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Infinite Potential ~ Dawning of a New Age

“That which is truly alive in the living being is the energy of spirit,
and this is never born and never dies.”
~ David Bohm

“Space is not empty. It’s full.
It is the ground for the existence of everything,
including ourselves”
~ David Bohm

“Objective reality does not exist” ….

“the universe is fundamentally a gigantic … hologram”

~ David Bohm

Dr. David Bohm ~ December 20, 1917 – October 27, 1992

Introduction to “Infinite Potential ~ Dawning of a New Age”

Dear Friends,

We have reached a rare turning point in modern human history. Confronted by dire anthropogenic threats to extinction of life on Earth as we’ve known it, our species is awakening from eons of darkness to a prophesied new enlightened Earth age, as we realize our infinite potential as wholeness and oneness with our eternal spiritual Source.

Thus a “critical mass” of Humankind will soon be energetically uplifted to co-create a compassionate world, dynamically harmonious with Nature and all life everywhere – a “new reality” foreseen for millennia by non-materialist mystic seers.

Today’s posting commemorates the imminent advent of this awakened new age by posthumously honoring Dr. David Bohm a brilliant theoretical physicist, philosopher and author, who Einstein called his “spiritual son” and the Dalai Lama his “science guru”. Dr. Bohm’s groundbreaking theories may soon scientifically confirm ancient spiritual wisdom, and support humankind’s “critical mass” realization of our previously unimagined infinite potentiality.

This posting includes an introductory outline of Dr. Bohm’s history, followed by a carefully culled collection of key Bohm quotations, and a highly recommended embedded documentary video titled “Infinite Potential The Life and Ideas of David Bohm”.

It is intended to help us intuit, envision and co-create the dynamic new reality we want to see.

Infinite Potential The Life and Ideas of David Bohm

Embedded below is a highly recommended documentary film about Dr. David Bohm. Here is an almost verbatim summary of the filmmakers’ description of its contents, followed by a brief addendum of relevant facts about Dr. Bohm’s historic relationship with Albert Einstein.

The Life and Ideas Of David Bohm

An incredible journey into the nature of life and Reality with David Bohm, the man Einstein called his “spiritual son” and the Dalai Lama his “science guru”.

A brilliant theoretical physicist, Bohm got the attention of the greatest minds in science, including Robert Oppenheimer, who became his thesis advisor.

Bohm’s scientific insights into the underlying nature of reality and the profound interconnectedness of the Universe and our place within it are ground-breaking and transformational.

But his revolutionary ideas were way ahead of their time and posed a threat to the scientific orthodoxy, which dismissed him and forced him into exile.

His questioning of the scientific orthodoxy was the expression of a rare and maverick intelligence. He shows us that the nature of reality is infinite and believed in a “hidden” regime of reality – the Quantum Potential – that underlies all of creation and which will remain beyond scientific endeavor, an idea echoed by many mystical traditions.

We are all participants and observers in the emergence of a reality…the Observer is the Observed. Bohm shows us that we are all co-producers of a possible future in which personal and global transformation is possible.

He invites us on a journey into the heart of our being, into consciousness itself…

Addendum re Dr. Bohm’s historic relationship with Albert Einstein.

For the last twenty two years of his life Einstein was a fellow at the Princeton Institute For Advanced Study where he met and befriended Dr. David Bohm, then a young member of the Princeton University physics department. Dr. Bohm became Einstein’s Princeton protégé who Einstein called his “spiritual son”, and with whom he exchanged letters after Bohm’s forced departure from Princeton during the notorious McCarthy era of American politics. Perhaps better than anyone else Dr. Bohm learned how Einstein had intuitively formulated his revolutionary theories.

With that understanding, Bohm conceptualized reality as “undivided wholeness”. And Bohm realized that the profound implications of Einstein’s insights have not yet changed mainstream physicists’ predominantly Newtonian mental models of solidity, invariance, and three dimensional space/time, influenced by their benefitting from immense weapons industry investments.

And in his writings, Bohm (a rare scientific maverick) explicitly explained how a new mode of dynamic thinking beyond physics was required to enable recognition and resolution of the many anthropogenic difficulties causing insane and dire threats of extinction of Earth-life as we’ve known it.

Thus Bohm used many new words for the holistic principle of “undivided wholeness”, such as “implicate order”, “quantum potential field”, and “holomovement” to express that nothing is static; that everything is in “universal flux”, a dynamic interconnected process of infinitely becoming.

Bohm’s innovative conceptualizations of “undivided wholeness” were intended to radically shift our thinking about reality, away from terms of separation, to motion or process. Similarly Bohm also tried to imagine ways of using language which emphasized verbs, rather than separate subjects and objects.

Despite his immense achievements, Bohm is still relatively unknown because of Robert Oppenheimer’s influential opposition to Bohm’s theoretical work, which Oppenheimer could not mathematically refute. Realizing that Bohm radically challenged mainstream physics, Oppenheimer called Bohm’s ideas, “juvenile deviationism,” saying that, “if we cannot disprove Bohm, then we must agree to ignore him.”

Dr. David Bohm, Quotations Collection Concerning Physical Reality, Spiritual Philosophy, and Cosmology

“That which is truly alive in the living being is the energy of spirit,
and this is never born and never dies.”

”The essential quality of the infinite… is its subtlety, its intangibility.
This quality is conveyed in the word spirit, whose root meaning is ‘wind or breath.’ This suggests an invisible but pervasive energy to which the manifest world of the finite responds.”

“Consciousness is never static or complete but is an unending process of movement and unfoldment.”

“Space is not empty. It’s full. It is the ground for the existence of everything, including ourselves”

“We could say that practically all the problems of the human race are due to the fact that thought is not proprioceptive.”

“To change your reality you have to change your inner thoughts.”

“Thought creates our world, and then says ‘I didn’t do it”

“If our troubles originate in a kind of ‘ocean’ of thought and language, in which we are submerged, but of which we are only dimly aware, it would seem reasonable to begin immediately to inquire into the actual function of our thought and language. To do this requires, of course, that we give this function our serious attention. We do give such attention to a vast range of things, including nature, technology, politics, economics, society, psychological problems, and so forth. Why should thought and language be the one field left to function automatically and mechanically, without serious attention, so that the resulting confusion vitiates most of what we try to do in all other fields?”

“Objective reality does not exist” ….
“the universe is fundamentally a gigantic … hologram”

“What appears to be a stable, tangible, visible, audible world, is an illusion.
It is dynamic and kaleidoscopic — not really “there”. 
What we normally see is the explicit, or unfolded, order of things, rather like watching a movie.
 But there is an underlying order that is mother and father to this second-generation reality.”

“It is proposed that the widespread and pervasive distinctions between people (race, nation, family, profession, etc., etc.) which are now preventing mankind from working together for the common good, and indeed, even for survival, have one of the key factors of their origin in a kind of thought that treats things as inherently divided, disconnected, and “broken up” into yet smaller constituent parts. . . . . Each part is considered to be essentially independent and self-existent.”
“The notion that all these fragments is separately existent is evidently an illusion, and this illusion cannot do other than lead to endless conflict and confusion. Indeed, the attempt to live according to the notion that the fragments are really separate is, in essence, what has led to the growing series of extremely urgent crises that is confronting us today.” 

“Thus, as is now well known, this way of life has brought about pollution, destruction of the balance of nature, over-population, world-wide economic and political disorder and the creation of an overall environment that is neither physically nor mentally healthy for most of the people who live in it.” 

“Individually there has developed a widespread feeling of helplessness and despair, in the face of what seems to be an overwhelming mass of disparate social forces, going beyond the control and even the comprehension of the human beings who are caught up in it.”

“some might say: ‘Fragmentation of cities, religions, political systems, conflict in the form of wars, general violence, fratricide, etc., are the reality. Wholeness is only an ideal, toward which we should perhaps strive.’ But this is not what is being said here. Rather, what should be said is that wholeness is what is real, and that fragmentation is the response of this whole to man’s action, guided by illusory perception, which is shaped by fragmentary thought.”

“From the point of view of the species, death is part of this whole process. You could say that species have evolved in such a way that individual members last a certain time. Perhaps a certain kind of species would be better able to survive if the individuals didn’t last too long. Other kinds could last longer.”

“Indeed, the attempt to live according to the notion that the fragments are really separate is, in essence, what has led to the growing series of extremely urgent crises that is confronting us today.”

“During the past few decades, modern technology, with radio, TV, air travel, and satellites, has woven a network of communication which puts each part of the world in to almost instant contact with all the other parts.”

Yet, in spite of this world-wide system of linkages, there is, at this very moment, a general feeling that communication is breaking down everywhere, on an unparalleled scale.

“We are all linked by a fabric of unseen connections. This fabric is constantly changing and evolving. This field is directly structured and influenced by our behavior and by our understanding.”

“We are internally related to everything, not [just] externally related. Consciousness is an internal relationship to the whole, we take in the whole, and we act toward the whole. Whatever we have taken in determines basically what we are. Wholeness is a kind of attitude or approach to the whole of life. If we can have a coherent approach to reality then reality will respond coherently to us.”

“Ultimately, the entire universe…has to be understood as a single undivided whole.”

“The question is how our own meanings are related to those of the universe as a whole. We could say that our action toward the whole universe is a result of what it means to be us.”

“[T]here is a universal flux that cannot be defined explicitly but which can be known only implicitly, as indicated by the explicitly definable forms and shapes, some stable and some unstable, that can be abstracted from the universal flux. In this flow, mind and matter are not separate substances. Rather, they are different aspects of our whole and unbroken movement.”

“We could say that practically all the problems of the human race are due to the fact that thought is not proprioceptive.”

“The ability to perceive or think differently is more important than the knowledge gained.”

“Space is not empty. It is full, a plenum as opposed to a vacuum, and is the ground for the existence of everything, including ourselves. The universe is not separate from this cosmic sea of energy.”

“Ultimately, all moments are really one, therefore now is an eternity.”

“Thought runs you. Thought, however, gives false info that you are running it, that you are the one who controls it. Whereas actually thought is the one which controls each one of us.”

“In Nature nothing remains constant. Everything is in a perpetual state of transformation, motion and change.”

“In the long run, it is far more dangerous to adhere to illusion than to face what the actual fact is.”

“Individuality is only possible if it unfolds from wholeness.”

“Dialogue is a space where we may see the assumptions which lay beneath the surface of our thoughts, assumptions which drive us, assumptions around which we build organizations, create economies, form nations and religions. These assumptions become habitual, mental habits that drive us, confuse us and prevent our responding intelligently to the challenges we face every day.”

“Suppose we were able to share meanings freely without a compulsive urge to impose our view or conform to those of others and without distortion and self-deception. Would this not constitute a real revolution in culture.”

“Deep down the consciousness of mankind is one. This is a virtual certainty because even in the vacuum matter is one; and if we don’t see this, it’s because we are blinding ourselves to it.”

“In some sense man is a microcosm of the universe; therefore what man is, is a clue to the universe. We are enfolded in the universe.”

“There is a difficulty with only one person changing. People call that person a great saint or a great mystic or a great leader, and they say, ‘Well, he’s different from me – I could never do it.’ What’s wrong with most people is that they have this block – they feel they could never make a difference, and therefore, they never face the possibility, because it is too disturbing, too frightening.”

“Perhaps there is more sense in our nonsense and more nonsense in our ‘sense’ than we would care to believe.”

“Consciousness is much more of the implicate order than is matter… Yet at a deeper level [matter and consciousness] are actually inseparable and interwoven, just as in the computer game the player and the screen are united by participation.”

“…consciousness is a coherent whole, which is never static or complete, but which is in an unending process of movement and unfoldment.”

“If you engage in positive thinking to overcome negative thoughts, the negative thoughts are still there acting. That’s still incoherence. It’s not enough just to engage in positive thoughts when you have negative thoughts registered, because they keep on working and will cause trouble somewhere else.”

“Thought is constantly creating problems that way and then trying to solve them. But as it tries to solve them it makes it worse because it doesn’t notice that it’s creating them, and the more it thinks, the more problems it creates.”

“Similarly, thought is a system. That system not only includes thought and feelings, but it includes the state of the body; it includes the whole of society – as thought is passing back and forth between people in a process by which thought evolved from ancient times.”

“When you are thinking something, you have the feeling that the thoughts do nothing except inform you the way things are and then you choose to do something and you do it. That’s what people generally assume. But actually, the way you think determines the way you’re going to do things. Then you don’t notice a result comes back, or you don’t see it as a result of what you’ve done, or even less do you see it as a result of how you were thinking. Is that clear?”

“Dialogue is really aimed at going into the whole thought process and changing the way the thought process occurs collectively. We haven’t really paid much attention to thought as a process. We have engaged in thoughts, put we have only paid attention to the content, not to the process. Why does thought require attention? Everything requires attention, really. If we ran machines without paying attention to them, they would break down. Our thought, too, is a process, and it requires attention, otherwise its going to go wrong.”

“We have the idea that after we have been thinking something, it just evaporates. But thinking doesn’t disappear. It goes somehow into the brain and leaves something-a trace-which becomes thought. And thought then acts automatically.”

“We haven’t really paid much attention to thought as a process. we have engaged in thoughts, but we have only paid attention to the content, not to the process.”

“In nature nothing remains constant. Everything is in a perpetual state of transformation, motion, and change. However, we discover that nothing simply surges up out of nothing without having antecedents that existed before. Likewise, nothing ever disappears without a trace, in the sense that it gives rise to absolutely nothing existing in later times.”

“The notion of a separate organism is clearly an abstraction, as is also its boundary. Underlying all this is unbroken wholeness even though our civilization has developed in such a way as to strongly emphasize the separation into parts.”

“Then there is the further question of what is the relationship of thinking to reality. As careful attention shows, thought itself is in an actual process of movement.”

“If we can be cheered up by positive images we can be depressed by negative ones. As long as we accept images as realities we are in that trap, because you can’t control the images.”

“It is proposed that a form of free dialogue may well be one of the most effective ways of investigating the crisis which faces society, and indeed the whole of human nature and consciousness today. Moreover, it may turn out that such a form of free exchange of ideas and information is of fundamental relevance for transforming culture and freeing it of destructive misinformation, so that creativity can be liberated.”

“Ego-centeredness is not individuality at all.”

“Thought reflexes get conditioned very strongly, and they are very hard to change. And the also interfere. A reflex may connect to the endorphins and produce an impulse to hold that whole pattern forther. In other words, it produces a defensive reflex. Not merely is it stuck because it’s chemically so well built up, but also there is a defensive reflex which defends against evidence which might weaken it. Thus it all happens, one reflex after another after another. It’s just a vast system of reflexes. And they form a ‘structure’ as they get more rigid.”

“What is needed is to learn afresh, to observe, and to discover for ourselves the meaning of wholeness.”

“Thus, in a dialogue each person does not attempt to make common certain ideas or items of information that are already known to him. Rather, it can be said that collectively they are making something in common”

“Yet, in spite of this world-wide system of linkages, there is, at this very moment, a general feeling that communication is breaking down everywhere, on an unparalleled scale.”

“Indeed, the attempt to live according to the notion that the fragments are really separate is, in essence, what has led to the growing series of extremely urgent crises that is confronting us today.”

“The system [of thought] doesn’t stay with the difficult problem that produces unpleasant feelings. It’s conditioned somehow to move as fast as it can toward more pleasant feelings, without actually facing the thing that’s making the unpleasant feeling.”

“Another problem of fragmentation is that thought divides itself from feeling and from the body. Thought is said to be the mind; we have the notion that it is something abstract or spiritual or immaterial. Then there is the body, which is very physical. And we have emotions, which are perhaps somewhere in between. The idea is that they are all different. That is, we think of them as different. And we experience them as different because we think of them as different.”

“Thought is creating divisions out of itself and then saying that they are there naturally.”

“This is another major feature of thought: Thought doesn’t know it is doing something and then it struggles against it is doing. It doesn’t want to know that it is doing it.”

“My suggestion is that at each state the proper order of operation of the mind requires an overall grasp of what is generally known, not only in formal logical, mathematical terms, but also intuitively, in images, feelings, poetic usage of language, etc.”

“individual thought is mostly the result of collective thought and of interaction with other people. The language is entirely collective, and most of the thoughts in it are. Everybody does his own thing to those thoughts – he makes a contribution. But very few change them very much.”

“We have reversed the usual classical notion that the independent “elementary parts” of the world are the fundamental reality, and that the various systems are merely particular contingent forms and arrangements of these parts. Rather, we say that inseparable quantum interconnectedness of the whole universe is the fundamental reality, and that relatively independent behaving parts are merely particular and contingent forms within this whole.”

“And thought struggles against the results, trying to avoid those unpleasant results while keeping on with that way of thinking. That is what I call ‘sustained incoherence.”

“There is no reason why an extra-physical general principle is necessarily to be avoided, since such principles could conceivably serve as useful working hypotheses. For the history of scientific research is full of examples in which it was very fruitful indeed to assume that certain objects or elements might be real, long before any procedures were known which would permit them to be observed directly.”

“Then there is the further question of what is the relationship of thinking to reality. As careful attention shows, thought itself is in an actual process of movement. That is to say, one can feel a sense of flow in the stream of consciousness not dissimilar to the sense of flow in the movement of matter in general. May not thought itself thus be a part of reality as a whole? But then, what could it mean for one part of reality to ‘know’ another, and to what extent would this be possible?”

“A new kind of mind thus beings to come into being which is based on the development of a common meaning that is constantly transforming in the process of the dialogue.”

“Real dialogue is where two or more people become willing to suspend their certainty in each other’s presence.”

“People are no longer primarily in opposition, nor can they be said to be interacting, rather they are participating in this pool of common meaning which is capable of constant development and change.”

“We can’t simply take the way things seem and just work on that, because that would be another kind of mistake thought makes-taking the surface and calling it the reality.”

“Anybody can use science and technology without fundamentally altering his own frame of mind which governs how they are used.”

“The treatment of the indeterminacy principle as absolute and final can then be criticized as constituting an arbitrary restriction on scientific theories, since it does not follow from the quantum theory as such, but rather from the assumption of the unlimited validity of certain of its features, an assumption that can in no way ever be subjected to experimental proof.”

“The question of relevance comes before that of truth, because to ask whether a statement is true or false presupposes that it is relevant (so that to try to assert the truth or falsity of an irrelevant statement is a form of confusion).”

“If each one of us can give full attention to what is actually ‘blocking’ communication while he is also attending properly to the content of what is communicated, then we may be able to create something new between us, something of very great significance for bringing to an end the at present insoluble problems of the individual and of society.”

“In relativity, movement is continuous, causally determinate and well defined, while in quantum mechanics it is discontinuous, not causally determinate and not well defined.”

“One thus sees that a new kind of theory is needed which drops these basic commitments and at most recovers some essential features of the older theories as abstract forms derived from a deeper reality in which what prevails in unbroken wholeness.”

“Thus, in scientific research, a great deal of our thinking is in terms of theories. The word ‘theory’ derives from the Greek ‘theoria’, which has the same root as ‘theatre’, in a word meaning ‘to view’ or ‘to make a spectacle’. Thus, it might be said that a theory is primarily a form of insight, i.e. a way of looking at the world, and not a form of knowledge of how the world is.”

“But what is [the] quality of originality? It is very hard to define or specify. Indeed, to define originality would in itself be a contradiction, since whatever action can be defined in this way must evidently henceforth be unoriginal. Perhaps, then, it will be best to hint at it obliquely and by indirection, rather than to try to assert positively what it is.

One prerequisite for originality is clearly that a person shall not be inclined to impose his preconceptions on the fact as he sees it. Rather, he must be able to learn something new, even if this means that the ideas and notions that are comfortable or dear to him may be overturned.

“But the way people commonly use the word nowadays it means something all of whose parts are mutually interdependent – not only for their mutual action, but for their meaning and for their existence.”

“A corporation is organized as a system – it has this department, that department, that department… they don’t have any meaning separately; they only can function together. And also the body is a system. Society is a system in some sense. And so on.”

“So one begins to wonder what is going to happen to the human race. Technology keeps on advancing with greater and greater power, either for good or for destruction.”

“From the outset, however, this whole controversy has been plagued by tacit assumptions, very often of a philosophical rather than a physical character.”

“This kind of overall way of thinking is not only a fertile source of new theoretical ideas: it is needed for the human mind to function in a generally harmonious way, which could in turn help to make possible an orderly and stable society.”

“violence doesn’t stop merely by saying, ‘we’ll act based on love’, because that can become just an idea that gets absorbed into the system.”

“If you are going to ask what state of feeling goes with understanding, I am afraid that it will have to be described by the word “love”. This word has unfortunately been used in so many false ways that it hardly means anything nowadays. Yet, I think that by implication, the meaning will come across. For example, some parents claim they “love” their children, but do not understand them. Is this really possible? If they do not understand what their children actually are, then the beings for whom they feel love must be imaginary, just projections of the parent’s own minds. Thus, what the parents actually “love” is not their actual children, but rather, some projections of themselves. Such a love is evidently false. Evidently, there can be no real love without understanding. Vice versa, can there be understanding without love? If we hate something, we reject it and do not understand it. . . . If we are indifferent to something, we will never undertake the arduous task of understanding it. If something pleases us, we will be afraid to look at its dark side, and again we won’t understand it, i.e., see it wholly and totally. So it seems that the only feeling that will lead to the action of understanding is love.”

Infinite Potential – The Life & Ideas Of David Bohm

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