A reflection on Robert Temple’s A New Science of Heaven


It has been a while since I have read any of Temple’s work so I was keen to get into A New Science of Heaven (2022). I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a survey of scientific ideas variously ignored by ‘mainstream’ science or suppressed by interests with the motive and power to do so.

The central theme is plasma. Temple argues that this is the dark matter, which constitutes 90% of the cosmos. Physical matter makes up the other 10%. That’s interestingly how the Kabbalistic Tree of Life might be interpreted – with the lowest of the ten sephirah, Malkuth, being the sole expression of physicality.

Plasma is, apparently, potentially non-organic life and the seat of considerable intelligence. But its not remote from us, as one might assume from a Tree of Life image. Rather it is intimately connected to our experience of physical being. Our souls are plasma? They must be something.

For me this description of plasma filled in gaps in my imagination and thinking about my long history of non-ordinary experiences and the idea of animism. This is what I want to reflect on below. I want to be clear that this is my reaction, as I digest what I have encountered in the book. You won’t find the ideas I discuss in the book itself, save maybe a few mentioned in the context of Temple discussing ignored or suppressed science.

Being and location

The huge idea that hit me was a reminder of an idea found in Acts 17:28 – ‘that great being in whom we live and move and have our being’. I had come across this idea when I was training in ritual magic and wasn’t aware it was in the Bible until I searched for it while writing this post.

We live in a great being. Christians have long insisted that God is apart from his creation, so it is kinda contradictory and confusing. Our bodies are pretty much a community of many lives, so the notion that we dwell in a ‘great being’ obeys that Hermetic idea – ‘as above, so below’.

So, the idea that there are vast plasma entities in which we live isn’t novel. Nor is it radical. For me the novelty is adding a more concrete concept to replace what was just a vague metaphysical notion.

It seems to me that we exist in a plasma substratum within which physical reality is like the seeds we find in various fruits. What may be remote from our awareness or senses isn’t remote from our being. Our physical being exists in a medium – like a seed in the flesh of a fruit.

My imagination is, I think, contaminated by the idea of space – as a void of some kind. Perhaps the habituation from Christianity and materialism has made me think in terms of isolation and separation from the essence of our being. The Christian God is mostly seen as remote – as an artisan rather than being infused in that which he created. But Acts 17:28 has a different meaning. Its not a huge step from a remote god to no god.

Animistic consciousness is essentially an expression of that essential assertion – we dwell in primal conscious being. The image of the divine artisan creating things misleads us. Better the divine imaginer who crafts from their own conscious essence agencies that remain within that essence. That must be our fundamental reality. It makes more sense. It solves problems that exist when we think in terms of separation and isolation.

Animistic consciousness is fundamentally relational. When you have agency, intent, and will, how you behave in relation to others possessing the same attributes matters a great deal. And because lives/spirits are interconnected there is an imperative to navigate the complexity of any ecosystem competently – and with compassion, gentleness, and wisdom.

Horizontal and vertical dimensions

I know there are dimensions of being that are beyond those I can engage with via my physical senses. But my ability to describe them is limited for several reasons. The first is that from the perspective of my sense of physical being I do not have highly functioning senses that reach into what I call the meta-physical dimension. I have limited conscious sensory ability in that dimension. The second is that there is an innate limitation imposed upon humans. We are here to experience physical life (horizontal) rather than the spectrum of meta-physical realities (horizontal). Those experiences are confined to shamans, mystics and those blessed/cursed with ‘special gifts’. 

Those ‘gifted’ souls are permitted awareness of things unseen for reasons not evident, usually. Some are granted steady and reliable access. Others have fragmentary, almost taunting, exposure for ‘educational’ purposes (or so I am told).

The reality of the vertical dimensions isn’t in dispute – unless you want to be churlishly argumentative – in which case you have no place here in this conversation. Every human community for as long as we can know has asserted not only the presence of the meta-physical, but its primacy as the source of causation.

The idea of plasma beings in primary and secondary forms which hold our physical reality gives us a way of understanding that what seems to us to be invisible is part of a spectrum of the continuity of being. The spirits of my experience don’t exist in a vague dimension no more substantial than imagination or faith but in a complex reality that is more essential to the nature of things than my physical awareness of being can affirm.

When it is acknowledged as real, the opportunity to know more opens up. When it is imagined as comprehensible reality that knowing becomes more concrete. The idea of plasma beings has ‘thickened’ my sense of what enfolds and holds me. I feel more connected.

Of gods and other beings

Monotheism makes us silly. There is, necessarily, one ultimate unified Being to which all other beings are subordinate. But to imagine this is the God of the Christians is to be mistaken, and wildly conceited.

Sound scholarship has provided very good evidence that the God of the Christians has evolved from a polytheistic tradition via culturally motivated promotion to supremacy. It’s not unknown – and the truth is deflating. The hint is that this supreme God is still treated like a member of a polytheistic community. The other hint is that the supreme deity is always spoken of in terms awe – ‘unknowable’, ‘unimaginable’, – as The One or The All. This isn’t the Christian God, save in the mouths of mystics.

This One or All isn’t the god of believers. Their gods may exist, but they are “of the One, not as the One” (as I was firmly told). And I say ‘may’ because the idea of plasma permits us to imagine vast conscious intelligent agents who may interact with humans as part of an intentional purpose – or which may be crafted from our collective imagining.

Plasma beings may even collaborate with human imagination to frame a presence and a relationship that serves our needs – and theirs. Either that or our ideas of gods might be entirely our own. It’s a bit like unrequited love in a way. The object of our desire is real, but the relationship is simple fantasy.

I have encountered a ‘god’ presence. It was in the form of an intense radiation whose impact put me on the floor and left me struggling to stay conscious. It was a shared experience. It was sudden and not sought. There was a communication as well. And it was repeated. The experience is, for me, beyond dispute. That is to say that it happened. The explanation of it I still accept only provisionally. I can’t verify the explanation, and because I am a deep sceptic I don’t have grounds to develop a settled opinion.

The explanation that it might have been a plasma being greatly appeals to me. That makes huge sense. But that doesn’t progress the ‘who’ side of the question. The ‘why’ side still bugs me too.

Gods as plasma beings make immense sense to me. Spirits of all kinds as plasma beings is also really attractive. The idea that our fundamental nature – who we are in essence – is plasma deeply appeals.

I like the idea that our fundamental nature is plasma. That fits with my experiences in engaging with deceased parents. It fits with my OOBE experience. That was just the one – with verification. It was educational and not an indulgence. So, life is essentially inorganic and not dependent on physical matter? That makes sense.

What do we know?

I have grown up on a mixed diet – Christianity, the whole smorgasbord of New Age woo, heavy duty occult and esoteric thought, an abundance of science (material and human), philosophy and etc. 

Now and then I have encountered keystone ideas which have radically transformed my thinking. Back in 2004 it was encountering the idea of animism, which, for some reason, I had either missed or ignored for decades. In 2024 it is plasma. That’s 20 years between inspirations. But I don’t know if that is fast or slow.

I don’t expect the reader to be as excited as I am. I am on my own journey of discovery which opens up doors or kicks me in the backside as spirit decides I need it. I have come to acknowledge that I live a spirit enmeshed life. I don’t mean that in any breathless sense. It’s more like I am stupid and non-material agents are prodding me along in the desperate hope that I might come to my senses. Why me? I have no idea.

Temple’s book reminded me how much remains excluded from the discourse of our reality (yes, there are other sources too). He is talking about genuine science, not speculation rooted in nothing more than fancy. We have two sources of truth – our direct experience and trusted reports from those engaging in empirical research. Even so that’s still a vulnerable foundation. We must be careful.

Beyond that there’s a strange world of passions and power. Communities and cultures have always had their gatekeepers whose function has been to protect the dominant discourse from disruption. There were times when that was a matter or survival for the whole community. Now it seems that what is being protected is what a minority believe. Are they right? Like a Facebook relationship status – it’s complicated. Every time I speculate, I discover another aspect to a potential explanation.

Access to high quality knowledge and ideas is essential as we evolve how we understand our place in our reality, and its nature. We need a new understanding of our spirituality – one grounded in science – as befits our times.

Temple’s discussion of plasma acknowledges that a good deal of research is hidden from public awareness. Fair enough, up to a point. Plasma offers a way of comprehending the UPA phenomenon – and that exposes us to an existential trauma – especially for materialists and hard-core Christians. Neither group is comfortable with the potential. Should we all be denied access to critical insight because they are freaking out? I don’t know and won’t be tempted to offer an opinion. We need to think about what is knowable and known in a sensible manner.


Temple’s book is a watershed moment for me because it triggers a host of thoughts that activated by the idea of plasma beings. It fills in gaps and completes inferential loops. It links science with ancient lore. I love how ideas about dark matter mesh with the Kabbala’s Tree of Life. It restores my faith in a sense of fundamental elegance in how we evolve our knowledge. I expect science to confirm spiritual truths. 

By itself Temple’s book can seem like a lonely lighthouse on a dark materialistic sea. But seeing it as a member of a community of ‘non-conforming’ thought it is more like a pilot boat navigating our present troubled waters.

We are collectively in an awkward place. We are moving more into a post-Christian culture. I am deliberate in saying ‘post-Christian’ rather than ‘anti-Christian’. We are moving away from times when demanding conformity of thought was socially valued. We are moving away from the naïve existential muddling as Christian thought struggled to grasp the implications of the idea of individualism that was triggered by the faith’s inception. That has taken a few millennia – and that’s neither too slow nor too fast, given what that transition means on an evolutionary scale.

The idea of plasma doesn’t take us anywhere new. What it does is affirm what we have always known – but helps us escape the straightjackets of religious and scientific dogmas that edit out key ideas.

For me what was especially potent was the notion that plasma restored the idea of ether – something that had been refuted by scientific thought for a few centuries. I have allowed that ancient thought hasn’t always been affirmed by contemporary science, so I have been prepared to suspend speculation on ideas as a consequence. That allowance isn’t an assumption of error, just that, absent contemporary evidence I can’t think through some ideas in a contemporary way. That matters to me. The past is a different country to where I live. It is a bank of knowledge and ideas I withdraw from, but I must convert what I take into currency suited to my present.

Temple’s book is a conversion tool. I am immensely grateful for that. It has put the ethers back on the table, and then taken that idea to a very different level for me.

Note 1: Since finishing the book, I have been practicing sensing a non-physical substantiality around me. Early days but there’s a trending sensation of feeling distinctly being in a ‘thicker’ medium. I remember Broomhill speaking of thin and thick time and this is something similar. Thick time is more spirit infused – more soup than plain water. There are cycles of lower and higher intensity and I think this is a high intensity period for me. This doesn’t mean that I will return to the same kind of thinness as before. The base awareness always grows. The high intensity will drop back to regular intensity with an added degree. I guess.

Note 2: I am also reacting to an intense re-examination of what I belief is. I started inquiring about the nature of belief in late 2018 when I became intrigued by Donald Trump. Why did so many people think he was plausible? Like a mug I thought a quick 6 months of research would answer my questions. In late April 2024 I am still inquiring. The idea of plasma has just sent an earthquake-like shock through what I had thought was a decent conception. Back to the drawing board.

Temple’s book could disrupt your mindset – if you let it. It could, like an earthquake, throw your ideas into a mess on the floor, so when you pick them up there is a new order and new unknowns to be chased down.