It is no accident that in the new hit TV show Touch, the dramatic thriller that explores the inner connectivity of all life, the lead character’s surname is Bohm. Bohm is also the surname of quantum physicist David Bohm, who developed an interpretation of the quantum world that accounted for the connectivity of all matter and energy at a deep and hidden level of reality he called the implicate order. The world of matter and energy, our physical universe, he developed a physics that embraced a fundamental wholeness of the universe connected through the implicate order.
The implicate order is holographic—each part contains the whole. As such, there is an interconnectedness and wholeness to deep reality. William Blake’s poem that begins “To see a world in a grain of sand…” may be literally true—at the level of the implicate order! Bohm described the implicate order as an enfolded level of reality. The explicate order unfolds from the implicate order. This process is rapid and continuous. In each moment, the explicate order enfolds into the implicate order and all information of the universe is shared. At the end of the moment, the explicate order unfolds in a way that is in response to all the information available in the universe.
Bohm called the implicate order the information—in-formation—level of reality. Information and meaning are the fundamental aspects of the implicate order. Meaning is also the essential feature of consciousness, and so the implicate order is closely connected with consciousness. This is the source of non-local mental capacities such as telepathy, remote viewing, and distance healing.
Consciousness is the enigma of our times. It is so close to each of us, yet science cannot explain how insentient matter can come together to develop the capacity to have an experience. In a few hundred years time, this era will be looked upon as a dark age in which the implications and power of consciousness were not well understood. But a current understanding that we do have relates consciousness to the implicate order. Karl Pribram, founder of the field of neuropsychology, developed a holonomic brain theory that in some ways matched David Bohm’s holographic theory of the implicate order. Bohm and Pribram met and agreed that the holographic nature of mind bordered the implicate order.
On the one hand, one part of our consciousness is of the explicate order relating to sights, sounds, smells, etc. But another part of consciousness is connected to the implicate order. David Loye (1998), a psychologist and evolutionary systems scientist, says that “we may on occasion, range beyond our limited explicate-order consciousness, which captures the major portion of all of our lives, to apprehend the abiding truth ‘out there’ beyond the illusion.” In other words, there are times when we are able to range the implicate order. It is those times that we feel a certain clarity, creativity, curiosity, confidence, courage, connectedness and compassion.
Those times of connectivity to the implicate order are also the times that intuition, wisdom and intelligence-of-the-heart lead us to our next step, stage or process in our journey of life. The most effective way to learn to range the implicate order is through processes that can quiet the mind. When we are busy thinking, especially about the past or the future, our consciousness cannot interface and range the implicate order. But when the mind settles down, then we can connect.
But, we cannot decide to stop thinking. That is where contemplative practices play a role in allowing the mind to settle down. Through mindfulness, awareness of the breath, repetition of a mantra, or just witnessing whatever comes up, our minds naturally settle down. A mantra of a sacred word from your birth religion can work well. Regularity is important. One can start with only five or ten minutes a day, and work your up to 25 minutes once or twice a day, when you are ready. Then, at times, you will experience a deep inner quiet and will feel the direction for your next step that is resonant with your soul’s purpose.
There are many other processes to reach that deep level of consciousness in which one can be in contact with the field of information, the implicate order. Through these processes we can consciously evolve to a higher order of consciousness.
Bohm, D & Hiley B.J. (1993). The Undivided Universe: An Ontological Interpretation of Quantum Theory. New York: Routledge.
Loye, D. (1998). The Sphinx and the Rainbow. New York: toExcel.
Pribram, K. (1991). Brain and Perception: Holonomy and structure in figural processing. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Charles H. Silverstein, PhD., teaches adult development and transformative practices in the Masters Degree program in Conscious Evolution at The Graduate Institute, Bethany, CT (www.learn.edu/ce). He helps his students learn to range the implicate order and find their soul’s purpose. His dissertation topic is adult developmental growth and contemplative practices.