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David Bohm Inner Explorer: Beyond Word and Concept

An explorer with many facets, David Bohm is noted as a physicist, philosopher, and developer of the dialogue process. As he communicated with ease using the concepts relevant to each area, he is often understood by those who work within these boundaries, quite intellectually, as a man of concepts, which certainly he was. Yet there is also David Bohm, the spiritual explorer. Spirituality is by its nature difficult to discuss, because it reaches beyond the manifested order, hence beyond the embrace of concepts and words. According to Bohm “spirit means that which is nonmanifest, but which moves the manifest.” In

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David Bohm Inner Explorer: Fellow Traveller with Einstein

For David Bohm reality was subtle beyond measure and inexhaustible. This perception Bohm and Einstein held in common. For both, nature was not limited but deep beyond the grasp of our faculties of comprehension. Einstein said that he considered Bohm as his spiritual successor, and in this sense they were indeed spiritual father and son. Bohm sometimes spoke of Einstein’s view that nature in its depths is mysterious. To Einstein the mysterious is the most beautiful experience we can have. This sense of the unfathomable “stands at the cradle of true art and true science … something we cannot penetrate

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David Bohm Inner Explorer: Mind as Process

As a boy David Bohm was physically awkward, and he often tried to compensate by planning in advance each movement. Once, in the midst of crossing a stream by a series of stepping stones, he saw that this piecemeal rational approach would surely fail and, hence, kept on crossing in one continuous movement, and in this found success. His discovery of the power of consciousness as flowing movement, rather than as incremental as when we reason and piecemeal apply knowledge, had a profound effect on him, and in later life he would relate this story. In adulthood, he took an

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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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