To Be or Not — An analysis of Fear

For the past few years three of my favorite topics have had to do with Black Holes, Thermodynamics and Quantum Mechanics. I am not a scientist. I am a layman who is fascinated by the elegance of science. I have not exerted the lifelong discipline and effort to first master The Calculus and the Algebraic languages necessary to communicate in scientific concepts at a deep level. However, I do not feel banned from sitting in the galleys trying to grasp the conversation on stage. I think I understand the main themes if not the arcane sub-plots of this drama. This I share with you at the level of a curious layman and write this post as would a layman. Thus, it is not complicated. That may be a blessing for the uninitiated.

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Prince of Denmark muses on the pros and cons of suicide. He contemplates the alternatives with the timeless expression “ To Be or Not To Be”. He hesitates when he contemplates the alternative to Existence as being “The Void”. The new science of Quantum Mechanics has opened my eyes to the possibility of a new definition of Existence vs Non Existence. In preparation for this new description of these alternative states there are two concepts in Quantum Mechanics that are worth examining: Superposition and Entanglement.

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Superposition is essentially the ability of a microscopically small or even sub-atomic system to be in multiple states at the same time — that is, in that world of the very very very small, a thing can be “here” and “there,” or “up” and “down” at the same time. The strange thing is that this omnipresent attribute collapses the instant it becomes interfered with by something as slight as your observation of it. One instant it is “everywhere at the same time. The moment you look at where it is, THAT location becomes its reality and all the other locations disappear. Weird, huh? This is very different to that with which we are accustomed in our medium sized world.

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Entanglement is something else. It is a weird connection between objects in that very very small world. Down there an extremely strong correlation exists between “particles” — so strong, in fact, that two or more quantum particles can be inextricably linked and perfectly correlated in perfect unison, even if separated by great distances. They can be said to “dance” in instantaneous, perfect unison, even when placed at opposite ends of the universe. This seemingly impossible connection inspired Einstein to describe entanglement as “spooky action at a distance.”

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Now, let me paint a picture for you. Think of two concentric zones. Let’s say a football. The outer zone we’ll call zone 1. Zone 1 comprises everything and every event on the outside of the ball. Zone 3 is an inner zone or no man’s land inside the ball. We know nothing of this. Separating these two zones is Zone 2, the fabric skin of the ball. However this is a special fabric. It is sort of like quicksand. Anything that touches it gets destroyed and can neither withdraw nor proceed further into the core of the ball. It remains in a sort of limbo. In fact whatever touches the skin gets dissolved into a useless substance. The material is mysterious and defies understanding. We will call the fabric “The event Horizon”.

  • Zone 1 is a metaphor for “reality”. This reality is made up of vibrations or frequencies that are actually waves of algorithms called logic. This logic is the raw material for information. The information leads to a mental state of tension called perception. We can prove that reality is merely emotional information inasmuch as everything we can describe is a metaphor for a feeling.
  • However, the state of affairs In Zone 2, The Event Horizon, is so chaotic that the vibrating frequencies become disturbed and even shattered should they touch the event horizon. The frequencies that create perception break down completely. In other words, information cannot survive so as to create the perception of reality.
  • In Zone 3, Beyond the Event Horizon, is The Void. We call it that for want of a better term. However we are aware that it cannot be named because it is not even a place, or any “thing”. The Void is an unknowable state. There is not “nothing” there. It is even different than that. It is beyond nothingness. So incompatible is that realm with our own that as far as we know there may not even be a “no there” there. We give such a location the mysterious title of a “black hole”.

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Using the foregoing as a model, we can now say that it seems likely that “To Be” (a/k/a Existence) is a state in which superposition has collapsed into perceivable phenomena. “Not To Be” is the state of superposition. The State of “Not to Be” is not synonymous with The Void.

The void is distinctly different than a state of superposition. Why? Because the unfamiliar state of superposition is ultimately amenable to logical description; Whereas The Void is not.

Despite the fact that objects in their state of superposition may not be directly observed, the very fact that such a state can be inferred based on logical scientific information we can say that The Altered State of “Not to Be”, does indeed exist in reality. Therefore, it is “Of this world”.

Similarly, we can say that because we have information proving the profoundly bizarre phenomenon of Entanglement, then such a relationship is part of the realm of Reality.

We cannot say that about The Void. The void is simply out of this world. I do see as logical that any aspect of reality can descend into The Void. On the other hand, what we appreciate as awareness and oblivion or life and death may be explained simply as a matter of our electrons shifting by the principle of superpositioning within the confines of a closed universe.

What do you carefully think?