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What is the nature of our "reality"? It's a question that's at the very heart of scientific and philosophical inquiry. One of the latest – and possibly the most intriguing – theories is that the universe is a giant hologram.
In this book, Michael Talbot explores some the ideas presented by some of the world's leading scientists and thinkers in the realm of quantum physics. It's a book of cutting edge science written for the lay person with little or no science background.
Title: The Holographic Universe
Author: Michael Talbot
Publisher: Harper Perennial (1991)
What is the nature of our "reality"? It's a question that's at the very heart of scientific and philosophical inquiry. One of the latest – and possibly the most intriguing – theories is that the universe is a giant hologram. While the idea may seem shocking at first, even perhaps bizarre or too much like "New Age" babble to be seriously considered, the reader will begin to see how it makes sense out of a lot of previously unexplained phenomena.
In The Holographic Universe science writer, Michael Talbot, takes us inside the minds of some of today's most gifted scientific theorists and presents their ideas about reality based upon the latest research and discoveries from the realm of quantum physics. If you don't know anything about quantum physics, don't worry. The really cool thing about this book is that you don't need to know much, or anything at all, about the subject to understand what is presented here. Talbot has a wonderful knack for taking such complex and mind boggling subjects and presenting them in a way that makes it all accessible to the rest of us. In fact, it goes beyond merely accessible. It becomes intellectually exciting. Fans of movies such as The Thirteenth Floor and The Matrix will find there is real science behind the ideas presented in those films.
One of the really important observations brought out in this book is how these "new" theories are not so new at all. The terminology used to describe and present these theories (especially the idea that the universe is a sort of hologram) is modern but the fundamental notions underlying this idea are ancient. The Tibetan monks, the Hindu sages, the Zen masters, and even the Jewish mystics all expressed this idea in different ways. Modern science is finally catching up to ancient thought.
"There are many holographic concepts in shamanistic thinking as well. The Hawaiian kahunas say that everything in the universe is intimately interconnected and that this interconnectivity can almost be thought of as a web. The shaman, recognizing the interconnectedness of all things, sees himself at the center of this web and thus capable of affecting every other part of the universe (it is interesting to note that the concept of 'maya' is also frequently likened to a web in Hindu thought)."
This notion of the interconnectedness of all things is at the heart of the Holographic Universe theory. The nature of a hologram is such that any part of the hologram contains all the information of the whole of it. And therein lies the key to one of the most baffling and intriguing phenomena of human experience; namely "synchronicity". The famous Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung, gave us that term many years ago. Synchronicity might be well described as "meaningful coincidence". However, in the case of synchronicity, the word "coincidence" must not be confused with random chance. When a true synchronicity occurs it seems that there might be something much more profound taking place. It's a moment, often times seemingly all too brief, when our consciousness opens the door to let in a glimpse of the hologram at work. Talbot notes that Dr. F. David Peat, a Canadian physicist and author of The Bridge Between Matter and Mind, says that such coincidences are actually "flaws in the fabric of reality". Talbot adds to Peat's comment by saying, "They reveal that our thought processes are much more connected to the physical world than has been hitherto suspected."
On a personal note, I've had a copy of the book for several years and in the course of my own work (exploring the possible connections between language, alphabets, numbers and consciousness) I've had occasion to refer to it again and again. The Holographic Universe is an essential book for anyone interested in the nature of the universe and how human concsiousness seems to be woven into the fabric of reality.