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The Web of Life

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The Web of Life

How connected we are!
David R. Hamilton Ph.D.
David R. Hamilton Ph.D. More by this author
Apr 05, 2012 at 10:00 AM

The patterns and cycles in nature act like currents in a river, guiding some of the directions we take, often unconsciously. We can decide to paddle our canoes in directions of our own choosing on this metaphorical river. But on a deeper level, our choices also have far-reaching effects because we exchange information with everything around us.

Think of a spider’s web. Now imagine that every person on the planet is a node on that web, with its strands connecting them. Then imagine that this web is so big that it connects not just all of us, but everything in the universe. If such a thing existed, then every choice that each of us made would create vibrations – ripples or waves – on the web that would be felt everywhere and by everyone. In this way, we would constantly be in communication with the whole universe, exchanging information and energy through the vibrations we create, and also those that we feel. Each choice we made would be information that would ripple outward, interacting with the rest of the web.

Although such a web doesn’t physically exist, the science of quantum mechanics does suggest that we are all intimately connected, so we can think of the spider’s web as a simple model for the purposes of picturing how we interact with the world around us. The term used in quantum mechanics to describe this interconnectedness is Entanglement.

Vlatko Vedral, professor of quantum information theory at Oxford University in the UK believes we are constantly exchanging information with the universe and so we are, by nature, entangled with it. “It is really this phenomenon of Entanglement that makes all the objects that have interacted somehow interlink together and makes it impossible for us to look at them as individual objects,” he says. “We should really take them as one big matter.”

Entanglement can be explained in simple terms: humans give off heat, which carries information that tells nature about our physiological state. If we’ve been exercising our bodies will give off more heat. This information interacts with nature around us – the molecules in the air close to us are warmed. Thus we are entangled with nature. We interact (or exchange information) with it, and affect it.

Of course, our effect on the reality immediately around us is much greater than our effect on, say, the solar system, because we exchange much more information with our surroundings than we do with that. But in a fundamental sense, it is impossible to think of ourselves as separate from our surroundings, or from each other, because of this information exchange.

If we take the information exchange idea a little further, we can actually think of ourselves and the entire universe as one thing. “That means that anything that exchanges information with its environment, and that is true for everything in the universe, including us humans, becomes inevitably actually entangled to the environment,” says Vlatko Vedral. The point is, we are intimately connected in deeper and much more fundamental ways than we ever imagined, and that as we exchange information with reality, it’s as if we ‘speak’ with it.

It is this capability that allows us to shape our lives for the better, and even to tip the scales of the world in favor of cooperation and peace.

About Author
David R. Hamilton Ph.D.
David R. Hamilton acquired an honors degree in biological and medicinal chemistry, and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry before working as a scientist in the pharmaceutical industry for several years. His research into the mind-body connection ultimate Continue reading