“Whatever exists, animate or inanimate, is born through the union of the field and its knower. They alone see truly, who see the spirit of God the same in every creature. Seeing the same God everywhere, they do not harm themselves or others. Thus they attain the supreme goal.”
“What’s wrong is not a problem with the great discoveries of science. Information is always better than ignorance, no matter what information or what ignorance. What is wrong is the belief behind the information, the belief that information will change the world. It won’t. Information without human understanding is like an answer without its question: meaningless. And human understanding is only possible through the arts and humanities. It is the work of art that creates the human perspective in which information turns to truth.”
– Archibald MacLeish
One of the most startling revelations of quantum physics over the last century has been the assertion that, at the most fundamental levels of existence, there are virtually no inexorable truths or inherent meanings – just pure energy. Put another way: the closer we get to the subatomic realm, the more we discover that the cosmos seems to be made up entirely of nothing more than field equations and mathematical probabilities. All of the numbers, all of the wave functions, all of the raw data – all that they actually seem to be doing is merely suggesting or indicating a probability that some or other discrete particle, phenomenon, or event will occur at some particular point in time and space. Beyond this, there is, arguably, essentially nothing – that is, no “thing” – or perhaps more accurately, some varying probability of “everything.”
It seems that it is only when a conscious mind observes a particular particle or phenomenon that it becomes – almost mystically – transformed from a probabilistic wave function into something that is truly unique, measurable, and discrete. Conscious awareness alone, then, seems to be the singular mechanism in the universe which has the power to transform pure energy into something which has substance, meaning, and truth. And it is the arts and humanities – encompassing, in my view, acts of creativity, kindness, and love, and experiences of transcendence, enlightenment, and spiritual revelation – which, at their best, connect us most directly with this higher consciousness in our human nature, and thereby empower us to become the most effective co-creators of our own universe.
Let us then strive to use these profound gifts mindfully, compassionately, nobly, and constructively. Let us endeavor to make this the best of all possible worlds.