Quantum Mysticism

I have been accused of “quantum mysticism” (by my own brother, PhD, no less). I don’t know whether I should be offended. As a starting point, the definition of “mysticism” (you can look it up) is, well, mystical – or at least all over the map. As for “mystic”, as I look at the definition of that word, I can’t see a reason to take umbrage if anyone were to call me that.

As for “quantum”, that’s just exciting stuff. Quantum physics leaps beyond “classical” physics – signaling (to me, at least) that our reality is definitely not what our brains are designed to think it is. When I look at the more-than-a-few books on quantum physics that populate my bookshelf, I can’t think of a reason why that of itself should invite insult.

So, I reason, it must be the juxtaposition of “quantum” and “mysticism” that was the intended affront. The perceived offence on my part, I infer, is appropriating the notion of quantum anything to the study of applied metaphysics. Science demeaned, I gather, through associating it with witch-doctor thinking. I could not disagree more.

As for why we call it “quantum physics” or “quantum mechanics” (same thing), the term quantum derives from the “quanta” first postulated by Max Planck as an elementary (i.e., indivisible) unit of energy. Two famous quotes from Max Planck suggests that it ought not to be considered offensive to explore “quantum” notions other than in terms of matter:

  • There is no matter as such – mind is the matrix of all matter.
  • I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness.

Quantum physics is by no means new. The core principles were discovered a century ago. The various precepts were stumbled upon by very scientific folks. But for the most part, science didn’t know what to make of the discoveries. Hence the famous retreat to “shut up and calculate” – which admittedly has led to and continues to lead to remarkable technological advances. And yet, the question of “Hey, what is really going on here?” remains mostly stuck in Schrodinger’s box, alongside the cat. Yes, the “Many Worlds” interpretation and String Theory and M Theory and all sorts of other theories have upped the ante, as physicists continue their desperate hunt for something of a physical nature that ties it all together. But, for the most part, science still shuts up and calculates. Can’t anyone else have a turn?

The problem with science, as always, is that it wants to confine itself within what is already understood – and perhaps inch forward ponderously from there. But understanding, as Kierkegaard noted (“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards”), always comes after discovery. You can’t understand your way to any forward leap – quantum or otherwise. If one is determined to work within the known, one can’t go anywhere new. Which would sort of stymie the “Evolution of Consciousness” that is the subtitle to my book Earth Game.

Ponder just the following concepts that may now be making their way into mainstream scientific thinking:

  • All particles, even subatomic ones, are also waves.
  • Particles (or at least “virtual particles”) routinely pop into empty space.
  • The arrow of causation may point both ways, i.e., causes generate events, but events also generate causes.

Meanwhile, the search for a gravity particle (a “graviton”, perhaps) continues to elude the most determined scientists.

Why can’t we just marvel at the design, and engage it with a certain playfulness? If only to engage the imagination, consider the following groupings, which admittedly are a shameless mash-up of explorations in science and suppositions in metaphysics:

  • Gravity; Earth; North; Archangel Uriel; first Chakra
  • Electromagnetism; Water; West; Archangel Gabriel; second Chakra
  • Weak Force; Fire; South; Archangel Michael; third Chakra
  • Strong Force; Air; East; Archangel Raphael; fourth Chakra

And why does it always have to be about “particles”? It increasingly appears (to some of us, at least), that what we think of as particles are only the precipitation from something more fundamental. (Call it a “quantum field” or whatever you want to call it.) The problem, of course, with that something-more-fundamental, is that we don’t have measuring devices to detect what is going on behind the scenes (or, outside Plato’s cave, if you prefer that metaphor). But, perhaps we can shift our focus and thereby deduce a few things.

Our science seems to prefer to begin from the smallest components it can detect, and then figure out the whole from there. But what if instead we were to begin from the whole? After all, beyond the illusion of separation (discussed in Earth Game: The Evolution of Consciousness), everything – including you and me – is part of “the One”. That oneness appears (from my vantage point) to have sequentially spun itself out into a myriad of components. Think of the “Big Bang” not as an explosion of particles, but as an explosion of non-physical Consciousness, separating itself out into still-connected components – while downstepping into the density of the physical plane. Perhaps beginning from the dichotomies of duality (e.g., the feminine and masculine principles) and polarity (e.g., dark and light, or hot and cold). Obviously, very systematically; at some point making use of the four master categories noted above.

No doubt, the word “quantum” has been shamelessly deployed for various kinds of hucksterism. But the word itself refers only to a minimum (and extremely miniscule) amount of something or other. As a term, therefore, it seems neutral enough. But perhaps there is a dichotomy between the physical and the non-physical that somehow corresponds to the dichotomy between classical physics and quantum physics. We don’t have to use “quantum” in describing the dimensional shift that marks the transition from what I have called “Earth Game Version 3” to “Earth Game Version 4”. Nor does it seem particularly apt, from my perspective (do we need a “Name that Shift” contest?). But, I’m not seeing a reason to call foul if some deploy “quantum” in that context.

Coming back to gravity, the assumption has long been that this fundamental force is rooted in some sort of particle. Hence the elusive search for a “graviton”. But why would the force that holds everything together need to be a particle at all? Couldn’t it be something more esoteric (i.e., fundamentally non-physical) that was built into the entire construct? Perhaps it is the oneness itself, the inherent connectedness of everything that is part of the One. (You might even call that “love”, if you like.)

But, I digress. The point of these musings is to perhaps expand the search – and perhaps look where, for the most part, science has yet to look. It was not so many centuries ago that the strongly held consensus view was that the sun goes around the Earth – and certainly it appeared to do exactly that. Just as the Earth absolutely feels to be stationary, and not spinning under our feet. But, a different, broader perspective changed those views. It is always good to bear in mind the possibility that today’s heretic could turn out to be tomorrow’s Copernicus.

So why not deploy “quantum” to mark the difference between what we glimpse beyond the illusions, as opposed to what can be seen or hear or touched or smelled or tasted through our oh-so-limited physical senses that are designed to be taken in by those illusions? (See in that regard “Beyond the Five Illusions”, in Earth Game: The Evolution of Consciousness.) The value proposition here is that quantum thinking can perhaps serve as a bridge for those who find the world of applied metaphysics to be too big a mental leap. The true gift of quantum physics is that, if you look even somewhat closely, it can’t help but kick you outside the box of thinking that this is a purely mechanical reality. At that point, you are like a week-old puppy opening its eyes for the first time, and you have a delightful exploration ahead of you.

In conclusion, “Quantum Mysticism”, I reject the affront. I’ll choose that over “Quantum Myopia”.