What is the body, where does it come from, and how does it talk?

Apr 15, 2011

By James Oschman at the 2011 IBA Members Conference

Jim Oschman has been fascinated by John Veltheim's scientific descriptions of Quantum BodyTalk. Explaining this approach to life and health to others can be challenging because of the ways our thinking has been influenced by the dominant materialistic paradigm. This paradigm has been shaken to its foundations in a series of breakthrough moments that forever change our perception of ourselves and the world we inhabit.

While the basic ideas can be traced to antiquity, their modern expression began at a specific moment at the turn of the century. On December 14, 1900, Max Planck reluctantly presented to the German Physical Society meeting in Berlin his discoveries about an obscure physical phenomenon known as black body radiation. His hesitation came from an awareness that his findings were totally contrary to the accepted notions of the nature of matter. Moreover, these notions were very dearly held, for they were widely viewed as a triumph of logic and reason – a means to understand all of nature. At the time of Planck's lecture, all matter was viewed as composed of "billiard ball" atoms moving about predictably according to the laws of motion developed by Sir Isaac Newton. Lord Rutherford summarized the physicist's self-confidence by stating that all of science was divided into two branches: physics and stamp collecting. Newton's mechanics had led to an industrial revolution that offered much hope and enthusiasm for the future of technology (Figure 1, pictured above). Max Planck's upsetting presentation led to the birth of quantum physics, and the end of an era of comfort in which physicists knew with great confidence they had the means to fathom all of the mysteries of nature. The universe had come to be predictable as a "clockworks" and the human body could be viewed an intricate machine made of parts that could be understood and fixed if necessary.

Quantum physics led to an entirely different worldview, in which the atom, its parts, and all things made of atoms including living things were better viewed as relationships rather than as isolated things. Electrons are no longer viewed as particles orbiting the atomic nucleus like the planets orbit the sun, but more as energetic essences with sizes and boundaries that can only be approximated.

There arose from Planck's discoveries, and those that have followed, a sometimes uncomfortable awareness that our basic concepts, our language, our whole way of thinking, are inadequate to describe the world we live in. This is not just an intellectual problem, but an emotional issue. For it goes to the heart of the way we view the nature of reality and what we are taught about how the world works from the first days of our lives. Frijtof Capra's Turning Point (1982) documented how this change in awareness of relationships has altered every aspect of our reality. There have been attempts to establish a Quantum Medicine, but it was not until Quantum BodyTalk that the discoveries in Quantum physics became part of the daily reality of many healthcare practitioners and their patients.

Jim Oschman will summarize his perspectives on some of the steps in the journey of discovery that has led to the development of Quantum BodyTalk. The description has to be more than an intellectual process; it has to include some group experiences. Some key issues Dr. Veltheim has raised will be discussed. For example, what is the quantum source of our physical form, the elusive "blueprint" of life? This question can be discussed by looking closely at the quantum view of the structure and properties of space and energy.

Another issue is the role of cause and effect in medicine. Conventional medicine seeks the causes of illness and the interventions that will produce predictable cures.

{1} There is no nobler aspiration of the human intellect than desire to compass the cause of things.

The Newtonian cause and effect model gathered momentum when it was discovered that pathogens cause disease and that bacteria can be reliably eliminated by antibiotics. However, the modern healthcare system is being overwhelmed with chronic diseases, for which antibiotics have little or no effect.

One place the subject of causes and effects has been discussed with special brilliance is in the work of an important physiologist, E. Edward Adolph, who spent a lifetime studying physiological regulations and integrations. Adolph's obscure but classic essay entitled Physiological Integrations in Action. Parts of his essay can be described as a sort of poetry of BodyTalk:

{2} The biology of wholeness is the study of the body as an integrated, coordinated, successful system. The integrated human body is the sum of thousands of physiological processes and traits working together. Each breath and each heartbeat involves the working together of countless events. Huge numbers of functions are carried on simultaneously. The parts and processes within an organism are woven together with great intricacy. Coordination occurs at a thousand points. All of the systems interdigitate. This is possible because of communication. The mature observer recognizes that cause and effect are elusive because of the presence of multiple correlations. No properties are uncorrelated, all are demonstrably interlinked. And the links are not single chains, but a great number of crisscrossed pathways.

Adolph's essay provided an impossible challenge to the application of a Newtonian paradigm to physiology and medicine. How can you intervene in a system whose essence is thousands of processes working together, interdigitating, with countless crisscrossed communication pathways, with coordination occurring at a thousand points?

Andrew Packard stated the question slightly differently:

{3} How is it that an organism behaves as a whole, and not just as a collection of parts?

Mae-Wan Ho provided an answer:

{4} Quantum physics provides us with an exact science for which such a holistic view is only natural. It lets us understand how the wavefunctions of protons and electrons which make up an atom or molecule sink their individuality to a common wavefunction: an irreducible holistic property. I want to persuade you that a living organism is a quantum being, with a unified wavefunction, in the same way that an atom is.

These inescapable perspectives help us understand the need for redefining healthcare in terms of the quantum holistic approach that is the essence of Quantum BodyTalk.



{1} Chamberlin, T.C., 1890. The method of multiple working hypotheses. Science (old series) 15:92.

{2} Adolph, E.A., 1982. Physiological Integrations in Action.

 {3}Packard, A., 2006. Contribution to the Whole (H). Can Squids Show Us Anything That We Did Not Know Already? Biology and Philosophy 21: 189-211.

{4} Ho, M-W., 1994.  The Rainbow and the Worm.  World Scientific, Singapore.

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