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A quantum life


"Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory

has not understood it."

—Niels Bohr

Several readers have asked me to write more about quantum theory and why it’s so important. So I will do my best. Quantum theory provides the fundamental underpinning of all modern sciences. Without it, we’d have no nuclear power, no TV, no computers, no science of molecular biology, no understanding of DNA, no genetic engineering.

Quantum theory is characterized by several theses:

  • The atomic world, which makes up everything, is nothing like the linear Newtonian world we think we know.
  • Nature likes to keep its possibilities open, and therefore follows every possible path. Only when observed is nature forced to choose just one path, so only then is just one path taken. For example, quantum physicists demonstrated that when electrons are not watched they behave like waves, but when they are watched, they turn into specific particles of matter. They postulate that everything is comprised of pure energy; pure energy is infinite possibility. Our thoughts (intentionally directed energy) collapse waves of pure energy into particles of matter, thus creating our reality.

How do we do this? With our conscious minds. We choose (knowingly or unknowingly) what we “collapse into reality.” Each of us creates reality constantly, simultaneously, and often contradictorily. To increase the probability of collapsing a wave function you desire into reality, think about what you want with all the emotion that implies. Different emotions (event-related potentials, or ERPs) oscillate at different frequencies: positive emotions oscillate at higher frequencies, while negative emotions oscillate at lower frequencies.

How do we know this? Researchers visualized ERPs by using signal-processing techniques, which involve recording electroencephalographic (EEG) activity time-locked to multiple presentations of the same events, and then averaging them. (Actually, this explanation is a bit simplistic. Brain waves are generated by neurons. Neurons communicate with each other by generating electrochemical changes, which be tracked in the form of brainwaves as shown in an EEG. Brain waves are measured in cycles per second (Hz). We also talk about the frequency of brain-wave activity; the lower the frequency, the slower the brain-wave activity. Buried with­in the EEG is a signal about information processing in the brain. This signal can be obtained by time-locking the EEG recording to the onset of events, such as a person reading a word on a computer screen or listening to a musical note played on an instrument. The resulting activity is an ERP, which can be distinguished from the raw or background EEG by its more consistent shape. To visualize ERPs, researchers use signal-processing techniques to eliminate nonevent activity. Typically, this involves recording EEG activity time-locked to multiple presentations of the same or similar events, and then averaging these tracings together. The averaging process tends to decrease the influence of random activity while maintaining the consistent event-related activity.)

Since Descartes, we have believed the world outside ourselves is more real than our own inner world. But quantum theory holds that what happens inside us largely determines what happens outside us. Knowing this, we can increase the probability of bringing into our reality the things we want, and decrease the probability of bringing what we don’t want. Research indicates it takes at least 15 minutes of focused intention to effect a change. The average adult attention span is 20 minutes, which is quite sufficient, especially if repeated.

Most people don’t know (or don’t believe) their thoughts affect what they experience as reality, so they ruminate on what they don’t want, what they fear, or even what they hate instead of what they need, want, and love. The stronger, longer, and more often we ruminate on something, the more likely it is to happen—which also explains why habitual thought patterns are so powerful in our lives. This may sound like “quantum woo,” as one reader put it. Yet to a large extent, you know you create your life by what you choose to think, then intend, and ultimately do. Now you know why.

Leah Curtin, RN, ScD(h), FAAN
Executive Editor, Professional Outreach
American Nurse Today

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  • Mary,
    I find what you stated and the tone in which it was said rather ironic given the nature of this conversation. Consider this instead, as a health practitioner, I use quantum theory as a means to EMPOWER both the sick and well.

    January 24, 2012 6:20 am

    I’m so excited about this article, and I am especially happy to see how many comments it has generated. Quantum physics/theory/mechanics, allows us how to improve ourselves and our world. Our human consciousness absolutely effects our world. I love this article Leah Curtin. Thanks! To learn more please read you2 by Price Pritchett. It is an outstanding little pamphlet for anyone interested in a formula for improving his/her personal effectiveness in quantum leaps.

  • Okay Ruth, here is a brief explanation! “Brain waves are generated by neurons. Neurons communicate with each other by generating small electro-chemical changes. We can track these in an EEG. Brain waves are measured in cycles per second(Hz). The slower the brain activity or the slower the frequency. Buried within the EEG is a signal about information processing in the brain.This signal is obtained by time-locking the recording to the onset of events. This is an “event-related potential.

  • Thank you, Saros, your your kind comments! Mary…this is not blaming the victim so much as it is forcing each of us to accept responsibility for our own lives, and how we choose to react to what happens in our lives (even when it is negtive). That said, each person is also responsible for what she/he chooses to do to others. I’ll hve to answer Ruth in another ‘comment’ box as I’ve run out of space!

  • I am very interested in the concept of ERPs…can you direct me to any published material in this regard?

  • Is this just a fancy way of ‘blaming the victime’ for what happens to him/her?

  • Thank you for such an insightful article on the explanation of Quantum Physics! Having, loosely studied it for years, and trying to apply it in my every day life, if found it difficult to explain to people. This article hits the nail on the head! And I will be sure to share it with others. Thank you!

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