The story that you’re about to read has created quite a stir among our editorial staff. The subject touches upon everything, literally everything that we humans do in our lives. And this is confrontational, disturbing and hopeful all at once. But that wasn’t the only reason for the commotion. There was also a continual discussion about the way this topic should be introduced. After all, writing about an energy field that connects man and matter and continually affects everything and everyone is not as quite as simple as the average article. Tijn Touber, who locked himself away for weeks to write this amazing story, must have come close to desperation. Not only because of the comments we made and the continual discussions we had with one another, but also and especially because of the complexity of the issue. The words of Niels Bohr, the renowned Danish scientist, should have been a warning to us: ‘Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it.’ Hence, dear readers, you are forewarned. But there is some consolation: if at any time you cannot follow the story, you are in good company. Hold on tight. (Or better yet, let go.) — The editors
Tijn Touber | November 2003 issue
Shireen Strooker is standing motionless in the middle of a large field, surrounded by 600 people. The gorgeous landscape under the mist of powerful Mount Rainier in the upper northwest of the United States is invisible to her. Shireen is blindfolded, as are all the others in the field. That morning they all made a drawing. The hundreds of drawings are now hanging on the fence along the edge of the field. The assignment: find your own drawing blindfolded.
Shireen does a meditation exercise, pictures her drawing and thinks: ‘I am the creator of the drawing and the spectator, I only have to become one with the drawing and it will automatically pull me towards it.’ Then, without bumping into anyone, she walks straight across the field and… picks out her drawing straightaway from among the 600.
Coincidence? Pure luck? You’d think so. But Shireen was not the only one to perform this implausible act that day. The results of this exercise involving the students of Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment violate the laws of empirical probability theory. Apparently, humans are capable of ‘communicating’ with matter intangibly. The curriculum of this unusual school aims to prove that phenomena such as telepathy and clairvoyance are not wondrous mysteries, but gifts that every human being possesses and can develop. The unwritten slogan of the Ramtha’s school’s curriculum could be that there is more to the world than meets the eye.
There are other schools and movements that have proclaimed this message in recent decades. In fact, the New Time Movement was founded on it. But the exciting thing is that the hard science of modern physics is starting to lend proof to the existence of a ubiquitous energy field, which could offer an explanation for the miracle of a blindfolded woman who finds her drawing amidst 600 others.
In her book The Field (HarperCollins, 2001), investigative journalist Lynne McTaggart provides an overview of recent scientific discoveries that demonstrate that there is an all-encompassing energy field connecting man and matter. In their search for the heart of the matter (no pun intended) – for the smallest particle – scientists discovered the field’s special characteristics and potential. The so-called Zero Point Field (the name comes from the fact that even at the absolute zero point, energy can still be measured) appears to provide the explanation for countless known phenomena and processes that had stumped the scientific community for generations. Gravity, electromagnetism, clairvoyance, telepathy and the spontaneous healing of wounds: the origins of these diverse phenomena can all be traced back to this quantum field.
McTaggart writes: ‘Researchers discovered that the Zero Point Field contains the blueprint for our existence. Everything and everyone is connected with one another through this field in which all information from all time is said to be stored. Ultimately, everything – from man to matter – can be traced back to a collection of electric charges that are continually in contact with this endless sea of energy. Our interaction with this field determines who we are, will become and have been. The field is the alpha and omega of our existence.’
A connection between matter and mind runs counter to the scientific foundations upon which modern society is based. Our perspective on life is still greatly influenced by the mechanistic worldview introduced by Isaac Newton in the 17th century. Newton saw the universe as a machine with separate parts that have a limited influence on one another. René Descartes added his vision to the mix, that the human mind is separate from the lifeless matter we call ‘body’. In Newton and Descartes’ way of thinking the world simply keeps turning, whether we humans are there or not. We don’t particularly matter.
Darwin’s evolutionary theory reinforced the image of the lonely, isolated human being. It was all about eating and getting eaten. Humans appeared to be an evolutionary accident without any particular meaning. But huge questions remained: how does life begin, how does our mind work, why do we get sick, how does a single cell develop into a complete human being, and so forth. Many scientists looked for answers to these questions in religion, but that brought them into conflict with themselves.
The first indications of a possible bridge between spirituality and science came – interestingly enough – from physics discoveries made at the beginning of the last century. In 1911 the German physicist Max Planck demonstrated that there is an energetic ‘empty space’ between atoms. But because he established that this energy field is everywhere at all times, he considered it a constant that did not influence material existence.
Other pioneers in quantum physics discovered that the most elementary building blocks of matter couldn’t actually even be called ‘matter’. Sometimes these building blocks behaved like particles, then like waves and sometimes like both at once. In 1927, Werner Heisenberg dubbed this the ‘principle of uncertainty’. It appeared that subatomic particles were not solid objects but vibrating little packets of energy that couldn’t be quantified or understood as separate parts. A more significant break with Newtonian thought was hardly conceivable. At this elementary level, nothing appeared to be certain. There were only endless possibilities.
Moreover, these particles appeared only to take a specific shape if a spectator observed them. If a person noticed a particle, it ‘froze’. The researchers came to the startling conclusion that consciousness creates reality and Einstein wondered whether the moon would actually exist if we didn’t look at it.
The physicists also noted that particles that at one time were connected to one another – within a molecule for example – remain connected always and everywhere, and influence each other instantly, that is faster than the speed of light and over great distances. This so-called ‘non-locale phenomenon’ indicates that the dimensions of time and space do not apply at an elementary level. Einstein spoke of ‘distant ghostlike connections’.
Einstein and his contemporaries were unable to reconcile the new discoveries in quantum physics with the Newtonian reality they could see and touch around them. Their solution was a scientific monster: different laws applied to the world of small particles than for larger matter. At the same time these scientists sought meaningful refuge in spiritual and religious texts. Erwin Schrödinger, for example, studied Hinduism, Heisenberg looked into Plato’s theory of the ancient Greeks, Niels Bohr was drawn to the Tao and Wolfgang Pauli to the Cabala.
What didn’t work a century ago now appears possible. The theory of the all-encompassing Zero Point Field could span a definitive bridge between spirituality and science. Einstein couldn’t prove it, but suspected it, when he said the ‘the field is the only reality’. The field could explain the instantaneous, ‘ghostlike’ transfer of information between quantum particles. Divergent scientific discoveries point in the same direction.
Biologist Paul Pietsch of the University of Indiana in the United States wanted to know where memories are stored in the brain. Pietsch conducted experiments with salamanders. First he taught them specific patterns of behaviour. Then, to destroy their memory, he removed their brains and milled them in a meat grinder. Finally, he put the remainders of the brains back in the salamanders’ heads. The result? After awhile the salamanders re-exhibited the learned behaviour. Put another way, their brains were shattered, but their memory lived on. Pietsch concluded that memory was not a local phenomenon, but is somehow linked to something – an energy field? – outside the salamanders where they ‘collect’ their memory.
Neuroanatomist Harold Burr of Yale University discovered the field in a different way. During the 1940s he researched energy fields around living organisms and discovered that young salamanders have a light field around them in the shape of an adult salamander. This ‘blueprint’ appears to be already present around the unfertilised egg. Burr also saw light fields around plant seeds that took the shape of mature plants. These fields could explain why you can amputate a salamander’s leg, jaw or even the lens of their eye, only to see the body part grow back.
Salamanders may have an unusually strong connection with the energy field around them, but this phenomenon can also be seen in humans. Amputees can sometimes feel (phantom) pain in the amputated body part. Burr’s work also demonstrates that bodies – matter – are connected to an enveloping energy field.
And where do clairvoyants get their visions? Physicist Hall Puthoff of Stanford University in the United States asked himself that very question. He conducted various experiments with two clairvoyants in which he gave them the coordinates of a place on earth they had never been. Independent from one another, the clairvoyants were able to describe these places in detail. To measure the extent of their clairvoyance Puthoff asked them to describe Jupiter before Nasa’s Pioneer 10 spacecraft had charted the planet. Somewhat embarrassed, clairvoyant Ingo Swann said he saw a ring around the planet. ‘Perhaps,’ he told Puthoff, ‘I may have accidentally directed my attention to Saturn.’ No one took the drawing seriously until some time later when Nasa released images from the spacecraft showing that, indeed, Jupiter had a ring.
The CIA has since shown interest in the extraordinary results of Puthoff’s research, which could potentially be used for espionage. As an experiment, CIA agent Christopher Green was sent up in an aeroplane with a piece of paper in his pocket on which three numbers were written. This was no problem for clairvoyant Pat Price, who was able to recite the numbers accurately, and in the right order. However, he said he felt a little nauseated. It later appeared that Green’s flight had run in to heavy turbulence.
Puthoff then conducted experiments in which he sent people to random coordinates and asked them to photograph the location in 15 minutes and fill in a list of questions he gave them. In nearly all cases, the clairvoyants were able to clearly describe the locations based on the coordinates they were given.
Puthoff went a step further. He asked the clairvoyants to describe the location before the test subjects arrived. And they did. The clairvoyants appeared capable of describing the destination a half-hour to five days before the travellers arrived. Puthoff concluded that time and space do not exist on the level of the Zero Point Field. The information is apparently already available before the actual events occur. Puthoff conducted a total of 336 comparable experiments proving it made very little difference to the clairvoyants whether or not the subjects were at the location in question.
Physicist Helmut Schmidt conducted another remarkable experiment that points to the timelessness of the energy field. He had his test subjects put on headphones and listen to bleeps produced by a machine. The sounds were random and equally distributed over the left and right ears. Their assignment was to have more sounds go into one of the ears. Nearly all the subjects were successful. In other words, people were capable of influencing the machine without directly touching it. Schmidt concluded there must be a field that connects man and machine.
His next experiment reinforced this once more in a rather bizarre way. He gave a test subject a tape with bleeps to take home and asked him to influence the tape so that more bleeps would be sent to the left ear. Schmidt made a copy of the tape for himself. The next day the bleeps had indeed shifted, with more going to the left ear. To his amazement Schmidt discovered that his copy had also changed, although as far as he knew the machine – as usual – had evenly distributed the bleeps over both ears.
The only possible conclusion for Schmidt was that the future intention of the test subjects influenced the tape when it was actually recorded. Just as the little salamander knows that he must grow up to be a big salamander, Schmidt’s test subjects know that they will influence the recording of the bleeps before he actually asks them to do so. Past, present and future apparently flow together in the energy field.
In another type of experiment, Harvard University psychologist Ellen Langer demonstrated that time is a relative notion. A group of people over age 70 was taken to an isolated area where a scene from 1959 was exactly replicated. The furniture dated to that year, they were shown films from 1959 and even the newspapers and magazines they were given came from that period. Within a week the group’s actual symptoms of ageing had reversed. The joints in their fingers were more flexible and their eyesight improved. Langer concluded that because the participants were given the same mental information as in 1959, their bodies began to adapt to the physical situation at that time. One of the possible explanations is that these people in their 70s made contact with their own energetic blueprint from 1959, and their bodies followed suit.
The American doctor and author Deepak Chopra puts it this way: ‘Time is dependent on our perceptions. No experiment has ever proven the existence of the continual movement of linear time and the concept has never been expressed in a mathematical formula. The experience of the continual movement of linear time is a phenomenon that was created by our nervous system. In fact, the past, present and future exist simultaneously, side by side, in a field of endless possibilities. The experience of linear time is the way in which nature protects us from experiencing everything at the same time. But that is what actually happens.’ Einstein put it more concisely: ‘Space and time are modes in which we think, not conditions in which we live.’
In the field there is no difference between a memory and a new experience. The brain retrieves ‘old’ and ‘new’ information the same way. This explains the salamanders’ remarkable recovery. Their brains were largely destroyed, but the ‘memory’ had not been lost; it was stored in the field. Just as intuition, clairvoyance, premonitions, telepathy and other ‘inexplicable’ phenomena can be understood if the Zero Point Field is seen as a storage place for information to which anyone can tune in at any time. Is that what Nostradamus was doing when he ‘saw’ the future?
One of the first scientists to recognise that the Zero Point Field could be the missing link for our understanding of the universe was the Hungarian systems expert Ervin Laszlo (see page XX). In his book ‘The Creative Cosmos’ written in 1993 he writes that the field is more than a mass of shimmering energy in the background of our existence. According to Laszlo, the Zero Point Field is an information carrier. ‘This quantum vacuum is the origin of mind and matter – a blueprint of the universe. Even our own memories are not stored in our brains, but are stockpiled like holographic information in the field. Our brains are mainly receivers and processors of this information. When they resonate with certain frequencies they gain access to specific information.’
Are you still there?
You have just read that time doesn’t exist and that human beings can influence machines. All this in a world that says computers are always right because they are indisputably logical. Yet we are still talking about verifiable physical and scientific experiments. All these experiments and phenomena point to the fact that the ghostlike discoveries in the area of quantum physics have substantially more influence on our daily reality than the pioneers of a century ago originally thought. Does the universe according to Newton’s laws still exist? Or is the world proving to be a dynamic web in which everything and everyone are connected? Does that imply that my life means something radically different than I thought?
My life? Does an ‘I’ even exist?
Does the concept of individuality still have meaning if everything is connected and even our own memories are accessible to everyone? An even more exciting thought: the atoms that are in contact with one another and with the universe in a myriad of ways temporarily and intermittently shape our body. Every seven years all the cells in our body are regenerated; no atom is the same again. And who knows what kind of information those new atoms are carrying when they nestle into our bodies? ‘Individuality’, ‘I’ and ‘mine’ become very limited concepts when viewed this way. Our separate existence, which we believe to be the basis of our daily experiences, is no longer the central issue. It is replaced by the all-encompassing connection.
These scientific discoveries can also explain the peculiar phenomenon that people in hospitals heal more quickly when random people in random locations around the world pray for them daily, as research has proven. And the connection with the Zero Point Field also appears to be clear thanks to the similarly bizarre fact that people who have undergone organ transplants take on certain ‘memories’ from the organ donor (see page XX).
When I pray for people, they get better. Surely, the reverse is also true. I realise that it is in my own interest to treat my environment with care and respect. One way or another, we all carry the responsibility for the field that connects us all. And for the reality that we create together.
For my life, the second implication of the Zero Point Field is just as radical as the insight that separation actually does not exist:
I create my own reality.
Just as I can apparently influence a machine, I can influence all matter around me. More to the point: I do it all the time, including influencing the matter in my own body. If I create reality, then the world is not as it is, but as I perceive it. My thoughts determine reality.
Roy Martina, a doctor and karate champion, was at a party once when a friend attacked him from behind as a joke. His natural reaction was to put the man in a hold, whereby he broke his friend’s finger. Under the motto of ‘you break it, you fix it’ they decided to conduct an experiment. They had heard that Aboriginals were able to heal broken bones nearly instantaneously. Martina: ‘We thought, if they can do it, we can too. We tuned into the “Aboriginal field” and sent that energy to the broken hand. A couple of days later my friend was back playing volleyball. X-rays showed no trace of a fracture.’
In his famous book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ written in 1937, Napoleon Hill explains that those who make it big mainly succeed because, at the very deepest level, they are convinced they will. Successful people, Hill concludes, solemnly believe in their aim and simply know they will achieve it. Because they focus all their attention on the aim, it materialises – just as in physics experiments all particles that are given attention become visible.
The third life lesson from the field is that in principle, everything is possible.
All information is available in the Zero Point Field. It is my challenge – and that of us all – to glean the best from it. As Michelangelo once said about sculpture: ‘The image is already in the marble, all I do is cut away everything that is not the image.’ I sometimes experience the same thing when I’m writing a story and I see words appear on the screen that I’m barely conscious of thinking. Just like that, I get sentences that I don’t consciously know or think of – from the field? It’s called inspiration. But in fact ‘inspiration’ is no longer an inexplicable circumstance, but a demonstrable physical phenomenon.
During his visit to the Sistine Chapel in Rome, Mozart heard Allegri’s famous Miserere. That piece of music is only heard once a year, during Holy Week, after which it disappears behind lock and key for another year. After hearing it only once, Mozart was able to register it in his mind and thus able to break the secret spell around the work. Ervin Laszlo comments: ‘Mozart and other composers of his calibre were not alone. They had access to the field and thus were in contact with masterpieces.’
Artists are interpreters and translators rather than creators. Their talent is not a miracle, but something that in principle everyone can learn. It is a question of tuning into the field.
On a Greek island, Shireen Strooker is sitting with her husband Bram Vermeulen at a table at an outdoor cafe in the sun. In the middle of the table a briefcase blocks their view of one another. Bram is looking at a piece of paper in front of him and slowly counts: ‘One, two, three, four…’ On every count Shireen writes down a plus or a minus after the number on her sheet. She tries to ignore the surprised glances from onlookers so she can fully concentrate on what Bram is ‘sending’ her: a plus or a minus. When the sheet is full, they switch. They are both trying to get a plus or minus after the same number.
That day they play the game a total of 11 times. According to the laws of probability, Bram and Shireen should have the same plusses and minuses 50% of the time. But that day their score is 70%. They know it’s no coincidence. They’ve had similar results before. Bram and Shireen know that you can reach each other if you tune in correctly.
But we often get in the way of our ability to tune in. Shireen: ‘There is a clear difference between concentrating and tuning in. If I concentrate, I try with all my might to achieve something with my thoughts. Usually you achieve just the opposite. What we call “thinking”, is actually mainly about doubting. You wind up in all kinds of emotions – “I can’t do this, what am I doing here?” – and you don’t achieve your aim. Tuning in means not thinking and making contact with the information that’s already there. You become one with the information and resonate with it.’
Shireen describes an exercise she did with an overweight man. They stood opposite one another and stared hard into each other’s eyes. Then they both walked to opposite ends of the room and Shireen had to pick up on the man’s favourite food. Her first image was a chocolate bar. But – given the man’s size – she began to doubt. ‘It must be a hamburger,’ she thought. She drew a hamburger and walked back to the man. Wrong, it was a chocolate bar. Shireen: ‘That’s what I mean by thinking.’
Children are naturals at tuning in. It is amazing how successful small children are at Shireen’s drawing game with which this story began. I also remember playing hide and seek with my little sister. She counted to 10 outside the living room, came back in and walked directly to where I was hiding, regardless of which curtain or chair I was crouched behind.
Nor are animals hampered by thoughts. The British biochemist Rupert Sheldrake (see page XX) describes numerous extraordinary phenomena. A cat that that ‘answers the phone’, but only when her owner calls. All other calls are ignored. Or horses that refuse to take another step over a path that will shortly be buried under an avalanche. Dogs that try – to no avail – to get their owners to leave the house before they are involved in a serious accident. There are also stories involving animals that manage to leave town before an earthquake hits.
Learning to tune into the Zero Point Field enables us to create consciously.
When at one point I needed to move, I created an image of the house I wanted. I visualised a house by the ocean with woods nearby, high up, lots of light and affordable. For a few weeks I paid a moment’s attention to that visualisation every day, which anchored the energetic image in the Zero Point Field. It was just a matter of time before it would materialise. That happened two months later. Now I live in the home that I once envisioned. Using my visualisation I actually tuned into the Zero Point Field. By paying attention to an image, that image – my house – could become reality, exactly as physicists’ small particles manifest themselves when given attention.
Dreamers used to be laughed at by people who considered themselves sensible, who had both feet planted firmly on the ground. Now those dreamers have science on their side. Dreams are where reality begins. The future is created by seeing that future, by tuning into it. In principle, anything is possible.
Science is presenting a reality that my rational mind can scarcely comprehend. How can a person influence a machine? How can time not exist? How can I make something intangible, tangible? But I am living in my house and Shireen found her drawing. My doubts must have to do with the quantum leap that my rational mind must now make. There’s a good reason why physicist Niels Bohr said that ‘Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it.’
One evening Shireen arrives home to find a yellowing envelope from her mother containing copies of the Gospel of St. Thomas discovered in 1947. In this gospel Jesus tells Thomas: ‘I am not your Master, but you have drunk. You have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring, which I have measured out.’ For Shireen it is clear that Jesus drew from the same well – the same field – as she is now learning to ‘drink’.
Enlightened learned people like Jesus see through the story of creation. They didn’t need science for their ‘knowledge’ of the Zero Point Field. Thousands of years later science and spirituality are on the point of converging. The consequences and possibilities are immense. The miracle of Jesus and other enlightened thinkers was their ability to see and help shape a better world. They understood: if I want another world, I have to learn to think differently. Or, as Gandhi put it: ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’
Anyone who thinks that only the Mahatma or the Saviour can do that, now has scientific evidence of the contrary. Each one of us is capable. Each one of us is a creator. Each one of us can change the world. And that doesn’t have to be an endless, difficult process – just think of the Aboriginals’ ability to heal broken bones. It can happen today. It can happen now. After all, what is time?