It’s been forever since we last discussed that time all of those physicists stumbled upon the nature of reality and had come-aparts. Everyone practically cried while Bohr looked on smugly.
So I’m going to recap a little bit here as a reminder before we take this further down the rabbit hole. Of course, you are always welcome to go back and re-read the previous three posts in this series like I just had to do to remember what I actually wrote: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. This blog may sound smart sometimes, but I am actually operating with antique RAM—random access memory. Random memories and random access to memories—that’s me.
Recap: In the early 20th century, when the scientists got down to locating the smallest particle of matter known at the time, the electron, they discovered that they could not find the electron inside space-time unless there was an observer. The observer! That’s YOU, beautiful!
So in a nutshell: NO OBSERVER, NO MATTER.
NO YOU, NO NOTHIN’: that’s how we say it in Alabama.
This fact means that what we learned in school, that there is an objective reality built from the ground up, while useful for baking cookies and building bridges and sh*t, is technically incorrect.
Instead, reality is actually built from YOU up. YOU come first. If there is no YOU, there is no matter.
This idea is very confusing. You may be thinking, “Wait a minute. I’m made of matter. I can’t have a brain without matter. So how can my brain even be there to create matter without matter?” This conundrum is known as the Quantum Measurement Paradox.
But as we discussed previously, this is not as big of a problem as it seems because we have scientific proof through high level math-ings that there must be consciousness in order for there to be matter. However, we have no scientific evidence that matter is needed to create consciousness.
As I explained, scientists have been unable to find the part of the brain, the matter in the brain, that is responsible for creating consciousness. So the scientific question remains: does the brain create consciousness or does consciousness exist separately and act on and through the brain?
“This is getting way too wonky for me,” you say.
“Why do I care about this?” you ask.
You care because……
The reason you care is because if brain matter does not create consciousness, then consciousness exists independently of the brain, independently of matter. If consciousness exists on its own, independent of matter, then it may exist eternally—it may not be subject to death like matter is.
Now, I know some of you are shaking your head. “Eternity?!! This isn’t a science blog. This is religious crap.” So I’m just going to leave this quote from Max Planck, the Nobel prize winning scientist who discovered quantum theory here:
“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.” –Max Planck
And one from Neils Bohr, another Nobel Prize winner, here: “Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.” –Neils Bohr
And one from nuclear physicist, Jeremy Hayward, here: “Many scientists who are still part of the scientific mainstream are no longer afraid to openly state that consciousness could, in addition to space, time, matter and energy, be a fundamental element of the world – perhaps even more fundamental than space and time. It may be a mistake to ban the spirit from nature. It is even questioned as to whether matter should be considered a fundamental element of the universe.” –Jeremy Hayward
Furthermore, other than fancy quotations, there is also science that suggests that brain matter is not responsible for consciousness; rather, consciousness acts on and through the brain.
In a study at UCLA in 2013, psychologists used fMRI techniques to study what happens to the human brain when it becomes “unconscious” from anesthesia in 12 subjects. The psychologists, who analyzed the “network properties” of the subjects’ brains, concluded that when consciousness is lost, “the communication among areas of the brain becomes extremely inefficient, as if suddenly each area of the brain became very distant from every other, making it difficult for information to travel from one place to another.”
Basically, the brain stops working in profound ways when consciousness is removed. Now, if matter in the brain creates consciousness, one would expect that the matter in the brain would continue to function even if consciousness were removed, because the matter would be the creator and the cause of the workings of the brain, not the effect. However, in this experiment, the matter experienced severe dysfunction when the consciousness was removed, suggesting that the consciousness was acting on the brain matter, like consciousness was more the creator and the cause of the workings of the brain, and matter was more the effect.
Further, their experiment suggests that consciousness does not “live” in a particular place in our brain. Rather, it is diffuse over, through, and in all of the neurons in the brain. So consciousness in the brain is not like other things that are localized to specific areas in your brain, like your high vocabulary, your sense of smell, or your memory of that time you wrecked your parents’ car. (Or the many times you wrecked cars if you were as terrible of a driver as I was in high school. My poor parents.)
Consciousness is different. It seemingly interacts with the entire brain.
One theory of consciousness that fits neatly into this study was first postulated in the mid 1990’s by mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose, Oxford University, and anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff, MD. They posited that consciousness is an energy that creates quantum vibrations inside microtubules in neurons. Microtubules are components of the cell structure.
This theory, at which many scientists scoffed at the time, has, since 2014, been corroborated by new research. First, Anirban Bandyopadhyay, PhD, at the National Institute of Material Sciences in Tsukuba, Japan, and now at MIT, actually found warm temperature quantum vibrations in microtubules inside brain neurons, suggesting that EEG rhythms also derive from microtubule vibrations. In addition, work from the laboratory of Roderick G. Eckenhoff, MD, at the University of Pennsylvania, suggests that anesthesia, which selectively erases consciousness while sparing non-conscious brain activities, acts via microtubules in brain neurons, as well.
Under this theory, microtubules may be a portal through which consciousness energy accesses the brain and plays a song, vibrating microtubules, to which the brain and body respond. All I can think about is the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind when that guy (Richard Dreyfuss) obsessively sculpted a nasty, muddy, life-size sculpture of Devil’s Tower in his living room because the spaceship played music to him. Tubules play some funky music, y’all.
So consciousness plays a song. These vibrations inside microtubules resemble songs! But consciousness is not a big fan of rock and roll or the blues. The vibrations are actually anharmonic, like Indian music. Maybe that’s why Indian music seems so relaxing while I’m grinding out that 50th Warrior One pose in yoga.
So science has, therefore, demonstrated a viable theory by which we might posit that consciousness exists entirely separately from matter and exists eternally.
Who wants to be an eternal being on an eternal journey???? I DO!! I DO!!
And even more perfect, it’s a theory of consciousness that involves music.
So take your eternal ass into your week with good cheer!
Use your loving and good thoughts to create good matter!
And I’ll see you in the next couple of posts when we will talk about the Big Kahuna, that Alpha-Omega, Supreme Bitch— that G. O. D. What is the science that suggests GOD?
And you are going to love her!
Until then, joy and laughter to you. And triple sinks.