Science & Spirituality Dr. Fred Alan Wolf and Quantum Spirituality - P1/3    
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The spiritual path is when you are willing to look at things which don’t fit into that preconceived notion of what is.

Welcome, beloved viewers, to Science and Spirituality on Supreme Master Television. Today’s program is part one of a three-part series featuring an interview with a popular quantum physicist, author and lecturer from the United States, Dr. Fred Alan Wolf.

Dr. Wolf earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of California – Los Angeles, USA in 1963. He has lectured across the world, conducted extensive research in his field, written many award-winning books such as “Taking the Quantum Leap” and “The Spiritual Universe,” and served as the resident physicist on the Discovery Channel program “The Know Zone.” Dr. Wolf has appeared in popular films such as “What The Bleep Do We Know” and “The Secret.”

He is known for explaining the complex laws of quantum physics in an engaging way so that non-scientists can better understand them and see how they relate to spiritual principles. His fascinating work has sparked the interest of many to deeply inquire into the very nature of existence and the mind. Let us now meet the esteemed Dr. Wolf.

Dr. Wolf, welcome to Toronto (Canada)!

Thank you, it’s a pleasure to be here.

Tell us about your background.

I have worked in many different places. I have worked for the government. I have taught at many different universities: University of Paris (France), University of London (UK), the Hahn Meitner Institute of Nuclear Research in Berlin (Germany), the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (Israel) as well as San Diego State University in California (USA) and many other institutions as well.

So what motivated you to study the connection between spirituality and quantum physics?

Mainly because my interest is in the nature of magic. It may seem strange but as a child I developed a severe speech impediment and I stammered very, very badly. And one of the two techniques I learned to improve my speaking ability: one was to practice deep breathing and meditation.

This was before I knew what meditation was. I was only nine or 10 years old but my speech therapist, that was one of the tools that she used to get me to concentrate on my breath and change my rhythm, so to speak, which of course is a meditation technique.

And I also practiced doing what I would call “magic” in front of a mirror. When you do magic tricks where you are actually performing, it is a performance. A magician is like one stage show and one being because you are not only telling a story, but you are also demonstrating or visualizing or you are showing people an effect as a result of the story and this means you have to talk.

So these two things in concert got me out of stammering and also got me interested in this process of what I call magic. So when I began to study more deeply, or in a deeper way, the nature of the world I was living in, I became intrigued with light, the light that we see. And I said, “What the heck is this? How does it work? What is light?” And that led me into “What is anything?”

That got me into studying physics and that’s what led me into theoretical physics because I am always interested in how we understand what’s happening. That naturally led me into quantum physics, which is the major physics of today and that’s what got me started.

The Buddhist sacred text the Flower Ornament Sutra says, “Our perception of the Three Realms arise from the mind,” as well as, “The mind is like a master painter experienced at painting all sorts of things.” In terms of our perception of the outer world, Dr. Wolf sees similarities between the principles of quantum physics and spirituality, particularly regarding the role of the mind in shaping what we see.

As a physicist, what is your view of the soul?

Well, it’s an interesting concept and, of course, it has gone through a lot of change based upon which culture you deal with. In ancient culture, I think the soul was connected with the breath. So you said “I am” or “ahkman” “I breathe.” There was a connection with ‘ah’ -- soul/breath, so there was a connection there. As long as a person was breathing he was “souling.” The soul was present. It was interacting so there was a connection with that.

And since it was like breath, invisible to the eye, the soul was some kind of invisible presence. And so the natural tendency was as we became more and more enlightened, to some extent, was to associate the soul as something more than just the breath; it was inhabiting the body like an apartment dweller inhabits an apartment. So these are the concepts.

From a physics point of view, it became curious in a certain kind of funny way because in quantum physics we learn something about reality as not being out there by itself. There had to be a process by which something recognizes reality out there. And by recognizing or cognating or becoming aware of reality out there – well “out there” can mean anything from the tip of your nose to the planet in the sky to the person across the street to almost anything at all – that this process of noticing, the processing of becoming aware, involved a recognition, a consciousness, a mind.

And that if the mind altered the way it went about this process of recognizing, cognating, looking at the “out there,” the experience would change “in here.” In quantum physics we learned that as you began to delve deeply into that question of how what you bring to bear to observe, interacts, affects is in relation to the thing which you are observing we began to realize that the thing which we are observing is not just something that is itself physically there but is something that has been constructed in our mind, in our memory, as having a certain form, shape, size, material substance: all the various attributes we call physical reality.

And that without these memorized concepts of these things that we say are out there we would not be able to even construct a picture or a semblance of understanding of what’s out there. In other words, there is no “out there” out there without an “in here” in here acting.

Quantum physics is highly complicated and deals with things which are not perceivable in our physical surroundings, rather we must rely on models created by the mind to grasp them. Much about spirituality is also about the non-physical and invisible and Dr. Wolf sees this fact as an area of commonality between the two fields.

As you delve even deeper into things that are subatomic or sub microscopic, things which we can’t see with our naked eye, we find that the very things we are looking at are fuzzy. They are not rigid.

Things of macroscopic which are large-scale size that we can see with our naked eye, they are not so fuzzy. They are pretty solid and that’s how we come to agreement about what’s this and what’s that. We say “Ah, that’s a ball” and “That’s a chain;” “That’s a ball” and “That’s a person’s hair.” They are not the same thing.

We have a way of describing that because we can see it. But when you are talking about atoms and subatomic matter, we can draw only pictures in our mind because we cannot really see these things. In fact, what we bring to bear to look at these things alters them. So the current thinking right now is there really is no actual thing “out there.”

If we are talking about subatomic matter – atoms – things which make up the nucleus of the atom, the so-called quarks and the things we call bosons – which are little particles which mediate the relationship between the quarks which hold the nucleus together, called gluons, we begin to look at these various pictures, which are theoretical in our mind. We have never seen any of these things.

We do them to give us some structure so that when we do experiments and look at the results of the experiments, the model will help us explain why the results look the way they look. So that’s what we do in quantum physics.

We make up a model in our mind that we never really ever see that we then say is happening at that level. We have to see them only as the experience we have of being conscious. And so this is where the two, I think, come into alignment with each other.

The quantum physical view that it is only when you bring your mind into the picture that you begin to make pictures of what’s going on at the subatomic level is very similar to when you bring your mind into the spiritual presence. You make a picture of what that spiritual presence is and so there is a similar process I think going on.

So if I understand you, what you are saying is that there is a link between quantum physics and spirituality?

Well, I don’t know if I would call it a link in the sense that there is a chain holding those two together. I would say there is a similar process of investigation which has to go on. And the thing which is very important to realizing both of these fields is that what you bring to bear affects what you perceive as reality of whatever it is you are looking at.

What I bring to bear to look at an atom, if I bring to bear a certain way of looking, it seems wavy, almost unsubstantial. If I bring to bear a particle way of looking at things – where I want to find out where things are or when they are – things look like little balls, little marbles or little pieces of things. So how I look changes what I perceive. So I can’t say what an atom really is per se. I can only say what it’s like when I perceive it a certain way; the same thing with spirituality.

Thank you Dr. Fred Alan Wolf for providing your deep insights into quantum physics and how this science is related to spirituality. Your enthusiasm and love of knowledge have certainly inspired many people to take a closer look into the nature of reality.

For more details on Dr. Fred A. Wolf, please visit Books, CDs, and DVDs by Dr. Wolf are available at the same website

Enlightened viewers, please join us next Monday on Science and Spirituality for part two of our program featuring more from our interview with Dr. Wolf. Thank you for your company on today’s program. Coming up next is Words of Wisdom, after Noteworthy News here on Supreme Master Television. May all lives be blessed with peace, happiness and God's loving grace.
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