Quantum Coherence, Holism and Global Mind

peter hodges


"A quantum coherent state thus maximizes both global cohesion and also local freedom! Nature presents us with a deep riddle that compels us to accomodate seemingly polar opposites..." Mae-Wan Ho, The Rainbow and the Worm
"What is quantum coherence? This refers to circumstances when large numbers of particles can collectively cooperate in a single quantum state..." Roger Penrose

In quantum mechanics the identity of an entity is defined as a probability distribution of attributes. This distribution can be represented by the Schroedinger Wave Equation (1). The wave represents all the probable locations of the entity in space-time. All these probable locations in space and time are mapped in a multi-dimensional area called Hilbert Space, or phase space. We then pick a time, and observe the entity. The act of observation collapses the wave function into a distinct set of attributes in local space-time. The set of attributes in local space-time give the entity its own identity in the classical sense, and so are called the eigen-value, eigen being ‘own’ in German.

In Quantum Coherence, the non-collapsed wave-function is said to be "Coherent". The collapse of the wave function into an eigen value is expressed by de-coherence. Thus Coherence in the quantum sense describes the entity in its un-identified state as a potentia in the non-local phase-space of possibilities. An extension of Quantum Coherence beyond the simple notions of say, photons in coherent phase (a laser), or electrons in a two slit experiment reveals much deeper insights about our reality. Basically, this extension of coherence is the result of an entity in its history having interacted with, or connected to, the totality of other entities. All their probability waves also then interact, creating an interference pattern, the wave function of the non-local totality. According to coherence theory, when the entity de-coheres it separates itself out from non-local totality into an identity in local space-time.

The beauty of Coherence Theory is its non-local nature. In the classical model of the world we live in a universe of discrete objects located in local space-time. Locality entails all sorts of other mutually implied attributes: Causality, a universal speed limit, and a reversible arrow of time.(2) In a non-local universe, there is no speed limit, time is not even linear, and causality loses its meaning. Identity takes on a whole new meaning beyond a location and history in space-time. (3) Rather than separated into discrete objects, everything is connected. In the coherent state an entity’s identity is merged into the holistic totality.

Holism is alien to a culture steeped in the materialism of classical physics. Our culture teaches that information and mind are epiphenomenon to the primary material world consisting of physical objects with discrete local identities. Our science mostly separates things out of the complex whole, then posits theories describing the simplified parts. They are selling the Truth when they have only part of the Truth. Holism is to reject separation. There is no epiphenomenon, all phenomenon are linked. There is not mind and matter, now and then, this object and that object, or even being and not-being. In a physical world can information be said to exist? Can you kick it like a rock? Is it real?

Quantum coherence, holism, and the global mind all come together in information theory. Information theory is the mathematics examining and defining the very line separating the part from the whole. Information theory assumes that the world, or the whole, is made of information. An object, or a part, is a subset of that information. Information theory models the exchange of information between the part and the whole. The difference between the part and the whole, or the boundary, is an interference pattern. Hence in the mathematics of interference patterns, or resonance, quantum coherence and information theory link up. The difference between a probabilistic wave function and a specific electron, between coherence and de-coherence, between the part and the whole are all modeled as exchanges of information. The difference between the information which defines you and the information which constitute the totality of possible information form an interference pattern. Information theory models this pattern: the relationship of your mind to the global mind. The standing wave of the interference pattern is no less than the doorway to the infinite.

Access to the coherent state is access to the state of unity, of connectedness with the totality of being. The phase space of all possibilities. I call it the hyperspace of Mind.



1 (-h^2/(2m) del^2 psi + V*psi = E*psi)

2 Although causality is not specifically entailed by the physical theory, it is added on as an extra postulate. The Causal Ordering Postulate, or the COP, is an added assumption to sooth the bias of scientists uncomfortable that world might be more muddy than they are ready to accept. Without COP limititions classical theory itself implies a non-local and complex universe. Coherence Theory actually developed out of a way to put causality back into Quantum Mechanics.

3 Scientists at IBM propose to use phase entanglement for teleportation. From the IBM webpage: “An outgrowth of seminal IBM Research studies in the 1970s on the energy-efficiency limits of the very act of computation, quantum information theory currently predicts that small bits of matter that are both exquisitely intertwined yet absolutely isolated are capable of such incredible feats as: · absolutely foolproof protection of data transmissions (quantum cryptography) · exponentially powerful and exceedingly rapid computation and data searching (quantum computing), · in its most science-fiction-like (but at least theoretically possible) example, the ethereal "quantum teleportation" of the essence of matter — its quantum states — from one location to another.” Google it