Book Review: Awakening To Zero Point – The Collective Initiation, Gregg Braden2002, Dec 1st | Emner: New Age, Pseudoscience
Zero Point to this book
Is time speeding up? Gregg Braden says it is, and has written this book to tell us why. It came to him while praying and meditating in the Sinai desert in 1987, where he says he experienced a ringing in his ears that remains to this day, followed by a flood of information that cascaded through his body “for what seemed like forever and an instant”. During this process he gained the tools to offer “the Awakening information”, in a concise and meaningful format.
So what’s the big story? Well, Braden says there is a process of unprecedented change unfolding within the Earth. The change is characterized by dramatic shifts in the physical parameters of Earth, accompanied by a rapid transformation in human understanding, perception, and experience. This is historically referred to as “The Shift of the Ages.” Braden claims an ancient timetable shows “The Shift” is happening now, and we are living during the completion of a cycle that began nearly 200,000 years ago. Exciting stuff, and Braden has constructed quite an industry of books, tapes, videos and lectures around it.
No Evidence of Evidence
So how does Braden substantiate his story? Not with evidence, that’s for sure. His technique is to start with some real scientific information, take it out of context, mix in some made up “facts”, add some science that is simply wrong, and rename all the scientific terms so they fit his invented story. He just hopes you won’t see the join.
You first see this technique in the introduction. Braden sets the scene with a series of “Wow!” events that are implied (without evidence), to be connected. Included are the end of the cold war, earthquakes, climate change, new viruses, alien sightings, crop circles, and unspecified “studies” and “evidence” that someone other than the Egyptians built the pyramids. And get this:
“Probable evidence from within our own space program, indicating that technologically advanced societies have existed on at least one other planet within our own solar system…” (Page xviii)
What he’s alluding to here is Richard Hoagland’s baloney about the face on Mars. (Someone with an even less likely story that Braden.) This has been thoroughly debunked by higher resolution photos from more recent NASA probes, and so Braden quoting him is a sure sign we’re in woo woo land. Anyway, these events are all breathlessly introduced as things that have
“rocked the foundations of who you are and what you believe your world is about” (Page xvii).
But in reality, Braden is just manipulating his readers into the mindset that something big is going on.
Zero Understanding of Zero Point
And he hasn’t finished his build up yet. On page 11, under the heading “The nature of stillness: Zero Point”, there are two paragraphs describing the basics of absolute zero. That is, zero degrees Kelvin or minus 273.15 degrees Celsius. This is all good if pedestrian science, although it might appear extraordinary to someone unfamiliar with it. But Braden uses it out of context. Firstly, he renames a scientific term:
“The point at which temperatures reach absolute zero… is referred to as Zero Point.” (Page 12)
But this is wrong. Zero Kelvin is called absolute zero, not zero point. (Or even Zero Point.) Braden has renamed it Zero Point because that is the title of his book, and he needs to link this piece of (out of context), science to his made up story. Here it is, as Braden morphs seamlessly with no logic or justification to:
“Earth is experiencing early stages of the events that will provide the experience of Zero Point…” (Page 12)
… and three paragraphs of similar unsubstantiated twaddle, being the theories his book has been written to espouse. Braden hopes you won’t notice “Zero Point” has no connection to absolute zero. (Zero Connection, you might say.) Even if his story is true, there is still no connection between it and absolute zero. It seems intellectually dishonest and is a major red flag. Anyway, be grateful the scene has at last been fully set. We are now ready for Braden’s big story. Take your seats.
Flipping the Earth
Braden starts by explaining the Earth’s declining magnetic field, and its flips from north to south. Now, it is a fact that the Earth’s magnetic field has flipped from north to south many times in the Earth’s history, but no reputable scientist will tell you they know exactly how this happens. Braden has no such reservations. He has determined the magnetic flip occurs when the Earth reverses its direction of spin. Let’s think about that for a minute. The Earth has a mass of nearly six billion trillion tons (that’s a six followed by 21 zeroes), and the surface is traveling at about 1,000 mph at the equator. Where is the huge amount of energy supposed to come from to stop the spin of this massive object, and to get it to spin again in the opposite direction? Braden doesn’t say. In fact, it’s not discussed once in the many pages or the numerous diagrams that follow. It must be magic because Braden just tells us that after this has happened:
“The sun will rise and set from opposite directions relative to its present cycle” (Page 47)
And this has happened before. For example, it is mentioned in The Bible, specifically Joshua 10:13:
“The sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.” (Page 18)
So the Earth stopped spinning for a day, started spinning in the opposite direction, and the proof is in The Bible. Complete nonsense, of course. And he is even wrong when he says the Earth’s magnetic field is about to flip. The National Geophysical Data Center states:
“the present dipole moment (a measure of how strong the magnetic field is) is actually higher than it has been for most of the last 50,000 years and the current decline could reverse at any time. Even if Earth’s magnetic field is beginning a reversal, it would still take several thousand years to complete a reversal.”
The National Geophysical Data Center
But that’s just scientists quoting facts. In reality, scientists may not know why the Earth’s magnetic field flips, but they do know it’s not happening anytime soon. And they know the Earth does not reverse its direction of spin. Sorry Gregg.
What’s next? Well, Braden now introduces a popular piece of New Age lore – vibrations. Apparently all the molecules in our bodies vibrate at a frequency equivalent to that of the Earth’s “base pulse”. Right now, the latter is speeding up, and as it does, the molecules in our bodies are trying to match this higher frequency. This idea is a little strange, since the Earth does not have a pulse. But that doesn’t stop Braden. Watch how, yet again, he takes some real science and renames it for his own ends. This time he’s using the Schumann Resonance, something well understood by scientists, but greatly misunderstood and misinterpreted by New Age devotees such as Braden. The wording used to validate this piece of mumbo jumbo is:
“In recent years, the discovery of an atmospheric layer mirroring these zones of resonance is attributed to a German scientist named W. O. Schumann.” (Page 28)
Note the initially impressive but ultimately meaningless wording used by Braden. He does not say that the Schumann Resonance is the Earth’s pulse. Instead he says the Schumann Resonance “mirrors” the Earth’s pulse, whatever that means (i.e. nothing). The wording is designed to merge the two in the mind of the reader. He goes on to state that it is increasing, and draws conclusions about how we will react as our molecules try to vibrate at the higher frequency. OK, hold that thought as we examine some facts about the Schumann Resonance, including whether or not it really is increasing.
The space between the ground and the ionosphere acts as a giant, spherical shaped cavity. Waves of electromagnetism form in this cavity, and at certain frequencies they reinforce each other to form standing waves. The primary Schumann Resonance is the lowest frequency of these standing waves, with the wavelength being the circumference of the Earth. (Strictly speaking, the circumference of the cavity created by the inner edge of the ionosphere, approximately 35 miles above the Earth.) For electromagnetic radiation, the wavelength multiplied by the frequency equals the speed of light. So it follows that to calculate the primary Schumann Resonance frequency, you divide the speed of light by the circumference of the Earth. The result is 7.8 times per second (7.8 Hz.). To put it another way, electromagnetic waves travel around the Earth 7.8 times per second. It’s elementary physics. (The figure actually fluctuates by plus or minus 0.5 Hz. daily, as the ionosphere fluctuates.) As neither the speed of light nor the circumference of the Earth is changing, it follows that the primary Schumann Resonance is not going to change either. (Unless the laws of physics change, which seems unlikely.)
In addition to this base frequency of 7.8 Hz, there are quasi-harmonics at 14, 20, 26, 33, 39, and 45 Hz. When measuring the Schumann Resonance, it is normal for one of these frequencies to stand out for a brief moment, to be replaced by another or by noise. Braden latches on to this and renames these harmonics the “Range of historic Earth resonant frequencies…” (Page 28), to imply the Schumann Resonance has changed in the past. But it hasn’t. They are harmonics, despite what Braden has now chosen to call them.
There’s more. Having spun this phony story of the Earth’s pulse, Braden seeks to bamboozle the reader further by introducing Fibonacci numbers (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55…), which are:
“a very special series of numbers – literally codes for fundamental aspects of life on Earth.” (Page 30)
Fibonacci numbers are “literally codes”? No, they are a mathematical curiosity, not codes, although they do appear in nature. However, you may note that they are close to the Schumann frequencies. (Close enough for Braden, anyway.) So without any attempt to justify his ridiculous statement about “codes”, and ignoring the difference between Fibonacci numbers and the Schumann Resonance frequencies, Braden concludes the Earth’s “pulse” is going to increase from 8 Hz. (close to Schumann’s 7.8), to the next in line Fibonacci number (or “target frequency” as he has by now renamed it), of 13 Hz. No reason is given to support this. In fact, the idea is absurd. And what Fibonacci numbers have to do with it is a mystery. Braden has simply made the whole thing up.
Once again, scientists disagree with Braden. The Northern California Earthquake Data Center (NCEDC) states:
“The Schumann Resonance frequency observed at this observatory does not exhibit any unusual change or drift since the start of observations in 1995.”
More scientists and their facts. The Schumann Resonance is not changing. Fibonacci numbers are not target frequencies for the Schumann Resonance. The Earth does not have a pulse. Sorry Gregg, wrong, wrong and wrong again.
New Age meets Christian Fundamentalist
It actually gets worse. The chapter goes on to quote numerous biblical texts, including Revelation. Yes, he’s predicting the Rapture. And if you listen to Braden you can even get your Resurrection in a few days early:
“Prior to the time of the collective Initiation, an opportunity will be presented for some individuals to experience the Resurrection process early – possibly days before the actual Earth Shift.” (Page 51)
That load of nonsense is the “Shift of the Ages” that was revealed to Braden in Sinai. It’s based on so many inaccuracies, distortions and non-existent connections that one actually begins to wonder if Braden himself knows it’s gibberish. Perhaps that electric shock he says nearly killed him did more damage than he knows.
New Age rhymes with Sewage
The rest of the book is padding. There is a chapter on “The Language of Creation”: impenetrable drivel about matrices, grids, dimensionality and “the flower of life” (whatever that is). There is a chapter with more on that New Age favorite “energy”, plus vibrations, frequencies, and “chakras”. He talks about the pyramids of Egypt (built by aliens), crop circles (a secret message) and the Shroud of Turin (genuine, although it was even known to be a fake in the 14th century when it first appeared). And Jesus (“the Universal Reference Being”) makes several guest appearances.
I’m really done with the book now, but there was one small piece I had to comment on because it literally made me yell “What!” several times, when I first read it. It sums up Braden’s technique perfectly. In three short sentences, Braden combines New Age myth, wrong science and weasel words, to make something out of nothing. It is this:
“Only 10% of the human brain is utilized, and only 10% of the mass of the universe can be accounted for. Is it by chance that these percentages correlate so closely? Possibly not.” (Page 62)
Possibly not? Why not? Firstly, Braden does not actually say that these two are connected, because then he might have to explain how they are. He just says “possibly not” to imply they are connected, and hopes the reader won’t notice they aren’t. Standard Braden. Secondly, the “only 10% of the human brain is utilized” is a total myth, repeated endlessly in New Age literature. But it’s wrong. We actually use all of our brains; there is no 90% of this hungry organ lying dormant and unused. New Agers will never believe this, but it’s true. (Although I might be persuaded that Braden’s only uses 10% of his brain.) The “10% mass of the universe” figure is wrong too. Does any of this matter to Braden? Possibly not.
Hey, these are incredible phenomena, don’t you think? Jeez, they’re all connected! (Not!) The really interesting thing about this book, in my opinion, is how easily a New Age guru can construct a pile of nonsense like this and get people to believe in it. It is a rather sad comment on the general lack of critical thinking skills and the desire of so many people to latch on to some magical meaning that is lacking in their life.
The only thing I like about this book is its title, Zero Point, which is exactly how many I give it out of ten.