The New Science: The Quantum View of TienRong
By Vincent Pham, MEd (Western Washington University, 2000)
We have seen that the new science of Y2K has a very different philosophical and conceptual basic. Quantum science tells us that the world is all of a piece, holistic. We human being are in and of nature, we help to make reality happen, we are free agents with a responsibility for cocreation. More than that, quantum science shows us that we are, in our essential physical and spiritual makeup, extensions, and “excitations,” of the underlying ground state of being. Quantum View of TienRong, for Wheatley (1995), is “thoughts in the mind of God.”
For the Western model:
The Newtonian universe is that they can be efficient and reliable. Their clear boundaries make membership unambiguous. Every procedure and every role is specified and pinned down in its place. Every employee knows exactly what is expected every day or what is not. So long as procedure is followed and proper channels used, information can flow smoothly to those parts of the organization where it is directed. But there are disadvantages. Just as rules don’t accommodate exceptions easily, these organizations are inflexible. For example, serial thinking cannot deal with complex data or rapid changes – computer can deal only with a few inputs and outputs at any one time but cannot deal with pattern recognition – because patterns are too complex.
For the Eastern model:
Nobel Prize-winning Japanese physicist Leo Esaki said, “The Japanese don’t have a specific word for ‘self.’ We are concerned with relationships, and what Westerners call the ‘self’ is, for us, a matter of who is related to whom and in what larger social context.” He compares Japanese society to a state of superfluid helium. Every particle is related to every other to such an extent that boundaries don’t exist and the parts share the identity of the whole.
The Chinese sociologist Fei Xiaotong compares Confucian society to a complex pattern of interlocking waves, each fanning outward from some stone (individual) dropped in one of the many centers, but all so intricately involved that no clear boundary can be discerned between the waves caused by one stone and those of another. He said, “Everyone stands at the center of the circles produced by his or her own social influence. Everyone’s circles are interrelated. One touches different circles at different times and places.”
Now we understand The Quantum View of Tien Rong as the Western particle-like model of the self and the Eastern wave-like model have thus given rise to quite different organizational structures, each with their own strengths and weakness.
The Quantum View of Tien-Rong, we may define as the famous character in quantum lore who express the both nature of quantum reality; like Schrodinger’s Cat – the mascot of “the New Science.” Schrodinger’s Cat has been put into an opaque box along with a fiendish device, a radioactive source that can trigger the release of either food or poison. Common sense would tell us that if device releases food the cat will live, and if it release poison the cat will die. But radioactive sources are quantum devices, and Schrodinger’s Cat is a quantum cat, existing separately and simultaneously in several places. So device releases both food and poison, and the cat is both alive and dead.
The Quantum View of Tien-Rong is also a metaphor for the way that quantum systems evolve. When a quantum bit wants to get from Tien to Rong, it doesn’t follow just one path. On the contrary, it throws out an infinite number of possible paths – those are called virtual transition. Each path represents one possibly best path from Tien to Rong, a feeler toward the future. In fact, in quantum reality, Rong itself is not yet sharply defined. Rong is still part of a future scenario yet to emerge. So infinite possible paths strike out from Tien toward an uncertain or ambiguous Rong, mutually defining the future as they interfere with or get into dialogue with each other. This allows the whole system to be creative in responding to its own uncertain future. In the end, Rong will emerge, and one of the infinite paths from Tien to Rong will emerge as the right path.
A member would cultivate his or her own inner light and individual potential, but at the same time be always aware that a truly creative member draws a great deal of insight and inspiration from unexpressed qualities of the group being led.
In the Eastern model, the wave description of selfhood is at its most extreme opposite from the Western – particle model of the self. For example, in our culture, we are defined by the relationships what describe as “Tien gave ‘a birth with a hundred children.’ And Rong said, I am Rong and you are Tien. We cannot live together. You bring fifty children to go up the mountain, and I will take fifty children to down the sea. When you need, you call me and I will be back.”
We are defined by the view of relationships, but we have many different kinds and circles of relationship and thus the boundaries of our own identity are quite ambiguous and contextual. With the parents we will have one way of conducting the self, with the children another, with the wider kinsfolk still another, with the neighbors, members of the community, the village or the state still more. We cannot state the set of moral principles, each applicable in its context, and the Western notion of university moral codes makes no sense to us in such societies. We think that these elastic networks make up the society; there is always the self at the center of each web. But this notion of the self amounts to egocentrism, not individualism.
In individualist, Western society, the whole is made up of its parts and each part has its tightly defined identity circumscribed by boundaries. In its public aspects at least, every part (every individual) is equal to every other. Every individual has the same rights and obligations within an organization as anyone else with the same organizational status or function.
In the society: “50 up the mountain, 50 down the sea,” and “a birth of 100 persons,” the self is always at the center of the circle, but we have a hundred circles and the characteristics, obligations, and codes of each circle define who we are and how we should be have. We have no universal rights, only contextual obligations. The boundary between public and private spheres is relative: “A birth of 100,” one for all or all in one.
Leadership and the New Science is the great book because that book makes us thinking and learning about an organization and the new leadership that must nurture at least three kinds of intelligence: mental intelligence, emotional intelligence and spiritual intelligence.
Ironically, it is these very qualities of emotional and spiritual intelligence that many corporate transformation program strike to develop. At least they try to tap into the “net result” of their employees having such qualities. Most corporate leaders today would like to have a workforce, or at least a managerial team, that can think on its feet, be creative, thrive on complexity, take responsibility, and give it all to the firm. This is why they are spending millions on so-called change agents, consultants who specialize in managing transformation.
But most change agents are themselves mechanistic and have not clue what deep transformation means and never mind what it requires. Most don’t know where to begin, so they satisfy themselves with downsizing or restructuring, with introducing a change vocabulary, with charts that say vision and value and leadership. They give two-day or two-week seminars on creativity. But they don’t change the room – they work within the existing structures. Communists Party is an example. Lenin spoke for many managers: “Freedom is good, but control is better.” If an organization is a machine, control makes sense. If an organization is the process structure, then seeking to impose control permanent structure is suicide.
The Quantum View of Tien-Rong may define as a participatory universe. The observer is part of the observed reality. The observer is a cocreator who helps to make that reality happen. Life wants to discover itself. Individuals explore possibilities and systems emerge. They self-transcend into new forms of being. Newness appears out of nowhere. We can never predict what will emerge; and we never go back. Life is on a one-way street to novelty and always surprises us. For instance, emergence is the surprising capacity we discover only when we join together. New systems have properties that appear suddenly and mysteriously: relationships change us, reveal us, and evoke more from us – because once individuals link together they become something different. It is Vietnamese Liberal and Democratic Organization.