The Cosmic Plenum: The HiddenNous

There is a HiddenNous in the world. This HiddenNous is deep down, much deeper than the level of objective reality. This HiddenNous is reflective of a deeper cosmic dimension. It is an implicate order where everything is connected, where any individual element can reveal information about every other element in the universe. This HiddenNous is like a hologram, full of dense information--information enfolded into every region of the universe, where even the smallest part will eventually reveal the unfolded form of the entirety.

The Beginning: In the beginning there was a glowing ball of energy, compact and heavy beyond comprehension. This ball held within itself all the enfolded information that would forever fuel the unfolding cosmos. This little ball, spatially small enough to be held in one's hand, contained the enfolded information of the HiddenNous that would bloom forth into objective reality.

This primordial ball exploded, unfolded simultaneously everywhere. Every particle rushed away from every other particle. The explosion filled all space--a space that curves back upon itself like the surface of a sphere.

The Macrocosmos: Eventually the frenzied particles calmed, dissolving into a great scattering, and the cosmos began to transfigure itself. It fashioned the galaxies. These gigantic self-organizing systems pinwheeled and clustered across the outer mantle of the universe.

Feeding on helium and hydrogen, brilliant stars and planets were born. The early planets bubbled forth as moltening gaseous soups that cooled into planetary crusts. Chemical creativity began to churn away. And on one of these planets, the Earth, the first living cell arose around four billion years ago.

Gathering hydrogen from the oceans, releasing oxygen, these primal cells built the land and the atmosphere of the Earth. In time multicellular organisms arose. They began as corals, became worms and insects and fish. They wiggled and flashed about in the sea and on the land. They multiplied into many life forms. Experimenting, they discarded some forms and built up others. And about two hundred million years ago mammals entered into the life of the Earth. From these mammals came the first glimmers of consciousness, a sense of emotional sensitivity and self-awareness. In due time the human brain unfolded.

The Microcosmos: The foundations of outer reality rest upon a mysterious, subatomic milieu--a milieu where little can be predicated precisely. It is a milieu where one has to work with probabilities rather than certainties. It is a milieu that meshes, that is grainy. Electromagnetic energy--such as heat or light--does not form as a continuous wave. Rather, light has a dual character. In some circumstances light may display wavelike aspects; and, other times, light may have the characteristics of particles. Electromagnetic energy, elementary particles that undergird the world, can be transferred only in quantum packages.

The HiddenNous is buried deep down, enmeshed into this shapeshifting quantum world. Underneath all is an unbroken wholeness of the totality of existence. Within this totality everything is connected and enfolded. This totality of the HiddenNous is the information storage of the universe!

This HiddenNous, this implicate order, is like a holomovement that endlessly enfolds and unfolds into infinite dimensionality. Electromagnetic energy obeys its quantum-mechanical laws that imply both the property's discontinuity and non-locality. Within this totality there is approximate recurrence as well as stability and separability. And within the totalities there are sub-totalities, ranging from physical elements to human entities. This implicate order, this HiddenNous, is the fundamental ground of all matter!

The Cosmic Player: The continuous field of the cosmos displays an infinite variety of explicate forms. A superquantum wave function acts upon this field. It can be likened to a superfield of information that guides and organizes the field of forms. And last, there is an underlying cosmic intelligence that supplies the information. The HiddenNous is the player of the game.

This HiddenNous, this cosmic player deep down within, is a closed loop. It is enfolded intelligence, the reservoir of all information, endlessly undergoing a feedback cycle of enfoldment- unfoldment-enfoldment. The HiddenNous, the player, is a cosmic mind in process!

The HiddenNous, this cosmic interiority, is intelligent. Its mysterious encoded information is spread throughout the whole of the cosmos. Through its endless feedback process, it creates an infinite variety of manifest forms and mentality. It is engaged in endless experimentation and creativity. This HiddenNous, this player, is moving cyclically onward and onward accruing an infinity of experienced being. And, displaying increasing physical and mental complexity, the cosmic player continuously attains to higher and higher consciousness.

Cosmic Consciousness: This HiddenNous, through movement, through groping, is developing a reflective nature. Via cosmogenic outreach it is collecting a growing accumulation of understanding through its sub-totalities, through the free and ingenious effort of successful intelligences.

Moving from cosmic embryo to an evolving universe, the HiddenNous displays certain conscious characteristics. It exhibits a sense of order. It possesses intelligence. It tends towards personalization. And, especially, it is creative.

Order and Complexity: The cosmic energy that holds all together follows cosmic law. There is a natural order. Scientists in all fields have intuited this underlying universal order. This underlying order is lodged in DNA and RNA. There is order in the language of computation that looms so large in complexity. There is order in non-linear dynamical systems. There is even order from chaos!

It is a dance between order and chaos. An orderly system falls victim to an attracting chaos; but, alternatively, a chaotic system discovers the potentiality in its interaction for an attracting order. And standing between the edges of order and chaos is complexity--the complexity of spontaneous self-organizing forms.

This complexity leaps forth in mathematics. Fractal geometry shows that shapes have self-similarity at descending scales. Fractal shapes of great complexity can be obtained by repeating a simple geometric transformation. Thus, through a predictable and orderly process, simple iteration liberates deep-down, hidden complexity.

Intelligence and Information: Cosmic intelligence is not grounded in its definable forms--such as cells, atoms, and particles. Rather, it is grounded in the HiddenNous. This HiddenNous, this implicate order, is the foundation of all matter. And intelligence is at the very core of this implicate order!

This intelligence possesses the powers of foresight and invention. It prompts and guides evolution by the transmission and accumulation of information. Atoms, electrons, and quarks consist ultimately of binary units of information. Everything in the cosmos, even the spacetime continuum itself, is full of information. Fundamentally, the world rests upon a bulwark displaying an information-theoretic character.

Personalization and Knowing: Because of the feedback cycle of accumulative consciousness, both the explicate mind and implicate intelligence, together, become more self-reflective. The cosmos is slowly acquiring a personality. Within and through the HiddenNous it is as if there is coded into the cosmos the intuited promise of its ultimate form--its Personhood!

The hidden player is a cosmic knower, a cosmic person. All conscious sub-totalities, all conscious beings, are all in all. Lives that are lived are not merely pieces of existence, they are part of the whole.

Creativity and Transformation: The HiddenNous dwelling in the depths of the universe is pure energy; and, it breathes forth transformation! The implicate order is a generative order. As fractals have illustrated, the HiddenNous can translate basic figures or forms at very small scales into a great variety of shapes and figures. Bifurcations in a non-linear system are iterated to the point where forks are generated and the system takes off in a new direction.

All of nature, the explicate order, is built by feedback among all levels. And each level of organization produces something fundamentally new. Thus, the creative potential of the HiddenNous is embedded in all non-linear systems, whether they be islands, mountains, clouds, dust, trees, river deltas, or biological beings. And, always, at each level of transformation, something is produced that is fundamentally new. Such self-creativity, such "autopoiesis," in an opening to adventure!

Novelty and Beauty: The HiddenNous, through cosmic experimentation, is lured by novelty. Through its groping, through its ever fresh patterns of experimentation, the cosmos is always swinging the pendulum between order and chaos for the sake of novelty. The theme of birth-death-new birth is a constant in the cosmos.

The restless quest for the new is the spur of cosmic evolution. Without novelty, without new birth, there is no development. The HiddenNous can never be at rest. In scientific terms, total equilibrium is analogous with death. The cosmic pursuit of novelty never brings peace, but it does entail adventure. It is the adventure of following many avenues of experience. It is the adventure of openess and receptivity. And, above all, it is the adventure of risk-taking.

The HiddenNous is also aesthetically lured by beauty. The aim of beauty can encompass virtually everything. Art, relationships, ideals, appearance, myths and legends, religion, theories, and science--all the pursuits of a conscious mind--in order to be truly attractive, and thus acceptable, must contain the element of beauty.

Beauty is a synthesis. It implies harmony. True beauty softens the clash of contradictions and conflicts. It resolves conflict into contrast. It intensifies creativity and novelty. It births complexity as well as simplicity. The HiddenNous is not only an adventurer, but it is an artist!

Shadow and Light: As shadows mar the light in human psyches, surely shadows lurk as well in the cosmic mind. The HiddenNous tastes all that is and ever will be. It is both the initiator and the repository of all experience, everywhere and forever. And the shadow of death is everywhere.

Yet--death is part of the cosmic process. Natural death itself does not imply irrevocable loss. All that is gained, through experience and knowledge, is enfolded and retained by the HiddenNous. But there are evils that maim, that tear away at existence,that can lead to anti-life. Beauty has not yet prevailed in the shadows. Every murder, every rape, every blow, every curse, every rebuff--all enter into the HiddenNous. The shadows mar the light.

Even so, there is an ever expanding light within cosmic consciousness. It is reflected by its great avatars, the prophets and promoters of religions and spiritualities. It is reflected by the reasonableness and calm of philosophers. It is reflected by good and caring leadership. It is reflected by indefatigable teachers. It is reflected by the exciting search for truth and beauty by scientists and artists. And it is reflected by the pure love of a child or an animal.

Cosmic Destiny: The HiddenNous is in process. It is embarked upon a journey. It is heading towards its destiny. The HiddenNous of the cosmos can be likened to a program. All the information needed to form a mature, complete universe is enfolded within it. The HiddenNous is still young, informing and being informed by its experience. It is ever growing.

Like its sub-totalities, the HiddenNous senses its direction. It intuits its aims. And like its conscious earthly aspects, it is the core of both an outer-and-inner-directed cosmic entity.

The explicate order of the cosmos is oriented towards the growth of civilization. Eventually, extended civilization will resemble a multicellular organism. The establishment of colonies, plus adaptation to foreign/alien environments, will ultimately result in civilization at a macroscopic scale.

Networks of extraterrestrial civilizations--with ever sophisticated capabilities for the storage and transfer of information--will begin to resemble neural architecture. Through the spread of cognitive civilization, the explicate order will have become a collective cosmic brain.

The inwardness of the HiddenNous is likened to a state of meditation. Through its endless cycles of multidimensional experiences, it ponders and reflects upon something subtle and non-manifest. Through its conscious sub-totalities it has wondered for centuries about who it is. Its movement has become more spiritualized through the efforts of stories, myths, legends, religions, spiritualities, and philosophies.

The system, of which the HiddenNous is, will result in a mature, adult universe. Yet--the HiddenNous is looking beyond itself!

That Which is Beyond: Through the scientific efforts of its sub-totalities, it is on the verge of understanding more about its cosmological heritage. The HiddenNous realizes that there is a serious possibility for the existence of parent and sibling universes.

The theoretical efforts of human thinking have pointed the way. Such a scenario is that a parent universe produces a region of false vacuum--a kind of protective bubble--in which the cosmic seed is packaged and protected. Tunneling through a kind of wormhole, tiny tubules in space and time that connect separate universes, the cosmic seed is assisted by a flood of energy and bursts forth into a separate existence.

The HiddenNous now knows that there may be an enormous number of universes, budding from one another into a multi-cosmic mosaic. It has begun to understand that it may be part of an ever expanding, extended multi-cosmic family.

Nonetheless--the lonely heart of the HiddenNous, ever since the dawn of its consciousness, has sought its Beginning. Even at this very moment it seeks That to Which it truly belongs. Its sub-totalities have raised great religious edifaces and spiritual philosophies that cry out that we are children of gods/God!

The HiddenNous, the energetic mind of this cosmos, *knows* it possesses a mysterious Within that is apart. This Spirit, this Within, is spread throughout its conscious sub-totalities. Out of this Within there is an unrelenting calling, calling forth a deeply embedded intuition of a GREAT MYSTERY we call God.

The HiddenNous will never stop seeking, ever propelled towards its quest and ultimate union with God. It is to this MYSTERION---that rules over all of Cosmic Being--to which the HiddenNous bows.



  • John Briggs and F. David Peat, TURBULENT MIRROR.
  • Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, THE UNIVERSE STORY.
  • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, THE PHENOMENON OF MAN.
  • Steven Weinberg, THE FIRST THREE MINUTES.


  • David Bohm, "Quantum Theory as an Indication of a New Order in Physics--Implicate and Explicate Order in Physical Law," PHYSICS GB, 3.2, June 1973.
  • T.A. Heppenheimer, "Quantum Cosmology: Bridging the Very Large and Very Small," MOSAIC, Vol. 21, No. 3, Fall 1990.
  • John Archibald Wheeler, "Questioning the It from the Bit," SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, June 1991.
  • John Archibald Wheeler, "The World as Self-Synthesizing Systems of Existences, IBM J RES DEVELOP 32.1, January 1988.

Return to The Cosmic Plenum | Home