

The books Barfield wrote
after his retirement from the law demonstrate a growing interest in and
knowledge about the centurylong debate over quantum physics. Saving
the Appearance (1957) contains over a score of references to developments
in modern physics; in Worlds Apart (1963) Brodie is a physicist
steeped in Heisenberg,
Schrödinger,
and Planck, and in Unancestral
Voice
(1965), a David Bohmlike
physicist named Flume delivers a lecture on quantum questions.
"A constant pursuit
of classical physics," Brodie reminds in Worlds Apart. explaining
how quantum physics revolutionized our thinking about nature, matter, and
light, "forces a transformation in the very basis of physics . . ." (17;
Brodie is paraphrasing Heisenberg). Similarly, Barfield insists that a
consistent application of the insights of modern physics,^{1}
in particular of its revelations about the nature of the observer and the
observedan application that is to say which does not fall prey to double
think, would go a long way toward smashing modern idolatry, enabling
us to realize that the Collective
Representations which we mistake for reality are in fact the product
of our thinking.
See in particular
Unancestral
Voice, Chap. 9 and Worlds Apart , passim. 
^{1}Barfield
does not of course accept quantum physics in toto. Through Flume
in Unancestral Voice, for example, he raises an objection to its
abandonment of ordinary language in favor of the language of mathematics
and demonstrates the dangers this abandonment entails:
Quantum mechanics was totally mathematical.
In other words its microphysical statements were statistical in some other
and more absolute sense. For once they had been mathematically propounded,
it was found impossible to reinterpret them in any way that could render
them descriptive of actual 'subquantum' events; or even of an aggregate
or average of such actual events. The limits imposed by quantum mechanics
on our whole technique of observation actually prevented us from giving
any meaningin terms of physical observationsto statements about these
supposed subquantum events. (122)

