David Bohm

David Bohm has to be one of the greatest minds of the 20th century.
Feeling greatly dissatisfied with the course physics took after the early, groundbreaking discoveries in the quantum domain, he developed an alternative interpretation of quantum physics (“the ontological interpretation”), in which it is possible to actually and meaningfully describe the processes taking place on the microscopic level, introducing new concepts that overcome the wave-particle duality and stressing the holistic aspects of the puzzling experiments.

He also sought a theory that reconciled quantum mechanics with relativity, which was accomplished, albeit very vaguely, with his concepts of “holomovement” and “implicate and explicate order”.

Later on, he created new perspectives on the relationship between mind and matter and spent a lot of time probing the peculiarities of consciousness.

Group dialogue also became a focal point, as a means for people to gain insights and deeper understanding collectively.

His proposals been frequently misunderstood by the mainstream, with so-called “Bohmian mechanics” as the most prominent example. In fact, Bohm’s vision of nature was organical, not mechanical.

Interestingly, his ideas are not dead and continue to inspire people in various fields.
David Bohm was not officially considered a philosopher, but his views remain a treasure to explore. They touch all parts of existence, with many subtleties and complexities.

David Bohm interview 01979 (40 minutes)

Basil Hiley interview 02021 (34 minutes)

Basil Hiley

Basil Hiley (2nd fltr) in the lab (source: UCL High Energy Physics group)

Professor Emeritus Basil Hiley is furthering the Bohm legacy, mainly working out an algebraic foundation to describe the concepts of process, unfoldment, implicate order, …

In recent years he has also started doing lab experiments(!) to help prove his theory.

The main Bohm-Hiley proposals

  • the ontological interpretation of quantum theory

    Quantum “particles” always have a position and momentum, but we cannot measure both at the same time

  • quantum potential

    The quantum potential is a *new* kind of guiding force that comes out of the whole and that is not related to distance.

  • the implicate & explicate order

    The manifest world that we can observe and measure is only one “layer” of a larger ongoing movement (holoflux) in which processes enfold and unfold. This layer of visible unfolding with semi-autonomous manifestations is the explicate order.
    Underneath or within, hidden from view, are the processes in the implicate order.
    From Bohm’s perspective, the whole informs each part and each part enfolds (and also informs) the whole.

  • holomovement / holoflux

    Movement is the ground of everything, preceding space, time, mind and matter. This is a process-based worldview.

    See holoflux

Some Bohm theory advantages & hypotheticals

Despite the Bohm theory not being fully examined and understood, let alone accepted by mainstream physicists, it tends to facilitate approaching a lot of ongoing psychological, philosophical and scientific issues, such as:

  • mind vs. matter & the ‘hard problem’

    The mystery that is consciousness can be approached from a dual aspect monist perspective, i.e. every part, every process has a more crude (physical) pole and a more subtle (mental/meaning-carrying) pole. (see: soma-significance)

  • far fewer quantum mysteries

    No Schrödinger cats dead or alive: paradoxes and mathematical abstractions could be replaced by a more comprehensible, meaningful account of wat is actually happening at the quantum level

  • psi phenomena...?

    Very speculative, but still, Bohm’s theories leave room for certain psi phenomena such as telepathy. (see also: Rupert Sheldrake)

Recommended books

Recommended papers

  • Bohm, D. “A new theory of the relation of mind and matter” (01990)
  • Hiley, B.J.”Quantum Reality unveiled through Process and the Implicate Order” (02008)
  • Pylkkänen, P. “Can Quantum Analogies Help Us to Understand the Process of Thought?” (02014)

Infinite Potential

  • “Infinite Potential – The Life and Times of David Bohm” – biography by F. David Peat

“Infinite Potential”  movie

Pari Center logo

One of the few places in the world and online where David Bohm’s legacy is cherished and actively explored is Pari Center (Tuscany, Italy).
Pari Center for New Learning was founded by the late F. David Peat, friend and collaborator of David Bohm.