Victor MacGill Chaos and Complexity
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When the Dragon Stirs

Healing our Wounded Lives through Fairy Stories, Myths and Legends

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My next book...
Gonna Lay Down my Sword
and Shield

A Complexity Perspective on Human Evolution from our Violent Past to a Compassionate Future

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My first book..

When the Dragon Stirs

Healing our Wounded Lives through Fairy Stories, myths and Legends

When the Dragon Stirs Book Cover

The Dragon

Line


My next book...
Gonna Lay Down my Sword
and Shield

A Complexity Perspective on Human Evolution from our Violent Past to a Compassionate Future

Mandelbrot Set

Articles by Victor

Mandelbrot Set   Fairy Stories
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Mandelbrot Set  Complexity
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Mandelbrot Set  Spirituality

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Short previews
of all talks

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Other pages on my site.....

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The Evolve Holistic Development Trust

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My next book...

Gonna Lay Down my Sword
and Shield

A Complexity Perspective on Human Evolution from our Violent Past to a Compassionate Future

Mandelbrot Set


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My first book..

When the Dragon Stirs

Healing our Wounded Lives through Fairy Stories, myths and Legends

When the Dragon Stirs Book Cover

The Dragon
LineMandelbrot Set

Ervin Laszlo

Adventures in Quantum Coherence

I have only recently come to know of the writings of Ervin Laszlo, but he is one of those writers who really make you sit up and listen. He was born in Hungary in 1932 and is a philosopher of science, a founder of Systems Theory and General Evolution Theory, an Integral Theorist and a classical pianist. He has worked at many prestigious universities around the world such as Yale and Princeton. Ervin Laszlo has written 69 books and he founded the Club of Budapest to encourage research on the links between science and spirituality.

He brings together three main realms of science and shows that they are linked together in ways that makes sense of our strange, chaotic world and explain many of the phenomena that we talk about here in this church.

 The first realm of science is the world within an atom. The rules that govern what happens at the sub-atomic level are very different from the rules that govern the world as we know it. For a start, inside an atom things can happen backwards in time as easily as they can forwards. In the sub-atomic world any two particles that have ever been linked remain linked forever. If one of those particles changes, the other will automatically change in response even if it is a million kilometres or a million years away. This is called entanglement, because, because both particles are woven together to be like partners for all eternity. Albert Einstein described this as “spooky action at a distance”. As soon as we view a sub-atomic particle, we become entangled with it. It then changes us and we change the particle. Once entangled, we share our past, present and future.

You know the saying on Star Trek, “Beam me up Scotty.” Danish scientists have recently used the entanglement of billions beryllium atoms to literally transport them about one metre just as they do in Star Trek. It is already happening right now.

This linking through entanglement creates what is called coherence, or the tendency of things to be linked together as act as a co-ordinated unit. Coherence is what holds an atom together so it doesn’t just fly apart. Coherence could therefore be described as the glue holding he universe together. It is very dynamic; a bit like a jazz band making the music as it goes. It is not just playing to a preset pattern. Each instrument is playing its own tune, but in a co-operative, dynamic way that fits in with the other instruments and creates something new, living and magical that could not have been predicted before it was played.

Quantum scientists also talk about the quantum vacuum. The quantum vacuum is the background from which everything in our world comes. Our whole universe is formed by the matter which emerges magically out of the quantum vacuum and returns back to it. Atoms are appearing and disappearing from the quantum vacuum all the time like dolphins that usually stay under the sea, but now and then leap out of the ocean for a while before returning to the ocean.

An image I find useful to understand the quantum vacuum and how it links to our world is that of a cloth thrown out onto a tabletop. The cloth is the quantum vacuum. The cloth takes a shape with crumples forming a pattern of hills and valleys and the light forming shadows over the cloth. That pattern and the shadows are what we see as the real world, but reality is, in fact, the cloth that creates the patterns.

Because the quantum vacuum is everywhere, it actually makes it almost impossible to see it.Suppose everything in the whole world was red, how would you explain what red is to someone who had never seen it before? Think about it. You could not do it. That is why we see the folds and shapes but not the cloth. It is like the wind. We never actually see the wind. We see what the wind does. We see the flag flapping, the leaves flying about and trees bending, but that isn’t the wind. That is only the effects caused by the wind. The quantum vacuum is a field that exists in all places and in all times and includes everything that ever was, is or will be. The quantum vacuum links everything to everything else.

Something else that that is odd about the sub-atomic world is that what an electron or similar sub-atomic particle is, actually depends on how we observe it. If we try to measure it one way it acts like a wave of energy, but if we choose to measure it as an object, it appears as matter with mass. Strangely, until we look at a particle, and therefore become entangled in it, the particle is neither a wave nor a particle. It is in limbo until we observe it. It is only then that it becomes one or the other.

Quantum scientists also say that every part in our world is made of three parts: matter, energy and information. The energy is kept in a wave. All matter emits a waveform – like our physical body and our aura – it is a bit like a ship travelling through the ocean. As it travels it sends out waves that roll on and on, that interact with other waves, leaving a record of where it has been and what it has done. Every point in our universe contains information of its history.

So let’s just recap on what quantum scientists are saying about our world: There is an underlying field of energy that exists in all times and all places and holds the entire history of the universe within it. All matter emerges out of this field and return back into it. Different parts of the universe can become entangled so they are forever linked and can co-operate to create new forms. A particle always knows and responds to what is happening to any other particle it has ever been linked with.

All of this sounds like it tips everything we know upside down. In a way it is like the way we look at the sun rising in the morning. People thought that was what really happened; that the sun moved in the sky. We know that it is the earth that moves. What actually happens hasn’t changed, only the way we understand it. It turns out that the universe works very differently to how we have seen it in the past.

That is the first realm. The second realm is the super large realm of stars and galaxies. The same entanglement, the linking between parts of the universe so they co-operate and act as a single unit, also happens at this level just like it does at the sub-atomic realm. Whole galaxies appear and disappear back into black holes. According to Ervin Laszlo, it is the same coherence that holds an atom together that holds the stars and galaxies together. The universe is just as strange at this intergalactic level as it is at the sub-atomic level. Albert Einstein tells us that at speeds approaching the speed of light length shrinks and time goes slower.

The “Big Bang” formed our universe out of matter and antimatter that all came from the quantum vacuum. At that time there was one billionth more matter than anti-matter and that billionth more matter is what has created our world. The universe could also only have formed if there was that very, very slight imbalance did not exist. There are other numbers in the universe we can measure that had to be absolutely exactly what they are. If any of the values of Universal constants of gravity and electromagnetism, and the size of electron, and several other amounts were just the tiniest fraction different from what they are, there would have been no universe.

There is also a very low level of radiation as waves we can measure left over from the time of the “Big Bang” that is spread out all through the entire universe. That radiation also holds the history of the universe from the time of the “Big Bang”.

The third realm is the realm of life that include our human realm. In term of our physical size, we are exactly half way between the atom and the galaxy. Life is as peculiar as any other part of the universe. Most things in our world will slowly degrade over time: food will rot, buildings will crumble, mountains will erode and objects will roll to the lowest point. Anything alive can maintain itself in spite of the tendency for everything to wind down by tapping into an ongoing energy source like food and water.

Again Ervin Laszlo says that the coherence of the atom and the galaxies is the same coherence that keep living cells together and co-operating to form life. When a complex system made up of many interacting parts operates what sometimes happens is that there is an unexpected jump to a new level of complex organisation. Our human body is made up of many such levels, each formed by another jump in complexity. Our lowest level of the cell jumps up a level to body tissue, to body organ, to body system and to the whole body. We are therefore formed with many onion skin like levels that all co-operate in complex ways to make one whole human being. It is all really amazing how it all fits together.

Also in the human realm is consciousness, So far as we know, we are the only creatures able to contemplate who we are, why we are here and how we fit into the universe. We can also contemplate on the fact that we can contemplate about who we are and how we fit into the universe.

Coherence also allows evolution to happen and that has enabled us to evolve from a microscopic bacterium right through to the complex beings that we are with all our mental physical, emotional and spiritual capabilities.

We therefore live in a universe with three different realms, each being incredibly peculiar in its own right and yet all linked together. Everything I have talked about so far is a part of the accepted mainstream of science. Mainstream science says that consciousness somehow appears from the electrical and chemical activity within the nerve cells of the brain; that stones and trees and most animals are not conscious. While all the great scientists of the past greatly increased our knowledge, they have tended to cut us off from our spiritual nature. Sir Isaac Newton’s Laws of Gravity left us living in an insignificant corner of a lifeless universe. Charles Darwin’s evolution linked us only to our animal roots cutting us off from our spiritual nature and Sigmund Freud’s psychology describes us as ruled by our animal and sexual urges. It is not that they were wrong; indeed they have revolutionised our understanding of life and the world we live within, but they only gave one side of the story.

Ervin Laszlo presents a theory that helps tie the whole picture together. He proposes that the quantum vacuum that we know contains the all the information of our history from the “Big Bang” to today is also consciousness. Everything in the universe therefore has consciousness; from a pebble to a tree to a cloud to a person. While this goes against the view of mainstream science, there are some highly respected scientists such as Freeman Dyson, David Bohm and Fritjof Capra, who support the idea that the universe is in fact conscious. Ervin Laszlo says that life happens because it comes from the quantum vacuum.

So, what is consciousness? Consciousness is about being aware; about being of our own existence and the environment in which we live. So if one sub-atomic particle reacts in line with another particle somewhere else in the universe, we could say it is aware of what the other one is doing. In a way it is aware of itself in the universe. So, the question is, “Is that enough to say all particles in the universe are conscious?”

We are conscious of our own existence and have evolved a brain able to access and use the consciousness held in quantum vacuum. Consciousness is yet another manifestation of coherence allowing a mass of nerve cells to co-operate and form a unified sense of self.

Ervin Laszlo equates this quantum vacuum with the Akashic field of ancient Hindu spiritual tradition. The Hindu say the Akashic record is a field from which all the universe is formed and which holds all knowledge that ever was, is or will be. The Hindu also say that the Big Bang which started the universe, and the big crunch that will happen when the universe goes into reverse and collapses back into itself, is only a part of many cycles of universes, just like ours, appearing and disappearing, just like the sub-atomic particles in our world. Ervin Laszlo says information can be transferred from one cycle to the next which explains how the precise numbers for gravity, electromagnetism etc. come to be so exact when there has not been enough time for these to have formed randomly. Those numbers are transferred from previous universes.

The Akashic Field, being the background to the sub-atomic world also flows through the other realms of stars and galaxies and human life and is an activating force in all those realms. It is the force moving the stars and galaxies and the spark that gives life to bunches of molecules, that drives the power of evolution and gives us the ability to develop our consciousness and experience the unity of the universe.

Other qualities of the Akashic Field explain many phenomena we talk about in this church. If any two parts of the field that have ever been linked are forever linked then there is no reason why we cannot know about events we have neither witnessed nor have prior knowledge of directly.

Ervin Laszlo’s theory says we are therefore linked to all people who have ever lived and we can access them by accessing the Akashic field. This can explain life after death, because the past has never gone away and tells us that the past is ever present in everything we do. Ervin Laszlo suggests that reincarnation may not be a series of lives one after another as usually presented, as much as it is linking to other particular lives through the Akashic field to which we resonate for whatever reason. It explains the strange coincidences that crop up in our lives; the things we just know without evidence, the dreams that tell us things, and when things happen that are just too unlikely to be random.

It clearly points to a universe where all is one and everything is linked and if we tune ourselves into the Akashic field we can access abilities that appear to be supernatural, but are in fact totally natural. Activities like meditation can help us plug into the Akashi field and become much more than we are at present. Science and spirituality do not need to be set against each other as we have tended to think for so long.

Ervin Laszlo links the world of science with spiritual traditions in a way I have not seen so clearly and logically presented before. He incorporates all the latest research in so many fields of scientific research and ties it all together into a wonderful cohesive theory that makes sense of so many strange and contradictory parts of the universe and explains what is usually called the “supernatural” in natural terms, giving strong evidence for the truth of such things as clairvoyance, reincarnation, spiritual healing and life after death.
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