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The Wrong End of the Microscope

Posted by Roberta Grimes • August 26, 2016 • 22 Comments
Quantum Physics, Understanding Reality

ConsciousnessWatching research scientists continue to express their certainty about materialism when they have to know the dogma is wrong would be amusing if it were not so pathetic. They realize their profession is floundering. But it is their profession, after all, and they have families to feed and retirements to fund! So they continue to try to drive a train that is hopelessly off the rails, while at the same time they are beginning to acknowledge that there is a lot that their abbreviated version of science never will explain.

The result is a truly weird period in the annals of scientific investigation. To take a prime example, let’s look at what scientists call “the hard problem,” which is the whole enigma of how to explain consciousness and individual awareness. At one time it was confidently believed that figuring out how the brain works was going to solve the hard problem as a kind of fallout result; but the more brain research has been done, the clearer it has become that the hard problem won’t be giving up so easily.

To graze among recent articles on consciousness in the popular press is an exercise in wincing frustration. We see researchers beginning to get closer to Rising Deaththeories that we know might be productive – we kind of lean forward in our chairs and pull for them – but then their need to reason outward from materialism always does them in. An article about the fact that consciousness can be demonstrated to be present after physical death is one such promising foray with some sense to it, but also much that is nonsense. The authors have so little interest in researching useful aspects of the literature that they refer to out-of-body experiences as “outer-body experiences.” They report at least one verified account of someone who was later able to report what had been going on around him while he was clinically dead, which fact should have been front-page news; but it was barely a footnote. So ignorance marches on!

Now let’s look at a different article that bears a highly promising title:   Neuroscience’s New Consciousness Theory is Spiritual. The title is great, but that “S-word” – “spiritual” – is seen by the authors to be so near science’s imagined border with religion that before anything substantive can be discussed, they first must demonstrate that they are not advocating for a theory even remotely religious. To do that, they make the absurd assertion that science has things pretty much figured out. They assure us that (M)odern science has achieved impeccable performance when it comes to explaining phenomena previously thought to be unexplainable. In this day and age, we have complete scientific descriptions of virtually everything.” Please read that twice, to better savor in print what even the authors must know is nonsense!

Their article then goes on to describe something called Integrated Information Theory (“IIT”), which attempts to describe what is happening Consciousness Robotwhen we have a conscious experience… but it does not even speculate about why it might be happening. As one of IIT’s proponents says, Consciousness is a fundamental property of the universe. Wherever there is integrated information, there is experience. The theory takes its existence as a given and therefore doesn’t have to explain the mechanism behind it.” Good grief. If we can beg all our questions to this extent, then who even needs to practice science at all? Proponents of IIT go on to say that “The entire cosmos is suffused with sentience. We are surrounded and immersed in consciousness; it is in the air we breathe, the soil we tread on, the bacteria that colonize our intestines, and the brain that enables us to think.” Even a stopped clock being right on occasion, these sentences have a kind of rightness to them. But they arise from nonsense, and “garbage in means garbage out” is the most basic scientific premise of them all!

One arresting article suggests that consciousness might be a quantum phenomenon. So near, and yet so far! Even with this insight, all the speculation in this article is reasoned outward from materialism, with the expected confusing results. A former head of the ironically named Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich, Germany, here posits that “just as a particle ‘writes’ all of its information on its wave function, the brain is the tangible ‘floppy disk’ on which we save our data, and this data is then ‘uploaded’ into the spiritual quantum field… it is actually just the material level that is comprehensible. The beyond is an infinite reality that is much bigger. Which this world is rooted in. In this Man With Head in Sandway, our lives in this plane of existence are encompassed, surrounded, by the afterworld already… The body dies but the spiritual quantum field continues. In this way, I am immortal.” What on earth are we to make of this, beyond acknowledging that from a scientific perspective it is nonsense? To simply assume consciousness without explaining that it is incompatible with materialism and without even attempting to understand it seems to have become the scientific mode du jour, but until that materialist dogma is abolished no research scientist ever can tell us much about what actually is going on.

Max PlanckThe genuine Max Planck felt free enough to ignore materialism and start from consciousness. He said three-quarters of a century ago that “I regard consciousness as fundamental.” He 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. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.” He was exactly right! But then materialism came in, and the scientific lights went out.

Blinkered as he is by materialism, even “the world’s smartest physicist” has become convinced that scientists never will figure out consciousness. And indeed they never will, for so long as the scientific gatekeepers insist on hamstringing scientific researchers with a nonsensical dogma like materialism.

Dr. Planck was right all those years ago. He still will be right all those Boy With Flowersmany years hence, when some young physicist at last will identify consciousness as the source of everything so he can begin an unrestricted investigation of what consciousness actually is. The simple solution to the hard problem has been hiding in plain sight all along!

Roberta Grimes

Roberta Grimes is an internationally recognized expert on death and the afterlife. Learn More

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22 thoughts on “The Wrong End of the Microscope

  1. Dear Roberta, if I were a scientist I would dread going into a discussion with you. You lay it out so clearly an logically it is incredible, but even without you there to correct them many will not even address the logical questions that arise out of any finding they might make. We know it all, already, don’t we? Case closed .. they seem to conclude. This goes for many religious people too, I am afraid, even in my little corner of the world.

    I for one am really happy with your posts, radio shows and podcasts. You have made my eyes open, and I thank you for that.

    Regards,
    Bent

    1. Thank you for commenting, Bent! And your point that religious folks suffer from the same limitations as scientists is a great one. Holding to dogmas makes clear thinking impossible! But I think we are approaching a place where enough of us realize what a problem dogmas are that our supposed thought-leaders won’t be able to get away with imposing them for much longer. Then indeed will a new world begin!

  2. is that the paper i sent u good review on it for sure and i hope this world and science is changing that would suck if all the hard work we do will die out because every one will become more and more atheist like

    1. Thank you for your thoughts, Brandon. I do think that a change is coming, and each of us who is open-mindedly seeking the truth is an important part of that change!

  3. This is not only a Weatern scientific world view but a Judeo-Christian one as well. I have talked to ministers and priests and scholars whose take on creation is decidedly materialistic. God created a material universe one day and then like a cosmic production worker manufactures each of us and injects us into it. If we are good for a few years, we get a reward. If not, well, poof, I guess. I talked to someone just yesterday who prefers not to believe in heaven because he can’t imagine how there could be anything fun about sitting around “24 hours a day with nothing happening, forever!” No concept of what it means to be beyond time and space, no sense of what eternal love really means, no recognition of true conscious free will…no understanding of the evidence;
    just by-products of a material creation.

    1. Thank you for commenting, Mike! I think you’re right in pointing out that an artificial duality now being enforced by leaders in both science and religion is a big reason why humanity remains so clueless. There is in fact just one reality! It is composed of and set in place by consciousness, so it is fundamentally spiritual; but it has nothing to do with any religion. And to make things more confusing, aspects of it manifest as apparently material. I understand that these complications make it harder, perhaps, for scientists to begin to figure it all out, but retreating into saying we’re going to figure out just the physical part without needing to investigate consciousness is like saying that we can make sense of what fire is without understanding the role of oxygen. Until scientists give up on materialism as a dogma and begin to follow the lead of Max Planck and other pioneering quantum physicists in investigating the nature of consciousness, it is frankly going to be impossible for them to understand much of anything.

      And what your friend said about heaven is a hoot! He is right, though: the versions of heaven that most religions talk about are pretty unsatisfying. That is of course because these ideas are all based in ancient puritanical dogmas established without knowledge, and even without much imagination.

      Perhaps “Down with Dogmas!” should be our rallying-cry? I think I’ll have some signs made….

  4. Thank you for such a compelling article. I just want to ask all those who are so adverse to researching Consciousness as a Science. What are they so afraid of??? We will always need researchers for the plethora of new information that the Universe will divulge over time in near the future, I would think that Scientists especially would be excited by all the new paths to be discovered!

  5. I thought consciousness is in the soul, but I didn’t see the word soul used in the article or anybody’s comments. Maybe I’m bias because my website is icheckyoursoul.com . I’m told that there are 2 aethers 1 that surrounds everything all universes and voids and it kind of broadcasts DNA to make living things and another aether that just surrounds our universe. These aethers can be called consciousness and or God and they are not made out of matter or energy. It is made out of something else and some of it is kind of compressed to make our soul. So one can say our souls are made out of consciousness. I learned or got this information dowsing and I made it to simple as there is much more to it than what I wrote, I’m constantly learning trying to get it right!

    1. Hello Gary! Thank you for your thoughts on what is a complex topic made much more complex by scientific and religious dogmas and confusion. The term “soul” is a religious term – as are “karma,” “sin,” “reincarnation,” and so many other terms – so although it is a way to approach an understanding of what actually is going on, the term “soul” carries lots of religious baggage. I generally use no term that has a religious connotation, and for years I didn’t even talk about “God,” even though the evidence is strong that nothing else but God exists. But the genuine God bears little resemblance to the God that is worshiped by any religion!

      Based in nearly 200 years of communications from people that we used to think were dead, and also based in everything that scientific research has so far shown to us, I have concluded that Max Planck was right, and the only thing that exists is what he called “mind.” I just capitalize the word. All our minds are inextricably and eternally part of Mind, even now when we think we are in bodies. We are never separated at all from one another or from God. Consciousness is an energy-like potentiality that is infinitely powerful, but I don’t believe that anyone even begins to understand it.

      So this is why we don’t use the term “soul.” We talk about individual awareness, which of course exists – there is no getting around that fact! – and those at the highest levels of reality tell us that our awareness is eternal. They also tell us – and this is something I really cannot get my mind around! – that as we continue to grow spiritually, we come to understand that there is only one awareness. And it is yours. A Course in Miracles tells us much the same thing! So… we all have a lot to learn, don’t we .-)?

      1. And it seems the learning, although we crave it, comes only when we are ready for it. That is the lesson in humility I am finding. I keep bumping into people having conversations among themselves (I’m not an eavesdropper, but sometimes it just can’t be helped) and I have an impulse to step in until I remember that I don’t even understand it, so how can I expect myself to say anything in a way others will. It’s the convert’s zeal I guess. I happened to overhear some people just yesterday talking about what they called karma — which was the Westernized version of a concept that doesn’t even have a translation from the Eastern to ours. One was a protestant minister who said she didn’t believe in karma. The others were talking about what they think reincarnation REALLY is, and “coming back” as a mosquito or a zebra or something like that. Anyway, I don’t even know how serious they were, so I stopped myself from intruding. On the other hand, they were so far away from reality that I felt like it was an opportunity missed. But was it? If they aren’t ready to understand, can my out of nowhere comment make a difference? I don’t know. But I do like St. Francis’ advice to “preach the Gospel every day and if you have to , use words.” Maybe that’s the way to make an eventual difference.

        1. I love this, Mike – Thank you. What wonderful wisdom! I have been there too, hearing people saying things – and sometimes saying things to me! – that showed they had accumulated a gobbledygook of misinformation from New Age and other sources that made them feel they really knew their stuff, but none of it had any relationship to reality as researchers are coming to better understand reality. How do you even begin to help these folks?

          It turns out – as you say – that often people won’t begin really to learn until they develop a reason to crave a better understanding. Something has to knock the pins of certainty out from under us. The death of a loved one will do that, but also sometimes just someone speaking into a little chink in our securities will do the trick: if we are wondering a bit about something, and we find a bit of the answer that leads us to other questions and answers, sometimes that also will begin to deepen our understanding.

          I think it was this fact, more than anything else, that inspired me to do podcasting, and then radio. More than three years ago, now! I had spent decades gathering all this information and all these insights. But how could I use what I had learned to help people? Well, speaking into people’s insecurities can start that process.

          This is precisely what religions do, but for the opposite reason: they rough-up fears of the unknown that are probably natural to beings whose ancestors lately lived in caves, and then they offer their dogmas as salve for those fear-based wounds. Religious answers, though, don’t come from reality, so they can never provide real healing for ignorance. But fortunately, in our day, and thanks entirely to the wish of very advanced beings not now in bodies to at last begin to enlighten and raise the consciousness vibration of this planet, a dawning understanding of what actually is going on really is available to us! So I do radio and podcasting to rough up people’s anxieties, and then to offer for them not a salve of dogmas that give no real answers but rather the amazing (and amazingly consistent) new information about what actually is going on that we have been assembling over the past century.

          I love that quote from St. Francis! He was preaching the genuine Gospels when it was occurring to almost no one else that maybe Jesus had spoken words that were even more important than the dogmas that the Church that bore his name was preaching. And Jesus, too, emphasized the importance of our really understanding what is going on! He said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. THEN you will know the truth, and the TRUTH will set you free!” (JN 8:31-32).

          I understand your reluctance to speak up, Mike. Humility is the virtue on which every other virtue rests. But for more of us to speak up a little bit now, as more and more people are beginning to find answers but also are finding a lot of misdirection, seems to be more and more what is called for. No, we don’t know the whole answer, either. But we have better learned how to ask the right questions….

  6. Getting back to your blog on materialism, Roberta, you make some excellent points. I still see materialism as having a vice grip on mainstream science and most media, but cracks in it are occurring all over. I mostly see a slow undoing of it, with breakthroughs happening here and there over time.

    But, I could be wrong. If this “soul phone” that you talk about, that will possibly be ready within 2 to 3 years, pans out as close to 100% reliable, that could bring down the materialist dogmas fairly fast.

    1. Hello Michael! Reluctantly, I must agree with you. Mainstream science has been so invested in upholding materialism for so long that progress there toward vanquishing the dogma and beginning to objectively seek the truth is going to happen by inches… unless there is a major breakthrough in afterlife communication. And the signal from the North American Station is gradually becoming stronger, and the dead experts continue to say that a breakthrough to very good communication is not far away, so I’m hopeful!

  7. Roberta,

    First off, I’m grateful for everything science has brought us! They’ve done a terrific job in so many ways in improving our lives. My entire physical surroundings on my tugboat wouldn’t have been possible without their dedication. (Can you tell I’m reading Fun of Growing Forever right now?)

    I’m trying to understand the establishment’s intentions with the materialist dogma. Do you think they were trying to limit their scope to materialism because they didn’t think they could study something nonmaterial? Or perhaps were they already unnerved by Quantum Physics and were doing some kind of damage control? What is the root of the problem here?

    1. This is such a terrific question, Eric! I began to try to figure it out decades ago, when I first understood just how far off the rails science really was (and yes, scientists have done a lot for us in the past century, but think how much more they could have done if they hadn’t insisted that those trying to figure out why there was a puddle on the floor could examine the walls and the floor around the puddle, but they were not allowed to look at the ceiling!). As with anything so badly screwed up, the root seems to be complex and not simple. Here is what I have deduced are the three main factors:

      1) There is an intellectual habit of separating material and spiritual inquiry that goes back at least as far as Plato and Aristotle. Back then, it made sense to imagine that matter and spirit were two different things altogether, so studying them separately was seen to be more efficient.

      2) In the Middle Ages, Catholicism became powerful enough – and intrusive enough – that science fought mightily for its intellectual freedom. The tradition that material inquiry had to be protected from interference by those with dogma-based religious agendas was reinforced.

      3) Around the turn of the previous century, those we used to think were dead began to make a concerted effort to convince us that the dead survive. Afterlife researchers assume this was the beginning of the effort to elevate the planet’s consciousness that has lately very much picked up steam; but for whatever reason, the advent of very effective deep-trance mediumship coincided with the development of quantum physics. Scientists were already reeling from the dawn of the quantum physics era; they had no energy left to also deal with investigating the afterlife!

      This long history of intellectual separation, coupled with the understandable fear of intervention by overbearing religionists, made the scientific gatekeepers overreact to the dawning of the age of much better afterlife communication. Rather than doing what they should have done – since, after all, their job was to seek and study and understand ALL the truth about reality – the gatekeepers instituted what they then called “the fundamental dogma of science,” which was materialism. The peer-reviewed journals, university departments, and grants-giving foundations would henceforth flat ignore any theory which did not fit the materialist mold.

      Of course, this was a stupid idea even at the time. But people will do stupid things when they are in a panic to protect an established order, to save their own careers, and to pause history for a moment so they can catch their breaths. This little zigzag into limiting what scientists were allowed to study could have been, and should have been, just a temporary detour. Midway through the last century, leading scientific lights – Max Planck foremost among them, but also others – tried to break down these materialist barriers and free scientific inquiry once again. The quotation from him in this blog post is from 1944, and it clearly states the problem: quantum physicists had come to realize that consciousness has to be fundamental. So, um, guys, that means the dogma is wrong. Can we please get rid of it now?

      By that time there were several decades of materialism-based science in the books. Quite a bit of work already had been done that was based on materialism, so the gatekeepers had important careers to protect. And materialism makes things simpler, doesn’t it? Let’s not let them get messy again. By the nineteen-fifties there was enough resistance to breaking down the half-century-old artificial barrier against non-materialist science that instead of celebrating the greatest scientific discovery in all of human history, made by what was truly the greatest scientific mind of the twentieth century (sorry, Albert), the gatekeepers simply ignored Dr. Planck’s efforts to make them accept and integrate what was the most important implication of quantum physics: mind creates matter, and not the other way around.

      So that is why for the past century or so there have been no new big scientific breakthroughs. Technological developments continue to make our lives better, as you point out; but all the big questions that should have been answered in the past few decades – What is consciousness and where does it come from? What is life, and how did it get started? What the heck is all this dark matter and dark energy that makes up most of what we now know exists? – remain unanswerable. The problem is that the answers to all these big questions are, like quantum physics, based in the fact that reality is fundamentally NOT material!

      By now, every scientist worth his or her salt knows this. You sometimes even see them mumbling in popular science magazines like Scientific American things like, “We seem to be dead-ended here,” or “All of this may require that we rethink our basic premises.” Reading about their frustrations makes me so sad! How terrible it must be to have to continue down paths that you now realize are wrong, knowing that your only alternative to doubling-down on failure for your entire life’s work is to give up the scientific career that you love :-(.

      1. Wow Roberta, thank you for that very detailed explanation!

        I have noticed that the scientific community seems quick to judge an idea as “pseudoscience”, and that this tendency has increased with the advent of the internet. It’s like they’re circling the wagons and dismissing anything non-physical, or as they might see it, “woo-woo”.

        I can certainly relate as I am taking these early steps to study the afterlife and raise my own consciousness. There so many strange ideas out there on this subject that it can be difficult to decide where to engage. You have earned my trust, Roberta, but there are many other good people and ideas out there that I will only cautiously consider at this point, and I don’t even consider myself a skeptical person!

        Roberta, have you received much criticism from the scientific community regarding the afterlife? I would not be surprised as this seems to the price of public life. Please pardon my saying this, but there seems to be an us-vs-them attitude in your writing. I’m guessing there may be a good reason for this if you have been under attack.

        The scientists and science-types I’ve known at least see themselves as rational people. I have hope that they will be able to reason their way around the materialist dogma, especially once they are finally overwhelmed by the evidence. I’m not sure though if the development of the North American Station, or “soul phone” will be enough, because don’t we already have an active station in Europe and also in Brazil? Maybe once it makes headlines in the newspapers and newsites we might make real progress.

        In the meantime, I understand that they are us and we are them in this collective consciousness. I’m starting to see that raising my own consciousness might be one of the best ways to move them towards the truth. Your work in this area is causing many others to do the same. It’s like a spiritual end-run! The scientific community will find themselves becoming more loving, accepting, and spiritually sensitive without even knowing why it is happening.

        Thank you Roberta for all you have done to further this process. I’m really enjoying the Fun of Growing Forever, and just today one of my coworkers remarked how positive I was. I told her that I’ve been working on it and that it will only get “worse”! Gratitude, Forgiveness, and Love!

        1. Wow, Eric, you make me feel terrific! I work hard to earn your trust, so it thrills me to learn that you trust my work. I promise that I never will ask you to settle for less than the best that I can give!

          (And that your co-worker already is seeing changes in you is thrilling. That is precisely as it is supposed to happen. You already are doing more good in the world than you know.)

          You’re right in saying that we are attempting an end-run around the scientific and religious gatekeepers. This revolution is going to be a bottom-up effort, rather than anything managed by elites, and it is already happening. It’s farther along with religion – based on survey results, we are watching Christianity rot away worldwide in this century – but we can see it beginning to happen with science as well. There is too much of a discordant murmur in the marketplace at this point for more and more young scientists not to be growing restive. I even sometimes hear from some of them! Thanks in part to the Internet, there is so much information so widely available that there is going to be a preference cascade, with or without the NA Station. Somewhere around mid-century will come a day when all at once it will be deep common knowledge among all of us that – duh! – of course consciousness is primary. I just hate knowing that people will have to wait for so long, and I especially hate the added suffering that is going to be caused by this wait!

          I wince to know that you are noticing my us-vs.-them attitude toward the scientific community. You’re right: that is exactly how I feel :-(. But it doesn’t have to do with attacks being made on me. I do get them sometimes, one-on-one, and I welcome and enjoy them. The scientific emperor is so utterly naked now that there is nothing that can be said to defend it beyond “we’re scientific and you’re not,” which is silliness. Those who attack me aren’t even aware of all the materialist issues that exist now with science, and all the evidence scientists are walking past, so when I get attacks based on their naive assumption that “scientists are the good guys” and I respond to those attacks with facts, they generally just skulk away.

          No, my bitterness against science (I wish it weren’t so obvious!) is not personal. Rather, it is deeply based in the only anger I ever feel anymore, at those who are creating yet more grief and horror in this world by holding fast to their materialist dogma despite the overwhelming evidence against it and are thereby further delaying the day when consciousness is perceived to be the source of reality. The pain these people cause is beyond calculation! It is witnessing so much suffering daily, and knowing how easy it would be to end it forever if only we could sufficiently discredit materialism, that makes me keep jabbing at the scientific beehive.

          I think I probably should say that more plainly? Watch this space for my next blog post….

  8. Maybe a good place to start is with, as the Dalai Lama calls it, emotional hygiene in schools. Not necessarily with science but with lessons on how to live. The Dalai Lama has said modern education, which mostly focuses on materialistic values, should include moral values rooted deep in love and compassion. He also has said that many billionaires have lots of money but they remain unhappy because they don’t have peace of mind. Schools are essentially workforce development hives; at graduations from kindergarten all the way up to college, ceremonies emphasize material success. Better grades, a better job, more money. Rarely a mention of peace of mind, ethical living, friendship or trust. In short, Western education teaches that materialism is the basis of and measure of anyone’s life choices. Science has this in a deadlock, to the point where the liberal arts in education are being shunned and made fun of among educators. But the Dalai Lama isn’t even talking about Liberal Arts vs. STEM. He’s talking about the fundamental of our happiness: a calm mind. Maybe making peace of mind a societal value (in a non-New Agey way) would move us forward. The Dalai Lama thinks so.

    1. Wow, Mike, there is so much wisdom in what you say that there is really nothing more to be said! I think you are entirely right, and fixing science can be only half the solution: to make any real progress, we also must address the spiritual void at the heart of our culture. That is what my new book, The Fun of Growing Forever, attempts to begin to do; it is the purpose to which I dedicate the rest of my life.

      We cannot transform the world until we transform ourselves.

      So true and beautiful! And now the transformation begins….

      1. I have read your book and thank you for it! Now I am sharing it with friends I think might be ready and maybe s few who won’t be!?

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