STAR WAVE: Mind, Consciousness, and Quantum Physics by Fred Alan Wolf

STAR WAVE: Mind, Consciousness, and Quantum Physics

Email this review


Take a little Jung, a little life-crisis, a trip around the world to experience cultures East and West; add a career change (from physics professor to high-tech consultant), plus a selective dipping into the psychology/meditation/computer literature; and you have the ingredients of this ambitious attempt to move quantum physics to the brain. What Wolf purports to do is to demonstrate the quantum nature of mental life, not just as analogy, but in terms of ""morphemes"" (borrowed from linguistics) or ""psychons"" (his mental equivalent of the photon), and to discuss principles of uncertainty and complementarity in terms of thoughts and sensations, emotions and intuitions. Not content with making these equations, he also postulates a parallel-worlds hypothesis which will take care of everyman's present problems (interpersonal conflict, fear, guilt, etc.), as well as human evolution: we coexist with the apes in us, not to mention the birds and reptiles and fish, as we also coexist with the baby and the adult in us. All these elaborate schemes are worked out with diagrams and equations that make use of quantum terms, principally the quantum wave function (nicknamed ""quiff"") and quantum probability amplitude (""quamp""). Also featured are terms P.A.M. Dirac coined that have to do with initial conditions and future state probabilities. Many complex concepts are taken as givens: consciousness, mind, thoughts, intuitions. . . And many a statement will raise hackles: ""It is impossible to love and fear at the same time."" ""Our fear of nuclear death is part of us. It lives in each nucleus."" There are some interesting ideas here and there--and when Wolf expounds in quantum physics, describing Planck's constant, for example, he can be quite illuminating. As fanfare for ""the new quantum psychodynamics of the mind,"" however, only for those already there.

Pub Date: Jan. 4th, 1984
Publisher: Macmillan