Where does Physics cross over to Metaphysics?

Uri Geller intrigues me because he is one individual with telekinetic capabilities that have been repeatedly examined under close scientific scrutiny. It happens that a friend also met him when he was on the Laura Lee show and he actually taught them how to bend metal objects through mental power alone.

I believe real physical properties of matter that make this possible. It’s really a mix of beliefs regarding both spirituality and physics and I really don’t believe that at the deepest level the two are separable.

Consider that as we look into smaller and smaller realms, the fundamental nature of reality changes. An everyday world macro object, a baseball, a car, a train, certain laws apply to them very consistently. If we apply a specific amount of force to a specific mass, it will produce a specific amount of acceleration, every time, not a function of probability.

When we start to look at what things are made of, atoms, we can not see them directly. We can detect their presence via special devices such as a scanning tip microscope in which a very fine tip is positioned within nanometers of an object and a small current flows between the tip and the object. That current is used to control the position so that it remains a constant distance from the object, and by this method the topography of the object can be mapped. This device can detect and even manipulate individual atoms.

At the atomic level, individual atoms do not have the same properties as the bulk material that they constitute. The concept of color or brightness does not apply at this level. Individual atoms can absorb or emit specific wavelengths of light based upon their electrons orbitals, but this is as close to color as it gets on this scale. The same is true of many other familiar properties of macro objects.

We can go further and look at the particles that constitute the atoms. At this level, the whole concept of matter as we know it gets extremely fuzzy. On this scale we are no longer able to measure both the exact position and exact velocity of a particle. We can measure one or the other with great precision but the more we know about one the less we can know about the other.

The traditional Newtonian view of an atom has electrons orbiting a nucleus just as planets orbit the Sun. However, at this scale we don’t have such a neat picture, instead we have a “cloud” of electrons around the atom and we can only predict the probability of one being in a particular place at a particular time.

Probabilities are the best you can do with subatomic processes. Take for example the decay of radium. If we lock it away in a vault for 1600 years, when we open the vault half of the original sample will be there. If we wait another 1600 years, half of that half. Every 1600 years, half of all the radium atoms in the universe decay. We can know with great precision the bulk statistical properties but we can not know which atoms will undergo decay or when an atom will decay. The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics is that, for any given atom, it is pure chance. We can only predict the state of the system, not of an individual atom.

When you look at these particles, they aren’t exactly like a particle at all, they don’t seem to be solid with defined edges, rather we determine what is known as a nuclear cross-section by firing other particles and look at how things bounce to deduce the effective size of the particles. Their actual boundaries seem rather fuzzy and undefined.

In reality particles might not be physical at all, possibly some sort of standing wave. Then you have to ask yourselves waves of what. The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics says they are probability waves. Matter doesn’t really exist until we observe it under this interpretation. Some people have taken this to the extreme and suggest that nothing in our reality exists until we observe it.

So what you have then is not really matter at all, but more of an idea or thought. A potential for something to exist, not something. At one point I had become convinced that an intelligent consciousness was an elementary property of matter, just as mass, charge, and spin. I have changed my view on this however to where I now believe matter is consciousness. Everything is thought.

“In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

The word wasn’t spoken for in the beginning there was no air to propagate sound. The word could have only been thought. The thought didn’t bring the universe into existence, it is the universe. God, in this interpretation isn’t something that is separate from the universe, God is the all that is.

We are part of that, a drop of water from the ocean, a tiny fraction of God’s thought. When the Bible speaks of God creating man in his image, this is really what I think is meant, we are droplet’s pinches off from the vast ocean of thought that appears as matter and energy and all that is.

The keyboard I am typing on, it’s a consortium of thought, of ideas. So are we. And because we are part of that same ocean of thought, albeit an infinitesimally small part, we share the qualities of that ocean, we can think thoughts and from those thoughts and intentions we can create reality.

I think there is an additional quality of this vast ocean of God thought that is everything that is, and that quality is that it must be self consistent. This forces everything to relate to each other in a specific way like pieces of an infinitely complex jigsaw puzzle, and this is God’s plan, God thought of the universe this way and so it is.

So getting back to quantum mechanics, on a subatomic scale we can only determine probabilities and in the Copenhagen interpretation an individual event is a function of chance. Where exactly an electron is around an atom, we can determine the probability of it being in a given location but we can not know exactly where it is at any given time.

However, I don’t believe chance is strictly that. I believe that what appears to be random events are in fact the way God directs the evolution of the universe. The event isn’t truly random because all the pieces must fit.

One radium atom might decay and the resultant ionizing radiation might not encounter any biological organism and have no effect on evolution. Another radium atom might decay and the ionizing radiation produced might cause a mutation in DNA, such as the one that delayed the development of the brain in a particular line of primates that became us. The delayed development lead to a far more plastic brain that could adapt and learn much more. It also meant that the infant was helpless for much longer. It turns out the long term intellectual advantages outweighed the handicap of requiring greater parental care for a longer period of time.

Traditional evolutionists would argue that this event was a random event and those events that created favorable mutations in terms of an organisms ability to survive and reproduce were thus selected for.

Creationists take the opposite extreme suggesting that the planet has only been around for six thousand years or so and that everything that exists is the result of direct intervention by God.

A middle ground exists in which the initial universe was set in motion with laws that govern it’s development, but that what we view as random events are actually influenced by God to direct the outcome within in the confines of the laws governing the universe. If God is taken to be the all that is and self-consistency is required, then the selection just becomes the necessary shape of a puzzle piece.

Since we’re a drop of the God ocean, a drop of God thought, we too can affect random events, and this has been scientifically proven. There is a mathematical machine used to demonstrate the bell distribution curve in which balls are dropped into the top, hit a peg and either are deflected to the left or right. Below the first peg there are two pegs that the balls can hit, depending upon whether they went left or right with the first peg, and again they can go left or right. Typically in these machines there will be about eight levels of these pegs and then below all the pegs there are columns the balls can collect in.

When the machine is first started, the pattern at the bottom looks fairly random, but over the run, after all the balls are dropped, a curve is formed by the height of balls stacked up in all the columns that forms the standard bell curve.

People, through intention alone, can influence these machines and produce deviations from the standard bell curve. The degree to which a person can do this varies from person to person, some can make a substantial change in the curve, some very modest changes. The strength of the intent seems to play a role, and there seems to be some differences between the sexes.

Men, almost always, to the degree they alter the curve, will alter it in the direction of their intent, and the stronger their intent the more they will alter it.

Women, on the whole, tend to affect the distribution curve more strongly than men, and the interesting thing is that if they have strong intent they will generally affect it in the direction of that intent more so than men. However, if they have weak intent they may actually affect the curve in the direction opposite of their intent. This is generally not the case for men.

Now I’ve read about a number of these studies using this device and other devices, including such things as white noise based random number generators, and all of these can be affected by intention. Here is an interesting thing though, even computer programs using pseudo-random number generators can be thusly affected. The obvious question is, since a pseudo-random number generator is complete deterministic, how can someone influence it’s output? Since the string of output is determined by some initial condition, it can only be affected by affecting those initial conditions, usually some seed based upon clock, keystrokes, and other sources of entropy is initially used to seed such a generator. So it would seem that intent has the capability of actually going back in time and selecting the proper initial conditions for the desired present day outcome.

I am not entirely surprised, and I’ll tell you why shortly, but first I want to relate something. Having read about a number of these experiments I wanted to try for myself. It happens that in Seattle, in the mathematics are of the Pacific Science Center, there exists such a machine that runs continuously, dropping balls onto a series of pegs to form a random distribution curve, then it drops all the balls from the columns and starts over again.

I went to the center with the intent of trying to influence the curve this machine produced. It was an experiment I felt was worth the price of admission. When I had no intention the machine always produced the standard curve. When I tried to influence it, I did, however, always in the direction opposite of my intentions. If I tried to get clever and say I really wanted to influence it to be biased to the right but since I know my intention has the opposite effect, I’ll instead will it to be biased to the left when I really want it to go to the right. This inversed logic didn’t work, it still would go to the left.

When I was standing there alone, this was pretty reproducible. When I went and got someone to stand with me because I wanted to demonstrate, then nothing happened, I could no longer have any effect. I’m not sure what exactly to make of this. Scientists have been able to have individuals demonstrate this ability while observed.

At any rate, suffice it to say that I don’t really believe in metaphysics, I believe we just don’t have a full grasp of physics, the nature of reality, if we did, nothing would be metaphysics it would all just be physics and no longer mysterious. However, I do not know that this level of knowledge is obtainable by us. Can an infinitesimally small bit of God thought possibly hope to understand all that is, God? In totality no, I don’t think so.

I do think over time we can hope to understand more. One prerequisite for this is to accept the fact that we do not presently know everything there is to know about reality. This, I believe, is a major stumbling block to progress. Many mainstream scientists today are so convinced they know everything there is to know they won’t consider any alternative to their preconceived notions even if experimental evidence supports an alternative interpretation.

I don’t think we can ever know absolutely how nature works, what we can hope to do is to create more and more accurate models that more accurately predict outcomes of natural events.

I did promise to elaborate as to why I wasn’t really surprised that intent seemed to even be able to reach back in time to alter past events to create a desired present outcome. I have had a number of lucid dreams as well as waking out of body experiences in which I can go anywhere and any time, just by thinking about it, and it is instantaneous or nearly so. Since out of body I seem to be able to transverse time as easily as physical space, and since this seems to be an aspect of consciousness as does intent, I’m not surprised that intent also has this capability. In fact, I believe both are intent.

For more on my dreams, lucid or otherwise, and out of body experiences and visions, please see my Dreams and Visions blog.

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