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As the last notes of Auld Lang Syne faded, Gerhard remembered the story he had heard of German and Allied troops joining together on the Western Front in 1914 to celebrate the Christmas season, their voices raised together in song. This very song.
He gazed around the ballroom, deeply moved by the beauty and frenzy that had seized Berlin in the last days of 1938. Most of his friends in the faculty of physics had fled to universities in countries where his kind of knowledge guaranteed a welcome, in spite of Jewish heritage. He hoped that his reputation would save him when he decided to remain in Germany with his wife, Maria. Still, late at night, he often lay awake, listening for the sound of jackboots on the stairs.
As he was led away, Gerhardt was struck by the parallel between his situation and Schrodinger’s cat. He had dropped out of his world, and now all who knew him would be trying to determine whether he was in fact dead or alive. Inside his windowless box, the Gestapo would either kill him or not kill him. But to those observers on the outside, he would remain suspended in a state of probable life and death just as the equations predicted. Eventually, word of his fate could get out and decoherence would occur. The box would be opened and in the minds of his loved ones and in actual fact, he would exist in a single fixed state of life or death rather than an undefined state where both co-exist in some sense.
As the days passed, stress flooded Gerhard’s body with adrenalin and drove currents of energy through his mind, exploding it with new ideas. Could the key to quantum mechanics be whether or not real communication could exist between states of observer and observe? Since all real states in a universe are open and communicating then quantum states must lie outside those parameters. To Bohr they are nothing but mathematical manipulations but what if they are more than that, not quite real, but roots of what a real state may become, existing in a kind of Flatland, trapped by the virtual sphere as the earth traps the roots of real trees. Is there an original unitary state, a seed of the complex real world, that collapses to create two absolutely polarized roots and a continuum, a wave of probable mixed periodic states lying between the two extremes, a world as real as our own yet hidden from us? Is this state inherently unstable having a preferred resolution? Any pure quantum state would be a period 2 state, in which definition of one simultaneously defined the other, whether or not they communicated. And this would extend even into the real world. If he and one other ran for president, the determination of his victory would simultaneously define his opponent. In the relative world real communication can exist, in the quantum world all communicating boundaries between pure polarized root states and with the relative world must have collapsed. Quantum states would appear to tunnel through boundaries that for them did not exist. What if ideas are quantum states of consciousness, potentials not yet realized? His mind raced.
Some interpreted the Copenhagen announcement to mean that mind was the force that created the world as we experience it. Gerhard had discussed the possibility of his arrest with Maria, his wife. If it happened they would test the Copenhagen interpretation by acting as though the decision to release him had already been made. They would hold fast to the idea of their inevitable reunion.
Gerhard set his mind to the real task of manipulating the outcome in his favour. He examined the variables. He realized there was a flaw in the comparison of his situation to that of the cat. The gas, if released, would always kill the cat, whereas the Nazis had a choice. But maybe the atom that released the gas also had a choice, and will rather than randomness determined the outcome of probable states. Then the Gestapo were not the gas but the radioactive atom and the actual executioner they could release on him, was the gas. If he could sway his interrogators in his direction, he could block the executioner. The first interrogation session was enough to convince him that his theory probably had some flaws or his was not the only mind and free will acting in this scenario.
Gerhard knew that months had passed since his arrest, but he was shocked when he overheard the guards discussing the fact that Christmas was only a few days away. He imagined Maria bravely trying to hold onto hope in this season that exaggerates both the best and worst in human experience. The greatest joys, the deepest sorrows. The opening of the door interrupted his reverie.
A new face sat across from him but the expression had not changed. Cold, efficient, cruel if necessary. Gerhard smiled and said ‘Merry Christmas’. ‘What did you say’. ‘I said Merry Christmas’. ‘But you are a Jew’ he spat. ‘And so was Jesus. I have read your Bible and I admire the things he taught. My wife is a Christian.’ A strange quiet fell as the German visibly relaxed. ‘Do not expect an explanation, but you are free to go. Go quickly. Here is the address of someone under suspicion for helping Jews to escape. Leave immediately.’ A stunned Gerhard moved toward the door turning briefly to say ‘For Auld Lang Syne, my friend.’ ‘For Auld Lang Syne’.
He mused that in the world of pure mathematical equations there may not be any hidden variables, but in the real world, they would always be at play. Stranger yet was the possibility that the force of his own mind had been the instrument of his salvation. As Gerhard stepped through the door into the brisk winter air the doctor straightened, removed his stethoscope, and announced that Maria was gone.

About the Author: 
Retired chem tech, real estate appraiser et al., with a lifelong obsession to understand the universe and why we are in it. Currently working on a book about a Universal Pattern.