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Will science and religion ultimately reconcile their differences?
August 26, 2003
7:17 pm
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Are things as they appear to us to be?

Are you and I separate identities with some aspect about us that has a permanent ongoing component that survives dramatic physical changes to our bodies such as aging, dementia and ultimately death? In the ultimate, what is it that underpins all that we see, think and feel?

Theoretical physicists have posited the 'string' theory. As I understand this theory, 'strings' underpin all matter including the behavior of all sub-atomic particles that are the basic building bricks of matter including our bodies, brains etc.

But what are these 'strings'? It seems that the quantum wave potentials, called 'strings', interact with the Consciousness ( note the upper case 'C' ) of the observer, on an instant by instant basis, to bring into and out of existence electrons, photons and other sub-atomic particles and therefore ultimately 'us' as we perceive ourselves to be. This might sound weird but you can be assured that this is how great men of science are postulating how the physical world is - that is, not independent of the consciousness of the observer. These great men of science are the theoretical physicists who ascribe to the theories of quantum mechanics.

Henry Swift, a physicist, in discussing the famous quantum physicist Erwin Schroedinger’s classic explanation of how quantum mechanics works, wrote:

" A box contains a cat and a radioactive substance that has a 50:50 chance of emitting an atomic particle within one hour. The box also contains apparatus that will detect that particle -- if it is emitted-- and then immediately kill the cat. One hour passes, the experimenter opens the box, and the cat is either dead or alive -- with a 50% chance either way. So far, so good, everything as expected.

We now ask the diabolical question, is the cat dead or is it alive the instant before the box is opened? We naturally think this is the same as when we flip a coin and cover it with the hand. The coin is either heads or tails, and removing the hand will let us see which. Not so for the poor cat. Quantum Mechanics says that it exists only as a quantum wave which says that if we look, there is a 50% chance we will see an alive cat. Isn’t that a bit strange? We normally expect a definite answer. Again we ask, does the experimenter’s consciousness make the dead or alive decision?

Schroedinger proposed his cat situation to point up the strangeness of quantum physics, per our usual way of thinking. This paradox could stimulate several questions from the reader after some thought about it, but to anticipate all such questions would take us into more words and subtle concepts. .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

Returning to Schroedinger’s cat, before the box was opened the cat’s state of being was in a transcendental realm of ideas, albeit mathematical, and indeterminate in our world. There were two possibility facets -- 50% each way, and the act of observation by a conscious observer chooses the fate of the cat.

There is an important subtlety involved in the act of observation, as the following dilemma reveals. Suppose two people open the box and simultaneously look at the cat. If one consciousness chooses death and the other life, what then?
We think that consciousness is ‘something we own’, and that our ‘it’ is different from that possessed by another. The above dilemma disappears, however, if there is only one consciousness that does the choosing. The mystics have always told us there is only one consciousness and that thinking otherwise is illusion. The illusion that we are separate individuals arises from the ego structure formulated in the mind from memories and thought. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

We concluded earlier that Consciousness chooses the result from the available possibilities inherent in the quantum waves representing a physical situation. That conclusion was then extended by the physicist’s logic to: there is only one Consciousness. Another conclusion can now be added from laboratory data: that Consciousness is non-local, or all-pervading in our space-time universe, as well as beyond it."

End of Quote!!

Other theoretical physicists posit the multi-universe theory in order to explain two observers each seeing a different outcome of one live and the other a dead cat. Of course both observers would then have to be existing in two different universes! Taking into account all the possible observers, including all the animal and insect kingdoms, and all the possible events that could ever happen at any time, past, present and future, then there would have to be an infinite number of universes already in existence. None of the great mystics have ever claimed to have had this experience of reality.

According to the enlightened ones' messages, the Buddha's teachings and those of many other great mystics, releasing the illusion of the ego based 'self' enables the experience of the Consciousness that underpins all 'things' and beyond. This, by definition, implies to experience omniscience. Of course there would be no experience of any 'I' that is having the omniscient experience - just the allknowing experience beyond space and time.

Jesus Christ talked about being 'born again' and 'dying alive'. If we consider the possibility that he was talking about the death of the 'ego', then we can assume that Christ was also talking about shedding all preconditioning that underpins the perception of a separate self (an ego) and being born again, new, pristine, uncontaminated by any illusions of any permanent identity, call an 'I', having a separate consciousness.

Who is it that 'I' think I am? It appears that Consciousness perceives and mistakes 'content' of consciousness as being the 'self'. The implication is that Consciousness is 'self-conscious' within the individual creating the 'ego'. The basis for this perception' of a 'self' and 'other' are all of our memories, both explicit and implicit, to which our minds refer, in creating the illusion of external mental objects in direct response to sensory data received from our sensory inputs. Whether graphic or word based, every thought that flashes through our minds would seem to be a byproduct of past conditioning. Without any past 'conditioning', no perception of a separate 'I' or a 'you' or even a separate independent object could exist. As a consequence, only the pristine underlying Consciousness would be experienced without any consciousness of an experiencer - the cessation of all duality and monality. Perhaps Christ meant this when he claimed that "the Father and I are One".

Thus it appears that our 'observed' external and internal worlds manifests from quantum wave potentials when Consciousness 'observes' in reference to stored memories; memories that are conditioned by passed illusory experiences. Thus it appears that karma and Consciousness conspire to manifest everything that we see, hear, touch, taste, smell, think, feel or imagine - in fact everything of which we are aware at any given instant. Perhaps the basis for the biblical 'Holy Spirit' is pristine Consciousness. Perhaps Consciousness interplayed with quantum wave potentials or 'strings' ( the Father) and gave birth to the Son of man, the Christ, and all his 'siblings' past, present and future on an instant by instant basis. Is this the foundation of the mystery of the 'Blessed Trinity' that so totally mysterfies and confounds mainstream Christianity?

To what extent then do we have free choice? Perhaps our freedom to choose boils down to the binary choice of either clinging to self and all of the karmic account of past conditioning that this choice entails, or choosing to relinquish any reference to self whatsoever and being born again, pristine and anew. Perhaps the latter choice involves a lengthy process over many lifetimes of watching the multisensory 'movie' played out on the screen of the mind; a 'movie' complete with feelings, thoughts, and all sensory effects. Perhaps the latter choice also involves watching with complete detachment on an instant by instant basis, as Consciousness perfects its cosmic interplay with what can potentially be, therein creating that which is actually perceived. Perhaps without our continual updating of the 'movie script' - updating our negative 'karmic' conditioning - the movie will finally terminate with our ultimate 'letting go' of all 'lakshanas' of our preconception. Once again the 'water droplet' merges with the 'ocean' from whence it came.

August 27, 2003
9:43 pm
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Not in this measured lifetime of mine 🙂

August 27, 2003
9:56 pm
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well see, science progresses and doesnt loose its identity. if a religion or religions progress, they lose their identity, their original ideas, practices, culture, philosophies, etc, until they cant be called the original religion anymore.
so i'll agree with MJ here.

August 28, 2003
12:15 pm
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TEZ
Having read this piece and the quotes - I feel it necessary that I must try and respond If only for your giant effort- whether my response has any bearing on the subject ( because I do tend to stray onto what I want to Talk about) - back to the subject. Yes I have read something on the alive or dead cat. It was expressed somewhat differently - take a box and a pair of gloves place one in the box close the lid- open it and what do you see - a left or right glove?

I married a lady who has a degree in Philosophy- in the beginning she thought I was a right glove , After 15 years she realised that she was wrong - what she actually had was a left handed glove - so she she closed the lid again and left.

Well I did warn you! When I read your thread it made my head ache . When this happens to me I want to know more.

Looking up at the sky on a clear night with the Universe glittering- When a rainbow appears-
When a child is born- Looking at the potential of a packet of seeds during the winter- Taking stock of what's around me and looking in the mirror and asking who am I.

If I approached these wonders on a daily bases - I would come up with different answers - depending on my outlook for that day- I may not even remember yesterdays ' I wanna know's'

Using these maxims I agree with the dead - alive theory. Thanks for opening up ones thoughts.

August 28, 2003
7:00 pm
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Thanks Anam Cara for your response.

About the nature of reality there is an old Ch'an story:

Two monks are arguing over whether it is the flag or the wind that is moving.

Along comes a Ch'an master who says:

"You are both wrong. It is the mind that is moving."

Without an observer, would there be any manifest flag or wind?

As I understand it, quantum theorists would answer: "No! - Only wave potentials would exist".

Observer + wave potential = manifestation.

In simple terms, it seems to me that quantum science is maintaining that Consciousness is the actualizing co-creator of the phenomenal world that we perceive to be 'real'.

Of course a co-creatorship implies a dualistic partnership. Ch'an masters maintain that all duality is an illusion created by a deluded mind.

Perhaps there is nothing of which we can speak that is not a figment of the 'unenlightened' mind?

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