Do We Live in a Holographic Universe?
The Holographic Universe idea suggests that our universe contains a hidden order that connects every point to every other point in the universe. It tells us the whole of the universe is in every gram, thus providing subtle connections between seemingly unconnected events and places. This perspective also relates to the idea of a simulated or virtual universe, whereby our sensory experience is just an illusion produced by an artificial reality.
When you look around your surroundings, you get the feeling you’re living in a three-dimensional world full of visceral shapes, textures, patterns, and objects of all types. You have the feeling that you can interact with these physical objects and get an instantaneous subjective feeling in your body of their depth, size, temperature, texture and weight. This gives you a sense of the physical space around you and your location within it.
But what if this experience of space, location, and depth is all an illusion, a construct of your mind that is beautifully sustained from moment to moment? What if the apparent solidity and shape of the world around you is, in fact, an incredibly well-orchestrated hallucination produced by your brain. Perhaps we live in a purely informational space where matter and energy are not our reality’s fundamental qualities.
Believe it or not, a theory in physics that has been gaining traction recently is the Holographic Universe idea. It suggests to us that our perception of three dimensions is the product of our mind decoding information that arises from a two-dimensional, flat world. This occurs in the same way that a computer constructs a realistic, moving computer game from billions of bits of ones or zeroes embedded in a CD or hard drive. In other words, our senses are only perceiving information and not real physical objects, people, or things. That feeling of physicality is an illusion produced by our brain.
Watch Nassim Haramein explain the concept of a holographic universe
The Holographic Universe
The idea of the Holographic Universe began to gain popularity in the 1960s when physicists, like David Bohm and Karl Pribram, suggested that apparently coherent, wave-like properties of sub-atomic particles, something quantum mechanics could never explain easily, was produced by a subtle holographic ordering principle that exists at every point in the universe. Bohm later called this the “implicate order” of the universe. It suggests that every point in the universe is in some way connected to every other point.
Holography is something that you’re probably familiar with from seeing holograms, which are now embedded as security devices in credit cards. It looks three-dimensional but is actually embedded in a thin strip of film. You can see bigger holograms at theme parks and science museums, some of which really look like a 3-D object is right on front of you. You can walk around the object like it was really there, and see all the object’s details, but in reality, it’s just a ‘trick of the light.’ The hologram is just an image, the object isn’t really there, but its information is embedded in film and then projected onto space in a way that makes it look physically real. In a sense, the ‘whole is in every gram.’
Holograms are produced with lasers and two beams of light. One beam is reflected off the object onto a film. The other beam just acts as a reference. When a laser is projected through the film, the 3-D image comes to life. All the information is embedded in the strip of film. If you started cutting away or removing parts of the film strip, the image is still there, but it gets fuzzier and fuzzier as you remove more film. So, the whole image is actually in every part of the film.
What if reality works the same way? If we look at the way our brain works, it might be creating holographic images that look and feel 3-D to us, but in fact, are just bits of information stored on a lower-dimensional world. We wouldn’t be able to tell the difference because we spend our whole lives perceiving information through our brains.
The Holographic Principle
This discussion came up in a big way with the discovery of black holes – objects with such gravitational force that they suck in all nearby light, far away in outer space. Everyone was wondering what happens to you or me as we approach a black hole; what exactly would happen to us? Or more specifically, what would happen to the information that makes up our brains and bodies? Where would it go?
A debate arose as to whether the information would all be destroyed forever, or whether it would survive on the surface membrane of the black hole. Physicists like Stephen Hawking suggested the information would survive holographically on the membrane for a while. Others suggested it would be destroyed and then emerge somewhere else. This became known as the Holographic Principle, and there’s a lot of discussion about this because the mathematics of black holes seems to be consistent with both quantum mechanics and Einstein’s relativity theory, something that has always been an issue in physics. For the longest time, gravity and quantum mechanics have never been compatible in a single theory.
The holographic idea has been used to help explain many phenomena that so far have defied explanation. Take remote viewing for example; how is it possible for someone to accurately perceive something at a distance and describe its color, shapes, and information so well? Perhaps, all the information of the universe is already ‘holographically’ embedded in every bit of space and the viewer just assembles the information that is already available to them. It was never far away to begin with. Similar explanations could be used to explain ESP, clairvoyance and precognitive phenomena. The idea is that even seemingly unconnected events have a hidden, yet persistent connection. Even though something looks like it’s far away from you, at another level it’s very close and you’re interacting with it in a subtle way.
Also, think about the idea of synchronicity; when seemingly unrelated events coincide in your life. When this happens, it seems like there is a hidden, almost spooky connection in the larger universe around you. How could unrelated events, people or places seem so correlated and orderly? Well, perhaps those things are already connected holographically, in a way that is not apparent to our mind but is nonetheless embedded in the fabric of the universe.
Then there is the idea of non-locality; when distant particles or objects are somehow correlated with one another. Quantum mechanics tells us that particles that have interacted in the past will be non-locally connected forever, and recent experiments support this. If you do something to one of the pairs of particles the other will instantly react, no matter how far away it is. This is known as quantum entanglement. But, how is this possible?
While the traditional Copenhagen viewpoint tells us that quantum entanglement is real, it doesn’t say how it happens. However, the holographic idea suggests that at a deeper level of reality there is an ordering principle embedded in the matrix of the universe. So, every point in space and time is connected to every other point making faster than light interactions possible.
Do We Live in Simulated Reality?
The holographic idea has been taken even further. Some suggest that if reality is just made up of bits of connected information, perhaps the whole universe is nothing but an artificial simulation much like a video game. After all, if you were a character in a video game, would you know it was just a game? It would seem real to you.
Perhaps what we see as ‘reality’ is just someone else’s simulation. Perhaps it was created by a deity or extraterrestrials just to see how we would survive in such a simulated universe. Or we could be kind of like a science experiment. Sure, our reality seems real to each of us, but how would we know the difference?
When we dream at night, we’re convinced, temporarily of course, that these dreams are really happening to us. When we wake up, we’re often relieved that what we were experiencing was just a dream. But how do we really know that our waking experience is not just a dream? One that we will someday wake up from.
Or are we living in a giant computer? If this computer were of sufficient power, perhaps it could create all moment-to-moment subjective experiences, kind of like the Holodeck on the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek. While this idea may seem like science fiction to us, it cannot be denied that the computers in our lives are getting increasingly sophisticated. Perhaps in our future, they will be so powerful that they can create a simulated or virtual reality that we experience as real.
The problem with this point of view is that you can then ask, “what if the simulation itself is being simulated?” What it the beings who create our simulation are themselves someone else’s simulation? Where would it all end? This is known as a problem of infinite regress. As of yet, there is no answer to this question.
Personally, I don’t find the idea of a simulated reality very convincing, but I could be wrong. If you accept the idea that we live in a simulated reality, then we would have no free will, because we don’t exist independently of the simulation. We would just be like characters in a video game with no minds of our own.
Using Your Imagination to Create a Holographic Universe
Regardless of whether the idea of holographic or simulated reality is true or not, I often find it fun to imagine those seemingly unconnected events in my life are really connected in some way that I don’t fully understand. This can often create new ideas and insights into your life that you wouldn’t usually see. It creates the sense that you are responsible for your life and that you are influencing it in ways even you don’t fully understand. So, take time every day to imagine how different aspects of your life are connected and perhaps you’ll start seeing things in new and exciting ways.
Is a Parallel Universe Changing Our Reality?
Sometimes referred to as the Berenstain Bears Conspiracy, the Mandela Effect is a phenomenon in which people report having the same false memories, leading to a belief that something is changing reality.
We all experience life through our own subjective lenses, interpreting day-to-day happenings differently than everyone else. This contributes to individuality, free will, and the ability to think for ourselves. But of course, the way that we witness our world often results in lapses of memory or perception. We sometimes seem to remember events happening differently than others or our perception of time is skewed.
And individual memory lapses are easily written off when everyone else’s memory says otherwise. But how does one explain false memories that are held by a significantly large portion of the population?
Confabulation is the psychiatric term for replacing a gap in your memory with a falsification. So, what about mass confabulation? Well, that’s become a conspiracy of sorts, referred to as The Mandela Effect.
Examples of The Mandela Effect
The Mandela Effect was given its name by Fiona Broome, who seemed to remember hearing about the death of Nelson Mandela on the news while he was imprisoned in the 1980s. In “reality,” Mandela survived until late 2013 and did not even become president of South Africa until 1994. But as it turned out, her memory was shared by a deluge of similarly convinced people, resulting in many other instances in which large swaths of the population have claimed to experience the same confabulated memories.
Could this be the result of one person incorrectly remembering a historical event or cultural icon propagating their misinterpretation to be inaccurately remembered by the masses? Or could it be evidence of a multiverse in which waves of events from a parallel universe have washed over into ours, creating subtle nuances in the time-space continuum, where there was once a children’s book called the Berenstein Bears, instead of the Berenstain Bears? It’s more interesting to explore the latter.
While the Berenstain Bears is ostensibly a mundane and inconsequential example of the Mandela Effect, there are other instances that are so uncanny, they’re hard to ignore. For example, when Darth Vader reveals his paternalistic relationship to Luke in Star Wars, most remember him saying, “Luke, I am your father.” In ‘reality,’ he says, “No, I am your father.” While an intransigent Star Wars fan might scoff at someone who misquotes such an important scene, it can’t be ignored that most people remember it in the former. Even James Earl Jones, who voiced Darth Vader, remembers the line incorrectly.
Movie quotes aside, an example of a famous real-life event that has been brought into the mystery of the Mandela Effect regards the famous protester at Tiananmen Square. The ‘Tank Man,’ whose defiant act of rebellion, standing in front of a tank with grocery bags in hand, is remembered by many as resulting in his death from being run over. In fact, he was not run over and there is no evidence of it, but many remember his crushing demise distinctly.
This is nothing new to those familiar with the theory and there are many other examples that support it; so many that there is an entire subreddit devoted to the effect. With topics ranging from movies that never existed to discrepancies in historical events, people vehemently claim to remember very particular things differently, but on a large, collective scale. Some people’s reactions are visceral when they experience new revelations due to the Mandela Effect, to the point of incurring panic attacks or questioning reality.
Mandela Effect Theories and CERN
One pragmatist theory for explaining the Mandela Effect is that it is simply a failure in the collective memory. Our brains are very easily influenced by our own filters, as well as the perception of others. Many common instances of the Mandela Effect are trivial and maybe just went unnoticed in the past, or are the result of conclusions that our brains jump to based on the context of an image or video. But some are substantial, like an entire country hundreds of miles out of place.
One of the more intriguing theories that attempt to explain this phenomenon points a finger at CERN and the large hadron collider in Switzerland. CERN’s experiments are intended to find elusive particles that could potentially show evidence of a multiverse, create tiny black holes, or discover dark matter. While all of this sounds very exciting, it also sounds potentially dangerous. What could possibly go wrong if we opened up a black hole in Europe, or tapped into another dimension with consequences unknown? While the scientists at CERN assure us their experiments are conducted on such a controlled, small scale as to have little, if any, negative consequences, some believe that their meddling in quantum fields has led to some strange effects, resulting in some kind of interdimensional entanglement.
One of the quantum particles that CERN has been searching for is the graviton. These elusive particles correspond with how gravity would react between different dimensions and are still only hypothetical, but the way CERN describes them is intriguing.
“If gravitons exist, it should be possible to create them at the LHC, but they would rapidly disappear into extra dimensions. Collisions in particle accelerators always create balanced events – just like fireworks – with particles flying out in all directions. A graviton might escape our detectors, leaving an empty zone that we notice as an imbalance in momentum and energy in the event. We would need to carefully study the properties of the missing object to work out whether it is a graviton escaping to another dimension or something else.”
Is CERN inducing these gravitons, creating holes to other dimensions, and swapping idiosyncrasies in our world? Or are we just having a collective memory lapse?