For anyone interested --

Tom, a former member of IPS, has posted an interesting -- and lengthy! -- blog on Integral Life.


Quantum Enlightenment 

Views: 3232

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

OK, we agree here as far as this goes, but then why does it necessitate (or does it?) that the quantum level is foundational, i.e. has no deeper structure?

Thomas said:

Joel: Can you unpack this for us?


It's a view of causation from a non-temporal frame.  A better word for "cause" in this frame is choice.  Creation works also.  Choice and creation both imply freedom, which is what quantum wholeness implies.  Wholeness (implied freedom) is the source of quantum indeterminacy.

Joel, to ever further subdivide, assuming that's possible, one needs ever more energy.  Infinite subdivision = infinite energy. 


We're going in circles.  There is no infinite process that is not also eternal.  Thus no temporal process of infinite subdivision that needs resolution in a finite frame, and no infinite energy needed for it.  The differentiation already exists, always has, not in the forms of the mathematical continuum, necessarily, which just reveals a posteriori aspects of the nature of continuity (infinity), but in the form of emptiness, or dimension or possibility and actuality.


There is no "infinite energy" in that sense.  What, then, do you mean to say it "simply always existed"?  You look, there, to be referring to the tacit, the non-temporal, a priori, always already.  Sure, I get with that ... as tacit.

Yes, I thought we established this long ago.  This is the key aspect of the atemporal view and absolute scope.  But I'm saying that you are confusing it with the temporal and relative scope when you posit that it occurs within the relative frame of scale, such as at the quantum scale.


They explain newness?  They describe the emergence of newness using non-linear theories.  Non-linear = non-causal = non-conceptual.  I don't see explanation there.

If description is not explanation then please define your requirement here.


Immanent continuity is immanent tacit, as continuity is an a priori tacit term.  How is this different from quantum physics, which speaks of manifest (immanent) wholeness (tacit)?  Continuity is wholeness, Joel---both are essential tacit equivalents.


It is different because quantum physics confuses this continuity with a particular frame of reference in terms of scale.  It relativises the absolute (or absolutizes the relative, depending on how you look at it) by positing a particular scale as where this "wholeness" occurs, when the nondual approach is to see that it is both nowhere and everywhere.  This error of the quantum is the classical pre-rational and post-modern (pre-integral) error.
You are aware of infinite sums, of course.  Regardless, this distinction seems irrelevant.  We can just use whole.  The whole is greater than the capacity to sum the parts.  How's that?

Thomas said:

Joel: Then please define "sum" and how it differs from "whole".


A sum is a linear mathematical expression that requires things or thing-like separations or divisions for the math to work.  Wholeness isn't a sum of things as if added together.  It is better found in the ambiguity, as Bohr said, inhering in the definition of thing.  What Bohr understood by ambiguity is just as Nagarjuna expressed it.  One cannot define any thing without defining everything else ad infinitum.  Why?  Because any identifiable thing is fundamentally related to everything else (the measuring situation [observer] and measurement result [observed] express each other).

One cannot define any thing without defining everything else ad infinitum.


EXACTLY ... but only in the absolute sense.  But in no way does this justify his absolutized relativity of his foundational quantum, or the violation of the law of analogy, which is actually anti-Nagarjunan and contradictory to this very notion of wholeness, imho.

Quantum wholeness doesn't necessitate that there is no deeper level. 

Ahh, now we are making progress, but do they not claim claim that the "Planck scale" is the final smallest scale?  Apparently you do not.


What it suggests is a framework applicable to any depth discovered in that underworld of the quantum.

But in my terms it is an inadequate frame in that it has not found the post-classical (qualitative) causation, which is why it continues to fail to unify its own compartments and to provide a comprehensible view of reality.  Again please do not take causation in linear terms, but in the terms we just opened up of immanent detail, which you are now saying is not precluded in QM.


Take QCD.  Protons are quanta. 

This is contrary to everything I learned about quanta, but in this sense it fits with my own views.  This is how I see quanta, simply stable organismic form.  Your "wholeness", etc, etc.


They evidence a deeper structure of quarks.  Though the theory of quarks is radically different from the theory of massive particles (quark "force" is asymptotic freedom, ie, force reduces the closer the particles), that theory is expressed in a quantum form: quarks (matter-particles) and gluons (light-stuff) are all quanta. 

OK, but Quark theory has been falsified by Krisch's experiments on proton spin, which evidenced a substructure actually predicted years in advance by Sorce Theory, based on its post-classical causal modeling.

The quantum idea of wholeness does not block further deeper discovery.  QCD demonstrates that cleanly.

Excellent, so we have found traction again.


Nicely stated, and likewise!  But yes, whole is not a summing, that's implied, otherwise summing would be capable of wholing.  :)  I think we understand each other now.  So this "wholeness" is indeed synonymous with Spinoza's "essence", Leibniz's "substance" and complexity theory's "emergence", basically.

Thomas said:

Joel: The whole is greater than the capacity to sum the parts.  How's that?


Summing is a sub-whole operation in the land of parts.  Wholeness, in my perception, is not "greater" than a sum, as it isn't a summing; it is, rather, and for me, the infinite totality implied by the word part.


Let me get more pragmatic.  We've been interacting here.  I've read you and you've read me.  In having read you, I have changed (degree of change is irrelevant).  I have changed by the measure of you, either by incorporating what you've said, or by sharpening my understanding in reference to what you've said.  In either manner of change---incorporation or differentiation---part-you has "increased" (changed, qualified, creatively complexified) part-me by the measure of you.  In defining me, I can henceforth not exclude you in that definition.  That's Bohrian definitional ambiguity.


Put this another way.  I will henceforth think in a different way, that difference, again, being the measure of you incorporated in me.  Because I am a holon---whole---everything in me relates to everything else.  How I walk, how I talk, how I think, how I feel---whatever I do will evidence, by however small or large degree, that change.  That's wholeness, but I cannot really describe it because its so damn tacit.

Now that we've gained traction and I'm understanding that in your view the quantum is not foundational (though it was always explained to me as such), I'll just ignore the rest of the attempts to fix that fixed error.


This one, however, could use some attention.

Explanation is causal, linear, temporal.  Description is more like penciling or painting in outline, or pointing, as the sages have said.


OK, I'll go with your differentiation here, but complexity theory does both, and then some.  Computation is more than sketching, imho, because it is animated and contains much more detail and rigor than a sketch can provide, although it can lack in flexibility, in comparison, in certain aspects, which is akin to your ambiguity.  But this doesn't stop complexity theorists from making sketches or descriptions.  But again, I think we both understand that any description or explanation is bound to be limited and not capable of encompassing all of immanent complexity (continuity).  And I think we both understand that this doesn't mean that description is impossible, in general, but just simply limited.

So, wrapping things up, I will offer the following analysis of your view, for what it's worth.


In general, I find it confusing to assume that causality is limited to the pre-rational/linear views thereof, and I find that saying that quantum mechanics eliminates time, or that time should be eliminated in general similarly confusing.  I think your view could be greatly enhanced with taking a more integrated post-quantum approach which understands a trans-rational view of causation as nonlinear, and also a nonlinear notion of time, as in process philosophy, such as we see in Wilber's more mature views (ala Whitehead, etc).  There are common notions of time and causation which, in an integrated view, must be transcended and included, if we are to speak intelligibly about these things, as a whole.  Not doing so creates unnecessary confusion, as it negates billions of years of evolutionary/empirical research and development.  It is as if you are saying everything which you perceive is wrong, which is not true.  Things move, change happens, and even linear time is a useful construct.  It's indeed valuable to move on from the linear notions, but there is a value in being able to explain them in a new light, rather than just throwing them out.  


In general, I find that quantum mechanics is not the exemplar in science, especially when it comes to things like time, process and causality or determinism.  Rather I find it antiquated and confused in comparison to complexity science, so I think your view could be enhanced with incorporating elements from the bleeding edge of complexity science.  

I beg to differ.  Quark theory is the most elegant, least uncertain of all scientific theories.  Ever.  It's an incredible theory.


That's irrelevant if it's been falsified, Thomas (and I have to laugh, from where I sit).  You should look into his results and their implications, not to mention that Sorce Theory predicted them entirely independently of his experiments.


I don't think anyone knows what the Planck scale is or refers to.  It seems to mark the outer resolution of our current theoretical reach.  Below the Planck scale, what?  Strings (wat dat)?  No below?  "Below" dissolves?  Below becomes an entirely different universe?

Sorce Theory, informed by complexity science gives some answers here.


I'll give you my hunch about scaling: scaling is not infinite.  Why?  Because qualitative changes occur in a drop or increase in scale such that infinite scaling doesn't make sense (infinite turtles, or infinite linear extrapolation).

This only shows that scaling is quantized, and Sorce Theory shows how and why this is so, making sense of Oldershaw's self-similar scaling relation, which is an empirical, not a theoretical relation.


It possibly makes sense to me if the qualitative aspect is factored, but even then, the notion of scale itself could be eviscerated at a single drop of scale, if you know what I mean. 

If I know what you mean, a "drop of scale" is simply a quantization, which Sorce Theory gives the post-classical causation for, again explaining the empirical scaling relation which Quantum theory has no clue about.


Mass exemplifies this.  Below the level of proton, mass essentially disappears.  Mass is therefore a scale-specific manifestation.  Scale could itself be a scale-specific manifestation, at which point the scale-mind (scale-resolution) stops.

Yes, new factors come into play as we move into the post-classical forms of causation.  Again, Sorce Theory explains how this works, and again explains the self-similar empirical scaling relations that QM is clueless about.

In my experience, Bohr has been misrepresented in many ways, primarily in ways I've heard you argue in this thread.


This seems to be a common thread.  I notice it as well in my own area of study, namely with Spinoza (misinterpreted by Wilber, etc).  And I certainly admit that I'm no student of Bohr!  I've always actually rather disliked the received view I've gotten regarding him, so it's good to get informed and reformed here.  Thanks much!


I wonder if I'm framing from tacit-forward and you manifest-forward?  Or you use linear (left-brain?) description and de-linearize it, whereas I use non-linear (right-brain?) description and manifest it?


This sounds like an interesting differentiation, or sets thereof, and it'd be fun to unpack that, I think.  In general, I will say that I'm coming from a visual art and intuitive background, and I unfold this generally in visual terms, as evidenced by the many diagrams in my books.  But yes, it is very interesting how ambiguity in words can give the appearance of opposition or dissonance when the reality is so much closer to unity and resonance.  Indeed this is far more often the case than not.


before you folks wrap up, one more thing....


Joel - We need to map what you mean by "representational" and "observational" here in order to progress with much footing.

Let me map the observational paradigm as aperspectival - when observation arises in the subject and object at the same instant, which  also means non dual. That’s one view of the unconditional. Nevertheless, there is  the curious case of  events with limited observation going on- since consciousness is perspectival, its a reiteration of content in this map. representationalism is a feature of content, at least in this context. The difference here is observation (aperspectival)

It just depends on how you are mapping your words, as I said.  It's not necessarily a representational construct, and if it's always pre-existing, then it was never constructed.

I think there are problems with always preexisting or always already , appears to impose a  condition on everything. One  problem is that it doesn’t account for creativity.  this is the  difference in our positions, and this has a fallout in recursivity and infinite depth, and the unconditional of course. it could have something to do with how the words are mapped. If we say unconditional is irreducible I figure it cannot have a cosmic address, which is obviously a construct – so yes pre-existing is something I can’t locate. It disturbs me on other implications too, I have to consider that….




Mass exemplifies this.  Below the level of proton, mass essentially disappears.  Mass is therefore a scale-specific manifestation.  Scale could itself be a scale-specific manifestation, at which point the scale-mind (scale-resolution) stops.


Actually, according to the self-similar scaling relation, this occurs at many levels, such as the galactic and stellar, in terms of the relations between these levels.  Basically it's not that mass disappears, but that other factors (such as electricity, or a conceptual variant thereof) greatly overwhelm it.  Again, Sorce Theory explains how, with the help of Plasma and Self Similar Cosmologies.

Reply to Discussion


What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

This group is for anyone interested in exploring these questions and tracing out the horizons of an integral post-metaphysical spirituality.

Notice to Visitors

At the moment, this site is at full membership capacity and we are not admitting new members.  We are still getting new membership applications, however, so I am considering upgrading to the next level, which will allow for more members to join.  In the meantime, all discussions are open for viewing and we hope you will read and enjoy the content here.

© 2023   Created by Balder.   Powered by

Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service