Richard’s Correspondence on Mailing List ‘B’
with Respondent No. 46
RESPONDENT No. 30: Is there a division between the observer and the observed, fundamentally? I think what quantum physics points to is the lack of any real division between the two: there is none.
RICHARD: I would ask whether this ‘the observer and the observed’ relationship in quantum mechanics (which relationship seems to carry more than just a little weight on this Mailing List) has any validity at all. Mr. Victor Stenger, for example, is very clear on the subject in regards to ‘conventional quantum mechanics’. Vis.:
I am no physicist, and I am not particularly enamoured of quantum physics anyway, but the little I do understand of this – mostly mathematical and theoretical – physics tells me that it is the instruments which measure the sub-atomic ‘thingamajigs’ that affects these ‘thingamajigs’ being thus investigated ... not the human being (aka ‘the observer’). Mr. Victor Stenger writes about the ‘holistic quantum mechanics’ advocates in rather mordant terms:
I submit these quotes purely in the spirit of questioning whether quantum mechanics even remotely supports Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti’s ‘the observer is the observed’ proposal ... and not because I claim any proficiency in quantum physics whatsoever. I do note, however, that more than a few mystically inclined peoples have enthusiastically jumped upon the quantum band wagon by claiming that science now supports and proves what mystics have been saying for centuries. I also note that the recent probes to the planet Mars – and to all other destinations for that matter – were predicated upon and guided by the very ‘Copernican Principles’ and ‘Newtonian Mechanics’ and ‘Euclidean Geometries’ so scorned by the latter day ‘popular-press’ pseudo-scientists posing as quantum experts. Although I am more than willing to be advised otherwise on the matter.
RESPONDENT: Quantum mechanics does not completely support K’s assertion that ‘the observer is the observed’.
RICHARD: Ah, okay ... in what ways does quantum mechanics ‘support K’s assertion that ‘the observer is the observed’ then if not ‘completely’?
RESPONDENT: K’s assertion was that one cannot observe and completely separate oneself from the observed – one will always see through one’s own prejudices, beliefs, and views. Quantum mechanics asserts something similar, but differently – it postulates that the act of observation perturbs the observed such that one cannot completely measure all aspects of an object.
RICHARD: Okay ... yet the quote I provided (above) says: [quote]: ‘if Bohr and Heisenberg had spoken of measurements made by inanimate instruments rather than ‘observers’, perhaps this strained relationship between quantum and mind would not have been drawn. For, nothing in quantum mechanics requires human involvement’. [endquote]. I took this to mean, along with many other articles I have read on quantum mechanics, that it is the inanimate instruments which measure the sub-atomic ‘thingamajigs’ that affects these ‘thingamajigs’ being thus investigated ... not the human being (aka ‘the observer’). Now, nobody for a moment is suggesting that the inanimate instruments which measure the sub-atomic ‘thingamajigs’ have ‘prejudices, beliefs, and views’ so I am still left with the question: whether quantum mechanics even remotely supports Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti’s ‘the observer is the observed’ proposal.
RESPONDENT: I refer you to the Heisenberg Principle as an excellent example – one cannot measure both the speed and the position of an electron simultaneously.
RICHARD: Firstly, are you saying that ‘the act of observation of an electron with an inanimate instrument perturbs the electron such that the inanimate instrument cannot completely measure both its speed and position’? Does the inanimate instrument give off ... um ... an electromagnetic field or some such similar force? If not, what is it that the inanimate instrument’s measuring activity is doing to the electron?
Secondly, if I am to apply this ‘excellent example’ to a human being’s observation of themselves – as the applicable correlation – in what way does one’s observation of oneself cause what one is observing (oneself) to be perturbed? In what way, shape or form does this perturbation manifest itself? And why (as in what is the principle involved) would one be thus perturbed? And so as to be up-front as in regards myself, I have always enjoyed immensely finding out what made ‘me’ tick ... down to the finest, the most minute examination of the tiniest, the most trivial-seeming detail.
After all ... it is me that gets to live this life.
RESPONDENT: And don’t even try to insult either my intelligence or my physics major in college by suggesting that I read a book – my concentration in college was in quantum mechanics.
RICHARD: I have no notion of why you would give me this caution as I specifically stated that ‘I am no physicist’ and that neither did I ‘claim any proficiency in quantum physics whatsoever’ and that ‘I am more than willing to be advised otherwise on the matter’ in regards to ‘the little I do understand of this – mostly mathematical and theoretical – physics’. Golly ... if I were to be any more humble or modest or unassuming or unpretentious or self-effacing or deferential or without airs than those provisos I would be carving a furrow in the floor with all my genuflecting, prostrating, bowing, scraping and tugging of the forelock.
I genuinely would like to be advised on this – apparently – arcane subject because I cannot see it for myself.
The Third Alternative
(Peace On Earth In This Life Time As This Flesh And Blood Body)
Here is an actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment and any other Altered State Of Consciousness, and challenging all philosophy, psychiatry, metaphysics (including quantum physics with its mystic cosmogony), anthropology, sociology ... and any religion along with its paranormal theology. Discarding all of the beliefs that have held humankind in thralldom for aeons, the way has now been discovered that cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anyone to be, for the first time, a fully free and autonomous individual living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.
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