Posted: March 24th, 2010 | Author: Him | Filed under: Life | 6 Comments »
Quantum Science Proving Mysticism
Philip F. Harris
March 21, 2010
Is science beginning to verify ancient mystical truths? Here are two events as reported in Scientific American that, to me, show that continued discoveries in quantum physics leave little doubt as to the answer.
“PORTLAND, Ore. — Researchers have demonstrated a device that can pick up single quanta of mechanical vibration similar to those that shake molecules during chemical reactions, and have shown that the device itself, which is the width of a hair, acts as if it exists in two places at once—a “quantum weirdness” feat that so far had only been observed at the scale of molecules.
“This is a milestone,” says Wojciech Zurek, a theorist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. “It confirms what many of us believe, but some continue to resist—that our universe is ‘quantum to the core’.”
Physicists have long known that, following the laws of quantum mechanics, objects at the scale of atoms or smaller can exist in multiple simultaneous states. For example, a single electron can move along multiple different paths or an atom can be placed in two different places, simultaneously. This so-called superposition of states should in principle apply to larger objects, as well… As to how the day-to-day reality of objects that we observe, such as furniture and fruit, emerges from such a different and exotic quantum world, that remains a mystery.”
In another story written by Geoff Brumfiel we see that, “A team of scientists has succeeded in putting an object large enough to be visible to the naked eye into a mixed quantum state of moving and not moving.
Andrew Cleland at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his team cooled a tiny metal paddle until it reached its quantum mechanical “ground state”– the lowest-energy state permitted by quantum mechanics. They then used the weird rules of quantum mechanics to simultaneously set the paddle moving while leaving it standing still. The experiment shows that the principles of quantum mechanics can apply to everyday objects as well as as atomic-scale particles.
The work is simultaneously being published online today in Nature and presented today at the American Physical Society’s meeting in Portland, Oregon.
According to quantum theory, particles act as waves rather than point masses on very small scales. This has dozens of bizarre consequences: it is impossible to know a particle’s exact position and velocity through space, yet it is possible for the same particle to be doing two contradictory things simultaneously. Through a phenomenon known as “superposition” a particle can be moving and stationary at the same time–at least until an outside force acts on it. Then it instantly chooses one of the two contradictory positions.
But although the rules of quantum mechanics seem to apply at small scales, nobody has seen evidence of them on a large scale, where outside influences can more easily destroy fragile quantum states. “No one has shown to date that if you take a big object, with trillions of atoms in it, that quantum mechanics applies to its motion,” Cleland says.”
There is no obvious reason why the rules of quantum mechanics shouldn’t apply to large objects.
“It’s wonderful,” says Hailin Wang, a physicist at the University of Oregon in Eugene who has been working on a rival technique for putting an oscillator into the ground state. The work shows that the laws of quantum mechanics hold up as expected on a large scale. “It’s good for physics for sure,” Wang says.
So if trillions of atoms can be put into a quantum state, why don’t we see double-decker buses simultaneously stopping and going? Cleland says he believes size does matter: the larger an object, the easier it is for outside forces to disrupt its quantum state.
So what´s the big deal? Mystics have long held to several fundamental maxims. The macrocosm, large, and the microcosm, infinitely small, are one: what applies to one, applies to the other. Mystics have said that we create our own reality; form follows thought; what we seek is what we find; like attracts like; our focus is our reality; reality is merely our thoughts made manifest and we can alter that reality with thought; and we are all one.
Until now, many scientists simply shunned much of what was happening on the quantum scale and felt that it just did not matter with regard to the larger world in which we live. The mentioned experiments would seem to point in the direction that they are wrong. What we hold as laws of the physical world are not immutable and only reflect our current state of awareness. Almost every day, some basic scientific law is found to be false. We have seen that if we seek to measure electrons as particles, we get particles. But, if we seek to measure electrons as waves, we get waves. Science is finding that things can be in different places at the same time and can be opposite and alike at the same time. They have shown that what is done to one atom can affect an atom at an infinite distance at the same time. Words like quantum entanglement and superposition may not be just unusual phenomena at the sub-atomic level but can be observed at the larger scale. What may be happening is that as human awareness expands, granted at the moment through the use of new equipment, we are beginning to observe a closer version of reality–one that can change with a thought. When we are only aware of things at the gross level, then we only perceive what appears to be true at that level. But when we look closer at the detail, a whole new world and sets of laws emerge. These are the same laws that mystics intuited in ancient days when they were not under the mental restrictions of scientific, religious, political or even social dogma.
This is why I cannot accept some of the basic premises of author Sam Harris. While I applaud his fight against religious dogma, he is actually creating a new dogma based upon science and reason. But as we see, science and reason are also suspect as they are ever changing and never creating a true picture of the inner workings of the universe. They find what they seek. But if your search is based upon preconceived notions and false science, you have merely done what all movements do; collapse under their own biased philosophy. They create laws where there are none.
Many seers and prophets tell of two possible futures for humanity: one in which dogma leads to destruction and one where spiritual enlightenment leads to a world of balance and harmony. Nostradamus, the Mayans, the Hopi, biblical seers, Newton, DaVinci and others tried to tell us that we cannot rely upon our physical senses, science or religion to guide our thoughts and actions. They tell us that there is something deeper, something spiritual, that we must remember if we are to control the future of our evolution. Those working on the quantum physics scale are beginning to ´get it.´ Given enough time, if there is enough time, they will lead us full circle back to ancient truths that were discovered without the microscope or the Bible. If there is to be a “Great Awakening” by 2012, it will be necessary to shed all of the old ways of thinking and embrace a new reality that we consciously create and founded on the ancient universal principles that include: what we due to the least of our brethren, including all species, we do to us and, what we do to others, we do to ourselves.
Posted: March 8th, 2010 | Author: Him | Filed under: Life | 3 Comments »
Things were hectic for me these past few days.
I got into a long-drawn argument with one side of my parent.
One of those that some might perhaps regret over for a long time.
I know it is preventable. And as someone who preaches nonduality, my actions could even prove to be hypocritic. Isn’t everything perfect in its own way, so there shouldn’t be anything that I should fight against?
All I knew was, I was not going to be bound.
I was not going to stay patient anymore with circumstances pressuring me down.
Because I deserve to get real as well.
The problem is I have the intelligence to see through the problems in every situation.
I can identify what’s wrong, and what should be absolutely done in every moment.
Most of the times, people just chose to let the bad situations go.
Let them go as they are because, ‘we’ don’t want to mess things up.
‘We’ don’t want to be seen as the bad guys, the problem-makers, or the abnormal kind.
But as this character, I can not be satisfied seeing things worsen without doing anything to change it.
That’s why the arguments had to happen sometimes, all for a better future.
In the end, despite the ‘scars’ edged on my body as a result of my struggle in the journey of life, my heart will be alive because I’ve done what I truly deem as right.
I’m going to keep hanging on with my actions until things are headed in the direction where my eyes are set upon.
No matter what happens as a result, it is what it is.
What’s most important is only having myself walk the way that I truly want to walk on.
For the very last time –
I’ve decided to abandon formal university education.
And will continue to learn only what is practical for this real life.
In the end, I couldn’t turn a blind eye towards what is right and wrong for me.
To me on a battlefield, theories about swordfight will benefit one very little.
The practice of lifting up a sword to either save or kill on the otherhand, that’s far more valuable.
As such, I’m going to exchange my formal education with a career.
Even if it means that my future job prospects may be bleak.
Age 21 this year, I hereby swear myself off all imposterisation.
And would fight against all consequences to remain as much as possible a man of his truest intent.
Fighting in this case, then prove not to be against my own teachings of not struggling after all.
For I feel so much freer as a result.
Especially when compared to one whose genuine expressions are buried by the emotional & psychological baggages that he/she gathered in life – never able to break free, because nothing was ever done to change the circumstances.
For happiness, the fight for one’s own freedom is crucial.
And I will never give up.
Posted: March 7th, 2010 | Author: Him | Filed under: Life | No Comments »
Happy March Everyone!
I am working full time at Stanford and I write and do a lot else too, Recently I found myself feeling uncomfortably cramped – like there was just too much to do and not enough time or space to do it. Familiar to anyone? It seems to naturally come with a kind of enthusiasm for life. My reading pile was overflowing. My to do list was overwhelming.
The usual responses (for me) are rebellion, which means doing nothing but relaxing in my spare time, or dropping some projects or becoming more efficient with my projects. Earlier in my life I was a GTD (David Allen’s system) person, enabling me to handle overload moments systematically. His system has great tools for getting organized.
But there is something significantly different now. There is some new perspective. The moments of discomfort are being welcomed, and are seeming very interesting.
I heard myself saying to a friend this week that “life is a game”, and since then I’ve been pondering how that doesn’t quite say it for me. It’s not about winning a game. Not really. It’s more like “life is an art form” that you and I create with everyone else, without ever knowing about a final product. So if I get to play the disorganized, overwhelmed person today, that’s fine too, and then I get to respond to that in innumerable ways. There appears now to be a wide expanse of possible responses to playing that role today. I know the Advaita folks say there is no choice, and that is true from a certain perspective, but I’m talking about a down-to-earth, what-are we-doing-with-our-lives perspective. Its as if I’m no longer required to respond (make a choice) according to my history, and neither am I frozen into inaction. I am now able to take up the tools that I bring thanks to my history, and see what can be created with this life, and what can’t and have it be fine either way.
There is a continuing exploration of what this seeming constriction is pointing to and a lack of assumption that the process is anything but perfect. It feels like life is just showing me something it wants me to see, by bringing this experience into my worldly life. And I get to use this incredible tool (the mind) to work with it on that level and see what happens.
Hoping March goes well for all of you and that this lovely California springtime we are having out here spreads to all in the best possible timing. May your high water run smooth this spring!
(To find out more about Alice Gardner and/or her work, please visit: http://www.wideawakeliving.com)
Posted: March 6th, 2010 | Author: Him | Filed under: Life | 4 Comments »
Driving to work, I heard the old Joni Mitchell song, “For Free,” in which she compares herself to a street musician:
I slept last night in a good hotel / I went shopping today for jewels / The wind rushed around in the dirty town / And the children let out from the schools / I was standing on a noisy corner / Waiting for the walking green / Across the street he stood / And he played real good / On his clarinet, for free
Now me I play for fortunes / And those velvet curtain calls / I’ve got a black limousine / And two gentlemen / Escorting me to the halls / And I play if you have the money / Or if you’re a friend to me / But the one man band / By the quick lunch stand / He was playing real good, for free
Nobody stopped to hear him / Though he played so sweet and high / They knew he had never / Been on their TV / So they passed his music by / I meant to go over and ask for a song / Maybe put on a harmony… / I heard his refrain / As the signal changed / He was playing real good, for free
It reminded me of the street musicians I always encounter on my annual Mardi Gras trip to New Orleans — some very talented, some not so much, all nobodies struggling for a buck.
Or not. Because it also reminded me of the experiment conducted by the Washington Post in January 2007, in which world-acclaimed virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell, incognito, played masterpieces on a Stradivarius for 45 minutes in a Washington metro station during the morning commute. Of 1,097 passersby, only 7 stopped to listen at length. Most ignored him entirely. Donations totalled $32, although on the previous night Bell had played a concert where seats sold for $100.
I’m not commenting on the rat race or cultural ignorance or mercenary urges, nor am I pondering the meaning of context, “art without a frame,” etc. Instead, I’m thinking about the role each of us plays in the drama of life… how we were chosen for the part, how well we perform despite the payback or lack thereof, how graciously we accept the role we’ve been given.
In my view, fame and fortune are not earned. Neither intensity of labor nor quality of work has a cause-effect relationship to worldly rewards. Some folks have been selected to be stars; others have not. The universe has birthed everything we see to be exactly as it is. Nothing can be otherwise. If a droplet in the ocean were sentient, it might easily convince itself that it is a powerful free agent whose own decisions make it go this way and that, up and down, here and there, without ever being aware of the ocean’s vast currents at work underneath its every move (when it is one and the same with the ocean?). While human free will itself may not be an illusion, its consequences are. When someone lifts himself by his own bootstraps, it’s because he’s playing the “Bootstrap Guy” in the script. He deserves praise for his sweat, but that does not mean it actually caused his success.
“He was playing real good, for free…” Joni saw that she and the street clarinetist were equals, just performing on different stages, and being rewarded differently. The unfortunate fact is that too many people didn’t listen because “They knew he had never / Been on their TV.” If Joshua Bell had been a more familiar face from pop culture, more people would have paid attention. To them, fame equals value… consensus is more important than personal perception… nothing not already known is worth knowing.
In the literary arena, there are blockbuster author-celebrities, hardworking genre craftspeople, fringe-dwelling creatives, and an ever-growing mob of scrambling self-published storytellers and poets with skills from the ridiculous to the sublime. I’m among that latter group. Apparently my role is not to be a big-selling author but to be an independent artist, and my responsibility is stay true to myself, do the best work I can, and let go of the results.
It’s not always easy to duck the missiles of “fame equals value.” Invisibility hurts; not so much when it’s “me” who’s invisible, but rather when it’s my work — work that I know is good — that’s ignored. Ignored because I have no “platform” — that is, fame. One of the ever-more-prominent protocols in self-publishing is to give away one’s work in e-book format as a way to jump-start a following. In other words, to be that street-corner clarinetist, playing real good, for free. I’ve had very mixed feelings about that.
This discussion intersects with the always lucid thoughts of Mark Barrett on Ditchwalk.com. His March 1 post called “Doctorow, Anderson and Godin, Oh My” shines an Emperor’s New Clothes light on the “free content” movement. I’m with Barrett: I don’t want to be part of the trend toward celebrity as a measure of value. I say let celebrities play their celebrity roles; I’ll play my writer role, thank you very much. However it works out, that’s how it works out.
Eckhart Tolle tells me to ask myself, “Can I be the space for this?” Part of what that means to me is, to follow Byron Katie’s presciption, “loving what is.” Opening my arms to welcome the actual… breathing… knowing that in this moment, all is well… not resisting my emotions, my intuitions, the whispers of truth from the world. These positions all of us hold in the heirarchy of this dreamscape, these roles we are playing in the drama, they are exactly the right roles. For free or not, let’s play them the best we can.
(To know more about Mr. Robison and/or his work, please visit: http://brentrobison.blogspot.com)
Posted: March 2nd, 2010 | Author: Him | Filed under: Life | No Comments »
(I don’t agree or disagree with this article. The reason why I posted it here is to let people know that it’s alright if they can’t agree with many of the societal conditions imposed upon them today. Apparently, their divergence may actually be an indication of higher intelligence. Whether this article is correct is for you to observe. Hope you’ll find it at least a little bit useful.)
Intelligent people have ‘unnatural’ preferences and values that are novel in human evolution
February 24, 2010
More intelligent people are significantly more likely to exhibit social values and religious and political preferences that are novel to the human species in evolutionary history. Specifically, liberalism and atheism, and for men (but not women), preference for sexual exclusivity correlate with higher intelligence, a new study finds.
The study, published in the March 2010 issue of the peer-reviewed scientific journal Social Psychology Quarterly, advances a new theory to explain why people form particular preferences and values. The theory suggests that more intelligent people are more likely than less intelligent people to adopt evolutionarily novel preferences and values, but intelligence does not correlate with preferences and values that are old enough to have been shaped by evolution over millions of years.”
“Evolutionarily novel” preferences and values are those that humans are not biologically designed to have and our ancestors probably did not possess. In contrast, those that our ancestors had for millions of years are “evolutionarily familiar.”
“General intelligence, the ability to think and reason, endowed our ancestors with advantages in solving evolutionarily novel problems for which they did not have innate solutions,” says Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics and Political Science. “As a result, more intelligent people are more likely to recognize and understand such novel entities and situations than less intelligent people, and some of these entities and situations are preferences, values, and lifestyles.”
An earlier study by Kanazawa found that more intelligent individuals were more nocturnal, waking up and staying up later than less intelligent individuals. Because our ancestors lacked artificial light, they tended to wake up shortly before dawn and go to sleep shortly after dusk. Being nocturnal is evolutionarily novel.
In the current study, Kanazawa argues that humans are evolutionarily designed to be conservative, caring mostly about their family and friends, and being liberal, caring about an indefinite number of genetically unrelated strangers they never meet or interact with, is evolutionarily novel. So more intelligent children may be more likely to grow up to be liberals.
Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) support Kanazawa’s hypothesis. Young adults who subjectively identify themselves as “very liberal” have an average IQ of 106 during adolescence while those who identify themselves as “very conservative” have an average IQ of 95 during adolescence.
Similarly, religion is a byproduct of humans’ tendency to perceive agency and intention as causes of events, to see “the hands of God” at work behind otherwise natural phenomena. “Humans are evolutionarily designed to be paranoid, and they believe in God because they are paranoid,” says Kanazawa. This innate bias toward paranoia served humans well when self-preservation and protection of their families and clans depended on extreme vigilance to all potential dangers. “So, more intelligent children are more likely to grow up to go against their natural evolutionary tendency to believe in God, and they become atheists.”
Young adults who identify themselves as “not at all religious” have an average IQ of 103 during adolescence, while those who identify themselves as “very religious” have an average IQ of 97 during adolescence.
In addition, humans have always been mildly polygynous (having more than one wife at a time) in evolutionary history. Men in polygynous marriages were not expected to be sexually exclusive to one mate, whereas men in monogamous marriages were. In sharp contrast, whether they are in a monogamous or polygynous marriage, women were always expected to be sexually exclusive to one mate. So being sexually exclusive is evolutionarily novel for men, but not for women. And the theory predicts that more intelligent men are more likely to value sexual exclusivity than less intelligent men, but general intelligence makes no difference for women’s value on sexual exclusivity. Kanazawa’s analysis of Add Health data supports these sex-specific predictions as well.
One intriguing but theoretically predicted finding of the study is that more intelligent people likely value no more or less such evolutionarily familiar entities as marriage, family, children, and friends.