I am astounded that some people want to explore the universe when I find it hard to find my way around Chinatown.
Woody Allen is admitting that he has a hard time with the First Great Question: Where am I? He is not alone and our pre-eminent explorers of the world of form, our scientists, are not doing much better. We are all, with few exceptions, lost in a Chinatown of our own making. We will, nevertheless, in this chapter attempt a fearless trek into the universe to explore what is there (or not there). Ready?
As we join Woody, the neurotic everyman explorer, we too find ourselves disoriented. What’s the problem? Well, for starters, we are not using the right resources for navigating in the realm of Simple Reality. The intellect and the five senses are fine for a morning trip to the local bagel shop but as the poet William Blake makes clear, they are too limited to appreciate Creation as a whole.
How do you know but ev’ry Bird that cuts the airy way
Is an immense world of delight, clos’d by your senses five?
Some have said that science is the religion of the post-modern era. We will argue in this essay that science isn’t even that. It is irrelevant; but interesting. If science has failed to awaken human beings or to civilize them, what good is it? We will use science as a mirror to reveal to humanity its true image. We can learn almost as much by our mistakes and our misguided commitments as we can by our conscious choices. For those brethren worshipping in the “Church of the Holy Science,” the following realizations might be more than a little unsettling. Breathe!
We all value science for solving problems in the world of the relative, the world of form, but humanity as a whole must wake up and science has nothing to do with the insights related to that process. “What does it matter if a large proportion of our population thinks that Chernobyl is a ski resort, DNA a food additive, a megabyte an orthodontol problem, and protons something you put on a salad.”
The natural and intuitive human impulse toward integration, toward Oneness, manifests itself in science. Bertrand Russell put it this way: “Metaphysics has been developed, from the first, by the union and conflict of two very different human impulses, the one urging men toward mysticism, and the other urging men toward science.” The impulse toward science has become dominant over the impulse toward mysticism in modern times and the consequences are proving to be catastrophic. In this chapter we will attempt to bring back the balance between science and metaphysics; at least for those with an open mind and an open heart.
The human intellect has put on an impressive performance, in particular in the last four centuries, especially in explaining the phenomena of the energy that surrounds us. We are constantly immersed in force fields including cosmic radiation, electromagnetism, and gravitation among others. However, comprehending that we humans are also expressions of that same energy and more importantly, that we are nothing but that energy, has eluded the science-centered mind.
While the physicist cannot divert his gaze from the world of form, the mystic looks elsewhere. The only force field that can lift us beyond our suffering, a transcendent source of energy, is found within. The mystic is able to integrate all the apparent conflicts in the outer world, the world of form; good and evil, false and true, the ugly and the beautiful into a perfect whole. That is a feat even the most imaginative scientist cannot grasp.
In P-A, our approach to science must be unorthodox if we are to learn anything of value. Of course, we are searching for the truth, but what else? Keats said that “truth and beauty are one.” Einstein felt that his theory of relativity was “too beautiful to be false.” There you have it. We must keep our focus on truth and beauty. For the intellect and the false self this will be easier said than done.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF HOW SCIENCE BECAME AN ILLUSION
May God keep us from single vision and Newton’s sleep.
The search for authentic truth, as opposed to conventional truth, requires an open mind. For example, the first physicist was born 2,800 years ago! How could that be? In an article in East–West, April 1934, a summary of Vaisesika (scientific knowledge) was given as follows: “Though the modern ‘atomic theory’ is generally considered a new advance of science, it was brilliantly expounded long ago by Kanads, ‘the atom eater.’ The Sanskrit anus can be properly translated as ‘atom’ in the latter’s literal Greek sense of ‘uncut’ or indivisible.”
The West’s foremost physicists were aware of the East’s intuitive understanding of the deeper aspects of physical reality. For example, Niels Bohr said, “For a parallel to the lesson of atomic theory … thinkers like the Buddha and Lao Tzu have been confronted, when trying to harmonize our position as spectators and actors in the great drama of existence.”
And Werner Heisenberg, “The great scientific contribution in theoretical physics has come from Japan since the last war may be an indication of a certain relationship between philosophical ideas in the tradition of the Far East and the philosophical substance of quantum theory.”
Fritjof Capra reveals that Eastern mystics and modern physicists appreciated the importance of the observer whether in meditation or the laboratory. “The Eastern mystics link the notions of both space and time to particular states of consciousness. Being able to go beyond the ordinary state [false self in P-B] through meditation, they have realized that the conventional notions of space and time are not the ultimate truth. The refined notions of space and time resulting from their mystical experiences appear to be in many ways similar to the notions of modern physics, as exemplified by the theory of relativity.”
The ancient Hindu conception of the building blocks of the universe would, of course, undergo change over time. In much the same way that we humans “see” God in a mirror reflecting our own identity back to us, we “create” a science that is a reflection of our ever-changing identity. “Ptolemaic astronomy reflects a species that sees itself as the center of the Universe; Newtonian physics reflects a species that is confident in its ability to grasp the dynamics of the physical world through the intellect; relativity reflects a species that understands the limiting relationship between the absolute and personalized perception of it; and quantum physics reflects a species that is becoming aware of the relationship of its consciousness to the physical world.” The next paradigm shift, the most radical of all is the one that we will encounter in this essay. To “see” this new reflection we will need a much more profound identity than the one most of us currently associate ourselves with.
“The scientific knowledge of antiquity was systematized and organized by Aristotle, who created the scheme which was to be the basis of the Western view of the universe for two thousand years. But Aristotle himself believed that questions concerning the human soul and the contemplation of God’s perfection were much more valuable than investigations of the material world.”
The “splitting” of Simple Reality allowing the illusion of P-B or the spirit/matter dualism can be said to be the birth of modern science. “This formulation appeared in the seventeenth century in the philosophy of Rene Descartes who based his view of nature on a fundamental division into two separate and independent realms: that of the mind (res cogitans), and that of matter (res extensa).”
The Cartesian split inaugurated a reality-shattering disaster. His famous sentence “I think, therefore I exist” led Westerners to derive their identity from their mind. The mind then undertook the impossible task of trying to control the body; next, came the power play of trying to control nature. “The natural environment is treated as if it consisted of separate parts to be exploited by different interest groups.” Next, was the fragmentation of the global village into different tribes, races, religions, nations and empires. The suicidal worldview we now must cope with and radically modify was thereby created.
Newton’s brilliant body of work helped define the laws of classical physics which worked well in defining the physical universe as perceived by the five senses. Since the old P-B science depends on the senses being the arbiter of reality and the scientific method as fundamental in defining that reality, the whole structure collapses when the more adventuresome and “awake” scientists begin to rely on their intuition and then inevitably discover that this “foundation” is an illusion.
The preeminent psychologist C. G. Jung perceived the limitations of science. “Nothing is more vulnerable than scientific theory, which is an ephemeral attempt to explain facts and not an everlasting truth in itself.”
“Physicists have come to see all their theories of natural phenomena, including the ‘laws’ they describe, are creations of the human mind; properties of our conceptual map of reality [P-B], rather than of reality itself. All natural phenomena are ultimately interconnected, and in order to explain any one of them we need to understand all the others, which is obviously impossible.” Fritjof Capra’s observation begs for a new worldview that relegates the intellect to a supporting role as humanity begins the process of self-transformation. Then we will be very surprised as to what is possible.
“A further similarity between the ways of the physicist and mystic is the fact that their observations take place in realms which are inaccessible to the ordinary senses. In modern physics, these are the realms of the atomic and subatomic world; in mysticism they are non-ordinary states of consciousness in which the sense world is transcended.”
Westerners when speaking of the East tend to use such terms as mysticism, metaphysics, reincarnation, etc. It is easy, therefore, to get the wrong idea about a teacher such as Buddha. He was the ultimate scientist. He was empirical relying only on his experience in search of truth. He was pragmatic, teaching only what he had tried himself and proved through replication (the scientific method). He was a psychologist long before we think of that science of the human mind as existing. By that we mean that he observed human behavior and his own behavior to discern that all human suffering stemmed from craving and aversion (the false self energy centers). He was an individualist urging each person to trust their own personal experience in becoming self-reliant. And finally he was democratic in that he advocated the abolition of the caste system in India and the possibility of transcendence for all people in their lifetime.
In the East a kind of cross-fertilization occurred among the disciplines of science, religion and mysticism. The Dalai Lama remarked that a conversation occurring over decades had “fueled my thinking about the ways Buddhist methods of inquiry relate to those used in modern science.” We can find other interconnections. Krishnamurti, who advocated response over reaction with his advice, “I don’t mind what’s happening,” had spent time with David Bohm of “Implicate Order” fame. The Dalai Lama had also been a friend of David Bohm’s and was influenced by his theories related to physics. The Dalai Lama had also been tutored by Carl von Weizsacker “on quantum physics and its philosophical implications.” Von Weizsacker had been an assistant to Werner Heisenberg (the uncertainty principle).
The Dalai Lama was also a friend of Sir Karl Popper, “the most prominent philosopher of science,” and learned “how the logic of science relied on abstract, usually mathematical form, and instrumentation (microscopes, telescopes, etc.). By contrast, the logic of Buddhism relied on natural language and examples drawn from unmediated personal experience.” With the above paragraphs briefly summarizing the historical East/West connection in science, we see Oneness in action even if all the participants weren’t able to see all of those connections.
Although we can see or imagine them, the universe and the Milky Way are difficult for the human intellect to grasp. There are 1500 stars in our galaxy for each human being on the planet, for example. What does it all mean? What about the beginning and end of it all? Does it help the human condition to know about the genesis of our story with the Big Bang and the continuing expansion of our universe in time and space? Is it possible for humanity to answer the ultimate questions? Where am I? Who am I? Why am I here? Yes it is. But these answers are beyond the purview of science and the intellect. Only intuition in the present moment can reveal these answers, nevertheless, science can lead us toward these answers and that journey is very interesting.
In a very real sense, we do not discover science; science discovers us when we are ready, when we have reached the requisite consciousness. Since the time of Galileo, most of us have believed in an objective, independently verifiable reality, to be investigated, measured and controlled through the scientific method and manipulated through science. In the 20th century Cartesian/Newtonian science began to crumble.
Werner Heisenberg’s (1901-1976) “uncertainty principle” revealed the limits of our ability to know physical reality. He gave us a glimpse of a reality that appears irrational and chaotic, not the orderly and predictable universe that we had grown used to. The first illusion that we have had to let go of is that there is no such thing as “objective” scientific fact, because there is no such thing as an objective scientific method, both cornerstones of science in P-B. As Heisenberg reminded us, “Since the measuring device has been constructed by the observer … we have to remember that what we observe is not nature itself but nature exposed to our method of questioning.” By demonstrating that the presence of the experimenter or observer in a physics experiment influenced the outcome, Heisenberg threw all objective reality out the window.
“Einstein struck the first blow with his special theory of relativity in 1905. Relativity destroyed the concept of the stable, objective observer. The idea that two independent people could perform the same experiment and get the same result was no longer a certainty. On the contrary, Einstein showed that in many situations two observers would see things very differently, and their instruments would record differently.
“The next wrenching came with quantum physics in the period from 1900 to 1930. Quantum theory is not a single idea, nor is it associated with a single physicist. It emerged from a series of difficult and paradoxical problems. In 1900, Max Planck concluded that radiant energy—such as light—exists in the form of discrete packets, or quanta. In 1913, Niels Bohr demonstrated that the idea of the quantum had to be applied to the structure of atoms, as well. Ernest Rutherford had proposed that the atom was like a miniature solar system; around a heavy center of protons and neutrons, lightweight electrons spun in different orbits. But Bohr said these orbits were fixed in a quantum way. George Gamow draws the analogy to an automobile gear box—you can drive in first, second, or third gear, but not anywhere in between.”
In physics as in all other aspects of life, the observer and the observed are inextricably linked, dependent, and related. How could this be possible? “Werner Heisenberg provided one answer with the uncertainty principle in 1927. At that time, physicists were exploring the atom by firing particles at atomic nuclei, and knocking off other particles. They were trying to measure the mass and direction of the ejected particles, and having trouble. Heisenberg conclusively demonstrated that it couldn’t be done—if you measured mass, you altered direction, and if you measure direction, you changed the mass.”
“What we are doing in this book [Arthur Young’s The Reflexive Universe] is to show that science bears out the truth of the oldest myth of spirit and matter, for the photon or initial light pulse, is the nonmaterial partner whose interaction with matter creates activity, whether the activity by the motion of nuclear particles, the energy changes of atoms, the changes in bonds of molecules, or the photosynthesis of plants … We have shown that all process partakes of this nature and has as its first cause a purposive or goal-seeking thrust which can realize itself only through a marriage with matter.”
So Einstein’s friend David Bohm was right in that we all do our thinking using the same Mind, his “Implicate Order.” There are not seven billion separate minds, nor are there seven billion individuals functioning separately. If we could understand this profound “interconnectedness” inherent in the creative process, we would all feel more at home with nature and with each other. Or as Einstein put it: “An intelligence of such superiority that all the acting and thinking of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.”
Bohm’s Implicate Order has also been labeled the “quantum field” and is used to explain the P-A phenomena of non-locality. The classical notion of a physical field developed in the 17th century as a way of understanding phenomena such as gravity and electromagnetism. Quantum fields do not exist physically in space-time like the classically inferred gravitational field. This gives the quantum field a peculiar non-local character, meaning the field is not located in a given region of space and time. With a non-local phenomenon, what happens in region A instantaneously influences what occurs in region B, and vice-versa, without any energy being exchanged between the two regions.
Mystics are the only scientists that are able to answer this somewhat tongue in cheek query: what’s the matter with matter? The answer as we shall see is nothing except that it is not what it appears to be according to the human senses. Ahhha! We have identified the culprit, namely the “sensing” human. The human intellect and the human senses were designed for something other than delving into the nature of reality.
Are we making too big a deal about what has been called “scientific materialism?” Not at all; but we should get more specific on the effect that this particular type of unconsciousness has on the average American with tentacles branching out to the rest of the global population.
How did this over-reliance on science come about? Visionary Arthur Young understands how it happened as well as anyone. “The spectacular achievements of science have so impressed layman and scientists alike that it is assumed there is no realm which science cannot conquer.”
In less than fifteen years, scientists had gone from the discovery of fission to the achievement of fusion to the invention of the H-bomb. “There was almost a sense … though it was never spoken, of being able to dispense with the need for God because man had somehow usurped that power for himself. And with that came a kind of hubris about the potential of science.”
We would do well to shift our resources from searching for intelligent life on other planets to “becoming” intelligent life on this one.
Roy C. Henry
The history of humanity has often involved approaching and confronting frontiers whether in the world of form or related to psychological boundaries. Our cosmonauts have started crossing into extraterrestrial space or outer space; but we have yet to learn that the only frontier that really exists is inner space. Priorities in this regard are extremely critical; both inner and outer. Being enamored of science as humanity currently is, could spell the end of civilization. Here’s why!
“In 1989 NASA estimated that a people-to-Mars program would cost $400 billion, which inflates to $600 billion today . The Hoover Dam cost $700 million in today’s money, meaning that sending people to Mars might cost as much as building about 800 new Hoover Dams. A Mars mission may be the single most expensive non-wartime undertaking in U.S. history … Space exploration proponents deride as lack of vision the mention of technical barriers or the insistence that needs on Earth come first. Not so. The former is rationality, the latter the setting of priorities. If Mars proponents want to raise $600 billion privately and stage their own expedition, more power to them; many of the great expeditions of the past were privately mounted. If Mars proponents expect taxpayers to foot the bill, then they must make their case against the many competing needs for money. And against the needs for health care, education, poverty reduction, reinforcement of the military and reduction of the federal deficit, the case for vast expenditures to go to Mars using current technology is very weak.” Greg Easterbrook makes it clear that hard choices are ahead for inhabitants of the global village who must make choices similar to those facing Americans differing only in cultural details.
Is it even possible to stop the huge American outer-space program? With hundreds of contractors and subcontractors spread around many states and thousands of electoral constituencies, the space exploration program has grown like a weed, impossible to pull out roots and all. If domestic commitments didn’t guarantee the future of the Mars mission, commitments to NASA’s 15 international partners do The oligarchs, lobbyists from the U.S. military-industrial complex, multi-national corporate complex and a broken political system run by unconscious functionaries are highly unlikely to express compassion and choose the higher priorities.
If the macro-world, the outer-space world, is proving to recede beyond our resources, what about the micro inner world so little known to us? David Foster can soothe the egos of the champions of scientific materialism by offering them an alternative that might be more affordable and have bigger payoffs for the average person. “It is a very strange thought that the whole universe is a relatively trivial construction in terms of specificity (i.e. order or anti-entropy) compared with a single molecule of hemoglobin. It suggests that we should not be too awed by the immensity of the universe with its light-years and parsecs, but that we should rather concentrate our wonder on the facts of organic life on Earth.”
There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky, there is one
spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.
Victor Hugo (Fontine in Les Miserables)
The best choice for a more pleasant future for the global village is not outer-space nor is it the frontier of the micro-world but instead a paradigm shift embracing our inner world. Our exploration in the 21st century must be of the spiritual frontier of self-realization. That frontier will require not material resources but courage and commitment.
Humanity has been successful according to the criteria of scientific materialism and yet we face self-destruction. Clearly, we must change the definition of success itself to include a radical change in behavior. We must become philosophers as defined by Jessica Roemischer. “… a philosopher is someone who is a pioneer who is on the frontier, and who is often in the position of turning back to look at a society that is in decline and then coming forward to formulate a position that would rectify that. And if they’re not charting the next philosophical and cultural paradigm, they’re studying the philosophy of the past, which, by definition is the expression of important transitional periods in history.”
“Accordingly, matter evolved in an orderly way, moving from the past, through the present, into the future. Within this secure, deterministic viewpoint we saw the universe as a gigantic machine, and we were confident the day would come when we could discover all the rules governing this machine, so that we could accurately reconstruct everything that had happened in the past and predict everything that would happen in the future. Once we had discovered the rules, we would have mastery over all we beheld. Some even dreamed that we would one day be able to produce life by mixing appropriate chemicals in a test tube .” Today, we can.
“Fritjof Capra in the Tao of Physics, and Gary Zukav in Dancing Wu-Li Masters, describe the astonishing similarities in the discoveries of late-twentieth-century physics and the spiritual teachings of the ancient Hindu and Buddhist scriptures. These ground-breaking books are eye-openers for those extraverted sensate-thinking personalities who are becoming more aware that their so-called scientific viewpoints are myopic, ridiculously uneducated, one-sided, globally death-producing and utterly antiquated. They are especially enlightening for those who do not know where to turn for a respectable and more complete and updated picture of Reality not based on now-inadequate Newtonian concepts.”
The permanent sign of enlightenment is domination over an objectified
external nature and a repressed internal nature. Reason itself destroys
the humanity it first made possible.
INSIGHTS OF THE MYSTIC DAVID HAWKINS
Now it’s time to get on with our paradigm shift away from scientific materialism.
To begin life in an unconscious state is natural; to remain in that state of truncated awareness is fatal. Imprisoned in this initial paradigm with only the intellect for guidance, escape from self-destruction is not possible without extraordinary insights. Saboteurs like David Hawkins carry potent sticks of insight-laden TNT to blow the cell doors of P-B wide open. “To merely state that objectivity exists is already a subjective statement. All information, knowledge, and the totality of all experience is the product of subjectivity, which is an absolute requirement intrinsic to life, awareness, existence and thought.
“The domain of ordinary consciousness (linear) is concerned with form, logical sequence, and perception which separate, define, and categorize. The scientific world is thus contained within the Newtonian paradigm of reality and its languaging and expressions as mathematics, science, and technology. Explanations in the Newtonian paradigm are based upon the presumption of the hypothecated process called ‘causality’. It deals with forces and measurements, such as time, duration, distance, speed, weight, and dimension. This mode of perception and its languaging allow for relatively accurate prediction. When events fall outside the predictable and comprehensible or that which is explicable by differential calculus or measurement, the data has been traditionally ignored or discarded as noise or chaos. The Newtonian universe is therefore definable, logical, predictable, and coincides with linguistics, conventional semantics, and explanations by reason of causality.”
“Science is also unable to grasp the significance of the subtle and the intangible. It is, however, the best tool man has had thus far for evaluating and manipulating the physical world. That it has limits is not a defect but merely defines its range of usefulness. In fact, to know one’s limits is a strength, not a weakness.”
“In order to be ‘objective’ science excluded the essentially human elements of experience other than intellections. In contrast, psychiatry and psychoanalysis dealt with the unseen domain of feelings, options, meaning, value, significance, and the very essence of life itself. All nondefinable. It is purely subjective.”
“Science had decided that unless something was definable and measurable (‘reality is measurement’), it was unreal and imaginary. Thus, science invalidated any serious study or inquiry into the human value of love, compassion, beauty, forgiveness, inspiration, faith, companionship, loyalty, gratitude, hope, and happiness—in other words, all that constitutes the actual core and reality of human existence and motivation.”
“To merely state that objectivity exists is already a subjective statement. All information, knowledge, and the totality of all experience is the product of subjectivity, which is an absolute requirement intrinsic to life, awareness, existence and thought.
“It is not possible to make any statement that is not inherently subjective as its substratum. Based on perception are the animal world, sensation, and the human emotions and motivations of like and dislike. These subsequently elaborate into psychological mechanisms, attitudes, and individuality. In the world of perception, differences are all-important and all-defining and spell out value, desirability, and pleasure/displeasure within the contrasting sets of opposites of attraction and aversion. This leads to either seeking or avoidance [Buddha’s craving and aversion or the false-self’s seeking of plenty, pleasure and power] and the determination of value and desirability which then become the mainspring of society.
“In contrast to the tangible and visible linear, sequential world of cause, effect, and form based on perception, there is the infinite, all-encompassing domain described as ‘nonlinear.’ It has only recently been addressed by science in the fields now labeled ‘chaos theory’ and ‘nonlinear dynamics.’ The study of nonlinear dynamics was only recently occasioned by the advent of rapid, modern computers which could detect ultra-minute events which had previously been ignored as stochastic (meaningless), indefinable, and outside the world of order.”
The nonlinear domain is invisible, without form, and beyond time, dimension, or measurement. It includes qualities and meanings and power emanates from its intrinsic essence. The source of power and creation is in the invisible, nonlinear domain and by the exercise of will can result in form. The visible world is therefore the world of effects and the interaction of forces. It is out of inspiration and volition that action arises by assent of the will, which has the capacity to activate possibilities or options.”
“Inasmuch as all life and its intrinsic processes are nonlinear, all such knowledge and reality were far outside the paradigm of what was possible in the view of classical science. All this was profoundly changed with the discovery of chaos theory, or nonlinear dynamics, which opened all life for investigation.”
First David Hawkins and then Deepak Chopra affirm reactions as the underlying conditioned behavior in P-B. (Chopra calls it a “reactive response”). “All resentments are petulant self-indulgences of sentimentality, emotionality, and melodrama. One gets to be the martyr or the pitiful victim, or gets to cast oneself as tragic or heroic. Endless plausible explanations or excuses are available to rationalize, explain, or justify absolutely any human behavior or response [reaction]. Reactivity is conditioned, but it is also selective. These temptations to be childish have to be bypassed by the serious spiritual seeker who sees them for what they are and refuses the attraction of the games of emotionalism.”
“The reactive response makes us defend our ego and its needs. When we compete and seek to rise above others, we automatically look out for ‘me’ as opposed to ‘the other.’ This is the reflex that fuels the stock market, political parties, and religious conflict.”
My favorite definition of science is ‘the search for new forms of ignorance.’”
Reductionism is that scientific worldview which feels it can keep in touch with reality only if it narrows its outlook to specific facts. “Theoretical physicist Paul Davies recognizes this in his book entitled The Cosmic Blueprint (1998), in which he points out that the major conflict in the physical sciences is between holism and reductionism, as it has been from the time of Plato and Aristotle down to today.”
“Reductionism—The Standard Model Theory—allegedly explains the nature of reality in the world of form. In the pursuit of increasingly smaller particles believed to be the building blocks of matter, the latest is the quark or we should say quarks, because there are six. The top quark is smaller than a trillionth of the thickness of a human hair and exists for only a trillionth of a trillionth of a second. Quarks make up an atom’s protons and neutrons—formerly thought to be the smallest particles of matter.” The heart of the matter about matter is perhaps that, in the final analysis, it doesn’t matter.
Matter will be found to get smaller and smaller until it vanishes. “If the top quark didn’t exist, the theory could collapse, forcing scientists to rethink three decades of work.” If indeed, human civilization collapses because we spent more time pursuing matter than what really matters, then what did it all matter? The answer will be—it didn’t. We already know the fundamentals of the only science that will ultimately matter and that is Simple Reality.
The problem with reductionism is stated by Jacquetta Hawkes. “The analytical approach has had such an astounding success in the physical sciences that it has produced an equally outstanding hubris among the smaller-minded scientists. What was really a method, one way of turning our brains upon limited aspects of the universe that has produced them, has tended to become a view of life, a totalitarian ideology. It has been said that nothing that cannot be measured and proved experimentally has any validity … Reductionist thought suggests that the whole is no more than the sum of its parts and so leads to an old-fashioned mechanistic view.”
Einstein affirmed the ephemeral nature of matter and the importance of the Implicate Order (quantum field) formulated by his friend and colleague David Bohm. “The quantum field is seen as the fundamental physical entity: a continuous medium which is present everywhere in space. Particles are merely local condensations of the field, concentrations of energy which come and go.”
“One of Bohm’s most startling assertions is that the tangible reality of our everyday lives is really a kind of illusion, like a holographic image. Underlying it is a deeper order of existence, a vast and more primary level of reality that gives birth to all the objects and appearances of our physical world in much the same way that a piece of holographic film gives birth to a hologram.”
Energy as the only reality can also be labeled an embodiment of Oneness or as the one Mind or source of creation. In the words of Zen master His Yun who lived circa 840 A.D., “All sentient beings are nothing but universal mind, besides which nothing exists. This mind which has always existed is unborn and indestructible.”
Man asks for bread, and science gives him a stone. He had better turn back to the old myths and get the story of the wholeness.
Michael Adam concludes this essay. “Looking objectively at the Universe and all the many things, the scientist sees a Unity that must include himself, the subject. The physicist himself who describes the world is in his own account, himself constructed of it. He is, in short, made of a conglomeration of the very particles his describes, no more, no less, bound together and obeying such general laws as he himself has managed to find and to record. Thus we cannot escape the fact that the world as we know it is constructed in order (and thus in such a way as to be able) to see itself.
“This is indeed amazing. Not so much in view of what it sees, although this may appear fantastic enough, but in respect of the fact that it sees at all. But in order to do so, evidently it must first cut itself up into at least one state which sees and at least one other state which is seen. In this severed and mutilated condition, whatever it sees is only partially itself … Thus the world wherever it appears as a physical universe, must always seem to us, its representatives, to be playing a kind of hide-and-seek with itself … the universe must expand to escape the telescopes through which we, who are it, are trying to capture it, which is us. The snake eats itself, the dog chases its tail.” Such is the absurdity of the institution of science in P-B.
References and notes are available for this essay.
Find a much more in-depth discussion in the Simple Reality Trilogy
by Roy Charles Henry:
Where Am I? Story – The First Great Question
Who Am I? Identity – The Second Great Question
Why Am I Here? Behavior – The Third Great Question