Me: What exactly is the evidence or backing or how do people support the claim
for the One? You might have already answered this in some way but I was just
wanting to clarify it. Thanks.
Matt: Evidence? What evidence? The evidence is everywhere, including inside you.
God does not give proof. It demeans him, and besides which, it serves no purpose. Think about it: at what point are you satisfied that the evidence is sufficient? No matter what were to be brought forward, at any point you can say, "Well, that doesn't prove it. It might equally be explained by x, y, or z."
Proof, of necessity, is something external to that which is to be proven. This is why you can't define a word by using the word. Thing is, when you're talking about the One, there is nothing external to it. By definition. It is everything. Thus, it cannot be proven.
Me: Thanks a lot. Can you explain in laymen's terms what waveform collapse is
and its implications to what we're talking about...thanks.
Matt: The wavefunction is the mathematical description of all the possible states a given particle might occupy, expressed as a probabilistic wave. Collapse is what happens when the particle is observed (i.e. interacts with consciousness, or is measured): the act of looking at it causes the particle to immediately jump into one of the various states from the wavefunction. In other words, collapsing the
wavefunction removes all of the possible states to leave a single remaining actual state. This might seem like a mathematical formalism or philosophical game, but actual laboratory experiment bears it out time and again: when a particle isn't being looked at, it's a wave, and when it is, it's a particle.
Me: Doesn't that have to do with light being shown on it though? Also, when humans look at something, doesn't something in the atmosphere change anyway...like...just because our heads are occupying that space? Are you saying that if we looked at it but did not recognize it, the particle would not change? Would it have to be registered consciously to change?
Matt:The question of precisely why observation causes particles to change as they do is one of the great questions of modern physics. People have been asking it since the discipline was formulated back in the 30s, and as yet, there are no satisfactory answers.
Me: But does it actually have to register in the brain to change? Are our perceptions and those electrons linked? Is it our physically looking at it that makes them change or is it actually us becoming conscious of them? This kind of thing is confusing...
Matt: Try not to anthropomorphize (difficult, I know, given we're talking consciousness here. Bear with me.) You have to be careful to see phrases like 'looking' at the particle in a somewhat metaphorical light. Cells, for example, don't 'look' at anything. They do however sense, and by doing that, exert a very low level of consciousness.
I'd even argue (and from a scientific perspective I'm way out on a limb) that atoms themselves possess a certain degree of consciousness, insofar as an atom can a) sense another atom and b) react to what it senses (ie, moving towards something that attracts it, away from something that repels it.)
Now, you can't talk about the measurement problem without talking about entanglement. The simplest way I can put entanglement is this: entanglement is what happens when the wavefunctions of two previously separate systems merge. After entangling, neither system can be described in isolation, for their have become one system. This is very important.
Now, you have an atom, alone in space. Un'observed', its wave function smears out. Then it gets perturbed by another atom; this constitutes observation, and the wave-function collapses. Those two atoms, however, are now a single system; merely by coming into contact, they have entangled, and are now described by a single wavefunction, which again smears out until it's 'observed' (ie, brought into contact with, perturbed, etc) by something outside itself ... which then merges ...and so on ... until you get to the level of the entire Universe.
Me: And how would you define consciousness? I always thought of it as something similar to sentience. Self-awareness. Animals are somewhat conscious but I wouldn't say rocks are. I'd even go so far as to say plants are probably conscious.
Matt: Even rocks have consciousness. Everything does. Consciousness is inherent in matter. Neither can exist without the other.
Me: By the way, everyone should check out Matt's own blog here on blogspot. It's at http://psikigram.blogspot.com/ . He has a lot of good stuff on there.