Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Martin LeFevre: Cosmology and Consciousness

Meditations (Spirtuality) - From Martin LeFevre in California

Cosmology and Consciousness

Every week now it seems, astronomers are making a new mind-blowing discovery or observation. Black holes tearing apart stars that come too close; galaxies flickering on just after the "Dark Age" of the universe following the Big Bang; unseen "dark energy" propelling the universe's expansion. This, astronomer's say, is the "golden age of cosmology."

There is at least one unexplained effect that has a direct bearing on how a revolution in human consciousness may occur. Astrophysicist Brian Greene, the author of "The Elegant Universe," describes a phenomenon in which one distinct object is touched, and it instantaneously affects another distant object. This process is not only faster than the speed of light; it transcends space and time, as we understand it.

Scientists have given this phenomenon the misnomer "entanglement," which is an odd way of saying that it "makes things that appear to be distinct part of the same whole." If that principle applies to material objects in the known universe, how much more does it apply to the supposedly separate consciousnesses of individuals living in the same global society?

"We may naively think things are distinct," Greene says. That has a nice, New Age ring to it, but the implications are far more serious, and the reverberations far wider than simple naiveté. As humans, our overwhelming tendency is to separate, and see ourselves, and increasingly everything else, as separate. Therefore the phenomenon of "entanglement" really applies to us.

The question is not Œwhat is our place in the universe?' but what can cosmology tell us about consciousness? Human consciousness is, however anomalously, governed by the same processes that govern the universe. If we can discover its basic operating principles, and see the relationship between those fundamentals and cosmic evolution, we may find out how we got this way, and more importantly, where we're going.

Of course the sophisticated view is that this is it, that it's all meaningless chaos, at least where human life is concerned. That's facile, and puts all the interesting questions outside us. It means we can study the stars and be awed by the universe's continually surprising elegance, but humans themselves, and the world they've made, are an impenetrable chaos.

Greene says that in terms of cosmology, "explanations are getting simpler, more elegant" even as the phenomena being observed and discovered are getting stranger and stranger. Scientists aren't arriving at final answers, but they are understanding how one process relates to another. There are still huge and possibly unanswerable questions, like what started the Big Bang, and what was there before it occurred?

In terms of humankind, it has become fashionable to believe man was a mistake. But that too is too easy. Evolution may make mistakes, but it is self-correcting. Besides, it simply begs the question when one reflects on how powerful our species is. If one species can destroy all life on a planet, doesn't that make life itself a mistake?

Obviously that's absurd. So we're faced with the greatest riddle of all‹ourselves. My view is that thought-consciousness is a stage that may presage, when it reaches a crisis point, a dramatic shift to another kind of consciousness altogether.

A brain capable of cosmological knowledge is the same brain capable of transcending knowledge in light of cosmic awareness. The former makes us technological creatures; the latter makes us human beings.

The space in consciousness is being destroyed, just as we are destroying habitats on the earth. Is the "dark matter" that thought has been producing since the beginning of culture and time the driving force of radical change in human consciousness? I think so.

************

- Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He has been publishing in North America, Latin America, Africa, and Europe (and now New Zealand) for 20 years. Email: martinlefevre@sbcglobal.net. The author welcomes comments.



© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Why We Should Be Anxious About Artificial Intelligence

Frankly, the prospect of possibly losing half the existing forms of paid employment to AI does make me feel extremely anxious, given the indifference shown by central government to the downstream social damage caused by the reform process last time around... More>>

ALSO:


Binoy Kampmark: Tom Wolfe The Parajournalist

As New Journalism’s primary advocate, Tom Wolfe headed the field with such experimental forces as Norman Mailer, Truman Capote and Hunter S. Thompson, all dedicated to enriching supposedly factual accounts with excessive flourishes that hurried out the beige in favour of the kaleidoscopic. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Racism And The Windsors

For all the talk about the modernizing effect that Meghan Markle could have on the Royal Family, the suspicion all along has been that the House of Windsor is resistant to change at any level beyond the purely decorative. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Prospects Of US Talks With North Korea

On June 12, the leaders of North Korea and the United States will meet across a table in Singapore, and Kim Jong Un must already be feeling giddy at the thought that this meeting is already being described with the word “summit” formerly reserved for meetings between superpowers of equal stature... Image: Steve Bolton NZ's contribution to the IAEA’s work on North Korea

  • United Nations - UN chief ‘optimistic’ over peace efforts
  • David Swanson - Enough is Enough. The Time Has Come to BDS the US - Peace Comes to Korea: Let’s Understand Why
  • CTBTO - CTBTO on North Korea
  • NZ Govt - NZ welcomes talks between North and South Korea
  • Massey University - Nukes to cyber war – NZ security in focus
  • Jim Miles - The Doomsday Machine - Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner
  • UNHCHR - North Korea detente: UN expert urges human rights opening
  • Binoy Kampmark - Trump, North Korea and Post-Olympic Angst
  • Gordon Campbell: On National’s Latest Attempts At Relevance

    Having ignored the existence of massive problems in health and education for nine years in government, it is no longer politically viable for National to maintain the pretence that such problems really don’t exist, or are somehow unworthy of serious concern by rational men of commerce.... More>>