Uncertain State of the Union

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We live in a world of infinite possibilities. Well, probabilities, really, but let's not be pedantic. The world that we see, hear, feel, is but a tiny part of the whole, and our understanding of it is very limited. There exists a vast region beyond the realm of our senses, known to us only as Hill Bert, home to a clan of all-powerful deities called the Psi. These beings contain within themselves all the knowledge of the Universe, and if the right questions are asked, the Psi 'project' their knowledge onto those seeking answers. The early Seekers gave birth to the many races that populate the world today. Each had their own paths to reach the Psi. Those who wished to know their place in the Universe, came to be known as the Psi-Q, and those that were interested in how they would evolve came to be called the Psi-P. Soon, these two races learned that they couldn't get along with each other. They simply didn't commute.

Now this is the story of Alice and Bob. Alice was born a Psi-Q, and Bob, a Psi-P. As these tales go, though they belonged to non-commuting families, they fell in love with each other. Their courtship was remarkably playful yet singularly intense. If Alice was on a park bench, waiting for Bob, he would call out to her from behind bushes and trees; seemingly from all around the park at the same time. And when Bob had his quiet moments, Alice danced around, riotously happy and impossible to catch. Yet they talked and laughed, ultimately realizing that they complement each other perfectly. Now they just had to tell their families.

To say that it was a debacle, would be an understatement. Alice and Bob were forbidden from seeing each other, and Alice was duly packed away on a world-tour. Its purpose was to expand her horizons and then lose interest in Bob. The plan worked. At the same time, it didn't. Alice never forgot about him.

Her travels eventually brought her to the banks of the river Fourier, where she met an old Master called Schroedinger. It was rumored that he possessed the Sight, that he could witness the inner workings of the Universe. Now he taught all that he knew to others. He taught that all paths to understand the true nature of the Psi, were, in fact, equivalent. Intrigued, Alice approached Schroedinger for guidance. All he said to her was this: Find your own path. This stumped Alice. Nobody had ever told her to think for herself. She didn't know where to start. For inspiration, she turned to the works of other Masters like Einstein, Planck, Bohr, Dirac and Feynman. She spent several days just thinking. She thought about her place in the world, about the different paths to the Psi, and about how the world has blinded itself to the Truth.

One day, as she was looking at her reflection in the Fourier, it hit her. This was it. Her Eureka moment! She couldn't believe it took her so long to see it. That day, she went to Schroedinger again and told him that she finally understood. The races of Psi-Q and Psi-P came into existence simply because they chose to ask different questions from the Psi. They were not different then and they are not different now. She could be a Psi-P if she chose to, but that wouldn't change anything. It was just a different way of looking at the world. In the end, they could be integrated into each other. Together, they could understand the Universe much better than if they tried alone. Maybe one day, they could even become Psi! It was simultaneously the most liberating as well as the most sobering thought she ever had.

Schroedinger, as was his way, listened to her quietly, and then handed her a book. Flipping through it, she was delighted to see that it contained the very same insights she had, and more. Written in the Master's hand, it had transformed into sheer poetry. When she turned to thank him, he told her that it was now time for her to seek out and learn from another old Master, Heisenberg.

So Alice set off, contemplating her transformed world-view. But she suspected, deep down, that she really knew this all along. When she met Heisenberg, he spoke to her with great vigor, asking many questions and delighting in the answers with the enthusiasm of a toddler, surprising Alice. He was, after all, a Master, it was hardly the first time he heard any of this. She realized much later, that the knowledge of the Truth brings with it a sense of wonder that never fades. She hoped to see the same light in the eyes of everyone around her, always.

Alice then proceeded to tell Heisenberg about Bob. She thought that the bad blood between the Psi-Q and Psi-P would hardly be an issue if they perceived the world as she now did. With Bob by her side, she hoped to revolutionize the existing state of affairs. Heisenberg pondered over this, and told her that from what he had seen, most people would not be ready for such a radical change in their perspective; that it would simply tear them apart. He suggested a middle path. The two races had to exist as separate entities for the transmission of knowledge in the world. Though they were so different, they were complementary. But any alliance between the two would cause significant uncertainties in the status quo, and would be impossible to eliminate. All one could hope to do was minimize it.

So it was that one sunny day, Heisenberg officiated Alice and Bob's Union. His voice echoed loud and clear through the park, as he said, “Alice and Bob, I now pronounce the State of your Union, Coherent!”

About the Author: 
Neither a physicist nor a writer. Hopes to be both.