04 October 2022

What is Resonance?

Of all the laws to know the structure of the Universe, nothing could be considered so essential as the discovery that the structure of the universe is based on vibration. 

This is a truth shared by both ancient spiritual systems as well as modern science.

While physical matter may appear to be solid, the atoms that make up matter are not just made of smaller solid particles, but rather of dense clouds of elementary particles made of vibrating energy fields. Energy can be understood in terms of vibration, a movement or oscillation from one point to another, and the speed of that oscillation is its frequency – the faster the oscillation, the higher the frequency. In addition, the amplitude of a vibration is the size or distance of that specific oscillation, representing the amount of energy it contains. 

This understanding of vibration as being the essence of creation enables things to be defined according to their frequency or rate of vibration. The different colours of the visible light spectrum, for example, are simply different frequencies of electromagnetic energies – the colour we call red has a frequency of about 400 terahertz (trillion cycles per second), the slowest in the colour spectrum, while violet at the other end of the spectrum has a frequency of around 700 THz. Physical bodies, mechanical processes and all energies on the electromagnetic spectrum, that make up visible light, sound waves, radio waves, etc can be defined in terms of frequency.

We find a similar notion in ancient spiritual systems such as Tantra, which sees the entire creation as an unfolding of vibratory energies. These vibrations manifest at various levels of frequency and complexity, starting from a primordial, unique and infinitely fast vibration specific to the subtle world of the spirit, and extending down to the slowest vibrations which characterise all the phenomena and matter in the physical world. In the Kashmir Shaivism tradition, the primordial vibration is described with the Sanskrit word spanda. Spanda is the original, primordial, subtle vibration that is the creative impulse for the unfolding of the universe.

Between the two extremes of creation, the infinite, primordial vibration and physical matter, the entire creation is structured in a hierarchical way, according to frequency of vibration. As creation unfolds, vibrational energies interact with other vibrational energies, forming more and more complex systems of vibration – objects, processes, phenomena and beings, all of which can be defined by their specific frequency.

Resonance defines the way systems of vibration interact with each other. When the predominant or natural frequency of two systems are equal to each other or are similar enough, the two systems enter into consonance or syntony and a transfer of energy takes place between them

This unique vision provides us with a perfectly objective way to evaluate each and every element within creation, and to understand how each and every element is connected and related to each other. The nature of the interaction of different vibratory systems can be understood by the phenomenon of resonance. To put it simply, resonance defines the way systems of vibration interact with each other. When the predominant or natural frequency of two systems are equal to each other or are similar enough, the two systems enter into consonance or syntony and a transfer of energy takes place between them. In this phenomena, the amplitude of the vibration in the receiving system is increased.

In the physical world many examples of the resonance phenomena can be found, such as mechanical resonance, acoustic resonance, and electrical resonance. A classic example often used to help understand the phenomenon of resonance is the way a radio functions. In this example the two resonating systems interacting with each other are the broadcasting antenna of the radio station and the radio receiver. The electromagnetic waves from the broadcasting antenna are constantly being transmitted. When the radio is tuned to the frequency of vibration specific to the waves emitted by the radio station, the phenomenon of resonance will appear between the two systems. When this happens, the radio waves are converted to acoustic waves by the radio, and the radio station is then transmitted through the speakers. If we turn the tuning dial, other radio stations can be heard, because the internal structure of the device has been modified by the tuner, to correspond to the new radio station being listened to. In this case, the system emitting the vibration is called the exciter system, and the system receiving the vibration is called the resonating system – because it is the system that attunes through resonance. The phenomenon of syntony appears when the vibratory frequencies of the two systems – the exciter and the resonating system – are similar or identical. Now we can say that resonance has been established between the two systems.

Resonance and Yoga

When the resonance phenomenon is extrapolated to the field of metaphysics, it becomes known as the law of occult resonance. It is occult because certain aspects of this law are mysterious and remain hidden from the common understanding of the phenomenon. Notably, the Tantric vision extends this understanding of resonance to include the subtle dimensions of reality, so that literally everything can be understood of in terms of vibration, not only physical matter, but all subtle phenomena such as emotion or thought.

This law provides us with a unique way to understand how the practices and techniques of yoga work, and what kind of effects a specific technique will produce within the being of the practitioner. The widely known practice of asana-s, or bodily postures, for example, is not just a set of techniques for improving the strength and flexibility of the physical body. From the perspective of the law of occult resonance, the asana-s are methods for consciously tuning into specific resonances that exist in the universe, triggering a vibratory phenomenon that generates precise and known effects. These effects can be perceived in multiple ways, as an energetic phenomenon, an emotion, a feeling, an intuition, an understanding or even a specific state of consciousness.

When we begin to feel a state of love, for example, in that moment a process of resonance is triggered with the endless universal energies of love. The experience that triggered that state of love actually tunes us into the universal source of love and, through resonance, that energy is transferred into our being, amplifying that state within us. All our human experiences can be understood in the same way – even complex processes such as the experience of a sublime and beautiful state of consciousness, or the process of learning and acquiring knowledge and wisdom, can be understood as processes of resonance.

To understand this phenomenon further, the analogy of the functioning of a radio is again useful, as in its description of the way two vibrating systems interact with each other, a third component is included, which is of utmost importance, and that is the tuning mechanism. In the radio, the tuning mechanism is the dial that is adjusted to change the receiving frequency, while in the human being the tuning mechanism is the mind. Not only do we use our body in yoga practice, but even more importantly we use our mind, as it is the mind that controls the process of selecting and tuning into the chosen frequency. This has an important consequence – that all genuine practices of yoga must involve the mind – we need to be aware of exactly where and how we focus the mind so that we can tune into the desired frequency. This could in fact be the way in which we can make the distinction between normal life and spiritual practice. In normal life we are mostly unaware of the processes of resonance that we trigger through our thoughts, words and actions, and we are therefore at the mercy of our habits, reactions, education, and learned and conditioned behaviour, unaware as to the causes of the nature of our daily experiences. In spiritual practice, however, the aim is to be highly aware and to consciously chose the resonances that we want to experience and bring into our life; we are also much more aware of the consequences of certain words, thoughts and actions, which are known clearly to be simply a result of the law of occult resonance. This law also helps us to understand, quite literally, any form of spiritual practice or knowledge. When we interpret something from the perspective of the law of occult resonance, we can discover the deeper, esoteric meaning – a meaning that is significant for our own personal development and spiritual transformation. For example, considering the famous adage, ‘You are what you think’ from the perspective of this law, we can see how significant thoughts are in controlling our resonances – our thoughts shape our own personal reality by continuously creating processes of resonance, which then attract and amplify those energies into our being. This is true whether this is a conscious or unconscious process. With spiritual practice we can train ourselves to make this process more and more conscious, and in this way to have a stronger influence over the nature of our daily experiences and the overall direction of our life.

The Esoteric Significance of Resonance

Going even deeper into the esoteric nature of the law of occult resonance, we encounter another significant spiritual law, known as the law of correspondence.

The principle of energy or vibration and the law of occult resonance provides a deeper understanding of the essential structure of creation and the nature of all the ‘parts’ of creation. The law of correspondence completes this vision by recognising a special relationship between the ‘parts’ and the ‘whole’ of creation. This relationship sees the part as containing the whole through complete reflection, and the whole containing the part – the whole in the part and the part in the whole. As stated in the Hermetic text, the Emerald Tablet, “As above, so below; as below, so above, thus creating the miracle of the whole.” 

Known also in modern science as the concept of the holographic universe, this principle embodies the truth that there is always a correspondence between the structure and phenomena of the various planes of existence, and of the underlying unity of creation.This law is of utmost importance in understanding the relationship between the individual, known as the microcosm in Tantra, and the universe, called the macrocosm. A correspondence exists between the individual being and the universe, such that by knowing ourselves we come to know the universe. As stated in the Tantric text, Vishvasara Tantra, “What is here is elsewhere. What is not here is nowhere”, emphasising again the perfect correspondence between the individual and the universal – whatever we find in the microcosm of our own being can also be found in the macrocosm of the universe. Thus, the exploration of the microcosm, or the individual being at all levels, will ultimately lead to the revelation of the essential nature of creation. Thus, we can see how these laws support the ultimate spiritual goal of yoga – true self-knowledge. By knowing ourselves deeply, we come closer to the ultimate revelation of the essence of our own being, and of creation itself.

Conclusion

Understanding the law of occult resonance and the law of correspondence completely transforms the way we approach life, and particularly a spiritual practice, as it provides us with a much more objective way to evaluate our actions. Normally, our perspective upon reality, and therefore the guiding force in how we navigate our way through life, is conditioned and limited by our previous experiences, by our specific education and by our cultural and social conditioning, so that we approach reality in a very subjective way. The law of occult resonance, however, is a genuinely universal law that allows us to evaluate any process, any action, any knowledge, and any perspective from a universal and impartial level, namely, the knowledge of its vibratory nature and thus its precise position and value within the hierarchical structure of reality.

We can also evaluate any form of spiritual practice such as yoga, breathing techniques, or forms of meditation from this objective reference point, by knowing the precise way in which we need to focus the mind and exactly what resonance effect we aim to generate. In our daily yoga practice, and the way we teach and practise in our ongoing courses within this spiritual school, we aim to use the process of resonance to bring the kind of energies into our being that result in beneficial, balancing, creative, regenerative, healing and elevating effects – energies that will support our spiritual evolution and contribute to our integration into the universal macrocosmic harmony

Frequencies are only patterns to their own surroundings, just like us. As beings we can only experience what our surroundings offer. What matters is how we use that experience. We tune into different channels just like a mixing board, our minds separating current and frequencies. We can auto-tune our mind by adjusting our tone, our thoughts, our actions. We are the living experience of cymatics. We are the experience of living information. We are the experience of our surroundings, and our surroundings are experiencing through ourselves. Once we grasp this as a species there will be a true evolution of being.

Cymatics scientist, David Shiermeyer
30 August 2022

The discovery of quantum physics in the last few decades has redefined the way we view the universe and has forever changed the face of science. Interestingly, many of the theories proposed in quantum physics resemble key concepts from ancient spiritual systems, providing us with parallels as to the way reality is represented and understood.

For modern spiritual practitioners, these parallels are a testament to the wisdom of ancient spiritual traditions, especially traditions such as yoga and tantra, where we find complex, detailed and complete descriptions of the nature of reality and the fundamental principles and universal laws that govern creation. In particular, they provide explanations as to the nature of our relationship as conscious beings to the world in which we exist.

Various spiritual traditions include descriptions of extraordinary concepts such as parallel dimensions, subtle realities that exist beyond the material world, and fundamental formative fields and energetic structures that provide matrices for the unfolding and organisation of energy and matter. 

They also include notions about the essential role of consciousness within creation. Many of these concepts do not fit into the paradigm of classical physics – the physics that describes our everyday reality, governed mostly by mechanistic laws such as Newton’s laws of motion, gravity and energy preservation. 

A similar situation also exists between quantum physics and classical physics,  where there seems to be one set of rules for the quantum world and another for classical physics, and the two do not reconcile. This relationship goes both ways – not only can the discoveries of quantum physics be seen to validate the concepts of spiritual systems, but the world view of spiritual systems can provide a completely different framework that can allow a deeper understanding and explanation of the extraordinary concepts of the quantum world, even providing answers to some of the greatest scientific challenges of today.

Unity within Diversity

Progress in theoretical physics during the past decade has led to a progressively more unified understanding of the laws of nature and of theories which point towards a fundamental unity behind the observable reality. The universe appears to us as being extraordinarily complex and diverse, but it is fundamentally unified. Such theories identify a single universal, unified field at the basis of all forms and phenomena in the universe.

The feeling of unity beneath life’s diversity, is also a central theme of every major spiritual tradition. While our everyday experience tells us that we are separate from one another and distinct from all the forms of reality that we interact with, altered states of consciousness, such as those experienced in profound meditative states reveal that at some fundamental level, we are united with each other and with all of reality. The practice of profound meditation allows one to withdraw from the outwardly directed perception of the world through the senses, to experience deeper levels of mind and stillness, to move even beyond thought and mental activity and to experience the universal unity that lies at the basis of existence. By so doing, we can have direct access to the unified field as theorised by quantum physicists.

The universe appears to us as being extraordinarily complex and diverse, but it is fundamentally unified. 

Another phenomenon in the quantum world that is in line with the idea of unity within diversity can be seen in quantum entanglement. In classical physics there are constants that can never be broken, such as the relationship between mass and energy – the result of which means that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. However, in the quantum world, two particles can be connected in such a way that information can be shared instantly between them, regardless of distance. This is known as quantum entanglement. When two particles become entangled, they remain connected even when separated by vast distances. Entanglement can also occur between millions of particles and is thought to take place throughout nature, and within the atoms and molecules in living species. When hundreds of particles become entangled, they act as one unified object. These so-called many-body entangled systems describe a network of entanglement. If we also consider the big bang theory of creation, which states that the entire universe emerged from a single point of super condensed energy, then literally everything in existence has one, single united source.

 Here we can draw a parallel to a Tantric vision of reality – the existence of an underlying fabric or network of connections, that unites all the apparently separate aspects of reality. A central tenet of Tantra is that of non-duality, the recognition that underlying the multiplicity and diversity of experience there is a single, infinite and indivisible reality, the nature of which is pure consciousness. All the apparently separate aspects of creation are ultimately an expression of that one Ultimate Reality.

Role of the observer

One of the key notions in quantum physics relates to the unusual properties of subatomic elements. At the subatomic level we see that the building blocks of matter are not so solid and well defined as we might expect. Subatomic elements exist as fields of probability rather than as defined particles located in known space and time. Moreover, we find that it is the process of observation or measurement of that quantum state that defines that state  – so until it is measured the particle exists in a state of superimposition, where it exists in many states at once. Before it is observed, the particle of matter is not actually a particle, but an abstract probability wave – it does not have a real physical state but exists only as the possible outcome of a future measurement. When the measurement takes place, the quantum probability wave collapses to a localised particle, and becomes an object of conscious experience.

This is an interpretation of quantum behaviour known as the Copenhagen interpretation. It reveals an important aspect – that there is a relationship between the act of observation of a conscious observer and the existence of physical matter. If consciousness is so inextricably linked to matter, then from the scientific perspective, we can no longer ignore its influence.

The role of the observer in spirituality is a central aspect. Upon deep enquiry into the nature of our outer experience with the empirical world and with the inner experience of our own being, fundamental questions arise: ‘Who is the one that is aware of this experience now?’ ‘Who is the subject of our perception and observation of our inner and outer reality?’ ‘What is the observed and who is the observer?’

In Tantric philosophy, the waking experience involves three components, the Subject – the one that observes, the Object – that which is observed, and the Act of observation or perception. These appear to be separate and distinct, but this is only because we see them through the prism of the mind. In reality, they are all one – the Subject, Object and Act of observation are simply the consciousness fixing itself on the different components that constitute reality. In this context, consciousness is observing the object, but it is also observing the subject – the one who perceives.

In a deep meditative state, this threefold structure of the waking experience — the observer, the observed and the process of observation — are reunited into one indivisible wholeness of pure consciousness.

Parallel worlds and dimensions

Another interpretation of the particle-wave duality of nature is called the Many Worlds Interpretation. This theory states that the collapse of the probability wave when it is observed, never really happens, and that the wave function is the only true nature of reality. When the wave is observed we become aware of one reality, however, all other possibilities continue to exist as alternative worlds. Many, perhaps infinite worlds exist, all with different quantum outcomes. And this occurs in every moment – so frequently that the rate is practically infinite. In this vision, the wave function is the complete picture of reality and our measurement i.e., our conscious experience of the observable world, is just a fraction of it.

In addition to multiple worlds, each world contains multiple dimensions. String theory, a leading theory in quantum physics, proposes that a particle is actually made of tiny strings of vibrating energy. The way a string vibrates determines what type of particle it is. However, for this theory to be true, the existence of multiple dimensions is required, because the strings need more than just three dimensions to express all their vibrational patterns. For the mathematics of string theory to be consistent, there must be ten different dimensions of space-time! 

String theory, a leading theory in quantum physics, proposes that a particle is actually made of tiny strings of vibrating energy.

These notions are not unlike what we find in Hindu cosmology, for example, that there are innumerable universes besides this one, and that the Supreme Universal Consciousness manifests in each and every one. More than this, each universe is made up of multiple dimensions of reality, so that existence is not just made up of the physical world that we perceive through the senses, but there are other subtle worlds, made of vibrational frequencies that are outside the range of the senses.

In Vedic philosophy the description of the Universe consists of three main worlds: the physical, the astral and the causal world, each of which is considered to be a distinct plane of existence defined by their vibrational frequency. The physical world is the dense world of solid reality that is perceived by the five senses. The astral world is the world of thought and subtle forms, and the causal world is the blissful realm of truth. The subtle realms of the astral and the causal worlds are further divided into different worlds, or planes of existence known as the upper or paradisiacal worlds, and the lower or infernal worlds. The yogic system also includes specific techniques that allow the practitioner to explore these subtle dimensions. With sufficient training, the yogi can perform conscious, astral projections, allowing a direct experience of the subtle worlds.

Everything is Energy

One highly significant revelation of the exploration into the subatomic world is that everything is made up of energy. At the most fundamental level there are quantum fields, and everything emerges from both fluctuations within and / or interactions between those fields.

We find the same essential notion expressed as a fundamental principle in various spiritual systems such as the Western esoteric tradition of Hermeticism, and the ancient system of Tantra. The traditional Tantric vision says that the entire manifestation is made up of energy in vibration, from the lowest vibration that characterises all phenomena that appear in the physical universe, to the highest frequencies specific to the world of spirit. 

This vibratory phenomenon is defined in Yoga in a universal principle called the Law of Resonance. This law describes the vibratory nature of existence, that all objects, beings, and phenomena are defined by their frequency of vibration. From this perspective everything can be understood in terms of the interactions between systems of resonance. Even complex phenomena such as human emotion, knowledge or states of consciousness can be defined and understood as specific resonances. All the various forms of yogic practice then, from bodily postures to breathing techniques and forms of meditation, are in reality methods of tuning into specific frequencies of vibration that exist in the universe.

There are also many enigmatic aspects of reality that have not yet been fully included in current scientific models. In order to explain the functioning of the universe it is necessary to take into account the presence of so-called dark matter and dark energy as well as anti-particles or anti-matter. 

According to the standard model of cosmology, the composition of the universe is made up of only around 5% ordinary matter, the rest being made up of 27% dark matter, and 68% dark energy. This tells us that there are still many mysteries to be discovered and included in our quest to complete the current models of reality. In the Tantric vision, these mysterious facets of creation, yet unexplainable by modern science, can be understood in terms of resonance, as energies with specific, enigmatic, vibrational frequencies.

Final thoughts

The parallels between quantum physics and the concepts found in the wise visions of universal spirituality outlined in this article provide a glimpse into the enigmatic way in which science and spirituality can be united and support each other.

A special feature of the courses offered in this spiritual school is to approach spiritual practice in a scientific way, that is, to understand the theory expressed as principles and mechanisms, to use known methods to experiment with the specific concepts, and to validate these truths and realities via direct experience.

The models of reality offered by both modern science, in particular quantum physics, combined with those offered by ancient spiritual traditions, as well as the direct experience of these models through individual and collective spiritual practice, can greatly assist in bringing us to a deeper, more essential understanding of reality and of ourselves.