Interview: Dr. Ervin Laszlo Speaks to Topics Related to Quantum Physics and His New Book Simply Genius!

28 MIN:33SEC
Category: Technology / Jun 22, 2011 11:47AM EDT
Today I have the fortunate pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Ervin Laszlo. He is a Hungarian systems philosopher, integral philosopher, and a highly accomplished classical pianist. Twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, he has authored more than 70 books, which have been translated into nineteen languages, and has published in excess of four hundred articles and research papers, including six volumes of piano recordings. Dr. Laszlo is generally recognized as the founder of systems philosophy and general evolution theory, and serves as the founder-director of the General Evolution Research Group and as past president of the International Society for the Systems Sciences. He is also the recipient of the highest degree in philosophy and human sciences from the Sorbonne, the University of Paris, as well as of the coveted Artist Diploma of the Franz Liszt Academy of Budapest. Additional prizes and awards include four honorary doctorates. His appointments have included research grants at Yale and Princeton, professorships for philosophy, systems sciences, and future sciences at the Universities of Houston, Portland State, and Indiana, as well as Northwestern University and the State University of New York. His career also included guest professorships at various universities in Europe and the Far East. In addition, he worked as program director for the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). In 1999 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Canadian International Institute of Advanced Studies in Systems Research and Cybernetics. For many years he has served as president of the Club of Budapest, which he founded. He is an advisor to the UNESCO Director General, ambassador of the International Delphic Council, member of the International Academy of Science, World Academy of Arts and Science, and the International Academy of Philosophy. Dr. Laszlo, thank you so much for joining us today. You are a well-known and respected academic and equally esteemed musician and it is quite an honor and also quite serendipitous from my standpoint that we are engaged in this opportunity this morning. I had a chance to read your book, Simply Genius, which is of course one of dozens, but it truly was the perfect introductory piece as to who you are, since it features such a significant amount of biographical information in the form of personal anecdotes outlining your many life’s adventures from the time you were a little boy. It is certainly obvious from reading your stories that you have lived through interesting times and have had quite a blessed life, jam packed with a life of celebrity and world travel and just marked by the opportunities to make such an impact on so many lives through your music, books, published works, and academic pursuits. You truly are a renaissance man of many hats…so thank you again and welcome. Question 1: Okay, so I was hoping we could dive right into the core of modern scientific discourse by starting out with an introduction on quantum mechanics since I do feel that while many people out there have heard the term bounced around in a variety of circles, most really do not know what modern quantum physicists are really talking about. I was hoping you could go over some of the main underlying theories being discussed in the world of quantum physics and how scientist have been able to reach these conclusions. Question 2: One particularly integral element to the latest theories of quantum mechanics involves this whole idea of entanglement. I was hoping you could elaborate on the nature of entangled quanta, and discuss the implications entanglement has on our reality and specifically how it relates to prevailing theories of universal interconnectedness and this unseen communication taking place between organisms. Question 3: A major component you have introduced to the field of quantum physics and systems philosophy is the idea that this unseen communication that is taking place on a non-local level between all organisms in the universe posits the reality of a non-local informational field you refer to as the quantum vacuum and call the Akashic Record. I was hoping you could define exactly what the Akashic Record is, where it originates from in terms of how it came into existence and also elaborate on the origin of the term Akasha and its roots in Hinduism. Question 4: Another striking aspect of quantum physics involves the evolution of the Big-Bang Theory into what is now being termed, the Big Bounce. What exactly does this new theory say about the origin of our current universe? If the Big Bang represents the birth of our current universe, which is actually the rebirth of a local universe within a larger, as you term it, “infinite” metauniverse, what would be the origin of the metauniverse? Question 5: I wanted to switch gears for a moment and touch upon a part of your book that I found to be quite fascinating having to do with an experience your wife, Marjorie, had in the hospital after being involved in that freak accident when her tire blew on that drive from Akron to the Finger Lakes District in Upstate New York. Thankfully, she made a full recovery, but the accident itself proved to be extremely violent and traumatic as described in your book. I wanted to read the passage from your book describing this event and ask you to interpret, based on your understanding of the physical universe, what exactly took place. You write: Marjorie spent the first night in the hospital hovering between life and death. I held her hand throughout the night. She regained consciousness the following day and told me that she saw herself lying on the bed, as if she were suspended just below the ceiling. Then she was somehow floating higher and higher, seeing first the hospital and then the whole town in the moonlit night. When dawn started to break, she floated back down and saw me dozing in the chair next to her bed, still holding her hand. She knew she had to come back. The next morning, the doctor told me that she was out of danger and would recover fully. Based on your understanding of molecular matter in the universe, what exactly was going on when your wife found herself floating above the city, both conscious of the fact as well as simultaneously experiencing a feeling of “knowing” that she had to come back to her body? Does consciousness exist beyond the physical body and if so how? Is this proof of life after death? REFER TO SECTION ON LASZLO OBE INTERPRETATION Question 6: I wanted to switch gears again and move onto another highly integral part the story told in your book, Simply Genius, that starts on pg. 83 when you discuss how a copy of your book, A Strategy for the Future: The Systems Approach to World Order, made it’s way to the desk of Aurelio Peccei, the head of the South American branch of Fiat as well as the founder and president of the global think-tank known as the Club of Rome. This sparked a relationship with the Club of Rome, which eventually evolved into a position at the United Nations. In this section you talk about a widely circulated report that came out of the Club in 1972 entitled, The Limits to Growth, which was based on a series of computer projections on MIT’s supercomputer that quote, “showed that if the kind of growth we were having since the middle of the 20the century were to continue unchanged, the world system would collapse in less than 100 years. Regarding this dire prediction, my first question is what would a collapse of this magnitude look like? You talked about a likely outcome being the human destruction of the environment; is this something you feel we can avert or are we still on that path? What were and are some of the necessary changes being proposed by the Club of Rome? What is the Worldshift Movement? Question 7: One particular connection being made by some proponents of quantum theory is that human beings are creators of their own realities based on the idea that particles free from observation by an observer remain undefined and it is the act of participating in the observation that gives the particles in motion definition or meaning. Is this a realistic component of quantum mechanics? Question 8: Now, while the latest cutting edge theories of quantum mechanics seem to be gaining ground and taking hold, there are still a few opposed to much of what is being proposed and I was hoping to get your response to some of the criticisms. David Harriman is an applied physicist with a master’s in physics from the University of Maryland and a master’s in philosophy from the Claremont Graduate University. I managed to stumble across an excerpt from a course of his on the internet entitled, “The Philosophical Corruption of Physics and the Logical Leap.” I bring this up because in this brief excerpt he discusses how prior to the formulation of quantum mechanics, quantum physicists first had to reject Causality, which is the Law of Identity applied over time. It is the identity of actions. An action requires and presupposes an entity. There are no floating actions that aren’t actions of an entity. He emphasizes this point for the purpose of illustrating how scientists needed to be able to allow for undefined particles to exist without a source or entity, lying in wait for an observer to give the particles meaning. He maintains that this rejection of Causality was not based on any scientific observation, but on philosophical values. How would you respond to this belief? [My interpretation: This is significant because by allowing for the possibility of actions to take place without an entity leads quantum physicists to extend the theory to include that the observer has a direct effect on the creation of the action thereby making humans all the co-creators of our present reality.] Question 9: Based on your understanding of the nature of the universe, what is the purpose of human life on Earth? Question 10: Can science and spirituality ever go together? Question 11: What can we do about catalyzing positive change in the world? Dr. Laszlo, thank you so much for your time and your insights. The topic of Quantum Theory has been something I’ve looked into and attempted to get a handle on in the past which is partly why I feel so privileged to have had the chance to read your book and sit down with you today. Your insights and wealth of knowledge have been greatly appreciated.