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The Nature of Reality

The Void

Alex PatersonAlex Paterson's personal experience of the Void whilst in a holotropic state; a primordial emptiness of cosmic proportions and relevance.

'A primordial emptiness of cosmic proportions and relevance' - Stanislav Grof

I had number of encounters with what the American psychologist, Stanislav Grof, aptly describes as the VOID when I was about 6 or 7 years old. These encounters were in the form of a series of lucid dreams over a period some months. By lucid I mean I was fully awake during them and as such the dreams were as real as being awake in this reality, as opposed to the vagueness normally associated with dreams.

The experience was terrifying to me as a child because the VOID had no actual form and as such was empty, yet paradoxically 1 was so big as to be infinite (even though I couldn't conceptualise infinite at the time), hence my perception that it was HUGE. But perhaps more disturbing to me as a child was that IT could not be defined in any terms of this reality, even to the extent that it had no actual presence even though I was intimately aware off it. (a paradox) Thus there was no sound, no sight, no taste, no smell, no feel and no emotion about it, yet somehow I was fully aware of it.

I had a sense it was pure AWARENESS devoid of EXPERIENCE and as such, just IS.

Because the VOID had no form or substance or presence and was everywhere yet nowhere, there was nowhere for me as a child to hide from it, which was why I was so terrified of it. I might add IT never did anything to harm me; it just was. I had a reoccurrence of this experience many years later as a young adult.

This experience provided me with an insight into the esoteric concept that GOD just IS, and as such IS everything comprising the universe (including humans), as well as the un-manifested infinite. (which I now know as the VOID) Being the un-manifested infinite, the VOID is simply beyond the limitations of time and space associated with the physical universe, which is why it cannot be adequately described in the terms of this reality.

Having experienced the VOID, I am now able to grasp the scientific concept of infinite and the notion postulated by quantum physicist, Dr David Bohm, of an "implicate enfolded order which exists in an un-manifested state and which is the foundation upon which all manifest reality rests." 2

To quote Stanislav Grof on page 30 of his book, 'The Cosmic Game':

"When we encounter the Void, we feel that it is primordial emptiness of cosmic proportions and relevance. We become pure consciousness aware of this absolute nothingness; however at the same time we have a paradoxical sense of its essential fullness. This cosmic vacuum is also a plenum (full assembly) since nothing seems to be missing in it. While it does not contain anything in a concrete manifest form, it seems to comprise all of existence in a potential form. In this paradoxical way we can transcend the usual dichotomy (division into two) between emptiness and form, or existence and non-existence. However, the possibility of such a resolution cannot be adequately conveyed in words; it has to be experienced to be understood." 3

Grof's description expresses my sentiments exactly; there are simply no words to describe the experience because it transcends this reality. As Grof says on page 27 of his book:

"People who have had the experience know they have encountered 'God'. However for most of them the term God does not adequately capture the depth of their experience, since it has been distorted, trivialised and discredited by mainstream religions and culture. Even the names like Absolute Consciousness and Universal Mind seem to be hopelessly inadequate to convey the immensity and shattering impact of such an encounter. Some people consider silence to be the most appropriate reaction to the experience of the Absolute, because it is obvious to them that those who know do not speak and those who speak do not know...." 4

Well, be that as it may, I choose to speak.


1. See: Paradoxes by Alex Paterson
2. Source: 'The Implicate Order' by Dr David Bohm.
3. Source: 'The Cosmic Game' by Stanislav Grof p30
4. Source: 'The Cosmic Game' by Stanislav Grof p27



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Keywords: nature of reality, belief systems, consciousness, quantum physics, spirituality and quantum physics, spiritual, spirituality

The Nature Of Consciousness
God & Consciousness (we are one)
Belief versus Knowing
Belief Systems
Esoteric Theory
The Void
Holotropic states
God's Game
The World is Inseparable from Consciousness
Search for Reality
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The Nature of Reality
Alex Paterson is a former airline pilot, now living in Tasmania, Australia.

He writes articles and advises on issues pertaining to aviation, politics, sociology, the environment, sustainable farming, history, computers, natural health therapies, esoteric teachings and spirituality.
Stanislav Grof, M. D., Ph. D. (Transpersonal Conversations)
Stanislav Grof, M. D., Ph. D. (Transpersonal Conversations)

Stanislav Grof was one of the original founders of consciousness research and the field of transpersonal psychology.

Dr. Grof covers, in detail, a myriad of tough subjects, including: Near-death experiences, non-ordinary states of consciousness, shamanism, the public's view of parapsychology, and much more.
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