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Outlooks from the Inner Life

By Cedric Speyer



“Two men looked out from prison bars: One saw mud, the other saw stars.” — Dale Carnegie

“The quantum law says that all potentials exist simultaneously . . . In the quantum model, the physical universe is an immaterial, interconnected, unified field of information, potentially everything but physically no thing. The quantum universe is just waiting for a conscious observer (you or me) to come along and influence energy in the form of potential matter by using the mind and consciousness (which are themselves energy) to make waves of energetic probabilities coalesce into physical matter.” — Joe Dispenza

We have all add the experience of feeling like a different person in the presence of different people. We say that a teacher, coach or mentor “brings out the best in me” and conversely with someone else we can find ourselves uncomfortable to the point of “not feeling like myself.” Who knew there was a science behind all this? It’s called the “observer effect” and in quantum physics it simply refers to changes the act of observation makes on what is being observed.

Nothing is that simple in physics, yet it’s like checking the tire pressure on your car. It can’t be done without letting out some of the air and thereby changing the pressure, albeit negligibly. More mysteriously, it’s impossible to see anything without light hitting the object. Although we wouldn’t think of it as a change, the object is affected in the way it emits the reflected light in the moment of perception. Pause for a moment here and ponder what we call the light of Christ. There’s a desert scene in the movie Ben Hur where this is illustrated, as a Roman soldier raising his whip suddenly cowers when Jesus looks at him.

As it turns out, the study of sub-atomic particles and waves has enormous implications for human relations: parenting, teaching, friendship, marriage, psychotherapy and spiritual direction. Research has shown that children tend to fulfil adult expectations of them for better or for worse, with other factors such as intelligence and aptitude being equal.

I have had my own experience of the “observer effect” on both sides of the coin. Under the steady, unwavering, affirming gaze of my mentor and spiritual director, Tom Francoeur (see, I grew into awareness of my true personhood and vocation beyond my own self-doubt. Tom became the godfather of the spiritual psychology we call InnerView. I first practiced it when I worked in psychiatry and made the same discovery. Patients who were used to being seen through the filter of mental illness responded well to the human touch of straightforward and honest fellowship. It’s as if I would say to them, “OK, you’re in this ‘condition’ and I’m in mine. So here we are. What now?”

Quantum physics confirms that reality is fundamentally relational, like the trinity. It’s the space in-between particles and planets and persons that matters! When the encounter in that left-open space is reverent, it’s like a hologram of wholeness in which each part reflects the complete picture of its potential. Now we see through a glass darkly, with wide gaps between inner soul knowledge and outer social personas. But then we shall see face-to-face when God’s light has transfigured us; when we become who we are loved into being.

Speyer is a Benedictine Oblate as well as an author, subject matter expert for e-therapy, clinical consultant and director of InnerView Guidance International (IGI). He also directs a documentary series entitled GuideLives for the Journey: Ordinary Persons, Extraordinary Pathfinders. Connect with Cedric on or via