6. Consciousness: The “Slippery Fish” of Science
Updated: Jan 3, 2021
I’d like to begin my discussion here with a little story:
A missionary, attempting to teach a South Sea Islander about the Western cosmology, asked the native, “What is your belief about how the earth stays in place? Why does this island not fall into the sea and the sea not fall off the edge of the earth?” “Oh, that’s easy to answer. It’s held on the back of a giant turtle.” The missionary fired back smugly, “If that’s so, then what’s holding up the turtle?” The native looked a bit puzzled, closed his eyes, and sat in contemplative silence. Soon, his eyes open, he smiled brightly and declared, "It’s turtles all the way down!"
Scientists consider consciousness “the ghost in the machine,” avoiding it and sticking with tangibles. The intangibles of quantum theory keeps getting in the way.
Well, after years of study my conclusion is, “It’s consciousness all the way down.”
Words better than mine have explained consciousness, so a few experts will help me out: Deepak Chopra postulates you can’t be your physical body. “The human body is actually a river of intelligence, of information constantly renewing itself every moment effortlessly and spontaneously. . . The essential ‘stuff’ of the universe is ‘nonstuff,’ and that nonstuff is not ordinary nonstuff, but it may be thinking nonstuff.” (This “thinking nonstuff” sounds a lot like consciousness to me.)
Willis Harman, in Global Mind Change, describes this idea as Transcendental Monism (mind giving rise to matter). “. . .the ultimate stuff of the universe is consciousness. Mind (or consciousness or spirit) is primary. Matter-energy arises in some sense out of mind. This physical world is to the ‘greater mind’ as a dream image is to the individual mind. Ultimately, the reality behind the phenomenal world is contacted, not through physical senses, but through the deep intuition. Consciousness is not the end-product of material evolution. Rather, consciousness was here first!” (Remember those turtles!)
Candace Pert, in Molecules of Emotions brings the emotional/spiritual aspect into our discussion: “The emotions exist in the body as informational chemicals and they also exist in another realm—the one we experience as feeling, inspiration, love—beyond physical. (These chemicals: move back and forth, flowing freely between both places and in that sense, they connect the physical and nonphysical. Perhaps this is the same thing that Eastern healers call subtle energy, or prana—the circulation of emotional and spiritual information throughout the bodymind.”
Pert’s “molecules of emotion” arise simultaneously throughout the body, not just the brain. Where does the intelligent information running the bodymind come from? Pert’s conclusion: since information can infinitely increase, it transcends time, space, energy and matter. It belongs to its own realm experienced as emotion, mind, spirit—what she calls the “inforealm.” Other names often used are; Unifying Intelligence, Nonlocal Field, Divine Matrix, Cosmic Consciousness, and even The Mind of God. I encourage you to check out the Books recommendation in the Forum