How do people create? How do people become conscious and become aware? In other words, how do people think? I have been thinking about these questions all my life and working on the issue of syncretism in the Tang Dynasty has brought me face to face with these questions once again. So far I believe there are three forms of thought: analog, digital, and quantum.
When I was eight years old I built a primitive analog computer. It consisted of a box with holes on four sides. Each hole was marked with a letter or number. Inside the box were cards with holes in strategic places that correlated to the letters and numbers on the outside of the box. I used a series of copper rods to pass through the cards following a series of rules. Let us say I wanted a card with the word reindeer on it. I would select a rod and shove it through the side marked with the letter “r” and the rod would collect all the cards that have words that start with “r.” The next rod would select only those cards with “re” and drop the other cards, then another rod and another side and another section of the box that would pick the next letter in the sequence while retaining the previous selected letters. It was very cumbersome and primitive and the computer had many problems but I got it to work. It was 1958 and it was my first computer. It helped me to see the relation between math and thinking , at least in an analogic way.
When I was in my early 20’s I built a digital computer. I read BYTE magazine and sent away for a kit whereby I took a plastic board, foil, acid and soldering iron and built a very primitive motherboard. Later I got some computer chips and added them to the motherboard and built a 16 k digital computer. I learned BASIC code and later machine code and designed my own software operating system and Aramaic fonts. This was in the mid 1970s. This exercise gave me great insight into thinking about digital thought and seeing the universe as “1”s and “0”s. The universe had only one finger. By stacking these ones and zeros in arrays I could design complicated symbols and assign meanings.
Now at age 60 I am designing a quantum computer. I have learned that there is a quantum field that connects atoms and stars, ants and butterflies in ways that appear strange to the classical world of digital and analog. At the deepest level atoms can be entangled and quantum effects can be observed such as a simple form of teleportation. An atom can be made to exist in two places at the same time. The atom in one location can be manipulated in its spin, charge, or mass and its twin will behave in an opposite way at exactly the same time irregardless of distance. One can imagine a day when a quantum computer on earth will type a code and the code will appear in a computer on another planet without benefit of any connection of light or energy. A quantum field appears to connect things irregardless of physical constants such as the speed of light. Einstein predicted this quantum effect and called it “spooky science.” It has since been proven in laboratories in France, Austria, and the United States.
I believe that quantum effects can be observed in biological systems. I have been recently doing experiments with butterflies whereby I treat them as quantum bits connected by a quantum field. I take pairs of butterflies and take one to my apartment that overlooks a meadow where I photograph, study, and capture butterflies. I hide the butterfly from the view of the field and then return to the field where I put sugar/amino acid nector on a tree. I wait till the free butterfly finds the sugar/amino acid nector. I return to the apartment and wait until the mate leaves the place of sugar/amino acid nector and then release the other butterfly from the window of my apartment. The butterfly flies to the sugar/amino acid nector as if it knows the location. Is this knowledge communicated via the quantum field the instant the mated butterfly finds the location of the sugar/amino acid nector? Maybe the butterfly follows a chemical signal. I have encased the leaf with the sugar/amino acid nector on it in a plastic bag. Maybe the butterfly uses its sense of sight to spot the sugar/amino acid nector. I have blinded the butterfly. I can still find it. May be it prefers the tree. I have conducted the experiment on different plants and the butterfly still finds it.
Creating and testing this quantum machine has allowed me to see that there might be other ways of communicating information.
Does a quantum field exist between the butterflies?Is information communicated via quantum events? I believe that the human brain and the nervous systems of other biological systems are quantum machines. If this is true then when someone in the Tang Dynasty sees a syncretic connection among entangled memes such as Mary and Guan Yin then is it part of a quantum field without regard to distance or perhaps even time?
Monarch butterflies, Rupert Sheldrake notes migrate 2,000 miles from the Great Lakes to Mexico and back. Individual butterflies don’t live long enough to make the round trip, but somehow the species as a whole knows which Mexican “butterfly trees” to return to every winter, even though three to five generations may intervene between one visit and the next.
How do they do it? Sheldrake contends that the question has utterly defeated scientists and proposes a theory of “morphic fields” that animals navigate in part by tapping into the collective memory of their species.
My research has led me to believe that this is more than a collective species memory. It is a function of quantum events in the nervous system of the biofield of a species.
This morphic field is a quantum field suited to the species. It is a quantum intelligence to which the animal draws upon for navigation, reproduction, and food seeking.
In human beings the quantum field is more subtle. We receive input from the quantum field all the time. These inputs are “day-dreams”, ideas that “pop into your head” and even certain kinds of dreams that have numinous value. Where do these ideas come from? Are they random ideas? It is too magical to think that they are chaotic events in the neurochemistry of the brain. A mother will wake up in the middle of the night just at the moment her son dies on the battle field. A wife will be aware of the time when her distant husband is involved in a car accident. A phone will ring just as you are thinking of a person you haven’t thought about in months and that person is on the phone. These events are too improbable to consider as coincidence or chance events. We are tapping into a field of information or consciousness independent of classical Newtonian explanations.
Syncretism is a higher level of tapping into a field of consciousness. Ideas and images that may have a common foundation come together mediated by the insight of a person will trigger an iteration of ideas that reformats previous thought and launches new concepts. As chinese ideas were input into the field of Asian consciousness newly arrived from the Middle East, alien ideas resonated with the indigenous ideas and in the right brain a fusion occurred and spread out to others. No new idea emerges without reformatting previous thought. Taoists, Confucianists, Christians and Buddhists exchanged memes. Some became entangled. Quantum events emerged in a quantum field of knowledge that instantly appeared in human history during the 7th – 8th centuries.
Oecologia, 1990, Vol. 84, No. 1, pp.53-57 (http://www.jstor.org/pss/4219387)
See my book Jesus in the Lab, Einstein at Prayer, 2005, New Sinai Press.