An Introduction to the Concepts of Consciousness and Mind

by Bruce A. Smith

The following is an excerpt from my forthcoming book: “The New Physics – An Introduction to the Science of Consiousness.”

***********

Chapter 2

The New Physics and an introduction to the concepts of consciousness and mind

 

The New Physics isn’t that new. The central underpinnings of it, drawn from quantum physics, have been around since the 1920s. What’s new is the growing acceptance that consciousness cannot be left out of the scientific study of physical reality.

For most people, the idea of “consciousness” is a vague notion, usually meaning being “aware.” Probing a bit deeper, most folks would generally agree that there are different types of consiousness, such as wakeful awareness and the not-so-conscious state of being asleep.

Then we have the matter of dream states. Beyond regular dreaming, add in lucid dreams, nightmares, and prophetic dreams and we have a mixed picture of sleep – not to mention those who are “light sleepers” and the gents who snore like buffalos. Those latter states of sleep certainly seem to be quite varied.

Psychology readily confirms that there are different kinds of awareness, such as being “fully aware” in a heightened state of consciousness through meditation or hypnosis, or an altered state of consiousness with drugs.

Then we have semi-consiousness states where we are dimly aware of past events which may be troubling, such as those violent attacks associated with PTSD.

Expanding upon that, full-blown trauma may be locked in a state of “unconsciousness” along with other deep experiences, such as fetal memories, past-life episodes, or generalized cultural conditioning. To me, these kinds of states are akin a fish knowing if it swims in water.

Lastly, how do we classify coma, or near-death experiences?

As a result, I believe it is fair to say that consciousness is a truly complex issue. Even though it may be tough to grapple with, many are trying because consiousness is so central to our existence.

In fact, the noted British mathematician and physicist, Sir Roger Penrose, says that science must study consciousness, and he declares:

“A scientific world-view which does not profoundly come to terms with the problem of conscious minds can have no serious pretensions of completeness. Consciousness is part of the universe, so any physical theory which makes no proper place for it falls fundamentally short of providing a genuine description of the world.” (1)

 And

“….questions of mind, though they lie very uncomfortably with present-day scientific understanding, should not be regarded as being forever outside the realms of science.” (2)

 As powerful as Sir Roger’s philosophical perspective is, even more persuasive is the data scientists have been collecting for the past several decades, which are so out-of-the-box they suggest that consciousness is a determining factor in the formation of reality. One of the most intriguing elements of this research is the double-slit experiment, which reveals a phenomenon called the Observer Effect. This finding suggests that measurement of a sub-atomic particle, or the “observation” of it, changes the behavior of the particle.

We’ll discuss the Observer Effect in greater detail shortly, along with enjoining a discussion of the quantum mechanics involved in the New Physics.

Further, the movement within the scientific community to include consciousness is robustly supported by Stanford’s Professor Emeritus Dr. William Tiller, who along with his co-authors Dr. Walter Dibble, Jr. and Dr. Michael Kohane, state in their book, Conscious Acts of Creation: An Emergence of a New Physics, that the study of the physical world requires the inclusion of “the human qualities of emotion, mind, and intention.” (3)

In other words, as I understand Dr. Tiller, the New Physics is the expansion of classical physics that includes us.

Dr. Tiller and his team back up their perspective with research that is utterly compelling. In Conscious Acts of Creation they show that intentionally focused thought from four practitioners of Qi Gong meditation can “charge” electronic devices in such a manner that the instruments themselves are able to affect biological processes. In Tiller’s studies, these “Intentionally Imprinted Electronic Devices” were able to raise the pH of tap water one full unit, which means the meditators increased the concentration of hydrogen ions by a factor of 10. In response I can only ask: What’s next – Chardonnay or Cabernet?! (4)

So, emotions, intentions and observation are elements that scientists are bringing into their labs to learn how they impact our lives and the world around us. This begs an answer to our over-riding question: Exactly what is consciousness?

Sir Roger says he’s not sure. In his book,“The Large, the Small, and the Human Mind,” Dr. Penrose says he doesn’t know how to define consciousness, and suggests descriptions rather than definitions are more useful. Hence, he offers terms like “passive manifestations of consciousness, (which) involve awareness,” or “active manifestations (that) invoke the actions of free will.” (5, 6)

Along this vein, he offers terms like insight, understanding, awareness and intelligence as intrinsic elements of consciousness; yet, true to his open-mindedness says, “I am not going to define these terms either – I don’t know what they mean.”

I imagine Sir Roger chuckled loudly as he wrote those words. I know I did when I read them.

Nevertheless, he concludes by saying:

“Understanding requires some sort of awareness…so, that means that intelligence requires awareness. Although I am not defining any of these terms, it seems to me to be reasonable to insist upon these relations between them.” (7)

 Others, such as Dr. Amit Goswami, noted physicist and one of the stars of “Bleep,” see consciousness as something more expansive than awareness or mind, something that exists outside of those elements and is actually the phenomenon that gives rise to awareness and mind.

In his book, The Self-Aware Universe, How Consciousness Creates the Material World, Goswami states: “…consciousness…work(s) from outside the material world; in other words, consciousness must be transcendent – nonlocal.” (8)

As I understand non-locality, it refers to events occurring outside of the traditional framework of time and space, and I trust this explanation will suffice until a more detailed description in later chapters.

Continuing, Dr. Goswami sees four different aspects of consciousness. He posits:

“First, there is the field of consciousness, sometimes referred to as the mind field or global workspace. This is what I call awareness.        

“Second, there are objects of consciousness, such as thoughts and feelings, that arise and pass away in this field.           

“Third, there is the subject of consciousness, the experiencer and/or witness….           

“Fourth, consciousness (is) the ground of all being.” (9)

  He continues:

“A commonsense definition of consciousness equates it with conscious experience. Speaking of a subject of consciousness without speaking of the experience is like speaking of a ballet stage without the ballet. Notice that the concept of conscious experience is not restricted to waking consciousness. Dreaming is a conscious experience, though different from that of the waking state. The states that we experience in meditation, under drugs, in hypnotic trances – all such altered states of consciousness – involve experiences.” (10)

 As for Ramtha, he describes seven levels of consciousness. However, before we look at that list we need to know more of what Ramtha means by consciousness:

“Consciousness is the child who was born from the Void’s contemplation of itself. It is the essence and fabric of all being. Everything that exists originated in consciousness and manifested outwardly through its handmaiden energy.” (11)

 And the Void? “The Void is defined as one vast nothing materially, yet all things potentially.” (12)

Ramtha continues by stating: “Consciousness and energy create the nature of reality.” (13)

We’ll explore this dynamic in more detail in a later chapter devoted exclusively to Ramtha’s model of the science of consciousness, but, for now, let’s focus simply on the seven levels, or aspects, of consciousness as described by Ramtha:

 

Ramtha’s Seven Levels of Consciousness:

1st Level:          Subconsciousness

2nd Level          Social Consciousness

3rd Level           Conscious Awareness

4th Level           Bridge Consciousness

5th Level           Superconsciousness

6th Level           Hyperconsciousness

7th Level           Ultraconsciousness       (14)

 As I understand Ramtha, our physical beingness is comprised by an amalgam of the first three levels of consciousness: the primal “unconsciousness awareness” of the eating, breathing and moving corporeal body; the “social consciousness” of our worldly relationships – particularly their emotional components; and the “consciousness awareness” that administers all of the above and gives rise to an independent psychological identity, something akin to the concept of ego.

The other four states of consciousness are ever-increasing levels of sublime hyper-dimensional beingness, and are characterized by higher energy states and greater levels of realization.

A further discussion of these types of consciousness will be presented in the aforementioned Ramtha chapter, and a full view of Ramtha’s view on consciousness can be found in his: “A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Reality: An Introduction to Ramtha and His Teachings.” (15).

So, at this point, I think it is fair to say that Ramtha considers consciousness as a fundamental building block of reality.

Although many may view that perspective as controversial, others support that notion. Author and physicist Peter Russell in What the Bleep Do We Know!? Discovering the Endless Possibilities for Altering Your Everyday Reality says plainly that“consciousness is as important as …space, time, and matter, perhaps even more so.” (16)

Dr. John Hagelin, noted physicist and “Bleep” alumnus, goes further:

“The very earliest experience, the beginning of the universe you could say, is when pure consciousness, the unified field seeing itself, creates within its essentially unified nature the threefold structure of observer, observed, and the process of observation. From that, at that deepest level of reality, consciousness creates creation, so, yes; there is a very intimate relationship between the observer and the observed. They are ultimately united as one inseparable wholeness at the basis of creation, which is the unified field, which is also our own innermost consciousness, the self.”     (17)

 Amit Goswami continues this line of thought by saying: “reality… is not based on matter…I assure you, the world is made of consciousness.” (18)

It might be helpful at this point to also explore what is meant by mind. Ramtha, again, provides a comprehensive perspective.

“Mind is the product of streams of consciousness and energy acting on the brain creating thought forms, holographic segments, or neurosynaptic patterns called memory…A person’s ability to think is what gives them a mind.” (19)

 Another description of mind is offered by physicist Dr. Evan Harris Walker in his book, “The Physics of Consciousness: The Quantum Mind and the Meaning of Life.” He writes: “We can understand mind as conscious experience and will.” (20)

Along those lines, I find the idea of mind as “consciousness in action” to be a handy lay-person’s definition.

Further, Dr. Candace Pert, famed microbiologist and former National Institute of Health researcher, offers another view, saying, “Mind is what we pay attention to, as in ‘who is minding the store.’” (21)

Yet, she uses the terms “mind-body” and “subconscious mind” to describe the actions of peptides and other members of the body’s intercellular information network.

Nevertheless, in later chapters we’ll more closely examine her perspectives on intercellular communication and how molecules express consciousness. For now, though, I hope the general idea of what she is referring to is clear.

Expanding along these lines of thought, I’d like to re-visit Dr. Goswami’s use of the term “mind field” a few pages back and scrape off a bit of his esoteric patina.

In physics, a field is the space in which an energy exerts a force, so in a metaphorical sense, and we will see a physical one, too, mind does have a field. Hence, what I get from Dr. Goswami, and I hope I’m not getting lost in scientific minutiae, is that a “mind-field” is the range of influence from our consciousness.

That’s an over-view of the current scientific study of consciousness, and in the following pages I will discuss the findings from quantum physics, neurophysiology, microbiology, genetics and psychology that make up the New Physics.

Herein you’ll learn of the thrilling discoveries that are dramatically changing the world. The New Physics, as Ramtha might say, is the “future – now.”

 ©  2014  Bruce A. Smith

 

References

 Chapter 2 – An Introduction to the Concepts of Consciousness and Mind

  

1. Penrose, Sir Roger, Shadows of the Mind, A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness, Oxford University Press, Cambridge, UK, 1994. p. 8.

 2. Ibid. p.12.

 3. Tiller, William; Dibble Jr.; Walter E, Kohane, Michael; Conscious Acts of Creation, The Emergence of a New Physics,” Pavior Publishing, 2001. p. 12.

 4. Ibid. p. 13-20.

 5. Penrose, Sir Roger, The Large, the Small, and the Human Mind, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, Canto Edition, 2000. p.98.

 6. Ibid., p. 99.

 7. Ibid., p. 100.

 8. Goswami, Amit, PhD., with Richard Reed and Maggie Goswami, The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World, Tarcher/Putnam, NY. 1993. p.94.

 9. Ibid: p. 106

 10. Ibid.

 11. Ramtha, A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Reality: An Introduction to Ramtha and His Teachings, JZK Publishing, A Division of JZK, Inc. 2004. Third Edition. Glossary: p. 290.

 12. Ibid., p. 299.

 13. Ibid., p. 39

 14. Ibid., p. 276.

 15. Ramtha, A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Reality: An Introduction to Ramtha and His Teachings, JZK Publishing, A Division of JZK, Inc. 2004. Third Edition.

 16. Arntz, William; Chasse, Betsy, and Vincente, Mark; What the Bleep Do We Know!?: Discovering the Endless Possibilities for Altering Your Everyday Reality, Health Communications, Inc. Deerfield Beach, Florida. 2005. p. 81-82.

 17. Ibid: p. 83.

 18. Goswami, Amit, Ph.D. The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the World. Tarcher / Putnam, New York. 1995. p. 8, 10.

 19. Ibid., p. 294.

 20. Walker, Evan Harris Ph.D., The Physics of Consciousness: The Quantum Mind and the Meaning of Life, Perseus Publishing, Cambridge, MA., 2000. p. 334. http://www.perseuspublishing.com.

 21. Pert, Candace, Ph.D., Your Body is Your Subconscious Mind, Sounds True Recordings, PO Box 8010 Boulder, Colorado 80306. http://www.soundstrue.com.

Editor’s Note:  This version of Chapter 2 was updated on May 17, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 Responses to An Introduction to the Concepts of Consciousness and Mind

  1. Paula Morris says:

    Hi Bruce!
    As you know, this subject is dear to my heart as well. I’ve read Candace Pert, so appreciated you using her work in yours. This subject has so many ramifications, differing theories, etc., that a clear laying out of facts and applications would be useful.

    I agree with you that consciousness is key to understanding reality. Aside from reading the very heavy quantum physics and mechanics texts, I recently read some lighter fare, i.e., a book that posits that earth is a testing ground, and the development of humanity toward a higher consciousness would raise vibration levels higher and higher and allow for “souls” to leave this planet and jump to a new reality….this per Hwee-Yong Jang, “The Gaia Project 2012. The Earth’s Coming Great Changes.” Also love Gregg Braden’s work. I know he isn’t known for accurate scientific research, but his ideas are thought provoking, readable, and good for future study…same with James Redfield. I guess what I’m saying is, ideas proposed by Ramtha are not intimidating to me. So…..

    Looking forward to the further development of your work.

  2. jofannie says:

    You are such a fine writer, Bruce! Mark and I are enjoying what we’ve read so far and look forward to the next chapters.
    We are in the middle of the Rainier Independent Film festival, having seen 8 films thus far and looking forward to 6 more today! By the way, are you still in Washington?

  3. Pingback: An Introduction to the Concepts of Consciousness and Mind, by Bruce A. Smith | 2012: What's the 'real' truth?

  4. Pingback: An Introduction to the Concepts of Consciousness and Mind, by Bruce A. Smith | Illuminations Now!!

  5. Mark M says:

    Tillers allegedly observed imprinted devices effects on water pH can’t be replicated.

    http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_17_3_mason.pdf

    • brucesmith49 says:

      Thanks for the link, Mark M. This is unsettling news, and I’ll check it out.

      The bigger question is how can we apply focused thought to improve out lives in timely, consistent ways.

      After 24 years in the Ramtha school I can tell you that replicating any mindful process seems to be tricky. Some folks can heal a headache but not a tumor. I know one woman who has been very successful healing her dental issues and has grown a new tooth, but is totally flummoxed by urinary tract infections.

      As for me, I’m still at $6 for my total Lotto winnings. To me, this doesn’t mean that applying the Observer Effect in our lives is bogus, it’s just complicated and often beyond our grasp. In my life, I sense that my so-called failures are actually successful efforts to learn something more important than bodily comfort and a new Toyota pick-up. These tidbits include humility and an awareness of the suffering of others.

      One of the side-effects of becoming a master of physical reality is that it is often accompanied by feeling like we’re the smartest guys in the room. The arrogance of Ramtha students is common-place – just ask anyone in Yelm. In fact the first person in town to ask me if I was an RSE student told me she did so because I was such a stuck-up fellow.

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