I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know
his thoughts. The rest are details. (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2000 p.202)
One of the great minds in human history, Albert Einstein was an interesting cat. His Theories of
literally redefined our observations of the universe and reality. Rather than get into a diatribe describing those theories and
their impacts on physics, and indeed our view of the Universe, I want to focus on a few aspects of Einstein’s view of reality at a much more
esoteric and spiritual level and what this means to us simple humans.
Einstein, despite being a devout man of science, and a mathematical genius on levels above what only a small percent of us could possibly understand,
was a theist. Indeed, the more he pondered the Universe, and the more he understood the true nature of reality, the more he realized that science
could only describe the basics of the Universe; only by applying a much deeper sense of understanding does the Universe make sense.
What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling
of "humility." This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.
He did not believe in a “meddling God” or a God that was concerned with the minutiae and day to day affairs of its inhabitants, but a maestro who
conducted the creation and development of the Universe in a way we cannot comprehend. In fact, he related us to “school children” in trying to
comprehend the mind of God.
I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his
own creation. I cannot do this in spite of the fact that mechanistic causality has, to a certain extent, been placed in doubt by modern science. [He
was speaking of Quantum Mechanics and the breaking down of determinism.] My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior
spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest
importance -- but for us, not for God.
What Einstein understood, and many individuals turn their minds off to is this; that we can never answer the questions underlying the meaning of the
Universe regardless of how advanced our science becomes without taking the Universe en toto—that is, taking the Universe into account in its whole
by exploring the scientific and spiritual natures of the Universe simultaneously.
In fact, the only thing that makes the Universe “real” is its very observation by its inhabitants. Indeed one of the axioms of Quantum Physics,
the Observer Effect
simply states that the very act of observing /measuring an event
has an effect on the outcome and very nature of that event. Much like checking a tire with a tire gauge lets a little air out of a tire, the very
nature of the tire is changed.
To take this a step further, and without resorting to an essay on quantum mechanics, the Universe is made up of only two things, waves and particles.
From a "particle viewpoint" the Universe contains 99.999% emptiness. At the very basic level of the Universe, we have what physicists call “quantum
foam” a chaotic state that exists at the very foundation and fabric of space time that cannot be measured or ordered.
Above that we have all the fundamental particles that make up the Universe, more of which we discover all the time. When we break down a tree, for
instance in its constituent parts down to the elementary level, what we really have is a swarm of particles…atoms, protons, neutrons,
electrons—beneath that quarks, gluons…and the now famous “God Particle” the Higgs-boson, which was observed in CERN in July of 2012. All this
matter is in continual chaotic flux and change. Electrons zipping around from atom to atom, going from one energy state to another. Photons
literally blinking in and out of existence faster than is measurable. If we could actually “see” the tree we would not recognize it at all—we
would indeed see a fluctuation in the energy field where the tree is exists, and incomprehensible chaos.
However, somehow we observe this chaos and nearly empty space and observe a beautiful living entity. We observe the roughness of the bark, the
elegance of its curving branches and the serene beauty of its leaves. We can watch the tree change in subtle shifts, with the leaves turning vibrant
colors in the fall, dying in the winter, only to re-grow in the spring. From this quantum chaos we observe beauty and order. We touch the tree not
knowing that we are actually touching mostly empty space. It is indeed somewhere in the deep convolutions and recesses of the human brain that the
tree is defined. Our very observation of the tree defines it as such, where in the true underlying physicality of the tree, no such order exists.
How is this possible? How is it that we define this through observation of fluctuations of light, and tactile reality of touching mostly empty space
through our amazing visual organs and somehow all that becomes a real object in the brain?
There really is no way to explain it on a purely scientific level. We truly take a quadrillion pieces of information and make it a whole picture. We
define it as a tree and carry that image around in our consciousness. What we see is “essence”. If we took our human blinders off, we could not
navigate the Universe. It would be a scary place. But somewhere, somehow, we were made to observe things in a completely different way than reality
produces. We do this in a micro and macro aspect and try to assign meaning. We don’t just observe the tree, but see it as a part of a whole
picture; the picture of the Universe with everything in it. We see the connections among the billions upon billions of physical objects not knowing
that what we are seeing the manifestation of intent or information that goes far beyond its constituent (and mostly non-physical) parts.
Where does this information really come from? It is the mystery of mysteries, and only knowing the Mind of God would reveal the answer. Everything
else is just details.
Additional Sources: Einstein and Religion, Max Jammer, Princeton University Press, 1999
edit on 19-2-2014 by QuantumKat because: no
edit on 19-2-2014 by QuantumKat because: general