Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 13, No 2 (2017)

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The Quantum Paradigm and Challenging the Objectivity Assumption

George Weissmann, Cynthia Sue Larson

Abstract


Most interpretations of quantum theory fail to provide a fundamental, complete, self-consistent account of nature describing physical reality itself, as opposed to merely yielding predictions about results of experiments and observations. A paradigm providing a self-consistent foundation for quantum theory and a description of the reality it refers to, generalized to a worldview, is a Quantum Paradigm, where ‘paradigm' is defined as structure of experiential reality. We assert that the fundamental obstruction in the quest for a quantum paradigm is the assumption of objectivity. The subject-object distinction, drawn within experience, has within the natural sciences degenerated into a dichotomy-an absolute split into separate realms-with scientists adopting the classical paradigm where the object pole of experience ("objective reality") can be studied independently from the subject pole ("the experiencer"), with a presupposition that this procedure yields a fundamental description of nature. In fact, the subjective is often eliminated altogether as a fundamental category, and reduced to an epiphenomenon of objective processes. We claim this objectivity assumption precludes a full comprehension and a paradox-free formulation of quantum theory. By challenging this presupposition, i.e. leaving the question open, a coherent understanding of quantum nature falls naturally into place, providing appropriate foundation for quantum theory and an associated world-view. The resulting Quantum Paradigm is "realist" in the sense that it provides a description of what is actually happening: namely the arena of all happening is Mind or Consciousness-from which mind and matter, subject and object, individual and collective, and time and space co-dependently arise. The subject matter of quantum theory then becomes the fundamental mind-function of distinction ("measurement"), resulting in information and its statistical correlations. The message of quantum mechanics is surprising: the basic components of objects-the particles, electrons, quarks, etc.-cannot be thought of as ‘self-existent'. The reality that they, and hence all objects, are components of is ‘empirical reality', of experience."The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine."-James Jeans Anomalous phenomena such as ESP and psychokinesis, collective consciousness, and synchronicity that are considered impossible in the context of the classical paradigm, fit naturally in, and can in turn provide evidence for the Quantum Paradigm. Spirituality and science are shown to be complementary approaches referring to the same reality, Mind, while each discipline retains its integrity. The Quantum Paradigm can be intellectually comprehended, as well as embodied: one can live in quantum reality. A good metaphor for this is "life as a dream": with no "real" objects as distinguished from experienced objects. Experience is "empty" of self-nature in the Buddhist sense, with everything interconnected and co-dependently arising. Experiencing the world by "embodying the Quantum Paradigm" is transformative, healing, and an antidote to alienation resulting from embodying the classical paradigm. Embodying the Quantum Paradigm and living in the Oneness of all creation can help humanity-increasingly lost in the materialism and individualism reinforced by our embodiment of the classical paradigm-and restore intimate connection and harmony with Spirit, Nature and fellow humans; we need such a transformation to survive and thrive in our technological society.

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