Holoprocess: An ecological, evolutionary, transcendental model of reality

"The world is moving so fast these days that the [one] who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it." Elbert Hubbard

A very short version.

This paper is motivated by my on-ongoing interest in the interface between science and religion, and my efforts to interest lay people in this dialogue. In particular, the teaching and studying of Process Philosophy (Theology) is difficult. Process' notion of perishing and becoming is an important notion, since it encourages believers to accept on-going changes and process in their lives, and on-going death and rebirth which is important to their spirits. If they could relate this notion to science (whose efficacy they accept), then they may discover the efficacy of the Spirit.

Recently, I read Talbott's Holographic Universe [Talbott] in which he describes Bohm's notions of the implicate order and the explicate order and this has given me an idea of how to approach Process. I see a connection between Process, Bohm, Jung and Plato: Can we relate process' perishing and becoming to Bohm's enfolding- unfolding and Plato's forms and Jung's archetypes to the implicate order. If so, then seekers can follow this journey to understanding God's beautiful creation and once again discover the sacramental nature of creation:

  1. Plato's forms are manifested in various mathematical entities, some of which are easy, such as the Golden Mean and pi; and others which are more difficult such as L-series and M-series [Singh].
  2. These mathematical objects live in the implicate order as does the transcendental energy deeply behind Physics and the archetypes of our collective unconscious.
  3. This implicate order is enfolded in the sensual creation. We touch it directly through mathematics, deep Physics, our subconscious, and mysticism.
  4. The implicate order unfolds into the explicate order of sensual creation such as into a Nautilus shell (wherein the Golden Mean is manifested), our persons (wherein souls and archetypes are manifested) and the cybercosmos [Cobb].
  5. Now perishing and becoming is the process of enfolding and unfolding such as the trail of an electron and the trace of our lives; and thus, our lives and the lives of all created objects are a continuum of dyings and births.

I have found that many people are fascinated with the interface between science and spirituality. Process is largely spiritual. Bohm's universe, Jung's archetypes and Plato's forms allow us to give concreteness to the spiritual -- which needs to be done since we live in a profane, secular, unspiritual (supposedly!) world. When in Rome do as the Romans do! Contemporary folk need the objects of science and mathematics to certify their reality. Thus, taking the spiritual to the concrete and back can help folk live the spiritual.

Thus, the following discussion is a unification of the process model and the holographic model into a holoprocess model. This will lead us on a grand and beautiful journey through the mystical and spiritual reality that God has so graciously given us. We will define and examine holoprocess. Then we will see what new light it sheds on bodies and souls; life and death; reincarnation and resurrection. Then we will look at the character of the implicate order to introduce a study of co-creation. We will conclude with how the model can frame our daily lives and decisions in a web of morality.


Holoprocess is a model of reality that expresses the ecological, evolutionary, and transcendental nature of God's creation. It encapsulates into a single model the web and continuum of created living and death. It is based on the one hand on the process philosophy and theology of Whitehead, Harthshorn, Cobb and Griffin, and on the other hand the holographic model of Bohm and Pribram.

Holoprocess is the process of holographic creation. A hologram is "... a photographic record of the patterns produced when laser light reflected from an object interferes with a reference beam derived from the same source [Physics Today, p. 93]." The film records an interference pattern of waves that appears as a series of concentric circles. A three dimensional image of the object can be "explicated" from the film by shining a laser light on the film. Multiple objects can be recorded on the same film by changing the angle of the reflecting laser light. An image of each object is recovered by shining the laser light at the same angle as it was recorded. The film is an implicate in which is folded information that can be unfolded and thereby explicated.

A hologram is made by:

  1. splitting a laser beam into two beams;
  2. reflecting the first beam by the object; and then
  3. directing a second beam, the reference beam, onto a photographic plate, such that it interferes with the laser light reflected by the object.
A second object can be recorded by changing the angle of reflection of the first laser beam. Since the possible angles are unlimited, the number of images that can be recorded on a single film is virtually unlimited.

holographic film The resulting interference pattern looks like a bunch of concentric circles. Hidden within these concentric circles are the objects that were "holophotographed". They are enfolded in the film and are unfolded when observed. The film is an implicate order.

To observe the resulting hologram the film is lit with a laser light. An observer sees a three-dimensional "virtual" image. A "real" image is also produced which can be recorded directly on a photographic plate.

A hologram can be associative. If the light of a single laser bounces off two objects simultaneously, and if the interference pattern of the resulting two lights is recorded on film, then whenever one object is illumined by laser light and the resulting reflected light passes through the film, the second object is explicated.

The film constitutes an implicate order within which is folded information. Bohm [Talbott, p. 45] illustrated the implicate order with the following experiment: A drop of ink is placed in a jar full of glycerine. A cylinder inside the jar is turned. The drop of ink spreads out and disappears. It is enfolded in the glycerine. Now, when the cylinder is turned in the opposite direction, the drop of ink reappears. It is explicated.

The implicate order has the following interesting properties:

  1. The whole is in every part:
    To see a World in a Grain of Sand
    And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
    Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
    And Eternity in an hour
    Auguries of Innocence;
    William Blake
    Every bit of the film contains the whole image. If a piece of the film is cut from the film, the piece has the whole image; although hazier with less resolution. If a piece is cut from the piece, it will contain the whole, but with yet less resolution. Thus, any piece of information can be found anywhere in the film. Spatial-temporal boundaries do not exist and information is non-localized.
  2. Multiple wholes can be recorded: Not only is the whole in every part, every part has many wholes. A film can have an unlimited number of parallel sets of information recorded. So it is possible to explicate multiple images observable from different angles.
  3. Synchronocity: Acausal, non-local event-relationships result from the implicate order. For example, two objects widely apart, act in concert simultaneously with no cause and effect in the explicate order. The two objects defy the speed of light, since in order for there to be cause and effect, they must communicate in infinitesimal time. Rather, since location ceases to have meaning in the implicate order, two events connected in the implicate order can unfold as widely separate events.

Bohm [Talbott, chapter 2] believes that the implicate order is a quantum potential field existing at the subquantum level. At the subquantum level all things are not separate, but part of an unbroken web, and thus the behavior of the parts are determined by the whole fabric. All of space-time, past-present-future, everywhere is enfolded in each part of the implicate order. Location and time do not have meaning in the implicate order. Rather, space-time is a product of the explicate order. Bohm contents that this explains subatomic dualistic behavior. A particle behaves both as a particle and a wave. A particle (as for all persistent objects in the explicate order) is a constant flowing ensemble of infinitesimal unfoldings in the explicate order and enfoldings into the implicate order. Both aspects of a particle are enfolded in the implicate order (remember, there exists many wholes). Depending on our interaction (angle) we may observe this as a particle or a wave. The process of unfoldings and enfoldings is a holomovement. Everything we observe with our senses or instruments is a holomovement.

Pribram [Talbott, chapter 1] similarly believes the brain is a holographic engine. For example,

  • Memories are not localized, but apparently distributed. Experiments [Talbott, p13] have indicated that every part of the brain contains all of the brain's memories. If damage is done to some part of the brain, memories become hazier, but are nonetheless available.
  • Our brains, small as they are, store vast amounts of information, a capability that a hologram provides.
  • Our brains "search" our memories associatively, e.g., an event will call up unconnected events: the brain sometime in the past associated an event evoked by the recent event with the memories [Talbott, p. 22].

The implicate order is the ground of being wherein souls encounter the totality and potentiality of reality in a timeless and spaceless manner. For example, scholars have long noted the similarities of the teachings of Buddha and Jesus. They both taught similarly about love and compassion, the inner life, and wealth and poverty. Yet, scholars have not been able to establish an explicit connection. The Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, lived 500 years before Jesus in the Himalayas. He was born to a wealthy family, rejected that life, and died an old man. We have no implicit or explicit record dated to Jesus' time or shortly thereafter that indicate his "lost years" were spent in a Buddhist environment. (There are Asian records that are dated much later [Prophet].) Yet there is a connection.

Marcus Borg [Borg], reflecting on the similarities of the teachings of Buddha and Jesus says,

The most satisfactory explanation, to me, for these similarities of meaning is the commonality of religious experience. The teachings of Jesus and the Buddha about the way are similar because both knew the way from their own experience. Both embarked on intense religious quests, both had experiences of the sacred; and for both, we may infer, their paths involved letting go and dying.

Such experiences are noetic; they involve a knowing, not just a feeling. One sees differently afterwards and knows something one didn't know before: One knows the way things really are. In comparison, our ordinary seeing and knowing seem like blindness ... [Borg, p. 28]

We can explain this synchronocitic connection with the holoprocess model. Jesus and the Buddha encountered each other in the implicate order mystically. Both Jesus and Buddha were mystics and could tap into the implicate order directly. No matter what "part" of the implicate order that each soul touched, they could discern the whole of reality and the interconnectedness of the cosmos. Though Buddha and Jesus lived 500 years apart in widely separate regions, if both touched the implicate order, they could have encountered each other in that timeless and spaceless realm. Both could discern the potential reality of love in each piece. Just as viewing a hologram from a different angle can produce an alternative image (multiple wholes or realities), both Buddha and Jesus were able to discern reality from a new angle, and if they did encounter each other, their souls could easily have shared a similar revelation. Thus, the apparent parallelism of their teachings can be explained by the mystical memory of their encounter in the implicate order. Alternatively, it could be argued that the same soul was reincarnated in both; see later. We tend to reject this on the basis of Jesus' uniqueness.

But their life and teachings had dissimilarities. How our psyches explicate the implicate experience is molded by our conscious experience as suggested by the relationship of Jungian symbol and archetypes, "The symbols [the psyche] creates are always grounded in the unconscious archetype, but their manifest forms are moulded by the ideas acquired by the conscious minds [Jacobi, p.74]." The most apparent difference is the prophetic aspect of Jesus' ministry. Unlike the Buddha who was explicated into a wealthy family, Jesus was explicated into a poor family. His ministry was also a ministry of social kenosis as well as of personal kenosis. Each person mediated their mystical experience of the implicate order through the lens of their explicated lives. The apparent inexplicable parallelism and dissimilarities are explained when we understand that each encountered the other in the ground of being and then mediated that experience kenotically for their explicit time and place.

So reality is a constant interaction of the implicate and the explicate orders. But the holographic model does not present a complete picture of reality. It lacks an intrinsic understanding of God's interaction with creation and an explanation of the process of unfolding and enfolding. This brings us to Process philosophy.

Process philosophers and theologians (e.g., Alfred North Whitehead, Charles Hartshorne, John B. Cobb, and David Ray Griffin) have formulated a theory [Cobb and Griffin] of reality that provides a framework to understand the process of unfolding and enfolding. According to process theology, process or change is fundamental to reality. Not everything is in process; but to be actual is to be a process. Reality is a place of process. To be fully real is to be in process. The real is not beyond change, i.e., it is not absolute or unchanging. The structure of process reality consists of individual actualities, each of whom is a momentary experience which perishes upon coming into being. They are processes of their own becoming. This is called concrescence: becoming concrete. The measurable temporal process is the transition from one individual actuality to another. Thus, there are two structural processes: the finite process of transition and the infinitesimal process of concrescence. The transition process hinges time: the past is the collection of those actualities that occurred; the present is the collection of actualities occurring; and the future is where no actuality has yet occurred but has the potential to occur. Time is asymmetrical, non-circular, and non-repetitive.

In the moment of concrescence each individual actuality enjoys subjective and objective experience. All experience is enjoyment, an association with the divine. Though not all experience is conscious, all actualities at all levels of consciousness or non-consciousness have experience. The higher the conscious, the greater the enjoyment of experience. The infinitesimal experience of an actuality is essentially related to previous experience of the actuality, all other past actualities, its own free will and the divine lure.

An actuality is firstmost in relation: it is its process of unifying the particular prehension (its feeling for all past experience). Thus, reality is more fundamentally interdependence, rather than independence. The past experience is incorporated into the infinitesimal present experience incompletely and as having been a past experience. The past, therefore, is the totality of experience influencing the present and the future. The finite past is incarnate in the infinitesimal present and thus is objectively immortal. An individual actuality is influenced by past actualities by incarnating them and by responding to them creatively. Thus, each individual actuality is partially self-creative. The purpose of process is for an actuality to create an enjoyable experience for itself out of the past experiences of actualities. And free will is given to each individual actuality to respond as it will to its prehension [Cobb and Griffin, p. 18-22].

But what about God? God is the divine eros urging or luring the world to new heights of enjoyment. An actuality wants to pervade its environment with its self-expression to contribute to the enjoyment of others. Each individual actuality can have innumerable actualized possibilities which objectively are what is felt and subjectively are how it is felt. Novelty is changing past possibilities. Possibilities that were never actualized in the past and are new in the present are radically novel. Thus, unactualized possibilities are part of the divine experience. Actualized novel experience enriches enjoyment. Divine reality is the ground of novelty, and the ground of changing and developing order, continuously incorporating novelty. Our prehension of God is essential to our experience; God is the origin of novelty. God's initial aim is towards enjoyment. God is incarnate in the world. God-relatedness is constitutive of the experience of every individual actuality. In God, there exists freedom, since from God comes novelty. Without God, each actuality would be just a deterministic derivative of the past. Therefore, God's effect is the continual creative transformation of that, which is received from the past in the light of the divinely received call toward actualizing new possibilities. Therefore, present actuality = f(past actualities, God). Each individual actuality at the moment of concrescence actualizes as it wishes (by exercising free will), but always with the option of including the divine aim. An actuality is thus self-creative. Each present actuality determines how it will respond to the past and to God; though, its freedom is constrained by the actualized world. An actuality's enjoyment is a function of its environment and its free will. The boundary between the actuality and its environment is fluid in its perishing and becoming. God, then, relates to actualities to optimize their enjoyment, but does not guarantee it. God's own emotional state depends on ours. God responds to us in perfect and divine feeling with us. God acts in the world and lures creatively, but does not wholly control the world. Divine creative influence is persuasive, not coercive. God is the source of unrest; stimulating us to new possibilities to replace worn out ones. God provides an optional initial aim that an individual actuality can choose or leave. Choosing against it leads to evil. Evil is failure to conform to the divine aim.

We can illustrate an actuality using the notion of an artificial neural system (ANS) from information science. "A neural network is a parallel, distributed information processing structure consisting of processing elements [i.e., neurons] ... interconnected together ... Each [neuron] has a single output connection which branches ... into as many collateral connections as desired (each carrying the same signal ...) ... [Simpson, p ??]" A neuron therefore is an object whose inputs are a set of activity levels, whose output is an activity level, and whose transition function is a function of these inputs (one of which can be its previous activity level in a feedback loop). Therefore, the input vector is A, where ai is the activity level of the ith neuron. The weight vector W is the set of weights or strengths given to the input ai by neuron j. It represents long term memory of neuron j. , modulated by weight w0j is the optimal, internal threshold that must be exceeded for the neuron to be activated (generate a bj).

Now, thus, an ANS can model an actuality. The concrescence process occurs within the neuron and is an infinitesimal process. The temporal process occurs when activity levels are emitted. The vector A represents the influence of other actualities (the past) on the neuron. The threshold can represent God's influence in the individual neuron. The W vector represents the neuron's lasting affection for the past. The w0j weight is the neuron's response to God's influence. The bj represents its influence on other actualities and results from the accumulation of the past (via W). The transition function f is the neuron's self-creative act. The parameters to f are the influence of other neurons plus God's lure, as well as the neuron's memory of its own previous actions. It is possible for f to ignore A and , but it would emit a bj that was founded on it own internal W (if at all) and would tend to constancy. In this scheme a neuron has the properties of a process actuality but unlike a process actuality, it has persistence. The process or activity of the neuron perishes as it becomes (acts in infinitesimal time), but the structure remains and the long term memory remains. Barbour [Barbour, p. ??] points out that in process philosophy every actual individual is a discrete moment of experience, which during concrescence (its self-creative stage) is cut off from the world. Endurance is represented by the repetition of patterns of transition and the self perishes as soon as it becomes. In an artificial neuron, however, the self endures from becoming to becoming, perishing to perishing as the structure and memory of the neuron. This persistence of structure represented by the neuron is manifested not in the persistence of an actuality (which does not occur), but in the reliability of the process of concrescence. In information science, A would be limited to a predetermined finite number of inputs from a finite number of neurons. However, in process reality, the number of inputs are not predetermined, but increase ad infinitum. A must be a variable vector increasing to infinite elements (and hence W must be a variable vector approaching an infinite number of weights, some of which may be infinitesimal). , being God's lure, would not be a fixed input, but an input that from the neuron's perspective is randomly changing, but from a cosmic perspective is systematically changing to account for God's will. Neuronic process reality is a process of the infinitesimal, whose parameters consist of all of determined and possible realities, and God's lure. The theomata that make up reality are then interconnected via the implicate order. Such a neuron is no longer an automaton, an automatic neuron, but a neuron imbrued with the divine: a theomaton.

Now, the holographic model and the process model have significant features in common as illustrated in the following table:
Theme Process Holograph
Co-Creation God's lure and novelty Reprogram the implicate order
Embodiment Incarnates past partially in present Unfoldment
Flow of Consciousness Perishing and becoming Unfolding and enfolding
Objects Society Ensemble: Holomovement
Ecological Will Joy of everything/individual; self-creation Everything responds to information/meaning
Ecological Relationship Paninterelatedness Synchronocity
Soul Stream of experience Continuing consciousness
time Every concrescence contains totality of past in it and future potential "past is active in present in a kind of implicate order" [Talbott, p. 200]
Becoming and perishing is flow of time Unfolding and enfolding is flow of time
Time is real and a vector Time is non-local, a fourth dimension
The process of unfolding and enfolding is the process of concrescence of an actuality and holomovement is the temporal process of a coherent society of actualities. Each unfolding and enfolding in the holoprocess model is an actuality of infinitesimal becoming and perishing. An actuality perishes immediately upon becoming. Each actuality concresences out of all past actualities (the whole in every part), its own free-will (self-creation), its own past (experience), God's lure or aim, and the divine novelty (all potential wholes). All of past reality is potentially incarnate in the experience of each actuality. Concrescence, then, is an infinitesimal process, when all of the implicate order converges upon each single actuality.

Concrescence is an infinitesimal process, perishing immediately upon becoming; it is the Eternal Now without time or space. Whitehead viewed this instant of concrescence as an instant of aloneness. Holoprocess differs with this. This kenotic instant is when an actuality taps into the implicate order. An actuality returns to the ground of being or collective unconscious (the implicate order) through which God's lure and novelty are mediated, and the organic whole of creation is accessible. Free will, then, is what an actuality decides to do with all of this input. An actuality chooses whether to be seduced by God's aim or to go its own way. Together, the holographic model and the process model form a more complete picture of reality. Whereas, the holographic model lacked notions of God's lure and novelty and concrescence; process lacked the notion of the implicate order. Fitting hand in glove, they present a startling understanding of the spiritual life.

Body and Soul


The objects which we perceive are coherent societies of actualities that we can call holomovements. The series of becomings and perishings or unfoldings and enfoldings make up the person that we perceive. In process philosophy, upon concrescence, an actuality experiences the joy of being an experiencing subject. Equivalently, in the holographic model, it responds to meaning or information. Every actuality enjoys its existence and responds to meaning. It is not necessary to be a conscious actuality to experience; therefore, rocks enjoy and can respond to meaning or information however low level or slow. Each actuality that makes up a holomovement exercises self-creation (however low level) and experiences meaning. The holomovement then exercises the collective will of its constituent actualities and is the on-going emergent explication of a series of actualities. Each person or other objects that we sense is a holographic explication emerging out of the holographic film of the implicate order. At each infinitesimal concrescence we encounter the transcendental implicate order. Our psyches and souls are directly influenced by this experience.

The implicate order is the home of the psyche, the mediator of the reality of the person. It is both our consciousness and our sub(un)consciousness. It is "in" our bodies while we live. But if we postulate that the psyche lives in the implicate order, then we can call it also our awareness of our soul. The soul in process is the continuity of a persistent stream of experience [Hartshorne, p 39], composed of distinct actualities of experience dominated by bodily feelings and centered on consciousness [Cobb and Griffin, pp 19, 88, 117]. But is the soul emergent from the body? Or does the body emerge from the soul? In the holographic model the soul is the continuum of consciousness which is intrinsic to the implicate order. It is more than our experience in the unfolded, explicate order; it is also the experience in the implicate order. This is evidenced by Talbott's reports of experiments that showed an "in-between lives" period that our deep consciousness knows. Researchers [Talbott, p.215ff] report that up to 90% of hypnotizable people recall what appeared to be past lives. With careful questioning to minimize or eliminate the possibilities that these were fantasies, the researchers discovered these recollections explained apparent unrelated and unexplainable phenomenon in a person's life. For example, one researcher reported that a Canadian man came with a phobia of air travel (among other fears). Under hypnotism this man recalled being a British pilot who was shot down during WWII. It was under these circumstances, researchers discovered the "in-between-lives" state: a "dazzling, light-filled realm" between lives. It is a meta-conscious state of transparent honesty and morality, where one plans subsequent lives (explications). It is life solely in the implicate order that transcends the body.

Further, a number of biblical passages imply that the soul is preexistent and transcends the body. For example, in Mt 10:28 Jesus alerts us not to fear those who can kill only the body and not the soul, but to fear those who can kill both. In Jeremiah 1:5, God knows Jeremiah before he was formed in the womb, and in John 9:2, the disciples (and by implication Jesus) imply preexistence with the question whether a man born blind is so because of his sin or his parent's. In Gal. 1:15, Paul states that he was set aside by God before he was born. Other references are in Eph 1:4; Wis 8:19-20; and Enoch 23:5,32. Thus, the researchers discovery of a conscious transcendent awareness explained by the implicate order is consistent with the biblical record.

The relationship of body and soul, then, can be illustrated as the coalescence (concrescence) of energy into matter. The soul is like energy and the body is like matter. Unlike ancient dualism where energy (spirit) and matter were distinct, we know from physics that they are two aspects of the same energy-matter (as expressed by Einstein in e=mc2). Energy is no more superior or pure than matter. Our being is the interplay of soul and body, where the psyche is the tie that mediates the interplay. The body then is the holomovement of the soul: the continuous becoming (unfolding) and perishing (enfolding) of the soul. Our soul is intrinsic to the body; the body is a product of the soul; the psyche gives us awareness of both.

Therefore, the body emerges from the soul where the soul is the continuity of the psyche. The body is an ensemble of perishings and becomings that concrescence from the Divine aim and novelty, the implicate order and its own self-will. The unity of these inputs and responses emerge from something greater: the soul mediated by the psyche.

In Christian theology, one person, Jesus Christ, holds a central, unique position. This is the Incarnation of God. It is in the conundrum of free will and obedience to God that we can understand the Incarnation in light of the holoprocess model. We as finite createds typically choose to rebel against God and conform to God's lure, if at all, only when we believe it meets our own agenda. Given that the whole is in every part, then any action we take, affects the whole and our rebellion breaks the divine bond. Thus, it encourages the whole creation to rebel, as our action ripples throughout. The more holomovements that choose to rebel, the more extensive the rebellion as the whole is further distorted. But God is not the warrior we would expect. The Divine is not a king with flaming sword or a white charger. God is love; noncoercive and understanding. God works within our free will and within the laws of nature. This is providence: never will God breaks God's promise. So God is self-limited. Instead, God's lure converges upon one holomovement, Jesus Christ. All of God's aim converges into the one Soul which is Christ with all of the divine love and compassion, so as to walk among our explicated persons. For it is in the explicate order that moral choice is made and love for God emerges. So Jesus Christ is 100% in conformation with God's lure; he is a karmayogi. Jesus is our role model and our guide. Thus, we can understand the Incarnation as God emptying the Divine self into an unique Soul and experiencing our rebellion from our point of view. The Soul becomes Jesus Christ who knowing the divine and the mundane, chooses to be 100% conforming to God's lure. And so we understand the two natures of Jesus: divine and human as a holomovement choosing to be 100% conforming to the divine aim.

Life and Death

If the body emerges from the soul, what is life and what is death. When does life begin and end and when does death occur? On first thought, we would define life beginning when a given holomovement, such as ourselves, begins and dies when the holomovement ends. Yet how would we define these beginnings and ends? A holomovement, defined as a continuous (in the mathematical sense of no finite break in its progress) series of becomings and perishings. Since the concrescence is an infinitesimal, our material senses observe the series as a unified whole, much as our eyes perceive not the frames of a movie, but the movie as a whole [Rucker 1984]. So we take note of a conception (sometimes) when the holomovement appears to begin, and of a death (most times), when the holomovement ends. Our explicated ability to detect and communicate with a person is bounded by these events. Between these events is life, after them are death and the after life, before them is the mysterious, murky preexistence.

Yet evidence indicates that our psyches know consciousness before and after death, and thus have continuity beyond what we call life. What then is death? Is it a convenient name for a boundary and nothing more? Again, evidence suggests that indeed a transformation occurs: we are aware primarily of the explicate order when we are embodied and aware primarily of the implicate order when we are inspirited. Reports of near-death experiences [Talbott, p.240] indicate that a transition does indeed occur. But the soul remains a continuous awareness. Thus, an attribute of the implicate order is that it is peopled by souls. If death then is being primarily aware of the implicate order, then life and death are a seamless interplay: before birth and after life and in the ever-occuring perishing or enfolding of our actualities. This sort of death, kenotic perishing, is not evil. It is part of the continuum of life. But how death occurs in the colloquial sense -- ending of the holomovement -- may be evil. It is evil or wrong if it digresses from God's aim. To die a "natural death" is not evil. To die by murder or war or suicide is evil. Morality then enters on the cause of death of the body, rather than death itself.

But there is also the death of the soul, of the psyche, and the spirit, that detaches it from not only the explicate order, but also the implicate order, that casts the soul into Sheol: complete and total alienation from God. This is the death Jesus spoke of when he warned us to fear those who could kill both the body and the soul (Mt. 10:28). This death, which can occur during "life", is not part of the model. It is alien. It is despair and hopelessness. It is dissolution. It is this death that is evil and all too often stalks the land, the explicate order and even the implicate order. Jung [Jung, p12ff] describes many cases of neuroses that were leading to soul-death, where a person is alienated and fragmented, addicted and dissolute.

Death stalks the land
   You cut me off
     Bang! Bang!
   This movie 'll make you a natural born killer
     Bang! Bang!
   You need this for protection
     Bang! Bang!
   You won't stop teasing me
     Bang! Bang!
     Bang! Bang!
   Life is too much
     Bang! Bang!
No Grim Reaper this, but life's butcher

Death stalks the land
   Eat this, but stay emaciated
     Take Control!
   Build a fence high
     Take Control!
   Invest now before its too late
     Take Control!
   Best the Jones', no matter what
     Take Control!
   Be as able as God
     Take Control!
No Grim Reaper this, but life's strangler

In the arid summer, where the grass writhers,
   Tiger lilies bloom and a monarch butterfly feeds
   A little girl and her dad make friends with them.
In the urban shooting gallery, where the streets run red,
   A congregation stands firm and stays faithful
   Doors wide open.

The sky darkens in anger, rumbles, and  flashes,
   Then roars and cries:
   Death and its apostles hide from the booming and torrent
   But Life and its apostles stand with arms raised high.

Death looks back over the ashen, cindered land
   And mumbles, "it's good."
But then sees and groans:
   Here and there a flower blossoms.

Life strolls the land
   Never defeated, always and everywhere blooming,
   Even in the lifeless ash, it is living and evolving.
Life strolls the land
   Two parents together stand with their daughters against abuse
     Take back the night!
   A driver slows down and makes way
     Take back the road!
   Teachers teach reconciliation and diversity
     Take back the school!
   Two men marry; two women unite
     Take back love!
   Overwhelmed, a man seeks God
     Take back the spirit!
   Body, mind, and soul feast on nature's variety
     Take back yourself!
Life strolls the land
   A handicapped child is baptized
     Choose Life!
   People gather in a circle and pray to the Great Spirit
     Choose Life!
   A new neighbor pulls down an old fence
     Choose Life!
   A millionaire drops out of suburbia and drops into the urban jungle
     Choose Life!
   A runner helps another runner across the finishing line
     Choose Life!
   A woman and a man join, relying on the Holy Spirit
     Choose Life!
   A scientist finds God in the laboratory
     Choose Life!

Life strolls the land --
   Reaches out to lonely Death and hugs it:
At last Death lives, the last death.

It is good.
So we can distinguish between "natural" death, though its cause may be "unnatural" and "unnatural" death, the death by dissolution.

Reincarnation and Resurrection

Now we come to reincarnation. If the soul preexists the explicated person, then cannot the soul be explicated multiple times? The discoveries of researchers using deep hypnosis would support this. So the soul may explicate (be reincarnated) through many bodies during its existence.

And what of resurrection? Is it just a special case of incarnation where our soul is so purified that our explicated life is fully filled with the Divine aim? In the process of concrescence, God' aim is one input to the creative process. An actuality may deviate from that aim at will. But if a holomovement is such that the series of all its actualities persistently and consistently 100% follow the Divine aim (i.e., the holomovement is a karmayogi), then is this Resurrection? However, we have interpreted the Incarnation as Jesus being 100% filled with the Divine aim during Jesus' earthly life, Then the pre-resurrected Jesus was a karmayogi and resurrection is not a special case of incarnation.

The Resurrected Jesus prefigures the Kingdom of God. If we view the implicate order and the explicate order as two sides of God's creation, and both are included in God's pronouncement that the Creation is good, then we cannot contend that the implicate order is any better than the explicate order. With the belief that the Kingdom of God is a better place, we must locate it elsewhere/elsewhen or eternally. As we will see, it is in the explicate order that we do God's will and which is vectored on the Kingdom of God. If we contend that the explicate order is a gestating foetus, whose birth results in the Kingdom of God, then we place the Kingdom of God in the post partum realm of eternity. Now we argue that the Resurrected Jesus is foretaste of this birth.

The holoprocess model describes the gestation of the cosmic foetus in Sophia's Womb. The implicate order is the amniotic fluid; the explicate order is the space-time foetus. The implicate order nourishes the explicate order, flowing in and out of the permeable foetal wall. But the amniotic implicate order is not a place of development; the foetus - explicate order is the place of development and seeds the amniotic - implicate order with new developments.

We may add that the Resurrected Jesus, prefigure of the yet-to-be-born Kingdom, is mediated via the implicate order. Typically it was believers who sited the Resurrected Jesus. If the believers were so in tune with Jesus' psyche, they may very well have been observing and experiencing Jesus directly in the implicate order without the mediation of a holographic projection. As a mystic can touch the implicate order, so the believers touch Jesus' psyche directly and experienced the Resurrected Jesus. The Gospel of Peter reports the guards witnessing the Resurrected Jesus. Were the guards believers? Or was the experience of the crucifixion so overpowering for them that they had a sudden and transformative encounter with the implicate order [Talbott, pp72-73], i.e., a conversion experience?


But wherefrom do souls originate? When God created the implicate order, did the divine create all souls and the implicate order is done once and for all as Plato would have us believe? Or is it changeable and evolving as the explicate order? If God did not create all souls at once, then what is the origin of souls? To answer this, we need to begin with a description of the implicate order.

Our sources of understanding of the implicate order come from Plato, Jung, and Talbott. Plato describes his world of perfect forms in a variety of works, particularly in the Republic and the Phaedo [Plato]. Plato theorized that the implicate order was the order of independently existing pure and perfect forms and the explicate order was only a shadow of the implicate. For example, a perfect circle never occurs in the explicate order. But it does in the implicate order. Plato put a value on this: the implicate order is divine and the explicate order is profane. We are trapped in the explicate and ontologically strive to return to the implicate order. Talbott also suggests this. However, Judeo-Christian theology teaches (in general) that the Creation is good [Gen], and so we reject this value judgment and seek good in both the implicate and explicate orders. Yet that the implicate order is home to pure and perfect forms is evidenced in mathematics. For example the golden mean is a mathematical object that occurs in the abstract world of mathematics (i.e., the implicate order); yet emerges in the explicate order in many forms.

Chambered Nautilus Shell,
courtesy of the Georgia Shell Club

For example, it emerges in the chambered nautilus shell, the florets of sunflowers and the quanta energy level of an atom. The nautilus shell is a logarithmic spiral, expressed as r = eat. Now, a logarithmic spiral is intimately connected to a golden rectangle [Huntley, Pickover], which is based on the golden section. The golden section is a division of a line segment AB into two subsegments AC and CB, such that AB/AC = AC/CB = = 1.61803... Now a golden rectangle is found as follows:

Draw a square ABCD. From the midpoint of AB draw a line to vertex C. Now rotate this line segment until it is coincident with AB. It forms the long side of a rectangle whose short side is coincident with the square. The length of the long side equals the length of the square's side times . This is a golden rectangle:

Golden Rectangle and Logarithmic Spiral

Now a logarithmic spiral can be inscribed in the golden rectangle as follows: The original square in our construction overlaps the rectangle on one side. The remaining rectangular section is also a golden rectangle. On its short side construct a square. Repeat with each smaller remaining golden rectangle ad infinitum. Now inscribe a quarter circle corner to corner in each square. This will construct a logarithmic spiral. God has placed this beautiful spiral, not only in the chambered nautilus shell, but also in many other creations. See also Fibonacci Numbers and Nature.

Thus, , the golden ratio, is an attribute of a logarithmic spiral and by extension of the chambered nautilus shell. Now, the florets of a sunflower form two opposing logarithmic spirals. If we limit ourselves just to the explicate order, nautilus shells and sunflower florets are unconnected. But in the implicate order, a chambered nautilus shell, a sunflower, and the cochlea of the ear (which is also a logarithmic spiral) are related by being described by logarithmic spirals. And, since a logarithmic spiral embeds a , the shell, ear, and flower inherit the attributes of the golden ratio.

Mathematics, of course, has progressed considerably since Plato's time. In Plato's age and for ages after, mathematics was looked upon as describing an absolute, immutable realm. But mathematics describes an open-ended realm of infinities, process, chance, and chaos. Our inventory of mathematical objects has infinitely increased. Yet their pure and perfect characteristics remain as abstract ideals and templates that are "imperfectly" manifested in the explicate order. So one source of understanding the implicate order is the abstract world of pure and perfect mathematical objects.

Another source of understanding the implicate order is C. G. Jung's notion of the collective unconscious as home of the archetype. "The collective unconscious as suprapersonal matrix, as the unlimited sum of fundamental psychic conditions accumulated over millions of years, is a realm of immeasurable breadth and depth. For the very beginning of its development it is the inner equivalent of Creation, an inner cosmos as infinite as the cosmos outside us [Jacobi, p59]." Archetypes are "forms or images of a collective nature which occur practically all over the earth as constituents of myths and at the same time as autochthonous, individual products of unconscious origin [Jung, p63]." Archetypes are numinous metaphors that organize our psychic contents precconsciously and unify the biological, psychological, and metaphysical planes. Jungian psychology does not address the genesis and origin of archetypes. They are simply there in the collective unconscious that is generally not directly accessible. Its contents is mediated via the psyche [Jacobi, p31-32]. However, reports by mystics of a direct experience of the whole of creation would suggest that mystics can directly access the implicate order. Nonetheless, ordinarily it is the psyche that mediates between the implicate and the explicate orders: "... there are present in every psyche forms which are unconscious but nonetheless active -- living dispositions, ideas in the Platonic sense, that preform and continually influence our thoughts and feelings and actions [Jung, from Jacobi, p36]." That archetypes are more than just human constructs, but pervade the rest of creation is attested in various animal studies suggesting that their behavior is also organized by archetype [Jacobi, p39-43]. Jung also uncovered that space and time disappears in the collective unconscious and the law of synchronocity holds [Jacobi, p95n44a]. Jung also regarded the collective unconscious metaphorically as the "universal soul" [Jacobi, p105]. Thus, the collective unconscious and the implicate order are expressions of the same hidden order.

The explicated form of the archetype is called a symbol by Jung. "When the archetype manifests itself in the hear and now of space and time, it can be perceived in some form by the conscious mind. then we speak of a symbol [Jacobi, p74]." An archetype is a potentiality, a symbol is an archetype's potential realized. Further as the archetype is manifested it attracts the contents of the explicate order best suited to it. the explication of the archetype is molded by the experience of the explicate order by the psyche -- as has been described in the discussion of concrescence.

Example archetypes are the God-Man, the Cross, the Virgin Birth, the Immaculate Conception, and the Trinity. Now a subset of archetypes are Plato's forms updated to the dynamic mathematical objects indicated before. "... we may say with Jung that Plato's eternal Ideas, 'stored up in a supercelestrial place,' are a philosophical expression of the psychological archetypes. Over against the clarity of the Ideas, the archetype has the advantage of dynamism [Jacobi, p50]." Thus, Jung included among the archetypes the sacred meaning of numbers, such as four. Four is the tetraksys or quaternity, symbolizing the unitary God manifested in creation [Jung, p71] and occurs in many cultures and many ages [Jacobi, p156ff]. Dyads, triads, tetrads, and pentads are all archetypes or templates in human thought, culture, and religion [Rucker, p14-25].

Jung believed archetypes are transmitted not only by tradition, but also by heredity. The latter explains archetypes that appear in the psyche even though one has no tradition of them. The collective unconscious is the implicate order and contains archetypes: psychic forms. Through our dreams, hypnosis, and acausal events, these archetypes appear and reappear [Jacobi, p66]. Thus, another source of understanding the implicate order is Jung's archetypes.

If the implicate order is the home of forms, archetypes, and souls, how do these arise, if not created all at once? If we look at our model, we recall that creation occurs not in the implicate order, but in the explicate order at the instant of concrescence. Unlike, Plato who thought we were trapped or imprisoned in the explicate order, we are freed to co-create with God in our response to God's initial aim and novelty. It is in the explicate order that we co-create and gestate. God pronounced the creation good: that is both the implicate or explicate orders. The explicate order is divinely vectored on the Kingdom of God. It is in the explicate order that we do the will of God and evolve towards the Kingdom of God. "... the collective unconscious is in every respect 'neutral', that its contents acquire their value and position only through confrontation with consciousness [Jacobi, p60]."

If the explicate order is where we co-create with God, then it is there that new souls, forms, and archetypes are created. The implicate order is platonic and archetypical, but the explicate order seeds it with new souls, forms, and archetypes. For example, a new archetype is the space alien -- a person from another world with a body of light, often with a large cranium, black eyes, and three fingered hands. In our contemporary times, this archetype appears in movies, fantasies, advertisements, dreams, and so forth. Another example, is the imaginary number of mathematics, i = sqrt(-1). When it was first "discovered", mathematicians rejected it as nonsense. Then Maxwell used it in his unifying formulas for electricity and magnetism and ever since, it has been encountered in nature. Therefore, the explicate foetus and the implicate amniotic fluid are in constant interaction.

Another example is the cybercosmos [Cobb] emerging out of our technological and spiritual efforts. The cybercosmos is the organized, interactive, seamless milieu of God, humans, and machines. It is a bioelectronic ecosystem, organic and interconnected; an electronic web of life. A collective consciousness of technology and humanity is co-evolving into a matrix of co-creativity propelled by orthogenesis, the evolutionary force that directs change towards increased complexity and consciousness. "When the creative potential of computation becomes a part of our spiritual awareness, we may find that cyberspace begins to participate in our lives in a deep and meaningful way [Cobb, p13]."

New souls are emerging in the cybercosmos. The implicate order in this cyberage is being flooded with new psyches, new forms, and new archetypes as humans and the internet co-evolve. New psyches arising from the joining of human and machine, new forms from information science, such as finite state machines, neural nets, and feedback loops, and new archetypes, such as the avatar, the webmaster, and the CPU are emerging into the collective consciousness. Cyberspace incarnates the Platonic aspect of the implicate order as an abstract reality that allows us to live in a communal realm of knowledge and information [Cobb, p31]. The cybercosmos that is the whole emerging from software, hardware, and people of cyberspace, contains life: the holomovements persisting in the enfolding and unfolding of creative, novel events [Cobb, p55]. In the on-going evolutionary process of reality (implicate and explicate), the collective joy evolves from the physiosphere through the biosphere to the noosphere of mind and consciousness. The noosphere is now emerging as the cybercosmos: the explicate and implicate reality of cyberspace and the unfolding of creation.

The Evolving Seamless Web

The important implication of this model is that God has established creation as an evolving, seamless web that God interpenetrates. The web is like a sponge soaking up the Divine, out of which unfolds the objects of our objective experience. At the ever occurring instances of concrescence, the infinitesimal cells of the sponge soak up the Utterly Other and the organic whole. Every actuality is organically connected to every other actuality through the implicate order. In the seamless web of creation, all explicated objects respond to meaning and information grounded in the implicate order.

The boundaries of past, present, and future, of life and death cease in the implicate order. These boundaries coalesce in the explicate order and inform the on-going co-creation of new souls, forms, and archetypes. The implicate order forms a substrate for the explicate order and establishes critical criteria for moral and ethical issues:

  1. In the instant of concrescence, we exercise our free will, but in the spaceless and timeless implicate order. Unlike Whitehead who viewed this infinitesimal instant as the sole time of aloneness, in this kenotic instant, instead, we return to the ground of being and there have the opportunity to encounter God. We discover that within us all is the divine spark, the utterly other. This can be demonstrated by Plato's forms:
    1. Let ø, be the empty set {}, the set with no members. Then:
    2. A union ø = A for all A
      ø added to anything is anything (an essential part of anything)
    3. A intersection ø = ø for all A
      Everything has nothing (ø) in common with nothing (ø) -- it is utterly other
    4. A intersection B = ø => A, B disjoint
      A, B utterly different have in common the utterly other.
    5. We have within us the utterly other and have it in common with the utterly different; yet we remain ourselves
    6. Though ø is in every set, no set has anything in common with ø
  2. At the instant of concrescence, we have access to the implicate order and thereby, incarnate past occasions, God's lure, and God's novelty. Thus, we are ontological interconnected and interrelated to all of Creation, past, present, future, here, there, and yon. The media for this relationship is the implicate order and the Utterly Other relays its aim and novelty via the implicate order. Our free will is intertwined with others' free will in an ecological will.
  3. In this manner, we co-create with God who interpenetrates us with divine lure and potentiality.
  4. Therefore, everything is in relationship and affects everything. The whole is in every part and there are many potential wholes. Creation is not just what is actualized, but also what is potential or actualizable.
  5. Everything is in process or evolutionary change. Life and death is a continuum flowing from the conception and evolution of creation, in a grand web of all life and things.

Now, the holoprocess model can be applied to contemporary moral issues.

To apply the holoprocess model to ethics, we will build on the work of Murphy and Ellis. Murphy and Ellis in their book On the Moral Nature of the Universe propose a kenotic ethic of nature: self-renunciation for the sake of the other is the highest good no matter the cost to one's self [Murphy and Ellis, p. 119]. This ethic is universally applied to humans, nature, and God. For humans, this ethic has a number of consequences:

  • detaching from our material possessions;
  • renouncing our rights as rewards;
  • choosing not to harm another when we have been harmed;
  • practicing nonviolence always;
  • accepting suffering; and
  • submitting to God.

The ethic cannot be imposed. It must be noncoercive. An individual must willing and joyfully live it.

When applied to God, it establishes the kenotic nature of God: the divine willingness of self-limitation in order to allow creation's free will. Free will is the sign and mark of God's kenosis: The Genesis story tells us, in contrast to other ancient mythologies, that God is creating the creation out of love for love. But to love and to be loved requires free will. The lover must be free to choose to love. There must exist free will and moral intelligence. We can see this played out in the dichotomy of free will and determinism [Murphy and Ellis, pp32]. Determinism suggests that our whole person is the sum of our piece parts: our bodies, minds, emotions, and souls (if they exist in this model) are entirely determined by our atoms, constituent chemicals, and the associated mathematical processes. This is bottom-up causation. Any cause can be reduced to the sum of smaller causes -- divide and conquer. On the other hand, if our whole beings are greater than the parts, then a measure of indeterminacy must be permitted to allow the whole to emerge from the parts and influence the interaction of the parts. This is top-down causation and the action above is an intentional action to cause a certain effect below. Chaos theory studying emergent order and quantum indeterminacy supports top-down causation. These new studies lead us to the kenotic nature of God and free will action.

Therefore, Murphy and Ellis suggests that the kenotic nature of God leads us to assume that the universe is being created to permit development of moral, intelligent life so that an uncoerced moral response to the Creator is possible [Murphy and Ellis, p208]. This is confirmed in science by these discovered or theorized characteristics:

  • Lawlike character of the universe: Without order free will is meaningless, since the result of a moral action could not be anticipated.
  • Anthropic universe: The Strong Anthropic Principle, that moral intelligence must exist for the laws of nature, such as Quantum Mechanics, to operate is given.
  • Quantum indeterminacy and emergent order: Undetermined actions must be permitted to allow free will.
  • Provident universe: Since God is noncoercive, the bounty of nature is offered to one and all, good and bad, by the laws of nature.
  • Hidden nature of ultimate reality: God hides, since if God were obvious we would be compelled into moral belief.

All of this structure is consistent with the holoprocess model. Kenosis is at its microlevel. However it suggests that at the core of ethics is not only kenosis, but also interconnection and "otherness"; i.e., plethora. We are not so much called to self-renunciation for the other, as called to self-awareness of our ontological otherness and therefore to renounce our separateness.

Further, the holoprocess model encapsulates Wegter-McNelly's critique of Murphy's and Ellis' kenotic ethics. Murphy and Ellis proposes that the Resurrection is "God's guarantee that the effectiveness of self-renunciation and kenosis will ultimately prevail [Murphy and Ellis, p193]." But in the first order, the Resurrection is very unkenotic: it is an exercise of divine power over nature. Wegter-McNelly suggests, however; that if we return to the notion that Jesus descended into Hell between death and resurrection, then we can come to an understanding that Jesus' death is both liberating and domination-rejecting. Engaging death frees us from its bonds and transforming it into life. In the holoprocess model, body-death is indeed engaged in the implicate order as a natural process. Spiritual death, or soul-death, is transformed to life when we embrace the universe within us and that encompasses us. Soul-death can be transformed at each kenotic instant of perishing and becoming as we encounter the whole of reality.

Therefore, Murphy's and Ellis' core ethic can be modified to renouncing the separate self for the sake of the other self is the highest good, no matter the cost to one's self. This ethic still retains the kenotic nature of Murphy's and Ellis' ethic, but shifts emphasis from sacrifice (though it does not abandon it) to a redemptive, celebrative life. It encapsulates Murphy's and Ellis' ethic in a morality of interconnectedness. This is an ethic of kenosis and plethora. Now additional consequences can be added to the list presented by Murphy and Ellis:

  • seeing the face of God in everyone and everything;
  • finding and accepting the other in one's self;
  • removing barriers among all createds; and
  • embracing all with ourselves.

And cosmologically, this more encompassing ethic is confirmed in:

  • Interconnectedness of nature and mathematics: The experience of Gaia and the interrelationships among mathematical notions are objective signs of our interconnectedness and inclusion of the other.
  • The unreasonable efficacy of mathematics: The wide experience of a mathematical notion proceeding by years, decades, or even centuries before its parallel is found in nature strongly suggests our tapping of the implicate order.

Now Murphy's and Ellis' core ethics of kenosis leads to practical implications [Murphy and Ellis, p141]:

  • legal systems ought to be restorative, not retributive;
  • economic behavior ought to sacrifice for the welfare of the other;
  • government ought to incorporate the marginalized and seek peace with neighbors; and
  • social change ought to be brought about non-violently.

Our extended core ethic adds to these practical concerns:

  • social systems ought to be structured to eliminate barriers among people and groups of people;
  • economic and social systems ought to encompass the whole of the world(s) in their considerations of impacts and benefits; and
  • social systems ought to be designed to be temporary, wherein they can be modified as situations change and as nature's diversity is uncovered.

If our social systems can attain this high ethical calling, then these concerns translate into behavior that should result in mutuality, fulfillment, wholeness, commitment, and delight.

Human Sexuality

In the practice of the core ethic derived from the holoprocess model, the dualistic split of body and spirit is healed. Our culture has borne the divorce of body and soul taught by Greek philosophers influential on the early formative church. The soul or spirit was the bearer of the divine and the body was the bearer of the profane. The spirit was to be cultivated and the body was to be disciplined. Human sexuality was a characteristic and product of the profane, impure body. Virginity was then a mark of bodily or profane discipline and a nurturing of the soul. Sexual activity is a necessary function of procreation (if one must!) and should be confined to the marriage contract. Sex is fundamentally sinful, so this paradigm teaches. This attitude is compounded by patriarchy: the structures that embody the belief that men are more divine than women. Men are more spiritual and divine; women are more body and profane -- and therefore, necessarily inferior. Men are rational, orderly, and powerful; women are irrational, chaotic, and weak. Further, these notions compounded the general antipathy towards homosexual people. If sex was for procreation, then homosexuality was "unnatural". The clarity of who is on top (literally and figuratively) is obscured in such a relationship. Sexuality has become freighted with dominance, abuse, and distortion, resulting in widespread sexual alienation is widespread in our culture.

Consequently, the body is often looked upon as an object to be controlled and used (and abused). The body is weighed and starved. The body is pumped up and sculpted. The body is schizophrenically idolized and despised. It is idolized to become a way to fame. It is despised as an unrulely blockade to fame. And all the while, the psyche stands apart cursing or blessing the result. The soul is alienated from the body and is correspondingly diminished. It withers under the attack upon the body and bleeds out its wholeness. In a culture breaking free of ancient bonds, the sexual rebellion is general. Not only is the sexual act no longer restricted to procreation and marriage, but the sense of commitment and mutuality (if there ever was one), is largely foregone. The evil of patriarchy is being replaced not by a healing of the sexual alienation used and imposed by it, but by a hedonism that also uses and imposes sexual alienation. The cultural counterrevolution attacks the rebellion violently, both verbally and physically, reviving the war on women and homosexuals.

This alienation is contrary to reality and to God's intent. The body and soul is inseparable. If the body is objectified and alienated, then so is the soul alienated and diminished. If the body is abused, so is the psyche. The body is not ontologically fallen; we cause it to fall. In a culture where this is endemic, nearly everyone succumbs to it. Lovers cannot be truly lovers; the unethical society pervades their experience and try as they will, they will still objectify each other and each other's bodies.

Sexuality becomes an affront. If the body is untamed and wild or pure and godlike, then sex is a risk. It is the seduction of an untamed body leading us into impure lives and therefore must be controlled or even eliminated. Or it is the payoff of a godlike body to be craved wherever it can be obtained; one more addiction in an addictive society to take pleasure and control in. It is a weapon of dominance and control: control the body, shame the person. Bodies are to be bought and sold; rented and displayed.

But in the mutuality and commitment expected by the holoprocess model, the body and soul are rejoined into the ontologically whole person. The holomovement is intrinsically both, one seamless whole. The spirit (the implicit self) and the body (the explicit self) are rejoined in the constant enfolding and unfolding from the implicate and explicate orders. The body is not profane. It is the coalescence of the divine into an explicated holomovement. As Jesus was incarnate, we are incarnated: embodied in our holomovements. Sexuality is not a bane; sex per se is not a sin. No longer should sex be an issue of who is in control, or who is male or female, but a project of mutuality, fulfillment, justice, and delight. The body is as much of our gift from God as the soul. Indeed, the parsing of the person into body and soul is fraudulent. We are nephesh, one inseparable person.

Our social and religious structures should no longer be concerned about heterosexual, homosexual, interfaith, or interracial matings, but on their mutual and just arrangements. Just as our ethic requires kenosis and plethora, we would celebrate the diversity of mutual, loving, just relationships, and not be bound ancient, unwarranted barriers and customs. Relationships would be encouraged based on love, mutuality and commitment; not based on male-female, or arbitrary contracts. The joining of souls would be celebrated and the genesis of a loving relationship.

Life and Choice

If the creation is constructed as an evolving seamless web, then each one of us, endowed with free will, must entered into ecological commitment. We are parts woven into a web of actualities and potentialities. Any action or inaction on our part will affect the whole. If I opt for the self-centered life, then my God-given talents are not used to their fullest for the good of the creation. But when I opt for the Great Commandment, then the love I live electrifies the whole web. If I ignore distant suffering, and pray only for the near -- or pray not at all -- then fewer threads are woven in the tapestry and the web weakens. In seeking only my concern, I deny a part of myself, for all of creation is incarnate in me. Distant suffering is my suffering; distant joy is my joy. My will is joined to all other wills. My will is balanced by all other wills incarnated in me, interwoven with all other will-bearers. Indeed, we are but part of the body.

"No [one] is an island, entire of itself, every [one] is a piece of the continent, a part of the main ... any [one's] death diminishes me, because I am involved in [humankind]; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." John Donne
Devotions upon Emergent Occasions
[1624], no. 17

The entire ecological will is encapsulated in the divine lure, nurturing the explicate order and, nudging it towards development and maturity, so that the foetus is ready for its birth and emergence (the Apocalypse) as the Kingdom of God.

Further, the holoprocess model demonstrates that life is a continuum from the beginning of the universe at the Big Bang when God spoke the Word. It is a web of interconnected holomovements: coherent societies of actualities perishing and becoming. Each individual person is a preexistent psyche-soul in the implicate order, that is born initiating the holomovement in the explicate order and eventually dying, terminating the holomovement. The passage of the holomovement is the duration of an individual life as viewed popularly.

We do not know by what mechanism, souls are assigned to newly conceived fetuses

The holomovement is initiated at the moment of conception, embedded in the holomovement that is the mother. A holomovement is delineated by our awareness of it and its continuity. That awareness of the individual begins at conception (we are at least aware of it via scientific knowledge) and continues through birth and onto death.

Now, intrusive abortion is the forceable premature termination of the of the fetal holomovement. Morally, the fetus is killed. The holoprocess model suggests a resolution to the Pro-Life and Pro-Choice wars:

The Pro-Life side proclaims that all of life is sacred to God and life begins at conception. The unborn has human rights just like the rest of us, and just because the unborn is physically dependent on its mother for its life does not diminish these rights. Except in cases of rape and incest, it was the mother's decision to get sexually involve and risk pregnancy. Now that she is pregnant, she has a responsibility to the child and to God.

Further, some women are being coerced into abortions. The boyfriend who does not want the responsibility or the parent who does not want the shame coerces a woman into an abortion. Other young women, victims of our individualistic, do-it-yourself society, do not have the means to take care of a child, and so have an abortion. Having the child can very well jeopardize the woman's (or her other children's) survival.

The Pro-Choice side rebuts: Like Prohibition, where outlawing liquor was a disaster, we cannot legislate abortion away. Outlawing abortion will lead once again to the nightmare of back alley abortions. Further, it is a violation of the woman's right to privacy and right to her body to interfere in her decision as to whether she will carry a fetus to term. Just as the state and society have no right to invade and intrude the bedroom, it has no right to intrude on a woman's body. For far too long men have ruled and controlled women's bodies. Anti-abortion legislation is just one more attempt in a long line of patriarchical actions.

And on the social side, it is this same patriarchical system that has brought about the economic, social, and personal victimization of women. The system would demand a woman carry an unwanted child to term and commit her life to it, without any real demands on the father. All too often this results in bringing a child into the world without any hope of a decent life for the mother or her child.

In the continuum of life and the ecology of wills, God created us not as isolated, alienated individuals, but as interconnected, mutually needful people. Though I have individual rights, such as the right to free speech and the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty, I cannot exercise these rights without considering the effect of my actions on my family, my friends, my co-workers, my community, and my world. No action can be taken in isolation from its context in the here and now. Creation is an interconnected fabric. A tear in one place threatens the whole. Indeed, in many ways, my life is your life. I can only pretend that I am detached from you or somebody else. In reality, no matter the barriers between us, no matter the differences of opinions, class, race, gender, lifestyle, or culture, we are necessarily intertwined.

Therefore, fetal life cannot be held sacred without holding all life sacred. You cannot claim to hold fetal life sacred and then threaten life in bombing a clinic. You cannot hold some life sacred and not other life.

But to arbitrarily and absolutely forbid a woman from aborting for any reason or for any but a narrowly defined set of reasons, is failing to recognize the uniqueness of each situation and to recognize that so much is involved in the motivation behind the very hard and painful considerations in choosing abortion. If I am a minister in a church and a woman came to me contemplating an abortion, could I tell her that she should not have it, that it flies in the face of God's intent, unless there was a willingness on my part and the part of my church and community to care for her and her child for life? How could I convince her to have the child and then throw her out on her own resources? That is flying in the face of God, too! The woman has to have a choice too. She has to be able to choose to have the child and a decent and satisfying life. It is no real choice to have to choose the child or a decent and satisfying life. It is no choice when having a child means a desperate, anxious life and not having a child means having a satisfying, fulfilling career or at least a likelier chance of survival. In this savage environment, our children are no longer gifts, but social burdens, objects of anxiety, fear, and anger.

There once was discussion of a "safety net" to provide survivability for those who cannot make it on their own. It is as if we throw a worn out thread-bare coat to an indigent man on the street -- a charitable alm, a duty, and a hope that he will keep his place. But we are all that indigent man: so long as a single human goes without, we are all diminished; so long as a single woman is driven to abort a child, we are all abortionists. We need to get out of the mind set that duty and responsibility require us to give to the less fortunate as if they were some alien race. The "safety net" needs to be rewoven into a social fabric where each and every one of us is a partaker. Not only the impoverished woman needs day care so she can keep her job, so does a middle class woman trying to keep hers.

We all have to pull together. We are all part of the problem; we are all part of the solution. We must establish ourselves as a community of caring people where no one, not a single human being, is left out; where rich and poor, educated and uneducated, old and young, black and white, gay and straight are united in empowering each other into a fulfilling, nurturing, satisfying life. Only in this type of environment, can children truly be cared for and only then could a woman (and a man) have the resources to care for her children and herself, whether she is impoverished or a fast-track career woman.

So the solution is not to outlaw abortions or to protect the right of a woman to choose. The solution is to redirect our priorities as a society from plugging holes in the "safety net'" to rebuilding our society into a barrier-free community that removes the motivations for abortions. Already there are signs of this emerging in our society. More and more people are supporting the need for nurturing and loving day care, universal health care, flexible working hours, inner city redevelopment and empowerment, and the condemnation of violence against women and children. But before any of this can really happen, our attitudes have to change. We have to move away from our individualistic attitude that everyone should be able to manage on their own. It is simply not possible. We have to be willing to give and receive help. Then we need to provide those services that we need so much. A woman who is pregnant should not have to feel abandoned, threatened, or desperate. She should always be able to count on someone: her family, her neighbors, her faith community, her employer, her community, her country to help her with medical services, career, child care, and most of all with a nurturing and loving environment that views children as gifts from God and rejoices in their births and lives.

The holoprocess model demands this harder way: no slogoneering, no demonstrations, no legislating morality, no quick-fixes. Rather it requires a patient building of community and infrastructure, thread by thread, ripping down one barrier after the next until a social fabric exists where everyone is empowered to help each other, one on one and through responsive legislatures. When this happens, then the differences between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice melt away. "I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live [Deut. 30:19 NRSV]."

The Afterlife

The implicate order is a picture of the Afterlife. It confronts and refutes that only sheol or oblivion occurs after the death of the body. If indeed the holoprocess model describes reality, then the afterlife is an intrinsic part of reality and not a myth or dream world. Death is not terminal. The person is more than chemicals and electricity.

But it is not Heaven or the Kingdom of God. The implicate order, and by inference the Afterlife, is not bifurcated between the sheep and the goats, between the good and the bad. All souls exist in the implicate order until Kingdom come. The Afterlife is a place where we can reunite with dead loved ones (and dead enemies). But our transparent honesty behooves us to rethink our sins and seek redemption in coming explications. The implicate order is revealed through our scientific studies of psychology, deep physics and neurophysics. The revelation objectifies what to now has been only mythologized. Indeed, the evidence of near death experiences and of deep hypnosis [Talbott, p.240] contributes to our understanding of this order of the Afterlife, particularly the transition from an explicated body to an implicated soul. In Western cultures, these experiences are usually described as being in a dark tunnel with a light at the end, and being lead by a beatic personage (usually described as an angel). Beyond the light is a land of light and beauty. So death is not a judgment or a punishment. It is the natural process of life. The grace of God provides us with continuity and chances for redemption.

On the other hand, Heaven is the Kingdom of God come to the Earth. It is when the explicate order is birthed at last and emerges from the birth canal. It is the state of the general resurrection. Our scriptures would suggest at this point that the goats and sheep are separated.

Co-creation vs Consumerism

We live in an excessively acquisitive society. Consuming has become central to the demands upon our resources and significant to our identity. This consumerism, the investing our identity and security in the acquisition of things, has become additive and destructive of individuals and the spiritual life of the social order. When a society turns to wealth, mammon, and things as measures of "goodness" and "value"; when a society judges people on their things, then not only is the individual diminished, but the social order is imperiled and hollowed out. The goal of the society becomes more and more acquisition. A vision of a better life is measured and thereby reduced to a vision of material wealth. Vision of a commonwealth in which all createds are respected and mutually nurtured withers. Only stark duty addresses the downtrodden and the rapacious assault upon resources. Individualism runs rampant; the collective life is dismissed if not discouraged. Civic duty is defined as self-beneficial, not self-sacrificing.

But the holoprocess models raises in stark contrast the devastating effects of this "ethic". If we do not enter into the life of others, if we do not accept that we are a part of the whole, and the whole is a part of us, then the fabric of creation is rended. We co-create with God, but if our creation is aimed towards acquisition, and not the divine lure, then we create at odds with God and we produce abortions and abominations. The implicate order is polluted with broken and fallen archetypes.

Rather, the holoprocess model reinforces the communal self-giving and otherly love preached and practiced by Jesus. It establishes a pseudo-scientific basis for it and describes the effects of its violation. True wealth comes in the form of a rich tapestry of interconnections and incarnations. We are wealthy when the potential whole that we incarnate is rich in diversity, compassion, and creativity. As Dr. Martin Luther King said, the wealthy cannot be what they ought to be unless the impoverished can be what they ought to be.

Summary: Teaching Points

We began with a concern to enhance the spiritual growth of participants in classes. For many folks, the efficacy of science prevails over the efficacy of the Bible and the Spirit. Our goal becomes to leverage the efficacy of science to demonstrate the efficacy, and thereby the value, of the Spirit. A suggested class agenda follows.

  • Start with science: Explain the science behind holography and the theories of Bohm and Pribram. Show available holograms and discuss possible scientific and technological uses of this process.
  • Describe the evidence: Describe the evidence of the implicate order to demonstrate that the creation is ontologically holological. Talbott's book provides a lot of evidence of paranormal phenomena that is explained by the implicate order. This is a bridge to the spiritual.
  • Describe Jung's archetypes: Review Jung's notions of the collective unconscious and the archetypes. Relate this to Plato and how these describe the implicate order.
  • Describe Process Theology: Review the origins of Process in mathematics and its synergy with biological evolution and change we observe in nature and in ourselves. Relate this to spiritual kenosis and resurrection.
  • Suggest the holoprocess model: Show how the holoprocess model is a synthesis that brings consistency and organization to the divergent theories and evidence.
  • Guide into the Spirit: Review the ecological seamless web emerging from the holoprocess model. From this, show the the efficacy of the Spirit in readdressing moral issues.


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  3. Borg, Marcus and Ray Riegert; East meets West; Bible Review, Vol XV, Number 5, October 1999.
  4. Cobb, Jennifer; Cybergrace: The Search For God in the Digital World
  5. Cobb, John B. and David Ray Griffin; Process Theology: an Introductory Exposition; The Westminster Press. Philadelphia ©1976.
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  7. Huntley, H.E.; The Divine Proportion: A Study in Mathematical Beauty; Dover Publications, New York ©1970.
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    See also: A Brief Introduction to C. G. Jung and Analytical Psychology
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  12. Plato; The Republic; translated by Benjamin Jowett; International Collectors Library.
    See also S. M. Cohen's notes: Theory of Forms
  13. Prophet, Elizabeth Claire; The Lost Years of Jesus; Summit University Press; ©1984.
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  16. Singh, Simon; Fermat's Enigma; Doubleday. New York ©1997.
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  18. Talbott, Michael; The Holographic Universe; HarperPerennial; ©1991.
  19. Wegter-McNelly, Kirk; "He Descended into Hell": A Liberation Response to the Use of Kenosis in On the Moral Nature of the Universe; CTNS Bulletin; Volume 18, Number 4; Fall 1998.
  20. Physics Today ; The World Book Encyclopedia of Science