An Integral Approach to management and human development based on the spiritual vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother with an emphasis on its application to various domains of knowledge and life.
Our investigations into the nature of the physical reality in the light of discoveries and perceptions of New physics has led us to following fundamental perception
i) The essence of the physical reality is an interconnected unity and wholeness of the space-time-energy matrix.
ii) The energy which constitutes the physical reality has a material and a non-material The material dimension manifest as the “particle” and the non-material as the “wave”, which seems to be more of a mental phenomena in a non-material space than a physical phenomenon in material space. And the deepest essence of the physical universe tends more towards the non-material. As James Jeans wrote : “Today there is a wide measure of agreement which on the physical side of science approaches almost to unanimity, that the stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality : the universe begins to look like a Great thought than like a Great Machine”.
iii) Human Consciousness or the consciousness of the observer seems to be an inseparable part of or linked with the observed physical reality.
But still there is one fundamental question which has not yet been entirely resolved. What is the deepest source and subtraction of the material world? Some of the more intuitive among the scientific thinkers of New Physics are moving beyond the perception of interconnectedness and coming closer to the Indian insight into the indivisible unity of existence. They are asking whether this particle – web or the energy – web is itself the expression of a deeper substratum. For instance Gari Zukov, writing on the property of “spin” of the subatomic particle, says:
“The rate of spin is such a fundamental characteristics of a subatomic particle, that if it is altered, the particle itself is destroyed. That is if the spin of a particle is altered that it can be no longer considered an electron or photon or whatever it was before we altered the spin. This makes us wonder whether all the different particles might be just different states of some underlying substance. This is the basic question in particle physics”.
This underlying “substance” seems to be an unbroken unity obeying the laws of spiritual unity of existence discovered by eastern mystics, which embraces “all in each and each in all”. According to one of the latest theories of physics, the boot-strap theory, each fundamental particle contains all the other particles involved in it. As Fritjof Capra explains:
“The picture of subatomic particles that emerges from the bootstrap theory can be summed up in the provocative phrase ‘every particle consists of all other particles’. It must not be thought that it contains all the other in a classical, static sense. Subatomic particles are not separate entities but interrelated energy patterns in organic dynamic process. These particles do not contain one another but rather involve one another in a way that can be given a precise mathematical meaning but cannot be expressed in words”.
Some of the philosophically – oriented scientists wondered whether the basic “stuff” of the physical universe is mental. Arthur Eclington hesitatingly asked whether the essence of matter is “Mind-stuff”. James Jeans wrote that the physical universe appears more “like a Great Thought than like a Great Machine”. But interestingly some of the latest discoveries and experiments in New physics coming closer towards giving an experimental validity to perceptions of the these scientific thinkers, which are also in harmony with eastern insights.
The origin of these discoveries goes back to what is called Einsten – Rosenthal “thought – experiment”. This thought experiment conceives a possibility in which a particle pair or a pair of particles coupled together with opposite spin are separated and sent in different direction. Now the question is if the spin of one particle is changed what happens to the other particle? If there is no change in the other particle, then the causes which affect the particle-behaviour are purely local. On the other hand if the change of spin in one particle, changes the spin in other particles also, then the causes are non-local. An actual experiment is conducted by a physicist to verify this thought – experiment. This experiment, has found that the spin of the one particle changes instantaneously with the change in the other particle. As the Indian – born physicist Amit Goswamy explains “What happens in this experiment is that an atom emits two quanta of light called photons, going opposite ways and somehow these photons affect one another’s behaviour at a distance without exchanging any signals through space. Notice that without exchanging any signals through space but instantly affecting each instantaneously”. And again as Gary Zukov puts it “Some how the particle in area B ‘Knows’ that its twin in area A is spinning right instead of up and so it spins left instead of down. In other words what we did in area A… affected what happened in area B”. But how such a phenomenon is possible? There seems to be some sort of an “information” transfer between particles and that too instantaneously. In the physical space and time no signal can travel greater than the speed of light. But even the speed of light is limited and takes some time to travel within space. This time may be very small, of the order of nano-seconds but still it cannot be instantaneous.
But the instantaneousness of the change shows that there is a faster-than-light information transfer happening beyond the physical space and time. So some of the scientists have come to the conclusion that the world of Matter are held together by a transcendent faster-than-light or “super-numinous” information system which is beyond the physical space and time. As Amit Goswamy explains further the conclusion arrived from the Aspect-Experiment:
“Now Einsten showed long ago that two objects can never affect each other instantly in space and time because everything must travel with a maximum speed of light. So any influence must travel, if it travels through space, taking a finite time. This is called the idea of locality every signal is supposed to be local in the sense that it must take a finite time to travel through space. And yet, Aspect’s photons, the photons emitted by the atom in Aspect’s experiment influence one another at a distance, without exchanging signals because they are doing it instantaneously – they are doing it faster than the speed of light. And therefore it follows that the influence could not have travelled through space. Instead the influence must belong to a domain of reality that we must recognise as the transcendent dimension”.
But this idea of a transcendent “Information” dimension to the physical reality is no longer in the realm philosophical speculation. An eminent physicist of the University of California at Berkley, Henry Stapp proposes this idea as a serious scientific hypothesis in one of his papers written in 1977. Wrote Stapp : “Quantum phenomena provide prima facie evidence that information gets around in ways that do not conform to classical ideas. Thus, the idea that information is transferable superluminally is a priori, not unreasonable… Everything we know about nature is in accord with the idea that the fundamental process of Nature lies outside space-time. The theorem of this paper supports this view of Nature by showing that superluminal transfer of information is necessary, barring certain alternatives that seems less reasonable”.
The Nature of Information: Is It Consciousness
All these discoveries and perception have brought some scientists to the conclusion that “Information” is the source and essence of Matter and the material world. One of them is the Noble Laurate Physicist Dr.Bohm. “All Matter” says Bohm “Including ourselves are, is determined by ‘information’. ‘Information’ is what determines space and time”. But what is the nature of this “Information”. Could it be some form of consciousness or intelligence? The instantaneous exchange of information between particles suggest the possibility of some form of a unified field of consciousness or intelligence holding together the physical reality. At least one physicist has come to somewhat similar conclusion. E.H. Walker speculates:
“Consciousness may be associated with all quantum mechanical process… since everything that occurs is ultimately the result of one or more quantum mechanical events, the universe is ‘inhabitated’ by an almost unlimited conscious, usually unthinking entities that are responsible for the detailed working of the universe”
The significant and striking sentence in the above passage is “conscious, usually unthinking entities”. We normally associate consciousness with mental consciousness with thought, feeling etc. But just like in the physical energy spectrum that there are ranges of energy below and above the visible light, there may be in the consciousness spectrum ranges above and below the mental consciousness. There may be submental consciousness without any mental thought or feeling; similarly there may be supramental consciousness beyond mental thought and feeling. Could there be behind the subatomic phenomenon some such form of a submental unthinking consciousness?