White knights of the sub-atomic age

Humans create their own reality. This is the conclusion of physicist Danah Zohar based on her research into the tiniest particles of matter. An interview with Zohar, who claims we need modern knights who will lead humanity to a change in consciousness.


Tijn Touber | May 2005 issue

In the living room stands a Christmas tree with no star on top. It’s not that Danah Zohar is uncomfortable with Christian tradition, but these days she exploring Eastern mysticism. So a photo of the Dalai Lama is perched on top of her tree instead. And you won’t find the traditional English Christmas bread treats on her coffee table, but sketches of the tree of life from the mystical Jewish Cabala, which overlap with quantum physics formulas and psychosocial transformation models. It’s all unfathomable to the layman, butfull of meaning for Zohar.

After suffering a five-year bout of depression, during which she slept only during the day and spent nights digging deep into her past, Zohar once more feels she is the master of her own life. The old mystics and the modern quantum experts both confirm what Zohar has learned from her own experience: life has meaning and significance, and the world can be changed. Even her depression had meaning. The psychic pain she felt was transformed in a quantum leap to a new consciousness—an experience she wishes the whole world could have.

Danah Zohar, an American-born nuclear physicist living in England, is at home in the world of quantum leaps. Her books, including the influential The Quantum Self (Flamingo, 1991), made her an international authority on the subject of quantum physics. She has been successful in capturing this mysterious world of sub-atomic particles in understandable language. But her greatest strength is showing the effect in our daily lives of fresh insights into the behaviour of the smallest building blocks of matter. Her “quantum vision” offers another take on such things as relationships between women and men, psychological development, public life and social norms and values.

Zohar studies the relationship between consciousness and matter. She compares the duality of mind and body with the duality of waves and particles in quantum physics—“particles” like electrons, appear to sometimes take on a fixed shape and are sometimes a wave. Based on that information Zohar sought—and found—the basis of consciousness in quantum particles called bosons. The difference between the two becomes visible when they are cooled down to just above the absolute zero point (minus 273 degrees Celsius; minus 460 Fahrenheit.). Then something strange happens to the bosons. The particles start to behave as if they were one giant super atom. This state of being is called the Bose-Einstein condensate and, according to Zohar, it is the basis of consciousness and identity. Identity—the experience of one’s own “self” in relation to the world—is said to be traced to an arrangement of bosons in the neural tissue of the brain.

Because another kind of particle called fermions maintain their own energy state when cooled, these particles behave in a similar way to matter. According to Zohar, the subatomic interaction between bosons and fermions is the place where mind and matter interact. It is the place where consciousness dwells and matter takes shape. It is also the place where God “lives”—in the quantum field among the smallest particles. This field is also referred to as the quantum vacuum or Zero Point Field and contains a staggering amount of energy that nuclear experts say was needed to produce the big bang.

The view of the world that emerges in Danah Zohar’s work is a holistic system in which not only matter, but consciousness—including feelings, spirituality and mysticism—are given a place. Humans are not just cogs in a mechanical universe with no influence on the outcome of evolution; they are active creators. Experiments have shown that observers play a crucial role in physics: it is the experience of the observer that determines that a particle is a particle and not a wave. That is to say, the consciousness of the observer causes atoms to “drop down” into a particular form. From this, Zohar concludes that our intentions have a direct effect on matter. Put yet another way: each human creates his or her own reality.

The sense of free will and creativity these findings seem to offer human beings also carry with them a large degree of responsibility, and this can be a heavy burden. So heavy, in fact, that Zohar has suffered depressions several times in her life. The first time Zohar remembers was, “when I was 13. I started to feel lost. I wasn’t interested in anything anymore, gained a lot of weight, developed spots on my face and got bad grades. Life seemed like a succession of grey, monotonous days without meaning and I even considered suicide.

Then something happened that woke me up,” she continues, “a fascinating explanation from my physics teacher about nuclear physics. The man explained how atom bombs are made. The field seemed to encompass a completely new, mysterious world with awe-inspiring powers I could hardly imagine. That afternoon I ran home and demanded that my mother take me to the bookstore.”

Two weeks later something happened that made an equally deep impression on her: the Russians launched their first Sputnik satellite into the earth’s orbit, which triggered a wave of fear in the United States. Zohar remembers, “Russian science made a giant leap and we Americans knew for sure that they would use their superiority to test us. I remember thinking: ‘America needs scientists.’” She decided to become a nuclear physicist and enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she studied physics and philosophy and developed a real passion for quantum research.

While entering physics as a way to stand up for America, Danah Zohar said farewell to her native country many years ago to join her husband Ian Marshall in the English university city of Oxford. In addition to two children, all the books Zohar has written have been co-productions with her husband, who is not only a gifted psychotherapist and psychiatrist but, according to Zohar, had insight before she did into the mystical connection between things. Her fascination for mystical traditions is partly thanks to Marshall.

“Ian was always busy with the cabalistic tree of life,” she notes. “The patterns of the universe are portrayed on that tree as the mystical Jews saw them. I used to like to make stupid jokes about it. Until one day he left one of the drawings on my desk. I started to study it and became fascinated. The twelfth-century life tree appeared to precisely correspond with recent discoveries in quantum mechanics.” The combined insights of Zohar and Marshall led, among other things, to the quantum trilogy that brought Zohar international fame: The Quantum Self (1991), The Quantum Society (1994) and her current work in progress The Quantum Spirit.

Zohar has become a much-sought after speaker and advisor to major companies with her message that both the Western hierarchical model and the Eastern network model have had their day. Based on the quantum theory, she has come up with a new theory that companies operate the same way as the brain—the whole brain that is, including the emotional and spiritual part. Instead of aiming for certainty and predictability, companies would benefit much more from integrating chaos theory and unpredictable quantum processes so they remain flexible and proactive.

Zohar works on the assumption that there are various types of intelligence and pioneered the concepts of “spiritual intelligence” and “spiritual intelligence quotient” (SQ), which are now widely known. Zohar says SQ forms the basis of inspiration and intuitive development. It enables us to make contact with higher values and to choose between good and evil.

If human beings are indeed the creators of their own reality, that raises painful questions: Why is reality so ugly? Why do we feel so powerless? These questions had a profound effect on Zohar, too, contributing to her long depression “My own impotence became painfully evident. I became increasingly gloomy about the lack of higher values and intelligent thought in politics, the business sector, religion, you name it. When I spoke during business conferences about creativity, vision and spiritual intelligence, everyone wanted to know how they could use these ideas to make more money.”

Zohar wonders whether humanity is living in a spiritual desert. “Most of us don’t think. We avoid choices and let things take their course. We are satisfied going through life like sleepwalkers and floating along with the flow of events like driftwood.” The words sound harsh, but they don’t come from a place of bitterness or cynicism. She is above all concerned and involved, and wants to help take humanity to a higher level. “Our humanity is being determined by our ability to make the choice between good and evil. Not making a choice is to deny your own essence. I don’t want to passively look on and see how we slide down even further.” Zohar eventually lifted herself out of depression using the ribbon of her typewriter, when started to write the recently published book Spiritual Capital (Bloomsbury, 2004).

In this book Zohar explains step by step how a cultural leap to a more spiritual society is possible. Zohar mainly focuses on the business community. Why? “Firstly because the business community is currently the dominant instrument that feeds values into society. Secondly, only the business community has enough money and influence to really change things.” That kind of transformation can happen if a significant number of leaders in the corporate world change and are prepared to operate based on higher motives. Zohar calls the members of this critical mass “knights,” which she sees “as culture carriers [who] shape the culture instead of being shaped by the culture. They come out with a new morality.”

About the prevailing corporate culture, she says, “As it is defined, modern capitalism maintains two assumptions about humanity: people should first and foremost think in economic terms and always consider their own interests first.” The famous Maslow pyramid of needs is part of this paradigm: the idea that basic needs precede spiritual and emotional fulfillment. Zohar disagrees and turns the pyramid around: “Of course you need to get your basic needs met. But the people Maslow is speaking to have satisfied their hunger and have a roof over their head, otherwise they wouldn’t be reading Maslow. For that group—and ultimately for every human being—a sense of self-esteem and self-realization are of primary importance. The essence is that every human being experiences his or her life as meaningful and significant. That is the factor that motivates us. Without that consciousness we get sick or die. There’s a good reason why the word ‘spiritual’ comes from the Latin ‘spiritus’, which refers to that which gives life or vitality to a system.”

Zohar’s thinking about spiritual knights led her to the Knights Templar (or Order of the Poor Knights of Christ) dating back to the Middle Ages : “Most knights from that time were occupied with damsels and fighting and didn’t lead good lives. But the Templers took the oath of poverty, shaved their heads and wore a simple outfit with a red cross. Their service was to God.” For Zohar, “God” represents that which is holy, “the higher purpose for which you are prepared to give your life. To do this you need the courage to place yourself outside the realm of money and power so you can use all your talents to serve the higher aim. If “knights” want to show others the path to higher motivation, they will have to be grounded in something greater than themselves, something transpersonal that rises above the culture they are a part of.”

That’s a heavy burden because people embracing those aims are swimming against the prevailing current of our era. Spiritual values are simpy not held important to the powers that be in modern culture.

British historian Arnold Toynbee in his classic A Study of History (1946) concluded from the rise and fall of 20 great civilizations that the disintegration of a culture has everything to do with the loss of spiritual values. This is what Zohar means when she talks about “spiritual capital”: the driving force of a person, society or organization. The fall of the Roman Empire is a clear example of a loss of spiritual capital. According to Zohar, “The gods of the institutionalized Roman religions were threatened by the emergence of Christianity. The citizens of Rome lost contact with their higher values and surrendered to bread and games.”

Zohar points out that major historical changes go hand in hand with crises, which she believes are necessary to break us free from our illusions. A crisis can lead to a quantum leap in evolutionary development. “All of humanity is currently in a state of crisis,” she notes. “ We are standing with our backs against the wall. The fact that this hasn’t yet really gotten through to us means that it needs to get worse.” Modern businesspeople remind her of passengers on the Titanic who rushed around selling their diamonds.

“Most of us are caught in a web of lies and illusions that have to do with ourselves and the group we belong to—with the culture, in other words..The status quo is maintained, which means that asking questions in school or organizations is discouraged. Questions are considered annoying, distracting and disloyal. And they are, because they cast doubt on the status quo.”

There is a break in her stream of words. Her penetrating eyes scan the room, where Mandalas and Eastern tapestries provide her with inspiration. Then, as if to illustrate her own unique and recalcitrant side, she lights up a cigarette. The smoke spirals upwards, enshrouding the Dalai Lama atop the tree. Her tone becomes milder: “Meditation has taught me to make contact with my deepest core. It feels like contact with a source of unending potential. I am now more aware of what I believe in and which deeper motives guide me. I know better why I am living and maybe even what I am prepared to die for.”

Are these the words of a nuclear physicist or a mystic? In the case of Danah Zohar, the answer appears to be both. Despite her spiritual inspiration and mystical interest, she is very critical in her thinking and ultimately arrives at her conclusions by weighing the cold hard facts. Which is why Zohar isn’t particularly thrilled with the increasing number of spiritual classes, gurus and self-help books. “A lot of what the new age offers is nothing more than a quick fix, a bandage on the wound. It’s nearly always about ‘feeling good’ and therefore mainly about feeding the ego. But that’s not what spirituality is about; that’s about insight into yourself.”

Her recipe to gain self-awareness: “Every day, take moments for introspection. Meditate. Participate in authentic dialogues about things that matter. Be prepared to penetrate your ‘discomfort zone’ to take a look at less pleasant truths about yourself. In order to make contact with higher values, a particular spiritual discipline is indispensable. I believe mediation is the best way to achieve this. The essence is that you are concentrated enough to tune in. You won’t get there simply by thinking about it or taking a class.”

Night has fallen. It’s time to leave Zohar’s house in Oxford because she still has a lot to do—including work on her coming two books: The Quantum Spirit and Total Intelligence. She could talk for hours about consciousness, quanta, knights and spiritual values. But she knows that’s not really the point. Ultimately, it’s about an inner experience of wholeness, from which a clear self-awareness flows. She increasingly had such experiences during the final phase of her depression. One of the most beautiful was the feeling of being a “quantum self”.

“I was ageless and genderless and was outside time and space. And yet I was myself—whatever that is. It was a kind of archetypal shape of my own self. Such experiences lead to paradigmatic shifts in the soul. Our thoughts attract reality: under the influence of the paradigm ‘fear’, everything becomes scary. During my depression, I was living based on the idea that people are essentially weak and bad. Now I think that our deepest essence is godly and has endless and magnificent potential.”

Hours later I am walking through the medieval heart of Oxford. The Knights Templar of yesteryear are gone, but there is an open invitationto reshape knighthood. Two sentences she said, which could carry the key to modern knighthood, haunt my thoughts: “When you recognize your inner potential, you can expand your vision. Then you can look beyond your own paradigm and imagine the impossible.”

Solution News Source

White knights of the sub-atomic age

Humans create their own reality. This is the conclusion of physicist Danah Zohar based on her research into the tiniest particles of matter. An interview with Zohar, who claims we need modern knights who will lead humanity to a change in consciousness.


Tijn Touber | May 2005 issue

In the living room stands a Christmas tree with no star on top. It’s not that Danah Zohar is uncomfortable with Christian tradition, but these days she exploring Eastern mysticism. So a photo of the Dalai Lama is perched on top of her tree instead. And you won’t find the traditional English Christmas bread treats on her coffee table, but sketches of the tree of life from the mystical Jewish Cabala, which overlap with quantum physics formulas and psychosocial transformation models. It’s all unfathomable to the layman, butfull of meaning for Zohar.

After suffering a five-year bout of depression, during which she slept only during the day and spent nights digging deep into her past, Zohar once more feels she is the master of her own life. The old mystics and the modern quantum experts both confirm what Zohar has learned from her own experience: life has meaning and significance, and the world can be changed. Even her depression had meaning. The psychic pain she felt was transformed in a quantum leap to a new consciousness—an experience she wishes the whole world could have.

Danah Zohar, an American-born nuclear physicist living in England, is at home in the world of quantum leaps. Her books, including the influential The Quantum Self (Flamingo, 1991), made her an international authority on the subject of quantum physics. She has been successful in capturing this mysterious world of sub-atomic particles in understandable language. But her greatest strength is showing the effect in our daily lives of fresh insights into the behaviour of the smallest building blocks of matter. Her “quantum vision” offers another take on such things as relationships between women and men, psychological development, public life and social norms and values.

Zohar studies the relationship between consciousness and matter. She compares the duality of mind and body with the duality of waves and particles in quantum physics—“particles” like electrons, appear to sometimes take on a fixed shape and are sometimes a wave. Based on that information Zohar sought—and found—the basis of consciousness in quantum particles called bosons. The difference between the two becomes visible when they are cooled down to just above the absolute zero point (minus 273 degrees Celsius; minus 460 Fahrenheit.). Then something strange happens to the bosons. The particles start to behave as if they were one giant super atom. This state of being is called the Bose-Einstein condensate and, according to Zohar, it is the basis of consciousness and identity. Identity—the experience of one’s own “self” in relation to the world—is said to be traced to an arrangement of bosons in the neural tissue of the brain.

Because another kind of particle called fermions maintain their own energy state when cooled, these particles behave in a similar way to matter. According to Zohar, the subatomic interaction between bosons and fermions is the place where mind and matter interact. It is the place where consciousness dwells and matter takes shape. It is also the place where God “lives”—in the quantum field among the smallest particles. This field is also referred to as the quantum vacuum or Zero Point Field and contains a staggering amount of energy that nuclear experts say was needed to produce the big bang.

The view of the world that emerges in Danah Zohar’s work is a holistic system in which not only matter, but consciousness—including feelings, spirituality and mysticism—are given a place. Humans are not just cogs in a mechanical universe with no influence on the outcome of evolution; they are active creators. Experiments have shown that observers play a crucial role in physics: it is the experience of the observer that determines that a particle is a particle and not a wave. That is to say, the consciousness of the observer causes atoms to “drop down” into a particular form. From this, Zohar concludes that our intentions have a direct effect on matter. Put yet another way: each human creates his or her own reality.

The sense of free will and creativity these findings seem to offer human beings also carry with them a large degree of responsibility, and this can be a heavy burden. So heavy, in fact, that Zohar has suffered depressions several times in her life. The first time Zohar remembers was, “when I was 13. I started to feel lost. I wasn’t interested in anything anymore, gained a lot of weight, developed spots on my face and got bad grades. Life seemed like a succession of grey, monotonous days without meaning and I even considered suicide.

Then something happened that woke me up,” she continues, “a fascinating explanation from my physics teacher about nuclear physics. The man explained how atom bombs are made. The field seemed to encompass a completely new, mysterious world with awe-inspiring powers I could hardly imagine. That afternoon I ran home and demanded that my mother take me to the bookstore.”

Two weeks later something happened that made an equally deep impression on her: the Russians launched their first Sputnik satellite into the earth’s orbit, which triggered a wave of fear in the United States. Zohar remembers, “Russian science made a giant leap and we Americans knew for sure that they would use their superiority to test us. I remember thinking: ‘America needs scientists.’” She decided to become a nuclear physicist and enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she studied physics and philosophy and developed a real passion for quantum research.

While entering physics as a way to stand up for America, Danah Zohar said farewell to her native country many years ago to join her husband Ian Marshall in the English university city of Oxford. In addition to two children, all the books Zohar has written have been co-productions with her husband, who is not only a gifted psychotherapist and psychiatrist but, according to Zohar, had insight before she did into the mystical connection between things. Her fascination for mystical traditions is partly thanks to Marshall.

“Ian was always busy with the cabalistic tree of life,” she notes. “The patterns of the universe are portrayed on that tree as the mystical Jews saw them. I used to like to make stupid jokes about it. Until one day he left one of the drawings on my desk. I started to study it and became fascinated. The twelfth-century life tree appeared to precisely correspond with recent discoveries in quantum mechanics.” The combined insights of Zohar and Marshall led, among other things, to the quantum trilogy that brought Zohar international fame: The Quantum Self (1991), The Quantum Society (1994) and her current work in progress The Quantum Spirit.

Zohar has become a much-sought after speaker and advisor to major companies with her message that both the Western hierarchical model and the Eastern network model have had their day. Based on the quantum theory, she has come up with a new theory that companies operate the same way as the brain—the whole brain that is, including the emotional and spiritual part. Instead of aiming for certainty and predictability, companies would benefit much more from integrating chaos theory and unpredictable quantum processes so they remain flexible and proactive.

Zohar works on the assumption that there are various types of intelligence and pioneered the concepts of “spiritual intelligence” and “spiritual intelligence quotient” (SQ), which are now widely known. Zohar says SQ forms the basis of inspiration and intuitive development. It enables us to make contact with higher values and to choose between good and evil.

If human beings are indeed the creators of their own reality, that raises painful questions: Why is reality so ugly? Why do we feel so powerless? These questions had a profound effect on Zohar, too, contributing to her long depression “My own impotence became painfully evident. I became increasingly gloomy about the lack of higher values and intelligent thought in politics, the business sector, religion, you name it. When I spoke during business conferences about creativity, vision and spiritual intelligence, everyone wanted to know how they could use these ideas to make more money.”

Zohar wonders whether humanity is living in a spiritual desert. “Most of us don’t think. We avoid choices and let things take their course. We are satisfied going through life like sleepwalkers and floating along with the flow of events like driftwood.” The words sound harsh, but they don’t come from a place of bitterness or cynicism. She is above all concerned and involved, and wants to help take humanity to a higher level. “Our humanity is being determined by our ability to make the choice between good and evil. Not making a choice is to deny your own essence. I don’t want to passively look on and see how we slide down even further.” Zohar eventually lifted herself out of depression using the ribbon of her typewriter, when started to write the recently published book Spiritual Capital (Bloomsbury, 2004).

In this book Zohar explains step by step how a cultural leap to a more spiritual society is possible. Zohar mainly focuses on the business community. Why? “Firstly because the business community is currently the dominant instrument that feeds values into society. Secondly, only the business community has enough money and influence to really change things.” That kind of transformation can happen if a significant number of leaders in the corporate world change and are prepared to operate based on higher motives. Zohar calls the members of this critical mass “knights,” which she sees “as culture carriers [who] shape the culture instead of being shaped by the culture. They come out with a new morality.”

About the prevailing corporate culture, she says, “As it is defined, modern capitalism maintains two assumptions about humanity: people should first and foremost think in economic terms and always consider their own interests first.” The famous Maslow pyramid of needs is part of this paradigm: the idea that basic needs precede spiritual and emotional fulfillment. Zohar disagrees and turns the pyramid around: “Of course you need to get your basic needs met. But the people Maslow is speaking to have satisfied their hunger and have a roof over their head, otherwise they wouldn’t be reading Maslow. For that group—and ultimately for every human being—a sense of self-esteem and self-realization are of primary importance. The essence is that every human being experiences his or her life as meaningful and significant. That is the factor that motivates us. Without that consciousness we get sick or die. There’s a good reason why the word ‘spiritual’ comes from the Latin ‘spiritus’, which refers to that which gives life or vitality to a system.”

Zohar’s thinking about spiritual knights led her to the Knights Templar (or Order of the Poor Knights of Christ) dating back to the Middle Ages : “Most knights from that time were occupied with damsels and fighting and didn’t lead good lives. But the Templers took the oath of poverty, shaved their heads and wore a simple outfit with a red cross. Their service was to God.” For Zohar, “God” represents that which is holy, “the higher purpose for which you are prepared to give your life. To do this you need the courage to place yourself outside the realm of money and power so you can use all your talents to serve the higher aim. If “knights” want to show others the path to higher motivation, they will have to be grounded in something greater than themselves, something transpersonal that rises above the culture they are a part of.”

That’s a heavy burden because people embracing those aims are swimming against the prevailing current of our era. Spiritual values are simpy not held important to the powers that be in modern culture.

British historian Arnold Toynbee in his classic A Study of History (1946) concluded from the rise and fall of 20 great civilizations that the disintegration of a culture has everything to do with the loss of spiritual values. This is what Zohar means when she talks about “spiritual capital”: the driving force of a person, society or organization. The fall of the Roman Empire is a clear example of a loss of spiritual capital. According to Zohar, “The gods of the institutionalized Roman religions were threatened by the emergence of Christianity. The citizens of Rome lost contact with their higher values and surrendered to bread and games.”

Zohar points out that major historical changes go hand in hand with crises, which she believes are necessary to break us free from our illusions. A crisis can lead to a quantum leap in evolutionary development. “All of humanity is currently in a state of crisis,” she notes. “ We are standing with our backs against the wall. The fact that this hasn’t yet really gotten through to us means that it needs to get worse.” Modern businesspeople remind her of passengers on the Titanic who rushed around selling their diamonds.

“Most of us are caught in a web of lies and illusions that have to do with ourselves and the group we belong to—with the culture, in other words..The status quo is maintained, which means that asking questions in school or organizations is discouraged. Questions are considered annoying, distracting and disloyal. And they are, because they cast doubt on the status quo.”

There is a break in her stream of words. Her penetrating eyes scan the room, where Mandalas and Eastern tapestries provide her with inspiration. Then, as if to illustrate her own unique and recalcitrant side, she lights up a cigarette. The smoke spirals upwards, enshrouding the Dalai Lama atop the tree. Her tone becomes milder: “Meditation has taught me to make contact with my deepest core. It feels like contact with a source of unending potential. I am now more aware of what I believe in and which deeper motives guide me. I know better why I am living and maybe even what I am prepared to die for.”

Are these the words of a nuclear physicist or a mystic? In the case of Danah Zohar, the answer appears to be both. Despite her spiritual inspiration and mystical interest, she is very critical in her thinking and ultimately arrives at her conclusions by weighing the cold hard facts. Which is why Zohar isn’t particularly thrilled with the increasing number of spiritual classes, gurus and self-help books. “A lot of what the new age offers is nothing more than a quick fix, a bandage on the wound. It’s nearly always about ‘feeling good’ and therefore mainly about feeding the ego. But that’s not what spirituality is about; that’s about insight into yourself.”

Her recipe to gain self-awareness: “Every day, take moments for introspection. Meditate. Participate in authentic dialogues about things that matter. Be prepared to penetrate your ‘discomfort zone’ to take a look at less pleasant truths about yourself. In order to make contact with higher values, a particular spiritual discipline is indispensable. I believe mediation is the best way to achieve this. The essence is that you are concentrated enough to tune in. You won’t get there simply by thinking about it or taking a class.”

Night has fallen. It’s time to leave Zohar’s house in Oxford because she still has a lot to do—including work on her coming two books: The Quantum Spirit and Total Intelligence. She could talk for hours about consciousness, quanta, knights and spiritual values. But she knows that’s not really the point. Ultimately, it’s about an inner experience of wholeness, from which a clear self-awareness flows. She increasingly had such experiences during the final phase of her depression. One of the most beautiful was the feeling of being a “quantum self”.

“I was ageless and genderless and was outside time and space. And yet I was myself—whatever that is. It was a kind of archetypal shape of my own self. Such experiences lead to paradigmatic shifts in the soul. Our thoughts attract reality: under the influence of the paradigm ‘fear’, everything becomes scary. During my depression, I was living based on the idea that people are essentially weak and bad. Now I think that our deepest essence is godly and has endless and magnificent potential.”

Hours later I am walking through the medieval heart of Oxford. The Knights Templar of yesteryear are gone, but there is an open invitationto reshape knighthood. Two sentences she said, which could carry the key to modern knighthood, haunt my thoughts: “When you recognize your inner potential, you can expand your vision. Then you can look beyond your own paradigm and imagine the impossible.”

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