Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Science Of Mysticism Is Not An Oxymoron

Is this a map of the Internet or the Universe?  One does seem to mirror the other.  There's a deeper lesson in that.

US Catholic currently has a very interesting article written by Jesuit Richard J Malloy about how our current scientific understanding about the working of our universe should open up our view of God rather than threaten it.  In the following extract Fr. Malloy lists some of the incredible discoveries mankind has made about quantum mechanics and quantum cosmology:

We live in a vast, pulsating universe: trillions of stars, billions of galaxies. Scientific theories concerning black holes, string theory, and the multi-verse radically reorient our comprehension of the majesty and mystery of the universe and thus our awareness of the awesomeness of God. Our imaginations expand as we learn what scientists know. Thus science affects our religious meanings and cultural truths because we are aware of realities unimaginable to those who came before us. (And these should change our understanding of our basic religious cosmology.  At least it should if we want to maintain any kind of intellectual coherence between faith and science.)

The whole notion of spacetime as the context within which we exist, and novel ideas about the meanings of past, present, and future, marvelously open us to fascinating new conjectures about who God is and how God operates in and through physical realities. Teilhard de Chardin and John Haught contemplate a God who exists, not so much in the past or the present but in the future, calling all forward in time to culmination.
We Catholics should rejoice in the astonishing realities science reveals, and we are called to relate other ways of knowing to the ways science knows. To know by love and faith are also legitimate ways of knowing. Remember: science answers the questions "what" and "how"; the questions "why" and "what does it all mean" are above science's pay grade.  (Those last two questions can't be answered in any meaningful religious context if you reject the scientific answers to the 'what' and 'how'.)


In his essay, Fr. Malloy doesn't deal with the current research in human consciousness, which also points to the need to reconfigure our understanding of the 'why' and 'what does it all mean' about self aware conscious humanity.  If astrophysicists explore our ever expanding cosmological reality, mystics explore our equally expanding reality of consciousness. 

What's fascinating to me is that the theorising coming from both ways of investigating reality are coming to the same conclusions about time.  That is that past, present, and future exist simultaneously--but in different resonances.  We live our biological experience of reality in one particular resonance, but our consciousness need not limit itself to the biological experience.  Most of us just opt to do that because that's the resonance the body needs for survival and that's the resonance in which we predominately relate to each other.  Most of us have had experiences in other resonances of time, but we usually ignore them or repress them.  The most common experience of this is what is known as deja vu--the feeling of having experienced a particular situation before.  This is actually entirely possible, and theories of time tell us it is possible.

The best explanation I've ever gotten to give my left hemisphere a handle on this particular aspect of time goes something like this.  The past, present, and future all contain within them possibilities of pasts, presents, and futures.  So the present has a possible pasts as well as possible futures with in it, but so do the future and the past.  Here's a story about a healing we did some years back which illustrates how this works.

We had a young boy of about five who exhibited really serious psychiatric symptoms, almost all violent in nature.  The parents had decided to put him in a children's psychiatric hospital but while waiting for their insurance to approve this treatment,  they decided to let a medical intuitive friend of mine put together a group to see if we could do something for the boy.  The group consisted of seven people from a number of spiritual traditions, but all seven people exhibited a fairly high degree of psychic talent.  What we found in a group meditative journey was that the boy had fallen off a bed at about six months of age and broke his neck at the the third vertebrae.  This injury had never been noticed in any previous medical check up, but was confirmed in tests taken on his neck after our meditative journey. The subsequent MRI also showed that the vertebrae had healed in such a way that surgery had to be ruled out. 

However in the journey itself, two people with medical backgrounds reset the vertebrae and subsequent energy work on that area finished the healing.  The vertebrae is no longer a problem.  The boy has gone on to be quite the academic whiz kid and a pretty decent athlete.  All of his psychiatric symptoms and acting out behavior stopped the day we did the original meditative journey.  He told his mother it was weird not to have any pain because it had been such a constant part of his life he didn't know it wasn't normal.

This was a case of seven of us consciously going back to a very specific past time in the boy's past, starting from our present time, making changes in the past event, and having those changes manifest in the present.  What we actually did was find a particular future probability in boys past, and by focusing on that particular probability event, make that probability his present reality.  I hope that made sense.  None of this violates the underlying quantum laws of the universe.  It's with in our right as self aware conscious beings to explore our abilities and our probabilities.  This same process must be how Jesus worked his healing miracles.  Healing is actually bringing another future probability embedded in a past event into the present.

I've also had one very vivid personal experience--of a learning sort--that validated for me that future probabilities work the same way. The future has with in it present probabilities that will manifest in this present time.  This is how precognition works or deja vu. 

In my own case in one meditative journey I met a future version of me who slapped me across the face.  I was totally unprepared for this and made no effort to defend myself. My future self then hugged me and said she did it for a reason and I would see the reason.  End of meditation.  With in a half an hour the entire right side of my face swelled up. I literally saw the reason.  I had the answer to my question about whether time in the future worked the same as time in the past.  It does. The swelling was gone by morning and I suffered no other ill effects, but I learned a lot.  Such as we don't know anything about our true reality or how consciousness works with in a interdimensional  quantum multiverse.  Jesus tried to teach some of this, but it's really hard to change the core way people view themselves, their ego identity, and their beliefs about how reality works.

I know that I'm probably hoping and wishing here, but I really would like to see the best of our Catholic thinkers start looking at the best of our Catholic mystics from a more scientific approach.  They might find out that the lives of saints like Padre Pio are really a huge gift to mankind in a scientific as well as spiritual sense.

I'll have more on this tomorrow.


  1. I have avoided Padre Pio because of items like this which appeared in last Sunday's bulletin-
    "...our students in grades 1-3 learned about St Padre Pio. Three things that the children were impressed with were: he had the stigmata, he offered all his suffering up to God and he heard confessions for 15 hours a day."
    Your comment makes me think I need to learn more. Where would you suggest going?

  2. Italian writer Sergio Luzzatto has a book coming out about Padre Pio, titled "Padre Pio," and I would be interested in reading it, rather than a more hagiographical book.

    I want to give everyone fair warning, I am apt to recommend books, so if I do it, please make lists!

  3. The four hour movie Padre Pio, Miracle Worker is also very good. Utube actually has the entire movie available. It's Italian with English subtitles. It does a marvelous job of portraying the human side of Pio.

    I don't think I've ever read anything which tried to explain what he was psychically capable of outside the hagiographic explanation.

    His visions started very young and his mother totally supported them which meant that unlike most kids, he didn't have to repress them in order to fit into this reality. In a very real way he grew up in a world view which supported the reality of what he was experiencing. Where other boys may have had soccer reinforced as an important part of their developing world view, Pio had visions and psychic experiences reinforced. The problem was it really limited his ability to conceptualize what he was experiencing and unfortunately for him, really emphasised the power of the dark side.

  4. Thanks for your reflections on this. I hope you and your readers take the survey that accompany's Father Malloy's article too!
    Meg (online editor at U.S. Catholic)

  5. Meg, I actually meant to mention the survey but then forgot to. Thanks for doing it for me.