By Ramesh S. Balsekar
Is the physicist in consonance with the mystic, that the basic ‘stuff’ of universe is an illusion?
The more one studies the conclusions of modern physics, the more one sees the intrinsic closeness of modern physics and enlightened mysticism. Modern physicists have recently realized what the Indian mystics had realized thousands of years ago – to understand Reality one cannot cast off the bounds of the concept and the symbol. In other words, the undifferentiated reality is the same reality of which we are all born a part of, but seen in a totally different way by the enlightened mystic and the ordinary person.
The physicist has now begun to see that all the seemingly different parts of the universe are manifestations of the One whole, united reality. The physicist has found that something need not be either a wave or a particle – it can be both as a wavicle! He has also found that any subatomic particle anywhere in the universe ‘knows’ what is going on anywhere else. Indeed, the quantum particles may not be particles at all! A subatomic particle cannot be seen as a thing, an object. Quantum mechanics sees subatomic particles as ‘tendencies to exist or happen’, expressed in terms of probabilities. Could it be that the physicist is coming to the conclusion which the mystic had always known: the basic ‘stuff’ of universe is a no-thing, an illusion?
According to the physicist David Bohm, ‘We must turn physics around. Instead of starting with parts and showing how they work together (the Cartesian order), we start with the whole.’ Then again, ‘Parts are seen to be in immediate connection, in which their dynamical relationships depend, in an irreducible way, on the state of the whole system (and, indeed, on that of broader systems in which they are contained, extending ultimately and in principle to the entire universe). Thus one is led to a new notion of unbroken wholeness, which denies the classical idea of analysability of the world into separately and independently existing parts…’
This indeed means an acknowledgment, a recognition, that mere knowledge by itself cannot lead to the understanding of Reality.
In 1964, Dr J.S. Bell published mathematical proof of a strange ‘connectedness’ among quantum phenomena, which since then has come to be known as ‘Bell’s Theorem’. The theorem, which he refined over the next ten years, is generally considered, in its implications, as perhaps the one most important single work in the history of physics. Bell’s Theorem seems to point directly to the experience of ‘Enlightenment’ in Eastern spirituality.
According to Bell’s Theorem, the principle of local causes is false. The failure of this principle means that what happens in one area can indeed depend on what happens in a distant separate area. This means that we live our lives ‘in a non-local universe characterized by superluminal (faster than light) connections between apparently ‘separate parts’.’ About five years ago there was a report that research has revealed that energy has been discovered which travels faster than light – perhaps even 300 times faster than light. Would this not suggest that the past, present and future are all there now like a completed movie in the can?
The demolition of locality would seem to lead to the conclusion of a ‘superdeterminism': ‘free will’ is an illusion and, there cannot be any such thing as ‘could this have been avoided if…’ Whatever is happening at any moment, through any human being, howsoever it affects anyone, is precisely what is supposed to happen, according to the Cosmic Law, based on the unbroken wholeness – the basis of Advaita, non-duality.
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