building a beautiful and bountiful world in collaboration with nature

Archive for May, 2011

This Quantum Natural World

Clover designWe live in this most amazing, beautiful, magickal world – and so often pretend that it is not any of those things – so today I found great pleasure in reading “Living in a Quantum World” by Vlatko Vedral in the June issue of Scientific American magazine.  Yeah!

I find quantum mechanics fascinating because it implies that the world is an amazing and magickal place.  I’m also fascinated because I get the impression that physicists themselves would have thrown quantum mechanics out a long time ago if it weren’t for the inconvenient truth that it keeps being proven correct in their laboratory experiments.

According to the Scientific American article, there are now “few modern physicists” who believe that classical physics – the physics of Newton and Einstein – has equal status with quantum mechanics.  Classical physics is “but a useful approximation of a world that is quantum at all scales….Many physicists, such as Stephen Hawking, think that relativity theory must give way to a deeper theory in which space and time do not exist.”

I know for many people those kinds of statements would be either destabilizing or frivolous, but my experience is one of elation.  The shackles are lifted!  Plenty of room now to create in a world of clearly limitless potential!  I strongly suspect that in another 10 to 100 years physics will tell us that this seeming spacetime reality is a creation of that powerful force we call consciousness.  (Interestingly, the article following “Quantum World” is about consciousness.  That article left me with the impression that neurobiologists would benefit from more time spent talking with quantum physicists.)

Quantum physics is relevant to this blog because the heart of gardening with nature is the understanding that we are conscious beings living in a conscious world.  I sometimes envision it as my bodymind nested and stacked within ever larger and smaller bodyminds.  (Food for another blog.)  The trick is to notice our relationships with those other bodyminds – the plants, the soil organisms, the rocks, the water, etc. – that are also creating our gardens and participating in our lives.

Which leads me to what I feel is the heart of Mr. Vedral’s article:  “Space and time are two of the most fundamental classical concepts, but according to quantum mechanics they are secondary.  The entanglements are primary.”

Entanglement is a word that describes the demonstrated ability of particles to influence each other, even at a distance.  Plants may use quantum entanglement coupled with their electromagnetic fields to achieve photosynthesis.  Birds may rely on quantum entanglement to sense the earth’s magnetic field lines and thereby navigate on their migrations.

Entanglement describes particles in direct and powerful relationship with each other.  If this level of relationship is primary at the micro level, then it seems likely to me that this form of relationship is primary at every level.  How we think and feel about our gardens and their components, all those other bodyminds we connect with, is likely more important to gardening outcomes then all the sunlight, water, and compost in the world.


Under Constructiuon

This site is still under construction as I figure out details like widgets while also making sure I get my garden planted in a timely fashion this May.  Real blogging may not start till late in the month or early June.  Check out the “About” page to get a sense of what this will be about.