For centuries, art in the western world was stuck in literal representation. The standard form, painting what the eye sees, was endlessly refined. The avant-garde revolution broke the mould. First impressionism and then abstract art ushered in an experimental new age. New modes of expression emerged, with a new type of social impact. Now in the modern world there is an unexpected parallel in the science of physics.
The modern scientific worldview has always been committed to a type of literal representation. Reality is defined by, and only by, physical things. This is ‘physicalism’. But the revelations of quantum theory a hundred years ago mean this does not work. As told by the pioneering physicist Bryce DeWitt:
Wrenched out of centuries-old thought patterns, physicists of a century ago found themselves compelled to embrace a new metaphysics. The distress which this reorientation caused continues to the present day. Basically physicists have suffered a severe loss: their hold on reality. (1971, 274)
Now, finally, the meaning of the new metaphysics is emerging. It is as radical as Klee compared to Turner. The world is real – ‘determinate’ – only where observed. This was one of the original discoveries of quantum theory, but only now is it beginning to make sense.
The effect is rather nicely illustrated by the famous Flammarian woodcut above. ‘Out there’, beyond the field of perception, the world is unreal, indeterminate, mathematical patterns. This is what we have discovered but not been able come to terms with. It was just too weird. Which is what happens with each great change to the scientific worldview. Each one becomes a Scientific Revolution.
The Personal World
The new physics means the world is completely different to our current understanding. In the light of quantum experiments, the eminent theoretical physicist John Wheeler stated that:
No phenomenon is a phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon. (1978, 14)
The ‘Copenhagen interpretation’, developed in the early days of quantum theory, took this as a fundamental principle. Niels Bohr, the head of the Copenhagen Institute for Theoretical Physics, acknowledged the unbelievable nature of the new physics:
Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it (1984, 5)
‘QBism’, the modern update of the Copenhagen interpretation, takes this to its logical conclusion. Only where it is experienced is the world real — for each individual. As the authors state:
This means that reality differs from one agent to another. This is not as strange as it may sound. What is real for an agent rests entirely on what that agent experiences, and different agents have different experiences. (Fuchs et al., 2013, 3)
In other words, each person lives in their unique, personal, version of the physical world. We live in different parallel realities.
Obviously, our worlds are very similar. And of course they overlap and coincide. But with regard to the future there may be huge differences. It is a most disturbing idea, but the advantages are out of this world as we shall see.
The idea of the personal world has been largely ignored as an inexplicable weirdness in the science for some time. But this has now been demonstrated in a leading edge physics experiment (Proietti et al., 2019). The breakthrough concept presented here is the explanation, the ‘ontology’. This is described in The Personal World. There is also powerful evidence in the ‘holographic universe’ as described in this section. This is a pretty sure thing.
The New Empowerment
Most extraordinary of all, the personal world is not just a fascinating discovery. It is of direct and immediate significance to each one of us here and now. It means one’s relationship with the world is fundamentally different. In your personal world you are constantly biasing what is likely to happen in the future of this world, all over.
The effect is due to the extraordinary significance of observations. The personal world is only real where it has been observed. So if you alter which version of an observation is made, this alters which version of the observed event becomes real in this world. Fantastic though it sounds, this is exactly what happens with ‘confirmation bias’.
Confirmation bias is when the unconscious alters an observation, so as to confirm what is expected. In the ordinary world this just means my perception is off. But in the personal world, defined only by my observations, something very strange happens instead. That altered observation is what comes to define my world. This is the direct implication of the physics of this type of world.
The immediate and obvious point is simple. Positive thinking is absolutely essential for a happy and successful life. Anticipating happiness, health and success instead of expecting the worst is vital because either way these are self-fulfilling prophesies. And not just in terms of psychology. The physics of the way this works is described in The New Empowerment.
The Game of Life
The confirmation bias means that expected events become more likely. Technically, the expectations become ‘strange attractors‘ in the personal world. This simply means that the reality tends to gravitate toward these outcomes.
All this operates unconsciously. An extraordinary new empowerment arises because we can take charge of this process. We can generate and strengthen expectations deliberately. This is done through ‘creative visualisation‘, a well-known practice. This means one deliberately formulates images of desired events in the future. When these are brought to mind repeatedly, this induces expectation for these types of events. A strange attractor is created. Affirmations, statements about desired events in the future, can also be very powerful.
The explains the effect of ‘manifestation’, meaning ‘something that is put into your physical reality by your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs’. The ordinary use of the word manifestation in psychology just means using our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs to bring something about to our physical reality. Goal setting is all part of this. But the first meaning is a bit more than this. This is ’tilting reality’ the way you want it to go. This is the idea promoted in the ‘law of attraction’. It works, but not because ‘like attracts like’. It is simply that when observations are altered, the path into the future is altered.
If we can shape our futures by inducing expectations, it means life really is a game. Finally, we now know how it works. It should be a lot easier to win the game now we know what we are doing. The concept of strange attractors, and the technology of visualisation, are described in The Game of Life.
A further extraordinary implication is the other side of this coin. ‘Karma’ is a real phenomenon. This is a longstanding concept of cause and effect in Eastern religions. Good actions generate a good future and bad actions a bad one. They were right. Unconscious expectations are constantly being generated by what one does and how one thinks. And these become powerful strange attractors in the personal world. So one sows the seed and reaps the harvest of one’s actions and intents. Thus karma operates. The way you treat the world is the way your world treats you.
The way to do well in the light of karma is ‘enlightened self-interest’, meaning doing well by doing good. This is ‘Right Action’ in the Buddhist world, treating others as you would wish to be treated. Love thy neighbour as thyself in the Christian world.
This means there is an entirely selfish reason to do as you would be done by. Good actions really do generate a good future, and bad actions a bad one. So in principle, at least, we want to do well by others. Or at least do no harm. This is how to play the game of life to win. This way the personal world gets better and better.
So the moral principles the great religions were aiming for are validated, ratified by the science. In this personal world they are real operational principles. But dogma has no place here. This is simply hard rational logic. The full impact of karma is described in Quantum Karma.
The New Enlightenment
This new understanding has the potential to resolve the truly intractable problems in our global culture. As stated by the pioneering environmentalist Alexander King:
Any durable solution to [humanity’s] external and internal problems can only come from evolution beyond the egoism that motivates every individual. … This seems the only hope of breaking the impasse of both great danger and great promise, in which mankind is presently constrained. (2006, 22)
This is the effect of the new worldview. Karma means that enlightened self-interest is the only rational behaviour. Otherwise one is constantly poisoning one’s future, globally.
The inner transformation is the realisation is that the self and the world are not separate in the way we have imagined. This is central to spiritual paths in many disciplines. Most of us cannot really see the point. But in the personal world there is a powerful motive for such an evolution. You are the pilot of your personal world. Treating others poorly is driving the personal world onto the rocks. But skilful living brings about extraordinary results.
With this worldview we have a decent chance of surviving this century as a successful species on a viable planet. We have a crack at the best possible future. A glorious new age is a real possibility as described in The New Enlightenment.
The Avant Garde
How is it possible this is only coming to light now? The problem is this new concept is contradicted by centuries of physics. And such a scientific revolution is not even considered without extraordinary evidence. But all this changes with the solution presented here.
The resolution is that both types of world are real. The personal world is like a special effect in the universe of all possible worlds. So effectively there are two types of world, and the ordinary world is the basis. This is what has been discovered but not recognised. This is the resolution of the famous ‘measurement problem’ in quantum theory. The physics of the paradox and how this is resolved are addressed in some detail in The Avant Garde. And this describes exactly how the new empowerment operates.
A Marvellous Vision
We have discovered that the the universe is even more extraordinary and mysterious than we could have imagined. We live in personal parallel worlds. And we ourselves are in a very different type of situation with respect to to our worlds. Each one of us is a direct participant in the global story of the personal world. We have been pilots asleep at the wheel. As stated by philosopher of science Dirk Meijer:
To know that all of us have a role to play in the universe, should matter to each and every one of us and motivate us to take our personal responsibility. When we become real participants, we may truly make our world, and the universe as a whole, a better place for ourselves and all that is living. Ultimately we may even understand our own position in this grand design. (2015, 20)
This is the conclusion of his article on John Wheeler who coined the term ‘the participatory universe’. Quoted above, he goes on to suggest that
… we are participants in bringing into being not only the near and here, but the far away and long ago.
This is what occurs all the time in the personal world as we make observations. Meijer ends his article with Wheeler’s wonderful and famously optimistic insight:
Someday we’ll understand the whole thing as one single marvelous vision that will seem so overwhelmingly simple and beautiful that we may say to each other: ‘Oh, how could we have been so stupid for so long? How could it have been otherwise! (2002).
If we can adopt this new worldview we have the means to transform our human condition. We discover how to play the game of life properly, and our race survives to become tremendously successful.
The objective of this website is to lay out the principles of the established physics that lead to this new worldview. There is nothing to believe here, or take on faith. What is presented is simply a logical analysis which you can follow from beginning to end. You have already seen the outline.
This new concept demonstrates the ontology of the personal world as a direct implication of the known physics. The potential benefits are extraordinary. This provides every individual with new intelligence about how to make life work. It also provides us with the chance for a whole new era of cooperation and intelligence in the human culture. A better brighter age is dawning if we can take it on.
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