Quantum Spirituality

By Amit Goswami, PhD and Valentina Onisor, MD 

In quantum physics, objects are possibilities residing in a domain of potentiality outside of space and time.  In this domain, no signals are required for communication when two objects are in a state of correlation or entanglement; communication is instantaneous.Such instant communication is forbidden in space and time, where communication must take place through an exchange of signals, and that has a speed limit.  Communication takes a little time for signals to go through the distance that separates the objects.  In contrast, the domain of non-locality — signal-less communication — is a domain of potential unity.  Closer examination reveals that this domain of potential unity is consciousness and its potentialities.  And the domain of space and time is what consciousness experiences by becoming immanent and separating itself into a self (subject) and the other (objects) in the process of converting potentiality into manifestation. 

 This is how quantum physics integrates science and spirituality.  Spiritual traditions have been saying for the past five thousand years that there is a domain of reality transcending space and time, a domain where all is one.  What we experience as immanent is secondary to that.

 If consciousness is the nonlocal ground of being, all of our experiences — not only physical sensing, but also nonphysical thinking, feeling, and intuition — must come from it.  This extension leads us to what we call quantum science.  Thinking brings meaning back in science, intuitions bring back purpose such as love, and feelings bring back passion in our exploration of meaning and purpose.  In this way, the extension of the ideas of quantum physics to quantum science further opens the scope of the integration of science and spirituality.   In fact, it gives us a new conceptual lens to sort out all of our experiences — sensing, feeling, thinking, intuition, and spiritual.

 People come to our workshops because there is a real hunger in individuals today for meaning and purpose in their lives.  This is partly a consequence of the prevalent worldview of scientific materialism — the idea that everything is matter and the play of material interactions.  In that view, the concept of information (other people’s meaning) dominates ordinary people’s psyches. And according to these elitists who dictate people’s experiences of meaning (or lack of it), the world is seen as mechanical and cause-driven with no purpose.

 This would not be so bad because there is the other worldview, religion.  Religions ought to be providing their followers (fifty percent of the world’s people) with some sense of meaning and purpose.   Wherefrom religion?  The spiritual wisdom traditions did not sit well with ordinary people who could not comprehend its subtleties; religions are popularized versions of the spiritual traditions.  Unfortunately, especially in the West, religion gives a confusing message.  It does not reject purpose entirely; but it propounds that the ultimate purpose of human life is to strive for living in perfection — in the company of an entity separate from us called “God.”  God is transcendent — outside of space and time; that’s the part Western religions emphasize.  We cannot go to God’s abode (heaven) unless we embody virtues, so there is purpose.  But the fruit of our actions arrive only when we die.  In this way, religions tend to be world-negating, even life-negating; not appropriate for people of a time when after hundreds of years of science and technology, we have finally learned to cope with the environment to a large extent.

 By reaffirming that God is available and immanent also in the world and in us, and also giving us the means of exploring our God-ness, the quantum worldview points to a middle path between world-affirming but God-negating materialist science and God-affirming but world-negating religion.  There is happiness in the world and life after all!  Not only from material pleasures but also from the immanent spirit.

 And, therefore, we declare: The meaning and purpose of human life for most people is served best if they adopt this middle path consisting of integrating science and spirituality in their lives, exploring meaning and purpose, achieving integration, inclusivity, and wholeness, and living and serving in the world in a flow balanced and harmonized between the world and an immanent God, the spirit.

 There is neither religion nor science that is superior to the Truth. Modern materialist science and feudalistic religions have their horns locked because they both are claiming to approach the Truth and that their way is the right one. This apparent contradiction is possible to solve only if we are going to realize the fact that both the scientist and the mystic have to orient their aspiration toward the same God (for materialist science, there is no God, but there are the material laws of science that govern matter) and to seek to know God or Absolute Truth together, in a spirit of fraternity. When the scientist and the mystic work together, they have all the tools that are needed for the delicate task that they both are assuming. The scientist has the proper “equipment” and the mystic has the desire to go explore the “map of the place.” Until they understand that only together they have a chance, their work is the work of the two impaired people trying to find their way out of a labyrinth, one having good legs but being blind and the other one having good eyes but no legs. No matter which method we use or what the philosophical explanation is of what are we doing, the reality of our experience is the same.

 In summary, scientists should take mystical experiences as data to be seriously considered for validation. Then the collaboration between the scientist and the mystic will lead to the rebirth of the ancient spiritual science, from the times when that one with a scientific spirit was devoted to the Supreme Goal and that other one with a mystic heart was thoroughly studying how to reach there.

 Are we hereby proposing a new religion?  Categorically, no. We are proposing a new way of living.  It is not a coincidence that the idea of this new form of spiritual living integrated with science came while we were teaching a quantum activism workshop in Brazil on Life Management aptly entitled: How to manage your life using the quantum principles and worldview. 

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