Well, Brian it seems that your question has been answered as well as it can; Bell’s theorem, entanglement, “spooky action at a distance”. LOL, Einstein did not like the implications. Quantum physics is one of those “paradigm shifts” that is still in transition. I liked a quote from Nobel Laureate Physicist Richard Feynman: “Anyone who says they understand quantum physics is lying.” It certainly is a deep rabbit hole.
One of the interesting points for me about entanglement has to do with the generally accepted theory of the beginning of the universe, the “Big Bang.” It posits everything started as a singularity and has expanded and evolved to the present. Taking that as the case, then at some level, we, everything, would seem to be entangled from this starting point an implicate unity.
"This life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of this entire existence, but in a certain sense the whole; only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in one single glance. This, as we know, is what the Brahmins express in that sacred, mystic formula which is yet really so simple and so clear; tat tvam asi, this is you.”
If you haven’t read it already I think you would enjoy the book, “The Perennial Philosophy” by Aldous Huxley. His first chapter is titled, “That Are Thou” (how he translate tat tvam asi”. A brief quote from the book; “… the Atman, or immanent eternal Self, is one with Brahman, the Absolute Principle of all existence: and the last end of every human being is to discover the fact for himself, to find out Who he really is.
The more God is in all things, the more He is outside them. The more He is within, the more without. -- Meister Eckhart—
I would also suggest reading some works by Pribham and Bohm. A decent overview of their work can be found in the “Holographic Universe” by Michael Talbot. In particular David Bohm , Physicist and prodigy of Einstein. I would also suggest his “layman” books (sigh, I am a poor layman than, since, as someone else mention about headaches, it was slow going for me.), “The Essential David Bohm” and “Wholeness and the Implicate Order.” They really address the discussion here on Consciousness and what is labeled “Universal Consciousness.” That everything has consciousness and is connected in One, it is incredible reading, harken to “tat tvam asi”.
As for that other headache producing thought posted; “how aware is each single cell of its own place in a Universe of billions and billions of cells on the scale of an organism?” I have put below an abridged article I wrote for the Edgar Cayce website blog and also put on my own, that tries to grasp that concept. I hope it is of some help, it was for me.
How We Can Be Individual yet Part of a Greater Whole
The concept of remaining a unique individual and also part of the whole of creation is a concept that is difficult to understand and express. Many masters have pondered and meditated, seeking to truly understand its meaning and implications. Looking upon a sea of Oneness it is not difficult for a part of us to feel that we could be lost in the vastness; lost to ourselves and lost to others. How can we know that is not the case?
It is through knowledge and living in same that we then turn this knowledge into wisdom that we begin to remember our heritage and who we are. That the statements of being One, yet individual began to resonate as an unshakeable inner truth. Where can such knowledge be found? Many places.
One such example and analogy in nature give us an answer of Oneness and individuality in the hydrologic cycle of water. Water is an amazing and unique substance that makes life possible. It is the only substance on earth that exists naturally in three phases; as a solid (ice), as a liquid (water), and as a gas (water vapor). It is considered a universal solvent that permeates and affects everything. These three phases are analogous to our existence as body, mind, and spirit and the Oneness these share.
The hydrologic cycle of water is the name given to the process as water goes through its phases in nature. Water in its liquid form is turned into water vapor—its gas form—by the heat of the sun. As it is drawn into the sky, it begins to collect and condense into clouds. In these clouds, ice crystals and snowflakes—water's solid form—are created. When precipitation occurs, the water returns to Earth, depending on the season and locale, as snowflakes or raindrops.
When we see a single molecule of water or a single snowflake, we see its individuality. When we look at an ocean, it appears as a homogeneous body of water. Individuality appears to be lost, since we cannot differentiate one drop of water from another. This is where the concept of knowing oneself becomes important.
Imagine yourself as one molecule, a drop of water; by yourself you can easily recognize yourself. Then picture yourself high in the heavens, yet slowing your vibrations down to a freezing level. You become a snowflake, easily recognizable and unique, known to be unlike any other snowflake in the world. Even in a field of snow, the snow can be examined down to each individual, one-of-a-kind snowflake, and identified. Your individuality is visibly intact.
Now with that image in mind, picture the heat of the sun raising your vibrations until, as the snowflake, you melt and flow into a great ocean of Oneness. The sun continues to raise your vibrations and you spread out into an even greater expanse of Oneness as a gaseous water vapor. Have you lost your sense of individuality? No, you have only moved through phases. Your individual consciousness is still intact. Just, because a limited three-dimensional material viewpoint does not see it does not mean it is not there. Your unique snowflake individuality is still there, only your phase has changed. If you slow your vibrations down to freezing again, your uniqueness is visible in material manifestation.
God always gives us a way to know Him, to be His friend and co-creator. Sometimes this knowledge surrounds us so completely that we can miss seeing it. Nature's water cycle is one such an example, but once recognized it can help in understanding how we can become One with the Creative Forces yet know ourselves to be ourselves at the same time. For me, it is also helpful in understanding the cycle of reincarnation, of being in Spirit and returning to Earth time and time again, always with the opportunity to return to Spirit.