After watching a documentary on consciousness, death and afterlife with Rachel we got to talking. She mentioned a concept suggested by a doctor of medicine, Robert Lanza, in which he states that reality and the universe are constructs of biology and consciousness rather than the other way around. He calls it a Biocentric Universe. Now, though it's an interesting concept and would merit the entire plot of The Matrix as plausible, it upset me. Not because of the implications of it, but simply because it doesn't make any sense based on all other evidence pointing to... the opposite.
The evolution of thought and perception is similar to the evolution of biology and the evolution of the universe. All, in their current states, are a result of processes over time. Each of our lives revolves around producing our individual consciousness and perception of reality, but there are many processes that transcend the individual. Immortality in a sense can exist. Our consiousness is immortal through the sharing of knowledge through time. In the way of writing and transferring our thoughts do we live forever, though we as individuals may never remember it.
The truest and best way to achieve ultimate knowledge and oneness with the cosmos is to understand what is currently known in our time, push the boundaries of that knowledge, and to transfer that knowledge clearly to future generations. We only know as much as we are willing to learn and as much is available for us to learn. Our discoveries build off of old ones (evolution of knowledge), and without a transference of those discoveries may be lost until they are discovered again, like that which was lost during the fall of ancient Alexandria due to the beligerence of the uninformed. Understanding the universe is the ultimate form of enlightenment, and is the greatest source of spiritual enrichment. Why keep the knowledge hidden?
"Let them see only a little of the face of the earth... Are they not by nature simple creatures of our making? Must they also be gods?" (Popol Vuh)
^^^ The Great Library of Alexandria ^^^
We do not aim to be gods or masters. It is not for lust of power. We lust for truth.
To think that a biocentric source of consciousness results in the construct of reality is greatly egocentric... that it is not simply the construct of reality itself that allows our consciousness to exist, but that our consciousness allows the universe that we all share to exist. Gravity will pull on you as much as it will pull on me, as it pulls on a planet around its parent star. Are we present for that planet's revolution? Do we have to be? (If a tree falls in a forest...) Do you stop existing when I die? The perspective is flawed in part because it robs the individuality of those who live in the reality your consciousness generated.
Now, our perception of reality between us all is different simply due to our accumulation of past experience and external stimuli generating that experience. Our consciousness cannot live outside of the body, because it is the development of our body, the evolution of our species, the structure of the cosmos, that allows us to have consciousness. Thus an individual consiousness, like our body, is stuck in time. We are temporal beings, free to move in three spatial dimensions, but glued in forward motion through time. We are but matter and complex chemistry grown to consciousness. Our knowledge and interpretations of our experience is generated, retained and referenced by the electric current between the synapses in our brain, composed of protein, evolved over billions of years.
I don't remember anything from 65,000,000 years ago... Because I didn't exist then. If there are any arguments for consciousness outside of the body, I would ask if it's a dream? I dream. In my dreams I am not in my body. My brain can project my consciousness anywhere anytime. Though I know my consciousness was not present for the extinction of the dinosaurs, I can imagine the meteor that fell to commence their doom. In my mind I can live at the edge of a black hole and never fall in. In my mind I can be a cat, or imagine an extraterrestrial city, I can project myself into the sky and fly around the globe in less than a second. I can even imagine what it would be like for the consiousness to exist outside of the body... that's what imagining is. In my mind I can fabricate any reality I desire... But it doesn't change the one that exists. Still, I will never know what happens in reality when by body ceases to function. When the matter that once made my brain becomes the building blocks of some other artifact of the earth, maybe a tree, or a rock, and perhaps another person. Will that make me that person? I doubt it.
Main image by Alex Grey