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The Eternal Law: Ancient Greek Philosophy, Modern Physics, and Ultimate Reality Paperback – July 19, 2012
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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"I found John Spencer's The Eternal Law to be enormously refreshing; for here we have someone willing to speak out forcefully in favour of Platonic ideals lying at the roots of modern science."
--Sir Roger Penrose (OM FRS), Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, author of The Road to Reality
About the Author
John's PhD specialized in the philosophical foundations of quantum physics. He combines the highest levels of abstract thought and extensive scholarly research with his many years of deeply transformative mystical practice.
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The Eternal Law rapidly becomes a tsunami of semantics on overdrive which tries to prove that there is an objective reality or truth by combining physics with philosophy and metaphysics to gain some leverage over woolly-headed "antirealists" who are running amuck and just won't face the facts. Should we care?
Spencer thinks so. He divides the world into realists and antirealists, which establishes a polarized duality we can get our teeth into. There are the good guys, and there are the bad guys. The good guys are real because they recognize the nature of reality, and the bad guys are just delusional woo-woos living in a fantasy world that recognizes no boundaries and therefore no truth. Trying to stay current, Spencer incorporates quantum physics into his argument, a bold and risky move because, as physicist Richard Feynman has pointed out, anybody who claims to understand quantum physics doesn't understand it. Spencer tackles the "measurement problem", which involves actualizing a wave state. This is how waves are turned into particles through the observation of them. Spencer boldly claims that waves, "which are 'non-material' and 'mass-less', are already real; otherwise we would not be able to measure them or actualize them." He goes on to claim that the mysterious measurement process does not imply that we can instantly create anything at all. He points out that "I cannot physically actualize a dinosaur in my living room." The woo-woos probably think they can. I can hear Spencer sniggering over their stupidity.
But if we can actualize "non-material" and "mass-less" waves into our physical reality, then we also ought to be able to un-measure the material and mass-existent into unreality or into a wave state. Spencer is asserting a preference for what appears in this reality and then expanding it to include what cannot be perceived in this reality to accommodate a quantum physics principle. He is taking the quantum aspect out of physical reality by saying that the non-existent already exists because it can be perceived to exist after the fact. But what was our reality before quantum measurement? According to Spencer, the non-existent and existent are equally real. That means that what is real is simultaneously unreal before it is "actualized". This sounds like evasive hair-splitting to me. What Spencer is inadvertently suggesting is the existence of a greater reality of which our actualized version is a part, an alternative dimension of an inclusive bi- or multi-dimensional one that exists as a field of non-actualzed potential. So our reality is not nearly so "real" as Spencer would have us believe. He is quibbling. He wants an all-inclusive reality that constitutes an eternal truth that we can know as an object of conscious awareness. He wants a truth that can be rationally verified. This requires a specific aspect of consciousness that is the basis for our perceived reality, our after-the-fact, actualized reality. In other words, the determination of Spencer's notion of reality depends upon its own capacity for recognizing itself. There is no truth but its own version of it.
So a dinosaur appearing in Spencer's living room is highly improbable so long as his conscious awareness--his reality--excludes it as a possibility. This does not mean that there aren't other versions or states of his consciousness that would allow him to create a dinosaur in his living room. What those versions would be like would not be comprehensible in an objective, independently existing reality, or, as William Blake would put it, as an aspect of "single vision and Newton's sleep".