Saturday, 30 July 2011

Views on Multiple Realities

With the recent ponderings of quantum physics concerning our sense of reality and the workings of the Universe, fiction has been quick to seize upon these theoretical meanderings.

We could argue that fantasy in particular has always been an advocate of alternate worlds; from the hidden magical world of Harry Potter, the alternate realities in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, to Middle Earth in Lord of the Rings and Stephen King's Dark Tower series.

Film and TV has not been shy of delving into alternate universes and the surreality of the dream world, in the guise of 'Fringe' and 'Inception'.

What do these views on multiple realities centre around? Well, only 4% of the Universe consists of visible matter, the rest is, well, dark; dark matter or energy which at the moment is indescribable. We suspect it holds the Universe apart and stops everything crunching together to something the size of a football.

But what lies in it? There is certainly room for these multiple worlds, hidden from our physical eyes. To quote 'Seven Point Eight':
'Our perceptions of what we believe to be real and illusory are altering rapidly'. To which the response is 'there are many, many levels of reality...'

The fun comes in speculating what these worlds are like, and I show in my book how beautiful, surreal and puzzling they are; sometimes benign, sometimes with an agenda of their own.

To read the first chapter of 'Seven Point Eight', visit

Seven Point Eight: The First Chronicle

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Fiction - The Ideal Vehicle for Spiritual Teaching?

In my previous post, I suggested that science and spirituality which are generally regarded as antitheses might actually join in holy matrimony one day. In this post, I discuss the role of fiction in communicating spiritual messages.

While people are turning away from traditional religion and a concept of God as master puppeteer and overall despot presiding over the human race, recent studies have shown that a vast proportion of the world's population still believe in some form of divine creator. Why is this, despite the diatribe of Richard Dawkins against faith and the bible? Deep inside, do we feel a kind of connection to some infinitely divine, conscious presence?

In a foreward to the first chronicle of my series 'Seven Point Eight', I suggest that...

It is said that a long time ago, our ancestors lived in a very different world from the one we inhabit today.  We understood the language of the Earth, the stars, the sky people and we knew of the Number.  Life was sacred and we lived in harmony with nature.

But over time, we forgot all of this and began to feel separate from the Earth and the stars.  We became lost souls, without direction and harmony was replaced with fear and distrust.  The wisdom of the number was lost.

Our love of material possessions now reflect our hollow satisfaction with ourselves and the world we inhabit.  We built technology to enable us to remain connected to each other, made institutions of our most sacred beliefs and manufactured chemicals to heal our bodies and grow our crops.  However, the further we wandered from our true selves and nature, the more unhappy we actually became.

Yet, we retain a deep and hidden memory of everything that we ever were.  There lies within us the hope that one day, we can remember that sense of harmony and connection with the Earth, the stars and the sky people. 

Life is a cycle, and that which is lost will one day be found…

While many people will agree with this statement, most will not pick up a copy of a spiritual based text as they see the ideas as being too New Age. It may be that the ideas expressed are profound and awe inspiring, yet because the concepts are not fully grounded in our own reality or lack any scientific basis, it can be difficult for the average population to latch onto these potentially life changing thoughts. In the first chronicle of 'Seven Point Eight', I attempt to draw together spiritual theory, quantum physics and contemporary life. In the novel, one of my principal characters, Dr. Paul Eldridge gives his attention to the study of the human soul anb relates it to the bio-electromagnetic field he has been working on...

But, more importantly, what produces the bio-electromagnetic field in the first place? 
The first line of enquiry would have to be brain matter, since it thrives on electrical impulses but the real creator may be much more elusive, some unknown mystical force.  Was there a line of upward causation from matter to energy, or downward causation from energy to matter?  For want of a better term, I refer to this electromagnetic field as energy, which I believe to be more scientific than the term ‘spirit’.  The established mode of thinking implies that consciousness is a product of the brain and not a powerful entity in itself.  I decided at this point, therefore, to focus my interest on consciousness and examine the relationship between consciousness and the bio-electromagnetic field.  It was more philosophy than science in many ways but it was necessary to intellectually digest the findings of the last decade.

I postulate that by following a fictional account of the journey of principal characters in a human account of adventure, intrigue, conspiracy and romance, we can digest spiritual theory in a way that brings it to life. Human history was always passed down by the telling of tales, it is a method of education that appeals to the creative and more emotional right hemisphere of our brain. Through this, a concept has greater impact and makes a more momentous imprint on our minds and hearts.

In my next post, I will look at spiritual themes in fiction and visual media.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Science and Spirituality - An Inevitable Marriage?

It was never love at first sight; science regards spirituality as irrational, something qualitative that can never be proved or disproved, the ramblings of an overactive imagination while spirituality sees science as the big bad reductionist, with its narrow minded and mechanistic view of the universe which seems to have no point to it or purpose.
Then there is the rebel in the midst of science: quantum physics with its theoretical meanderings, endless equations, brilliant minds and huge particle accelerators; those vast, energy hungry machines designed to smash and measure the infinitely small.  It is a youth compared to the Newtonian father, the know-it-all teenager who thinks it can do a better job than its parent when it comes to making sense of the universe.

Yet, does science still seem meaningless to the everyday people of the world?  What relevance does the quest for the Higgs-Boson particle have to our lives?  Is this the reason many turn to spirituality because it tries to enable us to understand our place in the cosmos and the place of the cosmos in our lives?  Does spirituality try to touch our lives in an individual and meaningful way, so that we have the strength and faith to continue when all seems hopeless?

However opposite science and spirituality may seem, quantum physics has the capacity to explain the fundamental concepts of the soul, a theme common to all religions of the world.  It has the potential to make spiritual concepts more substantial to those who cry out for something a little more tangible.  It can ground spirituality, not deride it.  It may take longer for the biologist to accept the idea of the soul and to see the underlying electromagnetic forces that organise the cells of the body and infuse them with life.  Slowly but surely, researchers and writers are beginning to broach this almost heretical union.  Science and spirituality are inching closer together to the point where one day, one day they just might kiss.

Marie Harbon is the author of a new five part science/spiritual fantasy epic ‘Seven Point Eight’.  ‘The First Chronicle is now available on or through her website