WHEN THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENS!

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« Anyone like myself, who has had the rare good fortune to experience in a spiritual exchange with Wilhelm, the divinatory power of the I Ching, cannot for long remain ignorant of the fact that we have touched here an Archimedean point from which our Western attitude of mind can be shaken to its foundations. » Carl Gustav JUNG: (Comments on “The Secret Of The Golden Flower.”: Appendix: “In Memory of Richard Wilhelm”.)

 

How can that be?! To manipulate some straws randomly, to discover an aphorism at least thirty centuries old, lost in an abstruse spell book from a polar opposite culture that refers to neolithic ancestors, to their esoteric rituals… and to find yourself stunned, paralyzed by the suitability of the moment, to understand synchronicity with your gut, to see in front of your way a door that opens towards the unknown and another door shutting behind you on a world vision you instinctively admitted as obvious, beyond any question…! It is an understatement to say: « we have touched here an Archimedean point from which our Western attitude of mind can be shaken to its foundations. »

A synchronicity discovered 4 decades ago, repeated regularly and as staggeringly relevant today than before.

So, even as incredible it may be, it is possible to trigger synchronicities voluntarily, as if we were living in a Great Game and not in a material world, as if we could call upon a Joker to see things differently, from a superior dimension, in a way.

So great an incoherence between the experienced event and the world we perceive – the current paradigm – requires an explanation, a new look on the basis of reality as we can understand them. And the amazement repeats itself, again and again, as we discover the deep disruption initiated by the Theory of Relativity then Quantum Mechanics. To the happy surprise of Jung the physicists answer with deep confusion:

« The great extension of our experience in recent years has brought light to the insufficiency of our simple mechanical conceptions and, as a consequence, has shaken the foundation on which the customary interpretation of observation was based.»
« Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real. » Niels BOHR

« Whatever matter is, it isn’t made of matter.» Hans Peter DÜRR

« […] the nineteenth century […] saw a certain divorce taking place between scientists and philosophers […] But such a separation could only be prejudicial both to philosophy and to science […] many scientists of the present day, victims of an ingenuous realism, almost without perceiving it, have adopted a certain metaphysics of a materialistic and mechanistic character and have regarded it as the very expression of scientific truth. One of the great services that the recent evolution of physics has rendered contemporary thought, is that it has destroyed this simplified metaphysics, and with the same stroke has caused certain traditional philosophical problems to be considered in an entirely new light. Thereby the way has been prepared for a reconciliation between science and philosophy […]» Louis de BROGLIE

« The more success the quantum Theory has, the sillier it looks!» Albert EINSTEIN

« Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, ‘But how can it be like that?’ because you will get ‘down the drain’, into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.»
« The theory of quantum electrodynamics describes Nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And it agrees fully with experiment. So I hope you accept Nature as She is — absurd.» Richard FEYNMAN

 

No need to quote all the physicists deeply destabilized by their discoveries. Many became schizophrenic in a way: handling elegantly and successfully the foundations of reality in their laboratories, but immersing again in the worn-out paradigm in everyday life! Even if they are perfectly aware that it gives us a deeply false idea of reality! Four centuries of scientific discoveries led Science to be soaked by Physicalism:

There is only one realm and not two as postulated by Descartes. Reality is made of matter only and matter obeys the Laws of Physics; everything else comes from emergence. The material brain secretes thoughts as the liver secretes bile! There is no such thing as a spiritual realm that is distinguishable from the material realm; the soul is an overused concept. The scientific paradigm, the absolute frame in which every rational spirit has to be, is a Materialistic and Realistic Monism.

But this is old stuff! Twenty’s century Science destroyed what ninety’s century Science thought to have found! And physicists, maybe too much disturbed, didn’t succeed to communicate their conclusions.

« Galileo was able to educate the world to understand that the Earth goes around the Sun … yet physicists today have utterly failed to inform the public to understanding the purely mental nature of the universe with all that that implies for the meaning of human existence. That is a tragedy, and it should be rectified. I wish I knew how.» Richard Conn HENRY

So Jung’s amazement is far from lone; it reverberates among the specialists of the real world, as a myriad of images mirrored from one-another. And things go on as before: business as usual!

But we need rethink our paradigm; we need instinctly to rely on a paradigm since it is the only way we have to understand the world we live in and, therefore, to survive in it.

This Blog tries to think about the features of the new world view we’re meant to find. A paradigm in which we could take for ourselves the discoveries of physicists, but also the discoveries of Eastern philosophies and of mystics that help to understand what Science has to say. Indeed, Science and Spirituality can be associated to help us in this quest for reality.

« SIMULISM: Are we living in a virtual reality? » is a pdf file that takes advantage of hypertext to separate presentations from deepening and makes very easy looking for definitions, complements… on the Net.

 

The File can be downloadable here.

A « Print-friendly » version is available here.

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THE NEW DUALISM. 3: WOULD DESCARTES BE A DUALIST TODAY?

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All along this time, explanations become complex, overcomplicated… but resist until the environment becomes favourable to the great jump.”

 

1: THE CARTESIAN DUALISM.

Today Descartes’ ingenuous idea that is at the origin of our scientific culture seems obvious. But it is the result of its great success; four centuries of discoveries and innumerable applications opening new perspectives overshadow the revolutionary concept that led Descartes to distinguish matter from what is immaterial: the realm of objects that occupy space from the other that is invisible because it belongs to pure thought. Before Descartes the universe was alive; animals could be prosecuted because of inadequate behaviour; a natural disaster could be assigned to a malevolent intention that could bring its author to be burned at the stake: the paradigm of these days allowed magic to act on the material world by the thought only. It was obviously impossible to acquire objective and reliable knowledge about a material world that was subject to somebody’s intentions.

But Descartes built an impervious wall between matter and thought, while admitting as an aside a mysterious link that should remain secret! He created the scientific methodology in order to apply mathematical logic to the search for reliable answers to questions we could ask about the material world only; which doesn’t remove for him the importance of the immaterial realm which constitutes a specific attribute of our species. Animals became machines unable to think and our body also. But he postulates an immaterial soul that is a gift from the creator and which is our true nature. It is our soul that gives us free-choice, reason, emotions… and manages our material organism.

Due to the success of the scientific methodology, the philosophers who became scientists, changed progressively their world’s image. At the end of the 19th century the cartesian Dualism turned into a Materialistic Monism: only matter is real and thoughts emerge from the material brain; the soul fades out! Because of concentrating on quantifiable objects and procedures, scientists materialise the realm of thoughts, in a way. They become convinced that an adequate analysis of the quantifiable workings of a brain could open one day the immaterial realm to science. We could enter in one’s thoughts in a way, and, why not, build thinking robots.

But this view confuses correlations with causality! It isn’t because a measurable electrical activity in a specific area of a brain is correlated with an emotion or a thought that it necessarily is its cause! Nothing forbids it to be only a consequence of the emotion or the thought! We would find the same correlation if Henry Bergson was right and the brain would only be a sort of antenna able to pick up thoughts out of an immaterial realm, but able to trigger physical reactions in our material world.

« A cloth is joint to the nail to which it is hooked; it falls if the nail is pulled up; it moves if the nail moves (…) it doesn’t follow that every feature of the nail corresponds to a feature of the cloth, neither that the nail is the same as the cloth; and even less so that the nail and the cloth are one only thing. » Matter and Memory: 1896

What would Descartes think if he could come back today? Would he accept a Materialistic Monism?

The loss of Dualism would not be the only source of amazement for Descartes. He would surely be very amazed by the modification of our civilisation’s values.

2: A COLLATERAL DAMAGE DUE TO SCIENCE’S OBJECTIVITY.

For a result to be considered as scientific, it shouldn’t be dependent on the subject who found it; the experimenter has to become insignificant since, in an ideal world, even an appropriately programmed robot should be able to achieve exactly the same results in the absence of any human. And after four centuries of letting the experimenter become insignificant, the scientists in their great majority, finished by loosing all significance to the world, life and humanity! The scientists forget that this insignificance was only part of the methodology and not a reality.

« The scientific world-picture vouchsafes a very complete understanding of all that happens — it makes it just a little too understandable. It allows you to imagine the total display as that of a mechanical clockwork which, for all that science knows, could go on just the same as it does, without there being consciousness, will, endeavor, pain and delight and responsibility connected with it — though they actually are. And the reason for this disconcerting situation is just this: that for the purpose of constructing the picture of the external world, we have used the greatly simplifying device of cutting our own personality out, removing it; hence it is gone, it has evaporated, it is ostensibly not needed.

In particular, and most importantly, this is the reason why the scientific worldview contains of itself no ethical values, no esthetic values, not a word about our own ultimate scope or destination, and no God, if you please. Whence came I and whither go I? » Nature and the Greeks (1954) Erwin Schrödinger.

What would Descartes think of this evolution if he could come back today?!

3: THE OVERWHELMING SUCCESS OF THE METHOD OF SCIENCE.

Even if he his in good part at the origin of the scientific methodology, Descartes would perhaps be amazed to discover how much it shapes today our Western Culture. He would acknowledge the soundness of his choice and would enthusiastically discover our world. To concentrate on the material realm only and to consider it as real, independently of the observer, led to astounding discoveries that shape today a completely different world than the one he lived in.

Astrophysics would show him a series of copernican revolutions that followed the first one he experienced: the Earth just abandoned its privileged position in the center of the universe in favour of the Sun. Which conserved the place until the beginning of the 20th century when, abruptly, it was found lost on the fringe of a branch of a gigantic galaxy, itself relativized between billions of other ones in an immensely large universe.

Descartes would be glad to understand how much his postulate was potentially rich. The exploration of the physical reality showed how far it is from the picture our common sense gives us. Einstein’s space-time is not what common sense tells it is. Common sense fools us! The world we perceive and understand instinctively is not the real world discovered by scientists! The latter remains completely incomprehensible, even to the physicists who describe it! They can only understand the abstract mathematics that describe its nature, but can’t understand their discoveries through their common sense that isn’t a faithful counselor for this question.

Since the beginning of the 20th century there is an accumulation of very disturbing results that profoundly defy the world’s image we live in!

« Is it possible that Nature is as absurd as it seems in these atomic experimentations? » Werner Heisenberg: Physics and Philosophy: 1958.

Space and Time are the absolute fundamental foundations of the world we perceive and in which we live. This world’s image is so rich, precise and real that we forget it is subjective only! It is totally created in our brain out of myriads of perceptions that are dissected, analyzed then coded by our sense organs, in a totally automatic and unconscious way. Nearly always this subjective image is exquisitely well adapted to our needs in order to live in the best possible conditions in the real world. Rarely do we observe a discrepancy between our image and reality; for this to happen we have to induce our senses in error through optical or hearing illusions…

The foundations on which our common sense relies to understand the world lost their solidity: space and time became relative! They are elastic; and therefore they are not perceived similarly by everyone! An event can take place before another one for an observer and after the same one for another observer! What a profound abnormality! Descartes’ method let us build a logic world but how weird… very far from what our common sense teaches us unconsciously, beginning with our birth and even beyond since our world’s image is shaped by the culture and the discoveries of our ancestors.

« The hope that new experiments will lead us back to objective events in time and space is about as well founded as the hope of discovering the end of the world in the unexplored regions of the Antarctic. Some physicists would prefer to come back to the idea of an objective real world whose smallest parts exist objectively in the same sense as stones or trees exist independently of whether we observe them. This however is impossible. » Werner Heisenberg Physics and Philosophy: 1958

4: THE IMPORTANCE OF THE WORLD IMAGE.

We feel we live in the world, but actually we live in an image of the world. And this image is a model only; a map, not a territory! A legacy from birth continuously enriched by experience through the working behind the scene of an instinctive engine that nourishes the common sense.

Natural selection favours the individuals best adapted to perform a fast and adequate analysis out of the informations perceived from the environment. It doesn’t favour the most « real », the most true perception of the world, but the most useful one! Our perception organs display an infinitesimal and flawed part of a hypothetical reality that only science and philosophy can help us to imagine… partly.

Let’s identify with our brain for a while. It is enclosed in a dark box, well protected from the world in which it has the responsibility to adapt us in the best possible way. But only myriads of short electrical impulses enter the brain, coming from specialized cells reacting to light, pressure, specific molecules… The environment has to be reconstructed out of electrical impulses that will be decoded then associated through huge neural networks in charge of giving a meaning to them. The brain is a superb engine working in order to give meaning through a spate of prioritised associations that we begin to imitate through Artificial Intelligence. The brain’s vital goal is to understand our environment in the fastest and best possible way; it must be able to react rapidly and fittingly. To do that, it works out perceptions to build a map of the world and compare it with what instincts and experience can offer in order to give it a meaning. The result is the common sense that is neither objective, nor universal, even if we feel instinctively that it is. Common sense is responsible for our survival, not for giving us an exhaustive and truthful image of an hypothetical reality outside us.

An event that isn’t compatible with our world’s image is felt as very disturbing, even frightful! The first reaction would be a rejection of it in the world already well known, a tentative to bring back everything in an understandable and predictable world in favor of survival.

Scientists are maybe the most prone to reject disturbing events because they are trained to be critical in their work. A critical mind is one of the fundamentals of the scientific methodology but it can be sterilizing if one doesn’t take in account an instinctive rejection of what isn’t compatible with common sense. Sometimes this reaction is so powerful that it becomes contrary to the scientific methodology that puts experience before theory!

«Doubting is fruitful, at the condition of doubting about ones doubt. » Didier Norton.

5: A COLLECTION OF ABNORMALITIES.

After trying very hard to find a solution without success, Max Planck publishes an equation adapted to what physicists find in their experiments but completely absurd! The equation suggests that energy quantities can only change according to whole natural numbers: 1, 2, 3…

The date is december 1900. Planck doesn’t really believe he found a real solution to the problem, just a tentative way to describe mathematically what remains incomprehensible for the common sense. He is convinced physicists will find a way to bring understanding to their discoveries. But physicist continue to find results defying the common sense… until today; and nothing seems to give hope in finding a sensible explanation in the future!

We perceive a continuous world when physicists discover a quantized world, pixellized in a way! In the world of atoms and molecules there is no slopes, only stairs! A particle that looses or gains energy does so abruptly, disappearing from a stair step at once and appearing on another stair step immediately, never finding itself in between! Profound abnormality!

Matter which builds reality and us with it, is 99,999999999999% emptiness! It seems solid but isn’t really. Electrons repel violently each other and a mysterious law forbids two of them to have the same attributes; that’s why matter seems hard, but it is essentially void! Profound abnormality!

Common sense allows to measure at once the position and the velocity of a vehicle. It’s impossible to know at once and precisely these two properties for particles or atoms. Whatever means implemented, each progress towards more precision in one property will automatically diminish the precision on the other one. Profound abnormality!

Common sense lets us understand the movement of a stone thrown towards a pond then the waves on the surface of the water after the splash. A stone occupies a defined space when a wave can potentially cover a very large space. Nothing is more different from a particle than a wave! But particles, atoms, molecules… every matter is at once particulate and wavy, depending on the way the observer measures it! Profound abnormality!

Common sense convinces us that the Moon is in the sky even if nobody looks at it. But in the world of atoms and molecules nothing is real unless it is observed! Only an interaction with a tool able to measure them can give them the characteristic we find indispensable in order to describe a real object: movement, direction, spin… Profound abnormality!

Common sense convinces us that an empty box contains nothing, not even air if it has been pumped out. Nevertheless physicists discover that the void is full of energy and virtual particles that appear then disappear continuously. Profound abnormality!

Time and space seem to have nothing in common. We live in a space described by a length, a width, a depth in which objects exist through time that flows from past to future. Yet time and space can’t be separated and are part of a forth dimension that we can’t perceive as such. Profound abnormality!

6: ABNORMALITIES AND PARADIGMS

In his fundamental work in 1962, the historian of sciences: Thomas Kühn, described how scientists agree implicitly on a blueprint that will circumscribe their imagination and in which they will be able to understand their results. This agreement is implicit because it is the world’s image built instinctively. Einstein already, before Kühn, understood that in reality theory came before experiments, and not the other way out as scientific rationality would suggest!

Heisenberg told how astonished he has been when Einstein notified exactly the reverse of what he expected! They were walking after a lecture given by Heisenberg about his experiments on quantum physics; Einstein didn’t agree with their interpretation. It’s much later that Heisenberg understood with Einstein how much the inspiration, the choice of an experimental protocol… are linked implicitly but powerfully, to the conceptual blueprint in which the theoretician or the experimentalist finds himself. This frame became the paradigm described by Kühn and it directs the way we understand the world in which we evolve. With other world’s images, other ideas would have inspired the theoreticians and the experimentalists. Other attributes would have been tested to give, eventually, very different conclusions than the ones that are dominant today!

To change a paradigm takes much time, notably because it is difficult to act on the fundamental instincts that make us able to understand our environment: the world’s image we inherited at birth and then through our experience and our culture. Abnormalities accumulate… They are prone to complicated explanations. Ptolemaïc ancient Greece understood the planets orbits through very complicated epicycles… and the copernican revolution greatly simplified this understanding.

Much time and an accumulation of disturbing abnormalities are needed to prepare a leap in the dark: a new world’s image: a new paradigm has to be ready. It is like if a fish had to jump out of its jar: it could survive only if a new aquarium were ready near the old one. Time is needed to prepare, enrich and consolidate a new paradigm before becoming able to accept the drastic changes of the world’s image that our instinct leads us to build. All along this time, explanations become complex, overcomplicated… but resist until the environment becomes favourable to the great jump.

The copernican solution to the weirdness of the planets’ orbits took time because a paradigm had to be changed. The Earth wasn’t anymore in the center of the universe: the Sun took its place. And Copernic then Kepler tried this solution to simplify their calculations of the orbits.

Today, physicists are still puzzled, more than a century after the creation of Quantum Mechanics in 1900 and Bohr’s atom in the 1920s. They try to understand the shoking abnormalities that accumulated continuously since a century. They try to understand their experimental results in a way that is compatible with the understanding of the nature of reality given by our common sense: a material world made of discrete particles with specific properties. Specific properties that shouldn’t be modified by non-local events; objective properties that shouldn’t be prone to modifications resulting from observation only; particles that shouldn’t change their state without being touched, heated, illuminated… The problems began especially from the moment the results of experiments weren’t anymore compatible with the cartesian separation between object and subject!

7: WHAT THE QUANTUM DISRUPTION CHANGES.

Even if the Quantum Disruption began more than a century now, there are still some physicists who hope that a savior will one day dissolve the abnormalities displayed in the microcosm in the classicism of the macrocosm! Yet these abnormalities accumulate, especially since the second half of the 20th century. Since some physicists decided to explore the weird microcosm with critical eye but open mind to a change of paradigm.

While waiting for a savior who will bring back the microcosm in the reassuring materiality of the macrocosm, some physicists call upon a Multiverse in which an infinity of universes would explain that, by chance only, we live in the only one in which all physical constants are particularly adapted to the apparition of life and intelligence. They seem to forget that, in order to eliminate the disturbing dualism between the quantum and the classical worlds, to dilute the weirdness of an universe born from nothing… they postulate an infinity of universes! All born from nothing too, of course!

But if we remain objective and open-minded, we are brought to accept the abnormalities and reconsider our paradigm because it can’t take them into account. What are the principal abnormalities that we discussed in the first part of this work?

– The world isn’t continuous but made out of quanta of matter-energy, and probably of quanta of time and space as well.

– There is no absolute simultaneity: two events that are simultaneous for an observer can appear differently for another observer. Space and time are differently elastic for different observers.

– The properties of an object measured by an observer depend of his experimental choices: they have no independent reality; absolute objectivity is impossible.

– We can describe the evolution of the properties of an object through space and time after having measured them. But the equation we use has to do with wave functions which can interfere in a way we cannot understand in our world composed of material particles. These equations bring in weird unreal mathematical objects like the square root of -1. And finally, these equations give us only probabilities, never certainties: only a physical measure will give the values looked for.

«But if the ultimate physical reality corresponds to the wave function, then what sort of beast is a wave function? What’s made of? What’s Hilbert space made of? As far as we know, nothing: they seem to be purely mathematical objects! » Max Tegmark “Our Mathematical Universe”: 2014

– We can’t find all the properties of an object with great precision. When the precision on one property grows, the precision on a conjugate one diminishes.

– Objects can behave as if they were entangled in a-local and a-temporal relationship. As if there were a parallel reality conjugated to ours and through which objects could be linked without being separated by space and time.

– Matter and energy are two different and exchangeable forms of the same reality. With its form as energy field, matter seems to be defined but not manifested. It’s only when there are interactions that matter-energy manifests itself with measurable properties.

«This idea that there’s a bunch of numbers at each point in space-time is quite deep, and I think it’s telling us something not merely about our description of reality, but about reality itself (…) a field is just this: something represented by numbers at each point in space-time. » Max Tegmark “Our Mathematical Universe”: 2014

Galileo was the first to describe the universe through its language: mathematics. Four centuries of discoveries lead to the description of the nature of the universe: mathematic! It’s not only a convenient way to describe it: mathematics has become the fundamental reality of the universe, as Plato or Pythagorus thought it was!

And yet we perceive a real physical world with plenty of different sensations, very far from abstract mathematical formulas; how come? It’s probably due to the new dualism: the association between a fundamental purely mathematical reality which calculates the reality that is ours: the physical one.

8. A NEW DUALISM: SIMULISM.

Descartes’s dualism helped create Science but has been deeply shaken up by it afterwards. First, dualism melt in a materialistic monism, then reappeared in the inescapable duality that separates the quantum world from the classical one. But this new duality is unsharp; it isn’t really defined by an objective boundary between the microcosm (the realm of particles, atoms, molecules…) and the macrocosm (the world we perceive in our everyday life). Interactions are continuous through the two realms; the conditions in which the measurements are made are more important than the size of the object that is measured. The order with which the measurements are made determine the evolution of the wave function that describes the quantum object. The dualism that distinguish microcosm from macrocosm doesn’t make a difference between the objects that take a place in space and time from the ones that exist only in the realm of thoughts. The observer and his consciousness seem to intervene in the determination of quantum properties. This new duality that separates the quantum world from the classical one has to be placed in a very different context than the one Descartes chose four centuries ago.

The microcosm doesn’t show definite properties unless it is observed. It evolves in a completely different reality than we do. Space and time aren’t the obstacles they are in our realm. What we perceive as well defined objects in our reality (Physical Reality) seem to manifest themselves out of another reality we can describe with mathematics (Mathematical Reality) involving imaginary numbers and wave functions. In this weird realm objects evolve and interfere in a way only waves could interfere in our realm.

(Quantum phenomena) « support the view that non-material principles can steer the material world. » Antoine Suarez; http://www.quantumphil.org

Thus the realm of objects that occupy space and time isn’t the fundamental realm, but depends on a realm in which space and time haven’t the reality we find for them in ours. In the fundamental reality space and time have only a mathematical existence. Reciprocally, the mathematical properties that describe physical objects can be influenced by the events that happen to them in the physical world. It is no more possible to separate the world of objects from the world of thoughts as Descartes did. Today Physics describes two worlds that aren’t separated from one another as Descartes postulated, because the one we perceive is a reflection from the other, itself under the influence of the first. The world that seems concrete to us – and which is, in a sense – seems to arise out of another, purely mathematical one. Physicist David Bohm named the world we perceive « the Explicite Reality » that is an emanation from another one: « the Implicite Reality ». Plato defined our world as the one of shadows that depends on another world which is the true reality.

Some philosophies (Hinduism, Yoga…) describe this duality between a reality that is manifested, thus perceived, but secondary to a fundamental reality that isn’t manifested, although it has enough properties to be considered as real. An image of this duality could be found in Physics’ concept of matter-energy fields. Empty space can potentially act on a specific object that moves through it, as if space is structured in a way that can express itself only in specific conditions: A non-manifested (Implicite) versus manifested (Explicite) dualism. The world we perceive would be an illusion built out of a deeper but not-manifested reality.

Simulism could explain such a quantum dualism. Perceived reality would be the result of calculations that are displayed only when there is an interaction with a physical (material) or organic (living) object. It’s the collapse of the wave function introduced by the « School of Copenhagen ». Perceived reality is relational and isn’t based on objects with physical properties independent from the act of perception. What we perceive as independent objects defined by specific properties are only limited expressions in our space-time, of purely mathematical attributes that follow the wave function discovered by Physics.

 « we live in a RELATIONAL REALITY, in the sense that the properties of the world around us stem not from properties of its ultimate building blocks, but from the relations between these building blocks. » Max Tegmark “Our Mathematical Universe”: 2014

Plato’s realm of Ideas, Bohm’s Implicite Reality… would be a simulation mathematical software and the display of the results of calculations would be the reality we perceive: Plato’s shadows or Bohm’s Explicite Reality. Physicist Wolfgang Pauli would maybe be satisfied with a paradigm that would integrate this fundamental concept of simulation. He tried with psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung to understand the origin of synchronicity. He wrote:

« The most satisfying would be that (…) Physics and Psychics could be considered as complementary aspects of one reality. »  Synchronicity: an a-causal connecting Principle.  1952.

Simulism doesn’t make a difference between matter and thought: both are reflections of a more fundamental reality that is virtual and purely mathematical; the one Pauli used to think about.

« psyche and matter are governed by common, neutral, not in themselves ascertainable ordering principles. » Atom and Archetype: The Pauli/Jung Letters, 1932-1958.

Finally, would Descartes be a dualist today? Yes, but…

He would maybe define a world that is perceived and another one, more fundamental, which would create our perceived reality. The first realm would put together objects and thoughts coming from the working of the material brain. Thoughts could be separated in two types, according to whether they are directly generated by the material brain, or by the more fundamental, a-local and a-temporal quantum realm. The first could belong to the « mind » and the second, to the intuition or the « soul » since they come from outside the limits of the material body. The organic brain would be able to create thoughts and to perceive intuitions. Its first job would be attributed to the mind, the second one to the Subconscious, still so mysterious.

Cartesian dualism which defines the realm of objects and the realm of thoughts would have evolved in two new realities. The first one would be a hybrid since it associates an aspect which has an extension in space-time: the objects, to another, immaterial but that comes from the first through the analysis of perceptions: the mental working of the organic brain. The other realm would be a-local and a-temporal: a purely mathematical realm.

Physical Reality associates matter-energy and its emergent abilities that are emotions and thoughts. The underlying a-local and a-temporal Mathematical Reality could be understood as a software running continuously in the background to define properties that are essentially relational and describing a reality that is indivisible because it obeys only to wave functions. The illusion of an objective world composed of independent objects would be the result of the collapse of the wave functions calculated for a discrete place of space-time… Maybe when there is an interaction with the Subconscious, a soul, which belongs to the Mathematical Reality but could also have an influence on the mind, the result of the working of the material brain?

IS THE UNIVERSE A MATHEMATICAL OBJECT?

«Mathematics is the language in which God has written the universe.» Galileo

Mathematising the world has been the initiative which enabled science to understand and gain some power on it. Mathematics keeps amazing physicists by its power of prediction! Many physical laws have been discovered by applying a mathematical tool which was created by a mathematician only to satisfy his own logic. As if the intimate fabric of the universe was mathematical!

Tegmark

Max Tegmark gathered his reflexions in his book: “The Mathematical Universe Hypothesis: My quest for the ultimate nature of reality.” (2014).

«If my life as a physicist has taught anything at all, it’s that Plato was right: modern physics has made abundantly clear that the ultimate nature of reality isn’t what it seems.»

And Tegmark: the son of a mathematician and physicist himself, continues:

«Our reality isn’t just described by mathematics – it is mathematics, in a very specific sense.»

«At the bottom level, reality is a mathematical structure, so its parts have no intrinsic properties at all! In other words, the Mathematical Universe Hypothesis implies that we live in a relational reality, in the sense that the properties of the world around us stem not from properties of its ultimate building blocks, but from the relations between these building blocks.»

In this important and entertaining book Tegmark applies very fruitfully his experience as a teacher at MIT. He knows how to present a question and what will illustrate the answer in the best way.

As an example here is how he explains the crucial discoveries in the 1920s that the universe is expanding. He asks to imagine oneself giving a lecture and discovering that the attendees sitting just in the first row are all very old. And the further one looks, the younger the attendees are! With babies laying at the farthest seats! Just in front of a black void! That’s how our universe looks like when we look for galaxies: the farthest they are, the younger!

Everyone fond of astronomy knows this of course, but it’s rare to find an illustration that speaks as much to the imagination! And Tegmark’s book is full of such nice findings.

He presents the findings of “the precision cosmology” to show how it “highlight the mysterious utility of mathematics for understanding our world.” Then he expands the concepts laid by the inflation model of the universe and Quantum Mechanics to define different levels of Multiverses. Tegmark suggests that “Fine-tuning is arguable evidence for the Level II Multiverse“. I.e. that the explanation behind the astounding fine-tuning of the 32 constants that make our Universe suitable for life and intelligence is that there are an infinity of these, each with different values for these constants and that we live in the only one that, by chance, have the good values!

Level III Multiverses are Hugh Everett’s ones. Here again, Tegmark illustrates the Many Worlds hypothesis in new and clear illustrations.

Information is introduced and its importance emphasized. “The quantum weirdness doesn’t go away, it just gets censored” (about the difference between microphysics and macrophysics). Or “I concluded that quantum mechanics requires secrecy: an object can only be found in two places at once in quantum superposition as long as its position is kept secret from the rest of the world.” “Quantum observation isn’t about consciousness, but simply about the transfer of information.

The last part of the book describes the M.U.H or Mathematical Universe Hypothesis.
The M.U.H implies that we live in a relational reality, in the sense that the properties of the world around us stems not from properties of its ultimate building blocks, but from the relation between these building blocks.”

Strangely, Tegmark doesn’t “bet on a computable universe.” Even if all his work seems to point towards Simulism!

So the universe would be a structure, a purely mathematical object, thus a set of informations, which is compatible with Simulism.

THE NEW DUALISM: 2: WHAT IS THE NATURE OF ENERGY?

1: WHAT IS ENERGY?

The answer comes at once: Energy is life, movement, emotion… french-cancan! But all that is only expressions of energy that doesn’t really inform us about its nature.

Energy is fundamental to an understanding of the universe and life, but even today, it remains a mystery! Is it quantifiable like the dimensions of an object? Or is it a quality like the colour of an object, an emotion…?

Until Galileo, energy was considered as a quality linked to life and that couldn’t be quantified. In greek, “energeia” meant “activity”, “movement”. And all activity had its origin in life; even sea waves or leaves rustling in a breeze were due to Eolus: a god. And life can’t be quantified… even today! But Galileo discovered how to quantify movement and created Physics when he applied Mathematics to understand the properties of the material universe.

Even today physicists don’t know how to define the nature of energy and, therefore, can’t measure it directly. Galileo didn’t quantify energy but the work done when energy changes from one form to another. Richard Feynman – one of the brightest 20th century’s physicist – wrote:

«It is important to realise that today Physics has no idea about what the nature of energy could be.» Or: «The conservation of energy is an abstract idea, a mathematical principle that isn’t concrete, not even the description of a mechanism. It only says that something is invariable when an event takes place. It’s a strange fact to be able to calculate a quantity, to watch nature doing its tricks, that to recalculate this number and to discover that it didn’t change!»

In other words, energy is what remains constant in an ever-changing universe; but this doesn’t teach us what is its nature!

As physicists – the champions of rational analysis – can’t teach us what the nature of energy is, let’s see if the specialists of intuition could have any idea about it! Have creative people, artists, been inspired by this question?

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A masterpiece comes at once to mind: The “Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo in the Chapel Sixtine expresses an impressive energy! On the right half of the fresco everything is on the move; even God’s beard participate to our feeling of a fast flight from right to left. The left part is completely static; but we perceive a birth: life, through a mysterious energy, invisible but so powerful between the two index fingers looking for each other!

God has already created forms in the mineral and in the living realms, but he didn’t yet pass life to Adam: the capacity to put these forms in movement, then to wake up consciousness in humanity. Even if the abstract concept of information was unknown in Michelangelo’s time, he presumably intuited a transfer of informations as the source of life… and maybe of consciousness too! Matter has been created then organised in complex structures, but it isn’t yet animated, nor conscious of itself: it remains to show her how to express all the properties of life and consciousness! It needs a sort of “How to Manual”, an operating system… informations!

The artist perceives energy as the source of movement, life and consciousness. But is the force that puts an object on the move, the same as the one that brings life to an organism? Physicists discovered one energy only that can express itself through many forms. Michelangelo seems to describe two types of energies: one that could be named: “Physical Energy” because physicists learned to quantify the work done with it like, for instance, the movement pictured on the right part of the fresco, and a second type: “vital energy”, subtler and impossible to measure: an energy that gives life. It’s the one that crosses invisibly between the two index. Could it be the “Subtle Energy” (Chi or Prana) conceived by oriental philosophies? An energy unknown to our organs of perception but perceptible only to human intuition, as the “chinese pulse” only detected by the chinese therapist and that can’t be measured with our mechanical or electronic devices? Could the “Physical Energy” be the same as the oriental concept of “Coarse” or “Manifested” energy that our organs can perceive and our devices react to?

2 – EAST AND WEST.

It could be interesting to compare conceptions of eastern and western philosophers about energy. These world views diverged for thousands of years but began to converge when they discovered each other, especially since the 18th century .

In the West the world was described as it appears through our organs of perception; the universe harbours objects localised in space and time; they seem to remain where we perceived them, even if we divert our attention: the Moon is in the sky even if nobody looks at her! We favoured quantification to describe these objects because it is easy to measure lengths, widths, positions in space… and to communicate objectively the results. The scientific methodology is the very successful outcome of this way to perceive our surroundings since 4 centuries. Measures are independent of the subject who does them and therefore easily communicated and reproduced. But very weird results began to accumulate since the dawn of the 20th century; the world’s image we built till the end of the 19th century was too naive; we thought we could consider the universe as a collection of objects we could quantify objectively and independently; physicists were convinced they were nearly at the end of their discoveries and able to find the final formulas: the complete description of the properties of matter and its behaviour. But they were wrong…!

Instead of quantifying the universe, eastern philosophers asked themselves how the universe is perceived; what is the nature of consciousness that perceives it; how does it build a world’s image from our perceptions? Their approach became an introvert research; they favoured subjective and qualitative analysis: the exact opposite of Western views. For a westerner the world is clearly what s/he perceives. For an easterner it is only a mental image made after interactions between organs of perception and the consciousness who analyses them; the interaction is more important than the perception in itself and the object perceived. Instead of reducing the world to a collection of separately quantifiable objects, easterners perceived it as an interacting whole impossible to reduce to independent parts without denaturing its fundamental nature. In the West, one or many gods created the world and everything contained in it, sequentially, after successive additions: for example first Heaven and Earth, then light, then days and nights, water, land… In the East, no gods we could compare with Western ones! But Forces: energies, sometimes sources of anthropocentric metaphors as in India or in Tibet. Unique in the beginning, the founding energy gives rise to 2 types of energy (China) or 3 (India), then 5 or more… Each energy form specialises itself, but its fundamental nature is preserved.

These energies manifest themselves progressively; from subtle they become more coarse and in the end give rise to everything in the universe, after interacting in multiple ways. It is amazing to discover that Eastern philosophies discovered thousands of years ago what Western Science understood only since 1905: even matter is a form of energy!

The interaction of primordial elements as the source of the multiple objects our senses perceive seems universal and is found in the East as well as in the West. The 5 elements the greek imagined as the fundamental units of creation aren’t really material but rather properties. The combination in variable amounts of these qualities were thought to create the particular properties of every object. For example if the element “earth” was in high proportion, an object would be very dense and would have a sort of impulse to join the soil. The nature of the 5 elements is better understood as energy than matter. The objects we perceive result from the combination of idealised primordial elements that aren’t actually perceptible in a pure material form. This is maybe easiest to understand through the 5 processes in China. (see below)

Instead of imagining a concrete, solid, material and long-lasting universe, Eastern philosophers were sensible to the subjective nature of the world’s image our senses initiate. An holistic vision of the universe made them aware of the illusion of a permanent reality: everything is transforming; only the Law of Change is permanent!

But physicists discover a new world since the 20th century; a world completely incomprehensible within physicalism: the paradigm inherited from their predecessors who were convinced they would understand the universe by explaining the properties of matter that makes the objects we find in it. Relativity describes a universe where space and time loose objectivity and permanence; they are no more independent from the observer but become relative to the observation! Since then, the observer has a direct influence on the physical properties of the object s/he measures and the results are no longer certainties but probabilities only!

Many upset physicists tried to find new ways of understanding their results; new paradigms. And Eastern ways of thinking were found to be helpful.

«We must turn to epistemological problems which Buddha and Lao-Tseu has already been confronted to, and try to harmonise our situation as actors and spectators in the great drama of existence.» Niels Bohr.

«Japan’s important contributions to Theoretical Physics since the last war, shows maybe a kinship between Eastern traditional philosophies and Quantum Theory’s philosophical substance.» Werner Heisenberg.

To compare Eastern and Western views about energy could shed some light on its nature and maybe help us find some elements of answers to interesting questions as:

– Did East and West perceive and describe the same energy?

– Can we explore an Eastern concept with Western scientific methods?

– Can our scientific methodology study “Subtle Energies” like Chi or Prana…?

– Are scientific devices built to measure the work done by energy forms described by physicists, able to measure the Subtle Energy forms described by Eastern philosophers?

3 -ACUPUNCTURE AND SCIENCE.

James Reston could not imagine his misfortune could have a positive return on his reputation as a journalist when, in summer 1971, he covered Henri Kissinger’s trip to Pekin as a political columnist for the New York Times. Nixon had decided to change his politics with China and asked Kissinger to prepare an official visit for his president. However, suddenly Reston has to undergo an operation for an appendicitis in Pekin. Everything is OK but he suffers from great post-operation pain that doesn’t react to medicine.

Some of his neighbours receive acupuncture treatments: Reston asks to try. It works well and he’s surprised by this ancestral therapeutic! As an interrogative journalist, he gathers informations on the method and its mode of action: manipulation of a subtle energy unknown in Western science: Chi. He witnesses surgeries made with acupuncture only as a pain-killer and, back home, he publishes an article in the NYT on july 26th in which he describes his investigations and declares that, even if he can’t understand how acupuncture works, he has no doubt about its efficiency.

Acupuncture was already known but not very popular. Reston’s article made it much more tried as an alternative therapy. Scientists like the biochemist Richard Hammerschlag, influential surgeons like Sherwin Nuland or physicians like J. M. Helms contributed to its good reputation and its admission in U.S. academics (1997) then internationally (WMO in 1998). The U.S. Health Department opened a National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine that studies how scientific methods could help to assess alternative therapeutics. The centre classifies them in three groups:

– Therapeutics involving physical energies: Cymatics (sounds), light-therapy…;

– Therapeutics involving subtle energies: acupuncture, reiki…;

– Therapeutics involving the relation between mind and body: yoga, meditation…

Acupuncture is assessed, although its mode of action is not compatible with western’s medical paradigm. Investigations done with scientific rigour show conclusively that the placebo effect is not a sufficient explanation (link with ACUPUNCTURE) for its success. Acupuncture triggers organic reactions but its mode of action remains mysterious and the concept of “Subtle Energy flow” remains the best one to describe them.

4 – SUBTLE ENERGY AND WESTERN SCIENCE.

The western closest energy concept to a Subtle Energy is the “Vital Force“. a mysterious form of energy that would pass on life to organised matter. It was postulated in order to understand how life could build impressive structures and form living organisms from inert matter. Hans Driesch’s experiments near the end of the 19th century convinced him that there should be a sort of “life field” that brings to every living form the instructions needed to follow a developmental plan from the embryonic stage to the adult. The naturalists of this time were all convinced that physical laws, as they were understood, could not, alone, explain life. Pasteur showed that life comes through life only, not from inert matter. The french philosopher Henri Bergson described a

«life force: an energy that creates continuously more and more complex forms.»

He can’t subdue life to deterministic Physics and gives spirit its own place:

«spirit exists by its own; it is not the child of brain’s activity.»

He is cartesian: the universe is dualistic and is made out of matter and spirit.

Teilhard de Chardin was both an anthropologist and a jesuit. He synthesised Science and Philosophy in a grandiose cosmography. He was monistic: the universe is only spiritual and matter is a transient form adopted by spirit while evolving. In the beginning there was only energy and a point – Omega – an expression of God. This point drives energy through a long history of changes, transformations, sublimation.

«God makes so that things are made, but does not make them himself.»

Primordial energy becomes matter then organises itself in living organisms, acquires consciousness and continue its evolution towards its true spiritual nature: only one Universal Consciousness. Teilhard was clearly influenced by Eastern philosophies!

5 – “COARSE” ENERGY AND WESTERN SCIENCE.

Since Galileo began to describe the world through the language of mathematics, physicists tried to precise energy’s properties. Newton shows how gravitation is expressed through a force that becomes a way to apply energy to get a work done. But he can’t understand its nature. He couldn’t see how a force could attract two objects with nothing material in between them; it wasn’t compatible with a world’s image made of independent material objects only. Descartes had explained magnetic attraction with tiny and invisible particles of matter that would travel out of the magnet and back, pulling objects with them to the magnet.

Descartes_magnetic_field

This illustrates how Descartes thought a magnet could pull iron dust without a visible link between them. He postulated very tiny invisible particles of matter were coming out of the magnet, link to the iron dust particles and pull them back to the magnet.

Eastern philosophers didn’t see any problem with magnetism. Their holistic world’s view explained easily interactions because any object is a localised and condensed form of an energy field that fills the universe. Invisible particles were not necessary to understand why the needle in a compass aligns itself in an energy field. China discovered magnetism since the 4th century B.C and utilised it to align harmoniously temples, houses… with the universal energy, long before it became useful to guide sailors.

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Han dynasty: compass on a Feng Shui dial. Source:

In the 19th century Faraday then Maxwell created a new concept: the field of energy. Like Descartes, Faraday was convinced there was a material sub-structure – the ether – that communicated the energy through the universe. No experiment never discovered this elusive sub-structure until Einstein’s papers in 1905 definitely buried it. We must admit energy doesn’t need a material support to travel through space! So how does it do it?

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Without iron dust the modification of space’s properties through the magnet would be invisible, un-manifested.

We don’t know for sure. We do know since 1905 that matter and energy are two forms of one only entity: mass-energy. Quantum Physics describes mass-energy as able to be at once in the form of particles and in a state impossible to imagine but that obeys to the mathematical laws for waves. It’s as particles that mass-energy crosses empty space or a photon extracts an electron from a photovoltaic cell. And its wave-state explains how a single quantum of energy can go through 2 slits at once and build an interference pattern of interacting waves.

6 – ENERGY AND EASTERN PHILOSOPHY.

The East, like the West, conceived only one sort of energy: Chi in China or Prana in India… but it can take many different aspects after being created in another realm than ours, for ever inexpressible: Tao in China, Brahman in India… It is Energy that, in a subtle state, is the fabric of the universe and brings it into Manifested state progressively. Continuously transforming, it creates life, mind and even spiritual consciousness. These changes create forces and matter when in becomes “coarse” energy we can perceive under its state of matter-energy. There is no difference in nature between matter and spirit, only differences in states, subtlety, density. Yin and Yang change continuously one in the other; this is possible because they share the same nature.

yin-yang

Source:

Symbol of a constantly changing primordial energy: Chi, its Yin and Yang sides are themselves in perpetual and complementary transformation, each of them containing the seed of the other.

In turn, the fundamental changes of Yin and Yang create new secondary energy forms: the 5 Processes in China; the 5 Vayus in India, comparable to the 5 Elements in antic Greece. Primordial energy begins to condensate in a Manifested universe. There isn’t yet matter as we perceive it with our organs, more so attributes that communicate their properties as impulses. This view of the origin of matter is common to primitive East and West philosophies. It has been applied in the West until the end of the Middle-Ages.

5Processes

The chinese 5 processes: Wuxing, illustrate the properties ancient Greece gave to their 5 elements. Their nature is not matter, but impulses, properties. They are in continuous interaction and give rise to the perceived universe, the Manifested world. Some interactions create new properties: they are illustrated with grey arrows. Other are destructive: the red arrows.

Indian cosmogony is much easier to discover than Chinese cosmogony because it is very anthropomorphic, full of imagery and can illustrate abstract concepts by relating them to our life experiences. The taoist concept of continuous transformation is illustrated in India by the cosmic dance. Everything moves, beginning by Shiva Nataraja – the lord of dance, the first creation by the other realm: Brahman – until Purusha and Prakriti: the hindu equivalents of Yin and Yang. The highly multiple states of the forces – or gods – are only a way to illustrate different aspects of the one and indivisible reality that exists. Brahman, the creator who belongs to another realm, is found through all his creations that can be considered as his avatars.

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One should imagine the creator: Brahman, in another realm, outside the central dial on which his avatar Shiva Nataraja: the lord of the dance is pictured. The dance initiates space and time. Then Purusha, the hindu equivalent of Yang and Prakriti – Yin, can begin, the former to imagine our realm, the latter, to give birth to it. Purusha creates but do not Manifest his creations, when Prakriti transforms the information-energy in Manifested reality that our organs can perceive.

Source:

Brahman gives rise to Shiva Nataraja who initiates the universe; his dance develops space and triggers time, both necessary features for existence. Matter needs space and time to become real; even immaterial ideas need time to exist. Brahman’s avatar Purusha imagines the universe then informs Prakriti, another avatar, who organises the manifestation: the materialisation of the universe. She gives birth to the world after being fertilised by Purusha. Prakriti begins by manifesting her energy as properties: the Tattvas, and impulses: the Gunas. Now every object can be manifested as matter, thoughts, feelings, emotions…

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In the circle “NATURE” one should imagine Purusha and Prakriti at work to create then Manifest the universe with all its objects: material, mental and even spiritual. With the properties of Tattvas energies and the impulses from Gunas, Prakriti gives rise to the world we perceive. Nothing is permanent in it; everything is recycled and returns in the Unmanifested reality to be re-created in the circle “NATURE”.

Thus, for Eastern philosophies and modern Physics the universe is nothing but energy! This discovery has been made thousands of years ago in Eastern cultures but in the West we had to wait for Einstein to become aware of it! This is a remarkable convergence between the two worlds; the introvert Eastern philosophies who ask how consciousness perceives, and the extravert Western science who quantifies the results of perception before asking itself how consciousness builds an image of the world. Science which finds that our perceptions give us a wrong picture of reality; what we feel is concrete, localised, material…. is actually only forms of energy!

A quantum particle is a very localised vibration in a field of the form of energy to which it belongs. A photon is a tiny vibration in the photonics energy field that fills all space; a neutron, a small disturbance in the neutronic energy field… And all these energy fields that give rise to photons, neutrons… are only different expressions of one only primordial energy that condensed under different aspects through the history of the universe.

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«The existence and the disappearance of particles are only movements of the field.» Walter Thirring.

Source:

The world seems to us made out of objects localised in space-time, concrete and made out of matter. But Physics discovers that everything is included in a soup of vibrations, energies with multiple interacting forms. An image much closer to what mystic consciousness perceives than what our organs do.

The Western world’s vision becomes compatible with Eastern mystics: the universe we perceive as containing separate objects is, fundamentally, only a very rich mix of vibrations that ends as an illusion of materiality, of separation and independence! But how could it be?!

7 – WHAT IS THE NATURE OF AN ENERGY FIELD?

This question becomes fundamental when the universe is an extraordinary pattern of ever transforming forms of energy; some of which our perceptions interpret as matter: an illusion!

An energy field is a region of space that expresses peculiar properties. Field lines link space areas with equivalent values of its peculiar properties. And these attributes express themselves only on specific objects sensitive to this particular energy field.

One can illustrate a magnetic field with a ferrofluid: a sort of liquid magnet made with nanoparticles of magnetite suspended in oil.

Please have a look on this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmKMIBvdm9M

A ferrofluid which is a liquid magnet, can show how space is transformed when a magnet sits somewhere in it. The transformation of the properties of space stay invisible, Unmanifested, until when it is crossed by an object sensitive to magnetic field.

A ferrofluid is a liquid magnet useful to visualise how en energy field shapes space. The video shows clearly that a magnet, somewhere in space, gives it the power to attract objects sensitive to magnetism. If a dog crosses the magnetic field of a powerful MRI it will feel noting at all; space would be perceived as usual. But if the dog wears an iron collar it could be hanged to death, stuck on the super-magnet of the instrument! The space around the MRI is peculiar, it seems informed on the properties it can show if, and only if, an object sensitive to magnetism comes in its vicinity. The dog without a collar doesn’t trigger a work from the field; the magnetic field won’t be manifested. But if the dog wears an iron collar the field would manifest itself and trigger a work.

How do the magnet and the iron interact through space without any material link? Physicists imagine virtual particles, one type for any particular form of field energy, able to materialise and dematerialise continuously everywhere in space. It is the paradoxical concept of “Quantum Vacuum” which is actually full of virtual reality! Near the MRI virtual photons will be exchanged between the magnet and the iron collar and borrow movement energy that will transform in magnetic force. It reminds what Descartes postulated four centuries ago: very tiny invisible particles interacting between the magnet and the iron because he couldn’t accept that a force could be transmitted through empty space!

Extremely tiny bubbles and irregularities in space-time predicted by certain theories.

Source: (Chandra.Harvard.edu)

The Quantic Vacuum full of potential energy that can materialise in our reality is represented here as a blue bubbling soup. Bubbles formed from Unmanifested reality can be stabilised in ours, represented over the blue one. For a virtual energy bubble to be stabilised in our reality it has to absorb real energy from it in a quantity exactly equal to the one it borrowed to sneak in. When it does, the absorbed energy gives rise to a particle: energy has been changed to matter.

Today we must imagine another realm, more fundamental than ours, a realm from which a rich zoo of particles appear surreptitiously everywhere in our realm and manifest (materialise) as real particle, able to transmit forces, only when they can absorb energy from our realm.

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A picture made at the CERN. Two particles were accelerated near light speed then collided and their mass-energy has been transformed in a zoo of new particles.

Let’s imagine what happens in an accelerator of quantum particles. Two clouds of particles are accelerated in opposite direction until they reach near light speed. Suddenly the two flows are directed in front of each other and frontal collisions release huge amounts of energy. When virtual particles from the Quantum Vacuum find in our realm a quantity of energy exactly equal to the energy they borrowed to manifest themselves, they can absorb it and materialise, therefore continue to exist through time in our realm. The final energy balance would show the creation of a new particle whose mass-energy is equal to the one that has been liberated by the frontal collision of the accelerated particles. Energy would have changed in matter! The opposite is seen when a radio-active element changes part of its mass-energy in energy like heat, electro-magnetic rays… Matter and energy are truly two interchangeable facets of a same reality.

Isn’t this dance of the elements richly illustrated by Shiva Nataraja, Purusha and Prakriti from hindu cosmology?! Brahman, in a more fundamental realm, creates a space and a time that makes our realm perceptible. Shiva Nataraja – the Lord of Dance – initiates the continuous movement, time’s flow. Purusha creates the properties of the particles that remain virtual: Unmanifested but in-formed, without a form; but Purusha created the informations necessary so they can Manifest when the conditions are there. He creates the Natural Laws in a sense. And Prakriti manages the materialisation of the virtual particles. By manipulating her energy she materialises mass-energy in our realm when she applies to it the properties Purusha imagined for them. A strange convergence! Purusha enriches space with INFORMATION, subtle, virtual, until Prakriti and her organised energy can manifest them so as we can perceive them as mass-energy or work.

In Aristotelian philosophy, Brahman would be the final cause: the one that gives meaning; Purusha, the formal cause: the one that informs the objects properties; Prakriti, the efficient cause: the one that makes the object. In our scientific cosmogony Brahman is ignored; Purusha is the Laws of Nature and Prakriti the universe that obeys the Laws. In Simulism’s metaphor, Brahman would be the programmer, Purusha the software and Prakriti the hardware that runs the program; the results of the equations build the universe we perceive and its behaviour. These comparisons lead to a disturbing fact: the scientific cosmogony seems a bit basic since it isn’t interested in origins: just in transformations! It doesn’t look for the nature of the primordial energy; it excels in the rationalisation of an evolving history of the universe… after its creation… God knows how!

The comparative analysis of Eastern and Western cosmologies show another very important difference between the two. The Eastern universe is in a process of continuous creation; objects are manifested for a time then completely denatured and Unmanifested. Brahman’s three avatars work continuously to regenerate the universe from the Unmanifested realm; to create a Manifested universe from an Unmanifested realm. The Western universe is only recycled; it isn’t Unmanifested, just denatured in fundamental parts that are re-used to build new complex constructions that acquire a new nature. Mass-energy was created only once, 13.8 billion years ago, and undergoes transformations since. We are interested in the history of “coarse” energy only and don’t work with “subtle” energy, Unmanifested, therefore un-quantifiable. We aren’t aware of what happens in the Unmanifested realm and instructs the manifestation of the universe we perceive.

But Physics discovered the Quantum world. Physicists found mathematical tools that unable them to extract informations from the other realm, more fundamental than the one we perceive and measure. The wave function of particles let us calculate their properties as they change with time. But we can only access to probabilities, no certainties. Reality remains veiled in a way: we can discern but we can’t see in plain light what happens behind the veil!

«There must exist, beyond mere appearances … a ‘veiled reality’ that science does not describe but only glimpses uncertainly.» Bernard D’Espagnat.

Physics succeeded to describe partly the Unmanifested universe that is already informed and gives rise to our realm.  An Unmanifested universe with energy only, vibrations that interfere in unconceivable forms, with properties we can’t understand from our life-experience but can predict from equations. The equations of quantum entanglement link two objects as if they were only one, but we perceive two, separated in space-time. It is a remarkable achievement of the scientific method that isn’t appreciated as it should be!

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«Quantum entanglement supports the idea that the world is deeper than the visible, and reveals a domain of existence, which cannot be described with the notions of space and time.» «The nonlocal correlations cannot be explained by any history in space-time, they come from outside space-time.» Antoine Suarez.

Science has found how to look through the veil and gather informations that, even if they can’t be totally objective since there is no circumscribed object in the Unmanifested realm, are nevertheless objective in a mathematical sense. Indeed, physicists are able to circumscribe the properties an Unmanifested object could express after its creation, inside boundaries of probabilities they can calculate. They can’t predict with certainty what the precise properties will be when an object will manifest itself in our realm; nevertheless they master the mathematical tools with which they calculate the potentials of creation! The universe is mathematical (please refer to a further post) and we succeeded to find some of the equations that control the very process of creation of the Manifested realm from the Unmanifested one! Isn’t this a superb feat?!

Science took off since Descartes defined precisely the framework inside of which it could thrive: the universe of objects extended in space-time and that we can measure.

Dualist Descartes let philosophers take care of the universe of thoughts, spirit… objects we can’t observe objectively in a material world. But now Science reveals a non-material and more fundamental realm outside our space-time; a world Eastern philosophers have been aware off long ago and described as Unmanifested but that become Manifested when conditions are met. A realm that INFORMS ours when it manifests itself.

8 – PHYSICAL ENERGY AND SUBTLE ENERGY.

Physicists De Broglie and Bohm created a coherent Quantum Mechanics out of this duality: a fundamental but ineffiable Quantum Field guides the material particles we perceive in our realm, and does it from the Unmanifested realm that reflect informations about its state as a whole (as a hologram). The form-wave doesn’t any work: it informs (Unmanifested Subtle Energy) the particles that will express a work (Manifested Physical Energy) and transform energy for that. The form-wave belongs to another realm in which information is everywhere at once; it isn’t limited by space-time. In this “veiled reality” no work is needed; sharing information is free! It is the possible future use of the shared information that needs to do a work and thus, will be perceived in our realm.

De Broglie and Bohm’s Quantum Field can’t be perceived; in the same way a magnetic or any other energy field can’t be perceived as long as they aren’t submitted to a mass-energy crossing them. Sheldrake’s Morphogenetic Field (MF) has the same feature in a neo-vitalist perspective. Sheldrake’s MF won’t do any work to guide the living organisms along their acquisition of forms and behaviours. There will be a work done of course, a work we can perceive in our reality when a fertilised cell will reproduce, become an embryo then a foetus… We know how living cells acquire energy out of sun or food, store it in molecules and transform it to synthesise new molecules, move… and do a work we can measure. But all the work will be done on the basis of informations the cell had free access to, through the MF, or non-living matter through the Quantum Field.

So, looking what the nature of energy could be leads us to an important link with information. As a matter of fact, Physicists formalised long ago this link when they quantify a work. The energy is always conserved but it is transformed and this modification implies a loss of quality, a sort of degradation of the information inside the system that physicists quantify when they measure the system’s entropy. But Eastern philosophies, Quantum Field or MF theories, the implications of quantum entanglement, the wave-particle duality… suggest another form of energy; a subtle one, able to communicate information freely, without doing a work. It is this Subtle Energy that informs space when it harbours an energy field.

Eastern philosophies describe this Subtle Energy when they imagine an Unmanifested realm, just about to manifest itself in our realm. It is the Subtle Energy informing the chinese therapist when he assesses the chinese pulse. Could it be this Subtle Energy that, through the water diviner’s unconsciousness animate the muscles that will let the diviner’s rod to dive? No physical device can directly react to Chi or Prana, neither to MF… unless informed through a human used as a tool! Only a nervous system seems to be able to react to Subtle Energy.

Could this Subtle Energy be the one that inspires an artist? Could we find in it the source of intuition?

9 – MICHELANGELO’S INTUITION.

An impressive movement energy is subtlety communicated from the right part of the fresco to humanity. Adam awakes to consciousness through an imperceptible energy transfer. We see nothing between the two index fingers, no light, not even a spark! Did Michelangelo feel intuitively that a Subtle Energy influences human beings somewhat like physical energy influences measuring devices? This one would trigger a physical work, that one would be at the source of consciousness… and intuition. If you look at Michelangelo’s fresco with this interrogation in mind, something amazing happens: you realise God and his angels are enclosed in a structure that reminds strangely the anatomy of a human brain: our specialised organ for information managing!

ADAM_en

Source:

No clouds to symbolise heaven: God’s kingdom. But a strange volume outlined by a fabric folded back on itself to form a double enclosure. Its form and structure remind the brain’s double envelop. We clearly see the frontal lobe, the fissure of the temporal lobe on the left and the occipital fissure on the right.

Eve stays in between a strange interlacing of angels that seem uncomfortable but design cerebral circumvolutions remarkably well! Some angels push the fabric in the same way circumvolutions outline visible forms in the cerebral envelops.

The three angels under God are particularly uncomfortable. The one in the centre folds his right leg and looks like the optic chiasma (knee) followed by the optic nerve (leg) directed towards the occiput. The laying angel seen from his back, represents the Pons (back), just on the medulla oblongata (buttocks) then the beginning of the spinal cord (leg). A green drapery finds meaning in the fresco if it is the symbol of the arterial artery that enters the skull from beneath, after a double tight fold when it exit the cervical vertebras!

Why Michelangelo’s intuition could have put God in front of a human brain?

Maybe did he try to go beyond the mere creation of the world, matter then life, with the invisible spark that gives consciousness to Adam and extract him from the animal realm. Adam is formed, alive, but doesn’t seem conscious of himself; it’s this gift that he’ll receive from God.

Maybe the artist felt he should show God’s presence in the depths of our consciousness. We could join God when meditating on an inwardly directed vision through the third eye – wisdom’s eye – God’s arm seems to cross on its way to Adam’s index finger. God isn’t part of the cerebral cortex that makes us aware of our surroundings and of ourselves: he is in front of the deep brain, the place where emotions are managed: the limbic system; maybe where intuitions come from. Maybe the artist wanted to show God giving us the gift of intuition that made him able to create his masterworks. The same intuition, the Subtle Energy which transmits informations to the water diviner from beyond his perceptive organs and direct unconsciously his muscles to give life to a pendulum or a diviner rod…

There is a more radical revelation… The artist could have understood God created us in his image, not physically of course, but through our intellect and our consciousness. He is pictured as an old sage but seems out of place in a human brain! Therefore one can think it isn’t his body that is meaningful, but the location where it is represented and which is the source of human intellect and consciousness. We could be God’s avatars! If true, he would share our experiences through our consciousness… somehow as a video game player but much more implicated since it won’t be in an indirect way, through a console, but directly with consciousness, so immersed in the characters that he would forget the beginning… until the end of the game. Only when the game is over would he remember who he is really: a player, in a virtual universe programmed by himself… !

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Stanislav Grof seems to have found a sort of Consciousness field beyond space-time he defines as “transpersonal”. It could be the source of intuition, a communication bridge between the 2 realities: the Unmanifested one, spiritual for Descartes, and the Manifested reality, the material world we perceive.

NOTE: Whether Michelangelo had access to detailed dissections of human brains – or not – is more important to historians of Arts then to the viewer of his work. His biographer thought the young artist could have observed some dissections in secret. Even so, it remains difficult to see how he would remind himself so well a human brain when he painted the fresco in his forties. If he consciously represented a brain, then he did it much better than Leonardo who seems to have seen only decomposed ones! It is only three decades after the completion of the frescos in the Chapel Sixtine that Vesalius and Le Titien published the first useful anatomical charts!

A student in medicine (Frank Meshberger) who was working for an examination on human anatomy saw the relation between the fresco and a human brain and published his ideas in The American Journal of Medicine in 1990.

THE NEW DUALISM: 1: WHAT QUANTUM PHYSICS SHOWS?

1 – WHY A NEW DUALISM?

Descartes’ world was, at best, dualistic (Matter and Spirit); at worse, Monistic Idealistic (Spirit is fundamental)! It has never been Monistic Materialistic (Matter is fundamental) as it became, after 4 centuries of overwhelming implementation of the scientific method that Descartes largely contributed to create!

Descartes never denigrated spiritual matters as some scientists do today. He struggled with other philosophers to develop the phenomenally successful method that was meant to help them accumulate reliable knowings about our universe, in a time when this knowledge burst out mainly from philosophers and theologians intellectual ratiocinations, instead from objective and reproducible observations and experiments.

On the night of November 10, 1619, Descartes discovers his future life’s objective through 3 founding dreams: to apply mathematical philosophy to the study of the material universe.

It is strange to discover that the most subjective experience – dreams – is at the origin of the most objective methodology – Science! As expected, Descartes’ dreams are clear only to himself; somebody else won’t understand the message: there is a fundamental relation between Nature’s laws and the laws of Mathematics; logical reasoning and critical analysis of every knowing in order to understand our world the best we can, with the help of predictive models. To gather objective observations then apply mathematical tools to build a model satisfying all the observations; a model that speaks to our imagination and, therefore, helps us understand the world we discover around us. A predictive model which suggests new observations or experiments whose results would confirm our new understanding of Reality. Or invalidate it and bring us to look elsewhere an indispensable confirmation in order to reach the goal of the scientific method: a personal and reasoned conviction that we understood something essential about the world in which we live!

Not only Descartes hasn’t denied a spiritual reality, he didn’t consider it less important – less real – that the material world. He didn’t look for a method able to give us new knowings about the spiritual, only the material realm. He left the spiritual questionings to philosophers and theologians. And Descartes wasn’t really cartesian (see next post please) in the sense we give today to this word! Only very careful in order to help his young philosophy to thrive. One can discover this intriguing facet of Descartes through his correspondence with Elisabeth!

How is it that we turned from a Cartesian Dualism to nowadays’ Materialistic Monism?

After 4 centuries accumulating huge successes, after daily evidences of the extraordinary predictive power we achieved out of our understanding of the material world that let us use the energy concentrated in matter, create new species, recover from some genetic disorders, conquer the Moon or Mars… due to unending questionings on the material world brightened by the scientific method, we forget the context in which it was created. The present paradigm: Materialistic Monism, is understood today as a fatality coming from the non existence of the spiritual realm; 4 centuries of materialistic successes make us forget the fundamental postulate: the artificial boundary Descartes built between the two realms.

But this barrier crushed down with the beginning of the 20th century. Lord Kelvin’s “little clouds” he saw in the blue sky of our material world’s understanding, at the end of the 19th century, became devastating tornadoes after which we must build a new look on material reality. A new paradigm in which we’ll have to add in the material reality well described by Physics, properties we considered until today as entirely immaterial!

We discovered in our equations, mysterious links between objects studied here and now and their a-local and a-temporal counter-parties.

Particles at the bottom of our material reality seem to acquire the properties we attribute to matter, from a realm where only mathematical equations describe waves that propagate, superpose and interfere. Objects we see as independent aren’t really independent; an action on one of them affects the other through a reality that transcends space and time, a mysterious reality which seems fundamentally unified: a realm of information more so than energy or mass. A realm from which our material reality seems to burst; a somewhat Ideal realm as Platon intuitively discovered long ago!

The simplest model which includes these discoveries, albeit the more radical one maybe, seems to be Simulism. Everett’s Multiverse or Brandon Carter’s Anthropic Principle which are the most popular alternatives are more complex to accept and both don’t answer the question of the origin. How to build a Universe from nothing?! With Simulism the only thing to do is to run the Program!

2 – IS THE MICROCOSM REAL?

«Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.» Niels Bohr.

As soon as Physics began exploring the world of fundamental particles – the MICROCOSM – it had to change its ideas about reality’s nature, on what we can know about it. Niels Bohr was one of the first to accept this conceptual revolution:

« Isolated material particles are abstractions, their properties being definable and observable only through their interaction with other systems. » Niels Bohr.

His intuition led him to the mathematical formalism that will initiate the most precise and the most creative scientific model ever. Yet it remains the most incomprehensible one because of its conflicts with common sense and the Materialistic and Realistic paradigm common sense progressively imposed to our culture.

« Anyone who is not shocked by the quantum theory has not understood it! » Niels Bohr.

Physicists try to understand the many chocking anomalies accumulated since more than a century. They try to fit the experimental results to our consensual way to understand the material universe made out of particles with specific properties. A universe made out of particles whose properties can’t be changed without local interactions with them, particles with objective properties independent of the fact we’re observing them or not and that can’t change without being touched, heated, illuminated…

Serious problems appeared mainly when experimental results didn’t fit with one of the fundamental pillar of Cartesianism: the separation between observer and observed.

In order to be reliable, results have to be reproducible by anybody who acquire the material and intellectual means to do so. They should not depend on the experimentalist, only on the observed object’s properties. It is necessary therefore to avoid any dependency of the results on the experimentalist’s subjectives faculties as intuition, personality… Yet the mathematical formalism created by the fathers of Quantum Theory includes intimately the experimentalist’s choices as can be seen with the experiment described below.

3 – THE EXPERIMENTALIST IS AN INTIMATE FEATURE OF THE EXPERIMENT!

The famous experiment made by Stern and Gerlach is described in my book (chapter B.4) and here. It clearly showed we had to change our understanding of the nature of the fundamental reality: the one of the microcosm.

The main quantum postulate forces the fundamental reality’s properties to take well defined values, to be quantified. In our world a gyroscope can turn on itself with its axis pointing in whatever direction; in the undefined microcosm (when it is not observed) an electron can do the same with its spin that can be compared to a rotational axis; it can point in any direction: no one is forbidden. But when it is observed, when it interacts with an apparatus, the theory says it could take only one out of two values from an infinity of possible ones.

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The magnet deviates magnetic particles. On the right: the expected result if the microcosm behaved like the macrocosm. At the left the actual experimental results.

A special magnet is disposed on the path of electrons whose spins could point a priori in any direction. If this was true then we should see a figure full of impacts like the one at right in which the electrons are deviated in relation to the direction where their spin points to. But it is not what we find when we do the experiment. The electrons are deviated on two lines only, as on the figure at left. We’re led to conclude the electrons are only of two types: half have their spin directed UP and the other half have their spin directed DOWN. No electron are found with other spin directions!

Stranger yet. If we turn the magnet 90° left or right we expect that no electron will be deviated because their spin were directed either UP or DOWN: no spin was seen as LEFT or RIGHT as we just discovered.

But that isn’t what we find. The result is once more a figure composed of 2 lines, but this time the electrons have their spin pointing either to the RIGHT for half of them or to the LEFT for the other half! How this could be possible since we found lately that all the spins were directed either UP or DOWN?!

Still worse! What happens if we place 3 magnets one after the other?

The first magnet separates the electrons on UP or DOWN paths. We place the second magnet on the path of the UP electrons but with a 90° angle with the first magnet. Like just seen, we find half of the electrons qualified as UP after the first magnet now deviated to RIGHT, the other half being directed to LEFT. Everything happens as if the UP electrons at the first magnet’s outlet change their property in order to acquire a RIGHT or LEFT spin instead of the UP one they expressed just before!

What happens now if we place a third magnet ofter the RIGHT outlet of the second and pointing in the same direction as the first magnet? We expect it should not deviated electrons to DOWN since we selected the UP electrons at the outlet of the first magnet before leading them to the second one. But this is not what is discovered! We observe once more half UP and half DOWN electrons. It seems that we create the electron’s property at the time of the measure since we discover DOWN ones after we eliminated them after the first magnet! It is exactly what Niels Bohr predicted beforehand:

« Isolated material particles are abstractions, their properties being definable and observable only through their interaction with other systems. »

We can’t anymore declare that an objective reality exists out there, whose properties are well defined in the microcosm after which our macrocosm is built! Only mathematical wave functions can give us some informations about what happens in the microworld when it doesn’t interfere with our apparatus. In this mysterious world particles exist only under their wavelike identity, they superpose, add or cancel… It is only when observed, when measured or when they interact with each other that the “wave function” collapses and they acquire a quantified, well defined property, compatible with the experimentalist’s choices! As an example, the intrinsic spin property of an electron will acquire its value which will be dependent on the angle the experimentalist chose for the magnet! Objectivity: this fundamental quality of the scientific method, is no more what it was! The experimentalist and his/her apparatus can’t be independent of the process and its results! The observer is an intimate feature of the experiment and its results!

It seems like if we’re confronted to a new dualism. A realm with wave functions only, another in which these waves are perceived as well defined particles!

4 – A SIMPLE EXPERIMENT: STAGGERING RESULT!

The most difficult thing to do seems to accept the overwhelming strangeness of the microcosm!

«Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine» (attributed to Sir Arthur Eddington or to J. S. Haldane).

«Of all the theories proposed in this century, the silliest is quantum theory… the only thing quantum theory has going for it is that it is unquestionably correct.» Michio Kaku.

«We have to give up the idea of realism to a far greater extent that most physicists believe today» Anton Zeilinger

Some very simple experiments we could realise in any lab fitted to do optics, lead to a very strange world!

Let’s gather a laser, some mirrors and two photon detectors.

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The laser is set to deliver one photon at a time; M1 and M2 are classical mirrors while MS1 is semi-transparent: it reflects one photon out of two and transmits the other, at random. We expect the detectors D1 and D2 to click alternatively depending on whether the photon will be transmitted (D2 will click) or will be reflected by MS1 (D1 will click). For each photon emitted one or the other detector will click, never the two at once. It is what we find. The photon behaves like a particle and takes one path OR the other.

Let’s now modify our settings.

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We added a second semi-transparent mirror MS2. In theory we could continue to expect half of the photons on D1 and the other half on D2. A photon that crossed MS1 could in theory, cross also MS2 and let D2 click, or it could be reflected on MS2 and let D1 click.

But it is not the results we find! This time only D1 clicks to 100% of the photons emitted by the laser and D2 doesn’t click at all! The only way to understand this result is to accept that the photon crosses the apparatus with its wave nature and not as a particle! It is the only way to build a constructive interference on D1 and a destructive one on D2. The wave arriving on D1 would have had the same number of reflexions/transmissions whether it has been transmitted or reflected by the mirrors (1 transmission and 2 reflexions: they will be in phase on D1 and will add)

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When the wave arriving on D2 undergoes 2 transmissions and one reflexion if it takes the upper path, or 3 reflexions if it takes the lower one. This time the waves aren’t anymore in phase and will cancel each other.

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These experiments are clear illustrations of the wave/particle duality: the photon travels with its wave nature and expresses its particle nature only when detected on the counter. But where is this wave? In which realm does it travel? Not ours: the one where matter expresses the properties as we perceive them, with its mass, its limited speed rate…

5 – AN A-LOCAL, A-TEMPORAL, IMMATERIAL REALM UNDERLIES THE LOCAL, MATERIAL REALM.

Even if this conclusion was implicit since the origin of Quantum Theory, only recently did it arouse interrogations followed by experiments. Quantum Theory is so strange to our consensual paradigm that it remained ignored and often is ignored today.

Einstein struggled in order to demonstrate that the Theory was incomplete because it predicted results he considered as impossible: like a “spooky influence” of a particle upon another one, even if their remoteness banned any communication between them! But Einstein was wrong. Alain Aspect’s experiments showed it since 1982!

We just understood why only D1 clicks and never D2. This shows that they are correlated. And we would see exactly the same features if D1 and D2 were separated by huge distances, even if they were separated by whole the Galaxy! The following experiment stresses even more the strangeness of these conclusions.

Interferometres3. - copie

We added the mirrors M3 to M6 such that the UP path could be extended in relation to the DOWN one. As we extend the UP path we’ll see less and less clicks on D1 correlated with more clicks on D2! At some time only D2 will click and no photon will be detected on D1. While extending progressively the UP path we see COORDINATED reactions on D1 and D2: when one clicks less, the other clicks more until it reaches 100% then diminishes until 0% and so on.

This is a logical result if we accept that the photon travels at once on the 2 paths according to its wave nature, then adds or subtracts the 2 waves’ amplitudes when reaching the detectors, according to the phase differences. The results aren’t anymore 100% or 0% as before, but vary gradually between these two limits since we can change progressively the difference in the UP and DOWN paths. We could for example find 30% on D1 and 70% on D2 (see below a measure taken with a phase difference illustrated by the vertical line “B”); there is a correlation between the 2 detectors.

Interferometres4. - copie

When we change the distance followed by the UP ray thanks to the mirrors M3 to M6, we change the phase of the UP wave related to the DOWN one; one goes, for instance, from the situation where the 2 waves are in phase (line “A”), to the one showed with the line “B” where D1 will react about 30% and D2 for 70% of the time. The 2 detectors always remain coordinated, whatever the distance between them!

Again, this result will remain the same even if the distance between the detectors is so great that no communication could travel between them. A mysterious link joins D1 to D2 outside the world we perceive as real because the objects in it have mass, a place in space and react only to events mediated by energy transfer. But the photons with which we imagined our experiments seem to travel instantly across the space between D1 and D2 in order to secure a coordinated result and obey one of the most fundamental laws of Physics: Energy Conservation. If a photon has been emitted by the laser, then a photon must be detected! It looks as if matter’s properties that are, for us, at the origin of all objective reality, are intimately linked to mysterious properties that we can’t access outside mathematical formalism: wave functions notably. The wave functions expand across an immaterial realm since objects behave as if they weren’t submitted to imposed restrictions coming from physical parameters as we perceive them in the material realm.

6: CONCLUSION: A NEW DUALISM!

Our material world is made of particles, most of which have mass, that are local (detected in a precise place in space) and linked to time (they eventually change their location in relation with time’s flow). But this world seems to be mysteriously linked to another one, a realm in which the particles’ properties seem to follow the waves function’s mathematical formalism out of which they “collapse”! In this mysterious world space and time aren’t the same as in ours. There is a dualism: a material world that we perceive, linked to another one, immaterial since matter isn’t in its particle nature and has no mass-energy.

Now we can analyze and compare these two Dualisms; Descartes’ one and the other, brought by Quantum Physics. It will be the subjects of a later post.

A video from the physicist Antoine Suarez explains the experiments that underly this new Dualism. But he doesn’t name it like that! Another video from Antoine Suarez describes the experiment that showed that the realm of waves is a-temporal.

Bibliography: Andrew Truscott et Roman Khakimov published: A. G. Manning, R. I. Khakimov, R. G. Dall, A. G. Truscott. “Wheeler’s delayed-choice gedanken experiment with a single atom.” Nature Physics, 2015; DOI:

An explanation of this experiment can be found here.

THE SECOND QUESTION THAT NEEDS AN ANSWER: WHO AM I?

There can be no life without answers to the first question that needs to be answered; yet the question is so primordial, so fundamental, that no organism can even wonder about it! Evolution has ways to take this question in charge and let the species find appropriate and often remarkable answers to this crucial question: “How to live?

Long ago enthusiastic naturalists discovered the wonderful creativity of life whenever it faces challenges; even the most primitive organisms can show astounding adaptations. Relations between populations of different species, interactions with their natural habitats, research for food or shelter, reproduction strategies… and resourcefulness when conditions change, all these behaviours are so well adapted that naturalists were convinced for a long time that they had been wilfully created with specific goals.

Living seems so natural that it’s difficult to imagine how arduous it is really. Myriads of interactions between innumerable different molecules have to integrate to form one well adapted organism that behaves in a characteristic way of living and as a unit in a specific environment. After the germination of a seed or the hatching of an egg, each living organism is able to thrive in spite of the tremendous complexity of the process, and mostly without any help. Whatever scale we look at, beginning with intracellular molecules through populations and societies, everything seems to work according to highly successful and smart plans. It’s only when something looses its sophisticated regulations that we begin to become aware of what we lost. In a normal state, everything runs so smoothly that we’re not aware of it.

1: SMART BACTERIA.

After the naturalists’ discoveries about whole species, molecular biologists in the 20th century’s discovered the subtle adaptations of primordial life mechanisms to physical and chemical laws. Life creates highly improbable molecules that build and animate organisms, yet it obeys exactly the same laws that govern the inanimate material world.

Even very primitive bacteria are able to actively look for nutrients and express smart behaviour when they have the choice between more or less profitable ones. Microbes can even regulate their mutation rate to accelerate evolution when needed. Stress in harsh environments triggers molecular mechanisms that let more mutations appear; some of which could, by chance, be helpful in hard times. Some species can live alone or, when conditions deteriorate, choose to build communities of different species that share genetic properties to increase their potential adaptability. They can even change completely their physiology, fix on a surface and interact tightly with other species to form a new supra-specific entity: wastes from one species become nutrients for another… a poison to one is detoxified by another… Biologists working in the microworld are as amazed by these adaptations as naturalists by the ones they describe from the macroworld.

These discoveries are discussed at school and Darwin showed elegantly and convincingly how to answer questions related to amazing species’ adaptations. We can even understand how intelligent behaviour appears in ants’ or termites’ nests and actively adapts to a changing environment; we can make models that explain how bacteria choose the best answers to difficult situations without any brain.

We begin to understand how each organism answers the first crucial question since birth. And the human species with its specific faculties becomes able to understand why and how the first crucial question is answered.

2: THE SECOND CRUCIAL QUESTION: THE MOST IMPORTANT FOR PSYCHOLOGY.

Surprisingly – but sadly – it isn’t the subject we’re trained to work on at school. When we think about it, it becomes obvious that nothing could be more important than the answer we should thrive to find: this answer has great effects on ones life and behaviour. The question is: “What are we? »

Our behaviour would be drastically different if we perceive ourselves as made of matter only, inexorably subject to decay, or as part of an entity that transcends matter. Biology already replaces us in a larger context than the individual organism. Each living entity is nothing outside innumerable interactions that gave it life nearly 4 billions years ago; interactions that participate every second in its existence. Is our consciousness linked only to the matter we’re made with, or is it able to transcend it?

3: FROM DOGMA TO EXPERIMENT.

Religions or cosmologies from different cultures often try to impose an answer without inviting each one to enquire for oneself. Here we’re taught that we’re created by God who gives us a body which is made out of matter and a soul which isn’t. But since the beginnings of Science we learned to put dogmas in question and try to find rational and understandable answers to our questions. For four centuries Science has shown the power of its tools to convince every one who gives oneself the necessary material and intellectual means, to become personally and rationally convinced of the pertinence of answers to questions arising from the world and life; questions that are specifically relevant to us as human beings. We aren’t like other animals who build their world’s image from instincts and experience, but we modify our views through our cultures and reflections. Science invites us to take ownership of a culture without buying passively its dogmas. Unfortunately, Science can itself become dogmatic when it is inappropriately applied; this danger was especially great at the end of the 19th century, but the revolutions in modern physics revitalised the Scientific Methodology and the philosophical reflections induced by its results.

4: MATERIALISTIC REALISM

Are we made out of matter only? Four centuries of outstanding scientific successes led our western culture to give a positive answer to this crucial question! But it is maybe a collateral damage of Science rather than a reality. The great majority of scientists forget the prejudice chosen by the creators of the Method: they built tools specific to give answers to questions on MATTER and on matter only; questions linked to the spiritual realm were confined to philosophy and theology. With time and the immense successes of this pragmatic philosophy, philosophers became scientists and convinced themselves that only matter is real. Due to working only on matter, due to stunning results accumulated for so long, due to outstanding practical applications coming from researches on the nature of matter, it is not surprising that the people responsive for transforming the world for four centuries convinced themselves they could answer every question by questioning matter only! And we all forget that it is only a postulate that originated well after the beginning of Science!

But this postulate is no more compatible with last century’s physics: its results continuously show that the intimate nature of matter isn’t understandable with common sense: the other pillar on which physics stands, besides mathematics. Modern physics sometime leads one to imagine that even consciousness could mysteriously influence the results in experiments defined to reveal what is matter. The Universe isn’t anymore this immense meaningless and cold object imagined by 19th century’s positivists. Since the beginning of the 20th century It becomes “participative” according to John Wheeler and “begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine” according to Sir James Jeans.

5: BACK TO THE ORIGINS.

Why not follow many physicists on their way back towards the original philosophy that gave birth to Science? The road is to find personal answers when interested, either by doing experiments or by replicating the ones done by others. It is not only about analysing and learning from results described by others: it is about doing the actual experiment whenever possible. This is the best road to a rational and personal conviction which is the major goal of Science. It is not always necessary to access a heavy technology: sometimes thought experiments are sufficient to reach surprising results.

Too often today rational conviction is acquired through critical analysis of material created by others and sometimes, unfortunately, this confidence can be lazily accorded to dogmatic personalities. When confronted by complex questions, it becomes necessary to delegate one’s own work to experts able to master specialised domains. But it isn’t always simple to assess the objectivity of such experts who should remain sufficiently open and able to re-evaluate their own convictions. That’s why personal experience is the best way to acquire knowledge, as long as it remains affordable of course.

So how could we look for the answer to the question: « What are we? » and the related ones: « Are we only flesh and bones? »; « How could I know what I am, if part of it is unconscious? »

6: CAN WE DO WITHOUT MATTER?

If we’d like question the postulate that gives reality to matter only, we should obviously work with something that is immaterial, like information: we could, for instance, look if information can be transmitted without the help of matter-energy, through mechanisms that use neither atoms, nor waves. If we could be rationally convinced that we’re able to receive informations that isn’t related to matter as we perceive it, then we could make some progress towards a better understanding of our true nature.

In an ideal experimental protocol we should try to receive informations that is linked neither to matter nor to our memory, whether conscious or even unconscious. With these restrictions in mind, an ideal choice would be an information that comes from the future and that couldn’t be related with whatever we know about past and present: in this way we could be sure that our memory can’t be responsible for it! It is maybe worthwhile to open a little parenthesis here for an important fact about time: in every mathematical formula physicists discovered, time remains reversible! In other words, when mathematics only are analysed – not our common sense – physicists find that their formulas don’t forbid informations going in both directions: towards future OR past! Therefore, even if receiving informations from the future seems a crazy idea for common sense, it isn’t completely so according to physics’ formulas!

The information presumably coming from the future should be clear, precise and free (without a goal other than a philosophical one), in order to become rationally convinced that it isn’t explainable only by coincidence, subconscious deductions or buried memories.

Several protocols could be imagined for this quest. Intuition – the mysterious source of emotions without conventional sources of knowledge – is probably too difficult to work with for this experiment. But we could adapt the works of a British engineer in aeronautics who published in 1927 An Experiment with Time where he describes his views on time and his personal experiences that led him to work on the nature of time.

7: EXPERIMENTING WITH TIME.

dunneJ.W. Dunne – a renowned engineer in aeronautics – worked for some years on dreams after he had several perplexing ones that seemed premonitory. He decided to analyse thoroughly his dreams as a scientific minded person. The trigger was a moving dream made a few days before a great disaster in a French island of the Caribbean: the eruption of Mount Pelée, on the 8th of May 1902 which killed 28,000 people living in St Pierre de la Martinique, the town down the volcano.

Dunne dreamt he was on a volcanic island beginning to tear apart; gas and smoke leaking from the soil. His dream-body felt anxious as if he was walking on a huge pressure cooker that was about to explode. He tried to alert the French authorities governing the island, without success: the mayor was absent for lunch and his secretaries asked him to come back on next day! His dream-body was looking how he could avoid the 4,000 victims he anticipated when Dunne woke up shouting “Look mister mayor! Four thousand people will be killed unless…”

Dunne’s analytical mind understood it couldn’t be a simple coincidence when he read, a few days later in the newspaper, what happened in this French colony. Too many specific details like the nationality of the authorities, the reluctance of the mayor to evacuate the island (the true reason was that an election was taking place on the 11th, 2 days after the eruption)… The engineer took advantage of his scientific training to elaborate a protocol and find out if he could really experience premonitory dreams. He created a theory about the nature of Time that didn’t survive until today but his protocol is still useful.

8: PREMONITORY DREAMS.

As for Dunne, some of my dreams seemed awkwardly premonitory. I decided therefore to apply Dunne’s protocol and registered many ones that confirmed their reality: much too many “coincidences” to explain, if premonition isn’t possible! (see below for some illustrations)

There are many difficulties to overcome; some are discussed below with the way Dunne resolved them.

But one shouldn’t forget we don’t know what is the purpose of dreams! It probably doesn’t try to convince us of its premonition capacities, but rather to trigger emotions. Maybe Dunne’s dream about the eruption took advantage of images taken from his future memory that were able to arouse the same emotion the dream-organiser (whoever it is!) wanted Dunne to feel. Therefore it is difficult to share precognition experiences in dreams: they won’t trigger the same emotions in everybody! And personal experience becomes necessary to be really convinced about their reality.

I followed Dunne’s protocol and became absolutely convinced our dream- consciousness can take advantage of our future mind states to transmit whatever it looks to. I registered 48 clear premonition dreams on a decade. It is an underestimated number because I recognised their premonition features only if the recognised event happened in the following days. Many could be classified as precognitive while reading old registered dreams. But I avoid doing so to minimise coincidence as explained below.

Obviously the first step in the protocol is to learn how to remember one’s dreams. A learning period is usually necessary. One has to be genuinely interested to remember one’s dreams. Each night, just before sleep, one should forcefully remember this intention and prepare some items (notebook and pencil) at hand’s reach.

Usually dreams fade out on awakening, more so when the body moves. To remember dreams one should remain motionless and repeat them to oneself, reordering the images that are remembered as some of these trigger the remembering of new ones. In doing this it seems that we could transpose the memory of dreams from a region in which they can’t be accessed by our awakened consciousness, to another one from which they can. One should avoid any interpretation of the dreams since imagination could severely interfere. If interested in their significance, one should do that later, while reading the accounts made on awakening.

Once the key images are remembered, one should take the notebook prepared at hand-reach, in the dark, with as few movements as possible. A spring-type notebook is a good choice since turning pages is easy and a pencil can be tied to the spring.

The notebook in the left hand (for right-handers), place the left index up the spring then reach it with the pencil. One can write a first line whilst the right-hand’s little finger senses the end of the page. When it’s reached, the left index should go down a few centimetres to write a second line that won’t mix with the first, and so on.

One shouldn’t write a novel of course! Just a few words that would trigger the remembering of the dream’s images and their associated sceneries; details are very important since it’s them that are usually precognitive. Once finished, the page should be turned and the notebook prepared for an eventual other record.

The next morning the dreams should be written in great details; this is not very difficult if the intention to remember them is powerful. While experimenting with time, one should avoid trying to find interpretations of the dreams and shouldn’t compare them to real scenes experienced in the awakened life. The description should be completely separated from interpretation to avoid unconscious interferences with memory.

9: EXPERIMENTAL PROTOCOL.

When dreams are regularly remembered and recorded, it is time to begin the experiment. One should choose a period covering a dozen days or so in which, preferably, your normal routine would be broken: holidays, trips… are good choices. New and unusual dream images become more easily recognisable.

Each night you should read all the records taken since the beginning of the defined period for the experiment, and analyse them in order to find situations or images that our personal dream-organiser could have borrowed from our life’s experience. After experimenting, Dunne was convinced that our dream’s-organiser could present us images taken from our past OR FUTURE life! in order to communicate whatever message it chose to share. Ask yourself if the dream’s situations read each night could have been picked from the past or from the days that follow the dream. Are they sufficiently rare and detailed to be significant and not just coincidences?

For this experiment to work, one has to tackle some problems that Dunne has well described and answered.

As stated before you should not try to link real events with dreamed ones. It seems that dreams use only mental states and not the precise events that happened. Dunne took fifteen years to discover that he made in his life-changing dream exactly the same error that he did some days after his dream when he read the article in the Daily Telegraph. He confused ” 40,000 victims” as it was written in the newspaper with ” 4,000 victims” and his dream took the latter in his precognition. Dunne found in many instances that the dream- organiser used mostly mental states induced by events (emotions, feelings, memories…) rather than the objective situations. But it is not stopped by time and can choose past or future mental states as well without being bothered by what really happened: only the subjective world seems to be important for the dream-organiser!

While reading your notes you should therefore look for mental states that could arouse dreamlike images from the past and… for the near future after the dream.

One should keep in mind that a dream can integrate details originating from different events, in one image only. If you followed some sport event with a friend, you could dream of your friend wearing this sport’s kit, even if s/he never practiced it! To look for a hit, you should analyse details separated from each other and not the integrated mixture.

10: COINCIDENCE OR PREMONITION?

Our limited perceptions are at the core of our common sense. There is therefore a danger to unconsciously keep oneself unable to accept experiences that could be destabilising for our world’s image. When this happens, one simply doesn’t see the precognitive images! To avoid this problem, Dunne recommends to read your records each night while imagining that you’re discovering the dreams that you WILL dream about the events that happened in the day you just lived.

Next, you should limit the experiment to a few days only. This is meant to diminish the interference with coincidences, the effect of chance only on what could be a precognition. If for instance, you dream of an airplane crash without many details, it’s very probable that one would happen in the year after your dream. But if you dreamt it the night before it takes much more importance of course.

When finished with the time period chosen for the experiment, it’s a good idea to ask a friend to read your notes with a critical eye, just to see if you didn’t forget an interesting event or, on the contrary, if you tend to take simple coincidences for precognitions. You should then try to estimate the probability that the event that was dreamt before happening could be a mere coincidence. Unfortunately in most cases this is very difficult if not impossible. In these situations one should rely on one’s feelings to appreciate the power of the dream’s-organiser to forecast future mental states.

11: AN ANSWER THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING!

Suppose that you earn from this experiment a personal and rational conviction on the reality of precognition! What important changes in your philosophy of life you could expect from this! What important reflections in your world’s image and your image of yourself could you deduce!

So we could have access to informations coming from the future, without engaging our physical perceptions, without interactions with inert or living matter as physicists or biologists described it until the beginning of the 20th century. Part of ourselves could be outside space and time then interact, at least through dreams, with our mind, which is the result of our brain’s working according to the laws of classical physics, chemistry and biology.

At first sight it seems that Descartes was right when he described the world as dualistic: material and spiritual. But the discoveries Science made since the beginning of the 20th century show that it may be possible to build a bridge between these two realms: but this is another story!

To experience our own spiritual nature puts into question the profoundly materialistic cosmology we inherited from the 19th century. We’re no longer made of matter only; matter that wears out, cells that age; our core personality isn’t only derived from this reality that is perceptible by our physical senses. It has the needed properties to detach from it, to situate itself outside space and time. We’re led to conclude that the soul is real; we must only learn how to communicate with it!

APPENDIX:

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE ON PRECOGNITIVE DREAMS

Maybe some of them could be useful to others than me, even if they can’t trigger the “Wow” impression I lived. The dream-organiser doesn’t seem interested in objective events, but on subjective emotions, and therefore a dream can’t be shared with the emotions it triggered.

Below is a translation of some paragraphs of my book in which one of the characters – Matt – describes a dream I had and was part of the ones that convinced me.

– Dunne’s protocol has the merit to give a clear frame to ideas, to create a rigorous structure necessary when one works with subjective psyche.

– So you were able to obtain interesting results? asks Axel with interest.

– Yes, many times. But please remember they are difficult to share because I can’t transmit the emotion, the shock felt when one discovers this faculty. Feelings should be part of the experience.

– Try nevertheless!

– Ok then. I’ll choose one: an experience full of emotions and significance. I don’t know how it will affect you but I ascertain I was deeply stricken and convinced of the interest the phenomena deserves.

“Here it is… My mother passed some months ago, after a long and disabling illness difficult to live for both of us. Because of her independence, her strong personality, she couldn’t live outside her home. But she needed help, she was obliged to rely on others.

“One afternoon her nurse called me because she was very tired. Her physician was on vacations and his substitute clearly explained to me she was far from agonising, even if very disabled. This remark was important because my mother was tired with this life and her faith only forbad to actively put an end to it. Her nurse who knew her well, confirmed the physician’s diagnosis. Therefore I went back home to look after my family, relieved to know that a nurse was staying with her all night.

“In the middle of the night, at three a.m or so, a physician phoned and told me she passed, though nobody thought it could be probable. Stunned, I took rapidly some clothes without choosing them and rushed to sit with her for the rest of the night.

“While sitting near her I was overwhelmed with different feelings, one of them being culpability because I wasn’t near her when she died. After some hours I discovered I had my notebook on my knees; I must have taken it unconsciously. I found it weird because I usually take it only when attending lectures or when I think I could have time to work…

“I opened the notebook and was shocked! In front of my eyes were some notes taken four months ago while on vacations in Italy. It was a registering of a dream made according to Dunne’s protocol. In the dream, an unknown person was coming in my room to announce my mother’s death.

– You should admit there’s nothing very weird about it since your mother was very ill! Florian says in agreement with his critical mind, and even if he promised to trust us.

– That’s true! I felt culprit being on vacations, far from her as she wasn’t in good shape! But that isn’t all about the dream. In it, I wore rapidly beige trousers and a polo shirt of the same colour and, in a logic characteristic of dreams and perfectly illogical in the real world, I felt I was responsible of her death because of my choice of the polo shirt!

– I’m in admiration of the details you remember but they don’t convince me at all! mutters Florian.

– Wait! While reading my notebook I realised I was wearing exactly the same clothes than in my dream, four months ago!… And I was feeling culprit, as in the dream!

Florian seems pensive. “I understand why you said the experience should be personal. It could be understood like a series of coincidences, except if you live it yourself.”

This happened in reality, followed by many synchronicities. While going back home, in my car, a singer with the name of my mother – actually a rather rare one – was on radio, followed by a concerto with choir, orchestra and harpsichord written in the 17th century and that caused scandal because it introduced music instruments in a church and was joyful instead of sad. It was meant to bring about comfort after funerals because it was seen as the beginning of a new life. The concerto’s name: “Lessons of Darkness”!… Other synchronicities as powerful as these were experienced at the funerals…

Here are some other dreams registered while experimenting Dunne’s protocol.

Eastern 1996:

Dreamt of an artificial hen on which a man sticks real feathers.

The following day I discover this hen in a baker’s shop window.

Dreamt of a train accident.

The following day I read about a train accident in the newspaper.

April 23th 1996:

Dream. The late French president François Mitterrand is wearing black clothes and a black hat. He walks along my village’s cemetery. It is night. A beautiful woman with some grey curls comes in and bring documents assembled to increase Mitterrand’s power after his death.

Next morning the radio and the newspapers announce the publication of the president’s posthumous memoirs by a woman: Odile Jacob.

September 2000:

Dream. A helicopter fell on a tennis yard near a commercial centre: many injured.

The following day the newspaper show pictures of a helicopter that fell on a football yard.

August 29 2001:

Dream. I’m part of a group of people unknown to me, somewhere in the Swiss Alps. We admire the valley when a huge cloud of dust rises in the air: The left part of the mountain in front of us just collapsed! Some people are afraid but don’t move. Sometime later the right part of the mountain collapses in turn. This time everybody is afraid and rush for shelter.

Some days later: 9.11.2001!

September 9th 2001:

Two terrorists rush in the hall of a skyscraper. They are heavily armed.

A couple of days later: 9.11.2001!

I never dreamt of terrorists neither before nor after!

February 3th 2006:

Dream. I put some clothes on to visit a geriatric hospital. I’m not at ease because I wear trousers with braces on a naked torso. Would have preferred a T-shirt!

Encounter with an old lady with blue hair; she seems mentally abnormal. Her daughter comes to visit her; she has red hair.

The following day I watch a video where a woman with blue hair explains she is alcoholic. The newspaper publishes an article about 2 physicians that made an error in a geriatric hospital where an old man died. In the same newspaper there is a picture about an opera – Don Giovanni – in which the main character wears trousers with braces and his torso is naked!

Finally I’m convinced that coincidences only can’t explain all these facts! They can’t explain synchronicities either! But this is another story!

SCIENCE AND SPIRITUALITY

1: SOME VERY STRANGE SIMILARITIES!

The mystic knows… but doesn’t understand! The physicist reasons… but doesn’t understand! Both deal with an aspect of reality that is absolutely ineffable! Only intuition for the mystic, or mathematics for the physicist, unable a philosophical enquiry on the fundamental nature of the world! Under no circumstances the world’s image inherited through our perceptions alone could let them understand the nature of the reality they discover. Both struggle to see beyond physical appearance, but it isn’t the same appearances.

The mystic tries to figure out (not to understand) the reality that is beyond appearances and, for him, this reality is the divine that is everywhere. The physicist tries to understand (but not to know intuitively) the reality that, for him, is the material world around him. This reality is actual; it has its own reality that doesn’t depend on his own existence in any way. But he knows that this reality is much more rich and complex that what our perceptions only can show. To the physicist, the appearances he tries to overcome is the world our perceptions reveals; he tries to build a world as he perceives it through his technical and intellectual tools that vastly enrich the image our biology can give.

The curious layman must acknowledge that the fundamental nature of reality is incomprehensible, even for the people who discover it. They must satisfy pre-requisites; the physicist must be at ease with mathematics: the “language of the universe”; the mystic must cope with his psychology and overcome his ego:

« Reality is such that it cannot be directly and immediately apprehended except by those who have chosen to fulfil certain conditions, making themselves loving, pure in heart, and poor in spirit. Why should this be so? We do not know. It is just one of those facts which we have to accept, whether we like them or not and however implausible and unlikely they may seem! » Aldous Huxley; Perennial Philosophy.

It’s as if an intuitive understanding of the fundamental nature of reality needs some sort of an anaesthesia of the mind that continuously interprets our perceptions in order to integrate us in the best possible way in the perceived world and not in the underlying reality. Billion of years of selective evolution of perceptions and their analysis in order to ensure immediate survival, left their mark on our mind. Understandably, it gives priority to our adaptation to the external world and, occasionally only, does it become interested in intuitions emerging from our interior world. Self-consciousness appeared late and seems to be on the edge of the exploration of our interior world.

Quantum Physics and Relativity changed fundamentally the world’s image that science built arduously until the end of the 19th century. Physicists discover a world that makes no sense!

«Quantum Theory (…) describes nature as absurd for our common sense. But it perfectly sticks to the results from experiments. Therefore I hope you accept nature as it is – absurd! » Richard Feynman.

Nearly all quantum physics theoreticians ( N. Bohr, W. Heisenberg, E. Schrödinger. D. Bohm, M. Born…) were interested in eastern philosophies because they suggest a world’s image that is compatible with their discoveries!

«For a parallel to the lesson of atomic theory… (we must turn) to that kind of epistemological problems with which already thinkers like Buddha and Lao-Tseu have been confronted, when trying to harmonise our position as spectators and actors in the great drama of existence.» Niels Bohr.

«The plurality that we perceive is only an appearance; it is not real. Vedantic philosophy… has sought to clarify it by a number of analogies, one of the most attractive being the many-faceted crystal which, while showing hundreds of little pictures of what is in reality a single existent object, does not really multiply that object…» Erwin Schrödinger.

«The important contribution of Japan in Theoretical Physics since the last war, indicates maybe a kind of kinship between traditional eastern philosophies and the philosophical substance of Quantum Theory.» Werner Heisenberg.

In the 1970s a physicist – Fritjof Capra – decides to make use of metaphors from Vedanta and Taoism as illustrations of a textbook on quantum physics, with the hope to make it easier for students to memorise (not to understand: they are not understandable with our common sense) these discoveries so strange to classical visualisation.

«Eastern spirituality offers a coherent and harmonious frame that can be helpful for our most advanced theories about the physical world.»

The textbook is so successful that he publishes an essay intended for a larger audience: The Tao Of Physics” that popularises an amazing similarity of concepts between ancient eastern philosophies and modern physics!

At first glance there can’t be any correspondence between the paradigm we inherited from 19th century’s physics and eastern concepts about the true nature of reality.

To the physicist that lived before 1900:

1: Space and time exist as the great scene on which objects exist and transform. Different observers see the same objects in the same place, at the same time.

2: The universe is made out of matter. The spiritual realm, if it exists, is not part of the material one.

3: The universe is made out of real objects: they exist by their own and do not need consciousness to become real. The Moon is in the sky, even if nobody is looking at it!

4: Objects are defined by their objective properties, notably by their position in space and time. They can’t be in two places at once. Their objective properties (lenght, mass…) are independent from the observer.

To the eastern mystic:

1: Multiplicity is an illusion. It’s the perception of Maya (the perceived material world which is manifested) that hides the underlying unity, which is not-manifested.

2: The world is organic: it can’t be made of independent parts What we think are parts are only fragments that have no proper reality if they are separated from the whole. Objects are interdependent and therefore have no existence by themselves.

3: The world is dynamic and composed of ceaseless movements of energy. What we perceive as real objects are only whirls (hindu vrittis) of 3 types of energy (hindu gunas) displayed on the screen of consciousness that gives an illusion of an external reality.

4: The void is full of creative energy that gives life to the manifested world.

Now modern physics shows that:

1: Space and time are not absolute but relative! They aren’t perceived in the same way by every observer but depend notably on speed, gravity… They are manifested in relation to circumstances.

2: Matter is dual: it has an undefined nature that is only partly describable by the mathematics of waves, and a nature that we perceive as particles. These two natures are incompatible of course, and never perceived at the same time. The wavy nature underlies the particle one. This is reminiscent of the duality of some eastern philosophies: the not-manifested, which is only specified, and the manifested which is perceived.

3: Matter is a form of very condensed energy; it doesn’t exist outside energy fields that take different aspects (electric, magnetic…). It is locally manifested as wave packets.

4: When we study the wave nature of the world we find it is organic; no object is really separated from the other objects in the universe. Separation is an illusion.

5: The world is dynamic; it is impossible to measure at once the exact position and the speed of an object.

6: The void is full of energy and creates continuously virtual particles (not-manifested) that can become real (manifested) when they borrow energy.

As many physicists suggest nowadays, it is relevant to look for parallels between the new physics and eastern concepts, while waiting that physics discovers a new world’s image compatible with its results since the paradigm we inherited from the 19th century is no more pertinent today. Moreover, it’s sometimes difficult to decide whether a quote comes from a physicist or a mystic! (Take the quizz at the end of this post.)

2: REASON OR INTUITION?

Science appreciates intuition but relies on reason only. Eastern philosophies appreciate reason but highlights intuition only! The Upanishads claim that the rational mind and analysis gives “inferior knowing” only; “superior knowing” comes from deep intuition. For Buddhism “relative knowing” comes from the mind and reason when “absolute knowing” comes from intuition. In western cultures the opposite is true: reason is the master and intuition is its servant!

Vedanta claims that it is ignorance that makes us perceive the objects in the universe as separate and each with its specific reality. Spirituality emphasises on this illusion that comes from ignorance and an inadequate perception of reality. “To see correctly”… teaches the Buddha. To see correctly is not possible with the eyes, neither with the rational mind, but maybe with intuition. One can only partly “see correctly” with the mind. Quantum physics can’t be understood with our world’s image; only mathematics can help to understand its logical structure but not its materiality. Only its spirit can be approached but not in a specific aspect that is essential to reach a real understanding that includes our common sense.

3: IS INTERDEPENDANCE THE ROOT OF REALITY?

Quantum physics shows that the objects we perceive have no objective existence of their own. Their properties are the result of continuous and universal interactions. And these interactions are themselves connected in such a way that it is not possible to separate completely objects from one another (see the quote from Erwin Schrödinger previously).

«One cannot separate what happens somewhere from what happens elsewhere. In a way, events must be described jointly.» John Bell.

Physics discovers that there is no separate objects: objects’ properties result from global interactions that take place in a space and time that transcend the one we live in. The world is no more a huge mechanical clock made of parts but an indivisible whole made from interactions that include the observer. When one breaks a complex object to study its parts, actually one makes only fragments that loose an important part of their significance in the whole! The reductionism we inherited from Descartes is no more the powerful tool it has been until today, when science was convinced that understanding parts would lead to a direct understanding of the whole. The emergence of a specific reality from indefinite interactions and probabilities is a proof of this.

Each particle that interacted with another one remains correlated until the next interaction. But the whole universe is composed of particles that are related through a seminal event: the Big Bang. In theory the universe could be described mathematically with one only wave function!

Modern physics suggests that reality doesn’t exist concretely outside a consciousness that observes it. Eastern philosophies postulate that reality is a projection of a Collective Consciousness. Some physicists take the leap and think that consciousness is fundamental and matter is not!

« It is almost as though the modern conception of the physical world had deliberately left room for the reality of spirit and consciousness. » Sir Arthur Eddington.

«As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter. » Max Planck.

Relativity shows that quantifiable properties that Galileo defined as “primary” like length, mass… can take different values for different observers and have lost their objective quality Galileo thought they had. A motionless observer measures a length and a mass that are different from the ones measured for the same object by an observer that moves rapidly. Which observer is right? Both! since there is no absolute reality. Reality becomes a projection in a consciousness. Only interactions remain; they create the objects’ properties in the universe!

«The universe does not exist ‘out there,’ independent of us. We are inescapably involved in bringing about that which appears to be happening. We are not only observers. We are participators. In some strange sense, this is a participatory universe. Physics is no longer satisfied with insights only into particles, fields of force, into geometry, or even into time and space. Today we demand of physics some understanding of existence itself.» John Wheeler.

In meditation «The material object becomes (…) different from what we actually see, not an object separated from its background or from its environment, but an indivisible part – and even in a subtle way, an expression of the unity – of whole what we see.» Sri Aurobindo.

There are no real objective objects that different observers would perceive in the same way and which would exist if there were no observer! The properties of objects aren’t intrinsic but relational!

«One is led to a new notion of a continuous reality invalidating the classical idea on the composition of the world with parts that have separate and independent existence.»

«The analysis of the world as made of objects has been replaced by its analysis as events and processes.» David Bohm.

«Quantum theory showed that nature hasn’t intrinsic reality.» Michel Bitbol.

4: IMPERMANENCE: THE DYNAMICS OF THE WORLD.

Matter is a condensed form of energy, Einstein discovered. Matter has a wavy nature, reveals Schrödinger. A wave is dynamic by nature; constantly changing.

Physicists write:

«In modern physics the world is now divided, not in different groups of objects but in different groups of connections (…). The world thus appears as a complex fabric of events in which different sorts of connections alternate, partially overlap or combine, and define the framework of the whole.» Werner Heisenberg

«The quantum interconnection of the universe in its whole is the fundamental reality and parts that seem relatively independent are only particular and fortuitous forms inside this whole.» David Bohm.

Mystics discover:

«Buddhists see the object as an event and not as a thing or a substance.» Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki.

5: THE VOID IS FULL!

The “quantum void” is full of energy! Werner Heisenberg’s “Uncertainty Principle” shows that the more one bounds a restricted area, the more its energy increases. And this energy doesn’t remain inactive: it creates continuously particles and anti-particles for very short times but sufficient to mediate interactions.

Physicists write:

« For the field theory, a material particle as an electron, is simply a little part of the electric field in which the energy takes very high values, indicating that much energy is concentrated in a very small space. Such a node of energy, that isn’t clearly delimitated from the rest of the field, moves through void space as a wave crossing the surface of a lake; there is no unique substance out of which the electron would be made at every moment.» Hermann Weyl.

«The existence and the disappearance of particles are only dynamic forms of the field.» Walter Thirring.

Mystics discover:

«When one knows that the great void is full of CH’I, one knows that nothingness doesn’t exist

«The void is the field of possibilities. Reality comes from the void from which every thing emerges then fades, out of an infinite and non-dual source.» Zhang Zai.

«The Tao is empty, but inextinguishable. (…) It appears as the ancestor of the ten thousand beings. (…) It seems to exist since eternity.» Tao Te Jing 4.

6: WHAT TOOLS TO READ SCIENCE AND SPIRITUALITY?

For more than two millenaries we think with an aristotelian logic which is dualistic: true or false. Quantum physics introduce a new logic: quaternary! True, false, true and false, neither true nor false.

«If we ask for instance: does the electron remain in the same place, we must answer “no”; if we ask does the electron moves when time flows, we must answer “no”; if we ask is the electron still, we must say “no”. Buddha gave similar answers when he was asked questions about the human condition after death; but they aren’t familiar to the tradition of 17th and 18th centuries’ science.» Robert Oppenheimer.

«Within discussions on hindu philosophy some of quantum physics ideas that seemed to us completely absurd, began to become meaningful.»

«I think modern philosophy definitely gives reason to Plato. Indeed, the smallest material objects are not physical objects as we may imagine them; they are forms, ideas that can’t be expressed without ambiguity outside mathematics.» Werner Heisenberg.

7: THE NEW SCIENTIFIC DUALISM AND THE OLD MYSTICAL DUALISM.

When we analyse deeply the ultimate reality of matter, we find it evaporates in a mathematical realm instead of a material one; the intuition of greek philosophers like Plato or Pythagorus become justified in a way; reality is dualistic. The perception we have of it is only superficial.

«There must exist, beyond mere appearances … a ‘veiled reality’ that science does not describe but only glimpses uncertainly. In turn, contrary to those who claim that matter is the only reality, the possibility that other means, including spirituality, may also provide a window on ultimate reality cannot be ruled out, even by cogent scientific arguments. Bernard D’Espagnat.

«Quantum entanglement supports the idea that the world is deeper than the visible, and reveals a domain of existence, which cannot be described with the notions of space and time. In the nonlocal quantum realm there is dependance without time, things are going on but the time doesn’t seem to pass here.» Antoine Suarez.

The first physicists knew they worked only on a relative reality. But their successes led them to forget it; today they know again that they work on shadows only!

« The very advance (of quantum and relativistic physics) does not lie in the world of physics itself having acquired this shadowy character; it had ever since Democritus of Abdera and even before, but we were not aware of it; we thought we were dealing with the world itself Erwin Schrödinger.

« We have learnt that the exploration of the external world by the methods of physical science leads not to a concrete reality but to a shadow world of symbols, beneath which those methods are unadapted for penetrating. Feeling that there must be more behind, we return to our starting point in human consciousness – the one centre where more might become known. There we find other stirrings, other revelations than those conditioned by the world of symbols.»

« The world we study with physics became a world of shadows.» Sir Arthur Eddington.

« Everybody knows today that Science isn’t a statement of reality but a language in order to express a sort of experience of objects, their structure, their mathematics, (…) nothing more. Matter itself is something (…) of which we superficially know the structure as it appears to our mind, our perception and some tools (…) but nobody knows more than that .» Sri Aurobindo Ghose.

8: THE END OF CERTAINTIES!

Physicists are aware that the paradigm we inherited from the 19th century has to be deeply rethought.

«I realise experiments today essentially to show the strangeness of quantum physics. Most physicists are very naive: they still believe in real waves or real particles.» Anton Zeilinger.

« Philosophers have said that if the same circumstances don’t always produce the same results, predictions are impossible and science will collapse. (…) We cannot predict whether a given photon will arrive at A or B. All we can predict is that out of 100 photons that come down, an average of 4 will be reflected by the front surface. Does this mean that physics, a science of great exactitude, has been reduced to calculating only the probability of an event, and not predicting exactly what will happen? Yes. That’s a retreat, but that’s the way it is: Nature permits us to calculate only probabilities. Yet science has not collapsed! » Richard Feynman.

9: SHALL POETRY RESCUE SCIENCE?

« The laws which nature obeys are less suggestive of those which a machine obeys in its motion than of those which a musician obeys in writing a fugue, or a poet in composing a sonnet.» Sir James Jeans.

« The language of images and likenesses is probably the only way of approaching the “one” from more general domains. If the harmony in a society rests on a common interpretation of the “one”, the unitary principle behind the phenomena, then the language of poetry may be more important here than the language of science Werner Heisenberg.

« Science…means unresting endeavour and continually progressing development toward an aim which the poetic intuition may apprehend, but the intellect can never fully grasp.» Max Planck.

10: LOOKING FOR A NEW PARADIGM.

The world’s image we have to build should let us understand notably:

– the new dualism: the fundamental duality of matter and energy that is, at once, wave and particle;

– the fundamental nature of phenomena that direct what we interpret nowadays as objects whose properties stay undefined as long as they aren’t observed (quantic superpositions) or the “collapse of the wave function” that attributes one only of a multitude of probable quantities when an object interacts with another, as when it is measured;

– the links between matter and consciousness;

– phenomena that are considered today as abnormal, like Near Death Experiences that suggest that consciousness exists even when the brain is completely inactive, transpersonal communications that take place without any implication of our biological organs of perception and that transcend space and time…

A group of scientists gathered in 2014 in order to explore the difficulties we find today when applying our classical paradigm to modern science. They summarised the observations that our world’s image can’t explain and that should be understood with a new one. Their reflexions are published here.

QUOTES FROM PHYSICISTS AND MYSTICS

Tick the right answer if you think that a Physicist or a Mystic is the author of the quote

P/M

1) “The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subject and object are only one.”

2) “This life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of the entire existence, but is, in a certain sense, the WHOLE; only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in one single glance. This, as we know, is what the Brahmins express in that sacred, mystic formula which is yet really so simple and so clear: TAT TVAM ASI, this is you. Or, again, in such words as “I am in the east and in the west, I am below and above, I AM THIS WHOLE WORLD”.

3) Thus you can throw yourself flat on the ground, stretched out upon Mother Earth, with the certain conviction that you are one with her and she with you. You are as firmly established, as invulnerable, as she – indeed, a thousand times firmer and more invulnerable. As surely as she will engulf you tomorrow, so surely will she bring you forth anew to new striving and suffering. And not merely, “some day”: now, today, everyday she is bringing you forth, not ONCE, but thousands upon thousands of times, just as every day she engulfs you a thousand times over. For eternally and always there is only NOW, one and the same now; the present is the only thing that has no end.”

4) “There is obviously only one alternative, namely the unification of minds or consciousnesses. Their multiplicity is only apparent, in truth there is only one mind.”

5) “The plurality that we perceive is only an appearance; it is not real. Vedantic philosophy… has sought to clarify it by a number of analogies, one of the most attractive being the many-faceted crystal which, while showing hundreds of little pictures of what is in reality a single existent object, does not really multiply that object…”

6) “Nirvana is a state of pure blissful knowledge… It has nothing to do with the individual. The ego or its separation is an illusion. Indeed in a certain sense two “I”‘s are identical namely when one disregards all special contents — their Karma. The goal of man is to preserve his Karma and to develop it further… when man dies his Karma lives and creates for itself another carrier.”

7) “I assert that the nature of all reality is spiritual, not material nor a dualism of matter and spirit. The hypothesis that its nature can be, to any degree, material, does not enter into my reckoning, because as we now understand matter, the putting together of the adjective “material” and the noun “nature” does not make sense.”

8) “The stuff of the world is mind-stuff.”

9) “If I were to try to put into words the essential truth revealed in the mystic experience, it would be that our minds are not apart from the world, and the feelings that we have of gladness and melancholy and our yet deeper feelings are not of ourselves alone, but are glimpses of a reality transcending the narrow limits of our particular consciousness – that the harmony and beauty of the face of nature is, at root, one with the gladness that transfigures the face of man.”

10) “That faculty which perceives and recognizes the noble proportions in what is given to the senses, and in other things situated outside itself, must be ascribed to the soul.(..) which does not think discursively,(..) and is thus not peculiar only to man, but also dwells in wild animals and the dear beasts of the field.”

11) “The past has no existence except as it is recorded in the present… The universe does not exist out there, independent of all acts of observation. Instead, it is in some strange sense a participatory universe”

12) “The universe can be best pictured, although still very imperfectly and inadequately, as consisting of pure thought, the thought of what, for want of a wider word, we must describe as a mathematical thinker.”

13) « Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real. »

14) “One is led to a new notion of a continuous reality dismissing the classical idea of a world made of parts that exist separately and independently.”

15) “The material object becomes (…) different from what we actually see, not an object separated from its background or from its environment, but an indivisible part – and even in a subtle way, an expression of the unity – of whole what we see.”

16) “Objects derive their existence and their nature from mutual dependence and are nothing by themselves.”

17) “The universe does not exist “out there,” independent of us. We are inescapably involved in bringing about that which appears to be happening. We are not only observers. We are participators. In some strange sense, this is a participatory universe.”

QUOTES FROM PHYSICISTS AND MYSTICS

Tick the right answer if you think that a Physicist or a Mystic is the author of the quote

P/M

1) “The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subject and object are only one.”

SCHRODINGER

P

2) “This life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of the entire existence, but is, in a certain sense, the WHOLE; only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in one single glance. This, as we know, is what the Brahmins express in that sacred, mystic formula which is yet really so simple and so clear: TAT TVAM ASI, this is you. Or, again, in such words as “I am in the east and in the west, I am below and above, I AM THIS WHOLE WORLD”.

SCHRODINGER

P

3) Thus you can throw yourself flat on the ground, stretched out upon Mother Earth, with the certain conviction that you are one with her and she with you. You are as firmly established, as invulnerable, as she – indeed, a thousand times firmer and more invulnerable. As surely as she will engulf you tomorrow, so surely will she bring you forth anew to new striving and suffering. And not merely, “some day”: now, today, everyday she is bringing you forth, not ONCE, but thousands upon thousands of times, just as every day she engulfs you a thousand times over. For eternally and always there is only NOW, one and the same now; the present is the only thing that has no end.”

SCHRODINGER

P

4) “There is obviously only one alternative, namely the unification of minds or consciousnesses. Their multiplicity is only apparent, in truth there is only one mind.”

SCHRODINGER

P

5) “The plurality that we perceive is only an appearance; it is not real. Vedantic philosophy… has sought to clarify it by a number of analogies, one of the most attractive being the many-faceted crystal which, while showing hundreds of little pictures of what is in reality a single existent object, does not really multiply that object…”

SCHRODINGER

P

6) “Nirvana is a state of pure blissful knowledge… It has nothing to do with the individual. The ego or its separation is an illusion. Indeed in a certain sense two “I”‘s are identical namely when one disregards all special contents — their Karma. The goal of man is to preserve his Karma and to develop it further… when man dies his Karma lives and creates for itself another carrier.”

SCHRODINGER

P

7) “I assert that the nature of all reality is spiritual, not material nor a dualism of matter and spirit. The hypothesis that its nature can be, to any degree, material, does not enter into my reckoning, because as we now understand matter, the putting together of the adjective “material” and the noun “nature” does not make sense.”

Sir EDDINGTON

P

8) “The stuff of the world is mind-stuff.”

Sir EDDINGTON

P

9) “If I were to try to put into words the essential truth revealed in the mystic experience, it would be that our minds are not apart from the world, and the feelings that we have of gladness and melancholy and our yet deeper feelings are not of ourselves alone, but are glimpses of a reality transcending the narrow limits of our particular consciousness – that the harmony and beauty of the face of nature is, at root, one with the gladness that transfigures the face of man.”

Sir EDDINGTON

P

10)”That faculty which perceives and recognizes the noble proportions in what is given to the senses, and in other things situated outside itself, must be ascribed to the soul.(..) which does not think discursively,(..) and is thus not peculiar only to man, but also dwells in wild animals and the dear beasts of the field.”

Werner HEISENBERG

P

11) “The past has no existence except as it is recorded in the present… The universe does not exist out there, independent of all acts of observation. Instead, it is in some strange sense a participatory universe”

John Wheeler

P

12) “The universe can be best pictured, although still very imperfectly and inadequately, as consisting of pure thought, the thought of what, for want of a wider word, we must describe as a mathematical thinker.”

Sir James JEANS

P

13) « Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real. »

Niels BOHR

P

14) “One is led to a new notion of a continuous reality dismissing the classical idea of a world made of parts that exist separately and independently.”

David BOHM

P

15) “The material object becomes (…) different from what we actually see, not an object separated from its background or from its environment, but an indivisible part – and even in a subtle way, an expression of the unity – of whole what we see.”

Sri AUROBINDO

M

16)”Objects derive their existence and their nature from mutual dependence and are nothing by themselves.”

NAGARJUNA

M

17) “The universe does not exist “out there,” independent of us. We are inescapably involved in bringing about that which appears to be happening. We are not only observers. We are participators. In some strange sense, this is a participatory universe.”

John WHEELER

P

TOTAL: 15 quotes from physicists and 2 quotes from mystics! Modern physics is getting close to mysticism!