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Consciousness Creates the Material World?

It reminds me that a human would be immortal if he would not know any other human because he would know not death.
It reminds me of Terry Pratchett as well. in his stories, gods start to exist because people believe in them. If they stop believing, the gods get weaker again.
Btw, since you post all those links, what's ur opinion, satori?
Too, though it is interesting, I don't think this is new. It might be only new that some physicists are now interested in it. But I think that it is said in the article that spiritualism is put first in their worldview that the "experiments" are not really objective, apart from that fact that my personal opinion is:
It would be fun if that would be true, but in my opinion, it's not true but just a kind of "religion" some physicists got into. I might be wrong, as said, but that's my opinion.
Hi Maji,

I'm still mulling this issue over in my mind a bit. I'm not sure I understood this physicist correctly when he spoke of "consciousness." At one point, it sounded as though his description of consciousness was as a supreme being (singular), and then elsewhere throughout the interview, it sounded as though he considered consciousness as collective. Either he was being purposely vague on the subject or I misunderstood where he was coming from (which is very likely). If he's talking about the consciousness of a supreme being, then I would have to disagree with him. I don't believe in that at all. I'm certainly not looking for a "father" figure in my life--or even a "mother" figure, for that matter, depending on whichever religion you subscribe to. I don't see "God" as an individual but, rather, as pure creativity, pure unconditional love, pure awareness. So if he's talking about that type of collective consciousness that exists everywhere, then I would tend to agree with him.

One thing I did find kind of strange, though, is where he talked about the evolution of the universe in linear terms. This man is a quantum physicist, and in quantum physics, time is not linear. In quantum physics, everything is happening at the same time. However, I could have misunderstood him. Also, I did not agree with him as to everything and everyone not being interconnected. I believe everything and everyone are interconnected, that separation is only an illusion.

Having said that, if he's talking about consciousness in collective terms, such as the awareness that is achieved through meditation, prayer, or hypnosis, then I think this article lends credence to the philosophy that our beliefs do create our reality and that oftentimes what we perceive as "reality" is really illusion. I have been a big believer in prayer for many years, even though I don't believe in the traditional view of God (as one individual). I have seen prayer work time and time again in my life. Of course, my religious friends would consider those incidences "miracles," but to me, they are simply applied science. And in that respect, I think this article seemed to do a good job at proving scientifically how we create in life, whether through prayer, visualizations, etc. Whatever we believe, we create--consciously or unconsciously, positive or negative.

For many years, people believed that a supreme being created the universe and everyone in it, but they were unable to prove it scientifically. There are some who still believe that today. Later, scientists were able to prove the creation of the universe, but only in scientific terms and not in any spiritual sense. So the fact that this physicist is able (assuming he's correct) to link the two is fairly new. However, as I said earlier, I am not sure where he is coming from with respect to his views on "consciousness," so I really don't know what to make of this article, for that reason.

Like you, I was kind of hoping to see what others had to say on the topic. :)

Here is something interesting that someone from another forum had to say on this topic:

As someone training in a scientific discipline, I'd like to try to clarify a few things that can be confusing. One major point is the idea of 'scientific proof.' Proof is a somewhat slippery word, since we never really prove anything; all science can do is rule out hypotheses that don't work particularly well. Science approaches things using the third person perspective (although quantum physics can start to violate this presumption,) which is the main area where scientific and spiritual concepts can cause confusion as they collide.

We often presume that because science uses this third-person perspective, that it's someone 'wrong', but I have no problem whatsoever with a scientific conception of the world alongside my spiritual (non)-conception. Science helps us to dig up the rules of this world and, whether these are rules we've created or not, they're still rules. Technology and scientific reasoning are often abused by people for their own selfish ends, but this is not an indemnification of science, it's merely yet another demonstration of human foolishness.

That tangent aside, I do think the structure of quantum physics is a very clever sort of self-communication; extremely logically-minded people are forced, through the physics they're discovering, to consider the idea of simultenaiety and observer-dependence. This isn't scientific proof, but it's hardly the kind of thing that needs to be proven. After all, we know all this already, we just choose to pretend otherwise. What was it that we know, now? Something to do with watermelons...
Interesting article. Thanks for posting it Satori.

I cannot think of a better "ivory tower" situation. It was a great article, I enjoyed reading it, but what am I supposed to do with this? Is this consciousness "god?" Unless I am the current epoch of evolution and my consciousness has created the entire universe in the very instant I imagine it we all have to be running off the same consciousness, just in different manifestations (if Goswami is right). Is that correct?

Oh, there! I closed my eyes! Did you feel yourself snuff in and out of exsistance for a second? Oh wait, you wouldn't have felt it because while non-being, you wouldn't have had a frame of reference to gauge your non-being by:)

Just remember, before enlightenment trees are trees and mountains are mountains. After enlightenment, trees are still trees and mountains are still mountains.
Doesn't sound very convincing to me. It pretty much sounds like a scientist who's disappointed that every answered question evokes 3 new questions, therefore he tries to find an "easy" way out: transcendentalism.

But I must admit, I didn't read the whole article. I stopped when he talked about Aspect's experiment & quantum physics. His opinion about all this showed his attitude (just IMO).
I had posted this article both at this site as well as another site--a buddhist forum. Here are a couple more responses I got, which I think are very interesting. They both have to do with what I was suggesting in my post above:


I read this article last night and I must say that it intrigues me deeply.

My interpretation where he spoke of consciousness in the singular was that he was speaking of an initial event of consciousness, a "first sentient being" if you will, but he did not qualify that being as supreme or endow it with God qualities-- he is saying merely that the fact of its coming into being was the cause which allowed the universe to come into being as well. Though he did speak of an implied purposefulness to the universe but I don't think he attempted to quantify what that purpose might be or where it comes from.

I thought further reference to consciousness meant various points of conscious witnessing manifest in sentient beings which have come to exist since that point. I might have a different interpretation of all of this if I were to read the article again.

I can't answer to the linear vs. non-linear question because I didn't pick that up in my reading.

This part may seem strange:

It is interesting to me to read this right now because in my own meditation I have been increasingly aware of something in the state of "being" that seems stripped of everything except a state of bearing witness to everything surrounding it. It is hard to describe this.

This comes usually where I am meditating on the question of "who" is thinking, feeling, meditating, questioning, etc. It comes to me that there is no "who", only "witness" as one conscious part of a vast whole.

I have no idea what I am talking about, really, I could be quite mad, but this article seems to point in a similar direction.

~ Laura

It's a funny idea, isn't it, that nothing is aware but the awareness itself (which doesn't itself exist except by virtue of being aware.) We all could be quite mad, but then who would be mad? You have every idea what you're talking about and always have; the only thing that changes is how you see the words and experiences that you produce.

Quantum physics is an excellent hint towards the nature of potentiality. By this I mean that an experiment happens many ways at once, but the observer determines the outcome by attempting to observe it. An excellent example is the classic two-slit electron gun experiment. There are two slits in a wall, an electron gun on one side, and a recording screen on the other. If you put some sort of detector on each slit, so you can tell when an electron has passed through, you get two seperate patterns on the wall, and you detect individual electrons passing through the slits. However, if you remove the detectors, individual electrons pass through both slits at the same time , creating a wave interference pattern on the detector.

Imagine potentiality as the surface of a vast, placid ocean. No breezes stir up waves and no motion in the water causes ripples on the surface. The ocean is perfectly, serenly calm. This is the universe without observation. What we learn from physics is that, in order to observe something, we must first disturb it. The act of observation sets up ripples in this ocean, ripples that it was perfectly capable of, and yet wasn't exhibiting before. What you're observing is not the ocean itself, but the ripples that you've created, in your futile attempt to try to see the ocean. It is only when we stop trying to observe, poking and prodding to get some reaction, that the ocean settles down and we experience it as what it really is. Experience without observation and without observer; amusing, isn't it?

~ Dan

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Another Interview with Amit Goswami

September, 2002
An Interview With Amit Goswami,
Author of Physics of the Soul
Interview by Connie Hill

"Dr. Amit Goswami is one of the most brilliant minds in the world of science. His insights into the relationship between physics and consciousness have deeply influenced my understanding, and I am deeply grateful to him. Physics of the Soul is both challenging and brilliant."

---Deepak Chopra

Connie: How did you get started in the field of consciousness and science?

Amit: My work in this field started after one year of struggle with a Theosophist friend who appeared in my office and wanted to take a reading course from me at the U of O. With some reluctance I said yes. He wanted to study the Self Aware Universe, quantum physics and the implications of all that. He was persuasive and I gave in. Then, he started pushing Theosophical philosophy on me. That went on for 9 months. He was talking about reincarnation, soul and so on. I was very reluctant to get into the subject because I didn't think anyone could and still study science. Then I had a dream that felt like an admonition to me. I heard it so clearly: "The Tibetan Book of the Dead is correct. It's your job to prove it!"

Connie: Wow! That's a simple task!

Amit: Well, after that I got into the subject seriously, and a couple of philosophers and he and I had a study group for awhile. When the group stopped meeting I started finding answers to some of the problems. In about 1997, Michael Thom of New Dimensions was my agent and he was very enthusiastic about the material in Physics and the Soul. At the last moment the deal fell through with the publisher. When that happened I realized that the subject of Jesus's resurrection was not covered. It took another 3 years to find answers. I'm glad it happened because the connection that I found also connected UFO's and other "unsolvable" problems.

Connie: We think science and spirituality are mutually exclusive but lately it seems that the two ideas are moving closer together.

Amit: The division happened because of a quirk of history: that classical physics was discovered before quantum physics. If quantum physics had been discovered first we would not have these separations between science and spirituality. Carl Popper coined the phrase "promissory materialism." Materialism will always remain promissory in those areas of spirit, soul, mind, meaning and what life is all about. Science based on materiality will never make total sense. It fits some questions that have a reductive tendency. Some things we do are materially oriented. If you need a job you learn a skill. But on the other hand if you want to be happy, to think money or work will make us happy is foolhardy. One becomes happy by connecting with wholeness. This wisdom has escaped most scientists.

I am finding a shift among budding scientists who want to find real answers to questions like happiness, soul, reincarnation and the meaning of life. All those questions that science thought it could never answer. It's clear that if we continue our present direction, the decline of the stock market and business ethics are just a few of the symptoms of the disease, which is leaving spirit, ethics and values out of the equation. If you understand reincarnational philosophy, you'll know that we come back again and again if we are unethical. No one would ever dare to be unethical. You do come back and you have to answer for those propensities. So there's no sense in building bad karma, bad propensities.

Connie: I think we also come back life after life for adventure as well as to learn various lessons.

Amit: Yes, life is an adventure. If we are really concentrating on learning the lessons--the archetypal stuff, then it's a tremendous adventure. If you ultimately ask people "why do you do what you do?" they will answer "Oh, to be happy. To find love." It is not that it is an unknown. It is just that we have brainwashed a whole generation of people to think that these things have to be kept secret and personal and that they have no place in public or science. That is a myopic separation of our personal life and our social life. Socially, we have become very materialist and personally we have continued to believe in non-materiality because that is where our life is, that's where happiness is, that's where love is, it's soul satisfying. So we keep our soul and science separate. This cannot continue.

Connie: We keep our soul and work separate. I work in a place where there is a lot of spirituality and it seems to me that spirit IS moving into the culture.

Amit: I agree. It's not as new agey or alternative as it was some years ago. In the three decades since Tao of Physics we have made a tremendous shift--no question. I find that a paradigm shift takes place in two ways. First, for all scientists to start working on the new paradigm like happened with Newtonian physics, it takes a long time. But there is another way where a group of people hang onto a model that they are all happy with and they are all finding new problems to work on within that model. For me that model has been that consciousness is the ground of being and now, lots of people are accepting that model. This is a great achievement. This change has happened in less than three generations. That's a tremendous achievement. Old paradigmers, like some of my colleagues from the U of O physics department, will take a long time to change. What usually happens like Thomas Kuhn pointed out is "Old-timers never get converted, they just die."

Connie: At the beginning of the book you talk about dreaming, talk to me about that.

Amit: There are residue dreams which are an extension of our waking life. Then there are what Carl Jung calls "big dreams" and my dream about the Tibetan Book of the Dead was one of those big dreams. One of those can change your life. It can change it for awhile or forever. Those dreams are in the same local time domain as when we have an experience of Holy Spirit.

Connie: Had you been thinking about any of these ideas before your Theosophist friend came to you?

Amit: No. It was a totally new idea. But in retrospect I realized that the very first person who called in at my first interview after Self Aware Universe came out was an older woman and her question was "What happens when I die." That was the most important question to her. I had no answer, zilch! I told this as a funny story for awhile. My attitude was: what does a physicist know about this? From that attitude to actually find that the age-old question can be answered from a scientific point of view was a tremendous break through for me. It really defined the scientific discoveries that I have since written about in other books like the Visionary Window where I describe the new science and how it's going to take shape. But really, wondering about the soul is what gave shape to all those wonderful ideas, which are needed, because in Self Awareness Universe the breakthrough is that consciousness is the ground of being. We have to introduce consciousness into science, but to do this consciousness must have some structure to manifest itself. That structure requires mind, vital energies, supra-mentality, soul in other words. All of that was lacking in the "self aware universe model." If I had stayed with that model I would have felt as dissatisfied as I was before the "self aware universe model." These answers for the soul were very vital for my own thinking but also for the progress in science that is already happening. Every few months I get somebody writing a new book where similar ideas are being proposed. We have these prejudices and as long as we think that these prejudices are valid we exclude huge subjects of thinking. And that exclusion is what is really blinding.

Connie: What I like about this book is that it is very scientific, but it is also fun. It's very enjoyable and exciting. And I'm not just saying that because we are on the phone!

Amit: Thank you. Just what any author wants to hear!

Join Dr. Goswami at New Renaissance Bookshop on Friday, Oct. 11 for his talk, Physics of the Soul. Call 503-224-4929 or visit www.newrenbooks.com to register.

Connie Hill works at New Renaissance Bookshop and is a local astrologer. She can be reached at 503-291-8229, ext. 2 or [email protected] .

Interesting article, but still not very convincing. This guy looks at quantum physics, sees that science couldn't yet come to clear solutions & proposes then his own (wishful?) thoughts.

"At around 10 to the power -43 of a second, time itself becomes quantised, that is, it appears as discontinuous particles of time, for there is no way in which time can manifest in quantities less than 10 to the power -43 (the so-called Planck time). For here, the borrowed quantum energies distort the fabric of space, turning it back upon itself. Their time must have a stop. The energies available are enormous enough to create virtual black holes and wormholes in space-time at such short intervals. At this level, we have only a sea of quantum probabilities - the so-called Quantum Foam. Contemporary physics suggests that there are links with all time past and future through these virtual wormholes in space-time and the virtual black holes even with parallel universes.

It must be somewhat above this level that our consciousness works, weaving probability waves into patterns and incarnating them in our brains' receptive structure. Our being or spirit lives in this Quantum Foam, which is thus the Eternal Now, infinite in extent and a plenum of all possibilities. The patterns of everything that has been, that is now and will come to be, exist latent in this quantum foam. Perhaps this is the realm through which the mystics stepped into timelessness, the eternal present, and sensed the omnipotence and omniscience of the spirit."

The first passage is quite alright (for what I know of quantum physics, which is not so much), but then he starts assuming. I think our consciousness can be explained by neurology & molecular biology alone. There is no need to dive into the depths of quantum physics (though I'm all pro research on the topic). To interpret the quantum foam as the eternal now with an embedded omniscient spirit goes a bit far; this is sheer speculation.

For an explanation of Planck time, look here:
Stimulating article, but one question for you. Based on his question of closing your eyes and the world infront of you no longer existing, if it becomes no more, how can I touch it with my eyes closed? Is that a matter of my conciousness still creating it?
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