This anonymous scientist was trained in Physics, with a PhD degree from MIT and postdoctoral work at NASA. He has been a professor of physics, doing research in quantum physics, cosmology, and consciousness, as well as climate change, at major Universities within the United States and is a high level administrator in his current University. He has received extensive grant funding from NASA and other federal agencies and labs and has published over 300 articles and many books on these topics. He is the recipient of many national and international awards, as well as foreign membership in international academies of science in his areas of research.
Experiencing Beyond the Mind
When I was young, I was an assistant to the priest in our local church, near our summer house. I would prepare the frankincense; accompany the priest when he carried the gospel or the chalice around the church, where I would be carrying the large candle; prepare anything needed for the Eucharist, etc. These were magical moments and I was looking forward to every Sunday or each and every holiday and the church service that would accompany it. I would seat near the altar, hidden from view of the people outside, as the sanctuary was invisible from the outside, and close my eyes, absorbing the sounds and the smell of the frankincense. I would observe everything in the sanctuary and I tried to understand the meaning of everything there. But there was one particular image that I did not understand: A triangle with an eye at its center, above the altar. It was strange and its meaning obscure. I did not ask anybody as I thought that its meaning must be known to everyone. As I realized later, that was not the case. This was one more little known part of religious symbolism.
That was back then, when I was very young. By the time I reached the age of fourteen and older, I started being interested in the external world, my friends, what my classmates would think and do, how to get to be top student, and, eventually, to think of attending the university. I did not have much use for the mysteries of the Church, for frankincense, and the image of the triangle faded into oblivion from my adolescent mind. I decided to become a physicist, talked to my father who encouraged me to do what I really liked, and attended top universities in the States. I became a physicist and an accomplished scientist.
The last thing I would be looking was some sort of spirituality. I had tried meditation a couple of times but this did not go very far. Years later, circumstances were such that I received initiation into yoga, the word meaning spiritual initiation into practicing meditation. I was not looking for spiritual awakening or whatever one might have called the experiences that followed. However, in life, things often turn to the unexpected. My science became stronger and I had a newly found understanding that science is not contrary to what I was experiencing. Very soon after attending several meditation sessions, where I would be drawn into deep silence, I found myself meditating at home. All of a sudden, like a thick, cloudy curtain was torn apart, I saw a large, bright triangle: Faces of men, some bearded, some wearing hats, all in silence, were coming out of the center of the triangle, would disappear and new ones would follow. This went on for a while. I had the sure sense, a deep sense of knowledge, that these people were ancient teachers whom I had met before. When and where I did not know. I did not know any of their names, yet they were very familiar.
Although this was a very private experience, I now know of its cosmic significance. In the inner realms, one often encounters triangles associated with the spiritual centers, the chakras. These are beyond space and time, mandalas that are described in detail in various Eastern traditions and sometimes in mystical Western religions. They are not associated with any specific external object and transcend the familiar space and time that we scientists love and think all the time, along with energy and matter, they are all there is to know. They also go beyond culture or sociological background. The Christian symbol in the church when I was very young was also very much in the more Eastern school of meditation that I was initiated into. As Plato would say, the triangle was the pure idea of geometry, in a transcendent realm. And for a physicist who loves mathematics, it is a fundamental geometrical figure. Somehow the experience of mathematics, blended with deep experience in meditation and some sort of sure understanding that I was experiencing the vision of ancient teachers. My mind understands intellectually many of the things I am describing here, yet, the experience was beyond ordinary mind. And it will remain forever in my consciousness.
This and other equally profound experiences which followed, had a major impact not just in my understanding of what many call mystical life but equally in my scientific life. Rather than pushing my rational mind away, these experiences somehow made a lot of sense. My scientific career, which was on the upswing before the series of events, really took off. Insights from physics, from mathematics, new theoretical approaches to quantum mechanics and astrophysics, as well as working in new fields, somehow blossomed. I don’t believe all this was coincidence. Far from it, the synchronicity pointed to something much more cosmic than my limited understanding were at work. And it was not just because of the full force of mathematics and geometry were at work as the triangle was implying.