Sunday, October 25, 2009

PEARs, SQUIDs, and Consciousness – Part 2

In the first installment of this series we delved into one of the real Noetic Science experiments mentioned in The Lost Symbol involving mind-over-matter research using Random Event Generators and how that research evolved into the Global Consciousness Project.

In this installment, we’re going to have a look at the mysterious “Cube” Dan Brown created as the heart of Katherine’s lab.

A real “Cube” does exist. In fact, there are several around the world. They are specially shielded rooms that contain a device called a S.Q.U.I.D., which stands for Super-conducting Quantum Interface Device and is used for such diverse investigations from helping localize pathology in the brain to the measurement of energy being emitted from the hands of healers and Qigong masters.

A S.Q.U.I.D. is so sensitive that the room in which it is used must be heavily shielded from any stray electromagnetic (EM) energy. Basically, this means that no light can enter the room from the outside world. That is precisely why Brown’s character, Katherine, had to traverse a completely dark expanse between her lab and the door that lead to the outside world.

EM radiation comes in many forms including sunlight, lamp light, and any type of broadcast signal such as TV, radio, and cell phones. EM radiation is also present around electrical wires generating AC, which is why Katherine’s lab was powered by hydrogen fuel cells that delivered DC, or Direct Current.

Devices as sensitive as a S.Q.U.I.D. can measure very subtle energies that are giving researchers a way to quantify their existence and their ability to affect matter by conducting experiments that apply the rigors of scientific investigation. However, the data gathered from these experiments has also encouraged many pseudo-science practitioners to claim that we are finally able to measure consciousness, thought, and even finally prove the existence of the subtle energy bodies that surround and permeate the physical body.

Such an arranged marriage of physics and metaphysics is not new. When the EKG was developed to measure the electrical activity surrounding the heart and then refined into an EEG to measure the electrical activity around the brain, similar claims of measuring thought also occurred. In fact, some people, including a few scientists, claimed that these signals proved the existence of telepathy. History is simply repeating itself with the S.Q.U.I.D. And, history clearly shows that every advancement in technology also carries an advancement of the attempt to blend science with mysticism, esoteric knowledge, or intuitive wisdom. (Read more on the evolution of thought on light from both science and intuitives in the article Coming to Terms with Light.)

David Bohm, one of the founding fathers of quantum physics, clearly described why we will never be able to measure the subtle energies that reside in the invisible realm he called “the implicate order” that lies outside the manifested, or visible realm he called “the explicate order.” He also clearly described how these subtle energies guide matter and become the resulting data of the experiments we conduct in our search to measure consciousness. (For a little more background on Bohm’s ideas, read the article Dancing to the Same Score - The Particle/Wave Duality of Light.)

The fact that there is a threshold between the invisible and the visible realms has never deterred scientists and engineers from imagining ways to measure what was previously unknown. For instance, radio waves, which are a frequency of light, were always present in our atmosphere. At some point, several folks became convinced of this fact and began a life-long journey of building devices to not only measure them, but to also develop uses for them from a broadcast signal of communication to a way of studying the stars.

At some point, when we get beyond the novelty factor of it, a S.Q.U.I.D. may become as much a standard diagnostic tool as an EKG is today. However, I’m not so sure that any of us will get used to taking that long walk in the dark to get to it.

The Sage Age - Blending Science with Intuitive Wisdom, was featured in Publishers Weekly shortly after its debut. Visit for more information and to read articles on many of the topics covered in the book.