The Two Sides of Reality


The Planck length (10-35m) and Planck time (10-43s) are literally the end of space and time, because space and time (as we know them) don’t exist beyond these limits. So what does exist beyond these ultra-small scales of reality? Can there really be two sides of reality?

Well, it’s a bit like asking what lies beyond the pixels of a computer screen? From the surface perspective of the computer screen, the answer is literally “nothing”, because the pixels are the end of that order of reality. But if we deepen our perspective to a different order of reality, we discover that computer code underlies all the images on the screen.

If we carry this analogy through into the real world… The Planck scale is the end of our familiar physical reality, and the different order of reality that underlies it is imperceptible and intangible to our physical senses – more energetic and informational, like the computer code.

Two Sides of Reality

Implicate & Explicate Orders

World-renowned physicist, David Bohm named these two orders of reality the implicate order and the explicate order:

  • The Explicate Order is what we commonly refer to as reality, but this is actually only the external surface of reality. It is the familiar manifest world of space, time and matter.
  • The Implicate Order is the deeper, more fundamental reality that underlies the familiar material surface. It is the unmanifest potentiality from which the manifest universe originates and emerges into actuality. It is higher-dimensionally “enfolded” (informationally, energetically and spatially) into every point of the manifest universe.
Implicate & Explicate Qualities

The Two Sides of Reality

According to Bohm, the explicate order is secondary, derivative and emerges from the implicate order, which is primary. But the two sides of reality resonate with each other in “an undivided flowing movement without borders”. So the implicate and explicate orders are distinct but not separate from each other.

The two sides of reality are contrasting yet complementary aspects of a unitary whole, like the two sides of a coin or the yin-yang symbol. In fact, the yin-yang symbol perfectly represents these two aspects of reality – the black, unmanifest, invisible, implicate order and the white, manifest, visible, explicate order. And the dots in the centre of each swirl show how the two aspects of reality influence each other. So even though they initially appear to be separate, the two aspects are in fact intimately integrated and unified.

Yin-Yang Symbol

The Quantum Realm is Transitionary

Physical reality is a continuum, with “classical-ness” on one side and “quantum-ness” on the other. Likewise, the quantum realm is a continuum with “explicate-ness” on one side and “implicate-ness” on the other.

Material/manifest/explicate reality comes to an end at two different scales:

  1. The Quantum Scale is where physical matter ceases and particles become wave-packets. A hydrogen atom (10-10m) is the smallest kind of physical matter. Sub-atomic “particles” (such as baryons, mesons, quarks and preons) cannot maintain their physical form independently so aren’t fully physical. Their true nature or natural state is etheric, energetic or wave-like.
  2. The Planck Scale (10-35m) is where the manifest universe (as we know it) comes to an end; including space, time and matter. Beyond this “event horizon” is a completely different order of reality which, according to Bohm, is implicate, informational, holographic and higher-dimensional (more on these qualities in later articles).

The “etheric” energy-matter of the quantum realm (10−10m to 10−35m) is explicate because quantum wave-functions exist in space-time (they are clearly visible in double slit experiments in the explicate world). But it is also implicate because implicate order properties such as superposition, non-locality and entanglement characterise the quantum realm. So, the quantum realm could be described as a transitionary realm or phase where the implicate and explicate orders overlap – where the enfoldment is not as complete as it is beyond the Planck scale.

The partly implicate/partly explicate hybrid properties of the quantum realm account for all the “quantum weirdness” that occurs at sub-atomic scales. Superposition, non-locality and entanglement are properties of the implicate order, but because the implicate order is enfolded within and throughout the explicate order, those implicate properties permeate through. This permeation is more apparent in the subtler, etheric, quantum realm than it is in the physical realm because the density of physical matter suppresses the enfolded implicate-ness.

Note: Quantum phenomena can occur in physical matter (at scales above 10−10m), but only when it is super-cooled to extremely low temperatures. The extreme cold slows down the vibrations of physical matter so that its underlying quantum nature can reveal itself.


So to summarise… physical reality is materially stable (explicate), quantum reality is an etheric state of flux (transitionary), and beyond the Planck scale is a completely different order of reality (implicate). With this in mind, it is no wonder classical physics and relativity (which perfectly describe the macro/physical world) seem to be incompatible with quantum mechanics (which perfectly describes the subatomic/etheric world). They are literally describing different orders, phases or planes of reality.

The next article (which is a continuation of this one) goes on to explain that our physical explicate reality originates from a higher-dimensional implicate order of reality, and how it manifests through a holistic network of quantum pixels.

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