by Geoff Haselhurst

January, 2005

from SpaceAndMotion Website


Introductory Quotes

  • It is proposed that the widespread and pervasive distinctions between people (race, nation, family, profession, etc., etc.) which are now preventing mankind from working together for the common good, and indeed, even for survival, have one of the key factors of their origin in a kind of thought that treats things as inherently divided, disconnected, and "broken up" into yet smaller constituent parts. Each part is considered to be essentially independent and self-existent.

    (David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order)

  • The notion that all these fragments is separately existent is evidently an illusion, and this illusion cannot do other than lead to endless conflict and confusion. Indeed, the attempt to live according to the notion that the fragments are really separate is, in essence, what has led to the growing series of extremely urgent crises that is confronting us today. Thus, as is now well known, this way of life has brought about pollution, destruction of the balance of nature, over-population, world-wide economic and political disorder and the creation of an overall environment that is neither physically nor mentally healthy for most of the people who live in it. Individually there has developed a widespread feeling of helplessness and despair, in the face of what seems to be an overwhelming mass of disparate social forces, going beyond the control and even the comprehension of the human beings who are caught up in it.

    (David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980)

  • Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another.

    (Leibniz, 1670)

  • We are a part of Nature as a whole whose order we follow.

    (Spinoza, Ethics, 1673)

A Very Brief Introduction

The following article on David Bohm’s Wholeness and Implicate Order is very consistent with the Wave Structure of Matter. That at a fundamental level reality is not made of discrete and separate parts (particles), but One interconnected whole. The Wave Structure of Matter agrees as the following brief summary explains:

If we abide by the rules of Science, which aims to unite a posteriori / empirical evidence from our Senses with a priori reason / logic from Principles, it is clear that we can now describe Matter (Reality) more simply in terms of Spherical Standing Waves in Space (rather than discrete particles and forces in space and time).

The purpose of this article is to explain and solve previous philosophical problems that arose because of the wrong metaphysical foundations of our language (currently founded on four separate things - Matter as ’Particles’ generating ’Forces’ in ’Space’ and ’Time’).

Very briefly summarized:

To unite these four separate things we must describe Reality from One Thing. The Metaphysics of Space and Motion and the Wave Structure of Matter is founded on One Principle which describes One Substance, Space, and its Properties as a Wave-Medium. Matter Exists as Spherical Standing Waves in Space. Time is caused by wave Motion (as spherical wave motions of Space which cause matter’s activity and the phenomena of time). The discrete ’particle’ effect of matter is formed by the Wave-Center of the Spherical Waves. (See Diagrams below.)


Forces result from wave interactions of the Spherical In and Out Waves with other matter in the universe which change the location of the Wave-Center (and which we ’see’ as a ’force accelerating a particle’.

+ =

This rough diagram shows how the Spherical In and Out Waves

form a Standing Wave around the Wave-Center ’particle’

I have added a few comments (GH - Geoff Haselhurst) to the David Bohm article below, though I think the comments are pretty obvious once you understand the Wave Structure of Matter.

Essay on Life & Ideas of David Bohm

(1917 - 1992)

In autumn of 1992, one of the world’s greatest contemporary physicists passed away. David Bohm, whose work inspired many people all over the world, died in London. David Bohm’s contributions to science and philosophy are profound, and they have yet to be fully recognized and integrated on the grand scale.

David Bohm was born on December 20, 1917, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Bohm was fascinated by the dazzling concepts of cosmic forces and vast expanses of space that lie beyond our understanding. Bohm began his theory with the troubling concern that the two pillars of modern physics, quantum mechanics and relativity theory, actually contradict each other. This contradiction is not just in minor details but is very fundamental, because quantum mechanics requires reality to be discontinuous, non-causal, and non-local, whereas relativity theory requires reality to be continuous, causal, and local.


This discrepancy can be patched up in a few cases using mathematical re-normalization techniques, but this approach introduces an infinite number of arbitrary features into the theory that, Bohm points out, are reminiscent of the epicycles used to patch up the crumbling theory of Ptolmaic astronomy. Hence, contrary to widespread understanding even among scientists, the new physics is self-contradictory at its foundation and is far from being a finished new model of reality. Bohm was further troubled by the fact that many leading physicists did not pay sufficient attention to this discrepancy.

Seeking a resolution of this dilemma, Bohm inquired into what the two contradictory theories of modern physics have in common. What he found was undivided wholeness. Bohm was therefore led to take wholeness very seriously, and, indeed, wholeness became the foundation of his major contributions to physics. According to quantum physics no matter how far apart two quanta’s of light (photons) travel, when they are measured they will always be found to have identical angles of polarization.


This suggests that somehow the two photons must be instantaneously communicating with each other so they know which angle of polarization to agree upon. Eventually, technology became available to actually perform the two particle experiment, but no one was able to produce conclusive results. Then in 1982 a remarkable event took place. At the University of Paris a research team led by physicist Alain Aspect performed what may turn out to be one of the most important experiments of the 20th century. There are some who believe his discovery may change the face of science.


Aspect and his team discovered that under certain circumstances subatomic particles are able to instantaneously communicate with each other regardless of the distance separating them. It doesn’t matter whether they are 10 feet or 10 billion miles apart. Somehow each particle always seems to know what the other is doing.

GH - This is correct because matter is actually large, as a Spherical Standing Wave in Space (rather than a ’particle’) thus is always continuously connected to all other matter in the Universe by its In and Out Waves.

This meant that either Einstein’s long-held theory that no communication can travel faster than the speed of light or the two particles are non-locally connected. Because most physicists are opposed to admitting faster-than-light processes into physics, this daunting prospect has caused some physicists to try to come up with elaborate ways to explain away Aspect’s findings. But it has inspired others to offer even more radical explanations.


David Bohm believes the reason subatomic particles are able to remain in contact with one another regardless of the distance separating them is not because they are sending some sort of mysterious signal back and forth, but because their separateness is an illusion. Bohm postulates that the ultimate nature of physical reality is not a collection of separate objects (as it appears to us), but rather it is an undivided whole that is in perpetual dynamic flux. For Bohm, the insights of quantum mechanics and relativity theory point to a universe that is undivided and in which all parts merge and unite in one totality.


This undivided whole is not static but rather in a constant state of flow and change, a kind of invisible ether from which all things arise and into which all things eventually dissolve. Indeed, even mind and matter are united. Bohm refers to his theory as the holomovement. The terms holo and movement refer to two fundamental features of reality. The movement portion refers to the fact that reality is in a constant state of change and flux as mentioned above. The holo portion signifies that reality is structured in a manner that is very similar to holography. Bohm says that the universe is like a hologram.

GH - This is correct, this dynamic flux is caused by the Wave Structure of Matter in Space (One Continuously Connected Wave Medium).

So, in order to understand what that means, we need to have some idea of the components and structure of a hologram. There are several explanations, but here is something of the idea. To construct a hologram you need two beams of light (lasers). One beam will bounce off the object that you want as a hologram, and the other beam will shine directly onto the special photographic plate or film. The interference patterns of those two light sources will interact on the plate. They swirl around and do not look like anything in particular if you are looking at the plate.


If, however, you shine a laser beam through the plate of film, the object will be reproduced in the 3-dimensional form of a hologram. And further more, if you tear the plate apart and shine the beam of light through any of the pieces, the whole object can be reproduced. So, in essence, each part contains the patterns for the whole picture. One of Bohm’s most startling assertions is that the tangible reality of our everyday lives is really a kind of illusion, like a holographic image. Underlying it is a deeper order of existence, a vast and more primary level of reality that gives birth to all the objects and appearances of our physical world in much the same way that a piece of holographic film gives birth to a hologram.


Bohm calls this deeper level of reality the implicate (which means enfolded or hidden) order, and he refers to our own level or existence as the explicate, or unfolded order. Put another way, electrons and all other particles are no more substantive or permanent then the form a geyser of water takes as it gushes out of a fountain. They are sustained by a constant influx from the implicate order, and when a particle appears to be destroyed, it is not lost. It has merely enfolded back into the deeper order from which it sprang.

GH - The central point here is that our mind represents our senses (due to our evolution based on survival) rather than providing a true picture of reality. However, reason tells us that matter is clearly interconnected (e.g. the earth orbits the sun) and that there must be knowledge flowing into matter to explain how we can see things around us. This is correct, and explained by the Spherical In-Waves which form the ’particleeffect of matter at their Wave-Center.

A piece of holographic film and the image it generates are also an example of an implicate and explicate order. The film is an implicate order because the image encoded it its interference patterns is a hidden totality enfolded throughout the whole. The hologram projected from the film is an explicate order because it represents the unfolded and perceptible version of the image. Bohm is not the only researcher who has found evidence that the universe is a hologram.


Working independently in the field of brain research, Stanford neurophysiologist Karl Pribram has also become persuaded by the holographic nature of reality. He says that the human brain can be modeled as a hologram. Pribram was drawn to the holographic model by the puzzle of how and where memories are stored in the brain. For decades numerous studies have shown that rather than being confined to a specific location, memories are dispersed throughout the brain. In a series of landmark experiments in the 1920’s, brain scientist Karl Lashley found that no matter what portion of a rat’s brain he removed he was unable to eradicate its memory of how to perform complex tasks it had learned prior to surgery.


The only problem was that no one was able to come up with a mechanism that might explain this curious whole in every part nature of memory storage. Then in the 1960’s Pribram encountered the concept of holography and realized he had found the explanation brain scientists had been looking for. Pribram believes memories are encoded not in neurons, or small groupings of neurons, but in patterns of nerve impulses that crisscross the entire brain in the same way that patterns of laser light interference crisscross the entire area of a piece of film containing a holographic image.

GH - This is important, as again it is founded on the principle that matter is large and subtly interconnected to other matter in the space around us, as the Wave Structure of Matter explains / confirms.

Capitalizing on Pribram’s findings, Bohm states that our brains are smaller pieces of the larger hologram. That our brains contain the whole knowledge of the universe. So, you can see how each mind has a limited perspective of the universal hologram. Our brains are our windows of perception. Each mind always contains the whole picture, but with a limited and unclear perspective. We each have different experience in our lives, but each perspective is valid. Our brains mathematically construct objective reality by interpreting frequencies that are ultimately projections form another dimension, a deeper order of existence that is beyond both space and time.

GH - Time, along with particles, is a human representation, both being caused by the wave Motion of Space. So the Wave Structure of Matter is founded on the Metaphysics of Space and (wave) Motion rather than Space and Time. But Space itself does physically exist (as a Wave-Medium).

The brain is a hologram enfolded in a holographic universe. We can view ourselves as physical bodies moving through space. Or we can view ourselves as a blur of interference patterns enfolded throughout the cosmic hologram. This could be also expressed with the analogy that the brain is like the laser beam that shines through the holographic film to interpret the patterns. As it turns out, you can preserve the interference patterns of more than one hologram on the same film by using various different angles of projection of the laser beams. Therefore, depending on the direction and frequency of the beam that you send through the film, a different hologram will appear. So, if applied to the brain, consciousness literally becomes the co-creator of the reality portrayed depending upon its angle of perception.


This does not mean that if I am looking at a tree, it is not really there. The tree is there on multidimensional levels, which means that I am seeing a cross-section of the tree depending on the level of consciousness that I am tuned into. If the brain is a decoder of sorts, then it can be tuned to different states or frequencies of consciousness, and I will see different levels of tree reality depending upon which one I’m on. Therefore, mind contributes to the phenomenon of reality itself, not just to the knowledge of it. In a brain that operates holographically, the remembered image of a thing can have as much impact on the senses as the thing itself.

Bohm uses his idea of the implicate order, the deeper and non-local level of existence from which our entire universe springs, to echo this sentiment: Every action starts from an intention in the implicate order. The imagination is already the creation of the form; it already has the intention and the germs of all the movements needed to carry it out. And it affects the body and so on, so that as creation takes place in that way, from the subtler levels of the implicate order, it goes through them until it manifests in the explicate. In other words, in the implicate order, as in the brain itself, imagination and reality are ultimately indistinguishable, and it should therefore come as no surprise to us that images in the mind can ultimately manifest as realities in the physical body.


So it appears that through the use of images, the brain can tell the body what to do, including telling to make more images. Such is the nature of the mind/body relationship in a holographic universe. According to the holographic model, the mind/body ultimately cannot distinguish the difference between the neural holograms the brain uses to experience reality and the ones it conjures up while imagining reality. This effect is so powerful that each of us possesses the ability, at least at some level, to influence our health and control our physical form.

Contemporary scientists may ignore Bohm’s work (as many have done), but they cannot escape its implications. His hypothesis is rigorously grounded in the experimental evidence of physics, and such it is not just a new way of thinking about physics, it is a new physics, that is, it is a entirely new way of understanding the fundamental nature of the physical universe, as glimpsed through the data and laws of physics. It isn’t that the world of appearances is wrong; it isn’t there aren’t objects out there, at one level of reality.


It’s that if you penetrate through and look at the universe with a holographic system, you arrive at a different reality. And that other reality can explain things that have hitherto remained inexplicable scientifically: paranormal phenomena, and synchronicities, the apparently meaningful coincidence of events. (Karl Pribram) Bohm’s holographic theory has found fruitful application in brain physiology and human consciousness. This theory opens new lines of research, it predicts hitherto unknown phenomena, and makes some novel predictions.

Bohm points out that there is no scientific evidence that argues for the dominant fragmented scientific world view over Bohm’s hypothesis of undivided wholeness. However, while scientific evidence offers no help in this regard, other forms of evidence may, indeed, shed some light on the matter. For example, mystical and spiritual teachings down through the ages have also spoken about the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. If Bohm’s physics, or one similar to it, Gary Zukav writes in his popular New Age book The Dancing Wu Li Masters (1979), should become the main thrust of physics in the future, the dances of East and West could blend in exquisite harmony.


Do not be surprised if physics curricula of the twenty-first century include classes in meditation. With the model of the holographic brain, the holographic universe, and Quantum Physics, we could speculate that all that we hold as real is nothing more than the playful dance of light, light that has no dimension and limitless dimension. The radical implications of Bohm’s implicate order take some time to fully grasp, especially for Western minds, but whether Bohm’s holographic paradigm becomes accepted in science or not remains to be seen.

GH - It is useful to read the Wave Structure of Matter articles on Metaphysics, Quantum Theory, Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Cosmology, which provide sensible explanations of these famous theories.

  • Metaphysics: 

    Principles Reality - On Metaphysics, Reality, Logical Truths / Principles of Physics, and Empirical Truths and the Mind’s Representation of our Senses. Important Quotes on Metaphysics from Aristotle, Gottfried Leibniz, David Hume, Immanuel Kant and Albert Einstein. Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another.

    (Leibniz, 1670)

  • Quantum Physics: 

    Quantum Theory / Wave Mechanics - Historical Analysis and Solutions to Problems of Quantum Theory (Quantum Mechanics). On Planck, Einstein, Bohr, de Broglie, Schrodinger, Heisenberg, Born, Feynman, Wolff. ’Experiments on interference made with particle rays have given brilliant proof that the wave character of the phenomena of motion as assumed by Quantum Theory do, really, correspond to the facts.’

    (Albert Einstein, 1940)

  • Physics: 

    Albert Einstein’s Theory of Special & General Relativity - According to the general theory of relativity space without ether is unthinkable; for in such space there not only would be no propagation of light, but also no possibility of existence for standards of space and time. But this ether may not be thought of as endowed with the quality characteristic of matter, as consisting of parts (’particles’) which may be tracked through time.

    (Albert Einstein, 1928, Leiden)

    When forced to summarize the general theory of relativity in one sentence:

    • Time and space and gravitation have no separate existence from matter. (Albert Einstein)

  • Cosmology: 

    The supreme task of the physicist is to arrive at those universal elementary laws from which the cosmos can be built by pure deduction (Albert Einstein, 1954). The Wolff-Haselhurst Cosmology explains a Perpetual Finite Spherical Universe within an Infinite Eternal Space. The Spherical Standing waves determines the size of our finite spherical universe within an infinite Space (Matter is large not small, we only ’see’ the Wave-Center / ’particle’ effect which has greatly confused physics).


    Huygens’ Principle explains how other matter’s out waves combine to form our matter’s spherical In-Waves, which then deduces both Mach’s Principle and the redshift with distance (without assuming Doppler effect due to an expanding universe / Big Bang). This also explains how matter interacts with all other matter in the universe (why we can see stars) as matter is the size of the universe, but we only ’see’ the high wave amplitude wave-centers / ’particles’.

Bohmian Mechanics

Bohmian mechanics, which is also called the de Broglie-Bohm theory, the pilot-wave model, and the causal interpretation of quantum mechanics, is a version of quantum theory discovered by Louis de Broglie in 1927 and rediscovered by David Bohm in 1952. It is the simplest example of what is often called a hidden variables interpretation of quantum mechanics. In Bohmian mechanics a system of particles is described in part by its wave function, evolving, as usual, according to Schrödinger’s equation. However, the wave function provides only a partial description of the system. This description is completed by the specification of the actual positions of the particles.


The latter evolve according to the "guiding equation," which expresses the velocities of the particles in terms of the wave function. Thus, in Bohmian mechanics the configuration of a system of particles evolves via a deterministic motion choreographed by the wave function. In particular, when a particle is sent into a two-slit apparatus, the slit through which it passes and where it arrives on the photographic plate are completely determined by its initial position and wave function.

Bohmian mechanics inherits and makes explicit the nonlocality implicit in the notion, common to just about all formulations and interpretations of quantum theory, of a wave function on the configuration space of a many-particle system. It accounts for all of the phenomena governed by nonrelativistic quantum mechanics, from spectral lines and scattering theory to superconductivity, the quantum Hall effect and quantum computing.


In particular, the usual measurement postulates of quantum theory, including collapse of the wave function and probabilities given by the absolute square of probability amplitudes, emerge from an analysis of the two equations of motion - Schrödinger’s equation and the guiding equation - without the traditional invocation of a special, and somewhat obscure, status for observation.

David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order


  • I would say that my scientific and philosophical work, my main concern has been with understanding the nature of reality in general and consciousness in particular as a coherent whole, which is never static or complete, but which is in an unending process of movement and unfoldment. Thus, when I look back, I see that even as a child I was fascinated by the puzzle, indeed the mystery, of what is the nature of movement. Whenever one thinks of anything, it seems to be apprehended either as static or as a series of static images. Yet, in the actual experience of movement, one senses an unbroken, undivided process of flow, to which the series of static images in thought is related as a series of ’still’ photographs might be related to the actuality of a speeding car.

    Then there is the further question of what is the relationship of thinking to reality. As careful attention shows, thought itself is in an actual process of movement. That is to say, one can feel a sense of flow in the ’stream of consciousness’ not dissimilar to the sense of flow in the movement of matter in general. May not thought itself thus be part of reality as a whole? But then, what could it mean for one part of reality to know another, and to what extent would this be possible? Does the content of thought merely give us abstract and simplified ’snapshots’ of reality, or can it go further, somehow to grasp the very essence of the living movement that we sense in actual experience?

    (David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980)

  • .. one who is similar to Einstein in creativity is not the one who imitates Einstein’s ideas, nor even the one who applies these ideas in new ways, rather, it is the one who learns from Einstein and then goes on to do something original, which is able to assimilate what is valid in Einstein’s work and yet goes beyond this work in qualitatively new ways. So what we have to do with regard to the great wisdom from the whole of the past, both in the East and in the West, is to assimilate it and to go on to new and original perception relevant to our present condition of life.

    (David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980)

  • .. man’s general way of thinking of the totality, i.e. his general world view, is crucial for overall order of the human mind itself. If he thinks of the totality as constituted as independent fragments, then that is how his mind will tend to operate, but if he can include everything coherently and harmoniously in an overall whole that is undivided, unbroken and without border (for every border is a division or break) then his mind will tend to move in a similar way, and from this will flow an orderly action within the whole.

    (David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980)

  • Indeed, man has always been seeking wholeness - mental, physical, social and individual. .. It is instructive to consider the word ’health’ in English is based on an Anglo-Saxon word ’hale’ meaning ’whole’: that is, to be healthy is to be whole. Likewise the English ’holy’ is based on the same root as ’whole’. All of this indicates that man has sensed always that wholeness or integrity is an absolute necessity to make life worth living. Yet, over the ages, he has generally lived in fragmentation.

    (David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980)

  • In the prevailing philosophy of the Orient, the immeasurable (i.e. that which cannot be named, described, or understood through any form of reason) is regarded as the primary reality.

    (David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980)

  • If we supposed that theories gave true knowledge, corresponding to ’reality as it is’, then we would have to conclude that Newtonian Mechanics was true until around 1900, after which it suddenly became false, while relativity and quantum theory suddenly became the truth. Such an absurd conclusion does not arise, however, if we say that all theories are insights, which are neither true nor false.


    ... Man is continually developing new forms of insight, which are clear up to a point and then tend to become unclear. In this activity, there is evidently no reason to suppose that there is or will be a final form of insight (corresponding to absolute truth) or even a steady series of approximations to this. Rather, one may expect the unending development of new forms of insight (which will, however assimilate certain key features of the older forms as simplifications, in the way that relativity theory does with Newtonian theory). Our theories are to be regarded primarily as ways of looking at the world as a whole (’world-views’) rather than as ’absolute true knowledge of how things are’.

    (David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980)

  • What prevents theoretical insights from going beyond existing limitations and changing to meet new facts is just the belief that theories give true knowledge of reality (which implies, of course, that they never change). Although our modern way of thinking has changed a great deal relative to the ancient one, the two have had one key feature in common: i.e. they are both generally ’blinkered’ by the notion that theories give true knowledge about ’reality as it is’. Thus, both are led to confuse the forms and shapes induced in our perceptions by theoretical insight with a reality independent of our thought and way of looking. This confusion is of crucial significance, since it leads us to approach nature, society and the individual in terms of more or less fixed and limited forms of thought, and thus, apparently, to keep on confirming the limitations of these forms of thought in experience.

    (David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980

  • If man thinks of the totality as constituted of independent fragments, then that is how his mind will tend to operate, but if he can include everything coherently and harmoniously in an overall whole that is undivided, unbroken, and without a border then his mind will tend to move in a similar way, and from this will flow an orderly action within the whole.

    (David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980)

  • The notion that all these fragments is separately existent is evidently an illusion, and this illusion cannot do other than lead to endless conflict and confusion. Indeed, the attempt to live according to the notion that the fragments are really separate is, in essence, what has led to the growing series of extremely urgent crises that is confronting us today. Thus, as is now well known, this way of life has brought about pollution, destruction of the balance of nature, over-population, world-wide economic and political disorder and the creation of an overall environment that is neither physically nor mentally healthy for most of the people who live in it. Individually there has developed a widespread feeling of helplessness and despair, in the face of what seems to be an overwhelming mass of disparate social forces, going beyond the control and even the comprehension of the human beings who are caught up in it.

    (David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980)

David Bohm Quotes on Quantum Theory

  • The quantum theory, as it is now constituted, presents us with a very great challenge, if we are at all interested in such a venture, for in quantum physics there is no consistent notion at all of what the reality may be that underlies the universal constitution and structure of matter. Thus, if we try to use the prevailing world view based on the notions of particles, we discover that the ’particles’ (such as electrons) can also manifest as waves, that they move discontinuously, that there are no laws at all that apply in detail to the actual movements of individual particles and that only statistical predictions can be made about large aggregates of such particles. If on the other hand we apply the world view in which the world is regarded as a continuous field, we find that this field must also be discontinuous, as well as particle-like, and that it is as undermined in its actual behaviour as is required in the particle view of relation as a whole.

    (David Bohm, On Quantum Theory, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980)

  • In relativity, movement is continuous, causally determinate and well defined, while in quantum mechanics it is discontinuous, not causally determinate and not well defined. Each theory is committed to its own notions of essentially static and fragmentary modes of existence (relativity to that of separate events, connectable by signals, and quantum mechanics to a well-defined quantum state). One thus sees that a new kind of theory is needed which drops these basic commitments and at most recovers some essential features of the older theories as abstract forms derived from a deeper reality in which what prevails in unbroken wholeness.

    (David Bohm, On Quantum Mechanics, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980)

  • At present quantum physicists tend to avoid the issue by adopting the attitude that our overall views concerning the nature of reality are of little or no importance. All that counts in physical theory is supposed to be the development of mathematical equations that permit us to predict and control the behaviour of large statistical aggregates of particles. Such a goal is not regarded as merely for its pragmatic and technical utility: rather, it has become a presupposition of most work in modern physics that prediction and control of this kind is all that human knowledge is about.

    (David Bohm, On Modern Physics, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980)

  • One is led to a new notion of unbroken wholeness which denies the classical idea of analyzability of the world into separately and existing parts … We have reversed the usual classical notion that the independent ‘elementary parts’ of the world are the fundamental reality, and that the various systems are merely particular contingent forms and arrangements of these parts. Rather, we say that inseparable quantum interconnectedness of the whole universe is the fundamental reality, and that relatively independent behaving parts are merely particular and contingent forms within this whole.

    (David Bohm, On the Intuitive Understanding of Nonlocality as Implied by Quantum Theory, Foundations of Physics, vol 5, 1975)

  • The main problem with modern physics is that quantum mechanics gives only the probability of an experimental result. Neither the decay of an atomic nucleus nor the fact that it decays at one moment and not another can be properly pictured within the theory. It can only enable you to predict statistically the results of various experiments.
    Physics has changed from its earlier form, when it tried to explain things and give some physical picture. Now the essence is regarded as mathematical. It’s felt the truth is in the formulas. Now they may find an algorithm by which they hope to explain a wider range of experimental results, but it will still have inconsistencies. They hope that they can eventually explain all the results that could be gotten, but that is only a hope.

    (David Bohm, Problems with Modern Physics, Interview conducted by F. David Peat and John Briggs, published in Omni, January 1987)

  • In the Fifties, I sent my book (Quantum Theory) around to various quantum physicists - including Niels Bohr, Albert Einstein, and Wolfgang Pauli. Bohr didn’t answer, but Pauli liked it. Albert Einstein sent me a message that he’d like to talk with me. When we met he said the book had done about as well as you could do with quantum mechanics. But he was still not convinced it was a satisfactory theory.

    Einstein’s objection was not merely that it was statistical. He felt it was a kind of abstraction; quantum mechanics got correct results but left out much that would have made it intelligible. I came up with the causal interpretation (that the electron is a particle, but it also has a field around it. The particle is never separated from that field, and the field affects the movement of the particle in certain ways). Einstein didn’t like it, though, because the interpretation had this notion of action at a distance: Things that are far away from each other profoundly affect each other. He believed only in local action.

    I didn’t come back to this implicate order until the Sixties, when I got interested in notions of order. I realized then the problem is that coordinates are still the basic order in physics, whereas everything else has changed.

    (David Bohm, On Quantum Theory, Interview, 1987)

  • The most radical change in the notion of order since Isaac Newton came with quantum mechanics. The quantum-mechanical idea of order contradicts coordinate order because Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle made a detailed ordering of space and time impossible. When you apply quantum theory to general relativity, at very short distances like ten to the minus thirty-three centimeters, the notion of the order of space and time breaks down.

    (David Bohm, On Quantum Mechanics, 1987)

  • Physics is more like quantum organism than quantum mechanics. I think physicists have a tremendous reluctance to admit this. There is a long history of belief in quantum mechanics, and people have faith in it. And they don’t like having this faith challenged.

    (David Bohm, On Quantum Physics, 1987)

  • Classical physics says that reality is actually little particles that separate the world into its independent elements. Now I’m proposing the reverse, that the fundamental reality is the enfoldment and unfoldment, and these particles are abstractions from that. We could picture the electron not as a particle that exists continuously but as something coming in and going out and then coming in again. If these various condensations are close together, they approximate a track. The electron itself can never be separated from the whole of space, which is its ground.

    (David Bohm, On Quantum Physics, 1987)

  • It seems that people are ready to wait twenty years for results if you’ve got formulas. If there are no formulas, they don’t want to consider it. Formulas are means of talking utter nonsense until you understand what they mean. Every page of formulas usually contains six or seven arbitrary assumptions that take weeks of hard study to penetrate.
    Younger physicists usually appreciate the implicate order because it makes quantum mechanics easier to grasp. By the time they’re through graduate school, they’ve become dubious about it because they’ve heard that hidden variables are of no use because they’ve been refuted. Of course, nobody has really refuted them. At this point, I think that the major issue is mathematics. In supersymmetry theory an interesting piece of mathematics will attract attention, even without any experimental confirmation.

    (David Bohm, On Mathematics & Modern Physics, 1987)

  • When I was a boy a certain prayer we said every day in Hebrew contained the words to love God with all your heart all your soul, and all your mind. My understanding of these words, that is, this notion of wholeness - not necessarily directed toward God but as a way of living - had a tremendous impact on me. I also felt a sense of nature being whole very early. I felt internally related to trees, mountains, and stars in a way I wasn’t to all the chaos of the cities.

    When I first studied quantum mechanics I felt again that sense of internal relationship - that it was describing something that I was experiencing directly rather than just thinking about.


    The notion of spin particularly fascinated me: the idea that when something is spinning in a certain direction, it could also spin in the other direction but that somehow the two directions together would be a spin in a third direction. I felt that somehow that described experience with the processes of the mind. In thinking about spin I felt I was in a direct relationship to nature. In quantum mechanics I came closer to my intuitive sense of nature.

    (David Bohm, Interview conducted by F. David Peat and John Briggs, published in Omni, January 1987)