Physics is the study of the physical universe, so we would not, offhand, expect it to give insight into the existence or nature of the nonphysical universe. But we find that the highly abstract theory of quantum mechanics gives several versions of reality—Schrödinger’s cat both dead and alive, for example. Thus the undoubtedly correct theory leaves us with a severe problem because it cannot explain why we are conscious of only a single version of reality.
One potential solution, the one adhered to by most physicists, is that physical reality consists of wave functions and particles rather than just wave functions. But we have shown that there can be no particles, so this is not correct. Another potential solution is that the wave function collapses down to just one possibility, but this also encounters severe problems. The only solution left, the one that seems to me to be far and away the most probable way out of the dilemma, is that we each possess a soul which looks into the physical world and perceives just one of the possibilities.
Thus, rather than being antithetical to spiritual ideas, physics supports them, at the expense of the materialistic view of the world. To say it in reverse, if scientists wish to argue that physics supports materialism, they have a great deal of work to do. They must experimentally show that collapse of the wave function occurs (or, much less likely, that particles exist). The ball is in the materialists’ court, and they must come up with a very good shot.
So, ignoring the caveats, quantum mechanics presents us with the most basic fact of all:
Each of us is a nonphysical soul that has a physical body.
Once one grants this, one’s life changes.
How does the nonphysical soul interact with the physical world? By means of the physical brain. The individual soul can perceive the quantum state of the individual physical brain and thereby indirectly perceive the state of the outer physical world.
Further, the brain has many quantum states, each corresponding to a thought. By narrowing its attention to just one quantum state, the soul effectively makes the corresponding thought the thought we are aware of in the ordinary sense. Or if the soul concentrates on just one of the states of the motor part of the brain, the associated bodily action becomes the action we and the external world are aware of. Thus the brain is the means or tool by which the nonphysical soul interacts with the physical world.
Because this awareness process affects only the perception of the wave function and not the wave function itself, awareness of only one possibility does not interfere with the equations of physics.
THE NONPHYSICAL REALMS
The physical plane is not the only “place” the soul can be aware of. There are many nonphysical realms—many ways of existing—that are very different from our world here, and the soul has the potential to be aware in any of them.
These nonphysical realms can be roughly divided into two planes, the jinn plane and the angelic plane. The angelic plane contains those realms that are closest to the source, to God. They are akin to light, or angelic music. The jinn plane is constructed from thought-like forms. It is the realm where paranormal phenomena take place, and is the source of creative inspiration and beauty. With the proper training, these realms are accessible to us. There are also nonphysical beings that dwell within these realms and that we can communicate with.
Our soul makes a journey that is infinitely longer than our physical lifetime. It starts out in the angelic plane, evolves to the jinn plane, becomes associated with a body on the physical plane at physical birth, and goes back to the jinn and angelic planes at physical death. That is, our awareness does not start at birth or cease at death.
When the soul becomes associated with a physical body at birth, it has to become familiar with the body and learn how to use it. So it has to concentrate all its awareness on the physical body, the physical plane. In the process, the soul forgets how to be aware on the nonphysical planes. When we become adults, our soul concentrates its awareness almost exclusively on the machinations of the brain. This includes all the habits, prejudices, and mindsets encoded in the neurons of the brain. The soul thinks it is the brain-body and that the physical plane, with all its problems, constitutes the whole of existence.
To break this exceedingly restrictive perspective, one must retrain the soul by doing spiritual practices. The primary step, through observing your thoughts, watching the breath, or other concentration practices is to regain some control of the soul’s awareness. These practices stop the soul from “mindlessly” concentrating on the uncreative, capricious, circumscribed thoughts generated by the physical brain. Regaining control of your awareness is as difficult, and as rewarding, as any discipline you could ever undertake. It is, in fact, at the base of all disciplines, from playing the violin to martial arts to true creativity in mathematics and the arts.
For many, simply stopping the excessive concentration of the soul on the goings-on of the brain is enough to carry you through the whole spiritual journey. But some don’t like these concentration practices, or they need to supplement them. In that case, one can use sound or visualization or sometimes compassion practices to begin to re-awaken one’s awareness on the nonphysical planes.
PERSONALITY AND SOCIETY
Control of our awareness, however, no matter what the rewards, does not take us to the end of the spiritual journey. We also need to develop certain qualities—strength, insight, compassion, beauty, wisdom, the ability to accomplish, and friendship, among others. These qualities, especially wisdom and friendship, constitute the essence of personality. In a sense, we are obligated to develop these qualities to pay back our debt for being given the privilege of existing on the physical plane—the place of work—in the human form.
Finally, how does society fit into the spiritual journey? Metaphorically, God created beings—centers of awareness, intelligence, and emotion—because she/he was lonely. And so our interactions with one another contain the goal of existence, the reason existence was brought into being, the payoff.
It is not so much that we are all one—although that may be true in some sense—as that we enhance each others’ lives. There is great, almost unfathomable potential here—it is shattering to even think about it. But this potential is mostly unrealized. To make it a reality, it will be necessary for men and women of good will and clear vision to work together to bring about a society where personality and friendship can fully blossom.
From the early age of 7, Casey Blood was interested in spirituality, math and science. His parents encouraged him to become an astronaut… (show bio)