ALL AND NOTHINGNESS: A VOICE IN THE NIGHT
"In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Genesis 1-2 (KJV)
Even since a 'voice' came to me in the night, I’ve been intrigued with the concept of all that is, and its counterpart, "and the earth was without form, and void." In other words... nothing. (Btw, I explain the 'voice in the night' further down this article.)
Philosophically, this is an interesting topic, in fact, about as profound as you can get, addressed by physicists, philosophers and mystics of all traditions through the ages.
But, really, how are we, as mere mortals with mortgages, families and pets, expected to understand about the ontological foundations of reality. I'm not sure what it takes, apart from some good peyote, to get to the bottom of what all this means... the implicate void that holds the latency of all that is or could be when manifested in explicate reality. As if infinity could have a bottom.
You might ask, what implications, philosophical or practical, this might have on how we view life? If nothing else, I suppose it could help broaden our minds and concept of God as the Source of all that is or could be as well as pure potentiality in the void. Heady stuff to consider. The kind of thing Zen Masters put you through.
And, what might this mean about an afterlife? If you wish to know everything about the afterlife, read the Elysium's Passage novel series. Or, at least you'll learn what my speculations are on the subject.
If you think about all these concerns for long enough, you could end up 'enlightened'... or you could end up going nuts. Perhaps both. Questions about what makes reality real are as fathomless as the void in Genesis.
There are several passages on this topic in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, juxtaposing the meaning of 'all and nothingness'. One quote that I like is:
"In order to experience the truth, you must move into a state that is real. 'Nothing' is as real as 'Everything' and is what some of you have experienced as a ‘dark night of the soul.’ To realize that you reside in nothingness is but the counterpart of realizing that there is an all to which you belong."
Book 2, Chapter 5, A Course of Love, Mari Perron
So why am I talking about all this? Too much time on my hands? No, that’s not it. So, let me tell you what got me going on this. Actually, it's a rather strange story, even spooky, like something out of 'The Twilight Zone.'
But rather than tell you directly, I’ll quote my friend James, the protagonist in Elysium’s Passage. As it happens, he had the same experience as me. In fact, it was identical… same place, same time of year, except I was sleeping in my van and he was sleeping under the stars. One of those strange coincidences, I guess. So, here’s what he says in Elysium's Passage: The Summit, Chapter 8:
‘A most extraordinary event occurred to me that I will never forget,’ I said. ‘It was in the early autumn when I was camping in a tranquil alpine meadow not far from the mountain resort of Banff.
‘In the middle of the night, as I was soundly sleeping under the stars, a voice in the air woke me, saying just one word: “Nothingness.” Then again, over a period of a few minutes, I heard this voice repeating this same word two more times. It was clear as a bell, so by the last time, I was fully awake and startled. ‘“Who is this… and what does this mean?”’ I asked. I didn’t receive an answer then, nor have I since.
‘It was some time before I was able to fall asleep again, wondering what that was, and why it was speaking to me. This was very strange; I thought since I'm not even remotely psychic.
‘For some time, I continued to think about this encounter, until I gradually put the memory out of my mind. Since my profession trained me to be sceptical of any phenomena that can't be rationally explained, I sought to find a logical explanation for this paranormal experience. But I never was able to explain it. Finally, I just rationalized it as being some neurological quirk in my brain triggered by my Rocky Mountain high.’
And there you have it. That’s precisely what happened to me about eight years ago, near Cascade Mountain in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. I remember how I was on a bit of a ‘Rocky Mountain High' that night, anticipating my next day of hiking into the Plain of the Six Glaciers.
So before climbing into my van to sleep, I strolled around in the meadow in the bright moonlight of that beautiful fall night, praying a prayer of thanksgiving. I also asked to have a meaningful day where I might feel the divine presence of being touched by heaven. Perhaps I anticipated seeing some exotic ascended mountain spirit or master on the trail the next day, I don’t know. I just felt I was in the zone for something to happen and wanted it to be special.
Well, as it turned out, it seems someone heard me because I heard them… loud and clear in the middle of the night… ‘nothingness,’ Not just once, but three times over within a few minutes. It woke me up, not as a voice in my head, but as an audible voice I can’t describe, except it was ‘different.’
It took about an hour for me to fall asleep again since I felt ‘giddy’ with this vocal ‘visitation.’ Later that day I had an extraordinary time hiking and climbing. I also felt something special had happened to me earlier but remained mystified by what it might mean. Now, after all these years, I still remain mystified at what happened, even as I continue to wrestle with its meaning.
As you can tell, it seems James has also been trying to sort this out too. In Elysium’s Passage. The following excerpts from Elysium's Passage novels discuss this topic more thoroughly.
Elysium’s Passage: The Summit, Chapter 8 The Sceptics Dilemma
‘There’s no doubt about it,’ Eli said, ‘we do appear physical… at least to each other. In fact, we are about as substantial as anything on the earth plane, maybe even more so! And yet the truth is there is nothing solid about anything, whether on earth or any higher celestial realm. Mountains, lakes, galaxies, books, angels and pretty girls that look like angels - all are just electromagnetic patterns that minds interpret as crystalized forms within their spectrum of consciousness.
‘All sentient beings are interpreters of vibration. Matter, at best, is an energetic derivative from these wave patterns. But this doesn’t make us waves of energy; we only manifest our soul’s essence in these patterns of form. So, in that sense, your spiritual body is as physical as your material body; the difference being a higher vibratory form.’
‘Further to that,’ Mo said, ‘I may add, these objects and bodies you perceive exist for you as being physically substantive because you exist on the same vibratory plane where you perceive them. Let me recite what John Wheeler had to say on this: No phenomenon is a physical phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon… the universe does not exist out there, independent of us. We are inescapably involved in bringing about that which appears to be happening. We are not only observers. We are participators. In some strange sense, this is a participatory universe… ’
‘Well stated!’ Eli said. ‘The way I look at it, if a rock makes contact with your head it may break your skull, just like a woman may break your heart, except as you well know, hearts don't always heal as quickly as skulls. Our encounters with solidity may seem very real, as did yours on the way down the chasm, yet these experiences are actually encounters with energy events. Which is to say: non-substantial, subatomic energy waves of no-things, yet appearing to our senses as material forms which we know and experience through non-material mental processes.’
‘What you keep saying sounds much like what might be found in the ancient Vedantic writings, not that I’ve actually studied them.’
‘You are correct, what we say sounds much like them,’ Mo said. ‘I ought to know since I studied the Vedas for years while still in my mortal body. In fact, most of your ancient sacred texts that were uncovered in Egypt, Tibet and other areas of the world speak of the non-material void, just as the voice you heard spoke the word nothingness out of the nothingness.
‘Much of this literature implies that when you begin to understand the concept of emptiness, you will understand the inverse nature of everything that remains implicit within infinity’s unmanifested dream. It’s not so much a contradiction of what’s on a linear level, but rather what’s intuited on a higher level, as perhaps with a Zen koan.’
‘So, what you’re saying is that out of the Infinite Void of nothing comes all thought that leads to the manifestation of everything that is, everything that will be and everything that can be.’
‘That sums it up very well,’ he said, ‘for nothing exists outwardly that doesn’t ultimately come from within the Source’s divine vortex. As I mentioned, this cosmology is not limited to just ancient Eastern traditions; some of our earliest literature inferred the same thing in the Genesis creation myth: In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep – and God said let there be light....’
‘And so,’ Eli said, ‘it is out of the void, out of the nothingness, that the light of our perception emerges whereby we experience existence as we do. If taken literally, it may appear as an actual historic event in time when everything was created in seven days. Creation out of nothingness is an ongoing state of essence being outwardly manifested from within. As within, so without! That’s why the existential philosophers of our day, who insist existence proceeds essence, have it backwards.’
‘From what you seem to be saying, “Nothingness,” is just a black hole! Out of the void from which all emerges ex nihilo. Just as the voice spoke to me that night: nothingness… nothingness… nothingness.’
‘That should have been your first clue,’ Eli said, ‘so it’s no wonder you found yourself attracted to Berkeley’s writings shortly after your mountain meadow camping experience. Something or someone out there was tipping you off that life wasn’t about things, but the infinite void that manifests universes into being. And perhaps, after serving their purpose; each collapse again, to be reformulated by another Thought outside of time from the Source.
 John Wheeler, Physicist (1911-2008), collaborated with Einstein, Bohr and several other luminaries. He is credited with popularizing terms such as ‘black hole,’ wormhole, ‘mass without mass,’ etc. He believed that reality is created by observers in the universe, yet asked, how does something arise from nothing while questioning the existence of time and space. I should mention, Mo kept a thick notebook of quotes by physicists.
 The Merriam-Webster definition of a koan is a paradox to be meditated upon that is used to train Zen Buddhist monks to abandon ultimate dependence on reason and to force them into gaining sudden intuitive enlightenment.
Genesis 1:1-3 (KJV)
Elysium’s Passage: The Summit, Chapter 14, Not My First Rodeo
Mo often stated and restated how there was nothing in the subatomic world that wasn’t connected; all is one in the vortex of the infinite void that creates all that will be. The paradox is that the void isn’t a void, but infinite potentiality enfolded in the implicate order of the unmanifested universe of nothingness. From this emerges the manifest, explicate order, which is perceived as the universe of everything that has been or can be created. And so, it is with us, essentially contained and unseen as one within the enfolded (implicate) universe, and yet expressed as many individuated essences in the unfolded (explicate) universe where experiences are manifested.
I still wasn’t sure how well I comprehended this, but it was beginning to make more sense the longer I was here. These were the kind of deep thoughts I was challenged with at Summit U, and yet I wasn’t sure if I was ready for all the mystical implications of their interpretations that came out of these postulates. I realized how many scientists objected to this, adamantly denying that any spiritual inference can be made from their equations.
However, I remember Mo saying that many of the more perspicacious scientists recognized that something more to reality may be inferred than just matter. In fact, he quoted physicist David Bohm  who postulated that the implicate order implies a reality immensely beyond what we call matter. Matter itself is merely a ripple in this background.
 What the nature of this implicate order is, however, was not made clear by Bohm. He seems to suggest, whatever it is, supersedes matter rather than transcends it. However, he doesn’t suggest this proves the order is spiritual in nature since spirit cannot be inferred or proven by what lies below.
Elysium’s Passage: The Summit, Chapter 21, Learning Beyond Learning
‘I suppose we could go on forever creating more intrigue out of this strange incident,’ I said. ‘But I still don’t understand the significance of why the voice repeated the word “nothingness” three times. I heard it clearly the first time when it woke me up.’
‘Didn’t it take Peter three times before he realized he was in denial?’ Mo said. ‘Perhaps the voice was trying to tell your mind it’s nothing without the heart. The mind never likes to hear that and so it took three times for it to get the message.
‘Remember, the mind can only receive truth when it’s in wholeness with the heart. Otherwise, it believes the illusions of the ego, which is nothingness. But of course, your ego-mind couldn’t accept that what you thought you knew at the time was nothing; just information you outwardly acquired, rather than what you could discover from within.
‘Perhaps what you received that night was so special it could have only been for you. Your heart already knew your mind would not be willing to accept that it knows nothing, even after being told three times. But at least the seed was planted in your soul that it may germinate. According to my theory, that’s why you were so intrigued by the Mountain visions that eventually led you up here. And now, almost ten years later, your mind is finally beginning to understand what your heart has always known.’
‘Remind me again,’ I said, ‘what’s that?’
‘That it needs the heart to understand anything of value. Learning, when apart from the heart’s inward knowingness is nothingness, or Maya, the Vedic word for illusion. But when the heart and mind unite, the soul reawakens to its divine Self.’
I sat there in silence, bent over, looking down at my boots. I didn’t know what to think of their speculations regarding the voice. They sounded a bit far out, and yet something in me sensed there was something to what they said, even if I couldn’t figure out what to make of it. I wondered, though, had the voice returned to channel its message to me through Eli and Mo? That was kind of weird to think, and yet par for the course… the Summit’s course.
As I sat there by the fireplace with a glass of Scotch in hand, I asked myself again how it was possible that all my years of learning could have been about nothingness, especially after earning a PhD in philosophy. Had my education no lasting value? My mind dismissed that as being absurd. And yet, was it possible I had been led to this Summit to discover what it meant to go beyond learning rather than just continuing to learn more and more about what others learned from others over the centuries?
 Eli, I believe was referring to the scripture where Jesus said to Peter, that this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. Matthew 26:34 (KJV). As it turned out, this is exactly what happened.
Elysium’s Passage: Surreal Adventures, Chapter 8, Sophia
‘Most certainly,’ I said, ‘but let’s continue with our discussion about life’s origin. I need to know this stuff before I return home. If singularity doesn’t do the trick, what contrarian thoughts do you have about creation? Origins is one word the scientists really get upset about.’
‘That’s because they don’t understand what creation means, and so they have nothing to say on the subject that’s intelligible. Creation is not an event so much as an enfolding and unfolding that is embraced in the one Source of Alpha and Omega. Outwardly, creation seems to occur in the explicit domain of manifestation, but in the implicate universe, it remains latent in the void of infinite possibilities. All and nothingness, at once, existing as one, proceeding outwardly and then back again, endlessly and seamlessly.
‘Again, I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean,’ I said. ‘Sounds like another Zen koan. But speaking of nothingness – I have a jolly story to tell you.
‘You mean about, the voice of the one crying in the wilderness.’
‘Ah, so you already know?’ I said. ‘But then, why should I be surprised?’
‘Whether I do, or whether I don’t, he said, ‘tell me your story.’
‘I think this was the strangest thing that ever happened to me, at least before arriving at the Summit. Not to mention meeting you. Anyway, I was camping in the Rockies one night while attending graduate studies in Canada. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a voice woke me in the middle of the night as I was sleeping and repeated one word three times within less than a minute. It said, nothingness, nothingness, nothingness. I didn’t know what to make of what was happening. After getting up to look around, I lay down again, I said, now that you’ve got my attention, what’s this supposed to mean? I never did hear back.’
‘So how did you interpret this extraordinary incident?
‘The only meaning nothingness had for me back then was how I was felt after recently breaking up with my girlfriend. A delightful lassie I met in one of my philosophy classes. I was still feeling empty, and so that word seemed to sum up my life rather well just then.
‘My condolences,’ he said, ‘but is that not often the time humans are most open to discovering something they never knew about themselves before.’
‘Interesting you should say that,’ I said, ‘since this mysterious event was about the time I began to receive my visions of the Mountain. Funny, but I never put this conflation of events together before.’
‘It was no coincidence,’ Rhom said, ‘but then there never are on the road to enlightenment. Did you ever figure out later what nothingness was intended to mean to you?’ Rhom asked.
‘After a while, I no longer thought about it. Until recently when I talked over my spooky encounter with Mo and Eli. That was helpful, but I still think there’s more to it than I understand, I just don’t know what. Maybe you could fill me in, I chuckled. Was it you who disturbed my sleep that night?’
‘Did you see me?’
'I’m not sure that would have been necessary.’
‘What if the voice was your voice… with mine, and all the gods of creation.’
‘Yes, what if? I said, laughing. ‘For now, I want to explore more while we’re still here in the Flatlands.’
 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord. Mark 1:3 (KJV). This was a quote from Isaiah 40:3 from about 800 years prior.
SUMMARY OF ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE: THE SUMMIT
This the first in a series of five Elysium narrations regarding a young British philosopher named James Phillips who finds himself living in an altered state of reality while still remaining on earth.
After experiencing a near-fatal fall while climbing to the summit of a remote mountain in the Andes, James awakens in a new dimension. He soon encounters two mysterious beings who provide him with a very different perspective on the nature of his existence. Over the next year, before his body recovers from the coma, he is challenged to re-examine his understanding about life’s meaning and purpose far beyond anything he previously believed or could believe.
An engaging and sometime surreal adventure with intimations of impending romance, the narrative explores the most important questions about life, death, reality and our ultimate destiny.
The Plains of Elysium (Champs-Élysées) was described by Homer, Hesiod, Virgil and many other poets as the paradisiac afterlife realm reserved for heroes. As the title suggests, this is about a journey through a passage that leads towards Elysium’s exciting realm of existence.
To read a sample press review: https://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15515775.htm
(ATTEMPTED) INTRODUCTION TO THE SERIES
ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE: READER REVIEWS
The following comments are excerpts from among the first readers including a number of Amazon five star reviews. To read the full reviews, go to READER REVIEWS on www.elysiumspassage.com or directly at https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and-entertainment/reader-reviews
"A delightful mix of fantasy, reality, conjecture and humour; Mr. Meyers draws the reader into the story with a gentle narrative that captures imagination, leaving one anxious to get to the next page drawing you into his exceptional world.”
"Quietly, gently, and without imposition, the Author unfolds the pages, creating an intricate, interlocking bridge spanning the chasm between mind and heart. Renewing, refreshing, restoring. In my bereavement, it was vigil and light…"
“Excellently written with an exceedingly deep understanding of this world and the next. The characters are very well written and engaging. I can't wait to complete this book!"
“Takes the reader on both a philosophical and spiritual journey, a journey that at times is both disquieting and tranquil. James, a British Philosopher can be irreverent and caustic, traits that should have left me cringing, but instead made me laugh out loud. Elysium’s Passage is a fun, enlightening and remarkable book.”
“This is a masterful fantasy, becoming a real possibility, as the reader is drawn into the story. The Summit leaves you anxious for the next book in the series, yet also leaves you totally satisfied with the world you have just visited. Genius! An exciting, yet calming, experience that is not to be missed."
"There was hardly a page on which I did not find at least one sentence worthy of hi-lighting for future reference. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed the main character, James, whose personality and passionate verbal exchanges with the other characters, kept me coming back for more. I am reading the book for a second time while I wait for the next one in this series to be made available."
“N.G. Meyers has clearly put a great deal of research and thought into what the afterlife may look like and I like his perspective. It’s an altogether welcoming and exciting vision. The book gives one a great deal to think about and a reassuring confidence that the end of our lives is truly the beginning of life in the next. I highly recommend it."
"I am really enjoying your book, it’s fantastic! It is so incredible and diversified that I can’t really explain it other people, so what I say is just read this book. Thank you so much for the blessings that you’ve given the world!"
“The humour interjected into a serious discussion makes me laugh out loud. Totally unexpected....l may be in the presence of at least a master, if not a genius. A fair ride into reality... seeking that which is unseen, yet absolutely real.”
“An engaging story of adventure embracing man's deepest desire to search for meaning and purpose, N.G. Meyers takes the reader on an adventurous thought provoking journey. This book has substance. It is a perfect blend of adventure and fantasy combined with spiritual philosophy. It ignited my imagination. The author magically weaves a good story laced with wit and humor together with deep philosophical wisdom. This book has it all!”
“An evolution in thought is triggered by many fresh philosophical themes which could inspire readers to re-think their reality and former ideologies that have dictated their lives… the author fires readers’ imaginations to view what could be possible when spirit vacates the body.”
“This is the book spiritual seekers have been waiting for. For me, it granted a great read as well as increased inspiration to live every day with a heightened sense of purpose. I highly recommend it.
“The Summit is capable of hooking readers and luring them to search for Book 2 to discover more about Dr. Philip’s surreal trek into the mysterious unknown universe. This thick book is well worth the read and to share…”
“Mind-blowing statements and speculation (‘…everyone is a non-physical thought form conceived in the Mind of God, preserved for all eternity because God’s thoughts never die…’). Many will find Meyers’ journey up the Mountain intriguing—and possibly even life-changing.” (BLUEINK REVIEW)
“In its effort to grapple with fundamental questions about the meaning of life, it raises questions that have echoed throughout the ages, including about where we come from, where we are going, who we are.” (CLARION REVIEW)
For more reviews, go to https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and-entertainment/reader-reviews
PENDING PUBLICATIONS IN THE SERIES
The Summit is now available for purchase. With the exception of the last novel, the other three have been written but still require more editing before publication.
The following titles in the Elysium's Passage series are projected to be released as follows:
THE SUMMIT available
SURREAL ADVENTURES spring 2019
MYSTICAL ROMANCE fall 2019
HE ELIXIR spring 2020
THE RETURN sometime in 2021/22
CONTACT INFORMATION & SOCIAL MEDIA SITES
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AMAZON: Elysium's Passage: The Summit and is now available www.amazon.com