Science mainly views the world as something that is purely objective. Its theories are based largely on data which, when gathered correctly, are assumed to be intrinsically valid and independent of any subjective influence. Scientists take comfort in the enduring nature of their knowledge and the useful ways that it can be employed.

Reality, however, is more complex. Theories cannot be totally objective. They are formulated within the mind where subjective elements are always present, such as awareness, consciousness, an observer referred to as ‘I’, and that observer’s assumed ‘identity’.

Awareness, for example, plays a part in all cognition but its function is generally unrecognised. Who will be first to name something of which we are not aware?

Similarly, the observer or ‘I’ accompanies all conscious activity, like some presence in the background carrying out continuous surveillance.

Werner Heisenberg stated that,

“In classical physics, science started from the belief – or should one say, from the illusion? – that we could describe the world, or least parts of the world, without reference to ourselves.” [1]

Identity describes our presence in the world, whether it is that of some soul sitting on an ale house floor,

“I be but an oaf, quaffing ale and caring naught.” [2]

or a transcendent master, addressing the world,

” I am…the way, the truth, and the life.”     [3]

Identity persists, and that presence has a potential influence within any theory. For example, the character of Einstein probably played a special part in the development and general acceptance of Relativity theory. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty made him famous! He once commented that,

“My mind was formed by studying philosophy, Plato and that sort of thing.”  [4]

In articles concerning consciousness, confusion can arise between aspects that are objective, that lend themselves to scientific study, and those which are essentially subjective. Consciousness includes both of those elements and also the observer that witnesses its content.