Subatomic Psychology Thesis by Jennifer J. Duke, 2002
Subatomic Psychology Thesis:
The effect of twentieth century physics on western epistemology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUBATOMIC PSYCHOLOGY

THE EFFECT OF TWENTIETH CENTURY PHYSICS

ON WESTERN EPISTEMOLOGY

 

 

 

 

 

by

Jennifer Jane Duke

 

 

 

 

 

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements

for the degree of

 

MASTER OF ARTS IN COUSELING PSYCHOLOGY

 

 

 

 

Pacifica Graduate Institute

June 25, 2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

I. INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................ 1

            Thesis Statement................................................................................................... 1..

            Fragmentation in Western Culture........................................................................ 3..

            Logical Values....................................................................................................... 4

            Purpose of Scientific Research.............................................................................. 5

            Research Methodology......................................................................................... 6

                        Alfred B. Nobel........................................................................................ 6

                        Gender and Language............................................................................... 7..

            Overview of Subsequent Chapters........................................................................ 8

 

II. THE INFLUENCE OF MODERN PHYSICS ON WESTERN THOUGHT PROCESS          AND WORLDVIEW............................................................................................................... 11

            The Adventure Begins........................................................................................ 12..

                        Cogito Ergo Sum..................................................................................... 12

                        Galileo..................................................................................................... 13

                        Newton’s Laws of Mechanics................................................................. 14

            The Big Myth...................................................................................................... 15

                        Stripping the essence............................................................................... 16

                        Feeling’s Lament..................................................................................... 16

                        Inferior Feeling Functions....................................................................... 17

                        Feeling and Neuroscience....................................................................... 18

            The Boys Versus the Church............................................................................... 19

            Freud and Jung.................................................................................................... 21

            Twentieth Century Physics................................................................................. 23

                        Special Relativity.................................................................................... 24

                        General Relativity................................................................................... 26

                        E=mc2..................................................................................................... 27

                        Quantum mechanics................................................................................ 28

                        Heisenberg’s Principle of Uncertainty.................................................... 29

                        Probability and Suspension..................................................................... 30

                        Corrections to Classical Physics.............................................................. 33

                        Nanotechnology: Applied Quantum Physics.......................................... 33

            Rational Thought Revisited................................................................................ 34

            Moving On.......................................................................................................... 36

                        GUT Strings............................................................................................ 38

                        The Subjective End of the Microscope................................................... 39

                        Physics and Mysticism: David Bohm..................................................... 40

            Consilience: E. O. Wilson....................................................................... 41

Consciousness..................................................................................................... 42

            Summary of Chapter Two................................................................................... 44

           

 

III. HOLISTIC RESEARCH: THE POTENTIAL INFLUENCE OF TWENTIETH

            CENTURY PHYSICS ON SCIENTIFIC METHOD....................................... 45

Failure To Describe: Scientific Limitations, Distortions, and Bias..................... 46

            Objective Thinking: An Oxymoron......................................................... 47

                        Thinking by the Rules............................................................................. 48

                        Logic without Feeling: A Scientific Bias................................................ 48

                        Scientific perspectivism: A Subjective Representation........................... 49

The Influence of Newtonian-Cartesian Philosophy on Personality Development

 in Contemporary Western society...................................................................... 50

            Logical Dominance in Childhood Cognitive Development.................... 50..

            Abstract Process in Advanced Physics................................................... 52

            Advanced Cognition: Additional Possibilities........................................ 54

A Perspective of Motion: Emotional and Psychological Development.. 54

Two Kinds of Power............................................................................... 55

The Extroverted Thinker and Western Culture....................................... 56

            Categorical Thinking and Physiology..................................................... 58

            Hiscience................................................................................................. 59

Thinking Latitudes: Geo-electromagnetism and Rational Process.......... 60

An Invitation to Broaden the Palette: Extended Operations.............................. 61

            Direct Experience: Sensing and Intuition............................................... 61

            Portal: Spontaneous Subjectivity: A Smoking Dolphin.......................... 65

            Registration of Uncommon Senses......................................................... 67

            Gut Feelings............................................................................................ 68

            Action at a Distance................................................................................ 69

            Human Action at a Distance................................................................... 70

            Acquired Senses in Child Development................................................. 71

            Applied Action at a Distance in Psychotherapy..................................... 72

            Emergence of Novelty............................................................................ 73

            Soft Focus............................................................................................... 74

            Pastel Shades of Daydreams: Finely-Tuned Sense Registrations........... 74

            Barely Thought Thoughts........................................................................ 75

            Real Creative Thinking............................................................................ 77

Inadequacy of Linear Process................................................................. 77

Multiple Dimensions of Thought............................................................ 79

Interdisciplinary Support..................................................................................... 80

Summary............................................................................................................. 80

 

IV. CONCLUSION....................................................................................................... 82

Physics and Philosophy....................................................................................... 82

Specific Subjective Research Techniques........................................................... 83

Future Projects.................................................................................................... 84

            Detriments of Materialism................................................................................... 85

APPENDIX: SIGNIFICANT DATES IN PHYSICS................................................... 87

REFERENCES............................................................................................................... 88

 

Abstract

 

SUBATOMIC PSYCHOLOGY

THE EFFECT OF TWENTIETH CENTURY PHYSICS

ON WESTERN EPISTEMOLOGY

 

by Jennifer Jane Duke

An examination of the disciplines of psychology and physical science provides a  framework from which to develop advanced and sensitive research methods and tools leading to the development of a more rewarding and accurate examination of the self and the natural world. The study of nature at subatomic strata or the invisibly distant macrocosm requires similar processes as those required in the study of the human psyche.

Advanced abstract cognition, awareness of subjective inner process, an examination of action at a distance as applied to human experience, and the encouragement of subtle newly-emerging human sensing and processing faculties may provide researchers with missing pieces of puzzles which have challenged both physicists and psychologists during the twentieth century.

The current model of science which emerged from the seventeenth century Newtonian Cartesian era has relied heavily on logical process and a limited set of five human senses. These resources have not served Western culture as well in the quantum, relativistic, and superstring era of Einstein, Heisenberg, and Schrödinger, Maxwell, and Planck. A more adventurous and subtle inner exploration, as modeled by Freud and Jung, may offer an opportunity for human individuation based upon a broader understanding of the natural world and human consciousness. Nature and the exigencies of twenty-first century physics may provide an opportunity for a quantum leap in human evolution.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

 

            An intellectually-based scientific method that has been popular in Western culture for four hundred years has proven untenable given more recent discoveries in twentieth century physics. In order for science and culture to progress, a broader range of human faculties is required for accessing and processing information. As science incorporates a variety of thinking, feeling and sensing operations into investigative research, humans will be allowed a more vivid, vital, and integrated personal experience and a more intimate relationship with nature.

Recent experiences at Pacifica Graduate Institute demonstrated that there might be more to learning than what was offered by traditional processes of reading information and repeating back what was read. This process of parroting represents an objective approach: one has a relationship to the object (the written information) but uses only a bare amount of cognitive resources to write a paper or to pass an academic examination. By contrast, Pacifica provided an experiential approach to learning that drew upon a broader range of personal faculties. Pacifica’s method, which encouraged and allowed information accessed from the unconscious mind and from the mind in the body, proved to be more potent and viable than what I experienced in a traditional educational process that preceded Pacifica.

However, the route to the platform on which Pacifica based its educational premise was not well marked. The thesis emerged as a result of a need to follow the threads to the platform on which this method was based. On reflection, Pacifica’s teaching paradigm is in congruence with a subjective science to which this thesis is pointing and which is slowly taking form in this culture. The school could easily operate as a beacon or a herald for other research institutions and educational systems because of the way in which it models this more subjective scientific method and educational premise.

In addition, this learning experience offered an opportunity for me to think as I wished for the first time in my life. When that door was opened I realized that the cognitive processes which have been most supported by culture and science have not encouraged or supported certain styles of creative or abstract thinking. My own self expression had been greatly stymied by these cultural confines. In order to individuate, I have been required to investigate how these cultural constructs have been perpetuated so that I might recognize them and find my voice.

The purpose of this work, then, is to examine the availability of some human faculties and tools that have not been called upon by traditional scientific methods. The purpose of using a broader palette and subjective process in research is to develop a fuller sense of self and a more integrated relationship with the material that is being studied. This type of research, hopefully, would permit more parts of the self to be realized, resulting in a more integrated personality. Because science has made a profound effect on the values of Western civilization, a major change in research method and personality on the part of scientists would also affect cultural values. 

The art and science of physics provides an excellent means through which some illogical, nonsensical avenues of scientific investigation may be considered. Nature at submicroscopic levels resists interpretation through standard intellectual methods. The expanded system or method devised in this thesis may offer some suggestions to help break through some of that resistance.

 Cultural values of traditional science have made a profound effect on the personality and psyche of  modern people. In order to understand certain areas of struggle and arrested development in clients, psychologists might benefit from an understanding of how culture has been restricted by placing an emphasis on certain styles of cognition and research. These methods, which were historically viable, are less applicable in the twenty-first century given a greater level of human and cosmic complexity that has been revealed by twentieth century physics.

Fragmentation in Western Culture

Fractures in every aspect of living have been created by a human perspicacity to  clarify and to classify. Even though many advances in culture have been acquired by an ability to discern, to separate out, to compartmentalize, and to make finely-tuned classifications, people, materials, ideas, and disciplines have also been separated. Some philosophical and scientific paradigms derived from seventeenth century science are a source of some of these fragmenting styles of thought and organization.

            Physicist David Bohm described the current condition of fragmentation this way:

 

Indeed, the attempt to live according to the notion that the fragments are really separate is, in essence, what has led to the growing series of extremely urgent crises that is confronting us today. Thus, as is now well known, this way of life has brought about pollution, destruction of the balance of nature, and the creation of an overall environment that is neither physically nor mentally healthy for most of the people who have to live in it. Individually there has developed a wide-spread feeling of helplessness and despair, in the face of what seems to be an overwhelming mass of disparate social forces, going beyond the control and even the comprehension of the human beings who are caught up in it. (Bohm, 1983,

p. 2)

 

Clinicians within the field of psychology have been greatly hindered in their attempts to produce ego integration in clients within the confines of a society that strives for separation.

Nowhere in the field of psychology is this separation and dissection of human experience more apparent than in the diagnostic bible of the psychological profession, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (APA, 2000). This text, which carefully classifies and divides types and styles of human distress into hundreds of carefully defined categories, is clearly an attempt by psychologists to adhere to high quality professional standards of an incomplete, outdated science. In the course of the thesis a model for a more integrated science will begin to unfold in which this diagnostic manual may still have a place. However, the industry may actually hamper its own efforts to produce whole personalities with the application of a method which employs this divisive, categorical text.

Logical Values

Related to a need to divide and classify is a cultural requirement for clear, unbiased, logical, linear thinking. Logic and objective thinking are equated with sanity and common sense. Historically, high values for this type of reasoning are derived from the classical era, particularly from Plato and Aristotle. Logos, “conceived in ancient Greek philosophy, [constituted] the controlling principle in the universe” (Gove, 1981, p. 1331). Scientific and philosophic advances during the Scientific Revolution around the seventeenth century reinforced the value of logical thinking operations. To this day, logic and objective thinking are respected as measuring rods of healthy mental process. The scientific process and its rules for thinking are modeled by most fields of endeavor including natural science, mathematics, medicine, law, and the humanities.

Logic is only one type of operation in human cognition, and cognition, on which scientific research has intensely relied for the last four hundred years, is only one avenue through which humans can process information. The human organism, as will be demonstrated in Chapter Three, is only a small part logical. Through the discoveries of twentieth century physics, nature is revealing the limitations of logic as a research and processing mechanism. As a result, the science of  “psycho-logic” may be required to broaden its research techniques in order to provide a more balanced understanding of psyche and human experience.

Purpose of Scientific Research

            The purpose of science is to understand the meaning of one’s existence, to situate oneself in space and time, and to discover how each individual fits into the overall scheme of the natural world. Western worldview and science is largely based on a Pythagorean sensibility of measuring the universe and the Cartesian sensibility of substantiating results. These techniques cannot result in answers to the basic existential questions of mankind. Erwin Schrödinger stated: “I cannot believe that…the deep philosophical enquiry into the true relation between subject and object…depends on the quantitative results of physical and chemical measurements” (Schrödinger, 2001, p. 79).

Techniques offered in this paper will extend learning techniques beyond measuring and substantiation, and will hopefully contribute to a more meaningful science. The psychology that is based on this science may then provide more relevance for the individuals it strives to serve. Furthermore, it is hoped that some of the information contained in this thesis will be personally relevant for the reader.

Research Methodology

The thesis examines the validity of the values of the scientific method, and is therefore a theoretical paper. Existing theories were researched through library sources: books, periodicals, audio tapes, and the internet. Two physicists were consulted in person, and one conference was attended in the course of the research. The information has been carefully considered using intellect and a combination of physical senses. The information suggests a refinement, not a replacement, for the current methods of studying oneself and nature.

Alfred B. Nobel

            As might be expected, a few challenges appeared when this non-physicist suddenly entered the world of science. Finding reliable sources of information without the help of a class syllabus, formal training, or even a friend in the field, was difficult. Therefore the Nobel prize credential was used as a yardstick from which to measure the validity of some sources consulted for this thesis. The major characters in the story who have won Nobel prizes for physics are Max Planck in 1918; Albert Einstein, 1921, Werner Heisenberg, 1932, and Erwin Schrödinger in 1933. Prize winners whose texts provided valuable sources for this research were Wolfgang Pauli who won in 1945, Max Born, 1954; Richard Feynman, 1965; Brian Josephson, 1973, Stephen Weinberg, 1979, Roger Eccles, 1963; and Roger Sperry, 1981 (Feldman, 2000, p.17). In general, the writing quality of the prize winners was extremely elegant and rewarding. Some valuable insights were uncovered by deferring to the wisdom of the Swedish Academy of Science.

            In addition, during the course of research some other writers were encountered whose clarity, imagination, elegance, and wisdom were deeply felt and appreciated. Neurosurgeon and scientist Antonio Damasio’s fine research, original thinking, and accessible writing style in The Feeling of What Happens (Damasio, 1999) was easily at the top of the list. The ideas of David Bohm guided the research into a deeper level of mind (Bohm, 1983). Biologists Gregory Bateson (Bateson, 1988) and Lyall Watson (Watson, 1999) provided models for a more subjective style of scientific research which deviated in a delightful manner from the hard-core traditional object-focused method. The psychological lens of Carl Jung, and the demystifying mystical writing of Ken Wilber helped to make meaning out of psyche and complex levels of consciousness.         

Gender and Language

            This story is a his-story, not a her-story, although it is written by a woman. Sadly, the thesis is an entirely male account. Citations for only six women are included. While women have made significant contributions to the knowledge of the physical world and have received top honors (only six women have won the Nobel prize for physics), their specific theories did not add directly to the discussion, and so their contributions were not force-fitted into the thesis.

Both science and language appear to be dominated by male worldview. I wish to apologize to women readers in advance for the occasional use of male nouns and pronouns which describe experience for both genders. I am fully aware that women’s issues are only exacerbated when a writer incorporates female experience into the language of men.

            Difficulties with language were also encountered in other areas. The greatest lack or frustration that was encountered was the absence of a general word that included all processes of receiving and processing information in human experience. “Perception”, “apperception”, “consciousness”, “cognition”, “sensing”, and “epistemology” skirted around the concept. Perhaps as ideas such as the ones presented in this paper are incorporated more fully into modern experience, a useful word will pulsate into language.

Overview of Subsequent Chapters

            Chapter Two covers two distinct periods in the history of physics. The first scientific revolution began with Copernicus in 1512, when he discovered that the earth moved around the sun. The major characters in this revolution were Descartes, Keppler, Newton, and Galileo. The period ended roughly around 1687.

            The second period of history, the quantum-relativistic revolution, took place between 1900 and 1930. The mastermind for this revolution was Albert Einstein, but other brilliant physicists, including Heisenberg, Planck, Schrödinger, and Maxwell, made major contributions.

            The findings of the first revolution focused on the macrocosm: events and objects that could be seen by the ordinary person in the everyday environment with moderately sophisticated instruments. The philosophy born out of this period of research implied that man was at the helm of the universe and was heir to nature’s secrets.

            The submicroscopic world and the intellectually unfathomable stretches of the cosmos required intensely refined and complex equipment such as the proposed Superconducting Supercollider, a fifty-four mile underground race track in which atoms could be hurled at one another at velocities approaching the speed of light (Greene, 1999, p. 215). This research was not as clear cut as the old macrocosmic mechanics. Behavior of objects could be studied, but objects themselves were not in view. At this point the standard human five senses could no longer be trusted to explain and define what nature was all about. Concrete thinking and logic were still employed, but abstract probabilities and mathematically-imagined universes replaced the standard cognitive methods employed in the ordinary everyday world.

Chapter Two ends with a question mark. Quandaries and confusion replaced the optimism which mankind so confidently displayed for the first three hundred years of the history of modern physical science.

Fortunately for civilization, some additional sensing and processing operations are available to the human organism which were underused in the great thrust of science and technology from the time of Copernicus. In Chapter Three, some techniques are proposed which might be incorporated into scientific method. An acceleration of knowledge might be affected through a broadening of the palette of scientific sensing and thinking operations. Some previously-forgotten and not-quite-formed techniques may fill out current methods. The use of intuition and feeling states would add a subjective dynamic to the scientific equation. In addition, some more subtle senses which probably have not been categorized or recognized by mainstream science, are given attention.

            The possible benefits of adding these sensing and processing operations to scientific method and to personality will be considered. Chapter Three ends on a hopeful, more cheerful note. By adding a wider array of mechanisms for interacting with and studying the environment, a more meaningful science might be constructed. Hopefully, a more mature, integrated and well-rounded human being would emerge from these efforts.

            Chapter Four then takes a look at what has been caught in the web of speculation. Some practical applications are suggested for implementing the theory. Some personal reflections are added, and the work is drawn to a temporary close.

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER II

THE INFLUENCE OF MODERN PHYSICS

ON WESTERN THOUGHT PROCESS AND WORLDVIEW

 

            The principles of modern physics have exerted a profound affect on western thought. The influence of seventeenth and eighteenth century physics has strongly determined the makeup of the occidental psyche. Psychologists might benefit from an investigation into the laws and history of this science in order to understand the origin and characteristics of these influences on the personality of contemporary men and women.

            At the beginning of the twentieth century, a new set of mechanical laws were introduced to society that were difficult to access by scientists and lay people alike due to the lack of environmental representation with which to find a correlation. The eccentricities of four dimensional space-time and non-material substance as the basis of material existence were completely out of reference for earth dwellers. Because of the lack of resonance within the macrocosmic world, these subatomic properties and cosmological laws have not been well integrated into the psyche. Even though the technological products of the Quantum Revolution have shaped culture, recipients of the rewards shied far away from an understanding of quantum and relativistic principles.

            The public’s timidity of science has hindered the advancement of research, and the fear of not understanding may have contributed to a feeling of intellectual impotence within the general population. In order to contribute to the reparation of this cultural shadow, a brief overview of twentieth century physics will be presented in this chapter.

            This chapter includes the story of two revolutions in physics, and reviews some changes these revolutions made on society. At the end of the chapter, a brief overview of some new ways to consider science will be presented, including viewpoints from neuroscience, mysticism, and biology.  In addition, superstring theory, considered the most promising line of inquiry for the unification of all natural laws, will be presented.

            An attempt has been made to make this history reader-friendly. If a particular section presents difficulty, then the reader might be advised to skip to an area that can be read more comfortably. Because an overview such as this will, of necessity, leave out some major details, no harm will be created by skipping over a few paragraphs.

The Adventure Begins

            History is a story. The trouble began in 1512 when Copernicus figured out that the earth moved around the sun. Because this discovery conflicted with truths which were held to be self-evident, it caused an uproar and took a couple hundred years to be integrated into society. Faith in one’s senses and in an ability to make sense out of the physical world began turning into doubt.

Cogito ergo sum

This doubt appeared in René Descartes’ Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One’s Reason and Seeking the Truth in the Sciences in 1637. Descartes doubted everything except for the observation of himself as thinker: "I think, therefore I exist". (Descartes & Cress, 1993, p.127). "Cogito ergo sum".

I thought...I ought to reject as if absolutely false all opinions in regard to which I could imagine the least ground for doubt, so as to ascertain whether after doing so there remained anything in my belief that was wholly indubitable. Immediately I noticed that even while I thus wished to think all these things were false, it was absolutely necessary that I, who thought this, was some thing: I observed this truth—I think, therefore I am—was so certain and so evident that no ground of doubt, however extravagant, brought forth by skeptics, could shake it. I concluded that I could without scruple accept it as the first principle of the philosophy I was seeking. (Descartes & Cress, 1993, p. 127)

 

The motto for the Royal Society in London in 1661 was Nullius in Verba: "Don’t believe in anyone’s words" (Gell-Mann, 1994, p. 275). A relatively new discipline that evolved during the seventeenth century, "experimental philosophy", now called "natural science" was based on one tenet: doubt (Gell-Mann, 1994, p. 275). Contrary to the philosophy of the middle ages and promulgated by the Catholic Church, this "experimental philosophy" espoused a revolutionary concept and presented a major philosophical challenge. The church’s worldview, based solely upon faith, was about to be shaken to its core.

Galileo

 Like Descartes, Galileo Galilei chose not to trust his senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, or touch. Galileo insisted that the only accurate description of nature could be ascertained by measuring size, number, weight, and velocity of objects. The senses were to be ignored as too subjective and ephemeral (Tarnas, 1991, p. 263). Galileo made many discoveries about mechanics, or how objects move in the world, which were later codified by Isaac Newton.

Isaac Newton

            Major shifts in philosophy were supported by major changes in the field of science. Isaac Newton’s laws of the physical world explained how, when one molecule bumps into another, something happens. He also considered the universe as made up of many molecules and individual parts affecting other parts at the point of contact, and that the interlocking parts fit together as moving, interlocking gears, levers, and pulleys. He explained how, from the vast universe to invisible molecules, all pieces collide and interact. This model is Newton’s mechanistic interpretation of the universe (Asimov, 1984).

            Newton’s three laws of motion and the law of universal gravitation were triumphant scientific breakthroughs. In 1686-87, Newton’s Principia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalis was published. "During the following decades, his achievement was celebrated as the triumph of the modern mind over ancient and medieval ignorance" (Tarnas, 1991, p. 270). Newton’s creative achievements are considered by some to be greater than those of Albert Einstein (Christensen, 2002). The volume, durability, practicality, and comprehensiveness of his theories have profoundly influenced modern civilization. The planet Pluto was discovered because of Newton’s theory of gravitation. Launch times for spacecraft are figured mathematically based on  Newtonian principles.

 Newton’s Laws of Mechanics. A basic understanding of Newton’s science is essential in order to create a framework in which to place twentieth century developments in quantum mechanics and relativity theory. Therefore, four basic laws of Newton’s physics are presented here. Newton’s three laws of motion are:

Law I. A body remains at rest or, if already in motion, remains in uniform motion with constant speed in a straight line, unless it is acted on by an unbalanced external force.

Law II. The acceleration produced by a particular force acting on a body is directly proportional to the magnitude of the force and inversely proportional to the mass of the body. (Which means, it takes more force to roll a bowling ball than it does to roll a tennis ball. It takes more force to stop a freight train than it does to stop a car. Acceleration in this case can be either positive or negative, as in starting or stopping.)

Law III. To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction, or, whenever one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body exerts a force on the first body. These forces are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction. (Newton, 1995, p.19)

 

The law of gravity, which states that objects are attracted to earth, did not originate with Isaac Newton and is at least as old as Aristotle. Actually, Newton’s law of universal gravitation states that there is a gravitational attraction between any two material bodies in the universe (Asimov, 1984, p. 44). These three laws of motion combined with the law of universal gravitation form the foundation upon which modern physics is based.

It was Newton’s astounding achievement to synthesize Descartes’ mechanistic philosophy, [Johannes] Kepler’s laws of planetary motion, and Galileo’s laws of terrestrial motion into one comprehensive theory. Thus, all the major cosmological problems confronting the Copernicans were...solved—what moved the planets, how they remained in their orbits, why heavy objects fall toward the Earth, [and] the basic structure of the universe. (Tarnas, 1991, p. 269)

 

The Big Myth

 Along with the enormous accomplishments of Copernicus, Descartes, Keppler, Newton, and Galileo, came a new way of relating to the material, physical world. A new dogma, with an emphasis on measurement, objectivity, linear mathematical thinking, logic, categorization, and substantiation, dictated a specific manner of describing nature. Scientific method exploded with a voracious energy and quickly established a standard to which all disciplines of society would attempt to submit. Due to the overwhelming success of its application, this method elevated itself to a "rightness" of mythological proportions.

The science that emphasized objectivity and correct, clear thinking immediately became blind to its own self-created mythology. The fiction borne out of the scientific method indicated that any information produced by its method was undeniably valid, meaningful, and true. “If something isn’t either verifiable or falsifiable by the scientific method, we should consider it unworthy of our attention, or even nonsense. But science itself is based on the unverifiable premise that it is the most appropriate method for discovering truth” (Katra & Targ, 1999). The fiction implied that scientific method offered the only channel through which the essence of nature could be described. Scientists had become "characters in their own fiction" (Hillman, 1999, p. xxiv).  A new religion was born, and scientists were gods.

Stripping the essence. The following passage from cognitive scientist Steven Pinker demonstrates an example of contemporary clear scientific thought:

The mind is a system of organs of computation, designed by natural selection to solve the kinds of problems our ancestors faced in their foraging way of life...The mind is what the brain does; specifically, the brain processes information, and thinking is a kind of computation...The various problems for our ancestors were subtasks of one big problem for their genes, maximizing the number of copies that made it into the next generation. (quoted in Hillman, 1999, p. 9)

 

Paradoxically, the founders of this science, Newton and Descartes, meticulously applied precise investigative techniques, but they also wrote treatises in humanities, alchemy, and theology. Their lives in no way exemplified a tough-minded narrow human existence.

Their science was conceived with the intent to illuminate the perfection of God’s creation. Johannes Kepler, who corrected the Copernican geometry of planetary orbit from circular to elliptical, alluded to the three-dimensionality of space as connected to the concept of the Christian trinity, thus indicating inseparability of God and nature. His purpose in measuring the universe was to find perfect mathematical proportions which would illustrate the existence and perfection of God (Pauli, 1952/1955, p. 160).

Feeling’s Lament

Innumerable writers arose in opposition to the myth of the supremacy of the scientific method and the accompanying narrow proscriptions for thinking. These detractors protested the rational tyranny of the Cartesian (after Descartes) paradigm, the Newtonian mechanistic machine, or the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm. For them, the overarching rigid thought process born out of the seventeenth century had overstepped its bounds. 

This Cartesian-Newtonian paradigm created a Godless universe with man seated firmly at the center, measuring, deducing, manipulating, substantiating, controlling, and dominating the great machine that is nature. Man was immensely proud of his great achievements, and well deserving of great bounty due to his intellectual prowess. The material goods of this universe served his personal gain. This deterministic philosophy stated that in time, scientists would know all there is to know about the universe, by utilizing sensitive and intelligent machines that his intellect would create. In addition these machines would do his bidding and provide a wide array of creature comforts. Sovereignty and ownership of the world would be his.

 Sadly, the unfortunate bi-products of this deterministic-materialistic model were that freedom of thought was reduced. Rules were introjected into one’s inner subjective thinking, feeling, and sensing operations. Scientific method invaded private realms of individual consciousness and dictated how a person should receive and process cues from the environment. Mankind’s relationship to the vast wonders of mind was curtailed and a loss of personal autonomy resulted. Tremendous skill was required by the individual to overcome these distorted culturally-implanted restrictions in order to individuate.

Inferior feeling functions. Eventually, it became evident that mountains of facts had been acquired, but the ability to form a meaningful relationship to this material had been severely curtailed. Reason and logic diverted men and women from subjective sensory and psychic experience. “Vital forms dependent upon feeling” (Jung, 1921/1953, p. 437) such as intuition, superstition, religious visions, numinosity, wild flights of fancy, poetry, hunches, guesswork, and mysteries of life were reduced to an inferior status. In addition, artistic expression,  gentle wanderings of the imagination, and relationship to the environment were repressed. Faith, dreams, beauty, a sense of wholeness, awe, sensitivity, connection, meaning, and above all, consciousness, were suppressed by reason, logic, and objective thinking. “Irrational forms such as religious experiences, passions and the like, [were] obliterated even to the point of complete unconsciousness”  (Jung, 1921/1953, p. 437).

Feeling and Neuroscience. Part of the scientific mystique implies that when a statement is made that science has observed or proven a certain "fact", no further investigation is required. When the Gods of Science issue a decree, The Truth is proclaimed. Exploiting this mythological nuance to argue against the scientific technique, it could be argued that neuroscientists have demonstrated that thinking is impossible without support from the emotional centers of the brain. Thinking without relationship to emotion is impossible. “Emotion is integral to the processes of reasoning and decision making…Findings suggest that selective reduction of emotion is at least as prejudicial for rationality as excessive emotion” (Damasio, 1999, p. 41). The scientific method, by favoring rational thinking and suppressing emotion, is biased.

The scientists’ search for truth missed the mark. In an attempt to locate and describe the most fundamental truths of the material world, researchers distilled the essence out of the phenomena they were attempting to understand. The conclusions, however brilliant, have not served mankind in a quest for meaning. The reduction of nature to a machine severely reduced a true quality of life for believers and non-believers alike. The measurement of nature replaced the art of life.

The indisputable power which the scientific age contacted was highly visible, enticing, and intoxicating. Political power in the West particularly, and throughout the world has been clearly established by the presence of scientific sophistication. The gods with the most advanced scientific and technological machines were sovereign. Descartes, Newton, and Galileo, with their discovery of basic laws of the universe, accidentally uncovered an even more fundamental law: Science is power.

The Boys versus the Church

The Catholic Church was quick to recognize the possible ramifications of the new discoveries. Whether from a brilliance of foresight or from suppressive habit, the priestly powers damned the new theories. The scientific thinking that produced heliocentric theory, they may have intuited, held the power to move the Western worldview from a stance of faith to that of reason. Not only did the universe not circle around the earth, the universe no longer circled around the Church. Traditional theocratic authority was in jeopardy.

Copernicus, Descartes, Galileo, and Newton were deeply religious men.

Copernicus presented his heliocentric theory to the Pope in 1514, with apparently no objection, and received permission to publish. Even with a papal blessing, he cautiously postponed publication and is reported to have received a printed copy of De Revolutionibus in 1543 on the last day of his life (Tarnas, 1991, p. 251). Copernicus spared himself the repercussions of his own controversy.

Trouble came from the Protestant reformers, Martin Luther and John Calvin.

They raised strong objections to Copernican theory, based upon a verse in

Psalms 93:1: "the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved" (Holy Bible). The Catholic Church, following the literalism of the Protestants, equated Copernican teachings with atheism.

Because of his theories, Descartes chose to move frequently to avoid trouble. Kepler, a protestant, “was banished from [his] country on pain of death” (Pauli, 1952/1955, p. 158). Galileo, however, suffered the greatest injustice, and was brought before the inquisition for publishing Copernican theory in his Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. “Galileo was forced to make a humiliating public retraction—after which he is said to have muttered, ‘Eppur’ si muove’ (Yet it moves...)” (Weigel, 2001, p. 629). He was sentenced to life in prison, which was reduced to house arrest, where he remained until his death in 1642 (Dembart, 1988). Recently, the church announced a special commission to reexamine the Galileo case. The commission concluded that "Galileo's judges, incapable of dissociating faith from an age-old cosmology, believed quite wrongly that the adoption of the Copernican revolution ... was such as to undermine Catholic tradition." Pope John Paul II made public Galileo's vindication on Oct. 31 1992 (Gibeau, 1995). According to Pope John Paul II, "Galileo had much to suffer...from the men and agencies of the church." (Spaeth, 1993). The retraction was appreciated, but the religion versus science split in the western psyche had been greatly exacerbated by this incident. Today the western world needs more than a papal retraction to heal the rift.

            The active resistance from the church is only one small evidence of the revolution that occurred in science roughly between 1550 and 1700. The mathematical equations of Copernicus, Descartes, Galileo, and Newton presently informed culture and individual relationship to thought, emotion, and senses. Although these theories have been adjusted and corrected by more recent discoveries, the basic scientific principles endured for three hundred years before significant corrections were introduced.

The years between 1900 and 1930 gave rise to a new revolution, altering the scientific and philosophical underpinnings of the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm.

Freud and Jung

The revolution in twentieth century physics did not emerge from a vacuum. Intellectuals in politics, science, literature, and the arts all over Europe, but particularly in Vienna, were exploding with ideas at the turn of the century (Schorske, 1980). Notably, the era that gave rise to the quantum revolution and the principle of relativity (between 1900 and 1930) was also the era from which the field of depth psychology emerged. Delving into the inner recesses of the atom and the outer measurements of the cosmos had far reaching implications. In close entrainment with subatomic investigation came the exploration into the inner recesses of the human psyche. The advanced and adventurous thought processes required by relativity and quantum mechanics must have supported and given space for the revolutionary ideas purported by Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and William James. The endeavors may have supported each other in psychic space.

Freud’s early work in neuroscience led to a psychology that was based on the scientific climate of his day, which at that point was still firmly rooted in a traditional Cartesian-Newtonian framework. “Freud very consciously used concepts of Newtonian physics to describe the machineries of what he called ‘the introcyclical apparatus.’ His notions of drive and defence correspond very much to Newton’s notions of an active and a reactive force, for example” (Lorimer, 1999, p. 39). The personal framework from which he developed theories was steeped in the scientific tradition of compartmentalization, and a “take-it-apart-and-see-how-it runs” paradigm. Thus, an individual psyche, independent of a sort of communal archive, would have been a natural derivative of his personal training and professional worldview.

A fundamental disagreement between Freud and Jung was a concept of a collective unconscious. Jung’s theory of a “second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical (and inherited) by all individuals” (Jung, 1936/1976, p. 60), was the source of personal disagreement and separation of friendship. Collective unconscious, according to Jung, is a part of mind from which the individual draws information outside of the confines of one’s solitary biological existence. Jung stated that:

Medical psychology, growing as it did out of professional practice, insists on the personal nature of the psyche. By this I mean the views of Freud or Adler. It is a psychology of the person, and its aetiological or causal factors are regarded almost wholly as personal in nature. Nonetheless, even this psychology is based on certain general biological factors, for instance on the sexual instinct or on the urge for self-assertion, which are by no means merely personal peculiarities. It is forced to do this because it lays claim to being an explanatory science...The hypothesis of collective unconscious is no more daring than to assume there are instincts. (Jung, 1936/1976, p. 61)

 

An argument can be made that both Freud and Jung worked with collective forces based on actual practice of depth psychology work: when one enters the world of the unconscious, by reading, dream work, or subjecting oneself to psychological inquiry within the framework of a clinical setting, the possibility of contact with powerful inner forces is invited. Processing these forces extracts experience that is quite different from ordinary waking and thinking processes. This is one aspect of depth psychology. The process of reading Freud contains the likelihood of immediate contact with unconscious material. One has to slow down ordinary waking behaviors in order to make room for the rush of information that emerges from deep within the psyche. Whether the information comes from a deep individual well (Freud’s model) or from vast collective pool (Jung) is difficult to determine, given what science has discovered about individual and collective biological complexity. The probability that Freud’s work actually drew from the collective unconscious is substantial, given the effect of the forces that are evoked when reading his theory. “Though Freud…claims a deafness to the mystical, his writing reveals that he clearly feels there is something numinous about the unconscious” (Downing, 1975, p. 6).

Freud’s separatist philosophy based upon a science that seeks to categorize and divide, places his work, however radical, firmly within the philosophical paradigm of Descartes and Newton. Jung’s stance of collective mind places him in a philosophy that is congruent with the findings of twentieth century physicists Schrödinger and Heisenberg. Together, and with other pioneers, Jung and Freud developed a new field of deep exploration that would help bridge the gap between old and new physics. Together, they would offer a method that would support the integration of disturbing and mind-boggling scientific discoveries. Depth psychology also provided a resource to help people make meaning out of a faster moving technology in an unpredictable, crazy world.

Twentieth Century Physics

The cultural context from which the field of psychology sprang at the turn of the twentieth century also provided fertile soil for a science that broke down and expanded Newtonian materialism.

Relativity

            The concept of relativity, or one perspective as related to another, has evolved since the beginning of civilization. Albert Einstein did not invent the theory of relativity in the field of physics. Galileo did. Galileo stated everything in the universe is in motion relative to something else. Einstein refined the concept to include a perspective related to the invariable speed of light.              

            In physics, a theorem must prove true in all cases in order to be law. So it became a problem in 1905 when James Clerk Maxwell proposed that light traveled in waves, and in order for it to travel in waves, an immobile medium, or substance (which he called ether) was required to convey the waves of light. If ether or some field existed which was absolute and did not move, then this conflicted with Newton’s laws of mechanics (Balibar, 2001, p. 45). This major inconsistency was one of several which impeded scientific investigation at the turn of the century.

            In 1905, Albert Einstein was relatively unknown. He presented four papers that deviated drastically from the thinking of his day. Remarkably, Einstein provided no experimental data (Miller, 2001, p. 190) and made no references to research by established physicists. Even more remarkably, his thinking, or leaps of intuition, or assumptions, radically altered the course of twentieth century science and history. “When Einstein introduced relativity...a number of ideas which people thought were absolutely correct and unchangeable had to be given up” (Eccles & Cousins, 1985, p. 92).

Special Relativity. In order to produce his theory of special relativity, Einstein

 dispensed with ether and eliminated a variable of the Galilean concept that everything in the universe is in motion. A basic tenet of special relativity is that no object is really more at rest than any other object, so it is possible to designate any one object as being at rest (Asimov, 1984, pp. 342, 356). The other constant in his calculations is the speed of light. Maxwell had proven that light travels at a constant rate of speed (186,291 miles per second) and does not change or adjust according to one’s perspective.

Since light is what an observer in one frame uses to determine the position and velocity of objects in another frame, this changes the way an observer in one frame sees the position and velocity of objects in another frame...This led to several strange conclusions—although the effects only become noticeable when relative velocity approaches the speed of light (therefore, they have been seen only in the behavior of fast-moving subatomic particles). (Barnes-Svarney,1995, pp. 279-280)

 

One of these strange conclusions, that of length contraction, states that an object’s

 length decreases as its velocity, relative to an observer, increases. The animation in the feature movie Jimmy Neutron (Oedekerk, 2001) demonstrated this phenomenon fairly well. At one point in space, Jimmy’s width increased whereas his height did not. Jimmy employed Einstein’s principle that mass increases with velocity. In order to fight the bad guys, Jimmy increased his speed near to the speed of light. This made him so monstrously large that he could knock out the attacking spacecraft.

Another movie, Contact (Hart and Goldenberg, 1997), inspired by Carl Sagan’s science fiction novel (1993), addressed a phenomenon in relativity called time dilation. In time dilation, time moves faster for the moving object than it does from a non-moving perspective. The Jody Foster character, traveling near the speed of light, recorded eighteen hours of data. However, from the non-moving perspective (the crowds at the launch pad) only five minutes had past. So as five minutes on earth passed, eighteen hours passed at near light speed.

 

Einstein’s theories are most useful and applicable today as physicists

struggle to comprehend the subatomic structure of atoms and to fathom the “enormous macro-universe beyond our immediate solar system and galaxy” (Nourse, 1969, p. 334). Because the special theory artificially omitted the force of gravity and assumed a motionless perspective, it originally appeared to have a little connection to the real world. But “special relativity came to be recognized as one of the most practically useful and best-substantiated theories ever to appear in the history of physics” (Nourse, 1969, p. 334).

 General Relativity. In his general theory of relativity (1915), Einstein stated that mass as defined by inertia (from Newton’s second law of motion) and mass as defined by gravitation (also from Newton) were identical. For three hundred years, scientists tried to prove that gravitational mass and inertial mass were one and the same. Einstein displayed genius when he skipped the step of substantiation. In a radical departure from scientific method and linear thinking, he simply assumed this law to be true and “moved on from there” (Asimov, 1984, p. 358).

To illustrate that inertia and gravity are identical, Einstein used the example of an elevator in space:

If a person stands in an elevator and feels a pull toward the floor, it is not known

whether the elevator is standing still or is accelerating through space at a rate that

pushes the person against the floor with a force equal to Earth’s gravity.

In his general theory of relativity, Einstein proposed that...the acceleration due to gravity results from the fact that space and time are curved in the vicinity of any mass. He treated time as a fourth dimension perpendicular to the three spatial dimensions of length, width, and height.

When a baseball is thrown, it arcs toward the ground. In the frame of reference of the baseball, Einstein said, the baseball is moving in a straight line, but following the curvature of space-time created by the presence of the Earth. The more massive the object, the more space-time is deformed. His general theory of relativity (1915) actually consists of a set of ten equations from which the degree of curvature of space-time can be predicted based on the amount and distribution of mass present. (Barnes-Svarney, 1995, p.280)

 

What general relativity does is allow scientists to measure the infinitesimal deflections of space-time around objects in space. Quasars, so-called “black holes” discovered in the 1960’s, could not have been explained without the theory of general relativity (Balibar, 2001, p. 106).

            This new precision opened the doors for the scientific community to

break through an impasse. Einstein’s general theory was so elegant that it is said to have made “young physicists jump for joy and old physicists weep” (Nourse, 1969, p. 337).

E=mc2. In a postscript to his special theory in 1905, Einstein presented the most famous equation in all of physics: E=mc2 (Balibar, 2001, p.51). “E” represents energy, “m” represents mass and “c2” is a very large number, the square of the speed of light.  The implication of this equation is that colossal amounts of energy can be released when an atom is split apart. Einstein’s equations laid the groundwork for astounding advances in nuclear physics, including the bomb and nuclear energy.

Relativity theory presented such an intellectual challenge that it was considered inaccessible by the general population and much of the scientific community. One joke declared that the theory was so difficult “that only three physicists in the world understood it.” Arthur Eddington (who in 1919 participated in the solar eclipse expedition which confirmed part of the theory) stated: “I’m just wondering who the third one might be” (Balibar, 2001, p. 104).

Perspective. The implication of both theories of relativity is that of perspective. If people on two spaceships pass one another, they could develop perfect conclusions about the other spaceship from their own perspective. The two sets of conclusions would contradict each other because of relativity. So, the application of relativity in social science might be that in a given situation, two parties could present absolutely correct arguments, which might be in opposition to each other. Truth, as Einstein proved, relies on perspective.

Relativity theory, for all its outlandish conclusions, at least had some grounding in physical reality and maintained at least a thread of connection to its historical antecedent, Newtonian mechanics. However, in 1905, Einstein also “drew the astounding ‘general conclusion’ that light can be a particle and a wave, and in fact both at once, a wave/particle duality” (Miller, 2001, p. 189). In so doing, he set the stage for quantum mechanics, a field of physics that bears no resemblance to any reference in human physical material experience.

Quantum mechanics

            Einstein’s theory of relativity, even though radically different from Newtonian mechanics, is not similar to quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics provided new information about matter at submicroscopic levels that exploded scientific and philosophical beliefs and mythology. A world that heretofore was predictable, orderly, and continuous became unpredictable, messy, and discontinuous. The results were, to say the least, baffling and unsettling.

In the old model of the atom presented by Niels Bohr in 1913, electrons

traveled around a nucleus in a fixed orbit (Barnes-Svarney, 1995, pp. 295-296). Heisenberg modified this model in 1926 to state that an electron is forced to move to a different orbit if it accumulates or loses a specific amount of energy (Asimov, 1984,

 p. 585). “An electron can move to a higher energy state only by absorbing a certain precise amount, or quantum, of energy, whereupon it makes a “quantum jump” (Barnes-Svarney, 1995, p. 301).

The concept of quanta was derived from Albert Einstein’s study of radiation in 1905 in which he settled the argument as to whether light was a wave or a particle. James Clerk Maxwell’s work in the 1850’s stated that light was continuous. On the other hand, German physicist Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck stated in 1900 that light, heat, and other forms of radiation are discontinuous and come in separated tiny bundles, which are called quanta (Barnes-Svarney, 1995, p. 300); (Balibar, 2001, p. 42).

The study of quantum mechanics looks at the structure and behavior of the atom and of subatomic particles from the view that all energy comes in tiny, indivisible bundles. An important illustration is the photoelectric effect: Light shining on certain materials will knock electrons loose from atoms…Albert Einstein proposed that a certain precise amount of energy was required to knock an electron loose from its orbit. A photon of sufficient energy (of a certain frequency or higher) could knock an electron loose, and the electron would fly off with a kinetic energy equal to the energy of the photon minus the bundle of energy needed to detach the electron from the atom. This was later confirmed by experiments. (Barnes-Svarney, 1995, pp. 300-301).

 

Today, light quanta are known as photons; they are the basic unit of light and all of the forms of electromagnetic radiation (such as X-rays, microwaves, and radio waves) (Balibar, 2001, p. 42). By resolving the discrepancy about continuous and discontinuous properties of light, Einstein set the stage for quantum mechanics.

Quantum mechanics is a very complex field of study, and cannot be described comprehensively in a few paragraphs. A few basic principles which hold current philosophical implications, however, can be shared. The uncertainty principle, probability, and discontinuity will be discussed in this section.

Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty.  One of the most profound discoveries which arose from quantum mechanics was the principle of uncertainty, introduced by Werner Heisenberg in 1927. This principle profoundly influenced philosophy and atomic physics of the twentieth century. The uncertainty principle states that it is impossible to know both position and momentum of an atomic particle. An experiment devised to determine more about position will provide less information about momentum, or vice versa. The closer the researcher comes to pinning down one characteristic, the greater the uncertainty will be about the other (Asimov, 1984, p. 586). “We can know either of them precisely, but in that case, we can know nothing about the other (Zukav, 1979, p. 54).         

            “Heisenberg theorized that the product of uncertainty in position and the uncertainty in momentum would equal Planck’s constant. Planck’s constant is a very small number, so for fast-moving particles the uncertainty in position is [vanishingly] small” (Barnes-Svarney, 1995, p. 302). The principle is useful only in subatomic applications. When applying this principle, scientists are able to predict a general area where a particle might be located, but cannot specify location, unless nothing at all is known about momentum.

This information was astonishing to classical physicists, and not well received.  As a result of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, physicists encountered a limit, however infinitesimal, to mankind’s potential for knowledge. The bubble of Newtonian optimism, which implied that man could know all, burst. The uncertainty principle has not been disputed in the laboratory or in mathematical calculations, and so introduced a breach in scientism’s promise of human omniscience.

Probability and Suspension. Probability is easier understood in mathematics than in English. However, in an attempt to use words, the concept of suspension might be useful. Probability is a suspended place “between the idea of an event and the actual event, a strange kind of physical reality just in the middle between possibility and reality” (Heisenberg, 1958), p. 41). The famous cruel example of Schrödinger’s cat is an example of this phenomena. If someone puts a cat in a box with a deadly poison and ships the box on an airplane, the suspension, the not knowing, the place between idea and event occurs during the airplane flight up until the box is opened. With observation, the cat moves out of the suspended state into a continuity of life, or death.

            The phenomena might be explained as a superposition of states:

            A quantum system usually exists in a superposition of states. This means that there is a relationship between the various possibilities of an outcome in a quantum physical experiment. Each outcome is called a state. And before any observation, all possible states are said to exist simultaneously. Upon observation…or upon making a record on a magnetic tape or in a computer memory, suddenly a superposition of states becomes a single state …The problem is that there is at present no physical-mathematical way to model that process. (Wolf, 1994, p. 161)

 

            This collapse of possibilities which defied symbol representation was the phenomenon which caused Albert Einstein to dismiss quantum mechanics as an incomplete theory, even though he fathered it.

Discontinuity.  Another element of quantum physics that has impacted philosophy is the non-material basis of particles and a rather odd discontinuous characteristic. “In relativity, movement is continuous, causally determinate, and well-defined; while in quantum mechanics it is discontinuous, not causally determinate and not well defined” (Bohm, 1983), p. xv). The following example illustrates this discontinuous movement:

 

When an electron, for example, passes through a photographic plate it leaves a

visible ‘track’ behind it. This ‘track’, under close examination, is actually a series

of dots. Each dot is a grain of silver formed by the electron’s interaction with atoms

in the photographic plate. When we look at the track under a microscope, it looks

something like this:       

                                               

                                                                        Ö         Ö

                                                            Ö                                 Ö                                

                        Ö                     Ö                                                          

                                    Ö

 

Ordinarily we would assume that one and the same electron, like a little baseball, went streaking through the photographic plate and left this trail of silver grains behind it. (As quoted in Zukav, 1979, pp. 216-217)

 

What atomic physicists have found instead is that the particles are not real as a particle of dust is “real”. There may be no connection between the dots. The continuity that we seem to “see” is merely an assumption. David Bohm explained it in this manner:

According to our customary way of reasoning, we could suppose that the track of grains of silver indicates that a real electron moves continuously through space in a path somewhere near these grains, and by interaction caused the formation of the grains. But according to the usual interpretation of the quantum theory, it would be incorrect to suppose that this really happened. All that we can say is that certain grains appeared, but we must not try to imagine that these grains were produced by a real object moving through space in the way in which we usually think of objects moving through space. For although this idea of a continuously moving object is good enough for an approximate theory, we would discover that it would break down in a very exact theory. (Zukav, 1979, p. 217)

           

            This discontinuity and other peculiarities of the submicroscopic world have prompted some physicists to suggest that the universe might be better understood as based on something other than matter. This shift in perspective, if seriously considered, would produce fundamentally radical changes in the philosophy and practice of science. The ground of being, according to this frame of reference is not shaky--it simply may not exist. Descartes was correct to question everything in his existence: the physical world, as he saw it, was neither solid nor real. Matter, from the perspective of quantum physics, may not be the basis of reality.

Corrections to Classical Physics

As with relativity theory, one’s sense of the so-called real world did not change as a result of quantum theory. The macroscopic universe is still informed precisely enough by the basic laws of science that were laid down during the seventeenth century scientific revolution. Physicist Roger Sperry stated that “quantum theory…no longer replaces or subsumes classical mechanics but rather just supplements or complements” (Eccles & Cousins, 1985, p. 47).

The new [quantum] theory was taken to be a more accurate and more comprehensive description of nature. I reject this on the grounds that the subatomic properties, laws and forces, regardless of their nature, are superseded by forces operating at higher macroscopic levels. There is no way quantum mechanics could replace classical mechanics for things larger than molecules. Quantum theory cannot handle the pattern factor that the classical laws naturally incorporate. Neither is wrong, we need both. (Eccles & Cousins, 1985, p. 83)

 

Applied Quantum Physics. Applied quantum mechanics, like applied relativity theory, provides mankind with a dazzling array of toys, innovations, and technology, including modern electronics, computers, television, lasers, and space communication (Wolf, 1994,  p. 159). Quantum applications will be particularly useful when nanotechnology is applied to computers:

Given the current rate at which circuits are being miniaturized, we should reach the physical limitations of the material within two decades. The distance between circuits on a CPU will become so narrow that electrons from one path will begin leaking and disrupting its neighbors, a phenomenon of quantum physics…Nanotechnology will probably be able to harness quantum physics rather than be hampered by it, and so more circuits with much shorter informational paths can be packed onto submicroscopic spaces.

At the high end of nano computing lie quantum computers. By using atoms as a kind of transistor and exploiting the quantum mechanics that govern subatomic particles, a quantum computer could move beyond digital processes (1s and 0s) and perform massive numbers of calculations at once. (Smith, 2002,

p. 57)

 

Rational thought revisited

Granted relativity theory and quantum theory only refine knowledge about the universe, one could suppose that the complexity of envisioning phenomena outside of macroscopic three-dimensional awareness may have impacted cognitive structuring and methods. Biology might inform that such adjustments potentially add to genetic complexity. In the next few generations, advances in science may require a preference for certain thinking mechanisms which may require genetic re-structuring. Living human organisms might genetically adapt and be afforded advanced cognitive and perceptual functions which permit greater assimilation of this new, foreign information.

            Such a supposition implies the evolutionary implications of these profound, revolutionary discoveries. Copernicus forced his audience to consider a frame of reference that was outside of body sensory awareness. Einstein, Heisenberg, and other physicists have introduced a worldview that shatters everything that is assumed about the outer landscape. Inhabitants of planet Earth will have to learn to think differently.

            Whether due to a genetic predisposition toward rational thought or the blazing success of scientific endeavor, which happened to use a straightforward mathematical method, tomfoolery and nonsense were left out of the cultural equation. Yet the new physics required just that: nonsense. In order to make meaning out of quantum theory and space-time, one had to unlearn constructs of three-dimensional space, unidirectional time, and a reality informed by five senses.

            However, as historical perspective, Copernicus’s heliocentric theory was not integrated until Kepler and Galileo published their versions of the earth moving around the sun, one hundred and ten years later. Because contemporary folks are more capable of accepting technological change at dizzying speeds, and because of vastly improved methods of information dissemination, modern society may take less time to get used to the ideas of Einstein’s physics.

Historical implications

The world did not stop turning in 1927 during what might be called a Quantum-Relativistic Revolution. However, new findings in relativity, uncertainty, and discontinuity challenged the old school of mechanics. The philosophy implied by the Quantum Revolution moved mankind from a place of all knowing and potential invincibility, to a new consciousness of limitation and implied vulnerability. Civilization, following in the wake of physical science, required evolutionary adjustments.

The fact that two global wars erupted during and shortly after this 1900 to 1930

 era of discovery is not surprising. The changes in the bedrock of science were so earth shattering that some sort of physical material manifestation, however violent and destructive, may have been unavoidable as mankind scrambled to make the necessary quantum leaps of consciousness. Returning to Heisenberg’s model of the atom, the new information may have provided the exact quanta of energy for mankind to shift into a new orbit.

 The adjustment has not been smooth. Art and literature in the twentieth century reflected a disturbance as the creative community tried to cope. For a time, structures which had been pretty and predictable disintegrated into erratic and disjointed fragments (Schorske, 1980). All disciplines including sciences, humanities, economics and politics are still reeling from the physics of the 1920’s. In addition, technology borne out of quantum-relativistic theory has created new cultural systems which exerted even greater pressure for social and psychological adjustment. Integration of the new physics has only just begun.

Moving On

The dilemma physics is facing right now is very similar to the one that faced the contemporaries of Descartes when the current world view was crumbling, and yet there was “no new absolute criterion of truth to replace the old” (Tarnas, 1991, p. 276). Before the quantum revolution, a similar predicament occurred, and some retrospectively odd speculations, such as the concept of ether, emerged from that confusion.

Quantum theory and relativity theory, both fathered by Einstein, are actually incompatible with one another in the way they understand and explain the concept of space-time. Whereas the space-time of quantum theory is passive, a sort of theater in which particles act, the space-time of general relativity is produced by particles and cannot exist without them. This conceptual difference makes the two theories incompatible.

          Physicists are at an awkward impasse, for both theories remain valid despite repeated attempts to disprove them. General relativity has been resisting such attempts for nearly a century, while quantum mechanics has led to so many applications in modern technology that it is difficult to imagine it could be wrong. (Balibar, 2001, p. 111)

 

 A complete and total overhaul of scientific method may be necessary in order to reconcile these conflicts in theory. The traditional style of relating to nature, knowledge, and mind within the scientific method might be ripe for re-visioning. The community is looking for a portal through which to make a new paradigm shift, and so far has produced some theory, but no conclusions.

Why physics? With physics at a sort of impasse, needing to reconcile some basic theories and trying to figure out how to continue, it might be appropriate to assess the importance and purpose of physics. Why does humanity engage in this activity?

[Einstein] described the aim of the enterprise of physics is not only to know how nature is and how her transactions are carried through, but also to reach as far as possible the utopian and seemingly arrogant aim of knowing why nature is thus and not otherwise. (As quoted in Weinberg, 1992, p. 242)

 

 So, “let us assume, like some scientists do, that knowing the truth of our

 

fundamental existence is possible and necessary” (Balibar, 2001, p. 111). How should

 

scientists proceed toward a final theory?

 

 In this final section of chapter two, several new approaches in the study of nature will be given consideration. Within the traditional mode of inquiry, many research teams are aiming for a Grand Unified Theory (GUT); of these theories, superstring theory, (commonly referred to as string theory) is a frontrunner.

The view from neuroscience is that instead of looking out at objects, the inward, subjective end of the microscope (or atom smasher) might be explored. By examining the scientists’ own environmental conditioning and registration of reality, researchers may be able to solve many mysteries. Physicist David Bohm studied the problem of observer-observed, how the observer distorts the result of any experiment just by his or her participation. He offered the mystical perspective from which the observer becomes one with the observed in order to expand the boundaries of understanding. Finally, the grounded voice of biologist Ed Wilson calls for consilience, a round table discussion of all disciplines so that information can be actively shared, and in this manner transcend the fragmented separatist isolation from which only pieces of the pie have been sampled (Wilson, 1988).

GUT Strings

Some physicists believe that they have found a theory that may answer questions regarding the fundamental constituent of nature. They suspect that lying deep within the heart of matter are little rubber bands (Greene, 1999, p. 136).

Grand Unified Theories have been created by physicists in hopes of linking the four fundamental forces of gravity, strong nuclear, weak interaction, and electromagnetism. The most promising candidate is superstring theory. Even though these strings are so small (on average Planck length 10 –33 centimeters) that they look like points on the most powerful equipment, they are actually little loops (Greene, 1999,

p. 135). Musical metaphors begin to take on great meaning, because the very slender strings vibrate at several different harmonics or frequencies at once, much like strings on a musical instrument (Greene, 1999, p. 144).

With string theory, an explanation of the universe as built on matter would be correct. One could also state that the universe is made of vibration or energy, because the strings are constantly vibrating. String theory also includes an explanation of gravity, which makes it a more viable contender as a grand unifying theory than quantum mechanics, which does not include an explanation of gravity.

String theory once again radically changes our understanding of spacetime…. String theory offers a novel and profound modification to our theoretical description of the ultramicroscopic properties of the universe—a modification that, physicists slowly realized, alters Einstein’s general relativity in just the right way to make it fully compatible with the laws of quantum mechanics”. (Greene, 1999, p. 136)

 

Further, string theory includes an explanation of the universe as containing more than three spatial concrete dimensions. “The universe may also have additional spatial dimensions that are tightly curled up into a tiny space—a space so tiny that it has so far eluded detection by even our most refined experimental equipment (Greene, 1999,

p. 188).

The complexities of superstring theory offer physicists a new frontier of scientific research. Even if scientists find a way to prove superstring theory, there are still more frontiers of human personal and scientific endeavor. Neuroscientists are suggesting that more attention be paid to the observer, that a careful examination and attention to the researcher’s personal frame of reference may prove fertile ground for advancement of knowledge of the physical world.

The subjective end of the microscope: human consciousness

Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, in his book The Feeling of What Happens (1999) clarified how information registers on the screen of the scientist’s individual consciousness:

What we have…is an intriguing asymmetry that may be phrased in the following terms: some parts of the brain are free to roam over the world and in so doing are free to map whatever object the organism’s design permits them to map. On the other hand, some other parts of the brain, those that represent the organism’s own state, are not free to roam at all. They are stuck. They can map nothing but the body and do so within largely preset maps. (Damasio, 1999), p. 21)

 

What is especially interesting to neuroscientists and may have huge implications for human evolution is the study of mapping: what one’s interpretive mindset allows to be registered in consciousness. Some of the most profound insights in physics may have been over-sighted because they did not register on a preset personal radar.

A study of kittens illustrated how environmental conditioning affects sense registrations. Some kittens were raised in a room with vertical stripes. As adults, the cats could only reference vertical stimuli (Chopra, 1996). In other words what researchers are allowed to see and register internally may be due in large part to conditioning, or a certain way of referencing the world around them. Studies like this one may help the public grasp concepts of mathematical, and possible physical, worlds with more than three dimensions.

 The restrictions of environmental conditioning may impede one’s ability to understand and absorb the construct of space-time.  Einstein  was extremely fascinated with how children learn the concept of linear time (Wertheimer, 1959/1978, p. 187). Linear time is a construct of environmental conditioning, and is not in accordance with the laws of Relativity. Yet linear time is a reference on the personal map or grid to which Antonio Damasio is referring. This line of inquiry into how the researcher registers information may offer incredible yields in science, psychology, and education.

Physics and Mysticism: David Bohm

Perhaps the reason some physicists such as David Bohm incorporated mysticism into their research is an attempt to adjust to some of the bizarre features of subatomic behavior. From the concept of bootstrap theory in physics, or the idea of a whole somehow contained in all its parts,  David Bohm derived the concept of holographic theory. “The holographic model of consciousness is based on the notion that information from which the consciousness works is not stored in a particular place but rather is stored all over the brain or over large areas of the brain” (Wilber, 1982, p. 45). In addition to holographic theory, Bohm also postulated that the whole world itself is structured on the same general principle as the hologram. He presented concepts of explicate order, which is the material world as we see it, but also an implicate order which is “the entire universe enfolded into each part. This means that our everyday notions of space, including our ideas of distance and separations, apply only at the surface of things, within the explicate order ” (Peat, 1997, p. 260). The notion of an implicate and explicate order is in congruence with the three visual spatial dimensions and a multitude of curled-up dimensions as postulated in string theory.

Quantum physics includes a law that states that nothing in the natural world may be accurately measured because the observer, by being present, alters the outcome of an experiment. David Bohm believed that the way around this distortion of results was to become one with the observed through meditation. He spent many hours discussing this phenomena with the mystic Jiddu Krishnamurti, who had written that the observer is the observed. “In his physics [Bohm] had always attempted to go to the limit, constantly seeking the question that lies beyond the question” (Peat, 1997, p. 197). Bohm felt  impeded by physics as a means to understand the ultimate truth about the universe, and so turned to mysticism and meditation as a means to “go beyond the question”.

Consilience: E. O. Wilson

In contrast to Bohm’s personally rigorous mystical process for learning about mind was Edward Wilson’s concentration on what is knowable on this plane of existence:

After all, mind and culture...are natural entities and processes. They do not exist in an astral plane above the tangible world and are therefore intrinsically open to analysis to the natural scientific mode. To say that mind and culture are too complex to submit to reductionist analysis is to ignore the fact that scientists have broken one complex biological system after another. (Damasio, 2001, p. 7)

 

             Wilson obviously worked from a traditionalist Cartesian viewpoint, but he is attempting to break down the compartmentalization that hinders traditional science (Damasio, 2001, p.14). Biologists like Wilson understand the universe as a web of life, so the connections between disciplines are just as important as core knowledge of individual disciplines. He believed that relationships between branches of science will provide more objectivity and will require more exactitude in the translation of ideas between disciplines. The primary benefit of creating a pool of knowledge is that the effect will be synergistic: the combined resources may produce a sum greater than the whole. Wilson named this holistic cooperation between disciplines “consilience” and suggested that by overlapping disciplines and extending the web of learning, scientists and other researchers may  unlock doors to new information.

Consciousness

Before proceeding to Chapter Three, the popularity of the term “consciousness” as applied to quantum mechanics should be addressed. Consciousness, as used by popular physics writers, does not refer to the individual field upon which personal sense registrations are recorded and processed, but instead refers to a shared collective divine omniscience. Amit Goswami declared: “It was my good fortune to recognize that all the paradoxes of quantum physics can be solved if we accept consciousness as the ground of being” (Hamilton, 2001, p. 179). The pseudo-material characteristics of subatomic particles, which easily defy explanation using traditional intellectual methods, prompt researchers to look outside the realm of matter in order to deal with the foreign, off-the-grid, extraordinary, out-of-common-reference properties. But care must be taken not to rush in with quick and easy explanations. A catch word such as “matter” or “consciousness” can be called upon to name the principle fundamental constituent of the universe. Both “matter” and “consciousness” have been used interchangeably to reduce the universe down to a particular, manageable frame of reference. However, at this time neither scientists nor mystics are in a position to state what exactly lies at the basis of existence.

Even though the process of reduction might eliminate some anxiety about coping with a recent avalanche of complexity as supplied by physics and other disciplines in the last hundred years, and may help supply a much needed unifying myth for contemporary society, the fact remains that “consciousness” as the fundamental building block of life is not precisely correct. Popular physics writers get off-track when they confuse intensely remote abstract thinking experience with mysticism. Mystical numinous experience must be differentiated from abstracted realities. The common ground of these two experiences is that neither are concrete, and neither deal with the perceived outer environment.

The reverence society holds for physical science should not be exploited as a vehicle to reincorporate sacrality into the world. Mankind has tried to equate abstract constructs and mystery with divinity for thousands of years. This process can no longer work with intellectually sophisticated people, especially in the wake of four hundred years of spectacular intellectual achievement. Abstracted realities (God, for example) and mystical numinous experience (sometimes explained as the experience of God) are not usually well differentiated in traditional science or religion. These unlike facets of human experience must continue to be held as opposites in individual consciousness, not jointly collapsed into a convenient but sloppy fundamentalist reduction.

Mystical experience, an awareness of one’s divine nature, should be and most likely eventually will be respected by the population at large as a legitimate viable integral dimension of human experience. But for the moment, the question “What replaces matter as the fundamental constituent of the universe?” is still unanswered.

Summary

            The scientific discoveries of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries led to a philosophy which included narrow proscriptions for thinking and relating to the world. The belief was held that by providing specific rules, an exacting method, and by encouraging objective, unbiased thinking, that mankind would be able to understand and control his environment, and therefore be spared surprises and unpleasant life experiences.

            The scientific method served civilization very well for about three hundred years. Intellectual and technological progress, the results of this method, were stunning.

            By the middle of the nineteenth century, a few discrepancies in the study of the physical world materialized. By 1927 uncertainty, paradox and conundrums challenged a scientific method fueled by the forces of  human intellect. Current styles of thinking and research have fallen short in solving some of the mysteries of physics.

Traditional scientific philosophy has set a standard which is assumed to provide a reliable, accurate, and comprehensive description of the natural world. The philosophy also asserts that any other method for acquiring knowledge is most likely inferior to this method.

In the next chapter, a challenge will be presented to the assumptions held by traditional Western science. Also, some additional and alternative methods will be proposed which may broaden research styles, and may help broaden the spectrum of commonly-accessed individual human resources. This expansion of scientific process and individual personality may then assist Western Civilization as it moves into a new level of evolution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                         

 

CHAPTER III

HOLISTIC RESEARCH:

THE POTENTIAL INFLUENCE OF TWENTIETH CENTURY PHYSICS

ON SCIENTIFIC METHOD AND INDIVIDUAL PERSONALITY

 

Overview

In response to the influence and success of traditional scientific method, certain patterns of thinking and apperception have emerged in contemporary society. Due to the irrational character of nature at the subatomic level, scientific methods which depart from traditional rules may be required to make meaning out of this baffling, complex material.

In this chapter, challenges will be offered regarding the accuracy and viability of the scientific method for providing an accurate description of nature. Also some objections will be raised about how scientific philosophy from the Newtonian Cartesian era has produced detrimental effects on psychological, emotional and cognitive maturity of individuals in the twenty-first century.

In the course of the discussion, a personality profile will begin to emerge of the individual who has benefited from scientific and technological  progress and who embraces a materialist, object-based, thinking-according-to-the rules scientific orientation. Using theory from psychology, education, neuroscience, geophysics, and philosophy, an effort will be made to analyze and explain some characteristics of this Newtonian-Cartesian personality.

Some alternative methods of receiving and analyzing information, which were set aside in the frenzy of scientific and technological expansion, may provide a broader research lens. In response to some challenges presented by modern physics, some alternative operations in thinking, sensing, and feeling as methods of knowing will be given consideration. Illogical and irrational mechanisms, which were deemed inferior, imprecise and unwieldy by traditional science, will be explored as possibilities for understanding the true nature of the cosmos.

A greater potential for a sense of self-realness can be actuated by increasing the range and variety of thinking, feeling, and sensing operations. These processes can result in a fuller relationship to the inner and outer landscape from which the individual is defined. By using a broader palette of methods to access information from nature and from one’s inner nature, the pallor of the Newtonian-Cartesian individual may be replaced with a vivid, vital, and more colorful human being.

Failure To Describe: Scientific Limitations, Distortions, and Bias

To model nature with its illogical, nonlinear, circuitous manner of revealing itself, a ghost story is offered from Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Pirsig, 1974):

Phaedrus…is sitting outside a motel room in the West, drinking whiskey with his motorcycle traveling companions, and listening to his son, Chris, tell ghost stories. “Do you believe in ghosts?” Chris asks his father. “No,” Phaedrus says.

“They contain no matter,…and have no energy and therefore, according to the laws of science, do no exist except in people’s minds…Of course…the laws of science contain no matter and have no energy either and therefore do no exist except in people’s minds”. (Pirsig, 1974, p. 38 as quoted in Johnson, 1995)

 

Pheadrus further explains:

 

“It’s completely natural to think of Europeans who believed in ghosts or Indians who believed in ghosts as ignorant. The scientific point of view has wiped out every other view to a point where they all seem primitive, so that if a person today talks about ghosts or spirits he is considered ignorant or maybe nutty….Modern man has his ghosts and spirits too, you know.”

“What?”[ his son asks.]

“Oh, the laws of physics and of logic…the number system…the principle of algebraic substitution. These are ghosts. We just believe in them so thoroughly they seem real.”(Pirsig, 1974, pp. 40-41)

 

Individuals in Western society tend to accept the laws of science as absolute. And, the scientific view has disparaged nearly every other view except for the ones proscribed by its narrowly specified technique. Non-scientific means of apperception, especially a subjective experience of sighting a ghost, are considered spooky, and are often vehemently shunned. By eliminating all beliefs foreign to its perspective, science has created its own artificial mythology.

Objective Thinking: An Oxymoron

            “Scientific thinking” may be an oxymoron. Jung claimed that:

When objective data predominates over thinking to any great extent, thinking is sterilized, becoming a mere appendage of the object and no longer capable of abstracting itself into an independent concept. It is then reduced to a kind of “after-thought,” …a purely imitative thinking which affirms nothing beyond what was visibly and immediately present in the objective data in the first place. This thinking naturally leads directly back to the object, but never beyond it, and not even to a linking of experience with an objective idea…The materialist mentality is an instructive example of this. (Jung, 1921/1953, pp. 345-346)

 

            Objective thinking, then, according to Jung is not really thinking. The traditional view asserts that accuracy would be compromised if the subject, or researcher, is actually emotionally engaged with the observed object. If the purpose of science is to obtain information about the fundamental laws of the universe, data obtained without including the impact of the object on the human subject is incomplete.

            The historical base for objectivity and the traditional views of science evolved from a deeply rooted Western philosophical construct of logic.

 

 

Thinking by the Rules

Logical thinking operations have been highly regarded in Western culture since the era of Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates, around 350 B.C.E. The process of logic was an outgrowth of philosophy and is indicative of a desire to create beauty, harmony, and order in the world. Rational judgment is a force that attempts to coerce and confine the untidiness, complexity, and chaotic experience into a definite pattern. But an overzealous attempt to tidy up for four hundred years has produced a sterile relationship to psyche and a stark mental environment.

Because rational process has proved to be an outstanding formula and has endured does not mean that it is accurate in any or all cases. After all,  “when reasoning, the rule system takes precedence over reality” (Rosser, 1994, p. 242). Logic in and of itself is not a guarantee of truth. Logic and rational thought have been over-valued in Western culture to the point of inhibiting learning, restricting progress, and frustrating efforts to attain psychic wholeness.

Logic without Feeling: A Scientific Bias

 Modern scientific mythology asserts the existence of  pure research, pure rational process, and pure logic. Yet any attempt at a purely conscious thinking operation represents an idealistic stance and bias. Unconscious motives and information are inseparable from conscious process; there is no such thing as a purely conscious thinking operation.

Jung asserted the scientific bias about feeling and thinking when he stated that “Thinking totally shuts out feeling, if it ever wants to reach any kind of pure results, for nothing is more liable to prejudice and falsify thinking than feeling values (Jung, 1921/1953, p. 358). In contrast to the traditional philosophical view, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio’s findings suggest that rational thought, without a connection to feeling, does not produce clear or accurate results (Damasio, 1999). Pure logic, pure rational process, should be recognized as a construct of imagination, an idealized mechanism which serves to create distance between the individual and direct experience. Rational thought in science might actually represent a culturally sanctioned defense mechanism to avoid feeling and emotional experience.

Scientific perspectivism: A Subjective Representation

Science and math offer a frame of reference, and the measurements and

calculations adhere and conform to a particular view of reality. The scientific method is, at best, only a partial view, and in some cases distorts the data to fit within a specific framework. The bias of this method allows the omission of crucial details which cannot be grasped statistically. The method loses force when one realizes that science cannot claim to describe the essence of nature.

Neuroscience has provided information that what people see in the material world is based on environmental conditioning. A true picture of nature is inaccessible to human sensibilities (Chopra, 1996). In art, the concept of perspectivism indicates that an artist paints a picture of nature as he would like it to be (Lang, 2002). Scientists, like artists, are unable to paint an accurate true representation, so they describe the world as they would like to see it, and as they choose to imagine it.

The essential fact is simply that all the pictures which science now draws of nature, and which alone seem capable of according with observational fact are mathematical pictures…Most scientists would agree that they are nothing more than pictures—fictions, if you like, if by fiction you mean that science is not yet in contact with ultimate reality. (Jeans, 2001, p. 135)

 

The Influence of Newtonian-Cartesian Philosophy

on Personality Development in Contemporary Western Society

 

Scientific endeavors have benefited mankind in innumerable ways. Science and technology have moved culture forward at a tremendous force. As information and technology have increased, one might assume that cognitive, emotional and psychological development of individuals living within this high tech society would accelerate logarithmically. Surprisingly, the rewards of innovation and intellectual achievement have not necessarily encouraged growth and development of certain areas of emotional and cognitive development, and in some areas have actually sidetracked individuals on the road to maturity.

Logical Dominance in Childhood Cognitive Development

Jean Piaget wrote: “Logical activity is not the whole of intelligence. One can be intelligent without being particularly logical. The main functions of intelligence, that of inventing solutions and that of verifying them, do not necessarily involve one another; the first partakes of imagination and the second alone is properly logical (Piaget, 1924/1977, p. 91).

The thinking operations which are held in highest esteem by Westerners are a step down from the highest level of cognitive functioning as outlined in the learning theory of Jean Piaget. By examining Piaget’s four stages of cognitive development (sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operations), some insight may be gained into how scientific philosophy has influenced the cognitive maturity of people in contemporary society. 

According to Piaget’s theory, in the sensorimotor stage, the infant’s thinking is bound to motor activity and is not symbolic. In the preoperational period (roughly ages two to seven), the child is still symbolically restricted; thinking is dependent on objects in the immediate environment. The child’s thinking is based upon perception, which often supports illogical conclusions. A child at this age can easily think that an airplane gets smaller as it ascends into the sky (Rosser, 1994, p. 121).

In the concrete operational phase, which occurs from around age six to approximately ages eleven or twelve, children’s thinking achieves independence from sensorimotor action and from immediate perception. Logical solutions rather than perceptual ones become the norm. These children are more rule-governed, and are less contextually and perceptually bound than the preoperational-stage children. Operations which are developed during the concrete operational stage are held in high esteem in Western education.

The fourth and culminating stage in Piagetian theory is formal operations, which occurs between the ages of eleven or twelve and continues through adulthood. In this stage,  “thought reaches its highest level of symbolism and is no longer constrained even by the boundaries of concrete reality” (Rosser, 1994, p. 121). However, “there are various studies suggesting that not everyone reaches [the stage of formal operations]. But [it] is by no means clear whether, for those who do not, intellectual development simply comes to a halt or veers off in another direction” (Piaget, 1966/1977, p. 395). Joseph Pearce explained that:

Formal operational thinking is exemplified in music and mathematics, which are pure, abstract forms of art expressed in concrete media…Formal operational thinking can also create states of reality…Because the whole system is pushing for autonomy of the self, and freedom from dependence upon anything other than the self, the push is always towards abstraction, because that is where our autonomy lies. (Pearce, 1984, p. 185)

 

 

Abstract Process in Advanced Physics

If, in formal operations, the thinker can create abstract states of reality, then this process is required for the comprehension and assimilation of multiple mathematical dimensions or invisible states of physical reality, such as the ones described in superstring theory. Advanced physics relies on this particular operation, which is described as “a transformation of thought that permits the handling of hypothesis and reasoning with regard to propositions removed from concrete and present observation” (Piaget & Inhelder, 1969, p. 131). Rational process is still present in formal operations, but is applied to elements and ideas which are not tangible, and not based on visible objects or materials.

Heisenberg wrote: “The relativity and quantum theories, the theoretical foundation of modern physics, are generally held to be abstract systems of ideas, inaccessible to the layman, which no longer show much evidence of their human origin” (Einstein, 1971, p. vii). This inaccessibility of modern physics may be due to its foreign abstract nature, or, may well be due to the lack of cognitive capabilities on the part of the student who is attempting to assimilate these ideas. Not all abstract thinking is as daunting as space-time and infinite dimensions, or even as difficult to envision as an electron following several trajectories at once. But these properties of the physical world defy reference to anything in our present-centered landscape and require, at the very least, the thinking functions at Piaget’s formal operations level.

Because logic has served the culture well, and because abstract thinking operations do not seem to provide as much direct benefit in a materialist society, the general population may be less compelled to cultivate thinking operations of this final stage of cognitive development. Because Western educational systems specifically, and the Western materialist culture in general, do not value abstract thinking as much as logical process, there is no reason to believe that advanced theories in science will be assimilated in the psyche of Western Civilization at any time soon.

However, the benefits of focusing more on this next step of cognitive development might be worth a strong effort for several reasons: The wider spectrum, more varied palette of thinking operations would increase an overall quality of life. Society in general might be afforded more tools with which to integrate the new physics. In addition, a fuller assimilation of a person’s cognitive ability would allow a fuller realization of personal intellectual potential and would enhance self-esteem and personal consciousness. As an added benefit, the climate for pure research and pure learning might improve, and research in physics could be better supported as it continues to explore and probe the mysteries of the universe.

Joseph Chilton Pearce added that the formal operations stage moves the person into total objectivity, and implies that it allows for an understanding of a transpersonal mind, or a collective consciousness. “The whole thrust of human development, maturity, lies beyond the mind-body-brain process” (Pearce, 1984, p. 191). Part of the reason for a lack of interest in spiritual or mystical experience in a logical society may be due to a cultural cognitive impediment. Idealization of rational thought and logical process inadvertently restricts civilization in the areas of spiritual, cognitive and emotional development.

 

 

Advanced Cognition: Additional Possibilities

The possibility remains that Jean Piaget who was writing at the time of the Quantum Revolution may not have posited a comprehensive description of cognitive development. With the advances of physics and other sciences, cognitive development may, of necessity, be required to evolve beyond these four phases of development. Biologist Roger Sperry’s view is that: “The mind constantly reorganizes itself, thrusts itself into new patterns that further enhance its potential for learning (Eccles, 1985,

p. 85). Additional thinking operations may still evolve or be discovered which will accommodate the exigencies of modern physics.

In this culture, because logic and constant forward motion are stressed in education and science, putting together thoughts about one’s feelings, and taking time to register emotion may be less of a priority.

A Perspective of Motion: Emotional and Psychological Development

A subject-object dichotomy combined with an extroverted thinking orientation does little to foster a connection to feeling, emotion, and inner psychic process. Quiet contemplative time, which is crucial to the registration of feeling states in consciousness, is omitted from the equation in Western contemporary life. Time and space have been filled with the distractions and conveniences provided by traditional mechanics and electromagnetism, leaving little time to reflect. Einstein’s theory of special relativity applied metaphorically would note that there is no motionless perspective in everyday Western life. Silence and stillness must be synthetically induced.

Therefore the development of emotional maturity, which relies on a conscious recognition of those states is, in general, less fully actualized in a Newtonian-Cartesian society. Science contributes to a lifestyle that in turn affects preferences regarding research methods. A circular system of causality is created that holds the principles of Newtonian Cartesian philosophy firmly in place.

Two Kinds of Power

Some goals of science and technology such as the pursuit of external power, are in direct polar opposition to the needs and requirements of emotional and psychological development. External power can be described as anything one is afraid to lose such as technological supremacy, youth, and material objects (Zukav, 1989, p. 24).

 Internal power, according to Edward Edinger, requires resistance of the raw (external) power motive so that inner resources may be developed (1996, p. 55). Without a connection to feeling and inner authority, the power of technology and science becomes like a broom in the hands of the mythical sorcerer’s apprentice: too much power in proportion to the degree of self-mastery. The power of technology and information becomes unwieldy, given the current level of emotional maturity that is apparent in Western culture.

Wounding and Individuation. Edward Edinger explained the difference between external and internal power using the example of Christ who was offered power when he was tempted three times by Satan (Holy Bible, Matthew 3 & 4). Satan, according to Edinger, represents a raw (external) power motive, and offered Christ a temptation of power which Jesus refused. Christ’s subsequent wounding and profound dark night of the soul precipitated a deep connection to feeling and contributed to his individuation. The wounding and difficulties to which Christ submitted moved his consciousness from a place of unconscious knowing through a painful process to a more powerful inner authority. This is symbolized by his reunification with the central God-image, or Self (Edinger, 1996, p. 55) at the time of his resurrection. Without resisting the temptations of external power and undergoing wounding and death, Christ would not have been able to access an inner authority.

Unlike Christ, the institutions and individuals in Western culture have succumbed to the external power motive. Without vulnerability and connection to feeling, psychological maturity is difficult to attain. Fortunately, quandaries in twentieth century physics have introduced some areas of vulnerability which may encourage scientists and the collective to cultivate a relationship to emotion and psyche which may then allow for growth in these areas.

Some characteristics of logical, materialistic, objective-thinking individuals may not be due to arrested development in any area, but may be determined by natural tendencies and proclivities inherent in one’s personality. By studying some defining characteristics of the psychological types as propounded by Carl Jung, some additional insight might be gained about how rational thought and Newtonian-Cartesian scientific philosophy has been perpetuated, and how this philosophy continues to mold and shape modern man.

The Extroverted Thinker and Western Culture

Carl Jung, in a very categorical, Newtonian fashion, categorized individual personality into four psychological types. These included two “rational types” which specifies individual propensities toward thinking or feeling, and two so-called “irrational types” which he labeled as sensing and perceiving. In addition, he categorized two types of orientation toward the world which are extroversion and introversion (Jung, 1921/1953).

 The characteristics of the extroverted thinking personality type as described by Jung fit well with the materialist values and aims of the Newtonian-Cartesian era. An individual who fits this profile prefers thinking over feeling. Every important action for an extroverted thinker would proceed from intellectually considered motives. A person with these proclivities would repress feeling and irrational forms such as religions experience and passion “to the point of complete unconsciousness” (Jung, 1921/1953,

p. 348).  Further, in an extroverted sensate individual, information which comes from within the individual’s consciousness is considered objectionable. An extroverted sensation type focuses on an accumulation of actual experience with concrete objects. Objective thinking, which is considered as crucial to scientific method, is a natural process for a sensate individual. Both extroverted orientation and sensate preferences focus on objects in the environment rather than on inner experience.

 The extroverted thinking individual would appreciate traditional thinking processes as taught in an established system of education. Jung indicated that:

Extroverted thinking, therefore, need not necessarily be purely concretistic thinking; it can just as well be purely ideal thinking, if for instance it can be shown that the ideas it operates with are largely borrowed from outside, i.e., have been transmitted by tradition and education. (Jung, 1921/1953, p. 342)

 

Therefore, it would be quite natural for an extroverted sensate thinker to work in a field which requires objective study in an institutional setting. Individuals with this temperament might have directed other personality types in the structuring of Western science and culture. The introverted feeling intuitive types may have been pulled into entrainment with the worldview of extroverted thinking sensate values.          

A discussion about types and categories reflects a Newtonian organization. Linear thought and strict categorizations have merit, but the weakness of this process is that some nuances are lost whenever an object is categorized or represented by mathematical symbolization. To continue categorizing, however, a physiological influence on current scientific practice and worldview is offered. Neuroscience has provided a lens through which to understand how Western culture developed into a logical thinking society.

Categories and Physiology

Psychiatrist Ernest Hartmann’s investigations categorize thinking typologies from a neurophysiological perspective. Hartmann suggested that the thickness of the boundaries between large distributed neuronal systems might explain why some individuals are concrete thinkers and prefer to categorize, while others are more inclined to envision an integrated whole. His research suggested that the thickness of boundaries between brain cell assemblies affects one’s cognitive flexibility (Hartmann, 1991,

p. 233), and therefore one’s tendency to think inside or outside of the proverbial box. Individuals less inclined toward categorization may also be inclined to think creatively, and to experience boundless and boundaryless events in consciousness (Hartmann, 1991, p. 331). Individuals who are more inclined to dream and remember their dreams also have thinner boundaries. It might follow that those who tend to think of mind as contained within the single solitary biological organism, and who further categorize all mental activities as existing only in the cranium, have thick boundaries. Individuals who can sometimes experience Mind as oceanic, transpersonal, or from a collective matrix might have thinner divisions between neuronal systems. It might follow that Freud and Jung may have parted ways due to physiology: perhaps Freud had thicker physiological boundaries in his nervous system.

 To further elucidate the physiology, Ernest Hartmann explains that hallucinogenic drugs appear to thin these boundaries, whereas stimulants (such as amphetamines, Ritalin, and cocaine) and antidepressants tend to thicken these biological divisions between neighboring neurons. (1991, p. 238).

            A person with thicker biological boundaries in the brain might be drawn to a field governed by Newtonian mechanics, whereas a scientist engaged in particle physics might require thinner brain cell assembly divisions in order to navigate through the fluidity of quantum theory. Perhaps the strong influence of objective, scientific, logical thinking in the creation of our scientific culture is due to a large number of individuals who have thick boundaries between brain cell assemblies.           

Hiscience

In reviewing the account of history (his story) of physics, an observation about physiology was made. In Chapter Two of this thesis, the only reference to a woman was fictional, from a science fiction movie. Gender must be taken into account when considering scientific ideology, philosophy, and worldview. The affect of male physiology on scientific method must be considered, despite political sensitivity surrounding the topic. The study of nature continues to be “hiscience”. Female perspective seems to have been placed in a category outside the discipline.

A major query into the structuring of the method might be: how would research be conducted if female physiology had a major bearing on the study of nature? Or, how have male-influenced styles of accessing and processing information affected the scientific method? What aspects of nature would have been considered if the field was better gender-balanced? Perhaps male researchers have pulled women’s research styles into entrainment with a style that meets the needs of male physiology.

The personality profile of the Newtonian Cartesian individual so far has been described as an extroverted thinker, whose cognitive maturity allows him to make full use of concrete operations, and whose physiology contributes to a proclivity for structured thinking and clear cut categorization. However, not all responsibility for living in a thinking rational world may rest with the individual, or even within society itself. A theory from geophysics indicates that a preference of thinking over feeling functions might be related to the electromagnetic influence of the earth’s fields on the human organism.

Thinking Latitudes: Geo-electromagnetism and Rational Process

            A rather unusual consideration regarding the dominance of logic and reason in the northern hemisphere is derived from geophysics. James Clerk Maxwell’s work on electromagnetism in 1873 paved the way for twentieth century physics. Since that time electromagnetism has been the driving force behind all electronic innovation. Current research in electromagnetism focuses on longitudinal forces on planet Earth, as well as on more subtle electromagnetic fields in the human body. Scientists know, for example, that birds, camels, insects, and sled dogs use natural electromagnetic sensing devices for navigation (Street, 1976). They have discovered that humans, when a magnet is strapped to their forehead, lose significant abilities in directional orientation (Baker, 1981).

            Thousands of studies in the last few years are beginning to suggest that:

human societies living under the influence of the northern magnetic field exhibit a high level of development because of the increased effectiveness of the cerebral capacities…The technological and industrial superiority of the northern hemisphere has been accomplished by…a proportional increase in the conscious activities of the mind and brain. (Lawlor, 1991, p.129)

 

 In contrast, electromagnetic fields in the southern hemispheres have seemed to foster feeling-based societies. Polar forces exert profound forces on humans: when the positive and negative poles reverse every million or so years, complete cycles of human development end and begin (Lawlor, 1991, p. 131).

To suggest that Western (Northern) societies tend to relate to the world employing thinking functions does not mean that feeling is precluded. Thinking is merely considered as the dominant means of processing information in these latitudes.

An Invitation to Broaden the Palette: Extended Operations

Several other processes for perceiving and registering information in the human organism deserve consideration. The same cultural climate which elevates logical, objective, categorical process depreciates other viable resources for learning about nature. These resources include the acknowledgement of subjective experience, such as feeling of emotion, direct perception, intuition, and the reception of illogical information from the unconscious mind. These pathways to knowledge are crucial in developing wholeness in one’s personality. New curiosities in twentieth century physics are suggesting that a whole and complete picture of the universe may not be attainable without reincorporating some of these methods of perception and processing into scientific method.

Direct Experience: Sensing and Intuition

South American shaman Alberto Villoldo stressed the value of two of these pathways, sensing or intuition, over more structured thinking operations: “Language and reason separate us from direct experience. Names and logic, while practical, keep us from the mystery of life” (Villoldo, 2000, p. 113). Villoldo has suggested that irrational operations offer a valid method for gaining insight.

Physicist Wolfgang Pauli, who won a Nobel Prize for clarifying how many electrons may occupy each orbital energy strata and why (Feldman, 2000, p. 128), has “suggested that physics must come to terms with what he called ‘the irrational’, and the ‘subjective side of matter’”(Peat, 2001). Pauli’s four hundred dreams, which included several mandalas, (symbols of wholeness and spirituality in Jungian psychology) are the basis of Jung’s article, “Individual Dream Symbolism in Relation to Alchemy” (Jung, 1944/1976, p. 331). Pauli is an example of someone who incorporated subjectivity into science. His life exemplified a level of psychological maturity and wholeness which has been uncommon in this society.

 “According to physicist Max Born, Pauli’s genius exceeded even that of Einstein. Intellectual sloppiness or logical inconsistency would bring his wrath down on the poor soul unfortunate enough to be its author” (Heisenberg, 1974/2001, p. 167). Pauli asserted that pure logic is fundamentally incapable of constructing a connecting link between sense perceptions on one hand and concepts on the other. He incorporated intuition into his research, and described how images acquired in that manner can provide crucial connections in research. He related “the delight one feels on becoming aware of a new piece of knowledge [that] arises from the way [a] preexisting image falls into congruence with the behavior of external objects (Heisenberg, 1974/2001, p. 170). In other words, dreams or thoughts from “nowhere” can be used to create a hypothesis, which can later be confirmed by more traditional research techniques.

Again, Carl Jung’s descriptions of psychological types may help define these irrational illogical operations (Jung, 1921/1953). Jung included individuals who primarily access information through feeling in the same category as those who have a proclivity for thinking, and named this group the “rational” types. What he seemed to be indicating by the term “rational” was that both thinking and feeling are processes that require several steps or operations in consciousness.

Sensing and intuition, Jung’s two irrational techniques of receiving information, indicate direct experience. The cues and information through the senses “are fully accepted into consciousness whether they are compatible with rational judgments or not” (Jung, 1921/1953, p. 362). One piece or byte of information is received on the conscious level through any of the five senses, without being worked through a series of thinking operations. Sensing has to do with direct conscious functioning, and is the only method which traditional science recognizes as viable for the initial reception of information into the human organism. Because this means of receiving information is endorsed by the authority of science, it also is the only irrational means of receiving information which is commonly recognized by Westerners.

Both of these irrational operations, sensing and intuition, allow information to emerge into conscious awareness in a single operation. In the pejorative language of rational science, direct experience implies a primitive process, which is true. However, these direct single operations have allowed humans to survive for millions of years. The negative connotation of the word “irrational” is that a faulty, or inferior process is applied. “Irrational” in modern usage implies something that does not “make sense,” which is literally true with intuition, because it is not received into consciousness through the traditional modes of sensing: sight, sound, smell, touch or taste. Intuition, according to Jung is “the function of unconscious perception” (Jung, 1921/1953, p. 363). The unconscious processes may have been very complex preceding the emergence of the single awareness into consciousness. But, “because intuition is in the main an unconscious process, its nature is very difficult to grasp” (Jung, 1921/1953, p. 366). Modern researchers, following in the footsteps of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, have only scratched the surface in understanding how the unconscious mind works. 

For the most part, a relationship to cues from the unconscious requires training which is not included in mainstream scientific education. Individuals who submit themselves to psychoanalysis or psychotherapy sometimes spend years cultivating a relationship to the unconscious. Including this personal training into mainstream scientific curricula would be highly unlikely given the current worldview of the community. However, in an ideal climate, considering the ethical challenges of modern research (bioengineering and laser weaponry, for example) some serious research into the personal unconscious libraries of individual scientists would be a good idea. This type of investigation may help modern physicists understand some immaterial abstract properties of subatomic particles. 

On a smaller scale, a simple training might be devised which would allow a researcher in natural science to recognize and record illogical subjective ideas.  Ideas which spring into consciousness during the process of studying external objects may provide some substantial contributions to current research, and might serve to fill in some blanks which are created using purely objective methods.

Uncensored Learning. Psychotherapists are not concerned about how data is accumulated, but rather how well these instincts and impulses are integrated. To be wholly conscious means to be aware of signals and information from all aspects of one’s existence without discrimination or condescension toward a particular informational path. The job of both the conscious and the unconscious mind is to decipher which information is more valuable and viable to the well-being of the individual, and thereafter to the culture. The process of increasing receptivity to cues and information is more important than holding to a traditional order, or to a list of rules that proscribe how an individual should access both the inner and outer environment. An incorporation of feeling processes along with thinking, and the acknowledgement of unconscious sensing along traditionally-used mechanisms such as sound and sight, would fill out current methods of scientific research.

Portal

 Up to this point the discussion of a science which is better balanced between subject and object, or researcher and the phenomenon, has been abstract and theoretical. In order to provide a concrete example of subjective science, and to take a break from theory before entering the world of abstractions and uncommon sense registrations, the following story has been borrowed from the fields of psychology and biology. In this case, the “object” initiated the exchange.

Biologist Lyall Watson described an event which occurred at a dolphinarium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Some psychologists were observing a family of dusky dolphins, including a six week old young male. A reporter who was cynical about the intelligence of these animals came to visit. “He would not accept the possibility that dolphins could be any more intelligent, more aware, than a herd of cows. He simply leant against the wall at one side of the window and puffed away at his cigarette.” (Watson, 1999, p. 170). After the researchers and the dolphins got used to this new person in the research environment, everyone returned to what they had been doing earlier. The dolphins:

 went on their way, except for the young male who hung about in the corner and kept looking at this guy leaning against the wall. After a while, you could see the shell soften a little and the cynical man began to respond to this young dolphin, looking at him quizzically and in a sort of offhand way. Without thinking about it at all, he took a puff of his cigarette and blew a stream of smoke at the glass. The young dolphin back-pedalled a flipper or two, looked at him again, then vanished. A few flipper beats and he was gone through the gloom to the other side of the tank.

He came back a minute later and he did something which, in thirty years of watching animal behavior, I have never seen the like. It was startling. The young dolphin came back and blew a stream of smoke directly back at the reporter. That is exactly what it looked like to me, until I remembered that he was under water. He was a non-smoking dolphin. What he’d done was to go back to his mother, who was still lactating, take a little sip of milk and come back with it in his mouth and puff it directly at the window.

I don’t think I have ever seen cynicism and skepticism evaporate so fast. It was like watching a tax collector getting his come-uppance on the road to Damascus. It was instant conversion. Here was a demonstration so perfectly timed, so adroitly conceived, so unquestionably intelligent, that it was impossible not to grant that young dolphin the capacity for creativity, for abstraction, for reason and a wonderful, nicely-judged sense of humour. (Watson, 1999, pp. 170-172)

 

            The study of science requires some personal involvement in order to meet nature halfway. A science in which subject and object are better-related stands to offer meaningful data to the culture and will be of more value to the human race. Subjectivity is easier to accomplish with mammals than with quarks and leptons. But subjective cues, body registrations, and thought processes, if sanctioned by a more comprehensive method, might lead to some more interesting discoveries, and to a science which is more accessible by students and lay people.

            An additional reason for including a story at this point is that in the next few sections, some descriptions of sensing and thinking operations will become very abstract. Hopefully the story will stabilize the reader in concrete “reality” before the discussion careens off into the world of subtle uncommon sense registrations and barely discernable thinking processes.

Registration of uncommon senses

Sensing has many levels, precedes language symbolism, and does not submit readily to analytic inquiry. Changes in human body states occur at all times with or without cognitive awareness. As a matter of fact most events go unnoticed, unrecognized, and unregistered in awareness or consciousness. What science measures, registers, and records for the most part are objects and events which are more accessible to description and are easily recognized by the researcher. In addition to many events which are never sensed by the organism are many others which are only vaguely or barely recorded, but which are not brought into bold relief as cognitive or emotional images or feeling states (Damasio, 1999, p. 36). When writers and detractors of scientific method object to de-humanizing properties of cold hard science, they may be referring to an “ignore-ance” of this peripheral information which is never translated into symbols.

The next few sections will include several types of sensing and thinking which most certainly would be shunned by traditional logicians. The principle in physics of action at a distance will be applied to human experience. Some experiences which physicists have described as muscular knowing will be described. The intestine as the location of cognitive processing, and a theory of how thought pulsates with matter to create the emergence of newness in the universe will also be included in this section.

When a discussion becomes too loaded with abstractions, the representation, by necessity, must shift into some kind of art form in order to communicate inexpressible complexity. Some poetry, which is designed to manage abstractions in a meaningful way, will be included. The purpose of including these sections is to suggest that the possibilities for thinking, feeling, sensing, and processing information are more varied and vast than the limited menu of resources currently in use.

Intense thinking can sometimes create a feeling of pressure inside the cranium. So it is no surprise that the neural system inside the head has been given a great deal of study. But modern researchers have discovered that humans do literally think outside

the box (or cranium) and so a body sensation such as a gut feeling, when attached to a thought, is a sense registration worth investigating.

Gut feelings

Thinking operations take place in a variety of locations in the body, not just within the nervous system inside the cranium. Research in neuroscience indicates that in various places in the body, but particularly in the heart and the lining of the large intestine, enough neurons are present to process electrical activity and to carry out thinking operations (Childre, Martin, Beech, & Institute of HeartMath, 1999; Gershon, 1998). The heart and the gut have their own programs and send orders to the cranium, but are not obligated to obey commands from the neural connections in the head. When one speaks from the heart or has a gut feeling, he may actually be accessing a system which holds a superior authority in the neural hierarchy.

            In connection with this research, scientists have also discovered that Prozac and other SSRIs (selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors) do most of their work in the intestine. Ninety-five per cent of the seratonin is produced in the gut, so these drugs,  “do their job by boosting seratonin in the gut” (Woolston, 2001). Strict categorization from Newtonian Cartesian era has traditionally separated mind operations from the brain, and brain activity from the body. Fortunately, science is beginning to blur its own categories with its own findings, paving the way for a more whole and accurate description of the human body and mind.

Action at a Distance

Some other means of registering information in the human organism include processes which involve action at a distance. At the turn of the twentieth century one of the main queries regarding action a distance was how light rays traveled from the sun to earth. The sun and the earth are distant from one another, and yet light from the sun maintains life on earth. Scientists really wanted to know how that happened. The conflict between traditional Newtonian mechanics and Maxwell’s laws of  light rays created a serious conflict at the turn of the twentieth century. At least one physicist committed suicide due to the frustration of attempting to reconcile some inconsistencies between some “laws” of science (Balibar, 2001, p. 30). From these inconsistencies and tensions quantum physics was released into the world.

            Physicists have also been gripped by curiosity regarding how the sun and planets maintain a suspended balance using gravitational attraction. Through serious investigations into electromagnetics and radiation, scientists have been allowed to solve these mysteries and harness their forces. The principle of nonlocality in quantum physics, which describes how particles which were once in close proximity continue to affect one another even when they are millions of miles apart, is seriously pondered by mainstream physicists.

Human Action at a Distance

A very odd incongruence in Western culture is that action at a distance in particle physics and astronomy is considered worthy of serious research, but human-related principles of action at a distance are considered peripheral, and are sometimes considered, according to the motorcycle philosopher Phaedrus, to be downright spooky. Actually, vision and hearing also involve distance between subject and object, are nonlocal connections, and so therefore involve action at a distance. A visual or auditory image is drawn into consciousness through space. Human action at a distance such as telepathic mind-to mind connections, clairvoyant descriptions of hidden objects and events, and psychic healing are still well outside the worldview of traditional science. Because of the traditional scientific and religious dogma which surrounds popular views of this category of skills and senses, mainstream science has been slow to focus on nonlocal connections involving humans.

            Questions and conflicts related to nonlocal phenomena gave birth to thirty years of scientific revolution in the twentieth century. In the twenty-first century, a very likely source for revolution and evolution could possibly come from the incorporation of organic, human action at a distance into mainstream scientific enterprise.

By considering and investigating nonlocal human phenomena, civilized human beings would be allowed to reclaim natural abilities, furthering psychic integration, improving self-esteem, and increasing emotional stability. These fundamental questions might well be solved  when invisible connections between human awareness and matter are decoded.

Acquired Senses in Child Development

The failure to cultivate certain kinds of development in children may be one of the problems that hinders sophisticated modes of sensing and relating to the environment. Joseph Chilton Pearce explains that a human-to-object connection is available to children between the late third and early fourth years, which if developed, allows a particular kind of communication with objects. Westerners dismiss this awareness in children as magical thinking, but Australian Aborigines base their survival on it.

The Australian aborigine can tell you, for instance, where his kinsman tribes are, even if they are fifty miles away; he can tell you where the animals he is allowed to hunt are, even though they are miles away; he can tell you where the water is under the desert sands; he can follow a trail that is a year old. (Pearce, 1984,

pp. 183-184) 

 

Western children also can develop these skills if this communication with distant objects is modeled to them at age three or four.

Then, through what mental ether or medium do children bend spoons? Around the age of six and seven children can be taught to perform mental feats such as bending spoons or tying knots in a metal rod which is encased in glass, if this skill is modeled for them at the appropriate stage in their development. This skill simply “illustrates what Piaget defined as operating on concrete information with an abstract idea”(Pearce, 1984, p. 185), and is natural to biology and cognitive process. But because the culture in general shuns human action at a distance, these skills are not encouraged.

 

 

Applied Action at a Distance in Psychotherapy

Psychotherapists combine both action at a distance and the use of gut feelings in order to receive communications from their clients on a deep level of knowing. Part of a psychotherapist’s education includes registration of information from a client which is felt as emotion or as a sense registration in the body. From this information they are allowed to understand something which has not been conveyed through the language of words or through emotional affect. Physicists have not yet explained this action at a distance in clear scientific terms, but neuroscience has at least provided a physiological base which explains and validates the sense registration, the gut feeling.

Carl Jung described another process in which a change in attitude or psychic structure affects an environment response. He called this principle “synchronicity”. Because synchronicity correlates with disconnected events, or actions, at a distance, he also called it acausal physics (Jung, 1952/1955). The term acausal is probably incorrect. The fact that the force or forces which cause this phenomenon have yet to be explained does not mean that there is no causal force for this phenomenon. Atomic physicists do not yet understand the force that causes nonlocality. Scientists of the psyche certainly do not know how a psychotherapist can register non-verbal client communication from across the room through body sensation. And they certainly do not know how a change in one’s psyche causes a shift in the outer environment. Human-related action at a distance, especially as related to psychotherapy is under-researched.

Scientific method shuns theories which have no basis in fact, so daydreaming or spending time mulling over a vague impression of something not quite yet formed is also outside the realm of science or mathematical proofs or objective thought process. Physicists must work with creative abstract processes. The mire from which “real” thoughts emerge is fertile ground for exploration.

Emergence of Novelty

 Einstein asked: “What precisely, is ‘thinking’?” He wrote: “Our first impressions of a world external to ourselves...are ‘sense perceptions’ from which ‘memory-pictures’ emerge” (Schlipp, 1949, as quoted in Miller, 2001, p. 7). Scientists do not speak of intuition, per se, but talk around the phenomenon by using terms such as “aesthetic judgment.” Einstein’s sense perceptions, or aesthetic judgment, or creative ideas, or intuition, all belong to a certain class of ideas which indicate innovation, originality, or novelty.

The mechanics of this innovation was examined in a commentary of a discussion between neuroscientist John Eccles and biologist Roger Sperry:

Motives, ideas, ideals and mental intentions possess a causal control potency which, activated, initiates that burst of discharges in nerve cells required for voluntary movements from the simple to the complex. Further, such ideas and intentions, though non-material, are just as real as molecules, cells and nerve impulses. Further still, ideas reach out to other ideas in some brain and in brains far distant in space and time. Left unresolved was a question of origins: whence come these mental phenomena? Sperry sees them emerging from the activity of the living brain itself, while Eccles holds open the possibility that they derive from an ‘elsewhere,’ the exact identity of which is not clearly defined. (Eccles & Cousins, 1985, pp. 73-74).

 

Several models have been devised to try to explain how ideas and mental intentions emerge. The debate continues in science and in psychology as to whether the ideas arise out of the ooze of the unconscious, or whether they indicate emergence arising out of complexity (the biological view). How newness appears in the cosmos is still a mystery to all sciences, arts, and humanities.

 

Soft focus

Usually, however, creative ideas pop out when one’s mind is idle, unfocused, and not searching. Physicist Murray Gell-Mann discovered the phenomenon of quarks through a slip of the tongue (Gell-Mann, 1994). Theoretical physicist Richard Feynman was infamous for doodling quantum hieroglyphics on napkins at a topless bar which he frequented (Kennedy, 2001). Some of the most profound moments in science were created when the mind was in a quiet, relaxed state. Deliberate wandering, or rambling, or unfocused attention is not relished in a world which values sharp focus, clear, precise process and boundless achievement. And yet it should be in order to the expand the palette of sensibility and consciousness.             

Pastel shades of daydreams: Finely-Tuned Sense Registrations

Somewhere between processes which go completely unnoticed and processes which are worked through the intellect are some hints half-guessed, some un-common sense registrations. To categorize them with the traditional senses would be a crude generalization. To describe how a vague sense of something which is not-quite-feeling, not-quite-object, not-quite-event, or not-quite-idea is registered in consciousness is daunting, and may require a finer attunement of language and awareness than is currently available. The challenge may be very similar to describing the not-quite-matter properties of subatomic particles.

And yet these not-quite-sense-able events exist. So do subatomic particles. Physicist David Bohm, who was more concerned with intuition and imagination than with logic and empiricism,  was well aware of subtle mental, emotional, and physical experience. “Certain ideas and images began to obsess him. It is difficult to know what to call them, for they were more vivid than the pastel shades of daydreams” (Peat, 1997,

p. 11). Bohm believed that “by giving attention to his own feelings and sensations, he should be able to arrive at a deeper understanding of the universe”(Peat, 1997, p. 36).

While [Bohm] was at Penn State, he tried to understand the theory of the gyroscope, the toy that intrigues children because of its ability to remain in balance...Once as he was walking in the country, he imagined himself as a gyroscope, and through some form of muscular interiorization, he was able to understand the nature of its motion. In this way he worked out, within his own body, the behavior of gyroscopes. The formulae and the mathematics would come later as a formal way of explaining his insight...Later, when he met and talked with Einstein, he learned that Einstein too, experienced subtle, internal muscular sensations that appeared to lie much deeper than ordinary rational and discursive thought (Peat, 1997, p. 36).

 

These muscular sensations and pastel shades of daydreams and other perceptions deserve more attention, greater expression, and more validation in current society and within individual experience.

Barely Thought Thoughts

In addition to subtle sense perceptions and subtle body perceptions is the human experience of barely pulsating, subtle thought images. These phenomena present themselves when an individual is wrestling with particularly difficult abstractions; for example, as in trying to assimilate the particulars of quantum reality, or in trying to imagine the superimpositions of multiple dimensions of mathematically-induced realities. The study of advanced physics eventually requires a foray into the moat between the landscape of common reference and the nearly insane offshore site of virtual abstraction. In the process of coercing and gently persuading difficult multiple levels of abstractions to almost appear into cognition, a new relationship to thinking process comes into place.

For an individual who is working in the early stages of a thought experiment, some thoughts emerge just barely, as quickly as a particle wave (an omega baryon, for example, lasts .1 billionth of a second) (Zukav, 1979 , p. 344). The scientist is able to glimpse the essence of what one is trying to imagine, but in a soft resolution; or perhaps, in full resolution, but very peripherally. The process, as Samuel Taylor Coleridge described, (Abrams, 1968, pp. 1381-1382) is like a breeze which barely brushed by. The attempt at imaging could also be pictured as a thought which could not quite find the right circuitry and only pulsated into consciousness for a moment before receding into the depths of some place hidden. 

  “And what if all of animated nature

Be but organic Harps diversely framed,

That tremble into thought, as o’er them sweeps

Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,

At once the Soul of each, and God of All?”

 

from “The Eolian Harp”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

            Later, as the right circuitry is located or physically produced, pulsating thought becomes more tangible, and images are gradually produced which can be represented symbolically. An analogy can be made between this cognitive trembling or pulsating and the behavior of particles in quantum mechanics.

At this point, a reference might be made back to David Bohm’s description in Chapter Two of the particles which made dashes as they skipped across the photographic plate. The question became whether the particles were continuously real. This state of intermittent being is one of the quirkiest and most difficult phenomena to grasp in modern physics. The experience of a state of mind in which near-thoughts emerge might condition the researcher to almost fathom the subtleties of the particles which are not-quite-matter. At this point in the process of thought experiments, Gregory Bateson’s admonition that  “one must not get lost in the fog” becomes very helpful (Capra, 1988,

p. 55).

Perhaps a process is taking place in thought and in subatomic strata of the material world in which both almost-things exist, but just barely. Or, conversely, perhaps one’s thought processes and the behaviors of these not quite material states of existence develop one another as they pulse in and out of tangible description. This thinking operation may fully reflect the space where consciousness and physical tangibility meet. To carry the abstraction even further, this pulsating may be the mire from which both thought and matter imagine themselves into tangibility.

Real Creative Thinking

Further, the relationship and interaction between these near-objects and near-thoughts could be responsible for innovation, for newness on the planet. In other words, these two phenomena may act upon one another to create new stuff in the universe. The simultaneous and mutual interaction of a human thinking the emerging thing, and of the thing evoking thoughts in human consciousness might constitute emergence of newness, of novelty, of creation, on Earth. Astronomers tell us that the universe is expanding. This process, the addition of newness, may be how the universe grows. The act of thinking may be a causal force behind the expansion of the cosmos (Miller, 2002).

Physicists are now considering a new ordering of fundamental elements in the universe. Instead of earth, air, fire, and water, the fundamental elements of existence may be better defined as space, time, and information (Johnson, 1995, p. 25). If information is considered as one of the fundamental elements, some difficult theories in quantum physics become clear. Also, if information accepted as a fundamental element, pure research and pure thinking may receive more validation from the general population.

Inadequacy of Linear Process

Einstein and other physicists have described a process called sense perception in which a multitude of ideas and concepts are introduced as a single concept into conscious awareness. The difficulty of sorting through the ramifications and individual components of such a perception has been described by theoretical physicists as enormous, challenging, and tedious. The insufficiency of words and number symbols creates a loss of potency, clarity, and accuracy in the transcription. The reader, or receiver, is then faced with reconstruction of the extraordinarily difficult concept from these barely adequate symbols and equations. Einstein remarked that if he had studied the theory of relativity from its mathematical description, he would have never understood it (Balibar, 2001).

In an attempt to address this issue, laser physicist Russell Targ (as well a host of science fictions writers) discussed a process of direct mind-to-mind transference (Katra & Targ, 1999, p. 52). Direct transference of information would solve the problems of translation and transcription involving the inadequacies of language.

Beyond mind-to-mind transference is the phenomena of direct nature-to-mind transference. Perhaps the reason David Bohm and other mystical physicists meditated or engaged in spiritual practices was because they were trying to immerse themselves in nature so as to access a direct nature-to-mind communication. This would allow a transference of intense complexity which is impossible using linear, one thought after another process. In other words, the researcher could absorb the essence or a sense of some complete concept without having to think it through the normal process of language.

Linear, logical method works well for most problem solving. However, one-step-at-a-time process may be insufficient to relate data complexly and compactly enough especially when the universe gives birth to a new idea or tries to communicate complexity. One wishes for a method of transcription of a sense impression which would allow a complex concept to be translated in totality. A higher level of human process would permit more operations to be transmitted simultaneously.

Multiple Dimensions of Thought

Yet the question arises of how a researcher might comprehend many layers of complexity at a single moment in time. With relativity theory, Einstein worked with some unknown variables by freezing, or artificially arresting, the motion of one perspective in order to make necessary observations. Perhaps multiple layers of thinking operations can only be accessed when physical and cognitive motion is arrested. Further, if physicists can access multiple physical dimensions in concrete physical existence, perhaps a multiplicity of thinking operations exists which can be accessed using a sophisticated, but

 as yet unimagined process.

Linear thought implies forward motion. Perhaps motion must stop, at least on the physical level, so that all the dimensions of thought can be aligned allowing a complex concept to be absorbed using every sense registration and cognitive and emotional process available to the human organism at one time. One cannot align the receptors to a multiplicity of thought operations without purposefully removing physical and cognitive motion from the equation. Forward motion and linear cognitive process may be the very activities which disallow contact with ultimate answers to questions of radical complexity.

Science at present does not have a research method for working with multiple layers or dimensions. Mystics, however, claim that they do. Perhaps physicists can borrow some mystical applications, until they construct a new scientific method which is fitting to the needs of extreme complexity.

Interdisciplinary Support

Probing into the depths of nature is not unlike probing into the depths of the psyche. Both require the individual to extend imagination and relocate the boundary between familiar and unknown landscapes. These experiences require a secure emotional center and solid ego strength on the part of the researcher in order to make the voyage.

 Perhaps the purpose for the birth of the depth psychology concurrently with the birth of weird, surreal quantum physics around 1900 was not coincidental: Psychologists and physicists need research support and validation from each other as they continue to probe into some very shaky inner realms of psyche and nature.

Summary

The effects of scientific philosophy which evolved from the scientific revolution of the sixteen and seventeenth centuries shaped the personality of individuals living in the twenty first century in several profound ways. A propensity for organization and logic dominated the scientific method. Objective thinking separated the objects in nature from the researcher creating schisms in the collective and individual psyches of modern people. A host of human sensibilities and processes were omitted from the equation in modern research including processes of feeling and intuition, along with some more subtle sense registrations and abstract thinking processes. These subtle registrations within the body and mind of the human organism offer avenues for acquiring information in personal and scientific endeavors. They also offer opportunities for a fuller relationship to oneself and to nature. Wholeness within one’s personality and within the discipline of science requires a broader palette of tools and sensibilities than is currently offered by science today. The worlds of psychology and physics have potential to collide and create an explosion of knowledge which will encourage humans to access a more profound and complete understanding of inner and outer nature.

                                                                                                          

 

 



CHAPTER FOUR

CONCLUSION

             

Physics and Philosophy

The scientific revolution took place when Descartes began to doubt everything but his own existence, when Galileo began to measure everything under and around the sun, when Copernicus decided that the world did not revolve around him or his neighbors, and when Newton claimed that the pieces of the universe fit together like clockwork. This body of knowledge was so impressive that Western culture is still basking in a lifestyle which has been permeated by mechanical conveniences and intelligent ideas.

Due to the effect of science on culture and Western worldview, a very precise exacting scientific method effected a detrimental effect on the personality of individuals within the culture. An intense focus on thinking, particularly objective logical thought, left little room in the makeup of modern individuals for abstract thinking, meandering thought, feeling, intuition, mystical experience, body awareness, and a host of other types of human perception and expression.

            In the twentieth century, a revolution in thought and science took place which held potential to change the arrogance of modern man, and stood ready to expand the narrow range of human faculties. Refinements in laws of physics suggested that the five senses are not as trustworthy as was previously supposed, that forward-moving linear time is a human construct, and that matter may not be exactly the stuff from which the world is made. Relativity theory explained that the universe curls up on itself and space is not exactly three dimensional as it appears. And now physicists are suggesting that the earth may be made of little wiggly loops of string that somehow resonate in additional physical realities.

            Not surprisingly, mainstream culture has not taken a liking to modern physics. The concepts are too difficult, the rules are neither hard nor fast, and the philosophical implications are humbling. The technological benefits of the quantum-relativistic revolution are even more dazzling than the earlier array of mechanical devices, creating a certain kind of external power, but not omnipotence.

            Mankind still has some control over his environment, but no control of his destiny, or what will happen tomorrow. After four hundred years of precise, disciplined work, his delusions of dominating the physical universe have dissipated. According to the findings of quantum mechanics, life consists of some probabilities, but no guarantees.

            In the quest for ultimate power, the twentieth century was a big disappointment.

Specific Subjective Research Techniques

            In Chapter Three of this thesis, some general personality traits of individuals influenced by Newtonian-Cartesian values were described. In modern Westerners, logic is applied more readily than abstract cognitive operations. Modern individuals have a propensity to categorize which may be physiologically based, thinking operations are preferred over feeling functions, and people in general would rather pick up cues from the outer environment than from an inner universe. Also, attitudes in science reflected a male orientation and sensibility. Connections were made between the world view of science and the composition of these personality types.

            A circular causality was set in motion: the scientific method and thought affected human proclivities and attributes, and these attributes affected the method. In Chapter Three, a suggestion was made that by opening up research attitudes and techniques, science and the quality of life for individuals could be positively affected.

            Some additional operations that could be incorporated into the method but that are not commonly discussed in scientific literature include the body registration of information using heart, gut and muscular sensations, and telepathic and telekinetic process. Even more remote activities include a truly creative thinking process in which abstraction and materials co-create each other into existence. Another subtle concept which was mentioned involved the serious endeavor of coaxing a fleeting thought form or concept into emergence. The most sophisticated human sense which physicists wish to cultivate is a direct mind-to-mind or nature-to-mind transference of information.

A broader palette of research skills would broaden self-awareness and result in a more meaningful understanding of nature. As an added benefit, mankind could better understand its role in the world by using subjective methods. Individuals would be afforded the opportunity to relate more fully to the inner and outer worlds in which they live. These changes would not only affect scientists, but because of the influence of science on culture, would affect the manner in which the general population relates to nature.

Future Projects

Not everyone in civilization needs to understand nature or psyche in depth. If a minority of scholars have an comprehensive understanding of how nature works, the “the other layers of society will follow [their] lead and may even be spared a direct encounter with the fateful question of the meaning of life” (Edinger, 1984, pp. 9-10). However, some deficits in education need to be addressed so that individuals in the general population can catch up with findings of the quantum-relativistic revolution. By moving the culture forward through education, society will be allowed to develop beyond the restricted worldview of the Newtonian Cartesian era.

Film. Because of its power to disseminate information, film and television should be considered seriously as a conveyance for information related to modern physics. Jimmy Neutron and Contact were successful in their efforts to explain physics to the public. These types of movies should be fostered, and are the most economical means of educating the general population. 

 Detriments of materialism. A common complaint and deeply felt frustration in modern society is that of a materialist consumer mentality which overshadows all other aspects of life. When the philosophy of traditional science is explored fully, a realization emerges that matter is still considered as the fundamental constituent of the universe. If this ideology is held by the general population, then naturally people would want and need to have more of life’s essence, in this case, matter. By understanding the philosophy of traditional science, an individual can be freed to move beyond this ideology and into a better rounded relationship with the universe. An understanding of the foundation of materialism can help to break through the impasse regarding environmental protection.

As individuals move beyond the existential idea of matter as the ground of being and adjust a worldview in which objects and objective thinking are overvalued, energy can be released to focus on a broad spectrum of important considerations, such as self development in areas unaffected by matter. With some changes in worldview, individuals can be released of the shackles of Newtonian-Cartesian restrictions, freeing them to realize more of their physical, emotional, and psychic potential. Also a psychically mature person would be able to hold the tension of not knowing exactly what lies at the foundation of nature, and would be freed to develop faculties which focus on the here and now present centered awareness. This type of personal and institutional focus would permit psychic human evolution.

CHAPTER FOUR

CONCLUSION

             

Physics and Philosophy

The scientific revolution took place when Descartes began to doubt everything but his own existence, when Galileo began to measure everything under and around the sun, when Copernicus decided that the world did not revolve around him or his neighbors, and when Newton claimed that the pieces of the universe fit together like clockwork. This body of knowledge was so impressive that Western culture is still basking in a lifestyle which has been permeated by mechanical conveniences and intelligent ideas.

Due to the effect of science on culture and Western worldview, a very precise exacting scientific method effected a detrimental effect on the personality of individuals within the culture. An intense focus on thinking, particularly objective logical thought, left little room in the makeup of modern individuals for abstract thinking, meandering thought, feeling, intuition, mystical experience, body awareness, and a host of other types of human perception and expression.

            In the twentieth century, a revolution in thought and science took place which held potential to change the arrogance of modern man, and stood ready to expand the narrow range of human faculties. Refinements in laws of physics suggested that the five senses are not as trustworthy as was previously supposed, that forward-moving linear time is a human construct, and that matter may not be exactly the stuff from which the world is made. Relativity theory explained that the universe curls up on itself and space is not exactly three dimensional as it appears. And now physicists are suggesting that the earth may be made of little wiggly loops of string that somehow resonate in additional physical realities.

            Not surprisingly, mainstream culture has not taken a liking to modern physics. The concepts are too difficult, the rules are neither hard nor fast, and the philosophical implications are humbling. The technological benefits of the quantum-relativistic revolution are even more dazzling than the earlier array of mechanical devices, creating a certain kind of external power, but not omnipotence.

            Mankind still has some control over his environment, but no control of his destiny, or what will happen tomorrow. After four hundred years of precise, disciplined work, his delusions of dominating the physical universe have dissipated. According to the findings of quantum mechanics, life consists of some probabilities, but no guarantees.

            In the quest for ultimate power, the twentieth century was a big disappointment.

Specific Subjective Research Techniques

            In Chapter Three of this thesis, some general personality traits of individuals influenced by Newtonian-Cartesian values were described. In modern Westerners, logic is applied more readily than abstract cognitive operations. Modern individuals have a propensity to categorize which may be physiologically based, thinking operations are preferred over feeling functions, and people in general would rather pick up cues from the outer environment than from an inner universe. Also, attitudes in science reflected a male orientation and sensibility. Connections were made between the world view of science and the composition of these personality types.

            A circular causality was set in motion: the scientific method and thought affected human proclivities and attributes, and these attributes affected the method. In Chapter Three, a suggestion was made that by opening up research attitudes and techniques, science and the quality of life for individuals could be positively affected.

            Some additional operations that could be incorporated into the method but that are not commonly discussed in scientific literature include the body registration of information using heart, gut and muscular sensations, and telepathic and telekinetic process. Even more remote activities include a truly creative thinking process in which abstraction and materials co-create each other into existence. Another subtle concept which was mentioned involved the serious endeavor of coaxing a fleeting thought form or concept into emergence. The most sophisticated human sense which physicists wish to cultivate is a direct mind-to-mind or nature-to-mind transference of information.

A broader palette of research skills would broaden self-awareness and result in a more meaningful understanding of nature. As an added benefit, mankind could better understand its role in the world by using subjective methods. Individuals would be afforded the opportunity to relate more fully to the inner and outer worlds in which they live. These changes would not only affect scientists, but because of the influence of science on culture, would affect the manner in which the general population relates to nature.

Future Projects

Not everyone in civilization needs to understand nature or psyche in depth. If a minority of scholars have an comprehensive understanding of how nature works, the “the other layers of society will follow [their] lead and may even be spared a direct encounter with the fateful question of the meaning of life” (Edinger, 1984, pp. 9-10). However, some deficits in education need to be addressed so that individuals in the general population can catch up with findings of the quantum-relativistic revolution. By moving the culture forward through education, society will be allowed to develop beyond the restricted worldview of the Newtonian Cartesian era.

Film. Because of its power to disseminate information, film and television should be considered seriously as a conveyance for information related to modern physics. Jimmy Neutron and Contact were successful in their efforts to explain physics to the public. These types of movies should be fostered, and are the most economical means of educating the general population. 

 Detriments of materialism. A common complaint and deeply felt frustration in modern society is that of a materialist consumer mentality which overshadows all other aspects of life. When the philosophy of traditional science is explored fully, a realization emerges that matter is still considered as the fundamental constituent of the universe. If this ideology is held by the general population, then naturally people would want and need to have more of life’s essence, in this case, matter. By understanding the philosophy of traditional science, an individual can be freed to move beyond this ideology and into a better rounded relationship with the universe. An understanding of the foundation of materialism can help to break through the impasse regarding environmental protection.

As individuals move beyond the existential idea of matter as the ground of being and adjust a worldview in which objects and objective thinking are overvalued, energy can be released to focus on a broad spectrum of important considerations, such as self development in areas unaffected by matter. With some changes in worldview, individuals can be released of the shackles of Newtonian-Cartesian restrictions, freeing them to realize more of their physical, emotional, and psychic potential. Also a psychically mature person would be able to hold the tension of not knowing exactly what lies at the foundation of nature, and would be freed to develop faculties which focus on the here and now present centered awareness. This type of personal and institutional focus would permit psychic human evolution.

 

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

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