‘Spooky Action at a Distance’ (spukhafte fernwirkung)*

Recently as I emerged from one of my sick days, where my body, in order to seek balance between insulin and sugars, demands complete withdrawal from the world, I found a deep sense of peace and renewed engagement with the world. While in the liminal state of sugar low, and my body’s healing process engages, I am neither asleep nor truly conscious. It used to scare me somewhat but I have begun to recognise that after these periods, I return with many disparate concepts beginning to reveal themselves to me much more clearly. I feel refreshed as though confusion had truly been weighing me down. The clarity, born from the physical process of harmonising the discord between peptide hormones and carbohydrates, seems to have extended to my holistic-self leaving me alert and vibrating at a higher level.  

On this particular emerging, the unlikely marriage between mysticism (here defined as the experience of direct communication with ultimate reality through deep contemplation, meditation or prayer; not limited to any one religious affiliation), is deeply in my thoughts. As some of you will know, this has long been an area of interest for me, yet for many the potential connection between mysticism and fields based on rational observation cannot be reconciled, or if parallels are drawn these parallels are deemed negatively as ‘pseudoscience’.

Quantum Entanglement, which is not a new discovery but something that emerged around 1935 (traced back to the Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen paradox) and a multitude of various later studies, offers what I see as science discovering that which mystics have expressed non-scientifically for thousands of years. Entanglement, a real an observable force, is the term used to describe how two particles that are entangled, instantaneously communicate (seemingly beyond the speed of light) regardless of the distance between them. Not all particles are entangled but the ones that are, if communication can occur instantaneously, does this not pose the question that the mystics may just be attuned to the form of communication provided from entangled particles? Or is this suggestion heresy? Or is it too great a leap to make to suggest that particles might contain intelligence?

This connection that I tentatively make is not a scientific one, in so as far as not being a rigorously controlled hypothesis being tested in a quantifiable or qualitative study. It stems from years of incidental and direct research and an open mind. It is not a new idea, many scientists at the forefront of quantum studies have been, some heavily, influenced by a variety of mystic approaches. But however much I would like some of the ideas from quantum physics to elegantly and seamlessly fit into my mystical ideology, they do not (or I do not yet significantly understand enough to see real correlation). Which is ironic because when it comes down to quantum level consciousness plays a large role in how quantum particles behave; for one example (according to one prominent theory) quantum particles quite literally turn from waves into matter when observed.

A main area of interest from the scientific perspective of quantum entanglement is how this could relate to communication. But however much I would like the idea of entanglement to relate to mystical communication it just does not fit. It is romantic to think that people might be connected by entangled particles, that they can sense one another’s feelings and thoughts across great distances but this idea relies on the fact that some of their particles had to have interacted at some point in time. That point in time, if we agree that there was a big bang event that created the universe from a singularity, was some 13,000,000 years ago. There is only postulation that particles would remain entangled or that the information contained within particles were timeless that when observed in the here and now the information remains. If this were the case, then the timeless information shared between particles would have to have been encoded with the future expectation of the existence of the particular individuals in mind and these specific particles had to have somehow found these persons and become a part of them… among millions of millions of other particles that would make up those two unique human beings. It is a romantic notion but does not hold up to rational thought, not even the very basic rational thought that I offer here.

It is also romantic to think that ultimate reality could be expressed via direct communication between entangled particles. This might be a little more easily defended in the light of rational thought but intimates intelligent particles. Or an intelligent overseer directing particle traffic. Perhaps when an individual reaches for knowledge that overseer ensures a suitable entangled particle expresses connection and shares information. Highly implausible?  

Somehow I feel that consciousness, that other mysterious force that has yet to be explained is tied up in all this and just hasn’t yet played the trump card. So I will continue to read, with a clearer mind, realising that I had been reading looking for correlations and information that supported my own interested (lay) personal view. The truth is it doesn’t really matter what I find as I will still believe in the world/universe that I believe in but I enjoy stretching my mind and observing waves turning into matter as I notice them.  

words by errant satiety 

* Letter from Albert Einstein to Max Born, 3 March 1947; The Born-Einstein Letters; Correspondence between Albert Einstein and Max and Hedwig Born from 1916 to 1955, Walker, New York, 1971. (cited in M. P. Hobson, Quantum Entanglement and Communication Complexity (1998), pp. 1/13, CiteSeerX:

¿Por qué?

How does the experience of being aware arise? And what is the relationship between mind and body, or, to put it another way, between consciousness and matter?

Some examples: we can choose to train ourselves to adjust our breathing to affect our mood and ability to concentrate (meditation, did you know that a Buddhist monks and nuns have been studied during deep mediation, a shotgun can be fired behind them and there is no recognition in their brain activity whatsoever of this ‘shocking event’). And our sexual feelings can raise intense expressions of love for another person that may rise to an intense realisation of the interconnectedness of everything. An example from American poet Walt Whitman:

“I mind how once we lay, such a transparent summer morning;
How you settled your head athwart my hips, and gently turn’d over upon me,
And parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and plunged your tongue to my bare-stript heart,
And reach’d till you felt my beard, and reach’d till you held my feet.

Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass all the argument of the earth;
And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own,
And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own;
And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women my sisters and lovers;
And that a kelson of the creation is love;
And limitless are leaves, stiff or drooping in the fields;
And brown ants in the little wells beneath them;
And mossy scabs of the worm fence, and heap’d stones, elder, mullen and poke-weed.” Excerpt from ‘Song of Myself’ (part 5) Walt Whitman (from Leaves of Grass, first published in the 1855 edition).

But the nature of scientific discovery during the time since the printing of this poem to this day has left many feeling bereft with the feeling that a direct connection to reality is a delusory ambition. Pessimistic relativism rules in our ‘day and age’, post-modernism breaks us into tiny fragments beyond any sense of narrative that contains meaning. I argue fervently against such belief. That the understanding of the oscillation of time, the relativity of time, the subjective nature of our reality leaves us empty and lost (shaking my head determinedly ‘no’). As the environment stretches a species what happens? Adaptation occurs in order for a species to survive, if they do not… they fade into extinction. Human adaptation is now possible because we have already adapted on a incredible scale some 40,000 years ago (or for the creationists reading this when God made man in the image of himself, except with free will) with the ‘big bang’ of our evolution that took a major risk but enabled us to have a creative mind that could remember, plan and imagine a future with the information available. We have the ability for spiritual development because with reason, creativity and instincts in balance we can make the finer distinctions necessary for getting in touch with more subtle aspects of reality. I defy anyone to tell me that the cutting edge of quantum physics doesn’t sound like at least sci-fi or intense spirituality.

“New organs of perception come into being as a result of necessity.  Therefore, O man, increase your necessity, so that you may increase your perception.” Sufi sage Julaluddin Rumi (1207-1273)

If you so wish there will be more… but, my beloved friends, this is it for today. Perhaps I should give these musings a new category… ‘errant talks’. Hmm, I like the sound of that.