“There are no facts, only interpretations.”
What really turns dreams into realities, fears into challenges and worries into real problems? What makes some people see the world as their oyster and others to see it as a prison sentence?
In July 2018 two events which changed the world inspired me to write this work and pay tribute to the heroic actions of the men who were central to the success of these two rescue missions, which few believed could happen. This provided the theme of my book, Perception, which aims to highlight the influence on how we perceive the world around us and is a reflection in our lives.
Samarn Kunan, was 38 year old former Thai Navy SEAL, who bravely volunteered to deposit oxygen tanks throughout the flooded tunnels of a Tham Luang cave, a sprawling underground complex where twelve boys and their soccer coach were trapped for 18 days by floodwaters in July 2018. Ironically, Samarn lost his life from lack of oxygen. He was the only fatality of the monumental search and rescue mission that involved more than a thousand people and lasted more than two weeks.
On July 24th 2018, a ferocious fire broke out on the Eastern Coast of Athens. Severe winds catapulted into the densely populated village and popular touristic area killing over 100 innocent people. The country was in national mourning for many days and stories of heroic actions flooded the media. The story that inspired my writing was of an 84 year old grandfather’s 6 hour struggle to keep his grandson alive, while enduring challenges a fit young adult would have found almost impossible.
The intensity of the fire had given no choice, but for the residents of this small town to flee to the sea for any hope of survival. There were accounts of people jumping off cliff edges and rocks in attempts to reach the sea, such as the 84 year old grandfather who holding his grandson in his arms, ran to the sea, leaving behind burning bodies of friends and family and remained there overnight until rescuers arrived the following morning. When I heard this story, it stirred great amazement as to how this aged man found the strength to achieve this tremendous feat when sometimes waiting in a bank queue is enough to trigger the aged a great deal of anxiety.
Both events shocked and intrigued me profoundly. How could someone expose himself to the possibility of death in order to save others and how a frail aged man could survive a traumatic event and manage to rescue another human being from a catastrophic fire?
A quote from Akshit Bonta, “The fool did not know it was impossible so he did it”, leads to the quest finding answers why some men are motivated by selfishness and others by altruism. In the coming chapters I will seek to present an answer to why we make the decisions we make. Is it our consciousness or something beyond us?
The essence of this book highlights the idea that, consciousness may be able to shape and direct matter. In fact, consciousness has created this universe. The perception of cosmos differentiates from person to person as a result of societal, cultural, religious and traditional influences. Even if we take for granted that there is a social consciousness and because of that, there are some general behaviors, cultivated through the public education system of every country, traditions, beliefs etc. After all, individuality is built through the perception of anyone exclusively.
The concept of reality has been the subject of infinite philosophical discussions from ancient times to the present. We can agree on one thing however, and that is the pure subjectivity of reality. One person’s reality can be different to another’s even if they are experiencing the same moment, the same life. The reason being that the concept of reality is multifaceted and dependent on multiple factors linked to education, background, tradition, life experience and genetics.
The contribution of ancient Greeks philosophers and physicists to Cosmology has been phenomenal. The pre-Socratic philosophers explored the principal cause of the cosmic creation, as well those forces on which the universe and humanity itself are founded.
“All things were together, then came Mind and set them in order”.
The important argument in pre-Socratic philosopher’s theory is the philosophical idea of an eternal and unchangeable cosmological essence, from which all things are derived and finally returned. They called it, the “boundless” (apeiron=infinity). The universe, though, is a continual play of elements separating and combining.
The post industrial revolution period saw the rise of scientific thought. Physical sciences have been extremely successful in analyzing the material world by reducing complex physical systems into their constituent parts. These parts can be reduced to small and simple components. This is the process of “Reductionism.” Reductionist scientists believe that everything, including biology, can be accounted for at the most basic level by the physical sciences. Our experiential life, however, includes complex features such as consciousness, thought, perception, desire, action, perceived freedom of will, intentionality, meaning, purpose, beliefs, and value.
Reductionist science claims that all the above, however sophisticated, can be accommodated in a universe consisting only of physical facts of the kind revealed by the laws of physics. It is confidently proposed that this process will ultimately provide an explanation of the cognitive capacities that enabled us to discover those physical laws.
Last’s century development of quantum physics has brought to light many phenomena quite enough paradoxical. In the two slit experiment, elementary particles appear to communicate. The “entanglement” concept requires that quantum particles share information with their neighbors, and Bell’s theorem postulates that this sharing is instantaneous and involves “spooky action at a distance,” a property that was confirmed in repeated laboratory experiments over many decades. Those, beyond imagination, experimental results, led many brilliant scientists to rethink and reset the orientation of how the universe works. This new quantum orientation is highlighted in the words of well-known quantum physicist Max Plank, “We have to assume the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind which is the matrix of all the states of existence”.
Today, quantum physics accepts the cosmological approach of ancient Greek physicists like Democritus, Pythagoras, Zio, Heraclitus, who supported the concept of the vast richness of the natural and universal creation with its unpredictable changes. Nothing remains stable, motionless or granted. There is not constancy, but only an eternal flow, a perpetual motion.
Although this book has a strong scientific theme, it is not a science text book. I am not attempting to confuse you with the intricate details of quantum physics. I am however going to attempt to demonstrate the role quantum physics plays in our present lives. To do this, I will need to provide a brief history of its emergence.