Here’s an idea that’s been bouncing around in my mind. If quantum field theory (QFT) is correct, and “particles” are really excited states of underlying fields (or field), then the following may be the case.
What we see as “objects” moving through spacetime may be actually something quite different than our common-sense perceptions. Instead of objects being something independent and self-contained, moving through a separate medium called “spacetime,” what we may be seeing is excited states of energy of a field moving through itself, the stationary field. An object is not something independent of this field, but is the energy of the field itself, moving in relation to itself.
Thus, the ancient Greek philosophers Parmenides and Heraclitus could both be right in their seemingly contradictory ontologies of the nature of being and becoming. The One field could be said to be, per Parmenides, absolute and stationary, immovable, unchangable as it is in itself, being itself, not going or coming. But the energy of that field could, per Heraclitus, move within it, always changing, continually transforming, combining and separating, becoming, modulating, fluctuating, exciting, interacting, always flowing. It is both permanent and impermanent, both still and changing, both being and becoming, simultaneously, a superposition of seemingly contradictory or mutually exclusive states, a unity of opposites, a coincidentia oppositorum.
This could be compared to waves in the ocean that seem to move from one place to another but the underlying water is essentially stationary, going nowhere. It is energy that moves through the ocean, transferring from one place in the ocean to another place in the ocean, it is not the ocean itself moving anywhere, nor water molecules in the ocean moving from one place to another place. The same is true for sound that moves through air. The air molecules are not moving from one place to another, but rather it is energy that is being transferred through the compression waves of air molecules from one place to another.
My point is that this kind of movement may be happening not only in such wave-like mediums as liquid, or air, but all other objects as well. All objective movement may be the unified field itself being excited or not, at different points within itself. It would be the energy that moves through the field, but the field itself is basically motionless. For something to seem to move from here to there, the energy of the field would interact with other parts of the field, to exchange that energy in a domino chain reaction effect, moving the energy from this part of the field to that part of the field, but the field itself never moves. The field itself is changeless, being like the substrate or frame in which all energy moves.
The movement of a human body, for example, would at any point in time begin with the field being excited in a particular location, and as that body moves somewhere else, it is actually the energy of the field that shifts to a different location in the field, the field is being excited in that new location. The person thinks they have moved, that there is something fundamental that has shifted locations, but fundamentally the field didn’t move at all, only the energy within the field, the energy that they think of as their “self.”
You might be wondering what this has to do with mysticism. Plenty, I think. The One, the Whole, the Ultimate Reality we could say is the field, and all seemingly separate “things” could be collections of energy in that One, in that absolute Field. They are not actually separate independent distinct things in spacetime, but rather the movements of the One Field itself, exchanging and interacting within itself.
I suggest we are not really fundamentally or ultimately independent beings, but rather all parts of the same one Ultimate Being manifesting itself as seemingly many discrete beings, as different parts of the field are excited or come to stillness. Movement from here to there requires the interaction of the field, the movement of energy to transfer from this part of the field to that part of the field, but the field itself remains always a seamless continuous undivided changeless Whole. The One Field simply is, and always is that, even while energy dances within it, moving it, modulating it, fluctuating it, interacting within it.
What we think we are is actually a collection of energy that is currently exciting this particular localized area of the Field, but in our essence we are fundamentally the Whole Field itself. At another point in time, this energy will excite another area of the Field, as we move, or change, or die, and energy is continually flowing through us the whole time as well. Death is perhaps the relaxing of the particular pattern of collected energy we usually call our “self,” dispersing it into other parts of the Field.
We are like a temporal eddy in a stream, which is energy in the stream that takes on the pattern of a vortex structure for a time, continues for a while, but eventually that energy relaxes, loses its structure, and disperses into the structureless stream. It is only ever the water of the stream the whole time, but the stream is just being formed by its energetic action into an impermanent temporal shape which it keeps for a time, and eventually loses. The energy in the stream is continually resurrecting such eddies through time, just as the energy that makes us up will continually resurrect or re-incarnate into new forms endlessly. But it is only always ever the One Field itself that is taking shape, that is fluctuating, that is being modulated, that is incarnating.
This is a very different way of conceptualizing objects and their movements through space, including what we are and how we move. These are perhaps not independent isolated beings apart from space, but the excitation of the One field of the cosmos itself, moving and exchanging energy within itself. What we regularly think of as “space,” is just part of the field that is relatively devoid of energy (although never zero). What we think of as “objects” is part of the field that has a massive amount of energy fluctuating it at that particular location. And the “movement” of objects is the flowing of energy from one part of the field to another part of the field.
The fundamental essence of the One never moves or changes as it is, only the energy in the One changes, takes shape, forms objects, etc. This could be compared to the nature of the Christian Trinity, the “Father” being the essential One Field, the “Spirit” being the energy that flows through that One field, and the “Son” being the apparent incarnations of that energy into concrete definite forms, massive objects, organisms, planets, stars, etc. It may all essentially be the same One thing, manifesting itself in various ways.
What do you think? Do objects have an independent existence, or are they the excitation of something more fundamental?