Filling old bottles with new wine

They are filling old bottles with new wine!” This is what the physicist Werner Heisenberg heard exclaiming by his friend and colleague Wolfgang Pauli who, criticizing the approach of the scientists of the time, believed that they had been forcibly glued the notion of “quantum” on the old theory of the planetary-model of Bohr’s atom. Faced with the huge questions introduced by quantum physics, Pauli instead began to observe the new findings from a different point of view, from a new level of reality without the constraints imposed by previous theories.

Newton himself, once he theorized the law of the gravitational field,  failing to place it in any of the physical realities of the time,  he merely call it a “hidden force” rather than try to unlikely place it in current theories.

In the daily work of each of us, we often unknowingly find ourselves in the same situation. At the occurrence of a new problem, a difficulty, the need for a choice, it is inevitable to cope with them using known methods and knowledge. Sometimes, however, this approach does not lead to the desired results and in some cases may even reveal unwanted drifts.

It is often a matter of a wrong point of observation. Quantum physics has opened to the scientific world the issue of observation and of the level of Reality connected with it: what often seems impossible and inconsistent, it is allowed and not contradictory when viewed from a different perspective. A single level of Reality can only create antagonistic oppositions.

The reality, as well as any event related to it, is a complex and interconnected system. You can not grasp the meaning of a question with a reductive-disjunctive approach, but only expanding your views to horizons beyond the one on which you are focused.

C.G. Jung and W. Pauli would have never outlined and described the phenomenon of synchronicity if each of them had not deemed it appropriate to transcend the limits of their disciplines, physics (Pauli) and psychoanalysis (Jung), noting that any presumption of a casual link relationship between the synchronic events is absurd and inconceivable, despite all the physics of the time was based on rigid axiom of cause-effect.

An example is the simple relationship between the man and the tree. Let’s try to highlight the multiple and different levels of reality and perception with which this relationship can be described:

  1. Physical. The tree absorbs carbon dioxide and emits oxygen. The man, on the contrary, inhales oxygen and exhales CO2. This is a symbiotic physical relationship that shows the man-tree system as a closed interdependent system.
    The tree is an indispensable oxygen generator.
  2. Imaginative-associative. Throughout history, the trees were used as protection from the sun and rain. Without doubt they triggered our imagination and creativity by developing the concept of shelter and roof for protection against adverse weather.
    The tree is a shelter from the weather.
  3. Aesthetic and artistic. There are trees in nature that are seen as living sculptures with beautiful lines and dimensions. On this same level, the tree have often inspired artists for magnificent sculptures and paintings.
    The tree is a form of art.
  4. Emotional. Entering a green forest, we are often imbued with a relaxing and calming, inner peace. This relationship is equally “real” as it stimulates the immediate internal sensations in each of us.
    The tree is a source of intimate relaxation.
  5. Spiritual-Symbolic. At this level of reality, relationships are in a very large number. The tree is often seen as a symbol of wisdom. Or as an element of contact between Mother Earth and Heaven. The alchemists considered the tree not only as an element of awakening to a new life, but also of sacrifice. The union of opposites, or – as the ancient Egyptians – the association with eternity. In addition, in almost all the religions of the world, the tree represents a particular spiritual symbolism (the tree of Odin, the tree of Buddha, the tree of the Cross).
    The tree is a symbol of inner spirituality.

It is not always possible to perceive the different levels of reality associated with a particular and specific issue, due to centuries of cultural reductionism during which men have been faced with their everyday life. The reductionism tends to “separate” the problem in its elementary parts to better understand it, but this view – in the modern and interconnected world – introduces forms of restrictions, narrowing the view. Instead, you must “expand“, rather than reduce, in order to fully capture all the elements of your problem.

And this expansion can only be achieved with a form of transdisciplinary approach to the issue. The purpose of transdisciplinarity is to restore, re-establish the unity of knowing, through the awareness that all forms of knowing is complementary in the achievement of a common and complex reality.

Un pensiero riguardo “Filling old bottles with new wine

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