HOLOGRAM:How is “reality” created from The Field? Most  quantum  physicists  agree  it  is  a  very  similar  process  to  the  creation  of  a hologram. In other words, the universe we see is a “holographic universe.” “When we look at some of the scientific views of ‘reality’ that have tried to get down,  down, down to the nitty-gritty, we see at its ultimate level… that reality is not solid – it’s  mostly empty space – and whatever solidity it has seems more to resemble a hologram  picture rather than material, harsh, solid reality.”1 “University of London physicist David Bohm, for example, believes… that despite its  apparent solidity, the universe is at heart a phantasm, a gigantic and splendidly detailed  hologram.”2 Let’s back up for a minute…. Quantum  Physics  is actually  a  science  of mathematics,  and  it  is the  most  accurate mathematical science to date to explain what we see in our “reality.” “Quantum mathematics – which is, in our belief, the most fundamental mathematics,  the  most  accurate  mathematical  description  of  nature  that  we  have  discovered  –  this  mathematics  shows  us  clearly  that  the  movements  of  objects  are  describable  only  in  terms of possibilities, not the actual events that happen in our experience.”3 The  mathematics  used  in  quantum  physics  to  “describe  nature”  and  explain  the behavior we see in our “reality” is also the same mathematics used to create a hologram. This is why quantum physicists say the universe seems to be more like a hologram than solid reality. So,  to  understand  the  “holographic  universe,”  we  have  to  understand  how  a hologram is created. But first, a very brief background…. Holography  was  invented  by  a  Hungarian  physicist,  Dennis  Gabor,  for  which  he received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1971. But it was not until the laser was invented in 1960 that holography became workable and practicable. Today it is used for many things, including credit cards and product packaging. There are actually three different kinds of holograms, some using lasers and others using white light. But let’s talk about the basic laser process for creating a hologram, in simplified form. The  first  thing  to  understand  about  creating  a  hologram  is  that  it  is  a  two-step process.

The first step is that you shoot a laser beam out of a gun, and then immediately split it into two beams. One half of the original beam (called the “reference beam”) is directed toward a special holographic film (or plate). The other half of the original beam hits and bounces off an object, and then goes to the same piece of holographic film. At this point, what you’ve got is a holographic image (a pattern) on the holographic film; but you can’t see the image of the object. If you look at the film, all you can see is a bunch of nothing – indiscernible waves. You may remember a craze in the 1990’s about so-called “3-D pictures.” These were pictures where, if you looked at them normally, all you could see was… nothing, really. Just a bunch of wavy lines.

Looking  at  the  original  image  on  a  piece  of  holographic  film  after  Step  1  is  very similar. You really can’t see anything. But now let’s do Step 2. If you take the reference beam from Step 1 and shine it on the holographic film again…. …out pops the object from Step 1. This would be the equivalent of changing your focus to have the 3-D picture pop out as a discernible image. Now, the most interesting thing about this holographic image of an apple that pops out in Step 2 is that it looks very real and very solid – so real that your mouth can water, and you want to pick it up and take a bite. But if you try to pick it up, your hand will go right through it, since there’s nothing there. “Creating  the  illusion  that  things  are  located  where  they  are  NOT  is  the  quintessential  feature  of  a  hologram….  If  you  look  at  a  hologram,  it  seems  to  have  extension in space, but if you pass your hand through it, you will find there is nothing  there….  Despite  what  your  senses  tell  you,  no  instrument  will  pick  up  any  energy  or  substance where the hologram appears to be hovering. This is because a hologram is a  virtual image, an image that appears to be where it is not.”4 So  how  can  quantum  physics  say we live  in  a holographic  universe?  That  doesn’t make any sense. What we see and touch looks and feels very real and very solid. We can reach out and grab and eat the apple we see in front of us; so how can it be a hologram? We  also  don’t  fall  through  the  floor;  nor  can  we  walk  through  walls  (well…  the  vast majority of us can’t).

The  first  answer  is  to  say  that  many  quantum  physicists  don’t  actually  say  our physical reality  is a hologram;  they says  it  acts like a hologram,  since the mathematics used to explain both is the same. But more and more scientists are now going further and suggesting we do, indeed, live  in  a hologram,  based on the most  recent  experiments.  For example,  in  2008 Craig Hogan,  director  of  Fermilab’s  Center  for  Particle  Astrophysics,  said,  “If  the  GEO600  result is what I suspect it is, then we are all living in a giant cosmic hologram.”5 “The  idea  that  we  live  in  a  hologram  probably  sounds  absurd,  but  it  is  a  natural  extension  of  our  best  understanding  of  black  holes,  and  something  with  a  pretty  firm  theoretical  footing.  It  has  also  been  surprisingly  helpful  for  physicists  wrestling  with  theories of how the universe works at its most fundamental level.”6 And  according  to  Dr.  Jacob  Bekenstein,  Professor  of  Theoretical  Physics  at  the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “An astonishing theory called the holographic principle  holds  that  the  universe  is  like  a  hologram….  The  physics  of  black  holes  –  immensely  dense concentrations of mass – provides a hint that the principle might be true.”7 So  at  this point  I would  simply  ask you  to  suspend  all  judgment  and  consider  the possibility we live in a holographic universe, as the scientific results of quantum physics suggest. You don’t have to “believe” this forever; just try it out as an experiment. I admit this is a radical way of thinking; but after all we’ve been through trying to find “the truth” – most of which didn’t work very well – maybe it’s time to get a little more radical. “It is relatively easy to understand this idea of holism in something that is external to  us, like an apple in a hologram. What makes this difficult is that we are not looking at the  hologram; we are part of the hologram.”8 * * If  we  look  around  carefully  and  pay  attention,  there  are  “clues,”  or  “hints,”  we’re being given all the time about how this universe actually works. I’m going to mention a few  of  those  hints  over  the  course  of  this  book,  and  I’m  going  to  be  suggesting  some Hollywood movies for you to rent and watch. Now you might say, “That’s all just fiction; it’s just a movie;” and you would be right. But fiction and movies can also give us hints about what is really going on. Especially science  fiction. When I was young there was a comic book called  Dick  Tracy,  and  Dick  had  this  really  incredible  wrist-watch-two-way-radio-thingy.  I  say “incredible”  because  in  the  1950’s  it  was  pure  science  fiction.  Today  it’s  a  reality.9 I could – and you could – list hundreds of things in the field of technology, for example, first mentioned in some artistic medium that have come true in the last few decades, not the  least  of  which  are  George  Orwell’s  1984 and  Ayn  Rand’s  Atlas  Shrugged – unfortunately. So there are two short videos I want you to watch to get a better idea what this whole holographic concept is about, and how real a hologram can seem. One  is  a  scene  from  the  movie,  The  Thirteenth  Floor.  In  this  movie,  a  German scientist  figured out how to create  a full-blown hologram that one can become  part of, like a total immersion movie. But the scientist gets murdered, and his friend and partner (Douglas Hall) wants to find out who did it. So Douglas gets in the “hologram machine” and enters into a hologram of Los Angeles in 1937 where the scientist had left him a clue about his murder.

The scene you will watch is Douglas’ first time in the hologram machine. Please note how he reacts to being in a hologram and his astonishment at how real it looks and feels to him. Click here to watch the video. The  second  video  clip  is  from  Star  Trek:  The  Next  Generation (Episode  16, 11001001). Since the Starship Enterprise was traveling around the universe all the time, they had to figure out how to make it possible for the crew to take a vacation. So they created the Holodeck – a room where any hologram could be requested and created for their relaxation and enjoyment. The scene you will watch is Commander Riker asking to spend time in New Orleans playing  some  jazz,  with a  very interesting  audience.  Again,  notice  how  surprised  he  is that the woman looks and feels and smells so real. Click here to watch the video. But  if  all  of  this  is  possible,  the  question  then  arises:  How  is  our holographic universe created for us to experience as the physical universe?


1. Ledwith, Miceal, Ph.D., Professor of Systematic Theology, Maynooth College, Ireland. What the Bleep!? – Down the Rabbit Hole – Back to reading

2. Talbot, Michael. An essay also entitled The Holographic Universe – Back to reading

3. Goswami, Amit, What the Bleep!? – Down the Rabbit Hole – Back to reading

4. Talbot, Michael. The Holographic Universe, p. 25 – Back to reading

5. Chown, Marcus. Our world may be a giant hologram, New Scientist, January 15, 2009 – Back to reading

6. Ibid. – Back to reading

7. Bekenstein, Jacob D., Ph.D., Professor of Theoeretical Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Information in the Holographic Universe, Scientific American, August 2003 – Back to reading

8. Talbot, Michael. Id., p. 46 – Back to reading

9. Sutter, John. HP developing a ‘Dick Tracy’ wristwatch, CNN, June 3, 2010 – Back to reading

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