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The Holographic Universe: The Revolutionary Theory of Reality

The Holographic Universe: The Revolutionary Theory of Reality

4.5 26
by Michael Talbot

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"Awake-up call to wonder, an adventure in ideas." —Larry Dossey,M.D., author of Space, Time & Medicine

Now witha new foreword by Lynn McTaggart, author of TheField, Michael Talbot’s classic treatise on the latest frontiers of physicsreveals a revolutionary theory of reality, explaining the paranormal abilitiesof the mind, the


"Awake-up call to wonder, an adventure in ideas." —Larry Dossey,M.D., author of Space, Time & Medicine

Now witha new foreword by Lynn McTaggart, author of TheField, Michael Talbot’s classic treatise on the latest frontiers of physicsreveals a revolutionary theory of reality, explaining the paranormal abilitiesof the mind, the unsolved riddles of brain and body, and the true nature of theuniverse. Lyall Watson, author of Supernature,calls The Holographic Universe “elegant,” writing, “[Talbot] helps tobridge the artificial gap that has opened up between mind and matter, betweenus and the rest of the cosmos.”

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Author Talbot writes that ``. . . there is evidence to suggest that our world and everything in it. . . are also only ghostly images, projections from a level of reality so beyond our own it is literally beyond both space and time.'' Hence, the title of his book. Beginning with the work of physicist David Bohm and neurophysiologist Karl Pribram, both of whom independently arrived at holographic theories or models of the universe, Talbot explains in clear terms the theory and physics of holography and its application, both in science and in explanation of the paranormal and psychic. His theory of reality accommodates this latest thinking in physics as well as many unresolved mind-body questions. This well-written and fascinating study is recommended for science collections.-- Hilary D. Burton, Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Livermore, Cal.
Talbot explains the theory advanced by U. of London physicist David Bohm and Stanford U. neurophysiologist Karl Pribram that despite its apparent tangible reality, the universe is actually a kind of three- dimensional projection and is ultimately no more real than a hologram, a three-dimensional image projected into space. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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HarperCollins Publishers
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5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.82(d)

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Chapter One

The Brain as Hologram

It isn't that the world of appearances is wrong; it isn't that there aren't objects out there, at one level of reality. It's that if you penetrate through and look at the universe with a holographic system, you arrive at a different view, a different reality. And that other reality can explain things that have hitherto remained inexplicable scientifically: paranormal phenomena, synchronicities, the apparently meaningful coincidence of events.

--Karl Pribram
in an interview in Psychology Today

The puzzle that first started Pribram on the road to formulating his holographic model was the question of how and where memories are stored in the brain. In the early 1940s, when he first became interested in this mystery, it was generally believed that memories were localized in the brain. Each memory a person had, such as the memory of the last time you saw your grandmother, or the memory of the fragrance of a gardenia you sniffed when you were sixteen, was believed to have a specific location somewhere in the brain cells. Such memory traces were called engrams, and although no one knew what an engram was made of -- whether it was a neuron or perhaps even a special kind of molecule -- most scientists were confident it was only a matter of time before one would be found.

There were reasons for this confidence. Research conducted by Canadian neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield in the 1920s had offered convincing evidence that specific memories did have specific locations in the brain. One of the most unusual features of the brain is that the object itself doesn'tsense pain directly. As long as the scalp and skull have been deadened with a local anesthetic, surgery can be performed on the brain of a fully conscious person without causing any pain.

In a series of landmark experiments, Penfield used this fact to his advantage. While operating on the brains of epileptics, he would electrically stimulate various areas of their brain cells. To his amazement he found that when he stimulated the temporal lobes (the region of the brain behind the temples) of one of his fully conscious patients, they reexperienced memories of past episodes from their lives in vivid detail. One man suddenly relived a conversation he had had with friends in South Africa; a boy heard his mother talking on the telephone and after several touches from Penfield's electrode was able to repeat her entire conversation; a woman found herself in her kitchen and could hear her son playing outside. Even when Penfield tried to mislead his patients by telling them he was stimulating a different area when he was not, he found that when he touched the same spot it always evoked the same memory.

In his book The Mystery of the Mind, published in 1975, just shortly before his death, he wrote, "It was evident at once that these were not dreams. They were electrical activations of the sequential record of consciousness, a record that had been laid down during the patient's earlier experience. The patient 're-lived' all that he had been aware of in that earlier period of time as in a moving-picture 'flashback.'"

From his research Penfield concluded that everything we have ever experienced is recorded in our brain, from every stranger's face we have glanced at in a crowd to every spider web we gazed at as a child. He reasoned that this was why memories of so many insignificant events kept cropping up in his sampling. If our memory is a complete record of even the most mundane of our day-to-day experiences, it is reasonable to assume that dipping randomly into such a massive chronicle would produce a good deal of trifling information.

As a young neurosurgery resident, Pribram had no reason to doubt Penfield's engram theory. But then something happened that was to change his thinking forever. In 1946 he went to work with the great neuropsychologist Karl Lashley at the Yerkes Laboratory of Primate Biology, then in Orange Park, Florida. For over thirty years Lashley had been involved in his own ongoing search for the elusive mechanisms responsible for memory, and there Pribram was able to witness the fruits of Lashley's labors firsthand. What was startling was that not only had Lashley failed to produce any evidence of the engram, but his research actually seemed to pull the rug out from under all of Penfield's findings.

What Lashley had done was to train rats to perform a variety of tasks, such as run a maze. Then he surgically removed various portions of their brains and retested them. His aim was literally to cut out the area of the rats' brains containing the memory of their mazerunning ability. To his surprise he found that no matter what portion of their brains he cut out, he could not eradicate their memories. Often the rats' motor skills were impaired and they stumbled clumsily through the mazes, but even with massive portions of their brains removed, their memories remained stubbornly intact.

For Pribram these were incredible findings. If memories possessed specific locations in the brain in the same way that books possess specific locations on library shelves, why didn't Lashley's surgical plunderings have any effect on them? For Pribram the only answer seemed to be that memories were not localized at specific brain sites, but were somehow spread out or distributed throughout the brain as a whole. The problem was that he knew of no mechanism or process that could account for such a state of affairs.

Lashley was even less certain and later wrote, "I sometimes feel, in reviewing the evidence on the localization of the memory trace, that the necessary conclusion is that learning just is not possible at all. Nevertheless, in spite of such evidence against it, learning does sometimes occur." In 1948 Pribram was offered a position at Yale, and before leaving he helped write up thirty years of Lashley's monumental research.

Holographic Universe. Copyright © by Michael Talbot. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Lyall Watson
Elegant...helps to bridge the artificial gap that has opened up between mind and matter, between us and the rest of the cosmos.

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Holographic Universe 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read The Holographic Universe from front to back 4 times and spot-read several times throughout the years. Each time awakens a new sense of wonder and excitement about what is going on 'around' us (though as you will read, the world 'out there' is really an illusion). It reads as easily as fiction and is as informative as any non-fiction I've seen. Talbot is an expert at relating real-life experience to the physics and concrete research on which is book is based. It follows the studies of Bohm and Pribram, both formulators of the Holographic 'theory', though they arrived at the same conclusion through very different means (lending even more credibility to the idea). I cannot praise this book enough. Pick it up and discover the interconnectedness of all things!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The books starts out interestingly enough with 30 pages of about how holographs work and are formed. The rest of the book is just an overview of just about every type of what could be considered paranormal or new age phenomena, and how a holographic universe would make all these things possible. Not much science, and definitely not a critical or in depth review of paranormal experiences, which while some I beleive are valid, there is no objectivity at all in this book. I really want to like this book, but it just lacks depth.
Guest More than 1 year ago
everyone whos interested in anything that tempts the mind to think, or steps outside the normal western pholosophy needs to check this book out. it is a must for anyone, and everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
michael talbot's research for this book had to have taken the kind of passion i only dream of. his words are concise, but always offer the possibility what he researched could be untrue. after completing this book over 5 times, i find myself viewing life in a new light (even if it's the kind of light i find difficult believing).
Guest More than 1 year ago
coming from a family that openly discussed seeing ghosts, i have always been open to new and unusual ideas about the world around me. in sixth grade i had my first and unfortunately only so called "deja-vu" experience in which i was saying what the teacher was lecturing an entire word or more ahead of her. i know of three OBE's(wish i could figure out how to do that agian) and heard a ghost or something that after reading this book can only be descibed as a 3D voice. dolby surround and THX could not touch this. this book explained how all these things and more is possible, do to the Whole of the universe being contained in every part. the inter-connectedness of things. if anything like this has ever happened to you or you ever wondered about them, this is with out a doubt a book that you must read. my view of the world has been solidified or in light of this view of things...NOT.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a terrific book that opens your mind and gets you thinking out of the box
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Woody68 More than 1 year ago
Puts the life of humans into perspective. Without our 5 sense only bodies we are infinite, we are all one. This book explains this concept to the reader, in very easy to understand terms.
Anthony-Wedgeworth More than 1 year ago
For the record, I loved this book and it complements my own theories of how things really work in this universe of ours. This book presented a concept that explains many unresolved mysteries of science. Even when it begins to get technical and ventures into some quantum physics, I found myself still nodding my head in agreement with the theories. That said, some of the assumptions where a little much for me, but at the same time I had no way to disprove them. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to expand their view of how the world around us really works. I personally enjoyed it and utilize these concepts when writing my fantasy adventure novels as well as in understanding the real world around me. Put your nerd hat on and read this book! You'll love it.
dokmeg More than 1 year ago
I'm re-reading this for the second time. First time around was about 15 years ago. I'm older, and am more into research then I was back then. I still can't grasp the scientific stuff, but the rest is as logical as any other unprovable theory. I believe he died at age 39, not long after the book was published. Even on-line, I am not having any luck finding out how. Please let me know if you do. Thanks
Burnout More than 1 year ago
I loved it, probably my favorite book, it does have outdated information but minimal, the research this book touches bases with is extensive.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
My favorite Talbot book! I was so sad to hear he'd passed, and I miss him greatly. Granted, for someone of a sceptical bent, several parts of this book read like a hodgepodge of fantasy mixed with a layman's physics science (my favorite was the noodles falling out of mid-air into his lap), but it still contains a great deal of engaging ideas even for those who don't necessarily believe everything they read, but enjoy being entertained by an author's style. Open-minded only need apply.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Amalgam of events with little or no critical view. E.g.: a few paragraphs about the 'holy' man Sai Baba supposed miracles. These have been debunked since as hoaxes and magician tricks. The 'promotion' of this guru feels 'funny' in light of the many sexual mollestation charges and suspicious deaths around that guy. Ideas are interesting but that's about it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book really got my interest in the brain going. I have been searching awhile for something real, and after reading this and putting this together with many other things going on... it really makes sense. The biggest thing I liked about this book was that it went to PROVE everything it said, either through experiences or data obtained through research.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am 23, and for the past 4 years, I have been looking for something bigger and deeper than what I have been taught so far in my short existence. This book was recommended by my idol, (bass player from 311, 'P-NUT'). It is definately the most intriguing, factual, and knowledgeable book I've ever read. After reading this book, I'm now on a hunt for knowledge. Hopefully I won't let this materialistic, choaotic existence (at the moment) get in my way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has got to be one of the best books I have ever read. The material represented in such a way that it makes it easier to understand. The theory is profound but it could be possible. The stories and true accounts of phenomenon are amazing and will amaze any reader. The quotes throughout the book are awesome and keep you thinking the whole time. It is a great book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is probably the best book Michael Talbot has ever written, well.. at least in my opinion. Talbot's clarity in his description of extremely complicated and sensitive topics such as the one presented in this book is nothing short of remarkable. Although I personally have doubts about the holographic universe at the non-quantum level, I recommend this book to the curious-minded. However I should note that the user exercises a great amount of leniency in applying the quantum-findings to subjects like NDE and OBE, and fails to mention the scores of opposing views in the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book inspired me to have a greater intrest in quantum physics. And it is explained in a way that is very easy to comprehend with the average thinking mind. It has inspired me to grow an intrest in whats beyond the quantum.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read The Holographic Universe often, and have gained new insights into the nature of consciousness and reality from its riches every time. I consider it to be author Michael Talbot's most important work, as well as one of the best books ever written on the subject of so-called paranormal phenomenon. Talbot's fascination for finding scientific explanations for psychic and paranormal activity began when he noticed objects moving inexplicably around him, regardless where he lived. He would sometimes awaken to find socks draped on his houseplants, and occasionally found objects in his apartment that he knew for a fact had been hundreds of miles away. His real-life experiences with such shifts in reality combined with his training in physics led him to explore possible reasons for these and other mysterious happenings. Talbot begins his book with an excellent introduction to physicist David Bohm's concept of the holographic model of the universe, and combines the physics model with Karl Pribram's work on the holographic model of the brain. The result is a marvelous description of a non-local, interconnected and alive universe that moves in response to our every thought and feeling. I am very impressed with the clarity with which Talbot presents the concept of a holographic universe and how various paranormal phenomenon can be explained within that model. Talbot's discussion is comprehensive, fascinating, clear, and packed with relevant and intriguing stories of paranormal phenomenon. Out of body experiences (OBEs), near death experiences (NDEs), auric readings, psychokinesis, acupuncture, X-ray vision, healing, and psychic readings are all described and considered for placement into the holographic model. Talbot presents a wealth of relevant research studies and scientific theories from David Bohm, Helmut Schmidt, Marilyn Schlitz, Robert Monroe, Charles Tart, Larry Dossey, Paul Davies, PMH Atwater, Ian Stevenson, Fred Alan Wolf, Harold Puthoff, Russell Targ, Lyall
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was truly unique. It definately gets you to look at the bigger picture of the world we live in, or the Universe.