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Einstein, Heisenberg, and Bohm
on issues related to quantum-mind



(Einstein on quantum-mind and consciousness.)

Einstein, "Einstein's God," Robert N. Goldman, 1997, p. 89:

"The fact that man produces a concept "I" besides the totality of this mental and emotional experiences or perceptions does not prove that there must be any specific existence [reality] behind such a concept. We are succumbing to illusions produced by our self-created language, without reaching a better understanding of anything. Most of so-called philosophy is due to this kind of fallacy."

This I regard as Einstein's ignorance concerning the emotional potential of quantum mechanics as the true I in relation to the mental actual event as the IT.

p. 91:

"We know consciousness as the essential part of our ego and by analogy as the essential part of other egos. The poverty of our expression does not show us more of it. We can only guess and even this guessing does not have a clear meaning to our thought. There seems to be no other attitude than humility and modesty. The only thing I am feeling strongly about is: It seems foolish to extend our personality beyond our life in both directions and we do not know what consciousness means outside the frame of personality."

Einstein's initial insight here is very good re: the relation of von Neumann's abstract "ego" to transcendental consciousness. However, I'm afraid the last sentence seems a bit illogical to me. Granted, we must transcend the human ego, von Neumann's abstract "ego," in order to know what consciousness is, but I doubt that personality is defined or limited by the nature of the *human* ego. As far as knowing what consciousness is outside the framework of the human ego, that is indeed possible, and I have personally experienced it, in the presence of Zen Master Philip Kapleau, in 1967, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since then, I have received an extensive revelation based on the experience. All my present knowledge is based on the revelation.

(The following shows how Heisenberg understood his actual event ontology in relation to his unified field theory of elementary particles.)

Werner Heisenberg, "Natural law and the structure of matter," Rebel Press, p. 18-9:

"In this way Plato could escape the problem of the infinite divisibility of matter... The concept of matter was dissolved at the lower end into the concept of mathematical form. This form is responsible for the behaviour first of the smallest parts of matter and then of matter in general. It replaces the natural law to some extent, since it characterizes, without referring explicitly to time, the tendency in what happens to matter. Perhaps one should say that the fundamental tendencies were given by the geometry of the smallest units, while the finer details of the tendencies could be expressed by the relative position and the motion of these units.

"The whole description agrees in every way with the central theme of Plato's idealistic philosophy. The fundamental structure in the phenomena is not given by material objects like the atoms of Democritos, but it is given by 'forms', by 'ideas', which determine the material objects. The ideas are more fundamental than the objects."

(The following demonstrates Bohm's understanding and acceptance of the actual event ontology.)

David Bohm, p. 626 of "Quantum Theory," 1951, Dover edition (1989):

"The necessity for presupposing a classical level and the appropriate classical concepts implies that the large scale behavior of a system is not completely expressible in terms of concepts that are appropriate at the small scale level. Thus, as we have seen, the concepts that are appropriate at the quantum level are those of incompletely defined potentialities. As we go from small scale to large scale level, new (classical) properties then appear which cannot be deduced from the quantum description in terms of the wave function alone, but which must nevertheless be consistent with this quantum description. These new properties manifest themselves, as we have seen, in the appearance of definite objects and events, which cannot exist at the quantum level. "Large-scale and small-scale properties are not independent, but are actually in the closest inter-relationship. For, as we have seen, it is only in terms of well-defined classical events that quantum-mechanical potentialities can be realized. Moreover, this independence is reciprocal, for it is only in terms of a quantum theory of its component molecules that the large-scale behavior of a system can be fully understood. Thus large-scale and small-scale properties are both needed to describe complementary aspects of a more fundamental indivisible unit, namely, the system as a whole."

(The following gives Bohm's views on measurement theory in relation to the quantum-mind problem.)

p. 586:

"To summarize the results of the preceding discussion, we say that the process by which an observer obtains his information usually involves a series of classically describable stages. If the connection between the observer and what he sees are to permit him to obtain reliable information, these stages must function causally, and in such a way that a definite state of one stage is reflected in a one-to-one way in a corresponding definite state of the next stage. Thus, a definite spot on an object should produce a corresponding spot on the photographic plate, and this should produce a corresponding spot on the retina of the eye. To the extent that this correspondence exists, the point of division between the observer and what he sees can correctly be made at any classically describable stage.

"We may now ask how far this point of distinction can be carried in either direction, i.e., into the object under investigation or into the brain of the investigator himself. Now the criterion for a well-defined piece of apparatus is that it faithfully transmits information about the nature of the object in a one-to-one way. Thus, the only remaining restriction on how far into the object the point of distinction can be pushed is that the distinction must not be drawn at an essentially quantum-mechanical stage...

"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... 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...

"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."

(Bohm's position on hidden variables.)

p. 623:

"We conclude then that no theory of mechanically determined hidden variables can lead to *all* of the results of the quantum theory. Such a mechanical theory might conceivably be so ingeniously framed that it would agree with quantum theory for a wide range of predicted experimental results. (We do not wish to imply here that anyone has ever produced a concrete and successful example of such a theory, but only state that such a theory is, as far as we know, conceivable.) But the hypothetical experiment suggested in Chap. 6, Sec. 11 would then be an example of a crucial test of the theory. If, in this experiment, we were able to violate the uncertainty principle, then the theory of mechanically determined underlying variables would be strongly indicated, whereas if we were not able to violate the uncertainty principle, we should obtain a fairly convincing proof that no correct mechanical theory could ever be found."

(Bohm's views on energy and momentum in classical and quantum physics.)

p. 154-5:

In classical theory, the procedure of regarding energy and momentum as fundamental properties of matter is not absolutely necessary from a logical point of view, but merely a convenient and suggestive way of thinking of the subject, based on the fact that these quantities are conserved. For, after all, energy and momentum can be expressed as functions of the positions and velocities so that, as shown in Sec. 10, they are redundant concepts, since all the laws of motion can be expressed directly in terms of the space-time motions alone.

In quantum theory, however, the energies and momentum cannot be expressed in this way. Thus, classically, the momentum is defined as

p = lim delta t -> 0 m delta x / delta t

But we have already seen that, in the quantum domain, this limit does not really exist when delta t is made too small. Yet, we cannot avoid regarding momentum as a real quantity, not only because it is important in controlling statistical behavior of space-time motions (see Sec. 11), but also because the momentum can be defined in quantum theory through the de Broglie relation p = h / lambda, even though it is not longer possible to describe the motion in terms of a well-defined orbit in space-time. The only course that seems to be left open is to regard momentum as an independent physical property of matter that, in the classical limit, represents potential ability to produce an impulse but, more generally, is related uniquely to the de Broglie wavelength and statistically to the space-time motion of matter. Thus, when we say that an electron was observed to have a given momentum, this statement stands on the same footing as the statement that it had a given position. Neither statement is subject to further analysis. We must, therefore, think of momentum and energy as properties residing within matter, properties that cannot be pictured directly but which are simply given the names *momentum* and *energy.* We know that they are there, because they produce effects which cannot be understood in terms of the classical assumptions that the space-time motions are governed by rules involving the motions alone.



Peter Joseph Mutnick 1949 - 2000


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