‘The Ultimate Observer’ – An article for seekers of truth by Mary Kingsley

The gods, it seems, love mystery and hate the obvious.

   Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (5th Century BC)

Scientifically, we are living in an extraordinary point in time. The recent discoveries in quantum physics have allowed us to peer into the phenomenal secrets of life itself, even though nature itself continually reminds us who actually holds the reigns. This article focuses on the revelations in quantum physics and the ancient spiritual teachings of India, indicating where they merge and how we can use the wisdom derived from both more wisely.

It seems highly probable that the observer quantum physicists refer to is the same observer that sages have been talking about for thousands of years; a term that runs through various ancient philosophies but which essentially stems from the elemental spiritual teachings of India.

From the wisdom of the Upanishads until more recent times, when Sri Ramanamaharashi and Sri Nisargadtta  emphasized the term ‘the witness, sages sought to become the observer; that which they say creates both awareness and manifestation.  If we culminate the remarkable discoveries in quantum physics with India’s spiritual teachings, then both camps appear to agree that everything in manifestation is derived from one ultimate mind which creates the incalculable forms we see around us.

Sages who have reached this awareness as a continuous state, have stated that when we, as the (ultimate) observer, see through the veil of our self-created illusions, we know with absolute certainty that what is observing and manifesting existence is the very ground of our nature and awareness.  With an abundance of sophisticated technology now in our hands, it can also be said that this ground is fast turning into personal holograms of our egocentric expectations and desires – of our psychological and cultural programming – of what we, as apparently individual entities, believe ourselves and reality to be whether this is actually based in reality or not. For physicists, this one mind is composed of particles that are always in flux which they call a ‘quantum field of infinite possibilities’ with us choosing rightly or wrongly what possibilities to believe in and therefore bring into manifestation.

At present, the collective mind of Man is becoming increasingly influenced by media driven global corporations that make billions of dollars from telling us what reality is in every conceivable way, whether this is actually based in reality or not. With a generation of young beginning to take charge of the planet who have been bombarded with such phantasmagorical mind programming, it seems incredulous that there isn’t more emphasis on the true nature of reality being on the decline rather than Man coming to grips with his real nature and purpose. Yet paradoxically, it also seems that the very nature of reality, according to quantum physics, is itself phantasmagorical and knows no bounds. So this begs the age-old questions; who is observing reality and is there ultimately only one observer behind our apparently individual minds?

Physicists now know that everything in manifestation is composed of microscopic atoms and that inside each atom there are particles too numerous to count, so they have focussed on analysing sixteen.  They also know that these particles behave differently when they are being observed, and when they are not being observed, they spread out as the same component in numerous places and may not even exist in this particular universe – if no one is observing them. That these minute and highly intelligent particles, which we are composed of, disappear and reappear, but as yet quantum mechanics doesn’t know where they, or rather we, disappear to – or even where we come from; hence the discoveries of string theory and multidimensional universes where we also exist but with different options.

Hundreds of highly sophisticated experiments are carried out each and every day in scientific laboratories all over the world as if each physicist is seeing their results in exactly the same way; as if there is only one way of observing.  What seems incredulous is that physicists appear to believe that it doesn’t matter who is observing, as every quantum physicist must surely observe his experiments in a similar way, being trained in interrelated schools of thought.

In some of these schools, scientists appear to be overlooking the essential question which Indian sages pondered long before quantum mechanics came onto the scene; this crucial question of who is observing and what is needed for us to reach this supreme awareness as a continuous state. Sages knew they could not pass the way they see reality onto their followers; that it has to be earned through certain purifying processes, such as meditation which clears the field of thought, non-grasping and other practices which cultivate simplicity, compassion, harmlessness and sincere intention. Physicists may have a more in-depth understanding of the nature of manifestation than sages of past, but they don’t necessarily have these personal virtues which are obviously needed to reach the position of fully becoming an unbiased observer.

If physicists begin to harness these discoveries, they may not be used wisely, such as splitting atoms to create atom bombs. Governments are pouring colossal amounts of money into these experiments but would they be investing such large sums if it wasn’t because they thought they could harness these discoveries for their own egocentric gain?  If certain physicists and their backing governments can’t be trusted with the use of atoms as weapons for mass destruction, how much more devastating would it be if they had the building blocks of creation in their hands and could change the very substance of our reality whether we want it to be changed or not?

For Indian sages, the term The Observer was derived from personal experience and in order to enlighten others, they described their awareness using metaphor; by poetically enchanting their followers into the immense mystery that had unfolded before them. Their conclusion was simply summed up as ‘I Am That’ or as Christ once said ‘My Father and I are one.’ From the very beginning of Man’s journey through consciousness, he has devised spiritual systems for reaching this ultimate state of awareness and even though hundreds of techniques have been created by as many spiritual teachers, few manage to fully achieve and maintain this profound and illusive state.

From experience of forty four years of research in this field, which includes 20 years working as a transpersonal psychotherapist, and also having personally known spiritual teachers both east and west, I looked at the temptations we undergo while endeavouring to become The Observer.  Uncannily, in the budding fields of spirituality and quantum physics, as hard as both camps try to realize ultimate reality, ultimate reality continues to elude but the very few who have the purest intentions. While under-going spiritual practices our awareness becomes heightened, but the temptation to misuse the personal power which comes with it is one reason some teachers act as if they are always in this state, when actually they are drawing on memory; that as with physicists, they are unable to sustain the intense levels of purity required to be receptive and present every moment in order to observe reality as it is. The temptations Christ underwent in the desert, and Buddha surpassed under the bow tree, are two examples amongst many of the way we are tested in relation to the purity of our intentions.

It appears that the intelligence behind existence has created a clause for anyone who endeavours to become The Observer from a partial perspective; that this immaculate state cannot be reached, its nature can never be known or fully harnessed unless there are sincere intentions preceding its flowering. This clause may be frustrating for those who want to formulate reality, or to use it for self-gain in the disguise of it being of benefit to humanity, but it obviously cannot be reckoned with for the sake of the continuity of manifestation at large.

Christ once said ‘Unless you become as a little child, you shall never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.’ In other words, to be in this state of observation there can be no analysis, judgement, expectation or grasping clouding what we perceive. In fact, for both sages and quantum physicists, revelations have consistently arisen when no formulations were in operation. Sages became the ultimate observer and marvelled in wonder; this highest state being expressed in the Upanishads as simply ‘Ah….’  The physicist first sees the end of his staggering equation and then has to retract to discover its workings.  In a moment’s illumination, he also exclaims ‘Ah….’ Therefore it seems that only in this child-like state of awareness can we behold reality as it is; when what we are aiming to capture is out of the picture entirely.

Most people on a spiritual path, if determined to see through self-created illusions, have glimpses of reality which are termed ‘epiphanies’ or ‘spiritual realizations.’ But if, as our enlightened fore-fathers stated, we ‘become as a little child’ looking out at the marvel before us, without the need to posses, control or manipulate anything or anyone, then we more fully enter this sublime state whereby no absolute answer is required. Marvelling at mystery becomes more rewarding than trying to capture it; peace becomes more valuable than endless egocentrically based questions.

Man may flail around with his authority and even wreck havoc in relation to the Earth and life as we know it, but it seems evident that he will never be able to play ‘God’ or know all the answers simply because there are no absolute or emphatic answers to be found. If together we are the one, ultimate creator, and all is born through our mind-substance in some form or guise, then a solely quantum mechanical perspective is only projecting an ‘infinite number of possibilities’ which can never be thoroughly analyzed by any human mind. That trying to reach an ultimate answer through calculations only keeps us locked into a cerebral position, like a puppy chasing its tail in circles.

All creatures on Earth share certain archetypal tendencies and a sense of play is one of them. There isn’t one species that doesn’t display a sense of humour in relation to its nature and the more awareness it has, the more creatively it plays. If this quality is intrinsic in all life forms, surely it must be one of the underlying dynamics of what is apparently gazing out from behind our eyes. If this is true, then it is we who are creating the irony of there ever being an ultimate explanation of reality per se. That reality, itself, is simply an eternal flow of something so intelligent and mysterious, we can only call it life and that life creatively divides into holographic manifestations the moment we observe it.

In a world of increasing cerebral clutter and manmade fears, never has there been more urgency for us to get a grip on reality, to realise the incredible scope of our minds, to breakthrough our self-created barriers in order to observe the magnificent depth of our intelligence spread out as infinity before us.  It appears the simplest thing in the world is given freely and is what will delight us the most – if we allow it; if we dive deep into ’the great mystery’ as innocently and as fearlessly as our spiritual forefathers.  As the eminent quantum physicist, Fred Alan Wolf, aptly states, ‘The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery.’


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Focault said,

    According to the PBR theorem,
    since the quantum wavefunction has been directly measured as a real physical object,
    the vision of the universe no longer could be considered psi-epimestic (merely information contained in the quantum wavefunction). The possible remained alternative is psi-ontics (real objects outside our conciousness).
    Recent studies have shown how quantum decoherence is not due to consciousness. Also it was explained why, at macroscopic level, reality is not so uncertain. Such findings vindicate the deterministic and classical physics theories:
    epistemic theories shared by new agers seem wrong:
    It is not in our brain. It doesn’t depend on our observation. It doesn’t depend on our willingness. The universe matter is not distantly “interconnected”.Particles are not involved by “spooky actions”in that sense. Particles Interaction is both real and ontic.
    All those quantum mystic myths have been widely debunked, but real scientists have never had doubts about that. I’m sorry, but this seems the beginning of the end of the “age of aquarium”. Science looks more fancy than the speculation of many narcisistic new agers. The real “magic power” of mind is intelligence and imagination, which leaded us to the moon and made our dreams true. No “quantum vibrations” connected by the “infinite intelligence” coming from our brain.

    Thus, assuming that the quantum wavefunction is ontic, the Copenhagen interpretation is shifted in favour of the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI). In MWI you can imagine yourself living by infinite copies of yourself, one for each possible universe, with infinite outcomes. Therefore, if in this universe you are the Dalai Lama, then in another universe you are Adolf Hitler. In my humble opinion, that’s one more reason to believe that quantum mechanics theory should not be extended to our common macro reality and our human beliefs, otherwise we risk to fall into an absolute relativism and our life could stick to just a random nonsense. That’s why I blame quantum mysticism or, in general, theories which want to merge science and religion. Nevertheless, science is falsifiable, as stated by Karl Popper. Thus, even quantum religions should be forced to review their statements, and that is a nonsense too. That’s why I do not trust too much New Age an other quantum woo beliefs. In a MW model, there are infinite bodies and infinite souls who live all togheter contemporary, one for each universe. In my opinion that is a nonsense even for the vedic religion, because it is impossible to detect one specific soul beeing able to improve the self awareness for ascending to a higher level in the next life/universe. According to a MW quantum mysticism , there’s no need of reincarnation, because for a living creature, all the souls do their experience at the same time for each universe, respectively.
    We should just let scientists doing their own commendable work, without mixing science and religion, and respecting all beliefs without the arrogance to use science for demonstrating which is the right belief, including yours.


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