Reality-the holographic universe

When looking at aspects of reality, one really interesting theory is that of a holographic universe. A hologram is a three dimensional, seemingly solid, image generated from light. Some would say that that is all we are. After all, we do understand that all we know and feel about the physical world is processed only through our brains. There is no proof that the physical world is there at all, except within our minds. As you may remember, the atomic structure of all matter is constructed fundamentally from vibrating pinches of energy. Some believe that we, and all around us, could be merely holograms.

How does a hologram work?

A hologram works when a pure light laser beam is spit into two. The first half of the beam is focused on and then bounced off the object to be copied. The second half of the beam is angled to collide with the first. The resulting, so called, interference patten is recorded. It looks like a patten of concentric rings. It is this that can be reactivated with a beam of light to produce the 3D image. Could this be all we are?

It is a particular quality of this holographic film that it can be cut into half or more and each fragment records the whole image. This is true whatever the size of the fragment.

Scientific research

Many scientists have researched this fascinating topic. In his book “ The Holographic Universe” by Michael Talbot, two particular front runners are cited. University of London physicist David Bohm, a quantum physicist, and Karl Pilgram, a neurophysiologist from Stanford University. Working independently, Bohm via quantum mechanics and Pribram studying the workings of the brain, both eventually came to similar conclusions concerning the holographic nature of the universe. Standard theories on the brain, and on the phenomena encountered in the universe, often seemed to defy mainstream physics. These theories seemed to them to make more logical sense if the holographic model was deployed.

Firstly, Pilgram’s research on the localization of memory seemed to indicate that all memories were stored in every part of the brain. As every fragment of a holographic film actually stores the whole image, then the brain was exhibiting holographic tendencies. Further experiments also seemed to indicate that vision was not just computed through the visual cortex but was actually computed through the whole brain. Further more, he concluded that the branch like formation of the firing neurons in our brain, with their expanding and crisscrossing waves of electrical activity may give the brain its holographic nature. It is worth noting, however, that not every one in the scientific community agrees with these conclusions.

Secondly, Bohm then began to conclude that it was a basic mistake to view the universe as separate parts. There can be no real understanding of some of the phenomena that scientists have sought to find a coherent answer for, unless you look at the really big picture. There is implicit order in the universe. What we think of as random may not be random at all. It is only that we are looking on too small a scale. We are not understanding all the elements of the universe because we are simply not looking at the whole picture. This may include other dimensions. There may be a deeper reality that we do not see, which gives birth to the reality which we do see. The holographic universe may be a logical extension of this.

Some sections of the scientific community do take the possibility for the holographic universe very seriously. Professor Hogan, in Fermilab in America is, even now, conducting an experiment to try to detect a “fuzziness” in the transmission of light which is hoped would indicate that the holographic model is a possibility.

The eternal questions

If this is all true, what does a holographic universe say about the true nature of humanity? If  we and  the universe are holographic, where and what are the originals? Are we just part of the hologram, or are we using the hologram to manifest as human beings? Is our consciousness, which seems to make us us separate from our bodies, still part of the hologram? Or are we just part of the whole and our separateness just an illusion?

Ancient wisdom

These seem to be modern questions, but the truth is that for thousands of years there have always been individuals that have wondered and thought about the subject, even before science began to find possible answers. The ancient philosophers, brilliant thinkers of their eras, were always speculating on the true nature of man and the world. This happened even before the nature and scale of the universe, as we know it, was understood.

For instance, two and a half thousand years ago, the philosopher Plato had a very similar idea to that of the hologramatic universe. He denied the reality of the material world, and felt it to be composed of unsubstantial shadows. He thought what we see around us was just an image, or copy, of what actually exists in the realm of the Gods.

So in many ways we are back where we started over two thousand years ago. For all our scientific knowledge, are we essentially any further on in understanding the nature of being? Only time will tell. The holographic universe is a very interesting concept though.

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