Quantum Physics
The books Barfield wrote after his retirement from the law demonstrate a growing interest in and knowledge about the century-long 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 Bohm-like 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 observed-an 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.
1Barfield 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 'sub-quantum' 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 meaning-in terms of physical observations-to statements about these supposed sub-quantum events. (122)