Re: Theosophical septenary cosmos and the "astral".
Mar 17, 2002 07:02 AM
Quantum theory arose during the first decades of the twentieth
century, with the efforts of Max Planck and Albert Einstein to solve
certain anomalies in physics. A peculiarity of quantum mechanics soon
became apparent: the theories can be expressed in a highly abstract
mathematical formalism and are amenable to rigorous experimental
research. At the same time, any attempts to express the results in
ordinary language or to visualize them will lead to an utterly
paradoxical picture of the sub-atomic world. The most common
approach adopted by physicists has been to view quantum mechanics
operationally, apply its mathematical formalism to practical
problems,and eschew any discussion of the philosophical issues.
Quantum mechanics asserts that a measurement does not simply yield
information about a preexisting state, but forces an indeterminate
state to take on certain values. A property called spin can thus be
given a precise value through measurement. However, contrary to the
behavior of macroscopic objects (in which an object will have e.g. a
specific length, regardless of whether this length is being meajured),
spin is indeterminate until measurement. In a sense, it is meaningless
to ask what spin the particle had before being measured.
By deciding which properties one wishes to measure, one thus torces
particles to exhibit certain properties. In 1924, Louis de
Broglieshowed that at the quantum level, neutrons, electrons and other
objects that were traditionally understood as particles seem to
exhibit either particle or wave properties, depending on what
properties of the object are measured. Thus, neutrons and electrons
diffract through small openings in the same way as waves.
Nevertheless, they also act as tiny particles and can e.g. loose
energy in collisions with other particles. This wave-particle duality
is known as complementarity.
Certain values such as the position of particles obey statistical
laws rather than the precise predictability of classical
mechanics. When particles such as photons are forced through two slits
and hit a screen further away, they will form an interference
pattern consisting of light and dark bands. The process is roughly
analogous to the way in which waves, passing through two openings in a
harbor wall, form crests and troughs. If photons are sent through the
two slits at a pace of a few photons per second, each photon will hit
the distant screen at some location which cannot be accurately
predicted. As the photons pass through, they will begin to form the
familiar interference pattern.
Thus the exact path of each photon cannot be known in advance, and it
is only possible to specify the probability of finding the particle at
any given location. Nevertheless, en masse, they will
strictly obey statistical laws that make them form the characteristic
Since properties exist only through measurement, it
is, by implication, impossible to simultaneously determine
the values of certain pairs of properties of the same particle with
equal precision, when these properties require mutually exclusive
methods of detection. The classical example is the impossibility of
measuring both the position and the momentum of the electron with
equal precision,since the act of measuring the electrons disturbs
either their position or their momentum. A number of other pairs of
properties behave in the same way. In 1927, Werner Heisenberg
indicated a precise numerical value for the amount of uncertainty
As a mathematical model, quantum theory has proved
itself capable of making calculations and predictions to a high level
of accuracy, and has been amply confirmed by seventy years of
experimental work and practical applications. However, the
philosophical issuesthe question of "what it means"-have spawned a
number of positions, since the quantum level behaves so differently
from the large-scale world with which we are familiar. How can we, as
human (and inherently macroscopic) subjects, conceptualize the
indeterminate,complementary, uncertain, probabilistic and non-local
behavior of quantum systems? In order to understand the position
of neo-theosophical metaphysics like "leonmaurer'" it is instructive
to see it against the backdrop of mainstream interpretations.
>From the 1930s and for the next several decades, one of the most
influential position was the Copenhagen interpretation, formulated by
Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg and Max Born. This interpretation of
quantum mechanics is thoroughly pragmatic or operational. A system
that has not been measured is truly indeterminate. It is literally
meaningless to ask what state a system is in before measurement has
This position offered a picture of quantum mechanics that was deeply
unpalatable to those who held a classical view of an independent
reality that had specific properties regardless of any measurements.
Furthermore, the Copenhagen position basicaly avoided the question of
how an indeterminate value could become determinate through the act
One interpretation is the many-worlds approach proposed by Hugh
Everett in 1957. Every time a quantum system settles" on one of
several possible outcomes, the world splits. Since there are as many
parallel universes as there are quantum outcomes,which is a truly
staggering amount, Everett's interpretation is unparsimonious to say
Still further interpretations, based on an idealistic
ontology, are of marginal significance within the scientific
community but have influenced the quantum metaphysics of
neo-Theosophy. A metaphysical interpretation of this kind that has
been espoused by a minority regards human consciousness as the factor
that makes measurements become real. John von Neumann approached
such a position, and in the 1960s a similar idealistic
metaphysics was developed at greater length by Eugene Wigner.
All the above interpretations have however receded into the historical
annals of twentieth century physics.
Since the 1980s,decoherence, a version of quantum mechanics developed
by Murray Gell-Mann, James B. Hartle and others, has emerged as the
dominant framework. This position attempts to come to grips
with the fundamental gap in the theory of Bohr and his
colleagues: the transition from the indeterminacy of the quantum level
to the familiar behavior of large-scale objects obeying the laws of
classical physics. A quantum object can exist in two (or more) states
at once. It is then said to exist in a "superposition of states".
Every system, whether quantum or classical (such as any macroscopic
object), is in contact with an external environment consisting of a
vast collection of atoms.
This coupling between a quantum system in a superposition and the
environment in which it is embedded leads the system to collapse or
decay with extreme rapidity into one state or another. This is
the process known as decoherence.
Some attempted to speculate on the affinities between
physics and mysticism or a variety of Platonic, Pythagorean or
Oriental philosophies in a neo-theosophical vision at times
reminiscent of the Romantic sciences of the early nineteenth century.
What you "leonmaurer" concerns from what you have written so far about
your pseudo-science, not providing any samples of its applicability,
or anything, I cannot take you serious anymore.
--- In theos-talk@y..., leonmaurer@a... wrote:
> In a message dated 03/15/02 3:16:46 PM, bri_mue@y... writes:
> >Bri.: Theosophy as I have shown in my previous post uses catch
> >phrases (including "leonmaurer" pseudo-scientific words now
> >like "superstrings," to get around this), and Dallas has
> >still not been able to proof or verify anything he posted the last
> >five days and more.For example also Quantum mechanics today has
> >reached a lay audience through a filter of interpretations that can
> >be called quantum metaphysics, composed partly of the above
> >interpretations and partly of other, to speculate on the affinities
> >between physics and mysticism or a variety of Platonic,
> >Oriental philosophies in a neo-theosophical vision at times
> >of the Romantic sciences of the early nineteenth century.
> Perhaps you ought to read (and quote) as well as understand what I
> the relationship between theosophical metaphysics (in parallel with
> theory) concerning different states of matter-fields that extend
from zero (
> at near infinite frequency) to the infinite metric (at near zero
> universe that we experience physically and that science can theorize
> reductively -- and compare them with the current state of
> physics and the new paradigm that it has already incorporated
> quantum physics and, in a very important sense, consolidated them
> one synthetic theory of everything -- before goimg off half cocked
> ridiculous presumptions based on nothing more than hearsay,
> questionable "authorities" and falsely associative arguments.
> Your scientific knowledge, in spite of the long, non sequitur quotes
> quantum theory and its history in your previous posts, seems to be
> primitive as the romantic sciences of the early nineteenth century
> cavalierly associate with my supposed "pseudo science." FYI, go to:
> http://superstringtheory.com/ -- and learn something about how
> has revolutionized modern physics and verifies the "infinite
> matter" and its multidimensional (3+7) "coadunate but not
> field divisions -- (as also postulated by HPB and myself) -- that is
> fundamental root of all theosophical metaphysical theories, as well
as my ABC
> field theory... None of which deny or are inconsistent with the
> conclusions of modern and post modern physics.
> All the rest, below, is nothing more than smoke and mirrors (like
> negative associations) -- to back up your unfounded denials about
> theosophical principles and the (theoretical) metaphysical concepts
> from them -- which are as "scientifically" and "philosophically"
sound as any
> of the currently conflicting theories of relativity and quantum
> well as their metaphysics, including that of Bohm and Wheeler, among
> ... Even though all these so called "modern scientific theories (not
> are still more or less locked into their limited reductive and
> But, if objective and reductive science (which you apparently know
> about technically or mathematically) is your "God" or "religious"
> what's the purpose of all this spurious argumentation -- other than
> insatiable desire to convince us that theosophy (along with its
> is nothing but primitive and misleading "pseudo science" (your
> false "religious" fantasies?
> As for myself, I don't buy that -- since I don't rely on such
> associative, innuendo loaded arguments, or "authoritative"
> influence my scientific and/or theosophical thinking.
> As far as I'm concerned "history is one thing and science (along
> linkage with theosophical metaphysics) is another -- and both of
> either be agreed with or disagreed with in their own contexts and in
> own terms (both philosophically and scientifically). In this case,
> interest is with the leading edge metaphysical and physical
> theories of "unified fields" and their zero-point energies' origin,
> evolution, and interrelationships -- regardless of whether or not
> theories either directly (in their own terms) debunk or verify
> metaphysics. As I see it, however, the scientific verification of
> theosophical metaphysics is getting closer and closer -- and your
> theosophy's and ABC's metaphysical conclusions as "real science" are
> weaker and weaker.
> >During the heiday of Theosophy Quantum mecharuics was in its
> >infancy; metaphysical exegetics of its findings were nonexistent.
> >This may, perhaps, account for the particular form of
> >found in Leadbeater's and Leon Maurer's theories of matter.
> >The history of the mes.merist use of the vocabulary and theories of
> >physics is reasonable well documented. Readers of Leon's postings
> > will invariably have come across references to quantum mechanics
> >relativity theory. The history of the intermediate period,
> >a concept that one might call atomic metaphysics, is an
> >under-explored theme in the history of alternative religiosity.
> >paved the way for the post-theosophical positions and, as seen
> >used the contemporary disagreement on the nature of atoms to
> >her own claims. She ascribes knowledge of atoms to her ancient
> >the "Stanzas of Dzyan"purportedly use a word with that
> >Leadbeater developed an occult chemistry of his own, a view of
> >that might support older esoteric claims."' In particular. a highly
> >personal view of atomic structure could vindicate the old belief
> >prima matria (alias "zero energy"), the attempts of the
> >alchemists to transform base matter into gold and the belief of
> >esotericists that there are "subtle planes", i.e. a variety of
> >invisible worlds. Matter exists not only in its well-known solid,
> >and gaseous forms, but also in an "etheric" state. This refined
> >normally invisible and would account for the posited existence of
> >astral and an ethenic world.
> >Furthermore, Leadbeater claims that the atoms as known by
> >contemporary science consist of a still more fine-grained
> >which he calls ultimate atoms.( Being infinite in number and
> >identical, they resemble Mercurius van helmont and Leibniz'
> > These ultimate atoms are all identical except for the fact that
> >are positive/male and others negative/female. By combining these
> >ultimate atoms in new ways, matter can be transmuted.
> >An idiosyncratic understanding of atomic theory is an even more
> >central part of Alice Bailey's teachings. The belief in a prima
> >materia remains: "there is but one substance, present in nature in
> >varying degrees of density and of vibratory activity,- this
> >unpelled by urgent purpose and expressive of divine intent. (Bailey
> >Esoteric Psychology, vol 1, p. xxiii.)
> > However, Bailey goes beyond this and devotes an entire
> >volume,"The Consciousness of the Atom", published in 1922, to
> >constructing a syncretism between atomic theory and esotericism. Or
> >rather, in Bailey's .own words, "to present the testimony of
> >as to the relanon of matter and of consciousness". ( Bailey
> >Consciousness ofthe Atom, p. 5.).
> >However, the ideas she presents are not so much scientific as
> >religious. Firstly, matter should ')e understood from within the
> >pantheistic framework of theosophy and several post-theosophical
> >schools as in Blavatskyan Theosophy itself, in which the vital or
> >creative "force" resides in the cosmos itself
> >The atom has qualities that (at ,east metaphorically) tend to be
> >applied to humans as well: to attract and repel, to have energy,
> >movement, even sensation. In a manner Ieminiscent of later
> >theosophical writers, Bailey conflates the metaphorical with the
> >by claiming that this suggests that atoms, albeit a limited
> >conscious. (Bailey Consciousness qj'the Atom, pp. 38 )
> >After the discovery of the inner structure of the atom,
> >contemporary conceptions of matter had changed. Rather than being
> >,.visualized as hard, indivisible balls, atoms were now seen as
> >of electrons spinning round a nucleus. Bailey somehow connects this
> >model of the atom with two ideas, one of which is older and will
> >out of fashion, and one that is more recent and will be repeated
> >throughout neo-Theosophical and esoteric literature. The first is
> >concept of the aether as the primeval substance of the cosmos. The
> >second is the belief that the concept of matter itself is being
> >by the concept of force or energy. It is as if a linguistic
> >the term .."matter" could exorcise materialism.
> >Such insights, many neo-Theosophists contend, show that
> >the language of the physical sciences and the language of religion
> >simply use different terms to denote the same idealistic worldview.
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