Did you know that quantum physics proves that manifestation is real, and that all we need to do is use our energy, thoughts and consciousness to collapse the reality we want in front of us?
I’ll admit, when I first heard that there was a doctor (aka someone with a degree in what they were talking about, I imagined) who explained how quantum physics proves that we can create our own reality, I was intrigued.
Until I listened to the book.
And did some research.
And I’m here to tell you that unless there’s some branch of quantum physics that has a completely different take on:
- What quantum physics IS, and
- What the observer effect in quantum mechanics is
Then not only is this claim completely made up, but doesn’t feel like a stretch to say it is intentionally misleading.
The Claim: Observer Effect & Using Our Thoughts to Create Reality
I first heard of Dr Joe Dispenza a few years ago from a business coach I follow online.
Apparently, he explained how quantum physics not only proved manifestation but also explained how it worked, in his book ‘Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself’.
Always up for learning more, I listened to it – and got about as far as ‘The Quantum You’ (the first chapter).
There is A LOT in that first chapter that is questionable, but today I want to focus on the claim:
“The observer effect in quantum physics states that where you direct your attention is where you place your energy. As a consequence, you affect the material world.” (from ‘Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself,’ page 20)
Or, in a little more detail:
“The quantum universe is just waiting for a conscious observer (you or me) to come along and influence energy in the form of potential matter by using the mind and consciousness (which are themselves energy) to make waves of energetic probabilities coalesce into physical matter. Just as the wave of possibility of the electron manifests as a particle within a specific momentary event, we observers cause a particle or groups of particles to manifest physical experiences in the form of events in our lives.’ (from ‘Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself’, pages 34-35)
The first thing to note is that Joe Dispenza does NOT cite his sources for these statements – so I can’t find what he’s basing these statements on to assess them.
What I can do is research what the observer effect is, and the general principles of quantum physics, and see if what is currently known supports these statements.
It’s very difficult to prove a negative, but I hope that what I’m sharing with you here will give you enough information to see why it’s extremely, extremely unlikely that there is any science that supports Joe Dispenza’s claim of the observer effect proving manifestation.
We Exist in the Quantum Universe
First, I’d briefly like to point out that the quantum universe is not something that exists “out there”, or in some alternate dimension.
We exist in the quantum universe – or, more accurately, it exists within us.
‘Quantum’ simply refers to the sub-atomic level, aka particles that make up atoms.
Just like everything is chemicals, everything has atoms.
Which means everything has sub-atoms (or, electrons and other teeny tiny pieces).
Those electrons that are moving in a wave function, not really being pinned down until they’re observed, are doing that as we speak around each of our atomic nuclei.
The quantum universe is inside our ‘macro’ universe, the quantum universe is what we’re made of, and what we interact with, in our day to day lives.
It isn’t waiting for a conscious observer to interact with it, because we interact with it every day, and, as beings with consciousness, it is impossible for us not to interact with it.
Quantum Physics is Completely Unpredictable
One of the things that many scientists, including Einstein, had issue with is that quantum physics is totally indeterministic – aka unpredictable.
In non-quantum physics, aka classical physics, if you have all the information about something you can predict – with precision – where it will end up.
To put it in other words, classical physics is ‘deterministic’ – once you figure out how something moves, you can predict accurately where it will be / how it will behave.
In quantum physics, it’s the opposite.
Even if you know everything you can possibly know about the quanta you’re looking at, you can only calculate the probability of where something will be.
You can only know for certain where something is AFTER you measure it – you can’t predict it beforehand.
I wanted to emphasise this point because the whole principle of ‘you can pre-determine your reality by consciously intending how these waves will collapse into particles’ is contrary to everything that has been observed on a quantum level.
If you’d like a more in-depth explanation of deterministic vs probabilistic, for a shorter read, you can click this link.
Or, for a longer and slightly more confusing explanation, you can read ‘The Quantum Universe: Everything that Can Happen, Does Happen’ by Dr Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw.
The Observer Effect - in Quantum Physics
Okay, so I’m saying the fundamental principle of quantum physics goes against this concept in ‘Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself’.
What about the thing he says about the observer effect STATING that where you direct your attention is where you place your energy?
First let me tell you – I could not find a single source that defined the observer effect in quantum physics in these terms, other than as a quote from JD.
The observer effect is a concept in many fields that essentially states that the act of observing something will always affect, or change, the thing you’re observing.
In quantum physics, however, the observer effect is generally discussed in relation to the behaviour of particles in the double-slit experiment.
Here’s a brief summary of the double-slit experiment (and here’s a link to a simple but more in-depth description of it):
Experimenters set up two boards – one with a double slit and one behind it without any slits.
They pushed electrons through the double slits, expecting to see the electrons land in two lines (because they thought the electrons would act like particles – like micro baseballs).
Instead, the electrons created an interference pattern on the second board, consistent with a wave function (aka the electrons were NOT acting like particles).
EXCEPT, when the experiment was observed with a detector – aka a measuring device, the electrons acted like particles.
The original double-slit experiment was done with light, or photons, and has since been repeated with electrons.
The explanation given for this was that WHEN OBSERVED, the electrons functioned as particles, and when NOT observed, they functioned as a wave. Aka, that observation ‘collapsed’ the wave function into a particle.
One important note – the observation that collapsed the electrons into particles was not a ‘conscious’ observer, but rather a machine.
You can find further extrapolation that this means that electrons exist as waves around an atom unless they’re observed or measured in various texts of quantum physics.
THAT is the observer effect in quantum physics.
(And on an interesting side note, there are now even some scientists who question this explanation according to this article I found in my research.)
Quantum Physics Doesn't Prove Manifestation
As you can see, the actual principles of quantum physics (being inherently unpredictable) and the observer effect, don’t support the statements from JD we looked at earlier (repeating them again for easy reference):
“The observer effect in quantum physics states that where you direct your attention is where you place your energy. As a consequence, you affect the material world.” (from ‘Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, page 20)
“The quantum universe is just waiting for a conscious observer (you or me) to come along and influence energy in the form of potential matter by using the mind and consciousness (which are themselves energy) to make waves of energetic probabilities coalesce into physical matter. Just as the wave of possibility of the electron manifests as a particle within a specific momentary event, we observers cause a particle or groups of particles to manifest physical experiences in the form of events in our lives.” (from ‘Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself’, pages 34-35)
In fact, I did a LOT of searching to find anything that came close to implying that any type of observation can dictate the behaviour of electrons on a quantum level and couldn’t find it.
As I said earlier, because Joe Dispenza doesn’t source his material as to where he’s gotten this concept of what the quantum physics’ observer effect is, or this idea that our consciousness can dictate reality, I can’t address his sources directly.
But hopefully, as you’ve seen in what I’ve shared from my research and multiple sources, what we currently understand about quantum physics and the observer effect directly contradicts and/or does not in any way support these statements.
But... I BELIEVE Intention & Energy Change Things!
As we wrap up, let’s address one last thing –
What if you believe that intention & energy can change things or affect our world?
You may have had an experience where you visualised something happening in your life, that eventually happened – whether quickly or slowly.
You may believe that energy and intention affect reality.
Personally, I do believe that there is a power in intention.
Just because quantum physics and the observer effect doesn’t prove something, doesn’t mean something else might explain it, later.
There is a huge difference between saying ‘I’ve had these experiences, so I therefore believe in these things’
Making up something that doesn’t exist in science to try and convince people something is proven by science.
I get it, having an explanation of how something works, and feeling like there’s science that backs up a belief is really comforting.
But even in the scientific realm there are a lot of theories and unknowns.
There are loads of examples in medicine where something works, but researchers can’t explain the mechanism for it.
What happens when you fabricate scientific support for a concept?
Well, we now have a bunch of people who believe that quantum physics supports the concept of creating your own reality through your intentions and thoughts, when it doesn’t.
People repeating this idea that actually isn’t true, as if it’s a proven fact.
We have to be honest when we’re talking about these concepts.
We can believe something works, but we need to be clear that we don’t know why, and be clear about what those beliefs are based on.
What do YOU call it when someone writes an untrue statement, as a way to convince people of something when the evidence that exists doesn’t actually support the claim that’s being made?
I want to finish off by saying, I know I’m not a physicist or a specialist in these areas. This is why I’ve linked to multiple sources so you can look into it yourself and come to your own conclusions – you don’t have to take my word on it.
While I did focus on referring to quality sources and cross-checking information, if there is anything in this article you think is inaccurate and you’d like to share information that demonstrates that, feel free to leave a comment or email me. I’ll review it, and update as appropriate.