HIDDEN VARIABLES: Out of the mystery of chaos



Coming up is a brief cosmic story that can change the way you view our chaotic world. First, though, let me give you a context. In my last blog posting I mentioned physicist, David Bohm. Bohm is to the world of physics what Carl Jung is to the world of psychology. Both men were under appreciated in the reductive atmosphere of the 20th Century but are blossoming through a posthumous influence in the 21st Century.

     Bohm wrote the gold standard text on quantum mechanics and then announced to Einstein that he no longer used the term “mechanics” to describe the microscopic domain of sub-atomic particles. Rather, he preferred holistic movement or what he called holomovement, the constant movement of the universe toward aware wholeness. Einstein invited him to explain, and Bohm told the story of crossing the stream I mentioned in my last blog. An admiring Einstein still was not convinced. The universe seemed to him more fixed and stable. Not so, argued Bohm, there are too many hidden variables within the mystery for us to think and live in such a static manner.

     So off Bohm went on a life journey to explore hidden variables lurking beneath the constant movement of the universe. What he discovered offers rich possibilities for our personal disorders and current global chaos.

A Cosmic Story

     Here is the cosmic story of one of his experiments, simplified for our enjoyment. Bohm took a large container that had two moving bowls in it, something like a salad spinner. You know what that contraption is: after washing lettuce, you spin a bowl of greens around until the moisture flies off and collects at the bottom of the container. Bohm filled his laboratory salad-spinner-like container with glycerin, a highly viscous liquid that is colorless and sweet tasting. Glycerin’s most common use is in soap and other beauty products like lotions, though it is also used in the form of nitroglycerin to create dynamite. Bohm used it in his experiment because it easily absorbs other liquids.

     Then, our intrepid scientist took an eye dropper of the sort we once used for nose drops, the kind with a rubber top for squeezing. He pinched the dropper in a jar of black ink and filled it. Holding the dropper over the vat of glycerin, he squeezed again until a large drop of ink fell into the container of liquid glycerin. Next, he moved the experiment along with a regulated motion spinning clock wise like you might with a salad spinner. The blob of ink began to spread out in long tails until it disappeared or was absorbed in the glycerin.

     Thus far, the experiment revealed exactly what 20th Century interpretations of the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics predicted; namely, that the universe is increasing in randomness, chaos, and entropy. The more motion, the more forms tend to disappear. Such a cosmic map is filled with existential despair.

     Enter hidden variables, and everything changes, including the science of the 20th Century.

     Bohm then reversed the motion from sun wise to moon wise. Picture him standing there after having introduced the hidden variable of a reverse motion. Suddenly, strands of ink begin to appear in long and elegant patterns until a blob of ink reappears. The new ink pattern appears as if it is exactly the same as the one he originally dropped into the solution. But it is not! The ink molecules were attracted to the force of the new motion and cohered to each other. But the new coherence constituted a new form.

     Many experiments followed. Scientist, Ilya Prigogine, stood on Bohm’s shoulders to extend the order/disorder/order hypothesis. Prigogine received the Nobel Prize in 1977 for his work on the sequence of order, disorder, and dissipative structures. Bohm’s and, later, Prigogine’s experiments uncovered layers of reality. There is order in the form of a current structure like the original ink blob. But things are not static. All is motion. The current form loses its cohesion and dissipates into another layer, one you might call chaos and disorder.

     Next, the universe surprises us with its hidden variables! Out of the sea of chaos emerges an island of coherence as molecules from the old form are attracted to a new force, a motion from the domain of hidden variables.  So, 20th Century interpretations of the laws of thermodynamics were not so much wrong as they stopped short of exploring hidden variables out of which emerge new and powerful motions. The motion becomes an attractor force that coheres and then creates a new form.

A Brief Reflection

     Lately, I have been meditating on this core experiment from Bohm. We have a serious illness in my immediate family. Surgery and various therapies follow jolting diagnosis. Major illnesses plunge a family into what feels like and, to a certain degree, is disorder, even at times, chaos. As I journey through the chaos, swimming in the glycerin, I feel what may be a new motion, a turning in another direction. I look for other molecules with whom I can cohere. I am in search of a new form, one that looks like the original of the life I had before but is purified by extensive splashing in the sea of chaos. Meanwhile, I take comfort that current disorder has a role. Old structures are dissipating, but new ones, I sense, are on the way.

       As with all cosmic stories: let those with inner eyes, see!

7 thoughts on “HIDDEN VARIABLES: Out of the mystery of chaos”

  1. I liked the concept of the return to the original form, yet the original form is new as it re-forms coherence. In my mind I could see the black blot of the ink as the sacred that disperses out into the universe of our daily realities, then drawn by the mysterium to reform into the new coherence of awareness, a very sacred journey. The ink blot reminded me of the deep unknown of Sacred Mystery to which we can return again and again on our journey through chaos and confusion. It was interesting to me that it require both directions for the event (or soul, if that is the case) to reform – a balance like the seesaw in order to locate the fulcrum of coherence.

  2. I really like the comparing of Bohm’s glycerin and ink experiment to what you sense is happening within as you and Judith make this journey with cancer. Out of the chaos rises new life, new understanding, new appreciation.

    I also like that you and Judith are not seeing this as a battle against cancer, but more a process of encouraging certain overactive cells to be released from the body. Attracting healthy cells through diet, meditation, and prayer feels like a much more loving and nurturing way to healing.

    To the coherence process afterward…I look forward to what comes forth in each of you, in all of us.

  3. Marsha Carnahan

    “Black – eyed Suzie”

    Today I considered the black – eyed Suzie,
    Her face looking
    straight to the Sun.

    Outstretched arms ……..
    all directions reaching,
    Earth, wind and sky
    In her glorious form!

    AMAZED…I then saw the left spiral she made, counter
    ………clockwise, tendrils reaching ……………..
    for more…………………….. !

    Didn’t my night
    dream just do this?
    Didn’t I too
    look to the left?
    Straight into the collective unconscious,
    Divine Light
    infinitely dwells?

    Today I considered the black – eyed Suzie
    Her face looking straight to the Sun.

    Written right before seeing and reading Will’s latest sunflower picture and post.

    By: Marsha Carnahan – a 2015 quester

  4. Carolyn Merrick

    Carolyn wrote: “Wow, perfect timing for me to read this. So well explained and written – hidden variables – love that phrase and concept! Thank you, Will Taegel!”

  5. Another thought: finding attractor forces within the field is the major challenge. Various healing interventions could be seen as possessing a two-fold purpose. First, we may work with the body/mind/soul in such a way as to be drawn to what in the field is attracting healthy cells, such as certain kinds of high protein foods. Powerful protein assists in building up robust cells that have been weakened as previous forms(ink blots in the experiment) have dissolved. Next, we may allow cells that don’t belong in the body(labeled as cancer) to be purified and sent on their way through a variety of interventions, such as meditative/purification/prayer journeys. Judith and I have not been drawn to methods that create battles between orderly and disorderly cells since that seems to replicate the planetary condition. We view chemo therapy as the plant world moving through the body and sending cancer cells on their way.

  6. Angela Neumann

    Thank you, Will, for posting your reflections on order/disorder, hidden variables out of which can emerge new motions and ultimately new forms, and your personal view how you”.. take comfort that current disorder has a role.” in the case of the serious illness in your family.
    If one replaces – in this context – the word disorder by dis-ease, it might offer the prospect that, if the dis-eased coheres with a new motion or healing frequency, it may move to ease… or a new form…

    1. Brilliant observation, Angela. If we see cancer as a word that describes a process, then we can move in the direction you suggest. If cancer cells are an aspect of disorder, disease, and chaos, then healing could be experienced through healthy cells being attracted to a new order and a new form of body/mind/soul.

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