I am reading The Quantum and the Lotus by Matthieu Ricard and Trinh Xuan Thuan. The authors share how they see the intersection between science and Buddhism on the nature of reality. It’s not the book for everyone, but a topic area on which I do a periodic deep-dive.
Today, I wanted to make a connection between some of my thinking on how our lens shapes our opinions. In a section I read this weekend, the authors shared two quotes by theoretical physicists who spanned 140 years of science.
Jules Henri Poincaré (April 1852-July 1912) “It is impossible that there is a reality totally independent of the mind that conceives it, sees it, or senses it. Even if it did exist, such a world would be utterly inaccessible to us.”
David Joseph Bohm (December 1917-October 1992) “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 upon 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.”
Part of my job as an executive coach is to offer different ways of perceiving a person or situation. To truly think together, we have to reserve judgment, notice what we don’t know, open our consideration, and accept that we are all in the conundrum described above. As human beings, we are all automatically making interpretations as if they are reality.