Six Questions with Geoff Ward: Author of Spirals: The Pattern of Existence
Geoff Ward is an enthusiastic and passionate researcher and writer. With a Masters Degree in English and working as a British Journalist, his impressive book entitled Spirals: The Pattern of Existence is only one of his many writings to appreciate.
I had just finished reading Spirals before visiting the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia this last fall. Thoughts of the book had me looking for Spirals within the relics displayed, and it occurred to me, the scrolls themselves were rolled and kept in a spiral form. Like Geoff Ward’s book, the scrolls merely needed opening to realize the lost and forgotten knowledge hidden within. As Geoff’s writing reveals, the spiral holds amazing secrets of which we are only beginning to discern. His sharing of answers to the following Six Questions continues exposing more of the never-ending spiral. Enjoy!
- 1) In your book, Spirals, you reveal the extraordinary scope and prevalence of the phenomenal design all around us. From the smallest structures, to galaxies of far, to even ways man has visualized and communicated this sacred “pattern of existence.” So I must ask, what was the most surprising place for you to have discovered a spiral connection?
Once my research into the spiral form was under way, I ceased to be surprised by any manifestation of it because I realised very early on that it would be everywhere. This realisation has been borne out strikingly during the last few years as we have started to hear more about Russian scientific research involving torsion field theory, a relatively new branch of physics. This speculates that consciousness and DNA (couched in its double-helix molecule, of course) arise from torsion energy, the quantum twist of space-time – the macro outcome of the micro interaction of sub-atomic particles.
The pioneering work in torsion field physics was carried out by Albert Einstein and the French mathematician Élie Cartan in the 1920s, resulting in the Einstein-Cartan theory, a classical theory of gravitation in which interest has been revived as theorists try to incorporate torsion into quantum theories, or as they explore its cosmological ramifications.
Torsion fields (also called spin fields, or axion fields) are envisaged as spiral manifestations of subtle energy which can curve to the left or right, as spirals do in nature where the bias is to right-turning curves. Studies by the Russian astronomer and astrophysicist Nikolai Kozyrev, who died in 1983, and other studies by Russian scientists subsequently, have suggested that matter harnesses torsion waves to sustain its existence. Such research, however, advancing a theory for the behaviour of space and the nature of consciousness, is regarded as ‘fringe’ science in the West, especially because, from time to time, it has been used to propose faster-than-light travel and to explain extra-sensory perception, levitation and other paranormal phenomena. According to the Russian research, torsion-wave energy pervades space at varying degrees of concentration. As star and planetary systems move through, and rotate with, the galaxy they encounter different concentrations in specific time intervals, in cycles varying from thousands to millions of years. It is speculated that a high density of torsion waves could have transformative effects on DNA on Earth, causing more highly evolved forms of life to replicate more rapidly than less evolved forms. Evolution certainly seems to have taken place in sudden leaps and bounds rather than in a gradual and uniform way.
Now, as is well known, Earth has a 26,000-year cycle known as the precession of the equinoxes, and it has been estimated that torsion wave energy peaks about every 75,000 years or, roughly, each third time round. It is said that we are now at such a peak, with all that implies for the symbolism of 2012 and the ‘new consciousness’. When torsion energy peaks, it is alleged, DNA can be restructured, resulting in an evolutionary development. Only about three per cent of human DNA is required for genome purposes, the other 97 per cent being referred to by scientists rather dismissively as ‘junk DNA’, as they do not understand the purpose of it. However, it is the ‘junk’, evidently, that would be reorganised by the influx of torsion energy waves.
Some Russian scientists have gone so far as to say this spiralling torsion energy could be the substance of the human soul, and the precursor of the DNA molecule, in the sense that a torsion wave emanating from the galactic centre, and passing through our solar system at the moment of a person’s birth, influences the DNA uniquely, this ‘energy signature’ subtly altering the DNA inherited from our parents. The causal chain thus connects each of us to a universal consciousness through our DNA. Theorists speculate that spin interactions can be transmitted through and/or by space in a manner akin to electromagnetic waves but holding neither energy nor mass, only information, which links to the idea of a universal consciousness.
Of course, if torsion fields are the ultimate underlying stratum of the universe, it is not surprising that they should be reflected in spirality – the condition of being spiral – at every other level of existence.
- 2) When you first began your research into the spiral, you mention there wasn’t much written or study done on the subject. It would seem over the years, the spiral has grabbed the attention of many more students. Do you feel this is a result of the raising awareness or growth of the collective unconscious, like you speak about in your book?
I believe there is a ‘new consciousness’ developing. As long ago as 1978, Itzhak Bentov, the Czechoslovakian thinker who moved to America where he became an innovator in the field of bio-medical engineering, suggested that consciousness is the common uniting element of all creation, and that through this link all things are in permanent contact. This was a holistic model of the universe that encompassed not only physical, observable objects but also the distant universe and other ‘realities’.
According to Bentov, who was killed in a plane crash in 1979, consciousness evolves to the ‘absolute’ which is the source of all consciousness. Matter, composed of quanta of energy, is the vibrating, changing component of pure consciousness. The absolute is fixed, manifest and invisible. Ours, then, is a vibratory reality, from microcosm to macrocosm. Realities are relative, depending on the position and condition of the observer.
We all know the everyday human reality, but most of us do not know that our consciousness can be schooled to expand and interact with the whole spectrum of realities which are, in fact, different categories of consciousness. The goal of creation is the evolution of consciousness to higher levels, and the opposing forces of good and evil are there to encourage this evolution. Strong echoes of Bentov’s ideas have occurred in science and philosophy in the decades since his death.
Mystics and sages have spoken for long of an interconnecting cosmic field behind reality – known as the Akashic record, after the Sanskrit and Vedic term for space – that conserves and conveys information, and information is implicitly intelligible, otherwise we would not be able to perceive it as being able to ‘inform’. Quantum science, meanwhile, has come up with the idea that we live in a holographic universe, the implication of which is that all information is everywhere at the same time, in a state of ‘zero separation’. A field of information as the essence of the universe has been posited by Ervin Laszlo, the Hungarian philosopher of science and systems theorist and, indeed, named by him the Akashic field, or ‘A-field’.
Laszlo sees the fundamental energy and information-carrying field as arising from the quantum ‘vacuum’, and having its equivalent in a zero-point field that underlies space itself. This field comprises a subtle flow of fluctuating energies from which everything in the universe arises, including consciousness. Laszlo regards the Akashic field as the original source of all things arising in time and space and also the continuous and enduring memory of the universe, holding the record of everything that has ever happened and relating it to all that is yet to happen.
How is such a record, such a higher consciousness, accessed? Most of us have no inkling of a higher ‘cosmic’ mind, except in moments of ‘breakthrough consciousness’, fleeting mystical experience, or during meditation or undergoing other altered states of consciousness (ASCs). Such moments, says Colin Wilson in Super Consciousness (2009), his study of the phenomenon, are capable of leading to a sustained experience of ‘sheer perception of meaning’ which for the human race would be ‘the decisive step to becoming something closer to gods’. The ‘gods’, of course, were and are the immutable laws, or design parameters, of the universe. Such a view returns us to Jung’s myth of consciousness, and the idea that the meaning of life, of existence, lies in the universal enhancement of consciousness, a gradual process over time, whether or not consciousness is the ultimate ground of being.
Jung gave us the concept of the collective unconscious, containing the instincts and memory of the human race, and comprising some kind of cosmic information bank which might be accessible to us. Intermittent communication with the collective unconscious, and perhaps through that the A-field, could explain the divinatory arts, such things as synchronicity and clairvoyance, intuition, and creativity and inspiration. It could be why people develop ideas and inventions simultaneously but independently around the world without any contact with one another – and, indeed, why there seems to be a growing awareness of the significance of the spiral form and pattern in the universe. Whether inspiration leads to artistic or scientific genesis or discovery, my theory is that we are all connected by an informational substrate which reveals a participatory structure of energy fields, including our individual conscious and unconscious minds, as well as the collective unconscious..
Dr Stanislav Grof, author of The Holotropic Mind (1992), a pioneer of research into ASCs since the 1950s, is a transpersonal psychologist who believes consciousness to be an innate characteristic of the universe. Mind and consciousness might not be exclusive privileges of the human species but could permeate all of nature, existing in the most elemental to the most complex forms, he said as long ago as 1975, in his book Realms of the Human Unconscious. The universe and the human psyche have no boundaries or limits, and each of us is connected with, and is an expression of, all existence.
If consciousness is thought of as a fundamental property of nature or, indeed, as the very ground of existence, then its participatory nature becomes apparent: human evolution has increasingly participated in it. Consciousness then ceases to be seen as a function of the brain, and instead becomes a gestalt, a uniting human experience rather than one subjective only to the individual.
Theoretical nuclear physicist Dr Amit Goswami, of the University of Oregon, inspired in part by ideas taken from Hindu philosophy, notably the Advaita Vedanta, and theosophy, and famous for stating that ‘consciousness is the ground of all being’, believes that the universe is self-aware, and that it is consciousness that creates the physical world. His theory, which he calls ‘monistic idealism’, not only explains the basis of all religions, he says, but also provides the correct philosophy for contemporary science. Under such a scenario, consciousness – an all-embracing and unified field pervading the entire universe – emanates from as yet unperceived aspects of reality (the torsion fields, perhaps) and the brain acts as a ‘receiver’ of it, or a participant in it, if you prefer. This (intelligent) field not only could form all of the matter in the universe, but also provide the information to organize matter into functional systems, such as DNA and living cells.
If torsion fields and consciousness are inter-related, then it is of great significance for the various field theories of consciousness; such theories, in my view, offer the best explanation of the nature of consciousness in the current state of our knowledge – and not just because of the obvious spiral implications, my belief being that the spiral curve is the shape of time and the trajectory of consciousness, a key to the riddle of existence and the inner essence of reality.
The idea is that consciousness, and not matter, is the ground of all existence, and that our minds participate in it as a universal informational continuum, rather than enfold a small part of it discretely. This is the standpoint of the ‘new mysterians’, who regard an understanding of consciousness as being beyond the scope of physical theory. Consciousness, after all, is the point of intersection between the cosmic dimension and the human dimension, between timelessness and time, where we receive the numinous and the ‘life-force’.
- 3) The incredible doorway of the Kilpeck Church in Herefordshire, which you share an image and write about in your book, caught my attention. You express the many spiraling serpents and other meaningful features adorning the entrance and talk about the sacredness of the site in relation to the Earth’s magic, leys, and underground energy streams. Since you have visited there, would you describe some of your feelings about this ancient and mystical place?
Kilpeck Church, the parish church of St Mary and St David, has the finest collection of Romanesque sculpture in England. Built about 1140, it is amazing how it has survived largely intact and without alteration – it is famous for its carved corbels, 85 remaining out of an original 91. The building’s survival might be due to the decline of Kilpeck village, which was hit by plague in 1349, and the neglect of the neighbouring castle by absentee landlords.
The castle, just to the west, consists of a motte and bailey and a ruined polygonal keep dating, like the church, from the 12th century. There are slight traces of a causeway leading to the motte, and the bailey has a circular outer ditch and remains of a rampart. On Google Earth, you can see clearly how the church abuts this ditch, its western end standing right on it, as if the church was intended as an adjunct.
As I have written in Spirals: The Pattern of Existence, it was my first visit to this ‘serpent church’ in the late 1960s that sparked my interest in earth mysteries and geomancy. The church has many depictions of dragons and serpents – the ancient symbol of the earth spirit – and I visited many times afterwards, although I have not been there in recent years. What drew me back was that the site, as a focal point of earth energies, must have been considered sacred for thousands of years, even before the church was built on what appears to be a seven-sided or egg-shaped mound – there was an older church there before – suggesting megalithic remains beneath, although this is not verified.
It is the distinctive geomantic setting of the church and castle within a horseshoe shaped range of low hills open to the east, and today in typical ‘patchwork quilt’ English countryside, that strikes me as much as anything else, and makes a strong symbolic impression. It was the spirit of place, its anima loci, the ‘place-soul’ – admittedly an abstract concept and a profoundly subjective experience – the invisible, but somehow tangible, warp and weft of the essential ancestral ‘personality’ of the place, that powered my imagination.
Things that are invisible to us in normal states of perception can still exert an influence in the phenomenal realm. When the anima loci is recognised and honoured, a sacred place comes into being; it projects itself into the physical world. Kilpeck is therefore what I would describe as a place of epiphany, where the mysteries of landscape speak through the unconscious and make the unseen seen. Through the experience of revelation, the forgotten energies of sacred places can manifest themselves once more.
Such relationships with place have been largely lost in the Western world, although they have been revived to some extent in recent decades with research into earth magic, leys, feng shui and the veneration of megalithic sites such as stone circles: John Michell’s idea of enchanting the land, which goes back to the Romanticism of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Many indigenous and tribal cultures remain deeply involved with spirits of place in their local environments.
Many, if not all, old churches stand on sites dating back to the megalithic period and, recently, through my friend, Tom Brooks (about whom I write in Spirals: The Pattern of Existence), a key researcher into prehistoric geometry (www.prehistoric-geometry.co.uk), I have learned that Kilpeck conforms to a carefully calculated geometric network of as many as two dozen other ancient churches over distances of up to a hundred miles. Kilpeck would make a great place for an archaeographic study.
- 4) Obviously an avid reader from your many thorough (and I have to add persuasive) book reviews, I wonder what book has had the most influence on you? Over the years, which book do you remember reading which continues to hold its place closest to your heart and why?
It must be Colin Wilson’s The Outsider (1956, reissued 1957, 1963, 1967, 1997, 2001) because it opened my mind in so many ways and set me on a path of personal discovery. I remember clearly a school friend lending me his copy of the Pan 1963 paperback edition. I have to admit I never returned it and, indeed, it’s still in the (very large) Wilson section on my bookshelves, along with some later editions of it.
I identified immediately with Wilson’s inspired study of alienation in the modern world, and how certain writers, poets, artists and other thinkers reflected it in their lives and works. For me, it was a literary and philosophical turning point. C S Lewis once said: ‘A book sometimes crosses one’s path which is … like the sound of one’s native language in a strange country.’ That was it exactly. I have a lot to thank that school friend for. I went on to read as many of Wilson’s books as I could lay my hands on, and I must credit the cumulative effect of his ideas for a huge expansion of my consciousness over the years.
Wilson is broadly a humanist thinker in the Romantic tradition, and doubtless this was the basis of his original appeal to me – his assertion of the importance of self and the value of individual experience, his insistence on the ability to realise human potential through the expansion of consciousness, his explorations of the non-rational, his sense of the infinite and the transcendental, and his response to the idea of pressure on the ‘reason why’ of human existence.
It seemed to me that Wilson set out to achieve a balance between the rational and the non-rational, between psychological and philosophical approaches. Because he wove a pattern which resonated with my own perceptions, my experience of the opposing pulls of that same duality, rational/non-rational, I was freely able to internalise the ideas, and begin to understand the vital principles guiding my own development and functioning.
Wilson’s work, indeed, encompasses all matters philosophical and psychological, his ideas impinging upon all aspects of existence, and offers persuasive explanations of human behaviour and endeavour. The existentialist approach, of course, is the oldest in philosophy, dating back to Plato, and existentialism necessarily embraces all other philosophies, but Wilson’s brand of existentialism is not the pessimistic kind of the Continental school, that of Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus – quite the opposite. Wilson’s ‘new existentialism’ provides an optimistic and practicable philosophy, complementing, for me, the Jungian idea of the individuation process, and Jung’s view that a deliberate act of will on the part of the individual can select a path of self-development. Wilson wrote a book about Jung, who is another great influence on my thinking and writing.
Wilson is one of the few thinkers who has stood out against the endemic pessimism and defeatism of our times, and the tendency to reject substance and meaning in favour of image and ephemera. I have found his stance on these issues inspirational. After The Outsider, Wilson went on to write well over a hundred books on philosophy, psychology, consciousness theory, literary criticism, criminology, the paranormal and the occult, UFOs, ancient mysteries and biographies, plus 20 novels. But The Outsider remains the cornerstone of his practical, intuitive philosophy for life, the ‘new existentialism’, which surely makes him the first optimistic philosopher in European history.
I first met Wilson during a holiday in Cornwall, where he lives, in the summer of 1999 and, in 2004, I launched a website (colinwilsonworld) as an appreciation of his career. I have been fortunate to meet and interview him on a number of occasions, a special one being in 2006 when we discussed his feelings as he looked back on The Outsider after 50 years (remarkably, the book was published when he was still only 24 years old). Now 81 and, sadly, in poor health, Wilson’s writing career may be at an end, but his foremost position in the pantheon of ‘new consciousness’ pioneers has long been assured.
- 5) Revelation of the Devil and The Origin of God by Laurence Gardner (1943-2010) are two books you have recently offered reviews on. Powerful objective studies into, as Gardner said, probably the biggest celebs ever; God and the Devil. They seem like two ends of the spiral which one can never quite grasp. You relate in one of the book reviews a question Gardner brought to surface in the midst of the widening gap of competition and cooperation; ‘Why do I need to believe in God?’ He goes on to suggest an importance for each of us to answer this question. Do you think understanding the Spiral with its inexplicable reach will help us do so?
Yes, as a symbol, not taking ‘God’ in the Biblical sense but recognising a higher power or consciousness in nature, and also as a scientific truth in the discovery that spirality underlies and pervades all existence. I have described the spiral as ‘God’s personal signature on the cosmos’, but I use the term ‘God’ metaphorically, signifying this hidden wisdom, order or intelligence within nature.
The spiral progression, as ‘re-volution’ or ‘re-evolution’, is symbolic of the transpersonal route to that higher level of consciousness which is sought by all esoteric and occult systems. Paralleling these inner movements of the psyche, which indicate the transformative and the integrative, are movements in physical space: the vortex, or involution, representing an opening or re-awakening, the circumambulatory, as utilised in mazes and labyrinths; and oscillation, the movement back and forth between dualities. The circumambulatory and oscillative suggest the mandala, a symbol of wholeness, while the spiral and the vortex point to dynamic growth and metamorphosis: the unfolding cosmos.
More than half a century ago, Viktor Schauberger, the Austrian naturalist, philosopher and inventor, was ahead of his time in his frustration that conventional science rejected the idea of a cosmic order affecting the Earth and human beings at a subtle energy level, and believed that a new science that had more in common with ancient wisdom would show how the world was governed by cosmic laws which created ‘correspondences’ between macrocosm and microcosm, these correspondences being illustrated by sacred numbers and sacred geometry. As I have implied above, we may be on the brink of such a new scientific paradigm today.
Of particular interest to me is that Schauberger drew attention to the spiral form or pattern as the most common vehicle for these correspondences. It was only in relatively recent times that scientists and philosophers abandoned the idea of the sacredness of an intelligent energy in nature, of how nature’s patterns and complex interactions were expressed in certain shapes and numbers which ‘proved’ that ‘God’ was at work behind the scenes.
Schauberger understood how the creative processes of nature were consistently to refine, diversify and produce higher forms of organic systems so as to raise consciousness – consciousness regarded as the integration of higher levels of connectedness. It is my belief that the creative, or authentic, use of imagination is to work with intellect and intuition to create new consciousness.
- 6) Do you have any plans on writing another book in the future? Have you discovered another area of study which has captured your interest or has the spiral revealed more for you to share?
Currently, I am completing a book about the Dutch adventurer and film-maker Herma Koornwinder (www.hermakoornwinder.com), whose story is quite remarkable. It was Spirals: The Pattern of Existence that brought us together. In 2009, she bought a copy of the book while on a visit to England and, finding it resonated strongly with her own researches, got in touch with me through my publisher. I have been working on the book with her for the past two years. As an outstandingly successful global market analyst in the 1980s and 1990s, Herma – self-taught in stock market analysis and information technology – detected meaningful patterns underlying the fluctuations of markets, a kind of ‘intelligent design’, as she called it, and was hailed in the Dutch media as a ‘stock market guru’.
Combining telematics, information science and data communication, her amazing success in predicting the rises and falls of the markets worldwide lay in her interpretation of what she regards as an ‘ancient language’, or ‘forcefield’, of universal energies which revealed itself in the patterns of stock price movements she traced in her charts. In complete opposition to thinking in economics over the past hundred years, Herma insists the movements of stock markets are not random, but ordered by these energies which have a profound transformational potential for the human species.
She is making a series of film documentaries, of which I am associate producer, about this interconnecting web of hidden energies, the patterns of which are embedded in the fabric of nature, and how it relates to an underlying organising and creative principle in the universe – you can see how it ties in with my work on the spiral as the pattern of existence. Herma believes these invisible energies were known to ancient civilizations and, in her films, she discovers, as a highly sensitive dowser, how and why they are being recognised again today, for example, through the symbolism of the layouts of ‘cosmic cities’, the siting of pyramids and temples in Ancient Egypt, prehistoric geometry and the detection of ‘earth energies’ at megalithic sites, in sacred geometry and in the patterns of crop circles.
GW November 2012
Masterful answers, Geoff. Your replies share exemplary insights and wisdom. You have honestly left me in a sense of awe for both the world around, and within us. My purpose for Six Questions is to offer inspiration, and you have surpassed expectations. Thank-you for such fascinating, remarkable, words.
For those interested, Geoff Ward’s book Spirals: The Pattern of Existence (published by Green Magic, 2006) can be found on his Mysterious Planet website. A new edition is planned for 2013. Please feel free to offer any comments/questions in the section below or on any of Geoff’s own sites. He recently began Reading the New Reality; a site committed to offering works and discussions by various writers focused on the above noted ‘New Consciousness.’ I personally recommend browsing over his many book reviews included there. Whenever I am in want of a powerful book to read, his reviews are one of the first places I go, and I am never disappointed.