You, Apples and a Quantum Physicist

by Wendy Down on March 6, 2018

Road trip to meet with Dr. Amit Goswami

This past summer I had the good fortune to spend an evening with Dr. Amit Goswami,  quantum physicist, prolific writer and teacher.

His jam, to use my daughter’s term, is explaining the link between consciousness and physical reality using scientific principles.  He and I had been emailing back and forth about the mutually supportive connection between his theories and my practical results as a Life Coach, so he’d invited me to Baltimore to have dinner and talk in person.

It didn’t occur to me to take a photo when Dr. Goswami and I were together (too busy talking), but instead, here’s a candid shot on the road trip there. That’s my dad, Gus, waving from the back seat , and my son, Nick, driving. The trio of us took the 10-hour trip together.

Today, I want to break down a paragraph from Dr. Goswami’s book, The Quantum Doctor, to further the conversation we started in my last post.  Really, there’s only one concept I want to share but it’s a big one to wrap your noodle around if you’re not used to thinking quantum-style. So I’ll quote a sentence or two of Dr. Goswami’s then add my own, hopefully helpful, thoughts.

First, take a look at a drawing I hand-drew for a coaching client awhile back.  It depicts the notion that as consciousness moves through your mind, your mind creates two seemingly different things – a self ( ‘me’) and an ‘other’ (everything that is not you, like an apple.)

Dr. Goswami explains this phenomenon in the bolded quotes below.

One of the surprising things in the event of quantum collapse is that when you look, not only does an object appear in consciousness but also a subject appears looking at the object.”

[This means both the apple and your sense of being separate from it appear at the same time.  This means that your mind is the only place that an apple is separate from you. When you are not perceiving it through the lens of your mind, that separation doesn’t exist.  Let that sink in a bit.]

“Quantum collapse produces the awareness of a subject-object split – the experience of a subject looking at an object.”

[Ok, with that point made, Dr. Goswami goes on to explain HOW the brain creates this experience of a ‘me’ and ‘an apple’.]

“This can be understood by examining the role of the brain in making a conscious observation… According to quantum rules, before measurement, before collapse, not only the object/stimulus but also the observer’s brain itself, the brain that is taking in the stimulus, must be represented by a wave of possibilities… In the event of a quantum measurement, the collapsing subject and collapsed objects, including the brain, arise simultaneously, codependently.”

[Stop. Let’s digest that. Even your brain doesn’t exist as an object but only as a potential object until it is ‘collapsed’ into existence at the same time as the potential apple is collapsed into existence.]

“The experiencing subject and the experienced object cocreate one another.”

[You and the apple are really the same thing, consciousness, appearing as two.]

“The subject sees the object as separate from it… but it is only appearance; the truth is that consciousness creates both subject and object. Both the brain and the object are collapsed in the same event, but we never experience the brain as an object.

[Take a breath. Let’s read that again. ‘We never experience the brain as an object.’ We can THINK of our brain as an object. But we EXPERIENCE even that thought subjectively, as ‘me’ thinking it.]

Instead, consciousness identifies with the brain that is then experienced as the subject of the experience…”

[Right there.  Unlike all other objects, you and I don’t experience our own brain as an object. This is because as consciousness collapses the potential of my brain into form, consciousness identifies with the brain as ‘me’.  That’s the unique potential our brains have and express. My brain has the potential to create the experience of a me that is separate from everything else.  Your brain creates that experience that there is a separate you reading these words. But the only place that separation exists is in your brain, in your perception.]

“So quantum measurement involving the brain is tangled hierarchy. The reward is that we gain the capacity for self-reference, the ability to see ourselves as a “self” experiencing the world as separate from us.”

[This feels accurate, doesn’t it? We experience ourselves as a ‘self’ experiencing the world as separate from us.  What Dr. Goswami offers is an explanation, from physics, for why that is so.]

“The downside is that we don’t realize that our separateness is illusory, arising from a tangled hierarchy in quantum measurement, quantum collapse… So is the subject collapsing the object? Is (are) the object(s) creating the subject? Neither. From behind the scene, consciousness, through the illusion of a tangle hierarchy in quantum measurement, is becoming both, the subject and the object .”

(All quotes from Goswami, A. The Quantum Doctor, 2004, 2011, p 70-72.)

So, that’s today’s share.  Clearly, it’s possible to grasp the thought that we are not separate from everything else in the world. You probably understand this from other perspectives and experiences already. Today, you’ve got the science. And we Westerners love our science.

For those who will take part in the 6-month group program I’ll be starting and documenting for my PhD research, we will put this perspective to work. We’ll leverage it to consciously change things in your life that appear ‘other’ than you, in desirable ways.

Until next time, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how YOU might apply this concept to situations in your life already.

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Pat Jessen March 12, 2018 at 4:28 am


Truth be told, I am feeling nervous and overwhelmed. I am going to sit quietly with this and see what comes up. It feels like the tip of an iceberg.

Thank you for this opportunity. I look forward to participating.

Wendy Down March 19, 2018 at 2:39 pm

Pat, I admire your honesty. Feel free to continue to share your thoughts and feelings as we go. Its likely others will relate. I, for one, would love to know more about what your feelings of nervousness and overwhelm may be about, if you care to add more detail.

On a possibly related note, I’m not certain about yet is how important it is to understand concepts like the one I’ve described here to have the changes we desire. Its useful, for sure, to know we are more than our minds and bodies and to know we are intrinsically intertwined with everything that exists. That, I believe, makes it easier to allow change to in ways that defy our understanding.

I personally love knowing the science that explains the whys and hows, but if that is part of what overwhelms you – or anyone else here – I’m pretty sure that’s ok.

Natasha March 11, 2018 at 5:42 pm

Wendy, have read this now several times over several days. So juicy! First a question: in your drawing and in some of your comments you use “mind”, and Goswami uses “brain” (as do you later). Are these interchangeable for you? “Mind”, of course, can encompass so much… Does the difference matter here? Would love to hear your thoughts on that.

Second, I love the term “tangled hierarchy”, though I feel like its meaning is only a glimmer yet. Can’t wait for that to acquire a life of its own, as it “feels” important.
As for how this all applies in my own life, I’m as yet sitting in a “Don’t Know Mind”, waiting for this to take shape… I too loved Susan’s entry and am letting the richness of her sharing soak in. Indeed, words for all this can only take us so far – but they sure do help! My curiosity is so peeked for more.

Wendy Down March 19, 2018 at 2:42 pm

Hi Natasha, I’m going to agree with you that the word ‘brain’ is a better term here. It was lazy speech on my part to use the word ‘mind’. Thanks for highlighting that.

I agree about tangled hierarchy. Knowing we are intimately connecting all the time with everything used to seem strange and invasive an idea to me. Now it feels like support and being known and loved.

Elke March 10, 2018 at 1:33 am

the collapsing or separation for me occurs when in the present moment, often through breathing or awareness put into the ‘present’, allowing what is there to be there. Two pointing seems like that too, taking a measurement that collapses the waves back to one….
I wonder if you will have a loving conscious laboratory assistant during your project to harvest data and to respond to participants. I would imagine it can be a lot to tackle….oh, sorry, it’s already done…..:-)

Thx Wendy for inspiring posts – aaahhhh, the Tribe is back!

Wendy Down March 19, 2018 at 2:44 pm

Hi Elke! So wonderful to be together with you again. You played such an important role in this playground in the past. If you are offering assistance, I will keep my eyes open for opportunities; there are still many unknowns to me and your thought of having help is appealing.

Daliah March 8, 2018 at 4:46 pm

Thank you, Wendy. Going to be walking around and sitting and doing things and try to see everything the way you described and Dr. Goswami described. Your explanations of his text were very helpful to me. So far so good. Very peaceful and loving.

Wendy Down March 19, 2018 at 2:46 pm

Thanks for the feedback, Daliah. Your understanding of these concepts and ability to apply them in life is well-developed. I’d love to hear about any of your experiences as you interact with life from the perspective of being separate from everything else only because your brain creates the separation.

Josee Marie March 7, 2018 at 2:38 am

Thanks Wendy for the nice reminder…we really are one unified world and that separation is an illusion indeed !

Wendy Down March 19, 2018 at 2:46 pm

Yes, Josee Marie, yes!

Susan Wight March 6, 2018 at 11:17 pm

Adorable photo and caption Wendy! Hi to your dad!
Sounds like you had a wonderful time with Amit.

How might I apply this concept to situations in my life already you ask.

In terms of application, sometimes I might use inquiry. Here’s an example of inquiry that I applied through contemplation: “No thought is absolutely true. Some thoughts are truer than others, but no thought is absolutely true.” I apply contemplation by sitting with a statement in a surrendered state with curiosity, and without answering or analyzing from my mind. With that particular statement, I sat in Silence as some call it, and just listened with relaxed curiosity. I did this maybe a couple times a week with the statement, with no particular routine, and maybe over a period of a year. Then one day as I was sitting in quiet stillness with the statement, a full body revelation of awareness came over me, and with no thinking. The statement came to life as a revelation beyond what the mind could imagine. I was in what some might call an enlightened state of unified consciousness. I got it. But here was no ‘I’ to get anything as it was beyond the duality of a ‘me’ and anything else –which can seem paradoxical to the mind. There was only unified awareness experienced; said another way, awakening to the fullness of truth as it related to the statement.

Another application that allowed thought to collapse into reality in a similar way was contemplating timelessness. One day for no particular reason as I was contemplating timelessness, I was graced to be timelessness. It was as though timelessness fell upon me. There was no past, no future, there was only now, and everything was happening only now, and completely beyond a mental concept. I literally became timelessness itself as I experienced timelessness. Said another way, I was timelessness, realized. –Paradoxical to the mind. However now I know the truth of timelessness beyond a mental concept of it because timelessness manifested as me, through me, but again, there was no me. My world of thought collapsed as I knew it into what might called the unified reality of timelessness, or the ability to ‘be’ things as they really are.

This collapsing of thought into reality has happened over and over. Some might say it’s because of sitting in Silence as an application, and perhaps that’s part it, however it seems to also be the mystery of grace. Words are quite limited and can only point to this unified reality which can only be experienced. Once we get into the paradoxes, it all opens up. ☺

Blessings to all,

Wendy Down March 8, 2018 at 2:53 pm

Susan, I’ve read your comment twice now, slowly. You’ve done a wonderful job of putting those uncommon experiences into words and opening the door to them a little more for others.

In my own mind, I liken that unified state to having access to the code that controls the images that appear on our computer screen, just like I can do with this website. Once you have access to the code, we know what to tinker with to adjust the images that appear on the screen.

Thank you so much, Susan, for being here.

Marnyka March 6, 2018 at 10:13 pm

Oh wow. I live right outside of Baltimore.

Wendy Down March 8, 2018 at 2:53 pm

Such a pretty part of the world, Marnyka!

Carl Lammers March 6, 2018 at 8:02 pm

Great to hear about Amit Goswami, I just started reading his latest book “The Everything Answer Book” last week.

Wendy Down March 8, 2018 at 2:55 pm

His energy and enthusiasm to teach, write and lead is remarkable.