Integral World: Exploring Theories of Everything
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Joe CorbettJoe Corbett has been living in Shanghai and Beijing since 2001. He has taught at American and Chinese universities using the AQAL model as an analytical tool in Western Literature, Sociology and Anthropology, Environmental Science, and Communications. He has a BA in Philosophy and Religion as well as an MA in Interdisciplinary Social Science, and did his PhD work on modern and postmodern discourses of self-development, all at public universities in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at [email protected].


The Physics of the Hindu and Christian Holy Trinity

Joe Corbett

There are some deep resonances between how ancient spiritual seers intuited the nature of reality and what modern science has empirically discovered about reality. Could this be confirmation that all the reality we really need to know is already within ourselves, just as each piece of the hologram already contains within it the entire hologram, although with developments in the hologram over time? Is the entire dynamic structure of the universe to be found within ourselves?

In the Hindu tradition there are three deities that serve as the framework for viewing the dynamic structure of the universe. These are Brahma, or the great expanse of space that is the creative source and Being of the universe; Vishnu, or the Consciousness that sustains the Being of the universe; and Shiva, or Shiva-Shakti which creates and destroys the various beings and consciousness of the universe in rhythmic pulsations of Bliss. This of course is also the trinity of Sat-Chit-Ananda, or Being-Consciousness-Bliss which are the attributes of Brahman, or the Being of the universe as a whole in its Totality.

Similarly, in Christianity the Father is the great Being of the universe, or more specifically, He is the Word or Logos out of which the matrix of meaning (the language or book of life) emerges, which is the ground of existence. The Son is the incarnate Flesh of creation who is also associated with great suffering and sacrifice in the crucifixion in order to redeem the world so that it can be maintained and regenerated through Consciousness of suffering and sacrifice, which is what heals the wound (original sin). Thirdly, the Holy Spirit is Bliss, or the presence of movement between God-Being and Creaturely-Flesh within and between us, which creates the union between all things and binds them into the collective World Soul (Church). Thus, with some interpretive latitude, if the Hindu trinity is Brahma-Being, Vishnu-Consciousness, and Shiva-Shakti-Bliss, the Christian trinity is the Father-Being, the Son-Consciousness, and the Spirit-Bliss.

This trinity is also at the core of the Hegelian dialectic, where the thesis or ground of existence is the Father-Being (which Hegel calls Spirit), and the synthesis or progression of the ground is the Son-Consciousness, which is a completion of the antithesis. The antithesis itself is Spirit-Bliss, or the presence of movement between the fixed thesis and the potential synthesis, between the past (field-form) and the future (field-potential), which sustains the dialectical progression from old thesis-Father-Being to new synthesis-Son-Consciousness. Of course, one could interpret these categories differently, but however one interprets the trinity and its theo-metaphysical relation to the Hegelian dialectic, a threefold dynamic structure remains that is consistent with the dynamic structure of the universe given to us by the physics of David Bohm and quantum mechanics more generally.

In Bohm, the Implicate Order is the Being or ground matrix of the meaningful patterns of information in the physical universe. It is the Logos underlying creation. The physical universe is the Explicate Order, which is the manifest or infinitesimal Conscious part of the underlying patterns of information that gave birth to it, as the Father begat the Son, similar to how our own consciousness is sustained by the much vaster hidden order of our unconscious. The Holomovement is the pulsating oscillation between the unconscious-implicate and conscious-explicate orders, the sexual intercourse of Shiva-Shakti, the Eros and Bliss of the Kosmos, that constantly enfolds and unfolds information from one to the other order from moment to moment, similar to how our consciousness feeds information to our unconscious and our unconscious in turn processes and then spits that information back out to our consciousness, sometimes only after much processing time and in forms that we can hardly recognize as being part of the information that went in. At other times, in more simple inputs, we get nearly immediate outputs that are completely recognizable as coming from the bits of information that entered our conscious awareness.

My own idea of how to reconcile the ideas of Bohm, quantum theory, and modern cosmology with the ancient metaphysics of the trinity involves changing the terminology and the moving parts of the system (the overall structure of the universe), as well as adding an additional element to the trinity to turn it into a Quaternity. In my model of the universe, the Dark Energy or virtual particles of the subquantum vacuum is the holomovement, the antithesis or Spirit (the pulsations of Shiva-Shakti and Bliss) that moves between thesis and synthesis, past forms and future forms, mediating the progression of Father to Son, Being to Consciousness, and implicate order to explicate order.

As the Dark Energy interacts with regular matter, as virtual particles mediate all regular matter interactions, it leaves a trace of that interaction as a memory field in space-time at the planck scale, which I hypothesize to be the Dark Matter, the ground memory of the universe, which is also Bohm's implicate order.[1] This space-time memory field is the Thesis, which then becomes the Synthesis, Bohm's explicate order, of the next moment in time through the Antithesis, the holomovement, or the movement of the dark energy virtual particles fluctuating and pulsating in and out of existence.

Thus the synthesis is the manifest universe of ordinary matter. However it accomplishes its wholeness not simply by being the next thesis in time, but rather by integrating the past form of itself with its future possible form, from moment to moment, through the movements of the dark energy virtual particles. In this way, the synthesis of ordinary matter is actually a present manifestation of a past-future synthesis, a synthesis of space-time memory and the quantum potential of the wave function that all particles and forms of ordinary matter possess. Hence in my model of the universe, Dark Energy is the holomovement, Spirit, and the Bliss of Shiva-Shakti, the primordial antithesis. Dark Matter, or the space-time memory field, is the implicate order, the Father, the Being of Brahma, and the thesis to be transformed by movement into the next moment. The quantum potentials of matter defined by the wave function are the future possible forms of matter that act as the attractors for past forms, which is the Son, the Consciousness of the future synthesis.

The fourth term in this model is the present synthesis, or the explicate order of ordinary matter, which is a synthesis of the past and the future forms of itself, of the Father and the Son (Being and Consciousness) through the Spirit (Shiva-Shakti, or Bliss, Eros). In other terms, ordinary matter is the present synthesis of the implicate order of the space-time memory field and the quantum potentials of the wave function (also the Father and Son) through the holomovement of the dark energy (also Spirit). This fourth term that I call the present synthesis of ordinary matter, in Hinduism is called Prakriti (nature), and in Christianity she is the Mother Mary.

TRUTH explicate order
BEAUTY quantum potentials
GOODNESS implicate order
JUSTICE holomovement

Carl Jung also believed that the manifestation and progress of the psyche comes about through a process of oppositions in conflict that yield a third, an integrated manifestation of the conflict toward greater wholeness and individuation. This involves an opposition between the conscious and the unconscious aspects of a particular person or society where the repressed parts of the individual or collective psyche are explored and allowed expression so they can become part of the full being of the person or society, not as a cut-off and distorted aspect of itself but as a healthy and fully functioning part of the whole being of that person or society. In most cultures, and particularly in the West, Jung said the feminine aspect of our full being has been repressed and cut-off, and what is needed in most cases for individual development, and especially for collective development and even for the very survival of our species, is an exploration of the anima, the feminine side of our psyche.

Missing from the Hindu and Christian trinity is a feminine side of divinity, one that is placed on equal footing alongside the ancient big three of Truth, Beauty, and the Good. To expand the trinity and integrate our full being into an understanding of the dynamic structure of the universe, I propose the Quaternity of Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and Justice, where Mary and Prakriti are the Truth of Nature and our body (the present synthesis of matter), the Son and Vishnu (also Krishna) are the Beauty of the creative potentials of our Mind (the future synthesis of matter), the Father and Brahma are the Goodness of our Soul Being (the space-time memory field of theses), and the Spirit of Shiva-Shakti are the Justice of our Cosmo-Erotic Bliss (the pulsating antithesis of the dark energy holomovement).

TRUTH/Nature/Body Mary/Prakriti
BEAUTY/Mind Son/Vishnu
GOODNESS/Soul Father/Brahma
JUSTICE/Spirit Spirit/Shiva

With this dense jigsaw puzzle of how to change the physics of the Hindu and Christian trinity into a Quaternity, we might just be able to integrate the double repression of spirituality and the feminine into the physics of the Kosmos, and in the process, according to Jung, become more whole as a people and a society, if not also save ourselves from extinction.


[1] Bohm did not think that dark matter was his implicate order, it wasn't even discovered in his lifetime. Nor does it matter if my hypothesis about the dark matter as the implicate order, or the space-time memory field, turns out to be false. It most probably is false. The essential point is that in this model the dark matter is a hypothesis that stands-in for the implicate space-time memory field, which will remain part of the model I present here regardless of how the dark matter hypothesis pans-out.

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