(This posting is dedicated to the late Professor David Bohm, Theoretical Physicist, who specialized in Quantum Mechanics. I used to have some very good one-on-one conversations with David.)
In quantum mechanics, when a separate observer looks at (or tries to measure) subatomic phenomena, the (endless) waveform collapses and there is an object that, for instance, exists in a distinct place, duration, or time. (The waveform can exist at many places at once and has qualities of infinity.) We are perpetually measuring things, even when we are not fully conscious of doing so. Labeling things, identifying things, naming things, existing from one word-oriented symbol to the next… are all (in their own way) forms of measuring, categorizing, and assessing. We were taught that the observer is doing the measuring, doing the categorizing, and doing the assessing. However, is the observer truly separate from what the measuring, categorization, and assessment are constituted of? Without measurement and assessment, without the usage of symbolism, the (separate) observer does not exist. (Selfishness, by the way, requires the measurement that forges and invents a separate observer; therein, limitation is involved.)
Measuring (and all that type of process) is necessary at times. Measuring, calculating, labeling, assessment (and all that) was drilled into us throughout our education. However, they never taught us, or seriously suggested, that there are times when we can go beyond these things. They had us live in thought, exist in thought, and worship thought. They never suggested that we need not put all of our eggs in that one basket… the basket of thought (as measurement, categorizing, and assessing). They never suggested that thought and thinking is a tool… (and need not be the essence of the organism). You know, when you make tools all important, and forget about the living thing, you become rather robotic and mechanized… rather unalive. Our “self concepts,” too, are all (basically) learned symbols. Symbols are not the actuality; a description of an insect isn’t the insect. But so many of us exist from one symbol to another; even when we look at things, we tend to see through (and “as”) a screen of learned symbols.
We can exist beyond symbolism, measurement, and tool utilization… though symbolism, measurement, and tool utilization is often very necessary and prudent. This is not some fanciful living the the here and now. (Psychologically clinging to the here and now is rather like the collapse of the waveform; often involved in it are learned measurement, categorization, and assessment.) Most minds will not be appreciative of this. Most minds were indoctrinated by measurement (“with” and “as” measurement). This is unfortunate, because the measureless has a quality of true infinity to it. Limited — rather virtual — symbols (involving “self” or “not self”) can never capture or grasp that nonsymbolic, real, illimitable quality.