Spring was never waiting for us, dear.
It ran one step ahead as we followed in the dance,
Between the parted pages, and were pressed in love’s hot, fevered iron,
Like a striped pair of pants.
MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark, all the sweet, green icing flowing down.
Someone left the cake out in the rain.
I don’t think that I can take it, ‘cause it took so long to bake it,
And I’ll never have that recipe again. Oh no!
I recall the yellow cotton dress foaming like a wave
On the ground around your knees.
The birds, like tender babies in your hands,
And the old men playing checkers by the trees.
MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark.
All the sweet, green icing flowing down.
Someone left my cake out in the rain.
I don’t think that I can take it ‘cause it took so long to bake it
And I’ll never have that recipe again. Oh no!
– Jimmy Webb, from “MacArthur Park” (1968)
What is most astonishing about the efforts of scientists in the field of consciousness research is the way these scientists never bother to study or try to fully define it. Their first step in studying consciousness should have been to do the research and seek a good preliminary understanding of what consciousness even is. And when you google the word “consciousness,” you don’t get much, which is testimony to the fact that mainstream scientists have never much bothered to take what should have been the essential first steps toward understanding their elusive quarry. Even Wikipedia defines “consciousness” simply as “awareness.” And this, in a day when every reasonably well-informed person who is reading these words has long since learned that consciousness appears in our lives in other ways than merely our individual awareness! For example:
For mainstream scientists to have been adamantly materialist thirty years ago, or perhaps even as recently as twenty years ago, would have been understandable, and probably forgivable. But for mainstream scientists’ prevailing degree of willful ignorance about something so basic and so important to persist even now, when so much good information is so widely available on the internet and in well-researched and footnoted books and publications, is frankly inexcusable. Indeed, it is looking more likely to more open-minded researchers that consciousness is going to turn out to be not some minor product of the human brain at all. But in fact, it is pretty clear now that consciousness is going to prove instead to be crucially important. It seems that consciousness may indeed prove in the end to be the ground of being of all reality. Which means that materialist scientists may very well have things completely backward! Our meat-brains do not after all produce consciousness, but instead it is likely that they merely receive consciousness.
Scientists of the traditional materialist sort who study consciousness are making two core assumptions. They assume that:
So it is no wonder that scientists have taken to calling their search for the source of consciousness inside the human brain “the Hard Problem.” I maintain that even if we were indeed still pre-1976, it still would make no sense at all to be proceeding to try to understand consciousness based upon the above two assumptions! It still would be important in any event for us first to try to better understand what consciousness actually is.
My favorite definition of consciousness was given to me by Thomas, my spirit guide. He tells me that “Consciousness is an infinitely powerful and infinitely creative energy-like potentiality without size or form, alive in the sense that your mind is alive, highly emotional and therefore probably self-aware.” So in other words, consciousness is the ground-of-all-being, and Consciousness at its highest vibration is God, which is perfect love. Scientists won’t be using this definition for a while, but they might begin to use some part of it. And someday all of us will use it. Mark my Thomas’s words.
In what other area of scientific research does reasoning outward from some random starting assumption like “consciousness must be brain-related, so, what the heck, let’s just look there” make sense to anyone? When consciousness is independently and objectively studied, it is found to have so many other and widely varied aspects beyond simple awareness that it would be found to be flat impossible for consciousness to originate inside the human brain! And yet, these blinkered materialist scientists are undaunted.
Stolidly, and apparently with little doubt in their minds that eventually they are bound to succeed, they still look for that spark of consciousness to appear, magically generated somehow from the meat inside each human skull. Oh, they have come to understand by now that solving the Hard Problem is not going to be easy! But since these scientists have careers to pursue, and children still to educate, while there are sources of funds to pay their salaries, these materialist scientists will soldier on. They enter each new year with optimism, and they follow every new idea, no matter how crazy it might seem, with so much hope! Only to find that, over and over again, each new idea is yet another blind alley.
More genuinely hopeful, though, is the fact that there are some independent organizations that explore consciousness more intelligently, the most prominent of which is the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). IONS was founded by astronaut Edgar Mitchell after he had a spiritual epiphany as he was returning from the moon. For half a century, IONS has been a leader in spurring interest in and seeking funding for research into genuine consciousness studies. Perhaps wisely, what IONS tries to do is to stay only a half-step ahead of the strictly materialist scientists, which is a tricky dance to do at best. And it is a dance that requires more patience by far than I possess.
For example, I notice that IONS is co-sponsoring with The Division of Perceptual Studies, the University of Virginia, and The Alef Trust a conference called Beyond the Brain. Apparently a group called the Scientific and Medical Network has been putting on this conference since 1995, and its specific, stated purpose is to explore consciousness, and specifically to address whether and how consciousness might extend beyond the physical brain. The conference’s promotional materials note that “speakers at the cutting edges of their fields (will offer) a deeper understanding of how consciousness research is expanding the horizons of science.” This conference bills itself as “The world’s premier conference series exploring new research on whether and how consciousness and mind extend beyond the physical brain and body. This year’s event covers children who remember previous lives, energy medicine and healing, spiritual awakening in scientists and academics, neuroscience and spirituality, terminal lucidity, DMT and consciousness, and the more general issues of nonlocal consciousness and the consciousness-brain relationship.” This is nowhere near the genuine cutting edge, of course, but when it is compared with what the materialist scientists are doing, it breaks the sound barrier.
This year’s online event takes place from Friday, 3 November to Sunday, 5 November. And reportedly, “Speakers are all at the cutting edges of their fields and will be discussing innovative research that probes the nature of consciousness. You will gain a vital overview and a deeper understanding of how consciousness research is expanding the horizons of science. This mind-stretching conference is not to be missed, so we greatly look forward to your participation!” Apparently it is all online. If you are interested, go to Beyondthebrain.org to learn more.
IONS is a fine organization, founded as it was by astronaut Edgar Mitchell and run for many years by the estimable Dean Radin. But nevertheless, it is difficult to be hopeful that it can do very much to change the meaningless direction of materialist science. The traditional scientific community is a closed system, and I flat cannot imagine that it is going to listen to anyone outside of it any time soon. Modern mainstream scientists do not in fact live in a pre-1976 world. In their everyday lives they live in 2023, and they are well aware of near-death experiences and all their manifold implications, and yet these blinkered fools still persist in taking the money and wasting yet many more decades in what amounts to a meaningless charade. The real question is, when what they are doing is at this point so obviously pointless, why do they nevertheless persist in doing it?
While science continues to wallow in self-imposed ignorance, you and I no longer need to continue to wait to begin to understand the truth. There are by now some brilliant researchers who have mostly figured out consciousness, and they are happy to share with us what they know! Here is a lovely series of videos by our treasured friend, Dr. R. Craig Hogan, which demonstrate (a) that the mind is not inside the brain; (b) that the brain is actually unnecessary; and (c) that in fact there is nothing but mind and experiences. As Jesus has been telling us all along, the truth indeed does make us free!
There will be another song for me, for I will sing it.
There will be another dream for me. Someone will bring it.
I will drink the wine while it is warm,
And never let you catch me looking at the sun.
And after all the loves of my life, after all the loves of my life,
You’ll still be the one.
I will take my life into my hands, and I will use it.
I will win the worship in their eyes, and I will lose it.
I will have the things that I desire,
And let my passion flow like rivers through the sky,
And after all the loves of my life, Oh, after all the loves of my life,
I’ll be thinking of you. And wondering why…
– Jimmy Webb, from “MacArthur Park” (1968)