Sunday, 23 October 2011

A New Definition of Consciousness

In my last two posts, A Subjective View of Time and The Quantum Observer, I described how our action as observers distorts reality at the quantum level.

In A Subjective View of Time, I described how an observer slips into a different time frame relative to the observed simply when one moves relative to the other. In The Quantum Observer I described the double-slit experiment that demonstrates how particles do not actually exist in any one place until they are observed.

Both effects seem absurd when we consider them from the perspective of what we normally perceive as day-to-day reality. Yet both are provable by regular scientific methods. The common thread is the observer. In this post I want to talk about my own personal interpretation of the quantum observer: it's not a person, but a thing.

In my view, the quantum observer is consciousness. The conventional definition of consciousness implies that it is a uniquely human property. For me, the aspect of consciousness that applies to humans should be called conscious awareness. I'm hereby introducing a new paradigm for the larger concept of consciousness of which conscious awareness is a tiny sub-set.

Think of consciousness as the fifth force of nature. It is a fundamental property of the universe.

In my post Why we think there are multiple dimensions, I included a video by John Hagelin, one of the founders of string theory in which he explained how consciousness is the fundamental unified foundation of the universe. I include this video again here because the ideas he puts forward are the basis of my explanation of consciousness.

Discovery of The Unified Field
(Part 1 of 5)

John is a leading member of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) movement and they refer to consciousness as the "ground of all being". There is an interesting synchronicity between me and TM which occurred back in 1996, around the time when I first realised that conciousness must exist in the higher dimensions outside space-time.

I was on a train that had broken down outside Durham station in Northern England. I was writing a business game on my grey-and-white screened laptop PC and a chap was sitting opposite me feverishly tapping away at his laptop. It took three hours to get our train pulled back to the station platform and within the first hour, both of our laptops had run out of power. We began talking about what we had been doing on our respective PC's. He said he was a writer specialising in TM and that he lived in the TM headquarters in Mentmore Towers in Leighton Buzard. For some reason I didn't spend long talking about business simulations but instead proceeded to tell him about "my theory" of consciousness.

He listened carefully and at the end of my revelation to him, he gently smiled and to my great surprise replied "yes that's correct"! He informed me that Mahereshi Mahesh Yogi (the founder of the TM movement) had produced a mathematical "proof" that the unified field was consciousness. This proof was posted on the wall of the foyer in Mentmore. He invited me to bring my wife to Mentmore for lunch with him and he would show it to me.

A few weeks later we arrived for lunch and as promised he showed me the poster. It was far too complicated for me, a mere operational research scientist, to comprehend, but I took it on face value from the obvious sincerity that it had been presented to me. I left feeling that I was now on a mission to pursue my ideas on consciousness so I could one day introduce them to the "ordinary person in the street". I never returned to Mentmore and didn't have any further contact with TM. I believe my guide died shortly afterwards as he was suffering with cancer at the time we met.

I will return to the subject of taboos in science in a later post but I believe one of the reasons that John Hagelin is not sufficiently revered by the scientific community for his discovery of one of the 10-dimensional unified field theories is because of prejudices against TM amongst certain members of the scientific community.

So what IS consciousness?

From a starting assumption that the origin of consciousness is outside of space-time, I've spent the last 15 years trying to get my head around how to describe or define it. If consciousness is a fundamental property of the universe, then this implies that everything in the universe participates in consciousness. Animals, plants, single-celled life forms, planets, stones, atoms: ALL of these things have an expression of consciousness. But how can this be?

Consider consciousness as if it were a force that is propagated via a spectrum of vibrational frequency, similar to the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS).

We humans are able to perceive only a very tiny fraction of the EMS with our senses: visible light. The following video puts light into context within the whole EMS.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum

Just as humans are only tuned-in to that band of the EMS corresponding to visible light, similarly we are only tuned-in to a very narrow band of the spectrum of consciousness. This is the band that corresponds to self awareness.

We obstruct a proper understanding of consciousness if we limit its definition to properties of human awareness. It would be as if we had limited the definition of the electromagnetic spectrum only to the frequencies of visible light that humans are capable of perceiving! Henceforth, when I use the word "consciousness" in the human context, I will refer to it as "conscious awareness" so as to differentiate it from the altogether bigger concept of the whole spectrum of consciousness.

So, in my new paradigm, consciousness acts universally. The late, great philosopher Alan Watts said that if you pick up two stones on a beach and knock them together, the particular sound they make may be considered as their way of expressing their primitive vibrational level of consciousness. Clearly, we need to re-think our understanding of how consciousness expresses itself at different vibrational levels.

By removing the reliance on humans as the sole agents of consciousness, the quantum observer no longer has to be human. The anthropic principle is therefore a non-starter in the debate about the true nature of the universe.

As this blog evolves, I will introduce you (via YouTube videos) to some of the greatest thinkers of the modern age who are trying to help us break out of our limiting beliefs about the nature of existence, awareness and mind.

Some of this may appear controversial if you are a scientific reductionist. On the other hand, those who have a leaning towards spiritual philosophy and "new-age" thinking may be excited to see how science is merging with their beliefs. There will be others with entrenched, institutional religious views who may feel threatened by the ideas of science encroaching on their territory.

Resistance to these new ideas is therefore inevitable, but paradigm changes never come easily! I dare even to suggest that this view of consciousness could represent a definition of "God". By placing consciousness separate from physical existence, we now have a scientific framework that can explain life after death.

How exciting!

The following video is a taster of what is to come.

Consciousness Drives The Universe

From the perspective of THIS universe, I am "The REAL" Jeff Hall


  1. Hey, just had to say this is some great writing, great subject matter. Consciousness as the fifth force of nature, I had written down many thoughts related to the idea. I was listening to an interview of Dean Radin, maybe you have heard of him, (interviewed by Art Bell) and it brought up the same ideology and they were discussing similar things. It made me actually type into a search engine "consciousness is the fifth force of nature" and I found this here. Good stuff! They say the earth's magnetic field may be a two way process, that is, it affects our consciousness and we can affect it back in some way. It also seems that there are things outside of our language, maybe substratum of interactivity or connectedness, but indescribable yet in scientific terms...a portion of consciousness that acts much like spooky action at a distance of particles! Dig it! crazy stuff.

    1. Hi Jordan

      In my model of consciousness, it is more fundamental than space-time. Its source is therefore in the higher dimensions, described by string theory.

      It is thought that the reason that the effect of gravity is so weak in the space-time dimensions is that we are only seeing a small part of it that leaks-in to our realm from higher dimensions.

      On that basis I could accept that there may be a relationship between consciousness and gravity. I'm not so sure about the Earth's magnetic field, however as that is part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The question I would ask is - what is the evidence for a relationship between the magnetic field and consciousness?

      My final comment is that I have a deep suspicion that Time itself may be a product of consciousness. See the post "A Subjective View of Time". If so, we may never be able to visualise the "true" nature of reality.

  2. I like your ideas. Some writers talk of matter existing as potential/waves then of the wave function collapsing when it interacts with a neuron/it's microtubules but they talk about the neurons/microtubules of the observer in the sense of classical particles. My problem with this is, if the observed particle is collapsed wave/potentiality, then that which the observer consists of is also collapsed wave/potentiality. This leads to a chicken and egg scenario of, what is observing the observer to collapse it's wave function? I think your description helps overcome this problem. Do I make sense? excuse my ignorance , I have no schooling in this field.

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