Volume XV - (2014)
- Written by Kerry Pobanz Kerry Pobanz
Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 15, 2014 - Pages 159-191
Why don’t human beings, who are the lords of all creation, have wings? Is it enough that people live limited to the earth? Actually we have higher-dimensional wings. Once you die and shed your physical body, you will fly. —Sun Myung Moon
[A]ngels and spirits… may be apparently translated from one place to another, and from one earth to another, even to earths which are at the end of the universe: so likewise may man as to his spirit, his body still remaining in its own place. —Emanuel Swedenborg
In the twenty-first century, all of us quite take for granted our different modes of transportation. If we live in New York and want to travel to California, most of us realize that this trip will take at least months on foot, weeks by bicycle, days by automobile, and hours by airline—which is the best time we can possibly manage. On earth we must painstakingly address the physical realities of time and distance. Inasmuch as instant teleportation of materials and persons has not yet become a practical reality, we simply accept that there are no shortcuts. We accept our technological limitations, otherwise grateful for technology’s easing of the continuing density of our everyday human lives.
Yet numerous yogis, spiritual teachers and near-death experiencers (NDErs) speak of traveling almost instantaneously in the spirit to other parts of the earth, or to other planets in our solar system, or even to far-distant stars outside Milky Way galaxy. What is this spiritual mode of transportation? Swedenborg and many others testify that such transport is absolutely real. How is this transport accomplished? Because we human beings have so little awareness of this aspect of ourselves, it is the intention of this essay to first discuss seven examples of this spirit transportation, presented in the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, Anthony Borgia, Robert Monroe, Betty Eadie, Howard Storm, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and Sun Myung Moon. Second, it will investigate how and why human beings are originally designed to be able to engage in such apparently extraordinary journeying, yielding several major metaphysical perspectives on the phenomenon. The third part of this article will discuss how contemporary biology and physics may offer insights useful in understanding how spiritual transport can be facilitated—for those who still possess a physical body—on the corporeal foundation of the subcellular operations of a person’s physical brain. A contemporary epistemological proposal discussing the interface between mind and reality is considered for its relevant suggestions in explaining the human capability for spiritual transport.
A Brief Survey of Examples of Dimensional Translation
Emanuel Swedenborg describes traveling out of the physical body and within the dimensionality of the spirit world. He speaks of being “translated” in this way to other parts of the universe, his corporeal self (or physical body) “remaining in its own place.” I have adopted Swedenborg’s terminology as being what I believe to be the best description of the phenomenon of spirit travel, or spirit transport, and have chosen to designate this general activity as “dimensional translation”—the instantaneous translation, i.e., nonmoving movement, of a person’s spirit between and across the dimensions/realms (interdimensionally and intradimensionally) of the spiritual world, or incorporeal world. At the same time, it should be understood that, for a still physically embodied person, dimensional translation itself initially occurs as “astral projection,” i.e., the projection of one’s spirit out of his or her physical body.
In Other Earths in the Universe, Swedenborg describes his spiritual visitations to other planets in our solar system, e.g., Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, etc. But he is curiously ambiguous in their descriptions. On the one hand, he seems to be suggesting that spirits of a certain character live on a specific corporeal planet, like Mars, while on the other hand, he suggests that such spirits inhabit a halo-like spiritual environment surrounding the specific corporeal planet. However that may be, Swedenborg clearly understands that a spirit can travel, more or less instantly, in the spirit world to visit other planets and stars. And this is a good thing, inasmuch as he was allowed to witness something of the almost incomprehensible vastness of heaven, whose visitation would necessarily require some form of instantaneous traversal. He characterizes the immensity of the spirit world in the following way:
I have been allowed to see the extent of the inhabited heaven and also the extent of the uninhabited heaven; and I have seen that the uninhabited heaven is so vast that it could never be filled to all eternity even if there were thousands and thousands of planets with as many people on each one as there are on ours.
Robert Hugh Benson/Anthony Borgia
The book Life in the World Unseen contains many remarkable descriptions of the nature of existence in the spirit world, given by the deceased priest Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, whose thoughts were carefully recorded through the clairaudient mediumship of Anthony Borgia. Borgia was a personal friend of Father Benson, and once Fr. Benson had passed into the spirit world Borgia agreed to be his personal amanuensis.
His book makes it clear, in numerous contexts, that the spirit world is governed by the quality of people’s thoughts. With specific reference to the form of locomotion in the world after death, Borgia writes:
The spirit world is a world of thought, to think is to act, and thought is instantaneous. If we think ourselves into certain places, we shall travel with the rapidity of that thought, and that is as near instantaneous as it is possible to imagine.… We just think that we wish to be in a certain place, and we are there.
The dimensional translation that people in the spirit world experience is accomplished by means of the great subtlety and refinements of thought itself.
There are many spiritual visionaries and near-death experiencers who describe the general phenomenon of astral projection while the physical body remains motionless in its place. Their descriptions seem similar to Swedenborg’s description of his own out-of-body experiences, which also begin as a kind of astral projection. Unlike Swedenborg, however, some of these contemporary accounts of astral projection also describe that when the spirit leaves the body it is still connected to the corporeal body via an energetic cord, generally known as the “silver cord.” It is a kind of incorporeal umbilical cord that can stretch out indefinitely for even trillions of miles to maintain the traveling spirit’s connection the physical body. Such was the experience of Robert Monroe, an avid practitioner who eventually developed an organization to teach the techniques of projecting to and exploring the different realms, dimensions, and planets in the spirit world.
Monroe, a successful Virginia businessman, began to have spontane¬ous out-of-body experiences (OBEs) in the latter 1950s. As he undertook the investigation of these OBEs, he became powerfully aware that who we are in our essence is not our physical body, and that all humans, in fact, also inhabit a nonphysical, spiritual body (the “Second Body”) that is tremendously plastic in nature and hyperresponsive to thought itself. He discovered that when this nonphysical body travels outside the physical body, it is discernibly connected, via an energetic cord, to the physical body at about the sternum in both bodies, the linking cord stretching out seemingly indefinitely to maintain the connection. Further, if this cord is ever severed, the physical body dies and the nonphysical body simply moves off into other realms or dimensions.
In 1972, Monroe founded The Monroe Institute (TMI) that to this day has been dedicated to researching OBEs and to providing technologically conditioned environments in which OBEs can be facilitated for the ongoing education and enlightenment of fellow explorers. It is estimated that over 30,000 people have attended various Institute programs for out-of-body exploration. Its Gateway Voyage program is a training course utilizing Monroe’s proprietary Hemi-Sync® process to generate binaural (i.e., hearing through both ears simultaneously) soundtracks for the participant, who then may experience the brain state of hemispheric synchronization. Hemispheric synchronization then produces a state of brainwave coherence facilitating relaxation, meditative states, and the exploration of specific altered states of consciousness—which Monroe designated as Focus levels—or, in other words, facilitating distinct OBEs. Thus, Monroe used the Hemi-Sync technology to essentially and even radically change the focus of human consciousness, a process in his early years he referred to in terms of being “out-of-body”, but in his later years he referred to mostly as phasing out of the physical dimension into other Focus levels. It seems that Monroe’s final conception of phasing as instantaneous travel from one Focus level to another is almost identical to Swedenborg’s description of “translation”—what we have otherwise termed in this essay dimensional translation. Other writers who have described technologies used in the spirit world to facilitate the transversal of vast distances include Bruce Moen, Paramahansa Yogananda, Mark Macy and The Urantia Book.
Betty Eadie’s near-death experience, her literary account of which is contained in Embraced by the Light, also usefully highlights not only her departure out of her physical body, but also especially her resultant freedom to spontaneously travel to other planets in the spirit world.
After complications from hysterectomy surgery, Eadie awakened out of a deep sleep to find that her body would no longer respond to her thoughts; in fact she could not move her physical body at all. However, upon experiencing a sudden surge of energy, her spirit was drawn up through her chest and out of her failing body, at which point she discovered that she now had a new body, seemingly weightless and extremely responsive to her thoughts. In the next moment, three men in light brown robes appeared at her side. They seemed like they were 70-year-old monks, and upon closer examination Betty felt they were truly ancient, possessing great spirituality and wisdom. They spoke to Eadie, explaining that they had been with her for “eternities.” At this point, her mind began to fill with images of her timeless friendship with these beings, who further explained that they had been her guardian angels during her life on earth. She felt great love from them, and though she understood that she had died prematurely, her angelic hosts told her not to worry because everything would turn out alright. They then accompanied her on an extraordinary journey, allowing her first to be embraced by Jesus, and then facilitating her transport through numerous visitations and epiphanies. Eadie’s testimony in the following passage offers a unique expression of her dimensional translation as a spirit across the cosmos.
I traveled to many other worlds—earths like our own but more glorious, and always filled with loving, intelligent people. We are all God’s children, and he has filled the immensity of space for us. I traveled tremendous distances, knowing that the stars I saw were not visible from earth. I saw galaxies and traveled to them with ease and almost instantaneous speed, visiting their worlds and meeting children of our God, all of them our spiritual brothers and sisters.
The near-death experience of Howard Storm speaks intriguingly of the ability of the human spirit to travel across the universe. Storm, a rather callous, self-avowed atheist and a 38-year-old professor of art at Northern Kentucky University, was on tour in Paris when he was suddenly overwhelmed by the excruciating pain of a life-threatening perforated duodenal ulcer and expired in a Paris hospital. Upon awakening in his spirit body, Storm almost immediately had the experience of being deceptively lured into a dark, foggy, and otherwise hellish environment and then being attacked by a group of nasty, cruel, merciless and hideous persons who bit off chunks of his flesh. In his agony, Storm the atheist responded almost involuntarily, by praying to God and crying out, “Jesus, save me!” After a brief interval, a Being of Light, seemingly Jesus, arrived and carried Storm away from these hellish depths and out into a brilliantly illuminated galactic environment. Storm traveled with Jesus across part of the spiritual cosmos, describing his experience in the following way:
We traversed an enormous distance, light-years, although very little time elapsed.… I saw a vast area of illumination that looked like a galaxy. In the center there was an enormously bright concentration of light. Outside the center countless millions of spheres of light were flying about, entering and leaving that great concentration of light at the center.
Again, we find that in the spirit world one is able to easily traverse light-years of distance within seconds or minutes. Such transport is essentially instantaneous, and is quite frequently described by NDErs. Storm shares the significance of this kind of transport later in his testimony when he is able to ask the angels a number of questions addressing various metaphysical perspectives on dimensional translation, which are discussed in the second part of this essay.
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, otherwise disseminated as the worldwide Hare Krishna movement, and is a highly respected Vedic scholar and spiritual teacher in his own right. In his book Easy Journey to Other Planets, he explains that through a disciplined process of bhakti yoga a person can attain a particular degree of perfection/freedom that allows him/her to engage in free, instantaneous, and blissful visitation to thousands of planets and stars in the spirit world. Vedic sources, as well as the Bhagavad-gita, clearly affirm the existence of a spiritual universe far vaster than the physical universe.
In actuality there is a spiritual sky, and spiritual planets which are more spacious and greater in number than planets in the material sky. From the Bhagavad-gita we receive information that the material universe only constitutes a fraction (one-fourth) of the creation.… The three-fourths portion of God’s creation is the spiritual world.
In particular, Prabhupada explains that a yogi’s attainment of perfect consciousness entitles him to a natural and dynamic dominion over the spiritual world:
For the perfect yogi who has attained success in the method of leaving his body in perfect consciousness, transferring from one planet to another is as easy as an ordinary man’s walking to the grocery store.
This statement accords well with the assertion by Sun Myung Moon that a spirit-man can easily reach stars hundreds of thousands or millions of light-years away. While Swedenborg and Prabhupada both acknowledge that it is possible for a person’s spirit to travel from his or her stationary corporeal body to visit planets/stars in the physical universe, they put their major emphases on the extraordinary freedom the disembodied spirit possesses to visit a multitude of planets and stars in the spirit world. Many of them are populated at least with human beings, i.e., human spirits.
Sun Myung Moon
Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity and the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, offers several tantalizing descriptions of the spirit-person’s capability for traveling in the spirit world. In the following passage, he explains that, upon the death of one’s corporeal body, the spirit-person is liberated from the usual constraints of time and space and becomes able to travel across the universe at supraluminal speeds, i.e., at speeds much greater than the speed of light:
The first thing he [a person who has died] realizes is that in the spirit world he is released from the bonds of physical life, and the bonds of time and space no longer exist for him. In the spirit world, travel from one corner of the universe to the other is instantaneous, like a spark flashing between two electrical poles. Like finding a station on the radio, all you have to do is tune yourself to the proper wavelength and everything you want to experience will come to you.
To make this point even more explicit, Father Moon once declared that the spirit- person “can travel billions of light-years in an instant.”
Metaphysical Perspectives on Dimensional Translation
This section will address the metaphysical background and implications of the seven exemplifications of dimensional translation presented in the first part of the essay. The people in these exemplifications have unique ways of describing the phenomenon and its significance, thereby offering a variety of metaphysical points of view—all of which serve to expand our comprehension of this human faculty.
We will begin with the discussion of Father Moon’s understanding of the spirit-person’s natural ability for instantaneous travel in the spirit world. He begins from the standpoint that God originally designed human beings as cosmic beings, and as authentic lords over the created universe, who would grow up to fulfill their cosmic potential. This is similar to the specifically Eastern Orthodox notion that “God became man so that man could become God.”
Father Moon explains the growth of the human spirit as occurring in three distinct stages: first, as babies, breathing liquid for nine months, after which we are born into a much more dynamic stage of life on earth, breathing air for 80-100 years, and finally, once the physical body is worn out, we are born into the third, hyperdynamic stage of our lives when we enter into our existence as spirit-persons, living in the spirit world for eternity. There we possess an ethereally substantial spirit body, essentially made of thought and capable of moving with the spontaneity and instantaneity of thought itself.
Furthermore, our natural locomotion in the spirit world is often depicted in the form of flying, as Father Moon characterizes in the following passage:
Since birds can fly, it is understandable that human beings, who are the lords of creation, also wish to fly. The spirit world is a place where people can go anywhere in an instant without the aid of an airplane, even though the world is hundreds of light-years in length.
The “flying” in the spirit world that Father Moon speaks of here can be done to lesser or greater degrees, and this is determined in accordance with the quality of a spirit-person’s loving outreach.
In other terms, we might describe that a person’s actual mobility and locomotion in the spirit world are determined in the context of the development of his or her own thought. The highest development of thought, or the most exalted sophistication of wisdom in the spirit world, in its turn, results from the greatest realization or accomplishment of love:
The means and speed of travel in the spirit world are very different from here on earth. Each individual enters the spirit world with a different level of accomplishment in love, a different love record. Thus, each has a different quality of power in his movements.… Although the distances between the stars and planets are vast, you can still traverse them within one second, if you are moving at God’s speed. It is the power of God’s love that enables Him to move so rapidly.
Finally, Father Moon suggests our capacity to traverse the universe through flying, which we understand as instantaneous dimensional translation, is because each of us is created to resemble God, our Parent, and that once we have realized the full love of God, we will automatically live in the full dimensionality of the cosmos at large.
In the spirit world, you will be flying around. Since true love can, in one hop, zip across the vast universe 22 billion light-years wide. You could all do the same. However great the universe, it will become the sphere of your activities in the spirit world.
In summary, Father Moon explains that (1) God originally designed human beings to be able to “fly” as their normal mode of transport in the spirit world, (2) spirits are able to fly according to the quality of their thought, which is integrally conditioned by their capacity for love, and (3) human spirits are created as God’s children, to be able to inherit the heart/love of God, and thereby to utilize flying to dimensionally translate themselves throughout the cosmos.
Swami Prabhupada emphasizes in his writings the understanding that the yogic journey to other planets is “easy.” That is to say, Prabhupada affirms that, for a spiritually trained person, dimensional translation enabling him to move from planet to planet throughout the spiritual cosmos is essentially effortless. Metaphysically speaking, dimensional translation was always intended by God to be a natural and spontaneous action, premised only on the condition that the person attain his/her full spiritual maturation as a son or daughter of God.
This implies that human beings are originally, inherently designed to be able to engage in dimensional translation. This is also to suggest, perhaps somewhat in line with the anthropic principle of science, that the universe was indeed meticulously designed to be fully accessible to intelligent visitation and exploration. In other words, a second metaphysical insight here is that human beings are meant to enjoy a kind of unlimited, unconditional freedom of movement to all points in the macrocosmos.
Anthony Borgia affirms that this native ability for dimensional translation takes place by means of thought. That is, a person moves through the spirit world, or translates himself from one location to another, by means of thinking himself to these locations. Of course, to affirm such means of locomotion in the spirit world also directly brings up the question: What is the medium through which a spirit-person thinks herself to these locations? It must be a mental/psychic medium, a “thoughtful” medium that transmits thought. This leads to the recognition that the whole cosmos necessarily must be constituted ontologically of both matter and mind. In the life before death, we are prominently called to take responsible dominion over an obviously material world, but in the life after death, we are released from our earlier material-world obligation and instead must become responsible for living and loving with much greater refinement in a world entirely composed of thought, hopefully loving thought, shared by a multitude of spirit-persons.
Robert Monroe offers a number of metaphysical perspectives in his writings on astral projection, although we will mention only three. First, astral projection of the spirit-self affords egress to the spirit, enabling it to move outside the physical body. Once outside the physical body, the spirit-self may think itself instantly to a destination as close as a next-door neighbor or as distant as millions of light-years beyond the earth. Such dimensional translation for a person with a physical body is characterized by the potentially almost limitless lengthening of the silver cord that tethers the spirit-self to its physical body. In one of his journeys out of the body, Monroe offers this tantalizing description of his energetic cord:
As I reached the back of my head, my hand brushed against something and I felt behind me with both hands. Whatever it was extended out from a spot in my back directly between my shoulder blades, as nearly as I can determine, not from the head, as I expected. I felt the base, and it felt exactly like the spread-out roots of a tree radiating out from the basic trunk. The roots slanted outward and into my back down as far as the middle of my torso, and into my shoulders on each side. I reached outward, and it formed into a “cord,” if you can call a two-inch-thick cable a “cord.” It was hanging loosely, and I could feel its texture very definitely. It was body-warm to the touch and seemed to be composed of hundreds (thousands?) of tendon-like strands packed neatly together, but not twisted or spiraled. It was flexible, and seemed to have no skin covering. Satisfied that it did exist, I took off and went.
Beyond the obvious understanding that the spirit-self is clearly rooted in the physicality of its physical body, it is important to recognize a deeper meaning here. Just as a baby is connected to and nourished by its mother through the physical umbilical cord that is finally severed at birth, so also the spirit-person is connected to the physical body via a spiritual/energetic umbilical cord— the silver cord—that is also severed once we are born into the spirit world.
Second, for Monroe, dimensional translation is understood as he calls phasing. This he defines not in terms of a “Second Body”—Monroe’s initial terminology for the human spirit body that Frederick Aardema, a Monroe explicator, refers to as the “phantom body” that leaves the physical body—but instead as a focusing of attention/consciousness “in different ways and to different degrees away from the physical.” Phasing describes the capability of projecting one’s consciousness from one location to another relatively instantaneously, a transition in which there is no body awareness at all. Monroe described this projection of consciousness as accomplished through stretching his attention, almost as if it were an elastic band, to an intended destination, then letting go and being sling-shot toward this location. Aardema offers the following clarification of the nature of consciousness projection via phasing:
The term phasing is a metaphor derived from physics, which conceptualized consciousness as a waveform that can either be aligned or non-aligned with physical reality. For example, when we are 100% phased into the physical we are considered perfectly aligned with normal physical input and waking reality. In Monroe-speak, this is called C-1 consciousness or primary phasing. As consciousness moves further away from the physical (and the senses) consciousness is said to phase into other “focus levels.”
For Monroe then, phasing enables a person to travel between focus levels, the increasing psychical depth of which he arbitrarily designated with a set of increasing numbers, i.e., focus levels 3, 10, 12, 15, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27. For instance, Focus 10 is described as a state of consciousness in which the mind is fully awake but the body is completely asleep, and Focus 23 designates a psychical dimensionality where one encounters deceased persons who are deeply confused or severely emotionally fixated, existing as what might be termed earthbound spirits.
Thus, Monroe understands phasing as providing a kind of “quick-switch method,” almost like instantly tuning consciousness to radio stations at different frequencies. This understanding superseded his earlier conception of travel in a Second Body. Yet, while he finally decided that the primary mode of travel through the psychic dimension was phasing, he did not repudiate his earlier conception of the existence of a Second Body connected via an energetic cord to the physical body, which could be viewed as an entity traveling in a more local sense.
Monroe’s ideas here yield an important metaphysical insight, which can be discussed in even more universal terms. If we understand that the human spirit-self is constituted as a person’s inherent subjectivity embodied in a thought-body, this is basically to assert that the spirit-self is essentially a thought. That is to say, the spirit-self is the inherent I-ness or subjectivity of a person that is a thought, which is capable of thinking itself in an instant across the spiritual cosmos, which itself exists as a thought medium. Also, because the spirit-self’s subjectivity (potentially) possesses a default form that is in fact the human form, the spirit-self can be readily manifested as a spirit body—if the spirit-person chooses this manifestation. So, taking these two pivotal notions into consideration leads to a speculative suggestion that a person’s spirit-self need not choose to manifest a spirit body and, otherwise, may simply choose to travel vast distances in the spirit world as a thought-subjectivity, i.e., as a thought being and, only later on—after having arrived at its destination—this thought being may choose to manifest its spirit body, or human form. This kind of foregoing distinction, basically introduced in Monroe’s thought, seems a fruitful notion in trying to grasp how people travel instantaneously across millions of light-years in the spirit world.
Finally, Monroe’s use of artificial facilitation to achieve the instantaneous projection of consciousness to other locations leads to the conclusion that the experience of dimensional translation can be effectively technologically facilitated. This is important, because technologies such as this will undoubtedly serve in the future as significant educational tools to assist human beings in recognizing both the existence of the spirit world and our native capacity to travel through it.
Betty Eadie’s near-death testimony affirms, not unlike Swedenborg, the metaphysical perspective that in the spirit world there exist many galaxies with many worlds that are home to human beings, and that all these persons are the children of God. Furthermore, like Father Moon, Eadie suggests that since the extent of inhabited planets in the spirit world is potentially unlimited, God clearly intends for human beings to experience the whole universe—or even all possible universes—as our staging ground. Further, apparently God has deliberately designed the universe to afford us the maximum joy possible, almost as a kind of playground for humans, where we are enabled to access all facets of the cosmos. In this regard, it was important to our Heavenly Parent that each human person have the means of personal locomotion enabling us to travel instantaneously to the ends of an endless cosmos—the natural capacity for dimensional translation—allowing us limitless visitation privileges. A final metaphysical perspective on dimensional translation in Eadie’s writing is her recognition that the primary purpose of dimensional translation, as well as of God’s entire creative design, is to enable us “to learn to love one another,” to facilitate the spreading and sharing of true love throughout the cosmos.
The metaphysical insights available through Howard Storm’s near-death testimony are accessible mostly by means of understanding his descriptions in the second half of his book, which he dedicates to detailing “the message” he was given by Jesus to give to the world. Once Jesus had rescued Storm, he summoned other loving beings of light, apparently angels, to care for and educate him, and especially to answer all of his questions. The angels begin by explaining to him:
You are given a life in the world for only one purpose, which is to love God. You love God by learning God’s will and doing God’s will by loving one another. Anything else is immaterial to the purpose of your brief life experience in the world.
Jesus and the angels then answered his questions about God, about how and why God made the creation, the nature of human history, the true vision of a future world, the character of angels, life after death, and many other topics.
In particular, an angel first explains to an incredulous Storm that, while God has allowed human beings to play out their violent desires for war, these conflicts never needed to happen. Thus, the World Wars could have been prevented, but humans were in that moment blindly, selfishly, collectively determined toward hatred and internecine barbarism, unable to negotiate terms of peace, unable to obviate the bloodlust necessitated by greed and revenge. Until human beings realize that their founding legacy is in God and is a legacy of absolute true love, we cannot receive all the extraordinary gifts that God wants to give us:
The great gifts that God wants to give us will not be given until we are loving enough to handle them. God wants to give us the power to control matter and energy with our minds, the ability to communicate directly with our thoughts, to travel through time and space by will, to have knowledge by contemplation. The power of these gifts is beyond our wildest imagination, but they will not be ours until we mature spiritually and can use these powers wisely and lovingly.
Confronting Storm’s skepticism regarding the quality of life in an ideal world that God intends for human beings to experience in the future once they have moved forever beyond the selfishness and violence of the current world, the angels offer to Storm a vivid vision of the future world of perfectly harmonized human civilization. This vision, besides being one of the most extraordinary visions ever to be written down, includes a carefully enunciated description of the kind of spiritual journeying, or dimensional translation, that we have been addressing throughout this essay. In the ideal communitarianism of the future world:
Everybody was a student of nature, which they knew intimately and with which they could communicate, knowing the sensations and vibration of every part of the creation. People explored outer space without moving an inch. People communicated telepathically with everyone on earth and had relationships with intelligent beings on other worlds. There was no space travel because there was no need. People stayed put and shared life experience across galaxies.
Dimensional translation for Swedenborg is simply accomplished as a change of state. Time and space, as we are normally familiar with them, are not actually involved, inasmuch as they do not exist in the spirit world in their familiar form. The spirit world is a dimensional realm, where the highest vibrational dimension is generated through the purest and truest experience of God’s love. Hence, it is a realm that is spatially and temporally characterizable only as the “Infinite Here” and the “Eternal Now.” We might venture to assert here, as Swedenborg has done, that the experience of traversing space is simply the experience of being translated from one state into another, and that the experience of time as succession and duration is again the experience of being translated from one state into another. That is to say, in dimensional translation, the infinity of “heres” and the eternity of “nows” are instantaneously accessible to consciousness in its highest development.
Thus, God’s intention for human beings is that they would directly participate in His own consciousness of reality, and that in coming to possess God’s consciousness they would emulate God in true love and omniscience, inheriting God’s divinity and capacity for pure universality. If human beings had not experienced an initial, abysmal separation from God, and thereby from their own original nature with all its vast potentiality, they would have grown up to become god-like beings.
However, Swedenborg’s writings generally present more tempered, though very instructive, metaphysical perspectives regarding the nature of time and space in the spirit world. Swedenborg offers the following description of how he personally experienced dimensional translation, together with his reflections on the meaning of this experience.
All motion in the spiritual world is the effect of changes of inner states, to the point that motion is nothing but changes of state. This is how I have been led by the Lord into the heavens and also to other planets in the universe. This happened to my spirit, while my body remained in the same place. This is how all angels move about, which means they do not have distances; and if they do not have distances, they do not have space. Instead they have states and their changes.
This being the nature of motion, we can see that drawing near is likeness of inner state and moving away is dissimilarity. This is why the people who are nearby are the ones in a similar state and the ones who are far away are in dissimilar states. It is why space in heaven is nothing but the outward states that correspond to the inner ones.
On the one hand, Swedenborg makes it clear that in the spirit world time and space do not exist, except as appearances:
There are two things proper to nature: time, and thence what is successive; and space, and thence what is extended; but these things do not exist in the spiritual world as things proper to it; for they are appearances of the states of their life. Hence, plants there grow in a moment, and disappear in a moment.
This apparent space and time transform relative to experiences of translation occur with the progression of changes of inner states. One consequence of this, for instance, is that through desire, space can be reduced to nothing, as Swedenborg indicates in this account of an effort to listen in on a conversation in the spirit world:
To this I bent my ear, for in the spiritual world speech can be heard at a distance just as in one’s presence, extension of space there being an appearance. They were talking about marriage, nature, and religion.
Swedenborg is also quite clear in affirming that, in the spirit world, time and space have varied manifestations, and that they appear to condition in certain ways the experience of living in that world:
It is different in the spiritual world. Life does seem to go on in time there much the same way. People live with each other the way we do on earth, which cannot happen without some appearance of time. However, time there is not divided into segments the way it is in our world because their sun is always in the east. It never moves. It is actually the Lord’s divine love that angels see as their sun. This means they do not have days, weeks, months, years, or centuries, but states of life instead. It provides them with divisions that cannot be called divisions into time segments, only divisions of state. This is why angels do not know what time it is, and why they think of state when time is mentioned. Further, when it is state that determines time, time is only an appearance.
Even more to the point, Swedenborg specifies the psychological changes of state that prominently determine the human experience of time in the spirit world:
I also said that it is known by some that times are states in origin because they recognize that times are experienced in precise accord with the states of affection we are caught up in. They are short for us when we are engaged in pleasant and cheerful pursuits and long when we are engaged in distasteful and depressing ones, and variable when we are in hope or expectation.
In summary, Swedenborg offers his metaphysical perspective in regard to dimensional translation in the context of his analysis of the nature of time and space as they manifest in the spirit world. While he makes no mention of the “silver cord” connecting a spirit-self to its physical body as Monroe does, he is in agreement with Father Moon, Prabhupada, and Monroe that dimensional translation is a phenomenon occurring in the realm of human consciousness, i.e., that it is essentially a mental/spiritual experience. This experience can transport consciousness across vast distances, whether a person possesses a physical body or not. Swedenborg further describes that, in the spiritual world, angels function on an everyday basis by essentially de-conceptualizing time and space, so that, in effect, time and space have no reality for them whatsoever. In the spirit world, seemingly vast distances can shrink into immediate presences, as Swedenborg explains:
In the other life there is no space, nor time; thus all are so present that they are close together even if they were at the end of the universe.
In the end, Swedenborg’s most complete understanding of the reality of time and space, which is quite similar to Father Moon’s, has to do with the deepest and most fundamental aspects of human being—love and wisdom.
The reason is that in the spiritual world intervals of space and time are not fixed the way they are in our physical world, but are changeable in response to their states of life. This means that states of life take the place of space and time in the concepts of their thinking. Issues related to states of love are in place of spatial intervals and issues related to states of wisdom are in place of temporal intervals. This is why spiritual thought and the consequent spiritual speech are so different from earthly thought and its speech that they have nothing in common.
Contemporary Scientific and Philosophical Explanations for Dimensional Translation
In this section, we endeavor to present two specifically contemporary proposals that attempt to explain how human consciousness may be translated both horizontally (intradimensionally) and vertically (interdimensionally) across the universe—the first, a scientific proposal and the second, a philosophical proposal.
With regard to the scientific proposal, it is important to realize that in 21st-century culture many highly educated people are aware of the fact that the human mind has profoundly expansive and subtle capabilities for knowing reality. Previously, many of these capabilities, often manifesting in spiritual experiences, were looked down on as yielding only subjective distortions of truth, i.e., as not being able to provide truly “objective” and scientific information about the nature of the real world. This prejudiced view of understanding reality has lost some of its traction in recent years, so that now there are quite a few professional scientific thinkers who are willing to “think outside the box,” i.e., to speculate regarding the greater profundity of human consciousness and, thereby, to recognize the legitimacy, not just of scientific knowing, but also of artistic knowing and, especially, spiritual knowing.
In particular, Ede Frecska, a medical doctor who has studied the quality of shamanic spiritual experiences in depth, has put forward a theory explaining shamanic knowing and shamanic journeying that makes use of cutting-edge contemporary quantum physics. A summary exposition of his theory here will serve our purpose of considering a newer metaphysical perspective on dimensional translation.
Briefly, in quantum mechanics, the Einstein-Poldosky-Rosen paradox demonstrated a “principle of nonlocality,” which is the idea that distant objects can have direct, instantaneous influence on one another. The principle of nonlocality operates in the universe due to the phenomenon of quantum entanglement, whereby a set of two or more particles that have interacted previously as parts of the same quantum system maintain their interaction, or correlation, after they are separated, even if they are separated by a million light-years or many millennia. That is, having once interacted, the particles remain entangled—i.e., correlated outside of any consideration of time or space and correlated without any kind of signal mediating their connection to each other. Again, this paradigm, known as signal nonlocality, operates through pure, instantaneous correlation, i.e., there is no transfer of information that would exceed the speed of light (otherwise violating Einstein’s theory), primarily because there is no transfer of information period. Stated yet another way, information transfer, occurring at subluminal to luminal speeds, is a completely different phenomenon than quantum-entangled correlationality, occurring at supraluminal speeds (faster than the speed of light). In a nutshell, Frecska sees in this idea of nonlocal access via quantum entanglement a means to understand how the shaman engages in the “shamanic journey,” and possibly how others can have authentic out-of-body experiences.
To present a summary statement of Frecska’s thesis: Shamans exercise a discipline that allows them to take the awareness of their consciousness to subneural levels and, through organic, subneural quantum computational transformations, access/participate in nonlocal information processing, resulting in their ability to acquire new and relevant information for healing purposes or otherwise, to instantly “travel,” nonlocally, to other realms, dimensions, parts of the earth, etc. Thus, the inner journey of consciousness ultimately affords external journeying in the cosmos.
Quantum theorists concerned to explain the nature of thought have developed a quantum hypothesis of the functioning of human consciousness. It suggests that the brain, mediating consciousness, may well make use of quantum computational principles. Among the numerous brain models currently put forth that utilize quantum computation, one of the most sophisticated, and the one Dr. Frecska believes is most correct, is that delineated by Roger Penrose and Stuart Hammeroff. They suggest that consciousness arises as a result of information processing accomplished through quantum computation, carried out in cytoskeletal proteins organized into a network of microtubules within the neurons of the brain. The cytoskeleton is a kind of scaffolding or “skeleton,” composed of proteins in the cytoplasm of the cell. The cytoskeleton traditionally has been recognized to have critical physical/structural functions in that it maintains cell shape, enables cellular motion, and otherwise serves to protect the cell. More recently, however, it has become clear that the cytoskeleton is also involved in forms of information processing. Cytoskeletal proteins have been found to be organized into three major types of filaments—microfilaments, intermediate filaments, and the largest of these three structures, microtubules with a diameter of 23 nanometers.
Whereas the human brain has approximately 1011 neurons, it possesses 1018 microtubule units, or tubulins, that function to help organize synaptic connections in the brain, i.e., to regulate the synaptic activity involved in memory and learning. Thus, the microtubular network in the brain has 10,000,000 times as many elements as the number of neurons in the brain. Whereas a neuronal cell body is measured in micrometers (millionths of a meter), a tubulin is measured in nanometers (billionths of a meter). Frecska explains that since the size of a tubulin is close to that of elements in the quantum physical realm, the microtubule is a reasonable candidate to perform nonlocal information processing through quantum computation.
Such information processing could occur in accordance with the current quantum paradigm of signal nonlocality in which information is communicated, not through the signal transmission characteristic of radio waves, but simply and entirely via the correlation that is available in a quantum-entangled system. Hence human consciousness, including learning and memory, is most likely critically formed and shaped based on the vast resources made available through facilitation at the subneuronal, microtubular level. In addition, recognizing that neuroscientist Karl Pribram, physicist David Bohm and others are most likely correct in their theory that the human brain organizes information holographically—the principle that all information contained in the whole is also recapitulated or stored in each of the parts of the whole, this microtubular facilitation is believed to be accomplished by means of quantum-level, holographic information sharing.
Frecska believes that, because contemporary physics recognizes that every form of matter is able to emit quanta of energy that are coherent and nonlocal, the laws of quantum physics rightfully apply not only to the subatomic world but also to the world of everyday objects and to the macrocosmos in general. Most interesting here is that energy emissions with nonlocal information sharing, from microcosmic to macrocosmic levels, can be modeled by the same mathematical formalism as that used for laser photography—such as is employed to generate holograms. Frecska uses the term quantum holography to convey the idea that the brain can potentially access information about the entire universe because all of that information is, in fact, holographically organized and stored within the vast subneural networks (cytoskeletal, microtubular networks) within the brain. As Frecska puts it, “the cytoskeletal matrix may be immense enough to contain holographic information about the whole universe via nonlocal interactions.”
Frecska is aware that many contemporary scientists recognize that quantum laws apply equally to both microscale and macroscale events. Given this notion, it seems clear that there exists a continuity wherein the universe replicates itself on every level, including within the brain’s structure. “In a quantum holographic model, the action of the mind is not restricted to the brain, but instead extends to the whole cosmos: The mind breaks out of the skull.”
Frecska and others conceptualize the microtubular network, including its own vast, inherent microfilamental subnetworks (known collectively as the microtrabecular lattice), to be the “quantum array antennae of the brain.” It is this overall quantum array antenna that makes it possible for the brain to resonate with the whole universe by means of quantum holography and quantum computation. This is to suggest that the entire universe may be naturally and nonlocally mapped onto or into the human brain—i.e., that the cosmos is literally, holographically represented/contained within the human brain in a very real sense. Frecska further suggests that recognizing our natural access to such nonlocal information will directly validate many spiritual insights:
If the brain truly contains the whole cosmos, like a hologram, then the perennial wisdom of “as above, so below” (or: “as within, so without”), “The kingdom of heaven is within you,” and “Look within; you are the Buddha” obtains a fresh perspective, and there is hope for the integration of these ideas into Western rational thinking.
Frecska’s investigations led him consequently to postulate that all human knowing should be characterized into two fundamental modes—(1) the indirect mode, which is the perceptual-cognitive-symbolic mode (PCS) that describes most everyday perception of reality and makes use of the usual information processing through sensory perception, cognitive reasoning, and symbolic mediation (e.g., the use of verbal language), and (2) the direct mode of knowing reality, which is a direct-intuitive-nonlocal mode (DIN) and employs the kind of information processing that typically informs altered states of consciousness, enabling knowing through intuition, shamanic projections to far-removed locations/dimensions, the viewing of what has been termed the Akashic record, etc. This latter mode of knowing is specifically based on subcellular, cytoskeletal functions. It bypasses the sensory organs and is not mediated via language or any other set of cultural symbols. Both modes of knowing, however, require rigorous training to reach their highest development—PCS knowing must be highly trained to produce accurate/adequate scientific knowledge of the world, and DIN knowing that accesses nonordinary states of consciousness is notoriously disorienting unless such knowing has been carefully monitored by a mentor and disciplined over a period of decades—as shamans insist is required.
Frecska sees this paradigm for characterizing the knowing of reality as recapitulating the wisdom of the Perennial Philosophy that recognizes two fundamental realms of reality—(1) the physical/phenomenal realm, and (2) the nonphysical, spiritual, transcendent, mystical realm. Just as these two realms exist in harmony—one the relatively outer aspect of reality and the other the relatively inner aspect of reality—so also these means for knowing the whole of reality run parallel and stand as two complementary modes of knowing, either one incomplete without the other. Frecska’s paradigm is clearly an offering to show how science and religion, instead of continuing their perennially internecine relationship, might be reconciled. He suggests:
Nonlocality is to the physicist what interconnectedness is to the mystic, and the quantum hologram is the foundation through which to understand virtually all paranormal phenomena.
Frecska is saying that the quantum hologram is a foundation, or an interface point, through which to begin to understand spiritual/mystical experience. He is not claiming that the quantum hologram with its quantum computational capability is the origin of spiritual/mystical experience, only that such quantum holography takes us closer to realizing the vast sophistication of function, both physiological and mathematical, that comes into play in order to facilitate the experience and understanding of nonlocal realities.
Recapping Frecska’s main thesis brings us to this understanding: Whereas scientific/technological truth reflects the lawfulness of events observed from the local aspect of the universe, mystical knowledge is gained through “correlations that originate from quantum entanglement within the nonlocal frame of reality.” In this way, he considers it inevitable that the artificial split and opposition of these two modes of knowing must be eliminated, and the two modes must be reunited in theory and practice.
What are the metaphysical implications of Frecska’s scientific model to explain shamanic journeying? His model addresses the interface point between mind and body, or spirit and flesh, and thereby, religion and science. In particular, Frecska seems to be suggesting that there is an organic, structural continuity between the human mind and the universe at large, between consciousness and cosmos. He says, “The action of the mind is not restricted to the brain, but instead extends to the whole cosmos.” That is to say, ultimately, “mind” or “spirit” is distributed equally throughout the entire cosmos, each person’s “individual mind” has the native capability to potentially access any aspect or realm of the cosmic Mind, and this access can be actuated instantaneously. Thus, Frecska’s notion of nonlocal access to distant locations within or beyond the physical cosmos, via microtrabecular processes of quantum holography utilizing quantum computation, suggests that each of our individual minds is like a portal to the cosmic Mind and finally can be identified with the cosmic Mind. In other words, here we have a scientific model attempting to describe the nature of the physiological facilitation involved in dimensional translation.
Finally, we turn to what is perhaps the clearest philosophical formulation suggesting the human capacity for dimensional translation, presented in Father Moon’s systematic theological teaching, Divine Principle, and its reconceptualization in philosophical terms known as Unification Thought.
Divine Principle describes that the human person was originally designed by God as possessing both a physical self consisting of a physically oriented, instinctive mentality indwelling a corporeal body, and a spirit-self consisting of a spirit mind indwelling an incorporeal spirit body, with the spirit-self overall completely indwelling and expressing itself through the physical self. Divine Principle also explains that the human person is the microcosmic model that God used to create the macrocosm. In other words, the spiritual cosmos and the physical cosmos were developed as the elaboration of the human spirit logos and the human physical logos respectively, and these were developed to have the same relationship that God originally intended to exist between the spirit and flesh of an individual human person. Whereas the spiritual realm is invisible, internal, mental and causal, the physical/phenomenal realm is the world of visible, external effects. Whereas the spirit world stands as the “vertical” dimension of reality, the physical world is its expression in the “horizontal” dimension of reality. From the foregoing, it stands to reason not only that the microcosm and macrocosm are reflections of each other, but also that the universe-at-large that appears externally to the human mind and spirit corresponds in detail to the universe that exists internally within the human mind and spirit.
Unification Thought contributes several additional perspectives on the nature of mind that supplement the those in Divine Principle. It explains that when “cosmic consciousness,” or God’s mind, enters a cell, the cell becomes alive, acquiring “protoconsciousness,” which is a “lesser-dimensioned cosmic consciousness.” As such, protoconsciousness, which is life, can also be characterized as a kind of “subconsciousness,” capable of exercising “sensitivity” (the ability to perceive information intuitively), “perceptiveness” (the ability to maintain a state of perception), and “purposiveness” (the will-power to actualize a certain purpose). Based on these three faculties, the protoconsciousness in each cell functions locally by first reading the genetic code contained in every cell, second, giving the instructions to make the cells and tissues develop, and third, transmitting this instructional information to numerous nerve centers.
Protoconsciousness can be conceptualized as a fundamental cellular consciousness, originating from cosmic consciousness. In this way, every one of the 100,000,000,000,000 (100 trillion) cells composing the human body participates in cosmic consciousness. Each has an individualized protoconsciousness, i.e., life, but taken collectively they possess a fundamental and powerful consciousness of the reality of the universe. In other words, the human mind is not just localized in the brain, or through the brain, but instead should be understood to be inhering in every cell of our body. Thus Father Moon’s astonishing affirmation: “The mystery of the universe is contained in a cell.”
Both Father Moon and Swedenborg suggest that the entire human being, as a microcosm of the macrocosm, is not only a microcosm of all the physical realities in the cosmos, but especially must be considered to be a microcosm of all the metaphysical, mental realities in the universe. Further, since the human spirit has a one-to-one correspondence with the human body that it indwells, and since the brain centrally represents the physical body, then not only the whole body, but also from a higher perspective the brain in itself may be conceptualized as an extraordinarily refined map of both the physical cosmos and the mental/spiritual cosmos. This can give us a bridge for grasping how it may be possible to travel instantaneously to other parts or realms of the universe: first, the universe is necessarily, explicitly, mapped onto the mental/physical self of every human being, and second, we can learn how to navigate this map of the human mind/body.
As we arrive at the conclusion of our survey of the various speculative articulations of the phenomenon of dimensional translation, it seems remarkable that contemporary civilization is willing to recognize, from numerous perspectives, the reality of this phenomenon. It is not too daring to suggest that the twenty-first century will manifest a spiritual, artistic, and scientific/technological efflorescence of human culture, which will be characterized by unprecedented extradimensional exploration through the unique human faculty of dimensional translation. This will give rise to astonishing advancements in general human awareness, allowing human beings to realize that we are fundamentally spiritual beings, originally designed to gain endless knowledge and wisdom through the unlimited exploration available through dimensional translation. In this regard, we will discover that God created human beings first and foremost as His/Her sons and daughters but, beyond this, also as beings who lovingly, triumphantly explore the universe and take dominion over it. In this, we are destined to resemble our Heavenly Parent.
 Sun Myung Moon, in World Scripture II: World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon, Chung Hwan Kwak and Andrew Wilson, eds. (St. Paul, MN: Paragon House Publishers, 2007), p. 199.
 Emanuel Swedenborg, Earths in the Universe (London: The Swedenborg Society, 1970 (1869)), §125.
 Interdimensional translation would refer to the translation of a person’s spirit between dimensionalities that constitute reality, i.e., to travel between, for instance, the physical dimension and a dimensionality in the spirit world, or between dimensional realms just within the spirit world itself. Intradimensional translation, by contrast, refers to a person’s spirit being translated within and across the dimensionality of the physical universe, or within and across a single dimensional realm in the spirit world.
In accordance with the ontological vision being proposed here, all these dimensionalities interpenetrate each other and can be instantaneously accessible through the tuning of the spirit-person to the desired channel or wavelength (dimensionality). In general, higher and lower realms in the spirit world, once all fallen elements have been healed and reconciled, refer to higher and lower dimensionalities.
 Ibid., §47.
 Emanuel Swedenborg, Heaven and Hell, Jonathan S. Rose and Stuart Shotwell, eds., trans. by George F. Dole (West Chester, PA: Swedenborg Foundation, 2000), §416.
Also on the vastness of the spiritual world, Father Moon states, “In the spirit world, the earth seems like a speck of dust. You would not know how immense the spirit world is. It is an infinite world that transcends time and space.” Sun Myung Moon, Cheon Seong Gyeong (Korea: Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, 2006), p. 605.
On this topic, Whitley Strieber, The Key (San Antonio, Texas: Walker & Collier Publishers, 2001), 67, records an angelic being who contrasts the physical world and the spirit world (“energetic world”) as follows: “There are more galaxies in your universe than there are stars in your galaxy, and more universes in the firmament than there are galaxies in your universe… The energetic world is much larger, vastly more ancient and more complex than the elemental is… [The energetic world] is enormous beyond measure, stretching across all time and space, including not only this universe but many other universes.”
 Anthony Borgia, Life in the World Unseen (London: Psychic Press, 1954), pp. 24, 40.
 This summary of TMI’s Hemi-Sync® process is primarily taken from the Internet at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Monroe and http://www.monroeinstitute.org/resources/hemi-sync
 Bruce Moen [BM], a disciple of Robert Monroe, in Voyages into the Afterlife (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1999), describes his exploration of the consciousness level known as Focus 27, where he converses with a being who appears as an intelligent dolphin [D]. They discuss Moen’s mode of transportation through a Tube of Knowing, which is used to transport beings across cosmic thought-realms or the spiritual world. Apparently it was constructed out of bright yellow plastic:
BM: First thing I’d like to know is how that tube thing works! I mean, before I stepped into the other end I thought I’d have to travel thousands of light-years to get here. But in my perception, I traveled through it to here in less than an instant of time. How is it possible? …
D: [Y]our experience as a human makes you think you have to travel to get from point A to point B. Truth is, getting from point A to point B is an act of creation. It requires no time or movement. One instant you’re in one place, in the next instant you’re created in another (p. 85).
Further on, Moen, now dwelling in Focus 34/35, describes his experience of traveling through a Tube of Knowing to a planet in a different galaxy, where he has been invited by a friendly extraterrestrial intelligence:
A bright yellow tube, like a Tube of Knowing I’d seen earlier, leaped forward and in an instant traversed thousands of light-years of space. The tube’s straight line course then bent at an angle and leaped forward another couple of thousand light-years. It’s hard to believe what happened next. The little guy [his travel companion] and I zipped along the first section of the tube in one or two milliseconds, turned, and flashed across another couple thousand light-years of space in the next millisecond or so. The whole while I could clearly see the stars and blackness of space ahead of us and feel a sensation of speed that is beyond comprehension in any physical world context. Each time we came to a place where the tube bent and went off in a different direction I could feel a slight sideways acceleration through the turn. While we were moving I could see the tube continuing to form in straight line sections extending past the farthest stars I could see. At various, oddly spaced points the next tube section would shoot off at a different angle, then continue in a straight line past the distant stars, only to repeat the cycle again. I have no way of knowing how far we actually traveled, but it had to be multiple millions of light-years. Then I saw the tube had stopped forming up ahead, and when we reached the end, we stopped (pp. 160-61).
 Paramahansa Yogananda, in Autobiography of a Yogi (Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1972), p. 478, describes a conversation with his spiritual teacher Sri Yukteswar, who describes instantaneous travel in the spirit world using a technology of light: “There are many astral planets teeming with astral beings. The inhabitants use astral planes, or masses of light, to travel from one planet to another, faster than electricity and radioactive energies.”
 Mark Macy is one of the original pioneers of instrumental transcommunication (ITC), technology to facilitate communication between the physical world and the spirit world. In Miracles in the Storm (New York: New Penguin Putnam, 2001), Macy shares that their experimental group on earth spent an extended period communicating with a group of ancient ethereal beings in the spirit world known as The Seven, who were later basically understood to be angels and who demonstrated themselves to be beings of great love and wisdom. Among the messages from The Seven were some having to do with humankind’s distant past. The story of the origins of the human race that Macy was given through ITC is one that begins on a different planet than Earth in our solar system, and it is a story that is quite similar to those told by such researchers as Zechariah Sitchin and Erich von Daniken. The reason this story is relevant here is because it illustrates how ancient human beings used technology to transit into and across the spirit world.
In brief, Macy shares that billions of years ago a planet called Marduk existed in our solar system, whose orbit was between that of Mars and Jupiter. Marduk was a beautiful, lush planet and human civilization there was highly advanced. Through using crystals to manipulate subtle energies, the people of Marduk developed extraordinary antigravity devices, facilitated telepathic communication with each other as well as with intelligent minds from distant worlds, and pioneered great advances in genetic engineering and energy production. Utilization of such subtle energies allowed all people to know and accept the reality of life after death, and to clearly realize that all animate and inanimate things in the universe have a form of subtle body—with human beings, this was the spirit-self/spirit body, and with rocks, trees, planets, etc., it was a type of incorporeal astral body. The in-depth understanding of subtle energies and subtle bodies eventually led to the full-scale grasp of subtle dimensions, as Macy explains here:
The people realized that their very own planet Marduk had spiritual counterparts—parallel worlds existing in subtler dimensions. One branch of science on Marduk involved a space-time doorway through which people could travel between dimensions. They could enter the portal on the physical planet Marduk and emerge in astral worlds. The natural laws and the physics of the two realities were quite different from each other. For example, in the astral worlds there were no gravity, no time, and no space as there were in the physical world. Scientists studied these differences as part of the natural sciences of multidimensional living.
One small branch of the complex Marduk scientific establishment involved itself with space travel. It was not travel by propulsion as we know it today. Rather, the travelers would leave the physical world to enter the subtler realms of spacelessness and timelessness, then simply reenter the physical realm in a new location (p. 141). [Italicized text is information received from The Seven; nonitalicized text is Mark Macy’s interpretive elaboration.]
Apparently the people of Marduk had developed a kind of spiritual technology that allowed them to travel and research interdimensionally to explore parts of the spiritual universe. Marduk’s dimensional portal technology was also useful for space travel in the physical universe, permitting its scientists to colonize other planets in our solar system, especially Mars and the Earth. When these scientists first visited Earth, they discovered a lush planet with only primitive life and a few species of primates. Eventually, however, both Mars and Earth became home to a substantial remnant from Marduk, replete with all their scientific advancements.
Scientists on Marduk continued to pursue their investigations into energy production, yet for all of their lofty development, they could and did make mistakes. One day, very unexpectedly, the planet Marduk exploded as a result of a serious misjudgment in their high-energy physics experimentation. This catastrophic event completely obliterated Marduk, transforming it into what today we know as the Asteroid Belt lying between Mars and Jupiter. This explosion also rained huge amounts of planetary debris upon Mars, destroying all life and settlements there. Those contingents colonizing the Earth, now bereft of their home planet, responded by mobilizing native technology to create the civilization of Atlantis. In the end, however, Atlantis failed to learn from the mistakes of its ancestors and destroyed itself and its continent 25,000 years ago in a way similar to how Marduk was destroyed. A fascinating story; perhaps someday we will be able to know definitively the truth of it.
 The Urantia Book (Chicago: URANTIA Foundation, 1995 (1955)), a 2,100-page collection of 196 papers allegedly written by many types of angelic beings, and otherwise communicated to a small group of human beings between 1910 and 1945, purports to present and explain profound metaphysical insights into God the Father, Jesus the Son, the vast cosmos and a myriad of physical and spiritual beings inhabiting its universes, as well as the nature of time, space, matter, and energy.
With regard to spiritual technology to facilitate transport across the spiritual universe, the Urantia Book makes reference to “seraphic transport.” This refers to “the ability of various orders of seraphim and allied spirit beings to envelop with their spirit forms all orders of nonmaterial personalities and to carry them away on lengthy interplanetary journeys.” (§13:1.20) In particular, the “fifth group of the superior seraphim” carry those needing transport from world to world by “enseraphiming” them, “When enseraphimed, you go to sleep for a specified time, and you will awake at the designated moment. The length of a journey when in transit is immaterial. You are not directly aware of the passing of time. It is as if you went to sleep on a transport vehicle in one city and, after resting in peaceful slumber all night, awakened in another and distant metropolis. You journeyed while you slumbered. And so you take flight through space, enseraphimed, while you rest—sleep. (§39:2.12)
 Betty J. Eadie, Embraced by the Light (Placerville, CA: Gold Leaf Press, 1992), p. xx.
 Ibid., pp. 87-88.
 Howard Storm, My Descent into Death and the Message of Love which Brought Me Back (Hammersmith, London: Clairview Books, 2000), pp. 31-32.
 A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Easy Journey to Other Planets (Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, 2003), p. 1. e-book from www.krishna.com.
 Ibid., p. 31.
 Ibid., p. 2.
 Unification Thought (New York: Unification Thought Institute, 1973), p. 80.
 Sun Myung Moon, “Individual Course of Life,” January 20, 1980, p. 6.
 Sun Myung Moon, in World Scripture II: World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon, p. 213.
 Sun Myung Moon, Cheon Seong Gyeong (Seoul, Korea: Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, 2006), p. 848.
 Ron Pappalardo, Reconciled by the Light: The After-Death Letters From a Teen Suicide (2009) gives independent corroboration of our human capacity for flight in the spirit world. Ron’s son, 17-year-old Joshua, who had recently committed suicide, testified via channelled writing about his emotional and psychological rehabilitation there, including flight: “Life is so rich and bright and beautiful here. I have flown. I have flown and it is so amazing. We fly like birds here. No airplanes, no ultra lites, just our arms outstretched, and free as birds.” (p. 87).
 Sun Myung Moon, “The Necessity for the Day of Victory of Love,” God’s Will and the World (New York: HSA-UWC, 1985), p. 662.
 Moon, Cheon Seong Gyeong, p. 637.
 “The strong anthropic principle (SAP) as explained by Barrow and Tipler… states that this is all the case [i.e., the universe possesses all the fundamental physical constants to support conscious life] because the Universe is compelled, in some sense, for conscious life to eventually emerge.” “Anthropic Principle,” Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle. Accessed May 27, 2014.
 Robert Monroe, Journeys out of the Body (New York: Doubleday, 1977), p. 175.
 Frederick Aardema, “Focus 10—Mind Awake Body Asleep,” at www.monroeinstitute.org/ research/cat/focus-levels/focus-10-mind-awake-body-asleep
 Monroe (Ultimate Journey [New York: Doubleday, 1994], pp. 248-49, 278-80) characterizes these unique levels of consciousness as follows:
Focus 3: The state of increased mental coherency and balance.
Focus 10: The state of mind awake, body asleep.
Focus 12: The state of expanded awareness.
Focus 15: A state where consciousness experiences no time.
Focus 21: A mental realm where consciousness finds itself at the edge of time and space, where it is possible to contact other energy systems.
Focus 22: A dimensionality in which reside those who are still psychically alive but in an unconscious state, e.g., people in comas or drug-induced states, people suffering mental derangement, etc.
Focus 23: A dimensionality where people who no longer have a physical body get stuck for various reasons. Often these deceased persons are deeply confused or emotionally fixated to a great degree, having otherwise also become what are usually referred to as “earthbound spirits.”
Focus 24, 25, 26: These dimensionalities accommodate inhabitants of what Monroe refers to as “The Belief System Territories,” and are grouped according to the character of the beliefs about the afterlife that they held during their lives on earth. Because of the exclusiveness and rigidity with which these inhabitants hold their beliefs, they have greatly confined themselves to an afterlife existence in which there is no ongoing mental/spiritual growth. Bruce Moen (http://www.afterlife-knowledge.com/24-26.html) notes that some of these regions appear as heavens, while others look like hells.
Focus 27: This dimensionality is home to the most open-minded persons entering the afterlife. All people here broadly communicate with each other and work together to create carefully structured, earth-like environments for their continuing growth and development. Moen (http://www.afterlife-knowledge.com/27.html) reports that in his visits to this region he has discovered citizen centers dedicated to Education, Health & Rejuvenation, Planning, Rehabilitation, and Humor.
 Eadie, Embraced by the Light, p. 97.
 Storm, My Descent, p. 36.
 Ibid., p. 107.
 Ibid., p. 111.
 Ibid., p. 112-14. Storm’s description of this angelically facilitated vision of an ideal world, he was told, could be conceivably realized as early as 200 years into the future. It deserves to be quoted in full:
We were in a beautiful natural wooded setting. There was no evidence of human intrusion or man-made devices. They told me this was the future and we were in a garden that people tended. People came by and talked with each other. They were dressed simply and had exotic ornaments. They resembled native Americans in their dress. I enquired about what they did. They raised children mostly. Everyone spent the majority of their time with the children teaching them about love and the wonders of the natural world. They didn’t make any distinction between work and play. They all participated in child-rearing and teaching as the most important activity of their lives. People raised food by sitting next to plants and communing with them. In a few minutes they could harvest mature fruits and vegetables. They ate what they grew immediately without cooking. The clothing was all finely woven fibers. There was very little metal except in ornaments.
I asked, ‘Is this paradise?’ They laughed and said, ‘No, only compared to the world you live in. In this future world people will have sickness, but the treatment for disease will always be successful. People will gather around the person in need of help and through prayer, touch, and meditation the disease will be cured. People will grow only enough food for their needs. Collectively, all the people of the world will control the weather. The climate will be regulated by the collective will of humankind. The plants will be loved and raised by individual people. All animals will live in harmony with people. There will be countless small communities of people all over the world and each will have its own identity and culture. There will be many different languages, but all people will be able to communicate telepathically. There will be no technology because there will be no need for devices since humans will have the power to control matter and energy. People will stay within their communities unless they want to experience life in a culture which has different music, or vegetation, or scientific investigation.’
Everybody was a student of nature, which they knew intimately and with which they could communicate, knowing the sensations and vibration of every part of creation. People explored outer space without moving an inch. People communicated telepathically with everyone on earth and had relationships with intelligent beings on other worlds. There was no space travel because there was no need. People stayed put and shared life experience across galaxies. People valued the life experience they had been given in this world because they knew it was a precious gift from God. There were no possessions. People sought the welfare of their community in its spiritual health and growth. When someone was troubled, the community focused its attention on that individual. Occasionally, an individual would become a recluse for as much time as needed. When people were satisfied they had all the life experience they needed, the community gathered together around them. They had a celebration while such a person lay down and his or her spirit moved to Heaven. This was the cause of great rejoicing. People were born, grew, learned, and died. They lived to love God, love one another, and to love themselves.
I was amazed because I thought the future world would look like the science fiction I had been raised on. The future I was shown was completely different than what I expected. People lived in extreme simplicity and harmony. There was no want. Everyone was happy. There was no conflict.
 Moon has described future civilization on earth in very similar terms, explaining that in the future clairvoyance and clairaudience among human beings will be as widespread and commonplace as television and radio are today. Further, these currently latent human capabilities, once awakened, will enable human beings to clearly discern the existence of the spirit world as well as communicate with the people residing in that dimension: “In the future, the age of extrasensory perception will come, and then there will be no one who cannot communicate with the spirit world.” Sun Myung Moon, Cheon Seong Gyeong, p. 735.
 Storm, My Descent, p. 113.
 Emanuel Swedenborg wrote, “Divinity [is] nonspatially present in all space and nontemporally present in all time.” Divine Love and Wisdom, Jonathan S. Rose and Stuart Shotwell, eds., trans. by George F. Dole (West Chester, PA: Swedenborg Foundation, 2000), §77.
 Swedenborg, Heaven and Hell, §§192-193.
 Swedenborg, Apocalypse Explained, §1212 (5).
 Emanuel Swedenborg, Conjugial Love (London: The Swedenborg Society, 1970, (1768)), §521.
 Swedenborg, Divine Love and Wisdom, §73. In addition, George Dole’s endnote here to §73 is helpful: “The statement that angels do not have days and the like is best understood as meaning that such intervals are subjectively rather than objectively generated, that they are responsive to the states of life here mentioned. Like the intervals of space… they are changeable rather than fixed.”
 Swedenborg, Heaven and Hell, §168.
 Swedenborg, The Spiritual Diary, §4016.
 Swedenborg, Divine Love and Wisdom, §70.
 Rick Strassman, Slawek Wojtowicz, Luis Eduardo Luna, and Ede Frecska, M.D., Inner Paths to Outer Space: Journeys to Alien Worlds through Psychedelics and Other Spiritual Technologies (Rochester, Vermont: Park Street Press, 2008), pp. 186-192.
 Ordinary computers accomplish classical computing premised on principles in Boolean algebra and must always process data in a binary state, i.e., either as 0 (off/false) or as 1 (on/true), which stand as binary digits, or bits. At any given point in processing, a bit can never be more than a 0 or a 1, even if the bit alternates between a 0 or 1 in a trillionth of a second. Quantum computing, on the other hand, accomplishes data processing using quantum bits, or qubits, which are usually quantum properties, such as the spin or charge polarization of an electron, to represent data, and these properties are then necessarily subject to quantum superposition. As David Darling explains in his book Teleportation: the Impossible Leap (Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons, 2005):
The up and down spin of an electron, for example, can stand for a zero or one. But, unless measured, an electron exists in a superposition of states, in which it is both up and down, zero and one, at the same time. Do a calculation using the electron, and you do it simultaneously on the zero and the one—two calculations for the price of one. (p. 191)
Using a single electron for computational purposes doesn’t seem very impressive. But, if you use two electrons to represent a pair of qubits, their superposition yields four different states simultaneously (00, 01, 10, 11). Three qubits yields eight states (23), and computational power continues to increase exponentially—with n qubits, it becomes possible to carry out a single calculation on 2n numbers in parallel. One Web source on quantum computing points out, for example, that a quantum computer utilizing 500 qubits (e.g., electrons, photons, or some other appropriate subatomic particle manifesting a particular quantum property) would theoretically have the capacity to do 2500 calculations simultaneously, in a single step of monumental parallel processing, and 2500 calculations is a number vastly greater than the number of atoms in the known universe (http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gci332254.html).
Next, the question arises: If your quantum computer is making use of 500 qubits as 500 electrons, then how do these 500 particles interact with each other? This question leads to the discussion of the second major principle involved in creating and operating a quantum computer, the principle of quantum entanglement. Frecska characterizes the phenomenon of quantum entanglement as one in which “a set of particles that have interacted as parts of the same quantum system maintain their interaction after separation, regardless of time and space constraints.” (Strassman et al, Inner Paths to Outer Space, p. 187.) The interacting particles in the set are thereafter necessarily correlated as to their states, no matter if they happen to be separated by millions of light-years or thousands of millennia. So, entanglement means the particles are somehow inherently correlated without any kind of signal passing between them. Einstein referred to this unusual quality of quantum reality as “spooky action at a distance” and, to date, no one understands how such quantum correlation is effected, only that it undeniably operates as part of the “weirdness” of quantum reality.
In any case, the principle of quantum entanglement enables qubits separated by vast distances to interact with each other through correlation that is instantaneous (i.e., not limited to the speed of light). The principles of quantum superposition and quantum entanglement taken together could yield potentially vast computing power.
 See “Holonomic Brain Theory,” Wikipedia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holonomic-brain-theory. Briefly, Karl Pribram, in trying to solve the enigma of where memories are located in the brain, was eventually led to the insight that memory is encoded holographically, later suggesting that the entire brain operates in cognition as a “holographic storage network.” In particular, Pribram was led to realize that memories are not preserved in some specific location in the brain, like books sitting on discrete shelves. He gleaned from an abundance of experimental physiological data that memories are, in fact, distributed throughout the whole brain, encoded as oscillating electric wave interference patterns that move throughout the brain. Furthermore, every part/area of the brain appeared to contain the whole of the brain’s memories—hence, the “whole in every part” nature of holographic storage.
 Strassman et al, Inner Paths to Outer Space, p. 191.
 Ibid., p. 192.
 Ibid., p. 196.
 Ibid., p. 198.
 Ibid., p. 191.
 Unification Thought Institute, New Essentials of Unification Thought (Tokyo, Japan: Kogensha, 2006), p. 407.
 Ibid., p. 408.
 Most officially accepted estimates of the number of cells in an adult human body run between 50 to 100 trillion cells. What is further amazing and provocative is to also realize that each cell is composed of about 100 trillion atoms.
 Unification Thought (New York: Unification Thought Institute, 1973), p. 32.
 Cf. Whitley Strieber, The Path (San Antonio: Walker & Collier, 2002), especially his explanation of the metaphysical understanding guiding his meditative practices for the purpose of “navigating the map of the human spirit-flesh matrix.” He employs a technique of imagination, through the manipulation of attention, which allows him, first, to completely indwell the physical body and, using that as a holy foundation, to extend his “spreading awareness” across all of time and space—essentially accomplishing identification with the whole universe. Though Strieber characterizes this meditation via imagination as a “form of work,” he also insists that “the path is light and easy. It involves effortless effort.” In fact, such work should be rightfully understood as “play,” whose goal is “to be” (pp. 32, 34). In addition, the foundation of the path is compassion, first for oneself and one’s body, later becoming a greatly extended compassion for all beings, all things, and all events—a cosmic compassion.
Strieber describes his specific technique of meditation as follows. Sit in a comfortable position, moving your attention into physical sensation: “Remember that attention is an organ just like the blood. It flows in the nervous system like blood flows in the veins, and it can be strong and healthy, or weak and full of contaminants, just like the blood” (37). Begin by directing your attention to the left foot and its toes. Then, successively, direct your attention to the right foot and its toes, then to left and right legs, hands, arms, to your coccyx and up your spine, to your neck, whole head and face, down your chest while following your breathing, down the stomach to a point just below the navel—then expand your attention to include your whole body. Now, at this point below the navel, move your attention to penetrate into your body exactly at the center of your body. Then, while completely indwelling your body through your attention, rest in this place for a period.
Next, move to quiet your mind—not by rejecting the endless distractions that accost your mind, but rather by paying attention to the passing of each distraction, allowing the attention to strengthen itself in the process. Do this 15 minutes a day, allowing your organ/tool of attention to relish the struggle through this self-discipline of paying attention.
Strieber then explains that once the attention has found the ground of the physical body, in its authentic vastness and in the holiness of that vastness, you can move your attention to your Third Eye through first moving attention to the center of your forehead. In Hindu and Theosophical literature, the “third eye” refers to a nonphysical “inner eye” frontally situated in the center of the forehead, and otherwise three-dimensionally situated in the middle of the brain—believed to be seated within the pineal gland. Once opened, it is said to facilitate mystical clairvoyant vision of other realms and dimensions, as well as precognition and out-of-body experiences.
Essentially, it is the Third Eye that is the gateway into other worlds, other dimensions, other levels of reality but, Strieber instructs, a person should not strive to enter these venues. Rather, these myriad realities of time and space will simply present what needs to be presented, what the meditating person somehow needs to experience or know. According to Strieber, this Third Eye-access is facilitated by means of what he refers to as “coherent imagination.” Again, such imagination operates through the tool of attention and is discovered to be, not some superfluous capacity for indulging our fantasies, but rather “an inexhaustible source of wisdom” (p. 55).
To ultimately access the environment of the Third Eye, which Strieber also refers to as the “mind’s eye,” affords a special kind of regeneration, or a profound rebirth as who that person essentially is. His technique is as follows: “Imagine that your sensation does not end at your skin. Imagine that there is a field of energy around you, and you can feel this aura just as certainly as you can feel your solar plexus. Let your sensation go deeply within you, into your strumming gut and down, into the earth, down deep into the compressed world beneath our feet. Also, let it flow outward, into the energetic halo that surrounds you. But imagine—know—that your first idea of this field was wrong. Actually, it fills the room. Or no, it goes farther, farther yet, into the air outside and into the streets, into the sky and the clouds, into the dark helmet of space and the stars, even into the hills of other worlds, the land of never and always that is our soul’s true home. Your mind becomes silent. Your heart beats, your breath whispers. You sit, at once vibrant with expectation and expecting nothing. You breathe in and out, and the world breathes with you” (pp. 151-52).
He remarks that in growing up, most of us are taught to believe that our nerves, our experience of sensation ends at our skin, but we need to realize that we can vastly extend ourselves through the use of disciplined imagination. He makes this point quite eloquently: “The irony of being human is that we feel small and mortal when we are actually huge and immortal” (p. 151).
Thus, Strieber essentially recognizes that human beings are clearly designed with innate faculties that allow them to move efficiently across cosmic expanses, and that our foremost faculties, or tools, to accomplish this end are (1) disciplined imagination, (2) dynamic attention, and (3) endless compassion. So, while Strieber does not refer to cosmic travel as being spiritually translated (Swedenborg), or as occurring by an out-of-body experience (Borgia, Eadie, Storm), or as facilitated through “phasing” (Monroe), or as a spiritual experience of “flying” (Father Moon), he does fully recognize that dimensional translation across space and time is possible through the practice of meditation to access the Third Eye, using the three tools mentioned above.