The renowned 20th Century physicist David Bohm (a protégé of Einstein) is quite popular with the spiritually-minded segment of humanity. Bohm is credited with having introduced the concept that the visible universe and its explicate order contains deeper orders of coherent structure. He called these deeper levels within the structure of reality (and action) enfolded or implicate order.
In a nutshell, visible and quantifiable phenomena not only contained deeper orders of structure and relationship (ratios of ratio) but these implicate orders brought us closer to total or universal order. Bohm had introduced a new way of looking at order and process. He proposed that in the formulation of the laws of physics that the implicate order be given primary relevance over explicate order. Thus, the causal arrangement of process in the universe should be looked at from a priori things (from within) into subsequent things (the outermost). His theory presents a powerful model of why the universe is a unified whole, and that fundamental reality consists of intelligence and consciousness. This is why spiritually oriented individuals like his physics.
However, Bohm was not the first to actually introduce the idea of implicate and explicate order to the world. Scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg offered similar ideas two centuries earlier. Unfortunately, Swedenborg has been dismissed by much of the academic world because his novel theological claims were based on direct experience with deeper (implicate) orders of reality—like the spiritual world.
Swedenborg not only applied implicate order to the causal architecture of the universe but to biblical interpretation (exegesis) as well! Who would expect such a thing? He maintained that the Holy Word and its narratives were similarly structured to the top-down scaffolding design of the universe and its processes. This scaffolding meant that the stories of Scripture had deeper levels of meaning that brought us closer to total or universal order—God’s order.
The value of a scientific model depends upon its explanatory and predictive powers. Swedenborg provided volumes of evidence to show that these deeper levels of meaning within Scripture do indeed exist. These discrete levels of order not only offer greater explanatory insights into the mysteries of faith, they allow one to predict with self-consistent precision, the deeper meanings of all its stories. Swedenborg maintained that it is these “implicate” levels of Scripture that offer lawful and rational proof of its sanctity, inerrancy and authority.
Swedenborg’s discovery that Scripture and Nature consisted of the same causal patterning principles is what inspired me to write my second book Proving God, which is my attempt to unify science and theology. I feel I have succeeded in this most important topic for a troubled, post-modern world.