The Universe and the limits of Knowledge: Bohm’s Notion of the Implicate Order of Nature
According to Bohm the whole scientific description of the Universe is governed by fragmentation of our perception of what reality is. Physics’ tendency of acknowledging the ultimate structure of matter in the elementary particles has caused a widespread fragmentary view of the Universe. Thus, Physics seems to be unable to conceive the “undivided wholeness of the universe” and to acknowledge in that Wholeness the common, single bed of the whole of reality. According to Bohm that single bed of nature, Implicate Order, is the single origin of both mind and matter. Inside the multidimensional Implicate Order, a universal enfoldment of everything prevails. The Implicate Order coheres deterministically to the Universe and the depths of its inwardness are totally unknown to us, since we humans are part of its wholeness too. Physics as a science provides us only with abstractive descriptions of the Universe, since science offers only abstractions from reality. These abstractive descriptions are what constitute the Explicate Order of the Universe. Thus, each belief we have that through the science of Physics we are able to arrive at an ultimate deciphering of the Universe is inherently illusive. The science of Physics can provide us with knowledge only in the fragmentary level of the Explicate, that means analyzable, Order of the Universe recognizing its cognitive limits in front of the Implicate Order. The laws that govern the Implicate Order of the Universe are unknowable and unanalyzable by man and in the depths of these laws Bohm insists that a final truth about reality cannot be fixed.