Friday, May 16, 2014

Quantum Physics and My Spirituality

Writing about a storm he experienced in Hawaii, Jim Nourse wrote: “Where the sunny day met the boundary of the storm there was a stunning alchemical fog of a furious wind blasting and conjoining sand, ocean spray and rain with sunlight turned diffuse and orange in a chaos of sensation.” [Jim Nourse, PhD, The Aloha Mind, Balboa Press (Hay House), 2013]
He went on to describe how the storm was creating havoc with back-country roads – washout and huge water-filled potholes. They encountered some guys who had broken an axle in trying to get through one of these obstacles. They picked them up and, on their way to a repair shop, saw a woman in a field having similar problems with some farm equipment. She, too, had issues with an axle – and the fellows and she referred to their predicament in terms of the storm “sticking” their truck or tractor. 
… I was reflecting on how we would have dealt with ‘sticking’ our truck: walk until we had cell connection, arrange for a tow truck, and do what one does to get back to normal. What for us would be an inconvenience, to these individuals could easily be a profound hardship. In their shoes, would I have mentally amplified this inconvenience into a full-blown hardship? Had I become so soft and attached to agendas that this would rise to the level of emergency in my mind? Which was the problem – the situation itself or my appraisal of it? My attention was drawn back to the conversation that had by now established the fact that the situation sucked all around. The young woman paused thoughtfully, then looked up at the sky and swung her arm with hand upraised in a wide ark and announced for all to hear ‘But… It’s a beautiful day!!!’ We burst into laughter and headed on down the road.” [p.13]
Nourse made an interesting observation. Which was the real problem: The actual situation or my appraisal of it? A Course in Miracles (ACIM) has taught me how the power of my perception has created or can change my universe. AA has taught me that if I change the way I look at things, the things I look at change. I think we’re all saying the same thing – verbalizing the same experienced reality.
This reality of perception also is the guiding principle behind the growing science of Quantum Physics. I remember studying in a college course, The Philosophy of Science, that scientists couldn’t tell if light was really a wave or a piece of matter/energy called a photon. The philosophical issue, however, was that we couldn’t really observe light in its natural state. When scientists would try to observe natural light, their observations themselves would affect the state of the light they were observing. Behind Quantum Physics is the same conundrum: While observing infinitesimally small objects, physicists cannot determine if they are looking at matter or energy and that the “looking at them” can change them.
Newtonian physics (Isaac Newton) held that there were absolute laws that governed pieces of matter – whether it was a piece of wood, a grain of sand, an atom, or a star. It was concrete identifiable stuff. It was matter. Cartesian philosophy (Rene Descartes) separated reality into matter and spirit – the body was matter, the soul was spirit. Never the twain should meet. Both Newton and Descartes worked in the realm of physics, mathematics, and philosophy, but their combined effort produced the Newtonian/Cartesian view of the world we have lived in for almost 400 years. Physics and science deals with matter or stuff. Religion (and maybe psychology) deals with spirit and non-matter.
As Nourse put it: “While the Newtonian/Cartesian paradigm made possible stupendous developments in science, technology and medicine, it has also created casualties. By splitting mind and body, it has alienated us from ourselves. By declaring material reality as the only domain worthy of being called real, it has alienated us from spiritual sources of emotional nurturance and meaning. By positing the human observer as unrelated to what is observed, it has alienated us from the natural world…. [We in the West have] the most sophisticated level of control over the environment, yet [we are] left psychologically and spiritually empty….
The Newtonian view held up quite well, so long as we supposed that the minutest assemblages of matter consisted only of the tiniest particles in motion according to the laws of motion. The atom depicted as a solar system in miniature illustrates this contention. However, as the early quantum physicists peered deeply into this level of existence, what they found was that matter – rather than being substantial or solid in any way – exists fundamentally as a probability wave. The act of observation forces the probability wave into a defined state that is then recognized as matter. Nourse goes on to conclude:
What we call reality, then, is dependent upon the consciousness of an observer. By implication, there is no ‘out there’ as a concretized material world. The perception of an ‘out there’ is the result of the interaction of consciousness with a probability matrix. Thus, we are intimately involved in the creation of the world by sequential acts of perception, on a moment to moment basis.  [p.26-7]
Several weeks ago I wrote about the power of my ego and the perverse illusionary world I and all humanity have created. However, I now comprehend the true nature of this creation: It doesn’t really exist. [Msg-04-Apr-2014; Comprehending The Force Of My Ego]
ACIM teaches that peace and understanding happen together. One cannot exist without the other. [T:14, XI, 12]  And, boy, do I need peace! Peace and understanding come in the eternal NOW. Not in the past nor the future.  The text goes on to say, “I do not know what anything, including this, means. And so I do not know how to respond to it. And I will not use my own past learning as the light to guide me.” [T: 14, XI, 6]
In the NOW, I know my true freedom and peace, as an already-loved eternal spirit currently living in a human body. That’s all there really is. That’s the only true reality. It’s where I meet the Holy Spirit. As the Course states in the Introduction to the Text: “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. [And my illusionary world is unreal] Herein lies the peace of God.”
I never knew I was really studying Quantum Physics as I study the Course. I never knew I was comprehending Quantum Physics as I was following AA’s Twelve Steps to sobriety and finding, along the way, a true sense of spirituality.
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening. As always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
#3 May, 2014

Copyright, 2014

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