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THE WACKY WORLD OF QUANTUM PHYSICS AND PSYCHOTHERAPY
Part l: The Wacky World of Quantum Physics
Quantum physics has made recent discoveries with astounding significance for commonly held assumptions about reality. Many physicists these days agree that the core assumptions of classical physics (all our long-standing beliefs about the nature of the world around us) have now been largely replaced by these new discoveries. Over the past 50-plus years, quantum experimental results have repeatedly been proven to represent that which is known about reality more accurately than classical physics has ever been able to do.
Some quantum physicists are offering their understanding on this topic, which they refer to as quantum interpretation or quantum reality. Quantum reality is an understanding of reality which reasonably makes sense of the quantum experimental facts. These interpretations have profound significance for how we regard the world we live in, and further, how we regard ourselves.
Many people are familiar with experimentation by physicists proving that the atom, when broken down, consists of light as opposed to matter. Perhaps even more surprising is the less well known discovery that any 'solid particles' within the electron are not really solid, but actually wink in and out over time, seemingly like a strobe light, but appearing instantly in a new location within the electrode. What we think of as a particle composed of matter is now understood to be a localized packet of energy (Nick Herbert, Quantum Reality). In other words, it appears that there are no solid particles making up such a thing as solid matter in the world around us, only energy.
Further, it has been found that the energy in the world around us (previously believed to be matter) is most similar in frequency and wavelength to the energy of.... wait for it..... thought! (from the documentary, "What the Bleep Do We Know?")
In other words, amazing as it may seem, it now appears that there is nothing "out there" other than the projections of our own consciousness, both conscious and unconscious, expressed in images and form which consist at their core, not of matter, but of energy which is similar to the energy of thought. This astounding discovery is causing great upheaval in the field of physics, but it is very exciting to those of us who, deep in our hearts, have always appreciated the magical nature of life.
There is No Distance - Everything is Right Next to You
“I have an existential map. It has ‘you are here’ written all over it.” (Steven Wright, in Matter into Feeling by Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D)
According to quantum physics, all ‘objects’ created together are ‘entangled’, meaning there are pieces of one in the other. Extensive experimentation has shown that when an atom is split, even if one part of it is as far from the other as two distant stars, when one part is impacted in any way, the effect shows up on both parts instantaneously. There is no distance between them, they are still the same one thing.
Partially it has to do with the wave nature of energy.
“Although the world once appeared to be twofold, made of particles and wave-like fields, closer observation reveals a common behavior. Herbert wrtes, "Former 'particles' now show their wave aspects and former ‘waves’ behave like particles. In quantum (real) reality, everything is made of the same kind of substance, which I call quantumstuff. When two electrons meet, their waveforms become entangled and they can no longer be described as two separate entities, no matter how far apart they are. A bit of one is forever embedded in the other and vice versa. Whatever changes one experiences instantaneously also changes the other.”
There is no such thing as distance!
Herbert imagines a possible world that would express this new understanding of the nature of reality. The following example also dips into another quantum discovery. This is the truly wacky discovery that all electrons, until they have interacted with consciousness, are exactly identical to one another. They only develop individual traits in response to being observed by a conscious being.
“Imagine Joe…, an inhabitant of a non-local [everything happens in more than one place] contextual world. Up in his sky Joe sees a rainbow made up of a… pattern of colored dots… in a random array. On the other side of the same sun, lies a counter-Earth, where Suzie watches another rainbow in her counter-sky. Her rainbow is likewise composed of a random array of colored dots. When Joe… moves his chair, his rainbow moves too (a rainbow’s position’s attribute is contextual, not innate), but Suzie’s rainbow stands still. However, when Joe… moves his chair [changing his view of the rainbow], Suzie’s random array 200 million miles away instantly changes into a different (but equally random) array of colored dots. Suzie is not aware of this change – one random array of colored dots looks pretty much like any other – but this change actually happens whether she notices it or not.”
Part ll: Non Local Reality – The World is a Seamless Whole
"One imagines Max, the famous quantum physicist, deciding to face the quantum facts..... waves goodbye to the workaday world and drops through the worlds' phenomenal surface into deep quantum reality... Centuries of Newtonian certainties vanish in an instant. Solid objects melt into the undivided wholeness as he enters the Place without Separation".(Herbert)
Bell’s Theorem and extensive quantum research over the years have concluded that whatever occurs anywhere in the universe has tangible and instantaneous effects on other locations in the universe even as far or farther away from each other as two distant planets or stars. The physicists conclude that communicating the original event to one location from another, especially one very far away, would involve information travelling faster than the speed of light, which, according to Einstein, is not possible.
However, “without faster than light connections, an ordinary model of reality simply cannot explain the facts”, writes Nick Herbert in Quantum Reality.
Only a non- local context would be able to adequately explain the facts. What needs to be understood is the overall context in which this non-locality occurs.
What context could possibly explain a faster-than-light, non-local connection between distant local events? Given that the energy taking up most of the universe is most like thought, could this context be consciousness?
Herbert proposes two kinds of awareness, one is the experience of facts, memory, etc, (societally conditioned awareness).
The other is ‘raw awareness’ (intuition, feelings and will) as we experience before we fall asleep and when we first wake up in the morning before remembering who and where we are and what we have to do that day.
Intuitive knowledge is part of this consciousness- an immediate internal experience of the world’s real (quantum) nature.
As an integral part of deep quantum reality, this knowledge is non-local and instantly linked to all other consciousness and and everything consciousness everywhere and belonging to anyone has ever touched.
Do you always trust your first initial feeling
Special knowledge, holds true, bears believing
I turned around and the water was closing all around
Like a glove, like the love that had finally, finally found me
……..from Fleetwood Mac, "Crystal"
Sameness of Unobserved Electrons – We Live in a Field of Infinite Possibility
It is now recognized as scientific fact that all electrons which have not yet been ‘observed’ exist in their wavelike form as possibilities, and are all absolutely identical to each other. Each contains infinite potential to become whatever it will be influenced to become upon ‘observation’ by a conscious being.
Each electron even contains completely contradictory possibilities within itself. Upon contact with consciousness, an electron instantly develops its own unique properties.
This is referred to as the quantum leap and it is more than disturbance caused by the act of observation. “It profoundly reshapes the very fabric of reality”. (Herbert, Quantum Reality,) It does this by turning the infinite possibility nature of unobserved electrons into the actual nature of observed electrons.
In their unobserved state, these many electrons, which makeup most of the known universe, create an uninterrupted field of infinite possibility in wave form.
Picture yourself existing in a multitude of dimensions, surrounded wherever you go by an energetic field of infinite possibility, magnetically sensitive and responsive to your own inner creative desire and requiring nothing more than what you hold in your own being to automatically create that which you desire.
Remember what it felt like to be a preschooler with a multitude of art supplies on the table before you? Multiply that joy by infinity!
Surprisingly (but not to our own quantum nature), and as stated above, it is the interaction with consciousness that brings the diffused wave energy into a localized packet of energy (previously believed to be a 'particle') by influencing it to develop individual traits or attributes.
Although objects in familiar physics are understood to have their own innate attributes (an apple is round, red and crispy), in quantum physics it is understood that 'objects' have no innate attributes (mass, charge, spin, etc.) until they have been ‘observed’.
The waves are not just waves of energy, but waves of possibility and probability.
I once saw a movie with a rough graphic for this. The premise was that some people in an airplane got caught in a time warp in which they were existing some minutes ahead of time as we know it.
Their present was a few minutes before ours. Once they managed to land at an airport, they found the airport empty and without life, the food without flavor or texture, everything kind of faded looking.
They seemed able to breathe, but there wasn’t enough air to light a match.
Then, as their time caught up with the present, they began to see vague forms of people walking around which gradually became clearer and the chairs and counters in the airport also became more vibrant, until all was normal again.
The condition of the airport before time caught up with it, vague and without life, might be something like the condition of the unobserved electrons in their state of possibility, with the exception that the electrons contain all infinitely possible forms in this vague state, not just airport furniture.
That we exist in an infinite sea of possibility, which does not take form until it connects with our consciousness, has amazing significance for the abundant creative potential we hold within and how limited our actual creative expression is in contrast.
Part lll: Taking Flight
Quantum physicists hold that observation of the electron by the scientist causes it to develop individual traits which "profoundly reshapes the nature of reality" (Herbert, Quantum Reality). But what is it about observation that has this impact? Richard Allport (Baba Ram Dass, "Be Here Now") has said that we are at all times a full statement of our being. It seems reasonable to me that what influences the living electron is not so much cold mental observation as the whole consciousness (being) of the scientist focusing on it and influencing it, most importantly conscious and unconscious feelings, desires and intent.
Consider that perhaps heartfelt desire or profound intent (not whims) may have powers we are not aware of in our current state of partial unconsciousness (denial). There could be infinite potential within our hearts to desire and dream in an infinite variety of forms and even color, sound and dimension, all of it being constantly actualized out of the field of infinite possibility in which we exist. Under the influence of the five sense reality we have been conditioned to believe in, we are unable to notice that which we are creating as having it's source within us. It has been postulated by quantum physicists that parallel universes (many worlds interpretation - Herbert) are created this way. We would also be unable to connect the dots between unconscious desires or repressed feelings and outer events, leaving us to conclude that everything that happens to us or around us is random and out of our control. Some of us likely have had the experience of recognizing in an outer event something we have wished for or worried about, but dismissed it as déjà vu or wild imaginings.
It would happen spontaneously, like the cry or laugh of an infant, without conscious intent or self-awareness. Because we hold so many feelings in unconscious denial, we would not be able to see the connection between our own output and what happens around us. If we do have this power, we might do well to consider that we could be creating many of if not all our frustrations and unhappiness from convoluted desires that come from repressed feelings and resulting emotional confusion.
More about infinite possibility (try responding to this story with feelings instead of thought)….. Imagine if, deep in our hearts, we desired to fly through the air on the wings of some inspirational feeling like love, enthusiasm, or peace, or to change form (as we now change clothes) to meet our changing moods and activities? What if we wanted to make changes in ‘objects’ with sound, like some singers can break glass, or simply through desiring alone, were able to make changes in nature, as the Native Americans were able to do to create rain?
Keep in mind that in quantum understanding, it’s all energy out there and the form it takes projects from our consciousness, similar to dreaming. That we can rearrange the energy as we like through renewed intention seems likely. We already know we do that when we dream.
We really need to reevaluate whenever we find ourselves saying "it can't be done - it's physics"!
We may find we have the ability to create in our three (or four or five) dimensional environment the way an abstract painter creates on canvas. We may all be telepathic through entanglement. Time travel may be in our near future (as quantum interpretation suggests that past, present and future all exist in the present). What about being able to change things on the other side of universe as supported by quantum research (Herbert). , It is no longer inconceivable that we are capable of creating our own holographic (energetic) images in the world simply through the magnetic intent of our desire to do so. And so much more. For a graphic on these ideas, see the films "What Dreams May Come" and "Made in Heaven".
Consider the following story from the spiritual/psychological book series, Right Use of Will, by Ceanne DeRohann. Again, responding to this story with feelings, rather than thoughts will bring you the most understanding.
“In the beginning, when [beings] first entered the Earth, it was in a land called Pan which is now under the Pacific Ocean. In the land of Pan, no one had to earn a living; everything sprang forth without effort. Every need was met by simply desiring it to be met, and the form in which it was met often surprised and delighted the [beings] there. For example, a [being] only needed to say, “I am hungry,” and something delicious to eat would appear, oftentimes in a form the [being] had never seen before. If a [being] wished to bathe, a pool at just its favorite temperature would appear having all the things about it that this [being] particularly liked. If a group of [beings] wished to swim, the pool would have everything everyone wanted.”
If you find these concepts hard to swallow, note this quote from Neils Bohr, Danish psysicist who made fundamental contributions to the early development of quantum mechanics, "Anyone who is not shocked by quantum mechanics, has not yet understood it!"
Our conditioned minds make it very difficult to make this jump. But it is natural for us to understand quantum nature, as it is our true nature, and with a bit of intention, desire, and open mindedness, full understanding will come, and that will change….. everything!
If you are interested in the actual experiments underlying the information in this article, please go to the following links into your browser for excellent YouTube videos on quantum physics experimentation for laymen:
Part lV - Taking it Home and Making it Real -
LEARNING TO LIVE IN QUANTUM CONSCIOUSNESS
Quantum Physics and Psychotherapy
“The idea that material reality is the only reality has shaped our understanding for centuries, but now that idea is giving way to the revelations of quantum physics which go beyond materialism to show that consciousness, not matter is the ground of all being”. (Amit Goswami, www.amitgoswami.org)
Our society and psychotherapy along with it are founded on the principles of traditional physics, that the world is a material place and people need to come to terms with life within the considerable limits of the material reality all around them and the even more limiting rules of a society designed to control feelings and spontaneity in order to protect from and cope with the limits of a material world.
Quantum physics has now revealed that this is not the case and that everything we see and experience is most likely an energetic projection coming from our own consciousness. We are not disconnected entities surrounded by givens we must adjust to and limitations imposed from outside us, but rather we are infinite awareness with infinite creative potential existing in a field of infinite possibility that is both sensitive and responsive to our personal intent, inspiration, imagination, intuition, feelings and heartfelt desire. We are intimately interconnected with everyone else and everything else through the oneness of all consciousness in a conscious world.
“We are stardust. We are golden. And we have to get ourselves back to the garden.” ( Joni Mitchell, “Woodstock”)
Psychologically speaking, to say the least, this is quite a game changer!
Psychotherapy has traditionally accepted that its purpose is to help people become well-adjusted members of established society. Quantum physics aside, the folly of this perspective is made clear in the following quote from Jiddu Krishnamurti,
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society”.
In quantum therapy, the purpose of therapy is unrelated to society as we know now, as society does not support wholeness. It takes place in a larger context. It is about the person, the inner fulfillment of the individual person within the context of life as she/he uniquely perceives it, entirely unrelated to societally accepted perspectives or any other perspectives not coming directly from that person’s unique inner self. Thinking outside the box becomes imperative. Boundaries also become imperative. When feelings and intuition are given credibility, boundaries and thinking outside the box become second nature.
Therapy is traditionally aimed at a compromise between an individual’s instinctive or intuitive feelings and tendencies (Freud’s id) and society’s demand that we control these feelings and tendencies (Freud's superego). Quantum therapy, freed from the limitations of obsolete societal assumptions, presents a new approach to the goals of psychotherapy, starting with a focus on the unique individual inner self without compromising with society. Now it finally becomes possible to openly acknowledge the obvious and crucial relationship between inner wholeness and inner fulfillment.
Fulfillment is dependent on being whole, having unlimited’ access to one’s whole being without compromise of any kind, and being overwhelmingly self-referring as opposed to other-referring. This is not selfishness, but rather centeredness, and is necessary for authentic selflessness and compassion to thrive. Rethink the word ‘alone’. It does not mean lonely, but rather all-one, signifying not that something is missing, but rather that each one of us is complete in and of themselves.
Being whole means healing the gap that society has created in us by requiring that much of our natural response to life be repressed into what is commonly referred to as the ‘unconscious’. This is a sort of pit inside of ourselves where we keep all of our feelings we have been taught and coerced into repressing in order to become ‘civilized’. This has weakened us considerably and left us without the guiding resources of the full range of our feelings and understanding.
Attaining wholeness is paramount to becoming quantum conscious, and is not as difficult as it may seem from our societally conditioned perspective. It is a matter of systematically, and at one’s own pace, allowing denied feelings to come back into consciousness and reintegrate with the conscious self. This is known as catharsis and is mostly a pleasant experience leading to a feeling of increased wholeness and lightness of being, similar to being in love or being high, but coming purely from within.
Feelings do not exist independently of us. Feelings are our own personal responses to our experiences, an integral and even central part of our most true selves. It is a great crime that we have been coerced and manipulated into denying any of our feelings which are our birthright and are necessary to our well-being. Moreover, when feelings exist outside of our awareness, they are being held by parts of our own essence which are no longer allowed to function as part of our conscious selves. This leaves us diminished and weaker than we would otherwise be.
The therapy approach I have found to be most useful to bring about wholeness is a technique called deep feeling awareness, based on a technique I learned from a spiritual/ psychological study known as Right Use of Will (by Ceanne DeRohann). This is a simple and amazingly effective method for bringing ‘unconscious’ feelings back into awareness and moving towards a whole state of being.
A person coming for therapy first learns to separate feelings from thoughts and to leave all thinking and words behind (most important part) as they focus their whole attention on the raw energy of the feeling until it becomes a sensation of energy without cognitive meaning. One client described this process as taking a bath in the feeling the way you would feel stepping into a bathtub and allowing the ‘aah’ feeling of the warm water to embrace you while all thoughts are dissipated, including the story behind the feeling. . This results in a profound catharsis which is experienced as a sudden lightness of being anda sensation of increased wholeness and personal power. An insight follows offering new understanding of the related issues.
For example, one person came to therapy with feelings of worthlessness based on an ongoing childhood experience of being criticized and demeaned by a parent. All of his relationships, from coworkers to friends to family, were at least partly a matter of catering to people so that they would approve. This person seemed to me like he had a tiger by the tail – all of his energy was tied up in this effort and he could not ever relax and be himself for fear the whole charade would crash down around him. The underlying feeling involved was shame. After this person allowed his deep feeling of shame fully back into his consciousness, he reached catharsis and said to me, “ I am not ashamed of myself. I am ashamed of my father! I have never had anything to be ashamed of. It was my dad, he was the one doing something he shouldn't have doing and I never wanted to face that."
This was the beginning of an overhaul of his life and relationships that led to a much greater sense of contentment and wholeness in his life. Because the answers were discovered within his own being, his conviction is real and the healing is permanent. Once you are truly aware of something on a feeling (soul) level, it is difficult to lose that awareness.
Part V - Taking it Home and Making it Real
Quantum Physics and Psychotherapy - continued
Everything we experience in relation to the outer world is most likely a mirror reflection of our own consciousness. This is perhaps the most important contribution of quantum physics to psychotherapy. The reflection tells a story, as in nighttime dreaming, consisting of our feelings, perceptions and intuitions projected in the form of holographic images onto the energetic world around us.
If we experience, for example, driving on a flooded street during a storm, the feelings we experience being triggered by the event actually come from within us first, and are drawing the experience to us through energetic magnetism. Classical dream analysis is based on this same understanding. If you are accustomed to interpreting your dreams, the basic idea of reality as reflection will be familiar to you. As we have learned from quantum research, the world around us which we are accustomed to thinking of as solid matter is actually energy, and that energy is most like the energy of thought. (What the Bleep do We Know) The car, the street and the flood are energetic forms taking shape in response to our desire to express our emotional state. (DeRohan, Right Use of Will) All the things that happen to us such as illness or health, destructive or constructive events, things we witness or read about– anything in the world around us that impacts us emotionally are created from within us in this same way. The original feeling responses, perceptions and intuitions reflected are both those we are conscious of and those we have hidden from ourselves.
This understanding of the reflective nature of conscious reality is a great gift. Once it becomes second nature to see the world in this light, quantum reality becomes real for us. We are able to see beyond the myopic viewpoint that everything that happens to us is largely due to random events beyond our control, our own or someone else's intent or our own or someone else's skill or ineptitude. Once we truly understand the reflective nature of conscious reality, the constant anxiety of living within this victimizing viewpoint transforms into the experience of empowerment and lasting inner peace.
The certainty that nothing can happen to us that does not in our innermost being belong to us is the foundation of fearlessness. Govinda
Here is how our reflection draws to consciousness and heals our denied emotions and perceptions. You may have experienced at one time or another being insulted by another person in some way. You then experience an emotional reaction; maybe you feel hurt or angry. You push the whole event out of your mind so you don’t have to feel it and you go on with your day. Later in the day or up to decades later, your dog snaps at you or you experience some other event in which your feelings are hurt in a way similar enough to the original insult that it brings it back to consciousness. You are triggered into reexperiencing the pain of the original event. You might normally call this a coincidence. It is more likely the call of wholeness from your own being.
As Fritz Perls, founder of Gestalt psychology, put it, "Attention heals".
The importance of paying attention to our emotions is made apparent in this quote from quantum physicist, Fred Alan Wolf. ”Feeling goes beyond the senses and can be imagined as the fundamental awareness out of which all of the other senses develop. Feeling results from the incessant ‘hum’ of life,"
As the inner baggage is healed through this process, renewed wholeness will allow future events to be reflected by more and more of your now conscious dreams and intentions, rather than by the hidden influence of denied feelings in an endless parade of disappointment and frustration.
It should be mentioned that the reflection of whole consciousness can be mimicked. If you deny your feelings with enough intent and force, you can simulate a mostly positive reflection which mimics wholeness (Right Use of Will). In the same way that shoving the clutter in a messy house into drawers and closets falls short of actually cleaning the house, pseudo wholeness created by strong barriers against unwanted feelings is not the same as true wholeness.
Here is a graphic example of reflective reality from Right Use of Will.
“Long ago in Pan the air smelled of flowers, and the Earth was soft with mosses, grasses and sandy beaches. The weather and even the seasons changed in reflection of the moods of the spirits there. The harmony manifested as music. Desire manifested reality so easily that a loving spirit could extend a hand toward a tree and that tree would flower immediately. Reality changed magically, affected by every spirit’s feelings of how it should be.”
Another important contribution of quantum understanding to the field of psychotherapy is the discovery that we exist within a huge wave of infinite possibility, which is responsive to us but which we are barely accessing. What we know as creativity today includes only an extremely narrow spectrum of what is possible. Imagine creativity as we commonly think of it expanding infinitely outward in all directions as if it were like a mass of bread dough in energy form rising in every direction forever. This has huge implications for the potential we hold within to explore dimensions and varieties of creative power that have been long forgotten or have never been accessed before.
“Creativity is the ultimate source of joy and fulfillment.” Amit Goswami, PhD, theoretical quantum physicist
Applying new understandings brought to light by quantum discoveries to psychotherapy makes it clear that the status quo could do with some rethinking. Note this comment from the Radical Psychology Network (www.radpsynet.org) , a group of over 600 psychologists and others around the world challenging traditional psychology since the early 1990’s:
“We challenge psychology's traditional focus on minor reform, because enhancing human welfare demands fundamental social change instead. Moreover, psychology itself has too often oppressed people rather than liberated them.”
It is my personal observation that psychotherapy has been floundering under the influence of “focus on minor reform”, mentally focused approaches, narrow minded therapist training, over-prescribed psychotropic drugs, and symptom oriented insurance coverage for decades. Now quantum physics has given us all, both therapists and clients, the context needed to make good on psychotherapy’s highest promise: to awaken and transform us all into the infinitely loving, intelligent, creative and self-empowered quantum beings we naturally are.
Quantum physics is undeniably the most exciting and beneficial event to occur in our lifetimes. Its impact on everything we know is only just starting to emerge, but promises to be phenomenal.