Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Vision of Physics

I have just been completing four articles that seek to outline a new vision of physics (which I believe is greatly needed at the present time).

For very good reasons, I do not share the present optimism regarding physics, which seemingly assumes that at last we are on the threshold of unveiling a Theory of Everything .

Rather than finding this illusionary TOE, we are about to painfully discover how limited in truth is the present scientific framework!

So as I would see it comprehensive scientific understanding will require at least three great phases.
What we are witnessing therefore at present is but the peaking of the first great phase that is geared merely to the specialised quantitative interpretation of physical reality.

However properly understood science possesses an equally important holistic qualitative aspect (which I refer to as Integral Science) . However this aspect has remained for all practical purposes entirely undeveloped. In fact most scientists would have great difficulty in accepting its potential relevance!

So it will be a very long time before this hidden qualitative aspect gradually gains acceptance among the scientific community. And this will only arise as scientists are gradually forced to face up to the limitations of the present quantitative approach.

When this qualitative aspect (i.e. Integral Science) achieves appropriate specialisation (which itself will require a considerable transformation in the manner we experience reality) can we then hope to emerge on the third comprehensive phase of scientific understanding (in what I term Radial Science).

So Radial Science entails the dynamic interaction of both specialised quantitative and qualitative type appreciation.

However, we are still a long way from attaining such comprehensive understanding.

In the first article I outline the key general features of this qualitative integral aspect of science (contrasting them with the corresponding features of the accepted quantitative approach).

This integral appreciation in no way represents merely an extension of present type conventional understanding. Rather it requires a fundamental transformation in the very nature of consciousness so that it becomes inspired with an authentic contemplative vision. This does not exclude the need for precise rational interpretation - indeed it increases such a need - but without this underlying holistic vision (based on genuine spiritual insight), the qualitative approach cannot prosper.

In the second article I apply this new integral type appreciation to some of the Einstein's key findings with respect to Relativity (both Special and General).

One key finding is that the present understanding of the relative nature of space and time (as promoted by Einstein) is somewhat limited and thereby incomplete. In other ways relativity - in this context - applies not merely to the quantitative measurement of space and time but equally to the qualitative manner by which such notions are interpreted.

So in qualitative terms there is not just one acceptable manner of interpreting reality (which for Einstein was the classical paradigm) but potentially an infinite number (of ever more refined interpretations).
Thus when we properly allow for this qualitative aspect we can see that an inevitable uncertainty principle likewise applies at the macro universal (as well as the quantum micro) level of reality.

Putting it more generally this thereby establishes that we cannot hope to distinguish the "objective" (quantitative) nature of physical reality from the psychological (qualitative) means through which it is interpreted.

And ultimately these two aspects can only be reconciled in the pure mystical experience of oneness whereby physical creation momentarily realises its own inherent empty nature (that both precedes and transcends all phenomenal attributes).

The third article then deals with with the qualitative interpretation of quantum reality indicating that such behaviour - when understood in the appropriate manner - is fully in correspondence with its corresponding manner of interpretation. This once again establishes that we cannot hope to divorce the manifest "objective" (quantitative) nature of reality from the "subjective" (qualitative) means by which it is interpreted.

Also by showing in parallel fashion how the Uncertainty Principle equally applies at both the quantum (micro) and relativistic (macro) levels of reality through incorporation of both quantitative and qualitative aspects of science, it indicates clearly the means through which both of these areas can be reconciled.

The final article - which is the most ambitious - indicates how present string theory concepts are hopelessly inadequate (from any acceptable qualitative philosophical perspective).

Unravelling this problem then requires a corresponding holistic qualitative counterpart for all existing string concepts.

So a properly formulated String Theory (where concepts are given an acceptable intuitive explanation conforming with actual experience of reality) requires that concepts be given be both parallel physical and psychological interpretations.

This clearly indicates that present hopes in a mere quantitative type TOE are unfounded.

Indeed the message of this reformulated String Theory once again points clearly to the fact that we cannot hope to ultimately divorce quantitative understanding of physical reality from the qualitative means through which it is interpreted.

Therefore from this more refined standpoint, the ultimate issue in understanding does not relate to the nature of what is known but more subtly to the relationship as between the (psychological) knower and what can be (physically) known.

And this relationship cannot be resolved in a phenomenal manner!

So the starting basis for Radial Physics is that all phenomenal explanations of reality have a merely provisional validity. However a high level of importance still attaches to the precise nature of such provisional explanations (that are deemed appropriate in any context).

Thus such scientific interpretation - viewed in a flexible interactive manner - can serve as a very important catalyst for an underlying contemplative vision (seen as both the initial source and ultimate goal of all such interpretation).