Maybe It Is So Good We Can’t Understand It
Reality may not be structured in any way the human mind can objectively discern. Quantum Physics
System science taught us that the whole is equal to more than the sun of its parts. As I was beginning to understand that, quantum physics now tells us that each part IS the whole. How are we expected to understand that? I believe we can’t totally understand the complexity of a world where everything is connected to everything else in an unbroken wholeness.
How does brain activity give rise to subjective experience was once considered “the hard problem of science”. The reason subjective experience is hard for science is because we don’t totally understand how human consciousness is interconnected to the physical world. Today another hard problem for science is interconnectedness.
One reason interconnectedness is difficult to grasp is that we can never see the whole because “In all visible things there is a hidden wholeness” Thomas Merton. The interconnectedness of everything means there is always a hidden wholeness in our vision because we can’t see everything; this is our “wholeness blindness”.
Although we can’t see or know the whole in one, we can try to imagine it. I think the interconnectedness of everything is a wonderful mystery to be lived. This mystery is the reason sciences and religions were invented. Maybe both now are beginning to realize that neither has yet completely solved the mystery. I think the mystery of interconnectedness is too good to abandon. We should embrace all of its complexity and enjoy living the mystery and learning from it.
Repeating a story told by Niels Bohr, one of the founding fathers of quantum physics, will explain my subtitle. The story is about a young student attending three lectures by a very famous rabbi. The student said the first lecture was very good, he understood everything. second lecture was much better — the student didn’t understand it but the rabbi understood everything. The third lecture was the best of all; it was so good that even the rabbi didn’t understand it.
Bohr tells this story because he says he never understood quantum physics, even though he helped create it. If Bohr can’t understand quantum physics, how can you and I? Each person’s reality may be so complex, so changeable, so connected (so good) that human consciousness cannot comprehend it.