Reality, Quantum Physics, and Lanza

Almost anything, from alpha to omega.
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 187
Joined: September 7th, 2002, 3:07 pm

Reality, Quantum Physics, and Lanza

Post by zoofence »

A couple of days ago, TZF’s good friend ihavesayso sent me an email message sharing some of his reactions to Robert Lanza’s article which appears at TZF’s Ampers&nd. I liked what he said, and how it got me to thinking, so, with his permission, I am posting some of it here, followed by some of my own thoughts.
(After reading Robert Lanza’s article, and specifically his use of the term “events”, I asked my Self, “What is an event?” My Self answered, “An event is a happening." So I then asked, “Are there many happenings, one following another in a linear sequence of time, or is there just one happening, seemingly separated by delimiters, into events?”

As my mind pondered this question, I noticed that my fingernails need to be trimmed. That led to the recognition that there are events over which I have no control. For example, I can decide to trim my fingernails, but I cannot stop them from growing. As this sunk in, I began to twiddle my thumbs. My awareness that my thumbs were twiddling was not dependent upon my eyes observing them doing so, for when I closed my eyes, I was still aware of them twiddling.

AHA, I thought! Nothing “happens” until a decision takes place! Further, until I act upon a decision, no thumb twiddling takes place. But who, or what, is deciding? The Observer, which I am, is the decision maker, but only for this aspect of the One consciousness, not yours. I cannot decide that you must trim your fingernails, or force you to take that action.

It is not easy to reconcile appearances with actuality. While seated in my study at my computer, I do not entertain the idea that our kitchen has “reverted to potential” as Lanza would say. If I contemplate our kitchen at all, even though I cannot “see” it from where I am, it is to “see” it as I remember it in my mind's eye, the last time I entered it to replenish my empty cup with coffee. Since I “know” our kitchen is “there”, it will be there when I get up from my chair, and go to it to again to fill my coffee cup once again, or for any other purpose! Hence, what “is” is because I've decided it is, and, therefore, “know” it is, even when I am not actually observing it!
One more thought on Dr. Lanza's article -- that, generally speaking, there “exist” only two things, those, that are (manifested) and those that may be manifested (potential), rings true to my inner nature. If so, it seems to me that those that are, will remain as they are until their natural energy wanes to the point that they return to the “potential” pool. They do not instantly return to that pool when I cease to observe them. Even so, no amount of energy emerging from the "potential" pool to become "things" depletes the mass of the "potential" pool one iota!
As I say at the Ampers&nd article, I first came across Robert Lanza in an interview in Discover magazine. There, he caught my attention in the same way that he seems to have caught ihavesayso’s: The hard part of his theory is getting used to the idea that when we turn our back on the kitchen or on the moon or on whatever, it disappears.

Okay. Here’s what I think I understand that to mean.

Using the terms Lanza uses, that is the terms of quantum physics (which, let’s face it, is every bit as spiritual as the Sermon on The Mount or the Tao Te Ching), the universe consists of waves which are perceived as particles when they are related to.

Our eyes see waves, they send that information to the brain, and the brain translates it into particles.

I presume that Lanza would agree that what is true of our eyes, is true of all our senses. So, our nose smells waves, sends that information to the brain, which translates it into particles. Our ears hear waves, send that information to the brain, which translates it into particles. Our fingers touch waves, and send that information to the brain, which translates it into particles. And so on.

And we are able to say, “I see my kitchen, I smell an onion, I hear an automobile, I feel a stone”.

But when we shift our eyes from the kitchen, our nose from the onion, our ears from the road, our fingers from the stone, the brain moves on to process (translate) whatever new and other signals it is receiving from our sense organs.

The waves that were translated into “kitchen particles”, “onion particles”, and so on, still exist, and continue to unfold appropriately (whatever precisely that might mean), but they no longer exist as particles (they no longer “look like” kitchens) because our eyes are no longer looking at them.

So, it isn’t exactly that the waves become particles. Rather, it is that the waves are perceived as particles when we relate to them – when the brain translates wave-information into particle-perception.

How, if at all, does this stuff transfer to what we have been saying here?

As I read it, it fits fine.

Just for the moment, let’s substitute the word “ego” for the word “brain”.

The eyes “see” the universe in its undivided, indivisible “one-ness” (as waves), sends that information to the ego/brain which translates it into particles/separative-perception.

My eyes look. What they see is what all the Teachers tell us They See: the One – infinite, undivided, indivisible.

The un-Realized self (Stefan) translates what the eyes see into “me” and “you” and “a tree” and “God” and “clouds” and so on. What I call “my life”. All the lines of separation, all the delimiters, all the definitions, are imposed by the brain/ego onto what the eyes see.

Realized Teachers don’t do that. That's the difference (well, okay, maybe only part of the difference) between Them and us: They See an Undifferentiated Reality, we see a separate and separative world.

Here are a couple of paragraphs from another item on TZF:
In one of my favorite passages of the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna (who is you and I) asks Krishna (God) to reveal Himself to him. In this wonderfully poignant exchange, humanity says to Divinity, "Show Your Self to me." To that, Krishna replies, "these eyes of yours cannot see Me." Then, in his infinite love, Krishna gives to Arjuna "a divine eye." So equipped, Arjuna Sees God as He (She, It, Whatever) Truly Is.

And what exactly does Arjuna see with this "Divine Eye"? Does he see God as something outrageous, something extra-ordinary, something even "heavenly"? The Gita says: "There, in the person of the God of gods, Arjuna beheld the whole universe, with its manifold divisions, all gathered together in one."

Arjuna saw what he had always been seeing, the universe. It was not a new or different or higher or esoteric or even more spiritual universe; in fact, it was not in any way a better universe. It was just the universe.

But there was one difference, and that difference makes all the difference. With his "human" eyes, Arjuna saw the universe as consisting of "manifold divisions." With his "Divine Eye," Arjuna saw the universe "all in one."

The difference was not in WHAT Arjuna is now able to see, but in HOW Arjuna sees what was already there!
I have a sheet of scrap paper onto which long ago I copied the following from somewhere: “Buddhas [Self-Realized Teachers] have attained personal freedom from mental components that construct a deluded and suffering world”.

If we substitute "brains" for "mental components" and "particle-ized" for "deluded and suffering" (also known as "separative"), we have a pretty good fit with Lanza.

Don't we?
User avatar
Posts: 152
Joined: March 28th, 2005, 3:28 am

Re: Reality, Quantum Physics, and Lanza

Post by Speculum »

Discussions we have had here and elsewhere in part about Lanza's article helped to generate the most recent Theophyle cartoon, and raised this question:

As I read him,

Lanza (and quantum physics generally) says that the eyes see reality as waves which the brain, upon receiving the eyes' signals, converts to particles; and ...

Lanza (and quantum physics generally) says that waves do things that particles do not and cannot. For example, waves can be in two places at once whereas particles cannot; and ...

This suggests to me, who am certainly not a quantum physicist (or an expert of any kind), that the eyes are seeing "more" than the brain is "reporting", so ...

My question: Is the brain picking and choosing from among the signals it receives from eyes, and deciding which to convert to particles, and therefore which to translate into "Stefan's reality" or "my life".

And if so, then of course "Stefan's life" or "Stefan's reality" is going to be different from w4tvq's, ihavesayso's, christine's, neo's, and all the rest of us, isn't it?

Doesn't ACIM say something like, our mind sends out messengers which bring back evidence of what we want them to find?

If any of this makes any sense, then surely our desires are what shape the brain's focus. That is, our brain chooses from among what the eyes see according to what the brain understands "we" want to perceive. Stefan's brain shows him what he wants to perceive ... and discards all the rest.

Wasn't it Teresa of Avila who said long ago, be careful what you pray for, because you may get it.

Is it that there is an "infinity" of waves "out there" which, by definition (being infinite), present an infinity of potential realities (an infinite number of potential "particle relationships") from which each of us "picks and chooses" and translates into "my life"?
"The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust