In 2004, the Barnes and Noble Booksellers in Fayetteville invited me to lead a series of workshop discussions on the latest discoveries in quantum physics. About 50 people showed up on Thursday nights for a month to engage in rousing exchanges on some of the latest books that examined what researchers found when they viewed solid matter (the cells that create our physical world) at its tiniest measurable levels.
Although the term quantum physics may sound intimidating, it boils down to defining just how small is small, and what we find when we're looking and when we aren't.
And it turns out, when scientists observed, what exists at that subatomic level was not solid at all but, bizarrely enough, waves of energy frequencies. But only when they weren't looking. That Alice in Wonderland discovery was enough to captivate my imagination and want to share that fascination in a series of columns 16 years ago.
That being the case, what role does a creator play in forming what appears so solid and "real" in our lives, yet in reality best resembles mind stuff? What is consciousness? From where does it arise and why?
I thought some valued readers might enjoy knowing about several compelling books that have captured my attention over the years with relevant messages about the convergence of science and spirituality at humankind's tiniest measurable levels.
After all, wasn't it Socrates at his trial who cautioned us that the unexamined life isn't worth living?
The book Show Me God: What the Message From Space Is Telling Us About God by Fred Hereen reveals controversial aspects of the universe which, the author contends, raise questions science can't answer. It provides a rare opportunity to learn about some discoveries from those who did the discovering and how their findings affect life's biggest question.
The interviews include Nobel Prize winners Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, who describe how their discoveries converted them into believing the universe was created.
John Mather, the Cosmic Background Explorer Satellite chief scientist, told the interviewer that science is still at loss to explain how the universe could stem from nothing in any natural way.
Basically, Show Me God demonstrates how science and faith are compatible and can even be supportive.
One question Hereen raises exemplifies the nature and content of his work: "The mind/body problem is simply this: If the mind is no more than well-organized matter, which is wholly subject to physical laws and has no purpose or direction, then how can it give obvious direction in its environment? Where did our purpose and 'will' come from? But when we leave the physical we also leave the domain of science. So it's no wonder most scientists don't spend much time with this possibility," he said.
One reviewer correctly assessed: "This is a unique and powerful book that will make it extremely difficult for the reader, especially the skeptic, to be neutral about God."
The book The G.O.D. Experiments explores through scientific methodologies the reality of a Supreme Creator for all we know as real. It is written by Gary Schwartz, Ph.D., with William Simon.
In this provocative book published in 2006, Schwartz and Simon detail compelling evidence that faith alone is no longer the only path toward accepting the existence of God. The Harvard-educated Schwartz, who directs Arizona University's Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health, uses a mix of quantum physics, psychology and mathematics to examine the science of the human spirit.
Since his work concluded that science and faith are no longer mutually exclusive, he's also able to provide a deeper understanding of their relationship including everything we humans do. The book's remarkable findings are considered a wake-up call for those who ponder the true significance of life while longing to believe in the existence of a universal intelligence.
He writes that "G.O.D." stands for guiding, organizing and designing. After laying out a convincing case, the book concludes with Schwartz honoring "an intelligent G.O.D. universe that appears to be teeming with invisible guidance, organization and design. Every now and again we are privileged to be clobbered by coincidence and witness an apparent G.O.D. process in our personal lives. The patterns are here ... The question is, can we listen? Will we accept? Can we understand? ... To see or not to see, that is the question."
In his 1997 work, In Search of Divine Reality, University of Arkansas quantum chemist and professor Lothar Schäfer described his search down the rabbit hole into a mysterious quantum land in a search for what he calls "transcendental reality."
Among other findings, Schäfer confirms that, at the very foundation of what we call reality, the true nature of all the material world of atomic particles we experience through sight and senses reveals itself (when reduced to the most fundamental quantum level) as nothing more than vibrational waves of energy when not being observed. In my words, conscious frequencies.
He further explains that the so-called "local order" of the things of life as we know them is actually affected by non-local, faster-than-light phenomenon.
All this science-speak for me amounts to one conclusion about this strange world: In the mysterious world of quantum phenomena, mind-like properties play a key role in our conscious existence.
Schäfer admits his points stand in stark contrast to common sense, which dictates that the world we know is reduced solely to classical mechanics that always obey Newton's laws. Yet that leaves no room for spiritual and mental involvements because they violate the purely physical view.
The metaphysical quality of our minds certainly doesn't fit into Newton's strictly material universe and, in fact, stands in conflict with observable solid matter. Yet, God, if God exists, he writes, must be solely from a mind.
"If the background of the universe is mind-like, it can be assumed that reality has a spiritual as well as a physical order, and it is in human minds ... that this order rises to the level of morality." Schäfer writes that the human mind likely isn't self-contained and perhaps open to a transcendent order while being responsive to a superior mind.
To my understanding, this boils down to is that what we observe, condensed to its most fundamental measurable level, isn't actually solid at all because when we are not observing, the seemingly solid is wave energy vibrating at various frequencies.
A mysterious and complex world indeed.
Along the same lines, I also suggest Frank J. Tipler's The Physics of Immortality, Michael Talbot's The Holographic Universe, Lawrence Fagg's Electromagnetism and the Sacred: At the Frontier of Spirit and Matter, and Valerie V. Hunt's remarkable findings in her Infinite Mind: Science of the Human Vibrations of Consciousness.
Now go out into the world and treat everyone you meet exactly like you want them to treat you.
Mike Masterson is a longtime Arkansas journalist, was editor of three Arkansas dailies and headed the master's journalism program at Ohio State University. Email him at email@example.com.
Web only on 01/04/2020
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