The following is a post made by someone on the “Physics is Awesome” Facebook page.
I’m especially interested in the idea of observation (or consciousness) creating reality by the state vector collapse of probabilities, or probability waves.
Einstein developed the concept of spacetime, and the theory that it is malleable, or manipulable, depending on forces acting on it, or on the perspective of an observer. What’s really interesting is that when Einstein was a child, he obtained a copy of one of Emmanuel Kant’s books on philosophy, The Critique of Pure Reason, which was originally published in 1781.
In this book Kant has some very interesting views on “reality”. According to Kant, neither space nor time really exist. They are purely constructs of the mind (or consciousness) helping each of us to comprehend the universe outside of our mind. Being concept, not reality, they are as manipulable as anything else our minds conjure up.
At times, Kant seems to be not very sure anything besides “mind” really exists. For things that really might exist, he coined the term “noumena”. But he considered our minds, and our senses, so primitive, he said that we could never know this noumena. He said that all our senses could give us were fleeting insights into all noumena by the action of the forces of the noumena on our consciousness, allowing our minds to create or project “phe-noumena”, or phenomena. If you aren’t buying this yet, consider a rainbow. There really is no such thing as a rainbow. The noumena is the passing of all wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation through an atmosphere heavily laden with moisture. It is all physical forces at probabilistic play. Yet our eyes pick up each wavelength, our minds label each wavelength with a color tag, and our consciousness “creates” a rainbow.
My thinking is, the noumena is always there. It is energy probabilities, behaving in probability waves, in some kind of a probabilistic field. We get brief little glimpses of the play of these probabilistic energies, but we never create reality from them as if they were building blocks for reality. We never collapse all the probabilities down to one thing. All we can create are episodic phenomena, and when we do we think we’re scientists, experimenting, observing, measuring, recording, hypothesizing about the significance of the Godlike way we’ve created reality out of the ether.
I’m not sure any of it is anything but illusion, at least in the world we know. I’m not sure that anything really “exists” except in the noumenal state. The phenomena are an illusion, and maybe so is the consciousness that creates them.
I hope this gets some conversation going one way or another.