Last month we began our inquiry of ''What Is Truth?'' by examining the boundaries of our reality. We touched on some of the bizarre discoveries of quantum physics, including the nature of hyperspaces and the discovery that our physical universe appears to consist of more than the three dimensions we commonly experience.
The Cosmos as a Hyper-Hologram?
There also seems to be evidence to suggest that our world and everything in it consists only of ghostly images, projections from a level of reality so beyond our own that the real reality is literally beyond both space and time.
The main architect of this astonishing idea includes one of the worlds most eminent thinkers: University of London physicist David Bohm, a protg of Einsteins and one of the worlds most respected quantum physicists.
Bohms work in plasma physics is considered a landmark. While at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, he noticed that in plasmas (gases composed of high density electrons and positive ions) the particles stopped behaving like individuals and started behaving as if they were part of a larger and interconnected whole.
Moving to Princeton University in 1947, there too Bohm continued his work in the behavior of oceans of particles, noting their highly organized overall effects, and their behaving as if they knew what each of the untold trillions of individual particles were doing. Bohms sense of the importance of inter-connectedness, as well as years of dissatisfaction with the inability of the standard theories to explain all of the phenomena encountered in quantum physics, left him searching.
While at Princeton, Bohm and Einstein developed a supportive relationship and shared their mutual restlessness regarding the strange implications of current quantum theory.
One of the implications of Bohms view has to do with the nature of location. Bohms interpretation of quantum physics indicated that at the subquantum level location ceased to exist. All points in space become equal to all other points in space, and it was meaningless to speak of anything as being separate from anything else. Physicists call this property ''nonlocality.''
A Deeper Order of Existence
One of Bohms most startling suggestions is that the tangible reality of our everyday lives is really a kind of illusion, like a holographic image. Underlying it is a deeper order of existence, a vast and more primary level of reality that gives birth to all the objects and appearances of our physical world in much the same way that a piece of holographic film gives birth to a hologram. Bohm calls this deeper level of reality the implicate (enfolded) order and he refers to our level of existence the explicate (unfolded) order.
This view is not inconsistent with the Biblical presentation of the physical world being subordinate to the spiritual world, which is the superior reality.1
Many physicists remain skeptical of Bohms ideas. Among those who are sympathetic, however, are Roger Penrose of Oxford, the creator of the modern theory of black holes; Bernard dEspagnat of the University of Paris, one of the leading authorities on the conceptual foundations of quantum theory; and, Cambridges Brian Josephson, winner of the 1973 Nobel Prize in physics. Josephson believes that Bohms implicate order may someday even lead to the inclusion of God within the framework of science, an idea Josephson supports.2
How Do Holograms Work?
A hologram is a form of lensless photography in which a laser simultaneously illuminates an object and a piece of film. The film records the interference between the light waves hitting it directly and the light waves reflected from the object. It is, in effect, a frequency record rather than a spatial image.
The hologram is one of the most remarkable examples of a Fourier Transform. Holographic principles were first formulated in 1947 by Dennis Gabor (who later won a Nobel Prize for his efforts) as he was trying to improve the electron microscope, then a primitive and imperfect device. His approach was a mathematical one, leaning on a type of calculus invented by an 18th century Frenchman, Jean B. J. Fourier.
Fourier had developed a mathematical way of converting any pattern, no matter how complex, into a language of simple waves. He also showed that these wave forms could be converted back into the original pattern, just as a television set converts those frequencies back into the original images. Engineers frequently exploit Fourier Transforms to change a time series into a frequency series. The use of frequency response curves in the evaluation of audio equipment is a common example.
Modern holographic images are derived from the work of Emmet Leath at the University of Michigan. (I had the pleasure of exploring computer-generated holograms with him in his laboratory in the early 60s.)
The hologram exhibits some very profound properties beyond the three-dimensional image. In fact, it is one of the most profound means to distribute information throughout a given media. All of the information it contains is distributed over the entire image surface. One can remove a portion of the hologram without losing the image! Drill a hole in the hologram, and one can still view the entire object by simply moving ones eye to a more convenient angle (some resolution, or sharpness, will be lost however). Cut the film into pieces, and each piece contains the complete image.3
An engineer who is designing a communication system in anticipation of hostile jamming, or other countermeasures, needs to employ several critical techniques to be effective. In addition to taking advantage of available error detection and correction techniques, he will also attempt to spread his message throughout the available bandwidth. He will avoid clustering his message into areas which would increase his vulnerability to jamming or interference.
It is provocative to notice that the Biblical text evidences these same techniques. Where is the chapter on baptism? Or salvation? Or any specific critical doctrine? Every major theme is spread throughout the 66 books making up the total message. There is no concentration of any critical element in any single location. One can tear out a surprising number of pages and still not lose visibility of the essential message. (Some resolution or clarity would be lost, however.) This design intent of distributing the vital elements throughout the entire message system is even highlighted by Isaiah:
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: - Isaiah 28:9,10
A Biblical Analogy
When one examines a hologram in natural (uncollimated, noncoherent) light, it has no apparent form nor attractiveness. However, when one examines it with the laser with which it was formulated, a three-dimensional image appears.
When one examines the Bible in unaided, natural light, it ''has no form nor comeliness that we should desire it.''4 But when we examine it illuminated by the Light that created it, the Spirit of God that put it all together in the first place, we see an image: the image of the One that every detail in it illuminates, the promised Messiah Himself.
From Genesis to Revelation, Gods program for the redemption of mankind is carefully distributed throughout 66 books,5 penned by more than 40 different individuals span-ning over a thousand years! And, indeed, this abused collection has survived the jamming and interference of its enemies over many centuries without material damage! (However, if we illuminate the hologram with a laser of a different frequency, it will yield a false or distorted image. So, too, the Scriptures!)
And there are knowledgeable, resourceful adversaries that are very committed to preventing it from achieving its objective. And you are the target of their malicious designs. Lies and deceit are their primary weapons.6 And, surprisingly, religion has been the deceptive packaging to prevent man-kind from perceiving the truth of Gods grace and mercy.
Religion is mans attempt to reconcile himself to God. It began when Adam and Eve attempted to clothe themselves to hide their nakedness.7
Gods response was to replace their efforts with coats of skins,8 teaching them that they would ultimately be covered by the shedding of innocent blood. The concept of a substitutional sacrifice, which would later be codified in the Levitical system, and climaxed at Golgotha, was introduced before they left the Garden of Eden.
You and I are also the beneficiaries of that love letter, written in blood on a wooden cross that was erected in Judea about 2,000 years ago.
The holographic paradigm thus seems to give us a glimpse not only into the nature of physical reality, but it also leaves its imprint within the Word of God itself. This would appear to be a subtle, but significant, fingerprint of the Author of it all.
It is amazing - and yet not surprising - that the Word of God presents a view of reality that is not at variance with these contemporary insights from the very boundaries of our present understanding of the physical universe, which is but a transient illusion for temporal purposes:
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. - 2 Corinthians 4:18
These 66 books - penned by over 40 authors over thousands of years - evidence an integrity that has been super-naturally engineered to provide not only a perspective of reality that science is only beginning to catch up to, but high-lights a future that is beyond our imagining! Next month, well explore some of the ''high-tech'' statements in the Bible - describing science and technology that had yet to be discovered or invented when the Bible was written.
What Is Truth?
The Ultimate Truth is a Person: the identity of Jesus Christ. And He is the most anti-religious person who has ever walked the Earth! Its not about religion, its about relationship. It is the most important discovery of your life - your eternal destiny depends upon it!
For further evidence of the reliability of Gods Word, see this months featured briefing package, What Is Truth?.