Some might be familiar with the “Cosmic Consciousness.” These are ideas popularized by Deepak Chopra. I’ve excerpted a dialogue between Rick Archer ,who does video interviews for “Buddha at the gas pump” and his guest Menas Kafatos, a Quantum Physicist from MIT. I’ve not heard these ideas before in this detail. Dr. Kafatos is direct and non technical. I believe that this really might represent a new kind of science, fundamentally diverging from what is considered “science.” For more of the interview it can be seen here.
[Rick Archer-Interviewer] “Let’s start…there are critics who say that physics/ consciousness parallels are metaphorical not actual, but since then there have been physics drawing parallels between physics and spirituality.” Eg science non duality conferences..
[Menas Kafatos-] “They don’t correspond 1:1. Consciousness if it is the underlying reality, the stuff so to speak, that the universe is made of, it is not physical. There fore if you’re coming up with phsycial theories you have limits…and what we’re hinting at in studies is there’s this generalized complimentarity, the relation between the consciousness and the physical, if consciousness is primary then you can’t expect that physics will be identical to it…I don’t think we can come up with phyiscs theories to prove consciousness.”
[Dr Kafatos] “When I say physical, (that is) anything in space and time. If outside this it’s non physical. Certainly consciousness, it can be outside space and time, so it is primary. My view is that it emerges from deeper layers. Consciousness is the awareness of existence… And that cannot be put into physics. “
Someone might say the universe is based on mathematics (as Max Stegmer might hold]..but then someone might say well, where is that math, where is it residing (some kind of platonic realm)? It is both , inside the mind and beyond the consciousness.
The main point here is that the universe or Reality (with a capital R) is made of complementary entities that seem to not be identical to eachother and if you try to make them non identical to eachother then you have problems, and of course the most classic example is the wave particle duality or wave particle complimentarity..So the universe is made of the appearance of opposites..which are however, complimentary, all springing out from consciousness, which itself is the awareness of being. That’s the best I can do..”
Aside from “Reality with a capital ‘R'” the first part sounds rather tame. But then he starts to describe at about 9:44 “three principles” and these are “Complimentarity, “Recursion..what you see here also occurs somewhere else.”., and “Sentience which is “creative interaction.” He goes further to state, “I would not derive physics from consciousness or consciousness from physics..”
I quote the mini bio for Dr Kafatos provided on the same page:
“Dr. Menas Kafatos is The Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor of Computational Physics and Director of Excellence at Chapman University. He received his B.A. in Physics from Cornell University in 1967 and his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1972. After postdoctoral work at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, he joined George Mason University and was University Professor of Interdisciplinary Sciences there from 1984-2008. He has authored and co-authored numerous books including The Conscious Universe, The Non-local Universe and Principles of Integrative Science. He is a recipient of the Rustum Roy Award from the Chopra Foundation, which “honors individuals whose devotion and commitment to their passion for finding answers in their field is matched only by their commitment to humanity” and the IEEE Orange County Chapter — Outstanding Leadership and Professional Service Award. He has been interviewed numerous times by national and international TV networks, newspapers and radio programs.” http://chapman.edu/CS/pcse/faculty/ka… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menas_Ka…
One thing that can be said for the discussion is that it does not gloss over the issue of consciousness, a problem that particle and atom models of the brain and mind fall short of. And in many ways is presumed to fall within these existing models “in theory.” It is not so much a theory about consciousness, as apparently a theory that explores it. And I believe it heavily derives its ideas from wave particle duality concept, but it is using this conceptually, not physically. I noted that Dr Kafatos described it as “a single reality” and yet I believe they’ve confused even this notion as he went on to describe “physical” terms that are apparently heavily dependent upon one’s perception. And at the very least, duality or non-identicalness of consciousness and physical (time-space) would imply two distinct realities not one. However, it seems then that this theory, “Cosmic Consciousness” for lack of a better term, is yet another worldview that diverges drastically from models that might pass the “Hypothesis Test.”
*I’ve updated this post, as I’ve recently became aware of some new information that I believe is relevant to the question I raised earlier: whether or not “Cosmic Consciousness” the worldview discussed by Kafatos, and others, is considered to be science. It’s not an easy question to pin down, obviously. And as if to make it even more difficult, Deepak Chopra posted on his twitter site the following: “..Cosmic consciousness is not supported by science, it is (based on) a leap of faith.” I’ve paraphrased it slightly, but that’s what it said. Insert theatrical pause. So if “cosmic consciousness” isn’t considered a theory based in science, then what is Kafatos talking about over there in the video? Why the interview, as though it is something theoretical in quantum physics? And Dr Kafatos is a quantum physicist currently teaching at Chapman University. In all honesty, the real question now that I would ask of Chopra or Kafatos, is this: do they believe this is science? And if it isn’t then why is Kafatos talking in such great detail about “wave particle duality” and the “quantum science” behind it?