Friday, September 11, 2009

a muse about quantum physics and community plus couple of books I've enjoyed

Once, when I was a lot younger, I decided to play american football. At practice we were doing drills and I got hit and broke my ankle. Badly. In the end it took 8 screws and a plate to hold it all together. It took quite a while to heal enough to get the hardware out. Eventually out it came and then off to the doctor. But it didn't really heal that well. It stayed a bruised colour and wasn't right.

So the doctor recommended an accupuncturist who worked next door. He was a chinese man who lay me down and began to put the needles in. The other treatment he used was a little device that looked like a single bar heater. It had won the geneva prize in the 80's. The principle it worked on was simple.

When the body is healthy it throws out magnetic fields of certain frequencies. These frequencies constitute and maintain a healthy state for the body. When disease or injury occurs, that part of the body's magnetic field changes, and a discordant frequency, of unhealthiness, is emited. The heater type apparatus was designed to throw out healing frequencies and it sat on the floor, right beside my ankle for a couple of months. It worked. My ankle healed. My doctor, when he saw it healing shook his head and said that he was really pleased because the next step, if it hadn't worked, was to chop my foot off. Which was news to me.

The point of the story above is to illustrate the many unknows that are out there. We do throw off magnetic fields and those fields can be observed. Quantum physics has shown that until observed by us, a electron is both a wave and a particle and displays properties of both, at the same time, in simultaneous places and when observed it decides which state to be in and it is that state, either a particle or a wave. The observer affects the observation.

i'm reading a book at the moment called, “The Field” by Lynne McTaggart. And I have just finished a book called “Ubiquity” by Mark Buchanan. Both books connect. Ubiquity is all about understanding that complex systems are based on simple structures. And by understanding simple models we can understand the more complex real world systems. The field also discusses the underlying simple structures that make up our world. And I am talking in both cases about the quantum level. The level where the world as we know it doesn't exist but another world does. And it appears that this underlying structure of everything is an interconnected field, sometimes called the zero point field.

Newtonian physics and all of the western structures built upon it, have created a worldview of seperate-ness. But that is not how the world is. At the quantum level, subatomic particles have no meaning in isolation. There is no seperate-ness. Time and space don't exist as we know it. Once connected they stay connected through all time and space. If this is the way it is at the subatomic level, at the fundamental building blocks of everything we know and see around us, in the hand we hold up to the sun, then why is it different at the macro level?

It isn't, but we live within a scientific and western worldview that it seperate-ness is the way it is when the opposite is true. Indigenous cultures know this.

Ubiquiy talks about 'fingers of instability'. With an earthquake, when the first tiny part of the rock slips, the size of the final quake is unknown and unknowable. It is determined by the length and interconnectedness of the 'fingers of instability'. A big and small quake starts out the same. Earthquakes also exhibit a power law relationship between size (energy) and frequency. Double the size and the earthquakes occur four times less frequency. There is no average sized earthquake. A lot of dissimilar systems display the same properties and it appears as if the ability of systems to form natural critical states where any thing can happen, is a fundamental property of nature and it reminds me of the zero point field descriptions in 'The Field'.

Fingers of instability inhabit our world too. They display in areas such as fashion and trends. You Tube viral videos is a good example. Why do some take off and others not? Why do some political ideas take off and others not? Why do some societal changes occur and others not. The same concept of fingers of instability can be applied to these questions and the answer is unknowable. But what is known is, that sometimes, somewhere, an idea takes hold and it grows and manifests. Any one of us can be the starting point of that world shattering (in terms of paradigms) idea.

Science advances also appear to follow a power law and often the next big thing is so big it smashs existing paradigms to bits. Einstein and relativity changed forever the way scientists looked at the world. The idea of non-locality is another – this is where an individual electron or quantum entity influences another quantum particle instantaneously, over any distance without any exchange of energy or force. The next big thing often starts out in ridicule and disbelief. Thats why 'The Field” is well worth a read. it disturbs the paradigm and shows the world the way it is. Interconnected at almost every level.

The zero point field is interesting. Scientists have found that there is no such thing as vacuum or nothingness. If you take all of the matter and energy out of an area of space you would have, at the subatomic level, a hive of activity. Subatomic particles, called virtual particles, can never be truly at rest. Due to the uncertainty principle they pop in and out of existence and every exchange of every virtual particle radiates energy. Richard Feynman in attempting to give some idea of the magnitude of the underlying energy in the zero point field said the energy in a single cubic metre of space is enough to boil all the oceans of the world. implications are that interactions with the zero point field generate form and shape, allow growth and life, allow interconnectedness and knowledge transfer... Anyway I encourage you to read about it, it really is facinating.

We think we know the world but in many ways we hide from really thinking about the way the world is. It is no wonder when we are continually hassled by advertising, working hard to pay the mortgage and the bills. Knowing we would rather be spending more time with the kids or just having a rest. But once on the conveyor belt it is hard to get off. Communities, although counter-intuitive, may be the answer.

Creating communities is totally do-able. Imagine how good it could be. Imagine the relief. I really believe that comminites are the solution to most if not all of our problems. Grandparents left on their own, trying to still pay their mortgage? Comminities! They can still work, if they want. Or look after the mokopuna, or garden, or whatever. Parents would have support. How can we keep the kids off P? – comminity. crime? mortgages? healthy food? loneliness? feeling like you're contributing? passing down and up of knowledge? Community.

We are connected at many different levels. Energy and intent can make a difference. We can change things and make them more the way we want them to be. When i think of community i think of interconnectedness. People working together for common goals. Many generations, family groups. It is our natural way.

My ankle healed even though I didn't understand how.

We can create communities even though I'm not sure how.

It is our natural state. At the quantum level and at the macro level.

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