By Mike Meyer
You may not have noticed but the old universe we had wasn’t real. While it had been kept around for a long time for nostalgia and emotional reasons, it had been causing more and more problems. This has taken almost one hundred years to achieve. Needless to say this is a large change. While there are holdouts in the ranks of physicists and philosophers of science, their position is increasingly weak.
You really don’t want to argue with Schrödinger’s cat.
This has been so long in arriving as the dominant view of reality primarily because the adherents of the old universe fought this to the death. Einstein spent the last forty years of his life trying to disprove the new reality. He failed.
While this has been understood for the last seventy years changes this large take a lot of very high level work to understand. The implications didn’t really start to filter out to the educated population until the last thirty years and more quickly and broadly in the last ten. Even then most people didn’t know that the old universe disappeared several decades ago.
Disappearing is, of course, an inaccurate statement. It was never really there and we had been making an understandable mistake for several thousand years. But times change and once you know what you don’t know and then start looking to see what that means there is no going back.
Before you abandon this as a game, the smart phone in your pocket only works because the universe is not there. It works because of quantum mechanical potential and entanglement. You carry the proof of this everyday with your phone as the first mass symbol of our new quantum mechanical universe. With working tools of the new universe in daily use by nearly half the planet’s population, the full acceptance of the new universe is just a matter of time.
My point here is to begin to address the next phase of change that is transforming human society as the new universe becomes standardized and normalized for everyone. Much of the confusion and disruption that we are struggling with around the planet is caused by the demands of living in a very different universe from what most people grew up with.
In TL;DR form it has been becoming clear for a long time that the base assumptions of the scientific world established in 17th century Europe on ideas of Democritus and the atomists in early Classical Greek philosophy were wrong. These assumptions saw reality as an objectively physical thing separate from people. Because of that you most likely think that you are separate from the dead matter things around you and from other living things including people.
That means that you think those things you see around you actually, physically exist in some form distinct from you. They don’t but your experience of them does exist. It makes much more sense when you think of external reality as actually a reflection of your, and our, shared experiences.
The old physical universe worked incredibly well as a model for breaking away from the older mythological universes where everything was arbitrary and controlled by spirits, gods, whatever. The rise of what would become the Newtonian universe allowed physical, i.e. tangible things to be looked at objectively and measured. People always liked to measure things but once things were simplified in to only one group of physical things to be measured things went a lot faster.
Both the great successes that have made us what we are and the great failures that now threaten our continued existence are products of the Newtonian universe and Einstein’s relativity that built on it. But the quantum mechanical universe has now clearly identified insurmountable problems with the base assumptions underlying both Newton and Einstein.
The best known of these proven problems is probably quantum entanglement. The presence of that term and concept in a huge number of books and novels is another illustration of the rise to dominance of the new Quantum Mechanical universe.
Quantum entanglement makes subatomic particles that are entangled change states based on state actions on either of the pair no matter how far apart they are. This is not a message that is sent or signal of some kind or a background link in the environment. And this does not break the speed limit of the universe already established in universal relativity.
This is being constantly tested and holds true. It’s very important to keep this in mind. There is much confusion, most of it created for political reasons as if scientific proof is somehow not correct. Scientific proofs are subject to contestant testing. Any legitimate test that disproves the base theory destroys that theory. Scientific theories are fact until they are disproved. One failure and they cease being functional scientific theories.
A recent test proved entanglement for state changes with subatomic particles that were 10 km apart. A change to one’s state changed the other instantaneously. Either their is something going on that doesn’t fit our universe as we knew it or we have that universe wrong. We now know and are working to confirm that we had it wrong from the beginning.
Probably less well known but equally as important is the problem of ‘objectivity’ in the old universe. Scientific observations are supposed to be completely independent of an observer. Who the observer is and where they are does not affect that which is scientifically observed. But in the quantum mechanical universe we know that an observer is required for things to exist. Without an observer, that is a sentient being, not a device, the states that define an object are undetermined.
Schroedinger’s cat is neither dead or alive based on the totally random tipping of a bottle of poison. Only when someone looks will the cat become either live or dead. In a way we can say that the cat killed our old universe.
Yes, this is very much in the vein of undergraduate debates of the sound a tree makes or doesn’t make in the forest when it falls if no one is there. Too bad it is not that simple.
These are the main problems that are unsolvable in the old universe and, up to now, in the new one while the idea of the physical universe remained. But there is one more that is directly human that comes into reality (literally) here. It is called the hard problem of consciousness.
To keep this as simple as possible, we can limit this to the question of where does our mind exist? Consciousness must be a product of neurons in our brain but which neurons? Will we be able to upload our ‘selves’ to a computing system in the future? What exactly are we uploading? These is a strong school of thought that sees this strictly as a product of digital and electronic computing power emulating the human brain. But the complexity of that is bedeviled by fundamental problems that don’t allow a satisfactory model.
In a physical universe everything must be ultimately based in a physical object. Our minds are the only way we know about all the stuff outside of ourselves but that mind must be from that stuff outside of our consciousness in our physical mind. This is a little too circular for comfort even in our logic.
These problems have been consistently pointing to the fact that our physical universe is not there. That universe external to us and objectively physical causes us to tie ourselves in knots trying to square the circle. Pieces keep falling out or simply won’t go in that model including our consciousness.
But if we just relax and let the physical universe go things suddenly make a lot more sense. The key is that we don’t really have a physical universe except as mental experience. If the universe is the product of consciousness then quantum mechanical actions and spooky relationships are natural. The new universe is idealist and not physicalist.
Yes, but what about other people? This is not the proverbial undergraduate realization that I am the only one that exists since I can’t tell if anyone else is real. We know that there are billions of selves (that we know of now) beyond our individual self and that they agree with us on almost all the things that we all see. We all work together and cause stuff to happen around us and to send things to other planets to look at them.
The critical piece to our new universe is understanding that the universe is very much like our minds. The universe is amazingly amenable to our ways of understanding and measuring. Despite forty million light years of galaxies and stars, not to mention galactic clusters, these have a very surprising resemblance to the neuronal structure of our brains.
And remember, we know that as sentient beings we are required to observe a potential for that potential to become a thing. This is the classic school experiment with light as both a wave and photon. Observing it makes the wave function collapse into a point. We have very special powers in this universe. Why?
Because the universe is a mind and the universe we share is the thought of that mind. We are parts of that mind that are disassociated out as partially separate thought entities. This is a common process of our minds that also produces multiple personalities in one person.
A strong working theory is that this disassociation is how sentient minds came to appear in the primary universal mind.
No, this is not mystical or spiritual, although it finally explains those things very well, but objectively and measurably the nature of our universe. We just had it backward and on the wrong foot so we had more problems than solutions. It was a case of being mostly right but, fundamentally, wrong in our perspective.
This is why we have a new universe that is now rapidly replacing the old. We need better understanding of ourselves and our universe at this stage of our existence, yes, time and evolution is a part of this idea, in order to survive, continue to learn, and achieve our potential.
Lots of things such as dreams, Jungian archetypes, and group consciousness can now make sense. The rediscovery of the life of things in the New Materialism allows clearer understanding of relationships to our planet, solar system, galaxy and the all things around us. Those things that we have long felt had a role that was more than a dead piece of matter really are vital in this new universe.
But we need to and will change drastically as we realize the possibilities and missed realities around us and available to us in this new model universe.
“The Idea of the World: A Multi-Disciplinary Argument for the Mental Nature of Reality” by Bernardo Kastrup. http://a.co/hUFZFU5
“The Archetypal Cosmos” by Keiron Le Grice. http://a.co/eS2nCag
“Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things (a John Hope Franklin Center Book)” by Jane Bennett. http://a.co/7hokX6r
“Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity” by Carlo Rovelli, Simon Carnell, Erica Segre. http://a.co/bz2cYlR
“New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics” by Diana Coole, Samantha Frost, Jane Bennett, Pheng Cheah, Melissa A. Orlie, Elizabeth Grosz. http://a.co/bfYPlmo
Cultural Awakenings (Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology, Issue 6)” by Grant Maxwell. http://a.co/dhlvhfm
“Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View” by Richard Tarnas. http://a.co/1CAj1MY
“Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View” by Richard Tarnas. http://a.co/5TUixJw