“Et les étoiles d’or, légions infinies,
A voix haute, à voix basse, avec mille harmonies” (Victor Hugo)
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Ecstasy, by Victor Hugo
I was alone beside the sea, one starry night. With not a single wave or sail in sight. Past the world’s limits stretched my eye, And the forests and the mountains, with nature Seemed united in questioning, in vast yet mumbled sound, the billows of the ocean, and the splendor of the sky.
And the infinite legions of golden stars, had voices loud and deep, and harmonies over a thousand bars. They replied, tipping low their radiant crowns of fame And the blue waters, which none could govern or arrest, Replied, tipping low the foam upon their crest: ‘The Lord, our great Creator! His glory we proclaim!’
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AS AN ENGLISH LITERATURE STUDENT, I loved poetry that took me to the heavens. I wrote my first and only sonnet about “A myriad of worlds and worlds of heavenly dust, In splendor clad with awe-inspiring grace.” We had to memorize this poem by Victor Hugo, in French, and all I can recall today is the caption under the picture above. I found a translation of this first line of the second stanza on Google search. I just had to share this fond memory from seminary days.
There is nothing more demonstrative of the magnificent perfection of God’s Creation than the Universe of stars and galaxies. The only thing that surpasses it in wonder is the capacity we have to encompass a living image of it in our consciousness . . . and the miracle of eyesight that brings it all into our brains, where alone we can know it as being real. The Universe is specifically designed and balanced to support life and consciousness.
The word Universe itself means to turn together as one. The Universe is not many separate things. It is one Creation whose sole purpose is to provide a morphic field and a material platform for Life to abound and bring forth its vast array of living forms—all of which spring forth from out of a microcosmic quantum world of energy waves and light frequencies that pop out transformed into the particles that make up the vast Cosmos and the macrocosmic world in which we live. I stand in awe before the God of Creation, whose “Universe of stars is but a cloak to Thee,” to borrow a line from a friend’s powerful baritone solo “How shall we give Thee glory?” How, indeed?
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Moving on in this series, we come to the eighth chapter of Robert Lanza and Bob Berman’s fascinating book BIOCENTRISM — How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe. Having read it many times over, I still ponder over the experiments that prove beyond any shadow of doubt that the physical world is observer-dependent for its existence. Without the presence of consciousness and life, the Universe itself would not exist, for it is Life via Consciousness that creates the Universe and not the other way around, Darwinism notwithstanding. This is the essence of Biocentrism. I will share a few excerpts from this chapter for your pleasurable reading . . . and mental stretching. (All underscores were added for emphasis)
THIS “PARTICIPATORY UNIVERSE”
Quantum theory has unfortunately become a catch-all phrase for trying to prove various kinds of New Age nonsense. It’s unlikely that the authors of the many books making wacky claims of time travel or mind control, and who use quantum theory as “proof” have the slightest knowledge of physics or could explain even the rudiments of quantum theory. The popular 2004 film, What the Bleep Do We Know? is a good case in point. The movie starts out claiming quantum theory has revolutionized our thinking—which is true enough—but then, without explanation or elaboration, goes on to say that it proves people can travel into the past or “choose which reality you want.”
Quantum theory says no such thing. Quantum theory deals with probabilities, and the likely places particles may appear, and likely actions they will take. And while, as we shall see, bits of light and matter do indeed change behavior depending on whether they are being observed, and measured particles do indeed amazingly appear to influence the past behavior of other particles, this does not in any way mean that humans can travel into their past or influence their own history.
Given the widespread generic use of the term quantum theory, plus the paradigm-changing tenets of biocentrism, using quantum theory as evidence might raise eyebrows among the skeptical. For this reason, it’s important that readers have some genuine understanding of quantum theory’s actual experiments—and can grasp the real results rather than the preposterous claims so often associated with it. For those with a little patience, this chapter can provide a life-altering understanding of the latest version of one of the most famous and amazing experiments in the history of physics.
I will not attempt to detail the actual experiments, which include the famous “double-slit” experiment that altered forever the scientific view of light—and everything else. I will simply relate the eye-opening results and discoveries of these experiments. Basically, the many scientists who performed the varied and progressively complex experiments over three-quarters of a century all came to the same history-altering conclusions, which I will share in excerpts. But first, it’s interesting how this all got started.
It all really started early in the twentieth century when physicists were still struggling with a very old question—whether light is made of particles called photons or whether instead they are waves of energy. Isaac Newton believed it was made of particles. But by the late nineteenth century, waves seemed more reasonable. In those early days, some physicists presciently and correctly thought that even solid objects might have a wave nature as well.
The final conclusion of the experiments is that light is both wave and particle. Waves, like those produced by two pebbles tossed upon the calm surface of a pond at the same time, meet each other and produce places of higher and lower crests. Some waves reinforce each other or, if one’s crest meets another’s trough, they cancel out at that spot. These were called “interference patterns” in the experiments. This was one way the wave function of light was determined. The second way was how the beam of light passed through both slots in the barrier board, unlike particles that passed through one or the other slit but not both.
So this early-twentieth-century result of an interference pattern, which can only be caused by waves, showed physicists that light is a wave or at least acts that way when this experiment is performed. The fascinating thing is that when solid physical bodies like electrons were used, they got exactly the same result. Solid particles have a wave nature too! So, right from the get-go, the double-slit experiment yielded amazing information about the nature of reality. Solid objects have a wave nature!
Now, for a look at the graphic details of the experiments, you’ll have to obtain a copy of the book and read how the complex experiments were performed, as I myself am still having a challenge following the details and connecting all the dots—and the graphics are simply too many for a blog this size. The “weirdness” of the observations and conclusions did indeed entertain me and stretch my mental capacity. The wave-and-particle nature of light is fascinating enough.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, this was just the appetizer. Few realized that true strangeness was only beginning.
The first oddity happens when just one photon or electron is allowed to fly through the apparatus at a time. After enough have gone through and been individually detected, this same interference pattern emerges. But how can this be? With what is each of those electrons or photons interfering? How can we get an interference pattern when there’s only one indivisible object in there at a time? Somehow, these individual photons add up to an interference pattern!
There has never been a truly satisfactory answer for this. Wild ideas keep emerging. Could there be other electrons or photons next door” in a parallel universe, from another experimenter doing the same thing? Could their electrons be interfering with ours? That’s so far-fetched that few believe it.
The usual interpretation of why we see an interference pattern is that photons or electrons have two choices when they encounter the double slit. They do not actually exist as real entities in real places until they are observed, and they aren’t observed until they hit the final detection barrier. So when they reach the slits, they exercise their probabilistic freedom of taking both choices. Even though actual electrons or photons are indivisible, and never split themselves under any conditions whatsoever, their existence as probability waves are another story. Thus, what go “through the slit” are not actual entities but just probabilities. The probability waves of the individual photons interfere with themselves! When enough have gone through, we see the overall interference pattern as all probabilities congeal into actual entities making impacts and being observed—as waves.
Sure it’s weird, but this, apparently, is how reality works. And this is just the very beginning of quantum weirdness. Quantum theory, as we mentioned in the last chapter, has a principle called complementarity, which says that we can observe objects to be one thing or another—or have one position or property or another—but never both. It depends on what one is looking for and what measuring equipment is used. . . .
It turns out that the mere act of measurement, of learning the path of each photon, destroyed the photon’s freedom to remain blurry and undefined and take both paths until it reached the barriers. Its “wave-function” must have collapsed at our measuring device, . . . as it instantly “chose” to become a particle and go through one slit or the other. Its wave nature was lost as soon as it lost its blurry probabilistic not-quite-real state. But why should the photon have chosen to collapse its wave-function? How did it know that we, the observer, could learn which slit it went through? . . . . We’re back to quantum theory’s complementarity—that you can measure and learn just one of a pair of characteristics but never both at the same time. If you fully learn about one, you will know nothing about the other.
QUANTUM ENTANGLEMENT OF TWIN PARTICLES
Okay, let’s try something else. In nature, as we saw in the last chapter, there are entangled particles or bits of light (or matter) that were born together and therefore share a wave-function according to quantum theory. They can fly apart—even across the width of the galaxy—and yet they still retain this connection, this knowledge of each other. If one is meddled with in any way so that it loses its “anything’s possible” nature and has to decide instantly to materialize with, say, a vertical polarization, its twin will then instantaneously materialize too, and with a horizontal polarity. If one becomes an electron with an up spin, the twin will too, but with a down spin. They’re eternally linked in a complementary way.
After more, and more complex, experiments with this quantum entanglement of twin particles, their conclusions were:
It’s our knowledge alone with which the photons or electrons seem concerned. This alone influences their actions . . . . Okay, this is bizarre. Yet these results happen every time, without fail. They’re telling us that an observer determines physical behavior of ‘external’ objects. . . . It doesn’t matter how we set up the experiment. Our mind and its knowledge or lack of it is the only thing that determines how these bits of light or matter behave.
It forces us, too, to wonder about space and time. Can either be real if the twins act on information before it happens, and across distances instantaneously as if there is no separation between them?
Again and again, observations have consistently confirmed the observer-dependent effects of quantum theory. In the past decade, physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have carried out an experiment that, in the quantum world, is equivalent to demonstrating that a watched pot doesn’t boil. “It seems,” said Peter Coveney, a researcher there, “that the act of looking at an atom prevents it from changing.” (Theoretically, if a nuclear bomb were watched intently enough, it would not explode, that is, if you could keep checking its atoms every million trillionth of a second. This is yet another experiment that supports the theory that the structure of the physical world, and of small units of matter and energy in particular, are influenced by human observation.) . . . . In the last couple of decades, quantum theorists have shown, in principle, that an atom cannot change its energy state as long as it is being continuously observed.
Of course, experiments were conducted to prove this principle true, which led to this conclusion:
However, when the researchers kept checking the atoms every four milliseconds with a brief pulse of light from a laser, the atoms never made it to the higher energy state, despite the force driving them toward it. It would seem that the process of measurement gives the atoms “a little nudge,” forcing them back down to the lower energy state—in effect, resetting the system to zero. This behavior has no analog in the classical world of everyday sense awareness and is apparently a function of observation. . . .
. . . . Eugene Wigner, one of the twentieth century’s greatest physicists, stated that it is “not possible to formulate the laws of [physics] in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness [of the observer].” So when quantum theory implies that consciousness must exist, it tacitly shows that the content of the mind is the ultimate reality, and that only an act of observation can confer shape and form to reality—from a dandelion in a meadow to sun, wind, and rain.
And so, a fourth principle of Biocentrism: Without consciousness, “matter” dwells in an undetermined state of probability. Any universe that could have preceded consciousness only existed in a probability state.
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There are many implications in what I’ve just shared. The one that comes up for me is based on the Creation story in Genesis that tells how we are each made in the image and likeness of our Creator, all sharing the same wave-function of Divine Being. We may not share the same vibration as humans, but as beings we are each and all together vibrating at the same frequency of Love. That makes us entangled partners in the quantum realm of Spirit, in the Heaven of this Earth. We share an inseparable bond, and what I do impacts everyone else. So, take care. Until my next post,
Be love. Be loved.