The Search for Deep Reality: Ancient Hindu Texts and Quantum Physics
“In 1929 Heisenberg spent some time in India (…) He began to see that the recognition of relativity, interconnectedness, and impermanence as fundamental aspects of physical reality, which had been so difficult for himself and his fellow physicists, was the very basis of the Indian spiritual traditions.”
- Fritjof Capra, ‘ Uncommon Wisdom ,’ Flamingo, 1989
The ancient Hindu texts known as The Vedas possess elements common to both quantum physics and the concept of Synchronicity.
Ancient Hindu Texts Teaching Quantum Physics: The Vedas and The Upanishad
“The access to the Vedas is the greatest privilege this century may claim over all previous centuries.”
- Robert Oppenheimer
The Vedas are a collection of Hindu sacred texts gathered in four fundamental collections (Rig-Veda, Sama-Veda, Yajur-Veda, and Atharva-Veda) which preserve the millenary religious wisdom of the Aryans, a population settled in north-western India around the 20th century BC. The oldest part, the Rigveda Samhita, dates back to an age between 1500 and 1200 BC. These are hymns, poems, mantras, and mythological tales written in Vedic Sanskrit. Despite being counted among the oldest texts of mankind, these present extremely interesting concepts for physicists and mathematicians.
The Vedas are a collection of Hindu sacred texts written in Sanskrit. ( styf /Adobe Stock)
Traditionally it is believed that the philosophical commentaries of the Vedas, the Upanishads, date back to a period between the ninth and second centuries BC - therefore they are seen as subsequent additions to the main corpus. In the Upanishads we find various concepts relevant to quantum physics , from cosmology to the idea of awareness of ultimate reality and time. These include:
a) Behind the stage of the world there is a transcendent, infinite, dimensionless reality that is limited and misunderstood by human senses, which can only give a very partial and misleading idea.
b) Time is perceived by the senses in a linear and limited way and consequently there is a wrong conceptual image of it.
c) Hindu, Buddhist, etc. meditative techniques serve to manifest the true awareness of reality, free from the illusory cognitive chains of the human being.
The Vedas and Contemporary Physics
In fact, ancient Indian culture and the philosophy of Hinduism are intimately linked to mathematical concepts , an aspect still seen today by the natural inclination of the peoples of the Indian continent for this matter. It is no coincidence that the concept of zero was developed in this very area of the Earth (शून्य (śūnya) and later spread by Muslims into the West. This has a close link with the search for deep reality.
Definitely, the mathematical notion of zero is very close to the idea of nothingness or emptiness. In the Vedas the concept of ultimate reality is identified with the state of supreme awareness - the Brahman (Shunya or Shunyata in the Buddhist Scriptures.) Brahman is the immanent, transcendent, invisible, and eternal God who has no form; and in fact the term Shunya means either zero, empty, or nothing. By identifying it with Brahman it takes on both zero and infinite values.
The number 605 in Khmer numerals, from the Sambor inscription. The earliest known material use of zero as a decimal figure. (Paxse/ CC BY SA 3.0 )
“The multiplicity is only apparent. This is the doctrine of the Upanishads. And not of the Upanishads only (…)”
Brahman and Ātman
The Vedas support the concept of Brahman as an enormous field that constitutes the true reality of the universe and is not divided into objects with larger or smaller dimensions, but remains what is at the basis of reality, namely reality itself - even though it manifests itself in each and every form and object of the visible universe.
It is without dimensions and basically coincides with the concept of quantum nonlocality: it is a concept of God very different from that of other religions, especially those based on the Torah, the Koran, and the Bible, but in effect it is not even far from it. In Brahman there are all the planes of existence: divine, human, and infinite others that are superior and inferior to the human plane. These are considered illusory, nevertheless they are experienced as real for the living beings that inhabit them.
All existing and possible worlds and universes are therefore a way in which Brahman manifests itself; however, they are illusory and practically unforeseen events that exist in Brahman in power but become form and image when someone observes them.
Ātman, which in Eastern philosophy can be assimilated to the individual concept of soul, identifies the subjective projection of deep reality, the Brahman: Ātman is the spiritual consciousness of the individual. However, it is nothing more than a separate and individual manifestation of Brahman himself and so they are ultimately the same thing.
Both are defined as complementary states of awareness: while Ātman manifests itself as individual consciousness in a specific place and time, and is immanent, localized, and locatable; Brahman is the transcendent state without time or size. If the Brahman, the supreme consciousness, is immaterial, shapeless, transcendent, and timeless, not localized and not locatable, the only way to perceive it is to experience this cognitive awareness.
A soul passing from one person to another in reincarnation. (Himalayan Academy Publications/ CC BY SA 2.5 )
It can be said that the fundamental teaching of the Upanishads learned by Erwin Schrödinger (1887–1961), Nobel Prize-winning Austrian physicist, consists of becoming aware that there is no multiplicity, that the subdivisions into minor particles of matter is an illusion that is resolved in Brahman, and that the limited consciousness of Ātman works complementarily with the universal consciousness of Brahman. This implies the co-presence in every elementary particle of some degree of awareness; a condition known in Western philosophy as Panpsychism. Schrodinger summed up the illusory nature of the multiform as:
“The plurality that we perceive is only an appearance; it is not real. Vedantic philosophy has sought to clarify it by a number of analogies, one of the most attractive being the many-faceted crystal which, while showing hundreds of little pictures of what is in reality a single existent object, does not really multiply that object...” “The multiplicity is only apparent.”
“The plurality that we perceive is only an appearance.” ( PickPik)
Brahman, Ātman, and Wave Function
It’s now clear the reason why the Vedas were of enormous interest to the Danish physicist and Nobel Prize winner Niels Bohr (1885-1962), and to German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976) - one of the fathers of quantum mechanics. In particular the Vedic teaching finds an exact counterpart in the Wave Function, which describes a particle in space in all its possible states, even in the past, present, and future. In other words, a particle has the potential to manifest itself in infinite states in power, Brahman coincides with the wave function state of the particle, and Ātman corresponds to the collapse of the Wave Function, i.e. when the particle is measured it will cease to be defined by the Wave Function to acquire one of the infinite possible states.
Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967), one of the fathers of the atomic bomb, like Albert Einstein (1879-1955), read and consulted the Bhagavad Gita, a synthesis of Hinduism’s deepest thought, with a scientific approach.
“When I read the Bhagavad-gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous… I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research.”
A 19th-century Sanskrit manuscript of the ‘Bhagavad Gita,’ Devanagari script. ( Public Domain )
The Vedas and the Unified Field
In physics, matter and energy are considered the expression of four fundamental forces: strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force, electromagnetic force, and gravity force; the classical model of physics conceives of a universe made up of energy and solid matter, the latter consisting of atoms and subatomic parts, measurable and definable matter. It describes a world that corresponds to our everyday life, which is made up of blocks of matter separated in time and space and distinct from the human mind. The man, therefore, perceives what he sees and feels it as separate from himself.
One of the achievements of quantum physics is the concept of the unified field; that is, the conception of a single field at the basis of fundamental forces. It is the initial source of everything visible in nature: however, it transcends existence. One could try to imagine it as a pure, self-sufficient field of information that has unusual characteristics encroaching on metaphysics, such as infinite intelligence and dynamism. Moreover, the classic model is replaced by a completely different vision, in which matter is not considered solid but simply a perturbed vibration, a sort of condensation in a large unified field.
Werner Heisenberg introduced the Uncertainty Principle in 1927, according to which it is possible to precisely establish the position or the trajectory of a particle but not both at the same time because the simple observation would produce a change. For example, if we wanted to use a microscope to observe the particle we could magnify more and more but in the end, to see it we would have to illuminate it - that is, irradiate it with a beam of photons, which, possessing energy and impulse, would end up giving the particle a different motion and different energy. In other words, when an observer attempts to measure or determine the position, he introduces a change. So, an observer can never be passive – the person introduces an indeterminacy.
In addition, particles can sometimes take on corpuscular form and sometimes wave-like form, which makes it impossible to describe mathematically and accurately the trajectory and position of a particle. It is only possible to describe it in terms of probability amplitudes, such as a curve or field indicating the statistical probability of position and motion.
Ultimately, quantum physics reveals a world completely different from the Newtonian world, made up with energy fields coming from a single unified field. This introduces an enormous novelty in many sectors of human research, since every single living being is no longer a unique and different entity from the others but turns out to be a focal point of intelligence within the same unified field.
Moreover, this state illustrates the complete interconnection among individuals, and between them and the universe, a reminder of Giordano Bruno's teachings: this vision of reality constitutes a real revolution with an even wider scope than the Galilean and Copernican one because it encroaches upon the fields of morality, theology, and involves the personal sphere of thought of each individual.
The Vedas, however, go one step further, teaching that the unified field from which everything is generated, including the physical laws of the universe, is pure intelligence, pure consciousness, and pure awareness. Being totally awakened to itself is a pure singularity. In other words, the source from which everything is materially generated is consciousness, or universal awareness.
“For a parallel to the lesson of atomic theory... [we must turn] to those kinds of epistemological problems with which already thinkers like the Buddha and Lao Tzu have been confronted, when trying to harmonize our position as spectators and actors in the great drama of existence.”
Confucius Lao-tzu and Buddhist Arhat. ( Public Domain )
The Concept of Synchronicity: Unus Mundus, Déjà vu, and Entanglement
Carl Gustav Jung, a pupil of Freud and a great expert in Eastern spirituality, recognized the existence of particular psychic phenomena, which he called ‘significant coincidences.’ These took place, for example, when one was thinking of a friend far away, and at that very moment, the friend called on the phone. Some of them were so circumstantial as to suggest a coincidence linked to a precise, not random, meaning. For example, Jung was taking notes on one of his patients’ dreams about a particular type of beetle and that beetle came in through the window at that exact moment.
The psychologist developed the theory that these events attract each other like magnets without any actual connection because they are connected to a deeper level of the normal reality of life. It is as if they were part of two distinct universes that came into contact at that moment. P. Tombetti discusses this in ‘Synchronicity – Flight 9941’ (Amazon Publishing, 2020):
“Jung deepened this theme from 1932 thanks to the father of Quantum Physics Wolfgang Pauli, who was his patient. The concept of Synchronicity was born out of the meeting of these two extraordinary minds.
The theory is that two synchronic events do not fall within typical coincidences, and which occur simultaneously, are related at a deeper level. They fall within the type of behavior described by Quantum Physics, such as the Entanglement; a particle can influence another instantaneously even if very far from it. It is a phenomenon verified and tested by several laboratories.
The events that fall within the significant coincidences are therefore connected and can influence one another as the Entanglement suggests. This allowed Jung and Pauli to begin to glimpse a pattern, a sort of matrix in the chaos, as if it were the evidence of a design intrinsic to reality on several levels. It signals the existence of a natural order, which connects every element of the universe.
Pauli and Jung combined quantum physics and psychiatry in the concept of Synchronicity. Sometimes curious events happen that are classified as mere coincidences, and sometimes the latter are so incredible that they can be part of those anomalous cases that Jung calls significant coincidences. Deja-vu can be one of them. Just as physics recognizes the existence of many more dimensions and universes than we see, so Jung assumes that events like the ones we're talking about take place when these universes come into contact. It’s something behind our reality, like a stage behind the stage.
They called it Unus Mundus, and it had something to do with Metaphysics.
Jung was convinced that these coincidences, like a déjà-vu, or similar, were connected at a deeper level; a bit like frozen pinnacles emerging from the sea may appear as individual elements, but they actually are part of the same iceberg when you look deeper below the surface of the water. For example, he thought that mankind had created a huge common library where the oldest symbols resided, which he called archetypes. And the minds would be connected. Like everything in the universe is connected.
Subsequent experiments confirmed this vision of reality by defining it in the concept of Entanglement or Quantum Correlation: two subatomic particles initially interacting are placed at a great distance from each other and continue to be related. What happens to one is also observed in the other. This event has been experimentally confirmed by many scientific tests. The Entanglement has very profound implications that go so far as to touch each of us, even in our most deeply rooted beliefs: This could explain, for example, how it is possible, for those who believe, for God to hear all of everyone's prayers simultaneously and instantly; we are all connected on an enormously deep level – each of us acts as one and different at the same time. There is no more distance to cover.”
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The Sensory Illusion
“I go into the Upanishads to ask questions.”
Heisenberg, Oppenheimer (who studied Sanskrit to be able to read the Bhagavad Gita and the Vedas in the original language), Einstein, Jung, and Pauli had somehow lifted the veil of illusion, acquiring intellectual awareness (different from direct perception) of the multiverse and the Unified Field.
The reality we observe is nothing more than a great illusion that, if understood and perceived, allows the realization that we are all deeply interconnected to the same unified field, or Brahman. Matter is not what we see and believe to be solid, but it is formed by waves of energy. The consciousness of man can cause the wave function to collapse and can even affect reality itself. The separation between individuals, but also between material objects, is an illusion that prevents the perception of deep reality - the awareness of the whole.
As a result, time and space, but also the difference between past, present, and future, cancel each other out and become coexistent; a teaching we can find in the Hindu religious texts . Of course one might wonder why they are so accurate. This is an important question that requires an equally exhaustive answer, which could come from ongoing multidisciplinary research.
Events on the edge of reality. Passengers disappear, one after the other
Synchronicity, quantum physics and a thrilling plot:
beyond the mirror exists the answer to our questions…
For author Jane Milton Keys, the most important moment of her career has come: the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in New York.
But the trip won't be exactly what she thought. The passengers begin to disappear.
Unusual circumstances slowly begin to manifest themselves, shattering the certainties of logic, events that sink their roots into a very particular conception of existence, discovered by the Swiss psychologist C. G. Jung and the father of Quantum Physics, Wolfgang Pauli.
A great thriller based upon laws and scientific theories that open new extraordinary horizons to the human mind, offering intriguing answers to the most disturbing questions.
What is destiny? Do we really have freedom of choice? Is ours the only existing reality?
Can we solve situations with no way out?
A fascinating story, able to overturn normal points of view on what we are, and what we see.
From Quantum Entanglement to our consciousness, from Synchronicity to the collective unconscious, Synchronicity is the threshold of direct connection between the mind and the universe.
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Pierluigi Tombetti, SYNCHRONICITY – FLIGHT 9941 , Amazon Publishing, 2020
Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, Pioneer of Physics, Philosophy, Religion, Politics and Peace Research , Ulrich Bartosch, 2015