How Is This Possible & What Does It Mean? One Particle Existing In Multiple States Until It’s ‘Observed’
“Matter”: it’s what atoms and molecules are made up of. On the physical material level, it’s what all physical objects are made up of; it is everything that surrounds us and anything that has mass and volume. When scientists attempt to gain a better understanding of the nature of our reality, matter is what they look to.
However, when scientists observe matter at the smallest possible level, they are left with more questions than answers. This is thanks to the fact that a tiny piece of matter, like a photon, or an electron, can exist in multiple possible states (as a “wave”) even though it is one single particle… which makes absolutely no sense.
“We choose to examine a phenomenon which is impossible, absolutely impossible, to explain in any classical way, and which has in it the heart of quantum mechanics. In reality, it contains the only mystery.” (1) Richard Feynman, a Nobel laureate of the twentieth century
It is important to consider the notion that our physical material world might be guided by non-physical properties, such as consciousness, and this idea is best illustrated by what is referred to as the double slit-experiment.
In this experiment, tiny bits of matter (photons, electrons, or any atomic-sized object) are shot towards a screen that has two slits in it. On the other side of the screen, a high tech video camera records where each photon lands. When scientists close one slit, the camera will show us an expected pattern, as seen in the video below. But when both slits are opened, an “interference pattern” emerges – they begin to act like waves. This doesn’t mean that atomic objects are observed as a wave, they just act that way. It means that each photon individually goes through both slits at the same time and interferes with itself, but it also goes through one slit, and it goes through the other. Furthermore, it goes through neither of them. The single piece of matter becomes a “wave” of potentials, expressing itself in the form of multiple possibilities, and this is why we get the interference pattern.
How can a single piece of matter exist and express itself in multiple states? Furthermore, how does it choose which path, out of multiple possibilities, it will take?
“Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, ‘but how can it be like that?’ Because you will get down the drain into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.” – (1) Richard Feynman
Here’s Where It Gets More Confusing
When an observer is added, or when scientists decide to measure and look at which slit the piece of matter goes through, the “wave” of potential paths collapses into one single path. The particle goes from becoming, again, a “wave” of potentials into one particle taking a single route. It’s as if the particle knows it’s being watched. The observer has some sort of effect on the behaviour of the particle.
The quantum double slit experiment is a very popular experiment used to examine how consciousness and our physical material world are intertwined. Again, just to reiterate, when scientists decided to observe the tiny piece of matter, that act of observation alone “collapsed” all those potentials into one state…
I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulating consciousness.” – Max Planck, theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918
“What I am going to tell you about is what we teach our physics students in the third or fourth year of graduate school… It is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don’t understand it. You see my physics students don’t understand it, that is because I don’t understand it.” – (1) Richard Feynman
This type of confounding phenomenon has been repeatedly demonstrated, and examined a number of times by experts from all over the world. For example, one study published in the journal Physics Essays explains how factors associated with consciousness “significantly” correlated in predicted ways with perturbations in the double slit interference pattern.
“Observation not only disturbs what has to be measured, they produce it. We compel the electron to assume a definite position. We ourselves produce the results of the measurement.” – Dean Radin, PhD, Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (source)
Here is an audio/visual demonstration of the experiment to get a better understanding of something so truly incomprehensible.
What Does This Mean For US As Individuals And As One Human Race?
It’s hard to know what exactly this means, but we are talking about observing what we are all made up of, matter, at the smallest possible level. If the same rules apply, then does this mean we ourselves are existing as a wave of possibilities with regards to the direction we take in our lives? After all, we are all made up of this “matter.” Are there other versions of our life playing out in some type of alternate reality? What “collapses” us onto our choice of paths from a wave of potentials? Is there an observer that does this? Is there someone watching us? Is it our consciousness that is observing ourselves, and is that dictating the makeup of our reality? So many questions to be asked, and so few answers to be found.
One thing that resonates with me is the idea that quantum physics and other discoveries in various fields are simply a pre-curser to ancient knowledge. A step behind, in the discovery of what was already known in our ancient world.
“Broadly speaking, although there are some differences, I think Buddhist philosophy and Quantum Mechanics can shake hands on their view of the world. We can see in these great examples the fruits of human thinking. Regardless of the admiration we feel for these great thinkers, we should not lose sight of the fact that they were human beings just as we are.” – Dalai Lama (source)
If you factor in these quantum experiments, combined with the multitude of studies examining parapsychological phenomenon (consciousness, power of the mind, distant healing, telepathy, and other unexplainable but observable phenomenon), as well as all of the evidence pointing to the fact that we can even influence our own biological systems with thoughts alone (read more about that here), the picture (to me) becomes very clear. We exist in a world that does not yet recognize the importance or the power of thoughts, feelings, and emotions when it comes to the type of human experience we create for ourselves and the inner state from which we act and create it. These things do indeed have the power to change the world, they are what will lead to the correction action, which is also necessary.
I will leave you with this quote, as I have before:
“A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a ‘mental’ construction. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: ‘The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.'” – R.C. Henry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, “The Mental Universe”; Nature (436:29,2005) (source)
This definitely gives you something to think about.
(1) Radin, Dean. Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences In A Quantum Reality. New York, Paraview Pocket Books, 2006