I
do not quote in this review and that I do not even name

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because of various reasons, for that figure did a good job to
instill in the movie’s audience the clear impression that
quantum physics can legally serve as the ‘overall denomi-
nator’ for making huge amounts of money on people’s
complete naiveté regarding the spiritual facts of life. And
here is where I myself was put off, and where my inner
coherence was disturbed when we are talking about sci-
ence. Otherwise, honestly, I wouldn’t bother, there is all
kind camps in the new age, but why calling them scientific?
I will now provide some quotes from DVD 1, Side A
that all point to the hitherto unresolved riddles in quan-
tum physics and the fact that, to paraphrase Dr. Albert,
most of them simply go against our ‘psychological reality’.

David Albert
The fundamental equations of physics have a prop-
erty which is referred to as time-reversal symmetry.
And what time-reversal symmetry means is that a
set of laws which are time-reversal symmetric are
laws that have a falling feature; for any process that
is in accord with those laws, the same process going
backwards is exactly as much in accord with those
laws. That ought to mean that … people get younger
looking as often as they get older, that we have the
same kind of access vis-à-vis knowledge to the fu-
ture as we do to the past, that by acting now we
ought to influence the past, just as much as we can
influence the future. All of that is wrong, all of that
comes into violent conflict with the way we psycho-
logically experience the world.

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WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

Fred Alan Wolf
One of the most unpalatable ideas, still, in spite of
the fact that quantum physics is being around for a
long time is the possibility or the notion that the fu-
ture can have a causative effect on the present. We
believe that the past can have a causative effect on
the present. I hold the ball, I drop it, and my drop-
ping it is the cause of its falling to the ground; but
could the ground be the cause of my dropping the
ball in the first place?

Stuart Hameroff
Our everyday conscious experience is that it seems
we are moving forward in time. In quantum theory
it also goes backwards in time and there is some-
thing suggesting that processes in our brain or our
consciousness project backwards in time.

David Albert
We don’t know, in quantum mechanics, how to hook
ourselves as observers up with the world; we don’t
know how to treat ourselves as observers, as just
another part of the physical system that we are de-
scribing. The only way we are doing quantum me-
chanics, as it is traditionally formulated, is to keep
the observer outside of the system we are describ-
ing. The moment you put them in you get all those
paradoxes, and we are forced to say in quantum me-
chanics and we are saying things like ‘Look, the
book is doing what it is doing because of quantum
mechanics and that is because I am there and I see it.
And you better not try to analyze that second part of
sentence in terms of a quantum mechanics tool be-

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cause it’s going to break down. That’s why there are
these two separate laws of the evolution of physical
systems, one that applies when you are not looking
at them, the other that applies when you are. But
that’s crazy!

Fred Alan Wolf
There is no way that we are ever going to mathema-
tize or put into mathematical formula this very act in
which a conscious observer comes up with the an-
swer. People say ‘Oh, measure it, record it, it’s on the
tape, it’s recorded!’ You forgot one part in the equa-
tion: somebody has to look at the tape and until
somebody looks at the tape, it isn’t recorded at all.

David Albert
It’s easy to generate situations where the equations
of motion would predict let’s say the wave function
that makes the size of a certain basket ball; it’s uni-
formly scripted all over the basket ball. You don’t
have any idea what a stake like that would look like.
According to the law of quantum mechanics, that’s
supposed to be a state in which it fails to make any
sense even to ask the question ‘Where is the basket
ball?’

Jeffrey Satinover
We did these experiments and we got certain results,
and in the light of these results, we asked the ques-
tion of the form which path that the electron could
have taken. And if there are two options like that,
it’s just a matter of standard classical logic. There are
four logic possibilities. A, B. Both. Neither. Okay?

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WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

We went through those possibilities, one by one, and
designed an experiment in each case to test that pos-
sibility. And the answer in each of the four cases was
negative. Okay? It doesn’t go through route A. How
do we know that? Because when we put in a total of
nothing box in route A, it has an effect on this parti-
cle. But a total of nothing boxes don’t have an effect
on particles that pass through them.
It doesn’t go through route B for the same reason.
It doesn’t go through both routes because if we stop
the experiment in the middle, we always find it ei-
ther on one route or the other, but not both, and it
doesn’t take neither route because if we just block
up the two routes and leave everything else open,
nothing gets through.
So we can systematically, piece by piece, eliminate
all of the four logical possibilities, okay, given the
assumption that it makes sense to ask the question
‘Which route did it take?’

Now, let us apply some common sense regarding that
‘new science’ to be created, that shall be, when we take the
Bleep serious, an amalgam of quantum physics, psy-
choneuroimmunology, research on human intention, tech-
niques for creating our own reality, and the quest for self-
knowledge through meditation, yoga or other kinds of
constant spiritual practice. Now, I find this very beautiful
indeed, and a wonderful perspective for our future, and
human evolution in general. But how will it be possible to
reach a true integration of science and spirituality in view
of the fact that quantum physics actually gets more frag-

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mented over time, and dissected in various camps or ‘dis-
senting opinions’? It doesn’t make sense. It is logical that
for reaching the highest level of coherence and integrated
complexity of such a metascience, the first thing to do is to
integrate quantum physics itself as the main part of that science,
and to reach a scientific consensus so that we can talk
about one single body of quantum physics. What we have now
is not one science of quantum physics, but at least five or
ten different sciences of quantum physics, depending on
the ‘interpretation’ you take. The world is explained in to-
tally different terms if you take the ‘Copenhagen interpre-
tation’ or the ‘Parallel worlds hypothesis’, or else Roger
Penrose’s model. And here I don’t even need to talk about
alternative models such as Rupert Sheldrake’s morphic
resonance, that also make sense somehow.
Professor David Albert was very explicit about claims
being made in the Bleep that were not in his view in
alignment with the precepts of quantum physics. As Alex-
andra Bruce writes in Beyond the Bleep (2005), Albert was
publicly disgruntled at the Bleep, and was giving state-
ments in various newspapers to vent his anger at being
misrepresented in the final cut of the movie.
I do agree that a quantum physicist should not seek
enlightenment from any other source than science itself.
Here, Albert is only consistent with his own expansive sci-
entific insights and ideas. And he shows perhaps more
character than the other scientists in the film in his attempt

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WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

at safeguarding the virtue of ‘scientific correctness’ to a
point to sweep spiritual merchants out of the temple.
Now, this is of course valid only for the first version of
the film, the original What the Bleep movie, not for the later
Quantum Edition where the entire set of critical interviews
is published on DVD 1, Side B. It has to be noted also that
Albert’s criticism never is personal, at least not from the
material contained on the DVD set. I do not know about
other statements or what he said to the press other than
what Alexandra quoted in her booklet.
But I definitely consider Albert’s ‘dissenting vote’ as
important enough to be discussed more in detail, and that
is the reason I have decided to quote the most important
part of the interview in full length, and by the way, from
my own typescript of the Quantum Edition.
One of the important innovations of quantum me-
chanics is that a certain fantasy that held in physics
up until then about the possibility of observing
something entirely passively, observing it without
affecting it in the process of observing, however
things turn out, it’s fairly clear now that quantum
mechanics will have ended that permanently. Look-
ing at things involves interacting with them and it
involves interacting with them in a way whose effect
can’t be minimized, no matter how delicate your
technology is …

The physical process of making a measurement has
a very profound effect. There have been a whole
bunch of speculations in the literature as to what it is

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about the process of making a measurement that has
this effect and how it is that the process of making
measurements have the effects that they do? One of
the speculations about this which had its heyday in
the 1950s and 60s in the scientific and philosophical
literature was that the active agent here was con-
sciousness, and people were excited about this for
all sorts of obvious reasons because that is a very
new sort of link between physics and something that
seemed altogether outside of physics until then.

Much of the talk that goes on in quantum mechanics
that goes on in the film is centered around these
speculations, and one of the points I wanted to make
this morning was that those speculations haven’t
played a role in what I regard as the serious scien-
tific and philosophical literature on this subject, for
thirty years or so. There was a certain period where
people were speculating like that, there was, as I
mentioned this morning, a series of progressively
more and more embarrassing conversations of the
form ‘Well, can I cause these effects with my con-
sciousness, can a mouse cause these effects with its
consciousness?’

Eventually, it was clear that the words involved here
were so imprecise, were so slippery, that you
wouldn’t be able building a useful scientific theory
around them; and the idea was dropped. It’s also the
case that even if those ideas had turned out to be
useful and true in physics, they wouldn’t have pro-
duced the picture of the world that seems to me we
get in ‘What the Bleep’; even if consciousness was

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WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

the agent, all these theories had the operations of
this consciousness regulated by very strict external
concrete solid mathematical laws. The jump from
the involvement of consciousness, even if it was
there, to these larger claims like ‘I create my own
reality’, ‘I choose my experience’, ‘consciousness is
the foundation of all being’, ‘there is room in the
world for this intangible phenomenon of freedom’,
and so on and so forth, these wouldn’t have fol-
lowed even if the consciousness picture of meas-
urement had succeeded; and the consciousness pic-
ture of measurement didn’t succeed.

The positive thing to say is there is a huge amount of
interesting work going on over the last twenty years,
trying to understand how measurements do cause
the effects that they cause. This work is all in a vein
that this film would call a much more mechanistic
picture of the world; this work has to do with trying
to figure out how to alter the equations in order to
produce these changes, or how to add physical
things to our picture of the world in order to show
how these changes come about; they are not at all
centered on issues of the possible agency of con-
sciousness.

If there’s something you wanna put your finger on,
one of the profound philosophical shifts between
classical mechanics and quantum mechanics, it’s
that classical mechanics is built from the ground up
around what we now know is a fantasy of the possi-
bility of observing things passively, or the possibility
of when you get more and more careful, more and

419
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

more closely approaching the position of observing
things in a perfectly passive way, observing things in
such a way that you are sure that you’re not in the
process of disturbing something changing the very
thing you are trying to observe.

Quantum mechanics put a decisive end to that; this
phenomenon of incompatible observables that I was
talking about this morning makes it very clear that
with measurements, there is a minimum and finite
disturbance that you are going to have to cause to
any system by measuring anyone of its physical
variables, and there is going to be no way, no kind of
technological advancement that can reduce it below
that definite finite level.

Mind you, everybody always knew that in order to
measure a system you have to interact physically
with it in one way or the other, but like I say, the fan-
tasy was that you could make this interaction more
and more delicate, as your technology got better.
Quantum mechanics put a decisive end to that;
quantum mechanics gives us a theoretical unsur-
passable finite minimum interaction which you
must have with the system, if you’re going to get
any information out of it. That’s a very decisive
change.

So this picture of ‘passive observation’ is gone; like I
say, it was a tempting move in the context of the dis-
covery like that to say ‘Well, what we mean by ob-
servation, what is it that is disturbing?’, it was a
natural thing to grab at something like conscious-

420
WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

ness; observers have consciousness, and so on and
so forth; there were other things they grabbed at just
as instinctively: macroscopicness, the macroscopic-
ness of the measuring apparatus as opposed to the
microscopicness of the measuring object, the cut be-
tween subject and object; there were all sorts of
things to grab at. Consciousness was one of the
things that was grabbed at; it was grabbed at very
tentatively; it was in fairly short order followed up
to the point where it looked like a dead end in so far
as the progress of physics was concerned, and it
hasn’t played a role since then, except in certain at-
tempts to appropriate quantum mechanics to other
kinds of agendas, new age agendas, or deconstruc-
tionist agendas, or post-structuralist agendas, and so
on and so forth.

Science is a very messy, very back-and-forth, very
complicated, very social, very human institution,
like other institutions. Of course, there isn’t univer-
sal agreement among scientists, particularly about
the foundations of quantum mechanics, of course
there are messes all over the place – but if you just
say that and leave it there, I think you are not doing
the situation justice. There is still a really important
distinction between two quite different ways that
you can come at the world; both of them are imper-
fect, both of them are messy, both of them are back-
and-forth, but there is a pasture of coming at the
world with the demand that you are going to find
something that makes you feel good, that you are
going to find something therapeutic, that you are
going to find what lies at the center of the universe,

421
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

what lies at the foundation of all being, is some at-
tractive, powerful, safe, accessible, reassuring image
of yourself.

This is the way the Vatican came at the world in its
dispute with Galilei, this is the way the Victorians
came at the world in their dispute with Darwin. The
problem that the Vatican had with Galileo is that
humanity was being displaced from the center of the
universe, the problem that the Victorians had with
Darwin was that the ancestry of humanity was not
as dignified and not as reassuring as people wanted
it to be. It seems to me that one of the important his-
torical distinctions that science is entitled to is that
it’s science that always represents the resistance to
this impost; it’s science that always represents the
demand that you come at the world with open and
authentic wonder and with sharp, cold, clear eyes,
and in a way that singularly intends on getting at
the truth, whether the truth ends up being reassur-
ing and therapeutic, or not.

The statements in the film in the form of ‘conscious-
ness is the ground of all being’ or ‘consciousness
links up with the consciousness of the unified field’,
and so on and so forth, I must say this was primarily
disturbing to me. I hear in all this vivid echoes of the
Vatican’s position that the earth is at the center of the
universe, or of the anti-Darwinian position, that man
was created by God, that we are somehow specially
important, that we somehow have a special role to
play, or a special link, a special connection with
what’s at the foundation of the world. We don’t

422
WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

know that, and our job in searching through the
world is to find out if that’s true or not, not to come
at the world with a demand that it be true, or not to
select which scientific theory or belief whether that
scientific theory or belief seems to endorse that kind
of claim. (DVD 1, Side B)

Let me begin my discussion from the end of this quote
upward, for the simple reason that his last paragraph is a
stark rhetoric that questions the self-image of the movie-
makers who understand themselves as open-minded, anti-
clerical and progressive people. In fact, the movie was at-
tacked most by Christian fundamentalist circles in Ameri-
can society, so what Albert is saying here really sounds like
paradoxical.
But I will try to develop his whole idea from that
statement ‘upwards’ in his speech, as I believe it will be
easier to understand his point than by going ‘downwards’
in his speech, the way he developed his argument. We
simply face the peak argument at the end, which is why I
begin ‘with the end in mind.’ Let me first ask a loaded
question. Is it legitimate to bring a comforting message to
an audience of mostly non-scientists that uses science as
the backup for one’s good-willed and, why not, humani-
tarian intention? I think we all agree that it’s legitimate to
bring comforting messages to people in our cinemas,
rather than bringing out movies that are filled with mur-
der, violence and perversity. But is it legitimate to do so
and quote scientific insights and theories to corroborate

423
THE NEW PARADIGM IN SCIENCE AND SYSTEMS THEORY

one’s message? I think it is provided that what one refers
to in terms of ‘scientific insights and theories’ really holds
the promise, and really can be extrapolated in that manner,
without appropriating the scientific method for justifying
one’s particular agenda.
So, to bring it to the point, does quantum physics, from
all we know about it, conclusively explain that:

‣ Science and spirituality are not opposed, but comple-
mentary;

‣ We create our own reality;

‣ We impact upon reality by conscious awareness;

‣ We have psychic powers through the unified field;

‣ We can be ‘avatars’ just as ‘the Buddhas and Jesus’
(William Tiller);

‣ etc.

When we look at Albert’s argument closely, we see that
he doesn’t want to say the filmmakers are as fundamental-
ist as the Vatican was toward Galileo, but he sees a parallel
in a postulate to ‘bring a good message to the masses’ that
can indeed be detected behind both forms of behavior.
Now let us put this question squarely in our lap: ‘Is
science supposed to give comforting messages to the
masses’? Is science to be salvational?
The answer here, not only Albert’s, but generally, is a
clear no. Science is not supposed to give us any specific

424
WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW!?

vintage of truth, it is only supposed to give us truth. What
we do with that truth is not science’s affair.

425
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Personal Notes