There is another interesting popular book on 20th century physics called “How Hippies Saved Physics,” by David Kaiser of MIT.
One of the stories he highlights is the work of James Bell who developed Bell’s Theorem in the early 1960’s. Bell’s Theorem highlights the strange phenomena now referred to as Quantum Entanglement. In Quantum entanglement particles such as electrons and photons that were once linked in a common source preserve a mysterious link after they are discharged in separate directions. As soon as you measure the “spin” of one particle, the 2nd particle instantaneously adopts the opposite “spin,” without there being any clear sense as to how this could be possible. Incidentally, James Bell was not one of the “hippies” cited in Kaiser’s book. He just influenced those cited in the book.
The point of this post is not to try to comment in more detail about this highly specialized aspect of Quantum Mechanics.
The point is to tell the story of James Bell’s main paper after he published it in 1964. For 4-5 years there was no notice of it one way or the other. After that a trickle of articles referring to Bell’s theorem began to appear. But it was more than a dozen years afterwards before actual experimentation began to be done to test if the theory was sound.
Currently Bell’s theorem is one of the most discussed theories in particle physics with over 3000 published articles citing his work.
My reason for making this note is to encourage both myself and others who are creative researchers in the field of spirituality and science.
The foundations of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have been rocked repeatedly by Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Hubble, and Watson and Crick. The cracks in the foundations of these Mediterranean religions will continue to widen by discoveries we cannot yet imagine.
What is not as well known is that the foundations of physics will also be busted apart by new and surprising earthquake discoveries. As physics is the foundation of all the other sciences, they too will experience their own subsequent upheavals.
The universe is not some lifeless dead brick. The universe is not some mechanical device set in motion by some absentee watch maker. The universe is not some void. The universe is not a big heap of interesting equations that is devoid of any real life or consciousness, however limited the words life or consciousness may be.
The universe, or multi-verse if the string theorists are correct, is a vast life-form populated by a wide spectrum of beings and life forms that we can only dimly perceive or imagine at present. The fact that the universe is alive and conscious, however limited the word “conscious” may prove to be, will both reshape the foundations of science and at the same time confIrm certain core assumptions of most spiritual belief systems.
Yes there are revolutions coming in both science and religion, in spite of the mediocrity suffocating huge portions of organized religion, the scientific communities and modern cultures.
But those who wish to be revolutionaries will need to be patient.
As James Bell discovered, it may take a while before anyone notices that you have patiently been studying the huge cracks in the foundations of religion and science.
It may take a while before anyone notices you have at least important clues about how to build the foundations of the future.
I say this both to help me with my own discouragement over the lack of notice of my book “The Simple Path of Holiness,” but also for others who labor in complete or partial obscurity nevertheless sure they have found an important stone, or two, for the new foundation.
Let each of us who labor outside the official clubs and paradigms benefit from an awareness of how long it took Bell’s theorem to be widely studied as one more example of the need to be patient.
Are you working with integrity on fundamental questions?
Have you found something important?
If so, let me know what you have found.
Will Raymond Author of “The Simple Path of Holiness” Host of MeditationPractice.com