I Get Questions!
updated 11/14/12

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I Do Get Questions!

Soon I'll add some new ones for 2012-13!

350 Above my wife, Sonia, and I visited with His Holiness, The Dalai Lama in India, where I had the chance to present to him a copy of my book: The Spiritual Universe.

If you want to ask me a question, about anything, I promise I'll try and find you an answer, if I can't think up one for you. All you have to do is email your question to me at Ask Dr. Quantum.
I have put "Dr. Quantum" in the subject area of your email. I get lots of spam these day, and I really want to separate your email from all that noise. Maybe your question will appear next on my Q&A page. I'll constantly be updating this page adding your questions as I go along.


Here are some recent questions and my responses to them.

Question:   I would love to know about the current education system in the world. It seems that even in the United States and Europe the books at school are still teaching old fashioned physics. I would love to know whether these things are officially proven as wrong, or if these things taught in physics in most of the schools are not wrong, but only another level of physics. My detailed question would be: are there school books currently in schools, which teach "officially proven as false" information or not?

Answer:   Schools around the world teach accepted and provable physics and they teach philosophical extensions regarding the meaning of physics in everyday life. Both the old physics and the new physics consisting of quantum physics and all of the branches of quantum physics are taught. Speculations about the meaning of this such the ones I make and the ones that others may make, really are not provable using scientific methods. They are a mixture of quantum physics and spirituality and they really don't fit into current academic thinking. The following advice applies if you wish to study the kinds of things I did. Look to your local university to study physics. When you have received your PhD, then begin to study Eastern and Western Spiritual traditions, again at your local university. Oh, and live long enough. I am still studying. Enrolling in a course of study at any university is best. If you can't do that, then find out what text books are being used in the curriculum for that course of study, and begin to teach yourself by reading the text and solving all of the physics problems in the text. Start with basic physics and gradually move toward quantum physics and quantum field theory. Feynman's volumes on physics are good for self study. The only problem you will have is the lack of benefit of a real teacher who knows the subject. If you fear real classes then you will need to hire a tutor from time to time. As far as degrees are concerned you need a BA or BS degree and then a PhD degree to really show you are a physicist. These degrees should come from real schools not "diploma by mail" schools.

Question:   What's the fastest way to accelerate the quantum experiences of people's lives towards a greater collective purposeful consciousness?

Answer:   The process has been going on for more than 50,000 years, so apparently it is not a quick and easy thing to do. It requires both a spiritual and physical understanding. It requires both mind and heart in other words. It seems that hard times put on humankind seems to speed it up and easy times seem to slow it down. With enlightenment perhaps this will improve and we won't need to kill and maim in order to become enlightened.

Question:   Would you mind telling me what you make of Quantum Immortality as implied by The Many Worlds Interpretation. Do be honest it worries me, from what I can tell you favour reincarnation over immortality in one body, that would be preferable. To be honest I'm still confused. Will I die or not? People get good synchronicities, but I have had horrific synchronicities and when I die I want to forget my life. What is my "true self" please?

Answer:   In the Many Worlds Interpretation each option we exercise starts us on a different universe. Each of us is a projection of the one soul. There are in infinite number of possibilities. Some recur with similar tendencies even memories of previous projections or even future projections. There aren't any new souls. Just one old one who keeps coming back like a song. Your memory of yourself as you are will fade away as you merge back into your true self. Your memory of yourself appears to you as your ego or bodymind that has existed due to its strong association with your body. Once you "lose your body" as you would lose a something you hold valuable, eventually with new experiences you tend to forget the loss. Of course no one knows if this is true or not. I tend to think it is. This true self has no name. You call it God or quantum field or the oversoul or the universal mind.

Question:   If you don't believe in the law of attraction what did you mean by "so you're maybe thinking 'that's very nice but, I can't do that or SHE won't let me do that or he'll never let me do that or I haven't got enough money to do that or I'm not stronge enough to do that or I'm not rich enough to do that or I'm notů I'm notů I'm notů I'm notů I'm notů I'm notů I'm notů' every single I'm notů is a creation."? If you don't believe in the law of attraction you obviously are talking about something else, what is that "thing"?

Answer:   There is a big difference between just thinking 1) "I want a big car" 2) "I am not good enough" or 3) "I am good" or 4) "I am ugly" or 5) "I am happy" and taking an appropriate action to do something about them. The LOA (Law of Attraction) seems to imply that merely thinking such thoughts will attract the object of those thoughts to you. I don't think the universe works this way. When you think those thoughts you tend to act according to them and those actions will attract you to those objects and modify your behavior accordingly. There is no magic field "out there" or magic genii "out there" that will answer those thoughts by granting your wishes as the film seems to imply. That magic field or genii is yourself.

Hence, for one example, suppose you fear being robbed. Your fear can provoke any number of actions on your part.

For example,

A) You don't go into neighborhoods that are poor wearing brightly colored gold jewelry.

B) You carelessly go wherever you wish to go and when you are in a crowd you tug at your gold watch or your wallet or jewelry just to make sure it's there because you are fearful. These actions tip off possible pickpockets. The probability of attracting thieves to you increases or decreases according to your behavior. The robbers watch you and many others and are attracted to "tuggers" regardless of how the tuggers are thinking. In fact a tugger might be thinking "I want to be secure so I'll check my watch or bracelet or wallet."

C) You go into a crowded arena and simply act alertly to suspicious movements around you.

Here is another example. Say you say to yourself "I will win the lottery today". In the LOA this will attract the winnings to you over others who don't wish this, right?

So you open your emails one day and find that indeed you receive a notice that your email address has just won a zillion bucks. You contact the mailer accordingly and find then to get your money you need to send them some money to cover "costs" or give your bank account information or SSN or something else. But you believe in the LOA, right? So you do this, and soon enough you find yourself ripped off by a scam. Oh, such scams are continually ongoing looking for believers in the LOA. Suppose you are such a believer. Now comes the LOA rationalization. "I must have really desired to be ripped off other wise this wouldn't have happened to me. I attracted the scam."

One of the presenters in the "secret" movie after appearing on the Larry King show was asked, "If you believe in the LOA why did you recently have a heart attack?" His answer? "I wanted to have this heart attack in order to slow down, I was working too hard." If you believe this, then you will always find a rationalization for whatever random events occur in your life. That is certainly not science, but is humans trying to deal with our indeterminant universe with hindsight. If something good happens, you will tell yourself "I was using the LOA to attract good." If something bad happens, you will say "I was using the LOA to attract something bad." Both are simple and very human rationalizations and in fact not based on any scientific fact or experiment and certainly not on quantum physics.

In the first example it is your behavior that that produces the possible theft or non-theft rather than the thought. Indeed the thought "I don't wish to be robbed" in case A or C keeps you safer than in case B. According to the LOA your fear will get you robbed because you have put out that field that attracts robbers to you. The same would hold to the thought "I don't want to get cancer." Or the thought " don't want to be raped." The LOA seems to imply that in these cases you attract cancer or rapists to yourself.

In the second example you get you into trouble by believing in the LOA, which when it fails, you rationalize through hindsight. In other words, you make the LOA work by simply denying it fails through hindsight rationalization. You say "I failed to get my goal because I was unconsciously wishing to fail." If you had succeeded you would have said "I got my goal because I was using the LOA." This is not scientific thinking and is not quantum physics.

In brief, people are attracted or repulsed by your behavior not your thoughts. Things are not. Stuff happens-- good and bad-- to all of us.

We all are born and we die. I believe that aside from the LOA each of us has a purpose on the planet and that the event of your birth is not an accident and that your death is not the end of the road. Finding your purpose in life may take years or decades, but you will eventually find it and act according to that purpose or frustrate yourself by doing what you really don't wish to do. The really big secret is not the LOA, it is the action that people who realize their purpose take in their lives. In every case where I have met successful people, I tend to find the happiest people are those who do what they enjoy doing. The richest people are those who do what benefits others. To be rich and happy do what you enjoy doing for the benefit of others and you can't fail to be rich and happy. It is absolutely guaranteed, provided you take right action.

Question:   I want to tell you that you are by far the most thrilling, enigmatic and seemingly informed talking heads that spoke in both Bleep and The Secret - hence my decision to come to you for a sense of 'the truth'. I have a lot of life ahead of me and I want to make the most of it - that is why I so badly want to understand the concept of deliberate creation - I want to use it damn it!

Answer:   Thanks for the compliment. As far as your life ahead is concerned, don't damn it. Your words are very important. For more read Mind into Matter and Matter into Feeling.

Question:   Do you believe that there is an abundance of everything for everyone in this world?

Answer:   Yes. Most of our problems have to do with greed, fairness, and keeping agreements.

Question:   You appeared in the movie The Secret. The research that I have done indicates that you do not believe in the law of attraction (LOA) - is this true?

Answer:   Not quite. Let me give you my answer regarding the movie The Secret and the LOA talked about in that movie. Do like things really attract each other? Actually in quantum physics we find that like doesn't attract like, and if you notice I never made that point in the film. Like charges repel each other (+ repels + and - repels -) and unlike charges attract (+ attracts -). The better metaphor might be resonance, that two things that vibrate together have more energy as compared to two things that vibrate out of phase with each other in which case they have no energy. When you are attracted to another person it is likely that you and the other are in some sense vibrating in phase with each other and each of you is energized more than just adding up your separate energies--it's more like 4 times the energy of each individual. With 3 persons it goes as 9 times and so on. Hence large crowds rock at a concert together because those in attendance are each enormously energized by the presence of the others in like mind sets. Hence the rock concert high, or the Sunday at church feeling and so on. The same thing holds for the Marine Corp or for a nation going to war or for any fascist or racist movement. Hence if use the metaphor without thinking you may find that being a saint (+) you will attract a lot of sinners (-'s).

I think the rolling stones said it well:

But what's confusing you

Is just the nature of my game.

Just as every cop is a criminal

And all the sinners saints

As heads is tails

Just call me Lucifer

'cause I'm in need of some restraint.

So if you meet me

Have some courtesy

Have some sympathy, and some taste."

Question:   Regarding the Law of Attraction (LOA) mentioned in the movie The Secret - if you lift yourself to a frequency that feels happy (through happy thoughts) - does this happy frequency then attract the things that make you happy especially if you envision them while in that frequency?

Answer:   You will attract others who are on your wavelength and repel others who are not. So be careful what you put out to the world. If you are playing a false card, you will attract those people who think and feel as you do. Walk your talk. Be honest. Tell the truth as best as you know it.

Question:   HIGHER BEING - Do you believe that we have a higher being that lives in a state of nirvana (nirvana being our natural state) who decided to come forth into this time-space reality as a means to experience contrast in an effort to understand our divine nature?

Answer:   You are the being. Now answer the question for yourself.

Question:   Do you believe that we are entitled to and thus bound to receive everything we want just by believing in it and being on the same frequency of it?

Answer:   We are entitled to nothing by others. We are here to learn and share and love each other. Since you created your world, you choose to be entitled to whatever you choose to do.

Question:   Do you believe that our emotions are a communication mechanism designed to let our higher self let our physical self know whether or not we are in the process of creating something good or bad for ourselves?

Answer:   You have one self only. Higher and lower selves are illusions like thinking you have a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. In you are many personalities--miniature egos--designed by you to speak to you as if they were separate from you.

Question:   Do you believe that action was designed as a means to enjoy our physical creations as opposed to actually create and that thought is what delivers what we get (not action)?

Answer:   No. No action. No creation. No enjoyment.

Question:   Do you agree with the overall message of The Secret - that thought (or feeling) will bring you what you want as long as you vibrate in sync with the thing that you desire and thus attract it into your reality?

Answer:   Not quite. Suppose you want a TV set. I wouldn't choose to sync with it any more than I would choose to sync with any other material object. I would sync with the processes I need to use to get that object--my Feelings, Intuitions, Sensations, and Thoughts (FIST). To get the TV set, utilize your FIST and take appropriate action. You can steal it, buy it, rent it, or have a friend give you it as a gift. Most people think that happiness comes from getting what you desire. Think about anything you got after desiring it. In a few days that Oh Wow feeling turned into Ho Hum didn't it? Watch kids at Xmas time and you'll see what I mean. They open their gift box, give a squeal of joy, and in minutes leave it in the middle of the room for mom to put away. Happiness actually comes from moving towards your goal. Getting it is the booby prize.

Question:  This question comes from Columbia. It is roughly translated into English. Essentially it asks: Is the quantum physics in the movie What the Bleep, really correct?

Several sources including scientists are very skeptical about the ideas described in the movie and don't believe that quantum physics has anything to do with human behavior or consciousness. And another thing, are you to be taken as a serious scientist in the movie?

Answer:   I assure you that I am a very serious researcher in the field of quantum physics although I do have a sense of humor.

Now as to the use of quantum physics outside of its usual domain of objective science: If we look at the field of psychology 120 years ago, you will find that many models of human behavior were based on the then current understanding of the physical world. Freud in particular used mechanics as a means to explain motivation and desire. In fact a lot of human behavior was based on the mechanical view so that even today we emphasize the mechanical cause and effect way of thinking about the human body. This has met with a great deal of success, but with the advent of Chinese medical systems and Indian metaphysics something new has been added. This new addition cannot be explained by Newtonian mechanics. It involves the subjective world--a world we each must live in whether or not we like it. This world involves what we call today in quantum physics the observer. According to quantum physics, even though we know that the observer plays a major role in putting together what we observe as reality, we cannot find the observer inside of the body. Hence we find through quantum physics a bridge connecting the subjective universe with the objective universe.

Those of us in the Bleep movie see this connection as something very important and worth talking about and doing research on. Many scientists are satisfied with merely doing research on the objective world even though they know full well that a complementarity principle exists in which the observer can change what is observed.

Question:  I have a question, perhaps you know this one. It's not directly about quantum physics but more about the What the Bleep movie, where you appeared.

I've read on several sources on the internet that people were edited and that the whole quantum physics + consciousness, is the wrong approach to the whole science. For example they (WTB makers) edited that teacher from the Columbia University (David Albert) in such a manner that it looked like he supports this "new age" theory. While in another interview somewhere he said that he does not and that he was edited in a wrong manner.

Also I read somewhere that the whole WTB is a promotional video for Ramtha. Could you perhaps give some information on this all? Were you edited wrongly in that film and does it misrepresent your opinion/scientific view on the matter?

Answer:   Since I have had many inquiries such as yours I have the following answers concerning physicist David Albert, Ramtha and the accuracy of the statements in the film.

Physicist David Albert got a good chance to air his views in the 2nd release version of Bleep called "down the rabbit hole" which included nearly all of what he had to say that was "outtaked" from the bleep. Rabbit hole is also available as a DVD and it has a lot more of the interview material including new interviewees. David was a little peeved not because his words were twisted, but because the context for his remarks had been removed in the interest of good film making. David can be a little dry to listen to--especially since he is a stickler to details being as correct as he can make them--and after all this was a movie not a lecture on quantum physics. So a lot of what people said was edited out to make the movie. All movies are edited for good reasons. David and I and the other physicists did appear last year at a number of bleep seminars held around the country. If he were really that upset, I am sure he wouldn't have accepted these speaking engagements.

You were misinformed as to Ramtha's participation. The funding for the film all came from one source Will Arntz a successful computer software businessman who made a lot of money running his businesses and decided to put around $5M into a film production. Ramtha's money was not involved. Will was a student of Ramtha as well as the director Mark Vicente and the other producer/director Betsy Chasse. While they fully admit to being students of Ramtha, and I admit that the film did have Ramtha's views well stated by her, the other viewpoints were not Ramtha's views at all. But Ramtha does like quantum physics. Oh, I am not and never have been a student of Ramtha.

The statements made (at least by me) in the film were based on my understanding of experiments done in quantum physics which show such effects as the observer affecting reality by the choices made by the observer. That much is true and I doubt that any physicist would disagree. The speculative venturing we all did were not science but were based on what we thought were consistent with our understanding of scientific principles. I speak for myself here and speculate about what the others had to say. I don't agree with all of the speakers in the film BTW. I would suggest you read my book "Taking the Quantum Leap" if you haven't already. In it you will learn about why quantum physics is difficult and why physicists can get upset by it. It won the National Book Award and was reviewed by many including the late Carl Sagan (who was quite skeptical) who found it "charming."

Question:   I'm listening to your audio course from Sounds True. I have a question about what you say relative to electrons growing along a pulse and in a minute they would be the size of the Pentagon, and that the reason they don't get that big is that they are observed, and observation "cuts them down to size". Well, my question is, what observes them to change them? Obviously it would be absurd to say human beings. That would be incredibly species-centric! But in any case, plenty of electrons go unobserved for periods of time, no? Like an electron on the underside of my floor or behind a wall, etc. So when you say it keeps its small size because it's observed, by what? "God"? Consciousness?

Answer:   Great question. That is the big mystery. It has been a research goal for me to find out. I am sure other physicists are equally interested and pondering this. In a certain sense atomic electrons are observed weakly be humans when they observe objects made of atoms in their everyday lives. Once a thing is observed having any mass at all, for example, a mass of a pea, that object tends to not spread very fast and only doubles its probable size in a universal lifetime of 20 billion years or so. But for smaller objects the time is much shorter--a gate molecule in the human nervous system doubles in 0.2 millisecond or so. From this varied time of doubling, and the fact that we do observe consequences of such doublings in quantum physics (the double slit experiment is just one experiment showing this--the electron becomes spread out over an area to cover two slits), we must conclude that an observer lurks somewhere. I like to think of it as the mind of God or the vacuum state of the universe--as capable of making all the observations needed to keep the universe looking more or less as it does. The fact that we can also observe things and see quantum physics consequences, just means that we are sharing God's mind.

Question:   In the film, Down the Rabbit Hole you said that the act of making love is a way to see into the future (ponder on that for awhile). What did you mean by that?

Answer:   Well, you get the prize! You are the first to ask, and I was wondering when someone would get on to me about that. So I'll post your question at the top of my list of Q&A on my web page. Congratulations. In brief sexual love is the future progeny which could result from the union of two people calling back in time to let us come into existence. (Please note I am not raising the flag against homophilia.) This is of course speculation but it is based on some deep quantum physics thinking about how the future affects the present. You can read more about this in my book Matter into Feeling Chapter 6. You may also enjoy The Yoga of Time Travel and Parallel Universes which each deal with the quantum physics of time travel and information flowing from future to present. I am not the only physicist to think of this by the way. Look up Fred Hoyle's book The Intelligent Universe wherein he posits a similar line of reasoning. If you are a physicist, also look at physicist David Deutsch's work on time travel and the recent work of Aharonov, Vaidman, and Albert dealing with measurements in the present which are affected by future measurement of quantum systems.

Question:   I had a dream that I was holding a dead kingfisher in my hand, the strongest sensation of holding it stayed in my mind. Two days later I was driving my children to primary school and my eldest daughter said to me "Mummy Mr Byer (her teacher) brought a dead kingfisher into school yesterday and I held it." How do you think this is possible? I have been working on the idea that we create everything around us, because that has been my only explanation.

Answer:   The key idea has to do with just what an observer is. In quantum physics the observer brings things into manifestation from the abstract world (Platonic) of ideals and possibilities into the world of actualities. The problem we have dealing with this is that the observer is not to be found in any single individual! Yet the observer is in all individuals at the same time. Best is to read my books especially The Yoga of Time Travel, Mind into Matter, Matter into Feeling, and The Spiritual Universe as well as listen to Dr. Quantum Presents: A User's Guide to Your Universe and Dr. Quantum Presents: Meet the Real Creator: You. More information is to be found on my other pagrs on this website.

Question:  I recently saw the movie, "What the bleep..." and found my way to your web page. I found a link to an interview where you explain what you mean when you say "Be in the mystery, not in the know". I am fascinated with that idea, but also confused. My question is, then" What is "enlightenment" or "satori" or "realization of oneness" if it is not being in the know?

Answer:   I take knowledge as the realization and manifestation and perception of events. In other words as we perceive we learn. Before knowledge there is something called pure consciousness--or realization without realization--pure experience akin to a deep meditation, spiritual wisdom, deep insight, knowing without knowing, etc. It has many names but is the Tao which cannot be spoken the Aleph of qabala, the state of enlightenment. In such a state the mind is empty of knowledge but capable at any instant of expressing any knowledge or learning anything. It is a state of pure joy without any necessary accompaniment of emotion. New borns are in that state until their bodies make demands of physical survival. When you die you will return to this state. In fact you have always been in this state without knowing it because you have been preoccupied with learning and understanding. By the way you and I are the same being. What is true for you is true for all.

Question:  Can we humans create an electronic life form with a mind without understanding the location (real or virtual) of the "observer"?

Answer:   You have hit the nail on the head as far as artificial intelligence is concerned and you now understand the problem of the observer effect. The questions are what is an observation, and can an observer exist if it is constructed from artificial means? I think that whether we can do the big AI task is a question that will be answered by experiment. Someone will build a good and robust quantum computer and then the question will be decided. I think it will be possible to do this--in other word what distinguishes life from nonlife may just hinge in this question. If a "thing" can "pop the qwiff ( to pop a qwiff means cause a possibility to suddenly change into an actuality--the so-called act of measurement)," it is alive and if it cannot do so, it's a mechanical device. Of course then we have the question of the environment which is popularly thought to pop the qwiff at every moment it can, hence one might wonder is the environment alive?

Question:   Do you agree that there's something different about scientific principles, or are all beliefs equal? If scientific beliefs are more "true" in this way, is it fair to say that scientists have a greater responsibility than people who promote beliefs that don't claim to be scientific (in that scientists must be correct, their results "true")? An equivalent question, I believe, is: is it "bad" for people who don't subject themselves to scientific rigor to pass their results off as scientific fact, stealing the credibility that past scientists have worked so hard to achieve?

Answer:  In science numbers are the closest we can come to objectively understand the universe for they ascribe a scale upon which we can form agreement. The idea behind number is making a distinction between one and many and by analogy, then using this distinction to discern difference between one and the very small manys that can be imagined. But number ain't everything and some human experience can't be counted on yet they are very real nevertheless. How do we measure truth in that case?

Question:   In the film What the Bleep Do We Know? a scientist said a particle could be in two places at the same time. Can a particle be in two places at once?

Answer:   Actually that comment was, as far as it applies to particles in error in the film What the Bleep Do We Know? Here is my take on all that. When a collapse from several possible positions occurs the particle is only in one place at a time. But a new kind of observation is now being considered in which you kind of look out of the corner of your eye so to speak and on average find the particle causing detection to occur at more than one place at a time. In other words, if you don't look intently you will find it occupying more than one place at a time. This is difficult to really grasp and many physicists are currently at work looking it the problem. One of them is Aephraim M. Steinberg who wrote:
We have been setting up an experiment to observe laser-cooled atoms tunneling through an optical barrier, wherein probes interacting with atoms at various positions and various points in time should allow us to study the weak-measurement predictions. In parallel, we have been thinking about the theoretical approach necessary to determine whether each single particle had actually affected two measurement apparatuses at spacelike separation, or whether despite this appearance on average, each particle could be thought of as being at only one device at a time. If the wave function is not merely a measure of our ignorance, but in some deeper sense "real," then one ought perhaps not to be surprised by a particle having a (weak) effect in two places at the same time, so long as no "collapse" occurs. Nevertheless, I believe that most physicists still have an underlying intuition about the indivisibility of particles which would lead them to predict such effects could not occur. Amusingly, when I have tried to explain our proposed experiments, most of the physicists I know, who are willing to discuss such things, had the opposite reaction: of course a particle can be in two places at the same time, and of course both pointers may shift simultaneously! "Our initial proposal was to build on the following idea. Consider pointers P1 and P2 at spacelike separated positions. We would like to demonstrate that even though each picks up only a small shift on a single event, it is possible to show that individual particles interacted with both pointers. Let us therefore assume the opposite, the corpuscular hypothesis that on a given event, either P1 or P2 was affected, but not both. Nevertheless, weak measurements will show that both P1 and P2 are shifted on average by an amount roughly equal to unity (a measurement that the particle was almost certainly in a given region). This must imply that on some occasions, P2 is unshifted, while on other occasions, it is shifted by an amount greater than unity; and the same for P1. Due to the anticorrelation of these shifts, we expect the distribution of the difference P1-P2 to develop a larger uncertainty.

Question:  I just want to begin this short email by stating that I have read all of your books and am grateful for all that you have brought to me. Your words have literally given me a new view of life. It really does go hand in hand with "mind into matter" and "the unlimited creativity of the mind" as Deepak puts it and does run along the lines of "creating your reality". If you can just accept that it is something that I am insecure about and answer it to the best of your ability without judging my desires, I would greatly appreciate it. Now here it is, is it possible to literally transform your body into the body you want despite genetics? My wish is to be taller (I am only 5'2) and as it is, I am a 20 year old female whose bones are probably fused. It is something that I desire so deeply, something that would make me feel so much more confident and joyful in this lifetime, and I thought I would just ask-can I "enlarge" my entire skeletal structure?

Answer:  No one really knows whether it is possible to do what you desire to do just by using the mind alone to do so. It is true that mind and consciousness do affect and can transform material reality including the body, but it is not just a simple case of wishing, praying, or hoping that will make this so. I can only speculate about how you could go about changing your skeletal structure. I would suggest that a course in Iyengar Yoga coupled with a deep study of how mind and matter are related might be a way to make this possible. The reason such changes are so difficult has a lot to do with genetic memory--the embedding of instruction within the cells of the body through DNA and RNA. These codes of instruction are actually plans for survival and your plan, even though it may not be one you desire, is one that nature has produced over millions of years of encoding for species survival. These plans are also part of mind and hence just trying to alter your body by that part of your mind that wishes such an alteration really needs to get in touch with all of the mind in the body. This "unconscious" genetic coding, being mind as well, may have shielded itself from your conscious mind, because it reacts to all change through fear. That fear is nothing to be gotten rid of--it has led to you and to all of the current humans inhabiting the planet.

Question:  I and several friends recently saw the new movie What The #$&! Do We Know!?  which, as you know, you are a very important part of. We highly enjoyed the film and especially your segments, but we have a nagging question about something you said during the film. In the film you were talking about how particles can be observed to literally appear out of nowhere. You said that there were two ways of looking at this. But in the film they only show you stating the first answer; particles are coming into our universe from another universe, and conversely they can "pop" out of our universe into another parallel universe. What is the second way of explaining this? Is it simply accepting that the particles can really pop out of "nowhere" or is there some other alternative?

Answer:  Thanks for the question and I am happy you enjoyed the film. Oh dear those pesky particles! First we need to understand that "particles" are only a way of talking about some very strange goings-on in the realm we call subatomic physics. Today we are even looking at strings appearing out of nowhere instead of particles. But that is another thing.

  The experimental situation appears as such. Before any observation of "particles" these things seem to be behaving as waves moving about in space and time. Then when an observation occurs they seem to pop into existence for a brief instance and than begin to spread out again into waves until the next observation. By "pop" I mean they suddenly appear to have a fleeting well-defined position in space at a fleeting instant of time. But when we look for them again they don't appear where they should appear if they remained particles, but only appear to follow wavelike patterns of possibility into the future. Such is the picture painted by the standard or Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics.

  Some physicists believe that instead of turning into a wave of possibility, a single particle actually appears in parallel universes as parallel ghosts of a particle and these move about like particles should move but they do so without being observed. When an observation occurs, the observer also enters (briefly) into the parallel universes wherein each parallel observer "sees" his or her own particle. This is the picture painted by the parallel universes interpretation of quantum physics. And there are even more interpretations.

  Finally we also know of high energy processes called particle creation and annihilation which involve both particles and antiparticles--particles of antimatter. When an antimatter particle and its mirror particle meet they annihilate each other and vanish into pure energy (actually gamma rays of light). The process can go in reverse and light energy can turn into a particle and its antimatter twin. These two processes seem to be occurring at very high rates in the subatomic realm with annihilation following creation following annihilation, and on and on. The processes actually shift atoms around (called the Lamb-shift after the Nobel-Prize winning physicist who discovered this) causing the electrons in the atom to have the shakes which alters their observed radiation.

Question:  This is certainly a difficult question but of what do you think a belief is constructed? What forms a belief besides basic logic? If all beliefs are subjective then why do so many people share the same belief? In essence, what is a belief?

Answer:  A difficult question but a fun one to get into. I think that a belief reflects a vision of hope (or despair) and change (or constancy)--a message from a future waiting to be realized. In quantum physics we deal with possible futures all of the time. They are possibilities as seen from a perspective of the present moment. (But realities as seen from the time the event occurs in the future. In other words, in parallel universes all events occur across the landscape of time.)

  In my view all possible futures are in continual contact with each and every present moment, kind of like the way a piece of a hologram (made from the waves reflecting off all points on an object) contains a whole picture (see my book Matter into Feeling).

  Society as a whole behaves like the whole hologram and hence generates a kind of universal clear (but average) belief which tends to head the society into a specific (also averaged out) future, while any individual in the society sees that belief in a kind of fuzzy (yet more specific) way that rarely manifests as the individual wants. The individual belief may differ from the mass belief in details, but the mass belief has the most power.

  Take our country and its beliefs for example. We each believe in "freedom" in one way or another and hence tend to move into the future where freedom is manifested. Yet freedom can have many different individual meanings, anything from freedom to defraud and commit violence to freedom to love who one wishes to love.

Question:   Did God cause the "big bang"? Maybe Satan did. How can an atheist deal with God when the idea of God seems no more relevant than two pink elephants making the big bang in a room somewhere?

Answer:   Thanks for the questions. I'll try and shoot straight with you re: God and the universe. Unfortunately there are no scientific answers simply because science at this time has no way to deal with such questions. Science mainly deals with objective materially-based facts and has little to do with concepts that are unprovable through the use of objective experimentation. However, as any scientist will admit there are certain basic conceptual "objects" that do not fit within this scheme. The quantum wave function is one of these--it is absolutely necessary for the understanding of the physical world--yet it has no physical qualities like mass or charge or momentum or energy at all but is purely a field of probability. Hence it runs exceptional to the whole scheme of science. That doesn't make it God certainly, but it introduces mystery. Also try and realize that space and time are not absolute and the notion that they "bend" or are alterable at all while logical is extremely difficult to prove experimentally. God cannot be proven, of course and maybe Satan did cause the big bang, so what? The idea that the jolly green giant caused the big bang maybe a joke but then so what? The idea of God making the big bang has sociological, and spiritual implications that fits with people's intuitions not their reasoning logical minds. The idea that the green giant or Satan made the big bang maybe an idea but you would need to go into details to how and why you think such an idea.

  Explanation of one theory by a new theory always involves expanding of the concept like relativity making time appear as an imaginary spatial dimension or spacetime as one thing rather than two separable concepts. But quantum physics goes even farther. It indicates that observation or cognition "causes" events to occur in a manner that cannot be predicted by any cause-effect math model. Many have tried to generate such a model and most of these attempts introduce more speculation than they resolve. Hence it is not detrimental to rational thought to accept mystery and attempt to go beyond current scientific thinking. This has been my goal for some time.

  I cannot prove the existence of God, but I can experience the awe and mystery and beauty of love and sense the presence of something beyond my materially based thinking. I hope that you can do the same regardless of what you believe. Just don't go on automatic pilot like so many brain-dead scientists who knee-jerk to the tune of "God is dead" and all is mechanical meat. Be an agnostic. Believe as little as you can in anything but try and experience as much as you can of everything.

Question:  Does GOD play dice? Would GOD always win at the crap table? What is GOD anyway?

Answer:   God does play dice, however he uses nonlocality (the ability to move things outside of space and time) to alter them before we get to see the results! God always wins regardless of my skill at life's crap table. God represents to me the ineffable, the deep mystery, the unfathomable aspects of my life and life in general. However I sense God deeply and personally not just "out there" and impersonally.

Question:   Is separateness real or an illusion?

Answer:   As I said above, God manipulates the dice using nonlocality. This means that God is able to move things about from a hidden dimension beyond space and time. The results of God's push or pull appears to us in space and time as miraculous. Hence separateness from God's point of view is illusionary. From my point of view its very real.

Question:   While we're at it, what IS reality?

Answer:   Whatever we agree is real is real. Reality has little to do with anything standing outside of mind although our training as objective scientists tells us that reality is everything that lies outside of mind. Reality can be viewed as the matrix of experience for all living creatures. Anything that has experiences contributes to reality. Hence even so-called inanimate objects may contribute to reality.

Question:   What is the Observer?

Answer:    The observer is anything that experiences. An experience always has two components; an inner one and an outer one where the dividing line between them is not always absolutely determined. Usually human beings take it that the dividing line is the skin of the body.

Question:   How do you describe the Observer's effect on Matter? Is it Mind? Consciousness? Electro-Magnetic?

Answer:   The effect is mind/matter. Not mind alone or matter alone. The observer effect occurs both in mind (the inner part of experience) and in matter (the so-called outer part of experience). You can't have one without the other.

Question:   What is Quantum Entanglement? Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principal? Schr÷dinger Probability Wave?

Answer:   Quantum entanglement deals with the appearance of two or more objects. It tells us that if two objects interact with each other and then separate, the two objects remain under each other's influence provided they are unobserved. When an observation occurs of either object the other object instantaneously behaves as if it too was observed even though the objects in question may be miles apart. After the observation the two objects behave independently of each other.

  Heisenberg's uncertainty principle deals with the possible observation of any object. It tells us that there are limits to the accuracy with which we can make concurrent observations. It shows that the when one of a pair of complementary observations is made with a specific great accuracy the other complementary observation's accuracy become reciprocally less determined. The most common example of this has to do with measurement of the location and the momentum of an object. A well-measured position leads to a poorly-measured momentum and vice versa.

  The Schr÷dinger wave of probability or quantum wave function describes a wave moving in a multi-dimensional imaginal space and through time. The dimensions of the space refer to the possible places the objects described by the wave can be found whenever a measurement is performed on any one of them.

Question:   You write about the quantum models having validity, like different tools for different purposes, I believe. Can you speak to the validity--or uses--of each?

Answer:   My remarks here have to do with my extended vision of complementarity, sort of like Bohr had, when he extended complementarity to everything from politics to biology and psychology. All theories are models of what seems to be an endlessness of unknowable reality. Each model generally works within the limited frame of experimental investigation available to scientists. All models attempt to go beyond that framework, and usually they run into difficulties as for example in current cosmological models and even quantum theory models such as parallel universes, the Bohm hidden variable model, or the Copenhagen model. Hence each model has limited validity, and the idea of a TOE (theory of everything) seems to still elude us. Most likely we will never complete the puzzle because all science models make what seems to me to be a faulty assumption: they assume that anything complex and intelligent can be explained by dumber and simpler parts. For example, that consciousness comes from jumping electrons or something smaller, or that particles are made of simpler particles or strings or anything tinier. It may be the other way around, and that matter evolves out of consciousness as described in ancient Indian wisdom. . . . .

Question:  Is there a vantage point from which all have validity? Or an overarching model which contains them all?

Answer:   I doubt this. My understanding of things tells me that the universe is not entirely rational. That rationality only appears in models that humans make. God cannot be calculated, and spirituality remains endless and unfathomable, deep and mysterious. We will explore more, go deeper, even clone life, live 200 years or more per individual lifetime, see consciousness exist in computer devices, come up with new ways of probing the mind, reach the outer limits of the solar system and even journey to distant stars. But we will never understand the universe completely and we will continually find surprises.

Question:   Is Quantum Physics like ancient shamanism?

Answer:   In some ways yes, in other ways no. The ancient shamanic world view took it that that the world was manipulatable through magic-that a shaman could alter the physical properties of matter through means that appear supernatural. This view also posited a very different objective world saying that everything in the world was fundamentally alive and conscious and in touch with a spirit world. The quantum physics world view is based on the classical physics view arising from Aristotelian physics (AP). AP posits a world of material objects capable of being animated by an external spirit but nevertheless fundamentally dead and inert. The question for AP was how do things move. The question for the shaman was how do things change patterns of motion. AP recognized the action principle that says things move when pushed or pulled. Classical physics introduced the notion that only when a change in motion occurs must a push or pull be present. Quantum physics indicated that matter itself was not independent of the power of observation and that observation could act as a push or pull. The shamanic world view does not question that observation can act as a push or pull and further posits that the spirit world can also act this way.

Question:   Do we project reality?

Answer:   The evidence of physiology seems to indicate so. It tells us that our memories alter our perceptions and hence color our senses of the putative objective world. Hence the world we see appears according to our expectations. A change in expectations leads to a different view of the world. Since we can't get beyond our subjective views, we can never really determine what is absolutely "out there." Classical neurophysiology would say that our minds play tricks on us and in some sense distort the "true" objectivity of the world. The quantum neurophysiology returns to the shamanic or magical view that there is no "out there" until it's perceived. Both views suggest we must project in order to perceive.

Question from a reader in Japan:   Quite a few people do not seem to know yet what [are meant by] Parallel Universes, and may not at once believe [they exist] when first learning about them. If the presence of, and thought about, Parallel Universes were taken for granted by every person throughout the world, what sort of world would appear?

Answer:   The physical world we live in follows laws and rules based on our current knowledge. As our knowledge changes, it appears that the rules and laws also change. Quantum physics provides the best laws and rules governing our world and the whole universe as far as we know. In other words, quantum physics describes the real world we live in.

  So far there are many, perhaps four main, interpretations of quantum physics currently in use. They are the Bohr collapse postulate, the Cramer transactional postulate, the Everett parallel worlds postulate, and the Bohm hidden variable postulate. They all differ in what they say the world is made of, but they all are based on the quantum physics mathematical laws describing a quantum wave function.

  In all of these interpretations, the quantum wave function includes many parallel branches. But what happens to these branches changes according to the interpretation.

  In the Cramer transactional interpretation and the Bohr collapse postulate, the world is made from a quantum wave function that collapses whenever an observation occurs causing all of the branches to disappear except one. In the transactional interpretation the wave is real; it exists in real space and time; before and after the collapse. In the Bohr collapse model, the wave is imaginal, it only exists in the mind; before and after the collapse. The collapse occurs instantly in the Bohr postulate but requires a backward through time wave action in the transactional view. There is only one real world which arises from the collapse and exists on the one remaining branch.

  In the Bohm and parallel universes postulate, the quantum wave function is real and also includes many parallel branches that do not disappear when an observation occurs. In the parallel universes postulate the world is made from all of these overlapping parallel worlds branches. In the Bohm postulate, there is only one real world existing on one of the branches; we don't know which branch; and the other parallel branch possibilities are empty of matter.

  Hence how people think changes the view we have of our world. Most likely the Bohm and parallel universes interpretations are correct, since they don't have any mysterious collapse mechanism that lies outside of physics. However they are very different. I am currently working on a model of mind and matter that includes psychology. My thinking tends to fit the parallel universes interpretation in this model, however, I am beginning to see how the Bohm view may actually be more relevant.

. . . .

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