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Shaping existance to meet your will?

  1. Nov 9, 2004 #1
    To avoid sounding a bit of a flake, I am just curious as to see how people on this board will respond. From my readings over the last few days, it looks like there are some really sharp minds hanging about.... so... lets see how this one goes over.... :bugeye:

    We know that above the atomic level, matter is universal. However, we are beginning to see that below the atomic level, in the real of quantum physics, it is the mind that can reshape matter.

    Knowing this, do you think it is possible for a person to shape existance to conform to his or her will? Why or why not?

    I guess another word for this is 'magic' but that has way too many meanings associated with it due to the history of the word through out the evolution of the language, so I am hesitant to use it liberally.

    Again, not being flaky and no need to flame... just curious to see opinions. :rofl:
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2004 #2
    We do it all the time on a personal level. We become what we wish to be thru sheer force of will. Failing that nanotechnology, virtual reality and artificial intelligence should be able to do it in 50 years maybe...

    ...or only in death and if you have been a good human
  4. Nov 10, 2004 #3
  5. Nov 10, 2004 #4
    This has not been shown to be true by anyone, at any time, ever.
  6. Nov 10, 2004 #5
    Well this can be thought about in two different ways. Most of the responses here seem to be talking about the ability for a person to change their perspective and behavior and thus create an effect on the people around them. Which will ultimately move things into place as the person originally intended. We truly do have alot more power here than we realize.

    The other interpretation is that a person can somehow influence physical activities with their mind. Like bending a fork or walking on water. The next quote seems to be leaning toward this interpretation.
    I would have to ask what the basis for this quote is. I don't think I've ever heard of such a thing. I am aware that there are interpretations of quantum physics claiming that "consciousness" may have a role. But there is much debate about even that. But assuming that consciousness is a fundamental element of reality and does play a role in quantum physics, this is still very different from saying that the physical processes of the brain i.e. the willful thoughts of the brain can influence reality.
  7. Nov 21, 2004 #6
    I was shooting for the first interpretation that you mentioned. The words were a poor choice and were actually quoted from a professor I had a long while back.

    I am not the best theoretical physicist in the world (Im not even one actually), but wouldnt the idea that two experiments that are conducted as closely as possible to each other could yeild different results based off the fact that the experimenters haveing different mindsets about the project show that the mind can infact influence scientific outcomes in some ways?
  8. Nov 22, 2004 #7
    Da Vinci I feel that the answers that you need is in “The Tao of Physics" by Fritjof Capra. It is an insightful look into the answers that Da Vinci is looking for. It parallels eastern mysticism and quantum physics.
  9. Jan 11, 2005 #8
    I think there are a few ways to look at this.

    Everyone's favorite is, yes, of course you can shape your reality. If your will is strong enough you can accomplish anything. This sounds to me like a cop out, like a inspirational sort of pep talk. It brings to mind the old saying, "you can do anything you set your mind to". Well, no crap Sherlock. If you want to be a movie star or a CEO you can probably do it if you try hard enough. This isn't physics, this is something your parent's or a career counselor would tell you.

    The second interpretation is a bit subjective in nature. It relies on the idea that reality is simply what your personally experiencing with your mind. Schizophrenic people intrigue me in this regard. You may think you are 20 feet tall, green, or driving a ferrari down the highway after leaving your job at McDonalds, when in reality you are rocking back and forth in a padded cell. But I when I said, "when in reality", did I mean your own subjective reality or that of another person. Could a schizophrenic person be experiencing an alternate dimension that exists solely because of their consciousness. Could that be a definition of alternate dimensions, simply realities that exist because of the will of aware entities. How do you know the dimension you perceive is the same that your friend perceives. How do you know that when you see the "blue" sky it is the same thing your friend sees. What you are experiencing is real to you so why isn't it reality? Why is someone else's reality more real than yours? Lucid dreams seem real in your head, yet the "other people" in your dream don't recall them when you see the person the next day when your awake. Its your own personal perception of things, and I think maybe this reality could be considered the same way. Reality is what you make of it.

    The third interpretation takes a view that says reality is more objective. That their is a concrete base reality that everyone shares. That when you punch your friend they feel it and they are a distinct, unique, and aware entity experiencing exactly what you did. If everyone experiences the exact same objective reality than the laws of physics seem to be more concrete and rigid. It seems inplausible to use the power of your mind to make a bunny rabbit spontaneously appear in the air in front of you. Magic, thats what I called it, and I don't think that is possible in the context of this scenario. Although, my disbelief is the first strike against me actually being able to make such a bunny appear. If you consider it impossible, how could you ever perform it yourself. Perhaps you couldn't even see someone else perform such a feet. Perhaps their is an objective reality but your consciousness has established rules that allow you to only perceive certain things as possible. Like a concrete wall in your mind I think... In fact, I think all of humankind probably shares about 99.999% of these perception limitations. Thats why you aren't walking down the road with people staring at magic bunnies appearing in front of them and asking you why you can't see them too. I do think there are people that have dissolved such barriers, but that the majority of people are still closed off and cannot perceive what these people perceive. Perhaps this is the source of such things as psychic phenomenon, miracles, and other hard to belief things that lack concrete evidence. The majority of people are narrow-minded and closed off to possibilities, no matter what they tell themselves. You may tell yourself you belief in something, but that positive belief is just the tip of the iceberg above the water and there is a huge glacier hidden below the water that represents your doubt.

    Ok, I really got off on a meandering and directionless talk... :smile:
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2005
  10. Jan 11, 2005 #9
    We shape the world around us, for good or bad, through "our will" all the time, although it usually entails "physical effort."
  11. Jan 11, 2005 #10
    Thats a true statement, but the realization is no spectular feat. What is spectacular is shaping the world in such a way that defies supposed physical laws (i.e. flying, telekinesis, causing objects to spontaneously appear). In other words... hocus pocus? This is the kinda thing it seems like quantum physics has been hinting at as possible.
  12. Jan 11, 2005 #11
    That would suggest that we're living in a form of Matrix then, ruled by an ever-present will or, mind. By which if we had the means of "tapping into" it, we would also be able to perform such similar feats. Of course we aren't getting too far away from this when we approach the nature of our dreams.
  13. Jan 12, 2005 #12
    The star trek replicator is the natural evolution of nano technology. Re constituting matter from planck size strings means being able to modify them in all 11 dimensions or they would just pop in and out again as time moved on.

    So if you can manipulate basic matter as 4d objects across 11 dimensions by adjusting the vibration signature then you could also adjust their field properties and have objects emit light from within and adjust their gravity so they are lighter than air
    or magnetic even

    Imagine if you could replicate a suit that does all that like a second skin membrane and hard wired into your brain so you could create your own reality at will.

    of course we could make a puter game and take drugs to make everyone think it's real anyway and no one would know the difference or get puters to build us holodecks and drugs to adjust our hormone levels to equate the feelings of excitement, anger whatever

    Now that would be fun as long as we still had individual free will
  14. Jan 12, 2005 #13
    "However, we are beginning to see that below the atomic level, in the real of quantum physics, it is the mind that can reshape matter....Knowing this, do you think it is possible for a person to shape existance to conform to his or her will? Why or why not?"

    To me your question seems to be concerned with wether or not we have free will and more specifically to what extent. From what I've read this seems to be have been an interesting issue in physics over the last couple of centuries.
    Classical (newtonian) mechanics seems to be deterministic in fashion. In an extreme case an obsessed newtonian might be led to argue that if every single particle in someones brain was known then his thoughts can be predicted, but even in a classical paradaigm this is not possible. Chaos is a phenomenon found in classical systems, and basically our knowledge of its intial system rapidly degrades over time to the point where our predictive knowledge of the systems future states is quite simply wrong.
    So it seems to me even without calling upon quantum mechanics the world is not deterministic.
    To get back to your question I'd have to say first of all without any scientific proof that we do indeed have free will. I am also of the opinion that with this free will we can delude ourselves into thinking we have no free will. So in my opinion free will is very very powerful. I also think that any feat of free will, will never defy laws of physics, but as you pointed out quantum mechanics is weird. I am no expert in quantum mechanics but the simple double slit experiment with a photon baffles me. It seems that when we our apparatus is geared towards detecting a wave, we get a wave and when it is geared towards detecting a particle we get a particle. To me this choice of ours seems to effect the physical outcome of the experiment. So I guess at that level it seems to me that our free will shapes the matter we see.
  15. Jan 12, 2005 #14


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    Chaos is technically known as "Deterministic chaos". Even though we can't predict exactly what the system will do, still there is a predetermined outcome. The problem is not ontological but epistimological. So chaos doesn't remove predestination (and quantum mechanics doesn't either).
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2005
  16. Jan 12, 2005 #15
    Are saying that there is a possibiltity for predermination in QM or are you saying that all is predetermined?
  17. Jan 12, 2005 #16


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    It depends on the interpretation. In Qm there are two levels; The level of the equation and the particle states is deterministinc ("unitary"), and in the many worlds intrpretation the states never colapse so everything is preorgained. On the other hand in that interpretation everything happens somewhere. In other interpretations there is a nonunitary collapse or projection (different names for the same thing), and this gives the possibility of various outcomes. But the set of possibilities is itself determined; you get a random choice of which one "comes true".
  18. Jan 15, 2005 #17
    We will have to do this, even if everything in the end turned out to be a pointless venture. The beauty of all this is that the universe is furnished with both the so-called 'NORMAL CAUSAL PATHWAYS' and 'ALTERNATIVE CAUSAL PATHWAYS'. At least, we have choices! The biggest problem is that we tend to trust the former so much that we naively but mistakenly call the latter 'ABNORMAL'. And this just weighs us more and more down as we awfully fail to see, let alone adopt, them as viable alternative choices.

    On the issue of 'Magic', we often fail to see that even the magician also has to follow causal procedures. If an event of any scale appears magical in outlook, does this rule out or exempt the magician from following a logically consistent set of steps or procedure? Well, the answer is no. Regardless of the speed or subtlety of action, the perfomer of such action is unavoidably bound by the Natural Procedural Laws of Nature.

    Ofcourse, we do desire magic, but for heaven's sake let such magic be that which takes the human race out of its misery!
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2005
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