I’m fascinated by the intersection of quantum mechanics (the study of subatomic systems) and faith. I’ve written about string theory before, and the implication that everything that exists—every steak on the grill we smell and every soul-penetrating song we hear—is a vibration of God. The physical world is an emanation of the God frequency. God is the sound that started the universe. God is our infinite song of sustenance.
Quantum mechanics helps me integrate faith and science. Science is biblical for me. I believe that by revealing the mysteries of the universe, science also reveals something of the nature of God. Understanding science as more than just the laws of nature helps people of faith maintain a healthy, contemporary, and relevant image of God and God’s activity in the world.
In the quantum world, I have discovered interesting ways to imagine not only the nature of God, but also God’s infrastructure, if you will—how God is active in our world without being manipulative. For me, if God is going to be an active force in the world, then the way God acts has to make sense with our current understanding of the natural world.
For example, we know God doesn’t “cause” floods or create disease because we understand natural weather patterns, the existence of bacteria and viruses, the properties of electromagnetics, gravity, and the time-space continuum. For a great majority of us, God can no longer be the super-being of our ancestors (and unfortunately, many of our contemporaries) floating somewhere in outer space, manipulating and micromanaging every little detail of our lives.
But most of us who believe in God also believe God is personal. Certainly, Jesus’ message was of an intimate God, a God of unconditional love nearer than our own breath. If that is so, then how does God work? If I accept and understand scientific ideas about the workings of the universe, then where is God if God isn’t literally pulling our strings and pushing our buttons?
This is where the idea of quantum entanglement provides some good spiritual insight. Entanglement is how I think God works in the universe—not on this large-scale level, pointing “his” finger and creating floods when God is pissed, or crying out rainbows when God is happy. No, God “works” on a sub-molecular, subatomic, extremely tiny but entirely pervasive level. God is personal because God is every one of the trillions and trillions of atoms that together form an individual. We are entangled with the very substance of God, because every molecule in our physical body is connected to God in a way we are only just beginning to discover.
We are connected to God on a quantum level. We are entangled with God—physically, spiritually, mentally.
We all know what being entangled means, correct? Like the braids of a rope, all twisted together, or if you’re me, every time you try to untie a shoelace, it’s so entangled that it might be easier to torch it than untie it.
In the quantum world, there is a bizarre activity known as “quantum entanglement.” Scientists have discovered that pairs—or even groups—of particles form into connected (entangled) systems. That means the state of one of the particles—the way it’s spinning and its polarity, for example, cannot be determined unless the entire group is figured out. And if one particle in the group changes, the others automatically update to maintain their connection.
For example, if there are two entangled particles, one will always spin up and the other will always spin down. It’s balance. So, if we mess with these particles by, say, changing the spin of one, then the other will automatically adjust to maintain the connection.
Now, here’s the really cool thing, the phenomenon that causes me to believe this is God in action: Experiments have proven that this connectivity—this entanglement between molecules, occurs even if the particles are separated by thousands of miles!
Do you get that? Two particles that are entangled REMAIN entangled even when separated by great distances. Let’s say I have a spin-up particle in Florida and its entangled spin-down particle is in Oregon. If I change the spin of the Florida particle, the particle in Oregon will immediately adjust.
Here’s another mind-blower—there’s no delay in the adjustment. It’s as if the information between the two particles is traveling faster than light. It’s instantaneous information transmission.
Quantum entanglement. To me, it implies a much deeper human connection than we’ve imagined. The molecules that make us who we are also connect us to each other, via the fundamental of God. We are entangled at a subatomic level through God, to all creation.
Need proof? Pray. If you’ve ever prayed for anyone, or received prayer from others, you have experienced quantum entanglement. Think about the way you’ve felt when being prayed for. There is an obvious and palpable energy flow—even if the people praying for you are thousands of miles away. Prayer works because we are entangled beings—entangled at the most basic level of matter, sub-atomically.
Let me tell you how that translates into the real world for me, and why I think quantum entanglement has implications for prayer.
While I was away in sabbatical, I felt your prayers. I didn’t just know you were praying for me, there were moments—many of them, that I was brought to tears because I was so overwhelmed by love. Love I KNEW came from you all and everyone praying for me before my double hip-replacement surgery.
I know many of you have had similar prayer experiences. Whether praying for someone or receiving prayer, you’ve felt the energy exchange. Doesn’t that feel like God to you, God connecting us, working through us, at the very core of our being?
So, how does that happen? How can I be comforted while thousands of miles away? How can we not only sense but actually feel with every fibre of our being, this healing, loving, comforting energy being sent from thousands of miles away?
At our most basic level of being, where atoms are working together to form human beings, we are entangled with God energy, and that God energy connects us with every other thing on the planet—not just with other humans, by the way, but with everything.
If we open our minds and allow our senses to be filled with the unexpected, we will sense God pulsing through all of creation, from the tiniest speck of sand on the beach to the most majestic Elephants of India; through you and me; through friend and foe. It is a feeling that reveals the lunacy of seeing foes and the lightness of being.
We are entangled not only as a congregation, or groups of friends, but at a molecular level with everything that exists in the universe, everything seen and unseen, everything known and yet to be discovered. All those bazillions of particles that make us the individuals we are? Those particles are entangled. They’re communicating with each other on a level we might never fully understand, but can comprehend as God talk.
Maybe we people of faith should call the quantum world “The God Level.” There’s communication going on between us—between all things, truly. We receive it all the time, but only perceive it when we’re paying attention, or are so overwhelmed by the loving energy sent by a group of people keeping us in their prayers that we can’t help but understand it as God in action.
Prayer is powerful because it’s the way we communicate on the God Level. Prayer takes advantage of our entanglement and keeps us all in sync, spinning in the direction of God, which harmonizes the universe.
I know we’re all feeling the stress of the world right now, and I know we’re praying to God to make things better. I offer the idea of God as molecular energy in the hope that your prayer life will become even more focused and deeply connected to the loving energy of the universe, and that thinking of God as the smallest of the small will bring you peace, joy, and comfort, even as you transmit peace, joy, and comfort to the rest of the world.
Your thoughts make a difference, because we are an entangled species.