After believing in the ideas of matter and energy for thousands of years, mankind is ready for a change. We’re hearing about an emerging new paradigm, mostly because sub-atomic physics experiments have thrown the concepts of matter and energy into question.
Physicists are now saying that so-called matter is really “intensely concentrated” or a “wave packet” of energy. Actually, several theories try to account for the seemingly strange findings of sub-atomic physics, where the smallest “particles” of light (called photons) behave like “energy” if observed in a certain way.
The very notion of a discrete “particle” has been ultimately replaced by the concept of something like wave-packet of an uncertain boundary, whose properties are only known as probabilities, and whose interactions with other “particles” remain largely a mystery, even 80 years after quantum mechanics was established.
And for those skeptical of Wikipedia:
Subatomic particles were initially believed to represent the smallest solid objects in existence. They are now known to not be solid but rather highly concentrated foci of intense energy.
Basically this means that the world around us isn’t as solid as it seems. Its solidity is largely a perception created by our senses and minds. Some Indian philosophers call not only the idea of physicality but the entire universe an “illusion” (Skt.: maya). That’s because they believe that true reality doesn’t change and is to be found in the afterlife or in an extremely profound state of meditation. Other Indian philosophers have slightly different views, however. And some have very different views. If interested, check out the various theories of Ramanuja, Sankara and the Carvaka school.
In future blogs I’ll look at the implications of deconstructing the notions of “matter” and “energy.” Then I’ll look at some theological ideas which might make some sense out of any ensuing ambiguities.
THIS BLOG IS PART OF A SERIES: