Why I Didn't Become A Quantum Physicist
Somebody plonked a book on quantum physics (!!) onto my chair after a class the other night and said "have a look – seems very much like the ideas proposed in meditation." Now quantum physics and any possibility of my ever considering the subject vanished out of my life a very long time ago, way back when my high school maths teacher quietly confided to me, a sixteen year old confronting an even then murky future, that where mathematics/calculus/geometry/anything using the logical realm of the brain was concerned I showed zero aptitude. In that one watershed moment any hope of humanity discovering Jogyata the trailblazing nuclear physicist perished. So I might have been forgiven for tossing the book scornfully into a neglected corner of my room, but on an impulse I flipped through a few pages before sleep – and was hooked! Here an alternative description of our familiar world of consciousness/unity/soul/meditation and quite startlingly so, two different modalities converging at the same conclusion.
Consider some of this:
For several hundred years, science has taught us that all physical phenomena is made of matter – matter was seen as the ground of all being. Elementary particles make atoms, atoms make molecules, molecules make cells including neurons, neurons make the brain, the brain produces consciousness – the 'theory of upward causation'. But in modern quantum physics, a new paradigm has emerged, a science based on the primacy of consciousness. Consciousness is not a brain epiphenomena but the ground of all being out of which all material possibilities, including the brain emerge and are embedded. This parallels the teachings and insights of the spiritual figures down through the ages, a perennial philosophy asserting that all being is grounded in a limitless, transcendent and unifying consciousness. This is the unified field theory or super stream theory of quantum physics.
Quantum objects ('quantum' means 'a discreet quantity') have been found to influence one another nonlocally ie. without signals through space, and without taking a finite time, thus being interconnected in a domain that transcends space and time. At a human level this is proven true experimentally – two meditators in different parts of the world, for example, simultaneously experiencing the same data. (We call this telepathy!)
Amazingly, in quantum physics the quantum field, which is the ground of all being, is only waves of possibility, and our observation brings about actuality from this potentiality. An example from Amit Goswami's book, Physics of the Soul:
'Suppose we release an electron in a room. In a matter of moments, the electron wave spreads all over the room. And now suppose we set up a grid of electron detectors, called Geiger counters, in the room. Do all the counters go ticking? No. Only one of the Geiger counters ticks. Conclusion? Before observation the electron does spread all over space, but only as a wave of possibility. An observation brings about the collapse of the possibility wave into an actual event.'We have all seen what are called Gestalt pictures in which the same lines represent two superimposed pictures. I am glancing now at a picture called 'My wife and my mother-in-law'. When I perceive one or the other I am not doing anything to the picture but just recognising and choosing among the possibilities that are already present. If you are seeing the mother-in-law, in order to see the wife you don't do anything to the picture, all you do is change your perspective of looking. The possibilities of both wife and the mother-in-law are within your consciousness; all you do is recognise one possibility or the other. The process of conscious collapse or actualisation is like this.
So the new sciences of molecular biology and quantum physics are very interesting because they point squarely at the great truths enunciated down through thousands of years by mystics, God-realised masters, the sages and illuminati who have directly seen into the heart of everything. Science and spirituality are merging together at last. The universe is a symphony, an ocean of consciousness and we are one, unified in a universal consciousness that percolates up through our body, our senses. We exist as ripples in this ocean of existence, which is intelligent, self-aware, non-material being, waves of possibility out of which everything – plants, people, planets – emerge. And experiencing our oneness with all of life might be called enlightenment. Clearly, meditation leads to this understanding, the unbounded awareness when the senses and the mind settle down and we expand our consciousness.
"The universe is a symphony," my author writes, "and we are a part of its music." Echos here of Sri Chinmoy commenting on music: "It carries us into the Universal Consciousness and makes us feel that we are in tune with the highest, with the deepest, with the farthest [...] This self-expansion is not egocentric; it is something divine, something supreme, something universal [...] With it the 'I' goes away. In soulful sound there is no I. It is all 'we' [...] The soulful sound is of eternity and for eternity and immortality."
In The Source of Music Sri Chinmoy also adds:
"The Universal Consciousness is constantly being played by the Supreme Himself and is constantly growing into the supreme music. God the Creator is the Supreme Musician and God the Creation is the supreme music. The musician and his music can never be separated. Through music, God is offering the message of unity in multiplicity and also the message of multiplicity in unity. His dream is called the cosmic reality, the universal reality. God created sound in order to know outwardly what He is inwardly. Inwardly He knows what He is but if He does not outwardly manifest His inner divinity then the world cannot accept Him, cannot realise Him, so He created sound just for the sake of His own manifestation."
How lucky we are to have a living Masters in our midst, one who sees beyond science, matter, time, space into the absolute Reality and Truth of existence – who lives there in that final knowing – and has undertaken the responsibility of leading each of us to that same realisation, the great and liberating understanding that alone will satisfy our souls.
If I ever run into my high school maths teacher again (he'll be a really old man by now so I could visit my vengeful fantasies on him with impunity) I'll bend the frames on his glasses, stomp on his toes, call him all kinds of unflattering names in retribution for those remarks of his years ago that turned me away from being a brilliant scientist into an unemployable lay-about destined to die in poverty, genius untapped. Oooh, if I could find him I'd tweak his nose so hard – but hang on, since we're all one, ripples in the unifying and underlying matrix of consciousness, if I pull his ear that means I'm actually pulling my... oh darn!
Related links from the writings of Sri Chinmoy
Sri Chinmoy's students describe their inner and outer experiences.
The first time we met our GuruKaivalya, Devashishu and Sahadeva Torpy London, England
I know where you areKamalakanta Nieves New York, United States
Breaking the world record for the longest game of hopscotchPipasa Glass & Jamini Young Seattle, United States
The Random DogToshala Elliott Auckland, New Zealand
The happiest I've ever beenGabriele Settimi San Diego, United States
It does not matter which spoon you useBrahmacharini Rebidoux St. John's, Canada
A Truckload of Humanitarian Aid Sails through CustomsArthada Platzgummer Vienna, Austria
My Life with Sri Chinmoy: a bookTejvan Pettinger Oxford, United Kingdom
'I could find out myself, but it was so much easier asking your soul'Mridanga Spencer Ipswich, United Kingdom
The day when everything beganBhagavantee Paul Salzburg, Austria
Spiritual moments with my grandmotherPatanga Cordeiro São Paulo, Brazil
interviews with Sri Chinmoy's students