Scientific materialism still claims that the mind is generated by the brain and that there is no so-called “ghost in the machine,” or a mind independent of the body. Even with the advances in neural science and the mapping of the brain by medical imaging, scientists are no closer to understanding how thought is generated or the location of consciousness, other than saying that it happens inside the skull.
At least Descartes’ theory of dualism — that thought is separate from the body or brain — assigns it to a soul or spirit. This is a bit antiquated and leaves the solution to this age-old dilemma hanging in the air — that is, until early 20th century quantum theory brought us to “our senses.”
Quantum mechanics (QM) tells us that there is no objective world “out there” separate from our perception of it or of ourselves. Niels Bohr, one of quantum theory’s founding fathers, stated: “An independent reality, in the ordinary physical sense, can neither be ascribed to the phenomena nor to the agencies of observation” — or to us. In other words, this ghost (mind) and its machine (body/world) are just an indivisible wholeness, and QM posits that it is our perception that brings it and us into existence. All that is, is consciousness.
Other statements by the founding fathers of quantum theory tell us that the observer and the observed are interwoven and that, in Erwin Schrödinger’s words, they “interact” or co-create each other. If adopted and applied, this co-creation perspective gives us an unimaginable power to affect and change not only ourselves but the world. It also explains why the world is in such sad shape, given our mostly unconscious wielding of this power and the “reality” we’re creating together.
Prime motivating force
Thus, consciousness is the prime motivating force of the universe. As Max Planck, the originator of quantum theory, said, “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness.” So, raising our consciousness or aligning ourselves with its higher intent is how we create positive change, which is what the spiritual traditions of the world have been saying for thousands of years. Hopefully, this new scientific formulation will motivate humanity to create more consciously.
Unfortunately many modern physicists are solely focused on creating and selling their powerful devices and technology, with no regard for their impact on the world. They make little mention of the QM founders’ philosophical musings about consciousness. Of course, the rest of modern science is also reductionist to its core, and together they are “creating” a left-brain techno world adopted by the masses with little apparent concern for where all of this is leading us. From my perspective, it’s into the arms of transhumanism and its deadening cyborg option for future humanity.
One would suspect that social planners, both of today and days past, are all too familiar with this quantum perspective, which has undoubtedly been known under other names and guises by the “controllers” down through the ages. This may account for the cognitive dissonance among scientists when it comes to the broader implications of quantum theory and its self-empowering perspective. While they disown it, the elites use it to empower themselves and enforce their top-down authority. I think this has led to the great separation within our global society between the haves and the have-nots.
Fortunately, within the realm of pure consciousness — the ground of all being — reside formidable energies beyond their influence; this is what Jung calls archetypes, some of which have been depicted in world religions as gods and goddesses. I’ve always wondered if the media stars of any generation tap into this power and portray one aspect of it, like Beyonce’s allure, to the masses for its emulation. For example, I recently read a spy novel where a young journalist, whose mother was an iconic atheist, said, “Thank Cronkite,” instead of God, after a near-fatal encounter — a rather secular adaptation.
What our techno left-brain age needs is the balancing right-brain, intuitive influence of the goddess archetype, which has been a prominent aspect of certain religions for ages, from Mary the mother of Jesus, to the gnostics’ Sophia, or the Hindus’ Kali — who represents both her empowering and destructive force. Unfortunately, in today’s conglomerate-media climate, female movie/TV stars are mostly portrayed as sex objects, and while women are making strides in politics and business, few of them present the feminine aspect of the goddess.
Back to Troi
You have to go back 30 years to the inauguration of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” to the half-human, half-Betazoid counselor Deanna Troi to find a character portraying a true goddess archetype — one who is consciously dealing with the split between mind and emotions. As a Betazoid empath, she can sense emotions, and she offers a balancing intuitive, feeling response to the mostly male crew’s perspective, especially those of her captain and first officer. Of course, its opposite is depicted in the android Data, the robot who wants to be human — a rather counter-transhumanist portrayal by the always farsighted Gene Roddenberry.
While Jean-Luc Picard and Will Riker are fairly mature males, it is interesting that the “god” archetype is played by the whimsical and often tyrannical Q, who made his first appearance in the pilot, putting humanity on trial for its barbarous past. It’s telling that with all of his super powers, Q is something of a puer aeternus, the Jungian archetype of the eternal-adolescent boy who suppresses his feelings, while lashing out emotionally and creating chaos in his wake. This is not unlike some of today’s politicians and industrial leaders.
It’s as if Roddenberry is telling us that if we are going to properly wield the god-like powers of Q — he’s constantly being reprimanded by his fellow Qs for his feckless behavior — we must be fully human and fully integrated. Of all the characters in this series and its movie offshoots, Deanne Troi is by far the model of that integration. It is interesting that in the new Star Trek movies, the only prominent female character is Uhura, the linguist and love interest of Spock, who comes off emotionally strident most of the time — not the feminine goddess of balance at all.
It is also telling that in the episodes of “Next Generation” that feature Deanna and her abilities, decidedly male alien beings or forces often take over her mind — she’s even impregnated by one — to talk through her to the crew. This happens in the Season 5 episode “Violations,” where she is mentally assaulted by an alien telepath. It’s the male, mental orientation of our world violating the empathic goddess archetype. However, she is adored by the masses when her destructive qualities are employed in a masculine manner like the character Harley Quinn in the recent movie Suicide Squad.
A Spiritual Healer
I present the healing aspect of the goddess in my character Maria Fria in I, Human. She’s a spiritual healer whose energies help to mitigate the left-brain orientation of a future society’s neural processor implants. It is also telling that she is first perceived by government henchmen as a manipulative telepath, one who can remotely view their secret meetings and even plant dreams in my hero Alan Reynard’s mind to deter his assignment to expose her supposed anti-government agenda.
But Alan’s healing sessions with Maria awaken him from his robotic sleep and lead to an exploration of his own hidden feminine potential with the activation of his kundalini, which in the Hindu tradition is a feminine energy or Shakti. When Alan is taken to a black ops site in Central America for interrogation and eventual disposal, the warrior aspect of the goddess comes to his rescue as he had come to hers by sacrificing himself to protect their group’s reprogramming of his neural processor for its eventual rollout to the masses.
My concern in I, Human and in my other novels is the mentalization of our society at the expense of our deeply human intuitive and feeling sides, which is a personal issue, as well. (As this article no doubt reveals, I’m mental to the core but working on it.) I definitely see that the line has been drawn between the forces within our society pushing us toward a robotic, cyborg future, and those, like the “bornies” in my novel, who embrace their intuitive, feeling side and use the power of the new quantum “gnosis,” as the brilliant Paul Levi has called it, to recreate themselves and their own world.
I believe that the male, and the male side of all of us, needs to embrace and make our amends to the goddess. I recall being in a Quan Yin temple on Putuoshan Island in China during the July 2009 solar eclipse. There, I went to all 33 statues of the goddess, knelt and paid homage and made amends to each. Afterward, I asked the goddess if the sacred feminine was appeased and was told to try another round. Interestingly, my host for this trip was a female member of the Chinese elite, who is generally underappreciated by her male “comrades.”
In Eastern spirituality, one of the avenues of evolving the psyche is to cultivate and raise the kundalini energy, the highest form of prana or life force, whose rise up the spinal cord awakens the lower chakras and heals the misuse of sex, power and love. After these are healed, we are open to the awakening of our higher centers and the blossoming of true consciousness in the sixth and seven chakras as we look outward in the world and see the god/goddess in all of its manifestations. This brings us back to the quantum gnosis that all there is, is consciousness.
Yoga, and especially Kundalini Yoga, has always been an avenue for the cultivation of this energy, and though it may take years of disciplined practice to awaken it, there are also recent accounts of its spontaneous eruption in many worldwide. Could it be nature or the natural element in us fighting back perhaps? Studying these examples, one finds that these people have a core of morality and integrity. Another interesting commonality is in their continuous exposure to nature, be it living in the wild or commuting there often. Nature holds the vibration that not only heals us but evolves us into higher beings. This is why the elite stuff us in enervating cities or trap us in front of computer screens all day? “Greens not Screens,” is a slogan I read recently.
From a psychological perspective, there is Jung’s transcendent function that, contrary to its name, is not about “rising above” our emotional morass but integrating all of our psychological functions. In his typology we receive input from the world through our Intuition or Sensing function, and we process that information by Thinking or Feeling. The ideal is the balanced use of all four. Most men are Thinking/Sensing types, so our evolution into fully integrated beings requires us to cultivate our Feeling and Intuitive sides.
This is why we attract opposites as partners and mates into our lives, which becomes a source of conflict in our relationships. Women with their developed feelings give men another perspective on their mostly mental orientation to life, while men help women to objectify their feelings and intuitions. But the process here shouldn’t be a mere appreciation or attraction to our surrogate opposites, but an integration of this functioning as we strive to develop ourselves and our society.
Incorporate the Goddess
Individually and as a society we do need to incorporate the goddess into our world, and not just in our new age sects, but in the halls of government and the boardrooms of corporations. The left-brain decision-making in these arenas has led us to the brink of environmental destruction. While utility is the rule of the day in these sanctums, an “intuitive grasp” of the unity of our lives and our world is the only way back from the brink. Everybody thinks that brain pills and higher IQs will get us there, but the mind is a construct of the ego and it can only see separation, not wholeness.
I hope to see the day where future Counselor Trois hold not just a token seat at the tables of power, but are active participants in bringing a balancing intuitive and feeling perspective to what would otherwise be mental dictates and bottom-line thinking. And this would not just be the substitution of men with women in suits, but an elevation of the feminine, intuitive principle in both men and women. Individually and as a society we cannot withstand more mental supremacy and more utilitarian solutions to the great problems we face.
The National Geographic channel just aired a wonderful adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s biography on Einstein titled Genius. What comes across in the portrayal is not only the man’s great intellect, but also that the very root of that genius was Einstein’s reverence for nature and its processes. In the first episode, this was starkly contrasted by the Prussian empiricism in science in the Germany of his day, which viewed his monumental construct of relativity as a false science and insisted on the age-old concept of inductive reasoning to arrive at general theory.
Another way of framing that debate is to explore the difference between an analytical intelligence and one informed by intuition. To quote a 1919 essay by Einstein: “The creation of empirical science is along the lines of an inductive method. Individual facts are selected and grouped together so that the law that connects them becomes apparent…[However] the truly great advances in our understanding of nature originate in a way almost diametrically opposed to induction. The intuitive grasp of the essentials of a large complex of facts leads the scientist to…basic law or laws.”
While working at Hampton Roads Publishing in the late 1990s, one of our visionary fiction authors was J. Edwin Carter, who wrote Living is Forever about a post-apocalyptic Earth where ordinary men and women must band together to reclaim a devastated world. Ed had been the CEO of a Canadian nickel mining giant, but he had once said that he had always been interested in the metaphysical and paranormal because the problems that reached his desk had already failed the “thinking” test and could only be resolved by intuition.
I think Steve Jobs, despite my reservations about our use of his “smart” phones, epitomized that “intuitive grasp” of things. This mandate could also be applied to the problems we face as a global society on the verge of meltdown and in need of the goddess and her energies.