The world that isn’t



Quantum entanglement, as explained on one of the programs of the Universe series, on the H2 Channel, is not a theory, but a fact, demonstrated by scientific experiments.


Briefly, the experiment, which has been repeated a number of times, goes as follows:  A subatomic particle, such as an electron, is paired with another electron.  The first of the two is set spinning in a clockwise direction.  At the same moment, the second “paired” one begins spinning in the opposite direction, that is, counter-clockwise.  Then Electron Number Two is taken several miles away from the original site.


The spin of Electron Number One is then reversed and now goes in a counter-clockwise direction.  At the same instant in time, the spin of Electron Number Two also reverses, and now goes in a clockwise direction.  This happens, by itself, even though there is absolutely no physical connection between the two electrons.  They are miles apart.


How does Electron Number Two “know” that Electron Number One has had the direction of its spin change, and that this must result in changing the direction of its own spin?


How the direction of the spin is changed, how it is observed, and how the second electron is moved several miles away is not described on the program “The Universe.”  But we assume all this has taken place as reported—and we are told that the experiment has been repeated several times with the same results.


Why does it matter whether or not the electrons spin this way or that, and do we really care?




The reason we may care is that this is profoundly counter-intuitive, and it makes a mish-mash of all our natural, “self-evident” concepts of the laws of the universe.


It’s as if we have a pair of human twins. They are children and they enjoy spinning round and round in circles, each one spinning in the opposite direction of the other.


One afternoon, as they are spinning, one goes over to the neighbor’s yard, on the far side of the house, out of sight of Twin Number One, and continues spinning.  Soon, Twin Number One gets bored with spinning clockwise and begins to spin counter-clockwise.


The children’s father, who is observing both children from a second floor window, where he has a good view of both, notices that, at the same instant as Twin Number One reverses his direction of spin, Twin Number Two also reverses his direction of spin.  But how does Twin Number Two know that Twin Number One has changed directions?  Telepathy springs to mind as a possible explanation.  Well, okay, maybe in the case of the human twins it is telepathy—maybe even unconscious telepathy.


But that really doesn’t help us much with the electrons. Unless they too are conscious beings.  Well, maybe they are, who knows?


Because of this strange scientific experiment, we are left with a puzzle.  We are left with a universe in which – either all things and beings are conscious.  Or information can travel instantaneously, faster than the speed of light.  Or maybe on some other level the two electrons are not really separated by distance at all.  Or maybe there is simply no such thing as the existence of time and space?  One way or another, something is not as it seems.




The electrons are linked, “entangled”, caught together in a web, a charm that transcends space and time.  No matter how great the distance between them, they behave as if they are together, side by side, in contact with each other.  They instantaneously respond to each other.


It is well known that flocks of birds can turn, with every bird turning at the same moment.  This is not like the v-shaped flight of flocks of geese, where there is one leader at a time, and all the others are following.  I remember a few years ago, when the lighting conditions were just right, watching a flock of perhaps 70 pinon jays, flying over a canyon.  When they turned one way, because the sunlight struck their wings at a particular angle, their wings all looked white.  When they changed directions, their wings were in the shadow, and all looked black. As I watched for several minutes, they all turned at precisely the same moment in time.  First the wings were white, then all the wings were black, then white again.  This happened many times. No bird was even a nano-second ahead or behind the flock. No one was following anyone; they all turned instantaneously. Again, perhaps this was telepathy between the birds of the flock.  Perhaps there was an angel of pinon jays guiding them? Whatever it was, it was remarkable.


There are connections which transcend distance, which transcend space and time, and most of us have noticed these one way or another in our lives – a strange premonition, a funny feeling later borne out by the facts, a healing miracle, an awareness of something we simply could not know by physical means and which does not fit into our normal expectations of the nature of space and time – or a mystical perception of angels, beings, presences, archetypes, God or Gods — of those others who we do not see with our eyes, but nonetheless, we have a profound certainty that they are there.


Thousands of years ago, the great sages of India wrote about the concept of Maya, or “illusion.”  They called the ultimate reality Brahman, the underlying absolute reality that cannot be described in words.  Maya is created reality, reality as we perceive it, within time and space, where there are events, people with whom we interact, the world of nature, the man-made world of cities, the situations and circumstances of our lives – the past, history and prehistory, the present – the world as we perceive it, our common world belonging to all creatures on the earth or our own individual world – the world that relates to our identity as humans, as beings of a particular nationality, age, or political view — whatever reality relates to our own experience.


All these things belong to Maya – they are real, sort of, but they are not absolute.  From the perspective of ultimate reality, they are illusion.


There is more to the Cosmos than what we see – there are other dimensions, other levels, other worlds.  There is more, much more, than the physical universe – much more than we could ever imagine.


In the words of Shakespeare, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”




Top photo: Spiral Galaxy: News Release Number STScl-1994-02


Second photo: Part of the Small Magellanic Cloud, 210,000 light years away. News Release Number STScl-2005-35


Third photo: A smaller galaxy hits NGC 922 some 330 million years ago. News Release Number STScl-2012-45  






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