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5618_27_p549-559THE JOURNAL OF ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE
Volume 11, Number 3, 2005, pp. 549–559
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Generalized Entanglement: A New Theoretical Model for Understanding the Effects of Complementary ABSTRACT
Background and problem: A main problem for the acceptance of many methods belonging to the broad
spectrum of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is that there is no conceivable theoretical bridgebetween the mainstream biomedical model and CAM theories and practice. Although empirical evidence is oneimportant side of the coin of credibility, theoretical feasibility is the other. History of science teaches that noamount of empirical evidence will convince sceptics and followers of more conventional paradigms as long asthere is no good theoretical model to make empirical findings plausible.
Methods and solution: I therefore propose to broaden the spectrum of theoretical concepts beyond the reign-
ing local-causalist model toward a non-local model that encompasses effects as encountered in CAM. Such amodel can be derived from a generalized and weaker version of quantum theory recently developed and pub-lished by my colleagues and I as weak quantum theory (WQT). This theoretical model predicts nonlocal cor-relations analogous to Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR)-like correlations in quantum mechanics proper. The dis-cerning moment, though, is that these nonlocal correlations within WQT are not EPR correlations postulatedto extend into the classical world, but a broader, generalized version of entanglement not dependent on the strictquantum nature of the system under question. WQT predicts entanglement between elements of a system if twovariables or observables are complementary: one describing a global and one the local aspects of the system.
Entanglement then ensues between those local elements of a system that are complementary to the global de-scription or observable of that system.
Discussion and conclusions: This paper explores this rather abstract and general notion and expands it into
more concrete examples. It is at the moment a purely explanatory structure, which, however, lends itself to ex-act empirical testing due to rather precise predictions, which will be developed. Because this structure of gen-eralized entanglement is ubiquitous and also operative in conventional medicine, and because it is derived fromone of the strongest theories that science has developed so far, it would constitute a theoretical bridge betweenthe different medical and scientific traditions.
Samueli Institute, Europe, University Hospital Freiburg, Institute of Environmental Medicine and Hospital Epidemiology, Freiburg, INTRODUCTION
can in London, we wish him all the best. But we arewriting in Venice.* The dominant worldview defines what we Something as evident to us as the heartbeat was not perceived by many generations, simply because their world model did There is no such thing as unobstructed preconceptual ex- not offer a framework for perceiving and making sense of
perience and observation, except perhaps in exceptional that phenomenon. They might have experienced the phe- states of consciousness (for example, meditation) and maybe nomenon; they even might have heard something; but they in minds well trained by such disciplines. Phenomenologists did not attribute any meaning and importance to it. This, then, such as Husserl tried to achieve this as pure phenomeno- is the function and the power of world models6 or absolute logical awareness. For the rest of us, and science is no ex- presuppositions. They guide our perception. They prestruc- ception to that rule, our experience is guided by higher-or- ture the world into things that make sense and are important der theoretical concepts of what elements are probably real, and hence perceived, and into noise that can be neglected.
of what is “possible” and what is not. Modern theory of sci- In the same sense our modern scientific worldview makes ence has pointed this out cogently. Seminal thinkers were some absolute presuppositions, which most of the time are Collingwood, who stated that every scientific activity nec- very useful in prestructuring the world. But it also precludes essarily proceeds by resting on absolute presupposition,1 and perception of phenomena, simply because we cannot make Fleck who pointed out that so called “scientific facts” were sense of them for lack of a sound theory. Some examples a result of convention within a group of similarly trained for such modern scientific absolute presuppositions that pro- experts.2 It is an interesting aside to the recent theory of sci- vide apriori assumptions of what can be expected of the ence debate that Thomas Kuhn3 developed his theory of par- adigmatic change starting from those thinkers.4 A classical historical example of such an inability to per- (1) Individuals are primary. Relations, complexes, systems, ceive what is obviously “there” because of preconceptions and higher-order elements can be reduced to more ba- inoculated by a theoretical model is the resistance that sic individual constituents. Thus, we define organisms William Harvey, the discoverer of the heartbeat and circu- in terms of their organs and tissues: organs in terms of lation, met when claiming that the heart was pumping blood their molecular components; macromolecules in terms through the vessels. His whole age adhered to the Aris- of simple molecules; molecules in terms of atoms; and totelian physiology that claimed that the heart was a kind of atoms in terms of subatomic particles.
convection heater that heated the blood, which, rising up to (2) Complexity and higher-order function should be and can the head, was then cooled down by the brain, which evi- be explained in most instances by interactions of lower dently was a cooler. When Harvey vivisected live animals order elements. Although some more recent develop- and saw the heart actually contracting, he postulated that the ments such as complexity theory cast doubt on this tenet, heart was a pump. After his publication, a furious outcry lashed through Europe, led by the then-famous medical doc-tor and philosopher Emilio Parisano of Venice. It is worthquoting him at length5: *I owe this example to Marcello Truzzi, who used it in a presen- tation he gave at an NIH conference on CAM. When I first heard it, We have no problem to admit that, if the horse swal- I did not believe it, and the references that Truzzi sent me did not lows water, we can perceive a movement and we can inspire trust, since they were secondary and partially not traceable.
hear a sound. But that a pulse should arise in the breast So I set out to find the original document. The book I quote from is that can be heard, when the blood is transported from an original print, which contains Harvey’s tract together with com- the veins to the arteriae, this we certainly can’t per- ments of other authors. The University Library Bale has a copy withthe signature Ea IX 85:68. The passage is on page 107, translation ceive and we do not believe that this will ever hap- mine. Here is the original text: “In aquae ab equo deglutitione, et mo- pen, except Harvey lends us his hearing aid. But tum percipi, et aquae sonitum exaudiri, facile admittimus: at in san- above all, we do not admit such a transport of the guinis e venis in arterias traductionem pulsum fieri in pectore, et ex- blood . . . If blood is transported from the veins of the audiri, nec nos quidem percipimus, nec imaginatione assequi lung . . . into the branches of the arteries, how could possumus, nec etiam assequi nos unquam posse credimus, nisi abHarveio suum aurium instrumentum acusticum mutuemur. Imprimis a pulse be felt in the breast, how a sound? I am com- iam talem sanguinis traductionem non admittimus . . . Quodsi in pul- pletely innocent of such subtle speculations. Above monibus, ex eorundem venis. in arteriae venalis ramulos, peragitur; all, Harvey has it that a pulse should arise from the quomodo persentitur in pectore pulsus? quomodo sonus? Innocens movement of the blood from the heart into the aorta— ego sum ab huius speculationis subtilitate. Adde praeterea, quod no matter from which ventricle. He also claims that Harveio pulsus fit ex immisso a corde sanguine in aortam, seu in sac-cum et utrem; ut ita ex sanguine sequatur pulsus et (quod ulterius ad- this movement produces a pulse, and, moreover, a dit) sonitus: quem nos surdastri audire non possumus, nec Venetiis sound: that sound, however, we deaf people cannot sunt qui audiant. si tantummodo Londini exauditur, faustum, felix, hear, and there is no one in Venice who can. If he fortunatum esto. nos Venetiis scribimus.” GENERALIZED ENTANGLEMENT AND CAM
(3) Relations between individuals are secondary to and de- and time prevailed, until it reached its endpoint in quantum pendent on the individual components. In other words, mechanics. The theory of quantum mechanics was developed forces and interactions are secondary to the parts that exactly from the anomalies that were posed by the Newton- ian worldview. The energy emitted from heated objects could (4) Change is a change in movement, and brought about by not be described continuously, as Planck realized, but it local, causal interventions. Thus causes are conceived of was necessary to postulate infinitesimally small chunks of as operating locally. If there is no contiguous contact be- energy—or quanta—that were emitted in a piecemeal fashion tween the cause and its effect we do not normally con- when a material object was gradually heated. To make things sider it a cause or we analyze the sequence of events un- worse, those quanta, that we now take to be photons, and other til we find a contiguous, local intervention. Although, in members of the subsequently revealed quantum particle zoo, a sense, my wish for light is the cause of the light com- cannot be treated like classical Newtonian objects, which ing on, we would consider my pressing the switch, and travel on mathematically well-described pathways and have consequently the flow of electrical current and the glow- unique identities throughout their lives. They have different ing of the light bulb due to electrical resistance the proper properties that cannot take on sharp and defined values at the cause of light, and not my wish. For if I wished the light same time. Although a Newtonian particle, even if it moves come on, and it came on without me or anybody else on a convoluted trajectory, always has a clear position and a pressing the switch, we would be disconcerted.
definite momentum, which are defined by differential equa-tions, those quantum particles cannot be defined in the same Every now and then a scientific discovery forces us to way. This insight brought Niels Bohr, one of the founding fa- change those basic hypotheses about the world. And not in- thers of quantum mechanics, to the formulation of comple- frequently this change happens very slowly, first impinging mentarity. Complementarity means that there are certain prop- only on one part of the scientific community until others or erties of quantum elements that cannot, at the same time, take the society at large follow. When the Ptolemaic worldview, on sharply defined values. It is necessary for their respective which put the earth into the centre of the universe, changed measurement to install a measurement set-up that disturbs its into the Copernican view over several generations, this at relevant counterpart. For instance, if we want to measure the first had little impact on how to travel, trade, or treat pa- exact position of a particle, we have to scatter it with a beam tients. Old astrolabes could still be used to determine the of electrons. That operation, however, will alter and thus com- position of the planets. However, the Copernican notion was pletely blur its momentum, and if we wish to measure the mo- also coupled with the notion of the earth being round and mentum exactly, we have to use an experimental setting that that had impact on what was possible in seafaring. New will make it impossible to tell anything about the particle’s routes, new countries, and new riches were discovered, location. Complementary observables, as they are called, thus which were there all along but not imagined to be attain- are observables or properties of quantum particles that are nec- able. Gradually this discovery took hold of the whole world essary to completely describe a particle but that are impossi- and changed the planetary culture up to the present.
ble to gain knowledge about in the same measurement set- The dominant modern scientific worldview is still very up.7 Thus complementarity was a theoretical subterfuge of much defined by basic assumptions derived from Newtonian Bohr’s to take apart and yet bring together what, in a New- physics. For instance, the notion that individual elements are tonian universe, defined a particle at the same time and inde- primary, and their relations and the forces between them sec- pendently of each other.8 In the quantum universe these prop- ondary, was introduced by Newton. Leibniz, his contempo- erties are in a strange way mutually exclusive in measurement rary adversary, had a different model in which the relations and thus are dependent on each other. For it is the decision of between individuals constituted the individuals and were co- the experimenter as to which property to measure first that de- existent with them. Newton’s concept made more sense to his fines the results. Thus it is the sequence of measurements that contemporaries and seemed to have been vindicated by the comes into play. If we measure momentum first, we give up success of his theories, and thus it was adopted not only for on the measurement of location and the other way round.
physics and astronomy but for the whole of science, whereas In the modern algebraic framework of quantum mechan- the Leibnizian concept was relegated to history.
ics. this situation is formally and abstractly depicted by an It was only with the advent of quantum mechanics that algebra of noncommuting operators. In our normal algebra it is quite irrelevant if we take 2 first and multiply by 3 orthe other way round. Our Abelian algebra is commutative, TOWARD A NEW WORLD MODEL: THE
we say; both ways, the result is 6. The algebra used to model ADVENT OF QUANTUM MECHANICS
quantum mechanics is different. It handles noncommutingoperations in the way that the sequence of operations is im- The Newtonian worldview of material objects moving through space which is independent from them and which canbe clearly defined at every point of their voyage through space Substitute 2 and 3 for a and b and you can immediately see one term go toward zero means making the dispersion of that this is a very strange situation compared to our normal the other variable approaching positive infinity.
everyday world. This is what is meant by complementarity.
Thus the mathematical formulation of the core concept It describes operations that are mutually exclusive, the se- of quantum mechanics, complementarity, leads to a Heisen- quence of which does in fact matter, and that are both needed berg-type inequality. Hidden behind those somewhat scruffy to describe a situation and yet cannot be applied at the same symbolic formulations lies another strange reality, which time. Complementary observables are maximally incompat- was first pointed out by Schrödinger and called “entangle- ible—not only contrary or contradictory, as for instance are ment” by him. Soon afterward Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen our concepts of hot and cold—and yet belonging to one and used this phenomenon in a famous thought-experiment to make plausible, as they thought, that quantum mechanics It is this complementarity of variables describing one cannot be a complete and rational picture of the world, and quantum object that gives rise to Heisenberg-like uncertainty hence it is often called Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) relations. If we translate the situation into formal language paradox or EPR-correlatedness.9 The fact can be circum- that precise measurement of one observable renders our knowledge of the other observable practically indeterminate Whenever a system can be described in terms of such and vice versa, we have a different form of equation (1), noncommuting or complementary variables, or more pre- cisely, whenever observables pertaining to local elements ofthe system are complementary to observables describing the system as a whole, those local elements are entangled witheach other.10 where ⌬ is a term of dispersion, comparable to what we know This means that these entangled elements, for instance from statistics as standard errors. If we imagine that we could electrons or protons in a quantum system proper, behave in measure both variables p and q with arbitrary precision, at a coordinated and correlated fashion, without exchange of en- least in theory, those dispersion terms ⌬ were zero (and in ergy or signals between them. Loosely speaking it is as if fact they are zero in statistical versions of classical physics, these elements would intuitively know how to behave in the where with many measurements error terms would cancel out face of the behavior of the other elements. For instance, if a and become zero). Thus in any classical version of physics pair of two entangled photons are prepared and radiated out, equation (2A) would contain an equal sign. Not so in quan- any measurement of a property of one photon (for example, tum mechanics. For if we measure one variable with maxi- its polarization angle) will “cause” a corresponding mea- mal precision, the other error term approaches infinity. Let surement in the other photon, without them having material us take a few seconds here and do our algebraic exercises.
contact with each other, or without them communicating, or Let us postulate a very small magnitude for the quantity on exchanging matter or energy. Any information exchange be- the right hand side of the inequality, let us say 10Ϫ36, a value tween them could happen only with the same velocity, close to Planck’s constant that in fact is inserted in the Heisen- namely that of light, at which the photons themselves are berg inequality proper. Thus equation (2B) would read travelling, and thus could not be instantaneous. Thus suchcorrespondences are called “nonlocal” because they are not conveyed by a material signal traveling at the speed of light.11Hence the phrase that such a measurement “causes” the cor- Now let us suppose that we managed to measure one vari- responding partner to exhibit a corresponding value is strictly able, say q, with nearly perfect precision and thus our dis- speaking incorrect. For there is no signal conveying the mea- persion term for q is very, very small indeed, let us suppose surement result, no exchange of energy or matter, and thus 10Ϫ80. To find out how big the dispersion term for p is, we the verb “to cause” must, in this context, be understood as algebraically reformulate, bring ⌬q to the right hand side being within quotes. The reason for this strange, holistic be- and insert for it our imagined real value of 10Ϫ80 and thus havior lies in the set-up of the system described by quantum our reformulated equation (2B1–2D) reads mechanics. Einstein and his colleagues would not believe thatthis was a rational option and thus used it as a thought-pro- voking counter-argument against quantum mechanics.
For many decades this strange feature of nonlocality was only of a theoretical nature and interest, until in the 1960sJohn Bell formulated his famous inequalities.12 These con- sist of combinatorial algebra and define which values mea-surements of different states of quantum particles in a long We immediately see the consequence of this: if the term of series of measurements should have, if they behaved more the right-hand side of the inequality is a constant, however like classical physics and Einstein would have it (namely in- small (and in fact in quantum mechanics this is Planck’s dependent of each other and not entangled) and which val- constant with some cosmetic add-ons), then trying to make ues measurements should take if the particles and their states GENERALIZED ENTANGLEMENT AND CAM
were intrinsically connected or entangled. After another two the very core of our material reality is likely to be operative decades these theoretical predictions and operationalizations at other scales of the systemic order as well. To put it dif- became experimentally testable, one of the more famous ferently: what if quantum mechanical entanglement proper tests being those of Alain Aspect and his group in Paris.13,14 were just a special case of a much more generic and pre- This and a subsequent series of other tests left little doubt: vailing structure of the world? What if the structural rules Quantum mechanics is correct. Elements of a quantum system governing quantum mechanics proper (QM) were more that are complementary with global aspects of the system are widely applicable and the mathematics used to reflect them entangled in a nonlocal manner. Further experiments also clar- also useful for other systems? It was this kind of intuitive ified that these correlations are very unlikely to be the ex- reasoning that lead us to formulate what we called “weak pression of deeper structures in matter, so-called hidden vari- quantum theory” (WQT), a generalized version of QM that ables, an explanation favored by a school of physicists close does not restrict itself to the description of material systems to Einstein and his followers such as Bohm, but are genuine.15 but that could be applied to other systems as well.10 The More and more loopholes pointed out by followers of a power of QM derives partially from the fact that some def-hidden variables interpretation of quantum mechanics were initions and boundary conditions are set that are quite pre- stuffed with ever more intricate experiments. All of them re- cise, because they have been derived from a combination of vealed that the basic nonlocality and entanglement between el- empirical observation and theoretical mathematical reason- ements of a quantum system is an empirical fact that is gen- ing. For instance, Planck’s constant fulfils such a role as a uine. It has been pointed out that, for the first time in history, precise defining element that allows calculations and nu- a metaphysical question had been settled experimentally and merical predictions. This precision is bought, however, at the not by rational debate.16 Meanwhile experiments have been price of restriction, which is very wise if one wants to make conducted that show that quantum systems can stay in their clear predictions about experimental outcomes. If we drop entangled state over many miles if properly isolated.17 those definitions and restrictions typical for QM but leave The question that is debated hotly at the moment is how the minimum amount of algebraic formalism intact, we reach far those quantum or EPR correlations can reach out. It is what we think is a minimal set of axiomatic definitions nec- clear that with continuing interactions with their environ- essary for the description of any system, no matter what its ment they decay and die out.18 But what if quantum sys- function and material set-up. However, if we keep the sin- tems are partially isolated? How far would entanglement go? gle most important ingredient of QM—the handling of non- This is at the moment debated under the term “decoherence.” commuting, incompatible, or complementary variables or ob- It is very important for the further development of my ar- servables—we leave exactly that structure of QM intact gument here that decoherence and the isolation of quantum which led to the discovery of quantum entanglement.
entanglement proper is not the route of argumentation WQT does exactly that: it keeps the minimum structure of adopted here. At this point in the flow of the argument we a systemic theoretical, abstract description that is used for QM simply want to note that nonlocal correlations, or entangle- proper, and drops all those restrictions and definitions that are ment, obviously are a basic feature of nature at the quantum typical for QM proper in the treatment of material systems.
level. Thus, the modern concept of nature as derived from For instance, WQT has no constant that limits the ranges mea- quantum mechanics is more in unison with a Leibnizian surements or values of variables can take, such as Planck’s worldview than with a Newtonian (although, historically constant. It also does not provide for a probability calculus speaking, we would hardly have arrived at that insight had like the one offered by Hilbert space interpretation and thus we not followed Newton’s idea to the end of the road, where WQT cannot make any precise numerical predictions without they link up with where Leibniz would have it).
further definitions. However, WQT keeps the generic formal Whenever we have quantum systems governed by an al- structure and handling of noncommuting, complementary gebra of noncommuting operators, we can expect the struc- variables. Therefore a generalized version of entanglement— tures discussed above, such as Heisenberg-type inequalities generalized entanglement as we call it—can be deduced from and hence entanglement. This cannot be reduced further but WQT. In its most general and broadest formulation, the mean- is a basic feature of nature. Modern physics is quite enthu- ing of generalized entanglement is the following: siastic about that fact and discusses potential technical ap-plications such as quantum computing, quantum teleporta- In any system that contains a clear description and sys- tion, and encryption.19,20 We depart from quantum physics temic border (i.e., that can be analyzed as a separate sys- proper at that point and make a more daring move.
tem) and that contains at least two elements, those localelements within the system the description of which iscomplementary to a global observable describing the WEAK QUANTUM THEORY AND
system as a whole, are nonlocally correlated.
This situation is graphically depicted in Figure 1.
This move follows a simple intuitive assumption: Some- Note that this prediction is, at the moment, a pure theo- thing as basic as entanglement and nonlocality that reigns at retical possibility, derived deductively from the structure of For instance, it could be the case that in blinded controlled clinical trials correlations of healing rates between treatmentgroups and placebo groups could be caused by generalizedentanglement. These correlations are a well-documented factby now. Several meta-analyses, starting from early data byEvans,21 followed by Kirsch and Sapirstein22 and analysesby my colleagues and myself,23,24 showed over and overthat in clinical trials healing or improvement rates in treat-ment and placebo groups are highly correlated, which, iftrue, would be rather disconcerting, as pointed out by Mc-Quay.25 Although McQuay could make plausible that theearly correlations reported by Evans could be caused byskewed distributions of measures, this argument does notcome into play with the correlations from those other pub- Graphic representation of generalized entanglement: Lo- cal elements (squares), the description of which is complementary lications, which used continuous improvement rates to cal- to the global description (double arrows) are entangled and non- culate correlations. The correlations were as high as r ϭ 0.89 locally correlated (curved lines), whereas other elements of the sys- for the depression studies used by Kirsch and Sapirstein, whereas improvement rates in sets of psychotherapy stud-ies comparing wait-list controls with real psychotherapy WQT, which is a generalized version of QM. The fact that studies did not correlate at all. The latter finding shows in- nonlocal correlations in quantum systems proper have been directly that those correlations are probably not only cohort experimentally proven and that WQT is only a generaliza- effects but are genuine. Our own data found rather robust tion of QM proper should make the assumption plausible that correlations of r ϭ 0.59 in a first set of 29 long-term trials nonlocal correlations in other systems could be expected to with different diseases and r ϭ 0.78 for a set of 144 studies occur also. Thus, let us, for the rest of the paper, assume that retrieved and analyzed according to a predefined scheme. In this is a rational possibility and discuss what the conse- our opinion those correlations are an example of general- quences of such a model are and what phenomena (if any at ized entanglement at work in a closed systemic setting, all) lend themselves to an analysis along the lines of WQT among other factors responsible for those correlations. In all and generalized entanglement, and how this could profit both of those trials there is one global characteristic, and that is the practice and the scientific efforts in researching CAM.
the blindness of the trial. Complementary to it is the factthat all patients are definitely allocated to one or the othergroup (the randomness of the allocation does not really mat- A GENERALIZED ENTANGLEMENT MODEL
ter but helps to strengthen the blindness of a study). Blind- OF SOME ASPECTS OF CAM
ness, then, and definite allocation are the complementaryvariables here, blindness being global and definite alloca- Before we proceed let us recapitulate what such an analy- tion being local. Hence a correlation would be expected be- sis would mean and what type of phenomena generalized tween those local elements that are definitely allocated (i.e., entanglement would cover. Entanglement refers to the cor- between the patients) and by extension between the treat- related behavior of elements of a system without interchange ment groups. This is exactly what we observe.
of energy or matter and thus brings nonlocality into the sci- It is not by accident that I chose this example as an in- entific debate. All of those phenomena for which we have troductory one in our discussion of generalized entangle- difficulties in isolating clear causative agents could lend ment in CAM. For this set-up of a possible nonlocal corre- themselves to a discussion in terms of generalized entan- lation between patients and patient groups in a trial holds glement. If our intuition is not very far off the mark, then for all sorts of studies, no matter what the intervention. How- entanglement in a generalized form would be far more ubiq- ever, contrary to many mainstream pharmaceutical inter- uitous as we suspect. It even could be a very mundane phe- ventions, where we have strong causal agents—receptor ag- nomenon that, for lack of theory, we normally overlook onists and antagonists, immune-modifying agents, and the completely and only discover if something unusual happens like—we do not have comparably strong causal signals in or if the analysis is applied in a very formal manner. At the CAM interventions. Many CAM practices rely on exceed- very least, if generalized entanglement can be proven to be ingly small stimuli of a more regulating or gently tipping real, this line of analysis would link areas of research and nature than on conventional pharmacology, which follows practice to the mainstream of science that at the moment are more the doctrine of strong interventions. Hence it is not deemed to be unscientific or irrational. The prediction would surprising to find the paradoxical fact that many CAM ther- in fact be that generalized entanglement is an important op- apies work well in open comparison trials but have great tion to be taken into account also by mainstream science.
difficulty showing superiority over placebo,26–28 and even GENERALIZED ENTANGLEMENT AND CAM
have placebo effects that are so strong that that one won- munity between him- or herself and the healee, either by a ders why still bother with conventional interventions.27,28 ritual or in the healer’s mind, and lets his or her own indi- If our supposition of generalized entanglement is correct viduality merge to a certain extent with the one of the healee, and our analysis of placebo-treatment correlations in clini- thus creating a kind of unity or community. By still up- cal trials valid as an example of generalized entanglement holding a certain sense of individuality at the same time, en- at work, then blinded trials of CAM are not a good idea at tanglement between the healer and healee could become in- all. To keep potential correlations low, studies that are not stantiated, since community or unity and individuality are blind would be better, such as pragmatic randomized com- complementary, the one being a global and the other a lo- parisons between CAM and conventional treatment or any cal description. By virtue of this connectedness with the other type of control such as wait lists.
healee the healer might be in a position to enact, on behalfof the healee, in the healer’s mind or in a symbolic reality,what would be a desired state for the healee, which then through this entanglement might be installed within the pa- Homeopathy. Generalized entanglement would also lend tient through a nonlocal correlated action.
itself to a theoretical reconstruction of some CAM practices.
This route of explanation could possibly also be used for I have recently elaborated such an entanglement model for many instances of native ritual healing, which is typical for homeopathy,29 after earlier hints about the necessity of such many indigenous societies, such as the rituals described by a nonlocal model.30 In brief, it would posit that homeopa- Moerman,33,34 in which seemingly irrational (from a West- thy is a way of using generalized entanglement to bring ern point of view) actions lead to the desired effects never- about therapeutic effects. Homeopathy is using a double-en- theless. It seems to be a phenomenologically described ex- tangled structure: the one between original substance and perience of several healers (mainly from the areas of Reiki, remedy through the potentization process of remedy pro- massage, and therapeutic touch) who describe exactly that duction, and the second one between individual disease type of merging with the other that seems to be a necessary symptoms and generic symptoms of the remedy picture of ingredient for the complementarity between union and in- the materia medica through the similia rule. In the first en- tanglement structure we have a complementarity between a Apart from that, another, yet-unexplored route of healing global variable, the original substance, and a local variable, potential to be construed along the lines of generalized en- the actual dilution. The complementarity is between definite tanglement would be that of the power of consciousness. We substance and uncertainty of localization. This forms a have pointed out at other occasions35 that consciousness and strong entanglement between the original substance and the brain, mind, and body, could and should be conceived as actual remedy, and this entanglement should be the stronger, complementary notions. In a specification of that generic the higher the potency, just as homeopathic experience idea Atmanspacher36 has argued that the distinction between teaches. The second entanglement ensues between the indi- mind and matter could be caused by a symmetry break that vidual’s symptoms and the generic remedy picture of the lets this distinction arise as an emergent property out of an materia medica, the complementarity being between the in- underlying unity. What would ermerge, then, is not mind dividuality of the symptoms and the generic nature. I have out of matter, but the distinction between mind and matter argued and elaborated elsewhere29 that this double entan- out of an underlying common unitary nature. Thus mental glement structure is reminiscent of double-entanglement as and material events could be nonlocally correlated. It would it is used for purposes of teleportation and quantum cryp- be worthwhile to study further the role of consciousness in tography, which at least in prototypical cases has already many CAM practices along the lines hinted at here. It is to been experimentally realized.15,19,20,31 The weak classical be expected that the results gleaned from this study would trace that has been postulated by many homeopathic re- also have broad implications for conventional medicine at searchers could be the classical channel which is necessary for quantum-teleportation to work. Although this model ishighly speculative it makes some interesting predictions that Acupuncture. Many local models for the efficacy of acupunture are in circulation. The most prominent of themcertainly is a model for pain control. It postulates that,through peripheral stimulation, central inhibitory processes Spiritual, distant, and ritual healing. A nonlocal model are activated and pain-enhancing pathways are attenuated, along the lines provided by generalized entanglement would mostly through monoamines and endorphins. Although such also be an elegant solution to the question of how rituals theories certainly have a great explanatory potential, espe- and distant healing could possibly work.32 The healing rit- cially because they can link up with a host of research on ual, whether in situ or at a distance, creates a system throughthe ritual. It encompasses the healer and the healee and what-ever else is necessary. Perhaps different healing rituals †Hyland ME. A special sense of connection between massage would need separate theoretical reconstructions, but here is therapist and patient: A pilot study of the phenomenology of en- one generic possibility. The healer creates a bond of com- neuromodulation and psychoneuroendocrinology, they are of her or his problems within a therapeutic relationship).
mainly geared toward understanding antinociceptive effects.
However, there is also a broader and more general meaning It is much more difficult to use such a model for the un- of the term countertransference. If used in that broader sense, derstanding of generalized constitutional effects of acupunc- countertransference relates to the fact that the therapist may ture, which are the most important ones for classical TCM feel, sense, or intuit some hitherto hidden aspect of the pa- therapists. Models valid only for pain control also have prob- tient’s personality. This may surface in the therapist’s mind lems making plausible the effects of distant acupoints.
as a sudden impulse, affect, emotion, or image that the ther- WQT and generalized entanglement predict a hyperfast apist is unable to connect with his normal mentation communication system not necessarily linked to neural path- processes. For instance, although a patient might relate how ways or to any of the known pathways for signaling, for that well everything went last week and how proud he or she matter.‡ Because entanglement effects are nonlocal we would was of having had kind and meaningful relationships lately, expect effects that do not necessarily have to follow the tra- the therapist might suddenly feel the impulse of getting up, ditional neurotransmission routes. Such effects could at the shouting around, and using foul language. This impulse same time affect a whole group of body systems in a nonlo- might arise all of a sudden in the therapist, without any back- cal fashion. To understand that, we could conceive of the ground of an aggravating experience of any kind that could whole organism as one ordered system of nonlocally corre- serve as a plausible explanation. The therapist might tenta- lated subsystems. The global variable would be the definition tively take his or her unusual mental activity and strange im- of one genetically defined organism and the local variables pulses, etcetera, as in reality “belonging” to the patient. The would be all of the subsystems belonging to it. The comple- therapist could test that by asking whether the patient might mentarity would be again the one between union/community have overlooked some elements of aggression or excitement and individuality/singularity. Thus an effect brought about at because having peaceful relationships is so important for one level of the system or at one site could instantaneously him. This might then trigger important insights and could and nonlocally be mediated to distant systems seemingly un- lead to the patient’s acknowledging such implicit feelings.
connected by classical pathways. I submit that at that moment Such a broader sense of countertransference might be a there is no clarity how distant acupoints at the leg could be, very generic instance of being immediately and nonlocally for instance, connected to seeing and not to other functions in communion with someone else, provided that there is a such as tasting, and so on. We also readily concede that much strong systemic tie between the two of them (note that this needs to be clarified before a nonlocal model based on gen- phenomenon is here treated as an interpersonal one between eralized entanglement could put to work. The purpose of this two persons for reasons of clarity but that it pertains to sketch is to open up new venues for research and thinking groups and large collectives also, provided that the systemic more than to provide final clarifications.
boundaries are there). It might be the basis for a broad va-riety of similar phenomena called by different names in dif- Intuitive diagnosis, countertransference, and empathy. A ferent therapeutic traditions or by different groups.
phenomenologically well-known phenomenon within CAM For instance, intuition could be founded on, among other and indeed other therapeutic disciplines as in psychotherapy things, a nonlocal way of connectedness between persons is intuitive understanding or holistic and immediate knowl- who are belonging to one social unit, either by way of nat- edge of problems a patient experiences. This might even ural bonds (as in family relationships or tribal units) or by amount to a sudden grasp of the living reality of the patient way of artificially created bonds. Such artificial bonds are and the history of suffering, without the patient telling much normally provided in our human cultures across societies about his or her problems or even trying to hide them. In and ages through rituals. The most common ritual uniting the psychoanalytic tradition this phenomenon has been han- persons not related by genetics into a new societal unit is dled under the headline of countertransference. Transference marriage. It is an interesting fact in itself that there is, to my is normally well known as the process by which a patient knowledge, no single human society around the globe that sees in a therapist a significant figure of his or her past or does not have a ritual for the purpose of forming new fam- projects his or her personal problems onto the actual thera- ily units through marriage (and some also for dissolving such peutic relationship. Thereby psychologic problems become units in divorce). In the same way therapeutic rituals form activated and amenable to treatment. Countertransference, new temporary units between therapist and patient. In every in a narrow sense of the word, refers to the same process therapeutic modality there is a certain ritual to delineate what but on part of the therapist (i.e., the therapist activating some belongs to the healing unit and process and what does not.37In such a unit we can expect nonlocal correlatedness of somekind between the elements forming the unit—therapist andpatient, for instance, and between smaller sub-elements of ‡Hyland ME, Walach H, Holgate ST. Do some genes act as pat- those units—target problems in the patient and their per- tern specifiers? An explanation for the way genes make macro-structures and implications for complex disease. (Submitted for ception through therapeutic intuition. All preconditions for GENERALIZED ENTANGLEMENT AND CAM
We have a systemic bond between patient and therapist It has been made clear by theoretical analysis for quantum forming a temporary unit. The global description or variable entanglement proper that for entanglement to be seen, an en- would again be community or union. The local description tangled system needs to be strongly isolated. Any interference would be the individuality of the patient and therapist. Both with such a system, and any attempt to extract information elements, that is, community and individuality, or union and from it, lead to an increase of entropy and thus disturbs the separateness, are complementary. Hence the two units are system. Whenever an entangled mode is to be controlled, then nonlocally correlated. It remains a task for a more detailed an interaction with the environment happens, which leads to analysis to work out how exactly and what exactly is being an attenuation and finally to a breakdown of the entangled transferred in such nonlocal ways of intuition and commu- state. In other words, control and causal manipulation destroy nication. The intention here is to show that such a thing is entangled states.38 That is a straightforward explanation why at all possible for theoretical reasons.
such processes are strongest if they occur naturally and unex- Intuiting parts or even the whole of a patient’s problems pectedly, and why they are difficult to implement in a sys- by intuitive diagnosis need not be restricted to examples of tematic manner within a therapeutic system. If a therapeutic direct contact. By the same token it could also happen at a system is nearly completely based on entanglement processes, distance, a fact that has been widely testified by anecdotal as in my opinion homeopathy is, then a strictly causal treat- reports and that is very difficult to reconcile with local the- ment of the system tends to destroy it or to make it unpre- ories of information processing. For the model advocated dictable otherwise. Walter von Lucadou was the first to point here it would in fact not make much difference, whether a that out for parpasychology,39 in which the unreliability and person is actually present, as long as the bonding tie that the unsystematic appearance of the phenomena are proverbial forms a unit out of two persons is strong enough. This could and have led to their being largely discarded by mainstream be provided by rituals often used explicitly or implicitly by scientists. However, this phenomenal structure is genuine for healers, when they have images and pictures of the patient all processes using generalized entanglement. In homeopathy, present or imagine the patient to be in the room.
for instance, it is observable that all those controlled studies This analysis also shows that for those processes to be that leave some degrees of freedom (by using multiple out- optimal, complementarity is important. Neither a complete comes, or by testing compounds, or by slightly altering the de- blurring of boundaries by focusing only on communion nor sign of replication studies) have a chance of detecting effects, a strong emphasis on individuality would be conducive to whereas very rigid studies testing for the causal-local nature nonlocal connectedness. On the contrary, it is exactly indi- by closing all loopholes of alternative explanations have gen- viduality with communion or unity at the same time that erally created conflicting evidence. A classical interpretation would maximize generalized entanglement between the two would be, of course, that these results are suggestive of null joined elements. Thus, such processes of countertransfer- effects, whereas an analysis along the lines of generalized en- ence or intuitive glimpses of the other person’s inner prob- tanglement would predict that through causal use of these lems would be expected to be strongest if therapists could processes entanglement is destroyed or breaks down.
do two things at the same time: suspend their individual bor- A corollary to that statement would be that effects could be ders and at the same time maintain their sense of individu- demonstrated only by multiple models and by second-order ality. This might be achievable in a state of awareness that statistics, as in meta-analysis of many studies. If this were true, is slightly different from our everyday consciousness and then therapeutic systems using generalized entanglement thus might also depend on some special activity to induce processes would be not as straightforward and would be less reliable than causal processes, because they tend to break downif probed too strong for their reliability. This also explains why, The security button: Prohibition of causal (misuse). Why, in the context of medical treatment, these elements play only then, is it that these processes are not used more frequently; a minor role at the fringe of any system. In ancient times, when why they are not seen more readily; and why is our whole the knowledge of causal-local processes as in pharmacology culture built on local processes? We normally rely on local and surgery was minimal, there was a clear place for such non- processes if we want to be sure that things happen. We talk local systems of healing as shamanic or ritual healing. Our in- to people if we want to get a message across. We give in- crease in knowledge in causal processes seems to have done sulin if we want to control the blood sugar reliably. We use away with it. Why, then, bother to discuss its use and con- a telephone if we really want to speak to someone at a dis- tance. All causal processes used in our culture are quite re-liable and preferable if reliability is the top criterion. If noth-ing unforeseen happens, telephones, airplanes, insulin THE PLACE FOR NONLOCAL PROCESSES
pumps, pacemakers, cars, and the rest of technology work.
Those nonlocal processes seem to be less reliable and less I suggest that there is still a place for such processes be- amenable to technical control. Why is that so? And if so, cause they form an elegant way of dealing with complex problems without disturbing the balance of the system. Any causal intervention—pharmacological or surgical, for totelian physiologic model for it, no one paid attention and instance—also creates side effects, and the more potent the no one took it seriously. As our outlook is completely bi- intervention the stronger the side effects. On the other hand, ased toward local-causal models of intervention, we do not nonclassical interventions, which are possibly based on a even have the concepts, let alone the observational tools to use of generalized entanglement, are an elegant way of align- discover other ways of interaction. I suggest that the time is ing the whole system without disturbing it too much at the ripe for a broadening of our outlook. The fact that entan- same time. Hyland has introduced the concept of network glement processes do not lend themselves to a causal analy- pathology. This describes complex disturbances in which sis and treatment does not mean that they are of not muchthe self-regulatory capacities of the organism are not suffi- use or even superfluous. It simply means that we have to cient to bring a disturbed system back to normal and in which change our way of looking at the world.
the organism creates the disturbance because set-points havebeen dysregulated. Normal pathology, on the other hand, includes pathologic conditions in which the network itself ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
is disturbed on a material basis and cannot sufficiently func-tion. Examples of network pathologies are all complex The ideas developed in this paper were inspired by sim- chronic diseases in which the organism cannot heal by it- ilar ideas developed by Walter von Lucadou. To my knowl- self, whereas examples of ordinary pathologies are acute edge he was the first to point to the fact that Einstein-Podol- diseases or emergencies in which the body needs help to sky-Rosen-like correlations could also be effective at the regenerate back to normal but otherwise does so on its macroscopic level, mainly in the area of parapsychology. I subsequently developed the idea that there probably was a Modern medicine, using mainly causal processes, is very connection to other similar phenomena. This idea would good at treating those ordinary, acute diseases; but it does have remained at a very figurative level had not Hartmann not have many options for treating network pathologies, in Römer taken it up and developed it into a formal framework.
which the organism’s self-regulating capacities are dis- To him and to many discussions and informal tutorials I owe turbed. CAM practices are directed mainly toward regulat- the deeper understanding necessary to proceed with the idea.
ing those network pathologies and seem to do better at those What may still be unclear or even wrong in this paper is than conventional practice. My suggestion would be that solely my responsibility. Funding for this work comes from CAM practices based on generalized entanglement are bet- the Samueli Institute, Newport Beach, CA.
ter at regulating such complex network errors and that it ismainly here that they find their place. Because causal treat-ments for network pathologies are often not available, wehave to live with the insecurity connected to the practical REFERENCES
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