Quantum weirdness and the "coincidentia oppositorum"


"Coincidentia oppositorum is a Latin phrase meaning 
coincidence of opposites. It is a neoplatonic term attributed 
to 15th century German polymath Nicholas of Cusa in his 
essay, De Docta Ignorantia (1440). Mircea Eliade, a 20th 
century historian of religion, used the term extensively in 
his essays about myth and ritual, describing the coincidentia 
oppositorum as "the mythical pattern". "

This is described as a "mystical pattern", 
and indeed it is mystical at this level, where many 
things can only exist as dipoles, two opposite parts. 

Dipole magnets can't be split into two monopoles.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. 

Consciousness consists of subject and object,
so 1p and its object (1p)' always occur in pairs, 
resulting in an infinite regress of subject/obects.
Divide up 1p and inside you will find another 1p/*(1p)',
etc. etc. 

One solution to this apparent weirdness is to deny the subject
pole. This is the current position of materialism.

Double aspect theory is another solution, where
subject and object are always separate but together,
just like the two poles of a magnet.
Dennett also offers something resembling this solution.

Quantum physics offers a suggestion of how this issue might 
be resolved.  There one can also have the coincidentia oppositorum,
wherein a bit can be both 0 and 1 at the same time.

To a materialist, this doesn't make sense, so it is called
"quantum wierdness".

Could it be that this is not weird at all, but only appears
to be so at this level ? That at a higher level, there is no
such bifurcation, that this is simply the way of all 
existence ?

 [Roger Clough], [rclo...@verizon.net] 
"Forever is a long time, especially near the end." -Woody Allen

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to