Quantum Physics Life Lesson: Your Observation Affects the Outcome

Quantum Physics Life Lesson: Your Observation Affects the Outcome

Yes, quantum physics…stay with me… 

I hated physics in high school, but I love it now.

Trying to understand what the universe is, why it behaves as it does & our role within it is a timeless line of human inquiry….understandably.

And interestingly, within modern science we find a pattern:
The more we discover & deeper we go, the better our instruments gets ~ the more we have to adapt our assumptions to re-see and expand or totally ditch the models and methods we are using to measure & describe the world around us.

This consistently demands shifts in the collective consciousness.

…the world isn’t flat,
we orbit around the sun,
space is curved,
time is relative…
all of this is part of an ongoing flow.

An ongoing flow of being open to other possibilities & perspectives

~ not everybody is so open…but I’m guessing you are because here you are, you are reading this peculiar blog post ~ thank you by the way 😉

So here’s something radical that quantum mechanics are grappling with now and we can benefit from looking at this in terms of understanding consciousness, awareness and our experience of life…I certainly have.

{If you want to geek out on the science there are links in resources ~ but I’m going to keep this really, really short and simplified.}

Here’s the thing that’s stumping the freakishly intelligent physicists:


The troublesome observer effect.


Through the double slit experiment {more in resources} we have learned that matter behaves differently when we introduce an observer.

That means….

The things we look at change when we look at them.

Attention fundamentally changes matter.

The very act of looking creates a change in the thing you are looking at.
{leading physicist, Menas Kafatos}

That’s HUGE.

It used to be believed that there are all these laws of matter and laws by their nature are consistent.  But in fact, there is “no such thing as passive observation and I’m quoting David Albert, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the M.A. Program in The Philosophical Foundations of Physics at Columbia University – so yeah, like a serious & legit guy.

And whilst there are complex experiments with electrons and what not done in the lab, we can relate this to our daily life, like right now…

Just for an everyday example, we feel people looking at us.  Other people’s attention & the qualities of their attention are felt by us.  This can be evidenced & described biologically & physiologically with scientific measuring thingees…but, thus far, how that works & why, how we measure intentions and qualities of observation and how matter and electrons inherently know they are being watched & change their behaviour when an observer is present ~ if you can figure that out, there’s a Nobel Prize with your name on it.

Nevertheless, we know it happens, and as we feel a gaze, we also observe and interpret it.  So we are being observed but we are also observing the observation…as thinkers and meaning makers, we interpret, create and reinforce our stories.

We do this with our own thoughts and emotions, not just the gaze of others.  There is this loop of felt/observed/felt/observed etc.

This suggests that the universe is by its nature, participatory.

We are participating in what we perceive.

Like…life is not happening to you, life is responding to you.

It’s deep and it’s radical.

What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning. ~ Werner Heisenberg, theoretical physicist & a pioneer of quantum mechanics

The observer cannot be separated from the observed, because nature gives us what we want to look for. ~ from You Are the Universe by spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra & leading physicist, Menas Kafatos

This is profound.

So ask yourself:
~ what am I expecting?
~ what am I projecting?
~ is it what I actually want?

And deeper still:
~ why am I expecting these things?
~ what if I could expect differently?
~ what is stopping me from expecting differently?

We all know people who are very noisy about that shit they expect to come their way and then noisier still when it arrives…they are not so great to hang out with their adamancy & dismal outlook.

Yet most of us have little areas in our lives where we do exactly that.  But we don’t have to…we can choose to be aware of what we are calling into our lives with our expectations, we can choose to open up to new perspectives…

This takes practice and a mind that meditates will find it a much, much easier & quicker process that a mind that does not.

So, Meredith I hope that’s an interesting perspective shifter for you, I know it was for me.  I love how science is always evolving ~ so too can we, if we choose so.  I remind myself ~ discovery requires humility and a willingness to see things anew…

M x


Short Royal Institution video on the Double Slit Experiment, or “central mystery to quantum mechanics” that led to grappling with the “observer effect” HERE

2 books I’ve recently read & recommend on this topic:

You are the Universe by Deepak Chopra & Menas Kafatos
Reality Is Not What It Seems, The Journey to Quantum Gravity by Carlo Rovelli {all of his books are great, beautifully designed & a pleasure to read}
+  anything by Michio Kaku
+ there are bound to be many podcasts you can listen to by these authors/scientists

Meditation beyond the Apps {waaaaay beyond}:

I have structured courses specifically to teach meditation as a life tool {this is SO NOT meditation with an App} and I create bespoke programmes, so if you are ready ~ so am I ~ I have a few slots available before Christmas.  Book a free 20 min chat to discuss the possibilities HERE.  

Sometimes we go adrift, we feel off or stuck, we get out of alignment and it feels yucky… OR…we’re just ready to expand into that next level but change, although desired, can be a bitch.

I get it.

I’ve been there.

And I can help.

With my signature salad of science based tools, ancient wisdom, huge capacity for compassion & sharp intuition ~ we can do amazing things, most importantly get you centred & feeling empowered.  Learn more with a chat, book HERE.  

Discussion (2 Comments)

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  1. Lorrie says:

    Hi Meredith! Love your article about quantum physics, the observer effect, and the choices we can make in our lives based on this understanding. I’m writing about this myself in my book An Invitation to Co-Creation, about our co-creative, participatory relationship with the Divine. Another mind blowing resource is the book Beyond Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death by Robert Lanza, MD with Bob Berman. Thanks for writing and simplifying this incredible concept. of the observer effect for an actionable takeaway!

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