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Augros & Stanciu's
The New Biology

George Stanciu, PhD, theoretical physics
Robert Augros, PhD, philosophy

the great quantum physicists speak out on the primacy, not of matter but, consciousness

 


 

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Editor's note: The following is from Augros & Stanciu's The New Biology, chapter one, "Physics As The Paradigm."

 

 

Werner Heisenberg:

“[In most science experiments] we have to do with things and facts, with phenomena that are just as real as any phenomena in daily life. But the atoms or the elementary particles themselves are not as real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of [hard-edged] things or facts.”

 

 

Editor's note:

The foregoing Heisenberg quotation is offered as prelude to a more extensive discussion by Augros and Stanciu in the next article. For the moment, however, allow me to present a rather imposing collection of statements, in the main, from the fathers of quantum mechanics, but also from notable others.

Please take special note of the many references, explicit and connotative, that consciousness, not matter, is the most fundamental element of reality. You will also read many assertions of the counter-intuitive difficulty experienced by the quantum pioneers, not just in arriving at correct conclusions, but in accepting their own data.

Further compounding the unease, several of the quantum fathers realized that what they were discovering, in terms of the most fundamental secrets of Nature -- primarily "the observer effect" -- had been posited thousands of years ago by ancient Eastern writings which staunchly put forward the hegemony of consciousness/mind as opposed to the illusion of matter. In this progression of the new physics, the quantum fathers often speak more like Eastern mystics than traditional scientists. But, this is well and good as, in reality, with clearer perspective, there is no division between science and religion.

Additional problems were encountered from other scientists, both within and without physics, who distrusted and disliked these findings, even though the new theory was supported by rigorous empiricism.

As in so many endeavors involving an overthrowing of long-held belief-system, Max Planck observed, “Science advances one funeral at a time... its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

 

 

Editor's note: also see the pages of "The Double Slit Experiment" and "Theory of Everything."

And now, as you begin to read the following quotations, be prepared to fall down a very deep rabbit hole.

 

 

 

 

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” Dr. Carl Sagan

Sir James Jeans: “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.”

Eugene Wigner: "...it will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the conclusion that the content of the consciousness is an ultimate reality.”

Max Planck:

"Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve."

“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, postulates consciousness.”

“As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”

“There can never be any real opposition between religion and science; for the one is the complement of the other.”

“Modern [quantum] physics has taught us that the nature of any system cannot be discovered by dividing it into its component parts and studying each part by itself... We must keep our attention fixed on the whole and on the interconnection between the parts. The same is true of our intellectual life. It is impossible to make a clear cut between science, religion, and art. The whole is never equal simply to the sum of its various parts.”

Every advance in knowledge brings us face to face with the mystery of our own being.”

“Science advances one funeral at a time.”

“This is one of man's oldest riddles. How can the independence of human volition be harmonized with the fact that we are integral parts of a universe which is subject to the rigid order of nature's laws?”

“The entire world we apprehend through our senses is no more than a tiny fragment in the vastness of Nature.”

“New scientific ideas never spring from a communal body, however organized, but rather from the head of an individually inspired researcher who struggles with his problems in lonely thought and unites all his thought on one single point which is his whole world for the moment.”

“An experiment is a question which science poses to Nature and a measurement is the recording of Nature's answer.”

T. Folger: “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.”

Nikola Tesla: “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.”

Dr. Konstantin Korotkov: “We are developing the idea that our consciousness is part of the material world and that with our consciousness we can directly influence our world.”

John Wheeler: “No point is more central than this, that space is not empty, it is the seat of the most violent physics.”

Pascual Jordan: “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.”

R.C. Henry: “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'.”

Werner Heisenberg:

“[T]he atoms or elementary particles themselves are not real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts.”

“If one wants to give an accurate description of the elementary particle. . .the only thing which can be written down as description is a probability function. But then one sees that not even the quality of being … belongs to what is described.”

“It was about three o'clock at night when the final result of the calculation [which gave birth to quantum mechanics] lay before me ... At first I was deeply shaken ... I was so excited that I could not think of sleep. So I left the house ... and awaited the sunrise on top of a rock.”

“I think that modern physics has definitely decided in favor of Plato. In fact the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language.”

“The same organizing forces that have shaped nature in all her forms are also responsible for the structure of our minds.”

“The existing scientific concepts cover always only a very limited part of reality, and the other part that has not yet been understood is infinite.”

“The ontology of materialism rested upon the illusion that the kind of existence, the direct "actuality" of the world around us, can be extrapolated into the atomic range. This extrapolation is impossible, however.”

The very act of observing disturbs the system.”

“The structure underlying the phenomena is not given by material objects like the atoms of Democritus but by the form that determines the material objects. The Ideas are more fundamental than the objects.”

“Every experiment destroys some of the knowledge of the system which was obtained by previous experiments.”

“Nature is made in such a way as to be able to be understood. Or perhaps I should put it--more correctly--the other way around, and say that we are made in such a way as to be able to understand Nature.”

By getting to smaller and smaller units, we do not come to fundamental or indivisible units. But we do come to a point where further division has no meaning.”

“Science no longer is in the position of observer of nature, but rather recognizes itself as part of the interplay between man and nature. The scientific method ... changes and transforms its object: the procedure can no longer keep its distance from the object.”

“We will have to abandon the philosophy of Democritus and the concept of elementary particles. We should accept instead the concept of elementary symmetries.”

Every word or concept, clear as it may seem to be, has only a limited range of applicability.”

“The problems of language here are really serious. We wish to speak in some way about the structure of the atoms. But we cannot speak about atoms in ordinary language.”

“If nature leads us to mathematical forms of great simplicity and beauty -- by forms I am referring to coherent systems of hypothesis, axioms, etc. -- to forms that no one has previously encountered, we cannot help thinking that they are "true," that they reveal a genuine feature of nature... You must have felt this too: The almost frightening simplicity and wholeness of relationships which nature suddenly spreads out before us and for which none of us was in the least prepared.”

“The conception of objective reality ... has thus evaporated ... into the transparent clarity of mathematics…”

“Only a few know, how much one must know, to know, how little one knows.”

“What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.”

“Not only is the Universe stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think.”

“After the conversations about Indian philosophy, some of the ideas of Quantum Physics that had seemed so crazy suddenly made much more sense.”

“[T]he atoms or elementary particles themselves are not real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts.”

The reality we can put into words is never reality itself.”

Explaining his Uncertainty Principle,” he said: "Uncertainty is NOT ‘I don't know.’ It is ‘I can't know.’ ‘I am uncertain’ does not mean ‘I could be certain’."

“I believe that the existence of the classical ‘path’ can be pregnantly formulated as follows: The ‘path’ comes into existence only when we observe it.”

Looking at something changes it.”

“There is a fundamental error in separating the parts from the whole, the mistake of atomizing what should not be atomized. Unity and complementarity constitute reality.”

“The more precise the measurement of position, the more imprecise the measurement of momentum, and vice versa.”

“...separation of the observer from the phenomenon to be observed is no longer possible.”

Brian Cox: “Heisenberg removed the conceit that the workings of Nature should necessarily accord with common sense.”

Marcus du Sautoy: “To understand this new frontier, I will have to try to master one of the most difficult and counterintuitive theories ever recorded in the annals of science: quantum physics. Listen to those who have spent their lives immersed in this world and you will have a sense of the challenge we face. After making his groundbreaking discoveries in quantum physics, Werner Heisenberg recalled, ‘I repeated to myself again and again the question: Can nature possibly be so absurd as it seemed to us in these atomic experiments?’ Einstein declared after one discovery, ‘If it is correct it signifies the end of science.’ Schrödinger was so shocked by the implications of what he'd cooked up that he admitted, "I do not like it and I am sorry I had anything to do with it." Nevertheless, quantum physics is now one of the most powerful and well-tested pieces of science on the books. Nothing has come close to pushing it off its pedestal as one of the great scientific achievements of the last century. So there is nothing to do but to dive headfirst into this uncertain world. Feynman has some good advice for me as I embark on my quest: ‘I am going to tell you what nature behaves like. If you will simply admit that maybe she does behave like this, you will find her a delightful, entrancing thing. Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, “But how can it be like that?” because you will get “down the drain,” into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that’.”

Hans Peter Durr: Whatever it's made of, "matter is not made of matter."

Amit Ray: “Deep down, nature is inherently peaceful, calm and beautiful. The universe as a whole is perfect. The chaos is on the surface.”

Carlo Rovelli: “A university student attending lectures on general relativity in the morning and others on quantum mechanics in the afternoon might be forgiven for thinking that his professors are fools, or have neglected to communicate with each other for at least a century.”

Karl R. Popper: “It is often asserted that, in view of the situation in quantum theory, object and subject can no longer be sharply separated. 1 To use Heitler’s words, the ‘separation of the world into an “objective outside reality”, and “us”, the self-conscious onlookers, can no longer be maintained. Object and subject become inseparable from each other’. 2 This, according to Bohr, is due to ‘the impossibility of any sharp separation between the behaviour of atomic objects and the interaction with the measuring instruments which serve to define the conditions under which the phenomena appear’. 3 Heitler elaborates the point in some detail. ‘One may ask’, he writes, ‘if it is sufficient to carry out a measurement by a self-registering apparatus or whether the presence of an observer is required.’ And he arrives at the conclusion that the self-registering apparatus is insufficient, and that ‘the observer appears, as a necessary part of the whole structure, and in his full capacity as a conscious being’.”

Christophe Galfard: “The very small quantum world, it seems, is a mixture of possibilities. The quantum fields to which all particles belong are the sum of these possibilities and, somehow, one possibility is chosen out of all the existing ones just by seeing it, just by the very act of detecting it, whenever one tries to probe a particle's nature.”

Dr. Bruce H. Lipton: “At the atomic level, matter does not even exist with certainty; it only exists as a tendency to exist.”

Dr. David Bohm:

“Ultimately, the entire universe...has to be understood as a single undivided whole... We are all linked by a fabric of unseen connections. This fabric is constantly changing and evolving. This field is directly structured and influenced by our behavior and by our understanding.” 

“In some sense man is a microcosm of the universe; therefore what man is, is a clue to the universe. We are enfolded in the universe.”

“Deep down the consciousness of mankind is one. This is a virtual certainty because even in the vacuum matter is one; and if we don't see this, it's because we are blinding ourselves to it.”

"The notion that all these fragments is separately existent is evidently an illusion, and this illusion cannot do other than lead to endless conflict and confusion. Indeed, the attempt to live according to the notion that the fragments are really separate is, in essence, what has led to the growing series of extremely urgent crises that is confronting us today. Thus, as is now well known, this way of life has brought about pollution, destruction of the balance of nature, over-population, world-wide economic and political disorder and the creation of an overall environment that is neither physically nor mentally healthy for most of the people who live in it."

Albert Einstein:

"When forced to summarize the general theory of relativity in one sentence: Time and space and gravitation have no separate existence from matter... Physical objects are not in space, but these objects are spatially extended. In this way the concept 'empty space' loses its meaning. ... The particle can only appear as a limited region in space in which the field strength or the energy density are particularly high."

"The free, unhampered exchange of ideas and scientific conclusions is necessary for the sound development of science, as it is in all spheres of cultural life. ... We must not conceal from ourselves that no improvement in the present depressing situation is possible without a severe struggle; for the handful of those who are really determined to do something is minute in comparison with the mass of the lukewarm and the misguided... Humanity is going to need a substantially new way of thinking if it is to survive."

Niels Bohr:

“When we measure something we are forcing an undetermined, undefined world to assume an experimental value. We are not measuring the world, we are creating it.”

An independent reality, in the ordinary physical sense, can neither be ascribed to the phenomena nor to the agencies of observation.”

I go into the Upanishads to ask questions.”

Nothing exists until it is measured.”

"The common sense view of the world in terms of objects that really exist 'out there' independently of our observations [objective reality], totally collapses in the face of the quantum factor."

"Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real."

“When searching for harmony in life one must never forget that in the drama of existence we are ourselves both actors and spectators.”

“The measurement we get when we measure something is not a property of the thing measured.”

When asked about an underlying quantum world, Bohr would answer, “There is no quantum world. There is only an abstract quantum physical description. It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about Nature.”

When it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images and establishing mental connections.”

“In our description of nature the purpose is not to disclose the real essence of the phenomena but only to track down, so far as it is possible, relations between the manifold aspects of our experience.”

Erwin Schrodinger

The task is not to see what has never been seen before, but to think what has never been thought before about what you see every day.”

“Multiplicity is only apparent, in truth, there is only one mind.”

“Quantum physics thus reveals a basic oneness of the universe.”

“The total number of minds in the universe is one.”

"What we observe as material bodies and forces are nothing but shapes and variations in the structure of space. Particles are just schaumkommen (appearances). ... The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist."

“Our perceiving self is nowhere to be found in the world-picture, because it itself is the world-picture.”

“There is no kind of framework within which we can find consciousness in the plural; this is simply something we construct because of the temporal plurality of individuals, but it is a false construction... The only solution to this conflict insofar as any is available to us at all lies in the ancient wisdom of the Upanishad.”

“We do not belong to this material world that science constructs for us. We are not in it; we are outside. We are only spectators. The reason why we believe that we are in it, that we belong to the picture, is that our bodies are in the picture. Our bodies belong to it. Not only my own body, but those of my friends, also of my dog and cat and horse, and of all the other people and animals. And this is my only means of communicating with them.”

“Every man's world picture is and always remains a construct of his mind and cannot be proved to have any other existence.”

Vedanta teaches that consciousness is singular, all happenings are played out in one universal consciousness and there is no multiplicity of selves.”

“I am very astonished that the [materialistic] scientific picture of the real world around me is deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity.”

“For eternally and always there is only now, one and the same now; the present is the only thing that has no end.”

“Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”

Consciousness is a singular for which there is no plural.”

What is this ‘I’? You will, on close inspection, find that what you really mean by ‘I’ is the ground stuff upon which all experiences and memories are collected.”

"Plato was the first to envisage the idea of timeless existence and to emphasize it — against reason — as a reality, more [real] than our actual experience…"

Max Born:

“I believe that ideas such as absolute certitude, absolute exactness, final truth, etc. are figments of the imagination which should not be admissible in any field of science... This loosening of thinking seems to me to be the greatest blessing which modern science has given to us. For the belief in a single truth and in being the possessor thereof is the root cause of all evil in the world.”

“It is true that many scientists are not philosophically minded and have hitherto shown much skill and ingenuity but little wisdom.”

“We have sought for firm ground and found none.”

“The deeper we penetrate, the more restless becomes the universe; all is rushing about and vibrating in a wild dance.”

Wolfgang Pauli:

"You know, what Einstein just said isn't so stupid.”

“Well, our friend Dirac, too, has a religion, and its guiding principle is ‘God does not exist and Dirac is His prophet’."

“For quite a while I have set for myself the rule if a theoretician says 'universal' it just means pure nonsense.”

Dr. Richard P. Feynman

“If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics.”

It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.”

“The thing that doesn't fit is the thing that is most interesting.”

Our freedom to doubt was born out of a struggle against authority in the early days of science. It was a very deep and strong struggle: permit us to question - to doubt - to not be sure. I think that it is important that we do not forget this struggle and thus perhaps lose what we have gained.”

“What I am going to tell you about is what we teach our physics students in the third or fourth year of graduate school... It is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don't understand it. You see my physics students don't understand it... That is because I don't understand it. Nobody does.”

The ‘paradox’ is only a conflict between reality and your feeling of what reality ‘ought to be’."

“When a scientist doesn't know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty - some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain.”

“One of the ways of stopping science would be only to do experiments in the region where you know the law. But experimenters search most diligently, and with the greatest effort, in exactly those places where it seems most likely that we can prove our theories wrong. In other words, we are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible, because only in that way can we find progress.”

Carl Sagan

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”

Alfred North Whitehead: “The mind experiences qualities which are purely offspring of the mind alone.”

Tibetan Book Of The Great Liberation: “Matter derives from mind, not mind from matter.”

 

testimony from the other side concerning Consciousness, not matter, as the primary element of the universe

In one of his 1950s messages offered via trance-direct-voice medium Rick Rickards, the ancient Spirit Guide Abu spoke of the problem of today’s scientific materialism: “[It is an] unwise thing any form of orthodoxy which results in a closure of the mind.”

Abu’s use of the phrase “any form of orthodoxy” is what I often refer to as a spirit of cultism that permeates all aspects of society.

He continues: “The scientist who refuses to examine [the evidence for the afterlife, the survival of consciousness,] is not acting as a scientist, he is acting as a hidebound [cultish] orthodox person, who is as creed-bound … as the persons who have adhered to orthodox religion and would admit nothing else. But this is not science.”

Editor's note: As we've discussed so often on the "Evolution" page, science is not meant to be a belief-system, but a spirit of open, honest enquiry. We don't see much of this latter today.

And now Abu addresses the issue of Universal Consciousness, the ground of all being, and does so in his own formal language: “When the scientist shall find himself compelled to announce … that what we, you and I, know as ‘spirit,’ all permeating spirit, [which] the scientist may call an ‘ether,’ and that this ether, as will be discovered scientifically, appears to be imbued with what you know as intelligence.”

Abu’s term for Universal Consciousness, the undergirding of matter, is “ether.” “[Scientists will] find that the world, the very material upon which you dwell, is not a dead thing, but that its very matter is permeated with intelligence, with spirit intelligence, with an ether.”

as the bible says, do not despise the day of small things

All such scientific progress, Abu asserts, would aid “the process of enlightening mankind,” which “should not be allowed to lag for want of effort on our part.” He confided that, during his time on the other side, he had thought about how best to offer a benefit to struggling humankind. He said that he discounted the thought of supplying “signs and wonders,” as these are easily misinterpreted and do no long term good. “And so I concluded that, such small talent as I might possess in stringing together words which shall endeavor to convey” some of the truths held among those in Summerland “which are founded upon experience and upon reason and upon love,” then he would attempt to speak “aloud through the use of an instrument,” a trance-medium, with the hopes of helping “at least one dweller upon Earth.”

allow yourself to be disturbed

Despite small resources, we should not resign ourselves to do nothing to help, for “this situation” of hoping to do a little “is multiplied a thousandfold in your own country and elsewhere in your world. Please, please, do not imagine that the little pool [of opportunity to serve] in which we play is the whole ocean, nor … that the ocean of mankind is so vast that no little stone [of service] that you may cast [into the ocean] can make any difference. [For] you are not alone in casting stones, there are many, many others. [If you were to] refrain from casting your stone, then a portion of this [dark world’s] placid lake of stupidity and incredulity” - its inability and unwillingness to accept the truth of the real world – “might remain undisturbed where you could have disturbed it, and that were a pity. This is the purpose of my appearance among you.”

Editor’s note: I find these statements by Abu very instructive in terms of how a spiritual teacher should attempt to help the world. We cannot do so directly, as discussed at length in the “500 Testimonies from the Other Side article”; instead, we must work like Socrates, playing the gadfly, stinging and "disturbing” people into considering other possibilities of how life works. Very significantly, Abu’s use of the term “disturb” mirrors exactly the recorded teachings of Jesus in “The Gospel of Thomas,” wherein The Carpenter says, “blessed are those who allow themselves to be disturbed”!

Wow, this is great stuff.

 

 

 

Editor's last word: