Physicality and Spirits…

Thinking about physics and the spirit worlds the other morning – also talking it over with Anne. Basically, I’m wondering if there might be some way the spirit worlds might interact with what can be measured physically. No, I mean if there might be some way we could conceive of or imagine. Without lots of “quantum handwaving”.

On the one hand, I know (from personal experience) that the spirit beings, and maybe the spirit worlds, can interact with what we call ordinary reality. I have been witness at several “bound shaman” ceremonies, and I’ve seen the ropes and wraps come off. I’ve also seen healing miracles. While these may not pass what goes for full scientific muster these days (especially in the biomedical community!), they pass my own test – I was there and saw (or felt) it.

The history of the fringes of science is littered with tests of spiritual phenomena that come up empty. It seems the spirits don’t like to be measured, and simply bow out when the stop watches and cameras are ready. Yet there are seeming endless volumes of anecdotal reports of mysterious happenings, and a near-universal belief in all cultures in the existence of spirits.

Anyway, I was thinking about physics. From my layman’s perspective, there are two major pillars of physical theory: relativity and quantum mechanics. Each of them seems to be exactly correct to as close as anyone can measure, yet they are separate. There have been many attempts to bridge them, but for the most part without success. One popular bridge is string theory, but it seems to diverge further from its goal the more people work with it. Other alternatives may be more promising, but also have yet to complete the bridging.

There is a third theory, the standard model of particle physics. This is also accurate as far as it can be measured, for most things. However, there is a huge failure at its core – the prediction of the energy of free space is off by 120 orders of magnitude.

These theories are to a certain extent empirical. For relativity, Einstein simply accepted the Michelson-Morley experiment at face value – that the speed of light seems constant to any observer, no matter how fast they might be going. Applying come creativity and ordinary trigonometry and algebra gets you to special relativity; a few decades of more hard work and inventing some new mathematics gets you to general relativity. The upshot is that the force of gravity is tied to curvature of space-time, and that space and time are to some degree interchangeable, depending on velocity and acceleration.

For quantum mechanics, you start with laboratory observations that the atomic world seems to be quantized – that these tiny systems can only assume certain energy levels. The wave-nature of matter and energy comes from this (standing waves can only take on certain integral values). And from this come the famous Schrödinger equation and its computationally refractory more correct form. Interestingly, combined with the standard model the forces are mediated by exchanging particles, not by changed in the shape of space-time. At least as far as I know.

The quest to unite quantum mechanics and relativity (and the standard model) has lead string theorists to propose many higher dimensions to space-time than the usual four. Gravity is claimed to be “weaker” than the other forces because it “leaks out” into the higher dimensions, though careful experiments have not detected any leakage down to fairly small distances yet.

The reason I’m going here is that there doesn’t seem to be any detectable interaction between the spirit worlds and the world of physical measurement. No one has (yet) found a resonance in particle energy that can be attributed to a coupling with these other realities. Nor have they found regions on the astronomical (relativistic) scale that show some sort of distortion due to interacting with any of the spirit realities. This in itself needs to be a profound fact for any theory for connecting the spirit worlds with ordinary physical reality, along with the obvious interactions where the spirits untie the ropes and throw the blanket. Interactions with the spirits seem to be sporadic and strongly biased towards the scale of ordinary objects – ropes, blankets, rattles, stones.

I just came across something odd. In searching for something on Amazon I came across a product that claims to be a “ghost detector”. It seems to work by detecting low frequency magnetic fields. The blurbs say you need to turn off your cell phone (no surprise there!), and aside from that I’m guessing it’s pretty immune to 60 Hz fields (and higher, like RF). I have no idea how such a thing might work, but it’s certainly interesting to think about.

The main issue is how do spirit beings or energies make a magnetic field? Is there a current too? How does the presence or absence of conductors and ferromagnetic materials change things? Might this explain the old stories about iron protecting from malevolent spirits? So many questions!

Do only certain classes of spirits make magnetic fields? Are these also the ones that interact with iron or ferromagnetic materials?

If anyone reads this and has thoughts on it, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy trails,

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