It used to be believed that consciousness was the byproduct of the physical brain, and that we all shared a constant, stable reality.
However, quantum physics is turning many of the old beliefs upside down. Studies have shown irrefutably that what we think of as solid objects are actually comprised of tiny particles of matter that are really waves of potential representing different possible outcomes which, only when observed, collapse into a single perceived result to be seen again as a particles. Hence, what is observed, the physical world, reality, is dependent upon and intricately connected to the observer. (See blog: In Two Places At Once)
According to Deepak Chopra’s video, The Rabbit Hole – What Is Consciousness?:
The physical world, as we see it, is not reality. The true nature of reality is pure potential, infinite possibilities, infinite creativity. This true reality has no beginning and no end. It does not exist in time and space. Time and space exist within it. And this, we call consciousness.
In the blog, Air Head Is A Compliment…Really, I wrote:
We can use CAT scans and MRIs to show the activity of the brain, but that doesn’t prove that the mind arises in the brain. These are maps showing the terrain of the brain as a thought or emotion crosses it. Deepak Chopra says in his book Life After Death: The Burden of Proof: “They don’t prove that the brain IS the mind any more than a footprint in the sand is the same as the foot.
In the book, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife, Eben Alexander, M.D., a highly trained neurosurgeon for 25 years, tells how his brain was attacked by bacterial meningitis rendering him in a coma for a week. Because the disease damaged the entire surface of his neocortex, which houses much of our humanness, it perfectly mimicked the death of his brain. Despite the part of his brain responsible for thought and emotion not functioning according to scans, lab numbers, and neurological exams, Dr. Alexander existed in an “ultra real,” super physical state of consciousness. He journeyed beyond this world to what he calls the Realm of the Eathworm’s-Eye View, the Core, and the Gateway where he met and communicated with beings, including the Divine source of the universe itself, and went on, against all odds, to make a full recovery.
Before undergoing his near death experience (NDE), Dr. Alexander was a scientific skeptic, who nodded politely when patients relayed similar experiences, unable to reconcile his medical neuroscientific knowledge with any spiritual belief. After his NDE,the neuroscientist in Dr. Alexander ran down the list which he knew his colleagues and he, in the old days, would have offered to explain away his NDE. Discounting all of them, he writes:
But while I was in a coma my brain hadn’t been working improperly. It hadn’t been working at all. The part of my brain that years of medical school had taught me was responsible for creating the world I lived and moved in and for taking the raw data that came in through my senses and fashioning it into a meaningful universe: that part of my brain was down and out. And yet, despite all of this, I had been alive, and aware, truly aware, in a universe characterized above all by love, consciousness, and reality.
Similarly, when I was severely mentally impaired, as the result of a pill popping suicide attempt, I became aware of a separate, distinct part of me observing the damaged me. Even though huge chunks of my personality were gone and my mental processes weren’t functioning properly, my spirit, soul, or whatever you want to call it, was intact and fully aware. Objectively and compassionately, this higher self, remaining whole and undamaged, watched life play out for the physical me. As a matter of fact, this higher energy emerged stronger and more clearly defined as my ego was quieter and less imposing. (See blog: I think Therefore I Am…Really?)
Dr. Alexander’s concluded from his experience:
…I would say the universe is much larger than it appears to be if we only look at its immediately visible parts.
…We – each of us- are intricately, irremovably connected to the larger universe. It is our true home, and thinking that this physical world is all that matters is like shutting oneself up in a closet and imagining that there is nothing else out beyond it.
Each of us is more familiar with consciousness than we are anything else, and yet we understand far more about the rest of the universe than we do about the mechanism of consciousness. It is so close to home that it is almost forever beyond our grasp.
Count me as a believer!
image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/31878512@N06/
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Fascinating. Thank you.
Dan, thank you for your kind words!
This book by Dr Alexander keeps popping up on my radar …. hrmmmm… maybe it is time to get myself a copy and read it. I’m a skeptic after all!!!
Sarah, I definitely think it’s worth a read. I think you will find it interesting especially with your neuroscientific understanding. He explains everything from a medical perspective. And…maybe, like him, you will become a former skeptic! Let me know what you think.
Good Info, Darling Daughter. Would be an interesting read. Love you, Mom
“Hence, what is observed, the physical world, reality, is dependent upon and intricately connected to the observer.” The observer in quantum mechanics can be any sort of classical piece of equipment. It does not have to be conscious.
Michael, good point. But, even if it is a machine, doesn’t that still effect outcome?
I love the image posts you put on facebook and would like to pin many of them to pinterest! Are you planning on having a pinterest page? I bet it would get a good bit of attention! 🙂
Thnk you for your encouragement, but I really do not want to spend more time online. I have experimented with other platforms, and find it best to concentrate in one place and not dilute my efforts. So, no. I like Facebook, for now! 🙂