August 21, 2023
SF Gate

The Universe, Dark Memory, and You.


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.

By Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP, FRCP

The newest findings in physics can be important without affecting anyone’s daily life. But there has been some recent speculation that goes to the very heart of human existence. The speculation revolves around the proposition that the universe might have a memory.

There is talk about very technical things like gravitational memory and black hole memory that seem far removed from daily life. Human interest enters, however, when you think about the possibility that we live in a conscious universe. Memory, after all, is part of being conscious. But both are invisible and impossible to measure.

You might think that cosmic memory is “dark,” meaning that it is out of sight but hugely powerful, nevertheless. The discovery of so-called dark matter and dark energy caused the standard model of the universe to implode. The very existence of stars and galaxies might depend on dark matter and energy, yet both are invisible and impossible to measure directly—they are both knowable by what they do (such as causing galaxies to accelerate away from each other in deep space).

What if cosmic memory is not only dark but just as powerful? This isn’t fanciful, mystical, or New Age thinking. In each of us, consciousness is known subjectively. “I know that I am conscious” is so obvious it doesn’t need to be stated. Of course we talk about our minds all the time—it’s a crucial part of being human. But to a scientist, consciousness isn’t real until brain functions, which can be measured on a scan, prove that mental activity is taking place.

So what kind of activity makes it plausible that the universe remembers things? Specifically, how can we know if it remembers human beings? There are several enticing clues.

  • Evolution

The fact that the universe evolved to produce life on Earth seems purposeful. This notion has even given rise to the “anthropic principle,” which says that the universe we see and know is to perfectly set up to produce life on Earth and human DNA (our DNA is the single most complex thing known in creation). Somehow, the universe remembered what it was aiming at for 9 billion years before the Earth began to coalesce as an infant planet.

  • Species

Once evolution began on Earth, creatures evolved as if with a goal in mind. The most primitive ancestor of the horse, for example, was a small mammal with no resemblance to a modern horse, yet step by step the modern horse evolved exhibiting thousands of characteristics that make it a horse. How could they all combine through the pure chance of random genetic mutations? Every species we see has become specifically what it is through intricate, specialized genetic templates.

  • Human difference

Modern Homo sapiens has been around for 100,000 years, yet in only 30,000 years did Asians look like Asians, Africans like Africans, Europeans like Europeans. That’s less than 1% of the time it takes for animal species to become so specific. Random selection seems inadequate to describe this hyper-speed evolution. Psychological choices is just as unlikely. If mutations are as random as Darwinian theory insists, then only one Asian-looking, African-looking or European-looking baby would be born in 10,000 or more. Do we really believe that out of 10,000 babies, a society picked the one that was different to be the model for the entire race?

  • The incredibly useful brain

The brain of Homo sapiens is human because of the development of the higher brain, or cerebrum. Thanks to the higher brain, every aspect of civilization, including art, music, law, science, technology, and mathematics were made possible. Yet the first Homo sapiens used their brains for none of these things. So why did the higher brain appear at least 70 to 80,000 years before civilization advanced on the scene?

  • Predispositions

Every mother sees the nascent personality of a child early on, usually before age one. By age five some children inexplicably become child prodigies at music or math. No one can explain how predispositions arise. Genetics is the default explanation, but when you were born, your genes exhibited 100,000 differences from your parents’ genes. These are supposed to be random mutations, yet somehow a child who can play the violin at a professional level at age six needs an advanced brain, motor coordination, musical pitch, and musical talent that defy explanation by pointing to genes, which after all are basically maps for making proteins. Was Mozart a lucky combination of proteins?

  • Reincarnation

Child prodigies are about as far as science is willing to go when it comes to unusual and extreme predispositions. But Eastern spiritual traditions and certain passages in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament testify to a belief in reincarnation. Some children, typically between the age of five and eight, can remember their past lives. Over 2500 such cases have been strictly and carefully documented. Are we to believe that this is a genetic trait? Such children can take researchers to the place where they lived in a past life, and almost all can visualize how they died.

  • Karma

The doctrine of karma is a doctrine of cause-and-effect, a mechanistic scheme of “As you sow, so shall you reap.” For this to work out, some actions are not linked to their consequences until the next lifetime, which of course is totally unacceptable to modern Western science. Yet without accepting or denying the doctrine of karma, what’s intriguing is that only an invisible form of memory could keep track of the actions being taken at any given moment.

Could all of these phenomena, taken altogether, point to “dark” memory in the universe? A mainstream scientist would flatly say no, which involves coming up with better explanations that so far are totally lacking. The usual attitude is simply to ignore the whole business.

But a single explanation already exists for everything just mentioned. It is Chit Akash, a Sanskrit term for the “consciousness space” where dark memory is mingled with all other aspects of mind. After all, we can’t even explain what a thought is, where it comes from, or what the next thought will be. Chit Akash is creative. It prime purpose is to oversee the evolution of mind. On this path Chit Akash remembers the collective traits that make us most human—love, compassion, empathy, insight, intuition, discovery, self-awareness, and personal growth. No one invented those things. They are innate in us, thanks to dark memory.

As always, there is much more to say on the subject, but the takeaway is that we need a modern version of Chit Akash that allows for dark memory in such a way that it suits our modern worldview. The first step is to look at everything that needs explaining. Only then can possible answers be weighed.

DEEPAK CHOPRA MD, FACP, FRCP, founder of The Chopra Foundation, a non-profit entity for research on well-being and humanitarianism, and Chopra Global, a whole health company at the intersection of science and spirituality, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation.  Chopra is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego and serves as a senior scientist with Gallup Organization. He is the author of over 90 books translated into over forty-three languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His 91st book, Total Meditation: Practices in Living the Awakened Life  explores and reinterprets the physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual benefits that the practice of meditation can bring.  For the last thirty years, Chopra has been at the forefront of the meditation revolution. His latest book,  Living in the Light co-authored with Sarah Platt-Finger. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.”

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