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The Quantum Potential

Bohm’s Hidden Variable theory had been an attempt to create a “realistic” interpretation of quantum theory, one that did not deal with waves of probability but in which the electron had a definite path, causally created. But as a result of Oppenheimer’s dismissal of Bohm’s theory, the physicist became regarded as something of a maverick. In turn Bohm himself lost interest in his own theory. Then in the early 1970 one of his students, Chris Philippidis, decided to test out the theory on a computer and plotted the paths an electron could take when it encountered a barrier with two

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Bohm, Cezanne and Biderman: The Implicate Order

While in Bristol Bohm had been deeply concerned that, despite decades of work, physics had failed to reconcile the two great theories – relativity and quantum theory.  Bohm believed that what was needed was not some new mathematics or a new theory but a radical new order to physics. But what was this order? Bohm had published Causality and Chance in Modern Physics and the artist Anthony Hill thought it may be of interest to an American artist, Charles Biderman, and so he sent him a copy. Biderman himself had written a book, The New Cezanne. As a result of Hill’s

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Bohm's concerns about Dialogue /1

This is Lee Nichol’s response to an e-mail from a colleague of David Peat, inquiring about some Bohmian dialogue issues that had come up in Joe Jaworski’s book, Source. «Bohm’s disappointment with the dialogue approach was not in regard to “facilitators” but with the evolution of the whole process of dialogue as he envisioned it. By this time in his life, he had completely dismissed the idea of facilitator training. His concern was that regular people who had given years to the process – as participants, not facilitators – seemed to be spinning in circles. His conclusion was that people

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Bohm's concerns about Dialogue /2

Read Part 1 The factor that most clearly sets Bohm’s dialogue apart from other approaches (except perhaps Mendell) is the use of the body as the basis for the whole process. Bohm wrote and published extensively on this. It is largely ignored. It is difficult and challenging, and is impossible to become skilled at if you only dabble with it in a dialogue circle. It requires a significant inner commitment, both in and out of the dialogue. Any dialogue group, or program, that does not understand the centrality of the body in Bohm’s approach should not claim any link to

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Bohm and Einstein

When Bohm moved to Princeton from California, he took a room in the house next door to Einstein. The two men met and became very close. Einstein told Bohm’s fiancée, Hanna Lowey, that he looked on the younger man as his “spiritual son.” Bohm and Einstein had many discussions and exchanges of letters but on one matter they could never agree. Einstein felt that “the good Lord” was subtle but not malicious and therefore it would be possible to eventually uncover the ultimate level to reality – something hidden beneath the quantum and relativistic theories which would be the final

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Bohr, Bohm and Language

Have you noticed that language can so often get us into trouble? We try to say one thing but it can then  get interpreted in different ways. This is because language is so subtle. For example when Bohr and Heisenberg explored the nature of the quantum world they asked themselves “what is quantum reality”. Heisenberg’s answer was that it lay in the mathematics. But Bohr objected that every time physicists gather round the blackboard to discuss this mathematics they do so in ordinary language. And the language we speak, be in English, Danish or German, contains all sort of hidden

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Dialogue

Towards the end of his life Bohm often talked about wholeness and the threats to wholeness posed by fragmentation. He had come to believe that one path towards wholeness of the individual and society lay in a form of dialogue. In this approach around 30 or so people meet on a regular basis with no theme, no goal and no leader. At first their discussions are polite and avoid controversy, at the same time a level of trust builds. Then as the dialogue continues it becomes possible for more controversial topics to come up and for people to get more

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Krishnamurti

Now we come to one of the key figures who was to influence one aspect of Bohm’s life, Jiddu Krishnamurti.  As a young man Krishnamurti had been discovered by Annie Besant and hailed as the reincarnation of one of the great world teachers. He was placed at the head or the Order of the Star. However Krishnamurti dissolved the organization declaring that “truth is a pathless land”. However he continued to give teachings in Ojai, California, Brockwood Park, England, and in Switzerland. Bohm became interested in Krishnamurti and arranged for an initial meeting in London. During their conversation Krishanmurti greeted

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David Bohm silenced by his colleagues

One of the most shocking things about David Bohm’s life is the way he was silenced by the scientific community in the shape of J. Robert Oppenheimer. While in was in California Bohm became a member of Oppenheimer’s group and came to see Oppenheimer as a father figure. He attended Oppenheimer’s lectures and learned how the physicist has spent time with Neils Bohr in Copenhagen and discussed the meaning of the quantum theory. When Bohm moved to Princeton he became a friend and neighbor of Einstein and continued to discuss quantum theory with him. He also decided to write a

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The shadow becomes the substance: The documentary

As a filmmaker I know that a documentary film can be described as a form of motion picture or a series of images and sounds which are intended to document some aspect or aspects of reality. However, the documentary genre, with its inherent drive to document reality, has to give consideration to how the recorded ‘reality’ is subject to the filmmakers’ interpretation. Essentially we have two distinct aspects which, in Bohmian speak are, the ever changing and evolving nature of reality itself and the objective-subjective interpretation of that reality through various means – be it through philosophy, literature, religion, science,

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