Modern science some time ago became enamored of attempts to “be objective.” To be objective implies eliminating a personal point of view as much as possible from science. Science writing itself still reflects this trend today with awkward passive phrasing such as “it is shown” or “it was found,” rather than “I show” or “we show.”
There is, of course, in any attempt to be objective a pretense of there not being a person making the statements at issue. But there is in fact always a person, a scientist, doing the science. In this manner, science is inherently and irrevocably subjective, not objective.
Erwin Schrödinger, one of the key architects of quantum mechanics in the early part of the 20th Century, labeled this approach in 1954 the “principle of objectivation” and expressed it clearly:
By [the principle of objectivation] I mean … a certain simplification which we adopt in order to master the infinitely intricate problem of nature. Without being aware of it and without being rigorously systematic about it, we exclude the subject of cognizance from the domain of nature that we endeavor to understand. We step with our own person back into the part of an onlooker who does not belong to the world, which by this very procedure becomes an objective world.
This practice, of “being objective,” is part of what I call in this column “old empiricism.” It’s a way of doing science that pretends there isn’t inherently a person doing the science. And in this manner, the simplicity that objectivation once afforded is now outweighed by the confusion that the pretense leads to.
Now that science is firmly engaged in examining consciousness itself—a shift from even a couple of decades ago when it wasn’t considered very scientific to engage in such studies—it is time to drop the pretense and face the subjective realm head on. One of the key tasks of today’s science is how to resolve, scientifically, the classic mind/body problem. The mind/body problem is all about establishing the relationship between objective/external reality and subjective/internal reality.
A good example of what I mean by old empiricism is Sean Carroll’s argument, in his 2010 book, From Eternity to Here, for entropy as the explanation for the observed arrow of time we see in the universe around us and in our daily lives. The arrow of time is considered a problem because many of our physical theories suggest that there is no inherent direction or arrow to time. So why do we remember the past and imagine the future?
Carroll explicitly leaves out any substantial discussion of the psychological flow of time or questions of consciousness or first-person empiricism in his book. He starts, rather, with the traditional “objectivist” viewpoint that has defined modern science for some time. He raises the question of the psychological passage of time as an issue in physics but then says that he’s not going to address it. But addressing the experienced passage of time is as much a physics question as anything else in physics, and is perhaps fundamental to the nature of reality and thus to physics. We can’t ignore this issue if we are to have a more complete physical understanding of the world.
My feeling is that modern science, while it has achieved tremendous gains in human knowledge, is in some ways running out of steam in our attempts to tackle the remaining “big questions,” and this is largely because of this historical commitment to “objectivation.” It’s time to expand our scientific methods to include the half of nature—subjectivity—that were explicitly left out of many areas of science in order to simplify our approach. It is time to correct that simplification by seeking a more complete account of nature that includes the subject. This expansion in our scientific perspective is what I call “new empiricism.”
The new empiricism I’m suggesting relies on first-person experience as the primary form of empiricism, recognizing that all experimental evidence is ultimately first-person experience. Experiments using physical equipment are ultimately first-person experience because there is no data, no information, without a human apprehending such data. But simple experience independent of any physical equipment is also data available to science. All experience is data.
The second important point contained in the new empiricism I’m advocating here is the need to take primary experience more seriously than has been the case for the last couple of hundred years. Where our physical theories clash with primary level empiricism—the direct evidence of our senses—in most cases, the resolution should be to prefer the evidence of our senses over the experimental evidence.
Where exactly we decide the dispute in each potential conflict is a matter of debate. We can offer an example where the evidence of our senses is indeed misleading: judging whether the earth is flat or round. In everyday experience the earth does seem flat and yet we have no problem accepting that this is an illusion resulting from the scale of our planet compared to our human scale. When we pull back from the surface of our planet, we can see very clearly that the planet is a sphere. It didn’t even require that we get in an airplane or a spaceship to accept that the earth is round. Rather, theories and evidence gathered from various experiments convinced most people that the earth was round long before the era of mechanized flight. For example, Aristotle deduced that the Earth was round by observing that ships on the horizon disappeared hull first, then mast and sails.
Other illusions of our normal experience include the feeling that the sun orbits the earth, when it is more accurate to say that the earth orbits the sun. Another obvious illusion of our senses is our brain’s ability to fill in the blind spot in each of our eyes with the surrounding image, a phenomenon that arises from the evolutionary accident that our optical nerve goes through our retina rather than attaching to the back of the retina as in some other species. The filled-in field of our vision is entirely fabricated by the brain to match the area near the blind spot. But as we can see from the classic spot on a piece of paper experiment, this trick of our brain can be misleading.
There are a ton of illusions like this that have become apparent to modern science. It is no surprise, then, that the scientific pendulum may have swung too far toward the view that even fundamental aspects of our existence, like the passage of time, may in fact be an illusion. I’ll discuss this particular “illusion” more below.
Old empiricism takes the implications of mathematical theories further than empirical facts should allow. For example, the various physical theories that take time to be symmetrical (as space is symmetrical) should be re-considered with great scrutiny in the light of the direct evidence of our senses and of our experiments that time seems to pass in one direction only, and that the subjective passage of time is real.
Other than the reality of our own consciousness, there seems to be nothing else that we can know more firmly than the fact of the experienced flow of time, from moment to moment to moment.
Another good example of what I am calling here “old empiricism” comes from Huw Price’s 1996 book, Time’s Arrow and Archimedes’ Point: New Directions for the Physics of Time:
This book is about the need to think about time’s puzzles from a new viewpoint, a viewpoint outside time. One of my main themes is that physicists and philosophers tend to think about time from too close up. We ourselves are creatures in time, and this is reflected in many ordinary ways of thinking and talking about the world. This makes it very difficult to think about time in an objective way, because it is always difficult to tell whether what we think we see is just a product of our vantage point.
Price’s viewpoint is perhaps an extreme point of view because he is calling explicitly for a non-empirical point of view. He realizes that everything that we know and experience is, of course, within time, and yet he calls for science to ignore this obvious and direct empirical basis for science in creating a physics that is truly a “view from no-when,” to use Price’s phrase.
Price seems to get it exactly backwards in terms of his understanding of the relationship between the world and physical laws. He states: “[W]hat is puzzling is why the physical world should be asymmetric in time at all, given that the underlying physical laws seem to be very largely symmetric.”
It should be an uncontroversial point that physical “laws” are entirely human creations, derived specifically from empirical facts and deduction, not the other way around. So it shouldn’t be at all puzzling that the physical world shows temporal asymmetry because if our physical laws are symmetric and the world is asymmetric then the physical laws are wrong or at least incomplete. The fact that someone of Price’s stature can make such statements without seeing this problem illustrates the degree to which modern science and philosophy have strayed from empiricism and common sense.
A good thought experiment for assessing whether our common sense view of a particular phenomenon is illusory in some manner is to zoom in and out on the phenomenon, literally or figuratively, just as we do in assessing whether or not the Earth is actually flat or round.
When we zoom in and out with respect to the passage of time we can see that no matter how much we zoom in or out on any particular phenomenon there is always the passing of time. The phenomena observed are always changing in some manner no matter how close up we look at, say, cellular processes, or subatomic particles; similarly, no matter how far we zoom out, at far-away galaxy clusters, for example, we still see change and thus the passing of time. So it seems that empirically we have no evidence whatsoever to support the notion that the passage of time is illusory.
Price and his co-thinkers are left arguing based on indirect evidence alone as follows: that our mathematical theories that explain much of the physical phenomena we see suggest in some manner that the passage of time isn’t real because the time term (usually denoted simply “t”) can be reversed with no fundamental impact to the equations. But the direct evidence that shows the passage of time is real surely should outweigh the indirect evidence that suggests the opposite. Rather than take our mathematical theories as indirect evidence of the illusory nature of time, perhaps we should adjust our theories!
Time For A Change?
Luckily, Einstein, Price, Carroll and the many other physicists and philosophers who see time as illusory, face the opposing viewpoint from an increasing number of other scholars who see a strong need to re-establish the reality of the passage of time. Lee Smolin, a physicists with the Perimeter Institute in Canada, and Tim Maudlin, a philosopher with a strong background in physics, have both argued in recent years that conventional physics’ rendering of time as somehow illusory is a major mis-step. Smolin has made his case in two recent books, Time Reborn and, with Roberto Mangabeira Unger, The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time. Tim Maudlin has argued his case in his book, The Metaphysics Within Physics, in the chapter called “On the passing of time.”
Stephen Hawking, perhaps the most pre-eminent physicist of our time, also provides some support for the “time is real” camp. Hawking states:
In the standard positivist approach to the philosophy of science, physical theories live rent free in a Platonic heaven of ideal mathematical models. That is, a model can be arbitrarily detailed and can contain an arbitrary amount of information without affecting the universes they describe. But we are not angels, who view the universe from the outside. Instead, we and our models are both part of the universe we are describing.
These are not easy topics to get one’s head around, but I highlight the issues surrounding the nature of time because the bottomline here is pretty clear: everything we see, experience and measure shows the passage of time. Once today’s physics gets its head around that empirical reality we can start to really make headway on other thorny issues like the nature of consciousness and the mind/body problem.
New Study of Mind-Matter Interaction Via Double Slit Experiment Yields “Remarkable” Results
- The Facts:
A new analysis of the double slit experiment shows, according to the author, "remarkable" results when it comes to analyzing the mind-matter interaction problem.
- Reflect On:
Why has most of this science been studied by the Department of Defense? Why are real life, documented and recorded examples never used in these studies? Why is the statistical significance of parapsychology never mentioned?
Does mind influence matter? The answer is an unquestionable yes, this fact is firmly established in scientific literature, and the only thing up for debate is just how much of an effect our minds can have on matter.
In what’s known as the double slit experiment, tiny bits of matter (photons, electrons, or any atomic-sized object) are shot toward a screen that has two slits in it. On the other side of the screen, a video camera records where each photon lands. When scientists close one slit, the camera will show us an expected pattern. But when both slits are opened, an interference pattern emerges — they begin to act like waves. This means that each photon individually goes through both slits at the same time and interferes with itself, but it also goes through one slit, and it goes through the other. Furthermore, it goes through neither of them. The single piece of matter becomes a “wave” of potentials, expressing itself in the form of multiple possibilities, and this is why we get the interference pattern.
How can a single piece of matter exist and express itself in multiple states, without any physical properties, until it is “measured” or “observed”? Furthermore, how does it choose which path, out of multiple possibilities, to take?
Then, when an “observer” decides to measure and look at which slit the piece of matter goes through, the “wave” collapses, and then things really get interesting.
The connection between human consciousness, or factors associated with human consciousness such as intention, thoughts, feelings and emotions, and the physical realm is fascinating. This is precisely why nearly all of the founding fathers of quantum physics were so preoccupied with learning more about consciousness and “non-material” science in general. For instance, the theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory, Max Planck, regarded “consciousness as fundamental” and matter as a “derivative from consciousness.” Eugene Wigner, another famous theoretical physicist and mathematician, also emphasized how “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”
A paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Physics Essays by Dean Radin, PhD explains how this experiment has been used multiple times to explore the role of consciousness in shaping the nature of physical reality. The paper showed that meditators were able to collapse quantum systems at a distance through intention alone. The meditators were the “observer” in this case.
In fact, as Radin points out in his lecture, a “5 sigma” result was able to give CERN the Nobel Prize in 2013 for finding the Higgs particle (which turned out not to be Higgs after all). In this study, they also received a 5 sigma result when testing meditators against non-meditators in collapsing the quantum wave function. This means that mental activity, the human mind, attention, and intention, which are a few labels under the umbrella of consciousness, compelled physical matter to act in a certain way.
“Observations not only disturb what has to be measured, they produce it… We compel [the electron] to assume a definite position… We ourselves produce the results of the measurement.”
Fascinating, isn’t it?
The New Study
I recently came across a post on Radin’s Facebook page regarding a new study just published in PLOS ONE titled Independent re-analysis of alleged mind-matter interaction in double-slit experimental data.
His Facebook post reads,
Just published. “… this paper is the third independent statistical analysis … showing significant differences in fringe visibility between concentration and relaxation epochs of human subjects….”. The author made several assumptions that differed from ours, which resulted in reduced statistical power. That in turn led to a more conservative conclusion. Even so, anomalies were clearly found in these data that defy ordinary explanations.
In that study, they provided a “two year long experimental dataset in which authors of Radin, et al., 2016 claim to find evidence of mind-matter interaction is independently re-analyzed. In this experiment, participants are asked to periodically shift their attention towards or away from a double-slit optical apparatus. Shifts in fringe visibility of the interference pattern are monitored and tested against the common sense null hypothesis that such shifts should not correlate with the participant’s attention state.”
They concluded that:
The thorough analysis pursued in this paper gives a much broader and full picture of the data than the ones previously published in  and . On the one hand, we find undeniable anomalies in the human data with shifts of the fringe visibility in the direction expected by human intention. The fact that fringe visibility decreases when human intention tries to make it decrease, and increases when human intention tries to make it increase is remarkable.
That being said, the authors concluded that they still cannot give a definitive conclusion on mind-matter interaction. However, publications like this are still a huge step forward.
They also mention a very important point: The stigma behind these findings and how it encroaches on belief systems have perhaps not allowed a more rigorous scientific investigation into these subjects.
Given the controversial aspect of this research, attempts to reproduce such an experiment should be done by groups of experts from different fields of research including quantum mechanics, neuroscience and statistics, both skeptics and believers, collaborating to design the most rigorous protocol. Personal beliefs, may they be strongly in favour or against the mind-matter interaction hypothesis, have to be put aside, to collectively pursue a clear and objective investigation of this particular interpretation of the quantum measurement problem.
Here’s another great quote alluding to the same thing:
There seems to be a deep concern that the whole field will be tarnished by studying a phenomenon that is tainted by its association with superstition, spiritualism and magic. Protecting against this possibility sometimes seems more important than encouraging scientific exploration or protecting academic freedom. But this may be changing. —Cassandra Vieten, PhD and President/CEO at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (source)
What The Authors Failed To Recognize
Never in these studies do they mention real world examples. Cases of mind influencing matter have been reported throughout history and across many cultures, more specifically in regards to ‘supernormal’ abilities such as telepathy, psychokinesis, and other phenomena that lie within the realms of parapsychology. This is evident in ancient literature, from the Vedic texts and the yoga sutras to Jesus, Moses, Milarepa, Mohammed, and more.
In 1987, researchers at the Institute of Space-Medico Engineering, as mentioned in the CIA document earlier in the article, publicized a fraction of their work in the form of a film showcasing their work and what they had accomplished.
The film showed a medicine pill moving through an irreversibly sealed glass vial, which occurred in three frames of a 400 frame per second film. (source)
Another release (about Zhang) from the CIA (Research Into Paranormal Ability To Break Through Spatial Barriers) states:
A wooden cabinet 120 by 180 by 60 centimeters was used as a sealed container. Sheets of papers and boards with one of a kind markings were used as the target objects and placed inside the cabinet on the upper shelf. Without damaging the cabinet or opening the door, the person with ESP was able to remove the target objets and also was able to put them back inside. This demonstrates that even when using especially large container it is possible to completely break through spacial barriers, however, the success rate was much lower and was exceptionally difficult. (Source)(source)
The CIA document linked above provides more examples.
According to Eric Davis, Ph.D, FBIS, from a declassified US Air Force document obtained via the Federation of American Scientists, Shuhuang reported that ‘gifted children’ were responsible for the teleportation of small, physical objects from one place to another. (source)
A study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, as seen in the the US National Library of Medicine, demonstrated that a woman with special abilities was able to accelerate the germination of specific seeds for the purposes of developing a more robust seed stock. You can read that here.
There are many fascinating examples within the lore of parapsychology.
Many of these results are just as strong, if not stronger, than a lot of the results that come from hard sciences like physics and mechanical engineering. As far back as 1999, the head of the statistics department at UC Irvine, Jessica Utts, published a paper showing that results dealing with parapsychology and mind-body connection are a lot stronger than the results used to approve some of our medications!
The idea that mind influences matter is not new. From a hardcore scientific perspective, the results may be questionable, but we have to transcend science as its current parameters have become some sort of religion, failing to take into account many factors. A lot of science today has been dominated and taken over by the corporate world. The politicization of science is a real thing, and new science has confirmed the metaphysical world and is breaking down current and old paradigms. Everything from the mind-body connection to quantum physics and parapsychology are showing us how much more we have to learn about ourselves and what we are capable of.
Thing about the implications this could have for our planet? Imagine if billions of people all over the world found peace within themselves, what type of world would we create?
Research Reveals Plants Can Think, Choose & Remember
- The Facts:
This article was written by Sayer Ji, founder of Greenmedinfo.com where it was originally published. Posted here with permission.
- Reflect On:
Does all form of life poses some type of 'consciousness' regardless of its biological structure? If so, what does this mean?
Modern science is only beginning to catch up to the wisdom of the ancients: plants possess sentience and a rudimentary form of intelligence.
Plants are far more intelligent and capable than we given them credit. In fact, provocative research from 2010 published in Plant Signaling & Behavior proposes that since they cannot escape environmental stresses in the manner of animals, they have developed a “sophisticated, highly responsive and dynamic physiology,” which includes information processes such as “biological quantum computing” and “cellular light memory” which could be described as forms of plant intelligence. Titled, “Secret life of plants: from memory to intelligence,” the study highlights one particular “super power” of plants indicative of their success as intelligent beings:
“There are living trees that germinated long before Jesus Christ was born. What sort of life wisdom evolved in plants to make it possible to survive and propagate for so long a time in the same place they germinated?”
According to the researchers, “plants actually work as a biological quantum computing device that is capable to process quantum information encrypted in light intensity and in its energy.” This information processing includes a mechanism for processing memorized information. For example:
“plants can store and use information from the spectral composition of light for several days or more to anticipate changes that might appear in the near future in the environment, for example, for anticipation of pathogen attack.”
According to the study, “plants can actually think and remember.”
Moreover, plant not only possess a mechanism for information gathering and processing, but appear to exercise agency or “choice” vis-à-vis different scenarios:
“different group of chloroplasts and cells in the same leaf under identical constant and stable light, temperature and relative humidity condition have different opinion “what to do” in such conditions and tests different scenarios of possible future development.”
The study also offers an explanation for why plants absorb more light energy than is needed for photosynthesis alone:
“Another possible answer to the above question is a light training of young naïve leaves. Let’s imagine when young leaf or flower is emerging out of a plant, it would be nice for that leaf or flower to know about the conditions in which it is going to emerge. Older, more experienced leaves that actually are acclimated to outside conditions can train naïve emerging young leaves with the PEPS [photoelectrophysiological signaling ]and cellular light memory mechanisms. This explains why plants possess a natural capacity to absorb more light energy than that required for photosynthetic CO2 assimilation. They need this absorbed energy in excess for optimization and training of light acclimatory and immune defenses.”
The authors leave us with the provocative conclusion:
“Our results suggest that plants are intelligent organisms capable of performing a sort of thinking process (understood as at the same time and non-stress conditions capable of performing several different scenarios of possible future definitive responses), and capable of memorizing this training.17 Indeed leaves in the dark are able to not only “see” the light,8,34 but also are able to differently remember its spectral composition and use this memorized information to increase their Darwinian fitness.”
Why is this discovery important?
There are many reasons why recognizing the sentience and intelligence of plants may have positive implications for the future of humanity. For one, it helps us all to transcend the dominant worldview that non-human life forms are best defined in strictly mechanistic terms, and that attributing a “life essence” or consciousness to them is a form of magical thinking. French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Pointy called this world view the “Great Object,” namely, that everything in the universe is compromised of material objects externally related to one another, and with consciousness merely an ephemeral subjectivity found only in humans.
To the contrary, if we open ourselves to the possibility that we are all participants in an interconnected web of life, as many indigenous peoples believed and actually experienced things to be, destroying the natural world simply to serve the essentially suicidal infinite economic growth model will be identified for the insanity that it is. If we recognize, as biologist James Lovelock proposed, the Earth as a whole should be looked upon more like a self-regulating organism (Gaia hypothesis), or as mycologist Paul Stamet envisions, that there is a fungi-based internet within the ground connecting all living things on the planet in an information-sharing network, we will be less likely to both perceive and to treat the natural world as “other” to be dominated. We’ve also been reporting on the role of exosomes as cross-kingdom messengers, which provides a plausible mechanism for how all of the Earth’s inhabitants — plant, fungal, bacteria, animal, etc. — are linked together in an open access, information sharing network.
Recognizing that plants, for instance, have consciousness, or that their simple presence in our environment has healing effects, reintroduces an element of wonder and mystery back into the experience of the natural world. A perfect example of this can be found in the singing plants of the sacred forest of Damanhur. Damanhurian researchers in the mid-70’s reported using custom equipment to capture electromagnetic changes on the surface of leaves and roots and transforming them into audible signals. The researchers also observed that the plants learned to control their electrical responses, indicating they had some rudimentary awareness of the music they were creating. To learn more visit the Damanhur project website, and watch the video below.
Sayer Ji is founder of Greenmedinfo.com, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, Steering Committee Member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.
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Meet The Kenyan Engineer Who Created Gloves That Turn Sign Language Into Audible Speech
- The Facts:
Innovator Roy Allela has invented gloves that read the unique hand movements involved in sign language and turn them into audible speech through an Android app. He calls his gloves Sign-IO.
- Reflect On:
We are creating a world where we can all truly communicate, but imagine what our world could be like if inventions like these, and many others, were not limited by costs and start-up processes. Think of what we'd solve if we all worked together.
Imagine a world where communication between everyone is THAT much easier. Well, we’re getting closer and closer to that as every year passes by.
25-year-old Kenyan engineer and innovator, Roy Allela, recently helped humanity take another step in this direction. Allela designed new gloves that will improve communication between those who are deaf and those who cannot understand sign language. His new invention is called the ‘Sign-IO’ gloves, which can translate sign language movements into audible speech.
Allela’s gloves contain sensors located on each finger that are able to detect the positioning of each finger, including how much each finger bends into a given position. This is important, as sign language contains many unique movements that require small details to be detected accurately. The gloves connect via Bluetooth to an Android phone, which then uses text-to-speech technology to allow the person witnessing the sign language to understand what is being said through audio.
Roy was inspired to create the gloves because he has a young niece who is deaf. No one in his family including Roy knows sign language, and thus they often struggled to communicate with her.
“My niece wears the gloves, pairs them with her phone or mine, then starts signing. I’m able to understand what she’s saying,” Allela said.
“People speak at different speeds and it’s the same with people who sign: some are really fast, others are slow, so we integrated that into the mobile application so that it’s comfortable for anyone to use it,” he continued, referring to the creative engineering involved in his project.
Early on, Allela sees his gloves in schools for special needs children throughout his home country of Kenya. From there, he hopes to expand his business and invention to impact as many deaf people and children around the world as possible. As mentioned, the Sign-IO gloves are just one of many innovations furthering the connection of humanity, no matter what unique aspects of life we are experiencing.
Allela’s gloves are currently in the prototype phase of development and are not yet available to the public. Regardless, they are creating quite the buzz around the world given what they propose to do. Sign-IO was the 2018 grand winner of the “Hardware Trailblazer Award” at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) global finals in New York, and also took home a second runner-up acknowledgement at the Royal Academy of Engineering Leaders in Innovation Fellowship in London.
Imagine the world we could create if we did not have the limitations imposed by businesses, start-up costs, and so forth. There are incredible people out there who are able to do incredible things for the world, and they’re finding ways to do so even within a society that limits humanity’s potential. If we could bring these amazing minds together and blow off these limitations, then we could truly create a world where communication is not only possible for all, but that would just be the beginning!
As we discussed in our Hidden Energy technologies interview with Susan Manewich on CETV, it’s important to note that the suppression of new, life-changing technologies is not just as a result of the elite, it’s due to our level of consciousness as well. You can check out the interview to learn more on CETV.
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