How fundamental could industrial civilization’s misunderstanding of the world be?
As I have investigated the roots of our “lost-ness” over the years, I have come to believe the root of our error is materialism. Einstein broke open the old Newtonian world view with his theory of relativity, but his understanding of the universe was transformed yet again by something called “quantum physics.” He thought nothing could “happen” at faster than the speed of light. He and his friends designed an experiment to prove quantum theory was wrong. It proved quantum theory was not wrong.
While most of you have heard of quantum physics, few of you think you understand it, with good reason: the physicists don’t understand it. They can “do” it, with mathematics and they “do” it with those huge underground particle accelerators, but they disagree when they try to interpret the agreed-upon results of their experiments. (This is a natural stage of confusion in our current paradigm shift.)
I want to share with you some of the “meanings” of quantum physics I like the best. We are all groping here, and my intent is not “to share the TRUE nature of reality.” As I share with you the picture of reality I currently prefer, my underlying aim is to convince you that, whatever the “true” picture is, industrial civilization’s current picture of reality is profoundly flawed.
Most of you remember hearing of the debate about how light is both a particle and a wave.
The same can be said for matter.
There is general agreement among students of quantum physics that, when we are not observing them, atoms do not have a material existence. When an atom is not being observed it is a field of “maybes.” “Maybe when we observe it, the particle will be exactly here (the most probable location for it to manifest) or maybe it will be to one side of the most probable location.” This uncertainty is not a measurement problem. The atom truly does not have a definite location when we are not aware of it. It is not a “thing.” It is a field of “probable thingness.”
Until we bring our attention to it.
Then it becomes “real” in the old Newtonian way of understanding:
“real = something having measurable characteristics.”
Among students of quantum physics, there is little disagreement with the above description. So they go around rapping on table tops and asking, “how can this be?”
Now I want to talk about the ideas I am getting from a book my group is reading, “The Self-Aware Universe: how consciousness creates the material world,” by Amit Goswami. He’s a physicist from India, with a Vedic sensibility. He thinks consciousness is the fundamental reality and that atoms and table tops are expressions of it, like flowers rising out of the earth on slender stalks and bursting open as we behold them.
For my own benefit I am going to try and explain what I think are the most interesting points in his book.
The “quantum leap” originally and technically refers to electrons in orbits. An electron in a orbit near the center of the atom is in a lower energy state than one in an orbit further away from the center. If you add energy to the system and the electron moves from a more central orbit to a more distant one, it does not “go-from-x-to-y,” it disappears from x and reappears at y. It did not travel, it lept, instantaneously.
Lots of things Goswami is interested in behave in this quantum fashion, now you don’t see it, now you do, faster than the speed of light, with no time elapsing as part of the manifestation process.
(to be continued)