Metaphysics & Geometry

Metaphysics is the science of the universals; it is the science of essences, i.e. realities that are universal and unchanging,i.e. do not depend on time or any particular degree of manifestation. Metaphysics is not the same as speculative philosophy or theories of creation. Metaphysics is and is true whether or not Big Bang Theory of the Hypothesis of Evolution are true. The subject matter of metaphysics proper is the Truth as perceived by the so-called Divine Mind. Metaphysics is not a human knowledge but is the content of the Divine Intellect or Pure Intellect. Metaphysics is not invented or learned; it cannot really be taught; it is only discovered, i.e. remembered, by a Seeing that is altogether other-worldly and absolute. This science, contrary to all other human sciences, is not done by speculation or experimentation but through intellection which is a transcendental, and by no means mental, activity of the spirit.

Metaphysics is about Truth Itself and not what men and women, whether saints or philosophers, have thought or said about the truth. Metaphysics is about the architectonics of reality as a whole, i.e. totality, as opposed to empirical science which consider reality only insofar as it is sensible and measurable by minds and men. We cannot say, for example, that metaphysics is other than physics though it is also not identical with it. Metaphysics encompasses all other sciences and is their very ground, but the nature of its relation to human sciences is always misunderstood; this relation is best understood only within the framework of an analogy, of course until the attainment of metaphysical realization which is the same as the Liberation. So, we offer the following analogy that we hope clarifies the nature of the relationship between metaphysics and empirical reality or empirical sciences:

Consider a video game in which your avatar, i.e. your embodied character inside the game-world, is put in a world similar to ours and its mission is to explore this world and find its natural laws. Basically, in this game you are a scientist that has to use the tools of the game to find the most general regularities of that world, things such as  gravity, electricity, etc. Now, if we want to transpose the idea of metaphysical knowledge into the context of this game, what element of the game should we choose? Let us begin by saying that metaphysics is not anything of the nature of a fact or a piece of knowledge within the game-world and can be sought and found in the same manner that one seeks and finds the facts of a world. It is not something that our scientist can find by means of exploring inside the world game.

Within the context of our game, metaphysical knowledge can be compared not to any natural law or any fact of the game-world but to the programming code that is behind the very phenomenon called the game-world and has made that world possible. Our scientist cannot find this underlying code by exploring inside the game-world and experimenting on its phenomena; he himself and all his explorations, etc. are nothing but the manifestations of the programming code underlying the game. To access metaphysical knowledge, i.e. the code in this analogy, the avatar does not even have to look outside himself or to move around, for this knowledge is, as it were, inside him, i.e. known by realizing that “there is a game” and then trying to transcend it. Now, how a game can be programmed so to make such our scenario possible, and whether it is possible or not, is entirely irrelevant here. The point of analogy was only to show the radical nature of this science of metaphysics and its relation to all other empirical sciences which can know only what is inside the game and not what is behind it. Even the methods of inquiry are radically different: In empirical science we explore and experiment, but metaphysical truths, i.e. that programming code, is not susceptible to such methods of investigations; the only way of accessing such knowledge is to somehow exit or transcend the game, or more precisely, to wake up rather than to look out and explore.

It is natural that the methods of inquiry inside the game, methods designed to find empirical facts and natural laws, can in no way help one even become aware of the possibility of a programming code behind the game, let alone finding that code. All such methods, all empirical sciences, are sciences of phenomena, but metaphysics, being the science of essences, i.e. the science noumena as opposed to phenomena, has nothing to do with phenomena but the meaning behind them. In other words, metaphysics studies the metaphysical roots of phenomena. Therefore, the failure of empirical methods in becoming conscious of the possibility of metaphysical knowledge, let alone discovering it, is only a failure and a shortcoming and doesn’t mean that there is no metaphysical foundation, or code, behind the game, a code that is different from the facts and natural laws inside the game simply because these laws are themselves manifestations, or projections, of that very code. One cannot use these methods to prove or deny the existence of a program behind the game, and this indicates the futility of all attempts at denying that there is a metaphysical foundation behind all things. The ultimate proof of metaphysical truths and realities is metaphysical realization, and this realization has been known and done and is not something up for discussion or refutation. As we have said many times, those trying to deny metaphysical knowledge, which by the way has nothing to do with god or religion but encompasses them, are like blind men trying to dispute the reality of a rainbow. A true metaphysician, i.e. a Jivan Mukta, never bothers trying to prove to anyone the possibility and reality of metaphysical truth; he can at best show the way for the seeker of truth to see and realize for himself that which is never a matter of opinion or speculation of any kind: The only proof of the Face is the face Itself.  

Now, what does all this have to do with geometry? Well, as we said metaphysics is the science of universal and immutable truths, realities that are unchanging, and hence do not depend on time or any becoming whatsoever. Thus, all theories of creation, modern or traditional, religious or secular, are only human theories and speculations and at best have symbolic value, for they all presuppose a becoming of some sort. In metaphysics, there is no becoming. Creation is a human fact; from a metaphysical, i.e. transcendental, point of view, creation and becoming are absurd and unreal concepts. But since we find ourselves as humans in the midst of a world of becoming, our thinking is conditioned by it and can understand things mostly in terms of being and becoming. At the same time, because of the transcendental nature of metaphysics it can only be understood through analogies until the point of metaphysical realization in and through which all metaphysical truths are grasped immediately and intuitively and with absolute certainty.

A proper and successful analogy is that which is based on a fundamental but common feature present in both sides of the analogy. Since immutability and the absence of time and becoming is the most fundamental and definite characteristic of metaphysics, the most appropriate analogical means for its expression should be another science that is devoid of the concepts of time and becoming. We know that all empirical sciences such as physics, biology, etc. are in fact about change and becoming, so they cannot possibly provide enough ground for a successful analogical method of communicating metaphysical truths. Of all the sciences accessible to man, the only one that is devoid of the concept of change and time is geometry, and in general pure mathematics. There is a direct correspondence between most propositions of geometry and abstract algebra, and this to the extent that we can even say geometry and abstract algebra are only two different ways of expressing same mathematical truths: In abstract algebra we are dealing with abstract symbols and their relationships but in geometry we are dealing with spatial relationships, so it is like abstract algebra only with the advantage of visualization. For this reason, geometry is a little more suitable for communicating metaphysical truths because it allows some space for visualization which is a great tool in all learning.

Thus, we believe and we can show that metaphysical truths, which are entirely independent of the concepts of god, creation, divine, etc. but are at the same time the very source and ground of all these concepts and realities, is best conveyed through geometry. And it is no surprise that geometry has always been considered a sacred science and present almost in all esoteric schools such as Pythagoreanism, Platonism, Neoplatonism, Eastern and Western religious esoterisms, and also in Freemasonry. For example, the letter G at the center of the symbol for Freemasonry consisting of square and a compass, traditional tools of architecture, stands both for God and Geometry, in which God is viewed as the Great Architect of the Universe who creates by means of immutable and intelligible relationships, i.e. geometrical forms. We only add that geometry is not to be seen as identical with metaphysics, and we should not think that in reality there are points and circles; but geometry and its concepts are used as the best symbolic means of expressing intelligible realities that are beyond any spatial relationships. In other words, geometry is the reflection of intelligible truths in the plane of human mind which can understand things only in terms of the conditions of time and space. The reflection of the sun in the pond is not the sun but can tell much about the sun, at least about its form. Metaphysics too exposes the universal forms by which truth can manifest Itself, the Truth Itself and in Itself remaining always unmanifest and only known by being it, a mode of knowledge accessed upon metaphysical realization, i.e. Supreme Identity.

It is outside the scope of this article to delve into geometry and show the metaphysical truths that are reflected in it. Our goal was only to show, firstly, the radical nature of the science of metaphysics and its relationship to all other spheres of human knowledge, and secondly, to suggest the best way of approaching this science, which is done through geometry. We hope that in the future we can devote a few articles to some aspects of metaphysics using geometrical truths. The main problem that makes metaphysics difficult to understand for the average mind is that metaphysics is not a science for everyone and requires a very refined and objective intelligence not deformed by the assaults made against the mind by the universal compulsory education. One needs to know some abstract algebra and be very well familiar with geometry, particularly the theory of functions, power series, Taylor Expansions, etc. in order to perceive the subtle metaphysical truth reflected in these forms. However, metaphysical truths, which is a way toward liberation and Supreme Identity, is not the only way. Religion and spiritual disciplines have the same end in view. While metaphysics is the way to Truth for the born philosopher, religion is a way for everyone, even the last man. The spiritual man if he succeeds may come to see the Face of Truth, but the metaphysician if he succeeds comes to see the Whole of Truth.

We end this piece by mentioning the simplest of all metaphysical truths whose reflection is found in the geometry of a circle:

Where there is a circle there is also a center, as no circle can exist without having and belonging to a center. A center, a singular point, however, can be without belonging to a circle. But what is a circle really? A circle is nothing but the expression of its center in terms of spatial relations. All the points on the periphery are the outward projections of the central point. In other words, a circle is nothing but a dimensionless point in expansive mode: Circle is the expression of a point. Or, when a point utters itself, the circle is that utterance.

Note that in expressing itself the center has not become, or turned into, a circle; the center doesn’t become the circle or cease to be the center; the center just is, and it is all that there is, for the circle is nothing but the center in its expansive mode: Circle is only a point’s dream. In reality, there is no expansion or contraction; there is only expression, the sound, The Word.

As every circle has a center and is nothing but a homogeneous expression of that center, every world, i.e. degree of manifestation, has an origin and is nothing but the homogeneous expression of that origin. This origin is exactly what is known as God in all spiritual traditions of the world.

In more abstract terms, a circle is the Taylor Expansion of a dimensionless point. Here, there are no two realities but only one reality with different names. To see and understand the exact logical and ontological relationship between the center and the points on the periphery of the circle consider this analogy: In life you are one person but with different roles or relationships. Say you are a man; to your wife you are a husband; to your son you are a father; to your father you are a son; to your employer you are the worker, and to your employee you are the boss; you can also be an uncle, a grandfather, a nephew, etc. As a father your relationship to your son is different from your relationship to your wife as a husband, etc. All these names, i.e. son, father, boss, husband, cousin, etc. which are different roles and relationships pertain to you, one and the same person. All these names designate different relationships that can be potentially established, or activated, within one and the same person; some of them may be only potential, for example you are only potentially a father when you have no kids, but once you have a child you have activated that potentiality which was within you all along and was nothing apart from you. Now, the logical and ontological relationship between you and all these names, i.e. relationships, is the same as the logical and ontological relationship between a central point and all the other points on the periphery of a circle spanned by that central point. Therefore, there are no many points; there is no becoming. There is one reality and multiple expressions, the expressions being only potentialities within one and the same point which is the basis of all Reality.   




Transcendental Consciousness & Supreme Identity

We mean by transcendental consciousness a fundamental mode of consciousness as opposed to mundane or natural consciousness. Natural consciousness is our everyday consciousness; it is the consciousness by which we perceive ourselves as human beings in a world, a world that has religion, science, philosophy, art, etc. as phenomena inside it. In other words, natural consciousness is consciousness of a world; it is a mode of consciousness that perceives itself as a finite part inside a whole that it perceives as the world. We must note that this world, which includes me and my attributes, science and its findings, etc. is primarily something phenomenal before it is something material, a fact also discovered by Quantum Physics; this world is first and foremost something known through experience, in and through consciousness, and it is only later that I attribute to it the idea of materiality and independent existence, this attribution itself being something done by and within consciousness. Thus, this world which is essentially phenomenal than material is subject to the laws of phenomena before it is subject to the laws of matter, laws of physics and other modern sciences. The laws of phenomena, and the method of moving from natural consciousness to transcendental consciousness, are derived within the science of Phenomenology and also hinted at in Advaita Vedanta Metaphysics whose final aim is the direct realization of transcendental consciousness which is the same as Deliverance or Supreme Identity in which the individual self realizes that it is essentially identical with the Universal Self, Atman, and that it is in fact our ignorance about this Universal Self that gives the individual self, and the world, the illusory appearance of existence.

It is in natural consciousness that we perceive ourselves as individuals with personalities, thoughts and emotions, hopes and aspirations, etc. This natural consciousness is the consciousness of a phenomenal world. It is important to note that my individuality, my humanity, my thoughts and emotions, etc. are all parts of this world phenomenon, they are all phenomena embedded within the world phenomena; they are all objects of knowledge of consciousness, for after all I am constantly aware of myself as a human being aware of a world and also aware of himself being something inside this world.

Therefore, everything that is, in the broadest sense, is a phenomenon of consciousness, and hence this consciousness cannot itself be a phenomenon or anything inside the world, for if we claim that consciousness is a phenomenon inside the world, then who is it that knows and says this?! An object, or a person, that has always been inside something else and has never been outside it cannot possibly know that it is inside something else. Therefore, the claim that consciousness is a phenomenon inside the world entails that there be a consciousness that is, or at least has been, somehow outside the world, for otherwise it cannot make the above assertion.

This natural consciousness, or the natural attitude of consciousness, which has the same essence as transcendental consciousness is not anyone’s personal possession; it is not the human consciousness, simply because our humanity is itself something experienced in light of this consciousness, itself being an object of consciousness. Thus, by consciousness we do not imply a production of individual brain or something personal, since brain, personality, science, etc. are all things always already experienced as objects of the ever-present consciousness; they are phenomena within an impersonal consciousness that we falsely attribute to our own individual existences.

Transcendental consciousness, which is the nondual state of consciousness, is opposed to natural, or dual, consciousness in that it is no more a consciousness of a phenomenal world. This transcendental consciousness is not a state of my individual consciousness; it is not a higher state of human consciousness as such; rather, my individuality, my personality and all the things I attribute to myself, are only ideas within transcendental consciousness. More precisely, transcendental experience is not a human possibility; rather, it is humanity that is a transcendental possibility; humanity is itself a possibility within transcendental consciousness. As a natural consequence, the transition from natural consciousness to transcendental consciousness is the transition from human state of consciousness to the unconditioned, supra-human and supra-individual, state of consciousness which leaves no trace of humanity or individuality as such. To put it differently, transition into transcendental consciousness amounts to dehumanizing our consciousness, that is, to release it from the bondage of world and individuality.

My human individuality and the world are the two poles of natural consciousness and hence depend on one another. When I enter into transcendental consciousness I lose the individuality, the ego sense and everything superimposed on it; losing this I-pole I also lose the world-pole, the whole of the phenomenal world. Thus, it is natural that upon transition into transcendental consciousness, which is a sudden and discontinuous transition very similar to a quantum jump, not only my individuality disappears but also with it the totality of phenomenal world vanishes instantly, all this being a very sudden and instantaneous change rather than a gradual transformation. The instantaneous and discontinuous nature of this transition stands in sharp contrast with human spiritual or mystical experiences which are gradual transformations and never go beyond the individual order, and hence are essentially natural experiences marked with subjectivity and sentimentality. The mystic even in his/her loftiest states of ecstasy and divine union is still bound to the individual order and far from realizing the Supreme Identity or Deliverance which amounts to the annihilation of his individuality and along with it of all his/her religious, spiritual, and mystical notions including God and union with Him. Transcendental experience, however, by the mere fact that it belongs to the supra-individual order is beyond all subjectivity and is not followed by any human sentiment and spiritual/mystical notions, for in transcendental experience our humanity is already transcended; thus, no human notion or idea, or any individual possibility whatsoever, survives the transition into the transcendental state: Everything has to die for Atman to arise.

When we enter into transcendental consciousness we lose the world; the phenomenal world is no more there. Since our human individuality and all its attributes were parts of world phenomena, they too disappear in transcendental consciousness. In other words, when I enter the transcendental mode of consciousness, which we can also designate as transcendental experience or nondual consciousness, I no more am a human individual in a world, nor am a thing in any sense of the word; I am no more embodied nor do I perceive a world or space-time. Upon entrance into transcendental consciousness everything disappears instantaneously. The only thing that remains is the self-consciousness of Atman, the universal Spirit. It is not that Atman becomes the object of my consciousness, me being something separate from it; instead, in transcendental, nondual, state I am aware of myself as Atman and I am directly perceiving myself as one with it, though this direct perception is not in the natural sense of the word which derives from natural, or dual, consciousness in which perception and its object are perceives as separate things. The direct perception, or Self-perception, in the transcendental state is nondual; there is no separation, nor is Atman perceived like a spatial or temporal object but as the Absolute and Infinite Self of all things. This direct perception is totally veiled in our natural consciousness and hence we cannot think of it or grasp it, even in our loftiest thoughts and speculations, as long as we are in the natural, human state which must be entirely overcome before the veil is dropped.

The world phenomenon and its phenomenal objects only appear to us as a result of a particular point of view, or orientation, of consciousness. It is from a particular angle that world appears to consciousness, and this world, including we in it, will immediately disappear the moment consciousness tilts itself into a different, transcendental, angle. Upon changing this orientation or direction of glance of consciousness the whole world with its objects and my individuality in it disappears all at once.

Time, space, embodiment, worldliness, and all phenomena in general appear to consciousness in virtue of its particular orientation which is not an orientation in space and time but rather a transcendental orientation, entirely outside space and time, which has to do with the way Spirit, or pure consciousness, projects itself. As a result of changing the orientation of consciousness from natural attitude to transcendental attitude the phenomena of time and space too disappear; hence, the “I” becomes naked; it loses its individuality and personality and self-hood; it is no more embodied in space, nor is it something extended in time as if it had a past and a possible future. The transcendental experience of time is wholly different from our natural experience of time in which we apprehend each moment to have a before and an after. In transcendental experience time too is naked; it is not embodied, that is, it is a now that has no before and no after. Time is experienced as an eternal now, a now totally outside the natural time of our natural, everyday consciousness.

As we said earlier, in transcendental consciousness I have already lost my humanity and individuality, thoughts and emotions, ideas of past and future, and in general all world phenomena that I attributed either to myself or to world objects. The “I” that survives, the “I” that is left after entering into transcendental consciousness, is a universal I; it no more has the character of mine or thine; it is not anyone’s “I” but rather it is the “I” that shines through all of us. Since this survived “I” lies outside space and time it no more has such a thing as history, no past or future; therefore, upon entrance into transcendental consciousness it instantly becomes evident, with absolute certainty, that this “I” is never really born and never dies, not because it lives forever but simply because it is no more something in time; it is entirely free from and outside the reach of time; it is no more partitioned and conditioned by time.

The transcendental “I” which is my true “I” or essence lies outside space and time and hence not subject to temporality or duration of any kind. It has no before or after, and hence from the point of view of transcendental consciousness the questions “where did I come from?” or “where am I going” become completely meaningless and don’t even arise in consciousness anymore since they are not applicable to this “I.” In the transcendental mode I am no more perceiving myself as a thing that has a before or after; even the ideas of before and after become inconceivable in transcendental consciousness since it is by its nature a consciousness transcendent to space and time, hence free from being conditioned by space, time, and causality. As a result, the idea of creation too collapses since in that state one realizes that the phenomenal world never truly existed; there has never been a creation; time and space and causality which are the ideas presupposed in the idea of world and creation are themselves only illusory phenomena and not real, since in the absence of time the notions of beginning and duration become meaningless. Thus, our belief in the world and creation is a result of ignorance, something like an optical illusion.

A brilliant analogy is given by Adi Shankara, the 7th century AD Indian monk and metaphysicist. He says that the appearance of the phenomenal world is a result of a false superimposition of names and forms, Nāmarūpa, upon the unconditioned Brahman. The situation is like when we see a coiled rope and mistake it for a snake, of course because we have in our memory the idea of a snake that can curl itself into the form of a coiled rope. This phenomenal world plays the role of the appearance of snake in Shankara’s analogy: It is in fact Supreme Reality or Brahman that we are conscious of, and directly perceiving in front of us, but we mistakenly, and as a result of superimposing forms and names on it, perceive Brahman to be the phenomenal world. From this analogy, transition to transcendental consciousness amounts to realizing that the object is not a snake but rather a coiled rope. I add that Brahman itself is not something perceptible by sense organs; when I say we are directly perceiving Brahman I mean the direct perception by Pure Intuition, namely the nondual glance of transcendental consciousness which is realized only when we suspend our natural, human consciousness. Thus, Brahman is always before us and we are, as the transcendental “I,” always staring at it; however, we are instead perceiving our sense perceptions as a result of constant recourse to memory which is the depository of names and forms. We fail to perceive Brahman because we are trapped in, in the bondage of, natural, human consciousness. Only the transition to transcendental consciousness by which the whole world disappears can tear the veil, and then the face of Brahman, the face of Truth Itself, appears before us, a face that the transcendental “I” immediately recognizes as its own. This instant is the moment of waking up from the world dream and to the Supreme Reality; it is none but the attainment of the Supreme Identity; it is the instant of Deliverance, namely it is The Liberation Par Excellence.

I emphasize that the manner of Being of the survived “I,” the impersonal, universal “I,” is entirely different from the way I experience existence in natural consciousness. Transcendental consciousness and the transcendental “I” is beyond Being and Non-Being: It is not Ontic; it is Meontic, that is, beyond being and non-being. This “I” and its Self-experience cannot be spoken of, nor can it be understood at all, in terms of our natural consciousness. The natural mind which is the human mind is essentially incapable of conceiving of transcendental experience in which there is no more a subject or an object, no duality whatsoever. Our natural consciousness cannot conceive of an experience in which the subject-object duality does not exist. Therefore, any attempt at understanding or imagining the transcendental consciousness is futile; the only way of knowing it is to actually enter into transcendental consciousness which entails the sudden disappearance of the natural consciousness and the whole of the phenomenal world with it.

From the point of view of transcendental consciousness I have not come from anywhere, nor am I going anywhere, since there is nowhere to have come from and nowhere to go. Since transcendental consciousness is transcendent to all spatiality and temporality, the ideas of here and there, now and then, are entirely meaningless and non-existent. Up there there is nowhere else except the universal Here and no other time except the eternal Now and no one else except the universal “I.” Duality has altogether vanished upon my transition into transcendental state, or the ground state, of consciousness. I have always been there will always be there, for “I” am the only thing that is, however in my absolute, infinite, and unconditioned state: I am Supreme Reality itself.

Quantum Field Enigma I

In a previous post titled What is Quantum Physics I introduced the subject and its principles: Quantum Physics, or Quantum Mechanics, is the theory that explains the motion of microscopic objects such as molecules, atoms, nuclei, and all the elementary particles of nature. This is the story of its creation: Before the beginning of the twentieth century physicists were able to discover almost all the laws that governed the observable phenomena at the macroscopic level. These laws, expressed in mathematical form, explained the two main realms of nature: 1) The motion of masses and the gravitational force that is exchanged between them. 2) The behavior of charged particles and the electromagnetic forces exchanged between these charges.

The first set of laws governing gravity and dynamics of masses is known as Classical Mechanics explained by Newton’s Laws of Motion. The second set of laws governing electricity and magnetism is known as Electromagnetism obeying Maxwell’s Equations. All natural phenomena such as heat, waves, etc. could be understood within these two theoretical frameworks. These two frameworks along with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, which deals with objects moving with high velocities, are together known as Classical Physics. The important point is that in classical physics we are dealing with two distinct types of objects whose collective behaviors determines natural phenomena: Waves and particles. Sound and light are examples of wave phenomena; masses and point-charges are examples of particle phenomena.

As a result of technological advancements of late 19th and early 20th centuries experimental chemists and physicists were able to probe into the microscopic world of molecules and atoms. Scientists expected to find particles obeying Newton’s laws of motion; however, it turned out they were wrong, and in fact they saw that the concepts of classical physics were hopelessly inadequate in capturing the reality of the microscopic world. Let me give you just one example: Experimental findings gave a model of an atom, which is neutral, consisting of a very heavy, positively charged, nucleus concentrated in a very small region of space, within a length of about 10-14 meters. The negatively charged electrons rotate around this nucleus, hence keeping the whole atom neutral (This model is similar to our solar system though we will see that the underlying reality is totally different.) However, this kind of motion for electrons violates the most important tenet of electromagnetism: According to electromagnetism an accelerating charged particle, such as electron, radiates energy in the form of light, hence it keeps losing its energy as long as it is in accelerating motion. We also know from classical mechanics that rotation is an accelerating motion. This means that electrons rotating around the nucleus should radiate light and hence lose their energy until they fall onto the nucleus. But experiments have shown that nothing of the sort happens. Atoms, at least most of them, are stable structures; their electrons revolve the nucleus without radiating light; these electrons emit, or absorb, light only when they jump from one orbit to another orbit, and these orbits are not arbitrary; electrons can only occupy certain allowed orbits with discrete energies. Also, their jumps between orbits are not jumps through space; when an electron jumps from, say, orbit 2 with energy 20 to orbit 1 with energy 10 it does not fly through the space in between orbits; neither does it incrementally decrease its energy from 20 to 10 passing through 19, 18, …. This energy loss is radiated away in the form of electromagnetic radiation, photon. Electron’s jump is instantaneous and doesn’t take any time whatsoever: The electron is in one orbit and then suddenly shows up in another orbit. This inexplicable kind of jump is known as electronic transition or Quantum Jump. This example was one among the many experimental findings that needed a new physics in order to make sense.

Quantum Mechanics which was developed between 1900 to 1927 by the collaboration many physicists is the theory that explains the motion of microscopic objects. In other words, quantum theory was developed as a mathematical tool to make sense of and organize the strange experimental findings in the first decades of twentieth century. Double Slit Experiment is the cornerstone of quantum phenomena and it contains almost all the bizarre features of the quantum world. Quantum Mechanics is considered to be the most successful intellectual achievement of mankind since it has been able to explain all microscopic phenomena, and it is also the most experimentally verified theory in the history of science.

According to quantum theory the basic constituents of nature are neither wave nor particle. However, depending on the measuring instrument they can manifest either as wave or as a particle but not both at once, see The Complementarity Principle. Prior to the act of measurement the quantum system (particle is a misnomer but we have no better word) is neither a wave nor a particle, and it is also nothing else: It has no characteristics, no form and no properties, no position and no velocity in space. In fact, it is not a thing or entity anymore; it is a no-thing, a no-entity. Nothing can be said about it except saying that if we perform such and such a measurement on this no-thing there is such and such a probability to get such and such a numerical value for what is being measured. This bizarre feature of quantum phenomena is called stochastic behavior, that is the microscopic world is inherently indeterminate, see The Uncertainty Principle.

This indeterminacy is a matter of principle and not of the our ignorance nor of the inefficiency of our equipment. It is not that we don’t know the position of the “particle” in space; the particle has no position, or any dynamical property for that matter, prior to the act of measurement; the measurement process creates the very position that is to be measured. This means that the quantum world and the quantum objects cannot be thought or imagined in any possible way. Even the much used statement that “in quantum world a particle is in many places at once” is a false way of putting it because in the quantum world there is no such thing as particle; it is meaningless to speak of here and there, let alone of everywhere. Place has no place in the quantum realm.

The objection may rise, as it did for myself for quite a while, that this lack of knowledge about the nature of quantum objects is a lack on our part; perhaps the particle itself contains all this missing information but it is us who cannot access it, whether due to our state of knowledge at the present time or because nature somehow doesn’t like us to have that information!

But that is not true, for if it were our everyday world would not look like what it does. It is proven and experimentally verified that the quantum “particle” could not possibly have a position prior to measurement; if it did, whether we know that information or not, then we would not observe phenomena such as waves, colors of a soap bubble, etc. These phenomena can occur and be observed if and only if the underlying constituents do not have inherent properties such as a determinate positions or velocities. In other words, the missing information about the exact properties of quantum objects is not missing at all; it does not, and cannot, exist or else we would not be seeing what we are seeing right here right now. In other words, our observation of the form of appearances is possible only if that which appears is itself formless: Form is formlessness conditioned and partitioned. The set of experiments that have consistently proven this results are known as Bell Experiments and the theory that underlie them is known as Bell’s Theorem.

In the microscopic world what determines the place and status of quantum objects is the act of observation. To avoid mystical mis-interpretations I must add that observation here is not meant seeing with eyes or anything like that, anything depending on the consciousness of the experimenter. Observation in quantum mechanics refers to a complex process in which a macroscopic machine interacts with a microscopic object. Whether or not our consciousness is there in the room, whether or not we read the display of the machine that contains the result of measurement, it is always the internal mechanism of the instrument that by itself determines the state of quantum system and the possible outcome of the measurement. Human consciousness does not create reality, for it is itself already part of a created reality.

In future posts I will continue this subject and introduce you to Quantum Field Theory, QFT for short, in which the quantum world is no more seen as a collection of isolated particles and waves but as a field spread in space-time. In QFT particles are in fact the vibrations of the field. Quantum Field Theory was created by combining Quantum Theory and Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity.

Quantum Physics & Nonduality

Nondual Perspectives on Quantum Physics reveals the common thread running through science, philosophy, and spirituality, the main three paths aiming at a knowledge of ultimate reality. Introducing the most advanced representatives of these disciplines in non-technical language I show how they all point to one and the same underlying principle:

The manifest arises from the vibrations of the umanifest.

Quantum Physics from modern science, Transcendental Phenomenology from modern philosophy, and Advaita Vedanta from traditional metaphysics are the three representatives introduced in my book as having a common ground that is essentially transcendental and nondual.

The book has three chapters: In chapter 1 I introduce quantum physics and its philosophical implications. In chapter 2 I introduce the concept of nonduality along with one traditional and one modern example, namely Advaita Vedanta and Transcendental Phenomenology. In chapter 3 I highlight the interconnections between these three disciplines and expose the common ground upon which they are standing and the ultimate reality to which they are pointing.

The Table of Contents

Chapter One: Quantum Physics

The Physics

The Philosophy

Chapter Two: Nonduality

The Idea

Advaita Vedanta

Transcendental Phenomenology

Chapter Three: Unity

Common Ground

Common Language

Quantum Reality

Nondual Reality


Nondual Perspectives on Quantum Physics is available also at Goodreads.