David Bohm, fully David Joseph Bohm

David
Bohm, fully David Joseph Bohm
1917
1992

American-born British Quantum Physicist. Made contributions in Theoretical Physics, Philosophy and Neuropsychology and the Manhattan Project.

Author Quotes

It is clear that if we are to live in harmony with ourselves and with nature, we need to be able to communicate freely in a creative movement in which no one permanently holds to or otherwise defends his own ideas.

It is necessary to share meaning. A society is a link of relationships among people and institutions, so that we can live together. But it only works if we have a culture ? which implies that we share meaning; i.e., significance, purpose, and value. Otherwise it falls apart. Our society is incoherent, and doesn?t do that very well; it hasn?t for a long time, if it ever did. The different assumptions that people have are tacitly affecting the whole meaning of what we are doing.

It is not an arbitrary imposition to state that we have no fixed purpose ? no absolute purpose, anyway. We may set up relative purposes for investigation, but we are not wedded to a particular purpose, and are not saying that the whole group must conform to that purpose indefinitely. All of us might want the human race to survive, but even that is not our purpose. Our purpose is really to communicate coherently in truth, if you want to call that a purpose.

Language is collective. Most of our basic assumptions come from our society, including all our assumptions about how society works, about what sort of person we are supposed to be, and about relationships, institutions, and so on. Therefore we need to pay attention to thought both individually and collectively.

Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. What we believe is based upon our perceptions. What we perceive depends on what we look for. What we look for depends on what we think. What we think depends on what we perceive. What we perceive determines what we believe. What we believe determines what we take to be true. What we take to be true is our reality.

What is needed is to learn afresh, to observe, and to discover for ourselves, the meaning of wholeness.

What interferes with listening... is that thought jumps in very fast with a word and all its associations, which then goes so fast that thought takes that to be direct perception.

The subtle is what is basic and the manifest is its result. The subtler has power to transform the gross but not vice versa.

The notion of soma-significance implies that soma (or the physical) and its significance (which is mental) are not in any sense separately existent, but rather that they are two aspects of one overall reality... Meaning is an inherent and essential part of our overall reality... We are the totality of our meanings.

Matter, as it were, is condensed or frozen light… all matter is a condensation of light into patterns moving back and forth at average speeds which are less than the speed of light.

Man’s general way of thinking of the totality, i.e., his general world view, is crucial for overall order of the human mind itself. If he thinks of the totality as constituted of independent fragments, then that is how his mind will tend to operate, but if he can include everything coherently and harmoniously in an overall whole that is undivided, unbroken, and without a border (for every border is a division or break) then his mind will tend to move in a similar way, and from this will flow an orderly action within the whole.

A change of meaning is necessary to change this world politically, economically and socially. But that change must begin with the individual; it must change for him... if meaning is a key part of reality, then, once society, the individual and relationships are seen to mean something different a fundamental change has taken place.

While physical entities seem to be separate in space and time, they are actually linked or unified in an implicit or unifying fashion. Beneath the explicit realm of separate things or events lies an implicit realm of individual wholeness, and this implicit whole connects all things. [paraphrased]

Quantum theory requires us to give up the idea that the electron, or any other object, has, by itself, any intrinsic properties at all.

What is essential here is the presence of the spirit of dialogue, which is the ability to hold many points of view in suspension, along with a primary interest in the creation of common meaning.

If [man] thinks of the totality as constituted of independent fragments, then that is how his mind will tend to operate, but if he can include everything coherently and harmoniously in an overall whole that is undivided, unbroken, and without a border then his mind will tend to move in a similar way, and from this will flow an orderly action within the whole.

All learning involves trying something and seeing what happens. If one will not try anything until he is assured that he will not make a mistake in whatever he does, he will never be able to learn anything new at all.

Creativity isn't about brilliance. It's about exuberance, focus, and fearlessness.

A key difference between a dialogue and an ordinary discussion is that, within the latter people usually hold relatively fixed positions and argue in favor of their views as they try to convince others to change. At best this may produce agreement or compromise, but it does not give rise to anything creative.

Author Picture
First Name
David
Last Name
Bohm, fully David Joseph Bohm
Birth Date
1917
Death Date
1992
Bio

American-born British Quantum Physicist. Made contributions in Theoretical Physics, Philosophy and Neuropsychology and the Manhattan Project.