Consciousness as a component of physics?

topic posted Sat, August 20, 2005 - 9:15 PM by  Jacob
From what I understand, life is known to have emerged from inorganic chemical building blocks, to simple cells and up to relatively complex creatures like humans.

Consciousness, self-consciousness and freewill are a part of humans. It is often mentioned that animals, plants, bacterium etc. lack certain faculties... such as self-consciousness in the case of animals.

So I am curious what scientists or theorists have developed in terms of quantifying this element in the flux of physical phenomena...assuming there is something tangible to quantify.

Is there anyone, any field of study or theory directly involved with this?
posted by:
  • Unsu...

    Re: Consciousness as a component of physics?

    Wed, August 24, 2005 - 7:09 PM
    Jacob, Check out 'The Self-Aware Universe' by Amit Goswami. He is a physicist who posits that consciousness is at the core of quantum mechanics and is therefore the substrate of the universe. There is an interview with him here:

    For a more biological take on consciouness, look into Christof Koch's 'Quest for Consciousness'
    • Unsu...

      Re: Consciousness as a component of physics?

      Fri, August 26, 2005 - 6:43 PM
      Daniel, thanks for mentioning that book. I actually bought it years ago with intentions of reading it immediately, and I have still not gotten around to it, but now I certainly will.

      Prior to reading his theories then, all I have to say is that I already see a correlation between consciousness and quantum mechanics. Many phenomena observed since the early 20th century onward in quantum theory lead to an idea of a single energy field, while not necessarily continuous as classical physics would posit, does permeate all space and that our consciousness is an integral part of it.

      This goes against the original "ghost in the machine" idea (intended to show the absurdity of a dualistic (material vs. nonmaterial) reality) attributed in philosophy to any idea of a non-tangible aspect to existence that appears to have no place in the chemical and electrical functions of our bodies.

      With quantum mechanics in the picture, our consciousness is a part of this energy field that explains previously inexplicable phenomenon observed in physics at the atomic level. The reason we didn't see it before was because it was simply too small, and there's still way more to the picture that we haven't been able to begin perceiving empirically. But now we have this new picture where our nontangible consciousness may be the functional core of the system of chemical reactions and such that is our physical bodies, but where we don't have the empirical evidence yet to really show how it works. Like De Broglie when he helped further the idea of the interaction of wave and particle properties, you sometimes have to fully embrace confusion when dealing with seemingly contradictory properties before you can delve into their actual nature (as long as that confusion doesn't become an excuse for extreme digression).

      This kind of theory may help to explain why we personally can have an affect on our own experiments at the quantum level; that is, where it is possible that in expecting a certain outcome we bring about that outcome merely through that expectation because our consciousness and the material systems we are dealing with have the same underlying field.
  • Re: Consciousness as a component of physics?

    Sun, August 28, 2005 - 5:40 PM
    Daniel, Ron... Thanks for those links, they're all very interesting, making me want to pickup those books...exactly the sort of material I was looking for.
    • Re: Consciousness as a component of physics?

      Tue, August 30, 2005 - 6:16 AM

      you should also try "The Connectivity Hypothesis: Foundations of an Integral Science of Quantum, Cosmos, Life, and Consciousness" by Ervin Laszlo. Also Roger Penrose ( yes the quantum gravity dude) "Shadows of the Mind".

      This is only the tip of it...Fred Alan Wolf is another...quantum consciousness is becoming a hot area of study. Have fun.
  • Unsu...

    Re: Consciousness as a component of physics?

    Sun, October 9, 2005 - 1:47 PM
    I would like to add _Quantum Evolution_ by Johnjoe McFadden. You can read an outline here:

    Also, McFadden's conscious electromagnetic field theory:

    Daniel mentioned Amit Goswami, above. Here are some more related works by Goswami, w/ Henry Swift et al:
    • Re: Consciousness as a component of physics?

      Thu, November 3, 2005 - 3:58 PM
      I'm writing on that now. Here's some of it.

      There are many dimensions of our consciousness, conditioning our experience also by how we think and believe. Consciousness studies have attracted the attention of mystics, philosophers, and scientists from many fields from physics, to biology, neurology, psychology and more. This interdisciplinary field raises questions ranging from cellular to organismic perception to the subjective quality of our ordinary conscious and unconscious experiences.

      Is there more to our consciousness than simple cognition? Does consciousness somehow relate to energy levels? The Chinese say the deeper the level of consciousness the higher the Qi energy it associates. They say the Tao gives rise to all forms, but has no form of its own, just as the Diamond Sutra says there is no form without void and no void without form. In cosmology, even cold dark matter is said to have structure at all magnitudes.

      Mystery and ineffabiity enshroud our deepest experiences and observations. Many traditions claim that when we experience pure consciousness that is the ground state of the universe. But there is nothing in the experience itself to substantiate anything beyond a state, physiological anomoly, or artifact of the nervous system. Separate sorts of evidence are needed to highlight the experience itself from theories about it.

      Comprehending our consciousness raises the fundamental question of the primal nature of the cosmos as well as our own nature. We need a paradigm shift to effectively study consciousness. Current theories of reality tend to overlap one another or treat existence at radically different scales. We can’t reliably determine if Reality is smooth or lumpy.

      We stand in Mystery, exemplified by the facts there is no consensus in physics, cosmology, consciousness studies, and certainly not metaphysics. We don't even know what electricity is! Or energy, except that "it is frozen mass and light" which another theory proves cannot 'exist', at least not objectively because all experience is subjective.

      Too bad that for all our scientific pretentions to objectivity, we don’t have any viable understanding of either mass, light or time, either. This is compounded with notions of so-called dark matter and dark energy… more ‘smoke and mirrors’ explanations. It seems the great Light casts a long shadow. In the holographic theory, that ‘shadow’ is related to the scalar field of the vacuum potential. Dark matter and energy are also implicated in structure formation.

      There are continual revolutions in concepts and paradigms in physics, which later permeate society and beliefs mostly in a rather naïve (often misunderstood) way. Life can be understood from the perspective of contemporary physics, non-equilibrium thermodynamics and quantum theory. Many theorists postulate quantum and subquantal imaginal fields for both the cosmos and ourselves, interacting field bodies, some of which (like Frolich’s quantum coherent photon fields) are more plausible than others.

      Is consciusness a component of physics? Mae Wan Ho and Dr. James Oschmann both speak of special energy relationships in the connective tissue (the skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, various membranes covering major organs and linings of internal spaces) and extracellular matrix of the body. Sentience, memory and intercommunication are distributed throughout the body; it may be our unconscious.

      This extracellular tissue acts like a dynamic liquid crystal, and is the basis of instantaneous (nonlocal) communication throughout the organism. Coherent energy is vital energy, arising from stored and mobilized coherent energy forms. Our systems are ultrasensitive to weak signals and can amplify them to global effects. Qi is called “coherent” energy. This ground substance of the body with ‘a mind of its own’ may be the basis of energy medicine and our well-being.

      There is a dynamic, liquid crystalline continuum of connective tissues and extracellular matrix linking directly into the equally liquid crystalline cytoplasm in the interior of every single cell in the body (see Ho, 1997; Ho, 1998). Liquid crystallinity gives organisms their characteristic flexibility, exquisite sensitivity and responsiveness, thus optimizing the rapid, noiseless intercommunication that enables the organism to function as a coherent, coordinated whole. In addition, the liquid crystalline continuum provides subtle electrical interconnections which are sensitive to changes in pressure, pH and other physicochemical conditions; in other words, it is also able to register ‘tissue memory’. Thus, the liquid crystalline continuum possesses all the qualities of a ‘body consciousness’ that may indeed be sensitive to all forms of subtle energy medicines including acupuncture. (Mae Wan Ho)

      In the quantum world, everything is in flux, including the subquantal virtual photons popping in and out of existence. The foamy Zero Point fluctuation determines the behavior of quantum systems likely by radiant EM fields. Radiation is absorbed from the zero-point background. The stability of matter itself is mediated by the zero point fluctuation phenomena.

      This image of bubbling spacetime doesn’t exist in Einstein’s classical theory of relativity where space is absolutely smooth. Matter and energy have an equatable, quantifiable identity. But at the scale of atoms and electrons particles have no definite velocity and location.

      Quantum principles therefore dictate that spacetime is a seething foam. If gravity obeys relativity but matter obeys QM, clearly a theory of quantum gravity and a new description of quantum spacetime is required to resolve the conundrum. Are hyperspace and spacetime two views of the same domain or is the solution a whole new perspective on the deepest level of reality?

      These magical fields have been conceptualized because they work in the mathematics and the real world, but that doesn’t mean they are identical with it, necessarily. They are a matter of faith, in some sense, whether we model them as EM fields, strong force fields, gravitational fields, strings, or subquantal scalar fields. The dogma of field theory has permeated the world of physics. Fields have taken on magical properties.

      Fields can materialize in empty space. Fields can bend and warp. Fields push and pull. Fields can change the speed of your clock. To help these magical fields we also have miraculous phantom particles and agents. We have photons for light and energy, gravitons for gravity, gluons for strong force, and super strings for string theory. They are all phantom because none of them were ever observed in nature or in any experiment. All but photons carry negative energy.
      Yet, viable theories, such as the Holographic Concept of Reality don’t rely on field theory at all. The 2-D holographic domain is one of information and resolution. The holographic domain conjures an extra dimension, projecting our apparently 3-D world. If the entire universe is a kind of hologram it may mean that even gravity is a persistent perceptual delusion operating only in higher dimensional spacetime.

      The holographic description is one of a frequency domain which doesn’t rely on fields to project itself. Each sample of that reality at any scale contains the information of the whole in greater or lesser resolution. The holographic model offers new options for resolution of profound mysteries such as quantum gravity and our hyperdimensional existence.

      Research in Quantum Bioholography (Miller & Miller) strongly suggests that DNA is a holographic projector which manifests our embodiment through projection of biophotons and sound, a cymatic process known as acoustic holography.

      Whatever this irreducible immaterial essence is, it a creative force recognized as identical with or an agent of Source. In heartful communities it has been linked with the groundstate of being (negentropic zero-point energy) by both physicists and psychologists.

      Our soulful intentionality can be a healing force for ourselves and others, whether or not we comprehend intellectually how that “works”. It may or may not have anything to do with the fields we attribute it to. Still, we all have a sense of inner direction that helps us know when we are on or off course in our life journey, whether we heed it or not.

      The Triple Union

      We are truly psychophysical beings, composed of bodymind and spirit, but even those who grasp the holistic concept often fail to live it from the heart. Arguably, Carl Jung (1911) was among the first to apply the recognized concepts of physical energy to show that libido, or psychic energy obeys the same laws and is not only analogous, but identical. Psychophysical and emotional energy is associated with instinctual biological drives.

      Though psychic energy is neutral, it can be literalized, somatized, sexualized, emotionalized, socialized, mentalized, or spiritualized. Symptoms, thoughts, images, fantasies, beliefs, emotions, forms of expression or behaviour are all libidinal. Libido tends to flow inward or outward, a dynamic rhythm of introversion/extroversion. Jung attributed mana or personal power for a kind of shamanic or positive psychic contagion to those individuals who seem to have a charismatic influence on others.
      Psychic energy tends to follow the same laws of physical conservation and entropy. Jung taught that within the psyche, libido: (1) creates entropy, (2) is generally conserved under the principle of equivalence, (3) flows through the psyche in channels that can be redirected, (4) can be either progressive or regressive, and (5) is transformed by symbols. In short, the psyche as, defined by Jung, is a complex system.
      New physics, chaos theory, synergetics, and information theory describe our existence as complex dynamical systems. Entropy can only occur in system that is absolutely closed so no energy from outside can be fed into it. But the psyche is an open system, which exchanges energy and information with its environment and can be negentropic.
      We can also have a negentropic influence on one another (Gladwell), perturbing, enlarging, creating new pathways and possibilities. Theoretically, behavior can ripple outward until a critical mass or "tipping point" is reached, changing the world. Gladwell's thesis that ideas, products, messages and behaviors "spread just like viruses do" remains a metaphor. Yet, highly sociable or connective people often become revolutionary leaders, bringing others together with a new perspective, a broadened worldview.
      Life includes chaos and order, good and bad experiences, even catastrophes that require us to adapt or die. The important thing is how we meet and react to chaos, finding ways to replenish our depletion. Observation of the subquantal domain reveals an inexhaustible realm of negentropy from which we can draw our psychophysical sustenance. When healthy, our entire system is designed to reduce entropy, in different scales and domains.
      The same is true for the superorganism of society. We are irreducibly entangled with one another and the environment. We are healthy only to the extent we resonate with our environment. We maintain our integrity and identity as a dissipative system only because we are open to flows of energy, matter, or information from our environment (Prigogine & Stengers, 1984).

      We live in a persistent delusion of separateness. However, we are all nonlocally connected in an ill-defined yet tangible way at the subatomic, individual, group and global level, connecting and diverging Psychic energy or libido is a psychosomatic phenomenon analogous to the paradoxical nature of energy/matter or wave/particle. The human body is not an object in space, but seamlessly welded to spacetime. We are not merely a phenomenal body of flesh, but one of awareness, of consciousness, a living interface of inner and outer field phenomena.

      We all experience visceral or gut reactions and know instinctively how our mental states affect our physical vitality, and vice versa. But often we loose the intimate relationship with our mindbody, with the source of our being, our aliveness, our passions. If we experience this flow at all, it ebbs and flows away. Our individual and collective creative potential remains largely unrealized.

      How often do we pay attention to those vital signs, the innate wisdom of the body, inhabiting our minds rather than our flesh? We are increasingly not instinctual, but cultural, and we choose many of our behaviors for good or ill. We’re nearly all “sick and tired” of the way things are, but what do we do to change them?

      We can learn simple techniques for self regulation, such as biofeedback, yoga, and meditation. Creativity, as an activity in several fields, brings many intrinsic health-promoting rewards. We can create new habits to help us cope with technocratic society that tone or recalibrate our systems and change our physical state. We all have to learn how to deal with personal and/or global catastrophe whether we want to or not.

      The Golden Flesh

      Do we actively value our psychic well being, our totality, psyche and substance? Are we living soulful, artful lives? Do we nourish our whole selves with self-love? Do we take the time to care for our body or deny it, drive it relentlessly like our servant, or treat it like a machine? Do we attend to our inner world of waking images and dreams? Can we come to our senses, deepening the quality and intensity of embodied experience?

      Our felt-sense is our wise intuitive response if we but listen. It brings meaning and value to life. What is your body trying to tell you? The body has a mind of its own and speaks that mind in gut reactions, body language, psychosomatics, and literal symptoms.

      When psychic energy is dammed up it manifests in unconscious or destructive ways, such as tension, withdrawl, alienation, anxiety, compulsions, depression, addictions, somatization, and suicidal tendencies. Some people learn early, even in the womb, that their world is not a safe place. Social patterns become maladaptive when an organism’s true needs are not met in a tangible, congruent way.

      A confused person can react with pain, fear, hopelessness, cognitive dissonance, disturbed biorhythms, approach/avoidance, passive aggression, codependence, apathy, or self-defeating behavior patterns. Our biology and minds become confused. Fed enough negative self-talk the body will react with authentic symptoms, self-induced illness. This does not mean that all disease is self-inflicted nor that we are necessarily to blame for our ailments, in some version of “new age guilt”.

      Both the alternative health fields and mindbody psychologies such as the humanistic, Jungian and transpersonal psychologies have sought the triple union of body, soul, and spirit much like the medieval alchemists. But only a fusion of those approaches can manifest the union of opposites in the golden flesh. We can learn to care for our mindbodies in new ways from the inside out, conceptually and experientially.

      To truly nourish ourselves holistically we have to address the manifest needs of mental and physical well-being. Consciousness may have a direct effect on the subatomic particles of the body, especially those within the brain. A tiny change within the open system of the brain, for example, can result in a vast change to the overall health of the body because of amplification through feedback loops. Nonlinearity exists at many scales.

      Soma Sophia

      Sometimes we have to address the external realities of a situation and sometimes its spirit or essential nature. The same is true for our bodies and souls. Significance is extracted from the experiential responses of our whole being – soma significance, the felt-sense wisdom of the bodymind, which we can personify as Soma Sophia.

      We can use the wisdom of the bodymind to face stress, pain, loss, illness, even catastrophe. Creative transformation of our instinctive reactions produces the gold, whether we call that essence health, art, flow, or inspiration. Psychic sustenance is found within. Once the mindbody connects with Source, all of our self-expression becomes soulful. We truly embody spirit.

      That Source is the source of psychic energy, our libido, which becomes available for negentropic or entropic expression. Its tangible root lies within our very energy/matter as the plenum that science calls the vacuum fluctuation or zero-point energy, the groundstate of existence. It is a bit of the cosmos, of the universe that lies within our bodies, which are composed of elements cooked within the stars.

      The body itself is the Hermetic vessel for the transformation of instinctual drives. That creative process can take place through trance, art, or meditation, or any combination of them. There are many techniques, which help us process pain, stress, trauma, or depression. Often therapies address higher levels of organization, often at the conceptual level, rather than reordering the physical core of distress, which inhibits our well-being.

      A dynamic combination of focus, concentration and flow undergirds our conscious existence and how we relate to others and the world. In meditations such as biofeedback, Tai Chi or Yoga, we intentionally create dynamic changes in our psychophysiology. We temporarily drop our identification with the body only to reinhabit it with even more awareness or mindfulness. This is the artful life; creative fulfillment of our collective destiny.

      The Field Body
      We can return to Nature and our nature, collectively preparing a paradigm shift for a new shared reality and trajectory – physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual coherence. The silent frictionless flow of living intelligence is beyond words and conceptual constructs. We are a process of recursive self-generation. This continuum, which is our groundstate or creative Source, is directly discoverable in the immediacy of the emergent embodied moment.

      We are each a temple of living light. We arise from and are sustained by field phenomena, waves of biophotonic light and sound, which form our essential nature through acoustic holography (Miller & Miller), which is similar to the formation of matter via sound in cymatics. Cymatics is the science that describes how sound creates forms via resonance phenomena. Bioholography is thus a form of cymatics – acoustic holography.

      Holography is the artform of producing virtual 3-D spatial images of objects. Its artifact is an ephemera, though the holographic plate which records the interference pattern is not. Projections are most compelling when they converge on the viewer. Virtuality is the condition of pure potential, non-actualization. Virtual images are created from diffracting lightwaves and reading the interference patterns.

      But virtual particles from the vacuum potential (ZPE) pop in and out of our reality perturbing, even creating actual particles. Cybernetic virtuality involves interaction with a computer system to render certain potentialities actual within certain rules. In holographic systems, a body of fiction can potentially trigger future facts, opening new windows of reality. For example, rituals of quantum biofeedback, can manifest as nonlocal healing, whether through tangible interaction or the power of suggestion and placebo effect.

      Our bodies are created from the virtuality of scalar field interactions with our 4-D reality of this spacetime. The mechanism is by projection via our DNA by biophotons or coherent light produced within the body. This coherent light transduces itself into radio waves, which carry sound as information that decodes the 4-D form as a material object, such as ourselves.

      The study of this phenomenon of light and sound forming an organism using DNA as a holographic projector is called quantum bioholography (Miller). This process is true not only of formation of the body but also extends into its maintenance, a continual process of creation and renewal.
      Light and sound carry the information that shapes us and our environment. In a sense we are essentially “frozen” light. Universe congeals within us each moment in a unique way, never to be repeated. Science now tells us this is so, that each of us extends nonlocally far beyond the skin boundary through our embedded field body (Pribram/Bohm, Ho).

      Nature works through self-organization at the creative edge of chaos (Gleick, Peat), and so do we. Complexity is the fine line between chaos and order, "a chaos of behaviors in which the components of the system never quite lock into place, yet never quite dissolve into turbulence either" (Waldrop, 1992, p. 293). The creative edge of chaos is a transition phase.
      Self-reinforcing, autopoeitic morphogenesis creates specific forms. Yet a meta-theory eludes us. We still don’t know exactly how that works; there is currently no consensus in quantum physics at the level of the unified field, but we have many working theories, which help us grope our way toward understanding. Likewise, there is no generally accepted paradigm in consciousness studies. Ambiguity surrounding our psychophysical Mystery also shows up in the split between conventional allopathic and energy medicine.

      Mystics suggest even more subtle connections of soul and spirit through time and space, evolutionary intelligence. Even without a mystical approach, we can rest and refresh ourselves by aligning our intentionality with the very fabric of spacetime. Consciously participating in this universal process helps heal and integrate our mindbodies, psyche and matter. We can learn to self-soothe cumulative daily irritations by practicing self-regulation.

      Cosmos resonates within each of us, but we have lost touch with that due to electromagnetic pollution and the distracting demands of modern life. But we can rediscover this integral context in which we are embedded as a field of timeless, radiant abundance. It is plausible that spacetime is a plenum rather than an empty vacuum. It abides not just outside us in the depths of space but within the fabric of our being. We are pulsating dynamos of cells, organs, and dynamic systems.

      We can learn to wrap our minds around this quantum reality that we are not separate from the ongoing process of creation, even if an energetic field of information defies detection. The source of creation always flows through rhythmic pulsation or waves of energy/matter, perhaps even dark matter. The manifestation of each so-called particle of our being is orchestrated through a self-organizing process (Penrose/Hameroff).

      This dance is a harmonic continuum from the smallest to the largest scales, permeating all domains of assembly and observation – subquantum, quantum, molecular, chemical, even cultural, global, and cosmological. The evolution of our dynamic system obeys universal laws. Likewise our behaviors flow into manifestation from our beliefs, thoughts and emotions, including our self-image.

      By opening to system dynamics we can reorganize away from the entropic, reductionistic, destructive habit patterns that plague our species. We can make stress-reducing negentropic choices for structural and psychological adjustment, which improve our quality of life. Integration is a synergistic process rooted in primordial bodymind consciousness.

      The brain is not confined to our skull, but permeates our whole being through the intracellular matrix and sensory system, as well as the strong EM fields generated by the beating heart. Research suggests activities in the brain may be pre-conditioned by the DC field of the organism (Oschmann; Becker). Our molecular system extends beyond the nervous system and is the bedrock of intuitive, subconscious and unconscious processes.

      Hypnosis suggests the fabric of the body also helps store our memories, embodying our triumphs and traumas. Ideomotor signaling (Rossi) can elicit revelations about ourselves not available from our conscious minds. There is a reciprocal action between our inchoate perceptions, thoughts and the chemistry of our bodies, and therefore our current and future states.

      Jung (1932) identified at least five kinds of drives: hunger, activity, sexuality, creativity, and reflection. But he gradually came to conceive of "libido as a psychic analogue of physical energy,” a more or less quantitative concept, which should not be defined in qualitative terms, though libido includes drives, love, desire, aspirations. The important point is that this energy is never destroyed, but flows throughout the psyche activating now this part and now another.

      Psychology describes psychic contents, including the role of the body, with psychic means. Psyche – the realm of soul -- is subject and object, medium and message, source and goal; there is no relative point of observation outside the human psyche. When we get down to it, we find only unprovable but assumed beliefs, which seem to work and therefore seem meaningful. We tend to have experiences that confirm our view or perspective of the world.

      Physics, by contrast, pursues material reality both via and, to the greatest degree possible, beyond the human experience, but it also uses the mental medium in both its conceptions and inventions. All models of reality are “soft” technologies, but our beliefs and worldview condition the reality we experience. Just as matter is in a constant process of redefinition, so too must psyche and spirit be continuously redefined.

      The psychic energy that directs and motivates the personality is called libido, which is simply a generic form of psychic energy which can be redirected or "canalized" into both sexual and non-sexual activities. Psychic energy balances the energy flowing between spirit and instinct. This non-specific energy can consciously be deployed and channeled for self-transformation.
      • Re: Consciousness as a component of physics?

        Thu, November 3, 2005 - 4:00 PM
        and more from another article:

        Quantum Consciousness?

        The paths of Wolfgang Pauli, coming from the advanced edge of physics, and Carl Jung, from the advanced edge of the psyche, crossed with interesting results for their generation. Pauli came away rededicated to unifying psyche and matter, to finding "the irrational in matter and the subjective in physics" and convinced of "the resurrection of spirit in matter." Jung came away with the idea of acausal connections -- meaningful coincidences -- an idea developed with the help of Pauli.

        This collaboration raised the question of what it means to live in a world of where synchronicity is part of our experience. Each of the physical and psychological theories that have arisen since have also addressed implications about our existence and interconnections, not just theories. It is quite different to be essentially an ethereal wave-front in space than a solid meat body. But we rarely even conceive of ourselves this way, much less wrap our minds around the implications. We live in a fantasy of solid objects and conscious awareness.

        Consciousness is more than simple conscious awareness or self awareness. It’s ALL in your mind, but not necessarily merely in your head. Consciousness is distributed throughout the entire body. Though the brain is associated with the nervous system it is embedded in body consciousness and coupled to it.

        Body and mind mutually inform and conditon one another as mindbody, or the psychophysical organism. The connective tissue of the body has its own form of coherent communication by conductance. The connective tissue acts a dynamic liquid crystal array, which conveys information many times faster than the nervous and hormonal systems. It is the basis of gut feelings and holistic responses.

        The universe is literally holistically contained within the mindbody and is the context of mindbody. Both physicists and mystics now tell us that there is noTHING “out there.” The Vedas said centuries ago that it’s all “mindstuff” and modern science is now confronting that. Wave forms and particles derive their energy from the inside of space. That energy is dynamic, always interacting from the cosmic to subquantal realms.

        "The vast interplanetary and interstellar regions will no longer be regarded as waste places in the universe, which the Creator has not seen fit to fill with the symbols of the manifold order of His kingdom. We shall find them to be already full of this wonderful medium; so full, that no human power can remove it from the smallest portion of Space, or produce the slightest flaw in its infinite continuity. It extends unbroken from star to star; and when a molecule of hydrogen vibrates in the dog-star, the medium receives the impulses of these vibrations, and after carrying them in its immense bosom for
        several years, delivers them, in due course, regular order, and full tale, into the spectroscope of Mr. Huggins, at Tulse Hill.", declared James Clerk Maxwell.

        The vacuum energy or Zero Point Energy (ZPE) can be viewed as the Qi energy field according to the ancient Chinese Qi theory or worldview. In the very beginning there was Wu (Nothing or Void), then there was "Hun Tun" (the Great Chaos), later formed the "Tai Chi", then formed the "Tai Shih" (the Great Beginning) permeated with Qi.

        The Qi then splitted into two, the Yin and Yang two complementary Qi forces. The interactions of the Yin Qi and Yang Qi evolves all things including Life. To the Chinese, Everything has Qi. Everything functions through Qi. It is the Qi that keeps us alive. To the Chinese, Life is not the end product of an evolutionary process, rather Life Force Qi's existence necessitates Physics and Chemistry being what it is.

        Roger Penrose, a mathematical physicist at Oxford University, believes that if a "theory of everything" is ever developed in physics to explain all the known phenomena in the universe, it should at least partially account for consciousness. Penrose also believes that quantum mechanics, the rules governing the physical world at the subatomic level, might play an important role in consciousness.

        But physicists and metaphysicists seem to talk about Consciousness as a primal essence, and consciousness as a neurological state of an organism, including human. Consciousness is equated by mystically-oriented physicists with the very essence of cosmos beyond energy/matter, residing within us as the groundstate of Being. The reductionistic view is that it is just a sequence of awareness interacting with the environment which can become complex as self-awareness arises; hierarchically stratified neural processes.

        But no one seems to really know what Consciousness or consciousness is, anymore than they know what electricity actually is. For some it is cosmic, for others the most mundane result of our brain functions. The distinctions between so-called objective and subjective consciousness is now moot. Physics has shown there is only subjectivity, though facts can exist.

        "Almost everyone agrees that there will be very strong correlations between what's in the brain and consciousness," says David Chalmers, a philosophy professor and Director of the Center for Consciousness at the Australian National University. "The question is what kind of explanation that will give you.

        Chalmers wants more than correlation, alledging we want explanation – “how and why do brain process give rise to consciousness? That's the big mystery.” The converse question would be how and why does Consciousness give rise to cosmos? The problem is, Consciousness and consciousness seem to be irreducible, try as we might.

        According to Chalmers, the subjective nature of consciousness prevents it from being explained in terms of simpler components, a method used to great success in other areas of science. He believes that unlike most of the physical world, which can be broken down into individual atoms, or organisms, which can be understood in terms of cells, consciousness is irreducible. It’s an aspect of the universe, like space and time and mass. According to this view, consciousness is primal.

        A theory of consciousness would not explain what consciousness is or how it arose; instead, it would try to explain the relationship between consciousness and everything else in the world. In another theory the boson involved is conformal gravity, aka dark energy, aka the vacuum, aka zero point energy. Anything that gets entangled (electrons, photons, etc) builds up consciousness. There are other theories of entanglement, coherence and decoherence.

        Many say QM has the look and feel of consciousness. There are several types of explanation of quantum state reduction, an occasion of experience: Copenhagen (conscious observation causes collapse), multiple worlds (each possibility branches off to form a new universe), decoherence (interaction with environment contaminates superposition - though it doesn’t really cause reduction), some objective threshold for reduction (objective reduction - OR), or quantum gravity.

        Popular QM notions seem to fall into two categories:
        · Copenhagen-esque--"old school" explanations which dwell on quantum theory's non-intuitiveness and in fact seem to celebrate the "leap of logic" needed to accept the observer-based wave-function collapse postulate;

        · New Agey Utopian idealism--"quantum theory is strange, consciousness is strange, therefore, consciousness is explained by quantum theory", entanglement is proof that "all points in the universe are connected by some underlying ineffable thing, so can't we all just get along", etc.

        Quantum theory will probably play a role in explaining consciousness and its relationship
        to the brain. In some theories (Greenfield), mind is rooted in the physical connections between neurons, while consciousness is an emergent property of the brain, similar to the 'wetness' of water or the 'transparency' of glass. The electrical activity of the brain makes a `model' of a self in the world and our understanding of physical reality requires this `model' to exist `in the dark'. We don’t know if it’s basis is quantum or complexity, or some combination of quantum uncertainty and chaotic sensitivity.
        There may be a link between chaotic sensitivity and quantum entanglement to create the ‘trick’ of consciousness (King, 2005). Synapses are making a potential energy landscape. High energy chaos explores the full phase space and attention lowers the energy until the dynamic either enters an existing attractor (recognition) or the system bifurcates to form a new attractor (new learned stimulus). It's a form of energy minimization.
        Is there a link between global brain states and quantum phenoemena? Promising hypotheses link Freeman's model of chaos and bifurcation, Cramer's idea of transactional quantum entanglement, and Pribram's idea of the holographic brain and newer ideas of stochastic resonance and more theoretical ideas of quantum chaos. All these processes can interact together to make a viable basis for intentional subjective consciousness.
        The brain is full of oscillations. The oscillations are chaotic in the time domain but holographic spatial oscillation in the space domain. Neural systems identify the oscillations that are in phase and they become the process that stands out from the out of phase noise. The in phase waves cause synaptic adaption and learning. When the brain goes from 'hunting' to 'eureka' there is a transition from chaotic out of phase excitation to phase correlated excitation.

        This is the same process that happens in a quantum measurement, when we can only measure energy as frequency and can't directly sample wave amplitude of a quantum, so have to let enough beats pass to get an accurate frequency and thus don't know the time exactly. This is the uncertainty relation. The two processes are homologous.
        Coherent oscillations in neurons are both the consequence of coupled areas and the cause of them over time. Chaotic excitations can, of course, be in or out of phase . It is the non-linearities which enable a number of harmonic oscillators to become mode-locked into phase or phase multiplicity, so non-linearity is the basis of all these phase locking phenomena, too (King).
        According to Walter Freeman, "Consciousness may well be the subjective experience of this recursive process of motor command, reafference and perception. If so, it enables the brain to plan and prepare for each subsequent action on the basis of past action, sensory input and perceptual synthesis. In short, an act of perception is not the copying of an incoming stiinuIus. It is a step in a trajectory by which brains grow, reorganize themselves and reach into their environment to change it to their own advantage."
        This `model' is an intellectual abstraction and in reality it is just spatial and temporal relationships between each piece of electrical activity. Every quanta is in the form of matter waves except at state reduction. The electromagnetic fields permeating neurons and synapses consist of real and virtual photons, in their wave states, and each of these are disturbances in the photon field.

        Quantum Healing

        Our experience of reality is based on mind and observation. Only our mental impressions, sensory filters, language categories, and concepts make us perceive things: things as separate from ourselves, the I and the not-I. But we are seamlessly welded to the Universe at the most fundamental levels. We cannot scientifically or spiritually distinguish ourselves from the subquantum ground of BEING, even if we feel separate or alienated.

        But who among us has successfully abandoned the tendency to conceptualize observations as things, and compound that observation with qualitative attributions? We have experiences and later we say it was this or that. Some forms of meditation are based on disidentification from all aspects of existence and nominalism – neither this nor that.

        But most of us still can’t wrap our quantum minds around it as a steady state of perception. Though science has extended our sight to the subquantal and cosmological levels, we still think provincially from the human scale of our natural senses. Our logic and metaphors are based in the senses. But our outer life comes from the invisible inner world, where we are literally in resonance with the Cosmos.

        Concepts of matter, life, and mind have undergone major changes. Consciousness is not a material system and neither is Quantum Mechanics (QM). The world is quantum mechanical and we must learn to perceive it as such, but we don’t need to understand that to experience nonlocal healing, any more than we need to comprehend internal combustion to drive. Even physicists have a tough time reconciling what they know about the deep nature of reality with their mundane experience in the world of things.

        So how does that mind and its underlying mechanisms relate to or produce consciousness? Is consciousness a quantum process, or does it underlie all process? Neurologists tell us it is a physical matter of wetware in the skull. However, the most we can say at the molecular level is that there are correlates of consciousness. The irreducible precursors of consciousness and matter are built into the universe. They just ARE, unified holistic process.

        At the finest levels of observation, physicists contend the distinction between mind and matter becomes as paradoxical as the distinction between energy and matter, life and death (organic/inorganic). Quantum mechanics strongly suggests the Universe is mental. The substratum of everything, including our experience of being, has this mental character.

        Healing theories, particularly nonlocal models, have drawn from theories in both new physics and consciousness studies, often compounding and confounding both disciplines. They mix levels of observation in theories, which seem to be largely conditioned by the favoritism of pet projects; thus each theory is generally associated with only one or two “brand” names of researchers.

        Healers have been quick to parrot many of these ideas that support what they feel they have observed in intentional healing acts, or what validates the tenets of their school of practice. Often their comprehension of the scientific basis of the argument is slim to none. But this attribution is used to “explain” the phenomenon, with enough misapprehension to preserve the Mystery. However, it isn’t this confusion that makes it so. Are the enigmatic qualities of the quantum realm actually the same as the unity, coherence and other enigmatic qualities of the conscious one? The jury is still out.

        There is no consensus among theories of what constitutes FIGURE and what constitutes the most fundamental GROUND, and it seems they share the same essential nature. Our perceived ‘content’ is not distinct from the ‘context’ in which it arises. It is one whole cloth of bubbling space-time. Nothing more, nor less. We have looked into the Abyss of spacetime and found it laughing back.

        Ervin Laszlo points out regarding the finest level of observation, that because of “the quantum vacuum, the energy sea that underlies all of spacetime, it is no longer warranted to view matter as primary and space as secondary. It is to space or rather, to the cosmically extended "Dirac-sea" of the vacuum that we should grant primary reality.” Virtual particles pop in and out of existence like quantum foam.

        Mass is the consequence of interactions in the depth of this universal field. There is only this absolute matter-generating energy field. This realization transforms our perception of life. Living systems constantly interact with the quantum vacuum, also called zero-point energy, vacuum fluctuation, or subspace. Wave-packets of matter are in a subtle interactive dance with the underlying vacuum field, a vast network of intimate interactions, extending into our biosphere and even Cosmos. Mind and matter both evolve from the cosmic womb of space.

        According to Laszlo: “The interaction of our mind and consciousness with the quantum vacuum links us with other minds around us, as well as with the biosphere of the planet. It "opens" our mind to society, nature, and the universe. This openness has been known to mystics and sensitives, prophets and meta-physicians through the ages. But it has been denied by modern scientists and by those who took modern science to be the only way of comprehending reality.”

        He goes on to propose a poetic metaphor: “Everything that goes on in our mind could leave its wave- traces in the quantum vacuum, and everything could be received by those who know how to "tune in" to the subtle patterns that propagate there.” In a mechanistic throwback, he likens it to an antenna picking up signals from a transmitter that contains the experience of the entire human race, reminding strongly of Carl Jung’s Collective Unconscious.

        Worldviews color our perceptions of our Reality, even in science. Concepts are effective theories, useful not true. The universe is immaterial, mental and spiritual. The mind observes, but it doesn’t really observe “things”. It has a way of attributing certain qualities, subjective qualities and dynamics, to everything, even so-called “objective observation. This multisensory narrative becomes the content of our memories – how we remember what happens.

        Our minds have a tendency to come up with reasons, whys and wherefores, for things as they appear to us. It is part of our survival mechanisms. However, physics has proven, through relativity theory, the uncertainty principle, wave/particle duality, and Godel’s theorem, that there can be no objectivity, no order or creativity without chaos.

        The mind produces narratives. Archetypal forces act as lenses that cause us to cherish certain beliefs, which lead to a class of thoughts, and patterns of emotions and behaviors. It doesn’t matter if you come down on the side of preferring order or chaos, nature has her way.

        Ultimately, spontaneous or natural healing seems to by-pass this entire complex system, overriding our conscious perspectives in many cases. We may not “believe” in paradoxical healing, but it can still “work”, effecting psychophysical change at a deeper level through the emotional mind and through Mystery.

        Healing is irrational. Perhaps the question we should really be asking is what causes us to imagine we are dissociated from a state of optimal health. This doesn’t mean our bodies will always work flawlessly. Chaos theory reveals that many systems in the body are self-organizing and regulated by stochastic processes that are naturally chaotic in nature. Chaos actually helps us reorganize, recalibrate our metabolism.

        We can discuss it in terms of nested structured duality, superfluids, or an array of vortices, or a microtubule bank, or a dendritic cluster, hyper-neurons, glia and gap junction networks, or an entangled or collapsing wave function; still, we're merely talking about resonance between arrays -- patterns. This perspective leads to consideration of a Holographic concept of reality, the frequency domain, David Bohm’s implicate order.

        Panpsychism aside, every bit of electrical activity is unaware of itself, is unaware of every other bit of electrical activity, and is unaware of all their relationships. This raises the question: why does consciousness exists at all and why is it a unity? What is synchronicity but a feedback between perceived reality and the emerging train of events. This is consistent with the transactional interpretation in which there is a handshaking between past emitters and future absorbers.

        There are many plausible ways that quantum theory can help with these profound mysteries and it will be many decades before some understanding of the actual mechanisms are finalized. So, despite the pluses and minuses of existing quantum theories of mind, these kinds of theories should be encouraged. If consciousness is or is related to quantum effects then scientists will have to think in these directions to figure it out.


        "Whether this vast homogeneous expanse of isotropic matter is fitted not only to be a medium of physical interaction between distant bodies, and to fulfill other physical functions of which, perhaps, we have as yet no conception, but also to constitute the material organism of beings exercising functions of life and mind as high or higher than ours are at present - is a question far transcending the limits of physical speculation.”, said Maxwell.

        Of course, that was then and this is now.

        Most natural philosophers hold, and have held, that action at a distance across empty space is impossible. In other words, that matter cannot act where it is not, but only where it is. The question "where is it?" is a further question that may demand attention and require more than a superficial answer.

        Arguably, every atom of matter has a universal though nearly infinitesimal prevalence, and extends everywhere; since there is no definite sharp boundary or limiting periphery to the region disturbed by its existence. The lines of force of an isolated electric charge extend throughout illimitable space.

        No ordinary matter is capable of transmitting the undulations or tremors that we call light. The speed at which they go, the kind of undulation, and the facility with which they go through vacuum, forbid this. So, clearly and universally has it been perceived that waves must be waves of something, something distinct from ordinary matter.

        Faraday conjectured that the same medium, which is concerned in the propagation of light, might also be the agent in electromagnetic phenomena, and he called it “the ether”. Now we speak of it as the zero-point domain of virtual photon fluctuation. Romantically, we refer to it as the plenum, since it is infinitely full of potential.

        Some philosophers have reason to suppose that mind can act directly on mind without intervening mechanism, and sometimes that has been spoken of as genuine action at a distance. But, in the first place, no proper conception or physical model can be made of such a process, much less how that deploys intentionality in distance healing.

        Nor is it clear that space and distance have any particular meaning in the region of psychology. The links between mind and mind may be something quite other than physical proximity. Since we don’t know how it works, in denying action at a distance across empty space we are not denying telepathy or other activities of a non-physical kind. Brain disturbance or mindbody healing are plausible physical correlates of mental action, whether of the sending or receiving variety.

        There is no consensus in physics, nor in consciousness studies, though there is a correlating theory for nearly every one proposed in physics. Spontaneous healing may bypass all of these suggested metatheories. A field becomes a nearly innacurrate term in the subquantual domain or metaphysical level of observation.

        According to Hameroff, “Everything (matter, energy, you, me) is part of the hidden geometry of spacetime, of which the Platonic is one aspect. Smells and colors and melodic tunes are complex assemblies of fundamental qualia embedded as configurations in fundamental spacetime geometry.

        The qualia in spacetime geopmetry *out there* caused qualia *in here* within us because there is spacetime geometry within our mindbodies as well. Because spacetime geometry is inherently nonlocal it could be that *out there* and *in here* are connected, or actually the same. Only in the classical world is there a spacelike distinction. Pure consciousness is the experience of a total lack of phenomenal content while still awake and alert, and thus able to remember there was nothing.

        [Some theories alledge] cognitive functions reflect consciousness which exists in the universe. I am saying that quantum processes in the brain (related to cognitive processes) are connected to protoconscious quantum information inherent in the universe. The connection results in OR which is a moment of consciousness (the protoconscious/unconscious quantum information becomes conscious) But remember the universe/spacetime geometry out there is also in our heads.” Hameroff

        Several Vedic and Taoist texts (and perhaps other traditions as well) suggest that, with proper refinement of consciousness, the “outside” world can be cognized holographically, in a superposed, interpenetrating state where everything is experienced in everything else. If evidence can support such claims, perhaps the human mechanisms of perception have the capacity to directly experience an uncollapsed universe in which what is normally unconscious is merged into consciousness (or vice versa). Its like a dream.

        But somehow consciousness is; somehow creativity emerges; somehow healing works; somehow we are, and are interrelated. Perhaps real meaning comes from our struggle to try to understand how these things work, to struggle toward wisdom in both the material and spiritual realms. There is meaning in the struggle to create, to heal, to know, to be.
        • Re: Consciousness as a component of physics?

          Sat, January 9, 2010 - 5:22 PM
 took the words right out my mouth...thank you,...I came too this tribe too find a deeper understanding of physics and the consciousness...and got told too go to another interest is energy is from all aspects but yet when I asked about the effect of magnetism and pk energy in the place i stay ...i got told to go somewhere glad I got too read this and I look forward too hearing more from kick ass and if you can explain the effects that geographical magnetism has on ones pk energy ill read it...
      • jon
        offline 1

        Re: Consciousness as a component of physics?

        Fri, October 16, 2009 - 10:24 AM
        >>I'm writing on that now. Here's some of it.

        brilliant essay. thank you iona.

        Altho I am not expert in metaphysics, this work is appreciated. Thank you for being polite.

        In particular, questions being raised about Unified Field Theory remain dark.

        more power to ya
  • Re: Consciousness as a component of physics?

    Wed, October 14, 2009 - 3:32 PM,_Bach

    Check out this book. These three "artists" or specialists in their field created in their work perfect complete fractal geometry, goedel with his mathematic theory, that there can not be an equation without referring to itself, eschers arts work which every one should be aware of or bach's canon and fugues which created loops. That's exactly Douglas Hofstadter comes from. He argues in this book that systems, repeating again and again, create loops, which creates consciousness. Of course, there are different qualities of consciousness and the more complex the system, the higher the consciousness. Higher I don't necessarily mean in any moral or ethical quality, which themselves color the consciousness to what it is.

    This book is way more complex, than the explanation I tried to relate and is definitely a quality brain candy if you are interested in understanding more about the creation of consciousness.

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