Neurology

7 A quantum life

Publication Date: January 2012 Vol. 7 No. 1

Author: Leah Curtin, RN, ScD(h), FAAN

"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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