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Cosmology, Embryology and the Journey of Self-Discovery

  • IUPS Hawaii (International University of Professional Studies)


On the grounds of a possible parallel between embryogenesis, including the fertilization process, and the development of the Universe, the validity of the Big Bang theory is questioned. In this article, it is suggested that the fundamental nature of the Universe is a cosmic play of opposites, the male and female principle; a polarity, which is inherent in everything as indicated by the yin yang symbol. Even for an electrical charge to exist one needs a positive and negative pole. It also proposes that all matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force that brings all particles to pulsation; a conscious Mind that is expressing itself through ever-changing pulsating forms. Although this invisible spiritual principle behind creation becomes tangible in animals and humans via the heart, it is only the human being who can realize his or her fundamental nature or true Self through a journey of inner discovery. As the development of the Universe might reflect the process the embryo undergoes in forming a body, the principles discussed in this article might also apply to the nature of Nature itself. This implies all of Nature might be a living being or organism, an interconnected whole united through the underlying creative pulsating force. The suggestions put forward here have theological and cosmological implications.
Cosmology, Embryology and the Journey of
December 2017 preprint
DOI 10.18638/dialogo.2017.4.1.13
Tina Lindhard
Dept. of Consciousness Studies
International University of Professional Studies (IUPS)
Maui, Hawaii. USA
Abstract: On the grounds of a possible parallel between
embryogenesis, including the fertilization process, and the
development of the Universe, the validity of the Big Bang theory
is questioned. In this article, it is suggested that the fundamental
nature of the Universe is a cosmic play of opposites, the male and
female principle; a polarity, which is inherent in everything as
indicated by the yin yang symbol. Even for an electrical charge to
exist one needs a positive and negative pole. It also proposes that
all matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force that
brings all particles to pulsation; a conscious Mind that is
expressing itself through ever-changing pulsating forms.
Although this invisible spiritual principle behind creation
becomes tangible in animals and humans via the heart, it is only
the human being who can realize his or her fundamental nature
or true Self through a journey of inner discovery. As the
development of the Universe might reflect the process the embryo
undergoes in forming a body, the principles discussed in this
article might also apply to the nature of Nature itself. This
implies all of Nature might be a living being or organism, an
interconnected whole united through the underlying creative
pulsating force. The suggestions put forward here have
theological and cosmological implications.
embryogenesis, Universe, Big Bang, polarity, pulsation, Self,
creative principle, conscious Mind, living organism
1. Introduction
According to most physicists, the Universe began with the
Big Bang. The term was coined by Sir Fred Hoyle, an
astrophysicist who used the term in one of his talks with
derision when referring to a theory in which he did not believe
[1]. In 1931, the catholic priest Lemaître proposed in his
"hypothèse de l'atome primitif" (hypothesis of the primeval
atom) that the universe began with the "explosion" of the
"primeval atom" which later became known as the Big Bang
theory [2, p. 19]. Whereas Aristotle had held that the universe
had an infinite past, medieval Jewish and Islamic philosophers
preferred a creationist model consistent with their own
religious traditions involving creation [3]. For me the Big
Bang sounds like a crude way for referring to sexual
intercourse where there is no foreplay. And that is really how
scientists seem to conceive the Universe for nobody appears to
ask what came before the Big Bang.
There are normally two accepted ways of knowing more
about the cosmos and nature. One is using the scientific
approach which seeks to understand the universe and her
secrets from the outside using the scientific method. The other
way is what people have done for thousands of years, and that
is take their questions about the nature of Nature deep inside
and sit down and wait until Mother Nature gives them an
answer. In India, these people were known as yogis, rishis or
philosophers [4].
In this paper, I suggest there is yet another way; the study
of the human embryo principally during the first 49 days of its
earthly life. In the past this was impossible, at least
scientifically, but modern technology plus the collection of
embryos such as those of the Carnegie Stages [5], have made a
previously invisible process accessible to scientific scrutiny.
To see the bigger picture, I also refer to the comparative
morphological approach as used by van der Wal [6]. This way
of doing science is inspired by the phenomenological method
of Goethe, which he developed as a way to go beyond the
reductionist Newtonian method [7] [8]. By looking at the
juxtaposition of two isolated but polar objects, one can begin
to see "more of the essence of the separate parts." At the same
time, one starts discovering the "phenomena, which remain
hidden whilst focusing on isolated parts...In other words one
develops an eye for the total picture" [6, p. 2]. This way of
seeing is known as "dynamic perception" [6, p. 3].
As a complementary way of discovering our true nature
and the nature of the Cosmos, the process of Self-discovery
via heart-based meditation methods are also discussed.
2. Embryogenesis
In the following sections, embryonic development,
including the fertilization process, is briefly presented using
the comparative morphological perspective as used by van der
Wal [6].
A. The Ovule and Sperm
When contemplating the egg cell and sperm, the huge size
of the ovule only becomes apparent when we compare it to the
tiny size of the sperm. Likewise, the ovule is full of
cytoplasm, whereas the sperm has virtually no cytoplasm. The
ovule is almost immobile, but sperm is highly active. These
differences are intimately related, and through this way of
seeing, one realizes that each element adds a unique feature
that the other one lacks, and therefore together form a unity
that is more complete. This comparative approach opens us to
a broader reality and makes us realize that inherent to the
fertilization process is a play of opposites, a male and female
principle, which are polar but complementary in nature [6].
B. Fertilization
We know from fertilization in vitro, that the conception of
one sperm winning the race is incorrect and that the process
requires many hundreds of sperm, which form in a circle
around the egg. The sperm put their head ends into her
protective outer layer, which is known as the corona, and this
new unity forms an attraction complex that begins to move.
This can be likened to a cosmic dance of love between
inherent opposites. Eventually one sperm is let in and the
ovule now becomes known as a zygote, a unicellular
organism. Here an organism is seen as a living being, it is first
and foremost a whole that then starts to differentiate and
organizes itself in different ways. This is contrary to the
prevalent way of thinking, which sees the organism as being
made up of separate parts where the whole is the sum of the
parts. For van der Wal:
It is the appearance which changes not the
essence...In the desert of modern day thought life,
it is the embryo which cries out that wholeness comes
first in living nature...[In the embryo] there is an
endless series of differentiations, following one
another in the course of time, creating the organs and
the different parts of the body, it never happens the
other way around! [6, p. 37].
The embryo goes through various phases and becomes
increasingly more complex. An increase in complexity,
however, does not imply an increase in what we are, a living
being. Looking at the organism as a whole, one can use many
different lenses in an attempt to understand it and to see how it
differentiates itself over time; basically all life sciences have
this as their subject matter. Here I follow van der Wal [6] in
how he looks at embryonic development.
C. The Process of Somatogenesis (formation of a body)
Van der Wal [6] sees the embryo as going through four
phases, which are reminiscent of the main kingdoms in nature,
the mineral, plant, animal and he includes a fourth, the human
phase. During these phases the morphology of the human
embryo becomes increasingly more complex. However, as
said, an increase in complexity does not imply an increase in
what we are, a living being. During the progression of each
phase, slight changes in expression in the form can also be
observed which suggests that the whole process is essentially
1) The mineral phase: After conception, the organism,
now known as a zygote, closes itself off by forming a
protective outer shell. From its center it starts splitting up into
segments in a mathematical fashion, first two, then four, then
eight etc. to which the term "cleavage" is sometimes applied.
These particles are microscopic and this is not growth in the
normal sense, as the organism does not increase in size or
volume. Van der Wal sees it as being reminiscent of the
mineral phase, where there is a reproduction of particles in a
closed environment. These particles are not building blocks
but "represent an organizing principle" [6, p. 36].
At this point in time the organism is free floating and
"gives the impression of being like a spaceship floating in the
Fallopian tube and the uterus without having any particular
metabolic exchange with its environment ...[and although we]
are clearly dealing with a living displays more and
more signs of death" [6, pp.3536]. For van der Wal it is as
though "'time is not yet.' Which time? Lifespan, lifetime so
variable and specific for each organism" [6, p. 36].
Interestingly, this phase lasts a week in all mammals,
regardless of the duration of pregnancy, which is 21 days for a
mouse, 21 months for an elephant, and 9 months for the
human being. As the week when cleavage is taking place is
not counted in the number of days or months of the duration of
the pregnancy, it certainly seems that it is outside of time. As
this phase advances a center or pole can be seen as forming.
The inner cavity becomes filled with liquid produced as the
segments start to die off. Some of the segmented parts cluster
near the basal end of the zygote and become known as the
embryoblast. The other cells, which are gathered around the
inner periphery wall, are referred to as the trophoblast. This
structure now becomes known as a blastula or blastocyst. It
can also now be considered as a duality, for it has an inside
and an outside. Van der Wal refers to the inner lining as the
central body and the outer cell lining as the peripheral body.
At this stage, if no new principle is introduced, the organism
will die off, a clear example that more of the same does not
produce growth.
a) Way of being: The principle characteristic of the
mineral phase can be seen as one where the organism obeys
the laws of matter, physics and mechanics [6, p. 31].
2) Plant phase: For the organism to grow, a new phase
needs to occur. This involves implantation, also known as
nidation. This is a process in which a developing embryo,
moving as a blastocyst through the uterus and then makes
contact with the uterine wall where it remains attached until
birth [9].
If we are reading "this gesture correctly...[this] represents
an interruption, a revolution" [6, p. 36]. During this new phase
the organism reaches out and extends its boundaries deep into
the maternal womb. Furthermore, by producing the hormone
of pregnancy, it reaches into the pituitary gland of the mother,
which facilitates her acceptance of the new organism. From
being a cut off "space ship" [6, p. 36], the periphery of the
organism now expands tremendously and reaches far beyond
its physical borders. The organism can be seen as taking root,
and, essentially, it lives in its outer body, also known as the
ectocyst (outer egg).
Meanwhile, the endocyst (inner egg), which is the core of
the embryo and consists of the bilaminar germinal disk made
up of ectoderm and endoderm, can be seen as the center
around which everything revolves. Van der Wal likens it to the
center of a wheel around which everything turns. The
characteristic of the organism at this stage can be considered
as being plantlike, for it too takes root and extends far beyond
its borders and it too has a center around which life revolves
but does not participate by growing itself. This growth stage
can be observed during the second week of the differentiating
organism. Once again, however, eventually more of the same
will not aid growth. When this does occur in humans, it is
known as a "wind egg," an embryo with no center.
a) Way of being: The principle characteristic of this
phase is its capacity to reach out and interact with its
environment via its metabolism. It also exists in time and is
subject to the laws of gravity but strives against them [6, p.
3) Animal and human phase: In humans, the developing
organism is generally known as an embryo up to 8 weeks and
from then it is referred to as a fetus [10]. Regardless of the
name, at the end of the second or the beginning of the 3rd
week, "the chorionic cavity has come into being containing
tissue of a kind that mediates, connects, but also creates space.
This is the meso(-derm) 1 which connects and mediates
between the two dimensions by means of the body stalk" [6, p.
41]. Van der Wal writes meso(-derm) like this to draw
attention to the fact that, in keeping with Blechschmidt, the
term mesoderm gives rise to a confusion in perception as derm
means limiting skin and mesoderm is not a skin or border but
"inner tissue...with a third dimension" [6, p. 42]. For van der
Wal, the trophoblast also represents the embryo but for many
other embryologists, only the germinal disc is considered as
the embryo, and they, therefore, talk of the activity in the
trophoblast as being "extra-embryonic". Now something new
happens. At the beginning of the 3rd week, the first blood
islands and blood vessels (capillaries) originate within this
extra-embryonic meso(-derm). The formation of blood vessels
and blood is the very first functional differentiation of the
meso(-derm). The blood then flows from the metabolic
1 As this qualification of van der Wal gives the idea of
dimensionality, I continue to use it in this article.
periphery of the trophoblast, or extra-embryonic meso(-derm),
to the body stalk, which is at the caudal end of the germinal
disc. It then proceeds toward the cranial end of the embryo. At
the central point, which van der Wal calls the "centripetal
junction of blood vessels," it comes to a halt and then flows
back to the periphery through other capillaries. "This point of
reversal, where the flow comes to a standstill, turns about, and
takes on a rhythmical character, is the first indication of the
origin of the heart" [6, p. 44]. This, moreover, is the first real
center in the embryo for it is an actual anatomical center rather
than just a center in space around which everything revolves.
It must also be noted that "the movement of blood flow is
primary; the emergence of the heart is secondary. First there is
flow, and where this comes to a standstill, the form arises" [6,
p. 44]. During the previous plant phase, growth was on the
periphery with the roots extending outward into physical
space. The animal phase is the reversal of this and requires a
growth inward. Another differentiating factor is that life, up to
the animal phase, is seen as being outside of the germinal disk.
However, on about the 17th day, something radically different
happens. According to Steiner, "whereas the incarnating soul-
spirit was up to this point present around the physical kernel,
the 'astral individuality' of the human being now incarnates
into the physical kernel itself" [Steiner in 6, p. 45]. In keeping
with this, van der Wal claims that the human soul now "comes
a step closer 'to earth,' with the heart being the organ of
incarnation!" [6, p. 45].
This is a vital stage in the development as now:
Innerness is created which can hold its own against
the outside and emancipate from it. A different state
of consciousness arises in the animal. An inner
environment has now been established, leading a life
independent of its surroundings. It is capable of
moving of its own accord and of establishing a
relationship to its environment. This inner space is
not only somatic, but also psychic [6, p. 46].
This, in terms of gesture, is a reality. However, before full
emancipation can occur in the physical sense, van der Wal
reminds us that more still has to happen to the developing
embryo. First the flat germinal disc transforms itself into the
trilaminar germinal disc. At the end of the 3rd week an
intermediate layer appears between the ectoderm and the
endoderm, namely the intra-embryonic mesoderm. The meso
closest to the ectoderm is called parietal or somatic meso(-
derm), the layer closest to the endoderm is known as the
visceral or splanchnic meso(-derm). This mesoderm has made
its way into the germinal disk, by growing inward, starting
from the primitive groove. It now is a three-dimensional entity
with "real inner content" from which the impulse to "forming
organs arises" [6, p. 44].
a) The notochord: The 3rd week certainly brings about
many changes in direction of growth of the developing
embryo, including, if Steiner is correct, the incarnation of the
soul/spirit. On day 17 (this is also the same day the heart
primordium starts pulsating) the notochord also starts to form
[11]. It is this that it said to have an effect on the formation of
the neural plate that starts to form on day 18/19, which in turn
gives rise to the neural tube and thereafter the central nervous
system (CNS) and the brain [4].
b) Delamination or folding: During the 3rd, but
primarily the 4th, week a process then starts to occur which is
known as folding or delamination. The sides of the embryo,
which up to now has been essentially a flat disc, now fold
toward each other. At the same time there is a longitudinal
folding, which together transforms the now three-dimensional
embryo into the form of a cylinder. The longitudinal folding
takes place toward the body stalk, which enables the
developing embryo to still be connected to the placenta. The
heart, at the top or cranial end of the embryo, begins its
descent in the direction of the upper chest, where it later tucks
the endocardinal tubes ventrally in the thoracic region at the
base of the yolk sac [12]. This then allows the brain
primordium to take its place at the top cranial end of the
embryo. The caudal end also raises ventrally, which now truly
gives rise to the umbilical cord. This curving process of the
embryo creates an inner world, which is essentially cut off
from the outside world. It is in this inner world that the organs
develop. According to van der Wal the whole of this process is
a growth phase, which needs to be completed physiologically
at birth with the cutting of the umbilical cord.
c) Way of being: The principle characteristic of the
animal phase is that it has innerness and a sentient body. It can
also interact with its environment by moving its outer shape. It
has a soul and exhibits a range of complex behavior and
possesses perception [6, p. 31].
4) Differences Between Humans and Animals: This is
not the end of the process as, for van der Wal [6], another
phase needs to occur that differentiates the human from the
animal. Although Darwinian science considers man as an
extension of the animal, according to van der Wal the embryo
tells a different story. This growth phase involves a fine-
tuning of our capacity of awareness. With the creation of an
inner and an outer world, "the outer world can be
perceived...The condition for having this awareness and
perception is separation" [6, p. 49]. Although this is shared
with animals, the human being has an additional capacity. We
can be aware that we are aware; "the new direction could be
described as finding a standpoint towards our own inner
world" Here he is playing with the term standpoint and
inviting us to take it literally, for the next phase is the coming
upright of the embryo. "We can experience a center in
ourselves which is conscious of the fact that we are beings
with self-consciousness" [6, p. 49]. Although humans share
the upright position with penguins and kangaroos, van der Wal
is talking about "a balance of the head on the trunk which in
turn is balanced on the lower extremities" [6, p. 49]. This
allows the human to move in a unique way, which is not
shared by other animals whose center of gravity is outside and
as such, they are pulled towards the environment and earth. It
is only humans whose center of gravity draws us to ourselves.
The impulse for coming upright begins in the fourth and
extending into the 5th week, an impulse that starts with the
elongation of the brain and not only "brings about the
characteristic flexures of the different parts of the brain," but
also "the head grows cranially away from the trunk, whereby
the neck appears at the same time, "the pelvis 'turns' caudally
'away' from the trunk coming under it, resulting in the waist
being formed" [6, p. 50]. This process, according to him, is
typical of the human being and it can be seen as an unfolding
of the previous curled up embryo. This unfolding also brings
about the growth of the extremities of the stretching outward
of the arms and hands and the stretching inward of the feet and
legs. Van der Wal suggests that the brain and the extremities
can be seen as forming a polarity whereby we need to arrive at
a position of balance to maintain an upright position. This for
him is one of the characteristics of the human being whereby
the anatomical-morphological formation is also reflected in
the organization of our self-concept, "I am."
a) Way of being: The principle characteristic of the
human phase is that the center of gravity is inside and this
allows humans to become aware of their inner world and
experience "a center in ourselves" [6, p. 49). It also permits
them to come aware of their true nature or Self [4].
3. Insights gained from this approach
I have outlined van der Wal's approach in some detail as,
via it we can begin to appreciate the dynamic forces behind
the development of the embryo. It also suggests that each
phase gives rise to a different way of being in the world.
Moreover, it helps us understand the development of the heart
in greater detail and opens us to seeing the "heart" as a system
that starts at the periphery through blood. The heart is also the
harbinger of creating an inner world, which we share with
animals. We saw that when pulsation starts on day 17, the
plant phase is clearly over; for instead of growing upward like
a plant [4], the heart doubles and begins its decent toward the
interior of the organism. Here pulsation can be seen as
heralding a new phase. If Steiner is right, this also coincides
with the entry of soul/spirit into the physical kernel itself with
the heart being considered as the organ of incarnation. Arka,
[in 4] sees the creative impulse or creative principle behind all
matter incarnating into matter through the heart, for, to him,
"pulsation is the underlying core principle, and the property of
universal existence, cosmic existence and local existence"
(italics author) [4, p. 87].
Quantum physicists have also come to the conclusion that
matter is not solid. Through the use of mathematical
equations, they too view particles as having pulsation. By
multiplying the mass of the particle by the square of the speed
of light, and then divide this by Planck´s constant, one finds its
frequency [13]. From this, Hoffmann suggests they have
"created a picture of a particle with a definite rate of
pulsation." He also invites us to concentrate on pure pulsation,
which we can interpret "as a bottled up heartbeat or else as a
spread out pulsation" [13]. According to Hoffmann, de Broglie
used both interpretations at once and thus assumed that:
A particle at rest not only possessed a localized
heartbeat but was also accompanied by a widespread
pulsation forever in step with it and extending all
over the universe. This pulsation was as if a whole
ocean were rising and falling like some vast elevator;
there were no waves in the ordinary sense, just a rise
and fall [13, p. 75].
Without going into the argument of relativity here, it
seems de Broglie brought it round in a full circle by
suggesting that "matter, long thought to consist of particles,
must be accompanied by waves and thus partake in their
nature" [13, p. 80].
Instead of seeing waves and particles as a duality as did
de Broglie [14], maybe waves and particles can be seen as
complementary opposites in the Goethean sense. Quantum
physicists also do not inquire what or who causes the waves in
the first place? Arka [in 4] claims that pulsation is the
underlying core principle behind all matter, and therefore links
both particles and waves. Lindhard inspired by Max Planck
[15] to look for
the Absolute, the universally valid, the invariant that
is normally absent when only concentrating on
relative, testable relationships . . . (takes this one step
further and suggests that) all matter originates and
exists only by virtue of a force that brings all
particles to pulsation; a conscious Mind that is
expressing itself through ever-changing pulsating
forms [4, abstract].
This spiritual principle is not only intangible, but through
the pulsating heart become tangible in animals and man.
Pulsation is part of the never-ending wave of creation whose
function is to manifest and move on [Arka in 4]. As the heart
tube begins to pulsate at the same time soul is said to descend
into matter, it seems there is a relationship between the
incarnating spirit/soul and the primary expression of the
emanating wave of creation revealing itself through matter as
pulsation. Through the expression of It Self as pulsation, the
incarnating spirit/soul, the fundamental creative impulse of the
Universe and the entity that is created, appear in essence to be
One [4, p. 90].
A. The three in one
At this level of analysis, it becomes very difficult to
separate the force that creates, the intelligence behind this
force, and the self or soul. The tenet of non-duality behind
Vedic philosophy becomes increasingly manifest when we
look at creation in this this way.
Thus the essential nature of the Lord is perpetual
spanda (creative pulsation). He is never without
spanda. Some hold that the Highest Reality is
without any activity whatsoever. But in such a case
the Highest Reality being devoid of activity, all this
(i.e. the universe) will be without a lord or Creative
Power [16, p. 10].
Through modern science we have become accustomed to
thinking of "physical reality as waves of energy the matter-
energy continuum" [16]2, However, as physical reality is
2 Outside back cover
considered only a part of creation, we need to go beyond this
and the superficial perception of the senses to discover other
realities or dimensions [16].
B. The paradox of our existence
These insights imply that through pulsation we are a
manifestation of incarnated spirit/soul and yet on the other
hand, as the "heart" system is the only organ in the body that
physically starts to develop outside of the germinal disc itself,
we are related via the development of blood to our mother and
through this, the wider environment. This seems to point to a
fascinating paradox of our being and the role the "heart
system" as blood and as pulsation plays in our lives and in our
identity. Obviously, both influences effect and are affected by
us on many levels in our ongoing development [4].
4. The journey of Self-discovery
The coming upright phase of the human embryo is linked
to the elongation of the brain. As most of our sense organs for
operating in the outside world are also found in the face, this
early anatomical-morphological formation as gesture might
play a role in human's predilection for finding the seat of
consciousness in the brain [4].
However as many meditation traditions imply, it is only by
withdrawing our senses from the outside world and
contemplating our inner world that we can begin to discover
our true nature or Self [17]. To do this we have to go above
the mind or below the mind and feeling-based methods that go
below the mind are slightly easier [Arka in 4, p, 13]. Heart
based-methods have been used throughout history; a method
known as Prayer of the Heart was used by the Dessert Fathers
and later adopted by the Orthodox Church. But prior to this it
was known to the ancient Egyptians, Jews and other
Mediterranean cultures, as well as to the Sufis and Tantric
tradition in India. It is also close to the traditions involving
Self-enquiry (atma-vichara) and Kashmiri Shaivism. "It is
rooted in an understanding of the Godliness of man and the
humanness of God" [18, p. 35].
Whereas Western science has also traditionally been
involved with understanding the world outside of us by using
our senses, the discovery of our true nature requires a different
method and relies on intuition and guidance, as has been
suggested by spiritual traditions throughout the ages. It also
requires that we transcend our egos "[19, p. 82] or rewind the
evolution of all that has happened to us [20, p. 29]. The core
of practices associated with ego transcendence and
contemplation of the Self is the "experimental
phenomenological introspection into the living topological
construct of the Self " [19. p. 82]. For Arka, the term
meditation entails "serious self-pondering [which involves] the
process of making profound inquiry into the depth of the soul
about...[our] existence or how the Universe was created or the
laws that governed living and non-living matter [20, p. 29].
Heart-based methods regardless of their individual
peculiarities, involve connecting with the feeling mind of the
heart rather than the thinking mind of the brain [20] [4]. It has
been shown that more information is sent from the heart to the
brain than vice versa [21]. The heart has been found to have an
intrinsic nervous system of its own, containing around 40,000
neurons called sensory neurites. This extensive and complex
neural network has been characterized as a brain on the heart
or heart-brain [22-24] (Armour 1991; 2007; 2008). This
allows the heart to act independently of the brain, sending and
receiving meaningful messages of its own through the
autonomic nervous system [4].
In a pre-post test design, Lindhard has shown that
participants who receive 13.5 hours of a heart-based method
of meditation know as Intuitive Meditation, significantly
increased their feeling capacity as measured by a scale known
as the Feeling Consciousness Scale [4] [25]. The scale
includes items such as unity, peace, intuition, positivity,
awareness of emotions, and connection to one's inner Self,
sometimes expressed as soul, inner being, or atman [4, p. 184].
In traditions that meditate on the Self, inner inquiry leads to a
vast transformation in the person undertaking the investigation
and "Sanatana dharma, the spiritual philosophy of India,
suggests that there is a perennial form of healing, which
consists in the realization of the true, immortal, and limitless
nature of the Self beyond the ego" [Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
in 19, p. 81].
A. The Self
Our exploration into embryogenesis also takes us on a
different kind journey; a journey that starts with a cosmic
dance between the male and female principle. This dance
results in the manifestation of a being which expresses itself as
a form that is first spherical and through a process of cleavage,
segments or particles arise in mathematical progression from
the center of the sphere. After seven days, more of the same
will not produce further growth and the organism has to adapt
to a new way of being which involves putting down roots and
extending its borders through hormones. The end of this plant
phase is heralded by pulsation of the primordial heart at the
cranial end of the germinal disc. This is accompanied by the
development of the notochords which gives rise to the CNS
and brain. Through the primordial heart, the soul is said to
enter into matter. As pulsation might be related to the creative
force behind all form; local, cosmic and universal, it seems as
though through the heart it is this creative force that enters into
matter. In looking for the absolute behind this force, it seems
there might be an intelligent conscious Mind. It has been
suggested here that this, in essence, is our true Self. It does not
matter what one calls IT; the Rigveda is oldest of all the Vedas
states: Ekam Sat-Viprah Bahudha Vadanti 3. "The ONE
BEING, the wise diversely speak of." This Self or conscious
Mind is outside and beyond but it is also our inner Self, that
which is manifesting It Self through pulsation through our
hearts. There is only one Being of which we are.
3 Rigveda Book 1, hymn 164
5. Conclusion
The account presented here not only has implications
cosmologically, but also theologically. Theologically it is
consisted with Vedic thought as expressed by the Advaita4
tradition. It is also consistent with the traditions that meditate
on the heart. Prayer of the Heart is said to allow the
practitioner to go beyond the veils to discover his or her true
nature or Self [19]. In these traditions the Self is seen as
manifesting itself though form, but it is the human being who
can discover his or her true nature and the nature of the
Universe [17].
In the Christian tradition of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the
Heart of Jesus is an object of deep veneration as is the blood of
Christ. Here wine, in representation of the blood of Christ, is
physically imbibed [26]. Our overview possibly throws some
light on these beliefs as we have seen how blood, the heart as
an organ and the deeper Self as represented by Jesus, might be
deeply interconnected.
With regard to cosmology, the fertilization process of the
embryo suggests that the creation of the Universe might also
involve a cosmic dance consisting of two polar principles. In
fact every quality we can think of in the Universe has its
opposite, for example day cannot exist without night, light
cannot exist without darkness and a positive charge cannot
exist without a negative charge. This is consistent with
Chinese philosophy as represented by the yin yang symbol.
The model presented is also dynamic not only in terms of
morphology, but also in terms of "ways of being", suggesting
that for each new growth phase to come about, there has to be
a change in the previous way of being. Although at the start of
a phase, growth appears to involve "a process of gradual,
peaceful, progressive change or development", it seems that
more of the same will eventually not be beneficial to the
organism, and that it will have to change its way of being if it
is to continue to grow.
When we look for the underlying principle that link the
different phases, we discover “pulsation” which is invisible in
particles but becomes tangible via the heart. It also appears as
though pulsation might be the underlying core, principle, and
the property of local existence, cosmic existence and universal
existence. As such, the heart might be seen as part of the
never-ending wave of creation [Arka in 4, p. 112]. This also
encourages us to look at somatogenesis not only in terms of
particles, but also in terms of waves where the formation of
the body can be seen as unfolding in waves. This might throw
some light on the wave particle duality in quantum mechanics.
As development of the universe might mirror the principles
involved in the ontogenetic process of the embryo [4], the
postulates discussed here might also apply to the nature of
Nature itself. This perspective might present a new way
forward regarding insights concerning how biological systems
function. In addition, this approach may be a step forward in
4 a Vedantic doctrine that identifies the individual self (atman)
with the ground of reality (brahman). It is a nonduel.
finding a unifying theory not only of somatogenesis but also
of Universe. By extending these insights to Nature, it seems
that it might be an organism, a living conscious Being, which
is manifesting itself through the different kingdoms each with
its corresponding "way of being" or mode of consciousness.
What distinguishes the mode of consciousness of human
beings from other modes, is their capacity to know their
essential Self, their true nature as a non-physical yet powerful
conscious entity, organism or Being that is the pivotal point of
all life and is expressing It Self through different modes in all
the various forms found in visible nature.
I am very grateful to the many people who have inspired me
with regard to this topic, especially Dr. van der Wal for
sharing his insights concerning embryogenesis, and the
philosopher Srinivas Arka who helped me understand the
nature of heart-based consciousness. I also wish to thank
Matthew Syphus for his careful checking of the article and his
timely insights. This article builds on a section of my Ph.D.-
thesis in the field of Consciousness Studies at the University
of Professional Studies, Hawaii.
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[4] Tina Lindhard.. "Unlocking the secrets of the heart through meditating
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[5] M. A. Hill, "Carnegie Stages" 2016. Retrieved from
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Chervenak, 1321. Atlanta, GA: Elsevier Health Sciences 2009.
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(Suny Series in Tant). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press
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consciousness. Surrey, UK: Antony Rowe 2006.
[18] O. Louchakova. Essence of the Prayer of the Heart. In Gasping for air in
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[19] O. Louchakova. "Spiritual heart and direct knowing in the Prayer of the
Heart." Existential Analysis, 18(1), 81102, 2007.
[20] S. Arka. Arka Dhyana Intuitive Meditation. An enlightening journey into
your inner realms initiated by your breath, sound and touch. Middlesex,
UK: Coppersun Books 2013.
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physiological coherence, and the emergence of system-wide order." A
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[22] J. A. Armour. Anatomy and function of the intrathoracic neurons
regulating the mammalian heart. In Reflex control of the circulation
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[23] J. A. Armour, J. A. "Potential clinical relevance of the ‘little brain’ on
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[25] Tina Lindhard. "Experiencing peace through heart-based meditation on
the Self." The Open Psychology Journal, 10(1): 2740, 2017.
doi: 10.2174/1874350101710010027
[26] J. T. Richtsmeier. Development of the heart 1999.,+J.
Tina Lindhard was born in Cape Town,
South Africa. She earned her PhD from the
International University of Professional Studies
in Consciousness Studies and her MA in
Transpersonal Psychology from Sofia University
She is an academic mentor at IUPS and also a
qualified teacher in the Intuitive Meditation method, also known as
Arka Dhyana. She has also acted as a cranial sacral therapist for
many years.
She has several publications including "Experiencing Peace Through
Heart-Based Meditation on the Self"; "Emotions Including Anger,
Bodily Sensations and the 'Living Matrix'", and Security and
Defense: A Contradiction in Terms? Chap.1. In Security in
Infrastructures edited by J. Martin Ramirez and J.C. Fernández, 2-18.
Cambridge Scholars. 2016. The name of her thesis is "Unlocking The
Secrets of the Heart Through Meditating on the Self." Her research
interests involve finding out about the connection between the heart
and different levels of Consciousness.
Dr. Lindhard is currently president of the nonprofit organization
CCASpain and also chair of Consciousness Research of CICA, an
international scientific organization.
... As somatogenesis (the formation of a body) is possibly connected to pulsation I also highlight recent finding in how the heart as an organ is formed. I do this because spiritual traditions have always suggested that if one discovers one's own nature or self, one discovers the nature of the universe (Lindhard, 2016;2017c). Although they were talking about the inner spiritual journey of Self-discovery, I feel the embryogenesis can also help to clarify our own nature or self. ...
... During the first 49 days, the development of the human embryo appears to follow the principle kingdoms of nature showing reminiscence of the mineral, plant, animal and human phases, a process it shares with all human embryos (van der Wal, 2003(van der Wal, /2014Lindhard, 2017b). Each phase exhibits certain characteristics (van der Wal, 2003(van der Wal, /2014, or ways of being (Lindhard, 2017b;2017c) where each "way of being" may also be considered as a mode of consciousness. Here I briefly summarize the different phases and ways of being 2 . ...
... It is this shift that allows humans to be aware of their inner world and experience "a center in our selves" (van der Wal, 2003(van der Wal, /2014. Having a center inside can also be considered as being related to the capacity of humans to later undertake an inner journey to discover their true nature or Self (Lindhard, 2016;2017a;2017c;2018a). ...
Full-text available
Abstract The theory of the Six Main Levels of Consciousness of the philosopher Arka, is an analysis of the main levels a practitioner will go through when he or she undertakes the inner journey of Self-discovery using a heart-based meditation method such as the Intuitive Meditation (IM) method. It opens science to a new way of understanding and researching consciousness for it permits phenomenological experiences associated with the different levels, to be researched using different methods including the scientific method. As it addresses the experiencing aspect of consciousness, it cuts through the dilemma posed by Chalmers, which he terms the "hard problem of consciousness". In addition, by recognizing the thinking Mind (often associated with the brain) as the first level, it helps incorporate the work already undertaken by many scientists. The levels mentioned by Arka are: 1) M (Mind) – Consciousness, 2) SM (Subliminal-Mind) – Consciousness, 3) F (Feeling-Mind) – Consciousness, 4) H (Emotional-Heart) – Consciousness, 5) HS (Heart-Soul) – Consciousness and 6) PS (Pure-Self) – Consciousness. In a recent study using a repeated measures design, it was found that participants showed a significant shift towards a more feeling-based consciousness after learning the Intuitive Meditation Method and practicing it a minimum of five times over a 6-week period as measured by the same Feeling Consciousness Scale. This gives support to the third Feeling Mind level of consciousness Arka mentions in his theory. As the role of the heart is said to play a key role in this theory, in this article we present information regarding the heart, embryonic development and pulsation to understand more about the relevance of the heart and why it has been used as a center of attention in meditation practices throughout the ages. Embryogenesis also poses interesting but difficult questions, which, as yet, Western Science has not addressed. It also stimulates the enquiry into the nature of "consciousness" and the fundamental question: Who are we? Keywords Levels of Consciousness, Self-discovery, Intuitive Meditation, Phenomenology, Experiencing Consciousness, Feeling-mind Consciousness, Embryogenesis, Pulsation
Full-text available
ABSTRACT: Background: This paper is based on the results obtained from a research program which showed that training in the heart-based Intuitive Meditation (IM) method brought about a significant shift towards a more feeling based consciousness. The data was obtained from a pre-post test design measuring changes in scores on the Feeling Consciousness Scale (FCS). The post-test scale also included several open-ended questions. Objectives: Among other aims, the objectives of the present paper are to compare the traits obtained from the open questions to the scale items in order to refine the scale where necessary and to learn more about the quality of feeling based consciousness; for instance, to compare the scale item "I feel peace inside" with the open answers. Method: The method consisted of a comparison of answers from the open questions with the scale items. Results: An overlap was found between many of the scale items and traits derived from the open answers. The scale item "I feel peace inside" and the open answers of 36% of the participants suggest that peace might be an inner experience related to feeling. Conclusions: The comparison throws more light on the quality of the inner experience of participants after learning IM. It also suggests that peace is an inner experience related to feeling. This has many implications, especially to people who try to create or impose peace on others through military or forceful means. Further research is suggested, as the sample size was small, especially with respect to gender. Keywords: Intuitive Meditation, Feeling Consciousness Scale, Quality, Peace, Inner experience
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UNLOCKING THE SECRETS OF THE HEART THROUGH MEDITATING ON THE SELF By Tina Lindhard August, 2016 Chair: Dr. Inula Martinkat Major Department: Consciousness Studies Inspired by Max Planck to look for the Absolute, the universally valid, the invariant that is normally absent when only concentrating on relative, testable relationships, the present study set out to understand the nature and role of the heart using different procedures. In the literature review, this study includes the application of the comparative method of Goethe to the ontological development of the heart and the notochord based on primary observations of other scientists. This revealed that with the advent of the pulsating heart, the morphological ontology of the embryo mirrors the different broad phylogenetic stages of creation from worms to mammals and invertebrates to vertebrate forms. Reflecting on the origin of the heartbeat, this researcher concurs with Arka that pulsation is probably the underlying core principle and property of universal existence, cosmic existence, and local existence. This suggests that all matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force that brings all particles to pulsation; a conscious Mind that is expressing itself through ever-changing pulsating forms. This study also involved finding out what happens when one meditates on the Self via the (pulsating) heart using the Intuitive Meditation (IM) method of inner investigation. Based on the Arka's theory of the six main levels of consciousness, this study predicted that people would show a trend towards a more feeling-based consciousness after being trained to go below their thinking mind. In order to test this, a scale was constructed under the name of the Feeling-Consciousness Scale (FCS). The scale items were based on Arka´s work and information derived from interviews with people who had practiced the IM method for more than 7 months. Using a repeated measures design, the FCS was filled in by 8 male and 23 female participants comprising of five different groups, before and after attending five IM training sessions spread over 6 weeks (a total of 13.5 hours). The second time the scale was administered, several open questions were added. A significant difference at the .001 level was found between both scores. No correlation was found between the number of times the method was practiced and the end scores. Due to the small sample size and that the scale is a project in development, these results are tentative. Statements from the open questions suggest there may be a relation between increased sentience and intuition, especially in females. The study ends with extensive suggestions for further research.
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This article presents theory and research on the scientific study of emotion thatemphasizes the importance of coherence as an optimal psychophysiological state. Adynamic systems view of the interrelations between psychological, cognitive andemotional systems and neural communication networks in the human organism providesa foundation for the view presented. These communication networks are examined froman information processing perspective and reveal a fundamental order in heart-braininteractions and a harmonious synchronization of physiological systems associated withpositive emotions. The concept of coherence is drawn on to understand optimalfunctioning which is naturally reflected in the heart’s rhythmic patterns. Research ispresented identifying various psychophysiological states linked to these patterns, withneurocardiological coherence emerging as having significant impacts on well being.These include psychophysiological as well as improved cognitive performance. Fromthis, the central role of the heart is explored in terms of biochemical, biophysical andenergetic interactions. Appendices provide further details and research on;psychophysiological functioning, reference previous research in this area, details onresearch linking coherence with optimal cognitive performance, heart brainsynchronization and the energetic signature of the various psychophysiological modes.
By Banesh Hoffmann Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. 1963. Pp. 238. Price 4s. 6d. It is hard to understand why this book has been republished. The subject matter is difficult to the degree that an author might reasonably expect to hold the attention only of such readers as are willing to make a serious intellectual effort.
EDITOR'S NOTE. In this issue of the Annales, we are glad to present an English translation of one of Louis de Broglie's latest articles, as a kind of gift to all physicists abroad who are not well acquainted with the double solution theory, or do not read French. Louis de Broglie of course wrote the original paper 1 in his mother tongue, which he mastered with utmost elegance, but perhaps considering it as his last word on Wave Mechanics, he expressed the wish to see it also published in English. The translator, our friend Maurice Surdin, tried to re-main as close as possible to the French text, which was by no means an easy task, and unavoidably the result will there-fore appear a bit awkward in style, but it surely does convey the precise physical meaning, and most importantly, the spirit of Louis de Broglie's work. Following this closeness require-ment, the peculiar mathematical notations used by the author have been kept unaltered, even though somewhat unusual, or slightly old-fashioned. Our readers will nevertheless appreciate the deep physical insight expressed in this tentative theory of wave-particle dualism, a major problem unsolved to everyone's satisfaction. Historically, Einstein was the one who started all the trouble in 1905, with the introduction of this wave-particle dualism in radiation theory. Louis de Broglie did not ease the pressure in theoretical physics when he later on extended the puzzling dualism to every entity of Universe, not only photons, but also electrons, atoms, molecules, etc. And he was right, that is the way things work, and physicists have to accept facts, however upsetting.
A summary of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's color studies is presented with special attention paid to his ''method.'' It is proposed that the act of accurate qualitative observation creates the capability in the observer for an intuitive understanding of the physical laws underlying the phenomena under observation. The use of such a method as a basis for laboratory instruction is discussed.