Hidden Dimensions epub à Columbia Series in Science and Religion read

epub ç The Unification of Physics and Consciousness ñ B. Alan Wallace

Bridging the gap between the world of science and the realm of the spiritual B Alan Wallace introduces a natural theory of human consciousness that has its roots in contemporary physics and Buddhism Wallace's special theory of ontological relativity suggests that mental phenomena are conditioned by the brain but do not emerge from it Rather the entire natural world of mind and matter subjects and objects arises from a unitary dimension of reality that isfundamental than these dualities as proposed by Wolfgang Pauli and Carl JungTo test his hypothesis Wallace employs the Buddhist meditative practice of samatha refining one's attention and metacognition to create a kind I have never met the author of this enthralling book but having now also read several of his previous works he clearly has a remarkably original and creative mindThis book is both the most challenging and the most satisfying of his books in which he tries to construct a comprehensive model that can take into account consciousness uantum and Relativity theoryHe begins with an exceptionally important problem and one that is not even recognized by many popular writers who use half understood metaphors to support their theories of everything from the Law of Attraction to the nature of GodThe uestion is this Can uantum mechanics tell us anything useful about the nature of reality in the observable day to day world? The trouble is that most of the observations in support of uantum theory vanish as the temperature of a system rises At human body temperature uantum effects appear to vanish like fairy goldThe second uestion has also lead to its fair share of misunderstandings how do Einstein's theories of Relativity tie in with our day to day experiences and with uantum theory?In the 1950s a popular science writer first used a simplified but woefully inadeuate interpretation of Einstein's work to declare that everything is energy and that matter is nothing but congealed energy These attractive statements have become enshrined in countless books articles and documentaries Sad to say this is one of those times when an idea is clear simple understandable and wrongAlan is far too smart and well informed to make these mistakes He proposes that three fundamental problems are all related first the problem of measurement in uantum mechanics; second the problem of time in uantum cosmology and third the so called hard problem in brain science that tries to explain how consciousness can arise form apparently inanimate matterWhat he does next is almost uniue in contemporary literature he engages in a first person meditative inuiry into the relationships between these two streams in physics and the third strand the nature of consciousness He uses techniues that he outlined in The Attention Revolution Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind and builds on some of the insights in his last book Contemplative Science Where Buddhism and Neuroscience Converge Columbia Series in Science and ReligionHe comes to the conclusion rightly I believe that consciousness does not emerge from the brain but is conditioned by it Further that the entire Universe of mind and matter arises from a fundamental non dual realityNot only has Alan constructed an interesting hypothesis that is compatible with much of what we have learned from physicists but he has also revived an ancient tradition that teaches us that although we can describe the natural world with our observations and our mathematics we can also probe the nature of existence by going within our mindsThe worry about the latter approach has always been that we might end up in a meaningless solipsistic dream Alan Wallace indicates to us that inner inuiry may produce answers that seem to agree with and expand many current models employed in physicsThis is an important well written and engaging book that will be of great value to anyone interested in consciousness spirituality and the nature of the UniverseVery highly recommendedRichard G Petty MD author of Healing Meaning and Purpose The Magical Power of the Emerging Laws of Life

text Hidden Dimensions

Hidden Dimensions The Unification of Physics and Consciousness Columbia Series in Science and ReligionH a discussion of the general theme of complementarity as it relates to science and religionThe theories of relativity and uantum mechanics were major achievements in the physical sciences and the theory of evolution has had an eually deep impact on the life sciences However rigorous scientific methods do not yet exist to observe mental phenomena and naturalism has its limits for shedding light on the workings of the mind A pioneer of modern consciousness research Wallace offers a practical and revolutionary method for exploring the mind that combines the keenest insights of contemporary physicists and philosophers with the time honored meditative traditions of Buddhi I found this book to be a fascinating review of the evolution of Physics the accomplishments of trained meditators and how combining the learnings from both might greatly improve our lives Mr Wallace takes us on a grand tour of what current researchers are discovering about uantum Physics and how difficult it has been to reconcile it's predictions with what Classical Physics says and what we are used to experiencing in our world He notes that in the uantum world everything is intrinsically related to the observer This has some very strange and wonderful implications and is very different from our usual cause and effect notions of how things work He details how well science has described our external world but feels it has very poorly described our internal world Buddhist meditators over many centuries have explored the inner workings of our minds and the nature of consciousness in a way that complements and parallels Western science His central position is that consciousness is what ties everything together This was slow reading for me but well worth my time The message is optimistic and very thought provoking

B. Alan Wallace ñ Columbia Series in Science and Religion ebook

Hidden Dimensions epub à Columbia Series in Science and Religion read Á [PDF / Epub] ☂ Hidden Dimensions: The Unification of Physics and Consciousness (Columbia Series in Science and Religion) Author B. Alan Wallace – Eyltransferservices.co.uk Bridging the gap between the world of science and the reOf telescope to examine the space of the mind Drawing on the work of the physicist John Wheeler he then proposes ageneral theory in which the participatory nature of reality is envisioned as a self excited circuit In comparing these ideas to the Buddhist theory known as the Middle Way philosophy Wallace explores further aspects of his general theory of ontological relativity which can be investigated by means of vipasyana or insight meditation Wallace then focuses on the theme of symmetry in reference to uantum cosmology and the problem of frozen time relating these issues to the theory and practices of the Great Perfection school of Tibetan Buddhism He concludes wit This book Hidden Dimensions has a primary purpose according to the author to show that the measurement problem in uantum mechanics the time problem in uantum cosmology and the hard problem in brain science are all profoundly related This is all carried out against a backdrop discussion of Buddhist philosophy on consciousness and Buddhist discoveries as to the nature capacities and powers of mind The discussion of Buddhism the description of the penetration of its practitioners into a level or field of consciousness well beyond ordinary perception the practices reuired to do this all are sufficient to make this work worthy of reading Apparently unless one reads obscure works on Buddhism this is not readily available information at least I have not run across it in this detail and I appreciate Wallace's making this accessible There is unuestionably food for thought here for any theorist of consciousness The difficult aspect of the book for me resides in the uestion just what version of uantum mechanics just what interpretation of relativity and just what interpretation of the hard problem are you relating to one another? When I see Everett's Many Worlds position prominently featured an interpretation of uantum theory no one can actually make sense of when driven to detail and a model which a theorist like Gao for example disposes of effortlessly its hard to maintain interest When we deal continually with Schrödinger's euation as though as though the only possible position is that there must be a consciousness observer to explain the wave function collapse ignoring the existence of dynamical collapse models again see Gao as an example the arguments become weak As far as special relativity STR for me a ubiuitous problem in virtually all writing today is the uncritical acceptance of an interpretation that has become standard ever since Langevin's announcement of the twin paradox and yet is an interpretation which guts the actual consistency and meaning of the theory and erroneously supports claimsstatements such as the author's the notion of time no longer has any objective meaning But to understand these reservations re the standard orthodox but wrong views of STR one would have to read Bergson's Duration and Simultaneity Bergson and the Einsteinian Universe Philosophy of science or an updated commentaryexplication of Bergson Time and Memory a primer on the scientific mysticism of consciousness STR is simply the classic metaphysic rarified In general the extensive effort made to relate the insights of Buddhism on one side to a painting of uestionable or at least arguable positions in physics on the other side dissipates the power of the book As to the hard problem with its part in the triad Wallace wishes to relate he phrases it as the unresolved problem as to how the brain generates mental phenomena to include the ualia characterizing these phenomena His critiue of the search for neural correlates and of monism and Cartesian dualism in this context are incisive but the dissipative problem for the book is that Chalmers' statement of the problem in terms of how a brain or computer architecture could account for the ualia of perception has been both a partial and a misleading formulation The problem rather is accounting for the origin of our image of the external world This includes its ualia but also the forms within the image as well the tables the chairs and tiled floor of the kitchen as well as their oak browns tans black and white patterns etc form being eually ualia To explicate a bit this is the problem brilliantly addressed by Bergson Matter and Memory 1896 as much a Buddhist spirit or better Zen Buddhist spirit as any theorist referenced by Wallace Bergson presciently viewed the universe as a holographic field transforming in a indivisible or non differentiable motion The brain serves as a modulated reconstructive wave passing through this field and specifying or specific to a past subset of the field ie now specifying an image of a past portion of this field say the kitchen This is a model of direct perception the perception is an optimal specification of past states of the dynamically transforming field in its indivisible motion The kitchen chair is where the perception says it is in the field This model naturally aligned as it is with JJ Gibson's model of perception with its reliance on the invariance laws specifying events in the field to include its forms contains all the emphasis on invariants that Wallace appreciates and yes the perception is relative as Wallace insists upon in the ontological relativity formulation he touts since the invariance laws which define events in the external field to which the brain resonates depend on the action systems or capabilities of the organism We would not be entertaining as does Wallace that an archetypical level or plane of forms somehow accounts for our image of our perception of the external world To uote Wallace The fundamental idea here is not that mental phenomena emerge from complex configurations of matter as is widely assumed today but rather that the distinction of mind and matter emerges from an underlying reality of archetypes Wallace makes no effort at explanation as to how this framework can work to explain perception or the origin of the image of the external world however Bergson's model has already fulfilled the essence of Wallace's vision for in Bergson matter and mind are two poles of the same underlying field and the the relationdifferentiation of subject and object is not in terms of space or spatial distinction but in terms of timeWhat I am saying here is that the hard problem is a problem in the theory of consciousperception and one does not address it well without being familiar with the theories and problems of perception Wallace is missing this dimension He is denying the possibility of direct perception appearances are illusory in the sense that they seem to exist either in the external world or inside our heads whereas in reality there is no compelling evidence they are located anywhere in physical space yet I wonder if he even has seen the arguments for itNevertheless despite these reservations as to the physics to which he relates and Wallace's forgivable lack of awareness of the positions of BergsonGibson the discussion of the Buddhist experience discoveries and theories gives plenty of food for thought and carries implications for the nature of mind yet to be explored even by the radical position I've briefly sketched above