It is our pleasure to welcome Joseph Selbie, author of The Physics of God, as our featured author for October. In his book, Joseph reveals an evident unity between science and religion. He looks beyond the pervasive material bias of science and the obscuring fog of religious sectarianism to find the places where science and religion intersect. In his article, Joseph explores the miracle of existence and how transcendental phenomena encountered by saints, sages, and near-death experiencers have explanations in science.
Interact with Joseph on our AoM forum here
You Perform Miracles Everyday–If You Didn’t You’d Cease to Exist
One of the timeless claims of religions is that many saints, sages, and saviors can, seemingly, defy the laws of matter: change water into wine, cure the sick, raise the dead, walk on water, levitate, or manifest objects out of thin air.
But, according to the saints and sages themselves, those who have been described by thousands of people to have worked such miracles, we have the same ability that they do—we just don’t realize it (yet). In fact both the saints and science tell us that, without knowing how we do it, or even that we are doing it, we perform an astonishing miracle every moment: we continuously create our own physical body.
The saints and sages tell us that the dramatic miracles they work are but the conscious and deliberate extension of the same hidden laws of energy and thought that we use—without knowing how we use them every day and every moment—to manifest our physical form.
We tend to think of our body as a fixed physical entity that exists regardless of anything we do. We might think that we can influence our body, for better or worse, by diet, exercise, and even by our thoughts and feelings, but we are pretty certain that birth—not a miracle—takes care of creating our body.
One certainly doesn’t see people routinely popping miraculously into or out of existence. Our bodies give every appearance of being fixed in their reality—especially when we, ah, try to lose weight—and the effects of any “normal” methods we use to change our body unfold very, very slowly.
You might be surprised to discover, then, that there are people—who are not saints or sages—who routinely undergo instantaneous physical change.
Instantaneous Physiological Change Among Multiple Personality Disorder Sufferers
As you probably already know, multiple-personality disorder (MPD) causes the sufferer to express many different personalities. Each personality is distinct. Each personality has particular characteristics and tendencies. Each personality has a unique set of memories. Different personalities often respond to different names. Some have talents, such as being able to play a musical instrument, that the other personalities do not have. Some personalities can even speak foreign languages that the others cannot.
Less well known is that each personality also undergoes distinct physiological changes—some quite dramatic—when transitioning (in a time period ranging from seconds to minutes) from one personality to the next. Dr. Philip M. Coons, who compiled the results of over fifty studies regarding physiological changes among MPD sufferers, documents that the rapid physiological changes of MPD sufferers have been measured using modern medical devices and techniques including electroencephology, visual evoked responses, galvanic skin responses, electromyography, regional cerebral-blood-flow monitoring, voice spectral analysis, brain electrical activity mapping, and electrocardiography.i Measurements taken using these instruments as well as systematic observational methods leave no doubt that physiological changes do emerge when one personality changes to another. In other words, what you are about to read are not unfounded claims. These phenomena are well-documented and were measured using sophisticated scientific instruments.
Voice spectral analysis reveals one’s unique voice fingerprint or voiceprint. Even exceptional mimics, who can sound convincingly like many well-known people, cannot fool voice spectral-analysis—their underlying voiceprint remains unchanged regardless of the imitation they are performing, just as an actor playing many parts always has the same fingerprints. On the other hand, MPD personalities can have unique voiceprints for different personalities.
According to the conventional biochemical model, our genes determine the physical structures that give rise to our unique voiceprint. According to the logic of the conventional biochemical model, for a MPD personality to have its own unique voiceprint, that MPD personality would have to be manifesting a unique gene expression—perhaps even unique genes. MPD personalities have been observed to write with different hands i.e., the left or the right. Handedness is conventionally considered to be genetically determined. What the observed facts indicate is that MPD sufferers manifest physiological changes that can only be explained as arising from instantaneous genetic changes.
One personality can suffer from allergies, such as to bee stings, while the individual’s other personalities do not. One personality can be diabetic, a condition that takes years to develop and insulin to manage, while the others are not. Each MPD personality can have different visual characteristics. MPD sufferers have been measured carefully by ophthalmologists for refraction (by measuring refraction errors or astigmatisms), visual acuity (by measuring focal ability, e.g. 20/20 vision), ocular tension (by measuring the intraocular pressure), keratometry (by measuring the curve of the cornea), and color vision (by measuring how accurately colors are detected).
In one particular study, a MPD sufferer moved through ten personalities in less than an hour. An ophthalmologist was on hand to do a complete set of measurements for each personality. Once the results were examined it was found that the eyes of each of the ten personalities had significantly different characteristics from the other nine. These are not the normal physiological changes that anyone’s eyes might go through over a period of time—however long. It is as though the eyes of each personality belong to an entirely different body. In other studies, some personalities are colorblind for blue and green while the others are not. One personality has an astigmatism while the others do not. One personality even has an iris colored differently from the irises of the others.ii
One MPD sufferer would manifest needle tracks on his arms only when the personality emerged that believed he was a drug addict—even though no drugs had been injected. Rashes, moles, scars, and other skin conditions emerged and vanished as personalities came and went. A personality of a young boy reacted to poison ivy, including having fluid-filled blisters on his skin. On switching to another personality, the blisters vanished in minutes.
The fascinating list of physiological anomalies found among MPD sufferers goes on and on. But all the strange and unusual clinically observed phenomena have one thing in common—they are all impossible—at least according to the conventional biochemical model of how our bodies work. The body-as-a-biological-machine concept provides no explanation for how any of these phenomena could have happened. According to the conventional model, none of these changes should have been able to take place with the rapidity they have, and many of these changes, such as different voiceprints, handedness, eyesight, colorblindness, or iris color should not be able to occur successively in one body—period—because they would require the presence of different genes.
The Power of Deeply Held Conviction
So how and why does this happen?
One thing we know is that the different personalities of an MPD sufferer are quite convinced of their own unique identity—there’s often no awareness by one personality of there being any other personalities at all. Many MPD sufferers are discovered because they come to doctors complaining of amnesia. They know they are missing large segments of memory but have no idea that another personality, or other personalities, are living their lives during the times of their memory loss.
You could say that each personality has its own subconscious mind that contains its own unique memories, habits, abilities, and, most importantly fundamental mental convictions about their body shape and health. As each personality emerges with its unquestioningly held, deeper-than-conscious convictions about that personality’s appearance, state of health, and physical abilities, each personality’s body immediately changes to conform to those convictions. Once MPD sufferers shift into new personalities, each personality has the absolute conviction that its body will be as it expects that body to be—the drug-user personality expecting to see needle tracks on his arms, or the woman expecting to see green eyes looking back at her in the mirror, even though all the other personalities that share that body have brown eyes.
Because nearly all of us have only one personality, one subconscious mind, one cohesive set of fundamental mental convictions about our body shape, appearance and health, we don’t see such rapid changes of form as do MPD sufferers—but the mechanism that causes physical changes to instantly manifest in MPD sufferers is the same mechanism that we use to continuously manifest our same familiar physical form.
We Have Two Bodies
So what is this mechanism?
Saints, sages, and near-death experiencers tell us that we each have our own personal energy template or energy body. From this energy body, our physical body continuously manifests, and the energy body determines, moment by moment, everything about our physical body. Our high-frequency energy body is variously called by the saints and sages the astral body, the subtle body, the spirit body, or sometimes, the etheric body.
There is support for this concept of a template-like subtle body in M-theory, the most accepted branch of string theory. M-theory’s mathematics suggest that there exists a vast two-dimensional energy realm, which they refer to as the “bulk” or, as I prefer to call it, the energy-verse. M-theorists posit that our entire three-dimensional physical universe is submerged in the energy-verse, like a bubble surrounded by water, or yet more like a sponge in water than a bubble because the physical universe is thought to be saturated at every point with the high-frequency two-dimensional energies of the energy-verse.
(According to M-theory not only our physical universe arises from the energy-verse: The energy-verse as envisioned by M-theory is so vast that it could contain and sustain virtually unlimited numbers of other three-dimensional bubble-universes.)
The high-frequency energies of the energy-verse are impossible for us to detect with physical instruments but, according to M-theory, without the interpenetrating energies of the energy-verse, the physical universe could not exist. Further, M-theory posits that our three-dimensional universe is itself a holographic projection that is continuously projected in all its minute detail from a two-dimensional hologram that exists in the energy-verse.
This brings us back to having two bodies: By extending the idea that the universe is a holographic projection, our three-dimensional body, like the universe, must also be continuously projected from a two-dimensional hologram. Our physical bodies are not fixed—they are continuously created holographic projections—they are energy masquerading as matter and they cannot exist independently of our two-dimensional hologram residing in the energy-verse.
If our senses were able to reveal all of the vibrating sea of energy in which we exist, we’d know that no atom has inherent, enduring, independent properties. It is simply energy; energy that can take any form. M-theorists add that the apparently independent objects that make up our sensory experience are the super-high resolution, three-dimensional images of a holographic projection.
Just as the images on our TV screen appear to be separate and independently existing three-dimensional objects, they are in fact interconnected, two-dimensional light images. So, too, the world around us, and indeed our bodies, are holographic projections of energy—not separate, independently existing three-dimensional objects. Neither the tiniest bit of matter nor the largest star has an independent reality. All matter is projected from, interconnected with, and dependent on, the interpenetrating, nonlocal, two-dimensional energy-verse.
Our holographic energy body is made of coordinated energies vibrating at frequencies impossible for physical instruments to detect. Our physical body, on the other hand, is composed of detectable lower-frequency energy masquerading as matter; this lower-frequency energy is held in organized patterns by the interpenetrating higher-frequency holographic energy body.
“The visible world is the invisible organization of energy.”—Heinz Pagels, Former Executive Director, New York Academy of Sciencesiii
Back to Miracles
The moment change occurs in our holographic energy body is the moment change occurs in the holographic projection we know as our physical body. And any change that occurs in our holographic energy body is brought about by a change in our fundamental convictions about our body shape, appearance and health.
MPD sufferers’ bodies change instantly—and seemingly miraculously—when their fundamental convictions change with each emerging personality because their change of convictions changes their holographic energy body every time a new personality comes into conscious control of the body.
The instantaneous physical changes of MPD sufferers reveals the ongoing miracle that we are all constantly performing. Our bodies are the result of the power of our own mind working through our subtle energy body: If we developed the ability to immediately change our deeply held thoughts, we could immediately change our physical bodies at will.
That is the difference between the saints and sages and us: they have developed the ability to change not only their deeply held thoughts about their own bodies but about all physical forms as well.
It helps us appreciate our power, I think, when we understand how that power is demonstrated in the placebo effect.
In 1968, researchers Luparello and Bleeker conducted a medical trial for asthma inhalers.iv Forty actual asthma sufferers were given inhalers which they were told contained an irritant. In fact, the inhalers contained nothing but water vapor. Nonetheless, after using the inhaler almost half of the placebo group experienced such asthmatic symptoms as restriction of their airways, and about 30 per cent suffered full asthmatic attacks. The researchers then gave each asthma sufferer in the placebo group a new inhaler, which they were told contained a medicine that could relieve their symptoms. These inhalers, too, contained nothing but water vapor. Nonetheless, every asthma sufferer recovered.
A 1976 drug trial for a potential chemotherapy treatment for gastric cancer was conducted by the British stomach cancer group. The results of the study were published in the May 1983 World Journal of Surgery.v Four hundred and eleven patients participated. During the course of the study, which lasted several months, among the patients given only a placebo saline drip with no active ingredients, 30 per cent lost all their hair.
The placebo testing method has been used even for surgical procedures.vi The placebo patients are given a sham surgery—rolled into the operating room, given anesthesia, incised, sutured back together, and then given post-operative care—all with no actual procedural surgery having been performed. In these cases also, a high percentage of the trial patients who have had the sham surgery become cured of significant preexisting physical problems.
As these examples show, people who have received placebos or placebo treatments—yet believed they were actually getting a trial drug or a new surgical procedure—manifest significant physiological changes. Simply the thought that one is receiving a potentially effective trial drug or trial surgery can change one’s convictions about one’s state of health. As in the cases of MPD sufferers, when the conviction changes, so does the physical body. Placebo-induced change can sometimes happen immediately (as with the placebo inhalers); but it generally unfolds more slowly than do the dramatically rapid changes of MPD sufferers, because the speed of change occurs in accordance with the mental expectations, i.e., the convictions of the placebo takers. If, for example, there is a deep conviction that they will gradually lose all their hair, then so they do.
The Take Away
We may not yet be able to deliberately make instantaneous and dramatic changes in our bodies by altering our deeply held convictions—but we can and do make significant changes all the time. The body is far more responsive, and more thoroughly responsive to our thoughts than we tend to realize.
Any positive (or negative) thought makes a change in our hologram energy body/astral body and sets in motion physiological changes. We tend not to realize this because our habitual patterns of thought regarding our body and health don’t vary that much from day to day—our usual mix of positive and negative thoughts remains fairly fixed, leaving us with a relatively consistent state of health, whether good or bad.
We can deliberately shift our mix of thoughts to the positive in a variety of ways—affirmations, choosing positive books and media, keeping good company, etc.—but the single most effective way to shift the balance of our thoughts is to meditate.
Meditation, simply defined, is the disciplined shifting of our awareness from the physical body to our subtle astral body. Sitting in stillness, we become less and less aware of the physical body and naturally and effortlessly become more and more aware of our subtle energy body. As we become more aware of our subtle energy body we are filled with the peace, love, and joy that is inherent to it. As we become more aware of our subtle energy body we feel ourselves to be less material and more energetic; less defined and more connected; less matter and more Light.
Intellectual belief in our higher potential, our divine nature, is a starting point, but such belief is not enough to change deeply held convictions. Direct inner experience attained through practising meditation, on the other hand, will transmute those deeply held convictions by enabling us to directly experience the subtler, interconnected, nonmaterial reality of energy and thought.
The saints and sages, who are just as aware of their subtle divine nature as we are aware of our physical bodies, know that their hologram energy body, and the thoughts that shape it, have an independent reality from the physical body. Theirs is not belief, it is knowing. And with knowing comes their ability to shape the thoughts that shape physical form—the ability to perform what most people think of as “miracles.”
“[One] who through perfect meditation has merged his consciousness with the Creator perceives the cosmical essence as light; to him, there is no difference between the light rays composing water and the light rays composing land. Free from matter-consciousness, free from the three dimensions of space and the fourth dimension of time . . . he sees the universe as an essentially undifferentiated mass of light. Through a master’s divine knowledge of light phenomena, he can instantly project into perceptible manifestation the ubiquitous light atoms. The actual form of the projection—whether it be a tree, a medicine, a human body—is in conformance with [his] powers of will and of visualization.”—Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogivii
Such control hardly comes overnight, alas. But the good news is that even a little direct experience of our subtle energy nature, of Light and Love, makes our deeply held thoughts a little more malleable, allowing us to insert new, more positive convictions about our health and happiness, deliberately affecting the miraculous holographic mechanism of continuous creation for a new outcome.
You continuously work miracles every day: Perform your best miracle possible!
i Coons, Philip M. n.d. “Psychophysiologic Aspects of Multiple Personality Disorder, A Review. Dissociation.” Ridgeview Institute and the International Society for the Study of Multiple Personality & Dissociation Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 047-053.
ii Shepard, K.R. & Braun, B.G. 1985. “Visual changes in multiple personality.” PROCEEDINGS OF THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MULTIPLE PERSONALITY/DISSOCIATIVE STATES. Chicago, Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke’s Medical Center. 85.
iii Pagels, Heinz R. 1982. The cosmic code: quantum physics as the language of nature. New York: Simon and Schuster. 13.
iv Luparello, T., H. A. Lyons, E. R. Bleecker, et al.,. 1968. “Influences of Suggestion on Airway Reactivity in Asthmatic Subjects.” Psychosomatic Medicine vol. 30, no. 6: pp. 819– 829.
v Fielding, J. W. L., S. L. Fagg, B. G. Jones, D. Ellis, M. S. Hockey, A. Minawa, V. S. Brookes, et al. 1983. “An interim report of a prospective, randomized, controlled study of adjuvant chemotherapy in operable gastric cancer: British stomach cancer group.” World Journal of Surgery 7 (3): 390-399.
vi Moseley JB, K O’Malley, NJ Petersen, TJ Menke, BA Brody, DH Kuykendall, JC Hollingsworth, CM Ashton, and NP Wray. 2002. “A controlled trial of arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee.” The New England Journal of Medicine 347 (2): 81-8.
Yogananda, Paramhansa. 1946. Autobiography of a Yogi. Nevada City: Crystal Clarity. 172.