HOW THINGS REALLY ARE: Trying to be Awake in a Sleepy Era
C. Harpole, Feb. 20014
In 1958 at the age of 15, I asked myself about the nature of the universe. I decided that the big bang theory was correct and not the steady state one. I asked where did the universe/matter and energy come from. My answer was that “there is a strain on nothing to become something.”* Quantum mechanics has confirmed the latter and other science has confirmed the big bang.
In later years, I kept thinking about the details of the extension of what science, then, was puzzled about. I found no help in current science and was very skeptical of the ultimate power of mathematics to solve these problems in ways that would always transfer to the experimental arena. But, because I saw that every new breakthrough in math and science changed or negated what came before, I knew that Einstein’s theories were only partly correct and that the next breakthrough would change or even nullify the scientific giant of our times. It is obvious, for example, that the speed of light can be called a constant for a math formula needs, but it does not really exist at a fixed speed. But, I also knew that this aspect of my thinking was only scratching the surface.*
I started to read about Buddhist ideas back in my teen years. Returning to these ideas over my next thirty years, I kept being fascinated by the stories from Buddhist legends that the highly advanced, “highly realized,” monk/meditator masters could make footprints in solid rock, could travel in time and to other parallel universes, could actually exist in more than one place at a time, and, overall, knew areas of science much better than science of that day did. In 1998, I got to see some of those stones with the footprints. By that time, I had formed my theory of how things really are. Now, twenty years later, quantum mechanics is filtering down to television shows and something like popular consciousness. Now, some Western scientists in quantum physics are finally reaching toward what the Buddhist masters knew (and do now know) back even at the latest incarnation of Buddha himself, centuries ago.
I came to know then what quantum physics is now beginning to assert. That is that, of course, matter and energy are interchangeable but also that matter can act like a wave of energy and that matter/wave energy can be in more than one place at a time, and further that time itself is not what we ordinarily think of. I felt then and now that everything that was/is/will be is all “happening now.” That is, that “events” are not located in “one time,” but that they always ARE. This explains how the Buddhist masters could perceive past and future by disabusing themselves of the idea that all this is impossible, but instead by simply looking and being able to “see” these “always are” events back or forward in time because these events actually “always are” and are there to see. Then, it is but a small step while looking into the past or future to go there, too.
This can be understood if we see what quantum mechanics is now suggesting and that is that conceiving is creating. Einstein said that he believed that the Moon was still there even when he is not conceiving of it nor sensing it. Einstein was wrong. To conceive/sense a thing or an idea is to make it manifest; not to conceive/sense means those things/ideas are just not “there.” Of course, this issue remains solely within the human realm; there are other realms which may function in other ways.
[To add a note here, it is very important to know that what anyone thinks is impossible will almost always keep him from seeing the possible. The Buddhist masters simply came to be sure that what is normally called impossible is indeed both possible, and for them, ordinary. Their situation then comes about when the limits of ordinary reality are deeply and genuinely removed.]
Remember Buddha said only that he was “awake.” All the profundities are capsulated in that one word. He was/is awake to these factors—including that “to conceive is to make” and that ordinary human rejection of the supposed impossible hamstrings humanity to an erroneous view of how things really are. There is more to be “awake” to; see below.
A piece of this discussion must involve what quantum physics now calls “quantum entanglement.” This idea, articulated in a way in Buddhist lore for centuries, says that two particles (I substitute several or many particles, but that is another story) can be observed to behave in correlation to each other. These entangled pairs exhibit opposite characteristics but the oppositions are directly correlative one with the other. Neither one of the pairs determines the other, no boss, but both definitely and simultaneously exhibit correlations which are complete (if opposite, one + and the other -). That is wondrous enough, but the experimentations go on to show that the two in the pairing are directly correlated regardless of the space between them. Thus, a change can be introduced to particle A and its entangled partner, B, will be in a correlative sameness (that is, B will change in response instantly–absolutely no delay—and actually must be said to be a correlative same). Because A and B can be vastly separated in space (time apparently not an issue), communication of information (and exchange of particles) over gigantic spaces is possible and instantaneous.
Then, if a Buddhist master wished to “be” in his correlated or entangled other in the paring, he would be there, not just travel there, but be there and likely is there all the time. Thus, he could be in two places, at least, at once. The theory goes, in fact, that the master would live in both places at the same time. However, he may be an “opposite” (whatever that means) over in his other pair self.
Today, the quantum entangled pairs are only single tiny bits of matter, electrons, but it seems more than likely that single tiny bits of matter, the pair, could be chunks of bits or whole human beings (or other things larger). It seems reasonable that if one tiny bit of matter exists in this way that size should not really be a limiting issue.
I postulate that quantum entanglement occurs among many bits of matter. This idea explains how I can be in two parallel universes (or who knows how many parallel universes) at the same time. So far, I have only been able to sense two universes, but that could be my self-limiting—my thinking of only two at first and then maybe I have difficulty of adding more. Perhaps I only was provided two in my plane of existence. Otherwise, it could be that two is the limit of quantum entanglement pairs. But then, I always doubt limits.
I do not doubt my two parallel universes “visits.” I am completely puzzled at how and why I have awareness (consciousness of) of only one at a time. I also wonder about my paired self over there in the other universe. I guess we exchange places simultaneously. It happens when I am not in my conscious not-sleeping self which could be expected to be self-limiting (again, as above), but during sleep the transition must be easier. I am working unsuccessfully so far at being awake during the change over. (I am also not aware of being in two places at the same time.)
More, quantum mechanics today postulates that there are many universes and that changes in one are not necessarily reflected in oppositional duplicate in the others. This is definitely part of current quantum theory, but it does seem to contradict the quantum entanglement idea of “pairs only” and pairs always in oppositional relation. That is why I postulate that the parings can be multiple, perhaps infinite in number. Beyond this topic is the supposition that the universes are only levels of infinite other layers of other “places/times” that either contain or live next to our idea of our own one universe.
Add in the Schrödinger’s catreasoning which seems to say that I could be dead in the other universe. Or, at least, at one moment of space or other, I am both dead and alive. Then, events occur so that I either die or don’t die. If I have understood the Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment, I could not really visit the other universe, especially on the chance of being dead there, because this thought experiment seems to limit the cat and I to one continuum of time/space and limits the possible futures, dead or alive, to only two options, either of which are determined by past events. I say, my idea, that the cat is either “already” dead or is “already” alive because of the idea of a continuum of all events/times—the idea that all things are and are all the time of past, present, and future (as stated above). I am not sure if Schrödinger’s cat’s “arena” has parallel universesor just two possible futures and one becomes “the one and only.”
Returning to the previous paragraph—“in oppositional duplicate”—there is a possible extension of thinking that relates to Buddhist cause and effect and to the idea that time is a continuum with all pasts, presents, and futures all present to any one powerful master observer at once. This extended idea is called “retro-causality.” This idea says that like “the past can affect the future,” the future can affect the past. This idea has support in quantum theory where a projected particle, an electron, seems to go back in time when an event happens to it (exposure to photons, in experimentations) in a specific way. Importantly, when the event happens to it, at that moment the particle is in its future relative to its later retrograde action. Thus, the particle’s future affects its past.
It will be interesting to test if Buddhism is concerned with the future, or even the present, affecting the past. This situation would “reverse” cause and effect where the effects would modify the causes and would do so actually rather than in the realm of saying, “Yes, what happens now can change our perception of its causes.” The actual causes would be changed by effects happening in the future. Buddhism and thinking of all kinds are ripe for consideration of this matter.
There is a Standing Wave in all of everything.
Along the way, as a senior in high school, I invented thermite, but that is another story. Also, see “strain on nothing” in another essay.
Why does a dog bark? He barks to reconfirm his existence.