Quantum Physics on Prayer

In my previous post I quoted this by physicists Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner:
Quantum mechanics challenges [commonsense] intuitions by having (conscious) observation actually create the physical reality observed.
These physicists don’t shy away from the shocking implications of quantum science—that’s what I love about Quantum Enigma. After the statement above they write:
This idea is so hard to accept that some soften it by saying that observation appears to create the observed reality. Most physicists . . . today decline to sidestep the enigma with semantics and rather face up to what Nature seems to be telling us . . .
Years ago, when I first read what happens in quantum experiments, I immediately drew spiritual implications from it. Since then I’ve read multiple experts—physicists and spiritual masters—who support my conclusions.
Rosenblum and Kuttner refuse to affirm spiritual lessons—they stick to physics—but for me it’s impossible to avoid spiritual implications because consciousness is not physical. This is precisely what maddens physicists. Rosenblum and Kuttner acknowledge,
It was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent manner without reference to the consciousness.
Dr. Larry Dossey does not shy away from linking quantum physics with prayer. He writes,
[C]onscious mental activity exerts measurable effects on the physical world—a world that includes human bodies, organs, tissues, and cells. 
In Be Careful What You Pray For, Dossey quotes physicist David Bohm:
Everything material is also mental and everything mental is also material.
If thoughts and physical realities are one, then our thoughts and prayers influence results.

So here we have it. Our mental activity—thoughts, prayers, feelings, expectations, and attitudes—make a difference. It’s not hard to see the effect on our own health but can we make a difference for others far away, some who don’t even know we’re praying for them?

Rosenblum and Kuttner pose the challenge,
Most of us share commonsense intuitions that deny the implications of quantum theory. . . . surely, what happens here is not affected by what happens at the same time someplace very far away.
And the answer:
[Q]uantum theory tells us that an observation of one object can instantaneously influence the behavior of another greatly distant object—even if no physical force connects the two.
Think of the dogs who know the decision of their masters on the other side of the planet.

Larry Dossey explains the scientific principle this way:
Two particles, once in contact, separated even to the ends of the universe, change together instantaneously when a change in one of the them occurs. 
Mind activity travels without needing physical transportation of any kind. Distance does not lessen the effect of our prayers and wishes—both religious and non-religious— on outcomes.

If we think about it, we experience minds communicating when we’re with likeminded people. We read their minds without needing any physical signs.

What about prayer that does NOT bring the results we want? My friend whom I call Ben in Beyond Parochial Faith: A Catholic Confesses posed this challenge.
In prayers for others, this is easy to answer. The consciousness of the person prayed for naturally determines more of the outcome than my prayers for her. If she lacks the will to live or believes she won’t, my hopes for her can’t overcome that.

But what about my own hopes dashed?  Let’s say I hate my fat body and want it to change.
    (For my real problems nakedly revealed, go to my memoir Beyond Parochial Faith: A Catholic Confesses.)
But let’s say I want my body to look different. I’ve spent years conditioning myself to see it as gross. Wishing and praying for it to change doesn’t do the trick. It takes hard, sustained work to decondition my emotional and mental patterns. And it all starts with awareness of how I hypnotize myself, awareness of my mind affecting matter.

At the same time that I wish and pray, my basic attitude might scream, “I hate my body.” Shedding this feeling requires intense spiritual work. Yes, spiritual.

This topic of our thoughts creating reality—mind over matter—is so huge I know I’ll write about it again. If you poke on posts under “Scientific Materialism” in my Blog Index left, you can read much more on it.

Quantum Physics on Prayer,   December 2, 2019

In Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home by biologist Rupert Sheldrake, is the picture of a dog sitting by an outside door and facing it. Some dogs do this, writes Sheldrake, the instant their owners on the other side of the world decide to come home. They refuse to move. I see it as evidence of the power of prayer.

To help me explain, I turn to another science writer, Dr. Larry Dossey, a physician in Dallas, Texas. His writings translate the work of quantum physicists for ordinary people by applying their findings to practical matters like health. He seems taken with the same discovery of quantum physics that thrills me—actions of mind or consciousness create physical effects.

Since the middle 1920s, when Neils Bohr and Werner Heisenberg formulated the basics of quantum mechanics, science is finding evidence that minds have power. Quantum experiments demonstrate that the experimenter’s consciousness—that is, their thoughts or mental process—determines the outcome of the experiment.

Physicists were befuddled when the results first came out. They feared that,
some people, seeing the solid science of physics linked with the mystery of the conscious mind, might be susceptible to all sorts of nonsense.
So wrote physicists Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner in Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness.

Quantum experiments contradict the belief of scientific materialists that activities of the mind are caused by molecules or chemicals in the brain. To quote Quantum Enigma,
Quantum mechanics challenges [commonsense] intuitions by having (conscious) observation actually create the physical reality observed.
The physicists who wrote this italicized the word “create.” It shows that thought has priority over physical reality. They acknowledge how hard it is for some to accept this “enigma that challenges our classical worldview.”

But I respond with jubilation. Nothing excites me more than the implication coming out of quantum physics—the link between spirit and matter, religion and science on the same page.
The secular world speaks of mind and matter rather than spirit and matter—same thing, because all thoughts are immaterial, therefore spiritual. They don’t need to be religious to be spiritual.

So our prayers—our mental processes—bring results. Some of our thinking, praying, and feeling could bring more harm than benefits, but that’s too complicated to go into here.

What matters is knowing that physical results depend on our states of mind. We non-scientists can observe the effects on sickness and healing. When I get sick—whether seriously or not—I look for an emotional cause and usually find it.

Healing also depends on our states of mind. When doctors expected me to die of cancer, I had a strong purpose to live and recovered. A person who expects to live and has a strong reason to live probably will recover. A person without a reason to go on is more likely to die. Hopefulness helps healing.

What about prayers for others?  Now we get to what’s called non-local causality. Think about Sheldrakes’s dog confidently waiting at the door for its master before the master’s friends know of the return home from far away.

This is abstract stuff, so I’ll stop for now and go on with it next time.



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