As below, so above

According to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, the respective values of certain pairs of physical properties---such as position and momentum, or time and energy---cannot both be known simultaneously. The more precisely one property is known, the less precisely the other is known. For example, the more certain you are about the position of a sub-atomic particle, the less certain you are about its momentum.

The uncertainty has nothing to do with the inadequacy of measuring instruments, but rather is a fundamental property of Reality: when some things are known, other things can’t be known at the same time.

“So what?” I hear you say, “Who cares about where a sub-atomic particle is at? What’s that got to do with the real world?”

Well, as the alchemists say, “as above, so below” or in this case “as below, so above”. Uncertainty operates at all levels of reality. The conjugate variables of position and momentum, for example, are just as susceptible to uncertainty in everyday life as they are in the quantum world:

  • The more you know about where you’re going, the less you know about where you are.
  • The less you know about the future, the more you can focus on the present.
  • The more you know about who you are, the less you know about what you're doing.

Likewise are time and energy forever linked in a zero sum game:

  • The more time you waste, the less energetic you are.
  • The less time you waste, the more energetic you are.
  • The more energy you have, the less time it takes you to do stuff.
  • The less energy you have, the more time it takes you to do stuff.