Are We Ready for the Quantum Computer? A Spiritual Inquiry

image by Jacky Barker

“We are so conditioned, so programmed, like the computers, that we cannot learn something new. The computer can, but we can’t see the tragedy of it. The machine that we have created, the computer, can learn much faster, infinitely more. Whereas our brain is sluggish, slow, dull because we have conformed, we have obeyed.”

It looks like a new-age public toilet. A giant black box, with the logo D-Wave printed on the side. The box (the height of two small women) is actually a container for the isolated environment and sub-zero temperatures needed to use any quantum effect in the operation of the now commercially available quantum computer: the ultimate high-end toy in the neighborhood of the next technological revolution. For $10,000,000 it could be yours.

Google had got one and so does the CIA. NASA is in on the game, as is Microsoft. Also, a handful of mystery buyers seem to have got one. It’s not exactly the next wave in high-power miniaturization, nor is it (right now) delivering awesome abilities, so what is the race to possess a quantum computer all about?

The ownership and effective employment of a quantum computer could literally change the map of our world. Computing power, in the end, is power – whether it is personal, national or globally strategic. In short, a quantum computer could be an existential threat to a nation that hasn’t got one.

Taking advantage of “strange” effects like quantum superposition and quantum entanglement, quantum computers have the potential to unlock massive amounts of processing power, and to solve problems that would take conventional computers literally centuries to crunch.

Commentators are expecting dramatic manifestations of this Quantum shift in science and technology. The range goes from unbreakable (absolute) encryption, through to really accurate weather forecasting; big data mining and a new league of machine learning and automation.

In regular systems, the classical “Bit” at the core of a processor is either 1 or 0, or “false” or “true”. A Quantum Bit, or Qubit, is not confined to a two state solution, but can also exist in superpositions. That is, it can be both 1 and 0 at the same time. Thus Quantum Computers can perform many different calculations in parallel. This is all a result of the ability to pursue simultaneous probabilities through superpositions. To use a different language, the quantum computer is introducing hardware that could process infinite potentiality.

Stay still a moment. Infinite potentiality? Something and nothing at the same time? Movement beyond binary (either-or) choices into the conceptual land of all inclusion – the “and-and-and” scenarios of co-existing multiple perspectives? All this could ring bells in nonduality land.

Our pre-Newtonian Psychology

As mental creatures, we don’t have a great track record at adjusting our basic psychology to scientific facts. For example, we still tend to experience the sun as going down and rising, rather than the earth spinning as it orbits the sun.

Our minds are still formed on the basis of absolute separation determined by the individual physical body, even though it is fact that any change in the physical environment (such as a radiation leak) will act on us as surely as it does on the trees, rocks and wildlife. Each visible component of the physical body is composed in form and will decompose to the same atoms and particles that make up the whole physical universe.

Furthermore, we still relate to this material substance as dead and inert, despite Hiroshima and our willingness to deploy hydrogen energy or nuclear power. (How many potential atomic explosions does your body contain)?

We still act according to beliefs in beginnings and endings as absolute, and as past and future as stable entities, long after the general theory of relativity.

We often still believe that visible phenomenon are more real than invisible, and that the consciousness within us is individual, separate and finite. Although we might give lip-service to realms beyond our perception, we certainly don’t give them a significant, functional space in our hierarchical minds, let alone dare to investigate them.

The very building blocks of our reality are based on structures of judgement and either-or, good v bad choices. In some ways, psychologically seen, our world is still flat and not round. And some will go to the “end” of the world to prove it.

The software of our minds runs deep, and it is based on inheritance, conditioning, imitation and conformity. And as with all software, a vast portion of it occurs behind the visible screen, invisibly, without a need for conscious interference.

Although we all have the ability to access quantum thinking processes, we remain addicted to thought forms that give a short fix of safety and that allow us to stay in communication with people around us. In many ways, the software of our minds is becoming increasingly out of alignment with the rest of our individual ecosystem, and especially with the physical universe around us. So we suffer, and imitate some programs to deal with that, from one another.

Even after awakening, we still can experience binary thinking, through the basic duality of head and heart. Do our thoughts decide our direction, or the feelings of our heart? If all knowledge is imitation, or reflection of a deeper truth within ourselves, then how does the mind need to transform in order to purely reflect the quantum truth of what we are, as one?

The infinite potentiality of quantum is within each of us. Within each sub unity defined by the physical body as “individual”, there are multiple parallel dimensions. Just in the area of perception (input), we can look to superpositions of physical sensation, emotions, sentience, imagination, memory and thought processes. If we take one individual as one unified dimension, then we can multiply that by around 7 billion individuals in superposition on the planet at this moment. And this is only referring to the sub-unity called humanity.

It is possible to turn the non-dual belief that states a need to be free of our minds to the equally valid possibility that our minds need to be free of us.

After all, when the big guys manage to put their quantum computers to work, the power of the machine will be determined by the ingenuity of the software and the wisdom behind the formulation of questions asked. Effects could reflect the difference between an enlightened world civilization and a reign of terror under a global dictatorship.

The individual as a Qubit.

So far, despite claims, it seems that the potential of the new age of quantum computing is still beyond our reach, partly because of our limited psychology – the in-built collective restraints of our own mental programming. The software of our minds is in an old program, based on linear stories of past, present and future; either-or choices; true V false; 1 or 0; you v me. In short, our minds run on dualistic software, like conventional computers.

Quantum computing is a subtle science, said one expert: “Because quantum is not part of our daily experience. We tend to experience everything according to classical physics and to classical logic. We’re used to experiencing the world in a certain way, and the quantum rules are different. If we were quantum objects, it would be more intuitive.”

Like our computers, we also need to evolve more deeply into the miracle and infinite potentiality of matter, in order to liberate the quantum power of our minds. The addiction to having to “know” stuff needs to subside to a receptive ability to allow the unknown, or even the unknowable which is inherent to the quantum dimension of infinite possibility. In short, we need to have the humility to say: “I don’t know.”
“If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics.”

Prof. Richard Feynman
To allow the magnificent Quantum promise at the core of our physical being, we need to switch the software of our minds from the binary software of duality to the infinite potentiality of nondual thinking.

A way to start could be in the melt-down of inherited beliefs: the mental software that we maintain through imitation and conformity. This can happen through a willingness to unplug processes of identification and through experiential inquiry. In this, it can become clear that one personal mind is not ultimately separate from the minds of others or the collective mind. After that, could be the experience that our private waking consciousness is not ultimately divided from the shared consciousness of humanity.

In this, there is a chance we could move into the kind of collective responsibility that could mean that tomorrow’s quantum computer might (just might) be of service to the whole physical dimension and to the creative evolution of humanity within it.
“You are the story of humankind because you are not a small entity struggling in the corner of the earth. You are part of this whole humanity. It has a tremendous responsibility, vitality, beauty and love, but most of us won’t see this, as most of us are concerned with ourselves, with our particular little problem, and our particular little sorrow.”

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