Book Excerpt - Beyond Homo Sapiens: Enlightened Faith
The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist.
There is obviously only one alternative, namely the unification of minds or consciousness. Their multiplicity is only apparent, in truth there is only one mind.
—Erwin Schrodinger, Mind and Matter
The wall of separation between the different things in the universe and therefore, between subject and object, potentially broke down within the Homo sapiens’ mind from the moment it
broke down within some physicists’ minds. As Austrian physicist, Erwin Schrodinger so clearly said, in the real world, that wall had never existed. The primitive interpretation of the separation
of material things tumbled down the same way the ancient interpretation of an earth-centered system had tumbled down before. The vision of matter as a temporary coagulation of energy
brought with it the beginning of a new era and the possibility of enlightened faith. During the second half of the twentieth century, quantum theory, biology, and psychology would engage more and more people in New Thought and the recognition that the New Thought movement had existed since the first mystics and philosophers appeared on the planet. “The Perennial Philosophy,” as Aldous Huxley called it, emphasizing the unity of universal truths conveyed by the wise men and women of different cultures. Schrodinger commented about Huxley’s book that there was a “miraculous agreement between humans of different race, different religion, knowing nothing about each other’s existence, separated by centuries and millennia, and by the greatest distances that there are on our globe.” Schrodinger himself became immediately interested in Hinduism, recognizing as truthful the cosmology of Oriental mysticism as it stresses the unity of all creation.
Schrodinger also saw the embracing consciousness that united all of us, as he tells us in a small book with the compilation of some of his lectures entitled What is Life? and Mind and Matter. This unifying consciousness, he said, wages the fight against our primitive egos and because of that struggle our evolution is still in full swing every day of our lives. At every step, every day of our life, something has to change; something has to be overcome and deleted and replaced by something new. The resistance of our primitive will is the resistance of our daily automatism against transformation; there is discord of consciousness within one’s own self, and the men and women with more consciousness have been more “torn by the pangs of inner discord.” However, without it, Schrodinger said, “nothing enduring has ever been begotten.” If we could not continue to evolve, that would be a very depressing thought indeed. Sadly, the individual’s struggle against automatic biologically inherited tendencies and the disciplines to gain some control over them, do not pass to the species in general and the dangers caused by the majorities’ petty egotism, leaves us in a treacherous blind alley. As the century developed, menaces increased within our institutional life based in the same old perception of separation and therefore, egotism.
The Socialist idea had been prescribed precisely as the antidote against egotism, but private gain continued to support biological automatism. Our corporate business and the institutions that live from them have become the greatest obstacle for individual transformation toward recognition of unity, since a very small percentage of families own our institutional life, and they are against the progress of the species in favor of the maximization of their private riches. On the other hand, history has not been able to afford us its most important contribution; Schrodinger invites us to take the hint, comparing our own evolution with that of machines. It is through the continuous use of machines that changes are suggested; therefore, our own experience suggests the needed transformations. Our institutional changes have always been achieved by small groups of people gaining transformations to support a general change in behavior by larger populations. The greatest stumbling block for us today is our conditioning as a species in the mode of oppressors and oppressed; the old Egyptian pharaoh’s tale in need of the people’s exodus. We must not wait for things to come, says Schrodinger, believing that they are decided by irresistible destiny. If
we want it we most do something about it. Our political and social development and the sequence of historical events are not our fate, but our own doing. “Our biological future, being nothing else but history on a large scale” is in our hands. We need more intelligence not less, to walk toward our biological evolution. We need more time to meditate, contemplate, and think. The society created by corporate moguls amount to a general degeneration of the organ of intelligence because those who follow without thinking will be favored, and the result will be in Schrödinger’s estimation, a kind of “negative selection as regards to talents and gifts.” Our biological evolution requires, on the contrary, that the machine do the toil for which man is too good.
Niels Bohr, a Danish physicist, gave birth to the model of atomic structures with electrons orbiting around the nucleus. He studied in England, in the University of Manchester under Ernest Rutheford, and basing himself on Rutheford’s model of the atom (which today adorns the United States Atomic Energy Commission shield) Bohr published his atomic model in 1913. He also described the chemical properties of the elements as determined by the number of electrons orbiting a nucleus. When an electron drops from a higher energy orbit to a lower one, the electron emits a photon or light quantum. These findings became the basis for quantum theory. Bohr won the Nobel Prize in 1922 for his investigation of atomic structure and atomic radiation. Bohr’s complementary principle accepted light to be particle and wave. Although for Homo sapiens it always has been difficult to think of polarities as working in unison, the idea of the wave-particle duality of matter and radiation although difficult to visualize, had to be accepted as
the real world of atomic structures. Werner Heisenberg became Bohr’s disciple, and it was he who formulated the “uncertainty principle” in 1926. When the position of a particle is measured with precision, its velocity becomes uncertain; measuring with precision the velocity, the position becomes uncertain. Bohr and Heisenberg worked together in Copenhagen in 1927 in what became known as the Copenhagen interpretation in relation to quantum mechanics. Erwin Scrodinger, Niels Bohr, Max Born, Wolfgang Pauli, Louis de Broglie, and Paul Dirac, all contributed to the development of quantum mechanics.
W. Pauli and Jung collaborated in The Interpretation of Nature and the Psyche. The first part of the book is written by Jung on synchronicity or the acausal connecting principle. The second part was written by Pauli on the influence of archetypal ideas on the scientific theories of Kepler. “Prof. Pauli,” says Jung, “kindly calls my attention to the fact that Niels Bohr used ‘correspondence’ as a mediating term between the representations of the discontinuous (particle) and the continuous (wave).” It was at this point that the writings of mystics and philosophers came to be understood, as we realized they had been talking all the time about the unity of being, from the supraconscious to the conscious and subconscious, the threefold unity. Jung formulated the synchronicity of the total psyche at the same time that he realized that Lao-tzu and many other mystics and philosophers had been seeing the same realities that became apparent with quantum theory. All mystics and philosophers had experienced the “common breathing” of all things. Meaning and simultaneity became in Jung’s words, “the indispensable criterion of synchronicity” or acausal meaningful coincidences. With the acceptance of the duality, wave-particle human thought gained the possibility of becoming all embracing and eclectic, achieving the capacity to see the universe as the mystical body of polarity forces that we cannot see and touch but from which we can extract meaning.
All the great teachers had experienced their own inborn knowledge and imagination. Jung gave this inborn knowledge the name of archetypes, borrowing from Kepler who had borrowed it from the Platonists. Since the universe is the body of spirit, inner meaning begets in the exterior; “it’s like” or meaningful material coincidence. At the same time, because man and women have the potential to participate consciously between the supraconscious and the subconscious, we are “the universe in little” as all mystics and philosophers had told us. We embody the threefold miracle. We can regain the preestablished harmony proposed by Leibnitz because there is communication between substances as Jung said, man is a microcosm enclosing the whole in himself, and so are women.
The process of understanding nature, says Pauli, seems to be based on a correspondence, a “matching” of inner images preexistent in the human psyche with external objects and their behavior. This interpretation of scientific knowledge, of course, goes back to Plato and is, as we shall see, very clearly advocated by Kepler. When we interpret nature correctly, it is because we are matching the preexisting idea, with our formulation of how a specific exterior manifestation works. Pauli’s and Jung’s vision ended the short interruption that science had suffered disconnected from ideas a priory, although not in the minds of the multitude of men and women and those scientists who continued clinging to the English empiricist view of the world.
This is how we made a quantum leap in knowledge, but very little advance in humanism because as Scrodinger said, “An animal that embarks on forming states without greatly restricting egotism will perish.” Einstein remarked that perfection of means and confusion of goals characterized our age, and he also said, that in our society, our egotistical compulsions grow, while our social impulses which are naturally weak debilitate. We are prisoners of our own egotism. We feel insecure and alone and in the middle of our sophisticated technology, we lack in primitive joy and simplicity. Only our dedication to the improvement of society can give meaning to our lives.