Meaning, the Future and the Double-Slit Experiment

September 22, 2019 — 2 Comments

I’ve had this idea about the nature of meaning and this “Spooky” experiment in quantum physics. So if you care to see my crazy here goes.

Meaning is something that exists in the mind as our simultaneous understanding of the relationship of parts and whole. In interpretation, this is known as the hermeneutic circle. The whole defines the meaning of the parts even as the meaning of the parts define the meaning of the whole. But this interdependence leads to a serious problem. We don’t live in a simultaneous universe in which all things are now singularly known. We exist in a universe where time/knowledge is divided up, as it unfolds bit by bit, the past known the present becoming known and the future not yet being known. And without the knowledge of the future whole, the meaning of the bit doesn’t exist concretely. It exists to us as a cloud of potential meanings which only collapses in our minds to a singular meaning when we arrive at the whole.

This seems to me similar to the double slit experiment in quantum physics. In the experiment (see the video), we know that observer/observation collapses the potentiality which exists in reality. The tiniest pieces which make up reality act as an undefinable wave until we watch it. When its watched it changes the outcome of what has previously been seen. It’s as if it knows it’s being watched. Crazy! And this is a repeatable scientific experiment which is testing the world outside ourselves. But somehow the mind is objectively causing this objective reality to define what it is.

Is there just an analogous relationship between the collapse of potential meanings in our moving through time and the collapse of the quantum realms wave function when it’s observed or is more significant than that? Our observation of time is certainly collapsing the potentials of meanings and events In our minds. Perhaps the future exists right now as a wave, needing our observation to collapse it into something meaningful. That thought might be interesting if applied to our debates about free will and determinism. It could be that the future exists right now but somehow needs us to see it to make it what it will be. Bottom line, it would appear there is no “objective” reality apart from our subjectivity. That our subjectivity is working with the “objective” world to define what it is. Or perhaps I’m just crazy.

That very well could be

Matthew Scott Miller

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