How The Holographic Universe found Monica C. LoCascio

The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot is the only book that I have read cover-to-cover twice.

This book came to me during a particularly dark, and particularly bright (how holographically appropriate) time in my life. My 10 year plan had suddenly come crashing down around me when the lighting technology company I had co-founded two years prior imploded. After the crash, my boyfriend and I were invited to go stay with my cousins in Hawaii so that I could lick my wounds and reset amidst the palm trees and endless sunshine. Instead of taking care of myself though, my formerly gluten-free, vegan, devotedly mystical self was drowning my sorrows in cheeseburgers and mimosas, not an ounce of self-care in sight.

I was sad, bereft, and angry. And it is only very recently that I realized how depressed I was. I had lost what I had thought was THE THING that I had been searching for my whole life — the thing that I could do that would combine my capabilities with my passion and help people all at the same time. But I was in such denial that had you asked me how I felt about it at the time I would have (and did on several occasions) say that it was totally fine and that it was probably better for me in the long run that I could move on to something else.

Occasionally I would try to reconnect with my former habits — taking 10 minutes to meditate on some uninvitingly-sharp volcanic rock while out on a hike, or forcing myself onto my yoga mat next to the pool — but other than a few absurdly well-timed and spectacularly bright shooting stars that I seemed to have conjured up for a friend, I had lost touch with how complicatedly and profoundly magical I had once believed the universe, reality, and myself to be.

Hiking and swimming and stars were the only things that were lifting me up. And so it was that my boyfriend and I decided to camp out for a night at the very end of the beach in Polihale State Park — a giant expanse of sand accessible at the very end of the (dirt) road before the rough water and jagged cliffs of Na Pali coast make it impossible to go any further. We had spent the night drinking beer, tending our camp fire, and watching the moon rise and then set over the ocean, completely losing rack of time.

On our way back to my Auntie’s house in Lihu’e we were stopping at each of the handful of small towns that dotted the coast looking for breakfast. I was desperate for coffee. As we pulled into the main strip in Hanapepe I noticed a book store towards the end of the row of stores, and I felt a familiar twang of intuition. But I needed that caffeine and headed straight for the little cafe. Having finally procured that holiest of morning beverages, we poked our heads into the few little arts and craft stores next door, and then made our way back to the car. I had completely forgotten about my intuition, and was about to jump in behind the wheel when I saw it again — Talk Story Bookstore, America’s westernmost independent bookstore. I was travelling light in Hawaii, with only one big backpack of belongings with me after having packed my entire apartment in NYC up into storage. I was decidedly not in the market for books. But still…

“I just wanna look real quick,” as I made my way across the parking lot towards the store. I can’t tell you why, but after opening the door I made a b-line directly to a shelf on the left side of the store. Without missing a beat, pausing anywhere else, or looking at any other books, I pulled The Holographic Universe from its snug place between other titles on the shelf, turned it over and read the back cover. I got goosebumps all over my body and took it right up to the cash register.

The timing was perfect. This book proceeded to not only knock me back into myself, but it blew my fucking mind. I was plunged back into a depth of connection with what I call spirit, and an understanding of the interconnectedness of things.

This book is how I came to coin the term mind-popcorn — kernels of knowledge so fascinating and important feeling, so big in scope for your brain, that when you read or hear it your mind goes PFFP and then suddenly you have this whole new arena of mind space to think in and with.

I relished reading this book. Every couple of pages I would have to put it down, my mind spinning from the implications of what I was reading and my heart racing. I wanted to read the whole thing immediately and at the same time have it take a life-time to get through (oh how holographically apropos). It felt like Talbot had read my mind, and taken all of the disparate, “weird”, esoteric things that I was intensely interested in (quantum physics, interference patterns, cymatics, sacred geometry, psychic and extraterrestrial phenomena, and yogic teachings to name a few), and found a theory which not only tied them all together, but also amplified each of their significance in their interconnectedness therein.

So I have this theory that books find us — that they are accomplices rather than inanimate objects in our life-long learning adventure.


I’ve come to think this way because the books that have shifted my way of looking at reality, the ones that have changed my life, have made their way to me in often serendipitously, synchronistically, and yes even magically, movie-scene-worthy ways. 

I find these origin stories to be pointedly poignant prologues to the knowledge gifted to me through the titles they proceed. 

#HowBooksHappen is a vessel to collect the stories of how inspiring books and the people that were inspired by them found each other, so that they can in turn find you.

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