The Field of Love

Science: Old and New

The Field of Love
Thursday, November 7, 2019

The physical phenomenon of quantum entanglement is a wonderful illustration of the interconnected nature of reality, both spiritual and material. Allow me to try to explain in layperson’s terms: In quantum physics, it appears that one particle of any entangled pair “knows” what is happening to another paired particle—even though there is no known means for such information to be communicated between the particles, which are separated by sometimes very large distances. [1] Perhaps we could compare this to phenomena such as bilocation, mental telepathy, providence, or synchronicity.

Most people of faith, however, have credited such frequent happenings to angels, the intervention of saints, or God, which is honestly as good a way to talk about these things as any—except this makes them exceptional, supernatural, or one-time anomalies instead of the implanted norm. Non-believers might ignore or deny such things or call them mere “accidents” or chance. All we seem to know is that “we” did not do this by any of our contrivances. It just “happened” by seemingly unseen or chaotic forces.

The Christian tradition clearly points to this entanglement. In his letter to the Romans, Paul writes that “the life and death of each of us has its influence on others” (14:7, Jerusalem Bible). The Apostles’ Creed affirms our belief in “the communion of saints.” There is apparently a positive inner connectedness that we can draw upon if we wish. It seems to me that quantum entanglement is a foundationally Christian concept, which is now finding voice in modern science.

I like to describe this phenomenon as the experiential “force field” of the Holy Spirit. One stays in this positive force field whenever one loves, cares, is in solidarity with, or serves with positive energy. In Trinitarian theology, the Holy Spirit is foundationally described as the field of love between the Father and the Son. When people stand in this place and rest in love as their home base, they become quite usable by God, and their lives are filled with quantum entanglements that may result in very real healings, forgiveness, answered prayers, and new freedom for those whom they include in the force field with them. (Is that what it means to pray for someone?) Conversely, there are people who carry death wherever they go; they can pull almost anyone into their negative force field. (Is this hell?)

I know that when I regress into any kind of intentional negativity toward anything or anybody, even in my mind, I am actually hurting and harming them and myself. Each of us moves things along in the direction of violence every time we fail to love. In one of my favorite books, An Interrupted Life, a young imprisoned Jew in Nazi Germany, Etty Hillesum, says straightforwardly, “Each of us must turn inwards and destroy in [ourselves] all that [we think we] ought to destroy in others. And remember that every atom of hate we add to this world makes it still more inhospitable.” [2] It surely follows that each of us moves things along in the direction of healing and wholeness each time we choose to love. It is always a choice and a decision.

We must deliberately choose to be instruments of peace—first of all in our minds and hearts. This is conscious quantum entanglement. God is not “in” heaven nearly as much as God is the force field that allows us to create heaven through our intentions and actions.

References:
[1] For a simple scientific explanation of quantum entanglement, see this brief video from Science News: https://youtu.be/6yfWdb-JOA8.

[2] Etty Hillesum, diary entry (September 23, 1942), An Interrupted Life: The Diaries of Etty Hillesum, 19411943, trans. Arno Pomerans (Pantheon Books: 1983), 180.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, “Quantum Entanglement,” the Mendicant, vol. 4, no. 6 (Center for Action and Contemplation: November 2014), 1.

Image credit: Chestnut Trees at Jas de Bouffan (detail), Paul Cézanne, 1880/1891. Minnesota Institute of Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image: In the old times, our elders say, the trees talked to each other. They’d stand in their own council and craft a plan. But scientists decided long ago that plants were deaf and mute, locked in isolation without communication. . . . There is now compelling evidence that our elders were right—the trees are talking to one another. —Robin Wall Kimmerer
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