The Quantum Physics of Big Magic

The Quantum Physics of Big Magic

In Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert she describes how she had an idea for a very specific type of novel with a particular type of plot and characters. Although she got a contract to write the book, she never got round to it as life intervened and she had the immigration struggle of her husband to deal with.

Elizabeth Gilbert author of Big Magic

Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Big Magic
By Steve Jurvetson from Menlo Park, USA (Amusing Muses) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

When she got back to the book, the impetus had left and she didn’t write it. So it was with amazement that she hooked up with another writer friend whom she had just met and not shared her plot with and essentially this friend was writing the same book only the details such as location  had changed.

They had not conferred and there was nothing that the publisher could have said. Gilbert concluded that the book itself had needed to be birthed and as she herself had not done it, the idea had simply gone to someone else. Gilbert elaborates throughout the book on how ideas exist somewhere waiting to be birthed in partnership with us.

She admits that she doesn’t understand how it works. In The Genius Groove I outline how, with the scientific knowledge that we currently have we could explain the creative processes that Gilbert describes.

This models flips the usual explanation of consciousness around. Instead of consciousness and information being produced by the brain, the whole universe is created from consciousness as posited by some quantum physicists.

Even mainstream physicists discuss how all we can really know about the universe is information. When we get down to the tiny subatomic level, we find that reality is more ethereal than we first thought. When it comes to an electron for example, we cannot say why it always has a charge. We don’t know what is powering it. We can just say that the information of an electron is that it has an electric charge.

The Quantum Physics of Big Magic

Science tells us that the universe is filled with information. Is this the source of our creative Big Magic? (Videoblocks)

So even mainstream scientists would agree that a fundamental aspect of the universe is information. In the new model of creativity the brain is not the generator of consciousness or information as the brain itself is made up of atoms. The brain is an organ that has a particular purpose to act as a conduit for information.

Concepts from Quantum Physics say that we are living in a dynamic field of light the Quantum Vacuum. From what we have discussed before – we know this field contains information.

We can now put the science behind Gilbert’s experiences. Projects, Poems and books can exist in the field, ready to come through the brain of a ready recipient.

So the idea for the novel existed as a wispy idea in the information field ready for someone to receive and downloaded the full novel. Maybe we should change the name from ‘Big Magic’ to ‘Big Informational Field Brain Processing’!

But I don’t think it will catch on. Essentially Gilbert has written a detailed description for her experience of creativity without proving a mechanism. Why should she? Science especially paradigm revolutionary science is probably not her thing.

Luckily we have a The Genius Groove for a fuller explanation complete with scientific references.

Check out The Genius Groove here for more.

What are your thoughts? Do you think that in Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert is describing the Quantum Field? You can comment below.

Image: Pixabay

Physics and consciousness – a dialogue at last.

Physics and consciousness – a dialogue at last.

Physicists generally avoid discussing consciousness. It seems to be too ethereal a subject for them really to get hold of. It forces them to enter a world outside of calculations and experiments and examine the world of human behaviour which is far less predictable and controllable.

But the past twenty years has seen a shift in science as a whole where the once forbidden topic of consciousness is coming to the forefront. Possibly because it is the last frontier and people are running out of other topics to study for their PhDs.

Yet it was still a surprise when Max Tegmark, a theoretical physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge tackled the problem in 2014 and published a paper suggesting that Consciousness could be a state of matter. You can read the abstract here. http://arxiv.org/abs/1401.1219

You can see his TED talk below.


He is basically arguing that consciousness is not something external that is animating matter, but a consequence of the way in which matter is arranged mathematically.Tegmark himself states that there are many gaps in his idea.

One that really springs to mind for me is what happens when people are clinically dead and then are resuscitated? Or how much of a rearrangement is necessary from moment to moment for a being to be alive at one point and then dead the next?

Questions and gaps aside it is good to see that such a prominent physicist actually tackling the question at all as he open the gates for others to consider the topic too.

Of course here at Paradigm Revolution we have been discussing consciousness and matter for many years. You can get started by exploring this website or checking out Simply Divine which is an easy guide to the Science of Spirituality.

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6 Signs that the brain isn’t the originator of consciousness

6 Signs that the brain isn’t the originator of consciousness

Image: Shutterstock

It seems so obvious that the brain is the originator of consciousness. No brain, no consciousness – it seems simple. This assumption has become so fundamental that we barely notice that it is an assumption or that it has never been proved.

Now that consciousness is being taken seriously by scientists let’s look at a number of interesting findings that suggest that there is something deeper happening.

1. There is no particular place that seems to be responsible for the function of consciousness.

I once attended a seminar for doctors given by a neuroscientist who specialised in studying consciousness. The top question of the evening was which part of the brain is responsible for consciousness.

Image – Graphic Stock

The scientist had to disappoint people as there is not particular place in the brain that gives rise to consciousness. But the question itself just shows how reductionist we are. We are always looking for the ‘part’ that has a particular function because we have bought into the beliefs that we are biological machines with constituent parts.

Studies have been done by people who wanted to find the exact location of consciousness in the brain so destroyed various parts of the brains of rats and found that function is still retained even though most of the brain is essentially mush. Even these people had to conclude that there was no particular location in which consciousness resides although they set out to prove the exact opposite.

2. People with hardly any brain matter can have normal intelligence.

Occasionally people can have brain disorder which causes the fluid of their brain to squash the brain matter into a small space so that they end up with hardly any brain mass.

Amazingly, if treated, some people can live normal lives. Such as the case of Sharon Parker who is a British qualified nurse and mother. Although her condition of hydrocephalus or ‘water on the brain’ was detected and treated in childhood, the condition had already caused the brain to adapt so she ended up leading a normal life, even qualifying as a nurse with very little brain mass.

Sharon Parker The Woman with the Mysterious Brain

There is even a case of a person studying higher mathematics with very little brain mass. It seems that if the conditions were from birth and developed slowly then the brain may adapt. It also means we have to think again when we equate brain mass with intelligence and consciousness.

3. The brain alters according to usage.

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When I was in medical school we were taught that after childhood the brain stopped growing and the amount of neurones present in adulthood remained static.

That picture has now changed and we can see that certain activities can change the structure of the brain and increase the mass in certain areas. A famous example is in taxi drivers in London who have to go through rigorous training to learn the complex map of London by heart. Studies have shown that this activity seems to increase the mass of the brain.

Now for some this will point to the brain being the origin of consciousness and memory. But think about what is causing the change: experience. You cannot hold experience, it is no tangible. So something not tangible is causing a physical change in the brain. This fits more with the concept that the brain is a conduit of consciousness.

4. The God spot

When the so-called ‘God spot’ was discovered in the brain, scientists were triumphant. By electrically stimulating the brain they were able to reproduce the mystical effects that people often report in certain states such as just before an epileptic fit.

They extrapolated that all mystical or psychic phenomena were simply generated by the brain in this way and people were just mistaking them to be real.

However there is an interesting factor in this. They obtained their results by electrically stimulating the brain with electrodes in the laboratory. So in the case of mystical events outside the laboratory and with our electrodes what is stimulating the brain then? Could it be that consciousness itself is acting through the brain and stimulating areas such as the so-called God spot?

5. Blindsight

The reductionist paradigm is all about physical connections. Sight is a function that is no different. So what happens when the normal optic tracts are damaged yet in tests the person can still ‘see’?

There have been amazing cases of blindsight in which the person has not been able to see by normal means but in controlled testing they correctly identify visual stimuli. With the damage to the optic tracts people with blindsight just should not be able to do this, if the reductionist paradigm is correct.

There have also been cases when some traumatic event like a childhood epileptic fit or a blow to the head have caused the person to have extraordinary abilities. Daniel Tammat is one example – he is able to do complex mathematics and linguistics seemingly effortlessly.

It is interesting how he describes some of the ways he obtains this information. He describes it as coalescing in his mind as shapes which he can then interpret. Is his brain obtaining information from the field in an unusual way?

6. Studies of precognition

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Precognition is a subject that is normally discussed with derision by scientists but some scientists such as Dean Radin of the Institute of Noetic Science have actually taken the subject seriously enough to study the topic under controlled conditions. He found that the brain reacts to a stimulus even before the stimulus is present. The brain shows an EEG response before the event.

Again this should not be possible in the reductionist paradigm. According to that paradigm, the eyes should see the stimulus, the impulse needs to travel into the optic tracts from the retina. The brain then turns that into a response in the occipital and frontal areas of the brain.

In reality there isn’t enough time for this long process before the reaction to a visual stimulus happens as the chemical and electrical processes take a certain amount of time, commented on by Nobelist, Albert Szent-Györgyi. The precognition response is even weirder according to the old paradigm.

Of course such scientific studies are attacked – usually the scientist themselves are denigrated. They may even be subject to an organised campaign where people are employed go into the internet in various guises – as experts, forum posters and on social media to downplay the science and the scientists.

To watch a TED talk on these types of campaigns watch this video.

Conclusion

So all in all these are studies which suggest that the brain may not be the originator of consciousness and that something more may be going on. Some of the results may be better explained if the brain is actually a conduit organ for consciousness.

At the very least such results should have a true scientists questioning the basic assumptions of the reductionist paradigm. After all isn’t that how science is supposed to move forward? By spotting results that can change the current received wisdom?

To find out more about the science of consciousness beyond the brain check out The Genius Groove where you can learn about the new science of creativity and how to use this new science to enhance your own life and creative journey.

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