‘When one begins to meditate, one accomplishes the only really free deed in this human life… we are completely free in this. Meditation is the archetypal free deed.
Arguably one of the world’s most famous equations is Einstein’s E = mc2 where energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. I am now proposing my own equation, which likely will be nowhere near as recognized or celebrated. Nevertheless, I feel it has worth sharing. Here it is: M = EC2 What does it signify? It means: meditation equals extended mind times contact and communication. At this point, I feel that some explanation is required. Here goes.
Philosophers, artists, and scientists have been debating for centuries the questions concerning human consciousness: what it is and how it emerges. The question of human consciousness has also been at the heart of many wisdom teachings, although these have tended to be based on revelation rather than investigation and empirical research. Over the course of these varied discussions, debates have been divided between the materialistic approach (the mind is contained in the brain), and what may be rather loosely termed as the ‘spiritual-metaphysical’ worldview (the mind exists outside of the brain). In recent decades, thanks largely to the advance in technologies, scientists have been able to map and study the human brain – including neuronal patterns, brain disorders, and pathways of human thinking. Yet this has led, in main, to an increased certitude among many scientists of a material view of human consciousness. In other words, consciousness exists as a by-product of the physical brain and, as such, cannot exist without brain function. This is the dominant view amongst materialist thinkers and scientists. In more recent years however, and with the further research into nonlocal and field phenomena, investigators have been re-visiting mainstream theories of human consciousness. Specifically, as the unified field theory gains more support pointing to the nature of a nonlocal, interconnected cosmos, a different perspective is emerging on how consciousness may operate. And an understanding on the true nature of consciousness will validate and give meaning to the act of meditation; specifically, how meditation may provide access to contact, and possibly communication, beyond the material realm. First, we need to explore current concepts and perspectives on human consciousness.
Concepts of Consciousness: 1 – The Turbine Theory
The dominant mainstream narrative concerning human consciousness is that it is generated by the brain as a form of by-product. This has been referred to as the ‘turbine theory,’ whereby just how electricity would be generated by a working turbine as a by-product, so too is human consciousness the by-product of a functioning human brain (motor). This theory postulates human consciousness as being local and produced from something tangible. Also, when this producer/motor stops functioning – i.e., the brain ceases to be alive – then consciousness, and related streams of experience, likewise stop. Medical science has gone a long way to validate the ‘turbine theory’ of consciousness by repeated experiments on how impaired brain functioning results in distorted consciousness.
The basic premise of this understanding of consciousness is that neuronal networks in the human brain have evolved to such a high state of complexity that they produce a level of self-consciousness above that of any other animal on the planet (except perhaps dolphins, porpoises, and whales). Here, the degree of consciousness produced by each specific living creature is related to the level of biological complexity. In recent years, there have been renewed calls for a neurological basis for consciousness. For many scientists working in this field, consciousness is a by-product of complexity; thus, complex systems produce varying levels of consciousness, and ‘how much consciousness they have depends on how many connections they have and how they’re wired up.’ Despite recent scientific theories of consciousness, most still cling to the basis of an old paradigm ‘turbine theory.’ In other words, that consciousness is a secondary phenomenon resulting from primary activity located in the human brain. Regardless of the attempts by mainstream science to strengthen their outlook on consciousness, this ‘complexity-produces-consciousness as a by-product’ perspective has so many holes. The many holes in this dominant yet conservative theory is owing to a range of experiences that throw doubt upon its validity. Challenges to the turbine theory of consciousness have come, as one example, from increasing evidence of ‘after death’ conscious experiences.
Concepts of Consciousness: 2 – The Cloud Theory
According to the orthodox view, consciousness ceases when the brain dies – i.e., no generator, no current. For many, this may seem like an obvious deduction. However, evidence to the contrary clearly contradicts this theory. Many cases have shown that human consciousness is maintained even though a person is technically declared brain dead. The near-death experience (known as NDE) has been reported by sufficiently large numbers of people who were declared brain-dead. Conscious experience in brain dead people has been reported in almost 25 percent of tracked cases. The NDE phenomenon has now been widely researched and discussed by many credible sources. Furthermore, this phenomenon is not new and there are accounts of NDEs occurring in medieval times. The existence of consciousness – a by-product of brain activity – in the absence of brain function cannot be accounted for by the mainstream turbine theory. There are also numerous indications that human consciousness exists in cases of permanent death. That is, many years after a person has died their consciousness remains available for contact and communication, such as through channelling or forms of ESP. There is now enough credible evidence to put doubt into the mainstream theory that consciousness is solely a by-product of localized brain activity.
One way to account for these anomalies would be to suggest that consciousness is in some way conserved beyond the brain – that is, as a nonlocal phenomenon. In this hypothesis, consciousness is something stored external to the brain. This can be framed in terms of a ‘cloud theory’ of consciousness, as this is similar to how information would be conserved on digital platforms accessed by computer networks or other cloud-enabled devices. Likewise, using this analogy, the mainstream ‘turbine theory’ of consciousness would be akin to an old-fashioned computer without Internet or built-in-memory that would lose all its data once switched off. In this regard, the cloud theory posits consciousness as nonlocal, rather than localized within the brain. Furthermore, the cloud theory allows for not only individual consciousness to be stored, and be recalled, but multiple. This perspective of accessing multiple consciousnesses, beyond the individual one, is reminiscent of Jung’s collective unconscious. This theory would appear to support the observations of psychiatrists and consciousness researchers who have induced altered states of consciousness in their clients, including past life regression. When in altered states a vast majority of people have the capacity to recall almost everything that has happened to them, as well as in previous life incarnations. Moreover, their recall is not limited solely to their own experience but can also include the experiences of other people as well. This cloud theory therefore suggests something akin to a collective field of consciousness that makes complete information available relative to the mode of access. This perspective shares similarities with the scientific research on the Akashic Field and Morphic Resonance. However, despite the appropriateness of the cloud theory of consciousness, it too does not account for all observations.
Concepts of Consciousness: 3 – The Unified Field Theory
In various recorded accounts of altered state consciousness, it appears that contact/access is not only made with traces of one’s nonlocal consciousness but also with distinctive separate conscious intelligence. That is, with an active consciousness that is not the consciousness of a human being. Such experiences, once the realm of mystical, shamanic, or indigenous traditions, has increasingly entered mainstream culture. Previously, such ‘encounters’ were labelled as supernatural or simply conveniently ignored as a quirky anomaly. However, as western science has developed its exploration of the inner realms (such as in transpersonal psychology and similar practices), such experiences have become more widespread and thus need to be accounted for. From this evidence a remarkable conclusion arises: that human consciousness can connect, and often communicate, with conscious entities that not only manifest a sense of self, but also carry distinct memories and information. This experience can neither be accounted for in the mainstream turbine theory nor the cloud theory of consciousness. We now need to consider yet another concept – that consciousness is a unified field phenomena with holographic qualities.
The unified field theory posits that consciousness may manifest in spacetime yet originates from a source that exists in a realm beyond spacetime. In other words, consciousness has its origins in a deeper dimension (in a ‘unified source field’) and yet manifests through physical-material reality. This concept would suggest that all forms of localized consciousness are expressions of a unified consciousness field that is beyond spacetime. The implications of this understanding are that consciousness is not ‘in’ the brain, ‘produced’ by the brain, nor ‘stored’ beyond the brain. Rather, the human mind is a localized aspect of a conscious intelligence that infuses the cosmos from its source beyond spacetime. This may be a hard pill to swallow for many people. However, when we examine the phenomena that is consciousness, this perspective makes a lot of sense. The viewpoint of this new model says that the brain receives and interprets consciousness, which is an interrelated aspect of the cosmos, and then projects this as the individual mind. Yet the brain does not produce consciousness. This understanding, which is now increasingly supported by the very latest scientific findings, points toward a Unified Source Field (USF) as generating what we perceive as spacetime. The materiality of spacetime is thus a holographic projection, coded from an underlying cosmic intelligence-field. It is this underlying intelligence-field that is the source of all material reality and conscious life. Every element that emerges into physical reality is simultaneously interrelated with the underlying Unified Source Field. As such, each material element in existence is also in contact and communication with this unified intelligence-field. Human consciousness – the human mind – is at all times connected to a deeper dimension of Source consciousness.
A Deeper Dimension: Consciousness, Contact, Communication
The understanding that consciousness originates from a deeper dimension of reality beyond spacetime has been embraced by many well-known spiritual figures, mystics, visionaries, artists, and even a handful of intuitive scientists. It may one day come to represent the dominant understanding amongst humanity (as it perhaps once was). The universe has already been recognized by mainstream science as exhibiting an incredible – almost impossible – degree of coherence. Now we may know why this is. It is because there is no random cosmos, no separation of materiality and immateriality, no empty space, no ‘out there’ and ‘in here.’ Everything – absolutely everything – is an integral part of a nonlocal conscious field whose origin is a Unified Source Field (USF) existing beyond the spacetime dimension. What this implies is that there is an inherent form of order to the material dimension. The cosmos, and all aligned aspects within it, adheres to an intelligent, conscious impulse toward coherence and connection. Perception too, as an attribute of consciousness, trends toward greater conscious coherence (awareness) and connection. At the core of this drive for connectivity, I suggest, is an urge for conscious awareness of Source (the Unified Source Field). And so, this leads me back to the equation at the beginning of this essay; what I call the meditation equation: M = EC2.
Meditation equals extended mind times contact and communication. Meditation has from time immemorial been a part of human life, even if not formally recognized as so. Meditation can take only a second. A quick pause of chatter in the mind. A momentary close of the eyes. A transitory step back from the entanglement in physical reality. A fleeting respite from external stimuli. A brief break from the outer world to focus upon the inner. And the inner world is expansive – it is where the origin resides. And in this state, contact can be made with those aspects in existence beyond our material reality. And with contact can also come communication. As human beings, we are already in contact and communication with aspects beyond our perception or acknowledgment. We only do not recognize such contacts as so. The inner nudge, the inspirational idea, the coincidental happening, the inexpressible sense, the indescribable knowing. These are the contacts humanity has. What if we consciously take it to the next level by intending to listen to such contact? What if we then ask for communication? We can give ourselves permission to start asking for contact and communication whilst in a meditative state. By showing acceptance, and readiness to allow for contact and communication beyond our physical senses and sense-reality, we are acknowledging the interrelatedness of all life. And life wishes to communicate amongst itself. Sentient life wishes to be heard, and to share.
Life is not meaningless nor without purpose. Our inherent connectivity transcends localized space and time. The human being is intrinsically connected with the cosmos and with Source consciousness. One day, it is hoped, this understanding will be, for all of us, as clear as pure water; and we will laugh gently to ourselves thinking how it could ever have been otherwise.
 See http://www.wired.com/2013/11/christof-koch-panpsychism-consciousness/all/
 Notable examples include: Alexander, Eben (2012) Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife. Oxford: Piatkus; Carter, Chris (2010) Science and the Near-Death Experience; How Consciousness Survives Death. Rochester: Inner Traditions; Grey, Margot (1986) Return from Death: An Exploration of the Near-death Experience. London: Arkana; Laszlo, Ervin; Peake, Anthony (2014) Immortal Mind: Science and the Continuity of Consciousness Beyond the Brain. Rochester: Inner Traditions; Lorimer, David (1990) Whole in One: The near-death experience and the ethic of interconnectedness. London: Arkana; Moorjani, Anita (2012) Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing. New York: Hay House
 Zaleski, Carol G. (1988) Otherworld Journeys: Accounts of Near-Death Experience in Medieval and Modern Times. Oxford: Oxford University Press
 For example, see the work of Stanislav Grof – http://www.stanislavgrof.com/
 Laszlo, Ervin (2004) Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything. Rochester: Inner Traditions
 Sheldrake, Rupert (2009) Morphic Resonance: The Nature of Formative Causation. Rochester: Park Street Press
 There are also entropic forces present within the universe – this is a subject for another essay.