Copy and paste into worship material

Readings: Quantum

Quantum theory has abolished the notion of fundamentally separated objects, has introduced the concept of the participator to replace that of the observer, and may even find it necessary to include the human consciousness in its description of the world. It has come to see the universe as an interconnected web of physical and mental relations whose parts are only defined through their connections to the whole. To summarise the world view emerging from atomic physics, the words of a Tantric Buddhist, lama Anagarika Govinda, seem to be perfectly apropos:

The Buddhist does not believe in an independent or separately existing external world, into whose dynamic forces he could insert himself. The external world and his inner world are for him only two sides of the same fabric, in which the threads of all forces and all events, of all forms of consciousness and of their objects, are woven into an inseparable net of endless, mutually conditioned relations.

(from Govinda (1973), 'Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism', in Capra (1976), The Tao of Physics)

What could be more deterministic than the motion of billiard balls on a billiard table? So straight forward and predictable did a situation once appear that the term "billiard ball universe"; was used as a byword for the mechanistic world-view of Newton... However.. If we could know the starting state as accurately as the quantum uncertainty principle... allows, then this would enable us to reduce our uncertainty as to the starting position of the cue-ball to a distance less than one billion times the size of a single atomic nucleus... Yet, after the ball is struck, this uncertainty is so amplified by every collision with other balls and with the edges of the table that after only fifteen such encounters our irriducable infintesimal uncertainty concerning its initial position will have grown as large as the size of the entire table [and we're talking here a big one]. We can then predict nothing at all about the ensuing motion of the ball on the [big] table using Newton's laws of motion.

(John D. Barrow (1988), The World Within the World, 277)