The connection between quantum physics and spirituality is, for the Dalai Lama, more than obvious. According to him, all the atoms in our body include part of this ancient web created by the Universe in the past. We are stardust and are biologically connected to any living being. We are beings with invisible energy that vibrates, entities united to everything that exists …
If there is one thing we do know, it is that science and spirituality are not precisely known to be in harmony in principle. Thus, while in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, progress in the scientific field was extremely dangerous in a context dominated by the ecclesiastical class (we can take as an example the sad story of Giordano Bruno), in the news, the the most spiritual approaches undergo this critical and skeptical view of the scientific world.
Convergences between quantum physics and Buddhism
To say that these two traditionally antagonistic domains or universes of our society have come to an agreement would be too risky. However, points of view have come together and converged on ideas that invite us to reflect. Buddhist philosophy is this framework in which such a complex and fascinating field of science can forge links. We are of course talking about quantum mechanics.
This first rapprochement took place in New Delhi in 2015. The Dalai Lama attended a two-day conference on quantum physics and Madhyamaka philosophy. A wide variety of themes were explored with physicists and scientists from different fields. Common points have been found, axes have been completed. In a way, human knowledge has become a bit more enriched.
What does the Dalai Lama tell us about the connection between quantum physics and spirituality?
Theories that establish a connection between quantum physics and spirituality are not recent. They don’t just come from the Dalai Lama. For example, we have books like Science and Spirituality: A Quantum Integration by Amit Goswami, a retired professor in the Department of Theoretical Physics at the University of Oregon and pioneer of a new scientific paradigm that seeks to lay the foundations for ‘a science of consciousness.
We can also rely on Fritjof Capra, a great Austrian physicist and researcher in subatomic physics. This scientist is known for his work The Tao of Physics (1975). In the latter, we can underline a slight opening of the academic world to the spiritual world. We are not mistaken when we say that a rapprochement is being made between the community of physics and Buddhist philosophy.
In fact, a physicist, Raja Ramanna, who died a few years ago but famous for his role in the nuclear development of India, was interested, just before he died, in the texts of the philosopher Nagarjuna to discover something astonishing. . Many statements by the founder of the Madhyamaka school of Mahayana Buddhism resembled certain principles of quantum physics.
Let’s see these commonalities, these principles that the Dalai Lama spoke about during his conference in India in 2015.
What is quantum physics?
- The term “quantum” comes from “quantum,” which is the smallest unit of light there is. Thus, quantum mechanics seeks above all to understand the phenomenology of the atom and all these elementary particles that compose it.
- We are facing a science that was born in the 20th century. Names like Max Planck’s laid the foundation for much of the theories we know today.
- It is a discipline as surprising as it is complex, which aspires to define and understand what cannot be seen, what cannot be measured and all this indeterminism inscribed in the particles which shape our reality. If we could see an atom through a microscope, we would actually discover a small tornado. A vortex in which quarks and photons swirl .
And if we got a little closer to these elements, we would see something even more striking: a void. Because atoms have no physical structure, because they are made of invisible energy and not tangible reality. This idea, that we are energy, is one of the pillars that configure the connection between quantum physics and spirituality.
A consciousness that goes far beyond the physical world
Today, and almost in any bookstore, we can find endless books with the term “quantum”: “quantum computing”, “quantum mind”, “quantum psychology”, “quantum remedy”. .. It is as if this mysterious micro-world is suddenly orchestrating a large part of our daily activities.
The connection between quantum physics and spirituality is still one of the most important there is because of these principles established by the Dalai Lama during his conference in India.
- Quantum physics shows us that beyond the tangible and the material, there is energy. Buddhism has always defended this idea and this need, that of transcending the physical aspect to give greater importance to our consciousness. Ultimately, it is this psychic trace that gives shape and meaning to reality. We are what we think: thought creates everything around us.
A creative spirit
- Amit Goswani, the physics professor at the University of Oregon whom we cited earlier, tells us that the behavior of microparticles changes depending on what the observer is doing. When an observer looks, a type of wave appears; when it does nothing, there is no change.
All of this shows how sensitive atoms are to everything we do. Buddhism has always emphasized this aspect: our emotions and thoughts define us and define the reality around us.
Some of that stardust with which the universe was created resides in each of our atoms. In a way, as the Dalai Lama tells us , we are all connected and part of the same essence. Designing this connection can help us understand the importance of good. Indeed, everything we do will have an impact on the Universe and the Universe will give it back to us.
To conclude, the connection between quantum physics and spirituality invites us to see this field of science from another prism. It is perhaps a somewhat suggestive point of view, but even if it is not acceptable to the most orthodox and rigorous minds, it nevertheless deserves our full attention.