Quantum entanglement is a quantum mechanical phenomenon in which the quantum states of two or more objects are linked together so that one object can no longer be adequately described without full mention of its counterpart — even though the individual objects may be spatially separated. This interconnection leads to correlations between observable physical properties of remote systems.
(the above, courtesy of wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement)
It has occurred to me for some time that kamma (karma) operates in a fashion very similar to this. In fact, I believe there may be a strong case for the assertion that ALL life operates in this fashion; including our discrete experience of it.
Consider — the people you meet and know in any manner place their mark upon your life, your memory, and your perspective. In the same way, your choices, words, and deeds affect and shape others and the world around you.
In fact, one could even say that once encountered, no person or thought every truly leaves without marking its passing in some manner.
This, to me, is a strong and very beautiful thought. All the more so for the way in which it speaks to an interconnectedness and interdependency that we, as humans take far too lightly, when we are bothered to think of it at all.
This entire world and the encompassing galaxy and universe in which it is are interconnected in this same fashion. I suppose at the macro level, there is often a sense of disconnectedness and apartness. (Hah. I say that as if I do not regularly experience it… the shift between contemplation and mindfulness is sometimes jarring.)
There are those who grouse about laymen drawing parallels such as this between quantum phenomenon and ‘reality as we know it’, and I try to remember that their skepticism is a good thing. Here, there was never any doubt that ‘as below, so above’ and it is not odd, strange, simplistic or otherwise unusual to assume that all known systems operate the same on some level because we are components of this encompassing system — both part of it and sustained by it.
I’m not sure I understand why some are driven to hold we are ‘different’, ‘unique’, or ‘special’; truly anomaly. Indeed, if you think upon it, Occam seems to sum it up well enough:
Are we the ONLY existing exception to the observable rules, or are we just as much a part as all the things we observe around us; influenced, affected, and open to the same cause and effect from the micro level all the way up to the macro one we so often wish to proclaim ‘all that matters’?
The notion that we too, as affected by and shaped through quantum entanglement with the world around us, the people we meet, the experiences we have, this is far from a horrid or constraining thing to my mind. Nor does it mean some finite, incontrovertible lack of will or the ability to choose… though I suppose it does seem to point to some degree of determinism, even if only the direct result of a choice to look no further or reach no higher than for the easiest fruit, goal, or result.
All this comes about as a result of monthly flux between the calm that I consider ‘my norm’ and the storm that brews in cycles caused by everything form the monthly moon to the seasonal change to any number of personal history that triggers certain patterns of thought at different times over the course of the year.
Someone once claimed they were ‘entangled’ with me and, for them in that moment, this was supposed to be a ‘bad’ thing. But I think of all the good things that have arrived, both for them and for myself — none of which could have occurred were it not for our ‘entanglement’ and I smile.
I acknowledge and adore these ‘entanglements’ of life. They are, I think, a part of the beauty that is to be alive, and I can never quite bring myself to think them ‘bad’, even as I admit to regular bouts of anything from frustration to anger over the circumstances that come and go, or the various bruises or cuts received in the process.
I think it is this underlying adoration of the experience that allows me to be able to say that no matter time or circumstance, those with whom I am entangled are forever welcome in my life. I thrill and am humbled each time circumstances permit me to demonstrate this as so much more than words to any of them. And those who, for whatever reason, cannot bring themselves to risk trying to confirm it for themselves, I simply settle quietly to wait for… if not this life, then another, for energy does not die, but merely changes form.
A far, far deeper comfort than words can convey, I think. I am peaceful with the concept of entanglement, quantum or otherwise, finding them all the same in the end — a bed of autumn leaves and molted feathers, nothing cast aside is ever truly apart — with certainty and a sense of mindful delight, I recline and let the rustling comfort me and know the truth that is All Things In Their Right Place.