Did you see the movie “What the Bleep do We Know?” by chance? It’s one of my favorite movies. It’s about quantum physics and is mostly some “talking heads” – physicists, mystics and the life. Oh, there’s a little story line to illustrate the principles, but to me the best parts were the very surprising ideas being presented.
My favorite quantum physicist (not a phrase you hear every day!) was Fred Alan Wolf. After seeing the movie, I bought a book he wrote called Dr. Quantum’s Little Book of Big Ideas – which has a comic-book like cover. So I thought it would be, you know, like Quantum Physics for TOTALLY Clueless Dummies.
Yowser! It was hard. Not because it was written in a convoluted way – he’s a good writer. But because the ideas are so hard for me to take in. Me and most other Newtonians, I suspect.
Then I figured that a book calledThe Spiritual Universe: One Physicist’s Vision of Spirit, Soul, Matter and Self might be more my cup of tea. And I was correct. Oh, the quantum physics part was still mind-boggling. But since I read a fair amount on spirituality, at least THAT language was one I could comprehend. I could kind of cobble together what he was saying, aided greatly by his fun sense of humor and the fact that, like me, he throws in old song lyrics to make his point (I like that part).
The book is filled with (to me) astonishing ideas:
– There is ONE soul
– Souls are real, bodies and the separate self? Not so much!
– Our thoughts and ideas really DO create the world
– “The mind exists everywhere, yet what you feel to be your solitary mind is an illusion no more real than a drop of water claiming uniqueness from the ocean that lies before it.”
– Time is very much an illusion – the future is shaping the present as much as the past is
– “Past performance does not reflect future possibility” (to paraphrase the investment portfolios) – literally ANYTHING ***IS*** possible
– “Desire, through our powers of observation, actually modifies and alters the course of the physical world, causing things to occur that would not normally occur if they were not desired.”
Really, I could write a blog post about each chapter – the book is densely filled with deep ideas the application of which is pretty amazing.
He also provides a lot of corroboration of his ideas – from Plato to the Qabalah, to other physicists and even the Tarot. Whilst quantum physics IS new, the ideas of which it is comprised are not all new. And I have to say – the more I read the more I’m astonished by the trio I call the “SPA guys” – Socrates, Plato and Aristotle – they were truly amazing thinkers – much of Western thought stands on the foundation they laid.
What I came away with from this book was that my thoughts really do create my reality (or, as we say in the Unity church “Thoughts held in mind produce after their kind”). That (to quote the Beatles in “I Am the Walrus”) “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.” So once again I am walking down the street in Chicago on my way to work thinking “that person is really me and I’m really him and we aren’t really separate people.” Or “I have created this annoying co-worker.” Or “100 degrees outside in Chicago is made up and God is real.” (honestly? the 100 degrees feels very real).
When I was young I asked my mechanically brilliant brother George to explain internal combustion engines to me. After about the third time (“and the pistons do WHAT?”) he said “Diane, you are never going to understand this. Believe that it works, get in your car and turn the key and quit worrying about it.”
In hopes for a different answer this time I bought George a copy of this book. Here’s hoping I can get even clearer on the swirling mass of atoms and Dirac seas and how World-soul is real but this arm with kitten scratches on it is made up. George, I’m counting on you!