Quantum Consciousness, Quantum Miracles, Quantum Failure

The Maharishi Effect has been out for a little over a year. By now, I’ve had plenty of time to think of all the things I would have done differently. If I had it all to do over again, I’d beef up the scientific material, particularly the sections where I discuss how quantum physics gets filtered through pop culture. I’d also like to say more about the new age belief that “you create your own reality” and the effects it has on believers and the culture as a whole.

I put my current thoughts on these subjects into an essay called “Quantum Consciousness, Quantum Miracles, Quantum Failure.” It’s available here as a PDF file.

Comments welcome, of course.

Posted in: The Maharishi Effect

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  1. Anonymous December 10, 2007

    This is a great summation of what the so-called maharishi made in his own image.

    I think you have done an excellent piece of work with this essay. It is not only a monument to survival (you’ve seen the organization) but a testament to the ignorance of our times.

  2. Geoff December 10, 2007

    Hi. Thanks very much for your comments. I’m glad you enjoyed the essay.


  3. Anonymous December 14, 2007

    Thank you for your essay. People spouting New Age drivel when it comes to Quantum Mechanics is a giant pet-peeve of mine (especially since I actually have a physics and computer science background). A textbook example of this is actor Tim Allen:


    Who “learned” about Quantum Physics through the quack book “The Tao of Physics”. Equally hilarious is his forum:


    All this comes about because of playing word games with similar sounding language between the pop culture version of physics and whatever New Age mysticism they believe in.

    The other pet-peeve of mine is the “criticism” of science by the post-modernists who play similar sounding word games to say the belief in the material universe implies materialism. How believing in the existence of particles leads to spending money on worthless consumer goods is something I’ll never be able to understand.

  4. Geoff December 14, 2007

    Hi, anon. I’m glad that the essay spoke to you. I definitely agree about the postmodern stuff. Come to think of it, postmodern “theory” is another example of the Law of Quantum Failure. Maybe that should be the subject of the next essay.


  5. gregory December 16, 2007

    that is funny, that is what the tm guys have been saying too… we should have put in a bit more science, and, hm, maybe our beliefs were having an influence…

  6. ab December 17, 2007

    Saw the pointer in JREF, but the link doesn’t seem to be working.

  7. Geoff December 17, 2007

    Thanks for letting me know. My web host was having server problems. It’s working again.

  8. shpalman December 18, 2007

    Excellent article. I’ve written about homeopathic abuses of quantum terminology here, in case you don’t mind me plugging my own blog. I also recommend reading Nontrivial quantum effects in biology: A skeptical physicists’ view by H.M. Wiseman and J. Eisert.

  9. Geoff December 18, 2007

    Hi, shpalman. Thanks for the pointer to your blog and for introducing me to the world of quantum homeopathy. “Patient-Practitioner-Remedy Entanglement?” Good grief… where will it all end?


  10. Stu January 7, 2008

    Hi Geoff,

    I really enjoyed your book and this essay.

    Ken Wilber edited an excellent book called “Quantum Questions”. Its a selection of writings by famous physicists like Einstein and Plank writing about spirituality.

    Wilber’s intro is really a good read on this subject. He points out that most physicists have more than a passing interest in the spiritual realm. These physicists also agree that quantum mechanics has nothing to do with the spirituality.

    At best Quantem Mechanics offers a poor metaphor for those who want to walk the line outside of logos for the wild ride of mythos.


  11. Alana Boltwood February 17, 2008

    Thank you Geoff for your book and essay. It’s inspired me to blog a bit about my relationship with pagan mysticism:

  12. Geoff February 18, 2008

    Hi, Alana. Thanks for mentioning my book on your blog. From reading your posts, it sounds like we have similar problems relating to friends who go for new age pseudoscience. You really do walk a fine line with these folks. I really hope that the situation will improve as the culture changes and becomes more savvy.


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