The mysterious world of quantum physics is overturning centuries of scientific conviction. The primary revelation: anything is possible.
The “observer effect” is a term that refers to what happens when something is observed… it changes. For instance, to check the air pressure in a tire you must use an instrument that immediately releases air, which means that you never get a completely accurate reading. But this example trivializes the impact that the quality of our consciousness has when brought to focus through attention/intention.
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A companion term in quantum physics is the “uncertainty principle,” described this way by Wikipedia: “…it states that the more precisely the position of some particle is determined, the less precisely its momentum can be known, and vice versa.1
Together, these two principles invite a radically different understanding of what’s going on at the sub atomic level. Gone are those little balls rotating around a stable center. Welcome the waves. Scientists now inform us that energy exists in both waves and particles and that the act of observation can temporarily congeal waves into particles. The new convention says: the observer influences what is observed. But what is seldom further considered are the differences in influence on the observed because of differences in the observer. This inquiry zooms us out from that invisible world into our real time human experience and poses new questions: Who is looking and how are they looking? It matters.
I write frequently about the benefits of meditation. My readers understand that I am not primarily describing the usual effects like stress reduction and health improvements. Important as those are, meditation is much, much more. For one, it is intended as training for how to live, 24/7. The meditative state is the natural state. This means that we are, strictly speaking, meant to be meditating all the time and no matter what we are doing.
The meditative state is the natural state. This means that we are, strictly speaking, meant to be meditating all the time and no matter what we are doing.
This shatters the traditional image of a meditator sitting alone with her eyes closed. You can, and should, also meditate while you are driving, when you are shopping, at work, while conversing, etc. Of course, with your eyes wide open! The question is, what sort of meditation would these be? And this boomerangs us back to my opening comments about attention/intention.
Most people are fragmented. Their bodies manage to hold together miraculously well, but mind and heart are environments littered with scattered dancing debris. Thoughts and emotions flit around in a chaotic fashion. Memories and anxieties intrude spontaneously, idyllic moments are interrupted by irrational fears and ideas, and uncertainties about the future dampen enjoyment of the present.
Meditation, the traditional sitting kind, helps a person begin to order their thoughts and feelings. How long can this meditative state be maintained after a person opens their eyes and gets going? That’s the test. And it’s also a second, distinct discipline. If you’ve adopted the first one, the sitting meditation, consider expanding to embrace the second, ongoing, real life meditation.
When someone develops the ability to sustain a genuine meditative state, it transforms the nature and the potency of their attention and develops an accumulating, powerful impact on their 3D experience.
Examples of this abound on every level. Here’s a very simple one. Recall a recent conversation. If your attention drifted for a moment, your friend probably noticed it, perhaps not consciously but they felt your temporary absence. And you wouldn’t remember what they said in the zoned out period, so you’d be unable to ping pong back intelligently. The conversation then changed, subtly or dramatically, because your attention drifted. Your attention (in this case your lack of it) impacted what you were observing.
Conversely, recall a time when someone was confiding in you and your attention remained riveted. You listened, with all your being. That is felt! Sometimes it evokes deep emotion; the person feels “seen” and “heard,” all because of the quality of your uninterrupted attention.
Any person who has developed the ability to focus, to direct their thoughts and feelings in a non-egoic way by harmonizing themselves within the oneness of universal consciousness, becomes a magician of life. Miraculous events can unfold – anything can happen - because of the quality of one’s looking. Many unexplainable events can be explained this way: what happened (something that defied logic) happened that way because of who was watching.
The ability to focus is one thing, what is being focused is quite another, and this begins to explain why those extraordinary effects occur. For instance, someone like the Dalai Lama brings a focus of cheerfulness and appreciation into every situation. Anyone who has been in his presence reports the impact. People have reported that just a look, or a kind touch on the shoulder, changed their lives forever.
The mysterious quantum world where these principles are undeniably at play can remain a fascinating field of study, or those same principles can be explored in real life. It all depends on the degree to which we choose to take personal responsibility both for the quality of our expression - emulating those we admire who live in service to others - and also for committing ourselves to ongoing training in the science and art of authentic observation.
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