Entanglement

“any measurement of a property of a particle can be seen as acting on that particle (e.g. by collapsing a number of superimposed states); and in the case of entangled particles, such action must be on the entangled system as a whole. It thus appears that one particle of an entangled pair “knows” what measurement has been performed on the other, and with what outcome, even though there is no known means for such information to be communicated between the particles, which at the time of measurement may be separated by arbitrarily large distances.” From Wiki

To our waking selves, the question “what is dreaming,” provides us with one of the most useful ways to recognize seemingly naturally occurring boundaries and divisions. It is worth noting that in dream states I do not recall ever questioning the nature of waking states. Putting aside for the moment lucid dream states, how different my dreaming self appears to my waking self comes from the waking recognition that both states, separate and distinct, co-exist.

Lower South Falls, OR

Distinction, definition, identity, and notions of ourselves and others can not be made without narrowing down and separating into parts ourselves and others. Just as the dream world is hard to conjoin to the waking world, it is difficult to hold the particularity of anything alongside an integrated state it participates in. Any focus on particular ideas or things – an act of separation itself, seems to blur the edges into a peripheral vision. Perhaps this can be likened to the idea in physics* of entanglement. Are we waves, particles, or both?

A symbolic representation of a biphoton (a pair of entangled photons)

I find it comforting that physicists now understand waves and particles to be descriptions of different states of things dependent on the perspective of the observer. These states may also describe our human predicament of trying to measure what exists in motion. Intuitively, I have always felt myself to be part of a bigger whole, but the nature of some particulars, like the difference between dreaming and waking states, seem to detract from the seamlessness in ways that cannot be ignored. The temptation to draw conclusions remains.

In Robert Moss’s book, The Secret History of Dreaming, he writes about the many ways that dreaming has been understood, whether as prophetic warnings, time or astral travel, or tools for psychological transformation, dreaming has played a significant role across time, place and culture. Through technology, we moderns now gain a birds-eye view of history and past cultures in a desensitizing way that tempts us to feel removed, post-modern. And so, I often remind myself that we are part of the whole human story, and that paradoxically, the fractured sense of culture experienced today, as technology shakes us up like a snow globe, is itself an acculturation, albeit a sometimes disorienting one.

Perhaps though, fracturing itself engenders a sense of unity, as unity and wholeness remain phenomenologically ungraspable, but intuitively and ultimately real.

When technology is used to reproduce a picture digitally, the greater the fracturing, the less the particulars are seen, the clearer and more whole the picture appears. So, what to make of the nature of the world then, is it digital or analog, or do the terms simply fail us, or perhaps merge together?

Maybe the two distinct perspectives feed each other, and that feeding enriches our experience of particularity into the ability to intuit whole and unified states. There is no war between them, as physics shows us that particle and wave behavior depend entirely on how we view and measure them. Likewise, I wouldn’t want to suggest that homogenization is some sort of goal and that stirring the pot into a well-blended soup will cure all ills. If the universe shows us nothing else, it shows us variety through multiplicity and diversification.

Comets Kick up Dust in Helix Nebula

Where am I going with this? Inspired by a discussion on the nature of consciousness in a podcast on Skeptiko, between host Alex Tsakiris and scientist Bernardo Kastrup, which synchronized nicely with a post entitled “Who Are We,” by Michael, who blogs at Embracing Forever, a resolution for me, where before there was none, seems to be taking shape. But, there you have it, look quickly while it’s a particle and remember that the wave is not affected, or is it? …and what I see, each moment and stop to describe, is but a glimpse.

But does it matter to know this, and if so, in what ways?

Perhaps in our ongoing struggles to be a human family that gets along, we can recognize the validity of both states, respecting that we are continually moving between their different perspectives.

We may not only be living in the world, but as well, may be shaping it with every thought, breath, birth, death, movement or stillness that becomes us. Not only in the usual sense of shaping the world through public activity, but through a web of consciousness that creates and embraces us and every “thing.” From the tiniest particle, to universes unknown, we continue to sense separation to the extent that our ability to filter, through our embodied senses, allows. And even in filtering, Bernardo suggests that through our sharing of this web of consciousness, to some extent, and not always equally, we share the burdens of each instance of life ever to have taken form. The implication then, is that we are truly in it together, for better and, of course, for worse.

 *To be fair, I claim only a scant lay person’s knowledge of quantum physics and you are free to make of the comparison of the behavior of the quanta with psychological states what you will.

33 thoughts on “Entanglement

  1. Hi Debra,

    I see the same theme here as you recently wrote in a current post about primordial necessity, and your ideas regarding mono/dual [in terms of theism],

    “perhaps though, fracturing itself engenders a sense of unity”

    ” as unity and wholeness remain phenomenologically ungraspable,”

    “but intuitively and ultimately real.”

    should countries try to gain independence? Like Scotland from the UK? What is national identity, cultural identity? What does sovereign mean? What constitutes an entity?

    In my mind-metaphor: this fluctuation of fracturing (separatist) and unity (collective) relates to the astrological wheel. All the astrological signs have duality built in, and I think of this as quintessential Leo/Aquarius. Individual/Collective.

    On the personal level, for me, this translates to: Join the herd? or go it alone? Either way it appears 1). Not to be my choice 2). I’m satisfied with what is most natural 3). ____grace_____(blank space) Meantime, I expect my brain will catch up the my intuition (knowing-ness), but it is a necessity that it does so, at least not right now.

    Best to you, Namaste
    Ka

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ka!

      Yes, these oppositions are tricky. I think the older I get, the less likely I am to think one side is better than an other. Perhaps we’re always caught between things, never quite this, nor that. That’s Hermes right? God of the borders, who guides us on the journey, leaving signposts along the way.

      xoxo
      Debra

      Liked by 1 person

      • Debra,

        Hermes is also Gemini (to me). Perhaps we learn to embody our natal moons (nurturing, supplier of needs). For me, my natal moon is in Cancer, and it’s always been an awkward thing for me. There’s this part of me that still wants to be intellectual instead of mooshy and sensitive (which I am). Does that make sense? I think of the oppositions Leo/Aquarius as being in the intellectual space of creation. Hermes is a messenger? That was my impression all along. I guess it never hurts to re-educate myself. Sorry if the astrology is a pain (it’s the way I think) that’s why it’s literally my occupation. I occupy astrological-type thoughts. I’m going to ponder this notion of “god of the borders.”

        Thank you, XO
        Ka

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      • Hello Ka,

        Yes, it makes sense to me, even with a limited and mostly mythological take on astrology, that we come to embody our moon placement, and over time. Mine is Gemini and it took awhile for me to see how very mercurial my thoughts can be and to be okay with that. Leo sun, fixed, perhaps doesn’t as easily move between pespectives as Gemini, Hermes does.

        James Hillman called Hermes god of the borders. I think it’s an aspect of being a messenger, a traveler. where one is called to cross many borders to deliver messages from a variety of places to us.

        Thanks for leaving your thoughts here. I am happy to hear about your thoughts on astrology as I am very much a novice when it comes to astrology.

        Hugs,
        Debra

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      • Hi Debra,

        Please forgive me if I already over-shared my thoughts here. My biology teacher (don’t ask why he is teaching Chemistry too in Biology but it’s a very integrated program – for I have already taken Organic and Inorganic chemistry – but have not gotten the follow description of electrons until now) said that each atom that is sharing electrons in a covalent bond is having a “group hallucination.” I am so impressed with his making this metaphor. He said, that no matter how many electrons each had to begin with, whatever way they look now, they each have 8 electrons in the their valence shell (outermost shell).” They are filled and stable atoms when they bond covalently.
        😉

        xo, Ka

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      • That’s a very amazing thing, and yet it makes sense in that we see other patterns in nature doing something similar – assimilating, settling into systems given enough time and shared location.

        xxx
        Debra

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post is this Debra.. and Yes I so believe in Quantum Physics.. And that we are all of us particles of energy.. Each of us resonating within our own key of vibration. Each having an effect upon the whole.. Every thought and every action having a reaction and creating within that energy fields our experiences.. What we are projecting out is thus creating our tomorrows or nows how ever we like to view the present.. Its all so mind blowing when you really get into it, isn’t it? 🙂
    xxx Sue

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    • Hi Sue,
      Yes, it sure is. The older I get, I think I gain a more acute sense of the importance of the ways relating to others affect all of us. It sometimes seems a big responsibility to be in a right relationship with others and the world, but also that when we do, there are many gifts received in return.

      Thanks for the note!
      xxx
      Debra

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  3. Deb,
    Somehow WordPress had me unfollow you, as it occasionally will do with other blogs I follow for some reason. Anyway, glad I caught the error and came back for this post. I am not particularity scientifically minded, but am fascinated by entanglement and the film What the Bleep? does a nice job explaining this phenomenon. I was so enchanted by Windmills of my Mind that is posted here in your comments. I plan to do a blog about Herbs and Earth and healing and the young me staring at the bowls of beans, and at the conception of this idea, that song entered my consciousness. It is quite old and am sure I heard it as a child. So many tunes are stored in my head from my childhood, including my parent’s musical favorites. This song for me really illustrates the cyclic expansive nature of astrology in such a hauntingly mysterious ( and beautiful) way.

    Another synchronicity, not surprised!
    Have you considered doing a dissertation or conducting some type of research?

    Just a thought?

    xx Linda

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    • Hi Linda,

      I have heard of What the Bleep?, but somehow have not gotten around to watching it yet. Now I will make a point of watching it with your recommendation.

      Isn’t it amazing how those of us who were exposed to music in childhood seem to carry those tunes with us? I’m sure my mother played that song on her Hammond organ. I had no idea of the lyrics until M posted the video and I listened to it. It is, as you say, hauntingly mysterious. I have Sirius XM radio in my car and often listen to the 50’s station and am surprised by how much I like the style of that era of music.

      Yes, another synchronicity for sure.

      No, no plans here for a dissertation or official research. I think my idea of discipline is somewhat limited to what I can only call the flow of ideas and inspirations that show up, either through reading, life experience or conversations with others.

      I am grossly under-educated and must admit to feeling a lot of disappointment with the academic community. On the very first day of Kindergarten, upon entering the classroom, I knew that this strange world of public education was not going to fulfill something deep in me. It was an intuition that was barely discernible at that time, but as the school years went by, I became more and more miserable in that environment.

      Wow, as I am writing this a dream from last night comes to mind. I am a student and we are approaching graduation and I must decide if will attend the ceremony! In the dream, I am thinking that I really might go through with it, and although I don’t remember clearly that in my waking life I did not attend my high school graduation, there is a faint remembrance that this is the second chance to participate.

      Wow! So glad that you prompted that dream recall Linda! How cool is that? Collaberation continues!!!! Love it!

      Much love,
      Debra

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  4. You can test this out in your day to day life – for example, when one person shifts into their heart chakra in the middlrete of a tense situation and then speaks from that place, the whole energy in the room starts to shift. In the therapy room, I am aware of “the field” between myself and the client, and can feel it in my body. This is very informative and helpful. It’s always good to gear down from a discussion on particles and wave theory and then experience it in your own body! Interesting discussion as always Debra!

    Best,

    Margaret

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    • Hi Margaret,

      Thank you for mentioning that. I have certainly felt that deep, intense feeling you speak of. Sometimes it makes me feel breathless or even shaky!
      xxx
      Debra

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  5. Well, I’d put together recently lots of thoughts about archetypes and consciousness – and reality – dreaming and meditation… DNA, memory; unconditional and conditional love; feelings; emoting, etc… etc… etc… in fact, they all seem to run together recently. I didn’t always appreciate Jung, you may guess. His spiritual growth was to me occult. Well, I haven’t entirely change my thinking;but my perceptions did change. Anyway, best wishes – you’ve entered the part of the dream where it all comes together; in my opinion. I also blog at facebook… but eric samung is what I use there.

    Like

    • Hi Eric,
      I can understand reading of Jung as occult. I find for myself that there is the psychological angle, the spiritual angle and the metaphysical angle and most important to me the phenomenological angle, which for me helps me to read anything to see what it has to show me without buying into other aspects.

      But, yes, at some level all the aspects start forming a cohesive cosmology. I am really impressed with Bernardo Kastrups ideas at the moment. He is able to articulate something I have long intuited about the nature of consciousness. I am currently reading his book and hope to write about it here at some point.

      I will look you up on Facebook Eric!
      Debra

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  6. Have you read Karen Barad’s book Meeting the Universe Halfway. She uses quantum mechanics (Schrodinger’s cat included) and Jacques Derrida to make a case for entanglement as an ethical position. She created a phrase “what matters matters.”

    It is a big book, but pretty easy to read once you get used to the way she uses many word play. She takes a page from Martin Heidegger there.

    Like

    • Hi Ivon,

      No, not familiar with the book, but it sounds like a great read. The ethical angle appeals to me, and Bernardo Kastrup argues this point as well. He suggests that our consciousness is shared to the extent that we all carry a shared part of one consciousness, so yes, it matters very much the suffering as well as the joys of others, so healing a part of the collective affects all of us.

      Intuitively, I absolutely agree with this.

      Thanks so much for the book reference!
      Debra

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  7. We get headed into some really juicy territory in this post D. Immediately into the rooms in my mind march the thoughts swirling around superposition bringing with them a cat named Schrödinger and a tea table set in Copenhagen where interpretations and thoughts about verschränkung (entanglement) are the topic of dinner conversation (confusingly tea is what people in the North of England call the dinner meal 🙂 ).

    Much good meat is always found at your table as the micro and the macro and the inner and the outer remember how to join hands without cancelling each other out. -x.M

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      • Is this an older tune M? Say, circa 1940 or 50 something? I can hear it on my mother’s Hammond organ, is that possible?

        Anyway, if my mom was playing/singing that song to me in childhood, well, no wonder I am still pondering entanglement. One more gift I find from her simple, but passionate ways.

        Thanks so much for this tune M! SO awesome to hear it and be reminded.
        D

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    • Here’s to the cat, dead or alive, who will simply not be put back in the bag or the box!

      Yes! Here’s to the micro and macro, best of friends, traversing their way from my house to yours.
      xxx
      D

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  8. I love your connections here, D, in a familiar territory for my ponderings. Strangely, I ran across a prewriting technique that I sometimes share with students – some love it, many cannot fathom what I am talking about. The basic idea is to free write and brainstorm about your topic from the perspective of a particle, wave, and a field. You study the observable qualities as a particle, you explore the changes over time as a wave, and you explore your topic in relation to things within a field of topics in comparison and contrasting ways. This is so simplistic, but gives a fresh perspective on the writing process – or angles – for me at times. I was so taken with this: “we share the burdens of each instance of life ever to have taken form.” This to me expands the field of unity so beautifully – and rings experientially true – and mirrors the 9month gestation and forms we see in the womb – as if we experience it all (evolution of life) each and every time we take form. So grateful for the bells you ring in me! xo! m

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    • Dear Marga,
      Wow! Can I go back to school? That is so wonderful that you bring such guiding wisdom to your students. I’d like to think I would’ve been a better student with that kind of refreshing instruction.

      Thanks for adding so much insight through your writing and for wonderful conversations here.
      Xxx
      Debra

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  9. It’s interesting, I was just thinking today of writing a post using the seminal double slit experiments of modern physics, and some of the conclusions around them, as a backdrop for discussion. I will have to get that going!

    You bring up what is for me a really important point, which is that a worldwide “oneness” that results in homogenization and loss of local differentiation is not necessarily a good thing, regardless of whether it is labeled as oneness or not. A beautiful aspect of the wave-particle duality, and the self-whole duality, is that I think there is a way in which the deepest sort of oneness is made most evident as a thread woven through diversity.

    Uniformity results in something dispassionate, and for me, that underlying thread is nothing if not passionately and vibrantly alive. In particle physics, more closely associated with the theories of relativity than with quantum mechanics, the properties of particles may be seen as derivations of the contributions with surrounding space. In a sense, diversity is the offspring of unity.

    It may also be worth noting that the “waves” associated with the quantum theory are (I don’t believe) ever directly measured or seen. Their visible, i.e. measured extensions, are the particles. I think in a sense diversity is the observed aspect of an invisible wholeness…?

    Great post!
    Michael

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    • Dear Michael,
      I am grateful to you for so much great conversation on a variety of topics. You are very good at tracking with me in my attempts at verbalizing what is mostly intuited.
      I look forward to reading your thoughts on the double slit experiments. Thank you!
      Debra

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      • Hi Debra,

        So I went and read most of the transcript of the podcast you linked to. And there were many things I found there to savor. Two really jumped out. First, Bernardo’s statement that materialism is simply an assumption. I about jumped out of my skin, because I walk around telling myself and anyone who will listen in there the same thing. There’s this very fundamental assumption contained in the modern view from which all the rest of the conclusions follow, but if that starting assumption is incorrect, the rest is kind of upside down… I think it’s the same with trying to recover an authentic sense of who we are… We can try and try, but if we don’t challenge the cornerstone assumptions of the false self, we’ll just spin out time and time again.

        The other part I loved, was his statement about not merely dismissing one’s personal experience out of hand by getting caught in the “oh yeah, it’s all just illusion, anyway” trap. I’ve come more and more to see that as a potential pitfall of the process of stripping away falsehood. You can rub yourself and all meaningful experience right off the page! In A Course of Love, there’s a funny (to me, in hindsight) passage where Jesus says something along the lines of lighten up folks, we had to crack the ego’s shell, but a few of us kind of went off the deep end… It’s cracked. We’re love. We’re here. Make your omelettes…

        Thanks for a great link!

        Michael

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      • Dear Michael,

        I am so glad you enjoyed Bernardo’s talk with Alex. I, too am quite impressed with his ability to articulate something I have intuited for many years now. I am currently reading his book.

        Yes, we’re love, or at least the desire for love, meaning, that desire is our experience of the source and power of our being, it is love that keeps forming and informing all that we are and do.

        Here’s to cooking!

        Debra

        Like

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