In the one hundred years since the beginning of the science of the unconscious in Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams, there is very little that has changed in that science. It was Freud’s dream that this new science, which he called psychoanalysis, would someday take its place among the other sciences, with which it could be freely integrated.
The problem that has frustrated attempts to integrate psychoanalysis with the rest of science is this fundamental principle of mind: Unconscious events are not observable.
And what kind of scientific principle is this, that there are certain events that cannot be observed? There is only one such principle in all of science, and that is the principle of the quantum wavefunction. The quantum wavefunction cannot be observed, it can only be inferred from observable data.
The quantum wavefunction cannot be observed because it is a superposition of possibilities. Only one possibility out of all the possibilities of the wavefunction can be observed. If we observe the same wavefunction over and over again, we will eventually sample the full range of possibilities, and be able to determine the frequency of occurrence of each one. In this way, we can infer the wavefunction, y , from the observable data. Everything that we observe arises out of the possibilities of the quantum wavefunction of the universe.
The process of consciousness arising out of the unconscious is the very same process as the process of observation of the wavefunction. This leads to the inescapable conclusions that the unconscious is the wavefunction, and that consciousness is what we call reality. But the events of the unconscious are no less real than the events of consciousness. The possibilities of the wavefunction are real.
Do the possibilities of the wavefunction, of the unconscious mind, which are already real, become any more or less real when they are observed? This is where physics seems to be stumped. This idea of an arbitrary reality arising out of observation of the quantum wavefunction was the cause of Einstein’s statement, "God does not play dice." Gautama Siddhartha said, "The unreal never is, the real never is not." This is relativity in a nutshell.
Something that is already real cannot become more real. Consciousness is a perspective, it’s a way of seeing. Consciousness is like the tip of an iceberg that is held up in the buoyancy of a vast ocean. The tip of the iceberg is the object—the particular object, the object of consciousness. The much larger mass, which is submerged, is the unconscious subject, which is both the beginning and end of the object
Before Freud’s discovery of the unconscious, science operated on the surface, on the appearance of a reality that was hidden from view. This appearance is what we call sensation. It is the conscious terminus of an unconscious process.
The individual or particular mind is a single ray. The ray is described by a word – I, as it is applied by the individual to his or her own self. The ray is the sum of all the moments that comprise the life of the mind – the life of the individual I. This I exists in the timeless field that underlies each moment, giving rise in the moment to the quantum of experience.
Everything arises out of the quantum field, the unconscious mind. The field of the individual I is the individual mind, psyche, or soul. Everything that arises out of the field, that comes into consciousness, arises along with its unconscious complement. This principle is a fundamental principle of science. It is called Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, or the principle of complementarity. In Buddhism, it is called the principle of dependent coarising.
Nothing can arise from the field in a non-dependent fashion, that is to say, nothing can arise from the field without its complement. This is why the principle of complementarity is also called the principle of dependent coarising. If it were not for the principle of complementarity, nothing could ever arise from the quantum field. The principle of complementarity allows an evanescent or fleeting violation of the conservation of energy. This violation of the conservation of energy ushers time into existence. Time and energy are complementary according to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. For every thing that is ushered into existence, there is a quantity of energy, and a complementary quantity of time.
Complements have a simple mathematical relation to one another. This relation is called the Heisenberg equation. They are reciprocals, in the simple form y = 1/x. The numeral one, here, is the single quantum. The single quantum has a numerical value, which is Planck’s constant. The quantum is the fundamental atom or atomic unit of reality. Everything that arises out of the field exists for an interval of time which is related to its change in energy state. This interval of time cannot be further subdivided. A thing can only come into existence along with a discrete interval of time. This relation between things and time is implicit in the Heisenberg equation.
It is useful here to pause for a moment a reorient ourselves to the nature of the quantum field. In the field, there is neither space nor time. Space and time arise from the field. Since, in the field, there is neither space nor time, there is no distinction in the field between the beginning and the end of things. What we call cause and effect are not relevant in the field, since the beginning and the end of a thing are part of the same whole. The principle or causality – the principle that a every effect has a cause, which precedes the effect, and every cause is the effect of a prior cause – does not apply to the origin of things out of the field. The time that is spanned by duration of the thing cannot be divided, or, in other words, the space within the duration is timeless. Within the span of the duration of a thing, our ordinary concept of causality is suspended.
The rules of the field, of the quantum unconscious, are totally different than the rules of the conscious mind. In the magic theatre of our dreams, there is neither space nor time nor length nor breadth nor depth. What we call a dream cannot be conceived by the conscious mind. The twilight of our dreams is the borderland between two worlds. We may have one foot in one, and the other foot in the other, but we can never have both feet in both.
The duration of the "I" is called a moment. The moment is, for the I, the atom of experience. The moment is the briefest experience that the I can have. This is a phenomenon that is well-demonstrated in cinematography. The duration of the moment of the I is a fraction of a second. Images that are flashed before us more quickly than this do not appear as discrete images, but as a moving picture. The image on a television screen is actually a single dot of one of three primary colors. Again, the dots are flashed across the screen so quickly that they form a moving image.
So, like every other thing or entity that arises out of the unconscious, quantum field, the I coarises dependently only with a duration of time. The duration over which the individual I arises is dependent on the change in the energy state of the brain/universe. The magnitude of a change in energy state is inversely related to the quantum duration over which that change occurs. We are referring here to the state of the whole brain, which is an aggregate or compound entity comprised of a number of simpler entities. These simpler entities, which range in scale from elementary particles to complex organs of the brain, form a hierarchy of systems.
Here we must pause for a moment and discuss the nature of the conscious mental state. In the mechanistic terms of classical mechanics, there is a hierarchy of systems by which the parts, in mutual interaction, form a whole, which is a system. This is the essence of general systems theory. Each system is a sub-system of a larger system, it is part of a larger whole. The mutual interactions of the parts give rise to the whole. The whole is the nexus of relations between its constituent entities.
In dependent coarising, in the process of the unconscious, quantum field, what we call the hierarchy of systems is bi-directional. The duration is a whole that cannot be further divided, so that, in effect, the whole gives rise to the parts, and the parts also give rise to the whole. This principle, which we call reciprocal causality, is the foundation for reciprocal systems theory, in which the functioning of the system is its own final cause. Later we will examine this idea and its relationship to consciousness and the universe.
Our consciousness, our perception of an integral reality in the moment, which is an integration of all the thoughts, feelings, and sensations of the moment, is a single whole. The unity of this whole is the unity of the "I."
Imagine a place where everything that can happen, does happen; where past, present, and future are all together; a kaleidoscope of worlds – form without substance, ripples upon ripples upon waves upon waves of pure experience – limitless worlds of possibility, existing beyond time. This is the quantum reality. This is the world of the unconscious mind. We visit it each night, in our dreams.
In 1900, when Sigmund Freud first published The Interpretation of Dreams, he was scorned by the academic world. The whole idea that this unconscious world of dreams is primary, and that out of that world our conscious minds extract what we call the real world, seemed ludicrous. The unconscious had had its heyday in the 1880’s and ‘90’s, fueled by the incredible findings of hypnosis. But, except for the minds of Jean Marie Charcot and Pierre Janet, there were few that understood hypnosis, and its new practitioners were mostly charlatans, out to make a quick buck, playing games with an extraordinary power that they neither understood nor deserved. The same thing was to happen again, one hundred years later, on the 1980’s and ‘90’s, when the abuses of hypnotism became so extreme that its use was proscribed to even capable practitioners.
And what about dreams? Everyone knew that they were nonsense. Who is this man, Sigmund Freud, to say that he has unlocked their secrets? Why, he is obsessed with sex! He’s saying that everything we hide in the light of day comes out in disguise in the dark of night—vial, incestuous, murderous thoughts, obscene desires, unbecoming of civilized human beings! He’s saying that deep down inside, in our unconscious minds, we are animals!
Sigmund Freud is generally credited with the discovery of the unconscious, and, although the concept of the unconscious can be traced back at least as far as Aristotle, it was Freud who truly gave us the first definitive description of unconscious process in his Interpretation of Dreams. According to Freud, the contents of the unconscious are possibilities or potentials. Primary process is unconscious. Secondary process, or secondary elaboration in the case of dreams, occurs in the borderland of consciousness, in the preconscious mind.
Everything that is conscious arises from the unconscious. This was Freud’s great discovery. Today we have a burgeoning field of "consciousness studies," yet we never here a whisper from the expert philosophers and scientists in this field about this fundamental principle.
Why is it that no one will recognize the unconscious, quantum reality? I think the answer is fear. As Freud so brilliantly described in The Interpretation of Dreams, the unconscious contains many things that we will not allow to enter into consciousness. During the day, the conscious mind is very active in focusing attention on those things we wish to think about, or to admit to ourselves. The activities of the preconscious mind in excluding unwanted elements were called defenses by Freud. And what are we defending? Our own self images, our own concept of ourselves, our own egos. Part of doing this, one of our defenses, is to deny the existence of the unconscious, and to deny its primacy in all thought processes. There are two great conspiracies of silence which characterized twentieth century science, and they are one and the same: 1) silence about the quantum reality, and 2) silence about the unconscious reality. They are not conspiracies of people in the ordinary sense. The exclusion of the unconscious reality is not conscious, it is preconscious, just as Freud said.
Consciously, when we learn about the quantum reality of superimposed potential worlds, we find it to be ridiculous. Our recognition and understanding of the quantum reality is unconscious, because the quantum reality is the unconscious reality.
Now, let’s look at a dream, and interpret it using some of the principles of the unconscious we have just learned. A 47 year-old male attorney was particularly troubled by this dream, and asked me to interpret it. This is an emotionally healthy man, a friend, and not a patient of mine. We will call him Frank. Frank dreamed that he was walking on the campus of his undergraduate college. All around him were men with guns, and he was very fearful that the Viet Cong (VC) were waiting in ambush. Frank had never been in Vietnam, but was in college while the war was going on in the late 1960’s, and was very active in the anti-war movement.
This dream took Frank back about 30 years. Yet, he said, it was as real in his dream as it was then. Did Frank actually go back to his old alma mater? Yes, he did, and no, he didn’t. The unconscious reality is not a reality of time and place, it is a reality of mind. For the unconscious, "Yes, he did," and, "No he didn’t," are just two ways of looking at the same thing, and that is Frank going back to his alma mater.
The presence of the VC on his campus seemed most peculiar to Frank. The two, his college campus and the Vietnam War, are associated in his mind. We need look no further for the explanation than this. In the unconscious reality, there is no respect for place and time. Distance is measured by the proximity of the association, not by meters and seconds.
Why did Frank have this dream on one particular night, as opposed to any other? We don’t actually have to find a reason, since there is always some possibility of any unconscious association arising in the mind at any time. But we can increase the probability of an association arising by "priming" or suggesting the association to the unconscious mind. In Frank’s case, he had watched the news that evening, and had seen a video of the conflict in the streets of Indonesia between the students and the military government. Although Frank did not consciously make the association with Vietnam and the demonstrations on his college campus, he made the unconscious association. We know this because, in the unconscious, anything that can happen, does happen.
Now, we want to find a meaning of the dream for Frank. We want to find out why it has been troubling him. The fact that it is troubling him, Freud tells us, means that a repressed memory has been brought into consciousness. This may, perhaps, be the reason why he was not conscious of the association while watching the news that evening. Vietnam veterans all over the country saw the news coverage of the events in Indonesia that evening, and were having bad dreams on the very same night as Frank. I know this, because I have been treating these patients for many years. The disorder that these veterans suffer is called post-traumatic stress disorder, and the dream associations they exhibit are symptoms of that disorder. But Frank was never in Vietnam. Or was he? We said that the unconscious is a reality of mind, without respect for time or place. Frank was exhibiting a post-traumatic stress syndrome.
The Vietnam War was traumatic for Frank for a number of reasons. Many people, his own age, were fighting and dying in that war. He himself, under different circumstances, may have been drafted to fight. And, in a sense, he was fighting, as a student protestor, on the streets of his college campus. His fear of the VC, never realized consciously during his student years, had been hidden in his unconscious for 30 years. He had never experienced this fear consciously until that night. But, as Freud taught us, such an unconscious fear shows up in other ways, and is defended against in other ways. Perhaps this is the reason why Frank, who was studying engineering at the time, later went on to become a lawyer. Perhaps, like so many actual veterans, Frank, an "unconscious veteran" of the Vietnam War, was still fighting.
We spoke earlier about the quantum world of possibility, and the overlap or superposition of possible worlds which is the quantum reality. The same kind of overlap or superposition of states of the brain/universe characterizes the unconscious mind or psyche.
Why do we use the term brain/universe to describe the mind? The brain cannot be separated from the universe, and the mental process has, as its substrate or medium, the entire universe, for all time. So, every state of the brain is also a state of the universe. Things cannot be separated on the basis of time and place in the quantum reality. Everything is connected in the quantum universe. Everything is interrelated, not by bridges of matter or energy, but by bridges of experience.
Every time we make a decision, we create a universe. The range of possibilities that are involved in making a decision are all distinct states of the brain/universe, or, otherwise stated, every possibility is a virtual universe, a universe of mind. Let’s look at this a little more closely.
That state of the universe is described by the function psi, y , otherwise known as the wavefunction. There are billions upon billions upon billions of separate variables or dimensions that would go into a determination of the state of the universe. The wavefunction of possible states of the brain is a component of the wavefunction of the universe. The wavefunction of the brain, the unconscious mind, is, however, in no way separate from the wavefunction of the universe. Separating the brain/universe into two separate entities, the brain and the universe, is a convenience for the sake of discussion. In quantum physics, the state of the universe is described as a single ray in a higher dimensional space or hyperspace. The dimensions of this hyperspace are not dimensions of space and time, they are inner dimensions, dimensions of experience. The ray of the universe can be visualized in three dimensions as a beam of light from the sun, piercing the clouds, and splitting into separate rays. The origin of the ray is always the same. The ray originates in the sun. In the same way, the ray that describes the state of the universe always has the same origin, a single point in inner space. Where is this point in our "external" reality of space and time? It is not at any particular point in space and time. It is everywhere, for all time. Everything, every event, every thought, every memory, proceeds from that single point.
In this quantum reality, this reality of the unconscious mind, each one of us is a ray, a beam of light proceeding from that point, that sun. Have you every seen the rays of the sun, piercing through spaces between the clouds, forming many separate rays? This is quite a beautiful sight, which is not uncommonly seen after a storm. We can think of ourselves, our own individual psyches, as such individual rays. Standing on the ground, we view the rays as separate. They seem to fan out, in different directions, around the sun. This is an illusion created by our perspective in relation to the clouds. All of the rays are travelling in the same direction – from the sun to the earth. When the clouds disperse, the rays combine, one into another, and we see a single ray, coming from the sun and into our eyes.
What we have described above is not a fantasy. The analogy translates directly into accepted quantum theory. Every ray in the quantum universe—every event, every thought, and every memory—is a component of a single ray, which is the wavefunction of the universe. It is our perception that makes them seem separate. The clouds are the barriers that stand between the conscious mind and its unconscious source. Conscious minds, like rays through the clouds, are many. The unconscious reality is one.
Sigmund Freud never made the connection between the quantum reality and the unconscious mind, thanks to the silence of the physics community regarding the quantum reality. In 1927 the greatest physicists in the world convened in Copenhagen. After much discussion, they decided to suppress the idea of quantum reality, concluding that quantum theory was simply a theory of measurement that gave no insight into any underlying reality.
Freud did, however, recognize that the self, soul, or psyche was unconscious in nature, and that the unconscious process was not "localized" at any particular place or time. It is secondary process, secondary elaboration, which leads us to our conscious perception of space and time. Considering the classical worldview of Freud’s time, his ideas were remarkably quantum. Carl Jung, Freud’s student, took it even a step further by describing the unconscious mind as collective. Now we take it still a step further, standing on the shoulders of Freud and Jung, by describing the universal nature of the unconscious mind.
We would be remiss if we didn’t point out, at this time, that we are not the first to describe the universal unconscious. Gustav Fechner described it with remarkable clarity in the 1860’s. He used an analogy, which is as valid today as it was then. The analogy was to a sine wave, with the x-axis dividing it into peaks and troughs. Each peak is cut-off , and in this way separated from all of the other peaks. However, beneath the x-axis, beneath the line that cuts off all of the peaks, all of the peaks are joined together. The line is the barrier that separates consciousness and the unconscious mind, which he called the "world soul." Minds are divided in consciousness, but not in the unconscious mind. This is very much like our analogy to the rays piercing the clouds.
In our dreaming minds, the line that cuts off the tops of the peaks of the sine wave is lowered below the bottoms of the troughs, and the separation between people is lost. This is responsible for the phenomenon that Freud called condensation. Condensation is the phenomenon in dreams of "condensing" a number of people into a single person. In dreams, sometimes a person will suddenly change to another person. At other times a person will take on characteristics of other people, including the dreamer.
In The Interpretation of Dreams,4 Freud analyses one of his own dreams. The dream is about a patient, who he called Irma. He described her as "a young lady who was on very friendly terms with me and my family." He had some reservation regarding his role as a psychotherapist treating a close friend, and was particularly troubled by the expectations that her family might have regarding successful treatment. In the summer of 1895, after the end of what Freud described as a partially successful treatment, Freud dreamed that he met Irma at a party:
"A large hall – numerous guests, who we were receiving. – Among them was Irma. I at once took her to the side, as though to answer her letter and to reproach her for not having accepted my ‘solution’ yet. She replied: ‘If you only knew what pains I’ve got now in my throat and stomach and abdomen – it’s choking me – I was alarmed and looked at her. She looked pale and puffy… I took her to the window and looked down her throat, and she showed signs of recalcitrance, like a women with artificial dentures. I thought to myself that there was really no need for her to do that. – She then opened her mouth properly and on the right I found a big white patch; at another place I saw extensive whitish grey scabs upon some remarkable curly structures which were evidently modeled on the turbinal bones of the nose…"
Freud is at first defensive about his failure to completely cure Irma of her nervous malady. Then he notices that Irma looks pale and puffy. This, as he interprets the dream, leads him to begin to suspect that he is substituting someone else for her, someone who, although in good health, looked pale and puffy. Irma, he writes, "always had a rosy complexion."
His examination of Irma’s oral cavity reminds him of an examination he made of a governess, who at first glance had "seemed a picture of youthful beauty, but when it came to opening her mouth, she had taken measures to conceal her plates." As Irma stood by the window, Freud writes, she reminded him of Irma’s "intimate women friend." Freud had visited this friend one evening, finding her by the window "in the situation reproduced in the dream."
After noting that he had exchanged two other women for Irma, Freud goes on to write, "The scabs on the turbinal bones recalled a worry about my own state of health. I was making frequent use of cocaine at that time to reduce some troublesome nasal swellings, and I had heard a few days earlier that one of my women patients who had followed my example had developed an extensive necrosis [tissue death] of the nasal mucous membrane. I had been the first to recommend the use of cocaine, in 1885, and this recommendation had brought serious reproaches down to me." Here Freud is substituting another female patient for Irma. Irma is a condensation of at least four women, who were associated in his unconscious mind.
Our minds seem to play tricks on us in dreams, and in this, the first of Freud’s published dream interpretations, Freud is trying to figure out why this happens. He realizes that, in his dream, his mind has fused four women from his waking life. The phenomenon is described from the conscious perspective. Four separate women in consciousness are one woman in the unconscious reality. What Freud has done here, in this the first of his published dream interpretations, is to take a sample of the wavefunction of the unconscious. In this case, he is seeing four aspects of the female, potential females, if you will, that exist together in the unconscious, but who are seen separately in the conscious elaboration of the dream.
The unconscious content of multiple simultaneous realities is also one of multiple simultaneous identities. The female in Freud’s dream is the female aspect of Freud himself. We get some hint that this may be the case when, upon looking into the woman’s mouth, he sees the scabs that recall a worry about his own health. Carl Jung, Freud’s student, would later describe the constellation of the feminine in the unconscious psyche as the anima.
The male and female principles, which Jung called the animus and the anima, arise at a deep level of the unconscious. The single ray, the "I," that is the source of these two separate rays is undifferentiated with respect to gender. The anima is the source of some of the earliest symbolic expression of the unconscious in human prehistory, in the form various female figures that are referred to as the Earth Mother. One’s own mother is invariably the central figure in the personal unconscious construct of the female.
In the same way that the mother is always part of the unconscious female, the infant and the child are always part of the man. We see a bit of this in Freud’s preoccupation with the oral cavity, which is characteristic of the infant. The oral cavity, in Freud’s dream, is general, is undifferentiated with respect to the women and himself. That is to say, in the unconscious, Freud’s mouth, Irma’s mouth, and the governess’ mouth are one mouth. The separate mouths in the preconscious of Freud’s elaborated dream are objects of consciousness, but are, together, a single subject of the unconscious. Here we see another important principle of the unconscious process. All elements of the unconscious are subjects. In other words, the unconscious is totally subjective. Every conscious object is derived from an unconscious subject.
The quantum field is also totally subjective, since it is one and the same as the unconscious. In the universal field of the quantum unconscious, every concept is a ray which can be described as the sum of all the individual or particular rays of subjects that the concept represents. We represent each of these rays with a word. The individual thing has both its beginning and its end in the ray that is the sum of all subjects that can be abstracted into the same generality. This seems like a difficult concept but is really quite a simple one when expressed in analogous terms. This is because the "logic" of the unconscious is analogous. All mouths are analogous. The fact that one mouth precedes another in time, or has a different locality in time, does not enter into the equation, since the point that is the origin for the ray or word "mouth" has no distinct or separate location in space and time.
What we are saying here is a bit subtle. We are not saying that the word is the thing. If we were to say this, we would be confusing a subject, the word, ray, or concept, with an object, the thing – mouth. What we are saying is that what is objective, what we view as reality, is consciousness itself. Consciousness is always derived from unconsciousness. The particular or individual mouth is an object of the conscious mind, and, as such, it has an unconscious origin.
Does this mean that my mouth is the creation of your mind? No it does not. Rather, mouths are a single subject in the unconscious, out of which the conscious object arises. The object exists only in consciousness. It is comprised of experience, not substance. Nothing, in actuality, substantiates from the field. Reality is experience, which can be either unconscious or conscious. Movement into consciousness does not imply any substantial change. On this point, mainstream physics goes awry, creating two incompatible realities, the quantum and the classical, one of knowledge and the other of substance.
Freud viewed all dreams as wish-fulfillments. In The Interpretation of Dreams, he argued that the manifest content of a dream may seem to be unpleasant, but this is just the conscious reaction to the latent content of the dream, which always fulfils a wish. The latent content exists in the unconscious, and is altered when the dream comes into consciousness. In dreams, the gate of the unconscious is opened, but it is still guarded by the ego, by our view of our selves. The ego, which guards the gate, in effect disguises the content of the dream to protect the conscious mind from unconscious thoughts and feelings that are unacceptable to the conscious mind. Freud called this process dream distortion.
The unconscious content of a dream exists as potential in the quantum field. As Freud said, it is always latent. In the quantum unconscious, everything is a whole. In the depths of the unconscious, everything is "I". It is in the movement toward consciousness, in the borderland of the preconscious, that the I separates into ego and world, which the conscious mind identifies as "I" and "not I." This separation, this cleaving of the I, changes the unconscious content of every thought and feeling that becomes conscious. The ego, the conscious I, always arises with its complement. It cannot arise alone. It can only arise together with a world.
In the preconscious borderland that we experience in dreams, the distinction between ego and world is not quite complete. Objects of the world, including other people, are, to some extent, still part of the I. The dream distortion disguises this fusion of ego and world in order to preserve the integrity of the ego.
The contents of the dream are not yet fully differentiated. We view the ego as the actor, and the world as a stage. In the unconscious, both actor and stage are one. In this respect, dreams are always ambivalent, at once expressing both the union and separation of ego and world.
This takes us, in The Interpretation of Dreams, to Freud’s next dream:
"My friend R. was my uncle. – I had a great feeling of affection for him. I saw before me his face, somewhat changed. It was as though it had been drawn out lengthways. A yellow beard that surrounded it stood out especially clearly."
Freud had this dream in 1897. R, his friend, had visited him the night before the dream. Freud and R. were competitors for an appointment to a professorship at the University of Vienna. Both men were Jewish, and there was open discrimination against Jews in Vienna at that time.
What is first apparent in Freud’s dream was that he has fused R with his uncle. Freud’s uncle Josef had become involved in illegal financial transactions, and had been imprisoned as a result. At the time, Freud’s father told him that his uncle was not a bad man, just a simpleton. R looked like Josef in Freud’s dream.
The message of the dream, according to Freud, is that R is a simpleton, like Josef. R. is the same as Freud, a Jewish man seeking a professorship and being subject to discrimination. Yet R. is also different from Freud, he is a simpleton. The wish is for Freud to get the professorship, and not to be subject to discrimination.
Freud goes on to note that he had never had such affection for his uncle as he had in the dream, and relates this as a dream distortion. He states that this affection is meant to disguise some malevolence on his part towards R, who he thinks is a simpleton. Conscious affection thus arises with its unconscious complement, malevolence. Freud’s principle of the substitution of opposites here is just one more example of the principle of complementarity.
The unconscious is ambivalent. The opposites or complements are not substituted for one another in order to create a disguise an unconscious duality. The duality of opposites is created in the dependent coarising of opposing principles. What Freud does not realize, in his interpretation, is that, at the latent level of the unconscious, he is both R. and Josef. It is natural that he should have sympathy for the man in his dream. Sympathy and its complement, antipathy, are the same in the unconscious world, where every feeling is united with its complement. The separation of self and other, or ego and world, is incomplete in the preconscious world of the dream.
Freud’s attitude towards his R/Josef/I is one of ambivalence. He has affection for the man, yet he also thinks the man is a simpleton. In consciousness, the simpleton is clearly "not I." Freud does not believe that he is a simpleton. His affection is not a lie created by the ego to protect itself from its bad feelings toward R. It is, rather, his own feeling for himself. What he is protecting himself against, in his interpretation, is his own self-loathing, the inevitable unconscious complement of his self-esteem.
Who am I to be reinterpreting Freud’s dreams? In my consciousness, I have a certain identification with Freud, as well as a distinction from him. But in the unconscious I am Freud. There is no separation of persons in the unconscious.
The paradox of the quantum and classical fields is the paradox of mind. I know who I am, and the more I know who I am, the less I know who I am. Knowing and not knowing, or knowing and unknowing, are complements. The more conscious we become, the more unconscious we become.
Every dream is the fulfillment of a wish, and the wish is always the same – the becoming of the I. But the conscious I, the ego, is not the same as the unconscious I, the self. In becoming my current I, Dr. Germine, I had to leave behind my Mr. Germine, just as Freud had to leave behind his own Dr. R. Dr. Freud dreamed his dream one hundred years before mine. In analyzing his dream, I was really analyzing my own.
For every degree of separation that we make for the conscious I, the ego, we make a degree of separation from the unconscious I, the self. This is the principle of complementarity, the Uncertainty Principle. The universe of experience, the mind, operates by the same principle as the physical universe. Are the two really any different?
Poems are like dreams. They express an unconscious process. My favorite poem, about twenty years ago, was "Light Breaks" by Dylan Thomas. I could go back to the original, but for our purposes my recollection of this fragment of the poem is most useful:
"Light breaks, where no sun shines...
Where no sea is, the waters of the heart swell in their tide."
The light that breaks are the rays of that universal, invisible sun which is the origin of all consciousness. The "where" of the poem is the unconscious where. This "where" gives rise to its complements, everywhere and nowhere, which are united in the unconscious. This "where" also arises into consciousness as the "there," which is the unconscious complement of the conscious "here." The poem expresses the reality on the borderland of consciousness, where "there" is everywhere and nowhere.
The phrase "no sun shines" has many meanings. Its conscious meaning is literal, there is no physical sun in the "where" of the poem. Unconsciously "no sun" is united with "sun." So, this sun is the sun of the unconscious, which is both "sun" and "no sun."
Next we come upon the phrase "no sea." In that "where," which is the "here" of the unconscious, and the "there" of consciousness, there is "no sea." Again, there is no physical sea. "Sea" and "no sea" are united. This is the sea of the unconscious, which is both "sea" and "no sea."
In that no sea, there are "waters." Water is the universal archetype of the unconscious. It is the "word" that expresses the unconscious. "Waters" is the "many waters" of David and Solomon. The "many waters" of individual consciousness is complementary to the "one water" of the unconscious, which is the universal sea, the "field." The "many waters" are also the "many nows" that arise along with their complement in the unconscious, the one, eternal now.
The unconscious meaning of water signifies its actual properties. Water is still a mysterious substance. We know that water is polar, e.g., that the water molecule has positive and negative electromagnetic poles. The opposite poles of water molecules attract one another, making water very "sticky." There is also a bonding between water molecules, from the hydrogen of one to the oxygen of the other. This is called hydrogen bonding.
Atomic orbitals and molecular bonds are delocalized. That is to say, the electrons in these bonds and orbitals are really clouds of potential electrons that, individually and collectively, are expressed as the quantum wavefunction of the electromagnetic field. In quantum field theory, the electromagnetic field is spaceless and timeless, and is a superposition of all possible states of the electron or electrons. The electromagnetic field is coupled, outside of space and time, to an interaction field, which is peculiar to the dynamical system, giving rise to space/time as an internal or subjective relation, a relation between the coupled fields within the system.
According to the laws of science, as we understand them, water shouldn’t exist, at least in its current form. The energy of water is currently inexplicable. It holds far more heat than it should, and it has a far greater surface tension than it should. Where is this energy?
There is only one place that is large enough to hold the energy of water. It is the same place that holds the energy of the Unified Field. It is the quantum vacuum. It is here that the energy of creation is hidden.
The electrons of the water molecule are delocalized, that is to say, they are immersed in the quantum vacuum, where there is neither space nor time. The oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams, the clouds and rain, and the water of all living things, are all one vast sea of electrons. These electrons cannot exist in the sense that we understand reality. This is the vast sea of the planetary unconscious.
Consciousness arises out of this sea of electrons, out of the order on the surface of water. On the surface of water there is a partial localization, a structure that clusters of water molecules assume. The energy that is necessary to create this structure, this order, arises from the vacuum. It is the delocalization energy of water.
The entire central nervous system (CNS) is immersed in a bag of water, surrounded by the meninges. All of the cells, synapses, receptors, and ion channels of the brain and spinal cord lie on one, continuous surface of water. The continuous surface of water is a single cloud of delocalized electrons. This dynamical system of electrons is ordered at every point of contact with the substance of the CNS. The quantum field of delocalized electrons is coupled to an interaction field, which performs the function of localization and genesis of time and experience.
Information arises out of uncertainty and into consciousness out of the quantum unconscious. Information is a kind of unconscious energy that has an observable, negative counterpart called negentropy. Individual consciousness arises in the CNS as information by partial localization of the single, continuous, delocalized electron field of a continuous surface of water. As such, individual consciousness is limited to the central nervous system, since it is limited to a single, dynamical system of delocalized electrons.
Consciousness arising out of the quantum field in the CNS has a limited purview of the field, and so appears separate and individual. The universal nature of consciousness is thus concealed at the local level of organization of individual consciousness.
Into the Deep
The coupling of the electromagnetic field of the dynamical system to the interaction field, which is essentially the psyche, gives rise to space and time or space/time. The electromagnetic field is derivative of the universal field or Unified Field, and it is this derivation that determines which "universe" of space/time arises out of the dynamical system.
The universal field, existing beyond space/time, is everywhere and nowhere. It is in our possible universes, as well as in all possible universes. Our possible universes are constrained by our laws of physics, which are but one of a virtually unlimited number of possible sets of laws that can arise out of the universal field through the process of symmetry breaking.
The Unified Field has perfect symmetry, or supersymmetry. This means that there are no distinctions between the four fundamental forces: the electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces (the electroweak force), the strong nuclear force, and gravitational force. The Universal Field is only united at a tremendous energy, in a state that is incompatible with space/time. Before the dawn of our time, and before the dawn of every moment, there is no space/time.
As far as we know, spontaneous symmetry breaking in our universe always produces the same physical laws as it has done since the beginning of our time. There is a mathematical space, or hyperspace, that represents the "quantum vacuum." This hyperspace has many mathematical dimensions that are called Higgs Fields. In this space, there is a ring-shaped, circular energy valley. The bottom or the energy valley is at the same energy level all around. All potential universes settle into a point in the bottom of this energy valley at the dawn of their time, through the process of spontaneous symmetry breaking, or "creation." In any one universe each moment, in each dynamical system, is a reiteration of the "creation" of that universe, always settling into the same point, with the same physical laws.
The most essential constant that arises out of spontaneous symmetry breaking is the speed of light, c. The speed of light is the basis for the relations of space/time and energy/matter that characterize a particular universe. Light is the most fundamental reality that arises in "creation."
The story of our universe is vastly more unlikely than the most unlikely story imaginable. First of all, the energy of perfect symmetry had to arise out of the "quantum vacuum." This energy had to arise within the limits of the conservation or energy, which are set according to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. Energy must always be conserved within the boundary of uncertainty. The vast energy of the Unified Field could never arise objectively out of the zero-energy field of the vacuum, since such an energy could not persist for the minimum duration dictated by the Uncertainty Principle. The probability of such an event is zero – it is impossible. The universe can only be a possibility, according to the laws of physics, that is to say, it can never truly emerge from the field, although it can exist as a possibility within the field.
The spontaneous symmetry breaking that occurs in the supercooling of the initial energy state of the Unified Field must settle into precisely the right point in a ring-shaped energy valley of an infinite number of possible universes. The likelihood of our universe falling into such a configuration is infinitely small, since infinity divided by one is infinity. Indeed, the probability of our universe existing objectively is infinity divided by zero, which is the probability of the initial energy state. Our universe is infinitely impossible.
The physical universe, by itself, cannot exist. The idea of this incredible energy, arising out of nothing, violates the twin principles of energy: the conservation of energy, and the Uncertainty Principle. We need to find a deeper principle, in which our universe is possible.
As energy and time are united in the Unified Field, they are, in that field, the same. This we will call energy/time. The conservation of energy is related to time through Einstein’s equation, where c is the speed of light: E = mc2. Energy and time are one and the same in the field, and they are conserved according to Einstein’s equation. Einstein’s equation therefore leads us to the new principle of conservation of energy and time.
In order for energy/time to be conserved, time must be subjective. The universe cannot exist in an objective time. In a subjective sense, the universe never arose out of the field – it is "still" in the field. It is still part of the wavefunction of all possible universes.
Time is not external. It is not something we observe passing in the universe. It is created by the dynamical system itself, through the coupling of the fields, at every moment. Time exists "objectively" only in our consciousness. In the unconscious, quantum universe, there is only now.
Einstein showed that time is relative to the speed of light, c. Light travels outward from a center. We call this center the subject. For the subject observing the outward movement of light, time stands still in all directions. Since the light is moving away at the speed of light, the light is standing still in time with respect to the observer. In other words, time is a subjective or internal relation between the observer and the light. For the subject, it is always now. In consciousness, this relation seems external, and that is why time appears to move forward.
In the subjective view of time, the unconscious subject or "I" is timeless, since subjective time at any point in the universe encompasses all of what we call objective or cosmic time. Time arises in consciousness over a duration that is quantum in nature. In other words, time arises from the field. It is not part of the field. Within the unconscious, timeless duration, causality is reciprocal. That is to say, the duration is actualized as a whole, and causality goes both ways.
The principles of reciprocal causality are as follows: 1) the cause gives rise to the effect: the effect gives rise to the cause, 2) the parts give rise to the whole: the whole gives rise to the parts, 3) the past causes the future: the future causes the past, and 4) matter gives rise to mind: mind gives rise to matter. In the reciprocal view of causality, the universal consciousness is both the cause and the effect of the universe. The two can only exist together. The universe can only exist as the subject of universal consciousness.
Since the universe is a subjective relation, the Higgs Fields are interactive functions that find their optimum values by feedback with universal consciousness. The Higgs Fields are set exactly where they need to be to give rise to our universe. This changes the probability of our universe arising from zero divided by infinity to one. Indeed, as Einstein said, God does not play dice.
I will end here by describing a wonderful, recurrent dream. I dream that I meet Albert Einstein. He is a young man, with wild, brown hair. He seems odd, and a bit comical, perhaps even playful. It is as if he has come to tell me something. He never tells me anything, at least that I can recall.
This relation was first made explicit by Alfred North Whitehead
in his books Science and the Modern World (1925) and Process and
Reality (1929). Whitehead called the codependent origination of
things and time process. Jason Brown was the first to describe process
as a fundamental principle of mind in his books, Self and Process
(1991) and Time, Will, and Mental Process (1996).
This is a bit of a simplification. In the field, as it is represented in quantum mechanics, all of space and time are enfolded into a single point, which is the origin of the ray. In quantum process, space and time are unfolded from the field as well as being enfolded in the field. David Bohm described this process in Wholeness and the Implicate Order (1980) and, with Basil Hiley, in The Undivided Universe (1996). Bohm described the field as the quantum potential field or implicate order. He described the unfolded reality of space and time as the explicate order. In quantum field theory (as opposed to quantum mechanics) space and time coarise with the dynamical system through the coupling of the electromagnetic field and the interaction field.
We must recall here that the field is timeless, so that, even though the instantaneous effect that a change in the brain state has on the universe is small, this influence becomes quite substantial with the passage of time. There are some other, more technical considerations that necessitate our inclusion of the universe in the change in state of the brain, involving the quantum entanglement of the brain and the universe.
All references to The Interpretation of Dreams are from The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, translated from the original 1900 German edition under the general editorship of James Strachey in collaboration with Anna Freud, assisted by Alix Strachey and Alan Tyson. Hogarth Press, London, 1953.