Unfortunately this illusion of autonomy has some very serious drawbacks. An example of one of those serious drawbacks (spoiler alert - there are many more) is the rise of loneliness in modern society. With each one of us going about our lives as though we were independent of everyone else, a curious phenomenon has taken place. Despite the fact that there are approximately 8 billion people on the planet and that through the internet we are more connected than ever, there has been a steady rise in self-reported loneliness in all major countries. Such loneliness can lead to depression, mental illness and to destructive behaviors such as substance abuse. We act as though we were completely autonomous - as if we did not depend on anything else but our own capabilities. This pandemic has laid bare this fallacy as we begin to realize that without the so-called "essential workers", society would not function.
Physics and biology tell us that everything is interconnected. A wonder- ful image of this inter-connectedness was provided by David Bohm who is acknowledged to be one of most significant theoretical scientists of the 20th century. He said that the most fundamental particles are like waves in an ocean. As they rise up, they seem to be individual objects, but they are really just part of the ocean. So it is with the fundamental particles in nature. They appear independent, but they are actually all interconnected. If particles at the most fundamental level are interconnected - it follows - then so are we.
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