Quantum Entanglement – We Are All Connected

Quantum entanglement is the ability of two spatially separated “entangled particles” to respond to each other instantaneously. This proven interconnectedness has Implications for the rebirth process.

Revised January 21, 2016; June 25, 2022; May 20, 2024

1. When we get deep into Buddha Dhamma, we will see that the mind creates EVERYTHING in this world. That is why the Buddha said, “manō pubbangamā dhamma.……” i.e., the mind is the precursor to everything. But let us proceed at a slow pace. See “Manōpubbangamā dhammā..

2. Everything happens due to causes and conditions; see, “What is Kamma? – Is Everything Determined by Kamma?“. Also, this world is not four-dimensional (3 space dimensions and time) as we experience, but is multi-dimensional; see “What Happens in Other Dimensions.” That is why we see only two realms (human and animal) out of the 31 realms of existence; see, “The Grand Unified Theory of Dhamma.” Just because we cannot experience directly or is not proven by science YET is not a reason to discard them. However, the current string theories predict a ten- or 11-dimensional world.

3. Furthermore, science has been confirming many things that ordinary people rejected as “impossible” over the past few hundred years, and activity started increasing over the past hundred years since the advent of quantum mechanics and relativity; see “Dhamma and Science – Introduction.”  That should give us more confidence in Buddha Dhamma. That is saddhā or faith-based evidence.

4. Here, we will discuss another recent scientific finding that makes the rebirth process more easily “explainable.” Please note that I am not trying to verify Buddha Dhamma by science. It is the other way around. I am saying that science is far behind Buddha Dhamma. Science is now trying to catch up with just the material aspects of how this world works and has not made any significant progress on how the mind works.

  • In the essay “Evidence for Rebirth,” we saw that a person who dies in one geographical location is reborn in another. Consciousness does NOT transmigrate, as is believed in some other religions. However, energy leaving one place must instantly appear in another.
  • What about the speed of the light barrier for anything or any information to travel, based on Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity? It turns out that we are in a unique time in history. Buddha’s teachings are beginning to be, even if not confirmed, at least elevated to the level of possibility by Western science. For millennia, numerous people had strong enough faith to believe Buddha’s words and commit their entire lives to pursuing Nibbāna. (Actually, it is not blind faith. If one carefully studies the Dhamma/ Abhidhamma, one can verify that it must be true).

5. In 1935, Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen published a paper showing that if quantum mechanics is correct, a particle can somehow “know” what another particle, even if separated from it by a large distance, is doing.  Einstein derisively called this “spooky action at a distance” and dismissed the prediction. Even though his theories led to quantum mechanics, Einstein was firmly opposed to quantum mechanics throughout his lifetime.

  • However, in 1964, physicist  John Bell proposed an experiment to test this concept. Those are experiments on the “violation of Bell’s inequality.” Several experiments carried out since 1997 proved that Einstein was wrong. The experimenters created “entangled particles,” which shared a wave function.  In 1997, Nicholas Gisin conducted the first experiment with entangled photons sent seven miles apart via optical fibers. When they reached the ends of these fibers, the two photons were forced to make random choices between alternative, equally possible pathways.
  • There was no way for the photons to communicate with each other. Thus, “classical” physics would predict that their independent choices would have no relationship. However, when the paths of the two photons were adjusted correctly, and the results were compared, the independent decisions of the paired photons always matched. There was no real way for them to communicate with each other. The responses were instantaneous, even though the two events were separated by about 26 milliseconds at the speed of light.

6. Since then, the same experiment has been repeated with electrons and ions. This effect is called the “quantum entanglement.” It leads directly to other related concepts such as “holographic universe” and “interconnectedness.” The conclusion is that entangled particles can be interconnected even if situated across the universe!

7. The following fun video by Dr. Quantum illustrates the basic idea of quantum entanglement:

8. Quantum entanglement could be intimately connected (and can be “explained” easier) with a universe that is multi-dimensional (like the proposed 11-dimensional string theory). If you have read the post on “What Happens in Other Dimensions,” it will be easier to follow my simple (and crude) illustration:

  • Think about a two-dimensional “world,” say, the kitchen floor, and consider an ant on the floor as a “two-dimensional being,” meaning we assume that the ant can see only those things that make direct contact with the floor. If a chair is there, the ant can see only four “impenetrable circles” where the chair’s legs touch the floor. For the ant, those four “circles” are not connected. They lie far apart from each other. However, if we lift that chair, all four “circles” will be removed simultaneously. This means that, for the ant, the four “circles” were “entangled” or connected. Of course, we can see that they were connected via the rest of the chair in the third dimension, above the floor.
  • Similarly, things that appear “far apart” (say, New York and Houston) may be connected via a dimension we cannot see. A person dying in New York may be born instantaneously in Houston because those two “places” may have a direct path via a hidden dimension.
  • Those “entangled particles” in #5 above may travel far apart but could be connected via a hidden dimension. Just like the ant in the above example is unaware of the rest of the chair, we are unaware of such hidden dimensions.

9. However, quantum mechanics is not restricted to working on “intellectual” problems like those above. Those are what the man on the street calls “abstract stuff.” Most of the “things” we have grown accustomed to are byproducts of quantum mechanics. Those vary from computers and cell phones to lasers and nuclear bombs.

  • These new observations make the concept of a connection across the universe more plausible. But there is no point in wasting valuable time trying to find answers to questions such as the end of the universe or the beginning of life. That is what the Buddha advised.
  • We are fortunate to be born in the human world, an infrequent event. See “How the Buddha Described the Chance of Rebirth in the Human Realm.”) Thus, one should diligently work towards achieving liberation (Nibbāna). In realms below the human world, life is filled with suffering, and life in heavenly worlds is too blissful for one to focus on working toward Nibbāna.

Is the Universe Multi-Dimensional? – Another Emerging Possibility

Einstein dreamed of working out such a Grand Unified Theory, but he could not. Many scientists are trying to accomplish this goal, and the newest theories are called string theories. No Grand Unified Theory exists yet, but the closest is a version of the M-theory’s string theory. M-theory says that the universe is 11-dimensional, even though we can see only four dimensions (including time). So, could life exist in other dimensions that we cannot observe? That is another possibility. I briefly discuss this possibility under “What Happens in Other Dimensions?“.

Consciousness and Quantum Mechanics

March 13, 2018: I have started a new section, “Quantum Mechanics and Dhamma,” where a new interpretation of quantum mechanics is presented. I explain why quantum theory cannot explain consciousness.

Next, “What is Mind? -How do we Experience the Outside World?” …….


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