The Quantum Enigma, a Decades-Old Cat Gone Elephant in a Room of Science, to Be Reported Unriddled In 2020

Albert Einstein, who disliked quantum theory and found it incomplete, himself caused its enigma imaginally, but his relativity theory helps unriddle it beautifully—reveals the new book

In a forthcoming major new study in the sociology of scientific knowledge, social theorist Mohammad H. Tamdgidi, Ph.D., will report having unriddled a century-old puzzle in science, the so-called quantum enigma. His book will offer a relativistic solution in a transdisciplinary and transcultural sociology of self-knowledge framework.

Tamdgidi’s book, Liberating Sociology: From Newtonian Toward Quantum Imaginations: Volume 1: Unriddling the Quantum Enigma, to be released on January 20, 2020, opens the lid of the Schrödinger’s cat box of the quantum enigma after decades, finding something both odd and familiar: Not only the cat is both alive and dead, it has morphed into an elephant in the room in whose interpretation Einstein, Bohr, Bohm, and others were each both right and wrong because the enigma has acquired both localized and spread-out features whose unriddling requires both physics and sociology amid both transdisciplinary and transcultural contexts.

According to the author, “the famous light-chasing thought experiment Albert Einstein self-reportedly made when young in 1895 and again in 1905, inspiring his theorizations of relativity, contained an historical asynchronicity that has not been noticed before and points to how the quantum enigma was seeded.” 

“The problem,” Tamdgidi argues, “is that the 1905 Einstein writing his first miracle-year paper on light, where his notion of its wave-particle duality was reported, never asked whether the light he was imaginally chasing in 1905 or even back in 1895 was a particle or a wave. Instead, he referred to light as a beam at the time and also in his retrospective reporting of his 1895 youthful thought experiment, even though in 1895 light was still undisputedly considered to be a wave and not a particle moving as a beam.” 

“Had he written his third 1905 miracle-year paper on relativity first,” the author quips ironically, “Einstein may have found a relativistic solution to his puzzle about light’s duality that seeded the quantum enigma.”  

Tamdgidi continues, “the light beam Einstein imagined chasing was actually chasing him as well. In fact the bidirectionally waving beam in his reference frame was also at once a wave spreading out in all directions in its own reference frame.”

In the author’s view, Einstein’s notion of the wave-particle duality of light and its associated “complementarity principle” (later coined by Niels Bohr), and several other resulting notions, are false narratives—astonishing blunders in science in fact—despite the quantum theory being, rightly so, the most tested and confirmed scientific theory. This is because, according to Tamdgidi, the photon is always an electromagnetic wave and the question really is about how the same wave can at once be a localized object flashing by as a beam, and a spread out object moving in all directions like a ripple in the universal pond. 

In fact, as odd as it sounds, but not so according to Einstein’s otherwise beautiful theorizations of relativity, Tamdgidi states, we live inside what we consider to be tiny photons flashing by.

According to the author, the quantum enigma is a result of our dualistic, ideologically constructed and habitually leftover (at times hypnotically perpetuated as in our double-slit experiments), classical Newtonian ways of imagining reality. 

Tamdgidi concludes, “the reported findings of the book offering a relativistic solution to the quantum enigma may be significant for resolving other puzzles in physics, including its failures so far in unifying relativity and quantum field theory. The basic lesson here is that without a self-reflective, transdisciplinary, and transcultural approach across the natural and social sciences and the humanities, human problems (including those in science) will never be adequately solved. Consciousness inescapably matters—not in a spooky, but in a reasonable, way. The ‘theory of everything’ will never result from just pure physics.”

The book, the first in the new monograph series “Tayyebeh Series in East-West Research and Translation” of Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge (vol. XIII), will be released on Jan. 20, 2020, by Okcir Press, an imprint of Ahead Publishing House (Belmont, MA): 6×9 in., 1000 pages, references, illustrations., bibliography, and index, LCCN: 2019914517, ISBNs: 9781640980105 (hardcover), 9781640980112 (softcover), 9781640980129 (epub ebook), and 9781640980136 (pdf ebook). 

It can be ordered from major online bookstores worldwide. Educational, library, and volume order discounts are available for upfront orders placed directly through the Okcir Store. The store offers free domestic US shipping. For international orders and other ordering inquiries please contact orders @


To read a preview of this book, including its front matter, Acknowledgment essay,  Preface to the Series, the volume Introduction, and the first chapter of this book please click here. The Acknowledgment essay, written in 2019, portrays in sociological imagination how the US, British, and Western undemocratic colonial adventures in the Middle East including Iran—involving longstanding imperial and settler-colonial or favored conservative regional state terrorisms amid which innocent lives can also be lost so sadly today amid friendly fires—are ultimately the brainchildren of long-habituated, dualistic, ‘us versus them’ Newtonian thinking. Transitioning from Newtonian to quantum imagination is therefore not merely an academic exercise but one needing urgent attention today, for which unriddling the quantum enigma serves as an inescapable requirement.


“Mohammad H. Tamdgidi’s Liberating Sociology: From Newtonian Toward Quantum Imaginations, Volume 1, Unriddling the Quantum Enigma hits the proverbial nail on the head of an ongoing problem not only in sociology but also much social science—namely, many practitioners’ allegiance, consciously or otherwise, to persisting conceptions of ‘science’ that get in the way of scientific and other forms of theoretical advancement. Newtonianism has achieved the status of an idol and its methodology a fetish, the consequence of which is an ongoing failure to think through important problems of uncertainty, indeterminacy, multivariation, multidisciplinarity, and false dilemmas of individual agency versus structure, among many others. Tamdgidi has done great service to social thought by bringing to the fore this problem of disciplinary decadence and offering, in effect, a call for its teleological suspension—thinking beyond disciplinarity—through drawing upon and communicating with the resources of quantum theory not as a fetish but instead as an opening for other possibilities of social, including human, understanding. The implications are far-reaching as they offer, as the main title attests, liberating sociology from persistent epistemic shackles and thus many disciplines and fields connected to things ‘social.’ This is exciting work. A triumph! The reader is left with enthusiasm for the second volume and theorists of many kinds with proverbial work to be done.” — Professor Lewis R. Gordon, Honorary President of the Global Center for Advanced Studies and author of Disciplinary Decadence: Living Thought in Trying Times (Routledge/Paradigm, 2006), and Freedom, Justice, and Decolonization (Routledge, forthcoming 2020)

“Social sciences are still using metatheoretical models of science based on 19th century newtonian concepts of “time and space”. Mohammad H. Tamdgidi has produced a ‘tour de force’ in social theory leaving behind the old newtonian worldview that still informs the social sciences towards a 21st century non-dualistic, non-reductionist, transcultural, transdisciplinary, post-Einsteinian quantum concept of TimeSpace. Tamdgidi goes beyond previous efforts done by titans of social theory such as Immanuel Wallerstein and Kyriakos Kontopoulos. This book is a quantum leap in the social sciences at large. Tamdgidi decolonizes the social sciences away from its Eurocentric colonial foundations bringing it closer not only to contemporary natural sciences but also to its convergence with the old Eastern philosophical and mystical worldviews. This book is a masterpiece in social theory for a 21st century decolonial social science. A must read!” Professor Ramon Grosfoguel, University of California at Berkeley​​​​​​​

“Tamdgidi’s Liberating Sociology succeeds in adding physical structures to the breadth of the world-changing vision of C. Wright Mills, the man who mentored me at Columbia. Relativity theory and quantum mechanics can help us to understand the human universe no less than the physical universe. Just as my Creating Life Before Death challenges bureaucracy’s conformist orientation, so does Liberating Sociology“liberate the infinite possibilities inherent in us.” Given our isolation in  the Coronavirus era, we have time to follow Tamdgidi in his journey into the depth of inner space, where few men have gone before. It is there that we can gain emotional strength, just as Churchill, Roosevelt and Mandela empowered themselves. That personal development was needed to address not only their own personal problems, but also the mammoth problems of their societies. We must learn to do the same.”  Bernard Phillips, Emeritus Sociology Professor, Boston University

About the author:

Mohammad H. Tamdgidi (pronounced ‘tamjidi’), Ph.D., has previously authored Advancing Utopistics: The Three Component Parts and Errors of Marxism (Routledge/Paradigm) and Gurdjieff and Hypnosis: A Hermeneutic Study (Palgrave Macmillan). Formerly an associate professor of sociology at UMass Boston specializing in social theory, he is the founding director and editor of OKCIR: Omar Khayyam Center for Integrative Research in Utopia, Mysticism, and Science (Utopystics) (est. 2002, and its scholarly journal, Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge (ISSN: 1540-5699). Tamdgidi holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in sociology in conjunction with a graduate certificate in Middle Eastern studies from Binghamton University (SUNY). He received his B.A. in architecture from U.C. Berkeley, following enrollment as an undergraduate student of civil engineering in the Technical College of the University of Tehran, Iran.

Liberating Sociology: From Newtonian Toward Quantum Imaginations

Volume 1: Unriddling the Quantum Enigma

Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge (ISSN: 1540-5699)
Volume XIII, 2020, Monograph Series: Tayyebeh Series in East-West Research and Translation

Author: Mohammad H. Tamdgidi
Publication Date: January 20, 2020

Published by: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House), Belmont, Massachusetts

First Edition, 1000 pages • 6×9 inches • Includes references, illustrations, bibliography, and index

Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN): 2019914517
ISBN-13: 9781640980105 • ISBN−10: 1640980105 (hard cover: alk. paper)
ISBN-13: 9781640980112 • ISBN−10: 1640980113 (soft cover: alk. paper)
ISBN-13: 9781640980129 • ISBN−10: 1640980121 (ePub ebook)
ISBN-13: 9781640980136 • ISBN−10: 164098013X (PDF ebook)

To order this book, please visit the links below:

The various editions of this book are also available for ordering from all major online bookstores worldwide, and from the Okcir Store.


About OKCIR—i

About this Book—ii

About the Author—iv

List of Figures—xvii


Common Preface to the Series1

Introduction: An Elephant in the Room of Physics and the Sociological Imagination21

I. Opening: C. Wright Mills, the Sociological Imagination, and the “Improperly Felt to Be Wonderfully Mysterious”—22

II. The Elephant in the Room that is the ‘Quantum Enigma’—29

III. The Approach and Organization of this Study—34

IV. Suggestions about Reading this Book—40

CHAPTER 1 — Quantum Society Roundtable: Prior Studies Relevant to this Work—43

I. Introduction: The ‘Implicate’ David Bohm—44

II. Danah Zohar’s ‘Quantum Self and Society’—47

III. Alexander Wendt’s ‘Walking Wave Functions’—56

IV. Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner’s ‘Quantum Enigma’—67

V. The Contributions of Amit Goswami, Jim Al-Khalili, and Neil Turok—76

VI. Basarab Nicolescu’s ‘Manifesto of Transdisciplinarity’—80

CHAPTER 2 — Ideology and Utopia in Karl Mannheim: Revisiting the Origins of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge for an Exploratory Framework—103

I. Introduction—105

II. The Sociology of Knowledge and Karl Mannheim—106

III. Ideology and Utopia in “Ideology and Utopia”—110

IV. Theoretical Roots—116

V. Methodological Grounds—124

VI. Inventing the Sociology of Self-Knowledge—126

VII. Conclusion—130


CHAPTER 3 — The Classical Newtonian Way of Imagining Reality: Unlike the Billiard Balls Game, Actually—137

(1) Dualism: Can an Object be A and non-A at the Same Time and Place?—161

(2) Atomism: What is the Micro Unit of Analysis of the Object?—161

(3) Separability: What is the Macro Unit of Analysis of the Object?—163

(4) Objectivity: Does the Object Being Observed Have an Independent Reality?—163

(5) Determinism: Can Causes and Consequences of Moving Objects be Predictable?—165

(6) Continuity: Does Change Happen Through Chains of Local Causations—168

(7) Disciplinarity: The Fragmentation of Knowledge of Reality—169

(8) Scientism: The Presumed Superiority of Western Way of Thinking—169

CHAPTER 4 — Whose Enigma?: From Classical Newtonianism to Relativity and the Quantum Revolution—175

(1) From Dualism to “Duality” (of Two Kinds: Complementarity and Simultaneity)—202

(2) From Atomism to Superpositionality—204

(3) From Separability to Inseparability—206

(4) From (Subjectless) Objectivity to (Subject-Included) Relativity—209

(5) From Determinism to Probability—211

(6) From Continuity to “Discontinuity” (or “Transcontinuity”?)—214

(7) From Disciplinarity to Transdisciplinarity—216

(8) From Scientism to Transculturalism—217

CHAPTER 5 — Approaching the Elephant in the Room: The Many Interpretations of the Quantum Enigma—225

I. Introduction—226

II. What Exactly Is the So-called ‘Quantum Enigma’?—229

III. ‘Classifying’ the Many Interpretations of the Quantum Enigma—238

IV. The Standard and Extreme Copenhagen Interpretations—242

V. The Incomplete Knowledge Interpretation—245

VI. The Pilot-Wave Interpretation—248

VII. The Many Worlds and the Many Minds Interpretations—252

VIII. The Decoherence Interpretation—255

IX. The Consciousness Cause Interpretations—258

X. Other Interpretative Contributions: Ithaca, Transactional, and Logical—264 

CHAPTER 6 — Introducing a Relativistic Interpretation: Unriddling the “Wave-Particle Duality of Light” as the Skeleton of the Quantum Enigma’s Cat Gone Elephant—269

I. Introduction—270

II. Dualism, Duality, Complementarity, and Simultaneity—280

III. An Overview of the Thought Experiments Associated with Einstein’s Special and General Theorizations of Relativity—289

IV. The Imaginal Oversight in the Thought Experiments Associated with Einstein’s Theorizations of Relativity that Engendered the Enigma of the “Wave-Particle Duality of Light”—318

V. Conclusion: The Localized/Spread-out Simultaneity of Photon As Always a Wave—363

CHAPTER 7 — Relativistically Unriddling the Spooky Experiments Fleshing Out the Quantum Enigma’s Cat Gone Elephant: Revealing Other Interpretive Errors—369

I. Introduction—370

II. The Enigma of the Double-Slit Experiment: Can an Indivisible Unit of Energy Split?—377

III. The Enigma of Quantum Entanglement: Are Not These Now Two Ends of the Same Stick?—400

IV. The Enigma of the Delayed-Choice Experiment: Does a Beam-Splitter Split Each Photon?—418

V. The Enigma of Two “Levels” of Reality: Recovering from a Misstep in the “Reality Escalator” Thought Experiment—431

VI. The Enigma of the Schrödinger’s Cat: How a Radioactively Endangered Quantum Cat in a Box Morphed into a Radioactively Endangering Newtonian Elephant in the Room—456

CHAPTER 8 — Describing the Elephant in the Room as a Whole: Cohering With the Many Interpretations of the Quantum Enigma—473

I. Introduction—473

II. Cohering Across and With Einstein’s Incomplete Knowledge and Bohr’s Copenhagen Interpretations—476

III. Cohering with the Pilot-Wave Interpretation—510

IV. Cohering Across and With the Many Worlds and the Many Minds Interpretations—518

V. Cohering with Decoherence Interpretations—524

VI. Cohering with Various Consciousness Cause Interpretations—529

VII. Cohering with the Ithaca, Transactional, and Quantum Logic Interpretations—538

VIII. Describing the Elephant as a Whole: Cohering the Interpretive Chunks into the Relativistic Interpretation—541

CHAPTER 9 — The Creative Dialectics of Reality: Ontology, Epistemology, and Methodology—555

I. Introduction—556

II. Interpreting Dialectics Dialectically—561

III. Splitting the Creative Research Labor Process to Study Its Contradictory Parts—565

IV. Dialectical Methodology: Dialectics of Dialectical Ontology and Epistemology—580

V. Dialectics of the Creative Research Labor Process as a Whole—630

VI. Dialectics of the Development of “Dialectics”: An Historical Outline—635

VII. The Creative Dialectical Method—645

Conclusion: The Triumph of Transdisciplinarity and the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Toward Quantum Sociological Imaginations—649

I. Chapters Summary—651

II. Narrative Summary—66

III. Pointed Summary—679

IV. Rejoining the Quantum Society Roundtable—707

V. Toward Quantum Sociological Imaginations—715


The Social Quantum Enigma: A Chronological Bibliography—739