Erwin Schrödinger, fully Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger

Schrödinger, fully Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger

Austrian Physicist, Awarded the Nobel Prize Winner in Physics and Max Planck Medal

Author Quotes

This is the doctrine of the Upanishads. And not of the Upanishads only. The mystical experience of the union with God regularly leads to this view, unless strong prejudices stand in the way

Consciousness is a singular of which the plural is unknown. It is not possible that this unity of knowledge,feelings,and choice which you call your own should have sprung into being from nothingness at a given moment not so long ago;rather,this knowledge,feeling, and choice are essentially eternal and unchangeable and numerically one in all people,nay in all sensitive beings.

In the overwhelming majority of phenomena whose regularity and invariability have led to the formulation of the postulate of causality, the common element underlying the consistency observed - is chance.

The image of the world around us that science provides is highly deficient. It supplies a lot of factual information, and puts all our experience in magnificently coherent order, but keeps terribly silent about everything close to our hearts, everything that really counts for us.

Physical theory in its present stage strongly suggests the indestructibility of Mind in Time.

I shall quite briefly mention here the notorious atheism of science. The theists reproach it for this again and again. Unjustly. A personal God can not be encountered in a world picture that becomes accessible only at the price that everything personal is excluded from it... We know that whenever God is experienced, it is an experience exactly as real as a direct sense impression, as real as one’s own personality. As such He must be missing from the space-time picture. ‘I do not meet with God in space and time’, so says the honest scientific thinker, and for that reason he is reproached by those in whose catechism it is nevertheless stated: ‘God is Spirit’.

Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.

The present is the only things that has no end.

[A living organism] ... feeds upon negative entropy ... Thus the device by which an organism maintains itself stationary at a fairly high level of orderliness (= fairly low level of entropy) really consists in continually sucking orderliness from its environment.

The task is ... not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees.

From all we have learnt about the structure of living matter, we must be prepared to find it working in a manner that cannot be reduced to the ordinary laws of physics. And that not on the ground that there is any 'new force' or what not, directing the behavior of the single atoms within a living organism, but because the construction is different from anything we have yet tested in the physical laboratory.

There is no kind of framework within which we can find consciousness in the plural; this is simply something we construct because of the temporal plurality of individuals, but it is a false construction... The only solution to this conflict insofar as any is available to us at all lies in the ancient wisdom of the Upanishad... Vedanta teaches that consciousness is singular, all happenings are played out in one universal consciousness and there is no multiplicity of selves.

Nature has no reverence towards life. Nature treats life as though it were the most valueless thing in the world.... Nature does not act by purposes.

Matter and energy seem granular in structure, and so does 'life', but not so mind.

The material world has only been constructed at the price of taking the self, that is, mind, out of it, removing it; mind is not part of it.

There is obviously only one alternative, namely the unification of minds or consciousnesses. Their multiplicity is only apparent, in truth there is only one mind.

In particular, and most importantly, this is the reason why the scientific worldview contains of itself no ethical values, no esthetical values, not a word about our own ultimate scope or destination, and no God, if you please. Whence came I and whither go I?

The observing mind is not a physical system, it cannot interact with any physical system. And it might be better to reserve the term "subject" for the observing mind. ... For the subject, if anything, is the thing that senses and thinks. Sensations and thoughts do not belong to the "world of energy."

Science cannot tell us a word about why music delights us, of why and how an old song can move us to tears.

We do not belong to this material world that science constructs for us. We are not in it; we are outside. We are only spectators. The reason why we believe that we are in it, that we belong to the picture, is that our bodies are in the picture. Our bodies belong to it. Not only my own body, but those of my friends, also of my dog and cat and horse, and of all the other people and animals. And this is my only means of communicating with them.

I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.

You may ask — you are bound to ask me now: What, then, is in your opinion the value of natural science? I answer: Its scope, aim and value is the same as that of any other branch of human knowledge. Nay, none of them alone, only the union of all of them, has any scope or value at all, and that is simply enough described: it is to obey the command of the Delphic deity: gnothi seauton... get to know yourself!

I consider it extremely doubtful whether the happiness of the human race has been enhanced by the technical and industrial developments that followed in the wake of rapidly progressing natural science.

I am born into an environment — I know not whence I came nor whither I go nor who I am. This is my situation as yours, every single one of you. The fact that everyone always was in this same situation, and always will be, tells me nothing. Our burning question as to the whence and whither — all we can ourselves observe about it is the present environment. That is why we are eager to find out about it as much as we can. That is science, learning, knowledge; it is the true source of every spiritual endeavour of man. We try to find out as much as we can about the spatial and temporal surroundings of the place in which we find ourselves put by birth

We must therefore not be discouraged by the difficulty of interpreting life by the ordinary laws of physics. For that is just what is to be expected from the knowledge we have gained of the structure of living matter. We must also be prepared to find a new type of physical law prevailing in it. Or are we to term it a non-physical, not to say a super-physical, law?

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Schrödinger, fully Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger
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Austrian Physicist, Awarded the Nobel Prize Winner in Physics and Max Planck Medal