Idealism: the theory that mind is the ultimate reality (quotes)

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Idealists believe that mind, not matter, is the primary fabric of reality

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Idealists believe that consciousness is the primary fabric of reality…

  • If consciousness is at the heart of quantum physics (and it is), that puts it at the basis of everything. Bernard Haisch
  • Although it may not be evident from within mainstream science, it does appear that the idea that consciousness may be fundamental and matter secondary is gaining ground. Bernard Haisch
  • Consciousness comes first; it is the ground of all being. Everything else, including matter, is a possibility of consciousness. And consciousness chooses out of these possibilities all the events we experience. Amit Goswami
  • From what has been said it follows there is not any other substance than spirit or that which perceives. George Berkeley
  • Idealism is the theory that universal phenomenal consciousness is all there ultimately is, everything else in nature being reducible to patterns of excitation of this consciousness. Bernardo Kastrup
  • If consciousness is the basis of reality, then it is plausible that a transcendent consciousness is the underlying cause of the Universe. Bernard Haisch
  • As everything ultimately appears in Consciousness, everything is, in the ultimate analysis, made out of Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • Everything that is experienced is experienced by, through, in and as Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness does not just witness every experience; it expresses itself as every experience. Rupert Spira
  • The very substance of every experience is the substance of Consciousness. Objects do not just appear in Consciousness; they appear as Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness is the witness and substance of every objective experience. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness is the primary and most intimate fact of experience. Every experience that we ever have, that we ever could or will have, is experienced by this Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness is not simply the witness but also the substance of every object that appears within it. Every object is made out of Consciousness. It is an expression of Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • The content of every experience is Consciousness itself. Rupert Spira
  • This new awareness has radical implications for each and every one of us. For it reveals a wholly interconnected, conscious and holographic universe, a Cosmos where consciousness is primary– and where we are therefore both creator and co- creator. Jude Currivan
  • Sensations and perceptions are made out of mind – that is, they are made out of sensing and perceiving. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness it is the sole substance of the seamless totality of experience. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness is known as Omnipotence, because whatever appears depends solely on Consciousness for its existence. Whatever appears emerges out of, is sustained by and is dissolved into Consciousness. Consciousness creates everything out of its own Being. Rupert Spira
  • ‘I’, Consciousness, Being, Knowingness, takes the shape of thinking, sensing or perceiving in order to appear as a mind, a body or a world. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness does matter. Matter is secondary. Consciousness is primary. Brain does not do consciousness, consciousness does the brain. Amit Goswami
  • John von Neumann (1903–1957), who is considered to be one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century and who was also a scientist on the Manhattan Project, asserts that consciousness doesn’t merely affect reality; consciousness creates reality. Joseph Selbie
  • In the modern, prevailing view of the cosmos, we sit here as tiny, unimportant specks of protoplasm, flukes of nature, and stare out into an almost limitless void. Vast nameless tracts of emptiness dominate the scene. Talk about feeling small. In the consciousness is primary view, we do not look out at the universe; it is, instead, within us, as a rich 3-D visual experience whose location is the mind. Robert Lanza
  • Consciousness is the primary stuff of reality. Consciousness is able to shape and direct matter. Consciousness, in fact, has created this universe—the planets and stars, the plants and animals, and you and me. This is not accomplished by the kind of miraculous construction-out-of-nothing beloved by fundamentalists, but rather by an infinite intelligence dreaming up an infinite variety of laws and values for physical constants, and then letting those laws and values evolve into the stars and planets and life forms of an infinite number of universes. Bernard Haisch
  • Even the experiencer is secondary. Primary is the infinite expanse of consciousness, the eternal possibility, the immeasurable potential of all that was, is, and will be. When you look at anything, it is the ultimate you see, but you imagine that you see a cloud or a tree. Learn to look without imagination, to listen without distortion: that is all. Stop attributing names and shapes to the essentially nameless and formless, realize that every mode of perception is subjective, that what is seen or heard, touched or smelt, felt or thought, expected or imagined, is in the mind and not in reality, and you will experience peace and freedom from fear. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • Something else came first. This spiritual perspective holds that forces and intelligences in a non-material realm or realms created, or perhaps continually create and sustain, the world of matter and physical laws. Human beings have a dualistic nature—a material body and a non-material consciousness. Intelligent thought operates through the brain, but is more than just a physical process. The brain is, indeed, a data processor, but intelligence and consciousness reside elsewhere. The ability of consciousness to exist apart from the body and to survive death is, therefore, likely. Proponents of this view see the physical world as a kind of school, created for the development and evolution of spiritual beings. Through this process, you rise to ever-higher levels of moral development and wisdom. Through a series of material incarnations, you ultimately attain perfection and are reunited with the creator of all. Thus, “the One who became many is becoming one again.” Bernard Haisch
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…the ground of all being…

  • Consciousness is the ground of all being. Amit Goswami, Ph.D
  • Consciousness, not matter, is the ground of all existence. Amit Goswami
  • According to idealism, the reality of matter is secondary to that of consciousness, which itself is the ground of all being—including matter. Amit Goswami
  • Objects exist within awareness, known by awareness and made of awareness. Rupert Spira
  • Many quantum physics are realizing or hypothesizing that consciousness is not a byproduct of evolution as has been suggested. Or for that matter, an expression of our brains, although it expresses itself through our brains. But consciousness is the common ground of existence that ultimately differentiates into space, time, energy, information and matter. And the same consciousness is responsible for our thoughts, for our emotions and feelings, for our behaviors, for our personal relationships, for our social interactions, for the environments that we find ourselves in, and for our biology. Deepak Chopra
  • I would suggest that there is some ground, deeper and more subtle than are either mind or matter, and that they both enfold from this ground, which is the beginning and ending of everything. David Bohm
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…that gives rise to matter as an appearance in consciousness

  • Matter exists only as a cluster of visual, auditory, taste and tactile perceptions arising in consciousness. Anthony Lambert
  • The reality of matter is secondary to that of consciousness, which itself is the ground of all being—including matter. Amit Goswami
  • Instead of positing that everything (including consciousness) is made of matter, this philosophy posits that everything (including matter) exists in and is manipulated from consciousness. Amit Goswami
  • Consciousness is not an emergent property, but elementary and preceding energy/matter, and it is consciousness which gives meaning to the universe. Scott Owen
  • Instead of positing that everything (including consciousness) is made of matter, Idealism posits that everything (including matter) exists in and is manipulated from consciousness. Amit Goswami
  • Instead of positing that everything (including consciousness) is made of matter, this philosophy posits that everything (including matter) exists in and is manipulated from consciousness. Amit Goswami
  • In much the same way as Copernicus’ insight turned our model of the cosmos inside out, the distinction between the physical world and our experience of the world turns the relationship of consciousness and the material world inside out. In the current metaparadigm, consciousness is assumed to emerge from the world of space, time and matter. In the new metaparadigm, everything we know, including space, time and matter, manifests from consciousness. Peter Russell
  • [Idealism] holds that material reality is not only non-exclusive; it is secondary.
  • I would suggest that there is some ground, deeper and more subtle than are either mind or matter, and that they both enfold from this ground, which is the beginning and ending of everything. David Bohm
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Mind (as consciousness) is fundamental

  • The only thing that is fundamental (real) is consciousness itself; all else is virtual – i.e., a result of an exchange of information within consciousness. Thomas Campbell
  • In the idealist philosophy, consciousness is fundamental; thus our spiritual experiences are acknowledged and validated as meaningful. This philosophy accommodates many of the interpretations of human spiritual experience that have sparked the various world religions. Amit Goswami
  • Recognizing that the physical world is entirely abstract and without “actuality” apart from its linkage to consciousness, we restore consciousness to the fundamental position instead of representing it as an inessential complication occasionally found in the midst of inorganic nature at a late stage of evolutionary history. Sir Arthur Eddington
  • I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness. Planck
  • The antithesis of material realism is monistic idealism. In this philosophy, consciousness, not matter, is fundamental. Both the world of matter and the world of mental phenomena, such as thought, are determined by consciousness. Amit Goswami
  • Consciousness has primacy over matter. It asserts that it was consciousness that created matter, or perhaps haps even more provocatively that consciousness is continually creating and sustaining the world of matter. I would argue that the evidence from quantum mechanics is actually more supportive of the latter. Bernard Haisch
  • I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness. Max Planck
  • Consciousness comes first; it is the ground of all being. Everything else, including matter, is a possibility of consciousness. And consciousness chooses out of these possibilities all the events we experience. Amit Goswami
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It is mind (as consciousness), not matter, that is the ultimate reality

  • A philosophical idealist is one who insists that only ideas, spirit, or mind are real. The first and foremost explanation of the universe is that it is spirit, mind, or idea. This is in contrast to naturalism which begins with nature, matter, or atoms as the basic entity of reality. Dallas M. Roark
  • Mind is an irreducible aspect of nature which itself cannot be explained in terms of anything else. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Idealism: the notion that all reality is a phenomenon of, and in, mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • In vintage monistic idealism, only transcendent and unitive consciousness is real. The rest, including the subject-object division of the world, is epiphenomenon, maya, illusion. Amit Goswami
  • As argued by generations of idealistic philosophers, all material things are manifestations of consciousness or assemblies of mind, so that while the physical world appears to be composed of non-mental stuff, it is not. Robert Lawrence Kuhn
  • We started with the concept that the world contains the body, which in turn contains the mind, which in turn contains a little invisible spark of Consciousness, which at best is considered to be a by-product of the world and at worst is overlooked altogether. We end with the understanding that Consciousness is the ever-present Reality of all things and that everything appears within it and as an expression of it.  Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness does not just perceive Reality. It is Reality. Rupert Spira
  • Mind and matter are different states of the same thing: the field of consciousness. Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos
  • I incline to the idealistic theory that consciousness is fundamental, and that the material universe is derivative from consciousness, not consciousness from the material universe… In general the universe seems to me to be nearer to a great thought than to a great machine. It may well be, it seems to me, that each individual consciousness ought to be compared to a brain-cell in a universal mind. Sir James Jeans
  • Realism: Reality exists outside and independent of mind; Idealism: Reality consists exclusively of mind and its contents. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Mind is not generated by configurations of matter and energy. Instead, configurations of matter and energy arise from the dynamics of mind. They only exist insofar as they are experienced. Mind is the ground of the real. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Is there a monistic alternative to material realism, where mind and matter are integrally part of one reality, but a reality that is not based on matter? Yes, idealism. Amit Goswami
  • As argued by generations of idealistic philosophers, all material things are manifestations of consciousness or assemblies of mind, so that while the physical world appears to be composed of non-mental stuff, it is not. Robert Lawrence Kuhn
  • Idealism is the view that consciousness (or the conscious mind as the entity which has consciousness) is a fundamental feature of reality (denying Premise 1 of the triad). Idealism goes further by asserting that consciousness (or the minds which support it) is all there is to reality. William Seager
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Mind (as consciousness) is ultimately all there is

  • Consciousness is always only experiencing itself. Rupert Spira
  • There is only Consciousness, there is only Being, which simultaneously creates, witnesses, expresses and experiences itself in every experience we have. Rupert Spira
  • If we know deeply that everything is an expression of Consciousness, that everything is Consciousness, we see Consciousness everywhere. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness is simply present, experiencing its own unmanifest, ever-present Reality. Rupert Spira
  • The essence of all experience is consciousness. It is the common element of all experience. It is the one undoubtable fact of all life. It is that within which all our experience is constructed. It is the essence and substance of everything we know. It is the ultimate reality. This essence is the essence of everyone, whatever their race, age, gender, background, rich or poor; whatever their time. Whatever they think, experience or believe, they are all conscious beings like myself, and thus share the same inner essence. This essence is the essence of all sentient beings whatever their body, senses or nervous systems, whatever their perception of the world. Where we differ from other creatures is not in consciousness itself, but in the picture that is painted in our consciousness. Human beings are privileged in that they have the potential to become aware of this inner essence, to know God in this sense. This essence I choose to call God. Peter Russell
  • I believe that consciousness and its contents are all that exists. Space-time, matter and fields never were the fundamental denizens of the universe but have always ways been, from their beginning, among the humbler contents of consciousness, dependent on it for their very being. The world of our daily experience-the world of tables, chairs, stars and people, with their attendant shapes, smells, feels and sounds-is a species-specific user interface to a realm far more complex, a realm whose essential character is conscious. It is unlikely that the contents of our interface in any way resemble that realm. If this is right, if consciousness is fundamental, then we should not be surprised that, despite centuries of effort by the most brilliant of minds, there is as yet no physicalist theory of consciousness, no theory that explains how mindless matter or energy or fields could be, or cause, conscious experience. Donald Hoffman
  • There are not two things. There is only Consciousness, Presence, Oneness. Consciousness is the totality of our current experience, taking the shape of this current experience now and now and now. Rupert Spira
  • Our experience is always only an expression of Consciousness. It is always only an expression of Oneness. Rupert Spira
  • There is nothing other than this Consciousness taking the shape of our moment-by-moment experience and yet always remaining itself. Rupert Spira
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Idealism therefore believes reality to be mental, not physical…

  • I will understand idealism broadly, as the thesis that the universe is fundamentally mental. As such it is meant as a global metaphysical thesis analogous to physicalism, the thesis that the universe is fundamentally physical, or perhaps that all concrete facts are grounded in physical facts. The only difference is that “physical” is replaced by “mental”. David Chalmers
  • Like physicalism, idealism is a kind of monism. According to idealists, the fundamental features of our world (or at least its fundamental contingent features) are all of one kind—the mental kind. Unlike physicalists, however, idealists try to achieve monism without reducing consciousness to something ostensibly more basic, or identifying consciousness with something that we previously didn’t realize was consciousness (like brain states). Michael Pelczar
  • The ultimate reality is mind, a perfect mind containing all possible things within itself in a different manner, and causing some of them to exist physically in order to realize some purpose – perhaps the purpose of creating other minds to share in the good things it enjoys. Keith Ward
  • Modern Idealists, on the other hand, believe that the mind and its thoughts are the only true things that exist. Bernard Haisch
  • It is mind itself that generates all opposites; from the most obvious to the most subtle. Leo Hartong
  • It is about whether the physical universe really is the ultimate reality, or whether the ultimate reality has the nature of mind or consciousness. Keith Ward
  • If life is potential in matter, it is a thousand times more evident that mind is potential in life. Dr Saleeby
  • Reality is not made up of material substances that endure through time, but serially-ordered events, which are experiential in nature. Philip A. Pecorino
  • The entire universe – is just the flow of the contents of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial—mental and spiritual. Richard Conn Henry
  • All of reality is a phenomenon of, and in, mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The ultimate nature of reality is mental not material. Peter Russell
  • The Universe is immaterial – mental and spiritual. Richard Conn Henry
  • The sharp division between mentality and nature has no ground in our fundamental observation. … I conclude that we should conceive mental operations as among the factors which make up the constitution of nature. A.N. Whitehead
  • Even though the mental and the physical are one, we distinguish between them because they represent different ways of knowing things. Amit Goswami
  • To idealists, there is only the medium of mind and its contents. Everything you see, hear, feel, think, or otherwise cognize right now exists, to an idealist, only insofar as it unfolds in mind. There is no abstract external world outside mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Donald Hoffman lays out the case that conscious minds are the fundamental entities that the rest of reality is made from; it’s minds all the way down. He calls this the “conscious agent thesis.” Objects don’t exist, he says, unless they’re perceived by minds. Dan Falk
  • We don’t see because we have eyes. Eyes are physical organs that evolved to serve the mind’s desire to see. Mind comes first. Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos
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…a theory supported by a number of renowned physicists…

  • The mind-stuff of the world is, of course, something more general than our individual conscious minds… The mind-stuff is not spread in space and time; these are part of the cyclic scheme ultimately derived out of it… It is necessary to keep reminding ourselves that all knowledge of our environment from which the world of physics is constructed, has entered in the form of messages transmitted along the nerves to the seat of consciousness… Consciousness is not sharply defined, but fades into subconsciousness; and beyond that we must postulate something indefinite but yet continuous with our mental nature… It is difficult for the matter-of-fact physicist to accept the view that the substratum of everything is of mental character. But no one can deny that mind is the first and most directthing in our experience, and all else is remote inference. Arthur Eddington
  • Mentality is ontologically fundamental in the Universe. Roger Penrose
  • The stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter… we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Sir James Jeans
  • Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. James Jeans
  • The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine. James Jeans
  • As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear-headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as the result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such! All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together…. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter. Max Planck
  • First, the human mind, including consciousness and reflective thought, can be explained by activities of the central nervous system, which, in turn, can be reduced to the biological structure and function of that physiological system. Second, biological phenomena at all levels, can be totally understood in terms of atomic physics, that is, through the action and interaction of the component atoms of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and so forth. Third, and last, atomic physics, which is now understood most fully by means of quantum mechanics, must be formulated with the mind as a primitive component of the system. Harold Morowitz
  • The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual. Sir James Jeans
  • The stuff of the world is mind-stuff. Arthur Eddington
  • ‘Physics is the study of the structure of consciousness. The “stuff” of the world is mindstuff.’ Sir Arthur Eddington
  • As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear-headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as the result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such! All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together…. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter. Max Planck
  • Mind is inherent in the way the universe is built. Freeman Dyson
  • Even though the mental and the physical are one, we distinguish between them because they represent different ways of knowing things. Amit Goswami
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…many renowned philosophers…

  • Idealism for Hegel meant that the finite world is a reflection of mind, which alone is truly real. Encyclopaedia Britannica
  • For Spinoza, physical science is a way of studying the psychology of God. There is nothing in nature that does not have a mental aspect—the proper appreciation of matter itself reveals it to be the other side of a mentalistic coin. Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy
  • The inner being of the whole of nature must be somehow psychical. Timothy Sprigge
  • The world, however, is not merely Spirit thus thrown out and dispersed into the plentitude of existence and the external order imposed on it; for since Spirit is essentially the simple Self, this self is likewise present therein. The world is objectively existent spirit, which is individual self, that has consciousness and distinguishes itself as other, as world, from itself. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
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…as well as many spiritual traditions…

  • Matter is derived from mind, and not mind from matter. The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation
  • The universe is but a thought in Consciousness. In Reality it is nothing. One who sees the true nature of existence and non-existence never ceases to exist.  Ashtavakra Gita
  • All phenomena in the world are nothing but the illusory manifestation of the mind and have no reality on their own. Ashvaghosha
  • Out of mind spring innumerable things, conditioned by discrimination . . . These things people accept as an external world . . . What appears to be external does not exist in reality; it is indeed mind that is seen as multiplicity; the body, property, and above-all these, I say, are nothing but mind. Lankavatara Sutra
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…and spiritualists

  • THE ALL, and like all else in the Universe is purely Mental in its nature. The Kybalion
  • THE ALL is Mind; the Universe is Mental, which means that the Underlying Reality of the Universe is Mind; and the Universe itself is Mental–that is, “existing in the Mind of THE ALL. The Kybalion
  • The Universe is Mental–held in the Mind of THE ALL. As the Kybalion
  • The universe, and all it contains, is a mental creation of the all. Verily indeed, all is mind! The Kybalion
  • The Phenomenal Universe, as a whole, and in its every part, is perceived to exist only as an ideal appearance in Spirit considered as Universal Mind. William Walker Atkinson
  • Ultimate reality is called. Absolute Idealism is the highest form of philosophical teaching. It holds that the phenomenal universe has no existence other than in the Universal Mind. William Walker Atkinson
  • Absolute idealism denies the existence of material objects, holding that their appearances are merely ideas of the universal mind. William Walker Atkinson
  • Many philosophies have held that the universe is mental, in its last analysis, and that the Universal Mind is the reality behind the appearances. William Walker Atkinson
  • The belief that the world is God’s mind-stuff is called idealism. Anthony Lambert
  • With a Cosmos mental in nature— consisting in fact of but One Universal Mind in which all particular things are but Centres of Consciousness. William Walker Atkinson
  • Our World of Experience, then, is but the mind’s symbolic representation of the “something outside”— of that Universe as it is “in itself,” and as an Omniscient Mind does, or would, know it to be in its ultimate verity. William Walker Atkinson
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Idealism asserts that the world is made of mind and known by mind

  • Our amazing experiences of life do not come from something dead and inert but something very much alive. Rupert Spira
  • As everything ultimately appears in Consciousness, everything is, in the ultimate analysis, made out of Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • There is only consciousness here; this universe is nothing but consciousness; you are consciousness; I am consciousness; the words are consciousness. That is the conclusion. Yoga Vasishta Sara
  • Consciousness is not simply the witness but also the substance of every object that appears within it. Every object is made out of Consciousness. It is an expression of Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • The Saints see the world as filled with divinity, with Consciousness. In today’s culture, we see the opposite. We try to look for Consciousness, whereas the saints see everything as Consciousness, just as it is.  Swami Nityananda
  • Until the seventeenth century, university scholars and Christian theologians taught that the universe was alive, pervaded by the Spirit of God, the divine breath of life. All plants, animals and people had souls. The stars, the planets and the earth were living beings, guided by angelic intelligences. Mechanistic science rejected these doctrines and expelled all souls from nature. The material world became literally inanimate, a soulless machine. Matter was purposeless and unconscious; the planets and stars were dead. Rupert Sheldrake
  • What is a sound made of ? What is an object made of?  Seeing and touching. All is made of consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • If we explore the substance or reality out which thought and perception are made, we find only infinite Consciousness. That is, Consciousness finds only itself. Rupert Spira
  • The mind, the body and the world are located inside Consciousness and are made only out of Consciousness. That is our experience. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness takes the shape of the apparent object, through the faculties of sensing and perceiving.  Consciousness takes the shape of every experience we have.  Rupert Spira
  • All I experience appears in consciousness and is created by consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • As everything ultimately appears in Consciousness, everything is, in the ultimate analysis, made out of Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • Absolute consciousness is manifest here in every circumstance of daily life because it is everywhere full and perfect. Consciousness is said to be the cause of all things because it is everywhere emergent as each manifest entity. Abhinavagupt
  • There is no such thing as material substance in the world. George Berkeley
  • It’s not that consciousness is in all; consciousness is all things. Scott Owen
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Mind, as consciousness, constructs the universe…

  • The universe gives birth to consciousness, and consciousness gives meaning to the universe. John Archibald Wheeler
  • The Universe is a mirror of consciousness. Deepak Chopra
  • The physical universe that you see is all in your mind. When you turn your mind off, or become unconscious, the physical universe, for you, disappears. Then, when you awaken your consciousness, the universe reappears magically. Quite simple really – no thoughts on your part, no physical world. As Walt Whitman succinctly stated: “The whole theory of the universe is directed unerringly to one single individual – namely to You.” Without your mind to process it, the universe simply disappears into nothingness. Wayne Dyer
  • Infinite worlds appear and disappear in the wide expanse of my consciousness, like notes of dust dancing in a heaven of light. Sanskrit.
  • Is stillness just the absence of noise and content? No, it is intelligence itself — the underlying consciousness out of which every form is born. And how could that be separate from who you are? The form that you think you are came out of that and is being sustained by it. It is the essence of all galaxies and blades of grass; of all flowers, trees, birds, and all other forms. Eckhart Tolle
  • Only an object that is made out of matter could appear in space. Only an object that is made out of mind could appear in mind. And only an object that is made out of Consciousness can appear in Consciousness. Rupert Spira
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…including the body…

  • The body is a localisation of consciousness. Eckhart Tolle
  • The operation of consciousness has created the ‘apparition’ called ‘me’. Mooji
  • You are not the body. You are the immensity and infinity of consciousness. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • The body is nothing but sensations and visual perceptions arising in consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness conceives, governs, constructs, and becomes the activity of the body. Deepak Chopra
  • Consciousness is not in the body; the body is in consciousness. And you are that consciousness. Dan Millman
  • There is no body as such. There is a series of sensations and perceptions appearing in Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • The physical body is conceived and constructed in consciousness as are time and space. All happens within our self. Deepak Chopra
  • Consciousness regulates and becomes the flow of energy and information in your body, your relationships, and your world. Deepak Chopra
  • The distinguishing characteristics of mind are of a subjective sort; we know them only from the contents of our own consciousness. Wilhelm Wundt
  • Consciousness is not mind; it is the ground of all being, the ground of both matter and mind. Matter and mind are both possibilities of consciousness. Amit Goswami
  • Where does the body end and the mind begin? Where does the mind end and the spirit begin? They cannot be divided as they are inter-related and but different aspects of the same all-pervading divine consciousness. B.K.S. Iyengar
  • I, this Consciousness that is seeing these words and experiencing whatever it is that is being experienced in this moment, is not located inside a mind. The mind is not located inside a body, and the body is not located inside a world. The body is simply the sensation of the body, and the world is simply the perception of the world. Rupert Spira
  • You are so accustomed to think of yourselves as bodies having consciousness that you just cannot imagine consciousness as having bodies. Once you realize that bodily existence is but a state of mind, a movement in consciousness, that the ocean of consciousness is infinite and eternal, and that, when in touch with consciousness, you are the witness only, you will be able to withdraw beyond consciousness altogether. Nisargadatta Maharaj
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…and even the brain

  • We may believe this consciousness has a home in our brains, and there’s a relative truth to that, but not an absolute one, because the brain itself is as much a construction in our minds as the supposedly external trees and tablecloths. Robert Lanza
  • Consciousness does matter. Matter is secondary. Consciousness is primary. Brain does not do consciousness, consciousness does the brain. Amit Goswami
  • The brain does not create consciousness, but conciousness created the brain, the most complex physical form on earth, for its expression. Eckhart Tolle
  • Contrary to what everyone knows is so, it may not be the brain that produces consciousness, but rather consciousness that creates the appearance of the brain — matter, space, time and everything else we are pleased to interpret as the physical. Keith Floyd
  • If idealism is correct, then mind is not within the brain, because it is the brain that is within mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Consciousness does matter. Matter is secondary. Consciousness is primary. Brain does not do consciousness, consciousness does the brain. Amit Goswami
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Idealism asserts that the world of matter cannot exist apart from mind

  • The world has no substance and has no existence independent of Consciousness. Bentinho Massaro
  • The existence of what we call physical reality is dependent upon consciousness. Scott Owen
  • No object has its own independent existence. All objects borrow their apparent existence from the reality of consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • There is no world apart from the mind. What appears as the world is only the mind.  Ribhu Gita
  • All the choir of heaven and furniture of earth – in a word, all those bodies which compose the frame of the world – have not any subsistence without a mind. George Berkeley
  • Will anything be apparent to you, if there be no consciousness? Even to say that nothing is apparent to you (as in sleep) requires the light of consciousness. Tripura Rahasya
  • Matter is consciousness seen through the finite mind. Rupert Spira
  • Without awareness of being, or consciousness, there is nothing. Are there objects? Who knows? If no one is aware of the objects, their existence or nonexistence becomes completely irrelevant. Michael A. Singer
  • It is known as Omnipotence, because whatever appears depends solely on Consciousness for its existence. Whatever appears emerges out of, is sustained by and is dissolved into Consciousness. Consciousness creates everything out of its own Being. Rupert Spira
  • All experience subsides with the mind. Without the mind, there can be no experiencer nor experience. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
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Without perception by a conscious agent, idealism believes there is no universe

  • Outside your consciousness does anything exist? Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • To be is to be perceived. George Berkeley
  • Without awareness of reality, how can reality exist? Sri Ramana Maharshi
  • It is only in the consciousness of the observer that things exist at all in space and time. Robert Lanza
  • Outside you there is no eternal sky, no changeless star and no reality. A Course in Miracles
  • Nothing exists to you without your being there to experience its existence. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • If there were no intelligent observers in the physical universe, the physical universe would cease to exist. Joseph Selbie
  • The presence of the mind, the body and the world, however peaceful or agitated, is only possible because of this witnessing presence of Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • If I remove the thinking subject, the whole material world must at once vanish because it is nothing but a phenomenal appearance in the sensibility of ourselves as a subject, and a manner or species of representation. Immanuel Kant
  • There is no separate physical universe outside of life and consciousness. Nothing is real that is not perceived. There was never a time when an external, dumb, physical universe existed, or that life sprang randomly from it at a later date. Space and time exist only as constructs of the mind, as tools of perception. Experiments in which the observer influences the outcome are easily explainable by the interrelatedness of consciousness and the physical universe. Robert Lanza
  • The i’s and the t’s of physical reality are not dotted and crossed until you actually look up into the sky. The Moon has a definite existence only after it has been pulled out of the realm of mathematical probability and into the observer’s web of consciousness. Robert Lanza
  • Without consciousness there would be no world, for the world exists as such only in so far as it is consciously reflected and considered by a psyche. Consciousness is a precondition of being. Carl Jung
  • There is no reality above and beyond that created by the integration of all consciousnesses, and the holographic universe can potentially be sculpted in virtually limitless ways by the mind.  Michael Talbot
  • When that witness itself, which is ‘I am’, subsides, what remains? With the witness gone, all other things have disappeared too.  Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • We never perceive the world – we perceive perception. The world is apparent. No independent world comes into existence. Rupert Spira
  • Nothing and nobody exists in this world whose very being does not presuppose a spectator. Hannah Arendt
  • We only know that we are here observing the world. What happens when nobody observes it is a mystery. Deepak Chopra
  • There is no separate physical universe outside of life and consciousness. Nothing is real that is not perceived. There was never a time when an external, dumb, physical universe existed, or that life sprang randomly from it at a later date. Space and time exist only as constructs of the mind, as tools of perception. Experiments in which the observer influences the outcome are easily explainable by the interrelatedness of consciousness and the physical universe. Robert Lanza
  • There is no proof of a world independent of perception. Yet me assume it is there. Rupert Spira
  • The universe does not seem to exist without a perceiver of that universe. Amit Goswami
  • Albert Einstein once said “I like to believe that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it.” But according to the double-slit experiments, the moon isn’t there unless one is looking at it. Joseph Selbie
  • All descriptions of matter are descriptions of modes of human perception within consciousness. Deepak Chopra
  • Nothing you perceive around you—not this page, not this room, not this house—has any reality except through you. Deepak Chopra
  • What you perceive through the five senses isn’t the same as reality. Go beyond the shadow play of appearances, and reality will greet you. Deepak Chopra
  • Nothing could appear, the word “appearance” would make no sense, if recipients of appearances did not exist — living creatures able to acknowledge, recognize, and react to — in flight or desire, approval or disapproval, blame or praise — what is not merely there but appears to them and is meant for their perception. In this world which we enter, appearing from a nowhere, and from which we disappear into a nowhere, Being and Appearing coincide… Nothing and nobody exists in this world whose very being does not presuppose a spectator. In other words, nothing that is, insofar as it appears, exists in the singular; everything that is is meant to be perceived by somebody… Plurality is the law of the earth. Hannah Arendt
  • Without an experiencer, the experience is not real. It is the experiencer that imparts reality to experience. An experience which you cannot have, of what value is it to you? Nisargadatta Maharaj
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Idealism does not say that everything is made of “mind stuff.”  It says there is only subjective perception.

  • Many people then conclude that this implies the existence of some kind of literal ‘mind stuff.’ Bernardo Kastrup
  • Idealism does not entail that the substrate of mind is the stuff of existence, insofar as we define ‘stuff’ as some objective substance or material that supposedly exists independently of, and outside, subjective perception. Instead, what idealism is saying is precisely that there is no stuff. There is only subjective perception. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The substrate of mind itself is not stuff: it is the subject, not an object. It is the medium from which perceptions arise, but is itself not perceivable. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The substrate of mind cannot be measured, detected, or analyzed like some kind of stuff, because it is that which measures, detects, and analyzes in the first place. Bernardo Kastru
  • Many people then conclude that this implies the existence of some kind of literal ‘mind stuff.’ However, when one asks about the ‘stuff’ of mind one is ‘subconsciously’ falling back into realist assumptions; into thinking that reality is ‘out there,’ even mind itself! Bernardo Kastrup
  • Our language is itself constructed around dualities like subject/object, verb/noun, past/future, etc. Therefore, it is impossible to talk about mind without objectifying it in some way. Bernardo Kastrup
  • If the idealist worldview is correct, everything we perceive, think, or feel is a vibration of mind. But we have to stop looking for the ‘stuff’ that vibrates. We won’t find it, because there is no such ‘stuff.’ Bernardo Kastrup
  • From consciousness’s perspective, there are no objects, just the knowing of them. Rupert Spira
  • Berkeley believed that existence was tied to experience, and that objects exist only as perception and not as matter separate from perception. Omonia Vinieris
  • The substrate of mind itself is not stuff: it is the subject, not an object. It is the medium from which perceptions arise, but is itself not perceivable. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The substrate of mind cannot be measured, detected, or analyzed like some kind of stuff, because it is that which measures, detects, and analyzes in the first place. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Idealism does not entail that the substrate of mind is the stuff of existence, insofar as we define ‘stuff’ as some objective substance or material that supposedly exists independently of, and outside, subjective perception. Instead, what idealism is saying is precisely that there is no stuff. There is only subjective perception. Bernardo Kastrup
  • This perceiving, active being is what I call mind, spirit, soul, or myself. By which words I do not denote any one of my ideas, but a thing entirely distinct from them, wherein they exist, or, which is the same thing, whereby they are perceived; for the existence of an idea consists in being perceived. George Berkeley
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The mind cannot know itself as an object of perception…

  • What perceives but itself cannot be perceived? Mooji
  • The eye that sees can’t see itself directly. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Consciousness itself cannot be known as an object. Rupert Spira
  • The medium of mind itself cannot be known directly, for it is the knower. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Since the eye that sees cannot see itself directly, mind can never understand itself literally. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Awareness can never find itself as an object because it already is itself, just as the eye cannot see itself. Rupert Spira
  • Whatever is perceived is not this perceiving Consciousness. It is an object that is appearing to it, within it. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness can never find itself as an object because it already is itself, just as the eye cannot see itself. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness cannot be known by the mind. The mind is an object. It does not know anything. It is itself known by Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness cannot be observed in the way that material objects can. It cannot be weighed, measured, or otherwise pinned down. Peter Russell
  • A literal – that is, direct – apprehension of the nature of existence is fundamentally impossible, this being the perennial cosmic itch. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Only an object can be perceived objectively, so this perceiving space would see only the objects that are present within it, not the space itself. Rupert Spira
  • If we try to find this Consciousness, if we turn our attention towards it, we are unable to see it or find it, because it does not have any objective qualities. Rupert Spira
  • The experience of ‘experiencing itself’ is colourless, transparent and invisible. It has no objective qualities. There is nothing that is being objectively experienced. Rupert Spira
  • Every thought is an object, but the objectless Consciousness in which thoughts appear can never itself appear as a thought. Therefore, it is impossible to think of Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • Our language is itself constructed around dualities like subject/object, verb/noun, past/future, etc. Therefore, it is impossible to talk about mind without objectifying it in some way. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Look within diligently, remember to remember that the perceived cannot be the perceiver. Whatever you see, hear or think of remember — you are not what happens, you are he to whom it happens. Nisargadatta Maharaja
  • The Awareness you are perceives but cannot be perceived. It is formless. How do we know awareness cannot be perceived? Because anything perceivable can be subtracted from you, and you are still there.  Anthony Lambert
  • Awareness experiences seeing, but has no colour or shape. Awareness experiences hearing, but makes no sound. Awareness experiences touching, but has no tangible form. Awareness experiences thinking, but isn’t a thought. Tim Freke
  • Awareness’s being itself is the knowing or experiencing of itself. However, the experience of ‘experiencing itself’ is colourless, transparent and invisible. It has no objective qualities. There is nothing that is being objectively experienced. Rupert Spira
  • What is it that can’t be seen, but which makes seeing possible? What is it that can’t be heard, but which makes hearing possible? What is it that can’t be known, but which makes knowledge possible? What is it that can’t be thought, but which makes thinking possible? Chandogya Upanishad
  • Consciousness, or the capacity for awareness, is formless and is the backdrop from which form can be identified. It is because of the formlessness of the apparent emptiness of space that form can be perceived. ‘Somethingness’ can be identified only because it stands out against no other things. David R. Hawkins
  • If we take the subjective aspect of experience first, we see that it is impossible to know anything objective about it, about ‘I’, about Consciousness. The simple reason for this is that anything that is known is by definition an object. Anything we think we know about the subject is immediately transferred to the status of ‘object’. It becomes the known, not the Knower. Rupert Spira
  • When we try to think of Consciousness, it is like looking into a black hole. It is not even black. The mind simply cannot go there. It cannot go to that objectless place because the mind is itself an object. As the mind tries to turn itself towards Consciousness, it dissolves. It’s dissolution is the revelation of Presence, the revelation of that in which thought dissolves. The mind does not find Truth. It does not find Reality. It is dissolved in it. Rupert Spira
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…although it can know itself non-objectively by being itself (through the awareness of being aware)

  • Consciousness perceives itself. It knows itself, knowingly. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness perceives itself when we rest in the pure awareness of being aware. Anthony Lambert
  • The thought about Consciousness is unique in that it does not lead to a concept. It leads to the direct experience of Consciousness knowing itself, knowingly. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness is conscious. It perceives. It experiences itself all the time, whether or not thoughts, sensations or perceptions are present. Rupert Spira
  • Every time Consciousness ceases to take the shape of the mind, the body and the world, it knows itself again as Presence or Being. Rupert Spira
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Idealism believes the world, made by mind, exists only as an appearance in mind

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Idealism asserts nothing exists outside of consciousness

  • Note that Heisenberg himself almost came up with the idealist metaphysic when he introduced the concept of idealism. The important new element is that the domain of idealism also exists in consciousness. Nothing is outside consciousness. This monistic view of the world is crucial. Amit Goswami
  • We started with the concept that the world contains the body, which in turn contains the mind, which in turn contains a little invisible spark of Consciousness, which at best is considered to be a by-product of the world and at worst is overlooked altogether. We end with the understanding that Consciousness is the ever-present Reality of all things and that everything appears within it and as an expression of it. Rupert Spira
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All apparent reality is an appearance in mind, made of mind

  • What is experienced is the actual reality. Bernardo Kastrup
  • All of reality is a phenomenon of, and in, mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • All reality is in mind, including your body and brain. Bernardo Kastrup
  • There is nothing in mind that is not in consciousness. Bernardo Kastrup
  • According to idealism, everything in nature must be in mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The entire universe – is just the flow of the contents of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • There is no soul separate from the body. There are only the movements of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • There is but one mind; one irreducible medium in which the dance of existence unfolds. Bernardo Kastrup
  • There is nothing to reality but the medium of mind itself. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The brain is nothing but mind! It is mind that is the broader framework, encompassing the brain but also the rest of existence. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Idealism proposes that all reality is in mind and, as such, one can say metaphorically that everything is ‘made of’ the substrate of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The mind is simply the experience of the mind. The body is simply the experience of the body. The world is simply the experience of the world. Rupert Spira
  • The mind, the body and the world appear to this witnessing presence of Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • According to idealism, all of reality – the entire universe – exists in mind, although not all in your egoic mind alone. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Everything we know, perceive, and imagine, every color, sound, sensation, every thought and every feeling, is a form appearing in the mind. It is all an in-forming of consciousness. Peter Russell
  • The mind, the body and the world appear to Consciousness, to ‘me’, to ‘I’. They are objects and Consciousness is their subject, that which experiences them. Rupert Spira
  • Everything I see, hear and touch is a sensation arising within awareness. Tim Freke
  • Awareness isn’t within my experience, since my experience is within awareness. Tim Freke
  • Is our life then not simply a succession of appearances, all appearing to this Consciousness that we are? Rupert Spira
  • All phenomena are projections in the mind. The Third Karmapa
  • All our experiences—all our perceptions, sensations, dreams, thoughts and feelings—are forms appearing in consciousness. Peter Russell
  • When I say everything is in mind I am saying that things exist only insofar as they play themselves out in the mind of a conscious observer. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Materialism assumes that mind arose in particular organizations of matter at some point in time. Under idealism, however, it was matter that arose in mind as a particular modality of experience. Bernardo Kastrup
  • That all reality unfolds in mind does not deny that reality – as empirically observed – unfolds according to certain stable patterns and regularities that we’ve come to call the ‘laws of nature.’ Bernardo Kastrup
  • It is materialism that states that the world we experience is entirely within our heads, stars and all. And it is idealism that states that it is our heads that are inside the world we experience. Bernardo Kastrup
  • All reality we can ever know is a flow of subjective perceptions, thoughts, feelings and ideas in mind. We postulate an abstract world outside mind merely to explain to ourselves the patterns and regularities of experience and the consistencies of these experiences across observers. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Mind is a localisation in consciousness and matter appears in mind.  Rupert Spira
  • When we say that we perceive an object, we mean that that object appears in Consciousness. It is a perception appearing in Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • Philosophical idealism on the other hand believe that everything in nature arises in mind as perceptions, including the brain itself. Anthony Lambert
  • If you pay attention to what is happening right now you will see that you experience the world as a series of sensations: visual images, tactile feelings, background sounds, ambient aromas. And sensations exist within awareness, don’t they? Everything you are aware of exists within awareness, otherwise you wouldn’t be aware of it!  So what is awareness?  Awareness isn’t something within your experience. It is an emptiness that contains all you are experiencing.  Try it out and see how it feels. Be the spacious emptiness of awareness within which everything you are experiencing exists.  All you see and hear and touch and imagine exists within awareness. Your body exists within awareness. The world exists within awareness.  You may appear to be a body in the world, but essentially you are awareness and the world exists in you – just like when you are dreaming.  Tim Freke
  • Only an object that is made out of matter could appear in space. Only an object that is made out of mind could appear in mind. And only an object that is made out of Consciousness can appear in Consciousness.  Rupert Spira
  • Awareness isn’t within my experience, since my experience is within awareness. Tim Freke
  • Consciousness, which at best is considered to be a by-product of the world and at worst is overlooked altogether.  We end with the understanding that Consciousness is the ever-present Reality of all things and that everything appears within it and as an expression of it.  Rupert Spira
  • God is not running the world. Then who is doing it? All happens by itself… All is a play in consciousness. Nisargadatta Maharaj
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The mind itself is an appearance in consciousness

  • Mind is a localisation in consciousness and matter appears in mind. Rupert Spira
  • The mind, the body and the world appear in Consciousness. That is our actual experience. Rupert Spira
  • The mind, the body and the world are located inside Consciousness and are made only out of Consciousness. That is our experience. Rupert Spira
  • The world is known by the senses. The senses are known by the mind. The mind is known by Consciousness and Consciousness is known by itself. Rupert Spira
  • We never experience a body in a world, a mind in a body or Consciousness in a mind. It is not the world that contains the body, the mind and Consciousness. It is Consciousness that contains the mind, the body and the world, on an equal footing. Rupert Spira
  • The mind, the body and the world appear in Consciousness. That is our actual experience.  Rupert Spira
  • We started with the concept that the world contains the body, which in turn contains the mind, which in turn contains a little invisible spark of Consciousness, which at best is considered to be a by-product of the world and at worst is overlooked altogether. We end with the understanding that Consciousness is the ever-present Reality of all things and that everything appears within it and as an expression of it. Rupert Spira
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The body is an appearance in consciousness

  • The mind, the body and the world appear in Consciousness. That is our actual experience. Rupert Spira
  • There is no body as such. There is a series of sensations and perceptions appearing in Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • You appear to be a body in the world. Now flip it around. You are awareness and the world exists in you. Tim Freke
  • It is not the body that is aware. It is awareness that is aware. Awareness is not a property of the body. Rupert Spira
  • Anything that seems to occupy space (like the brain or body) or endures in time (again, the brain and body) has no absolute reality, but only an apparent one created by the mind. Robert Lanza
  • As a body I appear to exist within the world, but essentially I am awareness and the world exists within me. Tim Freke
  • What we call the body is in fact the experience of a sensation. Rupert Spira
  • All you see and hear and touch and imagine exists within awareness. Your body exists within awareness. The world exists within awareness. Tim Freke
  • You may appear to be a body in the world, but essentially you are awareness and the world exists in you – just like when you are dreaming. Tim Freke
  • Your own body is a product of mind in much the same way that a dreamed-up body in a nightly dream is a product of your dreaming mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The mind is simply the experience of the mind. The body is simply the experience of the body. The world is simply the experience of the world. Rupert Spira
  • With this body, you have the experience of time, taste, smell, touch — the taste of otherness, of beauty. But I want you to come deeper in, beyond the field of phenomena. Mooji
  • There is no body as such. There is a series of sensations and perceptions appearing in Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • Take away sensing and perceiving from the experience of the body and the world, and what objective qualities are left of them? None! Rupert Spira
  • When we speak of the ‘body’ we refer to an object, which in turn implies a subject. If we explore this object we discover that it is non-existent as such and is in fact only a ‘sensation’. Rupert Spira
  • The state of being is permanent and the body and the world are not. They are fleeting phenomena passing on the screen of being-consciousness which is eternal and stationary. Ramana Maharshi
  • When we speak of the ‘body’ we refer to an object, which in turn implies a subject. If we explore this object we discover that it is non-existent as such and is in fact only a ‘sensation’. Rupert Spira
  • The body exists only as sensations and perceptions arising in awareness. Anthony Lambert
  • We should not believe the story that the mind tells us about what and where the body is. We should rely only on the facts of our experience, and that means this current experience. That is the test of Reality of Truth. Rupert Spira
  • We never experience a body in a world, a mind in a body or Consciousness in a mind. It is not the world that contains the body, the mind and Consciousness. It is Consciousness that contains the mind, the body and the world, on an equal footing. Rupert Spira
  • All you have ever known or experienced about your body has been, after all, perceptions and ideas in your mind. There is nothing to what you call your body that is not, or has not been, a content of your mind: perceived images on a mirror, inner sensations, smells, descriptions you heard from others, concepts and theories learned in school, etc. Bernardo Kastrup
  • You appear to be a body in the world. Now flip it around. You are awareness and the world exists in you. Try it again … You appear to be a person in time. Flip it around. You are a permanent presence witnessing an ever-changing flow of appearances. Try it again … You appear to be a separate individual. Flip it around. You are the life-dreamer experiencing existence from a particular point of view. One more time … You appear to be a character in the life-dream. Flip it around. You are the life-dreamer and everything is you.  Tim Freke
  • Anything that seems to occupy space (like the brain or body) or endures in time (again, the brain and body) has no absolute reality, but only an apparent one created by the mind. Robert Lanza
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The world is an appearance in consciousness…

  • Perception takes place in Consciousness, not in space. Rupert Spira
  • Now is the living timeless inner space in which everything happens. Eckhart Tolle
  • Begin by realising that the world is in you, not you in the world. Nisargadatta Maharaja
  • The current paradigm: Awareness exist in the world.  The new paradigm:  The world exists in awareness.  Rupert Spira
  • We think the world we see around us is composed of matter. As far as the actual physical reality is concerned, this may be so—uncertain though we may be as to the ultimate nature of this matter. But the world we perceive around us is not the physical world. The world we actually know is the world that takes form in our minds; this world is not made of matter, but of mind stuff. Everything we know, perceive, and imagine, every colour, sound, sensation, thought, and feeling, is a form that consciousness has taken on. As far as this world is concerned, everything is structured in consciousness. Peter Russell
  • When we perceive the stars, the stars are the object of our perception—they exist within us. When we perceive the ocean, the ocean is also within us. The idea that things exist outside of our Consciousness is an illusion. Ancient wisdom
  • We tried to visualize the universe as a giant ball hovering in space. But a ball located where? And what was outside it? And we maybe saw it spatially extending infinitely far in the distance, except we couldn’t picture that at all. And we placed it in time as having started long ago while knowing it couldn’t, because it had to be beginningless, and we couldn’t picture that, either. So our time and space gridwork never actually worked. But we used it anyway because everyone else did. So now let’s instead crumple up that paper and start afresh.  We ponder the Whole of Existence, or Being as Parmenides called it, and realize that life, consciousness, awareness, and perception are front and center, playing a central role in the experience. We watch the quantum experiments and realize that the physical world is deeply linked with our awareness. The universe we perceive is inside our mind.  Robert Lanza
  • Begin by realising that the world is in you, not you in the world. Nisargadatta Maharaja
  • You are not in the universe. The universe is in you. Anthony Lambert
  • Everything you are aware of exists within awareness, otherwise you wouldn’t be aware of it! Tim Freke
  • You are confused because you believe that you are in the world, not the world in you. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • As a body I appear to exist within the world, but essentially I am awareness and the world exists within me. Tim Freke
  • The current paradigm is awareness exists in the world. The new paradigm is that the world exists in awareness. Rupert Spira
  • All thinking, knowing, perception, space-time, occur in consciousness. You are a non-local consciousness. The world is in you. Deepak Chopra
  • All you see and hear and touch and imagine exists within awareness. Your body exists within awareness. The world exists within awareness. Tim Freke
  • You see yourself in the world while I see the world in myself. To you, you get born and die, while to me, the world appears and disappears. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • It is your memory that makes you think the world continues. Myself, I don’t live by memory. I see the world as it is, a momentary appearance in consciousness. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • We do not perceive a world outside Consciousness. The world is our perception of the world. There is no evidence that there is a world outside the perception of it, outside Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • Awareness can’t be found in the world because it’s the other way round. The world exists in awareness. Awareness can’t be found within my experience, because my experience is arising within awareness. Tim Freke
  • I, this Consciousness that is seeing these words and experiencing whatever it is that is being experienced in this moment, is not located inside a mind. The mind is not located inside a body, and the body is not located inside a world. The body is simply the sensation of the body, and the world is simply the perception of the world. Rupert Spira
  • Inanimate objects are simply ‘vibrations’ or ‘ripples’ of consciousness and, ultimately, nothing but consciousness itself. They are images in mind of excitations of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • You are the entire universe. You are in all, and all is in you. Sun, moon, and stars revolve within you.  Swami Muktananda
  • We do not perceive a world outside Consciousness. The world is our perception of the world. There is no evidence that there is a world outside the perception of it, outside Consciousness.  Rupert Spira
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…all contained in consciousness and known by it

  • Nothing exists outside of awareness. Rupert Spira
  • Awareness is an emptiness that contains the world. Tim Freke
  • Awareness contains every experience. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • Just as one space contains the entire universe, so awareness contains all. Rupert Spira
  • All worlds subsist in it, nothing can transcend it. Anandalahari
  • Inasmuch as the infinite field of consciousness is unlimited in dimension, nothing can happen outside of it. David R. Hawkins
  • Consciousness is known as Omniscience, because whatever is known is known by and through Consciousness. It knows all that is known. Rupert Spira
  • Awareness isn’t something within your experience. It is an emptiness that contains all you are experiencing. Tim Freke
  • When thoughts, sensations and perceptions appear, they appear in Consciousness, not just to Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • Nothing exists outside our experience of it, as far as we know. Rupert Spira
  • It seems to be contained within the body-mind, but in fact it contains the whole universe and everything that exists. Francis Lucille
  • Awareness contains every experience. But he who is aware is beyond every experience. He is beyond awareness itself. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • If we look further, we see that we actually contain all of existence. Everyone who has ever been or will ever be, is in some way contained in our awareness. Our awareness is like the sky, it’s endless. Frederick Lenz
  • Awareness is an emptiness that contains the world. And this is why the Buddhists say that to know our true Buddha-nature is to experience the void of nirvana within which the appearances of samsara are arising. Tim Freke
  • Everything that comes up is contained in and embraced by this Awareness, including objects perceived as ‘out there’ (rocks, cars, other sentient beings) and emotions, thoughts, and feelings experienced as ‘in here.’ Leo Hartong
  • We never experience a body in a world, a mind in a body or Consciousness in a mind. It is not the world that contains the body, the mind and Consciousness. It is Consciousness that contains the mind, the body and the world, on an equal footing.  Rupert Spira
  • Don’t look for awareness in consciousness, you will not find it there. Don’t look for it anywhere, for nothing contains it. On the contrary, it contains everything and manifests everything. It is like the daylight that makes everything visible while itself remaining invisible. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • Suppose that mind is not some private power that each of us contains, but rather a field of awareness that contains us—and likewise encompasses birds, bees, ferns, trees, salamanders, spiders, dragonflies, and all living things, permeates mountains and rivers and galaxies, each kind offering its own degree and variety of awareness, even stars, even stones. Scott Russell Sanders
  • We started with the concept that the world contains the body, which in turn contains the mind, which in turn contains a little invisible spark of Consciousness, which at best is considered to be a by-product of the world and at worst is overlooked altogether.  We end with the understanding that Consciousness is the ever-present Reality of all things and that everything appears within it and as an expression of it.  Rupert Spira
  • If you pay attention to what is happening right now you will see that you experience the world as a series of sensations: visual images, tactile feelings, background sounds, ambient aromas. And sensations exist within awareness, don’t they?  Everything you are aware of exists within awareness, otherwise you wouldn’t be aware of it!  So what is awareness?  Awareness isn’t something within your experience. It is an emptiness that contains all you are experiencing.  Try it out and see how it feels. Be the spacious emptiness of awareness within which everything you are experiencing exists.  All you see and hear and touch and imagine exists within awareness. Your body exists within awareness. The world exists within awareness.  You may appear to be a body in the world, but essentially you are awareness and the world exists in you – just like when you are dreaming.  Tim Freke
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By containing all, consciousness can be said to be all-pervading

  • Consciousness is known as Omnipresence, because there is nowhere where Consciousness is not. It is not that Consciousness is everywhere. It is that every ‘where’ is in Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • The Universe produced phenomenally in me, is pervaded by me. . .. From me the world is born, in me it exists, in me it dissolves.  the Ashtavakra Gita
  • Your awareness can expand to encompass vast space instead of the limited space in which you dwell. Michael A. Singer
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By containing all, consciousness can be said to be wholeness itself

  • I, Awareness, want for nothing. Before any thought, feeling, sensation, or perception, I am. All things arise in me, are known by me, and made of me.  As I am the source of all things, what could I possibly lack? What could I possibly need or want to make me whole?  I am wholeness itself. Will Wright
  • Consciousness is a seamless, indivisible, unified infinite whole. Rupert Spira
  • The universe is consciousness itself: one seamless, indivisible, self-aware whole in which there are no parts, objects, entities or selves. Rupert Spira
  • The totality of our experience at any moment is a seamless whole. This seamless whole may seem to comprise a complex, compound object of mind, body and world, yet it is a cohesive, unified experience. Rupert Spira
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Idealism believes that even time and space are made by mind, appearing in mind

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Time and space too are appearances in mind

  • Time and space are just projections of your consciousness. Jaggi Vasudev
  • Space and time are not objects of perception, but qualities of awareness. Deepak Chopra
  • There is no object in space-time without a conscious subject looking at it. Amit Goswami
  • Space and time are consciousness (infinity and eternity) refracted through the mind. Rupert Spira
  • The mind creates time and space and takes its own creations for reality. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • Time and space are modes by which we think, and not conditions in which we live. Donald Hoffman
  • Space and time are not conditions in which we live, they are modes in which we think. Albert Einstein
  • Consciousness is something transcendental—outside of space-time, nonlocal, and all-pervading. Amit Goswami
  • Time and space appear within consciousness. Consciousness does not appear within time and space. Rupert Spira
  • Time and space, are, in fact, dimensionless awareness refracted through the prism of the finite brain, that is, refracted through thought and perception. Rupert Spira
  • Space does not exist independently of consciousness. Nor does time. Nor does matter.  Nor do we.  Anthony Lambert
  • Space and time are “sensed” not seen. They are created in consciousness which is spaceless and timeless. Deepak Chopra
  • Time, space, and causality are only metaphors of knowledge, with which we explain things to ourselves. Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Space and time are forms of animal understanding—period. We carry them around with us like turtles with shells. Robert Lanza
  • Spacetime and objects are the perceptual interface used by Homo sapiens. They are our first-person experiences. Donald Hoffman
  • Space and time coordinates are only the elements of a language that is used by an observer to describe his environment. Mendel Sachs
  • Go beyond the ‘I-am-the-body’ idea and you will find that space and time are in you and not you in space and time. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • Our perception of space-time can be thought of in terms of event coordinates relative to our current state of consciousness. Wayne Gerard Trotman
  • Space, time, and physical objects are not objective reality. They are simply the virtual world delivered by our senses to help us play the game of life. Donald Hoffman
  • If space and time exist only in our perceptions, then how can anything within space and time, such as neurons and their activity, create our consciousness? Donald Hoffman
  • Physics and evolution point to the same conclusion: spacetime and objects are not foundational. Something else is more fundamental, and spacetime emerges from it. Donald Hoffman
  • Time and space, are, in fact, dimensionless awareness refracted through the prism of the finite brain, that is, refracted through thought and perception. Rupert Spira
  • Time is the first language of the mind. Space is the first language of the senses. Remove time and space from experience – that is, remove name and form – and we are left with the oneness of Consciousness/Existence. We are left with timeless, spaceless Presence, with Being. . Rupert Spira
  • Spacetime is your virtual reality, a headset of your own making. The objects you see are your invention. You create them with a glance and destroy them with a blink. Donald Hoffman
  • The ultimate Consciousness is always present everywhere. It is beyond space and time, with not before or after. It is undeniable and obvious. So what can be said about it? Abhinavagupta
  • Experiment after experiment continues to suggest that we—consciousness, the mind—create space and time, not the other way around. Without consciousness, space and time are nothing. Robert Lanza
  • From a biocentric point of view, time does not exist in the universe independent of life that notices it, space and time are not absolute realities but rather tools of the human and animal mind. Robert Lanza
  • It is not necessary to jettison Einstein in order to restore space and time to their place as means by which we animals and humans intuit ourselves. They belong to us, not to the physical world. Robert Lanza
  • Time is in the mind. Space is in the mind. The law of cause and effect is also a way of thinking. In reality all is here and now and all is one. Multiplicity and diversity are in the mind only. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • Space and time are neither physical nor fundamentally real. They are conceptual, which means that space and time are of a uniquely subjective nature. They are modes of interpretation and understanding.  Robert Lanza
  • In reality time and space exist in you; you do not exist in them. They are modes of perception, but they are not the only ones. Time and space are like words written on paper; the paper is real, the words merely a convention. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • The influence of the senses has in most men overpowered the mind to the degree that the walls of space and time have come to look solid, real and insurmountable; and to speak with levity of these limits in the world is the sign of insanity. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Space and time suddenly makes sense, because they are tools of our mind, a way to frame and order what we experience. They are the language of consciousness. It’s our way of navigating from point A to point B, of keeping appointments and all the rest. Robert Lanza
  • Kant concluded that space and time are the dimensional framework in which the mind constructs its experience. They are built into the perceiving process, and we cannot but think in terms of space and time. But they are not aspects of the objective reality. Peter Russell
  • We must rid ourselves of the notion that space and time are actual qualities in things in themselves . . . all bodies, together with the space in which they are, must be considered nothing but mere representations in us, and exist nowhere but in our thoughts. Immanuel Kant
  • Time is the first language of the mind. Space is the first language of the senses. Remove time and space from experience – that is, remove name and form – and we are left with the oneness of Consciousness/Existence. We are left with timeless, spaceless Presence, with Being. Rupert Spira
  • If one removes space and time as actual entities rather than subjective, relative, and observer-created phenomena, it pulls the rug from under the notion that an external world exists within its own independent skeleton. Where is this external objective universe if it has neither time nor space? Robert Lanza
  • Spacetime does not exist unperceived. My spacetime is the desktop of my interface. Your spacetime is your desktop. Spacetimes vary from observer to observer, and some properties of spacetime need not always agree across observers. Reality, whatever it might be, escapes the confines of spacetime. Donald Hoffman
  • The further relevance of all this to biocentrism is that if one removes space and time as actual entities rather than subjective, relative, and observer-created phenomena, it pulls the rug from under the notion that an external world exists within its own independent skeleton. Where is this external objective universe if it has neither time nor space? Robert Lanza
  • Kant argued that this was even true of space and time. To us, the reality of space and time seems undeniable. They appear to be fundamental dimensions of the physical world, entirely independent of our consciousness. This, said Kant, is because we cannot see the world in any other way. The human mind is so constituted that it is forced to construct its experience within the framework of space and time. Space and time are not, however, fundamental dimensions of the underlying reality. They are fundamental dimensions of consciousness. Peter Russell
  • We find that space means nothing apart from our perception of objects, and time means nothing apart from our experience of events. Space begins to appear merely as a fiction created by our own minds (our physical bodies are merely things in space, an illegitimate extension to Nature of a subjective concept which helps us to understand and describe the arrangement of objects as seen by us; while time appears as a second fiction (without the past and the future, time as generally conceived is but a myth, serving a similar purpose for the arrangement of events which happen to us. Sir James Jeans
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Time exists as a thought arising in mind

  • Time is not an absolute reality but an aspect of our consciousness. Robert Lanza
  • Time is the eternal now, seen through the narrow slit of the mind. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness is our only reprieve from Time. Mason Cooley
  • Time is an abstraction at which we arrive through the changes of things. Julian Barbour
  • Consciousness does not exist in time. Time exists as an idea in Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness does not exist in time. Time exists as an idea in Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • Time past and time future allow but a little consciousness. To be conscious is not to be in time. S. Eliot
  • Time is eternity viewed through the mind. Rupert Spira
  • There is just this ever-present now: eternity. Time is thought superimposed upon eternity, and eternity is just another name for our true nature of awareness. Rupert Spira
  • Time is the imagined duration between one appearance and another. Rupert Spira
  • In fact, time is never experienced. Only Now is experienced. Time is a concept, albeit a useful one, but it is not an experience. The concept of time is an experience but time itself is not. Rupert Spira
  • Time, divested of the illusion of duration, is Consciousness. Rupert Spira
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Space exists as a perception arising in mind

  • You have no location in space. Space is in you. Peter Russell
  • Space is simply what we can measure using the solid objects of our experience. Albert Einstein
  • Space is infinity viewed through the mind. Rupert Spira
  • Time is perception superimposed on infinity. Rupert Spira
  • See clearly that visual perceptions (from which we derive our idea of space) appear in and are made out of the same ‘stuff’ as all other perceptions. Rupert Spira
  • This here is not a physical space. It is the space of Consciousness in which all experiences, including the apparent experience of space, takes place. Rupert Spira
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That time is a thought in mind is evidenced by the fact that time is relative to an observer and not a constant …

  • Time is not an absolute reality but an aspect of our consciousness. Robert Lanza
  • And at the speed of light—670 million miles per hour—a clock would stop completely. Robert Lanza
  • At 98 percent of lightspeed, time travels at half its normal speed. At 99 percent, it goes just one-seventh as fast.  Robert Lanza
  • Someone zipping toward the galaxy’s center at 99.999999999 percent of lightspeed experiences a dilation effect of 22,360. While this person’s watch ticks off one year, simultaneously, 223 centuries elapse for everyone else. Robert Lanza
  • Time seems to slow down at certain moments and accelerate at others. This is further proof that time is subjective, not objective. Time exists only as an appearance (a perception) in awareness. Anthony Lambert
  • Time is incontrovertibly not a constant, and any such item that varies with changing circumstance cannot be fundamental or part of the bedrock reality of the cosmos in the way that lightspeed, consciousness, or even the gravitational constant appear to be. Robert Lanza
  • Travel in a rocket at 99 percent the speed of light and you’ll enjoy the consequential sevenfold time dilation: from your perspective nothing has changed; you have aged a decade in ten years’ worth of travel. But upon returning to Earth you’d find that seventy years have passed and none of your old friends are still alive to greet you.  Robert Lanza
  • Time intervals depend on the frame of reference. They become longer as the velocity relative to the observer increases. This means that clocks in motion run slower; time slows down. These clocks can be of varying types: mechanical clocks, atomic clocks, or even a human heartbeat. If one of two twins went on a fast round-trip into outer space, he would be younger than his brother when he came back home, because all his ‘clocks’-his heartbeat, bloodflow, brainwaves, etc.-would slow down during the journey, from the point of view of the man on the ground. The traveller himself, of course, would not notice anything unusual, but on his return he would suddenly realize that his twin brother was now much older. This ‘twin paradox’ is perhaps the most famous paradox of modern physics. Fritjof Capra
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… and that space and distance too is relative to an observer and not a constant

  • Einstein showed that different observers, moving at different speeds, disagree in their measurements of time and distance. Donald Hoffman
  • If we could move at 99.9999999 percent of lightspeed, which is perfectly allowable by the laws of physics, the living room would now be 1/22,361th its original size or just a hundredth of an inch across—barely larger than the period at the end of this sentence. Robert Lanza
  • The same distance, say one’s sense of distance to something viewable a kilometer away, seems close to someone full of energy but an infinity to someone exhausted with a huge pack on their back. Anthony Lambert
  • Dennis Proffitt and his collaborators found that people given a drink containing glucose make shorter estimates of distance than those given a drink containing no carbohydrates (and, instead, an artificial sweetener); people who are more aerobically fit make shorter estimates of distance than those who are less fit. This suggests that our perception of a distance depends not just on the energy cost, but rather on the ratio of the energy cost to our available energy. Donald Hoffman
  • Einstein’s work also revealed that space and time are not absolutes. They vary according to the motion of the observer. If you are moving rapidly past me, and we both measure the distance and time between two events—a car traveling from one end of a street to another, say—then you will observe the car to have traveled less distance in less time than I observe. Conversely, from your point of view, I am moving rapidly past you, and in your frame of reference I will observe less space and time than you do. Weird? Yes. And almost impossible for us to conceive of. Yet numerous experiments have shown it to be true. It is our common sense notions of space and time that are wrong. Once again they are constructs in the mind, and do not perfectly model what is out there. Peter Russell
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Science is starting to acknowledge that space and time cannot be fundamental

  • Eminent physicists admit that space, time, and objects are not fundamental; they’re rubbing their chins red trying to divine what might replace them. Donald Hoffman
  • Once time and distance become ill-defined, the classical notion of causality has no meaning. The three fundamental pillars of rational, deductive logic—time, distance and causation—have crumbled. Our purely intellectual objective approach to gaining knowledge, which has led us to ever more fundamental space-time scales, has transcended its own methodology physics has walked the Planck! John Hagelin (physicist)
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Idealism believes that consciousness is neither a by-product of the brain nor located in the brain

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Idealism believes that consciousness is neither a by-product of the brain nor does it exist in the brain…

  • Your head is in mind, not mind in your head. Bernardo Kastrup
  • You are not in the body, the body is in you! The mind is in you. They happen to you. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • The cosmic mind has no specific location in the brain. David Bohm
  • Minds are not confined to brains. Rupert Sheldrake
  • Consciousness isn’t ‘inside’ the brain. Rather the brain allows the primal field of awareness to become conscious. Tim Freke
  • You have no location in space. Space is in you. Peter Russell
  • Our perceiving self is nowhere to be found within the world-picture, because it itself is the world-picture. Erwin Schrodinger
  • I am not contain’d between my hat and boots. Walt Whitman
  • When I dream lucidly it is clear that awareness isn’t inside the head of the character I appear to be in the dream. The dream is arising within awareness. Tim Freke
  • Where is awareness? If you looked into my eyes you’d connect with the presence of awareness, which would seem to be inside my head. But is that really true? Tim Freke
  • I, this Consciousness that is seeing these words and experiencing whatever it is that is being experienced in this moment, is not located inside a mind. The mind is not located inside a body, and the body is not located inside a world. The body is simply the sensation of the body, and the world is simply the perception of the world. Rupert Spira
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…but instead exists non-locally outside time and space

  • Consciousness is not in the head. It exists in a timeless, formless dimension. Anthony Lambert
  • First we must know ourselves as the witnesses only, dimensionless and timeless centres of observation. Nisargadatta Maharaja
  • Beyond mind, beyond time, beyond space there is immortal awareness. Frederick Lenz
  • I simply believe that some part of the human Self or Soul is not subject to the laws of space and time. Carl Jung
  • The primordial space of Consciousness that was present ‘before’ the appearance of our first experience is a timeless, placeless place. Rupert Spira
  • Awareness is a continual stillness witnessing all the changes. Awareness is not in time. Awareness is witnessing time. Tim Freke
  • Our Higher Self [Consciousness] keeps an eye on us as projections of its consciousness from a place outside space and time and remote from all our earthly concerns. Gordon Phinn
  • Assigning awareness a location in space and time is impossible. It is always right at the center and simultaneously underlies and oversees all phenomena. Leo Hartong
  • The realm of light seems to be somehow beyond space and time. Likewise, when we consider the nature of pure consciousness, space and time disappear. In both cases there is only the ever-present moment. Peter Russell
  • As the real experiencer (the nonlocal consciousness) I operate from outside the system—transcending my brain-mind that is localized in space-time-from behind the veil of the tangled hierarchy of my brain-mind’s systems. Amit Goswami
  • I, the experiencer of the movie called life, do not physically exist in the dimension of the movie. The movie dimension (i.e. the world) arises in my awareness. I am experiencing this dimension from a different dimension, a dimension that exists outside time and space. Anthony Lambert
  • In ignorance we identify with a limited version of the cosmic subject; we conclude, I am this body-mind. As the real experiencer (the non local consciousness) I operate from outside the system. – transcending my brain-mind that is localised in space-time. Amit Goswami
  • Consciousness experiences this world but is not of this world. Anthony Lambert
  • Begin by realising that the world is in you, not you in the world. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • As a body, I appear to exist within the world, but essentially, I am awareness and the world exists within me. Tim Freke
  • Awareness can’t be found within the world because it’s the other way around. The world exists within awareness. Awareness isn’t within my experience. My experience is arising within awareness. Tim Freke
  • We do not belong to this material world that science constructs for us. We are not in it; we are outside. We are only spectators. The reason why we believe that we are in it, that we belong to the picture, is that our bodies are in the picture. Erwin Schröedinger
  • Where is the Awareness I am? Not in this dimension. When Mary dreams herself to be Jane, she cannot be found in Jane’s world. In the same way that a viewer of movie is not in the movie.  The Awareness I am cannot be found as an object in the experience. But I can find it by going to the root of my being, to the state of being aware of being aware.  Anthony Lambert
  • Just as time, space, matter, and energy emerge from a pre-created domain that is timeless and without dimensions, the source of awareness is inconceivable. “That” is ground zero, the womb of reality. There is no more language, or even thought. As the ancient Indian rishis declared, “Those who know of it speak of it not. Those who speak of it know it not.” Deepak Chopra
  • Divine consciousness has no past, no future, because it is never interrupted, like man’s, by death or limitation. Eternal consciousness has one time—the ever present. God looks through the window of infinite consciousness on the films of finite happenings of the past, present, and future shown on the screen of time and space, continuously moving backward and forward in an eternal now. Paramahansa Yogananda
  • We do not belong to this material world that science constructs for us. We are not in it; we are outside. We are only spectators. The reason why we believe that we are in it, that we belong to the picture, is that our bodies are in the picture. Our bodies belong to it. Not only my own body, but those of my friends, also of my dog and cat and horse, and of all the other people and animals. And this is my only means of communicating with them. Erwin Schrodinger
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Idealism believes that the brain itself is a construct of mind, appearing in mind

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According to idealism, it is consciousness that constructs the brain

  • The brain does not create consciousness, but consciousness created the brain, the most complex physical form on earth, for its expression. Eckhart Tolle
  • Consciousness does matter. Matter is secondary. Consciousness is primary. Brain does not do consciousness, consciousness does the brain. Amit Goswami
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The brain is merely an appearance in mind of a process of mind going on…

  • A neural process is an image, but the image is not the phenomenon it represents. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The brain is an experience, an image in mind of a certain process of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Instead of magically generating mind, the brain simply is the partial image of mind in the process of self-localizing. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The brain is a partial image of the process of consciousness localization, not the sole cause of conscious experience. Bernardo Kastrup
  • A neural process is an image, but the image is not the phenomenon it represents. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The brain is the image of a process by means of which mind limits and localizes the flow of its own contents. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The neural processes are just the way the volunteer’s world looks from the vantage point of the neuroscientist. The neuroscientist and the volunteer are two different people partaking in space-time. Each has his own ‘field’ of awareness. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The image [of the brain] is just how the phenomenon appears when [mind is] observed from a second-person vantage point. Bernardo Kastrup
  • It is a very shaky assumption, that Brain = Mind. Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos
  • Does the mind arise from the brain or does the brain exist in mind? Anthony Lambert
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…just as a whirlpool is an image of the process of water localising in a stream…

  • There is nothing to the brain but mind, yet it is a concrete and identifiable image of the localization of mind, just like a whirlpool is a concrete and identifiable image of the localization of water in the stream. Bernardo Kastrup
  • To say that the brain generates mind is as absurd as to say that a whirlpool generates water! Bernardo Kastrup
  • The brain is merely the image of a self-localization process of mind, analogously to how a whirlpool is the image of a self-localization process of water. The brain doesn’t generate mind in the same way that a whirlpool doesn’t generate water. Bernardo Kastrup
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…or a flame is an image of the process of combustion…

  • A flame is an image of a combustion process going on. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The brain is a partial image of the process of consciousness localization, as viewed from a second-person perspective, in exactly the same way that flames are a partial image of the process of combustion, as viewed from the outside. Bernardo Kastrup
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…or lightning is an image of the process of electric discharge

  • Materialists interpreted lightning as the source of electric discharge, as opposed to how electric discharge looks. Bernardo Kastrup
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Materialists mistake the image of the phenomenon in the mind to be the source of the phenomenon instead of one of its results

  • Materialism inverts the situation by taking the image of the phenomenon – that is, the brain – to be primary, to be the source of the phenomenon, instead of one of its results. It says there cannot be anything to combustion other than what is visible in the accompanying flames; in the same way materialists interpret lightning as the source of electric discharge, as opposed to how electric discharge looks. Bernardo Kastrup
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The brain exists as an appearance in consciousness and does not exist independently of it

  • Consciousness and the Brain: Some theories posit that the brain is a physical computer, and that consciousness emerges from the complexity by some mysterious means. Other theories contend that since consciousness cannot be explained in physical/mechanical terms, the brain must be more comparable to a ‘receiver’ for consciousness which resides elsewhere (as like a TV, I Love Lucy was never actually in the box in your living-room). The failure of both of these groups of theories is their foundation in physical reality. The body, like every other physical thing we know by sense, is an illusion of consciousness, and since the physical brain is an illusion of consciousness, it will be impossible to find our consciousness and memories in it. In a crude comparison, imagine a computer running a simulation: in the simulation, you will not be able to find the actual CPU and memory of the computer running the simulation. You may find likenesses to them, but you will not find the actual things themselves. Likewise, the ‘source’ of consciousness cannot be found in our illusion of physical reality. Scott Owen
  • Never forget that the mind’s algorithms create your idea of your brain, while specific sensory architecture create a brain’s appearance when you dissect one in medical school. We’ve already fully seen that neither space nor time are real in any sense except as appearances or tools of the mind. Thus, anything that seems to occupy space (like the brain or body) or endures in time (again, the brain and body) has no absolute reality, but only an apparent one created by the mind.  Robert Lanza
  • The brain exists simply as perceptions in consciousness – to me perhaps as a brain scan or x-ray, to my surgeon perhaps as living tissue beneath his scalpel. Anthony Lambert
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To understand where idealism is coming from, consider the following fantasy scenarios…

  • Once upon a time there was a world-renowned genius who was a neurologist. He did scans on thousands of brains to determine the effects of the brains on conscious states. He did extraordinary surgical procedures on the brains of many to heal them of all sorts of afflictions. Most of all, he studied his own brain through the use of all the instruments he could conceive of and muster including brain scans to determine countless correlations between brain activity and states of consciousness. He made break-through after break-through. Then suddenly he woke up and realised it had all been a dream. He wasn’t a neurologist at all. He was a plumber. This story points to a profound truth that idealism (the notion that life is a kind of shared dream) shines its light on. The brain does not give rise to consciousness. The brain is an appearance in consciousness. And it doesn’t exist independently of consciousness or its dream. Anthony Lambert
  • A man is suffering from very bad headaches. He goes to a specialist who does brain scans which show he has a brain tumour. He then goes to a surgeon who does a surgical procedure to successfully remove the tumour. Suddenly he wakes up to realise it was all a dream. No brain actually existed independent of the consciousness of the dreamer. In the dream, the brain existed only as appearances in consciousness. Anthony Lambert
  • Imagine tasting chocolate. Through a brain scan, the brain surgeon registers you tasting chocolate. But what he sees is very different from the taste of tasting chocolate.  You taste it from the inside. He sees your brainwaves from the outside.  There is a correlation between brain waves and chocolate but that doesn’t mean your brain waves create your experience.  There is a 1st person point of view verse a 2nd person point of view.  Rupert Spira
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…and the implication that the brain may indeed exist only as an appearance in consciousness…

  • If reality is a kind of shared dream, then it is your body that is in the dream, not the dream in the body. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The neuroscientist and the volunteer are two different people partaking in space-time. Each has his own ‘field’ of awareness. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The neural processes are just the way the volunteer’s world looks from the vantage point of the neuroscientist. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The neural processes (brain scans): the neural correlates of consciousness. Bernardo Kastrup
  • A neural process is an image, but the image is not the phenomenon it represents.
  • The image is just how the phenomenon appears when observed from a second-person vantage point. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The world is what God’s mind stuff looks like when viewed from a second person’s point of view.  Brains are what our minds are look when viewed from a second person’s point of view.  Rupert Spira
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…and the implication that any correlation between brain activity and consciousness is not proof of causation

  • There is a venerable maxim of science that states “Correlation is not causation.” Night always follows day; the correlation is 100 percent; but that does not mean that day causes night. Larry Dossey
  • There has been much overhyping of brain imaging, the limitations of this sort of research are becoming increasingly obvious. Even on their own terms, these studies at best provide evidence of correlation, not of causation, and of correlations mixed in with the unfathomably complex interplay of cause and effect that are the brain and the mind. These studies inherently claim to get around the problems of understanding subjective consciousness by examining the brain, but the basic unlikeness of first-person qualitative experience and third-person events that can be examined by anyone places fundamental limits on the usual reductive techniques of empirical science. Austin L. Hughes
  • If brain function does not constitute or generate phenomenality, why do they correlate so well? Bernardo Kastrup
  • We can show a correlation between thought and electrical impulses in brain. But it does not mean that a is a cause of b. It could be vice versa. Or cause of a common cause c. Matter causes thought is materialism. Mind effects matter is idealist.  Advaeta is that only one reality explains correlation between mind and matter.  Francis Lucille
  • It is a mistake to “incoherently” conflate correlation with causation. Christof Koch
  • Now, Huxley knew that brain activity and conscious experiences are correlated, but he didn’t know why. To the science of his day, it was a mystery. In the years since Huxley, science has learned a lot about brain activity, but the relationship between brain activity and conscious experiences is still a mystery.  D. Hoffman
  • It is possible that it is consciousness that causes the appearance of brain states rather than the other way round? Anthony Lambert
  • Change the mind and it registers on a brain scan. But that doesn’t mean that the brain causes the mind.  But there is a connection between the two.  Rupert Spira
  • The science gives us correlations between brain activity and experience. We then have to work out the best philosophical theory that explains those correlations. Philip Goff
  • Since both materialism and dualism can allow for correlations between mental states and physical states, the existence of such correlations by itself doesn’t constitute evidence for either view. Ben White
  • Night always follows day; the correlation is 100 percent; but that does not mean that day causes night. Larry Dossey
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Evidence of the brain existing as a construct of consciousness and an appearance in consciousness is provided by the following remarkable examples of dissociative identity disorder

  • In 2015, doctors in Germany reported the extraordinary case of a woman who suffered from what has traditionally been called “multiple personality disorder” and today is known as “dissociative identity disorder” (DID). The woman exhibited a variety of dissociated personalities (“alters”), some of which claimed to be blind. Using EEGs, the doctors were able to ascertain that the brain activity normally associated with sight wasn’t present while a blind alter was in control of the woman’s body, even though her eyes were open. Remarkably, when a sighted alter assumed control, the usual brain activity returned.  This was a compelling demonstration of the literally blinding power of extreme forms of dissociation, a condition in which the psyche gives rise to multiple, operationally separate centers of consciousness, each with its own private inner life.  Bernardo Kastrup
  • Modern neuroimaging techniques have demonstrated that dissociative identity disorder (DID) is real: in a 2014 study, doctors performed functional brain scans on both DID patients and actors simulating DID. The scans of the actual patients displayed clear differences when compared to those of the actors, showing that dissociation has an identifiable neural activity fingerprint. In other words, there is something rather particular that dissociative processes look like in the brain. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Another unusual feature of MPD is that each of a multiple’s personalities possesses a different brain-wave pattern. This is surprising, for as Frank Putnam, a National Institutes of Health psychiatrist who has studied this phenomenon, points out, normally a person’s brain-wave pattern does not change even in states of extreme emotion. Brainwave patterns are not the only thing that varies from personality to personality. Blood flow patterns, muscle tone, heart rate, posture, and even allergies can all change as a multiple shifts from one self to the next. Michael Talbot
  • Moreover, as we’ve seen earlier, there is something dissociative processes look like in the brain of a patient with DID. So, if some form of universal-level DID happens, the alters of universal consciousness must also have an extrinsic appearance. We posit that this appearance is life itself: metabolizing organisms are simply what universal-level dissociative processes look like. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Different personalities within a given individual can display distinctly different physiological states, including measurable differences in autonomic-nervous-system functioning, visual acuity, spontaneous brain waves, and brainware-evoked potentials. Dean I. Radin
  • Another condition that graphically illustrates the mind’s power to affect the body is Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). In addition to possessing different brain-wave patterns, the sub-personalities of a multiple have a strong psychological separation from one another.  Michael Talbot
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Dissociative identity disorder also provides evidence of the entire body being a construct of consciousness

  • DID sufferers’ bodies change instantly—and seemingly miraculously—when their fundamental convictions change with each emerging personality, because their change of convictions changes their holographic energy body every time a new personality comes into conscious control of the body.  Joseph Selbie
  • More dramatic examples of mind affecting body can be found in studies of people suffering dissociative identity disorder (DID), more commonly known as multiple-personality disorder (MPD). These individuals can change from one personality to another in minutes, even in seconds; they may change personalities as many as 10 times in a single hour. The rapid personality changes are often accompanied by rapid physiological changes. One personality can be allergic to specific allergens, such as bee-sting toxin, and other personalities within the same individual are not allergic. One personality can be left-handed while other personalities are right-handed. One personality can have moles or scars that another does not. One personality can need glasses while others do not.  In a 1985 study conducted by Shepard and Braun, the eyesight of one multiple-personality sufferer was thoroughly measured—refraction, visual acuity, ocular tension, keratometry, color vision, and visual fields—after each of 10 personality changes that took place in the course of one hour. Each personality’s eyes were uniquely different—including, in one case, the color of the iris.  No known biochemical processes can explain the rapidity of the physiological changes. Joseph Selbie
  • Allergies are not the only thing multiples can switch on and off. If there was any doubt as to the control the unconscious mind has over drug effects, it is banished by the pharmacological wizardry of the multiple. By changing personalities, a multiple who is drunk can instantly become sober. Different personalities also respond differently to different drugs. Braun records a case in which 5 milligrams of diazepam, a tranquilizer, sedated one personality, while 100 milligrams had little or no effect on another. Often one or several of a multiple’s personalities are children, and if an adult personality is given a drug and then a child’s personality takes over, the adult dosage may be too much for the child and result in an overdose. Michael Talbot
  • Other conditions that can vary from personality to personality include scars, burn marks, cysts, and left- and right-handedness. Visual acuity can differ, and some multiples have to carry two or three different pairs of eyeglasses to accommodate their alternating personalities. One personality can be color-blind and another not, and even eye color can change. There are cases of women who have two or three menstrual periods each month because each of their subpersonalities has its own cycle. Michael Talbot
  • Speech pathologist Christy Ludlow has found that the voice pattern for each of a multiple’s personalities is different, a feat that requires such a deep physiological hange that even the most accomplished actor cannot alter his voice enough to disguise his voice pattern. Michael Talbot
  • One multiple, admitted to a hospital for diabetes, baffled her doctors by showing no symptoms when one of her non-diabetic personalities was in control. There are accounts of epilepsy coming and going with changes in personality, and psychologist Robert A. Phillips, Jr., reports that even tumors can appear and disappear. Michael Talbot
  • Less well known is that each personality also undergoes distinct physiological changes—some quite dramatic—when transitioning (in a time period ranging from seconds to minutes) from one personality to the next. Dr. Philip M. Coons, who compiled the results of over fifty studies regarding physiological changes among MPD sufferers, documents that the rapid physiological changes of MPD sufferers have been measured using modern medical devices and techniques including electroencephology, visual evoked responses, galvanic skin responses, electromyography, regional cerebral-blood-flow monitoring, voice spectral analysis, brain electrical activity mapping, and electrocardiography. Measurements taken using these instruments as well as systematic observational methods leave no doubt that physiological changes do emerge when one personality changes to another. In other words, what you are about to read are not unfounded claims. These phenomena are well-documented and were measured using sophisticated scientific instruments. John Selbie
  • Voice spectral-analysis reveals one’s unique voice fingerprint or voiceprint. Even exceptional mimics, who can sound convincingly like many well-known people, cannot fool voice spectral-analysis—their underlying voiceprint remains unchanged regardless of the imitation they are performing, just as an actor playing many parts always has the same fingerprints. On the other hand, MPD personalities can have unique voiceprints for different personalities. John Selbie
  • According to the conventional biochemical model, our genes determine the physical structures that give rise to our unique voiceprint. According to the logic of the conventional biochemical model, for a MPD personality to have its own unique voiceprint, that MPD personality would have to be manifesting a unique gene expression—perhaps even unique genes. MPD personalities have been observed to write with different hands i.e., the left or the right. Handedness is conventionally considered to be genetically determined. What the observed facts indicate is that MPD sufferers manifest physiological changes that can only be explained as arising from instantaneous genetic changes. John Selbie
  • One personality can suffer from allergies, such as to bee stings, while the individual’s other personalities do not. One personality can be diabetic, a condition that takes years to develop and insulin to manage, while the others are not. Each MPD personality can have different visual characteristics. MPD sufferers have been measured carefully by ophthalmologists for refraction (by measuring refraction errors or astigmatisms), visual acuity (by measuring focal ability, e.g. 20/20 vision), ocular tension (by measuring the intraocular pressure), keratometry (by measuring the curve of the cornea), and color vision (by measuring how accurately colors are detected). John Selbie
  • In one particular study, a MPD sufferer moved through ten personalities in less than an hour. An ophthalmologist was on hand to do a complete set of measurements for each personality. Once the results were examined it was found that the eyes of each of the ten personalities had significantly different characteristics from the other nine. These are not the normal physiological changes that anyone’s eyes might go through over a period of time—however long. It is as though the eyes of each personality belong to an entirely different body. In other studies, some personalities are colorblind for blue and green while the others are not. One personality has an astigmatism while the others do not. One personality even has an iris colored differently from the irises of the others. John Selbie
  • One MPD sufferer would manifest needle tracks on his arms only when the personality emerged that believed he was a drug addict—even though no drugs had been injected. Rashes, moles, scars, and other skin conditions emerged and vanished as personalities came and went. A personality of a young boy reacted to poison ivy, including having fluid-filled blisters on his skin. On switching to another personality, the blisters vanished in minutes. John Selbie
  • The fascinating list of physiological anomalies found among MPD sufferers goes on and on. But all the strange and unusual clinically-observed phenomena have one thing in common—they are all impossible—at least according to the conventional biochemical model of how our bodies work. The body-as-a-biological-machine concept provides no explanation for how any of these phenomena could have happened. According to the conventional model, none of these changes should have been able to take place with the rapidity they have, and many of these changes, such as different voiceprints, handedness, eyesight, colorblindness, or iris color should not be able to occur successively in one body—period—because they would require the presence of different genes. John Selbie
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This gives an indication of the immense power of the mind over the body (which essentially, according to idealism, is also made of mind)

  • The instantaneous physical changes of DID sufferers reveals the ongoing miracle that we are all constantly performing. Our bodies are the result of the power of our own mind working through our subtle energy body: If we developed the ability to immediately change our deeply held thoughts, we could immediately change our physical bodies at will.  Joseph Selbie
  • That our deeply held thoughts have a particularly powerful effect on our physical bodies is remarkably well demonstrated by the placebo effect and by the numerous instantaneous physiological changes that take place when multiple-personality sufferers move from one personality to another: Scars and moles can appear or disappear; left-handedness can become right-handedness; visual acuity can increase or decrease; even eye color can change.  Joseph Selbie
  • The physiological changes that occur as a multiple shifts from one personality to the next also have profound implications for the relationship between mind and health… Michael Talbot
  • We are deeply attached to the inevitability of things. If we have bad vision, we believe we will have bad vision for life, and if we suffer from diabetes, we do not for a moment think our condition might vanish with a change in mood or thought. But the phenomenon of multiple personality challenges this belief and offers further evidence of just how much our psychological states can affect the body’s biology. If the psyche of an individual with MPD is a kind of multiple image hologram, it appears that the body is one as well, and can switch from one biological state to another as rapidly as the flutter of a deck of cards. Michael Talbot
  • The systems of control that must be in place to account for such capacities is mind-boggling and makes our ability to will away a wart look pale. Allergic reaction to a wasp sting is a complex and multi-faceted process and involves the organized activity of antibodies, the production of histamine, the dilation and rupture of blood vessels, the excessive release of immune substances, and so on. What unknown pathways of influence enable the mind of a multiple to freeze all these processes in their tracks? Or what allows them to suspend the effects of alcohol and other drugs in the blood, or turn diabetes on and off? At the moment we don’t know and must console ourselves with one simple fact. Once a multiple has undergone therapy and in some way becomes whole again, he or she can still make these switches at will.'” This suggests that somewhere in our psyches we all have the ability to control these things. And still this is not all we can do. Michael Talbot
  • One thing we know is that the different personalities of an MPD sufferer are quite convinced of their own unique identity—there’s often no awareness by one personality of there being any other personalities at all. You could say that each personality has its own subconscious mind that contains its own unique memories, habits, abilities, and, most importantly fundamental mental convictions about their body shape and health. As each personality emerges with its unquestioningly held, deeper-than-conscious convictions about that personality’s appearance, state of health, and physical abilities, each personality’s body immediately changes to conform to those convictions. Once MPD sufferers shift into new personalities, each personality has the absolute conviction that its body will be as it expects that body to be—the drug-user personality expecting to see needle tracks on his arms, or the woman expecting to see green eyes looking back at her in the mirror, even though all the other personalities that share that body have brown eyes.  John Selbie
  • Because nearly all of us have only one personality, one subconscious mind, one cohesive set of fundamental mental convictions about our body shape, appearance and health, we don’t see such rapid changes of form as do MPD sufferers—but the mechanism that causes physical changes to instantly manifest in MPD sufferers is the same mechanism that we use to continuously manifest our same familiar physical form. John Selbie
  • We may not yet be able to deliberately make instantaneous and dramatic changes in our bodies by altering our deeply held convictions—but we can and do make significant changes all the time. The body is far more responsive, and more thoroughly responsive to our thoughts than we tend to realize. John Selbie
  • A 1976 drug trial for a potential chemotherapy treatment for gastric cancer was conducted by the British stomach-cancer group. The results of the study were published in the May 1983 World Journal of Surgery. Four hundred and eleven patients participated. During the course of the study, which lasted several months, of the patients given only a placebo saline drip with no active ingredients, 30 percent lost all their hair. John Selbie
  • People who have received placebos or placebo treatments—yet believed they were getting a trial drug or a new surgical procedure—manifest significant physiological changes. Nor is it only a small percentage of the placebo group who respond. Placebo takers consistently have over a 50 percent positive response rate for the condition for which they thought they were being treated. John Selbie
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Some also argue that it is shifts in one’s state of consciousness that gives rise to different brain states rather than the other way round

  • High–power attractor energy patterns, which make the body go strong, release brain endorphins and have a tonic effect on all of the organs. David Hawkins
  • The brain’s EEG frequencies that accompany advanced states of consciousness or enlightenment are slow Theta waves (4-7 cycles/second).They are slower than the Alpha waves (8-13 cycles/second) that occur in meditation. In contrast, the ordinary mind, which is an experience of the ego, is predominantly at 13+ cycles per second of beta waves. David Hawkins
  • Mind also travels with the spirit body and realizes that it is separate from the brain. Consciousness does not depend on physicality but exists independently of it. When localized, however, it tends to identify itself with form and location. David Hawkins
  • The brain’s physiology also changes dramatically at consciousness level 200, which is the level where the quality of life changes, not only in man but also in the animal kingdom, from predatory to benign. This is expressed by the emergence of concern for the welfare, survival, and happiness of others rather than just for the personal self.  David Hawkins
  • By spiritual alignment and dedication, the level of spiritual energy rises and strongly activates the right-brain chemistry and physiology. This alters perception and releases anabolic neurotransmitters and endorphins in the brain. The world is therefore seen as more benign, friendly, and supportive. David Hawkins
  • The capacity to recognize and comprehend truth is concordant with the levels of consciousness as reflected not only in the evolution of brain anatomy but, more importantly, also by changes in the physiology of the human brain and its prevalent patterns of processing information.  David Hawkins
  • The right brain in right-handed people (the left brain in left-handed people) becomes dominant above consciousness level 200. Input is fast-tracked via the relay center to the prefrontal cortex and hence to the emotional center. David Hawkins
  • The nondominant brain hemisphere is stimulated by art, nature, music, spirituality, and aesthetics, resulting in increased altruism, inner calm, and higher levels of consciousness. Further research on Tibetan Buddhist monks demonstrated the brain’s ‘neuroplasticity’ and changes of physiology as a result of meditation.  David Hawkins
  • Spiritual endeavor and intention change the brain function and the body’s physiology and establish a specific area for spiritual information in the right-brain prefrontal cortex and its concordant etheric (energy) brain.  David Hawkins
  • The evolution of consciousness is supported and facilitated by an infusion of the powerful spiritual energy that emanates from the Self. The influx of this unique energy starts at calibration level 200 and progressively increases. Its observable effect is the change in brain physiology (as per the Brain Function chart) from dominance of the animalistic left brain to the benign, spiritually-oriented right brain. David Hawkins
  • The capacity to comprehend spirituality does not appear in the evolution of consciousness until calibration level 200, concordant with a shift in the brain’s physiology and information-processing circuits. David Hawkins
  • The evolution of consciousness over level 200 results in a change in the brain’s physiology as well as the development development of an ‘etheric’ brain that is nonphysical and composed solely of energy patterns. The higher frequencies of more advanced consciousness transcend the response capabilities of the physicality of the Newtonian paradigm and a protoplasmic brain.  David Hawkins
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Idealism starts with the fact that mind is the one and only indisputable reality we can be sure of

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Unable to explain it, some materialists argue that consciousness is an illusion

  • Consciousness is an illusion and we do not exist in any meaningful sense. Daniel Dennett
  • Consciousness is ultimately nothing more than a chemically driven illusion. Dan Dennett
  • Consciousness is cerebral celebrity–nothing more and nothing less. Those contents are conscious that persevere, that monopolize resources long enough to achieve certain typical and “symptomatic” effects–on memory, on the control of behavior and so forth. Daniel Dennett
  • Are zombies possible? They’re not just possible, they’re actual. We’re all zombies. Nobody is conscious — not in the systematically mysterious way that supports such doctrines as epiphenomenalism. *It would be an act of desperate intellectual dishonesty to quote this assertion out of context! Daniel Dennett
  • While we tend to conceive of the operations of the mind as unified and transparent, they’re actually chaotic and opaque. There’s no invisible boss in the brain, no central meaner, no unitary self in command of our activities and utterances. There’s no internal spectator of a Cartesian theatre in our heads to applaud the march of consciousness across its stage. Daniel Dennett
  • Many modern analytic philosophers of mind, most prominently perhaps Daniel Dennett of Tufts University, find the existence of consciousness such an intolerable affront to what they believe should be a meaningless universe of matter and the void that they declare it to be an illusion. That is, they either deny that qualia exist or argue that they can never be meaningfully studied by science. Christof Koch
  • In the matter only paradigm, whatever we experience as consciousness can be nothing more than a complicated form of unconsciousness, because we are ultimately no more than the sum of our pieces and these are—indeed cannot be anything other than— unconscious. Bernard Haisch
  • Free will and consciousness is an illusion, and the self is a complex of memes. Susan Blackmore
  • Consciousness is either inexplicable illusion, or else revelation. S. Lewis
  • According to materialists, whatever we experience as consciousness can be nothing more than a complicated form of unconsciousness, because we are ultimately no more than the sum of our pieces and these are—indeed cannot be anything other than— unconscious. Bernard Haisch
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The truth is that consciousness, far from being the illusion, is the one thing we know to be indisputably real…

  • The only secure knowledge is that I exist. Discartes
  • That we are conscious is the one indisputable reality …
  • Consciousness is the ground of all being. Amit Goswami
  • We cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt. René Descartes
  • Consciousness is my inner life of thought and awareness. Bernard Haisch
  • The ‘I am’ is the foundation of all experience. Nisargadatta Maharaj 
  • All we actually know for sure is what we are experiencing right now. Tim Freke
  • Your experience of this moment is all you can be absolutely sure of. Tim Freke
  • You know you are conscious because you experience your own awareness. Robert Lanza
  • Consciousness, even if I am a brain in a vat, is still a manifest fact of reality and is the basis of every other fact I would deduce. Consciousness is not an illusion but the self is. Sam Harris
  • The faculty of consciousness is the only absolute, unquestionable truth. Peter Russell
  • We know that Consciousness is present now, and we know that whatever it is that is being experienced in this moment exists. It has Existence. Rupert Spira
  • The only thing for which each of us has irrefutable proof, is one’s own consciousness. Scott Owen
  • The fact that you have conscious experience is the one undeniable certainty you have. Christof Koch
  • If you can be sure of anything at all, it is that your conscious perceptions exist. Bernardo Kastrup
  • We know that Consciousness is present now, and we know that whatever it is that is being experienced in this moment exists. It has Existence. Rupert Spira
  • The faculty of consciousness is, as we have seen, the only absolute, unquestionable truth. Peter Russell
  • Consciousness is indeed always with us. Everyone knows ‘I am!’ No one can deny his own being. Ramana Maharshi
  • The experiencer needs no proof. ‘I am, and I know I am’. You cannot ask for further proofs. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • That I am conscious, here and now, is the one fact I am absolutely certain of—all the rest is conjecture. Giulio Tononi
  • Knowledge of consciousness is root knowledge, as inalienable to my very being as water is to the ocean. Bernard Haisch
  • We all share the experience of consciousness. Indeed, consciousness is the sine qua non of human experience. Bernard Haisch
  • Whatever may be the experience, true or false, the fact of an experience taking place cannot be denied. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • That my experience here and now exists (it is real) is the only fact I can be sure of immediately and absolutely. Giulio Tononi
  • There are only two kinds of certain knowledge: Awareness of our own existence and the truths of mathematics. Jean le Rond d’Alembert
  • You cannot doubt the existence of your own consciousness. That’s the first feature of consciousness, it’s real and irreducible. John Searle
  • The fact that I am alive and conscious is a deep, direct, inner experience that transcends all other rationally acquired knowledge. Bernard Haisch
  • I know with absolute certainty, with an inner conviction that no amount of external logic can refute, that I am alive and conscious. Bernard Haisch
  • We may not be able to account for consciousness, yet the fact that we are conscious is one thing of which we are absolutely certain. Peter Russell
  • Is there even any logical way to consciously deny your own consciousness? It simply is. I therefore regard it as utterly fundamental. Bernard Haisch
  • By no effort of logic or imagination can you change the ‘I am’ into ‘I am not’. In the very denial of your being you assert it. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • The only truth is I AM – I Exist. That is the only truth. Everything else is a concept. Rebirth is a concept. Your karma is a concept. Ramesh Balsekar
  • Nothing that appears within the mind, the body or the world can be completely trusted or relied upon. Only Consciousness/Being is certain. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness is not only very real – it’s actually more real than the rest of physical existence and most likely the basis of it all. Enen Alexander M.D
  • We know that Consciousness is present now, and we know that whatever it is that is being experienced in this moment exists. It has Existence. Rupert Spira
  • We are open to the possibility that there is only one single, seamless totality, that Consciousness and Existence are one, that there is only one Reality. Rupert Spira
  • Whether consciousness is implanted in us by something divine, or whether it is created by the efforts of our brains, the end result is the same. We are. Neal Shusterman
  • It is the reality of immediate experience, here and now, which cannot be denied. You can question the description and the meaning, but not the event itself. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • God is only an idea in your mind. The fact is you. The only thing you know for sure is: ‘here and now I am’. Remove, the ‘here and now’ the ‘I am’ remains, unassailable. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • The entire universe may be some illusion and the past and my experiences may just be imagined, but regardless of whether or not they physically exist, I know for certain that I am. Scott Owen
  • Consciousness has intrinsic existence: Consciousness exists: each experience is actual—indeed, that my experience here and now exists (it is real) is the only fact I can be sure of immediately and absolutely. Moreover, my experience exists from its own intrinsic perspective, independent of external observers (it is intrinsically real or actual). Giulio Tononi
  • How often must I repeat, that I know or am conscious of my own being; and that I myself am not my ideas, but somewhat else, a thinking, active principle that perceives, knows, wills, and operates about ideas? George Berkeley
  • What is it that I absolutely know for sure? I know I am aware that I am aware (I exist) and I know I am aware of perceptions coming into and out of awareness (i.e.. I am experiencing things). I know I exist and I know I am having experiences. Anthony Lambert
  • The stream of consciousness is the concrete reality we directly witness every moment. It is the surest thing in the world. You cannot doubt its existence. Even when we are consumed by doubt and ask ourselves: ‘Do subjective experiences really exist?’ we can be certain that we are experiencing doubt. Yuval Noah Harari
  • Nothing is more obvious and undeniable than the fact that you’re conscious. In theory, everything else you think you know about the world could be an elaborate illusion cooked up to deceive you – at this point, present-day writers invariably invoke The Matrix – but your consciousness itself can’t be illusory. Oliver Burkeman
  • Consciousness exists: my experience just is. Indeed, that my experience here and now exists—it is real or actual—is the only fact I am immediately and absolutely sure of, as Descartes realized four centuries ago. Moreover, my experience exists from its own intrinsic perspective, independent of external observers. Christof Koch
  • Our absolute bedrock bottom-line reality is not that we humans descended from plankton on a world born near a third-generation star 4.65 billion years ago. That may seem certain to many in our modern world, but here’s an even more inarguable starting point: We find ourselves to be conscious, in a matrix we call the universe. Robert Lanza
  • In this moment something is being experienced, and whatever that something is, whether it is the mind, the body or the world, it is being perceived or experienced by Consciousness, by that which we call ‘I’, or ‘me’. This Consciousness is an undeniable fact of our experience. Even the denial of Consciousness requires Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • One can study what exists and how consciousness functions; but one cannot analyze (or “prove”) existence as such, or consciousness as such. These are irreducible primaries. (An attempt to “prove” them is self-contradict ory: it is an attempt to “prove” existence by means of nonexistence, and consciousness by means of unconsciousness .) Ayn Rand
  • When we pause to think, we are compelled to admit the existence of consciousness as the primal and surest fact. What we know of the great world around is known through our states of consciousness, and if we seem to be living a merely objective life, amidst external things, it is because we have become oblivious of the real nature of experience. Horatio Dresser
  • The soul is a story that some people accept while others reject. The stream of consciousness, in contrast, is the concrete reality we directly witness every moment. It is the surest thing in the world. You cannot doubt its existence. Even when we are consumed by doubt and ask ourselves: ‘Do subjective experiences really exist?’ we can be certain that we are experiencing doubt. Yuval Noah Harari
  • The inner fundamental irreducible quality of life is the capacity of awareness, consciousness, and the substrate of subjectivity. Without consciousness, the individual would not ‘know’ or even ‘know’ if they ‘know’, so that consciousness is a priori awareness of existence, irrespective of the content of that existence. Thus, consciousness itself can be accepted as an obvious reality. David R. Hawkins
  • My knowledge that “I am” — my certainty of my consciousness — is self-evident, true, factual and yet non-scientific. Science cannot prove anything, therefore no scientific method can prove my consciousness, yet my consciousness is proved, because my knowing of myself is the proof, it is a tautology. Absolutely everything else I believe in, including science, is ultimately based on faith and trust. Scott Owen
  • The only thing I do not doubt about you is that you are conscious and have your own interior world of experience. I can doubt your physical form–indeed, modern physics tells me there is nothing really there, no material thing, that is. All that I perceive of you is a projection in my mind. I can doubt what you say. I can doubt your thoughts and feelings. But I do not doubt that “in there” is another conscious being like myself. Peter Russell
  • That I am conscious, here and now, is the one fact I am absolutely certain of—all the rest is conjecture. Everything else—what I think I know about my body, about other people, dogs, trees, mountains and stars, is inferential. It is a reasonable inference, corroborated first by the beliefs of my fellow humans and then by the intersubjective methods of science. Yet consciousness itself—the central fact of existence—still demands a rational explanation. Christof Koch
  • Descartes found that he could doubt any theory or philosophy. He could doubt what anybody said. He could doubt what his eyes showed him of the world. He could doubt his own thoughts and feelings. He could even doubt that he had a body. But the one thing he could not doubt was that he was doubting. This revealed one certainty: he was thinking. If he was thinking, he had to be an experiencing being. As he put it in Latin, Cogito, ergo sum—“I think, therefore I am.” Peter Russell
  • Whatever may be the experience, true or false, the fact of an experience taking place cannot be denied. It is its own proof. Watch yourself closely and you will see that whatever be the content of consciousness, the witnessing of it does not depend on the content. Awareness is itself and does not change with the event. The event may be pleasant or unpleasant, minor or important, awareness is the same. Take note of the peculiar nature of pure awareness, its natural self-identity, without the least trace of self-consciousness, and go to the root of it and you will soon realize that awareness is your true nature and nothing you may be aware of, you can call your own. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • How can you have a proposition that the mind doesn’t exist? That means propositions don’t exist and that means that you don’t have a proposition. Michael Egnor
  • I want to understand what makes the consciousness of an intelligent human being deny its own existence with a straight face. For I find this denial extremely puzzling for both philosophical and psychological reasons. Don’t get me wrong, the motivation behind the denial is obvious enough: it is to tackle a vexing problem by magically wishing it out of existence. As a matter of fact, the ‘whoa-factor’ of this magic gets eliminativists and illusionists a lot of media attention. But still, what kind of conscious inner dialogue do these people engage in so as to convince themselves that they have no conscious inner dialogue? Short of assuming that they are insane, fantastically stupid or dishonest—none of which is plausible—we have an authentic and rather baffling mystery in our hands. Bernardo Kastrup
  • My present opinion is that illusionists and eliminativists are sincere, but also so fanatically committed to a particular metaphysics—materialism—that they inadvertently conjure up, and then tie themselves in, perplexing webs of conceptual indirection, ultimately deceiving themselves. In their inner dialogue, I suspect they implicitly replace the obvious meaning of the term ‘consciousness’ with one or another secret conceptual abstraction, and then strive towards proving that such abstraction doesn’t actually exist. Well, guess what? Of course it doesn’t! Bernardo Kastrup
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…something we can be far more certain of than the apparent world of matter existing independently of our consciousness

  • The world may not be real but the experiencing of it is. Anthony Lambert
  • Consciousness is that which experiences. We do not know what this Consciousness is but we know that it is. We know it is present, that there is something that is registering, witnessing, knowing the current situation. Nor do we know exactly what the perceived object is, but we know that it exists, that is has Reality.  Rupert Spira
  • It is the reality of immediate experience, here and now, which cannot be denied. You can question the description and the meaning, but not the event itself. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • All reality we can ever know is a flow of subjective perceptions, thoughts, feelings and ideas in mind. We postulate an abstract world outside mind merely to explain to ourselves the patterns and regularities of experience and the consistencies of these experiences across observers. Bernard Kastrup
  • Q: Experience may be faulty and misleading. M: Quite, but not the fact of an experience. Whatever may be the experience, true or false, the fact of an experience taking place cannot be denied. It is its own proof.   Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • The reality of external objects does not admit of strict proof. On the contrary, however, the reality of the object of our internal sense (of myself and state) is clear immediately through consciousness. Immanuel Kant
  • It is almost an absurd prejudice to suppose that existence can only be physical. As a matter of fact, the only form of existence of which we have immediate knowledge is psychic. We might as well say, on the contrary, that physical existence is a mere inference, since we know of matter only in so far as we perceive psychic images mediated by the senses. Carl Jung
  • Even an omnipotent deceiver could not have deluded Descartes about his own existence. But such a deceiver, he realized, if sufficiently malicious, could well have deluded him about everything else! There was nothing in the indubitable fact of his thinking to guarantee that a world existed out there or that he even had a body. The only safe conclusion was that he was a purely mental being, and that his mind was completely distinct from his body. This being so, then his mind ought to be able to continue to exist independently after his body was dead and buried. Hence, man had a soul. David Darling
  • That you hear is a fact. What you hear — is not. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • What is the true nature of the world I experience? My experience of the world seemingly “out there” made of physical matter is a actually an “inner experience” arising within my awareness.  In other words, the only world that I know exists for sure is made of perception; not matter. The world of matter out there, existing independently of awareness, is far from indisputably real. In fact, the world of matter is nothing but a belief that our culture holds onto with an almost religious kind of fervour.  Unlike the world of matter, my awareness and my experiences arising within it are indisputably real.   The world I experience in reality is nothing but perceptions arising within consciousness, made by consciousness, made of consciousness, known by consciousness.  Anthony Lambert
  • Some people claim that our subjective reality is an illusion, but that is misleading. It may all be a creation of the mind, but it is nonetheless real—the only reality we ever know. The illusion comes when we confuse the reality we experience with the physical reality, the thing-in-itself. The Vedantic philosophers of ancient India spoke of this confusion as maya. Peter Russell
  • How do we know that anything really exists, that anything is really the way it seems to us through our senses? Discartes
  • How can reality depend on experience, when it is the very ground of experience? Reality is in the very fact of experience, not in its nature. Experience is, after all, a state of mind, while being is definitely not a state of mind. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • Every one of the five senses can be twisted to deliver a completely different picture of the world. If by picture, we mean sight, sound, smell, taste and texture of things, a troubling conclusion looms. Apart from the very unreliable picture running inside the brain, we have no proof that reality is anything like what we see. Deepak Chopra
  • Things which we see are not by themselves what we see … It remains completely unknown to us what the objects may be by themselves and apart from the receptivity of our senses. We know nothing but our manner of perceiving them. Immanuel Kant
  • All life is only a set of pictures in the brain, among which there is no difference betwixt those born of real things and those born of inward dreamings, and no cause to value the one above the other. P. Lovecraft
  • All humanity could share a common insanity and be immersed in a common illusion while living in a common chaos. That can’t be disproved, but we have no choice but to follow our senses. Isaac Asimov
  • The world or an object is the experience of it. We have no evidence of a world that exists outside our experience of it. Nor is it ever possible to have such an experience, because experience itself is the touchstone of evidence. Rupert Spira
  • Nothing exists outside our experience of it, as far as we know. Rupert Spiral
  • We take that which is unreal to be real and that which is real to be unreal. Rupert Spira
  • All our thoughts, sensations and perceptions are private. We think we all view the same world but in fact all we view is our own private perception. The world that is considered to exist independent of perception and of which each of our perceptions is considered to be a single, partial view, has never been experienced. There is no evidence for its existence. Rupert Spira
  • All our interior world is reality, and that, perhaps, more so than our apparent world. Marc Chagall
  • Consciousness Is Your Only Experience, it Is the Reality in Which you exist. Adi Da Samraj
  • Far from being a material world, this is a psychic world, which allows us to make only indirect and hypothetical inferences about the real nature of matter. The psychic, alone has immediate reality… Carl Jung
  • It is necessary to keep reminding ourselves that all knowledge of our environment from which the world of physics is constructed, has entered in the form of messages transmitted along the nerves to the seat of consciousness. . . . It is difficult for the matter-of-fact physicist to accept the view that the substratum of everything is of mental character. But no one can deny that mind is the first and most direct thing in our experience, and all else is remote inference. Sir Arthur Eddington
  • The only thing we each know for certain, the only thing for which each of us has irrefutable proof, is one’s own consciousness. Proving physical reality exists is impossible, whereas proving mental reality exists is trivially self-evident: I know I am conscious because I know I am conscious. Scott Owen
  • The only thing we know to be indisputably real is our inner experience of the outer world and our existence as an experiencer. The primary fabric of that reality is consciousness / awareness. Anthony Lambert
  • We assume that the objects we see around us are empirical objects of a common reality—quite objective and public, quite subject to empirical scrutiny. Yet, in fact, our knowledge about them is always gathered by subjective and private means. Amit Goswami
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Any theory that consciousness is an illusion is completely non-sensical

  • To say that consciousness is an illusion does not explain consciousness: it presupposes it. Illusion is a mode of consciousness. Rupert Sheldrake
  • There are, to be sure, people who think materialism requires them to deny the existence of consciousness, “illusionists” who are adamant that our brains are machines and there is really no feeling, no pain, no joy, no sensory experience. They are, however, a recent and wildly anomalous group among materialists, and this is unsurprising, because illusionism is the silliest view about reality that has ever been held by any human being. (No one has ever really suffered in any way!) The illusionists sail off the edge of the world in the great Ship of Fools, crewed by Flat Earthers, under the command of Rear Admiral Daniel Dennett, and we must let them go. Galen Strawson
  • The insistence that the physical reality is required as the foundation for our mental reality, is based on the notion that a physical reality plus a mental reality is somehow easier to explain than just a mental reality. And that, in turn, is related to our obsession with a mechanical universe: everything must be reducible to mechanics, so consciousness must also be the result of a physical machine. It’s taboo for any self-respecting scientist to publicly consider that it could be the other way around. Many if not most of today’s scientists believe consciousness is an illusion of a machine, which seems to me to be infinitely more complicated than saying it is the machine that is the illusion of our consciousness. Scott Owen
  • Many materialists absurdly suggest that consciousness is a kind of illusion, a suggestion that immediately contradicts itself by negating the very consciousness where the purported illusion should exist in the first place. Bernardo Kastrup
  • I think we should feel very sober, and a little afraid, at the power of human credulity, the capacity of human minds to be gripped by theory, by faith. For this particular denial is the strangest thing that has ever happened in the whole history of human thought, not just the whole history of philosophy. Galen Strawson
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While consciousness is not an illusion, the world we experience certainly could be

  • All illusions have a reality to them, and if we are experiencing an illusion we are, by definition, experiencing its reality. Rupert Spira
  • Even if the world out there is an illusion, that illusion is still known. It is experienced. Rupert Spira
  • Nothing is more obvious and undeniable than the fact that you’re conscious. In theory, everything else you think you know about the world could be an elaborate illusion cooked up to deceive you – at this point, present-day writers invariably invoke The Matrix – but your consciousness itself can’t be illusory.  Oliver Burkeman
  • There is a Reality to every perception, although the perception itself is fleeting and insubstantial, vanishing at every moment, and this Reality endures from one appearance to another. This Reality is the support or ground of the appearance. The appearance may be an illusion, but the illusion itself is real. There is an illusion. It has Reality. Rupert Spira
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The world we experience really could be a dream or hallucination

  • Even if I were to suppose that I was dreaming and whatever I saw or imagined was false, yet I could not deny that ideas were truly in my mind. Discartes
  • The fact that there is experience tells us two things. First. it tells us that there is Consciousness, that whatever it is that is conscious is present and aware, that it is witnessing or experiencing whatever it is that is being experienced. We refer to this Consciousness as ‘I’, as ‘me’. It is the subjective element in every experience. We do not know what that Consciousness is, but we know that it is. Secondly, it tells us that there is something that is being experienced, that something is present. This something is the objective element in every experience. We may not know what this ‘something’ is, yet there is no doubt that something is being experienced. It may be an illusion, a dream or a hallucination, and yet still it is something. It has Existence. It has Being. It has Reality.  Rupert Spira
  • The inner privacy of the theoretical image would be no problem, and there would be no dichotomy, if there were always a one-to-one correspondence between that image and an empirical object that others could verify immediately. This is not the case; there are optical illusions. There are creative and mystical experiences of subjective images that do not necessarily correspond to anything in the immediate consensus reality. Thus the authenticity of theoretical images is suspect, and this in turn compromises the authenticity of empirical objects as well because we never experience them without the intermediary of a theoretical image. This is the paradox of perception: We cannot seem to trust the authenticity of either our theoretical image or the consensus, public, empirical object. Philosophical “isms” are born out of such paradoxes. Amit Goswami
  • The reality of being an experiencer is more clearly real than the experience itself. The experience may be a kind of dream, but the fact that I am an experiencer, experiencing something cannot be denied. Anthony Lambert
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The truth is even if we were brains in a vat, we could never know for sure

  • Consider this: right now, you are not where you think you are. In fact, you happen to be the subject of a science experiment being conducted by an evil genius. Your brain has been expertly removed from your body and is being kept alive in a vat of nutrients that sits on a laboratory bench. The nerve endings of your brain are connected to a supercomputer that feeds you all the sensations of everyday life. This is why you think you’re living a completely normal life. Do you still exist? Are you still even “you”? And is the world as you know it a figment of your imagination or an illusion constructed by this evil scientist? Sounds like a nightmare scenario. But can you say with absolute certainty that it’s not true? Could you prove to someone that you aren’t actually a brain in a vat? Laura D’Olimpio
  • Even if I happen to be a brain in a vat at this moment—and all my memories are false, and all my perceptions are of a world that does not exist—the fact that I am having an experience is indisputable (to me, at least). Sam Harris
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Even if the world is an illusion, hallucination or dream, the experience of it is indisputably real

  • Even if the world out there is an illusion, that illusion is still known. It is experienced. Rupert Spira
  • We may not know what this ‘something’ is, yet there is no doubt that something is being experienced. It may be an illusion, a dream or a hallucination, and yet still it is something. It has Existence. It has Being. It has Reality. Rupert Spira
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Idealism opens up the possibility of a cosmic mind containing our localised minds within it

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Idealism is friendly to the notion of a cosmic mind (God) that knows all experiencing

  • Idealism, too, is not theoretically certain. But if it is adopted, even as a living possibility, it can justify a practical certainty, and even a second-order theoretical certainty (a theoretical certainty, given the truth of idealism) of the existence of God. Keith Ward
  • Idealism sees the world in God. It beholds the whole circle of persons and things, of actions and events, of country and religion, not as painfully accumulated, atom after atom, act after act, in an aged creeping Past, but as one vast picture, which God paints on the instant eternity, for the contemplation of the soul. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Inasmuch as the infinite field of consciousness is unlimited in dimension, nothing can happen outside of it. David R. Hawkins
  • There doesn’t seem to be any place in your philosophy for those objects that are not in anybody’s mind. “Well, they are in God’s mind.”  Amit Goswami
  • When not subject to this localization and modulation mechanism, mind is unbound: it entails consciousness of all there is across space, time, and perhaps beyond. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Cosmic idealism is the thesis that all concrete facts are grounded in facts about the mental states of a single cosmic entity, such as the universe as a whole or perhaps a god. David Chalmers
  • Suppose that mind is not some private power that each of us contains, but rather a field of awareness that contains us—and likewise encompasses birds, bees, ferns, trees, salamanders, spiders, dragonflies, and all living things, permeates mountains and rivers and galaxies, each kind offering its own degree and variety of awareness, even stars, even stones. Scott Russell Sanders
  • You are surrounded by a universal mind that contains all the intelligence, ideas and knowledge that have ever existed. Brian Tracy
  • There is but one mind; one irreducible medium in which the dance of existence unfolds. Bernardo Kastrup
  • If absolutely everything is held in God-Consciousness, then anything that exists or could exist is within the power of God to create. Alan H. Dawe
  • Mind is a broad and continuous medium unlimited in either space or time; a canvas where the entire play of existence unfolds, including space and time themselves. Your egoic mind – that limited awareness you identify yourself with – is, in this context, merely a segment of the broad, universal canvas of mind. Your impression that your mind is separate from all the rest is, as I will argue later, the result of a ‘filtering’ process induced by a specific, localized topological feature of the canvas of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Mind itself is unfathomably larger than any one of our individual egos. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The Divine mind is as visible in its full energy of operation on every lowly bank and mouldering stone as in the lifting of the pillars of heaven, and settling the foundation of the earth. John Ruskin
  • The entire universe – is just the flow of the contents of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • I use the term ‘mind’ in the broad idealist sense, meaning the unified medium of all existence. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The God hypothesis proposes that there is a consciousness that does not depend on any material brain, or on any material thing at all. In this consciousness all possible worlds exist, though only as possible states that may or may not actually exist. The cosmic consciousness can evaluate these possible worlds in terms of their desirability – their beauty or elegance or fecundity, for example. Then, being actual, it can bring about desirable states and enjoy them. Keith Ward
  • I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension. Freeman Dyson
  • It is reasonable to believe in the existence of a third level of mind, a mental component of the universe. If we believe in this … and call it God, then we can say that we are small pieces of God’s mental apparatus. Freeman Dyson (physicist)
  • Mind is god and god is Mind. Anaxagoras
  • The Absolute consists of a single eternal mind, in which our minds are somehow included. T.H. Green
  • The mind of God is all the mentality that is scattered over space and time, the diffused consciousness that animates the world. Baruch Spinoza
  • The absolute is a single mind encompassing all streams of consciousness. Timothy Sprigge
  • Everything exists only in the Mind of God. God has imagined everything in His Creation. There is no external substance to this Creation — it is made by God and is made out of the substance of God. There is absolutely nothing that exists that is separate from God. It is God. Ian H. Dawe
  • The Universe is the creation of the mind. Universe exists inside the mind as the flower exists inside the seed. Amit Ray
  • It is said that Brahman (God) is the real source of all physical (tactile, auditory, gustatory, auditory, and visible) sensation and perception, although he remains transcendent of these senses. King Janaka
  • We can avoid the needless extravagance of saying that all these worlds actually exist by positing that they all exist in the mind of God, which is just one simple entity, not being composed of separable parts. Keith Ward
  • The Universal Mind— the sum-total of all the mind there is. William Walker Atkinson
  • The Universal Mind is not the Absolute, remember, but merely an emanation of it. William Walker Atkinson
  • There are ten thousand planes of awareness within the infinite mind of the diamond mind, your deeper mind. Frederick Lenz
  • All the mind-streams eventually flow into the One ocean of Beingness. Mooji
  • There is an omnipresent, eternal mind, which knows and comprehends all things, and exhibits them to our view in such a manner, and according to such rules as he himself hath ordained, and are by us termed the laws of nature.  George Berkeley
  • Whether we call the One Mind the Source, the All, the Whole, the Absolute, Universe, Pure Being, God, Allah, the frequency domain, the collective unconscious, the holographic realm, the Akashic records, or something else, it is not a featureless, infinite blob. It manifests in our lives in unique ways. How could this be?  Larry Dossey
  • If the One Mind is the source of all information that is known and knowable, then it is omniscient. Omniscience is a characteristic usually assigned to the Divine. And if the One Mind is nonlocal—not localized to specific points in space, such as brains or bodies, and not confined to specific points in time, such as the present—then it is omnipresent and eternal. Omnipresence and eternality are also characteristics usually attributed to God, the Absolute, the Divine, the All.  Larry Dossey
  • We frame the idea of God by asking what the simplest and most self-explanatory idea of mind would be. Keith Ward
  • Cognitive scientists who suggest that the reality that surrounds us could be very different than what we think since what we see, hear, feel, etc, are merely internally generated representations that help us survive external stimuli. In Kastrup’s premise, it’s not actual, physical things out there, but merely bursts of self-excitation coming from elsewhere in the cosmic mind: There is no out there out there. Robby Berman
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… one universal mind in which all minds are included…

  • The multiplicity is only apparent, in truth there is only one mind. Tim Freke
  • The total number of minds in the universe is one. Erwin Schrodinger
  • Multiplicity is only apparent, in truth, there is only one mind. Erwin Schrodinger
  • The over-all number of minds is just one. Erwin Schröedinger
  • The absolute is a single mind encompassing all streams of consciousness. Timothy Sprigge
  • You are the consciousness in which your body-mind and all other body-minds appear. Francis Lucille
  • Your self is the universe, and you perceive the universe through a state of mind. Frederick Lenz
  • The inclusive One Mind, of which all individual minds partake, nourishes the human drive toward transcendence. Larry Dossey
  • The information is a part of the universal or One Mind, of which all individual minds partake. Larry Dossey
  • The Absolute consists of a single eternal mind, in which our minds are somehow included. T.H. Green
  • Ultimately, this hierarchical system of ever more complex minds merges into a single overarching stream of consciousness which corresponds to what Thomas Sprigge calls ‘God’. William Seager
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…a cosmic mind that is unfiltered and unlimited…

  • The ultimate breadth of mind is achieved when its flow is not limited by the brain that captures and ‘filters’ it down. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The broadest nervous system – as far as the freedom, breadth, and depth of consciousness in it – is no nervous system at all. Bernardo Kastrup
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…a mind that is void by default, containing infinite potentiality…

  • The medium of mind itself must be empty – a void – in the sense that it fundamentally transcends all experience and knowledge. Its existence can only be registered by itself when it vibrates, and even then only in the form of vibrations. Otherwise, it is void. Yet, there is a sense in which this void cannot really be nothing, for it entails a latent potential to move. Existence arises when this potential concretizes into actual movement. We can then say that all that exists is the movement of the void. Bernardo Kastrup
  • In the very beginning, the membrane of mind was at rest. It didn’t move or vibrate. Its topography and topology were as simple as possible. Not only was there no self-reflectiveness, but also no experience. Only an infinite abyss of experiential emptiness existed. Bernardo Kastrup
  • ‘There is something formless yet complete That existed before heaven and earth. How still! How empty! Dependent on nothing, unchanging, All pervading, unfailing. One may think of it as the mother of all things under heaven. I do not know its name, But I call it “Meaning.”’ Hong Zicheng
  • Emptiness is appearing as all views, all form. Scott Kiloby
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…that “vibrates” in order to experience…

  • Only experience exists, for the medium of mind is merely a potential, not an actuality. It concretizes into existence only when it moves and, at that point, it is nothing but the corresponding experiences. Bernardo Kastrup
  • There is nothing to experience – and therefore to existence – other than the void that vibrates. So everything is a void or, as Adyashanti brilliantly put it, ‘emptiness dancing.’ Existence is but a disturbance of the void and, thus, fundamentally empty. At the same time, obviously existence is not empty: just look around! Bernardo Kastrup
  • Experience: a particular movement of mind. The qualities of an experience are determined by the pattern of this movement. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Experience is already mind in motion! Bernardo Kastrup
  • There is only one active process in mind: movement. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The same Consciousness prevails at rest as the Absolute and in motion as duality. When the sense of “me” disappears completely, duality vanishes in ecstasy. Ramesh Balsekar
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…according to its free will…

  • Free will proper is the primary cause of all movements of mind; the free will of the one subject of all existence. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Free will is the ‘mental energy’ that sets the membrane of mind in motion. Bernardo Kastrup
  • According to monistic idealism, objects are already in consciousness as primordial, transcendent, archetypal possibility forms. The collapse consists not of doing something to objects via observing but of choosing and of recognizing the result of that choice. Amit Goswami
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…in order to come to know itself and know what is going on

  • There is a significant sense in which an experience concretizes – brings into existence – its very subject. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Brahman is the unknown that needs to be explained, atman is the known through which the unknown finds its explanation. Rhawn Joseph
  • The subject was its own uncontrollable flow of passions and images, with no ability to step out and ponder about what was going on. Bernardo Kastrup
  • A clue to the usefulness of ordinary life: it provides us with a heightened ability to self-reflect about existence and our condition within it. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Suddenly, there was a hint of self-reflective awareness. And it was enough: the idea of ‘I am’ arose in mind for the first time. And the questions ‘What am I? What is going on?’ Bernardo Kastrup
  • Could our reality — all that we sense, and all that we are — be the eternal Knower, the eternal “I am”, literally making sense of the question, “Who is ‘me’?” And in a way similar to the idea that all within your dream is you, and made from you, and all within your dream is your imagining, your creation, it’s not that the Knower is all around us, nor that the Knower is in each of us but, rather, all of reality is both the Knower’s imagining and the Knower himself. Just as everything in our dreams is a projection of ourselves in ourselves, our reality is the living projection of The Knower in The Knower. So The Knower — God, if you will — is not in us, not ‘up there’: we are in him, we are his thought, his immediate creation. We are The Knower experiencing “Who Am I?” Scott Owen
  • God’s ideas and abilities become God’s experience in the life of every sentient being. What greater purpose could there be for each of us humans than that of creating God’s experience? Bernard Haisch
  • You ground a subjective, localized point-of-view into reality at large. Bernardo Kastrup
  • We are the expression of mind in its attempt to make sense of what is going on. That this attempt is still in a somewhat chaotic state seems clear from even a casual glance at contemporary history. Bernardo Kastrup
  • We will awaken, not in the sense of being roused from a sleep, but we will awaken in the sense of growing awareness, awareness that all that we experience is a creation, an imagining of our creator, and He is us. Though we are captivated by the illusion we are separate consciousnesses — separate egos —, we are all the one Knower asking the question that perhaps can never be answered: Who am I? Scott Owen
  • The entire mental process that is occurring in your psyche as you read this right now is also an attempt by mind to ‘see’ and understand itself through the mirrored membrane loop that your ego is. You and I are examples of a living attempt by the ‘eye’ of mind to create, out of itself, a mirror upon which it can contemplate itself and answer the ultimate questions: What am I? What is going on?  Bernardo Kastrup
  • Daniel Wegner and his colleagues concluded that people judge minds on two dimensions: experience and agency. People attribute both experience and agency to themselves and other adult humans: We feel things and do things. People attribute less agency to children and animals. They give some agency to a robot, but no experience aspects of consciousness. God occupies a unique position: loads of agency, but little in the way of experience. Ira Hyman Ph.D.
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…through each of our individual minds

  • A ubiquitous notion across many religions and spiritual traditions is the idea that, although we, human beings, are ignorant and confused while immersed in the school of life, there are higher beings who possess all the answers to the mysteries of existence. These beings supposedly stand outside the game: they look on, all-knowingly, as we go through the trials of education. And – it is also believed – there is a plan, or curriculum, for all of our tribulations. As such, the craziness of life is supposedly only apparent, for underlying it all there is great order. When we physically die, our souls are believed to be welcomed by these beings and receive whatever answers we couldn’t figure out ourselves, during life, the hard way. If these beings somehow did exist, there is a sense in which they would render our existence redundant: whatever insights we could potentially add to mind, through our many tribulations, would already be in mind to begin with. Moreover, if these beings could communicate to us, why not just tell us all the answers? Why allow us to go through so much suffering while struggling to find out the answers the hard way? Bernardo Kastrup
  • Why do people suffer and die? Why is there evil? Why is there so much inequality and injustice? Maybe nobody really knows. Maybe we are all still running around, knocking things over clumsily in our struggle, as the dominoes fall all around us. And it is possible that we alone have a shot at making sense of it as we go through life. Bernardo Kastrup
  • If this possibility turns out to be true, then our lives are meaningful in the strongest way imaginable! It implies that we aren’t just students redundantly having to find out, the hard way, answers already known to others. Instead, we are researchers at the leading edge of knowledge. We aren’t receiving knowledge, but generating it. Our suffering is not redundant: it is part of what happens when we try to figure out what is going on, because we are what is going on. Bernardo Kastrup
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The cosmic mind could be described as a unified field of awareness…

  • Consciousness can be considered the field of all fields, since it is the field that makes possible the existence of all fields. Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos
  • So the field that is reality is not only a presence that is awareness, but an awareness that is knowingness… The inherent knowing of this whole field, with all its patterns, is sometimes referred to as the Divine Mind, or the mind of God. In other words, the knowing of all that exists is nothing but God’s mind. H. Almaas
  • All is a momentary appearance in the field of the universal consciousness; continuity as name and form is a mental formation only, easy to dispel. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • All experience fields are excitations within one universal field. Anthony Lambert
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…with each of our minds as a localised field of experience for the cosmic mind to experience the world through

  • Each living form can be described as an “experience field” that God is experiencing and expressing through. Anthony Lambert
  • I am the field of awareness presencing a particular flow of experience that is arising right now. Tim Freke
  • Consciousness needs a vehicle and an instrument for its manifestation. Nisargadatta Maharaja
  • Each mind- body is a separate experience God I Am is having. Anthony Lambert
  • I am a localised field of experience, part of an infinite field of awareness. Anthony Lambert
  • The mind-body is an energy field through which God I Am perceives the world. The mind- body is a sensory and perceptual portal through which God experiences the world. Antony Lambert
  • An experience field is the “sensory” organ of God. Anthony Lambert
  • I am the universal field of being, individualized as a particular being. Tim Freke
  • The experience field represents a sliver of the universal mind. Anthony Lambert
  • You ground a subjective, localized point-of-view into reality at large.  Bernardo Kastrup Our individual experiences in the physical world are patterns of self-excitation of cosmic consciousness.  Bernardo Kastrup
  • Whatever you ordinarily think of as your own mind should be looked upon, in the context of my hypothesis, as a very small segment of the broader medium of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Awareness must collapse into the finite mind to view objective experience. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness localises as the mind in order to see something as separate from itself. But actually, all is pure consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness needs the mind to know the world. But it does not need the mind to know itself. Rupert Spira
  • First personal givenness points to individuation of consciousness, that consciousness has to express itself as individual consciousness for there to be experience. H. Almaas
  • Locality is a qualia experience in the nonlocal consciousness field. Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos
  • Mind is the activity through which and as which awareness knows objective experience. Rupert Spira
  • That which sees is obviously infinite, it appears to have a limited or individual view. Francis Lucille
  • The experience field is God experiencing the world through the filter of the mind. Anthony Lambert
  • The human experience is a temporarily segregated sliver of the experience of God. Bernard Haisch
  • The body is a mental artifact that grounds a localized point-of-view within mind in much the same way that a dreamed-up body grounds a certain localized perspective within a nightly dream. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Each of our minds is like an opening through which infinite awareness knows itself in the form of the world. Rupert Spira
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Alternatively, our minds could be described as cells in the cosmic mind…

  • God is the mind that imagines physical reality. We are each like a cell in that mind. Peter Shepherd
  • The One Mind is not a subdivision. It is the overarching, inclusive dimension to which all the mental components of all individual minds belong. Larry Dossey
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… apparently separate…

  • The problem, which now becomes one of how essential parts of the universal mind can ‘appear to themselves’ as separate and in fact can, in some measure in line with our sense of agency, actually be separate. William Seager
  • Brahman can divide itself into individual beings with agency and self-determination, while expressing the unfolding cosmic designs as well as the inescapable ultimate transcendent Sachchidananda. Matthew W. Morey
  • The Universal Mind is devoid of personality and all that belongs to it, but by reason of the defilement upon its face it is like an actor and plays a variety of parts, among which a mutual functioning takes place and the mind-system arises. The Lankavatara Sutra, Buddhism, Mahayana
  • The Individual Self is not a mere power or form or quality or function of the Absolute; it is the Absolute itself in a particular poise of being. Chaudhuri
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…with apparent independent agency…

  • Humanity is an aspect of Brahman, but with a standing independent agency. Chaudhuri
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…but in reality, not separate…

  • All finite minds, though they seem separate, exist within Gods infinite mind. Rupert Spira
  • Alone we can do nothing, but together our minds fuse into something whose power is far beyond the power of its separate parts. By not being separate, the Mind of God is established in ours and as ours. This Mind is invincible because it is undivided. A Course in Miracles
  • Born of God, we are spirit, and cannot be anything else. All is mind—one mind. We are that mind asleep—yet awakening, and God is that mind eternally aware. Jan Price
  • The multiplicity is only apparent, in truth there is only one mind. Tim Freke
  • There is only One Mind here, appearing to be many. There is only One universal intelligence manifesting as seemingly living and non-living matter with a separate existence unto itself. Ziad Masri
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…for the experiences of all minds actually arise in one unified field of knowing (universal consciousness)

  • There is no separate entity that experiences and there is no object, person, mind, body, world or other that is experienced. The mind, body, world, people, places, objects and entities are all abstract conceptions that are superimposed by thinking onto experience itself. There is only experiencing from moment to moment and this experiencing is one ever-present seamless whole. Rupert Spira
  • There are 7 million minds? No there are 7 billion thoughts arising in the same dimensionless presence of consciousness.  Rupert Spira
  • There is no division between the knower and the known; there simply is knowing. This splitting up into knower and known is mind. Leo Hartong
  • Awareness, remember, is the mind-field in which objects of experience arise. Amit Goswami
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Our minds are limited with a filtered field of experience…

  • Certain individuals through history have learned to defy the reducing-valve function of the brain to some degree through spiritual exercises, hypnosis, or drugs. Larry Dossey
  • Each one of us is potentially Mind at Large. But in so far as we are animals, our business is at all costs to survive. To make biological survival possible, Mind at Large has to be funneled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system. What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of the kind of consciousness which will help us stay alive on the surface of this particular planet. Aldous Huxley
  • My sense of separation from the universe and my belief that I originate my own thoughts are due to the filtration system that removes most information generated by the universe from my individual individual conscious awareness. Because we see only a small part of what is going on, we believe that we are separate from everything else in the world and that our thoughts originate in our individual minds. However, what appears to be our individual mind is, in reality, the mind of God. James C Wilhelm
  • In a dualist setup, “my” mind is different from cosmic mind. It’s much smaller, for one thing, and its viewpoint is limited to the experiences I’ve had since birth. Yet if we abandon the illusion of separation, there is no need to choose either/or. The mind feels personal and at the same time it is cosmic. Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos
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…filtered from the cosmic mind…

  • Our minds are filtered from the mind of God. Our thoughts are filtered from the thoughts of God. Bernard Haisch
  • Each one of us is potentially Mind at Large. But in so far as we are animals, our business is at all costs to survive. To make biological survival possible, Mind at Large has to be funneled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system. What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of the kind of consciousness which will help us stay alive on the surface of this particular planet. Aldous Huxley
  • Reflecting on the experience afterwards, Huxley finds himself in agreement with philosopher C. D. Broad that to enable us to live, the brain and nervous system eliminate unessential information from the totality of the Mind at Large. Aldous Huxley
  • The brain is a kind of filter of mind: it selects and localizes the flow of certain contents of mind, which would otherwise be unbound and non-local. Bernardo Kastrup
  • When it localises as an egoic mind, consciousness intentionally limits its field of knowing to a finite set of experiences relevant to that mind. All other experiences through other minds are filtered out. Anthony Lambert
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…with access to only part of the entire field of knowing

  • Consciousness must incarnate (collapse) as a finite mind to know what is finite. The finite mind is the focusing or narrowing of consciousness. Each finite mind is just a very narrow segment of the total field of consciousness. What appears in each mind is very limited but the knowing with which it is known is unlimited. That knowing is unlimited doesn’t mean that finite minds have access to all knowledge at all times. Rupert Spira
  • If each of us has access to the unconscious knowledge of the entire human race, why aren’t we all walking encyclopedias? Psychologist Robert M. Anderson, Jr., of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, believes it is because we are only able to tap into information in the implicate order that is directly relevant to our memories. Anderson calls this selective process personal resonance and likens it to the fact that a vibrating tuning fork will resonate with (or set up a vibration in) another tuning fork only if the second tuning fork possesses a similar structure, shape, and size, “Due to personal resonance, relatively few of the almost infinite variety of ‘images’ in the implicate holographic structure of the universe are available to an individual’s personal consciousness, says Anderson. “Thus, when enlightened persons glimpsed this unitive consciousness centuries ago, they did not write out relativity theory because they were not studying physics in a context similar to that in which Einstein studied physics.  Michael Talbot
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All minds are connected to the cosmic mind and cannot exist independently of it…

  • What I’ve found to be important is mainly just the realization that everyone has all knowledge and all humanity within themselves. Individual minds are connected to a universal mind. All people need to do is find out how to get it and reach it when they need it. Willie Nelson
  • All cause is in Mind – and Mind is everywhere. All the knowledge there is, all the power there is, is all about you wherever you may be. Your Mind is part of it.  You have access to it.  As the drop of water in the ocean shares in all the properties of the rest of the ocean water, so you share in that all-power, all-wisdom of Mind.    Robert Collier
  • Our minds are all threaded together… Any live mind today is of the very same stuff as Plato’s and Euripides. It is only a continuation and development of the same thing. It is this common mind that binds the whole world together; and all the world is mind. Virginia Woolf
  • Our minds are fused with the cosmic mind. Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos
  • Minds are joined; bodies are not. Only by assigning to the mind the properties of the body does separation seem to be possible. A Course in Miracles
  • Our entire existence takes place within our mind, and the only way we can alter things within our world, the things that appear to be external to us, is because it also occurs within a greater Universal Mind which we are linked to. If this makes no sense, imagine computers connected to a greater central computer over a network. Each one of these mini computers can do different things and appear to be separated, but they are actually interconnected and make use of one central store/mind.  Things appear in their mind (their computer memory) but they can only make use of things that already exist on the central computer. This is an example of how many are in reality one, but from the wrong perception they could appear to be individualized and independent of each other.  Martin E Moore
  • The energy of life entering and leaving your body flows evenly throughout the universe. With that current, the mind of the cosmos communicates with all things. Ilchi Lee
  • Because of the interconnectedness of all minds, affirming a positive vision may be about the most sophisticated action any one of us can take. Willis Harman
  • By holding firm to an inner picture, I was aligning myself with the one Divine mind—of which I’m a fragment—and allowing this great Tao to offer up experiences in the physical world that matched up to my own Divine destiny. Wayne Dyer
  • The One Mind is like an invisible, nonphysical cloud-computing platform with infinite storage capacity that is user free. There is no need for linkage, because all minds are already connected non-locally as a unitary whole. Larry Dossey
  • Universal intelligence is not only the mind of the Creator of the universe but it is also the mind of Man, your intelligence, your mind. Robert Collier
  • If we are to have a ghost of a chance of understanding the One Mind and the relationship between mind and brain, we are going to have to learn to think nonlocally, not locally. Otherwise we will be forever chasing problems that simply don’t apply in a nonlocal world. Larry Dossey
  • If all individual minds are united via the One Mind, for which there is impressive evidence, it follows that at some level we are intimately connected with one another and with all sentient life. This realization makes possible a recalibration of the self-oriented Golden Rule, from “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” to “Be kind to others, because in some sense they are you.” The task of the great wisdom traditions throughout history has been to transform this awareness from an intellectual concept into a felt certainty that is so real that it makes a difference in how we conduct our lives.  Larry Dossey
  • We should be thankful and loving because everything we interact with is ultimately interconnected as One Mind or One Spirit, being illusory projections of the One energy that many people label as “God.” Ziad Masri
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…and are an integral part of it

  • Ayurveda is the science of life and it has a very basic, simple kind of approach, which is that we are part of the universe and the universe is intelligent and the human body is part of the cosmic body, and the human mind is part of the cosmic mind, and the atom and the universe are exactly the same thing, but with different form, and the more we are in touch with this deeper reality, from where everything comes, the more we will be able to heal ourselves and at the same time heal our planet. Deepak Chopra
  • Hegel pushed all of this to its greatest extreme and glory. My rationality or mind is now a manifestation of the Absolute, or the Absolute made concrete. The Absolute becomes intelligent in man, and intelligent man is part of the Absolute. For Hegel, the real is rational, and the rational is real. Dallas M Roark
  • How remarkable we are in our ability to hide things from ourselves – our conscious minds only a small portion of our actual minds, jellyfish floating on a vast dark sea of knowing and deciding. Andrew Sean Greer
  • It is never a question of the One Mind versus the individual mind, or the collective versus the personal. There is no “versus,” but an “and.” The opposites go together, defining, illuminating, and invigorating each other. As the great Zen teacher Alan Watts put it, “The great metaphysical principle is this: Every inside has an outside, and every outside has an inside…. The entire universe can be understood as pulse/ interval, on/ off, peak/ valley.” Larry Dossey
  • The One Mind is a collective, unitary domain of intelligence, of which all individual minds are a part. Larry Dossey
  • Your mind is part of the one Universal Mind. This is not simply a philosophical ideal passed down to us through the ages. It is an exact scientific truth. Know it, believe it, apply it and you will see your life transform in miraculous ways. Tania Kotsos
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Our minds exist in the cosmic mind as localised centres of activity

  • The philosophical conception of a Universal Mind, or World Soul, in which the individual minds or souls are but centres of activity, or units of expression. William Walker Atkinson
  • The human mind is somehow in sync with a cosmic mind. Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos
  • The ego (the sense of being a separate self) is an activity in consciousness. Anthony Lambert
  • The separate entity is something we, as Consciousness, do. It is not something we are. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness realises that the separate entity that it previously took itself to be, is in fact simply an activity that it does, from time to time. Rupert Spira
  • Ego is not an entity. It is an activity. It is an optional activity of identifying itself with a fragment that Consciousness is free to make or not, from moment to moment. Rupert Spira
  • Mind and ego is an activity in consciousness. Rupert Spira
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The same universal consciousness is at the root of all minds, including the cosmic mind, giving rise to all of them

  • In Vedanta and Buddhist traditions, consciousness often refers to an impersonal ground of reality rather than any individual consciousness. “Pure consciousness” can be said to create our reality, in the same way that Berkeley suggested that God created reality, with human minds dwelling inside the Mind of God, but this should not be taken to mean that each of us creates reality whole cloth in our own minds or that there is no reality separate from our own minds. Tam Hunt
  • The self in you is the self in me. Consciousness is non-dual. As a way of understanding this, imagine a clear multi-faceted crystal. One facet reflects the red of a rose, another facet reflects the blue of the sky, yet the crystal is all of a piece and colorless at all times. Extending this to the Schrödinger quote, each apparent mind, each facet in the universal mind, appears to be different due to its conditioning. The beliefs, opinions, knowledge, ideas, and concepts that arise in the “individual” minds, act as adjuncts on the universal mind, coloring it and causing the universal mind to to appear as many minds. But since consciousness is non dual, it is mere appearance only and not essential difference. The total number of minds in the universe is one, yet that one mind can appear as many minds.  Dan McCann
  • Your subconscious mind is the universal mind with a universal consciousness. Debasish Mridha
  • God has lit your mind Himself, and keeps your mind lit by His Light because His light is what your mind is. A Course in Miracles
  • Surrender to the Universal Thought. The Marvelous is at the root of the mind. Antonin Artaud
  • First we must know ourselves as witnesses only, dimensionless and timeless centres of observation, and then realise that immense ocean of pure awareness, which is both mind and matter and beyond both. Nisargadatta Maharaja
  • One of the most remarkable aspects of consciousness its utter subjectivity, the uniqueness of each individual human perspective. Israel Rosenfield
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In other words, the field of knowing at the root of the cosmic mind and our minds is the same knowing

  • What we experience of the world is a cross section of God’s mind. Rupert Spira
  • What we see is the inside of God’s mind. The world is what God’s mind looks like from the perspective of a separate subject of experience in that world. Rupert Spira
  • You know how the divine Simplicity enfolds all things. Mind is the image of this enfolding Simplicity. If, then, you called this divine Simplicity infinite Mind, it will be the exemplar of our mind. If you called the divine mind the totality of the truth of things, you will call our mind the totality of the assimilation of things, so that it may be a totality of ideas. In the divine Mind conception is the production of things; in our mind conception is the knowledge of things. If the divine Mind is absolute Being, then its conception is the creation of beings; and conception in the human mind is the assimilation of beings. Nicholas of Cusa
  • God does not possess a private knowledge of Himself and a separate knowledge of all the creatures in common. The universal Cause, by knowing Itself, can hardly be ignorant of the things which proceed from It and of which It is the source. This, then, is how God knows all things, not by understanding things, but by understanding Himself. Pope Dionysius
  • The inherent knowingness of the divine mind, or nous, was called the logos by some Christians, total intellect by the Sufis, and discriminating awareness by the Buddhists. Now, this discriminating awareness or knowingness is the source of all experience—the various impressions, forms, and colors. Whether they are ordinary physical experiences or unusual spiritual experiences, they are all the same to the inherent knowingness—they are all knowingness, at different levels and intensities of brilliance. The ego experience is just dull knowingness, while the essential experience is a bright knowingness, a luminous presence.   A. H. Almaas
  • We find the individual consciousness to be endowed with a discriminating capacity and knowing, this way giving it a mind that thinks, remembers and reflects. H. Almaas
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Each of our minds simply borrows its knowing from the cosmic mind for a time

  • There is no human mind. There is only a universal mind. We borrow it for the time being and try to shape it in our own way to make it unique. It is like owning a plot of land. We borrow it from nature and call it our land. We try to shape it, build on it, and cultivate it. Debasish Mridha
  • All knowledge exists in the Mind universe of Light – which is God – that all Mind is One Mind, that men do not have separate minds, and that all knowledge can be obtained from the Universal Source of All-Knowledge by becoming One with that Source. Walter Russell
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Our minds and the cosmic mind are the same, differing only in degree

  • We are partakers of the life of God; and though we differ from Him in that we are individualized spirits, while He is the Infinite Spirit, including us, as well as all else beside, yet in essence the life of God and the life of man are identically the same, and so are one. They differ not in essence or quality; they differ in degree. William James
  • Just as you, student, may create a Universe of your own in your mentality, so does THE ALL create Universes in its own Mentality. But your Universe is the mental creation of a Finite Mind, whereas that of THE ALL is the creation of an Infinite. The two are similar in kind, but infinitely different in degree. The Kybalion
  • My mind is God’s mind with the dials temporarily turned down. Anthony Lambert
  • She saw the myriad gods, and beyond God his own ineffable eternity; she saw that there were ranges of life beyond our present life, ranges of mind beyond our present mind and above these she saw the splendors of the spirit. Sri Aurobindo
  • What can it mean to say that X has more being than Y; or in ordinary parlance, that it is more real? … To have more being, or be more real, is to possess more of the properties of being per se.” Six of these properties, says Smith, are (1) power, (2) duration, (3) locale, (4) unity, (5) importance, and (6) worth. Larry Dossey
  • Reality is tiered; being increases as the levels ascend. Ascent is used here figuratively, of course. No literal up, or spatial move whatever, is involved. Huston Smith
  • What can it mean to say that X has more being than Y; or in ordinary parlance, that it is more real? … To have more being, or be more real, is to possess more of the properties of being per se. Huston Smith
  • The higher contains the lower, but the lower does not contain the higher. Huston Smith
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The cosmic mind is infinitely greater and higher than our own…

  • The reality of God is usually said to be infinitely greater than that of any human-like mind that we can imagine. God is not just a projection of a human mind onto the sky. Keith Ward
  • The mind of God would not be like any human mind. Keith Ward
  • Do not measure God’s mind by your own. George MacDonald
  • God’s thoughts are not as ours. Arthur W. Pink
  • The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men. Charles Spurgeon
  • Reality is tiered; being increases as the levels ascend. Ascent is used here figuratively, of course. No literal up, or spatial move whatever, is involved.  Huston Smith
  • The mind of the many is not the mind of God. George MacDonald
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…with access to higher thoughts in addition to our own

  • Your thinking cannot come close to God’s thoughts. Henry Blackaby
  • For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8–9)
  • God’s thinkings are declared by himself to be exceedingly above man’s, and yet if ever man is to dwell with God, he must think as God thinks. Charles Haddon Spurgeon
  • For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9
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Our minds are like drops in the ocean compared to the cosmic mind

  • The Universal Mind, being infinite and omnipotent, has unlimited resources at its command, and when we remember that it is also omnipresent, we cannot escape the conclusion that we must be an expression or manifestation of that Mind. A recognition and understanding of the resources of the subconscious mind will indicate that the only difference between the subconscious and the Universal is one of degree. They differ only as a drop of water differs from the ocean. They are the same in kind and quality, the difference is one of degree only. Charles Haanel
  • There are profound differences between these two dimensions, the One Mind of humans and the Absolute. “The higher contains the lower, but the lower does not contain the higher.” Ignoring these differences can lead to ego inflation and hubris. Still, the similarities are real and should not be minimized. We share qualities with the Divine, just as the single drop of ocean water is a scaled-down version of the ocean itself. Ignoring these similarities can reinforce the dismal view that we are wicked, iniquitous, errant creatures from birth. As in most things, balance is the key.  Larry Dossey
  • A drop of ocean water may be united and one with the entire ocean, but as mentioned, it differs from the ocean in terms of power, locale, and importance. Just so, an individual mind may be nonlocally united with the One Mind, but differ from it, particularly in terms of power. Larry Dossey
  • A drop of water in the ocean is one with the entire ocean in terms of chemical composition but not in terms of volume and power. Just so, a human may be identical to the Absolute in some ways but not in others. Larry Dossey
  • Though difference be none, I am of Thee, Not Thou, O Lord, of me; For of the sea is verily the Wave, Not of the Wave the Sea. Shankara
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However, we can use our minds to understand a semblance of the cosmic mind

  • We can understand Universal Mind and Universal Thought only by analogy, by considering our own particular mind and thought and reasoning there from up to Infinity. William Walker Atkinson
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Our minds can be said to be a mirror reflection of the divine mind…

  • The human mind matches the cosmic mind. Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos
  • On seeing one thing, you see all things. On perceiving an individual’s mind, you perceive all minds. Glimpse one truth, and all truth is present in your vision, for there is nowhere at all that is devoid of the Truth. Huangbo Xiyun
  • You know how the divine Simplicity enfolds all things. Mind is the image of this enfolding Simplicity. If, then, you called this divine Simplicity infinite Mind, it will be the exemplar of our mind. If you called the divine mind the totality of the truth of things, you will call our mind the totality of the assimilation of things, so that it may be a totality of ideas. In the divine Mind conception is the production of things; in our mind conception is the knowledge of things. If the divine Mind is absolute Being, then its conception is the creation of beings; and conception in the human mind is the assimilation of beings. Nicholas of Cusa
  • According to Zen philosophy each human being has two minds, a finite mind and an infinite mind. Frederick Lenz
  • Anything that can occur within the greater Universal Mind can be replicated in our seemingly individualized mind. Martin E Moore
  • It could be that one mind controls all the others, as the Calvinists thought, and that this mind has decided from all eternity who is to be damned and who is to be saved. For one mind could be the original and all the others could be images of it which would be changed if the original so decided — in the way that a mirror image can be changed by changing the composition or angle of the light used to reflect it. Leslie Armour
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…and in this respect, you could say we are indeed made in the image of God

  • Geometry is one and eternal shining in the mind of God. That share in it accorded to men is one of the reasons that Man is the image of God. Johannes Kepler
  • The power of thought is one point in which man is made in the image of God. Charles Haddon Spurgeon
  • There is nothing more divine than mind, nothing more potent in its operation, nothing more apt to unite men to gods, and gods to men. Larry Dossey
  • We can understand Universal Mind and Universal Thought only by analogy, by considering our own particular mind and thought and reasoning there from up to Infinity. William Walker Atkinson
  • You are the Microcosm, corresponding in nature and essence with the Macrocosm of which you are the focal point of expression. You partake of ITS nature and being; you are like unto IT in spirit; you are made in ITS spiritual image. Like IT, you possess the Creative Spirit, and you are manifesting (to a greater or less extent) the activities of Creation in your everyday life. William Walker Atkinson
  • Within each of us exists the image of God. Alister E. McGrath
  • If God be God and man a creature made in image of the divine intelligence, his noblest function is the search for truth. Morris West
  • What does it mean that we are made in the image of God? God is an awareness from which perceptions arise and are known, otherwise known as a Universal Mind.  We too are an awareness from which perceptions arise and are known, known as a human mind. The difference is that our field of awareness is filtered and therefore much more narrow that that of God.  Anthony Lambert
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The human mind is a microcosm of the macrocosm that is God’s mind

  • A part must be the same in kind and quality as the whole, the only difference being one of degree. Charles Haanel
  • As is the human body, so is the cosmic body. As is the human mind, so is the cosmic mind. As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm. As is the atom, so is the universe. The Upanishads
  • Divine Mind can manifest in the soul in miniature form—a microcosm of that macrocosm. H. Almaas
  • As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm, As is the atom, so is the universe, As is the human mind, so is the cosmic mind. Deepak Chopra
  • As the Sun is reflected in the Ocean, and in every tiny drop of the ocean if they be separated, so is the Absolute (God) reflected in the bosom of the Great Universal Mind and in each manifestation of that Mind as a ‘Soul.’ William Walker Atkinson
  • All things were together, infinite both in number and in smallness; for the small too was infinite. Anaxagoras
  • On seeing one thing, you see all things. On perceiving an individual’s mind, you perceive all minds. Glimpse one truth, and all truth is present in your vision, for there is nowhere at all that is devoid of the Truth. Huangbo Xiyun
  • All know that the drop merges into the ocean but few know that the ocean merges into the drop. Kabir
  • The near explains the far. The drop is a small ocean. A man is related to all nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The ocean is a large drop; a drop is a small ocean. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • You are not the drop in the ocean, but the ocean in the drop. Deepak Chopra
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The ultimate reality is there is only one mind…

  • The multiplicity is only apparent, in truth there is only one mind. Tim Freke
  • The total number of minds in the universe is one. Erwin Schrodinger
  • Multiplicity is only apparent, in truth, there is only one mind. Erwin Schrodinger
  • The over-all number of minds is just one. Erwin Schröedinger
  • There is obviously only one alternative, namely the unification of minds . . . In truth there is only one mind. Erwin Schrödinger, Nobel Prize winner in physics
  • The mind is one and principle is one. Perfect truth is reduced to a unity; the essential principle is never a duality. The mind and principle can never be separated into two. Lu Hsiang Shan, Confucianism, Neo Confucianism
  • There is only one universe made up of all things, and one creator who pervades them; there is one substance and one law, namely, common reason in all thinking creatures, and all truth is one-if, as we believe, there is only one path of perfection for all beings who share the same mind. Marcus Aurelius
  • Mind is by its very nature a singulare tantum. I should say: the overall number of minds is just one. Erwin Schrodinger
  • Each of us has broken our responsibilities to our earth and environment, therefore to ourselves and to one another, a thousand times. Yet it is within our power to redeem our shortcomings by reclaiming our nonlocal nature—the One Mind that unites us with all else, including our earth; the One Mind whose calling card is love, caring, affection. When we sense our place in this Great Connect, our response is to honor that with which we are linked, as if it were our lover. This connection is eternal; no assembly required. Rumi again: “Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along. Larry Dossey
  • We must come together with one heart, one mind, one love… William Commanda
  • The earth and myself are of one mind. The measure of the land and the measure of our bodies are the same. Chief Joseph
  • There is one mind common to all individual men. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Our minds are one mind. James C Wilhelm
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…for our minds are one with the cosmic mind

  • There is One Infinite Mind which of necessity includes all that is, whether it be the intelligence in man, the life in the animal, or the invisible Presence which is God. Ernest Holmes
  • Miracles make minds one in God. A Course in Miracles
  • You are one with the universal mind. Tania Kotsos
  • There is one Mind, and I AM that Mind. That Mind is eternal, and it is Life. Wallace D. Wattles
  • There is but ONE. That ONE is Spirit. In the Infinite Mind of that ONE SPIRIT there arose the Mental Image or Thought-Form of this Universe. William Walker Atkinson
  • You are a piece of God. You are a living, breathing creation that emanated from the universal mind of the all-creating Source. You and God are the same thing. Very simply put, when you love and trust yourself, you’re loving and trusting  the wisdom that created you; and when you fail to love and trust  yourself, you’re denying that infinite wisdom in favour of your own. Wyne Dyer
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We are therefore essentially one with God

  • God inhabits every soul, even those of the greatest sinners in the world. There is always this union between God and his creatures, for through it He preserves their being. If it were not so, these souls would instantly cease to be. St. John of the Cross
  • Heaven, Earth, and I were produced together; and all things and I are one. Chang Tzu
  • If you could really separate yourself from the Mind of God you would die. A Course in Miracles
  • Just like a sunbeam can’t separate itself from the sun, and a wave can’t separate itself from the ocean, we can’t separate ourselves from one another. We are all part of a vast sea of love, one indivisible divine mind. Marianne Williamson
  • One matter, one energy, one Light, one Light-mind,Endlessly emanating all things. One turning and burning diamond, One, one, one. Rumi
  • One soul is the source of all souls; it is at once divided and undivided. Plotinus
  • The All-Transcendent, utterly void of multiplicity, is Unity’s Self, independent of all else… It is the great Beginning, wholly and truly One. All life belongs to It. Plotinus
  • There are no strange images in the Mind of God, and what is not in His Mind cannot be in yours, because you are of one mind and that mind belongs to Him. It is yours because it belongs to Him, for to Him ownership is sharing. A Course in Miracles
  • There is nothing in the Mind of God that does not share His shining innocence. Creation is the natural extension of perfect purity. Your only calling here is to devote yourself, with active willingness, to the denial of guilt in all its forms. A Course in Miracles
  • There’s actually no place where God stops and you start and no place where you stop and I start. Marianne Williamson
  • To be contemplative we must become converted to the consciousness that makes us one with the universe, in tune with the cosmic voice of God. Joan D. Chittister
  • Ultimate REALITY— the Absolute— can never be divided, separated, or partitioned into parts or personalities. Neither can it change in shape, form, activity, or in any other way in any degree whatsoever and still remain the Absolute. William Walker Atkinson
  • Unconscious of the existence of Tao, beings live supposing themselves to be separate from the universal intelligence, supposing themselves to be powerful or to be weak, thinking that they live their lives and die their deaths. Frederick Lenz
  • Unlike later Neo-Platonists, Plotinus says that our souls are always connected to the universal intellect and that we never really fall away. Peter Adamson
  • We are part of the Mind and the Will of God in which there is no separation. Nothing is outside of it. A Course in Miracles
  • What exists in God that is not God himself? Johannes Kepler
  • What God created one must recognize its oneness, and rejoice that what illusions seemed to separate is one forever in the Mind of God. A Course in Miracles
  • Where could the Thought God holds of you exist but where you are? Is your reality a thing apart from you, and in a world which your reality knows nothing of? A Course in Miracles
  • While recognizing that the universe is but an illusion, and life but a puppet-show, he remembers that if God is all there is, then the individual must be a part of or phase of God— and toward the union with God he bends all his soul and life. William Walker Atkinson
  • Within you lies the sun, the moon, the sky and all the wonders of this universe. The intelligence that created these wonders is the same force that created you. All things around you come from the same source. We are all one. Every being on this Earth, every object on this Earth has a soul. All souls flow into one, this is the Soul of the Universe.  Robin S. Sharma
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There is ultimately only one of us here

  • If you go deeply enough into your mind and deeply enough into mine, we have the same mind. The concept of a divine mind is the idea that, at our core, we are not just identical but actually the same being… There’s only one of us here.   Marianne Williamson
  • All Buddhas and ordinary people are just one mind. This mind is beyond all measurements, names, oppositions: this very being is it; as soon as you stir your mind you turn away from it. Huangbo Xiyun
  • There is only one mind. Deep down the consciousness of mankind is one.  David Bohm
  • If you knew with unshakable certainty that there are no two beings in all the universe – that there is only one expressing as many – then nothing, absolutely no thing could affect you adversely because All-There-Is, is I Am. Who would you fear? To fear, you would have to fear yourself.  Peter O’ Erbe
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As one can see from the arguments above, a belief in cosmic idealism can give one a sense of being a meaningful part of a greater whole

  • The main message of absolute idealism is that we are each aspects of a larger whole which has its own larger life, and that if we follow the leadings which come as from the deeper levels of our being, which are dimly continuous with the whole to which we belong, we will gain the sense that our strivings to fulfil our own potentialities play a part in some deep, if largely hidden significance possessed by the universe as a whole. Timothy Sprigge
  • This theory allows us to rest in knowing that we are part of something greater than ourselves, even if we are living in our own dissociative bubble. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The decisive question for man is, is he related to something infinite or not. That is the telling question of life. Only if we know that the thing that truly matters is the infinite can we avoid fixing our attention upon futilities and upon all kinds of goals which are not of real importance … Carl Jung
  • A vast similitude interlocks all … All souls, all living bodies though they be ever so different … All identities that have existed or may exist on this globe, or any other globe, All lives, and deaths, all of the past, present, future, This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann’d, And shall forever span them and compactly hold and enclose them. Walt Whitman
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Our minds could be described as whirlpools in the cosmic mind

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Water can be used as a metaphor for the medium of mind

  • The medium of mind – water itself – always entails the potential for subjective experience. Bernardo Kastrup
  • There is nothing to the contents of mind but the medium of mind itself: it’s all just water. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Metaphors are powerful tools to paint subtle, complex and nuanced mental landscapes that are difficult or even impossible to communicate literally. Bernardo Kastrup
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Mind can be described as a localization in the universal stream of consciousness…

  • The mind is a localization in consciousness. Rupert Spira
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…within which the sense of I arises

  • One of the many conditions that have to be met for a brain to become a mind, and therefore have consciousness, is ‘the analog I’ around which all the simultaneous inflow of sensations and stimulations are reflected and organized. Aleksandar Hemon
  • Delve deeply into the sense ‘I am’ and you will surely discover that the perceiving centre is universal, as universal as the light that illumines the world. All that happens in the universe happens to you, the silent witness. Nisargadatta Maharaja
  • Everywhere there is incessant relative change in position throughout the universe, and the observer is always at the centre of things. Giordano Bruno
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The brain too represents a localisation in the stream of consciousness and filters out conscious experience from this broader medium of mind…

  • The whirlpool of mind ‘filters out’ of itself most subjective experiences unfolding in nature. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The brain is like a whirlpool in the stream of mind that filters in our experience and filters out all else. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The subjective experiences that are filtered out become the so-called ‘unconscious’ mind of the respective ego. Bernard Kastrup
  • The ultimate breadth of mind is achieved when its flow is not limited by the brain that captures and ‘filters’ it down. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The whirlpool is just a specific pattern of water movement that reflects, first, a localization of that water within the stream and, second, a ‘filtering out’ of other water molecules. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Whatever you ordinarily think of as your own mind should be looked upon, in the context of my hypothesis, as a very small segment of the broader medium of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The segment of mind corresponding to an individual’s psyche – is merely a localized point-of-view of the broad medium of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Just like the whirlpool can be said to ‘filter out’ the water molecules that do not get trapped in it, we can say that the brain ‘filters out’ the aspects of reality – that is, experiences – that do not fall within its own boundaries. Bernardo Kastrup
  • To say that the brain generates mind is as absurd as to say that a whirlpool generates water! Just like the whirlpool can be said to ‘filter out’ the water molecules that do not get trapped in it, we can say that the brain ‘filters out’ the aspects of reality – that is, experiences – that do not fall within its own boundaries. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Think of mind as a stream. Now imagine a small whirlpool in the stream: it has a visible and identifiable existence; one can locate a whirlpool and roughly delineate its boundaries; one can point at it and say ‘Here is a whirlpool!’ The whirlpool limits the flow of water: the water molecules trapped in it can no longer traverse the entire stream freely, but instead become locked in place. The whirlpool localizes the flow of water in the stream. The water molecules that do not get trapped in it are, so to speak, ‘filtered out’ of the whirlpool, anyone observing a whirlpool will notice that, at its outer edges, it seems to ‘push away’ whatever part of the flow it doesn’t capture within itself. Yet, there is nothing to the whirlpool but water itself. The whirlpool is just a specific pattern of water movement that reflects, first, a localization of that water within the stream and, second, a ‘filtering out’ of other water molecules. Bernardo Kastrup
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…like a whirlpool in a stream…

  • The brain is like a whirlpool in the stream of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Every whirlpool represents the subjective world of its respective human being. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The same applies to every living human being: each corresponds to a different whirlpool. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The whirlpool represents a partial localization of the flow of experiences in the stream. Bernardo Kastrup
  • To say that the brain generates mind is as absurd as to say that a whirlpool generates water! Bernardo Kastrup
  • A whirlpool is not separate from the stream. Indeed, the whirlpool is just a local pattern in the flow. Bernardo Kastrup
  • We are not stuff that abides, but patterns that perpetuate themselves; whirlpools of water in an ever-flowing river. Norbert Wiener
  • According to the whirlpool metaphor, each individual must correspond to a different whirlpool in the broader stream of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The whirlpool limits the flow of water: the water molecules trapped in it can no longer traverse the entire stream freely, but instead become locked in place. Bernard Kastrup
  • This localization demarcates a centralized, local perspective: the very center of the whirlpool, the vantage point from which each one of us witnesses our personal subset of the contents of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • There is nothing to the brain but mind, yet it is a concrete and identifiable image of the localization of mind, just like a whirlpool is a concrete and identifiable image of the localization of water in the stream. Bernardo Kastrup
  • My soul is a black maelstrom, a great madness spinning about a vacuum, the swirling of a vast ocean around a hole in the void, and in the waters, more like whirlwinds than waters, float images of all I ever saw or heard in the world: houses, faces, books, boxes, snatches of music and fragments of voices, all caught up in a sinister, bottomless whirlpool. Fernando Pessoa
  • We are a localisation of consciousness like a whirlpool in an ocean. The whirlpool is like a secondary consciousness in primordial consciousness. The consciousness is immersed in this experience. The whirlpool is just ocean whirling. The whirlpool slows down more and more until there is no more whirlpool; no more localisation, just ocean. This is nirvana. Jackson Peterson
  • Mind at large is the unified medium of all existence. There is a segment of mind corresponding to an individual, an individual’s psyche – merely a localized point-of-view of the broad medium of mind. The whirlpool metaphor allows us to explain the formation of localized points-of-view in the medium of mind as vortices in the flow of experience. This, in turn, explains the emergence of the illusion of individuality. Bernardo Kastrup
  • In the whirlpool metaphor the medium of mind is represented by water. The contents of mind – that is, particular subjective experiences – are represented by the particular movements of water molecules as they flow. The flow of each water molecule in the stream represents a coherent subjective experience in time, whether the molecule is trapped in the whirlpool or not. The metaphor leaves the possibility open, however, for there to be parts of the medium of mind where there is no experience: think, for instance, of a puddle where water is entirely at rest. In this case, there is still the medium of mind, but it comprises no contents. The medium of mind – water itself – always entails the potential for subjective experience. If water is at rest, there is only the potential. If water begins to move, there is actual experience. The qualities of the experience are represented by the particular pattern of this movement, such as trajectory, speed, oscillations. There is nothing to the contents of mind but the medium of mind itself: it’s all just water. Particular experiences are just mind in movement. The whirlpool represents a partial localization of the flow of experiences in the stream. This localization demarcates a centralized, local perspective: the very center of the whirlpool, the vantage point from which each one of us witnesses our personal subset of the contents of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
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…or ocean

  • We are a localisation of consciousness like a whirlpool in an ocean. The whirlpool is like a secondary consciousness in primordial consciousness. The consciousness is immersed in this experience. The whirlpool is just ocean whirling. The whirlpool slows down more and more until there is no more whirlpool; no more localisation, just ocean. This is nirvana. Jackson Peterson
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The whirlpools arise on the surface of God’s infinite being

  • God is Infinite Being, Unlimited Knowing and Pure Potentiality. These are not separate entities. Knowing is an activity at the surface of Infinite Being. Experience fields, each a separate field of knowing, can be compared to a trillion whirlpools arising and dissolving on the surface of Infinite Being.  Pure potentiality is a quality of Infinite Being, as depth is a quality of the ocean.  Pure Potentiality feeds the whirlpools with the water that manifests them and the power that sustains them.  When a whirlpool dies, the water that formed it sinks back into the still depths of Infinite Being.  Anthony Lambert
  • The experience field (the knowing of experience) is an activity at the surface of Being. Anthony Lambert
  • Experiencing is but shallow whirlpools on the surface of Being which is infinitely deep. Anthony Lambert
  • Infinite Being, Unlimited Knowing and Pure Potentiality are not separate entities. Knowing is an activity at the surface of Infinite Being. Experience fields, each a separate field of knowing, can be compared to a trillion whirlpools arising and dissolving on the surface of Infinite Being. Pure Potentiality is a quality of Infinite Being, as depth is a quality of the ocean.  Pure Potentiality feeds the whirlpools with the water that manifests them and the power that sustains them.  When a whirlpool dies, the water that formed it sinks back into the still depths of Infinite Being.  Anthony Lambert
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Experience is mind in motion (a whirlpool in action)

  • If water is at rest, there is only the potential. If water begins to move, there is actual experience. Bernardo Kastrup
  • In the whirlpool metaphor the medium of mind is represented by water. The contents of mind – that is, particular subjective experiences – are represented by the particular movements of water molecules as they flow. The flow of each water molecule in the stream represents a coherent subjective experience in time, whether the molecule is trapped in the whirlpool or not. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The qualities of the experience are represented by the particular pattern of this movement, such as trajectory, speed, oscillations. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Particular experiences are just mind in movement. Bernardo Kastrup
  • According to the whirlpool metaphor, the stimuli from the ‘outside’ world that you receive through your sense organs – in the form of sights, sounds, odors, etc. – are undulations propagating through the broader stream of mind that penetrate the whirlpool of your personal awareness and, thus, influence its internal dynamics. One can discern these ‘external’ undulations in the broader stream. Bernardo Kastrup
  • .. I think we should think of it as something we do. Alva Noe
  • Mind and ego is an activity in consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • Experiencing is but shallow whirlpools on the surface of Being which is infinitely deep. Anthony Lambert
  • Consciousness is a coherent whole, which is never static or complete, but which is in an unending process of movement and unfoldment. David Bohm
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Our minds (whirlpools) filter out information from the universal mind at large (the stream of consciousness)

  • Our minds are filtered from the mind of God. Our thoughts are filtered from the thoughts of God. Bernard Haisch
  • Reflecting on the experience afterwards, Huxley finds himself in agreement with philosopher C. D. Broad that to enable us to live, the brain and nervous system eliminate unessential information from the totality of the Mind at Large. Aldous Huxley
  • The whirlpool metaphor entails that what we perceive in ordinary awareness is a ‘filtered down’ version of the images available in the broader medium of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • All thoughts entering my individual mind originate in the universe –in the whole. My sense of separation from the universe and my belief that I originate my own thoughts are due to the filtration system that removes most information generated by the universe from my individual individual conscious awareness. Because we see only a small part of what is going on, we believe that we are separate from everything else in the world and that our thoughts originate in our individual minds. However, what appears to be our individual mind is, in reality, the mind of God. James C Wilhelm
  • In a dualist setup, “my” mind is different from cosmic mind. It’s much smaller, for one thing, and its viewpoint is limited to the experiences I’ve had since birth. Yet if we abandon the illusion of separation, there is no need to choose either/or. The mind feels personal and at the same time it is cosmic. Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos
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Perceptions are the undulations of the broader stream of mind that we trap

  • What you see aren’t photons from a world outside mind, but undulations of the broader stream of mind that you trap, and which then swirl around the knot of your inner life. Bernardo Kastrup
  • According to the whirlpool metaphor, what we normally think of as the ‘external world’ is global undulations propagating through the broader stream of mind, which penetrate our respective whirlpools through the entry-points we call our sense organs. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Trees, stars, other people, your dog, all are dynamic mental processes that cause disturbances in the broader medium of mind – in the form of those global undulations – in the same way that a moving boat leaves a wake behind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The undulations are stimuli that come from a part of the medium of mind that is external to that which we think of as ourselves. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Just like most water molecules in the stream never get caught within the whirlpool, most undulations of the broader medium of mind never get caught by our sense organs. allow certain undulations of the broader medium of mind into their respective whirlpools. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Some allow certain undulations of the broader medium of mind into their respective whirlpools. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Not all undulations or vibrations of the broader medium of mind can penetrate the psyche. Bernardo Kastrup
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Some water exists in the stream at large, some on the periphery and some in the whirlpool itself

  • Indeed, in the previous chapter we made a map of the psyche in the following way: (a) the contents of the ‘collective unconscious’ corresponded to ripples of the broader [stream] of mind; (b) the ‘personal unconscious’ corresponded to the periphery of a whirlpool in the [stream]; and (c) the ego corresponded to a hollow spinning cone at the center of the whirlpool. Bernardo Kastrup
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Water at rest is akin to cosmic mind, free of experience

  • The metaphor leaves the possibility open, however, for there to be parts of the medium of mind where there is no experience: think, for instance, of a puddle where water is entirely at rest. In this case, there is still the medium of mind, but it comprises no contents. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Deep sleep is a temporary cessation of whirlpool. Jackson Peterson
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The whirlpool identifies with some perceptions, and not others

  • In a dream you have a dreamed-up ‘avatar’ – a character – that you identify yourself with, but you also see a seemingly external world with trees, buildings, and even other people. You do not identify with that ‘external’ world of your dreams. In fact, during the dream, you think you inhabit it just like you think you inhabit the ‘real’ world. Yet, clearly, the dreamed-up world is generated by your mind. It’s not outside your mind. It’s just that it is generated by a part of your mind that you do not identify with or have control over during the dream. Summarizing: there is a part of your mind that you identify with as an avatar in your dream and another, seemingly separate part of your mind that generates the ‘outside world’ of the dream, in which your avatar lives. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Waking reality is itself a dream generated by mind. Like in every dream, there is a part of the stream of mind that you identify with and feel you can control – the whirlpool – and there is another part of mind that you don’t think of as yourself – the broader stream around the whirlpool – but which communicates with you through undulations eventually caught within your whirlpool. Bernardo Kastrup
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There can be communication across whirlpools, explaining how individual minds can share perceptions and experiences…

  • Clearly, there is some form of communication – information transfer – across whirlpools of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Pour some color dye in the middle of a first whirlpool in the stream, and some of the dye will appear later in the second whirlpool. Information about the dynamics inside the first whirlpool has been carried into the second whirlpool. What happens in the second whirlpool is now partially determined by what happened in the first whirlpool. Bernardo Kastrup
  • In current scientific language these undulations are called photons (light), or air vibrations (sounds), or particular scent molecules (odors), etc Ultimately, they are all disturbances of an electromagnetic field picked up by our sense organs. Materialism sees these photons, air vibrations, and scent molecules as objective entities existing outside, and independent of, mind. According to the whirlpool metaphor, on the other hand, they are just undulations – disturbances – of the medium of mind itself, capable of carrying information across different whirlpools in the stream. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Just as ripples propagate out from their point of origin, the disturbances caused by your presence and actions in the medium of mind also propagate far and wide. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The reason we seem to share the same world is that these undulations, like waves spreading in multiple directions, penetrate multiple whirlpools concurrently, injecting the same – or similar – information into each one of them. Bernardo Kastrup
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…yet also have a personal, local experience

  • Potential differences between the way we experience contents of mind flowing respectively inside and outside the whirlpool are due to the respective differences in trajectories of flow, which represent the qualities of experience. These differences suffice to explain the emergence of local perspectives on reality, correlated with particular locations in space and time, and the illusion of personal identity. Bernardo Kastrup
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The mind as whirlpool explains why each mind knows only a limited portion of all experience

  • Why do the localized points-of-view corresponding to each whirlpool ‘forget’ everything outside their respective whirlpools? Why have we become ‘unconscious’ of so much of what is going on in mind? Bernardo Kastrup
  • Localized points-of-view become seemingly amnesic of everything that doesn’t fall within their respective vortices. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The whirlpool metaphor allows us to explain the formation of localized points-of-view in the medium of mind as vortices in the flow of experience. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Man separates from the whole only that part which his view or thinking can encompass, and forgets those sectors that lie adjacent, beyond, or even behind. Jean Gebser
  • This is, after all, how we ordinarily experience reality: from a particular vantage point in the middle of the vortex of experiences swirling around us. Ordinarily, we are only aware of the flow of water molecules captured in our respective whirlpool, not the broader stream outside. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Contents of mind that are obfuscated by the glare of self-reflective awareness. Bernardo Kastrup
  • If you pay careful attention, you will notice that each one of us seems to live in a largely private environment: some in a reality of bright hues, round forms, excitement, and mystery; others in a gray and bland reality of indifference, hopelessness, and quiet existential despair; yet others in a world of sharp angles, straight lines, strong contrasts, loud noises, order and hierarchy; etc. Our worlds are determined by our unique states of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • There are a trillion moments going on in the universe right now. All impersonal. Including this moment in front of me. Michael Singer
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Ultimately, we cannot tell where one whirlpool starts and another ends

  • Bohm cautions that this does not mean the universe is a giant undifferentiated mass. Things can be part of an undivided whole and still possess their own unique qualities. To illustrate what he means he points to the little eddies and whirlpools that often form in a river. At a glance such eddies appear to be separate things and possess many individual characteristics such as size, rate, and direction of rotation, et cetera. But careful scrutiny reveals that it is impossible to determine where any given whirlpool ends and the river begins. Thus, Bohm is not suggesting that the differences between “things” is meaningless. He merely wants us to be aware constantly that dividing various aspects of the holomovement into “things” is always an abstraction. Michael Talbot
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A whirlpool is a fragile process

  • A whirlpool is a fragile process that can be easily disrupted through external physical intervention. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Subjective experience can be influenced, sometimes dramatically, by physical interference with the brain. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The water that flows around the whirlpool, without being captured in it, forms currents and pressure gradients without which the whirlpool would dissolve. Despite not being part of the whirlpool, these currents are absolutely necessary for its existence. Bernardo Kastrup
  • If the heart stops for more than two minutes, you have massive brain death. There are only two minutes between our conscious world and zero. That’s how fragile our consciousness is. Robin Gibb
  • Too severe a physical intervention would lead to irreversible damage: the ‘whirlpool’ that is the living brain is disrupted to the point of not being able to maintain itself. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Subjective experience can be permanently altered by brain injury or illness leading to physical death. So how can we account for this in the context of the whirlpool metaphor? A whirlpool is, to a degree, a self-sustaining process. A whirlpool is a fragile process that can be easily disrupted through external physical intervention. The whirlpool may be disrupted to the point of no longer being able to maintain itself. It then dissipates and doesn’t reform even after the flow has stabilized again. Too severe a physical intervention would lead to irreversible damage: the ‘whirlpool’ that is the living brain is disrupted to the point of not being able to maintain itself. Bernardo Kastrup
  • A whirlpool is, to a degree, a self-sustaining process. The whirlpool may be disrupted to the point of no longer being able to maintain itself. It then dissipates and doesn’t reform even after the flow has stabilized again. Bernardo Kastrup
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Death represents the end of a whirlpool but not the stream

  • The end of life thus entails dissolution of the whirlpool. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Alan Watts spoke of a corpse as a residual echo of something that mind is no longer doing. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The mental process we call physical death ‘makes the unconscious more conscious,’ because it eliminates a source of obfuscation; namely, the egoic loop. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Death causes us to remember all that we already know but cannot recall. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Death awaits us, but no longer with the threat of extinction. Death may mean the end of body and brain and self. But, precisely because because of that, it marks the return to a wider, timeless consciousness. In the light of this knowledge all fear dissolves. Since self is an illusion, its loss amounts to nothing. David Darling
  • Troubled or still, water is always water. What difference can embodiment or disembodiment make to the Liberated ? Whether calm or in tempest, the sameness of the Ocean suffers no change. Yogavasistha
  • The Awareness that I am is not local (behind the eyes) and is not tied to the fate of the body, any more than a river’s existence is tied to the fate of a temporary whirlpool in it. Anthony Lambert
  • When a whirlpool in a stream dies, the water goes nowhere. It remains as part of the stream, maybe still for a while, then part of another whirlpool. Anthony Lambert
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The death of a whirlpool may lead to the creation of another whirlpool (re-incarnation)

  • When a whirlpool ceases, its energy dissipates as ripples into the wider stream. These ripples may recombine to create another whirlpool further downstream. Anthony Lambert
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In reality, there is no water in the stream, only emptiness vibrating

  • If the brain itself exists in mind, how can it filter that which gives it its very existence? Bernard Kastrup
  • The medium of mind itself is not an experience. But wait…. isn’t experience all that exists? A contradiction seems to arise. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The medium of mind itself must be empty – a void – in the sense that it fundamentally transcends all experience and knowledge. Bernardo Kastrup
  • All that exists is the movement of the void. Bernardo Kastrup
  • For the medium of mind is merely a potential, not an actuality. It concretizes into existence only when it moves and, at that point, it is nothing but the corresponding experiences. Bernardo Kastrup
  • There is nothing to experience – and therefore to existence – other than the void that vibrates. So everything is a void or, as Adyashanti brilliantly put it, ‘emptiness dancing.’ Existence is but a disturbance of the void and, thus, fundamentally empty.]
  • experience is already mind in motion! Bernardo Kastrup
  • Our individual experiences in the physical world are patterns of self-excitation of cosmic consciousness. It is the variety and dynamics of excitations across the underlying ‘medium’ that lead to experiential qualities. Bernardo Kastrup
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The boundaries between minds can shift or disappear at times

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The individual human mind shares to a degree in the collective mind of humanity…

  • The boy was beginning to understand that intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life, where the histories of all people are connected, and we able to know everything, because it’s all written there. Paulo Coelho
  • In a universe in which all things are infinitely interconnected, all consciousnesses are also interconnected. Despite appearances, we are beings without borders. Or as Bohm puts it, “Deep down the consciousness of mankind is one. Michael Talbot
  • Jung’s collective unconscious should more properly be called a collective field of consciousness . . . that makes itself known through dreams, images, intuitions, and so on. Rupert Spira
  • In addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature … there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. Carl Jung
  • Carl Jung coined the phrase “collective unconscious”—which refers to the bottomless, subconscious pool of all of the shared experiences of the human race.1 We may think of it as a vast, hidden database of human awareness, which is characterized by powerful, universal organizing patterns. David R. Hawkins
  • Jung concluded that myths, dreams, hallucinations, and religious visions all spring from the same source, a collective unconscious that is shared by all people. Michael Talbot
  • Universal Mind becomes the storage and clearing house of all the accumulated products of mentation and action since beginningless time. The Lankavatara Sutra, Buddhism, Mahayana
  • Jung postulated that there is a part of mind – shared by all human beings, and perhaps by all conscious beings – which is extremely rich in images and narratives. Ordinarily, these collective images and narratives are ‘filtered out’ of ordinary awareness. However, under certain conditions, they can penetrate awareness. Bernardo Kastrup
  • An enormous body of empirical evidence has been accumulated for the existence of an ‘unconscious’ segment of the mind that spans across individuals. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The filter hypothesis, unlike materialism, predicts the existence of a ‘collective unconscious;’ a shared repository of potential experiences that far transcends mere genetic predispositions of a species. Parts of this ‘collective unconscious’ can occasionally penetrate awareness. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Jung found that mental contents from the ‘collective unconscious’ can penetrate awareness through dreams, visions, and other non-ordinary states. Bernardo Kastrup
  • There is a looming chasm between what your brain knows and what your mind is capable of accessing. David Eagleman
  • This fusion of the individual mind with a greater mind is often experienced as an inspiration that lifts the individual above the immediate concerns of ordinary existence. Larry Dossey
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…but with much too that is below the surface of our consciousness, not known by our mind, but known by the cosmic mind

  • How remarkable we are in our ability to hide things from ourselves – our conscious minds only a small portion of our actual minds, jellyfish floating on a vast dark sea of knowing and deciding. Andrew Sean Greer
  • When I talk with a friend, I assume that she is conscious. I cannot directly experience her consciousness. It is inaccessible to me, and I can at best infer what it might be like to be her. But I would be mistaken to conclude that, because I am not conscious of her consciousness, she must be unconscious. Similarly, I would be mistaken to conclude that, because I am not conscious of some of my own mental processes, those processes must be unconscious. I can be unaware of many of my own mental processes, and yet those processes could themselves be conscious to other agents in my instantiation. Donald Hoffman
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Finite minds can gain access to aspects of the cosmic mind

  • There is one mind common to all individual men. Every man is an inlet to the same and to all of the same. He that is once admitted to the right of reason is made a freeman of the whole estate. What Plato has thought, he may think; what a saint has felt, he may feel; what at any time has befallen any man, he can understand. Who hath access to this universal mind is a party to all that is or can be done, for this is the only and sovereign agent. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Perhaps each individualised mind can, under certain conditions, access the contents of the greater Universal Mind of which we all share a common link. Martin E Moore
  • The intimate connections between individuals via the One Mind are often associated with extraordinary happenings such as distant knowing, knowledge of events before they happen, communication between ndividuals remotely, and so on. Larry Dossey
  • Access remains what it has always been—a matter of being, not doing. One sets an intention, then ushers the conscious mind out of the way. That is why the most spectacular manifestations of the One Mind—revelations, epiphanies, creativity—occur when the discursive, striving, rational mind has been bypassed through reverie, meditation, dreams, or some other nonactivity. Larry Dossey
  • One approaches the One Mind respectfully, acknowledging a source of wisdom and intelligence greater than one’s own. One then waits patiently and is grateful for what is given. Larry Dossey
  • Dreams are a universal doorway to the One Mind. In dreaming, our sense that we are an individual self that is confined to the here and now is suspended and replaced by experiences that know no personal, spatial, or temporal bounds. In dreams we are not fettered by contradiction, paradox, or reason. For these reasons, creativity often flourishes during dreams. Larry Dossey
  • Love is a gateway to the One Mind because love tempers the forces of isolation, separateness, and individuality. Larry Dossey
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Also, at times the boundary between minds can shift or disappear…

  • Earlier we asked why one human would risk her life to rescue another person who was in extreme danger, sometimes sacrificing herself in the process. Mythologist Joseph Campbell and philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer proposed, as we saw, that at the critical moment the minds of the two individuals are fused into a single mind; the two separate individuals have become one. This implies that, from the perspective of consciousness, the rescuer is not rescuing another individual—she is rescuing herself. Larry Dossey
  • The borders of our minds are ever shifting, and … many minds can flow into one another … and create or reveal a single mind, a single energy. William Butler Yeats
  • A dying or even healthy individual could experience direct contact with a transcendent domain in which it is revealed to her that she is in fact part of a greater mind that is infinite in space and time. An individual could find hidden or lost objects through mental means alone, or perceive in detail, without sensory contact, distant scenes that are known to someone else.   Larry Dossey
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…especially when mind filters are weakened through spiritual exercises, hypnosis, or drugs or even brain damage…

  • The filters of the experience field can, at times, be weakened, thus allowing in more. Anthony Lambert
  • Certain individuals through history have learned to defy the reducing-valve function of the brain to some degree through spiritual exercises, hypnosis, or drugs. Larry Dossey
  • Psychedelic substances have been known to induce highly complex, intense, non-local, transpersonal experiences. Bernardo Kastrup
  • This, in fact, may provide a very natural explanation of certain psychic phenomena. In Huxley’s interpretation, mescaline simply puts a crack in your mental filter that allows perceptions that are normally excluded to flood in. Bernard Haisch
  • When the filter is weakened by a powerful drug, what we see is not delusion but the truth. William Peter Blatty
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…allowing us to open up to a far greater flow of universal consciousness from the cosmic mind

  • But … we can and ought to open ourselves up and become what in fact we have always been from the beginning, that is to say … much more widely knowing than we normally think we are. We should realize our identity with what James called the cosmic consciousness and what in the East is called the Atman-Brahman. The end of life in all great religious traditions is the realization that the finite manifests the Infinite in its totality. This is, of course, a complete paradox when it is stated in words; nevertheless, it is one of the facts of experience. Aldous Huxley
  • The human brain is hardwired to have this fundamental experience of universal consciousness, which is available to anyone from any culture, of any age, any religion, and without any philosophical predisposition. John Hagelin
  • If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern. William Blake
  • Unfiltered reality would probably blow the brain’s circuits, or simply be blanked out. Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos
  • When not subject to this localization and modulation mechanism, mind is unbound: it entails consciousness of all there is across space, time, and perhaps beyond. Bernard Kastrup
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Savants provide a good example of finite minds tapping into the cosmic mind

  • I suggest that these amazing abilities, which we would regard as impossible for a human being to do were they not demonstrable, support the idea that individual consciousness is somehow linked to or a part of an infinite consciousness. They also support the view that your brain determines your everyday consciousness, not as a source, but as a filter, and that drugs or brain damage can crack that filter and admit a variety of experiences, including psychedelic visions and mathematical genius. Bernard Haisch
  • The issue with these savants is that in most cases, so far as can be observed, the savant has not acquired, could not have acquired, and is quite incapable of acquiring, the information that he so liberally dispenses. Joseph Chilton Pearce
  • Savants are untrained and untrainable, illiterate and uneducable … few can read or write … Yet each has apparently unlimited access to a particular field of knowledge that we know they cannot have acquired. Joseph Chilton Pearce
  • Savants often possess knowledge they could not possibly have acquired on the basis of their experience or learning, and that they could not have formulated on their own. Although savants are often mentally or socially impaired, they frequently possess astonishing creative and intuitive powers of obscure origin in areas such as mathematics, art, or music. Larry Dossey
  • During World War II, the British government employed two mathematical savants to serve as human computers who were, so far as is known, infallible. Larry Dossey
  • Evidence for consciousness as a limited slice of the infinite appears in the amazing feats of some of those afflicted with autism. Daniel Tammet can recite the value of pi to 22,514 decimal places. Leslie Lemke, a blind savant, played Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 after hearing it once—without ever having had a piano lesson. Kim Peek, the real-life Rain Man, brilliantly portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in a movie, can read two pages simultaneously, one with each eye, and perfectly recall the 7600 books he has read. For recreation, he spends hours memorizing telephone directories. The amazing abilities of savants are usually linked to some kind of brain damage or abnormality, like a blow to the head or epilepsy. I suggest that these amazing abilities, which we would regard as impossible for a human being to do were they not demonstrable, support the idea that individual consciousness is somehow linked to or a part of an infinite consciousness. They also support the view that your brain determines your everyday consciousness, not as a source, but as a filter, and that drugs or brain damage can crack that filter and admit a variety of experiences, including psychedelic visions and mathematical genius. Bernard Haisch
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Creative geniuses also often talk about channelling the cosmic mind

  • For the creative genius, the ancient perception that it is possible to invoke an identity between the universal and particular, between the personal and the vast impersonal, the part and the whole, is pervasive. It burgeons at all levels of the creative process and dominates creative vision. [In their] many moods and meanings, [creative individuals are involved in] a search for wholeness and a personal/ universal identity. John Briggs
  • Art has shown that universal expression can only be created by a real equation of the universal and the individual. Piet Mondrian
  • The artist’s “position is humble,” he said. “He is merely a channel. Paul Klee
  • The urge to become absorbed into something greater—God, Goddess, Allah, Brahman, Universe, the One, or Something with a capital S—underlies the drive of many highly creative individuals. Larry Dossey
  • Creative individuals such as Merrill and Yeats, however, are not concerned with the way in which researchers describe the source of their inspiration. Call it Factor X, for all they care. Is their experience real or imaginary? Does it originate in their unconscious or from another dimension? They do not struggle with such questions. What matters is that the filter has become porous, the reducing valve has been opened wide, and the measly trickle has become a flood. Larry Dossey
  • There are no formulas that guarantee entry into the domain of the One Mind. Access remains what it has always been—a matter of being, not doing. One sets an intention, then ushers the conscious mind out of the way. That is why the most spectacular manifestations of the One Mind—revelations, epiphanies, creativity—occur when the discursive, striving, rational mind has been bypassed through reverie, meditation, dreams, or some other nonactivity. Larry Dossey
  • The urge to become absorbed into something greater—God, Goddess, Allah, Brahman, Universe, the One, or Something with a capital S—underlies the drive of many highly creative individuals. Larry Dossey
  • Artists speak to a different part of us, bypassing the cloudy filter of reason and the fears and prejudices of the habitual mind. Wes Nisker
  • Creativity comes from the spiritual realm, the collective consciousness. And the mind is in a different realm than the molecules of the brain. The brain is a receiver, not a source. Candace Pert
  • Art has shown that universal expression can only be created by a real equation of the universal and the individual. Piet Mondrian
  • The sense of access to all knowledge is frequent, accompanied by the experience of omniscience—the abolition of boundaries within knowledge. As one healthy individual described his near-death-like experience, “I knew all things past, present and future, and I was enlightened to origins, unity, and purpose though not a word was spoken.” Larry Dossey
  • For the creative genius, the ancient perception that it is possible to invoke an identity between the universal and particular, between the personal and the vast impersonal, the part and the whole, is pervasive. It burgeons at all levels of the creative process and dominates creative vision. [In their] many moods and meanings, [creative individuals are involved in] a search for wholeness and a personal/universal identity … John Briggs
  • Art really has its source in the transcendent, the unmanifest field of pure consciousness, which is the non-changing, immortal field of all possibilities…When the awareness of the artist is in tune with this center of infinite creativity, his piece of art breathes fullness of life, nourishes the creator, the artist, and inspires his admirers with waves of bliss. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
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If all is mind, why can’t our minds influence reality at will?

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If all is mind, why can’t we influence reality at will?

  • If existence did take place within mind then it would make sense that we should be able to influence matter because matter would be a projection of the substance we call mind. Martin E Moore
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One reason is that finite minds are only limited slices of the cosmic mind

  • If everything is in mind, why can’t we influence reality at will, just like we can influence our own thoughts and fantasies at will? The misunderstanding is to equate mind at large with that particular, limited, small part of mind that we call the ego. Bernardo Kastrup
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Another reason for this is that we are constrained by the laws of nature

  • That all reality unfolds in mind does not deny that reality – as empirically observed – unfolds according to certain stable patterns and regularities that we’ve come to call the ‘laws of nature.’ Bernardo Kastrup
  • The laws of nature represent the patterns and regularities according to which certain contents of mind preferentially flow, carrying a certain momentum as they so do. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Attempting to change the course of their flow [the laws of nature] would be akin to trying to stop a speeding train with your bare hands and feet. Bernardo Kastrup
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Idealism is just as compatible with the existence of laws of nature as materialism

  • A big part of the motivation for our culture’s current embrace of materialism is the observed regularities according to which reality seems to unfold. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Regularities in nature, however you describe them, can be best explained by a divine Mind. If you accept the fact that there are laws, then something must impose that regularity on the universe. John Foster
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The laws of nature can be said to exist as thoughts within the cosmic mind

  • The laws of nature are but the mathematical thoughts of God. Euclid
  • Laws of Nature are God’s thoughts thinking themselves out in the orbs and the tides. Charles Henry Parkhurst
  • The laws of nature of our Universe are the manifestation, festation, the making real, of a few thoughts of the eternal intelligence, the making real, of a few thoughts of the eternal intelligence, the pre-existing consciousness that is the Godhead. Its thoughts become come the laws of nature and that is why the laws peculiar to our Universe are life-friendly. Bernard Haisch
  • The life force is the unified field, an invisible vital field of energy that governs all the laws of nature, from classical mechanics to quantum mechanics. We could call this the mind of God, nature, unity, source energy. Dr Joe Dispenza
  • Again we may think of the laws to which phenomena conform… the laws of nature, as the laws of thought of a universal mind… the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Sir James Jeans
  • The laws of nature represent the patterns and regularities according to which certain contents of mind preferentially flow, carrying a certain momentum as they so do. Attempting to change the course of their flow would be akin to trying to stop a speeding train with your bare hands and feet. Bernardo Kastrup
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How can one universal consciousness give rise to multiple minds that don’t know what is going on in other minds?

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Why do individual minds not know what’s going on in other minds or the cosmic mind if consciousness is universal?

  • Why do the localized points-of-view corresponding to each whirlpool ‘forget’ everything outside their respective whirlpools? After all, it is all going on within the same mind! Why have we become ‘unconscious’ of so much of what is going on in mind? Bernardo Kastrup
  • How do private phenomenal fields form within cosmic consciousness? Why can I not read your thoughts by simply shifting the focus of my attention? Bernardo Kastrup
  • If we accept that other people also are conscious. Therefore, you must accept that their entire inner lives take place in other segments of mind that are external to your ego and which you have no control over. Bernardo Kastrup
  • How do myriad, ephemeral experiential qualities arise in one enduring cosmic consciousness? Bernardo Kastrup
  • How can an individual’s psyche – merely a localized point-of-view of the broad medium of mind – become seemingly disconnected from other experiences unfolding in the very mind it is a part of? Bernardo Kastrup
  • Since all experiences are in one and the same mind, the whirlpool metaphor entails that we should all, in principle, have a form of extrasensory perception – qualitatively different from perception through the sense organs – of all experiences flowing in the broader stream. The metaphor implies that we should all, in principle, have complete, non-local clairvoyance of everything going on across time, space, and beyond, while still preserving a strong sense of individual identity and having local perception through our sense organs. Yet, it is an incontestable fact that we do not ordinarily have total clairvoyance through extrasensory perception, this being what remains to be explained.
  • Why have we, as localized points-of-view of mind, become blind to our ‘peripheral vision’ of everything outside outside the whirlpool? Why have we become ‘unconscious’ of so much of what is going on in mind? Bernardo Kastrup
  • To … assume that ‘all our thoughts are really one, that our separateness is just delusion,’ is nonsense,” he wrote. “There are levels on which thoughts can, under very special conditions, interchange, and there are levels where they cannot. Joseph Chilton Pearce
  • The experience of separation exists. I can’t read your thoughts and I can’t influence the thoughts of the world’s leaders. Bernardo Kastrup
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More specifically, how can one universal consciousness give rise to multiple, private but concurrently conscious centres of cognition, each with a distinct personality and sense of identity?

  • You don’t need to be a philosopher to realize the obvious problem with idealism: people have private, separate fields of experience. We can’t normally read your thoughts and, presumably, neither can you read ours. Moreover, we are not normally aware of what’s going on across the universe and, presumably, neither are you. So, for idealism to be tenable, one must explain—at least in principle—how one universal consciousness gives rise to multiple, private but concurrently conscious centers of cognition, each with a distinct personality and sense of identity. Bernardo Kastrup
  • From the comfortable seat of our bodies (and built-in brains), it’s easy to think that consciousness is a unique property of humans. But some philosophers argue that the entire universe is conscious, or to put it more broadly: that there is only cosmic consciousness. This solves the problem of where consciousness comes from, but it leaves other lingering dilemmas — such as why do people (and other living organisms) have private consciousnesses that are less-than cosmic-sized? And if you and I are part of the same cosmic consciousness, why can’t I read your thoughts simply by shifting the focus of my attention?  Shawn Radcliffe
  • The challenge is not to explain why there is consciousness but why there are so many separate instances of consciousnesses. Bernardo Kastrup
  • And the challenge that you have to face then, as a cosmopsychist [idealist], is to say, how does this one mind seemingly break up or decomposes into a number of individual subjectivities? Like you, me, my cats, the bacteria swimming on the lake. How does the one ground the many? This is called then the decomposition problem. Bernardo Kastrup
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Dissociative identity disorder may offer evidence of how this might happen

  • Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is the current correct term for what used to be called multiple personality disorder. It’s the mental condition in which a single person manifests multiple dissociated personalities, each of which is referred to as an “alter”. Robby Berman
  • Most of us have experienced mild dissociation, which is like daydreaming or getting lost in the moment while working on a project. However, dissociative identity disorder is a severe form of dissociation, a mental process which produces a lack of connection in a person’s thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity. … Dissociative identity disorder is characterized by the presence of two or more distinct or split identities or personality states that continually have power over the person’s behavior. … there’s also an inability to recall key personal information that is too far-reaching to be explained as mere forgetfulness. … The “alters” or different identities have their own age, sex, or race. Each has his or her own postures, gestures, and distinct way of talking. WebMD
  • Dissociative identity disorder (once known as multiple personality disorder) is a condition in which the psyche gives rise to multiple, operationally separate centers of consciousness, each with its own private inner life. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Alters are self-contained and internally consistent in terms of memories. They may even have different physical capabilities though they share the same body. Robby Berman
  • As you probably already know, multiple-personality disorder (MPD) causes the sufferer to express many different personalities. Each personality is distinct. Each personality has particular characteristics and tendencies. Each personality has a unique set of memories. Different personalities often respond to different names. Some have talents, such as being able to play a musical instrument, that the other personalities do not have. Some personalities can even speak foreign languages that the others cannot. John Selbie
  • We know empirically that the fragmentation of the human psyche into multiple and seemingly separate identities happens all the time. Indeed, psychology informs us of countless cases of the phenomenon of ‘Dissociative Identity Disorder,’ in which a single person can display multiple and seemingly disconnected identities and personalities. Bernard Kastrup
  • The massive literature on the subject confirms the consistent and uncompromising sense of separateness experienced by the alter personalities. It also displays compelling evidence that the human psyche is constantly active in producing personal units of perception and action that might be needed to deal with the challenges of life. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Another psychological phenomena that bears several earmarks of the implicate is multiple personality disorder, or MPD. MPD is a bizarre syndrome in which two or more distinct personalities inhabit a single body. Victims of the disorder, or “multiples,” often have no  awareness of their condition. They do not realize that control of their  body is being passed back and forth between different personalities and instead feel they are suffering from some kind of amnesia, confusion, or black-out spells. Most multiples average between eight to thirteen personalities, although so-called super-multiples may have more than a hundred subpersonalities. Michael Talbot
  • Each has his own name, age, memories, and abilities. Often each also has his own style of handwriting, announced gender, cultural and racial background, artistic talents, foreign language fluency, and IQ. Michael Talbot
  • Even more noteworthy are the biological changes that take place in a multiple’s body when they switch personalities. Frequently a medical condition possessed by one personalitywill mysteriously vanish when another personality takes over. Dr. Bennett Braun of the International Society for the Study of Multiple Personality, in Chicago, has documented a case in which all of a patient’s sub-personalities were allergic to orange juice, except one. If the man drank orange juice when one of his allergic personalities was in control, he would break out in a terrible rash. But if he switched to his nonaliergic personality, the rash would instantly start to fade and he could drink orange juice freely. Michael Talbot
  • There was research done at Harvard several years ago. They studied patients with dissociative identity disorder: people who seem to have multiple alter personalities with different memories, proclivities, tastes, ways of being but they are actually just dissociated aspects of a single mind. Research has shown that when these people dream, different alter personalities can experience the same dream from different perspectives. And they can even see the other alters as other avatars within the same dream. I would say this is a great analogy for what might be happening right now because the biggest argument against this mind being fundamental is that I can’t read your thoughts and presumably you can’t read mine. So if the mind is fundamental, how come it seems to be so neatly bound by matter if matter is a derivative of the mental. I would suggest that what is happening there is entirely analogous to the mind of a patient with dissociative disorder. When mental processes become differentiated and separate from each other, when memories become separate, when personalities become separate, we call it dissociation. And that dissociation is bound by a so called dissociative boundary. We have proof this is a real phenomenon. If an alter who is blind takes control of the body, mental activity or brain activity in the visual cortex has been seen to disappear and that’s not something that you can fake. When another alter takes control of the body, that brain activity returns.  Bernardo Kastrup
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There is evidence that multiple personalities can exist concurrently in the psyche

  • Each of these identities does not identify with the others, considering itself to be a separate entity, a separate center of consciousness. Somehow these complexes forget, through dissociation, what they are part of. There is reason to believe that they exist concurrently in the psyche, at all times, living parallel lives. Bernardo Kastrup
  • There is compelling clinical data showing that different alters can be concurrently conscious and see themselves as distinct identities. Bernardo Kastrup
  • There’s evidence multiple alters can be active—conscious—at the same time, aware of each other, and competing for control of their body. A 2009 study of an alter named “Miss Beauchamp” found when she was not interacting with the world, she did not become dormant, but persisted and was active.” Other research has seen that alters might intervene in the lives of others [that is, other alters], intentionally interfering with their interests and activities, or at least playing mischief on them. It thus appears that alters can not only be concurrently conscious, but that they can also vie for dominance with each other.  Robby Berman
  • As Cassandra explained, even when her alternate personalities are not in control of her body, they are still aware. This enables her to “think” on a multitude of different channels at once, to do things like work on several different term papers simultaneously, and even “sleep” while other personalities prepare her dinner and clean her house. Michael Talbot
  • There is evidence that different alters can experience the same dream from different perspectives. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Research has shown that when people with dissociative identity disorder dream, different alter personalities can experience the same dream from different perspectives. And they can even see the other alters as other avatars within the same dream.  Bernardo Kastrup
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Is it possible, therefore, that the universal mind has a kind of intentional dissociative identity disorder…

  • The universal mind has dissociative identity disorder. All we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale dissociative identity disorder (DID). There’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Kastrup suggests that if the entire universe is one mind, the presence of dissociative personalities creating individual consciousnesses could answer questions that defeat other ontologies. In this view, each of us is an alter, and just like conventional alters are, we can be aware of and interact with each other without mentally overlapping or seeing into each other’s minds. Robby Berman
  • We know empirically from DID that consciousness can give rise to many operationally distinct centers of concurrent experience, each with its own personality and sense of identity. Therefore, if something analogous to DID happens at a universal level, the one universal consciousness could, as a result, give rise to many alters with private inner lives like yours and ours. As such, we may all be alters—dissociated personalities—of universal consciousness. Moreover, as we’ve seen earlier, there is something dissociative processes look like in the brain of a patient with DID. So, if some form of universal-level DID happens, the alters of universal consciousness must also have an extrinsic appearance. We posit that this appearance is life itself: metabolizing organisms are simply what universal-level dissociative processes look like. Bernardo Kastrup
  • So, for idealism to be tenable, one must explain — at least in principle — how one universal consciousness gives rise to multiple, private but concurrently conscious centers of cognition, each with a distinct personality and sense of identity. And here is where dissociation comes in. We know empirically from DID [dissociative identity disorder] that consciousness can give rise to many operationally distinct centers of concurrent experience, each with its own personality and sense of identity. Therefore, if something analogous to DID happens at a universal level, the one universal consciousness could, as a result, give rise to many alters with private inner lives like yours and ours. As such, we may all be alters — dissociated personalities — of universal consciousness. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Cosmic idealism, to work, would require the cosmic subject to under some sort of cognitive fragmentation into different components, modes, or guises, each of which lacks access to the other components. Bernardo Kastrup suggests an analogy with dissociative identity disorder (DID): in effect, each macro-subject is an alter (of of many multiple personalities) of the cosmic subject. Of course the metaphysics of DID is controversial, with some arguing that multiple subjects are present, but it is common to hold that there is a single fragmented subject here.  On a natural characterization, the subject has multiple modes or guises that lack access to the other modes. The subject has the experiences of all the alters, but under the mode of one alter they will lack cognitive access to the experiences (perhaps including simultaneous experiences) associated with other alters.   David Chalmers
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…and each of us is a split-off complex or alter of the one universal mind…

  • We are all multiple personalities of a cosmic consciousness.  Bernardo Kastrup
  • I contend that each one of us is a split-off complex of the one medium of mind underlying all existence. This is what I believe our personal psyches are: particular points-of-view of one mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • All of us and all we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale multiple personality disorder. There’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Living beings are split-off, dissociated segments of the one mind, while inanimate objects are merely images in that mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Kastrup proposes our individual experiences in the physical world aren’t an issue because they’re not what they seem: In fact (he says), they’re merely “patterns of self-excitation of cosmic consciousness.” That’s to say there is no physical world, no steering wheel in front of you—rather, “It is the variety and dynamics of excitations across the underlying ‘medium’ that lead to different experiential qualities.” Robby Berman
  • If the entire universe is one mind, the presence of dissociative personalities creating individual consciousnesses could answer questions that defeat other ontologies. In this view, each of us is an alter, and just like conventional alters are, we can be aware of and interact with each other without mentally overlapping or seeing into each other’s minds. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Cosmic consciousness is everything. The material environment, along with the properties of matter, are physical manifestations of the thoughts and feelings of this consciousness. These are the “revealed” and “concealed” aspects of the cosmos, respectively. All living organisms, including people, are dissociated alters of the cosmic consciousness. This is similar to how people with DID can have multiple personalities — or alters — coexisting within the same psyche. In both cases, the alters are part of the whole, with each having its own private consciousness.  Shawn Radcliffe
  • Cosmopsychism asserts that the smallest unit of consciousness spans the entire cosmos unlike other theories that have tried to reach the level of human consciousness by breaking apart cosmic consciousness into smaller units and then putting them back together to form a higher-level consciousness. Bernardo Kastrup avoids this “recombination problem” by turning to dissociation. This involves separating off parts of the cosmic consciousness into alters, or “relative subjects.” Each of these segments of cosmic consciousness has a distinct boundary, along with a sense of self-identity, or I-ness. And like the cosmic consciousness itself, the alters have both a concealed aspect (thoughts and feelings) and a revealed aspect (physical body, metabolism, senses, etc.). Shawn Radcliffe
  • In Kastrup’s view, we all have separate consciousnesses because we are dissociated from the universal consciousness, in a way that a person with multiple personality disorder might have separate consciousnesses all in one mind. Michael Egnor
  • My claim is, at least on empirical grounds, disassociation provides us a very good analogy, a very good metaphor for what might be happening at a universal level. Leading this one universal consciousness that we hypothesize to becoming many, to becoming you, me, and my girlfriend downstairs, and my cats, and so on. Bernardo Kastrup
  • We, as well as all other living organisms, are but dissociated alters of cosmic consciousness, surrounded by its thoughts. The inanimate world we see around us is the extrinsic appearance of these thoughts. The living organisms we share the world with are the extrinsic appearances of other dissociated alters. Bernardo Kastrup
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…separated from other alters by a dissociation boundary that is ultimately illusory?

  • All alters are separated from the rest of the cosmic consciousness — while still being part of it — by a dissociation boundary. With living organisms, our boundaries coincide with where we perceive our body to end. We can perceive photons that strike our retinas or our skin, but not those that strike a wall or chair.  We can will the parts of our body to move. But we can’t will the bodies of other living organisms (alters) to move in the same way. This is part of what makes us distinct from each other.  The dissociative boundary is so strong — along with our ego and I-ness — that we see ourselves as distinctly separate from the cosmic consciousness. But this is only an illusion.  Bernardo Kastrup
  • What we perceive as the inanimate world surrounding us is really the revealed aspect of the cosmic consciousness’ thoughts and feelings — the same consciousness that we are part of. And what we see as other living organisms are the revealed aspects of other dissociated alters.  Bernardo Kastrup
  • Alters are like islands immersed in a single ocean. Because we are all in the same ocean, we experience the universe in roughly the same way.  Bernardo Kastrup
  • This theory allows us to rest in knowing that we are part of something greater than ourselves, even if we are living in our own dissociative bubble. Bernardo Kastrup
  • We, as well as all other living organisms, are dissociated alters of universal phenomenal consciousness, analogously to how a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) manifests multiple disjoint centers of subjectivity also called ‘alters.’ We, and all other living organisms, are surrounded by the transpersonal phenomenal activity of universal consciousness, which unfolds beyond the dissociative boundary of our respective alter. The inanimate world we perceive around us is the extrinsic appearance—i.e. the phenomenal image imprinted from across our dissociative boundary—of this activity. The living organisms we share the world with are the extrinsic appearances of other alters. Bernardo Kastrup
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Some argue that losing access to other minds and the cosmic mind is the price we pay for self-reflective awareness…

  • Clearly, it is impossible to overestimate the value of self-reflective awareness. Yet, it comes with a price, for it is self-reflective awareness that obfuscates everything that doesn’t happen to fall within its field of action. It is self-reflective awareness that creates the ‘unconscious,’ causing us to become amnesic of an entire universe of experiences whose unfathomable breadth is impossible to even estimate. All the richness and uniqueness of those forgotten experiences pass us by. How much awe, excitement and amazement would be within our reach if we could still see the stars at noon? Bernardo Kastrup
  • Self-reflective awareness represents a trade-off of cosmic proportions. While the value we derive from it is our very humanness, we lose so much because of it. Could there be a way to reconcile self-reflective awareness with a restoration of access to the forgotten, ‘unconscious’ universe of mind? Bernardo Kastrup
  • It is self-reflective awareness that enables philosophy: it equips us to ponder about who we are, what our role in life is, and what the meaning of it all might be. Bernardo Kastrup
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…and that this loss of access is in some ways an illusion…

  • There is really no unconscious. But the result, in practice, is almost identical: the ‘glare’ of the contents of mind that fall within the field of self-reflective awareness obfuscates everything else, making it all practically invisible, just like the stars at noon. The experiences in the ‘unconscious’ aren’t weak; they are regular undulations of mind. It’s just that they fade in comparison to self-reflective amplification, almost disappearing in the interstices of the flow of egoic experiences. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The ‘unconscious’ is, in fact, conscious. It appears unconscious merely because of a relative difference in amplification with respect to other mental contents. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The unconscious: does not truly exist. The word is a misnomer for contents of mind that are not (sufficiently) amplified because they fall outside protrusions or folded-in loops in the membrane of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
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…explaining why when we discover something new it often feels like something we’ve always known but forgotten

  • Now, how many times have you felt, upon learning new information or arriving at a new insight, that you had somehow known it all along? You say to yourself: ‘Darn! I don’t know how, but I have always known this!’ This is a puzzling and disarming feeling, for we can often ascertain that there was no way we could have known the information before. The recognition that a new insight or piece of information has somehow always been known to us is, in my view, a hallmark of the ‘unconscious.’ And it shows that the ‘unconscious’ knowledge was, in fact, in consciousness all along, even though we weren’t self-reflectively aware of it. The knowledge was always there, diffused in the interstices of egoic awareness. Then, when an event suddenly triggers its insertion into the field of self-reflection, we suddenly become aware that we were conscious of the knowledge all along. I believe this kind of personal experience, which we all share, supports my hypothesis that there is no unconscious, but just contents of mind that are obfuscated by the glare of self-reflective awareness. Bernardo Kastrup
  • We may all be conscious of whole universes beyond consensus reality, all unfolding right under our noses in the interstices of egoic awareness; universes that we may one day realize, in awe, that we have always known. Bernardo Kastrup
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If all we perceive is a creation of mind, how can we have common or shared experiences with others?

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Each mind has highly personal and unique experiences…

  • Ripples that originally penetrated your whirlpool from the outside may become highly distorted through interference with local, internal excitations. In all these cases, what you get are personal realities, which we ordinarily call fantasies, hallucinations, dreams, visions, imagination, etc. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Our shared world is clearly but a small part of the total set of our experiences: our dreams, feelings, thoughts and the projections we place onto reality are all private. Bernardo Kastrup
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…while also sharing some experiences (a collective reality) with other minds

  • Where our consciousnesses overlap, we call it the external world. Where our consciousness does not, we call it thought and emotion. Anthony Lambert
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If idealism is correct, how do we explain that we all seem to experience a common world?

  • If reality consists of ideas ultimately manifested by consciousness, how do we explain so much consensus? Amit Goswami
  • If idealism is correct, why do we agree on so many of the details of the external world? Tam Hunt
  • If the Maserati I see is not objective, then why can my friend see it when my eyes are closed? Donald Hoffman
  • Instead of talking about true perceptions and false perceptions, let’s talk about personal reality and collective reality. Bernardo Kastrup
  • If the world is imagined in consciousness, how can we all be imagining essentially the same world outside the control of our personal volition? Bernardo Kastrup
  • How else would we agree on so much about what’s out there if there wasn’t some objective (i.e. independent of our individual minds) basis for the worlds in our minds? Tam Hunt
  • Idealism can’t answer this basic question very well at all. Classic idealism, formulated by Bishop Berkeley in a number of works in the 18th Century, answered the question by suggesting that the external world is in fact the mind of God. And since we all exist in the mind of God, we agree on these features of the world around us. The world around us is the mind of God. Tam Hunt
  • Modern idealists who don’t rely on this argument based on God simply have no explanation of where our sensory perceptions come from and why most of us agree on so much about the external world. Tam Hunt
  • Why do each of us agree on so much about the external world if it’s all created by our own minds? Tam Hunt
  • Why do we have so much intersubjective agreement if we each create our own reality? Tam Hunt
  • Where do our perceptions and representations come from if not from some independently existing external reality? And why do we (you and I and anyone we care to bring into our conversation about any particular slice of the external world) agree on so much about the external world if there is no independently-existing external world? Tam Hunt
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Our minds can share the same world because they are precipitated from the same consciousness

  • The reason we all experience the same world is not that there is a world made of matter appearing outside Consciousness. It is because each of our finite minds is precipitated within and from the same field of infinite Consciousness. It is because our minds share Consciousness that we feel we share the world. We do share the same world, but the world we share is made of Consciousness, not matter, and we are that very Consciousness that is informing all finite minds with its shared content. Rupert Spira
  • The Knowing with which each of us knows our experience is the same Knowing. Each of our finite minds is precipitated out of the same infinite field of Consciousness. Each of our finite minds is a modulation of the same infinite, spacelike field of Consciousness. If we think of each finite mind as a field, we can say that part of the fields of our finite minds overlap, and we call that the shared outside world. Part of the fields of our finite minds don’t overlap, and we call that our private thoughts and feelings. Rupert Spira
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Using the whirlpool analogy again, this could be explained by the same perceptions (undulations) being transferred across whirlpools

  • Every living human being corresponds to a different whirlpool. Every whirlpool represents the subjective world of its respective human being. Clearly, there is some form of communication – information transfer – across whirlpools of mind. [Imagine one] pours some color dye in the middle of a first whirlpool in the stream that flows into a second whirlpool. Information about the dynamics inside the first whirlpool has been carried into the second whirlpool. What happens in the second whirlpool is now partially determined by what happened in the first whirlpool. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The reason we seem to share the same world is that these undulations, like waves spreading in multiple directions, penetrate multiple whirlpools concurrently, injecting the same – or similar – information into each one of them. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Clearly, there is some form of communication – information transfer – across whirlpools of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Pour some color dye in the middle of a first whirlpool in the stream, and some of the dye will appear later in the second whirlpool. Information about the dynamics inside the first whirlpool has been carried into the second whirlpool. What happens in the second whirlpool is now partially determined by what happened in the first whirlpool. Bernardo Kastrup
  • In current scientific language these undulations are called photons (light), or air vibrations (sounds), or particular scent molecules (odors), etc Ultimately, they are all disturbances of an electromagnetic field picked up by our sense organs. Materialism sees these photons, air vibrations, and scent molecules as objective entities existing outside, and independent of, mind. According to the whirlpool metaphor, on the other hand, they are just undulations – disturbances – of the medium of mind itself, capable of carrying information across different whirlpools in the stream. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Just as ripples propagate out from their point of origin, the disturbances caused by your presence and actions in the medium of mind also propagate far and wide. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The reason we seem to share the same world is that these undulations, like waves spreading in multiple directions, penetrate multiple whirlpools concurrently, injecting the same – or similar – information into each one of them. Bernardo Kastrup
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Perceptions of the world can penetrate and be shared by multiple whirlpools creating a shared reality

  • Materialism sees photons, air vibrations, and scent molecules as objective entities existing outside, and independent of, mind. According to the whirlpool metaphor, on the other hand, they are just undulations – disturbances – of the medium of mind itself, capable of carrying information across different whirlpools in the stream. Bernardo Kastrup
  • According to the whirlpool metaphor, the stimuli from the ‘outside’ world that you receive through your sense organs – in the form of sights, sounds, odors, etc. – are undulations propagating through the broader stream of mind that penetrate the whirlpool of your personal awareness and, thus, influence its internal dynamics. One can discern these ‘external’ undulations in the broader stream. Bernardo Kastrup
  • What you see aren’t photons from a world outside mind, but undulations of the broader stream of mind that you trap, and which then swirl around the knot of your inner life. Bernardo Kastrup
  • According to the whirlpool metaphor, what we normally think of as the ‘external world’ is global undulations propagating through the broader stream of mind, which penetrate our respective whirlpools through the entry-points we call our sense organs. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Trees, stars, other people, your dog, all are dynamic mental processes that cause disturbances in the broader medium of mind – in the form of those global undulations – in the same way that a moving boat leaves a wake behind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The undulations are stimuli that come from a part of the medium of mind that is external to that which we think of as ourselves. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Just like most water molecules in the stream never get caught within the whirlpool, most undulations of the broader medium of mind never get caught by our sense organs. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Each mind allows certain undulations of the broader medium of mind into their respective whirlpools. Bernardo Kastrup
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Shared dreaming is another phenomenon that can explain minds creating a collective reality

  • If reality is a kind of shared dream, then it is your body that is in the dream, not the dream in the body. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Life is many simultaneous, shared dreams within the cosmic mind. Anthony Lambert
  • Collective or mutual dreams are those in which two or more people report similar dreams on the same night. Shared dreams are those in which two or more people dream of each other in a common space and time, independently reporting similar surroundings, conversations, and interactions within the dream. Larry Dossey
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Shared dreaming is a well-documented phenomenon

  • Shared dreams, also known as mutual dreams, are when two or more people share a dream experience at the same time. The degree to which the dream is shared can vary, from having common elements or events that happen in each person’s dream to the entire dream being the same. The experience is known by different names including mutual dreams, shared dreaming, dream meshing, or linking. Shared dreams can happen spontaneously, or can be incubated and planned, and are most common between people who are emotionally close such as couples, siblings, parent-child, or best friends. Twins may be especially prone to shared dreams, though it may happen between complete strangers as well. We may not hear about this as often, since the strangers would have to later meet and compare their dreams. Following are some of the ways in which this fascinating phenomenon may manifest. Mimi Pettibone
  • Can two or more people share the same dream? As far as I know, there have been no scientific investigations of this question. But there are literally thousands of well-documented accounts. The best-documented cases involve therapist-client shared dreams. In these, there is a professionally trained therapist who verifies the claim that the dream happened to both the therapist and the client around the same time. The next-best documented cases involve people in close relationships like parent/children, spouses, or lovers. Consistent with the effect of emotional closeness on shared dreams, we also have plenty of well-documented cases of twins sharing the same dream. Patrick McNamara Ph.D.
  • Don’t ever think you’re weird because you’ve had the same dream as someone else. About 1 in 1,000 people report the startling fact that they had a shared dream. The phenomenon called “shared dreaming” is a startling experience, particularly if you’ve never experienced one before. One person begins to recount the sleep dream and the other excitedly interrupts the story. Identical dreaming most often occurs with spouses, siblings, close friends, parents, and children. These identical occurrences often happen the same night.  Rebecca Turner
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Shared dreaming is an example of the boundaries between minds not being absolute

  • Collective, mutual dreams are a calling card of the One Mind. They are reminders that the boundaries separating single minds are not absolute. Larry Dossey
  • Dreams may coincide not because two people are dreaming but because only one mind is at work. When connections with others are realised in dreams, some dreamers describe this as an epiphany, a dramatic realisation that their consciousness is infinite, transcendent, unbounded and one with the consciousness of others. Larry Dossey
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Life as countless shared dreams within the cosmic mind

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Some idealists believe each of our life experiences is a separate but concurrent dream that the cosmic mind is having…

  • Life is a dream in Gods infinite mind. Rupert Spira
  • This universe is God’s dream. Mellen-Thomas Benedict
  • This whole universe is the dream of the Self. Leo Hartong
  • For loneliness in God must be a dream. A Course in Miracles
  • Life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Bill Hicks
  • When God created you, He created a dream and wrapped a body around it. Lou Engle
  • All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream. Edgar Allen Poe
  • This view, that the world is essentially God’s dream, is called Idealism. Anthony Lambert
  • The fleshly body is made of the fixed, objectified dreams of the Creator. Paramahansa Yogananda
  • The Hindu philosophers teach that life is the dream of Brahman. ‘Brahman’ is a name for God, so they’re claiming that life is God’s dream. Tim Freke
  • Allow everything else to vanish Save and except your cherished dreams, For your cherished dreams  Are treasured sleeplessly By God Himself. Sri Chinmoy
  • As body, mind, or soul, you are a dream; you really are Being, Consciousness, Bliss (satchidananda). You are the God of this universe. Swami Vivekananda
  • To THE INFINITE ALL, the Universe, its Laws, its Powers, its life, its Phenomena, are as things witnessed in the state of Meditation or Dream. The Kybalion
  • As the Father created all things out of His dream, so can those who are one with Him. That is how the divine ones perform their miracles. Paramahansa Yogananda
  • There is an unseen life that dreams us. It knows our true direction and destiny. We can trust ourselves more than we realize and we need have no fear of change. John O’Donohue
  • Today is but a thought of God, a moment in eternity. Time and again God has shown me that this whole creation consists of nothing more than His dream thoughts. Paramahansa Yogananda
  • That is precisely what the Universe is: the conscious thought of an intelligence that simply is, without beginning, without end, beyond space and time and without any origin or cause beyond itself. Bernard Haisch
  • We must proceed moderately, and gradually develop our will power and the power of the mind until we come to that state where we actually perceive that everything in this world is the dream-thought of God. Paramahansa Yogananda
  • The knowing with which your experience is known is not located in your head. It is not located in this world of time and space. Just like Mary’s dream of being Jane does not occur in Jane’s head but in Mary’s mind.  Anthony Lambert
  • Like the dreamer appearing in his own dream, we can say that the Creator appears in his manifestation while, at the same time, the manifestation appears in the Creator. Dreamlike, He manifests the whole cosmic drama out of Himself. Leo Hartong
  • The Hindu philosophers teach that the oneness of being, which they call Brahman, is a primal, formless awareness dreaming itself to be all the forms of life. The Zen masters say that everything is a thought arising within one ‘big mind’. Tim Freke
  • You and I are experiencing the life-dream right now. But this isn’t my dream or your dream, because we are characters in the dream. The life-dream is God’s dream. The primal awareness is dreaming itself to be you and me, and experiencing the dream through us. Tim Freke
  • Just as when you are half awake and can see a dream and know you are dreaming, yet apart from it, that is how God feels this universe. On one side He is awake in ever new Bliss, and on another side He is dreaming this universe. That is how you should look upon this world. Paramahansa Yogananda
  • The dreamer contains the dream and, at the same time, occupies a relative position in the dream. Everything in his dream, whether rocks or clouds, feelings or thoughts, people or animals, is made of ‘dream stuff,’ and as the dreamed character, he can say: Like the shadow I am and I am not. Leo Hartong
  • In the alluvial sweep of the land, I thought I could see the past and the present and the future all at once, as though time were not sequential in nature but took place without a beginning or an end, like a flash of green light rippling outward from the center of creation, not unlike a dream inside the mind of God. James Lee Burke
  • I sometimes subscribe to the belief that all historical events occur simultaneously, like a dream in the mind of God. Perhaps it is only man who views time sequentially and tries to impose a solar calendar upon it. What if other people, both dead and unborn, are living out their lives in the same space we occupy, without our knowledge or consent? James Lee Burke
  • God is discovered entirely through creation – the brilliance of a sunset, the powerful roar of a waterfall, the symphony of sounds you hear in the heart of the forest, or the vastness of space and its countless stars. God is the mastermind behind all matter – every earth shattering scientific discovery and mystery that is yet to be unraveled was dreamed and enacted by God. Benjamin F Sullivan
  • The colossal dramas of creation and dissolution of planets and galaxies; the birth, growth, and decline of empires and civilizations; the countless miniature plays of individual lives with their subplots of health and sickness, riches and poverty, life and death—all are happening in God as the One Dreamer-Creator, a chimerical perception of change within the Eternally Changeless. Paramahansa Yogananda
  • Then the sun broke above the crest of the hills and the entire countryside looked soaked in blood, the arroyos deep in shadow, the cones of dead volcanoes stark and biscuit-colored against the sky. I could smell pinion trees, wet sage, woodsmoke, cattle in the pastures, and creek water that had melted from snow. I could smell the way the country probably was when it was only a dream in the mind of God. James Lee Burke
  • Of the religious and mythological traditions that address this question, most give the same answer, It is the dream of a single divine intelligence, of God. The Hindu Vedas and yogic texts assert again and again that the universe is God’s dream. In Christianity the sentiment is summed up inthe oft repeated saying, we are all thoughts in the mind of God, or as the poet Keats put it, we are all part of God’s “long immortal dream.” Michael Talbot
  • In dreams there are in reality no chariots; no horses, not even the course on which the chariot may run; and yet all these are mentally created in a moment. There are in reality no joys; no pleasures; no delights; and yet all are mentally seen and felt at the instant. There are in reality no ponds, no lakes, no rivers; and yet all are there at the merest thought. This power of evolving any number of forms from Itself is the Creative Power of the One.  Brahadaranyakopanishad
  • While to THE ALL the Universe must be unreal and illusionary, a mere dream or result of meditation,–nevertheless, to the finite minds forming a part of that Universe, and viewing it through mortal faculties, the Universe is very real indeed, and must be so considered. In recognizing the Absolute view, we must not make the mistake of ignoring or denying the facts and phenomena of the Universe as they present themselves to our mortal faculties–we are not THE ALL, remember. The Kybalion
  • On one model the cosmic subject is a rational being somewhat like you and me, except vastly more intelligent and with enormously greater cognitive resources. Such a being may have an interest in imagining and simulating universes, perhaps to learn what will happen in universes given various conditions. If the cosmic subject fully simulates a universe like ours in its imagination, its imaginative states will then have very much the structure and dynamics of physics in our universe. David Chalmers
  • The first thought that comes to the thinking man after he realizes the truth that the Universe is a Mental Creation of THE ALL, is that the Universe and all that it contains is a mere illusion; an unreality; against which his instincts revolt. But this, like all other great truths, must be considered both from the Absolute and the Relative points of view. From the Absolute viewpoint, of course, the Universe is in the nature of an illusion, a dream, a phantasmagoria, as compared to THE ALL in itself. We recognize this even in our ordinary view, for we speak of the world as “a fleeting show that comes and goes, is born and dies–for the element of impermanence and change, finiteness and unsubstantiality, must ever be connected with the idea of a created Universe when it is contrasted with the idea of THE ALL… The Kybalion
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…a kind of lucid dream…

  • I’m not suggesting we are dreaming, in the sense that we are asleep in some other reality to which we will someday wake up. That’s just begging the question, part of our obsession with the idea there must be a physical reality at some level. We are not in a Matrix, we are not a subject of Inception. I’m suggesting that it’s not physical reality which is the foundation upon which thought is created, but that it’s thought — consciousness — which is the foundation upon which our ‘physical’ reality is created: our physical reality exists only in thought. The closest analogy I can think of, is that we are a lucid dream. Scott Owen
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…or even a consciously imagined daydream

  • God is the mind that imagines physical reality. We are each like a cell in that mind. Peter Shepherd
  • The world is God’s imagining. Scott Owen
  • Man – a figment of God’s imagination. Mark Twain
  • He taught that the Universe is imagination, that God is what really exists, and that each soul is really God passing through imagination to realize individually his own divinity. Meher Baba
  • There are two gods in this universe: God and Imagination. Both of them can design and create infinite creations. Mehmet Murat Ildan
  • God is more than you imagine. God is the energy you call imagination. God is creation. God is first thought. And God is last experience. And God is everything in between. Neale Donald Walsch
  • The whole universe is imagination. Swami Vivekananda
  • Imagination is the voice of daring. If there is anything Godlike about God it is that. He dared to imagine everything. Henry Miller
  • It is through the imagination that the formless takes form. Catherine Ponder
  • This whole universe, with all its vastness, grandeur and beauty, is nothing but sheer imagination. In spite of so many discoveries, researches and scientific knowledge, the creation remains a great unsolved riddle. Meher Baba
  • God and the imagination are one. Wallace Stevens
  • Nature is the direct expression of the divine imagination. John O’Donohue
  • Everything you can imagine is real. Pablo Picasso
  • Anything the Self imagines, it can experience not only in this reality, but also in others. Our particular reality has certain parameters within which it explores, while other realities have others. The possibilities are as limitless as the divine imagination. Giunna Lake
  • If I were the creator of reality: then I am either a) somewhere else, ‘asleep’ and dreaming this reality, or b) ‘awake’ and imagining this reality. If I am asleep, then I am a lucid dreamer, yet I seem unable to control my dream in the way I can when I have a lucid dream at night. If I am awake, and my consciousness truly is the creator of reality, then I should have some sense of omniscience, yet I have mostly questions and precious few answers. If I and the Knower are one in the same, then I am clearly suffering some sort of amnesia, but that can’t be, because the Knower is all knowledge and there is no place for knowledge to go missing. Scott Owen
  • Unless Spirit, or Universal Mind, is conceived as having and using this mental creative power of ideation and imagination, we cannot conceive it as creating at all. If we deprive it of this possibility and capacity, we deprive it of all power of expression, manifestation, and activity. Moreover, the conception of this ideative and imaging power, raised to infinity, gives us the best and only adequate conception of the nature of Creation and the creation of Nature. William Walker Atkinson
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In all the individual dreams being had, it is only the consciousness of the dreamer (the cosmic mind) that is the only true reality

  • Imagine you are immersed in a dream. Suddenly you become aware that you are dreaming but you still do not have memory access to who you really are. How could you recognise your true identity in the dream. The answer is that you would sink deeply into and rest in the awareness of being awareness. This is because the awareness that is knowing the dream experiences and believing itself to be the dream subject is your awareness (i.e. the awareness of the dreamer.)  By sinking into awareness, you are sinking into and being what you most truly are.  This awareness is actually are that’s real in the dream.  Antony Lambert
  • The world is arising within awareness like a dream. Tim Freke
  • Life is a series of dreams, a series of interlocking awarenesses. Frederick Lenz
  • Waking consciousness is dreaming – but dreaming constrained by external reality Oliver Sacks
  • The world is no more real than a dream. Both are appearances in consciousness. Anthony Lambert
  • If we are in a high enough state of consciousness, we see that life is only a passing dream. Frederick Lenz
  • Know that this universe is nothing but a dream bluff of nature to test your consciousness of immortality. Paramahansa Yogananda
  • As awareness, time exists in you, because ‘time’ is the ever-changing appearances arising within awareness like a dream. Tim Freke
  • This World is but a Dream It is only when we wake from dreams that we know we have been dreaming. Similarly, this life may be realized as a dream only when we awake in Cosmic Consciousness. Paramahansa Yogananda
  • Matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration; we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively; there’s no such thing as death, life is just a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Bill Hicks
  • But when you first embark on the Path, your awareness won’t be focused. You’re likely to see all sorts of strange, dreamlike scenes. But you shouldn’t doubt that all such scenes come from your own mind and nowhere else. Bodhidharma
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Is the fact that we dream up convincing worlds each night a clue?

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If it’s a leap to believe that consciousness creates the world, consider the fact that every night we create convincing worlds made entirely of consciousness

  • When we dream we can immerse ourselves in realistic worlds just as real as the ones we experience when we are awake. Martin E Moore
  • If you think the idea of a consciousness only model of the world is hard to believe, remember that consciousness already manifests very convincing worlds every time we dream. Anthony Lambert
  • Dreams and schizophrenia (consider the movie A Beautiful Mind) prove the capacity of the mind to construct a spatio-temporal reality as real as the one you are experiencing now.  Robert Lanza
  • How do we have this phenomenal creative ability, which we apparently don’t have when awake? Perhaps our sleep-time dreams have the same source as the illusion of physical reality we experience when awake. Scott Owen
  • Because the holographic mechanisms the brain uses to construct everyday reality are the same ones it uses to construct our dreams and the realities we experience during altered states of consciousness, I believe all three types of reality are fundamentally the same. Gordon Globus
  • How would you describe everything in one of your dreams? It’s not that everything in the dream is conscious but, rather, consciousness is everything in the dream. And so if reality is a thought, then it is not that the universe is conscious, but consciousness is the universe. Consciousness is ubiquitous. Scott Owen
  • Most of us would not consider ourselves capable of writing a screen-play, creating characters and complex dialogues, designing sets and costumes – certainly not without extensive training -, let alone doing it all and simultaneously playing it out in real-time. And yet that is exactly what most of us appear to do when we dream at night. More time appears to pass in a dream than passes in real-time, so it’s massive creativity at a speed faster than real-time. Robert Lanza
  • In dreams there are in reality no chariots; no horses, not even the course on which the chariot may run; and yet all these are mentally created in a moment. There are in reality no joys; no pleasures; no delights; and yet all are mentally seen and felt at the instant. There are in reality no ponds, no lakes, no rivers; and yet all are there at the merest thought. This power of evolving any number of forms from Itself is the Creative Power of the One. Brahadaranyakopanishad
  • There is no objective scientific evidence for the existence of a physical reality. Yet we each have self-evident proof of consciousness. Our dreams are evidence that our consciousness is capable of creating an illusion of physical reality. Rather than assume a physical reality for which we have no objective evidence exists, and believe that consciousness (for which we have proof) is emergent from physical reality, it is more logical and reasonable to assume that consciousness is primary, and that physical reality is an illusion of consciousness. It’s not that the physical universe exists only when some consciousness is there to perceive it — the moon springing into existence only when someone looks at it, so to say… it is that substance is purely a concept, and physical reality exists only in consciousness. Scott Owen
  • Our perception of the world has the very convincing appearance of being “out there” around us, but it is no more “out there” than are our nightly dreams. In our dreams we are aware of sights, sounds and sensations happening around us. We are aware of our bodies. We think and reason. We feel fear, anger, pleasure and love. We experience other people as separate individuals, speaking and interacting with us. The dream appears to be happening “out there” in the world around us. Only when we awaken do we realize that it was all just a dream–a creation in the mind.  When we say “it was all just a dream” we are referring to the fact that the experience was not based on physical reality. It was created from memories, hopes, fears, and other factors. In the waking state, our image of the world is based on sensory information drawn from our physical surroundings. This gives our waking experience a consistency and sense of reality not found in dreams. But the truth is, it is as much a creation of our minds as are our dreams.  Peter Russell
  • Perhaps it is modern cultural biases that make it so hard for us to accept the idea that the world we live in may be a construct of mind.  How could mind alone create an entire universe and then experience this universe as if it were living inside it? How could mind experience itself as if it were something external to itself? All valid questions. Yet, every night we are given an incontrovertible demonstration of the power of mind to do just that: when we dream, our mind creates rich, apparently externalized worlds so it can experience itself as if it were split into subject and objects. In a dream, mind inhabits itself. Dreams, while we are in them, are wholly indistinguishable from physical reality. I once tested this assertion to convince myself of it: during a lucid dream, while fully cognizant that I was asleep, I looked around the world created by my own mind and asked myself whether it was distinguishable from my ordinary waking world in terms of its level of detail, clarity, or of how convincing it felt to me. The answer was an unambiguous ‘no.’ I just could not tell the difference. Is it thus so hard to imagine that I may be ‘dreaming’ as I write these words, and that you may be ‘dreaming’ as you read this book?  Bernard Kastrup
  • In the dream state consciousness has access to a broader segment of its infinite possibilities than it does in the denser, more clearly defined waking state. Rupert Spira
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Consider too how similar to the waking state these dreams can seem…

  • The entirety of synthetic experiences—be they dreams, psychosis, or psychedelic trips—are indistinguishable from “real” experiences.  James B. Glattfelder
  • If I choose to believe the neuroscientists and philosophers, I should be skeptical of the perceptions my brain forms about the external world. I should assign them a status similar to dreams. James B. Glattfelder 
  • In our dreams we may encounter age-old mountains, oceans, stars, and planets. There may be people and animals, cities and forests. We may experience days or even years passing by. To the dreamer, it is all very real. The dreamer may run from an erupting volcano, and the accompanying fear can be so intense that it jolts him awake, at which point he is no longer concerned with what happened to the volcano or the other objects and characters that just moments ago populated his universe. From the perspective of the waking state, the dream may have lasted only a few seconds. Where was the time, the space, and the objects that filled it? We can say it was inside the dreamer, but it’s equally true to say that the dreamer was inside the dream. This common experience clearly shows how apparently solid realities such as the world of objects, space, and time could well be illusory in nature. Leo Hartong
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…as is evidenced by the phenomenon known as false awakening

  • Metzinger not only had experienced a lucid dream with an OBE, he also witnessed the phenomenon of false awakening. This is a vivid dream about one’s own awakening from sleep. James B. Glattfelder
  • When I became afraid of not being able to sustain the condition much longer, I flew back up, somehow returned to my physical body, and awoke with a mixture of great pride and joy. […] I jumped out of bed and went over to my sister (who slept in the same room), woke her up, and told her, with great excitement, that I had just managed to do it again [dream of an OBE], that I had just been down in the garden, bouncing around on the lawn a minute ago. My sister looked at her alarm clock and said, “Man, it’s quarter to three! Why did you wake me up? Can’t this wait until breakfast? Turn out the light and leave me alone!” She turned over and went back to sleep. I was a bit disappointed at this lack of interest. At that moment, I woke up. I was not upstairs in my parents’ house in Frankfurt but in my basement room, in the house I shared with four friends about thirty-five kilometers away. It was not quarter to three at night; the sun was shining and I had obviously been taking a short afternoon nap. […] I was unsure how real this situation was. I did not understand what had just happened to me. I didn’t dare move, because I was afraid I might wake up again, into yet another ultrarealistic environment. T. Metzinger
  • To wake up twice in a row is something that can shatter many of the theoretical intuitions you have about consciousness—for instance, that the vividness, the coherence, and the crispness of a conscious experience are evidence that you are really in touch with reality. Apparently, what we call “waking up” is something that can happen to you at any point in phenomenological time. This is a highly relevant empirical fact for philosophical epistemology. […] False awakenings demonstrate that consciousness is never more than the appearance of a world. There is no certainty involved, not even about the state, the general category of conscious experience in which you find yourself. So, how do you know that you actually woke up this morning? Couldn’t it be that everything you have experienced was only a dream?  T Metzinger
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The striking sense of reality we get to experience in dreams, including the experience of physical pain, is a refutation of those that say the world feels too real to be made of mind

  • English poet Samuel Johnson is said to have argued against Berkeley’s position simply by kicking a large stone and exclaiming: ‘I refute it thus!’ Johnson was clearly appealing to the felt concreteness and solidity of the rock to demonstrate that it could not exist only in mind. To this day, many people think that Johnson’s argument was sound, a state of affairs that reflects a general misapprehension of what materialism actually entails. Bernardo Kastrup
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Idealism helps explain the profound mysteries of consciousness that materialism is unable to explain

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Materialists believe that the brain generates consciousness…

  • Materialism inverts the situation by taking the image of the phenomenon – that is, the brain – to be primary, to be the source of the phenomenon, instead of one of its results. Bernard Kastrup
  • The main objection to the One Mind is the engrained belief that consciousness is somehow produced by the brain and is therefore confined to it. Brains stay put in the cranium and so, too, must minds. Larry Dossey
  • Consciousness is considered, by materialism, as an emergent property of the brain.  Larry Dossey
  • The dominant view in science is that the brain somehow makes consciousness, like the liver makes bile. But this is an unproven assumption that has never been explained, can hardly be imagined, and has never been directly observed. Larry Dossey
  • People often ask how I got interested in the brain; my rhetorical answer is: ‘How can anyone NOT be interested in it?’ Everything you call ‘human nature’ and consciousness arises from it. Vilayanur S. Ramachandran
  • Today, when we look at a brain, we see an intricate network of billions of neurons in constant, crackling communication, a chemical labyrinth that senses the world outside and within, produces love and sorrow, keeps our hearts beating and lungs breathing, composes our thoughts, and constructs our consciousness. Carl Zimmer
  • The highest activities of consciousness have their origins in physical occurrences of the brain, just as the loveliest melodies are not too sublime to be expressed by notes. Somerset Maugham
  • Consciousness is somehow a by-product of the simultaneous, high frequency firing of neurons in different parts of the brain. It’s the meshing of these frequencies that generates consciousness, just as tones from individual instruments produce the rich, complex, & seamless sounds of a symphony orchestra. Francis Crick
  • The neuromythology of the day insists that minds are completely separate, individual, and confined to the brain. Larry Dossey
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…and that there is a world of matter existing independently of consciousness

  • We believe that objects exist independently of their being perceived, that Consciousness is personal and limited, that it is a by-product of the mind and that the mind is a by-product of the body. These and many other such beliefs are considered to be so obviously true that they are beyond the need of questioning. They amount to a religion of materialism to which the vast majority of humanity subscribes. They have convinced us that there is a world that exists separate from and independent of Consciousness. They have persuaded us to believe that ‘I’, the Consciousness that is seeing these words, is an entity that resides inside the body, that it was born and will die, and that it is the subject of experience whilst everything else, the world, the ‘other’, is the object.  Rupert Spira
  • [Materialists have] convinced us that there is a world that exists separate from and independent of Consciousness. They have persuaded us to believe that ‘I’, the Consciousness that is seeing these words, is an entity that resides inside the body, that it was born and will die, and that it is the subject of experience whilst everything else, the world, the ‘other’, is the object. Rupert Spira
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However, how the brain might generate consciousness is something science is nowhere close to understanding

  • How can you build consciousness from mechanical pieces and parts? Michael Talbot
  • How does the water of the brain turn into the wine of consciousness? David Chalmers
  • Scientists don’t know how a collection of electric brain signals creates subjective experiences. Yuval Noah Harari
  • We have no idea how the subjective quality of consciousness emerges from the physical stuff of the brain. Richard Davidson
  • How neural information is discriminated, integrated, and reported still doesn’t explain how it is experienced. Robert Lanza
  • Nobody has any idea how a congeries of biochemical reactions and electrical currents in the brain creates the subjective experience of pain, anger or love. Yuval Noah Harari
  • How it is that anything so remarkable as a state of consciousness comes about as a result of irritating nervous tissue, is just as unaccountable as the appearance of the Djin, when Aladdin rubbed his lamp. H. Huxley
  • The centermost processes of the brain with which consciousness is presumably associated are simply not understood. They are so far beyond our comprehension that no one I know of has been able to imagine their nature. Roger Wolcott Sperry
  • To simply assert that consciousness arose at some point in the evolution of life, and that it results from a specific arrangement of neurons firing in concert within an individual brain, doesn’t give us any inkling of how it could emerge from unconscious processes, even in principle. Colin McGinn
  • Nothing in modern physics explains how a group of molecules in your brain create consciousness. The beauty of a sunset, the miracle of falling in love, the taste of a delicious meal—these are all mysteries to modern science. Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter. Robert Lanza
  • Life and consciousness are the two great mysteries. Actually, their substrates are the inanimate. And how do you get from neurons shooting around in the brain to the thought that pops up in your head and mine? There’s something deeply mysterious about that. And if you’re not struck by the mystery, I think you haven’t thought about it. Charles Krauthammer
  • The feeling of an unbridgeable gulf between consciousness and brain-process: When does this feeling occur in the present case? It is when I (for example) turn my attention in a particular way on to my own consciousness, and, astonished, say to myself: THIS is supposed to be produced by a process in the brain!–as it were clutching my forehead. Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • Well, let’s first forget about the really difficult aspects, like subjective feelings for they may not have a scientific solution. The subjective state of play, of pain, of pleasure, of seeing blue, of smelling a rose––there seems to be a huge jump between the materialistic level, of explaining molecules and neurons, and the subjective level.  Christoff Koch
  • At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Leibniz struggled to accept that perception could be explained through mechanical causes—he proposed that if there were a machine that could produce thought and feeling, and if it were large enough that a person could walk inside of it, as he could walk inside a mill, the observer would find nothing but inert gears and levers. “He would find only pieces working upon one another, but never would he find anything to explain Perception,” he wrote. Today we tend to regard the mind not as a mill but as a computer, but, otherwise, the problem exists in much the same way that Leibniz formulated it three hundred years ago. Meghan O’Gieblyn
  • Consciousness is elephant in the living room of science. Larry Dossey
  • We have no idea how the subjective quality of consciousness emerges from the physical stuff of the brain. Richard Davidson
  • Life and consciousness are the two great mysteries. Actually, their substrates are the inanimate. And how do you get from neurons shooting around in the brain to the thought that pops up in your head and mine? There’s something deeply mysterious about that. And if you’re not struck by the mystery, I think you haven’t thought about it. Charles Krauthammer
  • The centermost processes of the brain with which consciousness is presumably associated are simply not understood. They are so far beyond our comprehension that no one I know of has been able to imagine their nature. Roger Wolcott Sperry
  • How does the water of the brain turn into the wine of consciousness? David Chalmers
  • The feeling of an unbridgeable gulf between consciousness and brain-process: When does this feeling occur in the present case? It is when I (for example) turn my attention in a particular way on to my own consciousness, and, astonished, say to myself: THIS is supposed to be produced by a process in the brain!–as it were clutching my forehead. Ludwig Wittgenstein
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The true relationship between the brain and consciousness is still far from certain

  • There is still debate as to the relationship of consciousness to matter and the brain
  • There is an urgent need for a radical revision of our current concepts of the nature of consciousness and its relationship to matter and the brain. Stanislav Grof
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Scientists are still unsure as to exactly what the brain even actually does

  • It’s amazingly difficult to figure out what the brain actually does. If nature has a sense of humor, this is the ultimate prank, keeping the brain under wraps even though the mind is using it at every moment. Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos
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Consciousness is the ultimate modern mystery

  • The great mystery of our consciousness is beyond our grasp. William Shatner
  • Human consciousness is just about the last surviving mystery. Daniel Dennett
  • Human consciousness is too obscure a mystery to itself for us to script our own lives. Robert Jenson
  • There is nothing more intimate than conscious experience, but there is nothing that is harder to explain. Robert Lanza
  • Perhaps no aspect of mind is more familiar or more puzzling than consciousness and our conscious experience of self and world. Robert Van Gulick
  • Consciousness is the biggest mystery. It is probably the largest outstanding obstacle in our quest for a scientific understanding of the universe. David J Chalmers
  • Consciousness is a fascinating but elusive phenomenon: it is impossible to specify what it is, what it does, or why it evolved. Sutherland 1989, International Dictionary of Psychology
  • Anything that we are aware of at a given moment forms part of our consciousness, making conscious experience at once the most familiar and most mysterious aspect of our lives. Susan Schneider
  • The schematicism by which our understanding deals with the phenomenal world is a skill so deeply hidden in the human soul that we shall hardly guess the secret trick that Nature here employs. Immanuel Kant
  • If life and its genesis remain a mystery, consciousness is an enigma squared. For it is one thing to reproduce and grow and whatever else we deem to be life’s characteristics; awareness is quite another feature. Robert Lanza
  • We have been to the moon, we have charted the depths of the ocean and the heart of the atom, but we have a fear of looking inward to ourselves because we sense that is where all the contradictions flow together. Terence McKenna
  • Consciousness, unprovable by scientific standards, is forever, then, the impossible phantom in the predictable biologic machine, and your every thought a genuine supernatural event. Your every thought is a ghost, dancing. Alan Moore
  • The ascendency of the scientific method based solely in the physical realm over the past four hundred years presents a major problem: we have lost touch with a deep mystery at the centre of our universe – our consciousness. Enen Alexander M.D
  • Consciousness stands alone today as a topic that often leaves even the most sophisticated thinkers tongue- tied and confused. And, as with all of the earlier mysteries, there are many who insist — and hope — that there will never be a demystification of consciousness. Daniel C. Dennett
  • Consciousness is the most mysterious phenomenon in the universe. Why are we conscious? Why do we have these inner movies? Why aren’t we just robots who process all this input, produce all that output, without experiencing the inner movie at all? Right now, nobody knows the answers to those questions. I’m going to suggest that to integrate consciousness into science, some radical ideas may be needed. David Chalmers
  • Conscious experience is at once the most familiar thing in the world and the most mysterious. There is nothing we know about more directly than consciousness, but it is far from clear how to reconcile it with everything else we know. Why does it exist? What does it do? How could it possibly arise from lumpy grey matter? We know consciousness far more intimately than we know the rest of the world, but we understand the rest of the world far better than we understand consciousness. David J Chalmers
  • Consciousness also is what makes life worth living. If we weren’t conscious, nothing in our lives would have meaning or value. But at the same time, it’s the most mysterious phenomenon in the universe. Why are we conscious? Why do we have these inner movies? Why aren’t we just robots who process all this input, produce all that output, without experiencing the inner movie at all? Right now, nobody knows the answers to those questions. I’m going to suggest that to integrate consciousness into science, some radical ideas may be needed. David Chalmers
  • When it comes to consciousness, nothing allows us to deduce the properties of subjective experience – the redness of red, the bitterness of regret, the warmth of fire – from the mass, momentum, spin, charge, or any other property of subatomic particles bouncing around in the brain. This is the hard problem of consciousness. Bernardo Kastrup
  • While neuroscience has made tremendous progress in sussing out how the brain works, the mind is still a mystery. Science hasn’t yet figured out how the brain produces the smell of rain, the feeling of joy, and most fundamentally, the sense of being aware that you are aware.   Avery Hurt
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How can unconscious physical molecules give rise to sentient awareness….

  • How can consciousness arise from something truly unconscious? Bernardo Kastrup
  • Has anyone explained how dumb carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules could have, by combining accidentally, become sentient—aware! — and then utilized this sentience to acquire a taste for hot dogs and the blues? Tony Lanza
  • How does something as immaterial as consciousness arise from something as unconscious as matter? David J Chalmers
  • Arranging atoms in certain ways appears to bring about an experience of being that very collection of atoms. Sam Harris
  • The problem is that materialism ordinarily assumes these subatomic particles to lack consciousness. So how do you eventually get consciousness simply by arranging ‘dead’ subatomic particles together? Bernardo Kastrup
  • One thorny question remains unanswered: How can something as immaterial as consciousness ever arise from something as unconscious as matter? Peter Russell
  • Self-awareness is NOT just a bunch of amino acids bumping together. Robert A. Heinlein
  • Has anyone explained how dumb carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules could have, by combining accidentally, become sentient—aware!—and then utilized this sentience to acquire a taste for hot dogs and the blues? How any possible natural random process could mix those molecules in a blender for a few billion years so that out would pop woodpeckers and George Clooney? Can anyone conceive of any edges to the cosmos? Infinity? Or how particles still spring out of nothingness? Or conceive of any of the many supposed extra dimensions that must exist everywhere in order for the cosmos to consist fundamentally of interlocking strings and loops? Or explain how ordinary elements can ever rearrange themselves so that they continue to acquire self-awareness and a loathing for macaroni salad? Or, again, how every one of dozens of forces and constants are precisely fine-tuned for the existence of life? Robert Lanza
  • How on earth does the movement of electrons from one place to the other translate into a subjective image of Bill Clinton, or a subjective feeling of anger or love? Yuval Noah Harari
  • The aim isn’t to degrade mind to matter, but to upgrade the properties of matter to account for mind, and to tell how from the dust and water of the earth, natural forces conjured a mental system capable of asking why it exists. Nigel Calder
  • Nothing in Western science predicts that any living creature should be conscious. It is easier to explain how hydrogen evolved into other elements, how they combined to form molecules and then simple living cells, and how these evolved into complex beings such as ourselves than it is to explain why we should ever have a single inner experience. Peter Russell
  • Physical entities such as subatomic particles possess abstract relational properties, such as mass, spin, momentum and charge. But there is nothing about these properties, or in the way particles are arranged in a brain, in terms of which one could deduce what the warmth of fire, the redness of an apple or the bitterness of disappointment feel like. This is known as the hard problem of consciousness. Bernardo Kastrup
  • A key problem of physicalism, however, is its inability to make sense of how our subjective experience of qualities—what it is like to feel the warmth of fire, the redness of an apple, the bitterness of disappointment and so on—could arise from mere arrangements of physical stuff. Bernardo Kastrup
  • One thorny question remains unanswered: How can something as immaterial as consciousness ever arise from something as unconscious as matter? Peter Russell
  • Nothing in modern physics explains how a group of molecules in your brain create consciousness. The beauty of a sunset, the miracle of falling in love, the taste of a delicious meal—these are all mysteries to modern science. Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter. Robert Lanza
  • The problem is that materialism ordinarily assumes these subatomic particles to lack consciousness. So how do you eventually get consciousness simply by arranging ‘dead’ subatomic particles together? Bernardo Kastrup
  • Has anyone explained how dumb carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules could have, by combining accidentally, become sentient—aware!—and then utilized this sentience to acquire a taste for hot dogs and the blues? How any possible natural random process could mix those molecules in a blender for a few billion years so that out would pop woodpeckers and George Clooney? Can anyone conceive of any edges to the cosmos? Infinity? Or how particles still spring out of nothingness? Or conceive of any of the many supposed extra dimensions that must exist everywhere in order for the cosmos to consist fundamentally of interlocking strings and loops? Or explain how ordinary elements can ever rearrange themselves so that they continue to acquire self-awareness and a loathing for macaroni salad? Or, again, how every one of dozens of forces and constants are precisely fine-tuned for the existence of life? Robert Lanza
  • How can consciousness arise from something truly unconscious. Bernardo Kastrup
  • [You know with indisputable certainty] you’re definitely experiencing something. How is that possible? Every part of you, including your brain, is made of atoms, and each atom is as lifeless as the next. Your atoms certainly don’t know or feel or experience anything, and yet you — a conglomeration of such atoms — have a rich mental life in which a parade of experiences unfolds one after another.  Dan Falk
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… giving rise to a universe that is conscious?

  • The greatest mystery, one that Science often ignores, is that the universe is conscious. And how do you know that the universe is conscious? Because you are conscious. Eckhart Tolle
  • The fact that the universe is illuminated where you stand—that your thoughts and moods and sensations have a qualitative character in this moment—is a mystery, exceeded only by the mystery that there should be something rather than nothing in the first place. Sam Harris
  • Consciousness—the sheer fact that this universe is illuminated by sentience. Sam Harris
  • The fact that the universe is illuminated where you stand—that your thoughts and moods and sensations have a qualitative character in this moment—is a mystery, exceeded only by the mystery that there should be something rather than nothing in the first place. Sam Harris
  • Matter has reached the point of beginning to know itself … Man is a star’s way of knowing about stars. George Wald
  • The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. Albert Einstein
  • A monk asks: Is there anything more miraculous than the wonders of nature? The master answers: Yes, your awareness of the wonders of nature. Angelus Silesius
  • The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. Albert Einstein
  • It appears to me impossible that I should cease to exist, or that this active, restless spirit, equally alive to joy and sorrow, should be only organized dust. Mary Wollstonecraft
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Why is there is no physical sign of consciousness in the brain or anywhere else?

  • Nothing about a brain, when surveyed as a physical system, suggests that it is a locus of experience. Were we not already brimming with consciousness ourselves, we would find no evidence for it in the universe—nor would we have any notion of the many experiential states that it gives rise to. Sam Harris   
  • The only proof that it is like something to be you at this moment is the fact (obvious only to you) that it is like something to be you. Sam Harris
  • There is a profound difficulty at the heart of the science of consciousness: consciousness is unobservable. You can’t look inside an electron to see whether or not it is conscious. But nor can you look inside someone’s head and see their feelings and experiences. We know that consciousness exists not from observation and experiment but by being conscious. The only way we can find out about the consciousness of others is by asking them: I can’t directly perceive your experience, but I can ask you what you’re feeling. Philip Goff  
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We cannot even explain why we have inner experiences in the first place when all could just as well happen in the dark through unconscious algorithms

  • The really hard problem is consciousness itself. Why should the complex processing of information in the brain lead to an inner experience? Why doesn’t it all go on in the dark, without any subjective aspect? Why do we have any inner life at all? Peter Russell
  • If any problem qualifies as the problem of consciousness, it is this one. Even when we have explained the performance of all the cognitive and behavioural functions in the vicinity of experience—perceptual discrimination, categorization, internal access, verbal report—a further unanswered question may remain: why is the performance of these functions accompanied by experience?  Why doesn’t all of this information processing go on “in the dark,” free of any inner feel? Why is it that when electromagnetic waveforms impinge on a retina and are discriminated and categorized by a visual system, the discrimination and categorization are experienced as a sensation of vivid red? We know that conscious experience does arise when these functions are performed, but the very fact that it arises is the central mystery.   David Chalmers
  • Just like in the case of computers, all the ‘calculations’ taking place inside our brains could, in principle, just happen ‘in the dark,’ completely unaccompanied by inner experience. Bernardo Kastrup
  • If intelligence and reason can be performed without subjective awareness, then what is responsible for consciousness? Answering this question, Chalmers argued, was not simply a matter of locating a process in the brain that is responsible for producing consciousness or correlated with it. Such a discovery still would fail to explain why such correlations exist or why they lead to one kind of experience rather than another—or to nothing at all. Meghan O’Gieblyn
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Some argue science may never be able to explain consciousness …

  • Neither physical science nor psychology can ever ‘explain’ human consciousness. To me then, human consciousness lies outside science, and it is here that I seek the relationship between God and man. Nevill Francis Mott
  • This most certain and familiar of phenomena obeys none of the usual rules of science. It doesn’t seem to be physical. It can’t be observed, except from within, by the conscious person. It can’t even really be described. Oliver Burkeman
  • Colin McGinn has raised an intriguing if ultimately defeatist possibility: what if we’re just constitutionally incapable of ever solving the Hard Problem? After all, our brains evolved to help us solve down-to-earth problems of survival and reproduction; there is no particular reason to assume they should be capable of cracking every big philosophical puzzle we happen to throw at them. Oliver Burkeman
  • I am sympathetic with those who, like the philosopher Colin McGinn and the psychologist Steven Pinker, have suggested that perhaps the emergence of consciousness is simply incomprehensible in human terms. Sam Harris
  • We have learnt that the exploration of the external world by the methods of physical science leads not to a concrete reality but to a shadow world of symbols, beneath which those methods are unadapted for penetrating. Feeling that there must be more behind, we return to our starting point in human consciousness – the one centre where more might become known. There we find other stirrings, other revelations than those conditioned by the world of symbols… Physics most strongly insists that its methods do not penetrate behind the symbolism. Surely then that mental and spiritual nature of ourselves, known in our minds by an intimate contact transcending the methods of physics, supplies just that… which science is admittedly unable to give. Arthur Eddington
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… for science is the exploration of objective reality, not the subjective and qualitative reality that consciousness is

  • The determinist problem is the complete reliance on abstract, objective conclusions, and the complete disregard of subjective knowledge. Eric Wayne
  • Until we know the nature of the Knowing with which our experience is known, nothing true about the known can be known. In fact, it is never possible to know something true about anything objective. Why? Because everything that is known objectively is known by the finite mind, and the finite mind is predicated on the presumption that I, Consciousness, am limited. All relative knowledge, however fine that knowledge may be, is predicated on that assumption. Rupert Spira
  • Our phenomenal consciousness is eminently qualitative,not quantitative. There is something it feels like to see the colour red, which is not captured by merely noting the frequency of red light. If we were to tell Helen Keller that red is an oscillation of approximately 4.3*1014 cycles per second, she would still not know what it feels like to see red. Analogously, what it feels like to listen to a Vivaldi sonata cannot be conveyed to a person born deaf, even if we show to the person the sonata’s complete power spectrum. Experiences are felt qualities — which philosophers and neuroscientists call ‘qualia’ — not fully describable by abstract quantities. Bernardo Kastrup
  • If we take the subjective aspect of experience first, we see that it is impossible to know anything objective about it, about ‘I’, about Consciousness. The simple reason for this is that anything that is known is by definition an object. Anything we think we know about the subject is immediately transferred to the status of ‘object’. It becomes the known, not the Knower. Rupert Spira
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Some even believe the human mind may not be up to the challenge of comprehending itself

  • The intractability of the arguments has caused some thinkers, such as Colin McGinn, to raise an intriguing if ultimately defeatist possibility: what if we’re just constitutionally incapable of ever solving the Hard Problem? After all, our brains evolved to help us solve down-to-earth problems of survival and reproduction; there is no particular reason to assume they should be capable of cracking every big philosophical puzzle we happen to throw at them. This stance has become known as “mysterianism” – after the 1960s Michigan rock’n’roll band ? and the Mysterians, who themselves borrowed the name from a work of Japanese sci-fi – but the essence of it is that there’s actually no mystery to why consciousness hasn’t been explained: it’s that humans aren’t up to the job. If we struggle to understand what it could possibly mean for the mind to be physical, maybe that’s because we are, to quote the American philosopher Josh Weisberg, in the position of “squirrels trying to understand quantum mechanics”. In other words: “It’s just not going to happen.” Oliver Burkeman
  • Maybe there’ll be some amazing new development that leaves us all, now, looking like pre-Darwinians arguing about biology. But it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if in 100 years, neuroscience is incredibly sophisticated, if we have a complete map of the brain – and yet some people are still saying, ‘Yes, but how does any of that give you consciousness?’ while others are saying ‘No, no, no – that just is the consciousness!’ Christoff Koch
  • It would be poetic – albeit deeply frustrating – were it ultimately to prove that the one thing the human mind is incapable of comprehending is itself. Oliver Burkeman
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Others, of course, heartily disagree

  • The history of science is full of cases where people thought a phenomenon was utterly unique, that there couldn’t be any possible mechanism for it, that we might never solve it, that there was nothing in the universe like it. Patricia Churchland
  • Look at the precedents: in the 17th century, scholars were convinced that light couldn’t possibly be physical – that it had to be something occult, beyond the usual laws of nature. Or take life itself: early scientists were convinced that there had to be some magical spirit – the élan vital – that distinguished living beings from mere machines. But there wasn’t, of course. Light is electromagnetic radiation; life is just the label we give to certain kinds of objects that can grow and reproduce. Eventually, neuroscience will show that consciousness is just brain states. Churchland said: “The history of science really gives you perspective on how easy it is to talk ourselves into this sort of thinking – that if my big, wonderful brain can’t envisage the solution, then it must be a really, really hard problem!” Oliver Burkeman
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As peculiar as the mystery of consciousness is the fact that physicists have never been able to actually even find matter

  • We never find matter. We only ever find the contents of our minds. Rupert Spira
  • Matter is not made of matter. Hans-Peter Dürr
  • Now owing chiefly to two German physicists, Heisenburg and Schrodinger, the last vestiges of the old solid atom have melted away, matter has become as ghostly as anything in a spiritualist seance. Bertrand Russell
  • Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real. Niels Bohr
  • We know subatomic particles must exist, but we still can’t come close to actually seeing them, and no one has the faintest idea how we might ever do that. Tony Deller
  • The physical world has been proved to be 99.999% space and the rest is a mystery. Anthony Lambert
  • The physical world we live in isn’t there. The solid objects we manipulate with our solid hands are mostly nothing. Seemingly concrete things are made up of infinitesimally small atoms swirling around in an immense void. And these atoms are made up of unimaginably small subatomic particles dancing in vast emptiness. Time Freke
  • With the development of quantum theory, physicists have found that even subatomic particles are far from solid. In fact, they are nothing like matter as we know it. They cannot be pinned down and measured precisely. Much of the time they seem more like waves than particles. They are like fuzzy clouds of potential existence, with no definite location. Whatever matter is, it has little, if any, substance. Peter Russell
  • Physicists are still looking for the nature and cause of this stuff called ‘matter’. They’ve been looking for it for two and a half thousand years; they’ve never found it it, and they never will. It’s not there. Rupert Spira
  • If we could take away the empty space then all the subatomic particles in every one of the seven billion people on our planet would be about the size of a grain of rice. Tim Freke
  • When quantum physicists talk about ‘imaginary time’ as being more real than ‘real time’, about the cosmos being a ten- or eleven-dimensional curved space-time, or collection of space-times, and about electrons being probability-waves in Hilbert space, we may well wonder whether matter is a solid foundation for reality after all, or whether we really know what it is. There is something out there, and it appears to us as a world of fairly solid objects. But modern physics suggests that the nature of reality is very different from what we see, and that it is possibly unimaginable. Keith Ward
  • Whatever matter is, it is not made of matter. Prof. Hans-Peter Dürr
  • On scrutiny the physical is as elusive as anything to which a name can be given. The physical as we have come to know it frays away into dark matter, antimatter, and by implication on beyond them and beyond our present powers of inference. Marilynne Robinson
  • Our concept of particles such as electrons, protons, neutrons, and quarks are literally models of what may occur at the subatomic level. Scientists’ observations and measurements have determined the best way of explaining how matter behaves is through the use of such a model, but one cannot say that is objective reality. Alan H. Dawe
  • We are no longer very sure of what ‘matter’ is. Is it quarks, or superstrings, or dark energy, or the result of quantum fluctuations in a vacuum? It is certainly not, as the ancient Greek materialist Democritus thought, lumps of hard solid stuff – indivisible atoms – bumping into one another and forming complicated conglomerations that we call people. Some physicists, such as John Gribbin and Paul Davies, in their book The Matter Myth argue that matter is a sort of illusion or appearance produced by some mysterious and unknown substratum in interaction with the human mind. Keith Ward
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Some argue science is far more geared to tell us about the behaviour of matter than to tell us what it actually is

  • Physical science doesn’t actually tell us what matter is. That sounds like a bizarre claim at first; you read a physics textbook, you seem to learn all kinds of incredible things about the nature of space, time and matter. But what philosophers of science have realized is that physical science, for all its richness, is confined to telling us about the behavior of matter, what it does. Physics tells us, for example, that matter has mass and charge. These properties are completely defined in terms of behavior, things like attraction, repulsion, resistance to acceleration. Physics tells us absolutely nothing about what philosophers like to call the intrinsic nature of matter: what matter is, in and of itself. Philip Goff
  • Matter can be described from two perspectives. Physical science describes matter “from the outside,” in terms of its behavior. But matter “from the inside”—i.e., in terms of its intrinsic nature—is constituted of forms of consciousness. Philip Goff
  • “Physical science tells us a lot less about the nature of matter than we tend to assume,” says Goff. “Eddington”—the English scientist who experimentally confirmed Einstein’s theory of general relativity in the early 20th century—“argued there’s a gap in our picture of the universe. We know what matter does but not what it is. We can put consciousness into this gap.” Olivia Goldhill
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Another aspect of consciousness that materialists cannot explain is that quantum physics indicates that matter needs to be observed by a conscious agent before it collapses into tangible existence

  • Until you measure it, a particle is never in a specific place or a specific state. Steve Taylor
  • No phenomenon is a real phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon. John Wheeler
  • We are participators in bringing into being not only the near and here but the far away and long ago. John Wheeler
  • Consciousness collapses the quantum wave function. This view works best when consciousness is present only in macro-subjects, since wave function collapse in micro subjects is hard to reconcile with known quantum interference effects at the microscopic level. David Chalmers
  • Without consciousness, “matter” dwells in an undetermined state of probability. Any universe that could have preceded consciousness only existed in a probability state. Robert Lanza
  • All objects remain in an indeterminate wave state until they are measured by an intelligent observer. Joseph Selbie
  • The behaviour of subatomic particles—indeed all particles and objects—is inextricably linked to the presence of an observer. Without the presence of a conscious observer, they at best exist in an undetermined state of probability waves. Robert Lanza
  • Countless acts of observation give substance and reality to what would otherwise be ghosts of existence. Deepak Chopra
  • In the quantum world, the observer always interacts, changing the behaviour of particles through the acts of observation and measurement. Steve Taylor
  • A wave of probability isn’t an event or a phenomenon, it is a description of the likelihood of an event or phenomenon occurring. Nothing happens until the event is actually observed. Robert Lanza 
  • A physical particle or bit of light only exists in a blurry state of possibility until its wave-function collapses at the time of observation, and only then actually assumes a definite existence. Robert Lanza
  • Before it is observed, a subatomic particle doesn’t really exist in a definite place or have an actual motion. Instead, it dwells in a strange nether realm without actually being anywhere in particular. Robert Lanza
  • Observation isn’t passive. It causes waves to collapse into particles. Something that is invisible, all-pervasive, and subject to the laws of probability turns into something else that is local, physical, and certain. Deepak Chopra
  • With small discrete particles, however, if they are not being observed, they cannot be thought of as having any real existence—either duration or a position in space. It cannot be thought of as being either here or there.  Robert Lanza
  • Werner Heisenberg , a titan of early 20th-century physics, suggested that underlying all matter is an indivisible and unseen realm, for which he coined the term Potentia, and from which objects spring into existence when observed by an intelligent observer. Joseph Selbie
  • According to the ‘uncertainty principle’ of quantum physics, on an elementary level the physical universe is a collection of possibilities. Scientists have discovered that there has to be a conscious observer to ‘collapse’ the quantum possibilities, which stops particles being in two places at once and creates a world we can examine and measure. Tim Freke
  • When the quantum physicists looked deeply into the nature of matter, they discovered something astonishing. The quantum possibilities only come into a definite form when observed by consciousness. They concluded that consciousness ‘collapses’ the quantum possibilities into a seemingly solid universe. So, without the conscious observer the world as we know it doesn’t exist. Tim Freke
  • Sights, tactile experiences, odours—all these sensations are experienced inside the mind alone. None are “out there” except by the convention of language. Everything we observe is the direct interaction of energy and mind. Anything that we do not observe directly exists only as potential—or more mathematically speaking—as a haze of probability. “Nothing,” said Wheeler, “exists until it is observed.” Robert Lanza
  • Photons or electrons do not actually exist as real entities in real places until they are observed. Robert Lanza
  • According to the ‘uncertainty principle’ of quantum physics, on an elementary level the physical universe is a collection of possibilities. Scientists have discovered that there has to be a conscious observer to ‘collapse’ the quantum possibilities, which stops particles being in two places at once and creates a world we can examine and measure. Tim Freke
  • Quantum physicists such as Bernard d’Espagnat talk about a ‘veiled reality’ that we can hardly even imagine, which appears as solid physical objects only when observed. Keith Ward
  • Quantum mechanics insists that when it comes to the 10^80 subatomic objects that comprise the observable universe, none have real existence or actual motion. The only things that are real, insists quantum theory, are observed events that emerge from the blurry possibilities that always exist. Robert Lanza
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In other words, it would seem it is consciousness that confers reality onto matter

  • Before matter can peep forth—as a pebble, a snowflake, or even a subatomic particle—it has to be observed by a living creature. Robert Lanza
  • The content of the mind is the ultimate reality, and only an act of observation can confer shape and form to reality—from a dandelion in a meadow to sun, wind, and rain. Robert Lanza
  • It is not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness. Eugene Wigner
  • You, Consciousness, are prior to experience. You, Consciousness, are not the result of an experience. All experience is a result of You. Rupert Spira
  • Wherever the life is, the world bursts into appearance around it. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • To be, everything must be witnessed. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • The universe bursts into existence from life, not the other way around. Or, perhaps more graspably, there dwells an eternal correlativity of nature and consciousness. Robert Lanza
  • The i’s and the t’s of physical reality are not dotted and crossed until you actually look up into the sky. The Moon has a definite existence only after it has been pulled out of the realm of mathematical probability and into the observer’s web of consciousness. Robert Lanza
  • All the choir of heaven and furniture of earth – in a word, all those bodies which compose the frame of the world – have not any subsistence without a mind. George Berkeley
  • To cut to the chase, quantum mechanics is telling us that consciousness creates reality. Bernard Haisch
  • The anomalous nature of the intelligent-observer effect has a similarly profound effect on scientific materialism. Its paradigm-changing implications, too, cannot be overstated. The intelligent-observer paradox turns scientific materialism on its head. The oft-demonstrated fact that the matter-wave will not behave as matter unless observed by an intelligent observer has led many eminent physicists to the conclusion that matter does not create consciousness—consciousness creates matter. Joseph Selbie
  • Without perception, there can be no reality. Robert Lanza
  • The virtually inescapable conclusion now is that consciousness does create reality. If that is the case, it makes it far less plausible to view consciousness as merely an epiphenomenon of the brain. Consciousness needs to be something greater than a mental illusion created by brain chemistry. Consciousness is the primary stuff. Bernard Haisch
  • Reality is the unfolding of mind; that is, the unfolding of the observer in the process of observation. Bernard Kastrup
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This would seem to indicate that matter cannot exist independently of consciousness

  • This is a participatory universe. John Archibald Wheeler
  • The universe and the observer exist as a pair. Andrei Linde
  • Reality is the result of mind in action. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The act of observation physically changes what is observed. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The world has no substance and has no existence independent of Consciousness. Bentinho Massaro
  • Nothing is perceived except perceptions themselves, and nothing exists outside of consciousness. Robert Lanza
  • Suppose we define consciousness as the agency that affects quantum objects to make their behaviour sensible. Amit Goswami
  • We tend to mistakenly think that we are conscious within an unconscious universe that exists independently of us. Eric Wayne
  • The physical world is entirely abstract and without actuality apart from its linkage to consciousness. Arthur Stanley Eddington
  • We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning. Werner Heisenberg
  • The presence of the mind, the body and the world, however peaceful or agitated, is only possible because of this witnessing presence of Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • The universe bursts into existence from life, not the other way around. Or, perhaps more graspably, there dwells an eternal correlativity of nature and consciousness. Robert Lanza
  • Without any organism, what if anything is really there? Existence must begin with life and perception. Indeed, what could existence mean, absent consciousness of any kind? Robert Lanza
  • If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is there, does it make a sound? An observer, an ear, and a brain are every bit as necessary for the experience of sound as are the air pulses.  Robert Lanza
  • The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment. Bernard d’Espagnat (physicist)
  • It seems absurd that an epiphenomenon of matter can affect matter: If consciousness is an epiphenomenon, how can it collapse the spread-out wave of a quantum object to a localized particle when it takes a quantum measurement? Amit Goswami
  • The Awareness Principle transcends ‘science’ as we know it today, because it recognises that the most basic scientific ‘fact’ or ‘reality’ of all is not the ‘objective’ existence of a universe of matter and energy but a subjective awareness of such a universe, as shaped by different organising field-patterns or species of awareness. Peter Wilberg
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The experiencer (mind) and the experience (matter) exist as one single system

  • Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist. Erwin Schrodinger
  • The common division of the subject and object, inner world and outer world, body and soul, is no longer adequate and leads us into difficulties. Werner Heisenberg
  • Q: Ultimately all is experience. Whatever we think, feel, do, is experience. Behind it is the experiencer. So, all we know consists of these two, the experiencer and the experience. But the two are really one — the experiencer alone is the experience. Still, the experiencer takes the experience to be outside. In the same way, the spirit and the body are one; they only appear as two. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • Consciousness is simultaneously the substance and the witness of whatever appears. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness and its object are always one, beyond the realm of subject and object. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness is one with every object. In fact, in the ultimate analysis, there are no objects. There is only Consciousness taking the shape of our experience from moment to moment. Rupert Spira
  • Our experience is one seamless totality. Consciousness and the thought, sensation or perception are one experience. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness and its object are always one. There is no division between them. Rupert Spira
  • The universe and the observer exist as a pair. I cannot imagine a consistent theory of the universe that ignores consciousness. I do not know any sense in which I could claim that the universe is here in the absence of observers. Andrei Linde
  • Therefore, if ‘I’ is Experiencing and if the world is made of our Experiencing of the world, then ‘I’ and the world, the object, are one. Rupert Spira
  • What remains is in any case very different from the full-blooded matter and the forbidding materialism of the Victorian scientist. His objective and material universe is proved to consist of little more than constructs of our own minds. To this extent, then, modern physics has moved in the direction of philosophic idealism. Mind and matter, if not proved to be of similar nature, are at least found to be ingredients of one single system. There is no longer room for the kind of dualism which has haunted philosophy since the days of Descartes. Sir James Jeans
  • What we observe as material bodies and forces are nothing but shapes and variations in the structure of space. Particles are just schaumkommen (appearances). The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist. Erwin Schrödinger
  • In truth, there can be no break between the observer and the observed. If the two are split, the reality is gone. Robert Lanza
  • There is no universe without perception. Consciousness and the cosmos are correlative. They are one and the same. Robert Lanza
  • Both relativity and quantum theory imply the need to look on the world as an undivided whole, in which all parts of the universe, including the observer and his instruments, merge and unite in one totality. David Bohm
  • Ultimately there is no inner, nor outer; the light of consciousness is both the creator and the creature, the experiencer and the experience, the body and the embodied. Take care of the power that projects all this and your problems will come to an end. Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • An experience consists of the creation of an object, the substance of the object and the knowing of the object. These three are one, simultaneously. Rupert Spira
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If consciousness creates matter and matter cannot exist separately from consciousness, how can matter give rise to consciousness?

  • If consciousness creates matter (through the observer effect observed in quantum physics), how can matter create consciousness? Anthony Lambert
  • How can consciousness be decisive in shaping the reality of the physical world? Does this not imply the primacy of consciousness over matter? Amit Goswami
  • Consciousness cannot be reduced to matter – for it appears that it is needed for matter to exist in the first place – but must itself be fundamental. Bernardo Kastrup
  • If nothing is real until it is observed, consciousness cannot arise from electrochemical events in the brains of animals like ourselves; rather, it must be part of the very fabric of reality. Sam Harris
  • No physical reality can exist without being perceived subjectively in mind. As I argued then, the implication is that mind cannot be reduced to matter, for the paper suggests that matter cannot exist without mind being there in the first place. Bernardo Kastrup
  • That action, however, poses a problem only for material realism. In this philosophy, consciousness is an epiphenomenon of matter, and it seems impossible that an epiphenomenon of matter could act on the very fabric of which it is built—in effect causing itself. Amit Goswami
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More arguments for idealism

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Some argue idealism is the simplest and most straightforward theory, thus agreeing with Ockham’s razor

  • If you have a choice between two models, Ockham’s Razor suggests you favour the less complicated of the two, especially if that simpler model doesn’t result in those unnecessary complications. Again, if everything we know of reality is in fact a mental overlay, and a physical reality is unknowable; if there is no difference whether the universe is only in our mind, or if it is in our mind and also ‘out there’, existing on its own in an unknowable form, then indeed there’s no reason to theorise there is anything ‘out there’, outside our mind. Applying Ockham’s razor, we should choose the simpler theory: Physical reality is an illusion of consciousness. Scott Owen
  • All the physical aspects we believe/assume reality has, produce endless complications (e.g. time, singularities, how did it come into being etc. etc.). A purely mental reality could do everything a physical reality could, but without those complications. So if you have a choice between two models, Ockham’s Razor suggests you favour the less complicated of the two, especially if that simpler model doesn’t result in those unnecessary complications. Again, if everything we know of reality is in fact a mental overlay, and a physical reality is unknowable; if there is no difference whether the universe is only in our mind, or if it is in our mind and also ‘out there’, existing on its own in an unknowable form, then indeed there’s no reason to theorise there is anything ‘out there’, outside our mind. Applying Ockham’s razor, we should choose the simpler theory: Physical reality is an illusion of consciousness. Scott Owen
  • The abstract ‘shadow’ world of materialism does nothing but complicate and inflate our models of reality by adding unnecessary, unprovable elements. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Materialism tries to reconstruct the known – that is, what we perceive – from the fundamentally unknown – namely, an abstract universe outside mind. Bernardo Kastrup
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Materialism requires a doubling of reality…

  • Materialism, thus, requires a doubling of all reality: it presupposes an abstract and unprovable ‘external’ universe next to the known, concrete, and undeniable universe of direct experience. Bernardo Kastrup
  • What we experience in our lives every day is not the world as such, but a kind of brain-constructed ‘copy’ of the world. Everything we see, hear, or otherwise perceive is supposedly a complex amalgamation of electrochemical signals unfolding in a kind of theater inside our skulls. Bernardo Kastrup
  • All reality you can ever know directly – is but an internal ‘copy’ of the ‘real reality.’ Bernardo Kastrup
  • Nothing you see, touch, smell, feel, or hear around you right now is a direct apprehension of the ‘real reality.’ It is all, instead, an internal copy-of-sorts generated by your brain. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The implication of materialism is that we’re intrinsically limited to watching an edited and biased version of the film we’re trying to make sense of. Bernardo Kastrup
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…unlike idealism where you experience the actual world

  • Under idealism, the world of your ordinary awareness is not a copy of some abstract universe outside mind; it is the actual world. Bernardo Kastrup
  • You are not creating mental copies of anything, but having direct access to what is truly real. Bernardo Kastrup
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Idealism circumvents the combination problem at the heart of panpsychism…

  • Idealism is a tantalizing view of the nature of reality, in that it elegantly circumvents two arguably insoluble problems: the hard problem of consciousness and the combination problem. Insofar as dissociation offers a path to explaining how, under idealism, one universal consciousness can become many individual minds, we may now have at our disposal an unprecedentedly coherent and empirically grounded way of making sense of life, the universe and everything. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The obvious way around the combination problem is to posit that, although consciousness is indeed fundamental in nature, it isn’t fragmented like matter. The idea is to extend consciousness to the entire fabric of spacetime, as opposed to limiting it to the boundaries of individual subatomic particles. This view—called “cosmopsychism” in modern philosophy, although our preferred formulation of it boils down to what has classically been called “idealism”—is that there is only one, universal, consciousness. The physical universe as a whole is the extrinsic appearance of universal inner life, just as a living brain and body are the extrinsic appearance of a person’s inner life. Bernardo Kastrup
  • To avoid this combination problem, some philosophers have moved to the exact opposite end of the scale. They say, “Well, you know what? There is only one universal consciousness.” And by the way, that’s much more consistent with physics as we know. It’s much more consistent with quantum field theory. Bernardo Kastrup
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…and the consciousness problem at the heart of materialism

  • Consciousness is a sore on the foot of materialism. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Consciousness clearly is a problem for materialists, some of whom resort to ludicrous attempts to even deny its very existence! Bernardo Kastrup
  • Materialism is incomplete even as a theory of the physical world, since the physical world includes conscious organisms among its most striking occupants. Thomas Nagel
  • Materialism is incomplete even as a theory of the physical world, since the physical world includes conscious organisms among its most striking occupants. Thomas Nagel
  • I think mind must be something more than a ghost. After all, I do have self-consciousness. Amit Goswami
  • Consciousness clearly is a problem for materialists, some of whom resort to ludicrous attempts to even deny its very existence! Bernardo Kastrup
  • Materialism denies that we can ever directly access the ‘outside’ world. It states that the stars we see in the night sky are all inside our skulls. It completely fails to explain the most compelling and present aspect of existence: consciousness. And it defeats itself by casting doubt upon its own reliability. Bernardo Kastrup
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Idealism requires far less leaps of faith that materialism

  • All of reality is a phenomenon of, and in, mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • All reality is in mind, including your body and brain. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Clearly, idealism is the more skeptical, cautious metaphysics. Bernardo Kastrup
  • There are elegant and reasonable formulations of idealism that can perfectly explain our shared experience of a common world without requiring the enormous leaps of faith. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Materialism postulates that things you can never know to exist are actually responsible for the only thing you can be absolutely sure to exist: your own consciousness. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Normally, one infers the unknown from the known, not the known from the unknown! Idealism requires only statements 1 and 2 to hold. In other words, it acknowledges the most certain and then requires merely a small leap of faith. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Everything touched by the fingertip of knowledge, no matter how slightly and subtly, is instantaneously ‘brought into’ the domain of mind. Fundamentally, we can never know anything supposedly outside mind. Idealism is, thus, the default metaphysics unless there are substantive reasons to think otherwise. Bernardo Kastrup
  • For two and a half thousand years it seems to have passed our civilization by that we have never found anything outside Consciousness. Physicists are still looking for the nature and cause of this stuff called ‘matter’. They’ve been looking for it for two and a half thousand years; they’ve never found it, and they never will. It’s not there. Rupert Spira
  • Materialism requires the following four statements about reality to be true: 1. Your conscious perceptions exist; 2. The conscious perceptions of other living entities, different from your own, also exist; 3. There are things that exist independently of, and outside, conscious perception; 4. Things that exist independently of, and outside, conscious perception generate conscious perception. The only reason we’ve come to believe in statements 3 and 4, as discussed earlier, is that they provide an explanation for the fact that we all seem to share a common world. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Normally, one infers the unknown from the known, not the known from the unknown! Idealism requires only statements 1 and 2 to hold. In other words, it acknowledges the most certain and then requires merely a small leap of faith. Bernardo Kastrup
  • A world outside and independent of mind is a non-provable abstraction, regardless of how good the theoretical reasons to believe in it may be. Bernardo Kastrup
  • [As a materialist] You must accept that there exists a world independent of your observation (state A), even though you fundamentally can never see it, neither directly nor indirectly, for you can only see what the world became because you looked at it (state B). Bernardo Kastrup
  • Clearly, idealism is the more skeptical, cautious metaphysics. Bernardo Kastrup
  • For matter to generate consciousness, it must be prior to and independent of consciousness. In reality, we never experience matter independent of consciousness. Any belief in matter independent of consciousness is an unverifiable belief that goes contrary to our actual experience.  Rupert Spira
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Idealism embraces unity within a world of diversity

  • The philosophy of monistic idealism is reviewed with the new scientific attitude that has been described in this book, we get a perspective that embraces unity within the world of diversity. The new world view affirms the world while holding up the possibility of a more mature world. Amit Goswami
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Idealism is congruent in several ways with the findings of quantum physics…

  • Quantum Mechanics seems to favor idealism over realism to such an extent that physicists with strong physics backgrounds are promoting idealism (among these are John Wheeler, Frijtof Capra, and Fred Alan Wolf). Martin E Moore
  • Monistic idealism is the correct philosophy for science in view of quantum physics. Amit Goswami
  • Can quantum mechanics and the philosophy of idealism together form the basis of an idealist science that can solve the knotty paradoxes of the mind-body problem that have puzzled us for millennia? Yes, I believe they can. Amit Goswami
  • The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment. Bernard d’Espagnat
  • The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment.” Bernard d’Espagnat
  • Mystics, contrary to religionists, are always saying that reality is not two things — God and the world — but one thing, consciousness. It is a monistic view of reality based on consciousness that mystics claim to directly intuit. The problem with science has always been that most scientists believe that science must be done within a different monistic framework, one based on the primacy of matter. And then, quantum physics showed us that we must change that myopic prejudice of scientists, otherwise we cannot comprehend quantum physics. So now we have science within consciousness, a new paradigm of science based on the primacy of consciousness that is gradually replacing the old materialist science. Why? Not only because you can’t understand quantum physics without this new metaphysics but also because the new paradigm resolves many other paradoxes of the old paradigm and explains much anomalous data. Amit Goswami
  • Quantum physics long ago undermined the very notion of physical objects—at its foundation, the universe isn’t solid, tangible, or fixed. Therefore, the old science of an external physical universe has been mortally wounded by the new science of quantum physics. Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos
  • If consciousness is at the heart of quantum physics (and it is), that puts it at the basis of everything. Bernard Haisch
  • The external world of physics has thus become a world of shadows. In removing our illusions we have removed the substance, for indeed we have seen that substance is one of the greatest of our illusions. Arthur Eddington
  • Quantum Mechanics seems to favor idealism over realism to such an extent that physicists with strong physics backgrounds are promoting idealism (among these are John Wheeler, Frijtof Capra, and Fred Alan Wolf). Martin E Moore
  • When the “observer effect” was first noticed by the early pioneers of quantum theory, they were deeply troubled. It seemed to undermine the basic assumption behind all science: that there is an objective world out there, irrespective of us. If the way the world behaves depends on how – or if – we look at it, what can “reality” really mean? Philip Ball
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…though not always congruent with the opinions of quantum physicists

  • Most physicists develop a somewhat schizophrenic view. On the one hand they accept the standard interpretation of quantum theory. On the other they insist on the reality of quantum systems even when these are not observed. Fritz Eohrlich
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Idealism also validates our subjective inner experience and is congruent with it…

  • In building a reasonable worldview, we must start from the data that is right under our noses: experience itself. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Idealism is a conception of reality that reflects precisely what reality seems to be: all that which we experience. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Experience is real but to believe in a universe made of matter is an illusion. Rupert Spira
  • The idealist metaphysics entails that the sole, necessary, and sufficient determinant of reality is subjective experience. In other words, only subjective experience is real and all subjective experience is real. Bernardo Kastrup
  • In idealism, we move away from the need to categorize an experience as true or false since, under idealism, all experiences are true. What we are actually interested in is determining to what degree an experience is purely personal and idiosyncratic – like so-called hallucinations – or collective and shared across individuals – like so-called empirical facts. Indeed, when we say that a person’s vision was mere hallucination, what we are actually trying to say is that only that person had the vision; that anyone else standing next to the person at the moment she had the vision would not have shared the corresponding perceptions. Bernardo Kastrup
  • We conceptualise a mind, a body and a world that exist outside, separate from and independent of experience, that are considered to exist when they are not being experienced. However, such a mind, body and world have never been experienced. Rupert Spira
  • There is no point in talking about what is ‘true’ or what is ‘false’ in any absolute sense, since there is no external reference system, outside mind, to ground the truth-value of anything. All reality is experience and all experience is real. All that is useful to know is the extent to which an experience is shared in actuality or at least in potentiality. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Start with consciousness. Realise it is your primary experience. Realise the universe you actually experience arises in consciousness.  Rupert Spira
  • The old bugbear about subjectivity being too vague, personal, and unreliable in comparison to the objectivity of facts and data needs to be squashed.  Deepak Chopra
  • We regularly find ourselves signing up to explanations of reality that seem a million miles from our experience.  Tim Parks
  • According to idealism, reality is experiential at its core. Anthony Lambert
  • If the current science of consciousness frequently strikes us as counterintuitive, it’s because even the most promising theories often fail to account for how we actually experience our interior lives. Meghan O’Gieblyn
  • Most of the reigning theories upend our intuitive understanding of our own mind.  Tim Parks
  • Our subjective understanding of our minds is trustworthy, at least to a degree. We should weigh every scientific theory against their knowledge of what it’s really like being alive.  Tim Parks
  • It seems to me that these various life events might have predisposed me to be interested in a theory of consciousness and perception that tends to give credit to the senses, or rather to experience.  Tim Parks
  • The world which science uncovers has got to match up with the world we experience, not the other way around. Even if the world as physics reveals it is mighty strange, in the end the scientific conception answers to our experience. William Seager
  • The mind, the body and the world appear in Consciousness. That is our actual experience.  Rupert Spira
  • We falsely believe that which is never experienced gives rise to the only thing that is experienced. Rupert Spira
  • Materialism is unpersuasive if one takes one’s own experience into account. But because it is the creed of established science, its authority is enormous. That is why so many educated people try to resolve this dilemma by adopting a materialist persona in scientific discourse, while in private accepting the reality of conscious experience and choice. Rupert Sheldrake
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…unlike materialism

  • Materialism denies the reality of immediate experience and postulates it to be a ‘hallucination’ taking place entirely within our heads. Bernardo Kastrup
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Idealism starts with what is indisputably real and reasons from there

  • We must restart science on an entirely different footing, beginning with the brute fact that our minds exist, and determining, from there, what we can recover from evolutionary theory, quantum physics, and the rest. Donald Hoffman
  • In personal experience, we never actually experience a world of matter independent of the mind. The world only ever appears to us an appearance in mind, made of mind. Anthony Lambert
  • I tend to approach things from a physics framework. And physics teaches you to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. Elon Musk
  • Physics is a good framework for thinking. … Boil things down to their fundamental truths and reason up from there. Elon Musk
  • Mind is the first and most direct thing in our experience; all else is remote inference. Arthur Eddington
  • We must restart science on an entirely different footing, beginning with the brute fact that our minds exist, and determining, from there. Donald Hoffman
  • Ultimately, all you can trust, all you can be sure of, is mind stuff—thoughts, feelings, memories, and all that. So they must be the real. Amit Goswami
  • All reality we can ever know is a flow of subjective perceptions, thoughts, feelings and ideas in mind. We postulate an abstract world outside mind merely to explain to ourselves the patterns and regularities of experience and the consistencies of these experiences across observers. Bernardo Kastrup
  • We delude ourselves with the thought that we know much more about matter than about a “metaphysical” mind or spirit and so we overestimate material causation and believe that it alone affords us a true explanation of life. But matter is just as inscrutable as mind. As to the ultimate things we can know nothing, and only when we admit this do we return to a state of equilibrium. Carl Jung
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We can never know anything supposedly outside mind and idealism should thus be the default metaphysics unless there are substantive reasons to think otherwise

  • It is impossible to know anything outside mind, for anything that is touched by the act of knowing is inevitably and instantaneously ‘dragged into’ the sphere of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • When I enter most intimately into what I call myself I always stumble on some particular perception or other….and never can observe anything but the perception. David Hume
  • Everything touched by the fingertip of knowledge, no matter how slightly and subtly, is instantaneously ‘brought into’ the domain of mind. Fundamentally, we can never know anything supposedly outside mind. Idealism is, thus, the default metaphysics unless there are substantive reasons to think otherwise. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Did men but consider that the sun, moon, and stars, and every other object of the senses, are only so many sensations in their minds, which have no other existence but barely being perceived, doubtless they would never fall down and worship their own ideas; but rather address their homage to that eternal invisible Mind which produces and sustains all things. George Berkeley
  • Whatever is immediately perceived is an idea: and can any idea exist out of the mind? George Berkeley
  • Any statements you make about physical things are ultimately about mental phenomena, perceptions, or sensations. Amit Goswami
  • all reality we can ever know is a flow of subjective perceptions, thoughts, feelings and ideas in mind. We postulate an abstract world outside mind merely to explain to ourselves the patterns and regularities of experience and the consistencies of these experiences across observers. Bernardo Kastrup
  • All of reality is a phenomenon of, and in, mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • We perceive, on reflection, that to be real, or even barely to exist, must be to fall within sentience … . Find any piece of existence, take up anything that any one could possibly call a fact, or could in any sense assert to have being, and then judge if it does not consist in sentient experience. Try to discover any sense in which you can still continue to speak of it, when all perception and feeling have been removed; or point out any fragment of its matter, any aspect of its being, which is not derived from and is not still relative to this source. When the experiment is made strictly, I can myself conceive of nothing else than the experienced.  H. Bradley
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The fundamental truth is that we only ever experience a world made of mind, never of matter

  • We never find matter. We only ever find the contents of our minds. Rupert Spira
  • The only things we can ever perceive are our perceptions. George Berkeley
  • We know only our perceptions. Robert Lanza
  • Nothing is perceived except perceptions themselves, and nothing exists outside of consciousness. Robert Lanza
  • All that I perceive—everything I see, hear, taste, touch, and smell—has been reconstructed from sensory data. I think I am perceiving the world around me, but all that I am directly aware of are the colours, shapes, sounds, and smells that appear in the mind. Peter Russell
  • Properly speaking, the world is not composed of “things” . . . but of colours, tones, pressures, spaces, times, in short what we ordinarily call individual sensations. Ernst Mach
  • There is nothing outside of perception. Robert Lanza
  • The metaphysical ground for this world turns out to be ultimately experiential. William Seager
  • When the mind, body and world appear, they appear simply as the current thought, sensation and perception. Rupert Spira
  • The only way I can know about the world is through my subjective theater of experience. Gregg Henriques
  • Every man’s world picture is and always remains a construct of his mind and cannot be proved to have any other existence. Erwin Schrodinger
  • I think I am perceiving the world around me, but all that I am directly aware of are the colors, shapes, sounds and smells that appear in my awareness. Peter Russell
  • Traditions have known this for centuries, and even modern science has recognized that our sense organs merely receive information and project it within our own minds. Vision does not take place in the eye, but in an area located in the back of the brain. Everything that we perceive to be “out there” is being experienced “in here.” Joseph P. Kauffman
  • We never directly experience the world around us. All we ever know are the contents of consciousness, the thoughts, feelings, perceptions and sensations that appear in the mind. Peter Russell
  • We do not perceive a world outside Consciousness. The world is our perception of the world. There is no evidence that there is a world outside the perception of it, outside Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • Sense-perceptions can only be indirect knowledge, and not direct knowledge. Only one’s own awareness is direct knowledge. Ramana Maharshi
  • Kant held that there is an underlying reality, but we never know it directly. All we can ever know is how it appears in our minds. Peter Russell
  • The idea that we never experience the physical world directly has intrigued many philosophers. Most notable was the eighteenth-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant, who drew a clear distinction between the forms that appear in the mind—what he called the phenomenon (a Greek word meaning “that which appears to be”) —and the world that gives rise to this perception, which he called the noumenon (meaning “that which is apprehended”). All we know, Kant insisted, is the phenomenon. The noumenon, the “thing-in-itself,” remains forever beyond our knowing. Peter Russell
  • The mind doesn’t experience the world, just sensory reports of it. David R. Hawkins
  • We suffer a delusion when we believe the images in our minds are the external world. We deceive ourselves when we think that the tree we see is the tree itself. Peter Russell
  • Our objective experience consists of thoughts and images, which we call the mind; sensations, which we call the body; and sense perceptions, which we call the world. In fact, we do not experience a mind, a body or a world. We experience thinking, sensing and perceiving. All that we perceive are our perceptions. We have no evidence that a world exists outside our perception of it. We do not perceive a world ‘out there’. We perceive our perception of the world, and all perception takes place in Consciousness.  Rupert Spira
  • We do not describe the world we see, we see the world we can describe. Discartes
  • What is the proof of an object? You say you see an object. But you actually see only form. Form is nothing but seeing. So you see only seeing. But did you really see even seeing? No. Because seeing can never exist distinct and separate from you. So you did not see at all. Therefore no object exists. The fact that you see can alone be admitted. But what did you see? Nothing. Neither form nor anything else. Still, the fact that you saw cannot be denied. Therefore, you are seeing the Reality itself and nothing else. Sri Atmananda Krishna Menon
  • Waking perceptions are on a par with dream perceptions. Sri Satchidanandrenda
  • All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions. Leonardo da Vinci
  • All that is experienced of a mind, body and world is thinking, feeling, sensing, seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and smelling; and all these are made only of the knowing of them. Thus, all that is ever known is Knowing, and it is Knowing that knows Knowing. Rupert Spira
  • Our objective experience consists of thoughts and images, which we call the mind; sensations, which we call the body; and sense perceptions, which we call the world. In fact, we do not experience a mind, a body or a world. We experience thinking, sensing and perceiving. All that we perceive are our perceptions. We have no evidence that a world exists outside our perception of it. We do not perceive a world ‘out there’. We perceive our perception of the world, and all perception takes place in Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • All we can say reliably is that experience occurs in awareness, is known in awareness, and is made out of awareness. Awareness is the creator and recipient of experience, forming a feedback loop that never escapes the field of awareness. Deepak Chopra
  • Each moment is a tapestry of ever-changing, seamless experiencing. Everywhere you look, hear, feel, sense, touch, taste, and smell, perception is happening immediately and inseparably to awareness. Scott Kiloby
  • Even though traditional science divides objective facts “out there” from subjective activity “in here,” this is only a matter of convenience. Everything comes down to experience. A dream at night is an experience, and so is the sight of billions of galaxies. Deepak Chopra
  • Every bit of our body is experienced — sensed — by our mind in the same way we sense everything outside our skin, namely entirely a perception in our mind. Scott Owen
  • Everything we experience is an experience. Deepak Chopra
  • Everything we perceive is a mental creation. Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos
  • Is there anything that is real “out there” independent of us? Deepak Chopra
  • Is there even a picture out there? All we know for sure is that there is some sort of a picture in our brains, a truly theoretical image. In any event of perception it is this theoretical, very private image that we actually see.  Amit Goswami
  • Naïve realism is the assumption that the human brain delivers a picture of reality, when in fact it doesn’t. It delivers a convincing three-dimensional image of the world that is nothing more than a perception. Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos
  • Our only knowledge of the world is a series of perceptions arising in consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • Q: If the shape of things is mere appearance, what are they in reality? M: In reality there is only perception. The perceiver and the perceived are conceptual, the fact of perceiving is actual. Nisargadatta Maharaja
  • Sense-perceptions can only be indirect knowledge, and not direct knowledge. Only one’s own awareness is direct knowledge. Ramana Maharshi
  • The entire universe – for one thing – only exists in your perceptions. That’s all you’re gonna see of it. To all practical intents and purposes this is purely some kind of lightshow that’s being put on in the kind of neurons in our brain. The whole of reality. Alan Moore
  • The entire universe is a matter of transformation whereby something is available to be turned into perception. Deepak Chopra
  • The experience of the body is a qualia experience. The experience of mental activity is a qualia experience. The experience of the world—and any other worlds—is a qualia experience. Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos
  • The mind is like a canvas on which the various objects of the universe appear to be painted. Tipura Rahasya
  • The only reality we can ever truly know is that of our perceptions, our own consciousness… Alan Moore
  • We must remember that we do not observe nature as it actually exists, but nature exposed to our methods of perception. The theories determine what we can or cannot observe…Reality is an illusion, albeit a persistent one. Albert Einstein
  • We never directly perceive material objects, but rather infer material objects from what we directly perceive. John M. E. McTaggart
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Idealism can explain why the universe seems to have been fine-tuned for life

  • The structure of the universe is explainable only through biocentrism. The universe is fine-tuned for life, which makes perfect sense as life creates the universe, not the other way around. The “universe” is simply the complete spatio-temporal logic of the self. Robert Lanza
  • The laws of this universe could easily have been different. The values of Planck’s constant, the gravitational constant, the strong and weak nuclear forces, and the electromagnetic force could easily have been different. Physicists have shown that if they were, even by a minute degree, it is highly unlikely that carbon-based life-forms like us could ever have existed. Keith Ward
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Idealism validates mystical and other spiritual experiences

  • Mysticism offers experiential proof of monistic idealism. Amit Goswami
  • In the monistic idealist philosophy, consciousness is fundamental; thus our spiritual experiences are acknowledged and validated as meaningful. Amit Goswami
  • Monistic idealism accommodates many of the interpretations of human spiritual experience that have sparked the various world religions. Amit Goswami
  • Cosmopsychism casts the entire cosmos as a perspectival subject whose mind grounds those of more limited subjects like ourselves. There is the notion of a universal, ‘non-dual’ consciousness that grounds all manifestation and is unstructured by subject, object or any differentia. Not only is such consciousness suggestive of a natural successor to cosmopsychism, it has also been reported to be the direct experience of mystics who claim to have transcended the individual perspective. Their purported insight – that our conscious nature is identical to the ground of all being – has been termed ‘the Perennial Philosophy’.  Miri Albahari
  • Are the mystics and sages insane? … [They all tell the same] story of awakening one morning and discovering you are one with the All, in a timeless and eternal and infinite fashion. … It’s at least plausible. And tell me: is that story, sung by mystics and sages the world over, any crazier than the scientific materialism story, which is that the entire sequence is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying absolutely nothing? … Just which of those two stories actually sounds totally insane? … And I think [the sages] point to the same depth in you, and in me, and in all of us. I think they are plugged into the All…. Your identity is indeed the All, and you are no longer part of that stream, you are that stream, with the All unfolding not around you but in you. Ken Wilber
  • I know that I am not separated from anyone or anything because of mystical experiences in which my own conscious soul is united with the conscious Source of everyone and everything, which simultaneously lives in us and as us. Donald Evens
  • The common pathway in all One-Mind moments is the experience of a hyperreal level of awareness, connection, intimacy, and communion with a greater whole, however conceived—the Absolute, God, Goddess, Allah, Universe, and so forth—all of which is marinated in an experience of intense love. There follows a profound shift in the existential premises on which one’s life is based. One ceases to be “a thing or process, but an opening or clearing through which the Absolute can manifest. Martin Heidegger
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Idealism is compatible with several eastern spiritual traditions including Buddhism and Hinduism

  • Monist idealist pantheism believes the only substance is mental/spiritual. Ultimate reality consists of a single Consciousness. This is the basis of Buddhism. Alan H. Dawe
  • In Western culture, particularly in recent times, the material monists have dominated the monist school. In the East, on the other hand, monistic idealism has remained a force. Amit Goswami
  • In the East, thanks to an endless supply of students of mysticism, monistic idealism in its esoteric form has popularly retained at least some passing familiarity and respect. In the West, however, mysticism has had relatively little impact. The dualism of the Judeo-Christian monotheistic religions has dominated the popular psyche, supported by a powerful hierarchy of interpreters. Amit Goswami
  • Matter exists only as it is perceived. The Upanishads
  • Matter is derived from mind, not mind from matter. The Tibetan Book of the Great
  • The concept that mind is primary over matter is deeply rooted in Eastern philosophies and ancient beliefs about magic. For the past few hundred years, such beliefs have been firmly rejected by Western science as mere superstition. And yet, the fundamental issues remain as mysterious today as they did five thousand years ago. What is mind, and what is its relationship to matter? Is the mind caused, or is it causal?  Dean I. Radin
  • The world view of the Eastern mystics shares with the bootstrap philosophy of modern physics not only an emphasis on the mutual interrelation and self-consistency of all phenomena, but also the denial of fundamental constituents of matter. In a universe which is an inseparable whole and where all forms are fluid and ever-changing, there is no room for any fixed fundamental entity. The notion of ‘basic building blocks’ of matter is therefore generally not encountered in Eastern thought.  Fritjof Capra
  • Buddhist idealism makes essentially the same arguments that Vedanta idealists make. This is not surprising because Buddhism sprang from the Vedanta tradition in 5th Century BCE India and shares much of the same worldview even though some core Buddhist tenets diverge strongly from Vedanta— the doctrines of no-self and of dependent origination, for example. Tam Hunt
  • In Vedanta and Buddhist traditions, consciousness often refers to an impersonal ground of reality rather than any individual consciousness. “Pure consciousness” can be said to create our reality, in the same way that Berkeley suggested that God created reality, with human minds dwelling inside the Mind of God. Tam Hunt
  • If you want to understand all the Buddhas of the past, present and future,
  • then you should view the nature of the whole universe, as being created by Mind-only… Avatamsaka sutra
  • The concept that all experience emanates from the mind of Brahman (God) is incredibly important in Hindu epistemology, as it is predominant in most religious works, such as the Upanishads, ancient philosophical texts, and the In accordance with idealist thought, Hindus counter material existence outside the mind. Bhagavadgita.   Philip A. Pecorino
  • All speech, action and behavior are fluctuations of consciousness. All life emerges from, and is sustained in, consciousness. The whole universe is the expression of consciousness. The reality of the universe is one unbounded ocean of consciousness in motion. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
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Some philosophers regard cosmic idealism (the theory there is a comic mind) as particularly promising

  • I conclude that there is significant motivation for cosmic idealism. It shares the general motivations for panpsychism, which are strong, and has some extra motivation in addition. Compared to micro-idealism, it deals much better with the problems of spacetime and of holism, and it at least has some extra promise in dealing with the problem of causation and the all-important constitution problem. Compared to non idealist forms of panpsychism and panprotopsychism, it has some advantages in simplicity and comprehensibility, while it has both benefits and costs with respect to the constitution problem. I do not know that the constitution problem can be solved, but there are at least avenues worth exploring. Overall, I think cosmic idealism is the most promising version of idealism, and is about as promising as any version of panpsychism. It should be on the list of the handful of promising approaches to the mind–body problem. David Chalmers
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There is a saying in the field of consciousness studies that one tends to start as a materialist, then one become a dualist, then a panpsychist, and one ends up as an idealist

  • When I was in graduate school, I recall hearing “One starts as a materialist, then one become a dualist, then a panpsychist, and one ends up as an idealist”. I don’t know where this comes from, but I think the idea was something like this. First, one is impressed by the successes of science, endorsing materialism about everything and so about the mind. Second, one is moved by problem of consciousness to see a gap between physics and consciousness, thereby endorsing dualism, where both matter and consciousness are fundamental. Third, one is moved by the inscrutability of matter to realize that science reveals at most the structure of matter and not its underlying nature, and to speculate that this nature may involve consciousness, thereby endorsing panpsychism. Fourth, one comes to think that there is little reason to believe in anything beyond consciousness and that the physical world is wholly constituted by consciousness, thereby endorsing idealism. David J. Chalmers
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Implications of idealism

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If idealism is true, then all other truths in this world, apart from the indisputable reality of consciousness, are relative truths…

  • We typically think of truth as something physical – something which is or has been, or something which is fundamental to things which exist (e.g. the relationship between radius and circumference of a circle is described by π). But if physical reality and time are illusions, then what is truth? Do we confuse – especially in this age of science – facts with truth? If the universe is a thought – our reality an imagining of The Knower – then truths within our reality require context: Facts are valid within the context of our reality, but not necessarily outside. The Knower could imagine realities which could contain other facts. Scott Owen
  • Science is Trapped: The core assumption of science is that physical reality exists, and yet it is more reasonable to believe physical reality is an illusion of consciousness. And if it is an illusion, then science is nothing more than a tool for modelling an illusion in which it is ‘trapped’. In a crude comparison, imagine you lived in a computer simulation game, such as SimCity: you might be able to discern all the rules of the simulation, but you would not be able to understand why, say, certain parameters – certain constants – constrained those rules; and you would not be able to understand where your world is. The ‘physical’ things you experience – the ‘space’ – would not actually exist physically anywhere. Furthermore, nothing you experience would bear any resemblance whatsoever to the underlying reality. All the rules and constants and ‘laws’ you discovered would actually only tell you something about the model, and absolutely nothing about the true nature of reality. Scott Owen
  • The very notion of what constitutes truth is called into question under an idealist metaphysics, because there is no world outside mind to determine the validity of perceptions, impressions, or thoughts. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Instead of talking about true perceptions and false perceptions, let’s talk about personal reality and collective reality. Bernardo Kastrup
  • We typically think of truth as something physical – something which is or has been, or something which is fundamental to things which exist (e.g. the relationship between radius and circumference of a circle is described by π). But if physical reality and time are illusions, then what is truth? Do we confuse – especially in this age of science – facts with truth? If the universe is a thought – our reality an imagining of The Knower – then truths within our reality require context: Facts are valid within the context of our reality, but not necessarily outside. The Knower could imagine realities which could contain other facts. Scott Owen
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…unlike materialism that likes to talk about objective truths

  • Under materialism, the notion of truth is determined by what is called the ‘correspondence theory of truth.’ Your perception is considered true if it accurately corresponds to an object, event, or phenomenon happening outside mind; and it is considered false if no suitable correspondence can be found. Bernardo Kastrup
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Idealism implies consciousness is our true nature and identity for it is all that actually exists

  • Essentially man is not the mind but the Self or Atman. The Atman is ever free, infinite and eternal. It is pure consciousness. In man, the free agent is not the mind but the Self. Mind is, as it were, an instrument in the Self’s hands, through which the Self apprehends and responds to the external world. This instrument with which the Self comes in contact with the external world is itself constantly changing and vacillating. When the vacillating instrument is made motionless, it can reflect the Atman.  Swami Budhananda
  • If we explore Consciousness we find that it has no objective qualities. And yet it is what we most intimately know ourself to be. It is what we refer to as ‘I’. Rupert Spira
  • We refer to this Consciousness as ‘I’, as ‘me’. It is the subjective element in every experience. We do not know what that Consciousness is, but we know that it is. Rupert Spira
  • The Being that shines in all experience is known in ourself as the experience ‘I am’.
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The consciousness at the root of our minds is universal, not personal

  • The ‘Impersonal I AM’ is not ‘personal’, as in your own Higher Intelligence or Consciousness that is personal to you and your Spiritual Nature. The ‘Impersonal I AM’ is incorporated within all Life, which is why it is Impersonal. It is everywhere. Rose Academy
  • Consciousness has to go further and rediscover its absolute identity with all things. It has to discover that ‘I am everything’, it has to discover that it is impersonal and unlimited. Rupert Spira
  • There is no evidence in our experience to suggest that we have different Consciousnesses, or indeed that there is more than one Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • There is no my presence. Only the presence. Only one arising through different forms. Eckhart Tolle
  • When you realize that you are universal and not personal, the egoic mirage begins to fade. Identify yourself as the unbound presence of pure awareness that you are and not as anything that appears within it. Realize yourself to be the Universal Self that permeates all that truly Is. Your truth is invisible, impersonal, selfless, and nameless. The entire universe appears within you, as you—and you are That. There’s nothing personal about any of this. Brian Thompson
  • Awareness is completely impersonal but utterly intimate. Rupert Spira
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Your consciousness and my consciousness are one consciousness

  • You and I are illusions. There is only one consciousness experiencing both of our lives, and the lives of every other person, animal, alien, etc, and possibly to some extent experiencing the vast swaths of inanimate matter and energy in the universe. Brendan Punsky
  • You don’t ‘have’ a life, you ‘are’ life. The One Life, the one consciousness that pervades the entire universe and takes temporary form to experience itself as a stone or blade of grass, as an animal, a person, a star or a galaxy. Eckhart Tolle
  • Underlying the sense-perceived universe there is the un-manifested life: the eternal one consciousness out of which every life form emerges. And you are that. Adyashanti
  • There is only one consciousness, one aware-presence that knows the coming and going of all things, but doesn’t come and go with them. And all things that arise in consciousness, which, in fact, is everything, must be made of consciousness, leaving us to conclude that consciousness is all there is. The source of our being. How simple is that? Will Wright
  • There is no evidence in our experience to suggest that we have different Consciousnesses, or indeed that there is more than one Consciousness. Rupert Spira
  • In a matter only model of the world, there are billions of consciousnesses experiencing one world. In the consciousness model, there is one consciousness experiencing billions of worlds. Anthony Lambert
  • The whole creation is the dance of one consciousness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
  • There is only one of us. One consciousness manifesting into different forms. Ram Dass
  • Ultimately, there is no such thing as “my consciousness,” but just the one consciousness and to sense your connectedness with the one (I can sense that continuously, which is why I can say that I know this for sure) to sense that connectedness with the one consciousness that pervades the universe, which in some traditions is called God, to sense that frees you of fear, from anxiety, and takes you to a very deep place of peace, but also of heightened aliveness. Eckhart Tolle
  • Consciousness in the individual is that area where the totality of life is located.
  • Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
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To know oneself, we need to come to know the consciousness at the root of our minds

  • Know thyself. This has been the advice through the ages of philosophers who were quite aware that our self is what organizes the world and gives it meaning. Amit Goswami
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To rest deeply in consciousness (the awareness of being aware) is to rest as what you most essentially are

  • If a man can permanently establish his awareness in contact with that pure field (of consciousness), then problems wither away. It’s a very simple thing. When the light comes, then where is the darkness? Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
  • Allow attention to engage with the world for practical, exploratory and celebratory reasons. Then come back and sink the attention back into its source. Abide knowingly as awareness. Rupert Spira
  • To be conscious means not simply to be, but to be reported, known, to have awareness of one’s being added to that being. William James
  • Just throw away all thoughts of imaginary things, and stand firm in that which you are. Kabir
  • Knowing yourself is to be rooted in Being, instead of lost in your mind. Eckhart Tolle
  • Focus the mind on pure being, “I am” and stay in it. Nisargadatta Maharaj
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We should identify with the I inherent in consciousness (the cosmic mind) instead of identifying with the finite mind (ego)

  • Separate the ego from the sense of ‘I’ that underlies all of our experiences. Indeed, experience intrinsically entails this sense of ‘I’: a subject that experiences.
  • The ego, on the other hand, corresponds to a narrative – a story – consisting of memories, projected self-images, values, attachments, conceptual constructs, explanatory models. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The witness of this story, who ends up mistakenly believing itself to be the story, is not the ego. It is that sense of ‘I’. We might call it the ‘amorphous I,’ because it exists even in the absence of all narratives from which form arises. It is a witness without identity, like a newborn. Bernardo Kastrup
  • One of the most remarkable aspects of consciousness its utter subjectivity, the uniqueness of each individual human perspective. Israel Rosenfield
  • The mind itself is duality in action. The mind splits the One into the many and even the concept ‘I am’ implies a ‘you are.’ Leo Hartong
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We are each part of a far larger whole and ultimately we are inseparable from it

  • We know, if we drop a stone in a pond, the ripples begin to move, and they move over the whole pond, reaching all the extremities. One slight stir in any part of the pond stirs the whole pond, influences the entire field of water, and its surroundings. Similarly, by every thought, word and action, every individual is setting forth influence in his surroundings, and that influence is not restricted to any boundaries. It goes on and on and reaches every level of creation. Every individual, by his every thought, word and action, shakes the entire Universe. This is the status of an individual. One is connected with the whole Universe by every little bit of activity. An individual appears to be bound by the boundaries of home and by the boundaries of his own body, but in reality the subtle aspects of the individuality go to make universal existence. An individual is never an isolated individual. He is intimately interrelated with the whole Cosmos. Even more than that, he shares the responsibility for the life of the whole Cosmos. The entire Universe lies in the individual. Cosmic existence lies in the existence of the individual. Cosmic life rests in the individual life, and the individual life extends to cosmic life. The individual and the Cosmos are interdependent. Neither of them is independent of the other. Every move of the individual shakes the Cosmos. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
  • A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Albert Einstein
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Idealism implies that death is far from the end of consciousness

  • I think only one thing can be stated with very high confidence: physical death does not entail the end of consciousness, for consciousness is the fabric of all existence. Bernardo Kastrup
  • I venture to call the mind indestructible since it has a peculiar time-table, namely mind is always now. There is really no before and after for the mind. There is only now that includes memories and expectations…. We may, or so I believe, assert that physical theory in its present stage strongly suggests the indestructibility of Mind by Time. Erwin Schrödinger]
  • Death awaits us, but no longer with the threat of extinction. Death may mean the end of body and brain and self. But, precisely because of that, it marks the return to a wider, timeless consciousness. In the light of this knowledge all fear dissolves. Since self is an illusion, its loss amounts to nothing. David Darling
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Death could even be described as a waking up…

  • One way to think of this is what happens when we suddenly awaken from an intense nightly dream: for a few seconds, we are astonished to remember who we really are and what is really going on (‘Oh, it is a dream! My real life is something else!’). Bernardo Kastrup
  • The only true novelty was the experiences of the dream, not what was remembered upon awakening. As such, maybe life and death are entirely analogous to dreaming and waking up, respectively. Bernardo Kastrup
  • It is the brain that is in mind, not mind in the brain. Physical death is merely a de-clenching of awareness. Bernardo Kastrup
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…a collapse of our limited field of knowing

  • The mental process we call physical death ‘makes the unconscious more conscious,’ because it eliminates a source of obfuscation; namely, the egoic loop. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Death causes us to remember all that we already know but cannot recall. Bernardo Kastrup
  • When we die, we transcend the human experience of consciousness, and its illusion of duality, and merge with the universe’s entire and unified property of consciousness. So, ironically, only in death can we be fully conscious. Dr. Peter Fenwick
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There is possibly even a continuation of aspects of the ego mind

  • Many Near-Death Experiences seem to suggest that a degree of self-reflectiveness and personal identity survive death. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Carl Jung, towards the end of his life, compared the physical body to the visible part of a plant as it grows from the ground in the spring. He thought of the core of the individual as the root (rhizome), which remains invisible underground. Bernardo Kastrup
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As a finite mind, we experience apparent limitation…

  • We, localized points-of-view of this one mind, mostly experience limitation.
  • The hallmark of human life, more than the experiences we can have, seems to be the whole truckload of experiences we wish for but can’t have. Or, worse yet, the experiences we are frightened of but cannot avoid. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Most experiences in life are bound to the modes of vibration supported by particular structures of the membrane of mind. Since our egos are nothing but such structures, our lives seem much more characterized by limitation than by experiential freedom. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Mind is what matter looks like from a limited point of view. When viewed from the limitations of a finite subject. Rupert Spira
  • This open, free, unlimited Consciousness has contracted upon itself. It has seemingly shrunk itself into the narrow frame of a body and a mind, and limited itself to a tiny location in a vast space and into a brief moment in an endless expanse of time. Rupert Spira
  • Although we are always this open, free, unlimited Consciousness, at times we seem to be limited. We feel limited. Consciousness experiences itself as being bound by it own projection. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness immediately and inadvertently loses itself in identification with a fragment. It condenses itself into a body/mind and the world is correspondingly projected ‘outside’. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness sometimes identifies itself with the body and the mind. It bestows its own identity, the sense of ‘I’-ness which is inherent within itself, onto the objects of the body and the mind. Rupert Spira
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…but from the point of view of the cosmic mind, limitation is an illusion

  • Mind is consciousness which has put on limitations. You are originally unlimited and perfect. Later you take on limitations and become the mind. Ramana Maharshi
  • Yet, this limitation is only an illusion generated by the localization of mind: it only exists from the perspective of the human psychic structure, not from the perspective of the unified, global process of mental movement. Bernardo Kastrup
  • What appears to us as limitation is actually a natural and necessary result of the expression of creative freedom. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Consciousness veils itself from itself by pretending to limit itself to a separate entity, and then forgets that it is pretending. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness forgets itself. It forgets its own unlimited nature. This forgetting is known as ‘ignorance’. It is Consciousness ignoring itself. Rupert Spira
  • An object is limited when it is understood to be separate and independent of Consciousness, but it is infinite when understood to be an expression of Consciousness itself. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness sometimes identifies itself with or imagines itself to be one of the images that it creates within itself during the dreaming or waking state. In this way it imagines itself to be a limited entity, a separate person. However, at no point does it actually become a limited entity or a separate person. It just imagines itself to be so, and because it imagines this to be so, it seems to experience itself as such. Rupert Spira
  • Consciousness is free at every moment to withdraw its projections and to experience itself as it truly is, free, unlimited, Self-luminous, ever-present. Rupert Spira
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The world holds no more reality than an appearance in mind (rather like a dream)

  • The plethora of phenomena we call nature and civilization holds no more reality than a theatrical play. They serve a purpose as carriers, but they are not essential in and by themselves. Bernardo Kastrup
  • ‘The chirping of birds and twittering of insects are all murmurings of the mind. Bernardo Kastrup
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The world exists as a kind of metaphor for the nature of ultimate reality (the cosmic mind)…

  • A metaphorical world isn’t a less real place; on the contrary! It is a world where only essential meanings are ultimately true. Bernardo Kastrup
  • All phenomena are suggesting something about the nature of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • In a metaphorical world, all the images of consensus reality are symbols, not literal facts. Goethe knew this, for he wrote in Faust: ‘All that doth pass away Is but a symbol’. The indescribable is done – or reveals itself – through the transitory symbols of life. Bernardo Kastrup
  • There is no literal shortcut to whatever it is that the metaphor of life is trying to convey. There is no literal truth. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Life and all of existence are a metaphor for something of crucial importance – yet unspeakable and non-literal. Bernardo Kastrup
  • It is no wonder that nature, simply by being what it is, would provide suitable metaphorical images – nightly dreams,nature is a metaphor for itself. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Appearances are a glimpse of the unseen. Anaxagoras
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…pointing to the true meaning of things

  • In today’s culture we take the package for the content, the vehicle for the precious cargo. We attribute reality to physical phenomena while taking their meanings to be inconsequential fantasies. Bernardo Kastrup
  • We must look upon life in the same way that many people look upon their nightly dreams: when they wake up, they don’t attribute literal truth to the dream they just had. To do so would be tantamount to closing one’s eyes to what the dream was trying to convey. Instead, they ask themselves: ‘what did it really mean?’ Bernardo Kastrup
  • When we keep trying to find a literal essence behind the metaphor – be it the discrete interventions of space brothers from the Pleiades or the chance throw of the Neo-Darwinists’ dice – we become blind to its underlying, ineffable, essential meaning. Bernardo Kastrup
  • It is reasonable to state that the purpose of existence has a lot to do with our observing and trying to make sense of the underlying meaning of the metaphor of life, both at an intellectual and an intuitive level. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The meaning of it all is unfolding right under our noses, all the time, but we can’t see it. Bernardo Kastrup
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Each of our finite minds is a way for the cosmic mind to look back on itself

  • In a sense, we have been deputized by mind at large to look back at itself and try to make something out of what we see. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Mind at large, through us and other living beings, must try to find its way to this ultimate topology: a cosmic sphere of mind whose mirrored internal surfaces enable every thought and every experience in all existence to be recursively self-reflected. And, even if it reaches that stage, it would still be left with the challenge of interpreting its own metaphor for itself. If it somehow succeeds, it will know what it is and what is going on. While it doesn’t, we are left with struggle and mystery. Bernardo Kastrup
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Pay attention and ask “What is life trying to say?”

  • The metaphor is the only way to the answers, if only we have patience and pay attention. Look around: what is life trying to say? Bernardo Kastrup
  • But what do we do instead? We look away! We don’t like to be confronted with the darkness within ourselves, so we numb our psyches with every conceivable distraction, making sure that the ‘unconscious’ remains ‘unconscious,’ instead of being brought into the field of self-reflectiveness. Bernardo Kastrup
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If idealism is true, it would help explain several of science’s greatest mysteries

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If idealism is true, it would help explain some of science’s greatest mysteries…

  • Amazingly when you add life and consciousness to the equation you can actually explain some of the biggest puzzles of science. Robert Lanza
  • Once one fully understands that there is no independent external universe outside of biological existence, the rest more or less falls into place. Robert Lanza
  • Has anyone explained how dumb carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules could have, by combining accidentally, become sentient—aware!—and then utilized this sentience to acquire a taste for hot dogs and the blues? How any possible natural random process could mix those molecules in a blender for a few billion years so that out would pop woodpeckers and George Clooney? Can anyone conceive of any edges to the cosmos? Infinity? Or how particles still spring out of nothingness? Or conceive of any of the many supposed extra dimensions that must exist everywhere in order for the cosmos to consist fundamentally of interlocking strings and loops? Or explain how ordinary elements can ever rearrange themselves so that they continue to acquire self-awareness and a loathing for macaroni salad? Or, again, how every one of dozens of forces and constants are precisely fine-tuned for the existence of life? Robert Lanza
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…including quantum entanglement…

    • Connectedness between two objects so intimate that they behave as one, instantaneously and forever, even if they are separated by the width of galaxies.  Robert Lanza
    • Distance (space) has no reality whatsoever for entangled particles, no matter how great their apparent separation.  Robert Lanza
    • Even if the twins were across the universe from each other, when one was measured the other would instantly take on the opposite properties—apparently communicating information at a speed vastly greater than the speed of light.  Joseph Selbie
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…the observer effect in quantum physics…

  • One of the most famous and troubling aspects of quantum physics is that we may not be living in a physical universe after all, but in a universe of probabilities. The idea is that a subatomic particle exists as a wave of probabilities—what’s called the quantum probability wave—until the probability wave collapses into a single reality. You might compare it to a theater that has a number of seats in it, and the “wave” is the probability that you (the particle) might be sitting in any one of these seats. The best explanation that quantum physicists have been able to give for how the probability wave collapses is that consciousness, through the act of observation, plays a central role. In fact, some, like Fred Alan Wolf, a theoretical physicist, believe consciousness plays the critical role in the collapse of the probability wave: it is the act of observation that behaves much like a cosmic usher, ushering you to a specific seat in the theater. Rizwan Virk
  • Since the time of French philosopher, mathematician and scientist René Descartes, science has subscribed to a materialistic worldview, where physical reality and consciousness are wholly separate and don’t interact with one another. The idea of a separate observer and observed universe doesn’t exist in quantum physics. Not only does quantum physics disrupt the whole idea of subject-object separation, but it opens a door that many physicists are uncomfortable with: we may not be living in an “objective” reality after all! In fact, our consciousness is so interconnected with reality that we may be living in a set of interconnected subjective realities. Rizwan Virk
  • Why would we be in a probabilistic world where making a choice (or having an observation) collapses a probability wave to a single timeline or probability?  Rizwan Virk
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…how time can be relative and not a constant …

  • At 98 percent of lightspeed, time travels at half its normal speed.  At 99 percent, it goes just one-seventh as fast.  Robert Lanza
  • And at the speed of light—670 million miles per hour—a clock would stop completely.  Robert Lanza
  • Someone zipping toward the galaxy’s center at 99.999999999 percent of lightspeed experiences a dilation effect of 22,360. While this person’s watch ticks off one year, simultaneously, 223 centuries elapse for everyone else.  Robert Lanza
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…how space and distance can be relative and not a constant …

  • If we could move at 99.9999999 percent of lightspeed, which is perfectly allowable by the laws of physics, the living room would now be 1/22,361th its original size or just a hundredth of an inch across—barely larger than the period at the end of this sentence.  Robert Lanza
  • Einstein showed that different observers, moving at different speeds, disagree in their measurements of time and distance. Donald Hoffman
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…why the universe seems to be fine-tuned for life…

  • Even more coincidentally, the universe’s four forces and all of its constants are just perfectly set up for atomic interactions, the existence of atoms and elements, planets, liquid water, and life. Tweak any of them and you never existed.  Robert Lanza
  • If gravity was a hair stronger or the Big Bang a sliver weaker, and therefore the universe’s lifespan significantly shorter, we couldn’t be here to think about it.  Robert Lanza
  • The notion of a random billiard-ball cosmos that could have had any forces that boast any range of values, but instead has the weirdly specific ones needed for life, looks impossible enough to seem downright silly.  Robert Lanza
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…the origin of life…

  • The essence of life is statistical improbability on a colossal scale. Richard Dawkins
  • The origin of life is one of the great outstanding mysteries of science. Paul Davies
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…and the mystery of consciousness

  • Scientists are in the strange position of being confronted daily by the indisputable fact of their own consciousness, yet with no way of explaining it.  Christian de Quincey
  • This most certain and familiar of phenomena obeys none of the usual rules of science. It doesn’t seem to be physical. It can’t be observed, except from within, by the conscious person. It can’t even really be described. Oliver Burkeman
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Idealism can explain paranormal phenomena that materialistic science cannot explain and therefore chooses to ignore

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There are many well documented “paranormal” phenomena that science chooses to ignore and discount because it can’t explain them

  • Webster’s Third New International Dictionary defines paranormal as “beyond the range of scientifically known phenomena.” science. For now, let us take paranormal to mean something like “beyond the range of phenomena presently accepted by most scientists.”  Dean I. Radin
  • Science has regularly skimmed off the top, so to speak, admitting data that the scientific community approves of and ignoring data it finds objectionable. Larry Dosse
  • Among the information that has been shoved to the side is a vast body of evidence dealing with how consciousness manifests nonlocally in the world, unconstrained by space, time, and the physical limitations of the brain and body. Larry Dossey
  • Christianity still suffers from a hangover from centuries past, when nonlocal phenomena such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition were considered the devil’s work and when individuals professing them were often executed in God’s name. These suspicions no longer become our species. These abilities should in fact be encouraged, because our struggling species requires the full spectrum of consciousness if we are to survive. Larry Dossey
  • The difficulty of getting scientists to attempt to replicate, or even pay attention to, psi experiments is related to what Thomas Gold of Cornell University has called the “herd effect.” This is the tendency for scientists (or any people, for that matter) to cluster together in groups where only certain ideas or techniques are acceptable. A scientific herd forms for essentially the same reason that sheep form a herd—to protect individuals. It is very risky for one’s career to stand apart from the herd, given the rapidly diminishing likelihood that one can continue to practice science outside the herd. Without exception, scientists who conduct psi research are high risk-takers, because the academic world lets them know very quickly that “we don’t take kindly to strangers in these here parts.”  Dean I. Radin
  • It is well known that most scientists are “theory-driven” rather than “data-driven.” This means that scientists are uncomfortable with “facts” unless some theory can explain them. Parapsychological “facts” are uncomfortable because there are no well-accepted explanations for why the facts should exist. This does not mean that no scientific theories of psychic phenomena exist; actually, there are dozens. It is the adequacy of the theories that is in question. Dean I. Radin
  • The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence. Nikola Tesla
  • A third reason scientists are reluctant to examine paranormal phenomena is that they appear to contradict known physical laws. What is the point of studying the impossible? Only a fool would waste his time. The problem of data in conflict with existing theory cannot be overstated. Arthur Eddington once said you should never believe any experiment until it has been confirmed by theory, but this humorous view has a reality that cannot be discounted.  Michael Crichton
  • Believers in psychic phenomena… appear to have won a decisive victory and virtually silenced opposition…. This victory is the result of careful experimentation and intelligent argumentation. Dozens of experimenters have obtained positive results in ESP experiments, and the mathematical procedures have been approved by leading statisticians…. Against all this evidence, almost the only defense remaining to the skeptical scientist is ignorance.  George R. Price
  • Fearing that God is finding a way to sneak back into the kingdom through ideas of quantum consciousness, militant atheists go on the attack against near-death experiences, telepathy, action at a distance, and all manifestations of purpose-driven evolution.  Deepak Chopra
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Idealism can explain a range of paranormal and psychic phenomena…

  • Idealism can explain psychic phenomena, while materialism cannot. Bernardo Kastrup
  • What criteria should we set up to show that the One Mind exists? 1. A person could share thoughts and emotions—and even physical sensations—with a distant individual with whom she has no sensory contact. 2. Distant communication could take place between humans and sentient nonhumans, such as pets. Large groups of animals—herds, flocks, schools—could behave in such highly coordinated ways that shared, overlapping minds are suggested.  4. A dying or even healthy individual could experience direct contact with a transcendent domain in which it is revealed to her that she is in fact part of a greater mind that is infinite in space and time.   5.  An individual could find hidden or lost objects through mental means alone, or perceive in detail, without sensory contact, distant scenes that are known to someone else.  Larry Dossey
  • The intimate connections between individuals via the One Mind are often associated with extraordinary happenings such as distant knowing, knowledge of events before they happen, communication between individuals remotely, and so on. Larry Dossey
  • Telepathy, synchronicity and intuition are all examples of the normal boundaries of the waking state becoming relaxed and the boundaries between finite minds becoming correspondingly looser. Rupert Spira
  • If the placebo effect, or intuition, or out-of-body experiences, or psi, all seem a little odd, that may be because of mismatches between what the theoretical network predicts and the true nature of the world. The easy thing to do is to disregard the anomalous observations. Some skeptics have been highly motivated to take the easy route. Dean I. Radin
  • There have been a large number of empirical studies which offer convincing evidence of telepathy and pre-cognition. For example, three years ago, the social psychologist Daryl Bem published the results of nine experiments, involving more than 1000 participants, eight of which showed significant statistical evidence for precognition and premonition. Since they were published in a highly respectable academic journal, Bem’s results caused a great deal of controversy, including a great deal of criticism from skeptics. However, Bem’s experiments have been successfully replicated a number of times. Many other experiments have been carried out over the last few decades, with ever more stringent protocols (in response to the criticisms of sceptics), many with significant positive results.  Steve Taylor Ph.D. Steve Taylor Ph.D.
  • The world is in the middle of a paradigm shift in its understanding of consciousness. And it is in the new answers to the millennia-old questions about consciousness – what it really is, how it is created and where it exists – that the true bases for psychic phenomena are found.  Dr. Diane Hennacy Powell
  • Parapsychology gives evidence that supports a more relational and connected view of the world.  Larry Dossey
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…such as telepathy…

  • Telepathy is an aspect of the seventh sense that enables members of groups to respond to the movements and activities of others, and respond to their emotions, needs and intentions. Feelings communicated telepathically include fear, alarm, excitement, calls for help, calls to go to a particular place, anticipations of arrivals or departures, and distress and dying,” notes Sheldrake. Larry Dossey
  • Humans can also behave as if they are entangled; they can share thoughts, feelings, and even physical changes when far apart, even at global distances. Larry Dossey
  • The experience of direct communication between two minds has been reported so frequently throughout history that it eventually gained its own name: telepathy. Coined in 1882 by the British scholar Frederic W. H. Myers, a founding member of the London-based Society for Psychical Re search, the word telepathy means “feeling at a distance.”  Dean I. Radin
  • Hundreds of telesomatic events have been reported over the decades. They suggest that the persons involved are somehow linked through consciousness, as if two bodies were sharing a single mind. Larry Dossey
  • There seems to be a direct mind-to-mind connection between the two individuals—an overlapping of consciousness, a linkage of distant minds, as if the two minds have momentarily become one.  Larry Dossey
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… synchronicity…

  • Synchronistic phenomena prove the simultaneous occurrence of meaningful equivalences in heterogeneous, causally unrelated processes; in other words, they prove that a content perceived by an observer can, at the same time, be represented by an outside event, without any causal connection. From this it follows either that the psyche cannot be localized in time, or that space is relative to the psyche. Since psyche and matter are contained in one and the same world and moreover are in continuous contact with one another and ultimately rest on irrepresentable, transcendent factors, it is not only possible but fairly probable, even, that psyche and matter are two different aspects of one and the same thing. Carl Jung
  • Coincidences are glimpses into the creative mind of the universe. Deepak Chopra
  • Jung intuited decades ago that psyche and matter must ultimately be made of the same stuff. Amit Goswami
  • Synchronicity is choreographed by a great, pervasive intelligence that lies at the heart of nature, and is manifest in each of us through intuitive knowledge. Deepak Chopra
  • There is a point past which coincidences turn into something else, compelling us to demand an explanation, just as there is a point past which scientific detachment can turn into bull-headed prejudice…. People who adopt [this] standpoint pretend to write about an impossibly pure scientific detachment. All they ask, they tell us, is that those of us who are foolish enough to believe in such experiences should subject them to “well-controlled studies” and laboratory tests and the like. But we may be dealing here with a range of experiences that simply cannot be controlled and tested, that withers away when it is brought into the field of scientific experiment and proof…. And it does not surprise me that experimental psychologists—some of them attempting to deal with the psyche as if it were a lump of sodium—do not have precognitive dreams: Their minds are made up against them. B. Priestley
  • The term synchronicity was first introduced by renowned psychiatrist Carl Jung in an attempt to explain many aspects of life that bordered on the paranormal. Rizwan Virk
  • As in many classic cases of synchronicity, there is no way to logically define cause and effect, but both events, the psychic event (thinking or speaking about something) and the external event, fall together in time (“synchronized”) in a meaningful way. Rizwan Virk
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…telekinesis…

  • Psychokinesis is mental interaction with animate or inanimate matter. Experiments suggest that it is more accurate to think of psychokinesis as information flowing from mind to matter, rather than as the application of mental forces or powers. Also called “mind-matter interaction,” “PK,” and sometimes, “telekinesis.” Dean I. Radin
  • Humans can also mentally influence random event generators and other electronic devices at a distance, demonstrated at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) lab and other institutions. Larry Dossey
  • PEAR conducted experiments for 27 years to determine whether individuals could affect material objects without physical contact. The volunteers successfully affected the behavior of physical systems using only their minds. Because their findings fell outside scientific orthodoxy they were not given any scientific legitimacy. Joseph Kelbie
  • Thousands of studies confirm the reality of telepathy and telekinesis. Various experiments conducted in hundreds of laboratories around the world—including those at Stanford University and the once affiliated Stanford Research Institute (SRI), Duke University’s Rhine Institute, Princeton’s PEAR, Cornell University, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and the CIA’s Stargate labs— provide scientifically and meticulously gathered results that confirm the existence of such phenomena.  Joseph Selbie
  • Another simple experiment has also been conducted thousands of times: Subjects are asked to influence the throw of dice. The results skewed a few percentage points outside the expected distribution pattern. Again, a very small effect, but the odds against the results straying from pure chance is 10 to the power of 76 to 1. Joseph Selbie
  • The statistics overwhelmingly indicate that there is absolutely no question that people have the telepathic ability to receive thoughts from and send thoughts to others, and telekinetically to affect matter. Joseph Selbie
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…near death experiences…

  • The sense of access to all knowledge is frequent, accompanied by the experience of omniscience—the abolition of boundaries within knowledge. As one healthy individual described his near-death-like experience, “I knew all things past, present and future, and I was enlightened to origins, unity, and purpose though not a word was spoken. Larry Dossey
  • NDEs, as we have seen, suggest that an element of consciousness exists outside the brain and that it may persist following physical death. Those who recover from NDEs often report that they underwent an experience that transcends individual consciousness. This awareness is universally accompanied by a profound sense of love that remains following the NDE. Grossman wrote, “There is a message hidden in all this [NDE] research…. The message is universal love. Every near-death experiencer is convinced that the purpose of life is to grow in our ability to give and receive love.”  NDEs are an entry point to the One Mind, whose calling card is love.  Larry Dossey
  • According to mainstream science, it is quite impossible to find a scientific explanation for the NDE as long as we ‘believe’ that consciousness is only a side effect of a functioning brain. Penny Sartori
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… savants and prodigies…

  • Curiously, many effects that science cannot explain are generally not regarded as paranormal. In psychology, for example, there are some remarkable but completely unexplained phenomena such as photographic memory (the ability to remember images in perfect detail), lightning calculation in autistic savants (the ability to perform mental arithmetic with astonishing speed and accuracy), extraordinary musical aptitude in prodigies who seem to spring from the womb ready for Carnegie Hall, and so on. Dean I. Radin
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…the intuitive sense of being watched…

  • Most people have felt someone looking at them from behind, turned around and met the person’s eyes. Most people have also experienced the converse: they have sometimes made people turn round by staring at them. In extensive surveys in Europe and North America, between 70 and 97 per cent of adults and children reported experiences of these kinds. Rupert Sheldrake
  • According to experienced surveillance officers, this sense also works at a distance when people are watched through binoculars. Several soldiers told me that some people could tell when they were being looked at through telescopic sights. Rupert Sheldrake
  • Several bird photographers told me that when they were in hides, invisible to the birds they were watching, the birds still seemed to know when they were being looked at. One said, ‘I spend a lot of time in hides and it is uncanny how birds can just seem to sense you are there, become agitated, even though you know you haven’t moved.  Rupert Sheldrake
  • Many experiments show that individuals can detect the stare of a distant individual even when the distant person is looking at them via a closed-circuit television setup. Larry Dossey
  • The naturalist William Long wrote that when he was sitting in the woods alone, ” I often found within myself an impression which I expressed in the words, ‘Something is watching you.’ Again and again, when nothing stirred in my sight, that curious warning would come; and almost invariably, on looking around, I would find some bird or fox or squirrel which had probably caught a slight motion of my head and had halted his roaming to creep near and watch me inquisitively.”  Rupert Sheldrake
  • Some pet owners claim that they can wake their sleeping dogs or cats by staring at them. Others have found it works the other way round and that their animals can wake them by staring. Rupert Sheldrake
  • In the 1990s, this research was popularised through New Scientist magazine, BBC TV and Discovery Channel TV, and many tests were conducted in schools and as student projects at universities. Altogether, tens of thousands of trials were carried out.40 The results were remarkably consistent. Typically, about 55 per cent of the guesses were right, as opposed to 50 per cent expected by chance. Although the effect was small, because it was so widely replicated it was highly significant statistically. In more rigorous experiments subjects and starers were separated by windows or one-way mirrors, eliminating the possibility of subtle cues by sound or even smell. They were still able to tell when they were being watched.  Rupert Sheldrake
  • Sheldrake designates the ability to detect the remote gaze of a distant person as the “seventh sense.” Larry Dossey
  • Surprisingly, the sense of being stared at works even when people are looked at on screens, rather than directly.  Rupert Sheldrake
  • The fact that gaze detection works through CCTV shows that people can detect other people’s attention even when they are not being watched directly. Rupert Sheldrake
  • Our minds are extended in every act of perception, reaching even as far as the stars. Vision involves a two-way process: the inward movement of light into the eyes, and the outward projection of images. What we see around us is in our minds but not in our brains. When we look at something, in a sense our mind touches it. This may help to explain the sense of being stared at. Most people say they have felt someone looking at them from behind, and claim to have made people turn round by looking at them. The ability to detect stares seems to be real, as shown in many scientific tests, and even seems to work through closed circuit television.  Rupert Sheldrake
  • At breakfast this morning I suddenly had that vague feeling of uneasiness which comes over some people when closely stared at, and, quickly looking up, I met his eyes bent upon me with an intensity which amounted to ferocity, though their expression instantly softened as he made some conventional remark upon the weather.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,
  • The “feeling of being stared at” has been studied in the laboratory for nearly a century. In the most recent versions of these experiments, the starer and staree are isolated from each other, and the starer watches the staree over closed-circuit video to maintain strict sensory separation. Results of such experiments, discussed later, reveal that focusing on another person from a distance does in fact affect the nervous system of the stared-at person.  Dean I. Radin
  • …supported by dozens of laboratory studies and experiments showing that people can detect the gaze of a distant individual. All told, these studies provide strong evidence for the conjoining, interaction, and linking of distant minds. Defying the commonly held assumption that individual minds are locked inside the brain, this research supports the concept of an extended mind that is nonlocal in space and time  The fact that these phenomena occur in both animals and humans is important. If an ability is distributed throughout nature in different species, this greatly increases the “science cred” of the observations, as if one is observing a generalized principle in the natural world and not an isolated phenomenon.  Larry Dossey
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…out of body experiences…

  • Consider the condition of a person who is having an “out-of-body experience” (OBE). The sense of leaving one’s body is a staple of mystical literature and has been reported across many cultures. It is often associated with epilepsy, migraine, sleep paralysis, and the “near-death experience.” It may occur in as much as 10 percent of the population. During an OBE, the subject feels that she has physically left her body—and this often includes a sense that she can see her own body in full, as though from a point outside her head. A brain area called the temporal-parietal junction—a region known to be involved in sensory integration and body representation—seems to be responsible for this effect. Whether or not a person’s consciousness can really be displaced is irrelevant; the point is that it can seem to be, and this fact draws yet another boundary between the self and the rest of our personhood. It is possible to experience oneself as (apparently) outside a body. Sam Harris
  • Often I have woken to myself out of the body, become detached from all else and entered into myself; and I have seen beauty of surpassing greatness, and have felt assured that then especially I belonged to the higher reality, engaged in the noblest life and identified with the Divine. Plotinus
  • If physical reality is an illusion of consciousness, then your mind is not in your body, your body is in your mind. An ‘out of body’ experience would then just be a change of perspective. Can you see without peering out of the eyes you imagine?  You can in your dreams.  Scott Owen
  • Instead of experiencing through the physical senses, I was now bobbing behind the body like a buoy at sea, cut loose from sensory solidity, separated from and witnessing the body from a vast distance. Suzanne Segal
  • Many people claim that they actually experience going out of their bodies. During such forays they can eavesdrop on friends, watch surgery being performed on themselves, or even travel to distant places. This phenomenon is called out-of-body experience (OBE).  Amit Goswami
  • The validity of the out-of-body experience as a genuine phenomenon of consciousness has gained credibility. Read, for example, Michael Sabom’s book Recollections of Death, which reports a significant and systematic study of OBE in connection with near-death experiences. As a cardiologist with access to medical charts, Sabom had the unique advantage of being able to verify many technical details in the subject-patients’ OBE reports of emergency medical-intervention procedures performed on their virtually dead bodies. His subjects described with great accuracy procedures that were clearly outside their physical bodies’ fields of view. Amit Goswami
  • The OBE is by no means the only experience in which a person may report that their consciousness has left their body, but it does appear to be the quintessential experience of this kind. Ryan Hurd
  • Could all projections be extensions of our own consciousness? The cosmos, material and otherwise, can be seen as a theatre or technology of consciousness, aiding our evolution or development, providing environments for us to interact with and become more complex and refined. There is no way to scientifically test this model, but OBEs may be suggestive of a type of idealism: a multidimensional reality as a reflection of a multidimensional consciousness, without which there would be no one to even verify and use that reality. Nelson Abreu
  • In her book, Dying To Be Me, Anita Moorjani, who had an NDE in a Hong Kong hospital, after which she was miraculously cured of lymphoma, reported not just perceiving what was going on in the room around her but also what other people—some hundreds of miles away—were doing. This included her brother, who was on his way from India to Hong Kong to visit her. Dannion Brinkley, who we mentioned earlier in the section on NDEs, reported a similar experience of being able to see what was going on in the hospital while he was “dead.” This phenomenon, called an out-of-body experience (OBE or OOBE), is not restricted to near-death experiences—religious mystics and explorers of consciousness have been reporting OBEs for hundreds, if not thousands of years. It is one of the unexplained areas of consciousness for which science has no satisfactory explanation in the material point of view. Rizwan Virk
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…precognition…

  • Dr Hennacy Powell maintains that many people have precognitive experiences – particularly through dreams – on a regular basis. Indeed, the studies she relies on reveal that some precognitive dreamers have saved their own lives by retrieving information from a future that already exists. How, you might ask?  According to Dr.  Powell, the human brain’s “now” experience is like seeing one frame of a movie at a time even though the entire movie exists. The constant exercise of frame-by-frame free will can influence a future that already exists but within limits. Alternatively, knowing the future can influence the free will choices of the present. If this explanation doesn’t completely click it may be because you’re not able to think about space-time at the same abstract level as Einstein.  Rachel Ray
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…remote viewing…

  • Clairvoyance: Information received from a distance, beyond the reach of the ordinary senses. A French term meaning “clear-seeing.” Also called “remote viewing.”  Dean I. Radin
  • I know, based on experimental data from psi research in my laboratory at SRI, that a viewer can focus attention at a specific location anywhere on the planet (or off of it) and often describe what is there. The SRI experiments showed that the viewer is not bound by present time. In contemporary physics, we call this ability to focus attention on distant points in space-time ‘nonlocal awareness. Russell Targ
  • Deep Quest was one of 12 archeological projects that relied successfully on remote viewers to locate lost or hidden sites. In his book The Secret Vaults of Time,chwartz discussed how archeologists for 100 years have used psychic methods to aid their discoveries.  Larry Dossey
  • Human consciousness may not be the only thing that participates in the creation of reality-fields. Remote viewing experiments have shown that people can accurately describe distant locations even when there are no human observers present at the locations.  Similarly, subjects can identify the contents of a sealed box randomly selected from a group of sealed boxes and whose contents are therefore completely unknown. This means that we can do more than just tap into the senses of other people. We can also tap into reality itself to gain information. As bizarre as this sounds, it is not so strange when one remembers that in a holographic universe, consciousness pervades all matter, and “meaning” has an active presence in both the mental and physical worlds.  Michael Talbot
  • In their remote-viewing experiments at Stanford Research Institute, Puthoff and Targ found that, in addition to being able to psychically  describe remote locations that experimenters were visiting in the  present, test subjects could also describe locations experimenters would  be visiting in the future, before the locations had even been decided    Michael Talbot
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…miracle healing…

  • What I remember next is a feeling of immense personal calm and confidence. I quietly asked the mother to give the boy to me. When she did, I put the boy’s burned hand between my hands, closed my eyes, and imagined myself back in the place of light. The boy stopped screaming. When I took my hands away, his hand showed no signs of being burned. It was impossible for me to pretend it hadn’t happened. The mother took her son back, looking in my eyes without speaking. The others stared. … That boy was the only person I ever healed with my hands…. Given the skepticism of my science-trained mind, I needed that physical proof and the universe—God—provided it. Since the incident at the farm, I’ve never doubted that what I learned and did through [meditation] was real. John Graham
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…the placebo effect…

  • People who have received placebos or placebo treatments—yet believed they were getting a trial drug or a new surgical procedure—manifest significant physiological changes. Nor is it only a small percentage of the placebo group who respond. Placebo takers consistently have over a 50 percent positive response rate for the condition for which they thought they were being treated.
  • A 1976 drug trial for a potential chemotherapy treatment for gastric cancer was conducted by the British stomach-cancer group. The results of the study were published in the May 1983 World Journal of Surgery. Four hundred and eleven patients participated. During the course of the study, which lasted several months, of the patients given only a placebo saline drip with no active ingredients, 30 percent lost all their hair.  Joseph Selbie
  • Simply the thought that one is receiving a potentially effective trial drug or trial surgery can change one’s convictions about one’s state of health. As in the cases of MPD sufferers, when the conviction changes, so does the physical body. Placebo-induced change can sometimes happen immediately (as with the placebo inhalers); but it generally unfolds more slowly than do the dramatically rapid changes of MPD sufferers, because the speed of change occurs in accordance with the mental expectations, i.e., the convictions of the placebo takers. If, for example, there is a deep conviction that they will gradually lose all their hair, then so they do. Joseph Selbie
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…phenomenon hypnosis…

  • Biologists and behaviorists cannot account for the phenomenon of  hypnosis. Hilgard and Orne have studied this. They placed participants in a hypnotic trance and through unconscious hypnotic suggestion told the participants they would be touched with a “red hot” piece of metal when they were actually touched with a pencil. The participants in a deep trance had a skin reaction (water blisters) just as if they had been touched with burning metal. This is an example of the mind controlling the body’s reaction. Similar results have been found on patients given hypnosis to control pain. This contradicts the monism approach, as the body should not react to unconscious suggestions in this way. Dr. Saul McLeod
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…hive or group minds in animals…

  • One could speculate, for instance, about the extent to which social insects – like bees, termites, and ants – can still access a broader region of mind than that entailed by their individual whirlpools. After all, it is not quite clear how ant colonies, for instance, comprising millions of separate individuals, can behave as though they were coordinated by a kind of global ant ‘overmind’ spanning across individuals.106 There is no question that individual ants have their own localized points-of-view and perspectives on reality. There is also no question that they are equipped with sense organs to allow certain undulations of the broader medium of mind into their respective whirlpools. Bernardo Kastrup
  • How do masses of individual animals, birds, and fish manage to act in concerted, coordinated ways, as if the group is a single entity? Larry Dossey
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… the power of prayer meditation, intention, belief, thought…

  • Scores of controlled studies have dealt with the distant effects of prayer and other types of positive, distant healing intent, in which various “lower” organisms—bacteria, fungi, yeasts—are the subjects, as well as seeds, plants, and cells of various sorts. Larry Dossey
  • Twenty peer reviewed studies and more than fifty demonstrations have found that when a relatively small proportion of a population practise Transcendental Meditation and its advanced programs there is a decrease in negative trends such as crime, violence and fatalities. This is known as the Maharishi Effect. Our book An Antidote to Violence: Evaluating the Evidence investigates the evidence for this phenomenon in more detail. Barry Spivack
  • As individual consciousness grows, collective consciousness rises; and as collective consciousness rises, individual consciousness grows. Individual consciousness is the basic unit of all levels of collective consciousness – family consciousness, community consciousness, national consciousness, and world consciousness – influencing them all and being in turn influenced by them. Maharishi Mahesh Maharishi
  • The problem for mainstream scientists is that no one has yet found an energy, or a substance, or a field, or a measureable something that, under observation in an experimental framework, will explain the effect of thought on matter, or how thought can exist beyond the brain. Yet the data clearly indicates that thought and consciousness do exist outside the brain and can effect matter. Joseph Selbie
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…why the outer world we perceive is a reflection of our inner state of mind…

  • The world that we perceive is a reflection of our own states of mind and reveals our own level of consciousness. The world is little more than a Rorschach blot in which we see our own desire systems projected. We see what we want to see. Prem Prakash
  • People tend to have a government that reflects the level of consciousness of the majority of people who voted. Marianne Williamson
  • From a pure metaphysical perspective, there is no world outside ourselves. So, at the deepest level, the state of the planet is more a reflection of the consciousness of mankind than the consciousness of mankind is a reflection of world events. Marianne Williamson
  • Man moves in a world that is nothing more or less than his consciousness objectified. Neville Goddard
  • The nature of the stream of consciousness—its pattern of thought, perception, feeling, and memory—is the consequence of entrainment of the attractor energy fields that dominate. David R. Hawkins
  • The world I experience is a reflection of my state of consciousness. To change my outer world, I simply need to raise my inner level of consciousness. This is where my access to true spiritual power lies. Anthony Lambert
  • How things look on the outside of us depends on how things are on the inside of us. Parks Cousins
  • When you possess light within, you see it externally. Anaïs Nin
  • You attract and manifest whatever corresponds to your inner state. Eckhart Tolle
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…reincarnation…

  • The most promising evidence bearing on reincarnation seems to come from the spontaneous cases, especially among children. Ian Stevenson
  • Children who remember their past lives offer the most compelling evidence yet for reincarnation. Carol Bowman
  • Worldwide, children can be found who reported that they have memories of a previous life. More than 2,500 cases have been studied and their specifications have been published and preserved in the archives of the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia (United States). Many of those children come from countries where the majority of the inhabitants believe in reincarnation, but others come from countries with different cultures and religions that reject it. In many cases, the revelations of the children have been verified and have corresponded to a particular individual, already dead. A good number of these children have marks and birth defects corresponding to wounds on the body of his previous personality. Many have behaviors related to their claims to their former life: phobias, philias, and attachments. Others seem to recognize people and places of his supposed previous life, and some of their assertions have been made under controlled conditions. The hypothesis of reincarnation is controversial. We can never say that it does not occur, or will obtain conclusive evidence that it happens. The cases that have been described so far, isolated or combined, do not provide irrefutable proof of reincarnation, but they supply evidence that suggest its reality. Ernesto Bonilla
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…pet behaviour…

  • Lost pets return to owners across vast distances to places they have never been. Larry Dossey
  • [Examples of paranormal in dogs:] Reaction to impending danger to itself or its master. Reaction to the death of its master at a distance. Anticipation of a master’s return Homing. Trailing (finding its owner over unfamiliar terrain and sometimes to a previously unknown location). Larry Dossey
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…and expanded states of consciousness and mystical experiences

  • Our normal waking consciousness, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different… No account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves these other forms of consciousness quite disregarded. William James
  • To be shaken out of the ruts of ordinary perception, to be shown for a few timeless hours the outer and inner world, not as they appear to an animal obsessed with survival or to a human being obsessed with words and notions, but as they are apprehended directly and unconditionally by Mind at Large– this is an experience of inestimable value to everyone and especially to the intellectual. Aldous Huxley
  • The ordinary waking consciousness is a very useful and, on most occasions, an indispensable state of mind; but it is by no means the only form of consciousness, nor in all circumstances the best. Insofar as he transcends his ordinary self and his ordinary mode of awareness, the mystic is able to enlarge his vision, to look more deeply into the unfathomable miracle of existence. The mystical experience is doubly valuable; it is valuable because it gives the experiencer a better understanding of himself and the world and because it may help him to lead a less self-centered and more creative life. Aldous Huxley
  • Transcendental experience: A direct experience of consciousness beyond ego. Amit Goswami
  • One may say truly, I think, that personal religious experience has its roots and centre in mystical states of consciousness. William James
  • A vision of the eternal recounted as an experience with a beginning and an end. It has been called a mystical, transcendental or peak experience, and that is exactly what it is – an experience. Leo Hartong
  • In extraordinary visions, they have direct experience of a transcendent Reality which is the essence, or Self, of each created being. They teach that each of us, each Self, is eternal, deathless, one with the power that created the universe. Eknath Easwaran
  • Mysticism is the art of union with Reality. Evelyn Underhill
  • The main aim of mystycism is the direct mystical experience of reality. Fritjof Capra
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Idealism is far from a new idea

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Idealism is a theory that has been around in various forms for millennia…

  • The brain-in-a-vat is a contemporary version of the argument given in Hindu Maya illusion, Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, Zhuangzi’s “Zhuangzi dreamed he was a butterfly”, and the evil demon in René Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy. Amit Goswami
  • Most philosophers in the world have been in some sense idealists – that is, they have thought the ultimate reality is mind. Theists are philosophers who accept this, but add that the physical world does have its own proper reality, which originates from but is different from God, the ultimate mind. An important minority have been phenomenalists, who think that the ultimate reality is the flowing succession of perceptions, thoughts and feelings of which we are aware in immediate experience. From that succession we may construct a world of external physical objects or we may construct the idea of a continuing Self that observes the succession. But in fact there is ultimately only the succession itself. Some forms of Buddhist thought are outstanding examples of this view. Keith Ward
  • With regards to the notion of creation and existence, philosophers are broadly divided into two camps. On one side there are those who believe that the world exists independently of our awareness of it. These include Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Samuel Johnson, Einstein, Thomas Paine, Ayn Rand and most scientists. On the other side are those who believe that our awareness creates reality. These include Plato, Hegel, Kant, Bishop George Berkeley, Deepak Chopra, Amit Goswami, Hindus, a multitude of self-proclaimed mystics, a few physicists of our present day, and of course, a large majority of the New Age movement. The first view is called realism or materialism; the second view is called idealism.  Martin E Moore
  • As hundreds of generations of philosophy students have learned, this allegory clearly illustrates the fundamental concepts of idealism. Plato imagines human beings sitting in a cave in a fixed position so that they always face the wall. The great universe outside is a shadow show projected on the wall of the cave, and we humans are shadow watchers. We watch shadow-illusions that we mistake for reality. The real reality is behind us, in the light and archetypal forms that cast the shadows on the wall. In this allegory, the shadow shows are the unreal immanent manifestations in human experience of archetypal realities that belong to a transcendent world. In truth, light is the only reality, for light is all we see. In monistic idealism, consciousness is like the light in Plato’s cave. Amit Goswami
  • Today, when philosophers talk about “idealism,” they’re usually talking about “German Idealism,” a rough tradition of thought defined by the work of Immanuel Kant. Kant developed a sophisticated form of idealism based on the distinction between phenomena (“things-as-they-appear”) and noumena (“things-in-themselves”). David Dubnitskiy
  • Most philosophers in the world have been in some sense idealists – that is, they have thought the ultimate reality is mind. Theists are philosophers who accept this, but add that the physical world does have its own proper reality, which originates from but is different from God, the ultimate mind. Keith Ward
  • In the West, the philosophy of monistic idealism has been stated most influentially by Plato, who in The Republic gave us his famous allegory of the cave. As hundreds of generations of philosophy students have learned, this allegory clearly illustrates the fundamental concepts of idealism. Plato imagines human beings sitting in a cave in a fixed position so that they always face the wall. The great universe outside is a shadow show projected on the wall of the cave, and we humans are shadow watchers. We watch shadow-illusions that we mistake for reality. The real reality is behind us, in the light and archetypal forms that cast the shadows on the wall. In this allegory, the shadow shows are the unreal immanent manifestations in human experience of archetypal realities that belong to a transcendent world. In truth, light is the only reality, for light is all we see. In monistic idealism, consciousness is like the light in Plato’s cave.  Amit Goswami
  • This is Plato’s demonstration of monistic idealism. People see only the shadow show of matter and are beguiled by it. If only they knew that the shadows are cast by the ‘realer’ archetypal objects behind them, the ideas of consciousness! If only they had the fortitude to investigate the light of consciousness, which is the only reality. Amit Goswami
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…and it is an idea that keeps resurfacing

  • This modern trend toward various forms of idealism is largely a manifestation of the reasonable desire to reject materialism, the rather austere worldview that predominates in modern science and philosophy. Tam Hunt
  • Idealism is a philosophy that has been out of fashion since the rise of analytic philosophy, in the early twentieth century. But if idealism keeps resurfacing in Western thought, it may be because we find Descartes and Galileo’s original dismissal of the mind deeply unsatisfying. Consciousness, after all, is the sole apparatus that connects us to the external world—the only way we know anything about what we have agreed to call “reality.” Meghan O’Gieblyn
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Some problems with idealism

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Some argue cosmic idealism does not sufficiently explain personal selfhood…

  • Even monistic idealists fall short because they too undermine the experience of the personal self, being too enamored by the whole. Amit Goswami
  • Why is personal selfhood a difficult problem for idealism? Because in idealism consciousness is transcendent and unitive. One might well ask why, then, and how the sense of separateness arises? A traditional answer given by such idealists as Shankara is that the individual self is, like the rest of the immanent world, illusory. It is part of what is called in Sanskrit maya, the world illusion. In a similar vein, Plato called the world a shadow show. But no idealist philosopher ever explains why such an illusion exists. Some flatly deny that an explanation can ever be found: “The doctrine of maya recognizes the reality of multiplicity from the relative standpoint (of the subject-object world)—and simply states that the relationship of this relative reality with the Absolute (undifferentiated, unmanifest consciousness) cannot be described or known.” This is an unsatisfactory response. We want to know whether the individual “I” experience really is an illusion, an epiphenomenon. If it is, we want to know what creates the illusion. Maybe if we find out how the individual “I” arises, we will be able to understand ourselves better. Amit Goswami
  • The doctrine of no-self (or the illusory nature of the self) does not explain how the individual self-experience arises. It does not explain our very personal “I.” Thus one of our most compelling experiences is left out. Amit Goswami
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…or how universal consciousness can create multiple subjects of experience

  • An analog of the combination problem is a significant issue for cosmic idealism. This is the problem of how cosmic experiences can constitute the ordinary macro-experiences of subjects like us. David Chalmers
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Some argue there is an enormous chasm between personal consciousness and consciousness as the ultimate reality

  • Using the term consciousness to refer to fundamental reality is highly confusing because we usually use “consciousness” to refer to a state of being awake and aware, a perspective that is a center of perception. Tam Hunt
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Some argue that idealism does not make allowance for a world prior to life (i.e. the presence of conscious perceivers), thus insinuating that phenomena like the Big Bang never happened

  • What created the Big Bang? A: No “dead” universe ever existed outside of Mind. “Nothingness” is a meaningless concept. Robert Lanza
  • There is no separate physical universe outside of life and consciousness. Nothing is real that is not perceived. There was never a time when an external, dumb, physical universe existed, or that life sprang randomly from it at a later date. Space and time exist only as constructs of the mind, as tools of perception. Robert Lanza
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Others argue that the cosmic mind has always existed, thus making allowance for a universe separate to living beings

  • There doesn’t seem to be any place in your philosophy for those objects that are not in anybody’s mind. “Well, they are in God’s mind.”  Amit Goswami
  • The truly cosmological question can now be answered: How has the cosmos existed for the past fifteen billion years if for the bulk of this time there were no conscious observers to do any collapsing of wave functions? Very simple. The cosmos never appeared in concrete form. I propose that the universe exists as formless potentia in myriad possible branches in the transcendent domain and becomes manifest only when observed by conscious beings. Amit Goswami
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Some argue that if time is a creation of mind, as idealism says, then idealism is a theory that cannot take account of the evolution of life

  • How did complex human minds evolve if those same minds create time itself? Tam Hunt
  • It is clear that human minds have evolved from less complex minds over a vast period of time. Our DNA is 98% the same as chimp DNA and the percentage of similarity decreases smoothly the further we move away from primates to other mammals to other vertebrates, etc. Tam Hunt
  • Human minds evolved out of a world that didn’t previously include human minds, but which existed nonetheless in largely the same way as it exists now. Humans and our minds evolved steadily over the course of billions of years through natural processes that existed long before humans arrived on the scene, a vast and growing body of evidence demonstrates. Tam Hunt
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Others argue that idealism can take account of evolution…

  • If evolution is to work smoothly, consciousness in some shape must have been present at the very origin of things. Accordingly we find that the more clear-sighted evolutionary philosophers are beginning to posit it there.  William James
  • What are the cosmic experiences like? We need not take a stand here. To start with analogs of familiar human experiences, the basic cosmic experiences might be perceptual: perhaps the cosmos undergoes a series of quasi-visual experiences roughly mirroring the evolution of the universe. They might be cognitive: perhaps the cosmos has a stream of conscious thought that mirrors the universe’s physical dynamics. They might be imaginative: perhaps the cosmos is in effect imagining states with the structure of the universe. Or perhaps most likely, these states may be quite unlike any human experience, with a distinctive phenomenology of their own that realizes the universe-level structure and dynamics of physics. David Chalmers
  • It is not Consciousness itself that evolves but the forms through which it experiences the world. Anthony Lambert
  • The road of evolution concerns the progressive expression of consciousness, which uses appropriate forms, rather than the emergence of consciousness from these forms. Sarah B Dougherty
  • If you were an unlimited cosmic mind, wouldn’t it be profound to experience being limited for a while? And then, through the evolution of life, experience evolving from limited back to limitless; from sludge to water to land to air and into infinite space? Anthony Lambert
  • The materialistic, reductionist, physicalist, Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm presupposes that consciousness and all its attributes and manifestations like thought, will, and emotion are creations of the brain. These attributes are assumed to be a result of biological evolution, itself a result of natural selection of random mutations in DNA, the biological blueprint for life which is said to have developed by chance. It is quite possible that the opposite is true: that consciousness is not matter-energy, but rather, it is an increasingly intelligent, evolving, complexifying, organising, ordering, anti-entropic, syntropic, living entity that can neither be created nor destroyed, but that drives biological evolution. Nelson Abreu
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…and that the very nature of consciousness is to expand and evolve

  • Consciousness is the basis of all life and the field of all possibilities. Its nature is to expand and unfold its full potential. The impulse to evolve is thus inherent in the very nature of life. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
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Some argue that consciousness must exist in time and cannot be the creator of it

  • Consciousness requires consciousness of something. In the case of human consciousness, it’s all the perceptions, memories, worries, etc. that occupy our conscious minds. Consciousness of is by necessity a process in time. Accordingly, any conscious agents must, to be conscious, exist in time. Therefore, conscious agents cannot be the origin of time. Tam Hunt
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Some argue that the theory that no universe exists separate from mind is a step to far

  • We should reacquaint ourselves with Kant’s arguments from The Critique of Pure Reason, which center on the realization that while we can never know “the thing in itself” — the true nature of reality and its components — we can indeed reasonably infer that there is in fact a thing in itself that forms the basis for our perceptions and representations of it, even if we can’t know the full details about the particular thing in itself at issue. Tam Hunt
  • The person who doubts there is an external world does not need proof: he needs a cure. Johann Gottlieb Fichte
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The idealist approach does not explain the detail of the material world

  • There are serious problems in the idealist answers to the mind-body problem. In the first case no idealist approach of any persuasion has even begun to explain the detail of the material world at the present level science has reached. The characteristics of the protons, neutrons and electrons which compose our bodies, and more especially of the quarks and gluons that compose them, is infinitely remote from an idealist world view. John G. Taylor
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Idealism is distinct from the theories of materialism and panpsychism

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Idealism and materialism are fundamentally different theories of reality

  • As thinkers, mankind has ever divided into two sects, Materialists and Idealists; the first class founding on experience, the second on consciousness; the first class beginning to think from the data of the senses, the second class perceive that the senses are not final and say, The senses give us representations of things, but what are the things themselves, they cannot tell. The materialist insists on facts, on history, on the force of circumstances and the animal wants of man; the idealists on the power of Thought and Will, on inspiration, on miracle, on individual culture. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Historically, two schools of philosophy have debated what is really real. The idealist school believes that the theoretical image is more real and that the so-called empirical reality is but ideas of consciousness. In contrast, realists hold that there must be real objects out there—objects about which we form a consensus, objects that are independent of the subject. Amit Goswami
  • The question between the materialists and me (an idealist) is not, whether things have a real existence out of the mind of this or that person, but whether they have an absolute existence, distinct from being perceived by God, and exterior to all minds. George Berkeley
  • It is materialism that states that the world we experience is entirely within our heads, stars and all. And it is idealism that states that it is our heads that are inside the world we experience. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Materialism assumes that mind arose in particular organizations of matter at some point in time. Under idealism, however, it was matter that arose in mind as a particular modality of experience. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The dispute between the advocates of universal mind and of universal substance, respectively— the idealists and the materialists— is seen to be merely a question of: “Which is the highest or primary manifestation? Did the phenomenon called matter, antedate and evolve mind, or did the phenomenon called mind antedate and evolve matter?” S. E. Stevens
  • There are two schools of monists. One school, the material monists, feels that body is primary and that mind and consciousness are but epiphenomena of the body. The second school, the monistic idealists, posits the primacy of consciousness, with mind and body being epiphenomena of consciousness. Amit Goswami
  • Realism: Reality exists outside and independent of mind; Idealism: Reality consists exclusively of mind and its contents. Bernardo Kastrup
  • It is materialism that states that the world we experience is entirely within our heads, stars and all. And it is idealism that states that it is our heads that are inside the world we experience. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Materialism assumes that mind arose in particular organizations of matter at some point in time, Under idealism, however, it was matter that arose in mind as a particular modality of experience. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Since at least Plato, philosophers have argued about idealism and materialism. To them, it seemed important to pin down the fundamental nature of reality and understand whether it’s made up of matter or ideas. David Dubnitskiy
  • Recognizing the ability of our minds and brains to create an entire world for each of us, based on an external objective reality, is a very different statement than saying that there is no external objective reality. Tam Hunt
  • The universe is not conscious and consciousness does not pervade the universe.  Rupert Spira
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Idealism and panpsychism are also fundamentally different theories…

  • Idealism: Everything is in consciousness. VERSE Panpsychism: everything is conscious. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Idealism does not take consciousness to be just another fundamental property of matter, like mass or charge, as panpsychism entails, but an ontological primitive in and by itself, independent of matter. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Idealism entails that all reality is in mind. But that does not imply that rocks, tables, and chairs have their own form of consciousness. One should not confuse the claim that all of reality is in consciousness with the idea that everything is conscious. Idealism does not entail that rocks and chairs experience things subjectively the way you and I do. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Idealism entails that, like a dream, reality exists only insofar as it is in mind, but not that everything in it is conscious and has an inner life of its own. For instance, while acknowledging that other living entities are conscious – that is, while granting validity to statement 2 discussed earlier – I do not subscribe to the notion that rocks, windmills, home thermostats, or computers are conscious in and of themselves, having their own individual, subjective points-of-view. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Consciousness is not in everything. There are no things independent of consciousness. Panpsychism grants too much existence to the universe.  Rupert Spira
  • Idealism entails that, like a dream, reality exists only insofar as it is in mind, but not that everything in it is conscious and has an inner life of its own. For instance, while acknowledging that other living entities are conscious – that is, while granting validity to statement 2 discussed earlier – I do not subscribe to the notion that rocks, windmills, home stats, or computers are conscious in and of themselves, having their own individual, subjective points-of-view. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Panpsychism very subtly takes matter to be more primary than mind: according to it, mind is a property of matter. Matter is seen as the substrate of mind, even though mind is considered intrinsic to matter. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Panpsychism, in contrast to many forms of idealism, holds that for all minds there is a single, external, spatio-temporal world, which is not just ideas in a divine mind.  Charles Hartshorne
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… due to the fact idealism does not see inanimate objects as being conscious

  • [According to idealism] while living beings are also perceived (especially by other living beings) as images in consciousness, not all images in consciousness are of living beings. Some are merely of inanimate objects. The key difference between the two is that there is nothing it is like to be an inanimate object, while there is something it is like to be a living being. There is something it is like to be you, but I don’t think there is anything it is like to be the electronic device you are using to read this essay. The electronic device exists in consciousness, but you are conscious. You ground a subjective, localized point-of-view into reality at large. The electronic device doesn’t, although it is part of the same reality. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Living beings are distinct from inanimate objects. Inanimate objects are paintings on the canvas of mind (‘vibrations’ of the canvas would be more accurate for dispensing with paint, but bear with me), while living beings are particular segments of the canvas. One is a painting on the canvas, the other is a part of the canvas itself.  You, I, other people, and all living beings, are dissociated segments of the one mind behind all nature. Inanimate objects are paintings on that mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • My claim is that each living creature is a dissociated ‘alter’ of the one mind underlying nature. The process of dissociation is a process of mental localization (a ‘whirlpool’ in mind). The image of the process of dissociation is what we call life. Inanimate objects, therefore, are not dissociated ‘alters’: they are just images in mind; that is, excitations of mind. Bernardo Kastrup
  • When the unified mind behind all nature ‘breaks up’ or dissociates, each dissociated ‘alter’ will appear to the others and to itself as an image: a biological body. When we see other living creatures, we see these images of other split-off ‘alters’ of the one mind. After all, just like a whirlpool causes disruptions in the water flow surrounding it, the process of self-localization/dissociation also causes excitations (that is, images) on the broader canvas of mind. But an ‘alter’ is more than just the image it causes: it has inner life, in the sense that there is something it is like to be it. An inanimate object, however, is just the image (that is, just the excitation), without the inner life. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The universe is not conscious; consciousness is the universe. Rupert Spira
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Which theory of mind to give credence to – and why it matters

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The truth is that both idealism and materialism are impossible to prove or disprove

  • Idealism and materialism are both impossible to prove or disprove, of course — they’re unfalsifiable statements, which means there’s no neutral test that could weigh them against each other. The test, ultimately, has to be one of intuition, or “gut reaction.” Many people find that materialism makes more sense because, after all, everyone has the experience of interacting with an outside world and believing that’s really “out there.” On the other hand, it’s impossible for us to step “outside” our own minds, so how can we be so sure that there really is an “out there” at all? David Dubnitskiy
  • I don’t think it’d be correct to say that the maxim to favour theories that are testable automatically favours materialism due to the fact that any test will, by definition, examine a physical phenomenon. For part of what’s at issue in the debate between materialists and their rivals is whether the phenomena involved in the observations that we make in conducting a test are indeed purely physical in nature – where ‘purely physical’ here means ‘non-mental’. Ben White
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Some question whether it really matters whether idealism or materialism is true

  • At the end of the day, what is the difference between these two statements? Is there any practical difference, or a difference that might cause us to behave in a different way? Some philosophers (and many non-philosophers) argue that this is an important test for any philosophical debate. If there is no practical difference, then it’s probably a moot question, one that really doesn’t need to be resolved. In that case, there would be no need for further argument between materialists and idealists – they could just agree to disagree, and get to work on problems with more practical implications. David Dubnitskiy
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Others argue that the worldview we adopt has significant implications in terms of how we relate to ourselves and the world

  • A worldview is a set of ideas and beliefs on the basis of which one relates to oneself and to the world at large. It entails tentative answers to questions like: What am I? Where did I come from? What is the universe? What is the underlying nature of reality? What is the meaning of my role in the play of existence? And so on. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Our worldviews largely determine, given the circumstances of our lives, whether we are happy or depressed; whether our lives are rich in meaning or desperately vacuous; and whether there is reason for hope. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The way human beings relate to death is indeed largely a question of worldview, not only of genes. Bernardo Kastrup
  • If there is only matter, what other goal can there conceivably be in life other than the accumulation of material goods? Bernardo Kastrup
  • Human beings have perennially wondered about the meaning of life. Could it all be just an accident? And if not, where is it all going? What role must we play in the unfolding of existence? Bernardo Kastrup
  • I guess I’m trying to subjectify the universe, because look where objectifying it has gotten us. To subjectify is not necessarily to co-opt, colonize, exploit. Rather it may involve a great reach outward of the mind and imagination.  Ursula K. Le Guin
  • I believe the answer to the deep and mysterious question of the mind-brain connection is very important not just to know the truth but also for how we all live together in society and culture. Gerald R. Baron
  • An answer [to the mystery of consciousness] must be out there somewhere. And finding it matters: indeed, one could argue that nothing else could ever matter more – since anything at all that matters, in life, only does so as a consequence of its impact on conscious brains. Oliver Burkeman
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The truth is that materialism has a bleak word-view, implying that existence is a meaningless, random, cosmic accident…

  • By denying all the meaning of reality, materialism has made it impossible to find meaning in reality. Bernardo Kastrup
  • I feel we urgently need an alternative to the soul-destroying understanding of science that has become dominant in our culture over the last few decades … I call this philosophy ‘scientific objectivism’, because it regards only the objective world as real for scientific objectivists the world of my imagination, from which these words are pouring right now, is just a by-product of a piece of meat called the ‘brain’, because only the world that can be measured and mapped really exists. Tim Freke
  • Mechanistic science in itself gives no reason to suppose that there is any point in life, or purpose in humanity, or that progress is inevitable. Instead it asserts that the universe is ultimately purposeless, and so is human life. Rupert Sheldrake
  • Science’s great failure is that, having stripped life of self and soul, it has nothing to put in their place except the notion that humans should simply man up, live nobly, and go bravely into the night. Larry Dossey
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…despite what some materialists say

  • Those who see the cosmic perspective as a depressing outlook, they really need to reassess how they think about the world. Because when I look up in the universe, I know I’m small but I’m also big. I’m big because I’m connected to the universe, and the universe is connected to me. Neil deGrasse Tyson
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Even consciousness and our wondrous world of inner experience are dismissed by materialism as accidental and ultimately insignificant

  • Modern science falls back on just this argument—that the existence of an enormous number of pointless sterile universes, arising out of nothing, increases the odds that one human-sustaining universe popped up by chance. Anything else is, to them, inconceivable. In this sterile view, consciousness cannot be anything other than a quirky byproduct of the biochemistry possible in such a universe—an interesting phenomenon, but of no genuine significance. Bernard Haisch
  • Finally, some scientists concede that consciousness is real and may actually have great moral and political value, but that it fulfils no biological function whatsoever. Consciousness is the biologically useless by-product of certain brain processes. Jet engines roar loudly, but the noise doesn’t propel the aeroplane forward. Humans don’t need carbon dioxide, but each and every breath fills the air with more of the stuff. Similarly, consciousness may be a kind of mental pollution produced by the firing of complex neural networks. It doesn’t do anything. It is just there. If this is true, it implies that all the pain and pleasure experienced by billions of creatures for millions of years is just mental pollution. This is certainly a thought worth thinking, even if it isn’t true. But it is quite amazing to realise that as of 2016, this is the best theory of consciousness that contemporary science has to offer us. Yuval Noah Harari
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On the other hand, idealism implies that mind, being the ultimate reality, is far from being an accident

  • There is a faction of contemporary thinkers who go even further—who argue that, if we wish to truly understand the mind, materialism must be discarded altogether. The philosopher Thomas Nagel has proposed that the mind is not an inexplicable accident of evolution but a basic aspect of nature. Such theories are bolstered, in part, by quantum physics, which has shown that perception does in some cases appear to have real causal power. Particles have no properties independent of how you measure them—in other words, they require a conscious observer. The cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman believes that these experimental observations prove that consciousness is fundamental to reality. Meghan O’Gieblyn
  • Consciousness, which at best is considered to be a by-product of the world and at worst is overlooked altogether.  We end with the understanding that Consciousness is the ever-present Reality of all things and that everything appears within it and as an expression of it.  Rupert Spira
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Idealism can be a little challenging to get one’s head around at first

  • When filtered by the world’s religions, the monism of monistic idealism becomes ever more obscure, and dualistic ideas prevail.  Amit Goswami
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However, what seems most obvious at first is by no means always a litmus test for truth

  • Why should we think common sense is a good guide to what the universe is like? Einstein tells us weird things about the nature of time that counters common sense; quantum mechanics runs counter to common sense. Our intuitive reaction isn’t necessarily a good guide to the nature of reality. Philip Goff
  • Many of our best scientific theories are wildly counter to common sense, too—for example, Albert Einstein’s theory that time slows down when you travel very fast or Charles Darwin’s theory that our ancestors were apes. At the end of the day, you should judge a view not by its cultural associations but by its explanatory power. Philip Goff
  • The more I think about [any theory], the less plausible it becomes. One starts as a materialist, then turns into a dualist, then a panpsychist, then an idealist . David Chalmers
  • If we are to make an honest investigation into the nature of Reality, we have to discard any presumptions that are not derived from direct experience. Rupert Spira
  • All experience takes place here and now, so the nature of Reality, whatever that is, must be present in the intimacy and immediacy of this current experience. Rupert Spira
  • The only field available for enquiry is experience itself. Rupert Spira
  • In our enthusiasm to find a scientifically acceptable alternative to dualism, some of us have gone too far the other way, adopting a stark reductionism. Understanding the mind is not just a matter of understanding the brain. But then, what is it a matter of? Many alternatives to the mind=brain equation seem counterintuitive or spooky. Some suggest that the mind extends beyond the brain to encompass the whole body, or even parts of the environment, or that the mind is not subject to the laws of physics. Tania Lombrozo
  • Each available theory of conscious is riddled with its own problems. Thus, we ought to open ourselves up to more unorthodox views. Adam Karman
  • Philosopher Eric Schwitzgebel, in 2013, coined the term “crazyism” to describe the postulate that any theory of consciousness, even if correct, will inevitably strike us as completely insane. Meghan O’Gieblyn
  • It is usually considered a fact of indisputable common sense that the body and the world exist as physical objects in time and space, independent and separate from Consciousness. Rupert Spira
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Some argue all the theories of consciousness are equally implausible but one of them must be true

  • I do not claim that idealism is plausible. No position on the mind–body problem is plausible. Materialism is implausible. Dualism is implausible. Idealism is implausible. Neutral monism is implausible. None-of-the-above is implausible. But the probabilities of all of these views get a boost from the fact that one of them must be true. Idealism is not greatly less plausible than its main competitors. So even though idealism is implausible, there is a non-negligible probability that it is true.  David Chalmers
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All radical theories are labelled as absurd to start off with

  • First, you know, a new theory is attacked as absurd. Then it is admitted to be true, but obvious and insignificant. Finally it is seen to be so important that its adversaries claim that they themselves discovered it. William James
  • If scientists as a whole denounce an idea this should not necessarily be taken as proof that the said idea is absurd: rather, one should examine carefully the alleged grounds for such opinions and judge how well these stand up to detailed scrutiny. Brian Josephson (physicist)
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What is clear is we must not allow ourselves to be deluded by modern metaphors…

  • As a novelist, attentive to the nuances of language, Tim Parks notices that these theories rely a great deal on metaphor: the literature of consciousness often refers to the brain as a “computer,” chemical activity as “information,” and neuronal firing as “computation.” Parks finds it “puzzling that our brains are made up of things—computers—that we ourselves only recently invented.” He asks one neuroscientist how electrical impulses amount to information, and she insists that this is just figurative language, understood as such by everyone in the field. But Parks is unconvinced: these metaphors entail certain theoretical assumptions—that, for instance, consciousness is produced by, or is dependent upon, the brain, like software running on hardware. How are these metaphors coloring the parameters of the debate, and what other hypotheses do they prevent us from considering? Meghan O’Gieblyn
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…or by wishful thinking

  • Does the mind-as-computer metaphor appeal to us because it allows for the possibility of mind-uploading, fulfilling an ancient, religious desire for transcendence and eternal life? Is the turn toward panpsychism a kind of neo-Romanticism born of our yearning to reënchant the world that materialism has rendered mute? If nothing else, these new and sometimes baffling theories of consciousness suggest that science, so long as it is performed by human subjects, will bear the fingerprints of our needs, our longings, and our hopes—false or otherwise. Meghan O’Gieblyn
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We need to escape the haze of the zeitgeist and develop a truly unbiased, critical, and personal worldview

  • It is nearly impossible for any person inserted in a modern cultural context to escape the haze of the zeitgeist and develop a truly unbiased, critical, and personal worldview. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The entire world around us is constantly pushing views regarding what is going on and what to do about it. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Materialism subtly pervades our expectations, value systems, goals, and nearly every aspect of our lives. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The implications of materialism lie directly behind the Western love affair with things. Bernardo Kastrup
  • There is a powerful core worldview that subtly pervades the deepest, often ‘subconscious’ levels of our minds, ultimately determining how we truly feel about ourselves and reality. This core worldview is materialism. Bernardo Kastrup
  • I think we should feel very sober, and a little afraid, at the power of human credulity, the capacity of human minds to be gripped by theory, by faith. For this particular denial is the strangest thing that has ever happened in the whole history of human thought, not just the whole history of philosophy. Bernardo Kastrup
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We need to recognise the limitations of science in describing the nature of reality

  • Our ability to model the patterns and regularities of reality tells us little about the underlying nature of things. Scientific modeling is useful for informing us how one thing or phenomenon relates to another thing or phenomenon – this being precisely what mathematical equations do – but it cannot tell us what these things or phenomena fundamentally are in and by themselves. The reason is simple: science can only explain one thing in terms of another thing. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Science cannot explain the fundamental nature of what a subatomic particle is in itself, since all scientific explanations need a frame of reference to provide contrasts. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Capturing the observable patterns and regularities of the elements of reality, relative to each other, is an empirical and scientific question. But pondering about the fundamental nature of these elements is not; it is a philosophical question. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Scientists are over-represented in our society’s acknowledged intellectual elite, to the detriment of artists, poets, psychologists, philosophers, etc. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The ability to predict how things behave with respect to one another says little about what things fundamentally are. Bernardo Kastrup
  • [We fall prey to the] equivocated assumption that technological prowess is proof of some deep scientific understanding of the underlying nature of reality. Bernardo Kastrup
  • The scientific method limits itself to what is empirically and ordinarily observed from within the ‘game’ of reality. Scientific modeling requires little or no understanding of the underlying nature of reality in exactly the same way that a gamer needs little or no understanding of the computer’s underlying architecture in order to win the game. Bernardo Kastrup
  • Our culture has become so blindly enamored with technology that we allowed science, on the basis of a misunderstanding, to be over-represented in our intellectual elite. Bernardo Kastrup
  • It is time we understood that physics, while valuable and extremely important, just models the elements of the ‘game’: where to shoot, which wall to avoid, etc. The true underlying nature of reality – the inner workings of the computer running the game – is an issue of philosophy. Bernardo Kastrup
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Some point out that idealism does not in fact contradict current scientific models but simply uses them to create a new world view

  • Idealism does not contradict current scientific models. It only contradicts what many scientists, and the intellectual elite in general, make of these models as far as building their worldviews. Bernardo Kastrup
  • A new worldview does not necessarily need to entail new physics. It only needs to provide a framework for a new interpretation of existing physics. Bernardo Kastrup
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Some argue we should choose a theory that is the most fruitful in suggesting further lines of inquiry, or fits best with theories in other domains

  • Since we can’t appeal to any empirical evidence to determine which theory we ought to adopt, the choice between them has to be made on the basis of more general considerations – for example, which is the simplest, the most fruitful in suggesting further lines of inquiry, or fits best with theories in other domains. Ben White
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At the end of the day, maybe we should choose a theory that is most likely to lead to a life of meaning, happiness and love

  • Our worldviews largely determine, given the circumstances of our lives, whether we are happy or depressed; whether our lives are rich in meaning or desperately vacuous; and whether there is reason for hope. Bernardo Kastrup
  • What would truly convince us that we are on the right tract? Obviously the realisation of the one thing we most value in life would be such a confirmation….and what is that? Happiness, peace and love! That is how the universe responds to being treated as it truly is and that is the confirmation that our ideas, feelings, perceptions, activities and relationships are in line with reality. Rupert Spira
  • The fact that the world we experience is made of consciousness is indisputable. However, this does not prove that there isn’t also a physical reality beyond our perception. The physical world of matter beyond consciousness can never be proved, but it cannot currently be disproved either.  However, it is very true to say we, as a culture, have lived according to the “matter is primary” paradigm now for hundreds of years and where has it got us?  A world where people believe they share the limits of their body and are terrified of death. A world where people believe they are separate and disconnected from everyone and everything else.  A world where both the universe and human life feels purposeless and meaningless.  We believe in a materialist paradigm – a belief in a world made of dead, inert matter that has somehow, by random chance, sprouted consciousness – despite the fact that is indeed only that; a belief based on faith.  The world of matter is a belief while the world made of consciousness is a fact.  With this in mind, there is now an invitation to try living according to a “consciousness is primary” paradigm of the world. Experiment with it.  If you adopt this view, how would it change the way you live and interact with the world?  And how would the world respond to you if you live as if it were true? If your direct experience of the world, in so doing, becomes one of greater happiness, peace and love, then surely that is all the proof you need.   Anthony Lambert
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Keep in mind that consciousness as a primary paradigm does not negate the reality of the physical world for our experience of it (as an appearance in mind) is indisputably real

  • If it is idealism that wins the philosophical debate and if realism is a false philosophy, how can we do science? Keith Ward
  • Seeing consciousness as the true ground of reality does not negate the fact that our experience of a physical world is very real. By studying the nature of the “stuff” we call matter, we have been able to achieve miraculous feats in medicine and technology. Manipulating “matter” for our benefit is an integral and wonderful part of human consciousness.  The consciousness model also does not negate the wonders of the physical universe.  The vast universe of suns, planets and moons out there exists as an infinite realm of pure potentiality that will spring into tangible existence as we develop ever more powerful technologies to explore it further and further afield.  Thus, the consciousness model embraces the benefits that the materialism paradigm has brought. But it also greatly expands possibility by recognising the power of inner consciousness to massively effect the outer world. And it fills the huge vacuum of meaning and purpose that materialism has created.  Anthony Lambert
  • Just because reality might ‘only’ be consciousness with no physical reality, doesn’t mean reality is any less genuine. We have a tendency to think it would be less real only because we have always assumed it is physical, and it’s very hard to change ancient habits. If we are conscious and this is ‘just’ a conscious reality, then everything we experience is most certainly entirely real and genuine, just as it is: it really does exist. Reality does exist, but its physicality is an illusion. Scott Owen
  • Science is the study and manipulation of the virtual movie world (the appearances in consciousness), not reality (consciousness). Anthony Lambert
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On a lighter note

  • If you think about consciousness long enough, you either become a panpsychist or you go into administration. John Perry
  • The person who doubts there is an external world does not need proof: he needs a cure. Johann Gottlieb Fichte
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