Complimentarity

To do full justice to reality, we must engage it from different perspectives. That is the philosophical principle of complementarity.

-Frank Wilczek

Quantum Mechanics is amongst the primary fields to boldly claim: the act of measuring forces a particle to confess that it is in one place or another and no longer in both places at once.** This is the nature of decoherence and arguably, what most of quantum mechanics rests on; a binary approach to life is a construct of fantasy.

If we think of biology, even genes are entangled; it is almost impossible to disentangle the contribution of one gene from that of another. Again we can’t choose binary.

Reality is a construct of perspective. And when confronted with the world’s complexity, we default into navigating it by creating artificial binaries.* It is much easier to perceive contradictions (this or that) rather than confront the possibility of complementarity.

The frame of mind or perspective that you enter a conversation or experience with, very much dictates what you get out of it. This can be considered the filter through which we absorb information –sort of like a lens that does selective screening; your ‘perspective’ adds biases in favor of a particular view.

We all construct life as a narrative of events. The act of explaining or ‘measuring’ our actions is the only perspective that gets highlighted, and often other perspectives aren’t even considered. So unintentionally, narratives have a self-bias, but as we all know: stories have more than one perspective.

The key is in learning to see the story from the other persons perspective; this ties into Compassion and Empathy.

If it isn’t obvious yet, complementarity is the key to seeing the world in shades of grey rather than black and white… Complementarity is a lesson in humility that quantum theory forces to our attention… Complementarity is both a feature of physical reality and a lesson in wisdom we rediscover.*


*Quote from Frank Wilczek

**Quote from Seth Lyod’s book: Programming the Universe

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