The Science

When quantum theory was discovered a hundred years ago, the physicists of the world were confronted with a terrible realisation. As stated by DeWitt, quoted on the home page, they were no longer able to define reality. Quantum theory exactly defines the components of reality at the fundamental level but it seems to make no sense. As the great physicist, bongo drummer, safe-cracking hobbyist and all-round genius Richard Feynman famously wrote:

Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, “But how can it be like that?” because you will get “down the drain,” into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that. (1965)

The meaning of what is often called humanity’s greatest discovery has been impossible to divine.

The first great puzzle is that down at the quantum level, all physical reality is defined by waves of probability. This image from Wikidoc shows what electrons actually look like. They are tiny waves of probability, defined by ‘wave functions’.

The wavefunctions of an electron in a hydrogen atom possessing definite energy (increasing downward: n = 1, 2, 3, ...) and angular momentum (increasing across: s, p, d,...). Brighter areas correspond to higher probability density for a position measurement. (Wikidoc, 2008)
The wavefunctions of an electron in a hydrogen atom possessing definite energy (increasing downward: n = 1, 2, 3, …) and angular momentum (increasing across: spd,…). Brighter areas correspond to higher probability density for a position measurement. (Wikidoc, 2008)

And this by the way explains quantum superposition, and thus the superposition of worlds.

The superposition principle is fundamental to all physics. A common example is the way waves superimpose, and the result is the sum of the different waves. This image on the Wikipedia page about the superposition principle illustrates the idea very nicely.

Waves on water are superposed
Waves on water are superposed

The principle simply means that when systems are superposed, the resulting system operates like the sum of those systems. This therefore applies to physical systems because they are defined by wave functions. This is what makes quantum computers possible.

The Measurement Problem

That is all pretty weird, but the incomprehensible discovery Feynman despairs at is something else again. The moment the quantum world is observed it changes into a different kind of thing. The quantum wave collapses to form a ‘real electron’. So this is the very process that determines what is real. But the whole thing makes no sense. How can just passively looking at a physical object – measuring the state it is in – make any difference to the state it is in? This is the famous ‘measurement problem‘.

The breakthrough concept is a simple but radical explanation. The world we have discovered with quantum theory is a completely different type of world to the ordinary world we take for granted. This is the meaning of Everett’s famous many-worlds formulation of quantum mechanics, expressly described in the ‘many-minds’ explanations of his theory. The world is defined relative to the mind of the person, and it is only determinate where observed. This is now confirmed by experiment (Proietti et al., 2019).

Although the relative world resolves the measurement problem it has been generally ignored. Such a radical scientific revolution is not even considered without an ontology. The relative world seems to exist without any clearly defined physical instantiation. But as has been described this is fully explained by the superposition of worlds that contain the mind, the world hologram. The two different types of world explains the paradox of ‘The Measurement Problem‘.

Everett’s Solution

Hugh Everett’s Many-Worlds theory is the technical solution to the measurement problem. There is no such thing as collapse, not in physical reality. But as he demonstrated, we do not need to be looking for an explanation of this absurdity because there is the appearance of collapse. In other words, the collapse dynamics operates in a different domain, the ‘relative state’ as he calls it. This is the meaning of his formulation.

His theory has been impossible to understand because this cannot make sense in the ordinary world. As he demonstrated, this happens only with regard to the ‘state of the memory’. This is the mind in Lockwood, here the world hologram. This makes no sense in the current worldview of physicalism, as Barrett explains in detail in his book The Quantum Mechanics of Minds and Worlds (1999). But as shown here, this is exactly how the personal world operates. This is the nature of the relative world of the mind of the conscious subject. It happens only in this domain. This is described in Everett’s Solution.

The Missing Subject

There is strong argument in favour of Everett’s solution based on what is missing from the quantum theory. The observer, the physical body, is the obvious entity to be the significant party in the physics. This is the entity that formulates observations and records them in memory. But as noted by a number of physicists and philosophers, the whole problem with quantum theory is that the observer cannot possibly follow the dual dynamics of quantum theory. Which is why it makes no sense. An ‘observer’ is required that does, but this cannot be found. The mind, the world hologram is the answer. The observer follows the linear dymamics, and the mind operates the collapse dynamics. The world hologram is the ‘observer’, The Missing Subject.

Schrödinger’s Cat

The solution of the measurement problem is inherent in the relative world. Because the superworld is determinate only where observed, it changes automatically with the making of each observation. That is how it can be like that, to answer Feynman’s question. This is the operation of the superworld. This resolves the great quantum paradox.

The superworld also provides the technical demonstration of Schrödinger’s cat. Erwin Schrödinger received the Nobel Prize in 1933. In his famous thought experiment the cat is both dead and alive at the same time. This is the case in Schrödinger’s superworld, but it has a natural explanation. And this is not the case for the cat. Lockwood’s technical illustration demonstrates the full explanation of Schrödinger’s Cat.


The superworld explanation has an extraordinary bonus. The whole fraught area of probability is naturally explained in the ontology of the relative world. The probability of events in the superworld is simply the percentage of worlds, the ‘measure’, in which a specific event happens. Deutsch presented an explanation of this nature some time ago, but the meaning of probability in Everett’s theory is still challenged. If all possible versions of an outcome become real, what can it really mean. However, taking Everett’s theory to mean relative worlds, this meaning of probability follows directly from his theory. This would seem to be Lockwood’s take on the subject as described in Probability.

Logical Type

The reason quantum theory seems crazy is because it actually describes the dynamics of the two different types of world. The concept of ‘logical type‘ formalises their coexistence, and makes clear how they come to have very different properties.

The principle of logical type was discovered by the polymath Bertrand Russell (1908). Although the principle is quite simple it is of vital significance in analysing systems. It means that a class is of a logical type ‘higher’ than its members. An element of the class is a ‘primitive’ component of the system. It is of ‘first logical type’. The class itself is of a higher, ‘second logical type’.

The key point is that the class inevitably has properties that an element of the class cannot have. For instance, various attributes that apply to a population have no meaning with regard to a single person. The distribution of people is one example. As Russell made clear, failure to make this distinction of types inevitably leads to nonsense results and paradox. This is the origin of the measurement problem as described in Logical Types.

The Block Universe

The great paradoxes of quantum theory are resolved by the personal world. There is another major conceptual revolution that has also lain incomplete. Relativity is universally accepted as the correct description of the universe, but here also there are great paradoxes. There is no passage of time. And there is no ‘Now’, the present moment. This was of great concern to Einstein who coined the term. As we shall see, logical type explains this also.

The situation follows automatically from the physics. As shown by relativity, the universe is a static, four-dimensional, space-time continuum. This means the past and even the future are ‘there’ like the North and the South. This means there can be no passage of time, and there can be no Now. This is described in The Block Universe.

The Moving Now

The remarkable physicist Hermann Weyl solved both these paradoxes at a stroke back in 1949. His solution is simple, even obvious:

The objective world simply is, it does not happen. Only to the gaze of my consciousness, crawling up the life-line of my body, does the world fleetingly come to life. (1949, 116)

In other words, the passage of time exists only subjectively, only in the experience of consciousness. The Now is simply where the consciousness is along the static life-line of the body.

As you drive down a dark road in the night, your headlights make a flood of light that moves along the road with you. The blaze of illumination lights up one section of the road after another, always lighting up the road where you are. In a logically identical manner, the viewpoint of consciousness moves along your life-line ‘lighting up’ each moment in turn. And the Now passes into the future.

The life-line is now known as the ‘worldline’, meaning the whole four-dimensional existence of an object, strung out in the four-dimensional space-time. The worldline is the ‘rail’ along which the Now passes. Subjectively, as it does so, the moving viewpoint gives rise to the experience of the passage of time.

This is so at odds with the current worldview it is generally ignored completely. But this is the only known explanation. And it works perfectly, as illustrated in The Now.


Weyl’s explanation makes perfect sense. But then we are led to the inevitable conclusion that consciousness is a phenomenon of a very special nature. It has to be to the moments along the lifeline as the movie projector is to the frames of the movie. In order to pass through the static space-time, it must necessarily be a property of the universe itself. This is the insurmountable problem with respect to physics. Again, we are confronted with the direct counter to physicalism.

Although the experiencing consciousness is not, clearly, a physical phenomenon, it gives rise, subjectively, to the effect of the passage of time in physical reality. Such a concept is routinely rejected because it cannot fit with the scientific worldview. Logical type enables us to categorise this phenomenon and thus make sense of it. The principle of physicalism is correct with respect to the objective physical reality, the ordinary world. The experiencing consciousness, however, is of a different logical type, as described in Consciousness.

The Movie of Life

Experienced in consciousness, the static universe comes to life. The movie of life runs. When we understand how all this operates, it becomes clear where the influence of strange attractors operates. We are all swept along through time as consciousness passes along the worldline. Thus we experience the time evolution of the ordinary world. For us, time passes. Then, as each observation is made, a different dynamics operates. As a result, the consciousness moves to a different definition of the world. It is this transition that is altered and redirected by confirmation bias.

So it is in this domain that manifestation operates. This is where the steering hits the road. We can nudge the movie of life in the direction of intent. It is a tiny push, a butterfly wing flap, but this is the trim tab of the personal relative world. And the effect is cumulative. Positive feedback applies.

The experiencing consciousness is the motor of the universe. This is what brings about the operation of both dynamics in quantum mechanics. This is the universal spirit, that which brings to life all of life. As illustrated in The Movie of Life, this explains how the world actually works, and where interactive destiny operates.

The final main section is About.