the power to create
The well-known quote on the left, from one of the pioneers of quantum mechanics, may very well be one of the most significant statements of the past century.
In essence, Schrodinger is saying that the universe of things ("out there") is inseparable from the universe of thoughts ("in here"). If we go looking for an objective reality free of our own perspective, we are doomed to failure. It's not just because we cannot extricate ourselves from our own point of view. In truth, there is no universe outside of our awareness of it.
This may be hard to believe. After all, there are places in the world that exist even though we are unaware of their existence. For example, there is an island nation called Comoros off the coast of Africa. Before I mentioned this fact, you may not have heard of Comoros. Does this mean that an entire nation did not exist until that moment, that Comoros only came into being once I made you aware of it?
Yes, that's true. At least, for you it is. And that is the only truth that should matter to you. There is an entire universe of thought at your disposal. You bring individual thoughts into being by becoming aware of them. Creativity is not so difficult, really. According to constructivist theories of learning, all the knowledge that we gain, including our thoughts and our perceptions, are mental constructs. In other words, we create them.
There is an important distinction to be made between creativity and imagination. Most people who claim they are not creative are really saying they are not imaginative. But let me ask you a question: Is there anywhere in the universe where your imagination cannot take you? The answer, of course, is: NO. Our imagination can travel anywhere from the farthest reaches of the universe to the tiniest subatomic particle. Through imagination, we are capable of penetrating alternate realities, including those we would label as "fantasy." In other words, we can create virtually anything with our imagination. That is extraordinary power!
Who on Earth could have such power? How can a mere mortal create an entire universe simply by imagining it? Its seems that we have been underestimating our creative abilities, dismissing what we can imagine because we are told that it's not "real." But Schrodinger is saying that the universe we can conceive, either through perception or imagination, is the only one there is. We are creating new realities at every turn. Given that to be the case, what might we conclude about ourselves?
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