In The Quantum Self , Danah Zohar argues that the insights of modem physics can illuminate our understanding of everyday life -- our relationships to ourselves, to others, and to the world at large. Guiding us through the strange and fascinating workings of the subatomic realm to create a new model of human consciousness, the author addresses enduring philosophical questions. Does the new physics provide a basis by which our consciousness might continue beyond death? How does the material world for instance, ugly inner cities impinge upon our sense of self? Is there a subatomic wellspring from which our creativity, our empathy with others, and our feelings of unity with the inanimate world originate? Most important, Zohar shows how the vitality of the new physics combats the alienation and fragmentation of twentieth-century life, and replaces it with a model of reality in which the universe itself may possess a type of consciousness, of which human consciousness is one expression.
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There is a dramatic discontinuity between the physical world as most people conceive it and the world as modern physics explains it.
As Danah Zohar sums up the matter in her book, ''The Quantum Self,'' the popular mind continues to imagine the physical world in terms of Newton's colliding billiard balls, whereas quantum reality is very different.
In describing this difference, Ms. Zohar uses the charming analogy of a young lady able first to consider her multiple suitors by living with each of them in sin simultaneously, and then to make her choice by reversing time and resolving herself into the virgin wife of a single husband.
This metaphor of a ''quantum hussy,'' is not only Ms. Zohar's way of describing how, on a subatomic level, events ''happen simultaneously in every direction at once. In fact, Ms. The mind is aware of all possibilities while the body expresses a particularity, so to speak. Hence mind transcends the computer in its ability not only to process data but also to be aware that it is thinking.
This ability is the mind's Cartesian sense that ''I am. Now a reader is bound to be skeptical of such a convenient metaphor, especially when it occurs in a book with the portentous subtitle ''Human Nature and Consciousness Defined by the New Physics.
Zohar seems unusually qualified for the task she has set herself. She received her B. She collaborated on this book with her husband, I. Marshall, a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. Moreover, she insists that her case for the mind as a quantum phenomenon is more than metaphorical.
In a leap that nearly leaves the reader stranded, she defines the mind as ''a Bose-Einstein condensate,'' the ''crucial distinguishing feature'' of which ''is that the many parts that go to make up an ordered system not only behave as a whole, they become whole; their identities merge or overlap in such a way that they lose their individuality entirely.
She concludes that ''given the idea that consciousness itself arises out of a coherent ordering of virtual photon relationships in the brain's quantum system its Bose-Einstein condensate. Despite the density of this summary, Ms. Zohar writes about these abstractions with considerable clarity, even growing lyrical at times. She has obviously done her homework, having read or interviewed the leading contemporary thinkers on the subject of mind and artificial intelligence.
Most appealingly, her ideas mediate the Cartesian duality of mind and matter, and even suggest some theoretical steps to raise computers to the level of true intelligence. Where this reader stumbles is over certain passages in which Ms. Zohar develops the implications of her so-called quantum self. She writes that she was inspired to undertake this study which is to be followed by two sequels, ''The Quantum Society'' and ''The Quantum Spirit'' by the experience of pregnancy, which extended her sense of self to include her unborn child.
This in turn helped her repair a self that was injured by her own mother's frequent absence in her childhood. But this begs the question of why more psychically injured people aren't healed by the experience of motherhood.
Why in actuality does childhood suffering tend in most cases to produce more childhood suffering? Zohar dismisses Freud as just another Newtonian billiard ball, fatally material in his conception of the ego and the id. But if quantum reality obtains in the human mind, why does Freud's repetition compulsion continue to work its way? If the quantum self implies free will, as Ms. Zohar somewhat suspectly reasons, why hasn't civilization simply purged itself of its discontents?
Or is it only that people need to be exhorted? In which case, why doesn't Ms. Zohar exhort. Why does she describe the quantum self as if it already existed? None of this is to say that ''The Quantum Self'' is without worth.
Obviously, this reader isn't qualified to judge the validity of her basic premises. If these pass muster, then Ms. Zohar has done valuable work in taming difficult ideas for popular consumption. Something important is clearly going on as a result of the public's tardy but accelerating grasp of an intellectual revolution now over 70 years old. The question raised by ''The Quantum Self'' is whether the issues posed by the revolution involve accepting new ideologies, as Ms.
Zohar seems to imply. Or do they require that people simply give up their illusions of an outmoded Newtonian universe? Hearstd Morrow. View on timesmachine. TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them.
Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. Marshall Illustrated. Home Page World U.
The Quantum Self: Human Nature and Consciousness Defined by the New Physics
There is a dramatic discontinuity between the physical world as most people conceive it and the world as modern physics explains it. As Danah Zohar sums up the matter in her book, ''The Quantum Self,'' the popular mind continues to imagine the physical world in terms of Newton's colliding billiard balls, whereas quantum reality is very different. In describing this difference, Ms. Zohar uses the charming analogy of a young lady able first to consider her multiple suitors by living with each of them in sin simultaneously, and then to make her choice by reversing time and resolving herself into the virgin wife of a single husband.
The Quantum Self
Danah Zohar. What is an SQ assessment? Prev Next. Doing Good and Profitable! We all spend life looking for happiness and a greater meaning to our lives.