Our New Reality

OUR NEW REALITYBy James Centi 

On May 13, 2008, the New York Times published an excellent article by David Brooks entitled “The Neural Buddhists”.  The article reveals how science is drifting away from hard-core materialism and gaining more respect for elevated spiritual states. This represents a scientific paradigm shift.

 Since Brooks has opened the door, we may as well walk in and explore this emerging scientific paradigm shift. Be warned, in his groundbreaking work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn compares the radical shift in perception provided by a scientific paradigm shift to a sudden transportation to another planet.  Some say that Einstein planted the seeds for this new scientific paradigm shift (SPS) in the early 1920’s when he published his work related to space and time.  In order to have a sense of the emerging SPS, an understanding of nonlocality is helpful. In modern physics, locality represents in space and time and nonlocality represents outside space and time. The fundamental nature of the universe expresses a process. Subatomic particles that rapidly appear in space and time and disappear into a nonlocalized state represent this process. Outside space and time, subatomic particles do not exist; what exists is a unified field of energy that expresses only unity or oneness. In his book The Tao of Physics, Physicist Fritjof Capra describes this oneness as follows:    …….the classical contrast between the solid particles and the space surrounding them is completely overcome.  The quantum field is seen as the fundamental physical entity; a continuous medium which is present everywhere in space. Particles are merely local condensations of the field; concentrations which come and go, thereby losing their individual character and dissolving into the underlying field.     We should be cautious not to picture the universe as being “out there” somewhere.  The subatomic particles that provide form to our physical bodies and brains are an expression of the universe. As such, they are engaged in the rapid dance in and out of space and time. So far, we have not addressed the new SPS. Scientists of both the old paradigm and the new SPS support the nonlocal aspect of the universe.   Now here is the kicker. The new reality acknowledges that consciousness is necessary for brain function, but it maintains that there is a nonlocal aspect to consciousness.  In fact, there is the contention that the very source of consciousness is nonlocal. Consider the following quote taken from the book The Self Aware Universe by physicist Amit Goswami. Once we accept quantum nonlocality as an established physical aspect of the world in which we live, it becomes easier within science to conceive of a transcendent domain outside the manifest physical domain of space-time. According to the physicist Henry Stapp, the message of quantum nonlocality is that ” the fundamental process of Nature lies outside space-time but generates events that can be located in space-time.” Within the context of quantum physics, Goswami reveals the aura of spirituality that permeates the emerging SPS. His book presents a compelling case against the materialistic philosophy that has dominated traditional science for over three centuries.  In his book “Entangled Minds”, Dean Radin coined the term New Reality to designate the emerging SRS. He also supports the nonlocality of consciousness utilizing both quantum physics and evidence gathered from scientific experiments.  The three books mentioned in this article represent only a fraction of the books and authors that support the New Reality. To mention just a few authors: Alan Wallace, Lynne McTaggart, Nick Herbert and Larry Dossey.   The term New Reality was coined subsequent to the publication of books by these authors and that term may not be used in their books. It is difficult to accept the nonlocality of consciousness because materialistic science has been successful in conditioning us to believe that the brain creates consciousness.  There is no proof of this; it is assumption and nothing more. Our familiar experiences such as intuition, a hunch, gut feeling or being aware that someone outside your field of vision is staring at you – can be considered first hand evidence that consciousness is not imprisoned within the brain. The science of the new reality does not treat the religious or mystical experience as a worthless illusion, as does the current materialistic paradigm. The religious or mystical experience is viewed as an experience of nonlocalized awareness. The following quote is a description of such an experience. Still there are moments when one feels free from ones own identification with human limitations and inadequacies. During such moments, one imagines that one stands on some spot of a small planet, gazing in amazement at the cold yet profoundly moving beauty of the eternal, the unfathomable: life and death flow into one, and there is neither evolution nor destiny; only being”.  (Albert Einstein)                                                                                                                                        If you have an aversion to the mystical, consider the following writing by Einstein: The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the power of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the rank of devoutly religious men.  Within the broadest sense, the worldview provided by the mystical or religious experience shares an intimate affinity with our new reality.   I can think of no better ending to this article than to suggest a slow reflective reading of a few quotes that are responsive to the religious or mystical experience or nonlocalized awareness.   “If the doors of perception were cleansed of imperfection everything would appear to man as it is……..infinite.” (William Blake 1757-1827) “You ask ‘How can I know the infinite? I answer, not by reason.  It is the office of reason to distinguish and define.  The infinite, therefore, cannot be ranked among its objects.  You can only apprehend the infinite by a faculty superior to reason, by entering into a state in which you are your finite self no longer, in which the Divine Essence is communicated to you. This is Ecstasy.  It is the liberation of your mind from its finite consciousness.”(Plotinus 205 -270 AD)  “Nothing is more hidden from us than the illusion which lives with us day by day, and our greatest illusion is to believe that we are what we think ourselves to be.” (Amiel 1821-1881) “The distinction between past, present and future is only an illusion…even if a stubborn one.”  (Einstein 1879-1955 ) The following quote is both succinct and profoundly meaningful.  You will find it in Luke 17: 21 of the King James Version of the Bible. It states the words of Jesus specifically, “The Kingdom of God is within you”. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~