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BOHM'S KEY IDEA OF THE
QUANTUM IMPLICATE ORDER



[Paul Zielinski]
You are free to pursue this program, as Jack is to pursue his.

You seem to be giving a sales talk for your own approach, based on Ginzburg etc. That's fine, but how is that an attack on Sarfatti's proposals?

[Peter Mutnick]
Sarfatti's proposals would be as hard to pin down as Osama bin Laden.

[[Peter]]
Similarly, in quantum mechanics, the quantum implicate order is a hidden order to be found by transcending inwardly the classical order, while the explicate order is externally quantal and hence noumenal.

[Paul]
This *sounds* like a word salad, Peter, but since I know you have thought seriously about these questions I am trying hard not to laugh.

I still don't understand your definition of "noumenal". Does anybody on this list have a clue as to what Peter means by this term, in the context of QM?

[Peter]
What is hard to understand? There are seven worlds and the foundation of the first world (the physical world) is the noumenon. We live in the fifth or phenomenal world and our true being as classical observers is in the seventh or meta-physical world.

[Paul]
"You been tellin' me you're a genius since you were seventeen; And after all these years, I still don't know what you mean." --- Steely Dan

[Peter]
How could you? "What I say unto you, I say unto all - Watch!" --- Jesus Christ

[[Peter]]
Bohm describes this in "Quantum Theory" (1951), by saying that if, in the von Neumann chain, you go far enough into the brain, you go past the classical part and come again to a part that must necessarily be described by quantum mechanics.

[Paul]
Why necessarily? Because it's functioning depends on the quantum of action and superposition? Or that it is an inherently microphysical mechanism?

[Peter]
Here is what Bohm says:

[David Bohm, from "Quantum Theory" (1951)]
pp. 170-1
We may now ask whether the close analogy between quantum processes and our inner experiences and thought processes is more than a coincidence.... Bohr suggests that thought involves such small amounts of energy that quantum-theoretical limitations play an essential role in determining its character. There is no question that observations show the presence of an enormous amount of mechanism in the brain, and that much of this mechanism must probably be regarded as operating on a classically describable level. In fact, the nerve connections found thus far suggest combinations of telephone exchanges and calculating machines of a complexity that has probably never been dreamed of before. In addition to such a classically describable mechanism that seems to act like a general system of communications, Bohr's suggestion involves the idea the certain key points controlling this mechanism (which are, in turn, affected by the actions of this mechanism) are so sensitive and delicately balanced that they must be described in an essentially quantum-mechanical way. (We might, for example, imagine that such key points exist at certain types of nerve junctions.) It cannot be stated too strongly that we are now on exceedingly speculative grounds.

[Peter]
"Take the sandals from off thy feet, for the ground whereon thou walkest is Holy."

[David Bohm, cont.]
pp. 587-8
Let us now consider the problem of how far into the brain the point of distinction between the observer and what is observed can be pushed... If, for example, as suggested in Chap. 8, Sec. 28, the brain contains essentially quantum-mechanical elements, then the point of distinction cannot be pushed as far as these elements. Even if the brain functions in a classically describable way, however, the point of distinction may cease to be arbitrary, because the response of the brain may not be in a simple one-to-one correspondence with the behavior of the object under investigation. To illustrate the problem involved, we can begin with the optic nerve, which is almost certainly classically describable. This nerve seems to function solely as a signaling device, so that it responds in a one-to-one way to the image on the retina.... If we try to carry this description much further into the brain, then we begin to reach more speculative grounds.... Practically nothing at all is known as yet about the details of what happens to the signal in the next stage. There is, however, a good reason to expect that the description in terms of the propagation of a signal which is in one-to-one correspondence with the behavior of the object eventually becomes inadequate. The reason is that nervous circuits in the brain frequently permit the feeding of impulses reaching a later point back into an earlier point. When this happens, it is no longer correct to say that the role of a given nerve is only to carry signals from outside, because each nerve may then be mixing in an inextricable (and nonlinear) way the effects of signals coming from other parts of the brain as well as from outside. When this stage is reached, the analysis in terms of a division between two distinct systems, i.e., the observer and the rest of the world, becomes inappropriate and, instead, it is probably better to say that all parts of the brain significantly coupled by feedback respond as a unit. It is this response as a unit that should probably be regarded as the process by which the observer becomes aware of the incoming signal. It therefore seems likely that the division between the observer and the rest of the world cannot be pushed arbitrarily far into the brain.

[Peter]
Karl Pribram locates these feedback (and feedforward) circuits somewhere near the amygdala, and he associates them with the Zen-like experiences of non-duality, which are none other than experiences of what Bohm later called the quantum implicate order, as the true Mind of the Observer.



Peter Joseph Mutnick 1949 - 2000


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