Beyond a material universe

“Quantum theory evolved beyond Einstein’s landmark discoveries. Physicists, in their quest to define matter’s essential properties, found that the most minute particles in the universe, protons, electrons, photons, and so on – the very fabric of the material universe – transcend three-dimensional reality. Electrons, they discovered, are not matter in any standard sense. The diameter of an electron cannot be measured. An electron can be shown to be two things at once, both a wave and a particle, each with differing characteristics that should exclude the other’s existence from a purely material viewpoint.

As particles, they behave like a large visible object, a baseball, a rock. As waves, though, electrons mysteriously shape-shift into vast energy clouds. They display magical properties, stretching across space with the apparent ability to bilocate. Physicists have discovered, however, that these magical properties characterise the entire subatomic universe, adding a mind-boggling dimension, and a mystical one, to the nature of the universe itself.

Even more astounding revelations waited in the world of physics. The observer, modern physicists found, actually determines the nature of a subatomic particle. When physicists observe particles as particles, they find them, understandably, to be particles. But, when observing the same particles as waves, they find them to be waves, the implication being that matter is defined by conscious perspective rather than being fixed or finite.”

(The above extracts came from ‘Forbidden History’ edited by Douglas Kenyon. What is a poor layman to do with such a report, with such a view of a reality? Can we say, similarly, that a human being is an individual entity, with form and substance, grounded in space while, simultaneously, saying that this being is no more than an ephemeral entity, existing in a sea of such entities, with no specific location? Of course not; we are not subatomic!

But what about the subatomic entities which underpin our form and substance?)