David Bohm Inner Explorer: Fellow Traveller with Einstein

By David Schrum January 13, 2014

Albert EinsteinFor David Bohm reality was subtle beyond measure and inexhaustible. This perception Bohm and Einstein held in common. For both, nature was not limited but deep beyond the grasp of our faculties of comprehension. Einstein said that he considered Bohm as his spiritual successor, and in this sense they were indeed spiritual father and son. Bohm sometimes spoke of Einstein’s view that nature in its depths is mysterious.

To Einstein the mysterious is the most beautiful experience we can have. This sense of the unfathomable “stands at the cradle of true art and true science … something we cannot penetrate … only accessible to our reason in [its] most elementary forms.” To him “Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly,” and for him sufficient is “an inkling of the marvellous structure of reality.”

Bohm gave more explicit form to the notion of nature which in its depths is not compassable. He conceived it, earlier, as a potentially unlimited succession of enfolded orders and, eventually, as a universal flux, the holomovement, which is undefinable and immeasurable. Bohm and Einstein both perceived nature as whole, founded in a deep order which encompassed both mind and matter, as opposed to the materialist viewpoint of matter as primary with mind as mere epiphenomenon.

While Einstein spoke of his cosmic religious feeling, which reaches out to experience the universe as a single significant whole, Bohm spoke of the perception of undivided wholeness, relating ‘wholeness’ not just to entirety but also to ‘holy’, by which he indicated that he meant ‘that which in itself is worthwhile’. Implied in the approaches of these two explorers is that they were indeed aligned in attitude and in practice: each travelled and discovered in the realms of mind and of matter, which domains they perceived not as separate but as aspects of one undivided whole.