Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics
Note: It has been awhile since my last post, but I have a good excuse. First I was traveling and didn’t really have time to do a post and then I got a new computer and had to concentrate on getting all the files transferred. Since this was from a PC to a Mac mini and all the data is stored on a server, this was not particularly straightforward.
In 1543, Nicolaus Copernicus published his book On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres just before his death. This was a tremendous shift in thinking at the time because up to this point, it was believed that all the celestial bodies revolved around the earth, making us special and unique in God’s eyes. But Copernicus proved that this was not true. Our earth was revolving around a less than spectacular sun which made us decidedly less special.
Eventually, things settled down until 1859 when Charles Darwin published: On the Origin of Species. With evolution it was now clear that not only was our planet not the center of the universe, but we weren’t even all that special even on our own planet, having the same ancestors as all other living creatures on the planet. This enormous blow to the ego sparked a battle that still rages to this day as creationists are unwilling to relinquish their status as being special in the universe.
When I was growing up it was felt that man was special because we were the only creatures that created tools. When it was discovered that animals made tools we shifted the discussion to being the only creature that could think ahead and plan and then it was language and when that failed the discussion kind of drifted away. The definition of what makes us special among the creatures of this planet still eludes mankind to this day.
Now we are on the cusp of discovering the all pervasive role that consciousness plays in the universe and the blow this will deal to our egos will be greater than all previous ones combined. What this model of consciousness tells us, and which is so very disturbing even to me, is that even the thoughts in our heads are neither special, unique or even entirely ours alone. Our identities, which we cling to as being so much our definition of ourselves, are nothing more than extensions of an even greater consciousness which we cannot fathom. We are not anywhere near as self aware as we think we are.
While as humans standing on our planet we can delude ourselves as to our place in the universe, no such thing is possible in the realm of consciousness. There is just no way to see ourselves as special when the entire universe and everything in it possesses some form of consciousness. Some of it will be lesser than us, but for more of it will be greater. But more than that, the concept of separateness from this “other” consciousness will have to be dispensed with. Far from being special, we are the tiniest fraction of the smallest imaginable piece of something so vast that our egos have nothing to grab onto; no separateness to cling to, no avenue of escape from the stark reality that everything about us from our thoughts to our bodies holds no more and no less specialness than a single grain of sand.
Rather than being different, we are just a piece of something more vast than we could ever contemplate.
The struggle to see consciousness as a magic trick of evolution and the sole domain of a few select creatures on earth is the Ego’s Last Stand. When we are forced to consider that the rocks, trees and even the planets have their own consciousness as well as every fricking thing in the universe, we have to stand back and think about our own position on this subject; and that position isn’t at all at the center of things, or even very high on the consciousness food chain. In fact, we have to consider that our version of consciousness might be rather uh, infantile compared to others.
When consciousness is finally acknowledged as a fundamental force in the universe, it will eventually lead to the conclusion that it is somehow the glue that holds reality together and the implications of this for our egos are dire indeed. It means that the very reality we experience is subject to the consciousness that we ourselves create. Where can the ego hide when it’s demonstrated that our mockery, sneering and sense of superiority is demonstrated by physics to be nothing more than a reflection of a troubled and insecure psyche projected by our minds and woven into our reality?
When our personal version of reality is but one of an infinite number, what will become of that greatest of the ego’s defenses: being right and making other people wrong? Without an objective reality, (which physics tells us we don’t have right now by the way,) and with a means to create our own realities, there is no basis for making people wrong. So if someone wants to believe in creationism, that is what’s true for them. We don’t have to agree with them or act on their reality, but to mock it puts us in the position of having a reality of hate, which is not a place anyone really wants to be.
Once science has recognized the importance of consciousness, the ego will still put up a fight and it may take 200 years for people to start wrapping their heads around the implications, but they will have to. A universe where consciousness is fundamental to reality, -our universe- leaves no wiggle room for grandiosity. A true understanding of consciousness must necessarily be a fatal blow to our egos.