The Undivided Wholeness of All Things
Most mind-boggling of all are Bohm's fully developed ideas about wholeness. Because everything in the cosmos is made out of the seamless holographic fabric of the implicate order, he believes it is as meaningless to view the universe as composed of "parts, " as it is to view the different geysers in a fountain as separate from the water out of which they flow. An electron is not an "elementary particle. " It is just a name given to a certain aspect of the holomovement. Dividing reality up into parts and then naming those parts is always arbitrary, a product of convention, because subatomic particles, and everything else in the universe, are no more separate from one another than different patterns in an ornate carpet. This is a profound suggestion. In his general theory of relativity Einstein astounded the world when he said that space and time are not separate entities, but are smoothly linked and part of a larger whole he called the space-time continuum. Bohm takes this idea a giant step further. He says that everything in the universe is part of a continuum. Despite the apparent separateness of things at the explicate level, everything is a seamless extension of everything else, and ultimately even the implicate and explicate orders blend into each other. Take a moment to consider this. Look at your hand. Now look at the light streaming from the lamp beside you. And at the dog resting at your feet. You are not merely made of the same things. You are the same thing. One thing. Unbroken. One enormous something that has extended its uncountable arms and appendages into all the apparent objects, atoms, restless oceans, and twinkling stars in the cosmos. Bohm cautions that this does not mean the universe is a giant undifferentiated mass. Things can be part of an undivided whole and still possess their own unique qualities. To illustrate what he means he points to the little eddies and whirlpools that often form in a river. At a glance such eddies appear to be separate things and possess many individual characteristics such as size, rate, and direction of rotation, et cetera. But careful scrutiny reveals that it is impossible to determine where any given whirlpool ends and the river begins. Thus, Bohm is not suggesting that the differences between "things" is meaningless. He merely wants us to be aware constantly that dividing various aspects of the holomovement into "things" is always an abstraction, a way of making those aspects stand out in our perception by our way of thinking. In attempts to correct this, instead of calling different aspects of the holomovement "things, " he prefers to call them "relatively independent subtotalities. "10 Indeed, Bohm believes that our almost universal tendency to fragment the world and ignore the dynamic interconnectedness of all things is responsible for many of our problems, not only in science but in our lives and our society as well. For instance, we believe we can extract the valuable parts of the earth without affecting the whole. We believe it is possible to treat parts of our body and not be concerned with the whole. We believe we can deal with various problems in our society, such as crime, poverty, and drug addiction, without addressing the problems in our society as a whole, and so on. In his writings Bohm argues passionately that our current way of fragmenting the world into parts not only doesn't work, but may even lead to our extinction.
Because all such things are aspects of the holomovement, he feels it has no meaning to speak of consciousness and matter as interacting. In a sense, the observer is the observed. The observer is also the measuring device, the experimental results, the laboratory, and the breeze that blows outside the laboratory. In fact, Bohm believes that consciousness is a more subtle form of matter, and the basis for any relationship between the two lies not in our own level of reality, but deep in the implicate order. Consciousness is present in various degrees of enfoldment and unfoldment in all matter, which is perhaps why plasmas possess some of the traits of living things. As Bohm puts it, "The ability of form to be active is the most characteristic feature of mind, and we have something that is mindlike already with the electron. "11 Similarly, he believes that dividing the universe up into living and nonliving things also has no meaning. Animate and inanimate matter are inseparably interwoven, and life, too, is enfolded throughout the totality of the universe. Even a rock is in some way alive, says Bohm, for life and intelligence are present not only in all of matter, but in "energy, " "space, " "time, " "the fabric of the entire universe, " and everything else we abstract out of the holomovement and mistakenly view as separate things. The idea that consciousness and life (and indeed all things) are ensembles enfolded throughout the universe has an equally dazzling flip side. Just as every portion of a hologram contains the image of the whole, every portion of the universe enfolds the whole. This means that if we knew how to access it we could find the Andromeda galaxy in the thumbnail of our left hand. We could also find Cleopatra meeting Caesar for the first time, for in principle the whole past and implications for the whole future are also enfolded in each small region of space and time. Every cell in our body enfolds the entire cosmos. So does every leaf, every raindrop, and every dust mote, which gives new meaning to William Blake's famous poem:
To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.
Michael Talbot, The Holographic Universe
In The Art of War, renowned military strategist Sun Tzu states, "The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand." While this observation comes from one of the oldest military treatises in the world, it's an important piece of advice for traders looking to win in today's dynamic Forex market.
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