Being Mentally Healthy – 2. The Physics of Nature

Physics makes an unequivocal statement as to whether existence is a mere matter of matter, as matterism proposes, or whether existence emerges via an elaborate ruse, as the doctrine of energyism states. Austrian physicist Fritjof Capra: “Physicists have come to see that all their theories of natural phenomena, including the ‘laws’ they describe, are creations of the human mind; properties of our conceptual map of reality, rather than reality itself.” This lesson draws out some of the basic mechanics by which Nature is manufactured.

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Around the year 60, Egyptian mathematician Hero of Alexandria noted that light takes the fastest path when refracted. French mathematician Pierre de Fermat proposed this optics principle of least time 16 centuries later, in 1658.

Light always travels most efficiently, from one point to another, in the least possible time, even when moving at different speeds though various media.

For example, light moves slower through water than air. Rather than proceeding in a straight line, without refraction, light goes the fastest possible route – given the distances involved, more through the air than water. Hence refraction.

Fermat’s principle was broadened to encompass all wavefront behavior by Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens in 1678. The principle of wave transmission optimality was generalized for all dynamics in any physical system by Irish physicist and mathematician William Hamilton in 1827. Hamilton’s principle was a rehash of the same discovery independently made by other mathematicians in the first half of the 18th century. This principle of least action is based on a single mathematical function: the Lagrangian.

Lagrangian mechanics was a reformulation of classical mechanics. This mathematical repackaging was made by Italian French mathematician and astronomer Joseph-Louis Lagrange in 1788.

The Lagrangian is ubiquitously used in physics. Lagrangian equations provide that any motion may be calculated – but only by incorporating all the information about the dynamics of the system under investigation.

Although originally formulated for classical mechanics, Hamilton’s principle applies to all physics theories – playing a key role in quantum mechanics.

That energy waves travel optimally is a well-established physics fact. The mathematics which explain this fact – Lagrangian mechanics – shows that such matchless motion necessitates omniscience: knowing all the information about the universe every instant.

This profundity is no casual conclusion. It is a statement of fact. For light, or any energy wave, to behave as it does, all information about actuality must be instantaneously incorporated. Every physics theory accepts this axiomatically.

Optimal propagation clearly indicates a unified, coherent intelligence from the quantum level on up, and strongly suggests teleology: that the game afoot which we call Nature has intention.

If existence is just matter and its motions, there is no possibility for the unified intelligence which physicists universally take for granted. Matterism falls short.

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In 1894, electric companies in Germany commissioned physicist Max Planck to figure out how to make light bulbs more efficient: more light and less heat for the least juice. In 1900, Planck had a theoretical answer.

The nut of that answer involved the theory that everything quantizes, even energetic radiation and time. Everything is discrete. Nothing is continuous.

Planck was deeply disturbed by his discovery of quantization. Planck lamented: “It seemed so incompatible with the traditional view of the universe provided by physics.” That traditional view was matterism. There would be no turning back.

Unlike Planck himself, fellow German physicist Albert Einstein instantly appreciated Plank’s discovery of quantization. He later called it “the basis of all 20th-century physics.” Einstein continued: “Without this discovery, it would not have been possible to establish a workable theory of molecules and atoms and the energy processes that govern their transformations. Moreover, it shattered the whole framework of classical mechanics and electrodynamics and set science a fresh task: that of finding a new conceptual basis for all of physics.”

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Einstein formulated his 1st theory of relativity by contemplating the nature of light. Einstein noted in 1907 that light may manifest as either waves or particles, depending upon how it is observed. Though he did not make any assertion of principle, Einstein introduced wave/particle duality into physics.

The only way we may experience light, or any electromagnetic energy, is by its diffusion through matter. We see because our eyes capture light reflected off objects.

As light illustrates, the sensation of energy is always filtered through matter. We speak of energy, but we do not directly experience it. Sense of motion, for instance, is a product of memory: mentally comparing object locations through time.

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The mind lies behind every science, even physics. Einstein’s theories of relativity are based upon subjective views – what Einstein called “frames of reference.” The word relativity refers to the fact that existence is entirely a perception, not an objective reality.

Modern physics in no way assumes an objective, or even physical, world. Einstein: “Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world. Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

Quantum physics is also grounded in personal perception, as the expression of quanta directly depends upon their observation. The energetic waveforms which express themselves as physical quanta only do so when observed. Physicists refer to this core characteristic as “wave-particle duality.”

Einstein discovered wave-particle duality in 1909 but did not state it as such. The first to do so was French physicist Louis de Broglie, who speculated in 1924 that quanta exhibit wavelike behavior. This hypothesis evolved into quantum field theory.

Broglie theorized in 1927 that each particle is guided by its background wave, which he called   a “pilot wave.” Broglie: “All particles must be transported by a wave into which it is incorporated.”

Pilot wave theory is the only plausible physics theory positing an objective determinism. The pilot is coherence: a field of intelligence behind existence. Pilot wave theory still admits that subjective perception is central to the experience of existence.

Einstein liked the determinism of Broglie’s pilot wave theory. But he objected to the implication that the entire universe was entangled, affording nonlocal interactions.

Einstein’s theory of special relativity was premised on the axiom that nothing in the physical world could travel faster than the speed of light. Yet matter can spontaneously synchronize its activity – a mystical entanglement called nonlocality.

Einstein’s objection to nonlocality was overridden in 1964, when Irish physicist John Stewart Bell theorized how entanglement existed: a principle that has since been verified with quanta that behave synchronized. In the late 20th century, Swiss quantum physicist Nicolas Gisin noted that “nonlocality is so fundamental and so important for our worldview of quantum mechanics.” All of existence is entangled.

Nonlocality shows that information communication exceeds the bounds of relativity, thereby indicating that the world of phenomena is just a show, not reality.

That coherence is essential to quantum mechanics is just the endpoint of the most obvious observation: Nature is an ordered, entangled system of processes. Physical existence as a perceptible platform coherently self-assembles every instant from the quantum level on up, maintaining the semblance of consistency up to the cosmic perspective.

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Besides quantization, subjectivism, and coherence, another seminal concept is localization. Localization is the process of turning what emanates from universal fields into local expression.

Quantum mechanics is grounded in field theories. Quanta themselves come from localized fields.

The core of all quantum field theories is the idea of energies forming the distinct particles which comprise the building blocks of existence. The localized fields which quantize and eventuate into matter are called fermions. Those fields which only manifest but dint of their effect on fermions are bosons. For instance, light particles are bosons. For these bosons to manifest they must interact with material substrates, including the eyes.

A lynchpin particle in quantum physics is the Higgs boson, which helps impart the properties other particles need to become phenomenal. The Higgs is theorized to work via a universal field which localizes. This localization is the Higgs mechanism.

Localization is shown in a back-handed way by Hamilton’s principle of least-time wave propagation: local wavefront behavior is based upon a unified omniscience which imparts the information necessary for optimal procession.

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A gyre is a localized vortex that interacts with its environment. A gyre is characterized by its structure and dynamic interactive patterns. The idea the Nature comprises entangled gyres was first stated by Greek philosopher Democritus in the 4th century before the common era. Thinking in terms of gyres is an apt way to view the world: as localized processes which forge dynamic environments.

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Atomic bombs explosively proved that matter is made of energy. But energy is just an idea, without existence.

That’s right. Energy is just imagined. American physicist Carlos Calle: “Energy is an abstract concept introduced by physicists in order to better understand how Nature operates. Since it is an abstract idea, we cannot form a concrete picture of it in our minds, and we find it very difficult to define it in simple terms.”

Energy does not exist. Yet everything is energy. Here is the primordial paradox in assuming that what we perceive is a “real” world.

If it manifests, even if fluidly so, we call it matter. If matter moves, we think energy is behind it. Both are just concepts.

Given that matter is made of energy, as modern physicists insist, the world we live in is not real. Instead, we live in world entirely made in the mind.

Keep in mind that when we say something “exists,” it just means we perceived it. A “fact,” after all, is just an experienced event.

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Physics rejects matterism with a strong disproof while shaping the outlines of energyism. In summary….

A universal field of coherence localizes to fabricate existence from the quantum level on up. This is the miracle which appears before us.

Coherence also creates the minds which populate souls. The integration of consciousness and the symbolic representations that are perceived as material create the show we call Nature. Nisargadatta Maharaj: “Matter and mind are not separate. They are aspects of one energy.”

The other essential facet of reality is the ability to appreciate the show. Via localization, each organic entity is endowed with a consciousness. A unified field of Ĉonsciousness localizes to populate individual consciousnesses. Maharaj: “It is not really the individual that has consciousness, but it is universal Ĉonsciousness that assumes innumerable forms.”

In sum, a unified singularity of reality localizes to create the illusion of a diverse duality which is perceived as physical because the mind deceptively insists it is so. Therein lies the root of mental illness: believing the stressful lies that the mind presents.

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Biology poses 3 seminal questions: what is vital to be alive, how are consciousness and intelligence produced, and how does life evolve? Sussing the answers are the subjects of the lessons that follow.