The Vibrational Universe
This document includes the Table of Contents and the entirety of Chapter 1.
Table of Contents
Have you ever wondered why the events in your life happen the way they do? Doesn’t it seem sometimes that you have no control over what happens in your life? We’re not talking about things like the weather, or the latest government policy, but things like, “why don’t I have enough money?” or, “why can’t I find that perfect relationship?”
It turns out that the universe, like a computer, has an operating system. A computer operating system is a series of instructions that allows the user to access the computer’s components and to run the software programs that allow him or her to perform useful work. The operating system of the computer has rules that it must follow in order to make everything inside the computer work properly. The process by which this is accomplished is actually quite complicated, but the operating system takes care of it all, invisible to the user.
The universe also has an operating system, which I am calling the Universal Operating System. Is it possible, do you think, for an infinite creation like the universe to operate randomly? If you ponder that for a minute you can see that in order for anything to work properly it must be well designed. The telephone has a number pad and a display that allow you to use it; the stove has dials to control the cooking temperature. All devices, in other words, have an interface that allows the user to communicate with the machine and direct its proper function. Inside the device, the components are hooked together in the most efficient manner.
The universe is no different than your telephone, computer or household appliance, in the sense that it provides a way to interact with you in an intelligent fashion.
It turns out that the universe has been designed to directly interface with your thoughts and feelings.
The Universal Operating System is a subtle energy system that interfaces directly with each and every human being on the planet. Of course there is no way to prove this objectively, but there is a way to prove it to yourself. The purpose of this book is to describe the universe’s interface so that you can use it to make your life better. In order to do this we have to start at the beginning, and talk about consciousness.
Throughout history, consciousness has been assigned a non-physical origin. It is only within the past hundred years or so that mankind, in his zeal to accurately describe the physical universe, has lost touch with his spiritual nature. In this book we say that self-awareness, being non–physical in nature, exists independent of physical structures or containers (bodies) and that it is eternal. We do this because when life is viewed from such a perspective it becomes easier to understand, and such assumptions, when fully understood, supply an inner feeling of power, joy, and well-being. These feelings are fundamental to life itself, and all beings, no matter how evolved, strive for them.
In this book, we take the position that the universe is well ordered and has been designed for well–being; that life is meaningful and can, and should, be joyful. We take the position that a human being has a physical, a mental, and a spiritual component and that the spiritual component, consciousness, is paramount in importance. Why is consciousness paramount? Because it is the animating and directing principle of the universe.
Science has already systematized the laws of matter and energy and we will not argue with them; however, in Chapter 2, we will propose an interesting twist on scientific laws that provide a new and empowering way to look at life and the universe.
Fortunately, just as there are laws describing the behavior of matter and energy, there are also a few general but powerful principles that describe how the universe responds to human beings (and other life forms as well). Knowledge of these fundamental principles can make life easier and a lot more understandable.
The universe’s operating system provides a user interface, but it is a little different from a computer or a machine. However, the components are all recognizable and we will be describing them as the book goes along. By the time we are through you will have all the information you need to enjoy life more and worry a lot less!
You can and should test the principles in this book yourself to see if they work. The whole idea is to present material that a person can use in life to change conditions for the better; a bunch of theory that cannot be applied is, in my opinion, useless.
The good news is, you don’t need to know any math, you don’t have to be a holy man or a guru, you don’t even have to be smart! All you have to do is follow some simple, but very powerful guidelines. It’s so easy, even a child can do it.
When we say that you can use the Universal Operating System (UOS) to change conditions for the better, we are not saying that you can learn to levitate chairs, wave a magic wand and create a pot of gold, or create world peace. You can, however, learn how to improve the way you feel about yourself. And you can learn how to attract a good relationship, or find a better job, or get along better with your kids. These are things well worth achieving!
Learning about the operating system of the universe is a lot like learning a new software program. If you understand how to work the software, you can actually get results. If you do not, you are fumbling around with incomprehensible menus and just going by trial and error, and what you get is often totally the opposite of what you wanted. Understanding the universe’s operating system allows you to be in control of the “software” that runs the universe, instead of it controlling you.
Because we are working in the spirit–mind–body framework, we have to make a few assumptions about the nature of consciousness itself in order to get a grip on how and why the UOS works the way it does. So here goes!
Even though it’s impossible to say for sure what consciousness is, we can make some broad, general statements that most people can agree with. After all, every person is to some degree an expert, because if you are alive, you are conscious.
We will begin by saying that consciousness is the animating principle of the universe. The animating principle has been understood by every culture that has ever existed on earth, and has been called chi, prana, Spirit, Ka, life force, etc.
In our model, when a person or an animal dies, the animating principle leaves and the body decays. When a flower wilts, the consciousness of the flower leaves. When a one-celled amoeba dies, the consciousness of the amoeba departs. Everything that lives is conscious!
As human beings we don’t really think that
flowers and insects and amoeba’s have consciousness. But for the
purposes of this book, we will say that they do. The animating
principle of consciousness is the Source behind all of the
biological life on our planet.
We begin our discussion of consciousness by describing it as a static. A static is defined as something that is self–aware, but which has no moving parts and no mass; a pure potential or causative influence that has unlimited scope. In other words, consciousness exists independent of matter and energy, which means that all life forms continue after the body dies. This concept is ancient, and is known as reincarnation.
A quality is an observable characteristic, feature, or aspect of the animating principle. In physics we might call it a scalar, a dimensionless quantity with magnitude, but no direction (time is an example of a scalar). In this sense consciousness, although itself not measurable, may exert an effect or influence which is observable.
A quantity, on the other hand, is something that can be seen, felt, or heard by the senses of the body, and/or is measurable or detectable with instrumentation.
In the physical universe we can observe the qualities people exhibit. We say: “He has character” or “She is full of life.” These are reasonable statements but they cannot be accurately quantified. If asked, “Why do you say she is full of life?” we may observe that she is always cheerful, has lots of energy, and participates in many activities. But it would be hard to write a mathematical equation to describe the quality called ‘full of life.’ The reason qualities cannot be accurately specified is because they stem from consciousness itself, which may change its mind at any time and so exhibit entirely different characteristics. For example, a person (let’s call him Moe) who is angry a lot might decide to lighten up and take things less seriously, and will demonstrate remarkably different characteristics from that point on.
We cannot observe how Moe changed his behavior patterns because that process is invisible to us, but we can notice how much more friendly Moe is to his family, friends, and co-workers. We cannot know precisely why Moe changed either, but Moe does. Moe has used the most powerful tool of consciousness to alter his behavior and feel better about himself: he has made a new decision. One of the things we can say about consciousness is that it has the ability to think, to decide, to prefer. A decision or a preference leads to a new state of BEING, and from that state of being, a new way of feeling, and a new set of actions will result.
A decision, in other words, is a very powerful thing, because before one can act, one must have made a decision to do so. The content of this decision will determine what actions will be taken. If one wanted to bake a cake, one would not randomly throw ingredients together; one would operate off of a recipe. You would not walk across the street without thinking about the possibility of oncoming traffic. These statements are obvious but their importance is often missed.
All action is preceded by thought.
There has never been an action that did not involve a decision first, even if it’s as simple as turning your car into your driveway. It is obvious that you could decide not to turn into your driveway after a day of work; you may decide, on an impulse, to go to the gym, or to the bar, or to see your girlfriend. To quote the Buddha, “All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make our world.”
The importance of thought, and being, is mostly not understood. Action is considered far more important, for it is action, it is said, that gets results. Yet all of that action is based upon a state of beingness. For example, James might want to learn how to play the piano. First he assumes the beingness of one who can learn to play the instrument. In other words, you have to BE something before you can DO it. You have to have the idea of it, before you can start. The better James is at assuming this beingness, the faster he will learn. I assure you from personal experience and observation that if you cannot BE a person who can play the piano, you can never learn to play.
Before James knows how to play he says, “I want to be a piano player.” After a few years of study and practice, he can say “I am a piano player.” Both of these statements use a form of the verb to be. One might say, “Yes, but the only reason James can say he is a player is because he can do it.” True enough, but that is not how we look at it! We say, “I am a piano player,” we don’t say, “I do piano playing.” Why is that? It’s because we instinctively recognize the power of thought and the primacy of consciousness as source for all of our actions. We understand that being encompasses doing; or, in other words, that action is a subset of being. Being is first, then action, then results. This might seem trivial and obvious, but it is not! In order to change your situation, you need to create a state of being within yourself exactly matching what it is you want to accomplish. Around this idea is a very important principle in the Universal Operating System, and we will discuss it in great detail.
Without a clear and firm decision about something, there can be no concrete results. We have all seen people who just drift along in life; they never seem to have a direction and wander aimlessly from one job to the next, from one relationship to the next. I remember asking such a person, “What do you want out of life?” At first she was startled, as if the idea had never occurred to her before; finally, after several tries, she shrugged and said, “I don’t know.”
Consciousness has the power to decide, and when a person does so, he or she creates a state of beingness, or orientation, which guides action. When James decides to be a piano player, we do not see him take saxophone lessons, or enroll in a martial arts class. Of course, he might do this as a result of other decisions he has made, but again, those decisions will guide his actions in those areas.
The conditions of your life are a precise combination of all of the decisions you have made.
Everything you do is preceded by a choice; your own choice. One might say, “Yeah, but if you’re forced to do something by circumstances, or by physical violence, then it’s not your choice.” We will see later on that although this is an accurate statement on the surface, it hides a more fundamental truth. We will see that a person is always at source-point over his or her life! We will also see how the decisions you make directly affect your feelings and emotions, and how you can use the power of consciousness to feel better.
A decision, or a choice, or a state of being is an example of a quality. As we said before, it’s impossible to observe a decision, we can only see the effects of the decision. However, a quantity is much easier to understand, for one can just look around and observe it. The chair you are sitting in, the floor, the tree in the backyard, the sun, moon and stars are quantities, for they can be seen and felt.
The difference between a quantity and a quality is that the former can be known directly from observation, and the latter cannot. The actions of James may be quantified, but not the motivations; we may say, “James practiced for 2 hours today,” but that might not tell us how James practiced: we might have to write a book just to describe that!
Science has based its entire system of thought upon the idea that, “If something is observable, it is valid.” And this is a good way to operate, because opinions vary. It is always possible to tell whether something is good or not by looking at it, and using it. However, we can get into trouble in life by always basing our decisions only on what we are able to observe, for if what we are observing is repellent, we are stuck! If there is not enough money for instance, then thinking and talking about the lack of money will not be beneficial. Later on, we will discover how to get out of that trap.
We know that every person and every life form, in order to enter the physical universe, has to be born, and has to die. But what is birth and death? It’s funny, but birth and death are the two single most important events in anyone’s life, but they are largely ignored by science and in our schools. We say, “Well you’re here, what difference does it make how you arrived? And there’s nothing you can do about leaving either.” That is true, but birth and death are ignored not because they are not extremely important, but because our scientific framework cannot agree on how and why these events occur. In the spirit–mind–body paradigm, however, the explanation is simple: birth is the animating principle entering a body, and death is consciousness leaving the body.
We look at the lifeless body and say, “Father is dead. He lived a good life, but now he’s gone.” However, all we know for sure is that the body is no longer alive. What happened to the animating principle, the personality we referred to as “father?”
Let’s try to answer this question with an analogy…
Let’s say that a person’s life is represented by a circle (Fig. 1-1). When Dad is born, he is at point A on the circle. He travels along his life path in the physical body, around the circle and reaches…point A again, which is his death. Birth and death are at exactly the same place on the circle, for A is both the entry point and the departure point for something eternal, which we call consciousness, or self awareness. In other words, the animating principle enters the physical universe temporarily, and then leaves it.
Consciousness is a quality, meaning that it cannot decay, age, or die. Bodies die, because they are quantities, limited collections of material particles. If you leave your car out in the backyard for years and years, it will rust and eventually fall apart. My sister-in-law had a barn that she did not maintain, and over the years, it deteriorated and finally collapsed. This principle is known as entropy. In the physical universe, there is a tendency for matter and energy to naturally go from a state of order to a state of disorder. But consciousness is different.
Once consciousness achieves self-awareness, it’s forever. To understand this, look at the circle again. Once you have completed it, there is no way to tell where it begins or ends. On a square, there are four easily recognized corners. Even on a curved figure, there are places that have sharper curves, and you can recognize beginnings and endings. A circle (and a sphere in 3 dimensions) looks the same no matter where you go on them. This perfection of form is a good representation of the animating principle, and is the closest physical representation to a quality I can think of.
In this book, we say that there really is no such thing as death, just a transition from one way of being and perceiving, to another. “Death” is experienced in truncated form during sleep. Consciousness departs for “dreamland,” leaving the body behind.
However, you are conscious even when asleep, for dreaming is also a state of consciousness! In dreams, you see things and have experiences, just like you do in waking moments. These experiences may feel different, and sometimes they might be bizarre or even frightening, but they are real in the sense that you perceive them. In fact, I remember waking from a nightmare in a cold sweat, terrified. All during the next day I could not get the dream out of my mind, so for me, that dream was even more realistic than real life! I have also had positive lucid dreams that seem more real than “reality.” I would bet that some of those reading this have had similar experiences.
We’re sad when someone we love dies, for it is no longer possible to interact with them in a physical sense, but we don’t have to be afraid for them, for they are still conscious and aware. Consciousness in its native, non-physical state feels wonderful and once the death process is complete, one re-emerges completely into the pure, positive life force energy of Source.
My sister, who is definitely not a new-ager, told me that mom appeared before her one day after work, 30 years after her death, as she lay upon the couch in her living room. Now of course we could simply say that my sister has a vivid imagination, but her excitement and certainty about the experience convinced me that she had actually seen our mother. Many, many people have had similar experiences, and if you checked around with your friends, I’d bet at least one of them would be able to recount something similar.
My friend Mark’s father died a few years ago. At the funeral a young child suddenly cried, “I see grandpa!” pointing his little finger about ten feet above the casket. Remarkably, none of the mourners in this conservative Catholic family raised an objection, and many looked into the face of the child, awed, as he stared with his mouth open into the space above the coffin. At the most fundamental level, all of us instinctively recognize our divine nature.
Once a person gets the idea that he or she is an eternal being, life seems a lot less threatening, and world events do not seem to invoke the same fear and anxiety. If you know you are going to continue no matter what happens, you can worry a lot less and enjoy life a lot more.
Here’s an interesting statistic:
There are approximately 6 billion people on earth. Let’s say that the average life span is 65 years, which means that on average, there are 92 million deaths every year on planet earth, about 3 every second. Dear reader, there are beings shuttling in and out of here at an astonishing rate! And that doesn’t even count animals and insects. Death is an entirely natural process, and is nothing to be afraid of.
What about birth?
The idea of incarnation is important because it illustrates, on a broad scale, another characteristic of consciousness: focus.
Focusing is the concentration of attention. When working a crossword puzzle or reading a book, for example, a person focuses his or her attention on the material, thereby excluding awareness and perception from everything else. In the material universe, focusing occurs when matter and energy coalesces; as when water molecules in the air come together to form clouds.
The focusing of consciousness can be likened to what happens when you take a magnifying glass out on a sunny day. The glass focuses some of the billions of photons (marked with a “P” in Fig. 1-2) into a beam of light which appears on the ground as a point of light. The point of light is analogous to an individually focused consciousness, with its unique personality, associated with a physical body.
The point of light is not different from the light that surrounds it, it just perceives from a different point in space/time. The ocean of light surrounding the point may be said to be more broadly focused, that's all. It has a broader awareness, a more expansive consciousness. In this analogy, the light that surrounds the point is the non-physical counterpart to the incarnated personality.
Fig. 1-2 Magnifying Glass and Photons
The beam may be likened to your connection to the non-physical part of your being. Without the beam, there can be no point of light in the first place!
Also, photons are constantly moving in and out of the beam and the point so it is always connected to the whole.
The point of light is focused very intensely, but has given up its complete connection to the whole; it has traded off its broader awareness of self so that it may have a series of temporary, but very powerful experiences. That is the purpose of incarnation.
At the amusement park, you go on rides which scare you to death and often provide a near–death experience. Why? To feel powerfully! When you’re on that roller coaster going 100 miles an hour and you hit that sharp turn and you feel your body trying to slide out of your seat and fly into the air to certain death…well, all I can say is that a lot of people get off on that. It makes you feel so alive! What such experiences do is focus life force energy through you so fast and so powerfully that it just feels incredible. You become a powerful vortex for the energy of life!
When a being incarnates into a body there is always a connection to a broader consciousness, even though it sometimes feels that we are completely isolated into separate personalities. This broader consciousness is sometimes called “higher self,” but regardless of the name that is placed upon it, it is the source of inspiration or intuition, and a permanent connection to the greater you to which you will return at the moment of “death.”
Imagine a bathtub full of water. When the drain is opened, the water quickly flows through it and forms a vortex. The water in the vortex is focused very intensely and is moving very quickly in comparison to the tranquil water sitting in the tub. But it’s the same water. Just as individual photons move in and out of the beam of light, so to do water molecules move into and out of the vortex. It’s the gathering together of the water that creates something recognizable and distinct; the rest of the water is just sitting there in an unfocused condition.
When consciousness incarnates it sort of gathers itself together and experiences from a physical body. At death, a being lets go of the body and expands outward, like a gas released from a container or a shower room full of steam when you open the door. The steam wants to expand, it’s a natural process. So is death. Death isn’t a snuffing out of awareness, it’s an expansion of awareness!
The astute reader will notice that we have been contradicting ourselves for the last several pages. First we stated that consciousness is a static and that it has no mass, and now we are talking about the focusing of consciousness as if it were energy. Let’s just say that consciousness, being a pure potential, is not limited by the restrictions of matter and energy. Being completely non–physical in nature, it has the ability to mold itself in any way it chooses.
We can certainly agree that consciousness has the ability to think and that thoughts have some kind of existence (“I think therefore I am” as Descartes said). Probably, most of those reading this book have, at one time or another, been able to pick up on the thoughts of another person; we call this intuition, or psychic ability, or ESP. If you have ever been able to do this, you know that a thought is discernable and tangible.
I have been getting quite good at knowing who is on the phone before I pick it up; for some reason I am able to receive the thoughts of the person calling. Two people in love may be in such great communication that each knows what the other is thinking before words are spoken; sometimes people who know each other intimately may finish sentences for each other. Somehow, thought and consciousness are able to interface. In the next chapter we will talk about thought, matter, and energy as being interrelated, each an aspect of the same thing.
We can speculate that although thought is so subtle that it cannot be detected or measured by any scientific instrument, it has the tiniest little bit of mass. In this conception, matter and energy are ultimately composed of thought, and all material things have a sort of quasi–consciousness, even though it may be different from human consciousness. In that sense, all things are alive. This doctrine can be (loosely) called Panpsychism.
Even though this idea has not been particularly popular with Western philosophers and has been adopted in a more religious or spiritual context, it can be associated broadly with a philosophy of process, which began with the Greek theoretician Heraclitus of Ephesus (born 540 B.C.) and in the twentieth century is often associated with the British mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead.
Today, modern physics imagines very small processes (quantum phenomena) combining to produce the physical objects that we can see and feel with our human senses.
Interestingly enough, one of the bedrock laws of science is the law of conservation of energy. This law states that ‘energy can neither be created nor destroyed.’ If that is so, however, then all of the energy in the universe has existed, without reduction or increase, from the very moment of the beginning of the universe. In effect, it necessitates the adoption of some sort of “Big Bang cosmology, which requires the creation of a whole lot of stuff instantaneously from nothing (a gigantic contradiction), or requires that the universe is eternal, having no beginning or ending (another gigantic contradiction).
Without the guiding, directing, and animating hand of consciousness, the origins of the physical world must remain a mystery.
All right, enough of that. Back to the subject!
Focus is just attention to something. When a person practices the piano, his or her attention is (hopefully) oriented to that set of activities. The more that person studies and plays, the better they get. A wise woman (Esther Hicks) once said that genius is just a lot of attention to a subject, and that is very true.
Focus is how someone gets from a decision and into effective action. If you are clear in your vision of what you want, your actions will be effective. If you are not clear, you may be working very hard and not getting anywhere, even with a strong will to succeed. How long and how hard you focus on something is a measure of your intention. Strong intent combined with clarity equals success!
Focusing automatically excludes that which is not relevant to the activity; in that sense, it is a tuning in, a narrowing of attention to a specific task. The ultimate example of focusing is birth, and the ultimate example of un-focusing is death, but life itself is a gradient scale of focus. The daydreamer never gets anywhere, for his attention is never on anything long enough.
Why do we need to know all this? Because the Universal Operating System responds to how we focus our thoughts. This is a strange concept for those of us rooted in the scientific method, for we have been taught that thought is ephemeral and irrelevant. While it is true that the operation of the UOS is invisible to our human senses, so is the operation of radio and television! We can’t see the signals which our receiver picks up from the antenna on our roof, but we can’t doubt the sound that comes out of our speakers.
Radio and television signals are examples of electromagnetic energy, which can be measured by instrumentation, but the implementation of the universe’s operating system is a subtle energy phenomenon.It turns out that the universe does respond to our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions, and does so very precisely and accurately.
 For an excellent general treatment of these concepts, see the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which is still, as of this writing, available free on–line.
Copyright © 2002, 2005 by Kenneth James Michael MacLean
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED