By Deepak Chopra,TM MD and Menas C. Kafatos, PhD
As we go about everyday life, we are embedded in a mystery no one has ever solved. The mystery was voiced by one of the most brilliant quantum pioneers, Werner Heisenberg: Not only is the Universe stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think. (There are variants of the quote that use reality for universe, and the remark has also been attributed to other famous scientists, but the gist is always the same.)
If we take this remark seriously, it turns out to be truer today than it was in 1900 when the quantum revolution began and the revolutionary new theory of quantum mechanics was put together. How can reality be stranger than we could possibly think? Look at the framework of your life. You pick up your morning coffee, and instantly you are acting in space and time. Your perception of the cup in your hand depends upon the five senses as communicated through the brain. You can think about anything you fancy as you sip your coffee.
These might not seem so mysterious, but there is one mystery after another nested inside everyday experience. Science can reach no consensus on the following:
Where did time come from? Why do properties of physical objects have their origin in invisible waves of probability of observation? Where does a thought come from? How did matter transform into mind? Is consciousness solely a human trait or is it everywhere in the universe?
The pioneers of quantum physics werent the first to ask such questions, but quantum physics got to the nub of how the physical universe is constructed. Everything in existence emerges from ripples in the quantum field, and underlying these ripples is an invisible or virtual domain that goes beyond spacetime, matter, and energy. In the virtual domain, the universe and everything in it is a field of infinite possibilities, and yet the virtual domain cannot be observed directly. As a result, contemporary physics can take us to the horizon of reality, the womb of creation, but it cannot cross the boundary between us and our source of existence.
Almost all the recent models that have gained popularity, including superstrings, the multiverse, and dark matter and energy, exist in so-called mathematical space, or Hilbert space, in recognition that they are not going to yield direct empirical evidence that can be perceived with our senses. Astrophysics had already gotten used to the fact that just 4% of the created universe is accounted for by the matter and energy visible to the eye or to telescopes. With dark matter and energy added in, most of what we see is not really what the universe consists of.
Leaving the technicalities aside, it has become far more difficult to foresee that the human mind can fully comprehend the nature of reality when so many crucial aspects are beyond the setup that our brains can grasp. The thinking mind needs the brain in order to operate, and the brain is a creation in spacetime consisting of matter and energy, that are in spacetime. We wear mind-made manacles. When this fact dawned on the late Stephen Hawking, he ruefully conceded that scientific models might no longer describe reality in any reliable or complete way.
When we discussed these issues in our book, You Are the Universe, the title reflected another approach entirely. Instead of founding the universe on physical things, however small, or even ripples in the quantum field, which are knowable only through advanced mathematics, reality can be grounded in experience. Everything we call real is an experience in consciousness, including the experience of doing science. Mathematics is a very refined, complex language, but there is no language, simple or complex, without consciousness.
The vast majority of scientists will continue to engage in experimentation and theoretical modeling without this venture into metaphysics, which is a no-no word in science (a famous put down when things get to speculative is Shut up and calculate). But it was quantum physics that brought the mystery of reality into the laboratory in modern terms, even though Plato and Aristotle also wondered about what is real.
A younger generation has proved more open-minded, and a growing cadre of cosmologists now hold to the notion of panpsychism, which holds that mind is built into reality from the start. This is a huge turn-around from the view that mind evolved out of matter here on Earth as a unique creation. The fact is that nobody in the physicalist camp could explain how atoms and molecules learned to thinkcreating mind out of matter was dead on arrival, even though the vast majority of scientists still hold on to this view as an assumption or superstition.
Ironically, to say that reality is stranger than we can think isnt confined to the queer behavior of atoms and subatomic particles. You cannot think about consciousness, either, any more than the eye can see itself or the brain know that it exists (without cutting through the skull to seethe brain from the outside). A fish cannot know that water is wet unless it jumps out of the sea and splashes back down again. We cannot think about consciousness without a place to stand outside consciousness, and such a place doesnt exist in the entire cosmos.
The source of space isnt inside space; the source of time isnt in time. Likewise, the source of mind isnt inside the mind. The ceaseless stream of sensations, images, feelings, and thoughts that run through your mind are the products of consciousness. Consciousness itself has no location. It is infinite, without dimensions in space and time, unborn and undying. Can you really think about such a thing as consciousness? And yet you know without a doubt that you are conscious. This is what allows us to make peace with reality being too strange to think about.
We can simply drop the strange part. Reality can be founded on knowing that you exist and that you are aware. Existence is consciousness. If science is dedicated to the simplest, most complete explanation of things, existence = consciousness is the simplest and most complete explanation. There is no need for religious or spiritual beliefs in order to accept this foundation for reality, since it is based on what science has arrived at. By removing our outdated allegiance to things existing independently of consciousness, the basis of reality can be seen clearly. In our everyday life we navigate with existence and consciousness at our side, indivisible, secure, inviolate, and unchallengeable. A whole new future may spring from accepting this simple but awe-inspiring fact.
DEEPAK CHOPRATM MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation, a non-profit entity for research on well-being and humanitarianism, and Chopra Global, a modern-day health company at the intersection of science and spirituality, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation. Chopra is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego and serves as a senior scientist with Gallup Organization. He is the author of over 89 books translated into over forty-three languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers.His 90th book, Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential, unlocks the secrets to moving beyond our present limitations to access a field of infinite possibilities. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.
Menas C. Kafatos is the Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor of Computational Physics at Chapman University. Author, physicist and philosopher, he works in quantum mechanics, cosmology, the environment and climate change and extensively on philosophical issues of consciousness, connecting science to metaphysical traditions. Member or candidate of foreign national academies, he holds seminars and workshops for individuals, groups and corporations on the universal principles for well-being and human potential. His doctoral thesis advisor was the renowned M.I.T. professor Philip Morrison who studied under J. Robert Oppenheimer. He has authored 334 articles, is author or editor of 20 books, including The Conscious Universe, Looking In, Seeing Out, Living the Living Presence (in Greek and in Korean), Science, Reality and Everyday Life (in Greek), and is co-author with Deepak Chopra of the NY Times Bestseller You are the Universe (Harmony Books), translated into many languages and at many countries. You can learn more at http://www.menaskafatos.com
The rest is here:
- Quantum and classical computers handle time differently. What does that mean for AI? - The Next Web - September 18th, 2020
- The Fate of Schrdinger's Cat Probably Isn't in The Hands of Gravity, Experiment Finds - ScienceAlert - September 18th, 2020
- Hybrid lightmatter particles offer tantalising new way to control chemistry - Chemistry World - September 18th, 2020
- Scientists Have Shown There's No 'Butterfly Effect' in the Quantum World - VICE - August 19th, 2020
- How Physics Erases The Beginning Of The Universe - Forbes - August 19th, 2020
- Does the Butterfly Effect Exist? Maybe, But Not in the Quantum Realm - Discover Magazine - August 19th, 2020
- Dismantling disciplinary boundaries and decolonizing young India: Decoding the National Educational Policy (20 - The Times of India Blog - August 19th, 2020
- The spread of 'stranger than we can think' - Yahoo Lifestyle - August 19th, 2020
- Raytheon Technologies invests in new transformational STEM high school - PRNewswire - August 19th, 2020
- The Wheel of Time and the Storytelling Problem in the Concept of a Binary - tor.com - August 19th, 2020
- Physicists witness time crystals interacting for the first time ever - New Atlas - August 19th, 2020
- Quantum mechanics is immune to the butterfly effect - The Economist - August 17th, 2020
- Major quantum computational breakthrough is shaking up physics and maths - The Conversation UK - August 17th, 2020
- Physicists watch quantum particles tunnel through solid barriers. Here's what they found. - Space.com - August 17th, 2020
- The science of marketing: taking inspiration from quantum physics - The Drum - August 17th, 2020
- Here's why we need to build a quantum security coalition - World Economic Forum - August 17th, 2020
- Nuh Gedik and Pablo Jarillo-Herrero are 2020 Moore Experimental Investigators in Quantum Materials - MIT News - August 17th, 2020
- Students in the news | Announcements - Indiana Gazette - August 17th, 2020
- Indian American Engineer Develops Parachute That Helped Curiosity Land on Mars - India West - August 17th, 2020
- How Quantum Mechanics will Change the Tech Industry - Unite.AI - July 21st, 2020
- Money & Markets: After the virus, make sure you've read the inflationary playbook - E&T Magazine - July 21st, 2020
- Bruce Lee: Inside the mind of the martial arts icon - CNN - July 21st, 2020
- Read Before Pontificating on Quantum Technology - War on the Rocks - July 13th, 2020
- The universe's clock might have bigger ticks than we imagine - Livescience.com - July 13th, 2020
- Testing Einstein's theory of relativity | OUPblog - OUPblog - July 13th, 2020
- Scientists Say This Is the Smallest Unit of Time That Could Exist - lintelligencer - July 13th, 2020
- Study: The Period of the Universe's Clock - lintelligencer - July 13th, 2020
- Book review: From Infinity to Man: The Fundamental Ideas of Kabbalah - The Jerusalem Post - July 8th, 2020
- Book review: Travels with Sushi in the Land of the Mind - The Jerusalem Post - July 8th, 2020
- WATCH: Follow along as this drag queen connects the dots between quantum physics and queer identity - Queerty - July 8th, 2020
- Raytheon Technologies to release second quarter results on July 28, 2020 - PRNewswire - July 8th, 2020
- A Brighter Tomorrow > News > USC Dornsife - USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences - July 8th, 2020
- The logic of the impossible: Moses our rabbi - The Jerusalem Post - July 8th, 2020
- Professor tackles one more mystery about quantum mechanics and times flow - GeekWire - July 5th, 2020
- Quantum fluctuations can jiggle objects on the human scale - MIT News - July 5th, 2020
- Want to Know the Speed of a Complex Nuclear Reaction? - Popular Mechanics - July 5th, 2020
- Try to consciously change the world it might just work - Sentinel & Enterprise - July 5th, 2020
- The Death of Fashion Shows? Not So Fast. | Tim's Take | BoF - The Business of Fashion - July 5th, 2020
- U of T and Hebrew University of Jerusalem launch research and innovation partnership - News@UofT - July 5th, 2020
- Max Planck Created Quantum Theory and Laid a New Foundation for Physics - Interesting Engineering - June 21st, 2020
- Do we need a 'Quantum Generation'? | TheHill - The Hill - June 21st, 2020
- 'Everything was centered around Sara, he was lost': Abhishek Kapoor on Sushant Singh Rajput after 'Kedarnath' - DNA India - June 21st, 2020
- RHOBH: What's with Denise Richards Husband Aaron Phypers? - Screen Rant - June 21st, 2020
- Restructuring cybersecurity with the power of quantum - TechRadar - June 21st, 2020
- In the atmosphere of Mars, a green glow offers scientists hints for future visits - NBCNews.com - June 21st, 2020
- Nano-motor of just 16 atoms runs at the boundary of quantum physics - New Atlas - June 20th, 2020
- Physics - The Period of the Universe's Clock - Physics - June 20th, 2020
- Why Gravity Is Not Like the Other Forces - Quanta Magazine - June 20th, 2020
- Toronto-based Association Quantum appoints Northern Hive PR - Business Up North - June 20th, 2020
- Physicists have proposed a new theory for Bose-Einstein condensates - Tech Explorist - June 20th, 2020
- Intricate Beauty, Quasiperiodic Structures, and the Cascade to Criticality - SciTechDaily - June 20th, 2020
- AI And The Parallel Universe - AI Daily - June 20th, 2020
- The stories a muon could tell - Symmetry magazine - June 20th, 2020
- Physicists Have Reversed Time on The Smallest Scale Using a Quantum Computer - ScienceAlert - June 13th, 2020
- Duckworth on Education: The Feynman Technique - EMSWorld - June 13th, 2020
- Sussex Uni physicist creates the fifth state of matter whilst working from home - The Tab - June 13th, 2020
- Beware of 'Theories of Everything' - Scientific American - June 13th, 2020
- Francesca Vidotto: The Quantum Properties of Space-Time - JSTOR Daily - June 1st, 2020
- What Is the Many-Worlds Theory of Quantum Mechanics? - The Wire - June 1st, 2020
- MIT Student Probing Reality Through Physics, Philosophy and Writing - SciTechDaily - June 1st, 2020
- An Indian Origin Physicist Created the Fifth State of Matter from Her Living Room - News18 - June 1st, 2020
- Science and the humanities in the time of pandemic: better together - The Irish Times - June 1st, 2020
- Quantum Physicist Invents Code to Achieve the Impossible - Interesting Engineering - May 24th, 2020
- What does the Tenet title mean? Quantum mechanics and Einsteins theory - Explica - May 24th, 2020
- Covid 19 Pandemic: Quantum Computing Technologies Market 2020, Share, Growth, Trends And Forecast To 2025 - 3rd Watch News - May 24th, 2020
- Scientists Create a Cluster of 15 Trillion Entangled Atoms for the First Time Ever - Dual Dove - May 24th, 2020
- Teaching the next generation of quantum scientists | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences - Harvard School of... - May 23rd, 2020
- Nasa discovers parallel universe where time runs backwards? Know the truth - Business Standard - May 23rd, 2020
- Company Hopes to Have Carbon Nanotube COVID-19 Detector Available in June - SciTechDaily - May 23rd, 2020
- The world is not as real as we think. - Patheos - May 23rd, 2020
- Physicists Just Built The First Working Prototype Of A 'Quantum Radar' - ScienceAlert - May 19th, 2020
- Quantum Brakes to Learn About the Forces Within Molecules - SciTechDaily - May 19th, 2020
- Armin Strom Discusses Resonance With PhD Of Quantum Physics And Watch Collector In An Easy-To-Understand Way (Video) - Quill & Pad - May 19th, 2020
- Embedded in the community: Outstanding physics student is a third-generation ASU student - ASU Now - May 19th, 2020
- 50 Years of Physical Review B: Solid Hits in Condensed Matter Research - Physics - May 19th, 2020
- Exploring the quantum field, from the sun's core to the Big Bang - MIT News - May 14th, 2020
- Registration Open for Inaugural IEEE International Conference on Quantum Computing and Engineering (QCE20) - thepress.net - May 14th, 2020
- 3 Simple Reasons Why Wolfram's New 'Fundamental Theory' Is Not Yet Science - Forbes - May 14th, 2020
- The Era of Anomalies - Physics - May 14th, 2020
- Exploring new tools in string theory - Space.com - May 14th, 2020