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David Bohm - Beyond Limits

David Bohm - Beyond Limits

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Published by helabz
Lively conversation with David Bohm on science, reality and consciousness
Lively conversation with David Bohm on science, reality and consciousness

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: helabz on Sep 11, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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"BEYOND LIMITS"A Conversation with Professor David Bohm
Professor David Bohm (
was undeniably one of the world's preeminent scientists.Such people as J. Robert Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein, the Dalai Lama and J. Krishnamurti had recognized and acknowledged the uniqueness of his mind. But, in addition to being a great scientist and a great philosopher, David Bohm was also a great  friend. Not only to those of us who knew him personally, but to all the people of the world. His passion for clarity, as it is reflected in his writings, was driven by a deep compassion for his fellow human beings. One need only spend a little time musing over the direction his lifework took, to comprehend this. Dave (he preferred to be called 'Dave'-- such was the humility of the man) once told me that,when a noted colleague asked him how he reconciled his earlier work in Quantum Mechanicswith the work he was now doing in the field of Consciousness, he answered, "To me, it's all onemovement." The following pages are a transcript of a conversation between Professor Bohm and myself which was videotaped in Amsterdam, Holland in September of 1990, by TELEAC, the Dutch Public Television Network. In our conversation, Professor Bohm traced that 'onemovement' from its earliest remembered origins, as a boy in Pennsylvania, to his most recent work. It is, therefore, in the spirit of friendship and Dialogue (as he defined the word) that these pages are offered.
William M. AngelosCamp Hill, PA2 November, 1992
"BEYOND LIMITS" A Conversation with Professor David Bohm
WA: I guess the best way to begin, is to say that I know that we are old friends, and old friendsdon't usually sit with one of them having notes on his lap to have a conversation... But this is aspecial occasion... I thank you for sitting down with me this way and I hope you will forgive theimpropriety, if I read from some of these notes.DB: (Laughing) It's alright...WA: I have prepared some questions...DB: Yes...WA: The first question is: Some people might find it unusual for a theoretical physicist to havean interest in things like Consciousness and the thinking process, but, in fact, your work reflectsa growing involvement with these and other associated subjects over a period of many years...When did this interest begin? How and why has it become such an important aspect of yourpresent work? And can what you now explore still be considered Physics, theoretical orotherwise?DB: Well, I think, implicitly, my interest in Consciousness began very early. The earliestincident that I can recall, happened at the age of eleven or twelve. I was with some boys and wewere in the mountains near Wilkes-Barre [Pennsylvania] crossing a rather rapidly flowing streamand there were a lot of rocks we had to cross... and they were rather far apart and very small andyou couldn't just step across them. I felt very apprehensive; it was in a new situation...But, I suddenly realized you had to jump from one to the other without stopping in between thatyou were in a state of movement, pivoting on one rock while you move to the next... whereas Iusually thought of going from one step to another... I was mapping out the steps...WA: And generally, that's the way you functioned?DB: Yes, well, I think people generally do... (smiling)WA: In other words, you think, before you-DB: Well, you try to map it out a bit... and then it's more secure... and so on. But see? Here is acase that wouldn't work... You had to do it from moment... to moment...
After that, I felt that it made a deep impression on me. This theme has reoccurred a lot in mywork, you know... that your Consciousness is going, moment by moment of awareness... and notmapped out.But I think that this was combined with some tendency to feel... …to want to go beyond limits..When I was in this small town, the city of Wilkes-Barre, the nearest towns around it were calledAshley, Sugar Notch and Warrior Run. So that's all I knew. I mean, I didn't know them but Iknew about them... So, when we went for a ride beyond Warrior Run, it seemed like goingbeyond the end of the world, you see...WA: I understand...DB: I had this notion of - people talked about "the world" and I said: Where does it end?WA: What answer did they give you?DB: I don't remember... It wasn't terribly convincing, I suppose... (Both laugh)So, I think that that notion used to fascinate me. I remember - in third grade, perhaps - there wasa sort of Nordic folk tale about some place which was "East of the Sun and West of the Moon"...the idea being, that it was beyond all limits. That idea always fascinated me. So, I think that Ireally didn't want to stay within limits, you see. And this was combined with my interest inConsciousness which was mostly implicit at that time. I mean, I didn't very often think about itexplicitly...WA: At what period of time was that chronologically... the Twenties or the Thirties?DB: It was in the Twenties.WA: In the Twenties, so the Depression hadn't-DB: No, it hadn't come yet.WA: Do you recall the Depression years?DB: Oh, yes. There was a great deal of unemployment, suffering and people were out of jobs...and banks were failing...WA: You were in a coal mining area?

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