Talk:Implicate and explicate order

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One editor feels that the following provides a better discussion of this issue: User:Togo/Holomovement.

Lets face it Implicate and Explicate Order is not equal to Holomovement nor do you really explain it nor have nearly the completenes of the Holomovement article! Of course I dont mind if you contribute to Holomovement as long as I don't get any of those 'deleted because I don't understand'. If you were to try to formualte anything that you don't understand in a simpler way I'd help you! Togo 05:04, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Sorry, [anonymous], but I don't approve of your additions. The Implicate Order is categorically not an empirically studied phenomenon. It is speculation. Also, I don't find the description of Deism terribly relevant. Let's leave that to the Deism article. I'd be willing to allow Deism as a see also but that's about as far as I'll go. –Floorsheim 00:24, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)


This article is full of accusations that the Implicit and Explicit order amount to metaphysics. Perhaps I'm missing something. This seems to be more of a general criticism of the philosophy of physics then anything else. Where is the metaphysics? Hewhorulestheworld (talk) 03:48, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Footnote/first sentence[edit]

The footnote claims that Immanuel Kant believed that "true reality is different from the reality we percieve." This is a misinterpretation; he certainly did not believe this in the way that the others listed there did. He probably should not be mentioned unless we want to get bogged down in explaining transcendental idealism (which is far outside the scope of this article).

I think the best idea would be to get rid of the footnote entirely, since it is not particulary relevant, and re-write the first sentence so it immediately defines implicate and explicate order without going off topic. For example, I suggest starting with something like this: "Implicate and Explicate Order are terms for actual and apparent reality, respectively, in the philosophy of David Bohm."

I also think we could use an explanation of Explicate as well as Implicate Order in the first paragraph, and a whole lot more clarity in the definitions of both. (I am not an expert on this topic, so I can't do that myself.)

changes needed[edit]

"David Bohm believed that true reality is different from appearance, or the reality we perceive". This opening is problematic. Firstly, what is the difference between "true reality" and "reality"? The true is rudundant because the term reality implies truth (implies is a fitting word here, becuse it has the same root as implicate, as Bohm seemed fond of pointing out). In Bohm's paradigm, reality consists of the implicate and explicate order. On this, Bohm (1980, p. 197) said “the explicate order can be derived as a particular, distinguished case of the implicate order”. While I understand the intention of the statement, it doesn't seem to me to capture and convey the essence of implicate and explicate order as Bohm conceived it. With regards to perception, he spoke about us having a more immediate sense (or something along these lines) of the implicate order - i.e. of an unbroken, flowing whole. Indeed, he characterised consciousness in such terms. It's true, he also siad something to the effect that the explicate (as he characterised it) may seem primary. A key point is that he thought primacy should be given to the implicate order; hence, the implicate order is deeper, more fundamental. This doesn't mean "true reality is different from appearance" though.

Any objections to be me having another go at this? Regarding the previous comment -- I don't know that we need an 'expert' on this -- I think it's reasonable to say that within Bohm's view, expertise has to do with rigrorous and specialised understanding of some aspect of the explicate order. What is really needed is an understanding of and characterisation of the essence of this paradigm. Whether 'right or wrong', ultimately productive or otherwise, it is one of the most thought-provoking viewpoints I have ever encountered. Stephenhumphry 14:15, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Also, on the following *** Aboutness is as odd as wholeness in sharp contrast. As the former is to the content, so the latter is to the context to the last as the ultimate determiner of meaning. *** this does not make sense -- I assume something is wrong with the wording. If anyone can sharpen it, great, otherwise I think it is best omitted because it detracts as is. Stephenhumphry 05:01, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

Isn't what Bohm means about 'reality' and 'true reality' being different simply that what we percieve at present is a universe full of isolated 'things' ie trees, birds, sun, sky etc when in fact the 'true reality' is an overall flow of things in which all these isolated objects are in fact all one? 'Appearance' tells us that myself and the tree I see are not the same whereas 'reality' as Bohm suggests actually says that the tree and myself ARE the same. Bohm's whole theory is that at any given time we have a 'world map' which causes us to interpret the external 'reality' around us. His point is that at present our thought processes cause us to see 'reality' in a particular way. For example when we say a thing is green it isn't actually green but reflects the green light. In a nutshell, Bohm's concept here is that of Blake's - 'if the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite'. A further implication of Bohm's theory is that we reject certain phenomena and perceptions of energy flow which do not correspond to our 'world map'. This could provide an explanation for all sorts of phenomena we term 'supernatural'. What psychics and mystics call things like 'auras'could just be a glimpse of the energy flow Bohm talks about. Now wouldn't that be an interesting idea? Science finally coming up with an explanation for all the wierd stuff people claim is going on out there? :-) ThePeg 23:19, 26 October 2006 (UTC)


Too much of this article appears to be written as advocacy of this theory, rather than description. Please edit to use NPOV style. -- The Anome 06:48, July 30, 2005 (UTC)

please be specific[edit]

"Too much of this article appears..."? Could you please be specific. I've changed some of the earlier statements, becuase I could see your point. If you have specifics, let me know ... but I'll take the NPOV off for now coz frankly, I spent a lotta time making sure I cited Bohm! (and I don't have the time to do much more on this).

Note the following phrases that used in the article:

In proposing this new notion of order ... In Bohm’s conception of order ... Bohm maintained that ... Central to Bohm's schema is the notion that ... In this view of order ... Bohm (1980, p. 147) asks us to "consider the possibility that ..." Consistent with Bohm, this potentially calls into question whether .... He argued, however, that ... ...a confusion he perceived to exist... According to Bohm ...

I have now added more qualifications, particularly early on, to set the tone ... From NPOV "Perhaps the easiest way to make your writing more encyclopedic is to write about what people believe, rather than what is so". "... an easy way to avoid making a statement that promotes a point of view is to find a reputable source for a fact and cite the source". Bohm is cited repeatedly, and for my own part, I went out of my way to make it clear that what is presented are his arguments, contestations, perceived problems, etc. In addition, I hope others will come along and present some more alternative views in time, but you gotta start somewhere Stephenhumphry 09:54, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

David Bohm's challenges to some generally prevailing views[edit]

it is not clear whether the list contains presuppositions or challenges. --MarSch 16:51, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

No, fair enough - I'll have a go at making it clearer soon as I get a chance Stephenhumphry 23:38, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Proposed title change[edit]

The present title, Implicate and Explicate Order according to David Bohm is somewhat long and unwieldy. Since the title of the book Wholeness and the Implicate Order redirects here, and the entirety of the article appears to discuss the book, would there be objection to moving the present title to the title of the book? --Blainster 21:10, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Great idea, change it. Implicate order and explicate order both redirect here already. The book is a collection of essays, but this is the title Bohm gave to the collection, and so I think that is the most appropriate title. I agree the current title is unweildy. Holon 01:10, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
I also agree that the title is WAY too long. It coudl just be shortened to Implicate and Explicate Order (David Bohm). --JudelFoir (talk) 16:35, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Bohm & Kaballah[edit]

There is much discussion about Bohm's theories and their correspondence with Buddhist and Taoist ideas. Has no-one thought to investigate the relationship between his ideas and the Jewish Mystical tradition of Kabbalah? The theories of Wholeness And the Implicate Order have striking parallels with Kaballistic ideas of the Microcosm and the Macrocosm, the simultaneous Separateness and Oneness of everything within the En Sof and the the relationship between human consciousness and reality. Hmmm. Food for thought. ThePeg 23:20, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Metaphysics: Aristotle & Leibniz[edit]

Bohm's theories are also directly related to Metaphysics. Leibniz called it "Monadology".

"The first philosophy (Metaphysics) is universal and is exclusively concerned with primary substance. ... And here we will have the science to study that which is just as that which is, both in its essence and in the properties which, just as a thing that is, it has." (Aristotle, 340BC)

"It follows from what we have just said, that the natural changes of monads come from an internal principle, and that change is continual in each one. … Now this connection of all created things with each, and of each with all the rest, means that each simple substance has relations which express all the others, each created monad represents the whole universe." (Leibniz, 1670)

"Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another. (Leibniz, 1670)

BakuninXL 18:49, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, now, this is the interesting thing. I have looked at some of the Skeptical Enquirer sites analysing Bohm's ideas and their relationship to metaphysics and mysticism. What is so fascinating is how the modern scientific mindset gets into a terrible panic when it tries to evaluate the mystical element or influence in great scientific endeavour. So for instance the Skeptical Enquirer insists that Bohm's interest in everything from Buddhism to spoon-bending needn't worry us in looking at his science in much the same way as Newton's Alchemical interests shouldn't worry us with his or Kepler's interest in Astrology his. In fact their mystical leanings were almost certainly CENTRAL to their science as it was how the evaluated the universe! Leibniz, Spinoza, Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras - all were mystically inclined rationalists, as were Einstein who read Kaballah and Rutherford who had Hermes Trismegistus on his coat of arms! If you actually read these belief systems they are identical to modern String Theory and Bohm's Implicate and Explicate Order ideas. Its nothing new. The only thing that is different and which panics scientists now is that they all bring God into the equation, although not the God we find in Christianity or Judaism as it is today. Their concept is more of an all-embracing energy of which we are part - as in Daoism, Platonism, Hermeticism etc. Perhaps Bohm et al were a little more open minded than their successors? It would be a neat way of putting to bed the infantile extremes of the Creationism vs Darwinism debate!

Actually, I find our resistance to the potential massive leap in human consciousness fascinating. Only the other day I was reading about Hubble images of Dark Energy/Matter and the scientific assertion that the matter we can actually SEE in the universe accounts for only 5% of what is there! Now think of the implications of that - that there is 95% of the universe which we can't see and which not only holds everything together but keeps everything moving - and THEN we read the Hermetica which talks about EXACTLY that only in terms of everything being animated by a Divine Consciousness/Energy which we can't see but can feel and decide its all hocus-pocus! Or we read the Kaballah and learn about the 'Dark Light' which surrounds God. Imagine what would happen if we shifted our perspective on existence to really embrace what Bohm and the Quantum Physicists say, just as we did when Galileo revealed to us that we weren't the centre of the universe or Newton described the universe in mechanistic terms? Everything would change - our concept of Time, our relationship with each other. And this is exactly the shift in consciousness Bohm was talking about in all his books.

Anyway, here's a brief extract from the Hermetica to get your juices flowing:

"God is whole and constant. In himself he is motionless, yet he is self-moving... He is hidden yet obvious everywhere. His being is known through thought alone, yet we see his form before our eyes. He is bodiless yet embodied in everything. There is nothing which he is not... He is the unity of all things... He is the Whole which contains everything. He is One, not two. He is all, not many. The All is not many separate things, but the Oneness that subsumes the parts. The All and the One are identical. You think that things are many when you view them as separate, but when you see they all hang on the One and flow from the One you will realise they are united - linked together and connected by a chain of Being from the highest to the lowest, all subject to the will of God"

You see my point? :-)

ThePeg 14:14, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

To continue this line of reasoning... Its worth remembering that the Hermetic idea of God is Nous or Mind, in other words: Universal Consciousness. As I understand it, this is something which some Quantum Physicists are starting to agree...

Another irony... the Medieval and Renaissance Church found the doctrine that God was incarnate in his own Creation heretical and burned at the stake anyone who argued for it - Giordani Bruno for instance. Now we have a scientific community which claims the same infallibility as the Church which also denies the idea that there may be a Consciousness in reality. Are we not back where we were in some sense? ThePeg 21:37, 17 April 2007 (UTC)


1) Article is much better than presentation of Holomovement in related section, but suffers from relying too exclusively on Wholeness and the Implicate Order, and so doesn't explain sufficiently the genesis of the Implicate Order theory in the context of the overall development of Bohm's physics.

2) To call the implicate order a "cosmological order" is not quite accurate. Rather he saw the implicate order as a "new order of physics" within a larger cosmological worldview of potentially infinite orders (eg: the super-implicate order and so on).

3) Some discussion of the evolution of the implicate order concept would be useful, esp. going back to '52 articles where he speaks of the "sub-quantum mechanical order," and the continuing subtle modifications of thoses ideas in Chance and Causality and articles. Unfortunately presentation here suggests that the implicate order is something fundamentally different and new which Bohm comes out with in 1980. Rather, the implicate order is the outgrowth of his earlier engagment. Note: much of the confusion on this issue (as in the confused presentation on the "Bohmian Interpretation") comes from the fact that the "spin" which Bell and the "Bohmian Mechanics" people give to the Hidden Variables theory does not correspond to what Bohm himself thought he was doing. Ditto for the Vigier interpretation.

4) Instead of talking about Bohm's challenges to the "prevailing oder," speak instead of challanges to the Copenhagen Interpretation" or challanges to the "mechanistic philosophy." That would keep article from sounding too subjective and POV-ish.

5) Discussion of hidden variable theory should be in the context of the overall development of Bohm's ideas (see above)

6) "Quantum entaglement" is not a term Bohm ever uses and should probably be avoided.

7) Delete final section relating to connections with other works as that whole discussion is pretty shallow, and indeed unnecessary. Sfwild 01:32, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Criticism section[edit]

As I understand it, better-known interpretations of quantum physics such as the Copenhagen, Many Worlds, and others are still being modified and are still under debate. In light of that, it not be appropriate to create a section that mentions some of the major criticisms of Bohm's interpretation and evidence that (at least in some physicists' opinion) fails to support it?

This is true, but without a satisfactory presentation of Bohm's own concepts, it is easy to get lost in very secondary debates. Bohm and Hiley deal quite extensively with various versions of the Many Words interpretation in Undivided Wholeness, pointing out similarities and differences with their own ontological interpretation. That would be a good place to start, though as these debates are very much ongoing it seems to me to make more sense, for purposes of an informational article, to focus on Bohm's own historical contributions and the development of his ideas. Sfwild 18:43, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

It puzzles me that people think that due to his background, Bohm's points concern quantum physics. Whatever the merit, Bohm was explicitly concerned in this book and the essays it is based on, with a whole view of the universe. He focused on topics from language to consciousness. I agree with the above, it is easy to get lost in secondary debates. Bohm is cited on the point he explicitly made about hidden variables. It is fine to briefly mention interpretations of quantum physics, but an extended discussion would be very out of place (psychologists could also comment on his views about consciousness, etc. etc.). Holon 14:26, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Actually I don't think it is true that you can disassociate Bohm's "cosmological" views from his interpretation of qm. The theory of the implicate order comes directly out of his "hidden variables" approach. The core chapters of the book (I assume we're talking about Wholeness..)are the ones that recount the evolution of the causal (later ontological) interpretation from the '52 essays to the development of the idea of the implicate order as a new order of physics. It's true that he extends this approach to consciousness, life systems, etc., and that his thinking in the Birbeck period ranged freely and widely over many domains (artistic creativity etc.), but his core preoccupation all along was to formulate an alternative interpreation to the Copenhagen Theory. 02:50, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Gross Out[edit]

I think that picture of a real brain is gross. I don't want to let my personal feelings interfere with something that may be necessary for the article though. So, does anyone think the gross picture is necessary?--Neptunerover (talk) 08:55, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

A more aesthetically appealing image could be found, but the brain image is fine for now. — goethean 15:27, 23 December 2009 (UTC)


This article states:

"Kant held that the parts of an organism, such as cells, simultaneously exist to sustain the whole, and depend upon the whole for their own existence and functioning."

This is false and entirely anachronistic; cell theory was not developed at least 20 years after Kant's death and thus he could not have held this view as presented here.

I do not want to officiously intervene, but it is imperative that this either be clarified, removed, or otherwise corrected. Perhaps the author is imposing modern knowledge on Kant's principles for the sake of accessibility, but it is far too divergent to be permitted. (talk) 06:02, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Kant's "part-whole" analogy has been applied to every possible concept distinguishing parts from whole since his era. Including, regularly, that of cells and organs as parts of the whole creature that they compose. (Nevertheless, the whole reference was since removed.) – SJ + 04:35, 10 November 2013 (UTC)