Integrating Your 4 Freedoms

Separation or Unity – What is the Nature of Reality?

The Western world loves to compartmentalize, creating boxes of separation so that the complexities of life are easier to comprehend and simpler to cope with. We separate work from family life, spiritual practice from sexuality, social policy from corporate profit, and art from infrastructure. We manifest these divisions not only in society at large but also within ourselves, separating our minds from our hearts and our bodies from our souls.

Although there are many who have helped instill this pattern of separation, one of the most influential was the seventeenth-century French mathematician and philosopher René Descartes. Descartes divided everything into two mutually exclusive but interacting categories, “res cognitans” (the subjective realm of consciousness and thought) and “res extensa” (the objective realm of the material world). His distinction was very useful, clearing the way for science to progress rapidly, free of interference from the dogma of religious doctrine.

However, since the time of Descartes, scientists considering consciousness have primarily explored it from the perspective of “Where does consciousness come from?” This question assumes that consciousness is dependent on or derived from something else, usually material reality. In addition, because science endeavors to be objective, focusing on the observable and measurable and avoiding the subjective, the study of consciousness (pure subjectivity) is often dismissed as outside the realm of natural science altogether, thereby perpetuating separation of mind and body.

Such separation orientation worked well under the old scientific models, wherein, at the macro level (a scale large enough to encompass galaxies), Isaac Newton’s classical mechanics defined time and space as absolute and at the subatomic quantum level, matter (in the form of particles) and energy (as waves) were understood to be the tiny, distinct building blocks of physical reality. With the birth of quantum theory, and most recently string theory, this dualistic approach to reality no longer neatly fits. Modern physics is entering a phase that many of today’s best scientists describe as weird. Consider these examples:

  • Matter can be converted into energy in nuclear reactors, and energy can be converted into matter in accelerators—they are interchangeable.
  • Subatomic particles through “superposition of states” can be in many states at once. Until an observer tries to measure the particle, it can be located anywhere and have any speed. It is only the act of observation that forces the particle to collapse into a particular state.i
  • Through “quantum entanglement,”ii the condition of one particle can influence the condition of another particle instantaneously at any distance.
  • All subatomic particles exhibit a property known as “wave-particle duality.”iii Inside the atom is the nucleus, inside the nucleus are protons and neutrons, and inside the protons and neutrons are quarks. When scientists want to study something too small to see even with the most powerful microscopes, they will often look for and record evidence that what they are studying leaves a trail behind. The trail left by particles (matter) is different than the trail left by waves (energy).

    However, this tiny thing they are observing will sometimes leave a trail as if it were a particle and at the next observation will leave a trail as if it were a wave. For example, light, most commonly assumed to be a wave, is also a particle (the photon), while electrons, generally considered particles, can also behave as waves. Whether something behaves like a wave or a particle depends on the observer and the type of observation. The observer and the observed cannot be arbitrarily separated, even for the convenience of the scientist attempting to remain objective.

Author's Bio: 

Al Link and Pala Copeland own and operate 4 Freedoms Relationship Tantra. They regularly host lover’s romantic weekends near Ottawa Canada, and weeklong retreats in exotic locations. For more information call toll free from Canada or USA: 1-800-684-5308 International long distance: 1-819-689-5308. Visit their website and their blog or send email: They have four books published including Soul Sex: Tantra for Two, New Page, 2003; The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Supercharged Kama Sutra, Penguin, 2007; Sensual Love Secrets for Couples: The Four Freedoms Body, Heart, Mind and Soul, Llewellyn 2007; Tantra Step by Step: 28 Days to Ecstasy, Llewellyn 2007.