Time to Write the Obituary of the Particle-World
According to modern physics everything is made up of atoms, which is to say particles. Our entire modern worldview, from space exploration to the Large Hadron Collider, and modern medicine, is premised on the notion that particles – electrons, neutrons, quarks, the Higgs boson, DNA, germs, viruses and cancer cells – are the ultimate constituents of the universe. These particles, we imagine, exist out in the world, free-standing little things, with an existence independent of perception, independent of consciousness, independent of mind.
According to quantum theory, the leading scientific theory of the physical world, particles do not exist, except in our imagination.
Does something seem wrong here?
“Atoms are not things,” says Werner Heisenberg, one of the founders of quantum theory. Niels Bohr, the 1927 Nobel prize-winner in physics and another founder of quantum theory, writes in The Quantum Postulate and the Recent Development of Atomic Theory, that “an independent reality in the ordinary physical sense can neither be ascribed to the phenomena nor to the agencies of observation.” Eugene Wigner, another eminent physicist, writes in Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, that, “It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the conclusion that the content of consciousness is an ultimate reality.” Shaun Gao, in Quantum Reality: A Short Journey Through Two Mysterious Slits, writes that, “in quantum mechanics, we also talk about electrons, atoms, and so on, as if they are as real as the particles and waves in classical mechanics. But they are mere words, used only for convenient communications. There are neither particles nor waves there. In reality, there is nothing physically real in quantum mechanics.”
Nobel prize-winner, Robert Laughlin, in A Different Universe, writes that “Quantum-mechanical matter consists of waves of nothing.” In The Quantum Enigma, Fred Kuttner and Bruce Rosenblum, conclude that, “Quantum theory thus denies the existence of a physically real world independent of its observation.” In a Scientific American article, Bernard d’Espagnat, writes that, “the doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment.” And finally, in an oft-quoted statement from his book, The Mysterious Universe, Sir James Jeans surveys the intellectual landscape in 1943 and writes, “Today there is a wide measure of agreement, which, on the physical side of science, approaches almost to unanimity that the stream of knowledge is heading toward a nonmechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.”
In reality – the real world – everything is not made of particles existing independently of consciousness. Instead, everything is made of something – specifically, mind-stuff – that only appears to us as hard-independent particles.
We live then in an apparently real world; a world of the imagination.
A world whose oddness turns back on itself and becomes real to us for a simple reason: we are part of the world; we too are made of illusory particles; we too are mind-stuff. As Siddhartha told his friend, Govinda, in Herman Hesse’s novel, if the world is an illusion, then so he is, so it actually makes no difference, except for one fact: if we are the source of the world, then we are responsible for it; we are part of it; we are joined at the “cosmic hip” never to be separated. We are the World, for real.
Our problem as scientists and as people is that we have not adjusted our lives to the truth of quantum physics; we still go along merrily thinking that the world consists of tiny particles, with an existence independent of ourselves.
We naively and foolishly believe this is the mature approach, the scientific view, the enlightened, intelligent and modern view.
The exact opposite is true. We have forgotten, by not listening and not questioning authority figures, that the number one criterion for selecting a worldview is that it be right. We have forgotten the importance of truth, of being right. Science knows the way to truth: it is called the scientific method. Using the scientific method, we will eventually find the truth, but not if we only use this method with the unshakeable assumption, the hardened prejudice, that these little particles exist independently of ourselves.
But we have cemented ourselves into a place where we will believe we must sacrifice ourselves to a particle world to be rational creatures.
Feeling down and depressed? Take a drug. Growing a tumor? Cut it out. Face wrinkling? Spread it with expensive cream, inject it with chemicals; stiffen the particles.
But if the particles are an illusion, then the most effective way to alter their arrangement is by taking control of the projecting source. This means taking control of ourselves. This world is not an individual pursuit, a battle of us against the outside physical world. Instead, it is a battle to convince the other person that only by joining powers, by befriending the adversary, can we unite the power of the mind to control the world. This is where modern, materialistic science collapses, for we cannot improve ourselves – live longer, stay healthier, achieve the elusive peace – until we take united action; until we accept morality as a law of nature.
We see the same world because we are joined at the core; one being; one Mind after all. A God who is real, because we are riding his power; streaming out into the three-dimensional space we call the world.
If the world we encounter is not made of tiny particles existing independently of consciousness, then that means the world is in fact a three-dimensional projection of the mind – a powerful dream.
This is where the scientific method leads. This is where quantum theory takes us. If particles are not real, not independent of consciousness, then the world does not possess the sort of reality we first envisioned; reality is not outside of us, it is us.
It will always be the same world: our hardened desire not to give up the independent world is a sign of immaturity, of not understanding. The world will always look the same, it is our attitude that will and must change.
The quest of science is to take the road to Truth wherever it leads. What exactly are we waiting for?