Science and Spirituality

David Bohm, Quantum Physicist

This short article on science and spirituality shares quotes from quantum physicist David Bohm.

Quantum physics and the nature of thoughts

(This is the same or similar information as in the graphic above.)

“...the general tacit assumption in thought is that it's just telling you the way things are and that it's not doing anything - that 'you' are inside there, deciding what to do with the information. But you don't decide what to do with the information. Thought runs you.

“...You may say "I see a problem here, so I will bring my thoughts to bear on this problem". But "my" thought is part of the system. It has the same fault as the fault I'm trying to look at, or a similar fault.

Thought is constantly creating problems that way and then trying to solve them. But as it tries to solve them it makes it worse because it doesn’t notice that it's creating them, and the more it thinks, the more problems it creates.”

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Katherine's comment on the link between science and spirituality

Bohm talks of how science is often happy to see our thoughts as a reliable source of feedback on the world.
In reality, our thoughts influence the world we see and the conclusions we draw about the world. Our thoughts are part of our problems

Spiritual practice often aims to quieten the mind, to take us belong our current mind set and thereby open to new information beyond the limitations of our own thoughts.

Quantum physics and the nature of reality

Bohm observed that many physicists held the following view on the nature of reality.

"the world is assumed to be constituted of a set of separately existent, indivisible and unchangeable 'elementary particles', which are the fundamental 'building blocks' of the entire universe …

there seems to be an unshakable faith among physicists that either such particles, or some other kind yet to be discovered, will eventually make possible a complete and coherent explanation of everything"

Katherine T Owen:
Instead of the assumption above Bohm suggests a holographic universe which cannot be understood as separate parts, but only be understood when it is considered in its entirety. Each small particle contains the information of the whole.

“The new form of insight can perhaps best be called Undivided Wholeness in Flowing Movement. This view implies that flow is, in some sense, prior to that of the “things” that can be seen to form and dissolve in this flow”.

David Bohm, quantum physicist

(20 December 1917 – 27 October 1992)

Bohm advanced the fields of theoretical physics, philosophy and neuropsychology.

Katherine's comment on the link between science and spirituality:

Bohm's views allow for a bringing together of science mysticism and spirituality.

Just as Bohm talks of Undivided wholeness in Flowing Movement, so many people of faith see their physical existence as secondary to their spiritual identity - the energy that flows through us all and connects us all.

Our individual selves are something transitory. This energy behind us is what we are and what we will always be. This is our eternal life.

Other articles relevant to Science and Spirituality

  • Lynne McTaggart has written a book which looks at the scientific evidence and concludes that we are all connected. Read more....
  • Which other scientists bridge the gap between science and spirituality?

Move to read the full list of articles on the Spiritual Blog.

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