Cargo Cult Science at Harvard

Posted by Roberta Grimes • November 24, 2016 • 18 Comments
Human Nature, Quantum Physics, Understanding Reality

14473601243_7972c59eae_bIn the last century there were isolated tribes on remote Pacific islands that tried to keep the bounty of Western goods coming by building wooden replicas of cargo planes. They maintained their jungle runways, and when explorers later visited these islands they were dumbfounded to find that a whole system of pseudo-religious beliefs had grown up around these islanders’ naïve misconceptions about reality.

Those cargo-cult delusions were the first thing I thought of when I read that similarly deluded scientists based at Harvard University have – Ahem! – begun to figure out how the brain generates consciousness They have determined by looking for areas of damage in the brains of patients in comas that three specific areas seem to be essential in order for people to be conscious and aware. They consider this to be a great first step, but the article’s authors cheerfully add that “Independent teams will also need to confirm their results before we can say for sure that these three regions are the physical source of consciousness in our brains.” Of course, the brain doesn’t generate consciousness any more than runwaysMad Scientist generate trade goods, but the scientists – like their Melanesian brethren – are so caught up in their bogus understanding that they cannot envision a reality that might exist beyond their intellectual island.

Even scientists who have come to understand that consciousness can exist apart from the body are often stuck in the materialist paradigm. Sir Roger Penrose, an eminent British mathematical physicist, believes that consciousness is “just a packet of information stored at a quantum – or sub-atomic – level… Sensationally, he claims to have found evidence that this information, which is stored in microtubules within human cells, leaves the body after a person dies.” According to the article, Sir Roger even speculates that if the body “dies temporarily, this quantum information is released into the universe, only to return to the body’s cells if the host is brought back to life.” Thereby he fits his theory of consciousness stored in cellular microtubules with the phenomenon of near-death experiences, without apparently the slightest curiosity about what NDEs actually are or what consciousness really is.

And apparently there are physicists at the ironically named Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich, Germany, who share these views. Dr Hans-Peter Dürr, former head of the institute, has said, “What we consider the here and now, this world, it is actually just the material level that is comprehensible… The beyond is an infinite reality that is much bigger… The body dies but the spiritual quantum field continues. In this way, I am immortal.”

We can only sputter, “But what does that mean? How does it tell us one blessed thing about what consciousness is, where it comes from, or how it works? Does ‘in this way, I am immortal’ mean that I will be myself and aware forever?”

This is the kind of thing that can make you pull your hair out in Max Planckfrustration. Looking for a source of consciousness in the brain is like disassembling your laptop to try to figure out how it generates the Internet! The evidence for the fact that the relationship between your mind and your brain is essentially the same relationship that the Internet has to your laptop is so abundant now, and so consistent, that the fact that research like the Harvard study mentioned above still continues in the twenty-first century is as jaw-dropping for us as was that first discovery of the Melanesian cargo-cults.

The big insight that all these bright people miss is that everything is energy. Nothing is solid. They must have learned this in their physics classes, since it has been well known for nearly a century! More than seventy years ago the great quantum physicist Max Planck said, “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.” And Albert Einstein said at about the same time, “Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.”

Why is this fact so difficult for physicists to get their minds around? Einstein FrontEverything is energy. There is no solid matter. What makes your chair seem to be not the same type of phenomenon as electricity is the fact that it is energy vibrating slowly enough that your senses perceive it to seem solid. As Einstein said, “It followed from the special theory of relativity that mass and energy are both but different manifestations of the same thing — a somewhat unfamiliar conception for the average mind.” But these Harvard researchers are supposed to have minds that are pretty far above average!

Not only is everything energy, but what we think of as human consciousness is the base creative energy. Max Planck realized this as much as a century ago. In 1931 he said, “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.”

So we have had for as much as a century this kernel of truth, this enormous insight that scientists could have been using to study a reality based in fact and not in science’s fallacious “fundamental dogma” of materialism. But reality has become an abstract concept to scientists. Discovering objective truth is no longer what they are about! Rather than pausing to reconsider their dogma, they continue to stumble blindly along, looking for “the special something that makes the human mind unique” and marveling at how odd it is that dying people “hallucinate visions of their deceased mothers.”

Nicola TeslaThe great Serbian-American inventor and polymath Nicola Tesla summed up the problem well when he said, “Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality.” He also said, “The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.” And he said, “The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.” Tesla’s future cannot come soon enough!


photo credit: philipp.richter <a href=”″>vaycay</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

Roberta Grimes
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18 thoughts on “Cargo Cult Science at Harvard

  1. A Happy Thanksgiving to all,

    Today offers us the opportunity to show gratitude, that most essential of energies. Yet today is also a terribly sad day, a day of necessary outrage if we are “conscious” of what is going on in Dakota and the disgraceful abuse of sacred lands, native peoples and the absolute sanctity of water.

    This paradox of gratitude and pain brings us to the key point I want to make regarding what is referred to as “consciousness”.

    Until the early 1600’s, which was the dawn of the Scientific Age, there was no usage of the terms “conscious” or “consciousness” in the English language. The idea of knowing (sapience or science) was still embedded in its literary matrix, the word “conscience”. (In contemporary Romance languages such as Italian, there still is no separation semantically between conscience and conscious, or consciousness.) The historical splitting off of the idea of consciousness from conscience has given rise to the intellectual cul-de-sac you are consistently writing about.

    The word conscience is therefore the primary “mother” or matrix for its derivative, consciousness. If the child repudiates its mother, what then?
    This is what we are struggling with today at the level of scientific inquiry.

    The word “conscience” derives from Latin, and before that probably from Greek. It implies a deep knowing within us (we would say the Heart Force) of what is right and wrong. It also implies another state of consciousness that allows for this knowing (“con” derives from the latin prefix “cum” which means “with”). Thus, the “true” inner voice comes from a hidden inner partner, or spiritual aspect of ourselves. Only the person who retains this deep sense of right and wrong can venture into going beyond the dualities of good and evil. Otherwise, only madness will ensue.

    In the case of Planck, as I’m sure you know, he had to plead with the Fuhrer for his son ‘s life in October 1944. His son had been indicted as part of a plot to kill Hitler. Planck’s “plea of an 87 year old man” who had contributed enormously to the intellectual wealth of Germany, went ignored. His son was executed, and on the report was written “parents unknown”.

    When Hitler came to power in 1933, Planck showed enormous courage in confronting him on behalf of the Jews and other persecuted minorities. Somehow, Planck survived through all this.

    So consciousness without conscience is an utterly meaningless concept, like a body with no blood running through it. It becomes very easy to see how otherwise great minds such as Penrose could
    stuff such a bloodless concept into microtubules as eternally storable quantum data.

    Tesla, of course was a poet as well as a scientist, and disagreed with Einstein about the vacuum. There was only the plenum of a living, feeling, universal energy (or mind).

    This understanding is primary in many traditional cosmologies where consciousness and sacred awareness of right and wrong are utterly fused as one.

    On this day, we should give thanks to the native American people in their fight for justice. This goes beyond even human rights issues and ecological urgencies. It touches upon the crux of the matter: conscious human life without its umbilical link to conscience leads to depravity and abuse.

    Animals and plants live within the matrix of this conscience, which is why we receive so much love and healing from them.

    I’m sorry to have written such a long reply here, but I hope the points raised are helpful.

    Again, thank you very much Roberta for the work you are doing to raise awareness and open hearts.


    1. Thank you, Nicholas! Wow, I would love to write a chapter-long response to all the points you raise, but time and space won’t allow that. Yes, I’m aware of the tragic execution of Planck’s son, and aware that Tesla was ahead of the scientific community that had trouble knowing what to do with him. That these great men had somewhat difficult lives seems to me to make their extraordinary work more powerful.

      For my part, I trace mainstream science’s ongoing obsession with its materialist dogma not so much to any intellectual struggles, but more to the two root causes of nearly all evil: power and money. At least three generations of scientists have wasted their careers in the pursuit of the bogus theory that matter and energy are somehow distinct, and they now occupy the seats of power in academia and at peer-reviewed journals. At this point, they are literally using every finger and toe to block the swelling cracks in the dyke that was first erected a hundred years ago against anyone’s looking at all the contrary evidence, and they are determined to keep the truth at bay until they can retire so they won’t have to deal with it. Meanwhile, the salaries of countless research scientists are being paid by pharmaceutical companies and others whose livelihoods would be threatened if matter turned out to be just more energy; and a few lucky scientists have managed to trick billionaires into spending their fortunes on nonsense like trying to upload their minds at death so they can achieve “immortality.” There is far too much at stake in terms of power and funding for scientists to allow the paradigm to shift without a fight!

      And your etymological exploration of the connection between the word “consciousness” and the word “conscience” is fascinating, and it’s helpful here. I only would mention to later readers, in the context of my other particular obsession (Christianity), that we must not unduly stress the religion-based notions of right vs. wrong, good vs. evil. We know now that the only thing that exists is consciousness, and consciousness exists in a range of vibrations between fear (the lowest) and love (the highest). All we need do is to raise our spiritual vibration ever closer to absolute and perfect love – that’s it! – and we will turn the earth into a paradise of love, abundance, and peace. The old Christian notions of sin and redemption are bogus, and they are based in fear so they get in the way of our ability to achieve the return to perfect love which is our eternal birthright. We needn’t deal with the negative at all if we will simply rise above the illusion of duality and use the simply Gospel teachings to raise our spiritual vibrations. That works!

      Thank you again, Nicholas, and welcome! I look forward to reading more of your thoughts here.

      1. Just for clarification, I did not mean the religious right/wrong trap, or the conventional moralistic way of thinking that societies enforce.

        I simply meant:
        Right = love, respect, gratitude. Wrong = neglect, abuse, exploitation. In other words, having a conscience of light.
        Or raising your vibration, same thing.

        So love and gratitude are our legs, our feet, our path, our origin, and our destination.

        There is a highly resonant chamber in the chest, close by the heart, attuned to this information.

        Of course I agree with you that vested interests at the academic level maintain the stranglehold of dead ideas, (rational materialism), and fund it aggressively so as to exclude more awakened perspectives from breaking through. You are fighting against that with your blogs!

        Are money and power “the root of almost all evil”? Or is it dualism itself, which gives rise to antagonism, and then to abuse?

        In our times money, power and deceit are braided together in the academic-military-industrial complex.

        Scientists usually claim that there is an objective purity to their work, and therefore it must be of unquestionable integrity. Yet the truth is that science is embedded in institutions, and institutions are run by humans who are subject to greed, arrogance, error and foolishness. Science is of great importance, but scientists are easily bought, and science itself is both limited and easily perverted.

        Yes, consciousness is the ground of everything, I do agree with you, including time, space, and what we consider to be matter. As you say, learning to love perfectly is what counts, and only love can bring meaning to our lives.

        1. We do agree on everything, sir! Part of the joy for me of doing this work is discovering that everyone who walks this path with sufficient patience and integrity arrives at precisely the same conclusions. Everyone! Beneath the institutions of science and all religions there exists one continuous grounding of Truth, and once we see all their approaches as the closed-minded dead-ends that they have become, and we open our minds sufficiently, we achieve the dawning understanding that there is indeed that overriding Truth, and it is more glorious than our most optimistic imaginings!

          1. Dear Roberta,

            Yes, agreed, but I am first going to read several of your books. I had no inkling before now that you were even out there (in both senses of the term!)

            From the heart,

            Thank you.


    1. Wow, thank you, Bill! Beyond family, I am thankful most of all to be meeting so many wonderful people through this work. I really cannot sufficiently express to you how much fun I’m having ;-)!

  2. Although I am convinced that the brain is not responsible for the existence of consciousness. I agree with Dr. Hans Durr that it is associated with quantum physics. I think he was trying to say that it is responsible for the spiritual reality. The afterlife seems magical to most of us, but we are like the people who built replicas of airplanes to attract the “gods” back in our environment. Even the best physicists are at a loss to explain quantum physics because it is a fairly new science, and the way it works is so complicated and incomprehensible that it is beyond everyone’s understanding. This will change in the future, just like all our other discoveries did, and won’t seem so unreal any more. This will in no way prove there is no God – in fact, it will most likely enhance that belief. The point is that everything seems magical and miraculous when you don’t understand the laws behind it.L

    1. Hello Lola! I think that you’re right in saying that quantum mechanics is closely related to consciousness. The glorious Max Planck said that himself, as witness his 1931 quotation given above. I think that eventually he will be acknowledged to be the discoverer of the base creative energy – consciousness, or God if you prefer – and that discovery will be seen as underpinning quantum mechanics. His foundational work with consciousness will then be seen as his greatest achievement.

      Our generation seems to be the first in history that really sees religions in the way that you have wonderfully expressed it here, as sincere attempts to understand reality. Religion was the earliest form of science! When you cannot comprehend what you see, then superstition becomes a tool for attempting to understand it. And from this insight it should be not much of a step toward realizing that modern science is actually yet one more religion (materialistic atheism). From that insight we can at last begin to venture into trying to understand what is real!

  3. I totally whole heartedly disagree with everything is energy. I’m taught that this is wrong, our souls are not made out of energy. There are 2 invisible aethers that surround us and kind of represent God although everything is part of God. This aether is not made out of energy or matter, it is made out of a 3rd thing, which one can call consciousness. One aether I call the God consciousness surrounds everything all universes and voids and it broadcast DNA. Part of this aether is compressed to make oversouls which are divided to make our souls. There is also an aether just for our universe, which is not made out of energy or matter, it creates time, gravity and other things that make our universe the way it is. So consciousness is not energy. If our souls were made out of energy and a hydrogen bomb went off next to our soul the energy would be disrupted and our soul would be lost, but our souls are made out of compressed consciousness and a hydrogen bomb going off doesn’t affect it in the least, because it’s not made out of energy and it lasts forever.

    1. I understand your concern, Gary! And you’re right: if your soul (or mind; I don’t use “soul,” since it’s a religious term) were made of material energy, then it could not be immortal. But our quibble is really one of semantics. If you think of consciousness as a kind of energy, then we have no disagreement.

      No one has ever defined consciousness, but our best guess is that it is a kind of non-material energy because it behaves like an energy. It is creative to a very powerful extent, and it vibrates as energy does. The best definition of consciousness that I have seen is part of the best definition that I have ever seen of God: “An infinitely powerful energy-like potentiality without size or form, alive in the way that your mind is alive, infinitely loving and therefore probably self-aware.” And the only thing that exists is God. Everything else that we think of as real is being manifested within and by God, so to think of anything as apart from God is not right and unnecessarily confuses the matter. Of course, the negativity of which humankind is capable is very low-vibration and therefore is not of the Godhead, which is nothing but the highest-vibration consciousness (which is love). But nevertheless, negativity is not separate from God. Nothing is. Even the earliest Christians understood this! “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28) was the way they put it.

      As I read your interpretation, Gary, I don’t see it as contrary to the evidence. We do leave most of our minds in the non-material levels as a superconscious mind or oversoul when we come to earth; and time, space, and gravity exist only in this material aspect of reality. But what concerns me is that your view seems unnecessarily complicated, it seems matter-based when in fact everything is in the same place (there being no objective space), and it moves some aspects farther away from the one overriding energy-like potentiality that we call God, which the evidence suggests is all that exists. I used to see it all as more complicated as well! But once you understand that your mind is directly part of God and nothing really is not-God, it all becomes simpler.

      The day will come when mainstream science will investigate all that you and I know to be true, and when – after perhaps another century or two – enough will have become known about how it all works that we can begin to pin things down to the extent that you have proposed here. But being so precise in 2016, when our understanding is still so limited, risks our closing our minds to learning more. It is far too early for us to be creating dogmas – things that we are certain are true! It is this establishment of dogmas that has stuck Christianity forever in the year 325 (and has stuck all other religions in their own foundational years), and which has stuck mainstream science in the year 1915 or so (when it established materialism as its fundamental dogma). Please let’s not try to establish dogmas now! Let’s instead be as innocent and open-minded as children, venturing forth together in the glorious certainty that we have a great deal more to learn, and from what we know now, all of it will be good!

      1. I’m sorry to write negative oriented comments about something wrong as I’m a highly spiritual person and want the world to be so. However when your body dies you still remain, most call it a soul, the real you. You say soul is a religious term, I think it’s just a spiritual term, spiritual and religious are not the same, but one could say related. Religions are created by the negative to control and evil beings are found at the top. So therefore a religious term, leans toward negative. So when your body dies and you still remain what are you called? I think at this point you are a soul on the soul plane, waiting and planning for your next body (maybe in a higher realm) and it won’t be long before this is science too. I’m totally spiritual and completely nonreligious and I constantly use the word soul in my work, is there a replacement word.

        1. Oh Gary, for you to prefer to use “soul” in your work while I might use “mind” is not a negative comment at all! You and I agree that at this point, religions are not helpful; we agree that the genuine aspect of each of us is eternal, and will journey for a time to a different plane before planning a return to another earth-life. What we might choose to call that eternal aspect who is our true self is a matter of semantics and not of substance, don’t you think?

          Thank you for commenting here, and thank you for working to spread the truth about our eternal natures. Assuredly the day is coming soon when the truth will be so widely known that our grandchildren will look back at the widespread spiritual ignorance of today as we look back now at the ignorance of the middle ages!

  4. Hi again! I keep coming back to what we DO with this knowledge. It doesn’t deconstruct and as the above comments underscore, semantics are semantics and that conversation takes us in a direction where little more is accomplished. So, back to being stuck with just simply loving one another as Jesus loved us and loving others as we love ourselves. There’s a semantics debate for us to ponder. What does love mean when there is no subject/object? Alas, I don’t know.

    1. Ah! You’re right, Mike; “What does love mean” is an excellent question! Indeed, it may be the most important question that any of us can ask.

      As best researchers have been able to determine, the only thing that exists is consciousness, and it exists in an emotional range from lowest (which is fear) to highest (which is perfect love). It was this form of love that Jesus taught, and it doesn’t have an object; rather, it is what you might call consciousness’s affinity for itself. “Love your neighbor as yourself” because your neighbor IS yourself. My most recent nonfiction book, The Fun of Growing Forever, teaches the process as Jesus taught it. I think it’s the easiest way to raise your spiritual vibration and potentially make this your last necessary earth-lifetime… and it’s a lot of fun!

        1. Wow, thank you for that! I am hearing from people now who are trying the exercises and already seeing positive changes in themselves, which is a bit early since the book came out just a few months ago. But it’s thrilling to hear!

          1. The last week I talked to two people about your book and they seemed to be intrigued. As I’ve said, it seems that when people are ready, the message and concept strikes home but if they are not ready, nothing happens. Timing is everything.

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