The Receptive Presence of Reality – we are One yet Many
Recent discovers in Quantum physics point to matter being vibrating energy and energy being a projection within an all-pervasive field (or quantum vacuum – QV – as some refer to it as). The renowned quantum scientist David Bohm explored reality as light flowing into matter and back into light again and where any part of the universe is a partial realisation of the relationships within the whole universe. In this regard, the universe can be viewed as a rich sea of consciousness, a holographic web of information.
Far from space being empty, according to this quantum view, it is what brings matter into being and enables it to interact and take part in evolution. This makes for a universe that is more than ‘interconnected’. It leads us to realise the universe is a receptive medium that births and sustains form. It points to that receptive medium containing and permeating all forms. Thus we can no longer view matter as primary and space as secondary, as it is space and the field (or cosmic ocean) that pervades it which allows reality to come into existence.
‘The all nourishing abyss’ Brian Swimme
The concept of an all-pervading field (or receptive ocean) may be gaining ground in Western science through the discoveries of quantum theory, yet it is not new to humanity. Ancient cultures have long recognised the existence of an all-pervading life force. For instance, the Indian Upanishads, the Source of life is known as Akasha, with Prana the all-pervading life-force that emanates from the Akasha. The Akasha underlies all of creation and contains memory of the self-creating universe through the ‘Akashic record’, much like an ocean retains memory of what happens upon its surface through the ripples and waves formed. The quest for the Holy Grail is viewed as the alchemic attunement of the sacred masculine with the sacred feminine, much like the attunement of polarized energy (form) with the non-polar QV (receptive ocean). Rather than separating, as reductionism tends to do, perhaps attuning is wiser.
Perhaps we can find our own attunement with this receptive QV space. Perhaps shamans and mystics enter this all-pervasive presence by tuning into levels of consciousness beyond our normal realm.
Natural Inclusion beyond Separation
A relatively new, yet to be well-publicised, way of perceiving reality developed by scientist Alan Rayner is ‘natural inclusionality’. At its core is the understanding that everything is pooled together inescapably within the natural influence, or ‘natural communion’ of everything else. Everything is dynamically distinct as local identities, NOT definitively discrete, autonomous entities. Space is not empty distance between things, but a limitless (hence truly continuous and infinite) intangible (frictionless or ‘slippery’) receptive pool, which permeates within, throughout and beyond all tangible form as ‘flow-form’. Space is that presence literally ‘everywhere’ within which these natural forms interplay in a co-creative evolutionary dynamic. Natural inclusionality offers a view of reality that appreciates the mutual inclusion of energy-matter and space-time in the continuum of natural energy flow.
‘We inhabit nature as flow-forms in a limitless pool of space, each in the others’ influence, not as objects and subjects isolated by and cut apart from space.’ Alan Rayner.
Our overly rationalistic mind desires to turn the intangible into the tangible so it can define, abstract, name and categorise ‘it’. Yet space is inescapably an intangible, immaterial, receptive presence. As an intuitive, perceptive feeling we can perhaps get closer to an understanding of space by saying that ‘being’ is spatial and ‘becoming’ is energetic; that way we sense and feel the divergent yet convergent difference of space and energy as receptive presence and responsive presence. It is this co-creativity of receptivity and responsiveness which manifests flow-forms as yin-yang configurations of space-energy.
Rationalistic science and mathematics compels us to draw an imaginary hard line or ‘discontinuity’ between ‘self’ and ‘other’. Our prevalent view is of the individual ‘self’ or organism as an exception from its spatial neighbourhood, separated by a discrete boundary. In reality, it is the variable semi-permeability of an organism’s, and indeed any natural form’s, distinguishing boundary – its free permeability to space but variable permeability to energy – which enables it both to be present and evolve ( to ‘become’) as a changeable identity locally included within and influencing its natural neighbourhood.
There is nothing entirely discrete and detached in nature, rather there is a natural communion of each within other – space in energetic form and energetic form in space.
‘In nature, everything is distinct, yet nothing defined into absolute, independent singleness’ William Wordsworth.
This insight from William Wordsworth goes to the heart of the paradox of our prevalent paradigm. Rather than space providing a gap between discrete objects, it is the presence of openness as a receptive quality that induces ‘flow’. This presence is what enables a flow-form relationship to come about. Infinite space and local energy combine in the reciprocal fluid arrangements of ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ to co-create natural diversity; distinctness without singleness; attunement of each within other’s reach; co-creative participation rather than separation. As living creatures we are neither entirely independent nor interdependent. But we are, inescapably, intradependent – inclusions of space within energetic interfacings and energetic interfacings within space.
We are One yet Many.
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