The Nature of Consciousness

Piero Scaruffi

(Copyright © 2013 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
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These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"

The Illusion of the Body

The US physicist Fred-Alan Wolf argued that the source of matter is conscious mind.  The conscious mind "invents" a fictitious body and then it starts believing that "it is" the body.

Wolf makes reality arise from the limitations that Quantum Theory imposes on the human mind: we cannot ever know the exact position of a particle, therefore the particle is a purely mental hypothesis, therefore it exists only because our mind cannot ever know all about it. If we extend this line of reasoning to all matter, we reach the conclusion that the entire world that we perceive is an illusion, and that illusion is due to the fact that our mind cannot know the world as it really is.  Reality has to do with perception of reality. If nobody observes it, it does not exist.

If reality is created by the observer, where is the observer? Wolf claims that the observer is not in the brain. His conclusion is that the observer, by observing, becomes the body: the observed and the observer are the same thing.  After all, it is the observer who creates the physical world: that also includes the observer's own body.

The many-verse model of Quantum Theory states that all possible alternatives of a quantum system actually take place, one in each possible world, and that the observer splits in as many observers as possible worlds. Each observer in each world observes only one of the many possible realities. The world and the observer in it keep splitting as more possibilities arise. So conscious mind and matter get intertwined into story lines. Each story line is a memory of a past. Everything is alive because everything has a story line, which is both mind and matter. The story lines of a complex object form a "braid". The braid of story lines in a human body is a "script".  A script is the collection of all the stories told by all the cells of the body.  Bodies are scripts.  Each cell is both matter and mind. The conscious mind is all over the body.

Wolf does not believe that Darwinian evolution alone can account for the birth of life and the working of natural selection. He believes that additional information is needed to start the mechanism of life, and that information must be coming from the future.  Based on the same ideas from Quantum Theory (that reality exists only insofar as somebody observes it), Wolf claims that Nature produced the right organisms to survive in their environment because information flowed back from the future to the present about which organisms made sense.  An observer can change the past by fixing the outcome of an observation: this would determine the past events that led to that outcome.  Every time we "fix" the outcome of an observation, we force a certain past on the object of our observation. Our conscious mind can create a past from all the possible pasts.  (This is yet another variation on the “Zeno effect”: the life of a particle depends on how many times we observe it, because each observation changes its state).

Space, time, matter and consciousness are tied together by Relativity and Quantum Theory: Relativity binds together space-time and matter, while Quantum Theory binds together matter and consciousness.


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