Mon 28 Mar 2005
I’m reading “The Quantum and the Lotus“, a fascinating dialog between an astrophysicist and an ex-biologist who became a Buddhist monk and philosopher. I’ve been reading only for last three days so I’m now past chapter 6 or so, and yet I’ve already learned things I never heard of. The most mind boggling are the wider implications of the Foucault’s pendulum shifting in relation not only to Earth and twin photon experiment conducted by Nicolas Gisin in 1997 – an offspring of the almost century old EPR paradox.
It’s hard to boil all this down to few sentences but overall it seems that the famous phrase which pulled me towards Buddhism – “The form is empty, emptiness is form” – is more in agreement with current scientific understanding than I expected.
I also have some thoughts going around my head as I read. For example one thing that – so far – has not appeared in the author’s cosmological dialog is recognition of the fact that our perception as parts of this universe of interdependencies is inherently limited. We are unable to scientifically measure or probably even understand in terms of human reasoning anything that might be outside of it. Any speculation reaching outside is bound to be an extrapolation of our own way of thinking – just as saying that life – and especially intelligent one – has necessarily to be based on carbon biology as we know it from Earth.
Another raw, yet unrefined reflection regards consequences of the experiments mentioned. If something clearly can move faster than light (even if it is just some form of information) and stability of phenomena on macroscopic level is rather an illusion than fact then there is hope that somehow the great distances of space can be traversed. It is of course far fetched, but maybe way forward for us is not only to try to blend general relativity and quantum mechanics into one single theory but rather in unifying the understanding of cognizant, conscious part of the reality and what we perceive as inanimate matter. Because it seems that fundamentally they are intrinsically connected.