“Atoms are not things.” – Werner Heisenberg.
Heisenberg’s quote was on my daily calendar a couple of weeks ago. Totally messed with my mind that day — confused me. It made me pause — then what are they? While provocation is the point of this daily calendar, I am usually smug and self-satisfied with the quote or koan presented. “Oh, I got that.” Sometimes I catch my delusion and pretension, sometimes I don’t.
I looked up the quote to see if there was more to it. I especially was looking for the line that said what they actually were, if they were not “things.” More of the quote is “Atoms are not things. They are tendencies.”
Well, that’s helpful, I thought. Sarcasm leads to enlightenment, right?
Today, I have some understanding. I was watching the snow fall this evening and reminded myself that snow is not actually a “thing” on its own. It is a state of being of water. Combining that thought with the definition of the word tendency (i.e., a likelihood to happen), I see my own state of being in this moment with its tendencies. Tendencies like: compare this weekend to last; compare how I feel now to this morning; notice the feelings in my body and label them; think thoughts and judge them, et al.
While there is no evidence that quantum mechanics and spirituality affect, interact, or even support each other. Each make me think differently, and that’s enough for today.