I first became familiar with Quantum theory back in 2010 when I was a nursing student completing my acute psychiatry placement. One of the patients there was a Native man who suffered from bipolar disorder, but who is also one of this country’s most brilliant minds when it comes to Quantum physics. In order to understand his illness and his brilliance, I tried (on a ‘Quantum Physics for Dummies’ kind of level) to delve into the topic. The best that I could come up with at that time was that Quantum anything was a highly speculative and theoretical field which attempted to answer many of the unanswerable questions that the best minds in Physics could only speculate on. As a field of science today it is the ‘promised land’ where new frontiers in renewable energy, medicine, space travel, genetics, and artificial intelligence are being explored. Until the development of the first Quantum computer, research was relegated to theoretical models and speculative theories, and my interest in the subject matter waned after 2010 until I stumbled on a lecture given by Geordie Rose at Vancouver’s Tech Conference (see video here) where he spoke about peoples perception of Quantum computing. He explains that the advances in Artificial Intelligence are akin to the arrival of aliens and that the conspiracy theorists claim that history is being altered due to the ability of the Quantum computer to access multiple parallel Universes at one time and access the anomalies bringing them into our present reality. In his video he speaks about Quantum computers and Artificial Intelligence as praying to the “alter of an Alien God”. He paints the capabilities of intelligent super-computers in an almost mystical light. Interestingly, Geordie states:
“Intelligence isn’t magical. It’s a scientific outcome of the way that the machines in our heads work. We’re going to figure it out, and when we do, we’re going to make it better in all sorts of interesting ways. Then you have this weird thing that happens, that because the machine is able to act in it’s own self interest, it can take the action to make it’s own thought process better. We can’t do that”
Of course, I disagree with Mr. Rose’s premise. I tend to think it’s that we’re not programmed to take those same actions of self correction. Instead, we defer to self help books, psychotherapy, meditation, Buddhist retreats, religion, psychics, psychedelics, reality T.V. and the Internet to help us make our thought process better. And, yes, sometimes we use Tarot.
When I first started working with the Tarot, I picked up Benebell Wen’s authoritative volume entitled, “Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth”. (Sounds like thought-process betterment to me!). In the first few chapters she explains various cultural perspectives on (including accessing the Qi) why Tarot works and what happens when a Seeker shuffles the cards. She describes it thus:
“When a Seeker shuffles the cards, he or she is infusing personal energies into them, an unconscious instinctive-intuitive power in each of us that draws out the cards that will make use of the information that is latent within. A tarot practitioner who is attuned to his or her tarot deck will integrate his or her energies into the cards so that the deck can draw out the appropriate spread that the practitioner can interpret for the Seeker.” (Holistic Tarot, Pg 21)
Sounds like Quantum computing to me! Not convinced? Consider the following:
- Quantum computers use a thing called a Qubit that is both made up of controlled particles and the means of controlling those particles. They calculate integers 1 and 0 as occupying the same space simultaneously, whereas conventional computers calculate either 1 OR 0 occupying a space. Tarot cards use symbols that are strictly defined in their meaning and more broadly defined in their interpretation, yet the relationship to other cards in the spread is the means of controlling the significance of the symbols in the cards.
- Conventional computers perform calculations based on quantum computing where samples from the ‘collapsed’ state (removal of the hidden variables) yields no hidden information, while quantum computers leave the hidden variables in as factors and will give answers with varying degrees of probability of ‘correctness’. The more times the calculation is run through a quantum computer, the more likely you will be to achieve the ‘correct’ answer. Similarly, the more complex the spread of the cards, the more ‘accurate’ the reading for the Seeker.
- Qubits are stored in either two or three dimensional space or both. Tarot cards are two dimensional images, which always denote a three-dimensional scene that takes into account objects and people in both the foreground and the background.
- Qubits can be rotational and reversible and are considered ‘unitarian’ in nature. Tarot cards are equally manipulate-able (reversals have meaning) and ‘unitarian’ in that symbols and numerology and signs are seen expressed throughout the 72 card deck.
- The number of Qubits of input is always less than the number of bits of information output. Geordie Rose calls this a “resource” that is extracted from any given computation. In the Tarot world, this is like the seeker asking a question on the likelihood of a new romance with an office co-worker and getting a reading that talks about dealing with baggage from a previous relationship, ensuring that the children are not harmed in the process, that the job will remain stable once the relationship goes public, etc…
In my research I came across something called the Bell Test Experiment which sought to prove the functionality of the Quantum computer by testing the principles of locality and Einstein’s concept of ‘local realism’ by using photons from a ‘source’ that went in opposite directions through a polarizing channel to what was called a ‘Coincidence Monitor’ (CM). This showed that what emanated from the source was not equally received at the CM and that there were, in essence, ‘hidden local variables’ in nature that could not be accounted for with the rules of ‘classical’ physics. The Experiment proved that Einstein’s theory of quantum entanglement existed in the realm of the real.
Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated or interact in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently of the others, even when the particles are separated by a large distance—instead, a quantum state must be described for the system as a whole. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement
Ironically, (or not) Benebell’s diagram of her theory of Tarot looks remarkably similar:
If we are to merge these two concepts together using the above diagrams, we come back to Benebell’s description of accessing the unifying connections (quantum entanglements?) found in the collective unconscious.
“When a tarot practitioner is able to tap into the collective unconscious, he or she can perform remote readings. To do so, the practitioner uses techniques to pull out data (emphasis mine) from the clients subconscious and unconscious to then channel into the cards. (Holistic Tarot, Pg 22)
“The tarot is a tool, much like a calculator….The tarot is also a tool that calculates a most probable future based on the decisions we are making in the present and our current attitudes and outlook. These are inputted into the tarot through personal qi. (Holistic Tarot, Pg 22, 23)
I interpret this to mean that the Collective Unconscious/ God Principle/ Cosmic Qi is like the photon source in Bell’s Experiment that emanates in a variety of paths that are received both by the Seeker and the Practitioner’s subconscious. These information particles are then filtered to the conscious where they are transformed into a personal Qi that is received by the Tarot (Coincidence Monitor?) and interpreted by the Practitioner (mathematician) as a reflection of the probability of an outcome based on the Seeker’s question.
To summarize, a mathematical problem inputted into the Quantum computer that provides an array of possible correct answers that must be interpreted by the mathematician as being the most likely correct answer. This is not unlike the Tarot practitioner who gives a best estimate of the meaning seen within the cards.
Benebell summarized it best:
“The future is never certain. Rather, there is a mathematical probability that an outcome will happen based on certain decisions made in the present. That probable outcome is rendered even more complex based on the decisions that others make. Events are one variable. The Seeker’s attitude is another. His or her personality characteristics are more variables. Other people’s actions which lead them to either cross paths with the Seeker or not, also have an impact. There is a formula that can take these variables into consideration based on the given moment and calculate for us a most probable outcome. That is the so-called future predicted by the tarot.” (Holistic Tarot, pg. 20)
The Tarot, is in my mind, a Quantum computer that merely lacks the computing power of a Qubit (or a string of Qubits) to process an inputted problem to reveal a selection of probable outcomes. The Tarot is, however, superior in that it can incorporates and accounts for the hidden local variables, or quantum entanglements described in the above passage. Benebell Wen’s chapter on what makes Tarot work reveals that the Tarot is an input driven calculation tool not unlike the Quantum computer that accesses the limitless field of Cosmic consciousness to extrapolate the most probable outcome for the Seeker.
If Geordie Rose were to open his mind to the concept of the “magic” of intelligence, he might propel Quantum computing into areas not yet conceived by modern science.
References (and big shout out to Benebell Wen…my guru):
(Holistic Tarot) https://benebellwen.com/about-the-book/