What is consciousness? Etymologically, the word consciousness originates from two Latin words: cum meaning “with”, and scire meaning “to know”.
Consciousness is our facility with which we know. Materialists assume that whatever we come to know is from the old conditioned repertoire; there is nothing new under the sun. Obviously, when we are dealing with old knowledge, no causal power is needed; the conditioned ego will do, and that is just brain behavior, according to scientific materialists. In fact, most materialists have put to rest questions of causal power of consciousness by asserting that consciousness is an epiphenomenon (secondary phenomenon) of the brain; that it is an ornamental experience associated with the brain and is an operational concept; it does not really have causal power.
To scientific materialists, complex material interactions in the brain can explain all the complexity of the multilayer experiences of our consciousness. Focusing on details, though, easily reveals that all the brain can do is to process stimuli via old knowledge, what is already stored as memory in the brain. However, questions of ethics and creativity raise doubts that known knowledge cannot resolve; the resolution of these doubts involve new meanings and new contexts that weren’t present before. So the materialists’ arguments don’t do anything to resolve the question: How does consciousness acquire new knowledge that it needs to process ethical questions and questions of creativity?
Nor does materialist science address the question: How do we include our subtle experiences in our science? It is a fact that apart from the gross material experience of sensing, we have feelings, we think, we even intuit very subtle objects that we value (Plato called them archetypes -stuff like love, beauty, justice, goodness, abundance, wholeness, indeed, truth itself) and that science is supposed to value and pursue. What good are scientific laws if they are relative truth, not absolute truth? Contrary to materialist thinking, our experiences of feelings, thinking, and intuition are not computable or at least not wholly computable, and therefore, it makes sense to posit that they arise from subtle nonmaterial worlds. So far so good, but how do we develop a science of a causally potent nonmaterial consciousness with both gross and subtle experiences?
Scientific materialists deny the concepts of a nonmaterial causally potent consciousness and other nonmaterial worlds within it because of the inherent problem of dualism. They find themselves stuck by the paradox of interaction: how do these nonmaterial worlds (of consciousness, mind or whatever dual world we posit) interact with matter? Since these worlds have nothing in common with matter, in order to interact they must need a mediator. In materialist science, such mediation requires signals that carry energy. And here is the crunch! The energy of the material world alone is always a constant; energy neither escapes from nor enters into the material world from outside.
In Adam Smith’s time, we had neither the science to resolve the paradox of dualism, nor the technology to explore such subtle stuff in science in general, let alone economics. Now three centuries later, we do. This is thanks due in the main to a paradigm shift in physics from Newtonian physics to quantum physics.
Here is the biggest secret of the quantum worldview that can now be revealed: quantum physics unleashes the creative causal power of the individual human being by embedding it within a universal higher consciousness. It also unleashes the power of the subtle. Let’s put the last sentence in another way: Quantum physics provides a theoretical framework for including the subtle in our science: a causally potent consciousness with both material and subtle experiences. Quantum physics allows us to develop a viable science of consciousness that includes all of our experiences, including the subtle.
Quantum physics is the physics of possibilities; every object is a possibility of consciousness itself to choose from. How does consciousness choose? It is choosing from itself, needing no signals. How do the subtle worlds interact with gross matter? Through signal-less instant communication called quantum nonlocality mediated by nonlocal consciousness.
Don’t worry about details at this point. Just appreciate that quantum nonlocality, which you have always suspected through personal experiences such as mental telepathy, is now experimental fact thanks to recent experiments replicated many times over. Shouldn’t such a momentous discovery affect how we do things, how we carry out our personal social affairs?
Concurrently, the biologist Rupert Sheldrake (1981), while exploring the phenomenon of morphogenesis – how biological form is built from a single-celled embryo – has clarified the nonphysical world (call it the vital world) from which our experiences of feelings arise. Feelings are our experiences of vital energy, the movements of the morphogenetic fields of the vital world that act as the blueprints of biological form. Biological form – the organs – are physical representations of the morphogenetic fields. The physicist/mathematician Roger Penrose (1991) has mathematically proven that there is a defining quality of the mind – its ability to process meaning – that computers cannot process, that brain neurons likely cannot do. The neocortex of the brain makes representations of mental meaning. And millennia ago, Plato theorized that our concepts of love, beauty, justice, goodness, truth, abundance and all that really come from a subtler world – the abode of the archetypes. The philosopher Sri Aurobindo (1996) has called the world of these archetypes the supramental. Mind and subsequently, the brain, merely make representations (concepts) of these archetypes. In this way, the archetypes are obviously beyond the brain that makes representations of mental meaning (the memories).
Thanks are also due to a shift of biological thinking about our physical body. Since the 1950s, biologists in the main have insisted that the human body is purely biochemical. But now a vast amount of research by biophysicists has shown that, apart from the biochemical interior, we also have a biophysical body at the surface level. This has given us the technologies needed to measure the subtle vital energies associated with our feelings through biophysical measurements.
Similarly, new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, when interpreted with the new science, give us a way for objectively measuring the mind – states of mental meaning – by measuring the brain representations of the mid.
Now that both a supportive scientific theory and objective quantification techniques are available for the subtle, a paradigm extension of Adam Smith’s capitalism can be built to include the subtle in the economic equation.
(Source: Amit Goswami, Ph.D: “Quantum Economics”)