Hidden Dimensions: The Unification of Physics and Consciousness

By: B. Alan Wallace, read in 2009

ix "A central hypothesis of this book is that the measurement problem in quantum mechanics, the time problem in quantum cosmology, and the hard problem in brain science are all profoundly related."
2 "When faced with the choice of publish or perish, [Copernicus] opted to perish first and publish later, thereby avoiding scrutiny by the Inquisition and securing his blessed tenure in the hereafter."
5 "A true revolution in the mind sciences has been delayed by an enforced conformity to the unnatural ideological and methodological constraints imposed by the assumptions of scientific materialism."
8 "...philosophy [is] defined as the systematic, rational exploration of what we know, how we know it, and why it is important that we know it."
24 "Contemporary physics presents at least three classes of phenomena that are causally effective in the natural world: mass-energy, space-time, and abstract, mathematical quantities, such as principles of symmetry."
25 "It is time now to naturalize the mind and include mental phenomena among the growing list of natural phenomena -- together with mass-energy, space-time, and mathematical quantities -- that are real and causally efficacious."
26 "This reflects a pattern much like the descent from theism to deism. If the past is any key to the future, we may expect that the erosion from theism to deism to agnosticism will be reflected in a progression from materialism to physicalism to agnosticism. This will culminate in the frank acknowledgment that scientists do not know what consciousness is, how to measure it, what causes it, or what role it has in nature. All illusions of knowledge of religion and science will be abandoned, and that may open the way for a true revolution in the mind sciences."
28 "As Dyson comments, 'We need Baconian scientists to explore the universe and find out what is there to be explained. We need Cartesian scientists to explain and unify what we have found." In my view, the Baconians produce Dr. Dick's set "A"; Dr. Dick has provided the Cartesians with their fundamental equation. Too bad they don't know about it.
33 "Mensky regards the role of consciousness with respect to the measurement problem as the 'problem of the century,' and the way forward, he maintains, is to search first for conceptual solutions rather than mathematical ones."
37 The Hubble Ultra Deep Field images were accumulated at the rate of one photon per minute!
48 "Much as a stem cell differentiates itself in relation to specific biochemical environments, such as a brain or a liver, the substrate consciousness becomes differentiated with respect to specific living organisms."
50 "...there is no compelling reason to believe that ... images are located inside our heads. Since visual images, or qualia, are not located either outside or inside our heads, they don't seem to have any spatial location at all."
72 "In the theory of ontological relativity, there is one truth that is invariant across all cognitive frames of reference: everything that we apprehend, whether perceptually or conceptually, is devoid of its own inherent nature, or identity, independent of the means by which it is known."
72 "...nothing exists by its own nature, independent of all means of detecting it or conceiving of it. In other words, there is no way to separate the universe we know from the information we have about it."
73 "The act of measurement implies a transition from the realm of mindless stuff to the realm of knowledge, so a measurement must record a bit of information that means something. Information, in other words, should inform, and for this to take place there must be someone who is informed."
76 "...natural science is a science of information, not a science of a world that exists prior to and independent of information."
78 Einstein: "time and space are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live."
85 "Zeilinger became intrigued by the fact that Buddhist philosophers and contemplatives, without knowing anything about modern physics, had concluded that no phenomenon has inherent, objective existence, independent of the means by which it is apprehended. The Dalai Lama was equally fascinated that quantum physicists, without knowing anything about Buddhist philosophy or meditation, could have come to a similar conclusion."
87 "According to Buddhist cosmogony, our universe evolves and devolves in an oscilating cycle, compatible with the scientific idea of multiple big bangs." This is in line with my notion of transfer of omniscience.
93 Orders of existence--like Penrose's three worlds
95 "...we are moving from a science of objectivity to a science of intersubjectivity, in which the next relativity theory will include a relativity between the object and the subject, between the physical and the mental."
96 Time in physics. Consider the model of space-time being a skyscraper. Originally, individual actions built the building. In normal operation, world lines lace the building. To an individual, the building seems to be objectively real, but in fact it is the evolving multidimensional structure cooperatively built by individuals.
96 "...it is very likely that the idea of an absolute space-time will go the way of many other absolutes."
104 "Imagine setting out to explore the quantitative world of mathematics by studying the verbal reports, brain states, and other behavioral and physiological measures of mathematicians."
105 "Unlike all other objects of scientific inquiry, mental phenomena have been left to observation by untrained amateurs."
105 "All Buddhist philosophical schools have grappled with the problem of how to draw the line between valid and invalid cognitions."
105 "Some adopt a pragmatic approach, arguing that the epistemological status of a cognition is determined by the desired or undesired outcome of an activity based on it. Others propose more normative criteria, arguing for a kind of correspondence between a subjective cognition and an objective state of affairs. In other words, valid cognitions have to be of something that 'really' exists independently of anyone's awareness of it. Some Buddhist epistemologists conjoin these two criteria, suggesting that a cognition is valid if both helps one to accomplish practical goals and correctly determines the nautre of the object as it exists in its own right". These Middle Way Buddhist approaches seem to ignore the question of who, exactly, is aware of, or desires, or knows, what is real.
106 What is "a cognitive frame of reference"? I think the notion carries the unwarranted and false assumption that it is associated with human minds.
110 Primordial Consciousness (PC) in Buddhism
111 "the fourth time" seems equivalent to my cosmic time
112 "The objective world is crystallized into separate and distinct things as a result of consciousness individually apprehending and labeling objects."
112 "...all appearances are illusory displays of our own primordial consciousness, which has taken on the guise of ordinary consciousness."
113 "According to Buddhist cosmogony, the form realm emerges from the formless realm, and the explicate order of the physical world emerges from the form realm. Eventually the reverse process will occur. But in every instant all three of these worlds spontaneously emerge from and dissolve back into the absolute space of phenomena." Compare this to Penrose's three worlds.
116 "In the midst of a lucid dream, if we cease all activity and let even our thoughts subside, the entire dreamscape dissolves back into the substrate consciousness. If we continue to sustain lucid awareness, we will recognize the nature of our mind, free of appearances, in its relative ground state. In contrast, as the culmination of resting in primordial consciousness in the waking state, free of all activity, we enter the ultimate phase of practice of the Great Perfection, called 'Extinction into Reality-Itself.'"
120 "Niels Bohr...declared that there are two kinds of truth, ordinary truth and deep truth. You can tell the difference between them, he said, by looking at their opposites. for the opposite of an ordinary truth is a falsehood, but the opposite of a deep truth is another deep truth."

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