At the edge of the scientific frontier, researchers are in the process of proving that Thoughts DO create reality and that God DOES exist.
SPIRITUALITY AND QUANTUM PHYSICS
(previously published in Point Of Light magazine)
Not so long ago, talking about spirituality and physics (or any "science") in the same breath would have been the mark of someone who was guilty of hopelessly outdated thinking, a benighted soul clinging to an obsolete faith because they didn't understand that science had banished their quaint delusions to the realm of irrelevance.
How times do change! Today most of the internationally known physicists who are in the forefront of their field are writing about their research in terms which sound more and more like New Age metaphysics and esoteric spirituality. They talk about a vast, universal ether of thought energy which acts like a single, unified mind and which manifests everything in the material world out of nothingness through a mysterious process of creative thought. (Am I imagining things, or does this sound suspiciously like God?) They talk about this universal energy changing its behavior in response to our thoughts---changing in a way, moreover, that seems to be trying to meet our expectations and give us what we want, even to the extent of changing how the material world is manifesting. (New Thought has been telling us this for the past hundred years in various teachings about how you could change yourself and the world around you through affirmations, positive thinking, and creative prayer.)
When did science start talking like this? Most of us "laypersons" (people who don't talk in pure math and gobbledygook jargon) still think of science the way we learned it in high-school and college physics or chemistry classes, which explained the world in terms of the mechanistic philosophy which was solidified by Newton and Descartes several centuries ago: They said that the entire universe is made up of particles which have characteristics such as mass and momentum and energy, and we can eventually come to understand, predict, and even control everything as we get better at observing these particles and work out the mathematical formulas that govern their movements. God and spirituality became anachronisms in the eyes of the scientific community because such concepts would soon no longer be needed to explain any aspect of our world. Originally the scientists who followed in the footsteps of Newton and Descartes believed that atoms were the basic "particle," and then that belief gave way to the idea that the basic particles were electrons, neutrons, and protons which made up the atoms. Even when it began to dawn on the physicists that there was another layer down, an even more basic something which made up the electrons, neutrons, and protons, they assumed it would simply be an even smaller particle (and if there was something below that, it would be an even smaller particle, etc.). The study of the basic particles became known as Quantum Physics or Quantum Mechanics because a "quantum" is a quantity of something, and "mechanics" is the study of how things move and interact.
When research experiments began to indicate that the next layer down from electrons, neutrons, and protons was a light phenomenon, they named it the photon and defined it as the basic particle of light, or the basic "quantum" of light. Research was indicating that different combinations of photons made up the phenomena which had been called electrons, neutrons, and protons, as well as a whole range of other particles which had been discovered. (Genesis 1:1-3 "In the beginning, when God created the universe…God commanded, 'Let there be light,' and light appeared.") The problems began when they realized that the photons weren't acting very much like particles of any matter or energy which they had worked with before. The photons seemed to disappear and reappear in ways that were incomprehensible for a "particle." This led to theories of other dimensions of time which we mere humans cannot detect but which can be traveled by photons. Then there was the business of the photons responding to the thoughts of the researchers when they tried to do experiments; they couldn't get their experiments to have consistent outcomes because these rascally little critters kept changing their behavior in accord with who was doing the research and what their expectations were! In addition, the photons seemed to be communicating with each other. Information seemed to be able to travel from photon to photon regardless of the distance separating them, and, what's more, the information seemed to be travelling faster than the speed of light (which shouldn't be possible for any "particle" phenomenon.) It began to dawn on physicists, such as the prominent Denmark researcher in quantum physics, Neils Bohr, that they weren't dealing with a particle at all here, but rather with some new and unfamiliar kind of causative power which had no mass and didn't really "exist" in the way that they were used to thinking of things in the material world existing. As research results kept adding more pieces to this puzzle, they realized that the entire material world that we exist in is underlaid and caused by a vast invisible field of thought which holds our "reality" together and which has many unusual properties. London physicist David Bohm's experiments caused him to conclude that every part of this field is interconnected to every other part, and every part of the field knows what is happening everywhere at once; as a result, all objects and events in the universe are interconnected and respond to each other. (The corollary of this concept is that there is no "external world," something that is "out there" and "not me." We are inextricably intertwined in the rest of the universe, and our every deed and thought interacts with the entire world.) The physicists have also realized that the so-called empty voids of outer space are in fact packed full with this invisible causative energy, but that it just happens to be energy which at the moment chooses not to play any part in our material level of existence.
At first the rest of the world of science didn't want to believe the quantum physics research results which supported these strange theories, but as evidence has continued to pile up most scientists working in areas related to quantum physics have "signed on" and concur with the above conclusions. So now the physicists are in general agreement that our visible universe is merely a projection of a larger invisible dimension that has no material reality to it and yet which acts just like a vast, conscious mind. We, as humans, are an integral part of that mind, and our observation of the world around us somehow
participates in causing the world to exist. In a very real sense, we create our own "reality." Some of the physicists wouldn't use the terms "god" or "spirit" to describe their conclusions, but most mystics and theologians would recognize the concepts being presented by the physicists as being the same things to which those spiritual terms refer.
What does all of this mean to you? Chances are, you probably didn't wait to get permission from the scientific establishment to start believing in the creative power of thought and the underlying spirituality of the universe. Does the idea that the realm of quantum physics is validating what many of us already believed have an effect on us? Yes, in at least a couple of areas:
First: Welcome home, New Age space travelers! You may have been barely aware that your ship was in motion, and yet you have traveled all the way from the lunatic fringe through the avant-garde and are now nearing the mainstream. Can you believe it? There will be some drawbacks in this for some of us (how will I annoy my family-of-origin with my weird beliefs if my favorite eccentricities become the norm?)
But seriously, folks….The findings of the quantum physicists give a new impetus and a new urgency to what many of us have "sort of" known but may have only been giving half-hearted energy to: There is a God. Our souls do exist. Thought does create reality. There are forces with mind and will overseeing and guiding life on earth. Our lives are purposeful. Now it behooves us to get more pro-active in re-ordering our lives to align with what we can finally know to be the truth (rather than just hoping or wishing it to be the truth).
But how do we bring this knowing into our lives? There are a number of ways. There is research which indicates that the brain-wave states of deep meditation and hypnosis are conducive to bringing us into stronger contact with the underlying layer of creative mind-energy, and so developing a daily practice of meditation would be a good foundation. Another area we could start to pay more attention to is the use of affirmations and positive thinking; if our thoughts participate in the underlying causative/creative layer, let's pay more attention to what we are thinking! Finally, it seems fairly certain that the human energy system (the aura, the chakras, the meridian system) provides the mechanics of how we interface with that mystery layer of invisible mind, and so a better knowledge of spiritual/energy anatomy suddenly moves from being a mere theoretical head-game and becomes a very practical field of study.
Understanding the metaphysical "nuts-and-bolts" of meditation, positive thinking, the human energy system, and how we interact with the underlying creative God-energy of the Universe are, I believe, the keys to leaping up to a new plateau of human development and have become the main thrust of my own studying and teaching. Achieving such an understanding has a powerful transformational effect on people's lives, and this is the frontier which the findings of quantum physics challenge us to explore with renewed confidence that we are, after all, being "scientific," in touch with the true "reality," and practical in our focus.
Thomas A. Beardshall is the author of the popular new book, Steering Your Way Through Life. To learn more about this book, click on the website link to view a description of the book, a detailed table of contents, and read independent reviews of the book.