I've typed the content of an article about Arthur C. Compton from the front page of the Sunday Chicago Tribune, the news of my birthday which was published on, January 3, 1932. My birthdate was January 2, 1932. I had never read horoscopes but I noticed this in the newspaper one day:
Getting it straight: Astrology is that science and art which considers the synchronicity between planetary positions and mundane affairs, including human character and potential and which deals with the Jungian concept that everything born and done at this moment in time has the qualities of this particular moment of time. In truth, as Ralph Waldo Emerson purportedly proclaimed, "Astrology is astronomy brought down to Earth and applied to the affairs of man." Got it straight?"
The entire newspaper article:
SCIENCE FINDS COSMIC CLEW TO HUMAN DESTINY
detected in Material Formula
(The reference to 'material formula' is to Einstein's formula: energy equals mass times the speed of light squared: e=mc2
By Philip Kinsley.
has a New Year’s message of good news to present.
It concerns the invisible worlds of cosmic rays
and atoms but it gives a glimpse of a new golden age of humanity, a
future in which man may become the master of his destiny, instead of
the victim of an unreadable whimsical fate. New energy in the physical
world knocks at this door and a practical understanding of that
primary unity of the physical and the mental which looms up as the
hinterland of the most searching experiments in the new physics.
Prof Arthur Holly Compton, Ph D., Sc D., LL.D,
professor of physics at the University of Chicago and a Nobel Prize
winner of 1927 comes today as an interpreter of significant events in
European and American Laboratories and as the projector of a new world
survey which within the next two years is expected to give a more
adequate picture of the structure and action of the universe.
As a philosopher, finding his sanctions in
principles discovered in scientific research of the last few years, he
is ready now to touch this picture with new perspective and depth. His
own experiments in electronic structure, wave lengths and the behavior
of atoms have contributed much to the view now held by an important
group of younger scientists in England, Germany and America, that
strict physical causality, or determinism, must be dropped out of the
explanation of the action of atoms, and therefore out of the human
It is no longer necessary from a scientific
standpoint, Prof. Compton, believes, to consider this universe as a
place of chaos and night, with mankind sailing aimlessly along
desolate shores and perilous seas, with certain doom ahead. It is, on
the contrary, permissible, on this same basis of science, to postulate
a fundamental unity, and order and to think of all living and perhaps
nonliving things as well, as (being) controlled by something
approaching consciousness, something greater than the individual.
course may be further interpreted as a new basis for religion, a new
way of looking at an old thing, but Prof. Compton does not flinch at
that. He would however substitute understanding for faith.
“That nonphysical factors may determine the
actions of atoms is quite in the air today.”, was one of his
Prof. Compton is to devote the next two years to
the problem of the comic rays, the most penetrating and least known
form of radiant energy. He intends to find out what these rays consist
of, and where they come from, whether from the sun or from inter
galactial space, hundreds of millions of light years from the earth.
He will start out next March on six months
expedition to Peru, New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, and Alaska to
continue experiments already begun in the Rockies and in the Alps.
Three other cooperating expeditions will be organized for a world
survey, one in South America, another in South Africa, and in a third
in the Himalaya mountains. This work is made possible by a grant from
the Carnegie Foundation.
Measurements of the rays will be taken in
standard ionization chambers at 18 widely distributed stations and at
heights varying from 7,000 to 20,000 feet. north and south polar
expeditions will also carry the measuring instruments.
Expectations in Test
"A survey such as this," said Prof
Compton, "should give the most adequate test that has yet been
devised to distinguish whether the cosmic rays are photons, as are
light and X-rays or electrons such as give rise to the Earth's aurora.
Because of the effect of the earth's magnetic field electrons should
give less intense rays near
the equator than near the pole. Likewise if the cosmic rays have their
origin in the earth's atmosphere there should presumably be variations
with the geographic locations.
"The cosmic rays are a type of radiation
that strikes the earth from above. They are measured by means of
sensitive electrical equipment designed to measure the electrical
conductivity of air. At high altitudes the air is electrically a
better conductor than at low altitudes, due to the fact that these
rays are more intense at the high altitudes. It seems probable that
the electrical conductivity of the Kennelly-Heaviside layer, which
makes long distance radio broadcasting possible, may be due to the
ionization of the upper atmosphere produced by these rays.
"If as now seems probable the cosmic rays
enter the Earths atmosphere almost uniformly from all directions, it
would indicate that the rays originate in some part of the heavens
which is the same in all directions. This would mean that they come
from interstellar space. Thus the cosmic rays are similar to star
light in that they are due to events which took place millions of
years ago at remote portions of the cosmos. The energy in the cosmic
rays is found to be, roughly, the same as that of starlight. Though
this may seem to be a very small energy, when it is remembered that
the emission of light is the chief business of a star, it will be seen
that as cosmic events go, the cosmic rays are thus of very great
In experiments last year Prof Compton found that
the rays are of equal intensity in the Rockies and in the Alps, and
are very slightly more intense by day than by night. His findings are
in general with those of Prof. R. A. Millikan. Dr. Millikan has
advanced the theory that the cosmic rays are indicative of the
building of process in the universe, picturing them as creative
streams of energy offsetting the running down process involved in the
destruction of atoms through radiant energy.
This work in cosmic rays looks toward the
ultimate release of atomic energy, for they are little particles of
terrific energy. Science hitherto has conceived of energy as based on
a destructive principle. Prof. Compton points to the recent report of
a German scientist, Bothe, that he had found what he believed to be
the production of very high frequency gamma rays, almost cosmic rays,
through the union of atoms. He regards this as one of the most
important pieces of scientific news in years. These odd pieces of
laboratory information may fuse together some day into a great
discovery, for this is the way that discoveries come.
It took may minds to produce Einstein, and the
revolutionary idea of relativity, which is just beginning to seep into
human thinking, is but the precursor of more radical changes in
There is the quantum theory, (which is) " the unsubstantial (non-material) pageant of space, time and matter crumbling into grains of action," as an outgrowth, and now the principle of indeterminacy, or uncertainty in the atomic field, formulated by Heisenberg in 1927 and considered by some scientists, notably Prof. A. S. Eddington of Cambridge as ranking in importance with relativity.
Key to Physics Problems
It is with this principle that Prof Compton now
deals. he finds it the key to the solution of many riddles in physics
and the answer to much in psychology. He takes his stand with
Eddington and that school and against Bertrand Russell and Planck, who
would have it that the theory is
based merely on scientific ignorance.
The statement of this theory is that a particle
may have position, or it may have velocity, but it cannot in any sense
"A large majority of those who have studied the newer developments agree with Eddington and with me, that the uncertainty relation is a thing that represents real limitations of our physical knowledge." said Prof. Compton.
"The principle of uncertainty really says
that in making measurements by physical apparatus a limit is set to
the amount of information we can get and beyond that limit there is no
method of telling what the outcome of physical events is going to be.
It is not ignorance, but the fact that physical measurements are not
of the kind that make such knowledge possible. I have a feeling that
Russell and his group have not quite grasped that. The laws of
the new physics cannot predict any event; they tell only the chance of
"As one whose experiments are partly
responsible for this dramatic reversal of the physicists' point of
view, I have been especially interested in tracing what the
significance of this change may be to human life and thought.
"So far as physical , however, is not the
only permissible point of view. One may suppose a strict order but
that physical measurements are not of the kind that tell us what that
"Imagine a faint ray of light passing
through a tiny hole, which then spreads by defraction into a broad
beam. In the path of this broad beam we may place two photo-electric
cells, each connected with an amplifier. These will be made so
sensitive that the entrance of a single photon into ether cell is
recorded. A shutter in the path of the light ray remains open long
enough to transmit a single photon.
"Into which cell will the photon fall? There
is no way by which we can be sure. The photon follows the light wave
and if we try to make its path more definite by using a smaller hole
to transmit the light ray, we merely make the transmitted beam more
diffuse by defraction. Though the first photon may enter one cell,
with the initial conditions identical as far as any real test can
show, the next photon may enter the other cell.
"This is what we mean by saying that the law
of causality does not hold in our present experiments; for by
reproducing the initial cause we cannot reproduce the same effect. The
result, so far as scientists can now see, is truly a matter of chance.
It means that no physical experiment can test this principle on an
atomic scale. As a
physical principle the law of causality must be abandoned.
"This uncertainty may be seen in large scale
events. In the experiment of the ray of light passing through a tiny
hole, we may connect one of our amplifiers with an electrical device
which will explode a stick of dynamite and the other amplifier with a
switch which will open the circuit. Now what will happen when the
shutter transmits a photon? If it enters one cell, the dynamite will
explode, and the apparatus will be blown to bits. If the photon enters the other
cell, the switch will be
pulled and the apparatus is no longer in danger. Thus any event which
depends at some stage upon the outcome of a small scale event is
essentially unpredictable on the basis of previous history."
"Charles G. Darwin mathematical physicist at
Edinburgh, in discussing this principle, takes a fling at those who
find room for freedom of action in living organisms out of such
experiments. He says this does not apply to large things such as
people. It does apply however, due to the fact that large actions are
determined by small scale things such as nerve currents.
"Prof. Ralph Lillie has pointed out that the
deliberate actions of living organisms are events of just this kind.
The sensation which starts the nerve pulse may itself be initiated by
a small number of elementary events, such as a dozen photons of light
entering the eye. The living organism, in turn, acts as an amplifier
of very great power which may be set in operation by events on a scale
comparable with the elementary events which we know to be
indeterminate. Considering the complexity of the small scale events
associated with any of our
deliberate acts, one may say with assurance that on a purely physical
basis the end result may have a relatively great uncertainty.
"There is not necessarily any suggestion of an ability of the organism
to choose a course of action. It's energetic actions may correspond
merely to its lack of skill.
"If we wish to retain any exact relation between cause and effect, we must postulate a world, related to the physical world but regarding which experiment gives us no information, (yet) in which the events may be determined.
Laws of Chance
"In such a non-physical world it is possible
that motives and thoughts may play a determining part, while in the
physical world, in which such things remain unnoticed, events appear
to follow the laws of chance.
"The new physics does not suggest a solution of the old question of how mind acts on matter. It does definitely, however, admit the possibility of such an action and suggests where the action may take effect.
"It is conceivable that some such system may
hold as far as one could go. One cannot draw a limit. Consciousness
may be associated with inorganic matter. There is no reason to say yes
or not. Physical laws must be satisfied for any system, atoms or
people. Physical laws are not sufficient to tell us what people or
atoms are going to do. We say that people determine their course. With
atoms we say it is chance. It may be merely that we do not know the
non-physical factors which largely determine the atom's actions, as
well as we do those of living organisms.
"Professor Sommerfield of Munich definitely
takes the attitude that in the relations between waves and particles
the dual characteristic of nature, the waves correspond to a state of
consciousness, much the same as our own consciousness.
"In the psychological field, I feel that the things that are accounted for by physical means represent only a limited portion of reality, that they fail to account for the fact that men individually and collectively achieve human motives.". It seems that some degree of uncertainty, such as the physicist has recently found, is necessary if non-physical things, as for example, thoughts and motives, are to have any relation to the physical world. Without this flexibility in physical law, it is doubtful whether there could be an organic evolution with its incessant struggle for life. It is, in short only, because the world in a physical sense is not wholly, reliable that it can have any human meaning.
* * *
* * *
Until I was in my mid fifties, I read only
fictions and read almost nothing that was not fictional. I began to
see a psychiatrist in the early 1980's without having any idea what psychiatry was about. I
thought the changes in my head and my mind were due to a terrible blow
on my head in an automobile accident, and I knew head injuries are
treated by 'head doctors', psychiatrists. Little did I suspect that
anyone who acknowledged going to a psychiatrist for any reason was
likely to have a problem. My son told me I would have difficulty
getting insurance and might have problems in court if anyone found out
I was seeing a psychiatrist. The first psychiatrist I went to had a few books in
his office, one of them caught my attention and I asked what it was
suggested that I might like to borrow Mental Health or Mental Illness
by William Glasser and I did take it with me. Reading was very
difficult and uncomfortable for me then. I felt that the words went
nowhere, but somehow I did read the book. I felt compelled to do it in
spite of the discomfort and the fact that I didn't understand or
remember anything I read. I read excruciatingly slowly it seemed to me
but I returned the book after finishing it. He said he had another
book by William Glasser, Reality Therapy that I might want to read and
I took it home with me. At some point in that book I read something
that made me pause, wondering what it meant: "Every behavior
aberration is caused by the evasion of responsibility or an inability
to take the responsibility to satisfy the needs of the organism." An 'organism'? What is a behavior aberration
and what has it to do with evading responsibility? That sentence went
somewhere in my memory, it lingered and returned many times so I knew
that what I read must go somewhere.
When I returned that book he slid a book by an Oliver Sachs towards me and asked if it looked interesting. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat was a strange title but I took it home and read a few pages. What I read was so absurd that whatever it was that had forced me to read the other two books released me so I returned it having read less than 5 pages. It wasn't long before I noticed another book by William Glasser, Stations of the Mind in the library and I borrowed it just because I'd read two other books by him. It was this book that jolted me into thinking about something I had not thought about before. He wrote that there is some 'controlling mechanism' that sifts out whatever is 'unpleasant' or uncomfortable before it enters the conscious mind. I had not read that we 'control for comfort' and if it seems I was naïve, I also grew up in a very limited circle of family members, none of whom were educated even through high school I was the first one to graduate from high school.
Now think of what I'd read: Mental Health or Mental Illness, Reality Therapy, and Stations of the Mind and I had rejected The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, thinking it was too absurd and fantastic. (When a few years had passed I read the book and it was no longer fantastic reading. It described situations that I could easily find in my personal experience having learned about being 'objectivized' by another closely related person. That word means being literally a kind of detached part of that person, as though 'bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh' really joined 'woman' to man. This was a reality that existed long before I became aware of it in my actual life , but that this 'bond' extended back into life before I was born came as a real shock to me.)
I could not explain to anyone even myself, why I
began to have an interest in reading books about quantum physics in
the mid 1980's. I was in my middle fifties then, and a few years had
passed since I had my first major mindquake, which happened on July
31, 1984 through August 11, 1984.
In 1989 after the second mindquake, I had begun to understand why
I had been experiencing some extremely unlikely coincidences, almost
continually and why I had begun reading books that were not the
fictions that I had always read and enjoyed. I did not actually enjoy reading
non-fiction books, but I felt compelled to read them, possibly by the 'force' of
a deeply entrenched habit of reading. I'm not sure if the content of a habit can
reverse into it's exact opposite in a marital relationship but that seems to me
to explain what happened to me. After reading Other Worlds by Paul
Davies, in which I recognized certain words that matched perfectly
with a thought I'd had in 1982, I
had read David Bohm's Wholeness And the Implicate Order recognizing
that in a particular way he was writing about an idea I'd always had.
"What you see is what you get." is a popular term now, it
was not in the mid 1980's. The idea I had about 'wysiwyg' was very simple but
David Bohm had a very complex way of speaking about the same idea. I
had often wondered to myself if my presence anywhere made a
difference, if my seeing something, just seeing something made
What I had read in Other Worlds by Paul Davies was 'the importance of an observer'. When I read those words I realized that they had been embedded in the package of information that had burst, or bloomed in my mind in the 10 days between July 31, and August 11, 1984. The very first part of that experience had been about 'the importance of an observer'.
I went to Chicago in the spring, spending a lot
of time at three exhibits that fascinated me at the Museum of Science
and Industry. Before I left the museum I purchased a printout of the
news of the day, month and year I was born, 1-2-32. I was surprised to
notice when I read the printout that the date was May 18, 1980, and
I'd not realized that 10 years had passed since Mt. St. Helens
erupted. The news of the day, month and year was about ideas relating
to cracking the atom that were awarded Nobel prizes. But I was very
surprised to read that Nobel Prizes were awarded that year for the
discovery of the function of neurons in the brain. This seemed to have
some relationship to the strange feelings I'd been having for more
than 5 years by 1989, and to the extremely unlikely coincidences that
I had noticed although I did not name them as 'coincidences' myself.
I had become aware that the strange sensations
I'd been feeling and the changes in my body that affected how I heard
and what I saw and drastically altered how I felt in my body, were due
to a condition of 'shared psychosis' or 'induced psychosis' with the
man I had married. The changes in my mind were as visible to me as any
object outside of my eyes is visible.
I saw what was going on in my mind, without
realizing that my primary attention had been shifted from what I saw
outside of my eyes, to what was going on in my mind. By 1989 I had
become aware of an attribute of my own mind that was purposefully at
work, trying to get me to recognize there was a kind of conversation
coming at me, through the changed perception and the altered way of
hearing as well as through the 'coincidences' that seemed to be
impossible at times.
One day I decided to try to find out if the items on the printout were true, so I went to the university library to look for the news of the day I was born. There wasn't anything on the January 2, 1932 edition of the Chicago Tribune which disappointed me very much. I was about to leave when a thought occurred to me that caused me to remember that news stories are always a day late so I asked for the 1-3-32 paper. There I found a story that validated my hunch that my interest in ideas of quantum physics was connected to a purposeful 'other', that had really begun to make preparations early in my life, so that I would be able to identify this 'other' eventually. My interest had slowly emerged while I tried to learn challenge level squaredancing in the early 80's and until about 1987.
I was so fascinated by it to the extent that I often went with my husband to dances or lessons 7 days a week. I was puzzled by the way experienced dancers talked about the 'mirror image' concept because it didn't make sense to me. My mind went to work on the term 'mirror image' without my awareness at first, but by 1989 I had come to understand why I had become fascinated with the term and why I'd been confused by the way everyone else defined it. I had become aware of another kind of mirror image, produced by a 180 degree twist like an attribute of the simplest moebius band.
The reason I wanted to know if the
printout of the 'news' on the day I was born was accurate, was that I had begun to read books about
quantum physics a few years prior to that.
At the time, I was enmeshed in what I later had to name a real 'double bind' of a situation and I was the 'point' in this anguishing continuum, where nothing made sense for a very long period of time. I was trying to learn challenge level square dancing , cope with what I believed was brain damage and other physical problems, a marital situation that had become utterly confusing for reasons I could not have understood even if I'd read every psychiatric text that has ever been written. Then one day I was told that I could not 'do' challenge level square dancing because I had not even noticed there were 'formations' and that I had not thought about my position in the set as I moved through the formations. When I was told there were 'formations', I was shocked literally, to realize that I'd not noticed them! Being told that I 'lacked' an ability to track myself 'in my head' had caused me to begin to have to do something I'd never done before: notice where I was and track myself mentally in formations that were constantly changing with every step the 8 dancers in a set take. 'Constant change' is the absolute fact that governs the set. I had to begin to try to 'see' myself in a square as I moved through the sequences as the caller chanted the names of the movements. This was such a difficult thing to do that I cannot describe how new the idea was to me.
There are many calls that a person has to memorize, one of which was 'cast a shadow'. That is not an irrelevant detail, it was the first experience I had of 're-hearing' something that was said in the exterior world. 'Cast a shadow' re-occurred into my thought, spoken in a quiet 'voice' that caused me to wonder about it, only when a very specific person said it. That specificity, the very great specificity of certain experiences I had with one person but not with any other person, is very difficult to write about for many reasons. .