Photo: Jeremiah Sullivan
Scientists don't use most of the terms that are central to my theory—which isn't mine, actually, but was born and sustained through the world's wisdom traditions. In the name of objectivity, science leaves consciousness out of its equations and is fiercely proud for doing so. In doing that, a scientist is pretending not to be part of life, as if thinking, feeling, creating, loving and enmeshing oneself in the complexities of the inner world were all irrelevant.
In fact, nothing could be more relevant. While the general public sees atheists mounting windy charge against superstitious believers, neither side is moving forward. The future lies with anyone who seriously delves into consciousness. Why? Because with physics arriving at the quantum world, neuroscience at the most minuscule operations of brain cells and biology at the finest fabrics of DNA, all three have hit a wall. At the finest level, nature is too complex to unravel through such weak ideas as randomness, materialism and unconscious mechanics. Nature behaves, and as we know from ourselves, behavior is tricky. Science has tons of data about phenomena that don't fit any explanation. For example:
- How does an observer cause light to change from acting like a wave to acting like a particle?
- How can a group of ordinary people cause a random number generator to turn out more 1s than 0s simply by wanting it to?
- How do millions of monarch butterflies migrate to the same mountainous regions of Mexico when they've never been there before and were not born there?
- How do twins connect at a distance, so that one knows immediately when the other has been hurt or dies?
- Where in the brain does the self live? Why do I feel like myself and no one else?
These are alluring mysteries, like trailing bits of yarn that lead back to a big, tangled ball. This forum, with its open-minded questioning, can help in the untangling. Yet it spells doom if anyone, either believer or skeptic, falls back upon the tired and dishonest ploys that fill the debate today, such as:
Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
- I already know the answer in advance, which makes you automatically wrong.
- I disdain your beliefs.
- You're a fraud with dishonest motives.
- I only want to make you look bad.
- You don't know as much science as I do, or perhaps none at all.
- Speculative thinking is foolish, superstitious or both.
- I'm here to win, not to find out the truth.
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