Few Metaphysical Comments on Quantum Gravity


Physicists have been trying to unify the theories of gravity and quantum phenomena in a mathematical framework but this project has proved to be extremely difficult.

The SEP article on Quantum Gravity says that

“Such a theory is expected to be able to provide a satisfactory description of the microstructure of spacetime at the so-called Planck scale, at which all fundamental constants of the ingredient theories, c (the velocity of light in vacuo), ℏ (the reduced Planck’s constant), and G (Newton’s constant), come together to form units of mass, length, and time. This scale is so remote from current experimental capabilities that the empirical testing of quantum gravity proposals along standard lines is rendered near-impossible.”

“In most, though not all, theories of quantum gravity, the gravitational field itself is also quantized. Since the contemporary theory of gravity, general relativity, describes gravitation as the curvature of spacetime by matter and energy, a quantization of gravity seemingly implies some sort of quantization of spacetime geometry: quantum spacetime. Insofar as all extant physical theories rely on a classical (non-quantum) spacetime background, this presents not only extreme technical difficulties, but also profound methodological and ontological challenges for the philosopher and the physicist. Though quantum gravity has been the subject of investigation by physicists for almost a century, philosophers have only just begun to investigate its philosophical implications.”

The problem is even more difficult than people realize. I will argue that quantum phenomena and gravitation are expressions of two opposing cosmological principles therefore difficult to reconcile in a mathematical framework.

In the “New Perspective on the Quantum Nature: Seeking Freedom” I argued that Consciousness (ultimate reality) escapes the confinement of its own doing in myriad ways and the Quantum mechanical nature is one of the escape (freedom seeking) mechanisms.

In that article I mentioned that when we confine a particle to a small volume of space then it starts exhibiting quantum behavior. For example, if you confine an electron to an atom the position and momentum of that electron cannot be measured simultaneously. The energy of the electron becomes quantized.  Tunneling (escape) probability becomes nonzero. The elementary particle tries to escape the confinement by becoming quantum mechanical. The particle tries to escape the bondage by becoming a wave. Quantum or wave nature is a representation of collectivity.  The particle tries to escape the confinement by becoming less individual.

The ontological basis of the quantum behavior is the principle that Consciousness cannot be confined for long. Seeking freedom is one of the essential characteristics of Consciousness.

Confinement or bondage is part of the Cosmic Play (Liila).  The cosmic binding principle that facilitates the confinement is given a philosophical name: Prakrti. According to Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, Prakrti is the cosmic operative principle of Consciousness. Prakrti is the cosmic binding principle which is the root cause of all manifestation. In its Liila, Pure Consciousness allows itself to be confined by its own immanent creative principle (Prakrti) thereby manifesting the entire Cosmos.

An electron bound to an atom may not succeed to escape the atom but it tries. Quarks inside a proton fail to escape the prison of the proton but they try. The escape may take a very long time but it happens eventually. That’s why the tunneling (escape) probability is non-zero.

Note that the ‘binding action’ of Prakrti is a necessity for the emergence as well as the continuing life of the Cosmos. Without the ‘binding action’ of Prakrti the emergence of the Divine Center (Cosmic Consciousness, Cosmic Soul, Parama Purusha) and therefore the transformation of Consciousness into infinite life in the form of the Cosmos would not have been possible. For more on this please see my summary.

Gravity is an expression of the cosmic binding principle (Prakriti).

In the post titled “Gravity binds us” I mentioned that the most intriguing aspect of gravity is that it cannot be concealed or shielded. All other forces are shielded. Outside of the atom there is only a fraction of the electromagnetic force, just enough to facilitate chemistry. In plasmas (atoms without electrons) the electromagnetic force can extend large distances but it is eventually shielded no matter how large the scale is. The other two – the strong and the weak nuclear forces – are confined to the nucleus of the atom and they are completely shielded. Gravitational force, on the other hand, cannot be shielded. It operates in the microscopic world. It operates in the macroscopic world. Nothing can stop it and nothing can shield it.

Gravity binds us! Gravity is certainly an expression of the cosmic binding principle which acts on Consciousness constantly. Prakrti’s binding action is never-ending. Being an expression of Prakrti’s binding action gravity cannot be concealed. Gravity acts on the energy and momentum. If the force of gravity could be shielded the galaxies would never form and the organic life would never emerge in the physical universe. The ‘binding action’ of the cosmic operative principle is necessary for the formation of structures and entities in the universe so is gravity.

Opposing principles

Quantum phenomena are the expressions of the ‘freedom seeking’ aspect of Consciousness and the gravitational effects are the expressions of the Prakriti aspect of Consciousness. The ‘freedom seeking’ and ‘binding action’  principles oppose each other. This opposition which is part of the Liila creates the basis of organic life in the physical universe but at the same time it makes a comprehensive understanding of the process almost impossible. Consciousness will escape the confinement of its own doing in myriad ways. Our scientific theories will never be able to account for all the ways in which Consciousness will liberate itself from the bondage of its own doing.

We need to supplement our mathematical efforts with better understanding of the details of these opposing principles: ‘binding action’ and ‘freedom seeking.’



About Suresh Emre

I have worked as a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory. I am a volunteer for the Renaissance Universal movement. My main goal is to inspire the reader to engage in Self-discovery and expansion of consciousness.
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