Where Matter Doesn’t Matter

Book Review of Consciousness and the Quantum: The Next Paradigm by Dr. by Robert Oates, Jr.

Consciousness and the Quantum: The Next Paradigm makes quantum physics understandable for general readers and also shows how it has practical value for us. Author Dr. Robert M. Oates Jr. presents this abstract, theoretical topic in a step-by-step manner that makes it comprehensible. He explains the discoveries that are revolutionizing the way we see the world, and he captures the drama and conflicts involved in overthrowing the old scientific worldview and building the new. In conclusion he presents the benefits this knowledge can have for our individual lives.

Early researchers in quantum physics couldn’t believe their own evidence that proved matter, supposedly the basis of the universe, is fundamentally insubstantial. At the quantum scale, the ground state of the universe, it dissolves into waves of a non-material abstract field, and even these waves have only potential existence.

Quanta aren’t physical particles but energy frequencies. They exhibit mass at the macro scale only because of their energy, as Einstein established with his discovery that energy is interchangeable with mass.

The position and speed of quanta are interconnected in such a way that it is impossible to know both of them. The more exactly one is determined, the more uncertain the other becomes, so their motion can’t be predicted.

More amazing yet, an objective world independent of the observer doesn’t exist. Observer and observed are linked at the quantum scale. The realm of discrete objects is transcended and everything unites into an wholeness that is inherently subjective, since nothing exists but that. What we think of as solid matter is just vibrations continually emerging from and dissolving back into a non-material unified field. As Einstein said, “everything is vibrations”. The frontier of science now lies in discovering more about this field.

Consciousness and the Quantum shows how the unified field exhibits inherent intelligence. This is seen in the “patterns in nature … such as the systematic evolution of the stars, the configuration of electrons in an atom, or the energy-producing chlorophyll cells in a plant. … This is not to say that flowers … can think or form purposes: but it is to say … that the natural world is characterized throughout by the display of intrinsic intelligence.”

This intelligence is also apparent in the molecular structure of crystals. These intricate, three-dimensional patterns give matter its apparent solidity. “‘Solid matter’ is just a way of speaking about complex patterns of intelligence.”

On the biological level, “cells display inherent intelligence. … The swirling dance of patterns within the cell displays an intricate, intrinsic intelligence in both structure and function. And it is precisely these problem-solving patterns that add structural rigidity and occupy space.”

Consciousness and the Quantum makes the case that the unified field and all its manifestations, including us, are simply consciousness interacting with itself. The book takes us beyond the false duality of matter and mind, object and subject, realism and idealism into an integrated synthesis in which:

a boundless, completely abstract realm of consciousness — extant everywhere at the most fundamental level of intergalactic creation — would give rise to both mind and matter. Objectivity and subjectivity are one, the infinite diversity and dynamism displayed in the universe consists of a single, fundamental constituent — consciousness. Consciousness is an omnipresent, unbounded field at the most basic level of nature. … Just as the worldwide ocean exists, interconnected, as one boundless medium, supporting propagating waves of its own nature, so … consciousness is one vast ‘ocean’, omnipresent throughout the universe, supporting propagating waves of its own nature. … The propagating waves are identified as the ultimate building blocks of the natural world.

The book takes this knowledge out of the realm of theory and shows us how to benefit from it in our daily life. It describes a practical method for contacting the unified field in our own consciousness. This is achieved in meditation when the mind is alert and aware but free of thoughts, the state of samadhi. There we aren’t thinking about the unified field but experiencing it as our deepest nature. When practiced on a regular basis, this enables us to bring some of the field’s qualities of intelligence and energy out into the manifest, active level to improve our lives and the world around us. “The use of systematic meditation technologies can align the individual human mind with the limitless intelligence displayed in the laws of nature. By thus living in tune with the laws of nature, we can experience an upgraded, expanded version of life.”

William T. Hathaway's novel of the climate change, Wellsprings: A Fable of Consciousness, tells of an old woman and a young man healing nature through techniques of higher consciousness. Chapters are posted here. His peace novel, Summer Snow, is the story of an American warrior falling in love with a Sufi Muslim and learning from her that higher consciousness is more effective than violence. Chapters are posted here. Read other articles by William.