Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Quantum Mechanical Explanation for the Problem of Divine - Human Interaction

by Gary Gillespie

Time Binding -- our ability to think about the past and imagine the future -- is evidence for the transcendent powers of the mind. If the human consciousness is above the physical, material universe, it implies that a transcendent reality (God) exists. Consciousness demonstrates thought abilities above the arrow of time, which is inconsistent with physical properties of the brain. In other words, nothing in the material universe that we know of is above or outside of the arrow of time. We do not observe effects before causes or see events suddenly flashing back or forward. But, our intuitions and imagination does this all of the time, suggesting that human consciousness is on a higher level than the physical universe.

The non-local like properties of the imagination could be a wedge for solving the problem of how a transcendent God interacts with humans.

Literature can be taken as an analogue for our world. How do author and characters communicate with each other? Usually the characters are not aware that they are in a story, that they are artifacts of a larger created reality. However, sometimes the characters "take over" a story and suggest the direction of the story line when the author permits this interference. We might call the influence a literary character exerts over the formation of a story "character intentionality".

Most authors welcome character intentionality since it indicates that the reality of the story has reached an authentic depth and richness. Dorthy Sayers is an exception -- she resisted letting characters influence her story.

With character intentionality, rarely does the character speak a string of words to the author. Instead the author "just knows" what the character wants to do, as if they are forcing him or her to turn the plot in a specific way. It is possible to imagine a story in which an extraordinary character has grasped the reality that he is a character in the author's mind. This character may specifically make requests of the author. With some exceptions, the author is not an element of the character's universe. Yes, communication is possible in the author's mind.

Our prayers asking for our God's influence in our world is possible in the same way that character intentionality might influence a story's author to make changes in the plot. Like a good author who seeks to fully understand his stories setting, God is totally aware of every aspect of our universe, down to the subatomic level.

But, God's consciousness of the physical world is not a property of the physical world, like electrical impulses in neural correlates of thought. God's (That is Christ's) thoughts about our universe are above and outside of the arrow of time and space. The means of communication between the author and the characters takes a different form than normal communication between characters. The communication is more like a non-local all at once telepathy. It is a mental activity that is unbounded by the time line of the story.

When I am writing a story I imagine a scene that follows a time line. The author puts him or her self into the story's universe to imagine the direction of the plot. Sometimes characters interact with the mind of the author, influencing the direction the story will take. Christ is the author of our universe and we may interact with him when his consciousness and ours overlaps. Prayer is permitting the cosmic storyteller's consciousness to enter our own.

By knowing something of the mind of Christ, our next steps in the story line are made clearer. "God, should I take that job? Marry that person?" Prayer is like a dialogue with another person to the extent that words in sentences are often used, but in this case the person we are communicating with is the author of the universe who knows the beginning from the end. Prayer is entering the mind of God (that is Christ as the Cosmic Logos, Divine Mediator and Creator, see Colossians 1: 15 - 20 ).

The God we pray to is an all knowing point that fills every point in our world just like an author's consciousness fills every point of the imagined story since it is a construct of his mind. When characters in a story communicate with each other, they rely on the resources and properties of the universe in which they inhabit. The language, information and cultural meanings that characters share are the ground for shared understanding that is direct and has consequences. But, when a character wants to communicate with the author, he or she must enter into the perspective of the author who is present at every point in the character's universe, but also transcends it, living in the author's universe above. This character-author interaction is necessarily remote and requires the grace of the author to listen and if he or she chooses grant the request.

Communication between author and character-- like prayer -- implies that consciousness is not a linear, bio-chemical impulse exchange in the brain, but is a transcendent property that permits a persona to become unbounded by the timeline of his or her world and think outside of physical constraints of time and space. Instead, consciousness is revealed in the neural correlates, just as words on paper provides evidence of an author's thoughts.

God-in-Christ's observation of phenomena influences the properties just as measurement of objects influence and change them. The communication between God and humans is the result of this influence. (See Wheeler).

So, prayer is more like quantum entanglement (action at a distance) or the effects of measurement on objects that collapse superpositions in a quantum filed. (Not that it is the same thing, but is like it). Measuring an electron collapses its position, forever forcing it to assume a single path or form. God's observation of our prayers changes our reality without changing neural electrical interactions directly.

God is the actor and we are the created artifacts. God's grace permits changes in our time line as a result of our prayers in some cases.

Therefore, we can understand prayer in the same way that we think of a literary character communicating with an author. We do not expect that this communication between character and author will follow the same linear manner or use the same code of linguistic processes as the communication that occurs between characters in a story and in fact we will expect that the substance of such interaction is quite different.

This difference between the mind of a character and the mind of author is much like difference between the macro scale physical world we live in and subatomic quantum mechanics in which time and space break down. That is, the characters -- like us -- live in a universe that is coherent and follows a shared time line and cultural space. God, like an author of a story filled with conscious personae, is both in the universe at every point and transcends that universe at the same time by inhabiting another, unseen, but superior world above which is necessarily unbounded by the constraints of normal time and space.

Since consciousness structures physical reality it must supersede it

No comments:

Post a Comment