Having just returned from a lecture series, I enjoyed when an audience member asked the standard question: “What are science’s most amazing recent discoveries?” There are plenty to choose from, such as a powerful, previously unknown layer inside the sun. We are also tantalized by astounding mysteries we didn’t even know about 30 years ago, such as why the moon is made of elements having the same isotopic fingerprint as those of Earth, unlike every other celestial body.
But the most mind-twisting progress in the gradual enlightenment of homo bewilderus is probably in the increasing realization that the universe may not be primarily material.
The standard model of reality is a story repeated endlessly in science classes and on TV documentaries, which is that everything began with a big bang 13.8 billion years ago. That’s when the entire cosmos, as small as a mustard seed, somehow burst into existence. It then expanded faster than light before coasting, while energy turned into matter, and matter into stars and galaxies, until on Earth, and perhaps many other planets, life somehow arose. Life had consciousness, and this is why we now find ourselves contemplating the universe.
Consciousness has always been a frustrating, baffling mystery. How can such an intangible thing as the fact of awareness, such as experiencing the smell of buttered corn, arise from the insentient atoms and molecules that fashion our bodies? The assumption is that awareness is somehow created by the brain, though no one has the slightest clue how this might happen.
This model was okay until the quantum theory gang in the 1920s started doing experiments that showed that an observer’s awareness would alter the experimental results. Suddenly it seemed that consciousness was somehow intertwined with the material universe, and this connection only grew greater with further physics revelations such as entanglement, which demonstrated an instantaneousness and connectedness across the cosmos. Slowly, reality was starting to resemble the premises of Eastern religions, and several popular books brought this to the public’s attention.
As some readers know, I’ve been a part of this effort, with the two biocentrism books co-written with Bob Lanza, MD. Their great success, which has included many foreign editions, shows that this is a popular subject that is probably overdue to appear on this page.
Now I’ve just finished a review copy of a new book by Mark Gober, entitled An End to Upside Down Thinking, which introduces several fascinating new conclusions about this topic.
To bring all this up to speed, first, once again, remember that today’s standard science model is material based, and assumes that atoms, stars and planets (with behavior guided by the four fundamental forces) are the basis of the cosmos. Most scientists regard consciousness as an irrelevancy, an airy-fairy sort of thing. But as Gober emphasizes, the surest aspect of reality is our awareness. After all, everything observed, contemplated, thought about and experienced occurs via the simple fact of consciousness. It is the most inarguable aspect of the cosmos. So, rather than dismissing it, perhaps perception itself ought to be the starting point in our scientific explorations of reality. Therefore let’s consider an alternative model in which this is moved front and center.
By this thinking, consciousness is not merely correlative with nature, as biocentrism claims to prove, but is the sole foundational basis of the universe. For the moment, consider that perhaps awareness is eternal and never absent. Indeed, you’re always conscious of something, and this always is felt to occur “right now.” This never changes.
And maybe we cannot figure out how the brain creates consciousness because it has never really done that! What if the brain’s job is to filter, focus and even limit the consciousness that is all-pervasive, to make the experience appropriate for the individual organism, such as yourself as a human. If this is true, then the brain’s dissolution at death in no way ends the experience of awareness. Indeed, that could be what opens the floodgates to unlimited, unconfined awareness, as is experienced in mystical states such as those labeled enlightenment, samadhi or satori. This would also explain why in lab settings those taking psychedelics who insisted they’d experienced truth or oneness or so-called self realization had been medically found to have reduced brain activity.
Well, interesting, but if you want actual evidence and hard scientific backing, the place to begin is to search out and study the famous double-slit experiment. I devote two chapters to it in Beyond Biocentrism.
My guess is that revelations along these lines will be increasingly proven experimentally, and we may be indeed on the cusp of a more accurate way of understanding the universe.