This is a segment where we are featuring the work of one of our professional affiliates, Lorna Green. See here for a collection of her published works on our website.
Consciousness, this New Principle
And so, This Theory in Science is also a New Metaphysics, For a World Sorely in Need of One
1. The Principles of understanding.
a. My first principle owes to a long habit over the years, of walking out of my back door into nature. I live in the high desert country of Northern New Mexico at 7,000 feet. I walk out into ancient trees, meadows, hills, and snowcapped mountains just beyond, the space, the Light, the silence, and the stars. And I am always asking of myself: What am I really seeing, what am I really looking at, in the Earth around me? When William Harvey, who discovered the circulation of the blood, first saw a beating heart, he had no idea of what he was looking at. That is where we are in our concept of nature, and of the Universe.
b. And so, after centuries of fruitless search, not all of it in vain, we finally have the right fundamental axiom, to make sense out of the Universe, and with it Ourselves.
Newton thought we were schoolboys playing on a beach, that we could never know the Universe. I say: Dare to believe the Universe is simple, complex but not complicated, we are part and parcel, in and of, the Universe that we are trying to know, and we can know it. And our own Consciousness, rightly questioned and understood, may give us insight into the essential features of any and all Consciousness.
Evolution makes us continuous with everything else, and so I propose “to make an evolutionary extension backwards and a reduction upwards.” Consciousness would not be in us, unless it is also in cells and molecules. We are unique, not in being the only being with Consciousness, but in being the only place in the Universe where we can access “the inner side of things.”
We are simply an instant of the greater Universe, what we find in Ourselves is there in everything else. And so, our Consciousness, rightly questioned and understood, may show us the essential features of any and all Consciousness.
Is this anthropomorphism? Hegel: Were the Greek gods anthropomorphic? They were not anthropomorphic enough. And so, with this new fundamental axiom, Consciousness, I propose that we can finally get things right.
c. And so, here is a new metaphysics, a new understanding of the whole concept of matter, so very many centuries in the making, based on Consciousness. And with it, rethinking the Earth, and our relationships to her, rethinking civilization itself, that may help us contend with the crisis we have caused for the planet.
What is new and different about this new metaphysics: It is based, not on physics, or cosmology, the place where new world views generally come from, but on the Life Sciences.
The male mind has tended to emphasize our difference from everything else. In fact, the conviction that only human beings have Consciousness, is a remanence of Genesis, appearing in modern science that considers itself to be religion—free—only human beings are made in the image of God.
And so, whereas the male mind emphasizes our differences, I emphasize our likeness, and what we share with all other beings on the planet, who are in fact, just like us, conscious spiritual beings in physical expression.
d. Now, my friend of Consciousness, here is my rewrite of what you call “the material world,” in a way that can accommodate Consciousness.
You asked me in your letter, do you have a new ontology? And you gave me a list of various ontologies—monism, dualism, materialism, realism, idealism, mysticism, spiritual-ness, panpsychism, pantheism, deism are some of them.
What ontology does my new theory of Consciousness subscribe to? Well, all of them. All have a place within this new metaphysical understanding, some aspect of the greater Reality, with a place for all of them.
At present there is an intense debate between panpsychism and idealism. There are no contradictions between these two terms. Everything has Consciousness, is an expression of Consciousness, and Consciousness is organized and focused through ideas. So where is the difficulty? Many thinkers believe that panpsychism alone would easily lapse into materialism, that they are determined to reject.
The truth is that most idealists have no comprehension whatsoever of what ideas really are, or how ideas interact with matter. Neither does materialism have any concepts of what matter really is. Empiricism holds that the world arounds us is what’s real, and indeed, no matter how far out into space our theories go, ultimately, they show their effects here in this world.
The real question: What are we really looking at in the empirical world? Things? Living beings? Living conscious spiritual beings? Incarnations of Spirit.
Consciousness, the new principle. Everything has it, and all of the true explanatory terms are in it. And it is subjectivity all the way down. It is Consciousness all the way down, and it is Consciousness even farther down, completely beyond the physical world.
And so, all of these terms: Panpsychism, everything has Consciousness; monism, there is only one principle, not two; idealism, ideas are organizing principles in this new Universe picture; realism, Consciousness is the ultimate Reality, the empirical world, the material world, is Consciousness stepped down into physical form, all living beings around us are expressions of Consciousness; pantheism, the Consciousness that the Universe essentially is, is the Consciousness of Spirit, that Spirit truly is divine, and sacred throughout, something the Native Peoples have always known.
And so, the mystical, the spiritual, has to do with the way we are able to experience the Universe around us. And in this new Universe picture, as I shall lay out, Spirit is everywhere.
And so, dualism. There are dualisms of standpoint, but not of ultimate principles, as Descartes maintained. Let me make this clear. There are two standpoints on Reality. The neurophysiologist is probing the brain of a patient, with electrodes, all he sees on his measuring devices are brain waves, electrical spikes, molecules and atoms.
What he does not know, is that the patient, is actually thinking of a folk song in which a goat has just eaten three red shirts from off the line, and in punishment, is now tied to a train track, facing an oncoming train, and has coughed up the red shirts, and is flagging down the train. All of this incredible inner life, that we know in ourselves, if the patient had not said nothing about this, the neurophysiologist would have never even suspected its existence.
This is our stance toward the whole of nature, we see electrical spikes, physics and chemistry, everywhere, it never occurs to us to allow that ideas, images, and symbols are also there. We have no access to the inner side of nature, and for the last 300 years of Cartesian philosophy have never even suspected its existence.
And so, we have two standpoints on nature, or ourselves, one process, one reality, being seen, as it were, from two different sides, from without, and from within.
There is only one term for the Universe, Consciousness, manifesting in two modes, Consciousness in Form, i.e., the physical world around us, and Consciousness Formless. And all of the true attributes and properties of the Universe, and the true laws of the Universe, belong to Consciousness.
The Mystics say that there is only one ultimate law of Consciousness: Consciousness must create, and it will turn itself inside out to do so.
Consciousness is also the basis for the law of Life. In this Universe, intent is everywhere, and intent works. We can use our intent to alter the Consciousness of the Universe around us, to bring us what we want. And the law of Life is the law of Consciousness: What you focus on, you get, wanted or not.
The poet Goethe: Clarify your purpose, and it is as if the whole Universe gets behind you to help you realize this.
Jesus: Believe you have what you ask for, and it shall be yours.
And what is it really all about for us? Something to do with differentiation in Oneness, something to do with Love, and something to do with Joy. And I dare say that in this Universe, necessity is not the ironclad necessity of the physical forces, that function blind, but the true necessities of the Universe are born of Joy. Does mathematics produce the bright spirits of animals, or do the bright spirits of animals make use of mathematics, for their own purposes? At this point, no one really knows.
Matter and mechanisms there are, but they are in the service of higher casualties, of purposes we want to realize, of ends to be achieved, in fact, in the service of ideas. My artist friend Kathleen: I wanted to make the tree in my painting really stand out, and so I got a certain kind of paper, and folded it in these ways….
The Universe originates in something like intelligence, Love, and creativity. Whitehead believed the laws of physics were a description of the habits of matter, i.e., they originated in freedom.
Richard Feynman won his Nobel prize for something he learned at play. In our physical development, all of our most important lessons are acquired through play. And so, I daresay that the Universe originates in something like creative play among Consciousness vibrations, and even something like fun. What? Something like fun going on down there? Never!
Matter, the weighable and the measurable, extended in space and time, is an Appearance of something more Real, Consciousness. And all the true laws of the Universe, its characteristics, properties, and attributes, belong to Consciousness. And so, the whole of science has finally reached the starting gate.
And so, Freudian materialism, the conviction that we are all the victims of genes drives and parents. This new Universe picture has a place for reincarnation, and with it the truth of human identity. Freud’s universe functions blind, we are the victims of our own conditioning.
The deepest truth is that we chose our parents, for our abilities we could acquire through them, see Michael Newton’s studies on reincarnation. We choose our conditioning. This is not a simple causality. Newton reports on a conversation between two people before reincarnating in the Earth plane for another life. “You have to reject me.” “But I love, I cannot reject you.” “You have to reject me so that I can develop the strengths and skills to serve my life purpose.”
And so, “final causality,” is everywhere in this new, and I daresay, true version of being, and of the Universe. We all come here with reasons for being here, abilities to develop, goals to be achieved. We all have free will, an irreducible property of Consciousness.
And this term Consciousness ends the materialist account, the Cartesian account of matter. It ends determinism, and reduction as ways to explain the material world. Something much freer, more exciting and adventurous is taking place in the very depth of being, of reality, everywhere.
This materialist account that has been developed during the 19th and 20th centuries, the high development of modern science, can now be confronted by certain facts, such as the near-death experience, and refuted.
And the whole of the modern world can best be understood as a conclusion of an argument, that began long ago, on false premises.
Something wholly new awaits us.
The Universe is not a machine, but animate, awake, aware and animated from the very “Beginning.” And how does it all work? By a kind of alignment, a resonance among like vibrations of Consciousness, like well-tuned strings on a guitar. This attraction of like for like, wholes in the macro world as well: Birds of a feather flock together.
And this new Universe picture has a place for life after death. The near-death experience drives a wedge between matter and Consciousness—Consciousness is separable from matter—and opens the way to the possibility of life after death.
The old paradigm was matter, the weighable measurable the extended in space and time, utterly devoid of inner life, of feelings, thoughts or emotions. This paradigm has brought us to the brink of our own extinction, and it needs to change.
And so, the periodic table of the elements, the alphabet of physical reality. Not, as I heard as a graduate student in science, “a particular arrangement of carbohydrates, proteins and fats” but what arranges them, Consciousness, some relationships short lived, others long term, relationships that we recognize in our own life.
The new paradigm is Consciousness, everything has it, and all of the true causalities, the explanatory principles, are in it. And I propose that with this term Consciousness, every intractable human problem, in science or in the modern world, will go down like a line of dominos before it.
Give me a place to stand, and I will move the Earth, give me a leaver long enough and I will move the world
And now: The miracle of all miracles. The Tucson Conference 2016, has changed its name, it now calls itself “The Science of Consciousness.” From its website, I see new faces, and new names, but the basic assumptions still prevail: How does matter give rise to emotions, ideas, and experience? To Consciousness? It doesn’t, but at least the name is right.
And now: Christof Koch. Remember that Christof had two problems with his understanding of Consciousness. First, he could not see how Consciousness emerges from non-conscious elements. Well, it doesn’t, the basic elements of the Universe are actually Consciousness units. And the second problem he had, is his conviction that Consciousness was inseparable from matter.
What the near-death experience shows is that Consciousness is separable from matter, opening the door to a whole new Universe picture, with new fundamental terms, new causalities.
And now, his work with neurons has led him to call a certain kind of neuron “a concept cell,” and is beginning to use the term Idealism, without yet spelling out the fullness of what Idealism really means. But since energy follows thought, the field of Consciousness studies is getting itself into the right ballpark.
3. A brief return to our three-dimensional world.
I end this work by briefly returning to our three-dimensional world. Einstein believed that space and time were not ultimately real. As some modern thinkers say, “simply the rules of the game for functioning in the physical dimension of reality.”
Immanuel Kant held a similar view. He conceived of space and time as forms of our own understanding, as though we were wearing purple glasses, and so saw everything as purple. In a nutshell he considered that the mind contributed so much to its own knowing, that we could not know “things in themselves, noumenal reality,” or the Real, in itself, but only as it appeared through our distorted lenses, but only as it appeared to us through our senses.
I have described modern science and the three-dimensional world, as Euclidean to non-Euclidean Geometry, a partial truth in a greater knowing. Kant called modern science “empirically real, but transcendentally ideal.” That is, true as far as it goes, but ultimately, it cannot know the Truth. The Real is beyond us.
Modern skepticism about knowing owes to Kant. Kant said that Hume awakened him from his “dogmatic slumber.” Hume again: All we see in nature is one event following after another, wherein lies the necessity? But Kant was in an even greater dogmatic slumber with respect to the Earth. At several places in his work The Critique of Pure Reason, he mentioned the view that nature is something without Consciousness. He is clearly operating on Descartes model of the self: We are minds in bodies perceiving things.
I have rewritten Descartes concepts of nature, that Earth is a continuum of many forms of Consciousness, of which our own is one, interconnected, interrelated, intersubjective, Oneness and One. There is a profound identity between ourselves and all other beings, and the greater Universe.
We all “live and move and have our beings” among the Real all of the time. We have ways of knowing, through our body’s senses souls’ spirits and deep psyches far beyond the pale of mind, reason, or perception through the physical senses. And oh, that is where the bliss is!
The real question for the senses is what is behind, or within, what we see, what we hear. The senses are channels to us for conscious beings. Matter around us appears to be “things” “the discreet separate and disconnected” interacting mechanistically. In fact, nature is a domain of many intersecting fields of Consciousness, that we can feel and know directly. Words we hear from others, physical vibrations, have a meaning, their content, that any onlooker of physical reality would be unable to fathom.
We have many other ways of knowing, than through sense perception. Kant thought that we are minds in bodies perceiving things and could never know the Real. I will propose that we are Spirit in a body, and we can know anything. And that the form/matter distinction coming from Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, should really be the Spirit/matter distinction, and there you have it.
And so, we rewrite the core of Western philosophy, the form/matter distinction. And we also revive the Cartesian corpse, done in by both philosophy and science for so long. Socrates new about mechanical explanation, the theory of Anaxagoras, that he describes in prison. Plato knew all about the chance and necessity Universe, in The Laws, he contrasts two different ways of explaining the Universe, it either comes into being through chance and necessity, or by Art.
The past 300 years of Cartesian science have been the most arid time of our history for the human Spirit. And so, at this point, we are free to put on a fresh new spiritual way of thinking and work it out.
And so, Socrates: Many are the thyrsus-bearers, few, the Mystics. The Mystics: The awakened ones walking the path of the perfect, in Oneness.
And if Immanuel Kant had read the Mystics, of all cultures, who virtually agree on everything, on the Consciousness Universe, instead of the theologians of his day, who agreed on just about nothing, we would be living in a different world today.
4. Consciousness is the key, the missing piece of the puzzle.
It is the key to new, true, causalities, new ways of knowing, not by dissection and analysis, but Consciousness to Consciousness, Spirit to Spirit, and Soul to Soul. New ways of being and seeing; it is the key to the crisis we have caused for the planet, and the way out, enabling us to come into alignment with the truth of the Biosphere; the key to all that most concerns us, our highest aspirations, for the Real, and for Spirit.
Here is a new theory of Consciousness, and with it a new metaphysical base for the whole of the modern world, the Reappearance of the Goddess and the Divine Feminine.
And in all of my works, I spell out this new metaphysics, based on Consciousness, and what it means, for the Universe, the Earth, Ourselves, and Spirit. Of who, what and where Spirit is, that we may connect with Spirit everywhere.
And I offer an interpretation of where we are in our history, this present moment of historical grace, and these tumultuous times in which we live, the return of the Goddess and the Divine Feminine, the Reappearance of the Feminine in history, the Advent of Women, this great Awakening, as of Springtime after a long dark Winter, the Second Coming.
And so, stay tuned!