Updated 30 March 2010
MASTER INDEX of articles written,
posted online or recommended by Alex Paterson
When I was about 7 or 8 years old, I had a number of encounters with what the American psychologist, Stanislav Grof, aptly describes as the VOID. These encounters were in the form of a series of lucid dreams over a period of some months. By lucid I mean I that was fully conscious during them and as such the dreams were as 'real' (if not more so) as being physically 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 seemingly infinite (even though I couldn't conceptualise infinite at the time), hence my childhood 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 in that it had no tangible presence even though I was intimately aware of its presence (a paradox). Thus, there was no sound, no sight, no taste, no smell, no feel and no emotion about it, and yet somehow I was fully aware of its presence. Because the VOID seemed to be everywhere yet paradoxically 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 appeared to be devoid of emotion and just seemed to be dispassionately observing me. (The quintessential dispassionate observer so to speak)
NOTE 1: Whatever 'the Void' is or was, I do not believe I was in the conscious presence of God during the experience. As I was to discover a few months later during my Near Death Experience, my experiences involving the conscious presence of God were always accompanied by waves of unconditional love that our Creator has for us. By contrast, the Void as I experienced it seemed to be completely devoid of any emotion.
I had a recurrence of this experience many years later as a young adult.
Having experienced the VOID, I am now able to grasp the scientific concept of 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.
1. See: PARADOXES by Alex Paterson
Copyright Alex Paterson 1999
Alex PATERSON is an Australian citizen by birth. He writes articles and advises on issues pertaining to aviation, politics, sociology, the environment, sustainable farming and forestry, history, computers, natural health therapies, esoteric teachings and spirituality.
He can be contacted at:
Photograph of Alex Paterson
The document, 'The Void' is the copyright of the author, Alex Paterson. All rights reserved by the author. Notwithstanding this, the document may be reproduced and disseminated without the express permission of the author so long as reference to the author is made, no alterations are made to the document and no money is charged for it.
Additional keywords: altered states, belief, beliefs, belief systems, Bohm, consciousness, christianity, christian, church, cosmic game, critique, Darwin, Darwins theory, doctrine, dogma, Einstein, esoteric, God, Gods game, Grof, holotropic, Jesus, near death experience, NDE, newton, newtonian, observer effect, oneness, paradigm, paradox, paradoxes, philosophical materialism, physics, quantum, relativity, reality, reincarnation, religion, religion versus spirituality, Sai Baba, science, scientific procedure, spiritual, spirituality, soul, theology, universe, western science