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Questioning the Western Tradition of Thinking: The Visionary Work of Physicist David Bohm

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David Bohm
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Throughout the world, in all ages, there have been belief systems that state our universe at its core is unmanifest, uncreated, or unconditioned.  Thus the 13th century Christian mystic Meister Eckhart states:

When I stand empty in God's Will and empty OF God's Will and all of His works and of God himself, then I am above all creatures and am neither God nor creature, but am what I was and evermore shall be.

Mirroring Eckhart, Lao Tzu advises us in the Tao Te Ching to be newborn and free of our self. Or as Jesus Christ says upon finding a woman nursing her baby, "be like him."   That is, our conditioned self needs to become unconditioned.

I could go around the world looking at Native American, ancient European, Asian (e.g., Buddhist and Hindu) as well as African spiritual teachings and show a corresponding foundation to the universe that is, ultimately, unconditioned and unmanifest.   It is here, in the Unmanifest, or Uncreated, that possibilities--potentials--are unlimited.

Due to Eckhart's pointing out the unconditioned or unmanifest in his work, he was condemned by the church as a heretic.   As illustrated below:

Furthermore, Eckhart courageously braved the charges of heresy by affirming that in every soul is the Divine Spirit itself as its true Identity. Eckhart specifically declared that there is a non-creaturely "uncreated aspect of the soul," which is always already perfectly one with God. A startling, shocking truth that elated the many mystics of his time who flocked to hear his electric sermons, and, predictably, angered the non-mystics whose stunted intuition could not resonate with what the Meister so beautifully spoke.

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Eckhart pointed people towards an unconditioned, uncreated and unmanifest world.  

The mindset of moving beyond the conditioned mind is dangerous in that it is the place of infinite potential.   This is the place from which evolutionary potential emerges. This is the place where real creativity emerges as well as making institutions such as the church, government, schools, and corporations a thing of the past.

This is the reason it is so dangerous.   What happens to the collection plate if folks started discounting what you are preaching?   The Unmanifest is the place where we ring out the old and bring forth the new.   The possibilities within this Unmanifest Order are infinite!   They are the potentials of Imagination"of people, other creatures, planets and stars.

Eckhart's work teaches us to go beyond conditioning, into what the Buddhists call the Unconditioned and what the late physicist David Bohm referred to as the Unmanifest Implicate Order (Talbot, 1991).   This mindset is beyond the waves and currents of the manifest brain; it is in the deep stillness and depths of universal Mind.

Bohm was a contemporary of Einstein and worked with him.   He contributed unorthodox ideas to quantum theory, philosophy of mind, language, and neuropsychology. ( He is widely considered to be one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century.

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According to Bohm:

It is proposed that the widespread and pervasive distinctions between people (race, nation, family, profession, etc., etc.) which are now preventing mankind from working together for the common good, and indeed, even for survival, have one of the key factors of their origin in a kind of thought that treats things as inherently divided, disconnected, and "broken up" into yet smaller constituent parts. Each part is considered to be essentially independent and self-existent.

The notion that all these fragments are separately existent is evidently an illusion, and this illusion cannot do other than lead to endless conflict and confusion. Indeed, the attempt to live according to the notion that the fragments are really separate is, in essence, what has led to the growing series of extremely urgent crises that is confronting us today. Thus, as is now well known, this way of life has brought about pollution, destruction of the balance of nature, over-population, world-wide economic and political disorder and the creation of an overall environment that is neither physically nor mentally healthy for most of the people who live in it. Individually there has developed a widespread feeling of helplessness and despair, in the face of what seems to be an overwhelming mass of disparate social forces, going beyond the control and even the comprehension of the human beings who are caught up in it. (David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980)

Bohm and Meister Eckhart are one!  No division there. 

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Burl is an avid writer and publishes to OpEd News. He is author of "Sophia's Web: A Passionate Call to Heal Our Wounded Nature." As of this writing, Burl is planning to self-publish the book. Alongside his wife, Burl co-hosts an on line radio (more...)

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For both liberal and conservative, left and right... by Burl Hall on Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 11:19:36 AM
This article speaks to the work of physicist David... by Burl Hall on Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 11:22:15 AM
"Who's in charge?" seems always to be the questio... by molly cruz on Saturday, Mar 1, 2014 at 12:36:11 PM
Molly: This is in 3 parts.  Thanks for your... by Burl Hall on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 9:24:36 AM
The Native American Kogis saw us Europeans as d... by Burl Hall on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 9:26:58 AM
Now granted, everytime I get bit by a mosquito ... by Burl Hall on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 9:28:28 AM
Now Molly, my wife's take on your mindful thought... by Burl Hall on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 9:29:56 AM
Its not that our Western way of thinking is wrong... by David Chester on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 10:11:30 AM
Well David, you make good points.  The piece... by Burl Hall on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 3:29:33 PM
The following is a video with Bohm on a panel tha... by Burl Hall on Monday, Mar 3, 2014 at 1:05:52 AM