This is one of my favorite articles on the Indian Daily – The Speaking Tree.
The search for lower-case truth is no less ambitious than the search for God, the soul, higher consciousness, and a transcendent reality that lies beyond the physical world. Should we be going after truths or the Truth? We’re not proposing the return of religion in its former guise, or making a back-door argument for a new kind of worship. When it had a capital “T”, truth defined the essence of reality…Science follows wherever reality leads it. We think that reality has led to a place that isn’t explained by quantum mechanics alone. A new set of principles is needed to replace current ones.
1. There is no objective, external universe. What we perceive as physical objects and events are actually reflections of how the human brain perceives things.
2. Reality is one, a constantly shifting whole. It is pure process in which every event is connected to every other. The process is falsified when it is frozen and chopped up into isolated bits and pieces of data.
3. We live in a participatory universe. The observer is blended into the thing he observes. Ultimately, there is no distinction between observer and observed. Both are expressions of consciousness as it unfolds in time and space.
4. Space and time are not pre-existent and everlasting. They may have arisen with the emerging early cosmos.In a paradigm shift such as this, everything gets reinterpreted in a radical way, and if you don’t buy into the shift, the reinterpretation sounds outlandish such as the following:
– Consciousness is ultimate reality. There is only one consciousness, which pervades existence.– Out of primal consciousness all matter and energy in the universe emerged.
– Primal consciousness continues to play itself out as the evolving universe. But the source of consciousness is inconceivable, since it lies beyond time and space.
– The human mind is an expression of primal consciousness, which is why we are able to perceive reality in the first place.– Mind comes first, matter derives from it.
– To finally know reality, our subjective experience is a truer guide than collection of facts, for this experience is the only reality we live with throughout our lives.
The last point is where the lives of ordinary people are affected. Facts are no substitute for experience, and to say that scientific rationality will solve everything is a dangerous notion…. We don’t doubt the value of new findings about subatomic particles; we’re only putting things into perspective. An expanded science cannot afford to shirk subjective experience through an abstract devotion to objectivity.
In the new paradigm, a purely objective science is a chimera, an illusion kept intact by excluding actual experience of life as lived. One of the dogmas of current science is that everything can be known through the reductionist method — the whole is understood by breaking it down into its component parts, the way anatomy breaks down the body into cells, tissues, and organs. Yet the reductionist method is exactly what keeps us from seeing the larger reality we are all participating in.
Truth is very different from the measurements that science relies upon as it explores finer and finer levels of Nature. Like it or not, the pursuit of the truth is edging us closer to the Truth, as conceived of in Plato’s idealism, Indic Vedanta, and Buddhist philosophies. The universe has a source, and it is consciousness.
Co-authored by Menas C Kafatos, computational physicist; P Murali Doraiswamy, neuroscientist & Rudolph E Tanzi, neurologist.
Originally posted at the speakingtree.in