What is consciousness? Where does it come from? What does it do? Even a decade and a half into the twenty-first century, mainstream scientists still insist that consciousness has to come from the brain.
But your consciousness is not generated by your brain. We have discussed elsewhere the many reasons why you can be certain that this is true. By now it is well established that human consciousness pre-exists the universe and is inextricably a part of the Source energy that manifests everything that we think of as real. Your brain, as important as it seems, is nothing more than the way that your eternal consciousness connects to your body during this brief lifetime.
The evidence that all of this is true is consistent and overwhelming. But mainstream scientists have a problem. Still bound by the century-old “fundamental dogma” of materialism, they dare not look at the evidence objectively. They cannot even consider the possibility that consciousness might be anything other than an artifact generated by the brain.
One Nicholas Humphrey, who is emeritus professor of psychology at the London School of Economics and a professor at Darwin College, Cambridge, describes in a recent article in Scientific American Mind the conundrum being faced by true believers. I’m going to do something unusual here and quote extensively from his article, since it so profoundly sums up the Gordian knot into which mainstream science has tied itself by insisting that matter has to be material.
Dr. Humphrey tell us that “(Consciousness) (t)heorists tend to fall into one of two camps. Some assert that the manifestly eerie and ineffable qualities of subjective experience can only mean that these nonphysical qualities are inherent in the fabric of the universe. Others, including me, are more suspicious. They argue that consciousness may be more like a conjuring show, whereby the physical brain is tricking people into believing in qualities that don’t really exist.”
Dr. Humphrey refers to researchers who consider consciousness to be an innate property of the matter of the universe as “realists” because they think that consciousness is real and not illusory. He says, “In their view, if your sensations appear to have qualities that lie beyond the scope of physics, then they really do have such qualities. And these realists explain their reasoning by suggesting that the brain activity underlying sensations already has consciousness latent in it as an additional property of matter—a property as yet unrecognized by physics but one that you, the conscious subject, are somehow able to tap into. The price for this explanation is that it implies that the standard physical description of the world is radically incomplete.” Oops! In other words, it is dangerous to think of consciousness as real because this notion flies in the face of “the standard physical description of the universe.” It challenges our fundamental dogma of materialism. And to those making their livings as physicists, doing that is a very bad thing.
Those who are not “realists” hold that consciousness is a kind of illusion, but Dr. Humphrey thinks he has a better idea. He is of the camp that considers consciousness to be illusory, true, but he says, “While I believe consciousness may indeed be a stage trick by the brain, I want to suggest that it is also a stroke of artistic genius. Consciousness as art is surely a more palatable notion than consciousness as illusion.” He adds, “Consciousness, by placing you at the center of this brilliant and perplexing work of art, encourages you to think of all humans as equally touched by magic. Thus, you end up… as centers of spiritual excellence, spreading the joy.” With apologies to Dr. Humphrey, this is nonsense. What do phrases like “spiritual excellence” and “spreading the joy” even mean in a situation where your consciousness is nothing but an illusion or “art” that disappears with the death of your brain?
Dr. Humphrey does acknowledge that there is a problem with his theory. “How can there be physical matter on one side of the equation and nonphysical consciousness on the other? Philosophers talk about the existence of an ‘explanatory gap’ here. As Colin McGinn has put it, ‘You might as well assert that numbers emerge from biscuits or ethics from rhubarb.’” Just so.
One of our commenters here, Michael A. Williams, shares with us a wonderful article that gives a definitive answer to Dr. Humphrey and to all others who are stubbornly wed to the made-up notion that matter must be material and consciousness has to be generated by the brain. An Oxford-trained South Korean quantum physicist named Daegene Song has shown mathematically that “Among conscious activities, the unique characteristic of self-observation cannot exist in any type of machine… Human thought has a mechanism that computers cannot compute or be programmed to do… The brain and consciousness are linked together, but the brain does not produce consciousness. Consciousness is something altogether different and separate. The math doesn’t lie.”
It is no coincidence that Dr. Song is young. To paraphrase the immortal Max Planck, “science advances by deaths,” as those holding fast to failed ideas give way to those who are free to look at the world with fresh eyes.
Dr. Song is not the first quantum physicist to grasp the fact that human consciousness is primary and it pre-exists the universe. In 1931, Nobel Prize-winning quantum physicist Max Planck said, “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” And Erwin Schrodinger, another Nobel Prize-winning quantum physicist, said many years before Dr. Song’s birth, “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
Science advances by deaths. And it is past time now for the old, failed dogma that matter must be material to give way to the glorious certainty that human consciousness is primary and pre-existing. Not only is consciousness real, dear friends, but it is the ONLY thing that is real!
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