6. SELF-EXCITED CIRCUIT
Wheeler’s vision of the universe is like a “self-excited circuit,” to use a metaphor from electronics. To say the universe is “self”-excited is to say it is not “other”-excited, which is to say that rather than depending upon an external agent, god or deity, the universe is self-creating and self-referential─i.e., able to refer to, reflect and act upon itself, and hence, endlessly re-create itself anew.
Seen as a self-excited and self-actualizing circuit, the physical universe bootstraps itself into existence, laws and all. As a self-excited circuit, the universe gives rise to observers who, in completing the circuit, potentially give meaningful reality to the universe. Wheeler says,
“The universe is to be compared to a circuit self-excited in this sense, that the universe gives birth to consciousness, and consciousness gives meaning to the universe.”
The emergence of consciousness in the universe is as epic and epochal an event in cosmic history as the first big blast of its materialization in the supposed big bang. The self-excitation is caused by the innate fundamental tendency for self-perception built into the very ground of being. In this process of self-cognition, the universe is able to turn back upon itself so as to explore its nature via its various life forms as it endlessly creates and recreates itself through innumerable acts of observer-participation. The universe generates an interactive feedback loop of cosmic intelligence within itself that becomes the internal guidance system and source of its own continually unfolding genesis. Contrary to the mechanistic worldview of classical physics, the universe as a self-excited circuit implies a participatory universe that endlessly creates itself through innumerable acts of participatory self-perception.
To quote Wheeler,
“Directly opposite to the concept of universe as machine built on law is the vision of a world self-synthesized. On this view, the notes struck out on a piano by the observer participants of all times and all places, bits though they are in and by themselves, constitute the great wide world of space and time and things.”
In such a self-referential cosmology whose nature is a self-generating feedback loop of pure creativity, we are dreaming up the universe, while at the same time the universe is reciprocally dreaming us up, as the seemingly subjective and objective realities interblend and co-create each other. Uncountable small acts of observer-participancy have over eons built up the tangible appearance of the material world.
Self-excitatory, to quote Wheeler,
“the universe is a grand synthesis, putting itself together all the time as a whole. Its history is not a history as we usually conceive history. It is not one thing happening after another after another. It is a totality in which what happens ‘now’ gives reality to what happens ‘then,’ perhaps even determines what happened then.”
Talking about one of the most startling features of a thought experiment that he dreamed up called the “delayed choice experiment” (which has since been empirically verified), the act of observation, to quote Wheeler, “reaches back into the past in apparent opposition to the normal order of time.” In his thought experiment […] Wheeler discovered that
“a choice made in the here-and-now has irretrievable consequences for what one has the right to say about what has already happened in the very earliest days of the universe, long before there was any life on Earth.”
This is to say that acts of observer-participancy in this moment give tangible “reality” to the universe not only now but back to its beginning. This is not far-out science fiction, but hard-core science that is actually stranger than fiction. Wheeler elaborates,
“It is wrong to think of that past as ‘already existing’ in all detail. The ‘past’ is theory. The past has no existence except as it is recorded in the present. By deciding what questions our quantum registering equipment shall put in the present we have an undeniable choice in what we have the right to say about the past.”
Classical physics describes the present as having a particular past; quantum physics, on the other hand, because of its probabilistic nature enlarges the arena of human history such that the past is an amalgam of all possible pasts compatible with the version of the present moment we are currently experiencing.
The quantum universe is polyhistoric; the past involves a wide range of possible pasts all co-existing in a state of unmanifested potential. The act of observation collapses what is called the wavefunction (a mathematical construct that describes all of the system’s possible states) in such a way so as to evoke a particular universe in the present moment while simultaneously reaching backwards in time to create a history appropriate with our present moment experience. There is no way to say unambiguously what the past was really like until we know its future; as in a work of art, each part of the universe acquires its full meaning only in its relation to the whole.
To quote physicists Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, co-authors of The Grand Design,
“Quantum physics tells us that no matter how thorough our observation of the present, the (unobserved) past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities…. The universe, according to quantum physics, has no single past, or history…. The fact that the past takes no definite form means that observations you make on a system in the present affect its past.”
In any case, in quantum physics it certainly seems “as if” an observation made in the present moment reaches back and influences the past. Through our observations in this moment, Wheeler writes, “we decide what the photon shall have done after it has already done it.” The connection between the observer and the observed not only cannot be separated in space, but has no distinction in time as well. This perspective turns our conception of linear time and causality on its head.
To quote author Graham Smetham, “The entire universe appears to be a kind of collective delayed choice experiment in which inhabiting sentient beings somehow determine the manifested nature of the universe even backwards in time!” This introduces a self-referential circularity in which the laws of quantum physics can allow for their own self-modification backwards in time. The implication is that as observers we are participants in the genesis of the universe, a process that Wheeler calls “genesis by observership.” The moment of the world’s creation lies in the present, in the eternal now, with us somehow playing a “starring” role.
Without an observer it is as if this is a dead universe, one that wouldn’t evolve over time, for without observers, there is no existence. Quantum theory reflects back to us, to again quote Wheeler, “that the universe would be nothing without observership as surely as a motor would be dead without electricity.”
In the act of observation, the physical reality of the world becomes actualized, and in a self-generating circular feedback loop that is self-referential in nature, it is the same physical world that generates observers who are responsible for bestowing seemingly tangible reality to its existence. The observer-participant is both a result of an evolutionary process and, in some sense, the cause of its own emergence. Wheeler wonders, “Is observership the ‘electricity’ that powers genesis?” In other words, mind-boggling as it is to contemplate, are we, as “observer-participants” playing a role in the genesis of the cosmos in this very moment?
“It is incontrovertible that the observer is participator in genesis… it is difficult to see any other line that lends itself to exploration. What other way of genesis is there?”
Wheeler is reflecting that we play a role in the creation of the universe that has been normally reserved for the “gods.” […]
Is, in Wheeler’s words, the “eruption after eruption” into physics of “the quantum”─the “fiery creative force of modern physics”─the doorway into deepening our understanding of the very architecture and engineering of the creation of the universe itself? Wheeler refers to quantum phenomena as untouchable, indivisible “elementary acts of creation” which reach into the present from billions of years in the past, and he views them as the building material of all that is. He openly wonders,
“Are billions upon billions of acts of observer-participancy the foundation of everything?”
In other words, are “billions upon billions of acts of observer-participancy” by innumerable beings over countless eons the very quantum process which has created our world, literally dreaming our world into materialization? Wheeler ponders whether the very term “big bang” is merely a shorthand way to describe the cumulative effects of these billions upon billions of acts of observer-participancy.
Regarding how the universe came into being, Wheeler asks, “is the mechanism that came into play one which all the time shows itself?” Is enfolded within our present-moment experience the primordial creative act which reflects the genesis of the entire cosmos? Does the mystery of the world’s on-going creation lie in the present moment, in the eternal now? Wheeler continues,
“For a process of creation that can and does operate anywhere, that reveals itself and yet hides itself, what could one have dreamed up out of pure imagination more magic─and fitting─than this?”
What more “fitting” physics could we have, in Wheeler’s words, “dreamed up” out of pure imagination to reflect back to us the “magic” of our dreamlike world? A process which itself is an expression of the dreamlike nature, we have “dreamed up” quantum physics to reflect the dreamlike nature of the universe back to us. In trying to understand nature, as if by magic, physics is helping us discover our nature.
We live in a universe that is capable not only of harboring life, but of cultivating life which is intelligent enough to wonder and ask about its origins. In our observing and reflecting upon our universe we are actually changing the universe’s idea of itself. Through us, the universe questions itself and tries out various answers on itself in an effort – parallel to our own – to decipher its own being. Wheeler comments, “and then at last an inspiration: a feeling that we who felt ourselves so small amidst it all are, in the end, the carriers of the central jewel, the flashing purpose that lights up the whole dark universe.”
8. STRANGER THAN FICTION
[…] The aspects of nature represented by quantum theory are converted from elements of “being” to elements of “doing,” which basically replaces the world of material substances with a world populated by actions, events and processes. Not located in time or space but in an abstract realm, the elementary quantum phenomenon, to quote Wheeler, “is the strangest thing in this strange world.”
[…] In science, oftentimes the greatest insights are won from nature’s strangest features. And yet, at a certain point the universe’s, and quantum physics’ strangeness will seem utterly natural, or so I imagine. Wheeler is fond of quoting Gertrude Stein’s view of modern art,
“It looks strange and it looks strange and it looks very strange, and then suddenly it doesn’t look strange at all and you can’t understand what made it look strange in the first place.”
Quantum physics has discovered that there are no elementary particles, no fundamental “building blocks” of reality─referred to as “solid, massy, hard, impenetrable moveable particles” by Newton, at least ones that can be said to exist and are real. In a quote often attributed to Bohr,
“There is no quantum world. There is only an abstract quantum description. It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature.”
Quantum entities aren’t real in the way we usually think of as being real – having no independent, intrinsic existence, they don’t exist “on their own,” and cannot be said to exist separate from their being observed. Heisenberg famously said,
“The concept of the objective reality of the elementary particles has thus evaporated.”
Having no well-defined boundaries, elementary particles exist in a state of open-ended potentiality, “inhabiting” (if we can even talk about location for a nonexistent object) at the same time every possible universe they could potentially manifest in. To quote Heisenberg,
“But the atoms or elementary particles themselves are not real, they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts.”
Elementary particles don’t “exist” in the common sense meaning of the word─not as a thing “out there,” existing in its own right─but if physicists treat them “as if”’ they exist, then they manifest “as if” they really exist and the physicists then get the right results in their equations. Everyone is happy, as long as no one asks what it all means.
Elementary, subatomic particles are simply a construct, a convenient way of talking about what is nothing but a set of mathematical relations concerning different observations. Because an atom does not have an independent, pre-existing reality, it is meaningless to ask, for example, what an atom really is. Atoms are only concepts physicists use to describe the behavior of their measuring instruments and the outcomes of their experiments. An idea such as an atom emerges from the interaction between the observer and the observed, mediated through the particular measuring devices used to make any specific observation. The properties of microscopic objects are inferred from the behavior of the physicist’s measuring apparatus, and are then treated “as if” they are real physical things. It is easy to mistake their model for reality, and think of the subatomic particles as actually being real things.
In quantum physics the wavefunction is not a wave of material things, but rather a probability wave; the wave that it is describing is, in a sense, not of this world. According to Heisenberg,
“It introduced something standing in the middle between the idea of an event and the actual event, a strange kind of physical reality just in the middle between possibility and reality.”
The wavefunction is essentially passive, in that it cannot stimulate action from within itself. It requires an agent to make a choice among its probabilities for the three-dimensional world to be formed. The wavefunction is just an abstract idea, which is to say that both the wavefuncton and the atom are essentially ideas, and outside of these ideas, both the wavefunction and the atom are not there. […]
Classical physics’ theory of a world of matter is converted by quantum physics into a theory of the relationship between matter and mind. Unveiling a great mystery, quantum physics is pointing out that the ultimate nature of the universe is more mind-like than matter-like. The “matter” of this world seems more akin to the phenomena of dreams rather than that of a solid, independent reality. As quantum physics has lifted the veil to our understanding the connection between mind and matter, and hence of consciousness, it can’t help but to at the same time deepen our insight into the nature and operations of our own being.
9. VOODOO FORCES
Quantum entities exist relationally with other interdependent quantum objects that themselves don’t exist as separate things, but rather in relation to other inter-related quantum objects ad infinitum; which is to say that there is no independent objectively existing quantum object that has a reality in and of itself; there is solely the quantum field. “The field,” as Einstein famously said, “is the only reality.”
Thing-ness has dissolved into a state of “no-thingness,” a web of mutual interactivity with no fixed reference point to be found anywhere. That quantum entities exist not in isolation from each other, but only in relation to each other is a reflection of our own nature─in a sense, we are quantum entities who don’t exist as separate objects, but rather, are interdependently interconnected with each other as well as the whole universe. The quantum field exists in relation to and not separate from the whole universe, including consciousness itself.
When two quantum entities interact, they become intermingled in such a way as to remain forever linked together. Exhibiting a form of contagious magic, each seemingly telepathically “knows” what the other is doing. Once connected, their wavefunctions become phase-entangled with each other, such that there are no longer two independent wavefunctions but one which encompasses both quantum entities forevermore. It is as if after their interaction each one leaves part of themselves with the other. At that point they are no longer separate in the way that they once seemed to be, but rather, even when separated by vast amounts of space and time, behave in concert, as if they are one entity. Moreover, quantum entities do not exist in isolation, but are always coupled with an environment (the measuring apparatus, the mind of the physicist, as well as the rest of the world). The act of measurement is not a private affair, but a public event in which the whole universe participates.
[The] seemingly separate parts are connected in such a way as to nonlocally, over inconceivably vast distances of space and time, influence and provide instantaneous feedback for each other, “as if” communicating with each other faster than the speed of light. Imagine, in baseball terminology, a throw from deep centerfield to home plate, only the outfielder is on the other side of the universe, and the ball takes zero seconds to arrive. This is another aspect of quantum reality that greatly troubled Einstein─what he referred to as “spooky action at a distance.” The superluminal (greater than the speed of light) interaction involved in a nonlocal universe [does not] involve any expenditure of energy or exchange of information in the conventional manner. [Experiments] in physics have shown that what Einstein derided as “voodoo forces” do indeed exist, at least as much as we do.
[…] At the quantum level, there is the radically new notion of intrinsic unbroken wholeness, a seamless interconnectedness among all of the universe’s seemingly separate parts; at the quantum level, the universe is “one” with itself. In a quantum universe, everything is related to everything else. At the moment of observation, the observer and the observed compose a single, unified whole. The quantum universe, as Bohr could not emphasize enough, can be properly conceived of only as an intricately interconnected dynamic whole. An expression of this undivided wholeness, which is the fundamental reality, is that consciousness is no longer separated from matter but somehow is essential to it.
[An] emergent global property can feed back to influence the individuals who produced it in an interlocking, creativity-generating, self-sustaining and life-supporting feedback loop. Thus individuals and groups can begin to consciously tap into the energy that makes up the quantum realm─the zero point energy of creation itself─in a way which changes everything.
An observing consciousness does not “cause” the collapse of the wavefunction in the way we normally think of one thing linearly, mechanistically causing something else. At the quantum level the “material” world has melted away into an apparently immaterial field of quantum potentiality which is somehow synchronously and synergistically entangled with the minds of observers. What we call matter is, at the quantum level, not separable from some aspect of the observer’s mind, as if the quantum entities are embedded in the observing consciousness itself.
Once these atomic events are registered in consciousness they are transformed into meaningful “information” (which itself is a meaningless idea without some sentient being who relates to and thereby “knows” the information), which somehow nonlocally loops back into and in-forms the atomic realm in what Wheeler refers to as a “meaning circuit.” […]
10. A PHYSICS OF POSSIBILITIES
Quantum entities exist in a realm of potentiality, in what is called a state of “superposition,” which is to say they hover in a ghostly state between existence and nonexistence, existing in all possible states up until the moment they are observed. Not existing in space-time, their appearance in space-time at the moment of observation is a quantum event in which an atemporal process manifests in time. Wheeler expresses the central point of quantum theory in a single, simple sentence when he says,
“No elementary phenomenon is a (real) phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon.”
The necessity for this demarcation is the most mysterious feature of the quantum, for it holds the clue to the central principle of the construction of everything out of nothing. This tenet changes our traditional view that something has happened before we observe it; as Heisenberg writes, “The term ‘happens’ is restricted to the observation.” At the moment of being observed, the wavefunction collapses in no time at all into a particular manifestation, while all of the other potentialities vaporize as if they had never existed.
From the quantum point of view, everything that might have happened influences what actually does happen. In a quantum universe such as ours, everything ultimately exists in a state of open-ended potential, what Heisenberg calls “transcendent potentia.” Quantum theory implies that the whole universe─including ourselves─is recreated and recreating itself anew every nano-second based on how we are dreaming it up. Wheeler comments in his own inimitable style, “We may someday have to enlarge the scope of what we mean by a ‘who.’”
[…] It is important to note that we are always “at” the moment of observation, which is to say that we’re there right now! There is no other moment but the one eternal moment of observation. The tendency to think that the moment of observation is just one single discrete moment in a linear sequence of other moments is due to the long ingrained habit of thinking in terms of linear sequential time, i.e., a “linear time hangover.” In our role as observer-participants, it is as if we are on the cutting edge of the big bang itself, on the forefront of the moment of creation that is always taking place in this very moment, in the here and now.
[…] When we observe an atom to be someplace, quantum physics tells us that it is our looking that caused it to be there. Just like a rainbow can’t be said to exist until the moment that it is observed (as it is made up of light, moisture, and an eye), quantum entities can’t be said to exist until the moment of observation; the act of observation is truly creative.
Wheeler sometimes used a baseball analogy to illustrate this situation. Talking about how they call balls and strikes, some umpires say “I call them the way I see ’em,” which is an expression of the subjective, projective nature of our perception. A second umpire might say “I call them the way they are,” which is an expression of there being an objectively existing reality not dependent on observation, which was Einstein’s point of view. Wheeler then quotes a quantum umpire who would say “They ain’t nothing till I call ’em,” which is an expression of a quantum baseball game in which nothing exists until it is observed. […]
[The] experimenter has some substantial influence on what will happen to the electron by the choice of experiments he will perform, i.e., “the questions he will put to nature;” but there is always a certain unpredictability about what any given one of his measurements will disclose, i.e., “what answers nature will give.” This unpredictability is because the rest of the universe is always inescapably involved in any observation that we make. Quantum reality is not subjective─a mere figment of the imagination─just as it is not objective. The quantum dimension is the bridge, the intermediate realm between the subjective mental realm “in here” and the seemingly objective world “out there,” somehow coupling the two.
[How] does the mass-less, intangible photon, which has zero weight, give rise to even a single particle that has mass, not to mention the massive weight of the whole universe? Simply put, there aren’t any nuts and bolts at the quantum level. We can’t visualize the quantum world, not because we know too little, but because we know too much. Though beyond our imagination, nature has no trouble, however, producing such quantum entities; indeed, such entities are what this whole wide world is made of.
The universe appears in one way, but exists in another. Behind the apparent solidity of everyday objects lies a world of open-ended potentiality. Physics has penetrated to the very core of material, seemingly objective reality and has found nothing that can be said to ultimately exist beyond or outside of our observation of it. It is as if objective reality has slipped beyond our grasp, beyond concepts, beyond even the concept of existence and nonexistence. […] Exploring the farthest reaches of the outside micro-world brings us right back to our inner selves. We can never speak about nature without, at the same time, speaking about ourselves. Poetically expressing the same realization, Wheeler asks, “What is Out There? ‘Tis Ourselves?”
Quantum theory points out that the “real world” is not classical, but quantum mechanical. Rather than the quantum realm being illusory, quantum physics points out that the appearance of the macroscopic, conventional world can be likened to a holographic optical illusion produced by the interaction of our sense faculties with quantum reality. Quantum theory insists that our everyday world is embedded in quantum reality, that our day-to-day world is quantum through and through, which is to say that the quantum realm is not separate from the world of ordinary objects. The world of the very small is co-extensive with the world at large.
Quantum theory applies to big things as well as small; we can’t get to first base without quantum theory in dealing with such large-scale objects as stars, for example. And yet, our everyday world, with its chairs, trees and people, seems, at least to all appearances, not to be quantum at all, but quite real, and solid, very much in alignment with classical physics’ version of reality, with its one-at-a-time sequence of definite actualities. When we throw a baseball, for example, it has a continuous trajectory that can be measured. This is very different from probabilistic quantum entities, which are discontinuous, can take multiple routes to get somewhere at the same time and get to where they’re going in no time at all.
And yet, quantum theory tells us that baseballs are quantum objects, too─they have a cloud of probability which collapses from uncertainty to certainty, but their quantum fluctuations are so microscopically small that they are entirely below the threshold of observation. The elementary particle and the baseball differ only in scale, not in principle. […]
How does the act of observation, of gaining mere information (i.e., knowledge or “software”), modify the state of macroscopic things (“hardware”)?
Wheeler calls the quantum principle the “Merlin principle” because of the way the ever-elusive quantum shape-shifts and, Mercury-like, changes form to continually escape our too-limited and limiting conceptions of it. […] Just like trying to grasp a rainbow or chase after a projection, the quantum always eludes our grasp. If someone says that quantum theory is “completely clear” to them, it is Bohr’s opinion that “he has not really understood the subject.”There is always an element of uncertainty in describing quantum entities; they can never be known in their totality. We can never know both their position and momentum at the same time, which makes it impossible to pin these quantum objects down.
It is not a question of building better technology to one day know both of these properties; it is “as if” these quantum entities don’t possess both of these qualities at the same moment. If we know where these quantum entities are, it is as if we pay a price, for then we don’t know where they’re going. Similarly, if we know where they’re going, we don’t know where they are. We reach a certain point at which one part or another of our picture of nature becomes blurred, and there is no way to refocus that part without blurring another part of the picture. Nature is so constructed that we can study one aspect of nature or another, without any possibility of studying both aspects simultaneously.
Not only is the “path” of quantum objects unknowable, but they can’t even be conceived of having a path in the normal sense of the word; the very notion of having a path comes into question. These quantum objects can be at point A in one moment and─in what is called a “quantum jump”─instantaneously be at point B without having traversed a path between these different locations. […]
As physicists have chased the quantum/Merlin principle, to quote Wheeler,
“… in each ten years of its history, it’s somehow taken on a different color, each time growing more magnificent in plumage, more penetrating in meaning, and more comprehensive in power.”
The further we descend down the quantum physics rabbit hole, the more magnificent the plumage of this very strange quantum bird. The more we appreciate the quantum realm, the more it appreciates, and the more there is to appreciate, as if it’s the gift that never stops giving, a wish-fulfilling jewel beyond belief. […]
12. DREAM STUFF
Etymologically, the word “science” comes from the Latin word “scire,” which means “to know.” What the founders of quantum physics realized is that the proper subject matter of science is not what is “out there,” but rather, what we can “know” about our world, which clearly includes us. At the quantum level science becomes inseparable from epistemology. Quantum physics has realized that it is no longer representing the state of, for example, an objectively existing elementary particle per se, but rather, only our “knowledge” of its apparent behavior, a subtle, but important difference.
This knowledge is a state of mind, experienced in our subjective sphere of consciousness, rather than being a state of some actual, external, material thing. This “failure of thing-ness” is one of the fundamental features of the quantum world. In the quantum realm we never end up with things, but always with interactive relationships. Our “thing-king” mind can’t grasp or relate to the simplicity, elegance─and ungraspability─of the quantum realm.
Physicist Nick Herbert, author of the fine book Quantum Reality, calls the fundamental elements that the quantum realm are composed of “quantumstuff,” a (non)substance which, in his words, “combines particle and wave at once in a peculiar quantum style all its own.” Wheeler’s colleague, physicist Wojciech Zurek, refers to this quantumstuff as “dream stuff.”
This quantum dream stuff, the underlying fabric out of which what we call reality─which is to say, “everything”─is made of, is what is called “epiontic.” The word epiontic is the synthesis of the two terms “epistemic” (the root of the word “epistemology,” which has to do with the act of “knowing”) and “ontic” (the root of the word “ontology,” which has to do with “existence” and “being”). To say something is epiontic is to suggest something whose existence is intrinsically intertwined with the knowledge we have of it. To be epiontic is to imply that the act of knowing creates its being, which is to say that, just as within a dream, the act of perception creates the existence of whatever is perceived.
At the quantum level, being and knowing, perception and reality, epistemology and ontology are inextricably entangled. The world that appears to be an independent material world is constructed from “quantum epiontic dream stuff” which is of the nature of mind, or consciousness.
This quantum epiontic “dream stuff” is capable of producing the seeming solidity of the material world from out of the process of perception. To quote Graham Smetham, author of the excellent book Quantum Buddhism: Dancing in Emptiness, “The appearance of the material world is a matter of deeply etched quantum ‘epiontic’ memes!” The more often a particular perception takes place, the more likely it is to occur in the future. Perceptions which subscribe to the inherent existence of the physical world feed back and strengthen the tendency to perceive the world in this same way in the future, as well as making it more likely that the world will continue to appear “as if” it is inherently existing.
If we buy into the perspective that the world objectively exists in and by itself, we have then fallen under a self-created and self-perpetuating spell, evoking evidence that simply confirms our original unexamined assumption. This is a process in which our mind’s own genius for co-creating reality is unwittingly turned against us in a way that can severely limit us, stifling the awareness of our options and thus crippling our greater potentials. We can become imprisoned by our belief in the objective truth of our perceptions in such a way that we hypnotize ourselves and literally become blind to our imprisonment, remaining convinced that we are simply “in touch with reality.”
The persistent appearance of the classical world is generated by innumerable sentient beings through a continuous web of rapidly repeated, habitual perceptions over vast stretches of time, which amounts to a collective inter-subjective feedback loop. Once the appearance of an apparently stable material world gains enough momentum it develops a self-sustaining pattern which confers a seeming immutability upon our world, a perception which literally becomes reinforced, inscribed and embedded into the very quantum ground of being.
Solidifying the fluid dreamlike nature of our world, we then create a collective dream that seems by all appearances to be solid and fully classical. Referring to the outside world, Zurek writes that in whatever way it manifests it acts “… as a communication channel…. It is like a big advertising billboard, which floats multiple copies of the information about our universe all over the place.” The more often a perception of an independent, objective world is made, the more potent becomes the classical world’s advertising billboard campaign, increasing its broadcasting power as it further proliferates its meme into ever-more brains.
[…] Max Planck, the first person to propose the quantum nature of light and one of the first architects of quantum theory, commenting on what the new physics was revealing to humanity, famously said,
“Mind is the matrix of all matter.”
Consciousness is in some mysterious fashion creating the “stuff” of the material world. […] Quantum physics is nature’s way of telling us something. Does our imaginative, dreaming and visionary capacity link into the quantum realm, interfacing with and becoming a portal for the “divine creative imagination” to potentially transform our world through us?
[…] Wheeler “confesses” that, in apparent moments of lucidity,
“sometimes I do take 100 percent seriously the idea that the world is a figment of the imagination.”
The discovery of the quantum observership-based nature of reality represents the first rupture in the armor of the classical chrysalis that has long encased the human mind and fettered the human spirit, tightly holding it in a state of slumber dreaming of a deterministic, clockwork cosmos. Irreversibly awakening out of its somnambulistic trance, humanity is going through an evolutionary metamorphosis in which it is unfurling its iridescent wings of creative imagination as it flies into the open-ended space of previously undreamt possibilities, releasing itself into the luminous imaginal sky of freedom.