by Bruce A. Smith
The following is an excerpt from my forthcoming book: “The New Physics – An Introduction to the Science of Consiousness.”
The New Physics and an introduction to the concepts of consciousness and mind
The New Physics isn’t that new. The central underpinnings of it, drawn from quantum physics, have been around since the 1920s. What’s new is the growing acceptance that consciousness cannot be left out of the scientific study of physical reality.
For most people, the idea of “consciousness” is a vague notion, usually meaning being “aware.” Probing a bit deeper, most folks would generally agree that there are different types of consiousness, such as wakeful awareness and the not-so-conscious state of being asleep.
Then we have the matter of dream states. Beyond regular dreaming, add in lucid dreams, nightmares, and prophetic dreams and we have a mixed picture of sleep – not to mention those who are “light sleepers” and the gents who snore like buffalos. Those latter states of sleep certainly seem to be quite varied.
Psychology readily confirms that there are different kinds of awareness, such as being “fully aware” in a heightened state of consciousness through meditation or hypnosis, or an altered state of consiousness with drugs.
Then we have semi-consiousness states where we are dimly aware of past events which may be troubling, such as those violent attacks associated with PTSD.
Expanding upon that, full-blown trauma may be locked in a state of “unconsciousness” along with other deep experiences, such as fetal memories, past-life episodes, or generalized cultural conditioning.
Ramtha often reminded me and my fellow students of this latter dynamic by calling us red in the rainbow and blind to its color; an equivalent being: does a fish knows it swims in water?
Lastly, how do we classify coma, or near-death experiences?
As a result, I believe it is fair to say that consciousness is a truly complex issue. Even though it may be tough to grapple with, many are trying because consiousness is so central to our existence.
In fact, the noted British mathematician and physicist, Sir Roger Penrose, says that science must study consciousness, and he declares:
“A scientific world-view which does not profoundly come to terms with the problem of conscious minds can have no serious pretensions of completeness. Consciousness is part of the universe, so any physical theory which makes no proper place for it falls fundamentally short of providing a genuine description of the world.” (1)
“….questions of mind, though they lie very uncomfortably with present-day scientific understanding, should not be regarded as being forever outside the realms of science.” (2)
As powerful as Sir Roger’s philosophical perspective is, even more persuasive is the data scientists have been collecting for the past several decades, which are so out-of-the-box they suggest that consciousness is a determining factor in the formation of reality. One of the most intriguing elements of this research is the double-slit experiment, which reveals a phenomenon called the Observer Effect. This finding suggests that measurement of a sub-atomic particle, or the “observation” of it, changes the behavior of the particle.
We’ll discuss the Observer Effect in greater detail shortly, along with enjoining a discussion of the quantum mechanics involved in the New Physics.
Further, the movement within the scientific community to include consciousness is robustly supported by Stanford’s Professor Emeritus Dr. William Tiller, who along with his co-authors Dr. Walter Dibble, Jr. and Dr. Michael Kohane, state in their book, Conscious Acts of Creation: An Emergence of a New Physics, that the study of the physical world requires the inclusion of “the human qualities of emotion, mind, and intention.” (3)
In other words, as I understand Dr. Tiller, the New Physics is the expansion of classical physics that includes us. [That's right! We are not separate! ~J]
Dr. Tiller and his team back up their perspective with research that is utterly compelling. In Conscious Acts of Creation they show that intentionally focused thought from four practitioners of Qi Gong meditation can “charge” electronic devices in such a manner that the instruments themselves are able to affect biological processes. In Tiller’s studies, these “Intentionally Imprinted Electronic Devices” were able to raise the pH of tap water one full unit, which means the meditators increased the concentration of hydrogen ions by a factor of 10. In response I can only ask: What’s next – Chardonnay or Cabernet?! (4)
So, emotions, intentions and observation are elements that scientists are bringing into their labs to learn how they impact our lives and the world around us. This begs an answer to our over-riding question: Exactly what is consciousness?
Sir Roger says he’s not sure. In his book,“The Large, the Small, and the Human Mind,” Dr. Penrose says he doesn’t know how to define consciousness, and suggests descriptions rather than definitions are more useful. Hence, he offers terms like “passive manifestations of consciousness, (which) involve awareness,” or “active manifestations (that) invoke the actions of free will.” (5, 6)
Along this vein, he offers terms like insight, understanding, awareness and intelligenceas intrinsic elements of consciousness; yet, true to his open-mindedness says, “I am not going to define these terms either – I don’t know what they mean.”
I imagine Sir Roger chuckled loudly as he wrote those words. I know I did when I read them.
Nevertheless, he concludes by saying:
“Understanding requires some sort of awareness…so, that means that intelligence requires awareness. Although I am not defining any of these terms, it seems to me to be reasonable to insist upon these relations between them.” (7)
Others, such as Dr. Amit Goswami, noted physicist and one of the stars of “Bleep,” see consciousness as something more expansive than awareness or mind, something that exists outside of those elements and is actually the phenomenon that gives rise to awareness and mind.
In his book, The Self-Aware Universe, How Consciousness Creates the Material World,Goswami states: “…consciousness…work(s) from outside the material world; in other words, consciousness must be transcendent – nonlocal.” (8)
As I understand non-locality, it refers to events occurring outside of the traditional framework of time and space, and I trust this explanation will suffice until a more detailed description in later chapters.
Continuing, Dr. Goswami sees four different aspects of consciousness. He posits:
“First, there is the field of consciousness, sometimes referred to as the mind field or global workspace. This is what I call awareness.
“Second, there are objects of consciousness, such as thoughts and feelings, that arise and pass away in this field.
“Third, there is the subject of consciousness, the experiencer and/or witness….
“Fourth, consciousness (is) the ground of all being.” (9)
“A commonsense definition of consciousness equates it with conscious experience. Speaking of a subject of consciousness without speaking of the experience is like speaking of a ballet stage without the ballet. Notice that the concept of conscious experience is not restricted to waking consciousness. Dreaming is a conscious experience, though different from that of the waking state. The states that we experience in meditation, under drugs, in hypnotic trances – all such altered states of consciousness – involve experiences.” (10)
As for Ramtha, he describes seven levels of consciousness. However, before we look at that list we need to know more of what Ramtha means by consciousness:
“Consciousness is the child who was born from the Void’s contemplation of itself. It is the essence and fabric of all being. Everything that exists originated in consciousness and manifested outwardly through its handmaiden energy.” (11)
And the Void? “The Void is defined as one vast nothing materially, yet all things potentially.” (12)
Ramtha continues by stating: “Consciousness and energy create the nature of reality.” (13)
We’ll explore this dynamic in more detail in a later chapter devoted exclusively to Ramtha’s model of the science of consciousness, but, for now, let’s focus simply on the seven levels, or aspects, of consciousness as described by Ramtha:
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