Cynthia Sue Larson and Justin Riddle
Have you noticed signs of cell phone addiction in yourself or others?
Maybe you’ve tried to get someone’s attention, and found they were so deeply ensconced in their cellphone that they were completely oblivious to you and pretty much everyone and everything around them.Or perhaps you’ve noticed you’re spending just a bit too much time on your phone when you dozed off with cellphone in hand, texted someone standing next to you, or grabbed your phone before doing anything else when you woke up. Cell phones can do a marvelous job of helping us stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues, but they can also be a bit addictive.
Good news! You can break the addiction to constantly check your cell phone by utilizing the concept of the Quantum Zeno mechanism for mental control over bodily action. Dr. Henry Stapp describes a little bit about how this works in a paper he presented at the 2014 Foundations of Mind conference, Mind, Brain and Neuroscience, about a way of better understanding the role of free will. Dr. Henry Stapp, a colleague of Wolfgang Pauli and Werner Heisenberg, emphasizes the significance of our choices in influencing the realities we experience:
The central problem in quantum mechanics is that the basic dynamical equation, the Schroedinger equation, generates not the evolving physical reality itself but only a smear of potentialities for the future. But then how does what actually occurs get picked out. It is not picked out by nature acting alone. According to quantum mechanics, some subject/observer/agent must pose a question: “Is my immediately to appear experience Experience X?” Yes or No? Nature immediately answers, and in the “Yes” case delivers Experience X. In either case it changes the entire physical world by eliminating all features that are incompatible with the answer it has just chosen.
What this Means for You
When you recognize how you are engaging in a constant dialogue with the world through your questions and your focus of conscious awareness, you can see useful ways you can influence habitual behaviors. One of the benefits of dialogue is that it’s not a one-way conversation. This means there’s absolutely no reason that you need be a victim of old patterns or habits–you really do have free will. Your free will comes into play when you observe your surroundings and decide to do something; and your decision makes an imprint on your brain in such a way that makes it easier for you to follow that mental pathway again.
Breaking Cellphone Addiction in 3 Easy Steps
You can break a habit of checking for cellphone text messages every few minutes by first getting an idea of the underlying emotional reasons for checking your phone so often. Many people check for text messages because they want to stay in touch with people, so in addition to replacing the action of reaching for your cellphone with a different action, you an also do something to stay connected besides activating your phone.
Instead of reaching for your phone every few minutes, you can:
(1) Pat your leg,
(2) Look around, and
(3) Engage with your surroundings.
Justin Riddle, Dr. Henry Stapp and I discuss the Quantum Zeno mechanism for mental control over bodily action in this short video on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/8HCVZPMXP1k
Foundations of Mind
If you enjoy learning about new ideas in the fields of cognitive science, neuroscience, quantum physics, philosophy, and consciousness, I’d love to see you at this year’s Foundations of Mind: A Dialogue of World Views conference. This year’s speakers include Fritjof Capra, Stuart Kauffman, Jacob Needleman, and many more in Berkeley, California August 13-15.
To learn more about Foundations of Mind, please visit:
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