Sunday, January 12, 2014

Mysticism and The New Physics

Another Michael Talbot book, first published in 1981 and revised in 1993, is another eye opener. The idea is this: Nowhere is the 'paradigm shift' - the radical change of perspective that is weeping the Western world - advancing so rapidly as in physics.

Mystics and 'idealists' have always propounded the idea that the world is an illusion. Now quantum physics is putting forward theories that reinforce this belief.

Until recently, the empirical approach of physicists such as Newton has taught us that the world exists with or without human consciousness to observe it. But we can never be totally objective about reality. The human mind, with all its preconceived notions and prejudices, always intrudes, even in the most scientific of experiments, making true objectivity impossible to achieve.

The new physicists state that reality is a combination of the laws of the physical world, quantifiable and unequivocal, and the subjective viewpoint of the observer. This 'omnijective view' of the universe challenges all our most deeply held scientific beliefs and could radically change the way we view reality in the future. As our constructs are amended to this shift in approach, we can anticipate monumental changes in Western thought.

In 1981, Roger Sperry of the California Institute of Technology won a Nobel Prize for his pioneering split-brain studies on the brain's left and right hemispheres. As a result of the award he was invited to write the lead article for the 1981 Annual Review of Neuroscience. Recipients of this honor usually write a review of the past year's accomplishments in a specific area of research. Sperry did something very different. In an article titled 'Changing Priorities' Sperry announced that, after spending a lifetime studying the brain, he had become disillusioned with the materialist and behaviorist doctrine that has dominated neuroscience for the better part of this century (20th). After long and careful thought he had come to the conclusion that science should not only stop disregarding consciousness, but recognize its extraordinary importance in the scheme of things. 'Instead of renoucing or ignoring consciousness...(we should) give full recognition to the primacy of inner conscious awareness as a casual reality.'

Sperry is not the only Nobelist to make such as statement. As a 1986 colloquium on the 'Unsolved Problems in the Science of Life' Nobel prize-winning biologist George Wald announced that as he nears the end of his life as a scientist he has been forced to make a similar assessment:

'A few years ago it occurred to me that...I had always thought of consciousness, or mind, as something that required a particular complex central nervous system and was present only in the highest organisms. The thought now was that the mind was there all the time, and the reason this is a life-breeding universe is that the pervasive, constant presence of mind has guided the universe that way...Our growing scientific knowledge...points unmistakably to the idea of a pervasive mind intertwined with and inseparable from the material universe. This thought may sound pretty crazy, but such thinking is millennia old in the Eastern philosophies...'

Omnijective - Pertaining to the belief that consciousness and the physical world are not separate, but form one fundamental arena of awareness which is omnijective as opposed to being subjective or objective.

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