On Sunday, November 8, 2020, I meditated on the different ways of living at this time on earth and their relationship to the gospel and quantum mechanics.
The variety in facing our existence is a quality of humanity and not an accident. However, the saints of the last days believe in a narrow path that leads to eternal life.
To reconcile these two facts requires a different way of thinking than usual, that is, walking the narrow path with breadth of vision. It is this attitude that allowed us to walk the path of classical physics until we discovered the deep nature of the Universe.
Latter-day saints are educated in a continuous vision of life. This tradition predicts a smooth transition from childhood to a successful family. If there are any, they are not because of us. We have a “physics” of our own, which predicts that perfect future if all the variables we need are in place, home nights, prayer, church activity etc.
Certainly and generally speaking, that’s true. However, when we go down from the general to the particular, the theory fails and does not predict the multiple situations and roughnesses that we have to go through, sometimes with great sorrow. The only support for the inaccuracy of that tradition and the frustration that follows it is the love of our Saviour.
Note the reader that I will deal with the Southern culture (LDS physics) and not with the doctrine of restoration.
No success in life compensates for failure at home.
David O. McKay, is inspiring for the church, in my case it has always been. But when we go down from the general to the essential, which is people, those words can be disturbing, since one needs to define success and failure. What is each? Without going to extremes I ask myself
When does a household fail moderately?
Anyone who tries to discern a moderate failure will fail, because the system (person) he is trying to measure is unique and its variables are as innumerable as those of the climate.
This sentence by David O. McKay is not intended to establish a rule but a general norm. A trend, but it does not allow us to discriminate against particular cases.
I have seen families and individuals, who can be described as failures, applying the “Mormon” tradition, who after a calm and unprejudiced conversation have shown themselves to be heroic and exemplary. Occasionally we meet people and families who fit the southern archetype and we wonder why we don’t, what failure…the nights at home, more intense prayers, better example at home. It is clear that there is no one valid rule to explain every situation.
The hidden variables
There will always be an exact diagnosis, generated by tradition, there will always be something that went wrong in our procedure. And if we don’t find it, there was a lack of intensity in the effort. There is no better example than Job and the diagnosis of his friends.
Elifaz, Bildad and Zofar were elite players in Judaism, they told Job that his misfortune was in his bad game (if it were tennis he would be with them). But these friends added hidden variables so that Job’s misfortunes coincided with their predictions.
Einstein did the same, he did not accept Hubble’s expanding Universe and added a hidden variable to his theory to make it static, then he rectified.
In our tradition, when our life or that of others does not fit the intended LDS model, we look for which variables have failed. We have blind faith in classic LDS physics, which predicts the position and speed of any family or person in time and space. The anguish generated by this tradition in some people outside of the race is intense.
This mentality makes us very responsible, but unwise.
Many of us equate the Latter-day Saints with the Church of Jesus Christ. But there are two prepositions “of” in the name of the church and the second, “of” is a preposition of belonging, has the function of making us dependent on Jesus Christ. Otherwise it would be The Church of Jesus Christ and… a conjunction that adds us or in its place the conjunction or, that could equal us or propose an alternative.
Traditions or classical physicsIn the nineteenth century the illustrious physicist William Thompson, came to claim:
Today physics forms, essentially, a perfectly harmonious whole, a practically finished whole! … There are still “two little clouds” that obscure the splendor of this whole. The first is the negative result of the Michelson-Morley experiment. The second is the profound discrepancies between experience and Rayleigh-Jeans’ Law.
These two little clouds downloaded the beginnings of Einstein’s theory of relativity in 1905 and the beginning of Max Planck’s quantum mechanics in 1900. Science was beginning to look at the essential components in general.
The classical physics of the 19th century described the world of heavy modernity, full of certainties. Railroads, ships, increasing mechanization, the gigantic amazed everyone. Everything corresponded to the science that explained what our senses perceived.
The saints at that time were perfectly attuned to a society led by reason. In fact our language is very much like a company: executive committee, board, secretaries, objectives, goals, reports. Even our prophet is also president of the Church.
The members, who came from the business or teaching world and were called as leaders in the church, fit in perfectly, their experience was valuable. The aura of success was added to the support received from the saints.
The Broken Tune
This harmony with the 20th century, both in organization and values, led to great growth. And it is more, to consider it as progressive and natural in the restoration.
Among other things, it led to the establishment among us of what I call LDS physics. The tendency to predict certain results in our lives, when certain requirements are met.
That culture of ours assured the family of its prosperity and success by working hard and always finding solutions to its problems. It predicted a stable family model for a person in his 20’s and beyond, but it did not mention single people, they were not in the story, only in the particular actions of each one. That finished set of predictions is too beautiful to be obscured by little clouds like that, as happened to William Thompson.
The impact of the new physics.
Relativity came to contradict the idea we have of space and time. Quantum mechanics alters our common sense, the touch of reality. I see two direct consequences of these theories.
- Relativity led to accuracy in GPS positioning, communications, nuclear energy, everything related to magnetic fields. It influenced postmodernism and relativism as philosophical currents.
- Quantum mechanics is related to the laser, microscopes, electronics. The importance of probability in theory is a break in the common sense. The facts in our common sense are stable and certain not probable. To put that into question supposes a conflict, the most famous of them the one held between Einstein and Bohr in the V Solvay Congress of Physics in 1927.
In ancient times, orography and climate defined nations. These, their history and customs to their inhabitants. In our time, knowledge and information affect us more than rivers and mountains. The mountains and rivers have lost their role as borders.
Relativity and quantum mechanics are revolutionary visions of nature. To believe that they are disconnected from our life is to suppose that a drought or a flood does not affect the crops. It is the new atmosphere of our mind and although its effect is not immediate or direct, there is no doubt that it influences our thinking.
Without these two theories, the new information society in which we live would not be possible. There would be no familysearch. The scope of their equations branch out through our lives almost invisibly. The genealogy of this computer where I write goes back to Max Planck and his theory in 1900. And the communications you receive every day on your cell phone or television, would not be possible without your kinship with the calculations of relativity.
When we perceive the changes in our near environment, as we did in 2019, the response must be urgent. There is little time.
In my opinion, the effects on the saints have been clear since the beginning of 2000, but it is now that we receive the impact of a wave that was generated at the beginning of the 20th century.
Sometimes Caesar’s taxes are not paid with stateros, but by giving space in our minds. The earth is no longer the source of wealth par excellence, now it is the will and the will of the people. It is the battle of the skies 2.0
Our attention to family, our total confidence in the predictions that ensured a continuous passage to it of future generations, is diminished.
All our effort and treatment of doctrine and image has been focused on the family for decades. Have we been wrong? No, what has been done is right. What is happening?
Perhaps we have assumed that the world is continuous if only we want it to be so fervently.
It’s our LDS culture, it’s all up to us, because the variables are known. We have followed the same physics of the IXX, we have not seen the change in the fabric of the world until recently with Fr.
We have found an invisible membership, like the dark matter of the saints. We have found them on our computer screens. Recently discovered, it consists of young singles, individuals married but with no clear family focus, and our LGBT brothers. It’s not that we didn’t know of their presence, they have always been with us. It’s just that we had a miscalculation in their trajectory. We were applying the LDS physics that worked so well for us with the family in the past. When space and time are different now than they were then.
La física SUD
Imbued with our LDS physics, we thought that a person in motion, does not change its course if it avoids forces that alter it. It is true in general as Newton’s physics, dominant until the XX, but not in particular.
The flat space of that mentality, places all the variables under our domain. We believe blindly in that because it is the physics and the classical economy of the XX, it is the one that has accompanied the restoration until the present.
I remember perfectly the leaders of 2000, asking themselves with perplexity
Why don’t they get married? Why do they postpone children?
I have seen this perplexity directly and it has come to me from the other side of the ocean. Even seeing those little clouds, we have been slow to understand. Traditions in science or religion give security, but they slow down movement.
We have seen the difference between a digital age and an industrial one. The liquid modernity of the 21st century is not the heavy one of the 20th. Now the family does not have such a strong hold on economic activity as in the heavy times.
The difference is not its capacity to consume but the conjunction of its interests.
Because now, when you see the earth and its inhabitants, uprooted from the ends of that volatile economy, you realize that it does not inspire the creation of families but of solitary individuals. We have only to see our own slow drift of nations toward Nordic society. For the saints, this sudden discovery has come from the hand of the world, our dark teacher.
Our brothers of Onida
This long prelude is necessary in order to understand the benefit of synergy between the visions of science and restoration.
There is a very special scene in Alma’s book. In the land of Anti-Onum, Alma finds a group of Zoramites on the hill of Onida:
“Behold, what shall these my brethren do, for they are despised of all men because of their poverty, yea, and more especially by our priests; for they have cast us out of our synagogues which we have labored abundantly to build with our own hands; and they have cast us out because of our exceeding poverty; and we have no place to worship our God; and behold, what shall we do?” (Alma 32:5)
They suddenly found themselves outside that Zoramite world, built by themselves. The god they believed in was attached to the classic space and time of the Zoramites, the Rameumptom. From that place they dedicated themselves to confirming and gloating over their rather simple theory:
“…thou hast elected us that we shall be saved, whilst all around us are elected to be cast by thy wrath down to hell;..” (Alma 31:17)
Those humble Zoramites could not understand how they lost their status as builders to acquire that of dregs and scum. But Alma showed them a greater cosmology, faith. A story far superior to that of the Zoramite.
They had to abandon their synagogues, their mental schemes, to understand a new reality superior to that of the past.
At a certain point, in order to deal with new realities, we have to admit our poverty of clothes and solutions, even being thrown out of our synagogues. Making way for new ones requires a sacrifice of old ideas and customs
When we come to the all-too-essential reality of a 35-year-old unmarried adult brother or sister, or an LGBT sister, or any situation outside of LDS physics, we need to discard the day-to-day judgment of our rameumptom.
The Saviour taught this when asked about a blind man
Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?? (John 9:2)
This question denotes total security in the way of seeing the world. Substitute “blind” for any personal or external situation. It is the same for many of us. Our culture or beliefs assure the answers, protect us from emptiness, but sometimes make us ignorant by not allowing us open questions The type, Rabbi why is he blind? is an open, humble and precious question.
The Saviour breaks the prediction of Jewish “physics” by saying
“Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him” (3)
What works of God will manifest in us when we stop asking closed questions and have the courage to ask open ones? Thus admitting that we do not know, that our tradition (not doctrine) is an empty shell that must change in order to see the world and its inhabitants as they are.
The Gospel and Quantum Mechanics
I consider the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics (together with the LHC), as the greatest approaches to the environment of divinity that we can find by paths other than faith.
When we try to explain the atom with Newton’s physics, it is an impossible task. It is as if we want to explain the H2O molecule with hydrodynamics. We find ourselves just like the Zoramites, poorly dressed and excluded from the synagogue.
The same occurs with the soul, that sacred urn.
At the end of this article, prior to the next one, I begin to comment on some quantum aspects related to our reality as saints of the last days.
The concept of action.
In quantum mechanics, action is a physical quantity. It indicates the quality of small or large of the system. If it is big it is under the laws of relativity and if it is small in the domain of quantum. It is the same with us, we cannot understand a person applying general ideas, because a person is small.
The action A (quality of small or big) is calculated in this way
A = P x L
P is the amount of motion (Mass x Velocity) and L is the length, in these two examples L is the average orbital distance.
- First example Jupiter – is it big or small?
Jupiter P (mass 1026 x velocity 104) x L (1011) this gives an action of A = 1041 is a large system
- Second example an electron is big or small?
The electron P (mass 10-31 x velocity 106 ) x L (10-10) this gives an action of A= 10-35 is a small system.
Why do we say that Jupiter has a large action and the electron is small? Because the Planck constant is 10-34 Explain the electron A= 10-35 is in the quantum realm and Jupiter A = 1041 under the relativist.
* La Teoría Cuántica, una aproximación al universo probable (Mario Toboso Doctor en Ciencias Físicas)
Aunque Júpiter y el electrón están en el mismo Universo, administrados por un mismo Dios, no se entienden de la misma forma.
El comportamiento de Júpiter es predecible, su posición y velocidad son exactas. Sin embargo para entender el electrón tratamos con la probabilidad y la incertidumbre no a consecuencia de falta de datos sino porque su realidad es así. Aprendemos de este ejemplo que no hay continuidad en el conocimiento, la naturaleza es discontinua. Un hecho que puso patas arriba el sentido común el el siglo XX y lo sigue haciendo ahora.
The soul of the children of God
And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.(DyC 88:38)
With Jupiter and the electron, we have seen two examples of laws, their limits and conditions in nature. Common sense or classical tradition does not serve to relate to both environments. Our world is much stranger than we can understand.
William Thompson was a brilliant physicist who believed he had the explanation for everything except those two little clouds. Reality had great surprises for him.
As Latter-day Saints, though we live the gospel, our minds operate in our century. Admitting that we don’t know everything is difficult for us as much as it is for Thompson or Einstein.
The plan of salvation is a marvel, revealed by Joseph Smith, but the entire plan is not described. There is no complete continuity, so that to calculate the position and destiny of the soul in salvation is not determined, there is a cloud of probabilities. There is an unmanifest physics for the small and the great.
“A time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods, they shall be manifest.” (D&C 121:28)
As saints, even with the restoration, we cannot understand or judge the soul of men or their exact destiny. We do not have a theory that explains everything. We try but cannot understand the roughness of the soul and the world. Those, our brothers, the different, the unexplainable, the dark, the repellent, the wonderful, the heroic and the cowardly. All these aspects are in the same Universe, but judging people is complex.
But, as we shall see, differently, faith, forgiveness and love, are born in the soul as well as matter and antimatter in the void.