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David Bohm

Will Keepin of the Satyana Institute of Boulder <http://www.satyana.org/> has written extensively on Bohm.  Keepin’s interpretation of David Bohm’s insights into the nature of scientific Illusions -- an aspect of Creating Reality -- is a valuable contribution to our efforts.  Several quotes are provided here, with the intent to note their connection to other contributing webpages of the extended ialexandriah website.  To fully appreciate David Bohm, however, Keepin’s website is recommended in full -- with further reading from there.  


A fundamental characteristic of the Kali Yuga is language, a device which tends more to imprison us than to set us free.  Language both manipulates and attempts to excuse; and ultimately leads to such things as Scapegoatology and Woundology.  According to Will Keepin, Bohm realized even more:

“In his penchant for precision, Bohm analyzed ways that our language deceives us about the true nature of reality.  We generally consider ordinary language to be a neutral medium for communication that does not restrict our world view in any way.  Yet Bohm showed that language imposes strong, subtle pressures to see the world as fragmented and static.  He emphasized that thought tends to create fixed structures in the mind, which can make dynamic entities seem to be static.  To illustrate with an example, we know upon reflection that all manifest objects are in a state of constant flux and change.  So there is really no such thing as a thing; all objects are dynamic processes rather than static forms.  To put it crudely, one could say that nouns do not really exist, only verbs exist.  A noun is just a "slow" verb; that is, it refers to a process that is progressing so slowly so as to appear static.  For example, the paper on which this text is printed appears to have a stable existence, but we know that it is, at all times including this very moment, changing and evolving towards dust. Hence paper would more accurately be called papering--to emphasize that it is always and inevitably a dynamic process undergoing perpetual change. Bohm experimented with restructuring language in this dynamic mode, which he called the rheomode, in an effort to more accurately reflect in language the true dynamic nature of reality.”  [emphasis added]  


The Fifth Element describes in some detail the connectedness of physical reality, one that in accord with Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle demonstrates a world in perpetual flux -- quantum particles blinking in and out of existence.  From Keepin’s viewpoint:  

“David Bohm’s most significant contribution to science is his interpretation of the nature of physical reality, which is rooted in his theoretical investigations, especially quantum theory and relativity theory.  Bohm postulates that the ultimate nature of physical reality is not a collection of separate objects (as it appears to us), but rather it is an undivided whole that is in perpetual dynamic flux. For Bohm, the insights of quantum mechanics and relativity theory point to a universe that is undivided and in which all parts ‘merge and unite in one totality.’  This undivided whole is not static but rather in a constant state of flow and change, a kind of invisible ether from which all things arise and into which all things eventually dissolve.  Indeed, even Mind-Matter is united: ‘In this flow, mind and matter are not separate substances.  Rather they are different aspects of one whole and unbroken movement’.  Similarly, living and nonliving entities are not separate.  As Bohm puts it, ‘The ability of form to be active is the most characteristic feature of mind, and we have something that is mind-like already with the electron.’  Thus, matter does not exist independently from so-called empty space; matter and space are each part of the wholeness.”  [emphasis added]


The Laws of Thermodynamics, and more specifically, Chaos Theory are also included in Bohm’s analysis.  There is even the sense of Illusions in that what appears chaotic or random is, in fact, not -- but merely hidden and dependent upon context.  Virtually everything we might undertake to discuss may be impacted -- from what might be construed as random acts of kindness or coincidental accidents to mindless criminal acts, but which in reality are based on the simplest of algorithms!

 “Bohm proposes that the holomovement consists of two fundamental aspects: the explicate order and the implicate order.   He illustrates the concept of the implicate order by analogy to a remarkable physical phenomenon.  Consider a cylindrical jar with a smaller concentric cylinder (of the same height) inside it that has a crank attached, so that the inner cylinder can be rotated while the outer cylinder remains stationary.  Now fill the annular volume between the two cylinders with a highly viscous fluid, such as glycerin, so that there is negligible diffusion.  If a droplet of ink is placed in the fluid, and the inner cylinder is turned slowly, the ink drop will be stretched out into a fine, thread-like form that becomes increasingly thinner and fainter until it finally disappears altogether.  At this point it is tempting to conclude that the ink drop has been thoroughly mixed into the glycerin, so that its order has been rendered chaotic and random.  However, if the inner cylinder is now rotated slowly in the opposite direction, the thin ink form will reappear, retrace its steps, and eventually reconstruct itself into its original form of the drop again.  Such devices have been constructed, and the effect is quite dramatic.

 “The lesson in this analogy is that a hidden order may be present in what appears to be simply chance or randomness.  When the ink form disappears, its order is not destroyed but rather is enfolded in the glycerin.  To develop this analogy further, imagine that a whole series of droplets is enfolded, as follows.  The first drop is enfolded with nturns. Next, a second drop is placed in the glycerin, and it is enfolded after another nturns (the first drop is now enfolded 2n turns).  Then a third drop is placed in the glycerin, which is enfolded after nturns (the first drop is now enfolded 3n turns, and the second drop 2n turns).  Continuing in this way, a whole series of droplets is enfolded in the glycerin.  When the direction of rotation is reversed, the drops unfold one at a time, and if this is done quickly enough, the effect is that of a stationary ink drop or ‘particle’ subsisting for a time in the moving fluid.  One can also imagine that each successive drop is placed at an adjacent position in the glycerin, so that when the inner cylinder is reversed, the appearance is that of a particle moving along a continuous path.  In either case, the sequence of enfolded ink droplets in the glycerin constitutes the implicate order, and the visible droplet that is unfolded at any given moment is the explicate order.

 “The foregoing example hints at a much deeper insight that Bohm developed in a very general context: randomness is not an intrinsic property of the order of a system, but rather randomness depends on context.  This is a subtle but very important point, which is likely to have powerful consequences in science for decades to come.  An example will illustrate the idea.  Consider a ‘random number generator,’ which is a type of computer program that generates a sequence of digits that appears to be random.  If such a program is left running day and night, it will generate a sequence that has an order of extremely high degree (or practically ‘infinite’).  Such computer programs work in different ways, but they all share an important characteristic: the process used to generate the sequence is a simple deterministic process.  If the program is run again with the same starting number, it will produce exactly the same sequence.  Hence, the program that generates this sequence has an order of very low degree.  Now comes the essential point.  In the context of the computer program, the succession of numbers is determined by a simple order of low degree and, therefore, the order in the resulting numbers is also of the same low degree -- which is far from random.  However, in a narrower context that includes only the numbers themselves but not the computer program -- that is, not the ‘meta’ level -- the numbers cannot be distinguished from a purely random sequence, and so the order of the numbers is essentially random. From this, it follows that randomness depends on context.”  [emphasis added]


 Zero-Point Energy, The Fifth Element, vacuum polarization, and much of state-of-the-art science describes in some detail the inherent fullness of empty space.

 “Bohm’s understanding of physical reality turns the commonplace notion of ‘empty space’ completely on its head.  For Bohm, space is not some giant vacuum through which matter moves; space is every bit as real as the matter that moves through it.  Space and matter are intimately interconnected.  Indeed, calculations of the quantity known as the Zero-Point Energy suggest that a single cubic centimeter of empty space contains more energy than all of the matter in the known universe!  From this result, Bohm concludes that ‘space, which has so much energy, is full rather than empty.’  For Bohm, this enormous energy inherent in ‘empty’ space can be viewed as theoretical evidence for the existence of a vast, yet hidden realm such as the implicate order.  [emphasis added]

 “In 1931, John von Neumann published The Foundations of Quantum Theory, which remains to this day the mathematical bible on that topic.  In this book, von Neumann offered a mathematical proof that an ordinary classical reality could not underlie quantum theory.  For over twenty years, ‘von Neumann's proof’ stood as a mathematical corroboration of the Copenhagen interpretation.  However, in 1952, David Bohm did the impossible and uprooted this ‘proof’ by constructing a model of the electron with classical attributes whose behavior matched the predictions of the quantum theory.  In this model, the electron is viewed as an ordinary particle, with one key difference: the electron has access to information about its environment.  To derive this model, Bohm began with the Schroedinger equation, which is the central mathematical formula of quantum physics.  Using elegant mathematics, Bohm effectively partitioned this equation into two parts, or terms: a classical term that essentially reproduces Newtonian physics, and a nonclassical term that he calls the quantum potential.  The classical term treats the electron as an ordinary particle, as in classical physics.  The nonclassical quantum potential is a wave-like term that provides information to the electron, linking it to the rest of the universe.  The quantum potential is responsible for the well-known wave-particle duality and all the other bizarre phenomena for which quantum theory has become famous.  Indeed, the nonlocal character of quantum reality--as implied by Bell’s Theorem [See Einstein-Poldalsky-Rosen experiment] and empirically observed in the renowned experiments of Alain Aspect [see Illusions]-- may be viewed as plausible evidence for the actual existence of an entity symbolized by the quantum potential.”  [emphasis added]


 Will Keepin’s <http://www.satyana.org> adds:

 “Thomas Kuhn has eloquently shown that scientists’ preference for one paradigm over another is determined by a host of nonscientific, nonempirical factors.  As noted earlier, Bohm also points out that there is no scientific evidence that argues for the dominant fragmented scientific world view over Bohm’s hypothesis of undivided wholeness. However, while scientific evidence offers no help in this regard, other forms of evidence may, indeed, shed some light on the matter.  Mystical and spiritual teachings down through the ages have spoken about the fundamental interconnectedness of all things and that the microcosm somehow contains the macrocosm.”  [emphasis added]


In The Fifth Element, a fifth term is added to the second-order differential equations of classical mechanics and electromagnetic circuit theory, thus making them third-order differential equations.  Arthur Young had already considered the third-order differential term -- the rate of change of acceleration of a mechanical object; or the acceleration of current in a circuit -- as the “control” term, and likened it to Consciousness.  This link between consciousness and the new physics of Zero-Point Energy, and thereafter allow Creating Reality to be a common place exercise in a manner virtually never thought of or contemplated in many of your wildest dreams.  On the other hand, now that we mention it...  Do think about it!  Do some wild dreaming!

“When Bohm’s 1980 Wholeness and the Implicate Order was published, the ‘holographic model’ [Holograms!] quickly became a lively topic of discussion and debate among new paradigm thinkers.  One of the most enduring issues was the implications of Bohm's theories for the relationship between matter and consciousness [i.e. Mind-Matter].  Do mind and body correspond to the implicate and explicate orders?  Can consciousness tap directly into the implicate order?  [emphasis added]

 “Bohm’s own reflection on these questions seems to have evolved over Time.  Early on, in response to Wigner and others who proposed that consciousness should be included in quantum theory, Bohm said that his aim was to describe the quantum potential without bringing in the conscious observer in any fundamental role.  Later, Bohm came to believe that material and informational processes are inextricably intertwined together in all things, and he used the term soma-significance to refer to this intrinsic interpenetration.  As he explains [in several treatises], ‘Consciousness is much more of the implicate order than is matter...’ Yet at a deeper level [matter and consciousness] are actually inseparable and interwoven, just as in the computer game the player and the screen are united by participation in common loops.  In this view, mind and matter are two aspects of one whole and no more separable than are form and content.  ‘Deep down the consciousness of mankind is one.  This is a virtual certainty because even in the vacuum matter is one; and if we don't see this, it’s because we are blinding ourselves to it.’”  [emphasis added]


 The current shortcomings of science wherein Assumptions are conveniently left out of the so-called, currently fashionable The Laws of Physics is a significant factor is modern physics.  But there is far more to the problem.  Mainstream science has often ignored experimental or observational data, whenever such data contradicts established theory or when theory simply does not consider the subject in the first place.  Experimental data without a theory is often simply swept under the laboratory rug.   

This was the case of the Einstein-Poldalsky-Rosen thought experiment, Bell’s Theorem, and the subsequent experimental results that showed:  1) Einstein was wrong, 2) Quantum Mechanics was apparently still valid, and 3) that somehow the contradiction between Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity was somehow unresolvable.  Other examples continue to exist in science, but eventually, hopefully, mainstream science will return to basing its attempt to understand reality by being open-minded, with or without a viable theory to quickly explain everything with hopefully a minimum of mathematics.

 “David Bohm has shown that physics is rigorously consistent with a radical reinterpretation of reality that goes quite beyond the revolutionary new physics of the early twentieth century.  Contemporary scientists may ignore Bohm’s work (as many have done), but they cannot escape its implications.  Bohm approached science as a quest for truth, and, in this spirit, he unpacked and revealed the epistemological foundations of science (in his study of order), and he utilized these insights to conceive a profound ontological hypothesis (the holomovement and implicate orders).  This hypothesis is rigorously grounded in the experimental evidence of physics, and as such it is not just a new way of thinking about physics, it is a new physics; that is, it is an entirely new way of understanding the fundamental nature of the physical universe, as glimpsed through the data and laws of physics.

 “Within physics, Bohm has demonstrated that one way to interpret the Schroedinger Equation in quantum field theory is to introduce a wave-like information field called the superquantum potential, whose action transcends all of space in a timeless unity.  This is not to say that Bohm has discovered God in the Schroedinger equation; it is to say that he has found theoretical precedent within physics for a subtle realm that lies beyond physics, as usually conceived.  This does not prove anything, but it does show that physics can be rigorously consistent with the existence of higher realms of truth, order, existence, and eternity.

 “The great strength of science is that it is rooted in actual experience; the great weakness of contemporary science is that it admits only certain types of experience as legitimate.  Bohm responded to this by carrying his quest for knowledge not only deeply into science, but also far beyond science.  He did not restrict himself to laboratory data or accepted theoretical methods -- though he was master at both.  His passion for truth carried him wherever it might possibly find nourishment, and his theories consequently reflect tremendous breadth and depth in accounting for a wide range truths that stem from a diverse spectrum of epistemologies.  If the greatness of scientific work can be measured by its depth and general applicability in a multiplicity of fields, then David Bohm is clearly one of greatest physicists of this century.”  [emphasis added]


Holograms         Consciousness         Creating Reality

Forward to:

Illusions         The Brilliant Mind         Affirmation       Multiple Universes


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