Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The observer

An important concept in quantum physics is the role of the observer. There is a famous hypothesis called "Everett’s many worlds theory" that builds on Niels Bohr’s Copenhagen theory that an action seen by an observer has more than one possible outcome. Everett’s theory holds that the universe splits when that action is taken (or even when an action is not taken).

Physicist David Z. Albert has put a slightly different spin on Everett’s theory, which I believe is very important to the understanding of schizophrenia. Albert maintains that the term "many worlds" is actually incorrect and that a description that leads to a better understanding is to call it "many viewpoints." This is in essence the schizophrenic problem of ambivalence: holding two (or possibly) more opposing views in which the center cannot hold. It offers one explanation for Chris’s lifelong aversion to making a choice.

As a university undergraduate, I was an art history major, not a physics major. Physics is hard for me, as it is for most people, to wrap my mind around. The implications of quantum physics are still not well understood, even by quantum physicists. What I can say with some conviction is that an appreciation of schizophrenia will emerge in future from a further understanding of quantum physics and lead to new methodologies in treatment. For the compassionate observer, schizophrenia brings us closer to the knowledge that we are all subject to a supreme power in the universe, but a spark of that divinity is also within us.

To quote Hermann Hesse once more, modern science is in the Stone Age compared to the teachings of ancient Indian mythology. Ancient and indigenous peoples seem to have a better appreciation of multiple realities than modern people do. Indigenous people, such as the Toltec civilization from which Don Juan came, know that hallucinogens can deliver you to an altered dimension where extraordinary things can happen. Although he did not know the physics of the assemblage point, he knew what moving it could do.

It made perfect sense to me that Chris began experiencing altered realities or parallel universes at the time that his assemblage point was breaking up. The assemblage point is assembled in the womb in part by the vibrational energy of the outside universe. Altered states of awareness such as in schizophrenia and lucid dreaming may be indications that there are universes parallel to our own.

(See also "The Akashic field and synchronicity," April 22, 2009)

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