August 10, 2010

It's Quantastic!

God Is Not Dead: What Quantum Physics Tells Us about Our Origins and How We Should Live

This book was written by: Amit Goswami, PhD, who shows that God has left his signature on the universe. Although "these quantum signatures are made of indelible ink; they cannot be erased or rationalized away by any materialist hocus-pocus"(p.11), they are also sloppy and almost entirely illegible.

What is in this book: The marriage of science and spirituality. According to Dr. Goswami, quantum science has proven that God exists in all of us. Every possible outcome for everything exists simultaneously, and we exercise godlike powers by selecting one specific way of viewing things. "We experience a quantum object, but only when we choose a particular facet of its possibility wave [...] And in that state from which we choose, we are all one, we are in God-consciousness"(p.23). To put it another way, when performing the Schrödinger's cat experiment, the act of opening the box and seeing the cat as either alive or dead is an exercise of godlike power. "The evidence is subtle, based on the concept of the primacy of consciousness from quantum physics, which remains Greek to many people, and so the message is very slow to penetrate both scientific and popular consciousness"(p.vii, emphasis in original). This difficulty with penetration is especially troublesome for men; it happens to lots of other men and no other men at the same time, so it's tough to tell whether you should feel bad about it. It's very quantum.

What is not in this book? Miscommunication. "I hope the question of creativity being a quantum leap is not evoking images of creative people such as Newton, Michelangelo, and Martha Graham effortlessly jumping over great physical barriers"(p.77). That would be silly. Instead, you should picture Scott Bakula, dressed like Isaac Newton, competing in the long jump at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. "Think quantum!"(p.58)

Would you recommend this book to an idiot? I enjoyed this book tremendously. It turns out that "people who are more sensitive to vital energy, people with open hearts, suffer more from pangs of conscience than people who are less sensitive to vital energy, people with primarily thinking minds"(p.180), and "oversensitive" has a much nicer sound to it than "unintelligent." Anyway, the book works to "introduce the nature of the quantum signatures of the divine in some detail and expound on the experimental verification of downward causation, quantum nonlocality, discontinuity, and tangled hierarchy in psychology and biology"(p.58), so it's pretty light reading. And quantum!

Would you recommend this book to a feminist? Yes. If they've been looking for something to do since feminism died, they may want to think about "quantum activism and what we can do to evolve ourselves and our society in accordance with the evolutionary agenda of consciousness"(p.59). Towards the end of the book, Dr. Goswami explains how "Quantum activism begins when we change our worldview from a matter-based one to one based on quantum physics and the primacy of consciousness. We have begun right thinking and we ask: now that we know how to think properly about our world, what should we do about it?"(p.255)
On the other end of the spectrum, "not only does the quantum activist explore love as charity and service to others, but also in intimate relationships, even carnal relationships"(p.258), so it's cool if you like hookers. You can try quantum multitasking to explore love in intimate, carnal, and business relationships all at once.

What was interesting about this book? In the prologue, Dr. Goswami imagines how a biologist, a philosopher, and a Christian theologian would find fault with his argument. The imaginary biologist "is a white American male, complete with coat and tie loosened at the neck"(p.1), the fictional philosopher is a "tall, white American male with a shaved head looking a lot like Ken Wliber"(p.5), and the pretend theologian "ends up as a woman"(p.8). Dr. Goswami debates these strawpersons so skillfully and dismantles their criticisms so thoroughly that it's like he knew what they were going to say before they did. In fact, one might call Goswami a master debater.

God Is Not Dead: What Quantum Physics Tells Us about Our Origins and How We Should Live, Amit Goswami, PhD (Hampton Roads Publishing, 2008, ISBN: 978-1-57174-563-7)

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