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CONSCIOUSNESS
AND CREATION:
From the Standpoint of Physics
The mysterious intelligence of creation is one essence of
childhood awe. The filigreed wonder of snowflakes, the
mathematical beauty of coiling seashells, the delicate
architecture of spring flowers, all the inherent genius of nature
and life seem to speak of a living logic embedded in the world.

Given the orderly, predictable world of nature, it is sometimes
difficult to understand how we ever talked ourselves out of the
obvious, innocent perception that intelligence is infused in every
aspect of creation. It is true that, at a certain stage of the evolution
of scientific thinking, many scientists pictured the material
aspect of creation as dead and inert, and the constructs of
galaxies, planets, and life as simply the chance congregations of
material bits piling up randomly. But science has advanced. Distinctions
that once seemed obvious, such as that between solid
matter and empty space, have dissolved.
And as we will see in
this chapter, quantum mechanics has brought into question
even the ultimate distinction upon which science itself is based
— the distinction between the scientist and what he is studying,
the distinction between the living mind of the observer and the
inert matter being observed.

In the world of quantum physics, as leading physicists have
often said, mind and matter have become inextricably intertwined.

THE VEDIC UNDERSTANDING
In the Vedic tradition, this is no surprise. Such a union
between consciousness and creation is the central Vedic assertion
about the functioning of the world. The unbounded, transcendental
field at the basis of nature, now glimpsed by modern
physics as the unified field, is seen by Maharishi, in his Vedic Science,
as itself made of consciousness.

This startling assertion — has been the basis of
Maharishi’s teaching for nearly fifty years. Maharishi comes
from the tradition of teachers in northern India, a line founded
ages ago by the illustrious sage Shankara. Perhaps the most
respected intellect in India’s history, Shankara expresses this
view of creation’s essence simply. “That reality pervades the
universe,” he said, “but no one penetrates it. It alone shines. Its
nature is pure consciousness.”

Commenting on this central understanding in 1963, when
even the electro-weak unification was but a gleam in the eyes of
physicists and completely unified field theories hardly a dream,
Maharishi gave the definition of the absolute field already quoted,
and added this point:
"With the rapid pace of development in nuclear physics, the
day does not seem far off when some theoretical physicist will
succeed in establishing a unified field theory. The discovery of
this one basis of material existence will mark the ultimate achievement
in the history of the development of physical science. This
will assist in turning the world of physical science toward the science
of mental phenomena. And at the extreme limit of this investigation
will be found the state of pure consciousness, that field
of transcendental nature lying beyond all the relative existence.

By now, the discovery of the unified field has taken place in
the most advanced theories of quantum mechanics — and in
recent years Maharishi has brought this point up to date.
Now from the investigations of modern science we have the
unified field, the home of all the laws of nature. And from Vedic
Science we know this field to be a field of pure awareness, of infinite
creativity. It is the field of intelligence pure, of consciousness
pure.

In this understanding, the geometrical creativity exhibited by
snowflakes, the mathematical intelligence structured into sea
shells — all the orderly and precise manifestations of nature —
have their source in one limitless reservoir of creativity and
intelligence, a pure field of abstract consciousness. The surprise,
as we will see, is how completely modern physicists agree with
this view. The investigations of physics, apparently objective to
exclusion, apparently a dry parsing of the mechanics of inert
objects, have unintentionally unveiled a mind-matter symbiosis
deep within the structure of nature.

Pondering these quantum discoveries in the first decades of
the twentieth century, physicist Max Planck, who first discovered
the quantized nature of the subatomic world and for whom
the Planck scale is named, put a bold conclusion in stark logical
terms: “I regard consciousness as primary. I regard matter as
derivative of consciousness.” Eugene Wigner, a Nobel Laureate
in physics, put one conclusion from this understanding in
these words: “The next revolution in physics will occur when the
properties of mind will be included in the equations of quantum
physics.”

INTELLIGENCE IN NATURE
As mentioned at the start of this chapter, even superficial inspection
of our world — a mere noting of snow flakes and seashells —
gives us reason to believe that nature is infused with intelligence.
Before the discovery of the unified field, Maharishi based his logic
on just such simple observations:
"It’s just at the level of common sense. It is obvious there is
something deep within physical values which is the cause of
change and progress. We see order in creation. There is some
intelligence working at every level of existence, some orderliness
at the atomic level, at the molecular level. And there is obvious
orderliness in the sequence and progression of life. Everything
is growing, and growing in an orderly way: an apple tree produces
apples, a banana tree produces bananas; the apple tree doesn’t
grow guavas. Some order is there, some intelligence is there."

At the quantum level, this intelligence “deep within physical
values” becomes insistently clear. To start a subatomic analysis
of this idea at the most precise point, we must say that no subatomic
particle ever occupies a precise point. The mathematical
formalism of quantum mechanics (the wave function originally
developed by Erwin Schrödinger) does not describe a small
fleck of matter sitting at a particular point, or moving on an exact
path, or trajectory. Rather, the wave function describes, for each
point in space and time, a probability that the ‘particle’ will be at
that point, if you looked for it. Thus, the ‘particle’ does not travel
a particular and specific path, but exists only as waves of everchanging
probabilities. We have seen earlier that ‘particles’ are
actually waves — now we see that they are waves of probability
— nothing specific or definite, but rather just constantly changing
odds for where the ‘particle’ might be.

Obviously, this is a radical reconceptualization of “physical
reality.” A billiard ball, as it rolls across a table, actually is somewhere
at all times. By contrast, a subatomic ‘particle’ in motion
might be here and might be there — but it is nowhere at all.
And there is another step to the logic. A ‘particle’ is described
by probabilities, and probabilities are intellectual constructs
only. That is, these intellectual constructs, or patterns of intelligence,
have no existence in the four-dimensional world of
material objects.
As an example, if a certain group of 100 houses each has a 50% probability of a tree in the front yard, none of those houses has half a tree. In the physical world, each house
has either a whole tree or none, and the 50% probability is only
a mathematical structure, a mental reality. It is a pattern of
intelligence you can hold in the mind, but not in your hands.

In the words of Henry Pierce Stapp, a physicist at the
Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and a main contributor to the Smatrix
version of quantum mechanics, this probabilistic nature
of subatomic ‘particles’ indicate that they are “idea-like rather
than matter-like.” As Stapp goes on to say, “Just as in classical
mechanics there is no natural place for consciousness, so in
quantum mechanics there is no natural place for matter.”

Eddington, after a review of quantum mechanical realities, put
the same point more compactly: “The stuff of the world is
mind-stuff.”

KNOWINGNESS IN NATURE
In the basic mechanisms of quantum mechanics, furthermore,
physicists have found specific examples of an inexplicable
knowingness, or awareness, an instantaneous communication
of, and reaction to, specific information. Somehow, certain
aspects of subatomic reality act as if they know things they
shouldn’t — as if they have immediate access to information,
even at a great distance.

One of the most famous examples first surfaced in Albert Einstein’s
famous challenge to quantum mechanics in 1935. Originally
discussed by Einstein and two other physicists in a paper
published in that year, the challenge is known as the Einstein-
Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) paradox. Einstein was the first physicist
to see that, if Schrödinger’s wave function accurately describes
the subatomic reality, two ‘particles’ can communicate instantly
— even over arbitrarily vast distances. In the situation Einstein
suggested, two ‘particles’ are allowed to entangle, to interact
closely, then to separate at high speed. No matter how far apart
they get, the wave function indicates that when one of them is
measured and suddenly displays a particular quality, say, spin, the
other instantly makes a complementary change, also displaying
spin. Moreover, if the first ‘particle,’ when measured, displays spin
up, the second is instantaneously spin down. Even if the two ‘particles’
have traveled intergalactic distances from each other, the
wave function (the mathematical description) shows that this
instantaneous correlation still occurs — one ‘particle’ seems to
“know” what has happened to the other — a quantum expression
of awareness, or knowingness, that can span, in principle, from
one edge of the universe to another. Within months Schrödinger
published a paper acknowledging this seeming impossibility,
calling it the “entanglement relation,” and terming it “not a but
the central quality of quantum mechanics.”

Einstein, however, called this phenomenon “spooky actionat-
a-distance.” He simply did not believe it. From Einstein’s perspective,
in fact, there was no magic in the paradox. The reason
why the first ‘particle’ measured spin up and the second spin
down, in his view, was that they were, respectively, spin up and
spin down all along. In this understanding, spin up and spin
down did not suddenly pop into existence from a fog of probabilities,
but rather both ‘particles’ had the quality of spin from
the beginning — and this spin parameter (also known as a variable)
was simply hidden, unknown to the physicist running the
experiment, until the ‘particles’ were measured.
By extension,
Einstein aimed to resurrect key aspects of nineteenth-century
classical physics. In the view he suggested, quantum ‘particles’
are actually real particles, with real positions, motion, spin, etc.,
and quantum mechanics is forced to talk in terms of probabilities
simply because it is ignorant (until a measurement takes
place) of what these variables are. This view came to be known
as the hidden variable theory.

It took fifty years, but eventually Einstein’s view was put to
the test. An ingenious experiment was designed that could distinguish
between Einstein’s “real particle,” hidden variable theory
on the one hand, and the probability approach of conventional
quantum mechanics, on the other. In some of the most
famous physical findings of the late twentieth century, conventional
quantum mechanics won the competition unambiguously.
Einstein was wrong, hidden variables did not exist, ‘particles’
were not physically real.

There was now no doubt: In an EPR-style measurement of
once-entangled ‘particles,’ neither ‘particle’ has the, say, spin
quality until an experiment measures spin on one of them.
Then they both have it — instantaneously, at any distance.

Einstein thought this impossible, but the evidence proves it so.
One ‘particle,’ even separated from the other by arbitrarily
vast distance, “knows” what happens to the other, and acts
upon that knowledge.

THE UNIFIED FIELD OF CONSCIOUSNESS
We thus see that, at the quantum level of nature’s functioning,
intelligence, or awareness, or consciousness, are deeply infused in
the natural world. But if that is true, where does this intelligence
originate? For an answer to this question, we must turn again to
the theory of the superfield — the unified field of all the laws of
nature. To this point in the chapter, we have been discussing subatomic
‘particles’ in themselves, rather than as fluctuations of
underlying fields. But it is finally the field theoretic viewpoint
which is most all-encompassing and illuminating. The single unified
field, especially, which gives rise to all other fields, to all forces
and ‘particles’ in nature, is the most basic conception in physics.

If nature displays qualities of intelligence, or consciousness, at
more superficial levels, then it is logical to assume that the unified
field must itself be characterized by intelligence, or consciousness.
To identify qualities of consciousness in the unified field,
moreover, no long chain of reasoning is necessary.
1. Not material. To begin with, we remember that the unified
field has no material nature. It resides beyond the Planck
scale, and the Planck scale is far smaller than any atom — the
basic unit of the apparently material world. Beyond the Planck
scale, even time and distance have lost their meaning, and the
unified field exists in an abstract, unmanifest realm transcendental
to the entire physical universe.

2. Inherent intelligence. The unified field, though not physical
or material, has internal order, internal structure or pattern,
that can be defined through mathematical formalisms. The field
algebra that describes the unified field is a set of formulas describing
the structured orderliness, the intelligence, that inheres within
the unified field. Patterns or structures such as atoms,
snowflakes, or galaxies have internal orderliness that can be
described by human intelligence with mathematical formulas. So
does the unified field. If the unified field displayed no such internal
intelligence — if it were instead random, disorderly, and
chaotic, like tinker toys disassembled on the floor — it would not
be possible to describe it with the formulas of the field algebra.
But the unified field is characterized by inherent, mathematically
describable intelligence — a level of intelligence sufficient to
underlie all the forces and ‘particles’ that structure the intergalactic
universe.

John Hagelin makes the point in these terms:
All the laws of nature are intelligent, orderly principles which
govern nature at every level. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a
law of nature can think, but rather that it expresses intelligence in
its functioning. Any law of nature can be written out mathematically.
It can be tested repeatedly and found to be orderly, systematic,
invariant. And this quality of orderliness and intelligence
expressed by every law of nature is found in its most concentrated
form in the unified field.
By this I mean that at the level of the
unified field, the laws of nature are the most compactified, the most
concentrated, the most complete. And though they are simpler and
more compact in their expression, they describe a greater wealth
of diverse phenomena at the more superficial levels of nature.

In this sense, then, the unified field is the most concentrated
field of intelligence in nature. It contains in seed form all the
orderliness, all the logical and mathematically describable relationships
which appear eventually as all the more superficial laws
of nature that govern the apparently physical world.

3. Inherent creativity. By similar logic, the unified field displays
not just intelligence but infinite creativity. The unified field
is more fundamental than all the other force and particle fields
that structure creation, and through its own self-interactions it
gives rise to those fields as fluctuations of its own nature. From
within itself, it gives rise not just to this universe, but to a foam
of infinite universes. In Hagelin’s words, “The unified field is the
fountainhead of natural law. From this unified source all the particles
and forces of nature are generated through the process of
dynamical symmetry breaking.” This spectacular creativity is
likewise embodied in the field algebra that describes the unified
field and its self-interactions.

Thus, the unified field, which has no material nature, is characterized
obviously by inherent intelligence and creativity. The
most profound level of nature has the qualities not of matter but
of mind.

FROM MODERN SCIENCE TO VEDIC SCIENCE
It is the mathematical and theoretical details of this fusion of
matter and mind which are compelling to physicists. After a
detailed review of the discoveries from quantum mechanics, for
instance, E.C.G. Sudarshan said that if physics were to continue
in the direction it now takes, “physical theory would become
a theory of consciousness. We are approaching this situation as
a limit: consciousness creates everything out of nothing.”

The English physicist Sir James Jeans foresaw such a consciousness-
based understanding of creation even in the first
years of the quantum revolution:
The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical
reality. . . . The old dualism of mind and matter . . . seems
likely to disappear, not through matter becoming in any way
more shadowy or insubstantial than heretofore, or through mind
becoming resolved into a function of the working of matter, but
through substantial matter resolving itself into a creation and
manifestation of mind.

This means that modern physics is converging on an ancient
understanding. This combined understanding of matter and
mind, now glimpsed by modern science but long understood in
Vedic Science, is logically and esthetically satisfying, in the same
way that the unification of the four forces of nature is logically
and esthetically satisfying. It simply seems more sensible and
more elegant if all the naturally appearing phenomena in nature
— and consciousness is certainly such a phenomenon — can be
accounted for in one simple and holistic understanding.
It would
violate the long procession of science toward a single, completely
unified understanding of natural phenomena if the intelligence
displayed by the human mind and the intelligence displayed
in nature were found to be separate and noncongruent —
like two incompatible computer systems. It is much more logical
and parsimonious to conclude — as so many factors in this
chapter indicate — that human intelligence and nature’s intelligence
are two aspects of a single underlying unity, finding their
common source in the unified field.

This conclusion, furthermore, can help explain the mechanics
of how the human mind can gain access to the most fundamental field in creation.
If the surface-level appearance of the world, the
world as it appears when we open our eyes each morning,
encourages us to think in the old-style, classical way, quantum
discoveries have freed us from such “common sense” boundaries.
Despite contrary evidence from our senses, the Earth revolves
around the Sun. Despite superficial, common sense notions, at
the quantum level, invisible, long-range propagations and correlations
are the norm.

DIRECT EXPERIENCE IN A
FOURTH STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS

In Maharishi’s understanding, moreover, it is meditation that
makes the unified field a practical discovery. Physics may tell us
that the unified field is a field of infinite intelligence and creativity.
But a reservoir is useful only if a pipeline brings the water
to your house. The unified field is useful only if a pipeline can
be established for its direct experience.
To understand how the connection between human intelli-
gence and nature’s intelligence is possible, it is necessary to
study the field of consciousness itself — especially the concept
of states of consciousness. While it is true that science has found no
objective means to measure the inner content of consciousness
(what thoughts or feelings a person might have, for instance),
yet for years neurophysiologists have been able to precisely
define overall states of consciousness.
Every normal person experiences
three major states of consciousness every day — sleeping,
dreaming and waking. By using indirect measurements —
by measuring brain waves, metabolic rate, and other physiological
indicators — researchers have defined these three common
states of consciousness.
This neurophysiological evidence now becomes crucial.

According to the Vedic tradition, the human mind comes into
union with the unified field during a highly specific fourth state
of consciousness. That means that deep in meditation, when the
mind contacts its own basis — and the basis of nature — the body
should function in a new and unique way. Brain wave patterns
and metabolic activity should be measurably different from the
styles of functioning they display during sleeping, dreaming, and
waking. For this reason, the Vedic description of a fourth state
of consciousness, often repeated by Maharishi, can be taken as
yet another prediction open to scientific investigation.

It is time to find whether this “prediction” is also objectively
verifiable. It is time to find whether there is a pipeline to the
field of infinite potential.

Is the fourth state of consciousness an objective reality?

Options: ReplyQuote


Subject Views Written By Posted
A Field Theory of Consciousness..#1 184 Astikapati 07-Jul-02 09:54
A Field Theory of Consciousness...#2..#1 130 Astikapati 07-Jul-02 10:00
Re: A Field Theory of Consciousness...#3(conclusion) 141 Astikapati 07-Jul-02 10:06
Exerpt from a book 68 Fuzzy 07-Jul-02 10:35
Fuzzy 70 Astikapati 07-Jul-02 13:02
This is not science 74 B L Zeebub 07-Jul-02 12:48
Zee, bub it looks like Science to me :)) 84 Astikapati 08-Jul-02 04:39
Scientific rigour 71 B L Zeebub 08-Jul-02 09:47
Re: Scientific rigour 62 Hoppy 08-Jul-02 11:47
Re: Scientific rigour 63 B L Zeebub 08-Jul-02 13:41
Re: Scientific rigour 64 mephisto 09-Jul-02 02:50
Re: Scientific rigour 85 B L Zeebub 13-Jul-02 12:25
Re: Scientific rigour 65 Hoppy 14-Jul-02 21:43
Re: Scientific rigour 51 B L Zeebub 14-Jul-02 22:30
Re: Scientific rigour 142 Astikapati 09-Jul-02 06:02


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