An Eco-sustainable World

All is One

All is One

Newtonian physics is certainly valid but it cannot complete the infinite structure of the cosmic castle by itself. Sustainable development inserts itself in the field of human sociology in the same way that recent theoretical and philosophical innovations do. It is enough to take a look at the following to understand that everything is interconnected and indissolubly linked.

In 1982 a research team at Paris University, directed by the physicist Alain Aspect, conducted perhaps the most important experiment of the 20º century. Aspect and his team discovered that when subatomic particles such as electrons are subjected to particular conditions, they are able to instantly communicate with each other whatever the distance that separates them, whether a few meters or millions of kilometres. This is as if each single particle knows exactly what all the others are doing.
This phenomenon can only be explained in two ways: either Einstein’s theory – which excludes the possibility of being able to communications faster than light – is to be considered wrong, or subatomic particles are not locally connected.

Who is David Bohm?

Most physicists deny the possibility of phenomena which go beyond the speed of the light, but Aspect’s experiment revolutionizes the postulate, proving that the bond between subatomic particles is actually of a non-local type. David Bohm, the late famous physicist of London University, thought that Aspect’s discoveries implied the non-existence of objective reality. That is to say, despite its apparent solidity, the universe is in reality a ghost, a gigantic and splendidly detailed hologram.

Holograms – everything in a part

To understand Bohm’s amazing claim we must try to understand something about the nature of holograms. A hologram is a three-dimensional photo produced with the help of a laser: the object to be photographed is first immersed in the light of a laser beam, then a second laser beam is made to bounce on the reflected light of the first and the pattern which results from the area of interference where the two rays meet is impressed onto photographic film. When the film is developed, only a tangle of clear and dark lines is visible but when this is illuminated by another laser beam, the original subject appears. Three-dimensionality is not the only interesting characteristic of holograms: if the hologram of a rose is cut in half and then illuminated by a laser, each half still contains the whole image of the rose. Even if we keep on dividing the two halves, we will see that every minuscule fragment of film will always contain a smaller but intact version of the same image. Unlike normal photographs, every part of a hologram contains all the information possessed by the entire hologram.
For Bohm, the reason for which subatomic particles stay in contact whatever the distance that separates them resides in the fact that their separation is an illusion. He was in fact convinced that, on a deeper level of reality, such particles are not individual entities but extensions of the same fundamental “organism”. Bohm simplified this with an example: imagine an aquarium containing a fish. Imagine that the aquarium is not visible directly, but only through two television cameras, one positioned in front of the aquarium and the other positioned from the side.
Looking at the two television monitors we can think that the fish are two separate entities. In fact, the different position of the television cameras will give us two slightly different images. If we continuing to observe the two fish, however, in the end we will realize that there is a certain relationship between them: when one turns, so does the other; when one looks in front of itself, the other looks sideways. If we were not aware of the real nature of the experiment, we could believe that the two fish were communicating with each other in some instantaneous and mysterious way. According to Bohm, the behaviour of subatomic particles indicates that there exists a level of reality which we are not aware of, a dimension that goes beyond ours. If the subatomic particles seem separate to us, this is because we are able to see only a portion of their reality. They are not separate “parts” but facets of a deeper and more fundamental unit, which in the end reveals itself to be as holographic and indivisible as our rose. Since everything in the physical reality is constituted by these “images”, then, as a consequence, the universe itself is a projection, a hologram.

The cosmic warehouse

Apart from its illusory nature, this universe seems to have other amazing characteristics: if the separation between subatomic particles is only apparent, this means that, on a deeper level, all things are infinitely connected. The electrons of an atom of carbon in the human brain are connected to the subatomic particles that constitute every salmon that swims, every heart that beats and each star that shines in the sky. Everything penetrates everything. Although human nature tries to categorize, to classify and to divide the various phenomena, every subdivision is necessarily artificial and the whole of nature is nothing more than an immense, continuous net.
In a holographic universe even time and space would no longer be fundamental principles. Concepts such as place are shattered in a universe where nothing is really separate from the rest. Therefore time and three-dimensional space (just like the images of the fish on the TV monitors) should be interpreted as simple projections of a more complex system. At its deepest level, reality is nothing more than a sort of super-hologram where the past, the present and the future simultaneously coexist. One day, when we have the appropriate instruments, we may be able to penetrate that level of reality and to witness scenes of our long forgotten past. What else the super-hologram can contain remains an unanswered question. Hypothetically speaking, if we accept that it exists, it should contain every single subatomic particle that is, that was and that will be, as well as every possible configuration of matter and energy: from snow flakes to stars, from whales to gamma rays. We should imagine it as a sort of cosmic warehouse of Everything-that-Exists. Bohm was even inclined to suppose that the super-holographic level of reality could merely be a simple intermediary stage beyond which is concealed an infinity of further developments.
Since the term hologram usually refers to a static image that does not coincide with the dynamic and perpetually active nature of our universe, Bohm preferred to describe the universe with the term “holomovement”. Claiming that every single part of a holographic film contains all the information present in the whole film simply means that information is distributed in a non-local way. If it is true that the universe is organized according to holographic principles, we must also suppose that it also has some non-local properties and therefore every existing particle contains in itself the whole image. As a result of this conjecture, every life form must derive from a single source of causality that includes every atom in the universe. From subatomic particles to giant galaxies, everything is at the same time an infinitesimal and total part of “everything.”

To be exact

The claim that every fragment of a hologram contains the whole information is not exact: There is always a certain loss of information. The smaller the fragment, the greater the loss. This, however, does not invalidate the hypothesis of the holographic universe in any way. On the contrary, it tightens the mutual influences among things – from an inconceivable previous infiniteness to more circumscribed circles – making the whole theory even more believable.

Guido Bissanti