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Nick Herbert

you?

NICK: Okay, that’s a good way of putting it, the nature of reality. I make the distinction that philosophers often make, between Appearance, Reality and Theory. Appearance is what you see, and everything around is Appearance. Reality is the hypothetical essence behind things, the secret behind things. Theories are stories that we make up about these events, Appearance and Reality. What Bell’s Theorem–a proof derived from physics–says is that the Appearances, certain Appearances in physics, certain experiments cannot be explained unless we assume something about Reality. What we have to assume about Reality is that when two systems come together, then separate, and aren’t interacting any more, they’re still connected in some way by a voodoo-like connection, that instantly links the two systems. This is faster than light, can’t be shielded, and doesn’t diminish with distance. It’s a very mysterious connection.

However this connection is on the level of Reality, not on the level of Appearance. lt’s an underground connection, but it’s as certain as two plus two is four that this connection exists. The question is what do you do with it, since it only appears on the level of Reality, not on the level of Appearance? So that’s the essence of Bell’s theorem: there is an underground connection that we can prove, but not see. I wrote a little song called “Bell’s Theorem Blues,” and the jist of it is, if we’re really connected baby, how come I feel so all alone?

DJB: Do you see Bell’s Theorem, and our understanding from astrophysics that all particles in the universe were together at the moment of the Big Bang, as being a possible explanation for mysterious phenomenon such as telepathy and synchronicity?

NICK: Yeah, I do. But I think that it would be too easy to say that because we’re all connected we have telepathy. Because, again, why do we feel so all alone?

DJB: Doesn’t it have something to do with the recency of the connection?

NICK: Yeah. If you make a connection, separate, and then make any other connections, those later connections will dilute the first connection. It’s just as strong, but now you have another connection that’s speeding into you. So it’s a. little bit like what’s been called the coefficient of consanguinity, which measures how close people are linked genetically. Your mother is the closest to you, then your grandmother, and so forth on down. You’re all linked by connections, but the more recent connections are the strongest. But even then, even when you’ve just met somebody, and separated, the telepathy between you is not really readily apparent. It would be be something, wouldn’t it, if we lived in a society where the last person you met you had a telepathic contact with, until you met somebody else. That doesn’t seem to happen, though, at least on the level we’re aware of.

So the real question is why is telepathy so dilute? I would expect a proper science to explain that fact. Then, of course once we had that explanation, we could increase it, make it greater, or overcome the diluteness if you didn’t want to have telepathic contact with certain people. So that tome is the biggest mystery. Bell’s Theorem could explain telepathy, but what explains the lack of telepathy? That’s something I don’t think anyone has really addressed. There are a few people who have addressed this fact on the level of psychology, but not physics, as to why we don’t have telepathy. The most convincing answer that I know about is that it would be just too terrible to look into the hearts of people, because there’s so much pain around that it would be excruciating to tap into that.

RMN: Also, it seems that a lot of people don’t want to be that open about themselves, maybe they don’t want people seeing into them.

NICK: There’s that too–I don’t want people to look into me. But suppose you want to look into other people? A reason not to do that would be that it would be very painful.

RMN: There seems to be an idea among physicists that by persistent analysis, they will eventually discover the fundamental particle, the stuff from which all matter is formed, and yet they continue to discover smaller and smaller versions of this particle. What are your thoughts on this?

NICK: Oh, ultimate particles, huh? I’d be perfectly content if physics came to an end–that quarks and leptons were actually the world’s fundamental particles. Some people think this, that physics is coming to an end, as far as the direction of finding fundamental particles goes. It’s okay with me. I don’t think that’s the most interesting way to go, looking for fundamental particles. You know my real notion is that consciousness is the toughest problem, and that physics has basically taken off on the easy problems, and may even solve them. We may find all the forces and all the particles of nature-that’s physic’s quest–but then what? Then we have to really tackle some of these harder problems–the nature of mind,

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