August 29th, 2018

Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death

"Why do you insist the universe is not a conscious intelligence, when it gives birth to conscious intelligences?", questioned the Roman philosopher Cicero. Over two-thousand years later scientist Dr. Robert Lanza responds to Cicero's philosophical query with a groundbreaking book Beyond Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death. Biocentrism is a new theory that upends everything we might assume about ourselves and the world around us. The most basic assumption Dr. Lanza's biocentric theory challenges is our fundamental understanding of the "way things are."

"Biologists describe the origin of life as a random occurrence in a dead universe, but have no real understanding of how life began or why the universe appears to have been exquisitely designed for its emergence."

Science tells us that our universe all began with a sudden explosion  -- a big bang -- about 13.8 billion years ago. Dr. Lanza writes:"In this model, the universe was presented as a kind of self-operating machine. It was composed of crazy stuff, meaning atoms of hydrogen and other elements that had no innate intelligence. Nor did any sort of external intelligence rule. Rather, unseen forces such as gravity and electromagnetism, acting according to the random laws of chance, produced everything we observe... As for how consciousness could arise in the first place, no one even has guesses. We cannot fathom how lumps of carbon, drops of water, or atoms of insensate hydrogen ever came together and acquired a sense of smell. The issue is apparently too baffling to raise at all."

In this model the universe is regarded as objective -- existing independent of any observer -- made of matter, ruled by mechanistic laws. Consciousness -- or the observer -- is simply a part of the matter-based universe. But this model not only fails to fully address the conundrum of consciousness. It also fails to answer other puzzling questions: what was there before the Big Bang? Why does the universe seem exquisitely designed for the emergence of life? Why is there something instead of nothing?  This is where Dr. Lanza's biocentric theory of the universe comes in, to show us the inherent flaw in the standard explanation for origins of the universe.

Dr. Lanza says the problem is we have everything upside down. He takes the common assumption that the universe led to the creation of life and argues that it's the other way around: that life is not a byproduct of the universe, but its very source.

Or put another way, consciousness is what gives rise to our sense of there being an "out there" when, in fact, the world we experience around us is actually created in our consciousness.

Kemo D. 7