When we look at the weird and wacky world of quantum physics, it can be hard to make sense of some of the things scientists have bee observing over the years
“We choose to examine a phenomenon which is impossible, absolutely impossible, to explain in any classical way, and which has in it the heart of quantum mechanics. In reality, it contains the only mystery.” Richard Feynman, a Nobel laureate of the twentieth century (Radin, Dean. Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences In A Quantum Reality. New York, Paraview Pocket Books, 2006)
One thing is for certain, ‘consciousness,’ or, factors association with consciousness (observation, measurement, thinking, intention) have a direct correlation with what we perceive to be our physical material world.
Max Plack, a physicist who originated quantum theory, regarded consciousness as “fundamental,” and matter as “derivative from consciousness.” He said that “we cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
Eugene Wigner, a physicist and mathematician told the world that “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”
R.C. Henry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University said that:
“A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a “mental” construction”. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” (“The Mental Universe” ; Nature 436:29,2005)
Recently, Australian scientists recreated an experiment that proves reality doesn’t really exist until we are measuring it, observing it, or ‘looking’ at it, at least to on the scale of quantum mechanics. (source)
An experiment devised by the Griffith University’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics, led by Professor Howard Wiseman and his team of researchers at the university of Tokyo, recently published a paper in the journal Nature Communications confirming what Einstein did not believe to be real: the non-local collapse of a particle’s wave function. It’s quantum entanglement, and it basically suggests that space is just the construct that gives us the illusion of separation. (source)(source)
All of these findings within quantum physics have led to the suggestion that ‘consciousness create reality.’ That is, factors associated with consciousness, like measurement, are somehow involved with our material world.
‘Consciousness Creates Reality’
The quantum double slit experiment is a very popular experiment used to examine how consciousness and our physical material world are intertwined. It is a great example that documents how factors associated with consciousness and our physical material world are connected in some way.
One potential revelation of this experience is that “the observer creates the reality.” A paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Physics Essays by Dean Radin, PhD, explains how this experiment has been used multiple times to explore the role of consciousness in shaping the nature of physical reality. (source)
In this experiment, a double-slit optical system was used to test the possible role of consciousness in the collapse of the quantum wave-function. The ratio of the interference pattern’s double slit spectral power to its single slit spectral power was predicted to decrease when attention was focused toward the double slit as compared to away from it. The study found that factors associated with consciousness “significantly” correlated in predicted ways with perturbations in the double slit interference pattern. (source)
“Observation not only disturbs what has to be measured, they produce it. We compel the electron to assume a definite position. We ourselves produce the results of the measurement.” (source)
Although this is one of the most popular experiments used to posit the connection between consciousness and physical reality, there are several other studies that clearly show that consciousness, or factors that are associated with consciousness are directly correlated with our reality in some way. A number of experiments in the field of parapsychology have also demonstrated this.
Sure, we might not understand the extent of this connection, and in most cases scientists can’t even explain it. However they are, and have been observed time and time again.
Here is a video demonstration from the film “What The Bleep Do We Know.”
Delayed Choice Experiment
Just as the double slit experiment illustrates how factors associated with consciousness collapse the quantum wave function (a piece of matter existing in multiple potential states) into a single piece of matter with defined physical properties (no longer a wave, all those potential states collapsed into one), the delayed choice experiment illustrates how what happens in the present can change what happens(ed) in the past, and shows us more how factors associated with consciousness could be intertwined with our physical material world. It also shows how time can go backwards, how cause and effect can be reversed, and how the future caused the past.
Like the quantum double slit experiment, the delayed choice/quantum eraser has been demonstrated and repeated time and time again. For example, Physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) have conducted John Wheeler’s delayed-choice thought experiment, the findings were recently published in the journal Nature Physics. (source)
In 2007 (Science 315, 966, 2007), scientists in France shot photons into an apparatus and showed that their actions could retroactively change something which had already happened.
“If we attempt to attribute an objective meaning to the quantum state of a single system, curious paradoxes appear: quantum effects mimic not only instantaneous action-at-a-distance, but also, as seen here, influence of future actions on past events, even after these events have been irrevocably recorded.” – Asher Peres, pioneer in quantum information theory (source)(source)(source)
The list literally goes on and on, and was first brought to the forefront by John Wheeler, in 1978, which is why I am going to end this article with his explanation of the delayed choice experiment. He believed that this experiment was best explained on a cosmic scale.
Cosmic Scale Explanation
He asks us to imagine a star emitting a photon billions of years ago, heading in the direction of planet Earth. In between, there is a galaxy. As a result of what’s known as “gravitational lensing,” the light will have to bend around the galaxy in order to reach Earth, so it has to take one of two paths, go left or go right. Billions of years later, if one decides to set up an apparatus to “catch” the photon, the resulting pattern would be (as explained above in the double slit experiment) an interference pattern. This demonstrates that the photon took one way, and it took the other way.
One could also choose to “peek” at the incoming photon, setting up a telescope on each side of the galaxy to determine which side the photon took to reach Earth. The very act of measuring or “watching” which way the photon comes in means it can only come in from one side. The pattern will no longer be an interference pattern representing multiple possiblities, but a single clump pattern showing “one” way.
What does this mean? It means how we choose to measure “now” affects what direction the photon took billions of years ago. Our choice in the present moment affected what had already happened in the past….
This makes absolutely no sense, which is a common phenomenon when it comes to quantum physics. Regardless of our ability make sense of it, it’s real.
This experiment also suggests that quantum entanglement (which has also been verified, read more about that here) exists regardless of time. Meaning two bits of matter can actually be entangled, again, in time.
Time as we measure it and know it, doesn’t really exist.
A Little More On The Science Of Intention
In 1984 a study took place at three different gatherings of over 7000 people who did meditation each morning and evening for three consecutive weeks. The study took place in Fairfield, Iowa (December 17, 1983-January 6, 1984), The Hague, Holland (December 21, 1984-January 13, 1985) and Washington, DC (July 1-July 10, 1985). The results were quite eye-opening. ‘Time series’ analysis was used in this study to rule out possibilities that the reduction in global terrorism was caused by pre-existing trends, drifts in data or cycles.
Some Scientists believe this is due to a coherent resonance being created in the Unified Quantum Field by those meditating.
The 7,000 people meditating created a Field Effect of harmonious coherence that spread throughout the collective–which, it is believed, helped to reduce acts of terrorism.
This effect is called the “Maharishi Effect”, and has over 600 scientific studies conducted in 33 countries and in over 250 independent research institutions. The evidence overwhelmingly correlates synchronized group prayer and meditation having social, political and economic benefits to the world. Positive correlations for numerous health benefits to the individual were also observed and confirmed.
Today this type of energy is being calculated by the Global Consciousness Project (GCP), whose home is at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. This initiative has been collecting data for over 15 years, with up to 70 host sites worldwide, using random number generators. The evidence suggests there is a unifying field of consciousness described by sages in almost all cultures, it’s quite fascinating and you can read more about it in some of the articles linked below.
Major world events, such as the 9/11 attack (2001), Nepal’s earthquake (2015), worldwide meditations (2015), and more, have been recorded by the GCP and has shown that the synchronization of RNG’s has occurred when thoughts, emotions and intentions of many people from around the world get synchronized.
There are several examples that have yielded statistically significant results when it comes to measuring the effects of human intention on our physical material world, and we’ve written about this in depth in various articles. To find out more information on that, feel free to browse through the selected list below. Also, for a selected list of downloadable peer-reviewed journal articles reporting studies of psychic phenomena, mostly published in the 21st century, you can click HERE.
How We Can Incorporate This Information Into Our Lives & Use Consciousness To Transform The World
Change requires action, but the place within which that action comes from is most important.
Modern day science, especially quantum physics, has been catching up to ancient mysticism and concepts that are/were so deeply ingrained in various cultures throughout the ancient world. One great example of this is the fact that everything is energy , and nothing is solid. You can read more about that here.
We are what we think, all that we are arises with our thoughts, with our thoughts we make the world.” – Gautama Buddha
Broadly speaking, although there are some differences, I think Buddhist philosophy and Quantum Mechanics can shake hands on their view of the world. We can see in these great examples the fruits of human thinking. Regardless of the admiration we feel for these great thinkers, we should not lose sight of the fact that they were human beings just as we are.” – Dalai Lama (source)
A great example of quantum physics meeting ancient wisdom is seen in the fact that Nikola Tesla was influenced by Vedic philosophy when pondering his ideas of zero point energy. You can read more about that here.
So why is this relevant? It’s relevant because new physics, as mentioned above, is pointing to the fact that the observer shapes the reality. The way we think and perceive could be responsible and play a vital role in the physical construct we see in front of us.
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” – Unknown
If we look at the world and examine it on a collective level, what do we see? How do we perceive it? Right now, the masses perceive it as being born, going to school, paying bills, raising a family and finding a “job” within the current paradigm to support yourself. No judgement here, but many people on the planet are not resonating with this experience. They want change.
We’ve been repeating and perceiving our reality this way for a very long time, with very little information about what is really happening on and to our planet. It’s almost like we are robotic drones that are trained and brainwashed to accept things the way they are. To not question what is happening in our world and to continue on with the status quo, only caring for ourselves and our own lives. As Noam Chomsky would say, our consent has been manufactured. If we continue down this path and continue to perceive and view reality as “this is just the way it is,” we will, in essence, prolong that type of existence and experience for the human race without ever changing it.
In order to create and manifest a new reality for ourselves, our thought patters and the way we perceive reality must change. What changes the way we perceive reality? Information does. When new information emerges it changes the way we look at things and as a result, our reality changes, and we begin to manifest a new experience and open our minds to a broader view of reality. Not to say that we can’t manifest a new physical form in the blink of an eye, and that we are not capable of doing that, but it appears to be something that takes time, something gradual, something we don’t quite understand yet.
What’s also important about teachings from new physics is that, if factors of consciousness are associated with the creation of our reality, that means change starts within. It starts with the way in which we are observing the outer world from our inner world. This touches on the earlier point of how we perceive our reality. Our perception of the external world might very well be a reflection of our inner world, our inner state of being. So ask yourself, are you happy? Are you observing, perceiving and acting from a place of love? From a place of hate or anger? From a place of peace? All of these factors are associated with our consciousness, with our observation, the one (or the many) who are doing the “observing” might play a large role in what type of physical world the human race manifests for itself, what do you think?
We are indeed the observers, can we create change and break patterns to open up new possibilities, change our direction, all through the way in which we observe ourselves, others and the world around us.
I believe that the human race is in the process of waking up to a number of different things, simultaneously. As a result, the way we perceive and “observe” the world around us (on a mass scale) is starting to drastically change. So if you want to help change the world, change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change.
“There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.”
This statement (worldview statement) was by Lord Kelvin in 1900, which was shattered only five years later when Einstein published his paper on special relativity. The new theories proposed by Einstein challenged the current (at that time) framework of understanding. This forced the scientific community to open up to an alternate view of the true nature of our reality. A great example of how things that once were regarded as truth have changed.
“Lord Kelvins statements bares with it the voice of paradigms past…We knew that the Earth was flat, we knew that we were the center of the universe, and we knew that a manmade heavier than air piece of machinery could not take flight. Through all stages of human history, intellectual authorities have pronounced their supremacy by ridiculing or suppressing elements of reality that simply didn’t fit within the framework of accepted knowledge. Are we really any different today? Have we really changed our acceptance towards things that won’t fit the frame? Maybe there are concepts of our reality we have yet to understand, and if we open our eyes maybe we will see that something significant has been overlooked.” – Terje Toftenes (From “The Day Before Disclosure“)
One Thing Is Clear. ‘Matter’ Is Not The Only Reality
“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” – Nikola Tesla
A group of internationally recognized scientists have come together to stress the importance of what is still commonly overlooked in the mainstream scientific community – the fact that matter (protons, electrons, photons, anything that has a mass) is not the only reality. We wish to understand the nature of our reality, but how can we do so if we are continually examining only physical systems? What about the role of non-physical systems, such as consciousness, or their interaction with physical systems (matter)?
Fortunately, some scientists are studying non-physical systems, and the double slit experiment is a great example of this. You can read more about that here. A paper published by Dean Radin, PhD, in the peer-reviewed journal Physics Essays, explains how this experiment has been used multiple times to explore the role of consciousness in shaping the nature of physical reality. (source)
“Despite the unrivaled empirical success of quantum theory, the very suggestion that it may be literally true as a description of nature is still greeted with cynicism, incomprehension and even anger.” (T. Folger, “Quantum Shmantum”; Discover 22:37-43, 2001)
Just to reiterate, at the turn of the nineteenth century, physicists started to explore the relationship between energy and the structure of matter. In doing so, the belief that a physical, Newtonian material universe that was at the very heart of scientific knowing was dropped, and the realization that matter is nothing but an illusion replaced it. Scientists began to recognize that everything in the Universe is made out of energy. This has been known in the scientific community for more than one hundred years.
“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulating consciousness.” – Max Planck, theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918.
We are talking about what is known as post-materialist science, and the points made below summarize the problem with not recognizing, acknowledging, and examining phenomena that go past the borders of the physical material world. These points were co-authored by: Dr. Gary Schwartz, professor of psychology, medicine, neurology, psychiatry, and surgery at the University of Arizona, Mario Beauregard, PhD, from the University of Arizona, and Lisa Miller, PhD, from Columbia University. It was presented at an international summit on post-materialist science, spirituality, and society. They (and hundreds of other scientists) have come to the following conclusions:
1. The modern scientific worldview is predominantly predicated on assumptions that are closely associated with classical physics. Materialism—the idea that matter is the only reality—is one of these assumptions. A related assumption is reductionism, the notion that complex things can be understood by reducing them to the interactions of their parts, or to simpler or more fundamental things such as tiny material particles.
2. During the 19th century, these assumptions narrowed, turned into dogmas, and coalesced into an ideological belief system that came to be known as “scientific materialism.” This belief system implies that the mind is nothing but the physical activity of the brain, and that our thoughts cannot have any effect upon our brains and bodies, our actions, and the physical world.
3. The ideology of scientific materialism became dominant in academia during the 20th century. So dominant that a majority of scientists started to believe that it was based on established empirical evidence, and represented the only rational view of the world.
4. Scientific methods based upon materialistic philosophy have been highly successful in not only increasing our understanding of nature but also in bringing greater control and freedom through advances in technology.
5. However, the nearly absolute dominance of materialism in the academic world has seriously constricted the sciences and hampered the development of the scientific study of mind and spirituality. Faith in this ideology, as an exclusive explanatory framework for reality, has compelled scientists to neglect the subjective dimension of human experience. This has led to a severely distorted and impoverished understanding of ourselves and our place in nature.
6. Science is first and foremost a non-dogmatic, open-minded method of acquiring knowledge about nature through the observation, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena. Its methodology is not synonymous with materialism and should not be committed to any particular beliefs, dogmas, or ideologies.
7. At the end of the nineteenth century, physicists discovered empirical phenomena that could not be explained by classical physics. This led to the development, during the 1920s and early 1930s, of a revolutionary new branch of physics called quantum mechanics (QM). QM has questioned the material foundations of the world by showing that atoms and subatomic particles are not really solid objects—they do not exist with certainty at definite spatial locations and definite times. Most importantly, QM explicitly introduced the mind into its basic conceptual structure since it was found that particles being observed and the observer—the physicist and the method used for observation—are linked. According to one interpretation of QM, this phenomenon implies that the consciousness of the observer is vital to the existence of the physical events being observed, and that mental events can affect the physical world. The results of recent experiments support this interpretation. These results suggest that the physical world is no longer the primary or sole component of reality, and that it cannot be fully understood without making reference to the mind.
8. Psychological studies have shown that conscious mental activity can causally influence behavior, and that the explanatory and predictive value of agentic factors (e.g. beliefs, goals, desires and expectations) is very high. Moreover, research in psychoneuroimmunology indicates that our thoughts and emotions can markedly affect the activity of the physiological systems (e.g., immune, endocrine, cardiovascular) connected to the brain. In other respects, neuroimaging studies of emotional self-regulation, psychotherapy, and the placebo effect demonstrate that mental events significantly influence the activity of the brain.
9. Studies of the so-called “psi phenomena” indicate that we can sometimes receive meaningful information without the use of ordinary senses, and in ways that transcend the habitual space and time constraints. Furthermore, psi research demonstrates that we can mentally influence—at a distance—physical devices and living organisms (including other human beings). Psi research also shows that distant minds may behave in ways that are nonlocally correlated, i.e. the correlations between distant minds are hypothesized to be unmediated (they are not linked to any known energetic signal), unmitigated (they do not degrade with increasing distance), and immediate (they appear to be simultaneous). These events are so common that they cannot be viewed as anomalous nor as exceptions to natural laws, but as indications of the need for a broader explanatory framework that cannot be predicated exclusively on materialism.
10. Conscious mental activity can be experienced in clinical death during a cardiac arrest (this is what has been called a “near-death experience” [NDE]). Some near-death experiencers (NDErs) have reported veridical out-of-body perceptions (i.e. perceptions that can be proven to coincide with reality) that occurred during cardiac arrest. NDErs also report profound spiritual experiences during NDEs triggered by cardiac arrest. It is noteworthy that the electrical activity of the brain ceases within a few seconds following a cardiac arrest.
11. Controlled laboratory experiments have documented that skilled research mediums (people who claim that they can communicate with the minds of people who have physically died) can sometimes obtain highly accurate information about deceased individuals. This further supports the conclusion that mind can exist separate from the brain.
12. Some materialistically inclined scientists and philosophers refuse to acknowledge these phenomena because they are not consistent with their exclusive conception of the world. Rejection of post-materialist investigation of nature or refusal to publish strong science findings supporting a post-materialist framework are antithetical to the true spirit of scientific inquiry, which is that empirical data must always be adequately dealt with. Data which do not fit favored theories and beliefs cannot be dismissed a priori. Such dismissal is the realm of ideology, not science.
13. It is important to realize that psi phenomena, NDEs in cardiac arrest, and replicable evidence from credible research mediums, appear anomalous only when seen through the lens of materialism.
14. Moreover, materialist theories fail to elucidate how brain could generate the mind, and they are unable to account for the empirical evidence alluded to in this manifesto. This failure tells us that it is now time to free ourselves from the shackles and blinders of the old materialist ideology, to enlarge our concept of the natural world, and to embrace a post-materialist paradigm.
15. According to the post-materialist paradigm:
a) Mind represents an aspect of reality as primordial as the physical world. Mind is fundamental in the universe, i.e. it cannot be derived from matter and reduced to anything more basic.
b) There is a deep interconnectedness between mind and the physical world.
c) Mind (will/intention) can influence the state of the physical world, and operate in a nonlocal (or extended) fashion, i.e. it is not confined to specific points in space, such as brains and bodies, nor to specific points in time, such as the present. Since the mind may nonlocally influence the physical world, the intentions, emotions, and desires of an experimenter may not be completely isolated from experimental outcomes, even in controlled and blinded experimental designs.
d) Minds are apparently unbounded, and may unite in ways suggesting a unitary, One Mind that includes all individual, single minds.
e) NDEs in cardiac arrest suggest that the brain acts as a transceiver of mental activity, i.e. the mind can work through the brain, but is not produced by it. NDEs occurring in cardiac arrest, coupled with evidence from research mediums, further suggest the survival of consciousness, following bodily death, and the existence of other levels of reality that are non-physical.
f) Scientists should not be afraid to investigate spirituality and spiritual experiences since they represent a central aspect of human existence.
16. Post-materialist science does not reject the empirical observations and great value of scientific achievements realized up until now. It seeks to expand the human capacity to better understand the wonders of nature, and in the process rediscover the importance of mind and spirit as being part of the core fabric of the universe. Post-materialism is inclusive of matter, which is seen as a basic constituent of the universe.
17. The post-materialist paradigm has far-reaching implications. It fundamentally alters the vision we have of ourselves, giving us back our dignity and power, as humans and as scientists. This paradigm fosters positive values such as compassion, respect, and peace. By emphasizing a deep connection between ourselves and nature at large, the post-materialist paradigm also promotes environmental awareness and the preservation of our biosphere. In addition, it is not new, but only forgotten for four hundred years, that a lived transmaterial understanding may be the cornerstone of health and wellness, as it has been held and preserved in ancient mind-body-spirit practices, religious traditions, and contemplative approaches.
18. The shift from materialist science to post-materialist science may be of vital importance to the evolution of the human civilization. It may be even more pivotal than the transition from geocentrism to heliocentrism.
* This Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science was prepared by Mario Beauregard, PhD (University of Arizona), Gary E. Schwartz, PhD (University of Arizona), and Lisa Miller, PhD (Columbia University), in collaboration with Larry Dossey, MD, Alexander Moreira-Almeida, MD, PhD, Marilyn Schlitz, PhD, Rupert Sheldrake, PhD, and Charles Tart, PhD.
** For further information, please contact Dr Mario Beauregard, Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health, Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
**** The Summary Report of the International Summit on Post-Materialist Science, Spirituality and Society can be downloaded here: International Summit on Post-Materialist Science: Summary Report (PDF).