WHY QUANTUM THEORY MATTERS…..

   Quantum theory is one of those poorly understood, 'mysterious' aspects of physics which has tickled the consciousness and imagination of the layman.  Numerous books have been written over the past few decades dedicated to explaining its scientific/metaphysical implications to the curious seeker.

I am one of those curious individuals who have been fascinated by the mysterious, counter-intuitive almost paranormal aspects of quantum theory.

Emerging in the early years of the twentieth century by physicists who were themselves baffled by what it told them about the nature of reality, it has been explored by philosophers, historians, spiritual writers, artists and the generally curious.  It overturned much of what seemed logical, rational and reasonable even to such great minds as Einstein himself.  Although he was the architect of an equally revolutionary theory of relativity and was one of the founders of quantum theory, he never quite accepted its nontraditional challenge of 'classical' physics.

Some of its principles seem to suggest  that communication between two physical objects could  occur faster than the speed of light [quantum entanglement], that light itself could be a particle or wave depending upon how it was observed, that perhaps conscious observation itself caused the quantum world to 'choose' how to manifest itself to the observer, that subatomic particles possessed a probability that they could appear in a distant location without logically having traversed the intervening space  [quantum leap].

Such conclusions about the nature of reality [metaphysics] shocked some physicists, intrigued others.  Physicists found themselves making metaphysical assumptions about the nature of reality which were strangely similar to the pronouncements of mystics.

All of this seemed fascinating enough, but physicists had proclaimed that these strange qualities only applied to the bizarre world of subatomic particles. Few individuals believed that our 'macro' world obeyed such unexplainable properties.

But a recent article in Discover magazine is bringing the quantum world closer to us–literally.  Called ENTANGLED LIFE by Mark Anderson [Feb 09] it begins to explore how life itself, including photosynthesis, sense of smell or consciousness itself may express quantum realities.

Those of us who regard mystery as an inherent part of the universe such as the nature of dark matter and dark energy  [rather than the residue of ignorance] can even find in quantum theory  the possibility that science and spirituality  may some day find common ground.

There is no reason  to  feel that one must choose between the poles of science and spirituality any longer.  Both are avenues  a seeker can take in order to seek ultimate truth about the nature of reality.  Metaphysics welcomes all as tools to uncover ultimate truth.

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