Where do we come from? Who are we and how do we explain the secrets of the universe that have plagued scientists for thousands of years?
Interestingly, some of the unifying theories of the universe resemble principles from ancient Vedic writings. While most pressing questions regarding the universe still remain unanswered and many of the theories unproven, much progress has been made. One theory that suggests the quantum field is in fact consciousness was believed to be true by two Nobel prize winning scientists. One was Max Planck—the father of quantum theory.
In this article we will explore the ancient Vedic wisdom when compared to modern quantum theory in an attempt to support the case that consciousness may in fact be the basis for quantum field theory.
Exciting, right? First, let’s see what Einstein had to say about this.
In 1935, Albert Einstein discovered something called “quantum entanglement,” which he called “spooky action at a distance”: the behavior of atomic particles change simultaneously and instantaneously over long distances—even light years apart. This discovery supports the notion that on a subtle level, our actions can create a ripple in the quantum field and affect particles on the other side of the planet. We are all connected. One physicist described it like this:
“Entanglement is the unusual behavior of elementary particles where they become linked so that when something happens to one, something happens to the other, no matter how far apart they are.”1
Before I attempt to describe this phenomenon in Vedic terms, let me list some of the basic (but very weird) rules of quantum physics:2
- Quantum objects (microscopic particles like electrons, protons, and photons) can be both wave and particle. This is called Wave-Particle Duality.
- Quantum objects can be in more than one place at a time. This is called superposition.
- You cannot simultaneously precisely know more than one physical property of a quantum object (such as location and momentum). This is called the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.
- Quantum objects can affect one another instantly over huge distances. Einstein called this spooky action at a distance or entanglement.
- You cannot measure anything without disturbing it, making quantum mechanics subjective. Quantum objects change when observed.
While each of these five rules are amazing, I want to focus of the fourth and fifth first. Actions of an electron are changed by observation and any electrons that it are entangled with it, no matter how far apart, change instantaneously when the first electron is observed—these electrons can even be light years away.2,3,4
Confused? This YouTube video by physicist Philip Ball may help you better understand how this happens.
The Famous Double-Slit Experiment
The double-slit experiments are perhaps some of the most famous in physics. Initially, they were designed to determine if light was a wave or particle.
Researchers discovered it can be either! What made the study famous was the surprising ingredient that caused the light to take form.
The study found that behavioral patterns photons follow when they pass through a barrier with two slits predictably change when observed or measured compared to when they are not observed. These studies have been repeated for decades and the results suggest that the process of observation changes the observed.3,4
Weird, right? Just having someone observe the experiment changes the experiment.
The quantum understanding of the double-slit experiment is summed up in a 2005 essay by RC Henry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University: “A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality.”
How Did the Double-Slit Results Change When Observed?
In the double-split experiment, when unobserved photons were shot at a barrier with two slits, they pass through and shapeshift from particles to quantum waves, interacting with themselves. When they hit the backstop screen on the other side of the double slits, the photons demonstrate wavelike patterns, not particle patterns.5-7
To better visualize this, the waves created in this experiment would look like tapping two spoons in a still pool of water—you would get two sets of waves that would interfere or interact with each other and themselves.
The mystery of this experiment is that when there are detectors to determine if the light was waves or particles, the experiment results dramatically changed.
When there were detectors “observing” the photon, they did not change into a wave! The observed photon particles shot through the slits like bullets and pounded the backstop without ever becoming a wave.
The researchers unplugged the detectors but left them in place and repeated the experiment. With the detectors unplugged (so not detecting or observing anything), the photons shot through the slits became a wave once again, as in the original experiment!5
Vedic Science Attempts to Explain How Observation Changes the Observed
Related to the results of the double-slit experiments that say the observer changes the observed, Vedic science describes this phenomenon with reference to a trinity: a concept common to many religions. In Vedic science, the observer, the observed, and the process of observing comprise the structure of three that make up the one whole underlying field of consciousness—a Vedic theory very similar to today’s Super Unified Field Theory and String Theories.
These three Vedic attributes of observation may help us understand quantum entanglement and maybe even how the universe got started. Once again, the three are:
- Observer, aka rishi or knower
- Observed, aka chandas or the known
- Process of observation, aka devata or process of knowing
According to Vedic science, once the observer observes, the observed changes. We saw this in the double-slit experiment. After being observed, the object changes. Unobserved is a different state than observed.
Unified Field of Consciousness
The quantum rules one and two listed above suggest that quantum particles can be both a wave and particle at the same time, while existing in two places at once. Weird, I know!
Einstein suggests that light waves are actually many photon particles creating an electromagnetic field or the photoelectric effect.
When these particles function as a wave, they seem to display quantum principles (as our quantum rules have described), but when they behave as particles, they seem to function more like what we know as classical physics.3,4
Quantum Field Theory is a currently accepted theory suggesting that suggests at the most fundamental level, the universe is not made up of particles, but different types of waves that can express themselves as particles, thus becoming a desk or pencil.
The theory suggesting that quantum waves at a more fundamental level are unified is called the Super Unified Theory. Others, taking this one step further, have theorized that the super unified field is in fact conscious or consciousness. It is thought to be bubbling with creative potential; it is the source of everything; it’s pure potentiality and was there before the Big Bang.
Although unified field and related superstring theories have yet to be fully embraced, they are still contenders. The notion that the source of the universe is actually structured in consciousness, which could be the God we all seek, is not new to Western science. Max Planck, originator of quantum theory and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918, said the following:
“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything we talk about postulates consciousness.”
Eugene Wigner, who also won the Nobel Prize in Physics, said, “It will remain remarkable in whatever way our future concepts may develop that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality.”
Hooked? Stay tuned for Part 2!