Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of conversations with spiritually Awakening people. We’ve done about 630 of them now. And 630 That sounded like 330. And if this is new to you, and you’d like to check out previous ones, please go to batgap.com Bat gap, and look under the past interviews menu, where you’ll find them all organized in several different ways. This program is made possible through the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. So if you appreciate it and would like to help support it, there’s a PayPal button on the website, and a page explaining alternatives to PayPal. My guest today is Joseph Selbie. And this is actually going to be a two part series. We had a scheduling mix up for this weekend. And so, and Joseph has written two books, which I find very interesting. So we decided to do two interviews. And this one will might not be quite as long as they usually are maybe an hour and a half. But if there are some points we don’t get to cover or questions we don’t get to answer. We could pick them up at the beginning of next week’s interview. And this one will be released on Wednesday. So you’ll have a few days to submit questions for the one that will occur the following Saturday. The two books Joseph has written are the Physics of God, which I listened to as an audible book and really enjoyed. It’s about the unification of science and religion. And his second book is or rather rather, it was his first book The Yugas, which is a factual look at India’s tradition of cyclical history. And I’m in the middle of listening to that. Joseph is a founding member of Ananda meditation based community and spiritual movement inspired by Paramhansa Yogananda, and he lives with his wife at Ananda Village near Nevada City, California. Joseph likes to try to make the complex and obscure simple and clear, he is known for creating bridges of understanding between the modern evidence based discoveries of science and the ancient experience based discoveries of the mystics. He’s been a dedicated meditator for nearly 50 years and has taught yoga, meditation, and universal experiential spirituality throughout the US and Europe. He’s also been an avid follower of the unfolding new paradigm of post materialist science with groaning bookshelves to show for it. And I’m an avid follower of that too. But without the groaning bookshelves, because what you see behind me is the only bookshelf we have. We clear it out whenever it starts to grown. Donate things to the library. So welcome, Joseph.
Joseph: Thank you for having me.
Rick: Yeah. So you have a kind of an interesting history of how you started out on a science track in college. And then you had an experience which shifted you over to a more philosophical, spiritual track. And I think before we launch into the topics of your book, it might be good to tell that story.
Joseph: Yeah, it’s kind of that my college years are really a good microcosm of what turned in to be the rest of my life. So I went to college, thoroughly expecting to get a degree in some science, some field of science, and a very science oriented family I grew up with, as I like to say, my father usually asked for references in discussions over dinner. So I was kind of trained from an early age to look at things very concretely and rationally and factually. So that’s where I thought my life was going to lead me really. And I ended up getting a major in microbiology at the University of Colorado. And it was a very exciting field at that time, dates myself a little bit. The whole unfolding of how DNA works within the nucleus to create the millions of proteins that support cells and support the body and the whole mechanism of how that happened was still being worked out. So it was an exciting field and I was I was very much into it. But then somewhere about midway through my college years, I had a particularly profound hallucinogenic experience, and had many before that, but this one stood out it’s hard to describe in words. But basically, I felt like the person, I sort of always wanted to be a higher expression of who I was already. But effortlessly, I was relaxed, I was calm, I was loving and compassionate. I was very clear minded and reasonable. And yet, I was also able to just kind of flow into conversations with people and pick up on them intuitively, in ways that I never had been before. And overarching that all experience was I just felt wonderful. I just felt joyful. I felt like this is the way I should always be. And a few days later, this one lingered for quite a while, but a few days later, kind of that that high level of experience ended. And I very much began to search for how do I, how do I hang on to that. And I had already taken enough other hallucinogenic trips to know that they weren’t all like that. So I didn’t, in any way expect continuing to take psilocybin or acid or whatever was the answer. So I overnight switched my major, from microbiology, to Western philosophy. And I took a deep dive into what was on offer at the University for for Western philosophy. And it was quite a bit. And the usual suspects, Nietzsche, and Kant and others. And it was good training for my mind, I grasped the notion of how philosophical arguments are put together, and how they succeed or how they fail. But overall, I came out of that, probably a year, year and a half worth of, of deeply thinking about it. Still feeling like, you know, Western philosophy just didn’t have the experiential answers. It had mental answers. And there was some inspiration in that, and perhaps a little guidance, but it was nothing really to, you know, put my teeth into, that would bring me back to that experience that I initially had. So then I had already been getting interested in spiritual teachings, I had gotten interested in teaching the Paramhansa Yogananda and I did quite, I changed my major again, really, but I didn’t change direction. And I transferred to UC Berkeley, where I started studying Eastern philosophy and Eastern religions, because UC Berkeley at that time, had a really excellent department with great teachers in that area. And that was much more satisfying, because by that time, I was I was starting to meditate, which is the heart of Eastern teachings. And so the philosophy made a lot more sense to me, having read Yogananda’s book, The Autobiography of a Yogi, all these things were sort of coming together. And I made another kind of major change, which is I thought, I don’t really need to be going to college to get this. You know, it’s not I’m learning about it, but what I really need to do is immerse myself in it. So, as these things happen, seems like serendipity. I tend to think that it’s guidance, I went to a talk given by Swami Kriyananda who was a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda and discovered that there was a community Ananda. And to make that story short, after a hop, skip and a jump, my wife and I moved to the community 47 years ago, and that has been my life. But I never stopped being interested in science. I always followed new scientific discoveries. You know, before the Internet, you had to do that through books and articles, in magazines, and then when the Internet came along, information just came from everywhere, so to speak. So I was always really passionate about that. Meanwhile, I started a business had a family was deeply involved in in many things, at Ananda, helped get a community of Ananda going in Italy, helped get another one going in Seattle so I was really immersed in kind of serving the community in a broader sense. Then children left home, I was able to kind of semi retire. And I realized that I now had the opportunity to write the book that I had been thinking about, for so many years, you know, so it’s like, 40 years, 45 years of thinking about this subject that went into The Physics of God.
Rick: Good. Alrighty. And we’re gonna get in deeply into many of the points in the book. But I thought we might start by just defining some terms. So, you know, maybe first of all, how would you contrast or compare the terms religion, and spirituality? Because you know, these days, a lot of people say they’re spiritual, but not religious?
Joseph: That’s a great question. And I really debated whether I should use the term religion in the book. But I finally decided that comparing science and religion was sort of more obvious to most people than to say science and spirituality, because spirituality is still a term that, you know, many people, millions and millions of people understand but not everyone. But what I really did mean, and what I really pursue in the book, is spirituality. I like to call it experiential spirituality, that that is the the heart of the information that I draw on in the book. Are people who have had direct experience direct spiritual experience, rather than philosophers or theologians? Who, who sort of have a second hand?
Rick: Yeah, so would it be fair to say that religion, very briefly defined would be a set of beliefs and practices and moral codes and ceremonial things and so on, whereas spirituality would be probably thought, you know, it would probably relate to what the founder of the religion was actually experiencing himself and hoping to convey to others, but which religions in general have lost the ability to impart or convey but anyway, it’s about experience and deep inner experience, which might not be obvious, if you’re just looking at the person, you go to a cathedral and Whoa, yeah, religion, there’s all the statues and the stained glass windows and everything, but you could be looking at an enlightened person and not get an inkling of what that person’s inner experience was. So spirituality is about so something very internal, whereas there’s a lot of externalities to religion in general,
Joseph: right? Completely agree.
Rick: Okay, good. Okay, good. Now, let’s define science.
Joseph: What I like to do when I talk about science, is I like to separate discovery, from interpretation. So the scientific method is an eg. And there are, you know, varying flavors of the scientific method, but they basically all come down to a process where you say, I wonder if x is true. And then you figure out a way to test whether x is true. And you test it enough so that you eliminate oddities in the in the data. And when you reach the point where you’re satisfied that your tests are consistent, then you make the conclusion that x is true. And that can be applied to just about any process in in science. So that’s the scientific method. So you end up with a result, you end up with a discovery, that is usually then turned into a paper and submitted to various journals, who then have a group of people who do a peer review, where they send it out for peer review to a broader group. And if the peer review is positive, then it will get into to some kind of scientific journal. And generally at that point, this discovery enters what you would call the the body of scientific discoveries that are approved. So that’s the that’s the process of science. But then there’s another level, which is the human level, which is that there are scientists and scientists are people and like in any field, there are people who have opinions. And they make their own interpretations of what they see that the data is telling them. And there’s a really broad polarization in science. There was a Pew study, I believe it was conducted in 2008 or 2009, that asked scientists many, many questions, but one of them was basically, do you believe there is anything other than matter and energy. And, interestingly enough, 51% of scientists, you know, self identified scientist said that they do believe in a in God or a higher power or higher consciousness. And that only 41% said, the only thing they believe is a reality is energy and matter and interactions between energy and matter. So, those, again, self identified, people who strongly believe that to be true, are generally called Scientific materialists. And that often gets sort of short handed to just materialist, I sort of avoid saying materialist, because it has other connotations, you know, like, rich people are materialists, etc. So I like to stick with scientific materialist. Because it’s a, you know, system of philosophic system of belief. So, science is made up of this body of discoveries, that get peer reviewed, and then it’s made up of scientists interpret that, in varying ways. And the majority of scientists don’t interpret it as being purely material that leaves room for the notion that consciousness exists beyond the human brain, outside of the human brain and body, it gives room for other aspects of what we think of as religion, or, you know, the core beliefs of religion, like life after death, etcetera. But then you have the scientific materialists kind of, you know, rule it out of hand, that none of these things can be true that are the heart of the beliefs of most religions. Because in order for them to be true, there has to be more than just matter and energy. And that, that is, I think, the, the barrier between science and religion. And so what I like to do, as I say, is I like to get rid of the interpreters. I like to try as much as possible to look at the discoveries. And on the spiritual side, I like to look at the as you already mentioned, the, the founders of the religions, the saints and sages who came along, and not the theologians who put all the intellectual trappings on to religion. But just what did they say? How did the saints and sages actually describe what they experience? Some of them might call it God, some of them might call it nirvana. Some of them might call it Samadhi. But if you read what they actually said, you come to the realization that if you had a Catholic saint, and you had a Buddhist master, meet, they just smile at each other, you know, they wouldn’t get into some sort of nitpicky theological debate about which system is better. They just, they’re just full of joy. And they realize that the words don’t matter, the words can’t convey the experience. And so when they describe the experience, and you put them all together, and there are hundreds and hundreds of these saints and sages who have left, firsthand descriptions, then you can do do away with the interpreters. And then you put those together, you put together the discoveries of science, without the interpretations, and you put together the experience of saints, sages and and many near death experiencers. And then it’s really honestly it’s pretty easy to see the unity between science and religion. So it has, it cuts both ways. You have to cut the interpreters out in either science or religion, to find that core of agreement.
Rick: Yeah, it’s interesting to consider in light of what you just said that you can have people in, who call themselves scientists, who are really not scientists, because they really don’t adhere very, very honestly, to the scientific method, they claim to beliefs, they insist upon believing certain things and refuse to even look at anything which contradicts what they believe. And then there are people in the religious field, whom you would call or a spiritual field, not everyone, but some of them, whom you really deserve to be called scientists more than religious people, because they just go by their direct experience, and they don’t give a whole lot of importance to believing anything in particular, they’re more interested in experiencing if, and they would, if some scripture, or guru or something, says something, describes something that they haven’t yet experienced, they generally wouldn’t spend a lot of energy believing it, they would, they would take it as a hypothesis, which they could explore experientially and hopefully verify for themselves.
Joseph: Yeah. Yeah. And then on the other hand, you have scientists who are not bound by the beliefs of scientific materialism, who are open to exploring the potentials of consciousness. And then you have the hide-bound religionist, who won’t look at any other religion but their own, you know, they have prejudice, bias, and open mindedness on both sides.
Rick: Yeah, maybe we’ll talk about this next week when we talk about your your book about the Yugas, but I kind of envision a time when it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to distinguish science from religion, there’s just sort of the human enterprise of gaining knowledge about the world, or about oneself. And, and, you know, what we now call science is one aspect of it, and what we now call spiritual spirituality is another aspect of it, but they’re very much intertwined and cooperative.
Joseph: Yeah, I’ve heard it described as you’ve got scientists climbing up one side of the mountain, and you have the saints and sages climbing up the other side of the mountain, and eventually, they’re both going to come to the same peak, right? That, or, as I like to put it, there, there is, and can only be one reality. There’s not a reality for scientists, and a reality, for religionists there’s just one reality. And it’s being explored and understood, using different means, on one hand, direct personal experience and on the other experimentation, but they’re gonna eventually, they have to get to the common understanding, because there’s only one reality.
Rick: Yeah, the one reason this whole topic of science and spirituality interests me a lot is that, you know, science is obviously the most influential thing in the world, and has been for a few 100 years, and also the technologies that it spawns, they have completely transformed the world. But it has been such a mixed blessing, you know, because obviously, the environment is getting trashed, species are going extinct. You know, the climate is warming, and we could blow ourselves up with nuclear weapons at any time. You know, there are also so many things we could we could itemize. So is that the best science could do? Perhaps there’s something missing? What is it that’s missing, in my opinion, that which spirituality has to offer is the missing ingredients. And if that were sort of brought up to a sort of a par with science in terms of its involvement in the world’s affairs, then science could be an unmixed blessing. It could be, you know, really benign and wouldn’t be inadvertently or intentionally causing all these harmful side effects. So that’s why this this whole topic interests me a lot.
Joseph: Yeah, no, I agree completely. There are many discussions among people who consider themselves to be atheists who are concerned that atheism has no inherent moral code. And if everybody comes becomes an atheist in the world, which they believe they should, because they don’t think there’s any truth to religion, but they are worried about the world that creates and so they keep coming up with you know, kind of bargaining rational self interest kind of arguments for why it would be a better world but they’re kind of thin.
Rick: Sam Harris gives whole talks about while atheists aren’t bad people and the world wouldn’t go to hell in a handbasket if everyone were an atheist, because you don’t need belief in God to be morally good and stuff but he goes into big long arguments about it, but he may be right, but because, obviously there are plenty of people who seem to be quite advanced spiritually who ended up turning out to be morally compromised. Yeah. Okay. Now, let’s talk about how science and religion can enrich or supplement or help one another. I have a few ideas, but I want to hear what you have to say about it.
Joseph: Well, I think in the immediate present, I think, understanding science, not as a, from a scientific materialist point of view, but understanding science, and appreciating the, the Heisenberg’s and the Bohr’s, and the Einsteins, who saw a bigger picture of reality. I think that would help a lot of people be open to spirituality. There’s a lot of people like my father said to me, I forget what age I was, but somewhere in my mid teens, and he said, very, you know, honestly, he said, I would like to believe in religion, I would like to believe that there is a benign God, to whom I could turn and that, that this whole creation is a, a positive thing. But I can’t believe in it, because science doesn’t allow it to happen at all. You know, there’s no, from the scientific materialist point of view, there’s, there’s no way that God can be a reality. So in some ways, I wrote this book for all the people like my dad, who good people, wonderful people, but they’re atheistic, because they just can’t see how there’s any other option if you’re going to be, you know, clear thinking individual. But I think you can, obviously, that’s why I put it in the book. But so I think that has an immediate impact on people, the book could have an immediate impact on people to help them relax, and say, Okay, well, let me let me see what spirituality has to offer me, I’m going to I’m going to be open at least, to the possibility. And then there are people who are already convinced of the truth of spirituality. But are, they sometimes get confused with, they’re like, they’re half scientific, and they’re half spiritual. And they don’t quite manage to merge it all in their own life. So I wanted to give those those kinds of people a, a more solid foundation on which to, you know, base their actions from a spiritual point of view. So that’s just the immediate now, I think, in the long run, as you were saying, I think they become very complementary. And science’s strength is its painstaking process of arriving at agreed upon results. And it takes the woo out of woo-woo, you’ve really got to have repeatable results that are understood by others who can then repeat it in their own laboratory. And even though that’s a slow, super slow process, really, it is bulletproof. So you’ve got that. And as that advances, I think it will do nothing but help the appreciation of spirituality to to grow.
Rick: Yeah. Let me put out a couple thoughts and see what you think about them. So in a nutshell, my feeling of why spirituality can help science is that spirituality as the kind we’re talking about, you know, the kind that Shankara, Yogananda and the Buddha, and Ramana Maharshi, and all these people were living, opens to one’s experience, levels of reality that science hasn’t even conceived of much less devised any means of testing. And the methodology for having that experience involves the mind and nervous system, which when you think about it is a far more sophisticated instrument than the Large Hadron Collider or the Webb telescope or anything, people have been able to develop. So if science really wants to know what the universe is all about the full range of what it is what reality is, they need to incorporate what spirituality, the kind we were alluding to has to offer. And then on the other hand, you were just alluding to this, spirituality, contemporary spirituality has a lot of good elements in it. But it’s, it’s a spectrum in which you find all kinds of imaginative, unusual, not that there’s anything wrong with unusual but fanciful indulgences, in things that really ought to be verified in some way if we’re going to take them seriously and haven’t been. And it seems to me, a scientific approach to spirituality would insist upon the kind of rigor that you just described, where, you know, if you’re going to claim that you’re having some sort of experience, then either it should be replicable in some way. There should be some method whereby others could have that experience. Otherwise, who’s to say whether you’re just hallucinating or, or whether your experience is genuine?
Joseph: Yeah, no, I agree with that. I think that Americans who are, and this may be true all over the West, but I’ll pick on Americans for now, because I know them the best, tend to always want to improve on anything that comes along. Right. And in part, it’s because science has done that. And you see what happened, you know, you see a world that is, you know, massively different than it was 100 years ago, by the little ongoing improvements that are ours as a result of science. And so I think Americans tend to say, Oh, well, this, this teaching of, you know, how you meditate and what you experience. It’s really good, but it’s really old. And it’s, it needs to be upgraded for today. And in some ways, I agree with that something in some ways, they lose touch with the core truth of that older tradition. And they get a little unmoored. You know, they get they’re just off, as you say, in their own, kind of, I don’t want to call it fantasy, because that sounds a little too insulting, because I think these people are well meaning genuine intelligent, in some cases, really powerful people. But I think they, they come up with something that I don’t think ultimately, well take them as far as some of the core teachings, that they’re that they’re leaving behind. So I think in some ways, time will tell, you know, time will weed out some of the woo-woo and some of the misdirected things. As of now, it’s difficult to see what, you know, level of objective experimentation could be applied to that, that would kind of, you know, keep that tendency, a little more in line. But it may come Yeah,
Rick: it’s tricky, because, you know, if a scientific experiment is done and published, then in the fine print of the experiment, or later on in the article, they list, everything they did, all the instruments they used, and the methods through which they use them, so that somebody can replicate it, if they want to, and it needs to be replicated in order to be taken more seriously. But with spirituality, there’s just such a plethora of different techniques and traditions and, and, then we all each have individual nervous systems, you know, which react differently to the practice of different techniques. So it’s, it’s harder to see how spirituality could be a strictly scientific as science ideally, could be.
Joseph: Yeah, I agree. Also, the other thing that happens in modern spirituality is the the goal shifts, you know, sort of their core goal of teachings like Paramhansa Yogananda’s and many others. I often refer to Yogananda just simply because I know him the best. And I don’t mean to, you know, put Him above all the others, but I just know his teachings well, but the core goal of that is, you know, your own self realization, your own learning who and what you really are, and becoming, you know, like my, like my trip where you become that more Wonderful you. And that core goal often in the West gets shifted to prosperity. Yeah, or it gets shifted to health. And they start to take those tools like affirmation, creativity, meditation, and they just shift them. And I think that creates some of the confusion. And some of the reason why critics are right, that there’s too too much variation of unsubstantiated practices.
Rick: Yeah, now, course, you know, Hinduism made accommodations for that. We have Artha, which is wealth and Kama, which is pleasure and Dharma, which is right action and Moksha, you know, which is liberation. So, and, you know, the Hindu sages, I think, understood that everybody, not everyone is going to just be sort of, you know, jumping to the ultimate goal right away, they also want to enjoy life, and, you know, yeah, have experiences and so on. So accommodations were, were made for that. But obviously, the highest is considered to be self realization, as you said, I want to make sure that we adequately cover points in your book, and there’s so many things to get into in your book. Let’s, let’s try to shift into that some more. So here’s a quote that might help us shift. The visible world is the invisible organization of energy that’s from Heinz Pagels, former executive director of the New York Academy of Sciences. So start to riff on that, and I have some questions about it. And we’ll see where it takes us.
Joseph: I’m glad you use that quote, because it’s one of my favorite ones. I use it all the time, there’s just a very succinct way of explaining how it’s possible that everything that we perceive through the senses, is really energy. So this, as this notion has been around for quite a while now. But the popular understanding of it, you know, is really still lagging behind the scientific discovery, that there really is no matter. Matter is not a enduring reality. It’s a it’s a seeming, it’s a formation that is created by energy. And you’ve probably heard, I imagine, most of your listeners have already heard, the old chestnut that if you took all the space out of your body, what would be left would be small enough to fit on the head of a pin. So whether that’s scientifically accurate or not, it sort of tells the story that we are 99.99999, I believe, percent empty space. And it doesn’t mean there’s air in there, there’s nothing. There’s nothing between the electron cloud on the orbiting the nucleus of an atom and the nucleus itself. And then the nucleus is just mind manglingly small compared to the overall size of the atom, which is already almost mind manglingly small. So an atom when you really look deeper at it, and you look at the way in which the nucleus is constructed. You can break it down to neutrons and protons. And then the Large Hadron Collider and other colliders will take protons, accelerate them to speeds that are almost the speed of light, and then smash them into each other. And those protons explode into all these exotic particles. I think of it kind of like, you know, flash steam, if you pour water on something that’s super hot, you just get this instant cloud of vapor. And then almost instantly, that cloud of vapor starts to reform into first tiny droplets and then bigger droplets. And then finally, it all comes back to the ground as gravity takes over. So that’s the same thing that happens when the protons are smashed and explode into exotic particles, is the the exotic particles start to reform into larger and larger particles larger is the sense of they have more energy until they finally return usually, to the same basic formation that they were before. But in the process of doing that, they can examine all these exotic particles whose lifetimes are like a trillionth of a second right, they don’t last long. And that the massive reader that they have to see all these interactions and the trails they lead, allows them to figure out how to measure how much energy is in each one of these, how they form, how they break apart. And that allows them to know more and more about this atom, or this nucleus, excuse me, but never have they or will they find a little tiny ball of matter that is the tiniest thing that can be. There just simply is no matter. So why then, does that energy obligingly remain in these patterns? You know, we know that the electrons are negatively charged. And that the nucleus has got to be positively charged as a basis of the atom. But why does any of it stay together? Energy as most of us are familiar with, runs through wires and goes away or a flashlight sends it out and it never comes back. It seems to be like one directional it’s a wave that doesn’t have any cohesion, doesn’t have any lifetime. So, Heinz Pagels was the one who came up with that phrase that an atom is the invisible organization of energy. So where does that invisible organization come from that keeps it stable? And I believe from what I discovered in things like quantum physics and M theory in particular, which I love to talk about, that there is a intelligent, non local order for that atom that manifests as a local atom. This is really what David Bohm devoted a major part of his work to. David Bohm was a highly regarded physicist in his lifetime, and was one of many physicists who worked on the Manhattan Project. Some of his books are still in use as, like core textbooks for quantum physics. He won all sorts of awards. So this was not a fringe physicists. This was a mainstream physicist who was trying to understand another conundrum, which was, does matter have any inherent properties? And by extension, does energy have any inherent properties? Where do they come from? Why does energy obligingly turn into a hydrogen atom or obligingly turn into an atom that is gold? If it’s just free energy, and it can take any shape? Where does that come from? And he found it, he found the answer in nonlocality. And he came up with something called the implicate and explicate order. And the implicant, he said was two dimensional information that was in nonlocality. That would open you can sort of think of it like a flower that would open into three dimensions in the local universe. And that everything we see everything that we interact with that we think is matter is forming is matter, because of this intelligent template that exists in nonlocality. And thus, all matter is the intelligent organization of energy.
Rick: Very good. When you say two dimensional, ordinarily, I think of three dimension as what? Width, length and height right I mean, those three dimensions. So a two dimensional field is what, just like a flatland with with width and length and no height. Are you talking about two other completely kinds of dimension?
Joseph: Well, it’s a very good question. It’s very hard to visualize. We tend to visualize just naturally in three dimensions because we’ve spent so much time in it. I think the best way to kind of come to grips with it is pick any one of those dimensions, length, height, width, and take it away, and you have flatland, in a sense, but the key thing is that you have no space. So flatland implies that you’re viewing flatness, right? That you’re outside of flatland, and you can see that as flat. Right? But if you were existing in two dimensions, that would be your reality. So a television screen is, is two dimensional, but it gives the impression of three dimensionality, right? You’re looking at me on a screen, and you’re, you’re interpreting what you see, as my head has size, it has depth, you know, you’re interpreting me as having three dimensions, but I don’t in this picture, this, you’re not three dimensional, as I look at you really you’re just one flat image. So it doesn’t mean by implying that it’s two dimensional, that it has no, no possibility of life in it. It is life in a very different way. And this is where I use this. To take it into spiritual realms, is that in almost every experiential tradition, and it might be true, that actually is in every spiritual tradition, I just haven’t read every spiritual tradition. There is the notion that we have an energy body, we have an astral body, sometimes called etheric body, or the light body, you know, there are many, many names for
Rick: subtle body,
Joseph: which subtle?
Rick: subtle bodies is another term
Joseph: subtle body. Yes, yes.
Rick: Sukshma Sharira I think they call it in Sanskrit.
Joseph: Yeah. So that notion is prevalent in all experiential, spiritual traditions. But the astral body is pure light, or pure energy if you want. But it too, is intelligently organized. So light doesn’t need three dimensions. Light only needs two dimensions, because it’s a wave, light, and all vibrating energy can exist in in two dimensions. Okay, so that’s what that was, the leap I made is that the nonlocality that’s being talked about in quantum physics and string theory is a real thing. It’s not just a mathematical artifact, necessary for the equations of quantum physics to work, that it is a real place, and that’s where we go when we die. That our astral body is interpenetrating the physical body at every point, which sounds like a contradiction, it’s very difficult to describe two dimensionality and three dimensionality having any relationship to each other. But our two dimensional, pure energy, subtle body that has all the intelligent information is forming us. It is the intelligent template for our entire physical body. And according to Bohm’s implicant, explicate notion and according to M theories, holographic principle, this makes sense. You know, I know the math is not there. I know that anybody who’s deeply versed in physics or M theory, may be pulling their hair out or screaming or just turn the show off. Because there’s nothing that they say, that is even remotely like what I’m saying, I make the leap. I’m putting together a truth from spirituality. And I’m saying there is this degree of scientific support for it. This could be true, it could be that heaven is two dimensional nonlocality and that that’s where our astral body is, which basically, when we die, and we drop the physical body, that’s where we are instantaneously. We are in the light body that we’ve had all along. And that our feelings, our thoughts, our memories are still with us, because they’ve always been non local. They’ve always been associated with our non local body. So again, science is a million miles from corroborating any of that, but I think it fits. And that’s really what all I was looking for. I think as you put it, your show is about intersections of science and spirituality, right? So this is the point in my mind where they intersect. And I’m unable to prove it. But I think it is likely, given what I know about both science and spirituality.
Rick: My main takeaway from the things you just said, is that we can forget about dimensions for the time being, that’s kind of confusing, but that there are subtler levels of creation. And subtler doesn’t just mean smaller, it means more abstract, more refined, beyond the ordinary range of people’s perception, although some people have expanded their range of perception so that they can see those things. And that, intelligence is all pervading. And which also means non local, you’ve used the word non local. So, you know, it’s like the wave in the ocean analogy, a wave is local. And if we think of ourselves as waves, then you’re in California and I’m in Iowa, we’re two different waves a couple 1000 miles apart, but if we get right down to the real nitty gritty, down to our essential nature, that is all pervading, so there’s no distance at that level. And, and there’s the principle of complementarity, right, where a particle or rather photon changes its polarity. And on the other side of the galaxy, its partner could would change its polarity instantly, even though it would take 100,000 years for the speed of light to to span that distance. Okay, so that’s a good summary. And the significance of all this is that there are a lot of like the materialists, as you were saying scientific materialists, think that the universe is somehow a random event. I have arguments and discussions with people who think this kind of thing, you know, the whole universe just somehow happened. And I think you kidding me? I mean, a single atom is not a random event, and how could a gazillion trillion of them be random? The whole thing is, obviously, God is hiding in plain sight He’s staring us in the face, you know, the whole thing is just the divine play, that is mind bogglingly beautiful and complex. And, and there’s no way it could be random. So but I would have to back up such a statement with some kind of logical evidence or to convince such a person.
Joseph: Yeah. An innate intelligence outside of the brain, as is just as impossible from a scientific materialist point of view, as consciousness existing outside the brain. So they’re kind of stuck.
Rick: Well, they think everything is material. And yeah, therefore, how material obviously doesn’t exist outside the brain unless you’ve been injured. How could you know, how could consciousness and you know,
Joseph: yeah, so they have to work from that principle, they have to honor their, their philosophic system, their belief system, and as it became clearer and clearer for I don’t know, maybe the last 50, 75 years, that there’s an extraordinary number of constants, that have to be just right, in order for there to be the the for for life to arise. Even for the universe to arise certain constants for the universe to arise or, you know, to say that gravity is just a little bit stronger than it is just infinitesimally smaller than it is the Big Bang would just only get so far, and then it would collapse in on itself and, you know, would be a dud. If it’s infinitesimally less, less strong, then the universe would expand so rapidly, that atoms don’t even form.
Rick: Or you take the formation of a protein, like collagen has 20,000 amino acids, and they all have to just be perfect in order for it to become collagen. It’s like a slot machine with 20,000 wheels and all the wheels have to line up just so or you don’t win. And that’s just one of, you know, hundreds of 1000s of proteins.
Joseph: Just add, I think these discoveries, kind of this is my fanciful view of it, kind of backed scientific materialist, farther and farther into the corner, right? It was it was getting harder and harder to explain how this so perfect as Goldilocks universe could have been created, that they were beginning to to not look so good in this in this argument, but then along came notion of multiple universes. Many worlds right? Many worlds, many worlds is one of the interpretations of the possibility of there being multiple universes, many worlds is the one that I picked on in my book, because I think it is the most untenable of them all, essentially, the many worlds interpretation is that every possibility happens. So, and in every instant that it happens, a complete new universe is formed, where every one of those possibilities occur. So if if I’m at a point of decision, and I could go 20 different ways, according to the many worlds interpretation, I go in all 20 of those directions. But I caused the branching off of this universe to occur. And so it happens in 20 different universes, and then it branches again, into branches again, and that’s just me, then there are, you know, 8 billion people on the planet, or whatever it is 7 billion people on the planet, who are all causing universes to branch where every possible thing that could happen does happen. So there is absolutely no causal argument within scientific materialism that could make that happen. So that’s why I find it the most untenable of all of the notions but whatever the causative forces that makes other universes be created, this was the Get Out of Jail Free card for physicists, who said, you know, if enough universes are created, all randomly, and each one has its own set of constants, and its own law is that sooner or later, one of them is going to be the Goldilocks universe. And that’s, that’s how they, you know, don’t have to worry about the fact that this universe is so fine tuned, is that they just pure random, you know, the spewing out of essentially, an infinite number of potential universes, just about guarantees that one of them will be just right. So that that is where they went with that. But I think you know, that it’s your problem, promissory, promissory materialism. Right? Yeah. That they’re saying that that could be the answer, but there is no proof, even remotely, that there are other universes.
Rick: And even if there are all those other universes would have to have intelligence in order to exist, even if they didn’t exist with life in them or something. I mean, again, even a single atom is abiding by certain orderly laws of nature, that imply intelligence. So it’s talk about, you know, lack of parsimony. I mean, talk about, you know, doing backflips in order to avoid the idea that perhaps consciousness is fundamental, or intelligence exists at some fundamental level, coming up with something so far fetched in order to, I mean, that that to me would be much harder to understand or accept or prove or anything else, than the kinds of things we’re talking about, which actually have a lot of proof for them already, which we haven’t really gotten to yet. But, you know, they do.
Joseph: One big difference. And this is a picture of how physics is working these days. Is that the mathematics for there being multiple universes exists. And the, it’s the mathematics in physics, which is not the kind of addition and subtraction that we’re thinking of, but the the mathematics that can be used to describe how rules laws of nature unfold, was used to predict that there could be multiple universes. So this gave them a little more than just a theoretical out, it gave them something that they could, could stand on. So there’s nothing though that is similar for consciousness. There is no mathematics of consciousness. There are no known laws of consciousness that can be measured. So this is part of why physicists are so skeptical of their being consciousness outside the body is that they don’t have any mathematical language to describe it. But If you go way back in time, to the days of Michael Faraday, which is like 1870’s ish. He made all these discoveries about how electricity and magnetism are two sides of the same coin. And he had voluminous notebooks full of what the experiment was that he did, and how he did it and the results of it. But he didn’t have any math. And it wasn’t until maybe 20 years later, at least 10 years later, that Maxwell came up with the famous Maxwell equations that describe the behavior of electromagnetism. And so then all physicists had a basis of math. And in fact, Maxwell’s equations, formed a part of Einstein’s special theory of relativity, which is a lot about speed of light, which is an electromagnetic force. So they build on math, from discovery. But now we’ve gotten to the point where they’re not willing to look at discovery that has nothing to do with their math. So you’ve got reams, as you say, and it really is reams of discovery that says, the mind can affect matter, that consciousness exists outside the body, that the thoughts of one person can affect the thoughts of another person, and so on. But there’s no math. So I don’t know how they’re gonna, how that’s gonna happen. Or somebody figures out the math to explain all these discoveries. But for right now, we’re like Michael Faraday’s day, where we have the discoveries, but no mathematic language that they can take, and try to merge into their mathematical languages that describe matter and energy. So I sympathize with them. But I, I wish they were a little more open to at least acknowledging that these discoveries about mind and and consciousness have been conducted in impeccable scientific ways. Even if they can’t explain it. At least they could acknowledge it. But they I’m being overgeneralization by just saying they, the majority of scientists, especially the scientific materialists just dismiss it out of hand. They they’re so far into their belief and in matter energy, only, that they won’t even look at it. Yeah. And then you’ve got the scientists who are open. But I doubt if many of them really have taken the time to go look at this material. If you go on to the Institute of Noetic Sciences site, there is a page that’s maintained by Dean Raiden. That is, all of the scientific papers that he thinks are particularly good, not just all papers that have been done. It’s like 160, 200 papers that he had, you know, he didn’t necessarily conduct them. But he thinks they are scientifically sound. So if somebody’s you know, in this kind of middle ground as a scientist who had credentials in that middle ground, we’d go look at those, and go through them, and really take the time to understand what they’re saying. Maybe that gap could start to be bridged, but I haven’t heard of it happening yet.
Rick: Yeah, I mean, there’s a few problems. One is people are really busy. And also science is extremely fragmented and specialized. So yeah, chances are, someone has narrowed down into one tiny little specific niche, you know, of their specialty or their their discipline. And also, there’s a whole political scene around, stepping outside of your boundaries or stepping outside the accepted paradigm, you can lose your job, you can lose your funding, you can lose tenure, you can be ostracized. So, you know, people just aren’t willing to go there. They think, Well, that’s interesting, but I don’t want to mess with it. Herbert Benson just died the other day. He was one of the pioneers of doing research on meditation. And he tells the story in the article I saw about his having died, that he had to be really careful when he first started studying the physiology of meditation and people were making fun of them. And he had to sort of he had his subjects coming in through the, literally through the back door of the building, so no one would see them. So there’s just, it’s not again, it’s not science. It’s it’s sort of this emotional. Yep, pseudo Religious, you know, psychologically immature way of operating that’s stymie
Joseph: Those scientists have a lot invested in that belief system. Yeah. You know, it’s their job. You know, they, they, I think on some deep, you know, existential level, they are really afraid of an overturning of scientific materialism because they don’t know where that would lead them. And you know, this is true in any any branch of science, not just physics, you know, archaeologists, and there’s a funny story about a convention for archaeologists who were specialized in North American finds. And this guy showed up, who almost everybody in the auditorium immediately disliked, because he had pushed the earliest discovery back another 2000 years. And there were actually people shouting and almost going into fisticuffs, over the fact that he was pushing the date back another 2000 years, because some of these guys have entire reputation was based on having discovered the oldest North American site. So it’s true everywhere. Pits everywhere, I mean, when it comes down to it, we’re all just people. And I can understand it, I lament that it’s true, but I can understand. Well, I also have a lot of respect for scientists, I didn’t find a spot to, to say that, but I do want to say it, I think they’re, they’re brilliant. And I and I really admire their ingenuity for figuring out how to test things. I mean, that between hypothesis and results can be years of developing the apparatus that will do what they need it to do. And those things are amazing what they come up with. So I think scientists are fabulous at what they do. Yeah, I just wish they weren’t so biased.
Rick: Well, this points to the point I was making earlier, which is that science is great. But look what’s happening to the world as a result of it. And it’s probably because people aren’t developed enough, as you know, human beings aren’t developed. So are our motivations, our tendency to be greedy, or short sighted or narrow minded? Or, you know, all these things? are, you know, we have very powerful tools at our disposal, but we are we don’t, we lack the maturity to use them wisely and carefully. And that’s why spirituality needs to counterbalance scientific enterprise in my opinion.
Joseph: Yeah, I think one of the foundations of that notion that there’s only matter and energy is, is that everything is an island, and it all exists independently from all other. So I am totally separate from you, I have no connection to you whatsoever. But as soon as you embrace consciousness, and the notion that people can perceive your thoughts, and that you influence people with your thoughts, and with your feelings, suddenly you’re responsible, on a deeper moral level, to as Gandhi put it to be the change, yeah, you know, that you have to be the instrument, even if you’re not out there, on the leading edge of trying to save the climate. And to stop global warming, you can be on the leading edge of changing the consciousness of the world that is, underneath all those things that are ruining our world by becoming the highest best that you can become, because you touch everyone. Yeah, there was a study done through social media, of all things. And by some kind of data driven process, they discovered that the emotional state of a core group of people would expand out to people that are two and three times removed from that core group of people. It was was measured by in some way, you know, examining the the emotive content of their posts. And they did it with enough people to prove that, you know, one person’s emotions can spread out like ripples and genuinely affect hundreds or 1000s of people. So the more we know that I think the better behaved we become that it’s that we’re not just an island, that we are responsible for stewarding this world with our consciousness as well as we possibly can.
Rick: Yeah, there have also been studies of large groups of meditators having an influence on society that’s measured in terms of crime rates and things like that.
Joseph: Yeah, TM did a lot of that. It was very ground-breaking
Rick: Yeah, I’ve been part of those groups. Yeah,
Rick: Um, okay, boy, there’s so many things I want to cover with you, we’re not going to cover more, but we’ll do more next week, whatever we don’t get to today, or we’ll do at least another chunk of it. A few questions came in, let me just ask those don’t spend too much time answering each one because there’s so much to cover. But um, here’s one from Kathy Sills in New York. After an initial mind blowing, mystical experience bringing me out of the depths of a dark depression in an instant, which is cool. Parenthetically, there’s been all this research at Johns Hopkins and NYT and places like that about NYU, about the effect of psychedelics on you know, depression and addiction, and so on, I don’t know if in her case, it was psychedelic. She just had a mind blowing experience. But anyway, brought her out of a deep depression in and it’s been she continued to have visions and auditory experiences for a while. In one of the first visions I was shown a vast cosmos stars, planets with math formulas, and geometrics I didn’t understand. I was being shown great truths, new realms of truth. That’s cool.
Joseph: Yeah, that’s totally cool. I would love to see her become that physicist who can put the mathematical language to consciousness, but I think that’s, that’s what you got a glimpse of. And, near death experiencers, often mention seeing kind of the, the keys to the universe, and sometimes its geometric forms. Sometimes it is, you know, a mathematical language. But unfortunately, when they get back, and that experience they had begins to just be a memory rather than a living reality. They can’t pull that mathematical truth out of their own minds and put it into something on paper.
Rick: Well, that’s why we need enlightened scientists who can stay in that deep state. Yeah. And yeah, you know, actually, you know, explore it, research consciousness, you know, and if there are math, you know, I’ve heard a lot of scientists and mathematicians say that mathematics is kind of the language of nature. And it’s so it’s so remarkable that, you know, nature, the functioning of many aspects of nature corresponds to mathematical formula that that we can write down. And, you know, everybody’s heard of like, spirals and, you know, fractals and all this stuff. Anyway. So enlightened scientists might end up doing just that. Okay, next question. From G.I. initials in Serbia, these days, a new paradigm is emerging, and even being advocated by renowned scientists such as Robert Lanza. Is it true? And he talks about biocentrism. Is it true that conciseness comes before I think consciousness is it true that consciousness comes before matter? And that only in the presence of consciousness does matter show up when a particle collapses into a position? Oh, good this is something I want to ask you about? What is your view on this? And if you agree with the theory, what is the origin of consciousness?
Joseph: Well, the origin of consciousness as it is put out by, you know, put forward by saints, sages and mystics is that consciousness is the fundamental. You know, I don’t want to say power because it makes it sound like it might be electromagnetic, but it’s the, in the language of philosophy, it is the sole causative force that creates everything and it is not only intelligently aware of the entire creation, it is infinitesimally aware of each one of us. And so, we can have a relationship with this vastness that is highly personal. So, that is the consciousness that is fundamental to all of reality. And that I’ve been, I’ve been called out on saying that I’m going back to the old days of, like the medieval times when they said that the the solar system and the stars were created for man, and that we got away from all that nonsense, but I think we’re returning to it to understand that all of creation was created for us to enjoy. Was
Rick: there probably life forms of all descriptions scattered throughout the universe? And go ahead I interrupted you. But yeah, it’s not all about human beings.
Joseph: Yeah, that’s exactly it that that. And because of that, that’s the underlying reason why there has to be a conscious observer, in order for matter to take form, to become form. Matter exists, matter energy equivalency means that matter exists simultaneously as a wave, and as a particle. But it manifests as a particle, which is what we see as matter, only when it’s observed. There’s no observer, this is really hard for people to get, there is no matter. And this has been proven over and over and over and over again, by a quantum physicist.
Rick: Double slit experiment.
Joseph: Yep. And so without that observer, the reality of matter, never vanishes. It’s just in nonlocality. It’s in the astral form. And it’s still intelligently guided, it’s still intelligently ready to manifest as matter. But unless you observe it, it doesn’t manifest. This is one of the fundamental conundrums that drives quantum physicists crazy. But I just reread an article that I’d seen a few years back, that is called Coming to Grips with the Reality of Quantum Mechanics. And its an article in Scientific American 2018, it was published, that is kind of a running history of the observer effect, and all the ways in which people challenged it. And then they would not, that that challenge wouldn’t stand. It was a loophole that didn’t exist. And then they challenged it another way. And it was a loophole that didn’t exist. And it has been challenged and challenged and challenged and challenged. But every one of those has been proven to be false. And that fundamentally, there was kind of a wry ending to the article, was basically, get over it! You know, you can’t keep challenging this fundamental truth forever. Get over it. Mind and consciousness has something to do with the formation of matter. Okay, and you can’t get you can’t get away from it.
Rick: Okay, I’m dying to ask you some questions about this, because there’s certain aspects of it that I just don’t get. So one of the famous arguments involved Einstein was, alright, if I’m not looking at the moon, does the moon exist? And Einstein didn’t like the idea that it didn’t exist if he or someone wasn’t looking at it, right? Did I state that clearly? Okay. Now, let’s say that some cosmic rays zap the earth and we all went blind, so nobody could look at the moon. But if you were sitting near the seashore, you would feel the tide come in, the water would start washing up on your feet. So is the moon created because some guy’s feeling water wash up on his feet? He’s not using his sense of sight anymore, but his sense of touch is detecting something that the moon is causing, does that create the moon?
Joseph: I’m gonna, I gonna duck this by saying this is a little bit like these old conundrums of if there’s two children on a railroad track, and the locomotive is coming and its going to kill them, which one do you save first, if you can only save one? They’re too contrived these kind of if my feet got wet in the ocean. I think the bigger picture is that at Einstein’s time, nonlocality was just starting to be understood. And for the remainder pretty much of Einstein’s life, nonlocality remained a mathematical artifact that you needed to just consider it to be the properties of matter when it was in the wave form until you could say it was behaving non locally. But nobody really thought that nonlocality was a place, was another realm, was a reality outside of the local physical world. But since then, people like Boehm he sort of grabbed it and ran. And he said, Well, let’s, let’s assume that nonlocality is a real place, what would its properties be? And how would they have this relationship to matter? And he was the first of many, who basically said, I think the first of many ending kind of with M theory, who said, the underlying properties of matter, don’t exist in matter itself. They exist in this non local twin that causes that matter to manifest when you look at it. So in answer to Einstein, I would say, the Moon is always there. It’s always they’re in its astral form, it’s always there in it’s non local form. But until you look at it, it doesn’t manifest in matter. So it’s a nuanced way of answering Einstein. But what he didn’t like, what Einstein in particular didn’t like, was was it completely random, which is what a lot of the quantum physicists of his day thought that the world was created by the observer, but it was kind of completely random, what that observer caused to form, right? So it’s sort of suggested a, a perpetual randomness, of forms coming into being just because you, Rick happened to be at that pond, and you saw the frog jump, and so you created the frog. And that everybody together, the millions and billions of people are co creating by accident, the version of physical reality that we see today. And this was the thing that really bothered. Einstein. This is why he said I can’t believe that God would play dice. I can’t believe that God would have created a world that was created by by mistake, you know, created by accident. So that was more of what he was meaning by I really think the moon is there, even if we don’t look at it, is he was trying to say, I think there’s an ordered universe that God has created that we can partake in. But we are not accidentally creating it.
Rick: Yeah, so what you’re saying is, I think that on a subtle level, astral level, or whatever, the universe, the moon and everything else continue to exist, but they just don’t become concrete until someone perceives them. And in reality, they don’t even come become concrete when someone perceives them because the our perception of things as concrete is, is a misperception because they aren’t.
Joseph: Yeah. That’s a good way to say it. They become perceptible. They become perceptible as matter.
Rick: Yeah. Let’s take the moon again. Okay, so the Dark Side of the Moon, hardly anybody ever sees it, except when astronauts orbited the moon, but it’s pockmarked with craters that have been forming over millions of years because meteorites hit the moon. So I guess we would say, according to what you just said that those are some, their astral meteorites are something that are hitting the moon, they don’t have concrete form until until an astronaut in circles the moon and sees the pock marks and then something. Something concrete?
Joseph: Yeah, no, I think that’s I think that’s it. I’ll add one more dimension to this discussion, because I think it helps kind of round out why it might work this way. And that comes from M theory. So M theory is the most accepted discipline within string theory. And string theory is sort of famous for not being measurable. But nonetheless, the mathematics of string theory have been worked on for, I don’t know, seventy years now. And they are internally consistent, which gives physicists a feeling that they’re not just making up new equations that they’re discovering realities through the process of mathematics. But in that process, they also come to what they feel to be describable properties of a dimension beyond the physical and that dimension is nonlocality. And they postulate that there is a vast reality outside of the physical universe that, in fact, could contain billions and millions of trillions of other universes that it’s so big. And that it’s layered, is pure energy, it’s two dimensional, but it’s layered. And the layers are what are called branes, b-r-a-n-e rather than b-r-a-i-n. So these
Rick: are which is kind of short for membranes.
Joseph: Yes, it’s a it’s a internal piece of membrane that suggests these are these are impermeable that, that they have boundaries. So these branes are layered. And I have felt, and I won’t go into this a lot at the moment. But I have felt that that is also a good argument for its existence, because the religions throughout the world and the experiential traditions throughout the world, postulate that there are levels of heaven, yes, that our astral bodies are not just in one location. But there are many layers, and they have to do with the frequency level that we have attained through our, you know, attunement to the highest reality. And we might go to layer three or layer seven, rather than layer one. So that’s one part of M theory that I love that has a really specific intersection potentially, again, M theorists are probably screaming in agony that I’m using their theory to just say that there are heavens, because it’s not anything they say. Although I will say they do talk about bulk beings. They play with its notion of, could there be beings that live in this reality that they’re postulating through mathematics? So they to, you know, kind of wonder, they speculate, could there be life in some form that is two dimensional, that exists in these branes. But getting back to how this universe is is created, is they also postulate that the entire universe is a holographic projection that is projected from the lowest brane level, the one that’s closest to our physical universe. And in that exists, the template for the entire universe. But it’s not a static template, really, the best analogy for it is that it is a colossal movie. And that it keeps running in that brane or in the astral region, it keeps running, whether all of it is being manifested by observers, or not. So that intelligent movie is, did you ever play Sim City, no, run into Sim City? Sim City was an early video game, where you could set parameters for a city to develop. And you could go in quite detail, you could set the parameters for how the sewage system works, and how many buildings it has, and how people make money and, and etc. So you are really like the manager of this city. And you could turn the dial, so to speak, and have your parameters age, 10 years, 20 years, 100 years. And then you could go look at how your city turned out. And most of the time, your city was a complete pass, because you weren’t that good at all the parameters. But the point of this is that the city that was set in motion by your intelligence could go through all of its development, without you watching it, without you being there. You could, you could just come back and see what it looked like in 20 years. So the colossal movie that I believe it was created by God, the intelligent power of the universe, runs whether we’re looking at it or not, and that that movie that’s in two dimensions and in the astral regions, is continuously creating our physical world. It’s not the case that most people assume from theories like the Big Bang, that creation was done on one day. And then God goes away, and lets us, you know, run with it. But that its being created every day, every moment by that intelligent force. And that we are participating in it. We are, to some extent co creating our part in that movie because we have freewill.
Joseph: But that that, you know, I use this example in the book, if you have a basement in your house, that you almost never go to, because it’s just got old junk in it an old workbench and you’re tired of that project anyway. If you go back down there, after a year, it will have aged, you know, whatever things that were in that basement, that would show where, you know, newspapers might get brittle and curly. And if you had a tiny leak, that leak would have extended and you would know that nature’s natural laws were governing what you saw, but at the same time, it wasn’t doing all that in material form. It only did it in material form, when you came to look at it, right? It’s a mind bender.
Rick: Yeah. I mean, we could also think of those time capsules that they bury at the foundations of statues and things like that and dig them up 100 years later. But um, while we’re still on talking about the Big Bang, um, you know, I think it’s what you should also what you just said about manifestation happens all the time. It’s not just something that happened 13 point 8 billion years ago, but it can be both, obviously. And if if the Big Bang theory is correct, obviously, there it was quite a while before, there could have been any sentient beings, at least biological ones to observe anything. And yet, all this development was taking place, and they can look back and see how quickly it expanded and how hot it was, and how quickly it cooled. And, and all that stuff and how, how gas clouds turned into stars and stars clustered into galaxies, they can figure all that stuff out, even though there wasn’t, that was all developing, even though there weren’t any, at least corporeal beings, to observe it. But it’s interesting to consider that, you know, if, if what we’re, if we’re swimming in an ocean of intelligence, and there’s nothing but that intelligence, then we can imagine currents within the intelligence which like impulses of intelligence, and those impulses would be the gods or the devas or, you know, beings who were responsible for the manifestation and orchestration of the universe. And they could very well have been conscious of what was going on, and things could have thereby had a certain degree of manifestation by virtue of their cognition or perception of it. What do you think about that?
Joseph: Now, there are many systems of cosmology that suggests exactly what you just did. I didn’t try to put it in my book, because it was like one bridge too far. I, you know, I thought, if I can get people to, you know, buy into even the notion that the holographic projection of the universe from the branes of M theory, could be a continuous running movie. If I get them that far, I felt that I was doing well. So, but it is true that in Hindu cosmology, which I’m most familiar with, there is the notion that there are kind of like channels, they’re like, you know, they’re godlike in the sense that they’re one with God. But they’re independent, just in the same way we are independent.
Rick: Yeah, the way currents are within an ocean. A current you can see, you can tell where the Gulf Stream is, but it’s really just the ocean.
Joseph: Yeah. Yeah. So I believe that to be true, I can’t this moment think of how anything that I know of in science could suggest that that is true, but I believe it to be true.
Rick: Okay, science will have to catch up. Another thing along these lines we’re talking about so the astral or subtle realm manifesting into gross universe. So that everything we see in the material realm is a sort of a manifestation or expression of the subtle realm, right? So um, that would imply I suppose that, correct me If you see it differently, that there are negative qualities in the astral realm as well as positive because we have Auschwitz, we have Fukushima, you know, we have the plastic garbage patch in the Pacific, and you know, all kinds of negative things are manifesting as well as positive. So would that be perhaps depicted, mythologically, as the gods and the demons, each doing their thing and sort of negative or demonic impulses are sometimes manifesting and other times more devic or positive impulses?
Joseph: I think that can be true. Because there definitely are currents of influence, as you’re using the, the analogy, there are currents of influence that are, I think, positive and negative. I would say that it’s not so much that they’re being sent, that they’re not an inevitable part of a universe being created by this process. But that those currents are drawn by us as co creators within this realm. And so we pull those negative currents into the world, or we pull positive currents into the world. And that’s part of the equation that makes this our particular movie, go well, or go poorly. Because we have freewill. You know, we are actors in this movie. But we also have some control over the parts we’re playing. And if we choose to, you know, be the guys that are more interested in making as much money as they possibly can and getting as much power as they possibly can, at the expense of anything except themselves and those they love. Then those things when that, you know, the garbage patch happens almost inevitably, from that attitude.
Rick: Yeah. Okay. question came in from Rita, somewhere in the US. Do you think psychology could be a field through which we could scientifically study spirituality? I’m thinking of people like Rick’s former guest, clinical psychologist, Cassandra Vitton, who is I think the head of the of Ions these days, or was. Psychology is already a field that studies unseen aspects of the human experience, it seems natural to expand into studying spirituality through that avenue.
Joseph: I agree completely. I think that, in fact, it’s already happening. The challenge is that psychology has to play by the same rules as mainstream science. So like, physicists have a hard time measuring consciousness in any way, or putting it into, you know, equations, psychologists are up against the same same challenge. I think what psychologists are doing though, is they’re increasing the pile of studies that indicate there are subtle forces that work within the psyche, that can one day be contributed to this need for the mathematic backbone, that would explain it all. And they do do a lot of that. So really, folks like Dean Raiden, and his team, he already mentioned his, his other person there that is a well known worker in that realm, are really drawing from psychology in many ways, in the way they test people. Just for their same reason that you mentioned, that they’re trying to test the unseen, they’re trying to work with things that don’t occur on normal instruments. So I have a lot of hope for it. Much of psychology today, in the mainstream, is really about mental health. So either extreme mental health, or the Pharmacopoeia of trying to keep people healthy, through through drugs of various kinds, that’s where most of their energy is going. But there is this group that is, you know, sort of pure research trying to find some keys to, you know, how does it work? They already assume that consciousness is there, that’s their hypothesis, but how does it work? And what laws can we put together from what we discover? So I think it’s promising. I think it’s promising everywhere I should say. I really don’t want to end on a negative note about science. As I said, earlier, I really admire science and scientists, I think that being creative within that discipline of science is really challenging, and they do a great job doing it. And I think that someday, not too far in the future, I think we’re gonna see a flip, where there’s enough other scientists who say, you know, we got to get away from scientific materialism, it is not working for us. It’s not solving what I call the big three, which is the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and the origin of consciousness. These are these most important things that science should be looking at. But they don’t have any answers to it with just matter and energy. So I think inevitably, it’s going to flip because there are going to be fewer and fewer things that can be answered, just by matter and energy.
Rick: Yeah, it could flip quite abruptly to at some point, you’ve probably heard of the idea of phase transitions, which, you know, can happen quite abruptly, even though the conditions for them to occur have been building up slowly and imperceptibly.
Joseph: Water to steam? Yeah, there you go. One degree, right, one degree and it’s, it’s steam.
Rick: right. Maybe we’ll talk about this more next week when we talk about the Yuga’s? Sure. But there again, there are many, like socio political examples of sudden phase transitions too, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the legalization of gay marriage, and marijuana, all kinds of things that happen, that people didn’t foresee happening. So there could be a big, big sea change in the mentality of the scientific community. And as there has been many times over really, yeah. That’s another interesting phenomenon that we can’t spend too much time on. But how we kind of take our current reality for granted. And almost even though we’ve lived through so much change, and many people just kind of assume that, well, this is kind of normal, and like, they can’t imagine anything, you know, radically different than this in their lifetimes. And yet time and again, things change radically. Yeah. Well, I think we’re almost at our time limit for this week. And it’s exciting talking to you. There’s so many, I have four pages of notes here, I only got to about half a page, things I wanted to bring up. But I’ll go over them and bring some next week. And we’ll also talk about the Yugas, which are fascinating and relate to what we were just saying that there have been and will be ages, which are profoundly better than the one we’re living in. And we’re actually in in the ascendancy right now into a better age. And many people feel that sense that and so we’ll discuss that. And, and perhaps some, you know, I’ve been saying it couldn’t get much worse, like the Beatles song, getting better all the time, “couldn’t get much worse”. And, and I’ll try to sort of put together some notes to maybe in our first half an hour or so, or 15 minutes, highlight some of the things we’ve talked about today and wrap up some loose ends. So if people have some questions that were inspired by today’s conversation, you could send them in anytime all week, from the question on the question forum on batgap.com. Submit a question form. And I’ll try to ask some of them next week. And we’ll just concisely say a few more things about what you know, one final thing, okay. We never actually defined God, we define science, we define spirituality, but we didn’t define God. And this is the book is the Physics of God. Do you want to take a crack at it?
Joseph: Well, I took a stab at it earlier, I think I can’t really say better than infinite intelligent consciousness.
Rick: Okay. But you know what that really means the Christians and others say God is omnipresent. That means there is no place anywhere where God does not exist in fullness, which means there is nothing other than God. Because if there were then there’s a hole in God, where that thing is.
Joseph: yes, this is the old monism versus dualism. And I find it personally, others may find it wonderful, but I find it confuses people to say that, because it’s paradoxical. It’s like I’m a part of God, and yet I don’t feel a part of God. Everything I see is a part of God, but I don’t know that there’s God there. And so God has to be this, you know, distant reality, even if they believe in it. And that’s what dualism is. Dualism says it’s simultaneously both. God is infinite, omnipresent. And yet we’re also only able to perceive what we can perceive now, through our senses and the development we have of our mind, and that eventually, we will grow and grow until we’re one with that infinite intelligence. But until we are one, that duality exists, there’s always a separateness. And one of the things I love about Yogananda’s teachings is that He said, you become one with God without any loss of individuality. So this is this is a, you know, logical paradox. And Yogananda just said, you know, Western philosophy is full of logical paradoxes, but they’re just people trying to use reason to understand what’s true. Where he said, it’s just true. You don’t have to understand it philosophically. But there is no loss. And I say that, because there are a lot of people who I have talked with, who assume that Samadhi, Nirvana, any kind of ultimate state, is a kind of death. That you as an individual, you disappear, and there’s just God. And I think that’s a little bit fearful for people, it’s like, well, I don’t want to disappear. I don’t want to die. It’s the same sort of thing. I don’t want to just end in at the end of this life, and my body becomes dust. So I was very, very reassured, and I tell as many people as I can, this quote that the oneness comes with awareness of your oneness with God. And all the individuality is preserved, if you will, all the memories of all your lives are accessible to you still. But there is no separation. And how that can be logically, you just logic just won’t do it.
Rick: Well, if you realize you’re the ocean, does that mean all the waves go away? No. They’re still waves. Yeah, we realize that the waves are made of the same stuff as the ocean, which, you now, found your, realized yourself to be, but the waves are just as wavy as they ever were.
Joseph: And Yogananda not just Yogananda but many traditions have it that a totally realized being can choose to come back and be a wave again, in order to teach people. So you’re a fully realized wave. You’re the ocean, you’re the wave, you’re fully realized. And it all works together because of that oneness with God. Great.
Rick: Well, let’s end it on that beautiful point. And we’ll see you next week. And we will see those of you who have been listening or watching next week. And anybody who’s watching this on YouTube, the permanent version, not watching the live version, the next one will be scheduled what’s 26, yes February 26 2022. And you can go to batgap.com. And see a list of all the upcoming interviews and there’s a little icon on the right of each one that you can click to add this to your account to add it to your calendar, in Outlook or Gmail or whatever so that you can be notified when the live one is going to be if you’d like to watch it live. Anyway, thanks a lot, Joseph.
Joseph: My pleasure.
Rick: Yeah, I really enjoyed talking to you. Time flies when you’re having fun. And next week, we’re going to talk mostly about the Yugas, but we’ll also talk some more about this stuff. And I’ll look forward to finishing your book about the Yugas, which I’m enjoying a lot. It’s like a great history lesson.
Joseph: Feel free to forward me any of those questions. it might help me just formulate a concise answer.
Rick: I will. Yeah.
Joseph: So happy to do that. And good luck with getting the floor fixed.
Rick: Yeah, I think we’re gonna build an ark. And I think it’ll be alright. It’s just the crazy thing happened. The washing machine overflowing. Okay,
Joseph: life keeps happening.
Rick: It does. What is it John Lennon said like life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.
Rick: Alright, everybody. Thanks. And they’ll see you next week.
Joseph: All right. Thank you.
Rick: Okay, bye bye.