If ever you’ve encountered these two words in the same sentence, your rational mind must’ve questioned if there’s any link between them. After all, the topic of quantum mechanics seems to be a bit more on the heavyweight side of science itself.
Yet fret not, for there truly exists a strong link between the two!
As such, in this short article, we’ll attempt to establish this link by pointing out the implications of certain advancements in the field of science, and how it leads to spirituality. By understanding the string of thought that runs through them, it is easier for you to decipher why and how the two are linked.
Quantum Mechanics and the Nature of Atoms
Perhaps, one of the most significant advancements in the field of physics is the quantum theory itself. Attempting to explain the nature of matter and what comprises of such, quantum mechanics pointed out the nature of atoms itself.
And as we know it, atoms are comprised of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Each having a relationship with the other, its overall movement is what strikes us the most – randomness.
Yes, inside each atom, such randomness exists as if to say that at the core of all matter is a random pattern of movement. As such, this points out that understanding the nature of these things necessarily involves a good grasp on the theory of probability itself.
Applying this concept on probability, the prominent physicist Erwin Schrodinger did a thought-experiment: the Schrodinger’s cat. In this experiment, a cat was placed inside a box with some radioactive material, a trigger, and a measuring device.
As such, the thought experiment sought to ask about the nature of probability by raising the question: is the cat dead or alive?
To answer such, Schrodinger pointed out a seemingly absurd answer: that the cat is both dead and alive. For we’re uncertain of its status inside the box, the theory of probability would tell us that in one instance, it is alive, and on the other, it is dead.
The implication of such a radical point seems to lead us towards the idea of questioning the nature of our own existence. However, it wasn’t until Eugene Wigner asked that such a question was actually entertained.
Following the premise of Schrodinger’s cat, Eugene Wigner asked: how do we know that we’re observing the cat? Wigner’s answer points us back to the fact that there must be an observer, someone with a conscious mind, in order to verify our existence.
But in the same way, who verifies our observer’s existence?
Ultimately, this leads to an unending string of conscious observers. Necessarily this brings us to some sort of universal consciousness as the ultimate basis of knowing that things exist.
And while most physicists were hesitant to accept such seemingly mystical interpretation, its impact on the spiritual world was valuable, nonetheless.
With an instance where a hard science like physics led us back to spirituality, people can’t help but question their own existence or even see the inevitable link between these two seemingly distinct fields of discipline.
Descartes’ Cogito Ergo Sum
While the question of Wigner holds its own weight, it is not an original question. Instead, it was Rene Descartes who significantly pointed out this epistemological problem. Through his Meditations, Descartes tried to give an answer to this paradox.
As such, he perceived the creator as a great deceiver, and that this creator was intentionally tricking us into believing that everything we see, feel, hear, touch, and smell aren’t real.
With that, he asked: how do we know that we exist?
To answer, Descartes eventually realized that the correct response is this: Cogito Ergo Sum or I think, therefore, I am.
Essentially, they are quite different. In Wigner’s conclusion, he points out how we need to have an observer to verify our existence, and thus, external. In comparison, Descartes pointed out something more internal – that our consciousness verifies our existence.
Either way, both showed how consciousness is ultimately necessary for us to know that reality exists. Regardless of the outcome (like whether or not the cat is still alive, or that we are being deceived), the very concept of reality allows us to be.
In this way, such a point leads us to the conclusion of how we must value consciousness. Despite being unobservable, this concept plays a very important role in understanding our humanity.
Consciousness and Spirituality
And thus, when we begin speaking of consciousness, we are doing away with what is observable for the naked eye. Instead, we point out some sort of metaphysical foundation of our existence.
What’s peculiar about this is how a hard science leads us to a spiritual conclusion. In an attempt to dig deeper into the nature of things, we are confronted with the unquantifiable and the unobservable.
However, when we look at its rationality, we cannot discredit such. Because there seems to be embedded intelligibility in things, understanding the link between spirituality and quantum mechanics forces us to accept this direction.
And the more we resist, the more we insist our strictly scientific notions, the farther we are from the truth. After all, life in this universe seems to exist only because of an intelligent design that allows us to live.
In the above points, we’ve seen how quantum mechanics and spirituality inevitably share a strong relationship with each other. Knowing such, our task is not to further the divide between them but to close the gaps and see the connections between both.
By doing such, we’re able to open our minds to more universal perspectives that can lead us to wider perspectives.