The Galaxy Insight –“The Universe is in Some Deep Sense Tied to Homo Sapiens”

The Galaxy Insight


“Today I think we are beginning to suspect that man is not a tiny cog that doesn’t really make much difference to the running of the huge machine, but rather that there is a much more intimate tie between man and the universe than we heretofore suspected. The physical world is in some deep sense tied to the human being. Being homo sapiens, we live on an island –the universe–surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance. But, of all obstacles to a thoroughly penetrating account of existence, none looms up more dismayingly than ‘time.’

“Explain time? Not without explaining existence. Explain existence? Not without explaining time. To uncover the deep and hidden connection between time and existence, to close on itself our quartet of questions, is a task for the future.

“Is the very mechanism for the universe to come into being meaningless or unworkable, or both unless the universe is guaranteed to produce life, consciousness and observership somewhere and for some little time in its history-to-be? The quantum principle shows that there is a sense in which what the observer will do in the future defines what happens in the past—even in a past so remote that life did not then exist, and shows even more, that ‘observership’ is a prerequisite for any useful version of ‘reality’. The universe is a totality in which what happens ‘now’ gives reality to what happened ‘then,’ perhaps even determines what happened then.”

–Quantum physicist John Archibald Wheeler, who originated a novel approach to the unified field theory and popularized the term black hole. Near the end of his life, in his memoir —Geons, Black Holes and Quantum Foam — Wheeler suggested that when we finally unravel the secret of the universe, of human existence, we will be astounded by its simplicity.

Sources: -Geons, Black Holes and Quantum Foam –A Life in Physics ; quoted by Ken Wilber in Quantum Questions: Mystical Writings of the World’s Great Physicists; Scientific American; “Hermann Weyl and the Unity of Knowledge”, American Scientist; Paul Davies, Other Worlds.

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