OUR modern objective science “is the hallmark of society today, and “it has an unrivaled power base.”
“Its description of reality has molded the modern world,” write Deepak Chopra, MD and Jim Walsh in their July 1, 2013 article in Huffington Post.
And, “its worldview holds sway over universities, governments and the public at large.”
“Everyone who participates in the consensus view of reality has been touched by it. But the role of the observer has puzzled and intrigued physics since the quantum revolution a century ago.,” say the Authors of the article The Consciousness Project – Hopeful Solutions for Epic Problems.
“We feel that this issue offers a crucial opening for expanding the role of science.”
“As a counterpoint to the science juggernaut, there is another view of reality supported by loosely aligned groups in religion, philosophy, and a minority in science,” they write. “Their worldview is consciousness-based. Whatever their differences, supporters of consciousness place mind first in Nature and matter second.”
“Flying” – Lois Greenfield
“Such a worldview has no significant financial backing comparable to mainstream science,” writes Dr. Chopra. “It has been excluded from experimentation in major universities and all but banished from respectability, depending on the rich heritage, East and West, of saints, sages, and seers who fall outside the scientific method.”
Wresting the domain of consciousness from the lords of scientific reductionism, where it has been abused and minimized for decades, takes imaginative and fearless investigators.
Such would not have been included the proclaimed “Father of Modern Philosophy” René Descartes, who held that non-human animals could be reductively explained as mere automatons.
This is not a concept that sits well with consciousness-based views of reality, nor with animal advocates, environmentalists, including most Theosophists — who recognize that consciousness is inherent in all kingdoms of nature, not just the human. In their view, possessors of sentient consciousness include such unlikely candidates as bacteria, minerals — and atoms!
Decartes held famously to the premise “I think therefore I am”— without ever explaining what a thought is, or explaining the persistence and presence of the ever-elusive nature of consciousness. One wonders if it doesn’t seem far more reasonable to assume in fact that the opposite is true, i.e. —“I AM, therefore I think?”
Adherents biassedly line up on one or the other side of the issue. (Actually, Theosophy would argue both sides are accounted for by the ancient teaching of the mind’s dual nature.)
In fact, the elusive, omnipersistent ‘mind’, is not a production of the brain at all, but an aspect of universal mind.
Over one hundred years ago, unraveling the mystery of the existence of the ‘soul’ was attempted by physical science, employing of course the expected material, reductionist methods — using a mechanical device to weigh it!