Information Exchange

November 28, 2009

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A few days ago, someone on Twitter wrote about a Youtube video of an interview with David Bohm, after he had send some quotes from Bohm that caught my attention.

I followed the link to the Youtube video and was immediately fascinated by this man. I am not exactly sure why, but it seemed that what he had to say was something that he had thought about a lot although it was not easy to put into words.

He gave me the feeling that he knew a lot, but was not sure yet what the interviewer wanted to hear from him. He also gave the impression of having rather radical ideas without the intention of being to radical.

So I was really fascinated by what he had to say and listened to all 5 videos. After that I wanted to know more about him and searched a bit on the web. I wanted to write a blogpost on some things he had to say but did not know exactly how to do that.

Should I try to find out who he was, what he did, what he discovered, what his ideas where, which books he wrote, where he came from and all other things that might be important? But then I thought, although all that was important as a sort of context, I mainly wanted to just write down some things he said that really resonated with me.

So then I uploaded the 5 videos and listened to them again, now making some notes. Not from everything he said but just a few lines from each video that where the most interesting to me. And at the end I will write in a few words my interpretation of what he said.

[UPDATE: A full transcription on the page David Bohm Video Interview with Transcription]


David Bohm interview part 1

focus on wholeness and process

analysis and parts and more static consistence

each process is a whole or else it cannot be what it is

aspects that act on how the system is treated

context dependent

non locality

David Bohm interview part 2

incoherence can easily be not noticed

it is hard to question a worldview

every worldview is limited

we need to go to a broader view

a dialogue of these worldviews

confusion about the part and the whole

listening to another worldview without opposition

observer is intrinsic part of the whole

a kind of communication that does not begin by denying wholeness

together going to discover how we are going to think together

it is possible in ordinary language and it depends on attitude

it is always possible to use language in new ways

basic obstacle is the attitude of the people involved

attitude problem for wholeness

David Bohm interview part 3

sign of the wholeness that everything is an analogy to everything

subtle difference with the vision of Bohr

Bohr: not possible to make a concept of the whole

you could not make it intelligible

the mathematics could only give experiments

not possible to discuss what was happening

Bohm: the quantum field is different from the electromagnetic field

it only depends on the form and not on the intensity

the field drops of but the effect does not

it depends on information

information = to put form in

you only need a sensitive receiver

the energy comes from the receiver, not from the radiowave

the wave is not pushing the ship around

the radio wave is giving shape and form to its motion

back to Aristotle: a formative cause

form is fundamental

explains non local and superconductivity

is closer to life and mind

responds to form and not to substance

information contributes fundamentally to the qualities of substance

Bohr would say there is no way to discuss that at all

it is nothing but phenomenon which is a whole

that we could only discuss the mathematics

giving the probability that certain results will be obtained

now this gives an intelligible explanation

it requires you to accept new principles

David Bohm interview part 4

show the connection between this and the experience in other fields

experimental predictions is only one of the functions of the theory

it enables you to understand what is going on

this interpretation will make it more accessible to more people

and perhaps show the connection with different fields

not classical, if you say it carries this form of information, it changes it

new concept: activity of information

it contributes fundamentally to the concept of substance

it looks more like the classical then that of Bohr, but is also much different

the wave function is part of the reality

analogy to society, they are interrelated by information exchange

that is crucial, without that the society would collapse

essential to have coherence and harmony

exposed by exchange and dialogue

potential we need to go in that direction

but the general trend has not gone any far

because of nations and religions behave as if they are independent

they have to give all that up but will find that hard

we have so many individuals with different views

talk and entertain each other and look at it calmly

that each one can look at all the views

and when he holds all the views, then he holds the whole

although he doesn’t have to agree with them

the common view that guides society

each individual needs the freedom to get to know all the information

information gets also in by osmosis and build in as a sort of instinct

David Bohm interview part 5

we are already a whole but we are incoherent

people who hate each other are very related

but an incoherent one

it is a destructive one and has to become something else

people are now committed to the economic growth

the focus on material good has to change

consciousness is more important than money

if we feel we are all part of this world

or that we think we are all separate

Bohr saw that in the 50s

people where not ready then

said there were so many enemies

had to take care of themselves first

a change of consciousness is needed

and a worldview is part of that

like a stream from many springs

one of the most important factors is dialogue

dialogue among scientist, with others also religious

scientists find it harder than other people

science has shown scientists what they don’t want to see

they feel uncomfortable about change

they say there is no reason to change

we are doing so well now, why should we change

in one view it looks like we are doing very well

but if we look at the broader view it looks very dangerous

My main impression

Writing down some things he said, already made it more clear. He said things that are shared by other peoples views, like focus on wholeness and process instead of analysis and parts.

But I was especially interested in the part of his vision where he said something like ‘the quantum field is different from the electromagnetic field, it only depends on the form and not on the intensity’ and ‘information contributes fundamentally to the qualities of substance’.

So my main impression of what Bohm is talking about in this interview, is that there are two forces. One reacts to intensity and one reacts to form. Or maybe one is intensity and the other is form. Or intensity reacts to form.

Another thing I found very interesting was his focus on dialogue and the use of language and how attitude of those who participate in dialogue is so important. How essential it is to realise that there are different woldviews that all might be true in itself, but are also just a part of the whole. About how important it is to integrate all views ‘that each one can look at all the views and when he holds all the views, then he holds the whole’.

Somehow I have the feeling that what he says is essential and very much relates to the difference between mind, body, spirit and soul. And also very much relates to the development of individuality and the dialogue between individuals, with the empasis on a pure individual worldview formed from personal experience.

So in another blogpost I want to explore that further, how it relates to processes in human development, integral theory and the language of the zodiac.



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Immanuel Ghim

Anne, I’m indeed reeling under crushing blows.
These interviews are undescribably insightful.
I’m totally astonished. WOW.

Bohm’s view is very similar to mine in that
1) it emphasizes on wholeness, which matches to ‘something beyond reason’ in my theory.
2) notifies the shortcomings of western worldview, which is similar to what I point out; linguistics should be substituted with ‘lingua-ethics’.

Well I’ve only gone through the first two videos since I don’t have enough time today, but I won’t easily forget the super-experience I had today.


take care, I’ll post some comment on my blog ina few days.^^



I am so glad to hear you found the videos insightful and that his thinking is similar to yours.

At the moment I am trying to transcribe the third video because there he explains what makes his views different from the ‘mainstream’. There he says it is his attempt to make the discoveries of quantum physics intelligible.

According to others, it is not possible to understand it in any other way then with mathematics, but Bohm thinks there has to be a way to make a concept of the whole, that can be understood and communicated.

I am making that video with transcription into another blogpost that I hope to upload soon.

And I look forward to the comments on your blog.


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