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Consciousness & the New Physics
- "The Evolution of Perception" by Chris Ott. Long ago, before he had the complicated metaphysical theories that he has today, man had his experience to explain. Over time, he invented theoretical entities to explain his experience. He invented gods, the logos, forms, matter, monads, noumenon, minds, spirit, the ether, spacetime, superstrings, dimensions, etc. Gradually these invented things became the things which required explaining. Great arguments were generated to explain them, to prove the existence of the entities he had invented to explain experience. Gradually man began to question experience itself, since it no longer seemed compatible with his theories. Experience, that event which had once been beyond dispute and the starting point of man's inquiry, was now the theoretical entity, and his invented entities, such as matter and energy, for which he had no direct evidence, were reality. The world was finally totally upside down.
- "From Science to God" by Peter Russell. The conventional scientific paradigm is that the physical world is the real world, and when we truly, fully understand this reality, we can explain everything in the cosmos, including self-aware consciousness. Having turned this paradigm inside out, with consciousness primordial, Russell offers us many treasures. Light—immaterial, ultimately unknowable—becomes a metaphor, a bridge between consciousness and the material world, both in a scientific sense and as a recurrent theme in the world's spiritual literature. The essential self becomes eternal, beyond space and time. The further development of our species moves "not further out into space, but inward into the hidden depths of consciousness—and ultimately to the divine. When science sees consciousness to be a fundamental quality of reality, and religion takes God to be the light of consciousness shining within us all, the two worlds start to converge."
- "The Field" by Lynne McTaggart. Leading edge scientists and healers
are brought together in this ground-breaking compendium of examples
of the Field. This primal field, the fabric of the universe, connects
everyone to each other and to all life. Lynne also shows many illustrations
of how life energy travels through the Field in spiritual healing,
acupuncture and energy medicine.
- "The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World" by Amit Goswami and others. The villain here is materialism--the teaching that everything is comprised of atoms--and its tag-along doctrines of locality (that interactions between objects occur in local space-time), strong objectivity (that objects exist independently of consciousness), and epiphenomenalism (that mind is an accidental by-product of brain function). According to Goswami, quantum physics has laid to rest this view of reality.
- "The Reflexive Universe: Evolution of Consciousness" by Arthur M. Young. Based on the assumption that physical energy is the basic stuff of the universe, modern science is at a loss to explain the presence of life or consciousness in a cosmos governed by entropy, the second law of thermodynamics. At the deepest level, therefore, modern science is stumped by a fundamental question: "How can consciousness be causal?" How, in other words, can mind act on matter? Somehow, it seems, consciousness collapses the quantum wave function, and brings the actual world into being. How is science to deal with this? According to many scholars, science is about to undergo a radical transformation, a revolution to rival any that has previously occurred.
- "Recovering the Soul: A Scientific and Spiritual Approach" by Larry Dossey. A physician and leading reformer of medicine delves into the compelling medical, scientific, and spiritual evidence for a universal consciousness and presents convincing evidence for a nonlocalized, holistic view of the mind and reality that accounts for even transcendental experiences.
- "The Holographic Universe" by Michael Talbot. A delight for anyone interested in the paranormal abilities of the mind, the latest frontiers of physics, and the unsolved riddles of brain and body, The Holographic Universe explores the ways in which our concepts of time, personality, even consciousness, are altered by defining them as holographic. Reading this, you will not look at the world in quite the same way again.
- "Code Name: God" by Mani Bhaumik. This spiritual odyssey is intense in its drama and deeply revealing in its insight. Mani has a gift for explaining philosophy, cosmology and quantum physics in terms that anyone can understand. He weaves science and spirituality together to show their common thread - that a unified field of consciousness underlies all of Creation.
- "Stalking the Wild Pendulum - On the Mechanics of Consciousness" by Itzhak Benthov. This book offers a revolutionary perspective on human consciousness and its limitless possibilities. Widely known and loved for his clarity, humor, and imagination, Bentov throws new light on the familiar world of phenomena, giving us a startling new view of ourselves in an expanded, conscious, holistic universe.
- "Power vs Force" by David R. Hawkins. This book is all about its subtitle, “The Hidden Determinants
of Human Behavior.” Hawkins delves deep into the human psyche
to unravel the mysteries of the forces which compel people to be who
they are. Reminiscent of Carl Jung’s archetypes in the collective
unconscious, Hawkins’ attractor fields resonate to different
frequencies of consciousness. He even went on to calibrate those frequencies
on a scale of one to a thousand. Learn about the scale of human consciousness
on planet Earth and what it means. Learn about how you can be of more
service to your planet. Find out how an individual can leapfrog lifetimes-worth
of experience in just one moment of true realization.
- "Infinite Potential : The Life and Times of David Bohm" by F. David Peat. Recounts the life of the physicist/philosopher David Bohm, explaining his landmark scientific discoveries and his work that helped to de-mystify metaphysics.
- "The Rebirth of Nature -The Greening of Science & God" by Rupert Sheldrake. A revolutionary new understanding of the 'information fields' that provide the glue for Mother Nature's evolution and planetary consciousness, including that of Mankind.
- "Future Memory" by P.M.H. Atwater. This is a unified field theory of metaphysics; her model accounts for everything in the hermetic, theosophic, and gnostic sources. This book has the unmistakable ring of truth. It's uplifting and transformational. Atwater tells us of her extraordinary experiences, and we are carried away to new levels of understanding of the Universe. They are presented in such a way that we can easily accept the truth which they suggest and know that it's certainly possible for those of us who have never had a NDE to perceive this same reality as well.
- "Time, Space, and Knowledge: A New Vision of Reality" by Tarthang Tulku. The book delves profoundly into the three aspects of reality: time, space, and knowledge, and opens them up to a radical degree. In his analysis of time, which discusses how the sequential nature of moments (past - present - future) is only a phenomenon of our vastly limited perspective, which is itself given by 'time.' How our confusion, our misperceptions, and ultimately our suffering in life are given by 'time'. The book is not easy to read, but it is extremely clearly written. It's difficult because the concepts are so radical, and challenge pretty much everything you 'know'. It comes with lots of experiential exercises that are designed to help you truly 'see' the vision that is being discussed.
- "Infinite Mind : Science of Human Vibrations of Consciousness" by Valerie Hunt. Research over the past 30 years into the human energy fields shows that the mind and emotions are not restricted to the brain and nervous system, but rather originate in the aura, out of which the body is originally formed. This is a breakthrough in uniting science and religion by showing that they share the common ground of spirit, mind and energy fields; non-material phenomena that can now be recorded and measured.
- "A Brief Tour of Higher Consciousness" by Itzhak Bentov. Bentov's second book after "Stalking the Wild Pendulum", that was completed/published by his wife after his untimely death. Itzhak bentov was a genius in the area of physics and metaphysics, and reveals to mankind (those with the intelligence, and open/enlightened minds) the proverbial secrets of the universe.
- "The Universe Is a Green Dragon" by Brian Swimme. This book serves to put into poetic terms the dance of physics, biology, cognitive thought, creation, evolution, spirituality, psychology, love, life, death, meaning, and essentially everything else this universe holds. It was interesting to see this work done in the matter of the dialogues - it worked for the Greeks for teaching difficult topics. The reader is really forced to think in a completely different manner in order to understand Swimme's thoughts. You look at everything differently after reading this; you gain a new love of life and in the process become more human.
- "Gaia - A New Look at Life on Earth" by James Lovelock. Lovelock has created a powerful and interesting argument in this book that will keep scientists busy for centuries. He notices that there is an ability for the Earth to maintain relatively constant conditions in temperature, atmosphere, salinity and pH of the oceans, and reductions in pollutants that defies the simple observations of what "should" happen. From this, he concludes that there is a complex of physical, chemical and biological interrelationships that work like a living organism, which he defines as the Gaia Hypothesis.
The New Physics
- "Wholeness and the Implicate Order" by David Bohm. A renowned physicist and collaborator of Einstein, Bohm makes the point that scientists are too hung up on a fragmented world view in which thought and matter are separate and distinct and the thinker is different from what he thinks about. He postulates that the universe is an unbroken whole in which any element contains within itself the totality of the universe. He also explicitly discusses consciousness which is a subject most scientists shy away from.
- "The Tao of Physics" by Fritjof Capra. With the cult success of this book imitators swarmed in and there is now a "Tao" of everything from leadership to cooking. The author, a scientist in his own right, gives an overview of quantum physics and muses philosophically on its implications. It is well written and you do not have to possess much of a scientific background to understand it. He is particularly good at drawing and explaining parallels between Eastern mysticism and modern physics. You may also wish to explore his co-authored book, "Belonging to the Universe".
- "Paradigms Lost: Images of Man in the Mirror of Science" by John L. Casti. Casti, a mathematician by training, discusses deep questions such as "What is the true nature of mankind?" He considers quantum reality, extraterrestrial intelligence and the origin of life. In each case he presents opposing viewpoints and the evidence for each and then puts on his judicial hat and plops on one side or the other. A particularly neat feature of this book is that Casti presents the social context in which many famous scientists worked and shows how their political and other beliefs contributed to their findings.
- "Disturbing the Universe" by Freeman Dyson. A physicist at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton, Dyson worked with many of the most famous names in the field including Oppenheimer and Feynman. The title of the book comes from a T. S. Eliot poem and serves to illustrate the breadth of the author's interests. He muses on many topics from inter-galactic colonization to nuclear and biological weapons and has a keen feel for political reality. His description of war years at Bomber Command in England is particularly worthwhile.
- "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene. A marvelous exposition of the unexplained mysteries of physics with an especially lucid discussion of relativity. If Einstein's famous discovery still leaves you bemused, this book will give you understanding. The author is a strong proponent of String Theory and he explains how this may well be the theoretical underpinning for the much sought after 'theory of everything'.
- "Cosmic Coincidences: Dark Matter, Man and Anthropic Cosmology" by John Gribbin and Martin Rees. A science writer and a physicist take you on an intriguing tour of some of the most revolutionary ideas to emerge from science: the particle zoo; black holes; cosmic strings; gravitational lenses; Copenhagen and Many Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics; and much more. Clear writing.
- "Physics and Beyond" by Werner Heisenberg. The debate is raging again about whether Heisenberg, head of the Nazi equivalent of the Manhattan Project, was a courageous scientist who sabotaged the effort or an incompetent manager who fell on his face. There is no doubt that he was one of the greatest physicists of all time and his uncertainty principle is a cornerstone of our understanding of the universe. He muses on politics, history, religion and other topics and reports on his conversations with other scientific greats like Einstein, Bohr and Schrodinger.
- "Margins of Reality" by Robert G. Jahn and Brenda J. Dunne. A former Dean of the School of Engineering at Princeton University and a NASA consultant Jahn had a towering reputation which did not prevent vociferous attacks when he chose to investigate, using rigorous scientific methodology, subjects which were taboo then and are still largely so. The subtitle of the book is The Role of Consciousness in the Physical World and he documents the results of his experiments showing that consciousness and matter interact in measurable ways.
- "Cosmic Joy and Local Pain: Musing of a Mystic Scientist" by H. Morowitz. A Yale professor of biophysics muses on his field during a sabbatical and while on his sailboat in Hawaii. Many simple, and some quite complex, topics in science - the importance of water in organic life, energy flow and entropy - are made clear in simple language.
- "Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief" by Andrew Newberg, Eugene D'Aquill and Vince Rause. Mystics in many traditions speak of powerful experiences of unity, of merging with the universe, of becoming one with the cosmos. Most persons dismiss such descriptions as metaphorical. But what if they are not? Modern science has provided us with ever more powerful tools to map the brain's neuronic activity. The authors report on studies that show that there is, indeed, such a state of merging and it is associated with a unique brain map. Neurotheology is a new discipline and it poses interesting questions such as "Did God create the Brain or did the Brain create God?"
- "The Cosmic Code: Quantum Physics as the Language of Nature" by Heinz R. Pagels. Pagels, former president of the New York Academy of Sciences, does a pretty good job of explaining how quantum physics evolved from Newtonian physics. He clearly explains the experimental anomalies of the latter, which forced the "creation" of the former. He also does an excellent job of describing the individual contributions of the great physicists who flourished in the 1920s and how the theoretical work of each tied in with that of others and cumulatively evolved a fundamental shift in physics.
- "What is Life?" by E. Schrodinger. A Nobel Prize winning physicist ponders on the implications of his discoveries. Fate and free will; science and religion; the physical basis of consciousness; subject-object differentiation; and more.
- "The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity And the Power of Mental Force" by Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Sharon Begley. The mind can shape the brain. What you intensely, deeply visualize can leave a permanent imprint on your brain. Many traditions say this, but until now you had to take it on faith. Now there is proof. Brain maps reveal that thinking does indeed create changes in brain waves. Also, the brain can rewire itself. The implications are profound and provide scientific rationale for the mental exercises propounded by religious teachers, sports coaches and many, many others.
- "Beyond the Quantum: God, Reality, Consciousness in the New Scientific Revolution" by Michael Talbot. Well written book that explains recent scientific experiments and why they are important. True, he selects only experiments that further his point of view, but they are fascinating anyway. His thesis is that science will one day explain, or at least accept, mysticism and the paranormal and explores why so many scientists oppose them viscerally.
- "Quantum Questions: Mystical Writings of the Worlds Great Physicists" - Ken Wilber (editor). Collection of writings from a pantheon of Nobel Prize winners: Heisenberg, Schrodinger, Einstein, de Broglie, Pauli, Planck and others. The book makes the case that, contrary to New Age thinking, contemporary physics does not "prove" mysticism. Nevertheless, every one of these giants was a mystic. It attempts to explore why. Fascinating reading as the towering figures of modern science reveal their personal beliefs and world views.
Hidden Messages in Water" by Masaru Emoto. Molecules of water are affected by human thoughts and feelings. Thanks
to Masaru Emoto’s pioneering work, we can now see the evidence
of this in his vivid, color photographs of frozen water crystals. The
key to this work is that water carries life energy and consciousness
conditions life energy. Therefore, water is the ideal place to view
the physical effects of conscious intent upon the life energy contained within matter.
- "Dancing Wu Li Masters : An Overview of the New Physics" by Gary Zukav. Wu Li is supposedly the Chinese word for physics. This is in the same tradition as Capra's Tao of Physics and is very readable. The discussions of philosophical quandaries like whether Schrodinger's cat is alive and the implications of the Einstein-Podolsky- Rosen experiment are well done. The last chapter, which deals with the limits of science, is fascinating.