Foundations of Mind IV
Quantum Mechanics meets Neurodynamics:
The New Third Millennium Science of Consciousness
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Sean Ó Nualláin
A description of the aims, agenda and organization of a conference, organized by Foundations of Mind and hosted by the CIIS Centre for Consciousness Studies, that took place on 31st January, 2017.
Sean Ó Nualláin
The notorious Stonehenge minilith section of This is Spinal Tap begins with the singer intoning about the Druids that “nobody knows who they were or what they were doing, but their legacy lives on.” While the same is not quite true for the Celts in general, in that they left plenty of physical evidence for of their existence beyond Stonehenge, neither a Celtic Plato nor an Aristotle has ever been postulated. This article excavates the subterranean zone of the crisis in today's Europe and proposes that perhaps something new can be invented that is consistent both with science and our limited knowledge of this fringe civilization. In particular, while constrained by adherence to Christianity like Vygotsky was to Stalinist communism, the mediaeval Irish philosopher Eriugena can — again like Vygotsky — be decoded as harbinger of a revolution in thought even beyond the explicit insights in which he abounds.
Subjective experience presents a conundrum to science. Those convinced of its reality recognize that it requires explanation, but that classical physics is unable to provide one. They often assume that, as a consequence, quantum mechanics must provide the basis for a theory. However, consciousness seems able to reduce quantum wave packets, a process that quantum wave functions cannot accomplish, ruling out that approach. Recent research suggests that fluctuations at critical instabilities provide a non-reductive, double aspect information theory, i.e. properties identified as necessary aspects of any theory of experience. Due to complexity, biological systems support critical instabilities. Complexity means that they obey principles like Edge of Chaos and Fractal Physiology, and that organisms are not mechanical systems. Critical instabilities are in turn supported by the principle of Self-Organized Criticality, well known to be exhibited by neuronal cortices. The neurodynamics underlying experience and consciousness encompasses critical instabilities on networks of neurons. Due to a famous theorem from material science, the spin-glass neural network isomorphism, such instabilities can have arbitrary complexity, and can model and control genetic networks, well known to function at the Edge of Chaos. Here we show how information on sensory pathways enters conscious experience by means of the process of Inhibition of Lateral Inhibition identified by Karl Pribram, and making possible holographic representation of sense information.
Stanley A. Klein
One of the deep mysteries facing science concerns how the subjective aspect of consciousness (qualia) comes to exist. There is a possibility that psychic phenomena (psi) can provide an answer since psi and qualia may have the same source. Although I’m a psi skeptic, I would love to see reliable data supporting it, since that could then usher in an exciting new exploration into brain mechanisms and would force fundamental physics to change. This paper explores four different approaches for understanding qualia and psi: 1) Modify physics. Four quite different approaches will be discussed: a) a modified Born Rule, b) a modification to general relativity, c) a Bohmian update of hidden variables, and d) adding a panpsychic “psychon” to QED. 2) Surprising emergence. This is the view whereby the neuroscience and psychology of the future will show how qualia and psi can come about by surprising brain mechanisms. 3) Panentheism and Cosmic Mind. In this view, consciousness is primary and possibly not amenable to scientific explanation. 4) Awesome illusion. Here, “qualia” is an ill-posed question and will therefore not be answered by science. For psi, being an illusion means that the past experiments are not replicable when steps are taken to satisfy friendly skeptics like me. Although I am a skeptic, I strongly hope that psi is replicable since that would usher in a revolution in physics and neuroscience. It could even lead to an understanding of qualia.
Physics does not need to be saved. If anything, physics was rescued in the early twentieth century with the advancement of both the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics. What needs to be saved is our world outlook or metaphysics because how a society acts and develops depends on what its belief systems are. Here we explore how a new metaphysics where consciousness is fundamental might just be what modern societies need.
Many experiments seem to require causal influences acting into the backward light cone. Any such effect, if true, would conflict with the basic forward-in-time-dynamics of orthodox relativistic quantum field theory. It is shown here how such an appearance can arise from a difference between two different conceptions of the past. Two diagrams will illustrate how the Bem-reported results of his "erotic picture" experiments can be understood within forward-in-time realistically interpreted orthodox quantum field theory. A separate second topic is "quasi-orthodox quantum mechanics" in which nature's responses to the observer's probing queries are biased away from the Born-rule prediction, and in favor of "stimulating" human experiences, in concordance with Bem’s data.
Fred Alan Wolf
How should we think about subjective states vs. objective states? Is it a question of the meaning associated with a state? Recent work on this question arose in consideration of closed timelike curves (CTCs) and their possible role in quantum computers. The issue of ontic and epistemic states is particularly important when considering CTCs because, as one may argue, the interpretation of quantum states as either ontic or epistemic will naturally lead to different assumptions about how quantum systems behave in the presence of CTCs. For example, David Deutsch studied various time travel scenarios in a classical model and then in a quantum model motivated by a strictly ontic interpretation of quantum states. While in the classical model, CTCs could produce paradoxes, however Deutsch argued that no paradoxes can occur in his parallel universes (modified Everett interpretation) quantum treatment. Although all paradoxes are resolved in this way, the resulting theory is not standard quantum theory, but a new nonlinear theory. Many implications can arise using Deutsch's model and I shall discuss some of them in particular. These assumptions are particularly unconventional in part because they require that mixed quantum states are ontic. Pure quantum states can be interpreted as ontic, however most interpretations view mixed states as epistemic, i.e., reflecting an observer's lack of knowledge. I shall here consider an alternative proposal-pure quantum states, represented by density matrices containing off-diagonal elements, are possibly epistemic (since we never actually see them) while mixed quantum states arising in CTCs are always ontic representing the action of consciousness in observers (we do see them). Paradoxically my argument is based on the well-known experiences of gaining knowledge in classical physics; couching this in quantum physics terms, classical mixed states (represented by diagonal density matrices in quantum physics) are just what arise when an "observation" is said to occur resulting in a so-called reduction of the quantum wave function and the appearance of a classical world. In brief, Deutsch's CTC nonlinear post quantum physics model may represent the action of a conscious mind.
Christopher Cochran, Stanley A. Klein
This paper attempts a systematic comparison of the multiple interpretations of quantum mechanics (QM). The article ends with a summary table that has 13 rows and 10 columns. The columns are metaphysical principles such as determinism and reality. The rows are the main interpretations from 1925 to the present. Each row has entries such as Yes/No/Agnostic. We have contacted most of the living authors and based on their comments we have modified the entry for their interpretation. However, there is reasonable space for disagreement when it comes to determining the correct value of each box (Yes/No/Agnostic). We hope to improve the table in the future. We have also eliminated one of the columns and replaced it with two new columns. We believe that this topic is especially relevant to bridge building in dialogues on science, religion and spirituality because of the unique way that QM brings out metaphysical questions from within science. While any science may lend itself to metaphysical speculation, few sciences beyond QM have such a wide range of metaphysical speculation that all correspond to the same empirical results. This fact may humble scientists and have interesting consequences for how to build bridges between conflicting worldviews.
The human loss of the sense of sacred has been driven by a mechanization of the world that privileges the mundane and the material. Yet the earliest surviving history of the human mind reveals a widespread, embodied human faculty for perception of the cosmos and an intimate human relation to the cosmos. This history hints of an origin story that may be partly recovered by sacred relics of human prehistory.
Psychical Research and the Outer Limits of Science
We examine here the peripheries of science where the scientific method reaches its limits, but where anomalous events suggest a wider reality that exceed, for now, our perceptive abilities.
Wave Function Collapse in Retinal Structure Under Aided/Unaided Conditions (paper coming soon)
Karla M. Galdamez
Photon-rhodopsin interaction is investigated within the context of information transfer at a distance. John von Neumann's idea of wave function collapse forms the framework for the process of information transfer via a single light quanta along with human intention between pairs. Mathematical formalism relating to the density matrix is studied to distinguish the collapse phenomena from absorption and decoherence thus isolating more clearly the possible dynamics of a photon wave function via intention. Our main hypothesis consists on the assumption that the interaction of distant intention and photon-rhodopsin pair will result in a swift from a simple and straight forward absorption process to that of a single entry in the density matrix representation thus leading to case of wave function collapse.
Judy B. Gardiner
Oneiromantics™ — the symbolic language of dreams — involves a process of decoding and classifying dream imagery appearing in an entangled state. Oneiromantics, generated in a dream series, enfolded a body of scientific data which exceeded the dreamer's waking knowledge. The series of dreams spanning over two decades of study and translation were based on Intuitive Logic, the author's practice for unifying conceptual representations of mind and matter.
Formed within the subconscious structure of visual associative recognition memory, the practice of Intuitive Logic yields a web of interrelated associations germane to aspects of David Bohm's Implicate Order. From the perspective of Bohm's quantum interconnectedness, this study consists of synergistic aspects of dreams and waking relevant to constructing the "whole." Bohm's implicate order of wholeness, illustrated in this study as a Collective Unconscious network, includes geological insights and Claudius Galen's pneumatic theory on visual perception.
The hard problem of consciousness emerges, concluding in Complex Systems that integrate mental and physical functions within dreaming and waking consciousness.
The following study explores the nature of consciousness as derived from the application of intuitive logic-which I suggest is an aspect of quantum cognition. The quantum implications of multiple symbols in the overall dream series transcended this author's waking knowledge. The precision of certain images and their correlation to actual scientifically recorded events may serve as a catalyst to experts in those areas.
Shelli R. Joye
It is proposed that consciousness manifests as modulated radiant electromagnetic energy resonating in and between two regions, an explicate space-time order and a nondual implicate order. In such a model, the range of human consciousness is a function of the bandwidth of mind in the frequency domain. The hypothesis emerges from an integration of two paradigms: (1) the holonomic mind/brain theory of Karl Pribram, and (2) the ontological interpretation of quantum theory by David Bohm. The composite model, known as the Pribram-Bohm holoflux hypothesis, addresses observed phenomena of non-locality, both spatially and temporally.
Holoflux is a term suggested by Karl Pribram to describe David Bohm's "holomovement" of information-energy cycling between an outer explicate order and an interior implicate order. Bohm concluded that consciousness will eventually be found as primary within the actuality of the implicate order. Pribram's decades of laboratory data, collected over the course of decades, convinced him that memory storage and retrieval follows a holographic Fourier process of transformation between frequency and time domains (i.e., simultaneous resonance between frequency spectra observed within the implicate and explicate orders).
This Pribram-Bohm composite holoflux theory is congruent with established principles of radio communication engineering. In Bohm's explicate space-time domain, the holoflux spectra manifest as electromagnetic shells of information, or isospheres. Each isosphere has a unique tunable wavelength equal to its diameter, and each isosphere is separated by one Planck length. Information imprinted on the holosphere resonates with the nonlocal holoflux within the implicate order. This is outside of space-time, located at the bottom of space, and beginning below 10–35 m.
Extending the panpsychist paradigm that consciousness is inherent in the structure of the universe, the holoflux theory describes a single, dynamic, nondual but tunable energy. This energy cycles mathematically, in a lens-like process of transformation between the two domains, the explicate order and the implicate order.
John Z.G. Ma
EEG signals are records of nonlinear solitary waves in human brains. The waves have several types (e.g., a, b, g, q, d) in response to different levels of consciousness. They are classified into two groups: Group-1 consists of complex storm-like waves (a, b, and g); Group-2 is composed of simple quasilinear waves (q and d). In order to elucidate the mechanism of EEG wave formation and propagation, this paper extends the Vlasov-Maxwell equations of Plasma Brain Dynamics (PBD) to a set of two-fluid, self-similar, nonlinear solitary wave equations. Numerical simulations are performed for different EEG signals. Main results include: (1) The excitation and propagation of the EEG wave packets are dependent of electric and magnetic fields, brain aqua-ions, electron and ion temperatures, masses, and their initial fluid speeds; (2) Group-1 complex waves contain three ingredients: high-frequency ion-acoustic (IA) wave-intermediate-frequency lower-hybrid (LH) wave, and low-frequency ion-cyclotron (IC) wave; (3) Group-2 simple waves fall within the IA band, featured by one or a combination of the three envelops: sinusoidal, sawtooth, and spiky/bipolar. The study proposes an alternative model to Quantum Brain Dynamics (QBD) by suggesting that the formation and propagation of the nonlinear solitary EEG waves in the brain have the same mechanism as that of the waves in space plasmas.
Elizabeth A. Rauscher
Two very significant principles with vast ramifications discovered in the 20th century are the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and the Nonlocality Principles of the Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen (EPR) paradox. These aspects of quantum theory have major physical and philosophical implications. The fundamental bases of nonlocality in quantum theory lie in the EPR paradox, as well as other experiments that demand a nonlocal explanation for the phenomenon they display. The fundamental basis of nonlocality in the universe is fundamental to the properties of consciousness. We examined both micro and macroscopic nonlocality.
Because of its superior information processing capability, previous authors have proposed that phase conjugation holography offers a feasible mechanism to explain various aspects of human perception. These previous models focused on the relationship between the perceived image of an object and the actual object with little attention to the anatomical location of the phase-conjugation mirror. The present article proposes that phase-conjugation mirrors exist in the brain as 3D networks of organic molecules previously observed to exhibit phase-conjugation behavior. In particular rhodopsin photoreceptor molecules are proposed to form extra-retinal, deep brain networks which function as phase-conjugation mirrors which are distributed throughout the brain. Furthermore, such networks are proposed to convert endogenous biophotons into virtual holograms which function to store cognitive information in the brain. Such a system offers a new functional definition of the mind.
Beverly Rubik, Harry Jabs
Beyond life as a biochemical system, endogenous and exogenous energy fields play an important role in the living state. The biofield, the energy field associated with life, consists of low intensity electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic fields that may be key to health and healing. Here we measured one component of the biofield, the ultraweak light emitted from the body — biophotons — and explored the influence of intention, extraordinary mind-body states, and human interaction on biophoton emission. Three pilot studies were conducted to investigate whether biophoton emission is a biomarker correlated with intention. Results showed that (1) biophoton emission from healers' hands diminished significantly by 11% post-healing; (2) biophoton emission during energy healing showed a unique pattern for each treatment session; (3) changes in biophoton emission from the forehead, heart, and abdominal regions of patients pre-post energy healing showed no discernible pattern for a small number of diverse patients; (4) subjects who engaged in bioenergetic practices emitted more biophotons from specific bodily regions, some in alignment with their intent. Biophoton emission was found to be modulated by intention, energy healing, and bioenergetic mind-body practices. Biophotons might potentially be involved in quantum or quantum-like entanglement between humans, and may play a role in energy healing, biocommunication, and altered mind-body states.
Newton's mechanics in the 17th Century increased the lethality of artillery. Thermodynamics in the 19th led to the steam-powered Industrial Revolution in the UK. Maxwell's unification of electricity, magnetism and light gave us electrical power, the telegraph, radio and television. The discovery of quantum mechanics in the 20th century by Planck, Bohr, Einstein, Schrodinger, Heisenberg led to the creation of the atomic and hydrogen bomb as well as computer chips and the world-wide-web and Silicon Valley's multi-billion dollar corporations. The lesson is that breakthroughs in fundamental physics, both theoretical and experimental have always led to profound technological wealth-creating new industries and will continue to do so. There is now a new revolution brewing in quantum mechanics that can be divided into three periods. The first quantum revolution was from 1900 to about 1975. The second quantum information/computer revolution was from about 1975 to 2015. The early part of this story is told by MIT Professor David Kaiser in his award-winning book how a small group of Berkeley/San Francisco physicists triggered that second revolution. The third quantum revolution is how an extension of quantum mechanics has led to the understanding of consciousness as a natural physical phenomenon that can emerge in many material substrates not only in our carbon-based biochemistry. In particular, this new post-quantum mechanics will lead to naturally conscious artificial intelligence in nano-electronic machines as well as extending human life spans to hundreds of years and more. This development is not far off and is fraught with opportunities and dangers, just like nuclear power and genetic engineering.
Phillip Shinnick, Laurence Porter
Science must address a deep human concern, pain and suffering and how can an individual, without drugs and surgery, self-heal? Historical knowledge of Coulombic, Gaussian and Photonic energy in medicine and the science of human organic life energy or Qi is required to heal ourselves. How can we couple singular individual consciousness of ancient practice techniques within a scientific frame? First, where does Qi fit into science? The properties of organic and inorganic oneness, comparing the physiology of human Enlightenment to the stable state of helium at absolute temperature gives information on how to approach disease. A non-invasive diagnostic technique of the Omura O-ring is capable of testing meridian theory, giving light on Oriental medicine's limitations as compared to modern neuro-science of the dermatome. Treatment through self-help techniques of Chronic Heart Disease and a serious spinal injury gives us data in which to evaluate this approach
In addition to his better known artistic, scientific and engineering talents, Leonardo da Vinci has an extensive reputation as a cartographer, drawing maps for a wide range of hydro-engineering projects for the rulers of Florence, Milan, Arezzo and the Vatican, amongst others. However, he is not generally acknowledged as authoring a world map (or mappamundi) spanning the globe, which was the domain of a few specialized cartographers of the era. Nevertheless, there is a world map among his papers in the Royal Library, Windsor, which is one of the very first to name the Americas, and has the correct overall configuration of the continents, including an ocean at the north pole and a continent at the south pole. Moreover, it has a unique cartographic projection onto eight spherical-geometry triangles that provide close to isometric projection throughout the globe.
Although the authenticity of this world map has been questioned, there is an obscure page of his notebooks in the Codex Atlanticus containing a sketch of this precise form of global projection, tying him securely to its genesis. Moreover, the same notebook page contains sketches of eight other global projections known at that time (early C16th), from the Roman Ptolomaic conic section projection to Rossellli's [[i]] oval planispheric projection. This paper explores further remarkable aspects of the geometry and history of Da Vinci's unique mappamundi.
George Weissmann, Cynthia Sue Larson
Most interpretations of quantum theory fail to provide a fundamental, complete, self-consistent account of nature describing physical reality itself, as opposed to merely yielding predictions about results of experiments and observations. A paradigm providing a self-consistent foundation for quantum theory and a description of the reality it refers to, generalized to a worldview, is a Quantum Paradigm, where ‘paradigm' is defined as structure of experiential reality. We assert that the fundamental obstruction in the quest for a quantum paradigm is the assumption of objectivity. The subject-object distinction, drawn within experience, has within the natural sciences degenerated into a dichotomy-an absolute split into separate realms-with scientists adopting the classical paradigm where the object pole of experience ("objective reality") can be studied independently from the subject pole (“the experiencer”), with a presupposition that this procedure yields a fundamental description of nature. In fact, the subjective is often eliminated altogether as a fundamental category, and reduced to an epiphenomenon of objective processes. We claim this objectivity assumption precludes a full comprehension and a paradox-free formulation of quantum theory. By challenging this presupposition, i.e. leaving the question open, a coherent understanding of quantum nature falls naturally into place, providing appropriate foundation for quantum theory and an associated world-view. The resulting Quantum Paradigm is “realist” in the sense that it provides a description of what is actually happening: namely the arena of all happening is Mind or Consciousness — from which mind and matter, subject and object, individual and collective, and time and space co-dependently arise. The subject matter of quantum theory then becomes the fundamental mind-function of distinction (“measurement”), resulting in information and its statistical correlations. The message of quantum mechanics is surprising: the basic components of objects-the particles, electrons, quarks, etc.-cannot be thought of as “self-existent.” The reality that they, and hence all objects, are components of is “empirical reality,” of experience. “The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.” — James Jeans
Anomalous phenomena such as ESP and psychokinesis, collective consciousness, and synchronicity that are considered impossible in the context of the classical paradigm, fit naturally in, and can in turn provide evidence for the Quantum Paradigm. Spirituality and science are shown to be complementary approaches referring to the same reality, Mind, while each discipline retains its integrity. The Quantum Paradigm can be intellectually comprehended, as well as embodied: one can live in quantum reality. A good metaphor for this is “life as a dream”: with no “real” objects as distinguished from experienced objects. Experience is “empty” of self-nature in the Buddhist sense, with everything interconnected and co-dependently arising. Experiencing the world by “embodying the Quantum Paradigm” is transformative, healing, and an antidote to alienation resulting from embodying the classical paradigm. Embodying the Quantum Paradigm and living in the Oneness of all creation can help humanity — increasingly lost in the materialism and individualism reinforced by our embodiment of the classical paradigm — and restore intimate connection and harmony with Spirit, Nature and fellow humans; we need such a transformation to survive and thrive in our technological society.
For both Jung and Patañjali our human desire to understand “God” is as real as any other instinct. Jung's and Patañjali's models further align in their emphasis on the teleological directedness of the psyche, and their aim at reconciling science and religious experience. As an atheist, Freud was in disagreement, but all three scholars align in their emphasis on the study of affect as an empirical means of entering into the psyche. For Patañjali, the nadir of affect lays in transcending sorrow and stabilizing the mind. Mental stability in turn produces the capacity to fully differentiate between the binding states of mind, which lead to human suffering, and the experience of pure consciousness resting in authentic nature. Contemporary brain research indicates that conscious states are inherently affective-further, the upper brainstem is intrinsically conscious whereas the cortex is not; it derives its consciousness from the brainstem. Understanding consciousness, then, may have less to do with reflective cognition than with instinct. This research spotlights the phenomena of affect, as it appears to not only draw us back to the highly significant rupture of the Freud Jung dialogue, but also forward into formulating a contemporary clinical picture of the drive towards (or away from) religious experience.
Since the time of Aristotle, metaphysics has been an ill-defined term. This paper defines it as a logically idempotent metalinguistic identity of reality which couples the two initial ingredients of awareness: perceptual reality (the basis of physics), and cognitive-perceptual syntax, a formalization of mind. The explanation has been reduced to a few very simple, clearly explained mathematical ingredients. This paper contains no assumptions or arguable assertions, and is therefore presented as an advanced formulation of logic which has been updated for meaningful reference to the structure of reality at large. This structure, called the Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe or CTMU, resolves the problems attending Cartesian dualism by replacing dualism with the mathematical property of self-duality, meaning (for reality-theoretic purposes) the quantum-level invariance of identity under permutation of objective and spatiotemporal data types. The CTMU takes the form of a global coupling or superposition of mind and physical reality in a self-dual metaphysical identity M:L< >U, which can be intrinsically developed into a logico-geometrically self-dual, ontologically self-contained language incorporating its own medium of existence and comprising its own model therein.