From a Buddhist perspective, the description of reality provided by quantum mechanics offers a degree of freedom to which most people are not accustomed, and that may at first seem strange and even a little frightening. As much as Westerners in particular value the capacity for freedom, the notion that the act of observation of an event can influence the outcome in random, unpredictable ways [i.e., Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle –Editor] can seem like too much responsibility.

It’s much easier to assume the role of the victim and assign the responsibility or blame for our experience to some person or power outside oneself. If we’re to take the discoveries of modern science seriously, however, we have to assume responsibility for our moment-by-moment experience. While doing so may open up possibilities we might never before have imagined, it’s still hard to give up the familiar habit of being a victim.

On the other hand, if we began to accept responsibility for our experience, our lives would become a kind of playground, offering innumerable possibilities for learning and invention. Our sense of personal limitation and vulnerability would gradually be replaced by a sense of openness and possibility. We would see those around us in an entirely new light–not as threats to our personal security or happiness, but as people simply ignorant of the infinite possibilities of their own nature. Because our own nature is unconstrained by arbitrary distinctions of being “this way” or “that way” or having only certain capabilities and lacking others, then we would be able to meet the demands of any situation in which we might find ourselves.

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
The Joy of Living:
Unlocking the Secret &
Science of Happiness

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