We are told that electrons stay in one particular orbit, but sometimes change to a different orbit. If it absorbs energy, an electron can jump to a higher orbit; if it releases energy, it can drop to a lower orbit. What most of us are never told is that when an electron changes orbits, it does not move through space to arrive at its new location; rather, at one moment the electron is in orbit A, and in the very next moment it is in orbit B, without having traveled through the space in between.This is what is meant by a quantum leap. A quantum leap is a change in status from one set of circumstances to another set of circumstances that takes place immediately, without passing through the circumstances in between.
Scientists have learned that they cannot predict when and where a quantum leap will occur. They can create mathematical models that allow them to estimate the quantum leaps, but they are never totally predictable.
The new science of chaos is attempting to predict the unpredictable through intricate mathematical models. In the classic example, the butterfly flutters its wings in Texas and there is a typhoon in Tokyo six days later. The connection may not seem obvious, but it exists. What this says on a spiritual level is that we can never really know what direction life will take, what changes those small butterfly-flutters of intention and action might cause in our destiny. We can never fully understand the how, where, and when of anything. We have to surrender to uncertainty, while appreciating its intricate beauty.
Adapted from The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2003).