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 aspect 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 “implicate and explicate order”.

Later in his career, 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, new and deeper understanding.

Due to a number of reasons, his body of work was largely neglected and misunderstood by the mainstream and he never got the recognition he deserved.

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, but he usually explained things with maximum clarity.

Basil Hiley

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

The main Bohm-Hiley proposals

  • the ontological interpretation of quantum theory

    quantum organics instead of quantum mechanics

  • 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 is the explicate order.
    Underneath or within, hidden from view, are the processes in the implicated order.
    From Bohm’s perspective, the whole informs each part and each part enfolds and also informs the whole.

  • quantum potential & active information

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

    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)