PART II - Frontier Science & Alchemy

TRANSMODERN ALCHEMY * Book Blurb * THE TRANSMODERN ALCHEMIST * Preface * Introduction * Art Manifesto * Chaos Naturae * Lumen Naturae * Chaos, Solvent & Stone * The Chaotic Sea * Chaotic Consciousness * Pattern & Process * Chaos As the Universal Solvent * Transmanifesto * Psychophysics * Psychological Alchemy * Upwelling Healing * The Homunculus * Fierce Luminosity * Soma Sophia * As Above; So Below * Whole Sum Infinity * Anima Mundi * PART II - FRONTIER SCIENCE THEORIES * Consciousness Theories * Many Worlds / Many Theories * Process Physics * Scalar Physics * Microphysics * Multiverse * Mirror Matter / Antimatter / Strange Matter * Author Iona Miller * Alchemist's Blog * Photo 2 *

A Peacock's Tail of Theories by Iona Miller
Reality is not dependent on our ideas and reality can clash with our ideas. Are we a divine hypothesis, too?

(c) Paul Henrickson

“A theory is more impressive the greater is the simplicity of its premise, the more different are the kinds of things it relates and the more extended its range of applicability…” --Albert Einstein

"Before I go any further I shall perform an experiment, for my intention is first to cite an experiment and then by reason to demonstrate why it is constrained to work as it does. . .Practice must always be built on good theory." --Leonardo da Vinci

"Theories are our own inventions, our own ideas; they are not forced upon us but are our self-made instruments of thought: this has been clearly seen by the idealist. But some of these theories of ours can clash with reality; and when they do, we know there is a reality; there there is something to remind us of the fact that our ideas may be mistaken. And that is why the realist is right." --Karl Popper

The Golden State

The many theories of reality are the Post-Millennial version of the alchemical PEACOCK'S TAIL that heralds the beginnings of integration, the Unus Mundus -- the Grand Unified Theory or Theory of Everything in physics. The search for the Stone is a long rite of initiation, culminating in the cauda pavonis which signals the perfect transmutation. It is a dazzling synthesis of all qualities and elements much like rainbow colors unite as white light. The iridescent tail represents all the colors of light while the "eyes" symbolize all potential universes.

The Peacock's Tail is the central part of the alchemical process. The myriad eyes in the tail suggest the highly-chromatic view includes multiple perspectives of imaginal vision. The kaleidoscopic vision is a metaphor for the spiritual rebirth that awakens the Third Eye and consciousness of the deeper subtle and field bodies.

Dr. Rick Strassman suggests pineal DMT, the spirit molecule with unique signalling cascades, may be a "reality thermostat" ranging from ordinary to non-ordinary states that can be fine tuned with meditation, akin to the alchemical meditatio. Natural DMT produces psychedelic effects under certain circumstances. Pineal DMT also plays a significant role in dream consciousness. The whole receptor complex is a multi-position switch. Hallucinogen-specific signalling responses lead to an altered state of the neurons and to enhanced perceptual and behavioural changes.

Meditative techniques using sound, sight, or the mind may generate particular wave patterns whose fields induce resonance in the brain. Millennia of human trial and error have determined that certain “sacred” words, visual images, and mental exercises exert uniquely desired effects. Such effects may occur because of the specific fields they generate within the brain. These fields cause multiple systems to vibrate and pulse at certain frequencies. We can feel our minds and bodies resonate with these spiritual exercises. Of course, the pineal gland also is buzzing at these same frequencies. . .The pineal begins to “vibrate” at frequencies that weaken its multiple barriers to DMT formation: the pineal cellular shield, enzyme levels, and quantities of anti-DMT. The end result is a psychedelic surge of the pineal spirit molecule, resulting in the subjective states of mystical consciousness.” (Strassman, 2001).

Stress-related (nigredo) hormones cue the pineal activation to activate normally latent synthetic pathways, creating tryptamine and/or beta-carboline hallucinogens. When we face stress or potential death, or in meditative reveries, we “tune back” into the most well developed motif of such experiences–the birth experience. Perinatal themes and memories re-emerge just as the alchemists recount in their "return to the womb" for the birth of the filius.

Through meditation, the pineal may be modulated to elicit a finely tuned standing wave through resonance effects. It creates the induction of a dynamic, yet unmoving, quality of experience. Such harmonization resynchronizes both hemispheres of the brain. It recalibrates the whole organism. Pinoline is a neuromodulator, which prevents, amongst other effects, the breakdown of serotonin. An accumulation of physiologically active amines including dimethyltryptamine (DMT) within the neuronal synapses may lead to hallucinations, depression or mania depending on the amines affected.

Dysynchrony is associated with a variety of disorders. Such a standing wave in consciousness can induce resonance in the pineal using electric, magnetic or sound energy, releasing a chain of synergetic activity resulting in emerging hallucinogenic compounds. Thus, the pineal can be likened to an attractor, or “lightning rod” of consciousness. It generates an illuminative laser beam that pervades the energy body.

The peacock's fan mirrors the dramatic revelation of the colors of the soul. The unconscious comes alive and looks back at us, smiling from the abyss. The hidden realms of the universe within open. The living inspiration of the imaginal ground is first perceived by artistic methods. The best theories share an aesthetic elegance.

FRONTIER SCIENCE is the cutting edge of theoretical and practical research. It uses all the techniques of mainstream or academic science and sometimes explores the unconventional ideas of fringe science as new developments arise that might demonstrate enough credibility to warrant continued research.

The leading edge is often the source of breakthroughs, revisioning data and observations in novel ways that open new possibilities. They embody the legacy of the alchemical spirit in their Mercurial nature. Leonardo da Vinci theorized, "A spirit is by definition a power joined to a body. Alone it cannot support itself, nor can it make any sort of movement. And if you say that it supports itself this can not be from within the elements, for if the spirit is an incorporeal quantity, then the quantity is designated as void, and does not exist in nature; even if it did, it would be filled through the destruction of the element in which it was created." (An. B 312)

Outside of the mainstream, frontier science has reputable researchers from many domains investigating its subject matter, including the mind/body relationship, consciousness studies, alternative medicine, parapsychology, bioelectromagnetics and a growing number of approaches to quantum physics and cosmological questions. In some cases, experimental evidence is strong and theories are weak, or conversely some robust or coherent theories still lack the predictions or experimental proofs that make for good science, beyond "armchair" speculation.

FRONTIER PHYSICS and BIOPHYSICS investigates nonlocal phenomenon based in the fact that in the quantum world everything is fundamentally interconnected. It includes interpretations of orthodox theories and a wide span of plausible to fringe theories, that may or may not bear fruit beyond their metaphorical appeal. Mind and consciousness seem to share that property, remaining largely unexplained by simple neurology. Therefore, anomalous effects probably have the most to teach us, and may dethrone even popular theories.

Experimental evidence has been accumulating in almost all areas of science that non-local and mind-directed effects upon the physical world are more ubiquitous than we previously admitted. As institutional research becomes more open, a theoretical framework is emerging. We probably have only a vague inkling of the extraordinary potential and we are still at a loss how to approach this "new science." Lack of well-developed theories is no reason to shun these areas of research, even if they challenge the very foundations of science. A host of such theories are archived at our Emergent Mind site, which also hosts the Journal of Nonlocal and Remote Mental Interactions (JNLRMI) at

A few others of many include:
Journal of Consciousness Studies

Dynamical Psychology

The International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine (ISSSEEM)

"These are not fables. You will touch with your hands, you will see with your own eyes, the Azoth, the Mercury of Philosophers, which alone will suffice to obtain for you our Stone. ... Darkness will appear on the face of the Abyss; Night, Saturn and the Antimony of the Sages will appear; blackness, and the raven's head of the alchemists, and all the colors of the world, will appear at the hour of conjunction; the rainbow also, and the peacock's tail. Finally, after the matter has passed from ashen-colored to white and yellow, you will see the Philosopher's Stone, our King and Dominator Supreme, issue forth from his glassy sepulcher to mount his bed or his throne in his glorified body... diaphanous as crystal; compact and most weighty, as easily fusible by fire as resin, as flowing as wax and more so than quicksilver ... the color of saffron when powdered, but red as rubies when in an integral mass..." --Heinrich Khunrath, Amphitheatrum

ENERGETIC CHANGE: The Chaotic, the Orderly, the Imaginal & the Real:

The sacred science of alchemy is an integrated scientific, spiritual and artistic worldview. The Transmodern Alchemist, like his or her medieval or Renaissance counterpart, is rightly concerned with the true nature of reality. The great enigmas of our existence remain the riddle of matter, the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and the human mind or consciousness. We are philosophers; we seek wisdom. We are in a romance with the Cosmos, the dark hunting ground of the Unknown.

The universe informs our awareness and being. It is not a secret but a Mystery. A complete theory would thoroughly describe universal 'circulation of the light.' Sometimes the universal laws of nature lead us beyond ordinary science. Subjects in isolation don't provide enough to accurately describe our complex world. More disciplines mean more tools, better models, better technologies. In theoretics we build up and tear down relentlessly, questioning our own underpinnings, adhering to no stale theory: "Solve et Coagula."

Since matter remains a paradox, our Work, comprehending the spirit of matter, means learning more than the Standard Theory of physics. Both orthodox and heterodox theories stimulate our imaginative and spiritual perception. Energy and information fields, not just genetics, drive human psychophysiology. Libido (psychic energy) drives the imagination. When we speak of Mercury, Sulpher and Salt, we mean our spiritual, energetic and physical bodies as well as the elements.

Each theory adds another piece to the puzzle of existence and meaning and might potentially lead to breakthrough on the bench or in consciousness. Such a brief, conceptual survey of alternate theories in physics cannot do them justice, but it can provide leads for further contemplation and research for the esoteric physics of lab work.

We study the nature of being and our own being, the essence of inner reality. Consciousness is a timeless transformative force unfolding in nature. Alchemy, art and physics are modes of inquiry. So are symbolic contemplation and interaction, transformation of the material and immaterial self.

Alchemy was perhaps the first systems theory approach to metaphysics as a science of the transformation of complex systems and continuous process improvement. Dynamic systems exist, they are ubiquitous. The cosmos, our psychophysical organisms and society are complex systems. Alchemy and physics study the basic principles of components, structures and relationships. Systems may be ordered or disordered, or temporarily regress to an earlier stage. Systems engage in dynamic interaction. Dynamic tension is a basic principle of change.

Naturally, alchemists will vary in desire and capacity to unravel such deep notions. However, putting forth the effort can only enlarge our worldview, deepening our process-oriented understanding of complex psychology and physics, particularly micro- and astrophysics. But whatever is happening contains emergent meaning and can be mined for that realization. Process is an unfolding, a flow. Amplifying our experiences can reveal their depth, purpose and significance.

Awareness of our energetic potential gives new meaning to our photonic being -- that we are truly made of Light and so is the entire manifestation. Light reconciles the opposites. The photon is its own antiparticle because it is electrically neutral.

The dynamic photonic field includes light in all its forms: radio waves, x-rays, microwaves, and all manifestations of the electric and magnetic fields. Some frequencies resonate with our biology. There seems to be a cosmic superconductor, a space-filling medium that is a primary reality with different properties than the classical ether. Wilczek calls this highly structured empty space “the Grid.”

Dynamic Form

Each of us is a miniature universe. Our aim, beyond regenerating and illuminative spagyrics, is psychological and spiritual transformation. The least nature can do is fill us with awe at Her majesty. We can change the chemistry of our own thought processes by feeding in facts and imaginative flights about the nature of reality and letting it cook within us. Therein lies the "art of transformation." Alchemy speeds up the dynamic process activating hidden energies trapped in matter.

This distillation of spirit and thought, alchemical wisdom can be applied to everything we do. Thus, we find our union of soul, spirit and our physical condition -- a soulful mind/matter connection. At least in our imaginations, we can take the quantum leap, visit parallel worlds, inhabit our energetic light bodies, ride on beams of photonic light, dive in The Abyss of a black hole, or realize our Zero Point. We walk a razor's edge so the source of life doesn't become a bringer of destruction to the literal children of the stars.

Through psychological alchemy, Jung probed the secrets of the soul. Through observing the threshold of matter, physicists probe the secrets of matter. The secret is matter does not exist beyond consciousness. Still unknown principles fuse us with the cosmos. The Elixir of Eternal Life is seizing the noble fruit, deep awareness, in each and every moment, extracting the gold of its quintessence.

In the alchemical process, we touch the unseen forces of nature, Universal energies that interpenetrate us, utterly. More than a change in perspective, we begin living in the One World, the Unus Mundus. There are deeper non-personal realms common to humankind. Beyond individuation, the healing of psyche and soma, this is part of the collective transformation of our global culture toward sacred living. Mostly, for us that means the survival of humankind as the fruit of the Tree of Life.

Our challenge is to leave our world better than we found it by tapping our creativity and deepening our spirituality. Dualism is always there, ditto the hazard of literalisms, but the created meaning may be the only glue that holds them and us together in the One World. It DOES "matter," because, well -- here we ARE!

Whether we discuss theories that are orthodox, heterodox, fashionable or turn out to describe reality, our quest is a journey through the Imaginal Realm. Perhaps the alchemical notion of Anima Mundi needs to expand into Anima Universalis or Anima Imaginalis.

Psyche intrudes on our scientific hypotheses. We now imagine Infinite Space as the Goddess whose womb gives us our very existence. For medieval alchemists, the Earth was the center of it all, and what little they knew of the heavens revolved around it. In a relatively short time we have discovered our own galaxy, countless others and expanded our understanding of the immensity of space and deep time.

Space is vast and her mysteries are deeper than the Hubble Deep Field photos which allows us to peer back aeons to the birth of proto-galaxies. Everywhere we look there are hundreds of thousands of galaxies in even a portion of seemingly "empty" space.

Maybe perception equals reality, but reality in real-time may not equal truth. The cyclic nature of the Work means breaking things down, cleaning things up, and putting them back together – again and again, refining theory and practice beyond physical objectives.

Transmodern Alchemy

The last few years have seen an explosion of physical theories, each rewarding but still abstract and perhaps idealized. But they have upgraded our thinking, preparing us for the daybreak of our real awakening to the deepest nature of reality. We now know what is wrong with older theories; we understand their projective nature; we have synthesized many of the seemingly opposing forces, but not yet united them in the quintessence.

In alchemy, the peacock's tail is an intermediary stage presaging the realization that 'All is One'. We are on the right path, moving beyond polarities, yet we know this rainbow of theories is false in the sense that each remains incomplete, even those claiming a 'unified theory'.

How many of us, like Newton, still confound three-dimensional space with God? Is the dichtomy of creator/creation a false one, entirely? How many scientists compartmentalize their religious and psychological views? Can we view the vast panoply of nature as sacred? If absolute space and absolute time are deified, physics becomes theology. Can we ever think outside of the psychic box, in transpsychic terms?

Psychic intrusions in scientific hypotheses are rampant in pet theories. New Age schools of thought teach and brand appealing notions which require further substantiation, such as psi "powers". The nature of mystery means we have to wait and see, if we ever find out. The vast cultural pursuit of science is still relatively young even in terms of human history.

Much of modern science came directly from the occult. Newton was an alchemist. The Nazi scientists actively channeled extraterrestrial sources, or rather thought they were. Their research fed directly into the space program. Einstein regularly read alchemy books for relaxation. Modern psi research conducted at SRI and elsewhere is rooted in ancient ideas of telepathy and mind over matter.

Two hundred years ago we didn't even know about the earth, it's age, etc., much less the cosmos as we know it today. Now we are burdened with the incredible violence of the cosmos with its potentials of creation and destruction. It is in us, too.

Research still includes chaotic exercises in fantasy, chimerical experiments, and metaphysical speculation as our reach exceeds our grasp. Many theories are idiosyncratic, failing to pass the acid test of transsubjectivity because they are filtered through the psyche. It's a long way from notions about 'cosmic circulation' to the mathematics of 'conservation of energy.'

It is also a long way from the 'phi, fi, fo, fum' of sacred geometries to fractal and synergetic theories and pre-geometric formulations. It has taken the whole history of mankind's collective potential for genius to arrive here. Perhaps we dream that since the great minds of history have been concerned with alchemy, that we can 'manufacture' our own greatness by contemplating the same.

Philosophers are more concerned with spirit, physicists with matter. Outdated science is simply dropped, but philosophical notions persist and recur when individuals rediscover them in their own journeys. The old spirit/matter debate continues as the mind-matter problem of consciousness. The World Soul, Anima Mundi lies between and unites the two -- material and psychological powers. Psyche and spirit inform matter. Intuitions become thought-models before they become holistic, ordered scientific hypotheses.

Even though scientifically we may have entered the final stage of the Great Work, we still have a panoply of complex imagery by which we imagine the goal, some accurate, some fanciful. They are significant, but miss the mark. These theories of lesser illumination may be silver, but they are not quite gold. Thus, attractive theories compete with one another for our beliefs. The temptation is to identify with a 'flawed diamond.'

Iosis, the Ultraviolet Aura

The palette of the peacock transforms the other colors into possibilities of imagination. James Hillman quotes Boehme, implying “Imagination of the great Mystery, where a wondrous essential Life is born” results from the colors. The full flowering of imagination shows itself as the qualitative spread of colors so that imagining is a coloring process, and if not in literal colors, then as the qualitative differentiation of intensities and hues which is essential to the act of imagination.
"When the colors shine in the peacock's tail so too do the eyes whereby they can be seen. Imaginative vision precedes the whiteness itself, otherwise the white earth cannot be perceived as the transfiguration of nature by imagination. For this new perception, the perception of colors too goes through transubstantiation into a mystical or painterly sense of them as substances, as the complexions on the faces of light which reveal the true quality of nature, its endlessly subtle and multiple intensities. Colors shift from being phenomena of light to phenomena themselves; or, light shifts to being the presentation of color and secondary to it so that the white earth is not sheer white in the literal sense but a field of flowers, a peacock's tail, a coat of many colors..."

The peacock's tail is an infinite manifold of transformation, a fractal of the entire panoply of Light. Maybe there is a spectrum of relative truths like there is of prismatic colors. In this sense, the many theories of reality are the Millennial version of the alchemical peacock's tail that heralds the beginnings of integration, the Unus Mundus, the Grand Unified Theory or Theory of Everything in physics.

Sometimes a new theory is born spontaneously as a revelation in the the mind of a genius researcher. When a unified theory is discovered, it certainly will be the dawn of a new day for mankind. The vast array of cumulative scientific insights will finally be united as more than a theory. The paradigm shift will be seismic. How much longer will it take for the culture to become immersed in that realization? It will transform ourselves and our view of the cosmos utterly. It may or may not "make sense" to us. The intuition of physicists has been refined into mathematical formulae (conceptual structures) not visualizations of imagery or things.

The iridescent tail represents all the colors of light while the "eyes" symbolize all potential universes. The peacock's tail challenges us to remain open to intuition with a beginner's mind, without preconceptions. How can we change our colors if we are dyed in the theoretical wool of consensus thought? What we need is hyperdimensional thought and resonant patterns of association.

How will we know "The One" when we see it? Dorn postulated a union of the alchemist's spirit, body, and soul with the unus mundus, the "one world," the eternal ground of all being (the Chinese "Diamond Body," the Dharmakaya, Zen's "original face," Maslow's Being-cognition, Krishnamurti's meditative awareness).

Other names of this peacock stage are the Green Dragon and Iosis, which emerges from coagulatio. The fire-breathing Green Dragon is the universal spirit, present in everything. In the complex signification of the final alchemical stage, Iosis --the violet stage of the rubedo -- all the material becomes unified. Colors are primary qualities in the heart of matter. Appearance of the rainbow body heralds successful spiritual rebirth, the glorified body.

This color -- an electrical discharge of fantastic colors -- a shimmering array of transcendent moments, is beyond sensory perception every bit as much as the Quantum Chromodynamics of physics. A rapid and transitory fluctuation of all the colors during certain stages leads to the completion of the work. The violet ferment changes and tints the gold through and through; all rust or tarnish is removed in the diamond clarity of primordial awareness.

In this final step we reach the upper limit of the alchemical refining process. Fused and refused, the Stone transfigures itself into a clear, incorruptible, eternally living crystal shining with a ruby hue. It is a visionary state -- visions of light. Meanwhile, we must watch out for our own "rose-colored glasses," not mistaking projection for the clarity of the ultraviolet-sensing Third Eye and Crown Center, which classically correspond with the color range from Indigo to Violet.

The Red Stage or iosis, the ultimate and final stage of alchemical transformation, is called coagulation, when the elements of the first six stages coalesce into the highest stage of perfection. Here that the Uber-Marriage occurs--the union of sulfur and mercury, consummation of king and queen, quicksilver and gold, sun and moon.

Psychic reality fuses with the primacy of conscious, physical reality. It releases the Ultima Materia of the soul—the Diamond Body, which is the Philosopher's Stone. Through the Stone, the alchemists believed they could exist indefinitely on all planes of reality as psycho-spiritual force.

In 1934, A. J. Hopkins in 'Alchemy child of Greek Philosophy', discussed 'iosis' as a 'violet or purple' stage. Berthelot's "Collection des anciens alchimistes grecs" cites Jung ('Psychology of Alchemy,' 1944, p. 229) who claims Heraclitus delineates the four stages of the process in the Greek texts as Melanosis (blackening), Leukosis (whitening), Xanthosis (yellowing) and Iosis (or Erythrosis, reddening). He cautions "In order to tinge gold, it is best to do it after Iosis" (Vol. 3, p. 175).

Hopkins said, "the result... would be the Iosis (the Violet), the Peacock's Tail, the Rainbow, a kind of supercharged Gold that could tincture other materials, because it had more of the Spirit of Gold than its material could hold. And "Finally, when you make it violet, all substances become a unity." (Berthelot, Collection, Vol. 3, p. 192).

Iosis implies fluidity, noncorporeality and pneuma. An accurate attribute or not, it certainly speaks to our current scientific dilemma, so close yet seemingly far from a unified theory. We still don't know what "It" is. "Address these prayers to heaven and demand happiness for yourselves. Io Paean! Io Paean! Let us rejoice!" (Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae)

Curiously, the root ios- also refers to a venom, virus or disease, reminding in alchemy that the poison is in the cure. Indeed, the highest state of the alchemical process, Iosis, refers both to its characteristic color, a reddish violet (Greek ion = the violet, cf. ios = rust), and to the venom (Gk. ios = poison). Does it imply fantasy is part of truth, or caution us not to mistake one for the other? How many self-deluded individuals insist they have made the Stone? The motto of cybernetic I/O is "garbage in, garbage out."

"IO [I/O] is the cry of the lower as OI [O/I] of the higher. In figures they are 1001, in Joy. For when all is equilibrated, when all is beheld without all, there is joy, joy, joy that is but one facet of a diamond, every other facet whereof is more joyful than joy itself." (Aleister Crowley, The Dragon-Flies)

The challenge for the alchemist is to trust the process, the life force we presume is at work in the universe. There is, in the end, only one Life Force, though it operates on many levels, each with its own set of challenges. Discrimination of some sort, at every level, is therefore essential. Unity exists, but so does duality. Truth exists but so do fantasies.

Transformations do occur. Plants turn to coal; coal turns to diamond. Uranium decays into lead. Nuclear reactions turn mass into energy. Should we expect any less for ourselves? Does our field nature persist after our demise? Meanwhile, imagination remains part of our equations for absolute wholeness. The threshold of matter, where nothing becomes something, remains of great philosophical interest and is the focus of our experiments.

According to most creation stories, out of primal Nothingness, the All or Everything emerges or emanates. Paradoxically, how does nothing become something? Energy "crystallizes" into matter in the womb of empty space, a dynamic Void. Mass is simply a form of energy. This process is structured by an underlying, invisible, geometrical lattice. Actually, it is pre-geometric. Because "the Grid" has no true physical existence, it is metaphysical (beyond physics).

Not only is materialism (a natural philosophy) a theory of metaphysics considering static matter a primary reality, any attempt to describe reality is metaphysical speculation. In its dynamic form matter cannot be separated from energy. Energy is a property of matter, which can be considered potential energy. The mystic believes in matter, but believes it is more than science has yet discovered. Even before Western science began, mystics believed that mind, consciousness, or spirit is a property of matter. It hardly matters, philosophically, if you consider it as manifesting force or manifesting spirit.

The nature of reality is that matter-energy must be taken together .The theory of relativity conceives of this single substance as a distortion of the structure of space. Physicist Ian Barbour writes that, " quantum theory, separate particles seem to be temporary and partial manifestations of a shifting pattern of waves that combine at one point, dissolve again, and recombine elsewhere; a particle begins to look like a local outcropping of a continuous substratum of vibrational energy." That vibrational energy is governed by the laws of probability.

But what subtle forces underlie matter-energy and space-time? All form and power are latent within the void. The Heart Sutra tells us that, "Form is not other than Void, Void is not other than Form." This implies that our human form is not other than void, and biophysics shows this to be true. Our physical makeup is largely emptiness. We are fundamentally electromagnetic entities, not merely chemical beings. We can imagine our finer existence as wave-fronts in space. Our personal "space" is not utterly empty, but cannot be conceived apart from our matter exhibiting itself in particular ways, i.e. as "waves."

The void state, or primal matrix, is "cosmic zero," and proportionately our most fundamental reality. It is part of the surrealistic quantum realm. It lies within us all, for the relative space between our atoms is astronomical. This is the ground state of existence which mystics seek in their meditation, moving beyond mind and maya. It is that state of consciousness where outer perceptions cease, and consciousness is free to simply be.

A Peacock's Tail of Theories

Theory must explain what is observed. But almost invariably that description is an interpretation of the abstract mathematics of quantum mechanics. Contending schools of thought include Copenhagen, Transactional, Many Worlds, Bohm, existential, stochastics, many minds, objective collapse, decoherence, quantum logic, etc.

Many terms are possible properties. They are attempts to explain how quantum mechanics informs our understanding of nature since experiments are open to different interpretations (QFT, QED, SED, QCD, RQFT, etc.). They are sets of rules for operating on experimental data. They help us determine the probability of certain results. A given theory may have two interpretations, one of which is deterministic, and the other not. There are variants within interpretations even though the physical theory stands.

Interpretations help us determine what is considered "real," but they also appeal imaginatively to our archetypal beliefs. Because of their archetypal nature, theories function like Strange Attractors holding us in thrall. So, we can get zealously hooked on certain theories because of their qualities and implications. It is a philosophical as well as scientific problem.

The status of interpretations is a matter of philosophical argument. Casting aside consensus opinion, heterodox theories strike out on their own based on different assumptions. The boundaries of realism and belief may blur. Different observers give different accounts of phenomena. No experimental evidence distinguishes among interpretations.


Sometimes A Great Notion

“The key idea, the central core of all the quantum paradoxes, is that possibilities-universes conspire. It’s a quantum conspiracy.”--Fred Alan Wolf, Parallel Universes

Hermetic philosophers used an axiom attributed to Hermes Trismegistus as the basis of their metaphysical worldview. “As Above; So Below,” implied that what is true of the most exalted or superior realms of nature is also true of the most finite. They also believed in finer planes of consciousness: a plenum filled with hierarchies of supernatural beings, some far removed, and others close at hand.

They spoke of a branching Tree of Life filled with primordial dynamics, and a spiritual field with four levels of force that permeates all. In their vision the universe of energy and matter emanated from the primordial state, impenetrable veils of negative existence, becoming progressively denser. They attributed existence to resonance and the transformations of Light and Sound. They recognized four primary elements, which we can correlate with the four fundamental forces: strong force, weak force, gravity, and electromagnetism.

Even though superstition filled gaps in knowledge about the nature of these other worlds, in essence they are surprisingly close. Only in the last century has science been able to affirm these ancient intuitions. As man looked inside himself, he saw the basic essence of reality and struggled to describe it in common terms. Even in science, there is always a gap between reality and the descriptions of it.

We are psychophysical beings. We keep trying to crack our code, to read the blueprints on the creation of the universe and on life, which is just as mysterious. Research has led away from mechanistic clockwork models of the universe toward more organic models based in dynamics, process, holism, acknowledgement of chaos in self-organization, and a closer tie between physics and the life sciences. Some of these theories are orthodox, agreeing with the Standard Model of Quantum Mechanics (particle physics), while others are heterodox, relying on the internal coherence of each discrete model.

New research comes to light each day. We can understand their basic concepts even if we cannot read their mathematical proofs. Energy is mass in volatile form. This revolution in the nature of reality has been expressed in many theories, each of which looks at the problem from a different angle with potential solutions. They have led to widespread theories of quantum mind, quantum bioholography, resonance, entanglement, intentionality, and even theories of paranormal phenomena. We must be careful not to eclectically fuse appealing aspects of incompatible theories.

Each theory helps us understand another facet of our diamond being rooted in the groundstate of absolute space. We can find many differences and similarities among theories. Some agree with Einstein's spacetime, relativity and gravity theories, while others do not and begin from different assumptions. In quantum cosmology, the universe appears from quantum fuzz, tunneling into existence and then evolving classically. Some theories are compatible but many are not. For a table of comparative properties in orthodox theories, see

While each theory solves some problems, they all raise new issues. All of them relate to the true nature of our personal psychophysical organisms. Incompatible theories each claim to be a unified theory, but that is logically absurd. It is possible to derive a holographic universe in either string theory or scalar theory though the later are incompatible. There are differences over the meaning of the Cosmological Constant. What some theories call superspace other theories call subspace. If the 2nd Law of thermodynamics is immutable, then why do some call it the "Second Lie of thermodynamics"?

Space may be continuous or quantized; time can distort or reverse; only some models require an observer; not all demand collapse of the wave function. String theory and MWI are wave-only theories, not wave-particle. Some theories imply larger cycles of creation and destruction of universes, Big Bang singularities, while others insist there was no Big Bang. Description of the smallest subquantal operational units varies widely, from scalars to twistors to quark-gluon plasmas and more. There are theories that require dark matter and dark energy, and others where it is irrelevant or superfluous.

There is not just one theory of parallel universes, but a variety of them ranging from bubble universes, accelerating universes, expanding universes to branching universes. We are confronted with self-reproducing universes, mini-universes, chaotic universes, alternative universes, quantum universes. The fabric of our universe is flat, as shown by the acceleration of space. Different theories account for different assumptions and observations, make different predictions, and lead to different conceptual and mathematical models.

We have many approximate theories of everything. Some rely on arcane geometries, others not at all. Some tweak the theory of electrodynamics. Some say everything is made of stabilized mini-black holes that make up the fabric of the universe. Some consider information as primal, while others highlight virtual photons. Fractals of electromagnetism interconnect everything. Is the universe self-generating?

Some theories are static models, others are based in dynamics, complexity and process, while others envision the universe as a superconducting fluid. Some describe harmonic-oscillators, others mathematical entities. They deal differently with infinities. Some hark back to aether theories while others shun it. Add notions of spin, symmetry, gravity and consciousness into the mix and we begin to understand the lack of consensus about the primal nature of reality and experience. They can't all be right, but they may not all be wrong.

Some rely on Nothing at All...

The Reality Show

In his book, The Sacred and the Profane, Mircea Eliade states, "The creation of the world becomes the archetype of every human gesture, whatever its plane of reference may be. Every construction or fabrication has the cosmogony as paradigmatic model."

Because there is no consensus among physicists, there are many theories of reality. Each theory is argued from its own hypotheses and must be considered a coherent whole to be worthy of consideration, though all are works in progress. They arise from the gaps in conventional theory and also from the strong internal drives of archetypal ideas, many of which were expressed in alchemy.

Paradigms, in science, are thought-models. They direct their holders to pose only certain questions; to utilize only certain methods of (re)search for answers. The specific paradigmatic lenses we choose to form our conceptualization of reality actually function to shape that reality, which we hope to capture and understand. By emphasizing specific relationships, or states of consciousness, these viewpoints condition the nature of the "reality" we experience.

In Ego at the Threshold, Edward Sampson elaborates on this concept:

"The holder of this paradigm can create the very reality that his paradigm leads him to expect, albeit without conscious intent on his part or on the part of those persons with whom he interacts...Insofar as existing paradigms stress the routinized and mechanical side of life, the liberating alternative lies fallow. A model for human freedom, then, is a prime requisite to its realization."

We can view all theories with our alchemical eye to determine if and how they conform to ancient alchemical theories and intuitions. Naturally, this is speculative, but then so is much of theoretical physics. When theory is based in mathematics, it may describe real or imaginary universes (Hilbert space). Theories that grow from observation and experiment tend to reflect the physical world. Predictions and experiments can make or break a theory.

When scientists make their thought-experiments, they enter the same mental realm as mystics and philosophers. These mental journeys allow us to roam the universe from the micro- to macro- domains. Some of these subtle perceptions reflect our lived reality. Theories and models function as consciousness "maps" allowing us to familiarize ourselves with the territory. We enter certain theoretical universes at will and explore them from within.

For example, Einstein was imaginally riding a beam of light when he discovered relativity theory. Einstein struggled with the problem of time dilation and nearly abandoned the problem. Then, one night after incubating the problem for months, he awoke with the answer that not even space was absolute. He concluded that the only absolute of nature was the speed of light. Because things shrink in the direction of motion relative to a fixed observer at high speed, you get the strange result that objects shrink to nothing!

Space bends and twists. The geometry of space is non-Euclidean. Relativity paints a picture of the space/time continuum that is counter-intuitive and cannot be imagined by normal human senses, which are based on three-dimensional perception. Four-dimensional space is also known as hyper-space, or 4-space. In terms of normal experience, it appears to us as nonspace.

Wormholes in space were discovered by Einstein, Rosen, Wheeler, and Misner. Wheeler found that they pulsed over time. Their link to reality was found in black holes, or rips in the fabric of the space/time continuum. Eddington showed that stars are gaseous throughout, and are stable because they are balanced between enormous gravitational pull and an outward gas pressure. When they collapse electrons are squeezed together almost maximally close.

Black holes are different from other collapsed stars like neutron stars and white dwarfs. They are basically empty space. All of the matter of a black hole is at the center in the form of a singularity with infinite density and zero dimensions. It is a spinning gateway to another reality.

Professor John Archibald Wheeler, in Geometrodynamics, states that mass is an illusion of pure curvature. He further states that charge is an illusion, an illusion of chargeless electric lines trapped in the multiply-connected topology of three-dimensional space. In this model, an elementary particle is conceived of as a mini-black hole.

A black hole model usses the torus structure for the collapse of light in an extreme field of gravitation. Space-time collapses to a singularity inside the event horizon. The boundary between the mini-black hole, where the light-cone cannot reach infinity, and light-cones which can reach infinity is called an 'event horizon.' The light cone is a vector in the collapsing geometry of space-time.

The curvature of space is found to be infinite at the singularity. This yields a breakdown in the idea of space and time, going to a paradigm of pregeometry. A singularity hidden by an event horizon is called a mini-black hole. There is no real mass involved. Real mass is only an illusion of the statistical level of large numbers of these mini-black holes. Penrose's twistor is a mathematical description of Wheeler's mini-black hole.

The universe can be seen as a cosmic computer in the pregeometric level of information. Space and time appear as secondary statistical constructs. The pregeometry can be identified with the collective consciousness, of which we are largely unconscious except in enlightenment states.

Wormholes not associated with black holes are described as potentially passable, but only if a special "balm" is applied to the sides of the wormhole. Scientists called this balm "exotic matter." This sounds very much like an alchemical fantasy, but it didn't remain one for long.

"The details of making the wormhole into a time tunnel have now been worked out. All you need to do is move one end of the wormhole at high speed (close to the speed of light) or place it in a strong gravitational field. Either will do the trick. Once this is done, you could go in one end and come out the other at an earlier time. Or you could go in the other end, go through it in the opposite direction, and come out in the future."

This is easily accomplished as a thought-experiment, but presents problems for the physical body. But it does open speculation on what vehicles of consciousness could actually make such a journey unscathed. As our medical and technological sciences progress, who knows what mysterious forms humans might come to inhabit which could make these journeys possible?

As for the mystics, they have already tackled the problem. The Body of Light (Diamond Body) is a vehicle of consciousness appropriate for such travel. Light is an electromagnetic wave. We can speculate on identifying with a quantum of light as a vehicle for our consciousness, and imagine escaping the constraints of 3-space. In the world of relativity, light has the greatest degree of freedom. Mystics admonish us to detach and dis-identify from our bodies, emotions, thoughts, and ego. They say that time, space, and the separate identity are illusions--only a virtual reality, not absolute Truth. Our day-to-day reality is a relative one.

The process of detaching is what mystics mean when they suggest we "die daily." They encourage a process of "spiritual body building". If we imagine this body smaller and smaller, we enter the sub-atomic realm of quantum theory. We are no longer subject to to the classical laws of physics and biology. We have a model for making quantum leaps--at least with the mind. This action takes place in the "virtual space" of Universal Mind.

Stephen Hawking discovered that in virtual pair production, pairs composed of a particle and antiparticle are spontaneously produced out of the vacuum. They pop into existence, then come back together almost immediately and annihilate one another. The process is allowed because of a basic principles in quantum theory, called the uncertainty principle. This principle tells us that there is a "fuzziness" associated with nature at the atomic level. The process is concealed within this fuzziness.

These thought-experiments are virtual experiences in mental/imaginal reality, and are pre-conditioned by archetypal notions. They can have real consequences in real time. Previously enfolded information about the nature of reality emerges. Many scientific discoveries have come from dreams. They are equally revealing whether we consider their psychic or material aspects.

Lack of consensus is even more prevalent in consciousness studies. It relates to our alchemical quest because in alchemy, consciousness is an inherent quality of matter. Models of consciousness, from Panpsychism, to Orchestrated OR, to neural nets are even more numerous than models of physical reality. [See Journal of Consciousness Studies, JCS] Almost every writer on the subject has their own pet theory. Ultimately, matter and consciousness are categories of mind.

"The neural code is arguably the most important remaining scientific mystery. It is the software, set of rules, syntax, that transforms electrical pulses in the brain into perceptions, memories, decisions. A solution to the neural code could – in principle – give us almost unlimited power over our psyches, because we could monitor and manipulate brain cells with exquisite precision by speaking to them in their own private language. The neural code is a dauntingly complex, technical topic so, until recently a complete decoding of the brain seemed impossibly remote, because researchers had limited means of probing the microcircuitry of living brains.  But just in the past decade researchers have begun crafting arrays of microelectrodes that can eavesdrop on hundreds and even thousands of separate neurons simultaneously, and they have acquired ever-more-powerful computers and algorithms for analyzing data." --John Horgan




Peacock's Tail

Mercurius, or common mercury was literally quicksilver in alchemy.  Mercurius philosophicus, the arcane substance, was likened because of its fluidity and volatility with divine water.  It is the water which does not make the hands wet, the prima materia or primeval chaos, and the ultima materia, the philosophical man, the lapis.  It is the healing process.

Mercurius consists of all conceivable opposites, both material and spiritual.  On one hand, he represents the self and on the other the individuation process as redeeming psychopomp or evasive trickster; God’s reflection in physical nature.

Immediately before the albedo or rubedo all colors appear like a peacock spreading its shimmering fan.  It announces the end of the work is at hand.  The irridescence of Philosophical Mercury emerges as the ever-mobile, shape-shifting energies of the Soul.  Psychologically it means that during the assimilation of the unconscious, the personality passes through many transformations, which show in different lights and are followed by ever-changing moods.  These changes presage the coming birth.

Only from this inner substance can the soul tinctures be prepared.  This stage of integration takes place in a sealed flask, cut off from the outer environment.  It requires no external heating as it now contains in itself, a sufficient degree of heat for the process to continue.  Peacock’s Tail brings about and betokens the transformation of the poisonous dragon into the healing medicine.  The peacock is inner beauty and the perfection of the soul.

The resolution and integration of the Three Principles of Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury means integration of contradictory feeling-values.  Mercurius is the play of colors in the Cauda Pavonis, whose appearance heralds the attainment of the goal – restoration of the integrity of the spirit – transfiguration.