How Modern Physics Resonates with Ancient Mysticism
Modern science has always been shadowed by an underlying paradox. Its methods have no basis upon which to define consciousness itself, and yet they are dependent upon human consciousness to provide them with all of the “laws” that they work within the context of. In other words, the scientific method can only assert that various things seem to be true insofar as our own perception goes. This is why new findings are constantly replacing old “truths” in its search for objective certainty. It cannot grapple with what sensory perception actually is (outside of the physical organs that perform it), and yet it must rely upon the evidence provided by the five senses as its only verification of truth.
In its quest to get move closer to the roots of its own methods, and to contend with the mystery of consciousness itself, modern quantum physics has made certain landmark discoveries that echo statements that many mystics and seers have made about the nature of reality since ancient times. The disparity between the scientific and the philosophical approaches to consciousness may not be as wide as humanity has long believed.
Within the workings of quantum theory, atomic and subatomic particles can behave in ways that are utterly contradictory according to our typical understanding of physical reality. Under certain experimental conditions an atom can take more than one path simultaneously, or exist in two places at once. Other experiments have demonstrated that the same principles can apply to larger (i.e., visible) objects as well. These findings mirror the mystical understanding that we exist in more dimensions than just the one that our physical senses perceive.
Mysticism perceives a relationship between the “outer” world of form and an “inner” dimension that creates it and imbues it with life and consciousness. The macrocosm mirrors the microcosm: “As above, so below.” Another central tenet is the idea that we create our own reality as our thoughts and feelings are made manifest.
In the world of modern science, old “laws” are constantly being supplanted by new discoveries. This in itself is a seeming paradox. How can old principles be proved false when we have effectively utilized them for countless inventions and innovations? Breakthroughs in quantum physics have suggested a solution to this apparent contradiction: The scientific method finds what it seeks. When physicists seek to measure electrons as waves then they inevitably see waves. When they go looking for particles they find particles.
It is always easy for us to find “evidence” to support our beliefs because our beliefs generate the “proof” to begin with. Thoughts and expectations have been shown to affect scientific inquiries. In the mystical understanding of reality, form follows thought and focus determines reality. Ancient wisdom is asserting itself in the most modern of technological settings, proving that all our manipulations in the outer world can never divorce us from our dependence upon the inner one. Such developments may serve to heal the age-old rift between psychology and philosophy; between scientific objectivity and inner certainty; between reason and intuition.
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