Thursday, December 13, 2012
The double slit experiment in physics accorded the photon the miraculous ability to be simultaneously present at two places. The monophotonic beam effecting interference was undeniable testimony to this impossible conclusion. Closer scrutiny of the photons by a juxtaposed camera near the slit added to the chagrin. The photon now reverted to its particle form, suggesting an incredulous awareness of the photon to mutate from a wave to a particle form, when it realised that it was under scrutiny. The wave and the particle "states" are quantum superposition states that manifest in an 'either or ' dichotomy that is observer sensitive.
Analogous to Schrodinger’s cat being simultaneously dead and alive , the photon exists in a wave and particle form simultaneously the observer quashes the superposition possibilities to an "observed" single outcome, the unobserved remains both, simultaneously.
Sensory perception, is processing and assimilating gigabytes of tangible, unequivocal polarity -- either one of the duality, wave or particle, day or night, sad or happy, black or white, dead or alive and so on. The perceptive faculties cannot perceive a simultaneous concurrent duality that is inclusive rather than exclusive, based on 'and '.
Dead and alive at the same time, is inconceivable, an impossible oxymoron that paralyses the intellect into a shutdown. The sharp edge of reason coupled with a perceptive bias cleaves this integrative intangible 'superposition ' into fragmented tangibility. It is an irony, where the part makes more sense than the whole. A jigsaw puzzle, that becomes incomprehensible when complete.
The wave -particle conflict reflects a limitation of perception. The brain is programmed to interpret unity as a partial 'virtual ' diversity. Much the same as a drop of water splits light into a spectral delusion, the brain permits only an "either or" program to serve as the operating system, a binary code that can have only one of two values at any given point of time. Assigning both values simultaneously corrupts the software and hangs the system. Duality is a perceptive warp, that coerces the senses into a distortion of the fundamental nonduality.
Non duality represents a 'paradigm shift' from this reductionist 'either or' syntax to a holistic 'and' awareness . Rephrasing the immortal words of Tagore:
"Where the awareness is without illusion and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where reality has not been broken up into fragments…"
Nonduality alludes to an undifferentiated whole, that is not exclusive, but inclusive. A quantum superposition state, that reveals all quantum states as an unqualified oneness. An awareness that transcends 'attribute and form' , sagun saakaar, the progenitors of the subject-object dichotomy to an exalted 'nirgun niraakaar' state.
An awareness that becomes aware of this duality-based sensory deception.
This is aptly described by philosopher saint Tukaram as 'saandili triputi' or ending the trilogy of the observer, observed and observation. A grand unified theory of sorts, that makes all answers redundant ,by unifying the questions ,the seeker and the questioning.
Until that quantum ‘leap of consciousness’ occurs, our perception will remain mired in the 'either or' domain. The 'wave -particle ' conflict will continue to haunt us till a 'wave' of realisation sweeps over our 'particulate ' perceptive distortion.
The author is a consultant neurosurgeon, firstname.lastname@example.org
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