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Questioning the Western Tradition of Thinking: The Visionary Work of Physicist David Bohm

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Bohm's message to the world and his work in physics, which touched upon all aspects of our arts and sciences, is that we don't need to live in a fragmented world.  In other words, we don't need the warring factions of republican and democrat, liberal and conservative, catholic and protestant or Christian and Everybody Else. Opposites, as I see them, are simply mirrors to each other, poles of one continuum.

Take gender, for example.  Women and men are mirror images of one another in their opposition.  Women enfold their ovaries and uterus upwards and inwards (as a metaphor for unmanifest potential) while men unfold downward and outwards (as a metaphor for the external spark to bring forth unmanifest potential into manifestation).  The so-called "battle" of the sexes is a myth.  In their apposition to one another, the universe and babies are conceived.  Perhaps my words will spark an insight in you?  We are all interwoven in the web of life and love.

Same idea.  Otherwise, why do some blatantly say; "this idea is MY baby."  (Of course, no baby belongs only to one ego. Even the Virgin Mary required the Holy Spirit; and, conversely, the Holy Spirit required the Virgin Mary.)  Why else would we say we conceived an idea and then call that idea a concept?  Man or woman, the process of conception from inside one's self is a feminine process and the act of sparking that conception is masculine.  Perhaps the virgin birth is something that comes out of the blue? Thus many Christian mystics refer to being virgin as being empty.

Would Bohm see it in the same way?  I'm not sure.  I would love to have the discussion, though I think it would take a while for me to get to the core of what this ingenious man might say.  Perhaps one of his protégés, F. David Peat, could answer how he thinks Bohm would respond.

Peat is a brilliant science writer who has several books under his belt.  These include:  Synchronicity: The Unity of Mind and Matter; The Blackwinged Night: Creativity in Nature and Mind; Science, Order and Creativity (with David Bohm); and Infinite Potential: The Life and Time of David Bohm; Glimpsing Reality: Ideas in Physics and the Link to Biology.  (For a complete bibliography of Peat's prolific and prophetic writings, go to

Peat says of Bohm:

Today's generation of physicists, impressed by the stunning successes of quantum physics--from nuclear weapons to lasers-are of a different mind. They are busy applying quantum mechanics to areas its original creators never imagined. Stephen Hawking, for example, used it to describe the creation of elementary particles from black holes and to argue that the universe exploded into being in a quantum-mechanical event.

Bucking this tide of modern physics for more than 30 years, Bohm has been more than a gadfly. His objections to the foundations of quantum mechanics have gradually coalesced into an extension of the theory so sweeping that it amounts to a new view of reality. Believing that the nature of things is not reducible to fragments or particles, he argues for a holistic view of the universe. He demands that we learn to regard matter and life as a whole, coherent domain, which he calls the implicate order.

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Most other physicists discard Bohm's logic without bothering to scrutinize it. Part of the difficulty is that his implicate order is rife with paradox. Another problem is the sheer range of his ideas, which encompass such hitherto nonphysical subjects as consciousness, society, truth, language, and the process of scientific theory making itself.

Perhaps Bohm's getting past conditioning means he is a modern day Maria?  His words are rife with paradox. I think of this in terms of the writings of mythologist Joseph Campbell, whose most famous book is Hero of a Thousand Faces.  Campbell was very much like Peat in being interested in the work of psychiatrist Carl Jung (e.g., Peat's Synchronicity: The Unity of Mind and Matter).  Campbell also spoke a lot to the coincidence of opposites in the myths, which fits into the way Bohm was seeing physics. 

Ultimately, the paradox is that unity is inherent in diversity and diversity is inherent in unity.  We live in a paradoxical universe in which the implicate and explicate orders require the apposition of their opposites with a constant flux between the two-in-one.  The wave and the particle coexist.  Thus, the United States motto is "E Pluribus Unim," in the many one, which is in contrast to the current nation's undeclared, "United Corporations War Against Planet" whose mode of operandi is to "Divide and Conquer."  A simple example would be the United States cable news channels that act as opposites such as Fox and CNN.  But are they truly opposites or are they like the right and left arms of the same monster?

But this is merely my way of viewing opposites.  How would David Bohm answer me?  I'd love to hear the answer.

But, Bohm is deceased.  In addition to Bohm's writings, his memory lives on in the writings and work of F. David Peat.  Thus, Peat is teaming up with movie producer Paul Howard of Imagine Films to produce a documentary regarding the work of Bohm. 

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This movie adventure on the part of Peat and Howard provided me the opportunity to ask questions I would have probably asked Bohm.  But, I had to take care of family needs.  So, I could not talk to Peat and Howard directly. But, I did get answers from questions I wrote. Merry simply served as my voice.

The ultimate message Bohm would impart to whoever reads this article is that the potentials within us all, including you, are endless.  Perhaps you can read this message in a book written by Peat about Bohm?

Infinite Potential
(image by F. David Peat)

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Burl is an avid writer and publishes to OpEd News. He is author of "Sophia's Web: A Passionate Call to Heal Our Wounded Nature." As of this writing, Burl is planning to self-publish the book. Alongside his wife, Burl co-hosts an on line radio (more...)

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For both liberal and conservative, left and right... by Burl Hall on Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 11:19:36 AM
This article speaks to the work of physicist David... by Burl Hall on Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 11:22:15 AM
"Who's in charge?" seems always to be the questio... by molly cruz on Saturday, Mar 1, 2014 at 12:36:11 PM
Molly: This is in 3 parts.  Thanks for your... by Burl Hall on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 9:24:36 AM
The Native American Kogis saw us Europeans as d... by Burl Hall on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 9:26:58 AM
Now granted, everytime I get bit by a mosquito ... by Burl Hall on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 9:28:28 AM
Now Molly, my wife's take on your mindful thought... by Burl Hall on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 9:29:56 AM
Its not that our Western way of thinking is wrong... by David Chester on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 10:11:30 AM
Well David, you make good points.  The piece... by Burl Hall on Sunday, Mar 2, 2014 at 3:29:33 PM
The following is a video with Bohm on a panel tha... by Burl Hall on Monday, Mar 3, 2014 at 1:05:52 AM