News & Reviews
Perceiving the Elephant — Quantum Faith Might Help
May 28, 2021
If we believe that the world we live in has four major relevant component elements as far as we are concerned, then we have a context to work with to both figure out what we should be doing now and where we should be going in the future.
If we believe that we can think of the world as having four key and core paradigms that basically contain and include everything, then we can be very well served by understanding each paradigm and by using each to guide the relevant areas of our lives.
Paradigm One in that model, is physics.
Physics explains everything that is created and how all things interact with each other and with us to guide our worlds.
Paradigm Two is biology and life.
Paradigm Three is People and Us.
Paradigm Four is Metaphysics and God.
We have brilliant minds.
We are uniquely conscious and intellectually independent beings, and we have more than a trillion neuron connections in our amazing brains that can be channeled into some amazing levels of discernment and understanding about all four paradigms.
If we had no other proof of intentional existence and purpose for us and for the world, the billions of neurons and the trillions of connections in our brain would be a sufficient data point to argue that there are actually key elements of intentional design in our existence.
We can use our brains to understand key elements of all four paradigms in ways that were not possible to us until they were revealed to us by modern physics and the most recent sets of biological process discoveries.
Those clearly intentional elements that we can now see and understand in each of those areas can cause us, all by themselves, to believe that the four-paradigm theory of existence and the creationist macro-paradigm approach that links the four paradigms together is intellectually credible as being an accurate and useful description of our world.
Our brains are amazing.
Our brains can actually do mathematics. Other living beings have some levels of consciousness that we can see and appreciate, but the thing that makes our brains so special is that they can do mathematics, and people who do that work absolutely love having that ability.
Mathematicians do the most amazing things — and the formulas and concepts that math contains not only have a beauty on their own for the people who do math, but they also give us amazing insights into our physical world in continuously improving and expanding ways that let us build the tool kits we use now to run major parts of our world.
Quantum physics now shows us that the world has particles and energy and waves and uncertainty elements, and the tools we build with that knowledge let us create lasers and atomic bombs and growing levels of connectivity that we did not suspect might even be possible a short time ago.
Those parts and pieces are all part of Paradigm One — Physics and The World — and we have growing levels of insights into that paradigm and we have many brilliant people in multiple settings working on discerning and learning quantum physics and the world that surrounds us.
People who do math tend to have a deep appreciation for the beauty that exists in those equations and realities — and a number of them find it easy to believe that those equations and realities are discerning gifts from God, rather than invented knowledge.
Paradigm Two is equally designed and intentional in clearly discernable ways.
Paradigm Two is life.
Paradigm Two is biology.
Paradigm Two is all of the component parts that allow and enable life to exist and survive and evolve in all the areas where development and evolution are relevant to life.
We have reached the point in our technological development that we can now understand life at much deeper levels than ever before. We now know DNA and RNA as codes and tools and complex interacting functions that have massive impacts on life and on us.
We used to think of DNA as being an almost mystical and extremely fortuitous life-force unto itself of some kind.
We now know that DNA is a tightly structured code and that it is impacted by RNA, which also exists as a tightly structured code — and we actually now know for the first time with our CRISPR tools and related science how to use those codes to steer our lives and life itself in intentional directions.
That is all very new information that was not available at any level to Charles Darwin or even to us until extremely recently.
We did not understand what those sets and kinds of codes were until quantum physics gave us computers.
We now have extensive varieties of computers that we run by inserting programs into them and having and using that set of coding tools has given us massive insights into how life functions in the areas of life that are steered and governed by those codes and a clear sense of how intentional those tools are.
Evolution isn’t over for us.
We have the ability to use those tools and various artificial intelligence tools to design our own future and to have levels of learning that far exceed what even our marvelous brains can do on their own.
For starters, we now know that we need to evolve and enhance our traditional and basic theories of purely biological evolution, because there is no set of possible purely Darwinian mutations — even with billions of years to work with — that could have created and interconnected those intentional codes for either our DNA or RNA.
Paradigm Two is built on that set of tools and processes — and we need to be in control of our learning in those areas because we now have the ability to weaponize that process and do damage to each other with the deadly viruses that we can now create if we decide that we want to damage other people with those tools and approaches.
We also have the ability to use the tools created in Paradigm One by quantum physics to create weapons that can clearly damage many people. Both atomic bombs and autonomous drone-like weaponry could damage us badly if we choose to do that damage.
That threat and that danger and that ability leads us to knowing why we also need a very clear understanding of Paradigm Three — Us — at this exact point in our history of people.
We can now do extensive damage to ourselves with the new tools and there is a very real possibility that we might actually do that damage under the influence of some of our more problematic instinctive behaviors.
We exist as conscious beings (with growing levels of knowledge about science and biology) who are guided, steered, and hugely influenced by the basic sets of instincts that have been built into our basic core nature and our behavioral-patterns tool kit, and those instincts can cause us to do bad and evil things to one another.
We have instincts that guide our thinking and our emotions at multiple levels.
We have instincts to be social, territorial, hierarchical, sexual, maternal, paternal, acquisitional and tribal at multiple levels — and our instincts that cause us to create paradigms and to build cultures with some instinct guided paradigm elements built into them can steer us in good directions or into actually doing evil things to other people and feeling good about doing bad things to people.
We are so instinctively programmed to create cultures in every setting that people standing in line will create a culture for the line and will become angry at an instinctive level if someone violates that particular culture for the line.
Us and Them Instincts are our key threat, danger, and opportunity.
Our Us-Them instincts have huge impacts on our lives. We divide the world into Us and Them — and we can think about people entirely based on whether we perceive them to be Us or Them.
We support, protect, enable, nurture, and enhance the situation for our Us — and we are suspicious, territorial, antagonistic, angry, and too often want to defeat and even damage Them.
No one is free from the power and the impact of our instincts. We all have them. We all feel right when our behaviors and our life situations are aligned with our instincts and we all feel stress and anxiety and even sadness or anger when our lives and our instincts are not aligned.
We all need to know who we are at that level of being affected by our instincts.
We are all saints and we are all sinners.
We all have the programming to go down each of those pathways and to feel very right with whatever pathway we are on.
Some of the concentration camp guards in World War II who did stunningly evil things to people in the camp also did loving things to people who were not in the camp — and that wasn’t because they were hiding who they were in the other setting, but because they had not activated that particular set of instincts relative to the people in the setting they were in, and so that actually wasn’t who they were there.
We can’t accept or condone those sets of evil behaviors, but we should know why and when they happen so that we can protect us from each other and so that we do not activate the worst of those instincts in our settings with ourselves.
We too often literally feel no guilt for bad things done to Them.
We enslave Them, firebomb Them, ethnically cleanse Them, discriminate intentionally against Them — and feel entitled, justified, and even heroic for damaging Them when those instincts are shaping who we are at that point in time.
That is not a hypothetical or theoretical concern.
It is very real and it is very current.
That kind of extremely damaging inter group behavior happens all the time in sadly consistent ways in a wide range of settings.
The evidence is all around us. Look at the headlines in your media today.
We have over 130 ethnic wars happening in the world today, and people are killing, hating, and damaging Them in all of those settings and people are feeling justified in what they are doing.
Ethics are entirely different for Us and for Them when those instincts are activated.
The same people who would never lie to an Us will lie in very intentional ways to Them, and will feel that no ethical standards were broken because the lie was told to Them.
We tribalize in many settings as part of that process — and tribes tend to fight with each other and to hate each other as groups whenever that happens.
In our own country, we have discriminated hugely and significantly against each group and each set of people who have been perceived by the majority group in our various settings to be Them.
With those instincts in gear, we have forced Native Americans from the lands their people had lived on for thousands of years, and we both enslaved African Americans and then wrote extremely damaging Jim Crow laws to continue to discriminate against African Americans long after slavery officially ended.
Those instincts are linked to every group.
Every group who has come to this country who looked different than the White American majority has faced discrimination at multiple levels.
In our most recent years, we have actually been making some progress in those areas.
We have been making slow but steady progress in reducing our discrimination against minority people in every setting and against women and people with various sexual orientations in various settings — and that slow and relatively recent progress has put us into a far better situation for most people from most groups in this country compared to only a couple of years ago.
We actually now have some of the most enlightened laws in the world compared to the purely racist and blatantly misogynistic laws and cultures that still exist in many parts of the world. The last couple of years have been particularly directionally beneficial for both ethnicity and gender related issues in our country.
We have very recently been making significantly more progress in those areas with the Me-Too movement and with Black Lives Matter and related movements against racial discrimination on multiple levels as movements that are beginning to have very positive cultural progress in a number of areas.
The anger levels have been high for both Me Too and Black Lives Matter, but there is an underlying sense on the part of large numbers of people that we are moving in good directions in those key areas, and that we will be far better in all of those behaviors and expectations two or three years from now.
Progress is being made.
We are, however, also beginning to move in some directions toward some clearly tribal-level conflicts that put us at risk of becoming just another multi-tribal nation at war with itself. There are over 130 of those conflicts going on in the world today, and we really do not want to fall to that level of interaction here.
Gaza could not be more tribal. Sudan could not be more tribal. Syria is deeply tribal — with all of those people with barrel bombs being dropped on their hospitals and their schools being from the other tribe from the people dropping the bombs.
The Alawites are doing ethnic cleansing in parts of Syria and Saudi Arabia is doing local genocide against the Houthi.
China could not be more racist and more tribal than they are today with the Uyghurs.
Russia has purely ethnic conflict with Chechnya and with major parts of Ukraine.
Those instincts are doing damage at the group level in many countries. When you understand those patterns of instinctive inter group behavior, history very predictably repeats itself, and even rhymes.
We have, however, managed until very recently to avoid some of the most openly tribal conflicts in our country. But we have enough people feeling like a damaged tribe in a couple of groups to push us very close to falling off that wagon today.
We are close to losing that long standing inter tribal insulation status for our country now. We have a number of Americans feeling very tribal in a number of ways and who have alpha leaders pushing their groups in those directions — and inter group anger is building between those groups in ways that could hurt us badly going forward as a nation.
That is a very slippery slope to a very bad place when it begins because people in each tribe feel very justified in their behaviors of a damaging nature when those values and emotions are activated.
We need to rise above those behaviors and we need to do it fairly soon.
For full and optimal realization of Paradigm Three in our country — we need to understand how serious our current risks are and we need to make the decision as a people to act in ethical, enlightened, and supportive ways — and to steer our cultures in every community to become an American Us in each setting that supports other people who are also in our Us in that setting.
Paradigm Four brings over-arching context that could and should be relevant to our Peace efforts.
For the people in these settings who believe in God, we might want to work to bring our religious beliefs into play in mutually supportive ways to create Peace instead of having our religious beliefs serving as another channel for our inter group anger and division.
We need to understand what is involved in Paradigm Four.
Paradigm Four is God.
Paradigm Four is Metaphysics, the Creator, and God.
This set of paradigms is not specifically defining the role of God in that particular paradigm — but the clear intentionality of creation and of design that we see exists behind mathematics and quantum physics, and behind the detailed programming of RNA and other biological codes, tells us that there is a Creator in the process and that all of those tools and gifts are, in fact, at a very basic level, Gifts from God.
We are special.
We seem to be almost alone in the universe as having conscious minds that do abstract and scientific thinking. We have over a trillion neuron connections in our brains — about the same numbers that some people working on the Big Bang theories now calculate as the number of galaxies in the universe.
We are both tiny and huge.
Our ability to think and discern and to decide is clearly real — and it’s possible that we were created or destined to exist in order for God not to be alone as a conscious mind in the universe.
Several religious traditions actually say that we were created because God was lonely and wanted someone else to appreciate the beauty of the universe.
Many things are, in fact, beautiful. The purpose of pure beauty in design and structure and even in music and art calls for an appreciative mind to share the joy of those pieces of the world.
Some people believe that our ability to feel joy is one of the reasons we are here.
The question that gets asked often in those thought processes relative to all four paradigms is: If this was all done in some ways for Us, then why did it take billions of years for us to happen?
Why did it take so long to create us?
One possible answer to that question includes the fact that time might actually not be relevant to God.
Another answer to that question should include the fact that we now have a sense of time being relative, and maybe the relativity of time makes that long span of time irrelevant.
Another possible answer is that we now know from quantum physics and from synchronicity there that simultaneous things can and do happen that are outside of the rules of time.
That’s an amazing set of realities about time that tells us that it is possible that things might all be both sequential and simultaneous and that it’s possible that everything actually happens at once or has already happened and it only seems sequential to us because of our context in this literal point in time.
In any case, the overall issue of why it took so long isn’t relevant from a couple of those perspectives — but the thing that is extremely important to us from the perspective of time is that it is happening as time for us now.
Now is hugely important.
We live entirely in Now.
Now defines everything for us — and it’s what we should appreciate and use because it exists for us Now.
We have very finite lives.
Different religious beliefs have their own paradigms about what happens to us when we die. Some believe in heaven or hell, or just heaven alone, or in absolute nothingness except for us possibly all blending in spirit form when we die into whatever exists as the underlying spirit behind the universe that led to the creation of everything.
Some excellent and extremely credible thinkers have very recently written wonderful books for about our gifts from God — George Ellis, Frank Wilczek, Francis Collins, Perry Marshall, and now Dr. John J. Thatamanil all believe that God exists and that God is, at heart, loving, supportive, and kind, and wants us to live good lives and to add value for each other along the way.
The newest of the holy insights and science books is called, Circling the Elephant — and it is connected here to this review.
The new Circling the Elephant book has a great underlying concept.
It looks at the classic fable of the Blind Men and the Elephant, and instead of concluding that all the blind men were wrong, Dr. John Thatamanil is a Christian theologian from Union Theological Seminary who believes in The Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and who believes that the blind men might actually all be right because the Holy Spirit component of the Christian Trinity can potentially be understood to include and even welcome a wide range of perceptions of God.
Dr. Thatamanil believes in Christ as God incarnate who chose to live a human life and then die for our sins as the teacher we should follow — using the Sermon on the Mount as key ethical guide for us all. Dr. Thatamanil actually cites Mahatma Gandhi in a very powerful chapter of his book as very likely having been directly influenced by the Sermon on the Mount, and then having that extension of beliefs serving as a conduit to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his journey to India as part of his non-violence teaching — suggesting that there were some previously less visible Christian roots in that process for our own country.
Those insights make the new book, Circling the Elephant, worth reading.
People of the Judeo Christian Bible based belief systems who can look at the Genesis sequence of creation and who can look past the possibility of the first seven days actually being longer than normal calendar days, but who also look at the actual sequence of developments that are outlined in that ancient Genesis creation week description, can see a Big Bang theory tee-up and process in Genesis that ends with all other species being created first, and then humans — with a man and a woman — not created until later on day six, and then uniquely created at that point explicitly “In the Image of God.”
Being created in the Image of God has both some poetic alignment and some functional parallels and complexity level linkages with the existence of a trillion neuron connections actually existing in the brain of the man and the woman.
That consciousness grounded definition for what that might mean to be created in the Image of God feeds the thought processes that say we were created because God was tired of being alone and wanted our minds to also perceive and enjoy and understand the parts and pieces and paradigms of Creation.
Our science is making huge progress at multiple levels at this point in our history as people that serve to reinforce with several levels of context that particular assumption for our reason to exist.
It is increasingly clear from today’s science and from today’s biology that we can make the point with some legitimacy that we do have gifts from God in our world and we don’t seem to have any better explanation for why those gifts exist.
It’s also becoming clear that we can use those gifts in both dangerous or wonderful ways — and wonderful is clearly better.
We each need to find our own path into our relationship with what we each believe to be true about Paradigm Four.
My own sense from some years of consideration about that point is that we don’t need to worry about wrong answers and that good intent is extremely good for that search process by each person for their faith.
Perfection in the search isn’t needed and being directionally correct is sufficient, and we have a number of options to follow if we decide to accept that we do live in a universe that is a gift to us at many levels and we want to celebrate that in a religious way.
As the writer of this particular piece, my own sense is that being a Concordia trained Christian with underlying Lutheran theology and with a slight Swedenborgian touch on Joy works well for me.
It feels entirely right and good to me for Christmas and for Easter and for taking Communion as my extremely intentional, direct, aligned, and ‘rightful-feeling’ way of expressing my thanks for the various gifts and learning opportunities that I have been given, and for the beauty of this lovely Eden of a world that we have been given to use for our context and for our lives.
I try to live in beautiful places and to appreciate the beauty every day as a gift and a blessing.
Many people have a basic faith tradition from their lives that feels right to them. That alignment with the faith traditions that we each might have seems like a good place for us to be and we should take this understanding of the gifts we have been given very comfortably into our faith setting.
The book authors linked to this piece seem to share that belief. Perry Marshall and Francis Collins and Dr. Wilczek and George Ellis each have also chosen faith paths that fit their upbringing.
Dr. Ellis is a Quaker.
Dr. Collins is an Evangelical Christian who shares that fact about his faith in very public settings as the director of the CDC for our country.
It’s a good thing when the faith tradition that people have can continue to give guidance and support into our older years and lives and it’s not a bad thing to have our beliefs grow as we experience our lives and world.
Having a faith tradition from our upbringing can give us great context for our spiritual connections and fellow believers for faith-based group activities.
But for people who don’t have that early link, there are many options. It’s entirely possible to reach out to various belief-related organizations and to find both support and current believers who will welcome you to their fold.
When we make those alignments, we need to make sure that our faith connection does not take us to bad places.
We should never have our faith or our religion cause us to sin against any other person.
We need to reject any religious leaders who want us to do evil things — even if they feel wrapped in enough tribal or theological anger on their own part to want that evil to happen.
Avoid alignments that clearly steer in negative directions. Be your own guide for your choices on that path.
We can each tell when something just doesn’t feel right in those areas and we can either ask our faith leaders to be more Christ-like or more Buddha-like relative to those kinds of behaviors or we can move to another setting that does share those values and beliefs.
Christ’s teaching about turning the other cheek on those issues feels very right to me, and a Christian leader who rejects that clear steerage is probably not on the right path and may be under the influence of our less enlightened instinctive reactions to the world.
I also believe that the Dalai Lama is on his own good path — and I support that path entirely for him and for where his life should be.
Quantum physics, quantum biology, quantum socio biology, and now quantum faith feels very right to me as a package and as a creationist context for thinking, alignment, and life.
We are magnificent learners. Let’s use this as a time of magnificent learning.
The Blind Men and the Elephant fable can be an interesting part of that process.
And be at and be with —