Skip to comments.ON A RESONANCE THEORY OF THOUGHT AND SPIRITUALITY
Posted on 08/02/2003 4:43:59 PM PDT by betty boop
The following theory is proposed to explain the observed phenomena of thought and spiritual/mystical experience/creativity:
(a) Thought is the subtlest emergent entity from the human brain. As of now, though it is taken to arise from complex biochemical (neuronal) processes in the brain, we have no means of detecting any physical aspect of thought.
(b) All sensory experiences (light, sound, smell, taste, sound) result from an interaction between an external agent (photon, phonon, etc.) and some aspect of the brain.
(a) It is proposed that, like the electromagnetic field, there is an extremely subtle substratum pervading the universe which may be called the universal thought field (UTF). This may even be trans-physical, i.e., something that cannot be detected by ordinary physical instruments. Or it may be physical and has not yet been detected as such.
(b) Every thought generated in the brain creates its own particular thought field (PTF).
Theory based on the above hypotheses:
(a) Just as EM waves require the complex structure of the brain to be transduced into the experience of light and color, the UTF requires the complex system of the human brain to create local thoughts. In other words, when the UTF interacts with certain regions of the brain, thoughts arise as by-products.
(b) Interactions between PTFs and brains generate other PTFs. Indeed every thought is a different reaction-result to either the UTF or to a PTF.
(c) There is an important difference between UTF and PTF. UTF does not require a material medium for acting upon a brain. But a PTF cannot be transmitted from one brain to another without a material medium, such as sound, writing, signs, etc.
(d) In some instances, as with molecular resonance, certain brains are able to resonate with the UTF in various universal modes. Such resonances constitute revelations, magnificent epic poetry, great musical compositions, discovery of a mathematical theorem in a dream, and the like, as also mystic experiences.
(e) This perspective suggests that there can be no thought without a complex brain (well known fact); and more importantly, that there exists a pure thought field (UTF) in the universe at large which may be responsible for the physical universe to be functioning in accordance with mathematically precise laws.
The following parallels with other physical facts come to mind:
(a) Phosphorescence & luminescence: When radiation of shorter wavelengths falls on certain substances, the substances emit visible light immediately or after some time. Likewise when the UTF falls on a complex cerebral system, it emits thoughts of one kind or another.
(b) One of the subtlest entities in the physical universe is the neutrino, which does not interact with ordinary matter through gravitation, strong, or electromagnetic interaction. Being involved only in the weak interaction, it is extremely difficult to detect it. The UTF is subtler by far than the neutrino, and may therefore (if it be purely physical) it may be far more difficult to detect.
In The Nature of Personal Reality (one of many Seth books) some of the "Consciousness" topics discussed are:
The conscious mind, ego as an offshoot, as ever-changing, evolution of, function of, inner knowledge and, matter and, meeting of unconscious and, physical body and, preconceived ideas and, spontaneity.
There is also a good deal of information available at
I second bb's endorsement of your very insightful post.
Prof. Raman's "On a Resonance Theory of Thought and Spirituality" is an extraordinarily compact and simple outline of a theoretical "picture" of the structure of consciousness regarded as a universal principle. A friend told me that the paper needed serious reworking because of its spareness of detail, ambiguity, and apparent lack of relevance to scientific questions. On the other hand, I don't imagine that Prof. Raman intended to write about a fully-fleshed-out theory, merely to indicate the general outline or form that some such future theory might take.
In his 1999 article, "The Nature of Man-Universe Connections," Hungarian astrophysicist Attila Grandpierre fleshed out the physical details of something that looks very much like Prof. Raman's general outline. For he, too, is interested in the problem of consciousness and its universality, and wonders what its physical structure might look like.
What Prof. Raman calls Universal Thought Field is, for Grandpierre, the ultimate vacuum field, the fundamental quantum field or substrate in the universe that generates all the other fields. Its preeminent quality is consciousness, intelligence, perception. It is thus, in a certain sense, "alive." Indeed, Grandpierre grounds the life principle in precisely this ultimate field, just as matter is subject to it because this "ultimate vacuum" is the source of all the physical fields that govern the behavior of matter. Similarly, it structures the psi-field (knowledge, intellect, perception, awareness, feeling -- consciousness, mind [which includes the unconscious]). Grandpierre is presenting a "picture," built up on present-day physics and astrophysics, which shows:
|...that an organizing principle has to be at work at the origin of the solar system and at the ultraresonant interactions between the planets and the solar core. The developed-brain approach to the Universe indicated that there may exist an EM and quantum-vacuum coupling between Man and the Earth, Man and the Sun, Man and the Universe. Moreover, it is indicated that the Sun shows a fundamental openness and ultrasensitivity, which presents it as showing a fundamental life-phenomenon known as perception. Perception is an interaction in which a stimulus enters into the perceiver, which transforms it by its own (biopsychological) laws, selects the information by its own interpretation, and reacts to the selected, developing an answer which energetically is amplified in a 'cosmic' rate R = EÚin/EÚout > 10^10. What is the reason for this 'cosmic rate' amplification? I suggest that the reason is to amplify the information that is important to the Universe as a whole, since the higher rate at which it is amplified, the more easy to transfer it to other macrosystems for further information processing. In that sense the ultrasensitivity of living beings is a participation in a cosmic information processing. In this way we reached a cosmic interpretation of the most fundamental life phenomenon.|
This evokes Raman's suggestion of the inter-relationality of UTFs and PTFs (mutually responsive and co-acting) and between PTFs (ditto).
On the physical basis that Grandpierre presents -- and it is so extraordinarily detailed as to beyond the scope of this writing -- "one can construct the following chain of events for an interaction between the mind and brain":
|In the first step the information is contained and mediated by the vaccum field. These vaccum waves may interact with electromagnetic waves in giving them their information in the second step. The electromagnetic waves then may interact with the biomolecules of the brain, like sunshine interacts with chlorophyll molecules transferring the energy of the sunlight into chemical free energy. Form this available chemical energy the activation potentials of the neural networks are built up. Nevertheless, all four steps could be simultaneously influenced by the vacuum waves.
The frequencies of the vacuum waves obtained here are remarkably close to the observed frequencies at cell divisions. This circumstance suggests that the way vacuum waves interact with material waves can be a resonant phenomenon. The vacuum waves may trasfer their energies and information content to material waves at the same frequencies. The real energy transfer could be necessary only at the onset of some material processes in an upper level of the mind. Here, I suggest a picture in which the different levels of our minds may work with progressively more subtle material carriers, while the deepest one works with vacuum waves without any net energy transfer taking place in the end, because the energy taken out from the vacuum may be put back by the brain itself when reading important information from the psi-field. It could be the reason why only living organisms with a significant free energy content are able to react on the basis of the information read-out.
Grandpierre notes, "The different vacuum waves couple us in a different scale to the cosmos and to our bodies and brains, while the electromagnetic and electron waves present couplings between our environment, our brains, and local neural processes. These couplings to different scales of the outer world represent couplings between our different mind levels, simultaneously. In this context, it is important to note, that these outer sources of information -- the Earth, the Sun, the stars, and the Universe as a whole -- do show a whole range of generalized organic processes."
In the end, Grandpierre's essay calls urgent attention to problems involving the evolution of cosmic and biological consciousness. The picture that emerges is that "Man and Universe maintain multi-level, dynamic, direct connections." Which is hardly surprising, since physical science has said that the universe is constituted by various fields that structure the activity of their relevant particles. If this view is true, then Man participates in the universe at all levels of his being by virtue of his participation in all its active fields.
I'll conclude with Grandpierre's own summary of his article:
|Important evidences are presented that may serve for founding research into the cosmological evolution of cosmic and biological consciousness. A picture is outlined in which Man and Universe maintain multilevel, dynamic, direct connections. Not only the formation of the material of solar system is regulated by a cosmic organization activity, but there are cosmic fields like gravitational, electromagnetic, scalar-EM, Higgs, and scalar massless cosmic fields involved in the cosmic regulative processes. The cosmic biological and psychological effects influence significantly the biological and psychical, collective and individual organisational processes. The cosmic connections between Man and the Universe do not represent a one-sided action, but a mutual, meaningful, life-given interaction, in which Man is also an active participant....|
In the end, the Universe is a singular, living thing constituted by an active organising factor, "which expresses an activity related to material 'objects,' but the substance of which does not exhaust in physical principles but extends towards much deeper realms of existence."
That is to say: To Mind; Will; Life; and (ultimately, on my speculation) Love.
Maybe so, but not even at such an elevated level as the simplest bug. The universe and the stars and the sun and the earth and the weather on earth and on down in scale to atoms appear to be dominated by stochastic processes that follow the laws of thermodynamics. These should not be taken as any more than having the potential to support life processes--organic processes.
The non-physical mind interacts with the physical brain....maybe.
Really you do surprise me, RightWhale. Do you really think such a "minimalist" point of view could possibly accord with/account for the astonishing riot of multiform beauty that is presented to our eyes (and our minds) every day we draw breath on this Earth?
Sooner or later, science will come out and say that thought creates matter as others have been saying for ages. Then they can prove it or disprove it. If God created us in his image, then we, too, are creators...on a lesser scale.
I can accept the possibility that there are aspects of the physical world that are yet unknown, but I challenge you to propose a theory of how non-physical interacts with physical.
Make the desert bloom, now there is a worthwhile occupation.
There are pretty, bright lights in space. There is also a lot of dark dust that isn't pretty at all. In fact, there's a lot more dark dust than bright lights. Don't get too close to the bright lights, they don't care if you exist and won't notice if you are accidentally vaporized or smash into a dust cloud on the way. Looks nice from a distance, will take extraordinary engineering planning to do anything with. It's there, it's our job when we figure out what to do, and we must not fail.
Aside from the non-pysical creator, our thoughts, feelings, and desires are what animate and motivate our physical selves to do the things we do the good and the bad. Emotions result in physical actions. Is time physical? Matter, energy, space, etc didn't just appear magically. They came from somewhere. Can you think of anything physical that doesn't have a non-physical component?
One thing right off the top of my head...
I believe that Grandpierre's ultimate vacuum field may be closer to the physics than Raman's thought field. But better than either of them (as fields) might be your own speculation of an extra time dimension.
The field theories are inevitably stuck with an arrow of time and causation, whereas under the extra time dimension - cause and effect are overthrown along with past, present and future. And superluminal phenomenon would be expected.
Thus an extra time dimension could host all the same phenomenon as Grandpierre's ultimate vacuum field while offering a much greater explanatory power for anomalies of consciousness over time (near death experiences, collective consciousness, faith healing, remote healing, precognition, retrocognition, extrasensory perception, telepathy etc.)
The extra time dimension would also have a greater explanatory power for dark energy...
It certainly appears to be.
Matter, energy, space, etc didn't just appear magically.
They certainly appear to be physical.
Emotions result in physical actions.
And physical things -- drugs, etc., affect emotions. What part of emotion is not the result of brain activity?
Can you think of anything physical that doesn't have a non-physical component?
Can you think of anything non-physical that doesn't require a physical embodiment?
Can you feel, taste, smell, hear, or touch it?
Matter, energy, space, etc didn't just appear magically.
They certainly appear to be physical.
Yes, after they were created from what? Where did they come from?
Can you think of anything non-physical that doesn't require a physical embodiment?
The soul, if you are into religion. Or whatever can create what is physical and non-physical.
A-G, what I'm wondering is whether the primary field of universal consciousness/primary substrate of natural being may be virtually outside of human space-time altogether. Yet still very much within the scope and range of human intelligence....
To me, this is a perfectly mind-boggling idea.
By the way, I dutifully read the two articles you pinged me to. I enjoyed "Constraints on Extra Time Dimensions" very much. I definitely noticed how the authors decided to "file-off" something they had seen as belonging to a hypothetical "time-brane" -- an additional hypothetical time dimension beyond the 3S + 1T four-dimensional space-time that we human beings are steeped in since birth -- to account for certain inconvenient "leakages" from the matter side of physics. (I gather.)
I was also very intrigued by the authors' analysis of "gravitational self-energy." Good grief, I didn't realize that issues relating to the propagation of charges remain such open questions today. The implications for integrating gravity into any Unified Field theory must be staggering in consequence.
Also read that other paper. It definitely left an impression on my mind, even though it really was written for initiates into the mysteries of string theory. I will not bore you with my take on this (taxpayer-funded!) enterprise, unless you hold hot coals to my feet! LOL!
BTW, I think Grandpierre handles these issues with consummate insight and grace. Which is more than I can say for the publicly-funded crowd that, these days, gives us works like "Evidence for F-Theory."
The paper falls short of its own initial abstract: It does not explain the cosmological constant; and it does not explain, or "pictorialize," any type of "interface" between string theory and macroreality.
What it tells you is: Do further experimentation. Put F-theory right up there with two other fundamental constructs, and you've got a real shot at solving all the problems of the universe some time soon.
And by the way, keep those government grants coming meanwhile....
Absolutely. I have a strong belief that we are fragments of whatever created us. I prefer to use term "Creator" when referring to an original being...which will, no doubt, get me chastised by those who are Bible bound.
There has got to be an eternal plan of which we are a functional part. It makes no sense to me that empires like the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Seleucids, Greeks, Romans (and, one day)Americans existed with souls who were gaining learning experiences (some horrendous, without doubt) and that those experiences are not retained and used, albeit unconsciously, in new later birth experiences. Heck, why not earlier birth experiences!
IMHO, there is an eternal circular learning curve.
I've highlighted a lot of stuff in Jane Roberts/Seth. Below is one of my favorite statements...oft referred to:
"It is important that you continue to realize that consciousness is within all physical phenomena. It is vital that you realize your position within nature. Nature is created from within. The personal life that you know rises up from within you, yet it is given. Since you are a part of Being, then in a certain fashion you give yourself the life that is being lived through you."
Believing that statement unfortunately doesn't give one an automatic ticket to the 'good life.' But knowing that we "create our own reality" can help us get at least some understanding of why we're here, where we've been and where we're going.
It also forms a basis on how we will be judged...our accountability, and gives substance to concepts such as rightness and reason, responsibility, morality, etc.
It doesn't matter who studies it. That doesn't make it physical. It is likely more true that everything physical comes from the non-physical than the other way around. Do you think that all existence is limited to only physical things?
Anything that can be studied is pretty much by definition physical. Anything that is beyond study and experiment is pretty much in the realm of faith.
Do you consider mathematics(the mind) as physical?
What do you think interacting with physical means? Are you now changing your question to not interacting with the physical?
More an assertion that anything that can be known is by definition physical. Even the Bible tells us that we cannot know except through metaphor.
Humans are spiritual. Micrsoft Windows is not a floppy disk.
An Interview with Rupert Sheldrake from the Seattle Post Intelligencer 1st April 2003
Because of Thomas.
A second timelike dimension would have to be folded up to very small size like the other extra dimensions. If the second timelike dimension were similar to the first in size, just orthogonal, it would make too many things possible. If all things are possible, then evolution is dead and change is impossible, so there is a phenomenological contradiction. OTOH it would eliminate the need for the Big Bang.
Indeed, the compactification of extra spatial dimensions is an artificial construct.
For instance, under ekpyrotic cosmology, the inception dimensions are deemed parallel and thus, there is no big bang.
Likewise, in 5 dimension space/time such compactification is not necessary:
If our time dimension is a plane and not a line, the past, present and future are all seen at once and the cause/effect can be inverted to effect/cause.
Therefore, IMHO the artificial aversion of science is a prejudice which may stand between us and truth.
IMHO, they will find the answer to the quantum riddle in geometry. And that answer will come not from quantum mechanics but astrophysics - cosmology and astronomy!
Your article is going to be about consciousness; Prof. Raman's article mainly addresses "thoughts," (whatever he means by thoughts). There is a great difference between, "thoughts," and consciousness. Our thinking is certainly conscious, but my kitty is conscious, but doesn't think. I assume you will be careful to make this distinction which Prof. Raman does not.
If you would be so kind, you might tell us what you mean by consciousness. I'm not asking you for an explanation of how it works, only what you mean by that term. Does the word "qualia" fit your notion of what the content of consciousness is?
Don't misunderstand, I don't want to be a stick in the mud, but if it can't be quantized, it isn't very useful as far as science goes.
For example, if this UTF has a field nature, it should also have a particle nature too, which is used to transmit the effect. For it to be a useful theory, it needs to answer questions like: What is the particle's mass, what is the range of this new force, what is the speed of propagation, and so on and so forth.
I think you need to be a little careful with your terms. Matter/non-matter interaction is an everyday thing, I think that what you and many other people might mean is natural/supernatural interaction. That is a completely different question.
You can construct a spirituality out of auras and supernatural beings. Of you can call them fields and detached consciousnesses. It's important not to confuse the use of physical nomenclature with physics.
Energy is non-matter. Matter/energy interaction is not a mystery.
Now if you want an example of something using something that is not-matter, then I propose that all examples of Microsoft Windows be destroyed except for one compressed, encoded file. That one encoded file is beamed, using any frequency you wish and compatible with transmission, at any remote galaxy. Upon completion of the transmission the remaining file is erased along with the decoding key. Does Microsoft windows exist?
That's news to me. I could have sworn matter and energy are interchangable and that there was a famous formula defining the equivalence.
Now about the little windows thought experiment. Does a text exist if the only copy of it resides in the form of an unbreakable cipher, for which the key is lost? I would argue that this is equivalent asking if a flammable object exists after it is burned. If an object cannot be reassembled, it does not exist, at least not in any usual sense. If the hypothetical message can be decrypted, then it exists.
If you wish to play word games leave me out.
What Grandpierre suggests, however, is that consciousness is a far more generalized and pervasive phenomena that all "living systems" possess, even quite "humble" ones, such as an amoeba. Here's an interesting selection from Slavoj Hontela that elaborates this idea:
"Let us to observe the behavior of an Amoeba in the microscopes visual field. We can see there an Amoeba, of Proteus species, slowly moving by stretching out its pseudopodia, looking probably for food. We place now with a glass pipette close to her few powdered pigments of a dried Chinese Ink. The amoeba stretches one of her pseudopodia to a pigment grain closest to her (evidence of a chemotaxic reaction or ability !) and involves the grain into her pushing it down to the nucleus where the digestive vacuoles are present. It is certainly interesting that the pigment transported through the pseudopodia towards the nucleus, doesn't yet touch the nucleus capsule when obviously the Amoeba recognized the undigestibility of the Chinese Ink pigment, the further transportation in the direction to the nucleus stops and the foreign body is quickly pushed back and finally eliminated from the Amoeba's body.
"From this observation it is possible to make already several conclusions:
"1) The amoeba was able to recognize and approach the foreign body which might be its potential food,
"2) A. was able to mobilize her pseudopodia giving them the appropriate message to approach this pigment and engulf it.
"3) With a certain delay which was obviously necessary to process the information related to the characteristic of the foreign body and the realization that it is indigestible follows another set of messages and the pigment was eliminated.
"We have to presume there were neuro-biological elements equivalent to those of more developed organisms and obviously there were present a appropriate number of genes ....
"The second phase of the observation experiment was even more interesting because it brought to the evidence the proof of the presence of memory. We have removed the pigment from the underlying microscopic glass dip, we put there a new drop of clear water and again placed there another pigment grain of Chinese Ink. The Amoeba stretched the pseudopodium to the closest pigment but did not touch it and, in contrary pulled back from the pigment grain. Obviously it preserved the memory for the identification of the indigestible pigment!
"It would be an exaggeration to speak about the mind or thinking but the period of might be 30 seconds which were passed by between the pigment taking and eliminating it; evokes the impression that the Amoeba needed a certain time to process the obtained information, i.e., it was 'thinking.'"
Grandpierre's definition of "perception" is probably the most generalized WRT the meaning of consciousness in its unversal sense:
"Perception is an interaction in which a stimulus enters into the perceiver, which transforms it by its own (biopsychological) laws, selects the information by its own interpretation, and reacts to the selected, developing an answer...."
Qualia is a very useful precept; but it seems to have a somewhat limited application (i.e., referring preeminently to human subjective states).
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