Sacred Sites as Portals of Time and Triggers of Transformations of Consciousness
By Mark A. Schroll, Ph.D.


The year 1905 ushered in the modern era of physical theory about spacetime and energy, but most importantly—and most mysteriously—it raised to a new level of importance the concept of a field, and the even more elusive—neither here nor there—quantum.  The quantum is a concept whose ultimate implications even Einstein could not accept, yet it was he who ushered in this revolutionary way of seeing and understanding.  Perception, or the absence of perception, is one of our primary difficulties in understanding field theories and the quantum, because there is no central metaphor to provide us with a way to conceptualize modern physical theories' abstract mathematical representation.  Or is there?  As we continue to remind ourselves while reading the articles in this issue of Rhine Online, humankind has known about this way of seeing and understanding—this quantum consciousness—for no less than 30,000 years.  Indeed, the most appropriate name for psi research and the portals examined by the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) is one the Australian Aborigines referred to as “the dreamtime” (Kalweit, 1984).

It is also important to point out that my use of the word spacetime is not a misprint, as some of you might assume.  It is instead an essential paradigmatic contribution to how I am wanting us to re-examine our views of space, time, and consciousness in this article.  Einstein's brilliance expressed in E=MC is clarified by William J. Kaufmann, telling us, “the central idea behind general relativity is that matter tells spacetime how to curve, and curved spacetime tells matter how to behave” (Kaufmann: 70, 1979); yet it is Kaufmann's more complete summary of spacetime that assists us in making the connection between general relativity and sacred sites as portals of time:

[A]s we gaze up at the heavens, we are looking out into space and back in time.  By thinking about what it means to look at the stars, you are naturally led to conclude that time is a dimension to be included with the usual three dimensions of space.  Indeed, if you are truly aware of what you are doing as you look up at the sky, you find that it is impossible to uniquely separate the passage of time and the dimensions of space.  This four-dimensional assemblage is called spacetime (Kaufmann:72, 1979).

Likewise if consciousness is a nonlocal information field (Feinstein, 1998; Schroll, 1987, 2010c), this article's far-reaching thesis is -- brain-state alternations at sacred sites allow us to re-experience memories that are woven into the morphogenetic fields of that place.

This article begins by commenting on Montague Ullman's inquiry (which he spoke about at Bridgewater State College) that he referred to as “The Dream: In Search of a New Abode” (Ullman, 2006a).  Second this article will briefly examine the theory of psi fields and sacred places represented in the work of Paul Devereux and Rupert Sheldrake.  Third this article will put forth an inquiry into understanding sacred sites as “portals of time.”

Ullman's Search for a New Abode: David Bohm's Philosophical Legacy

In response to Ullman (2006a, 2006b), I initially followed up on this search in two essays during the 5th Psiber Dreaming Conference in September 2006 (Schroll, 2006a, 2006b).  Let us begin by familiarizing ourselves with this new abode, balancing its theoretical exploration with an experimental means of testing the features of its landscape—relating psi fields and sacred places with the work of Sheldrake and Bohm.  Ullman’s new abode provides us with the big theoretical picture—a new way of understanding what Jung was getting at with his collective unconscious and archetypes—the transpersonal.  What I see as really of importance is to try and find ways of giving ourselves new metaphors, new stories, new conceptual maps to help us visualize the invisible landscape of the implicate order—this is Ullman’s New Abode.

Said in another way, Bohm’s implicate order is analogous with the dreamtime, indeed everything is the dreamtime.  All reality is contained within the implicate order, that we grasp and make sense of with the help of the archetypal patterns or cognitive signatures that Sheldrake calls morphogenetic fields.  We remember these archetypal patterns, cognitive signatures, or morphogenetic fields, through morphic resonance or ritualized activities that help us make conscious the dreamtime; a point that I will say more about in a moment.
continues on page 12

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Volume 3, Issue 1, 2011