Below is an excerpt from my recent book Adventures in Quantumland: Exploring Our Unseen Reality (WSP, 2019) concerning a new way of understanding quantum theory that involves letting go of certain preconceptions, arguably based on Western cultural modes of thinking, about the nature of physical interaction. The constrained thinking is interestingly reminiscent of the way in which the active role of the egg in fertilization was overlooked for many decades, even after biological research into this area was quite advanced. See, for example: The Importance of Feminist Critique for Contemporary Cell Biology
1.4 A physical process is a two-way street
Another important aspect of the new conceptual picture proposed here is the idea that the interactions described by quantum theory need to be recognized as a ‘two-way street.’ That is, processes do not occur unilaterally. The giving of energy (momentum, charge, etc.) cannot happen without something actively receiving it. This mutuality is what has been missing from conventional approaches to interpreting quantum theory. ……
Regarding the concept of mutuality missing in the traditional approach to quantum theory, we find that the ancient Eastern principles of interacting duality, represented by the ‘yin/yang’ symbolism, are exactly on target. Yang represents the aspects of initiative, giving, and creating, while yin represents the aspects of accepting, receiving, and dissolution. The approach of Western science can be seen as emphasizing ‘yang’ to the exclusion of ‘yin.’ For example, it is assumed that interactions can be adequately described primarily in terms of an entity being created or ‘emitted.’ But that can never describe a complete interaction. Does anyone merely ‘emit’ payment for a business transaction without anyone actively receiving it (and those funds deposited in an account)? Does anyone merely ‘emit’ a daffodil bulb in order to get a flower? No, the bulb must be received in the ground; there is a necessary and crucial interaction between the bulb and the earth. The ‘emissions’ are only half the required interaction, and half the story of the relevant physics. Thus, we need both giving and receiving in order to satisfactorily account for processes taking place in the world, such as the transfer of energy from one thing to another. And in fact, these are already in the theory, as we shall observe in the next section. So nothing new needs to be added (i.e. no ad hoc ‘hidden variables’); we merely have to interpret the already-existing formalism in a new way. ..