Physics, Pessimism and Politics

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What do physics, pessimism and politics have to do with each other and our world today?


Recent articles indicate that our most successful quantum physics and relativity equations now, according to the new more powerful telescopes, and to years of accumulated data in Fermilab, appear to be not quite right. Physics is still a work in progress.

Steven Hawking in his last book before he left us, admitted that physics has been somewhat stuck for the last 50 years, and that he expected we would have a unified field theory by now.

But to me the most significant sign that Hawking left for us was his inclusion of Wheeler’s Participatory Principle in his last advice to us. Physics has never made a big deal about that specific Wheeler theory, although it is definitely part of the Standard Explanation right now. The reason this is significant is that it brings consciousness into the sphere of physics as part of what creates reality. The reason I bring it up at all is because the public is completely unaware of the fact that our highest science holds it to be truth that our consciousness is not solely a recipient of what happens but a co-creator of what happens.

Of course, it’s obvious that we who have consciousness also have agency (free will, mobility, muscle and the opposable thumb, we can produce effects), and as agents mucking around within the spacetime continuum, we will produce causal inputs along with all other agents plus random chance. The real unanswered question is the degree to which we each create our own reality. In the Wheeler conception, all that exist are probability waves, until consciousness “freezes” them into definite forms of matter-energy, like the tree next to our driveway. If truth is that far out, it has implications for every person on Earth. And not just because we should all learn science.


Before one has learned about Wheeler, Hawking, and the Participatory Principle, the old question about is it better to be an optimist or a pessimist was really a trick question, with the answer being neither, instead consider the facts objectively.

However, now that we know of the Participatory Principle held to be a bedrock part of the orthodox physics canon, there is actually a different answer. Which is:

  1. Objectively consider all of the facts of each case
  2. Maintain an optimistic overview.

Why do I say that? Because if our highest science says that we make our world by our consciousness – our thoughts and feelings – pessimism would cause negativity to come into our lives in the forms of more than just our own paranoia. Paranoia becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and tragedy in Wheeler’s world, which we apparently inhabit, according to our most advanced minds.

Assume momentarily that we can easily show by empirical experimentation (some of which will probably be found by a literature review) that pessimism does more harm than good, that the universe is an echoing chamber ruled by our own personal vibes we give out and cling to in our heads and hearts. So if we spend any time at all on entertaining our own negativity in any form, it is going to do us much more harm than is obvious just from our own immediate sadness.

If the entire universe is a consciousness, and that One Self plays all our roles, as I detail in my latest book, A Theory of Everything Including Consciousness and “God”, then that would explain why we seem to be given lovetaps by the universe trying to get us to stop doing self-destructive things, by giving us some troubles, and if that doesn’t work, escalating the next troubles, and so on.

But look at the levels of negativity and pessimism in the world today, compared to just ten years ago, let alone in 1945 after WWII had ended. Night and day – the hope that flourished in the world despite the fear of nuclear holocaust was wildly optimistic especially in certain years, like the Summer of Love in 1967, and, to a lessening degree for the rest of the 20th Century after that. The downtrodden of the Earth knew in their hearts that the world was going to a good place, they were fulfilling their role in history, their great-grandchildren would live wonderful lives, free, respected, able to be themselves and thrive.

9/11 was of course a turning point, and negativity had already become much more of a factor between 1945 and 2001, with vast declines in people’s trust for each other, and for their governments.

The events of late do seem consistent with the physics explanation and prediction that pessimism will feed on itself and grow, making the real world worse. The downward spiral does feel like it is spinning faster.

We have to stop feeding that asap.


The media are here to entertain and inform us. The news has grown in usage as pessimism has grown in a vicious circle of momentum. Fear is a natural unavoidable product of pessimism. The news certainly helps keep pessimism going, and when you add social media…

Right now the angry and fearful tone of some news and the vicious and subhuman spewing of some social media posts are unintentionally (in the vast majority of cases we hope) making things worse, on the level of physics, not just well-known human reactions. The fabric of the universe itself is going to repay the loan of your negativity handsomely with a huge pain profit gained by you.

The two U.S. parties are trying to decide what to do when they grow up. My suggestion: turn off all negativity. Smile and be a sportsmanlike person, respectful to everybody. Then try your best without leaving that state to discuss the facts, check them, come up with ideas, test them and objectively work together to solve all problems.

This is a lot harder work than the current debased caricature, because it involves creative thinking and disciplined control over one’s own ego, emotions, idees fixes, let alone the monumental mission impossible of actually cooperatively and collaboratively making good things happen.

I know I’m asking for a lot, but I’m not the only one.

Posted at MediaVillage through the Thought Leadership self-publishing platform.

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