Sunday, April 17, 2011

Quantum Physics, Consciousness and the 'Ground of Being'

Dr. Amit Goswami, director of the
Centre for Quantum Activism
, board
member of the Institute of Noetic Sciences.

Anyone who has seen the thought-provoking film, "What the Bleep Do We Know!?" will instantly recognize Dr. Amit Goswami, who is featured throughout the film. Dr. Goswami "is a theoretical nuclear physicist and a member of The University of Oregon Institute for Theoretical Physics since 1968, teaching physics for 32 years," before recently retiring. (He is currently a director of the Centre for Quantum Activism, and sits on the advisory board to the Institute of Noetic Sciences.)

"After a period of distress and frustration in his private and professional life starting at the age 38, his research interests shifted to quantum cosmology, quantum measurement theory, and," perhaps most famously, "applications of quantum mechanics to the mind-body problem." [Source: Wikipedia]

In a three-part interview on the interrelationship of quantum physics and consciousness, Dr. Goswami notes that quantum physics is "giving us a new world view that shows clearly how consciousness can be, and is, the ground of our being."

"Quantum physics," says Dr. Goswami, "enables us to see directly that we can make sense of the world only if we base the world on consciousness. (The) world is made of consciousness; (the) world is consciousness; (and) consciousness is the ground of being." (Note the deliberate and repeated use of the term 'ground of being,' a term in use for millennia in the Vedanta tradition as a descriptor of Brahma, or, in Western conventional terms, God.)

"Quantum mathematics, which in our belief is the most fundamental mathematics, the most accurate mathematical description of nature, that we have discovered," continues Goswami, "says clearly that the movement of objects are describable only in terms of possibilities, not the actual events that happen in our experience."

"If we accept this," he says, "then the question immediately becomes who, (or) what chooses amongst these possibilities to bring the actual event (into) experience. So we directly, immediately, see that consciousness must be involved. The observer cannot be ignored.  The observer is part of the description of the world."

But since we cannot explain, and quantum mathematics does not include a description of the observer, Dr. Goswami concludes, "we get the idea that the subject must be more fundamental than the objects; (that) consciousness is more fundamental; (that) consciousness must be the ground of being of which objects are part, but not all of it."

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