"According to general relativity, gravity isn't a field IN space-time. Rather, the gravitational field IS space-time. Thus to break gravity down into a quantum field, we will necessarily have to break down space-time into something more fundamental than itself. Whatever this 'more fundamental something' is, it cannot be defined in units of space or time, or else circularity would ensue. It can't be defined in terms of units of energy either, as energy needs space and time to exist in the first place. All other physical properties are ultimately expressible in terms of space, time, and energy. Thus, whatever the something is, it is not physical at all. What might it be?"
~ Johanan Raatz
I have lived on the lip of insanity,
wanting to know reasons,
knocking on a door.
It opens. I've been knocking
from the inside.
(version by Coleman Barks)
Is Space An Illusion?
A nice explanation of quantum entanglement here -- of what happens, from the point of view of quantum physics, when two or more particles share the same wave function.
This in the context of proposing that everything in the universe ultimately shares one single wave function, i.e that all apparent "objects" (including, of course, our human bodyminds) are in fact entangled. In other words, at a fundamental level, every "thing" is touching every "thing" else. What we call "space" is just the conceptual construct that is necessary to maintain the illusion of "separate" objects.
The act of "measurement" or "observation" depends upon and so creates a subject/object duality. The concepts (and perception) of "space" and "time" are necessary to maintain this projected illusion of subject-object duality. Space is what (supposedly) separates objects; and time is what allows objects to retain their (presumed) "sameness" -- i.e. their fixed identity -- in the face of the experience of continuous transformation.
Perhaps it was what contemporary physicists are now calling "entanglement" that the Avatamsaka Sutra (a 3rd-century Buddhist text) was pointing to in its description of Indra's Net? --
"Far away in the heavenly abode of the Great God Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some clever artist in such a manner that it stretches out indefinitely in all directions.
In accordance with the extravagant tastes of the deities, the artist has hung a single glittering jewel at the net's every node, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number.
There hang jewels, glittering like stars of the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold.
If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection, and look closely at it, we discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number.
Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that the process of reflection is infinite."
The Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser
[All else aside, that's just a really fun thing to say: "delayed-choice-quantum-eraser"]
Is it information rather than matter that is the primary constituent of our universe? Should the universe be modeled as a quantum computer?
These are some of the questions raised and conclusions being drawn from the delayed choice quantum eraser experiment, conducted in 2000. The results of this experiment would seem to establish conclusively that the tenets of materialism are false -- by demonstrating that particles (i.e. matter) do not exist beyond our observation/measurement of them. In other words, objects exist only in relation to subjects; since they arise interdependently (not unlike two entangled particles), neither can have an "independent existence."
Now, in terms of nondual spiritual practice, what we know is that while models can be useful, to place us in a certain kind of alignment with deeper truths -- even the most accurate and elegant of them (e.g. "the universe as a quantum computer") must, in the "final analysis," be jettisoned -- for to abide in Truth is to abide in a "realm" beyond all concepts, and hence beyond all models.
Pure Awareness & Quantum Information
According to the doctrine of physicalism, nothing exists outside of substances that have physical properties. Here Johanan Raatz takes physicalism to task, and -- with the argument cited at the beginning of this post -- once again suggests "quantum information" as the most fundamental "something" out of which our universe is created. His conclusion is that "the physical is derived from the conceptual" and that "everything you see is a bit of information."
Interesting, and yet .... could we not consider even "concepts" to be "subtle objects"? Like so-called "physical objects," the "subtle objects" of thought (or bits of information?) still are within the realm of the "perceived" -- the realm of subject/object duality. The True Perceiver (Pure Awareness, the Light of Tao, Dharmakaya) is wholly nonconceptual. The True Source (in an ontological sense) of the universe is not so much immaterial -- i.e. subtle -- as it is nondual. (At least, that's one way of telling the story :)
Though perhaps: "quantum information" is just another way of saying "Pure Awareness" or the "Light of Tao" -- with emphasis on its wisdom aspect?