Now you see it, now you don’t

thThe other day I mentioned parallel universes and how the topic was inspired by a comment I’d read. In the cascade that is my morning thought process – a.k.a. the engine behind my blog topics here, I revisited all I’ve read over the years on quantum mechanics. In that branch of physics, many opinions on the topic of existence can be found.

Picture this one — nothing exists unless you walk into it. How can that be? If you look at that statement with the fork in the road in mind, it’s easier to understand. The potential for this or that comes from making the choice to go this way or that way. Our lives are dictated by the millions upon millions of choices we make, and our existence is dictated by our being present in it.

Here’s a visual– Imagine you have a handful of tiny pebbles and are standing before a pond as still and smooth as glass. Throw the pebbles in and each one creates its own wave to spread and bisect with the others.  Consider those pebbles and the points where the waves overlap and change course to be your life of choices. Each has an outcome all its own. Had you made another choice, that wave would go off in another direction and effect everything else it touches, including the choices made by others sharing the same existence. Heavy thought for morning coffee, no? lol

I’m no physicist. I’ve only a smidgeon of understanding of the intricacies and the mathematics behind this science discipline, but I had an outstanding honors-level physics teacher once who should have been working in some scientific brain-trust somewhere instead of a Chicago high school.  Back when String Theory and Quantum Mechanics belonged to the likes of Albert Einstein, Max Planck, and Niels Bohr, my teacher was explaining other dimensions –specifically layers of space and time.

To continue where that thought took me the other day,  I’d like to start off with this philosophical question that brilliant teacher put to my class forty years ago:

If a tree falls in the forest, and no one hears it, does it make a sound?
George Berkeley, Anglican bishop and philosopher, 1685 -1753

I was the odd student in that class that day for I seemed to understand the nuance of what our teacher was getting at. We had just discussed a study unit on waves the week before. Everyone said yes. And I said no.  He asked me to explain. I said if there were no ears present to hear the waves made by the falling tree, then no. Oh the glee on that man’s face at my answer! Sound is only heard if the mechanism to hear it exists. If nothing detects the sound waves, then no. There is no sound. That’s a curious question because it has both a yes and no answer. Yes, I was a super nerdy girl.  😀

So the mind-bender I spoke of the other day also involves being present. Not present to hear. Present to see. The following video clip explains it perfectly:

Two different outcomes and it all comes down to whether or not someone is looking. Talk about being present. So does this mean our existence is what it is because we look? What if we all closed our eyes, imagined a better existence, then opened them again?



For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 38 entries to come.

Here’s a cliché for today:
Now you see it, now you don’t.


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About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
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2 Responses to Now you see it, now you don’t

  1. treknray says:

    Amazing video. I had to share it on Facebook. Do the waves created by electrons have anything to do with how electrons work in the atom when they are free electrons or is it truly quantum?
    When I was around seven or eight years old I used to Stand at the corner of a building and wonder if the world ended at my line of sight and if I looked around that corner would I disappear. I knew I wouldn’t, but it was an obsession. I know with infants what they see is what they get, but a school age child. Now my only obsession of that type is to count silently to ten as something is happening before the action is completed. If the action completes before I reach ten will I still be here. Strange, but this obsession is almost as old as I am.

    I’ve read that some believe that our thoughts are just the results of chemical reaction and the mind is just a fiction. Scientists are trying to come up with a way to remove bad memories that are able to cause PTSD. So far it is in the animal testing stage although they have been able in another series of experiments able to project thoughts from one person to another with simple words like hi or how are you without visual or auditory cues.

    • Hmm, I’m not sure, Ray.
      How interesting to have that perspective as a child. Do you know there’s a concept out there right now about putting the toughest questions facing mankind (like climate change) in the hands of grade school children? The idea is, the kids can look at a problem with minds still free of adult limitations. When we stop make-believe our brains change. It’s all down hill after Santa.

      The mind as fiction. Now there’s something to chew on. A week or two ago I read a holograph may our reality. I think we are the walking, talking, thinking, feeling extension of the Mind, that the Mind may experience our self-reflecting consciousness and all that goes with it. That’s mind with an M. It’s in my Magnum Opus. 😉

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