The Implicate Order is the keystone that directs the energies of the overarching narrative of Simple Reality and sustains the structure of P-A. If the Implicate Order is so foundational to the human story, why isn’t it taught in high school physics and psychology or why isn’t it basic to the teachings of religious mythology? Good question! Let’s look for the answer.
We begin with divergent thinkers in the science of physics and first discover that certain scientists do acknowledge the Implicate Order. In describing what has been called by Maslow a “peak experience” and by others the Akashic[a] record, the Implicate Order or simply “the field,” the scientist Ervin Laszlo in his book Quantum Shift in the Global Brain: How the New Scientific Reality Can Change Us and our World, says: “It is the confirmation of something people have always felt but could not give a rational explanation for; our close connection to each other and to the cosmos.” Robert Smith continues: “Hindu sages intuitively knew about the existence of what they labeled in ancient Sanskrit—Akasha. The Hindu seers were on the right track [as was Edgar Cayce when he advocated the ultimate reality “Oneness”]. There is a deeper reality in the cosmos, a reality that is an Akashic field that connects and creates coherence.”[i]
Glenn Parry explains why we often ignore our intuitional promptings. “One reason we do not generally recognize the primacy of the implicate order is that we have become so habituated to the explicate order and emphasized it so much in our thought and language [italics mine] that we tend strongly to feel that our primary experience is of that which is explicate and manifest.”[ii]
As always, the problem is our focus on the outer world of form in P-B which gives the intellect dominance over our intuition which is “inner-directed.” Those scientists who trust their inner wisdom as did Einstein and Ervin Laszlo have the advantage of seeing more deeply into the nature of reality as it really is. “Scientific data here have stimulated Laszlo to suggest that there is a deep field of information, which he calls the ‘Akashic Field’ or ‘A-field’ that bonds the interrelated parts of the universe.”[iii]
Christian DeQuincy relates how “Physicists have discovered a universal ‘information’ field and have called it the zero point energy field—the ZPE field. ZPE theory explains how the world we know and live in—our undeniable, familiar reality—springs forth billions of times a second from the universal field of quantum potential. Everything we know, everything that exists, comes from the ZPE field, and sooner or later returns there—to be ‘recycled’ back into the world in some form, or perhaps into another universe.”[iv]
Einstein’s colleague, English physicist David Bohm, suggested that the information of the entire universe is contained in each of its parts. “Ken Wilber summarizes Bohm’s theory in The Holographic Paradigm: ‘In Bohm’s terminology, under the explicate realm of separate things and events is an implicate realm of undivided wholeness, and this implicate whole is simultaneously available to each explicate part. In other words, the physical universe itself seems to be a gigantic hologram, with each part being in the whole and the whole being in each part.”[v]
Will Keepin continues fleshing out Bohm’s postulate. “So Bohm proposes a tripartite structure to reality: matter, energy, and meaning. Moreover, each of these basic notions enfolds the other two. Thus, ‘energy’ consists not only of explicate energy, but also includes implicate matter and implicate meaning. Put another way, energy ‘enfolds’ both matter and meaning. Similarly, matter enfolds energy and meaning. And finally, meaning enfolds both matter and energy. Meaning lives in the implicate order and is just as real as matter and energy.”[vi] Notice how Keepin’s description of the Implicate Order might just as well be called the “Oneness” of Simple Reality. “So for Bohm, the nature of the cosmos is a single, unitive process—an unbroken, flowing wholeness in which each part of the flow contains the entire flow.”[vii]
We don’t directly perceive the Implicate Order but can “feel” it during sitting meditation and other contemplative forms of practice or during the “flow” of the creative process. Keepin’s continued description explains why most of us are unfamiliar with concepts such as Oneness or the Implicate Order. “The cosmos is a single, unbroken wholeness in flowing movement. Furthermore, Bohm proposed that there are two fundamental aspects to the holomovement: the explicate order and the implicate order. [The] explicate and implicate order only appear as distinct—although convincingly so—because of our perceptual limitations. That which we don’t directly see, hear, taste, feel, touch, or think—constitutes the implicate order. Thus Bohm posits a vast realm called the ‘implicate order’ that lies beyond what we directly perceive in the physical universe. The implicate order is beyond space and time altogether, although it’s accessible at every point in space-time. It’s present everywhere, but visible nowhere.”[viii]
We can also find psychologists who acknowledge the existence of the Implicate Order. Again, it is the most intuitive psychologists who have observed that humanity has a reciprocal relationship with the Implicate Order, we draw from it and contribute to it. “Jung concluded that the individual unconscious could draw on the deeper pool of the collective unconscious and find correspondences at the mythic level of which a patient might be totally unaware.”[ix]
The Implicate Order is also accessible in dreams as Jung discovered in working with his patients and in his research. Whether in dreams or as conscious inspiration, artists draw on the Implicate Order to create beauty. Jung gives the example of a dream that R. L. Stevenson had: “The British author Robert Louis Stevenson had spent years looking for a story that would fit his ‘strong sense of man’s double being,’ when the plot of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was suddenly revealed to him in a dream.”[x] In Stevenson’s “double being” we recognize the True-self and false-self aspects of human behavior.
Since human intuition is universal and not bound by time we can expect that awareness of the Implicate Order goes back to the beginning of civilization. Marcus Aurelius speaks about what he intuits will happen after death. “Every part of me then will be reduced by change into some part of the universe, and that again will change into another part of the universe, and so on forever.”[xi] The Roman emperor would have made a good quantum physicist. “The universal nature out of the universal substance [energy], as if it were wax, now moulds a horse, and when it has broken this up, it uses the material for a tree, then for a man, then for something else; and each of these things subsists for a very short time [impermanence]. But it is no hardship for the vessel to be broken up, just as there was none in its being fastened together.”[xii]
Continuing to listen to mystics both incarnate and the “dis-incarnate” we turn to the American mystic/philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson who spoke of the Implicate Order in the language of those who “see” beyond the material world. “The truth is in the air, and the most impressionable brain will announce it first.”[xiii] In other words, we are immersed in the Implicate Order as a fish is immersed in the ocean. Continuing to deny that we are a fish and that there is no ocean will only lead to difficulty in surviving in our environment.
Thanks to the extensive notes kept by her husband Rob and to Jane Roberts’ “Seth books” we can have our own experience of their weekly sessions in upstate New York where Jane channeled a very profound intelligence. “He” (Seth) explains how the creative process and problem-solving works in the context of the Implicate Order. “Your cells’ multidimensional knowledge is usually not consciously available, nor can they put it into psychological terms for you. Such work with the imagination acts as a trigger, however, drawing information to you from other levels of your greater reality, and concentrating it on the specific problem at hand. It will then appear in terms understandable to your own experience.”[xiv]
Seth reminds us that our thoughts are also tangible energy. “In what may seem to you to be an odd analogy I will compare your thoughts with viruses, for they are alive, always present, responsive, and possess their own kind of mobility. Physically speaking at least, thoughts are chemically propelled, and they travel through the universal body as viruses travel through your temporal form.”[xv]
The English mystic, Judge Thomas Troward, adds another all-important characteristic of the Implicate Order, namely, the infinite potential for creation that it gives each one of us. “[All] Nature is pervaded by an interior personalness, infinite in its potentialities of intelligence, responsiveness, and power of expression, and only waiting to be called into activity by our recognition of it.”[xvi] As Troward implies, it is imperative that we recognize our authentic power to change our experience of the human condition.
Troward, a Christian, also found the Implicate Order and the creative process implicit in the Bible. “Involution, the passing of Spirit into Form is antecedent to the passing of Form into Consciousness. Spirit’s ONE mode of action, which is Thought, are [is] the basis of all that the Bible has to teach us, and therefore from its first page to its last, we shall find these two ideas continually recurring in a variety of different connections, the ONE-ness of the Divine Spirit and the Creative Power of Man’s Thought, which the Bible expresses in its two grand statements, that ‘God is ONE,’ and that Man is made ‘in the image and likeness of God.’ These are the two fundamental statements of the Bible, and all its other statements flow logically from them.”[xvii] Oneness and perfection define Simple Reality.
Rocco Errico gives us the perspective of the Middle Eastern region where early Christianity was more deeply connected to the Implicate Order than it is today. “Easterners often say, ‘Our senses are capable of hearing the intimate whisperings of the divine Spirit.’ Over forty percent of the Bible is based on mysticism. The spectrum of mysticism encompasses dreams, visions, voices, healings, clairaudience (inner hearing), clairvoyance (inner sight), and bi-location (out of body experiences).”[xviii]
Being in the present moment and connected to the Implicate Order is our natural state which is why children demonstrate an amazing “presence” before they “fall” into unconsciousness as a result of constructing their survival strategy. Matthew Fox, a Christian mystic, offers the following stories which illustrate our point. “[I] received a letter from a five-year-old child. He tells me that ‘there are four kinds of beans—green beans, pork and beans, jelly beans, and human beings. Human beings are special.’ ‘Why are human beings special?’ he was asked. He replied, ‘People eat green beans, jelly beans, and pork and beans and God eats human beings. God likes us and eats us. We become part of God and live in God’s belly all our life. God’s belly is the whole earth.’ Where did you get these ideas?’ he was asked. ‘From inside myself,’ he replied.”
Fox gives us a second priceless example of the wisdom of children before they lose their connection to the Implicate Order. “In a kindergarten class in Colorado, children were asked to draw a picture of Jesus. They all obliged but only one six-year-old girl drew a picture different from the bearded figure all the other students drew. She drew a picture of herself.”[xix]
The American mystic, Ernest Holmes, author of The Science of Mind (a New Thought text), affirms the power of human thought within the paradigm of Simple Reality and does so with an analogy. How does the Akashic field or Implicate Order actually work? “Let us find an example in electricity. It is. It has no goals. But it can be individualized into light, heat or power. We can say, however, that the Universal Undifferentiated Intelligence contains a quality of being or consciousness which is capable of responding to each of us in the terms of our own approach to It. It, therefore, reflects wisdom to the thinker, peace to the peaceful and love to the lover.”[xx] This explains why in P-B we are creating so many experiences that reflect human fear rather than beauty and compassion.
Holmes continues labeling the Implicate Order “Subjective Mind.” “Subjective Mind being Universal, the history of the race is written in the mental atmosphere of the globe on which we live. That is, everything which has ever happened on this planet has left its imprint on the walls of time; and could we walk down their corridors and read the writings, we should be reading the race history. There is a tendency, on the part of all of us, to reproduce the accumulated subjective experiences of the human race.”[xxi]
C. G. Jung would recognize this description as the collective unconscious. Ironically, we can use the power of the Implicate Order to transcend the influence of the collective unconscious and the self-destructive behavior of the survival strategy of the false self. Now we can begin to see the importance of acknowledging the reality of the Implicate Order.
The universality of the Implicate Order is obvious when we encounter it in the sacred texts of the Hindu/Buddhist tradition. Modern Hindu and Buddhist writers and practitioners continue to reinforce the pervasive principle that we create our own reality.
The Implicate Order as energy and only energy has been described by physicists as a “field” or fields, a term used by Deepak Chopra in describing subatomic particles. “These particles aren’t material objects but fluctuating fields of energy in a larger, universal field of energy. However, as long as we are stuck in a perceptual mode, we only see that limited world-view.”[xxii]
Chopra helps us get a sense that the dominant (P-B) worldview is highly egocentric, relative and clueless as to the nature of reality. “The eye of the honeybee only sees honey at a distance because its eye cells are not sensitive to the usual [human] range of colors. A snake senses its environment through infrared radiation. A bat senses its whole universe through sonar. What’s the real picture of the world? There isn’t such a thing. In order to go beyond this perceptual artifact called ‘reality,’ we have to make an inner journey. That can only come by transcending the senses.”[xxiii] And that can only come by detaching our identity from the body, mind and emotions through the process of sitting (Vipassana) meditation until our entire life becomes a focused meditation responding to a deeper reality, that is to say, by responding to Simple Reality.
Another way to think about ultimate reality is to characterize it as one Mind as do the advocates of New Thought. Deepak Chopra does not see this as different from the concept of the Implicate Order. “We believe that this unified field is one of intelligence and that mind is not confined to the brain, nor even to the body. It pervades the entire cosmos. Our brains merely structure our thought processes, which represent limited aspects of a more universal mind.”[xxiv]
Hearing from the Buddhist teacher who had the greatest influence on American Buddhists in recent times, we see that the Buddhist worldview acknowledges how we can use the Implicate Order to experience Simple Reality. The founder of Naropa University in Boulder, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, continues to encourage humanity to adopt a more profound worldview. “You actually can connect your own intrinsic wisdom with a sense of greater wisdom or vision beyond you. You might think that something extraordinary will happen to you when you discover magic. Something extraordinary does happen. You simply find yourself in the realm of utter reality, complete and thorough reality.”[xxv] You will find yourself in the numinous kingdom of Simple Reality.
[a] Akashic is from Sanskrit meaning space, ether, or sky.
[i] Smith, A. Robert, “Science discovers the Akashic field.” Venture Inward. July/August 2008, p. 46.
[ii] Parry, Glenn Aparicio. “Native Wisdom in a Quantum World.” Shift: At the Frontier of Consciousness. Petaluma, California: Institute of Noetic Sciences, December 2005—February 2006, p. 32.
[iii] Streett, Bill. “Science and the Reenchantment of the Cosmos: The Rise of the Integral Vision of Reality.” Shift: At the Frontiers of Consciousness. Petaluma, California: Institute of Noetic Sciences, June-August 2006, p. 42.
[iv] DeQuincy, Christian. “Multimedia.” Shift: At the Frontier of Consciousness. Petaluma, California: Institute of Noetic Sciences, March-May 2005, p. 42.
[v] Fields, Rick. Chop Wood, Carry Water. Los Angeles: Tarcher, 1984, p. 207.
[vi] Keepin, Will. “Science and Spirit: Integrating the Sacred and the Secular.” Timeline. Palo Alto, September/October 1998, p. 4.
[vii] Ibid., p. 2.
[viii] Ibid., pp. 2-4.
[ix] Brome, Vincent. Jung: Man and Myth. New York: Atheneum, 1981, p. 221.
[x] Jung, C. G. Man and His Symbols. New York: Doubleday, 1964, p. 38.
[xi] Aurelius, Marcus. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. New York: Avon, 1993, p. 35.
[xii] Ibid., p. 52.
[xiii] Emerson, Ralph Waldo. The Portable Emerson. New York: Viking, 1946, p. 371.
[xiv] Roberts, Jane. The Nature of Personal Reality. New York: Bantam, 1974, pp. 396-399.
[xv] Ibid., p. 125.
[xvi] Troward, Thomas. The Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science. New York: Dodd, 1909, p. 48.
[xvii] Troward, Thomas. Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning. New York: Dodd, 1913, pp. 6-7.
[xviii] Errico, Rocco A. Let There Be Light. Marina del Rey, California: Devorss & Company, 1985, p. xviii.
[xix] Fox, Matthew. The Coming of the Cosmic Christ. New York: Harper, 1988, p. 194.
[xx] Holmes, Fenwick L. Ernest Holmes: His Life and Times. New York: Dodd, Mead, & Company, 1970, p. 171.
[xxi] Holmes, Ernest. The Science of Mind. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1938, pp. 348-349.
[xxii] Chopra, Deepak. “The Healing Reality.” Science of Mind. Los Angeles, November 1989, p. 17.
[xxiv] Ibid., p. 21.
[xxv] Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa. “Reflections in the Cosmic Mirror.” Shambhala Sun. Boulder, Colorado, January 2009, p. 76.