So I found myself of late learning about physics. About classical physics and quantum physics and the quest to find a meeting place for these two ways of viewing the universe. Now I’m not going to profess to understand the mathematics or even much detail about the many physic theories, but what I did hear very clearly were some concepts that connected with the idea of the dance that is created between the fluctuations of the self that is based in what is lower, and the self that is based in what is higher, the self that is based in the Lord.
I was particularly enamoured by a quote by the physicist David Bohm (1917-1992)
….any particular element of space may have a field that unfolds into the whole, and the whole folds and enfolds it to it
It spoke to me instantly of the reciprocity that we each experience with the Lord, with what is Divine. There we are in our little individual self, living in its little individual world when it finds that it is called out, drawn-out, by an affection for truth and by a desire to connect with ‘Something Deeper’. And so this self finds it is drawn out by a quest for truth, for knowing. The idea of something being unfolded brings to mind the image of the foetus curled up tight and then gradually unfolding and emerging from the womb. And when it gets to the outside world everything is dazzling and confusing and inspiring and stimulating. It could accurately describe the experience of what it is like when a truth from the Word opens up our hearts and expands our minds and our perception of things. At times it can be almost too stimulating and overwhelming, as we stand and gaze at the many, many stars that are appearing in what has been darkness up until now.
I came across another concept in my reading which talked about how it’s not the stars or the things themselves that are important but that it’s the space between them. It seems to connect with the idea that it’s the silence that we need to listen to between the notes of a melody. Or it’s the essence that lies beneath the Text when we read it, that reaches out and changes us. And that ignition of love and affection when we read the Word is different for every one of us. Because we are each a unique star in the ever-expanding universe of awareness. We are each a unique part of the Whole. But it is only once we have been unfolded into the Whole and we see the many stars around us, the many varieties of truth, that we realise that we are part of a Whole.
For, as has been said, every angel is distinctly his own affection; and the form of heaven is the form of all the affections of the Divine love there. To unite all affections into this form is possible only to Him who is love itself and also wisdom itself, and who is at once Infinite and Eternal, for what is infinite and eternal is in every thing of the form, the infinite in the conjunction and the eternal in the perpetuity;
and if what is infinite and eternal were withdrawn from it it would dissolve away in an instant. Who else can combine affections into a form? Who else can even unite a single part of it?
For a single part can be united only from a universal idea of all, and the universal of all only from a particular idea of each part.
That form is composed of myriads of myriads; and myriads enter it each year, and will continue to enter into it to eternity.
So it is the awareness of the Whole that then enfolds and envelopes us again. That loves us. We have moved from a state of one in our own self out into a state of plural only to realise that we are in a state of one again but that this time the one is The Whole. We are in The One that is the authentic true self. The self with a capital S.
If we turn back to the conflict between classical physics and quantum physics, the basic gist is that classical physics sees everything as constant and fixed and this is used to describe the macro universe whilst quantum physics describes the micro-universe of subatomic particles and waves that change and vary and are often seemingly erratic in their behaviour. There have been many theories brought forward to try and marry these two ways of being and seeing but the one that stood out for me was the idea that David Bohm offered of there being an underlying unseen “quantum potential” existing in everything. And that it is this “quantum potential” that can actually explain the apparent erratic behaviour of subatomic particles.
The concept of “quantum potential” sounds a lot like Divine Providence to me.
The theory goes on to say that sub-atomic particles move from the what is unfolded into the whole back to the enfolded, tens of thousands of times every second. It’s described as a trajectory of movement occurring over and over .. responding to the quantum potential.
Again this dance of movement sounds a lot like the experience we have of fluctuations in states, doesn’t it? Of the movement between the self we have that is separate from the whole and the self that is part of the whole and that it is this very movement that creates awareness of the two different senses of self that we have. One that is insular and dependent only on one and one that is standing in the Whole and gazing around in wonder at what it sees and realising that it is actually part of something.
In fact, the awareness that these fluctuations bring creates a third type of self that seems to neutralise the other two. It sees them both as being in the One that is, the process of the dance itself is the Self with a capital S, is the Whole with a capital W. The Lord IS the Eternal process of unfolding and enfolding. He isn’t just what enables this process of creation to occur – He IS this creation process.
Or if you like you can think of it this way. The remembering and the non-remembering of the Lord or the remembering and the non-remembering of the Logopraxis task, are the separations and unions that occur over and over. That it is this dance of movement that is our experience of the Divine and hence what allows a sense of Self in the Divine.
And the key words here are that it is ‘our experience’ of the Divine. It can only ever be ‘our experience’ since we are what is finite experiencing what is infinite; experiencing what we are able to receive of it
 It is the same with the Divine in itself, for the Divine in itself is not able to look to itself from another, that is, from a man or a spirit or an angel; for there is nothing in them of the Divine in itself from which [all things are], and to look to the Divine from another in whom there is nothing of the Divine would be to look to the Divine from what is not Divine, which is not possible.
For this reason the conjunction of the Lord with a man or a spirit or an angel is such that every thing that has relation to the Divine is not from them, but from the Lord. For it is known that all the good and all the truth that any one has is from the Lord and not from himself, and that no one can even mention the Lord, or His names, “Jesus,” and “Christ,” except from Him.
 From this, then, it follows, that the Infinite and Eternal, which is the same as the Divine, looks to all things in the finite infinitely, and conjoins Itself with them in accordance with the degree of reception of wisdom and love in them.
In a word, the Lord can have an abode in man or angel and dwell with them, only in His own, and not in what is their own (proprium), for that is evil; and if it were good it would still be finite, which in itself and from itself cannot contain the Infinite.
All this makes clear that it is impossible for a finite being to look to the Infinite; but it is possible for the Infinite to look to what is infinite from Himself, in finite beings.
This is the nature of the reciprocality of the Divine. We read the Word; we identify a truth and attempt to apply in our life; we struggle with it and are shown what opposes it; we then identify that we can only see the opposition because it is actually a truth that is present and therefore this testifies to us that Word is indeed the Lord, that the truth is indeed good. We see the good within the truth just as we see the Lord within the Word. And then we are drawn back to the Word to return to it – we are enfolded back. So we started out enfolded as the foetus, the Word birthed us out to work with it in life, we saw the many states that were present as we worked with it only to come to the realisation that it was all part of the Whole and we are then folded back to the Word to begin the cycle again.
…any particular element of space has a field that unfolds into the whole, and the whole folds and enfolds it to it
It’s like a strange description of the experience of humility or mercy. The Word unfolds us into the church in us (field) and then we feel closer or more in the Lord( the whole) and hence drawn back to the Word again for more.
So quantum potential is another word for the Divine… the Energy .. the It.. always fully present as the substance and form that lies within everything in the universe that we know. And just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or isn’t possible. It just means we can’t see it. It will be seen and acknowledged by those states with us that are ready to see, in the same way, that all Divine Texts will be. There are many doors to be knocked on and the doors appear in many varied and unexpected places – like quantum physics! The multitude of doors demonstrates the infinite variety of heaven and the unlimited potential of the finite landscape to eternally re-present the Divine to us if we are willing to be woken to it.
From this it can now be seen what “doorways,” “doors,” and “gates,” signify in the Word, namely, admission into heaven: and as the church is the Lord’s heaven on earth, they also signify admission into the church; and as heaven or the church is within man, “doorways,” “doors,” and “gates” signify approach and entrance, with man (of which presently). And because all things that signify heaven and the church signify also the things of heaven and the church, and here the things that introduce, which are truths out of good from the Lord, and because these truths are from the Lord, and are therefore His, yea, are Himself in them, therefore “doorway,” “door,” and “gate” to heaven and the church, mean in the highest sense the Lord. From this is clear the signification of what the Lord says in John:
Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, he that entereth not through the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in through the door is the shepherd of the sheep; to him the porter openeth. I am the door of the sheep, through Me if anyone enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and go out, and find pasture (John 10:1-3, 7, 9).
The poor old lost sheep started out in the flock, it started out in the enfolded. But something drew it out. It felt called to go off and explore. There were so many new things to see and eat that it then got overwhelmed and lost its way. And the Lord came and rescued it and enfolded it back into the flock again and the sheep returned knowing now what it meant to be separated and conversely what it meant to be in the fold of the Whole.
…. for a man is able to think what he does not speak, and to will what he does not do; which makes clear that the spiritual and the natural in man are discriminated; consequently man can pass from one to the other only through a boundary, such a boundary as may be likened to a door that must be unfastened and opened. This door stands open as it were in those who think and will from reason in accordance with the civil laws of the government and the moral laws of society; for such say what they think and do as they will; but the door stands shut as it were in those who think and will in opposition to those laws.
Whoever attends to his volitions and consequent actions will notice that such a boundary intervenes, and sometimes frequently in a single conversation or a single action.
This has been premised to make clear that to act from freedom in accordance with reason means to think and will freely and thus to speak and do freely what is in accordance with reason.
Doesn’t this sound like the tens of thousands of movements between the enfolded and unfolded that was described earlier? The movement between the natural and spiritual mind as it goes back and forth many times, even in a single conversation. Seems to me it also speaks to the physicists’ dilemma of how to marry the macro and micro world views. In the same way that we struggle to connect the life of the microcosm of the individual to the macrocosm of the world. Once we start to work in spiritual life we find that the world out there becomes a reflection of internal processes and struggles that occur in the world in here – within. Maybe it’s not about looking for sameness between the two world views but more about looking for complements .. or the technical term for that would be …. representatives and correspondences.
Perhaps it’s not so much that the subatomic particles change when we observe them but rather that our perception of them changes. On a macro-scale, we see this affirmed by the theory of relativity. It says that the speed of light remains as a constant but that it is the frame of reference of the observer in time and space that changes how it is understood and perceived. If we think about this in relation to spiritual work, we know that if are able to step back and observe a state of hurt or anger that is present with us, then the state changes immediately simply because we have observed it rather than been so immersed in it that there has been no thought to step out of owning it. The observations of the thoughts and affections ( time and space) change our perception of it. The freeing is indeed in the seeing which is a catchy way of saying that as we move out of the enfolded state into the unfolded one and realise that our thoughts and affections are part of the Whole of the One consciousness, then this seeing frees us from the state of ownership. It frees us from the thoughts and affections that oppose what is always fully present and being offered to us. It is our receptivity to what flows in that determines how the Divine is experienced. So our relationship of reciprocity with the Divine becomes the unique experience of the Divine for us.
So in terms of our work with the Word, perception, therefore, is the unfolding of what was enfolded … truth manifesting as good because the truth becomes known as the Lord. The Word manifesting as the Lord. When this happens the interior or enfolded is seen also in the exterior or the unfolded because the exterior becomes an opportunity for affirmation for what is known and loved within that is the Divine. The macro universe becomes what manifests the micro-universe. The movement of the dance between them demonstrates the unchanging quantum potential that runs throughout all and sustains life. The dance demonstrates the Whole.
The flutter of the bird’s wings as it perches on the tree in front of us, reflects the flutter of His spirit as it hovers over the face of the great deep of Consciousness that is waiting to be unfolded and enfolded in us.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17
An Emmaus Road Q and A in response to this paper, will be held online here on 21/22 August. See the Events section on the home page for details.
If you would like to further explore the ideas that this paper touches on and was inspired by, in relation to the enfolded and unfolded, then I would encourage you to view the film Infinite Potential: The Life and Ideas of David Bohm