Is it real or an illusion?
If we were to do an in-depth study of the mystical aspects of the world’s major faith traditions, we would find that the basic understanding, beliefs and tenets are all very similar, if not the same.
Mystics from all religions would tell you that the spiritual and physical universe all have one source, one presence as the origin of everything. They are not divided in truth.
Surprisingly, even the mystics of dualistic traditions speak to us of the unity of all things and the singular source of all life, or consciousness. (In ancient times they were careful how they talked about the oneness as they might have been accused of heresy and lost their lives).
Common among the mystical teachings is the idea of nothingness, i.e. the physical world is an illusion and only the spiritual realm is real. Another common concept is that everything is vibration; the physical universe is a low vibratory level and the spiritual is a very high vibratory level. The mystics understand that the physical and the spiritual are part of a continuum with the physical at one end and the spiritual at the other. All vibration is consciousness. If one were to raise his/her consciousness, their level of vibration would increase as well.
Quantum physics is telling us pretty much the same thing, whereas classical physics is quite different. Classical physics taught us that the physical universe was made of tiny little systems call atoms. Atoms had little balls of matter consisting of electrons orbiting around a clump of tiny balls making up the atom’s nucleus. It was thought that these particles were solid matter, and they were the smallest particles of matter in the universe. The classical physicists believed that everything was made of, and consisted of, solid matter.
As physicists looked more closely, they discovered several strange but important things:
There was more space between the particles than the totality of the size of the particles.
The particles were vibrating as they spun around in various directions.
The particles, in particular the electrons, were not solid “balls” at all and they “winked” in and out of existence, disappearing in one place and then instantly reappearing in another.
As the scientist tried to predict where and when the particles would disappear and reappear, they could not with any accuracy, only probabilities.
Some scientists observed that they, themselves, had an effect on the time and location of the particles based on their (the scientists’) expectations of when and where the particles would disappear and reappear. The mystics would call this the law of attraction.
The latest research says that of all the physical universe, actual physical matter makes up only .02% (.0002 ) of everything. This means that the physical universe is pretty much empty space.
This is a very simple and limited explanation of quantum physics, and I use this solely to provide a comparison with the ancient mystical teachings.
Is quantum physics proving the ancient mystics correct in their belief that the physical world is a big nothing? Is it true that it’s all an illusion and that our existence here is meaningless? But if there is so much space in an atom and solid matter is only .02% of the universe, then why can’t I walk through walls? Physical matter sure feels real to me.
Fortunately, what the mystics have perceived, and what the quantum physicists have observed, is all true even though their perspectives may seem contradictory on the surface.
Given that all matter vibrates at individual levels, the reason we can’t walk through walls is that our bodies and walls are relatively the same vibratory level, making the walls (and the rest of the physical universe) seem solid. It is because of this that we can manipulate earthly materials to build cars, houses, walls.
If we were to raise our bodily vibration enough, we would be able to walk through walls. The higher vibratory levels appear translucent and light-filled. This may be the explanation for how Jeshua ben Joseph (or Jesus) ascended as his vibration became higher and higher.
Our physical bodies act as a “space suit” so that we can exist in this physical world. Our bodies vibrate at the same levels as the Earth so we can experience this wondrous creation. Is Mother Earth and the universe an illusion? Strictly speaking, it is mostly and vastly space. But since we, existing in our space suit bodies, live in the same vibration(s), the physical appears real. What is real is the experience, the physical facilitates our daily lives. That’s all that really counts.
Peace is not an illusion.
Jim Hatton is an author, spiritual teacher and speaker who makes his home in the Rogue Valley.