The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Physics

How many minds in the universe?

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Wu Wei

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We never actually perceive what is there

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We never actually perceive what is there, only what is related back to us through our senses. The reality perceived by a fly, with its very differently structured eye and antennae, is very different from the reality we perceive, but it is equally valid from the fly’s point of view. We don’t see things better than the fly does, we just see our own version. Take this glass, for example. It’s very solid. If I were to hit somebody with it, he would feel it. But modem physics tells us that this glass is composed mostly of space, with just a few electrons, protons, and neutrons zooming around in it. Yet we don’t perceive it that way. And if I were an ant, or an elephant, or a dolphin, I would perceive something else again. Each of these perceptions is valid. Our version is no better than anyone else’s.

– Tenzin Palmo

from the book “Reflections On A Mountain Lake: Teachings On Practical Buddhism”

Just Dharma Quotes


David Bohm on Consciousness and the Concept of Actuality

“Now, there’s one other thing that modern quantum mechanics doesn’t handle. Oddly enough, physics at present has no contact with the notion of actuality. You see, classical physics has at least some notion of actuality in saying that actuality consists of a whole collection of particles that are moving and interacting in a certain way. Now, in quantum physics, there is no concept of actuality whatsoever, because quantum physics maintains that its equations don’t describe anything actual, they merely describe the probability of what an observer could see if he had an instrument of a certain kind, and this instrument is therefore supposed to be necessary for the actuality of the phenomenon. But the instrument, in turn, is supposed to be made of similar particles, obeying the same laws, which would, in turn, require another instrument to give them actuality. That would go on an infinite regress. Wigner has proposed to end the regress by saying it is the consciousness of the actual observer that gives actuality to everything.”

David Bohm