Quantum PsychoAlchemy

   by Ovid C. Jacob, as performed live at the New Moon Rave,
   Sept. 4, 1994 with DJ M

quantum physics & the change of the soul.
on the 1st level, quantum physics (QP) seems very rational,
very left-brain;
psychoalchemy (PA) seems very right-brain, very non-rational.

QP uses precise, quantitative methods of  studying nature,
building theories which can then be tested & verified experimentally,
which can either  be supported , or invalidated by experiment.
PAal practices,
& i am  thinking at this moment about 3 of them:
kabbalah (k.)(jewish mysticism), zen buddhism (z.b.) and trance dancing (t.d.)
- all in their own ways use different techniques
which allow one to experience the divine nature directly.
one doesn't really analyzes what to do,
one does (various methods or ) various exercises
which  allow one to experience the world around us.
in k., one develops  a rather complicated way
of classifying and seeing the world
by the use of the hebrew alphabet & various correspondences of words
according to the numerical value of the letters in the hebrew words.
[A. according to k.,
there are 4 levels of meaning:
pshat (simple understanding);
remez (allusion), a poetical level;
drush (inference) an interpretative level;
and sod (secrets) where we plumb the mystical depths.
we will be on the first 3 levels maybe a bit on the 4th.]

in z.b., one meditates & one empties one's mind
or one ponders on koans, seeming contradictions which put
the mind in a different state of consciousness.
in similar way, t.d., by the repetition
of the beat & long time spent dancing ,
also allows one the get in a different state of mind & experience
the world.

on the 1st level (pshat, or simple understanding)
QP & psychoalchemy (PA) seem very, very different.

i would like to show u, to travel together with you tonight
and show u that there is more to this than this apparent difference.
1 of the  interesting & unusual & surprising developments
is that the more one studies QP,
the more one realizes that there is another level of understanding
& 1 realizes at the next levels(remez, allusion & drush, inference)
one observes
( in some sense) a mystical or spiritual component (sod).
this has been observed (known) actually for quite a while.
1 of the fathers of QP, niels bohr, had to chose
a coat of arms when he was knighted by the queen of denmark.
significantly,  he picked the ying-yang,
the chinese symbol which  signifies this interplay between opposites.

i am sure many of u r familiar with 'the tao of physics,'
written in the 1970's by a physicist, fritjof capra,
which shows that on  different  levels (remez & drush)
QP has a lot of certain spiritual or taoist components to it (sod).
this can  only  be appreciated
& comprehended after a lengthy study of  physics.
only with the large body of knowledge
which comes from may years of study of physics
can 1 perceive the PA-al or non-rational aspect of QP.
in a sense, again, there is a difference here between QP & PA ,
because (also)
beyond the surface of the amalgamation of seemingly unrelated facts
& activities there is a structure underneath.
beneath the large collection
of the seemingly unrelated connections between different correspondences
(in k.)
there is a connection, a structure which 1 develops, which 1 discovers.

behind the 1 level of t.d. that we experience
there is a certain rhythm,
a certain pattern
which we use to connect to the pattern of the universe.

it is at this point
that perhaps we come to realize these seemingly very different ways of relating
to the world,
QP & PA,
r actually quite similar.

imagine that all the different kinds of states of consciousness
1 can experience
r like different rooms in a house.
there is 1 room which we call the QP room;
there is another room which we call the PAal room.
there r a lot of similarities between the 2.
to enter the quantum world,(actually), we r literally taking a journey.
we r starting from the everyday experience, everyday life
(the classical world, as is called in physics)
& we wish to travel to this world at the microscopic level,
which is not accessible to our everyday experience.
our means of getting there ,our ship if u like, our vehicle,
is the mathematical & physical formalism
[the theoretical & experimental phys. formalism]
which we have developed
over the last 80 years.
once there, yes, in some way this formalism gives us some reference pst.
some structure on which to 'hang' our experiences,

but things aren't as simple as that.

there r many of things we have to construct as we go along.
it is like a spider which is creating
a web as it is exploring the world.
this accounts for the  everchanging
& constant increase in understanding of the physics world which we get from the
study of QP.
similarly, when we want to enter the PA world, we do something
very similar: we depart from our everyday experiences,
our everyday life
& we enter a very different world.
there are different ways to get to this different world,
depending  on the path we take.

of the 3 that i mentioned, z.b.  uses meditation.
it is in some sense a purely mental activity,
but the length & the method of it
allows 1 to access parts of our consciousness which r not
of the everyday life.

of course, in t.d. we access this different world by dancing together,
dancing for long periods of time.
dancing to a certain kind of musick,
a musick that has a constant beat, a musick that envelops us,
takes us together on the this journey.
it is a journey that we take together,
usually  we don't take this journey by ourselves.

k. also uses a specific method to access this world:
by meditating on the meaning  that
we ascribe to the different words of the book (the tanakh),
the meaning we ascribe with the help of certain numerical values,
by this constant meditation
we transport ourselves to this different world.
it is a world which shows us the inherent unity of the universe
& teaches us that what we perceive at 1 point as being different
was just a 1st level of understanding,
1st level of comprehension  of the world .
in k., this type of comprehension is called chokmah (wisdom)
it is different from the 1st kind of comprehension we saw earlier,
[which was] the analytical kind, binah (understanding).
it is useful when we're in this different, altered aspect of reality,
to have some sort of structure or some sort of way
to gather this part of the direct experience which we have
& bring some of it back with us.
to me, it is not at all clear that one can always
live in this altered state of the world.
we r physical beings & we live in an organized structure (our society),
which places certain responsibilities on ourselves and others.
this  necessitates that we eventually do return
to (if you wish) the classical world, the everyday life.
i believe, 1 of the reasons we want to go to this altered state
is to learn about the world & about ourselves in ways that we can't
in our everyday life.
the hope is that this experience will teach us things
which are not accessible to us in our everyday life.
for us to be able to use this knowledge,
it is useful
& probably important, i would say,
to be able to come back.

this is the hardest thing, the return is the hardest thing.

the return with some of this knowledge.
if we do not have some form of organizing this experience,
it is quite likely that we won't return with much when we come back.
i think it is up to the people who want to undertake this journey,
it is up to them to figure out what is the most comfortable,
most useful way to do so [to organize the experience].
this is actually what different PA schools  teach us,
that there are different ways of returning, of going & returning
& in so far as they allow us to experience the world,
they r equivalent.

it turns out that in some way,
the most interesting way,
1 way to experience this altered state[space]
is to be in the place between.
in k., what 1 tries to do is be
between understanding & wisdom, between binah & chokmah.
it is when 1 is in neither the analytical left-brain, nor in the holistic
that 1 can experience the part of the world we call the infinite.
trying to understand the infinite purely on the rational level
makes us get stuck in very strange loops.
trying to experience the infinite,
from the so-called right-brain perspective
does not bring us much understanding.
it is staying in between that 1 escapes (in a sense) this false duality.

[B. this place `in between'  is the middle pillar.
besides the 3 sefirot already mentioned, there are 7 more.
1 can organize them in the shape of the human body.
thus, keter (the crown) sits above the head;
chokhmah (wisdom) by the l. ear;
binah (understanding), by the r. ;
chesed (mercy) sits on the l. shoulder;
gevurah (severity) on the r.;
tipareth (beauty) is in the center of the chest;
netzach (victory) on the l. hip;
hod (glory) on the r.;
at the genitals, yesod (foundation);
and at the ass (or feet), malkuth (the kingdom).
1 can imagine several lines, horizontal & vertical,
passing thru these sefirot (numbers,planes).
let us focus on the 3 vertical lines, called pillars.
the 1 on the left,
made up of chokhmah, chesed and netzach,
is called the pillar of mercy.
the 1 on the right,
made of of binah, gevurah and hod,
the pillar of severity.
k. teaches us that neither of these paths,
in & of themselves, alone,
is usefull.
rather, we should strive to follow the path of the middle pillar,
made of keter, topareth, yesod and malkuth,
the pillar of beauty.
this is the pilar which leads us to experience the "infinity",
keter, the crown.
the place `in between,'  "aleph",
is related to the mathematical notion we have of the infinite,
also (conincidently?) called "aleph_0", "aleph_1" by georg cantor:
"aleph_0" for countable infinity, like the integers,
& "cal c" = "aleph_1" for uncountable infinity, like the reals.]

similarly, in z.b. 1 (in a sense) oscillates
between mindfulness & mindlessness.
there is a saying in z.b.: in the beginning, a tree is
a tree,
before z.b., a tree is a tree.
then, 1 becomes aware of z.b.,
perhaps 1 practices it for a while &  1 learns that [sometimes]
a tree is not a tree.
if 1 practices z.b. long enough,
1 learns again that a tree is
a tree,
but this knowledge that a tree is a tree is now tempered
by the understanding that sometimes a tree is not a tree.
this is the return,
the te'shuv that k. tells us about.
this is the return from the altered level of reality
where (in a sense) we r (so to speak) back
to the classical world,
but we know, we are aware, we understand
that the world is a bit more complicated  than we thought.
this wisdom, this understanding
hopefully will help us relate to each other
in ways we didn't know before.