Schrodinger's Cat is out of the Bhag
The word 'Bhag' in the title is a Sanskrit term which has "17 different meanings in Sanskrit, ranging from sun, moon, beauty, fame, freedom to vagina!" (Rajendra Gupta) -- which makes it a particularly suitable, if somewhat obscure, pun with which to tease Schrodinger's famous cat out of the quantum rabbit hole.
Let's face it, Quantum Physics has MEST up our world. Take that acronym, please. It stands for the four pillars of classical physics, Matter, Energy, Space and Time, by means of which we once set about to explain to ourselves why things do what they do and how they do it. Now, we find our brightest physicists telling us that matter isn't really matter at all. It's more like condensing, configuring, patterning, intermingling energy phenomena... or, it's space behaving in odd ways due to other invisible things like gravity and curvature... or... and here we watch the magician stuff the rabbit back into the Newtonian hat out of which it was so recently pulled -- matter is made up of waves of probability. Probability?! Sorry, Sir Isaac, there's a high probability that all those wonderful equations you formulated kind of come undone deep in the MEST. Even higher probability that it doesn't really matter whether you label the 'stuff' of the universe matter or energy.
The essential stuffness of stuff, whatever name we call it, eludes our conceptual grasp. The very grasping keeps us from directly experiencing what is actually going on. Fixated on obects, gross to subtle, and on the interactions of objects, we overlook the awareness that is always present as the foundational requirement for inquiry itself to occur. No one, it seems, save for visionary poets, sages and a handful of enlightened physicists, wants to admit that inquiry occurs as an expression of prior awareness, without which neither inquiry nor perception of MEST is even possible.
This awareness is not some 'thing' owned, controlled, contained or generated by you or me, nor by any ghostly soul, astral entity or great big Deity somewhere. It is what physicists like to call "non-local". Everything that manifests, including our human minds and all they survey, is an expression of that awareness. As Peter Wilberg astutely points out in his epochal book, The Science Delusion, " ... all that can be experienced is an aware expression and portion of that ultimate, universal and unbounded Awareness that is the highest reality of all...."
Following Wilberg, we might ever so tentatively propose that Quantum Mechanics needs to include something in the order of a Qualia Aesthetics, the very last thing current science would likely incorporate into a unified field theory. The domain of the merely quantitative, no matter how rigorously parsed out and explained, amounts to little of real import without the inclusion of qualitative values that give meaning to the substance of our experience. Here, we include and move beyond ultimately fruitless calculative operations and quantitative measurements of ever more elusive subatomic quanta. We enter territories of revelation, of epiphanies of the post-logical suchness of experience -- what Kashmir Shaivite philosophy terms a 'doctrine of recognition'; the re-cognizing of What Is, asking us to rise to the occasion in our arts and science and to re-enact the brilliance of the ongoing rather than attempt merely to explain it with the reductionist's resort to the quantitative.
Sri Baba Ganoosh adds:
"Don't waste time looking for that unbounded Awareness. It is precisely that which makes looking possible for all sentient beings, no matter how ferociously you'd like to think it resides only, truly & really, inside your own head."
"There is no ego in nirvana, hence the dynamics of infinite,unconditional love embody and empower our life in every moment, choicelessly so!"
-- Jackson Peterson
Arriving in Cleveland
My partner and I tuned in to the first evening of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland and experienced something both humbling and transformative. Like many of our liberal, progressive, silk shirt socialist friends (you know, the ones who cite Marx and investment opportunities in the same sentence), we had more than once indulged in a little Republican bashing. Such easy targets. They deny the theory of evolution for petesake. They claim the world is only 6,000 years old and that climate change is a liberal fantasy. Puh-leese.
So let's tune in CNN and see what goofy Palinesque declarations are on tap tonight. A young man named Marcus Luttrell stepped to the microphone. A former Navy Seal, Marcus is the sole survivor of a firefight with the Taliban in Afghanistan and received the Navy Cross for his actions in 2005. He is neither a scholar, a politician nor an orator. In fact, it would all too easy for any cynical intellectual to dismiss him as a deluded red neck who has no idea how he has been duped by a system that grinds up young bodies to maintain power. As Marcus Luttrell spoke of his love for his country, such cynical considerations slipped away, outshone by a couple of things that radically altered our impressions of this young man and where he was coming from. First, it was all too clear that fear plays a major role in his life. He is filled with it. The world is a dark and dreadful place for Marcus Luttrell. The darkness is horrid beyond the borders of the USA and that darkness has begun to infiltrate in the form of radical Islamic terrorism that must be overcome at all costs. "The fight is here!" he said, his emotion and conviction searingly real in a way that no politician could ever convey. Second, Marcus clings to idealistic sounding headers that give his fearful existence meaning -- patriotism, honor, service, having each others' back. This notion of having each others' back figured largely in the speeches this night, including that given by Duck Dynasty star, Willie Robertson, who made 'Trump will have your back' the theme of a speech that glorified the hard hitting, animal hunting, blue collar backbone of which he is so proud.
Luttrell was followed by Patricia Smith, mother of IT computer consultant, Sean Smith, one of four Americans killed in the Benghazi attack in 2012. Her heart wrenching indictment of US foreign policy mismanagement that resulted in her son's death brought her audience to tears. Her voice cracking accusation of Hillary Clinton as directly responsible for her son's murder produced a far greater effect than all 11 hours of the grilling Mrs. Clinton endured at the hands of her GOP inquisitors. It is difficult indeed to imagine anything that Mrs. Clinton might say in response to Mrs. Smith. Rudy Giuliani's bombast notwithstanding, there was a whole lot of unexpected reality going on at this jamboree of the right.
Recently on Facebook, some posters were dissing Republicans for their basic ignorance and deluded dogmas. Chris, a wise friend posted that such attacks were not at all helpful, serving only to cause those affected to react with fear based anger. Feeling smugly superior to people who hold such beliefs is hardly an enlightened disposition. What on earth do we have left to share with one other that is possibly going to help rather than make things worse? Imagine if it turns out to be kindness. The two little girls pictured above have got it figured out, using left and right to hug one another.