Bernard Haisch is a German-born American astrophysicist, and he gave one of the most fascinating lectures I ever heard in Palo Alto some years back. He posits this beautifully elegant theory of “Creation by subtraction.” Let’s use an analogy. Imagine you plug in an old-fashioned slide projector but don’t insert a slide; what you get on the screen is pure white light. We know that white light contains all of the colors in the visible spectrum. Now if you put in a pure blue slide, the screen turns blue. But here’s the ‘miracle’ – the blue slide did not add blue to the screen, it simply filtered out all of the other colors except blue! So, there you have it, creation by subtraction. In other words, to use Haisch’s phrase, by limiting infinite possibility, you create finite reality.”
A. The ‘Given Wisdom”
Which brings me to the subject of this blog: Pareidolia. The given definition of pareidolia is, inferring non-existent patterns from random data e.g., you see a cloud in the sky, and you exclaim, “look it’s exactly like an elephant!” Or you’re walking in the forest and you jump in fright as you ‘see’ a snake only to realize that it’s just a discarded piece of rope. Or, to use a more cosmic example, when you look to the night sky and identify Orion or The Big Dipper, you need to realize that these are distinct stars which do not lie on a two-dimensional plane but some of which lie far deeper in space than others – from our perspective – and, therefore, seen from a different vantage point in space, they would fall into a totally different configuration. Sorry, Leo is in the eye of the beholder!
B. An Alternative Theory
Since the ‘blue slide’ worked, not by adding what was not previously there, but simply deleting what is not pertinent, I believe that our ability to infer cloaked, embedded or ‘hidden’ patterns is the essence of the search for truth in all disciplines, from art to science to mysticism. Here’s a simple illustration. If I give each member of a high school class, a sheet with a matrix consisting of a hundred rows by a hundred columns of simple dots, and ask them to identify the hidden geometric image, I warrant I’d get the following list: “there’s a square hidden there; or a rectangle or a triangle …” They are all correct, but, with a trained eye, a student might infer the Mona Lisa or a sunset. And, in my belief system, all of the students would be correct.
To use another analogy. What did Michelangelo have to add to the block of Carrara marble to create the Pieta? Nothing! He simply chiseled away the stuff that was hiding it.
On Holy Thursday 2020, I had the following vision. I was swept up into the air about 10,000 feet and below me was a crowded golden beach thronged with happy holiday makers. All were wearing sombreros. Some sombreros were green, some blue, some white and some black. Then a great ‘orchestra conductor’ waved his baton and the people assembled themselves into two perfect circles underneath which lay a rectangle. The people in the two circles effortlessly assembled themselves in such a way that I shouted out in delight, “Look, they represent the two hemispheres of planet Earth!” The blue and green sombreros did a perfect imitation of the oceans and dry land; and in the rectangle, the black and white sombreros spelled out, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” – with the black representing the words and the white representing the spaces between the words.
C. Application to Life
Here, then, is my thesis: Reality is in the mind of the beholder. And this is true not just of our visual sense, it’s true of all our senses. And, it is also true of science, of religion and of ‘the news.’ Don’t you still remember the childhood game of joining the dots in your coloring book to discover the hidden image? That’s the entire purpose of incarnation: joining the dots of our experiences.
And isn’t it interesting that in Relativity Theory, to travel at the speed of light means, literally, to subtract space and time because Einstein’s famous theory posits that while mass becomes infinite, both space and time shrink to zero, if you attain the speed of light. I would say, then, that enlightenment is loving and living at the speed of light – God-light, which allows us to dance on the cosmic ocean of Unconditional Love.
Once, we understand that, we quickly realize that fake news, fake history, fake probabilities are all just versions of the ‘wave’ awaiting an observer in order to collapse it to a particular outcome. Which one is ‘real’? They all are! The deeper question is, “Which one do I want to live in? Presumably, the one selected by loving choices; the one we get when we subtract the dark tulpas. So, you’re not just “making it up”, you’re revealing what’s hidden – and every possible image is hidden in the data. Then, you realize that the ego is uni-perspectival, the soul is multi-perspectival, and God omni-perspectival. It’s vital to infer images and ‘truth’ that create peace in our hearts, so that we may discover the image of God, hidden everywhere.
D. Contemporary Judgments of Jesus as an Example
We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. Many people saw and heard Jesus speak and act, but each selected a different image of who he was and what his mission should be. Here’s a smattering of these perspectives.
– His mother (they have no wine – John c2)
– His brothers/sisters (thought he was crazy – Mark c3)
– His aunt (special treatment for her boys – Matthew c20)
– His apostles (a hierarchy of importance – Luke c9)
– The priests (a blasphemer – Matthew c26)
– The Romans (a rabble rouser – John c2)
– King Herod (an entertainer – Luke c23)
– The crowds (a distraction from the drag of daily living – John c6)
So, we select the outcome by our attention and intention. Hence, we must be very mindful of where our attention is focused and what our intentions are. You can’t just water the weeds in your garden and then complain that the flowers are dying. The genius of autistic savants seems to lie in the fact that their brains “lack” filtering mechanisms! For the rest of us the brain is a limiting faculty to protect the ego from being swamped. It’s a huge cost to pay. Therefore, it takes a deep connection with the soul to strip away some of these filters, so that we experience the faith that can move mountains.
I’d like, then, to finish by reversing Haisch’s articulation of how we construct our reality and say, “By unlimiting finite reality, we reconnect with infinite possibility.”