Week Two: Virtue of Understanding
After spending a week exploring your authentic self, you may have noticed that, just by raising your awareness toward this virtue, you have naturally increased the chance of being (not becoming, but simply being) your true self in your own ways. If so, you are ready to move forward with Week Two to practice the next virtue. You may also spend more time on the first virtue if needed.
Advantageously, once you begin to enjoy the experience of your authentic self, you find you naturally become more understanding of yourself and others. You can now easily explain the underlying reasons behind your true-self actions, describe the purpose and meaning of your intentions, and provide genuine justification for all your choices. You may even start to have a clearer idea of what you need to do in the future, why, and how you are going to accomplish it within your lifetime. This level of understanding begins to affect your interaction with the world around you, including other people, nature, and other beings. It informs your perspective on all life situations including past and future events, and this is how:
Your authentic self is a combination of your physical systems (human body in three dimensions: Chapter One) with your non-physical systems (layers of the human mind as well as consciousness in the fourth dimension and above: Chapters Two and Three). Through the alignment of your intentions (purposeful thoughts), words, and actions (behaviors), you activate the heart center and allow the energy (information) of consciousness to flow from the non-physical (e.g., mental, emotional) state to the physical state, creating a new structural platform for your personal reality and experience of life. In this state, you experience the reality of your human form as a multidimensional system—a system that simultaneously interacts with similar systems (other humans) as well as other forms of existence (the surrounding environment, other living beings, the planet, different forms of consciousness, and more).
Considering the statement above, once you access your authentic self and become aware of its actions, you realize the effect that you have on other systems and see more clearly how surrounding and surrounded (internal) systems affect you, too. This realization, or level of understanding, is essential as it unlocks the next five virtues of the human heart.
Each day this week, mindfully focus on translating your interactions with self, others, and the world around you into the concept of entanglement:
When two systems, of which we know the states by their respective representatives, enter into temporary physical interaction due to known forces between them, and when after a time of mutual influence the systems separate again, then they can no longer be described in the same way as before, viz. by endowing each of them with a representative of its own. I would not call that one but rather the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics, the one that enforces its entire departure from classical lines of thought. By the interaction, the two representatives [the quantum states] have become entangled.9
Erwin Schrödinger, quoted above, coined the term “entanglement” to describe this extraordinary connection between quantum systems. When viewed as a concept that describes our own interaction with the universe, we can identify several different types of entanglement that we are subject to in our life experience. These can be described as follows:
Self-Entanglement involves more than just understanding the classical co-relation between human body and mind systems. It also means your internal systems can impact each other outside the conditions of time and space, bending the laws of classical physics. Spiritualism links the self-entanglement concept to the “mind over matter” tactic often employed to overcome fears.
In scientific terms, this could be referred to as epigenetics, the field that was explained by Bruce Lipton as the “study of cellular and physiological traits or the external and environmental factors that turn the human genes on and off and, in turn, define how our cells actually read those genes.”10
“Entanglement manifests as a somehow puzzling correlation between parties who once came into contact, and maintain their contact even miles away. This has been experimentally demonstrated with individual atoms or light beams: but how can it fit in our everyday experience of life? The closest feeling which comes into my mind is love. Think of a mother and a child, or two lovers who shared an intense emotion, and are now living at the opposite sides of the world. They feel each other, perceive the happiness or the sadness of the distant partner, and are influenced by this. Schrödinger added: ‘Another way of expressing the peculiar situation is: the best possible knowledge of a whole does not necessarily include the best possible knowledge of all its parts. The lack of knowledge is due to the interaction itself.’ In our metaphor, nobody of the two lovers is complete on its own. Only when taken together, they complement each other. They are non-separable halves of the same entangled entity. No proper and complete understanding, on both physical and psychological grounds, is available for this phenomenon. But the language of art, probably, can make it clearer: entanglement is admirably depicted by Pamela Ott, who has almost zero knowledge of quantum mechanics (I asked her!) and paints ‘from her subconscious’. The waveness of the lines, the choice of complimentary colors, the faded entwining of bodies and souls is what in my opinion most closely resembles a true image of entanglement, and of loving passion.”
The social aspects of quantum entanglement, by Professor Gerardo Adesso11
While Self-Entanglement and Social-Entanglement always affect us, the practice of Surroundings-Entanglement is more of a voluntary interpersonal communication with entities around you. To feel this level of entanglement changes our environmental awareness and the way we interact with our surroundings. Martin Buber, the twentieth-century philosopher best known for his book Ich und Du (I and Thou),12 explains the two types interaction that a human can have with his or her surroundings in terms of I-It and I-Thou dialogues. Buber’s attempt to identify the bidirectional dialogue between humans and their surroundings was an open invitation to practice Surroundings-Entanglement—an invitation to shift the I-It towards the I-Thou:
I-It: the attitude of objective separation from the “I” (human) towards an “It” (surroundings: other humans, animals, environment, etc.)
I-Thou: The attitude of subjective non-separation from the “I” towards “Thou” (presence of the reflection of Thou in all things)
The voluntary acknowledgment of the intertwined relationship between you and your surroundings allows you to see how your intentions and actions can make a difference in our environment and how our environment’s intentions and actions can make a difference in you.
The correlation of situation entanglement could be understood through posing the famous question: Do men make history or does history make men?
When trying to answer the question of which variable is dependent on the other, you may consider many examples in our history, and find a strange co-relation between the variables, yet no definite answer. Therefore, when the question of the importance of our history arises (beyond an attempt to avoid repeating mistakes), Situation-Entanglement demonstrates its value in making more clear our understanding of how the past relates (or doesn’t relate) to our current state of being or potential, future events. Holding onto ideas about—or making decisions based on—a picture of the past that does not include an understanding of the situation that each involved party was subject to at the time can lead to confusion or unnecessarily held resentment.
The last form of entanglement we will review is perhaps the deepest form: Superconscious-Entanglement. A good introduction to Superconscious-Entanglement is a thought experiment related to the ancient belief of pantheism, which views that God consists only of everything in the (multidimensional) universe and that there can be no God distinct from the universe itself (and the laws of physics therein). To take from this view that each thing in this reality of the universe is identical to the super-consciousness of God (the entire universe) is an obvious logical and spiritual fallacy. However, in the domain of spiritual thought, it is seen as true that the universe and all existence (which, it is apparent, contains our consciousness) had to be created by, created out of, stem from, or reflect a higher level of conscious existence, as we are ourselves conscious.
For example, the human mind is the source of all technological inventions. Therefore, all technological inventions are the reflections of the human mind, but only to the extent of their limitations. Clearly, you cannot fully comprehend the human mind through any, or even every, invention; however, you can confirm that in all human inventions you can find the presence of the human mind. Similarly, it is also must be true that all things manifested (consciously created) in the universe are the reflections of the conscious creator (The Divine, God, higher dimensional physics) only to their own extent. Likewise, in the spiritual belief of pantheism, to consider all forms of consciousness as identical to the super-consciousness of The Divine is as invalid as to believe you can fully comprehend all layers of the human mind through a single invention.
In the same example, depending on the level of intelligence or complexity of the invention, the correlation between the inventor and the invention changes. For instance, a laptop computer is a much deeper representation of the human mind than a digital watch. But because they were both created (informed) by the human mind, we can research them to gain information about the mind of their creator. Throughout scientific history, this co-relation between creator and creation has allowed the pantheists and the super-consciousness of The Divine to bidirectionally communicate information through the universe. Superconscious-Entanglement explains this level of communication. Throughout the history of spiritual, scientific, and artistic discovery, we can see clearly the world-altering and mind-expanding effects of Superconscious-Entanglement in the works of many pantheists such as Albert Einstein, Beethoven, Nikola Tesla, Carl Jung, Alan Watts, Leo Tolstoy, and many more.
Observation and Action:
This week, dedicate attention, throughout the entirety of your daily experience, to the understanding of how the concepts presented in this chapter are influencing your life. Review the following concepts each morning:
At the end of each day, set aside an open window of 20 to 40 minutes to translate your day’s interactions with self, others, and the world around you into these concepts of entanglement.
Duration and Frequency:
Focus on the various forms of entanglement throughout all your interactions over the course of one week.
Record your 20 to 40 minutes of reflection in your Development Log at the end of each day.