The notion that mysticism and physics can intersect is, to say the least, controversial. There’s certainly plenty of pop culture “knowledge” that says the two are, in fact, interrelated. Movies like What the Bleep Do We Know? suggest that an understanding of certain physics concepts will lead to greater spiritual understanding of the true nature of reality, as well as the converse: that a spiritual path will make physics more accessible.
Then again, some physicists snort like racehorses when presented with What the Bleep? Not all physicists, mind you. Barbara Brennan, for one example, writes books on spiritual subjects.
So, is quantum physics in some way related to consciousness? To mysticism? Why would anyone think so?
Well, let’s start with the notion, an ancient and cross-cultural spiritual idea, that all life, all beings, are interconnected. Surely that relates to the quantum physics notion that all matter is interconnected; is, in fact, a single energy field. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity showed us that matter and energy are simply forms of the same thing: E=Mc2, right?
Now, if all matter/energy is one field of matter/energy, if Schroedinger’s cat either does or does not exist at any moment, if existence itself is only roughly measurable, if our state of being cannot be nailed down, how can this not have spiritual implications?
There are definitely flakes and nuts ascribing to ‘quantum spirituality’—people who think the Mayans came here from outer space and who knows what all else? But one of the intriguing factors of this notion is the idea that science and religion are fundamentally compatible.
I cannot and will not accept that great scientific minds are out of step with “God’s Will.” I don’t pretend to know what that is, but I do believe that excellence and achievement belong to the blessed and that, if there is a Creator God, then that Entity didn’t invent scientific brilliance just to say “Hah! Fooled you!”
So, the idea that science is compatible with religion is natural to me. I think a rich and profound spirituality can and should be compatible with science. With evolution, with the Big Bang, and yes, with quantum physics.