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Quantum Physics and Pandemic Fatigue

How to think about the virus that is among us.

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In the world of quantum physics reality is an elusive thing. There is more and more evidence that there may be no such thing as a shared objective reality. Schrodinger’s cat catapulted physicists into a flurry of further thought experiments to explain, debunk or alter the conclusions of this now-famous research.  

The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics, elucidated by the great minds of Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, explains that the observer influences the thing being observed. Entanglement theory suggests that we influence each other over great distances. These research observations all have to do with a thing we call consciousness, that state of awareness that seems to supersede what we perceive through our five senses. They have to do with thought. 

We don’t have to delve into understanding the weird science of the quantum world because we can observe this influence of consciousness in our world. During the cold war, activism groups spread the story of the Hundredth Monkey to illustrate how social change can happen through shared consciousness in an effort to stop nuclear proliferation. A more modern version of this is the research by scientists at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakeable belief, their belief will also be adopted by most of society.  

A fascinating and ongoing research program at Princeton University, called the Global Consciousness Project, has placed random number generators around the globe. Their theory that when a great event synchronizes the feelings of millions of people structure appears in this network, has been proven to be true with a calculation of one in a trillion odds that the effect is due to chance. A recent observation of this phenomenon was after the killing of George Floyd. 

In other words, the power of thought has been scientifically established, a fact that can give us hope and a sense of control of our lives during this difficult time of apathy, discouragement and purposelessness that is being called Pandemic Fatigue.  

COVID-19 Is Now Firmly Established in Global Consciousness 

This mighty strain of coronavirus is observed in different ways by different people, according to their egoistic interests. It is a threat to lives and to livelihood. It is a predator and we are its victims. It as a tool for influencing the outcome of an election. It is fake. It is a government plot. It is ruing our lives by taking away everything we enjoy. It is China’s fault. We don’t deserve this.  

We define it by our thoughts. Our thoughts engender our feelings. Fear, anger, helplessness and depression drive actions consistent with needing to blame something or someone and that separate us from each other, physically and ideologically. Such thought patterns feed the nature and strength of the virus. 

Is it possible for us to change it by observing it differently, to consider it both dead and alive at the same time, for ten percent of us to imagine a different form and purpose for this virus, to bring order to the randomness of its effect on us? 

The fact is that COVID-19 is a phenomenon of the integral and deterministic system of Nature, of which we are a part. It exists because our egoistic thoughts and actions have created the imbalance in the system that allowed it to escape from its dormant state. It is neither evil nor good, it just is. And we make of it what we will by our thoughts. 

Can We Think the Virus Away? 

We change its meaning and give ourselves new vitality for managing it. If the course of COVID-19 is similar to that of other coronaviruses, we will be living with it for at least another year, maybe longer. Where will the cycle of thought, emotion and action have taken us by then? We can decide. Can 33,000 Americans begin to transmute our observations of the virus as a wake-up call from nature, a time of withdrawal from business as usual for thinking and planning, a transition from the egoism that is destroying us to an altruistic spirit among us all? If we follow the math, it is less than seven-hundred of us from each state. 

This is not some Pollyanna-like vision of all of us sitting together and singing Kambaya. It is a real thing. It is the power we hold within us to change the nature and the impact of COVID-19 by observing it differently. It is tough inner work, because it requires that we feel ourselves differently, as parts of an interconnected whole that influences the collective with every thought that we have. It is choosing how we want to live rather than being managed by news media and advertising. It is annulling ourselves to the reality that the principle law of nature is love of and care for others and that COVID-19 is here to remind of this.  It is defining the loftiest of goals for humanity, one that has the potential to reorganize random numbers in a way that will stun the Princeton University researchers. It is the very changing of the trajectory of Nature’s actions to re-balance herself, because we will do it for her. 

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