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                        e n e r g i z i n g    t r a n s f o r m a t i o n    t  h r o u g h    i n q u i r y ,   i n s i g h t ,   a n d   i n t e g r a t i o n

   

                   April 2006 Book Review and Quotes Archive

 

                          Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything

                                                                    By Ervin Laszlo

                                                                Inner Traditions 2004

                                                                 ISBN: 1-59477-042-5

                                                         Reviewed by John Parker

 

The remarkable success of the movie “What the #$!%* Do We Know!?”, despite its superficial and

highly questionable treatment of the nature of reality, at least pointed to the extreme interest that

surrounds the subject.[i]

 

Erwin Laszlo has been writing on this theme--our evolving understanding of reality--through a series of

books and essays.  The most recent is Science and the Akashic Field which he describes as “the fruit

of over forty years of seeking a view of the world that is meaningful as well as embracing, rigorous, and

yet simple”.   It is a more popular and accessible restatement of the ideas initially put forth in The Creative

Cosmos, The Connectivity Hypothesis and The Whispering Pond. 

 

The questions he poses are not timid: where did everything come from and where is it going; is there life

elsewhere and if so will is it evolving; what is the nature of consciousness and is it a fundamental aspect

of  the cosmos; does consciousness cease at physical death or does it continue to exist in some way;

and does the universe itself possess some form of consciousness?

 

He begins by presenting some of the current puzzles in the fields of cosmology, quantum physics, biology

and consciousness studies.  These puzzles are the anomalies that historically have led to major revisions

in these fields.  What emerges is the role of information.  Somehow information is generated, conserved

and conveyed in ways that are beyond our current theories. 

 

His  proposal to explain how information is built into the structure of the universe is existence of the akashic

field (in earlier books called by the perhaps more preferable name of  psifield) which is “an information field

at the very heart of the cosmos”.  It is the zero-point field of the quantum vacuum which is not only a

superdense energy field but “a super-rich information field--the holographic memory of the universe”. 

 

Laszlo then relates this concept of an information field to the puzzles he had described earlier and shows

how it provides a strong explanatory model.  He accomplishes this with a firm grounding in science but in a

style that is easily comprehensible and a delight to read.  Finally he circles back and applies this model to

the understanding of the questions on the nature of reality that he had posed. 

 

While he asks many of the same questions that prompted “What the Bleep…”,  and shares an understanding

that our common understanding of reality is at odds with the picture emerging from physics, cosmology,

biology and evolutionary theory, he does so in a much more thoughtful manner and without the New Age

overlays that undermine the movie.

 

He ends the book with “an autobiographical retrospective” in which he traces the development of his ideas

over forty years.  This not only provides an insight into his own thinking, but also shows its relationship to

major scientists and thinkers. 

 

In a concluding chapter he shifts his presentation from a scientific theory to a poetic vision which ends:

 

In the course o f innumerable universes, the pulsating Metaverse realizes all that the

primeval plenum held in potential. The plenum is no longer formless: its surface is

of unimaginable complexity and coherence; its depth is fully informed. The cosmic

proto-consciousness that endowed the primeval plenum with its universe-creating

potentials becomes a fully articulated cosmic consciousness—it becomes, and

 thenceforth eternally is, the self-realized mind of God.[ii]


[i] For an excellent recent review see: Dennis Overbye’s “Far Out, Man.  But Is It Quantum Physics?” in the New York Times at http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/14/science/14essa.html

[ii] p. 167.

                                                                 

                                                                      

                                            April 2006 Weekly Quotes    

 

"The subtle energies and information that underlie this universe were there before its particles of matter

appeared and will be there after these particles disappear."

Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything By Ervin Laszlo

 

"Underlying the diversified and localized gross layers of ordinary consciousness there is a unified,

nonlocalized, and subtle layer: “pure consciousness.”

Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything By Ervin Laszlo

 

" We as individuals are not immortal, but our experience is.  The traces of everything we have ever

experienced persist, and they can be forever recalled."

Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything By Ervin Laszlo

 

"The primary reality is the quantum vacuum, the energy- and information-filled plenum that underlies our

universe, and all universes in the Metaverse."

Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything By Ervin Laszlo                                                                             


 

 

                                     

 

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