"I would say that in my scientific and philosophical work, my main
concern has been with understanding the nature of reality in general
and of consciousness in particular as a coherent whole, which is
never static or complete but which is an unending process of
movement and unfoldment...."
Wholeness and the Implicate Order
(1917-94) was one of the foremost theoretical physicists of his
generation and one of the most influential theorists of the emerging
paradigm through which the world is increasingly viewed.
challenge to the conventional understanding of quantum theory has
led scientists to re-examine what it is they are doing and to
question the nature of their theories and their scientific
He brought together a radical view of physics, a deeply
spiritual understanding and a profound humanity. In the years before
his death in 1992, Bohm lectured worldwide on the meaning of
physics and consciousness.
In an interview in 1989 at the Nils Bohr Institute in
Copenhagen, where Bohm presented his views, Bohm spoke on his
theory of wholeness and the implicate order. The conversation
centered around a new worldview that is developing in part of the
Western world, one that places more focus on wholeness and process
than analysis of separate parts.
Bohm explained the basics of the
theory of relativity and its more revolutionary offspring, quantum
theory. Either theory, if carried out to its extreme, violates every
concept on which we base our understanding of reality. Both
challenge our notions of our world and ourselves.
He cited evidence from both theories that support a new paradigm of
a more interrelated, fluid, and less absolute basis of existence,
one in which mind is an active participant.
contributes fundamentally to the qualities of substance."
Traditional western science is ready to stop here
because of the belief that the brain is the same
as the mind. Most scientists have not
comprehended that information = matter = energy inside a
black hole. The logical conclusion of this is
information structures of a non-physical mind may have
an impact on classical matter and energy systems, the
same as quantum physics does.
He discussed forms,
fields, superconductivity, wave function and electron behavior.
which operates through form, is closer to life and mind...The
electron has a mindlike quality."
In his groundbreaking
theory of "wholeness and the implicate order", Bohm
a new model of reality that was a
revolutionary challenge to physics. In this model, as in a hologram,
any element contains enfolded within itself the totality of its
universe. Bohm’s concept of totality included both matter and
Bohm also mentioned the dangers we face as a society and the
changes we will have to make in our thinking in order to have a
future. He said we need a more holistic approach to the ecological
problem and must find something else in life besides economic
growth; if it continues unchecked, it will destroy the planet. The
emerging change in consciousness is the challenge and the key:
"Our future depends
on whether we feel like part of this one whole or whether we
feel we’re separate."
David Bohm was one of the world’s greatest quantum mechanical
physicists and philosophers and was deeply influenced by both J.
Krishnamurti and Einstein.
Born in Wiles-Barre, Pennsylvania on December 20, 1917, he studied
under Einstein and Oppenheimer, received his B.Sc.
degree from Pennsylvania State College in 1939 and his Ph.D. in
physics at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1943. He was
the last graduate student to study with Oppenheimer at U.C.
in the 1940s, where he remained as a research physicist after
Oppenheimer left for Los Alamos to work on the atomic bomb.
worked at Berkeley on the Theory of Plasma and on the
Theory of Synchroton and Syndrocyclotrons until 1947. From
1947-1951 he taught at Princeton University as an Assistant
Professor and worked on Plasmas, Theory of Metals, Quantum
Mechanics and Elementary Particles.
He was blacklisted by Senator Joe McCarthy’s witch-hunt
trials while teaching at Princeton. Rather than testifying
against his colleagues, he left the U.S. Bohm subsequently became
Professor at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, the Technion of
Haifa, Israel, and at Birkbeck College, University of London;
Research Fellow at Bristol University; and was elected Fellow of the
Royal Society in 1990. Bohm lived in London and died in 1992.
Bohm was a member of the Royal Academy, the originator
of the causal interpretation of quantum theory, and the author of a
famous text on quantum mechanics and of numerous articles and other
books. The best-known recent work was Wholeness and the Implicate
Order. He wrote his classic book, Quantum Theory, in an
attempt to understand quantum theory from Nils Bohr’s point of
After completing the book and communicating with
Einstein on it, Bohm remained unsatisfied with the
theory. Bohm’s challenge to the conventional understanding of
quantum theory has led scientists to re-examine what it is they are
doing and to question the nature of their theories and their
contemplative man, Bohm arrived intuitively at universal
truths and presented them in imaginative models, in the languages of both
physics and philosophy.
His physics and cosmology were
all-encompassing and so far ahead of his time that few people were
able to appreciate them. Mainstream physicists considered them
too mystical, and few mystics could follow his subtle scientific
reasoning. (Krishnamurti was a notable exception.)
http://twm.co.nz/insights.html#5 5. ...the interface between science and mysticism
has been paradoxical, to say the least. Scientists claim
to be upholders of materialism, cold rationality,
objectivity, and strict empiricism. Yet, in the most
rigorous realm of science - high energy particle
physics - mysticism abounds and flourishes in a
fertile climate... What does this tell us about the true
cultural framework in which science is ‘done’?
A number of books have already attempted to make the
link between physics and mysticism. Fritjof Capra’s
The Tao of Physics and Gary Zukav’s The
Dancing Wu Li Masters have both reached many, many
people. In your book, though, you mention that there was
something that you felt had not yet been covered which
you feel is your unique contribution to all this. Could
you say something about what you are doing that is
different from what has been done before in this area?
From very early on in his scientific career, Bohm
trusted this interior, intuitive display as a more
reliable way of arriving at solutions. Later, when he
met Einstein, he learned that he too experienced
subtle, internal muscular sensations that appeared to
lie much deeper than ordinary rational and discursive
Bohm redefined physics. To him it was not about mere
prediction and control, nor even mathematical equations.
central to the enterprise, they are not its essence. Physics is
about nature and our understanding of nature. For Bohm, its
meaning and its message were creativity, the signature of an
infinite universe. He saw it an undivided wholeness enfolded into an
infinite background source that unfolds into the visible, material,
and temporal world of our everyday lives.
He said that thought can
grasp the unfolded, but only something beyond thought - intuition,
unmediated insight, intelligence - can EXPERIENCE the enfolded. At
some point deep within the implicate order, thought and language
fail us and only sacred silence can reveal truth. That silence is
the language of the whole, the universe expressing itself through us
in a life of integrity rather than fragmentation.
Bohm envisioned a transformation for those who grasped
quantum mechanics in depth: a world of interconnection and
interdependence, of direct and instantaneous communication, in which
we have learned to harness the energies of compassion.
voice to the marvelous possibilities of a new future, he was himself
an example of his ideas. Many who knew him thought of him as a sort
of "secular saint." He had a visionary quality that drew others to
him and inspired them. He was transported by the clarity of his
vision and energized by it to such a point that he swept his
listeners with him into the orbit of the possible.
He believed in a
world that was meaningful, clear, intelligent and spiritual, where
the implicate order is expressed as a living force in our explicate
Theory," New York, 1951
Change in Modern Physics," London, 1957
Theory of Relativity," New York 1966
the Implicate Order," London, 1980
Meaning," (record of a dialogue with David Bohm), London,
and Creativity," New York, 1987
"Thought as a
System," London, 1994
See also "The
Energies of Love: In Honor of David Bohm," an article by
Renee Weber in The Quest, Autumn, 1993.