An Article Series Exploring the Quantum Science Behind the Mind-body Connection
This article series delves into the question of whether our thoughts can create our personal reality. Many of the world’s most successful people are walking examples that we can achieve anything we set our minds to. But to gain a better understanding of how that happens, we can dive into the exciting field of quantum biology — the intersection of quantum physics and biology.
The marriage of these two fields of science is a relatively new concept. While its implications to the real world are infinite, one of the things this body of knowledge can help us understand is the power of our mental acts — such as thoughts, attention, focus, and beliefs. Quantum biology could be the science that finally helps us recognize how every mental act translates into physical actions and our personal experience of reality.
The book “Life on the Edge: The Coming Age of Quantum Biology” by scientists Johnjoe McFadden and Jim Al-Khalili is a wonderful introduction to the field of quantum biology. This article series follows the book, chapter by chapter, and applies its findings to the topic of how the quantum world could be responsible for our thoughts turning into things.
In the last article in this series, we explored how sensory input translates from perception into our physical experience of reality and how that knowledge can help us lead happier lives.
Today, we will look at the role electromagnetism plays in how our mental focus shaping our bodies — and our lives.
BORN WITH AN INNER COMPASS
Chapter 6 in “Life on the Edge” starts out by following the migration of the monarch butterfly from southeast Canada down to Central Mexico. After spending the winters in the warm Mexican breeze, these lovely orange-and-black creatures know exactly how to make their way back to the mountains of Canada.
But what’s amazing about the monarchs’ migration habits isn’t just that they can navigate back to Canada without the Google Maps app. It’s that none of them make the entire journey in their lifetime alone.
Groups of these butterflies make the journey together as they breed en route. The butterflies that return to Canada the next spring are the grandchildren of the ones who initially left these Canadian landscapes.
How do these new-born butterflies know which direction to fly, especially since they have never been there? What is the internal system responsible for helping them navigate throughout the whole continent of North America along the way?
And more importantly, what can we learn from the butterflies in order to improve our own well-being and increase joy in our daily lives?
THE EARTH AND OUR BODIES: FIELDS OF ELECTRIC POTENTIAL
To gain a better understanding, we need to look at the role electromagnetism plays in our planet and in our biology.
The earth gives off a magnetic field which protects it from solar wind. This field is created by the electrical currents that are generated as liquid metals circulated within the earth’s core. The space occupied by the earth’s magnetic field is called the magnetosphere. Many animals such as fruit flies, birds — and our migrating monarch butterflies — are able to detect this field through the ability of magnetoreception.
Yet birds and butterflies aren’t the only ones with the ability to detect magnet fields in a way that affects their behavior.
Humans possess the wonderful ability of magnetoreception as well. There is magnetite both in our brains and hearts, according to studies such as those done by Dr. Kirschvink of the California Institute of Technology. There is also evidence that changes in the earth’s field can translate into a changed neural response. Other studies have shown that magnetic pulsations affect the cardiovascular system, brain waves, and blood sugar levels.
This makes sense when we bring the principle of quantum entanglement into the picture.
ALWAYS MAKING AN IMPACT AND FOREVER CONNECTED
If everything in the universe is always connected and every particle affects another particle, there is no logical reason why the energetic occurrences in our outside environment (whether in our home, the people around us, or the earth itself) shouldn’t affect our bodies.
Our bodies are, after all, not separate from the environment. Every cell in our body arises from within the environment and merges back into it. We are all a part of what Wayne Dyer so elegantly called the “environorganism.”
We try to look at everything as separate when in reality our bodies are one organism that is part of a larger macro-organism that we call life. Life is one system where every piece is always connected to another piece of itself.
If we could grasp the fact that we are not separate from each other and our environment, I believe we would start thinking and acting very differently.
When the currents of our thoughts are focused on what connects us and on everything that is right in our world and in our lives, we transform our personal reality. As one by one we transform the way we look out into the world, we change our behaviors in line with those perceptions. We then witness the effects of those kinder and more loving behaviors and start to see how even our smallest actions affect the world at large.
“You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.” — Alan Watts
THE QUANTUM WEIRDNESS BEHIND MAGNETORECEPTION
So what is responsible for magnetoreception and does that hint at the possibility of our thoughts affecting our personal reality?
When we look deeper into the subatomic world at the behavior of electrons, we find that they are all constantly spinning. Every electron spins in a particular way — either in a clockwise or a counterclockwise direction.
However — and this is where the quantum weirdness comes in — when not being observed or measured — an electron can spin in both directions.
When it is not being observed or measured, an electron is in the quantum state of superposition where it can exist in more than one place at a time. When it is measured or observed, the wave function of the possibilities of where it could be collapses into one reality that our brains then perceive.
As mentioned in previous articles in this series, this doesn’t mean that the moon isn’t actually there when we’re not looking at it. It does mean that our physical senses only allow us to experience one aspect of reality at any one given time. We then call that “our reality.”
Because of entanglement and superposition, pairs of electrons in one atom must always have opposite spin. As we measure the spin state of one electron, we affect the state of the other electron. McFadden and Al-Khalili expand on this further in chapter six of “Life on the Edge”:
“After measurement, both [electrons] have distinct states: one of them is up and the other is down. So the second has instantly and remotely changed its physical state from being in a superposition of spinning both ways at once to being spin-down — without being touched. All we have done is to measure the state of its partner. And in principle it doesn’t matter how far away this second electron is — it could be on the other side of the universe and the effect would be the same: measuring just one of an entangled pair immediately collapses the superposition of the other, irrespective of how far away it is.”
EXPERIENCING THE JOYFUL MUSIC OF LIFE
When reading the above excerpt, think about the act of our conscious awareness the act of measurement. When we place our conscious focus on one thing, we are naturally excluding everything else from our field of sensory perception.
If two people are in the same concert for example, they will have a different experience based on where they place their focus. One may be relaxed and enjoying the music reverberating through her body. Her focus is open and she is simply in the present moment, enjoying the pleasant sensations of the music pulsing through her body.
In the meantime, another person who is at the exact same concert might instead be thinking about a past event that caused him stress. He is disallowing himself from fully experiencing the reality that is right in front of him.
Even though the music is available for both to enjoy, only the first concert-goer fully experiences the joy because his conscious awareness is in the moment. Her body is able to feel the input of the senses and so that’s the reality she experiences.
CONSCIOUS AWARENESS BRINGS REALITY INTO EXISTENCE
The moment we choose to focus on a particular thought, emotion, or sensation, we are in a way forcing the electrons to assume a certain position — to match that which we expect to see. This is also underscored in the role of the reticular activating system in our brain which filters out the reality that we perceive based on our already-held beliefs and perceptions about life.
“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” — Nikola Tesla
McFadden and Al-Khalili go on to discuss that even a weak magnetic field (such as the earth’s) is sufficient to influence chemical reactions in biological organisms.
If we translate this back to our bodies, this could mean that the frequencies of our thoughts and feelings affect our bodies’ energetic fields and thus they affect the chemical reactions within our bodies. We then experience these chemical reactions as feelings, emotions, and sensations.
We witness the result of this on a daily basis. When we place our attention on something that worries us, we feel the stress chemicals of adrenaline and cortisol rushing into our veins.
When we place our attention on something that delights us or when we express loving aspects of ourselves, we feel good. When we feel good, a concoction of feel-good neurochemicals provides that happy feeling. We enjoy the present moment and at the same time are able to be excited about what’s coming next.
Electromagnetism and our power of magnetoreception underscores the importance that our mental acts play in our reality. From the moment we send out a vibe (through the form of a thought an emotion) to the moment we feel it as a chemical sensation through a resulting emotion, the quantum field of potential elegantly intertwines each particle to create the result we then call “our reality.”
Want to change your reality? Shift the direction of the beam of your conscious attention to what’s already wonderful — right here — in this eternal moment of now. This takes practice and mental focus. But with time, we can all learn use the amazing power of quantum biology to create our own heaven on every corner of this lovely planet earth.