29 Mar 2009
The "reality" of most people's world and their identity of self is based on an out-dated but once sound scientific concept. The most prevalent view is that we persist in seeing ourselves as solid objects despite the revolutionary scientific proofs in the latter years.
Late 17th and Early 18th Century Physics
The definition of the universe as being made up of solid objects was the result of the work by Sir Isaac Newton in the late 17th to early 18th century. In the 19th century, Newtonian physics was extended to viewing the universe as being composed of fundamental building blocks called atoms.
This is mainly where most people have halted in their concept of "objective" reality and the Newtonian physics have become the basis of their confident "scientific" rebuttal of anything beyond what we can see and touch.
Perhaps this is not surprising as Newtonian laws of motion explained so much and provided safety in the perception that the world was solid and largely unchanging.
Early 19th Century
In the early 19th century, the emergence of electromagnetic phenomenon could not be adequately explained by Newtonian physics and led to the scientific concept of "fields". A field was defined as a condition in space that had the potential of producing a force. Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell founded the concept of field and gave rise to the view that the universe was filled with fields that created interacting forces. This new scientific framework enabled us to begin to be able to explain how we could affect one another, even at a distance and via other means than through speech and sight.
Albert Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity published in 1905 shattered all the principal concepts of Newtonian mechanics. According to the relativity theory, space and time were so interconnected that it formed the "space-time" continuum. And contrary to the causal effects in Newtonian physics, time was not an absolute nor linear!
As an example, he proved that two observers, each moving at different velocities relative to the occurrence of two events, might see the same two events in reverse order!
But because time and space as distinct and separate parcels are so basic to how we describe nature and our world, that we have not yet been able to integrate Einstein's theory of relativity into our personal lives. However we do get a sense of this theory as all of us have had the experience of time speeding up or slowing down so that our personal time actually varies according to the mood we are in or the experiences we are having. Our personal time is not measurable by a clock, which is a Newtonian device designed to measure linear time, as defined by Newtonian mechanics.
Another very important consequence of Einstein's work is that matter and energy are interchangeable. And it is now becoming more and more of an established fact that his theory is very true.
Just as Einstein postulated, the scientific world found themselves moving into the world of subatomic particles and Quantum physics. Max Planck discovered that energy of heat radiation did not appear as continuous waves but rather as discrete "energy packets" called quanta. And as science probes deeper and deeper into the foundations of our reality, the more they show that nature is not comprised of isolated "basic building blocks" as suggested by Newtonian physics. Physicists are showing in experiments after experiments that matter can be created from energy and can disappear into energy.
According to the best scientific minds of our times, we now hear that the whole universe is made up of an interconnected and dynamic web of energy patterns. Even the "normal man on the street" is now at least giving lip-service to this revolutionary fact of the interconnectedness of us all in the form of energy. However, the message from the mystic through the ages is still mainly delegated into the bin of "hocus pocus" shennanigans. Which is a shame. Though the mystics did not employ the current sceintific terms of energy fields and quantum physics, their 5,000+ years of tradition and message are all consistent with the new "discoveries" by our most eminent scientists.