Nothing Is Real Part 1

June 17, 2009


In my post,  Aspects Of Consciousness, I related the story of Sarah,  a woman who was  artificially allowed to die for seventeen minutes during brain surgery. Even though her brain showed no signs of activity, she was able to relate bits of conversations that took place during that time. Cases like this provoke the exploration of the nature of reality. What if there is more to our existence than the time-space, linear model that we know to be real? What if we are open to the possibility that there are varieties of existence beyond what the masses refer to as “normal” by consensus?

The Vedic scriptures tell us that this world is an illusion. The Buddhist Heart Sutra tell us that form is emptiness. How can this be true you say? It is very real if your basic needs for food and shelter are not met, and the taxman comes knocking if you do not pay taxes.  In the big picture, physical reality is but one facet of the infinite variety within  Consciousness. In fact,  Quantum Physicists are discovering the possibility of alternate realities,  and String Theory is at the leading edge in this school of thought.

Without getting into the complexity of String Theory,  basically,  physicists have discovered that everything in the universe is connected by strings of energy that vibrate at different frequencies. The theory suggests that there must be a minimum of ten dimensions and the possibility of an infinite number of parallel universes other than the three dimensional reality that we know of. It is suggested that for every choice we make, a number of universes are created for each possible option. And for those possible options, the potential for more choices that create a universe for each possible outcome, so that an infinity of universes can exist from any choice that we make.

The possibility of infinite parallel universes is fascinating. If infinite universes are created when we choose an option in any given decision, then there is no need for regret.  All options are available to us if we are open to experiencing that the reality we choose to call “real” is but one facet of consciousness.

In Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Carl Jung related a story which I think illustrates the possibility of parallel universes. He visited the basilica of San Giovanni in Ravenna, Italy with a friend and there he had an extraordinary experience in the Baptistery of the Orthodox. A mild blue light filled the room,  though there was no account for its source. It amazed him that in place of the windows he remembered from his previous visit, twenty years ago, there were now four great mosaic frescoes of incredible beauty. He was vexed at himself for his poor memory, that he did not remember these beautiful mosaics from his previous visit in 1913. After he left the baptistery, he went in search of photos of the mosaics so that he could purchase some to take home. He could not find any and decided to order them from Zurich later. When he returned home, he asked an acquaintance who was going to Ravenna to buy him some photos of the mosaics. The man could not find any, for he discovered that the mosaics that Jung described did not exist.

Jung consulted with the friend who accompanied him on that visit to the basilica and she could not believe that what she had seen with her own eyes, did not exist. Jung said that it was among the most curious events of his life and may possibly be explained by an incident in the story of Empress Galla Placidia(d. 450). “During a stormy crossing from Byzantium to Ravenna in the worst of winter, she made a vow that if she came through safely, she would build a church and have the perils of the sea represented in it. She kept this vow by building the basilica of San Giovanni in Ravenna and having it adorned with mosaics. In the early Middle Ages, San Giovanni, together with its mosaics, was destroyed by fire; but in the Ambrosiana in Milan is still to be found a sketch representing Galla Placidia in a boat.”

Did Jung and his friend,  on that visit to the basilica in Ravenna enter an alternate reality,  one which no longer existed in “normal” reality but continued on in an alternate universe? If so, how subjective are the varieties of  consciousness if his friend entered the same alternate reality with him that day,  and saw the same mosaics with her own eyes? Is it possible that Sarah entered an alternate reality during her brain surgery and was able to relate the snippets of conversation back to her doctor,  even though in one reality she was “dead’?

This story that Jung told and Sarah’s story, begs the question, what is real? Is the waking state real? Is the dream state real? The ancient scriptures of the East shed light on these questions and I will continue to look at this intriguing subject in my next post.


1 Pamir | Reiki Help Blog 06.18.09 at 12:20 pm

Om Asato Maa Sadgamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityor Maa Amrtam Gamaya.
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih.

–Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

O Lord (insert your own word) please lead me from the unreal to the real. Lead from darkness to light (i.e., from ignorance to knowledge). Lead me from death to immortality. May there be peace, peace, and perfect peace.

2 Liara Covert 06.19.09 at 9:53 am

The architecture of where you are is limited by the human imagination and constraints you choose to impose. When someone tells you about an experience, you choose to sense validity, believe, and know or not. Spiritual ideas offer insights into what happens to energy through transitions. People can read testamonials and stories and/or, choose to be more conscious and gain insight into their own expanding senses and awareness. The Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramhansa Yogananda is a very meaningful read.

3 Marion 06.19.09 at 11:28 am

Good for you, Miruh, in exploring this concept. I’ve tried and have gotten myself quite confused, with the writing of it.

Years ago, I had an operation in which I hemorrhaged and ‘died’ on the table. Now I recall things that happened during that time when I basically shouldn’t have any recollection ( I checked with both doctors and nurses) of the experience. Yet I can still recall who did and said what.

And I can still recall my fierce intent to go back into that body (mine) which lay below me on that operation table. I had young children…dying wasn’t in the equation. Or what they call dying. I don’t believe death is really what we might think it is.

4 Miruh 06.19.09 at 8:27 pm

Hello Pamir,

Took the words right out of my mouth. 😀

Thanks for sharing this beautiful prayer.


5 Miruh 06.19.09 at 8:31 pm

Hello Liara,

Yes, being open to all experiences, to the possibilities beyond our limited understanding and imagination can lead to greater awareness of Self.

Autobiography of A Yogi is a classic. Thanks for the reminder.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

6 Miruh 06.19.09 at 8:40 pm

Hello Marion,

Wow! You have really seen it all, haven’t you? It must have given you greater meaning to live with a fearlessness born of seeing death eye to eye!
It is difficult to find words to express the spiritual world and make meaningful one’s experiences in that realm without diminishing its import.
Thanks for sharing this awesome story, it is encouraging for readers to know that this kind of experience happens more often than not.

Love and Blessings!

7 Liara Covert 06.22.09 at 11:46 am

Consciousness is dipassionate, gentle and forgiving. Its precisely what is expanding to take up the space in the mind to strengthen awareness of original intent. The “why are we here” question leads you back to the concept of nothing. You alternate form and formless states to teach yourself the truth. Everything else is impermanent.

8 Nicole 06.22.09 at 3:20 pm

The most exciting thing about this subject for me is that my reality is a blank slate. I can do absolutely anything! We all can!

Also, when I think about alternate dimensions and parallel universes, it’s a bit cheeky, don’t you think? It’s kind of a funny idea, and it makes me laugh :o) Perhaps when we are in between lives, wants and needs are immediate – you think “cloudy day” and so it is. Anything you want is granted the moment you create it, whereas here on earth of course we must wait. Perhaps we are here to have our spiritual selves challenged, confused and turned around – in order to appreciate where we are at.

9 Miruh 06.22.09 at 9:39 pm

Hello Liara,

The journey to becoming aware of our true nature or Consciousness is simple but our minds make it complex.

Thanks for returning to add to the conversation.

10 Miruh 06.22.09 at 9:52 pm

Hello Nicole,

To recognize that we can at any time, begin again, to change our minds, which will in turn change our reality is the source of personal freedom.
How willing is the ego?

Remember when you were a child and playing with parallel universes and alternate realities and open to exploring them, it’s still there for you. Alice in Wonderland, Narnia and favorite fairy tales are all alternate realities that writers entertain us with, but perhaps they have an existence in some reality.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It is fun to play with the possibilities.

11 Alexys Fairfield 06.23.09 at 11:13 am

Hi Miruh,

I think everything is possible. Why let the limits our of mind tell us differently. If we can see it in our imagination then it exists in the universe.
When it comes to consciousness, the sky is the limit.

Thanks for an enriching subject. 😀

12 Miruh 06.23.09 at 9:41 pm

Hello Alexys,

I agree, if energy is never created or destroyed then too, whatever can be imagined or energized, must already exist in some universe.
A lot to contemplate that will certainly enrich life. Nobody can truly be bored or depressed when exploring the vastness of the field of consciousness.

Happy Trails. 😀

13 vinod 07.09.09 at 11:01 pm

Sarah was not dead actually, her brain was dead. Mind works even in that stage. I think we should not get caught in this complexity. There are billions of galaxies, billions of stars in each galaxy. Morrover i will say its uncountable. Mind, intellect, memory, ego are within any living being. Sleep is best example.

14 Miruh 07.11.09 at 9:32 pm

Hello Vinod,

Sarah’s story reminds of the mystery of this life and this is what is so great about spirituality: we cannot fathom truth with the mind. We have to identify with the greater consciousness that we are to experience the possibilities.

Thanks for your deep thoughts my friend.

Peace to you!

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