Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Entangled Universe, or 'The Structure of Consciousness?'

Quantum Entanglement
For the atheist, the seeming absurdity of the phenomena of 'quantum entanglement' likely raises for-now unanswerable questions; for the agnostic it must give wavering pause and cause him or her to suspect (once again) that something larger is going on in or beneath the universe; for the 'spiritual but not religious' it is likely to be a confirmation that there is a Wholeness or Unity to our 'reality' that is radically different from 'traditional' Western portrayals of what "God" is and how "He" operates. For the latter, an understanding of the basics of quantum entanglement will confirm that the representation of the 'Old Testament' God on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is just that - an artistic 'representation' that was, more or less, coerced from Michaelangelo. It suggests, in fact, that we live in a physically, spiritually and psychologically "Entangled Universe."

Quantum entanglement is just one of many aspects of quantum theory that cannot be understood or 'pictured' very well, perhaps most so by those who are capable of 'best' understanding it. Fundamentally, it means that 'things' (experimentally, 'particles') that were once part of a single entity or system somehow remain connected thereafter; and if one makes an 'observation' that determines the properties of one 'part' of the former entity or system, the other part will instantaneously exhibit the opposite but equal property.
"Quantum entanglement is a property of the quantum mechanical state of a system containing two or more objects, where the objects that make up the system are linked in such a way that the quantum state of any of them cannot be adequately described without full mention of the others, even if the individual objects are spatially separated."
(Source: Wikipedia, "quantum entanglement.")
In simpler (and more illustrative) terms, when two particles come together and form a 'system,' thereafter "they behave like one object, but remain two separate objects. It is as if they now sit on the same teeter-totter seesaw. No matter how long the seesaw is, even if it is one million miles long, if one end is down the other end must be up, and this happens instantly." (Source: Simple English Wikipedia, "quantum entanglement.")

The "EPR paradox" (Einstein/Podulsky/Rosen) unsuccessfully
challenged the notion of quantum entanglement. (Wikipedia)
This 'radical' interconectivity at a distance (or 'non-locality,' as it is called in physics) gave Einstein fits. Although it did not cause the great scientist to pull out his iconic hair, he spent much of his latter career trying to disprove the phenomena. Along with his colleagues (Podulsky and Rosenstein) he proposed the "EPR Paradox" thought experiment in order to challenge the notion of entanglement, as according to relativity theory nothing travels faster than light; the speed of light (the c in Einstein's famous E=mc2  formula) being the notional "speed limit" of the universe.

Einstein was unsuccessful, however, and Scottish physicist John Bell showed in 'Bell's Theorem' that such 'super-liminal' (or "faster than light") connectivity must exist. This was proved, experimentally, in 1972; and thereafter the notion that one particle or 'thing' over 'here' is an integral part of a system with some 'thing' over 'there' - even when over 'there'  is a distance of thousands or millions of light years - fell away, and it began to seem that Western physics and cosmology was looking more and more like the cosmology and 'physics' of Eastern wisdom traditions.
(See article on Einstein's spiritual or 'religious' beliefs.)

The ideas of Buddhist 'dependent origination' (that everything that 'is' arises from interrelated and prior causes or phenomena) and "Indra's Many-Jewelled Net" from Hinduism (in which every bit of the universe is connected to and holographically "reflects" every other bit of matter) are beginning to look more and more like how Western physics was beginning to model the universe.

Perhaps this is just speculative and coincidental, but many informed scientists suspect that it is not. In any event, it has given great impetus to people who would classify themselves as 'spiritual but not religious' to question further the traditional notions of outwardly religious beliefs and dogma. More and more, it appears that the scientific and inner religious or spiritual traditions, as well as Western psychology are beginning to meld and overlap. Perhaps, they are destined to merge, as the following video on "Where Science and Buddhism Meet" suggests.

Or, as Gary Zukav observed in his now classic book, "The Dancing Wu Li Masters,," (at page 31), "(P)hysics is (becoming) the study of the structure of consciousness."

1 comment:

  1. MAN, we now stand at the threshold of TRUE spiritual understanding thru the medium of Quantum mechanics, for these tiny little GOD particles are showing us the TRUTH, so are we ready to absorb what we are seeing and learning from this science ??If MAN can let go of his ignorant male ego and superficial superiority complex which stems from separation and fear, and embrace truth when he sees it, and allow himself to actually learn instead of "assuming" he has all the answers. MAN has NO answers to anything. Only GOD has the answers, and MAN must learn to destroy his ego, completely, if he wants to know Truth. And Womon is the guide for the new spiritual vision that is unfolding on Earth. ONLY womon carries the deeper truths of reality, and MAN is only the receiver, nothing more....therefore his 'ego' which is illusion anyway, can now be easily deflated when he realizes that he knows NOTHING at all. And all must be learnt from Womon.