Clip from Menas Kafatos' talk at SAND'12, California. For the complete talk please visit: http://fora.tv/conference/science_and_nonduality_sand_conference_2012
The recent likely discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN, Switzerland, has brought forward questions about the ultimate structure of matter. Quantum field theory assigns the origin of the Higgs and all fields to the quantum vacuum. Far from being empty, the quantum vacuum contains ubiquitous fields, filling all space. These virtual fields, although not appearing in the usual physical sense, they are nevertheless "there" and they are "felt". In fact, physicists have known for more than fifty years that quantum fields and, ultimately, at the limit of unification of gravity with quantum theory, at the Planck dimension, the "emptiness" of the vacuum overwhelms everything of physical substance in terms of potential energies and huge numbers of particles. Out of the quantum vacuum, not only do particles emanate, because of the uncertainty principle, entire universes can pop out. The discovery may even help us understand why it appears that all the visible matter in the universe makes up only 4% of whatever there is. The rest may be dark matter and even more (repulsive) dark energy. Not only is the vacuum full of stuff, it is full of dark stuff!
The quantum vacuum may even be involved in living and even brain processes. This would not be surprising, if everything physical owes its existence to the vacuum, shouldn't (those who follow a physicalist view of the cosmos would agree) then even life and consciousness ultimately be tied to the vacuum? It is all in the emptiness.
For us, seeking a non-dualist paradigm, these statements about the quantum vacuum, point to something else that is vast, empty, beyond thoughts, while at the same time being the source of all thoughts, all object awareness, blissful awareness in Being, manifesting throughout the universe. With the progress brought about through the development of quantum theory, the act of observation has taken a central role: No quantum properties exist without the act of observation. Our universe is a participatory one, it would not exist without observations. Besides following what science and mathematics imply, direct experience is most important. Beyond thoughts, the emptiness of the Self, in analogy to the quantum vacuum, contains everything. Let's explore these possibilities and realities together.