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On The Heart Doctrine

A Review by James A. Moffatt

“... the whole secret of the teacher’s force lies in the
conviction that men are convertible, and they are. They
want awakening, (and for the purpose they need teachers)
to get the soul out of bed, out of her deep habitual sleep."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

In her classic work on the subject, Evelyn Underhill described “mysticism” as one of “the most abused words in the English language.”  Describing this abuse, she wrote:
“… it has been used in different and often mutually exclusive senses by religion, poetry, and philosophy: has been claimed as an excuse for every kind of occultism, for dilute transcendentalism, vapid symbolism, religious or aesthetic sentimentality, and bad metaphysics.  On the other hand, it has been freely employed as a term of contempt by those who have criticized these things.  It is much to be hoped that it may be restored to its older meaning as the science or art of the spiritual life. (1955, p. xiv)
Although Underhill’s intention was to dispel irrational prejudices regarding “mysticism” by identifying and explicating its profound significance in the history of human beings’ efforts to know themselves, the Universe, and the gods, she failed to achieve her aim.  In fact, today, abuse of the term is even more common than it was when she wrote those words in the original introduction to her book, Mysticism, some ninety years ago. References to “mysticism,” “mystics,” and “the mystical” abound.  Scientists, philosophers, psychologists, journalists, New Age adherents, skeptics, psychics, theologians, and lay people use and abuse these terms.  In fact, the sheer number of contradictory meanings ascribed to the term, “mysticism,” is the first clue as to how, amidst a confusion of tongues, it is typically misunderstood and misused.
    Dr. Christopher Holmes’ book, The Heart Doctrine, should represent one giant step towards fulfilling Evelyn Underhill’s objective of doing away with those prejudices that underlie contemporary scholars’ and thinkers’ absurd and ill-informed attitudes and opinions regarding mysticism.  In presenting and elucidating the mystical tradition’s intriguing and provocative claims, Dr. Holmes uncovers a treasury of profound teachings that are anything but the stereotypical fodder on which the lunatic fringe of the gullible, the half-baked, and the feeble-minded are said to feed their delusions and indulge their narcissistic tendencies to self-aggrandizement.  Instead, he reveals and draws upon an astonishing body of thought, which is utterly rational and comprehensible to anyone willing and able to make the effort to suspend his or her judgment and grant unfamiliar concepts and ideas impartial consideration.  It is safe to say, I believe, that those brave souls—who approach his exposition with an open mind and a heartfelt desire to educate themselves about the nature and meaning of mystical teachings and doctrines—will discover that their understanding of this complex and profound subject will be dramatically and irrevocably transformed.
    Drawing on material from an impressive variety of sources, Holmes provides systematic documentation of a body of knowledge which, by virtue of its diamond-clear precision, consistency, and illumination, deserves to be recognized as ‘the science of the spiritual life.’  That achievement, in and of itself, would be more than enough to distinguish The Heart Doctrine as a major contribution to modern thought—but happily Holmes’ extraordinary book contains much, much more.  When he turns a critical eye to modern psychology’s conceptualization of the nature of consciousness and the mind by examining its assumptive framework in light of mystical knowledge, his explication of the mystical tradition’s significance enters a novel and intriguing dimension.  He contrasts what he terms “the heart doctrine”—a model of consciousness, derived from mystical teachings, which identifies the heart’s unrecognized significance as the fundamental source of life and consciousness—with modern psychology’s “head doctrine.”  The latter term is Holmes’ label for the materialist position, which claims that the brain’s physiological structures and processes produce the mind and awareness.  In setting forth “the heart doctrine,” Dr. Holmes casts all questions regarding the nature of consciousness—that which is widely regarded as the most enduring and significant mystery confronting modern science—in a light which is at once unfamiliar, unrecognizable, shocking, revealing, perplexing, engaging, and deeply provocative and illuminating.  While the question of whether or not his startling assertions and speculations are correct remain moot, his articulation of “the heart doctrine” serves, at the very least, as invaluable heuristic in evaluating contemporary theories of and approaches to the study of consciousness.
    Of course, the idea—that one could derive a “doctrine” of any sort from mystical teachings, let alone a profound and complex model of consciousness—runs contrary to all the aforementioned misrepresentations and misconceptions of the subject.  Nevertheless, as Dr. Holmes’ work reveals, the mystical tradition contains scriptures, texts, and commentaries that collectively comprise a highly sophisticated science of consciousness and being.In his dazzlingly eclectic presentations of mystical conceptions of consciousness, Holmes cites the sources of the many ideas and theoretical positions he examines.  However, he also makes generic references to “the mystical tradition” and “esotericism” in developing ‘the heart doctrine.’  Given the richness and diversity of the mystical and esoteric traditions, it is useful, then, to consider the following distinctions between the two that Richard Smoley and Jay Kinney make in their informative and insightful book, Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions:
Esotericism can be considered as a more or less systematic way of exploring the unseen, whereby the practices of meditation and contemplation are combined with a structured and sometimes rigorous theoretical approach ….By contrast, mysticism may be seen as more preoccupied with the naked experience of the divine; theories and ideas may be merely rudimentary or may be ignored altogether. (1999, p. 46)
Smoley and Kinney further note that, while the term, “occult,” has taken on somewhat sinister connotations in recent years, this is largely the result of Hollywood’s distortions and fundamentalist Christians’ fears and projections.The occultist, they contend, is a magician “concerned with practical operations in the unseen realms” (p. 46).They continue:
The mystic … is principally concerned with reaching the Divine using the most direct path; everything else is a mere distraction.  The esotericist, on the other hand, while also seeking ultimate union with the Divine, wants to learn about the landscape that appears along the way.  The occultist or magician wants to not only view the landscape but also interact with it as well. (pp.101-102)
While The Heart Doctrine contains material which Smoley and Kinney would term “mystical,” “esoteric,” and “occult,” Dr. Holmes clearly emphasizes esotericism or “esoteric mysticism.”  His presentation consists of documenting and synthesizing the systematic and rigorous theoretical accounts and descriptions of the landscape that mystics have experienced.  As he points out, not all mystical doctrines are equally correct or valuable and, therefore, he has chosen to emphasize some teachings at the expense of others.  Nevertheless, when he refers to “the mystical tradition,” he is typically describing what Leibnitz (and later Aldous Huxley) called “the perennial philosophy”: that is the continuous tradition of wisdom teachings that have consistently described and accounted for human beings’ capacities to apprehend hidden dimensions of consciousness and being, and to realize union with God through the processes of self-perfection and self-transformation.
    From an esoteric mystical perspective, modern science and psychology are riddled with a number of fundamental misconceptions—erroneous ideas that form the core of their shared assumptive framework—regarding the essential nature of human beings, the Universe, and reality.  As Dr. Holmes explains, the extent of these errors is such that scientists and psychologists (and all stripes of modern thinkers) do not even suspect how thoroughly mistaken they are in their approaches to and ideas about even the most basic questions in psychology—especially the nature of consciousness.  This unhappy state is due primarily to the fact that theydo not know themselves—in anything more than the most superficial terms and senses.In addition, the extent of this ignorance, regarding the nature of the self and consciousness, insures that modern theorists and researchers will remain in the dark about the most essential and significant aspects of their being.
    In contrast, mystics assert that our capacity for self-knowledge, and our possibilities to experience expanded and heightened states of self-realization, spiritual truths, and cosmic consciousness are dormant faculties of our being.  To realize the deepest truths about ourselves and the Universe, the mystics say, we must awaken these extraordinary faculties and experience the depths of the inner cosmoses of consciousness.  By doing so, they claim that it is possible to realize a transformation in the nature of one’s consciousness, being, and self such that one directly experiences a state of transcendent unity and apprehends objective knowledge of oneself and the cosmos.  It is this gnosis—the refined, higher knowledge of spiritual truth and reality—that distinguishes the mystic quest from all other approaches to knowledge.  Moreover, those who have experienced mystical unity and illumination consistently describe our ordinary waking consciousness as a state of illusion and ignorance—the egoistic state of subjectivity from which we must free ourselves and awaken in order to know the true nature of the Self and our deep, hidden cosmic connections.  Consequently, mystical and esoteric teachings constitute a fundamental challenge to the ontological and epistemological basis and biases of modern materialist-reductionist science. That is to say, mysticism puts forth an understanding of the nature of being and knowing—and the possibilities inherent in each—that differs radically from that which science assumes or entertains as being possible.
    Clearly, mystical claims about the nature of the self and reality, and the relationship between the two, are highly unusual and difficult to admit—even as a possibility.In fact, the idea—that there exist ultimate forms of objective self-knowledge”—appears to run contrary to everything, which modern science has established and modern thought assumes. Moreover, the claim—that those who have attained objective self-knowledge will gain knowledge of the Universe—is an absurdity to the modern mind.  Nevertheless, mystical teachings are premised upon the belief that these forms of objective knowledge may be gained by developing the hidden, higher aspects of our being and consciousness.  The aim of all mystical teachings and techniques is, therefore, to create the conditions in which these dormant faculties may be awakened.  To do so, one must undertake a special “education”—one which conforms to the word’s original meaning of being “that which brings out what is within.”  Thus, mystical teachings aim to awaken and bring out those latent, hidden aspects of the self which reveal that the possibilities for self-knowledge and spiritual realization are both mysterious and miraculous.
    These are but the beginnings of the extraordinary terms in which Christopher Holmes undertakes his critical consideration of modern psychology’s “head doctrine.”  As he explains, his prolonged and intensive study of mystical doctrines, disciplines, and practices led him to conclude that his Western education as a clinical psychologist was deeply flawed.  Rather than bringing out the hidden realities that existed within his being, it consisted of filling his head with observations and interpretations of that which was without: the external, objectively observable and verifiable world which science deems to be the site and substance of reality.  In striking contrast, his systematic study of both his inner world and the external world, in terms of esoteric mystical teachings, led him to conclude that rather than being “vague,” “insubstantial,” or “loony”—as its critics suppose—mysticism provided the most comprehensive and objective way of knowing reality.  Furthermore, as he developed his knowledge and understanding of mystical thought, he began to understand it staggering implications for the study of consciousness and to appreciate both its intriguing parallels with and marked differences from modern scientific knowledge.
    While there are many aspects of Holmes’ model of consciousness that distinguish it from the orthodoxy of modern psychology, it is his position that consciousness is substantive which represents the most fundamental and shocking challenge to contemporary thought.  Within the ranks of modern psychologists, scientists, and philosophers, there exists a widespread unquestioned assumption that the term “consciousness” is nothing more than a label for the psychological functions and/or the contents of one’s awareness—that is, thoughts, emotions, images, memories, daydreams, and the like—that are the end-products of the brain’s physiology and its electro-chemical processes.  Furthermore, most theorists and researchers tend to emphasize thinking as the most important attribute of consciousness: hence, the dominance of cognitive psychology within contemporary psychological consciousness studies.  Finally, in accordance with William James’ pioneering efforts, the metaphor of “the stream of consciousness” is commonly cited to describe both the assumed continuity of the waking state and the ongoing alterations in its contents.  Thus, according to ‘the head doctrine,’ consciousness consists of the flow of one’s thoughts or the contents of awareness that result from the physiological changes in the brain’s functioning—and nothing more.
    In contrast, Dr. Holmes states that, according to mystical teachings, consciousness exists as something separate from the psychological functions and contents of awareness. It is consistently described metaphorically as the light which illuminates the psychic functions. Consequently, mystics assert that human beings’ psychological functioning can differ dramatically in terms of its consciousness: that is, the degree and intensity of our consciousness or awareness determines the amount of light with which we function psychologically. The more light that one experiences, the more conscious and aware one will be. Thus, it is the light of consciousness and the illumination of the self that mystics seek in “perfecting themselves.” Dr. Holmes’ consideration of the light of consciousness is not restricted, however, to its metaphorical significance. For he also asserts that consciousness is literally associated with light: both the electro-magnetic phenomenon that science describes, and a “supernal light” which he identifies as being a source of illumination and intelligence associated with the subtle planes or dimensions of existence!  It is at this point that Dr. Holmes’ model of consciousness literally enters new dimensions of meaning and begins to pose innumerable challenges to the entire assumptive framework on which contemporary theorists’ considerations of consciousness are based.
    In essence, the mystic’s equation of consciousness with light—both electro-magnetic and subtle—leads to a view of the Universe which is diametrically opposed to the dogma of materialist-reductionist modern science. Mystics describe an intelligent Universe in which the materialist cosmoses—those that science observes and interprets—are informed by higher dimensions or subtle planes of consciousness and spirit.  As long as we fail to understand how our immediate reality is a projection or a stepped-down emanation of these higher dimensions of intelligence, mystics assert that we live under a spell of illusion: that which the Hindus term “maya.”  However, this illusory nature of material reality does not mean, as many commentators seem to mistakenly believe, that nothing in this world is real.  (Dr. Johnson famously rejected that simplistic notion by kicking a stone and stating: “I refute it thus!”) Rather, the illusion arises when we attempt to formulate a comprehensive explanation of the nature of material reality solely in terms of material causes and the natural laws that are operative within that realm.  In doing so, mystics claim, scientists fail to recognize that there are more fundamental levels of consciousness and reality that are the sources of intelligence informing and directing all manifestations on the material plane.  Science is limited and incomplete, according to a mystical perspective, precisely because it will not venture beyond the physical realm or admit the reality of metaphysical and spiritual dimensions and forces.  Consequently, scientists are in the impossible position of attempting to account for origins and causes in terms and places that they do not exist.  In terms of Plato’s famous allegory of the cave, they have taken the shadows to be real because they do not recognize that they are projections of a hidden source of light.
    Of course, all such references to metaphysical matters such as the existence of subtle dimensions and higher planes of consciousness and spirit are anathema to the modern scientist.  However, those willing to consider Dr. Holmes’ arguments and to investigate them, with an open mind, will find themselves confronted by an intriguing theoretical position and body of evidence that is quite consistent with many of the most astonishing developments in modern physics.  One of the great charms and virtues of The Heart Doctrine consists of the fact that, in developing his theoretical position, Christopher Holmes’ discussion is elaborated in terms of a comparison of mystical teachings and modern science. Clearly, he is not attempting to deny science’s validity or its significance. Rather, he argues that, while many esoteric/mystical teachings parallel the most advanced theories and conceptualizations in contemporary physics, they provide a theoretical framework which is, in some critical ways, more comprehensive than that to which materialist science adheres!  As a result, he asserts that, by studying esoteric and mystical teachings, scientists would gain insight into many of the most perplexing mysteries, enigmas, and anomalies that defy their efforts and define the limits of the materialist paradigm.
    Again, it is the conception of a substantive consciousness, which provides the basis for all of the extraordinary claims that mystics make regarding the nature of the self, the Universe, and the relationships that exist between them.  In essence, mystics claim that human beings possess the capacity to transform their level of being by refining the quality of their consciousness such that they experience and apprehend the subtle planes or higher dimensions of consciousness!  An ancient Hermetic aphorism—“Learn to separate the fine from the coarse”—neatly captures the mystic’s aims and means of perfecting his or her being.  By refining the materiality of his consciousness, the mystic develops the subtle being-bodies—the astral, the mental, and the causal—that allow him to experience and exist in subtle dimensions.  Thus, in order to apprehend the higher truths and objective realities of the subtle planes, the mystic must go beyond a strictly intellectual approach and, through an alchemical process of self-transformation, refine the ultimate instrument of human knowledge: one’ s own consciousness and being.  The level of one’s knowledge is dependent upon the level of one’s being, according to this formulation.
    The esoteric and mystical literature contains a wealth of material documenting and explicating numerous observances, disciplines, and practices designed to further the goal of transforming one’s being and realizing higher states of consciousness. And if Chris Holmes’ articulation of ‘the heart doctrine’ had been restricted to citing and commenting upon those awe-inspiring teachings, he would have accomplished a great deal by establishing the foundation of an alternative paradigm to that which dominates contemporary approaches to the study of consciousness.  However, when he introduces the mysterious concept of “the zero point,” his arguments take on a level of significance which is, in my opinion, unparalleled in modern consciousness research.
    Given the elusive and difficult nature of conceptualizing these ‘zero points,’ I will restrict my description to my admittedly limited understanding of them: that is, they are infinitesimally small points without dimension (and are, therefore, incapable of being measured) that are rooted into the divine realm of an Eternal Parent Space—a living Unity.  From that dimension of eternity, all cosmoses—on all scales—are said to expand out of the infinite into the finite realm and, then, at the end of time, contract and return from the finite to the infinite.  Everything in Creation—from human beings to entire worlds—is informed in this way: within/without from zero points.  Human consciousness and life, in this view, originates within a metaphysical domain—a living Unity—and manifests without, in the material realm, through a “spiritual spark” in the heart.  According to mystics, then, consciousness is not produced in the brain’s cerebral cortex, but rather materializes through the physical heart out of the inner depths that exist at the metaphysical Heart of our being!
    In making these extraordinary claims, Dr. Holmes has drawn on a wide variety of esoteric and mystical sources that describe the metaphysical dimensions of the heart.  As much as scientists may confidently assure us that the heart is a mechanical pump and nothing more, the wisdom traditions consistently and repeatedly state and attest to the fact that this is clearly not the case.  This point of view is given perhaps its most intriguing formulation in Madame Helena Blavatsky’s esoteric classic, The Secret Doctrine.  Saluted by some as the grandmother of the New Age, reviled by others as one of history’s most accomplished and brazen charlatans, Madame Blavatsky remains, today—nearly a century after her death—a fiercely controversial and enigmatic figure.  While it is clear that she was guilty of perpetrating numerous frauds and deceptions, and that she plagiarized extensively, from esoteric sources, in compiling her monumental texts, she was nonetheless an extraordinary repository of esoteric, mystical, and occult teachings and a pioneering figure in introducing the arcane doctrines of Eastern wisdom traditions to the West.
    Whatever her critics may say about her, the fact remains that, in The Secret Doctrine —a book published in 1888—Madame Blavatsky anticipated many of the most recent and provocative developments in modern physics!  In her accounts of cosmogenesis—the origins of the Universe—she puts forth an explanation, which is formulated in terms that are readily recognizable to contemporary physicists.  Thus, she discusses point sources or singularities, the quantum vacuum, seven-dimensional hyperspace, a hierarchy of broken symmetries which generate form from formlessness and matter from nothingness, and zero points.  In The Stanzas of Dyzan (1888, V. III, 11-12), Blavatsky writes that:
 
THE SONS EXPAND CONTRACT THROUGH THEIR OWN SELVES
AND HEARTS; THEY EMBRACE INFINITUDE. … EACH IS A PART OF THE WEB. REFLECTING THE “SELF-EXISTENT LORD” LIKE A MIRROR,
EACH BECOMES IN TURN A WORLD.

The “Sons” refer to all material entities and bodies—whether they are human beings or worlds. ccording to Madame Blavatsky, they expand and contract through the Heart—the zero point—and, thus, from within the living Unity or Eternal Parent Space, the material world without manifests. From this perspective, it is indeed possible for human beings, who have perfected themselves through a process of self-transformation, to experience a state of cosmic consciousness and realize union with the Divine—that is, to know themselves, the Universe, and the gods.

    Skeptics and other critics routinely and blindly dismiss mysticism with the facile excuse that mystics offer nothing of intellectual substance to test or critique.  Christopher Holmes’ accounts and descriptions of the esoteric mystical tradition clearly documents that such claims are absurd.  Furthermore, his development of a model of consciousness, which is derived from mystical teachings, and his identification of zero points as the dynamic nexus linking the material and metaphysical realms certainly sets forth a theoretical position that is, at once, both amenable to scientific scrutiny and testing, and possesses implications for many of the most challenging questions confronting modern physics.  And for that reason, I would submit that anyone who purports to be concerned with the study of consciousness should and must thoroughly acquaint himself or herself with Chris Holmes’ remarkable, ground-breaking book, The Heart Doctrine.
    All of these fantastic ideas and abstruse considerations would certainly seem to constitute pretty heady stuff.  However, those readers who are not scientists, psychologists, or philosophers should not be intimidated by my overview of this remarkable book.  While there may be some references or sections that touch on topics with which the general public is not conversant, Dr. Holmes’ exposition is aimed at a wider audience than that of the aforementioned specialists.  And to a certain extent, it is not essential that one understands or grasps immediately every detail or nuance of his arguments.  On the contrary, I would argue that it is impossible for anyone to apprehend fully—here and now, on one’s own terms—the import of these profound, mind-bending ideas.  Nevertheless, I believe that many readers will be delighted to discover that Dr. Holmes’ presentation and his arguments will challenge them to examine what they know and what they do not know.  And by doing so, I believe that they will find that this material engages them in granting serious consideration to the most fundamental questions that confront each and every one of us as human beings: Why am I here?  What is the nature of my being?  Do I have a soul?  Is there any purpose to life?  What does happen when we die?  Is there a God?
    It is a testament to the richness of the content of The Heart Doctrine that Christopher Holmes provides an intellectual framework, which is so novel and elaborate that these essential matters may be approached from and considered in light of an entirely original perspective.  Moreover, he underlines the importance of doing so by citing several prominent scientists’ views on these enduring mysteries.  The likes of Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, Francis Crick, Roger Sperry and other scientific luminaries are not shy about making all sorts of lofty pronouncements about the nature and meaning of the human condition, reality, and God.  In fact, as Dr. Holmes explains, they are all in agreement that, as science progresses and articulates increasingly detailed natural explanations of what appears to be all modes and levels of Creation, there seems to be less and less reason to believe in the existence of a God, or gods, or any other supernatural agents, principles, or forces that direct, inform or are otherwise implicated in any aspect of Nature of human affairs.  Thankfully, Christopher Holmes has the impertinence to ask: ‘Is this true?  Does it really mean that, as science progresses, there is less and less for God to do?’  In the spirit of open-minded inquiry, Dr. Holmes addresses this question—that which he calls “the problem of God’s contracting universe—by attempting to consider and weigh the evidence, in light of esoteric and mystical teachings, as to whether or not scientific discoveries are, indeed, doing away with the need to grant credence to the existence of God and spiritual forces, beings, and realities..
    When considered in terms of Holmes’ model of consciousness and his documentation of the esoteric mystical tradition, it becomes readily apparent that these celebrated scientific figures have allowed their enthusiasm for science’s power and glory to lead them, ironically enough, to commit the cardinal scientific sin: they have drawn conclusions that are unsubstantiated by data!  Exposed in this light, it becomes clear that these great intellects have allowed their emotions to distort their judgment and sully their claims to objectivity and impartiality.  In fact, their unwillingness and/ or inability to draw clear distinctions as to when they are speaking in terms of what science has established and when they are putting forth nothing more than their personal, highly subjective opinions is most revealing.  To Dr. Holmes’ skeptically inquiring mind, it is apparent that these hard-headed scientists assume inflexible emotional postures that are suspiciously akin to those of the religious zealots whom they routinely attack and denigrate.
    When assessing the evidence regarding God’s existence (and that of “spirit” and “the soul”), scientists who subscribe to a rigidly materialist philosophical position and claim to adhere to the highest standards of rationality are not above acting in an utterly irrational and illogical fashion.  They claim that they see no reason to admit the existence of God, spiritual realities, or the existence of supernatural forces because they have discovered no compelling factual basis to do so.  Although this viewpoint may give the appearance of being quite plausible and reasonable, Holmes argues that, in terms of esoteric and mystical knowledge, it is ludicrous.  Scientists’ denials of spiritual realities are a direct outcome of their assumptions (and their concomitant prejudgments) about the nature of reality and their approaches to studying it.  Because they do not study themselves systematically with the purpose of transforming their consciousness and being, they do not know themselves.  Consequently, they are not properly conscious and live in a state of ignorance regarding the true nature of the Self and the objective existence of spiritual realities.  They are like the drunk who searches for his lost keys under the porch light—because there is more light there—and then, when he does not discover anything, concludes that his keys do not exist!  They have applied their illustrious grey matter to a detailed search of the externally observable world—but, in doing so, they have turned their backs on the inner world of their own consciousness and being.  They have arbitrarily denied the most potent means of studying the most important and mysterious thing in the world: consciousness.  As a result, they have forfeited any possibility of understanding what it means to know oneself; they have done away with the wisdom of the heart.
    Finally, there is one other aspect of The Heart Doctrine which, I believe, is especially illuminating in considering the significance of esoteric mysticism’s peculiar status within modern thought: that is, the intellectual process—the journey of discovery—which Christopher Holmes has undertaken to produce his model of consciousness.  One of the most common complaints, which one encounters in scientists’ disparaging considerations and references to ‘mysticism,’ concerns the supposed intellectual inferiority of mystical ideas.  Mysticism’s lack of intellectual substance and its appeal to its adherents’ puerile desire for self-aggrandizement, scientists complain, make it the bane of any rigorous and serious search for truth.  Given the pervasiveness of such utter idiocy amongst otherwise intelligent people, Christopher Holmes’ The Heart Doctrine constitutes a forceful indictment of such self-satisfied, intellectual sloth and dishonesty. Not that his book is apt to change anything: as I have said, there already exist a treasury of such works.  But for those who are capable of considering his work with an open mind, I think the fact that Dr. Holmes’ book is the outcome of almost thirty years of intensive efforts to decipher the meaning of the mystical tradition—through the study of both the external cosmoses and those of his own consciousness and being—is a compelling and inspiring testimony to both the utterly profound nature of mystical and esoteric thought, and the arduous and challenging nature of that gnostic quest.  And because he has integrated that ancient knowledge into a framework which includes modern scientific and psychological thought, Dr. Holmes’ writing achieves a synthesis of extraordinary promise and portent.
    I do not believe that it is a coincidence that such important modern thinkers—the likes of Charles Tart, Ken Wilber, Fritjof Capra, Ram Dass, Rupert Sheldrake, Carlos Castaneda, David Bohm, Brian Josephson, and Christopher Holmes—have forwarded theories of or commentaries upon consciousness and reality which are informed by mystical and esoteric thought and, thereby, have exposed the inherent and irreparable limitations of scientific materialism. As it happens, each of these men—educated to be a western scientist—has been brave and bold enough to undertake the systematic study of his consciousness and being in terms of esoteric and mystical teachings.  In other words, rather than dismissing the mystical and esoteric traditions, each has made an attempt to evaluate its claims by putting them to a meaningful test.  And in doing so, each has realized an important synthesis of the understanding of the East and the knowledge of the West.  In itself, that is a lesson that all modern seekers after truth—whatever their station in life—might well take to heart.  And to help them in arising from their beds and awakening from their deep habitual sleep, to stir and perhaps even awaken their souls, to guide them and to inspire them on their journey, they would do well to educate themselves by turning to Christopher Holmes’ The Heart Doctrine
To read other selections from J. Moffatt
 
 

Publications

Esoteric Writings

Event Schedule

The Author

Zero Point Dynamics

Zero Point Radio Show
 Crises of Humanity
Critiques of 'New Think'
New World DisOrder
Truth Media & Resources

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